New Poll Details Voters’ Distrust of Big Tech, Big Government

Never, in the history of mankind, has such immense, incalculable power been in the hands of so few.

New poll details voters’ distrust of Big Tech, big government

By Samuel Chamberlain, NY Post, June 26, 2021 |

Most American voters believe that five tech giants, including Facebook and Google, have too much power — but even more think the federal government has a surplus of sway, according to a new poll.

Fox News survey of 1,001 registered voters found that 63 percent believe Facebook has too much power. By comparison, 68 percent of respondents said they believe the federal government has too much power and 65 percent said they think the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has too much power.

Voters aren’t much more fond of other Big Tech mainstays, with 55 percent believing Google has too much power, 53 percent saying Twitter has too much power and 52 percent saying the same about Apple. Fifty-one percent of respondents said that Amazon has too much power, the same percentage who said the FBI is too powerful.

Paradoxically, the vast majority of respondents say that they have either a Facebook account (70 percent), an Amazon account (76 percent), or a Google account (81 percent), though the percentage of Facebook users is down four percentage points from 2018.

Despite the widespread use of social media companies, a whopping 69 percent of respondents said they don’t trust those firms to make “fair decisions” about what information is posted on their platforms, compared to just 26 percent who said they do.

Possibly due to mistrust of the federal government, most voters don’t want the tech giants to be broken up, with one exception: 53 percent of respondents said Facebook should be dismantled, while just 46 percent said the same of Amazon, Apple and Google.

Lawmakers from both parties have long had Facebook and Twitter in their crosshairs, with Democrats accusing them of doing nothing to stop the spread of misinformation that they believe contributed to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election. Republicans have accused both platforms of anti-conservative bias and of restricting the reach of accounts that they deem to be “misinformation” (a process known as “shadow-banning”), even while allowing representatives of totalitarian regimes like Iran and China to spread lies indiscriminately.

Last fall, Twitter prevented its users from sharing The Post’s bombshell reporting on Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop, which exposed the now-first son’s business dealings in Ukraine and China. Twitter even went so far as to lock The Post out of its own account, citing a policy against sharing hacked materials despite there being no evidence that the materials were hacked.

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee narrowly approved the last piece of a legislation package meant to prevent big tech companies from using their reach to throttle competitors.

The legislation requires tech giants to sell lines of business they run on their platforms if they also compete against them; show that potential mergers are legal rather than require antitrust enforcers prove they are not, and allow users to transfer their data elsewhere.

The legislation’s future in a closely divided House and Senate is unclear, but House Republicans have said they intend to introduce their own legislation to combat alleged anti-conservative bias by social media companies.

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New Data Offer Even More Proof Price Inflation is on the Rise

Proponents of big government spending have desperately argued that mounting price inflation is just temporary. But multiple alarming inflation metrics came out for April and May, and examples of rising prices are clear to see from big-box retail stores to the real estate market.

Now, yet another metric has come in making the ongoing inflation even more difficult to deny. CNBC reports that the personal consumption expenditures price index, which the Federal Reserve uses to make policy, came in at an annualized 3.4 percent on Friday. This is the largest increase in the metric in nearly 30 years. When factoring in food and energy, the metric reports that consumer prices rose 3.9 percent from May 2020 to May 2021.

In certain sectors, the price inflation is especially acute. The report says that the energy sector alone has experienced a 27.4 percent increase in prices over the last year.

Why does this matter? Well, price inflation is a form of “stealth taxation” that erodes the real purchasing power and living standards of Americans.

“After a year of lockdowns leading to job losses and pay cuts, many Americans aren’t in a position to pay… higher prices,” FEE economist Peter Jacobsen wrote. “It’s easy for someone with a comfortable job or nest egg to scoff at these price increases, but working-class and poor Americans feel the difference.”

For people living paycheck-to-paycheck, a 27 percent increase in their energy bill is a serious problem. And it’s also important to understand that, at least in part, the current price inflation can be traced back to federal monetary policy. Simply put, the Federal Reserve printed trillions of new dollars to fund “stimulus” efforts, and prices naturally rose as a result.

“The quantity of money has increased more than 32.9% since January 2020,” Jacobsen explained. “That means nearly one-quarter of the money in circulation has been created since then. If more dollars chase the exact same goods, prices will rise.”

The laws of economics don’t care about the politics of who is in charge of the federal government at the moment. As politically inconvenient as it may be for some, we just got even more confirmation that profligate federal policy is contributing to rising prices for American consumers.

Data of the Day: Axios reports that the bipartisan compromise infrastructure deal reached between President Biden and some Senate Republicans does not include any tax increases—which means the spending binge would add $1.2 trillion to the national debt.

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

Biden Administration’s New ‘Woke’ Corporate Disclosure Rules Will Cost Companies Billions, Experts Warn

Under the Biden administration’s leadership, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed new “woke” corporate disclosure rules. A new form of social-justice-based financial regulation, the federal agency’s rules would mandate that companies track, report, and disclose a wide array of data on issues such as climate change emissions and diversity.

This might poll well or look nice at first glance. But like any complex federal regulation, the woke reporting rules will have many unintended consequences—namely, they’ll cost businesses billions.

“Business groups are trying to calculate just how much money public companies might have to shell out to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s planned new ‘woke’ corporate disclosure rules, and initial estimates aren’t pretty,” Fox Business reports. “While no exact estimate can be determined, the SEC’s new disclosure mandates involving everything from the environment to board diversity is likely to cost U.S. public companies well into the billions of dollars.”

The goal of the SEC regulation is to promote environmentalism and racial equality, with regulators likely having good intentions. But they are either unable or unwilling to foresee the adverse consequences that could accompany this virtue-signaling effort.

Heritage Foundation senior fellow David R. Burton, a specialist in tax and financial regulation, laid out the many ways these rules will likely backfire in a letter to the SEC.

He agreed that “requiring all public companies to develop climate modeling expertise, the ability to make macroeconomic projections based on these models and then make firm-specific economic assessments based on these climate and economic models will be expensive,” likely costing billions.

The result?

“These expenses would harm investors by reducing shareholder returns,” Burton explained. This means it’s not just Big Business, but the millions of Americans who invest in the stock market or rely on it for their retirement, who could bear the costs.

Burton further warns that these woke disclosure rules would result in “the creation of a new compliance eco-system and pro-complexity lobby composed of the economists, accountants, attorneys and compliance officers that live off of [regulatory compliance].” Simply put, they would even further entrap firms into wasting money on red tape compliance costs.

The Heritage expert also added that the rules would fuel a huge rise in costly litigation.

Meanwhile, it’s unclear what, if anything, the SEC’s woke disclosure mandates would accomplish—beyond merely virtue-signaling, of course.

“This whole ESG thing is just one giant waste of time and money,” said Chris Whalen, chief of Whalen Global Advisors. “It’s just a big show that only benefits the consultants and the lawyers who are making money off of this.”

Data of the Day: Meal prices at restaurants have surged as much as 5 percent in just the last few weeks, Bloomberg reports, in the latest example of inflation eating away at everyday Americans’ wallets. It’s part of a broader trend in food inflation.

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

The Supreme Court Just Struck a Big Blow for Private Property—Against Union Invasion

Do union activists have the right to invade a business owner’s private property? The Supreme Court just rejected a California regulation and answered the question with a resounding “no.”

Here’s the backstory.

Mike Fahner owns a successful strawberry farm in California, Cedar Point Nursery, which provides roughly 500 jobs and pays above-market wages. But in 2015, union activists came to the farm, which is private property, to protest and harass the farmworkers in an attempt to get them to join their union. Video shows their behavior was aggressive and disruptive. Yet due to a California state law mandating that union activists be allowed on private property up to 3 hours a day, 120 days a year, Fahner was unable to make the activists leave his property.

Working with the libertarian-leaning Pacific Legal Foundation, Fahner challenged this law as an unconstitutional violation of his property rights—and his case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 ruling handed down on Wednesday, the Supreme Court struck down the California law as a violation of the Fifth Amendment, which protects Americans’ property rights. The Fifth Amendment mandates that the government cannot take peoples’ property without providing them adequate compensation.

“The right to exclude is ‘a fundamental element of the property right,’” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority. What he means is that core to your property rights is the ability to remove people from your property. After all, you don’t really own your home if you don’t have the right to make other people leave.

So, by restricting business owners’ rights to exclude people from their property—and failing to compensate them for this restriction—the California government violated the Constitution.
​​​The three liberal-leaning justices argued that this regulation doesn’t count as a “taking” of property, because the state is not literally taking it away, but merely regulating its use. However, as the Wall Street Journal editorial board notes, such a narrow and limited view of property contradicts the Founders’ vision and would negate landowners’ fundamental rights.

“Under the liberals’ interpretation, governments could require property owners to give the public or special interest groups access to their land to promote broadly defined social goods,” the Journal explains. “Owners of beach front property would have to let the public trample through their land. Workplaces might have to let political organizers talk to employees.”

Whether one loves or loathes unions is entirely beside the point. The Supreme Court just struck a blow for property rights, and all Americans should celebrate this victory for freedom.

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

Restaurants Are Now Adding ‘Equity’ Charges to Customers’ Checks to Fight Oppression

“Where should we eat tomorrow?” my wife asked me excitedly as we sat on our deck Friday evening.

She had locked down a babysitter for Saturday night, and we were both eager for our first dinner date alone together in months.

“Broders’,” I answered without hesitation.

Located in southwest Minneapolis, Broders Pasta Bar is a local gem. It has a great outdoor patio and the best Italian cuisine in the Twin Cities. We had not eaten there since the pandemic began.

My wife nodded and started to make a reservation on her phone. Then her jaw dropped.

“You’re not going to like this,” she said.

An Equity Charge?

She was right.

On its website, Broders’ has a notice to customers notifying them of a new 15 percent “benefits and equity” charge they’ve instituted. They justify the charge, first, by explaining that “many states have allowed reduced minimum wages for service staff in the form of a tip credit.” (More on this in a minute.)

The restaurant’s second justification is that many tippers are racist and sexist, according to uncited research.

“Studies have also shown that there is inequity and built-in bias in the way consumers give tips,” the statement reads. “In general, Black or Brown servers receive less tips than Caucasian servers. There is gender bias as well.”

The final part of the statement says the new policy stems from wider racial injustice and is not a substitute for gratuity.

“In the wake of racial injustice protests and the closures due to Covid, now is the time for Broders’ to reimagine its economics and provide fair pay across the company,” the statement reads. “Our Benefits & Equity Charge is applied entirely to employee compensation. This supplement helps us to set a $16 minimum hourly wage for customer facing employees, $18 minimum hourly wage for kitchen employees… Altogether this allows everyone in our company to earn a real living wage. The 15% Benefits & Equity Charge is not a gratuity.”

Broders’ is of course free to add this additional charge, but there are few things that should be noted.

First, it’s true that many states allow tipped employees to make less than the minimum wage. However, Minnesota is not one of those states. Businesses with gross revenue over $500,000 are legally required to pay employees—including tipped workers—at least $10.08 an hour. (For businesses with gross revenue less than $500,000, the minimum wage is $8.21.)

For Broders’ to include this sentence—”many states have allowed reduced minimum wages”—for a justification of its equity policy while fully knowing this policy is not in use in Minnesota is nothing short of deceptive.

Second, I’m no Robert Irvine, but telling your customers you are going to begin charging them more because they are too bigoted to tip fairly might not be a winning restaurant strategy. Just sayin’. As a former restaurant worker, I pride myself on being a generous and fair tipper, and the implication that I can’t be trusted with this responsibility doesn’t sit well with me.

Finally, if Broders’ doesn’t feel restaurant workers in the back are earning enough money, there is a solution to that: pay them more. This action doesn’t require any surcharges or public lectures on systemic oppression. It only requires the restaurant to run an efficient and profitable business that allows them to pay workers a wage they believe is fair and “livable.”

Out of curiosity, I looked around to see if other restaurants are adding similar charges. I quickly found one. Pizzeria Toro, a North Carolina restaurant, recently announced that it is introducing a 20 percent Living Wage Fee.

The pizzeria’s owner, Gray Brooks, said this is the “equitable” thing to do. “In order for the bottom to rise up, the top has to come down a little bit,” said Brooks.

This is, of course, a perfect example of the fixed pie fallacy. For those unfamiliar, the fallacy assumes that the economy is fixed, and for the poor to do better, the better off must simply sacrifice more.

“If we assume that wealth is a fixed pie, then the more slices the rich get, the fewer are left over for the poor,” Chelsea Follett explained. “In other words, people can only better themselves at the expense of others. In the world of the fixed pie, if we observe the rich becoming richer, then it must be because other people are becoming poorer. Fortunately, in the real world, the pie is not fixed.”

That the fixed pie is a fallacy is clear. New matter cannot be created, but new value can be. Value is created every time two parties make a voluntary exchange. And the market economy is a vast network of trillions upon trillions of value-creating exchanges.

The market economy’s “pie” of value grows with every “win-win” exchange. So, there’s no need for “win-lose” transfers from have-mores to have-lesses.

Historically, the poor have been helped much more by the freedom and opportunity to participate in the market than from wealth transfers (whether in the form of charity or taxation). And the most poverty-alleviating way to use private wealth has not been to give it away, but to invest it in capital goods, which boosts labor productivity and thus lifts up real wages. Just look at the rise of per capita income since the 18th century, which shows “the growing pie” of the market benefited everyone.

The owners of these establishments are free to run their businesses as they like (just as I’m free to take my business elsewhere). But, if they really care about uplifting their workers, they should worry less about corporate virtue-signaling and more about actually improving their business. And if they still have bandwidth to do some good after that, they might work on opposing all the myriad ways—the minimum wage, occupational licensing, etc—that government gets in the way of workers participating in and benefiting from “growing the pie.”

“Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another,” Milton Friedman once observed.

One of the reasons the fixed pie fallacy persists, no doubt, is this hyperfocus on equity. Some might look at equity surcharges as just a shrewd ploy for restaurants to get more for their workers, but that doesn’t mean they are benign.

Focusing on equity tends to place labor and business at odds, implying that workers are being exploited and deprived of their fair share. This idea—that the employer-employee relationship is inherently exploitative—is grounded in Marxism, and has been effectively refuted by economists. This mindset taps into resentment and class struggle, two pillars of socialism, and teaches people to see the world through the lens of oppression and conflict.

To be sure, in a new twist, restaurants appear to be trying to pass this alleged exploitation onto customers, perhaps to placate disgruntled workers or maybe to tap into social justice currents. But this doesn’t make the ideas less harmful.

Whatever the case, I suspect attempts to make customers pay “equity” chargers will backfire.

Customers like having choices. That’s one of the many beauties of markets. Consumers can choose how we respond to things. If you don’t like Twitter’s aggressive policies on speech, fine; you can go somewhere else. If you don’t care for Chick fil A’s charitable donations, you can eat at Popeye’s. If a car dealership treats you poorly, you can take your business elsewhere.

And if you don’t like your favorite restaurant’s new equity surcharge policy, you can simply exercise the power of exit—and I intend to.

The choice for me was simple: My favorite restaurant added an equity surcharge. What should I do?

I will not be eating at Broders’ again, I’m sad to say. At least not while I’m being slapped with equity charges.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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

Progressive Lawmakers Are Working on a Backdoor Plan to Quietly Take Us One Step Closer to Socialist Healthcare

Bipartisan talks over compromise spending legislation are ongoing in Congress, but the prospects of the two parties reaching a compromise aren’t exactly bright. So, progressive lawmakers in Washington, DC are already planning a $6 trillion spending bonanza that they will try to push through on a party-line vote if or when bipartisan talks hit a roadblock. Included in this plan is a big expansion of government healthcare.

“The package – which Democrats could pass on a party-line vote using their slimmest-possible Senate majority – includes other Democratic goals, such as lowering Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 55 or 60 and expanding the program to cover dental work, glasses and eye surgeries as well as hearing aids,” Fox Business reports.

This sounds like a small tweak to Medicare, the massive government healthcare program for senior citizens. But lowering the age to 60 is actually a move with drastic ramifications.

For one, Medicare is already one of the biggest drivers of our federal budget crisis. Its major trust funds are projected to reach insolvency within the next 5 years. Further expanding this program that’s already fueling our debt crisis will only accelerate this impending fiscal nightmare.

But even more importantly, it represents a significant step toward the socialist dream of government-run healthcare for all. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 60—let alone 55—could lead to up to 14.1 million people being shifted off of private health insurance and onto the government plan.

In short, it’s a big step toward “Medicare for All,” the progressive dream where private health insurance is all but eradicated and the government controls our healthcare. The problems with this are endless.

As flawed as our crony, highly-regulated healthcare system may be, the preservation of some degree of profit-motive due to the remaining private sector is why we have one of the most innovative healthcare systems in the world. As the Washington Examiner’s Tiana Lowe explains, “The United States comprises 4.4 percent of the world’s population, yet we produce 44 percent of the world’s medical research and development. This is not a coincidence. Of the $171.8 billion we spend on R&D, the federal government contributes just one-fifth, with private industry footing the overwhelming majority of the bill.”

Meanwhile, shifting everyone on to the government’s healthcare would eventually require more than doubling federal income and corporate taxes—and that’s a conservative estimate. And even then, healthcare shortages and rationing are sure to ensue.

More fundamentally, if the government completely takes over our healthcare, we may soon find that the choices we make about our health are no longer our own.

Regardless, if lawmakers want to pass a massive expansion of government healthcare, they should openly propose it and make their case to the American people. If they’re able to quietly slip it into a huge spending bill, a big loss for freedom could occur without much of a fight.

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

BlackRock, GiaxoSmithKline and the Great Reset

“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.” – Henry A. Wallace, 33rd Vice President of the United States

“All who wish to hand down to their children that happy republican system bequeathed to them by their revolutionary fathers, must now take their stand against this consolidating, corrupting money power, and put it down, or their children will become hewers of wood and drawers of water to this aristocratic ragocracy.” – President Andrew Jackson

“The system shaves the dice on the side of those with money and power, and anyone who believes otherwise deserves anything that happens to him.” – James Lee Burke, author

“The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Information, knowledge, is power. If you can control information, you can control people.” – Tom Clancy


In a previous article, I mentioned BlackRock, Inc.  Not many took notice or mentioned it, but now, BlackRock is finally hitting the news big time.  And they have influence, unbelievable influence with world leaders. In less than 30 years, this American financial firm has grown from nothing to becoming the world’s largest and most trusted manager of other people’s money.

Created in 1988, BlackRock gained its current power in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. With the fall of Lehman Brothers, Wall Street was in the throes of free-fall: no one knew what thousands of their financial portfolios contained, what was hidden behind the derivatives, what was toxic and what was not, what was dangerous and what wasn’t.  They are the financial leviathan that bears down on Europe’s decisions and America’s.  The assets left in their care are more than $8.7 trillion American dollars.

BlackRock, Tom Donilon and Biden

In a recent article by The Conservative Tree House (CTH), i.e., The Last Refuge website, they exposed BlackRock’s connections to the illegitimate Biden administration.  The CTH author, Sundance, summarized the article, The Chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute, the guy who tells the $8.7 trillion investment firm BlackRock where to put their money, has a brother who is the Senior Advisor to Joe Biden; has a wife who is the White House Personnel Director; and has a daughter who is now on the National Security Council.

BlackRock’s Chairman is none other than Tom Donilon whose literal job description for BlackRock is to: “leverage the firm’s expertise and generate proprietary research to provide insights on the global economy, markets, geopolitics and long-term asset allocation.”

Conflicts of interest and insider information.

Thomas Donilon is a member of the globalist Council on Foreign Relations and is Chairman of the BlackRock Investment Institute and Senior of Counsel at the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers.  Like BlackRock’s owner, Donilon is a Democrat who has supported and advised every democrat president and candidate from Jimmy Carter to Hillary Clinton.

The connections are extremely telling.  However, what few people know is that BlackRock, among others, is buying every single-family house they can find, paying 20-50% above asking price and outbidding normal home buyers, especially in Florida, but other Red States as well. Corporations, pension funds and property investment groups are snapping up single-family houses, and even entire neighborhoods, to rent out or flip and are competing with American families –accounting for 25% of the sales in some cities.  Raw control by big money is the wholesale takeover of the housing market.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager and the leading proponent of The Great Reset. They’re looking to redistribute $120 Trillion in housing wealth. Why does this matter?  Because for the lower and middle class, owning a home is the most major part of any financial success, and ensures their future upward mobility. This is wealth redistribution from the American middle class. Salt of the earth wealth heading into the hands of the world’s most powerful entities and individuals. The traditional financial vehicle called home ownership gone forever.

Permanent capital is now competing with young couples trying to buy a home. That’s going to make U.S. housing permanently more expensive and likely impossible.

GSK and BlackRock, Inc.

BlackRock, Inc is based in New York City and owned by Democrat Larry Fink.

They have filed an SC 13G/A form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosing ownership of 377,284,263 shares of GlaxoSmithKline plc (US: GSK). This represents 7.5 percent ownership of the company. In their previous filing dated 2020-02-05, BlackRock Inc. had reported owning 376,159,235 shares, indicating an increase of 0.30 percent.

With stock in GSK, BlackRock is now in the development and manufacture of mRNA first generation Covid-19 “vaccines.”

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and CureVac N.V. (Nasdaq: CVAC) announced a new $179 million collaboration, building on their existing relationship, to jointly develop next generation mRNA “vaccines” for Covid-19 with the potential for a multi-valent approach to address multiple emerging variants in one vaccine.

Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer, GSK, said: “We believe that next generation vaccines will be crucial in the continued fight against COVID-19. This new collaboration builds on our existing relationship with CureVac and means that together, we will combine our scientific expertise in mRNA and vaccine development to advance and accelerate the development of new COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Yikes!

GSK will also support the manufacture of up to 100 million doses of CureVac’s first generation Covid-19 vaccine candidate CVnCoV in 2021.

In 2018, Soros Fund Management also dramatically boosted its shares in BlackRock Inc., overseeing $6 trillion by nearly 60 percent to 12,983 total shares in the second quarter of 2018.  How lovely!

BlackRock, Inc. also manages the French AXA, a French multinational insurance firm who strongly backs climate control.  Axa has called for the creation of a “net zero underwriting alliance” that would see member companies from across the insurance sector align their business activities with the 1.5 Celsius (carbon dioxide removal) warming pathway required under the Paris Agreement, fundamentally reshaping the global economy.  In late 2019, BlackRock, Inc. named Sebastien Herzog, a senior official at French insurer Axa’s investment management arm, as its operations director for France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Larry Fink is in agreement with the French AXA. He even wrote a letter to the CEOs “highlighting issues that are pivotal to creating durable value” issues such as capital managementlong-term strategy, purpose, and climate change. We have long believed that our clients, as shareholders in your company, will benefit if you can create enduring, sustainable value for all of your stakeholders.”

Realize all of this nonsense is about money and taxes…not about global warming or climate change, all of which is normal and cyclical. Link  The climate change comrades, the spiderwebs of big pharma control and the Great Reset are all wrapped up in one putrescent and treasonous package with BlackRock at the head of the pack.

Conclusion

Top dogs, stakeholders at the top of the communist revolutionary heap, those who committed treason to steal the election and destroy America from within…those whose gain-of-function and connection to Wuhan brought us the controlling and devastating destruction of small businesses in America…you think they weren’t culpable?  Think again…big money is in control.  The American people are being destroyed.  The American dream is being slaughtered in front of our eyes.

Wake up now and fight, or wake up later in a gulag when all is lost.

©Kelleigh Nelson. All rights reserved.

“Biden’s” Crushing Tax Proposal Means That 60% of Americans Will Pay More

Here are the dire numbers:

Biden’s tax proposal means that 60% of Americans could pay more: Here’s how much

Under Biden’s tax proposals, a small burden would be borne by some middle-income families

By Megan Henney, FOX Business, June 21, 2021:

President Biden repeatedly pledged during the 2020 campaign to not raise taxes for Americans earning less than $400,000, but a new analysis suggests that nearly 60% of taxpayers would pay more under his proposals.

Findings from the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, show that while most of Biden’s proposed tax increases would be paid by those earning more than $800,000 annually, a small burden would also be borne by some middle-income families.

Three-quarters of households earning between $75,000 and $100,000 annually would face pay an additional $440 per year in taxes under Biden’s tax hikes, according to the data.

At the same time, about 69% of those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 would see their tax bill rise by $830 on average, while 83.7% of those earning between $200,000 and $500,000 would see an increase of $2,040 on average.

Still, that pales in comparison to the tax bite that the richest Americans would pay: The analysis shows that about 99.8% of those earning between $500,000 and $1 million would pay $8,810 more each year in taxes. Americans earning more than $1 million would have a tax bill that’s on average about $265,939 higher.

Biden has called for a slew of tax hikes, including raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%, nearly doubling the capital gains tax rate to 39.6% from 21%, restoring the top individual income tax rate to 39.6% from 37% and taxing capital gains at death.

That new top rate – which reverses part of the Trump-era Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – would apply to single individuals with taxable income of more than $452,700 and married couples with joint taxable income of $509,300, according to the president’s $6 trillion budget proposal released in May.

Heads of households earning more than $481,000 and married individuals filing separate tax returns with income over $254,650 would also pay the higher rate.

As a result, while Biden is not directly raising taxes on those earning less than $400,000, some low- and middle-income Americans would see their tax bill rise indirectly due to the higher rates imposed on corporations.

So while workers making $75,000 annually would not pay a higher individual income tax rate under Biden’s proposal, they would see a share of their income shrink due to lower investment earnings and compensation – a byproduct of the higher corporate tax rate, according to the Tax Policy Center analysis.

“For those looking to see if Biden kept his promise to not raise taxes for those making $400,000 or less, the answer is: Mostly, but not entirely,” Howard Gleckman, a senior fellow at the think tank, wrote. “Including corporate tax increases, most households would pay more in 2022. About three-quarters of middle-income households would face a tax increase averaging about $300. But nearly all would be a result of those higher corporate taxes.”

That’s also not to mention the tax credits included in Biden’s tax and spending proposals: While most Americans would see their tax bill incrementally rise, many would also benefit from the expanded child tax credit and the earned income tax credit.

Factoring in the tax credits and the tax hikes, those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 a year would on average pay about $110 less to the government. Americans earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would pay about $240 less on average, while those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 would pay about $540 less.

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

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New Harvard Data [Accidentally] Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed

Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.

We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation crunches the numbers on how different levels of employment have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper tier actually better off.

The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.

The picture painted by this comparison is one of working class destruction.

Employment for lower-wage workers, defined as earning less than $27,000 annually, declined by a whopping 23.6 percent over the time period. Employment for middle-wage workers, defined as earning from $27,000 to $60,000, declined by a modest 4.5 percent. However, employment for high-wage workers, defined as earning more than $60,000, actually increased 2.4 percent over the measured time period despite the country’s economic turmoil.

The data are damning. They offer yet another reminder that government lockdowns hurt most those who could least afford it.

Some critics argue that the pandemic, not government lockdowns, are the true source of this economic duress. While there’s no doubt the virus itself played some role, government lockdowns were undoubtedly the single biggest factor. It’s pretty intuitive that ordering people not to patronize businesses and criminalizing peoples’ livelihoods would hurt the economy. This intuition is confirmed by data and studies showing as much. And don’t forget the fact that heavy lockdown states have consistently had much higher unemployment rates than states that took a more laissez-faire approach.

Others might insist that the mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 accomplished by lockdowns justifies this economic fallout. But this argument fails to account for the many peer-reviewed studies showing lockdown orders did not effectively slow the pandemic’s spread, or the painfully inconvenient fact that most COVID-19 spread occurred not in workplaces, restaurants, or gyms but at home. (Making “stay-at-home orders” seem like an astonishing mistake in hindsight.)

So, all lockdowns really seem to have accomplished is at best a mild delay in the pandemic’s trajectory in exchange for a host of lethal unintended consequences such as a mental health crisis and skyrocketing drug overdoses. And, as we now know, a highly regressive economic fallout for the working class.

Of course, Ivy League researchers almost certainly did not intend to expose the failings of big government pandemic policies when they set out to catalogue employment data. But, as Adams said, facts are stubborn things.

COLUMN BY

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.

Do Christian Principles Influence Economics Today?

New book looks at how religious ideas influenced the founders of economics, including Enlightenment leaders Adam Smith and David Hume.


Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
By Benjamin Friedman, Random House, 2021, 560 pages


The influence of religious principles still underpins much of Western society – including topics as seemingly far from religion as economy policy.

This is the central thesis of Benjamin Friedman’s Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, published in January this year.

Friedman, a Professor of Political Economy at Harvard, focuses heavily on those ideas which influenced the founders of economics, including the leading Enlightenment thinkers Adam Smith and David Hume.

The author is careful to emphasise that the issue at hand is not Smith or Hume’s personal beliefs – neither were devout – but the broader intellectual climate in which they lived; one where “religion was both more pervasive and more central than anything we know in today’s Western world”.

Over a century ago, the German sociologist Max Weber wrote his influential book, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, which argued that Protestantism (and Calvinism in particular) had played a crucial role in encouraging believers to practice industriousness and thrift, thus helping to create the free-enterprise system.

Friedman, however, has a different theory about the shift which occurred in economic thinking from the 17th and 18th centuries onward, suggesting that a conscious rejection of some Calvinist beliefs and the adoption of a more positive view of humanity helped change the course of history:

I argue that what opened the way for the early economists’ insight into the beneficial consequences of individually motivated initiative carried out in competitive markets was the expanded vision of the human character and its possibilities that the movement away from predestinarian Calvinism fostered.

Further, this benign sense of our human potential, enabled by the historic transition in religious thinking that first preceded and then accompanied it, has continued to influence the trajectory of modern Western economic thinking ever since.

Friedman’s argument is complex, involving a lengthy and meandering journey through the history of theology and religious thought.

John Calvin occupies most of the author’s attention, given the greater intellectual influence he exerted compared to Martin Luther, particularly when it came to questions around the essence of human nature.

Calvin espoused harsher views than Luther about humanity’s inborn depravity, writing that “[o]ur nature is not only destitute and empty of good, but so fertile and fruitful of every evil that it cannot be idle”.

Calvin’s strong emphasis on the doctrine of predestination resulted in a much more limited focus on human agency, as he argued that God “established by his eternal and unchangeable plan those whom he long before determined…to receive into salvation, and those whom, on the other hand, he would devote to destruction.”

Calvinist teaching spread very far, and influenced the Church of England, especially in the Civil War era in the mid-17th century when the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith declared that from the Fall onwards humans “are utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite to all good, and wholly inclined to do all evil”.

Eventually though, Calvinist thinkers began to question these views about human depravity and predestination.

The Dutch theologian Jacob Arminius, who came to believe that an act of human will was involved in receiving God’s grace, was an important figure in this process, as were others – including some of the Jansenist thinkers in the French Catholic Church, who shared a less than positive view of humanity.

Over time, other religious and political thinkers expanded on this – indeed Friedman stresses that, in previous centuries, religious and political thinkers were often closely aligned, with clerics playing a much larger role in intellectual arguments.

Christian political philosophers like John Locke began to place renewed emphasis on individual reason and dignity, while the work of Christian scientists like Isaac Newton made it clear that the universe was systematic and accessible to human understanding, which ran counter to the notion that God acted in an arbitrary manner, damning some and saving others without giving individuals a chance to influence their own fate.

Clergymen, even in Presbyterian Scotland, eventually moved further and further from traditional Calvinist theology, while developing close ties with rising thinkers like Smith and Hume.

Although the link to the rise of a new set of beliefs about the economy may seem tenuous at first, Friedman insists that:

…these religious ideas – the natural goodness of man in contrast to inborn depravity, the central role of free human choice and action in contrast to predestination, and the design of the universe not solely for the glorification of God but to promote human happiness too – by extension carried implications for how to think about the secular world.

He adds:

[I]n their thinking about both philosophy and what we now call economics, Smith and his contemporaries were secularising the essential substance of their clerical friends’ theological principles.

People could make choices freely, and this – in the economic sphere – could result in outcomes beneficial to broader society. In time, the benefits of this new school of thought were clearly observed in the United States, where an intellectual and theological debate over Calvinist thinking had also raged before the more optimistic viewpoint won out.

The second half of Friedman’s book focuses on political and economic developments in America and is less satisfying, as the author moves further from his original thesis while attempting to draw links to various issues up to the present day, including the way in which Americans view economic policy in the 21st century.

In so doing, Friedman takes an already complicated subject and broadens its scope enormously, to the disadvantage of the reader, and to the detriment of his central argument.

Clearly though, there are links between religious beliefs and economic and political thinking, and Friedman performs a service by insisting that “[t]aking account of the influence of religious thinking is essential to a full understanding of one of the great areas of modern human thought”.

This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

COLUMN BY

James Bradshaw works for an international consulting firm based in Dublin, and has a background in journalism and public policy. Outside of work, he writes for a number of publications, on topics including… More by James Bradshaw.

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

Watch: UK PM Boris Johnson — We must ‘build back better’ in a ‘greener, more gender-neutral’ & ‘more feminine way’

PM Johnson on June 11, 2021, at the G7 summit: “We’re building back better together and building back greener and building back fairer, and building back more equal and in a more gender-neutral —  and perhaps in a more feminine way. How about that?”

Video here

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At the G7, global elite clown show pivots from COVID Crisis to Climate Crisis – G7 plans for ‘the continuing destruction of Western civilization’ – Journalist Jordan Schachtel: All “of their solutions all involved increasing the power of the state over its citizens and embracing creepy one-world U.N. affiliated organizations.”

Flashback 2016: Wash Post Warns ‘Your Manliness Could Be Hurting the Planet’ – Laments ‘men shun environmentalism because they perceived it as feminine’ 

2019 STUDY: Men Being Eco-Friendly Can Cause Others To Question Sexual Orientation – Pro-environmental behavior considered ‘feminine’

2019 STUDY: ‘Toxic Masculinity’ May Be The Reason For ‘Climate Change’ – Research delves into ‘Green-Feminine Stereotype’ & ‘Gender incongruence’

By: Marc Morano – Climate Depot June 14, 2021 9:42 AM with 0 comments

SKY News: G7 summit: ‘We should build back in more feminine and gender-neutral way’, says Boris Johnson

UK Independent: Boris Johnson says post-Covid world needs to be ‘more feminine’ – Boris Johnson has told G7 leaders he wants to create a “more feminine” world as the international community builds back from the Covid crisis.

The prime minister was speaking as he welcomed leaders including Joe Biden, Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to the first round-table session of the summit of leading democracies in Cornwall.

Mr Johnson said that world powers must ensure that the coronavirus

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Flashback June 2020: World Economic Forum Chairman Schwab: ‘We need a Great Reset of capitalism’ due to COVID – Virus lockdowns have given ‘opportunity’ for ‘equality & sustainability’ & fighting climate

UK PM Boris Johnson Praise for the Great Reset – Seeks ‘Build Back Better’

Delingpole: “‘Build back better’ is, as Johnson is perfectly well aware, the slogan of the World Economic Forum’s deeply sinister Fourth Industrial Revolution — aka ‘the Great Reset‘ – whose aims include the deliberate crashing of the world economy, the crushing and destruction of small businesses, and the creation of a new cash-free society in which no one (save the technocratic elite) owns private property.”

BEWARE: ‘Build Back Better’ – The Latest Code Phrase for Green Global Tyranny

James Delingpole: ‘This mantra is being used. It’s everywhere and it’s frightening. Here are some recent examples:

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP): “Building Back Better: why we must think of the next generation.”

UNEP financial arm: “…as economies recover from the crisis and build back better.”

Friends of the Earth, Europe: “EU Council: Governments must act together to ‘build back better’”

“If you thought the nightmare was going to end once the coronavirus scare passed, think again: it’s only just beginning. The greens and the globalists aren’t about to let a crisis going to waste. This is the moment they have been waiting for. And don’t expect much resistance from politicians – even ones wearing the ‘Conservative’ label, like Boris Johnson. They’re part of the problem.”

UK PM Boris Johnson all in for Great Reset: Promotes ‘Build Back Better’ to ‘create a fairer, greener & more prosperous future’

Trump Slams Biden’s Tax Hike & ‘Build Back Better’ as the ‘Largest Self Inflicted Economic Wound’

Trump: Biden promised to “build back better”—but the country he is building up, in particular, is China and other large segments of the world. Under the Biden Administration, America is once again losing the economic war with China—and Biden’s ludicrous multi-trillion dollar tax hike is a strategy for total economic surrender. Sacrificing good paying American jobs is the last thing our citizens need as our country recovers from the effects of the Global Pandemic.

Canadian PM Trudeau confirms Great Reset: ‘This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a Reset’ – We need ‘to re-imagine economic systems’ by ‘building back better’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking to UN conference – September 29, 2020:

Trudeau: “‘Building back better’ means getting support to the most vulnerable while maintaining our momentum on reaching the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) …

This pandemic has provided an opportunity for a Reset. This is our chance to accelerate our pre-pandemic efforts to re-imagine economic systems that actually address global challenges like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.”

Flashback: Identity politics invades the climate change debate

Read Green Fraud for more on how identity politics has invaded the climate debate

The Company Contrast – Exxon Mobil

Each week 2ndVote takes a look at popular companies that score poorly and then provides alternatives that better align with the 2ndVote values. This series is called The Company Contrast, and the company we will be focusing on this week is ExxonMobil (1.50).

Formed from the merger of Exxon and Mobil in 1999, both direct descendants of Standard Oil of Rockefeller fame, ExxonMobil is one of the largest major oil companies in the world. As one of the top Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., it is undeniable that ExxonMobile carries economic and even socio-political sway. Unfortunately, the oil and gas giant has used its influence to advocate for leftist agendas for the past several years. Not only has ExxonMobil matched employee contributions to Planned Parenthood, but they also maintain partnerships with organizations various organizations whose activism includes support for abortion, sanctuary cities, Common Core education, and the Equality Act, which contains provisions that infringe on religious liberty rights. For these actions, ExxonMobil receives significant point reductions across nearly all of the 2ndVote key issues; so best to avoid their fuel pumps.

Fortunately for motorists everywhere, Pilot Flying J (3.00) and Love’s (3.00) both offer neutral options when you’re in need of gas but don’t want your dollars going where they shouldn’t. With locations across the country, both Pilot Flying J and Love’s offer high-quality gas stations, often paired with food chains, with a variety of accommodations and amenities for those long summer road trips!

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EDITORS NOTE: This 2ndVote column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

MIT Data Scientist: Lockdowns Not Correlated With Fewer Deaths (But Are Correlated With More Unemployment)

Coming to grips with the failure of lockdowns is important for several reasons.


Dozens of studies show that lockdowns were an ineffective pandemic response. The list just got longer.

In May, Youyang Gu, an MIT-trained engineer and data scientist, released data showing that government restrictions were not correlated with lower COVID mortality in America. Government restrictions were correlated with higher unemployment, however.

“In the US, there is no correlation between Covid deaths & changes in unemployment rates. However, blue states are much more likely to have higher increases in unemployment,” wrote Gu, the creator of covid19-projections.com, a pandemic modeling site. “More restrictions in a state is NOT correlated with fewer COVID-19 deaths. However, more restrictions IS correlated with higher unemployment.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is finally winding down and more and more people are beginning to acknowledge some hard truths about the failures of the collective response to the virus.

George Orwell famously observed that during deceitful times telling the truth is a revolutionary act, so the fact that so many people are finally acknowledging hard truths appears to be a sign we are emerging from deceitful times.

For some, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, these truths are bitter medicine. As Hannah Cox recently observed, Fauci has been on the wrong side of numerous pandemic confrontations with Sen. Rand Paul—and has found himself on the losing end each time.

Yet facts are stubborn things. And 14 months after the pandemic’s arrival, we have an abundance of data that shows stay-at-home orders backfired and lockdowns were terribly ineffective at slowing the spread of the virus.

The harms of lockdowns, however, are undeniable: economic collapse, millions of jobs and businesses lost, rampant spending, surging debt and poverty, an explosion of drug overdosespoor mental health, and a collapse of health screenings (including cancer) that will result in hundreds of thousands of excess deaths in the coming years—if not millions.

It will not be easy to acknowledge this failure. As The New York Times noted in 2017, humans struggle mightily to admit we were wrong.

“Mistakes can be hard to digest, so sometimes we double down rather than face them. Our confirmation bias kicks in, causing us to seek out evidence to prove what we already believe,” wrote Kristin Wong. “The car you cut off has a small dent in its bumper, which obviously means that it is the other driver’s fault.”

There’s a name for this psychological phenomenon: cognitive dissonance.

“Cognitive dissonance is what we feel when the self-concept — I’m smart, I’m kind, I’m convinced this belief is true — is threatened by evidence that we did something that wasn’t smart, that we did something that hurt another person, that the belief isn’t true,” Carol Tavris, a co-author of the book Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me), told the Times.

Tavris added that cognitive dissonance poses a threat to our sense of self.

“To reduce dissonance, we have to modify the self-concept or accept the evidence,” Tavris said. “Guess which route people prefer?”

Coming to grips with the failure of lockdowns is important for several reasons.

For starters, the pandemic of 2020 will not be the last pandemic Americans face. If we’re to avoid the painful experience in the future, we’ll need to better understand how the unorthodox pandemic response came about and determine which public health policies worked and which did not.

But there’s an even larger lesson that can be learned. In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, F.A. Hayek warned of the danger of mankind’s inability to recognize the limits of its knowledge and power.

“There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success”, to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will,” Hayek said.

Dizzy with success in this age of wonders, Hayek feared humans would be bewitched by their accomplishments and believe they could achieve anything if they could only control society—”a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.”

We witnessed firsthand in 2020 the fruit borne from this effort to control society to save it. There’s an important lesson in humility there, if humans are wise enough to see it.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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

Israeli Startups Smash Funding Records, Reel In $10.5B In Just Six Months

Israel is quite literally a miracle. What other country could withstand a daily barrage of attacks and smears, and still thrive and prosper as the Jewish state does? The world’s leading corporations can’t get enough of Israel’s groundbreaking technology. #BDSFail!

Israeli Startups Smash Funding Records, Reel In $10.5B In Just Six Months

By No Camels, June 10, 2021

Israel’s innovation technology sector broke another capital funding record this week and has now topped $10.5 billion since the start of the year – the same amount raised in all of 2020, according to Start-Up Nation Finder. This is the second major report to highlight 2021’s sizzling cash flow for blue-and-white startups in recent weeks.

“The market is clearly ‘red hot’ with a lot of money flowing into early and late-stage companies, some of which with valuations that don’t always make sense. Companies that raise now should manage their cash in a clever way, balancing between the desire to ‘push forward’ and gain a competitive edge while keeping some for a rainy day,” Lior Handelsman, General Partner at Grove Ventures, tells NoCamels.

Funding seems to be pouring into local startups especially in cybersecurity, fintech, and enterprise sectors, with companies in these spaces hauling in $6.2 billion or 60 percent of all investments.

The world demand for solutions in these fields — cybersecurity, fintech, and enterprise– are high in part due to the massive forward push of digitization in the wake of COVID-19.

“Part of that accelerated growth of course has to do with COVID-19, and continued low interest rates in the world, which is creating demand to invest in the tech sector,” Dekel Persi, co-founder and managing partner at TPY Capital, said in a statement.

According to the new report, Israel recorded an increase of 137 percent in funding growth for the first five months of 2021 compared to the first five months of 2020.

Most of the funding comes from foreign investors, according to the report. Investment performance worldwide stands at 89 percent, Europe has recorded an increase of 123 percent for the same period, the US has seen an increase of 91 percent and Asia has seen an increase of 69 percent, according to PitchBook data.

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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. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Adsense permenently banned us. Facebook, Twitter, Google search et al have shadowbanned, suspended and deleted us from your news feeds. They are disappearing us. But we are here. Help us fight. Subscribe to Geller Report newsletter here — it’s free and it’s critical NOW more than ever. Share our posts on social and with your email contacts.

VIDEO: Tiny Bistro In Very Blue State Standing-up to Government Tyranny

The Marxist Governor of California is lying and bragging simultaneously about a phony, rosy economic picture in the once Golden State. Gavin Newsom has crushed business and only a few Constitutional Americans have had the guts to say “no” to his unconstitutional attacks.

Graham Ledger speaks with the owner/operator of the Apple Bistro, Jennette Waldow, in Placerville, CA. about the price one restaurant is paying for standing up to a tyrannical government.

WATCH:

©The Ledger Report. All rights reserved.