Actions Have Consequences

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article warning of the consequences of passing the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill.

The article reports:

We are often told to “follow the science.” This is true of wearing masks, how we teach children to read, and addressing the perils of climate change. So we should probably better do the same with the economy, no?

Consider the new Congressional Budget Office report on that very thing, the budget, the economy, and how we tax it. Let’s assume that we want the Federal government to spend lots more money on infrastructure. I don’t, because I’m certain that the money will be sprayed up the wall like the last few trillions were.

Still, the CBO report is useful in laying down the basic science of taxation. Whatever we tax, we’ll get less of. Tax corporations and there will be less corporate activity. Tax the income from capital investment and there will be less investment. Tax labor incomes and fewer will work so hard to make that money. Put simply, if people get less from doing something, they’ll do less of it. Toddlers grasp this: they will do more for two pieces of candy and less for one. In the jargon these are known as “deadweights.” That is to say, things that do not happen, economic activity that is wiped out by taxation.

Yes, it’s true that we can buy lovely things with the money that has been taxed, or at least we might. But it is still true that the act of taxing itself reduces economic activity. Worthwhile tax and spend is defined as that which is even more lovely in its results than what we’ve lost by financing it.

The Democrats seem to be unaware of the Laffer Curve. That is the principle that says that after people who produce wealth are taxed to a certain point, they will stop producing wealth. We will reach a point where the only way to pay for our bloated government is to devalue our currency. That is happening to some extent right now. The result of that will be hyper-inflation and a total collapse of our economy. That is the end result of unbridled tax and spend programs.

We Need To Find Some Of Our ‘Experts’ A Hobby

Yesterday The  Washington Examiner reported that the Arizona Education Department has created an “equity toolkit” that encourages parents to talk to their children about race–beginning as early as three months. Right. I remember some of the intellectual discussions I had with my children when they were three months old.

The article reports:

“SCOOP: The Arizona Department of Education has created an ‘equity’ toolkit claiming that babies show the first signs of racism at three months old and that white children ‘remain strongly biased in favor of whiteness’ by age five,” writer Christopher F. Rufo reported on Twitter.

…An infographic included with the tweet shows how children’s racial attitudes evolve from birth to age 6, with newborn babies showing no racial preferences but starting to develop one as early as 3 months old.

“At birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. At 3 months, babies look more at faces that match the race of their caregivers,” the graphic says.

By 30 months, children are using race to choose playmates, and by ages 4 to 5, children’s “expressions of racial prejudice peak.”

But while black and Hispanic children start to lose their inherent racism, white children are apparently prone to carry racial biases further into adolescence.

The article concludes:

The resource says that white people “throw in terms” such as “the race card, black-on-black crime, reverse racism” and “colorblindness” as a way to “alleviate some of their white fragility.”

“These are made-up terms that white people use to feel better about themselves,” the resource says.

While the resource says it is a “good” thing for white people to have had children, partners, and friends of color, it warns that “those relationships do not give you a one-way ticket out of Racism Town.”

“Unless we, as white people, are listening, learning, and changing based on what we’re being taught within these relationships, we aren’t doing any good at all,” the resource continues. “In fact, we’re doing more harm than good. Clapping back when being called out only proves that white people cannot stand not to be at the center of every single conversation, policy, and action.”

The Arizona Department of Education did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

I firmly believe that you could fertilize your garden with the information put out in the ‘equity toollkit.’

Common Sense In Alabama

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the Alabama state Senate voted Tuesday to make it a felony for medical professionals to treat minors with hormone therapy or sex change surgery.

The article reports:

The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Shay Shelnutt and dubbed the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, passed through the chamber by a margin of 23-4, according to CBS News.

The bill would result in criminal felony charges for any medical professional who treats transgender minors under the age of 19 with “gender-affirming care” and would come with the punishment of up to 10 years in prison or a $15,000 fine.

…The bill also requires school staff in the state to notify parents that “a minor’s perception that his or her gender is inconsistent with his or her sex.”

If signed into law, the bill would be the first of its kind in the United States to be enacted.

The article includes the following information about objections to the bill:

Liberal groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, AIDS Alabama, and the Alabama American Civil Liberties Union, have voiced opposition to the bill, arguing that it puts transgender children at risk.

“Lawmakers are insisting that they know what’s best for transgender young people and ignoring the recommendations of medical experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and more,” Allison Scott, a director at the Campaign for Southern Equality, said about the legislation. “It’s effectively endangering many possible lifelines for a transgender child: Under this bill, they can’t go to their doctor for help, and they can’t seek counsel or comfort from their teachers or school staff.”

The children need to talk to their parents. That should be their first resort. Also, you can’t get your ears pierced without parental consent if you are under 18, why should you be encouraged to make such a life-changing decision without their knowledge or consent? If a child still wants to make that decision at 19, then he is considered an adult. However, I would like to point out that we don’t let children smoke or drink until they are 21. Why would we allow them to change their sex before they can smoke or drink? The logic escapes me.

A Seriously Misnamed Bill

Today the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act. The Act is would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect people from being discriminated based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and other services as well as access to public accommodations such as restaurants. That sounds very innocent until you look closer to see what it actually means. There is nothing equal about the Equality Act.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article explaining exactly what the Act will do.

The article reports:

If this bill is adopted, the fact that we are male or female is in danger of being replaced with the subjective concept of gender identity. The ramifications of this change, at the center of our universe of knowledge about human beings, would be profound. Making gender identity a protected class in the 1964 Civil Rights Act would discredit the idea that sex is binary, that men and women are different, and that recognition of these differences can be helpful to achieving justice and fairness in a variety of circumstances.

A legal change of this magnitude, based on subjective and transient feelings, is unprecedented. But gender identity is riding on a powerful wave of identity politics that seeks to upend a perceived “power structure” that “privileges” those who are comfortable with their bodies. “Cisgender normativity” might be an easy concept to dismiss along with erasure of mother and father,” and the introduction of “chestfeeding.” But to think of the gender identity revolution as merely another chapter in “woke” wonderland would be to miss the import of the linguistic, cultural, and political revolution for the integrity of education, medicine, and science.

Like the heliocentric model, the sex binary was once consistently taught in every academic discipline and at all levels. Sex differences inform everything from our treatment of disease, to the benefits of single-sex education, to our understanding of parenting and leadership styles. But postmodernism, the sexual revolution, and critical gender and queer theory have firmly placed feelings at the center of academia, displacing empirical knowledge. Every discipline has been transformed, not just literature and history, but even the hard sciences. The Medical College Admissions Test now asks about the gender identity of patients. The American Association of Medical Colleges is the major accrediting body for medical schools. Its inclusion of this question signals to aspiring doctors that they must show not just knowledge and skills but ideological conformity.

The article concludes:

Perhaps most alarming are the stories of regret from a growing number of “detransitioners.” Their bodies are scarred, their voices broken, and their fertility lost — casualties of hormones and surgeries that failed to deliver peace. Those who have tried to sound the alarm, such as feminist icon J.K. Rowling, tennis pioneer Martina Navratilova, and leading medical experts Dr. Paul McHugh, are bulldozed. Name, shame, cancel, repeat.

If the Equality Act passes the House this week, it won’t be the result of new scientific discoveries about the sexes or the result of a thoughtful, open political debate. It will be the denial of all that previous generations around the world have learned and observed about sex differences over centuries. It will be the triumph of cancel culture over facts, reason, and empirical knowledge. And if the sex binary can be canceled, who knows what’s next?

Gender isn’t fluid–it’s contained in your DNA. To encourage children of any age to take drastic medical steps to become something they are not is simply child abuse. Unfortunately this bill enshrines that behavior. We are in a very sad place as a society.

Perspective Matters

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about President Biden’s recent call to Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.

The article notes:

Chinese media outlets praised President Joe Biden on Wednesday for what they characterized as a respectful, “positive” call between the head of state and Chinese dictator Xi Jinping.

The Xinhua news agency and the Global Times state propaganda newspaper both highlighted the timing – on the eve of the Lunar New Year – as a gesture of goodwill from the new presidential administration. The former expressed hope that, after President Donald Trump’s tenure featured policies designed to contain the influence of the Chinese Communist Party abroad and frequent condemnations of its human rights atrocities, America under Biden would return to the “right track” of policy favorable to Beijing.

I am all in favor of diplomacy and getting along with everyone, but let’s take a look at what the “right track” might be in the eyes of China. On February 9th, The Washington Examiner posted an article with the following headline, “Biden withdraws Trump rule on schools disclosing ties to Chinese state-run Confucius Institutes.” The Biden administration has put the sale of TikTok on hold. The Trump administration was working to sell the company to a majority-owned American company due to national security concerns.

The article at Breitbart notes:

Chinese media coverage of the phone call, the first between the two since Biden became president, contrasted considerably with American mainstream media claims that Biden had “pressured” Xi on issues such as the genocide of the Uyghur people in western Xinjiang or the repression of political dissidents in Hong Kong.

“The Spring Festival is a very important holiday for the Chinese,” Xinhua’s coverage noted. “The telephone conversation between the two heads of state on the eve of the Lunar New Year marks a new starting point for direct communication, symbolizes goodwill, and conforms to the expectations of the Chinese and Americans, as well as those of the wider global community.”

The article concludes:

Mainstream American outlets did not convey in their coverage of the call a sense that Biden had been overly effusive in sharing goodwill or “respect,” as their Chinese counterparts did. The New York Times painted the call as aggressive, leading with the claim that Biden raised “concerns about Beijing’s aggressive policies abroad and human rights abuses at home,” which Chinese outlets largely disregarded. The newspaper nonetheless noted that Biden has “said that he believed he had spent more time with Mr. Xi than he has with any other world leader.”

CNN similarly claimed that Biden “call[ed] China out on a range of issues related to its nefarious use of technology, unfair trade and human rights abuses,” citing unidentified sources within the Biden administration.

NBC News, citing the White House, also led its coverage with an emphasis on Biden mentioning the existence of human rights problems in China.

Somehow I think the media has sold us out.

At Least Someone Is Fighting This Policy

On Thursday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about the Western Energy Alliance. This group sued the Biden administration Wednesday alleging that the pause on oil and gas leases on federal land and waters exceeds presidential authority.

The article reports:

As part of President Biden’s ultimate goal of eliminating fossil fuel as a power source by 2035, and from the entire U.S. economy entirely by 2050, Wednesday’s executive orders direct agencies to end federal subsidies for fossil fuels, to pause new oil and gas leases on federal lands and water. It aims to conserve 30% of the country’s lands and ocean waters in the next 10 years and requires federal agencies to move to all-electric vehicle fleets.

It carries significant risks and opposition.

Michael Shellenberger, the author of Apocalypse Never, said: “Climate change is not the most important environmental problem. Most of the trends are going in the right direction: Deaths from natural disasters are at an all-time low. Carbon emissions in the United States peaked over a decade ago; they’ve been going down ever since. They’ve been going down in wealthy countries for almost 40 years. We should continue to do what’s been working, replacing coal with natural gas and nuclear, but this is not the apocalyptic trend that people have been led to believe it is.”

Shellenberger, an environmentalist, a Democrat, and Biden voter, maintains that wind and solar produce their own environmental damage, adding, “They just gave permission, the federal government, to industrial wind farms to kill condors. This is, for people that are environmentalists, true conservationists — that’s bonkers.”

The article concludes:

Republicans will no doubt attack what they see as Democratic hypocrisy on the issue. Climate czar Kerry is known to fly on the Heinz Family Foundation’s private Gulfstream jet. Private jets consume roughly 40 times the carbon per passenger as commercial jets.

I support using the cleanest energy possible. However, the idea of running an economy entirely on green energy reminds me of the search for the perpetual motion machine. There are laws of physics that come into play when you are dealing with energy, the creation of energy, and motion.

We need to learn from the experience of Spain, as detailed in The Daily Caller on August 28, 2014.

Please follow the link to read the entire article in The Daily Caller, but this is the bottom line:

Spain has actually been scaling back its costly green energy agenda the past year or two in the face of high debt and unemployment. The country cut wind subsidies to major wind farms back in February and, in June, Spanish officials announced a new electricity rate schedule that effectively ended green energy feed-in tariffs.

The IER study also notes that Spain’s green agenda was not able to keep its carbon footprint from rising. Between 1994 and 2011, Spain’s carbon dioxide emissions grew 34.5 percent, despite the country’s green push which began in the 1990s.

“While the renewable policies themselves were likely not the cause of the emissions increase, the upward trend does prove that renewable energy policies were insufficient to reduce CO2 emissions over a roughly twenty-year period,” according to IER.

“is anything but the model for American energy policy,” reads the IER study. “The country’s expensive feed-in tariff system, subsidies, and renewable energy quotas have plunged a sizable portion of Spaniards into fuel poverty, raised electricity bills, all while having almost no meaningful impact on curtailing carbon dioxide emissions.”

We shouldn’t try to reinvent the wheel. We need to learn the lessons of those who already reinvented the wheel and discovered it needed to be round. To attempt to go down the same road as Spain, ignoring the lessons they learned, is folly.

Equal Outcome vs. Equal Opportunity

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that provided a preview of the direction the Biden administration is headed in the area of civil rights. We are no longer going to be concerned about equality, we are going to be concerned about equity. This is totally opposite of everything the civil rights movement of the 1960’s represented.

The article notes:

On Tuesday, six days into the Biden administration, it became clear why Susan Rice, hitherto a foreign policy specialist, was named director of the Domestic Policy Council. Rice, unconfirmable for a Cabinet post after her unembarrassed Sunday show lies about Benghazi, ventured into the White House press room to preview President Biden’s “equity” initiative.

With one possible exception, the specific policies announced were less important than the word “equity,” invoked 19 times by Rice and nine by Biden. Ending federal private prison contracts, “strengthening” relations with Indian tribes, and combating “xenophobia” against Asians and Pacific Islanders are small potatoes as federal policies.

Not so, perhaps, the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing initiative, started under Obama, repealed under Trump, and now due for a spirited revival. The idea is for the feds to reverse local zoning laws and plant low-income housing in suburbs deemed insufficiently diverse.

Actually, racial discrimination in housing has been reduced since the 1968 federal Fair Housing Act, to the point that in metropolitan areas from Washington to Atlanta to Los Angeles, most blacks now live in suburbs, not in the central cities to which they were tightly confined in postwar America.

The article explains the difference between equality and equity:

But for Rice and Biden, “equity” requires not equality of opportunity, but equality of results. That’s one of the fundamental tenets of the critical race theory training that Trump’s administration banned and Biden’s reinstated on Day One.

A lower-than-population percentage of blacks in any desirable category, explains critical race theorist Ibram X. Kendi, must be the result of “systemic racism,” a term Rice used twice and Biden five times on Tuesday. If you don’t agree, you’re guilty of “white fragility” and must be a “white supremacist.”

As Andrew Sullivan trenchantly observes, “to achieve ‘equity,’ you first have to take away equality for individuals who were born in the wrong identity group. Equity means treating individuals unequally so that groups are equal.”

This is exactly contrary to the central thrust of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It could easily be judged, in particular cases, to violate the 14th Amendment. Individuals discriminated against might have standing to go to court.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. Reverse racism is still racism. Racism in any direction for any reason is not a good path for America to follow. Hopefully a few well-placed lawsuits will put an end to this nonsense.

More Of The Same

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the United Nations has placed China, Cuba, and Russia on the U.N. Human Rights Council. They will become sitting member on that Council as of January 1.

The article reports:

On Jan. 1, China, Cuba, and Russia will become members of the U.N. Human Rights Council. Yes, China, which has imprisoned 2 million of its Uighur citizens in gulag reeducation camps, sterilized thousands, and used the rest for de facto slave labor, is donning the U.N. human rights mantle. Cuba, a dystopia tolerated by the Western media elite for its creaking art deco façade, sees many of its best and brightest choose to brave shark-infested waters in search of better lives. Vladimir Putin’s Russia wages a very thinly veiled war on all who question the Kremlin. Whether it’s Novichok nerve agents and Alexei Navalny, open windows and journalists, or gang attacks on gays, Putin’s Russia despises human rights.

It is not simply alarming that these governments are joining the Human Rights Council, but that so few governments and organizations are bothered by it.

The article concludes:

But the challenges go beyond human rights. In the face of repeated and successively increasing Iranian breaches of nuclear arms agreements, the U.N. sits idle. In the face of escalating Chinese circumvention of North Korean sanctions, the U.N. sits idle. U.N. officials like to blame the U.N. Security Council’s permanent members for these issues. But the truth is that the U.N. itself is to blame. Its leaders, now and before, have failed to address the broken structures that sit at the heart of their organization. They should act. But they won’t. They’re happy instead to make speeches and then return to the extensive and expensive budgets afforded to all U.N. staffers. It is extraordinary, for example, that so much of the U.N.’s money continues to be spent in New York City and Geneva rather than out in the field where it might, just might, save lives and make the world a slightly better place.

The U.N. doesn’t deserve many birthday presents. Not this year, at least. And likely not next year.

Unfortunately the United Nations has chosen to ignore the Preamble to its Charter, which states:

  • to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and
  • to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and
  • to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and
  • to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

When an organization betrays the charter that formed it, it is time for the organization to disband. The United Nations’ actions in recent years have done nothing to promote peace, freedom, or human rights. It’s time for them to go.

 

Festivus Report’ of government excess

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that Senator Rand Paul released his annual Festivus Report, airing his grievances of government excess and spending.

The article lists some of the details of the report:

“Spending was about 50% higher than last year, and payments of interest on the public debt remained extremely high at $387 billion. If you laid out that many $1 bills end to end, it’d be enough to wrap around the earth 1,506 times,” Paul wrote. “Our debt puts at risk the long-term solvency of major programs such as Social Security. And why? To pay for test tubes for COVID tests that turn out to be soda bottles?”

Paul’s report documented more than $54.7 billion worth of “totally wasted money.” He points to specific projects and studies that received federal funding and identifies the total value of grants used to conduct the research.

That amount of money, Paul said, was enough to fund the entire Treasury Department for three years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development for six months, or buy every citizen a 40-inch television.

The “waste” spending varies from failed international missions, such as $8.6 billion spent in Afghanistan to boost counternarcotics efforts or $23.9 billion spent “trying unsuccessfully to replace the Bradley [Fighting Vehicle],” to oddities including $1.3 million researchers accessed to determine whether people would knowingly eat ground-up bugs or $2 million spent testing whether hot tubs lower stress.

The report identified $896,000 spent by the National Institutes of Health “to give cigarettes to adolescent kids to test their reactions to various levels of nicotine in the cigarettes.”

The article concludes:

“Congress has every tool it needs to fight and end government waste,” Paul’s report stated. “It’s just a matter of finding the willpower to use them. Rest assured, I will keep fighting for fiscal sanity and providing my colleagues in Congress with the opportunity to find their fiscal backbone!”

Americans already pay more money in taxes than the medieval serfs did to their manor lords. Unless the spending is brought under control, our children and grandchildren will be slaves to the government. Congress controls the spending. Until voters elect congressional representatives who are willing to cut spending, things will not change.

Occasionally The Fake News Gets Called Out

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about a recent award given to The New York Times for their podcast series “Caliphate.”

The article reports:

The paper of record announced this weekend that Caliphate, its award-winning 10-part podcast series on the Islamic State, contains “significant falsehoods and other discrepancies.”

The disclosure concludes an internal investigation launched this year after Canadian officials charged the podcast’s central narrative character with lying about his supposed involvement with the terrorist group.

Absent the testimony of the accused hoaxer, Canadian resident Shehroze Chaudhry, who spoke to the New York Times under the pseudonym “Abu Huzayfah,” there is not much left to the Caliphate podcast. Indeed, the show’s most gripping and grizzly “reporting” on ISIS’s operations in Syria relied entirely on the say-so of a supposed “executioner” who most likely has never even been to Syria.

“We fell in love with the fact that we had gotten a member of ISIS who would describe his life in the caliphate and would describe his crimes,” New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet explained this week in an interview with NPR.

The article concludes:

Caliphate won the 2018 Peabody Award. The New York Times has already returned it. The Overseas Press Club has also rescinded the podcast’s Lowell Thomas Award.

Man, what a year for the paper of record.

From publishing Chinese communist propaganda, to getting it wrong on coronavirus vaccine readiness, to losing top opinion editors following a temper tantrum thrown by newsroom staffers, to having nearly its entire bench of columnists suffer a collective nervous breakdown ahead of Election Day, to pretending still as if its fraudulent 1619 Project is not an abject embarrassment, 2020 has been as lousy a year for the New York Times as it has been for everyone else.

Actually, this was a careless, innocent mistake. I can’t say the same for much of their other reporting. They have never done a fair job of reporting on President Trump, and they did their best to convince people that Joe Biden was capable of handling the office of president. I really don’t feel sad that they had to give up their Peabody Award. They should also give up the Pulitzer Prize they won for their false reporting on the Russia hoax during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.

When Your Priorities Are Unconstitutional

On Wednesday, The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the things Joe Biden would prioritize should he take office in January. It is no surprise to find gun control high up on that list.

The article reports:

Joe Biden plans to move quickly against guns, adding the issue to his list of first executive orders, according to his top policy aide.

Stef Feldman, the national policy director of Biden’s presidential campaign, included the Democrat’s gun plan in a list of initial executive actions set to be unleashed after Inauguration Day.

Speaking in a Zoom briefing hosted by Georgetown University’s Institute of Politics and Public Service, she said that Biden is planning to “make big, bold changes through executive action, not just on policing and climate like we talked about previously, but in healthcare and education on gun violence, on a range of issues.”

She added that “there’s really a lot you can do through guidance and executive action.”

It’s a pretty safe bet that if he does take executive action against guns, a case objecting to the order will find its way to the Supreme Court. This may be one of many reasons the Democrats plan to pack the court with more liberal justices.

The article concludes:

During the campaign, Biden won the endorsement of former candidate Beto O’Rourke, who famously promised to grab everyone’s AR-15.

While he calls his plan one aimed at ending “gun violence,” most of Biden’s ideas amount to limiting what people can buy or have. For example, he wants to end the sale of AR-15-style firearms (the most popular in the nation), regulate those that people already have, and limit the size of magazines those guns use.

Just for the record, the AR-15 is the most popular gun in the nation, but it does not have a history of being the weapon most used to commit a crime. So why are the Democrats so focused on the AR-15? Well, it’s scary looking. If you don’t know anything about guns, it is really scary looking. The fact that it’s scary looking means that it can be used to get the camel’s nose under the tent and begin to take away the gun rights of Americans. If you are familiar with world history, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens never ends well. A Biden administration would not bring freedom and prosperity to America. His ideas on gun control are only one illustration of that.

What Second Amendment?

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about Joe Biden’s plans for his gun-control policies.

The article reports:

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reiterated his Second Amendment stance, saying he will ban “assault weapons and high-capacity magazines” if he wins the election.

“It’s long past time we take action to end the scourge of gun violence in America,” Biden tweeted Sunday.

“As president, I’ll ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, implement universal background checks, and enact other common-sense reforms to end our gun violence epidemic,” he added.

…On his campaign website, Biden states his administration would require background checks for all gun sales and would ban the manufacturing and sales of “assault weapons.”

“Joe Biden will enact legislation to once again ban assault weapons. This time, the bans will be designed based on lessons learned from the 1994 bans. For example, the ban on assault weapons will be designed to prevent manufacturers from circumventing the law by making minor changes that don’t limit the weapon’s lethality. While working to pass this legislation, Biden will also use his executive authority to ban the importation of assault weapons,” his site states.

Former Vice-President Biden has stated that he will work with Beto O’Rourke to solve the gun problem.

This is Beto ORourke’s statement on his policy on guns:

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he said during a Democratic presidential primary debate last September when asked, “Are you proposing taking away their guns? And how would this work?”

“I am if it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield. If the high-impact, high-velocity round, when it hits your body, shreds everything inside of your body, because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield and not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers,” he added.

So after the Democrats defund the police, who are charged with protecting the average citizen, they will then move to disarming the average citizen so that he can’t protect himself. Wow.

Just for the record, The Second Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It sounds to me as if there is some serious infringement being planned.

Actions Have Consequences

One of the many contentious battles that President Trump has had to fight was the battle to erect a border wall. A large part of that wall has been built, and there are consequences. Today The Washington Examiner posted an article about some of the impact of that wall.

The article reports:

Border Patrol agents who work in the Pacific Ocean off the southern coast of California saw a dramatic increase in the number of arrests made over the past 12 months, an indication that the addition of new border wall in the region since 2017 is prompting smugglers to find new ways to move people and drugs into the United States.

“Over the past year, within 2020, we’ve had a record number of marine interdictions, including pangas [small, fast boats], jet skis, swimmers, and paddle boaters,” Border Patrol San Diego Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke told the Washington Examiner during a land and sea tour. “The wall structure itself is solidifying the land border, and it’s forcing the smugglers to come out into the maritime environment.”

Agents, using jet skis and boats to patrol the 20-mile stretch from Chula Vista at the border up past downtown San Diego, made 302 interdictions in fiscal 2020, which ran from Oct. 1, 2019, through Sept. 30, compared to 195 the previous year and 88 in 2015. One such incident resulted in the seizure of a small boat that was loaded with more than 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine.

Arrests of illegal immigrants and smugglers jumped 92% from 662 in 2019 to 1,271 in 2020. Comparatively, 219 people were arrested in 2015.

The article concludes:

Border Patrol’s San Diego region has seen 53 miles of border wall added to its 60-mile area of responsibility, including the duplicate fencing. A small portion of the new wall was completed with funding from the final year of the Obama administration, but most was funded in federal budgets passed during the Trump administration. The foundation of the double-layer fencing goes up to 10 feet below the ground, preventing people from digging shallow tunnels into the U.S., as was possible with the Clinton-era metal scraps. It stretches from 18 feet to 30 feet tall and is comprised of steel fence posts filled with concrete and rebar. It starts at the coast and goes up into the mountains in Otay Mesa, California, significantly further than the scrap metal that was taken out. Construction teams are in the process of completing the wall over the mountains, a seemingly impossible task for how steep the terrain is here.

Agents in San Diego said this new wall and the technology that comes with it will be hard to get past for most people and will funnel others to areas where agents are present because they have been freed up to focus on less secure areas as a result of the new wall. Those who do attempt to climb over the wall will be better detected thanks to new cameras, sensors, radar systems, and underground fiber optic systems.

Border Patrol officials had expected smugglers to try new approaches, including taking to the water. Heitke said smugglers who do choose to go the boat route are being tracked, oftentimes by the cellphone they leave behind in a boat or when it is seized after they are arrested.

“The smuggler has a phone with them,” said Heitke. “We can dump the information on the phone and find the routes saying where they’re going, and we’re able to see an enormous range of travel, whether they go out 50 miles or 100 miles out, whether [they] go up 50 or 100 miles to land.”

How many drug overdoses have been prevented because President Trump fought Congress to build a wall?

Pay Attention To The Details

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article detailing how the tax proposals of presidential candidate Joe Biden might impact 401k plans. Many Americans put money into 401k plans to help with their tax liability and also because they don’t feel Social Security will be there when they retire. It is quite possible that in the future Social Security will only be available to people below a certain income level, so their fears may well be justified.

The article reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential platform includes a tax proposal that could force some employers to abandon offering retirement options to workers, the industry is warning.

The plan would dramatically change the incentive to save for retirement by replacing the current deferral system with a tax credit.

Most retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, allow taxpayers to delay paying taxes on contributions to accounts until they are retired. By suspending this tax until retirement, workers have been able to grow their nest eggs beyond what they would have been if taxes were paid in the year that the money was received.

The article explains the risk in this proposal:

Biden’s plan would be advantageous for lower-income workers. For example, a taxpayer in the 12% tax bracket investing $100 in a retirement account would receive $114 after paying taxes and receiving the credit.

Some retirement industry experts think Biden’s proposal could force some companies to abandon their retirement plans.

Brian Graff, chief executive officer at the American Retirement Association, cautioned that employers, who normally pay taxes in the upper brackets, could oppose Biden’s plan because they lose much of their tax benefit.

“What we’re worried about is if you are essentially reducing the tax benefit, it’s not going to be worth it for them to keep the plan going,” he said.

Employers who make contributions to a 401(k) must offer that same benefit to their employees. However, some of those bosses might not want to continue offering a 401(k) if their tax benefit is greatly reduced.

“If it’s not worth it to the owner, [why] bother with it anymore?” Graff said.

Richard Rausser, senior vice president of client services at Pentegra, said that such a fundamental change to retirement accounts could be a deterrent to offering a plan.

“To the extent that there’s a change in taxation of salary deferrals … that’s going to be a disincentive for plan sponsors to adopt a plan, or for some of them, quite honestly, to continue to maintain a plan. They may rethink it,” he said.

Redistribution of wealth (which is what this plan is) is not an idea that has a place in a free market system. If you look at the history of the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, you find that they originally adopted a communal system of farming. After the system failed because there was no incentive to work hard and people were starving, they instituted a free market system and prospered. The Joe Biden plan for taxes regarding 401k plans is simply wealth redistribution. It is socialism and should be rejected by the American people.

Destroying A City By Withholding Information

Nashville, Tennessee, is an amazing city. Musicians and music are everywhere. The nightlife is amazing. There is a large concentration of talent in one place, which makes for an amazing tourist attraction. However, Nashville is suffering because bars and restaurants have been shut down. Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that brings into question the motives behind that shutdown.

The article reports:

Leaked emails show Nashville’s Metro Health Department and the mayor’s office attempted to withhold information from the public that strongly suggested COVID-19 wasn’t spreading through the city’s bars and restaurants.

“They are fabricating information,” said city councilmember Steve Glover. “They’ve blown their entire credibility.”

“I don’t trust a thing they say going forward … nothing,” he added.

The emails between the mayor’s office and the health department discuss the low number of COVID-19 cases coming out of the city’s bars and restaurants and how to keep that information from going public.

The article continues:

Contract tracing in late June showed that construction sites and nursing homes were seeing the worst virus spread in the city, with more than 1,000 cases linked to each industry. Bars and restaurants, however, accounted for just 22 cases.

A month later, reporter Nate Rau asked the health department about rumors that only 80 virus cases originated from Nashville’s bars and restaurants.

“The figure you gave of ‘more than 80’ does lead to a natural question: If there have been over 20,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in Davidson and only 80 or so are traced to restaurants and bars, doesn’t that mean restaurants and bars aren’t a very big problem?” Rau asked.

The article concludes:

Glover had a staff attorney reach out to the mayor’s office and the health department to verify the authenticity of the emails.

“I was able to get verification from the Mayor’s Office and the Department of Health that these emails are real,” the attorney said.

Glover said he has been contacted by many restaurant owners, bartenders, and staff asking why the city was trying to keep a lid on the numbers.

“We raised taxes 34% and put hundreds literally thousands of people out of work that are now worried about losing their homes, their apartments … and we did it on bogus data. That should be illegal,” Glover said.

The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

This is a true ‘what were they thinking?’ moment. The coronavirus is real, and people need to take precautions to avoid getting it or spreading it. However, we now know that the people most in danger from the virus are the elderly and those with certain preexisting medical conditions. It is highly unlikely that a healthy person sitting in a restaurant is at risk. Why in the world did the Mayor choose to destroy the economy of the city while raising taxes by 34%? That is the question that needs to be asked and answered not only for Nashville, but also for a number of states.

 

Beyond The Spin

I suspect that I am not the only one confused by all the current discussions relating to the Post Office. I understand that it is the political silly season, but it does seem as if things are getting even more ridiculous than usual. Yesterday Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner that sheds some light on what is actually going on. Please follow the link to read the entire article. I will try to summarize the highlights here.

The article reports:

The news is filled with reports of President Trump’s “assault” on the U.S. Postal Service. The president, Democrats and some in the media say, is deliberately slowing mail delivery and crippling the Postal Service so that it cannot handle an anticipated flood of voting by mail in the presidential election. Former President Barack Obama said Trump is trying to “actively kneecap” the Postal Service to suppress the vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called the House back into session this week and has set an “urgent hearing” for Aug. 24, demanding Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the head of the Postal Service Board of Governors testify “to address the sabotage of the Postal Service.”

Some of the accusations have grown so frantic that they resemble the frenzy of a couple of years ago over the allegation, from many of the same people, that Trump had conspired with Russia to fix the 2016 election. Now, it’s the Postal Service. But what, actually, is going on? Here is a brief look at some of the issues involved.

…The idea that the Postal Service will not be able to handle the volume of mail in the election, or not be able to handle it within normal Postal Service time guidelines, does not make much sense. According to its most recent annual report, last year, in fiscal year 2019, the Postal Service handled 142.5 billion pieces of mail. “On a typical day, our 633,000 employees physically process and deliver 471 million mailpieces to nearly 160 million delivery points,” the report says. This year, that number is higher, given the Postal Service’s delivery of census forms and stimulus checks. Those alone added about 450 million additional pieces of mail.

The article notes that the post office has a history of losing money:

The Postal Service has lost money for a very long time. In fiscal year 2019, it had operating revenues of $71.1 billion and operating expenses of $79.9 billion, leaving it with a deficit of $8.8 billion. At the moment, Postal Service officials have told Congress, it has about $14 billion in cash on hand, putting it on the road to fiscal insolvency (without further aid) in late 2021.

The article reports:

The House HEROES Act would give $25 billion to the Postal Service in what is essentially a bailout. The bill mentions nothing about helping the Postal Service handle the upcoming election or any other election. Indeed, the only stipulation at all placed on the $25 billion is that the Postal Service, “during the coronavirus emergency, shall prioritize the purchase of, and make available to all Postal Service employees and facilities, personal protective equipment, including gloves, masks, and sanitizers, and shall conduct additional cleaning and sanitizing of Postal Service facilities and delivery vehicles.” If the House Democrats who wrote and passed the bill intended the money to be spent specifically for elections, they did not say so in the text of the legislation.

Separate from the Postal Service provisions, the bill would give $3.6 billion to the Election Assistance Commission for distribution to states “for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience of elections for federal office.” There has been some confusion about that; some discussion of the current controversy has left the impression that Democrats want $3.6 billion for the Postal Service for the election. In fact, the $3.6 billion would be for the states’ election use. In neither the CARES Act, which is now law, nor the HEROES Act, which has been passed by the House but not the Senate, is there any money given to the Postal Service specifically for the election. In any event, the Postal Service has the capacity to handle the election and does not need any additional money specifically to do the job.

Another item mentioned in the article deals with the charge that President Trump is sabotaging the post office:

In addition, there have been reports of the Postal Service removing collection boxes and sorting machines. While some Democrats and journalists have portrayed that as another effort toward voter suppression, the fact is the number of letters the Postal Service handles each year has declined for 20 years since the arrival of email. In those last two decades, the Postal Service has downsized its capabilities as the number of letters handled has decreased. Here is how the Washington Post described the situation, specifically concerning sorting machines: “Purchased when letters not packages made up a greater share of postal work, the bulky and aging machines can be expensive to maintain and take up floor space postal leaders say would be better devoted to boxes. Removing underused machines would make the overall system more efficient, postal leaders say. The Postal Service has cut back on mail-sorting equipment for years since mail volume began to decline in the 2000s.”

Evidently some Democrat focus group has decided that the post office would make a good campaign issue,so Speaker Pelosi is calling her minions back to Washington to capitalize on that idea. This is a charade to try to damage President Trump in order to elect the most radical Democrat candidates ever.

A Forgotten Precedent

Recently I have heard members of the mainstream media opine that President Trump’s acceptance of his party’s nomination from the White House would be against the law (Hatch Act). Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article that might shed some light on that opinion. An acceptance speech from the White House would not be something that has not happened before.

The article notes:

Even the media are piling on the outrage. An Aug. 6 piece by Deb Riechmann of the usually reliable Associated Press wrote, “Using the Rose Garden, the Executive Mansion or even the Oval Office as the backdrop for his speech capping the Aug. 24-27 convention would mark an unprecedented use of federal property for partisan political purposes.”

Except it wouldn’t be unprecedented at all.

Just past midnight on a muggy Thursday night in July 1940, Franklin Roosevelt was wheeled into the Diplomatic Reception Room on the White House’s ground floor. His chair was placed before a large, silvery microphone. Roosevelt felt comfortable speaking in that particular spot. It was where he had delivered many of his famous “fireside chats” and where, four years later, he would lead people in prayer on the evening of D-Day.

But Roosevelt wasn’t performing an official duty at the moment. Sitting in his shirt sleeves, he thumbed through the papers in his hands, scanning the words typed on them one last time. At 12:14 a.m., a producer pointed a finger toward him indicating that it was time to talk. Franklin Roosevelt took a quick breath and spoke these words: “Members of the Convention — my friends …”

He then spent the next half-hour accepting the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the third time and laying the groundwork for his upcoming reelection campaign. And he did it inside the walls of the White House.

The article explains why Roosevelt gave the speech from the White House:

While the party machinery was firmly in Roosevelt’s control, Democratic leaders were jittery. Would rank-and-file delegates vote to make it official? Outgoing Vice President John Nance Garner had sought the nomination, giving them an alternative. And Roosevelt himself had been coy all spring and summer about running for a third term. The president’s advisers had him stay home in Washington, just to be on the safe side. But in the end, there was nothing to worry about. Roosevelt was easily nominated on the first ballot.

Which was how Roosevelt became the first (and to date, only) candidate to ever deliver this most political of all speeches from the White House.

Those condemning President Trump for considering the idea might want to take a look at their own history!

The RussiaGate Scandal Begins To Unravel

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to charges of altering evidence involved in the surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.

The article reports:

Kevin Clinesmith, who worked on both the Hillary Clinton emails investigation and the Trump-Russia inquiry, will admit that he falsified a document during the bureau’s targeting of Carter Page, according to multiple reports. Clinesmith, 38, claimed in early 2017 that Page was “not a source” for the CIA when the CIA had actually told the bureau on multiple occasions that Page was an operational contact for them — a falsehood used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act renewal against Page. Durham submitted a five-page filing to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday, noting Clinesmith was being charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(3) for “False Statements.”

Attorney General William Barr had hinted at a “development” in Durham’s investigation during a Fox News interview on Thursday night.

Clinesmith’s responsibilities during the Trump-Russia investigation included communicating with “another specific United States government agency,” which is believed to be the CIA, as well as providing support to the FBI special agents working with the Justice Department’s National Security Division to pursue FISA warrants and renewals against Page.

Why is this important? The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was passed to allow the FBI to track terrorists more easily. It was never intended to be used against American citizens who were not breaking the law. The falsifying of a document to allow the surveillance of Carter Page resulted in the violation of Carter Page’s civil rights (and unauthorized spying on the Trump campaign) . The use of FISA to spy on an opposition political campaign was simply Watergate using government surveillance warrants that were unjustified.

The article also notes:

In a scathing July 2018 inspector general report on the FBI’s Clinton emails investigation, Clinesmith was mentioned — again, not by name — numerous times as being one of the FBI officials who conveyed a possible bias against Trump in instant messages, along with Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, both of whom have left the bureau.

In a lengthy instant message exchange between Clinesmith and another FBI employee on Nov. 9, 2016, the day after Trump’s presidential victory, he lamented Trump’s win and worried about the role he played in the investigation into Trump and his campaign. “My god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” Clinesmith said, adding, “So, who knows if that breaks to him what he is going to do?”

Other messages showed Clinesmith, listed in Horowitz’s report as “FBI Attorney 2,” expressed favor toward Clinton and said “Viva le resistance” in the weeks after Trump’s win.

The July 2018 report shows Clinesmith claimed his messages reflected only his personal views and that his work was unaffected by them; Horowitz ultimately was unable to find that “improper considerations, including political bias,” influenced any investigative decisions.

Horowitz’s December report criticized the Justice Department and the FBI for at least 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants against Page and for the bureau’s reliance on the Democrat-funded discredited dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele. Declassified footnotes from Horowitz’s report indicate the bureau became aware that Steele’s dossier may have been compromised by Russian disinformation.

The DOJ watchdog called the FBI’s explanations for these mistakes “unsatisfactory across the board” and testified he wasn’t sure if the errors were “gross incompetence” or “intentional.”

In January, the Justice Department determined that the final two of the four Page FISA warrants “were not valid.” The FBI told the court it was working to ” sequester” all the information from the Page wiretaps, and FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress he was working to ” claw back” that intelligence. The FBI director also testified that the bureau likely illegally surveilled Page.

“After several years, Kevin Clinesmith is finally being held accountable and pleading guilty to committing a felony for his involvement in the plot to falsely portray me and, by implication, the Trump administration as traitors. The actions by the full band of government officials and Democrat operatives involved in the creation of the false applications for my FISA surveillance warrants were entirely unconscionable,” Page said in a statement shared with the Washington Examiner.

I am sure there is more to come. The fact remains that the trial will probably be held in a Washington, D.C. court. It will be very interesting to see how the court rules. We may be about to find out if we actually do have equal justice under the law in America.

When Red Tape Meets Medical Care

On Monday The Washington Examiner posted an article illustrating how the handling of the coronavirus in New York provides a look into the potential problems with government healthcare.

The article reports:

I have a lot of fears in life: sharks, heights, wrinkles, government controlling my healthcare.

Recently, the New York Times provided plenty of fodder supporting the latter anxiety, revealing the results of a study it conducted that examined the disparities between public and private healthcare at the height of the pandemic in New York City. The disparities included staffing levels, differences in the age and type of equipment available, and access to drugs and experimental treatments. As one might guess, patients at the city’s community facilities fared far worse than those in private facilities, with their mortality rate 3 times higher in some cases.

All hospitals saw higher staff-to-patient ratios than best practices would recommend. In a typical emergency room, that figure should look like 1 nurse for every 4 patients. But during COVID-19, private facilities experienced ratios closer to 1 nurse for every 6 to 7 patients. At the government hospitals, that number was 1 nurse for every 10 to 15, and at times even 20 patients.

Less time per patient meant fewer tests, less information, and less monitoring. Several patients woke up from medically induced comas and, in confusion, removed their oxygen masks, leading to death. This occurred at the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where staff referred to the patients as “bathroom codes” as their bodies were typically discovered near the bathroom 30 to 45 minutes later. One doctor told the New York Times that for every 10 deaths he saw, two to three patients could have been saved with the proper care.

The article goes on to explain that despite the makeshift hospitals put up to serve patients during the epidemic, those hospitals were barely used.

The article notes:

The paper (The New York Times) looked at the hospital set up at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to study why this occurred. Though the center was equipped with 470 beds and hundreds of employees (many of them out-of-state healthcare providers being paid handsomely), it ultimately saw only 79 patients and closed its doors after one month. It was a catastrophic failure, the kind only government can pull off.

Patients were not admitted due to red tape, delays due to the need to train workers on computers and other problems. Meanwhile, many patients died. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The problems in New York were due to red tape, cronyism, extensive bureaucracy, and the general inability of the government to respond quickly to a crisis.

At some point Americans need to learn that there are charitable organizations out there that do a better job of responding to an emergency than the government. The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, and the Red Cross are a few of these organizations. I live in a city that was hit hard by hurricane Florence. It was encouraging to know that as the storm was bearing down on the city, Operation Blessing was parked nearby out of harm’s way ready to come in and provide meals and supplies to the people who were impacted by the storm. The recovery efforts in my city were largely undertaken by religious and charitable groups and ordinary citizens. A friend who is a teacher and realized that he wouldn’t have classes for a while gathered a group of friends and a few chainsaws and went around helping people move trees off their houses and clear streets. It’s time to get back to individual responsibility–even in healthcare.

 

It’s About Time

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article about some comments made during Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing. The exchange was between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

The article reports:

During Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questioned Amazon’s usage of the radical Southern Poverty Law Center to deem eligible charities for donations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he would look to alternative options.

Gaetz layed out a list of charities that focus on Christian and Jewish causes as charities unjustly labeled as “extremists” by the SPLC — to which Bezos said he accepts Gaetz’s criticism and “would like a better source if I can get it.”

One of the groups unjustly labeled as a hate group by the SPLC is the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group focused on defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and free speech. Their cases have included defending Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker sued for sticking to his religious beliefs.

In case you have forgotten, the Southern Poverty Law Center has not been a sterling influence.

On February 6, 2013, The Washington Examiner reported:

The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a “hate map” on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group’s opposition to gay rights.

Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty to three charges including a charge of committing an act of terrorism related to the August 15, 2012 injuring of FRC’s guard. He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the law center’s website for ideas.

At a court hearing where his comments to the FBI were revealed, he said that he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” The shooting occurred after an executive with Chick-Fil-A announced his support for traditional marriage, angering same-sex marriage proponents.

Generally speaking, the Southern Poverty Law Center labels any group that stands for traditional values, traditional marriage, and any other ideas that do not fit the liberal agenda as a hate group. Using them as a guide to determine which charities are acceptable is like using the Ku Klux Klan as an arbitrator in a civil rights case.

What Happens If Joe Biden Is Elected President?

The Washington Examiner posted an article today listing ten things the Democrats would do if they manage to take control of the White House and the Senate in November.

This is the list:

1. Gun control

2. Amnesty for illegal immigrants

3. Taxpayer funding of abortion

4. Tax increases

5. Ending the secret ballot for unionization

6. D.C. statehood

7. Court-packing

8. The public option — and maybe Medicare for All

9. Oil company crackdowns

10. The Green New Deal

This platform would destroy America as we know it. It would end constitutional gun rights, negatively impact the income of average Americans, end the freedom of workers to refuse to join a union, end American energy independence, ruin our healthcare system, and end any possibility that the Supreme Court would uphold the Constitution rather than rewrite it. This is not a platform that would create or ensure the continuing success of America.

Why All Of Us Should Question What We Hear

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the number of coronavirus cases in Texas.

The article reports:

Texas health officials removed more than 3,000 reported coronavirus cases from an overall count after “probable” cases for people who were never tested were counted as confirmed cases.

“Since we report confirmed cases on our dashboard, we have removed 3,484 previously reported probable cases from the statewide and Bexar County totals,” Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the state health agency, said to the Austin American-Statesman.

“The State of Texas today had to remove 3,484 cases from its Covid-19 positive case count, because the San Antonio Health Department was reporting ‘probable’ cases for people never actually tested, as ‘confirmed’ positive cases.- TDHS,” Fox 4 Dallas Evening News anchor Steve Eagar tweeted Wednesday. “What other departments make this same mistake?”

This is not an isolated problem. Recently a friend told me of an incident where a person who had tested positive for coronavirus was retested three times during a two week period. When two of the tests came back positive, the results were reported as a new case each time. Therefore, one person’s battle with the coronavirus resulted in the reporting of three new cases. There was another incident of a person who signed up to be tested, but left before being tested because of the extended wait time. Two weeks later she received a telephone call stating that she had tested positive. When she explained that she had not actually been tested, she was removed from the positive test list, but why was she on the list to begin with?

The article at The Washington Examiner concludes:

The change in cases comes as questions have been raised across the country about coronavirus testing, most notably in Florida. An investigation in the state determined that the test positivity rate reported by officials was inaccurate and that the number of positive tests was much lower than reported.

In May, coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx suggested that the actual number of coronavirus cases could be inflated by as much as 25%, while others have argued that cases have been undercounted.

Questions about the number of coronavirus cases have also been raised in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey over claims that suspected coronavirus patients are dying from causes other than the virus.

Be careful what you believe.

Finally

Yesterday (updated today) The Epoch Times reported that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Monday, sending the National Guard to Atlanta to restore order.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported:

In Atlanta this weekend, an 8-year-old girl was shot and killed while riding in a vehicle with her mother. The driver was trying to enter a parking lot where a group of people had illegally placed barricades. Someone in the group reportedly opened fire.

The article at The Epoch Times reports:

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed an order declaring a state of emergency on Monday, authorizing the deployment of the troops.

He argued that the troops are needed to protect state buildings, including the state capitol, the Department of Public Safety headquarters, the governor’s mansion, and the Georgia World Congress Center. He noted these troops will free up state troopers from those locations to patrol the streets of Atlanta.

“Peaceful protests were hijacked by criminals with a dangerous, destructive agenda. Now, innocent Georgians are being targeted, shot, and left for dead,” Kemp said in a statement on Monday. “This lawlessness must be stopped and order restored in our capital city.”

Kemp said that as a result, he declared an emergency “because the safety of our citizens comes first,” adding that it will “allow troops to protect state property and dispatch state law enforcement officers to patrol our streets. ”

“Enough with the tough talk,” the Republican governor concluded. “We must protect the lives and livelihoods of all Georgians.”

Across Atlanta over the Fourth of July weekend, 31 people were shot and five people died, including an 8-year-old girl. The Georgia State Patrol headquarters were also vandalized by protesters over the same time period, according to local media reports.

“They were armed with bricks, landscaping bricks, Molotov cocktails, fireworks. Their one mission was to destruct property and that is exactly what they did,” Lt. Stephanie L. Stallings, spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Public Safety, told WSB-TV, adding that between 60 and 100 vandals dressed in dark clothing came to the headquarters in the early-morning hours to cause havoc.

This is not a protest–it is a murderous rampage of lawlessness.

The article concludes:

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, a Democrat, said the 8-year-old child wasn’t killed by police officers and referenced recent calls for police reform.

“Well, now we’re demanding action for Secoriea Turner and for all of the other people who were shot in Atlanta last night and over the past few weeks because the reality is this—these aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other,” she told reporters on Monday.

“If you want people to take us seriously, and you don’t want us to lose this movement, then we can’t lose each other,” the mayor said, adding that “you can’t blame this on a police officer, you can’t say this is about criminal justice reform.”

“This is about some people carrying some weapons who shot up a car with an 8-year-old baby in the car.”

If the Mayors of our largest cities cannot maintain order, the Governors of their states need to declare an emergency and call in the National Guard to restore order. Lawlessness is not an option, and those who choose to practice it need to be arrested and sent to jail.

Now They Are Coming For My Ice Cream

The politically correct movement has reached new heights lately. Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworth, the pretty young Indian lady on Land o’ Lakes butter, and Uncle Ben have all disappeared or are about to disappear. Now they are coming after Eskimo Pie.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the attack on Eskimo Pie.

The article reports:

Eskimo Pie is the latest brand to change its packaging amid calls for corporations to participate in the fight against racism.

The chocolate-coated vanilla ice cream bar will be changing its name and axing the cartoon image of an Alaska Native child that is featured on its packaging to reflect Dreyer’s commitment to racial equality.

“We have been reviewing our Eskimo Pie business for some time and will be changing the brand name and marketing.” Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for Dreyer’s, told the Washington Examiner, adding that Dreyer’s is “committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory.”

The term “Eskimo” is considered derogatory because it was given to the indigenous peoples of Alaska and Canada by non-Inuit people and was said to mean “eater of raw meat.” The name, however, is thought to come from the French word “esquimaux,” which means “one who nets snowshoes.”

I am sorry if the indigenous people of Alaska and Canada are offended by Eskimo Pie. I suspect that the offense is not on their top ten list of priorities. If changing the name makes the manufacturers happy, so be it, but I really believe that this is much ado about nothing.

Looking For Your Keys On The Wrong Side Of The Street

There is an old joke about a man walking around under a street light who was asked by a passerby what he was doing. The man replied that he was looking for his car keys that had fallen out of his pocket when he got out of the car. The passerby pointed out that the car was parked on the other side of the street and asked why the man was looking on the wrong side of the street, The man replied, “The light is better over here.” That is what is currently happening at the United Nations.

Yesterday The Washington Examiner reported that the United Nations Human Rights Council is holding an “urgent” debate on police brutality and systemic racism.

The article reports:

While the UNHRC president says the debate is not just about the United States, it’s clear the U.S. is the primary subject as the killing of George Floyd was the catalyst for the meeting. And it’s clear that the conclusion the council will reach is a sham.

The article notes some of the history of the United Nations Human Rights Council:

The council is an abomination because most of the countries it should be examining are sitting members of the body. China and Cuba were members until the end of last year. Qatar, which has been using slave labor to build stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, is a sitting member. Nicolas Maduro’s socialist dictatorship didn’t stop Venezuela from becoming a member this year, nor did Libya’s human rights abuses or Mauritania’s slavery.

There’s a reason the Human Rights Council was the original whipping boy of U.N. critics before the World Health Organization was revealed to be a Chinese puppet. “The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when the U.S. withdrew from the council in 2018, “But worse than that, the Human Rights Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy with many of the world’s worst human rights abuses going ignored.”

The U.S. was right in its assessment in 2018, and the show trial that council members will make of the U.S. won’t mean much of anything. But in principle, the Human Rights Council’s existence is just an exercise in appeasing real human rights abusers. Between this and the World Health Organization’s debacle over the coronavirus and China, it’s time for Americans to start considering real alternatives to the U.N.

I guess the way to avoid criticism by the United Nations for civil rights violations is to actually be a member of the Human Rights Council. At least that is the way it has worked so far.