Robin Sage

On Saturday, The Western Journal posted an article about a military training exercise planned for later this month in North and South Carolina. There are some aspects of this exercise that are troubling to me and possibly troubling to other Americans.

The article reports:

Residents of 28 counties in North and South Carolina will be hearing a lot of gunfire later this month as the army plans a major training exercise.

The Robin Sage training exercise is a final test for those wanting to join America’s Special Forces, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer published online by MSN.

From Jan. 22 through Feb. 4, the soldiers wanting to join the Special Forces will be fighting against so-called freedom fighters.

The exercise covers privately owned land in the North Carolina counties of Alamance, Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Davidson, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, New Hanover, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Sampson, Scotland, Stanly, Union, and Wake. Chesterfield, Dillon, and Marlboro counties in South Carolina are also part of the battle for control of a fictional place called Pineland.

…“These military members act as realistic opposing forces and guerrilla freedom fighters, also known as Pineland resistance movement,” the center (the Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, based at Fort Bragg) said.

“To add realism … civilian volunteers throughout the state act as role players. Participation by these volunteers is crucial to the success of this training, and past trainees attest to the realism they add to the exercise,” the center said.

Our military is training on American soil to interact with American freedom fighters. There are a lot of things wrong with this picture.

A Definite Step In The Wrong Direction

New York City has a new mayor. It was hoped that Mayor Eric Adams would change the direction of the city–the city is not the safe, wonderful tourist attraction it has been in the past. Unfortunately, one of Mayor Adams’ first steps is in the wrong direction. The Western Journal posted an article on Sunday about a recent decision by Mayor Adams.

The article reports:

American citizenship is no longer required to vote in New York City’s local elections.

Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday he supports a plan to allow non-citizens to vote in Big Apple municipal contests, saying it was the “best choice,” according to the New York Post.

The bill was passed by the City Council last month and took effect Sunday because neither Adams nor former Mayor Bill DeBlasio vetoed it, according to The New York Times.

About 800,000 people who are not U.S. citizens can now vote for New York City mayor, council races, and local ballot propositions. Although the law is aimed at legal citizens, it also allows gives the vote to participants in the Deferred Action for Childhoods Arrivals program — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as young children.

At the moment, the law does not apply to state and local elections.

The article notes:

New York City’s board of elections must develop rules to implement the plan by July, with it taking effect in the 2023 round of local elections, the Guardian reported.

There is a lawsuit that has been filed. I believe this law is unconstitutional. Hopefully, the judges who hear the case will follow the constitution in making their decision.

Politicizing What Shouldn’t Be Political

What happened on January 6th last year was wrong. It wasn’t an insurrection by any stretch of the imagination and it wasn’t a threat to our democracy (we are not a democracy–we are a representative republic), but it was wrong. We don’t know if there were government instigators in the crowd (it seems very possible that there were), and we don’t really know a lot of the details of what happened. Much of the video from that day is still being kept from the public. We do know that the House Democrats are planning to turn the day into something reminiscent of the Paul Wellstone funeral. They do this at their own risk. The public is growing weary of the double standard on protests, and it appears that the Republicans plan on fighting back.

On Tuesday, The Western Journal reported the following:

As Democrats and their mainstream media allies lather up to commemorate Thursday’s anniversary of the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion like it was the firing on Fort Sumter, House Republicans this week are accusing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of deliberately stonewalling the release of information about her own role in the events of the day.

And with the Democrats’ hold on power in the House looking shaky ahead of this year’s midterm elections, Pelosi’s partisans should be getting nervous.

While the committee’s clear purpose is to smear former President Donald Trump and his supporters, the country might be getting a different view of how Pelosi and her party are actually operating.

In a letter released Monday, Illinois Republican Rep. Rodney Davis, the ranking minority member of the House Administration Committee, called out Pelosi for refusing repeatedly over the past year to cooperate with their requests for information from House officers who answer directly to the speaker’s office.

…“There is irony in the fact that at the same time House Democrats are holding witnesses in criminal contempt of Congress for raising genuine questions of legal privilege, you continue to obstruct Republican access to House records relating to the security preparedness of the Capitol complex,” Davis wrote.

“Irony” doesn’t seem to be quite the right word here, though Davis might have been trying to maintain a veneer of civility in the correspondence. “Arrogance” describes it much better. “Dishonesty,” “cynicism,” and “naked abuse of power” fit the bill as well.

It would have been nice if there had been a bi-partisan investigation into Capitol security. However, at this point that is probably impossible.

 

Good News From Haiti

On Friday, The Western Journal reported that the missionaries kidnapped in Haiti on October 16 have escaped and been reunited with their families.

The article reports:

The entire ordeal began when a group with Christian Aid Ministries was returning from a visit to an orphanage. They were intercepted by a well-known gang, 400 Mawozo, and were kidnapped. The gang demanded $1 million apiece for their release.

According to a statement released by CAM, the missionaries were bold witnesses for their faith even as they were captured and kept in captivity. They sang hymns, recited scripture and encouraged one another as well as tried to convince their captors to repent and believe.

In November, the gang released two of the missionaries. In December, they released three more.

But on Dec. 15, after feeling “nudged” to make a break, the remaining 12 missionaries — including children and an infant — solidified a plan.

They walked for miles over the rough terrain, in gang territory, filled with brambles, with nothing to guide them but the light of the moon and their faith. It was enough.

…“After much discussion and prayer, they became solidly united that God seemed to be leading them this way. When they sensed the timing was right, they found a way to open the door that was closed and blocked, filed silently to the path that they had chosen to follow, and quickly left the place that they were held despite the fact that numerous guards were close by.

This is wonderful news.

An Ordinary Citizen Would Be Arrested For This

Falsifying evidence is a criminal offense. We are about to find out whether the laws actually do apply to the people in Congress.

On Wednesday, The Western Journal reported the following:

It’s amazing to me that California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff is not in jail. This lawmaker has played it fast and loose, first during the Trump/Russia collusion investigation, which put him on the map, and next in the House impeachment inquiry of former President Donald Trump. There is no line this unethical, truth-challenged, repellent snake won’t cross in the name of politics.

The Federalist’s Sean Davis reported on Wednesday that Schiff was up to his old tricks at Monday night’s hearing of the Jan. 6 Committee. According to Davis, Schiff “claimed to have proof” that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, a Republican, texted then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows “to instruct former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.”

Davis claims that Schiff misrepresented “the substance of the text message and its source.” Schiff “even doctored original text messages, which were obtained and reviewed by The Federalist in their entirety.”

The article explains the changes Representative Schiff made to the text messages:

Davis (The Federalist’s Sean Davis) explains that in addition to lying about “substance” and the “source” of the text, Schiff “even doctored the message and graphic that he displayed on screen during his statement. The full text message, which was forwarded to Meadows from Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on the evening of Monday, Jan. 5, was significantly longer than what Schiff read and put on screen, but Schiff erased significant portions of the text and added punctuation where there was none to give the impression that Jordan himself was tersely directing Meadows to give orders to Pence on how to handle the electoral vote certification.”

Davis continues: “The original text was written by Washington attorney and former Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz and included an attachment of a four-page draft Word document drafted by Schmitz that detailed Schmitz’s legal reasoning for suggesting that Pence had the constitutional authority to object to the certification of electoral votes submitted by a handful of states. The piece that Schmitz had sent to Jordan was published at the website everylegal.vote the next day and even included the same ‘DISCUSSION DRAFT’ heading and timestamp on the document that Schmitz sent to Jordan.”

He explains that Schmitz sent this text to Jordan “on the evening of Jan. 5, including the Word document as an attachment. Schmitz then texted to Jordan a three-paragraph summary of his Word document, which Schiff sliced and diced and then attributed to Jordan.”

Would anyone like to wager on how much of the above chicanery will be reported by the mainstream media?

Poetic Justice

On Monday, The Western Journal posted an article about the Jussie Smollett case. It seems that one of the really critical mistakes Mr. Smollett made in staging his fake hate crime was one that as an actor he should have easily avoided.

The article reports:

It’s surprising, even for a man who’s spent so much of his career in front of a camera, that Jussie Smollett was upset the most infamous moment in his life wasn’t caught on camera.

Was it his undoing? Would it have led to his downfall sooner? It’s unclear, but prosecutors say one thing foiled Smollett’s original plan to create the perfect “hate crime” — the direction of a camera on the street.

(The Western Journal was one of the first outlets to point out the holes of the Smollett case in 2019 — and we kept fighting the system after he received little more than a slap on the wrist from prosecutors who wanted the case to go away.

In testimony last week, Chicago police Detective Kimberly Murray told the court the former “Empire” actor seemed to be “upset” when he was told the attack hadn’t been recorded on camera, according to WMAQ-TV.

Smollett, who had been questioned by Murray on the morning he reported the January 2019 incident, said two men had beat him up in a racist, homophobic attack while he was returning from a sandwich run. He’s now standing trial for six counts of felony disorderly conduct after reporting what’s alleged to be a hate crime hoax — one he orchestrated thinking there would be a camera there to record it.

Murray, according to WMAQ, “said Smollett was ‘upset’ when she told him a surveillance camera in the area didn’t capture the alleged attack because it was pointed away from the scene. Murray said she explained to the actor that the cover on the pod camera makes it impossible to know which way it is pointing.”

The real clue that the attack was staged was Mr. Smollett’s claim that his attackers yelled, “This is MAGA country!” No one in Chicago who values his life is going to yell that–even if he believes it!

Much Ado About Nothing?

Big media is panicked over the new variant of Covid coming out of Africa. There seems to be some question as to whether or not they should be. Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article about the Omicron variant of the virus. I will mention at this point that someone on Facebook this morning pointed out that omicron is an anagram for moronic.

The article reports:

As panic circles the globe over a new coronavirus variant first reported in South Africa, the doctor who first noticed the variant is asking for a dose of calm.

Dr. Angelique Coetzee said that the unusual infections she was seeing in her private practice in Pretoria earlier this month presented “unusual but mild” symptoms, according to the Telegraph.

Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, said it was “premature” to say the virus was going to mushroom into a global health crisis, according to the Guardian. On Friday, the World Health Association dubbed the Omicron variant a variant of concern. President Joe Biden then slapped travel restrictions on multiple African countries.

The article notes the unusual symptoms:

Coetzee said she would like more people to get vaccinated.

“Unfortunately, it’s not only the responsibility of the government; it’s the responsibility of the public as well … You can only ask people so many times to go and get vaccinated, and if you don’t listen, then there’s consequences, and then you have to take the consequences,” she said.

She said that the patients she treated came from very different backgrounds and had intense fatigue. None had a loss of test or smell. A 6-year-old child she treated had a high pulse rate.

“Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,” she said, according to the Telegraph.

Coetzee said that after she treated a family of four who tested positive for the virus and had complete exhaustion, she alerted South Africa’s vaccine advisory committee.

As someone who has recovered from the original coronavirus, I can state that exhaustion was part of the the original virus. It took my husband and I almost two months to get our energy back. Exhaustion is not fun, but if that is the major sympton of the virus, we should be okay. Everyday living in today’s world is exhausting!

Shenanigans In New Jersey

New Jersey elections have never been known for their integrity, but sometimes it defies the imagination. Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article about some recent election shenanigans in New Jersey.

The article reports:

After the chaos of the 2020 election and subsequent months of controversy and scrutiny over election integrity, you would think every local election office in the nation would be doing its best to maintain full transparency and conduct elections without error.

Apparently, officials in Essex County, New Jersey, didn’t seem to think so.

Currently, an investigation is ongoing to determine why a “poll worker error” led to 56 districts within the county not counting their votes on time after poll workers in several cities shut down 56 voting machines without them first being counted, according to News 12 The Bronx.

Essex County Clerk Christopher Durkin has made it clear that the machines are currently locked safely away.

Sure they are.

The article continues:

“Those machines are at the polling places right now,” Durkin said according to News 12 The Bronx.

“Those machines have to be brought back to the warehouse. A judge will issue an order for us to open those machines, retrieve the results and post those results.”

“We need to compile a list of the results that are missing, then need to schedule a hearing in front of a judge and then the judge issued the order and then we’re able to go and retrieve those results.”

Now, we should make this clear up front: None of this will change the results of the New Jersey gubernatorial race.

However, the truck drive set to become Senate President might do well to be worried.

The article states that there is no evidence to prove that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. The fact is that there is evidence. To say otherwise is fake news. However, the conclusion of the article below is correct.

The article concludes:

That being said, we saw numerous smaller, localized examples of election fraud and various irregularities in the vote.

There is no doubt that American elections could and should be more secure. Don’t let Democrats or leftists tell you any different.

If the counties that have been called into question in both the 2020 election and elections since then had simply been transparent with the public and taken the time and effort to shore up their processes, there wouldn’t be a problem.

Unfortunately, too many county election officials can’t be counted on to actually do their jobs.

Check With The Experts Before You Change Your Name

Some of us are old enough to remember when Chevrolet introduced its new “Nova.” It was a cute, compact car that was marketed to compete with the Ford Falcon. However, there was a small problem marketing the Nova in Spanish-speaking countries. “No va” in Spanish translates loosely to “it doesn’t go.” Not a great name for a car. Well, it seems as if Mark Zuckerberg has made a similar mistake renaming Facebook.

The Western Journal reported the following today:

Giggles, snickers and some awkwardness greeted Facebook’s decision to change its corporate name to Meta.

Jokesters poked fun at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, because “meta” is pronounced like the feminine form of the Hebrew word for “dead,”, according to the Times of Israel.

“In Hebrew, *Meta* means *Dead*,” Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt, a tech expert, tweeted on Thursday. “The Jewish community will ridicule this name for years to come.”

…Zuckerberg said the name Facebook does not cover “everything we do” at a time when his empire includes Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, its Quest VR headset, its Horizon VR platform and more. Zuckerberg explained that the metaverse is a form of the virtual world where everyone is connected by virtual reality headsets, augmented reality glasses and phone apps.

The article also notes:

In Portuguese and Spanish, the word is not so troubling because it means “goal.” In Brazil, however, the word has a sexual connotation, according to Bloomberg.

Zuckerberg’s announcement was a boon for Nova Scotia-based Meta Materials. The company’s stock rose 26 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday, when Zuckerberg made his announcement, and another 6 percent on Friday, according to Reuters.

The article concludes:

Name changes can often fail in translation.

Kentucky Fried Chicken learned that when it entered the Chinese market in the 1980s, according to the BBC.

The restaurant’s “finger lickin’ good” motto, when translated into Mandarin, came out “eat your fingers off.”

It’s probably a good idea to use a translation application of some sort before you make a significant name change. Sometimes mistakes can be very misleading!

 

Amazing Weather

The Western Journal posted an article today about a solar flare forecasted for this weekend.

The article reports:

“Auroral activity will be high(++). Weather permitting, highly active auroral displays will be visible overhead from Inuvik, Yellowknife, Rankin and Iqaluit, to Portland OR, Cheyenne, Lincoln, Springfield, and New York City, and visible low on the horizon as far south as Carson City, Oklahoma City, and Raleigh,” according to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

The auroras at the poles occur when charged particles from the sun interact with Earth’s upper atmosphere, according to Space.com.

…The same solar flare that will spark the light show in the skies is expected to cause what the NOAA has classified as a strong geomagnetic storm on Saturday and Sunday, according to CNN. The storm is rated at a three on a five-point scale.

The impact of the storm could cause voltage irregularities and false alarms on some devices, NOAA warns. High-frequency radio blackouts and loss of radio contact on the side of the Earth facing the sun are also possible.

A strong solar flare can cause the same type of disruptions that would be caused by an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) attack.

The article notes:

“Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful radiation from a flare cannot pass through Earth’s atmosphere to physically affect humans on the ground, however — when intense enough — they can disturb the atmosphere in the layer where GPS and communications signals travel,” NASA wrote.

“This flare was classified as an X1-class flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength. An X2 is twice as intense as an X1, an X3 is three times as intense, and so on,” NASA wrote. “This was the second X-class flare of Solar Cycle 25, which began in Dec. 2019. A new solar cycle comes roughly every 11 years.”

The solar flare will allow much of the United States to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) at some point during the weekend. I am hoping the Lights will be visible this far south as they are beautiful.

Big Tech Is Watching You

The Western Journal posted an article today about privacy in America.

The article reports:

Those who are wary of smartphones, smart devices and virtual assistants generally cite concerns over their information being recorded and shared without their knowledge.

Only fueling those concerns, one woman recently shared that she had found over 3,000 recordings of herself taken by her various Amazon devices.

The woman, who goes by the username “my.data.not.yours” on TikTok, posts lots of videos on the topics of privacy, reviews privacy policies and gives people tips on how to limit (or at least be aware of) their digital footprint.

She started by informing viewers that she owns two Amazon Dots and an Echo device, and her house uses some smart bulbs.

“I requested all the data Amazon has on me and here’s what I found,” she said. “So when I downloaded the ZIP file these are all the folders it came with.”

In the video, she clicks on the “audio” file and says that it contains 3,534 short clips that her devices recorded, which she tells viewers is “so scary.”

She explained that one recording was of her asking Alexa to turn the lights on — nothing too surprising there. What she was more concerned about was that there was a file on her contacts, too.

“It turns out they have a full list of my contacts from my phone and I never remember syncing that,” she said.

That wasn’t the end of it.

“The very last thing that I didn’t know that they had — I could have assumed that they have but I don’t love that they have — is my location,” she continued, admitting that she’s “not totally comfortable with everything they have.”

The article also explains how you can delete things from Alexa:

In February, an article by CNBC stated that the Amazon Echo “saves a copy of everything you ask Alexa,” which makes sense. You can also delete these recordings — ironically — by asking Alexa to delete them.

You can also change the settings so that recordings are automatically deleted after a set amount of time.

According to the New York Post, an Amazon spokesperson acknowledged the voice recording feature and said that the recordings can be deleted at any time or you can change the settings so they aren’t saved in the first place.

“We give customers transparency and control over their Alexa experience,” the spokesperson said. “Customers can easily review and delete their voice recordings, or choose not to have them saved at all, at any time.

“Customers can import their mobile phone contacts to the Alexa app so they can use features like hands-free calling and messaging; this optional feature, which customers need to set up, can be disabled at any time.

“Finally, you can grant permissions for the Alexa app to use certain data, such as your mobile device’s geolocation, to provide relevant results (e.g., weather, traffic, restaurant recommendations), and you can manage these permissions in the app.”

Did you know about these features?

Wow.

The Next Step

On September 30, The Western Journal posted a commentary on the next overreach planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They have already attempted to interject themselves between landlords and renters, doctors and patients, employers and employees, and now they are going after gun owners.

The commentary notes:

Walensky (CDC Director Rochelle Walensky) now has our Second Amendment rights in her crosshairs. She will tackle gun violence in America, which she considers to be an epidemic.

The CDC director signaled her intentions during a late August interview with CNN, when she labeled gun violence a “serious public health threat.”

“Something has to be done about this,” she told CNN. “Now is the time — it’s pedal to the metal time.”

“The scope of the problem is just bigger than we’re even hearing about, and when your heart wrenches every day you turn on the news, you’re only hearing the tip of the iceberg,” Walensky said. “We haven’t spent the time, energy, and frankly the resources to understand this problem because it’s been so divided.”

On Wednesday, NPR reported that “the CDC is now hoping to get a fuller picture of the data and long-neglected details on the impact of daily gun violence. The CDC and the National Institutes of Health, for the first time in nearly a quarter-century, are funding new research on guns to help reduce firearm-related injuries, deaths, crime and suicides.”

“Among several other gun research projects, the CDC is now providing funding to 10 state health departments so they can start collecting data in near-real time on emergency room nonfatal firearm injuries. This will allow doctors and epidemiologists to potentially identify trends and craft swift interventions, as they have done to contain the coronavirus pandemic and other national health emergencies.”

We should all worry when the government begins to collect data. It rarely leads to good things. Rather than looking at the injuries, maybe they should look at the places that have the highest amount of gun violence and note that gun control is part of the problem, not the solution.

The commentary concludes:

The last eight months have shown us that the Democrats seek total control over America. Our right to bear arms has never been more essential to our freedom.

Americans will never give up their guns. The explosion in gun sales over the past several years shows that Americans are cognizant of our government’s slow drift into socialism.

History has proven what happens when citizens surrender their guns to a nefarious ruling class.

In the 1990s, Australians handed over their guns to the government.

Look how well that’s worked out for them.

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are the only things standing between us and tyranny. We need to work hard to protect both.

The Hidden Taxes In The Bill

The Western Journal posted an article today about the tax-and-spend bill the Biden administration is trying to push through Congress.

The article reports:

According to a media release from the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Taxation — a non-partisan congressional tax scorekeeper — found that almost every income level below the threshold the Biden administration said would be immune would take a hit.

Furthermore, the committee’s analysis found the vast majority of taxpayers would see no benefit from the plan in its current form.

According to the analysis, by the calendar year 2023, nearly 5 percent of those making between $40,000 and $50,000 would see a tax increase. Nine percent of those making between $50,000 and $75,000 would see an increase, 18 percent earning between $75,000 and $100,000 would see their taxes go up and 35 percent of those earning between $100,000 and $200,000 would be subject to a hike.

The media release also noted that the benefit most people see will pretty much be nil.

In 2023, two-thirds of all taxpayers won’t get see any kind of real benefit from the legislation, either seeing their tax bill changed by less than $100 or getting a tax increase.

By 2027, this number would balloon to 85.5 percent, with huge swaths of the middle class seeing a sizable tax increase; these numbers are projected to stay mostly steady until 2031.

The article concludes:

And yet, in March of 2020, MarketWatch reported that “Americans paid almost $64 billion less in federal income taxes during the first year under the Republican tax overhaul signed into law in late 2017 by President Donald Trump, with some of the sharpest drops clustered among taxpayers earning between $25,000 and $100,000 a year, even as the overall number of refunds dropped during a turbulent tax season” in 2019.

Biden plans on taking that away. In return, he’s offered nothing of substance — except, as promised, he’s soaking the rich. And the upper-middle class. And some people in the middle class, too. But mainly the rich. See, priorities!

Biden may not be giving people in towns like Scranton — the folks he grew up with — a break the same way Trump did. But at least they can watch as his administration takes (and then squanders) Park Avenue’s money. He’ll be squandering Scranton’s money, too, but at least they get the joy of class-based schadenfreude out of the deal.

Any Congressman who votes for President Biden’s economic proposals needs to be voted out of office as quickly as possible. I am not sure we can afford the current President.

In What World Does This Make Sense?

The Western Journal posted an article today about the Biden administration’s energy policy. About the kindest adjective for the policy I can come up with is illogical.

The article reports:

The Biden administration, which began its reign by turning off the spigot of oil flowing from North American sources, is now begging Middle Eastern nations for anything they can spare.

The White House on Wednesday released a statement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in which Sullivan said the United States needs foreign nations to bail it out.

“Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic,” the statement said.

The American Automobile Association on Wednesday said the average price of gasoline in the United States is $3.185 per gallon. That’s more than $1 higher than the average price of $2.183 from a year ago.

“While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough,” the statement continued.

“President [Joe] Biden has made clear that he wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump.”

“Although we are not a party to OPEC, the United States will always speak to international partners regarding issues of significance that affect our national economic and security affairs, in public and private. We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices. Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery,” the statement said.

I don’t mean to be cynical, but you could fertilize your garden with the above statement. The statement was made as a diversion from the policies of the administration that caused the price of gasoline at the pump to rise.

Some of us remember the gasoline lines of the 1970’s because we depended on Middle East oil rather than developing our own resources. The dependency influenced American foreign policy in a negative way. President Trump freed us from that dependency. President Biden is bringing us back to that dependency.

Has Anyone In Washington Read The U.S. Constitution?

On Sunday, The Western Journal reported the following:

Attorneys for individuals facing charges for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion say their clients are being kept in solitary confinement and subjected to third-world conditions while detained ahead of trial.

Lawyers John Pierce and Steven Metcalf II say that at least one of the people arrested on charges related to the events of that day is being held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and has inadequate access to clean water and legal counsel.

The attorneys told the EpochTV program “The Nation Speaks” that these conditions are “blatantly unconstitutional” and “violate every single basic human right.”

Of the nearly 500 people who have been arrested on charges relating to the Capitol incursion, Pierce said there “are about 50, plus or minus, that are being detained, that have been in prison for months and will likely remain in prison for many more months until their day in court.”

He explained that these accused individuals are being held under the pretense of the 1984 Bail Reform Act, which authorizes the pretrial detention of those deemed a flight risk or threat to the public.

…“The conditions in the D.C. jail in particular are getting to a point of not only being unconstitutional and violating every single basic human right, but they’re getting to a point where people have to speak out, and they have to know about what’s going on,” Metcalf said, adding that prisoners are being instilled with a “level of fear.”

“They are being retaliated against for various different reasons. … Anything that they do, or if anybody speaks up on their behalf, all of a sudden they get targeted even further and then get put into a dangerous, unsanitary condition,” Metcalf said.

The article concludes:

It goes without saying that while those accused of participating in the Jan. 6 incursion have been doggedly pursued by law enforcement and reportedly subjected to inhumane conditions in prison, those involved in the 2020 riots have been handled with kid gloves and even glorified by the left.

The overwhelming majority of Americans denounced the actions of the rioters who breached the Capitol on Jan. 6. But the George Floyd “protests” of last summer were widely supported and the violence and destruction defended by left-wing politicians — to the extent that now-Vice President Kamala Harris promoted a fund to bail “protesters” out of jail.

A Republican would no doubt be crucified were he to promote any legal efforts to free Jake Lang or protect his constitutional rights.

Yet can you even imagine the outrage if a single one of the Black Lives Matter or antifa contingent was kept in the same conditions as the Jan. 6 “insurrectionists”?

The hypocrisy is sickening. It seems we can no longer expect the equal legal treatment of people on either end of the political spectrum.

This is frightening.

Can My Pencil Be Held Responsible For Failing A Math Test?

On Wednesday, The Western Journal reported that New York Governor Cuomo has signed into law a measure that allows guns to be considered a public nuisance and opens the floodgates for lawsuits against gun manufacturers. Holding gun manufacturers responsible for gun violence makes about as much sense as holding car manufacturers responsible for drunk driving.

The article reports:

“The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers, but we will not stand for that any longer, Cuomo said in a news release.

According to NBC News, the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005 carved out immunity for gun manufacturers if individuals misuse their products in a criminal manner.

Governor Cuomo issued a press release about the bill:

…“Under this new legislation, gun manufacturers cannot endanger the safety and health of the public through the sale, manufacturing, importing or marketing of the products they sell. The products can be considered a public nuisance even if the gun manufacturer did not purposely cause harm to the public,” the release said.

The release explained that anyone, from members of the public to corporations to the state attorney general, can now fire away at “bad actor gun manufacturers.”

Cuomo’s release said federal protection of the firearms sector “has created a perfect storm of lax controls and inability to hold bad actors to account.”

This is beyond ridiculous. The problem is not the guns–the problem is criminals. Suing every gun manufacturer you can think of won’t do any good as long as your no-bail laws keep letting criminals out of jail to commit more crimes.

There Is More Than One Way To Attack Gun Ownership In America

Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article about a recent decision by the Texas Supreme Court.

The article reports:

Back in February, on the third anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting, President Joe Biden announced three major gun control initiatives he wanted to pursue, including “eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”

That empurpled language was code for repealing the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which shields firearm manufacturers and retailers for gun crimes committed with weapons that were legally produced or purchased. Of the three legislative proposals he floated, this was the one that raised the least alarm among gun rights advocates, with universal background checks and bans on so-called “assault weapons” and “high-capacity magazines” getting a lot more play.

And yet, repealing the PLCAA would be the most pernicious of the three. If you don’t believe me, just ask the owners of Academy Sports and Outdoors.

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the San Antonio-area store couldn’t be sued by victims of the 2017 Sutherland Springs, Texas mass shooting because the store was protected by the PLCAA when it sold a Ruger AR-556 rifle, an additional 30-round magazine and ammunition to a Colorado man who allegedly killed 26 individuals at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. The shooter later killed himself during a police chase.

The shooter should not have been able to purchase a gun, but somehow the Air Force failed to notify the FBI of the shooter’s conviction of wife and stepson abuse. The shooter was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force and served 12 months confinement. Obviously he should not have been able to buy a gun. However, the problem was with the Air Force reporting the information to t he FBI–not with the store that sold him the gun. The store followed the correct procedures. Bureaucratic mistakes should not be used as an excuse to attack responsible gun merchants or to take guns away from law-abiding citizens.

They Are Coming After My Whopper Again

On Saturday The Western Journal posted a commentary about President Biden’s energy proposals. I am not exactly sure who is running the country right now, but in my mind they have absolutely crossed the Rubicon with this proposal.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden kicked off his virtual Earth Day climate summit on Thursday by announcing his administration’s very ambitious plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and enable the U.S. to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Sacrifice on the part of every American will be necessary in order to achieve these goals. It will change our diets, force us to purchase electric cars and dictate the way we heat our homes.

The Daily Mail published a report on what adjustments will be required of us.

…The plan “would require Americans to only consume about four pounds of red meat per year, or 0.18 ounces per day” which “equates to consuming roughly one average sized burger per month.”

…Electric cars account for approximately two percent of annual new car purchases in the U.S., according to the report. Biden’s plan reportedly calls for that figure to rise to 65 percent by 2030. Additionally, “10 percent of new truck sales would need to be electric.”

The Mail estimated the average price of a new electric car at $55,000.

…The Mail pointed out that “[n]early 25 percent of homes would need to be heated by electricity, rather than natural gas or oil, to help reach Biden’s emissions goal by 2030. The average cost to install an electric heat pump, which an all-in-one heating and cooling unit, is about $5,613, according to figures home HomeAdvisor.”

Some things to note here. Where does the electricity to heat the homes come from? Has anyone considered the labor conditions and environmental impact in mining the lithium needed for the batteries to run electric cars? Also, seriously, what impact on the American economy would cutting red meat consumption to 4 pounds a year per American? How would that impact the cattle industry, the farmers, etc.?

In November 2020, The Institute for Energy Research reported the following:

During the Obama-Biden administration, hydraulic fracturing was accused of causing a number of environmental problems—faucets on fire, contamination of drinking water, etc.—but the administration’s own Environmental Protection Agency could not validate those accusations.  Now Biden is planning to transition the transportation sector to electric vehicles that are powered by lithium batteries and require other critical metals where China dominates the market. Mining and processing of lithium, however, turns out to be far more environmentally harmful than what turned out to be the unfounded issues with fracking.

In May 2016, dead fish were found in the waters of the Liqi River, where a toxic chemical leaked from the Ganzizhou Rongda Lithium mine. Cow and yak carcasses were also found floating downstream, dead from drinking contaminated water. It was the third incident in seven years due to a sharp increase in mining activity, including operations run by China’s BYD, one of the world’ biggest supplier of lithium-ion batteries. After the second incident in 2013, officials closed the mine, but fish started dying again when it reopened in April 2016.

…Environmentalists expressed unfounded concerns about fracking, but they need to be worried about replacing fossil fuels in the transportation and electric generating sector with electric vehicles and renewable energy where lithium, cobalt and other critical metals are needed to produce these technologies. Mining, processing, and disposing of these metals can contaminate the drinking water, land and environment if done improperly as seen from several examples. And, since China dominates the global market, it just switches what once was U.S. reliance on the Middle East to U.S. reliance on the People’s Republic.

We might want to rethink this.

 

Fighting Fire With Fire

Objective observers realized very quickly that the media was not going to be fair in its coverage of President Trump, his administration, or the people working with him. Social media practiced censorship, news media was obviously biased, and whatever influence the entertainment industry has was turned against President Trump. Some of that vitriol still lingers. Many Republicans either ignored the attacks or apologized for electing President Trump. Very few Republicans stood up to the attack. Well, that may be changing.

Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article about a new conservative political group called the American Accountability Foundation. They are planning to use some of the tactics used against them against their political opponents. This should be very interesting.

The article reports:

The group leaked a video from the Zoom meaning in which a House Appropriations Committee aide told participants that while “the optics” of a lawmaker forwarding an earmarked contribution to a campaign donor might “look kind of bad,” it is allowed if family members are not involved, The Hill reported.

“I think what you’re saying is if you have somebody who’s building a [military construction] project, and his company contributes to your boss’s campaign, is that a conflict of interest?” Appropriations Deputy Staff Director Matt Washington told staffers during the virtual training.

“I think the optics are bad but the rules of the House would be sufficed because there is no immediate family interest.”

And we wonder how our politicians go to Washington as middle-class Americans and emerge as millionaires.

The article continues:

The group also passed on transcripts to Fox News that showed President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Kristen Clarke, organized a conference attended by radical anti-government activists.

The conference brought together students and activists in their support to free inmates, convicted for a variety of crimes including police killings, who are currently on death row.

Jones said the AAF is trying to use the same tactics that left-wing opposition research groups have used for years.

The article concludes:

“The left is very very well organized on this, very well resourced and has been effective for a number of years,” he said.

“They were very effective making life difficult for Trump nominees, and they’ve taken that infrastructure and transferred it into bolstering their nominees, but yeah we’ve certainly learned from them and seen their effort was effective from a professional sense — terrible for the country, but as a practical matter, professionally they do their job well.”

Bullies don’t like it when the tables are turned.

Hope For New York State

The Western Journal posted an article today describing what is happening in New York State as a result of the mismanagement and scandals surrounding Governor Cuomo.

The article reports:

Andrew Cuomo’s despicable rule in New York has never been seriously challenged. He won re-election to a third term by 23 points in 2018 — an election in which he arguably didn’t even try.

But, for the first time in his tenure at the helm of the Empire State, Cuomo appears to be facing a serious opponent — one that was, at least in part, of Cuomo’s own making.

After more than a half-dozen allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as accusations that his use (and subsequent cover-up) of nursing homes to house infectious COVID-19 patients last spring caused thousands of additional deaths, Cuomo is unusually vulnerable.

And Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican who represents New York’s 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, smells blood in the water.

As Fox News reported last week, Zeldin is running for governor of New York in next year’s election, when Cuomo could be running for a fourth term.

There is an indication that New York State may be ready for a change in leadership. There is also an indication based on actual facts vs. trends on Twitter that Twitter may again represent opinions that are not universally shared.

The article notes:

But, one of the most important political lessons of 2020 was that Twitter is in no way representative of reality. Fox News reported that on his very first day of campaigning, Zeldin raised over $1 million. Clearly, reality is once again diverging from Twitter.

This is something to keep an eye on. The media will do everything it can to discredit Lee Zeldin and his campaign. It will be interesting to see if the voters of New York will believe the media or ask for change.

 

The Price Of Fake News

Last summer we saw riots in looting in some American cities. Some of these riots were in response to ‘police brutality’ in America. The mainstream media has been working the ‘police brutality’ angle since the Obama administration (remember the ‘beer summit’?). But what do the actual numbers show?

On February 23rd, The Western Journal posted an article contrasting what liberals believe about police brutality with the truth.

The article reports:

Misinformation is an epidemic, and the liberal media is spreading it.

Forty-four percent of liberals believe 1,000 or more unarmed black men were murdered by police in 2019, according to a study released Saturday.

…The study, published by Skeptic Research Center, specifically details that about 27 percent of those who reported being “liberal” estimated about 1,000 unarmed black men were killed by police in 2019, while about 31 percent of those who reported being “very liberal” estimated the same.

In contrast, about half of those who reported being “conservative” or “very conservative” estimated about 10 unarmed black men were killed in 2019.

The actual numbers are staggering; according to a Mapping Police Violence, a crowdsourced database cited in a USA Today fact-check, just 25 unarmed black men were killed.

The article concludes:

Balko (Radley Balko for the Washington Post) also writes that, according to a 2020 Austin Office of Police Oversight, Office of Innovation and Equity Office report, African-Americans and Latinos were “more likely than Whites to be stopped, searched and arrested,” even though there were reportedly similar “hit rates” for narcotics among those groups.

However, this paragraph doesn’t mention specific numbers or figures at all, only increasing the misleading nature of the article.

Of course, the obvious question always looms; which group of people commits more crime? Wouldn’t that solve the issue?

Yes, actually. According to Federal Bureau of Information statistics, more than half of homicide offenders are African-American.

When bringing up statistics like this one, unfortunately, those who use it are accused of racism. However, the math works out; if more African-Americans are committing violent crimes, it simply makes sense that police officers would use force against more African-Americans.

It’s about time conservatives stop accepting the liberal media agenda and start reporting the facts. Overexaggerations like the ones SRC’s study found are unacceptable and frankly dangerous to American politics. Rather than let these wade around and die down on their own, we ought to stomp the lies out now.

So why do have this major split in what Americans believe? Part of it is due to the mainstream media, but a lot of the responsibility falls on Americans themselves. All of us need to develop critical thinking skills that question everything the media is telling us. When people begin to tune out the mainstream media and stop believing their lies, it is possible that they might start telling the truth.

 

The Real Numbers On The Coronavirus

The following information is from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated on August 26th.

I realize the chart is blurry, but if you follow the link above, there is a larger, clearer version.

The report also includes the following:

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups. For data on comorbidities download this.

Yesterday The Western Journal posted an article that includes more information about the CDC report.

The article reports:

The report showed that in 18,116 of 42,587 deaths in the 75-84 age group, the individual who died also had the flu or pneumonia, while in 15,100 cases the underlying condition was respiratory failure.

Overall, of the 161, 392 deaths covered by the report, 42 percent (68,004) of those who died also had the flu or pneumonia while 34 percent (54,803) had an underlying condition of respiratory failure.

…Diabetes was an underlying condition in 16 percent of the deaths (25,936 people) while various heart-related conditions including cardiac arrest, ischemic heart disease (also known as hardening of the arteries), cardiac arrhythmia and heart disease (58,687 people) were found in 36 percent of those who died.

In June, the CDC listed as high-risk individuals for COVID-19 those who had chronic kidney disease; COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease); obesity (BMI of 30 or higher); immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; Type 2 diabetes.

It’s time to treat the coronavirus like the seasonal flu. Practice good health habits–exercise, healthy diet, wash your hands frequently, etc. There is no reason to stay locked up at home unless you have one of the underlying conditions that puts you at risk.

The Supreme Court Lost Their Copy Of The Constitution

Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. It’s interesting that they chose to uphold the program when President Obama, the author of the program, admitted various times that the program was illegal.

Yesterday PJ Media posted a list of the ten times President Obama declared that his creation of DACA was illegal. Please follow the link to the article for the details, but here is the basic list:

  1. During remarks at a 2010 Cinco de Mayo Celebration
  2. During remarks on comprehensive immigration reform at American University
  3. During an MTV/BET town hall meeting and a question-and-answer session
  4. During a radio interview with Univision
  5. During a Univision town hall
  6. During remarks at a Facebook town hall meeting and a question-and-answer session
  7. During the 2011 Miami Dade College commencement
  8. During remarks on comprehensive immigration reform at Chamizal National Memorial
  9. During remarks to the National Council of La Raza
  10. During a roundtable with questions from Yahoo!, MSN Latino, AOL Latino, and HuffPost Latino Voices

So a President who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution passed a law (a violation of the separation of powers) and now the Supreme Court is not willing to undo that law. That is another reason Americans think Washington has lost its way.

The Western Journal posted a screenshot of a tweet by The Daily Caller summarizing what Justice Thomas said in the dissent:

As usual, Justice Thomas got it right.

 

 

This Is Totally Unacceptable

The Western Journal posted an article yesterday featuring a Craigslist ad (that has since been taken down). The ad calls for people who have the coronavirus to attend the Trump rally in Oklahoma.

This is a screenshot of the ad (taken from the Craigslist archives):

The article reports:

This is likely someone involved in a sick hoax, an internet troll desperate for attention. The strange language of the ad — particularly the odd dress requirements — make this seem like a prank that seemed like a good idea at 4 a.m. in a college dorm room somewhere after more than a few intoxicating beverages.

The problem is that someone might actually take this call to action seriously, given that there are more enough people who have become convinced Trump is the nexus of evil in this world and that the supporters who show up to his rallies are nothing less than Satan’s minions.

How many of these people have COVID-19 is another matter entirely. As of Tuesday, there had been 1,729 confirmed cases in Tulsa County, according to the Tulsa Health Department.

…The responsibility for this should lie solely on whoever posted it, but we ought to consider the toxic environment in which this could even be considered possible. It’s wildly implausible that this would have happened during any prior presidency. But the country has been been whipped up to the extent that an ad like this, sadly, feels almost inevitable.

There are lessons about Trump Derangement Syndrome be learned from this. Will we learn them? That’s hoping too much.

The extent of our hope in this case is that the person or persons involved in this are tracked down and dealt with accordingly. Given that this is nothing less than a call to use oneself as a silent, deadly weapon, the possibility of criminal charges should definitely be on the table.

The Western Journal has reached out to Craigslist for comment.

If this is real, it is unacceptable. If this is a joke, it is not funny.

How To Handle A Hostile Press

On April 7, Kayleigh McEnany became the White House Press Secretary. It has become very obvious to anyone paying attention that there is now a new sheriff in town–she holds her ground against hostile reporters very well.

Today The Western Journal posted an article that perfectly illustrates the skills of Ms. McEnany.

The article cites a recent exchange with Reuters reporter Jeff Mason.

The article reports:

“In a previous life, before you were press secretary, you worked for the campaign,” Mason said. “And you made a comment, I believe on Fox, that President Trump would not allow the coronavirus to come to this country. Given what has happened since then, obviously, would you like to take that back?”

McEnany first clarified that the statement she made involved an appearance on Fox Business in which she was asked about the intent behind the travel restrictions with China and  she “noted the intent behind the restrictions, which is that we will not see the coronavirus come here.”

This is a bit different from what Mason’s question implied. (The media-centric website Grabien has the video of McEnany’s Feb. 25 interview with then-Fox Business Network anchor Trish Regan.)

Here’s the crux of McEnany’s issue, though: Mason had apparently forgotten what his fellow scribes had also said on the matter.

“I guess I would turn the question back on the media and ask similar questions,” McEnany said.

“Does Vox want to take back that they proclaimed that the coronavirus would not be ‘a deadly pandemic’? Does The Washington Post want to take back that they told Americans to ‘get a grippe, the flu is bigger than the coronavirus’?

“Does The Washington Post, likewise, want to take back that ‘our brains are causing us to exaggerate the threat of the coronavirus’?” she continued.

“Does The New York Times want to take back that the ‘fear of the virus may be spreading faster than the virus itself’? Does NPR want to take back that ‘the flu was a much bigger threat than the coronavirus’? And finally, once again The Washington Post, would they like to take back that ’the government should not respond aggressively to the coronavirus’?

“I’ll leave you with those questions, and maybe you’ll have some answers in a few days,” McEnany said in closing, and cue mic drop.

The article includes a video of the question an answer and links to the articles Ms. McEnany quoted. Please follow the link above to see both. The video is quite entertaining. I don’t think the press is used to being asked to live up to their own standards.