Despite their perspicacity, America’s founders could not have envisioned every turn to which human nature would subject the United States. In fairness, who could foresee the temerity of the deceitful, conspiracy peddling, leftist media now demanding to be designated as the repository and gatekeeper of truth?
When drafting the First Amendment’s recognition and protection of God-given rights to free speech and a free press, the framers knew a governmental attack on a free press outlet would constitute an attack on everyone’s freedom of speech. Equally, they believed a governmental attack on an individual’s freedom of speech would constitute an attack on a free press.
In sum, America’s founding generation understood these rights — which are no more than an implicit recognition of the God-given right to the freedom of conscience — were mutually reinforcing. Given that mutual reinforcement, the founders couldn’t imagine an instance where someone could support freedom of the press but not freedom of speech, or vice versa. Still less could they imagine anyone not in the government arguing for the curtailment or termination of either or both.
But the founders, who based their governing paradigm on a rational assessment of human nature, never had the displeasure of experiencing America’s enraged, irrational leftist media flailing away in the waning days of their fiefdom of the press.
Americans’ Declining Trust in the Press
Two factors have triggered the leftist media’s totalitarian efforts to suppress other media outlets; and, in so doing, every American’s free speech and free press rights.
First, the communication revolution’s exponential expansion of every individual’s media choices and messaging opportunities is an existential threat to the institutional press. In these highly divisive political days, we find ourselves in many ways reverting back to the early republic’s era of pamphlets and newspapers that are identified and marketed by their partisan bent.
For instance, though Fox News and MSNBC do not self-identify as partisan, their audiences know to view them through a partisan lens. Other media outlets that boast of their “objectivity” and “journalistic integrity” (such as CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, et al.) are only deluding themselves. Recent polls reveal that 60 percent of all Americans have “not very much” or no confidence in the media.
"The founders would not be surprised by polls showing the American people know the biggest disseminator of misinformation and disinformation is the leftist media."
This lack of public trust stems from a second factor: the leftist media’s transmogrification from objective journalism to “accountability journalism.” The latter is merely a pretext for leftist journalists to eschew objectivity and insert their own biased opinions into the “news.” The result? Over the past five years, the end result of “accountability journalism” is that the leftist media is recognized as the biggest manufacturer and purveyor of misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories.
Sensing a problem, if not its perniciousness, the leftist media suddenly decided en masse to “speak truth to power” in the case of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Of course, the leftist media’s sudden change from dithyrambs to dirges for Cuomo occurred only after he was finally castigated for his lethal nursing home policy by a progressive attorney general in a state where only a Democrat can be elected governor. Sacrificing Cuomo for their common good, the media is vainly pimping this venal episode as “proof” it isn’t the Progressive Left’s lapdog.
Free Speech for Me But Not for Thee
And what is the common good the leftist media is seeking in their fiefdom of the press? Despite their dubious distinction for partisan disinformation, the leftist media expects to be rewarded with renown, remuneration, and the gratitude of us plebes for their efforts at reeducating us. Specifically, they get freedom of the press and speech, and the rest of us get censored and silenced. Not only that, we’re supposed to like it.
But the best-laid plans of mice and Maoists often go awry.
One of the reasons previous generations of American media clung to the principle (if not always the practice) of objective journalism is because it expanded their audience and, hence, their profitability. What has dawned upon the accountability journalists in today’s “woke” leftist media is the bottom line that the audience for Left-biased news is essentially limited to those who share this bias and want it confirmed. Excepting the rare instances of taxpayer-subsidized media, like NPR, our free press doesn’t get to operate for free. It is a business enterprise that needs to be profitable to survive.
Ergo, when “accountability journalism” erodes public trust and causes the media’s audience to dwindle to ideological diehards at the very time all Americans have increased access to outlets for getting news and disseminating their own views, the existential threat is patent. In short, for the leftist media, “Get woke, go broke” isn’t just a meme; it’s a fait accompli.
While ordinary businesses might examine their operating principles and revise them in accordance with the profit motive, the self-deifying woke media believes itself above such tawdry pursuits. Aping other institutions, such as Wall Street banks, who believe themselves too big to fail (i.e., more important than you)—the leftist press is demanding a government bailout, one that comes with an assist from Big Tech. While they do want your money, this is not their foremost concern. No, they want their accountability journalism cake and to eat it, too.
Democrat-Big Tech-Media Collusion
Thus, to preserve their fiefdom of the press, the leftist media wants to censor and silence other Americans’ rights to free speech and freedom of the press.
To do this, the leftist press is in league with the Democratic Party and Big Tech—entities requiring the rationing of information to the public to retain their own crumbling fiefdoms. (If one doubts this, put in a call to the New York Post, which suffered firsthand the bludgeoning of their constitutional rights by this totalitarian troika during the Hunter Biden laptop incident.)
It isn’t hard to see the bitter fruits reaped when these three leftist entities collude to have Americans censored: the Democratic Party wins seats; Big Tech keeps its monopolies; and the leftist media controls “the national narrative” without having to fuss with banalities like profitability All three combine and work in conjunction to stop the democratizing effects of a citizenry empowered by the communications revolution.
But only for so long.
The communications revolution genie is out of the bottle, and Big Government, Big Tech, and Big Media cannot jam it back into those confines. Already, a majority of Americans are chafing at having to hide their opinions for fear of reprisal. It will not be long until their left-wing oppressors and censors are held to account for trying to mute and master our free people. And they know it
So, while they may not have envisioned a free press suicidally demanding the termination of Americans’ free speech rights, the founders were well aware that even in a constitutional republic, self-anointed elites could try to oppress their fellow citizens. The founders would not be surprised by polls showing the American people know the biggest disseminator of misinformation and disinformation is the leftist media. And, through the ages, we can hear them echoing, with righteous indignation, our question to the leftist media, Big Tech, and the Democrats: “Who the hell are you to dictate what we can think and say?”The Hon. Thaddeus McCotter is the former chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, current itinerant guitarist, American Greatness contributor, and Monday co-host of the "John Batchelor Show."
The U.S. Supreme Court last Monday released various opinions and orders, as it does in the flurry of activity in the spring season that precedes the court’s summer recess.
While most orders are released without commentary, among this week’s batch was a denial of a petition for writ of certiorari that included a strongly worded dissent from Justice Neil Gorsuch on why he disagreed with the court’s refusal to hear the case.
The dissent (joined by Justice Samuel Alito) is particularly noteworthy in our current culture, one driven toward more and more anti-religious animosity.
Denials of certiorari are quite common. After all, the Supreme Court grants only about 3% of the thousands of petitions it receives each year.
But Small v. Memphis Light, Gas & Water on its face looked to be perhaps the type of case Gorsuch was hoping for when he left the door open a crack to questions of how best to protect religious interests under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in his 2020 majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia.
Jason Small, an electrician and longtime employee of Memphis Light, Gas & Water, had an on-the-job injury that forced him to take on a new role as a dispatcher. The new job came with a different schedule and mandatory overtime that sometimes conflicted with Small’s religious obligations, such as worship services on Sunday mornings.
In an effort to accommodate his religious faith when it conflicted with his professional duties, Small requested a reduction in pay while he looked for a schedule that better accommodated his religious obligations. Memphis Light, Gas & Water denied his request, and he was forced to take vacation days in order to attend church services.
That arrangement worked for both Small and his employer for a time, but when Small made a vacation time-off request in order to attend church services on a Good Friday, the company at first approved his request, but then backtracked and denied it.
Small went to church services anyway and was promptly suspended without pay. In response, he sued Memphis Light, Gas & Water for violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, and requires employers to afford requested religious accommodations unless doing so would impose an “undue hardship” on them.Sarah Parshall Perry is an attorney with a degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the editorial board of the Virginia Journal of International Law. She is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Journalism from Liberty University, where she was features article editor for the Liberty Champion Newspaper.
There’s always an uproar when we see Asian-Americans being beaten to a pulp or murdered on video and the people around them just stare instead of intervene. But why are we surprised? They are just doing exactly what society has told them to do. It’s not necessarily cowardice. They are making an entirely rational choice based on our society’s unequivocal message that we should stand back and watch.
If we, as a society, want to have people leap into the fray, and I would like that, then we need to do the things that make it a rational choice to do so instead of one that might very well bring ruin, imprisonment, injury, or death.
But we do the opposite, then act stunned when people conform to the reality we create. Let’s look at the logistics. The people pummeling others are usually pretty big, and they’re criminals for whom violence is a way of life. Most normal people are not streetfighters, and taking on the criminals is extremely dangerous and can easily get you hurt or killed. Now, a civilized society would want to encourage people to intervene, and that means not interfering with normal citizens’ right to bear arms. Many states do not, but the Ninth Circuit just informed us that the right to “bear” arms doesn’t actually mean you have a right to bear arms. So, in many places, society has deprived you of the ability to intervene with some measure of safety and effectiveness.
But if you do intervene, your trouble just begins. Even if you are in the right does not mean an intervention will go your way. If you are in the wrong jurisdiction, with one of those leftist-bought district attorneys, then you run the risk of being prosecuted even if you did everything right. Take it from a lawyer — innocent people get shafted all the time by the system, especially when the system wants them shafted. Maybe you eventually get acquitted, after a couple years of hell, some time in jail, and financial ruin — congratulations!
Or, if someone videotapes the encounter, maybe your life gets ruined because the thug you shot is of an SJW-favored group. Do you think the facts matter? Do you think the crook’s criminal record, actions before bystanders started filming, or anything else is going to get in the way of the narrative? Come on.
You cannot rely on objective truth to protect you in a world of subjectivity and lies.
Maybe you just get sued for hurting the poor, misunderstood degenerate — do not for a second think that there is some magic legal defense in most places that is going to keep you from getting dragged into court if you actually hurt the attacker. Oh, and your insurance might not even cover your defense if it’s characterized as an intentional act. You get the privilege of paying to defend a frivolous lawsuit too.
I bet you’re just chomping at the bit to help your fellow citizen right about now.
So, a couple strangers get into a conflict in front of you and you have no weapon and absolutely no assurance that you will not, at a minimum, be dragged through hell if you get involved. What do you do.
Well, as we have seen, people conform to what we ask for as a society, and we could not more clearly be asking folks to just stand there and watch. When we choose, as a society, to punish those who intervene, it’s hard to be shocked when people don’t. People can rationally calculate risk and reward — “Okay, that nice Asian grandma is going to have a black eye, and that’s bad, but I’m going to go home in one piece tonight and not be bankrupted or tossed in jail forever, so I can live with it.”
And this is not merely the rational choice citizens are making. Cops make it too, as we have seen in the last year. They let criminals run rampant, especially in Democrat cities, because to stop the punks puts themselves at an unreasonable risk — not the reasonable risk they signed up for, but the risk of getting stabbed in the spine by the people they protect and serve. The use of force has risks for regular Joes, but they're exponentially greater for a cop. A routine encounter with a guy selling single cigs — which our reps made illegal for some reason — or one with a guy passing counterfeit bills can escalate into violence and maybe death, and where does the cop end up then? With the brass and politicians backing them, or in the defendant’s chair in a murder trial? When’s the last time you saw a blue city mayor stand by his, her, or xir cops? All other facts aside, Derek Chauvin was using the tactics and techniques he was trained in and now he's looking at the rest of his life in jail. His trial is a joke, with no change of venue and biased jurors and an establishment that desperately wants him convicted irrespective of justice because they fear riots. Don’t think every cop in America isn’t seeing that, and many will hit the gas to get out of the bad neighborhood and home to mama — leaving the citizens who elected the people who created these incentives to deal with the carnage.
I guess elections do have consequences.
If you are a cop, why would you go out of your way to risk your future for people who hate you and will not stand behind you? You won’t. And is that a moral failing? This is not mere cowardice like that beta who refused to rush into Parkland and put a slug in that scumbag’s brainpan or die trying. This is about the routine betrayal of America’s janitors in blue. Voters let this happen and they were free to do so. After all, your city has a right to set the parameters of its policing, and their Democrat electorates have made it quite clear that they do not want to accept the risk of ugly incidents where civilians get hurt. That is unequivocal, and that is the priority. Fine. That means that staying in your patrol car and driving on by as chaos reigns is simply following your instructions — implied instructions to be sure, but crystal clear instructions nonetheless.
And if robberies, rape, and murders skyrocket, well, the cities prefer that to videos of petty criminals colliding with the cops, so that’s what they get. Enjoy!
We could do it another way as a society. We could encourage, instead of discourage, heroism. Some parts of America, primarily the ones the Establishment hates, do. And, weirdly, you don’t see chaos there. We could choose to let citizens be armed everywhere to neutralize the criminals’ advantage. We could institute extremely strict laws barring prosecution for interventions at the outset so commie DAs can’t victimize heroes. We could do the same for civil liability. And we could bar employers from jettisoning internet-famous employees who do act to protect others. We could treat these citizens — and cops — as heroes instead of trashing them as racists.
That is, if we wanted interventions. But apparently, many of us don’t.
This abdication is democracy. It’s simply what some voters asked for. Just stop pretending to be surprised that people are doing what they are told to do — nothing.Kurt Schlichter (Twitter: @KurtSchlichter) was personally recruited to write conservative commentary by Andrew Breitbart. He is a name partner at a growing Los Angeles trial lawyer, a retired Army Infantry colonel with a masters in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and a former stand-up comic.
In the wake of February’s tragic power outages in Texas, during which 4.5 million households suffered service interruptions, partisans on both sides have been quick to interpret the events as confirmation of their preferred energy policies. With news images of helicopters deicing frozen turbines, conservatives lambasted Texas’s increasing reliance on wind power as the villain in the story.
Trying to temper this knee-jerk reaction, Reason.com columnist Ron Bailey argued that “[m]ost of the shortfall in electric power generation during the current cold snap is the result of natural gas and coal powered plants going offline.” And Paul Krugman for his part declared that it was a “malicious falsehood” to blame wind and solar power for what happened in Texas, as it was primarily a failure of natural gas.
In this article I’ll lay out the basic facts of which power sources stepped up to the plate during the crisis. Contrary to what you would have known from reading Ron Bailey (let alone Paul Krugman), when the Texas freeze hit, electricity from natural gas skyrocketed while wind output fell off a cliff. The people arguing that wind wasn’t to blame mean it in the same way Jimmy Olson wasn’t to blame when General Zod took over: wind is so useless nobody serious ever thought it might help in a crisis.
Krugman on Texas Electricity
Republican politicians and right-wing media … have coalesced around a malicious falsehood instead: the claim that wind and solar power caused the collapse of the Texas power grid, and that radical environmentalists are somehow responsible for the fact that millions of people are freezing in the dark …
In contrast to this dirty rotten lie from the right-wingers, Krugman instead explains:
A power grid poorly prepared to deal with extreme cold suffered multiple points of failure. The biggest problems appear to have come in the delivery of natural gas, which normally supplies most of the state’s winter electricity, as wellheads and pipelines froze.
A bit later in the article Krugman admits that wind was involved as well, but minimizes its role in this way:
It’s true that the state generates a lot of electricity from wind, although it’s a small fraction of the total. But that’s not because Texas — Texas! — is run by environmental crazies. It’s because these days wind turbines are a cost-effective energy source wherever there's a lot of wind, and one thing Texas has is a lot of wind.
It’s also true that extreme cold forced some of the state’s insufficiently winterized wind turbines to shut down, but this was happening to Texas energy sources across the board, with the worst problems involving natural gas.
Incidentally, there are literally no numbers in Krugman’s article (except for numerals referring to dates), which is a signal that he’s pulling a fast one on his readers. From his qualitative (not quantitative) description, most people would have assumed that when the unusually cold weather hit Texas last month, electricity generation from various sources was down across the board, but that it mostly fell from natural gas, while the drop in wind was insignificant. As I’ll show in the next section, this is utterly false.
What Really Happened During Texas’s Power Crisis?
Had I not seen the analysis from my former colleagues at the Institute for Energy Research (see their articles here and here), I might have believed the spin that the Texas crisis was really a failure of fossil fuels rather than renewables. Yet as we’ll see, the actual numbers tell a much different story from what most Americans probably “learned” from the media discussion.
The simplest way for me to communicate the relevant information is through three infographics, generated from the Energy Information Administration’s handy tool that shows the source mix for daily energy generation by state.
Before showing the numbers, I need to make an important clarification: the demand for electricity soared to unprecedented levels during the freeze. In particular, on February 14, peak demand on the electric grid surpassed sixty-nine gigawatts, breaking the previous winter record of (almost) sixty-six gigawatts set in 2018. It was in the early hours of the following morning (February 15) that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) implemented rolling blackouts to prevent the entire grid from collapsing. So to be clear, the issue wasn’t that supply in an absolute sense fell, but rather that demand soared. (Texas typically uses more electricity in the summer to keep things cool, rather than in the winter to keep things warm.)
With that context in place, here are the stats for electricity output from various sources on February 15, 2021:
But in fairness, maybe what guys like Krugman meant is that this is much lower than what we normally could expect from natural gas. (Remember Krugman had said that natural gas “normally supplies most of the state’s winter electricity.”)
To test this possibility, we can look at the situation one year prior, on February 15, 2020:
Yet besides the proportions, also look at the absolute quantity of electricity generated: on Feb. 15, 2020, natural gas produced 398,130 megawatt hours (compared to 759,708 MWh during the recent freeze), while wind produced 264,024 MWh (compared to 73,395 MWh during the freeze).
To sum up, compared with the same date a year earlier, during the first day of the blackouts in Texas, electricity from natural gas was 91 percent higher, while electricity from wind was 72 percent lower.
To reiterate the clarification I gave earlier, part of the confusion here is that electricity demand in February isn’t normally as high as it was because of the freeze. So to test whether natural gas is the culprit, we can compare the generation from various sources during the freeze to the situation back during the summer. For example, let’s look at how things stood on August 15, 2020:
The following table summarizes electrical output from various sources on the three dates we have analyzed, and shows the change going from the earlier dates to the first day of the recent blackouts:
In contrast, wind power during the freeze was down a whopping 72 percent compared to the previous year, and compared to the summer it was down 47 percent.
Among all sources, the percentage difference between either the previous year or the previous summer was highest for natural gas. That is, the surge in natural gas output year over year was the biggest by far (with coal coming in second with a 54 percent surge), and compared with the summer load its drop was the smallest at 7 percent.
Wind, in contrast, was the worst performer in both cases, if we measure in terms of the difference. That is, wind’s 72 percent drop in the year-over-year column was the biggest one, and its 47 percent drop in the column for summer to winter was also the biggest.
In light of these statistics, it’s a bit odd for commentators to blame the Texas blackouts on natural gas while excusing wind.
What They Mean: Wind Is the Ted Cruz of Electricity
Now, in fairness, what the commentators blaming natural gas have in mind is that ERCOT’s emergency planning assumed that natural gas (and the other “thermal” electricity sources, namely coal and nuclear) could be called upon to fill the gap should there be record demand during a winter storm. If we measure in terms of the total capacity that was temporarily knocked out because of the freeze, then the culprits were thermal sources, rather than wind and solar.
As Jesse Jenkins, an assistant professor at Princeton tweeted out, “Main story continues to be the failure of … natural gas, coal, and nuclear plants … which ERCOT counts on to be there when needed.” He further specified, “Of about 70,000 MW of thermal plants in ERCOT, ~25–30,000 MW have been out since Sunday night. Huge problem.”
And so we see what people mean when they say the Texas blackouts are the fault of natural gas, rather than wind: since no serious official ever expected wind to be any help during a crisis, it can hardly be blamed for not showing up when disaster struck. In effect, Krugman is arguing that wind power is the Ted Cruz of electricity.
When assessing blame for a disaster, it’s hard to know what the relevant counterfactual should be. Yes, had the (relatively) unregulated Texas power providers done a better job in winterizing their natural gas lines, things would have been better last February.
But by the same token, had the federal government never implemented the wind production tax credit (PTC) — which subsidizes wind so heavily that it sometimes sells for a negative price in the Texas wholesale market — then there would have been more fossil fuel-generated capacity in Texas, which the numbers clearly show did better at providing electricity during the deep freeze. Normally the boosters of renewable energy point with pride to Texas, which has the most wind capacity of any state by far in absolute terms, and even has almost 25 percent of its official generating capacity consisting of wind. Yet when wind collapsed during the deep freeze, suddenly even its biggest fans admit that nobody ever thought it could do the same job as natural gas.Robert P. Murphy is a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute. He is the author of many books. His latest is Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America's Most Famous Keynesian. His other works include Chaos Theory, Lessons for the Young Economist, and Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action (Independent Institute, 2015) which is a modern distillation of the essentials of Mises's thought for the layperson. Murphy is cohost, with Tom Woods, of the popular podcast Contra Krugman, which is a weekly refutation of Paul Krugman's New York Times column. He is also host of The Bob Murphy Show.
Our ‘betters’ at the Davos / World Economic Forum have gamed their way through insipid, feel-good phrases and glossy posters toward a globalist society. The WEF's members come from a massive list of participating companies. Beginning with A.P. Møller-Maersk, through the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan ($175.6 billion in net assets.), ending with Zurich Insurance Group ($2.9 million in 2019 profits.
The WEF’s annual meeting, typically held each January in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos Kloster, features world leaders, central bankers, corporate executives as well as celebrities and billionaires. The 2021 in-person event has been postponed due to the pandemic and is now scheduled to take place in Singapore in May.
The large-scale participation of big-dollar (or big-Deutschmark, big-Franc, etc.) conglomerates tells us what we already knew: Big business is all-in for socialism. Big business wants subsidies and government favors. Unions want to impose fees on members and workplace control. Big politicians want ever bigger government and more and more power. May God help us as they find common means to sieze what they want.
The May schedule includes a 'special address' by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Key speakers include that globalist champion, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres of Portugal, Xi Jinping, his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Bill Gates is pimping his foundation's latest pipe dream of all property ownership within his reach. With industry ‘leaders’ and globalist politicians leading the way toward a Chinavirus-enabled ‘great reset’, trouble is entrenched in our future.
Capitalism and freedom cannot survive this attack. Without a massive pushback from the freedom-loving, ‘they’ (the socialists among us) are well on their way to celebrating their victory over the courts, the schools — everything our Constitution prescribes.
Today I visited the Forum's website. Here's a sample of what I found there among the buzzwords and incomplete sentences:
Shaping the future of ‘consumption'Glenn Beck's website describes the situation with the recent Texas power outage as a microcosm:
Creating ‘responsible models’ of consumption for the benefit of business and society.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is transforming the ‘consumption landscape’ by creating opportunities for ‘value’ through game-changing technologies.… Can climate change ‘action’ lead to better inclusion?
The world is entering a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery through a “Great Reset”, to address political, economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic. Industries and society need to assess, re-think and ‘transform the way they work.' … Bold actions for food as a force for good
To feed more than 10 billion people within our planetary boundaries by 2050, while ending hunger and tackling unhealthy diets, we will have to ‘fundamentally change the food system,’ requiring co-ordinated and large-scale ‘action by all stakeholders across multiple axes.' …
The world is entering a unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery through a “Great Reset”, to address political, economic and social disruptions caused by the pandemic. Industries and society need to assess, re-think and transform the way they work.…
"Companies will need to draw on employees and contractors to build a resilient, flexible, skilled workforce."
"All rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference," said holy-anointed billionaire Bill Gates. Green activism has been around for decades. But what used to be wacky has now worked its way into the world’s power structure. You must believe the science. You cannot question the science. The Texas power failure provided America with a disturbing and deadly preview of the Great Reset. But Bill Gates, AOC, and other Democrats say this only proves we need to enforce MORE green policies. Glenn reveals how deep the Great Reset tentacles into government and business reach to strangle freedom and the efforts they want to make to control every aspect of your private life.
There’s no disputing that the void that has been left behind since economist Walter Williams passed away in December. Williams had a remarkable ability to convey free market economic concepts in a way the masses could easily digest. Big shoes to fill indeed.Walter Williams’s Sympathy toward Secession
But if there is one thing that Walter Williams showcased throughout his career, it is that he was no race hustler and never fell for cheap attempts at race baiting. He spoke the truth no matter how uncomfortable it made others feel. In multiple publications throughout his illustrious publishing career, Williams observed that secession didn’t just start with the Confederacy.
Secession is as American as apple pie. The nation’s very founding involved the thirteen colonies seceding from the British Empire. The radical decentralization embodied by the American Revolution is taken for granted by your typical court historian, but Williams had immense respect for this underappreciated part of American history.
Williams called attention to the fact that the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which brought an end to the American colonies’ war for independence, recognized that the colonies were “free, sovereign and independent states.” In a 2015 column, “Historical Ignorance,” Williams expanded on one of the key provisions that spelled out the sovereignty of the individual colonies:
The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the war between the colonies and Great Britain. Its first article declared the 13 colonies “to be free, sovereign and independent states.” These 13 sovereign nations came together in 1787 as principals and created the federal government as their agent. Principals have always held the right to fire agents. In other words, states held a right to withdraw from the pact — secede.
During the ratification process of the US Constitution, states that were skeptical of the new constitution being put forward by the Federalist faction of the constitutional debate made it a point to include provisions in their ratification documents that outlined steps for withdrawal. They did so in the case that the federal government overstepped its constitutional boundaries. Williams detailed this in the same column:
In fact, the ratification documents of Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island explicitly said they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought they could not regain their sovereignty — in a word, secede.
Even on the eve of the American Civil War, Northern politicians acknowledged that secession was a legal tactic states could use when they were dissatisfied with the federal government. Williams duly noted this:
Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here's a question for the reader: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?Williams observed that pro-Union politicians understood how secession was a legitimate right that states possessed at the time:
On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the union between the states of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty.”Why Secession Still Matters
Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution's limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.That the North turned the South into rubble, however, does not invalidate the concept of secession. There is an innate desire among people worldwide to pursue self-determination. Historically, the push for self-governance has propelled frequent changes in borders and realignments in political territories. Even in the twenty-first century, continents from Europe to Africa are experiencing secessionist movements grow in strength year after year. Try as many central governments might, they cannot fully extinguish the human penchant for building separate jurisdictions that better reflect their values. Williams on Local Resistance in Virginia
For example, right before the Second Amendment sanctuary county drama kicked off in Virginia in 2020, Williams praised Virginia Second Amendment activists for their efforts to resist gun control attempts coming from Governor Ralph Northam’s office. Williams cited the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions — two political statements that argued that states have the authority and duty to judge the constitutionality of laws coming from the central government — as potential guides for Virginia Second Amendment activists to follow. Williams wanted his fellow Virginians to apply that logic to the state government as well. He believed that overzealous state governments could also be subject to resistance from local governing bodies. Although Northam and company were able to successfully ram some gun control through, Second Amendment sanctuary county efforts won’t be disappearing any time soon in Virginia and other blue states nationwide.Let Us Remember Williams for His Radicalism
According to a left-wing propaganda narrative that you can read in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and similar outlets, the violence in Congress that occurred in the afternoon of January 6 was the culmination of a long series of outrages by President Donald Trump. When he lost the November election to Joe Biden, he could not accept his loss. He kept making baseless claims that he had won the election and accused Biden supporters of using fake ballots and rigged voting machines to inflate the totals for Biden. He kept filing lawsuits to get parts of the verdict overturned, but the courts rejected all his claims. He thought he still had a chance on January 6, when the electoral votes are counted in Congress. He wanted Vice President Mike Pence to violate the Constitution. Although Pence has the purely ceremonial role of presiding over the joint session, he wanted Pence to toss out slates of electors who opposed him, or at least send them back to the states for recertification. Pence refused to violate the Constitution. When Trump found out about it, he was so angry that he incited part of a rally supporting him to storm Congress and shut down the session. Because of him, several people were killed. He is a sore loser who should be removed from office immediately and sent to prison for sedition as well.
Every word of this narrative is false. Let’s take one item out of chronological order, because it has gotten so much attention. It’s alleged that Trump became enraged at Pence because Pence wouldn’t violate the Constitution. In fact, there is a good case that what Trump was asking Pence to do was perfectly legitimate. As John Yoo and Robert Delahunty pointed out in an article in the American Mind last October 19,
We suggest that the Vice President’s role is not the merely ministerial one of opening the ballots and then handing them over (to whom?) to be counted. Though the 12th Amendment describes the counting in the passive voice, the language seems to envisage a single, continuous process in which the Vice President both opens and counts the votes.
The check on error or fraud in the count is that the Vice President’s activities are to be done publicly, “in the presence” of Congress. And if “counting” the electors’ votes is the Vice President’s responsibility, then the inextricably intertwined responsibility for judging the validity of those votes must also be his.
If that reading is correct, then the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Congress cannot use legislation to dictate how any individual branch of government is to perform its unique duties: Congress could not prescribe how future Senates should conduct an impeachment trial, for example. Similarly, we think the better reading is that Vice President Pence would decide between competing slates of electors chosen by state legislators and governors, or decide whether to count votes that remain in litigation.
Yoo is a controversial person, but there’s no doubt he is a constitutional law scholar in good standing.
Well, you might say, what right did Trump have to blow up on Pence just because Pence disagreed with his understanding of the Constitution? The answer to that is simple. Pence had assured Trump that he accepted his claim that there were irregularities in the voting. He said at a rally in Georgia on January 4, just two days before the count,
that the case for widespread election fraud would be made to the American people when Congress meets this week to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump.
“We’ve all got our doubts about the last election. I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities,” Pence said at an indoor congregation at Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga., in support of Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in runoff elections there.
Pence, who by law will be tasked with declaring a winner of the Electoral College vote, seemed to leave open the possibility that Trump could still remain in power for a second term.
“Come this Wednesday,” he said, referring to the impending certification of election results, “we’ll have our day in Congress. We’ll hear the evidence.”
The election was in fact stolen from him. It’s easy to hack voting machines, such as those made by Dominion, to change vote totals. When I say this, I’m not relying on a source the Left will dismiss as fantasies from conspiracy-theory nuts. According to a story published by NBC News last year,
It was an assurance designed to bolster public confidence in the way America votes: Voting machines “are not connected to the internet.”
Then Acting Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security Jeanette Manfra said those words in 2017, testifying before Congress while she was responsible for the security of the nation’s voting system.
So many government officials like Manfra have said the same thing over the last few years that it is commonly accepted as gospel by most Americans. Behind it is the notion that if voting systems are not online, hackers will have a harder time compromising them.
But that is an overstatement, according to a team of 10 independent cybersecurity experts who specialize in voting systems and elections. While the voting machines themselves are not designed to be online, the larger voting systems in many states end up there, putting the voting process at risk.
That team of election security experts say[s] that last summer, they discovered some systems are, in fact, online.
“We found over 35 [voting systems] had been left online and we’re still continuing to find more,” Kevin Skoglund, a senior technical advisor at the election security advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition, told NBC News.
“We kept hearing from election officials that voting machines were never on the internet,” he said. “And we knew that wasn’t true. And so we set out to try and find the voting machines to see if we could find them on the internet, and especially the back-end systems that voting machines in the precinct were connecting to to report their results.” …
The three largest voting manufacturing companies — Election Systems &Software, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic — have acknowledged they all put modems in some of their tabulators and scanners. The reason? So that unofficial election results can more quickly be relayed to the public. Those modems connect to cell phone networks, which, in turn, are connected to the internet.
Trump has every right to be suspicious. Shouldn’t there be a full and impartial investigation by recognized experts of whether fraud occurred? If the Biden camp thinks the election was fair and honest, shouldn’t they have welcomed a full investigation? But of course they didn’t. And this type of fraud is just one of many others, such as truckloads of Biden ballots arriving after it looked like Trump was winning, in just the right numbers to give Biden the victory.
When we look at Trump’s complaints, we need to bear one vital fact in mind. As Mike Davis noted in New Left Review, November–December 2020, p. 5, “Biden eked out a slim victory, in some states only by microscopic margins, that won him 306 electoral votes, the same as Trump four years ago. A mere 256,000 vote in five key states purchased 73 of those votes.” This is why Trump is right: because just a few votes could change the outcome, and because there was a lot of apparent fraud, a full investigation was needed.
But, some people might say, this doesn’t excuse Trump. Didn’t he incite people at a rally to invade the sacred halls of Congress? Well, in the first place, the halls of Congress aren’t “sacred”. They belong to the people. And Trump didn’t incite violence. Not at all. He wanted a peaceful protest, and this is what he got, aside from a few antifa activists who crashed the protest. They had been bused into Washington earlier.
According to in the American Thinker published on January 7,
January 6th’s events are being seized on as a game-changer, leading to calls to invoke the 25th Amendment; calls to impeach and remove President Trump; and efforts to discredit Trump, his supporters, and conservatism. It has distracted attention from issues around the legitimacy of voting procedures in several key states and guaranteed the Electoral College vote just before 4 A.M. that ratified Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s inauguration as president and vice president.
Applying the classic legal question ‘cui bono?’ (‘who benefits?’), it is clear that Democrats, anti-Trump establishment Republicans, the leftist media, and TDS-sufferers all are victorious.
Disturbing video available (for now) on Twitter shows Capitol Police allowing demonstrators to enter the Capitol grounds. . . Elsewhere at the Capitol, the police sent out to hold a perimeter were unable to hold off mobs.
Why was the United States Capitol left so vulnerable?
After the demonstrators were led in, a policeman killed a young woman at point-blank range. The police and Secret Service ended the session of Congress, not the peaceful demonstrators. To give themselves cover, they imported a few Antifa agitators.
Why did they do this? I suggest they did this for a reason, which will become clear if we ask, What was going on just before the demonstration? The members of Congress were about to hear a debate on the objections raised against the votes in the swing states. The American people would have been able to hear the evidence for themselves. This had to be stopped. By stopping the session for about six hours, the debate was shifted to the very late evening hours of January 6 and early morning hours of January 7, when very few people were watching. Besides, all the attention was now on the protest rather than the fraudulent voting.
What can be done now? President Trump should not urge us all to “come together.” Instead, he should support secession. [Emphasis mine — ed.] States and communities that support Trump are too far apart from supporters of the Biden-Harris BLM camorra to live in a united country. “Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 [Douay-Rheims Bible])
[First published January 9 at LewRockwell.com.]Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., is founder and chairman of the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, and editor of LewRockwell.com.
On December 11, the Supreme Court rejected Texas’s election-related lawsuit against fellow states Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia. The Supreme Court was right — and wrong.
Texas had filed a Motion on December 6 for Leave to file a Bill of Complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court against the four states, charging constitutional violations related to the 2020 election. Texas also sought preliminary injunctive relief to prevent the putative defendant states from taking further actions related to the election.
Two days later, the attorneys general for the named states filed their responses, all asserting Texas lacked “standing” or the right to sue, because Texas, as a state, suffered no injury from the claimed violations of the election code. Texas countered with a reply brief early Friday.
A bevy of additional filings also hit the Supreme Court’s docket, with states, legislators, governors, even random Americans seeking to file amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs either supporting or condemning Texas’ lawsuit. President Trump and a few states also sought to intervene or join in the case.
But Friday, Dec. 11, the Supreme Court closed the case by denying Texas’s request to file its complaint against the four swing states. “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” the unsigned short order, agreed to by seven justices, read. Accordingly, the Supreme Court denied Texas’s motion for leave to file a bill of complaint “for lack of standing under Article III of the Constitution.”
Must the Supreme Court Address State Complaints?
Justice Samuel Alito issued a separate statement, joined by Justice Thomas, explaining that in their view the Supreme Court lacks the “discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case that falls within our original jurisdiction,” and thus Alito and Thomas would have granted Texas’s “motion to file the bill of complaint.” Significantly, the two-justice statement continued: “but [we] would not grant other relief, and [we] express no view on any other issue.”
The Supreme Court’s resolution thus “addressed” two separate questions, the first a narrow procedural question: Whether the U.S. Supreme Court must allow a state to file a complaint against another state.
Current Supreme Court precedent holds the high court retains discretion to decide whether to accept a lawsuit between two or more states. The Constitution provides the Supreme Court “original jurisdiction,” or the power to hear the case initially for such cases. The Supreme Court has “exclusive jurisdiction” for such lawsuits, meaning no other court has the power to hear a case when a state sues another state.
Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has held that it is not required to accept a complaint filed by one state against another. That is why, to initiate its lawsuit, Texas filed a “Motion for Leave,” or a motion asking permission to file its complaint. Procedurally, then, what the Supreme Court did on Friday was to deny Texas “leave” or permission to file the complaint against the four putative defendant states.
Behind the Alito-Thomas Separate Statement
Several points on this apparent procedural-punting merit mention: First, the outcome of the case would have been no different had the Supreme Court granted Texas permission to file the Bill of Complaint because the reason for the denial of leave — Texas’s lack of standing — would equally demand the dismissal of the complaint once accepted.
Second, while in the Alito-Thomas statement both jurists stressed their view that the Supreme Court lacked the “discretion to deny the filing of a bill of complaint in a case” between states, that only two justices expressed this view does not mean that more do not agree.
Rather, given the compressed time frame for resolution, the other justices may have believed prudence dictated the Supreme Court apply its current precedent and leave reconsideration — and comment — on the procedural question to another day. Also, as mentioned above, there was no need for the Supreme Court to revisit this precedent because, even had the court granted Texas permission to file the complaint, the court’s ruling on standing would have required prompt dismissal of the complaint in any event.
Third, while Justices Alito and Thomas would have granted Texas’s “motion to file the bill of complaint,” the two conservative justices made clear that they “would not grant other relief.” Thus, a unanimous Supreme Court would have denied Texas what it sought — a ruling that the state legislatures must name electors anew.
Justices Alito and Thomas, however, added that they “express[ed] no view on any other issue,” showing their views on the merits proved more nuanced than many have reported, including the court’s view that Texas lacked standing to sue.
Texas’s Complaints Go Unanswered
The procedural question Texas’s lawsuit raised, however, holds little import to Americans concerned about the integrity of the 2020 election. However, because the court rejected Texas’s case for lack of standing, the court left unanswered Texas’s complaints.
Article III of the Constitution limits the power of federal courts to decide “cases” and “controversies.” Supreme Court precedent makes clear that for a dispute to fall within the Article III power of a court, a plaintiff must have “standing,” and at its “constitutional minimum” standing requires: (1) the plaintiff to have suffered a concrete injury; (2) that the injury be fairly traceable to the defendant’s actions; and (3) a favorable decision by the court will redress the injury.
In Friday’s order, the Supreme Court, without elaboration, held that “Texas has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” and thus concluded the Lone Star State lacked Article III standing.
The justices were correct that Texas lacks an “judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another State conducts its elections,” but it was the framing of the issue that made the answer self-evident: The court’s abbreviated decision failed to address Texas’s true complaint — that Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia violated the Equal Protection, Due Process, and Elector’s Clauses of the Constitution, and in doing so harmed Texas as a state.
Of course, because the justices had Texas’s bill of complaint, by declining to exercise jurisdiction over the case, the seven justices all concluded that the facts Texas alleged were insufficient to confer standing. (The same cannot be said for Alito and Thomas, who expressed no opinion on standing, the court’s framing of the issue, or the merits of Texas’s claims.)
Supreme Court Leaves the Constitution Defenseless
But by failing to mention Texas’s constitutional claims, and by not providing any reasoning for its decision — omissions likely needed for the court to maintain its near-unanimous agreement — the Supreme Court created the appearance that it does not care about constitutional violations. When the question of standing is considered against Texas’s allegations of violations of the Elector’s Clause, it is hard to believe the court does. Or, rather, given their refusal to address Texas’s Elector’s Clause claim, it is hard to believe the justices put the constitutional question above their desire to avoid appearing to meddle in the 2020 election.
The Elector’s Clause claim presented the court a much different scenario than the Equal Protection and Due Process claims Texas also raised. As the responding states stressed in their briefs, both the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause protect only “persons,” providing: “Nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Clearly, Texas is not a “person.”
While Texas argued it could represent its citizens and its electors’ rights under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia provided some strong counter-arguments in their response briefs. A few sentences by the court on its reasoning would provide Americans concerned with the legitimacy of the election some assurance.
Texas’s Elector’s Clause claim, however, required more: It required the court to accept the complaint and address, in detail, the merits of Texas’s claim, because Texas was not merely challenging the manner of the other states’ elections.
Understanding the Elector’s Clause
The Elector’s Clause of the Constitution, in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, provides that “[e]ach state shall appoint, in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a number of electors, equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress.”
In Bush v. Gore, in a three-justice concurrence, Justice William Rehnquist explained that this clause of the Constitution “convey[s] the broadest power of determination” and “leaves it to the legislature exclusively to define the method” of appointment of electors. Also, “a significant departure from the legislative scheme for appointing Presidential electors presents a federal constitutional question.”
Based on these principles in Bush v. Gore, the three-justice concurrence reasoned that because the Florida Supreme Court’s decision conflicted with the legislative mandate, it violated Article II. Texas’s bill of complaint tracked this reasoning, arguing that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia all departed from the election rules mandated by their respective legislative bodies and thus violated the Elector’s Clause.
Texas’s complaint and briefs then detailed the various extra-legislative modification or violations of the legislatively established election mandates. For example, Pennsylvania election officials violated the rules established by the state legislature in multiple ways, including by inspecting absentee ballots before election day then providing third-party identifying information for the voters, with those third parties then contacting the voters, whom election officials permitted to “cure” the ballots, even though curing was not authorized by the legislative body. Texas provided similar examples of extra-legislative changes to the election rules for Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia.
Standing Was a Pretense Why was that not enough for the Supreme Court? What was lacking? The justices said standing — “a judicially cognizable interest” — but how can the state of Texas not have a judicially cognizable interest in her sister states living up to the compact they entered when they entered the Union?
Texas attempted in its briefs to crystalize the harm by stressing its interest in who serves as vice president, given the vice president’s tie-breaking status in the Senate and senators’ role as the representatives of the states. But a simpler and stronger argument came in a brief submitted by would-be amicus curiae Citizen’s United:
When one state allows the Manner in which Presidential Electors be chosen to be determined by anyone other than the state legislature, that state acts in breach of the presuppositions on which the Union is based. Each state is not isolated from the rest —rather, all states are interdependent. Our nation’s operational principle is E pluribus unum. Each state has a duty to other states to abide by this and other reciprocal obligations built into Constitution. While defendant states may view this suit as an infringement of its sovereignty, it is not, as the defendant states surrendered their sovereignty when they agreed to abide by Article II, § 1. Each state depends on other states to adhere to minimum constitutional standards in areas where it ceded its sovereignty to the union — and if those standards are not met, then the responsibility to enforce those standards falls to this Court.
On Friday, Dec. 11, the Supreme Court voted not to enforce those standards.
Maybe there is a good reason. Maybe Rehnquist’s view was wrong. Maybe the court found the alleged violations not “significant” enough to reach the level of a constitutional violation. (How “significant” would a violation have to be?) Maybe the court viewed a violation of the compact on which our country was founded as beyond its purview.
There might be a satisfactory answer, but Americans have yet to hear it. And that was wrong, both for the court and the country.Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame.
January 6 is the day we learn whether our Constitution will hold and whether congressional Republicans care.
The 2020 presidential election was, in several targeted battleground states, an unconstitutional electoral exercise. Even putting aside evidence of significant fraud, virtually none of which received a hearing by our courts, events leading up to and including the November national election constituted a radical and grave departure from the federal electoral system adopted by the framers of the Constitution and the state ratification conventions. Now, let's be clear: None of this matters to the Democrat Party, since it and its surrogates perpetrated these unconstitutional acts, as I shall soon explain. Nor does it matter to the media, which is utterly illiterate on the subject and unequivocally supports the supposed outcome in any event. But it should be of great moment and concern to the people of this country and especially to congressional Republicans in both Houses, for if the latter do not at least confront and challenge this lawlessness on January 6, when Congress meets to count the electors, it will be the GOP's undoing and, simultaneously, the undoing of our presidential electoral system. Ultimately, it will be the people of the United States who love our republic who will be the losers.
Win, lose, or draw, on January 6, the Republicans must not act as if "the people have spoken" and be cowered into passivity or worse, such as joining the Democrat Party and media hecklers, by insisting that they are part of a lawless party seeking to "reverse the results of the election." Too many Republicans have already buckled, including the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, Sen. John Thune, and Rep. Adam Kinzinger. No doubt others who are unreliable and cowardly when facing the organized mob will follow. But let us not be judged by those who have intentionally and strategically manipulated our politics and the law to undermine our constitutional order. It is they who must be condemned.
Specifically, Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the federal Constitution could not be more explicit. It states, in pertinent part: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress ..." This language was purposeful. During the Constitutional Convention, there were various proposals suggested for electing a president. Should the president be directly elected by the people? That proposal was rejected out of concern that such a purely democratic process could be hijacked by a temporary majority. Should the president be chosen in the first instance from within the national legislature? That proposal was also rejected on grounds of separation of powers. Should the judiciary play a role in the selection of the president? That idea was dispensed with as being the most objectionable, as judges were to be the least political of all public officials. The framers deliberatively and with much thought created the Electoral College process, in which the people and their elected legislatures — both state and national — would play important roles. But the electoral process rested first and foremost on the state legislatures directing how the electors would be chosen. The reason: While rejecting the direct election of a president, the framers concluded that the state legislatures were closest to the people in their respective states and would be the best representatives of their interests. At no time did the framers even raise the possibility that governors, attorneys general, secretaries of state, election boards, administrators, etc., would play any significant role in the electoral process. Indeed, certain of those offices did not even exist. Moreover, as I said, the courts were rejected out of hand. Thus, such an important power was to be exercised exclusively by the state legislatures.
After the 2016 election, the Democrat Party, its various surrogate groups, and eventually the Biden campaign unleashed hundreds of lawsuits and an unrelenting lobbying campaign in key states that had previously been won by President Trump, taking unconstitutional measures intended to stop President Trump from winning these states in the 2020 election, thereby literally undoing this critical constitutional provision. What had been carefully crafted at the Constitutional Convention and clearly spelled out in the Constitution was the main obstacle to defeating President Trump and winning virtually all future presidential elections. The problem for the Democrats was that in several of these battleground states, the Republicans controlled the legislatures, while the Democrats controlled state executive offices. The Constitution was not on their side. Therefore, they used the two branches of government that were to have no role in directing the appointment of electors to eviscerate the role of the Republican legislatures.
In Pennsylvania, considered the battleground of the battleground states, the Democrat governor, attorney general, and secretary of state made and enforced multiple changes to the state's voting procedures, all of which were intended to assist the Democrats and Biden. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, whose seven justices are elected, has a 5-2 Democrat majority. (In 2018, there was a big push by the Democrat Party to fill three of the seats with Democrats, and it succeeded.) Just months before the general election, that court rewrote the state election laws to eliminate signature requirements or signature matching, eliminate postal markings that were intended to ensure votes were timely, and extended the counting of mail-in ballots to Friday at 5:00 p.m. (state law had a hard date and time — election day on Tuesday, which ended at 8:00 p.m. ET), thereby fundamentally altering Pennsylvania's election laws and nullifying the federal constitutional role of the Republican legislature.
In Michigan, among other things, the Democrat secretary of state unilaterally changed the state's election laws with respect to absentee ballot applications and signature verification. Indeed, she sent unsolicited absentee ballot applications by mail prior to the primary and general elections. State law required would-be voters to request such ballots. She intentionally circumvented the Republican state legislature and violated the federal Constitution by issuing over 7 million unsolicited ballots. Furthermore, a court of claims judge, appointed by a Democrat, ordered clerks to accept ballots postmarked by Nov. 2 and received within 14 days of the election, the deadline for results to be certified. The ballots would be counted as provisional ballots. The state legislature had no role in these changes.
In Wisconsin, the Elections Commission and local Democrat officials in the state's largest cities, including Milwaukee and Madison, changed the state's election laws. Among other things, they placed hundreds of unmanned drop boxes in strategic locations in direct violation of state law. Not surprisingly, the locations were intended to be most convenient to Democrat voters. In addition, they told would-be voters how to avoid security measures like signature verification and photo ID requirements. These bureaucrats and local officials bypassed the Republican legislature in altering state election procedures.
In Georgia, the secretary of state is a Republican. Regardless, as explained in the Texas lawsuit brought against Georgia and the three other states mentioned above, "on March 6, 2020, in Democratic Party of Georgia v. Raffensperger, Georgia's Secretary of State entered a Compromise Settlement Agreement and Release with the Democratic Party of Georgia to materially change the statutory requirements for reviewing signatures on absentee ballot envelopes to confirm the voter's identity by making it far more difficult to challenge defective signatures beyond the 22 express mandatory procedures set forth at GA. CODE § 21-2-386(a)(1)(B). 71. Among other things, before a ballot could be rejected, the Settlement required a registrar who found a defective signature to now seek a review by two other registrars, and only if a majority of the registrars agreed that the signature was defective could the ballot be rejected but not before all three registrars' names were written on the ballot envelope along with the reason for thFridaye rejection. These cumbersome procedures are in direct conflict with Georgia's statutory requirements, as is the Settlement's requirement that notice be provided by telephone (i.e., not in writing) if a telephone number is available. Finally, the Settlement purports to require State election officials to consider issuing guidance and training materials drafted by an expert retained by the Democratic Party of Georgia." Georgia's Republican legislature had no role in these electoral changes resulting from consent decree.
Consequently, in each of these four battleground states — and there were others — whether through executive fiats or litigation, key, if not core, aspects of state election laws were fundamentally altered in contravention of the explicit power granted to the state legislatures and, therefore, in violation of the federal Constitution and the process set forth for directing the selection of electors. And this is before we even get to the issue of voter fraud. That said, in many instances, ballots that would have been rejected or, if counted, evidence of fraud, were now said to be legal — not by state legislatures but by those who unilaterally changed the election laws.
The United States Supreme Court had an opportunity before the election, and in this general election cycle, to make clear to the states that they must comply with the plain language of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution. Indeed, when a federal district judge in Michigan altered that state's election laws, a closely divided U.S. Supreme Court overturned his order. Justice Gorsuch pointed out that the state legislature writes election laws. However, when a case was brought to the Court involving the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's interference in state election laws, the U.S. Supreme Court was paralyzed. Chief Justice Roberts attempted to distinguish between federal and state courts, which is irrelevant; in another instance, Justice Alito ordered the Pennsylvania secretary of state, not once but twice, to segregate certain mail-in ballots, but nothing came of it. A court divided against itself cannot stand, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln. Its failure to enforce the Constitution (and by that I don't mean make law or intervene in legitimate state election decisions) has contributed mightily to our current plight.
Despite what has been reported and repeated, the president is not actually or officially chosen on Election Day. The president is not chosen upon the certification of electors by the states. The process ends in Congress. And on Jan. 6, Congress — following both the Constitution and its own procedural law — makes the final decision on who is to be president and vice president of the United States. Of course, in every election in my lifetime, up to now, while there have been some controversies, the process has proceeded without much attention. But this time is different, as it must be. The Democrat Party, its surrogates, and eventually the Biden campaign instituted an unprecedented legal and lobbying campaign, mostly under the radar, as it was not well-covered by the usual media outlets, to undermine our Constitution, the Republican state legislatures, and the Trump re-election campaign, in favor of Biden. In other words, the Constitution's electoral process for choosing electors and ultimately the president and vice president was systematically and strategically attacked. It is now left to Congress, or at least the Republicans in Congress, to confront this. The Democrat Party has done severe damage to the nation's electoral system, to the point where the state legislatures are now in the position of having the least input on the manner in which elections are held and federal electors are chosen — the complete opposite of what the Constitution compels and the framers unequivocally intended. And the legislatures in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia have, in a variety of ways, objected to what's occurred, underscoring the seriousness of the problem.
If this outcome is allowed to stand without a fight on Jan. 6, it is difficult to see how this can be fixed. The Democrats will view this as a sure sign that they are free to do more and even worse. It will become extremely difficult for Republicans to win nationwide elections (something the ten or so GOP senators who wish to run for president should keep in mind). It will also become increasingly difficult to win a Republican majority in the Senate. And the 2020 constitutional violations will be used as a baseline for even more unconstitutional manipulations of the electoral system. The Democrat Party's goal is to turn the nation's electoral system into the one-party rule that exists in virtually all blue states, especially California with its supermajorities.
As I said earlier, win, lose, or draw, the congressional Republicans must act. It is the Democrats and their media who seek to undo election results by undoing the election system. Look at what they did in 2016 (need I remind everyone of the relentless assault against candidate and then President Trump?) and now 2020. And they have every intention, as they have boldly proclaimed, to further undermine our constitutional system should they win the Senate majority in a few days — by eliminating the filibuster and any ability to slow their radical legislative agenda; packing the Supreme Court with left-wing ideologues; and packing the Senate with four more Democrats from Puerto Rico and D.C. And that's just for starters. This is the same party that did not care that it had no hope of removing President Trump in the Senate, but impeached him anyway — on the most specious of grounds. They are playing for keeps and destroying our constitutional system, for which they have little regard. I am well aware that it takes a majority of both Houses to send the election of the president to the House of Representatives, where each delegation gets one vote, an extremely difficult hurdle.
Nonetheless, it is not asking too much for the Republicans to uphold the United States Constitution — which they all took an oath to do — and to fight to preserve and protect the plain words set forth in Article II. They must make the case to and on behalf of the American people. And they must make it clear to the Democrats that we, the people, who believe in this Republic, will not roll over! Now, let's see how many statesmen there are among Republican members of Congress.
Former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell accused a leading voting machine firm of stealing votes from President Trump.
Powell, the lead attorney for retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is helping Trump’s legal effort in the 2020 election, said on Sunday that people with links to top Democrats are using Dominion Voting Systems to commit “fraud” on elections.
Mentioned during a Fox News interview by host Maria Bartiromo were Nadeam Elshami, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s former chief of staff who last year became a lobbyist for Dominion, and Richard Blum, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, who she said is a significant shareholder in the company.
“They have invested in it for their own reasons and are using it to commit this fraud to steal votes. I think they’ve even stolen them from other Democrats in their own party who should be outraged about this also,” Powell said.
The attorney also suggested that Dominion had a hand in tilting the primaries in Joe Biden’s favor. “Bernie Sanders might very well have been the democratic candidate but they’ve stolen against whoever they wanted to steal it from,” Powell said.
Dominion did not immediately return a request for comment on Powell’s claims.
The company, which has a lock on a third of the voting machine market according to Bloomberg, has faced scrutiny in the past couple of days with voting problems reported in parts of Michigan and Georgia, although the company and local officials have discounted the idea that the software was to blame.
Dominion has customers in 28 states and Puerto Rico, including all of the battleground states where Trump and his allies are contesting and pinning their hopes on recounts after media outlets called the presidential race for Biden.
Earlier in the show, Powell said at least 450,000 ballots have been identified in key states that “miraculously” only have a mark for Biden and no other candidate down-ballot. She also claimed GOP Senate candidates in Georgia and Michigan had their races “stolen” from them and argued that recounts and audits are needed in most places across the country.
Lee Smith wrote an explosive narrative of the Russia collusion hoax in the number one best-seller “The Plot Against the President” that became a hit documentary film.
Someone should now write “The Plot Against Sidney,” because Trump and General Michael Flynn attorney Sidney Powell is currently in the crosshairs and then some.
And the attacks are coming not just, predictably, from the left, but from people you would think would be her natural allies.
Tucker Carlson, until recently literally king of cable news, called Ms. Powell out for being unresponsive and repeatedly failing to produce evidence of her claims about Dominion and Smartmatic computer systems and software on his Fox show.
Respected conservative columnist Byron York asserted about Thursday’s Giuliani/Powell/Ellis press conference in his daily email:
“But Powell did not prove it. She did not even allege with any specificity what she believes actually happened in the election. Powell said the Venezuelan software has the ‘ability to flip votes’ and can set and run an algorithm that probably ran all over the country to take a certain percentage of votes from President Trump and flip them to President [sic] Biden, which we might never have uncovered had the votes for President Trump not been so overwhelming in so many of these states that it broke the algorithm that had been plugged into the system, and that’s what caused them to have to shut down in the states they shut down in.”
Powell has already responded to Carlson early Friday morning on Maria Bartiromo’s Fox Business show:
“Maria Bartiromo: How did you respond to Tucker Carlson? Did you get angry with the show because they texted you and asked you to provide evidence of what you’re alleging?
“Sidney Powell: No, I didn’t get angry with the request to provide evidence in fact I sent an affidavit to Tucker that I had not even attached to a pleading yet to help him understand the situation and I offered him another witness who could explain the mathematics of the statistical evidence far better than I can. I’m not really a numbers person. But he was very insulting, demanding and rude and I told him not to contact me again in those terms.”
I’m not going to speculate on what’s motivating Tucker and Byron. They are friends and they have their reasons. Apparently, they are not disturbed by such things as “weighted-voting algorithms” or the astonishing fact that Dominion does not even report vote totals, only percentages.
Nor will I wave a finger at them because representatives of Dominion did not show up as promised Friday morning for a fact-finding hearing with a committee of the Pennsylvania House. What did they have to hide?
Well, maybe they do have something to hide.
The biggest issue here is not the presidential election of 2020, gigantic as that may be. It is the integrity of electoral systems world wide.
It is, in a word, democracy.
Are computers subverting it? Have they made democracy obsolete?
If this is true, and she is able to stop it, Sidney Powell may deserve a monument the size of Washington’s.
Sidney, however, is far from the first to raise questions about the trustworthiness of Dominion, Smartmatic, and related voting technology. Unfortunately, though, for those who solely speak English, much of it was en español.
Due to the crucial roles of Venezuela and Cuba, with their active— and in Cuba’s case particularly successful — intelligence agencies, plus the dubious elections of Chavez and Maduro, it’s not surprising that the first fire alarms, way back in 2013, about these systems being used for nefarious purposes came from Spain.
Here for the Spanish-speakers among us is a two-part interview with former Venezuelan judge Ana Mercedes Diaz (second part here) in which she details the Dominion/Smartmatic fraud in the Hugo Chavez election.
For the record, Ms. Mercedes Diaz was once part of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela and now lives in Florida. These former Venezuelan officials have been some of the primary sources for Sidney Powell’s allegations.
Are they merely angry ex-pats? You can decide, but a good Bolivian friend of mine described to me starving people he saw inside parts of Venezuela on a recent business visit as resembling images he has seen of the Holocaust.
A lot of people are looking the other way on that just as they are on the contents of Dominion computers.
Do I know for sure that these machines are corrupt or agents of corruption? No. But we absolutely need to find out. They should be confiscated, taken apart and subject to a thorough forensic examination from all angles, as should the software.
This examination should be conducted completely in public view.
As for Sidney Powell, I have never met her and cannot vouch for her accuracy or honesty personally — though this man can. And that man, John Zmirak, reminds us Ms. Powell has made herself vulnerable to some powerful forces at home and abroad by investigating this matter. She should take care of herself and we of her.
But — right, wrong, or partly right — I do know she is doing us a public service by calling our attention to something of titanic importance.Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are “The GOAT” (fiction) and “I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already” (nonfiction). Find him on Parler @rogerlsimon.
Committing virtually any kind of fraud requires less resources than catching it.
Fraud is caught as often as it is largely because federal and state government have more resources to dedicate to the project than the average fraudster has. (That's true of most crime. When the criminals have more resources than law enforcement, you end up with Chicago, Detroit, or any other crime-ridden hellhole.)
That's what makes organized crime dangerous. It ties together a large group, some of whose members are experienced pros with expendables who get resources and training.
What happens when the organization committing the fraud controls the political infrastructure of entire cities, including those parts of it meant to police them?
That's called corruption. Combine organized crime and corruption, and you have, well, the urban Democrat political machine in places like Philly.
The upshot is that it's a lot easier to steal something than to unsteal it. And just because the thief is caught, doesn't mean you're getting what he stole back.
Republicans and conservatives are fighting on the ground to unsteal the election. This will be the largest such effort in American history. But that doesn't mean that it will succeed. Stealing an election is a lot easier than unstealing it.
At this point it's a numbers game. The numbers game is a familiar one in elections. Democrats are pretty good at playing it in their own political machines despite the media's sudden outburst of righteous rage at the very idea (gasp) of challenging ballots and the validity of an election. They might want to remember that Obama was a lot better at knocking out his opponents without having to actually run against them, including invalidating the signatures of one of his mentors. That gave him his first real leg up.
While the numbers game, the race to catch invalid and illegal ballots, and even more overt instances of fraud, continues, conservatives are bravely rallying to stop the steal (the hashtag that will get you quickly suppressed on social media) to push the GOP to keep up the fight and to show support for an honest election.
Will this unsteal the election?
There are no certainties in life. And one of the bigger problems in the conservative movement in the last few years has been the rise of the "trust the plan" grifters who get social media followers by promising that a week from now everyone involved will be in Gitmo.
It's a fight. Fights don't have certain outcomes. And this fight isn't just about now.
You can't have real elections if there's massive fraud.
Conservatives often ask about New York, Baltimore, or any deep blue city, why the people there don't just vote their way out of the problem. Now they're getting a front row seat to the answer.
You don't vote your way out of a corrupt rigged system. Cities run by Democrat political machines have meaningless elections in which the winners are picked early on by the network, to be occasionally challenged by lefties in primaries, and then rubber stamped in meaningless elections in which Democrat electioneering material is often illegally there at the polls. [Emphasis mine — ed.]
No one wants Philly or New York City to become America. That would be the end of a free nation. And it's why it's important to unsteal elections, but even more important to keep them from being stolen.
The two big questions hanging over our heads going forward, even beyond what's happening now, is how to deal with widespread Big Tech censorship and voter fraud.
Right now conservatives are chasing after the thief. What should also be done to keep elections from being stolen?Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli-born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/ These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Jewish press.
Democrats, liberals, violent youth, Trump-haters and muslims have all banded together. They seek to destroy the very heart of our republic: its elections. The media, the educators and even some of the military are in the tank for erasing our history, its monuments, its reason, and its heroes. They're all set to reset our borders, all national sovereignties, our stock market and currency and even the world economy — everything!
America's enemies are ingenious. whoever thought that mail-in ballots could kill our votes as effectively as grenades?
We didn't even whimper when authorities closed restaurants and businesses of all kinds. We took tests, looked for hoarded items in grocery stores and washed our hands at every opportunity.
Now it looks as though our votes against this tyranny will be contested ad infinitum. Pity the vote counters wading through millions of faked ballots mailed in by ‘deep state’ operatives and clueless ordinary Democrat voters bent on ridding our nation of the best American president of our lifetimes.
So what if the unthinkable happens: Delays in determining the legitimate winners of our November elections? I believe that America's enemies will be energized — expect more riots, more fear, more Democrat (and even some Republican) posturing, more fake news and more attacks on the president.Democrats have shed all pretense of being a political party. With their Marxist allies, they want nothing less than revolution.
Judge Amy Coney Barret will be in place on the U.S. Supreme Court just days before the coming national elections. Those opposing her position on the court have announced that more riots and mayhem will follow those elections regardless of the ‘outcome.’ If the Party of Hate has its way, we may never know who was truly elected by the people.
Judge Amy Barrett is 48 years old. Much has been made of that fact’s implications for how long she might serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. But there are also other ways her relative youth showed up in the confirmation hearings. One of the most important was her absolutely minimal participation in the spectacle of the hearing.
Her calm remove from theatrical grandstanding — both by Republicans and Democrats — signals a changing of the generational guard and reveals the way our media environment is transforming, from a landscape shaped primarily by television and its modes of production and influence to a landscape shaped primarily by digital communication, with its very different modes of production and influence.
The Judiciary Committee’s leadership is an average of 80 years old. Lindsey Graham, at 65, is the youngster among them and the only one not yet 80. The media environment that shaped the political careers of Graham, Leahy, Feinstein, and Grassley is television. They came to power through televised campaigns and have become household names beyond their states in no small part because of frequent appearances on television.
But television is not a neutral arbiter. Structurally (and it needs to be said right away how much I owe here to Marshall McLuhan for prophetic thought about the causal powers of media, and to James Poulos’s work on this website), television casts before us images from the imagination. Producers may use reality as the raw materials for the narrative they convey, but it’s always imagination that’s calling the tune and confected narratives that are the product. Televised politics favors this same high contrivance and adds high dudgeon, fast talking, and focus-group-tested one-liners.
It is theater. It is not real. The true politics of Judge Barrett’s appointment are not what we saw on TV: no, the real politics happened elsewhere and at another time. If the votes were not already whipped and counted, the hearings would not be happening.
That’s probably been true of the vast majority of these hearings. On the rare occasions the hearings have mattered, it’s because the spectacular fiction of television leaked into reality. Here I’m thinking of the infamous Bork and Thomas hearings. But 2018’s Kavanaugh hearings may have been the last hurrah; the drama was still there, but the outcome was entirely unchanged by the committee’s hearings and, for our trouble, quite a number of families (not to mention the whole country) were dragged through sordid muck.
That is to say, what’s different this time, it seems to me, is that Amy Barrett is not playing along, or is only playing along to the absolutely minimal degree necessary while signaling that she knows this is not real. Barrett is 32 years younger than the committee leadership. And what that means is the media environment that has shaped the psychology of Barrett is markedly different from that which shaped those who put us all through another of these pointless television exercises. [Emphasis mine — ed.]
Doubtless, Barrett’s calm demeanor and lack of notes indicated that she has an excellent command over the material. Her impressive resumé suggests as much. But I think it may also signal, as one generation finally starts to hand the reins off to another, that the contrived-for-television spectacle judicial confirmation hearings have become is over. Her blank pad and impassible countenance may signal, as much as anything could in such a mandatory appearance, that this event is not real. It is television. And television is over. If she’s not playing along, maybe we won’t… if not this time, then next time. After all, the Democrats seem to be moving backward; with Murkowski a “yes” vote for confirmation at the conclusion of the hearings and the polls now favoring Barrett’s confirmation, even Senator Booker might decide he’d be better off not playing Spartacus anymore.
I will not mourn its passing, will not shed one tear for the death of confirmation-as-TV-spectacle if indeed the time has finally come. Our political and constitutional processes are not well served by these television hearings. Consider the past. Barrett will succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg succeeded Justice Byron White, who was nominated to the court in 1962 at the inauguration of television politics by President Kennedy. White was confirmed by voice vote a few hours after a brief committee hearing. That was not terribly unusual. Quite a number of justices have been confirmed within a few days after relatively short committee hearings and few questions.
What would be lost if we went back to something like that, with senators and the president conferring largely behind the scenes — questioning the nominees in both public and private settings, but without the psychodrama of senators displaying their embarrassing ignorance of the Constitution for the whole country in an extended civic miseducation? The likely answer is written on Amy Barrett’s note pad.Kevin Stuart is the executive director of the Austin Institute for the Study of Family & Culture. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied public law and political philosophy, and was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. He earned a Master of Sciences from the London School of Economics and Political Science after receiving undergraduate degrees in history and English literature from Louisiana State University. He is the editor of the Catholicism & Society book series for the Society for Catholic Social Scientists (Franciscan University Press).
According to the conventional wisdom, if you install solar panels on your roof you can zero out your electric bill and save pot loads of money. This is actually true if you live in certain states, particularly California. The catch is that everyone that does not have solar panels on their roof is paying for your benefits. For the homeowner that’s a not a problem. It’s a feature.
Solar only works during the day and best in the middle of the day. But residential electricity consumption tends to peak in the evening. A scheme called net metering fixes this problem by allowing the homeowner to “bank” excess midday electricity and then withdraw it from the bank later in the day. The bank is imaginary, an accounting fiction, because it is not easy to store electricity. The bank can even be used to store summer electricity for consumption in the winter, when solar works poorly. The excess solar electricity is fed back to the grid where it is immediately consumed by other customers. There is no bank except in the accounting books.
Residential solar is a disaster for the electric utility. Once the customer installs solar, the utility loses almost all its revenue but keeps nearly all its expenses. The expenses are maintaining a connection to the customer’s house including the distribution system that carries electricity from the generating plants to the customer. The generating plants still have to be ready to provide regular quantities of electricity to each solar homeowner as soon as the sun sets and whenever it is cloudy. The only saving for the electric utility is reduced fuel consumption in its generating plants when fossil fuel electricity is displaced by solar electricity. That expense is minor part of the expenses associated with servicing a typical homeowner. The electric utilities are forced to engage in net metering programs by politicians. The politicians are driven by homeowners looking for a bargain and by the residential solar installation industry.
Residential solar is an extremely expensive method of generating electricity. Even giant, utility scale, solar farms produce very expensive electricity. But, residential solar cost about three times more than utility-scale solar, because each installation lacks economies of scale and has to be custom designed to take into account the particular conditions of each customer’s property. The absurdity of the situation is illustrated by the fact that rooftop electricity, even with subsidies, costs around 20-cents per kWh, but generating electricity in existing natural gas plants costs 1.5 cents per kWh for fuel.
Rooftop solar is most attractive in states, like California, where electricity rates are exorbitant. California has a reverse quantity discount for residential electricity. If you have a large home and consume a lot of electricity, you will end up in a high “tier” where the marginal cost of electricity exceeds 50-cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). Since solar electricity with the federal subsidies can cost around 20-cents, a great deal of money can be saved. California electricity is expensive due to loony tune green schemes. In most other states, electricity costs around 12-cents per kWh and solar is not going to work, even with net metering. Additionally, many other states lack good sunshine.
A concrete case might work like this: A homeowner uses 1500 kWh per month and has an average electric bill of $300 or 20-cents per kWh. He installs a 10-kilowatt (kW) system that costs $36,000, but due to the federal subsidy, he only pays $26,000. He finances the system for 25-years at 6% interest. His monthly payment is $169. With net metering, the 10-kW system is large enough to zero out his electric bill. Instead of paying $300 a month for electricity, he now pays only $169, a savings of $131 each month. The saving will actually be less due to maintenance costs and a typically small connection charge from the electric utility.
But for the electric utility this deal is a disaster. The utility loses $300 per month revenue but saves about $22 in fuel cost. The connection charge in the absence of electricity consumption is typically negligible compared to the expense of maintaining the connection. The utility may not actually suffer reduced profits because it is guaranteed a level of profit related to its capital investment by the public utility commission. But forcing other customers to subsidize solar customers is not sound economics and sooner or later will cause a problem for the utility. So, utilities are typically engaged a rear-guard action to limit the number of solar customers or to charge them more. The problem is that solar has sacred cow status, so for PR reasons the utilities cannot directly attack solar.
Keep in mind that solar is completely fake as to being a realistic source of electricity. It is entirely useless without the costly connection from the electric utility to step in when solar fails, like every evening.
A Modest Proposal
Suppose the utility says to the customer considering solar don’t buy a solar system, instead give us the $26,000 and we will give you free electricity for the next 25-years. That is obviously a better deal for the utility than losing nearly all its revenue and effectively providing free electricity for 25-years, the life of a typical solar system. But the utility is in a position to ask for more than $26,000 because it is a lot more convenient to make a one-time payment than to deal with a solar system for 25-years. Additionally, the federal solar subsidy is scheduled to be phased out by 2022. If the electric utility offers 25-years of free electricity for $36,000 that is worth $234 per month to the electric utility if invested in a 25-year 6% annuity. That is close to the approximate $260 a month the company would lose if the customer installs solar. Of course, the utility would not actually buy an annuity. Utilities are borrowing money all the time so they would just borrow less due to the one-time payments flowing in for not installing solar. The utility could offer various deals, for example free electricity for 10-years, or deals with down payments and fixed monthly payments. The real objective should be to kill the annoying solar industry without being too obvious about it and without giving discounts to customers that have no intention of installing solar.
The objection might be raised that killing solar kills the benefit of reduced CO2 emissions. That objection can be easily answered by purchasing carbon offsets to cancel out the CO2 emissions. It would cost about $6 per month to purchase carbon offsets to cancel out emissions from generating 1500 kWh per month using natural gas, as in our example. Carbon offsets are generated in various ways, such as planting trees to absorb CO2.
From the above discussion it should be obvious that solar is a crooked scheme that only benefits the solar installation industry and homeowners that are participating in the racket. Having solar on your roof can be a burden. California solar users are climbing on their roofs to clean soot from their solar panels due to the recent fires. [Emphasis mine — ed.] Having a loan secured by your home equity is a problem when it comes time to sell the house. The industry uses sales tactics similar to the aluminum siding industry or the timeshare industry.Norman (Norm) Rogers is a Policy Advisor at the Heartland Institute. Rogers received a B.A. in Physics from the University of California at Berkley and a M.S. in Physics from the University of Hawaii. Following his education, he “held a variety of engineering and computer programming jobs with IBM, Hewlett Packard and other companies,” according to his Heartland bio. Rogers began studying climate change as a “retirement project” after 2006.
In 2017, the liberal Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University found that 93 percent of CNN’s coverage of the Trump administration was negative. The center found similarly negative Trump coverage at other major news outlets.
The election year 2020 has only accelerated that asymmetrical bias — to the point that major newspapers and network and cable news organizations are now fused with the Joe Biden campaign.
Sometimes stories are covered only in terms of political agendas. Take the Chinavirus.
The media assure us that the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic has been a disaster. But their conclusions are not supported by any evidence.
In the United States, the coronavirus death rate per million people is similar to, or lower than, most major European countries except Germany.
When the virus was at its worst, before the partisan campaign of this election year heated up, the governors in our four largest states had only compliments for the Trump administration.
Democrats Andrew Cuomo of New York and Gavin Newsom of California and Republicans Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida effusively praised the administration’s cooperation with their own frontline efforts.
The most recent conclusions of impartial heads of federal agencies responsible for coordinating national and state policies are about the same.
Dems Praise Trump’s Coronavirus Response in New RNC Ads
Dr. Deborah Birx (adviser to both the Obama and Trump administrations on responses to infectious diseases), Dr. Anthony Fauci (director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), and Dr. Scott Gottlieb (former head of the Food and Drug Administration) have not faulted the Trump administration’s overall Chinavirus response. They attribute any shortcomings to initial global ignorance about the origins and nature of the epidemic, incompetence at the World Health Organization, or the initial inability of bureaucracies to produce easily available and reliable test kits.
Prominent progressive Trump critics such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the necessary Trump travel ban, yet Pelosi told people there was no reason to cancel planned travel to San Francisco’s Chinatown.
However, the real warping of the news is not just a matter of slanting coverage, but deliberately not covering the news at all.
In the last two weeks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has achieved the most stunning breakthroughs in Middle Eastern diplomacy in over half a century.
Countries once hostile to Israel, such as the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, now formally recognize it.
Other Arab nations may follow. Ancient existential enemies Kosovo and Serbia also agreed to normalize their relationship with Israel by signing economic agreements.
Yet none of these historic events have drawn much media attention. All of them would have been canonized were they achievements of the Obama administration.
In 2017, the media suggested that Trump’s plans to get out of the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, to confront Chinese mercantilism, to forge new alliances between Israel and moderate Arab regimes, to isolate an ascendant Iran, to close the southern border to illegal immigration, to jawbone NATO alliance members into honoring their defense expenditure commitments, and to destroy ISIS and weaken Hezbollah were all impossible, counterproductive or sheer madness.
An embargoed and bankrupt Iran is teetering on the brink. Its international terrorist appendages, including Hezbollah, are broke.
China is increasingly being ostracized by much of the world.
The U.S. has cut its carbon emissions, often at a rate superior to those nations still adhering to the Paris climate accord targets.
Cross-border illegal immigration has been reduced, according to many metrics.
ISIS was bombed into near dissolution. Moderate regimes in the Middle East are ascendant; radical cliques like Hamas and al-Qaeda are not.
More NATO members are meeting their commitments. The alliance’s aggregate defense investments are way up.
Is any of that considered news? Not really.
Instead, every three or four days the public is fed a series of fantasy “bombshells” much like the daily hysterias of the Robert Mueller investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump team and Russia — a two-year, media-hyped dud.
In recent weeks the media warned us that Trump was dismantling the Post Office to disrupt mail-in balloting.
Trump, we are told, has decided never to concede his sure loss in November and might have to be forcibly removed, perhaps by the military.
We read that Trump defiled the memory of fallen American soldiers in cemeteries abroad. We are lectured that Trump supposedly never took the Chinavirus seriously.
All of these stories were either demonstrably untrue, were supported only by anonymous sources, or were the sensationalism of authors hawking books.
Yet such concocted melodramas will continue each week up to Election Day, while fundamental geostrategic shifts abroad brought about by American diplomacy will by intent go unnoticed.
The news as we once understood it is dead.
It has been replaced by the un-news: a political narrative created by partisans who believe the noble ends of destroying Trump justify any biased means necessary — including destroying their own reputation and craft.Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won,” from Basic Books. You can reach him by e-mailing email@example.com.
As if 2020 were not insane enough already, we now have Democrats and their ruling class masters openly talking about staging a coup. You might have missed it, what with the riots, lockdowns and other daily mayhem we’re forced to endure in this, the most wretched year of my lifetime. But it’s happening.
It started with the military brass quietly indicating that the troops should not follow a presidential order. They were bolstered by many former generals — including President Trump’s own first Secretary of Defense — who stated openly what the brass would only hint at. Then, as nationwide riots really got rolling in early June, the sitting Secretary of Defense himself all but publicly told the president not to invoke the Insurrection Act. His implicit message was: “Mr. President, don’t tell us to do that, because we won’t, and you know what happens after that.”
All this enthused Joe Biden, who threw subtlety to the winds. The former United States Senator (for 26 years) and Vice President (for eight) has not once, not twice, but thrice confidently asserted that the military will “escort [Trump] from the White House with great dispatch” should the president refuse to leave. Another former Vice President, Al Gore, publicly agreed.
One might dismiss such comments as the ravings of a dementia patient and a has-been who never got over his own electoral loss. But before you do, consider also this. Over the summer a story was deliberately leaked to the press of a meeting at which 100 Democratic grandees, anti-Trump former Republicans, and other ruling class apparatchiks got together (on George Soros’s dime) to “game out” various outcomes of the 2020 election. One such outcome was a clear Trump win. In that eventuality, former Bill Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, playing Biden, refused to concede, pressured states that Trump won to send Democrats to the formal Electoral College vote, and trusted that the military would take care of the rest.
The leaked report (pdf) from the exercise darkly concluded that “technocratic solutions, courts, and reliance on elites observing norms are not the answer here,” promising that what would follow the November election would be “a street fight, not a legal battle.”
Two more data points (among several that could be provided). Over the summer, two former Army officers, both prominent in the Democrat-aligned “national security” think tank world, wrote an open letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in which they urged him to deploy the 82nd Airborne Division to drag President Trump from the Oval Office at precisely 12:01 PM, January 20, 2021.
About a month later, Hillary Clinton declared publicly that Joe Biden should not concede the election “under any circumstances.” The old English major in me interprets the word “any” to mean “no,” “none,” “nada,” “niente,” “zero,” “zilch” “bupkis”…you get the idea.
This doesn’t sound like the rhetoric of a political party confident it will win an upcoming election.
The Cover-Up in Plain Sight
In his famously exhaustive discussion of conspiracies, Machiavelli goes out of his way to emphasize the indispensability of “operational security” — i.e., silence — to success. The first rule of conspiracy is, you do not talk about the conspiracy. The second rule of conspiracy is, you do not talk about the conspiracy.
So why are the Democrats — publicly — talking about the conspiracy?
Because they know that, for it to succeed, it must not look like a conspiracy. They need to plant the idea in the public mind, now, that their unlawful and illegitimate removal of President Trump from office will somehow be his fault.
Never mind the pesky detail that the president would refuse to leave only if he were convinced he legitimately won. Remember: Biden should not concede under any circumstances.
The second part of the plan is either to produce enough harvested ballots — lawfully or not — to tip close states, or else dispute the results in close states and insist, no matter what the tally says, that Biden won them. The worst-case scenario (for the country, but not for the ruling class) would be results in a handful of states that are so ambiguous and hotly disputed that no one can rightly say who won. Of course, that will not stop the Democrats from insisting that they won.
The public preparation for that has also already begun: streams of stories and social media posts “explaining” how, while on election night it might look as if Trump won, close states will tip to Biden as all the mail-in ballots are “counted.”
The third piece is to get the vast and loud Dem-Left propaganda machine ready for war. That leaked report exhorted Democrats to identify “key influencers in the media and among local activists who can affect political perceptions and mobilize political action…[who could] establish pre-commitments to playing a constructive role in event of a contested election.” i.e., in blaring from every rooftop that “Trump lost.”
At this point, it’s safe to assume that unless Trump wins in a blowout that can’t be overcome by cheating and/or denied via the ruling class’s massive propaganda operation, that’s exactly what every Democratic politician and media organ will shout.
Stop the Presses
What then? The Podesta assumption is that the military will side with the Dems. There are reasons to fear they might. The Obama administration spent a great deal of political capital purging the officer corps of anyone not down with the program and promoting only those who are.
Still and all, determining the outcome of an election would be the most open political interference possible from our allegedly apolitical military, and it’s plausible that the brass won’t want to make its quiet support of the ruling class agenda that overt. The aforementioned Chairman has already stated that the military will play “no role” in the outcome of the election. That’s probably not a feint, but one wonders if it will hold given the obvious attempt to influence military thinking by people like Jeffrey Goldberg in his recent Atlantic essay.
Can the Dems rely on the Secret Service to drag Trump out? I have my doubts on this one. I’ve seen the Service up close; it really is (or strongly appears to be) apolitical. It has a job to do: protect the president, whoever that is. Officers take that job very seriously. If they don’t believe Trump lost, I don’t think they can be counted on to oust him. On the other hand, were they to believe he did lose and was refusing to leave — a scenario I find impossible to imagine but the Democrats insist is just around the corner — it’s possible the Service might act.
Barring all that, what’s left? Remember that phrase from the Dem war game: “street fight.” In other words, a repeat of this summer, only much, much bigger. Crank the propaganda to ear-drum shattering decibels and fill the streets of every major city with “protesters.” Shut down the country and allow only one message to be heard: “Trump must go.”
i.e., what’s come to be known as a “color revolution,” the exact same playbook the American deep state runs in other countries whose leadership they don’t like and is currently running in Belarus. Oust a leader — even an elected one — through agitation and call it “democracy.”
The events of the last few months may be interpreted as an attempted color revolution that failed to gain enough steam, or as a trial run for the fall. Is the Trump Administration prepared?
Here’s one thing they could do: play their own “war game” scenario so as to game out possibilities and minimize surprises. They should also be talking to people inside and outside of government whom they absolutely trust to get a clearer sense of who on the inside won’t go along with a coup and who might.
They also need to set up or shore up — now — communication channels that don’t rely on the media or Big Tech. Once the ruling class gives word that the narrative is “Trump lost,” all the president’s social media accounts will be suspended. The T.V. channels, with the likely exception of Fox News, will refuse to cover anything he says. Count on it. He’s going to need a way to talk to the American people and he has to find the means, now.
For the rest of us, the most important thing we can do is raise awareness. If there is a conspiracy to remove President Trump from office even if he wins, they’re telling you about it precisely to get you ready for it, so that when it happens you won’t think it was a conspiracy; you’ll blame the president.
Don’t be fooled.Michael Anton is a lecturer and research fellow at Hillsdale College’s Washington, D.C. campus, a senior fellow at the Claremont Institute, and a former national security official in the Trump administration. He is the author of The Stakes: America at the Point of No Return.
[A selection from Liberalism] (German edition, 1927)
All those in positions of political power, all governments, all kings, and all republican authorities have always looked askance at private property. There is an inherent tendency in all governmental power to recognize no restraints on its operation and to extend the sphere of its dominion as much as possible. To control everything, to leave no room for anything to happen of its own accord without the interference of the authorities — this is the goal for which every ruler secretly strives. If only private property did not stand in the way! Private property creates for the individual a sphere in which he is free of the state. It sets limits to the operation of the authoritarian will. It allows other forces to arise side by side with and in opposition to political power. It thus becomes the basis of all those activities that are free from violent interference on the part of the state. It is the soil in which the seeds of freedom are nurtured and in which the autonomy of the individual and ultimately all intellectual and material progress are rooted. In this sense, it has even been called the fundamental prerequisite for the development of the individual. But it is only with many reservations that the latter formulation can be considered acceptable, because the customary opposition between individual and collectivity, between individualistic and collective ideas and aims, or even between individualistic and universalistic science, is an empty shibboleth.
Thus, there has never been a political power that voluntarily desisted from impeding the free development and operation of the institution of private ownership of the means of production. Governments tolerate private property when they are compelled to do so, but they do not acknowledge it voluntarily in recognition of its necessity. Even liberal politicians, on gaining power, have usually relegated their liberal principles more or less to the background. The tendency to impose oppressive restraints on private property, to abuse political power, and to refuse to respect or recognize any free sphere outside or beyond the dominion of the state is too deeply ingrained in the mentality of those who control the governmental apparatus of compulsion and coercion for them ever to be able to resist it voluntarily. A liberal government is a contradictio in adjecto. Governments must be forced into adopting liberalism by the power of the unanimous opinion of the people; that they could voluntarily become liberal is not to be expected.
It is easy to understand what would constrain rulers to recognize the property rights of their subjects in a society composed exclusively of farmers all of whom were equally rich. In such a social order, every attempt to abridge the right to property would immediately meet with the resistance of a united front of all subjects against the government and thus bring about the latter's fall. The situation is essentially different, however, in a society in which there is not only agricultural but also industrial production, and especially where there are big business enterprises involving large-scale investments in industry, mining, and trade. In such a society, it is quite possible for those in control of the government to take action against private property. In fact, politically there is nothing more advantageous for a government than an attack on property rights, for it is always an easy matter to incite the masses against the owners of land and capital. From time immemorial, therefore, it has been the idea of all absolute monarchs, of all despots and tyrants, to ally themselves with the "people" against the propertied classes. The Second Empire of Louis Napoleon was not the only regime to be founded on the principle of Caesarism. The Prussian authoritarian state of the Hohenzollerns also took up the idea, introduced by Lassalle into German politics during the Prussian constitutional struggle, of winning the masses of workers to the battle against the liberal bourgeoisie by means of a policy of etatism and interventionism. This was the basic principle of the "social monarchy" so highly extolled by Schmoller and his school.
In spite of all persecutions, however, the institution of private property has survived. Neither the animosity of all governments, nor the hostile campaign waged against it by writers and moralists and by churches and religions, nor the resentment of the masses — itself deeply rooted in instinctive envy — has availed to abolish it. Every attempt to replace it with some other method of organizing production and distribution has always of itself promptly proved unfeasible to the point of absurdity. People have had to recognize that the institution of private property is indispensable and to revert to it whether they liked it or not.
But for all that, they have still refused to admit that the reason for this return to the institution of free private ownership of the means of production is to be found in the fact that an economic system serving the needs and purposes of man's life in society is, in principle, impracticable except on this foundation. People have been unable to make up their minds to rid themselves of an ideology to which they have become attached, namely, the belief that private property is an evil that cannot, at least for the time being, be dispensed with as long as men have not yet sufficiently evolved ethically. While governments — contrary to their intentions, of course, and to the inherent tendency of every organized center of power — have reconciled themselves to the existence of private property, they have still continued to adhere firmly — not only outwardly, but also in their own thinking — to an ideology hostile to property rights. Indeed, they consider opposition to private property to be correct in principle and any deviation from it on their part to be due solely to their own weakness or to consideration for the interests of powerful groups.
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it received records from the U.S. Secret Service showing that, for the first five and a half years of the Obama administration, Hunter Biden traveled extensively while receiving a Secret Service protective detail. During the time period of the records provided, Hunter Biden, son of then-Vice President Joe Biden, took 411 separate domestic and international flights, including to 29 different foreign countries. He visited China five times.
Judicial Watch’s February 7, 2020, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request sought:
Records reflecting the dates and locations of travel, international and domestic, for Hunter Biden while he received a U.S. Secret Service protective detail; please note whether his travel was on Air Force One or Two, or other government aircraft, as applicable and whether additional family members were present for each trip; time frame is 2001 to present.
The Secret Service did not indicate, as was requested, whether Biden’s travel was on Air Force One, Air Force Two or other government aircraft, or whether additional family members were present.
The Secret Service records show that countries and territories visited by Hunter Biden, between June 2009 and May 2014, included:
The records were also provided, but were not made public, to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson in a request the senators sent to Secret Service Director James Murray on February 5, 2020.
In its cover letter to Grassley and Johnson, which was included in the records produced to Judicial Watch, the Secret Service said that the senators’ request was time and labor intensive, and they could only provide a limited amount of information by the senators’ imposed turnaround time of February 19.
“Given the Burisma-Ukraine-China influence peddling scandals, Hunter Biden’s extensive international travel during the Obama-Biden presidency, including at least 5 trips to China, will raise additional questions.” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
According to reports, Vice President Joe Biden and Hunter Biden flew on Air Force Two for the official trip to Beijing in December 2013. The records obtained by Judicial Watch from the Secret Service show Hunter Biden arrived in Tokyo on December 2, 2013 and departed for Beijing two days later. While it is typical for the families of the president and vice president to travel with them, questions have been raised about whether Hunter Biden used the government trip to further his business interests.
NBC reporter Josh Lederman, who was one of four reporters on the December 2013 trip, noted in an October 2, 2019 report that, “What wasn’t known then was that as he accompanied his father to China, Hunter Biden was forming a Chinese private equity fund that associates said at the time was planning to raise big money, including from China.”
During the last year and a half of the Obama administration, Hunter Biden served on the board of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings while his father was heading up Ukraine policy. Judicial Watch is seeking records through six lawsuits and dozens of FOIA requests related to Hunter Biden’s dealings with the Ukrainian Burisma Holdings and the Chinese BHR Partners.
Ric Grenell has been one of my favorite Trump appointees. Whether as ambassador to Germany or as acting director of National Intelligence, I adore his style and his principles. When the left attacks him, it is because he is honest and believes in transparency, two qualities I admire. I had the opportunity to speak with him briefly outside of the 2016 RNC.
His speech on night three of the Republican National Convention was must-see TV for me. In just a few minutes, he gave a clear and compelling case for why he believed President Trump should be reelected. Looking back, he was absolutely correct, but after years of believing in free markets as a near-religious point of view that abhorred tariffs, I was unmoved.
That was before I wandered off Interstate 24 to drive through a Tennessee town where I had helped close a major plant a decade earlier. The company’s production moved to Mexico. It was the best business decision at the time, based on quarterly profits. No one figured in the human cost except in calculated severance pay. A trip through the former one-major-employer town makes it clear they had not correctly calculated the true human impact.
That started an evolution of my thought on several policy issues that I watched closely throughout President Trump’s first term. Last night Grenell outlined my new way of thinking perfectly.
He started with President Trump’s position on endless wars in the Middle East: Then, Grenell pointed out that most of the foreign policy decisions during my lifetime were not grounded in the interests of the average American. Whether it was welcoming China into the WTO, trying to export democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, or the awful Paris Climate Accords and Iran Nuclear Deal, these moves benefited the global elite. All while they spilled American blood, treasure, and wealth. So, for decades, while Washington politicians built a global system, American wages stagnated. Our great cities and industries were hollowed out. Entire communities were devastated, and our manufacturing plants were shipped off to China. That’s what happened when Washington stopped being the capital of the United States and started being the capital of the world. Walking through his observations of President Trump’s foreign policy as ambassador to Germany, he demonstrated that it puts the safety and security of Americans first. This reprioritization is a sea change in how we deal with the international community. It is also a complete rejection of the doctrine of managed decline that began with former Secretary of State Kissinger and accelerated with the election of President Barack Obama. As a Cold War kid, you couldn’t feel it during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton years. It started to become more evident toward the end of George W. Bush’s second term and gained a head of steam under Obama. President Trump has turned the ship and demonstrated that decline is a choice. It is not our destiny, and we will not slide quietly into history. Grenell hit the highlights of the president’s foreign policy accomplishments: Painting Biden as the Washington establishment candidate was another great move. I have joked that the Bernie Bros must hate us. All of our globalist, establishment squishes are lining up behind their party’s candidate. The Democrats rejected 22 contenders to pull a corpse out of retirement. The grassroots on the left are still under the boot of their elites and only get a pat on the head and some unofficial “Unity Platform.” They are being used. On the right, the grassroots won. We have a president who is focused on opportunity, prosperity, and security for all Americans. Our elites, who don’t ever listen, are out of office, out of favor, and registering as Democrats. Even though he has been in office for a term, what these defections clearly show is that Donald Trump is still an outsider. As an incumbent, that is an amazing accomplishment. Next, Grenell started to riff on #SpyGate and what he learned during his time as Acting DNI. As my colleague Jeff Reynolds noted in the live blog last night, this is precisely when ABC cut away from the speech: If that is a preview to what U.S. Attorney John Durham has seen, I look forward to the details. Americans have the right to know exactly how politicized our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have become. In closing, Grenell gave the best definition of an America First foreign policy I have heard: Bookmark that. It is a pitch that should resonate with all Americans as we emerge from the pandemic. Too many are trying to promote massive globalization and wealth redistribution using the pandemic as a pretext. Bill Gates, Dr. Tedros, and the World Economic Forum are all making plans. They all assert we cannot go back to our pre-pandemic lives and must ensure global, not national, prosperity. This push necessitates a return to managed decline for the United States. It is a rejection of the fidelity to the nation-state seen in the election of President Trump, Brexit, and other political movements around the world. It seems the elite took the wrong lesson from the pandemic. It is a direct result of unfettered globalization and the moral relativism required to view China as a “normal” nation. Donald Trump will ensure that the needs of Americans are met through strategic alliances with other Western-style democracies. With another term, I believe the table can be reset for a new world order where nations that embrace the values and ideals of the Enlightenment and the American experiment lead the world. And we will no longer listen to dictators and theocrats in the United Nations. So, without reservation, along with enthusiasm and hope, I will join Ric Grenell in 2020 in saying, my friends, let’s get four more years.
He [Trump] said out loud what we all knew. American foreign policy was failing to make American’s safer. After the end of the Cold War, Democrats and Republicans in Washington bought into the illusion that the whole world would start to resemble America. And so they started to pursue unlimited globalization.
The Washington elites want you to think this kind of foreign policy is immoral. And so, they call it “nationalist”. That tells you all you need to know. The D.C. crowd thinks when they call Donald Trump a nationalist, they’re insulting him. As if the American president isn’t supposed to base foreign policy on America’s national interest. [Emphasis mine — ed.]
The Obama-Biden administration secretly launched a surveillance operation on the Trump campaign, and silenced the many brave intelligence officials who spoke up against it. They presented bogus information as facts. They lied to judges. Then they classified anything that undermined their case. And after Donald Trump won the election, when they should have continued the American tradition of helping the president-elect transition into the White House, they tried instead to undercut him even more. Former Vice President Joe Biden asked intelligence officials to uncover the hidden information on President Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor [Gen. Michael Flynn] three weeks before the inauguration. That’s the Democrats. Between surveillance, classifications, leaks, and puppet candidates, they never want the American people to know who is actually calling the shots.
America First does not advance the interests of one group of Americans at the expense of another. It has no bias about red or blue, educated or not educated, urban or rural. America First is simply the belief that politicians should focus on the equality and dignity of every American. And that this duty is fulfilled by promoting the safety and wealth of the American people above all else. That’s America First. And that, my friends, is four more years.
He started with President Trump’s position on endless wars in the Middle East:
Then, Grenell pointed out that most of the foreign policy decisions during my lifetime were not grounded in the interests of the average American. Whether it was welcoming China into the WTO, trying to export democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, or the awful Paris Climate Accords and Iran Nuclear Deal, these moves benefited the global elite. All while they spilled American blood, treasure, and wealth.
So, for decades, while Washington politicians built a global system, American wages stagnated. Our great cities and industries were hollowed out. Entire communities were devastated, and our manufacturing plants were shipped off to China. That’s what happened when Washington stopped being the capital of the United States and started being the capital of the world.
Walking through his observations of President Trump’s foreign policy as ambassador to Germany, he demonstrated that it puts the safety and security of Americans first. This reprioritization is a sea change in how we deal with the international community. It is also a complete rejection of the doctrine of managed decline that began with former Secretary of State Kissinger and accelerated with the election of President Barack Obama.
As a Cold War kid, you couldn’t feel it during the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton years. It started to become more evident toward the end of George W. Bush’s second term and gained a head of steam under Obama. President Trump has turned the ship and demonstrated that decline is a choice. It is not our destiny, and we will not slide quietly into history.
Grenell hit the highlights of the president’s foreign policy accomplishments:
Painting Biden as the Washington establishment candidate was another great move. I have joked that the Bernie Bros must hate us. All of our globalist, establishment squishes are lining up behind their party’s candidate. The Democrats rejected 22 contenders to pull a corpse out of retirement. The grassroots on the left are still under the boot of their elites and only get a pat on the head and some unofficial “Unity Platform.” They are being used.
On the right, the grassroots won. We have a president who is focused on opportunity, prosperity, and security for all Americans. Our elites, who don’t ever listen, are out of office, out of favor, and registering as Democrats. Even though he has been in office for a term, what these defections clearly show is that Donald Trump is still an outsider. As an incumbent, that is an amazing accomplishment.
Next, Grenell started to riff on #SpyGate and what he learned during his time as Acting DNI. As my colleague Jeff Reynolds noted in the live blog last night, this is precisely when ABC cut away from the speech:
If that is a preview to what U.S. Attorney John Durham has seen, I look forward to the details. Americans have the right to know exactly how politicized our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have become.
In closing, Grenell gave the best definition of an America First foreign policy I have heard:
Bookmark that. It is a pitch that should resonate with all Americans as we emerge from the pandemic. Too many are trying to promote massive globalization and wealth redistribution using the pandemic as a pretext. Bill Gates, Dr. Tedros, and the World Economic Forum are all making plans. They all assert we cannot go back to our pre-pandemic lives and must ensure global, not national, prosperity.
This push necessitates a return to managed decline for the United States. It is a rejection of the fidelity to the nation-state seen in the election of President Trump, Brexit, and other political movements around the world. It seems the elite took the wrong lesson from the pandemic. It is a direct result of unfettered globalization and the moral relativism required to view China as a “normal” nation.
Donald Trump will ensure that the needs of Americans are met through strategic alliances with other Western-style democracies. With another term, I believe the table can be reset for a new world order where nations that embrace the values and ideals of the Enlightenment and the American experiment lead the world. And we will no longer listen to dictators and theocrats in the United Nations.
So, without reservation, along with enthusiasm and hope, I will join Ric Grenell in 2020 in saying, my friends, let’s get four more years.Stacey Lennox is a recovering Fortune 500 executive and healthcare professional. One day in 2015 she was hit by a truck, literally. That changed everything. Now she uses her experience to comment on politics and public policy. She also assists others in growing their businesses and not for profit organizations. In addition to writing, she can be heard on the weekly Loftus Party podcast with comedian Michael Loftus and multiple shows a week on KLRN Radio.
Those of us that immigrated to the United States from various hellholes over the decades find one characteristic of the current American populace astonishing and disturbing. That is the breathtaking level of gullibility and ignorance of many ostensibly well-educated native-born Americans.
Over the years, this growing naïveté and obliviousness has been a source of amusement and head-shaking incredulity. However, these traits have now become so dominant among an ever-growing segment of the upper classes within American society that the future of this nation as a prosperous and freedom loving country is in serious jeopardy. The potential descent into the pitfalls of collectivism of the nation that has done more than any country in world history to lift vast swaths of mankind out of poverty and despair would precipitate a catastrophe not only for the American people but for the rest of humanity.
There is little doubt that a major contributing factor to the ever-growing ignorance of much of the native-born citizenry can be traced back to the Marxist-leaning education establishment that has been increasingly focused, for the past 45 years, on indoctrination not education. In the 1960’s and 70’s the United States had the best educated young people on the planet ranking at or near the top in math, reading and science. However, by 2015 out of 70 developed countries throughout the world, American 15-year-olds ranked 38th in math, 24th in reading and 24th in science.
Concurrent with the precipitous drop in these core subjects, curricula previously used for over a century in secondary and higher education, designed to foster appreciation of the Judeo-Christian basis of the nation’s founding as well as the development of reason and independent thinking by the students, was deliberately abandoned. Most notably at the nation’s colleges and universities. In its place was an emphasis on revisionist American history and so-called self-esteem and its corollary, victimhood. All with an eye toward an eventual fundamental transformation of the United States.
While this calamitous makeover of the education establishment is a major underlying factor in the growth of gullibility among the ostensibly well-educated, there are other dynamics at play as well.
Four generations of Americans have been born since this nation experienced a catastrophic national crisis and attendant hardships. Over those eighty years of unprecedented peace and prosperity a mindset of “it could never happen here” coupled with “the omnipotent entity known as government will take care of any problems” took root among the upper classes.&sbsp; This overall viewpoint essentially replaced a belief in God with a reliance on man and his institutions.
Thus, when combined with an inculcated inability to reason or generate an original thought, far too many willingly accept any pronouncement or machination proffered by those in the governing class. Mindlessly believing and acting on these proclamations reinforced the herd mentality of the legions of vacuous but committed true believers, regardless of how absurd and unbelievable these assertions or conspiracies theories were. Among the more recent:
This inanity has now progressed to a point where this nation’s future is truly at risk. These same upper-class dupes, in their overwrought effort to oust supervillain Donald Trump, have willingly allied themselves with Marxists, whose sole reason for being is to radically transform the nation. Thanks to their inability to think independently and their acceptance of so many ludicrous concepts over the years, they gullibly believe that when Trump is removed from office, America will be able to return to their version of normal.
But that is not going to happen. The Marxists now control the dissemination of ideas through the universities and much of the media, as well as the streets and elected offices in many major American cities. Further, the violent tactics of their militant arms, Antifa and Black Lives Matter, have been tacitly legitimized by the quiescence of the Democratic Party. They smell blood in the water and thus will never agree to any form of the liberalism that much of the current governing class claims to espouse.&sbsp; Regardless of President Trump’s electoral fortunes, the “resistance” is not going to end. If Trump loses, the “resistance” will evolve into the “revolution,” culminating in a single political party Marxist/socialist state.
The Marxists cannot and will not acquiesce to any attempt at appeasement or compromise. The true believers in the media and the universities have confirmed this mindset. As the recent ostracization of Bari Weiss and James Bennet from The New York Times for being insufficiently obeisant to current Marxist dogma verifies. Media figures initially and foolishly seeking to accommodate and placate their Marxist colleagues rarely succeed. The examples of similar blacklisting of professors and academics who did not 100% toe the party line while seeking to appease their Marxist colleagues or students are legion.
With the nomination of a senescent Joe Biden and a Democrat Party intimidated by and beholden to the Marxists, the many ostensibly well-educated native-born elites who have been marinating in their ignorance and gullibility for the past quarter century have forced the nation to choose between two alternatives.
Israeli-born Yoram Hazony, Chairman of the Edmund Burke Society, in an excellent article on the reality of American Marxism expounds on those alternatives as follows:
I know that many liberals are confused, and that they suppose there are various alternatives before them. But it isn’t true. At this point, most of the alternatives that existed a few years ago are gone. Liberals will have to choose between two alternatives: either they will submit to the Marxists, and help them bring democracy in America to an end. Or they will assemble a pro-democracy alliance with conservatives. There aren’t any other choices.
The only viable option is a pro-democracy alliance which means the re-election of Donald Trump and control of both Houses of Congress by the Republicans in November.
The Bay Area has the single largest concentration of ‘green’ businesses in the country. It was also the first to feel California’s rolling outages caused by the state’s messy infrastructure of solar panels and wind turbines, faulty and erratic, tied together by ‘virtual power plants’.
The real color of ‘green energy’ is black.
The Bay Area and surrounding areas are ground zero for the massive graft and grift of ‘green energy’ businesses with companies selling, reselling, manufacturing, consulting, certifying and investing in the bubble crowded in skyscrapers and office parks next to each other. And some of those ‘green’ businesses went dark when a wind farm failed and the power outages rolled out.
The real victims of the evening outages in northern California were senior citizens tethered to breathing machines who sat in the dark, watching the remaining battery power and hoping they would survive, families taking the elevator down only to be trapped inside, restaurants, already battered by lockdowns and riots, losing power and watching food go bad and customers leave.
Why is a region associated with the tech industry suffering from third world problems?
The California Independent System Operator, a state-controlled non-profit that defines the flow of power to most of the state, blamed, among other problems, a wind farm going dark.
The ‘renewables’ around which Democrat ‘green energy’ is based aren’t so renewable after all.
ISO board members, appointed by Governor Newsom, had warned that moving to 33% renewable power had left the state's power supply in a precarious position. The logjam was the solar grid. And during a weekday heat wave, power demands rise as people come home and the sun begins to set. That's why the outages had happened in the evening. No sun, no power.
As the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant gets shut down and gas plants are closed to meet renewable targets, there will be no power to supplement the overloaded ‘green’ power grid.
'Green' advocates insist that their ‘virtual power plants’ can still handle everything, routing power from the solar panels on Bob’s roof in Marin to compensate for a wind farm going offline. This power shell game looks very futuristic in presentations, but the energy grid isn’t data. Power can’t just be treated like file sharing no matter how much energy consultants insist that it can.
The Democrats and their media allies who caused this mess are pretending to be baffled.
Governor Newsom promised another investigation which this time really will "get to the bottom of it.” The inept Democrat fumed that, “people should have been told sooner and that is exactly the purpose of this investigation.” Which people? His own appointees had been warning him.
An investigation delving into who knew what and when is a face-saving exercise meant to divert attention from the role of the corrupt and cultish Democrat obsession with ‘green energy’.
"Rolling Blackouts in California Have Power Experts Stumped," the New York Times wondered.
There’s nothing to be stumped by and the view to the bottom is as clear as it is at Lake Tahoe.Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and islamic terrorism.
By the time the 2020 campaign ends, president-in-waiting Kamala Harris will have been transformed into the greatest exemplar of judicious centrism and political level-headedness in American history.
"Kamala Harris comes from the middle-of-the-road, moderate wing of the Democrat Party," claims George Stephanopoulos. Though The New York Times was the first to call Joe Biden's running mate a "pragmatic moderate," CNN concurred, as did a reporter on CNBC, who noted that Harris is "widely considered a moderate Democrat."
The Associated Press claims that she was picked for her "centrist record."
A writer for New York magazine wonders if progressives will ever be able to find it in their hearts to forgive Harris's "moderation."
David Byler at The Washington Post ratchets it up by declaring Harris is a "small-c conservative." (Drew Holden has a running inventory of this trend.)
Professional political analysts marveled at the alleged incongruity of the dueling GOP accusations that Harris was both a hardcore left-winger and "a cop," as if the use of state force is somehow alien to progressive ideological aims. I have news for you: Nearly every policy Harris supports will entail compelling Americans to participate.
According to GovTrack, Harris's record in the Senate, in fact, is more liberal than that of self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. Harris was, apparently, least likely of all Democrat senators to join in any bipartisan bills. Then again, we don't really need a tracker to inform us that Harris has taken a host of positions that sit well outside the traditional political agendas — outside even traditional Democrat Party agendas. Is there a single issue in which Harris has not staked out a stance to the left of Barack Obama?
Now, obviously, everyone operates under the notion that the Democrat Party has a historical imperative to "evolve" leftward. Even considering this trajectory, there is no compelling case to be made that Harris is a "moderate" in either her political manner or her ideological disposition.
As the National Review editors noted, Harris is at best a "moderate autocrat." She is, by her own account, an anti-constitutionalist. Literally laughing at the Constitution as a restraint of political power is just the start. Setting aside her long record of investigatory and prosecutorial abuses in California — including against ideological opponents — Harris will likely be the first candidate on a major presidential ticket to support gun confiscation and the creation of a gun registry. At one point, Harris promised to ban private health insurance. She supports ending all restrictions on state-funded abortion. She supports banning all fossil fuels within a decade. She supports the partisan packing of courts, in an effort to corrode checks and balances of American governance. And she has promised to pursue a number of these policies by circumventing the legislative branch if Congress doesn't take orders from her.
And the same reporters who take every mangled Trumpian assertion hyperliterally will treat Harris' contentions and positions neither seriously nor literally.
None of this is new. You might recall that when there seemed to be a chance that Sanders might capture the Democrat presidential nomination, columnists began whipping up think pieces to worries about his radicalism, wondering about his "conservatism" and other imaginary qualities of the Vermont senator.
Similar effort dominated Barack Obama's run for the White House, even though the future president told us that he planned to fundamentally change the nation. And after Democrats lost Congress from 2010 to 2014, the inability of Obama to move forward with his agenda was quickly framed as evidence of his moderation. Obama was always going to go as far left as was politically feasible — for instance, in his fight with moderate Blue Dogs on Obamacare — which is not exactly the same as having restrained aims.
Now, there's a strong argument to make that neither side is really captivated by the thought of centrism anymore. And we are all aware of the numerous arguments against Donald Trump's candidacy. Though temperamentally the president isn't anything approaching a small-c conservative, his policy aims are well within the centrist tradition. Trump is a largely unideological populist, whose views on trade, spending, the border and foreign policy — and a host of other major issues — are well within the mainstream. By any standard, he is more of a centrist than Kamala Harris.
Why isn't his agenda ever framed that way? Well, because the "center" of American politics will always be wherever the Democrat Party's nominees happen to stand.
Congress in 2008 passed the Qualified Plug-In Electric Drive Motor Vehicle Credit to make electric vehicles more affordable, thereby encouraging their use.
Yet, a 2019 watchdog report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration showed the electric vehicle tax credit is rife with fraud and abuse, and electric vehicle incentives disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
To add insult to injury, a recent report by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board refutes the common perception that electric vehicles are good for the environment.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the IRS has done little to stop the fraud and abuse, claiming the agency does “not have effective processes to identify and prevent erroneous claims for the Plug-In Credit.”
That means we taxpayers live with millions of dollars’ worth of erroneous, ineligible claims for hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius Prime, to the tune of up to $7,500 in tax breaks each.
After the release of the Treasury inspector general’s report, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., asked the IRS to share more about the tax credit.
The IRS’ response is exactly what you would expect from an entrenched government agency.
Officials claimed that something called “correctible error authority” — bureaucrat-speak for expanding the power of the IRS — would be necessary to address the fraudulent claims.
No, thanks. Americans would be much better off eliminating the tax credit than granting more authority to the IRS.
The electric vehicle tax credit is little more than a wealth transfer from working Americans to wealthy Californians. Twenty percent of all claims were made by Californians with adjusted gross incomes of more than $200,000, even though that group comprises only about 1% of total income tax returns filed in 2017. Out of the $486 million in credits claimed, $191 million — 39% — went to California.
Data released in the IRS’ response to the watchdog report illustrated the overall poor-to-rich transfer. More than 3 out of 4 claimants in 2017 — 77% — had adjusted gross incomes of more than $100,000, even though only 19% of all tax filers made that much money.
Moreover, 45% of claimants earned more than $200,000, versus only 5% of taxpayers at large.
Geographically, the credit is a California story. A full 40% of 2017 tax credit claimants resided there, even though Californians made up only 10% of tax returns filed.
By contrast, 12.3 million Texans filed with the IRS (just over 8% of total returns filed), but represented only 4% of total electric vehicle tax credit claims.
The state with the second-highest claims was Washington, which brought in $22.7 million, paltry when compared with California’s nearly $200 million in claims. Nearly 60% of the United States — 29 states — had fewer than 1,000 tax credit claims, and eight had fewer than 100.
It’s indisputable: The majority of the country is subsidizing these credits for the wealthy in just a few states. That’s also ironic, since this tax credit was created to make electric cars more attractive to the average American.
What about the environment? Electric vehicles do little to improve the environment.
The EPA’s Science Advisory Board recently wrote that “[electric vehicles] do not appear to be more fuel efficient than modern internal combustion engine vehicles that are similarly equipped.”
In fact, the board goes further, concluding that the increased electricity usage associated with electric vehicles may actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. For a policy that is designed to do the opposite, the electric vehicle tax credit is ineffective to a staggering degree, possibly even harmful.
The electric vehicle tax credit fails on every level: It fails to affect buying behavior; it almost exclusively benefits wealthy Americans in a handful of states; and the product it subsidizes does not achieve the stated purpose of reducing fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s time to hit the brakes on the electric vehicle tax credit.Donald van der Vaart is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation and a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board, and serves on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.
For years, the Tenth Amendment Center has drawn the ire of both the American right and left, but generally for different reasons. To the left, we were neo-Confederates trying to mask our desire to somehow reintroduce slavery and Jim Crow segregation by promoting nullification and states’ rights. We draw the ire of the right for challenging unconstitutional wars and the federal War on Drugs.
>While we have detractors from both sides of the political divide, the most vocal opposition almost always originates from whichever side holds federal power at the moment.
During the Bush years, we frustrated the right because we stood against unilateral executive war powers, the REAL ID Act, the so-called Patriot Act and more. During the Obama years, the left railed against us because we opposed Obamacare, Common Core, the IRS, the War on Drugs, police militarization, gun control, even the Supreme Court imposing its own definition of marriage on the states.
Now we’ve gone full circle.
Although presidents have changed, our position remains the same: “The Constitution. Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses.”
Meanwhile, the tunes sung by both political movements in the country have switched entirely. The right, once the advocate of decentralization, is now pushing for greater executive power. Meanwhile, the left has suddenly come to appreciate, perhaps begrudgingly, the role of nullification as the “rightful remedy” that people like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison offered to combat federal tyranny.
How ironic that people who for years seethed with contempt for the founding fathers and everything they stood for have suddenly developed an appreciation for the philosophy they fought, suffered, and even died to preserve!
Some have found this flip-flopping amusing, perhaps ironic. To them, it’s a game played between both sides. When one wins, they switch talking points and strategies. In years past, that might have been humorous. But I find no levity in the situation, or the prolonged, rampant hypocrisy.
It’s a game this country can no longer afford to play.
It has done indescribable damage to our political system, our government, and the Constitution. What’s more, it is not sustainable. Calls for defending the Constitution and limited government now fall on deaf ears because Americans who hear it and might have otherwise listened know that those who proclaim it are disingenuous and opportunistic. Adhering to the rule of law is now the trite punchline of an old joke.
The Constitution is not a political buffet. We don’t get to pick and choose which parts of it we will follow and what parts we will ignore because we don’t like them.
For it to have any real meaning or force, the whole document must be followed and its constraints acknowledged. To do otherwise is to make a mockery of the very concept of a written constitution. In doing so we regress to the days of the British Crown that only afforded a “living, breathing” constitution that had no definite meaning beyond the temporary moment
The time will soon be upon us when Americans of all political stripes must decide whether we are going to accept the Constitution as it is written or reject it entirely, because the pretense of federalism has at last come to an end.
If Americans refuse to do this; if they insist on violating it to impose their will on their fellow countrymen, then they invite the very question of why they live under the same government in the first place. We can no longer waver between freedom and tyranny. If we wish to be free, then fight for the freedom of all. If not, then do not be surprised when your opponents use the very same tyranny you would wield against them to subjugate you.TJ Martinell is an author, writer, and award-winning reporter from Washington state. His dystopian novel The Stringers depicting a neo-Prohibition Era in the city of Seattle is available on Amazon. Visit his personal site at www.tjmartinell.com. Join his Facebook page here. Listen to his weekly podcast on Sound Cloud.
Dear Portlandia progressives: a federal government big enough to take care of you is a federal government big enough to "take care of you."
Scary unidentifiable police, federal black sites, and procedureless snatching of individuals from the streets are the wholly predictable and natural consequences of the very policies you advocated for decades. Why do you imagine a big government with lots of power will restrict itself to the cozy "social issues" and economic takings you support? Government can seize the means of production, but not seize you? You wanted everything run from DC, and you got what you wanted. Plus you certainly would be every bit as outraged if federal agents concerned about the undermining of America surreptitiously snatched up a few "white supremacists," right?
Progressives of all parties have cheered the relentless centralization of state matters — and rejection of the Tenth Amendment — for nearly 150 years. The shaky and infirm Incorporation Doctrine federalized the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court federalized social and economic issues, and the the alphabet soup of federal agencies created by progressive administrations federalized the regulatory state. Foreign policy was ripped away from Congress and commandeered by bureaucratic Deep State actors at the DOD, CIA, NSA, and the State Department. Thousands of new federal crimes were created by statute. These statutes in turn created a vast federal police state, one heavily influenced and provisioned by the residual weaponry and machinery of our overseas wars.
So now you wonder why the Feds are sent in to quell an uprising in Portland?
Who wanted to make the world safe for democracy? Remember Woodrow Wilson, suddenly a bad guy because of racism? At least Truman had the honesty to admit regrets about creating the CIA. Who wanted federal control over the retrograde Southern states? Who dismissed the Ninth and Tenth Amendments as relics? Who derided states' rights and nullification as legal cover for bigotry? And for the millionth time, "states' rights" does not mean states have "rights" relative to their citizens; it refers to their retained powers in a federal system — so enough with the dishonest smears.
Who shrugged at Waco and Guantanamo Bay, for that matter? Or when Obama signed the NDAA? [The National Defense Authorization Act]Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute, where he serbves as a writer, public speaker, and advocate for property, markets, and civil society. He previously worked as a longtime advisor and chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, for whom he wrote hundreds of articles and speeches. In his years with Dr. Paul he worked with countless grassroots activists and organizations dedicated to reducing the size and scope of government.
Teacher’s unions have always struck me as an insane institution. As with any public union, they bargain with the taxpayer, which is a ridiculous setup. Excluding public employees from unionizing may be the only thing Franklin Delano Roosevelt and I agreed on. However, when a teacher’s union makes political demands on a community to even consider resuming their work, that becomes unconscionable. The United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) is the poster child for this level of extortion.
The UTLA issued a report with a list of demands to return to teaching in the Los Angeles United School District in the fall. It is full of critical social justice gobbledygook and requirements that have nothing to do with keeping children, teachers, or staff safe.
CDC Director Robert Redfield has agreed with other professional medical organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, that the health risks to children from the Chinavirus are much lower than the risks of keeping children out of school:
“I’m of the point of view as a public health leader in this nation, that having the schools actually closed is a greater public health threat to the children than having the schools reopen,” Redfield told The Hill’s Steve Clemons.
Redfield went on to say that this could be done safely and effectively in partnership with local school districts. Globally, the data supports even fewer restrictions than the CDC is recommending. Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Iceland, and Germany have allowed students to return to school, free from socialist distancing and masking requirements.
They made these decisions because globally, the incidence of children passing the Chinavirus to adults or to each other is effectively zero. This fact has been demonstrated through genetic analysis of the virus and robust contact tracing. None of these countries has seen a cluster emerge related to attendance at school.
These facts alone destroy most of the UTLA arguments. The union spends a lot of time discussing the fact its school population comes from multigenerational homes. If children don’t transmit the virus, this is a moot point. A German study concludes that children act as a brake on transmission, according to a translation of the article. That provides one reason Germans will have no restrictions when children return in August.
The spread of the corona virus in kindergartens, schools and families has apparently been overestimated. A study by the Medical Faculty of the Technical University of Dresden, for which more than 2,000 schoolchildren and teachers have been tested for antibodies since the reopening of schools in Saxony in the spring, did not provide any evidence that the virus spreads particularly quickly in schools, nor does it prove so that it is transmitted particularly often by children. “It is rather the opposite,” said study director Reinhard Berner, director of the polyclinic for children and adolescent medicine at the Dresden University Hospital. “Children act more like a brake on the infection. Not every infection that reaches them is passed on.”
Despite the scientific evidence to the contrary, the UTLA is demanding the following:
With an over 55% response rate from UTLA members, the UTLA Safe and Equitable Schools survey showed that over 85% of members said that the following safety measures were “critically important” or “very important” for them to feel that it is safe and appropriate to return to schools:
✓ Widespread testing of students and employees
✓ Significantly increased cleaning protocols
✓ Personal protective equipment for employees
✓ Personal protective equipment for students
✓ A rigorous tracing procedure for anyone in close contact with someone who tests positive
✓ Reduced class sizes to keep students six feet away from each other
✓ Alternative learning/work arrangements for high-risk students and staff
The only scientifically supported items on this list are testing of staff, some PPE for staff, and unique accommodations for the high-risk staff and children. Right now, the teachers want mass screening before a return to school and testing of children and staff weekly. For children, weekly testing, along with requiring PPE, is ridiculous and unrealistic. The LAUT knows this.
Then we get to what the leaders of this extortion unit are after: more money and political outcomes. From the federal government, they demand the following:
From the state, they demand the following:
And finally, from the city, which is the only body they have any leverage to bargain with, LAUT demands the almost purely political items from a radical left agenda:
These people are insane and have no business being in a position to influence children. The social justice warriors in the UTLA have likely never asked their students’ families about how they feel about defunding the police. They have certainly not asked a charter school parent why he or she chooses to send his or her child elsewhere. These are the political goals of the teacher’s union. They have nothing to do with the Chinavirus or effectively educating children.
Quite a smorgasbord for a group that turns in results like this for 8th graders:
The UTLA needs to spend a whole lot less time on activism and a whole lot more time on the basics. Neither the city nor the taxpayers are getting anything for their money at this point. Why should a federal, state, or local government, let alone a taxpayer, give anything more for these kinds of dismal results?Stacey Lennox is a recovering Fortune 500 executive and healthcare professional. One day in 2015 she was hit by a truck, literally. That changed everything. Now she uses her experience to comment on politics and public policy. She also assists others in growing their businesses and not for profit organizations. In addition to writing, she can be heard on the weekly Loftus Party podcast with comedian Michael Loftus and multiple shows a week on KLRN Radio.