The Death Of The Fourth Estate

On Thursday, Just the News posted an article about the American government’s latest efforts to muffle the free speech of any American who does not agree with the aims of the government.

The article reports:

The government’s campaign to fight “misinformation” has expanded to adapt military-grade artificial intelligence once used to silence the Islamic State (ISIS) to quickly identify and censor American dissent on issues like vaccine safety and election integrity, according to grant documents and cyber experts.

Some of us have real questions as to what constitutes “misinformation.” Vaccine safety is an issue for those who have been impacted by the side effects of the Covid vaccine. There are an awful lot of people under the age of 40 experiencing sudden (and sometimes fatal) heart problems. Dissent is part of what made America great, and it should not be discouraged. I am all for protests–I am not for riots, and I think it’s time the media learned the difference.

The article continues:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded several million dollars in grants recently to universities and private firms to develop tools eerily similar to those developed in 2011 by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in its Social Media in Strategic Communication (SMISC) program.

DARPA said those tools were used “to help identify misinformation or deception campaigns and counter them with truthful information,” beginning with the Arab Spring uprisings in the the Middle East that spawned ISIS over a decade ago. 

The initial idea was to track dissidents who were interested in toppling U.S.-friendly regimes or to follow any potentially radical threats by examining political posts on Big Tech platforms. 

DARPA set four specific goals for the program:

    1. Detect, classify, measure and track the (a) formation, development and spread of ideas and concepts (memes), and (b) purposeful or deceptive messaging and misinformation.
    2. Recognize persuasion campaign structures and influence operations across social media sites and communities.
    3. Identify participants and intent, and measure effects of persuasion campaigns.
    4. Counter messaging of detected adversary influence operations.

This sounds like something that belongs in a dictatorship–not a republic.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is frightening. There is nothing in our Constitution that allows this sort of interference with the free thinking of the American people.

Good News For Covid Patients In California

On Thursday, Ed Morrissey posted an article at Hot Air about a recent ruling by US District Court Judge William Shubb on enforcement of AB 2098.

The article reports:

Can the state of California enforce its own idea of “scientific consensus” on doctors who treat patients for COVID-19? Not after last night, when US District Court Judge William Shubb slapped an injunction on enforcement of AB 2098. This undoubtedly sets up a showdown at the Ninth Circuit, but for the moment the gag rule on doctors has been shut down.

After reading Shubb’s opinion about how badly the state legislature crafted the law, however, Gavin Newsom might want to think twice about further exposure. In the first place, the law forces doctors to only convey the “scientific consensus” on COVID-19 rather than their own judgment, when no one — not the legislature or its attorneys — can provide a definition of that term in relation to COVID-19:

…Shubb agrees with the plaintiffs in this action, noting that the “scientific consensus” regarding a novel virus only under study for three years is at best an aspirational concept. In practice, as Shubb notes, the “consensus” — as defined by California’s reliance on public-health officials — has changed repeatedly in that time. That puts every doctor at risk for prosecution in California no matter what they might say in any given moment, a standard so unreliable as to practically embody the terms “arbitrary” and “capricious”:

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Physicians know their patients better than the government. A physician is much more able to look at a patient, understand the degree of risk that person will have in dealing with Covid. There doesn’t seem to be logic in the way different people react to Covid, and doctors should be allowed to do what they think is best for their patients. For example, the doctors at Frontline Doctors had a very high success rate in treating Covid patients, yet the government did everything possible to silence them and to prevent them from successfully treating patients.

Hopefully this case is the beginning of patients and doctors reclaiming the rights of Americans to good medical care.

Another Blow To Free Speech

On Thursday, BizPacReview reported that AT&T has removed NewsMax from  AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse. Roughly a year ago, they removed One America News. It is becoming apparent that if you want to watch news that is less biased than the mainstream, you need a Roku.

The article reports:

At the stroke of midnight on Tuesday, more than 13 million customers of AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Stream, and U-Verse were no longer able to tune into Newsmax, marking the second time in a year that AT&T has canceled a conservative news channel.

…Reports Newsmax:

Despite Newsmax being the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the nation, a top 20 cable news channel overall, and watched by 25 million Americans on cable alone, according to Nielsen, DirecTV said it was taking the step as a “cost-cutting” measure and would never pay Newsmax a cable license fee.

DirecTV pays cable license fees to all top 75 cable channels and to all 22 liberal news and information channels it carries. Almost all of these channels are paid hefty license fees significantly more than Newsmax was seeking — and despite the fact that most of the channels have much lower ratings than Newsmax.

The article notes:

DirecTV has a different take on the dispute.

In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the service said, “On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base.”

“Anyone, including our customers, can watch the network for free via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms like Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Google Play,” the statement continues. “We continually evaluate the most relevant programming to provide our customers and expect to fill this available channel with new content.”

That was the same line they used with One America News. It was a lie then, and it is a lie now. This is censorship, and Americans who want to know what is actually happening in the world are going to have to be a little creative in acquiring valid news sources.

Just a note, a friend of mine who has DirectTV told me that when she called the company to complain about NewsMax being dropped she was told that NewsMax would still be reinstated. Her comment was that she would give them a month. If NewsMax is not back on the network by then, she will find another cable provider.

We Need To Hire Congress As Our Stockbrokers

On Wednesday, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about some of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s stock trades. It seems that Nancy and Paul Pelosi sold up to $3 million in Google stocks just before Congress began an antitrust probe of the company.

The article reports:

Paul Pelosi sold 30,000 shares of Google from Dec. 20 to Dec. 28, according to a financial disclosure filing the former House speaker submitted to the House Ethics Committee. The Pelosis made an undisclosed profit from the investments, according to the filing.

The trade proved timely. On Monday, the Justice Department and attorneys general from eight states—including California—sued Google over its monopoly on the digital ad market. The lawsuit could force Google to break up its online ad business, which generated nearly $55 billion in revenue for the company in the most recent quarter. Google’s stock has dropped around 6 percent since the Justice Department announced the lawsuit.

The trades are the latest in a string of questionable transactions for Paul and Nancy.

They saved roughly $600,000 in June by selling shares of microchip maker Nvidia weeks before the U.S. government placed restrictions on the company’s business in China and Russia. The Pelosis have seen their fortune grow $140 million since 2008, thanks largely to Paul Pelosi’s stock trades, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis.

The article notes:

Pelosi’s stock market charades have sparked calls for tougher regulations on members of Congress cashing in on their positions of power.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) on Tuesday introduced the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act—the PELOSI Act—to prohibit members of Congress and their spouses from owning or trading individual stocks.

I don’t have a problem with members of Congress owning stocks, I just have a problem with them trading stocks related to forthcoming legislation of investigations. Even blind trusts are not as blind as they should be.

Penalizing One Group Of People To Save Money For Another

There is a housing crisis in America. Housing prices have skyrocketed (although they have come down slightly and the real estate market has cooled as interest rates have increased). Rents are going up and inflation is making it difficult for people to pay their rents. This will eventually work itself out, but unfortunately, the government is planning to get involved.

On Wednesday, Hot Air posted the following headline, “First step towards national rent control? Biden admin to mandate “fairness”” Government “fairness” has a way of not being fair.

The article reports:

If you’ve been renting, especially a single-family house vice an apartment, you’ve been on pins and needles the entire time, not knowing if it would be sold out from under you if the owner decides to cash in on good times, vice continues to deal with tenants. Almost every aspect has been fraught with anxiety for all concerned.

A good portion of this is attributable to measures taken (with questionable authority) by the Centers for Disease Control. In an unprecedented order on 1 September 2020, the CDC brought an immediate – and “temporary” – halt in residential evictions to “prevent the further spread of COVID-19.” Congress and then the Biden administration extended that order through various incarnations for another year, claiming a surge in Delta variant infections justified it.

What is being overlooked here is that fact that even if t he renter cannot affort to pay his rent, the homeowner is still required to pay his mortgage.The renter may not be evicted, but the owner is in danger of foreclosure.

The article concludes:

Also, please note – there’s nothing about independent landlord protections. Who is going to want to rent their home to anyone and face not getting paid with the government’s stamp of approval? Here people were, hoping for rents to start easing off some and housing to open back up. ‘Tis to laugh.

The government’s going to sanction both non-payment of rent and pay for the scofflaw’s lawyers? As the landlord is also a taxpayer, you could look at it that he’s getting shafted twice in this deal.

Well, hello. There’s another house sold to Blackrock for cash.

We need to look at any government interference against the free market as an attack on our freedom and treat it as such.

Putting An End To Urban Myths

Every time that someone suggests a change in our voting laws that might make voter fraud more difficult, a group of people on the political left yell, “voter suppression.” One example was the Georgia law that was actually less restrictive than the voting laws in Delaware. No matter, the baseball all star game got moved.

On Tuesday, PJ Media posted an article headlined, “What Would Happen if They Held a Voter Suppression Election and No Voters Got Suppressed?” We now have the answer to that question.

The article reports:

Last January, Joe Biden set the Democratic base ablaze with the incendiary charge that Republicans were suppressing the votes of minorities.

“Jim Crow 2.0 is about two insidious things: voter suppression and election subversion,” Biden told a crowd at Atlanta University. “It’s no longer about who gets to vote; it’s about making it harder to vote. It’s about who gets to count the vote and whether your vote counts at all.”

“It’s not hyperbole; this is a fact.”

At the time, it was a supposition, not a fact, to claim that the Republican election reforms would suppress the black vote. And as it turns out, it certainly was hyperbole. It was a supposition that was so pervasive that it forced Major League Baseball to cancel its all-star game set for Atlanta later that summer. And numerous corporations punished the state for its supposed efforts to suppress the vote.

So where does Georgia go for an apology?

The article ends with a bogus claim by Stacey Abrams:

“In 2018, we had record turnout,” Abrams said in a press conference Monday. “We had record turnout that shattered records for Democrats among communities of color and in that same election … we know that 85,000 Georgians were denied their right to vote due to voter suppression tactics that shut down their precincts. We know that 50,000 voters had their right to vote held hostage by the exact match process which was proven to be voter suppression tactics. We know that thousands of people stood in lines for hours because of voter suppression tactics.”

None of that is true, or it’s grossly exaggerated.

If there was record turnout, how was there voter suppression?

Get Out The Popcorn

In 2021 Marjorie Taylor Greene was removed from her committee assignments, an unprecedented step to discipline a member over past incendiary remarks. The vote was mostly along party lines. Incendiary remarks made by other Congressmen were conveniently ignored and no penalty paid. During his campaign for Speaker, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised to strip Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of their committee assignments. Obviously the Democrats are not planning to let this happen (unlike their Republican counterparts who have  no idea how to fight),

On Monday, Townhall reported the following:

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) has officially selected Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA) to the House Intelligence Committee. This is despite Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) promises he would not let that happen, setting up quite the likely showdown between the two party leaders. Earlier this afternoon, Rep. Schiff responded over Twitter, with just the kind of response you’d expect. 

The article includes screenshots of Representative Schiff and Representative Swalwell thanking Representative Jeffries for the nominations. The ball is now in Speaker McCarthy’s court. We are now going to see if he is willing to keep the promises he made. We are also going to see if it is worth it to elect Republicans.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE:  According to an article at Red State yesterday, Speaker McCarthy is standing his ground.

 

Taxing People Who Don’t Live There Anymore

Margaret Thatcher famously said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” We are seeing that principle currently illustrated in the formerly great State of California.

On Monday, Fox News reported the following:

California lawmakers are pushing legislation that would impose a new tax on the state’s wealthiest residents — even if they’ve already moved to another part of the country.

Assemblyman Alex Lee, a progressive Democrat, last week introduced a bill in the California State Legislature that would impose an extra annual 1.5% tax on those with a “worldwide net worth” above $1 billion, starting as early as January 2024.

As early as 2026, the threshold for being taxed would drop: those with a worldwide net worth exceeding $50 million would be hit with a 1% annual tax on wealth, while billionaires would still be taxed 1.5%.

…The current version just introduced includes measures to allow California to impose wealth taxes on residents even years after they left the state and moved elsewhere.

Exit taxes aren’t new in California. But this bill also includes provisions to create contractual claims tied to the assets of a wealthy taxpayer who doesn’t have the cash to pay their annual wealth tax bill because most of their assets aren’t easily turned into cash. This claim would require the taxpayer to make annual filings with California’s Franchise Tax Board and eventually pay the wealth taxes owed, even if they’ve moved to another state.

The article includes a wonderful quote:

“A wealth tax could be particularly destructive in California, home to so many tech startups, because the owners of promising businesses could be taxed on hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of estimated business value that never actually materializes,” said Walczak (Jared Walczak, vice president of state projects at Tax Foundation). “Very few taxpayers would remit wealth taxes, but many taxpayers would pay the price. The only people who should genuinely love a California wealth tax are the ones who work in Texas’ economic development office.”

This is another really bad idea to come out of the State of California. I believe we fought a war to end ‘taxation without representation.’ If people no longer live in the state, they no longer vote in the state and are therefore not represented.

The Consequences Of An Open Border

On Tuesday, Issues & Insights posted an article about a consequence of our open southern border that is not widely reported.

The article reports:

In a data dump Friday, the Biden administration announced that more than a quarter million people crossed the border illegally in December – the highest ever recorded. The timing of this release was designed to bury the news, not that it mattered, since the mainstream media have ignored the growing border crisis with fierce determination. 

But that’s not the worst of it. Border deaths also reached all-time highs. That news is so bad, the “most transparent administration in history” tried to keep it hidden altogether, coughing it up only in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. When that data did come out … crickets.

This silence is particularly galling, given that the left was screaming bloody murder about border deaths during the Trump administration.

The publicly released news showed that Border Patrol agents stopped 251,487 illegal crossers in December. That’s a 7% increase from November, a 40% increase from the year before, and a 240% increase from December 2020.

But that’s only part of the story.

The article continues:

A better description is an invasion, one aided and abetted by the Biden administration, the Democratic party, and the legacy media that has covered it up.

It’s also a deadly one to the migrants themselves.

Over the last fiscal year, 880 immigrants died trying to get into the U.S. That is the highest number of deaths since data became available, according to numbers obtained by the Epoch Times through a FOIA request. 

The second-largest number of migrant deaths occurred the year before, when 566 perished.

By comparison, in fiscal 2020, there were 247 border deaths — a record low.

If the media weren’t so corrupt, they would have been all over this story.

For one thing, they’d demand to know why “the most transparent” administration decided to stop releasing the number of border deaths, which had previously been part of the CPB’s reporting.

Then, they’d want to know why all those Democrats — including Biden — who were screaching about every border death during the Trump administration have been silent now.

This is another example of the mainstream media and its biased reporting. Thank goodness for reporters and watchdogs who know how to use FOIA requests.

It’s Called ‘Projection’

According to Psychology Today:

Projection is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal, or object. The term is most commonly used to describe defensive projection—attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another. For example, if someone continuously bullies and ridicules a peer about his insecurities, the bully might be projecting his own struggle with self-esteem onto the other person.

There seems to be a lot of that going on right now in American politics.

On Monday, The New York Post reported:

The former FBI official busted Monday for allegedly taking illegal foreign payments played a key role in the bureau’s controversial  “Russiagate” probe of former President Donald Trump — and a “defensive briefing” of ex-rival Hillary Clinton’s lawyers.

Charles “Charlie” McGonigal, 54, was among the first FBI officials to learn that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russia had “political dirt” on Clinton.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Jonathan Moffa told Senate Judiciary Committee staffers in 2020 that he got a July 2016 email from McGonigal which “contained essentially that reporting, which then served as the basis for the opening of the case.”

The FBI investigation, dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane,” led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller and a 22-month, $32 million probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties to associates of Trump, now 76.

Shortly before Mueller was appointed, McGonigal also sent a message to an FBI colleague that discussed how agents were interviewing another Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

Please follow the link to read the entire article.

The actions of  Charles McGonigal were part of the deep state’s war on President Trump. All of the people involved in that war need to go to jail. Regardless of who is President, working against him is treason. Framing people in his campaign, cabinet, etc. is treason. Making phone calls to enemies of America without Presidential approval is treason. People who lied to Congress to make a case for impeachment should also be held accountable.

The deep state’s actions during the Trump administration were a disgrace to America. Any honest people who may be left in Washington need to remove those in the deep state and make sure they never again have power.

Reporting On The American Economy

On Monday, Issues & Insights posted an article about inflation and the state of the American economy.

The article includes the following:

Ronald Reagan, in his 1980 campaign for president, updated Harry Truman’s useful definitions of two key economic terms.

“It’s a recession,” Truman had intoned, “when your neighbor loses his job. It’s a depression when you lose yours.”

To which The Gipper appended, entertainingly: “And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

The article notes:

These articulations sprang to mind in pondering the variations of inflation measurements advanced by economists to determine whether price growth is “easing,” as the counterfeit chief executive would have one believe.

Should the focus be the “headline” Consumer Price Index? The one the Bureau of Labor Statistics describes as “a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of consumer goods and services” (listed on the chart below)? Should the guide be a CPI subset referred to as “core inflation,” which excises “more volatile” food and energy prices? And how about the latest craze: “super core inflation?”

According to Fortune magazine, super core “does not have an established definition” but “refers to price measures that exclude sectors that economists feel distort the broader inflation figure.”  Economists like Paul Krugman (yeah, we know; kind of like discussing “military intelligence”) surmise that super core leaves out not just food and energy but also housing.

The article concludes:

Yet both the spending and the inflationary outcome – a dragon that had been largely slain since the Reagan Administration – are now revived for one reason: provide another set of tools of power and oppression.

The spending is to get citizenry and businesses alike hooked on federal largess. Inflation is another means of weakening the populace and private institutions as their labor and investment yields less and, in yet another spiral, they get all the more dependent on Uncle Sam and its cohort of crony capitalists.

The cynical, midterms-oriented pause in the upward price of fuel, occasioned by further manipulation of energy markets in the form of petroleum reserve releases, is only a stall in this brutal power play.

No matter the Fed’s efforts to run twice as fast – and come up with new fictions when it comes to measuring the real price of the dollar – there is no way for the central bankers even to stay in the same place when Jerome Powell’s exertions are swept under by a continued flood of Inflation Reduction Act and Omnibus(t) largess and excess.

Meanwhile, this correspondent will continue to define inflation as what it is: the loss of his dwindling dollars’ buying power. And relief, again paraphrasing The Great Communicator, as the prospect of another loss of power: Joe Biden’s.

Hang unto your hats. Unless Congress develops a spine to stop the spending, the future looks a little shaky.

Perks vs. Jobs

One of the problems we are seeing in recent years is the concept that there are different rules for different classes of people. We have seen state governments at pricey restaurants without a mask while declaring everyone else should wear a mask and stay home. We have seen elected politicians take advantage of beauty salons while denying access to those salons to everyone else. We have seen the World Economic Forum arrive at Davos for their meeting in private jets while telling the rest of us we need to reduce our carbon footprint. On Tuesday, however, Microsoft outdid itself.

On Friday, Gizmodo reported:

Layoffs are plaguing the tech industry left and right, but that doesn’t mean the big-wigs have to suffer too. Ahead of laying off several thousand employees, Microsoft hosted an exclusive Sting concert at Davos for executives.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the concert was about 50 people, including executives from Microsoft, who got to enjoy the musings of English rock artist Sting. The concert reportedly occurred on Tuesday in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum and the following day the company announces its largest sweep of layoffs yet—10,000 employees. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella issued a memo to staff on Wednesday announcing the layoffs, some of which began the same day.

I realize that a company is permitted to layoff people whenever necessary, but to me this seems like a misuse of money. How much income did the concert at Davos generate? How much did it cost? If the money had been spent on salaries of employees, how much money would that have generated?

The article concludes:

Microsoft says that the layoffs will last through Q3 of 2023, and that the blow will only impact 5% of the company’s workforce. The burn of these layoffs is exacerbated not only by the execs living it up in Switzerland, but also due to the company backtracking on its claims that talk of layoffs was simply hearsay. A Microsoft spokesperson told Gizmodo in an email earlier this week that layoffs at the company were a “rumor.”

Layoffs have hit the tech industry far and wide over the past several months, with some of the titans like Microsoft and Google making huge cuts to their workforce while citing economic uncertainty. Amazon also wound up announcing a plan to cut thousands of positions earlier this month.

When Your Energy Falls Over

Today The American Thinker posted an article about the increasing number of windmills that are simply falling over.

The article reports:

Bloomberg Business Week, no foe of green energy, headlines:  Wind Turbines Taller Than the Statue of Liberty Are Falling Over.” The article beneath the headline reports on a variety of alarming disasters involving wind turbines, including collapses of very tall sructures.

The article at The American Thinker quotes the Bloomberg article (which is behind the pay wall):

On a calm, sunny day last June, Mike Willey was feeding his cattle when he got a call from the local sheriff’s dispatcher. A motorist had reported that one of the huge turbines at a nearby wind farm had collapsed in dramatic fashion. Willey, chief of the volunteer fire department in Ames, 90 miles northwest of Oklahoma City, set out to survey the scene.

The steel tower, which once stood hundreds of feet tall, was buckled in half, and the turbine blades, whose rotation took the machine higher than the Statue of Liberty, were splayed across the wheat field below. The turbine, made by General Electric Co., had been in operation less than a year. “It fell pretty much right on top of itself,” Willey says.

Another GE turbine of the same model collapsed in Colorado a few days later. That wind farm’s owner-operator, NextEra Energy Inc., later attributed it to a blade flaw and said it and GE had taken steps to prevent future mishaps. A spokesperson for GE declined to say what went wrong in both cases in a statement to Bloomberg.

The instances are part of a rash of recent wind turbine malfunctions across the US and Europe, ranging from failures of key components to full collapses.

Wind turbines require precise engineering and very specific construction materials. If either one of these factors is not properly executed, the wind turbine is not going to be able to withstand the air currents it generates or the air currents generated by storms around it.

It is very obvious that much more research is needed on green energy. We need to do that research before we attempt to move further away from fossil fuels.

Sometimes It Takes A While For The Facts To Get Out

On Sunday, Breitbart reported the following:

President Joe Biden’s Energy Department quietly published a congressionally mandated report in December showing the president revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline federal permits cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars.

The report — Keystone XL Extension Permit Revocation: Energy Costs and Job Impactsbrought attention to the positive economic benefits the Keystone XL Pipeline could have had if Biden did not revoke the federal permits for it hours after being sworn into office.

…Energy’s report indicated the Keystone XL project would have created between 16,149 and 59,468 jobs annually for a two-year period, which is up from a 2014 report sponsored by the department that showed it would have only created 3,900 direct jobs and 21,050 total jobs over a two-year construction.

The article concludes:

The Keystone XL would have delivered roughly 830,000 barrels of crude oil from Canada to the U.S. through the pipeline. Additionally, a labor agreement signed by four unions with TC Energy in August 2020 promised the project would have created 42,000 American jobs and 2 billion in total wages.

Following Biden revoking the permits, Keystone XL was no longer a viable project and its builder, TC Energy, moved on from it, confirming its termination in June 2021. Federal judges tossed a challenge from almost two dozen states asking the court to reinstate the pipeline’s permits.

The repercussions of canceling the pipeline go beyond the economic cost. The cancellation of the pipeline was part of President Biden’s efforts to undo anything President Trump had done (whether it was good or bad) and was part of President Biden’s war on fossil fuel. That war has international as well as national consequences. America’s energy independence would put a very different light on the end of trading oil in American dollars that is rapidly approaching. However, it has been two years since we were energy independent. I don’t know how long it will take to get that independence back or even if it is possible. Energy independence would also make a big difference in the war in Ukraine. Russia’s war machine is being financed by the high price of oil. According to the law of supply and demand, if America were energy independent, the cost of oil would be significantly lower (and inflation would be significantly lower). There has been a high price paid by the American consumer for the election of President Biden. Hopefully we can stop paying that price in two years.

 

What Is The Heartbeat Act?

What is The Heartbeat Act? It is a law being proposed in various states to limit abortions (in most cases) to before the baby’s heartbeat is detected. The email stated that The Heartbeat Act would come up in the current session of the North Carolina legislature.

I received some information on The Heartbeat Act in my email today.

Here is some of that information:

The Heartbeat Act will do the following:

•Protect babies from abortion after the detection of a heartbeat

•Allow exceptions up to 20 weeks for reported cases of rape or incest

•Allow an exception for medical emergencies, including life of the mother

•Specifically EXCLUDE ectopic pregnancies, and contraceptive drugs from the definition of abortion

•Specifically EXCLUDE the pregnant woman from being a defendant in a civil or criminal proceeding

•Allow enforcement by civil lawsuits, criminal prosecution, and professional licensure penalties against any physician and/or abortion clinic that violates the law

The email also noted:

We must provide a safety-net of care for women who choose life. Seventy-six percent of abortion-determined women would choose life if their circumstances were different.7The Heartbeat Act will save 86% of babies in North Carolina who are currently being killed by abortion violence. Many more mothers will need our help before and after their baby’s birth.

Abortion is not the answer to an unplanned pregnancy–there are many better options. A group called Health Research Funding posted a list of post-abortion depression statistics. If you truly care about women’s health, you need to look at these statistics.

Here are the first few statistics:

Facts About Post Abortion Depression

1. Women who have an abortion are 3x more likely that women of child-bearing age in the general population to commit suicide.
2. The increased risk percentage of women who have an abortion compared to women in the general population of having at least one mental health issue: 81%.
3. Teen girls are up to 10x more likely to attempt suicide then their counterparts who have not had an abortion.
4. Teen girls who have had an abortion are up to 4x more likely to successfully commit suicide when compared to older women who have had an abortion.
5. About 45% of women who have had an abortion report having suicidal feelings immediately following their procedure.
6. Only 1% of women of child-bearing age seek psychiatric help for mental health issues in the 9 months prior to having an abortion. After having an abortion, the percentage rises to 1.5%.
7. Within a year after first-time mothers gave birth, 7 per 1,000 women were treated for mental-health issues, in comparison to 4 per 1,000 before baby.
8. Up to 33% of mothers will experience depression at least once between the time their child is born and the child’s 12th birthday.
9. 1995 data suggests that the rate of deliberate self-harm is 70% higher after abortion than after childbirth.
10. The British Journal of Psychiatry found an 81% increased risk of mental trauma after abortion.

Please follow the link above to read the rest of the list. We need to limit (if not end) abortions in North Carolina.

Resisting Communist China

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

Let’s face the facts. The very unwise effort by the U.S. Government over the past 40 years to undermine communism in China by granting them economic privileges and favored nation status has been a disaster. The naïve politicians , who fostered this absurd policy included Democrats and Republicans such as
Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, George Bush (both), Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and worst of all Joe Biden. As a result, communist China is arguably the strongest country on earth economically and militarily. And we funded them!

The question is what do we do now? First, we have to recognize that President  Biden is a compromised president who is being unduly influenced by Communist China. As a result, he does not put America first. Several examples such as the $60 million given to the U. of Pennsylvania where Biden set up an ancillary office after he left the Vice Presidency in 2017 (where classified documents have been found), his son, Hunter, receiving millions of dollars in money from Communist China for his scam “business” deals and passing it on to Joe by paying a reported $50,000. per month for renting one of Joe’s homes.. Money laundering straight out of the Mafia playbook! What do we do about it while we wait the outcome of the 2024 election?

Governor DeSantis of Florida is again leading the way. He recently announced that he will be working with the legislature to pass a law that would ban Communist China (and any phantom corporate entity) from purchasing real estate, especially agricultural land in Florida. North Carolina should follow suit. A couple of years ago, Smithfield Foods was purchased by a Chinese group centered in Hong Kong. Why on earth would we allow a communist adversary to purchase a main component of our food chain? Insanity if you ask me.

Another issue is Communist China supplying the chemicals to the drug cartels to produce fentanyl which is then smuggled into the United States and has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans over the past few years What are we doing about it? Compromised Joe Biden is doing nothing. In fact, his open border policy is facilitating this death drug. The U.S. Government should be imposing the severest of trade sanctions on Communist China until this is stopped. . Try starting with stopping the export of U.S. coal to China. That
would get their attention!

The final thing is Communist China giving grants to higher education institutions in this country and allowing Chinese citizens to work here on research projects that have high technological value. No Communist
Chinese grants should be allowed into in this country. You know they will want a return on their investment that will be detrimental to American safety, security and technological advancement...

These are some things that need to be done immediately. If you agree, contact your appropriate elected officials and demand action before it is too late.

Common Sense Rears Its Ugly Head

On Friday, The U.K. Daily Mail posted the following headline:

Trump warns Republicans not to cut Social Security or Medicare in their debt ceiling battle – and instead focus on ‘foreign aid, cracking down on migration and BILLIONS spent on climate extremism’

I think history has proven that giving excessive amounts of money to people that hate us has not caused them to hate us less. Migration is costing millions in health and dental care for illegal aliens, and the climate change people have gone over the edge with their war on gas stoves.

The article reports:

Former President Donald Trump waded into the debt ceiling impasse on Friday, urging Republicans to protect hardworking Americans and seniors by not cutting money from entitlement programs.

‘Under no circumstances should Republicans vote to cut a single penny from Medicare or Social Security to pay for Joe Biden‘s reckless spending spree,’ Trump said in a video message. 

It comes as House Republicans flex their muscles, warning Democrats that they will only help head off a crisis and raise the debt ceiling if it comes with sweeping cuts to spending programs.

Just for the record, Social Security is not an entitlement program–the people currently collecting it have paid into it all of their working lives. Had they been allowed to invest the money themselves (and done it prudently and faithfully), they would have a whole lot more money to spend. Also consider the fact that if someone paying into Social Security dies before collecting, the money they put into Social Security is not inherited by their family–it is simply paid out to someone else.

The article continues:

In a two-minute policy video, Trump makes clear his opposition — channeling his 2016 campaign, when he distanced himself from small-government, spending-cut conservatives.

Instead he suggests his party’s lawmakers should target foreign aid, money spent on climate change and migration. 

‘While we absolutely need to stop Biden’s out-of-control spending, the pain should be borne by Washington bureaucrats, not by hardworking American families and American seniors,’ he said in the video first obtained by Politico.

‘The seniors are being absolutely destroyed in the last two years. 

‘Cut the hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars going to corrupt, foreign countries. 

‘Cut the mass releases of illegal aliens that are depleting our social safety net, and destroying our country. 

‘Cut the left-wing gender programs from our military. Cut the billions being spent on climate extremism.

‘Cut waste fraud and abuse everywhere we can find it.’

Love him or hate him, President Trump is an astute businessman who solves problems. I wish he were in the White House now.

The Deep State Isn’t New

Some of our federal agencies have been out of control for some time. J. Edgar Hoover was not known for keeping within the boundaries of what the FBI was actually supposed to be doing. On Thursday, Tucker Carlson did a piece about how and why Richard Nixon was removed from office. It is an interesting theory that quite possibly is true.

BizPacReview posted an article about the piece on Friday.

The article reports:

On Thursday, Carlson, as a means of explaining how far the Deep State will go to protect itself and further its agenda, explained that the powers that truly run Washington, D.C. had former President Richard Nixon — “the most popular president in American history” — booted from the White House because he suggested that the CIA assassinated former President John F. Kennedy.

No, Carlson’s monologue wasn’t an audition tape for an Oliver Stone movie — it was a detailed account of events our citizens aren’t supposed to know, aren’t supposed to question.

“So, if you want to understand, if you really want to understand how the American government actually works at the highest levels, and if you want to know why they don’t teach history anymore, one thing you should know is that the most popular president in American history was Richard Nixon,” he began. “Richard Nixon. Yet somehow, without a single vote being cast by a single American voter, Richard Nixon was kicked out of office and replaced by the only unelected president in American history.”

Carlson explained that, far from being “despised by all decent people,” Nixon was reelected in 1972 “by the largest margin of the popular vote ever recorded before or since.”

“Nixon got 17 million more votes than his opponent,” Carlson stated. “Less than two years later, he was gone” and Gerald Ford, “an obedient servant of the federal agencies,” was given the keys to the Oval Office.

The article notes:

On June 23, 1972, Nixon met with the then–CIA director, Richard Helms, at the White House. During the conversation, which thankfully was tape-recorded, Nixon suggested he knew “who shot John,” meaning President John F. Kennedy. Nixon further implied that the CIA was directly involved in Kennedy’s assassination, which we now know it was. Helms’s telling response? Total silence, but for Nixon, it didn’t matter because it was already over. Four days before, on June 19, The Washington Post had published the first of many stories about a break-in at the Watergate office building.

Unbeknownst to Nixon and unreported by The Washington Post, four of the five burglars worked for the CIA. The first of many dishonest Watergate stories was written by a 29-year-old metro reporter called Bob Woodward.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is fascinating.

There Really Were Visitor Records

On Friday, NewsMax reported that there actually were records on who visited President Biden at his Delaware home.

The article reports:

The Secret Service now acknowledges that it has records on who visited President Joe Biden’s home in Wilmington, Delaware, when classified documents were kept there.

The New York Post reported that Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday that “the Secret Service does generate law enforcement and criminal justice information records for various individuals who may come into contact with Secret Service protected sites.”

Guglielmi on Monday said the Secret Service doesn’t “independently maintain our own visitor logs because it’s a private residence.”

The article notes:

Congressional Republicans asked for the logs after learning that confidential documents were found at Biden’s home.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., chairman of the Oversight and Accountability Committee, demanded Sunday that the White House turn over visitor logs, according to The New York Times.

“It is troubling that classified documents have been improperly stored at the home of President Biden for at least six years, raising questions about who may have reviewed or had access to classified information,” Comer wrote.

It stands to reason that anyone coming close to the President would have to be cleared by the Secret Service. It also stands to reason that there would be a record of that clearance in case the person made a repeat visit. There may not be explicit logs, but there will be a list of people who visited the President in Delaware. That list needs to be made public.

Rearranging The Deck Chairs On The Titanic

The State Department is not doing very well right now–Saudi Arabia is no longer supporting the petrodollar, Mexico is not helping control the border, North Korea, China and Iran are all ramping up their threatening remarks. American diplomacy is not what it once was. So what is the State Department worrying about?

On Wednesday, Gizmodo reported the following:

The font style used in the U.S. State Department is changing, prompting complaints from employees who find the change to be an inconvenience. Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent an email to the state department, headlined “The Times (New Roman) are a-Changin,” ala Bob Dylan, saying they will be changing the font for high-level internal documents to the larger sans-serif font, Calibri, from Times New Roman, which has been used for more than two decades.

Blinken said the department’s domestic and international offices have until February 6 to “adopt Calibri as the standard font for all requested papers,” the email said according to the Washington Post.

Someone making a comment suggested Comic Sans. That would be appropriate.

Destroying The United States’ Economy

President Biden has not done a great job on economic issues, and things are about to get a lot worse for his administration. One of the main things that has kept the American dollar from being totally worthless is the fact that oil is traded in American dollars. That is now changing.

WallStreetMojo explains the Petrodollar as follows:

The petrodollar history stems from the Soviet Union’s breakdown (1991), following which the US became the only superpower throughout the materialized unipolar world. Subsequently, the world observed several destabilizations and crises to sustain the leadership of the petrocurrency structure.

The term emerged in 1973 when the US agreed to offer armed protection to Saudi Arabia. It also provided weaponry and other military supplies in an agreement involving the overall sale of oil in US dollars. Moreover, Saudi Arabia would recycle the surplus dollars into the American economic system using US treasury bills and bonds.

By 1975, all OPEC members embraced the petrocurrency arrangement and consented to oil export in US dollars. As a result, the American currency now contributes to almost two-thirds of the international economy. It is the reserve currency for most central banks worldwide since the US dollar is the chief currency needed for natural gas and oil trading.

On Wednesday, PJ Media reported the following:

The petrodollar — a term describing the post-WWII global system of trading in oil almost exclusively using the U.S. dollar — has literally built and buttressed the U.S. empire for decades.

Saudi Arabia has long been a stalwart supporter of the U.S. petrodollar, which it adopted in exchange for security provided by the dominant U.S. military.

But that arrangement may be about to change.

Via TVP World:

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude oil exporter, is open to discussing oil trade settlements in currencies other than the U.S. dollar, Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, told media outlet Bloomberg in Davos on Tuesday.

If the Saudis were to open to talks about oil trade arranged in non-dollar currencies it would represent a significant threat to the current dominance of the U.S. dollar in the global oil trade.

Saudi Arabia is just the latest rat to contemplate leaving the sinking ship. Ghana recently announced intentions to purchase oil in gold instead of U.S. dollars moving forward. Russia, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa (BRICS) are reportedly cooperating to develop a “new global reserve currency.”

President Obama was put in place to manage America’s decline–not to make America great again. President Biden is finishing what President Obama began.

Concealed Carry: Right or Privilege?

Author: R. Alan Harrop, Ph.D

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Notice it does not limit bearing arms in any manner whatsoever. Here in North Carolina, as in many other states, a person can carry a firearm legally as long as it is visible. Carrying a concealed firearm is a different matter in that it requires a Concealed Carry Permit issued by the local law enforcement authority i.e. the county sheriff. This requirement places North Carolina in the category of “may-issue” states as compared to what is called “constitutional carry” states where carrying a concealed firearm does not require a permit. Currently, there are 25 states that are designated “constitutional carry”. In my opinion, North Carolina needs to join this group. Let’s look at some reason why.

First, as stated above the Second Amendment does not permit the infringement of the right to bear arms (i.e. carry). It does not say anything about limiting carrying concealed. So, therefore, states requiring a permit are, de facto, violating the U.S. Constitution.

Second, the permitting process, allows states to include any requirement that they choose to impose; for example, limiting the type or firearm or the capacity of magazines. Third, how many people do you see carrying a firearm that is not concealed? In my experience, it is very rare to see someone carrying a firearm where it can be clearly observed. Given the increasing crime rates in many cities, this reluctance diminishes the right of the individual to self-protection. Fourth, but not least, how many criminals do you think bother to get a concealed carry permit? So, what we do is impede law abiding citizens from self-protection knowing full well that criminals are under no such impediment. Fifth, if you were a criminal seeking a victim wouldn’t you prefer to assume the person is unarmed than to assume the opposite? It is like the absurdity of announcing a location is a gun free zone which only encourages criminals to select those places to commit their crimes. Sixth, some may argue that the required training to carry concealed is a safety factor for all concerned. This is also absurd, since no such training is required for open carry. Are they saying that carrying a firearm under your shirt, sweater or coat makes it more dangerous than carrying in the open? Nonsense.

If you believe that North Carolina should become a “constitutional carry” state let your elected representatives know. Your safety and that of your loved ones may depend on it.

Did He Accidentally Tell The Truth?

On Wednesday, Legal Insurrection posted an article about a recent statement by former secretary of state John Kerry.

The article reports:

While speaking at the World Economic Forum this week, former secretary of state John Kerry seemed to inadvertently admit that the issue of climate change is all about money.

It makes perfect sense. Climate change and all of the activism around it have become big business. All those private jets in the parking lot aren’t going to pay for themselves.

This is the full quote:

“I’m convinced we will get to a low-carbon, no-carbon economy — we’re going to get there because we have to,” he said.

“I am not convinced we’re going to get there in time to do what the scientists said, which is avoid the worst consequences of the crisis,” he added.

“And those worst consequences are going to affect millions of people all around the world, [in] Africa and other places. Of the 20 most affected countries in the world from [the] climate crisis, 17 are in Africa.”

In his remarks, Kerry also spoke about the task of keeping the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive.

“So, how do we get there? Well, the lesson I’ve learned in the last years and I learned it as secretary [of State] and I’ve learned it since, reinforced in spades, is: money, money, money, money, money, money, money. And I’m sorry to say that.”

Actually, I doubt that he is sorry to say that. How many government-subsidized green energy companies is he invested in? You did notice that the majority of the delegates (if not all) to the WEF in Davos flew there in private jets. Where is their effort to save the planet (other than to impose restrictions on the rest of us)?

To illustrate how the political left plans to make money by forcing the rest of us to depend on green energy, please read about the collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange in 2010 (article here).

That article reports:

“The biggest losers have been CCX’s two biggest investors – Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs – and President Obama, who helped launch CCX with funding from the Joyce Foundation, where he and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett once sat on the board of directors.”

If you have questions about climate change and global warming, the two best sources of truth are Joe Bastardi and Anthony Watts. Joe Bastardi has written a number of books about climate cycles and how they impact our weather, and Anthony Watts blogs at wattsupwtihthat.com. Both authors provide scientifically valid information on the earth’s climate.