The Harm Caused By Good Intentions

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about the harm done by environmentalists.

The article reports:

The damage done by contemporary environmentalism is a big topic. For now I want to note two important instances that are on my mind because they are fronts on which my organization, Center of the American Experiment, is battling self-interested or misguided environmentalists.

Environmentalists cause great damage by blocking needed development, including exploitation of mineral resources. This is grossly hypocritical, since the principal goal of today’s environmental movement is to replace fossil fuels by electrifying everything, while getting the bulk of our electricity from wind and solar power. Apart from being impossible, the amount of mining that would need to be done to supply the necessary electrical hardware and batteries would dwarf anything in human history. At the same time, however, environmentalists refuse to allow mining of the needed materials–copper, nickel, cobalt and others–here in the United States. In effect, they insist on massive environmental degradation, only not in their back yards.

…At GreenEnergyFails.com, you can watch videos that explain the Texas blackouts, and the site includes a lengthy and utterly definitive explanation of why those blackouts were, contrary to the desperate assertions of the environmental lobby, caused by Texas’s excessive reliance on unreliable wind and solar energy.

Like other organs of the Left, the environmental lobby is backed by an extraordinary amount of money. This is understandable, as enormous profits are being made on the “green” energy chimera by utilities and by wind and solar companies (many foreign-owned) that feed at the government trough.

Perhaps more significant is that the environmental movement, in its early stage, actually did some good. As Steve Hayward documented over a period of years, it contributed to a remarkable improvement in air and water quality across the U.S. That cleanup was a great achievement for which the environmental movement can take partial credit. Unfortunately, the good will that was created decades ago continues to boost environmentalism, even though in its current manifestations the movement is actually hurting not only public safety and our peoples’ livelihoods, but also our environment.

The search for the perpetual motion machine was alive and well during the Middle Ages. It looks like it is back with us again.

Hong Kong Has Lost Its Freedom

I am sure that the headline above is not news to anyone who has been paying attention, but there has been another nail in the coffin of freedom in Hong Kong.

The London Times reported the following today:

China’s grip on the city tightened yesterday when its parliament unanimously approved new election rules that make it almost impossible for democracy activists to run for office.

The National People’s Congress voted 2,895-0, with one abstention, for the changes that will give Beijing a veto on candidates deemed unpatriotic.

…Beijing said the changes were necessary to return Hong Kong to its constitutional order after mass protests, and that patriots would be able to stand.

…Zhang Xiaoming, from the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said that the “chaos” of recent years showed that the city’s electoral system had “clear loopholes and shortcomings”.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog commented on the election changes in Hong Kong:

Our electoral system had “clear loopholes and shortcomings” too, as revealed by the election of Donald Trump. The Democrats are moving to close those “loopholes” via H.R. 1 and other measures intended to assure that only those approved by them can be elected in the future.

The rest of the Times article is devoted to the ongoing exodus of freedom-loving Hong Kongers to Australia and the U.K. Here in America, I am not sure where we will flee if the Democrats succeed in curing the “loopholes and shortcomings” in our electoral system.

I am also unsure of where to flee. Does anyone know of a small island in the Caribbean that might be for sale?

The Obvious Question

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Who’s Crazy?”

The article notes:

Democrats are busily trying to portray Republicans as crazy extremists and conspiracy theorists. Marjorie Greene is the latest target of this campaign, and of course the Dems continue to milk the January 6 D.C. mini-riot for all it is worth, and more. (Meanwhile, they have no interest in what would seem to be the real story, the inexplicable breakdown of security at the Capitol. And, contrary to the Democrats’ usual practice, the identity of the officer who shot and killed an unarmed woman, Ashli Babbitt, is a closely guarded secret.)

But where do we look for maximum craziness? How about Maxine Waters, who says that President Trump “should be charged with premeditated murder” (of whom?) because he was involved in “advance planning about the invasion” at the Capitol. Talk about a conspiracy theory! But Waters’ claims aren’t much crazier than those of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who asserted that Ted Cruz was trying to get her killed.

There was a time when making such reckless, extreme, and–to say the least!–unsupported claims about one’s political opponents would have been considered far out of bounds by pretty much everyone. No longer.

It’s time those Democrats who are accusing President Trump of inciting violence look in the mirror. Some of the insanity and lack of civility coming from Democrats in recent years in appalling. It’s time the Democrat party takes responsibility for the statements and actions of their member.

What We Teach Our Children Matters

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the draft publication of the Minnesota social studies standards. The standards are available for public comment. The article cites information found in an article at the Center of the American Experiment website.

The article at Power Line Blog reports:

WORLD/U.S. HISTORY

There are several key pieces of our world and nation’s history that are missing when compared with the 2011 social studies standards.

Missing Benchmarks

* World War I—benchmarks on the social, political and economic causes of the war; nations involved, major political and military figures, key battles; political impact (including formation of the League of Nations)

* World War II—benchmarks on the social, political and economic causes of the war, and main turning points; nations involved, major political and military figures, key battles; timeline of key events leading to WWII

* The Holocaust (including references to the Nazi regime and Jews)

* Rise and effects of communism and socialism; Communist Revolution

* American Revolution—benchmarks on timeline of the major events and turning points of the revolution, including the involvement of other nations and the reasons for American victory; identifying historically significant people during the period of the revolution (Examples: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Freeman)

* Civil War—benchmarks on timeline of the key events of the war; causes of the war; major political and military events; main ideas of the debate over slavery and states’ rights and how they resulted in major political compromises and ultimately war
***

I need someone to explain to me how you can teach WWII without teaching about the Holocaust, Nazis, and Jews.

These are just a few examples from the article. Please follow the link to read the entire article. It offers insight as to the reasons our children don’t understand the freedom and heritage they have in America and why many are willing to trade that freedom for the slavery of socialism.

Insight Into The Radical Left

Radical Son is a book by David Horowitz that I read many years ago. There is now a new edition with an updated preface by David Horowitz. Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the updated preface. Please follow the link to read the entire article. It provides a lot of insight into the thinking of the radical political left.

The article contains the entire preface. I am simply posting the last part here in the hopes that you will read it in its entirety at Power Line Blog:

In his narrative, Forbes makes clear that he regards the inconveniences he suffered as a result of his crimes as an injustice to him. He exhibits no remorse for his victims and no appreciation for the short jail time he spent for plotting the assassination of Crystal Gray or killing his friend, or for the cold-blooded, botched execution attempt which ruined the life of the ambulance driver, Nelson Malloy, who tried to help him. The fantasy of the “revolution” he served by committing violent crimes, mainly against vulnerable black people who were not political, remains for Forbes a source of inordinate pride. Equally revealing is his continuing adoration for the criminal who recruited him to the Panthers when he was sixteen, made him a gangster, murdered an eighteen-year-old black woman, and ordered him to assassinate another.

Flores Forbes’s story is emblematic of what America’s political culture has become. His title today is Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning and Program Implementation at Columbia University, where he is a pillar of the academic community. Meanwhile, those of us who worked to bring the criminal reality of the “revolutionary” charade to light are persona non-grata among administrators and faculty at Columbia, which happens to be my own alma mater.

And this travesty is not confined to one Ivy League school. There are academic tributes and shrines to Panther gangsters at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Cruz, UC Berkeley, the Smithsonian, and numerous similar institutions across the country. This is a pretty fair measure of the Left’s institutional ascendance in America in the wake of the mayhem its radical activists have created and the atrocities they have committed.

Radical Son was written as a witness to the dark undercurrents of American politics and to their enduring power in the nation’s life. It has definitely had an impact. Whether the revelations contained in its narrative can seriously affect the course of this history is unlikely. But as long as the book has open-minded readers, the possibility exists that new generations will be able to put together these lessons with others, and perhaps affect the outcome. Or maybe just one individual will have been affected by this book in such a way as to avoid experiences as painful as I had to endure. That would be sufficient reward for the ordeals of writing it.

In case you are unaware, David Horowitz grew up in New York as a ‘red diaper baby.’ That was the name given to the children of members of the Communist party in America. His parents were school teachers. Let that sink in. His indoctrination into radical political beliefs at home was probably not a lot different than the indoctrination his parents’ students received. I strongly recommend reading Radical Son to understand how the radical left thinks and what their goals are. It is eye-opening.

 

This Is Not Good For Our Country

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about the lawsuit brought by the Trump campaign against the State of Pennsylvania. The law firm handling one aspect of the case has been pressured by anti-Trump types to withdraw from participation in the lawsuit.

The article reports:

A law firm representing the Trump campaign in its challenges to the Pennsylvania election results gave notice that it’s withdrawing from one of the cases.

Lawyers with Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP submitted a filing late Thursday stating they were withdrawing as counsel in a federal suit seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying its vote. No reason was given. In a statement issued Friday, the firm confirmed the filing but did not say why it was exiting the case.

The Trump campaign issued the following statement:

“Leftist mobs descended upon some of the lawyers representing the President’s campaign and they buckled,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the campaign. “If the target were anyone but Donald Trump, the media would be screaming about injustice and the fundamental right to legal representation. The President’s team is undeterred and will move forward with rock-solid attorneys to ensure free and fair elections for all Americans.”

The article concludes:

Not many years ago, every terrorist in Guantanamo Bay was represented by one of a group of America’s top law firms. For free. No one batted an eye. Now, the President of the United States is having trouble getting lawyers to represent him in asserting perfectly legitimate claims. Some dictator.

This is the latest instance of the most troubling trend in American culture, leftist bullying. Rare is the company (or, as in this case, the law firm) with the courage to stand up against it. It is a serious threat to the liberty of all Americans.

Regardless of your political leanings, you need to look at this carefully. If a law firm can be bullied into not representing someone because of political pressure, what chance do you and I have for equal justice under the law? These are mafia tactics that will only get worse if they are not stopped.

 

Those Pesky Fact-Checkers Are Driving People Away From Facebook

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article describing his recent experience with the fact-checkers on Facebook. The bottom line is that the fact-checkers need to be fact-checked.

The article includes a screenshot stating that the original post had false information. Yet when Mr. Hinderaker explored the items that the fact-checkers claimed were false, those items were not even in the article.

The article notes:

The explanation given for Facebook’s “fact check” is that “Wisconsin turnout [is] in line with past elections, didn’t jump 22%.” But my Facebook post said nothing about Wisconsin turnout jumping by 22%. Neither did my Power Line post, which I doubt anyone from USA Today or Facebook actually read. According to Wisconsin officials, that state had a record turnout in 2020, not one that was “in line with past elections,” so Facebook’s “fact check” is blatantly false. Also, obviously, it doesn’t even attempt to deal with anything I wrote in my Power Line post, which, among other things, explained why some observers have made exaggerated claims relating to Wisconsin’s 2020 turnout numbers. Nor does it try to explain why there is something wrong with what I wrote on Facebook, which was that “the numbers suggest” that there was major voter fraud in Wisconsin–a claim that, as far as I know, stands unrebutted.

So Facebook is a Democratic Party platform that will do all it can to help Joe Biden cling to his tenuous electoral lead. No surprise there. But the extent to which the internet platforms that control most avenues for the distribution of facts and opinions are willing to lie and cheat to support one political party is alarming. We live in a world that the Founders never contemplated.

Parler is looking really good right now. Please follow the link above to read the rest of the article. Facebook is no longer simply a neutral platform–it is a Democrat campaign site.

Do You Remember Scholastic Magazine?

It seems like propaganda has become a way of life for American education. I remember fondly when Scholastic Magazine would arrive in the classroom, and we would all read it to find out what was going on in the world at a level we could understand. The magazine still exists, but its purpose seems to have changed drastically.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the current state of Scholastic Magazine.

The article reports:

This is what our children are being told about President’s Trump’s position on “Racial Justice”:

The long history of unjust treatment of Black people in America is a major focus of this election.

This past spring, in the wake of police killings of Black Americans, huge protests erupted across the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic has seriously underscored the widespread problem of racial inequality in the United States. Data show that people of color are contracting and dying of the virus at the highest rates, largely because of the wealth gap that exists between white people and people of color. Many Americans of all races are now demanding an end to police violence and other injustices toward Black people in this country.

That’s the preface. This is an issue, according to Scholastic Magazine, on which there is only one possible perspective.

In June, President Trump signed an executive order encouraging police departments to change how they train officers and use force. But overall, he has defended law enforcement…

As well he should!

…opposed protesters’ calls for reforms, and taken an aggressive stance against the largely peaceful demonstrations.

“Largely peaceful,” the Democrats’ weasel phrase.

In July, for instance, he sent federal police to Portland, Oregon, to break up rallies there. Local officials say those officers illegally detained protesters and sparked violence.

This is outrageous. What was happening in Portland was not “rallies.” It was rioting, arson, crime and violence. The idea that the presence of federal officers “sparked violence” is a far-left trope that is totally at odds with the facts. The violence long preceded, and succeeded, any federal involvement.

Many people see the president’s response to the protests as part of a pattern of racism.

“Many people.” The most dishonest trick of the left-wing journalist.

He has repeatedly made racist statements and at times shown support for people who promote white supremacy.

This is a lie. It is intended to poison young minds against the president, his party and his supporters.

Please follow the link to read the rest of the article. It is disturbing. It’s time to take a stand against the garbage our children are being taught in school. Pay attention to School Board elections. Your future could depend on them.

I spent part of my day today handing out campaign literature at the polls. I met a very sweet, but very misled young lady who told me that socialism didn’t deserve the ‘bad rep’ it has. It’s really a good thing. God help us if the people she supports ever get in power.

Fighting The Propaganda

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today that is definitely a positive step toward re-uniting America.

The article reports:

Yesterday, OMB Director Russell Vought issued on behalf of the Executive Office of the President a memorandum to the heads of all federal departments and agencies. The memorandum bans all agencies from “training” their employees in critical race theory or white privilege. It is a thing of beauty. Here is the memo, in its entirety.

The memorandum includes the following:

It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, anti-American propaganda.

For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism.” According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.

These types of “trainings” not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce. We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions. We can be proud that Americans from all over the country seek to join our workforce and dedicate themselves to public service. We can be proud of our continued efforts to welcome all individuals who seek to serve their fellow Americans as Federal employees. However, we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions. Accordingly, to that end, the Office of Management and Budget will shortly issue more detailed guidance on implementing the President’s directive. In the meantime, all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/9 “white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these un-American propaganda training sessions.

The memorandum concludes:

The President, and his Administration, are fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in the United States. The President has a proven track record of standing for those whose voice has long been ignored and who have failed to benefit from all our country has to offer, and he intends to continue to support all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or creed. The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government.

I welcome anyone who believes that the majority of Americans are racist to find another country in the world with more equal opportunity for all of its citizens. If you can (and I doubt you can), please go live there.

The Myth Of Green Energy

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the feasibility of achieving 100 percent green energy.

The article notes:

High on the Left’s agenda is mandating 100% “green” generation of electricity–if not 100% of energy, period. I believe Joe Biden, among others, has now come out for 100% “green” energy, meaning wind and solar. But for now, let’s stick with energy generation. Would it be feasible to get 100% of our electricity from wind and solar?

Basic problems with these energy sources include inefficiency and intermittency. Wind turbines produce energy around 40% of the time, and solar panels do much worse than that in many parts of the country. So how does a utility ensure that the lights will go on, even at night when the wind isn’t blowing?

The liberals’ favorite answer is “batteries.” Produce electricity when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, and store the energy in batteries for use when electricity is not being generated. Batteries exist, of course; we use them all the time. But where is the battery that can store the entire output of a power plant or a wind farm? That battery does not exist. Further, battery storage is ruinously expensive. The cost of storing the entire electricity needs of the U.S. for even a day would be prohibitive.

But there are also other problems in terms of the materials required.

The article notes:

But that isn’t the worst of it. Wind and solar are low-intensity energy sources. It takes many acres of wind turbines to produce, on a best-case scenario, what a single power plant can produce. And solar panels are even worse. A single 3 mw wind turbine uses 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, 3 tons of aluminum, 2 tons of rare earth elements, and 1,200 tons (2.4 million pounds!) of concrete. If we take seriously the idea of getting all of our electricity from wind and solar, where will all of those materials come from?

The article links to another article at Center of the American Experiment that explains how much metal would required in just Minnesota to implement the Green New Deal. Please follow the links above to read both articles. They are enlightening.

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

The Democrats’ “green” agenda does not represent a set of meaningful policy proposals. Taken seriously, and objectively evaluated, they immediately crumble. It is literally true that the Democrats could propose to harness the energy of unicorns running on treadmills, and it would make as much sense as reliance on wind, solar and batteries. “Green” energy is driven by two closely related things: 1) politics, and 2) enormous quantities of money being made by politically-connected wind and solar entrepreneurs.

We need to use energy wisely and we need to do what we can to prevent pollution. But we also need to remember that as cultures become more advanced, those advancements tend to result in cleaner air and cleaner water. Many of the rivers and lakes in America are cleaner than they were 100 years ago because of scientific advancements in sewage treatment and manufacturing. We are capable of protecting the environment and also enjoying the fruits of civilization.

Numbers Don’t Lie (But Politicians Do)

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog yesterday about one aspect of the latest draft of the Democrat Party platform. The article notes that the platform is largely an attack on white people. The platform mentions whites or whiteness 15 times, never in a positive light.

The article includes a quote from the platform:

Median incomes are lower and poverty rates are higher for Black Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and some Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, compared to median white households.

Well, the article includes a chart from the 2018 Census:

As you can see, the charge included in the draft of the Democrat Party platform is not true.

The article concludes:

The Democrats are right to focus on median income as a basic indicator of well-being, but they have to lie about the statistics. They can’t face the reality that America is a land of opportunity, and there is nothing standing in the way of people of any ethnicity succeeding in the most fundamental way: making money.

If the United States were really a white supremacist society, as the Democrats claim, the facts would be very different. Whites incomes would dwarf non-white incomes. That obviously is not the case, which demonstrates that America is not a racist or white supremacist society. The Democrats are wrong. It is hard to see why voters would entrust with power a party that falsely slanders its own country.

The platform is being put together with a purpose. After seeing the racism and the lies in the platform, I wonder what that purpose is.

Is The Destruction Related To The Cause?

Destruction of other people’s property is not constructive, whatever the cause. In recent weeks we have seen total insanity in terms of the destruction of our history. It really doesn’t accomplish much–it simply gives vandals a chance to vent their general anger. We all agree that the killing of George Floyd was awful. Most of us don’t agree with much of what happened next. Protest is legal. When the first brick is thrown or the first person attacked, it is no longer a protest.

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about some recent actions by the rioters that simply betray what they claim is their cause.

The article reports:

So much for the idea that “Confederate monuments” are under attack. Last night in San Francisco, left-wingers pulled down a statue of Ulysses Grant, the man who did more than anyone except Lincoln to preserve the Union and abolish slavery. Grant also, as President, did all he could to enforce Reconstruction and protect blacks in the South. He sent the military after the Ku Klux Klan in South Carolina, worked to ensure passage of the 15th Amendment, and signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875.

Of course, the Left knows little and cares less about any of this. Leftists hate the Union and hate men like Lincoln, Grant, Sherman and Sheridan for preserving it. Slavery is only a pretext. The United States and our constitutional democracy are the targets.

The article notes that Grant at one point was given a slave and was so against the idea of slavery that he freed the slave within a year. It seems as if Grant would be someone they would approve of. The fact that they tore his statue down gives weight to the fact that the riots have a deeper purpose than protesting racism.

The article concludes:

Every four years it is said that the current election is the most important one in our lifetimes. This time, it is actually true. Not a single Democratic Party official, to my knowledge, has condemned the anti-American madness that is sweeping across the nation. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are fully on board with the extremist elements in their party–I am starting to wonder whether there is any Democratic Party apart from the extremist elements–and the Democrats’ presidential nominee is a senile nonentity who, in office, would be controlled by the radicals. It is absolutely essential to our country’s future that Donald Trump be re-elected.

The More You Know…

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article yesterday about some of the things we have learned as information about spying on the Trump campaign and transition team is declassified. One thing that I don’t think has been widely reported is that Obama Treasury Department officials were on the list of those making unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn.

The article reports:

When Acting DNI Richard Grenell released the list of individuals who made unmasking requests relating to General Michael Flynn, one of the curious facts that stood out was the presence of a number of Obama Treasury Department officials on the list. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and no fewer than five of his subordinates–Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, Acting Assistant Secretary, and so on, all political appointees in the Obama administration–all made unmasking requests with regard to conversations that turned out to involve General Flynn, on the same day: December 14, 2016. Lew made a second request on January 12, 2017.

The mystery of why President Obama’s Treasury Department was interested in electronic surveillance carried out for national security purposes may have been solved by this scoop in the Ohio Star: “The Treasury Department Spied on Flynn, Manafort, and the Trump Family, Says Whistleblower.”

President Barack Obama’s Treasury Department regularly surveilled retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s financial records and transactions beginning in December 2015 and well into 2017, before, during and after when he served at the White House as President Donald Trump’s National Security Director, a former senior Treasury Department official, and veteran of the intelligence community, told the Star Newspapers.

“I started seeing things that were not correct, so I did my own little investigation, because I wanted to make sure what I was seeing was correct” she said. “You never want to draw attention to something if there is not anything there.”

The whistleblower said she only saw metadata, that is names and dates when the general’s financial records were accessed. “I never saw what they saw.”

By March 2016, the whistleblower said she and a colleague, who was detailed to Treasury from the intelligence community, became convinced that the surveillance of Flynn was not tied to legitimate criminal or national security concerns, but was straight-up political surveillance among other illegal activity occurring at Treasury.

“When I showed it to her, what she said, ‘Oh, sh%t!’ and I knew right then and there that I was right – this was some shady stuff,” the whistleblower said.

“It wasn’t just him,” the whistleblower said. “They were targeting other U.S. citizens, as well.”

Only two names are listed in the whistleblower’s official paperwork, so the others must remain sealed, she said. The second name is Paul J. Manafort Jr., the one-time chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The Star’s source says that she filed a formal complaint with the Treasury Department’s Inspector General in March 2017, but nothing was done. There is much more at the link.

Please follow the link to read the entire article–it is fascinating.

The article concludes:

We don’t know what Flynn communication these Obama officials were poring over, but we do know that the Treasury Department was never able to make any kind of a case against Flynn for financial misdeeds of any kind. It bears remembering that Jacob Lew was an unusually political Secretary of the Treasury. He was Obama’s Chief of Staff before taking over the Treasury Department. We have written about him several times, e.g. here.

Evidence continues to grow that the corruption of the executive branch of the U.S. government by Barack Obama was comprehensive and perhaps unprecedented.

Consequences are justified and needed.

Good News On Covid-19

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog that included some good news about the coronavirus. Generally speaking it seems that a lot more people have had the virus without knowing it, and thus the death rate is much lower than originally thought. Americans are also in the early process of creating ‘herd immunity,’ which should prevent the overwhelming numbers of serious cases originally predicted.

The article includes the following graph:

As you can see, we are on the downside of the bell curve. It should be noted that the number of deaths from the coronavirus is a lagging indicator and may increase in the coming two weeks before going down.

The article reports:

…there is growing evidence that many more Americans have had COVID-19 than has generally been thought. Reuters reports that of the sailors on board the COVID-stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, 60% of those who tested positive for the virus were asymptomatic. This is a higher percentage than was previously estimated by Dr. Fauci, 25%-50%. The Reuters reporter doesn’t seem to understand that this is good news, for two reasons.

First, it means that the fatality rate for COVID-19 is lower than most have believed. I think the balance of evidence so far is that the Wuhan virus is somewhat more lethal than the usual seasonal flu, but of the same order of magnitude. It is possible, however, that it may prove to be no worse, statistically, than the average flu.

Second, it means that the U.S. is closer to achieving herd immunity than previously believed. This ABC News story is to the same effect:

The first large-scale community test of 3,300 people in Santa Clara County found that 2.5 to 4.2% of those tested were positive for antibodies — a number suggesting a far higher past infection rate than the official count.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that we are still a long way from the levels that confer herd immunity.

The article concludes:

Currently, global COVID deaths are just under 30% of the average for a seasonal flu bug, per the WHO. Those numbers are likely wrong, because China and Iran have almost certainly underreported their fatalities. If we assume that China’s true fatality number is ten times what it tells the WHO, and Iran’s is three times, then total global fatalities from COVID-19 would be 41% of an average flu season, so far.

For the U.S., according to CDC, the COVID-19 deaths to date equal 53% of the deaths from seasonal flu two yeas ago.

COVID-19 is a disease, and there nothing good to be said about diseases. But today’s news is generally positive.

One of the reasons I don’t trust the Chinese numbers of people who died from the coronavirus is an article in The Epoch Times on March 22, 2020, that reported the following:

The number of Chinese cellphone users dropped by 21 million in the past three months, Beijing authorities announced on March 19. Deaths due to the CCP virus may have contributed to the high number of account closings.

That’s an awful lot of people who suddenly decided they didn’t need their cell phones.

An Attempt At Justice

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about lawsuits brought by Carter Page. It seems to be common knowledge that before being targeted by the Obama administration as a back door to spy on the Trump campaign, Carter Page had done a lot of work for three-letter government agencies and was regarded as a reliable source of information.

The article reports:

Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page filed a lawsuit Thursday in federal court against the Democratic National Committee, law firm Perkins Coie and its partners tied to the funding of the unverified dossier that served as the basis for highly controversial surveillance warrants against him.

…“This is a first step to ensure that the full extent of the FISA abuse that has occurred during the last few years is exposed and remedied,” attorney John Pierce said Thursday. “Defendants and those they worked with inside the federal government did not and will not succeed in making America a surveillance state.”

He added: “This is only the first salvo. We will follow the evidence wherever it leads, no matter how high. … The rule of law will prevail.”

The lawsuit will be heard in the Federal District Court in Northern Illinois.

The article concludes:

Page could sue Steele, except that Steele is in England and has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to visit the U.S., ever again. Nearly all potential defendants other than Steele–Comey, Clapper, McCabe and the like–would try to erect a firewall by denying any knowledge that the Steele dossier was a fraud.

Whether such guilty knowledge could be proved is doubtful. At a minimum, Page will have to get far enough to conduct meaningful discovery against the existing defendants. Do the DNC’s or Perkins Coie’s emails contain evidence of a conspiracy to lie about Carter Page, for the purpose of damaging Donald Trump? Who knows? If the participants were careful, they don’t; then again, those who were talking to each other in 2016 and 2017 probably didn’t foresee that their actions might one day be exposed in court. So perhaps they were careless. Maybe, too, any such communications were deleted or destroyed long ago.

There is at least one obvious exception to the above analysis–the DOJ lawyer who misrepresented a CIA email to the FISA court. The email said that Carter Page was a CIA asset. The lawyer changed it to say that Page was not a CIA asset. That guy, who has been fired and I assume will be criminally prosecuted, has no defense other than causation. He likely would argue that he was just a cog in a giant wheel of lies, and that Page would have been equally defamed, surveilled and harassed even if he hadn’t lied about the CIA email. Which undoubtedly is true, although it is questionable as a defense.

What Carter Page is doing is noble. Let’s hope he succeeds in shedding light on the biggest political scandal, by far, in American history.

Finally, a fun fact: Page is represented by the same lawyers who are representing Tulsi Gabbard in her defamation case against Hillary Clinton, who called Gabbard a Russian asset. Which, of course, is what she and her minions also called Carter Page, an equally absurd lie.

Stay tuned.

Letting A Lie Stand

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog today about a lie told by Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. She has made a number of anti-Semitic statements during her short term in Congress.

The article reports:

Yesterday Tlaib retweeted the claim that a “herd of violent Israeli settlers” had “kidnapped and murdered” a seven-year-old Palestinian boy. The original tweet was accompanied by a video that showed an Israeli rescue team recovering the body of the boy from a cistern.

The article concludes:

The whole thing was a hoax, made up out of whole cloth. (Not the death of the boy, which was real, but the assertion that he was murdered by Israeli “settlers.”) The tweet by the Palestinian politician, Hanan Ashrawi, has now been deleted, as has Tlaib’s retweet. But Tlaib’s deletion was silent, with no explanation or apology, or any attempt to correct the misinformation that she had spread to tens of thousands on Twitter.

What happened is obvious. Like many people, Tlaib believes anything that tends to confirm her pre-existing bigotry. There is no need to investigate or verify the facts when an opportunity to smear Jews is at hand.

Anyone can make a mistake and believe something that isn’t true. However, Congresswoman Tlaib owed the people who follow her on Twitter and explanation of why her tweet was deleted and a correction to the story. Kidnapping and murder is generally not something that Israelis do to children. Unfortunately the Palestinians who Tlaib supports have a history of killing innocent people–both Israeli and American–citizens of Israel and tourists. The Representative needs to check her facts more carefully.

Yesterday In Virginia

There was a Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia, yesterday. 22,000 Second Amendment supporters showed up on Martin Luther King Day to support the Second Amendment. The media was predicting riots. On Sunday I posted an article based on a Canada Free Press story that predicted a ‘false flag’ operation by Antifa. That did not materialize.

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted a few observations about the rally. The headline on his article was, “Pro-Gun Rally In Richmond Is Peaceful; Liberals Hardest Hit.”

The article notes:

Today an estimated (by police) 22,000 people demonstrated at the Virginia capitol in Richmond in favor of Second Amendment rights, which are being threatened by the newly-elected Democratic majority in that state’s legislature. Liberal news outlets were hoping the rally would turn violent, and their disappointment when it didn’t was palpable.

The article includes this picture and comment from The Washington Post:

The Babylon Bee probably had the best headline and article:

The Babylon Bee headlines: “Media Offers Thoughts And Prayers That Someone Would Start Some Violence At Gun Rights Rally.”

Somber members of the press offered their thoughts and prayers that someone would start some violence at the gun rights rally in Virginia today.

Reporters expressed their grief and condolences as the violence they hyped has so far failed to materialize.

“Nobody has so much as fired a shot. This is an unbelievable tragedy,” said one teary-eyed MSNBC reporter, clearly caught up in the anguish of the moment.

The article cited one possible reason Antifa decided to stay home:

Antifa threatened to show up at the rally, and likely would have created violence if it had done so. But for some reason, the group’s leaders changed their minds. Maybe they focused on the fact that the 2x4s, pipes and baseball bats with which they are used to beating up innocent bystanders might not fare so well in this crowd. One young guy who looked suspiciously like a leftist advocated jumping the fence and killing people. The genuine demonstrators denounced him as an “infiltrator”–which I suspect he was–and told him to “get the f*** out.”

The article concludes:

Virginia’s Democrats are unabashedly in favor of gun confiscation. Why is it that when Democrats take control of a legislative body, they instinctively move to confiscate legally-owned firearms from law-abiding citizens, in violation of the Second Amendment? It would take a psychiatrist to answer that question. Certainly a student of crime statistics wouldn’t be able to explain it. Whatever the cause, the Democrats’ move against the citizens’ constitutional rights is manna from Heaven for Republicans, many of whom mingled with the demonstrators and endorsed their cause.

I would also like to note that those who attended the rally cleaned up after themselves before they left. It is also interesting to me that when so many ‘good people with guns” are in one place, there is no violence.

Why I Love The Alternative Media

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog titled, “Landmark Trade Deal With China; New York Times Hardest Hit.” The article details some of the actual facts of the trade deal and contrasts those details with the reporting of The New York Times.

Some examples:

Reaction was predictably partisan. On CNBC, Steve Bannon said that President Trump “broke the Chinese Communist Party,” and the U.S. “gave up very little in the end.” On the same program, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said that he sees the agreement as a “‘temporary truce’ in which the U.S. got the better of China.”

At the New York Times, on the other hand, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth:

President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday, bringing the first chapter of a protracted and economically damaging fight with one of the world’s largest economies to a close.

Has the trade conflict with China damaged the U.S. economy? To some degree it has, although it has certainly hurt China’s economy more. This is the kind of short-term pain that Barack Obama, for example, was unwilling to accept. And yet economic growth under President Trump has been considerably better than under Obama.

The deal caps more than two years of tense negotiations and escalating threats that at times seemed destined to plunge the United States and China into a permanent economic war.

No one thought “permanent economic war” was a realistic possibility, except, perhaps, readers of the always-hysterical New York Times.

The agreement is a significant turning point in American trade policy and the types of free-trade agreements that the United States has typically supported. Rather than lowering tariffs and other economic barriers to allow for the flow of goods and services to meet market demand, this deal leaves a record level of tariffs in place and forces China to buy $200 billion worth of specific products within two years.

Phase One reduces or eliminates some tariffs and leaves others in place for Phase Two. This isn’t really all that complicated, but the Times wants its readers to think that Trump’s approach represents a departure from an imagined, purist practice of the past.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a beautiful example of how the mainstream media takes good news and attempts to make it bad news because it involves an accomplishment by President Trump.

The Search Continues…

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about a story The New York Times ran about a disgruntled Trump voter. The article in The New York Times was posted in October. It was about Mark Graham, a real estate appraiser in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The New York Times reported:

Mark Graham, a real estate appraiser in this faded manufacturing hub [Erie, Pennsylvania], sat with friends at a gym named FitnessU on the morning after the Democratic debate in mid-September. He had voted for Barack Obama, but in 2016 he took a gamble on Donald Trump.
***
“Things have changed in the last couple weeks: More stupidity has come out,” Mr. Graham, 69, said in a telephone interview last week. He hopes Democrats nominate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., but he is not particular. “I’d vote for the Democratic nominee no matter who it is at this point,” he said.

Well, voting records are public. It turns out that Mr. Graham did not vote in 2016.

The article at Power Line Blog continues:

Fast forward a month, to November 12. Now the Times reports, excitedly, on a new anti-Trump ad campaign being undertaken by David Brock’s disreputable organization, American Bridge:

A Democratic group unveiled a $3 million advertising campaign Tuesday featuring people who supported President Trump but now regret it, the first wave of a yearlong effort to reclaim some of the voters in the industrial Midwest who helped tip the 2016 election.

The group, American Bridge, will air commercials in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that are first-person testimonials from residents of each state explaining why they backed Mr. Trump in 2016 and why they will not do so again next year.

The Times proudly noted its own role in tracking down anti-Trump converts:

The disaffected Trump voter who appeared in the Pennsylvania spot — Mark Graham of Erie, Pa. — was featured in a New York Times article last month.

It is reasonable to assume that American Bridge found Mr. Graham via the Times article.

Unfortunately, neither American Bridge nor the Times thought to check the Erie, Pennsylvania voting records to confirm Mr. Graham’s claim that he voted for President Trump in 2016. It turns out he didn’t:

An allegedly regretful Trump voter in Pennsylvania, highlighted in videos by a Democratic political action committee and by The New York Times, never actually voted in 2016.

News organization JET 24, an ABC affiliate, found after checking county voting records that Mark Graham of Erie County, Pennsylvania, did not vote in the presidential election three years ago.
***
[T]he Trump campaign noted Friday that American Bridge has yet to take down its ad or apologize.

The New York Times has run a correction:

After this article was published, local news media reported that Mark Graham did not vote in the 2016 election. The Times has confirmed that Mr. Graham did not vote in the election. While Mr. Graham acknowledged misspeaking about his voting record, he said the article accurately reflects his feelings about the 2016 race and President Trump’s performance in office.

I guess that’s sort of an apology for their lack of research. It gives me hope that the mainstream media is having so much trouble finding everyday Americans who regret voting for President Trump.

The Logic In This Is Beyond Me

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the latest reason given to impeach President Trump.

The article quotes the wisdom of Congressman Al Green:

Rep. Al Green (D-TX) said on Saturday during an interview on MSNBC that President Donald Trump needed to be impeached “to deal with slavery.”

Green, who has previously stated that Trump must be impeached or else “he will get reelected,” said this week that there is “no limit” to the number of times that Democrats can try to impeach the president.

…I do believe, ma’am, that we have to deal with the original sin. We have to deal with slavery. Slavery was the thing that put all of what President Trump has done lately into motion.

…So, I appreciate whatever we will do, but until we deal with the issue of invidious discrimination as a relates to [the] LGBTQ community, the anti-Semitism, the racism, the Islamophobia, the transphobia, and also the misogyny that he has exemplified, I don’t think our work is done.

I’m sorry–this seems like a bit of a stretch to me. Also, keep in mind that President Trump has Jewish grandchildren that he evidently has a beautiful relationship with. That might be a problem to a thinking person who wants to accuse him of anti-Semitism. The racist charge runs into a problem when you consider that President Trump as a private citizen literally fought city hall to allow Mar-a-Lago to admit African-Americans and Jews. The misogyny accusation runs into a problem when you consider that President Trump as a private citizen hired to first woman contractor to build a New York City skyscraper.

As you can see, most of the often repeated charges against President Trump contradict actual facts. Joseph Goebbels is often credited with saying,  “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Unfortunately we are seeing that principle in action regarding reporting on President Trump.

Respecting The Constitutional Rights Of Americans

Yesterday John HInderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article with the following headline, “Schiff Obtained Phone Records of Nunes, Journalist, Others.”

How in the world did Adam Schiff get access to those phone records?

The article notes:

The mainstream media is abuzz with stories about Nunes communication with “Rudy Giuliani during key aspects of his Ukraine pressure campaign.” Nunes was in touch with John Solomon around the times he published major articles. And on and on. The telephone records don’t include the actual conversations. They identify who was calling whom and how long they spoke.

Schiff has crossed the line of decency with this move. Once again, he has abused his power. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted that obtaining these records is a remarkable abuse of President Trump’s constitutional rights. I would argue that it’s an abuse of the constitutional rights of all of the above. These are KGB tactics.

Well, fair is fair. Republicans should obtain Schiff’s phone records, those of the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, and the colleague with whom he had a “bro-like” relationship, you know, Sean Misko, the one Schiff hired as an aide the day after the whistleblower’s complaint was submitted.

The repellent Adam Schiff has managed to reach a new level of depravity.

This is not something that should be happening in America. It is a total disregard for the constitutional rights of the people involved. However, this is not a new tactic by the political left.

In October 2014, I posted an article about Sharyl Attkisson. She was fired from CBS for her reporting on Operation Fast and Furious. As you remember, that was President Obama’s gun-running operation that was supposed to bring Americans to the point where they overturned the Second Amendment.

The article from rightwinggranny noted:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It’s time to charge people with a crime when they violate the civil rights of an American citizen. I hope this will happen (but I am not optimistic).

A Policy That Is Working

It is not really in the interest of anyone (other than Iran) for Iran to successfully build an atomic bomb. Iran is a major supporter of terrorism around the world, and no person on earth will be safe if Iran successfully builds a nuclear weapon capable of reaching Europe or North America. The Iran nuclear deal did not stop Iran’s nuclear program–it simply postponed it until President Obama was out of office.

John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article today about the impact of President Trump’s Iran policy on the economy of Iran.

The article reports:

Iran has been roiled by demonstrations against the dramatic increase in the price of gasoline that was dictated by the government earlier this month. The demonstrations have been brutally suppressed, with somewhere between 100 and several hundred protesters killed by police. For several days, the mullahs pulled the plug on internet service to prevent videos of the protests and police brutality to be seen by the outside world.

So why is Iran in turmoil?

The article explains:

In other words, the Trump administration’s sanctions are working. Iran’s government, short of cash, was forced to dramatically raise the price of fuel, even though it knew what the reaction would be. And the resulting explosion–the analogy to the Yellow Vest protests in France is obvious–has shaken the regime.

Trump’s policy of using sanctions to starve the mullahs of cash contrasts favorably with Barack Obama’s inexplicable policy of sending $100 billion dollars to the regime in exchange for empty promises.

President Trump’s policy toward Iran is working.

Today At The Supreme Court

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments about DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). It is interesting that the case has taken so long to get to the Supreme Court.

In September 2017, the Heritage Foundation reminded us of the following statement by former President Obama:

Responding in October 2010 to demands that he implement immigration reforms unilaterally, Obama declared, “I am not king. I can’t do these things just by myself.” In March 2011, he said that with “respect to the notion that I can just suspend deportations through executive order, that’s just not the case.” In May 2011, he acknowledged that he couldn’t “just bypass Congress and change the (immigration) law myself. … That’s not how a democracy works.”

I guess he changed his mind. Also, just for the record, former President Obama was supposed to be a Constitutional Law Professor. We are not a democracy–we are a representative republic. Did he know that?

At any rate, DACA is now at the Supreme Court. Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the coming hearings.

The article notes:

The long-running battle over the Trump administration’s bid to end the Obama-era program for young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” will land before the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
***
“The administration has basically chalked up the fact that they are going to lose a lot of these cases in the lower courts,” said Thomas Dupree, a former top Bush Justice Department official and now an appellate attorney.

“But they’re playing the long game. I think that there are those in the White House and the Justice Department who have made a calculation saying, ‘Look we can absorb all these losses in the lower courts because we are going to win the endgame when this case gets into the Supreme Court.’”

It remains to be seen how the court will rule, however, on this complicated issue — which concerns the limits of one president trying to rescind the policies of his predecessor.

The article concludes:

I haven’t studied the briefs so as to be up to speed on the technical arguments that will be presented to the Court tomorrow. But at the end of the day, it is hard to see how the courts can hold that the president is legally barred from carrying out his constitutional duty to see that the laws–including the immigration laws–are faithfully executed.

Stay tuned.

More Insanity In Our Public Schools

Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line Blog about the oppressive nature of mathematics. Barbie said that math class was hard, but I don’t remember her using the word oppressive.

The article reports:

The Seattle public schools have developed a new “ethnic studies” curriculum that tells students that mathematics is a tool of oppression. Sure, some of us thought that back in junior high school, especially when we didn’t get around to doing our homework. But to have this view endorsed by the schools is remarkable. Robby Soave reports at Reason:

The [Seattle public school] district has proposed a new social justice-infused curriculum that would focus on “power and oppression” and “history of resistance and liberation” within the field of mathematics. The curriculum isn’t mandatory, but provides a resource for teachers who want to introduce ethnic studies into the classroom vis a vis math.

Why, exactly, would you introduce “ethnic studies” into mathematics? This is from Education Week:

If adopted, its ideas will be included in existing math classes as part of the district’s broader effort to infuse ethnic studies into all subjects across the K-12 spectrum.

Again: why would a school district do this, unless it is deliberately trying to foment ethnic division? The rot, sadly, is not confined to Seattle:

“Seattle is definitely on the forefront with this,” said Robert Q. Berry III, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “What they’re doing follows the line of work we hope we can move forward as we think about the history of math and who contributes to that, and also about deepening students’ connection with identity and agency.”

Why is it the mission of the public schools to “deepen students’ connection with identity and agency”? If “identity” means ethnic identity, which I understand it does, I would think the public schools should be trying to do the opposite.

For whatever reason, our education system and our political leaders are more focused on emphasizing the things that divide us rather than the things that unite us. Why not encourage all students to identify as Americans?

If They Had Any Credibility Left…

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the newest member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Mauritania is expected to be voted onto the Council today.

The article notes:

Mauritania, the west African nation where slavery remains a widespread practice, is expected to be voted on to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Thursday.
***
Mauritania made slavery illegal in 1981, but did not criminalize the practice of owning slaves until 2007. It was the last country to abolish slavery. According to a 2012 CNN report, only one slave owner had been prosecuted for owning another human being since the practice was made illegal.

While the Mauritanian government officially denies that slavery is ongoing in the country, Mauritanian watchdog groups allege that one out of every two members of the country’s Haratine ethnic minority group are enslaved, and that as many as 20% of the population is enslaved. The exact number of slaves within the country is unclear, and estimates range from 90,000 to 500,000. The Global Slavery Index estimates more than 140,000 people are currently enslaved in the country.

The article concludes:

Slavery persisted in Africa long after it was abolished elsewhere, and Mauritania is, one could say, the last pro-slavery holdout. In Mauritania, as has so often been the case, lighter-skinned Arabs own darker-skinned Africans. So what better candidate for the U.N.’s Human Rights Council could there be? There may be a more useless and corrupt organization than the United Nations somewhere in the world, but it isn’t easy to think what it might be.

The United Nations should be forced to pay their parking tickets and leave New York City.