‘Batman’ cartoonist Frank Miller dropped from comic convention over accusation of ‘anti-Muslim hate’

Frank Miller himself is not defending “Holy Terror,” so I’m certainly not going to defend it on his behalf, and I don’t endorse torture or killing of innocent people, as his hero seems to in the illustration. But that is not what the controversy is about here. It’s over the claim that “Holy Terror” is “anti-Muslim.” I myself am frequently accused of being anti-Muslim, but the claim is false, baseless, and defamatory. It is no more anti-Muslim to oppose jihad violence than it was anti-German to oppose Nazism. It is worth nothing that “Holy Terror” is described below as “a graphic novel in which an original character known as The Fixer sets out to battle Al-Qaeda.” Meanwhile, “many believed the story depicted the religion of Islam, rather than the specific terrorist group of Al-Qaeda, as the book’s villain,” but no evidence is offered to substantiate that claim. Nor does Miller state this in his disavowal of his work. Maybe it’s true. I don’t know; I’ve never read “Holy Terror.” However, it is also true that it is routine for Islamic supremacist groups in the West to claim that opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women is opposition to Islam itself. They also routinely conflate criticism of Islam with hatred of Muslims, and numerous people fall for this, although they have no trouble whatsoever seeing the distinction between criticism of Christianity and hatred of Christians. If Frank Miller had written a comic book about fighting against Christian “right-wing extremists,” and some people accused him of attacking Christianity itself, would this convention had dropped him? Of course not. It would be celebrating him as a hero.

Frank Miller Removed From Thought Bubble Comic Convention Guest List After Being Accused Of Propagating ‘Abhorrent Anti-Muslim Hate

by Spencer Baculi, The Mix, July 29, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Legendary comic book industry veteran Frank Miller, whose bibliography includes Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil, and 300, has been removed from the guest list for the upcoming Though Bubble UK Comic Convention after a number of attendees threatened to boycott the event based on their belief that the creator “is responsible for propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate”.

Miller was first announced as a guest for the North Yorkshire, England-based comic convention on June 2nd, with his name being emphasized to the same degree as fellow special guests Joëlle Jones (Wonder Girl) and Christian Ward (New Mutants) on a promotional poster for the event released that same day.

Though Miller’s initial invitation announcement seemed to come and go without any incident, on July 27th, award-winning cartoonist and small press publisher ShortBox founder Zainab Akhtar revealed that they would “no longer be attending Thought Bubble festival this November” in protest of Miller’s attendance.

In a statement announcing her protest of the convention, Akhtar asserted, “As a proud Muslim woman, I cannot in good conscience attend a festival that deems it appropriate to invite and platform Frank Miller, a person who is responsible for the propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate, particularly via his work.”

“Anti-Muslim bigotry is repugnant and condemnable yet has become so deeply rooted, so widely accepted in society that it is not even given a cursory consideration, as evidenced once again in this situation,” Akhtar continued. “I cannot comprehend how time and time again, festivals and communities within comics espouse values regarding inclusivity, diversity, ‘comics being for everyone’, zero tolerance on hate, but all that lip-service evaporates when they are asked to enact those same values.”

In a follow-up tweet, Akhtar stated that though she had “first contacted Thought Bubble about this privately, 8 weeks ago” and had been “assured action would be taken”, Miller’s continued invitation made her feel as if “it’s been communicated to me that I am the acceptable loss: repercussions to my career/income over repercussions to theirs.”

Though Akhtar does not cite any specific instances of anti-Muslim bigotry from Miller, it is assumed that she is referring to his creation of Holy Terror, a graphic novel in which an original character known as The Fixer sets out to battle Al-Qaeda.

Originally developed for DC as a Batman story, Holy Terror would release to widespread criticism, as many believed the story depicted the religion of Islam, rather than the specific terrorist group of Al-Qaeda, as the book’s villain.

However, while Miller stood by his work upon its publication in 2006, he has since changed his opinion of the self-admitted “propaganda” story.

“When I look at Holy Terror, which I really don’t do all that often, I can really feel the anger ripple out of the pages. There are places where it is bloodthirsty beyond belief,” Miller told The Guardian’s Sam Thielman in 2018. “I don’t want to go back and start erasing books I did,” he replies. “I don’t want to wipe out chapters of my own biography. But I’m not capable of that book again.”

As Akhtar’s tweet soon sparked calls to boycott the entire convention amongst her supporters, Though Bubble ultimately announced on July 28th that “Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”

“Over the last fourteen years Thought Bubble has grown into an amazing community of comic creators and fans who we love, trust and respect. We have let you down, and in our commitment to maintaining Thought Bubble as a safe space for all, we have fallen short,” read the convention organizer’s statement. “We exist to share the art form and its worlds with people. If any individual, group or community feels uncomfortable or excluded from our show then we’ve failed.”

“We know that many of you are disappointed in us, and have been expecting a comment on this before now,” they continued. “We are sorry for our silence while we’ve been trying to fix this. Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”

Continuing their statement, the organizers further affirmed that they were “deeply sorry, particularly to those who we should be standing up for the most,” and hoped “that you can give us the opportunity to make this better and we thank you for holding us accountable.”

“We know there is still more to discuss and we will be replying to those who have been in touch, we hope you can bear with us while we do this,” the statement concluded. “We won’t let you down again.”…

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

Marxist Democrat Assault: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even

Cuomo, Newsom, Biden et.al. are working in unison to attack our sacred constitutional rights to life, liberty and happiness. Freedom is under assault! Now is the time to focus like we did in 2009/2010. We need to re-ignite the flame of the Tea Party movement, only this time smarter and more strategic: 1776. Graham Ledger speaks with Clay Clark and the role his Reawaken America Tour is playing in this effort to organize and push back against this Marxist attack.

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

The Babylon Bee Presents: A Back-To-School Shopping List For Your Conservative Child

It’s almost that time of year again! Public schools will be starting in a few weeks! Time to send your conservative little tikes into a hostile den of godless commies. How will they survive? Make sure they’re ready with this conservative shopping list!

-Fireproof American flag to carry around: Public school teachers are always on the lookout for American flags to burn. Be prepared!

-Commie repellent spray: Pretty much just bear spray, but it also works on commies.

-Extra bacon to help them counteract that dumb healthy school lunch program: Arm your child with real AMERICAN food! Come and take it, Obama!

-Kids size ‘I Identify As Vaccinated’ t-shirt: Teachers must respect your child, no matter how he identifies.

-CRT canceling headphones: Any time your kid’s teacher starts to teach her racist Marxist garbage, he can pop in those headphones and listen to Ben Shapiro!

-Brass knuckles: For the commies.

-Crayons with all the primary colors removed so he doesn’t accidentally draw an LGBTQ+ rainbow flag: Stick to grey, black, brown, and salmon, just to be safe.

-Scissors to cut the masks off his peers and set them free: Just remind him not to run with them and we’re sure it will be totally fine.

-Wire and spy camera so you can secretly record the teacher teaching CRT: Then you can send the recording to Christopher Rufo. Busted!

-Fake Das Kapital book covers to disguise his Bible and Tuttle Twins books: Then put them in a fireproof backpack so the teachers can’t burn them.

-A watch that only displays the national debt: Your child must always be reminded of the impending doom wrought by runaway government spending.

-Glasses that make him colorblind: That way he won’t see race.

-Extra boxes of tissues to help his classmates wipe their liberal tears: A great way for him to make some friends.

-A school voucher to let him go to a non-commie private school: If you manage to snag one of these, you won’t really need the rest of this stuff. Except for the commie spray. That’s always good to have on hand.

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

‘I Thought I Was Going To Die’, Says Capitol Police Officer Who Held Door Open For Protestors On Jan. 6

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a harrowing testimony before the January 6th Committee, Capitol Police Officer Lenny Burbo revealed his paralyzing fear as MAGA terrorist insurrectionist racists stormed the Capitol.

“I stood there, paralyzed by fear as I held the door open so people could enter,” said Burbo. “As boomer after boomer entered the facility in an orderly line and began to take selfies, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I literally thought I was going to die.”

When asked why he had politely held the door open for everyone to enter the building unimpeded, he replied that he feared for his life and that one of the larger rioters had come up to him and said “step aside cupcake” in an intimidating voice.

“I knew my only option was to step aside or be drawn and quartered by a throng of evil bad people who voted for Trump and are also racist,” he said as tears welled up in his eyes.

Officer Burbo has been awarded a medal of bravery since even though he opened the door for rioters, he really didn’t want to do it, and his heart was in the right place.

The FBI has issued a warrant for the man who called Officer Burbo a “cupcake” and is asking anyone with information to call Nancy Pelosi’s office immediately.

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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Gender Ideology Run Amok

The following is adapted from a speech delivered on April 27, 2021, in Franklin, Tennessee, at a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar.


In 2007, America had one pediatric gender clinic; today there are hundreds. Testosterone is readily available to adolescents from places like Planned Parenthood and Kaiser, often on a first visit—without even a therapist’s note.

How did we get to this point? How is it that we are all supposed to pretend that the only way you can know I’m a woman is if I tell you my pronouns? How did we get to an America in which a 13-year-old in the State of Washington can begin “gender affirming” therapy without her parents’ consent? How did we get to an America in which a 15-year-old in Oregon can undergo “top surgery”—elective double mastectomy—without her parents’ permission? And what can we do about it?

To understand how we got to this point, it is useful to begin by considering gender dysphoria—the feeling of severe discomfort in a person’s biological sex. Gender dysphoria is certainly real. It is also exceedingly rare. It afflicts about 0.01 percent of the population, most of whom are male.

For nearly 100 years of diagnostic history, gender dysphoria typically began in early childhood, between the ages of two and four, and usually involved a boy who insisted that he was not a boy but a girl. Children afflicted are insistent, consistent, and persistent in the feeling that they are in the wrong body. It is by all accounts excruciating—I’ve talked to many transgender adults, most of them biological males, who describe the relentless chafe of a body that feels all wrong.

Historically, this has been the classic presentation of gender dysphoria. When these children were left alone—when no one intervened medically or encouraged what we today call “social transition”—over 70 percent of them naturally outgrew their gender dysphoria. Most of those who outgrew it became gay men. Those who did not outgrow it became what used to be known as transsexuals. They did not believe they were women, but they felt most comfortable presenting themselves as females.

Today, however, we don’t leave these children alone. Instead, the moment children seem not to be perfectly feminine or perfectly masculine, we label them as “trans kids.” Teachers encourage them to reintroduce themselves to their classes with new names and new pronouns. We take them to therapists or doctors, nearly all of whom practice so-called affirmative care—meaning they think it is their job to affirm the diagnosis of gender dysphoria and help the children medically transition.

The typical first step in treatment administered to these kids is puberty blockers, which shut down the part of the pituitary gland that directs the release of hormones catalyzing puberty. The most common of these drugs is Lupron, whose original purpose was the chemical castration of sex offenders. To this day, the FDA has never approved this drug for halting healthy puberty.

One has to wonder why a parent or a doctor would take measures to stop a child’s puberty, given that even a child with genuine gender dysphoria would most likely outgrow that condition if left alone. Some argue that it is traumatizing to let children go through the puberty of the sex to which they do not wish to belong. But in many cases, puberty seems to have helped children overcome gender dysphoria. The truth is that there is no satisfying answer, given that scientists have no way of predicting which children will outgrow the dysphoria on their own and which won’t.

Proponents of “affirmative care” also argue that allowing puberty to occur is dangerous, because suicide rates for trans-identified youth and trans adults are very high. Therefore, they say, we need to start treating children with gender dysphoria as soon and as dramatically as possible.

Yet there are no good long-term studies indicating that puberty blockers cure suicidality or even improve mental health. Nor are there studies that show puberty blockers are safe or reversible when used in this manner.

What we do know is that puberty blockers prevent the development of secondary sex characteristics, sexual maturation, and bone density. Indeed, because of the inhibition of bone density and other risks, doctors don’t like to keep children on puberty blockers for more than two years.

We also know that in almost every case when a child’s healthy puberty is medically arrested, placing the child out of step with his or her peers, that child proceeds to cross-sex hormones. And when puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are administered to a girl, she becomes infertile. She may also have permanent sexual dysfunction given that her sex organs never reach adult maturity.

Given this, the claims made by so many doctors and gender activists today that these medical transition measures for children are safe and reversible—that they are a “pause button,” without serious downsides—are not only dishonest, but destructive. We would not accept this sort of glib salesmanship in any other area of medicine.

Trans Identification among Teenage Girls

As I mentioned, for the nearly 100-year history of scientific study of gender dysphoria, it has been diagnosed almost exclusively in young children, and mostly in boys. But over the last decade, large numbers of teenage girls have begun to claim they have gender dysphoria.

Prior to 2012, in fact, there was no scientific literature on gender dysphoria arising in teenage girls. Dr. Lisa Littman, then a Brown University public health researcher, used the phrase “rapid onset gender dysphoria” to refer to the subsequent sudden spike in transgender identification among teenage girls with no childhood history of gender dysphoria.

This spike is not unique to America—we see it across the Western world. To offer just one statistic, there has been a decade-to-decade increase of over 4,400 percent in the number of teenage girls seeking treatment at the United Kingdom’s national gender clinic. Across the West, teen girls are now the leading demographic claiming to have gender dysphoria.

What is behind this is social contagion—the spread of ideas, emotions, and behaviors through peer influence, one more instance of teenage girls sharing and spreading their pain. There is a long history of social contagion with this demographic—anorexia and bulimia are also spread this way. And we know that teen girls today are in the midst of the worst mental health crisis on record, with the highest rates of anxiety, self-harm, and clinical depression.

The teen girls susceptible to this social contagion are the same high-anxiety, depressive girls who struggle socially in adolescence and tend to hate their bodies. Add to that a school environment where you can achieve status and popularity by declaring a trans identity. Add to that the teenage temptation to stick it to mom. Also add the intoxicating influence of social media, where trans activists push the idea that identifying as trans and starting a course of testosterone will cure a girl’s problems. Put those together, and you have a fast-spreading social phenomenon.

I’ve spoken to families at top girls’ schools who attest that 15, 20, or in one case 30 percent of the girls in their daughter’s seventh grade class identify as trans. When you see figures like that, you’re witnessing a social contagion in action. There is no other reasonable explanation.

These teen girls are in a great deal of pain. Almost all of them have at some point dealt with an eating disorder, engaged in cutting, or been diagnosed with other mental health comorbidities. And now they’re being allowed to self-diagnose gender dysphoria by a medical establishment that has decided that its job is to affirm and agree with trans-identified adolescents.

Turning a Blind Eye

You may not know the name Keira Bell. She is a young woman in the U.K., very troubled in adolescence, who was rushed to transition in her teen years and came to regret it. She underwent double mastectomy and spent years on testosterone, only to realize that her problem had never been gender dysphoria. She sued the U.K.’s national gender clinic, and last December, after the High Court of Justice examined her case and the claims of similarly situated plaintiffs, she won.

The Court examined the medical protocols applied to Keira Bell—protocols identical to the ones we have in the United States—and was horrified that a young girl had been allowed to consent to begin a process of eliminating her future fertility and sexual function at an age, 15, when she could not possibly have gauged that loss.

Hailed as a “landmark case” by The Times of London, The Economist, and even The Guardian, Bell’s victory was widely viewed as a serious condemnation of the effort to fast-track teen girls to gender transition. One of the appalling things the Court noted was that the national gender clinic had been unable to show any psychological improvement in the adolescents it had treated with transitioning hormones.

If, as I suspect, you haven’t read or heard about the Keira Bell case, that’s because America’s legacy media decided to pretend the case didn’t happen. Similarly, they continue to ignore or dismiss the stories of the thousands of “detransitioners”—young women who underwent medical transition, later regretted it, and attempt to reverse course. A lot of the treatments these girls have undergone are permanent, but they do what they can to try to reverse some of the effects.

Thus it is that in the United States, this crisis among teenage girls gets treated as a political issue—a conservative issue—rather than a medical one. And so perhaps the greatest medical scandal of our time is dismissed as a conservative preoccupation.

The Assault on Women’s Sports and Safe Spaces

No discussion of gender ideology can ignore the ongoing movement to eradicate girls’ and women’s sports and protective spaces. Many or most of the people pushing this are not transgender themselves. But they are activists, they are energized, and they seem to be winning.

This movement promotes dangerous bills like the Equality Act, which would make it illegal ever to distinguish between biological men and women—and thus to exclude a biological male from a girls’ sports team or a women’s protective space, whether it be a restroom, locker room, or prison. We have these laws now in California and in the State of Washington—and as you might imagine, one result is that hundreds of biological male prisoners, many of them violent felons, have applied to transfer to women’s units.

For activists pushing this, it is not enough to create unisex bathrooms, a separate category for trans-identified athletes, or separate safe zones in prisons for trans-identified biological men. No, they are working to abolish all women’s-only spaces and they want to abolish them now.

The common thread running through these topics is that the truth is being obscured by gender ideology. Lies are told about the risks of the transition treatments administered to young children, both to play down the dangers of those treatments and to exaggerate the degree to which those treatments are known to be helpful. Lies are told about the researchers and journalists who attempt to report on the crisis of social contagion among teenage girls undergoing transition treatments. And lies are told about the movement to eradicate women’s protective spaces.

The gender ideology behind these lies is a sibling of critical race theory. While critical race activists are teaching kids that they are largely defined by their skin color, gender activists are teaching kids that there are a great many genders, and that only they know their true gender. And just as families who object to racial indoctrination in schools are told that their denials of racism are proof of racism, young women who object to biological males participating in girls’ sports are told that their objections are proof of transphobic bigotry.

These mendacious dogmas have corrupted our K-12 schools, our universities, and our legacy media, as well as our scientific journals and our medical accrediting organizations—the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, etc. To give you a sense of how far things have gone, I was informed late last year by a member of the National Association of Science Writers—an association of journalists with scientific backgrounds—that a member of the association’s online forum had been expelled for mentioning my book on the transgender social contagion among teenage girls. He hadn’t even read my book. He just mentioned that it sounded interesting, and for that he was banned as transphobic.

Similarly, endocrinologists, psychiatrists, pediatricians, and researchers who are concerned about the risks of gender interventions report that they struggle today to get their research published. And public and private funding of research is almost entirely restricted to researchers who promote gender transition and downplay the risks.

There are phalanxes of young doctors now, many of them in pediatrics or child psychiatry, who are open about their belief that their primary job is “social justice.” They unreservedly celebrate the increase in transitioning treatment of young people and are inexcusably complacent about the risks of those treatments. The Washington Post recently quoted some of these doctors to the effect that puberty blockers are fully reversible—which is not something that any honest doctor can claim to know. We simply don’t have the data to know whether puberty blockers are fully physically reversible when applied to halt healthy puberty—and they are certainly not psychologically reversible. We’re seeing a startling politicization of medicine and science, which is symptomatic of a larger woke corruption of American society.

Now, there’s something I make a point of saying whenever I speak, and I say it for the simple reason that it is true: transgender adults are some of the soberest and kindest people I have met in my work as a journalist. Many of them seem to have been helped by transition, and they are leading admirable and productive lives. They have no desire to harm women or to push transition on children. The gender ideology activists do not represent them.

My understanding of freedom includes a belief that society should allow adults to make consequential decisions about their lives, which includes choosing to undergo sex reassignment surgery. And whenever I am asked by a transgender adult, I use his or her chosen name and pronouns. This seems to me the courteous and the right thing to do. But—and this is a big but—I never lie. This means I never say, and I will never say, that trans women are women. I think reciting this lie leads, as we are seeing, to unjust and dangerous consequences for women and girls. It is not courteous or right to parrot these lies. It is the cowardly surrender of women’s welfare to the woke gods. And it is wrong.

I’m also often asked why it is that the gender ideology activists are doing what they are doing. What possible justification could there be, for instance, for telling small boys that they might be girls and small girls that they might be boys? My best guess at an answer occurred to me while talking to detransitioners. I heard repeatedly from these young women that while they were transitioning, they were angry and politically radical. They often cut off relations with their families, having been coached to do so online by gender activists. Related to this, if you look, you’ll notice a disproportionate number of gender-confused people among the ranks of Antifa in cities like Portland.

In other words, chaos is the point, and these troubled girls become prey for those who seek to recruit revolutionaries. Just as the destructive objective of critical race theory is to divide Americans racially, that of gender ideology is to disrupt the formation of stable families, the building blocks of American life.

So what do we do about it? How do we push back? First and foremost, we must oppose the indoctrination of children in gender ideology. There is no good reason for it, and it does real harm. We can absolutely insist that all children treat each other kindly without indoctrinating an entire generation in gender confusion.

Second, we must overcome our squeamishness and speak the truth in public. Wherever we find ourselves, we must refuse to recite lies. And we must always clearly distinguish between transgender Americans, generally wonderful people, and the ideological transgender movement, which seeks to warp children and weaken families.

This is a movement that would turn our children against themselves because its advocates know there is no greater harm—no quicker way to bring America to its knees—than by driving our children to do themselves irreversible damage. The people pushing this ideology have gotten a head start on us by perhaps a decade. But now I think they have awakened a sleeping giant. The success of my book is one indication. The many state legislatures that are now debating these issues is another.

These are our kids and grandkids. Our future depends on our winning this fight.

COLUMN BY

Abigail Shrier

Abigail Shrier is a journalist and author. She received her A.B. from Columbia College, where she was a Euretta J. Kellett Fellow; her B.Phil. from the University of Oxford; and her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a Coker Fellow. A member of the Board of Advisors of the Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism, she has written for numerous publications, including City JournalNewsweek, RealClearPolitics, The Federalist, the New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

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

Guilty until Proven Innocent

If you think China and North Korea are the only countries with “political prisoners,” think again. According to some conservatives in Congress, some of the January 6th rioters have been held in jail for months under what they consider abusive conditions. At a press conference earlier this week, Republicans warned about the possible mistreatment of some defendants and demanded that they be treated fairly.

“If they’re guilty, they need to be charged accordingly,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) told the Washington Times, “but they need to be treated just like any other criminal.” Stories continue to circulate that even the “nonviolent trespassers” have been put in solitary confinement for several hours a day. “Sadly, two systems of justice exist in America today,” Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) (a former state judge) argued, “one for former President Trump along with those who support or don’t hate him, and the other for everyone else.” His colleague, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) agreed. “To my knowledge, none have been charged for insurrection, so I don’t consider them insurrectionists.”

And yet, their cases are being closely guarded by the DOJ, whose attorney general, Merrick Garland, refuses to answer basic questions from these congressmen about their status. Gohmert, who joined Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” this week, argues that Biden’s top law enforcer “is only about seeking to please the Democrats. He has no interest in being fair and judicious as the attorney general. It’s really unfortunate. We’ve been begging for answers… We’re not looking into specific cases. We’re just wanting to know, is it true about the abuse that’s been going on?”

Nothing but crickets in return, Gohmert shook his head. He and three other members went to the D.C. jail where some of the defendants are being held and explained that they were congressmen and wanted to ask a few questions. “A lady in uniform came out and said that we were trespassing, and that we had to get out. And I said, we’ve shown our ID for members of Congress. We’re allowed to be here. We have to do oversight to know whether we ought to cut off funding for this facility or keep funding it. We need to know and we haven’t gotten an answer.”

Incredibly, a supervisor came over to the group — a sergeant — and she walked past them to make a phone call outside. So, the four members of Congress followed her outside to ask their questions, and “she double back[ed] around, went into the facility and locked the doors. I’ve never seen anything like [it]. It’s unreal,” Gohmert said.

Regardless of the Biden administration cover-up, Gohmert vows, “We’re going to keep pushing… And of course there’s the media sycophants, but there’s [also] other media and even [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer (D-N.Y.) and [Senator Dick] Durbin (D-Ill.) have asked in recent weeks, are these people being treated fairly? So we’re making headway by bringing attention to this, and we’re just going to keep making noise until the demands get more people involved and finally they can’t ignore the requests we have. So we’ll see what happens. But we’re not giving up.”

EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

U.S. COVID Deaths at Lowest Level Since March 2020

Far more people were dying from COVID-19 months ago as we were winding down restrictions than are dying today as some call to reinstate them.


If you judged the US’s current COVID-19 situation only by the headlines, you’d come away thinking that we’re spiraling back into pandemic disaster. Localities like Los Angeles County and St. Louis have reimposed mask mandates on their citizens, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just revised its “guidance” to say that, actually, fully vaccinated individuals should still wear masks in certain situations. Meanwhile, mainstream media coverage of the rise of the “Delta variant” is soaked in alarmism.

Yet at the same time that all this alarm is mounting, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths is at a nadir. Harvard Medical School Professor Martin Kulldorff pointed this out on Twitter, writing that “In [the] USA, COVID mortality is now the lowest since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”

He shared this graph from OurWorldInData which clearly shows how COVID deaths per million are at, relatively speaking, extreme lows. Far more people were dying from COVID-19 months ago as we were winding down restrictions than are dying today as some call to reinstate them.

Now, some would cite rising COVID-19 case counts or hospitalizations in certain parts of the country as evidence that the pandemic is indeed once again spiraling out of control. But many COVID-19 cases recorded as positive are either asymptomatic or come with very mild symptoms—especially the cases confirmed among vaccinated individuals—so high case counts are not necessarily proof of a serious problem. Hospitalizations are concerning, yes, but primarily insofar as they lead to high numbers of deaths, which, thankfully, is not the case so far with the Delta variant.

Others would say that deaths are a “lagging indicator” that come in several weeks after the increased spread of the disease. But the Delta variant has been spreading in the US for months now, and deaths have remained relatively flat, in part due to widespread vaccination.

“It is striking that COVID mortality is at such low levels despite the fact that we are seeing an increase in cases of late,” Stanford Professor of Medicine Dr. Jay Bhattacharya tells FEE. “By immunizing the elderly and many other vulnerable people, we have provided them with excellent protection against severe disease in case they get infected. Also contributing is widespread natural immunity from recovered COVID patients. Though cases may rise, deaths will no longer follow in proportion.  We have effectively defanged the disease with our successful vaccination rollout.”

So, there’s simply no reason to expect the long downward trend in deaths shown in the above graph to suddenly spike upwards. And we can’t make public policy based on worst-case scenarios.

That’s right: despite all the alarmism and clamor for renewed restrictions on our liberty, there’s not really been a resurgence in the state of the COVID-19 crisis itself.

“We should be declaring a great and resounding success,” Bhattacharya told FEE in conclusion. “The COVID emergency is over. We still need to take COVID seriously, and there are still vulnerable people here and abroad left to vaccinate. But we can start to treat it as one disease among many that afflict people rather than an all-consuming threat.”

Of course, proponents of big government and government officials themselves will be the last ones to acknowledge the reality that the most dangerous phase of this pandemic has long since come to an end in the US. Why? Because the rhetoric of “emergency” and “crisis” is the government’s favorite tool to use in expanding and maintaining its power over our lives.

“‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded,” as Nobel-Prize-winning economist Freidrich Hayek put it. “And once they are suspended it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist.”

Examples of this timeless truth abound throughout history up until present day: from the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II to the now-permanent infringements on our civil liberties after 9/11 to the sweeping expansion of government control during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, whether politicians like it or not, the COVID-19 crisis is largely over. So don’t fall for cynical arguments from power-hungry individuals who want their “emergency” powers to become permanent.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Policy Correspondent at the Foundation for Economic Education.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Like this story? Click here to sign up for the FEE Daily and get free-market news and analysis like this from Policy Correspondent Brad Polumbo in your inbox every weekday.

7 Signs You Might Have Been Brainwashed by the Media

Here are seven signs you might have been indoctrinated by biased news sources:

1) You often begin conversations with “You know, the experts are saying…” – If you find yourself citing “the experts” all the time, you might be relying too much on biased news sources.

2) You don’t know what to think about an issue until you check what Jimmy Kimmel has to say about it. – Needing the late-night comedians to help you form an opinion is a bad sign.

3) You’re starting to think The Last Jedi isn’t that bad of a movie. – A sure sign you’re listening to journalists too much.

4) You swoon every time you see a picture of Biden eating ice cream. – You might be beyond help at this point.

5) You always check under your bed for Russian spies. – If you do this every night, start to get worried.

6) You’ve been hiding in your basement eating emergency rations since spring of 2020. – This might mean you’re paying too much attention to the doomsday news prophets.

7) You’re worried about every little thing that happens because you forget that Whatever the news, the purpose of the Lord will stand. – The surest sign of all and not really satire.

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

CNN’s Cuomo: Unvaccinated Americans Ignorant, Arrogant

Wednesday on CNN, network anchor and blowhard hypocrite Chris Cuomo declared during his handoff to fellow anchor Don Lemon that Americans who are still unvaccinated against the COVID-19 virus are ignorant and arrogant, with a “misplaced sense of righteous indignation.”

“Part of the metric here is ignorance, but part of it is also arrogance, this misplaced sense of righteous indignation, and resistance that they believe is a false manifestation of freedom,” Cuomo blathered. “This is not an issue of freedom.”

Fact check: yes, it is.

“Of course, you have freedom to make choices about your own body,” he continued. “Let’s put to the side the irony that so many of these people don’t want to afford that freedom to women.”

First, let’s put aside his lie that the pro-life position denies women choices about their own bodies. Being pro-life is about saving the bodies of unborn children.

“But what we’re saying is,” Cuomo added, “does it mean it’s the right choice?”

In other words, Cuomo believes you have the right to make choices about your own body as long as you make the choice Democrats want you to make.


Chris Cuomo

7 Known Connections

Characterizing Donald Trump & His Supporters As Racists & Bigots

In December 2016, Cuomo explained that Donald Trump had won the recent presidential election on the strength of support from many white people who were feeling “victimized” by Islam, and who had the attitude that “now it’s our turn.” On a later occasion, Cuomo said that Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” “was always a call to go back to times when you didn’t have the kind of progress you have, you didn’t have the inclusiveness you have, things were simpler and harsher.”[8]

Asserting that President Trump “sees diversity as a minus” and favors “a policy of exclusion,” Cuomo in January 2018 told White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah that the Trump administration was engaged in “a pretty intentional effort to make illegal immigrants – as you call them – monsters.” He also falsely stated that illegals “are incarcerated at lower rates than the rest of the population,” and he grossly misrepresented a DHS report as one “which fictionalizes the risk of terror that is represented by people who come into this country illegally,” “make[s] them all into villains,” and “says [that] basically three out of four of them may be terrorists.” “If you were really worried about who’s killing people in the name of terror in this country, you’d be focused on white supremacists,” added Cuomo. “That’s your biggest threat.”[9]

To learn more about Chris Cuomo, click here.

RELATED ARTICLE: AP: Unvaccinated fed workers punished with masks, testing, travel restrictions

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

American Women’s Soccer Team Defeated After Opponents Play U.S. National Anthem During Game Forcing Them To Kneel The Whole Time

TOKYO—The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Olympic hopes are once again in jeopardy after opponents came up with a clever way to defeat them: playing the U.S. national anthem during every game so that the women have to kneel the entire time.

It’s a move many are calling the “greatest 4D chess move of all time.” Some are even saying it’s the most important strategy developed in soccer since the kick was invented. Many are hopeful it will even get Americans interested in watching soccer again.

“It’s a genius strategy,” said one commentator as a singer on the sidelines began singing, “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light” over the stadium’s sound system. Megan Rapinoe was going to intercept a pass but dutifully took a knee and was forced to turn over the ball to the other team, or however it is that soccer works. “Beautiful play there! It’s going to be tough to see the U.S. women recover from this one!”

“Oooh, and now the singer is going hard into the ‘home of the brave’ stanza, really forcing the U.S. women to stay kneeling. “Wicked brilliant!” (We are told “wicked brilliant” means “cool” or “dope” in British.)

At the end of their first match in which the opposing team employed this tactic, the women lost 27-1, having scored one goal when Rapinoe stood up briefly when the singer ran out of breath.

RELATED POLTICAL SATIRE:

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EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Sony Pictures Announces New Ghostbusters Movie Will Have No Women In It Just To Be On The Safe Side

HOLLYWOOD, CA—Sony Pictures has released a trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a new Ghostbusters movie that follows the story of the original two. Response to the trailer has been cautious after the disastrous previous attempt to reboot the franchise in 2016. Sony Pictures vows this movie will be different, though, primarily because they’re not letting any women act in it.

“We’re not exactly sure why the 2016 reboot failed,” said Sony Pictures spokesman Jeffrey Floyd, “but they did switch the cast to all women in that one. So, just to be safe, we’re not having any women at all in this one. All of the crew members also had to be men. No women were anywhere near this one.”

Some say this may be an overcorrection. For example, when Sigourney Weaver, star of the first two Ghostbusters films, asked to have a cameo, the studio informed her that her part had been recast to be played by Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. Regardless of the criticism, Sony Pictures is holding firm.

“If we learned anything from the 2016 reboot, it’s that people only want to watch men bust ghosts,” said Floyd. “We have to be careful with these venerated franchises to make sure we give fans what they want. If that means tacking up a ‘No Girls Allowed’ sign, so be it.”

RELATED POLITICAL SATIRE:

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Liberal Feels Sad For Man Dying Of COVID, Then Happy After Hearing He Wasn’t Vaccinated, Then Sad Again Because He Was An Illegal Immigrant

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Saving Our National Hyde

Watch out whenever a politician says, “I’m a devout Catholic, but…” Whatever follows the “but” shows where their true allegiance lies. So it is with President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who are out of step with their Church’s teaching. Both have expressed a desire to see abortion rights extended, even up to the moment of birth—which is infanticide.

Now they even want to repeal the Hyde Amendment, a 40-year old congressional measure that blocks federal funding for abortions.

Writing for Lifenews.com, Micaiah Bilger notes, “The Hyde Amendment is a longstanding, bipartisan measure that prohibits taxpayer funding for elective abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs. Pro-life researchers estimate it has saved at least 2.4 million babies from abortion, and polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans support it.”

Nancy Pelosi opposes the Hyde Amendment despite her claim of being a “devout Catholic.” Why? Because “it’s an issue of fairness and justice for poorer women in our country.”

It seems to me the “devout Catholic” line is gratuitous and aims to deceive the gullible.

Both Pelosi and Biden could be labeled “cafeteria Catholics.” “I’ll take this part of the Church’s teaching, but not that part.”

I remember my long-time pastor (in the conservative Presbyterian tradition), Dr. D. James Kennedy, once said that the Christian Church in all its forms has stood against abortion from the very beginning of the Church to the present (with a few exceptions among liberal “Christians”) and has always provided loving alternatives. But today, since the Left has made abortion a political issue, the Church is “preaching politics” when speaking out against abortion. No, we’re not. We’re speaking out on behalf of Judeo-Christian morality.

Meanwhile, support for Henry Hyde’s Amendment has waned among Democrat legislators. But not all, thankfully. Last week (7/21/21), Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) wrote to the Senate Appropriations Committee: “Recent public polls show almost 60% of Americans oppose or strongly oppose using taxpayer dollars to support abortion. Both Democrat and Republican presidents have signed the Hyde Amendment into law. It has passed through both Democrat and Republican-controlled Congresses, and it was upheld by the Supreme Court in 1980. Repealing this provision would eliminate over 40 years of bipartisan precedent.”

The amendment is named after the late U.S. Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL), who died in 2007.

I interviewed Henry Hyde for Christian television in 1987 about abortion and the Constitution. He told me, “There is no constitutional justification for Roe v. Wade. No one had ever seen a right of privacy or whatever other distortion the Court found to justify its decision.”

 

And here we are all these years later, and the Left is working overtime to squash the Hyde Amendment, which I think first and foremost honors the conscience rights of those who oppose abortion. It’s bad enough to have fellow Americans killed by abortion willy-nilly, but to force us who disagree with abortion to pay for it? That’s far worse.

Should Jews have to pay for measures that would destroy Israel? No.

Should Blacks have to pay for the misguided “work” of the KKK? No.

Should Christians have to pay for abortions, which they find morally repugnant? No.

Conscience rights, which correlate with religious liberty, are paramount.

The Left doesn’t seem to care about conscience rights. But conscience rights were very important to George Washington and other founding fathers.

After the War for American Independence, the father of our country wrote a letter to the Quakers of Pennsylvania. Quakers are pacifists who don’t believe in picking up arms, even for national defense. Washington said to them, in effect: We could have used your help here in the recent war, but in America we honor and respect your rights of conscience.

James Madison, who played a critical role in the framing of the Constitution, said, “‘The equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of his conscience’ is held by the same tenure with all our other rights” (Memorial and Remonstrance, 1785).

Sam Adams, a key founding father who helped light the spark for independence, wrote, “As neither reason requires nor religion permits the contrary, every man living in or out of a state of

civil society has a right peaceably and quietly to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience” (The Rights of the Colonists, 1772).

And on it goes.

Amazingly, after decades of a barrage of propaganda in favor of abortion from Hollywood and the media and politicians, a large majority of Americans still want to see this bipartisan measure remain in force. Even if they are “pro-choice,” most Americans favor saving the Hyde Amendment. I vote in favor of saving our national Hyde. I can think of 2.4 million reasons why.

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

Top 10 Reasons You Should Just Turn Your Guns Over To The Government TODAY

So, you still have guns in your house, huh?

First of all, shame on you. Second of all, we realize you may be slightly hesitant about just turning them all over to the government, so we put together a list of reasons (out of the hundreds of reasons) you should just turn in your guns right now. Read and learn, you bitter clinger!

1) The government is very trustworthy and would never hurt anyone: Also, they have nukes. Resistance is futile. Just hand ’em over!

2) With your gun safe empty, you now have a neat place to hide when robbers break into your home: Let your gun safe keep YOU safe! As an added bonus, you can now use your gun safe to store all your surgical masks and vaccination cards!

3) Instead of shooting clays on Thanksgiving, you can play great games with your family, like Monopoly: Nothing brings a family together like Monopoly!

4) The government needs your guns so they can shoot people trying to sell loose cigarettes: Donate your firearms to the noble cause of fighting the evil forces trying to sell untaxed cigarettes to people who can’t afford a full pack!

5) You can spend the time you used to spend at the gun range educating yourself: With time, maybe you can learn to be less problematic.

6) The government will donate your guns to a noble cause: Like drug cartels and insurgents in the Middle East. Think of how much good your gun could be doing right now in the government’s hands!

7) You can rest assured knowing that criminals will turn in their guns too: Criminals always do the right thing when given the chance.

8) Now you can defend your home with a cool spiked mace and broadsword: Come on—who doesn’t want to do this? Turn in your gun and defend your home like a REAL man.

9) You’ll be a rich man not having to buy ammo: Aren’t you tired of getting in fights with your wife about how much you spend on guns and ammo? Plus, you’ll have more money to spend on masks!

10) What’s the worst that could happen? Just give it a try! Could be fun, actually!

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Compromise Reached: Everyone Still Afraid Of COVID Will Be Locked Down, Everyone Else Will Live Lives As Normal

EDITORS NOTE: This political satire column by The Babylon Bee is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

California Attorney General Quietly Submits to Supreme Court’s Landmark First Amendment Decision

ANN ARBOR, MI – Without fanfare, the California Attorney General’s Office changed its long-standing regulations after the U. S. Supreme Court handed down a landmark First Amendment decision which held that Americans are free to support nonprofit organizations without fear of harassment.

On July 1, 2021, in a 6-3 decision, the U. S. Supreme Court sided with the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a leading national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In doing so, the Court held that California’s regulations mandating all charities which solicit donations within the state submit major donors’ personal information were facially unconstitutional. The Attorney General’s Charities homepage now reads:

“Effective July 1, 2021, the Registry of Charitable Trusts will no longer require the filing of Schedule B to the IRS Form 990 as part of the registration and annual reporting requirements.”

Thus ended a 6-year legal battle sparked by a threatening letter to TMLC from then – California Attorney General, Kamala Harris. The letter, dated March 24, 2015, threatened that if the Law Center did not provide her office with a list of its major donors (anyone who had given $5000 or more) within 30 days, the Law Center could lose its right to solicit donations in California, and TMLC’s officers and tax preparers could be held personally liable for any penalties.

Rather than succumb to the threat, TMLC filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Harris in a California Federal District Court on April 23, 2015. Its win in the District Court, however, was reversed by the U. S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. On August 26, 2019, TMLC asked the U.S. Supreme Court (petition for certiorari) to review the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

The Supreme Court agreed. On April 26, 2021, the Court heard oral arguments from all sides, and rendered its decision on July 1, 2021, a date all freedom loving Americans should remember.

Richard Thompson, TMLC’s President and Chief Counsel, praised the work of San Francisco based attorney, Louis H. Castoria who singlehandedly opposed a phalanx of California assistant district attorneys, and won; and the great appellate work of John J. Bursch and the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) legal team who represented TMLC in the Supreme Court.

©Thomas More Law Center. All rights reserved.

Facebook Is Watching Your Friends

Does the social media giant have any business evaluating your friends’ political views? 


Suppose you went to a party with a group of friends, one of whom is a rather outspoken person we’ll call Ms A. After an hour or so, someone you never met before comes up to you and says, “I couldn’t help noticing that you came here with Ms A. Aren’t you concerned that her views are a little extreme? I can give you the number of somebody who can help her.”

How would you react?

I don’t know about you, but my first thought would be, “Who the — are you to be judging my friend?”

The whole thing smacks of authoritarian control and monitoring on the part of the snoop who expressed concern about Ms A. Yet in early July, Facebook announced that it was going to do a trial of a system that essentially does that very thing. And I know someone it’s already happened to.

Here is the way Facebook explains what it’s doing, as reported by Reuters on July 1: “This test is part of our larger work to assess ways to provide resources and support to people on Facebook who may have engaged with or were exposed to extremist content, or may know someone who is at risk.”

That sounds reasonable—after all, groups such as Al Qaeda used platforms like Facebook to recruit US citizens to their cause, and if there’s something Facebook can do to keep that from happening again, it sounds like it’s worth doing.

I’m involved in a group that meets monthly to discuss an article from the journal of religion and public life called First Things. Most of us are over 50, and a more harmless group of non-radicals is hard to imagine. For a time, a woman attended who later joined the Roman Catholic Church. From my limited interactions with her, I would say she was conservative, but not radically so, and unusually articulate about various social problems, including abortion. She no longer attends our discussion group, but some of us still follow her on Facebook.

Her Facebook followers were surprised the other day when Facebook asked them if they thought the Catholic woman was becoming an extremist.

I don’t use Facebook and so I can’t say what material she might have posted which inspired Facebook to ask this question. But based on what I know about the woman, at the very least Facebook is wasting its time. And more seriously, this anonymous action on the part of a powerful corporation exerts a chilling effect on the tattered, bedraggled thing we once called free speech.

The fly in this otherwise admirable-sounding ointment of extremism prevention is the question of just what counts as “extremist.” One person’s extremist is another’s enthusiast.

Also on July 1, Fox News reported the comments of several people who had received such warnings, which typically read “Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” followed by an option to “Get Help” which leads to an organization called “Life After Hate.” One user who received this type of notice neatly summed up the dilemma that Facebook faces: “‘Confidential help is available?’ Who do they think they are? Either they’re a publisher and a political platform legally liable for every bit of content they host, or they need to STAY OUT OF THE WAY.”

The reason Facebook isn’t liable for every bit of content they host, as a conventional newspaper publisher would be, is Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which exempts platform hosts from being liable for what third parties place on their platforms.

Perhaps in the early days of the Internet, this protection was needed in order to encourage investment in the young, struggling things that were Google and Facebook. But now that social media constitute a major, if not the primary, source of political and cultural news in the US, the pretence that they are insignificant people-connectors who just barely make enough money from ads to stay in business and need special protection from the government is looking more ridiculous every day.

Not only is Facebook deciding who is an extremist, it’s getting help deciding what truth is from the White House. Biden Administration press secretary Jen Psaki said on July 15 that they are “identifying ‘problematic’ posts for Facebook to censor because they contain ‘misinformation’ about COVID-19.”

Again, this sounds reasonable at first glance. Some things that people are saying on Facebook about COVID-19 and vaccinations for it are ludicrous and harmful. But what happened to the old saying “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? According to Wikipedia, this quotation comes from a biography of Voltaire by one Evelyn Beatrice Hall, writing as S. G. Tallentyre.

Hall was trying to illustrate one of Voltaire’s principles, which was a radical (there’s that word again) belief in free speech, which is one of the pillars of what should now be called classical liberalism, along with democratic governance and freedom of religion.

The American Civil Liberties Union adhered to radical free-speech principles until a few decades ago, even defending such scurrilous extremists as a neo-Nazi group that wanted to stage a march in a Chicago suburb where many Holocaust survivors lived.  This was in 1978, and although the ACLU itself has a page on its website describing this episode, I think it’s fair to say that the current ACLU is finding other things to do with its time.

Facebook wants to have things both ways. They want to receive plaudits as the platform for the little guy where a thousand free-speech flowers bloom, and they also want to avoid opprobrium (and lawsuits, and fines) for hosting material that is illegal, libellous, or harmful in someone’s eyes.

But as the gentleman quoted above implied, you can’t have freedom without responsibility. Editing or censoring one thing on Facebook means the whole thing is now an edited entity. You can’t be just a little bit pregnant, and you can’t pretend a platform is free if parts of it aren’t—especially when the parts that aren’t change from day to day, or from White House instruction to embarrassing news report.

Karl D. Stephan

Karl D. Stephan received the B. S. in Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1976. Following a year of graduate study at Cornell, he received the Master of Engineering degree in 1977… More by Karl D. Stephan

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