Tea Party Patriots Ordinary citizens reclaiming America's founding principles.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Censorship: Losing our freedom of speech on social media


James Delingpole reports on the bad news from Great Britain:

Facebook has banned the third largest political page in the UK from their service, Tommy Robinson. Amazon has just stopped selling his book on the Quran. Twitter and Paypal already acted along these lines months ago.

This is a terrible day for freedom of speech. And possibly an even worse one for the future of social cohesion in Britain.

And Michelle Malkin reports the latest on her battles with the censors -- because she is conservative:
. . .
The Twitter notice assured me that the company “has not taken any action on the reported content at this time,” yet advised me that I should “consult legal counsel about this matter” in response to complaints from unnamed “authorized entities.”

Don’t worry, lawyer up? Gulp.

I’m used to getting threats directly from bloodthirsty cartoon jihadists. In 2006, I spearheaded a “Mohammed cartoons blogburst” in support of the Danish cartoonists at Jyllands-Posten. After posting all 12 of the drawings to educate the public about the publication’s brave stand against sharia-enforced self-censorship in the West, death and rape threats from radical Muslims around the world poured into my e-mail box. Vengeful thugs based in Turkey and Germany called me a “whore” and “prostitute,” vowing “We will kill you” unless I deleted the pictures from my server. My website was targeted by jihadist hackers who launched a week of denial-of-service attacks.

Thirteen years later, however, who knew that using an American company’s microblogging service from my secluded mountain top in Colorado could get me in hot water with foreign Muslim stone-age goons 8,000 miles away still hung up on the cartoons?

. . .
Over the past few months, several other prominent critics of Islamic extremism have received similar warning letters from Twitter’s legal department, including Saudi-Canadian activist Ensaf Haidar, the wife of imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi; Imam Mohammad Tawhidi, an Iranian-born Muslim scholar and reform advocate from Australia; Jamie Glazov, a Russian-born Canadian columnist who just released a new book called “Jihadist Psychopath”; and Pamela Geller, an anti-jihad blogger and activist.

. . .
Among others targeted by SPLC [Southern Poverty Law Center], which collaborates with credit card companies and banks to silence influential thinkers and activists on the right: David Horowitz, a venerable scholar and investigative author who successfully beat back Mastercard’s attempt to drop him over his organization’s opposition to Islamic radicalism and illegal immigration, and the Center for Immigration Studies, which is suing the SPLC for labeling its mainstream think tank a “hate group.”

Read the rest here. Malkin’s list of silenced, de-platformed, or demonetized conservatives is long, but not long enough. And last month, John Hawkins at Townhall reported on his personal experience as the proprietor of Right Wing News; he describes HOW these gigantic companies/monopolies methodically target and silence conservative voices.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Lake Erie Personhood – is Cleveland next?

photo credit: tripadvisor.com

Tom Jackson reported at The Sandusky Register:

SANDUSKY — Voters in Toledo approved a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” as an amendment to the city charter, a measure aimed at giving the lake and its watershed legal rights that can be defended in court.

A local farm immediately filed a lawsuit challenging the measure as unlawful. The Ohio Farm Bureau vowed to support the lawsuit.

The measure was approved Tuesday after winning approval by 61 percent of the voters.

Toledoans for Safe Water said they were pleased to get the measure approved despite the opposition of special interest groups, such as industry and the farm lobby.

“It was definitely a long, hard struggle to get to this day, but all the hard work and countless volunteer hours by everyone in our local community group has paid off,” said Crystal Jankowski, an organizer with the group. “We started this more than two years ago and had to overcome election board decisions and protests in court just to get on the ballot.”

Backers described the law as the first of its kind in the U.S. and said it guarantees the right of Lake Erie to exist, flourish and naturally evolve.

“It is in accord with the larger Rights of Nature movement and philosophy which, over the past decade, has resulted in Ecuador’s 2008 constitutional acknowledgment of the rights of Mother Nature; New Zealand’s 2014 granting legal personhood to the Te Urewera forest; and India’s courts ruling in 2017 that the Ganges and Yamuna rivers have rights to exist, thrive, and evolve,” a news release states, which was issued by the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, a nonprofit which helped draft the amendment.

The “Rights to Nature movement” is apparently seen by at least some farmers as an attack on private property rights.
. . .

And how is Lake Erie to represent itself in court? Will we be electing a Lake Erie Regent to assert jurisdiction and define rights? Read the full report here
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Monday, February 25, 2019

An odds-on prediction or wishful thinking?

Bruce Plante cartoon credit: laprogressive.com

Conrad Black has another provocative analysis of the national political landscape (“The Fatuous Democrats” at National Review online here):

As the revelations of political manipulation and malfeasance in the FBI and the intelligence agencies under the Obama administration and the early Trump days oozes out of the slowly accelerating investigation of those events, and from the self-serving books of people who are prime targets for indictments, the character of the Democratic opposition is evolving in unusual and even exotic ways. The Clinton party, founded as “new Democrats” who favored the original Gulf War and whose standard bearer declared “the end of the era of big government,” has been renounced as abusive of women and generally insufficiently progressive. After 25 years as the Napoleon and Josephine of the Democracy, the Clintons have been banished to the broom closet, an embarrassment from another day.

The successor royal political couple, the Obamas, isn’t faring much better. He presided over the deluge of slime that his Justice Department, FBI, and intelligence agencies poured over the 2016 election and its aftermath, and that is now finally being exposed. The extent to which the former president was involved in the Clinton-email whitewash and the false applications for surveillance of the Trump campaign will become a matter of high public interest. Practically the entire Obama legacy was Obamacare, Green Empowerment and the Paris Climate Accord, and the Iran Nuclear Treaty. All were disasters and all have been dismembered or repudiated. Mr. Obama was cranking up to being a long-term, high-prestige ex-president. There have not been such since Mr. Truman and General Eisenhower. President Johnson and President Nixon and George W, Bush left office in too much controversy; President Ford and President Carter were not successful enough to have great impact, President Reagan was elderly and in declining health, President Bush Senior enjoyed a bit of it, but not the great eminence of Truman and Eisenhower, two-term victorious war-time leaders identified with great enterprises such as the Marshall Plan and the founding of NATO.

The Democrats placed all their bets on Hillary Clinton, and kept raising the ante in the misplaced belief that President Trump could be driven from office as a traitor, a crook, and an incompetent. They bet everything and will lose everything, and some of their prominent personalities will be doing the tap dance before the grand jury in the run-up to the next election. Their vast media claque will suffer a severe lapse of credibility and ratings, given how heavily invested they are in peddling hatred and contempt of the president, which has vastly exceeded fair comment and any acceptable standard of journalistic professionalism.

. . .
If whoever limps through the Democratic nomination process looks and sounds anything like this group and is weighed down by the hare-brained nostrums the party worthies have been spouting in the last few months, they will provide an entertaining variation on what will then be the lengthy and numerous legal trials of some of the stars of the Clinton and Obama administrations.

Mr. Black’s column is here. He seems confident that miscreants at FBI, DOJ, etc. will be indicted, while many other pundits and readers expect nothing to happen to any of them.

Mr. Black's column further describes -- in unflattering terms -- the leading contenders so far in the Democratic presidential primary race.  It's an expanding field; Battleswarm blog has the latest update on the "Democratic Presidential Clown Car."

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

What is an Electoral College compact?

Electoral College History page

 art credit:fremontcountychamber.com

I had not seen reference to an “Electoral College compact” until now. Here is Glenn K. Beaton’s “Dems shooting themselves in foot with Electoral College compact” at the Aspen Times:

Dems are still smarting from losing the 2016 presidential election by losing the Electoral College.

So they have an idea. Apart from the dubious constitutionality of their idea, it's a bad one which can only help the GOP.

. . . [then follows a good summary of the Electoral College]

The Dems would like to abolish this system because it hurt them in 2016. Of course, it could help them in some election in the future, but politicians don't have the analytical ability to fight any war but the last one.

Despite the Dems' wish, the College won't be abolished. That would require an amendment to the Constitution. The odds of that happening are 0.00 percent.

Here's their fallback idea.

The states would enter into a "compact" that would work something like a multiparty contract. They would each agree that they would cast their respective College votes for the candidate that wins the national popular vote. If all the states entered into this compact, and if it survived Constitutional challenges, then the winner of the popular vote would thereby win all the electoral votes. Every election would be a 538-to-0 decision in the College.

But in the real world, not all states will enter into this compact. That's because the College currently seems to favor the GOP. Sure, the blue states like California, New York and Illinois will sign up. But red states like Texas and the rest of the south and the mountain states won't. And purple states like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and others probably won't.

So only the blue states will be bound by their compact.
. . .
Here's the bottom line.

Unless the Dems convince plenty of red or at least purple states to join their compact, which is unlikely, the net effect of their compact will be that they will override the will of their citizens only when their citizens vote for the Dem candidate.

Mr. Beaton’s article is here and it’s worth a read. But I am more apprehensive than he is. Considering how the integrity of our elections remains at risk (see Judi McLeod today at Canada Free Press here, for example), I would view the "compact" as just another attempt to rig the system.

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Friday, February 22, 2019

So where are the indictments?

image credit: downtrend.com

Conrad Black at American Greatness sums it up in “The Greatest Constitutional Crisis Since the Civil War”:

For more than two years, the United States and the world have had two competing narratives: that an elected president of the United States was a Russian agent whom the Kremlin helped elect; and its rival narrative that senior officials of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and other national intelligence organizations had repeatedly lied under oath, misinformed federal officials, and meddled in partisan political matters illegally and unconstitutionally and had effectively tried to influence the outcome of a presidential election, and then undo its result by falsely propagating the first narrative. It is now obvious and indisputable that the second narrative is the correct one.
. . .
The extent of the criminal misconduct of the former law enforcement and intelligence chiefs is now notorious, but to make the right point here, it has to be summarized. The fact that the officially preferred candidate lied to federal officials about her emails and acted in outright contempt of Congress and the legal process in the destruction of evidence, was simply ignored by the FBI director, who announced that she would not be prosecuted, though he had no authority to make that determination.

The full report is here. It’s one to Bookmark. Most of us are wondering if the new AG is convening grand juries. Mr. Black concludes:

This entire monstrous travesty is finally coming apart without even waiting for the horrible disappointment of the special counsel’s inability to adduce a scrap of evidence to justify his replication of Torquemada as an inquisitor and of the Gestapo and KGB at rounding up and accusing unarmed individuals who were not flight risks. . . .

Without realizing the proportions of the emergency, America has survived the greatest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. All those who legitimately oppose or dislike the president, including traditional high-brow Republicans who find him distasteful, should join in the condemnation of this largely criminal assault on democracy, and then, if they wish, go out and try to beat him fair and square, the good old-fashioned way, in a free election. But they must abide by the election’s result.
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Thursday, February 21, 2019

How the progressive blacklist works

photo credit: Freedom Center

David Horowitz is a red diaper baby who grew up in a “progressive” family, so designated as a euphemism to deflect attention from their communist/Marxist ideology. He jettisoned his Marxist past and has become one of the stronger conservative voices. His platform on the Internet is the David Horowitz Freedom Center and its publication, Front Page Magazine.

His article from the other day, "How the Progressive Blacklist Works," was published both at Front Page Magazine and also at American Thinker. Horowitz details just what conservatives are up against in the not-so-free marketplace of ideas. Organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center target individuals such as Horowitz -- and their organizational funding sources -- to shut them up. It’s a sobering read; click here.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Border Security and Illegal Immigration, continued

photo credit: ABCNews.go.com

John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist reported yesterday on the border crisis:

The day after President Trump’s rally in El Paso, Ortiz-Gonzales crossed the border, along with a group of 16 other adults and children, all from Central America. They had spent the night in a safe house in Juarez, and after paying $2,000 a head they were taken to a spot on the edge of the Rio Grande and told to walk across. (In downtown El Paso, the Rio Grande isn’t much more than a stream—easy to walk across, even for children.)

All but one of the adults in the group were men, and they all had more or less the same story: they have wives and other children back in Central America, they are coming here to work and send money home, they have networks of family and friends in the United States, and they intend to return to their homes at some point after they have made enough money. All of them are claiming asylum, but none of them, based on the accounts they gave, will likely qualify for it.

If you spend enough time on the southern border, where record numbers of migrant families from Central America are turning themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol—including 1,800 on the day of Trump’s rally—you begin to see this pattern emerge. Media outlets often repeat the now-familiar line that Central American families are fleeing poverty and violence, which is true (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are among the most violent countries in the world). But according to federal law, suffering poverty and violence doesn’t make you a refugee.
. . .

What goes unmentioned in most media coverage of family migration from Central America is the role that Mexican cartels play. Cartels control everything that happens on the south side of the border, not only the movement of drugs but also the movement of people.

The full report is here.

A previous CTP blog linked to opposing analyses of the recent budget provisions for Border Security. Paul Bedard at Washington Examiner considered the compromise a step in the right direction. Rush Limbaugh saw it as a step backward.

Steve Salvi at the Ohio Jobs & Justice PAC  considers the Border Security bill “disastrous” – and had this to say on his FB page:

We can no longer depend on most of our public officials to protect US citizens or our nation's sovereign right to control our borders.

Pres. Trump and the US Congress signed off on a disastrous bill that will result in:

1.    More American citizens killed by illegal aliens
2.    Encourage more illegal migrants to enter the US
3.    Help drug cartels/gangs expand human/child sex/labor trafficking

This is not America First! It was an ‘open-border illegal alien First-Americans last’ bill!

Even NumbersUSA has not issued an Action Alert that satisfactorily reconciles these disparate concerns.
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Monday, February 18, 2019

President's Day

Image credit: thestoryoflibertyblog.com

It’s not Feb. 22, but it is President’s Day. And here’s some thoughts about George Washington from Newt Gingrich:

What we now call Presidents’ Day was originally the national recognition of the birth of President George Washington. As a country, we have celebrated Washington’s birth since 1800 (the year after Washington died) because he played such a critical role in our country’s founding – and very survival.
. . .
On one hand, Washington was essential to eventually defeating the British – largely through pure determination, courage, and faith rather than specific military expertise.
. . .
Remember, Washington had spent eight years of his life fighting the strongest military in the world. He had been away from his farm, his wife, and the life that he loved. Then, he sees the country he sought to help create was in many ways tearing itself apart. Despite this, he did not want or ask for the presidency.
When his generals, who were frustrated by politics and lack of pay, wanted to over throw Congress to bring order to the new country, he put a stop to the potential rebellion. When the Continental Congress convened, he turned in his sword, resigned, and went back to Mount Vernon. It was only through strong urging from Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and other Founding Fathers that he agreed to accept his election as our first president – and it took even more convincing from them for him to sit a second term. His fellow founders were so adamant about Washington leading the country in those early days because they knew he was the only one who could do it.

Newt’s full message is posted here.
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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Border Security budget is better than we’ve been told -- UPDATED

photo credit: personalliberty.com

Paul Bedard at Washington Examiner has some good news: the budget including the $1.5 billion for border security is better than the mainstream media has been telling you:

Republicans are pushing back on reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., beat President Trump in the latest budget shutdown fight, claiming that Congress approved historic funding levels for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol, added miles to the border wall, and erased the cap on criminal illegal immigrants that can be jailed.
. . .
What’s more, Trump and GOP negotiators led by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and his team blocked several moves by Pelosi and other Democrats to fill the deal with anti-wall moves like lowering spending for ICE and slashing the number of “detention beds” to hold criminal illegal immigrants.

“Pelosi lost. She knew her position on detentions beds was unsustainable and only playing to her fringe. She also said no new miles for the wall,” said the source. “She had to step back from all positions.”

Read the rest here. (H/T Don Surber)

UPDATE 5pm: Rush Limbaugh via Fox News disagrees:

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, speaking to "Fox News Sunday," charged that the compromise spending bill recently signed by President Trump to avert another partial government shutdown was little more than a disguised effort by some Republicans to torpedo his 2020 presidential candidacy.

"Both parties have people that are still trying to get rid of Donald Trump," Limbaugh said, asserting that Democrats are also working to guarantee a "permanent underclass of voters" who are "uneducated" and "don't even speak" English.

He continued: "I read this bill -- this spending bill, this bill is outrageous. [It includes] welcoming centers for newly arriving illegal aliens, and all kinds of medical care" -- a reference to the allocation of $192,700,000 in the bill's conference agreement to enhance medical care and transportation for illegal immigrants in U.S. custody, including to shelters run by nonprofits.

"The purpose of this bill, I think, was eventually to be used by the Democrats and some Republicans to tell the American people, 'See, electing President Trump was pointless, worthless, he can't protect you, he can't stop us, he can't do what he said he was going to do, because we hate him so much we're not going to allow him to do it -- that's what this bill is," Limbaugh said.

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

In our own backyard

Ohio Performing Arts Center Advertises 
‘Shoot the President’ Party Game

Katherine Rodriguez at Breitbart reports:

The Olmsted Performing Arts community center in Berea, Ohio, had recently placed an advertisement on its website for a Nerf gun party with an option to play a game called “Shoot the President.”

“There is one president with bodyguards. Everyone else tries to eliminate or shoot the president,” the party’s description stated.

But some community members shared concerns that the game’s theme could be sending kids the wrong message.

“The wrong message”? No kidding. Read the rest here.

The Breitbart report concluded:
The community center’s website scrubbed the description of the offending game and the entire section advertising Nerf gun parties for children as of Saturday afternoon. 
I visited the website. The Announcement is no longer there. But what were they thinking?

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Angst on the Internet

image credit: shutterstock.com

From Michael Ledeen at PJ Media:

. . .Compared to those happy early days, most of what I read is fearful and/or angry.  As a Russian commentator observed back when, the Internet did indeed threaten tyrants, because it provided internal challengers with information that both exposed the malefactions of the regime and also enabled the opposition to plan their actions.  If you talk to Iranian anti-regime activists and ask them what they most need, they will usually reply that they need secure communications with one another, along with access to detailed, reliable reporting on their own country.

However, as that smart Russian commentator observed, the same Internet that threatened the tyrants could also be used to suppress the promised wide-open exchange of facts and ideas. And so it has. The world’s most effective oppressors, those in places like Iran, Russia, North Korea, China and Cuba, have all developed technology to isolate their citizens from the Net, and to inundate their cyberspace with the regime’s own disinformation.  No doubt they have helped each other, as free and open communication threatens them all.
. . .
All that is part of the ongoing war against America, but that’s only a part of what disturbs us, what has changed our feelings about the Internet.  Our current upset has more to do with the spying on us by our own government, and by our own corporations. We unaccountably continue to cherish privacy, even though there hasn’t been any for a long time. Some of us have not assimilated the unpleasant fact that our emails, even those we believe to have been “encrypted,” are public documents, available to anyone with the requisite skills to read them. And there are lots of people with the requisite skills, ranging from broadcasters to blackmailers.  Is there a remedy?  I don’t think so. I think we simply need to shut up, until the day comes when a tough-minded judge slaps the snoopers with hefty fines and maybe even prison time.

It doesn’t seem to me that that day will come very soon.  It seems instead that freedom of speech protects the bad guys along with the good, and it is up to us to protect ourselves as best we can.

Meanwhile, we must use the Internet as the weapon it has always been, and count on the bad guys’ entirely justified fear of it. They’ve got more to fear than we do.

Read the rest  here. And then there are ongoing issues with Facebook; here’s the latest on “privacy lapses."

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Action Alert: amnesty again

Posted yesterday by Ralph King:

***Action Alert***
The cheap labor, open border, donor daddies of the GOP - the Koch Brothers (Americans For Prosperity) are at it again!
The Koch Brothers & their pro-illegal immigrant groups, along with GOP Congressmen Will Hurd (R-TX) & Dan Newhouse (R-WA), are hosting a meeting in DC today to push Amnesty for DREAMERS.
Let these two Congressman know MAGA does NOT mean Make Amnesty Great Again!
Rep. Will Hurd (202)225-4511
Rep. Dan Newhouse (202)225-5816
And contact the GOP / RNC and tell them to get control of their open border members.
GOP / RNC (202)863-8500
Lastly, contact your State group for Americans For Prosperity & tell them you will refuse to donate or volunteer if they continue to support open borders & amnesty!
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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Voter ID Laws Don’t Stop People Voting

image credit: texastribune.org

In favor of Voter ID laws:
No difference across race, gender, or party, analysis finds
Getty Images

Charles Fain Lehman at Washington Free Beacon (h/t Instapundit) reports:

Strict voter ID laws do not suppress turnout, a new paper finds, regardless of sex, race, Hispanic identity, or party affiliation.

Requiring photo ID to vote is a hotly contested subject in American political discourse. Proponents argue that it is necessary to insure against fraud and preserve the integrity of the American electoral system. Opponents argue that it will disenfranchise otherwise eligible voters—many of whom would be poor and of color—who are unable to easily obtain ID.

In total, 10 states, ranging from Georgia to Wisconsin [and including Ohio], require voters to show ID in order to vote. Seven of those states require a photo ID, and three do not. An additional 25 states "request" that voters display ID, but may still permit them to vote on a provision ballot if they cannot. The remaining states "use other methods to verify the identity of voters," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The new research, from an economics professor at the University of Bologna and another at Harvard Business School, indicates that "strict" voting laws of the type implemented in those ten states do not have a statistically significant effect on voter turnout.

Full report is here. Ohio’s Voter ID laws are considered “strict.”  See here.  
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Happy Birthday, President Lincoln

Happy Birthday, President Lincoln

Monday, February 11, 2019

Border Security: Trump Rally in El Paso at the Tex-Mex border

Border Security: Trump Rally at 9pm

Conservative Treehouse links to the dedicated streams from three sources.  Starts at 9pm.  Beto O’Rourke’s counter-rally for open borders also starts at 9pm.  CBS reports here.

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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Green New Deal: insane, dangerous, etc.

Image credit: federalobserver.com

Patricia McCarthy at American Thinker considers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez "A One-Woman EMP":

An electromagnetic pulse attack, essentially a nuclear device exploded at high altitude above America, would knock out power grids, rendering anything electrical or digital non-functional.  Cars, trucks, computers, etc. would be dead (unless still running vehicles from the 1960s).  The country would come to a full stop.  That is exactly what Miss. O-C is prescribing.  She means to send us back to an age her Millennial friends would not recognize.  Most of them would be unable to function, as so many are seriously lacking in the skills older generations grew up taking for granted.  Most young people would have no idea how to repair anything they own if it broke, least of all their cars.  They would be apoplectic if their smartphones were suddenly mute.  If Miss O-C were ever to implement any aspect of her Green New Deal, her very own friends would be reduced to the snowflakes they've been raised to be, helpless.

Another one of my favorite journalists, James Delingpole, puts the Green New Deal, in historical perspective at Breitbart:

Not everyone who believes in man-made climate change is a full on Commie. Some are merely useful idiots. But whatever reason people may have for supporting the scam – greed, stupidity, virtue-signalling, idiot leftist teachers – the net result is the same: bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation, lower standards of living. Exactly like you’d get under communism, in fact.

So color me completely unshocked by the Green New Deal. It looks like a revamped Communist Manifesto because that’s exactly what it is.

If implemented, the size of government would increase to levels never before seen in a Western economy. The state’s control of everything from wage levels to how businesses are run to your personal freedoms would be total. There’s no mention of gulags or political prisoners or secret police but of course those would inevitably follow because how else would the state have a hope of enforcing measures which freedom loving Americans would naturally resist?

Here’s hoping the Green New Deal and its sponsors will all implode. Soon.
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Friday, February 8, 2019

Solyndra on steroids: how to stifle competition

Lots of us are laughing at AOC’s idiotic Green New Deal “plan.” Tea Party people want smaller, not bigger government. Mr. Instapundit linked to a timely analysis by Chelsea Follett at Human Progress:

“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” Senator Bernie Sanders first said those words in 1974 and has been repeating them ever since. Senator Sanders is not alone in his belief. Three out of four Americans agree with the statement, “Today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.” 

Senator Sanders is half right: the rich are getting richer. However, his assertion that the poor are becoming poorer is incorrect. The poor are becoming richer as well. 

Economist Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution showed that between 1979 and 2010, the real (inflation-adjusted) after-tax income of the top 1 percent of U.S. income-earners grew by an impressive 202 percent. He also showed that the real after-tax income of the bottom fifth of income-earners grew by 49 percent. All groups made real income gains. While the rich are making gains at a faster pace, both the rich and the poor are in fact becoming richer. 

In addition to these measurable real income gains, decreases in prices have given the poor increased purchasing power, helping to raise living standards for the worst off in society. As a result of falling prices such as for groceries and material goods, along with gains in real income, Americans have more income left after basic expenses.

Technology has also become cheaper, improving our lives in unexpected ways. For example, consider the spread of cell phones. There was a time when only the wealthiest Americans could afford one. Today, over 98 percent of Americans have a cellular subscription, and the rise of smart phones has made these devices more useful than ever.

Unfortunately, progress has been uneven. In those areas of the economy where competition is hobbled, such as education, housing, and healthcare, prices continue to increase. 
. . .

“Competition is hobbled” whenever the government intrudes. Ms. Follett's full article is here. (And Solyndra is now defunct.)
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Thursday, February 7, 2019

"a frenzy of primal extremism"

Conrad Black’s take on President Trump and the potential historical impact of his policies is encouraging. Black concludes:  

Donald Trump’s greatest achievement may be the total annihilation of the Democratic Party in its present mutated and degraded form. The Democrats have been allowed to slither to their present state of moral degradation with the witless and spineless collaboration of look-alike Republicans who are easy to defeat, like McCain and Romney, or can be survived, like Reagan and the Bushes, or destroyed, like Nixon.

Faced with a Trump they could not defeat and cannot destroy, Democrats appear to be entering a frenzy of primal extremism. If the Democrats go to the voters next year as the party of infanticide, open borders, a 70 percent top personal income tax rate, and the practical abolition of private health care, they will vanish more quickly, and with less distinction, than the Whigs, who at least had serious leaders like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln before their party imploded. This thronging riff-raff of Democratic presidential aspirants couldn’t lead the country across Washington’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, and won’t get an invitation to try.

The full article at American Greatness is here.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

SOTU and the Women in White

photo credit: Breitbart
Breitbart caption: 
President Donald Trump did the unthinkable Tuesday night during his State of the Union address: he inspired a phalanx of left-wing women members of Congress,
 wearing white in protest, to jump to their feet and applaud.

Lots of commentary on President Trump’s State of the Union speech last night – but here’s part of Don Surber’s posting:

President Trump gave Americans a reason to stand up and cheer their nation.
Even Democrats.

In 2018, they stoically refused to applaud anything in his speech even when he noted Democrats were doing well.

This year, be broke that wall of their resistance like it was Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin on Election Day. It happened earlier in the speech.

“So let’s work together, compromise, and reach a deal that will truly make America safe. As we work to defend our people’s safety, we must also ensure our economic resurgence continues at a rapid pace. No one has benefited more from our thriving economy than women, who have filled 58% of the newly created jobs last year,” President Trump said.

The Women In White stood and cheered.

“You weren’t supposed to do that. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. All Americans can be proud that we have more women in the workforce than ever before,” President Trump said.

“Don’t sit yet. You are going to like this. And exactly one century after Congress passed the constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote, we also have more women serving in the Congress than at any time before.”

Then they really celebrated and shouted USA! USA! USA!

At that point, the president made it cool to want to Make America Great Again.

That scene told the tale of the night. He made those congresswomen feel good about themselves and about their country.

His full column is here. Full transcript of the SOTU speech is here (Conservative Treehouse).
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UPDATE: Patricia McCarthy at American Thinker had a more critical take:

Trump's SOTU speech was wonderful, factual and optimistic.  It was a celebration of America and the successes of the last two years.  No one would know it by the visible response of the ladies in white (allegedly an homage to women's suffrage), the mostly newly elected Democrat congresswomen.  The only part of the speech they sincerely applauded was themselves – more women in Congress.  For most of the rest of the speech, they sat on their hands, looking mad (Mazie Hirono), glum (all of them), petulant and dismissive (Kamala Harris), bored and studiously disinterested (Nancy Pelosi).  
. . .
It was a pathetic, un-American spectacle, those women.  In the end, they are about one thing, one thing only: rage.  Rage at whom and what?  Who knows?  But it cannot be the country.  Look at where they are, the success they've attained.  Each of them is an example of the opportunity, freedom, and equality that only this nation provides, and still they are angry.  They still want to abort fully formed infants, tax the rich into oblivion, and impose Venezuelan-style socialism on us all.

McCarthy's article is here.

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