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Europe’s Farmers Protest Climate Alarmist Idiocy

By Catherine Salgado

Farmers in several European countries have engaged in mass protests against the agriculture-wrecking, society-destroying, unscientific “green” agenda.

Climate alarmists have been wrong for 50+ years, and there’s plenty of evidence to expose the climate hoax. Yet elites around the world continue to tout the fake climate crisis as an excuse to transform society and increase their power. Farmers in Europe, facing land grabs and burdensome regulations in the name of climate change, are fed up.

Swedish journalist Peter Imanuelsen posted on Twitter/X, “The Belgian farmers have now joined the protests against tyrannical climate policies.” He also tweeted, “The French taxi drivers have joined the farmer’s protest. All of Europe is standing up against Climate Communism.”

Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaardingerbroek also tweeted information about the protests on Jan. 29:

French Farmers are currently blocking highways all over the country and are currently working on a ‘beseige of Paris’.

German Farmers have brought the city of Hamburg and its harbor to a standstill.

Belgian Farmers are out blocking highways and are dumping imported Ukrainian food that’s been exempted from EU regulations.

Of course, as Vlaardingerbroek noted, the global mainstream media is trying its hardest to pretend the protests aren’t happening. 15,000 extra police have reportedly been called in against the French farmers.

Let’s hope the freedom enthusiasm galvanizes more American farmers too.

Breitbart reported last week:

“French farmers have vowed to continue their tractor protests ‘for as long as necessary’ while laying the blame for growing rural anger at the feet of the European Union’s green agenda and the globalist government of President Emmanuel Macron.

Building off the momentum of the political gains from farmers in the Netherlands last year and the recent uprisings seen across Germany — not to mention decades of tractor protests already seen in France — French farmers said that they plan to continue shutting down motorways with their tractors at least until the end of the week and maybe even longer if the government fails to heed their demands…

Principally, the farmers are calling for their way of life to be respected by elites in Paris and Brussels. However, in terms of concrete measures, they have called for a reduction in onerous green regulations from the EU and from their government, which recently raised taxes on agricultural fuel.”

The French farmers do have other complaints, but the climate nonsense is number one. From Germany to France to Belgium, farmers are leading the way in standing for freedom and common sense against Marxist, woke ideology.

*****

Catherine Salgado is an accomplished writer and investigative reporter who publishes daily in her Substack column, Pro Deo et Libertate (For God and Liberty). This superb column provides news and opinion pieces from an honest, common-sense perspective in the spheres of culture, politics, liberal arts, and religion. The Prickly Pear is grateful for her permission to reproduce her public writings and recommends that our readers subscribe to Catherine’s superb Substack column. Please consider a paid subscription for full access to all of her excellent and informative writings.

Image Credit: YouTube screenshot from The Guardian

This additional video is from a Jordan Peterson interview on the subject produced by Daily Wire and available on Rumble.

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America’s Future Clouded By Illegal Immigration, Uncontrolled Debt

By Thomas C. Patterson

Americans are feeling growing unease about the accumulating dysfunctions afflicting us which seem to elude governmental solutions. The combination of weak leadership and irresolute voters has led to diminished standing internationally, inflation, rising crime rates, energy shortages, the hollowing out of once-great cities, and persistent racial disparities.

Yet the greatest threats of all to our future are the national debt and illegal immigration, both of which are wildly out of control. These two dangers, if not soon contained, threaten to consign our beloved nation to second-tier status.

Yes, it could happen. Americans tend to believe that everything will be OK, because this is America where everything naturally gets better.

But there’s nothing inevitable about our good fortune. Yes, we have a fortuitous history, but the music could stop at any time if we habitually neglect the discipline necessary for successful self-government.

There’s even an ominous question of whether the debt and illegal immigration are even solvable at this point. Yes, we’ve carried high debt loads before, notably after World War II. Strong economic growth rescued us then. Innovation and improved productivity are again our only realistic hope of avoiding sharp economic decline.

But we’ve worked ourselves into a dangerous situation, where our annual debt service has reached $1 trillion. We are forced to borrow to make interest payments while our debt continues to grow – a death spiral normally leading to bankruptcy. Creditors will soon demand higher interest payments and many may refuse to buy our debt altogether.

The effects of the massive migration of the last few years will also be difficult to reverse. Even if we ended illegal immigration today, the 20 million new residents among us aren’t going home and deportation of this scope may be impossible.

At least two million are “gotaways“ who intentionally intentionally avoided border checkpoints, for reasons we can easily guess. This means not only will our lives become more dangerous but social, educational and criminal justice systems will all be undergoing stress tests just at a time when we are running out of money (see above)

Sure, Democrats have enthusiastically led the open borders craze. They ludicrously claim there is nothing they can do unless Republicans will legislate more, spend more and agree to comprehensive immigration reform, a.k.a. universal amnesty.

But Republicans had their chance to close the border and didn’t. Instead of cutting back immigration, the Trump administration could have used executive authority to close the border entirely to unauthorized entry, as the law requires.

Americans’ traditional respect for the Rule of Law is a linchpin of our national success. We ignore it to our detriment. We now will pay an awful price for keeping the door cracked a little open when the law is clear

Democrats have also led the charge for irresponsible spending for false reasons (Covid) or for pure political gain (student loan forgiveness). But Republicans have failed to be the adults in the room, quailing at the threatened “government shutdowns” during spending debates, sneakily supporting spending abuses like earmarks, and generally refusing to expend political capital on spending reductions.

When you’re in a hole stop digging, right? The first orders of business are to close the border and balance the budget. Both require prodigious amounts of political will and these are just first steps.

There is some hope in the sudden transformation of the formerly sanctimonious sanctuary city jurisdictions. When faced with the realities of millions of unvetted, unskilled dependents demanding…well, everything, they are swiftly losing their enthusiasm.

For now, the self-described humanitarians are demanding more help in processing and caring for illegal immigrants, but it’s likely they will become more realistic before long. We’ll see. Voters respond more constructively to crises that affect them personally, which our unmanageable debt will also soon begin to do.

Many historians believe we are seeing the inevitable decline of a still great civilization, a highly successful republic that by choice never became an empire, yet achieved dominance and wealth. Like many before us, prosperity produced softness and self-indulgence in the citizenry and so we too may sink into the dustbin of history.

Somehow we must not – we cannot – let that happen.

*****

Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.

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Nikki Haley, Authoritarian-in-Waiting

By James Bovard

When it comes to traditional American freedoms, Donald Trump’s sole remaining competitor for the GOP nomination has little to recommend her.

New advertisements from the Nikki Haley presidential campaign are touting the former South Carolina governor as the “better choice” for America. In a season in which the Biden re-election campaign is openly comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, Haley is increasingly portrayed as someone who would be reasonable, restrained, and maybe even moderate as president.

In reality, Haley is far more bellicose than Trump and became the darling of much of the media thanks to championing foreign interventions. Haley’s defenders insist that, although she might start more wars abroad, she would be more respectful of freedom on the homefront than either Biden or Trump. Yet there is nothing in Haley’s record to bolster such hopes.

Nikki Haley might support freedom as long as it didn’t cost her any votes or spur any criticism from prominent newspaper editorial boards. When Biden visited South Carolina earlier this month, Haley tweeted: “Let me make something clear: we don’t want you taking away our cars, our stoves, our dishwashers, and our freedom.” Perhaps Haley’s pollsters did focus group testing to confirm that she would not lose any votes by standing up for the right to own gas stoves.

The glove on Haley’s iron fist slipped during a November interview in which she demanded that social media companies “verify every single person on their outlet, and I want it by name.” She claimed that permitting people to comment online without confirming their identity is “a national security threat.” She touted de facto government licensure of speech as a way “to get some civility when people know their name is next to what they say.” Haley also asserted that when commenters were forced to identify themselves, “all of a sudden people have to stand by what they say.” After controversy erupted over her licensing plan, however, Haley denied that she had made the proposal. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky scoffed that Haley’s scheme “flies in the face of a free American Republic whose founders anonymously wrote the Federalist Papers and routinely posted newspaper articles and pamphlets under pseudonyms.” While Haley is spooked by anonymous private critics, she apparently has no problem with the federal government blindfolding the American people by creating trillions of new pages of secrets each year.

Haley has sent other signals that she would be a First Amendment minimalist. In late October, she declared during a television interview: “There should be freedom of speech, but you don’t get freedom of hate.” The notion that hateful speech is exempted from the First Amendment is a favorite delusion of liberals who want to suppress any criticism of transgender people or other sacred cows.

Haley’s faith in arbitrary government power shines through in other recommendations. After a school shooting in Iowa earlier this month, Haley tweeted, “We have to secure our schools the same way we secure our airports.” So the Transportation Security Administration is Haley’s model for public service and trust? Haley did not explain why she glorified a federal agency that fails to discover weapons and mock bombs in 95 percent of its own undercover tests. Nor did she not explain how pointlessly groping millions of kids each day would make children safe. (Thanks to windfalls from defense contractors and other military-industrial complex beneficiaries, Haley is a multimillionaire who likely rarely if ever experiences TSA indignities.)

Haley’s early record as a South Carolina legislator also raises alarms. During her second term as a state representative in 2007, Haley co-sponsored a bill to compel all young girls to get injected with a HPV vaccine barely a year after the Food and Drug Administration approved the shots. That bill contained no “opt-out” provision for parents who did not want their daughters to get the new vaccine. There are currently several lawsuits claiming injuries from the vaccines. As of 2019, most teenagers were not getting the HPV vaccine.

The New York Times conducts a quadrennial “Executive Power Survey” to garner presidential candidates’ views on presidential authority, including freedom of the press, commander-in-chief prerogatives, federal secrecy, and emergency powers. Haley refused to respond to the questionnaire, unlike other Republican candidates including Mike Pence, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Asa Hutchinson. Haley, unlike Trump, ducks interviews with savvy reporters who would push her to defend her positions.

Nevertheless, even unprompted, Haley sounds as illiterate regarding American history as any other presidential candidate—she simply doesn’t seem to understand what America is all about. On President’s Day 2021, Haley whooped on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “George Washington turned an army of ragtag troops into an unstoppable force that defeated the British & secured America’s independence.” Apparently, she missed the recaps of the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn. Washington’s army was whipped plenty of times before partnering with the French army to defeat General Cornwallis’s army at Yorktown in 1781.

Haley followed her fairy tale about the American army in the Revolutionary War with a Trump-caliber howler on the nation’s founding. She hailed George Washington: “As President, he oversaw the creation of our Constitution & showed the world what it looks like to govern by the people and for the people.” Historians ridiculed Haley’s ignorance about the sequence between the Constitution and the election of the first president. Princeton’s Professor Kevin Kruse scoffed: “As President, [Washington] traveled back in time?” Nor did Haley elucidate how the trademark phrase from Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address retroactively became the 1790s lodestar.

Haley’s George Washington blunders were forgotten after her Civil War revisionism. For Haley, invoking “freedom” provides a license to blather. When a New Hampshire town hall attendee last month asked Haley about the causes of the Civil War, she replied, “I mean, I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how the government was going to run the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.” The runaway slaves targeted by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 would not have applauded Haley’s spin. Her comments provoked more outrage than practically anything since the January 6 Capitol clash. The following day, Haley declared during a radio interview that “of course the Civil War was about slavery.” And, following her No Piffle Left Behind tactic, she added, “freedom matters. And individual rights and liberties matter for all people.”

If Haley is elected president, her scorecard on civil liberties would likely parallel that of President George W. Bush. As a candidate in 2000, Bush mostly avoided the issue of freedom, preferring to bloviate about “compassionate conservatism.” But after Bush committed the nation to crusade against terror after 9/11, his administration quickly seized vast powers and sought Total Information Awareness surveillance on the American people. White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales dismissed concerns about whether the U.S. government was violating laws or the Constitution by concocting the “Commander-in-Chief override power.”

Unfortunately, Haley’s record on freedom is par for contemporary politicians. Donald Trump curbed a few federal agencies while president but was mostly oblivious (or worse) on the freedom front. President Biden only respects the ‘freedom’ to terminate pregnancies and to default on federal student loans.

Ronald Reagan’s 1980 campaign was the last time that a major party presidential candidate sincerely sought to curb federal power. Barack Obama made noises on this score during his 2008 campaign but quickly heaved his civil liberties pretenses overboard after taking office. As the government has intruded further into citizens’ lives, freedom has faded as a supreme value for voters. Decades of politicians bidding for votes with promises of new government handouts have eroded many citizens’ comprehension of the danger of unleashing their rulers.

There is no reason to expect Haley to be more devoted to freedom than she is to peace. And there is no reason to expect Haley to show more fidelity to the Constitution than she has to any other cause that hasn’t showered her with riches.

*****

This article was published by The American Conservative and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: YouTube screenshot NBC Meet The Press

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Representatives of the Uyghur Community to Speak at Chandler Event

By David Wanetick

Editors’ Note: The presentation of Plight of the Uyghurs by Davos in the Desert will be virtual on Monday, February 12th from 6:45 – 8:00 PM (Mountain Time). Registration for this informative and important presentation can be accessed here

The word “genocide” has been hurled around so much and so loosely in recent months that much of the public has built up an immunity to a term that should make the hair on the backs of our necks stand up. However, almost no one is talking about the most profound genocide that is currently taking place anywhere in the world. That is the systematic annihilation of the Uyghurs, the Turkic Muslim people residing in Xinjiang, China. Chandler residents will have an opportunity to listen to two leading Uyghurs discuss the Plight of the Uyghurs at a Davos in the Desert meeting in Chandler on February 12.

So why do I claim that Uyghurs are targeted for genocide at the hands of the Chinese government?

Because Uyghur women from 18 years of age to those far past child-bearing age are subjected to forced sterilization and IUD placement. According to my discussions with Muetter Iliqud, a human rights lawyer and researcher at the Uyghur Transitional Justice Database, not even women in their mid-fifties who vowed never to become pregnant have been spared from being neutered. As a result, birth rates have plunged between 80% and 90% in some rural areas of Xinjiang.

Since 2016, 900,000 Uyghur children have been separated from their parents and sent to orphanages where they are raised as Hun Chinese, according to Abdulkaim Idris, Executive Director of the Center for Uyghur Studies. Their immersion in Mandarin is so thorough that they forget their mother tongue.

Forced marriages are another means to de-Uyghurize Xinjiang.

As many as three million Uyghurs, or 25% of the population, are condemned to time in so-called “re-education camps”. In these detention facilities, women are routinely gang raped and men are savagely beaten. Tours in the “re-education centers” are usually for 60 days but easily last for a year for those who fail to demonstrate good behavior. Laboratories to facilitate involuntary organ transfer are located nearby. A further 13,000 Uyghurs have disappeared or been impressed into forced labor, where conditions are even worse. The release rate from these slave labor camps is only 4%.

The remaining 75% of the Uyghurs live in what can best be described as open-air prisons, where they are vulnerable to arrest for any reason at any time. Their every move is captured on surveillance cameras outside of their homes and inside their homes. As if this wasn’t enough, Mr. Idris notes that 1.1 million Hun Chinese have been sent to live with Uyghurs in their homes. Often, these uninvited male guests appear when the Uyghur husbands have been banished. They are not prohibited from sleeping in the same beds as the Uyghur women. These informants report to police when their Uyghur hosts abstain from eating pork or drinking alcohol, which are sufficient reasons to send them to detention facilities.

Why is Chandler-based Davos in the Desert running an evening event highlighting the plight of the Uyghurs? First, Davos in the Desert does what it can to put a spotlight on some of the world’s most oppressed people. Our Gala featured Yeonmi Park, a notable North Korean defector. More recently we ran a program that brought attention to the terror that Hamas inflicts on the people of Gaza.

Secondly, Davos in the Desert is an anti-globalist organization that is highly concerned about the globalists’ plans to micromanage our lives. Authorities in places like the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, and the World Health Organization are scheming to dictate the foods we eat, the distances we can travel, the kinds of home appliances we can use and the vaccines that we are required to inject into our bloodstreams. They wish to track every movement we make through tools such as vaccine passports and digital currencies. Our Lockdown Nation conference, to be held a week before our Plight of the Uyghur event, will highlight that if we allow unelected and unaccountable authorities to make all of our decisions for us, we will soon end up like the Uyghurs.

*****

David Wanetick is the CEO of Davos in the Desert, an unapologetically and stridently anti-globalist movement.

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NRA CEO Reveals Why He Resigned During Fraud Trial Brought By Letitia James

By Harold Hutchison

National Rifle Association(NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre testified Tuesday in his New York fraud case that the reason he was resigning from his post because he was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, according to Stephen Gutkowski of The Reload.

The 74-year-old LaPierre, who announced his resignation effective Wednesday on Jan. 5 for health reasons, told a New York court that the disease affected his neural functioning and was a form of dementia, Gutkowski posted on X. LaPierre testified in the NRA fraud case brought by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James, that he was not diagnosed for four years and that doctors had ordered him to retire, according to Gutkowski. (RELATED: NRA Scores Court Victory Against NY AG Letitia James)

James, who is also prosecuting former President Donald Trump in a civil fraud case, sued the gun rights organization in August 2020, seeking the group’s dissolution. A New York judge, Joel M. Cohen, ruled that James could not seek dissolution of the NRA in March 2022. James made a number of statements that were hostile about the NRA during her 2018 campaign for attorney general. James claimed that LaPierre and other top executives at the NRA diverted “millions of dollars” for their personal use.

“With pride in all that we have accomplished, I am announcing my resignation from the NRA,” Wayne LaPierre said according to a release from the NRA announcing his decision to step down. “I’ve been a card-carrying member of this organization for most of my adult life, and I will never stop supporting the NRA and its fight to defend Second Amendment freedom. My passion for our cause burns as deeply as ever.”

Late-stage Lyme disease symptoms include difficulty concentrating, also called “brain fog,” which is a form of brain damage, as well as nerve damage or polyneuropathy, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

James vowed to “target the NRA” in a July 2018 release by her campaign, vowing to “investigate the legitimacy of the NRA as a charitable institution.” “The NRA is an organ of deadly propaganda masquerading as a charity for public good,” James claimed in the release.

“The NRA holds [itself] out as a charitable organization, but in fact, [it] really [is] a terrorist organization,” she told Ebony magazine.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, LaPierre also testified about several overseas safaris and trips, Gutkowski reported, saying he would not have taken them had it not been for a hunting show he was filming.

NRA general counsel John Frazer also testified Tuesday, saying he was appointed to the position after working as an attorney for two years, according to Gutkowski. Frazer also told the court he had been unaware of several major decisions, including the gun-rights group’s effort to file bankruptcy and re-incorporate in Texas, Gutkowski posted(RELATED: ‘We Don’t Need Lectures’: Pence Rips Demands For Gun Control After Louisville, Nashville Shootings)

The bankruptcy court denied the NRA’s effort to file for Chapter 11 reorganization in May 2021, noting in its opinion “the NRA is financially healthy” and that the gun-rights organization “made progress since 2017 with its course correction.”

James and the NRA did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

*****

This article was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: YouTube screenshot

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Harvard’s ‘Diversity’ Chief Accused Of Over 40 Instances Of Plagiarism thumbnail

Harvard’s ‘Diversity’ Chief Accused Of Over 40 Instances Of Plagiarism

By Brandon Poulter

Harvard University’s chief diversity and inclusion officer allegedly plagiarized some of her academic works, according to a complaint filed Monday with the university.

The complaint alleged that Sherri Charleston plagiarized 40 passages throughout her works, including in her 2009 dissertation and her single peer-reviewed paper, The Washington Free Beacon first reported. Charleston allegedly did not properly cite almost a dozen scholars when quoting or paraphrasing in her dissertation, and she is accused of re-using a portion of a 2012 study published by her husband, LaVar Charleston, in the peer-reviewed article, which was co-authored by LaVar, according to the complaint. (RELATED: Elite University Donor Pledges To Pull Funding, Calls On President To Resign Over Diversity, Equity And Inclusion)

LaVar Charleston is the deputy vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to his webpage.

“The 2014 paper appears to be entirely counterfeit,” Peter Wood, head of the National Association of Scholars, told the Beacon. “This is research fraud pure and simple.”

The peer-reviewed article, which was also co-authored with now-dean of Michigan State University’s College of Education Jerlando Jackson, uses the same methodology, description and findings as a 2012 study by her husband, according to the complaint.

Sherri Charleston began her role as the chief diversity and inclusion officer in August 2020 and she is described as “one of the nation’s leading experts in diversity,” according to Harvard’s website. Her work involves “translating diversity and inclusion research into practice for students, staff, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty of color.”

Harvard President Claudine Gay resigned on Jan. 2 following a slew of plagiarism allegations and her refusal to say whether calls for genocide violated the university’s code of conduct during a Dec. 5 congressional hearing.

Gay submitted corrections to some of her scholarly work on Dec. 15 involving “quotation marks and citations” and later requested three additional corrections. The Harvard Corporation, the school’s highest governing board, did not make any public statements about the allegations until Dec. 12, despite being made aware of them in late October.

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce is currently investigating whether Harvard looked “the other way” at Gay’s alleged plagiarism.

Harvard and the Office for Equity, Diversion, Inclusion, and Belonging did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

*****

This article was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

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WEEKEND READ: Pretext for a Fedsurrection

By Darren Beattie

The Big Lie of the January 6 “insurrection” is falling apart before our eyes.

With over three years having passed since January 6, 2021, it may come as a shock to some that this vexed date is more relevant than ever. The regime has broadly employed the absurd notion of January 6 as a violent assault on the scale of 9/11 as a pretext to weaponize the national security state against its political opponents. The still more absurd notion that Trump personally instigated this insurrection has emerged as the sham legal rationale behind the regime’s recent efforts to remove the presumptive GOP nominee from the ballot entirely. A bungling, senescent Biden clearly signaled in his speech marking the third anniversary of the “day we almost lost America” that January 6 would feature prominently in the Democrat’s 2024 strategy.

The stakes involved help us to understand why the regime so jealously guards its official January 6 narrative, and so aggressively attacks anyone who dares to question it. These troublesome questions involve asking why, of all days, the Capitol seemed to enjoy uniquely poor security, despite numerous warnings and threats. One might also ask how, given the well-established level of penetration federal authorities had into the key militia groups accused of conspiracies to attack the Capitol, the same authorities could possibly claim to have been caught off guard. Most troubling and damning of all, one might ask whether any government agents or affiliates took more active steps in helping to facilitate the events of January 6. This last line of questioning has been the principal focus of my reporting at Revolver.news, and has led me to maintain that the two smoking guns of the “Fedsurrection” is the curious case of Ray Epps, on the one hand, and the case of the so-called January 6 pipe bombs on the other. 

The January 6 pipe bombs refer to the two alleged explosive devices planted on the evening of January 5 and discovered on January 6 near the DNC and RNC buildings, respectively, just as the assault on the west perimeter of the Capitol began to unfold in the early afternoon. These pipe bombs, technically considered weapons of mass destruction by the government, were arguably the most serious, terrorist-like element associated with the day the media and regime have been desperate to paint as a domestic terror attack on par with 9/11. The FBI put out urgent videos pleading with the public to provide help in helping to identify and apprehend this presumptive MAGA terrorist.

From the very outset it was clear that something was off with the FBI’s treatment of this case. A more careful look at the pipe bomb story reveals that the official version of events relies on an almost impossible set of coincidences compounded on one another. The best entry point into the pipe bomb story is a 7-minute clip reluctantly and quietly released by the Capitol Police of the DNC bomb being discovered. When considered as a stand-alone piece of footage, it is sufficient to warrant a national scandal; when considered in light of the broader aforementioned coincidences surrounding the pipe bomb story, it threatens to completely demolish the regime’s January 6 narrative and expose one of the darkest and most damning government operations in recent American history. 

Without further ado, we ask that the reader skim the linked video and then revisit it as you read our description below.

This surveillance footage released by the Capitol Police depicts the discovery of a pipe bomb by a bench right outside of the Democrat National Committee headquarters at approximately 1:05 PM on January 6. In the first part of the video, from approximately 1:05:30-1:06:30, we can see an individual with a backpack approach two SUVs parked outside the DNC garage entrance. The SUVs were both part of then Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ secret service detail (more on that later) and the individual with the backpack was informing the Secret Service of the presence of the pipe bomb just feet away.

After being informed of an explosive device within feet of themselves and possibly their protectee, it takes the Secret Service officers over a minute to even bother getting out of their cars, after which point they proceed to stand and lounge about in the most lackadaisical manner imaginable for another two minutes. Go ahead and look at the footage around the 1:07 timestamp and ask yourself whether the Secret Service officers are behaving the way you’d expect upon being informed of an explosive device in the vicinity.

The real whopper occurs at around the 1:09:41 timestamp. Here we can see a group of children cross the street in the direction of the pipe bomb, and walk within feet of where the pipe bomb is placed. Astonishingly, the Secret Service agents who themselves are standing about don’t even bother to warn these children of the bomb. Shortly thereafter, a Capitol Police officer walks right up to the bomb, snaps a photo of it, gives a thumbs up sign to the other agents, who then for the first time in the entire clip move with hustle and purpose and quickly leave the scene.

Here we see the Secret Service detail acting with utter lack of concern for their own lives, for the lives of their protectee Kamala Harris, and perhaps most scandalously of all, for the lives of the group of children they cavalierly allowed to walk right next to the pipe bomb. The Secret Service somehow knew the pipe bomb was a dud, but how would they have known that? A reliable source who has seen the extended non-public footage reports to us that, minutes after the footage above ends, authorities had that very DNC pipe bomb defused by a bomb-safe robot. If the Secret Service were so confident the bomb wasn’t a threat that they would exhibit zero concern for themselves, their protectee, and children walking by, then why bother with the gratuitous spectacle of defusing the bomb with a robot?

Now let’s turn to the question of Kamala Harris. It may surprise the reader to learn of then-VP-elect Harris’ presence in the DNC building on January 6, a fact that Harris studiously kept hidden from the public for almost a year before the information leaked—and still Harris has never acknowledged it publicly. Let’s stop for a moment to process this information. Kamala Harris is without question one of the most politically opportunistic creatures on this planet. Why on earth would she forgo the opportunity to milk politically the fact that she came within a hair’s breadth of losing her life to this January 6 pipe bomb at the DNC? Joe Biden is so desperate to paint Donald Trump and his supporters as insurrectionists that he took the occasion of the third anniversary of January 6 to give an ominous speech on the matter. And yet, nowhere in this speech attempting to reinforce the narrative of January 6 as a dark day of domestic terrorism does he bother to mention that his own Vice President came dangerously close to the only known explosive devices associated with this day of supposed infamy. How is this possible? How dirty and embarrassing does the truth have to be for the likes of Kamala and Biden to forgo such an obvious and politically advantageous talking point? 

These questions alone are simply damning, but when considered in light of the full context of our knowledge of the January 6 pipe bombs, the situation becomes far worse. Almost as bizarre as the Secret Service’s inexplicable lack of concern in response to being informed of the pipe bomb is the fact that up until that point the Secret Service was informed of the bombs at 1:05 P.M., the pipe bomb had been sitting out there, fairly conspicuously, by the bench for over 17 hours without being discovered. For reference, here is a photo of the pipe bomb next to the DNC bench —presumably the photo taken by the Capitol Police officer as described above.

According to the FBI and surveillance footage presented by the FBI, the pipe bomber planted this bomb at approximately 8 P.M. on the evening of January 5. From 8 P.M. on January 5 to 1:05 P.M on January 6 (over 17 hours) the pipe bomb was supposedly sitting there by the bench—undiscovered by motorists, pedestrians (January 6 was a very high foot traffic day), a regularly stationed security guard within feet of the pipe bomb, and the Secret Service of the United States, which is on record as having swept the DNC premises prior to Kamala Harris’ entrance into the building. Are we to believe that the Secret Service dogs had Covid that day and weren’t able to smell the live explosive material found on the pipe bomb, according to a national forensics task force report that still has not been made fully available to the public?

The notion that the DNC pipe bomb could have sat out there for 17 hours undiscovered, including by the Secret Service, seemed so bizarre to our investigative team at Revolver News that we thought to revisit the question as to whether the bombs were actually planted when the surveillance footage released by the FBI suggests they were. From this we were able to demonstrate conclusively that the FBI is in possession of footage that would prove definitively whether or not the pipe bomber planted the bomb at the time they claim he or she did, but they for whatever reason have decided not to release this. Furthermore, we showed that the surveillance footage itself is clearly tampered with, as it has a frame rate of 1.6 frames per second which is well below the lowest commercial standard of 8 frames per second. Are we to believe that any gas station in the country has higher quality surveillance cameras than the national headquarters of the Democrat Party? And why is it the case that the only footage of the pipe bomber at the benches that the FBI will make public is the clearly corrupted DNC surveillance footage? And why is the Democrat Party so uninterested in questions that could help us to identify the pipe bomber who planted an explosive device outside of their national headquarters?

To get to the essential structural flaw in the official pipe bomb story, however, we need to say a few things about the discovery of the first pipe bomb, at the office of the Republican National Committee, and the timing surrounding it. The first device discovered on January 6 was found by a random pedestrian named Karlin Younger behind a trash can in a back alley near the Capitol Hill Club. Younger reports that she discovered the bomb at 12:40 P.M. and notified a security official in the Capitol Hill Club. We know from sources that the security official in question also happened to be a veteran of the Capitol Police, and reported the bomb’s discovery through the Capitol Police system, whereupon the Capitol Police began responding to the bomb at 12:50 P.M.

The timing is relevant as 12:50 is just three minutes before the initial and decisive attack on the west perimeter of the Capitol. Karlin Younger reported that the mechanical kitchen timer affixed to the pipe bomb, which was an hourlong timer, was stuck on the 20-minute mark. Younger found the bomb at 12:40 and it had 20 minutes on the dial, conveying the impression that it was set to go off exactly when the certification of the vote proceeding was to begin at 1:00 P.M.

Take a second to digest just how infinitesimally improbable this set of circumstances is. Like the DNC pipe bomb, surveillance footage provided by the FBI suggests the RNC pipe bomb was planted on the evening of January 5 at around 8:30 P.M. This means that the RNC bomb was sitting behind a trash can in a back alley, undiscovered for over 16 hours, only to be randomly stumbled upon by a random pedestrian who discovers it nearly to the exact minute such as to be perfectly synchronized with both the certification proceeding and the initial and decisive attack on the west perimeter of the Capitol. The synchronicity here is so striking that many, including former head of Capitol Police Steve Sund, believed the pipe bombs were never intended to detonate but rather to serve a diversionary purpose, specifically to divert resources away from the Capitol as the attack unfolded. Given the remarkable timing of the pipe bombs’ discovery this seems likely, especially because the hour-long mechanical kitchen timers on the bombs meant that the latest they could have detonated would have been at 9:30 PM or so on the evening of January 5, which would have been pointless.

There’s only one problem with this otherwise eminently sound diversion theory. How could the pipe bomber have counted on these pipe bombs being discovered at such a time as to perfectly synchronize with the unfolding attack on the Capitol? How could he or she have known the pipe bombs wouldn’t have been discovered early in the morning, which likely would have had the counterproductive effect of beefing up security at the Capitol? The DNC bomb was lying undiscovered for over 17 hours until it was found at 1:05 P.M, scarcely 15 minutes after the first pipe bomb was discovered. Did the pipe bomber just count on getting so lucky that the pipe bombs wouldn’t be discovered prematurely, but rather would sit in their respective locations for 16 or 17 hours, only to be discovered in a narrow 15-minute window that corresponded precisely to the unfolding attack on the Capitol?

As if things weren’t strange enough, the head of the pipe bomb investigation at the FBI was a man called Steven D’Antuono, who had just recently been the head of the Detroit FBI Field Office where he oversaw the disgraced entrapment operation known as the Whitmer Kidnapping Plot. Perhaps as a result of our continuous and damning reporting on the pipe bomb story, along with a guilty conscience, D’Antuono resigned from his position as head of the Washington D.C. Field Office—a rare move as the WFO position is usually a stepping stone to the rarified floors of the FBI’s Hoover building.

Unusually, D’Antuono in his retirement volunteered himself for questioning before the Judiciary Committee in Congress. Congressman Thomas Massie compiled a number of pointed questions based on Revolver’s long history of reporting on the pipe bomb issue. D’Antuono had no answer for any of the questions, and seemed to acknowledge that the whole pipe bomb story made no sense. When asked whether the FBI used geo-fencing technology to identify the pipe bomber, D’Antuono sheepishly replied in the affirmative, but noted that the telecom company in question reported that for the specific time and location of the pipe bomber, the data was corrupted. While D’Antuono acknowledged that it is “investigation 101” that the people who discovered the pipe bombs would be considered suspects, at least initially, he claimed that he didn’t even know the identity of the man who discovered the DNC bomb, and professed not to know whether this individual had even been interviewed.

The timing of the discovery of the bombs in relation to the attack on the Capitol alone means that, at the very least, the people who discovered the RNC and DNC bombs respectively should be subject to serious questioning. The bizarre footage of the discovery of the DNC bomb is so damning that we must use it to generate sufficient pressure to force the gatekeepers in the Capitol Police to identify the individual who discovered the DNC bombs and allow Congress to question him. Given the massive amount of public attention on this story as of late we expect the plain clothes officer who discovered the DNC pipe bomb to be identified and interviewed quickly. And given the concatenation of shockingly implausible coincidences that precariously undergird the official pipe bomb narrative, we expect the lies behind the pipe bomb story to unravel rapidly, and with it the entire Fedsurrection lie.

The regime has desperately tried to suppress our Fedsurrection coverage, but with the story now having reached escape velocity the goal of suppression has grudgingly given way to the goal of damage control. At this very moment, mainstream newsrooms and government offices alike are brainstorming the best damage control strategy in nervous anticipation of the pipe bomb story cracking wide open. I suspect this damage control will involve a narrative containment strategy to cordon off the pipe bomb scandal and prevent it from metastasizing to other highly questionable elements of January 6. Unfortunately for the regime, such containment is impossible. The perfect synchronicity between the discovery of the pipe bombs and the unfolding of the west perimeter attack on the Capitol makes such a containment strategy possible.

There is already overwhelming evidence for massive federal involvement in this west perimeter breach as presented in the Revolver News piece “Meet Ray Epps Part II.” If the pipe bomb story is exposed as some kind of government operation to frame Trump supporters, federal involvement in the West Perimeter breach is likely to follow. If both the January 6 pipe bombs and the West Perimeter breach were instigated by the government, then January 6 at large can fairly be described as an inside job. If January 6 is finally and definitively exposed as a Fedsurrection, so goes the key pretext the regime has been counting on to weaponize the security apparatus politically against its opposition, and there goes the key pillar the democrats are leaning on to deprive Trump a fair shot at the White House.

These are the stakes. We are very close. And this is why we all need to give this ill-fated pipe bomb story the final push that it needs to bring the entire rotten January 6 edifice crumbling down on its corrupt and criminal architects.

*****

This article was published by The American Mind and is reproduced with permission.

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The Cost of Inflation: History Shows Inflation Erodes More Than the Value of Money thumbnail

The Cost of Inflation: History Shows Inflation Erodes More Than the Value of Money

By Jon Miltimore

Across the world, people are struggling under the specter of inflation.

In Venezuela, the inflation rate is 360 percent. In Argentina, it’s 160 percent. In Turkey, inflation is about 50 percent, about 10 percent higher than its neighbor Iran.

In Europe, inflation of the euro has finally cooled to about 3 percent, down from more than 10 percent a year ago. Canada and the United States have witnessed a similar pattern.

Even if Europe and North American countries can continue to rein in inflation — and that’s a very big if — the consequences of governments’ inflationary policies have already been realized. The value of people’s earnings and savings has been severely (and likely permanently) eroded.

The depreciation of real income causes serious pain for consumers and families, particularly poorer families who spend a higher percentage of their income on food and housing, commodities that tend to be disproportionately impacted by inflation.

“Lower-income households experienced above-average inflation because of their higher proportional spending on food and housing, categories for which prices were rising more rapidly at the time (especially during 2020, with the onset of the pandemic),” a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded earlier this year.

While the pernicious effects of inflation have been exhaustively detailed in recent years, one effect of inflation has received little attention: its impact on morality.

‘During Every Great Inflation’

The idea that inflation could affect morality might sound strange to some readers; It certainly did to me when I first heard the hypothesis. Yet, one of the most famed economic writers in history saw a clear link between inflationary policy and corruption (both public and private).

“During every great inflation there is a striking decline in both public and private morality,” Henry Hazlitt, the author of Economics in One Lessononce observed

One of the authorities Hazlitt cites is the historian Andrew Dickson White (1832–1932), author of Fiat Money Inflation in France. White, an abolitionist, and graduate of Yale University who cofounded Cornell University weeks after the conclusion of the Civil War, had a deep interest in monetary policy and French history.

During his European travels, which stretched back to before the American Civil War, he collected an impressive array of primary sources from Revolutionary France — “newspapers, reports, speeches, pamphlets, illustrative material of every sort, and, especially, specimens of nearly all the Revolutionary issues of paper money” — which he used to publish his book in 1912. 

In his work, White discusses how money printing in France led to not just monetary decay, but moral decay, and explains how it happened:

Out of the inflation of prices grew a speculating class; and, in the complete uncertainty as to the future, all business be­came a game of chance, and all businessmen, gamblers. In city centers came a quick growth of stockjobbers and speculators; and these set a debasing fashion in business which spread to the re­motest parts of the country….In this mania for yielding to present enjoyment rather than providing for future comfort were the seeds of new growths of wretchedness: luxury, senseless and extravagant, set in. This, too, spread as a fashion. To feed it, there came cheatery in the nation at large and corruption among officials and persons hold­ing trusts. While men set such fashions in private and official business, women set fashions of extravagance in dress and living that added to the incentives to cor­ruption…

Harvard Researchers: ‘A Positive Relationship Between Corruption and Inflation’

White’s book, which is freely available online courtesy of Project Gutenberg, is worth reading for anyone interested in history or monetary policy. While I find his thesis persuasive — White offers copious examples to show how loose money creates loose behavior — many readers will argue there’s an obvious problem: It’s unfalsifiable.

In one sense, they have a point.

While there’s no shortage of academics who argue morality can be measured — see Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory and the Schwartz Value Survey — I’m skeptical that humans can agree on a universal moral code, let alone accurately quantify morality in human populations.

Still, like just about anything, morality can be studied, and empirical evidence can be gathered. And there’s persuasive evidence that supports the idea that inflation corrupts.

For example, a prominent 2004 study conducted by Harvard researchers Miguel Braun and Rafael Di Tella found that higher levels of inflation variability tend to lead to more government corruption (and less capital investment). 

“We document a positive relationship between corruption and inflation variability in a sample of 75 countries,” the authors wrote.

‘A Nursery of Tyranny, Corruption, and Delusion’

Corruption is just one way to measure public morality, of course. Crime levels are another.   

The hyperinflation Weimar Germany (1918–33) experienced during the early 1920s is well known. Less well known is the surge in crime during the inflationary period, though it’s something Hazlitt discussed.

“It is no coincidence that crime rose sharply during the German inflation,” he wrote. “On the basis of 1882=100, the crime rate, which stood at an index number of 117 in 1913, rose to 136 in 1921 and 170 in 1923. It declined again in 1925, when the inflation was over, to 122.”

The rise in crime, however, was just one example of a much broader collapse in virtue and stability during the Weimar period. The historian Richard Evans touched on this topic in his 2005 book The Coming Third Reich:

Money, income, financial solidarity, regularity, economic order, and predictability had been at the heart of the bourgeois values and bourgeois existence before the war. A widespread cynicism began to make itself apparent in Weimar culture… It was not least as a consequence of the inflation that Weimar culture developed its fascination with criminals, embezzlers, gamblers, manipulators, thieves and crooks of all kinds. Life seemed to be a game of chance, survival a matter of the arbitrary impact of incomprehensible economic forces.

Evans’s description of the consequences of inflationary policy is but a longer, more artful version of that offered by the esteemed French statesman Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Count of Mirabeau, who at the dawn of the French Revolution warned, in a private letter, that inflationary policy was “a nursery of tyranny, corruption, and delusion.” 

Mirabeau was right, but this didn’t stop him from pushing paper notes to finance public works while a Member of the Constituent Assembly, a policy that no doubt contributed to France’s descent into tyranny.

Mirabeau died of pericarditis early in 1791 at just 42 years of age, not long after yielding to pressure to pass a paper-money scheme. He never witnessed the full tyranny he predicted (and his own policies helped bring about): the Reign of Terror.

‘Developed in Obedience to Natural Laws’

White’s point is that the tyranny in France did not come about accidentally. It stemmed directly from its monetary policy.

Figures from the French Revolution are hard to come by (especially if you don’t read French), but a new paper published in European Economic Review described France’s monetary policy as “an explosion of paper money called the assignat,” which resulted in a hyperinflation Europe would not experience again until the twentieth century.

White goes so far as to suggest that the horrors of the French Revolution were an unavoidable consequence of France’s inflationary policies.

“Thus was the history of France logically developed in obedience to natural laws,” he writes.

This is similar to Hazlitt’s thesis that bad money will inevitably result in bad behavior. This might be a tough thesis to swallow — particularly for those who live in the age of fiat money — but other historical examples are easily found. Henry VIII’s lavish lifestyle and many wars were enabled by expansionary monetary policy — what historians refer to as The Great Debasement. Even the Bible hints at a link between inflation and moral decay.

“Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water,” the Prophet Isaiah chided (1:22).

Isaiah was preaching at a time during which the people of Israel, particularly its leaders, were morally wretched, or so we’re led to believe.

I’ll leave it an open question for readers to decide whether the United States’ own expansion of the money supply has resulted in a collapse of private and public morality. Though I’ll point out that Hazlitt, writing during the Carter administration, argued that the rise of public immorality was already well underway and that it stemmed directly from its debauched currency.
I also suspect that White, if the great scholar was alive today, would look at American society — its endless warspublic corruption, and questionable taxpayer-funded initiatives — and simply say, “I told you so.”

*****

This article was published by AIER, American Institute for Economic Research, and is reproduced with permission.

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Deterring Mass-Migration Is Not Difficult

By Sumantra Maitra

State of the Union: There must be an overhaul of any post-1945 human rights framework and refugee conventions that oppose any deportation or martial action to deter migration.

As my colleague Jude Russo recently wrote, the most interesting and important news is not being covered much: the letter from the governor of Texas to the U.S. government declaring that the social compact between the federal government and the states is now broken. At least rhetorically, it appears that around fifteen or so states agree, and some of them have sent material and men to assist Texas in enforcing border control.

The issue isn’t complicated. This was the original idea of the United States: a union with no standing army but equal states helping each other during an invasion, with the federal government’s sole purpose being to come to the aid of the states. The United States is an entity where the states are supreme and decide their own destiny, especially during invasion and war. 

Yet the idea of the social compact being broken is an interesting one, and is now being echoed across the waters in Europe as well. Consider that the head of Frontex, the European Union border security and coast guard force that was created from the ashes of idealism post-2015, is now saying that there is no way to stop migrants. Hans Leijtens, a Dutchman who was recently appointed executive director of Frontex, recently declared that borders are obsolete, and that Europe should accept the fate and pivot away from the “narrative” of “stopping people.”

“Nothing can stop people from crossing a border, no wall, no fence, no sea, no river,” said Leijtens, whose solution was a managerial paean to “more openness.”

This sort of gives the game away. When both the U.S. federal government or Frontex in the E.U. demand more money, it is not to deter mass migration; it is to process illegal immigrants in a smooth, orderly fashion. They do not want to deter mass migration. They desire mass migration both ideologically, and, as recent reports go, materially.

Contrary to consensus wisdom, mass migration can actually be easily deterred.

The powers that be should be willing to sink the boats in the Mediterranean, target the human traffickers and cartels in both North Africa and Latin America, target the financing and processing of migrants by NGOs and other entities willing to aid and abet mass migration, and mass-deport the millions who came illegally after 2015. It can be done.

It is not done for two reasons. One, the post-1945 refugee convention and human rights laws, a relic of a different time, handicaps governments to take drastic actions. Two, the powers that be are ideologically aligned to promote mass-migration. To reverse that, there must be an overhaul of any post-1945 human rights framework and refugee conventions that oppose any deportation or martial action to deter migration. And there must be those willing to take action.

International law is practically a fantasy that states either can follow or disregard. India mass-deported Rohingya migrants. As did Pakistan with millions of Afghans. Israel has started to crack down on African mass migration. As has Saudi Arabia, which has gone as far as to shoot migrants. 

Deterrence needs force. Texas is right. It is up to the rest of the U.S. and Europe to follow.

*****

This article was published by The American Conservative and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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You Can’t Defend ‘Democracy’ And The Administrative State [The SCOTUS Chevron Deference Case] thumbnail

You Can’t Defend ‘Democracy’ And The Administrative State [The SCOTUS Chevron Deference Case]

By David Harsanyi

Editors’ Note: The administrative (deep) state of the Executive branch is the greatest threat to the individual sovereignty and liberty of all U.S. citizens in our Republic. The Chevron Deference doctrine established by the Supreme Court in 1984 granted the many parts of the executive branch and its departments to be the actual law writers and enforcers of its editing and rewriting of the legislation passed by Congress for four decades. It has been he driver and expander of the regulatory state and the law-fare used and impoverishing many citizens and businesses since the Supreme Court established this liberty-killing doctrine. Thwo companion cases heard by SCOTUS week on January 24th will decide the fate of Chevron Deference. The decision of the Supreme Court Justices coming this June will hopefully restore the intended balance of power our Founders designed over 235 years ago – Congress passes the laws, the Executive branch executes them. This litigation recently heard by the Supreme Court is one of the most important cases ever before the highest court of the land since the beginning of the Republic. Follow closely!

There are few things less ‘democratic’ than empowering a bunch of unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats to make laws.

The government shows up at your business and demands you pay the salaries of the regulators who lord over you. If you refuse, you’ll be ruined. You have little recourse. You’ve never even voted on the policy because no law implementing it exists. Bureaucrats in D.C. cooked up the idea, and a political appointee signed off on it.

That’s what Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a case brought by New England fishermen against Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, is all about. It may finally end or weaken Chevron deference, which refers to a 1984 decision that inadvertently empowered the administrative state to take wide-ranging, illiberal powers over American economic life. I mean, the case of the fishermen is basically a modern reenactment of “taxation without representation.”

Yet when the Supreme Court took up oral arguments in Raimondo, the three leftist judges didn’t focus on the constitutionality of Chevron deference, but rather lamented the alleged problems of stripping government experts of their power. Here is how The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus frames the arguments:

But the fundamental question was clear: Who decides? From the liberal point of view: unelected judges or regulators with expertise and accountability? From the conservative vantage point: judges constitutionally empowered to say what the law is or unelected bureaucrats?

It’s difficult to comprehend how any jurist who swore to uphold the Constitution could agree with the “liberal point of view.” Justices are “unelected” by design. It’s not a gotcha. It’s the point. And it is literally their job to “decide” the constitutionality of the laws and their implementation. Failing to do so is an abdication of their duty. Yet the contemporary left treats SCOTUS as if it were some autocratic Star Chamber for doing its job.

Nowhere, on the other hand, does the Constitution say one word about unelected bureaucrats deciding the law. The executive branch, as the name strongly suggests, is tasked with executing laws as written. The right initially cheered Chevron as a way to blunt judicial activism. But the allowances for “reasonable” decision-making when ambiguity exists in the law have been so abused that agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency will regulate every puddle and molecule of carbon dioxide.

Then again, the claim that regulators have unassailable “expertise” or real accountability is also a myth.

Democrats act as if they have a monopoly on apolitical, policy expertise. You remember when Joe Biden assured us that “no serious” economists were predicting high inflation? They say this sort of thing all the time. But there are almost always major disagreements over the efficacy and scope of regulatory policy, which is why politics exists, and why Democrats are keen on bypassing Congress and debate.

Moreover, the notion that government regulators are the best and brightest and attain their position through merit is complete bunkum, as anyone who’s paid more than five minutes of attention to the government already knows. This is especially true of political appointees, whose most valued skills are navigating bureaucracies and risk aversion.

Indeed, bureaucrats do not function under a notion of “accountability” that most normal people would recognize. When was the last time an agency cleaned house because its policies had failed? When was the time the administrative state was reined back in any genuine way? How many regulators or appointees are ever fired? If you were as bad at your job as Alejandro Mayorkas, you’d be out of work forever.

That said, even if regulators were blessed with extraordinary work ethic, exceptionally creative minds, and all the best ideas, they would still have zero right to create laws out of whole cloth.

Yet all the most vocal defenders of saving American “democracy” happen to think Chevron deference abuses are integral to governance. Read left-wing punditry on the topic, and you might walk away with the impression that federal agencies didn’t even exist until 1984.

The histrionics over the potential death of Chevron deference is just another example of the left’s abandonment of anything resembling a limiting principle. It’s all consequentialism, all the time. Anything Democrats dislike is an attack on “democracy.” When the court hands the abortion issue, unmentioned anywhere in the Constitution, back to voters, virtually every leftist in the country warns that “democracy” is under attack. When the same court threatens to stop unelected technocrats from doing whatever they like, democracy is again being threatened. It doesn’t even make any sense.

What Chevron deference does is incentivize Congress to write vague laws and presidents to abuse their power. It creates instability, as every administration implements its own preferred interpretation of the law. It threatens to further destroy the separation of powers. It was a huge mistake. And, as opposed to most of the left’s hysterics these days, it’s a real threat to “democracy.”

*****

This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

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US Debt-to-GDP Ratio Worsens Further, Despite Solid Economic Growth, as Government Debt Balloons at a Scary Pace thumbnail

US Debt-to-GDP Ratio Worsens Further, Despite Solid Economic Growth, as Government Debt Balloons at a Scary Pace

By Wolf Richter

The economy grew solidly. The debt spiked.

The US government debt is measured in “current dollars,” meaning: not adjusted for inflation. So we compare it to GDP in “current dollars,” not adjusted for inflation. The hope is that the current-dollar GDP, grew faster than the current-dollar debt so that the burden of the debt on the economy would shrink and that the astronomical debt-to-GDP ratio would decline. But no.

Current-dollar GDP grew by 5.8% in Q4 year-over-year, and it did so despite the 5%-plus interest rates, and that was pretty good. But the current-dollar government debt, oh dearie, it grew by 8.2%!

So the Debt-to-GDP ratio worsened to 121.7% at the end of Q4, after having already risen in the prior two quarters.

The spike in Q2 2020 to 133% had occurred largely because GDP had collapsed, and to a lesser extent because the debt had begun to jump. Then, as the economy leaped out of the hole and then grew faster than the debt through Q1 2023, the Debt-to-GDP ratio declined.

But in Q2, Q3, and Q4 2023, it went in the wrong direction, as the government opened the spending floodgates and piled on debt at a scary rate, despite decent economic growth.

This is the size of the economy: Current-dollar GDP (not adjusted for inflation) in Q4 rose by 5.8% year-over-year to $27.9 trillion, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday: The Year of the Recession that Didn’t Come. Over the past four years, it grew by 27.6%.

And this is the size of the US debt: $34.0 trillion at the end of 2023. And we marked this day here by tearing out our hair.

In 2023, the debt grew by $2.58 trillion or by 8.2%, a gigantic surge, especially during non-recessionary times. This spending of borrowed money also represents a huge amount of fiscal stimulus handed to the economy, and it’s practically impossible to even have any kind of slowdown, much less a recession, with this kind of fiscal stimulus washing over the land.

Over the past four years, the debt grew by 46.5%, while the economy grew by only 27.6% (both in current dollars). The green label in the chart is the technical jargon for what is going on here that we’ve used for many years, at first jokingly, but in recent years it has become reality:

*****

This article was published by Wolf Street and is reproduced with permission.

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The Immigration Crisis Shows Just How Much Contempt America’s Establishment Has For Democracy thumbnail

The Immigration Crisis Shows Just How Much Contempt America’s Establishment Has For Democracy

By Mark Hemingway

America’s avoidable immigration crisis is now the No. 1 concern of voters, ahead of inflation and the economy. So why is no one in D.C. interested in holding Biden accountable?

On June 17, 1953, more than a million East Germans walked off the job and launched a massive strike in protest of unfair production demands imposed by the communist government. The playwright Bertolt Brecht, who was living in East Berlin, responded by composing a poem about the Soviet-installed government’s approach to the problem, “Die Lösung” (which translates into “The Solution”):

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Anyway, you know things are bad in America when East Germany seems like a relevant historical analog, but here we are. Perusing the press these days, you’d think Brecht’s satirical joke about the government voting out the people was a real possibility. In fact, I’d dare say attempts to impose our rulers’ wishes on the electorate are now a prominent feature of American discourse.

The morning of the Iowa caucuses, The New York Times published a typically oblivious op-ed headlined “The Responsibility of Republican Voters,” essentially commanding them not to vote for Donald Trump. In reality, such a sentiment coming from the Times is tantamount to encouraging Republicans to support Trump, both as a result of its own sins and as a synecdoche for America’s utterly reviled journalistic establishment. Naturally, a guy the Times insists is “distinguished from the rest of the Republican candidates primarily by his contempt for the rule of law” went on to romp to victory later that day.

Anyway, speaking of contempt for the rule of law, just over a week after the Iowa caucuses, we launched headlong into what could be the biggest legitimacy crisis the federal government has faced since — well, perhaps comparing it to the Civil War overstates things. But to quote Biden, Texas’ standoff with the federal government over illegal immigration is “a big f-cking deal.” There’s a very solid argument that Texas is well within its rights to seize control of its border and enforce the laws Biden won’t, but please tell us more about which candidate is distinguished “primarily by his contempt for the rule of law.”

At a minimum, Biden’s complete disregard for border enforcement is a far bigger threat to America’s security and constitutional order than anything that happened on Trump’s watch, Jan. 6 included, an event the media and Democrats have been bleating about for three years. Yet how much discussion have you seen in The New York Times lately about Biden’s corrupt responsibility for America’s immigration disaster?

New York made kids go to class remotely so it could use their school as an immigrant shelter. (Though if you try to point out how outrageous this is, fact-checkers will tell you that any discussion of kicking taxpayers’ kids out of school for illegal immigrants “needs context,” and by “context,” they mean selective framing to mitigate the issue for the Democrats enabling this.) You have to provide ID, take off your belt and shoes, have your bags examined, and submit to a body scan to fly, but the government is flying planeloads of immigrants all over the country without any identification or due diligence to determine whether they are terrorists. Oh, and Boston is also literally housing illegal immigrants in Logan Airport, so no security threat there, I’m sure.

Even if arguments about maintaining the most basic level of national security and sovereignty don’t move Democrats, you’d think that the feds losing track of tens of thousands of kids and handing them over to sex traffickers would mean that the news wouldn’t be largely confined to the ghetto of local news affiliates and GOP press releases.

Aside from the lack of accountability for violating reams of immigration laws and imposing an avoidable economic and humanitarian crisis on entire states and communities, you’re definitely not allowed to talk about why Biden has allowed, by some estimates, 10 million people to cross the border illegally.

If you suggest that Democrats are counting on the fact that at some point in the future there will be some kind of amnesty or other mechanism to offer these illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship and voting, thereby achieving the literal fulfillment of Brecht’s joke about the government creating a new electorate, well, there’s an entire ideological infrastructure, one that the media are happy to parrot, dedicated to telling Americans that this common-sense concern is part of an elaborate neo-Nazi conspiracy theory.  

The only way you’re allowed to be concerned that a sudden and dramatic influx of immigrants will dramatically alter the political or cultural character of your community is if you’re the kind of disgustingly wealthy liberal who lives in Martha’s Vineyard. Then your concern suddenly merits days of news coverage. Fifty new migrants in Barack Obama’s backyard is a humanitarian crisis; 10,000 Haitians living under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, is a statistic.

Of course, polls now show immigration is the top concern for American voters, ahead of inflation and the broader economy. And near as I can tell, the White House and media strategy (but I repeat myself) seems to be ignoring the voting public’s grave concern and making the next 10 months about whether half the country should even be allowed to vote for Donald Trump.

This is not an exaggeration. On Thursday Politico ran a piece from a “professor of law and political science at Yale University,” arguing, “Trump’s Supreme Court Must Kick Him Off The Ballot.” This op-ed contains such modest proposals as saying the high court “should issue an injunction postponing Super Tuesday to early May” because nothing quite instills faith in American democracy like unelected jurists telling states where and how to hold their elections, never mind the author’s endorsement of a ridiculous interpretation of the 14th Amendment that says state officials can unilaterally kick someone off the ballot and disenfranchise millions of voters who support him.

Now, I do agree with the author’s sentiment that “a democracy can’t possibly function if presidents use force to remain in power after they have lost elections.” I just missed the part where there was any compelling evidence Trump organized or instigated the riot on Jan. 6, 2021, the riot itself was a serious attempt to keep Trump in power, and Trump was convicted in a court of law on any of these things. And this is emblematic of years of concocting fantasies about how the will of the voters can be overturned — recall this started before Trump was even president, with an organized attempt by Hillary Clinton and her allies to convince the Electoral College not to validate Trump’s victory at the ballot box — which strikes me as a far bigger threat to democracy than Trump has ever been.

It is truly amazing the lengths that America’s establishmentarians will go to avoid actually meeting voters where they are and entertaining persuasion and compromise. Along those lines, we can debate whether this was a planned strategy to ensure Trump got the GOP nomination, but it ought to be a far bigger concern that Trump got even more popular with the electorate after they brought a bunch of (admittedly dubious) criminal charges against him. Isn’t anyone concerned that tens of millions of Americans now think the Democrat Party isn’t above orchestrating the political prosecution of those that threaten to defeat them in elections? Or that once firmly established, this perception could have very harmful effects on “our democracy” long after Trump is gone?

The lack of concern here only seems to make sense if you fully expect that you can repress the opposition and/or remake the electorate so much that you eventually achieve uniparty control of the country. By then, elections, to the extent they are permitted and the problematic will of the people is not simply overruled by unelected bureaucrats and activist judges, are little more than a rubber stamp.

It’s not a crazy thought. It’s already happened in blue states such as California, where supermajorities mean that none of the elected leaders are particularly worried about voters holding them accountable for their obvious and many failures. The only problem for the rest of us is that once uniparty control of the entire country is achieved, the result won’t ultimately look like California and its present dysfunctions. Given enough time, they’ll turn America into something a lot more like East Germany.

*****

This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

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‘Rigged’: Death Of The American Voter | WATCH NOW thumbnail

‘Rigged’: Death Of The American Voter | WATCH NOW

By Gage Klipper

You don’t even need to look to the word ‘stolen’ — the election was rigged,” says just one of the many election watchers the Daily Caller interviewed. All came to the same conclusion.

For our latest documentary, “Rigged,” the Daily Caller traveled the country exploring decades of election challenges and interference. We expose the election schemes that brought America to the brink in 2020 with the aim of stopping them before it’s too late for 2024.

“Rigged” is available exclusively for Patriots subscribers. Subscribe here to watch now, and check out our collection of other original documentaries as well.

Catch an exclusive first glimpse below.

First, we exposed the transgender lobby with our original documentaries “Groomed” and “Do No Harm.” Then, we uncovered the true cost of the Defund the Police movement in “Lawless.” Now, we are taking on the one issue that Democrats fear being exposed above all else: the rigged 2020 election.

Democrats waged an unprecedented pressure campaign to conceal the wild abuses of the 2020 election. As a result, they were ignored by election officials, the courts, the corporate media — anyone with the power to do something.  The most critical questions went unanswered for far too long.

The Daily Caller has stepped up to turn over the stones that everyone else was too afraid to touch:

How exactly did mail-in voting and other procedural irregularities build a Democratic advantage into the system? Where did the changes occur? Who was pulling the strings and writing the checks?

How did the federal government wage an informational warfare campaign on its own citizens using private companies as its censorship and propaganda arm?

How did widespread political violence in the summer of 2020 shape the way Americans voted?

What would Democrats do to hold onto power; better yet, what wouldn’t they do?

These questions are what drove us to uncover the truth — to find out exactly what happened in 2020 to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Until the American people are aware of how all these abuses unfolded, our elections will never be safe or secure.

Watch “Rigged” now to get the truth of the 2020 election.

The Daily Caller’s documentary productions are made possible by our faithful Patriots members, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without them. To watch “Rigged” — and to help support future investigative documentaries — please consider subscribing.

*****

This article was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

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The New Deal’s Dark Underbelly thumbnail

The New Deal’s Dark Underbelly

By Marcus M. Witcher

When I arrived at the University of Alabama almost a decade ago to begin graduate school and met the historian David Beito (who would become the co-advisor on my dissertation), he was just beginning a project on Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s disregard for Americans’ civil liberties. Most critics of FDR point to Executive Order 9066 which forced 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps—around two-thirds of which were in fact American citizens—as an anomaly of his otherwise solid record on civil liberties. In The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights, however, Beito goes beyond internment and challenges these notions. Through detailed archival research, he has penned one of the most damning scholarly histories of Roosevelt to date.

The Roosevelt consensus among historians, to the extent that it ever existed, has been unraveling for some time. Free market critics such as Robert HiggsBurt FolsomJim PowellThomas Fleming, and Amity Shlaes have rightly condemned Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression and his inclination to use the coercive power of the state to impose his policy prescriptions—often with undesirable results and unintended consequences. But there is also an emerging group of historians on the left—Richard RothsteinIra KatznelsonLinda Gordon, and Richard Reeves, among others—who criticize FDR for reinforcing the white male breadwinner home, for creating organizations such as the Federal Housing Administration that helped segregate America through redlining, for not supporting anti-lynching legislation, for not ensuring that the New Deal programs benefited minorities on a more equal basis, and for the internment of Japanese Americans. Even David Kennedy’s comprehensive history of the period is critical of Roosevelt on some margins.

Although some historians have criticized FDR, most of the historiography of Roosevelt gives him a pass on the abuse of civil liberties during his administrations and hails him as a champion of democracy often citing his soaring rhetoric and the Four Freedoms. In reality, as Beito demonstrates, Roosevelt’s liberalism did not lead him to care about Americans’ civil liberties and he violated the Bill of Rights time and time again while in office. Further, historians generally treat the internment of people of Japanese ancestry as an exception to Roosevelt’s solid record on civil rights and they generally excuse the president’s actions and cast blame on those who carried out the relocation and internment—such as General John L. Dewitt. Beito set out to prove that Roosevelt’s decision to intern Japanese Americans was consistent with his general disregard for the Bill of Rights.

Beito begins by chronicling the ways that FDR empowered his allies in the Senate to harass, undermine, and delegitimize political enemies and critics of the New Deal through formal investigations. According to Beito, the Black Committee—chaired by Hugo L. Black (D-AL) who was an ardent New Dealer—was used “as an instrument of political surveillance.” The committee was created to look into opponents of Roosevelt’s New Deal in 1935 at a time when many of the New Deal initiatives had suffered significant setbacks from the Supreme Court. The Roosevelt administration empowered and supported the committee’s activities. The IRS issued “a ‘general blanket order’ for access to the tax returns of potential witnesses.” Roosevelt’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also granted “authorization to require the telegraph companies [to] comply” with Black’s requests that his committee be granted complete access to witness telegrams. Ultimately, the Black Committee succeeded in its goal to “spread the view that the main anti-New Deal organizations represented a small cabal of big business interests” and it successfully discredited opponents of the New Deal and discouraged financial contributions to FDR’s political opponents.

After Roosevelt secured reelection in 1936, the emboldened president made mistakes. The most well-remembered was his attempt to add six additional justices to the Supreme Court. Opponents of FDR’s heavy handedness, including the National Committee to Uphold Constitutional Governance (NCUCG), played a key role in defeating the Court Packing Scheme. The NCUCG was also pivotal in organizing the opposition to Roosevelt’s restructuring of the federal government bill in the fall of 1937. In response to these setbacks, FDR empowered Senator Sherman Minton (D-IN) to form a committee to investigate who was funding opposition to the Second New Deal. The Minton Committee raided offices, utilized some of the techniques of the Black Committee, and tried to force the organizations to disclose their donors. Walter Lippman wrote that the Minton Committee was an attempt by the New Dealers “to embarrass, worry, terrorize and destroy.” He continued, “If this is not to be described as arbitrary government and capricious tyranny, what is the accurate way to describe it.” Like the Black Committee, the Minton Committee’s major success was in freezing donations and silencing criticism. The message these committees sent was clear: if you oppose the president and his program, you might find yourself a target.

Beito details FDR’s weaponization of the federal government against his political opponents and also against the press—particularly radio. The Roosevelt administration used the regulatory apparatus of radio, which was established during President Herbert Hoover’s administration, to discourage negative coverage of the president and his program. Beito argues that “Roosevelt had few, if any, scruples about hatching schemes to covertly sideline, or even quash, dissenting radio voices.” For instance, in 1936, Roosevelt encouraged the FCC chairman through an indirect message to deny the applications of radio stations that were hostile to the New Deal. According to Beito, the potential of “FCC sanctions … led broadcasters to not only tread lightly but err on the side of favoring the administration when in doubt. Republicans complained in vain about this cozy relationship.” It turns out that FDR was the master of radio in more ways than one.

Beito details FDR’s willingness to allow Democratic party bosses to violate freedom of speech and assembly and even the civil and voting rights of their constituents.

FDR’s most egregious violation of the Bill of Rights was the internment of over a hundred thousand people of Japanese ancestry, mostly American citizens. Unlike other historians, who generally avoid blaming Roosevelt for the policy despite his issuance of the executive orders necessary to carry out removal and internment, Beito argues that FDR deserves the blame for Japanese internment.

Roosevelt was not a passive and reactive participant in these events and his racist views of Japanese people influenced his later policies. In 1925, FDR wrote that “anyone who has traveled in the Far East knows that the mingling of Asiatic blood with European or American blood produces, in nine cases out of ten, the most unfortunate results.” In 1935, he insisted to a delegation that aggression “was in the blood” of Japan’s leaders. In 1936, when visiting Hawaii and thinking about the interactions between Japanese sailors and Japanese Americans on the islands, the president insisted that “every Japanese citizen or non-citizen on the Island of Oahu who meets these Japanese ships or has any connection with their officers or men should be secretly but definitely identified and his or her name placed on a special list of those who would be the first to be placed in a concentration camp.”

After Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt ignored information that did not confirm his negative view of Japanese Americans and instead “sought out, and then amplified beyond all proportion, statements or anecdotes that conveyed, at least in his own mind, a more negative impression.” For instance, Roosevelt received one report from his secret intelligence unit that insisted that Japanese Americans were no “more disloyal than any other racial group in the United States with whom we went to war.” In another report, FDR ignored its conclusion that at least ninety percent of Japanese Americans “were completely loyal to the United States.”

As negative sentiment began to emerge against Japanese Americans, FDR was urged by some of his advisors to use his bully pulpit to assure the American people that their Japanese neighbors were loyal citizens. Instead, Beito argues, “Roosevelt did nothing, illustrating once again a failure of presidential leadership at a crucial turning point.” The reality is that FDR held contempt for people of Japanese ancestry. He told a journalist in early 1942 “that the Japanese were ‘treacherous people’ and ‘hissed through his teeth,’ imitating stereotypical speech patterns.” Beito deftly demonstrates that far from being forced by circumstances to sign Executive Order 9066, Roosevelt’s decision to remove and intern Japanese people was a product of his racist attitudes toward the Japanese and his disregard for the Bill of Rights. As such, FDR shouldn’t be given a pass for the atrocities and injustices committed during the implementation of his policy.

Beito also details FDR’s willingness to allow Democratic party bosses to violate freedom of speech and assembly and even the civil and voting rights of their constituents. The book contains a chapter on Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague and another on Edward H. Crump’s machine in Memphis. In both cases, FDR did little to protect Americans’ civil liberties because he feared the political consequences of breaking with important Democratic politicians. In the latter case, he looked the other way as Black Americans were harassed and denied their most basic rights. Crump used the Memphis police to harass his Black political opposition and eventually pushed them completely out of the city. Anyone who dared speak out against his tactics was silenced—including the Black press. The Justice Department could have pressed charges against Crump for his “brazen violation of free speech, assembly, and Fourth Amendment Rights, but Roosevelt refused to act.”

Finally, Beito also challenges the notion that World War II was a good war for civil liberties. He details the ways that the Roosevelt administration cracked down on dissent—including FBI visits to the Black press as they were promoting the Double V campaign (victory over fascism abroad and victory over racism at home). Throughout the final chapters, Beito demonstrates that had it been up to FDR, there would have been a much more coordinated attack on the press and others who didn’t support the war effort with as much enthusiasm as Roosevelt desired.

As a historian, Beito’s attention to detail is very welcome, but I do fear that general readers might get lost in the milieu of names and events that are not very familiar to the average American. This isn’t a criticism so much as a concern that Beito’s investigative history won’t reach Americans and, as such, may not enlighten as many as it should. Perhaps Beito will consider another medium for reaching those who aren’t as enthralled as I am with all the details of the 1930s.

Ultimately, The New Deal’s War on the Bill of Rights is the most thorough history of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his record on civil liberties. After over a decade of hard work, Beito has produced a book that should force historians to reconsider and reevaluate the thirty-second president of the United States.

*****

This article was published in Law & Liberty and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Butte Camp Monument, Gila Indian Reservation, Arizona

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Texas’ Dispute With Biden Over Border Crisis Escalates thumbnail

Texas’ Dispute With Biden Over Border Crisis Escalates

By Bethany Blankley

Congressional Democrat calls on Biden to federalize Texas Guard; Consitutional law expert says Congress should determine if that would be an impeachable offense

As the conflict between the federal government and Texas escalates over the state’s right to defend its border with Mexico, Gov. Greg Abbott is not backing down as a congressional Democrat called on President Joe Biden to federalize the Texas National Guard.

If the Texas National Guard were federalized solely to usurp Abbott’s constitutional authority to secure the Texas border, Congress should consider whether doing so constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor – an impeachable offense – under the U.S. Constitution, a constitutional law expert told The Center Square.

After Abbott invoked his constitutional authority to defend Texas’ border on Wednesday, saying, “The federal government has broken the compact between the United States and the States,” reports surfaced that Biden could federalize the Texas National Guard. This would result in pulling them from the Texas border and breaking the chain of command under Abbott.

Abbott called up several thousand guard members and positioned them at the Texas-Mexico border through his border security mission, Operation Lone Star. After the U.S. Supreme Court this week ruled Border Patrol agents could destroy Texas’ concertina wire barriers, Abbott instructed guardsmen to build more.

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Democrat from San Antonio, said that if Abbott “defies” the Supreme Court’s ruling, Biden “needs to establish sole federal control of the Texas National Guard now.”

The court ruling only addressed Border Patrol agent activity in Eagle Pass, Texas. It did not direct the governor to stop constructing the barriers or to stop enforcing state law.

Texas National Guard troops operating under Title 32 fall under the command of the Texas governor as their commander-in-chief. If federalized under Title 10, the Guard falls under the command of the president.

“If the Texas National Guard are federalized under Title 10 for the sole purpose of pulling them off the Texas border and out of the chain of command of the Commander in Chief of the Texas military, after Gov. Abbott invoked his constitutional authority to defend the Texas border, the founders would have envisioned this as a crime and misdemeanor and impeachable offense,” Jonathan Hullihan told The Center Square. Hullihan is a constitutional law and national security law expert, a former active duty Navy JAG, and general counsel of Citizens Defending Freedom.

He was among the first to call for Texas to declare an invasion. So far, 51 counties have declared an invasion, nearly 100 counties have issued disaster declarations and invasion declarations, or both, citing the border crisis.

Hullihan also said that federalizing Texas National Guard troops to usurp Abbott’s authority is a different matter than other reasons used to impeach, or attempt to impeach, former presidents because it directly relates to constitutional authority.

“This is not a phone call to Ukraine,” Hullihan said, referring to the U.S. House’s now-discredited impeachment of former President Donald Trump. “This is not like having an affair with a White House intern,” he said, referring to a key fact in the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. “This is not like sending your guys to go search for intel in a campaign office,” referring to the Watergate scandal, he told The Center Square.

“Congress should consider if federalizing the Texas National Guard after their Texas commander in chief called them up under constitutional authority for the sole purpose of pulling them out of his chain of command constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor,” Hullihan told The Center Square. “Attempting to violate the authority of the U.S. Constitution could be viewed as an impeachable offense. The founders specifically wrote the U.S. Constitution with safeguards to protect state sovereignty should the federal government fail to protect them.”

Hullihan also reiterated what many Texans have argued: “Congress has failed to act on the border.” After Republican members of Congress held a news conference in Eagle Pass, border residents told The Center Square if Congress continues to use taxpayer dollars to fund policies that facilitate the border crisis, Congress is complicit in creating it and a national security threat.

“The question now is if Congress will defend the U.S. Constitution or not,” Hullihan said. “What’s happening in Texas is above politics and policy. This is about the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution and ensuring the checks and balances put in place will safeguard our constitutional republic and protect the lives, liberty, and property of American citizens.

“Fundamentally, the government is charged with ensuring our individual liberty. We cannot allow transnational criminal organizations to operate unimpeded into our open border killing Americans. We have fought wars to defend our border, we must continue to fight today.”

*****

This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Weekend Read: Killing Me Softly With His Ceasefires – Why Israel Must Annihilate Hamas thumbnail

Weekend Read: Killing Me Softly With His Ceasefires – Why Israel Must Annihilate Hamas

By Conlan Salgado

On Oct. 7, the Palestinian government of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, perpetrated an act of genocide against the Israeli people. They intended to wipe out, in whole or part, the Israeli population. They specifically targeted young women, families, and elderly people. They attacked a music festival specifically in order to mass murder young Israelis. They used systematic rape as a method of torture and abuse, including driving nails into the genital areas of women, slicing them open, and shooting them in their groins. (This has been documented and reported even by the New York Times.) In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 atrocity, Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official and therefore senior Palestinian government official, celebrated the event and promised further terror attacks:

“We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and three times. The Al-Aqsa Deluge [the name Hamas gave its October 7 onslaught] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth”.

Hamas not only perpetrated genocide, it openly spoke to the world about its intentions to continue committing acts of genocide as long as it were allowed to exist. The United Nations Charter, paragraph 138, speaks about genocide prevention and puts it this way:

138. Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept that responsibility and will act in accordance with it. The international community should, as appropriate, encourage and help States to exercise this responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability.

Notice the phrase “appropriate and necessary means”. Oct. 7, together with Hamas’ stated intention to re-perpetrate this act of genocide, shows that the only appropriate and necessary means that the Israeli government could take to guarantee its population will not suffer another genocidal attack is an all-out assault on and complete annihilation of Hamas. It is important for the rest of this article to establish early on that Israel’s military campaign is not only in accordance with international and U.N. law, it is necessary: in other words, were Israel to accept anything less than the total destruction of Hamas, it would be failing in its “responsibility” to its citizens and to the broader international community, including the Palestinian population – more on that later.

The only other requirement that International law has regarding a military campaign such as Israel’s is that appropriate action be taken to minimize civilian casualties. This becomes especially daunting for Israel, since the Palestinian government of Gaza, Hamas, is happy to thrust hundreds of thousands of its own citizens in front of the combatants to protect their own lives and organization. Hamas uses hospitals, civilian structures, civilian resources, ambulances, and Mosques to house, transport, and shelter terrorists and terrorist weapons caches. The United States Military and Intelligence agencies as well as NATO have extensively documented this use of “human shields” by Hamas. Nevertheless, Israel engages a complex and sophisticated warning system; indeed, they go to such extreme lengths that they have, as an International Law Association Study Group writes, “ . . . elevated the discourse on this warnings precaution to unprecedented levels: some worry that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) created an unrealistically high bar on when and how to provide warnings”. Israel dedicates an entire unit to the warning of civilians; according to the Lieber Institute at West Point:

“To conduct the phone warnings, the IDF employs a specialized team of trained personnel who run a “phone bank” with the sole purpose of contacting individuals who might be affected by a strike. The calls are in some cases extremely precise. For instance, the warning may be that a strike will occur at a specified time. . . The personnel in the warning cell speak Arabic fluently, have received cultural training on the civilian population in the target area, and whenever feasible, use all-source fused intelligence to focus on specific individuals who might be at risk. For example, understanding Palestinian culture and family structures, the warning cell may try to contact the male head of a family in a particular apartment building, knowing that he will effectively disseminate the warning to other family members. If a minor or a female answers the phone call, the warning cell attempts to speak to the head of the family.”

As it turns out, we have just such an example of a detailed, fluent, informed IDF phone call from the current Hamas-Israel conflict, stemming from the Oct. 7 act of genocide. BBC reports on the story of Mahmoud Shaheed, a dentist living in the Gaza Strip in al-Zahra, a neighborhood which became a target of IDF aerial bombing. Shaheen received the phone call on Oct 19, at 6:30 am. The phone call would last over an hour, as the warning call whom Shaheen was in contact with walked him through what he needed to do to evacuate all civilians from the 3 structures which would be bombed later that morning. The warning came two full hours or more before the bombs began falling; furthermore, the fact that the warning cell remained for more than an hour on the phone shows the concern the IDF has to see all civilians are safely removed from target areas. Shaheen recounts how when he first heard the voice on the other end of the phone, he “could not believe it”. According to the BBC article: “Mahmoud asked the voice on the phone to fire a warning shot to prove this was real. If those still sleeping did not hear the screams from the streets then they would hear the shot, he thought. A warning shot seemingly from nowhere, but perhaps from a drone, hit one of the apartment blocks under threat, he says. “I asked him to ‘shoot another warning shot before you bomb’,” Mahmoud says. One more rang out.”

The IDF complied with a civilian request to fire warning shots, so that civilians would take the evacuation order seriously! Perhaps from this example we can begin to take seriously what the Lieber Institute meant when it suggested that Israel had set unrealistic standards in conducting civilian warnings. Shaheen recalls how the bombing orders were changed, and that the IDF official told him more buildings were going to be bombed than initially planned. Once again, the IDF warning cell gave the residents of al-Zahra two hours to evacuate the targeted buildings. The article continues:

“Despite the panic, Mahmoud stayed on the phone the whole time, trying his best to delay the bombing. The voice on the other end of the phone continued, without emotion. “He even told me, ‘Take your time. I won’t bomb unless you give me permission.’ “I said ‘No, it’s not my permission. I don’t want you to bomb anything. If you want me to evacuate, I will evacuate for the safety of the people, but if you want to bomb, don’t tell me you need my permission.”’

Although Shaheen takes offense at the warning cell’s comment, we see what he meant: I will not bomb until you let me know that all civilians are safe. This level of care taken concerning what, in terms of war, must be looked at as an an enemy civilian population almost reaches the level of absurdity. In no way does this minimize the suffering of seeing one’s neighborhoods bombarded, especially at night when there is added fear and confusion. However, this story, told by a Palestinian man, shows the extreme lengths to which the IDF goes to minimize civilian casualties and death. When Shaheen asked the warning cell why his neighborhood was being bombed, he was told, “There are some things that we see that you don’t see.”’ In other words, Israeli intelligence had made a decision about the necessity of bombing certain buildings in that area.

As the Lieber Institute also highlights, phone calls and text messages are only one way in which IDF warns civilians: “. . . leaflets, social media, text messages, and radio and television broadcasts. And it regularly monitors the area to assess whether civilians have heeded the warnings. For instance, the IDF has been harvesting data from mobile phones in Gaza to give it a real-time picture of where Gazans are located following its warning to evacuate the north.” From reading such reports, one might imagine that the Gazans are Israel’s responsibility to protect, and not the Palestinian government of Gaza’s responsibility. On the contrary though, Hamas deliberately endangers Palestinian lives, which is another aspect of on-the-ground operations to bear in mind: Hamas routinely encourages civilians to ignore IDF warnings, pamphlets, and text messages. This automatically raises the number of civilians who will be killed in IDF strikes, and it works against the measures the IDF has implemented to protect Palestinians.

It is a good question to ask oneself in the context of the above information: how many Israeli civilians were warned by Hamas/the military arm of the Palestinian Government of Gaza before the terror attack of Oct. 7? How many families were encouraged to evacuate targeted areas before Hamas launched more than 3500 rockets on Israeli populations? The answer is: none. Rather, measures were taken to maximize Israeli civilian death.

It is also important to realize that the only definitive weapon which Hamas possesses is propaganda. I say definitive, in the sense of a weapon which might put an end to the current conflict, at least temporarily (by negotiating a ceasefire, for example). These terrorists cannot match the sophistication and technology of IDF, nor can they compete in terms of arsenal, man-power, tanks, armored vehicles, strategic planning, or intelligence gathering. However, as a NATO reports points out: The strategic logic of human shields has two components. It is based on an awareness of Israel’s desire to minimize collateral damage and of Western public opinion’s sensitivity towards civilian casualties. If the IDF uses lethal force and causes an increase in civilian casualties, Hamas can utilise that as a lawfare tool: it can accuse Israel of committing war crimes, which could result in the imposition of a wide array of sanctions. Alternatively, if the IDF limits its use of military force in Gaza to avoid collateral damage, Hamas will be less susceptible to Israeli attacks, and thereby able to protect its assets while continuing to fight.”

Hamas’ only chance at survival is to negotiate a temporary ceasefire in order to regroup and begin planning, as Hamas official Hamad said, ‘another Oct. 7 attack’. I use the term temporary, because Hamas spokesmen have already signaled that Hamas does not desire any permanent peace with Israel. In fact, Hamas spokesmen have said that they hope the “war with Israel” becomes “permanent on all borders”. Rather than permanent peace, Hamas—the Palestinian government of Gaza—seeks permanent war.

Given the extensive measures of IDF to minimize civilian death and collateral damage, given the measures Hamas deliberately takes to maximize civilian casualties and cultivate distrust of the IDF, including booby-trapping civilian structures and wearing civilian clothes, given that the deaths of Palestinians is the only definitive weapon Hamas wields to end the current conflict and guarantee its own survival, given that the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health does not make a distinction between the deaths of terrorists and the deaths of civilians. It lists even terrorists as ‘victims of Israeli aggression’, given that the Gaza Ministry of Health has a history of inflating civilian deaths by 30-50%. Recall the al-Ahli hospital fiasco and the true number of deaths. There are no independent media sources in the Gaza Strip. Given that Hamas’ rockets have a history of misfiring and killing Palestinian civilians and given that Islamic Jihad rockets have an even worse track record, we have at least 5-8 logically and factually grounded reasons for disbelieving casualty numbers regarding civilian deaths being released by Gaza Health Ministry. The IDF estimates 9,000+ Hamas terrorists have been killed since Oct. 7, while pointing out that civilian death counts being released out of Gaza conspicuously lack men aged 17-35 (fighting aged men). Perhaps this is because a dead 35-year-old man is not going to garner as much sympathy as a dead 75-year-old woman or 13-year-old child – another reason to distrust the casualty numbers.

Compare this to the number of reasons we have to believe Hamas’ numbers: zip. zero, nada. No reasons at all. There is not one logical or factual reason to believe Hamas’ numbers.

Let us now address the proposed “humanitarian” solution to the ongoing conflict in Gaza: a permanent ceasefire. We must immediately note that the Oct. 7 atrocity was itself a violation of a previously negotiated ceasefire, which up until that day, had been respected by Israel. Since Hamas chose to break the ceasefire agreement not simply by an attack against Israelis, but by an act of genocide. According to the U.N. itself, it would be a dereliction of government duty  for Israel to accept another ceasefire. Indeed, it would be tantamount potentially to permitting another act of genocide against its own population.

We must also note that Hamas, the de facto government of the Gaza Strip, has already expressed its intention to break a ceasefire, were it ever negotiated. Hamas has said plainly, “not only will we break any ceasefire, but we will break any ceasefire with another act of genocide”. Additionally, Hamas has a long history of breaking humanitarian ceasefires and initiating extended conflicts with Israel in the process. Hamas, for example, dishonored a ceasefire agreement in 2014 by attacking IDF soldiers. This ultimately led to a bloody and brutal war with Israel. Since August of 2023, Hamas has dishonored 10+ humanitarian ceasefires.

If a ceasefire is negotiated, it will merely be a pause in hostilities. It will be a devastating and nerve-torturing period of “supposed peace”, which will end in the beginning of another period of conflict, resulting in the deaths of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. It is only within this context, this history, these facts, and this truth, that we begin to see how a ceasefire is not a humanitarian solution. It is the postponement of a humanitarian solution.

*****

Conlan Salgado, is a college junior. He is an astute political observer and highly informed conservative. America needs more young patriots and gifted writers to awaken citizens to the existential danger our nation faces in the decades-long political war with a radical leftist party and culture increasingly out-of-control. We recommend all of his superb writings. Access Conlan Salgado’s essays in The Prickly Pear here.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

WEEKEND READ: Why Israel Must Annihilate Hamas thumbnail

WEEKEND READ: Why Israel Must Annihilate Hamas

By Conlan Salgado

On Oct. 7, the Palestinian government of the Gaza Strip, Hamas, perpetrated an act of genocide against the Israeli people. They intended to wipe out, in whole or part, the Israeli population. They specifically targeted young women, families, and elderly people. They attacked a music festival specifically in order to mass murder young Israelis. They used systematic rape as a method of torture and abuse, including driving nails into the genital areas of women, slicing them open, and shooting them in their groins. (This has been documented and reported even by the New York Times.) In the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 atrocity, Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas official and therefore senior Palestinian government official, celebrated the event and promised further terror attacks:

“We must teach Israel a lesson, and we will do it twice and three times. The Al-Aqsa Deluge [the name Hamas gave its October 7 onslaught] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth”.

Hamas not only perpetrated genocide, it openly spoke to the world about its intentions to continue committing acts of genocide as long as it were allowed to exist. The United Nations Charter, paragraph 138, speaks about genocide prevention and puts it this way:

138. Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept that responsibility and will act in accordance with it. The international community should, as appropriate, encourage and help States to exercise this responsibility and support the United Nations in establishing an early warning capability.

Notice the phrase “appropriate and necessary means”. Oct. 7, together with Hamas’ stated intention to re-perpetrate this act of genocide, shows that the only appropriate and necessary means that the Israeli government could take to guarantee its population will not suffer another genocidal attack is an all-out assault on and complete annihilation of Hamas. It is important for the rest of this article to establish early on that Israel’s military campaign is not only in accordance with international and U.N. law, it is necessary: in other words, were Israel to accept anything less than the total destruction of Hamas, it would be failing in its “responsibility” to its citizens and to the broader international community, including the Palestinian population – more on that later.

The only other requirement that International law has regarding a military campaign such as Israel’s is that appropriate action be taken to minimize civilian casualties. This becomes especially daunting for Israel, since the Palestinian government of Gaza, Hamas, is happy to thrust hundreds of thousands of its own citizens in front of the combatants to protect their own lives and organization. Hamas uses hospitals, civilian structures, civilian resources, ambulances, and Mosques to house, transport, and shelter terrorists and terrorist weapons caches. The United States Military and Intelligence agencies as well as NATO have extensively documented this use of “human shields” by Hamas. Nevertheless, Israel engages a complex and sophisticated warning system; indeed, they go to such extreme lengths that they have, as an International Law Association Study Group writes, “ . . . elevated the discourse on this warnings precaution to unprecedented levels: some worry that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) created an unrealistically high bar on when and how to provide warnings”. Israel dedicates an entire unit to the warning of civilians; according to the Lieber Institute at West Point:

“To conduct the phone warnings, the IDF employs a specialized team of trained personnel who run a “phone bank” with the sole purpose of contacting individuals who might be affected by a strike. The calls are in some cases extremely precise. For instance, the warning may be that a strike will occur at a specified time. . . The personnel in the warning cell speak Arabic fluently, have received cultural training on the civilian population in the target area, and whenever feasible, use all-source fused intelligence to focus on specific individuals who might be at risk. For example, understanding Palestinian culture and family structures, the warning cell may try to contact the male head of a family in a particular apartment building, knowing that he will effectively disseminate the warning to other family members. If a minor or a female answers the phone call, the warning cell attempts to speak to the head of the family.”

As it turns out, we have just such an example of a detailed, fluent, informed IDF phone call from the current Hamas-Israel conflict, stemming from the Oct. 7 act of genocide. BBC reports on the story of Mahmoud Shaheed, a dentist living in the Gaza Strip in al-Zahra, a neighborhood which became a target of IDF aerial bombing. Shaheen received the phone call on Oct 19, at 6:30 am. The phone call would last over an hour, as the warning call whom Shaheen was in contact with walked him through what he needed to do to evacuate all civilians from the 3 structures which would be bombed later that morning. The warning came two full hours or more before the bombs began falling; furthermore, the fact that the warning cell remained for more than an hour on the phone shows the concern the IDF has to see all civilians are safely removed from target areas. Shaheen recounts how when he first heard the voice on the other end of the phone, he “could not believe it”. According to the BBC article: “Mahmoud asked the voice on the phone to fire a warning shot to prove this was real. If those still sleeping did not hear the screams from the streets then they would hear the shot, he thought. A warning shot seemingly from nowhere, but perhaps from a drone, hit one of the apartment blocks under threat, he says. “I asked him to ‘shoot another warning shot before you bomb’,” Mahmoud says. One more rang out.”

The IDF complied with a civilian request to fire warning shots, so that civilians would take the evacuation order seriously! Perhaps from this example we can begin to take seriously what the Lieber Institute meant when it suggested that Israel had set unrealistic standards in conducting civilian warnings. Shaheen recalls how the bombing orders were changed, and that the IDF official told him more buildings were going to be bombed than initially planned. Once again, the IDF warning cell gave the residents of al-Zahra two hours to evacuate the targeted buildings. The article continues:

“Despite the panic, Mahmoud stayed on the phone the whole time, trying his best to delay the bombing. The voice on the other end of the phone continued, without emotion. “He even told me, ‘Take your time. I won’t bomb unless you give me permission.’ “I said ‘No, it’s not my permission. I don’t want you to bomb anything. If you want me to evacuate, I will evacuate for the safety of the people, but if you want to bomb, don’t tell me you need my permission.”’

Although Shaheen takes offense at the warning cell’s comment, we see what he meant: I will not bomb until you let me know that all civilians are safe. This level of care taken concerning what, in terms of war, must be looked at as an an enemy civilian population almost reaches the level of absurdity. In no way does this minimize the suffering of seeing one’s neighborhoods bombarded, especially at night when there is added fear and confusion. However, this story, told by a Palestinian man, shows the extreme lengths to which the IDF goes to minimize civilian casualties and death. When Shaheen asked the warning cell why his neighborhood was being bombed, he was told, “There are some things that we see that you don’t see.”’ In other words, Israeli intelligence had made a decision about the necessity of bombing certain buildings in that area.

As the Lieber Institute also highlights, phone calls and text messages are only one way in which IDF warns civilians: “. . . leaflets, social media, text messages, and radio and television broadcasts. And it regularly monitors the area to assess whether civilians have heeded the warnings. For instance, the IDF has been harvesting data from mobile phones in Gaza to give it a real-time picture of where Gazans are located following its warning to evacuate the north.” From reading such reports, one might imagine that the Gazans are Israel’s responsibility to protect, and not the Palestinian government of Gaza’s responsibility. On the contrary though, Hamas deliberately endangers Palestinian lives, which is another aspect of on-the-ground operations to bear in mind: Hamas routinely encourages civilians to ignore IDF warnings, pamphlets, and text messages. This automatically raises the number of civilians who will be killed in IDF strikes, and it works against the measures the IDF has implemented to protect Palestinians.

It is a good question to ask oneself in the context of the above information: how many Israeli civilians were warned by Hamas/the military arm of the Palestinian Government of Gaza before the terror attack of Oct. 7? How many families were encouraged to evacuate targeted areas before Hamas launched more than 3500 rockets on Israeli populations? The answer is: none. Rather, measures were taken to maximize Israeli civilian death.

It is also important to realize that the only definitive weapon which Hamas possesses is propaganda. I say definitive, in the sense of a weapon which might put an end to the current conflict, at least temporarily (by negotiating a ceasefire, for example). These terrorists cannot match the sophistication and technology of IDF, nor can they compete in terms of arsenal, man-power, tanks, armored vehicles, strategic planning, or intelligence gathering. However, as a NATO reports points out:

The strategic logic of human shields has two components. It is based on an awareness of Israel’s desire to minimize collateral damage and of Western public opinion’s sensitivity towards civilian casualties. If the IDF uses lethal force and causes an increase in civilian casualties, Hamas can utilise that as a lawfare tool: it can accuse Israel of committing war crimes, which could result in the imposition of a wide array of sanctions. Alternatively, if the IDF limits its use of military force in Gaza to avoid collateral damage, Hamas will be less susceptible to Israeli attacks, and thereby able to protect its assets while continuing to fight.”

Hamas’ only chance at survival is to negotiate a temporary ceasefire in order to regroup and begin planning, as Hamas official Hamad said, ‘another Oct. 7 attack’. I use the term temporary, because Hamas spokesmen have already signaled that Hamas does not desire any permanent peace with Israel. In fact, Hamas spokesmen have said that they hope the “war with Israel” becomes “permanent on all borders”. Rather than permanent peace, Hamas—the Palestinian government of Gaza—seeks permanent war.

Given the extensive measures of IDF to minimize civilian death and collateral damage; given the measures Hamas deliberately takes to maximize civilian casualties and cultivate distrust of the IDF, including booby-trapping civilian structures and wearing civilian clothes; given that the death of Palestinians is the only definitive weapon Hamas wields to end the current conflict and guarantee its own survival; given that the Hamas-controlled Gaza Ministry of Health does not make a distinction between the deaths of terrorists and the deaths of civilians–it lists even terrorists as ‘victims of Israeli aggression’–given that the Gaza Ministry of Health has a history of inflating civilian deaths by 30-50%–recall the al-Ahli hospital fiasco and the true number of deaths–given that there are no independent media sources in the Gaza Strip; given that Hamas’ rockets have a history of misfiring and killing Palestinian civilians; and given that Islamic Jihad rockets have an even worse track record, we have at least 5-8 logically and factually grounded reasons for disbelieving casualty numbers regarding civilian deaths being released by Gaza Health Ministry. The IDF estimates 9,000+ Hamas terrorists have been killed since Oct. 7, while pointing out that civilian death counts being released out of Gaza conspicuously lack men aged 17-35 (fighting aged men). Perhaps this is because a dead 35-year-old man is not going to garner as much sympathy as a dead 75-year-old woman or 13-year-old child – another reason to distrust the casualty numbers.

Compare this to the number of reasons we have to believe Hamas’ numbers: zip. zero, nada. No reasons at all. There is not one logical or factual reason to believe Hamas’ numbers.

Let us now address the proposed “humanitarian” solution to the ongoing conflict in Gaza: a permanent ceasefire. We must immediately note that the Oct. 7 atrocity was itself a violation of a previously negotiated ceasefire, which up until that day, had been respected by Israel. Since Hamas chose to break the ceasefire agreement not simply by an attack against Israelis, but by an act of genocide. According to the U.N. itself, it would be a dereliction of government duty  for Israel to accept another ceasefire. Indeed, it would be tantamount potentially to permitting another act of genocide against its own population.

We must also note that Hamas, the de facto government of the Gaza Strip, has already expressed its intention to break a ceasefire, were it ever negotiated. Hamas has said plainly, “not only will we break any ceasefire, but we will break any ceasefire with another act of genocide”. Additionally, Hamas has a long history of breaking humanitarian ceasefires and initiating extended conflicts with Israel in the process. Hamas, for example, dishonored a ceasefire agreement in 2014 by attacking IDF soldiers. This ultimately led to a bloody and brutal war with Israel. Since August of 2023, Hamas has dishonored 10+ humanitarian ceasefires.

If a ceasefire is negotiated, it will merely be a pause in hostilities. It will be a devastating and nerve-torturing period of “supposed peace”, which will end in the beginning of another period of conflict, resulting in the deaths of both Israeli and Palestinian civilians. It is only within this context, this history, these facts, and this truth, that we begin to see how a ceasefire is not a humanitarian solution. It is the postponement of a humanitarian solution.

*****

Conlan Salgado, is a college junior. He is an astute political observer and highly informed conservative. America needs more young patriots and gifted writers to awaken citizens to the existential danger our nation faces in the decades-long political war with a radical leftist party and culture increasingly out-of-control. We recommend all of his superb writings. Access Conlan Salgado’s essays in The Prickly Pear here.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Infamous ‘Zuckbucks’ Group Tries To Election-Meddle Again — This Time With Federal Tax Dollars thumbnail

Infamous ‘Zuckbucks’ Group Tries To Election-Meddle Again — This Time With Federal Tax Dollars

By William Doyle

CTCL hopes to connect selected election officials with FEMA money, increasing activist and nonprofit control over local election offices in 2024.

On Wednesday, in an email sent to a network of election officials and nonprofit organizations, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) announced it would begin efforts to facilitate applications to a massive federal government grant program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This program could potentially funnel more than $700 million to election offices during the 2024 election under the auspices of CTCL officials and their partners in the nonprofit world of left-wing election activism. CTCL is the organization that funneled hundreds of millions of Mark Zuckerberg’s dollars into key election offices to increase Democrat turnout in the 2020 election.

CTCL announced in “ELECTricity,” its regular e-newsletter sent to thousands of election officials who are part of its network, that it will host a webinar on Jan. 25 to assist those officials in applying for FEMA’s 2024 Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program.

According to FEMA, BRIC is intended to “support[s] states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards.” FEMA states on its website that “BRIC’s available funding is $1 billion (for this grant application cycle), and for Flood Mitigation Assistance, the available funding is $800 million. These funds are intended to help state, local, tribal, and territorial governments address future risks to natural disasters, foster greater community resilience, and reduce disaster suffering.”

During the 2021 BRIC grant cycle (the last year for which figures are available), the program’s two top project types by total project cost were flood control at $1.39 billion and utility/infrastructure protection at $1.26 billion.

The BRIC program, with total spending expected to amount to $1 billion in 2024, presents a unique funding opportunity for election offices, according to CTCL Communications Manager Andra Abbate in an email obtained by the Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute. All previous BRIC grants appear to have been for some form of natural disaster relief.

Nevertheless, CTCL asserts in its email invitation that it will assist election offices in applying for BRIC grants. According to its creative interpretation of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, elections should be classified as a “critical service” deserving of competitive FEMA grant funding. According to the email, “As a core element of government function, elections are a critical service and eligible for this government funding.” The webinar plans to cover the application process, and “will include sample content, as well as inspiration for what the grant funds can be used for.”

What Is CTCL Really Up To?

CTCL burst into the public spotlight in 2020 with its highly controversial $332 million Covid-19 Response Grant Program (Zuckbucks), which was aimed at gaining control of election offices in areas that were of critical importance to Democrats in the 2020 election through large, “strings attached” grants to election offices.

CTCL money financed the takeover of election offices at the city and county level by partisan activists and made those offices a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, ballot harvesting efforts, and data-sharing agreements that were favorable to Democrat candidates. Many CTCL-funded election offices then became launching pads for intensive multi-media outreach campaigns and precisely targeted, door-to-door voter turnout and mail-in ballot-chasing efforts in densely populated urban areas packed with potential Democrat voters.

CTCL’s interference in the 2020 election gave rise to a host of laws passed by state legislatures to ban the private funding of election administration. As of Dec., 27 states have passed laws that prohibit, limit or regulate the use of private or philanthropic funding to run elections.

Democrat election activists are nothing if not ingenious, however. By tapping into a huge reservoir of potential federal funding, CTCL and its partners could skirt the prohibitions against “private funding” of elections, while gaining de facto control over a much larger funding source than could be provided by individual billionaires such as Zuckerberg, all the while using it to mount the same sort of technical, data-driven, and activist-led manipulation of the election system in favor of Democrats that they mounted in 2020.

The Role of Election Offices Does Not Include Increasing Voter Turnout

If election offices are claiming to need “extra” multimillion-dollar grants on top of their normal public funding sources to the tune of CTCL’s $332 million injection of private funding in 2020 (or even more in 2024), it is because they are planning to expand their activities into areas where election offices do not belong. Likely a significant part of the additional funding they will seek will be devoted to the shadowy (and costly) world of high-end data aggregation, statistical analysis, and the implementation of behavioral science solutions to mobilizing potential Democrat voters.

Furthermore, very few — if any — voter turnout operations are nonpartisan in their effect. An election official who acts to increase voter turnout in a D +40 district will expect, on average, to increase the vote margin of the Democratic candidate by roughly 400 votes for every additional 1,000 votes he encourages, since his actions will yield an average of 700 additional votes for the Democrat candidate and 300 votes for the Republican. That’s not baseless speculation; that’s basic statistics. It makes no difference if the content or intent of his actions are nonpartisan.

The purpose of election offices is to maintain the polls and accurately count votes, not to “get out the vote” in their jurisdictions through leveraging extremely valuable “inside” information and providing system access to data analysts and partisan election activists to aid in voter canvassing or targeted ballot harvesting.

Lawmakers should be aware that CTCL and its partners in the Democrats’ “shadow party” appear to be up to mischief once again and should subject their relationship with the BRIC grant program, and public election offices in general, to closer scrutiny, with an eye toward eliminating election interference in 2024 by yet another well-funded cabal of “election fortifiers.”

*****

This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

What Is Your Time Worth? – A Great Second Amendment Event In Phoenix, AZ thumbnail

What Is Your Time Worth? – A Great Second Amendment Event In Phoenix, AZ

By Tim Rafferty

In an ever-changing, fast-paced society, we are constantly asking ourselves, is THIS worth my time? Answering this question sometimes requires a calculation involving money, but other times it is hard to put a dollar amount on our time. And very often it comes down to answering, “What’s in it for me?”

RidersUSA, a non-profit located in Arizona, invites you to spend a few hours of your time on February 17th, 2024 at the 11th Annual Celebrate & Protect the Second Amendment celebration in Phoenix.

This event is a family-friendly, festival-style outdoor affair with great Speakers, fun shopping booths, and delicious food trucks! We always have gorgeous weather and our arena is filled with historical monuments and statues. Joining us are hundreds of pro-freedom moms, dads, friends, and neighbors who understand that “What’s in it for them” is community, networking, and protecting our precious and unique inheritance of freedom. RidersUSA has assembled nearly thirty powerhouse Speakers from all across the nation who will bring their knowledge and inspiration to this ever-growing event. By spending a little bit of your time at this event, you will get and give hope to others in supporting and protecting one of our fundamental rights, the Second Amendment, our right to keep and bear arms. Bring the kids! Our junior Patriot Park is sponsored by Great State Alliance. Pack a lawn chair and a sun hat, and be prepared to be inspired by the speakers to continue the good work to protect your right to defend yourself, your family, and your home. The event kicks off at 10:am with a Motorcycle Parade and the day is jam-packed with fun activities through to 2pm.

RidersUSA is a true Grassroots organization and the Celebrate & Protect the Second Amendment Rally is a grassroots effort, which means that many of our speakers travel from all across our State and Country on their own budget and time. Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation travels from his home in Washington State each year to speak. Alan says “This rally is going to be the most important gun rights event in Arizona this year. We need you there so our voice is heard loud and clear by every legislator.” US AZ Congressman Andy Biggs CD5 will be speaking and says “Anti-gun zealots are unleashing a full-frontal assault on our God-given, constitutionally protected Second Amendment gun rights. I don’t accept these attacks, and neither should you.” Jared Yanis, owner of the YouTube channel Guns n Gadgets with over 650,000 subscribers is traveling from Johnson City, Tennessee to speak and he says, “The 2nd Amendment is extremely important! And because of that, your local politicians need to HEAR FROM YOU regarding bills that affect your safety!”

Jared is right. And, while your time carries great value in influencing your local lawmakers, it also inspires the event’s sponsors to invest their time to help produce this important event. Come by their booths and thank them for their support of the Second Amendment. Our Platinum sponsor, MMP Guns manager Byron Vaughn comments, “We have come to a point where we can only depend on ourselves to save the Second Amendment and this will come from joining together, recruitment and education.” Other sponsors include Midas Gold, Western Outdoor Times, Great State Alliance, Gunsite Academy, and Chandler Custom Cycles. Our partners for the past 6 years, GunFreedomRadio and AZFirearmsAuction, will also benefit from your attendance as confirmation of the importance of their partnering with us for the event. Owner, Cheryl Todd, says “We all do ordinary things to keep our loved ones safe. We own fire extinguishers, use seatbelts, and lock the doors to our homes. Owning firearms is simply another way to protect those we love.

RidersUSA’s 11 Annual Celebrate & Protect the Second Amendment, at the Arizona State Capitol/Wesley Bolin Plaza in Phoenix Arizona, will highlight 25 speakers, 50 vendors, a food court, and a Junior Patriot Park for the kids. Come early, bring a lawn chair, and experience a great celebration. Go to 2ARallyAZ.com to get all the details and register for this free event with free parking. We think it will be well worth your time!

*****

Tim Rafferty is the Chairman of RidersUSA’s Celebrate & Protect the Second Amendment.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Is Free Enterprise At Home More Important Than Free Trade Abroad? thumbnail

Is Free Enterprise At Home More Important Than Free Trade Abroad?

By Neland Nobel

Recently The Prickly Pear ran an article by Oren Cass called  Free Trade’s Origin Myth.  Then we ran a rejoinder entitled On Comparative Advantage and International Capital Mobility by Donald Boudreaux, a staunch defender of free trade.

As someone quite supportive of free markets, and free trade, we found reading both a bit disturbing.

Furthermore, it reminds me of an old joke.  A lawyer, and doctor, and an economist were driving in a car, collided with another vehicle, and veered off into a very deep ditch.  It soon became clear that getting out of this deep hole was going to be next to impossible.  The doctor started checking the other passengers and was worried about the occupants of the other vehicle.  The lawyer was concerned about liability and who was going to pay. After some time to ponder their predicament, the economist responded by declaring: “First, assume a ladder.”

At the outset, our preference would be to have robust free trade abroad and muscular free enterprise at home. However, that position does not adequately describe current circumstances.

It was not that Cass attacked free markets per se (free trade is very much part of the free market), but rather he argued that things just don’t operate in practice or history the way theory would like to suggest. 

In some respects, the argument is similar to that about unrestricted illegal immigrationIn theory, libertarians support the free movement of capital and people.  But in practice when you run a welfare state as we do in America, and add extra incentives of cash bonuses, healthcare, and travel expenses, then you have a problem.  In the 19th century and the early 20th, that was not the case. Milton Friedman famously said you cannot have unlimited immigration and a welfare state together.

Does one acknowledge real conditions or does one stick doggedly to theory, even if the the theory is valid?

What if the US were to immediately abolish all violations of the principle of free trade, but our major trading partners did not?  How would that work out?

In truth, we don’t practice what we preach about free trade, and neither do our trading partners, but economists keep singing from the same hymnal as if all were practicing the same true religion.

One of the critiques of Donald Trump and the MAGA movement is that it tends toward the protectionist, has resisted globalization and that this would both cost the American consumer more and perhaps even lead to trade wars. Trump’s position offends many legacy Conservatives such as National Review, the Wall Street Journal, and the American Enterprise Institute.  Our Libertarian friends often cite this problem as a sign of Trump’s illiberal instincts.

As usual in these kinds of conversations, it is important to define what one means by the term “free trade”.  Free trade should mean commerce unrestricted by tariffs or other legal or illegal practices, allowing the principle of comparative advantage to work. Let those that can do it better and cheaper do it, and don’t prop up the inefficient.

Just as it may be more efficient to make autos in Alabama as opposed to Michigan, it may be even more efficient to make them in Mexico.  The more efficient, the lower the prices for the consumers.  The pain felt by communities in Michigan or Alabama is felt to be secondary to the principle of free trade, which while inflicting local pain, is better for everyone overall.

Not only is the pain and social disruption often ignored, but when a nation can no longer refine oil, bend metals, manufacture microchips, and make chemicals, it can’t fight a war.  Therefore, certain important strategic supply lines may fall into the hands of adversaries.  So, when one looks at all the trade-offs, maybe cheaper goods should not be the only consideration for policy.

The US trade balance has been getting progressively worse and now we import about $900 billion worth of goods beyond what we sell abroad. Every month seems to break a new record. What improved for a while was the oil trade. Note we were roughly in balance just before the turn of the century.

During COVID-19, we discovered how many important supply chains, from antibiotics to microchips, are dominated by China, a country hostile to US interests.  Violation of economic theory may cost some money.  Violations of sound defense theory can get you killed or subjugated. How would you trade those two things off?

Moreover, it should be pointed out that the US grew and prospered for many years, with little or no inflation, with tariffs being the main source of Federal Revenue.  Free international trade seems to be less important than free markets at home, or that could not have been the case.  

To help the market flourish, we need secure property rights and the rule of law.  They also flourish with limited regulation and low taxation.  We generally had that in an earlier era, even during a time of complex tariffs.

So you could say that Trump did a relatively poor job on trade, but a relatively good job on taxes and regulation.  If so, he is not so much “anti-free trade” as he was a throwback to an earlier Republicanism.  More likely, he saw the trade issue as a realist, not an economic theorist. 

But we would argue that we don’t have “free trade” in the sense you would use the term for teaching purposes in economics class. Just a casual perusal of the WTO website should reveal how complicated our system of “free trade” really is. Not only are tariffs negotiated among countries, but there is significant international agency bureaucracy involved, including the UN, an organization that shouldn’t be trusted with any task.

Not only are their differential tariffs applied among countries and goods, but nations can also change the game by giving below-market loans to certain industries (we have our Export-Import Bank), outright subsidies, anti-trust protection, and widely varying regulatory environments can create different production costs quite independent of tariffs. Also, some countries like Japan are known for “nontariff barriers”, such as lengthy safety or quality inspections. If your shipment is held up on the docks for six months, they obviously might be more “expensive” than those that don’t get delayed.

Genuine free trade would not require any of this complexity. If free trade simply means one country trades with another without tariffs or other trade barriers,  who needs an army of lawyers, diplomats, economists, and bureaucrats? But in reality, we have them.

Some have argued that if one nation wishes to reduce its wealth (lose money on production), just to sell us cheaper goods, then we are the winner and they are the loser.  But if their actions hollow out most of our domestic production, what happens if that country that subsidized our consumers at one point in time, now in the absence of competition, wants to raise prices drastically?  More importantly, what if a country (like China), subsidizes its industries to the detriment of its internal consumers, to gain dominance in important industries, and then becomes an active military adversary?

The current rush to re-shore certain industries is illustrative of this point.  Both to restore competition or national security, it can take years and significant expense to rebuild once destroyed industries if it can be done at all.  Was it worth the temporary period of cheap goods?

Some also argue an accounting-like argument. The US buys goods from foreigners.  We get the goods, and they get our money, which is mostly redeposited or invested in our capital markets. It is an accounting balance and there is no harm, no foul.  However, if one loses say a major industry important for defense, and we buy what we need from foreigners, they deposit the money in our financial markets.  However, that capital can leave our system in a nanosecond but reconstructing our defense base may take a decade.  Moreover, what if the nation supplying us decides it needs the productive facilities for its own defense, or ironically, to fight us, what happens?  How long will it take to find alternative suppliers elsewhere?

Even if it does not involve a strategic industry, we may lose an important industry permanently in trade for capital that may be quite temporary.  Then how do the accounting books look?  Does it look different over time?

Besides, what is a “strategic” industry?  On the surface, things like steel look strategic. But knowledge and training are strategic.  You can’t make steel without it. Making steel is complicated let alone making missiles. When you break it down, multiple industries are engaged just to make a pencil. Pharmaceuticals on the surface do not look strategic, but if you get wounded in battle suddenly they are.  Since the industry is so integrated, it is hard to sort out what is truly strategic and what is not.  Many consumer and military items can have dual-use functions, like making footwear or having heavy trucks.

And if you offer protection for “strategic industries”, you can bet lobbyists will soon be at work to be sure the industry they represent is now regarded as “strategic”.

In reality, what we evolved to is managed trade.  This is a regime of various trade agreements (don’t need them in genuine free trade) that come out of the messy political blender of special interests that in turn funds politicians in a never-ending self-serving cycle. This same process exists in many other countries that suffer from the same problems.

To our Libertarian friends, please, let’s not dignify this process as “free trade”, and then make theoretical criticisms of Donald Trump.  Don’t “assume” a ladder. It would be fairer to say we practice “managed trade”, and so does everyone else,  and he simply wants to manage things more to America’s advantage than to manage for the “international community”.

The US is certainly not alone in this effort, or even the worst.  China has been using subsidies, loans, and currency manipulations for years to drive a program of overt mercantilism. Yet many of our leaders have not only ignored these malpractices, they personally financially benefited from them by their own investments in China. In this process, it has hollowed out American jobs and capabilities so badly we can’t even produce enough artillery shells.  If we had to fight a war, could we do so without Chinese imports?

As a result, whole skill sets to make things have been lost and industries/communities destroyed. Moreover, China has not been shy about stealing our intellectual property. Yet American politicians say they favor “free trade.” What a joke and they are defended by economists repeating a mantra and not looking at reality.

In the real world, Americans have to deal with a tone-deaf political class and stiff foreign competition.  This is often done with their economic hands tied by an inferior educational system (run by the government), high taxes, stifling regulation (run by the government), and an immigration system that does not favor getting skilled immigrants.  Environmental regulations are among the worst.  US industry is tied in knots while China is given free rein by the arbitrary designation as “developing”, whatever that might mean.

Do you really want to call that “free trade” and then make elaborate arguments based on patently false suppositions?

Finally, we top the whole thing off with DEI, which puts people in positions in both corporations and government who did not get there through merit, hard work, and loyalty.  Meanwhile, foreign competition can promote on merit and beat our brains out. It makes it kind of difficult to compete when you are tied up by your government that then makes sweetheart deals with foreign countries and calls it free trade.

We are all for foreign competition.  It will keep us sharper.  But with free enterprise at home, there should be sufficient competition to keep our companies in line.

We don’t have an easy answer to the problem.  We can’t control what other countries do, but we sure could deregulate and cut taxes here at home. That will make us more competitive in any trading environment.

It would be nice if all our trading partners were like Denmark and there was a very low probability of armed conflict. But our sense is that will not be likely in the future and we can’t find much record of that in the past either. Free enterprise at home, low taxes and regulations, a sound educational system, and the rule of law, are likely more important than “free trade.”  As mentioned before, the US did quite well when we had free enterprise at home and tariffs.

The theoretical free trade regime was hardly practiced in the past and it sure is not practiced in the present.  If true, that reality needs to be acknowledged and then managed to the benefit of the American people.

TAKE ACTION

As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.