Crisis 8

We hold these truths to be self-evident:

China under its communist government is literally a source of sepsis to the whole world.

The United Nations is a den of thieves and murderers who live high on the hog on American taxpayers’ money.

The United States’ Democratic Party is a vicious tyrannical movement bent on destroying the American nation as it was founded on an exemplary constitution. It’s candidate for the presidency, Joe Biden, is a deeply corrupt habitual liar fast falling into senile dementia. If he is voted into power and his Party takes control of Congress, we are condemned to impoverished serfdom.

One man can save us from that doom: Donald Trump.

The critical moment of choice approaches with the election on November 3, 2020.

Is our view not a self-evident truth? Have we exaggerated the crisis we are in? If you think so, please tell us why.

Posted under government, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, October 22, 2020

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Planning chaos 1

“The Resistance” has drawn up plans to get Donald Trump out of the White House and Joe Biden into it, whether that’s what the electorate wants or not.

Here’s an extract from the document outlining their plans. It needs to be read in full.

Preventing a Disrupted Presidential Election and Transition

In June 2020 the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) convened a bipartisan group of over 100 current and former senior government and campaign leaders and other experts in a series of 2020 election crisis scenario planning exercises. TIP organized four scenario exercises to identify risks to the rule of law or to the integrity of the democratic process in the period between Election Day (November 3, 2020) and Inauguration Day (January 20, 2021), with an eye toward mitigation and/or prevention of worst-case outcomes.

In one scenario, the exercise posited that the winner of the election was not known as of the morning after the election and the outcome of the race was too close to predict with certainty.

In another, the exercise began with the premise that Democratic party candidate Joe Biden won the popular vote and the Electoral College by a healthy margin.

In a third, the exercise assumed that President Trump won the Electoral College vote but again lost the popular vote by a healthy margin.

The fourth exercise began with the premise that Biden won both the popular vote and the Electoral College by a narrow margin.

One scenario they didn’t visualize – being simply unable to believe it could possibly happen? – is an overwhelming victory  for Trump: his winning the popular vote and the Electoral College vote, both by a huge margin. 

That is the result that the electorate must deliver if we are to stand any chance of avoiding more and worse violent chaos (carried out in the name of democracy and the rule of law).

Although that outcome is apparently unthinkable to the planners, yet they fear it. Their fear shows in the extreme lengths they are preparing to go to if Trump wins by a narrow margin or by Electoral College votes but not the popular vote. These include an attempt to break up the union by secession of the three far-left western states, California, Oregon, Washington, which would unite to form a new country, “Cascadia”.

Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness:

Consider yourselves warned, America. …

A vengeful and well-funded coalition of Trump-hating insurrectionists are prepping the battlefield for a post-election civil war, threatening not only to extend the 2020 election into 2021 but to weaponize every tool at their disposal to make sure Joe Biden assumes the presidency even if President Trump legitimately wins.

The very same sore losers on the Left and NeverTrump Right who still refuse to accept the results of the 2016 presidential contest are preparing to do whatever it takes—including promote the secession of western states—to force the removal of Donald Trump next January.

Their plan, using the intentionally misleading title, Transition Integrity Project, outlines alarming and wholly unconstitutional responses to a number of post-election scenarios. Once upon a time, I would’ve read such a far-fetched document through tears of laughter. But considering the desperation and depravity of the people involved, this terrifying roadmap needs to be taken seriously.

Organizers, including Clinton loyalist John Podesta and NeverTrump leader Bill Kristol, have been playing war games for the past few months, plotting how to deploy media, government, and public armies to install Biden no matter what. Their scorched earth strategy rests on two factors: the use of widespread mail-in voting, intended to delay the official result so they can manipulate the outcome while stoking civil unrest until Republicans cry uncle, and the notion that if he loses, President Trump will claim the Democrats stole the election, a legitimate possibility that this plan only serves to further validate.

The four options described in the report, ranging from a Biden landslide to a slim Trump victory, would propel a constitutional crisis which our already frayed populace is ill-equipped to endure …

Teams of imaginary players, representing both campaigns and supporting interests, explored each potential result. (Kristol recently bragged on Twitter that he played the role of President Trump.) Bad guys include Attorney General William Barr; good guys include Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

“In the scenario that most closely mirrored the 2016 election results (e.g., the Democratic candidate wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College), Team Biden pushed to overturn certified results in states with Democratic Governors,” the participants previewed.

To buy time as they harvest Democratic ballots in tight contests after Election Day, the TIP operation will harness support from all living former presidents and anti-Trump Republicans such as Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to urge patience from the public in the name of “election integrity”. Faith leaders will call for calm even as Democrats stoke unrest; in order to involve corporate America in their fight—which shouldn’t be a heavy lift—anti-Trump forces will initiate nationwide work stoppages and strikes.

“Team Biden almost always called for and relied on mass protests to demonstrate the public’s commitment to a ‘legitimate’ outcome, with the objective of hardening the resolve of Democratic elected officials to fight and take action.” (The group at one point envisioned at least 4 million Biden supporters taking to the streets with warnings of “violent skirmishes and vandalism“.)

Those Democratic elected officials, according to the plan, include the governors and legislatures of swing states. One scene may have accidentally revealed the makings of a false flag operation after November 3 if Michigan is the deciding state.

“A rogue individual destroyed a large number of ballots believed to have supported Biden, leaving Trump a narrow electoral win,” the group imagined. “The Governor of Michigan used this abnormality as justification to send a separate, pro-Biden set of electors to DC.” …

The teams also developed a battle plan if Trump wins Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin. The Biden campaign would demand a recount based on accusations of “voter suppression”. In that scenario, “governors in two of the three (Wisconsin and Michigan) sent separate slates of electors to counter those sent by the state legislature“.

If that happens, the plotters predict, it would prompt “a breakdown in the joint session of Congress by getting the House of Representatives to agree to award the presidency to Biden based on the alternative pro-Biden submissions sent by pro-Biden governors.” January 20, 2021 would arrive with no clear winner, raising the specter of military action.

Only one scenario allows for a Biden loss, but any concession would involve a constitutional shakedown. The Biden campaign wouldn’t admit defeat until it “negotiated hard for permanent structural reforms” including long-desired Democratic Party goals such as eliminating the Electoral College and approving D.C. statehood.

Keep in mind, these are the same folks who routinely accuse the president of violating “constitutional norms”, and therein lies the gist: since Trump allegedly shreds the Constitution and rule of law, they argue without evidence, then his foes are justified in doing the same. …

The Biden team may encourage California, Washington, and Oregon to secede and form a new country—Cascadia—unless Congressional Republicans agree to “structural reforms to fix our democratic system” proposed by President Obama.

Romney plays a starring role in one anecdote; while Trump disputes a slim Biden victory, Romney successfully convinces three Republican senators to declare Biden the victor. “As it became evident that the Biden victory would be certified, Senator [sic] Majority Leader Mitch McConnell privately signaled to several Republicans they could support Romney’s cross-the-aisle effort, recognizing that moderate Republicans are more likely to prevail in 2022.”

Trump’s woes, however, won’t be over after Biden replaces him in the Oval Office. TIP organizers will push to have the president and members of his administration charged with unspecified crimes.

Some observers have compared the Transition Integrity Project’s operation to a “color revolution,” a coup-like strategy the United States uses in other countries to foment civil unrest and oust hostile foreign leaders. (Revolver News has a few excellent pieces detailing the comparison and the players involved.)

But what’s most alarming about TIP’s plan is the deep pockets behind it. All of this could be written off as the grudge fantasies of political activists still mad about 2016 except it is backed by some of the wealthiest people in the world. … including George Soros, Pierre Omidyar, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Rupert Murdoch family.

On further consideration we wonder: is more and worse violent chaos unavoidable even if Donald Trump wins in a landslide?

After all, it is not the will of the people that matters to these planners of chaos.

Only their will to power matters to them.

Draining the Deep State swamp 3

This is great good news.

Breitbart reports:

At the direction of President Trump, the White House Office of Management and Budget will move to identify and eliminate any trace of “critical race theory” in the federal government.

Critical race theory is the leftist, racist doctrine that forms the intellectual underpinnings of Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and other radical organizations currently engaged in unrest on America’s streets.

It alleges, among other things, that the United States is a white supremacist country, and that all white people are guilty of racism, whether they intend it or not.

President Trump has brought the issue of far-left indoctrination to the forefront of the national conversation in recent months. It was a major theme of the President’s Independence Day speech at Mt. Rushmore, in which he condemned far-left theories that “defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children”.

Russ Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, announced on Twitter that the Trump administration will bring any dabbling in such theories by the federal government to a swift end.

The days of taxpayer funded indoctrination trainings that sow division and racism are over,” said Vought. “Under the direction of [President Trump],  we are directing agencies to halt critical race theory trainings immediately.”

According to the text of the memo sent out by OMB:

All agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory,” “white privilege,” or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil.

The divisive, false, and demeaning propaganda of the critical race theory movement is contrary to all we stand for as Americans and should have no place in the Federal government,” concludes the memo.

We cannot resist the pleasure of quoting the greater part of the memo (it can be read in full here).

September 4, 2020

MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

FROM: Russell Vought Director

SUBJECT: Training in the Federal Government

It has come to the President’s attention that Executive Branch agencies have spent millions of taxpayer dollars to date “training” government workers to believe divisive, antiAmerican propaganda.

For example, according to press reports, employees across the Executive Branch have been required to attend trainings where they are told that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” or where they are required to say that they “benefit from racism”.

According to press reports, in some cases these training have further claimed that there is racism embedded in the belief that America is the land of opportunity or the belief that the most qualified person should receive a job.

These types of “trainings” not only run counter to the fundamental beliefs for which our Nation has stood since its inception, but they also engender division and resentment within the Federal workforce.

We can be proud that as an employer, the Federal government has employees of all races, ethnicities, and religions. We can be proud that Americans from all over the country seek to join our workforce and dedicate themselves to public service. We can be proud of our continued efforts to welcome all individuals who seek to serve their fellow Americans as Federal employees.

However, we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.

The President has directed me to ensure that Federal agencies cease and desist from using taxpayer dollars to fund these divisive, un-American propaganda training sessions. Accordingly, to that end, the Office of Management and Budget will shortly issue more detailed guidance on implementing the President’s directive. 

In the meantime, all agencies are directed to begin to identify all contracts or other agency spending related to any training on “critical race theory/9 “white privilege”, or any other training or propaganda effort that teaches or suggests either (1) that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country or (2) that any race or ethnicity is inherently racist or evil. In addition, all agencies should begin to identify all available avenues within the law to cancel any such contracts and/or to divert Federal dollars away from these unAmerican propaganda training sessions.

Beautiful!

Posted under government, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 5, 2020

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Free thought as heresy again 9

The Left has captured the culture. That’s well known and oft repeated. Education is now religiously Leftist from kindergarten to doctorate. The entertainment industry – stage, film, television –  faithfully carries the sacred messages. The media, both “mainstream” and “social”, are packed with acolytes.

Not only the guardians of the culture have converted en masse to the Church of Marx. Big panjandrums of our capitalist economy are dropping their checks for hundred of millions of dollars into the collection boxes of the Left’s terrorist curates – buying time, they foolishly hope. That would be more surprising if we didn’t have Vladimir Lenin’s (possibly apocryphal but highly plausible) prophecy that “the capitalist will sell you the rope you’ll hang him with”.

And now it is all too horrifyingly possible that the Left will re-capture the legislative and executive branches of the US government. As for the judicial branch, seven of the Supreme Court  justices – all nine of whom were formerly Jewish or Catholic which was not harmful to determinations of law – are dancing arm-in-arm leftwards through a side door into the C. of M., where doctrinal orthodoxy is strictly enforced. Could SCOTUS become the tribunal of the next Inquisition?

A dark age lies ahead. But need we despair? There is consolation to be found in the records of the fast fading era of free thought (roughly 1700-2000), that will still be available to us in books.

Or will they?

Oh, oh! It seems that books by or about the great  – mostly white – scientists, inventors, discoverers, philosophers, visionaries, economists, historians, educators whose ideas debunk the doctrines of the C. of M., are to be removed from libraries, bookshops, even probably our private rooms, and destroyed. Blotted out of human memory. They will not be published  again; or if published by some rogue publisher, not advertised;  or if advertised by some mischance, not sold; or if sold on a black market market of color, confiscated and destroyed.

On the other hand, books supporting the doctrine of the C. of M. (chiefly concerning anti-racism and the evil of being White) will abound. Vast libraries will be built to contain them. There’ll be at least one in every hotel bedside drawer. There’ll be cutely illustrated versions of some on the shelves of kindergartens; thousands to be checked out by students in all grades or else; and subterranean university bookstores will be chockfull of them.

Bruce Bawer, observing the trend, writes at Front Page:

Of America’s most powerful and prominent cultural institutions, it’s quick work naming those that aren’t entirely left-wing satrapies. TV? Fox News, although things are looking less and less encouraging there. Colleges? Hillsdale, I guess, though how many Ivy League faculty members would ever admit to having heard of it? Newspapers? The New York Post (sometimes), Wall Street Journal (kind of)and perhaps one or two others from sea to shining sea. Silicon Valley? Nothing. Hollywood? ¡Nada! Big business? Hmm: what is there, nowadays, honestly, other than that My Pillow guy?

One field in which there’s at least a soupçon of ideological diversity is the book trade. Yes, staffers at the major publishing houses are overwhelmingly on the left. Ditto bookstore employees. Plus the people who give out the major book awards. Not to mention that the heftiest advances for political books go to Democrats. Since the turn of the century, the biggest nonfiction book deal, amounting to at least $65 million, was for Michelle Obama’s Becoming (2018) and for an as-yet-unpublished opus by Barack; second – raking in $15 million – was Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004); third – at $14 million – was Hillary’s Hard Choices (2014).

One more thing about the reflexive leftism of the book scene. Thanks to today’s lethal cancel culture, even classics are at risk. Recently, in an article for the School Library Journal headlined “Little House, Big Problem: What To Do with ‘Classic’ Books That Are Also Racist”, Marva Hinton identified both Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird as racist. No, she didn’t just say that they contained racist language, which would have been fair enough; she asserted that these two books – both of them key texts in the history of the American struggle against racism – are in fact racist.

Hinton quoted Julia E. Torres, a Denver school librarian, as saying that when she’s consulted by teachers who want to assign Harper Lee’s novel to their student, she often suggests replacing it with Samira Ahmed’s dystopic novel Internment, “about a teen sent to a U.S. internment camp for Muslim American people”. Alternatively, Torres “suggests they teach To Kill a Mockingbird using excerpts or through a critical consciousness lens, which would include lessons on white saviorism and the weaponization of white women’s tears”. Check, please!

I’m not familiar with the novel Internment – just out in paperback from Little, Brown – but it’s part of a full-court press by the book business to normalize Islam and demonize “Islamophobia”.  Also in on this effort are the major pre-pub reviewing outlets, all of which gave Internment starred reviews that were short on praise for aesthetic values and long on PC drivel. (“Taking on Islamophobia and racism in a Trump-like America…” – Kirkus.  “A very real, very frank picture of hatred and ignorance…” – Booklist. “An unsettling and important book for our times.” – Publishers Weekly.)

In 2006 I published a highly critical book about Islam. Even then, it was savaged by bien pensant book-world types. But criticizing Islam has become so verboten on the left that I doubt any major publisher today would touch a book like While Europe Slept – even though the problems described therein have grown far, far worse.

Meanwhile, to peruse the latest catalogues from those same publishers is to discover a blizzard of dreary-sounding new or forthcoming novels that, judging from the plot summaries, are drenched in identity politics. (Two quick examples from Knopf, perhaps the most respected of literary publishers: Burning by Megha Majumdar, about an Indian girl who’s falsely accused of terrorism and turns for help to a trans woman; My Mother’s House by Francesca Momplaisir, a novel that takes on “the legacy of colonialism” and “the abuse of male power”. …

Amazon’s current list of top ten bestsellers includes several far-left books on racism: Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning, Ijeoma Oluo’s So You Want to Talk about Race, and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. You might think there’s a market for at least one book criticizing these authors’ views; but I’ve been assured by industry insiders that no major New York house would even consider publishing such a book.

Even in book publishing, then, the left is way ahead. But this isn’t good enough for Alex Shephard, a young staff writer at the New Republic, who in a recent article maintained that the book industry is “overdue” for a major “reckoning”. Here’s his article’s subhead (italics mine):

The industry is facing demands to live up to its stated values. That might mean ditching writers like Donald Trump Jr.

And later there’s this (italics again mine):

…these publishing houses are, like many corporations in the country, being asked by their employees and customers to live up to a set of values. And that would seem to be impossible while also publishing the likes of Tucker Carlson…

What does Shephard mean by “stated values”? Simple: left-wing ideological purity. In his view, conservative books are, with exceedingly few exceptions, “valueless”. (Shephard implies that “quality control” alone would eliminate most conservative titles.) Also by definition, they’re awash in “factual inaccuracies”. Because of course you can’t possibly mount a convincing non-leftist argument for anything without radically distorting the truth. (As Shephard puts it: “Being forced to tell the truth is not an existential issue for most of publishing; it is for conservative imprints.”)

Hence, if book publishers began to be serious about fact-checking, it would, argues Shephard, “make it impossible to publish a great many conservative books”. Indeed, even the “more ‘respectable’ side of conservative publishing”, as represented for Shephard by Jonah Goldberg’s 2008 bestseller Liberal Fascism (note, however, those scare quotes around the word respectable), would be challenged by a responsible fact-checking apparatus.

According to Shephard, another attribute of many conservative books is that their authors aren’t serious. He quotes Kimberly Burns, a book publicist: “I’m OK with books being published from different political viewpoints – in fact, it’s necessary for debate and being able to see a whole picture … The problem is when authors write things only to get themselves attention or to make news, instead of to enhance a dialogue…” Apparently this isn’t a problem with left-wing books.

Bottom line: Shephard really likes censorship of his ideological opponents. And he really admires his fellow “woke” types who put pressure on publishers to cancel books. He notes with obvious satisfaction that Henry Holt, the publishing house, “drew fire for its decision to continue publishing Bill O’Reilly after multiple accusations of sexual harassment were made against him”. (There’s no indication that Shephard believes multiple accusations of sexual harassment should affect Bill Clinton’s publishing career.)

Shephard approvingly mentions Simon & Schuster’s 2016 decision to drop the book Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos, whom he identifies as “a troll known for shallow publicity stunts”. And he tells us that he’s spoken to employees at another publishing house, Hachette, who “expressed discomfort about the company’s conservative imprint, Center Street, which publishes Donald Trump Jr., among others”.

Boy, I’ll bet they did. Since Shephard’s article appeared, Hachette staffers – largely lower-level Gen-Z brats – have said that they won’t work on J.K. Rowling’s forthcoming book because she’s criticized transgender ideology. Hachette is the same house that, in response to workers outraged over unproven quarter-century-old sex-abuse allegations, canceled Woody Allen’s about-to-be-published memoirs in March. Allen was never charged with any crime, let alone found guilty of one; years later he was permitted to adopt two children. Yet thanks to those junior Jacobins – every one of whom should’ve been fired – Allen was unceremoniously cut adrift.

And Shephard fully approves. He actually calls Allen a “pariah”. The ease with which this smug punk swats away the legendary writer-director is chilling. No matter what you may think of Allen or his films, the whole ugly spectacle is just too reminiscent of the way things worked under Stalin and Mao. And it’s all too representative, alas, of the atrocious attitudes of the rising generation of lockstep cancel-culture creeps who, like it or not, are well on their way to becoming our nation’s official cultural gatekeepers.

American hero 4

A future president? Successor in 2024 to Donald Trump?

Richard Grenell

President Trump’s acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told the House Intelligence Committee, chaired by Adam Schiff, that if they did not release transcripts of interviews conducted by the panel during its Russia probe in 2017 and 2018, he would do it himself.

The deeply dishonest and dishonorable Representative Adam Schiff had tried to keep the transcripts secret, because they reveal that the truth is the exact opposite of a claim he has been making for years. He had spoken often and vehemently of the massive quantity of evidence he possessed that Donald Trump, when he was a candidate for the presidency he later won, had “colluded” with the Russian government, in particular with President Putin, against the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

No such evidence could possibly exist because such “collusion” never happened. We now know that it was Hillary Clinton’s campaign and some sympathetic bureaucrats and intelligence agents who had used fictitious information (some of it perhaps from Russia, and if so in collusion with that enemy!) to frame Donald Trump.

Schiff, it emerges, had so totally deluded himself into believing his own lie that even after the transcripts were released under pressure from Grenell, and everyone could see that they provided no such evidence as he had claimed, he went on insisting that they did.

Fox News reported on May 7 that Schiff even cited the Mueller report, which had cleared President Trump of the charge, as confirmation that the alleged Trump-Russia collusion had taken place! Schiff said:

Despite the many barriers put in our way by the then-Republican Majority, and attempts by some key witnesses to lie to us and obstruct our investigation, the transcripts that we are releasing today show precisely what Special Counsel Robert Mueller also revealed: that the Trump campaign, and Donald Trump himself, invited illicit Russian help, made full use of that help, and then lied and obstructed the investigations in order to cover up this misconduct.

Not only do they show no such thing, what they do show is witness after witness testifying that he or she knew nothing about any such collusion. Not a drop or hint of any evidence whatsoever to support Adam Schiff’s false claim emerges from anyone’s testimony.

Fox reports:

The transcripts are full of testimony from officials who said they were unaware of evidence showing coordination between the Trump team and the Russians.

And no matter what deluded Schiff imagines to be case, the facts are now in the open, thanks to Richard Grenell.

And that is not all Grenell has done. He made more information public which Democrats had tried to keep hidden.

He declassified and released a list of top Obama administration officials who had requested the “unmasking” of Lt. Gen. Flynn during the presidential transition period. The list included then Vice President Joe Biden, James Comey then head of the FBI, John Brennan then head of the CIA, and James Clapper then Director of National Intelligence.

Soon after that he released an entire email that Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice had written and sent to herself on President Trump’s inauguration day, about an Oval Office meeting held some days earlier in which the Russia investigation plot was discussed. Present at the  meeting, she recorded, was Obama himself, Joe Biden, James Comey, and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. She repeated several times that Obama insisted everything they did to carry out the plot against the incoming president and his appointed security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, must  be “done by the book”. Yet Obama could not have believed that there was a legal way, a method approved by the “book” of the law, to stage a coup d’état!

So the plot has been blown wide open, and President Trump rightly calls it “the greatest political crime in the history of our country”.

Grenell has also served his country and its president well as US Ambassador to Germany.  Bruce Bawer specifies how at Front Page (in an article mainly about the furious reaction of the Democrats to the fact that the first openly gay man to be a Cabinet member has been appointed by President Trump, who, they constantly allege without a trace of evidence as usual, is “anti-gay”).

In Berlin [Grenell] called on German firms to stop commerce with Iran and pushed Angela Merkel’s government to spend more on defense, take back an old Nazi from the U.S., and ban Hezbollah. …

Anyone remotely familiar with the situation knows that Germany has long been the most anti-American country in Western Europe; a few months ago, a survey showed that only 35% of Germans view the U.S. positively and that “Germans now have more trust in China than in the United States”. …

[[Yet] German firms did cut ties with Iran; Merkel’s government did hike its defense budget; she took that old Nazi off our hands; and, yes, Hezbollah got banned. …

The salient point about Grenell’s stint in Germany is that he’s exactly what the German-American relationship has needed for a long time. Germans, or at least German elites, have always looked down on Americans as rubes and boors; after we crushed their evil empire in 1945, they kept a low profile for a couple of decades, whereupon the War in Vietnam gave them an excuse to climb back on their high horse. After that, the contempt ran deeper than ever, because, whatever their pretensions, they knew we were a superpower and they weren’t, and that was, for them, an unbearable thought. Their chronic lust for power was satiated by the transformation of the Common Market into the EU, which gave German leaders the vast continental empire they always wanted.

While consolidating power over that empire, the Germans have treated their sometime conqueror and longtime protector, the U.S. with increasing disrespect, welshing on NATO debt and ignoring U.S. concerns about their dealings with Iran and Russia. More than any American envoy before him, Grenell, with Trump’s backing, has called them on the carpet for this, put them in their place, knocked them off their perches. (As Victor Davis Hanson has put it, “Trump did not create the wound with Germany. He simply tore off the scab, exposed, and poked at what was long festering beneath.”) They can’t stand it, but they have to take it, because they know what’s what and who’s who. It’s good for them. It’s good for the world. …

So Richard Grenell is good for America, good for the conservative Right, good for the Trump administration – and good for the world.

Oops! Sorry, world! 9

Catastrophe. Cataclysm.

Have billions of lives been devastated and millions of people reduced to poverty by a computer software error? 

Thomas D. Williams writes at Breitbart:

The UK’s coronavirus lockdown was caused by “the most devastating software mistake of all time, in terms of economic costs and lives lost,” according to a report by a British newspaper.

The essay is referring to computer modeling by Neil Ferguson and his team at Imperial College London that predicted enormous deaths in the UK and elsewhere and led to draconian lockdown measures.

The Imperial College team published a 20‐​page report on March 16 forecasting that an uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 could cause as many as 510,000 deaths in Britain and as many as 2.2 million deaths in the United States.

The predictions, which were considerably wide of the mark were the result of radically deficient modelling, according to a report in British newspaper The Daily Telegraph by software developers David Richards and Konstantin Boudnik

Imperial’s unreliable microsimulation model moved policymakers to “mothball our multi-trillion pound economy and plunge millions of people into poverty and hardship,” the authors note.

The simulation code was so bad, the writers insist, that they “would fire anyone for developing code like this and any business that relied on it to produce software for sale would likely go bust.”

Imperial’s model “is vulnerable to producing wildly different and conflicting outputs based on the same initial set of parameters,” they state. “Run it on different computers and you would likely get different results. In other words, it is non-deterministic.”

In their contention that the Imperial model was “fundamentally unreliable”, the authors question why the government did not get a second opinion before radically altering the lives of millions of citizens.

The writers register their suspicion that “the [British] Government saw what was happening in Italy with its overwhelmed hospitals and panicked.”

Did the Ferguson team’s wildly wrong computer modeling also influence the US federal government’s decision to quarantine the entire population, causing businesses to close, many perhaps permanently, and impoverishing millions?

It seems that it did.

Can even the Midas touch of President Trump restore the lost wealth of America? Is there a doctor or magician who can resurrect the late economy?

WHO’s panic and why? 9

From Swiss Propaganda Research:

Overview

    1. According to data from the best-studied countries and regions, the lethality of Covid19 is on average about 0.2%, which is in the range of a severe influenza (flu) and about twenty times lower than originally assumed by the WHO.
    2. Even in the global “hotspots”, the risk of death for the general population of school and working age is typically in the range of a daily car ride to work. The risk was initially overestimated because many people with only mild or no symptoms were not taken into account.
    3. Up to 80% of all test-positive persons remain symptom-free. Even among 70-79 year olds, about 60% remain symptom-free. Over 95% of all persons show mild symptoms at most.
    4. Up to one third of all persons already have a certain background immunity to Covid19 due to contact with previous coronaviruses (i.e. common cold viruses).
    5. The median or average age of the deceased in most countries (including Italy) is over 80 years and only about 1% of the deceased had no serious preconditions. The age and risk profile of deaths thus essentially corresponds to normal mortality.
    6. In most Western countries, 50 to 70% of all extra deaths occurred in nursing homes, which do not benefit from a general lockdown. Moreover, in many cases it is not clear whether these people really died from Covid19 or from extreme stress, fear and loneliness.
    7. Up to 50% of all additional deaths may have been caused not by Covid19, but by the effects of the lockdown, panic and fear. For example, the treatment of heart attacks and strokes decreased by up to 60% because many patients no longer dared to go to hospital.
    8. Even in so-called “Covid19 deaths” it is often not clear whether they died from or with coronavirus (i.e. from underlying diseases) or if they were counted as “presumed cases” and not tested at all. However, official figures usually do not reflect this distinction.
    9. Many media reports of young and healthy people dying from Covid19 turned out to be false: many of these young people either did not die from Covid19, they had already been seriously ill (e.g. from undiagnosed leukaemia), or they were in fact 109 instead of 9 years old.
    10. The normal overall mortality per day is about 8000 people in the US, about 2600 in Germany and about 1800 in Italy. Influenza mortality per season is up to 80,000 in the US and up to 25,000 in Germany and Italy. In several countries Covid19 deaths remained below strong flu seasons.
    11. Regional increases in mortality may be influenced by additional risk factors such as high levels of air pollution and microbial contamination, as well as a collapse in the care for the elderly and sick due to infections, mass panic and lockdown. Special regulations for dealing with the deceased sometimes led to additional bottlenecks in funeral or cremation services.
    12. In countries such as Italy and Spain, and to some extent the UK and the US, hospital overloads due to strong flu waves are not unusual. In addition, up to 15% of doctors and health workers were put into quarantine, even if they developed no symptoms.
    13. The often shown exponential curves of “corona cases” are misleading, as the number of tests also increased exponentially. In most countries, the ratio of positive tests to tests overall (i.e. the positive rate) remained constant at 5% to 25% or increased only slightly. In many countries, the peak of the spread was already reached well before the lockdown.
    14. Countries without curfews and contact bans, such as Japan, South Korea or Sweden, have not experienced a more negative course of events than other countries. Sweden was even praised by the WHO and now benefits from higher immunity compared to lockdown countries.
    15. The fear of a shortage of ventilators was unjustified. According to lung specialists, the invasive ventilation (intubation) of Covid19 patients, which is partly done out of fear of spreading the virus, is in fact often counterproductive and damaging to the lungs.
    16. Contrary to original assumptions, various studies have shown that there is no evidence of the virus spreading through aerosols (i.e. particles floating in the air) or through smear infections (e.g. on door handles, smartphones or at the hairdresser).
    17. There is also no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in healthy or asymptomatic individuals. On the contrary, experts warn that such masks interfere with normal breathing and may become “germ carriers”. Leading doctors called them a “media hype” and “ridiculous”.
    18. Many clinics in Europe and the US remained strongly underutilized or almost empty during the Covid19 peak and in some cases had to send staff home. Numerous operations and therapies were cancelled, including some organ transplants and cancer screenings.
    19. Several media were caught trying to dramatize the situation in hospitals, sometimes even with manipulative images and videos. In general, the unprofessional reporting of many media maximized fear and panic in the population.
    20. The virus test kits used internationally are prone to errors and can produce false positive and false negative results. Moreover, the official virus test was not clinically validated due to time pressure and may sometimes react to other coronaviruses.
    21. Numerous internationally renowned experts in the fields of virology, immunology and epidemiology consider the measures taken to be counterproductive and recommend rapid natural immunisation of the general population and protection of risk groups. The risks for children are virtually zero and closing schools was never medically warranted.
    22. Several medical experts described vaccines against coronaviruses as unnecessary or even dangerous. Indeed, the vaccine against the so-called swine flu of 2009, for example, led to sometimes severe neurological damage and lawsuits in the millions.
    23. The number of people suffering from unemployment, psychological problems and domestic violence as a result of the measures has skyrocketed worldwide. Several experts believe that the measures may claim more lives than the virus itself. According to the UN millions of people around the world may fall into absolute poverty and famine.
    24. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden warned that the “corona crisis” will be used for the massive and permanent expansion of global surveillance. The renowned virologist Pablo Goldschmidt spoke of a “global media terror” and “totalitarian measures“. Leading British virologist professor John Oxford spoke of a “media epidemic”.
    25. More than 500 scientists have warned against an “unprecedented surveillance of society” through problematic apps for “contact tracing”. In some countries, such “contact tracing” is already carried out directly by the secret service. In several parts of the world, the population is already being monitored by drones and facing serious police overreach.

 

(We thank Cogito for the link)

Posted under government, Health, media by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

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Totalitarian Catholic Communism – an ideal for America? 8

Adrian Vermeule is a Harvard professor of Constitutional Law who doesn’t like the US Constitution, is nostalgic for Roman Catholic statist totalitarianism, and proposes a new dispensation for Americans under “authoritative rule for the common good” which, he gleefully declares, requires the “overriding” of “the selfish claims of individuals to ‘private rights’”.

Vermeule is a convert to Catholicism. He does not mention Catholicism by name in this article, but his belief that morality is rightly defined and imposed by a central authority for the “common good” belongs to his religion. And the idea that self-sacrifice is the highest moral good is essentially a Christian teaching. A fear of heresy – people being allowed to voice an opinion that the state-as-church does not approve – suffuses his political philosophy.

Free speech and free-speech ideology — that government is forbidden to judge the quality and moral worth of public speech,” he writes, “should be not only rejected but stamped as abominable, beyond the realm of the acceptable forever”.

The article in which he propounds these views appears in the Leftist journal, The Atlantic, as “part of the project The Battle for the Constitution, in partnership with the National Constitution Center”. (Go there to see how all the contributions to this project are actually against the Constitution.)

It is easy to see why The Atlantic likes his ideas. Stalin would have applauded them.

As for the structure and distribution of authority within government, common-good constitutionalism will favor a powerful presidency ruling over a powerful bureaucracy, the latter acting through principles of administrative law’s inner morality with a view to promoting solidarity and subsidiarity. The bureaucracy will be seen not as an enemy, but as the strong hand of legitimate rule. The state is to be entrusted with the authority to protect the populace from the vagaries and injustices of market forces, from employers who would exploit them as atomized individuals, and from corporate exploitation and destruction of the natural environment. 

The close resemblance between Left statism and Catholic Christianity could not be more candidly displayed.

This Constitutional Law professor would not allow a thread of the Constitution to remain … Oh, wait! He does allow a few threads to remain, useful for the re-construction of the United States of America:

The general-welfare clause, which gives Congress “power to … provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States”, is an obvious place to ground principles of common-good constitutionalism (despite a liberal tradition of reading the clause in a cramped fashion), as is the Constitution’s preamble, with its references to general welfare and domestic tranquility, to the perfection of the union, and to justice.

And he could endure the retention of some words, provided they were re-interpreted:

Constitutional words such as freedom and liberty need not be given libertarian readings; instead they can be read in light of a better conception of liberty as the natural human capacity to act in accordance with reasoned morality.

“Reasoned morality” being the “common-good” morality such as was propounded by the Catholic Church and for many centuries enforced by the Papal and Spanish Inquisitions.

This imposed “common-good” morality will be resisted at first, but –

Subjects will come to thank the ruler whose legal strictures, possibly experienced at first as coercive, encourage subjects to form more authentic desires for the individual and common goods, better habits, and beliefs that better track and promote communal well-being.

Notice that citizens have become “subjects” under this ideal regime. And the state run by bureaucrats has become “the ruler” – more pope than king.

If it can be taken that The Atlantic speaks for the Left – and surely it can? – we are being told in the strongest possible terms that the Left wants and intends to abandon the Constitution – which alone binds the states of America together into a nation – and substitute a federal government with totalitarian policies and absolute powers that would establish Roman Catholicism as a state religion, substitute central planning for the free market, and implement the “green” policies of environmentalists further to restrict our lives as “subjects” of the Moral State.

If it was just one Catholic religious nut pleading for the establishment of this utopia, we could laugh at it and forget it.

But it is not just one. It is millions of – mostly young, school-indoctrinated – Leftist religious nuts wanting dependence on parental government; the drowning of individuals in an ocean of common-good; the implementation of anti-industrial “green” policies with the hard forced labor and poverty they’ll entail; sacrifice of personal ambitions and talents; acceptance of chastisement for sin (you “will come to thank the ruler” for it) and life-long indebtedness for food, shelter, and apportioned health care; total loss of self-determination; obedience.

Obedience. Bureaucrats will tell you what to do. Do it!  It is for the common good.

Above all, obedience. 

The end of liberty? 7

“You are all, every one of you human beings living on this earth, threatened by an overwhelming disaster. It is coming for sure. It will mean the end of most of you, a painful end, and acutely difficult conditions for any survivors.”

“Oh, how dreadful! Can nothing be done to prevent it? Can it be mitigated? Can it be postponed? Does anyone have an answer?”

“Well, there are experts who understand this Thing. And yes, they do say that it can be mitigated. But it will take concerted effort. All of you, every single one of you, must join together and agree to take the action that the experts say is essential if you are to stand a chance of surviving and ever finding life tolerable again. Obey the experts implicitly, do what Those Who Know say you must do, tolerate no dissenters, backsliders, rebels, drop-outs, deniers, and there is a chance that the worst effects of this horror can be averted.

“We are the experts. Put yourselves totally in our hands. Do what we say without question. Do that, or suffer and perish.”

“But what is this horror? What is its nature? What is it called?” 

“It is called Global Warming. The earth is heating up and will become so intolerably hot that billions of you will die because YOU have damaged it with your so-called ‘civilized’ way of life, your industrial development, your reckless consumption of resources, your cars and aircraft, your begetting too many children so you have over-populated the planet –  in sum, with your selfish self-indulgence that you like to praise as the freedom to say and do just as you like.

“From now on, put yourselves in our hands, let us rule you, obey us in all things, and we will save you.”

That has been the message from Those Who Know – aka the collectivist Left – for some time now. But it hasn’t worked.

“We don’t believe the earth is burning up. We like our civilization. We still want the freedom to say and do just as we like.” 

But Those Who Know have not finished with their mission to put a stop to that. They speak again:

“We were not telling you everything. There is something worse than Global Warming. There is a Sickness so terrible that it will infect 80% of the world’s population and kill millions. Each and every one of you is threatened by it. You might save yourselves if you all obey us. Now close your businesses. Do not gather together. Keep well apart from each other. If you are sick with any but The Sickness do not seek medical help. If you see any of your neighbors doing anything to defy our rules, inform the police. The police are instructed to arrest the disobedient. Get used to doing what we tell you to do …”

And this time it nearly worked.

We obeyed. We regret that we did. Many among us are the poorer for it, some to the point of despair – and it turns out that The Sickness would not infect 80% of the world’s population. Or even 1%?

So what will be the outcome of this extraordinary historical episode? 

Some of us in America trust President Trump to restore our prosperity.

Some of us in America feel that we have had a taste of totalitarianism, of a police state, of socialism. And it has been horrible. We never again want the heavy hand of tyrannical government holding us down. From now on we want more liberty not less. 

Then there are those – on the Left, of course – who want to build on the success of the Great Obedience. Those Who Know are raising their voices louder than ever.  Only world government will save us, they say. Only socialist world government. A borderless world. The end of the nation-state. The end of the “nuclear family”. The end of private ownership. No great industries. Little travel, only by or with the permission of Those Who Know. The whole Green New Deal. And the end of liberty.

But hasn’t it been shown that not enough can be known for central planning to work?

“Ah,” say Those Who Know, “that used to be the case. Now we can know everything about every one of you. Because we have the Internet.”

Here are extracts are from an article in The Atlantic written by two professors of Law: Jack Goldsmith, a professor at Harvard Law School and a senior fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution [!] who was also an assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration; and Andrew Keane Woods, a professor at the University of Arizona College of Law.

The trend toward greater surveillance and speech control here, and toward the growing involvement of government, is undeniable and likely inexorable.

In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong.

Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

Who decides what they are?  Those Who Know, of course – who will be the government.

Ten years ago, speech on the American Internet was a free-for-all. There was relatively little monitoring and censorship—public or private—of what people posted, said, or did on Facebook, YouTube, and other sites. In part, this was due to the legal immunity that platforms enjoyed under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. And in part it was because the socially disruptive effects of digital networks—various forms of weaponized speech and misinformation—had not yet emerged. As the networks became filled with bullying, harassment, child sexual exploitation, revenge porn, disinformation campaigns, digitally manipulated videos, and other forms of harmful content, private platforms faced growing pressure from governments and users to fix the problems.

Actually, there was no crisis of free speech. There can be no such thing as a crisis of free speech.

The result a decade later is that most of our online speech now occurs in closely monitored playpens where many tens of thousands of human censors review flagged content to ensure compliance with ever-lengthier and more detailed “community standards” (or some equivalent). More and more, this human monitoring and censorship is supported—or replaced—by sophisticated [?] computer algorithms. The firms use these tools to define acceptable forms of speech and other content on their platforms, which in turn sets the effective boundaries for a great deal of speech in the U.S. public forum.

After the 2016 election debacle [the alleged interference by Russia], for example, the tech platforms took aggressive but still imperfect steps to fend off foreign adversaries. YouTube has an aggressive policy of removing what it deems to be deceptive practices and foreign-influence operations related to elections. It also makes judgments about and gives priority to what it calls “authoritative voices”. Facebook has deployed a multipronged strategy that includes removing fake accounts and eliminating or demoting “inauthentic behavior”. Twitter has a similar censorship policy aimed at “platform manipulation originating from bad-faith actors located in countries outside of the US”.  These platforms have engaged in “strategic collaboration” with the federal government, including by sharing information, to fight foreign electoral interference. …

Facebook, for example, also takes down hate speech

A “crime” invented by the Left and applying only to speech antagonistic to itself …

… terrorist propaganda, “cruel and insensitive” speech, and bullying speech, which are harder to identify objectively and more controversial to regulate or remove.

Yes. But objective judgment is not wanted by Those Who Know.

All these developments have taken place under pressure from Washington and Brussels.

From Washington? From the Trump administration? Or from the Deep State?

In hearings over the past few years, Congress has criticized the companies—not always in consistent ways—for allowing harmful speech. In 2018, Congress amended the previously untouchable Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to subject the platforms to the same liability that nondigital outlets face for enabling illegal sex trafficking. Additional amendments to Section 230 are now in the offing, as are various other threats to regulate digital speech. …

Against this background, the tech firms’ downgrading and outright censorship of speech related to COVID-19 are not large steps.  ..

 As in other contexts, Facebook relies on fact-checking organizations and “authorities” (from the World Health Organization to the governments of U.S. states) to ascertain which content to downgrade or remove.

The iniquitous, corrupt, lying WHO – obedient to the Communist Party of China – relied on as a trustworthy fact-checker!

What is different about speech regulation related to COVID-19 is the context: The problem is huge and the stakes are very high. But when the crisis is gone, there is no unregulated “normal” to return to.

We live—and for several years, we have been living—in a world of serious and growing harms resulting from digital speech. Governments will not stop worrying about these harms.

Which governments?

And private platforms will continue to expand their definition of offensive content …

“Offensive” according to the prejudices of the owners …

… and will use algorithms to regulate it ever more closely. The general trend toward more speech control will not abate.

And in addition to the Internet, “we have many other mechanisms for watching you”.

Over the past decade, network surveillance has grown in roughly the same proportion as speech control. Indeed, on many platforms, ubiquitous surveillance is a prerequisite to speech control.

The public has been told over and over that the hundreds of computers we interact with daily—smartphones, laptops, desktops, automobiles, cameras, audio recorders, payment mechanisms, and more—collect, emit, and analyze data about us that are, in turn, packaged and exploited in various ways to influence and control our lives. We have also learned a lot—but surely not the whole picture—about the extent to which governments exploit this gargantuan pool of data.

Police use subpoenas to tap into huge warehouses of personal data collected by private companies. They have used these tools to gain access to doorbell cameras that now line city blocks, microphones in the Alexa devices in millions of homes, privately owned license-plate readers that track every car, and the data in DNA databases that people voluntarily pay to enter. They also get access to information collected on smart-home devices and home-surveillance cameras—a growing share of which are capable of facial recognition—to solve crimes. And they pay to access private tow trucks equipped with cameras tracking the movements of cars throughout a city. …

The harms from digital speech will also continue to grow, as will speech controls on these networks. And invariably, government involvement will grow. At the moment, the private sector is making most of the important decisions, though often under government pressure. But … the firms may not be able to regulate speech legitimately without heavier government guidance and involvement. It is also unclear whether, for example, the companies can adequately contain foreign misinformation and prevent digital tampering with voting mechanisms without more government surveillance.

The First and Fourth Amendments as currently interpreted, and the American aversion to excessive government-private-sector collaboration, have stood as barriers to greater government involvement. Americans’ understanding of these laws, and the cultural norms they spawned, will be tested as the social costs of a relatively open internet multiply.

COVID-19 is a window into these future struggles. …

And a door into world socialist totalitarian government?

Which will force a reversion to primitivism? A highly sophisticated, technological primitivism. Primitivism-plus-the-internet. The simple life, highly regimented, constantly surveilled by Those Who Know.

The loss of civilization.

The end of liberty.

How to keep safe in a pandemic 5

What we must do to keep ourselves safe from the coronavirus:

Posted under government, Health by Jillian Becker on Monday, April 27, 2020

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