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

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Medicare For All: new name, same old

image credit: aapsonline.org
(Assoc. of American Physicians and Surgeons)

The Mueller bombshell was a dud, so the Democrat party and their colleagues in the media immediately pivoted to healthcare. Bruce Bialosky is a contributor to Townhall. He has a good roll-out of what is and is not true of the Progressive’s trumpeted “Medicare For All” plan; He cites facts and also draws from his own experience in the system. Here are a few extracts:

Medicare is a program begun in 1966 to cover people 65 years of age and older. The program is to be paid through lifelong payroll tax payments akin to social security.   Unlike social security, the benefits are not related to how much you have paid into the program. An important point to understand is (for most people) the vast majority of medical expenses are incurred near the end of one’s life. When the program was established, it was not anticipated that people would be living as long as they do.  This has also driven up costs; i.e., keeping older people alive.

As an aside, Medicare covers for pre-existing conditions. 180 million people who are covered by corporation health insurance also are covered for pre-existing conditions as well as those covered by Medicaid. That is over 90% of Americans, so we can dispense with that canard.  Some politicians want you to believe people are threatening to take away coverage for pre-existing conditions when that is just not true. 
. . .
. . . Medicare is far from free.  Less paperwork and figuring out what is or isn’t covered notwithstanding, decisions still have to be made under Medicare unlike what has been stated by some politicians.  
. . .
. . .  Medicare for All is a nice saying, but very misleading.   First, Medicare comes with a cost for all and that would have to be factored in -   it is not free for anyone despite all you paid into the fund.  Second, it does not cover everything as some politicians lead you to believe.  Third, if you want to keep your doctor, you may not be able to do so.  

The truth is Medicare for All is just a ploy to further move us to government controlled and administered health care.  I have been writing this point for years and wrote that Obamacare was just a step along the way.  The Left continues making private insurance more and more difficult to administer and then belittles the insurance companies for their operations.  There is one goal here: to have complete control over the health care system and then we will be at the lowest common denominator for the health care we receive.

As you have been told before, just look at the health care administered by the VA. The Trump administration has finally freed our veterans to see private care practitioners.   Thank God.  Please don’t make the rest of us suffer the fate of our veterans being covered by government-run insurance.

Lots more here.
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Friday, March 29, 2019

Vietnam Veterans Day

image credit: scrollsaaworkshop.blogspot.com

Celebrated every March 29, Vietnam Veterans Day is set aside as a day for Americans to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who served in the Vietnam War.
Thank a veteran today.
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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Amnesty bill: Here we go again

ACTION ALERT! NumbersUSA just sent out an Alert, appended below. Senator Lindsay Graham turns out to have co-authored the amnesty bill coming up for consideration. Cleveland Tea Party patriots will want to call Ohio Senators to oppose DREAM Act Senate bill 874.

Sen. Rob Portman -- (202) 224-3353
Phone Sen. Sherrod Brown at (202) 224-2315

Majority of House Now Supports Nancy Pelosi's
Amnesty Bill: 224 Cosponsors
We must be ready for when Democrats' quest for amnesty
 meets Republicans' desire for cheap labor!

224 House members, all Democrats, have already cosponsored H.R. 6, the "American Dream and Promise Act of 2019." The news yesterday is that Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has already co-authored a Senate DREAM Act, S. 874, with Senate Democratic Minority Leader Dick Durbin.

Would President Trump ever sign either bill? Probably not as they currently stand. But the very grave danger is that congressional leaders may try to sweeten the pot just enough to get his support.  And those "pot sweeteners" could make the bill even worse, not better.

Lately, President Trump has been calling for even more legal immigration because his advisors are telling him it will boost the economy. AND the President says he supports legislation that would make permanent President Obama's DACA amnesty.

Could we end up with a bill that offers amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants, visas for millions of new employment-based immigrants and temporary workers, and some window dressing about border security? Could there be a new Gang-of-Eight "comprehensive reform" bill?

That's exactly what we will get if our elected officials only hear from the cheap-labor lobby.  We need them to hear from people like you!

I’ll post on this again as the bill goes forward.
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Ohio Sanctuary Cities: new bill

have introduced  legislation (House Bill 169to 
BAN Sanctuary Cities & Sanctuary School Districts in Ohio 
(via Ralph King)

(click to embiggen)

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Propaganda for fun and profit

art credit: no-gods-no-masters.com

Corruption in the media just keeps getting worse. The anchors and pundits brazenly lie. They hardly ever retract. I had assumed the propaganda was ideologically-driven and power-driven, but I had not really considered how much money could be made by manufacturing blatant propaganda for gullible -- or at least uncritical viewers/readers. Stephen Ryan at American Thinker puts a few things together:

Right now, left-leaning mainstream media is getting flogged, and they deserve it for their dishonest reporting on the Trump/Russia conspiracy theory. Mass firings and a month of apologies by Jeff Zucker and Rachel Maddow would not be sufficient to mend the harm these organizations have done to America’s trust in news reporting.

But the folks who truly deserve to be put in their place and totally humiliated are the viewers of these pretend news shows. At what point do the Wellesley and Williams-educated elites look in the mirror and accept the fact that they have been taken for fools? They have enabled progressive media to manufacture rotten journalism. They never turned the channel.  

Most people got a glimpse of Rachel Maddow’s ringmaster act when she ran the elephants around a circle for forty-five minutes entertaining the masses with the promise that Trump’s tax returns would shortly be shot out of a cannon.  As the fuse burned and Rachel Maddow whipped the crowd into a frenzy, insinuating that she had caught the tax cheat, MSNBC producers were madly counting the gate.

Slate Magazine writes: “There was, of course, the mid-month burst of global attention surrounding the program’s unveiling of President Trump’s 2005 tax return, a scoop that yielded a series-best audience of just over 4 million viewers.”
Then suddenly… Boom!  - “TRUMP PAID HIS TAXES IN FULL!!!” Whoops. Cut to commercial.

For a nanosecond, media critics seemed embarrassed.  Slate called it a “mini-backlash among critics who accused Maddow of overhyping the discovery.”

But the ringmaster understood that nobody listens to the critics. What mattered most was the act: the bearded lady would be on the show the next day and the mob would show up.

The Trump tax return debacle, in certain ways, was a game changer for progressive media.

The fallout from the Trump tax return show was that network news producers tossed their journalistic ethics out of the window. The ghost of Walter Cronkite could finally be ignored -- the news legend’s white privilege delegitimized his legacy.  News organizations found themselves free to manipulate or willfully lie to their audience every single day.

And nobody seems to care. Certainly, Maddow’s audience doesn't care -- they show up every night.  Network news producers understand that now. In today’s world, it’s no longer the New York Times’ laughable and pretentious axiom “All the news that’s fit to print” that matters, it’s Randy Newman’s tune, “It’s money that matters,” that news media organizations dance to. Just ask Rachel.

Will there be any reckoning? The rest of the article is here.
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Saturday, March 23, 2019

Mark Steyn: Mueller & the Deep State Dumpster Fire

Photo credit: sharonherald.com

We all know the bottom line: no more indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his band of witch-hunters. However, some of the unfolding developments in the investigation over the past two years have been complex and difficult to follow. The exposure of Deep State corruption in the FBI and DOJ; the cast of characters including bad cops and insubordinate staffers; the blatant abuse of the FISA court in targeting Carter Page as a means of expanding surveillance into the Trump campaign; the weaponization of the previous administration; and the collusion of most of the media – it’s a scandal of intimidating proportions, all of it intended to invalidate the results of the 2016 Presidential election.

My favorite columnist, Mark Steyn, has the best summary that I have read. And as always, it’s succinct, easy to follow, and entertaining. He begins:

For two years, the prefatory "Russia" has been intended to give the word "investigation" more heft, to make it seem as if there was something more than let's-get-Trump-on-anything. But even the unlimited resources of a wretchedly corrupt federal justice system couldn't keep that going without something more than Michael Cohen's taxi medallions (only in America) and a few Russian troll farms, one of whom has amusingly decided to push back in court against Mueller and his showboating cronies.

Mr. Steyn concludes:

Trump Tweeted his way out of the Deep State's grip. I doubt any other Republican president would have proved so wily: It's not difficult to imagine President Jeb deciding to do the right thing and resign for the good of the country - without ever being able to figure what it was he'd done wrong. We have witnessed an extraordinary sustained attempted coup in which senior officials of the "justice" department shoot the breeze about wearing a wire to get the goods on the elected chief executive. If there are no consequences to that, it will happen again.

And the entire article is here. Highly recommended.
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Friday, March 22, 2019

Censorship and the tech companies

This blog has been linking regularly to reports about political correctness, censorship, and the attacks on our First Amendment rights. Ned Ryun at American Greatness reports:

Just over six years ago, I attended Google’s Political Innovation Summit in New York City. Over the course of the day, it dawned on me that, in the not-too-distant future, Google and other social media companies like Facebook and Twitter would have the power to control and manipulate information flow in unforeseen and dramatic ways. That power would give the tech giants the ability to manipulate elections and policy debates and even to re-define what free speech actually means.

That future has arrived.
. . .
Every single decision of these tech companies seems to cut the same way—against a conservative worldview, against religious communities, against anything that doesn’t fit comfortably within their little Silicon Valley bubble.
. . .
To err in any direction but toward the free flow of information is to sow the seeds of our eventual demise. 

Full report is here.
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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Political correctness and the decline of Fox News

image credit: Flopping Aces

Fox News suspended Judge Jeanine Pirro for asking a fair question: Is Sharia Law compatible with the United States Constitution? This isn’t just about immigration or Sharia Law. It’s yet another indication that we are losing our free speech. (And Fox seems determined to circle the drain; they just hired Donna Brazile.)

Here’s some reporting from Flopping Aces:

Sharia Law may become the third rail of America politics if one is to judge by the suspension/cancellation for at least one episode of Judge Jeanine’s weekend Fox News show “Justice with Judge Jeanine. A cowardly Fox News has extended the protective canopy of political correctness apparently barring its hosts from asking the tough and obvious questions about a doctrine few non-Muslims are aware of and few Americans understand.
. . .
Pirro’s March 9 comment [was] about Rep. Ilhan Omar ( D-Minn.), who wears a hijab, a traditional head covering worn by Muslim women.“Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?” 
. . .
A question that deserves to be asked and answered. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has in the past observed that those who follow Sharia law can’t also be loyal to the U.S., Constitution and the Western values it represents, and either shouldn’t be allowed to enter the U.S. or should be deported from it, much less serve in its legislative assemblies.

Full report with links is here.  Fox is losing credibility, and viewers are turning the channel - sometimes to Fox Business, also to OAN. Or to talk radio. Or to the conservative blogosphere - which is also encountering censorship, de-platforming, etc. 
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Monday, March 18, 2019

A Civilian Cyber Militia in Ohio to Protect Elections

Image credit: carriermanagement.com

Ohio Seeks to Create a Civilian Cyber Militia 
to Protect Elections

Ohio lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would create a civilian cyber militia tasked with protecting the state's critical government agencies and election systems from cyber attacks. If passed, the bill would create a new volunteer unit under the authority of the Ohio adjutant general called the Ohio Cyber Reserve (OCR). It would operate at the same level as the National Guard, creating eight regional teams of 10 members each.

The "Improve Information Integrity and Security Act" (SB 52) would create a cybersecurity reserve force "capable of being expanded and trained to educate and protect state, county, and local governmental agencies, critical infrastructure, including election systems, businesses, and citizens of this state from cyber attacks."
. . .
The bill, introduced by Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) in February, has been assigned to the Government Oversight and Reform Committee, where it is awaiting a hearing.

The headline reads “To Protect Elections.” What could go wrong? Click on Ms. Bolyard's full report here and scroll down to some reader comments (esp. by "ValVeggie").

Here's the Government Oversight and Reform Committee page. No meeting on this bill is scheduled for next week. The draft of SB 52 is posted here. It's 23 pages long. Here's Sen. Theresa Gavarone's website; it includes an email option.
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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Happy St. Patrick's Day

From the 2018 St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Cleveland :^):

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Saturday, March 16, 2019

Income inequality is fair

Image credit: ventura632.wordpress.com

A core Tea Party value is "free markets." Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell are two economists who are able to make complicated subjects accessible to Everyman. In his column today, Mr. Williams explains why capitalism is not a zero-sum game:

Some Americans have much higher income and wealth than others. Former President Barack Obama explained, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." An adviser to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has a Twitter account called "Every Billionaire Is A Policy Failure" tweeted, "My goal for this year is to get a moderator to ask 'Is it morally appropriate for anyone to be a billionaire?'" Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in calling for a wealth tax, complained, "The rich and powerful are taking so much for themselves and leaving so little for everyone else."

These people would have an argument if there were piles of money on the ground called income, with billionaires and millionaires surreptitiously getting to those piles first and taking their unfair shares. In that case, corrective public policy would require a redistribution of the income, wherein the ill-gotten gains of the few would be taken and returned to their rightful owners. The same could be said if there were a dealer of dollars who — because of his being a racist, sexist, multi-nationalist and maybe a Republican — didn't deal the dollars fairly. If he dealt millions to some and mere crumbs to others, decent public policy would demand a re-dealing of the dollars, or what some call income redistribution.
. . .
A system that requires that one serve his fellow man to have a claim on what he produces is far more moral than a system without such a requirement. For example, Congress can tell me, "Williams, you don't have to get out in that hot sun to mow a lawn to have a claim on what your fellow man produces. Just vote for me, and through the tax code, I will take some of what your fellow man produces and give it to you."

Let's look at a few multibillionaires to see whether they have served their fellow man well. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, with a net worth over $90 billion, is the second-richest person in the world. He didn't acquire that wealth through violence. Millions of people around the world voluntarily plunked down money to buy Microsoft products. That explains the great wealth of people such as Gates. They discovered what their fellow man wanted and didn't have, and they found out ways to effectively produce it. Their fellow man voluntarily gave them dollars. If Gates and others had followed President Obama's advice that "at a certain point" they'd "made enough money" and shut down their companies when they had earned their first billion or two, mankind wouldn't have most of the technological development we enjoy today.
. . .
The only people who benefit from class warfare are politicians and the elite; they get our money and control our lives. 

Say what you like about Bill Gates; Mr. Williams has a point. The full article is here
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Sen Rob Portman votes against Trump's national emergency at the border

From Breitbart:

Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Mike Lee (R-UT), Rand Paul (R-KY), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rob Portman (R-OH), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) voted in favor of eliminating Trump’s national emergency, which would make it harder to secure America’s southern border.

Not veto-proof but still sickening. 
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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Your cell phone and Google

image credit: andysowards.com

Google Exec Admits to Congress That They're Tracking Us 
Even with 'Location' Turned Off

Paula Bolyard reports at PJ Media (via Blazing Cat Fur) on yesterday's congressional hearing:

A Google executive admitted during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday that Google tracks users' phones  — even when their location history is turned off.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned Google Senior Privacy Counsel Will DeVries about the company's tracking policies during a hearing examining online consumer privacy. Some of DeVries' answers will likely disturb consumers who thought there was a way to avoid being tracked by Google through their phones.
. . .
DeVries explained that it's "complicated" -- a word that he used several times as he tried to evade Hawley's questions about why Google tracks its users' locations.
. . .
PJM's Phil Baker explained in December 2018 how to turn off as many tracking features as possible on your phone, but ultimately, users need to understand that Google has the ability to track you anytime you're carrying your phone. As Congress and Big Tech continue to duke it out over privacy issues — which may ultimately lead to new laws designed to protect consumers' private data — it's imperative to understand that your smartphone is a sophisticated geotracking advice. For now, that is the price you pay for the "free" services Google provides.

Full article at PJ Media is here. I don’t use a cell phone very often, but I have already switched from using Google on my desktop computer. And it’s easy for computer illiterates such as myself. Instead of Google, choose DuckDuckGo or StartPage as your search engine in your default settings menu.
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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Pushing back against Socialism

A.F. Branco cartoon credit: Townhall 

There are a lot of good editorials online this week comparing capitalism and socialism. But Alicia Colon is always one of my favorite contributors, and her column today begins

If Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez had grown up as I did during the Cold War in the 50's the very last thing she would be promoting would be socialism.

Granted our circumstances were very different as my family was dysfunctional, poor and we lived in the tough streets of Spanish Harlem; unlike the new Democrat congresswoman who spent most of her teen years in a more posh neighborhood.
Nevertheless I benefited from a solid parochial education taught by anti-Marxist nuns.

AOC, as she is now known, is a product of academic indoctrination by Marxists professors who have obviously never read Animal Farm or 1984 and are enthralled with the socialist agenda.
. . .
As poor as we were, we felt fortunate to live in this great country where we had the freedom to become whatever we chose to be. Most of us wanted to become wealthy enough to leave the inner city and raise healthy families. That was not possible under communism where the state ruled over everyone's lives.
. . .
AOC and so many poorly educated millenials have become useful idiots for the progressive Marxists disciples of Saul Alinsky and the Frankfurt School that Andrew Breitbart warned us about. We, who lived in the ‘50's, learned how to think and reason so that the very idea of global warming smelled to high heaven. How on earth could we plan to save a planet that old based on data that has only been around for a few hundred years?
. . .
Unfortunately, the feeble-minded have the stage right now and it is up to us older citizens in the silent majority to cut through the lies of the progressive and lamestream press and recognize that it is no longer viable for Americans not to get involved with politics. One of the major parties has been hijacked and supports infanticide, anti-Semitism and boos when it hears the name of God.

The full article is here. And Roger L. Simon at PJ Media comes to the same conclusion:

Those of us who believe in the market, even with the usual reservations, should be preparing for battle. We have in our corner that some Democrats (Omar, AOC, etc.) are heading off a cliff. That's to the good, but complacency is our enemy. As the left would say, the struggle continues (la lucha continua). Let's turn it back on them.
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Monday, March 11, 2019

Speaker Pelosi rules out impeachment?

photo credit: (apologies to) paradigmsanddemographics.blogspot.com

Headline news! Joshua Caplan at Breitbart reports:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is ruling out impeaching President Donald Trump, arguing in an interview with the Washington Post Monday that “he’s just not worth it.”

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it,” Pelosi told the Post.

Translation: Speaker Pelosi must know that Robert Mueller's upcoming report has nothing. Full Breitbart report is here
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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Nancy Pelosi's problem

Ben Garrison cartoon credit: conservativedailynews.com

Newt Gingrich’s take on the chaos in Congress:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi – and the old guard Democrats at large – are in a very difficult position.

The radical young voters the Democrats have been courting for years have finally elected like-minded radical young representatives – and Pelosi and her leadership team has no control over them.

A big reason why, as I mentioned on Hannity this week, is that there is a wide generational gap between Democratic House leadership and freshmen Democrats, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and others.
. . .
The result is, these new Democrats are throwing a party – and the grandparents aren’t invited. Pelosi and members of Democratic leadership are simply trapped in a cycle of responding to headlines. This is how you end up with the so-called Green New Deal, which is a work of complete legislative fantasy that would utterly bankrupt the country. It’s also how the House got to a second forced public condemnation of the new Democrats’ flagrant anti-Semitism. Pelosi simply can’t control the young, radical, progressive wing, which is ardently socialist, anti-Israel, and contemptuous of America and its history. 
. . .
Already, because of Pelosi’s inability to control her caucus, the Democrats can’t do anything positive. It’s making them desperate. The most they can do is focus their efforts on their shared vendetta against President Trump and everyone in his orbit.
. . .
These divides in the Democratic Party are only going to become more pronounced as Pelosi’s grip slips further. The new Democrats’ private party will become increasingly raucous until it has lost all touch with normal Americans. Moderate Democrats will have to continue answering for their colleague’s radicalism. Pelosi and the grandparents will not be invited along, but they will still be left cleaning up the mess.

The rest of Mr. Speaker's column is here.
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Friday, March 8, 2019

More bias and propaganda at Google

art credit: vectorstock.com

Google’s senior director of U.S. public policy, Adam Kovacevich appeared to describe the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) as a “sideshow Circus,” in a leaked audio recording in which he also argued that Google should remain a sponsor of the conference to “steer” the conservative movement “away from nationalistic and incendiary comments.”

The comments came to light in leaked audio files allegedly of a company-wide meeting at Google, part of which is now exclusively reported by Breitbart News. 

Another part of the transcript was released last Friday on Tucker Carlson Tonight, while further snippets revealing Google’s funding of establishment conservative think-tanks were published by the left-leaning tech magazine Wired in December.

The alleged meeting took place in the wake of Google’s sponsorship of CPAC in 2018, which triggered an internal rebellion from left-wing employees of the tech giant. Breitbart News exclusively reported on the revolt at the time, in which radical left-wingers inside Google accused CPAC of “ethno-nationalism” and “hate.”
. . .

Read the rest here (scroll down for transcripts).
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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Amazon and censorship

Robert Spencer’s website is Jihad Watch, and he contributes to other websites, such as PJ Media and the Geller Report. His books and columns focus on Islam’s history, ideology, scriptures, and related topics.  He recently posted an article at PJ Media that should raise grave concerns about our First Amendment rights:

. . .Amazon has just dropped the book Mohammed’s Koran by the renowned British activist Tommy Robinson and Peter McLoughlin -- and apparently only because its censors dislike Robinson.
. . .
Whatever anyone thinks of Tommy Robinson or the Qur’an, this is a serious matter that anyone who cares about the freedom of speech should be extremely concerned about.

Mohammed’s Koran is critical of Islam’s holy book. It endeavors to illustrate how violent jihadists justify their actions by referring to Islamic texts and teachings -- and that’s all. Robinson and McLoughlin call for no violence. Their book is accurate.
. . .

Both AmazonUS and AmazonUK still carry other products by or about Tommy Robinson, but neither carries his book about the Qur’an. As Spencer points out:

This is an extremely ominous development. Amazon and Barnes and Noble -- which is also not carrying this book -- have a virtual monopoly on book sales. When these two giants refuse to carry a book, that book effectively does not exist. If they are now going to ban books that are critical of Islam and opposed to jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others, then an Islam-critical perspective will be almost impossible to find anywhere.

We see censorship every day in the media which pushes propaganda instead of real news, which ignores conservative voices, which refuses to report on news with which they disagree. And now Spencer reports on book-banning!!! Read the rest here.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Close the border : Alert

From Steve Salvi at Ohio Jobs & Justice Pac :

The President needs to assert himself as Commander in Chief and:

1. Close the US Mexico border until Mexico stops helping any aliens from reaching the US border.
2. Close all of Mexico's consulates in the US until Mexico stops helping aliens from reaching the US border.
3. Warn Mexico if it does not eliminate the cartels within its territory, the US military will.

It's time the US stop being a paper tiger and letting the tail wag the dog.

White House comment line: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
Tweet President Trump: @realDonaldTrump
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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sen. Portman’s finger to the wind

Either Sen. Portman has his finger to the wind, or he is stalling until he has enough cover to vote for the bill. Cleveland.com reports:

“I’m trying to come up with an alternative way to deal with this,” Portman told reporters on Tuesday. “I’ll make a decision next week, of course, when the issue comes before us, but I’m trying to get a result here. I know some in the media are very eager to see an immediate decision, but that’s not the way I look at this."
Portman, a Republican, says he supports Trump’s border security plan and wants to help him achieve it. But he wants it done in a way “that doesn’t lead to setting a bad precedent and having some of the funds be tied up in court.”

With that in mind, Portman says he’s seeking to change the wording of the House-passed resolution, to include language that would ensure the national emergency process is not being abused and to clarify that there is money from sources like drug seizures that Trump could use for the border wall.

“One way to handle this is to clarify that so there’s no need to go to an emergency,” said Portman. “And we’re looking at other ideas as well.”

Uh huh. Read the rest here. From the Wikipedia page:

Between the enactment of the National Emergencies Act in 1976 through February 15, 2019, 59 emergencies have been declared;[3] 27 have expired while 32 are currently in effect, each having been renewed annually by the president.

The list is here. Yes, Congress can vote to end an emergency, but the present southern border crisis is an emergency. Sen Portman, Sen. Mitch McConnell, et al, are once again just trying to obstruct President Trump's efforts.

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Re: the media’s double standards

image credit:catholicleague.org

Here's Howie Carr on the media’s double standards (h/t Instapundit):

Have you ever noticed how differently Republicans are treated in the media than Democrats?

Every newsroom in the country used to have what was called the “AP Stylebook” to use in writing news stories.

Now you need two AP stylebooks, one for Democrats, about whom seldom is heard a discouraging word, and a second for the GOP, with a hundred different pejoratives.

Two parties, two vocabularies. One positive, one negative — very bad, evil in fact.
Consider the testimony by Michael Cohen last week in front of various Congressional committees.

For example, since he worked for Donald Trump, Cohen was described about a million times as a “fixer.” Democrats, on the other hand, have lawyers.

To prevent the release of embarrassing information, Democrats’ lawyers negotiate NDA’s — nondisclosure agreements. Republican fixers’ NDAs are “hush money,” or “bribes.”

Hillary Clinton paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democrat operatives who then bought or made up false Russian dirt on Trump — that was opposition research. Republicans, on the other hand, “collude!”

Republicans lie, Democrats misspeak.

Democrats plan, Republicans scheme.

Republicans hire lobbyists, Democrats use advocates. Republicans employ operatives or hired guns, Democrats prefer community activists.

If a Democrat changes his or her position on an issue, they have evolved … grown. Republicans “flip-flop.”

Whenever an unfamiliar politician is ensnared in some scandal, you naturally wonder which party he or she is a member of. If the “embattled” pol is a Republican, affiliation is usually noted in the headline, or at the very latest in the first paragraph.

If, however, you reach the third paragraph of the story without his party being identified, you can be absolutely certain you are reading about a Democrat miscreant.
. . .
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Friday, March 1, 2019

More censorship on social / online media

Daniel J.Flynn, a senior editor of The American Spectator, points out the chilling effect of de facto censorship on social media and online platforms. (One of the most recent examples is Amazon, which yanked Tommy Robinson’s new book on the Koran.)

Creepy people at massive corporations imagine themselves as the policemen of public content, except they would never use such as gendered term as policemen to describe themselves.

A former Facebook worker revealed evidence to Project Veritas that the online platform secretly uses a “deboost” function to suppress conservative speech on the social media platform. “The ‘deboost’ tag appears after the word ‘Sigma,’ which Project Veritas has learned is an artificial intelligence system used to block potential suicide and self-harm posts,” the exposé explains.

Does this mean Facebook analysts rationalize the suppression of conservative speech on the grounds that it induces self-harm? The corporate behemoth refuses to say. Facebook responded to the Project Veritas revelations by noting that it had fired the whistleblower, as though this discredits her instead of credits her story of a company fixated on controlling information.

Online Goliaths that deny suppressing speech strangely openly boast of banning it.
. . .

“Currently, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pretend that they are not publishers to avoid lawsuits involving libel law,” Zmirak tells The American Spectator. “But they are acting like editors of magazines. If they are editing content based on it not being illegal but it being objectionable to them, they should lose their exemption. They have to pick, either they are neutral platforms or they are publishers.”

Flynn identifies four potential solutions: 1)  eliminating exemptions from libel law;  2) billionaire-funded alternative platforms;  3) trust-busting;  4) individuals refraining from using FB, Twitter, etc.  Flynn does not favor option #4, and his fuller evaluations are here.
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