The Violence Continues

The Epoch Times posted an article today about the violence in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.

The article reports:

Law enforcement officers in Minnesota arrested roughly 60 people on Tuesday night as civil unrest continued for the third consecutive night following the shooting of a 20-year-old man.

A peaceful vigil devolved as people there tried tearing down a fence erected around the Brooklyn Center Police Department headquarters, with others chucking bricks and other objects at officers protecting the building.

After some of the crowd ignored orders to disperse, they were arrested for riot and other crimes, Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matt Langer told a press conference early Wednesday.

“I just really want to thank all of the protesters, they came out and expressed their First Amendment right, and those that remained peaceful throughout the day, which were the vast majority of the people who came out in protest today,” Booker Hodges, an assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, added.

“But unfortunately, there were those that decided to come out and throw bricks … alcohol bottles, cans, and other items at law enforcement officers today. This type of behavior is not acceptable. We’re just quite frankly not going to tolerate it.”

Civil unrest also took place in other cities across America, such as Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles, California.

There are a few things about this violence that I would like to point out. Protesting is legal and protected by the Constitution. Violence is a crime and should result in the arrest of the person committing the crime. It is tragic that the police officer mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her taser. However, the suspect was resisting arrest and fleeing. She was correct in attempting to stop him. The incident that is being used as an excuse for the violence was not racial. It was a tragic mistake that could have been totally avoided had the suspect not fled. When are we going to stop demonizing police trying to do their job and acknowledge that people need to use common sense when stopped by the police? How many of the incidents that have been used to justify the violence we have seen in our country during the past year would have been avoided if the ‘victims’ had cooperated with the police? Maybe we need to back up, take a breath, and ask that question.

Hong Kong Slips Further Away From Freedom

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about an attack on its printing plant in Hong Kong.

The article reports:

The Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times is temporarily suspending distribution to repair damaged equipment after an attack on April 12—the fifth attack on the printing plant since it was established in 2006.

In the early hours of April 12 local time, four masked intruders barged their way into the warehouse, wielding two sledgehammers and a knife hidden inside a plastic bag.

The four men smashed printing press equipment and tossed construction debris on the equipment before fleeing in a white van. Among the items damaged were multiple computers and the printing press’s central control panel. The men warned a print shop employee to “go away,” with one saying, “Don’t force me to do anything.” They also stole a computer as they left.

Police officers arrived shortly afterward and told Epoch Times employees that the department’s crime unit would investigate.

The Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times has decried the attack as a crime against Hong Kong’s liberties and the rule of law.

Considering the state of things in Hong Kong, does anyone actually believe that the people who did this will be brought to justice by the police?

Preventing Dead People From Voting

It should be the goal of every American to have every legal voter be allowed to vote and every legal vote counted. However, it doesn’t always work that way, and unfortunately there are people who work to keep it from working that way.

The Epoch Times is reporting today that the Public Interest Legal Foundation has won its lawsuit in Pennsylvania, and because of their victory more than 20,000 deceased voters will be removed from the voter rolls in the state.

The article reports:

The lawsuit (pdf) was filed in November and alleged that some 21,000 dead people were still on the state’s voter rolls during the 2020 presidential election. Pennsylvania agreed to compare its voter-registration database with the Social Security Death Index before removing the names from the rolls.

“This marks an important victory for the integrity of elections in Pennsylvania,” Public Interest Legal Foundation President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said in a statement in announcing the court’s decision. “The Commonwealth’s failure to remove deceased registrants created a vast opportunity for voter fraud and abuse. It is important to not have dead voters active on the rolls for 5, 10, or even 20 years. This settlement fixes that.”

The lawsuit was filed after the Nov. 3 election and when then-candidate Joe Biden took a lead over President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania. Ultimately, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Commonwealth’s office certified the election.

The foundation said it found that 9,212 of the 21,000 voters had been dead for more than five years, and nearly 2,000 voters had been dead for more than 10 years.

We can’t change the results of the last election, but we can close some of the loopholes that allowed cheating so that we can lessen fraud in the next election.

Where Is The Infrastructure Spending?

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about the infrastructure bill that is currently working its way through Congress.

Here are some highlights from their overview:

$621 billion in transportation infrastructure and resilience. 

    • $115 billion to modernize bridges, highways, roads, and main streets most in need of repair. This includes funding to improve air quality, limit greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce congestion. 
    • $20 billion to improve road safety. 
    • $85 billion to modernize existing transit systems. 
    • $80 billion to address Amtrak’s repair backlog.
    • $174 billion investment in the electric vehicle market.
    • $25 billion for airports. 
    • $17 billion in inland waterways, coastal ports, land ports of entry, and ferries. 
    • $20 billion for a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and ensure new projects “increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access.” 
    • $25 billion for a dedicated fund to support ambitious projects that have tangible benefits to the regional or national economy but are too large or complex for existing funding programs.
    • $50 billion in dedicated investments to improve infrastructure resilience.
    • Building a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers by 2030.
    • Electrify at least 20 percent of the yellow school bus fleet through a new Clean Buses for Kids program.

$180 billion investment in R&D and the technologies of the future:

    • Includes $35 billion in the full range of solutions needed to achieve technology breakthroughs that address the climate crisis and position America as the global leader in clean energy technology and clean energy jobs. This includes launching ARPA-C to develop new methods for reducing emissions and building climate resilience, as well as expanding across-the-board funding for climate research.
    • $15 billion in demonstration projects for climate R&D priorities, including utility-scale energy storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, advanced nuclear, rare earth element separations, floating offshore wind, biofuel/bioproducts, quantum computing, and electric vehicles.
    • 15 billion in creating up to 200 centers of excellence that serve as research incubators at Historically black colleges and universities and other minority serving institutions to provide graduate fellowships and other opportunities for underserved populations, including through pre-college programs.

$300 billion to strengthen manufacturing supply chains for critical goods

    • $50 billion to create a new office at the Department of Commerce dedicated to monitoring domestic industrial capacity and funding investments to support production of critical goods.
    • $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research, as called for in the bipartisan CHIPS Act.
    • $30 billion over 4 years to create U.S. jobs and prevent the severe job losses caused by pandemics through major new investments in medical countermeasures manufacturing; research and development; and related biopreparedness and biosecurity.
    •  $46 billion investment to jumpstart clean energy manufacturing through federal procurement.
    • $52 billion in domestic manufacturers.

…$100 billion in proven workforce development programs targeted at underserved groups and getting students on paths to careers before they graduate from high school.

    • $5 billion over eight years in support of evidence-based community violence prevention programs. Biden is calling on Congress to invest in job training for formerly incarcerated individuals and justice-involved youth and in improving public safety.
    • $48 billion in American workforce development infrastructure and worker protection. This includes registered apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships, creating one to two million new registered apprenticeships slots, and strengthening the pipeline for more women and people of color to access these opportunities through successful pre-apprenticeship programs such as the Women in Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Occupations.

Please follow the link above for more liberal dreams. Just a note–the bill would not have to ‘invest’ $52 billion in domestic manufacturers if it didn’t plan to increase the corporate tax rate.

The Absurdity Is Temporarily Suspended

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that Iowa Democrat Rita Hart has conceded the Iowa 2nd Congressional District election to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Representative Miller-Meeks had won the election by six votes. The results were recounted and certified by the State of Iowa. Ms. Hart decided to bypass the state procedure for contesting the results and went to the U.S. House of Representatives instead. Speaker Pelosi gladly took up her cause. Thankfully, there were a few Democrats who realized the dangerous precedent overturning a certified election would create and were not willing to go along with the plan to unseat Representative Miller-Meeks. I suspect that when Speaker Pelosi realized that she did not have the support of her party, she quietly asked Ms. Hart to withdraw the challenge.

The article reports:

Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate also sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and called on her “to reject any attempts to overturn the will of Iowa voters.”

Pate said that the “Hart campaign signed off on the recount procedures and results in all 24 counties” and said that “the bipartisan State Canvassing Board unanimously accepted the results and officially certified the election,” noting that Miller-Meeks defeated her opponent by six votes.

“Ms. Hart has stated that her reason for failing to give Iowans a voice in this process is that Iowa law does not allow for sufficient time to review her claims,” Pate wrote.

“That assertion is in stark contrast to the fact that Iowa’s Judicial Branch has always gone above and beyond to issue expeditious rulings in cases concerning election law. The Hart campaign should have exhausted all state avenues before asking a federal chamber controlled by her party to make the final determination. Iowans should have the final say in all Iowa elections, not Washington, D.C., politicians.”

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders earlier this month said that the House has the capacity to overturn contested elections. Under the Constitution, the House does have the power to make the final call in certain cases, and Hart appealed to the lower congressional body to review the results of her razor-thin race against Miller-Meeks.

Not all of the Democrats were on board with this effort.

The article notes:

But some moderate Democrats rejected efforts to overturn Miller-Meeks’s win.

“I want to see what compelling reasons there are for the feds to get involved in this,” Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) told CNN earlier this month. “I think these are issues that right now are probably best left at the state level.”

There may be hope for our nation yet.

Why Border Security Matters

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about what is happening at our southern border.

The article reports:

A Border Patrol section chief reported that in recent days, more than 861 criminals have been encountered at the border, including 92 sex offenders and 63 gang members.

“Within the copious amounts of groups being encountered in” the Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas, “a Salvadoran man with a prior conviction for murder was discovered” along with 862 criminal aliens, Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings wrote on Twitter Saturday.

Hastings wrote that recently, agents encountered five large groups of illegal immigrant families, unaccompanied minors, and some adults—totalling 539.

The article concludes:

“The administration is doing the right thing because the law requires that we process unaccompanied minors,” Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Texas) said in a statement on March 24. “However, we are in the middle of a pandemic and our systems are being overwhelmed.”

Vela, citing Border Patrol data, said that 13 percent of unaccompanied minors encountered at the U.S.-Mexico border are under the age of 12, while the majority are aged 13 or older.

“One logical approach to this situation would be to return the older teenagers to their home country and provide funding for an effort supervised by the United Nations to properly care for those teenagers upon their return,” Vela said. “Then, once the pandemic is under control you could phase the program back in so that there would be some semblance of control over the process. I think that this would help relieve the current burden.”

At the same time, the White House has faced pushback from members of the media, who have decried a lack of transparency surrounding facilities being used to hold children and other illegal migrants.

People are dying because they believe they can get into America. Americans are locked down while our southern border is allowing people who may have the coronavirus to come into our country. This is an extreme form of cruelty and insanity.

It’s Getting Harder To Hold Honest Elections

On Friday, The Epoch Times posted an article about Georgia’s new election law.

The article reports:

The Biden administration is looking at options to reverse or counter a newly enacted voting law in Georgia that brings in a sweeping number of election reforms to the state.

President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday that the Justice Department and his administration are “taking a look” at the legislation, which he claims is an “attack on the right to vote” in the Peach State.

“We’re working on that right now. We don’t know quite exactly what we can do at this point. The Justice Department’s taking a look as well,” Biden said.

In a separate statement on Friday, Biden characterized the state’s move to protect the sanctity of the ballot box as “a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience.” He also labeled the law as the “Jim Crow in the 21st Century,” referring to Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in the south.

The 95-page law adds a slew of changes to the way Georgians vote, including requiring photo or state-approved identification to vote absentee by mail. The law also mandates that secure drop boxes be placed inside early voting locations, with constant surveillance, and expand early voting across the state.

The law also shortens the election cycle from nine weeks to four weeks and requires a minimum of one week of early voting before election day. People who wish to vote absentee are faced with new requirements as well.

All of these changes would increase election integrity. Requiring photo identification is not a racial issue–people of all races need photo identification to cash a check, open a bank account, receive healthcare, purchase certain items, travel by air, etc. Limiting early voting does not restrict voter rights–we used to be able to hold elections on one day without early voting. The arguments against this law are not valid. The Biden administration supports HR1, which would declare open season on election fraud. That is the reason they are threatening to take action against the Georgia legislation. Hopefully when lawsuits follow, the courts will follow the Constitution.

Since November The Democrats’ Overreach Is Astounding

The latest overreach by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is to unseat Representative  Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who won election in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District. Representative Miller-Meeks won a close election which was certified, and she was sworn in and seated in the House of Representatives. Even some Democrats believe that the efforts to unseat her are wrong,

The Epoch Times posted an article yesterday about the controversy.

The article reports:

“I’m sorry, I cannot support overturning an election, especially given everything that’s gone on,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), a swing district Democrat, told the “Skullduggery” podcast. “I can’t turn around and vote to decertify something that’s been stamped and approved in Iowa.”

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) defeated Hart by six votes during the Nov. 3, 2020, election. Hart asked the House Administration Committee, led by longtime Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), to investigate the election.

Other Democrat members of the House have expressed concern over the move.

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) said March 22 that the “election result was certified by the State of Iowa, and Rep. Miller-Meeks was sworn in nearly three months ago … it’s time to move on.”

“I have said before, in connection with the 2020 presidential election, legislators should be heeding states’ certifications of their elections. Unless there is rampant error and substantial evidence thereof, I do not believe it is the role of House members to dictate the outcome of elections,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) told reporters this week.

And Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) said Democratic leaders in the House need to abandon their pursuit of investigating and potentially overturning the Iowa congressional result.

“Losing a House election by six votes is painful for Democrats,” Phillips wrote on Twitter. “But overturning it in the House would be even more painful for America.

“Just because a majority can, does not mean a majority should.”

It seems as if Speaker Pelosi might be getting out over her skis. She has taken the House of Representatives farther to the left than most Americans are comfortable with. I believe that most of the Democrats in the House are starting to wonder about their chances of being reelected. That shouldn’t be their main concern, but I suspect that right now it might be.

The Vaccine Is Not One Hundred Percent Effective Against Covid-19

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that the Hawaii Department of Health has reported that three people who were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 have come down with the virus.

The article reports:

All three patients had received both doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, reported KITV4. They all experienced mild symptoms and did not appear to spread the disease to others, the DOH told the news station.

COVID-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection, however they mitigate severe symptoms and lower the risk of hospitalization, health experts say.

One of the patients, an Oahu-based health care worker, received the second and final dose of the vaccine in January. The worker traveled to several U.S. cities about a month later, and tested positive following routine testing upon returning to Hawaii as per travel protocol.

Contact tracing hasn’t identified any additional infections among close contacts of the health care worker.

It isn’t clear which vaccines each of the three patients received.

The article notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that even people who have had the virus get the vaccine because they are not sure how long the immunity lasts. It sounds as if they really don’t know a whole lot about how the entire disease works.

The article also notes the following:

Lt. Gov. of Hawaii, Josh Green, urged people not to be discouraged by the news, as the vaccines work “in a huge percentage of people.”

“Remember, 95 percent of people get immunity from the vaccines and five percent don’t from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine,” Green told news station KHON2.

As someone who has had the coronavirus and recovered from it, I think I will take my chances with my own antibodies.

Too Little Too Late

The Epoch Times reported the following today:

A Michigan judge ruled last week that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s last October guidance relating to ballot signature verification was not in compliance with the law and thus it’s invalid.

Michigan Republican Party and Allegan County clerk Robert Genetski filed the lawsuit on Nov. 2, 2020, against Benson and Jonathan Brater, director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections.

The plaintiffs claimed that the guidance Benson issued last October violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and should be nullified. They also asked the court to declare that they have the right to request an audit of their choosing, saying the state-wide audit in November did not review whether signatures were properly evaluated.

On Oct. 6, 2020, Benson issued guidance titled “Absent Voter Ballot Processing: Signature Verification and Voter Notification Standards.”

The guidance stated that clerks “must perform their signature verification duties with the presumption that the voter’s application or envelope signature is his or her genuine signature.”

The guidance also said signatures “should be considered questionable” only if they differ “in multiple, significant and obvious respects from the signature on file,” according to the court order (pdf). “Whenever possible,” election officials were to resolve “slight dissimilarities” in favor of finding that the signature was valid.

This is too little too late. The Secretary of State did not have the authority to change the law–that is the job of the legislature. Unfortunately, there were similar events in numerous states leading up to the 2020 election. I don’t believe there is anything we can do to change the results of the 2020 election, regardless of how valid or invalid those results were, but we need to make sure that in the future all of the states follow their own laws.

How The Mistake Was Made

The Epoch Times reported the following today:

An official in the Georgia secretary of state’s office was the only source for at least one story that falsely claimed former President Donald Trump told an investigator with the office to “find the fraud.”

Jordan Fuchs, deputy secretary of state, relayed details of the conversation to The Washington Post, an official with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed to The Epoch Times.

Fuchs was not on the call herself. She was told about the conversation by Frances Watson, the investigator.

A recording of the call recently emerged from a records request, showing that the Post and a slew of other outlets had falsely reported Trump uttering several phrases.

The office of Raffensperger, a Republican, says Fuchs did not present details of the conversation as verbatim.

“The Secretary of State’s Office’s first reports of its investigator’s phone conversation with President Trump relied on the investigator’s recollection. Information about the content of the call was never presented as a word-for-word transcript,” a spokesperson with the office told The Epoch Times via email.

That story was not only widely reported, it was used a part of the second impeachment trial of President Trump.

The article reports on the quiet corrections being made:

The Post said that it “misquoted” Trump, “based on information provided by a source.” It also outed Fuchs as its source, after previously describing her as an individual familiar with the call.

The Associated Press in its correction used similar wording in explaining that it “erroneously reported” that Trump pressured Watson to “find the fraud,” and that if she did, she would be a national hero.

CNN offered an editor’s note in stating that its initial version “presented paraphrasing of the President’s comments to the Georgia elections investigator as direct quotes.”

As author Jonathan Swift wrote, “Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it.” Often quoted as “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” The news media’s coverage of President Trump’s conversation with a Georgia investigator illustrates that statement.

The Biden Administration And The Supreme Court

Part of President Trump’s effort to fight illegal immigration was to withhold funds from “Sanctuary Cities.” Needless to say, some of those Sanctuary Cites sued to government. On March 5th, The Epoch Times posted an article detailing what has happened to those lawsuits in the Biden administration.

The article reports:

The Supreme Court has dismissed three pending requests to hear challenges to the Trump administration’s order to withhold millions of dollars in law enforcement funds from so-called sanctuary jurisdictions—states and cities that refuse to cooperate with Department of Homeland Security efforts to deport people residing in the United States illegally.

“After a request from the Biden administration yesterday, the Supreme Court just dismissed three pending cert petitions (requests to hear a case) about the Trump administration’s effort to withhold money from so-called sanctuary cities,” the SCOTUSblog Twitter account noted.

…After taking office, Biden rescinded Trump’s 2017 executive order, in another course reversal by the new administration on various Trump policies that had been challenged in court and were heading to the Supreme Court for consideration.

Given Biden’s decision to revoke Trump’s sanctuary city order, which effectively moots the associated policies, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed letters with the Supreme Court in all three related cases, seeking their dismissal and noting an agreement had been made with the parties that were challenging Trump’s action.

The article concludes:

Last month, the Supreme Court canceled oral arguments in two other cases after Biden changed course from Trump. Both were appeals by the Trump administration—one defending funding of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and the other defending the “remain in Mexico” asylum policy.

The administration also has asked the court to cancel an upcoming argument on a policy introduced under Trump backing work requirements for people who receive healthcare under the Medicaid program for the poor.

The administration last month told the justices the Obamacare healthcare law should be upheld, reversing the position taken under Trump.

Why is the Biden administration telling the Supreme Court what to do?

Voting As A Moderate Only When It Doesn’t Matter

One America News posted an article today about the vote on the Senate vote on the coronavirus relief package. The article notes that Senator Joe Manchin voted for the relief package despite the fact that he has stated in the past he would not support any bills based exclusively on his party affiliation. It is becoming obvious that Senator Manchin votes with the Democrats when it matters. He only votes with the Republicans when his vote has no impact on the outcome.

The article notes:

He also claimed to oppose partisan politics and called for a new era of bipartisanship. However, on Saturday, Manchin voted in favor of the $1.9 trillion bill, which passed the Senate in a 50-to-49 vote along party lines.

…Reports have also found Manchin allegedly only voted to support the stimulus package because the bill was changed to his liking and due to political pressure by the Biden administration.

The Covid Relief Bill is a bloated nightmare.

The Epoch Times reported the following yesterday:

Democrats rejected all but three Republican amendments to the $1.9 trillion relief bill, which cleared the Senate in a partisan vote on March 6.

One Republican amendment to be adopted as part of the marathon vote-a-rama session that lasted more than 24 hours was amendment #1092 on reducing the unemployment insurance plus-up from $400 to $300, introduced by Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

Portman’s amendment, which provided the extra jobless benefit until July 18, was short-lived, however. About an hour later, Democrats passed their own related amendment, which overrode Portman’s by extending the benefits through Sept. 6.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) voted with all 49 Republican senators present to approve Portman’s amendment, although he later voted with his Democratic colleagues on the superseding amendment that additionally made the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits tax-free for some households.

The article at The Epoch Times concludes:

The Senate ultimately approved the $1.9 trillion stimulus package with all 50 Democrats voting for, and all present Republicans voting against. Alaska’s Dan Sullivan had to leave to go home for the funeral of his father-in-law.

The bill, also known as the American Rescue Plan or H.R. 1319, was approved by the House on Feb. 27 by a vote of 219–212, with all Republicans and two Democrats voting against it.

The bill will be returned to the House for reconciliation, which is expected to happen early this week.

This is a bad bill and will probably not be improved by the reconciliation process.

The Solution To A Fraudulent Election

On March 4th, The Epoch Times posted an article about a recent Mississippi election.

The article reports:

A Mississippi judge ordered a new runoff election for a local election in Aberdeen after more than three-quarters of absentee ballots cast in the June Democratic runoff election were found to be invalid.

Judge Jeff Weill, in a 64-page order, said that there is evidence of fraud and criminal activity in how absentee ballots were handled, how they were counted, and actions from individuals at polling places during the runoff election held in Aberdeen, Mississippi. As a result, a new runoff election for the Ward 1 alderman seat is necessary, reported WCBI.

The judge ruled that 66 of 84 absentee ballots cast in the election, or around 78 percent, should have never been counted, according to WCBI. Nicholas Holliday was declared the winner of the alderman seat by 37 votes, while challenger Robert Devaull challenged the results in court.

“The court is of the opinion there is probable cause that several individuals involved in the disturbances during election day at the polling precinct ‘willfully and corruptly violated’ one or more of the above criminal statutes,” according to the judge.

“The court will leave to the appropriate authorities to determine whether the actions of Maurice Howard, Henry Randle and S. Nicholas Holliday amounted to prosecutable crimes,” the court filings said, referring to Police Chief Henry Randle and former Mayor Maurice Howard, who Weill said were involved in intimidation and harassment at the polling police on Election Day, according to evidence.

We need to take action to insure the integrity of our elections before next year’s mid-term elections. The corruption that has found its way into our election process is inexcusable.

Fighting The First Amendment

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about Congressional Democrats putting pressure on cable networks to stop carrying conservative news sources.

The article reports:

The attempt by several House Democrats to pressure television carriers to deplatform certain news organizations could trigger a lawsuit, law professor Alan Dershowitz said Saturday.

“When the First Amendment says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, it’s been interpreted to mean, take no action, it doesn’t have to be law. The First Amendment applies to presidents to governors to mayors to anybody who can abridge the freedom of speech. And I think these letters abridge the freedom of speech,” Dershowitz said during an appearance on Newsmax TV.

Reps. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) sent a dozen letters to 12 different carriers this week urging them to deplatform or otherwise take action against Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News for allegedly spreading misleading information about the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and the COVID-19 pandemic.

They pointedly asked the carriers if they were planning on carrying the networks “both now and beyond any contract renewal date.”

…They sent letters to AT&T, Verizon, Roku, Amazon, Apple, Comcast, Charter Communications, Dish Network, Cox Communications, Altice USA, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Hulu.

The letters were sent in advance of a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing titled “Fanning the Flames: Disinformation and Extremism in the Media.”

Eshoo told the hearing that the First Amendment “prohibits Congress from enacting laws abridging the freedom of speech, and I’m an ardent supporter of it.

“It does not, however, stop us from examining the public health and democratic implications of misinformation,” she added.

The article concludes:

Lawmakers heard from Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Media at Columbia University, who claimed that Newsmax and One America News “showed themselves willing to continue to repeat false narratives about the legitimacy of the election result.”

They also listened to Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor, who called the deplatforming push similar to the “Red Scare” seen during the Cold War, when anyone suspected of being communist sympathizers were targeted.

Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) criticized the letters as an attack on the First Amendment.

“Anyone who values free speech and a free press should be alarmed by these actions today,” she said. “It’s an attack on the First Amendment when public officials use their power to coerce private companies to censor and silence viewpoints they don’t agree with.”

This is frightening. The First Amendment protects free speech. There is no scenario that gives Congress the right to control what the American people are able to hear.

Unintended Consequences?

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some of the unintended consequences of shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The article reports:

MIDLAND, S.D.—“My husband just called me … he just got fired,” said Laurie Cox, her voice trembling ever so slightly as she put on a brave smile. But it was impossible to ignore her now-crestfallen demeanor.

Cox is the owner of a hotel in Midland, a quaint town with a population of about 100. She had just finished talking about how business was booming late last year during which she had befriended people working on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Workers would return from their shifts from a handful of nearby pump stations to unwind at the hotel since it was just a short drive away. Cox recalls having dinner together with the workers and lively chats night after night, many became close with her pet dog—a cute canine called Heidi.

Her husband, Wallace Cox Jr., was an industrial mechanic who had been setting pumps in Minnesota before he was laid off on Feb. 10. He was also scheduled to work on the Keystone XL pipeline—specifically on pumps in Montana in the upcoming summer.

The hotel’s picturesque scene crumbled almost instantly after President Joe Biden shut down the pipeline on Jan. 20 through an executive order. The cancellation was among one of his first moves as president.

The article also notes:

There are limited opportunities in small rural towns like Midland, Wallace said, as he described the pipeline project as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for extra revenue for all our businesses to accumulate for the future.”

When asked if he had any message for the Biden administration he said he wanted to tell the president to “reconsider his course on the American oil and gas industry.”

The Keystone XL pipeline was a massive project that was expected to generate $3.4 billion in U.S. GDP growth, including millions in state and local tax revenue, according to the U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute. The pipeline would have generated millions of dollars of economic opportunity for South Dakotans.

Laurie estimates there were at least 100 workers at each pump station when counting all the different kinds of trades involved. Anyone who had rental homes along the route, or who owned hotels were “pretty much full” due to the influx of workers.

It is sad that a President can do this much damage with an executive order. This much power concentrated in one place makes every business in America subject to the whims of the President. What if the President decided to declare in an executive order that ice cream promotes obesity and that all ice cream manufacturing and ice cream parlors have to be shut down immediately? How is that different from shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline? It’s time for the unions whose members lost their jobs because of this executive order to get their lawyers together and start giving people their jobs back.

The Cancel Culture Is Alive And Well

Lawyers are paid to represent people. Sometimes as public defenders they are asked to represent horrible people–terrorists, murderers, rapists, etc. Most Americans understand that. However, the cancel culture doesn’t care.

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that David Schoen, one of the lawyers who represented President Trump during the impeachment trial, has been suspended from a civil rights lawyer email discussion list and has had a civil rights course he was planning to teach at a law school canceled. I don’t even think that lawyers who have defended terrorists have been treated this badly.

The article reports:

“I was hoping to teach a civil rights course at a law school in the fall. We’ve been in talks about it, kind of planning it out. I wrote to them and I said, ‘I want you to know, I’m gonna be representing Donald Trump in the impeachment case. I don’t know if that impacts on your decision at all,’” David Schoen, one of the three attorneys who argued before the Senate, told The Epoch Times.

“And they said, you know, they appreciated my writing and, frankly, it would make some students and faculty uncomfortable, so I couldn’t do it.

“That was sad for me because I really want to go more and more into teaching. I like doing that,” Schoen said.

Schoen, an Alabama-based lawyer recognized for his civil rights litigation, declined to name the school that canceled his course. He likewise declined to name the legal organization behind the email list that suspended him.

“They actually spent 48 hours discussing this with their board and so on. And they decided that they needed to suspend me from the list,” Schoen said. “It’s a very important one to me. It’s very prominent civil rights lawyers and fine people.”

The article concludes:

Schoen received the Pro Bono Publico Award from the American Bar Association (ABA) in 1995 for his civil rights work. The ABA handbook says (pdf) he was “recognized for his enormous contribution to bringing about change in schools, prisons, jails, foster care, police departments, and election ballot access in the South.”

The Senate acquitted Trump of the charge that he incited the mob that breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. Schoen said he spoke to the president after the acquittal. He said the president was “very upbeat, very gratified.”

During the trial, Schoen spoke to Trump two or three times per day. He said the president was always “very gracious,” “very supportive,” and “very much appreciated the presentations I made.”

Days after the acquittal, a top House Democrat and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sued Trump over the Capitol breach, accusing the president of planning a conspiracy to attack the Capitol. Schoen said the lawsuit is “political theater.”

“I don’t think there’s any merit to it. I think it’s an abuse of the statute that it’s based on. And I think it’s just going to lead to further divisiveness,” he said.

It is unfortunate that neither the school nor the email discussion group had the courage to stand up for what is right.

Unintended Consequences

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about one of the unintended consequences of canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline. The cancellation is evidently having a large negative impact on at least one rural electric company.

The article reports:

MURDO, S.D.—For more than a decade, Jeff Birkeland had been waiting expectantly in the hope that the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline would finally materialize and bring with it a much-needed boost to his rural community. His dreams were dashed overnight.

Birkeland is the CEO of West Central Electric Cooperative, which is located in Murdo, a small city in South Dakota with a population of less than 1,000. TransCanada, now known as TC Energy, the firm that commissioned the KXL pipeline, first approached his company back in 2008.

In 2011, he signed a contract with TC Energy to build a transmission line and two substations that would serve power along the KXL route. West Central Electric was meant to start producing power for pump stations along the XL route as early as November 2011, before the pipeline was put on hold.

In March 2019, then-President Donald Trump granted TC Energy a presidential permit to construct and operate the XL pipeline. Biden revoked that permit via executive order in one of his first moves as president.

“It basically shut a lot of what we were doing down overnight,” Birkeland told The Epoch Times. “We’re out $90 million, that’s what that means to us.”

Electric co-ops are private companies that deliver electricity to their customers, also known as members. Rural electric cooperatives serve 56 percent of the nation and account for about 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States, according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

There are multiple co-ops in the area that range in size in terms of employees and areas they cover. West Central Electric has more than 3,671 members and covers more than 7,000 square miles, and Birkeland said the cancellation of the project hits small rural communities like Murdo especially hard.

The article concludes:

Keeping electricity rates down is key for co-ops, since these companies serve “92 percent of persistent-poverty counties in America,” according to the association. The opportunity that the pipeline would have provided would have been a “key pillar” to reducing the company’s electricity rates, Birkeland said.

“The larger revenue base you have, you get to spread your expenses out,” he said. “That’s just simple economics. It makes your rates lower. When the administration talks about wanting to create new jobs—here it is.”

There are also countless other local businesses in Murdo, as well as in nearby towns and cities, that had spent money to juice up their businesses in response to the construction of the KXL pipeline. Now, their money and their investments have gone down the drain, Birkeland said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is not fair to American businesses that a new administration can come into power in Washington and simply shut down an ongoing construction project, particularly by Executive Order. I hope that some of the court cases against this Executive Order are successful.

Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln

I received the following in my email this morning from The Epoch Times. Sometimes we need to remember that failure isn’t permanent.

Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections before becoming the 16th president of the United States. You can find the full record of his life in several historical sources; we’ve gathered these from the book Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield. Here are some of Lincoln’s notable defeats.

    • In 1832, he ran for a seat in the Illinois State Legislature and lost. Two years later, he won and was re-elected three times.
    • In 1838, he aspired to become speaker of the state legislature and lost.
    • In 1840, he sought to become an elector in the Electoral College and lost.
    • In 1843, he ran for the House of Representatives and lost. When he ran again in 1846, he won.
    • In 1854, he ran for the U.S. Senate and lost.
    • In 1856, he sought the vice-presidential nomination at this party’s national convention and got fewer than 100 votes.
    • In 1858, he ran for the U.S. Senate again and lost again.

Finally, he ran for president in 1860, and things turned out far differently for him and for the nation. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Abraham Lincoln kept loyal to his ideals, his beliefs, and his vision for America. What if he had stopped after his first defeat?

Definitely something to think about.

Making Progress Two Weeks At A Time

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported:

A federal judge in Texas extended the suspension of President Joe Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations until Feb. 23.

U.S. District Court Judge Drew Tipton in the Southern District of Texas on Tuesday ruled that the federal government cannot make immigration enforcement changes without consulting Texas. As a result, he extended the temporary restraining order by another 14 days, asserting that the state of Texas would face more harm than the federal government if the extension wasn’t granted.

”The irreparable harm that would accrue to Texas if an extension of the [temporary restraining order] is not granted before consideration of its motion for a preliminary injunction is more substantial than any harm incurred by the defendants,” wrote Tipton in his ruling, adding that his ruling will give parties more time to “provide for a more fulsome record” to assist the court in “adjudicating Texas’s motion for a preliminary injunction.”

This is the information on the lawsuit that has resulted in the suspension:

Last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, sued the Biden administration over its order to pause some deportations, asserting that the White House would violate its agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S.-Mexico border security, and instead requires 180 days’ notice to change immigration policy.

“On its first day in office, the Biden Administration cast aside congressionally enacted immigration laws and suspended the removal of illegal aliens whose removal is compelled by those very laws. In doing so, it ignored basic constitutional principles and violated its written pledge to work cooperatively with the State of Texas to address shared immigration enforcement concerns,” Paxton’s lawsuit said. “This unlawful reversal will cause Texas immediate and irreparable harm if it is not enjoined.”

So why is a secure border important? Well, Mexico has a high rate of the coronavirus–if Americans are being told to wear masks, socially distance, and get the vaccine, why are we letting unmasked, unvaccinated groups of illegals potentially create a ‘super-spreader’ event? Why are we letting the cartels bring drugs and human trafficking victims across the border unchecked? Why are we allowing potential terrorists into the country without being screened? The Biden administration’s immigration policy is not only a threat to the safety and security of Americans, it will also result in higher unemployment for Americans. We need more states to sue and more judges to stand up for the rule of law.

This Has Not Been Widely Reported

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported the following:

The claim often repeated by the mainstream media, social-media content moderators, and fact-checkers that lawsuits filed by President Donald Trump’s campaign and Republicans were universally dismissed by the courts is untrue, according to a new analysis.

The findings do not necessarily suggest that if the lawsuits had all been decided before Joe Biden was certified as the official winner of the presidential election by Congress on Jan. 7 that former President Trump would have won the hotly contested election.

Nor would they necessarily have affected many of the Electoral College votes won by Biden in the disputed battleground states. Some of the legal victories took place in states like Colorado and Iowa where the popular vote counts for the respective winners of those states –Biden in Colorado and Trump in Iowa— were not close.

Of the 22 cases that have been heard by the courts and decided on their merits, Trump and Republicans have prevailed in 15, according to citizen journalist John Droz Jr., a physicist and environmental advocate in Morehead City, N.C.

This means Trump has won two-thirds of the cases fully adjudicated by the courts.

It’s interesting that the cases the courts have refused to hear (thus refusing to review the evidence) are the cases in the states where things were done that impacted the outcome of the election.

The article concludes:

Droz noted that only three lawsuits addressed voting machine inaccuracies.

“One of these was dismissed (due to jurisdiction), one was ruled against (although no discovery was granted), and one is still open (discovery was granted).”

“The likely explanation for so few cases in these two areas is that legally proving fraud or voting machine manipulations are very time-consuming processes, that require substantial investigative work and documentation. There simply wasn’t enough time to do this prior to key points in the process (like the Electoral College).”

“Our view is that the public needs to be much better educated regarding the election integrity issue—and having a more accurate understanding of the lawsuit component is a key part of that,” Droz wrote, explaining the purpose of his report.

Please follow the link to the article to read the details on some of the cases that have already been won. Unfortunately even if it can be proven that there was significant cheating by the Democrats in the election, I have no idea what a reasonable solution would be.

Marching Orders From Beijing

The Epoch Times posted an article about a recent speech given by China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi . In the speech, the ‘diplomat’ warned the Biden administration not to meddle in China’s internal affairs. It’s interesting to see exactly what China considers its internal affairs.

The article reports:

“The United States should stop interference in the affairs of Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang,” Yang said, calling the issues regarding the three regions China’s “internal affairs.” He made the remarks while speaking at a virtual event hosted by New York-based nonprofit the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Yang added: “They constitute a red line that must not be crossed. Any trespassing would end up undermining China-U.S. relations and the United States’ own interests.”

He also told the United States that it should “strictly abide by the One China principle” with regards to Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing claims is part of its territory.

The Trump administration confronted China on its human rights violations against Falun Gong adherents, Hongkongers, Muslim minorities, Tibetans, and Uyghurs, by imposing visa restrictions and sanctions against Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials responsible for the abuse.

Translated loosely–let us continue to ignore our treaty regarding Hong Kong, let our human rights violations continue, and don’t interfere when we invade Taiwan. It would be truly awful for China to successfully take over both Hong Kong and Taiwan during the Biden administration, but I am sure that China is seriously considering the possibility.

The article concludes:

Scott Kennedy, senior adviser and Trustee Chair in Chinese Business and Economics at the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), also commented on Yang’s speech.

“Bottom line: Beijing is ready [to] cooperate only on China’s terms,” he wrote.

U.S.-based China affairs commentator Tang Jingyuan said in a phone interview that the Chinese regime was using both soft and hard tactics to pressure the administration, in the hopes of restarting official talks with the United States.

Yang’s speech was an example of a soft approach, while recent incursions into Taiwan’s airspace and sanctions on former U.S. officials were hawkish tactics.

His speech could be read as an indication that the Chinese regime would be willing to make concessions if the United States would promise not to cross the “red lines.”

Ultimately, Tang believes the Chinese regime wants to “revert back to a time when human rights and commerce were decoupled from each other” during negotiations, so that the regime could continue to do business with the United States, while ignoring human rights issues.

That’s where we are, folks.

Common Sense Is Not Always Appreciated

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some recent comments by Justice Samuel Alito.

The article reports:

Associate Justice Samuel Alito said on Sunday that he was “not surprised” by the reaction to comments he made last year about state restrictions in response to the CCP virus pandemic.

Alito, 70, told a Federalist Society virtual convention last November that he thought the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic serves as a “sort of constitutional stress test.” He argued that America has “never before seen restrictions as severe, extensive, and prolonged as those experienced for most of 2020” and raised concerns over their impact on individuals’ civil liberties.

The rare public address garnered mixed reactions from lawyers, with some criticizing him for engaging in what they say is political speech.

That’s not political speech–that is honesty.

The article cites one example of a situation that he had previously written an opinion on for the Supreme Court:

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a Nevada church, sued Gov. Steve Sisolak, claiming that his order placed an unfair limit on churches compared to casinos, restaurants, and amusement parks. The order restricted the number of attendees at churches to 50 while allowing other businesses to operate at half capacity.

The court in a 5-4 rejected the church’s request to lift the restriction, prompting dissenting opinions from conservative-leaning justices.

“The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities,” Alito wrote in his dissent. He was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh. Justice Neil Gorsuch authored his own separate dissent.

The article concludes:

He also warned about the possibility of abuse when officials are afforded significant discretion, adding that “simply slapping on” the label of “emergency” cannot be a ground for “abrogating our most fundamental rights.”

“And whenever fundamental rights are restricted, the Supreme Court and other courts cannot close their eyes,” Alito said.

His comments came at a time when state officials and courts are facing challenges as they navigate the uncharted waters of the pandemic. Many states, in particular states with Democratic leadership, saw extensive lockdowns and restrictions, which were put in place to mitigate the spread of the CCP virus. However, critics argue that some measures significantly impeded constitutional rights and civil liberties, and at times were applied in an unbalanced way.

There have been a lot of restrictions placed on Americans due to Covid. Some of those restrictions make sense, some don’t. Masks may be of some value, but the material of the mask does not have the filtering capacity to filter out the coronavirus germs. So why is there a mask mandate? Why is there now a policy being put in place requiring masks on all public transportation? Why are you more likely to catch Covid in a church than in a gambling casino? We have reached the theater of the absurd.

Let The Lawsuits Begin

Yesterday The Epoch Times reported that Western Energy Alliance, a group representing fossil fuel producers on federal lands, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Wyoming stating that the President does not have the authority to ban leasing on public lands.

The article reports:

“The law is clear. Presidents don’t have authority to ban leasing on public lands. All Americans own the oil and natural gas beneath public lands, and Congress has directed them to be responsibly developed on their behalf,” Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said in a statement, according to The Washington Times. “Drying up new leasing puts future development as well as existing projects at risk. President Biden cannot simply ignore laws in effect for over half a century.”

The executive order, Sgamma said, violates the Mineral Leasing Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act.

The lawsuit argues that the administration’s suspension of the federal oil and gas leasing program is “an unsupported and unnecessary action that is inconsistent with the Secretary’s statutory obligations” and is “both arbitrary and capricious.”

The article continues:

Dan Naatz of the Independent Petroleum Association of America said in a separate statement: “Do not be fooled, this is a ban [on drilling]. The Biden administration’s plan to obliterate the jobs of American oil and gas explorers and producers has been on clear display.”

What’s more, according to Sgamma, the order would also put at risk $8.8 billion in conservation revenue that is funded in part by mineral development on federal property.

“Biden’s ban is an overreach meant to satisfy the environmental left, but it would seriously harm the livelihoods of tens of thousands of westerners and put at risk millions more as state services become unfunded,” she said.

The order doesn’t affect existing oil and gas leases, which can last 10 years, officials have said.

The courts are not the ideal way to reign in an overreaching President. I am sure our Founding Fathers would be appalled. However, I suspect they would be equally appalled at what President Biden has done in only a week to Americans attempting to earn a living.

Creating American Unemployment One Job At A Time

The Epoch Times reported yesterday that construction on the border wall between Mexico and America will stop by the end of Tuesday.

The article reports:

All Customs and Border Protection (CPB) construction on the U.S.-Mexico border wall will stop by the end of Tuesday, according to a Democratic congressman whose district is located along the border.

“I received notification that in accordance with President [Joe] Biden’s executive order, all CPB contractors have now been formally notified by CBP Procurement to pause construction activities on CBP self-executed projects,” Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) said in a statement. “While CBP cannot speak on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), it is expected that DOD and USACE are undertaking parallel action on CBP-funded border wall projects that they are overseeing.”

…The wall stoppage on Tuesday complies with Biden’s executive orders that were issued last week. The order halted projects where money was shifted from military projects to the border.

“This is a promising step in our work to halt construction of the ineffective and wasteful border wall and undo the damage that borderlands have experienced these past four years,” Cueller continued in his statement. “However, our work continues. I remain steadfast in my commitment to working with the new administration until every border wall contract is terminated and all construction crews leave our border communities.”

This is strictly for show. If walls don’t work, why do many of the political elite live in gated communities?

The article concludes:

After Biden’s executive orders were issued, former Trump administration officials said that the border wall is necessary to reduce immigration numbers.

That includes former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan, who said the Biden administration has made the United States less safe with the president’s executive blitz last week after taking office.

“With the stroke of a pen, President Biden made this country less safe,” Morgan told Breitbart News on Jan. 23. “It’s pure politics over public safety.”

“Look, I know what our team said to the transition team,” Morgan said. “I know the facts and data and analysis that was provided. I know what they told them and gave them that showed that the wall works.”

Morgan added that he believes the current administration did not speak to experts with the Border Patrol about the policies that should remain, including the wall. He also cited executive orders ending the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP), also known as the “Remain in Mexico” program.

Losing American jobs and making America less safe. That will be the legacy of the Biden administration.