How to Save America — The Way Out

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College reception in Overland Park, Kansas, on November 18, 2021.


Here are two questions pertinent to our times: (1) How would you reduce the greatest free republic in history to despotism in a short time? and (2) How would you stop that from happening? The answer to the first question has been provided in these last two disastrous years. The answer to the second has begun to emerge in recent months. Both are worthy of study.

Reducing a Great Republic to Despotism

To establish despotism in a nation like ours, you might begin, if you were smart, by building a bureaucracy of great complexity that commands a large percentage of the resources of the nation. You might give it rule-making powers, distributed across many agencies and centers inside the cabinet departments of government, as well as in 20 or more “independent” agencies—meaning independent of elected officials, and thus independent of the people.

This much has been done. It would require a doctoral thesis to list all the ways that rules are made in our federal government today, which would make for boring reading. The truth is that very few people not directly involved know how all this works. Although civics education is practically banned in America, most people still know what the Congress is and how its members are elected. But how many know how the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) came to be, under what authority it operates, and who is its head? Here is a clue: it is not Anthony Fauci.

Admittedly, this new kind of bureaucratic government would take—has taken—decades to erect, especially in the face of the resistance of the Constitution of the United States, which its very existence violates. But once it has been erected, things can happen very fast.

What, for example, if a new virus proliferates around the world? There have been procedures for dealing with such viruses for a long time. They begin with isolating the sick and protecting the vulnerable. But suddenly we have new procedures that attempt to isolate everybody. This is commanded by the CDC, an element of this bureaucratic structure, and by a maze of federal and state authorities, all of which see the benefit to themselves in getting involved. The result is that large sections of our economy were closed for months at a time, and citizens placed under the equivalent of house arrest. This has not happened before. The cost of it, and not just in monetary terms, is beyond calculation.

To set up a despotism capable of pulling this off you would need the media’s help. Those controlling the media today are trained in the same universities that invented the bureaucratic state, the same universities the senior bureaucrats attended. The media would need to be willing to suppress, for example, the fact that 50,000 doctors, scientists, and medical researchers signed the Great Barrington Declaration. That document reminds people that you cannot suppress a widely disseminated contagious virus through shutdowns and mass isolation, and that if you try, you will work immeasurable destruction of new kinds—unemployment, bankruptcy, depression, suicide, multiplying public debt, broken supply chains, and increases of other serious health problems. Some of the signatories to this Declaration come from the most distinguished universities in the world, but never mind: their views do not fit the narrative propagated by the powerful. They have been effectively cancelled, ignored by the media and suppressed by Big Tech.

You would need some help from business, too. As far as influence is concerned, “business” is dominated by large institutions—those comprising big business—whose leaders are also educated in the same universities that conceived bureaucratic government and trained the bureaucrats and media heads. This provides a ground of agreement between big business and the bureaucratic state. Anyway, agree or not, businesses are vulnerable to regulation, and to mitigate the risk of regulatory harm they play the game: they send lobbyists to Washington, make political contributions, hire armies of lawyers. If you are big enough to play the game, there are plenty of advantages to be won. If you are not big enough to play the game—well, in that case you are on your own.

Amidst the unprecedented lockdowns, imagine there comes an election, a time for the people to say if they approve of the new way of governing and of this vast, unprecedented intrusion into their lives. Then let us say that in several states the election rules and practices are altered by their executive branches—the people in charge of enforcing the law—on their own, without approval by their legislatures. Say this brazen violation of the separation of powers takes place in the name of the pandemic. One does not need to know what percentage of votes in the final tally were affected to see that this is fishy. No sensible person would place control of the election process in one party—any party—or in one branch—any branch—of the government, alone. In some crucial states, that was done.

Finally, to sustain this new kind of government, you would need to work on education. You might build a system of centralized influence, if not control, over every classroom in the land. You might require certification of the teachers with a bias toward the schools of education that train them in the approved way. These schools, poor but obedient cousins of the elite universities, are always up on the latest methods of “delivery” of instruction (we do not call it teaching anymore). These new methods do not require much actual knowledge, which can be supplied from above.

As far as content, you might set up a system of textbook adoption that guarantees to publishers a massive and captive market but requires them to submit proposed books to committees of “experts,” subject of course to political pressures. You might build a standard approved curriculum on the assumption that everything changes—even history, even principles. You might use this curriculum to lay the ground for holding everything old, everything previously thought high and noble, in contempt.

Doing this, incidentally, deprives the student of the motive to learn anything out of fashion today. It is a preparation not for a life of knowing and thinking, but for a life of compliance and conformity.

This is by no means an exhaustive account of what it would take to build a thoroughgoing tyranny—for further instruction, read Book Five of Aristotle’s Politics or George Orwell’s 1984. But it gives an idea of a mighty system, a system that seems unassailable, a system combining the powers of government and commerce, of education and communication. Money and power in such a system would accrue to the same hands. The people who benefit from the system would be the ruling class. Others would be frustrated. And such a system would tend to get worse, because the exercise of unchecked power does not bring out the best in people.

Any elaborate system of government must have a justification, and the justification of this one cannot simply be that those in the ruling class are entitled on the basis of their superiority. That argument went away with the divine right of kings. No, for the current ruling class, the justification is science. The claim of bureaucratic rule is a claim of expertise—of technical or scientific knowledge about everything. Listen to Fauci on Face the Nation, dismissing his critics in Congress as backward reactionaries. When those critics disagree with him, Fauci said recently, “They’re really criticizing science because I represent science. That’s dangerous.”

The problem with this kind of thinking was pointed out by a young Winston Churchill in a letter to the writer H.G. Wells in 1901. Churchill wrote:

Nothing would be more fatal than for the government of states to get into the hands of the experts. Expert knowledge is limited knowledge: and the unlimited ignorance of the plain man who knows only what hurts is a safer guide, than any vigorous direction of a specialised character. Why should you assume that all except doctors, engineers, etc. are drones or worse? . . . If the Ruler is to be an expert in anything he should be an expert in everything; and that is plainly impossible.

Churchill goes on to argue that practical judgment is the capacity necessary to making decisions. And practical judgment, he writes in many places, is something that everyone is capable of to varying degrees. Everyone, then, is equipped to guide his own life in the things that concern mainly himself.

Another thing about the experts is that they are not really engaged in the search for truth. Instead, the powerful among them suppress the obvious fact that there is wide disagreement among the experts. There always is.

God save us from falling completely into the hands of experts. But God has given us the wherewithal to save ourselves from that. So let us move to the second question posed above.

How to Defeat a Rising Despotism

In answering the second question, I will tell two stories that are suggestive.

The first took place in the small town of Jonesville, Michigan, five miles north of Hillsdale College. In our state, as in most places where the lockdowns were enforced, businesses were crippled or destroyed en masse. Restaurants were chief among them. One of our local restaurants is a 30-year-old diner called Spanglers Family Restaurant. Mitch Spangler is the proprietor. The business was founded by his late father, and Mitch was purchasing the business from his mother. The payments to his mother depended upon the revenues of the business, and his mother’s retirement depended upon the payments. The life’s work of two generations was at stake. Mitch was also helping to support a daughter in college.

This is not to mention the more than 20 employees whose livelihoods are dependent on Spanglers. “Our employees are moms who have kids,” Spangler told the local paper. “One of our employees is pregnant; another is a 19-year-old kid. This is his first job, and he just bought a car.” Our leaders in Washington treat it as a small thing when trillions are being thrown about. To the Spanglers and people like them, their relatively small revenue streams are everything.

Mr. Spangler was not prepared to surrender all this. When a second lockdown was ordered by Michigan’s governor a year ago last month, he kept his restaurant open. He put a sign on the door and posted on Facebook to make clear, among other things, that he was acting out of necessity for the sake of his business and the livelihoods of all those dependent on it; that precautions would be taken, including the installation of an electrostatic fogger that would disinfect the air; that he understood the thinking of those who would choose to stay away from his restaurant, but that he hoped they would understand his own thinking. “If you cannot support us, we understand,” he wrote, “but please allow us to have the freedom to do what we have to do.”

The wheels of bureaucracy began to grind. Spanglers was visited repeatedly by the health department, by the licensing authorities, and even by the agriculture department (one wonders what they had to do with it). Spangler was fined and threatened with forcible closure. But he persevered, never backing down, and his busines did well. On a typical weekend, not only locals but supporters from the neighboring states of Indiana and Ohio lined up outside to show their support.

Mitch Spangler is our kind of fellow, and the College gave him some help organizing his legal representation. We did not wish to be in the newspaper about this because we were facing our own pressures, and we too were determined to resist them. But Spangler was no good at keeping a secret: he wore a Hillsdale College t-shirt on FOX News and thanked us for our help. And when he had a little ceremony in his parking lot in the spring to thank his staff and his customers, I was honored to say a few words.

This may not seem on its face a big story, but it is a most important story. It is important because it is a story about the nature of human beings and of citizens and of our rights. The nature of a thing is the essence of a thing. One aspect of the nature of a human being is that he must eat to live. In condemnation of slavery, Abraham Lincoln loved to say that every man was created with a head, hands, and mouth, the implication being that the head should guide the hands in the feeding of the mouth. Because we are made to live this way, we are also determined to live this way. The alternative is dependence, which does not make us happy.

It should not therefore be surprising that, if you try to destroy the business of a man whose family has spent over 30 years building it, he will resist. Trying to strongarm people like Mitch Spangler is not a good idea. There are millions of them, and they have always made up the core of this greatest of free republics.

The second story is more famous, but it too is about nature—indeed, about that word’s most basic meaning. The word nature, as I said, refers to a thing’s essence, but it comes from the Latin word for birth. Our nature begins with how we are born and how we grow. Just as we are attached by nature to the way we get our livings, so we are attached by nature to our parents, and still more to our children. And this second story, set in Loudoun County, Virginia, is about parents and children.

In schools throughout Virginia, including in Loudoun County, children are being subjected to critical race theory (CRT). This involves lecturing children, especially those belonging to the non-preferred races, about the “structural evils” of which they are told they are part. Being taught alongside CRT is a distorted view of the history of our country, which true enough has its warts, but which surely has its glories as well—including glories about equal rights regardless of race. Between fighting the armies of the English monarch, the Confederacy, the Nazis, the communists, and Islamic terrorists, something nearing a million Americans have died for the cause of equal rights. These Americans have come in all colors.

Amidst statewide controversy over the teaching of CRT, the Loudoun County School Board also adopted a broad policy of recognizing “transgender” students in preference to their “biological sex” (excuse the redundancy). Even before this, boys were permitted to use girls’ bathrooms, in one of which there was an assault and rape of a female student by a “gender-fluid boy.” The boy in question was then allowed to attend another school in Loudoun County, where he assaulted another girl. This first girl’s parents were understandably outraged and, at the risk of being called narrow-minded, went so far as to complain to the school board.

Groups of parents who had already been protesting CRT and policies promoting transgenderism joined in the complaint. There was no violence at the school board meetings with one exception: law enforcement was summoned, and the outraged father of the assaulted and raped girl was bloodied and dragged out of one meeting. It is true, however, that voices were raised.

The National School Board Administration called upon the Biden administration to investigate these protesting parents as potential perpetrators of “domestic terrorism or hate crimes.” Remember, these parents were citizens attending a meeting of an elected body to tell their representatives what they think. The rights of petition and assembly are protected in the First Amendment. Except for certain preferred groups, these rights today appear to have been repealed.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland intervened, instructing the FBI to investigate these parents and others around the country. The FBI’s Counterterrorism Division has reportedly deployed tools and resources normally reserved for terrorist threats against parents who are angry at school boards for what is occurring in their children’s schools. All this provoked massive support, across Virginia and around the nation, for the parents of Loudoun County.

This support is not surprising. By nature, parents love their children and feel responsibility for them. Citizens, especially one hopes American citizens, feel entitled to state their grievances. The Declaration of Independence itself contains a list of grievances against the King. The Biden administration reacted to these protests just as King George III reacted against the American colonists in the years leading up to the American Revolution: he called in law enforcement. And the people of Virginia reacted in a way reminiscent of the American colonists: they defeated the candidate for governor who took the position that parents should have nothing to do with their children’s education.

What do these two stories—one of them taking place in Hillsdale County, Michigan, a deep red county, and the other in Loudoun County, Virginia, which is deeply blue—have in common? In both stories we see reactions against violations of our rights, rights that we have by nature as human beings.

The story about Mitch Spangler is about our right to work and to store up the product of our labor so that we and our families can eat and thrive. The American Founders put this in terms of our natural right to property. The story about the parents of Loudoun County is about the natural right of mothers and fathers to raise their children. To interfere with these rights is to interfere with the nature of the human being.

These facts about nature were well known during the American Revolution, the very Revolution that is besmirched by the members of our ruling class today, just as it was besmirched by the ruling class at the time of the Revolution. It was the interference with the colonists’ natural rights by that former ruling class that led to the American Revolution. These recent stories from Michigan and Virginia show that we Americans do not seem to like that interference any better today.

In addition to the right to make a living and the right to raise our children, we have the right to participate in our government, even if we are not experts, and the right to look to the heavens and not to our ruling class for guidance. We have these rights because we—every single one of us—were born with them sewn by God into our nature, and we cannot find our earthly fulfillment without them.

If we put these facts together as a people, we will have recovered the understanding that produced the American Revolution. We will stop these current predations upon our rights. We will bring this overwhelming government back where it belongs, under the control of the people.

The signs of such a movement are emerging. Pray they are enough.

COLUMN BY

Larry P. Arnn

Larry P. Arnn is the twelfth president of Hillsdale College. He received his B.A. from Arkansas State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. From 1977 to 1980, he also studied at the London School of Economics and at Worcester College, Oxford University, where he served as director of research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill. From 1985 until his appointment as president of Hillsdale College in 2000, he was president of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. From October 2020 to January 2021, he served as co-chair of the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission. He is the author of several books, including The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government.

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

VIDEO: A Year in the Strife of Joe Biden

To Joe Biden, it’s been a year. To the rest of the country, it’s felt like an eternity. The one-year anniversary of this president’s inauguration hasn’t exactly been cause for nationwide celebration, as a good number of his voters will tell you. Twelve months into his catastrophic term, only 28 percent of the country would reelect him (and that was before his disaster of a press conference). So when a reporter asked if the country is more unified than when he took office, Joe Biden is right. They are more unified — against him.

Of course, to hear this president tell it, the last several months have been “enormous progress,” the stuff of political legend. One correspondent begged to differ, asking, “Did you overpromise to the American public what you could achieve?” Biden’s response was typical. “I didn’t overpromise, but I have outperformed what anybody thought would happen… Everything is changing,” the president said. “It’s getting better.” People like Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) wondered what planet Biden was living on. “His record is a record of failure,” Johnson insisted. To the average American, this is true. But to the radical Left, he’s outperformed beyond their wildest dreams.

While the rest of the country scrounges for groceries — and the cash to pay for them — look at what Biden has accomplished for his fringe: record-setting abortion dollars, transgender mandates for public schools, attacks on Christian education, chaos at the border, chaos in Afghanistan, chaos in our election system, taxpayer-funded gender reassignments, CRT and LGBT indoctrination in our classrooms, American parents labeled “domestic terrorists,” transgenderism and wokeness in the military, conservatives and the unvaccinated out of the military, higher crime, fewer police, more division. The list goes on and on. Biden is failing on every single political measure except the one he cares about: the socialist Left’s.

“When you look at the pattern of what he’s done,” FRC Vice President Travis Weber pointed out, “it’s bizarre. It’s not in proportion to reality and what most people are concerned about.” He pointed to the 92 actions Biden has taken to undermine life, family, and religious freedom in just his first year — major policies or pronouncements that have altered the course for American values. It’s a record, surprisingly enough, that’s more extreme than Barack Obama’s. And it all points back to an abnormal fixation on things like transgenderism that are distracting from the very real issues our country is facing.

But there is one problem with catering to extremists, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) insisted on “Washington Watch.” Americans don’t like it. “They’re trying to force-feed their radical socialist agenda to the America people, and the American people are standing up and saying, ‘No, we don’t want anything to do with this.'” Unfortunately for Joe Biden, the bill for this gamble is about to come due. And the Democratic Party, limping into November because of this president’s failures, will appropriately be the ones paying it.

Earlier this week, Gallup painted a jarring picture of what’s coming: a 14-point party affiliation swing. It’s among the largest, the company says, it has ever measured for the parties “in any quarter since it started [tracking] party identification and leaning…” Making matters worse, Biden’s approval rating with African Americans is down more than 20 percent (78 to 57 percent), and among Hispanics, he can barely muster 28 percent support. If that’s his idea of a “pretty good” report card, the president is less in touch with reality than people thought.

But then, as his party has made quite clear, they aren’t going to let a little something like voters get in the way of their majority. As the background to Biden’s nightmare of a press conference, Senate Democrats were futilely trying to ram through their election takeover bill to guarantee one-party control. When it failed, the president moved on to plan B: undermining the midterm results.

In a statement that’s more than a little hypocritical, given the party’s outrage over the GOP’s skepticism in 2020, Biden lowered himself to casting doubt on any election the Democrats don’t win. “Oh, 2022… I mean, sure… I’m not going to say it’s going to be legit,” he told reporters at Wednesday’s press conference. “…[T]he increase and the prospect of being illegitimate is in direct proportion to us not being able to get these — these reforms passed.”

“This isn’t normal,” Dan McLaughlin warns. When the president of the United States attacks our election system as “rigged,” he’s “playing with fire.” Sure, “Democrats have a long history of refusing to accept the legitimacy of defeats… But this is still an alarming escalation.” An escalation that was already well on its way when the president equated honest Americans with history’s racists.

It’s certainly a long way from where we were at this point last year when Joe Biden stood at the podium and promised unity. “We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.” Twelve months later, he’s the one who’s shouting. And disunity rages on like another virus he can’t stop.

COLUMN BY

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is Family Research Council’s fourth and longest-serving president, joining the organization in August of 2003. Described as a legislative pioneer by the national media, Tony has established himself as an innovative pro-life and pro-family policy and political leader since first being elected to office in 1996.

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

Biden’s press conference panned by critics: ‘TOTAL DISASTER’

One doesn’t know were to start. A total train wreck of a press conference. We saw exactly why President Biden is not allowed to do many press conferences. Watch below. Pray for America, and for the stability of the free world.

Biden’s press conference gets panned by critics: ‘Total disaster’

One commentator quipped, ‘Joe Biden didn’t do a press conference for months. We all understand the reason why.’

By Fox News, January 20, 2022

President Biden spent most of 2021 avoiding press conferences, but he held one on Wednesday, which was panned as being a “total disaster.”

The White House had high hopes for Biden’s press conference on Wednesday — hoping to paint the administration as a less-cloistered outfit that embraces the public and transparency. With Biden’s strikingly low popularity numbers, the president was expected to cast himself as a competent leader, who is in touch with the problems of everyday American voters.

But the debacle that took place behind the podium from the East Room of the White House on Wednesday did little to support that persona according to reaction to the press conference.

The president was criticized throughout his long remarks on issues related to Russian aggression towards Ukraine, his claim that he outperformed expectations, his outburst toward a reporter and more.

1. Russia-Ukraine ‘minor incursion’

Perhaps the most startling comment of the evening was Biden’s response to a question about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Biden said that while he believes an invasion is imminent, the United States is prepared to impose significant economic consequences should Russia move forward. But, he clarified, a “minor incursion” by the Russians would elicit a softer response from the U.S. than that of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Biden is attacking the legitimacy of American elections while signaling Putin to try a ‘minor incursion’ in Ukraine. None of this is normal. None of this is OK,” National Review senior writer Dan McLaughlin responded.

“Biden just appeared to okay a ‘minor’ Russian incursion of Ukraine. So, invasion of an independent neighbor nation is bad. An incursion is OK with this president,” conservative commentator Andrew Malcolm agreed.

“Biden’s comments suggesting that a ‘minor incursion’ of Ukraine might not draw as vigorous a response as a full-scale invasion will trigger a lot of angst in the region, particularly in Kyiv,” New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker wrote.

“Why was there no pushback to Biden saying ‘it’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion’ re Russia going into Ukraine?” former White House press secretary and Fox News host Kayleigh McEnany weighed in.

“What kind of answer was that? No incursion is ok,” Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer echoed.

Where are the follow-ups from reporters?

Why was there no pushback to Biden saying “it’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion” re Russia going into Ukraine?

Where is the pushback on Biden claiming he “outperformed” expectations?

The list goes on

All pleasantries, no pushback!

— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) January 19, 2022

2.  Overpromise or Outperform?

Social media quickly circulated a clip of Biden where he appeared to tell reporters that he did not overpromise what he could get done in his first year in office, but that he has, on the contrary, “outperformed” what people thought he was capable of.

“I’m not sure what planet he’s inhabiting but on planet earth his record is a record of failure,” Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson responded.

“Biden just claimed he has ‘outperformed what anybody thought would happen’ Sheer lunacy,” Buck Sexton said.

“Joe Biden says he’s outperformed what anyone thought was possible in his first year in office. Really. He just said this,” Outkick’s Clay Travis reacted.

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

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Sharpton: Blacks Behind Trump at a Rally Are Only ‘Props’ So He Won’t Look Racist

Monday on MSNBC’s Deadline, network host and lifelong race hustler Al Sharpton claimed with zero evidence that black people in the bleachers behind former President Donald Trump at an Arizona rally were merely “optics” to “sell racism.”

Sharpton said, “The fact that we all saw them sitting there, clearly they were put there for the optics. There was one guy that went around the whole 2020 race with a ‘Blacks for Trump’ sign. It seems like now he’s got more. They are put there strategically so that [Trump] can say the most racist things and not look racist.”

Nothing Trump or any Republican can do is ever enough for race-mongering, Democrat demagogues like Sharpton. If there are no blacks in the bleachers behind Trump, it’s evidence that he’s racist. If there are blacks in the bleachers, it’s again evidence that he’s racist. The right can’t win.

Sharpton added, “I mean who gets a group of people, ‘Blacks for Trump,’ and just happens to sit there, and they happen to get within camera view? I mean, no one could be that stupid to think that that just happened to be they got the good seats. That is choreographed so he can sell racism and look like he’s not a racist. I think it is something that we all ought to deplore. I wouldn’t waste my time worrying about who he props up.”

Speaking of wasting time worrying, no one should waste any worrying about Sharpton’s opinion because he is a shameful liar and smear merchant. To hate-mongers like Sharpton, blacks who have abandoned the Democrat plantation to support Trump — and there is a growing percentage who are — are contemptible race traitors. The truth is that the Rev. Al has made a career of dragging American blacks down, while Trump has done more than any Democrat ever to lift them up.


Al Sharpton

131 Known Connections

Sharpton Emphatically Calls America “A Racist Country” in His Eulogy for Black Man Killed by Policeman

On May 3, 2021, Sharpton delivered the eulogy at the funeral for Andrew Brown Jr., a black man who had died a few days earlier following an encounter with law enforcement. In his 22-minute eulogy, which was spent entirely on condemning America’s allegedly ubiquitous racism, Sharpton said that Brown had been: (a) “unjustly brought to death,” and (b) “unjustifiably and illegally” “execute[d].” “We must deal with the inequality in the criminal justice system today,” he declared. “… The challenge in these times is how we’re going to deal with policing in America and restoring the right to vote…. This must stop! Enough is enough! How many funerals do we have to have before we tell the Congress and the Senate that you’ve got to do something [in] these times?”

Sharpton also condemned black Republican Senator Tim Scott’s assertion that America is not a racist country. Among Sharpton’s remarks were the following:

  • “Seems something awkward to me where a white president [Biden] talked about white supremacy and a black senator said that America’s not racist. Seem a little strange to me. Now, everybody in America is not racist. But are you talking about whether the practice of America is racist, or the people? Because the practice of America was built on racism. It was against the law for us to read and write. It was against the law for us to marry. It was against the law for us to name our children after us. We were brought here to work and never get paid. That’s how the country was built…. What do you mean America is not racist? It was started off racism!”

To learn more about Al Sharpton, click here.

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

Senate Rejects Filibuster Change, Defeats Election Overhaul Bills In History-Making Day

  • The Senate late Thursday rejected a Democratic effort to alter the filibuster in order to pass their long-sought voting bills over unanimous Republican opposition, capping one of the most consequential days in the history of the chamber.
  • The change, had it been adopted, would have established a “talking filibuster,” allowing any senator to speak for or against the bill for as long as they wanted but lowering the 60-vote threshold for passage to a simple majority.
  • Democrats’ attempt to change Senate rules concluded a marathon day of debating in the chamber that saw nearly half of the body speak about the voting bills. They failed, and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer moved to change the rules soon after.
  • Though senators engaged in genuine debate throughout the day, most expressed disdain for how deliberation seemed to have faded from the world’s greatest deliberative body.
  • “I don’t know what happened to the good old days,” said West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, “but I can’t tell you they aren’t here now.” 

The Senate late Thursday rejected a Democratic effort to alter the filibuster in order to pass their long-sought voting bills over unanimous Republican opposition, capping one of the most consequential days in the history of the chamber.

The vote failed 48-52 after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema voted as they said they would for months, joining a unanimous Republican caucus in opposition and denying their party the necessary support for the change to take effect. The change, had it been adopted, would have established a “talking filibuster” pertaining to the voting bills only, allowing any senator to speak for or against them for as long as they wanted but lowering the 60-vote threshold for passage to a simple majority.

“What we have now … is not a filibuster,” Maine Sen. Angus King, and independent who caucuses with Democrats, said ahead of the vote. “It doesn’t require any effort. It doesn’t require any speeches. It doesn’t require to hold the floor.”

“Strom Thurmond would have loved this filibuster,” King added, invoking the late segregationist senator who set the record for the longest filibuster speech ever while speaking against the 1957 Civil Rights Act.

Democrats’ attempt to change Senate rules concluded a marathon day of debating in the chamber that saw nearly half of the body speak either for the John Lewis Voting Rights Reauthorization Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, the twin bills that passed the House Thursday with a quirk that prevented Senate Republicans from blocking debate on them as they had in the past.

The voting bills failed to garner 60 Senate votes earlier Wednesday night even though Manchin and Sinema voted in favor, sparking Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s motion to change Senate rules to allow them to pass without GOP support.

“For those who believe bipartisanship is possible, we have proven them wrong,” Manchin said ahead of the vote. “Ending the filibuster would be the easy way out. I cannot support such a perilous course for this nation when elected leaders are sent to Washington to unite our country by putting politics and party aside.”

Democrats have said the bills are necessary to counter election reform laws that Republican state legislatures across the country have passed in the wake of the 2020 election that allegedly suppress people’s ability to vote. As a result, nearly all have endorsed altering the filibuster to ensure their passage even if done on a partisan basis.

“I share with many of you … a vision of the Senate that collaborates and negotiates the most important issue of our time,” Georgia Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock said. “I believe in bipartisanship. But at what cost? Who is being asked to foot the bill for this bipartisanship and is liberty itself the cost?”

Republicans, however, have countered that the federal legislation, which sets uniform voting standards and outlaws partisan gerrymandering, will invite voter fraud and infringe on states’ rights to oversee their own elections.

“The president and his party will try to use fear and panic to smash the Senate, silence millions of Americans and size control of our democracy,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday.

McConnell said hours later that while the day was one of the most consequential in the history of the Senate, it really boiled down to a simple question: “Will it take 60 votes to pass massive changes or a simple majority to ram them through? That’s what’s at stake here.”

Though senators engaged in genuine debate throughout the day, most expressed disdain for how deliberation seemed to have faded from the world’s greatest deliberative body. Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the only Republican who backed the John Lewis voting bill, said Wednesday that the rhetoric surrounding voting has become very concerning.

“I was part of a very troubling conversation last evening,” she said. “It was shared depending on which side you’re on in this body today on this issue, you’re either a racist or a hypocrite. Really, is that where we are?”

Manchin echoed her hours later in his speech, criticizing the lack of bipartisanship as he has time and time again throughout his filibuster defenses.

“I don’t know what happened to the good old days,” he said, “but I can’t tell you they aren’t here now.”

COLUMN BY

ANDREW TRUNSKY

Political reporter. Follow Andrew on Twitter @atrunsky

RELATED ARTICLES:

Democrats Double-Down On Sure-To-Fail Strategy To Pass Voting Bills

House Passes Two Democratic Voting Bills – With A Quirk That Allows Them To Skirt One Filibuster Vote

‘A Perilous Course For This Nation’: Manchin Breaks With Democrats, Reaffirms Support For The Filibuster Ahead Of Critical Vote

McConnell Blasts ‘The Left’s Big Lie’ As Schumer Prepares Another Voting Bill Push

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

England Ends Mask and Vaccine Mandate, Czech Republic Does Too, But US Democrats WANT MORE HARSH MANDATES

England ends mask mandates, working from home and vaccine passports. But in many countries, draconian restrictions still apply. So we must continue to campaign to end the mandates, restrictions and vaccine passports in other countries.

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson ends mask and vaccine requirements in England

By Karen Curtis | WFTL January 19, 2022

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has scrapped his Covid-19 Plan B in England, no longer requiring face masks in school or working from home, signaling the beginning of the end of coronavirus.

Johnson also ended the use of Covid-19 passports.

Boris Johnson’s announcement followed a “welcome decrease” in the number of coronavirus infections throughout the UK.

“The numbers in intensive care not only remain low but are actually also falling.”

England will go to “Plan A”, on January 26th and the PM told the House of Commons that soon, self-isolation rules for people who test positive will be scrapped as well.

Will President Biden follow suit in the US? The president will speak today and take questions from the press about the COVID surge on this one year anniversary of his presidency.

England’s Covid Plan B restrictions including work-from-home guidance will be scrapped, the Prime Minister has announced.

Boris Johnson told MPs that people are no longer being asked to work from home and, from Thursday next week when Plan B measures lapse, mandatory Covid certification will end.

The Government will also no longer mandate the wearing of face masks anywhere from next Thursday and they will be scrapped in classrooms from tomorrow.

The Prime Minister also confirmed the intention to end the legal requirement to self-isolate when the regulations expire on March 24 and said the Government may move that date forward. (The Independent)

And in the Czech Republic:

Meanwhile, in barking mad left-wing America:

England ends mask mandates, working from home and vaccine passports. But Democrat America wants harsher measures still, including taking away your children…

RELATED ARTICLES:

CDC Finally Admits Cloth Masks Don’t Work

INSANE: Poll Shows 45% Of Dems Approve Sending Unvaccinated To ‘Designated Facilities’

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

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Flag Bearers Are Found Few and Far Between These Days and Especially on a Day Hovering Around 23 degrees Fahrenheit

So when I saw this lowly figure in the distance, as I was driving down Mequon Rd. Mequon WI,  I knew that there was a story there worth stopping and freezing for.

Meet Nick Trofimoff. Nick was walking with a message, one worth freezing for but also one that is worthy of giving a listen to. Nick has family in the military. But more than that. Nick recognizes that this country is missing something these days- patriotism. He remembered 9/11, “People came together and were patriotic after 9/11. People forgot. Now that We’ve left Afghanistan, people are forgetting all over again.”, he lamented.

Indeed, if anything, we are probably more pulled apart now than anytime since the civil war. Though many had high hopes for this past year, it is clear that the rhetoric coming out of  the Washington DC leadership is creating more division, not less.

The real government leadership needed to heal and bring this country back together is sorely lacking today. In this age of symbolism, the symbolic leadership that we are experiencing from our government leaders is not going to cut it anymore. We need substance, action and results. So it is left to us to take the lead, to pick up the one banner that unites more than it divides, to embrace the unity that in our darkest moments, held us together as a nation.

Though the flag is largely symbolic, it represents the spirit of unity that we have in God’s gift of freedom to this country and the principles upon which this country was founded. If each of us in humility and gratitude could lay down their individual flags and in symbolism and substance begin to rally, one with another, to the unity that our flag represents, we just might, with God’s guidance, bring our nation back together.

May God bless Nick for warming my heart on a very cold January day, as he trudged along in the freezing cold. May we all become as Nick, united as lovers of our country, both in spirit and substance because God only knows how badly that is what is needed today!

Nick gave me permission for public publishing of his image and my permission is granted for public publishing with attribution.

My humble thanks for your kind consideration.

©Vince Schmuki/ Representing WIN-Wisconsinites Interest Now. All rights reserved.

“Free to Vote” Should Not Mean “Free to Cheat”

“The bedrock of the American republic is that elections must be free, fair, accurate, and trusted.” – So states Mollie Hemingway in her important book, Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections (2021).


I spoke with Mollie on the radio when her book came out. She told our audience, “I found after 2020 the way that you weren’t allowed to talk about [the election] to be completely suspicious. We all lived through it. It was the weirdest election of our lifetime—but then you weren’t allowed to notice that in any way.” Nothing to see here—move along.

In order to secure voter integrity, Georgia passed a law after the irregularities of the 2020 election. And this voting law has been viciously attacked by the left. But Tim Head, executive director of the Faith and Freedom Coalition (based in Atlanta), argues that in reality this law makes it easier to vote. Despite the lies of the media, Hollywood, the woke corporations, and the liberal politicians, including President Biden (who called the law “Jim Crow 2.0”), the law is a good step toward restoring voter integrity.

Tim Head told me, “The crux of the issue really comes down to: Do Americans and do voters have confidence that we as citizens and as voters have a voice, a meaningful voice, in our government? We need to have confidence that all of our voices are heard and otherwise, we can start moving closely, more closely towards almost a banana republic status.”

Last week Joe Biden visited Georgia and tried to peddle the left’s own voter overhaul bill, the “Free to Vote” Act, which would have the effect of federalizing all elections going forward, and would remove crucial vote-security measures.

And yet, in Article I, Section 4, the U.S. Constitution says: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.”

Biden asserted that opposition to the bill to federalize elections was essentially racist: “At consequential moments in history, they present a choice. Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

But critics note that this bill would loosen common sense voter photo-ID restrictions.

Heritage Foundation’s Hans von Spakavsky, co-author (with John Fund) of Our Broken Elections: How the Left Changed the Way You Vote, told me in an interview: “Those laws have been in place now for more than eight decades. We have years of turnout data in states with voter ID laws, that data clearly shows it does not suppress votes. It does not keep people out of the polls. It certainly does not keep minority voters out of the polls.”

Ken Blackwell, Senior Fellow with the Family Research Council, notes, “If it was difficult to get a voter ID, you could say it was a restraint to participation. Well it’s not difficult and you just think whether it’s taking out a library book, getting on an airplane, buying certain adult beverages, you have to show an ID.”

Interestingly a new survey of likely Michigan voters found: “[M]ore than 75% of participants supported a requirement to show a government-issued photo ID in order to vote, while support among Black residents was even higher at 79%.”

Another security measure requires updating voter registration rolls—so that no vote is cast by say, a person who died 10 years ago.

Veteran journalist Bob Knight says, “The question I always ask is, ‘How can you be against accurate voter rolls and say that’s somehow racist or suppressing the vote, when everybody’s treated the same?’”

Some critics believe that the porous border, where hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens are pouring into America, is a strategy by the left to sustain political power—by getting these people to vote and vote for the left. Recently, New York City has approved letting 800,000 illegal aliens vote in elections—local ones, for now. Critics note that this is why the Biden administration has not lifted a finger to close our southern border.

And then, there’s “ballot harvesting”—a system where third parties can collect mail ballots. Critics note this is rife with potential for voter fraud.

And on it goes.

And now Biden and the left want to completely overhaul our election system to make sure they always retain their power. Going forward, we must make sure that elections are fair and just—that it is easy to vote, but difficult to cheat. And the place to do that is in the state legislatures—according to the Constitution Joe Biden swore to uphold.

Visa Program for Illegal Alien Crime Victims Approves Forged, Altered, Unauthorized Petitions

A controversial program that awards special visas to illegal immigrants who claim to be victims of crimes in the U.S. rubber stamps petitions with forged, unauthorized, altered, or suspicious law enforcement certifications, according to a scathing federal audit released this month. The probe also discloses that the Homeland Security agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), that authorizes the visas has for years allowed fraud to go unchecked in the program that receives over 50,000 applications annually. It is known as the U nonimmigrant visa, or simply U visa, and it grants lawful status as well as a path to American citizenship to illegal alien crime victims and their families.

Congress created it in 2000 as part of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act to help authorities prosecute criminals with the help of victims in the country illegally who might otherwise not cooperate with police. Though victims of other crimes and those who have suffered “substantial physical or mental abuse” may also qualify, the visa was designed to assist victims of sexual assault, gangs, domestic violence, and human trafficking. In the last few years U visa petitions have grown tremendously, according to government figures, and the Biden administration wants to expand the program even more by raising the annual cap from 10,000 to 30,000 (family members do not count against the cap). That will only add to the huge backlog. It is bad enough that a few years ago USCIS estimated that petitioners would wait more than a decade to receive a U visa if policies and processing procedures remain the same.

While on the waitlist illegal immigrants and their family members receive deferred action or parole and may apply for work authorization. A USCIS publication reveals that 22% of petitioners and 11% of derivatives were previously in deportation proceedings and nearly 10% of those approved required a waiver for fraud or willful misrepresentation. The report also states that in 2010 USCIS implemented a waitlist process due to the growing number of petitioners. By 2019 the agency estimated petitioners would wait north of 10 years to receive a U visa. The overwhelming majority (68%) of U visa applicants come from Mexico, according to figures embedded in the USCIS report. The rest come from Guatemala (7%), El Salvador (6.3%), Honduras (5.3%), India (3%) and Ecuador (1.9%).

To qualify for a U visa applicants must show that they are a victim of a qualifying crime, have information about the crime and are likely to be helpful in the detection or investigation of the crime or the prosecution and conviction of the perpetrator. Victims must submit a signed certification (1-918 form) from a law enforcement official containing basic information about the criminal activity and the victim’s willingness to assist in the detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction or sentencing. The Department of Homeland Security Inspector General (DHS IG), which conducted the latest probe, found that USCIS approved petitions with law enforcement certifications that were unauthorized, forged, altered or suspicious. Investigators from the watchdog’s office contacted law enforcement officials and confirmed in various cases that certifications had forged or unauthorized signatures. It seems that USCIS is not terribly concerned because the IG writes that, even after learning about these serious issues, the agency “did not adequately manage the U visa program” and failed to address “fraud risks.”

As part of the probe, the DHS watchdog surveyed law enforcement officials at dozens of agencies across the nation to determine if the U visa program helps solve crimes. Of 57 certifying law enforcement agencies contacted, “61 percent stated the program does not significantly improve their ability to investigate and solve crimes and 54 percent believe petitioners abuse the program,” the recently published DHS IG report says. Officials at several law enforcement agencies said the U visa program is not helpful because the requests are often for old or closed cases, and in some instances, “staged” crimes, or “exaggerated injuries.” Portions of the report are redacted but the key point is well conveyed. “USCIS’ mismanagement of the U visa program led to questionable petitioners gaining U visa benefits,” the IG writes, adding that the agency has failed to take corrective actions although it acknowledged issues and vulnerabilities years ago.

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

FACT CHECK: Aol.’s Absurd Article ‘4 things Biden got right in a bumpy first year’

“The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.” – Ayn Rand


We here work each and every day to contest the uncontested absurdities that are now becoming public policy.

One of our readers (H/T DTJS) sent us an Aol. article by Rick Newman titled “4 things Biden got right in a bumpy first year.”

This article peaked our interest so we decided to look at each of these “4 things” Biden got right and analyze each of them. Here’s our analysis of the “4 things”:

  1. Ending Trump’s trade wars. Newman wrote, “There are no tariffs or other punitive trade measures rattling financial markets during the Biden presidency, as there were during Donald Trump’s.” The outcome of Biden’s “no tariffs or other punitive trade measures” policy is that now China’s trade surplus has surged to a record $676.4B in 2021. Newman wrote, Biden has touted something he calls a “trade policy for the middle class.” Today middle class Americans are facing significant supply chain shortages, higher oil, natural gas and gasoline prices, empty shelves, higher prices for meat and other consumer goods. When the cost of goods goes up that is in effect a tax burden on every American. Americans, families, companies and communities prospered under Trump’s made in America tariff policies, prove us wrong!  Read: Is There Emerging Support For Trump Tariff Policies Toward China?, Self-Inflicted Food Supply Disruptions, THE CHINA TRADE WAR: National Security On The Line, and Nasdaq falls 1% Wednesday to close in correction territory, off 10% from its November record.
  2. Stabilizing foreign policy. Newman wrote, “Elsewhere in the world, Biden’s foreign-policy team is dealing with tough challenges minus the scandal and self-dealing that seemed to infuse Trump’s every move.” While Newman does admit that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was “an unqualified mess” he does not address the rise of the Taliban, the gowning aggressiveness rhetoric of Iran, attacks on Israel by radical Islamic jihadists, the possible invasion  of Ukraine by Russia and China’s attacks on Taiwan and the recent attack by a Muslim terrorist who was  granted a Visa, because Biden eliminated terrorist restrictions, to come to America and attack a synagogue in Texas. Read: The Coming War With Russia, Reality Check: Joe Biden’s Foreign Policy Record, Biden Halted Terror-Vetting Procedures Which Would Have STOPPED Texas Jihadi From Entering the Country Watch: VIDEO: Perspectives on Biden’s Foreign Policy from 2 Former Israeli Ambassadors and VIDEO: Biden’s Military Retreats into Wokeism.
  3. The forgotten infrastructure bill. Newman wrote, “Voters barely remember that in November, Biden signed a bipartisan infrastructure bill far larger than anything Presidents Trump or Obama could accomplish before him.” What Newman doesn’t discuss is that larger is not necessarily better. In fact there’s a lot in the infrastructure bill that has nothing to do with infrastructure. The Build Back Better Act includes: funds for prescription drugs and Medicare Part D, has a provision to reduce more than one billion metric tons of greenhouse emissions with a goal of cutting them by at least 50% in 2030, provides funds for universal preschool, expands Obamacare, expands utility and clean energy tax credits, pays for hearing aids, creates and preserves affordable housing, etc., etc., etc. What do any of these items have to do with building and maintaining roads and bridges? Answer: Nothing! Read: Does Biden’s $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Include a Mileage Tax? and Biden Infrastructure Plan Would Hurt Economy in 3 Ways over Long Run, Ivy League Analysis Finds.
  4. Sensibility and empathy. Newman wrote, “This might not count for much, but Biden really does sound reasonable as he pleads with Americans to do what is necessary to crawl to the end of the COVID pandemic.”  Robert Knight in a column titled “‘The Great Unifier’ tells half the country to go to … well, you know” reported, “Mr. Biden, who earlier called ‘white nationalists’ the greatest security threat facing America, went full demagogue at an Atlanta college: ‘I will defend your right to vote and our democracy against all enemies foreign and, yes, domestic. [Joe Biden] invoked Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy; and Bull Connor, who abused civil rights marchers; and George Wallace, who is a famous segregationist – and he basically said if you don’t agree with [his] attempt to nationalize elections and end the filibuster, you’re one of these people. In other words, you’re an enemy of America. This was shocking. Even moderate Democrats were shaking their heads saying he’s gone off the deep end.’” Empathy? Really? It seems that Biden has empathy for convicted felons, the enemies of Israel and the only those who are vaxxed. Read: Majority Of Democrats Favor House Arrest For The Unvaccinated, Nearly A Third Want Them To Lose Custody Of Children: Poll, U.S. ambassador to Israel: ‘The Biden administration believes it must take care of the Palestinian people’, Unhinged Leftists: Now, That’s Entertainment! and UNBELIEVABLE: Biden elevates convicted felon Floyd above Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fact check: Aol.’s  Soviet Style Agitprop!

The Bottom Line

We found Aol. and Rick Newman’s article pure propaganda. Trade War? Really? The world was screwing us on trade deals until Trump took over. Now the world is screwing U.S. since this has now become Biden’s official policy motto – Screw the USA!

Stabilizing Foreign Policy? Russia is getting ready to invade the Ukraine, Iran is becoming more aggressive and will have a nuclear weapon soon, the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan and is threatening us, our southern border is a disaster and we just had a Muslim take over a synagogue in Texas who was wanted by the British.

What forgotten infrastructure bill? Biden’s infrastructure bill is filled with pork and payoffs.

Sensibility and empathy? Really? Biden’s going after anyone who is against his mandates, power grab of the election process by federalizing it, etc. Biden’s only empathy is for illegal aliens, Antifa and Black Lives Matter. On Martin Luther King Day Biden empathized with George Floyd, a convicted felon and drug addict, over Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stating, ““Dr. King’s assassination did not have the worldwide impact that George Floyd’s death did.”

We have come to our decision. Aol. and Rick Newman are Soviet style “propagandists” who gloss over what is happening in America because of this administration’s policies. Aol. is the new Pravda under Joseph Stalin.

FACT CHECK: FALSE

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Over Two-Thirds Of Voters Think The US Is On The Wrong Track As Biden Finishes First Year In Office

Watch Ricardo Bosi’s ‘Emergency Warning’ To Australia

“Professional politicians in the major parties have ruined our country, serving not the citizens of the nation, but representing foreign powers and ideologies, as well as other special interest groups. We must make the choice not between ‘left’ and ‘right’, but between right and wrong.” – Riccardo Bosi, Author, Speaker, Senate Candidate, Former Australian Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel and National Leader of AUSTRALIAONE Party


Riccardo Bosi of Australia, leader of the party AUSTRALIAONE, and a former Australia Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel— a man who seems to understand what we’re up against and what it takes for people to triumph over fascist governments–gives an enormously powerful, Churchillian speech to the people of Australia, which is all too relevant to us and to freedom-loving people the world over.

©Cherie Zaslawsky. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: Shaming unvaccinated people has to stop. We’ve turned into an angry mob and it’s getting ugly

Carville: ‘Dems Whine Too Much’ — ‘Quit Being a Whiny Party’

Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, cadaverous, cantankerous Democrat strategist James Carville declared that Democrats “whine too much” when asked about President Joe Biden’s popularity with his own party members.

Asked what he would fix first among the Biden administration’s failures on every issue, Carville replied, “There’s an expression that I love. It’s called ‘soldier on,’ right? And I don’t think we have sufficiently — if you’re a part of the Democratic base and you don’t care about child poverty, and you don’t care about hourly workers, then you’re really not a Democrat, right? Now, I think a lot of the Democratic base has not been told or informed of the things that, that that President Biden and this Congress has accomplished.”

Perhaps that’s because Biden and this Congress have accomplished nothing except to drive the ship of state into an iceberg.

“But to me, those are the things that, that if I’m a Democratic, I much more care about that than some word in a dictionary — that children are going to bed with a full stomach and a warm, you know, a warm house. I care that somebody, an hourly worker, is not sitting there working away at $7.25 an hour. And I see these signs all over, even in Louisiana and south Mississippi: $700 signing bonus. Those are, those are real accomplishments. And it’s something that you can run on.”

Maybe the Democrats could run on soaring fuel prices and record inflation, too, since that’s what they have accomplished.

“And again, you don’t talk about what you didn’t get. That’s what these — Democrats whine too much, Chuck,” Carville continued. “Just quit being a whiny party. And get out there and, and fight, and tell people what you did. And tell people the exact truth.”

If Democrats were ever to run on “telling people the exact truth,” they would never win another election.


James Carville

8 Known Connections

In August 2016, Carville asserted that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was “pretty stupid when it comes to politics,” adding that “this guy is a loser and he’s not running a very smart campaign.” When a Vanity Fair interviewer asked Carville, less than three weeks later, to comment on the upcoming presidential election between Trump and Hillary Clinton, Carville said: “It’s hard to look at it right now and come to any other conclusion than it is going to be a pretty sizable win for the Democrats.” Moreover, he described Trump as a candidate who “fit perfectly with at least half of the Republican Party, which is some version of an ethnocentric, nationalistic party” whose white members tended, in Carville’s vernacular, to embrace Trump’s claims that all of their problems had been caused by “stupid politicians and immigrants.”

To learn more about James Carville, click here.

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

Shaming unvaccinated people has to stop. We’ve turned into an angry mob and it’s getting ugly

Vaccination has become such a sensitive issue it easily triggers the instinct to shame others.


Unvaccinated mother, 27, dies with coronavirus as her father calls for fines for people who refuse jab.

This is the kind of headline you may have seen over the past year, an example highlighting public shaming of unvaccinated people who die of COVID-19.

One news outlet compiled a list of “notable anti-vaxxers who have died from Covid-19”.

There’s shaming on social media, too. For instance, a whole Reddit channel is devoted to mocking people who die after refusing the vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccinations save lives and reduce the need for hospitalisation. This is all important public health information.

Telling relatable stories and using emotive language about vaccination sends a message: getting vaccinated is good.

But the problem with the examples above is their tone and the way unvaccinated people are singled out. There’s also a murkier reason behind this shaming.

Why do we shame people?

Public shaming is not new. It is entrenched in human history and psychology. From an evolutionary perspective, shame is a way of keeping individuals accountable to the other members of their community for their perceived anti-social behaviours.

Philosophers Guy Aitchison and Saladin Meckled-Garcia say online public shaming is a way of collectively punishing a person “for having a certain kind of moral character”. This punishment (or “reputational cost”) can be a way of enforcing norms in society.

However, shaming others is also a way of signalling our own virtue and trustworthiness. Moralising about other people’s behaviour can help us feel better about ourselves.

The online world exacerbates this human tendency. It polarises two heavily moralised camps: the self-perceived good, responsible people on one side (the shaming ones), and the ones considered bad, irresponsible people on the other (the shamed ones).

Vaccination has become such a sensitive issue it easily triggers the instinct to shame others.

Do people deserve to be shamed?

Shaming people for their health-related choices disregards the complexities about whether people are individually responsible for their own decisions.

Take obesity, another example associated with public shaming. The extent to which individuals are responsible for their obesity or for the lifestyle that causes obesity is complex. We need to consider issues including genes, environment, wealth, as well as choice. Indeed, shaming people for their obesity (“fat shaming”) is widely considered unacceptable.

Likewise, low levels of vaccine uptake in some communities is often linked to structural inequalities, including health inequality, and a resulting lack of trust. The blame for this situation is typically placed on broader society and institutions, and not on the affected groups or individuals.

If someone cannot be blamed for something, then shaming them is not ethically justifiable.

In discussions of responsibility it is now common to focus on “structural injustice” or “inequality” – the injustice of various social factors that shape choice and behaviour.

This applies not only to obesity, drugs, alcohol but also to vaccination decisions.

Even where this is not the case, there has been a targeted, systematic and even state-sponsored misinformation campaign about vaccines. People who are misinformed are victims, not perpetrators.

Finally, we should remember why medical ethics has designated autonomy and consent as foundational ethical values. Even where there is a clear expected benefit, and only very rare side effects, these won’t be shared equally. Many will have their lives saved. But some people will be the ones who suffer the harms. This a strong reason for respecting people’s decision about what risks to take on themselves.

Barring any public health issue, an individual should make the decisions about health risks, whether they are from the disease or vaccines. Shaming them disregards the complexities of the distribution of risks and benefits, of the way individual values affect individual risk assessment, and of personal circumstances shaping individuals’ views on vaccines.

Granted, public health ethics is a broader area and autonomy does not have the same weight there, because other people’s health interests are at stake.

But when public health issues do arise, it is up to public health authorities to limit autonomy through appropriate and more ethical strategies.

One of us (Savulescu) has previously argued for incentives to vaccinate. Mandatory vaccination (such as imposing fines, or other penalties such as limitations on access to certain spaces) would require a separate ethical discussion, but could also be preferable in certain circumstances.

Shaming is a form of vigilantism

One could plausibly imagine shaming pleases people who are vaccinated – especially the most self-righteous among them. But those who are opposed to vaccines, or who mistrust the government messages, are unlikely to be persuaded and may even be entrenched.

Even if shaming was effective, shaming wouldn’t necessarily be ethically justified. Not everything that is effective at achieving a goal is also ethical. Torture is, generally, not a justifiable way to obtain information, even if that information is credible and life-saving.

Shaming is a form of vigilantism, a mob behaviour. We have moved beyond burning witches or atheists, or lynching wrong-doers. We should stop doing these things also in the metaphorical sense.

We have parliaments and formal mechanisms for limiting behaviour, or incentivising it. We should leave it to these to regulate behaviour, not the media or the mob.

COLUMN BY

Julian Savulescu

Professor Julian Savulescu holds the Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He is Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and a Principal Investigator at the Wellcome… More by Julian Savulescu

Alberto Giubilini

Alberto Giubilini is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities, University of Oxford. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the University… More by Alberto Giubilini

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China’s Trade Surplus Surges To Record $676.4B in 2021

This can’t continue. The Republican Party must make repatriating our manufacturing back to the United States a major issue in 2022 and 2024. President Trump or Governor DeSantis will take the fight to China when they take office in January 2025.

China’s trade surplus surges to record $676.4B in 2021

By I-24, January 14, 2022

BEIJING (AP) – China’s politically volatile global trade surplus surged to $676.4 billion in 2021, likely the highest ever for any country, as exports jumped 29.9% over a year earlier despite semiconductor shortages that disrupted manufacturing.

The country’s monthly trade surplus in December swelled 20.8% over a year earlier to a record $94.4 billion, customs data showed Friday.

China piled up a series of monthly export surpluses in 2021 but they prompted less criticism from the United States and other trading partners than in earlier years while their governments focused on containing coronavirus infections.

Exports rose to $3.3 trillion in 2021 despite shortages of processor chips for smartphones and other goods as global demand rebounded from the coronavirus pandemic. Manufacturers also were hampered by power rationing in some areas to meet government efficiency targets.

The surplus with the United States, one of the irritants behind a lingering U.S.-Chinese trade war, rose 25.1% in 2021 over a year earlier to $396.6 billion. Trade envoys have talked since President Joe Biden took office in January but have yet to announce a date to resume face-to-face negotiations.

Exports to the United States gained 27.5% over 2020 to $576.1 billion despite tariff hikes by Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, that still are in place on many goods. Chinese imports of American goods rose 33.1% to $179.5 billion.

In December, China’s monthly trade surplus with the United States rose 31.1% over a year earlier to $39.2 billion. Exports to the U.S. market rose 21.1% to $56.4 billion while imports of American goods edged up 3.3% to $17.1 billion.

Chinese imports in 2021 rose 30.1% to $2.7 trillion as the world’s second-largest recovery rebounded from the pandemic.

Economic growth weakened in the second half of the year as Beijing carried out a campaign to reduce what it sees as dangerously high debt in the real estate industry, but consumer spending was above pre-pandemic levels.

Manufacturing activity edged higher in December but new export orders contracted, according to survey earlier by the government statistics bureau and an industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing.

Chinese exporters benefited from being allowed to resume most normal business in early 2020 while foreign competitors faced anti-coronavirus restrictions on travel and trade. That advantage carried into 2021 as other governments renewed controls in response to the spread of new virus variants.

Earlier, forecasters said Chinese exporters would benefit from the spread of the latest variant, omicron, which Beijing appeared to be keeping out of the country. More recently, however, China has responded to outbreaks within its own borders by imposing travel restrictions on major cities including Tianjin, a manufacturing center where omicron was found.

China’s global trade surplus was a 26.4% increase over 2020, which economists said then was among the highest ever reported by any economy. They said the only comparison as a percentage of the economy’s size likely was Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters during their price boom in the 1970s, but their total revenues were smaller.

The swollen trade surplus has strained the ability of China’s central bank to manage the exchange rate of its yuan, which has risen to multi-year highs against the U.S. dollar as money flows into the country. The People’s Bank of China has tried to limit the ability of banks and other traders to speculate on the currency’s movement.

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How to Build Artificial Islands in the China Swamp

Many thanks to Laser List member Clare Lopez for her article on the connections between the U.S. government and China’s biological weapons program, cited herein.

A book due out January 25th gives new details about how communist China has corrupted American elites.  The author is Peter Shweizer who has made a name for himself exposing the corruption of the Clintons, the Biden family, and Congress critters.   His new book, Red-Handed, is subtitled “How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win”.  The book reveals “the secret deals wealthy Americans have cut to help China build its military, technological, and economic might…. [M]any of these elites quietly believe the Chinese dictatorial regime is superior to American democracy.”  Schweizer calls this the scariest investigation he has ever undertaken.

But you don’t have to wait for the book to get a good idea of what our corrupt elites have been up to with China, lately.  A quick trip through recent news gives you that:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the $10 million civil servant, has investments in China, including a pharmaceutical company.  Fauci has ties to EcoHealth Alliance which was funded by NIH to work with the Chinese military on gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  The connections between the U.S. government – specifically NIH and its National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases run by Fauci – and China’s biological weapons program are all out in the open now.  No lab leak here, no sirree.

I previously reported to you how John Kerry, who can’t be bothered about China’s human rights abuses because he’s just the “climate guy”, also has investments in China, big ones.  In December, Kerry objected to the Uighur anti-slavery bill moving through Congress because it would upset China.  Or was it because it would upset his investment portfolio?

Two members of the House January 6th Committee have sizeable investments in China.  Elaine Luria has six figures invested in a Chinese company with ties to China’s military, a company our State Department calls a “tool” of the Chinese Communist Party.  The company develops surveillance technology for social control.  The husband of Stephanie Murphy manufactures in China.  Foreign companies in China must wear a ‘red hat’, that is, establish units to carry out the wishes of the Chinese Communist Party.  Yet we are supposed to believe Murphy’s tough talk on China.

There’s more, including lots on Hunter Biden, but I’ll save it for another day.  Let me end with a story that’s in the news today.  The co-owner of an NBA team, a million-dollar Democrat donor, was widely criticized for saying ‘nobody cares about the Uighurs.’  The NBA does substantial business in China, which the U.S. has accused of genocide of the Uighurs.

If you think China’s dictatorial communist system is superior to ours, we’ll start that conversation with the 35 to 60 million people who starved to death in the deliberately engineered famine of China’s Great Leap Forward, the protesters who were reduced to pulp when the tanks rolled over them in Tiananmen Square, the rape of Tibet, and the genocide of the Uighurs.  Then we’ll see how much of your case is left.

Enjoy the Olympics.

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