Oklahoma City: African ‘Man’ Charged with Sexually Assaulting Convenience Store Clerk


Here we go again, get out your secret decoder ring to try to figure out where this likely ‘new American’ came from and how he got here, but good luck with that!
Every time I am sent a story like this the question I am asked is—is this guy a refugee?  And, every time I give an answer like this:
Unless someone slips up in either law enforcement, or some family member steps forward to proclaim the innocence of one of these creeps, you will rarely be told from which country the perp came and which of the MANY legal or illegal pathways the “man” used to get here.
LOL! That information would of course be “perpetuating stereotypes!”
For the refugee question, sometimes if you find out that the person being charged in a crime was from a country that has sent us tens of thousands of their people, you can make an educated guess.  For example, if the perp is Somali, Ethiopian, Congolese, Burmese, Iraqi or from Afghanistan, you could guess, and guess correctly, that the “man” in the news is a refugee.
Sometimes you can make an educated guess based on the location of the incident.  For instance a “man” with a Somali name committing a crime in Minnesota is likely a refugee. Duh!
So, just as Illegal Alien Crime Report does, call him an “African Migrant.”

African ‘Migrant’ Charged With Sexually Assaulting Convenience Store Clerk

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – On the morning of July 4, police arrested Hakeem Sanusi, 34, after her reportedly sexually assaulted a woman working alone in a convenience store in northwest Oklahoma City. In order to protect the victim’s privacy, the police have not released the store’s exact location.

The crime reporter website then sends us to booking information, but of course no information on whether he is legally or illegally in the country.

A cursory search informed me that Sanusi is a Muslim surname.

Continue reading here.
Then here is the headline of the local news account.  Just some random man, no photo.

Man arrested for alleged sexual assault of Oklahoma City convenience store clerk

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A northwest Oklahoma City convenience store clerk says she was sexually assaulted by a customer while on the job.
The suspect, 34-year-old Hakeem Sanusi is now facing charges in the alleged attack.
“It was over the weekend that police were made aware of a sexual assault at a convenience store in Northwest Oklahoma City,” said MSgt. Gary Knight with the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD).

“No one was in the store except for an employee,” Knight said.
Police say Sanusi made inappropriate comments to the alleged victim.
The woman telling officers Hakeem is a regular at the store during the overnight hours, and frequently makes inappropriate statements, making her feel uncomfortable.

The woman claims Sanusi told her, quote, “nothing better come of this.”
Not long after – she was able to call the police.
“Officers at the scene were able to look at surveillance video of the man and get him identified very quickly,” Knight said.
Police say Sanusi was located at a nearby neighborhood – and arrested.

Calling all of you who possess secret decoder rings, let me know if you learn more about Hakeem!
EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

POLL: Almost Two-thirds of Americans Believe China Should Pay Pandemic Reparations


Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the Chinese regime should pay reparations for the destruction caused by the human coronavirus pandemic, according to a TIPP Poll conducted for the Center for Security Policy.
That number rises from 63 percent to 78 percent if investigations reveal that the Chinese government released the SARS-CoV-19 human coronavirus on purpose.
About half of those surveyed believe that the virus “was developed in a lab,” with a quarter of the public convinced that the Chinese government created it “intentionally” in a lab and released it “intentionally.”
While southerners and Midwesterners are most likely to think that the Chinese government created the virus and is responsible for unleashing the pandemic, people in the more liberal Northeast are the toughest when it comes to making China pay reparations if an investigation reveals an accidental release from a government lab.
These are astonishing numbers. They reveal a powerful narrowing of the gap since the pandemic began a year and a half ago. The American people are taking an increasingly hard line toward the Chinese regime.

The Center’s numbers coincide with Politico-Harvard poll

The Center’s poll results generally coincide with the numbers of a new Politico-Harvard poll, which shows that 52 percent of the public believes that the virus that causes COVID-19 came from a “laboratory leak in China.” The Center for Security Policy poll found that 49 percent believe that the virus “was developed in a lab.”
In the Politico-Harvard poll, 59 percent of Republicans, 52 percent of Democrats, and 47 percent of independents say that the virus came from a Chinese lab.
The Center for Security Policy poll found greater polarization on a similar question: 67 percent of Republicans, 42 percent of Democrats, and 52 percent of independents say it came from a lab. This is important. Politico and Harvard are very liberal institutions, yet their poll results showed greater public agreement with what had been the Center for Security Policy’s position all along.
The Politico-Harvard poll also found that 82 percent of the public thinks it is “important” for the U.S. government to investigate the origins of the virus. 0f that 82 percent, 33 percent said it was “extremely important,” 29 percent called it “very important,” and 20 percent termed it “somewhat important.” That poll did not ask about reparations.
“The poll’s findings show what was once a fringe belief held mainly among some on the political right has become accepted by most Republicans, as well as most Democrats, amid heightened scrutiny of the lab leak theory,” according to Politico.
Center for Security Policy analysts have insisted from the beginning that the virus originated in a Chinese Communist Party-run virology lab in Wuhan, China, calling the plague the “Wuhan Virus.”
“Usually, our polls find a big split between Republicans and Democrats, so this is unique,” Robert Blendon, the Harvard professor of health policy and political analysis, told Politico. “More conservative media have been carrying the ‘lab leak’ issue, and it’s been a Trump talking point from the beginning, so we expected people who lean Democratic would say either ‘It’s not true’ or ‘I don’t know.’ But the belief is bipartisan.”

Reparations

Even if the release was accidental, 63 percent of those surveyed in the Center’s poll said that China should be “required to compensate” Americans and other victims for the damage.
Here – and consistent with the Politico-Harvard poll pattern about a closing gap between the parties – 71 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats and independents in the Center for Security Policy poll say that China must pay reparations.
This shows that an absolute majority of the Americans polled agree with the Center’s position since the beginning that the Chinese Communist Party must pay for the international death and destruction that it caused.
Americans from the Midwest and South are most likely to suspect that the Chinese regime intentionally released the virus, though people in the more liberal Northeast are the most likely to call for reparations.
In every demographic group except young people age 18-24, more were “not sure” about reparations than were those who opposed reparations.
What if it was found that the Chinese Communist Party intentionally released the killer virus? In all, 78 percent of the public would want reparations.
Here’s the breakdown:
CHART 1
CHART 2

Reparations effect

Reparations would have a two-fold positive effect: they would compensate American taxpayers and citizens for their personal and financial losses, and they would start the process of taking down the CCP.
In April 2020, the Center issued a Decision Brief titled, “Time to decide how Chinese Communist Party pays reparations for pandemic.”
“Anticipating that the U.S. will hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the Wuhan Virus pandemic, the U.S. should next decide how to enforce that accountability. The Chinese Communist Party must immediately pay reparations for human and economic damages,” the Decision Brief said.

About the polls

The Center’s poll was conducted by TechnoMetrica, between June 30 and July 2, 2021, and the nationwide study had a sample of 1,424 Americans, 18 or older.  TechnoMetrica’s network of panel partners provided the study sample. Upon the study completion, TechnoMetrica weighted the study dataset by gender, age, race, education, and geographical region to mirror known benchmarks such as the U.S. Census. The credibility interval (CI) for the survey is +/- 2.8 percentage points, meaning the study is accurate to within ± 2.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Americans been surveyed.
The Politico-Harvard poll surveyed 1,009 adults from June 22-27, with a margin of error of 3.8 points.
COLUMN BY

J. Michael Waller

Senior Analyst for Strategy.
EDITORS NOTE: This Center for Security Policy column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

GEORGIA: New Evidence Pointing to Massive Voter Fraud in Fulton County, WHOPPING 60% Error Reporting Rate, Tally Sheets FALSIFIED


We must not falter, We must not tire. Election fraud is the hill we die on — for without it, we are without a country.

HUGE new evidence pointing to massive voter fraud in Fulton County

By: The Right Scoop, Jul. 13, 2021:
A new report is out today detailing massive voter fraud in Fulton County, which is outlined below by Liz Harrington:
“The error reporting rate in Fulton’s hand count audit is a whopping 60%”


The full report from VoterGA, which is just one page, is below:
CLICK HERE FOR FULL REPORT
It’s pretty incredible the outright, intentional fraud they found from the AUDIT process. And yet Biden today claimed the 2020 election was the best election ever or something.
Is it any wonder why the state of Georgia is taking over Fulton County elections?

RELATED VIDEO: Biden Calls Voter Integrity Laws ‘Most Significant Threat’ to U.S. ‘Since the Civil War’

RELATED ARTICLES:
GA Election Expert Uncovers 35,000 Potential Illegal Votes Cast, – Trump Only Lost by 12,670
Report: Over 168,000 Ballots Missing Chain of Custody in Cobb County, GA
Hard Evidence Found: Duplicate Ballots Were Counted in Fulton County GA

BREAKING: VoterGA Releases Explosive Report: Fulton County Georgia Recount Included 60% Error Reporting Rate — THOUSANDS of Fraudulent Biden Votes

New Evidence Indicates Enough Illegal Votes in Georgia to Tip 2020 Results

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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‘Biden’ Admin to Desperate Cubans: You Are Not Welcome Here!


But jihadis and violent criminals are welcome with open arms and blank checks.


‘From Daybreak Insider: From CBS News immigration reporter Camilo Montoya-Galvez: DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Haitian and Cuban migrants and asylum-seekers who try to come to the U.S. by boat will not be allowed to enter the country. Even if asylum-seekers establish fear of persecution, they will be resettled in third countries, Mayorkas said (Twitter). From Mark Hemingway: Guess they don’t think Cubans will vote Democratic, ergo they don’t have a claim for asylum (Twitter). Meanwhile, the New York Times reports old activists are thrilled to see so many young involved now. But, the story notes, “Human rights groups said it may take several days to get a clear picture of the scale of the government response because spotty phone and internet connections have made it difficult to track how many people were taken into custody” (New York Times). From another story: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was striking all the right notes, meeting with Cuban-American leaders in a round-table discussion to discuss the deteriorating situation in Cuba. DeSantis also corrected the Biden team for falsely painting the protests in Cuba as a reaction to the pandemic (RedState). Karen Swallow Prior posted a letter from a pastor in Cuba asking for others to “pray for the city” where he says “it is in complete collapse” as COVID is everywhere and “there is no medicine” (Twitter).
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.
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THE BIG GUY HAS SPOKEN: George Floyd Mural Struck by Lightning, Crumbles to the Ground

A MURAL OF THE LATE BLACK LIVES MATTER ICON GEORGE FLOYD HAS BEEN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND HAS COLLAPSED. EYEWITNESSES CONFIRMED THAT NOBODY WAS NEAR THE MURAL WHEN IT WAS STRUCK NOR WHEN ITS PIECES FELL TO THE GROUND.

The Toledo mural, completed in June 2020, was struck by lightning in the middle of the day on Tuesday, leaving a charred wall where Floyd’s face was before. It was a direct hit; artwork to the left and right of the mural appeared unblemished.
WTVG reported their Doppler Radar did show a lightning strike on the same block as the George Floyd mural at 4:30 the same afternoon.
The lightning strike, which hit directly on George Floyd’s face, reduced the mural to a pile of bricks.
Toledo police were seen outside the building, which used to house the Mugshots Bar, setting up tape around the pile of bricks that once formed the artwork.
The mural was painted almost one year to the date of its collapse last July.

BEFORE/ AFTER

  • Here’s what the George Floyd shrine looked like last summer before God sent a bolt down and reduced it to rubble (notice it directly hit Floyd’s face):


EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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VIDEO REPORT: U.S. Navy NOT FIT FOR WAR Because of Risk Averse, Politically Correct, Control-Freak Top Brass


Watch former President Trump adviser KT McFarland’s and Senator Tom Cotton’s analysis below. A woke U.S military will not be able to deter or defeat China. This alarming report commissioned by members of Congress on the U.S Navy, should frighten every American who cares about the stability of the world.

‘Every officer is up to speed on diversity training. Not so much ship handling’: Scathing official report finds US Navy is not fit for war because of risk averse, politically correct, control-freak top brass

By Daily Mail, July 13, 2021

  • Members of Congress commissioned the report on issues in the surface Navy
  • Came in response to fire on ship in San Diego and two ship collisions in Pacific 
  • Retired Marine general and Navy admiral spoke with current and former officers
  • They identified a number of disturbing trends in Navy leadership and training
  • Many officers said that diversity training took precedence over warfighting
  • They claimed combat readiness had become a ‘box-checking’ exercise 

A scathing new report commissioned by members of Congress has claimed that the Navy’s surface warfare forces have systemic training and leadership issues, including a focus on diversity that overshadows basic readiness skills.

The report prepared by Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle and Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, both retired, came in response to recent Naval disasters, including the burning of the USS Bonhomme Richard in San Diego, two collisions involving Navy ships in the Pacific and the surrender of two small craft to Iran.

The authors conducted hour-long interviews with 77 current and retired Navy officers, offering them anonymity to identify issues they wouldn’t feel comfortable raising in the chain of command.

The report found that a staggering 94 percent of the subjects believed the recent Naval disasters were ‘part of a broader problem in Navy culture or leadership.’

‘I guarantee you every unit in the Navy is up to speed on their diversity training. I’m sorry that I can’t say the same of their ship handling training,’ said one recently retired senior enlisted leader.

The report focused on issued within the Navy’s surface warfare forces, as opposed to submarine and aviation, and suggested that issues in the surface fleet could be unique due to better funding and training for submarine and aviation units.

One of the key issues raised by the officers interviewed for the report was a concern that Navy leaders spend more time focusing on diversity training than on developing warfighting capacity and key operational skills.

‘Sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy,’ lamented one lieutenant currently on active duty.

‘It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color,’ she added.

One recent destroyer captain said: ‘where someone puts their time shows what their priorities are. And we’ve got so many messages about X, Y, Z appreciation month, or sexual assault prevention, or you name it. We don’t even have close to that same level of emphasis on actual warfighting.’

‘While programs to encourage diversity, human sex trafficking prevention, suicide prevention, sexual assault prevention, and others are appropriate, they come with a cost,’ the report’s authors wrote.

‘The non-combat curricula consume Navy resources, clog inboxes, create administrative quagmires, and monopolize precious training time. By weighing down sailors with non-combat related training and administrative burdens, both Congress and Navy leaders risk sending them into battle less prepared and less focused than their opponents,’ the report added.

Navy seizes thousands of weapons hidden on ship ‘sailing to Yemen’

Some of the respondents expressed concerns that when combat lethality and warfighting are emphasized, they are treated in a box-checking manner that can seem indistinguishable from non-combat related exercises.

‘The Navy treats warfighting readiness as a compliance issue,’ said one career commander. ‘You might even use the term compliance-centered warfare as opposed to adversary-centered warfare or warfighter-centered warfare.’

One junior surface warfare officer, still on active duty, confessed: ‘I don’t think that the [surface community] see themselves as people who are engaged in a fight.’

Commander Bryan McGrath, a retired surface warfare officer who agreed to be interviewed on the record, notably dissented on the question of whether excess requirements were distracting sailors from their primary mission, argued that the main issue was was too few surface ships.

 ‘[The ships] are very busy,’ he said. ‘I think there are too few of them for what is being asked,’ he argued. ‘The operational requirements squeeze out maintenance, they squeeze out some training.’

‘When you’re on the ship,’ McGrath said, the ‘sexual assault and victim stuff, all that stuff just seems like a burden. It just seems like it’s never-ending…[But] the further I get from it, the more I understand why it’s important and why there does have to be very clear signals sent to deck plate sailors that they’re, you know, that issues that are important to them are important to leadership.’

RELATED ARTICLE: Lawmakers Survey: 94% of Sailors Say ‘Damaging Operational Failures’ Related to Navy Culture, Leadership Problems
EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.
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BUMMER: Cuba’s Freedom Uprising Couldn’t Come at a Worse Time for the Party of Marx, Lenin, Alinsky & Obama


Everything You’ve Ever Seen About Cuba Is A Lie.

What bad timing. Just as the party of Marx, Lenin, Alinsky and Obama thinks it’s finally poised to flip America to the side of the hammer and sickle, the Cuban people have taken to the streets and are risking their lives to shed the yoke of communist tyranny. According to the Associated Press, protestors are being arrested and taken away in police vans. Some will never be seen again. Such is the price often paid for dissent in communist countries.
As reported by Yahoo News, anti-government freedom fighters in cities and towns across Cuba are waving U.S. flags as they protest the brutal regime that unleashed 60 years of Marxist  oppression on the Cuban people. That remarkable display of appreciation of America comes on the heels of high profile Democrats in this country, including Barack Obama, giving a wink and a nod as Biden voters burned the American flag, trashed it as a symbol of hate and oppression, compared it to the Confederate flag, and turned their backs on it at the U.S. Olympic trials.
In March 2016, when Obama no longer faced re-election, and with senior officials of Castro’s ruthless communist regime standing at his side, he defiantly posed in front of a six-story likeness of one of communism’s most revered heroes, the mass murdering Marxist revolutionary, Ernesto “Che” Guevara. To those who question Obama’s patriotism, posing in front of a six-story likeness of Guevara is tantamount to posing in front of a massive likeness of Stalin, Hitler or Mao.
With invaluable help from a fawning media that helped him conceal his true ideological beliefs, America’s first Marxist president was swept into the White House with the enthusiastic endorsement of the American people. Five days before he was elected, Obama vowed to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” See10-sec. video of that vow here. When Obama was first elected, few people who voted for him had any idea of the kind of radical “transformation” he had in mind.
Once in office, he legitimized Castro’s murderous regime by normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba, a move that must have demoralized the Cuban masses, people who had suffered crushing oppression under the boot of the hammer and sickle. In a Feb. 2020 American Thinker article titled “The Crumbling of Cuba’s Grand Socialist Experiment”, I described that suffering:
John Alpert is an American photojournalist whose work is featured in the Netflix documentary, Cuba and the Cameraman (trailer). Alpert first went to the island nation in 1972, a little more than a decade after Castro seized power. Over the next 45 years, he returned to Cuba, each time taking pictures of its towns and cities and people. The images he took are a timeline that chronicles how disastrously Castro’s socialist revolution played out for the Cuban people over time.
A disarmingly polite young photojournalist at the time, Alpert was one of the few Americans granted face-to-face meetings with Castro. With the U.S. media curious about the grand socialist experiment unfolding in Cuba, Alpert was invited to appear on TV programming to discuss his conversations with Cuba’s communist dictator. Alpert was quite impressed when Castro said he was taking concrete measures to make life better for the Cuban people, citing as evidence a free health care system, free schools, free higher education, and shiny new and rent-free housing projects. When Alpert first visited Cuba, the shelves of grocery stores and other retail establishments were filled with consumer goods of every description.
To the young and idealistic photojournalist, socialism seemed to portend a bright future for Cuba. With its people happy and well taken care of by a paternalistic government, things were going well. But as time moved on, Cuba’s house-of-cards communist system imploded. The free goods and services given to the Cuban people were funded not by the country’s failed collectivist economy, but by a massive infusion of hard cash, gasoline, food, and other provisions from the Soviet Union. When the Soviets eventually pulled the plug as their own socialist economy was crumbling, the day-to-day lives of the Cuban people fell on hard times, a stark reminder of Margaret Thatcher’s observation that the problem with socialism is you eventually run out of other people’s money.
The once-vibrant island nation is but another place where socialism added to its unbroken trail of failure. The country’s capital, Havana, was once an international tourist destination. Known as the “Jewel of the Caribbean,” Havana was a glamorous city with beautiful homes and modern vehicles. After six decades of socialism, only the communist rulers and their cronies live in upscale homes, and the country’s pot-holed roads are traveled by junker cars built in the middle of the last century.

Last year, four Millennial photojournalists affiliated with Turning Point USA (TPUSA) recorded their observations during a trip to Cuba. What they found is a police state that rigidly controls a society that’s in an advanced stage of decay and depravation. In 2019, the Cuban government announced nationwide rationing of chicken, eggs, rice, beans, soap and other basic products. According to a report I heard yesterday on the radio, Cubans are allotted only three eggs per month. Such chronic shortages are documented in “Everything You’ve Ever Seen About Cuba is a Lie,” a short video produced by the TPUSA photojournalists. Their video is worthy of being shared with K-12 and college students in this country, millions of whom are being spoon-fed a steady diet of Democrat propaganda about how wonderful socialism is … and what a rotten place America is.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

Marijuana And Other Drugs Can Kill Babies In First Year Of Life


Drug-related deaths among US infants
For the first time, researchers find that during the first year of life, even infants can die from exposure to addictive drugs, either directly or indirectly. They defined “drug-involved deaths” as those deaths due to underlying or contributing causes. Drugs most frequently mentioned on death certificates included methamphetamine, opioids, opioid treatment drugs like methadone or naloxone, cocaine, and cannabis.
Nearly 92,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in the one-year period ending in October 2020. More than 823,000 Americans have died of an overdose since 2000. Infant deaths comprise less than 1 percent of those deaths, according to the study.
Read CDC interview with the author of the study here.
Read full text of the study here.
©National Families in Action’s The Marijuana Report. All rights reserved

At Least 1.8 Million People Refused to Return to Work Because of Generous Welfare Benefits, Poll Shows


The real number is probably even larger.


Here are FEE, we predicted from the beginning of the pandemic that Congress’s decision to create an unemployment benefits system paying most individuals more on welfare than they earned by working would backfire. We weren’t the only ones. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office similarly cautioned that this move would cause unemployment and hurt the economy.
The system has offered many unemployed households the equivalent of $25/hour in benefits for staying home. It was always obviously illogical, based on the work disincentive it creates. However, in the year and a half since, there has been an enormous, concentrated, politically motivated effort to deny that the excessively generous welfare benefits are playing any role at all in joblessness.
new poll makes this continued denial impossible.
For context, we currently have 1.2 unemployed people for every unfilled job opening. Small businesses are also reporting massive shortages of willing workers, even as they raise wages.
So, Morning Consult surveyed unemployed Americans and asked them why they turned down job offers. About 13 percent openly admitted their reason for not returning to work was “I receive enough money from unemployment insurance without having to work.” If this representative sample is extrapolated across the entire unemployed population, that equates to 1.8 million Americans who admitted to declining to go back to work because they could earn more on welfare.


Meanwhile, another 12.1 percent said that they were not offered enough money to return to work. This subjective determination is likely also influenced by the generous benefits as a fall-back option.
Click here for a graph from Axios showing the full results.
Here we have solid confirmation that millions of people have remained unemployed because of the federal government’s reckless expansion of the welfare state. This is, on its face, even more vindication for the many conservative-leaning states that canceled the benefits early. And it offers even more compelling weight to the argument that the federal welfare expansion ought to be allowed to lapse in September as scheduled. (There will undoubtedly be a push to extend it; the “temporary” program has already been extended several times.)
But the Morning Consult poll results are also, most likely, a wild underestimate.
Just think about it: Would you admit, if a pollster called you up, that you’re lazily staying on benefits because it pays more than working? Probably not. There’s a very real phenomenon in polling results where people, quite naturally, skew toward offering answers that are more flattering to them than the unadulterated truth. We can’t know the full extent, but I think it’s safe to assume that the real figure is much higher than 1.8 million.
Of course, we never should have needed poll results to tell us that disincentivizing work would lead to fewer people working. That’s what basic economics taught us all along.
COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.
EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

No, Fidel Castro Didn’t Improve Health Care or Education in Cuba


Cuba has made less educational and health care progress than most Latin American countries over the last 60 years, data show.


On CBS’s 60 Minutes, Senator Bernie Sanders recently praised the achievements of communist Cuba. An interviewer asked him about his 1985 comments that Cubans supported communist dictator Fidel Castro because he “educated their kids, gave their kids health care, totally transformed society.” In response, Sanders defended those comments, by stating that when “Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program.”
But Castro did not give Cubans literacy. Cuba already had one of the highest literacy rates in Latin America by 1950, nearly a decade before Castro took power, according to United Nations data (statistics from UNESCO). In 2016, the Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler debunked a politician’s claim that Castro’s rule significantly improved Cuban healthcare and education.
In today’s Cuba, children are taught by poorly paid teachers in dilapidated schools. Cuba has made less educational progress than most Latin American countries over the last 60 years.
According to UNESCO, Cuba had about the same literacy rate as Costa Rica and Chile in 1950 (close to 80 percent). And it has almost the same literacy rate as they do today (close to 100 percent).
Meanwhile, Latin American countries that were largely illiterate in 1950—such as Peru, Brazil, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic—are largely literate today, closing much of the gap with Cuba. El Salvador had a less than 40 percent literacy rate in 1950, but has an 88 percent literacy rate today. Brazil and Peru had a less than 50 percent literacy rate in 1950, but today, Peru has a 94.5 percent literacy rate, and Brazil a 92.6 percent literacy rate. The Dominican Republic’s rate rose from a little over 40 percent to 91.8 percent. While Cuba made substantial progress in reducing illiteracy in Castro’s first years in power, its educational system has stagnated since, even as much of Latin America improved.
Contrary to Sanders’ claim that Castro “gave” Cubans healthcare, they already had access to healthcare before he seized power. Doctors frequently provided free healthcare to those who couldn’t afford it. As the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler noted:

As for health care and education, Cuba was already near the top of the heap before the revolution. Cuba’s low infant mortality rate is often lauded, but it already led the region on this key measure in 1953-1958, according to data collected by Carmelo Mesa-Lago, a Cuba specialist and professor emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh.

Cuba led virtually all countries in Latin America in life expectancy in 1959, before Castro’s communists seized power. But by 2012, right after Castro stepped down as Communist Party leader, Chileans and Costa Ricans lived slightly longer than Cubans. Back in 1960, Chileans had a life span seven years shorter than Cubans, and Costa Ricans lived more than two years less than Cubans on average. In 1960, Mexicans lived seven years shorter than Cubans; by 2012, the gap had shrunk to just two years.
(Today, life spans are virtually the same in Cuba as more prosperous Chile and Costa Rica—if you accept the rosy official statistics put out by Cuba’s communist government, which many people do not. Cuba has been credibly accused of hiding infant deaths, and exaggerating the life spans of its citizens. If these accusations are true, Cubans die sooner than Chileans or Costa Ricans).
Cuba has made less progress in health care and life expectancy than most of Latin America in recent years, due to its decrepit health care system. “Hospitals in the island’s capital are literally falling apart.” Sometimes, patients ”have to bring everything with them, because the hospital provides nothing. Pillows, sheets, medicine: everything.”
As The Washington Post’s Kessler noted:

Reporters have also documented that Cuban hospitals are ill-equipped. A 2004 series on Cuba’s health-care system in Canada’s National Post said pharmacies stock very little and antibiotics are available only on the black market. “One of the myths Canadians harbor about Cuba is that its people may be poor and living under a repressive government, but they have access to quality health and education facilities,” the Post said. “It’s a portrait encouraged by the government, but the reality is sharply different.”

Under communism, Cuba has also fallen behind on more general measures of human development. As the progressive economist Brad DeLong pointed out:

Cuba in 1957—was a developed country. Cuba in 1957 had lower infant mortality than France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Cuba in 1957 had doctors and nurses: as many doctors and nurses per capita as the Netherlands, and more than Britain or Finland. Cuba in 1957 had as many vehicles per capita as Uruguay, Italy, or Portugal. Cuba in 1957 had 45 TVs per 1000 people—fifth highest in the world …Today? Today the UN puts Cuba’s HDI [Human Development indicators] in the range of … Mexico. (And Carmelo Mesa-Lago thinks the UN’s calculations are seriously flawed: that Cuba’s right HDI peers today are places like China, Tunisia, Iran, and South Africa.) Thus I don’t understand lefties who talk about the achievements of the Cuban Revolution: ‘…to have better health care, housing, education.’

As Michael Giere notes, Cuba was prosperous before Castro’s communists seized power:

A United Nations (UNESCO) report in 1957 noted that the Cuban economy included proportionally more workers who were unionized than in the U.S. The report also stated that average wages for an eight hour day were higher in Cuba than in “Belgium, Denmark, France, and Germany.”…PBS explained in a 2004 retrospective, that
“Havana [prior to Castro] was a glittering and dynamic city. Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.”

But after Castro took over, the prosperity came to an end:

Castro’s destruction of Cuba cannot be over dramatized. He looted, murdered, and destroyed the nation from the ground up. Just one factoid explains it all; Cubans once enjoyed one of the highest consumption of proteins in the Americas, yet in 1962 Castro had to introduce ration cards (meat, 2 ounces daily), as food consumption per person crashed to levels not seen since the 1800s.

Hunger became so widespread that a visiting Swedish doctor, Hans Rosling, had to warn Cuba’s dictator in 1992 about widespread protein deficiency among Cubans. Roughly 40,000 Cubans had been reported to have been experiencing “visual blurring and severe numbness in their legs.” Rosling investigated at the invitation of the Cuban embassy in Sweden, and with the approval of Castro himself. Rosling travelled to the heart of the outbreak, in the western province of Pinar del Río. It turned out that those stricken with the disorder all suffered from protein deficiency. The government was rationing meat, and adults had sacrificed their portion to nourish children, pregnant women and the elderly. Dr. Rosling told Fidel Castro about this.
During this period of widespread hunger, Bernie Sanders was peddling the myth that hunger was non-existent in Cuba. In 1989, he published a newspaper column claiming that Fidel Castro’s Cuba had “no hunger, is educating all of its children and is providing high quality, free health care.”
This article was reprinted with permission from Liberty Unyielding.
COLUMN BY

Hans Bader

Hans Bader practices law in Washington, D.C. After studying economics and history at the University of Virginia and law at Harvard, he practiced civil-rights, international-trade, and constitutional law.
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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘I’m from the Government, and I’m Here to Vaccinate’



Most people were shocked when the president wanted to go door-to-door with his vaccine campaign — but that’s only the half of it. According to a Pentagon spokesman, the White House is also planning to go barracks to barracks — requiring the men and women of our voluntary military to involuntarily surrender their freedom and take an unproven shot some of them don’t want.
Frankly, Obama Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CNN, “I think the president ought to issue an order requiring everybody in the military to get a COVID-19 shot — period. That’s an issue involving our national security,” he argued. “The last d— thing you need is to have those in the military that are our warriors unable to respond to a mission because they’ve gotten COVID-19. There’s no excuse for that.” Interesting, considering that the same military leadership has been cheerleading the troops’ gender reassignment surgery, which renders patients completely undeployable for months. Apparently, it’s no problem if you skip out on your job for the extreme LGBT cause. But if you have a personal objection to the vaccine, well then, a handful of potential sick days is unacceptable.
Republicans, who’ve been absolutely outraged at the government’s heavy-handedness, introduced a bill to stop the Pentagon from forcing the shots, which have not yet received final FDA approval, on our troops. Although the vaccination rates are high across every branch, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) says he’s been contacted by members of the military who vow to quit if the COVID shots are forced on them. And it’s no wonder, Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) explains. “Keep in mind,” he told listeners on “Washington Watch,” “it’s not received final approval from anybody.” And there are enough new red flags with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to make young people think twice.
As deadly as the virus has been, Brooks points out, certain age groups are in more danger than others. “That’s not to say there’s no risk, but it is substantially lesser [for] the people who are serving in our military. So right now, I very much prefer that our military personnel have the right to choose for themselves, exercise their free will, exercise their liberty to decide for themselves which risk they want to accept” — whether that’s the risk of the virus or the vaccine. “I hope that they’ll make the right decision,” Brooks added, “but it ought to be their decision. Because it is a life and death one.”
In the Marines, where I got more immunizations than I could count, no one was ever ordered to get a flu shot. And essentially, that’s what this is. It’s not a vaccine in the traditional sense, because it won’t protect people from the virus forever. That’s not to say it doesn’t have value — it offers protections to people, especially in the high-risk categories. But the fact that the Defense Department has its fingers on the trigger of a mandate, as they alluded in the last few days, ought to be concerning to everyone. Brooks says he finds it “disconcerting” that the military would have this kind of order “already drafted and ready to unleash, particularly insofar as it relates to a vaccine that has not been thoroughly vetted and tested.” When the FDA gives its blessing, that’s one thing. But there’s still the issue, he points out, of “taking the vaccine versus the risk associated with the youth catching COVID. And I much prefer that we defer that to the liberty and freedom and good judgment of our military personnel, all of whom are adults. And I believe that they are mature enough to be able to make that decision for themselves.”
Regardless, this idea that the government feels entitled to dictate what’s best for us ought to sound all kinds of alarm bells. Just this week, the White House doubled down on the idea of vaccine mandates, arguing that it’s the “right” of local officials and employers to demand it. As for Biden’s widely panned door-to-door intimidation campaign, Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) warned over the weekend where it could lead. “Think about what those mechanisms could be used for. They could go door-to-door to take your guns. They could go door-to-door and take your Bibles.”
That’s also crossed the mind of former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (and FRC Board Chairman), who told Fox News on Saturday that every American should go out and buy a “No Trespassing” sign at their local hardware store “because the government has zero business to do this. Zero. And what they’re wanting all of us to do is to check our Bill of Rights, our civil liberties, at the door.” The whole point of this country, she argued, “is based upon the fact that we have rights against the government. And they want us, just as a matter of idea, [to] give up all of our [freedoms].” Don’t be deceived, she warned. “There will be a database — and everybody will be in that database. And it’s not just vaccine status, it will be your entire medical history. It will be connected to your finances. This is going to get bigger, bigger, bigger, so stop it now, and don’t give any information to the government official at your door.”
And yet, Dr. Anthony Fauci insists that Americans should have less personal choice. “… I do believe, at the local level, there should be more mandates,” he insisted. “… We have got to put aside this ideological difference thinking that somebody is forcing you to do something… Vaccinations have nothing to do with politics.” Tell that to 2020’s Democrats, who spent months sowing doubts about the shots, just because they were created while Donald Trump was president. At one point Biden openly questioned whether a vaccine approved by Trump’s agencies would be safe. They are the ones who stoked fears and undermined the scientific progress. Now, suddenly, they want to flip a switch, undo that damage, and blame all of the hesitancy on conservatives. You can’t have it both ways. It was their politicking that put people’s lives at risk. And now, their heavy-handedness threatens to do the same — to our freedoms.
COLUMN BY

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is Family Research Council’s fourth and longest-serving president, joining the organization in August of 2003. Described as a legislative pioneer by the national media, Tony has established himself as an innovative pro-life and pro-family policy and political leader since first being elected to office in 1996.
EDITORS NOTE: This FRC column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

BIDEN’S INFLATION NATION: Inflation Rate Jumps, Highest Since 2008, Prices Up 5.4% in June


Ouch! The Biden Administration’s out-of-control tax-and-spend policies are driving up inflation to levels that we have not seen since the Great Recession of 2008. Watch your wallet, America.
Making every dollar you earn and you spend worth measurably less. Never would have happened under Trump.

BIDEN’S INFLATION NATION: Inflation Rate Jumps, Highest Since 2008, Prices Up 5.4% in June

By Hannity.com, July 13, 2021
The inflation rate in the United States jumped to 5.4% in June as prices for consumer goods soared; posting the fastest pace since 2008 while the economy struggles to recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.
“The Labor Department said last month’s consumer-price index increased 5.4% from a year ago, the highest 12-month rate since August 2008. The so-called core price index, which excludes the often-volatile categories of food and energy, rose 4.5% from a year before,” reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The index measures what consumers pay for goods and services, including clothes, groceries, restaurant meals, recreational activities and vehicles. It increased a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in June from May, the largest one-month change since June 2008. Prices for used cars and trucks leapt 10.5% from the previous month, driving one-third of the rise in the overall index, the department said. The indexes for airline fares and apparel also rose sharply in June,” adds the newspaper.

Read the full report here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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POLL: 61% of Black People Oppose Protests During National Anthem at the Olympics

Democrats couldn’t give a fig about Blacks — they mean to destroy the country and they exploit divisiveness and hate in order to achieve their malevolent goal.

Poll: Most Black People Oppose Protests During National Anthem at the Olympics

By Warner Todd Huston, Flag and Cross, July 13, 2021:
Last week, black U.S. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised eyebrows by refusing to stand at attention during the national anthem, but a new poll finds that most blacks don’t agree with such actions.
A new I&I/TIPP poll finds that Americans overwhelmingly reject athletes showing disrespect for the American flag at the Olympics.
The poll found that 79% of respondents say it’s important “for professional athletes to publicly respect the American flag on the international level,” while 60% say it is “very important.”
However, only 16% of the adults surveyed think it’s not important.
But even when broken down by gender, race, party and the like, the anthem protesters have little support.
Per Issues & Insights:

This sentiment was true across the board, with majorities in almost every demographic group broken out by the I&I/TIPP poll saying it was important for U.S. athletes to show respect for the flag when competing against athletes from other nations. That includes nearly two-thirds (61%) of black people surveyed and 69% of Hispanics.
By party breakdown, 93% of Republicans say showing respect is important, compared with 72% of Democrats. Support for showing respect increases with education as well – going from 73% of those with a high-school education to 81% of those with some college, and 83% of college graduates. Other breakdowns are shown in the nearby table.
Only young people don’t care if athletes respect the flag. Just 49% of those aged 18-24 say respect for the flag is important, while 39% say it’s not. Last week’s I&I/TIPP poll report showed members of this same age group were least likely to say they are proud to be an American: Just 36% said they are “very” or “extremely” proud of their nationality.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.
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Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW when informed decision making and opinion is essential to America’s survival. Share our posts on your social channels and with your email contacts. Fight the great fight.
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MISSOURI: Muslim Threatens to Blow Up and Shoot Up Factory Where He Works


Celebrate diversity!
The name “Yassine” is derived from “Ya Sin,” the 36th chapter of the Qur’an.

Versailles man charged with Making a Terroristic Threat

by Dan Claxton, KRCG, July 12, 2021:
NEW BLOOMFIELD — A Versailles man is in custody in the Morgan County jail charged with Making a Terroristic Threat by allegedly telling two co-workers on July 8 that he was going to blow up their workplace.
According to court documents, 33-year-old Yassine Bouyassine told a co-worker “when I come back I’ll blow it up.” Asked what he meant, he replied “Gates,” meaning Gates Corporation in Versailles, where Bouyassine works. He made a few more comments about “blowing up” and “shooting up” the facility, at one point asking co-workers how fast they thought he could do it.
The two employees who heard the comments then told their supervisor, who reported the incident to police.
Morgan County Prosecutor Dustin Dunklee charged Bouyassine with one count of Making a Terroristic Threat in the Second Degree. Missouri law defines that crime in part as communicating “an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life.”…

RELATED ARTICLE: Boston: Antisemitic Muslim migrant who stabbed rabbi arrested for battery last year, sent to mental health facility
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Islamic Republic of Iran Sent Goons to Kidnap Iranian Freedom Activist in NYC and Take Her Back to Iran


Meanwhile, they were sitting down with Biden’s handlers to demand the end of sanctions. The mullahs know that there is nothing they can do that will make Biden’s handlers not want to give them everything they want.

Iranian Operatives Planned to Kidnap a Brooklyn Author, Prosecutors Say

by Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, July 13, 2021:
An Iranian American journalist living in Brooklyn was the target of an international kidnapping plot orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence network, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
In an indictment unsealed in federal court in Manhattan, four Iranians were charged with conspiring to kidnap the journalist and author, Masih Alinejad, who has long been a staunch critic of the Iranian government.
Ms. Alinejad was not identified by prosecutors, but confirmed in an interview that she was the intended target of the plot. Last year, Ms. Alinejad wrote in a newspaper article that Iranian government officials had unleashed a social media campaign calling for her abduction.
The four defendants all live in Iran, the prosecutors said, identifying one of them, Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, as an Iranian intelligence official and the three others as “Iranian intelligence assets.” A fifth defendant, accused of supporting the plot but not participating in the kidnapping conspiracy, was arrested in California.
A federal indictment describes a plot that included attempts to lure Ms. Alinejad to a third country to capture her and forcibly render her to Iran. The intelligence official, Mr. Farahani, and his network used private investigators to surveil, photograph and video record Ms. Alinejad and members of her household in Brooklyn, the government said.
The extensive surveillance that Mr. Farahani’s network procured included the use of a live, high-definition video feed depicting Ms. Alinejad’s home, prosecutors said.
“This is not some far-fetched movie plot,” William F. Sweeney Jr., the head of the F.B.I.’s New York office, said in a statement.
In a 2018 essay in The New York Times, Ms. Alinejad described her decision to leave Iran a decade earlier.
“As a journalist in Iran, I often got into trouble exposing the regime’s mismanagement and corruption until, eventually, my press pass was revoked,” she wrote. “I was often threatened with arrest or worse for writing articles critical of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Ultimately, I was forced to flee my homeland in 2009.”…

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

Repudiating Roe: The Most Important Abortion Case in 30 Years


Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a signal moment in America’s constitutional history.


For the first time in a generation and a half — nearly 30 years — there is a realistic chance that the Supreme Court might overrule Roe v. Wade, the Court’s 1973 decision establishing a constitutional right to abortion. The Court has agreed to hear a case next fall that presents a direct challenge to the foundations and validity of Roe.
This is a signal moment in America’s constitutional history. One of the most notorious decisions in the Court’s history is likely either to be repudiated and overruled — discarded, finally and definitively — or else reaffirmed and entrenched, perhaps permanently. The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. And the stakes could not possibly be higher.
My discussion of Dobbs proceeds in two parts. In this article, I explain why Dobbs is the most important abortion case to reach the Court in nearly thirty years — since Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), the case in which a splintered Court, by the narrowest of 5-4 margins, reaffirmed Roe, not because a majority of the justices thought Roe was right, but on the basis of the judicial doctrine of “stare decisis.”
Dobbs is important because it frames a direct challenge to Roe and Casey, forcing the Court to confront the legal indefensibility and radicalism of the Court’s pro-abortion jurisprudence. Dobbs poses the enormously important question whether Roe and Casey, two of the worst constitutional decisions of all time, were wrongly decided and should now, finally, be overruled. On the merits, I submit, the answer must be yes.
Later on, I will take up the somewhat peculiar-sounding question whether the judicial doctrine of “stare decisis” — the (inconsistent) judicial practice of generally adhering to precedents — can properly require the Court deliberately to reaffirm precedents that it is persuaded are egregiously and atrociously wrong. That, I maintain today, is the only true question remaining at issue in Dobbs. And the answer is emphatically no.

Roe’s wrongness

Start with Roe v. WadeRoe is regarded, rightly, as one of the most consequential and controversial — and one of the very worst — constitutional decisions of the Supreme Court in its history.
In simplest terms, Roe created a constitutional right to abortion of the life of a living human fetus. That result, and Roe’s reasoning in support of it, are indefensible from a legal standpoint. No plausible argument from the constitutional text, no rule or principle fairly derived from its structure or internal logic or deducible from other propositions contained therein, and no credible argument from historical understanding or intention remotely supports the abortion right created in Roe.
Roe v. Wade is simply a lawless decision. I know of no serious constitutional scholar who defends Roe’s result as a faithful interpretation of the Constitution’s language, understood according to its natural and original meaning, as understood at the time of its adoption, or as consistent with the original intent of its adopters in 1868.
To be sure, a small cottage industry of legal academics has grown up around the enterprise of attempting to concoct “alternative” legal theories to support the result in Roe. These theories range from the merely strained and historically insupportable — the claim that abortion restrictions constitute sex discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is the most common — to the comically absurd and outlandish.

The latter include wild assertions that abortion laws violate the Constitution’s prohibition of slavery or interfere with the guarantee to women of the right to vote. (I address and refute these theories in a book chapter of a volume collecting many of the most “creative” such contrivances, and also in an academic article.)
The Court has never adopted any of these alternative theories for abortion as a constitutional right. Nor has it come anywhere close to doing so. Instead, it has left the right to abortion where Roe purported to find it, in the guarantee that government not deprive persons of life, liberty, or property “without due process of law.”
That’s the same bogus legal reasoning on which the Supreme Court had rested its infamous Dred Scott decision in 1857, holding unconstitutional Congress’s law prohibiting the introduction of slavery into federal territories. This reasoning, if one can call it that, goes by the oxymoronic label “substantive due process.” It is gibberish, as most sensible people recognize.
In Casey, the Court, while nominally reaffirming Roe’s substantive due process holding, could not bring itself actually to embrace Roe’s reasoning as correct. Indeed, a majority of justices seemed to indicate they believed that the case was wrongly decided. Casey left Roe in place almost purely on the basis of the doctrine of stare decisis. In other words, the justices concluded the Court should stick to Roe “whether or not mistaken,” simply because it was a precedent on which the Court had staked its authority, and it might look bad if it were to reverse itself.
In tomorrow’s essay, I will attack this craven, unprincipled reasoning. For now, my point is simpler: Roe is a relic of abandoned reasoning that almost no one — including the Court itself — any longer thinks correct on its own terms. If Roe retains any legitimacy at all, it is only because it is a precedent and for no reason moored to the text of the Constitution.
It is important to grasp this. Roe v. Wade’s rule no longer rests on any provision of the Constitution. It rests on Roe’s rule being Roe’s rule. The constitutional right to abortion has been cut loose from any tether to the Constitution’s text. It now depends, essentially entirely, on the force of Roe’s status as a precedent and the doctrine of stare decisis.
Roe’s indefensibility as a matter of faithful constitutional interpretation is, frankly, almost no longer a matter of serious dispute. The incorrectness of Roe as a matter of first principles is practically a point of common ground, certainly so for the principled constitutional conservatives that now compose the majority of the justices on the Court. Bluntly put: Roe is as wrong as wrong can be, and everybody knows it.

Roe’s extremism and its human consequences

Roe’s formulation of the abortion right is also quite extreme. In a nutshell, Roe established a constitutional right to abortion of a living human fetus for essentially any reason that a pregnant woman chooses. Under the Court’s decisions, the right to abort exists throughout all nine months of pregnancy, albeit in slightly varying forms depending on the stage of pregnancy.
Prior to fetal “viability” — that is, the point when the child could live outside his or her mother’s womb, now around twenty-four weeks — the right to abort is explicitly plenary. There is no ground on which states may prohibit an abortion from being obtained. This includes, as I have recently written, eugenic reasons — aborting an unborn child because of his or her race or sex, or on account of disability.
After viability, an abortion may be had for any “health” reasonbut “health” is defined broadly (and misleadingly) to embrace emotional, psychological, age, or “familial” considerations. This loophole is big enough to make the right to abortion functionally absolute, even when the child could live outside the womb.
The Court’s opinions concerning “partial-birth” abortion, in 2000 and 2007, bear this out. They uphold a right to kill a fetus capable of living independently of the mother, under the rubric of the need to permit late abortions on “health” grounds. Thus, partial-birth abortion — the gruesome technique of inducing labour, delivering all of the body except the head, puncturing the skull and vacuuming out the child’s brain, collapsing the head, and then completing removal of the dead child — can be prohibited as an abortion method, even after viability, only if there is available some equally safe (to the pregnant woman) alternative method for killing the fetus.
The right to abortion is thus essentially absolute. This is especially clear for pre-viability abortions. State governments may adopt certain informed consent and waiting-period requirements, and they may enforce some (but not many) regulations of abortion clinics. But they may not prohibit abortion itself, for any reason, prior to viability.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey tinkered slightly with Roe’s framework but did not alter its essentials. It retained the absolute right to pre-viability abortion and it retained the “health” right to abortion of even viable unborn babies.
It is worth pausing briefly to reflect on just how radical the RoeCasey abortion-rights legal construct is. It is no cautious “balance” of interests. It is almost unreservedly pro-abortion. It adopts one of the most extremely lenient pro-abortion legal regimes anywhere in the world. It fails to recognise any legal rights of the unborn human fetal children, in any respect, at any stage of pregnancy.
It does not recognise them as legal persons in their own right, entitled to the equal protection of the laws from private violence (a debatable but infinitely more plausible legal understanding of the common law and of the Constitution’s guarantees than is Roe’s creation of a constitutional right to abortion). Nor, short of that, does it recognise the unborn as members of the human species meriting protection by the state, whether or not they possess a constitutionally recognised legal “right to life” of their own. The living human fetus is treated, absurdly, as “potential life.”
In short, if Roe were an act of legislation, a bill passed by a legislature, it would be extremist pro-abortion legislation. And, not to put too fine a point on it, Roe is an act of legislation. (As is Casey — a modest, friendly amendment to Roe.) That Roe and Casey are acts of extremist legislation, adopted by a runaway judiciary, only makes matters worse.
The most important point about Roe’s extremism is, of course, its human toll. Roe’s practical and moral consequences have been truly stunning. Roe sanctioned, and Casey perpetuated, in the name of our fundamental law, the killing of over sixty million human beings.
This is not rhetorical overstatement but simple description. That abortion kills should not be a controversial proposition. There is no doubt that abortion results in the death of a distinct living being — an organism that was alive before is now dead. And there is no doubt that the living being killed by abortion is a human living being, distinct from the mother.
Abortion thus ends a human life. To be sure, it is a human life at an early and vulnerable stage in its development. But it is the same human life it will be at all stages of its life cycle, as an embryo, fetus, infant, child, and adult.
Roe created a right of some human beings to kill other human beings. It is important to be clear about that. Since Roe, the running human death toll from abortion in America has exceeded that of the Nazi Holocaust, Stalin’s purges, and the Rwandan genocide combined. Our familiarity with Roe has led to a strange acceptance of, or numbness to, its shocking, murderous radicalism and the scale of its havoc.
Roe is both a constitutional monstrosity and a moral atrocity.  As I wrote in these pages nearly a decade ago, Roe is simply unbearably wrong. It is time — long past time — to overrule Roe v. Wade.

The Dobbs case

That brings us to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The Dobbs case poses a direct, head-on challenge to Roe’s framework and, by necessary implication, its legitimacy. Here’s how: As noted, Roe and Casey hold that abortion cannot be banned for any reason before the point of fetal viability, when the child would be capable of living outside his or her mother’s womb, currently at about twenty-four weeks of pregnancy.
Dobbs involves a legal challenge to a Mississippi law forbidding abortions after fifteen weeks of pregnancy. This is more than two months before the point of viability. Simply put, if Roe is right, Mississippi’s law is “unconstitutional” (to accede, for purposes of argument, to an inaccurate characterisation). And conversely, for Mississippi’s law to be upheld, Roe and Casey must be rejected.
The Dobbs case thus squarely presents the issue of whether Roe v. Wade is wrong and should be overruled. Given what Roe and subsequent abortion decisions hold, and what the Mississippi law in question provides, the issue is practically unavoidable. And the Court’s order granting review shows no desire to avoid it. The legal question on which the justices granted review was stated as follows: “Whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” That’s another way of asking whether Roe v. Wade is rightly or wrongly decided and should remain the operative legal rule.
What will the Court do? A solid majority of justices now on the Supreme Court clearly believes that Roe is unequivocally wrongly decided, as flagrant a departure from constitutional text, structure, and history as any precedent in the Court’s history.
There is no doubt in my mind that six of the nine sitting justices firmly believe Roe is wrong. They are, in rough order of certainty: Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Chief Justice John Roberts.
In truth, I believe Justice Elena Kagan in her heart of hearts is unpersuaded of Roe’s legal correctness, too. But she and fellow liberals Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor can be counted on to vote for unrestricted abortion rights no matter what.

The stakes and snare of “stare decisis

Everything — everything — thus depends on the Court’s treatment of the legal doctrine of “stare decisis.” “Stare decisis” is a fragment of the Latin phrase taken to stand for the general rule of practice and judicial policy, drawn from the common law, that courts tend to follow their own precedents unless they have a good and sufficient legal justification for departing from them.
Significantly, the doctrine has never been thought to be constitutionally required. It is a rule of judicial policy and usual practice only. Nor has the doctrine ever been thought absolute. There are literally hundreds of examples of cases that have been overruled. Even at common law, courts could overrule prior decisions demonstrated to be unsound.
Moreover, the doctrine’s roots in common-law adjudication — where the law actually consists of general principles discerned from the overall course of judicial decisions — mean that it does not transpose neatly (if at all) to constitutional interpretation, where the relevant law consists of an authoritative, written legal text.
Simply put, if the text is the touchstone, judicial precedents contrary to the text are simply not faithful understandings of the relevant law. The Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in constitutional cases has consistently affirmed that core principle, leading the Court repeatedly to emphasise that adherence to precedent is “not an inexorable command.”
Nonetheless, the doctrine retains some intuitive appeal, especially for “conservatives,” as it purports to advance conservative-sounding values of stability, predictability, consistency, humility, and restraint. And it does advance these values, at least to some extent. But the doctrine is slippery, deceptive, and readily manipulated.
In practice, the doctrine often disserves the very policies it claims to serve, undermining predictability and stability and disguising judicial discretion. There is a strong claim that it is not “conservative” at all — that faithful adherence to the Constitution requires just that: faithful adherence to the Constitution, not to faithless departures from its text, structure, history, and original meaning.
Ironically, the staunchest defenders of stare decisis today are liberal, activist judges, who invoke it selectively and perhaps a bit cynically, as a tool for entrenching liberal decisions that are not defensible under the Constitution. That is, they invoke stare decisis precisely to preserve such faithless departures from the text itself.
Like the apple in the Garden, then, the doctrine of stare decisis can be deceptively enticing. Dangled by the devil for evil purposes, the doctrine has an enormous capacity to mislead and deceive. Some nominally “conservative” members of the Court have succumbed to its appeal in the past, including in abortion cases, substituting a corrupted version of the doctrine for constitutional principle.
That is what happened in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision in which a 5-4 majority of the Court voted to reaffirm Roe v. Wade on the supposed basis of the doctrine of stare decisis — even while changing Roe’s standards and framework and overruling two cases.
Is there a risk that something like this could happen again in Dobbs? Is there a risk of another Casey? Might the Court hold, in the name of stare decisis, that Roe and Casey should be upheld, no matter how wrong they were, how extreme they are, and how atrocious their consequences, simply because they were decided before?
I take up that question next: Does the doctrine of stare decisis require adherence to an egregiously wrong, legally indefensible precedent, in conflict with a proper understanding of the Constitution, simply because it is a precedent?
Republished with permission from The Public Discourse.
COLUMN BY

Michael Stokes Paulsen

Michael Stokes Paulsen is Distinguished University Chair & Professor of Law, at the University of St. Thomas, in Minneapolis. More by Michael Stokes Paulsen
EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Identifying The “Root Causes” of The Migrant Crisis On The Southern Border: Conclusion

This series of articles began with a number – 891,213 encounters with undocumented aliens reported by the Border Patrol on the southern U.S. border during the first nine months of this fiscal year.  That number was followed by a statement by Vice President Harris that she would focus her attention on determining the “root causes” of the surge of illegal immigration on the southern border.

For the four largest identified sending countries – Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador – those causes have not been too difficult to identify.

Mexico is a fragile state wracked by years of violence by competing drug trafficking organizations, public corruption, and poverty and may well on its way to becoming a failed state.

Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are all exceptionally poor, violent, and corrupt.

If we had identifying data for the nationalities of the 137,176 encounters during the same period classified as “other” by the Border Patrol, we would likely find these people come from countries experiencing similar conditions. It requires no great leap of the imagination to understand why people who live under such circumstances would flee their homelands to find better lives for themselves and their families.

The information presented in this series of articles came entirely from publicly available sources, documented at the end of each country section. As readers may have noticed, much of it came from U.S. government sources, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the Congressional Research Service, and the U.S. Department of State. This information is not difficult to find and, presumably, is readily available to the Vice President and her staff.

Critics may argue this series of articles have described the symptoms contributing to, rather than the “root causes,” of mass migration from sending countries. Further research concerning the systemic causes of poverty, violence, and corruption in Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvor, and elsewhere would no doubt yield a great deal of additional historical and sociological data pointing toward the underlying causes of mass migration from these countries. All of which, while interesting, would contribute little toward addressing the immediate problem on the southern border.

National security strategy, foreign policy, and federal law enforcement are not academic exercises. Significantly, Raul Ortiz, the new Biden-appointed chief of the Border Patrol has publicly recognized the urgent need for a “whole of government” approach to border strategy (the Border Patrol’s Mr. Ortiz discusses the shift away from Trump-era policies at yahoo!news). The migrant crisis on the southern border is a real problem, with real consequences for real people on both sides of that border, a problem that demands a real and effective strategic solution, not just further pointless study of its not very mysterious “root causes.”

See the author’s first part: Identifying the “Root Causes” of the Immigration Crisis on the Southern Border: Part 1

See the author’s second part: Identifying the “Root Causes” of the Immigration Crisis on the Southern Border: Part 11

See the author’s third part: Identifying The “Root Causes” of The Migrant Crisis On The Southern Border: Part III

*****

Ed Cochran, a retired U.S. Army officer and a retired senior civilian employee of the U.S. Department of Defense, is a regular contributor to The Prickly Pear on national security issues. He holds an MS in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College (now National Intelligence University), and an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. His published work has appeared in The Journal of Strategic Studies, Israel Affairs, Parameters, The International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, and the International Bulletin of Political Psychology.

The Adverse Economic Consequences of “Basic Income”

When I first looked at the issue of “basic income,” back in 2013, my gut reaction was deep skepticism.

That’s because I feared many people would drop out of the labor force if they could live off government handouts (as illustrated by this Wizard-of-Id parody).

It’s true that the current amalgamation of welfare programs also discourages work and creates dependency, but a government-provided basic income could make a bad situation worse.

Especially if politicians didn’t get rid of other redistribution programs (a very realistic concern).

That being said, what’s the evidence, either pro or con?

There was an experiment in Finland, which poured cold water on the concept.

And now we have some U.S.-focused research. Four economists from the University of Chicago (Mikhail Golosov, Michael Graber, Magne Mogstad, and David Novgorodsky) investigated this topic in a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Here’s a description of their methodology, which used lottery winnings as a proxy for the effect of government handouts.

How do Americans respond to idiosyncratic and exogenous changes in household wealth and unearned income? Economists and policymakers are keenly interested in this question…the earnings responses to such shocks are important…to assess the effects of public policy such as…universal basic income. However, giving a credible answer to this question has proven difficult…We analyze a wide range of individual and household responses to lottery winnings and explore the economic implications of these responses for a number of key questions…our analyses are based on a population-level panel data set which is constructed by combining the universe of worker tax records with third-party-reported lottery winnings.

And here are some of their results.

We find that Americans respond to an exogenous increase in household wealth by significantly reducing their employment and labor earnings. For an extra 100 dollars in wealth, households reduce their annual earnings by approximately 2.3 dollars on average… the introduction of a UBI will have a large effect on earnings and tax rates. For example, even if one abstracts from any disincentive effects from higher taxes that are needed to finance this transfer program, each dollar of UBI will reduce total earnings by at least 52 cents.

At the risk of understatement, this data should be the death knell for this bad idea.

Especially when you consider the impact of the higher tax rates that would be necessary to fund the basic income.

As illustrated by Figure 5.1 from the study, tax-financed handouts would be bad news for America’s economy.

Further, Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected a referendum for basic income back in 2016 (perhaps my speech in Switzerland convinced a few people?).

Interestingly, Joe Biden expressed skepticism about the idea back in 2017, but he obviously has had a change of heart, given his current support for big, per-child handouts.

*****

This article was published on July 8, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

The ATF’s Latest Proposed Regulation Could Make 40 Million Gun Owners Felons Overnight

This is a conspicuous confiscation of power, and it’s precisely what America’s founding fathers strove to avoid through the establishment of checks and balances.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has published a notice outlining their plans to update regulations on stabilizing braces.

Originally developed to help those with disabilities shoot comfortably, stabilizing braces have become a popular firearm accessory used to legally adapt AR-style pistols into guns that can be shot from the shoulder, like the highly regulated short-barreled rifle.

According to the ATF, stabilizing braces will now have to conform to a set of stringent guidelines to be considered legal. If they don’t meet those standards, they—and the gun to which they’re attached—will automatically become regulated as a rifle under the National Firearms Act.

This isn’t the first time the ATF or the DOJ have attempted to regulate this popular accessory. A similar reclassification was proposed back in December, but it was shot down due to uproar from lawmakers and the firearm community. However, after pistol-braced firearms were used in two recent, high-profile mass shootings, the ATF has circled back to the issue and seems more motivated than ever.

Immediate Pushback

After the ATF notice was published, more than 130 representatives penned a letter to the agency and called upon the bureau to withdraw the rule, stating that the “proposed guidance is alarming and jeopardizes the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Most importantly, the lawmakers reminded the ATF that for the last decade, it had asserted that there were legitimate uses for stabilizing braces, as the accessory was designed to aid disabled gun owners who enjoy recreational shooting.

“Should this guidance go into effect,” they wrote, “a disabled combat veteran who has chosen the best stabilizing brace for their disability is now a felon.”

In response, the ATF claimed that this new classification won’t impact braces designed to help those with disabilities. However, their proposed point-based worksheet of stabilizing brace criteria fails to make this clear for gun owners.

Intentionally Complicated?

At 52 pages, the intricate proposal is so lengthy and establishes such specific requirements that law-abiding citizens will have no idea if their firearm is still legal.

“Certain prerequisites,” the proposal reads, such as weapon weight and the overall length, “will be applied to determine if the firearm will even be considered as a possible pistol or immediately determined to be a rifle.”

Furthermore, “design factors that are more likely to demonstrate a manufacturer’s … intent to produce a ‘short-barreled rifle’ and market it as a ‘braced pistol’ accrue more points than those that reveal less evidence.”

A stabilizing brace that has accumulated too many points based on these criteria will be deemed a rifle, and therefore unlawful. Not only is this formula complicated, but there seems to be another hitch.

“The new factoring system,” remarks the NRA-ILA, “seems designed to ensure that few, if any, firearms can meet the criteria.”

Therefore, by classifying these braced pistols as Short Barreled Rifles, one of the most highly regulated guns on the market, the federal government is forcing 10-40 million law-abiding gun owners to surrender, destroy, or register their legal firearms … or face felony charges.

Avoiding Centralized Power

Essentially, the ATF is able to add rules and reclassify weapons without holding a single vote in Congress. As a result, this significant assault on the Second Amendment will not receive its due process.

This is a conspicuous confiscation of power, and it’s precisely what America’s founding fathers strove to avoid through the establishment of checks and balances.

The Constitution’s authors designed the United States government as three separate branches: the legislative, judicial, and executive. The legislative creates laws, the judicial determines their constitutionality, and the executive implements them.

In certain scenarios, each branch has the power to override the others and ensure that no branch of government is able to hold too much centralized power.

Unfortunately, through its unilateral proposal that would impact tens of millions of US gun owners, the ATF is violating the Separation of Powers designed by the Constitution to limit government overreach and protect individual rights.

A Timeless Warning

In Federalist No. 48, James Madison warned that “the accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

This is exactly what is happening today.

This stealth power grab should concern all Americans, even if they are outside the immediately-impacted gun community.

*****

This article was published on July 12, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from FEE, Foundation for Economic Education

How One Man Leads the Charge Against Woke School Boards

When it comes to fighting back against woke indoctrination and critical race theory in schools, Ian Prior is perhaps the happiest of warriors.

Prior is executive director of Fight for Schools, an organization dedicated to exposing bad actors in the public school system in Loudoun County, Virginia, and mobilizing parents to improve education for their children.

“We want to have a school system where our teachers are shaping future leaders, mentally tough leaders, hardworking leaders, people that will do the best that they can to get where they need to be. And we don’t need to be dividing along these identity group lines,” Prior says.

Prior joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss his fight against a woke school board and offer advice to others addressing these and similar issues in their school districts.

Doug Blair: My guest today is Ian Prior, an outspoken advocate against critical race theory in Loudoun County schools. Ian is the executive director of Fight for Schools, senior counsel for Unsilenced Majority, as well as the co-founder of the Daily Malarkey daily newsletter.

Welcome to the show, Ian.

Ian Prior: Thanks for having me.

Blair: Right. So, as I mentioned at the top, you are the executive director of Fight for Schools, which is a group that is at the forefront of the war on the left in our schools. Can you tell our listeners a bit about what Fight for Schools does and why you decided to start it?

Prior: Yeah, sure. So, I’ll back up to the beginning of this story. Really was about last September, October that I started doing a little investigation into what was happening in Loudoun County Public Schools.

I’d seen a Washington Free Beacon article talking about how they were using Teaching Tolerance materials, which is an arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center. And I said, “It’s pretty political, why are schools getting involved in that?”

And ultimately, I did some research into this high-price consultant that they had hired to really start what they call their Equity Committee, their equity office, run focus groups throughout the schools, and do teacher trainings. Found out they spent about $500,000 on that.

Then there was a couple of other things I looked into, a proposed teacher code of conduct, which would have disciplined teachers for speaking out against what they thought was the wrong direction of the school system, even on their own private time.

So I ended up writing an op-ed combining those two things. And I spoke at a school board meeting, really on the First Amendment rights of teachers and students.

Fast-forward to March, they had this private Facebook group called “The Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County.” In that group, you had the commonwealth attorney for Loudoun County, you had a member of the board of supervisors, and you had six school board members, which is important because six school board members makes a quorum and turns this into what should be a public meeting.

In that private Facebook group, one of the school board members really kind of lit a fire saying, “We need to speak out against these people that are opposing critical race theory in schools.”

That ultimately led to a call to action from somebody in there that they needed to infiltrate these groups that were opposed to critical race theory, publicly expose them, and hack their websites either to shut them down or to direct them to pro-critical race theory websites.

And then ultimately what happened is dozens of parents were listed, not just those that were opposed to critical race theory, but those that had gone to school board meetings the previous year and into that spring speaking up for opening schools, people that were speaking on behalf of teacher and student First Amendment rights, and those that were opposed to critical race theory.

And it really created an uproar in the community. Certainly there was a lot of press on that. I was more than happy to engage in that because I think that kind of cancel culture behavior needs to be exposed and you can’t play defense with that.

But ultimately, we had about eight parents, a bipartisan group of parents, that met on a back deck in our neighborhood and really talked about, “What can we do? This school board has not been listening to parents throughout the entire opening schools controversy. Now they’re engaged in private Facebook groups discussing school-related material. They’ve just lost their way. They have no trust in the community.” And so we decided that we would form a political action committee, nonpartisan, call it “Fight for Schools.”

Blair: So Fight for Schools is a larger organization where parents can come together to fight the left, as you mentioned, it’s more of a thing where parents come together to do this. I’m curious if you see a role for individual activists on this issue, is there something that they can do? And if so, what is that role?

Prior: I think every individual really needs to look in the mirror when it comes to these local elections, and that’s the first step.

And I’ve said it before, I mean, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. We have let this happen to our local school boards, our state education department, where we’ve just assumed that they’re going to be nonpolitical and they’re going to focus on excellence in education, meritocracy, making sure that everybody has an equal opportunity to succeed and learn all the necessities to succeed in life.

What I’ve found now, and what all of us have found, is that’s not the case. Politics has bled into the local level, right under our very noses.

So for people that want to get involved, I would say, first speak at your school board meetings, find out what’s going on. Talk to your neighbors, talk to your children, most importantly, talk to their teachers. Use Freedom of Information Act requests to find out exactly what materials your students are learning.

I think the pandemic provided an excellent opportunity and really gave rise to this parents movement where people started seeing, “This is what my kids are being taught on their Chromebooks, at 5, 6, 7 years old,” and realizing that something’s rotten in the state of education.

And it’s important to follow up on those, writing letters to the editor when you have that information, communicating things to the media, doing all the things that really we’ve been doing.

It started as me because I’ve been working in this media relations business for a while now, but I think what you’ve seen out here is other parents have been speaking up, and now they have those contacts as well.

So, when you look at Loudoun—and people talk about Loudoun as ground zero, I also call it the “Loudoun awakening.” This is where everything is really lighting a spark throughout the nation. It’s right outside of Washington, D.C. A lot of policymakers live here, a lot of people that know how to get things done, they’re doers. And that’s why I think this movement here has taken off so quickly.

Blair: That’s fantastic. And I actually find it so fascinating that Loudoun County is this hot bed and sort of a ground zero for these kinds of activities. My next question was about that. Why does Loudoun County in particular seem to be such a hot bed for this activity?

We had the Tanner Cross saga where a PE teacher was suspended from school for basically saying, “Hey, I’m a Christian. I’m not going to refer to a transgender student by a different pronoun because it goes against my faith.” He gets suspended for that. You mentioned that there was this anti-[critical race theory] secret Facebook group. This seems to be something that happens quite a bit in Loudoun County. Why is it Loudoun County that has all these problems?

Prior: That’s a great question. And I obviously point the fingers at the school board and the superintendent. Every time I think that, “All right, things are going to die down a little bit, we can focus on collecting signatures,” something else happens that feeds right into what our message is.

And that is, you have a school system and a school board that is fully committed to their own ideology and anybody else that speaks out against it, they do not want to hear from—whether it’s a teacher coming on his own personal time to speak at an open comment period where they invited comments or it’s parents clapping for somebody that gave a speech and then them shutting down public comments.

A school committee in March said, right after this list-making occurrence, “We have the numbers. We can and will silence the opposition.”

I think there’s a lot of hostility to the First Amendment rights of students, parents, and teachers. And I think there’s a lot of disrespect to the parents that are going out there and really just simply trying to make their voices heard.

It’s unfortunate that you have these individuals out there in all levels of government that look at parents as their political enemies. It doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to attack parents that are trying to speak up for what they believe is right.

But the fact is that you see it on social media and that’s really the devil, is how these politicians and these elected officials act on social media to their constituents. It’s really just gotten out of control. And I think that we’ve exposed a lot of how that works and we’re going to continue to do that.

Blair: So we’ve discussed some of these various things that the Loudoun County School Board and the Loudoun County school system have put forth in terms of radical leftist policies. In your opinion, what is the most egregious example of that? What can you point to as like, “Yep. This is the biggest issue”?

Prior: I think the biggest issue comes with how they train their teachers. They always say, “Well, we don’t teach critical race theory.” Well, no one’s saying that you teach Critical Race Theory 101. We understand that.

But what we’ve seen, especially through the documents that they use to train teachers, I mean, there’s one in particular that I think is probably the most grievous of all of them. It’s a chart, you’re either an oppressor and you’re in this column or you’re the oppressed and you’re in this column.

So obviously, if you’re white, you’re an oppressor … This one’s the craziest of all. If you’re a light-skinned individual of a minority race, you are an oppressor vis-a-vis a dark skin person of the same race. And that’s really what it’s about. It’s all about dividing along these lines and it’s absolute insanity.

Blair: I mean, yeah, that seems just absolutely crazy. I’m actually reading an article right now, referencing back to the Tanner Cross transgender issue. Virginia has basically said that local schools should probably start moving toward eliminating, quote, “gender-based practices,” which would say things like, “Oh, a father-daughter dance, that’s not OK anymore because it’s a gender-based practice. It offends somebody.” I mean, what do we do with this information? Like, how do we deal with this?

Prior: Yeah. I mean, it’s really insane that you have school systems that are focusing on this after a year when kids were not getting their proper training and education, right?

And so you have massive learning loss, you have special ed students that are falling even further behind, you have mental health issues. And they’re focusing on these kind of controversies that really don’t have a majority support.

What they should be doing is instead focusing on excellence in education; focusing on, look, we need competitive students—compassionate, yes, but competitive.

We want to have a school system where our teachers are shaping future leaders, mentally tough leaders, hardworking leaders, people that will do the best that they can to get where they need to be. And we don’t need to be dividing along these identity group lines.

We should be focusing on building strong individuals that are compassionate to their classmates, but also want to get ahead. They want to do better in school. They want to take AP calculus, advanced math, get advanced diplomas, go to good colleges. Instead, we’re focusing on these issues, it seems like the majority of their time are on these social partisan issues that have really divided a community.

Blair: Definitely. Let’s maybe shift gears from the more negative aspects of this to some of the more positive things. What would you view as a success, if you could point back to Fight for Schools and say, “You know what? Mission accomplished, we did it.”

Prior: I think long term, it’s a “bigger picture” thing. It’s lighting this spark that gets parents to pay attention to what is going on in their public schools, and being more outspoken in what it is we need, whether it’s policy changes, whether that’s school choice, whether that’s parents groups having a seat at the table on how these policies are decided at the local level, or even if it’s just getting people to go out there and really research who it is that’s running for school board and engage in those elections.

Everybody is so focused on what happens at the national level, but really what happens at the school level is, quite frankly, far more important for two reasons. First, that’s going to impact how your children are able to learn and ultimately succeed or not succeed in life. And secondly, the people that you elect to your school boards, those could be future leaders nationally as well.

And so you can’t ignore these posts and these elected spots, because this is really, I think, the breeding ground for potentially a lot of problems, but potentially also a lot of successes.

Blair: In terms of which is great to acknowledge that these are the successes that we’re looking for, can you point to any of those particular successes that we can look back as evidence that Fight for Schools is working?

Prior: We’ve been talking to everybody in the community. I mean, when you’re going out there, going door to door, having events, you get to talk to people and you learn about all the different concerns and priorities that folks have. And it really gives you a sense of what’s going on.

Whereas, if you’re elected to the school board, and you get elected in 2019, are you really going door to door? Are you really talking outside of your echo chamber? Probably not. We are. We’re going out.

I went door to door yesterday. I talked to somebody who was not for what we were doing. And you know what? That’s fine. There are going to be people out there and you’re going to learn what they think. And it’s been a really interesting experiment in democracy that we have been able to unify different groups.

And I would also say, after the Tanner Cross situation, I think, it started bringing more people to see what we were doing. And it’s really unified a bunch of different coalitions.

I think the other important thing that’s a positive is, you start realizing that when you get down to this local level, the R versus D doesn’t really matter anymore. … I have people on my board of Fight for Schools that I don’t know, maybe I don’t agree with them on immigration policy or other hot-button issues in the world. But on this issue, we are aligned.

And I think that there’s an opportunity for parents, at the local level, to really departisanize and focus themselves on this one issue and come to an agreement that what we want is excellency, meritocracy, mentally tough students, and hardworking students that are provided the opportunity to succeed.

So I think, if we’re talking about long-term goals, is having people at the local level being able to put aside their partisanship on some of the hotter-button issues and really focus on the core mission of a public education system.

Blair: That’s such a great point, to departisanize it, to make it that we’re not fighting about R and D. We’re not fighting about left and right. We’re not fighting about red versus blue. It’s what is best for the kids. It’s the kids that are very much the focus here.

I wanted to give you the last word here. We are running a little low on time, but if you had one thing you wanted our listeners to take away from this interview, what would it be? And then more specifically, could you give our listeners some recommendations on how to get involved in these anti-[critical race theory], anti-leftist policy rhetoric in the schools?

Prior: Sure. Well, again, I think getting involved is crucially important and it really comes back to having conversations. Get all social media, where you can talk to your neighbors, talk to other parents, have those day-to-day conversations that you can have more nuance and you can discuss more things without it seeming like you’re attacking somebody. Always try and get the other side’s perspective.

And look, you may not always agree with who you’re talking to, but if you can convince them 1% your way, and they can convince you 1% their way, then you’re moving forward to a cohesion of minds where we can ultimately unify people in a way that they can focus on schools.

As far as tactical things, I say it like this: You’ve got to investigate first, right? You got to investigate. That means, like I said, talking to people, sending FOIA requests, talking to your teachers, asking for the materials, look on your kids’ Chromebooks—you’ll find all sorts of things there.

Then you have to communicate. Communicate it. Communicate it to the rest of your community. Communicate it through the media, communicate it through letters to the editor.

And then finally, activate. If there is something wrong, then you need to activate a network of like-minded people that are willing to go out there and do the hard work. It’s not easy going door to door. It’s not easy putting yourself out there as a parent and getting attacked by your local school board member, but you have to do it.

If you want to make change, you really have to investigate, communicate, and activate.

Blair: Great advice. That was Ian Prior, an outspoken advocate against critical race theory in Loudoun County schools. Ian is the executive director of Fight for Schools, co-founder of the Daily Malarkey newsletter and senior council for Unsilenced Majority.

Ian, thank you so much for your time.

*****

This transcript was published on July 8, 2021 and reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.