“MX. Aldrich”: Suspect in Colorado Gay Club Shooting is Non-Binary, Demands They/Them Pronouns

The hell the left wrought.

The Colorado shooter informed the authorities he is non-binary, uses they/them pronouns, and requested to be referred to as Mx. Aldrich throughout the proceedings

CNN is speechless.

CNN Panel in State of Confusion after Club Q Killer’s Lawyers Say He’s ‘Non-Binary’

Colorado gay club shooting suspect identifies as non-binary, lawyers say

Court papers revealed public defenders referred to the suspect as Mx Aldrich, after they legally changed their name back in 2016.

By Lauren Russell, Sky News, 23 November 2022:

The defence team of a suspect facing possible hate crime charges over the fatal shooting of five people at a gay club in Colorado have said they define as non-binary.

Court papers filed on behalf of Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, showed public defenders referring to the suspect as Mx Aldrich, noting that they are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.

Aldrich was taken into custody and treated for injuries after five people were killed and at least 25 others injured at Club Q, an “adult-oriented gay and lesbian nightclub” in Colorado Springs, on the night of 19 November. The suspect was beaten into submission by patrons at the nightclub.

They were scheduled to appear in court via video link from El Paso County jail for the first time on Wednesday.

At a news conference, officers said that a “long rifle” was used and shooting began as soon as the suspect entered the venue. The motive is still under investigation, but Aldrich faces possible murder and hate crime charges, according to authorities.

Charges are currently preliminary and prosecutors have not yet filed formal charges. Hate crime charges require proving that the suspect was motivated by bias against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

AUTHOR

RELATED ARTICLES:

Colorado Shooter Identifies As Non-Binary, Uses They/Them Pronouns: Court Documents

Two Years Later, CBS ‘confirms’ Hunter Biden laptop is real 769 days after Post broke story

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

January 6, 2021—The Real Truth

The Truth About January 6, 2021, Washington, D.C.

Most of the following is verified in the documentary made by the EPOCH Times entitled

Jan. 6—The Real Story

  1. The Rally was organized for the purpose of exercising 1st Amendment as the “Right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The grievances were that the 2021 election was stolen from POTUS Trump by fraudulent means and that the Electoral College votes involved should not be certified by Congress.
  2. It is estimated by those who were there as well as POTUS Trump’s staff that between 7- 800,000 people attended the Jan. 6th Rally.  The vast majority of them were totally peaceful and did not participate in the events at the Capitol Building.  Those at the Capitol building were estimated to be approx. less than 1,000 or .00014%. This fact is rarely mentioned by the media who laughingly have stated there were only 20 -30,000 in DC on Jan. 6 but this is based on the National Park Service Permit.  MAGA Trump March & Protest Attendance in DC: Crowd Photos | Heavy.com
  3. There was no insurrection or attempt to overthrow the government by violence as contended by the Biden Administration. There was violence which moved beyond 1st Amendment protection but much was perpetuated by the brutal actions of Capitol or DC Metropolitan Police and/or planted instigators among the crowd.  The FBI confirmed that no firearms were found and little evidence of an organized insurrection. FBI confirms there was no insurrection on Jan. 6 | Washington Examiner.  Biden declared on national TV that there was an insurrection at approx. 2:22 pm the same day without most of the facts being developed.
  4. Speaker of House, Nancy Pelosi thru the House Sergeant at Arms and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) refused prior offer by POTUS Trump for up to 20,000 National Guard Troops and Pelosi turned down requests to strengthen Capitol Police for Jan. 6th. It Was a Set-Up: Both DC Mayor Bowser and Nancy Pelosi Turned Down National Guard on Jan. 6 – Chris Wray Refused to Tell Trump Admin “There Could be Situation” (thegatewaypundit.com): On Jan 6, Pelosi and Schumer were calling the DOJ and others asking for national guard support. Pelosi was concerned that demonstrators were pooping on the capitol steps.  Video shows Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer react in real-time to Jan. 6 (nypost.com)
  5. No Law Enforcement officers, as widely erroneously reported, were killed as a result of Jan. 6 events. The only people to die that day were 4 Trump supporters. Joe Biden Falsely Claims Five Police Officers Killed in January 6 Protests (breitbart.com)
  6. 35 year old Air Force veteran Ashley Babbitt was murdered by Capitol Police Lt Michael Leroy Byrd. She was not a threat to him and was simply looking thru a broken window (which she did not break nor was she attempting to crawl thru it) outside the capitol floor when shot.  Byrd was not investigated by normal internal affairs LE procedures but was summarily exonerated by the Dept of Justice. Babbitt shooting internal police docs reveal ‘no good reason for shooting,’ according to Judicial Watch | Fox News
  7. 34 year old Rosanne Boyland was brutally beaten on the head by a Metro Police Officer using a stick after she had been knocked down near the entrance to a tunnel where tear gas had been deployed sucking out the oxygen causing protestors to panic trying to get out. No initial attempts were made by police to render her first aid.  Later attempts to resuscitate her were made but she died.  The media falsely reported she died of a drug overdose. Evidence Suggests Jan. 6 Victim Roseanne Boyland Beaten to Death by Police – Headline USA
  8. Two other Trump supporters died from natural causes Police identify 3 people in Capitol protest who died from medical issues during riot | Fox News
  9. Capitol and DC Metropolitan Police at the Capitol building were undermanned; not trained for crowd/riot control; did not use effective barricades; used excessive, brutal force on the protestors and were not supervised.
  10. Undermanned law enforcement did not form skirmish lines but rather allowed themselves to be surrounded which was ineffective in controlling the crowd. Standard Riot Protocols were not followed.
  11. Barricades used were light weight metal bicycle racks which were ineffective in keeping the crowd contained. Video coverage of LE actions shows very poor organization and an absence of supervisors.
  12. Law enforcement officers positioned on the terrace at top of stairs to Capitol building threw explosive devises indiscriminately down onto the crowd catching the clothing of some of protestors on fire. They also fired paint balls and/or rubber bullets into the crowd without regard for the fact that such projectiles can cause serious eye damage. One man who climbed up a wall leading to the terrace was shoved off and seriously injured from the fall. One particular officer ran around collecting additional explosive devices; angrily shouting and throwing them. Here is another link attesting to police brutality on Jan. 6 In Riveting Interview: J-6 Victim Victoria White Describes Unbelievable Bare-Fisted Beating by DC Police on Jan 6th and the Nightmare that Followed — MUST SEE VIDEO (thegatewaypundit.com)  Such brutality obviously helped incite the crowd rather than cause them to disperse.
  13. “Suspicious Actors” or instigators for violence were present in the crowd who were not really Trump supporters. They tended to operate in 2 man teams and many had small white hand held microphones. One such man was observed pulling glass out of a window and encouraging others to do so and when police arrived pointed to others blaming them for what he had done. This and other  actions were caught on videos and very suspicious that these instigators were not arrested or charged unlike others who were genuine Trump supporters. One such suspected FBI recruited operative was Ray Epps who was urging people to go into the capitol building at breach point but was not arrested. Ray Epps interview transcript with Jan. 6 panel to be public ‘at some point’ | Washington Examiner Also check this link Tucker Drops FBI Bombshell: Jan. 6 Organizers ‘Were Almost Certainly Working for the FBI’ (westernjournal.com)
  14. Capitol Police officers were videoed opening doors and inviting protestors into the capitol building and appearing to encourage trespassing. This appears to be entrapment. Watch The Capitol Police Open The Doors And Invite Protesters In (thefederalist.com) Video Proves Capitol Police Let Protestors In on Jan 6th | We the People Convention | wethepeopleconvention.org
  15. Oathkeepers like Jeremy Brown who came to the Capitol on Jan 6 for the purpose of providing security from violent groups like ANTIFA and BLM have been at the center of prosecution. Videos prove that these OCs provided protection not only for protestors but for police as well and actually prevented more violence. They were video taped actually helping LE officers in distress, Oath Keepers Trial: Former Capitol Police Officer Testifies No Protesters Offered Help on January 6 – [your]NEWS (yournews.com)   yet many were charged with “seditious conspiracy” to stop the EC vote certification

Shamefully, the Dept of IN-JUSTICE is using the vaguely worded “Patriot Act” (which was intended to be used against foreign terrorists) to arrest and detain US citizens as “domestic terrorists” without Due Process, Bail or even basic humane treatment for those being detained. This badly worded law (thanks George W. Bush) is also used to provide immunity to those in LE who have committed crimes on Jan. 6.  Justice is not served. The real terrorists including mass murderers being held at Guantanamo Bay Prison are treated better prompting 34 J6 Political Prisoners to pen a letter asking to be transferred to Guantanamo Bay   BREAKING: 34 US Political Prisoners in DC Gulag Demand Transfer to Guantanamo Bay to Escape Intolerable Conditions in Heartbreaking Letter (thegatewaypundit.com)

In conclusion there is much evidence that the violent parts of Jan. 6 were SETUP by the leftist Deep Staters and the Surveillance State we now live in.  You be the judge.

  1. So Much Evidence that January 6, 2021 was a Calculated Set-Up

www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/07/so_much…

So Much Evidence that January 6, 2021 was a Calculated Set-Up By Steve McCann Political persecution and isolation of vast swaths of the citizenry by the Justice Department, the Intelligence…

  1. Was January 6 a setup? – Renew Democracy Initiative

That’s the close to the second episode of Tucker Carlson’s new three-part series on the lead up to and aftermath of January 6th, Patriot Purge. Throughout the series, the mysterious “people in charge” come after true American patriots, armed with a massive surveillance state and a battle-hardened military trained in a 20-year war.

  1. January 6th Was A Set-Up – Geller Report

January 6th Was A Set-Up By Pamela Geller – on August 4, 2021 Deep state provocation. If You Don’t Suspect Deep State Provocation At The Jan. 6 Riot, Start Paying Attention It’s required to ask at the outset of leftists’ 1/6 ‘Truth Commission’: How much of what led to Donald Trump supporters ‘storming the capitol’ was a setup?

  1. January 6, 2021 was a Calculated Set-Up – Shift Frequency

January 6, 2021 was a Calculated Set-Up. Steve McCann – Political persecution and isolation of vast swaths of the citizenry by the Justice Department, the Intelligence Community, and the Judiciary in the wake of the January 6, 2021, Capitol incursion should bring a chill down the spine of every American. This same troika, but with different nomenclature, was mobilized by 20th Century despots to eliminate their political enemies and establish a police state.

  1. IT WAS A SETUP! FBI Admits Jan. 6 Was Deep State Operation …

It Was All a Set Up: Even NYT Admits Police Ordered to Stand Down on January 6th – Yet the DOJ and FBI Are Harassing and Indicting Innocent Americans Proving They are Corrupt Former DEA Agent Tells Tucker Carlson FBI Informant “Friend” Invited Him To Capitol On Jan 6, Pressured Him To Go Inside [VIDEO]

  1. So Much Evidence that Jan. 6th, 2021 was a Calculated Set-Up

So Much Evidence that January 6, 2021 was a Calculated Set-Up By: Steve McCann Political persecution and isolation of vast swaths of the citizenry by the Justice Department, the Intelligence Community and the Judiciary in the wake of the January 6, 2021 Capitol incursion should bring a chill down the spine of every American.

  1. Rudy Giuliani Claims Jan. 6 Riot Was ‘Put Together by Left to …

Rudy Giuliani Claims Jan. 6 Riot Was ‘Put Together by Left to Frame Trump’ Giulia Carbonaro 6/12/2022 Rudy Giuliani has alleged that the Jan. 6 riots were an insurrection secretly…

  1. 6 commission could prove the left caused the Capitol …

Ever since the insurrection of Jan. 6 at the nation’s Capitol there have been accusations by Republicans that the mob was not made up of Trump-inspired seditionists but had somehow been…

Links to Other Pertinent Articles on Jan. 6 including the Pelosi Kangaroo Court. 

©Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

Voter fraud happened in 2020 and could happen this time

A friend recently reminded me of an article I had written on October 5, 2020, just before the presidential election that found all TV networks reporting that President Donald Trump was crushing Joe Biden across the board—including in the all-important battleground states—and then that coverage mysteriously stopped cold, disappeared for over three hours, and reappeared to report that the exact opposite was true, that Joe Biden had magically become the Crusher in Chief, ultimately “winning” the 2020 election.

“Remember the title of your article?” my friend asked me. In fact, I did, since it was the only time in decades of writing that I had capitalized a word in the title. It read like this:

The ONLY Issue in the 2020 Election is Voter Fraud.

Well, it’s election time again, and sure enough the same thing is true. And after viewing Dinesh D’Souza’s jaw-dropping “2000 Mules,” which documents the massive fraud that indeed took place in 2020, and after reading dozens of reports about audits that were done in the battleground states and others which uncovered overwhelming voter fraud, including thousands of dead voters, it appears that voter fraud is once again the ONLY issue of concern. Great concern.

The reality factor

When you peel back all the layers of the onion of a human being’s psychology, our species is really not that complicated. Whether man or woman, black or white, rich or poor, from whatever background, religion, or culture, we all have similar if not identical needs.

In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced the concept of a Hierarchy of Needs, which hasn’t changed much since then. They include:

Physiological needs that are vital to survival:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Breathing
  • Homeostasis
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Reproduction

Security and Safety Needs

Social needs

  • Friendships
  • Romantic attachments
  • Family relationships
  • Social groups
  • Community groups
  • Churches and religious organizations

Yes, these are needs common to everyone, and yet in the past two years, under the Biden regime, every single one of them has been threatened if not destroyed.

When you destroy basic needs

With the stupefying mismanagement of our national budget—and in spite of the booming economy and high employment he inherited— the Biden inflation factor didn’t take long to set in, followed in short order by the Biden Recession. There went the security most Americans felt in buying food and gas and paying rent. Even reproduction is down as younger people hoping to move out of their parent’s basement have hunkered down for an indefinite stay.

At the same time, there went the country’s security and safety needs. With four-million illegal aliens swarming over Biden’s open southern border, including drug cartels with so much Fentanyl that the deaths of young people have already increased exponentially, and thugs and criminals being bused and flown in the middle of the night to cities and suburbs throughout our country, even a walk in the park or a trip to the supermarket has become a looming threat.

And with liberal legislators all over the country ignoring the massive criminality of thuggish groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and innocent pedestrians being assaulted—sometimes fatally—and the passing of no-bail laws that put rapists and muggers and even murderers back on the street 20 minutes after they are so-called “booked,” life in America has become a daily and nightly menace.

Biden destroyed our energy independence

And let’s not forget Biden’s pathetic reliance on foreign oil, going hat in hand literally begging for the resources to keep us going, while only two years ago, President Trump had achieved one-hundred percent energy independence—to last us 500 years!

Then there is the war in Ukraine and the billions (going on trillions) we have sent to what is now widely recognized at The Money-Laundering Capital of the World!

A normal person would look at the bleak state of our union and conclude that the powers-that-be—those running the show from the Oval Office—are so woefully inept, have such patronizing contempt for We the People, and such a deep loathing for America the Beautiful, that it would seem to be a given that every Democrat candidate, including those running for the U.S. Senator or the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, November 8, would lose in a landslide.

However…

Over the past many decades—with the advent of electronic voting machines and mail-in ballots—American elections have not been predictable. Why? Because the only thing Democrats have cared about for the past hundred years is winning elections with the goal of inflicting their strangulating socialist/communist and now Islamist style of government on the American people.

Why don’t they want Trump to run again?

In the past two years in particular, they’ve been maniacally obsessed with insuring that President Trump is unable to run again for POTUS, even if the perpetual sore losers of the left have to buy the guns they say they hate to wage a Civil War!

Why? Because citizen-cum President Trump won the 2016 election by exposing:

  • “The Swamp’s” systemic depravity, corruption, and treason.
  • The Democrats’ America-Last policies.
  • The leftist bias of the bought-and-paid-for Media Whores.
  • The Democrat racism that has kept blacks with broken families, mal-educated, imprisoned, and impoverished for decades on end.
  • The craven deals that made our country dependent on foreign oil.
  • The Obama-Biden regimes’ weaponizing of the FBI, CIA, and the FISA Court, et al.
  • The crooked money “arrangements” enjoyed by higher-ups like former VP Joe Biden in securing multimillion-and-billion-dollar windfalls for himself, his son Hunter, and his brother James. Ukraine, anyone? China, anyone?
  • The horrible treaties, including the Iran deal, NAFTA, NATO, et al, that benefitted foreign countries significantly more than the U.S.
  • The interest of the “anti-war” Democrats in keeping wars going endlessly (always follow the money).
  • This is the very very short list.

The method to their madness

Even diehard leftist partisans acknowledge that Democrats have stolen elections over the past many decades by enlisting the votes of illegal aliens, absentee voters who simply don’t exist, cartoon characters, and of course dead voters.

Then there is Ballot Harvesting, a scheme exclusively used by Democrats to, ahem, win elections. According to California political commentator Stephan Frank, anyone—campaign workers, minors, illegals, et al—go door to door to “help” people fill out ballots that strangely favor Democrats and refuse to collect ballots from anyone they suspect of voting the “wrong” way. They even pay them to vote the “right way.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, currently 26 states allow this fraudulence, a practice that was aggressively and somewhat successfully challenged by Tom Fitton of electionintegrity@judicialwatch.org.

Not to omit ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), in operation since 1970. But the group was exposed for its criminal activities in 2009 by James O’Keefe, founder of The Veritas Project, resulting in multiple convictions for massive voter fraud in several states, and it closed its doors in 2010, although it is believed that splinter groups formed and are active to this day.

Let me count the ways voter fraud happened

The following is a tiny example of the vote-rigging methods used exclusively by Democrats going into the 2020 election:

An obvious voter fraud source: dead voters still on the rolls

But Democrats don’t stop! This past August, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s tried to dismiss the Public Interest Legal Foundation’s (PILF) lawsuit for her failure to remove 25,975 dead registrants from the state’s voter rolls.

According to PILF:

  • 23,663 registrants have been dead for five years or more
  • 17,479 registrants have been dead for at least a decade
  • 3,956 registrants have been dead for at least 20 years

In August, the United States Western District Court of Michigan denied Benson’s attempt.

In July, a hearing on the Maricopa, Arizona, 2020 election audit revealed the following:

  • Maricopa County refused to provide their computer’s router, claiming that its data would make private data available. In fact, routers don’t keep such information.
  • Maricopa claimed to have provided images of the mail-in envelopes. In fact, they did not.
  • 74,243 ballots that were received and included in the 2020 Election in Maricopa County show no record that they were ever mailed out.
  • 11,326 people voted in the election who did not appear on the voter rolls on Nov 7th.
  • 3,981 people voted after registering after the October 15, 2020, deadline.
  • On and on and on.
And in Georgia…

In addition, a recent Georgia audit of the 2020 election revealed:

  • A Non-Profit group, called True the Vote provided evidence that as many as 242 voting activists flooded as many as 5,500 drop boxes with fraudulent ballots in the middle of the night.
  • Videos also showed that the activists wore blue rubber gloves when depositing the ballots into the drop boxes. This practice was begun when investigations, in Arizona, over the same crime of ballot harvesting were, successfully, prosecuted, based on fingerprints on the ballots.

Partners in crime

According to a Google whistleblower in Allum Bokhari’s book, #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal the Electionwhen voters find out what Big Tech companies have done to meddle in the upcoming election, they’ll be rightly furious

at the attempts of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies to sway the election in Biden’s favor.

In addition, Democrats Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi are closely aligned with groups like Majority Forward (created in 2015) that funnel millions in secret cash into 2020 elections, according to FreeBeacon.com.

Linda Goudsmit, author of The Book of Humanitarian Hoaxes: Killing America with ‘Kindness’, sees the upcoming midterms as yet another “sinister leftist, Islamist, globalist attack on America.” “We are only weeks away from the election,” she said, and “the enemies of America are desperate” and behaving like cornered animals poised for attack. Their survival is at stake because if Republicans take the Congress, they will start the process that President Trump began of taking down the Deep State and exposing them all.

Voter fraud is all the Democrats have left – everything else has failed

It must be incomprehensible to all those liberals/leftists/progressives—with all their prestigious college degrees, high IQs, impeccable credentials, fancy job titles, and positions in the highest reaches of the American government—that every ploy they used against President Trump, every arch machination, every exquisitely formulated plan of action, all resulted in crashing failures, and that everything they’ve done to try to legitimize Joe Biden and enact his deeply anti-American agenda has resulted in equally colossal failures.

But still, there remains ONLY one overriding issue in the 2022 midterm elections, and that issue is Democrat Voter Fraud!

Our Republican and Conservative leaders have had two years to right the egregious wrong of the 2020 election. If that sordid history repeats itself, they only have themselves to blame!

©Joan Swirsky. All rights reserved. 

RELATED TWEET:

RELATED ARTICLE: Former Dem Rep Gets 30 Months In Prison Following Election Fraud

TAKE ACTION: Tell CDC to Stop Promoting Occult Resources to Youth!

TAKE ACTION: SIGN OUR PETITION TO STOP THE CDC FROM PROMOTING THE OCCULT


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is directing youth to online discussions on sexual behavior and “transgender” resources. One discussion instructs children on occult practices and astrology. Worst of all, the resources give minors the ability to hide the resources from parents. According to reports:

“The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is promoting to youth an online chat space that discusses sex, polyamorous relationships, the occult, sex change operations, and activism, and is specifically designed to be quickly hidden while being used. It also mixes LGBT adults and children and is run in part by Planned Parenthood [sic].

“Called Q Chat Space, the platform is advertised on the CDC’s LGBT Health Youth Resources page… The chat service, which describes itself as ‘a community for LGBTQ+ teens,’ is available for those ages 13-19, can be hidden from parents, and focuses on a number of mature themes.”

Read more.

(Source: Breitbart.com)

Some of the topics for discussion are:

  • “Drag Culture 101,”
  • “Sex and Relationships”
  • “Having Multiple Genders”
  • “Queer Youth Activism”
  • “Gender Affirmation Surgeries”
  • “Queering Tarot”

Everywhere on the Q Chat site, there is a large, green “quick escape” button, so users can immediately leave the site and appear to be looking at something else. Q Chat also gives the option to have “discreet” text reminders. This allows youth to receive automatic updates about upcoming discussions. But, the message hides the discussion topic and hides the name of the name of the source (i.e., Q Chat). In other words,

CDC is sidelining parents from what their children are learning.

Promoting sexual and occult practices will bring irreparable moral damage to the youth. And encouraging distrust in parents is a grave blow to the bond children should have with their family. Please sign our petition to the CDC, demanding that it remove sexual and occult practices from its resources.


TAKE ACTION: SIGN OUR PETITION TO STOP THE CDC FROM PROMOTING THE OCCULT


PETITION TEXT

To: The Center of Disease Control,

I am appalled at the resources you are offering to youth and minors, as Q Chat. Among the topics included are deviant sexual practices, “transgenderism” and sex-transition surgery, and even occult practices like astrology.

This site also promotes distrust of parents. It provides means to keep the topics from being seen with a “quick escape” button, and deliberately hides topics of discussion with a “discreet” option for automatic reminders.

This will cause serious moral damage to youth. It will open them to immoral practices, and encourage distrust within families. Above all, it is a serious offense to God.

I urge you to remove these resources at once. Stop targeting our youth.

Sincerely and urgently,


RELATED ARTICLE: University Of Virginia Youth Gender Clinic Offers Puberty Blockers, Chemical Castration, And Referrals For Minors To Undergo Breast Removal

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

New Poll Delivers Some Alarming News For Democrats

Voters overwhelmingly trust Republicans to manage the economy, a new poll ahead of this year’s midterm elections suggests, while

Roughly 52% of voters said that they trust Republicans to manage the economy, compared to 38% for Democrats, while only 1% of respondents said they agreed with the proposals of both parties to manage it, according to a poll conducted by the Times and Siena College, which measured the relative strength of both parties in advance of the election scheduled on Nov. 8. The economy has been the most important issue to voters heading into the polls; in a July edition of the same NYT/Siena poll, 20% called it the “most important problem facing the country today,” while roughly 76% said that it would be “extremely important” to them as they vote.

Democrats have sought to focus their campaign narrative on social issues such as abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s overturning by the Supreme Court, as well as gun regulations following mass shootings across the country over the summer.

However, efforts to place social issues at the forefront of voters’ minds do not appear to be working. The NYT/Sienna poll revealed that voters consider economic issues more important to their voting decision than social issues, by an 18-point margin.

The polls come at a time of bad economic news for the Biden administration before November’s election. The White House recently released an economic blueprint listing its various accomplishments, with President Joe Biden holding a series of events to highlight the “Inflation Reduction Act,” a massive spending package that his administration had proposed to the Democratic-controlled Congress.

The Consumer Price Index, an aggregate measure of inflation, increased by 0.1% from July to August, though tempered by reductions in the price of gasoline even as food costs rose, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. The news poorly affected stock markets over the week, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling by 1,600 points beginning Monday, closing for the week at 30,841.05 points.

There was some good news for Democrats, who currently control Congress and the White House. Between July and September, the number of voters who believe the country is “heading on the right track” increased modestly, from 27% to 50% for Democrats, and 9% to 27% for independents; however, 53% expressed disapproval of Biden’s performance in office.

The poll surveyed 1,399 registered voters nationwide from Sept. 6 to 14, 2022, its margin of sampling error was +/- 3.6 percentage points.

The White House and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had not responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

AUTHOR

ARJUN SINGH

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Three ‘October Surprises’ Loom Over The Midterms. Will They Sink The Dems – And America, Too?

Federal Court Upholds Texas Social Media Bill, Rules Corporations Do Not Have ‘Right’ To Censor

John Kerry, Who Owned 5 Homes And A Private Jet, Cautions Impoverished African Nations Against Natural Gas Projects

NBC Deletes Tweet Comparing Immigrants To ‘Trash’

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.

Federal law enforcement agencies conduct clandestine surveillance of thousands of U.S. citizens with the help of Microsoft

“Targeting of Americans’ records ‘routine’” – Tom Burt, Microsoft Executive


The country is no longer America. Ignorance is no longer an excuse.

Microsoft exec: Targeting of Americans’ records ‘routine’

Federal law enforcement agencies secretly seek the data of Microsoft customers thousands of times a year, according to congressional testimony Wednesday by a senior executive at the technology company.

Tom Burt, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for customer security and trust, told members of the House Judiciary Committee that federal law enforcement in recent years has been presenting the company with between 2,400 to 3,500 secrecy orders a year, or about seven to 10 a day.

“Most shocking is just how routine secrecy orders have become when law enforcement targets an American’s email, text messages or other sensitive data stored in the cloud,” said Burt, describing the widespread clandestine surveillance as a major shift from historical norms.

The relationship between law enforcement and Big Tech has attracted fresh scrutiny in recent weeks with the revelation that Justice Department prosecutors obtained as part of leak investigations phone records belonging not only to journalists but also to members of Congress and their staffers. Microsoft, for instance, was among the companies that turned over records under a court order, and because of a gag order, had to then wait more than two years before disclosing it.

Reuters reports:

Microsoft executive says U.S. overuses secret orders for Americans’ data

By Raphael Satter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States government is overusing its secret subpoena power to routinely gather vast amounts of data on American internet users, a senior Microsoft executive said in prepared testimony to Congress released on Wednesday.

In remarks for a U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, the executive said that in the last five years Microsoft had received 2,400 to 3,500 secrecy orders a year and that U.S. courts provided little by way of meaningful oversight.

Tom Burt, a vice president for customer security and trust, said that American law enforcement was ordering Microsoft to stay quiet about between one third to one quarter of the requests for data that it received, “developing a practice of reflexively asking to keep even routine investigations secret.”

“Providers, like Microsoft, regularly receive boilerplate secrecy orders unsupported by any meaningful legal or factual analysis,” Burt told lawmakers. “Many of these orders should never have been approved by the courts.”

The panel called a hearing into secrecy orders in the wake of revelations that the U.S. Department of Justice during Donald Trump’s administration had secretly sought the phone records of reporters and Democratic representatives to investigate the leak of classified material.

Word of the investigations outraged lawmakers and blew new life into efforts to rein in the federal government’s domestic surveillance powers.

Burt said that while the effort to target lawmakers and reporters disturb many Americans, “what may be most shocking is just how routine court-mandated secrecy has become when law enforcement targets Americans’ emails, text messages, and other sensitive data stored in the cloud.”

Burt called for ending indefinite secrecy orders, boosting transparency around their use, forcing the government to notify targets of such orders once their time was up, and raising the bar on such orders to prevent what he described as the current “rubberstamping process.”

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 permanently banned us. Facebook, Twitter, Google search et al have shadow-banned, 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 your social channels and with your email contacts. Help us fight the great fight.

And if you can, please contribute to Geller Report. YOU make the work possible.

OUT OF GAS: What Does The Colonial Pipeline Shutdown Say About U.S. Defence Readiness?

On Friday, May 7, hackers attacked the computer systems of Colonial Pipeline, which operates a major gasoline pipeline that brings gasoline and jet fuel from Houston refineries up through the southeastern United States as far as New Jersey.  Out of concern that the hackers might have obtained data enabling them to do physical damage to their facilities, the pipeline operators shut the pipeline down while it was still under their control.

This may have saved the machinery from damage, but it produced a severe regional fuel shortage that affected everything from flights out of Atlanta to drivers’ vacation plans.  As of Sunday, May 16, the pipeline was fully restarted, but the ripple effects of the shutdown meant 88% of Washington, D. C. gas stations were out of gas at one point over the weekend.

This was a ransomware attack by a group calling itself DarkSide with reported links to Russia.  According to Bloomberg News, Colonial Pipeline paid DarkSide about $5 million in bitcoin for software to unlock their systems, only to find that it ran so slowly that they ended up restoring service without its help.

This is by far the most serious ransomware attack ever mounted on a U. S.-based facility, and should become a turning point in our response to this sort of attack.  Although I’ve stated the following position before in relation to other ransomware attacks, it bears repeating now that millions of people are going without gas, including many in Washington, D. C., and are presumably paying attention to the problem.

Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows, in full:

“The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.”

The key word of present interest in this section is “invasion.”  An online law dictionary defines invasion as “[a]n encroachment upon the rights of another; the incursion of an army for conquest or plunder.”  The Constitution was written at a time when messages travelled fastest by horseback or sailing ship.  It is safe to say that the current technological facts of instant global Internet access to a domestic firm’s private infrastructure were not in the minds of the drafters of the Constitution.

But notions of justice and international relations were, and the drafters recognised that a federal government that could not successfully defend its constituent states against invasion, as defined above, was not worth organising.  So they put words in the Constitution that gave the federal government the responsibility of defending the states against invasion, and in Article 1, section 8, they also gave Congress the power to “provide for the calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.”  There’s that word “invasion” again.

Pardon what may look like a constitutional detour, but what happened to Colonial Pipeline this month amounts to invasion and plunder by agents of a foreign power.  The DarkSide criminals may not formally be agents of the Russian government, but they operate with its approval or at least without its hindrance.

Suppose a bunch of Canadians armed with tanks and machine guns charged across the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit and took over the headquarters of Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan, capturing their main computer centre and demanding $5 million in ransom to turn it loose.  This would quite properly be regarded as a foreign invasion, and no one would raise a finger to object to using whatever military force was necessary to repel such an invasion.

I submit that what happened to Colonial Pipeline is morally equivalent to my hypothetical invasion by Canadians.  The technological details are different, but the responsibility of the US government to defend those within its borders from invasion and plunder is something that the Founders intended it to do.

So what has the federal government in fact done?  Hardly anything — a few warnings not to try keeping gasoline in plastic bags, a few adjustments of shipping regulations to allow more ships to land gasoline from abroad, and that’s about it.

There is a well-known saying that generals always prepare for the last war, not the one they’re fighting now.  And that is certainly true in this case.  According to one source, the U. S. military has over 200,000 troops stationed abroad in over 170 countries.  The vast majority of these are conventional soldiers ready to shoot bullets and drop bombs, and certainly, bullets and bombs haven’t gone out of fashion.  But among the more advanced criminal element, it’s much more chic to keep your fingers clean while typing code that will shut down half of the gasoline going to the U. S. East Coast, and make $5 million in exchange for some software that doesn’t even work.

Congress is reportedly drafting legislation to do something about this sort of thing.  That is where the process should start, but it’s clear that a vast reorganisation and re-prioritising of the entire domestic and foreign military establishment is called for.  Cyberwarfare is where it’s at now.  Metaphorically speaking, the Canadians have been rioting through the entire country for years now, and all we have done is have vague discussions about the future of military combat.  Don’t people get it?  It’s happening now.  The fact that nobody was killed in the Colonial hack is due more to the foresight of the pipeline operators than to anyone else, as an out-of-control pipeline can do unimaginable amounts of damage.

But private companies should not have to shoulder by themselves the burden of protecting their facilities against foreign invasion and plunder.  That’s one of the most basic services of the federal government, and so far it is failing miserably in its job.

The gasoline shortage Washington now enjoys has fallen equally on Republicans and Democrats.  We can only hope that they will unite to make major lasting changes in the structure and priorities of the U. S. military so that we can once more be secure in our persons and property against the depredations of foreign invasion, including ransomware attacks.

This article has been republished with permission from Engineering Ethics.

COLUMN BY

Karl D. Stephan

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

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

Five reasons Biden’s move to rejoin the WHO is bad news

The WHO promotes permissive policies on prostitution, drug use, abortion, gender theory, and sex for kids.


Last year President Trump halted US funding to the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO). On his first day in office President Biden reinstated US funding for the WHO. Here are five reasons this is a very bad news:

1. The WHO advocates for decriminalizing prostitution. The WHO publication “Sexual Health, Human Rights and the Law” says, “All countries should work toward decriminalization of sex work.” Additionally, at DecriminalizeSex.Work, the WHO is listed as a proud partner in the decriminalization cause. The WHO’s push to make the world into a giant Las Vegas strip downplays the myriad risks to “sex workers” including assault, traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and death as documented by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. The WHO’s enthusiasm for prostitution also ignores the fact that there are no independent studies showing that decriminalizing the sex trade makes it safer.

2. The WHO advocates for decriminalizing drug use. An official WHO report in 2014 said, “Countries should work toward developing policies and laws that decriminalize injection and other use of drugs.” In 2015, the WHO published “HIV and Young Transgender People” which urges the governments of the world to “work toward the decriminalization of…drug use” in the name of helping young people fulfill their “needs and rights.” The WHO—an official United Nations entity—appears to be pushing the decriminalization of injection drugs despite the fact that there is no consensus among UN member states on whether injection drugs should be decriminalized. It is especially troubling that the WHO is recommending decriminalization of drugs for “young people” which is defined by them as “people 10–24 years of age.”

3. The WHO advocates for legalizing abortion worldwide. The WHO produces manualsvideos, and programs that promote abortion and seek to expand the legalized and “safe” killing of pre-born babies throughout the world. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was likely chosen for his post as head of the World Health Organization in part because of his successful campaign to expand abortion as Minister of Health in Ethiopia and his deep commitment to abortion and other tenets of the sexual rights agenda. The WHO regularly partners with abortion giant International Planned Parenthood Federation and has a close relationship with Ipas, maker of the EasyGrip portable abortion device and other grisly abortion innovations. Ipas is pursuing a scheme to expand abortion in accordance with the WHO’s guidance on “self-care” which would enable “health intermediaries” (instead of doctors) to distribute abortion-inducing pills to pregnant women, without a prescription. These women’s babies would then be disgorged into toilets and garbage cans in their own homes.

4. The WHO promotes gender ideology for children. The WHO endorses UN guidelines stating that children should be instructed on gender incongruence starting at age five. The WHO says it is “important to recognize identities that do not fit into the binary male or female sex categories” and that gender conflicted individuals need access to hormonal treatment and invasive, irreversible surgeries “for the protection of their health.” The WHO seems content to ignore the staggering risks (see here and here) that can accompany hormone treatments and transgender surgeries including blood clots, breast cancer, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, gallstones, liver dysfunction, hypertension, uterine cancer, incomplete mineralization of bone, transition regretsuicidality, sterility, and diminished or demolished sexual function.

5. The WHO advocates for “sexual rights” for children. TheWHO is a supporter of the children’s sexual rights movement and of comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) which is founded on the premise that children have inborn sexual rights. The name and logo of the WHO appears on the front cover of UNESCO’s 2018 International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education. This document is peppered with references to children’s sexual rights including these statements:

  • “(Young) people want and need sexuality and sexual health information as early and comprehensively as possible…”
  • Children should have “agency in their own sexual practices and relationships.”
  • Comprehensive Sexuality Education can “help children…form respectful and healthy relationships with…sexual partners.”

Additionally, official WHO partner International Planned Parenthood Federation makes these statements in its 2011 document, Exclaim! Young People’s Guide to ‘Sexual Rights: An IPPF declaration’:

  • “Young people are sexual beings…It is important for all young people around the world to be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, positive, pleasurable and safe ways. This can only happen when young people’s sexual rights are guaranteed.”
  • “Sexuality and sexual pleasure are important parts of being human for everyone—no matter what age, no matter if you’re married or not and no matter if you want to have children or not.”
  • “There is a common misconception that young people are not or should not be sexual beings with the exception of certain groups, such as married young people or young people above a certain age. Sexuality is a central aspect of being human during all phases of each person’s life.”

The WHO not only supports sexual rights for children but is a strong advocate for eliminating parental consent in regard to abortion, contraception, and other sexual services for young people.

With these five reasons in view, it is dumbfounding that the Biden administration made a top priority of ensnaring the US in this ethically corrupt organization once again. This is a significant setback to the children, women, and families of the world.

COLUMN BY

Why the Real Villain of 2020 Was Big Government

COVID-19 was going to be bad, no matter what. But the failures of big government made it much, much worse.


The disaster that was 2020 is finally over. Now it’s time for the inevitable post-mortems.

First and foremost, the COVID-19 pandemic posed enormous challenges to American institutions, and continues to do so. Frankly, we were not prepared. We need to diagnose what went wrong, so that we are never caught unaware like this again. Fortunately, the diagnosis is straightforward. COVID-19 was going to be bad, no matter what. But the failures of big government made it much, much worse.

In particular, the Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, and public teachers’ unions are the great American villains of 2020. Meanwhile, the heroes of this year are almost entirely in the private sector. From Zoom to vaccine development, Big Pharma and Big Tech—yes, you read that right—made this horrible year bearable. Even amid a crisis that led so many to cry out for vigorous government action, we saw that private markets still work best.

For progressives and so-called “national” conservatives who support big government, 2020 represented the ultimate test for their philosophies. Although they disagree on cultural issues, they see eye-to-eye on the role of government. Both want a big, energetic state promoting what (they believe to be) the good of the nation. Well, here was their chance for the government to shine.

The result was shameful failure. The COVID-19 crisis put left-wing and right-wing statism on trial—and both were found guilty of ill-intent and gross incompetence.

After all, the CDC is the reason America lagged behind other nations for so long in terms of COVID-19 testing. We had the virus genome fully mapped in January, which enabled the rapid production of private testing kits. But the CDC forced these operations to shut down, coming up with its own test—which was flawed, and even contaminated! Testing and tracing could have stemmed the worst of the COVID-19 tide.

On this issue alone, CDC ineptitude is likely responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. Its red tape and incompetence made containing the COVID-19 pandemic, like a few other countries were able to, impossible.

How about the FDA?

It is no secret that the vaccine was delayed because it needed FDA approval. Indeed, several working vaccines could have come much earlier, were it not for our bungling bureaucrat gatekeepers. (Dear FDA: Can you please speed things up a little, so people do not, you know, die? It would make us ever so happy if you did. Thanks.)

As for schools, the data show that young people and children are at very low-risk from COVID-19, and that schools are not “super spreaders.” Despite this, largely due to pressure from public teachers’ unions, many schools remained closed in the fall. In fact, the US was pretty much the only country to pursue the alarmist policy of keeping schools closed.

The toll on school-aged children is immense, from psychological trauma to impeded learning. Low-income families were hit especially hard. They often lacked the means to participate in distance learning, and having their kids at home made it harder for parents to earn much-needed income.

Fortunately, there seems to be some well-deserved backlash against the crony public education establishment. Hopefully a mass exodus to more effective and accountable learning platforms will follow, whether that is charter schools, private schools, or homeschooling. Even more hopefully, parents will realize public education racketeers are not their friends. They should demand loud and clear: Fund students, not systems!

In stark contrast to these unacceptable failures by government agencies and employees, the private sector delivered.

Big Pharma and Big Tech are the winners here. Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and many other companies did amazing work getting the vaccines developed as quickly as they did. Public health “experts” repeatedly claimed a vaccine would not be available for 18 months, at the earliest. (Shows what they know!)

As for Big Tech, companies like Facebook and Twitter helped us stay connected while we were forced physically to remain apart. Amazon responded well to a huge surge in demand, stemming from the curtailment of in-person shopping. Faced with an immense logistical challenge, the online retailer surpassed expectations.

These sectors and their star performers are not perfect, of course.

In the past, Big Pharma lobbied for many of the regulatory roadblocks that made fighting COVID-19 so hard. Big Tech got egg on its face for covering up the Hunter Biden laptop story. Nevertheless, the takeaway is clear: 2020 would have been much, much more miserable without these supposedly evil big businesses in our corner. We owe them far more than we give them.

2021 is the perfect time to revisit our basic beliefs about the role of government and business in society. Both were unexpectedly challenged by the greatest public health crisis in recent memory.

Government failed. Business triumphed. Statism should be discredited, hopefully for an entire generation. Any coherent political philosophy for the 21st century must start from this basic truth.

COLUMN BY

Alexander William Salter

Alexander William Salter is an associate professor of economics in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University, the Comparative Economics Research Fellow at TTU’s Free Market Institute, and a senior fellow with the American Institute for Economic Research’s Sound Money Project. Follow him on Twitter @alexwsalter.

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

VIDEO: Why Religion is Essential for the Survival of American Democracy

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society published the following video titled Clay Christensen on Religious Freedom (His personal views, not HBS) with commentary:

Clay Christensen on Religious Freedom. The views in this video do not necessarily represent the views of the Harvard Business School.

H/T America Democracy

©J. Reuben Clark Law Society. All rights reserved.

Trump Finalizing Executive Order, Says He Wants To Increase Police Funding


President Donald Trump said Thursday that his administration was finalizing an executive order focusing on police reform amid widespread protests over the death of George Floyd.

The statement, which came during a roundtable with law enforcement officers in Dallas, addressed police funding, social workers and de-escalation tactics, Politico reported. It also came amid demonstrations and rioting over Floyd, who died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for about nine minutes, video showed.

“We’re working to finalize an executive order that will encourage police departments nationwide to meet the most current professional standards for the use of force, including tactics for de-escalation,” Trump said. “Also, we’ll encourage pilot programs that allow social workers to join certain law enforcement officers so that they work together.”

Trump emphasized his support for law enforcement and said he wanted to increase funding toward it.

“We’re not defunding the police. If anything we’re going the other route. We’re going to make sure our police are well trained, perfectly trained, they have the best equipment,” Trump said.

The announcement came amid growing calls to defund police departments nationwide or even abolish police altogether.

The president also announced Thursday preliminary plans to build “safety and opportunity and dignity” in communities of color by increasing access to capital for minority-owned small businesses and by confronting the health care disparities that have long existed.

COLUMN BY

ANDREW TRUNSKY

Contributor

RELATED ARTICLES:

Charles Barkley Rips Movement To Defund The Police

Poll: 55% Of Democrats Support Defunding The Police

Chicago Police Union President Says He Won’t Tolerate Officers Kneeling With Protesters

Two-Thirds Of Americans Don’t Want To Defund Police: Poll

‘Absolute Monarchy’: Catholic Priests, Jewish Congregants Sue Cuomo, De Blasio Over Alleged Double Standards On Worship,…

RELATED VIDEO:

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.

Most House Democrats Vote Against Amendment that Would Keep Convicted Terrorists from Working for the TSA

What could possibly go wrong? Convicted terrorists are simply people who have acted upon their justifiable grievances against the U.S. and Israel, right? Don’t you stand against colonialism, imperialism, and racism, you greasy Islamophobe?

“174 Democrats Vote Against Amendment That Aims To Make It Harder To Hire TSA Employees With Terrorist Or Sexual Crime Record,” by David Krayden, Daily Caller, March 6, 2020:

House Republicans and 42 Democrats joined forces Thursday to pass an amendment to the Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act that would keep people convicted of sexual assault, terrorism and other violent crimes from working for the Transportation Security Agency (TSA).

But 174 House Democrats — including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer — did not support the legislation.

The vast majority of Democrats voted against the amendment, which was authored by Democratic Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood.

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy was quick to criticize the Democratic leadership for rejecting the law.

“[The amendment] was pulled back by leadership because the socialist wing of the party did not want to have that amendment go forward on this bill,” the California representative said Thursday, according to the Washington Free Beacon. “When it was offered, overwhelmingly the majority of the House would like to see the TSA not hire terrorists or those who have been convicted of sexual misconduct with minors and others. But the socialist wing of the party, that controls now the Democratic Party, said that that could not be offered.”

Every member of the “squad” voted against the amendment. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not cast a vote….

Critics have also faulted TSA for being lax when it comes to identifying people on the terror watch list….

The Rights for Transportation Security Officers Act passed the House with a vote of 230-171….

RELATED ARTICLES:

The Democratic Party—No More Moderates

Bloomberg Was ‘Never Prouder’ Than When He Supported the Ground Zero Mosque

At AIPAC, Biden Disappoints (Part 3)

Fresh from signing peace deal, Taliban murder 20 soldiers and cops in jihad massacres

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

Entitlement Liabilities Are a Graver Threat to the Next Generation of Americans Than Climate Change

On January 31, 1940, Miss Ida Fuller received a check for $22.54. She was the first person to retire under the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) scheme, better known as Social Security. At the time of her retirement in 1939, she had paid just $22 in Social Security taxes. Ms. Fuller lived to be 100, cashing over $20,000 worth of Social Security checks.

If she had only paid $22.54 in contributions, where did the $20,000 Ms. Fuller received in Social Security payouts come from? It came, as it does now, from the taxpayers of the day. As of 2019, your employer deducts 6.2 percent of your wages up to $132,900 a year, matches this amount, and sends it to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA deposits this with the Treasury, which spends it and receives Treasury bonds in return. This is the fabled trust fund that guarantees Social Security.

But these Treasury bonds are simply IOUs redeemable against the income of tomorrow’s taxpayers. When one of the Treasury bonds held by the SSA falls due for payment, the Treasury can only get the funds to meet this liability by taxing, borrowing (taxing the taxpayers of tomorrow), or printing money (imposing an inflation tax). In each case, what really guarantees Social Security is not the money you paid in but the earnings of today’s or tomorrow’s taxpayers.

Such a pay-as-you-go scheme could chug along well enough as long as there were lots of workers relative to retirees. When the program began, every 100 workers were supporting three retirees.

This favorable ratio encouraged politicians to be more generous. Originally intended to cover only about 50 percent of all workers, Social Security was expanded even before Ida Fuller received her first check to provide benefits for dependents of retired workers and surviving dependents. In the post-war years, Social Security grew further. Disability benefits, payable as early as age 50, were added in 1956, and during the 1950s coverage was extended to other previously excluded workers, making it essentially universal. Congress passed across-the-board benefit increases of 7 percent (1965), 13 percent (1967), 15 percent (1969), 10 percent (1971), 20 percent (1972), and 11 percent (1974). In 1972, benefits were tied to the Consumer Price Index, yielding an annual “cost of living adjustment.”

In 1965, Medicare was signed into law, establishing a heavily subsidized federal health care program for the elderly. Former President Harry Truman and his wife received the first Medicare cards without paying a cent in Medicare taxes.

Like Social Security, Medicare is financed by a payroll tax of 2.9 percent split between employer and employee, up from 0.7 percent in 1966. Like Social Security, that money gets paid right out to meet current expenses, which were vastly expanded by passage of Medicare Part D in 2003. And like Social Security, such a pay-as-you-go scheme could chug along well enough as long as there were lots of workers relative to retirees.

Two things derailed that. US birth rates fell from births 3.65 births per woman in 1965 to 1.80 in 2016, and life expectancy rose from 68 in 1950 to 79 today. Together, this meant ever more retirees relative to the workers supporting them. By 2017, 100 workers were supporting 25 retirees.

These shifting demographics have shredded the solvency of the “trust funds.” Social Security is estimated to run out of reserves in 2034, after which benefits would have to be reduced by about 25 percent to keep spending within available annual revenue. Over 75 years, Social Security has an unfunded liability of $13.9 trillion.

The Medicare hospital insurance trust fund will run out of reserves in 2026. Medicare’s second trust fund, for physician and outpatient services and for prescription drugs, is permanently “solvent” because it has an unlimited call on the general fund of the Treasury—the incomes of future taxpayers. Premiums paid by the beneficiaries will cover only about 25 percent of program costs; the rest of the spending is unfinanced. Medicare’s overall unfunded liability over 75 years is more than $37 trillion.

The taxes levied to fund Social Security have already risen drastically. In 1937, the Social Security tax rate was one percent on earnings up to $3,000 ($53,449 in 2019 dollars) to be matched by the employer. By 1971 it was 4.6 percent on earnings up to $7,800 ($49,411 in 2019 dollars). It now stands at 6.2 percent up to $132,900.

This is only going to get worse. According to Census Bureau projections, by 2030 each 100 working-age Americans will be supporting 35 retirees, and this could rise to 42 by 2060. Another way to think of this is to calculate the number of retirees each worker must support. In 1946, the burden of one retiree was shared between 42 workers. Today, according to the SSA, roughly three workers cover each retiree’s Social Security and Medicare benefits. By 2030, however, there will be only two workers supporting each retiree.

In other words, a working couple will have to support not only themselves and their family but also someone outside the family thanks to Social Security and Medicare.

To make Social Security solvent again, the payroll tax rate would need to be hiked immediately from 12.4 percent to 15.2 percent, or Social Security benefits would need to be cut on a permanent basis by about 17 percent. According to economists Roger LeRoy Miller, Daniel K. Benjamin, and Douglass C. North:

[F]or Social Security and Medicare to stay as they are, the payroll tax rate may have to rise to 25 percent of wages over the next decade. And a payroll tax rate of 40 percent is not unlikely by the middle of the twenty-first century.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg recently made international headlines with an impassioned speech to the United Nations in which she complained that her future had been stolen by inaction on climate change. An American Ms. Thunberg’s age could say the same about entitlement spending on Social Security and Medicare.

By the expanding eligibility for and hiking the benefits of a pay-as-you-go system while at the same time having fewer children to fund it, the generations preceding that child have left a fearsome financial obligation. Either taxes will go up sharply for the workers of tomorrow, lowering their standard of living, or benefits will go down for the retirees of tomorrow, lowering their standard of living. One group is going to feel pretty angry.

These problems were foreseen even as politicians were hiking payouts. In 1978, the economist Paul Samuelson wrote:

[O]ur Social Security system is also an actuarially unfunded system…there is no obligation for this generation to have children at the same rate as did previous generations. Therefore, when those born during the baby-boom period of the ‘50s reach retirement age in the next century, their stipends will be felt as more of a burden by the thinner ranks of the then working population

We are on the brink of inter-generational strife. We have the political shortsightedness of decades past to thank for that.

COLUMN BY

John Phelan

John Phelan is an economist at the Center of the American Experiment and fellow of The Cobden Centre.

RELATED VIDEO: The Living Wage Makes It Harder to Make a Living.

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

President Trump is protecting Americans from Big Government

During the Obama Administration, it became common practice for Federal agencies to target and penalize American families and small businesses. They got away with it by hiding behind vague, often secret interpretations regarding how ordinary citizens should comply with the government’s own maze of bureaucratic regulations.

When President Donald J. Trump took office, he pledged to turn the page on Washington’s regulatory overreach, giving the American people a government that’s finally accountable to its citizens. Building on that promise, the President signed a pair of Executive Orders today to ensure that the abuses that took place under the last Administration can never happen again.

Americans will no longer be kept in the dark.

First, Agencies will have to place their guidance documents on easily searchable public websites, allowing any American access to them. The government will be required to permit citizens to give their input on these guidelines, and they will have the ability to ask agencies to withdraw guidance they believe is wrong. Second, agencies will be strictly prohibited from enforcing rules that have not been made publicly known.

These common-sense changes come alongside the President’s historic efforts to cut burdensome red tape. In his first week in office, he issued a challenge to his Administration: For every new regulation introduced, 2 old ones must be cut.

That goal has been met—to say the least. As of today, the tally is 14 regulations that have been cut for every significant new one implemented. That makes for the largest deregulatory push since Ronald Reagan was President.

Unlike Obama, President Trump is protecting Americans from Big Government.

Acting OMB Director: “Trump Keeps Promise to Tame Bureaucracy That Runs Roughshod Over Americans”


President Trump signs ‘game-changing’ trade deal with Japan

During the U.N. General Assembly last month, President Trump continued to fight for fairer trade deals for American workers. The results of that hard work came to light Monday, when the President signed a pair of groundbreaking deals at the White House.

“These two deals represent a tremendous victory for both of our nations,” President Trump said. “They will create countless jobs, expand investment and commerce, reduce our trade deficit very substantially, promote fairness and reciprocity, and unlock the vast opportunities for growth.”

President Trump: This is a groundbreaking achievement for the U.S. and Japan

America’s farming community is the big winner from the first of Monday’s agreements, which dramatically expands their market access. Before this deal, Japan was already America’s third largest agricultural export market—accounting for $14.1 billion in food and agricultural exports last year. The terms are even better now, as Japan will eliminate or reduce tariffs on approximately $7.2 billion in U.S. agricultural goods.

Once the agreement goes into effect, more than 90 percent of American agricultural imports into Japan will be duty free or receive preferential tariff access.

“In the United States, these deals are a game-changer for our farmers and our ranchers . . . [they] will now be able to compete fairly in Japan against major competitors worldwide,” the President said.

The second deal signed on Monday focuses on digital trade, setting the same “gold standard” digital trade rules that are found in the President’s landmark United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA). Vital online commerce will now be expanded, which brings a significant boost to the already roughly $40 billion worth of digital trade between America and Japan. It ensures America will remain a global leader in digital.

The President’s deal with Japan is a win for American farmers and businesses.

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘There can be no reward’: Beto O’Rourke supports punishing religious institutions for views on sexuality

© All rights reserved.

Hawaii’s Attempt to Raise Tobacco Age to 100 Reveals the Soft Tyranny of Neo-Moralists

No matter how noble a cause, efforts to legislate morality have a rather dubious track record.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And on that road, there is, perhaps, nothing more dangerous than legislators committed to making sure those intentions come to pass. However, no matter how noble a cause, efforts to legislate morality have a rather dubious track record.

Yet, no matter how true this may be, governments are always trying to regulate morality by banning behavior they deem wrong. From the prohibition of alcohol to the drug war to anti-dancing campaigns, we have seen this happen throughout US history. And the latest example comes from Hawaii, where buying cigarettes may become an illegal act for roughly 99 percent of the population.

Legislative season is upon us, and if one lawmaker from Hawaii gets his way, the state may become the first to effectively outlaw cigarettes. Though to be clear, the text of the proposed bill does not actually ban smoking—it just prohibits the sale of cigarettes to anyone under the age of 100.

Already, Hawaii is one of six states that has raised the legal smoking age to 21. The other states include California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Maine. The proposed law takes this concept even further, incrementally raising the legal smoking age to 100. The legal age would rise to 30 in 2020, 40 in 2021, and 50 in 2022, finally reaching 100 in 2024. Vape devices and cigars would be exempt from the ban.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Richard Creagan, who is also a doctor, said, “We, as legislators, have a duty to do things to save people’s lives. If we don’t ban cigarettes, we are killing people.” As a doctor, Creagan is absolutely correct: It is his job to save lives, and he has sworn an oath to do so. As a legislator, however, he does not have the moral authority to tell his constituents which peaceful behaviors they can and cannot engage in, no matter how well-intentioned his motives may be.

Creagan commented:

We essentially have a group who are heavily addicted—in my view, enslaved by a ridiculously bad industry—which has enslaved them by designing a cigarette that is highly addictive, knowing that it [is] highly lethal…And, it is.

While he is clearly passionate about the topic, that does not make his attempts to outlaw smoking any less of an affront to individual liberty. To be sure, smoking is an unhealthy habit. And while I recommend avoiding it at all costs, that is a decision for the individual to make, not their state representative.

Supporters of the proposed legislation argue that the timing of the bill is right since the rise of tobaccoless vape products has resulted in a decrease in cigarette sales. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health said:

Because smoking rates are getting so low, we can actually start thinking about what I call end-game strategy, meaning we’re at the point where we can feasibly just make smoking history…We couldn’t even talk about it when there was a large percentage of people smoking because there were too many people affected.

It is important to reiterate that there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting people to quit smoking and live healthier lives. There is, however, something very wrong with prohibiting buyers and sellers of cigarettes from engaging in a peaceful transaction under the threat of force, which is what laws of this nature effectively do.

Already, innovative market alternatives to traditional tobacco products, like vape pens, are directing tobacco users away from cigarettes and towards safer products. This shows that the market is working without the need for regulation. It would be silly, then, for the local government to get involved when things are already getting better on their own. If anything, it shows that government bans are not needed.

Adding to the hysteria, Creagan said:

We don’t allow people free access to opioids, for instance, or any prescription drugs…This is more lethal, more dangerous than any prescription drug, and it is more addicting. In my view, you are taking people who are enslaved from a horrific addiction, and freeing people from horrific enslavement.

You cannot force someone out of their own captivity; each individual is responsible for that. And as well-intentioned as Creagan is, he would be wise to heed the wisdom of Lysander Spooner (1808-1887), who reminded us that vices are not crimes.

In 1875, Lysander Spooner—an abolitionist and founder of America’s only private postal service—wrote an essay called “Vices Are Not Crimes,” in which he famously denounced the government’s proclivity for passing laws that attempt to regulate “unsavory” individual behavior. 

While Spooner does not praise “bad” behavior, he does assert that individuals, and to some extent their communities, are responsible for correcting their own actions. And by punishing and outlawing vices, like alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes, no real personal transformation or change can occur. By relying on the state to determine what is right or wrong, individuals completely relinquish personal responsibility.

Spooner argues that it is for this reason that vices, which he describes as “those acts by which a man harms himself or his property,” should not be outlawed by governments. Instead, individuals should be free to learn through trial and error, so long as they are not harming others.

“And, unless he can be permitted to try these experiments to his own satisfaction,” Spooner writes, “he is restrained from the acquisition of knowledge, and, consequently, from pursuing the great purpose and duty of his life.”

In fact, Spooner viewed the freedom to experiment with potential vices with such importance, he believed it was the foundation of individual freedom. He wrote that “unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property.” One can only imagine how he would view Hawaii’s new proposal.

In juxtaposition to his definition of “vices,” Spooner defined “crimes” as “those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.” And unfortunately for Hawaii lawmakers, smoking cigarettes does not fit that definition. So long as smoking is done on private property where no one else’s liberties are being violated, there is no victim and thus, no crime.

He continues:

No one of us, therefore, can learn this indispensable lesson of happiness and unhappiness, of virtue and vice, for another. Each must learn it for himself. To learn it, he must be at liberty to try all experiments that commend themselves to his judgment.

Author C.S. Lewis also echoed this sentiment in his book God in the Dock: Essays on Theology when he wrote:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.

Rep. Creagan most certainly cares about his constituents, but that does not justify his proposed legislation. Local governments can absolutely encourage individuals to be healthy. But they should not, under any circumstances, ban products or activities it finds undesirable. In order for individual liberty to flourish, people must be free to make their own choices, even if we think they have made the wrong choices.

COLUMN BY

Brittany Hunter

Brittany Hunter

Brittany is a senior writer for the Foundation for Economic Education. Additionally, she is a co-host of Beltway Banthas, a podcast that combines Star Wars and politics. Brittany believes that the most effective way to promote individual liberty and free-market economics is by telling timely stories that highlight timeless principles.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column with images is republished with permission. Image credit: Pixabay.