Rudy Giuliani Sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 Billion

Giuliani sued by Dominion Voting Systems for $1.3 billion

By Associated Press

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit on Monday against Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who led the former president’s efforts to question the validity of the 2020 election.

The lawsuit seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages for the voting machine company, a target for conservatives who said it was part of a massive election fraud scheme, blaming it for Trump’s loss and alleging that its systems were easily manipulated.

Dominion’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in the District of Columbia, is among the first major signs of fallout for the former president’s allies and the ultimately unsuccessful effort to question the results of the 2020 election.

“For Dominion — whose business is producing and providing voting systems for elections — there are no accusations that could do more to damage Dominion’s business or to impugn Dominion’s integrity, ethics, honesty, and financial integrity,” the lawsuit says.

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“Giuliani’s statements were calculated to — and did in fact — provoke outrage and cause Dominion enormous harm.”

The suit is based on statements Giuliani made on Twitter, in conservative media and during legislative hearings where the former mayor of New York claimed the voting machine company conspired to flip votes to President Joe Biden.

Dominion provided machines for the state of Georgia, the critical battleground that Biden won and which gave Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, and to stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process,” the lawsuit read.

Giuliani did not respond to a reporter’s message seeking comment.

During an episode of Giuliani’s podcast, he charged that “Dominion had stolen the election ‘technologically,’” the lawsuit alleges, and warned listeners that cybercriminals could steal the titles to their homes online.

Dominion has also sued Powell, who claimed that the company was created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late leader Hugo Chavez and that it has the ability to switch votes.

The lawsuit also alleges Giuliani’s statements about Dominion and the election being stolen helped lead to the breach on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol.

“Having been deceived by Giuliani and his allies into thinking that they were not criminals — but patriots ‘Defend(ing) the Republic’ from Dominion and its co-conspirators — they then bragged about their involvement in the crime on social media,” the lawsuit states.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

VIDEO: Florida Patriots Rally in Support of My Pillow Guy!

We told you the other day that the cancel-culture was busy at work and had pressured major retailers to drop My Pillow from its shelves because of Mike Lindell’s support of President Donald Trump.

Fight back!

This is the kind of peaceful protest we all need to be doing more of!

From Steve Bannon’s War Room: Karyn Turk on censorship and disparagement of patriot Mike Lindell

Patriots Rally in Florida for My Pillow

Karyn Turkreports live from the rally to support My Pillow in Boca Raton, Florida where patriots are standing up against Big Tech oligarchs and the left who are trying to cancel Americans.

Turk says the key is for patriotic Americans to unite together. “The left does a very good job of sticking together, we as conservatives need to do the same…and say we’re not going to tolerate this.”

Mike Lindell’s completely American-made business is under attack from the left since he has been an outspoken voice against the fraud that occurred on Nov. 3. Big Tech tyranny has led to My Pillow being dropped from Bed Bath and Beyond, Wayfair, Kohl’s, and Kroger. [Kroger is new to the list since I reported on the mean trick being done to Lindell–ed]

The War Room has contact phone numbers, so go get ’em.

Here is what I did today.  I took one of the many 20%-off flyers I get from Bed, Bath and Beyond and sent it back to the company with a note—told them I will never shop there again because of their political views and what they did to Lindell.

By the way, I put my post the other day on my Refugee Resettlement Facebook page and got a great response. See it here. (And, I don’t monitor comments there, so join in!).

EDITORS NOTE: This Frauds, Crooks and Criminals column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Checkmating of America

We’re now learning why our Founders placed freedom of the press and freedom of speech—among other key rights—in the First Amendment in our Bill of Rights. For it is the chicanery, sabotage and subversive propaganda of the American media that has landed us where we are today.

To prove this point, let me illustrate what our mainstream press—say the New York Times—should have been trumpeting as soon as the theft of our election became evident:

HeadlineWORLD WAR III RAGING! AMERICA IN THE CROSSHAIRS!

Subtitle: THE INTERNATIONAL GLOBALIST CABAL, AIDED BY THE DEMOCRAT PARTY, SELL-OUT POLITICIANS AND OFFICIALS, AND THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY, NOW IN OPEN ASSAULT ON AMERICA

First paragraph: President Trump has been proven right—the 2020 election was stolen in a flagrant act of treason by both Democrats and their globalist allies. This coup d’état to take over America was part of a Soros-funded “Color Revolution” revolving around a contested election, with the aim of turning America over to Communist China under the Davos elites’ plan for One World Government.

Anyone see that headline in the Paper of Record? In any of our mainstream press? On MSNBC? How differently do you think your friends and family members who are loyal, unquestioning Democrats would be viewing world events and our present crisis if the Gray Lady had vouchsafed articles like that?

But perhaps you’ll find that headline hyperbolic, so let me explain why I believe it expresses the very real situation in the last weeks of Trump’s presidency.

We’ve been under attack by enemies foreign and domestic for quite some time, as the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations were primarily about enriching high level office holders—e.g. Hillary, Biden, Obama—the kleptocrats in Congress, fueling wars overseas, and selling out our jobs and our country to China. That’s why Trump won in 2016—he stands for the opposite of all that corruption. But let’s focus on the past year and the multi-pronged war being waged against us.

The Plandemic’s Attack on Our Middle Class

We remember only too well the mysterious flu virus that struck China in December 2019 and January 2020. We saw videos of people apparently dropping dead in the streets, and bizarre “lockdowns” turning huge cities into empty ghost-towns seemingly overnight. What we didn’t know then:

  • Those videos were psy-op propaganda to condition us to follow suit and shut down our own cities, businesses, economic engine, and systematically weaken our nation and our people.
  • The virus had been engineered in a Chinese bio-weapons lab.
  • Even though the “novel coronavirus” was a bioweapon and intentionally spreading it to the U.S. was therefore an act of war, it turned out to be essentially no more lethal than the seasonal flu, which also kills many people every year—especially the elderly.
  • The Globalist Cabal was behind the psy-op, and got plenty of help from China, the UK, Bill Gates, Italy, the corrupt media in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere, so it seemed to most people to be legit. After all, how could a conspiracy this big take place?

Answer: with massive planning, billions of dollars, and evil genius.

This is why those who are wide awake call Covid-19 the “Plandemic” or the “Scamdemic.” If we forget about the eensy weensy virus narrative and just look at the results, this is what we see: China and the domestic enemies of America—the radical Progressive Dems and RINOs—have weakened America nearly to the point of no return, by wiping out at least half of our small businesses or more, which means they’ve decimated our once thriving middle class. And the middle class is America! Most countries have a small, superrich oligarchy on top, and masses of poor people beneath them. Only in America can everyone potentially thrive as members of the middle class pursuing their happiness. That happiness has been largely destroyed by our America-hating enemies, both foreign and domestic.

The Theft of Our Election

Anyone with functioning brain cells must have recognized that Biden was a sure bet to lose the 2020 election, and Trump, as both the incumbent and a yuugely popular President who campaigned like a human dynamo, was a sure bet to win. I feel sorry for the gamblers among us who lost their very safe bets on POTUS. Yet, as it turns out, there was plenty of dirty money on Sleepy Joe.

In fact, Wayne Allyn Root, a Republican-conservative syndicated columnist, best-selling author, and renowned political commentator who has also been a Las Vegas odds maker and sports gaming expert for decades, offers a unique analysis of election night. We all knew Trump had won his re-election that night, but were shocked when Fox News called Arizona for Biden at 11:20pm, with under 60% of the vote in, and nearly a million ballots still uncounted. Wayne Root points out that immediately following that premature call, all the swing states stopped counting. That was unprecedented. And when the lights came back on, Trump’s 8-to-1 odds of victory had plummeted to 2-to-1, which Root calls not just fishy, but impossible. He believes the Arizona early vote call was both a signal for the Dems to pull out all the stops in their cheat-machinery, and to tip off crooked insiders to place bets on Biden at that moment to capture the 8-to-1 odds in favor of Trump which made Biden the long-shot who’d pay off big time. He explains it this way:

It was as if someone had decided in advance to give Arizona to Biden- whether he won it, or not. It was as if the secret code was known to only a few billionaire gamblers, ‘Fox News awards Arizona to Biden.’ Six magic words. Someone was ready for that call. Someone waited until Trump was a prohibitive 8 to 1 favorite, then knew to bet millions of dollars on Biden at the longest odds of the night. Someone knew the fix was in. Someone made a fortune.

The only way the odds could have fallen so precipitously in a few hours would have been due to massive betting on Biden while the counting was stopped. Just think—with those odds, a complicit globalist billionaire bets 10 million on Biden and walks away with a cool 80 million as a sure thing, adding insult to America’s injury.

We all know what happened next, as we awakened to bewildering, gut-wrenching news: the winner of the 2020 election was absentee candidate Quid-Pro-Joe. I don’t need to recite all the anomalies or the fact that all indicators, including that of bell-weather states and counties pointed to a clear win for Trump. We are, however, blessed by the hubris of the cheatin’ Dems who failed time and again to accurately assess Trump’s popularity with the voters. The first time, in 2016, they cheated aplenty for Hillary, but not enough to score. This time they were bound and determined to win…at any cost. So they created a vote-switching algorithm sure to push Basement Biden over the finish line. Only once again, they underestimated our remarkable President. But this time, just in case, they had another of their famous “insurance policies”: hundreds of thousands of fake, never mailed out ballots, hidden away in suitcases or ready to be trucked from state to state as needed.

Luckily for us, their overconfidence in their unscrupulous vote-flipping algorithm resulted in their desperately and openly conducting the rest of their fraud as we’ve seen in videos and testimonies of firsthand observers.

So we have both homegrown cheating: use of vote harvesting, dead people voting, felons and illegal aliens voting, people from out of state voting, and pristine mail-in ballots counted—even multiple times.

But they also used more sophisticated techniques that involved other nations. In fact, this time round, we really did have “foreign interference in our election”—the Dems’ battle cry after Trump won in 2016.

Cyber Warfare

The brilliant attorney and great patriot Sidney Powell undertook a Herculean task of documenting the fraud conducted internationally that handed Trump’s win to Beijing Biden. She released the Kraken—including a 270-page document filled with factual evidence of the theft of this election. You’d think this would have been enough to save the day, but the Swamp is deeper and wider than anyone knew, having long since seeped into our judicial system.

And just this January, information has come to light that an IT worker in Italy had been instructed to ratchet up the failing algorithm in the wee hours of the morning on November 4th, so he could send the pro-Biden-skewed results from Italy’s Leonardo SpA satellite to the servers in Germany where the votes resided prior to being sent back to the U.S. Here’s a quote from his attorney, Prof. Alfio D’Urso: “Arturo D’Elia [former head of the IT Department of Leonardo SpA] has been deposed by the presiding judge in Naples and in sworn testimony states on 4 November 2020, under instruction and direction of US persons working from the US Embassy in Rome, undertook the operation to switch data from the US elections of 3 November 2020 from significant margin of victory for Donald Trump to Joe Biden in a number of states where Joe Biden was losing the vote totals.”

Anyone see that bombshell breaking news in the New York Times? Me neither.

“A Republic, if You Can Keep It!”

Assuming Italy did indeed take part in fixing the race, we can tally the international interference thus: Italy (though manipulation of the computing algorithm), Germany (through sending faulty, manipulated data to the U.S.), Switzerland (home of Scytl software), Spain (where the votes are counted), the UK (MI-6 allegedly involved in the scam), Canada (home of Dominion voting machines), along with Trump’s—and America’s—sworn enemy: Communist China. In fact, John Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence, had this to say in a signed statement, “the People’s Republic of China sought to influence the 2020 U.S. federal elections.”

Watching one’s country go down in flames through a Chinese Communist and Soros-funded globalist Color Revolution is a tragedy of gigantic proportions. We’ve seen it happen to other countries around the world, but never imagined it could happen here. In fact, most Americans who actually voted for Biden have no idea that it has happened here.

We the People may have thought we were merely witnessing a presidential election as we do every four years, when what was actually transpiring was an international cyber-warfare attack on the sovereignty of America by toppling a legitimately elected and hugely popular President. This is why I believe we should acknowledge this coup d’état against our nation as World War III—fought in cyberspace and through psy-ops instead of with bombs and bullets. The stakes were astronomically high—the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

And sadly—make that tragically—we’ve just lost.

Coming out of the hall in Philadelphia where the Constitution was written, Benjamin Franklin was asked by a woman who’d been waiting nearby, “Sir, what have you given us?” “A Republic, ma’am—if you can keep it!” Today our question is, after letting it slip through our hands, can we get our Republic back?

© Cherie Zaslawsky. All rights reserved.

Biden Admin To INCREASE Drug Prices – Reversing Trump Policy Designed To Lower Insulin Prices

President Trump’s policies continue to reveal what destroyers and enemies of the people the Democrats are.

President Biden has been reversing or pausing some rules put in place under former President Donald Trump this week, including one designed to bring down the price of insulin.

Biden admin freezes Trump HHS rule meant to lower insulin prices

The rule has been put on hold for 60 days pending review

By Brittany De Lea | Fox News January 23, 2020:

Is Biden’s rush to reverse Trump policies in nation’s best interest?

FOX News Washington correspondent Rich Edson details the foreign policy concerns on ‘Special Report’

President Biden has been reversing or pausing some rules put in place under former President Donald Trump this week, including one designed to bring down the price of insulin.

The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced that the directive would be put on hold among a number of other measures that were passed under Trump, but are not yet in effect.

The measure, signed off on in December, aimed to require some community health centers to deliver savings to low-income patients for insulin and epinephrine in a bid to bring down unaffordable prices.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect on Friday but has since been delayed until March 22.

On Wednesday, White House chief of staff Ron Klain directed agencies to pause orders signed towards the end of Trump’s term so they could be reviewed.

The order directs the administration to immediately withdraw rules that have been sent to the Office of Financial Research but not yet published in the Federal Register. For those that have been published, but are not yet effective, members are directed to “consider postponing the rules’ effective dates for 60 days.”

EDIOTRS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Economic Ignorance On Full Display

In 2009, my California cousin was here in Atlanta for the filming of the Sandra Bullock movie, “The Blind Side.” Before retiring a few years ago, he traveled the world working long hours as a set worker on many of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster films.

While he was here, he complained bitterly about unequal pay in the motion picture industry, citing as an example the $17 million he said Reece Witherspoon was paid for starring in a movie he worked on:

“I put in just as many hours as she did, yet she got $17 million!”

To put it in medical terms, my cousin’s anguish was caused by an acute mental disorder known as stage 4 economic ignorance.

As I patiently explained to him, Reece Witherspoon was paid $17 million because she is one of the few franchise stars in Hollywood whose name on the marquee is guaranteed to attract millions of ticket-buyers, whereas his name wouldn’t draw flies. Instead of bellyaching about people like her, my cousin should drop to his knees and thank God for Hollywood’s highly-paid superstars. Without them, he’d have had no job.

Widespread economic ignorance is why so many of otherwise intelligent Americans have been seduced by the scourge of socialism. Below is another article with economic information people of all political persuasions should know.

What Millennials don’t get about America’s economic pie

Fed a steady diet of economic lies by anti-capitalists in our society, the Millennial generation has been tricked into believing that the wealthy get rich only by stealing an oversized slice of America’s economic pie. By taking more than their fair share, the narrative goes, greedy corporate CEOs leave little but crumbs for everyone else. Such fallacious thinking is referred to as the zero sum theory of economics, the idea that there’s only one finite-sized pie to go around, and that one person taking a large slice means someone else will go hungry.

In truth, America does not have a finite economic pie. Rather, it has a virtually unlimited supply of ever-evolving economic pies of varying sizes waiting to be made by enterprising people of every race and every income group.

The biggest such pies are made by high-profile capitalists like Warren Buffet, a Democrat, and Charles Koch, a Republican, both of whom generously share their self-created economic pies not only with a myriad of charitable organizations, but also with hundreds of thousands of well-paid employees who eagerly work for their thriving corporate empires.

Millions of other economic pies are made by less famous job creators, those whose small businesses provide more than 80% of America’s private sector employment. Still more economic pies are made by the 160 million people who comprise the backbone of our economy, men and women who earn a slice of their country’s widespread prosperity simply by getting up and going to work so they can provide for themselves and their family by working hard and learning to live within their means.

Unfortunately, there will always be some who habitually make bad decisions, financial or otherwise. Frustrated that self-created problems have kept them from participating in the American dream, they bitterly complain that someone else made off with their share of the pie. With nothing but crumbs on their plates, these economically ignorant people are prime targets of the party whose election success depends upon inciting class hatred, the means of gaining political power outlined in an 1848 manuscript titled The Communist Manifesto.

A new poll commissioned by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation found that 70% of Millennials are likely to vote for a socialist candidate in 2020. Since socialism-loving Millennials are so obsessed with wealth disparity, here are a few questions for them:

  • If wealth disparity is a bad thing, can aggrieved Millennials explain why so many obscenely rich Democrats—Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Oprah, Al Gore, the Clintons, the Obamas, et al—selfishly cling to the lion’s share of their enviable fortunes, rather than giving away, say, 80% of what they have to the poor?
  • Can Millennials explain how corporate CEOs are any more to blame for wealth disparity than the obscenely rich Democrats named above?
  • Can they explain how society is hurt when wealthy job creators like Warren Buffet and Charles Koch use their accumulated capital to create even more good-paying jobs?

If Millennials troubled by wealth inequality reflect on those questions, they will (1) stop blaming others and get to work on a plan for earning a share of their country’s bountiful prosperity, and (2) realize that the party telling them that socialism will make their lives better is playing them for fools.

Socialism is doomed to fail wherever it is tried, because it is in eternal mortal conflict with the basic human instinct that those who work harder, educate themselves, employ their ingenuity and risk their capital have an inborn expectation to do significantly better than those who don’t. That is an immutable human trait that will never change.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

LET THEM EAT CAKE: Buttigieg Says Tens of Thousands Of Keystone Workers Need to Get ‘Different’ Union Jobs

Terrible.

Every Democrat action is an attack on Americans. Every action is anti-American.

Buttigieg acknowledges Keystone workers may need to get ‘different’ union jobs

By Fox News, January 21, 2021

Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg claimed Thursday that President Biden‘s decision to block the Keystone XL Pipeline is part of a broader plan that will end up being a net positive for employment, despite union outrage based on the loss of more than a thousand jobs.

Biden revoked a necessary cross-border permit for the pipeline in an executive order on Wednesday, one of more than a dozen actions he took during his first hours in office. Construction on the project had stopped earlier in the day in anticipation of the move.

“Environmental ideologues have now prevailed, and over a thousand union men and women have been terminated from employment on the project,” North America’s Building Trades Unions said in a statement following Biden’s action.

Asked about this at his confirmation hearing by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, Buttigieg was optimistic that these losses will be offset by new positions created as the new administration shifts towards climate-conscious goals.

“I believe that the president’s climate vision will create more jobs on that,” the former mayor of South Bend, Ind. said. “And I think it’s going to be very important to work with him and work with Congress to make sure that we can deliver on that promise too. That on that, more good-paying union jobs will be created in the context of the climate and infrastructure work that we have before us than has been impacted by other decisions.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Buttigieg on what this actually means.

“So for those workers, the answer is somebody else will get a job?” Cruz asked.

“The answer is we are very eager to see those workers continue to be employed in good-paying union jobs, even if they might be different ones,” Buttigieg said.

The Keystone XL Pipeline project was initially proposed in 2008 and has volleyed back and forth as the fossil fuel and industry and climate activists battle over energy policies. President Barack Obama rejected the project in 2015, but President Donald Trump gave it the green light shortly into his tenure in the Oval Office.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Why corporate America loves the Left

The leftward drift of many American business executives is driven by dubious economic calculations as well as cultural and political pressures.


Amid the political ads with which we are bombarded during every election, one theme emphasised by progressive candidates concerns the evils of business. Corporate America is especially singled out for allegedly not paying enough taxes, underpaying employees, under-serving customers, and exploiting ordinary Americans.

Yet the same political candidates are among the biggest recipients of financial support from those who lead and manage the corporate sector. Take, for instance, Wall Street. In the third quarter of 2020, Joe Biden and a Democratic Party whose base has shifted to the left crushed Donald Trump and the Republicans in fundraising from Wall Street executives. This is despite the Trump administration’s lowering corporate taxes and Biden’s stated intention to raise taxes on high earners and to increase corporate tax rates.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Back in 2008, Barack Obama comprehensively outraised John McCain among the same demographic. Mitt Romney reversed this somewhat in 2012. But the money dramatically shifted back to the left in 2016 when Hillary Clinton easily won the bulk of donors from the financial sector.

Some of this is attributable to circumstances. Senator McCain’s evident unease when discussing economic issues just as a major financial crisis was engulfing America in 2008, for instance, did not inspire confidence among business leaders. There are, however, other reasons why much of America’s business community has politically moved leftward. While some of these concern economic and demographic calculations made by many CEOs, others reflect pressures that have little to do with markets.

The economics of wokeness

One explanation for many company executives’ public embrace of progressive causes is that they want to preserve and expand their customer base. Younger Americans are more socially liberal, we’re told, and want their buying choices to reflect their politics. Economic self-interest, the logic goes, compels businesses to adapt to these realities by sounding as progressive as possible.

Sometimes this takes the form of organisational changes, such as creating positions like “Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion.” Few individuals with such jobs seem especially interested in promoting a plurality of political views within their companies. On other occasions, it involves vocally and financially supporting various progressive causes, or signaling that you disdain customers with more conservative views.

There’s little doubt that many Americans want their buying choices to reflect their politics. One reputable consumer survey, for example, indicated that 66 percent of respondents believed that it was important for companies to take political stands. Breaking this down further, it turned out that this view was held by 78 percent of liberals but also by 52 percent of conservatives.

This means that companies that portray themselves as committed to progressive activism risk losing their more conservative customers. The fact that more Americans consistently identify as conservative rather than liberal should cause company executives to pause before imagining that being assertively progressive is the gateway to greater profits.

In fact, there is evidence that promoting progressive ideas doesn’t increase (or, for that matter, undermine) profits. Study of the economics of wokeness is relatively new, but in his carefully framed analysis of several prominent cases, Vincent Harinam concluded that:

woke corporate policies do little to positively or negatively impact a company’s bottom line. While financial gains are possible, they are minimal. In other words, woke capitalism is, for the most part, financially inconsequential relative to other higher-order factors, be they store closures or increased production costs. The market is the market. It is unpredictable, volatile, and based on trillions of hard-to-model data points. As such, woke capitalism doesn’t move the needle. Going woke won’t make you broke, but it won’t line your pockets either.

Demography isn’t destiny

If this is the case, why do businesses get woke?

Harinam suggests it’s at least partly about demographics, an area to which executives and managers pay close attention. Millennials, Harinam notes, are (at least according to Pew Research) the only more or less consistently liberal generational demographic. For some companies, this matters because millennials are or will be one of their major consumer markets.

More generally, Harinam maintains that going woke is a relatively cost-effective way of placating the activist left and reassuring consumers that the company is socially responsible. Sometimes, he points out, this spectacularly backfires, as businesses like Gillette and Pepsi have discovered. The general calculus, however, is that corporate wokeness is one way of getting ahead of the demographic curve.

The flaw with this strategy is that demography isn’t always destiny. Looking at the 2020 election results, for example, some progressives have observed that the left is losing its grip on specific groups, such as black and Hispanic Americans, as younger members of these groups question and turn away from their parents’ political leanings. Once upon a time, most American Catholics regularly voted Democratic, while Episcopalian was a synonym for Republican. Neither has been the case for decades.

Put another way, people change their minds. Sometimes the trigger is a major event like a pandemic, recession, terrorist attack, or Supreme Court decision. Consider how Roe v. Wade eventually turned millions of Catholics and Evangelicals against the Democratic Party, or the ways in which the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession soured large numbers of millennials on capitalism. More mundanely, many once-liberal individuals get married, start families, begin regularly attending church or synagogue, see their taxes grow, read a little economics, or simply get tired of being told they should act and vote in particular ways because of their skin color, sex, religion, or ethnicity.

Taken together, this indicates that business executives should be careful before assuming the static nature of any group’s social, political, and economic preferences. Perpetually posing as more progressive than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may, at some point, result in companies’ losing touch with or even alienating significant segments of their markets.

Shifting the goalposts

While economic and demographic assumptions (however mistaken) help explain the leftward shift of parts of the American business community, other less economic factors are also at work.

One is the cultural pressures to which all of us are subject. Like other Americans, many business leaders have studied at colleges that, for all their diversity-speak, are monolithically progressive in their outlook. CEOs and higher business managers also live in a media environment in which conservative voices are token or stigmatised. There is no reason to assume that business executives are any more resistant to intensifying progressive influences than anyone else.

That applies to the way they think about economic issues as much as about social questions. It’s an error to assume that all business leaders are gung-ho free-marketers. In fact, many prefer to seek favours from governments and regulators rather than trying to out-compete their rivals in the marketplace. Some of these executives have also surely worked out that PDWs (Public Displays of Wokeness) are one way of enhancing their ability to play the crony game. If a company wants to secure privileges from a heavily liberal legislature, it can’t hurt to emphasise the business’s commitment to woke causes.

More generally, many people consistently prioritise their political beliefs over their economic self-interest. While incentives to focus on the economic bottom line may be greater in commerce, it’s not uncommon for business leaders to decide that supporting particular progressive political causes matters more than profit, whatever the consequences for shareholders and customers.

Lastly, there is the ongoing impact of the stakeholder movement on the business world. Few events symbolise how far such thinking has penetrated America than the Business Roundtable’s 2019 decision, endorsed by 181 CEOs, to commit itself to leading “their companies for the benefit of all stakeholders — customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.” Six months later in December 2019, the World Economic Forum produced a manifesto stating that companies needed to shift away from “shareholder capitalism” and embrace “stakeholder capitalism.”

For many people, such words may seem innocuous, not least because stakeholderism reflects a certain truth about business. To the extent that stakeholderism holds that businesses should treat their employees and customers fairly, honour contracts, obey just laws, respect the environment, etc., it is unobjectionable. In such cases, it’s simply another way of articulating well-understood responsibilities of business.

Business leaders meet these obligations every single day by facilitating choice in goods and services for consumers, providing wages and benefits to their employees, repaying loans to banks, providing returns to investors and shareholders, paying just taxes, and, above all, creating economic value that benefits the wider community in seen and unseen ways in the present and into the future.

That truth, however, has steadily been twisted in ways that distract business leaders from their core responsibilities, diminish the legitimate commercial liberties of the companies they run, and allow executives of publicly traded companies to insulate themselves from accountability to investors and shareholders. This is apparent in what is called “pluralistic stakeholderism.”

Among other things, this school of thought holds that companies must consider the effects of their choices on potentially infinite numbers of stakeholders, even to the point of requiring businesses to consult with, if not receive approval from, numerous constituencies before making any significant decisions. In this scenario, shareholders and customers are just one of a plethora of entities to whom business executives must answer.

If followed through systematically, such forms of stakeholderism would marginalise attention to profit-making in many business leaders’ decision-making, thoroughly muddle lines of accountability within companies, and undermine a basic foundation of competitive market economies by prioritising virtue-signaling over the workings of price signals. And this, I’d suggest, is precisely what that large segment of the political left that has never reconciled itself to free markets actually wants.

That is what is ultimately at stake with the leftward drift of so many American business leaders. Seeking to appease activist progressives might help alleviate some immediate pressures on companies. It may even seem like good public relations. But like all forms of appeasement, this is counterproductive over the long term insofar as it will significantly undermine the capacity of business executives to generate profits, create jobs, and build and invest the capital that fuels long-term growth for entire countries.

In such a world, all of us — not just business — will lose.

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

COLUMN BY

Samuel Gregg

Samuel Gregg is Research Director at the Acton Institute and a Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University. More by Samuel Gregg.

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

Censorship Movement Turns to the ‘Loophole’ of Podcasts

The Associated Press, always a reliable source of establishment policy messaging, has a new target for the censors: Podcasts. An article released by AP on January 15 entitled “Extremists exploit a loophole in social moderation: Podcasts,” posted on countless news websites, expresses frustration that the censors can’t easily get at podcasts.

This doesn’t mean podcasters are invulnerable. Most podcasts rely on only three companies to gain exposure, if not the actual platform, for their podcasts: Apple, Spotify and Google. And these companies are coming under increasing pressure to censor podcasters. A spokesperson for the Anti Defamation League is quoted in the article:

“Podcasts filled with hatred and incitement to violence should not be treated any differently than any other content. If you’re going to take a strong stance against hate and extremism in the platform in any way, it should be all-inclusive.”

The difficulty with monitoring podcasts is their long form and audio format makes it hard to identify brief episodes of “misinformation” (or whatever) that could be buried within hours of otherwise innocuous content. But speech recognition algorithms are fast approaching the level where that barrier goes away. In the meantime, orchestrated complaints, a word from groups like the ADL, or even just an inquiry from the Associated Press can cause a podcast to get cancelled.

A few days earlier, on January 12, the Podcast Business Journal ran an article entitled “Censorship Abounds. Should Podcasters Be Worried?” Taking the form of an interview with “the podcasting industry’s favorite attorney for answers,” the responses were not encouraging.

The interview led off with the same “it’s a private company” nonsense we’re still hearing from brain dead libertarian purists. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Apple dominate their markets. Rather than break them up (which would be justifiable under anti-trust law), and rather than take away their Section 230 exemption, just require them to adhere to Section 230! That would mean if these platforms want to keep the exemption, they can’t ban anything that’s not violating the First Amendment.

This expert attorney then makes an astonishingly naive claim: “I don’t think podcasters need to be ‘careful’ about anything but being truthful and presenting things fairly. It’s OK to have an opinion, even an unpopular one, but to clothe it in language of fact is deceit, and shouldn’t be tolerated.”

He is missing the big picture entirely. Requiring honest “facts” and prohibiting anything that is “intentionally misleading” as a condition of avoiding censorship is a slippery slope. Who decides what is factual? Who decides whether someone was just wrong, or was intentionally misleading? Do people have a right to be wrong? One would hope so. If this becomes accepted practice, how many topics will become priorities for “factchecker” censors? Shall we be censored if we disagree over climate change, or systemic racism? The election fraud issue is just a wedge.

One note of balance in the AP article, something that unfortunately won’t get much traction, is their quote from Jillian York, an expert at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who said “the [censorship] tide is against the speech of right-wing extremists … but tomorrow the tide might be against opposition activists.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Winston84 Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Beijing Biden to KILL Keystone XL Pipeline

America didn’t vote for this. Biden’s energy polices will cripple the U.S. energy sector.

The $9 billion project, which would move up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil daily from the province of Alberta to Nebraska, has been delayed by legal issues.

In a lengthy statement posted to Twitter, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said he was “deeply concerned” by the report, arguing that the move would “kill jobs on both sides of the border, weaken the critically important Canada-U.S. relationship, and undermine U.S. national security by making the United States more dependent on OPEC oil imports in the future.”

He also warned that Alberta would work with TC Energy Corp. to use “all legal avenues available to protect its interest in the project.”

Biden to end Keystone XL pipeline early on: source

Posted January 17, 2021

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL pipeline project as one of his first acts in office, and perhaps as soon as his first day, according to a source familiar with his thinking.

RELATED ARTICLE: Dangerous, Dumb, Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Proposes Funding to Deprogram “White Supremacists”

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Paypal BLOCKS Christian Crowdfunding Site GiveSendGo

The US is imploding…..

Paypal says it blocked Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo

Digital payments processor confirms account closed for event organizer Ali Alexander, report says

Paypal says it blocked Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo
Digital payments processor confirms account closed for event organizer Ali Alexander, report says

By Kanishka Singh, Reuters, January 17, 2021:

PayPal Holdings Inc said on Monday it has blocked the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it helped raise funds for people who attended last week’s event in Washington when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.

The digital payments processor also confirmed to Reuters that it closed an account held by Ali Alexander, one of the organizers of the gathering. The news was reported earlier by Bloomberg, which cited an unnamed source.

Supporters of Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, trying halt the certification by Congress of President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory.

PayPal Holdings Inc said on Monday it has blocked the Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo after it helped raise funds for people who attended last week’s event in Washington when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol.
Trump, who has without evidence challenged the validity of Biden’s election win, initially praised his supporters but later condemned the violence.

Bloomberg reported last week that PayPal had closed an account held by Joy In Liberty, one of the groups that paid for supporters of Trump to travel to Washington where mobs stormed the Capitol.

Representatives of GiveSendGo, which describes itself as “A place to fund hope. A place to work together with the body of Christ around the world to make a difference,” could not be reached immediately for comment.

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Big Tech Doesn’t Censor Conservatives and Other Myths

We’ve moved from ‘conservatives should build their own platforms’ to ‘conservatives don’t deserve their own platforms’.


For several years, I’ve been highlighting Big Tech bias when I encounter it, knowing that my ability to do so online may not last forever. I’ve received a lot of pushback to this. The many examples I’ve provided were algorithmic anomalies, I was told—and I may in fact be suffering from a victimhood complex.

So last week’s deplatforming of President Trump and the Big Tech purge that followed it is surely the smoking barrel that proves my case once and for all, right?

Wrong. The narrative has suddenly now changed from Big Tech doesn’t censor conservatives to Big Tech platforms can censor anyone they like because they’re private companies.

This cognitive sidestep has been described by author Rod Dreher as the Law of Merited Impossibility. In short, Dreher’s law goes like this: “It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.”

We have definitely moved from the “it will never happen” to the “when it does” phase of this law.

After the deadly storming of the Capitol by Trump supporters last week, Donald Trump had his accounts on Twitter and Facebook removed. Other social media platforms quickly followed suit, with Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, Reddit, Shopify and Pinterest blocking Trump accounts or removing Trump-related content.

Twitter went on to delete an untold number of Trump-linked accounts, with Republican politicians and high-profile conservatives reporting follower losses in the tens of thousands.

Brandon Straka was one of these. He’s the founder of the #WalkAway campaign, a community of disillusioned ex-Democrats. Faring worse than most, his 500,000-strong group was deleted by Facebook, and his entire staff team was removed from the platform.

Part of the “when it does” phase of Dreher’s law is the idea that conservatives should create their own platforms. That would make everyone happy, right?

Wrong. That narrative was also blown out of the water when three of the most powerful Big Tech companies united against Parler to chase it off the internet.

Parler had been growing as a popular alternative to Twitter and was known to be more friendly to conservatives and Trump supporters. After Trump’s ban, some 4.5 million social media refugees fled to Parler.

But then Apple removed Parler from their app store. And Google did too. Then, with just 24 hours notice, Amazon kicked Parler off of its servers altogether, in response to the news that Donald Trump might open an account there. Visit parler.com now and the site no longer exists.

So now we’ve moved from conservatives should build their own platforms to conservatives don’t deserve their own platforms. Kinder voices might suggest that social media isn’t all that important anyway; that people upset about all this should delete their apps and go and live in the real world.

The problem with this, however, is that so much of the real world is now lived online—whether our banking, emails, shopping or business. This has only become more pronounced as a result of the Covid lockdowns.

So what happens when banks, email servers, payment services and other online platforms begin punishing conservatives for their sincerely-held viewpoints? Actually, we’re already finding out.

The email marketing firms MailChimp and Constant Contact cut ties with Brandon Straka’s #WalkAway group after Facebook de-platformed them. Signature Bank closed two of Donald Trump’s accounts that held over $5 million in deposits. PayPal has blocked the Christian charity GiveSendGo for their ties to the “Stop the Steal” event in D.C. that later devolved into violence. Other such examples abound.

While not all conservatives are being targeted, the purge has most certainly begun. The way things are trending, half the population may no longer be welcome in polite society.

The final pushback to all of this is that such suppression is justified in order to quell violence, remove hate speech, and fend off conspiracy theories. But like all the other justifications, this one falls short too.

Amazon sells over 200 products that urge violence against Trump and Trump supporters. Iran’s Ayatollah preaches genocide against Israelis via his Twitter account. Many platforms let the “Russiagate” conspiracy theory run wild for Trump’s entire presidency. Twitter allows the Chinese Communist Party to spread the conspiracy theory that Covid began in the United States. Hashtags like #AssassinateTrump or #KillJews reveal reams of hateful content on Twitter as well.

Big Tech doesn’t censor violence and hate speech. It censors conservatives. No number of ever-shifting justifications can paper over this.

So can we be done with all the myths?

COLUMN BY

Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate… .

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

Beijing Biden Calls for ‘At Least’ a $15 Minimum Wage

The D-bags destroyed small business with the political weaponization of COVID lockdowns.

This is the death blow.

Even the stock market tanked on this news.

We can see that the Bernie Sanders wing of the Democrat Party will have tremendous influence on the Biden Administration. Mandating a $15 minimum wage would devastate job growth. Businesses will just lay off employees to recover their losses. It is the economic environment that should determine the monetary value of an employee. If the economy is strong and open, then qualified people will be hired for a good salary.

Biden Calls for “At Least” a $15 Minimum Wage

By The Dan Bongino Show, January 15, 2021

The “Fight for Fifteen” movement has an ally in Joe Biden. On the issue of the minimum wage, he’ll be taking a page out of the Bernie Sanders playbook.

Last night he unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus package that included $1,400 stimulus checks (to boost the prior $600 payment to a total of $2,000), expanded unemployment benefits, an aggressive vaccination plan, and tax credits to families with children.

Biden also advocated for a higher minimum wage. “No one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line,” Biden said while addressing the nation Thursday. “That’s what it means, if you work for less than $15 an hour and work 40 hours a week, you’re living in poverty.”

This is a common talking point from proponents of raising the minimum wage, and overlooks that poverty is a job problem, not a wage problem. As I wrote years ago: In 2015, only 11 percent of (working age) people in poverty worked full time. By contrast, 63 percent of those in poverty don’t work at all. Of full time workers in America, only 2 percent live in poverty (compared to 32 percent of the unemployed). If we look at those with families, the numbers become even more stark. For instance, in 2011 only 0.3 percent of families in poverty worked an hourly job earning the minimum wage.

Furthermore, a 2019 CBO study found that 81% of the benefits of raising the minimum wage to $15 would go to people already above the poverty line, while “increasing joblessness [by 1.7 million], reducing business income, raising prices, and lowering total output in the economy.”

In response, Seattle’s legislature, which commissioned the study, promptly fired all the University of Washington researchers for making the mistake of stumbling upon the truth.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Quick note: Tech giants are snuffing us out. You know this. Facebook, Twitter, Google et al have shadowbanned, suspended and in some cases deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here— it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever.

Amazon Web Services Censors Parler, Leaves Leftist Vendors Untouched

Following the January 6th Capitol attacks and social media’s censorship of President Trump, Amazon Web Services (AWS) just suspended Parler, the free speech social media alternative. Fortunately, Parler’s lawsuit means they won’t go down without a fight.

Many conservatives are readily accusing AWS of censoring conservative ideas, but a quick look at Parler’s actual content reveals they’re far from innocent. Death threats overran the platform in recent weeks, along with people planning acts of violent terrorism such as the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Parler’s current state is hardly a good alternative to Big Tech.

While AWSwanting to hold Parler accountable for terrorist content isn’t inherently a problem, AWS’s refusal to do the same to their leftist Big Tech vendors such as Facebook is blatant hypocrisy when literal terrorist organizations like ISIS maintain active recruitment profiles. Conservatives are censored simply for sharing non-violent “misinformation” — but death threats against those same conservatives are ignored by real people at Facebook. And in July 2019, Facebook briefly allowed a “list of dangerous people” (all conservatives) to have violence incited against them on the platform. The rule was only retracted due to backlash.

And on Twitter, even Iran’s terrorist leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is allowed more freedom of speech than conservatives. His messages, which include calling Israel “a deadly, cancerous growth” and supporting groups “who oppose…the Zionist regime,” are up on Twitter to this day. Apparently, Twitter doesn’t have an issue with threats of genocide except when they’re said by conservatives.

We at 2ndVote oppose threats of violence and terrorism whether from those using conservative platforms such as Parler or from leftist users on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The right to free speech and safety are universal. Unfortunately, Big Tech platforms only allow leftists to exercise those rights, while suppressing everyone else. We here at 2ndVote are doing our due diligence to find a platform that truly represents free speech so conservatives can ditch Big Tech without losing access to the communication that is the heartbeat of America.

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Takeout Only | How California Elites Crushed LA’s Local Restaurants

It was a dark winter for most small business owners across America, but Los Angeles County in particular was decimated by draconian lockdown measures right before the holidays. The county shut down both indoor and outdoor dining as of Nov. 25, allowing restaurants to only use takeout to feed their customers.

The Daily Caller’s Jorge Ventura traveled across the county talking to restaurant owners who are barely able to keep their lights on. The documentary tracks the gradual escalation of lockdown measures and their impact on small businesses. We also shed light on California’s bureaucrats breaking their lockdown measures, and their apparent indifference to those suffering under policies they imposed.

Los Angeles County put a ban on outdoor dining the week of Thanksgiving impacting 30,000 restaurants in the county. More than 110,000 restaurants across the country are set to close permanently or long-term, according to the National Restaurant Association. California was the first state in March to issue a state wide stay-at-home order and since then restaurants have had to adjust to some of the strictest COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

“We were expecting a lot of sports and revenue to come in but that all shut down” Dave Foldes, the owner of Cronies Sports Grill in Southern California said about the state wide stay-at-home order issued in March. “We were limited to just takeout and delivery and our business does not do well with that is a very small part of our business.”

Foldes has decided to defy the outdoor dining ban and has continued to serve his customers. According to Foldes, he has been fined $500 everyday to defy the outdoor dining ban by LA County Public Health. “This whole thing started because the last we’re going to do is lay people off during the Christmas holiday” said Foldes on why he decided to defy the county’s orders that ban restaurants, bars and breweries from serving outdoors. “I can’t see laying them off, they need money for the holidays.”

The ban on outdoor dining has forced many restaurants and breweries like Ravens Nest and Bravery Brewing in LA County to layoff employees during the holidays as they adjust to takeout-only service. “Furloughing our staff, pivoting and for the first time in our company’s history having to find a way to discount our beer so we can through all of it in a timely fashion.”

WATCH:

COLUMN BY

JORGE VENTURA

Contributor.

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

Twitter Reaches Hypocritical Mass

Twitter is opposed to government’s restricting speech; maybe it is because they don’t want competition. In a development that is adding more fuel to the fires against Big Tech, Jack Dorsey’s company made the astonishingly bad PR move to tweet about the situation in Uganda. In what comes across as delusional, Twitter tried to position itself as a champion of open debate, posting (to the astonishment of pretty much everyone), “Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns — they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights, and the principles of the open internet.”

Yes, Twitter, the king of conservative censorship, wielder of the all-powerful on/off switch, had the nerve to actually write that. Days after permanently stripping the president of the free world’s account — a move that even Europe’s progressives couldn’t believe — Dorsey’s company has the audacity to air on the side of “open internet” in a country 8,000 miles away. “The gall!” was all New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari could say. “Pre-election freedom of information for Ugandans. But not for readers of America’s oldest daily newspaper, The New York Post.” Truly, our friend Allie Stuckey shook her head, “They think you’re stupid.”

Unfortunately for Jack Dorsey and the rest of Big Tech’s oligarchs, we’re not. “A lot of people are going to be super unhappy with West Coast high tech as the de facto arbiter of free speech,” the world’s richest man, Elon Musk, argued. “West Coast high tech has to make the distinction between banning hate speech and banning speech it hates.” So far, Dorsey’s posse hasn’t had much motivation to do so — but that is changing, critics warn, and fast.

In Europe, where countries have never cared much for free speech and find themselves father down the path of radicalism, leaders like Germany’s Angela Merkel described the banning of Trump “problematic.” Others, like Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, were quite blunt that what Silicon Valley had done is “an unacceptable act.” “Of course, Twitter is a private company, but we have seen many examples in Russian and China of such private companies becoming the state’s best friends and the enablers when it comes to censorship.” Not to mention, he tacks on with potent truth, “I get death threats here every day for many years, and Twitter doesn’t ban anyone.”

How far has America come in one week, if even the nations where free speech isn’t cherished are surprised? Have we actually managed to leapfrog Europe and Asia in this social media freefall? Even the ACLU felt compelled to put a stake in the ground. “We understand the desire to permanently suspend [Trump] now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier,” the organization’s statement read. In other words: what goes around, comes around.

“Democrats celebrating censorship, and social media companies flaunting their decisions with specious justifications, should be wary. The very same desire to silence a political opponent will come for them. And the tech giants trying to please the party in charge just backed a move that puts their political future in jeopardy,” Jason Rantz warns them. The Jack Dorseys and Mark Zuckerbergs may think they hold all the power, but a Big Tech reckoning is coming. And when it does, no amount of leftist election pandering will save them.

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