This document is part of an archive of postings on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written.

This is a backup copy of the original blog

31 December, 2020

My pictorial home page

I put up a new one every year with notable pictures from the year. I have just finished the 2020 edition. Find it here


Oxford vaccine now approved

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which has been described as a 'game changer', was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency . The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine - enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

The United Kingdom was the first country to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has a lower cost and is easier to store than other vaccines that have already been approved.

The vaccine – called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 – uses a harmless, weakened version of a common virus which causes a cold in chimpanzees.

Researchers have already used this technology to produce vaccines against a number of pathogens including flu and Zika.

The virus is genetically modified so that it is impossible for it to reproduce in humans and cause infection.

Scientists have transferred the genetic instructions for coronavirus's specific 'spike protein' – which it needs to invade cells – to the vaccine.

When the vaccine enters cells inside the body, it uses this genetic code to force the body's own cells to produce the surface spike protein of the coronavirus.

This induces an immune response because it makes those cells look like the virus, which effectively works as a training aid for the immune system to learn how to fight the virus if the real thing gets into the body.

Health secretary Matt Hancock hailed the approval of the critical vaccine on Wednesday saying it means the UK will be 'out' of the coronavirus crisis by the Spring

AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot said deliveries would start tomorrow, adding: 'Vaccination will start next week and we will get to one million a week and beyond that very rapidly. We can go to two million.'

The Oxford vaccine is the second vaccine that has been given the green light for public roll-out after the Pfizer vaccine - which has also been approved in the US. The UK was the first country in the world to approve the vaccine for public use.

Studies have shown that the vaccine has an average efficacy rate of 70 percent, with this number rising to 90 percent when half a dose was followed by a full dose.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which has been described as a 'game changer', was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: 'The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for use.

'This follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.'

Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford trial, said: 'The regulator's assessment that this is a safe and effective vaccine is a landmark moment, and an endorsement of the huge effort from a devoted international team of researchers and our dedicated trial participants.

'Though this is just the beginning, we will start to get ahead of the pandemic, protect health and economies when the vulnerable are vaccinated everywhere, as many as possible as soon possible.'

Data published in The Lancet medical journal in early December showed the vaccine was 62 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 among a group of 4,440 people given two standard doses of the vaccine when compared with 4,455 people given a placebo drug.

Of 1,367 people given a half first dose of the vaccine followed by a full second dose, there was 90 percent protection against Covid-19 when compared with a control group of 1,374 people.

The overall Lancet data, which was peer-reviewed, set out full results from clinical trials of more than 20,000 people.

Among the people given the placebo drug, 10 were admitted to hospital with coronavirus, including two with severe Covid which resulted in one death. But among those receiving the vaccine, there were no hospital admissions or severe cases.

The half dose followed by a full dose regime came about as a result of an accidental dosing error.

However, the MHRA was made aware of what happened and clinical trials for the vaccine were allowed to continue.

The overall Lancet data, which was peer-reviewed, set out full results from clinical trials of more than 20,000 people.

Among the people given the placebo drug, 10 were admitted to hospital with coronavirus, including two with severe Covid which resulted in one death. But among those receiving the vaccine, there were no hospital admissions or severe cases.

The half dose followed by a full dose regime came about as a result of an accidental dosing error.

However, the MHRA was made aware of what happened and clinical trials for the vaccine were allowed to continue.

Does it differ from Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine?

Yes. The jabs from Pfizer and Moderna use messenger RNA (mRNA) to trigger immunity to Covid-19.

Conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of the virus, but mRNAs use only the virus’s genetic code.

An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens.

These antigens are recognised by the immune system and prepare it to fight coronavirus.

No actual virus is needed to create an mRNA vaccine. This means the rate at which the vaccine can be produced is accelerated.

What about antibodies and T-cells?

The Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines have been shown to provoke both an antibody and T-cell response.

Antibodies are proteins that bind to the body’s foreign invaders and tell the immune system it needs to take action.

T-cells are a type of white blood cell which hunt down infected cells in the body and destroy them.

Nearly all effective vaccines induce both an antibody and a T-cell response.

A study on the AstraZeneca vaccine found that levels of T-cells peaked 14 days after vaccination, while antibody levels peaked after 28 days.


Research Finds that UV LEDs Kill 99.9% of COVID-19 Virus

A new study from Tel Aviv University shows that the COVID-19 virus “can be killed efficiently, quickly and cheaply using ultraviolet (UV) light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) at specific frequencies,” according to a report from The Jerusalem Post.

“We discovered that it is quite simple to kill the coronavirus using LED bulbs that radiate ultraviolet light,” said Professor Hadas Mamane, head of the Environmental Engineering Program at Tel Aviv University’s School of Mechanical Engineering. Mamane led the study with Professor Yoram Gerchman and Dr. Michal Mandelboim.

UV-LED bulbs require less than half a minute to destroy more than 99.9% of the coronavirus on surfaces, Mamane explained. An article detailing their study and its finding was published earlier this month in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology.

Ultraviolet wavelengths, available in LEDs as UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C, are very effective at disinfecting surfaces using UV-LED bulbs.

“We know, for example, that medical staff do not have time to manually disinfect, say, computer keyboards and other surfaces in hospitals – and the result is infection and quarantine,” said Mamane. “The disinfection systems based on LED bulbs, however, can be installed in the ventilation system and air conditioner, for example, and sterilize the air sucked in and then emitted into the room.”

“We are also developing, together with a scientist in North Western University a transparent coating that can be dipped or sprayed on surfaces and can kill viruses using visible light LEDs that are not dangerous and are used everywhere, providing another application for regular LEDs,” Mamane added

“UV LEDs have a huge future,” she said. “Of course, as always, when it comes to ultraviolet radiation, it is important to make it clear to people that it is dangerous to try to use this method to disinfect surfaces inside homes. You need to know how to design these systems and how to work with them so that you are not directly exposed to the light.”


U.S. Businesses Walking Away From China

It looks like companies across the world are carrying out an economic and geopolitical #WalkAway movement from China. They have already looked at the vulnerabilities our dependence on China is causing and taking mitigating steps. Japan is shelling out $2 billion to encourage companies to leave China and head back.

That’s a smart investment, and one Japan will quickly recoup. If companies move to Japan and set up factories, the workers hired there will become taxpayers as opposed to receiving welfare checks. That is not just financial savings for Japan, it also is far less destructive over the long term to the people themselves. Larry Kudlow, director of the United States National Economic Council, makes a similar argument.

This is the type of thing that should be encouraged, especially when it comes to taking the cost of COVID-19 recovery out of the economic hide of the Butchers of Beijing. Again, this is one place where the money will be recouped, and for the same reasons as Japan. In addition, this could very well help bring back many of the smaller cities and towns devastated by the loss of manufacturing over recent decades.

One way to fuel a manufacturing boom would be a military buildup. One very likely consequence of companies walking away from China would be efforts by the ChiComs to retaliate. A strong military would help deter them from that path.


Amazon Fires Back at Bernie Sanders Acusations

In good Leftist form, Sanders has no regard for the truth

Right behind Walmart, Amazon is the second-largest private employer in the entire United States employing nearly 1 million people across the world.

Last week, Amazon was pushed to respond to Senator Bernie Sanders' stupid remarks.

Sanders said that the giant company is underpaying its employees and denying them benefits; that its workers are working in dangerous conditions; and that Amazon is reaping profits in the name of corporate greed.

Sanders had tweeted just before Christmas,

"Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man alive, became $83 billion richer over the past 9 months while Amazon made record profits. Meanwhile, Amazon workers are risking their lives to fill holiday orders and are denied paid sick leave and hazard pay. This ugly corporate greed must end."

The guided missiles that Amazon fired back to Sanders are that:

Amazon pays its employees at least 15 dollars per hour, which is double the federal minimum wage

Amazon gives its full-time employees paid sick leave and comprehensive benefits at par with the benefits which their senior executives get.

Amazon created 275,000 new jobs since the pandemic began.

Amazon has applied enhanced cleaning and social distancing measures, distributed personal protective gear, and executed temperature checks throughout its worldwide operations.

While the world was put on lockdown and grappled with how they will get their needs, Amazon fulfilled these needs and people became even more reliant and in need of the services of Jeff Bezos' giant company.

Amazon stipulated that it is not corporate greed that accelerated its sales but the demand for online services and delivery made the existence of Amazon even more relevant than ever.



30 December, 2020

Trump Is now the Most Admired Man in America, Edging Out the Top Democrat

President Donald Trump finally defeated former President Barack Obama for the title of most admired man in America in Gallup’s 2020 survey. Trump had tied with Obama in 2019 while Obama beat him in 2017 and 2018. Meanwhile, incoming President Joe Biden came in third, while incoming Vice President Kamala Harris came in second to former first lady Michelle Obama for most admired woman.

In 2019, Trump and Obama tied, with 18 percent of Americans naming each of them as the most admired man in an open-ended survey. This year, 18 percent of Americans again named Trump while only 15 percent chose Obama, according to Gallup.

Trump took the top spot arguably because Republicans consolidated around him. While only 39 percent of Americans approve of his job performance (thanks, no doubt, to the legacy media’s attempts to suppress the news of the president’s major accomplishments such as peace in the Middle East), 48 percent of Republicans named Trump, with no other public figure receiving more than 2 percent of Republican votes. Only 45 percent of Republicans named Trump last year.

Democrats, by contrast, proved divided. Only 13 percent of them named Biden while more than twice that number (32 percent) named Obama, down from 41 percent who named the former president as their most admired man last year.

The remaining top 10 include Pope Francis, Elon Musk, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, basketball player LeBron James, and the Dalai Lama.

The year 2020 marks the 10th time Trump has finished among the top 10 men, including four times before he ran for president: 1988, 1989, 1990, and 2011. Gates has finished in the top 10 a total of 21 times, while Obama has done so 15 times and the Dalai Lama 11 times. Biden had only cracked the top 10 once before.


Survey: The Future GOP Voters Want Can Be Summed Up In Three Simple Words

The party has changed. We all saw this in 2016. Four years later, the transformation is complete. President Donald J. Trump is the Republican Party. Those on the Hill unwilling to fight could see themselves out of a job soon. Well, maybe not all, there are annoying folks, like Mitt Romney, who will probably represent their states for life given the demographics, but the Olympia Snowe’s of the GOP are either being primaried out or forced out. The party is more populist. It’s bluer collar. And to the liberal media’s chagrin—actually is more diverse. Trump gained among non-white voter blocs and nearly doubled his share of the LGBT vote. He did suffer marginal losses with white working-class voters in the Midwest, but those voters can and will probably come back once Joe Biden screws up the economy.

Yet, we’re not here to discuss the 2020 election. This is about the future of the GOP. Nearly 75 percent of Republican Party members are quite clear regarding what they want to see the GOP become in the future. Three words describe the trend: more like Trump (via Breitbart):

Three of four GOP supporters want their legislators to “be more like President [Donald] Trump” in 2021, according to a Rasmussen survey of likely voters.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken December 21-22, as GOP legislators debate how to counter or cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden and how to regain the House majority in the 2022 midterm elections.

The poll asked: “As the Republican Party reorganizes itself next year, should it be more like President Trump or more like the average GOP member of Congress?”

Republicans picked the “more like President Trump” option by 72 percent to 24 percent, while conservatives split 67 percent to 28 percent.

Rasmussen’s survey shows that 72 percent of GOP voters wish to see the party continue on its Trumpian track. Why? Well, for starters, it showed results. The Trump agenda create the best job market for black Americans—ever. It created millions of jobs, incentivized companies to dole out bonuses to workers, and reinvest their capital here. Consumer and small business confidence reached their highest levels in years under Trump. Countless records closings with the Dow Jones. Oh, and unemployment reached its lowest levels under Trump in nearly 50 years. Also, the man delivered endless uppercuts to the liberal media establishment, knew their moves before they did, and executed expert trolling of liberal America that drove them insane.

For once, we have a Republican who didn’t show these people any respect since they didn’t deserve it. He exposed how terrible they were at their jobs and how they were no more than cheap sluts for the Democratic Party. We all knew it, but Trump made sure to shame them on national television and at rallies pervasively.

Tens of millions flock to his banner. The president commands masses that are loyal, passionate, and pissed off over the 2020 results. Trump has hinted that he could run again in 2024—pulling a Grover Cleveland. Should that happen and he declares, the primaries are over. The field is cleared. And anyone who dares to run against him is assured total destruction. There’s simply not enough Trump skeptic Republicans to pull off an upset.

Money is not an issue. We know there is a lot of anti-Trump GOP money out there. How did that fare in 2016? Jeb Bush had a $100 million war chest and failed miserably, amassing a whopping four delegates during his failed run.

The GOP right now is loaded with energized and battle-ready patriots. They’re a pugnacious bunch. There’s nothing wrong with that. we need to understand that the other side is dishonorable. They’re trash. They’re bad people who cannot be trusted. Why shouldn’t the default setting be to pick a fight with them? The new GOP adds new zest to the landscape right now. Some might be worried about the rise of the so-called far-right elements. Some might say it's extreme, but it’s also the counterbalance to the left-wing cancer engulfing the Democratic Party. It’s not a hard choice, folks. If job creation, loving our country, supporting free speech, and ensuring a strong and secure America at home and abroad is far-right extremism, then I’m a proud right-winger.


Trump's Legacy: Foreign Policy Achievement

Not just cleaning up after the previous president, but expanding American success.

When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, he had a serious foreign policy mess on his hands from eight long years of Barack Obama’s blame-America malfeasance. Trump, the Art of the Deal businessman and foreign policy novice, reversed course with a novel approach: “America First.” And boy did it pay dividends.

As Obama left office, Mark Alexander aptly summed up the lowlights of his terrible legacy:

Under his tenure we witnessed the “Russian Spring” in Crimea; his hollow “Red Line” in the Syrian sand; the Middle East meltdown in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Jordan and Gaza; his political retreat from Iraq — discarding all the blood and treasure spent there to establish stability; the Benghazi cover-up ahead of the 2012 election; the dramatic resurgence of al-Qa'ida; Obama’s reference to ISIL as the “JV team”; and the rise of the Islamic State and an epic humanitarian crisis in the Middle East.

While Obama claims to have ended wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, American troops are on their way back into both theaters. …

Obama heralded his Iran nuke “deal” as one of his greatest foreign policy achievements: “I shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program without firing a shot.” The fact is, his acquiescence and coddling of Iran resulted in the re-emergence of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, which is now metastasizing into Western Europe and North America.

Additionally, Obama and Kerry took a parting shot at Israel, undermining our historic relations with this essential Middle Eastern ally.

Moreover, Obama subjected our nation to the Paris Climate Agreement and flung the doors open wide for a wave of illegal immigration, both of which threatened our security and our economy.

Progress on just two or three of these problems would have been laudable, but the Trump administration — particularly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — significantly moved the needle on every one of them.

Despite Obama literally scoffing at the idea that Russia was our biggest geopolitical foe, he then accused and investigated Trump for supposedly “colluding” with the Kremlin to win in 2016. Trump has always had an unfortunate penchant for saying flattering things about thug dictators like Vladimir Putin, which made the charge believable for some. But in practice, Trump thwarted much of Putin’s plans. He fueled energy exports that undercut Russian dominance in Europe. He also gave aid to the Ukrainian military against Russian aggression — as he humorously put it in one of his debates with Joe Biden, “While he was selling pillows and sheets, I sold tank busters to Ukraine.”

Donald Trump was impeached for talking to the Ukrainian president; Joe Biden actually offered the quid pro quo.

In the Middle East, Trump redoubled U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS, and though it is not gone, it is a shell of its former self. One might even finally be justified in calling it a “JV team.” He stabilized the U.S. response in Syria and Afghanistan. His record isn’t perfect, primarily because he very much values the “deal” even if it’s with the untrustworthy Taliban and, too much like his predecessor, he often seems more interested in “ending” wars than winning them. But the Middle East is a far quieter place today than it was in 2017.

That’s largely because Trump, Pompeo, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have driven several peace agreements between Arab nations and Israel. (You know, the same Netanyahu who Obama regularly insulted and tried to defeat electorally.) This Israeli-Arab coalition is a huge hindrance to Iran’s designs on regional hegemony, and is thus an engine of peace. As it turns out, keeping the quarter-century-old American promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem was a sign of alignment and backing for Israel that spoke volumes to its Arab neighbors.

It’s safe now to laugh at John Kerry’s 2016 declaration that “there will be no separate peace between Israel and the Arab world.” His successor, Mike Pompeo, almost certainly is.

Did we mention that, for all his Middle East work, Trump has been nominated multiple times for the Nobel Peace Prize? Obama won it; Trump deserves it.

Also, as promised, Trump pulled the U.S. out of Obama’s bogus Iran nuclear deal and his ill-advised Paris agreement.

Joe Biden promises to rejoin both, and to generally reverse Trump’s foreign policy.

A notable mention goes to Trump’s termination of Iran’s leading terrorist, Qasem Soleimani.

To the consternation of the establishment, Trump saw NATO as another festering problem — an alliance of European deadbeats who weren’t pulling their weight but were instead mooching off the might and wealth of the United States. No more, he said. Four years later, more NATO nations are pulling their weight in terms of defense spending. Trump’s transactional view of American defense spending and responsibilities is not the traditional conservative approach, but his out-of-the-box thinking changed this status quo for the better.

In fact, that goes to a larger point: American leftists routinely grouse that we’re “less respected” in the world than when “citizen of the world” Obama was “leading from behind.” Well, the globalists might like us less, but that’s because they know we’re no longer a pushover and a sucker. Like and respect aren’t always synonymous.

On top of all of that, Trump moved to secure America’s economic interests abroad, including reworking NAFTA into the USMCA. His boasting was typically hyperbolic, but the new agreement does modernize and improve trade with our North American neighbors.

Trump’s tariffs against China were not our preferred solution, and they had the unintended consequence of higher consumer prices for Americans and necessitating bailouts for farmers due to the inevitable retaliation. But this president rightly took on China in a way that none of his predecessors did, including challenging the blind loyalty to “free” trade with China at all costs — costs that sent American jobs and wealth to China.

Importantly, the designation of greatest geopolitical threat now goes indisputably to China, which much of the world views more negatively now thanks to both the China virus and Trump’s work to destroy the ChiCom facade. That includes pulling U.S. money and credibility from the World Health Organization, which everyone now knows is a Chinese puppet.

Just a reminder: Joe Biden is in Beijing’s pocket, too.

Speaking of Chinese puppets, Trump met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in order to block the Hermit Kingdom’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. The verdict is mixed: North Korea is still an unstable menace, but it’s also no longer regularly threatening U.S. ally Japan.

Trump’s failure with China is his silence in the face of its totalitarian actions to crush freedom in Hong Kong.

On immigration, Trump began building his wall (though it remains far from what he promised), and he generally made progress in a number of areas to tighten the border and the process so that the flood of illegals crossing our border slowed significantly. There is much work yet to be done, and, unfortunately, Biden will likely undo much of Trump’s progress. But that doesn’t take away from Trump’s earnest efforts to solve a problem the rest of Washington was content to treat as a campaign fundraiser.

Trump might only be a one-term president, but his achievements in foreign policy — again, due in no small measure to Pompeo — are matched by precious few. As Bruce Thornton put it, “Trump, like the ‘amiable dunce’ Ronald Reagan, understood that the establishment’s narratives were endangering our security and interests. He brought some practical wisdom, common sense about human nature, and real-world experience to foreign policy, and recalibrated it with a few simple, Reaganesque principles: We win, they lose; America’s interests are paramount; and we should always be ‘no better friend, no worse enemy,’ a foundational principle of foreign relations that Obama had turned on its head.”

Indeed, Trump challenged and changed a lot of Beltway groupthink, and the end result is that America is stronger on the world stage than it was four years ago.



29 December, 2020

Yes, It Was a Stolen Election: You’d have to be blind not to see it

As Americans continue to watch the 2020 election controversy unfold, the very same publications that spent years lying about President Trump’s “Russia collusion” are once again telling us what we are dutifully supposed to believe. The Los Angeles Times, for instance, assures us that Trump’s “baseless” and “dangerous” claim “that the election was rigged to benefit Joe Biden” has been thoroughly “debunked.”[1] The New York Times proclaims that “Trump’s false election fraud claims” are founded upon nothing more than a “torrent of falsehoods.”[2] Sneering at “how Trump drove the lie that the election was stolen,” The Washington Post mocks Republicans who “are still pretending that there was election fraud.”[3] And warns that “Trump's obsession with overturning the election” has now begun to spiral “out of control.”[4]

But so much for what the comic books have to say. What follows is a compilation of vital facts that will demonstrate, to anyone interested in following the truth wherever it may lead, that the 2020 presidential election was indeed rife with fraud, and that Joe Biden, if he should in fact be sworn into office next month, will be an illegitimate president from the very start.

Before the Election: How We Got Here

Fifteen years ago, a landmark report by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, known informally as the Carter-Baker Commission, advised all U.S. states that in order to guarantee free and fair elections, they should: increase voter ID requirements; minimize the use of mail-in ballots, which “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud”; disallow ballot harvesting by third parties; purge voter rolls of all ineligible or fraudulent names; allow election observers to monitor ballot-counting processes without restraint or obstruction; ensure that voting machines are accurate in their tabulations; and encourage news organizations to “delay the release of any exit-poll data until the election has been decided.” All of these recommendations were widely ignored in the elections of November 2020.[5]

During the months leading up to this year’s presidential race, the Biden campaign assembled a team of some 600 lawyers and more than 10,000 volunteers to “[go] into every single state” in order to “call out local rules that don’t adequately ensure access to vote.”[6]

Beginning more than a year ago, Democrats filed nearly 300 lawsuits in dozens of states[7] – most notably all of the key battleground states – in an effort to change election laws and regulations in ways that would benefit Democrat candidates. For example, they sought to: (a) extend the statutory deadlines by which mail-in ballots could be submitted, postmarked, or received by election authorities; (b) permit people to vote earlier than ever before, in some cases as many as 50 days prior to Election Day; (c) eliminate signature, signature-verification, and witness requirements for mail-in ballots; (d) void state laws that disallowed ballot harvesting by third parties; (e) terminate photo-ID requirements for in-person voting; (f) introduce provisions that would allow for the “curing” of mail-in ballots that contained errors or omissions; and (g) require state election officials to send unsolicited mail-in ballots to every person listed as a registered voter, even though such lists have long been notoriously inaccurate.[8]

Though the Democrats did not get everything that they wanted, they got most of it. Broadcaster and bestselling author Mark Levin, citing the cases of Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Arizona -- and their combined 73 Electoral College votes – explains what happened:

“Every one of these states [and others as well] were targeted by Democrats. Every one of these states violated the United States Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 [which empowers the state legislatures alone to make election law for each state]. Every one of them, because changes were made to their election systems not by the state legislature, but by other public officials.… That’s 73 Electoral College votes. This is why Donald Trump won the election…. [I]f the federal Constitution had not been violated, yes, Donald Trump would be … president of the United States today. Putting all fraud aside. All fraud aside. This is why you should be furious with the United States Supreme Court, that had as its duty, as its sworn responsibility … to insist that the states comply with the federal Constitution under Article II, Section 1, Clause 2, and that any changes made outside that clause, by governors, secretaries of states, by courts, federal or state, by election boards or other bureaucrats, will be deemed unconstitutional. [The Supreme Court] had a case [in Pennsylvania] … before a single vote was counted, they had a case [alleging unconstitutional changes to election laws] and they didn’t take it up…. [The Democrats] made these changes, they plotted, they planned, they litigated, they pressured, they lobbied, and now we have, if he’s sworn in, Joe Biden, who will be an illegitimate president of the United States in every meaning of that word, ‘illegitimate.’”[9]

The Implausibility of Trump’s Loss

While President Trump was granting interviews on a daily basis to friendly and hostile media outlets alike, and was holding campaign rallies that drew tens of thousands of passionate supporters, Joe Biden, for the most part, remained locked away inside his basement, rarely even agreeing to give brief video interviews. On the few occasions when Biden did take part in interviews, he was typically disoriented, incoherent, and seemingly exhausted. And when he held “rallies,” they were invariably awkward, uninspired events mired in pessimistic rhetoric and attended only by tiny handfuls of people.[10] Common sense tells us that no candidate so pathetically inept and so deeply unappealing, could possibly have inspired 15.4 million more people to vote for him, than had voted for Democrat icon Barack Obama in 2012.[11]

Late on Election Night – November 3, 2020 -- President Trump led Biden by approximately 100,000 votes in Wisconsin, 300,000 votes in Michigan, 300,000 votes in Georgia, and 700,000 votes in Pennsylvania. Then, suddenly, all four of these states suspended their vote counts, almost simultaneously. By the early-morning hours of the following day, Wisconsin had flipped in Biden’s favor, followed by Michigan soon thereafter. A few days later, Georgia and Pennsylvania followed suit as well.[12]

President Trump received more votes than any previous incumbent seeking re-election, and he increased his 2016 vote total by 11 million -- the third largest rise ever achieved by an incumbent. By contrast, President Obama had comfortably won re-election in 2012 with 3.5 million fewer votes than he had received in 2008.[13]

Biden in 2020 won only 17% of all counties nationwide, a record low.[14]

According to exit polls, 95% of Republicans voted for Trump. Moreover, black support for Trump grew by 50% above its 2016 level, while Biden’s black support fell well below 90%.[15]

Trump also increased his share of the national Hispanic vote from 29% in 2016, to 35% in 2020.[16]

Trump easily won Florida, Ohio and Iowa in 2020. Since 1852, the only presidential candidate to lose an election while winning these three states was Richard Nixon in 1960 – an outcome that was likely the result of election fraud by Democrats.[17]

Biden’s purported victory is due entirely to the fact that he seems to have overperformed specifically in the tiny handful of Democrat-run cities that provided him with narrow leads in each of the battleground states, and nowhere else. As The American Spectator puts it: “Biden [won] Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin because of an apparent avalanche of black votes in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee. Biden’s ‘winning’ margin was derived almost entirely from such voters in these cities, as coincidentally his black vote spiked only in exactly the locations necessary to secure victory. He did not receive comparable levels of support among comparable demographic groups in comparable states.”[18]

The Washington Examiner notes how strange it is that Trump could have lost the election even though “Republicans won all 27 House races [that] the Cook Political Report rated as ‘toss-ups’ in its 2020 election analysis, in addition to picking up 7 of the 36 seats the outlet rated as ‘likely Democrat’ or ‘lean Democrat.’”[19] Moreover, Democrats were unable to overturn even a single Republican seat in the House.[20] And in New Hampshire, Republicans seized control of both the state House and the state Senate, which had been firmly in Democrat hands.[21]

In a December 6 interview with Mark Levin on Fox News, pollster and Democracy Institute founder Patrick Basham said that if Biden was indeed the winner of the presidential election, he had defied key “non-polling metrics” in a way that may be “not statistically impossible, but it's statistically implausible.” Basham explained that there are “a dozen or more of these metrics ... [that] have a 100% accuracy rate in terms of predicting the winner of the presidential election,” including “party registration trends, how the candidates did in their respective presidential primaries, the number of individual donations, [and] how much enthusiasm each candidate generated in the opinion poll.”[22] Other notable variables are the candidates’ social media followings, their broadcast and digital media ratings, the number of online searches that their names generate, the number of small donors they have, and the number of individuals who are betting on them to win.[23] “In 2016,” said Basham, “[these metrics] all indicated strongly that Donald Trump would win against most of the public polling. That was again the case in 2020. So if we are to accept that Biden won against the trend of all these non-polling metrics, it not only means that one of these metrics was inaccurate ... for the first time ever, it means that each one of these metrics was wrong for the first time and at the same time as all of the others.”[24]

Noting also that “Donald Trump improved his national performance over 2016 by almost 20%,” Basham stated: “No incumbent president has ever lost a reelection bid if he's increased his [total] votes.”[25]

Because so many ballots were cast in 2020 by people voting by mail for the first time, most experts, using historical patterns as a guide, predicted a higher-than-usual rate of ballots being rejected for flaws such as missing information, inaccurate information, or a failure to place ballots in secrecy envelopes.[26] But precisely the opposite occurred in the battleground states:

In Pennsylvania, a mere 0.03% of the state’s mail-in ballots were rejected in 2020 – a rate more than 30 times lower than the 2016 rejection rate of 1%.

In Georgia, the rejection rate in 2020 was 0.2%, more than 30 times lower than the 6.4% figure from 2016.

In Nevada, the 2020 rejection rate was approximately 0.75%, less than half the 1.6% rate from 2016.

In North Carolina, the 2020 rejection rate was 0.8%, less than one-third the 2.7% rate from 2016.

In Michigan, the 2020 rejection rate was 0.1%, about one-fifth the 0.5% rate from 2016.[27]

Citing what occurred in Pennsylvania, an Epoch Times report provides a partial explanation for these low 2020 rejection rates: “Election officials in [Pennsylvania’s] Democrat strongholds … exceeded their authority in order to give voters preferential treatment that wasn’t afforded to voters in Republican-leaning areas of the state. Specifically, election workers illegally ‘pre-canvassed’ mail-in ballots to determine whether they were missing a secrecy envelope or failed to include necessary information. When ballots were found to be flawed, voters were given an opportunity to correct, or ‘cure,’ their ballots to make sure they counted.”[28]

More here:


‘Blueprint for Positive Change’ Exposes the Left’s Plans for Conservatives

Until the electoral votes are certified by Congress on Jan. 6, our country will not officially select the next president. Nevertheless, liberal voices across America have already claimed victory in the presidential race and have begun laying the framework for a Biden administration.

It should come as no surprise that these plans are broad in scope and radical in intent. Look no further than the Human Rights Campaign’s “Blueprint for Positive Change”—a list of recommendations to a Biden administration—to see the left expose its desire to force conservatives across the country to conform to its vision for our nation.

Some of the most shocking and disturbing demands found in this blueprint concern our schools and academia, long seen as the most promising pathway for the left to push its agenda and indoctrinate American youth as disciples of progressivism.

One of the 85 egregious requests, woefully underreported in the media thus far, is to strip accreditation from religious colleges and universities that do not meet “non-discrimination policies and science-based curricula standards.”

Here, couched in language designed to suggest moral superiority and scientific legitimacy, is a blatant, full-frontal assault on our religious liberties.

The Human Rights Campaign is not simply suggesting that Christian institutions comply with the left’s view of “non-discrimination,” but rather it is forcing institutions to either abandon the tenants of their religious beliefs or face severe consequences. Haven’t we seen this play out in history before, such as the Soviet Revolution and Mao’s Cultural Revolution?

As we’ve already seen from his statements on the campaign trail and his inconsistent ideologies as a career politician, former Vice President Joe Biden is more than willing to cave under pressure from the most radical wings of his party, especially when it comes to the LGBT community.

How quickly they’ve preyed on Biden’s weaknesses—exploiting his malleability and willingness to kowtow to gay activist groups, so-called social justice warriors, opponents of law and order, and other moral revolutionaries.

Should Biden find himself in the White House come January, he will not resist this degradation of American ideals; instead, he will work to make us less free, more secular, and more like his own fanatical base under the guise of “progress.”

If the Human Rights Campaign is successful, Christian schools will cease to exist and religious institutions will be bullied to bow down to the LGBT orthodoxy.

Our right to religious liberty is about more than just the freedom to worship, it’s about the assurance that we cannot be forced to go against our core values and principles.

The hypocritical left’s bombardment on our beliefs started long before the “Blueprint for Positive Change.” Now more than ever, defenders of religious freedom must hold the line.



28 December, 2020

Nashville suicide bomber was a paranoid schizophrenic -- non political

Had there been love in his life he would probably not have done it. He clearly fancied Michelle Swing but had no good idea about how to interest her

The FBI has confirmed that Anthony Quinn Warner, 63, was the attacker who perished in the Nashville Christmas Day bombing, saying he died in an apparent suicide attack when an RV exploded outside of an AT&T building.

Local and federal officials said on Sunday that remains at the scene were a DNA match to Warner, an eccentric IT worker who lived outside of Nashville, and that he is believed to have acted alone in carrying out the attack.

'We're still following leads, but right now there is no indication that any other persons were involved,' said Douglas Korneski, special agent in charge of the FBI's Memphis field office. 'We've reviewed hours of security video surrounding the recreation vehicle. We saw no other people involved.'

Investigators refused to comment on a possible motive, following reports that Warner harbored deep paranoia about 5G cell phone technology.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper on Sunday said he suspects that the AT&T transmission center was targeted in the attack, which wreaked havoc on phone systems in multiple Southern states on Christmas Day.

FBI agents raided Warner's home on Bakertown Road in Antioch on Saturday morning. Several neighbors described Warner as an 'oddball' and said they'd seen an RV parked outside the home which matched the one used in the attack. revealed that the $160,000 home had been transferred for free to 29-year-old Michelle Swing on November 25 - but she claims she was unaware of the exchange.

Records show Warner also transferred another home on Bakertown Road to Swing via a quitclaim deed in January 2019.

The $249,000 house had previously belonged to a member of his family and Warner had only been in possession of it for five months before again giving it to Swing for free. She later also used a quitclaim to give the house to another person.


The Brexit agreement: A libertarian view

Sean Gabb

I know that many of my friends have looked at the massive block of text that is the final agreement of our withdrawal from the European Union, and decided that we have been tricked again. My own preference would have been for a complete break, followed by unilateral free trade abroad and a libertarian revolution at home. However, I have taken the trouble to read the text—not, I accept, with the fullest attention: it is, after all, 1,246 pages long. There may be hidden traps that my reading has overlooked. Certainly, the reality of any agreement is less its wording than the approach the various sides take to implementing it. Even so, what my reading suggests is that this is somewhere between passingly acceptable and a diplomatic triumph.

We formally left the European Union at the end of last January. Next Thursday evening, the transitional arrangements will end that kept us inside the Single Market. On Friday morning, we shall find ourselves in a new set of arrangements agreed between a sovereign United Kingdom and an equally sovereign European Union. These arrangements provide for continued trade without tariffs or quotas. They will not provide the same frictionless trade as we had inside the Single Market, where goods from Birmingham could be carried to Bratislava and sold there in exactly the same way as if carried to Manchester. They say little about trade in services. But they do give us better access to the European market than any other outside country has.

I suspect that, when they have finished their own reading, many of my friends will focus their criticism on the new oversight body that has been agreed between the two parties. This Partnership Council is set up under III.1 of the Agreement:

A Partnership Council is hereby established. It shall comprise representatives of the Union and of the United Kingdom. The Partnership Council may meet in different configurations depending on the matters under discussion.

The Partnership Council shall be co-chaired by a Member of the European Commission and a representative of the Government of the United Kingdom at ministerial level. It shall meet at the request of the Union or the United Kingdom, and, in any event, at least once a year, and shall set its meeting schedule and its agenda by mutual consent.

The Partnership Council shall oversee the attainment of the objectives of this Agreement and any supplementing agreement. It shall supervise and facilitate the implementation and application of this Agreement and of any supplementing agreement. Each Party may refer to the Partnership Council any issue relating to the implementation, application and interpretation of this Agreement or of any supplementing agreement.

I think the criticism will be that this Partnership Council is just another European Union, and that it will make recommendations that are just as binding on us in effect as the rules of the old European Union, and that it will soon become a massive bureaucracy in its own right. The criticism is partly valid. As said, I would have preferred no agreement at all. But this is not a continuation of European Union membership under another name. It is an agreement under international law made by two sovereign states. It is an agreement made for limited purposes—the facilitation of trade, not an “ever closer union.” It is an agreement in which the joint parties will have equal weighting. It is also an agreement from which each party can have a clear and simple escape if it should prove inconvenient—see VII.8:

Either Party may terminate this Agreement by written notification through diplomatic channels. This Agreement and any supplementing agreement shall cease to be in force on the first day of the twelfth month following the date of notification.

We shall no longer be one member state among 28 in the European Union. We shall instead be a joint party to an agreement to which the European Union will itself be as subject as we are. New laws and regulations will no longer pass down from Brussels to London, but will instead rise from London or Brussels to the Partnership Council, from where they may or not pass down to Brussels or London. Whatever does pass down to London must then be put into effect in ways that we can see and understand, and by people we can see on television and vote out if we dislike them.

And this is the most important change. Nearly twenty years ago, I think I was the first to see the real objection to our membership of the European Union. For smaller countries, membership amounted to something like foreign rule. For us, it was always more a fig leaf by which our own ruling class was able to exercise unaccountable power. I said:

…I have no doubt that membership of the European Union endangers our survival as a nation of free individuals—but it does so by raising up a wholly domestic enemy.

During the past 30 years of European membership, our Constitution has been subtly amended. Some branches of government have been exalted as never before, others set on their way to extinction. The most obvious beneficiaries have been the administrators, the special interest groups—which include much of big business—and those politicians who learn to play the rules of the new system. These have become a ruling class largely freed from democratic control. Such control has only so far ever existed in nation states with liberal institutions. In these places, the authorities are directly accountable to a public opinion that may be divided on all manner of issues, but that is also agreed on certain fundamentals, and that is able to be moved one way or another by the force of argument. Let jurisdiction be transferred to a multi-national authority, and it does not need to face this kind of united public opinion. It becomes rather like the old Hapsburg Empire, which was able to maintain itself for centuries by playing off one national group against another, never having to justify itself to all the people as the French and British Governments had to do.

That is the European Union. The old democratic institutions remain, but are of decreasing significance. They have little real control over the decisions that affect our lives. Either they merely ratify those decisions, or they are not even formally consulted. At every point, this transfer of power is justified by the need to comply with obligations accepted under the various European Treaties.

We shall now have torn aside this fig leaf. There will be no more unaccountable power. The enabling law that was the European Communities Act 1972, as amended, is dead. No doubt, our ruling class will continue to make bad laws of every kind. Many of these will no doubt have the support of a deluded public opinion. But these are laws that will need to be made once again in the open. The old constitutional lines of authority have been drawn again. Power will be seen to be exercised by an executive more or less accountable to a Parliament that is, in turn, more or less accountable to us. We shall not again wake up one morning to find that—say—the electrical wiring regulations have become incomprehensible, while the people who have done this to us smile sadly and point across the water to Brussels, where things happen in foreign languages and in ways we have never fully understood. This reaction will not in itself make us a free country again. But it does give up the option to become free again.

The Agreement has a further advantage. So far, we British could talk about withdrawal from the European Union. We could, by a set of electoral revolutions, bully our ruling class into taking us out. But we are a rich and powerful country. We could face a future as a completely independent trading power, even if we might prefer a continued but looser relationship with the European Union. This has never been an option for the Poles, the Hungarians and the other small countries that have had their own difficulties with Brussels. So far, they have had a stark choice—put up with everything sent down from Brussels or return to the chilly world they faced after the collapse of the Soviet Empire. We have now given them a template. If the Hungarians and the Poles want their authoritarian Christian democracy, if the Czechs want the liberal democracy they romantically believe we in Britain still have for ourselves—things that are not permitted by continued membership of the European Union—they have only to demand their own seats on the new Partnership Council. I can see, within the next decade, a new order in Europe. There will be a free trade association between France and Germany, plus their satellites, and the United Kingdom at the head of half a dozen smaller members in the Partnership Council.

I have not, I say again, read the Agreement will the fullest attention. Again as said, much of its impact will be a matter of how it is put into effect. But we appear to have got for ourselves, as home and in Europe, everything we could reasonably have wanted. If I had been shown the text in 2001, I would have dismissed it as an impossible dream. We are now five days from seeing it passed into effect.

On the whole, I still have little time for Boris Johnson. Since he caught the Coronavirus, stupidity appears to have been joined by insanity—see his endless wittering about a “green” recovery from the crash he engineered in March. But let us give credit where due. This Agreement is somewhere between passingly acceptable and a diplomatic triumph. Indeed, the more I skip at random through the text, the more inclined I am to think it a diplomatic triumph.

So the debate over Europe that has filled the whole of my adolescent and adult life is over, and the right side has won. We now turn to the real debate, which must be over the nature and scope of the British State. Let us hope we can have equal success there.


AstraZeneca says its vaccine will work against COVID-19 variant

The head of drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine widely expected to be approved by British authorities this week, says that researchers believe the shot will be effective against a new variant of the virus driving a rapid surge in infections in Britain.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot also told Britain's Sunday Times that researchers developing its vaccine have figured out a "winning formula" making the jab as effective as rival candidates.

Some have raised concern that the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being developed with Oxford University, may not be as good as the one made by Pfizer already being distributed in the UK and other countries.

Partial results suggest that the AstraZeneca shot is about 70 per cent effective for preventing illness from coronavirus infection, compared to the 95 per cent efficacy reported by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

"We think we have figured out the winning formula and how to get efficacy that, after two doses, is up there with everybody else," Soriot said. "I can’t tell you more because we will publish at some point."

Britain’s government says its medicines regulator is reviewing the final data from AstraZeneca’s phase three clinical trials.

The Times and others have reported that the green light could come by Thursday, and the vaccines can start to be rolled out for the British public in the first week of January.

Asked about the vaccine’s efficacy against the new variant of coronavirus spreading in the UK, Soriot said: "So far, we think the vaccine should remain effective. But we can’t be sure, so we’re going to test that."

British authorities have blamed the new virus variant for soaring infection rates across the country. They said the variant is much more transmittable, but stress there is no evidence it makes people more ill.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson sounded an urgent alarm about the variant days before Christmas, saying the new version of the virus was spreading rapidly and that plans to travel and gather must be cancelled for millions to curb the spread of the virus.



27 December, 2020

It Is Long Past Time for the CDC and NCHS to Clean Up the COVID-19 Death Counts

Some of us have been questioning the COVID-19 death counts reported by the CDC through the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) for some time. Of course, CNN and the corporate media love the likely elevated counts to push their narrative. Lockdown Inc. loves them to justify their destruction of lives and livelihoods. A report from the Freedom Foundation, a Washington State think tank, explains why. The foundation’s original analysis of deaths in the state found the number may have been inflated by as much as 13%:

In May, a report released by the Freedom Foundation, an Olympia-based free-market think tank, revealed the DOH was attributing to COVID-19 every death in which the deceased previously tested positive for the virus. However, it’s clear that catching the disease and dying of it are two very different matters.

Washington’s data was riddled with cases — as much as 13 percent of the total — in which the death certificate made no reference to COVID-19 as a cause of death. In several cases, even gunshot deaths were chalked up to the virus.

While the Department of Health did remove 200 deaths from the count, the Freedom Foundation did another analysis. Combining data sources from the Department of Health for nearly 2,000 deaths as of early September, the new analysis found that 170 death certificates did not mention COVID-19. Another 171 deaths had no causal connection to the virus. According to the Post Millennial, the group estimates Washington’s death counts could be inflated by as much as 20%.

New data from the CDC regarding the conditions contributing to deaths where COVID-19 is also involved clearly demonstrates deaths from the virus are overestimated nationwide. This is not surprising given the loose guidelines for attributing a death to COVID-19 and the financial incentives through public and private insurance to put COVID-19 on a patient’s chart.

First, as I have written several times, many COVID-19-positive people who were terminally ill died a few months before they otherwise would have. These “pull-forward deaths” often happen with influenza and pneumonia when a person is elderly or severely compromised. For example, the data shows 3,622 people over the age of 75 died of hypertensive renal disease with kidney failure. Kidney failure is a progressive and terminal condition, even with kidney dialysis. An additional 939 in the same age group died with lung cancer as well as COVID-19.

Second, the report demonstrates most younger patients were also suffering from a different severe illness if they died from COVID-19. On the same line for kidney failure, a total of 18 people under the age of 35 passed away with this condition and COVID-19. Ten people under the age of 35 died with acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (ALL) in addition to the virus. The average five-year survival rate in this age group is between 68.1% and 85%, leaving the distinct possibility that these were the sickest ALL patients.

These are just a few examples of terminal conditions that could have been examples of a pull-forward death. Since there is nothing in the NCHS guidance to require symptoms or evidence of active COVID-19, it is impossible to tell whether or not these were pull-forward deaths. As Washington demonstrates, some of this error will come from state-level practices. New York, for example, backdated 3,700 “presumed COVID-19 deaths” early in the pandemic.

The above does not even include the broad class of ICD-9 Codes referred to as “Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning, and other adverse events.” This report contains 9,343 deaths associated with everything from drug overdoses to traumatic accidents and suicide. These deaths alone equal 3% of the current number of total deaths.

It is long past time for the CDC and NCHS to require some evidence of a severe illness from COVID-19 rather than simply a positive test. There are significant numbers of lab values and imaging changes that, taken together, can reasonably be assumed to paint a clinical course that includes active illness from COVID-19. The best test would be a viral culture. If the virus or viral debris in a patient’s system cannot replicate in a culture, it can’t be a cause of death.

A positive PCR test within 28 days, the current standard Washington is now using, is also unacceptable, especially with the number of asymptomatic cases. A virus that never makes you sick or only makes you mildly ill will not kill you or likely contribute to your death. Rather, you are likely one of the 30-60% of people with reactive immunity from other coronavirus exposure. Likewise, if someone already suffers from a terminal illness, unless the end-stage events include symptoms of severe COVID-19, it should not be counted among the causes of death.

A scroll through the spreadsheet and a bit of clinical knowledge supports the estimate of the Freedom Foundation as a minimum number. Americans deserve transparency and accuracy at this point. It is a dereliction of duty for the CDC and NCHS not to tailor their guidelines to the disease progression of a COVID-19 infection capable of contributing to a person’s death.


The mutant virus has sealed Britain off from the world. But is it all it's cracked up to be?

Data presented by ministers may not be as frightening as it seems and some experts think the episode has been overegged. Only time will tell

There is nothing quite like news of a ‘mutation’ to get the juices flowing. We’ve had Italian, Spanish and minkish varieties to date – and those are just the ones we remember. There were more than 12,000 mutations detected in the first 50,000 Covid genomes studied and scientists have now diligently recorded more four times that number.

Mutations are, of course, important. It is not for nothing that they are the mainstay of a certain genre of horror film. They are what cause animal viruses to “spillover” to humans in the first place. And given the right conditions, or indeed just an unfortunate roll of the dice, they can make a nasty human disease a whole lot worse.

So what are we to make of VUI-202012/01, the simulationist sounding name given to the new variant of the coronavirus? How strong is the evidence for it being, in the Prime Minister’s words, “up to 70 per cent” more transmissible, and what does it really mean if it is?

One thing we can say with certainty is it has had a huge impact. It is the justification for the recent “cancelling” of Christmas and it has all but sealed off Britain from the rest of the world. At the time of writing, no fewer than 40 countries had closed their borders to us, severely limiting freedom of movement and severing supply chains.

The mutant variant was first detected in the UK in early October and (following in the tradition of the Chinese authorities in Wuhan) was first mentioned by the Health Secretary last Tuesday in the run-up to Christmas - a looming super-spreading event which government’s across Europe were already cancelling at pace.

An assessment of its significance fell to the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), a subcommittee of SAGE. At a meeting held last Friday morning, it considered four types of evidence regarding transmissibility the new bug:

* Genomic sampling data which suggests the “growth rate” of new variant is between 67%-75% higher than others

*Modelling which associates the new variant with an increase in the reproduction rate (R) of the virus of between 0.39 and 0.93

* PCR test data which suggest those infected carry a greater quantity of the virus in their upper airways

* Further genomic data which may also suggest an increase in viral load

After considering this evidence, Nervtag concluded it had “moderate confidence” that VUI-202012/01 was “substantially” more transmissible.

It added there was “no evidence” the new variant impacts the severity of the disease, for better or worse (although it should be noted that data on hospitalisation and deaths always lag behind by several weeks).

On Monday the chair of Nervtag said the group now had “high confidence” that the new variant spreads more efficiently from person to person.

Christian Drosten, director of virology at Berlin's Charite Hospital and one of Germany’s leading experts, remains unconvinced and was scathing about the use of the headline-grabbing 70 percent figure.

“Suddenly there's a figure out there, 70 per cent, and nobody even knows what it means,” he told Deutschlandfunk radio yesterday.

“If you want to know if a virus is more transmissible, you have to look at pairs of people who were infected. You'd have to see who infected whom and how long it took,” he added.

He has a point. The 70 percent figure is not a direct or even an indirect measure of transmissibility. It is a measure of how the new strain of the virus has grown relative to others, and there could be various explanations for that, most notably super-spreader events.

“The spread of this new virus variant could be due to many factors’, said Dr Julian Tang, a Clinical Virologist at the University of Leicester.

“A higher genomic growth rate in the samples sequenced, may not necessarily mean higher transmissibility. For example, if there was a rave of several thousand people where this variant was introduced and infected many people mostly in that rave, this may seem very high compared to a lower background of non-variant virus”.

A similar lack of proper context makes the estimated uplift in the R value of the new variant more frightening than it should - although this does talk directly to transmission.

The range given for the possible uplift in R at 0.39 to 0.93 is vast, highlighting the lack of certainty around it. It is also not an uplift in the virus’s basic reproduction rate but a possible uplift against the R rate in the UK at the time of the analysis which was around one.

This means the “get jabbed or get infected” meme that has taken off on Twitter in the wake of the announcement is dangerous gibberish. Whatever the increase in transmission, the R rate for the new variant is still far below what it was at the start of the epidemic when just 5 to 6 percent of the population became infected.

Professor Calum Semple, a member of Sage, says the UK's Covid variant is likely to become the “dominant global strain” in much the same way as the Italian variant took over in the early months of the pandemic and the Spanish variant took over in the summer.

Indeed, once countries across Europe and other parts of the world start to examine their data more closely, we may find that VUI-202012/01 is already much further dispersed than we think. In the last 24 hours alone six countries, including Denmark, Gibraltar, The Netherlands, Australia, Italy and Belgium, have reported cases.

But will it prove any more memorable than its Italian or Spanish counterparts in the long run? The answer to that is impossible to know today.



25 December, 2020

How accurate is our Hebrew Bible?

My Christmas essay

Most Christians are aware that the Bible was not originally written in English, though some have thought so. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New Testament was written in ancient Greek.

But both were written over two thousand years ago. So how do we know that we now have accurate copies of what was originally written so long ago? That is what I want to address here.

The basic problem is that we do not have the originals of what was written. All we have copies. And the copies do differ in various ways. So which -- if any -- is the correct version of the originals?

One way of looking at that is to find the oldest possible copy -- on the assumption that errors are less likely to have crept in the closer we get to the original. But the oldest copies we have of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) go back only about a thousand years. A lot could have happened in the thousand years before that.

Over 60 years ago, however, there was a great find. Hidden away in some caves in Israel were some copies of the Hebrew scriptures that dated from about the time of Christ. They are sometimes referred to as the "Dead Sea Scrolls", though the term Qumran scrolls would be more accurate.

So how do those scrolls compare with the Hebrew Bible we have today? That has been the focus of a huge body of scholarly enquiry and analysis. And the broad answer is that some of the scrolls are exactly as we have them today and some are not. So how do we account for that?

The biggest wonder is that some parts of the Hebrew text -- particularly the book of Isaiah -- have survived without change for so long. What we have today is the result of copies of copies of copies of copies and it is well known how inaccuracies can creep into any text that is the result of much copying. So how did at least one book of the Bible survive copying without error?

The answer is religious. About a thousand years ago a group of religious Jews emerged -- the Masoretes -- who devoted huge efforts into copying accurately. It is the copies that they made which are the basis for our English Bibles. And the Masoretes claim that the copies that they have so painstakingly produced are an accurate copy of what was originally written.

So how can we check up on that? There is one major way. Since before the time of Christ, the old Hebrew text had been translated into Greek -- the language of learning in the ancient world. Those translations are called by scholars the LXX. When Jesus and the apostles quoted from the OT, the words they used as quoted in the NT came from the LXX. And we have some very old copies of the LXX -- going back to around the 4th century AD. And being much older than the copies we have of the Hebrew Bible itself, the LXX could be regarded as as closer to the Bible as originally written. So how does the LXX compare with the Hebrew Bible we have today?

There are many differences, most minor but some major. So how do we account for those differences? Based on very detailed studies by many scholars, it looks like the copy of the Hebrew text that the translators used was different from the Hebrew text that we have today. Some scholars have even done a careful back-translation from the LXX to produce a probable version of the Hebrew text underlying it. That version is usually referred to by the German word "Vorlage". But the Vorlage too differs clearly from the current Hebrew Bible.

So the fact that the Vorlage differs in many ways from our current Bible reinforces what the Qumran scolls tell us -- that there is much uncertainty about what the Bible authors originally wrote. The broad outline is there but many details are different.

One of the most prolific and authoritative writers on the Qumran scrolls is Emanuel Tov, an Israeli. From 1990-2009 he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the international Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project, so he knows his subject. And a few years back he produced a summary of what the many years of research into the scrolls have taught us. Find it here. I have just read it and find much interest in it.

His final deduction is the most interesting. He concludes that, before and during the time of Christ, the Pharisees maintained in the Jerusalem temple copies of the sacred Hebrew texts that they regarded as authoritative. Christ himself admitted that the Pharisees were meticulous scholars with a great reverence for Jewish law so we can assume that they went to great lengths to ensure that their copies of the ancient texts were as accurate as possible. What they produced was probably nearly as good as what modern scholars would have produced in their position.

But Jews have always had great reverence for their scriptures so there would have been many copies of them in whole or in part throughout the land. The Temple scrolls would have been in part a reaction to that. They were an attempt to sort out from the many scrolls available what could be relied on. And access to the Temple scrolls for any purpose would have been closely guarded. So only a minority of the scrolls in circulation would have been copies of the Temple scrolls.

But here's the thing: From the copies of them that we have, it seems that the Temple scrolls were almost identical to the version that the Masoretes gave us, identical to our Hebrew Bible of today. One could proclaim that to be a blessed miracle but the more likely explanation is that the early Masoretes of a thousand years ago did have access to good copies of the Temple scrolls and relied on them. So what we have today is the version of the Hebrew scriptures that originated from the ultra-careful work of the ancient Pharisees

So the explanation for variations in ancient versions of the scriptures becomes clear: There WERE different versions of some of the scriptures circulating in ancient Israel but we have the Pharisees to thank for sorting out that confusion and arriving at a version of the scriptures that is as close as possible to what was originally written.


24 December, 2020

Cloth masks are NOT enough to stop the spread of Covid-19 without social distancing

Wearing a cloth mask may not shield the user from coronavirus because too many infected droplets can slip through, a study has claimed.

Scientists at New Mexico State University, in the US, studied five types of face coverings including cloth masks and surgical grade N95 masks.

They found that while all masks blocked at least 95 per cent of droplets from coughs and sneezes - there was still a risk of the disease being passed on.

Although cloth masks stopped 96.4 per cent of sneeze droplets at a distance of six feet, they still let more than 1,000 through - which the scientists said could carry enough virus particles to trigger an infection.

'Wearing a mask will offer substantial, but not complete, protection to a susceptible person,' said Dr Krishna Kota, an associate professor at the university who led the research.

The science behind mask-wearing was hazy at the start of the pandemic and authorities in the UK and other countries hesitated to recommend wearing them.

The World Health Organization did recommend masks until June 8, and then only for people over 60 and those with underlying health conditions.

In Britain, face coverings were first brought in for public transport in June, and later for shops and other indoor spaces in July. In the US regulations vary across the country, with some states setting up rules as early as April but others resisting making masks mandatory.

The general consensus now is that masks may offer only limited protection to the people wearing them, but they are quite good at stopping people spreading the disease if they have it without knowing, because they catch their breath.

Scientists have also suggested that masks could reduce severity of disease by exposing people to the virus in small doses, but this hasn't been proven.

'A mask definitely helps, but if the people are very close to each other, there is still a chance of spreading or contracting the virus,' said Dr Kota. 'It's not just masks that will help. It's both the masks and distancing.'

For the study, published in the journal Physics of Fluid, the team built a machine that mimics coughs and sneezes from humans. It uses an air generator to blow tiny liquid droplets, like those that would escape from a nose or a mouth.

The machine was tested on five different types of masks: an N95 mask, a surgical mask, a cloth mask, a two-layer cloth mask and a wet two-layer cloth mask.

The researchers say wetting a mask could help because the material’s fibers will expand, reducing the pore size accessible for droplets to get through.

Two glass square tubes were joined with a mask tightly fit between them and a camera lens to capture the number of droplets.

Each of the masks were able to block most of the droplets with the best-performing being the N95, which blocked 100 percent of droplets.

Meanwhile, the worst was the regular cloth mask, which only blocked 96.4 percent of the droplets from getting through.

However, at distances of less than six feet, letting in around three percent of droplets could be enough to make someone ill.

Studies have shown that the average infection threshold for COVID-19 is 1,000 virus particles, inhaled either all at once or on separate occasions.

In addition, a single sneeze has the potential to carry up to 200 million virus particles.

The cloth mask let through more than 1,000 sneeze droplets, each of which could have millions of virus particles.

The two-layered cloth mask with a PM2.5 filter let through more than 600 sneeze droplets.

This means that if someone wearing one of these masks is close to an infected individual, enough droplets could escape to make them contract COVID-19.

'Without a face mask, it is almost certain that many foreign droplets will transfer to the susceptible person,' Kota said.

'Wearing a mask will offer substantial, but not complete, protection to a susceptible person by decreasing the number of foreign airborne sneeze and cough droplets that would otherwise enter the person without the mask.

'Consideration must be given to minimize or avoid close face-to-face or frontal human interactions, if possible.'


'Balancing act': The problem with COVID mandates

Julie Leask comments from Australia:

Recent developments in the pandemic such as vaccines and the outbreak of COVID-19 on Sydney's northern beaches have prompted calls for governments to mandate public health measures such as vaccination or mask wearing to control the virus.

Mandating certain behaviours to prevent the spread of infectious diseases can be an effective measure in public health. It can bring about behaviour change at-scale and remove the burden on individual decision making. But mandates come with downsides which are often overlooked.

Mandates will always carry a penalty for non-compliance: a fine for not wearing a mask or denial of childcare or family payments for the incompletely vaccinated child. These are serious consequences, particularly for people experiencing disadvantage, who themselves are already more likely to be economically or socially affected by pandemic measures. Yet it is those experiencing disadvantage who are more likely to be fined for COVID-19 rule compliance breaches. For example, in April, Sydney’s poorer Fairfield Local Government Area had just 0.98 per cent of cases but 3.7 per cent of infringements while richer Waverly had 6.7per cent of cases but just 0.79 per cent of infringements.

Mandates lead to interpersonal conflict at the point of enforcement. This is a particular problem if those with roles in implementing the requirement also provide the service because it can undermine the relationship between citizen and service. For example, the driver who turns away unmasked people boarding a bus taking them to an appointment or a doctor refusing to grant a medical exemption for an unvaccinated child will inevitably end up dealing with distressed and sometimes abusive people.

Mandates bring a tonal shift in pandemic control – from solidarity to enforcement. Rules can offer support – it’s sometime easier to just be told to do something. A few people only respond to rules. But they can also undermine intrinsic motivations towards the public co-operation more generally, making behaviour more about what I can and can’t do than what I should do for others. For long-haul behaviours like pandemic control ones, intrinsic motivation is better because it carries across a number of minute and everyday behaviours impossible to police.

Mandates should bring a meaningful additional level of compliance to controlling the spread of a disease. Right now in NSW, some commentators have called for mandatory masks for all of Sydney, at a time when the state is recording reductions in locally acquired new cases, decreasing from a high of 38 on December 19 to 8 cases on December 23. The most important control measures have been rapid identification and isolation of cases and contacts, helping bring this outbreak under control, like NSW did in July after a cluster began in south western Sydney. In Victoria, mandatory masks were hoped to be enough to bring a rising outbreak under control. But within a week it was clear that a prolonged lockdown was also needed.

Mandates require significant resourcing and attention from government departments. Legislation needs to be carefully drafted to account for the range of implications they will bring. There should be a threshold for determining what is, and is not, required and means for determining compliance. This is easier for policing the wearing of masks. For vaccination, Australia uses a national register to determine compliance. But recording error or failure to enter the data means some fully compliant families have wrongly lost family assistance payments under the No Jab No Pay. Mandates need good systems in place to be fair and feasible.

Most of these issues can be justified and managed if the benefits of mandating a behaviour are deemed to outweigh the risks. Right now in Sydney, mask wearing when one cannot distance is strongly recommended. But a mandate to do so would be disproportionate when considering the downsides along with their limited role right now in controlling COVID-19. If we are unlucky enough to see established transmission across Sydney or any other region, that might change.

For now, the measures announced on Wednesday are reasonable – limited numbers inside homes with restrictions around movement of people on the northern beaches where the cluster remains focused. We must remain focused on the most effective measures – testing and isolating if symptomatic, rapid contact tracing, quarantining of contacts, and limiting large gatherings, vigilant hand and respiratory hygiene and wearing masks when social distancing is not possible. Venues need to systematically ensure all customers accurately log their details when entering.

Mandating individual actions to prevent infectious disease spread should only be in place when the shift to mandating will be effective and carries little risk, the requirement is reasonable, feasible to enforce, and well justified. Taken together, this is about weighing the benefits of an action against its risks – something Australians have become adept at doing in 2020 when it comes to infectious diseases.


Having the media on your side makes a big difference



Biden names Bruce Reed, fiercely opposed by the "Squad," as deputy chief of staff (Fox News)

Team Biden gently walking back election-year immigration promises (Washington Examiner)

Newsmax, OAN, and Trump campaign sued by voting systems worker who says false claims led to death threats (AP)

Georgia Runoff: Raphael Warnock's wife told officer that her husband is "a great actor" after domestic dispute (Fox News)
Government & Politics

Sen. Rand Paul's "Festivus Report" reveals $54 billion in tax dollars was "totally wasted" (Fox News)

Tulsi Gabbard justifiably rips young Congress members for taking vaccine before elderly (NY Post)

D'oh! Biden calls reporter asking about Hunter Biden a "one-horse pony" (Washington Examiner)

Washington Post depicts Republicans as rats in editorial cartoon eerily similar to anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda (Not the Bee)

Acting defense secretary accepts Inclusion Board's 15 woke recommendations (

Walmart sued by the Justice Department for allegedly fueling opioid crisis (CBS News)

November existing home sales fall 2.5%, following record summer (AP)

In final reading, GDP increased at record 33.4% annual rate in third quarter (Washington Examiner)

Detroit suing Black Lives Matter activists for "civil conspiracy" (Fox News)

Face masks significantly reduce brain's ability to recognize people (StudyFinds)

Policy: How the Centers for Disease Control went woke (Free Beacon)

Policy: Maximizing equality of opportunity is the only way to avoid lowering standards (City Journal)



23 December, 2020

If face masks really stop Covid, then why are so many of us still catching it?

Stifling. Itchy. Dehumanising. Oppressive. Profoundly un-British. Just some of the terms used to describe the experience of mask-wearing.

Despite the discomfort, we put up with it for the health of our nation and, so we’re told, to do what we can to bring this nightmare to an end, as soon as possible.

And last week, London Mayor Sadiq Khan argued that we should extend the annoyance to outdoors – on our high streets – to protect our fellow Christmas shoppers.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging us to wear face masks around the Christmas table.

But is all this face-mask-wearing helping? Surveys show that three-quarters of Britons are wearing masks in mandatory areas – public transport, offices, pubs and restaurants when not sitting at a table, and most indoor spaces.

Yet the infection is still spreading at a rate that requires 38 million Britons to be banned from mixing indoors with anyone outside of their household.

Last week, cases increased in every area of England bar Yorkshire and the Humber, and in some areas the infection rate leapt up to twice what it was in April.

So are they useless, after all? If Mr Khan’s logic is to be believed, perhaps the problem is that we aren’t wearing them outdoors – surrounded by crowds of people. But studies show that just one in 100 cases is transmitted outside.

Nations that did implement mandatory mask-wearing outdoors, such as Spain and Italy, haven’t been spared devastating further waves.

Indoors, the theory is that masks trap the viral particles that are expelled from an infected person’s mouth or nose when they cough, splutter, sneeze or talk. Over the past six months, some studies seem to have shown they are effective in doing so. In June, The Lancet compiled data from 172 studies from 16 countries and concluded that two-metre social-distancing and wearing a face mask reduced the risk of contracting Covid.

An American study, published in August, found that rates were four times lower in countries where mask-wearing was considered a norm or was enforced by the government.

In the UK, most of the data has concluded that masks are, on a population level, effective when an infected individual wears them.

Professor Paul Digard, a virologist at the University of Edinburgh involved in the trial, explains: ‘A major source of transmission is through liquid droplets – like coughs and sneezes – which send the virus flying through the air.

‘Covid particles are too tiny to be stopped by a mask but they often travel in larger water droplets. These droplets are large enough to be trapped in a mask.’

But droplets are not the only way the virus spreads. In July, the WHO published new guidance regarding viral spread via smaller, lightweight particles that travel through the air – like smoke or dust – and linger long after the infected person has left the area.

‘Masks can do little to stop airborne transmission,’ says Prof Digard. ‘Covid particles that aren’t contained in water droplets are too small to be stopped by them.’ However, he adds that only a minority of infections are spread by airborne infections as viral particles don’t linger for too long in the air. But there remains little proof of effectiveness in real life settings.

Most of the research completed in the spring and summer involved laboratory studies using artificial breathing machines to simulate human coughs and observe how effective masks are limiting the travel of water droplets.

One real-life trial, involving 6,000 participants wearing surgical masks at all times while out in public, proved inconclusive. Professor Jimmy Whitworth, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, adds: ‘Even real-world studies are hampered by the fact you don’t know whether participants are actually wearing the mask properly – if at all.’

There is little available research regarding whether we are wearing masks correctly, but experts say it’s an aspect of the debate that is often overlooked. Prof Whitworth says: ‘The studies show it’s effective but it has to be worn properly – with the mouth and nose covered.’

As for whether they stop the virus getting in, protecting the wearer, the evidence is even more flimsy.

Studies do not account for unknown variables – for example how often people are wearing them. ‘Masks are unlikely to stop you catching the virus but they’re much more likely to trap infected water droplets coming out of your mouth,’ says Prof Digard.

Masks are a less powerful tool than the other key mitigation measure – social distancing. Yet, according to a national poll in October, 42 per cent of Britons had at some point broken the two-metre rule, compared to only a tenth who hadn’t worn a face mask in a shop.

Prof Whitworth says: ‘The two most important risk factors for catching Covid are lack of ventilation and crowding. The more air you are sharing with others, the more likely you are to catch it.’

Yet masks, we’re led to believe, will mitigate the harm of crowds.

Official advice is to wear face masks when social distancing is not possible. Data suggests that this is in fact correct and scientists say if it wasn’t for masks, cases may be even higher.

Public Health England figures show the majority of outbreaks between August and October were in schools and workplaces – environments where mask-wearing is low. Only children over 12 must wear a mask. They are allowed to take them off at their desks, while many workplaces do not enforce mask-wearing. Meanwhile pubs and restaurants, where mask-wearing is required and only small groups can gather, accounted for roughly five per cent of all outbreaks.

Another hotspot is inside each other’s homes, where people rarely wear masks.

The truth is, we don’t know for sure how much of an effect masks are having. ‘But common sense tells us it is worth doing,’ says Prof Whitworth.


New COVID-19 Vaccines, Same Sluggish FDA

In October, large portions of the United States began experiencing rapid increases in new COVID-19 cases. Many European countries have experienced a similar surge in cases, even after being devastated by severe COVID-19 outbreaks earlier this year.

Fearing the arrival of a second wave, several states reenacted various lockdown measures to curb spreading disease. Many European nations followed suit.

But necessity is the mother of innovation. And pathbreaking medical innovation has arrived.

On November 9th, Pfizer announced it had developed a more than 90 percent effective COVID-19 vaccine. A week later, Moderna released clinical trial findings indicating its COVID-19 vaccine was 95 percent effective. Stanely Plotkin, the inventor of the rubella vaccine, found Moderna’s results to be “extremely encouraging” and “show that the platform really works… and considering the speed with which the platform was put into operation, it’s an excellent result.”

Federal regulators agreed. On December 11th, the Food and Drug Administration’s advisory board granted emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Richard Redfield gave similar approval shortly after, making a COVID-19 vaccine available to distribute.

Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Pfizer expects to produce 15 to 20 million vaccines by the end of the year, including 2.9 million doses in the next week. Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine is also expected to receive approval soon, with the hopes of distributing another 20 million doses by the end of December.

Pfizer’s and Moderna’s swift development of an effective COVID-19 vaccine has generated widespread and well-deserved praise. An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal argues the scientists who developed the vaccines deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for their discovery. An article in the Irish Examiner called the leadership of BioNTech, which partnered with Pfizer to develop the vaccine, “heroes of our time.”

Even more remarkable, according to an article published in New York magazine’s Intelligencer, is that Moderna’s vaccine was developed on January 13th, only two days after the vaccine’s genomic sequence was made public. This was even before COVID-19 reached the United States.

However, until the FDA approved the vaccine, it was not legally available to anyone not participating in clinical trials. This means, as the article’s title indicates, “we had the vaccine the whole time.”

A nearly eleven-month gap between the vaccine’s discovery and FDA approval is frustrating. Unfortunately, the FDA’s sluggishness to approve life-saving medication is nothing new even during a public health crisis.

From 2014-2016, the Ebola virus caused nearly 11,000 deaths across western Africa. Fortunately, scientists across the globe worked together to develop a vaccine in less than a year. The Ebola vaccine, however, did not receive FDA approval until 2019—four years after it was created.

But would medical scientists be able to quickly develop a safe and effective vaccine without the FDA’s oversight? Evidence from previous influenza pandemics suggests they can.

From 1957-1958, the 1958 influenza (often referred to as the Asian Flu) spread through the United States, infecting 20 million individuals and causing 116,000 deaths. At this time, the FDA held significantly less regulatory authority and did not regulate vaccines.

Similar to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, medical scientists developed a vaccine for the 1958 influenza before the virus reached the United States. Without the FDA prolonging approval, cooperation between public health agencies and private vaccine developers were able to distribute 60 million doses of the vaccine during the first two months of the pandemic.

Consequently, hospitals were not overwhelmed and there was “no serious disruption of community life” during the 1957-1958 pandemic. As an article written at the time in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted, quick development, approval, and distribution of the vaccine “made it possible for a nation to organize in advance of an oncoming epidemic for the first time in history.”

The frustrating delay between the time when a COVID-19 vaccine was discovered and the day the FDA gave its approval should not overshadow the Pfizer and Moderna scientists’ remarkable achievement. Their pioneering discovery is truly phenomenal. However, acknowledging the harmfulness of the FDA’s delay in authorizing a COVID-19 vaccine can help implement better policy during future public health crises.

COVID-19 is deadly. But regulatory barriers can be, too.



North Carolina regulator Michael Regan to lead EPA (NPR)

Native American Rep. Deb Haaland — who smeared Covington students — to lead Interior Department (AP)

Biden's tapping of third House Democrat further narrows Pelosi's majority (National Review)

Georgia conducting statewide "signature match review" of absentee ballots (Daily Wire)

Newly declassified texts reveal FBI spied on Fox News during Crossfire Hurricane (American Greatness)

Parting shots: Tulsi Gabbard introduces another pro-life bill that bars abortion for pain-capable babies (Disrn)

Nuclear weapons agency hit by massive hacking campaign (American Military News)

U.S. to blacklist dozens of Chinese companies (Fox Business)

Mexico passes law limiting power of the DEA (Daily Mail)

Kamala Harris is calling for "commonsense" gun control. She means confiscation. (Washington Examiner)

ATF decision could lead to biggest gun registration, turn-in effort in American history (Free Beacon)

Smith & Wesson sues New Jersey — for FIRST Amendment violations (Free Beacon)

Minneapolis city council members revise history, now claim they never advocated defunding police (Daily Mail)

California's population growth rate at record low (CNBC)

Rutgers prof claims "language matters," then compares "death cult" GOP to "fecal matter" (Campus Reform)

North Face accused of virtue signaling for refusing oil-and-gas firm's jacket order (Washington Times)

North Carolina governor establishes "Gender Expansive Parents' Day" (Disrn)



22 December, 2020

New Study Shows Mask Mandates Had Zero Effect in Florida or Nationwide, But the Lie Continues

Obviously, no amount of evidence, data, trends, facts, studies, or science will ever convince most ‘public health officials’ that masks aren’t doing squat to stop the spread of COVID-19. Cases and deaths continue to spike (yes, many of these are super-sensitive PCR test-driven numbers, but still) despite the fact that well over 90% of the country are complying with their absurd mandates. Yet, predictably, the virus keeps going right on virusing, as highly contagious respiratory viruses, unfortunately, tend to do, especially once cold weather hits.

Nevertheless, those of us who are mask skeptics have a difficult chore in front of us. Given that most of the country is under a mask mandate of some form or another, we can point to spikes all day AFTER these mandates were put in place only to have our opponents simply say, “Look how bad it would have been WITHOUT masks!”

It’s a tough argument to counter given the fact that our overlords have sold masking as a low-cost, easy “solution” that’s totally worth it even if they “save one life,” or something (nevermind the health risks - let’s censor docs who talk about those!). So, how DO we prove that things wouldn’t have been worse without masks? One way is to look at data from the few free states remaining.

In Florida, for example, most counties have so far bravely refused to implement mask mandates while others, usually in high population centers, have done so. Justin Hart and the team at Rational Ground (follow them on Twitter here - it’s worth it) just released a comprehensive data analysis of masked vs non-masked counties in the state. A total of 22 of 67 counties in the state have implemented a mask order at some point during the period of May 1 through December 15. It may not sound like many, but these include almost all of Florida’s largest metro areas. To be more than fair, if an area added a mask order at some point during the outbreak, the study’s authors gave a 14 day period to allow time for cases to begin subsiding. “Cases were summed for both mandate and non-mandate jurisdictions and adjusted per 100,000 people for days the mandates were or were not in effect,” wrote the authors, describing the methodology used.

If masks did even close to as advertised, one would expect to see the counties that went maskless to be absolute dumpster fires next to the counties that implemented mandates, right? At the very least, the numbers should favor the masked areas by more than a percentage point or two. So, how did it go? Yep, it was the Mask Cult’s worse nightmare:

“When counties DID have a mandate in effect, there were 667,239 cases over 3,137 days with an average of 23 cases per 100,000 per day. When counties DID NOT have a countywide order, there were 438,687 cases over 12,139 days with an average of 22 cases per 100,000 per day.”

In other words, counties with mask-mandates in place actually did WORSE than those that refused to implement them. (Yeah, color me shocked.) The authors even accounted for population density in their analysis, suggesting that it didn’t have an impact on the numbers because four of the 12 most populous counties in Florida never had a countywide order. “When the eight DID have an order in effect, there were 64 cases per 1,000. In periods 11 of 12 DID NOT have one, there were 40,” they wrote.

“But that’s just Florida,” you say. “They’re weirdos anyway. Surely masks have worked in the rest of the country.” Well, I’m glad you asked! The good folks at Rational Ground went on to compare national numbers, pitting the states that resisted the urge to impose a statewide mask mandate against those that masked up. How did those compare?

“When states DID have a mandate in effect, there were 9,605,256 cases over 5,907 total days and averaged 27 cases per 100,000 per day. When states DID NOT have a statewide order there were 5,781,716 cases over 5,772 total days averaging 17 cases per 100,000 people per day.”

So there you have it, incontrovertible data evidence that mask mandates do little to nothing to stop or even slightly curb the spread of COVID-19. If masks were the answer, wouldn’t you expect to see a drop in cases not long after mask mandates are implemented? At the very least, wouldn’t you expect to see cases level off and STAY leveled off? What you would NOT expect would be what has actually happened, for cases to spike as they have done since November seemingly all across the country, regardless of whether or not a mandatory masking policy was in place.

Further, wouldn’t you also expect states and areas that MASKED HARRDERRR than anyone else, states like California that have the ‘bold leadership’ to insist the plebes under their control mask up outside on hiking trails and sitting alone in parks, to have the lowest case counts of all? Just look at the latest per capita numbers there compared to Florida and tell me with a straight face that mask mandates ‘work.’ As Dave Rubin adeptly pointed out earlier this month, Florida’s numbers “should be ten times higher” than California’s. I mean, nobody is asking for masks to work perfectly, but hell, shouldn’t we expect SOME performance?

Numbers and data like this get down to the brass tacks. We can pit our doctors, scientists, and epidemiologists against their doctors, scientists, and epidemiologists on the actual science behind whether forcing people to put a moist, bacteria & virus-laden piece of cloth over the holes through which they breathe actually works to contain a virus that’s infinitesimally smaller than its threads (and yes, there are plenty of doctors, scientists, and epidemiologists on Team Reality too, and a bunch of them are on this must-follow Twitter list!), but if mask-mandates aren’t actually WORKING to curb the spread, why do we have them in place?

It’s complete and utter nonsense, of course. You know it, I know it, and the powers-that-be likely know it too. So why do they insist on continuing the charade? Whatever it is, it has NOTHING to do with either public health or real science.


Rates of depression and suicide are spiking among children and young adults

COVID isn’t killing teenagers, but the response of government officials is certainly taking its toll as suicides increase and mental health declines. It’s no wonder. Every day, the mainstream media blares alert-style updates on the number of new coronavirus infections and deaths, almost as if it were giving the casualty statistics of an ongoing war. However, unlike a war, these “casualty” numbers have a 99.98% recovery rate with almost no lingering discernible damage from the infection. Time, of course, will tell even more. Either way, panic is what the media wants, and panic is what the media is generating.

Meanwhile, the massive collateral damage caused by many of the nation’s governors and their draconian edicts allegedly issued to combat the pandemic has been ignored and dismissed by much of the MSM as inconsequential compared to the “terrible” virus. In fact, those who raise objections to overbearing and illogical lockdowns and business restrictions are declared to be selfish and unconcerned for the health of their neighbors.

And yet nothing could be further from the truth. More and more information is coming in regarding the impact of the COVID response on Americans’ mental health, and the information is extremely concerning. One of the saddest realities that has emerged is the deadly impact the shutdowns have had on those Americans least endangered by COVID — children and teenagers.

With many schools being locked down over fears of being vectors for spreading the virus, students have had to endure seemingly unending and logic-confounding isolation from peers and teachers. And the results, especially for high school students, have been especially devastating.

A study out of the University of Wisconsin found that nearly 68% of 3,243 high school student athletes polled reported greater anxiety and depression levels that usually require medical intervention — a nearly 40% increase over previous studies. Furthermore, physical activity levels of students are 50% lower than prior to the pandemic, a factor that only adds to depression. A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in four teenagers questioned had thought about committing suicide in the past 30 days. All too many have actually done so.

These factors may explain why Tim McGuine, the lead researcher in Wisconsin’s study, concluded, “The greatest risk [to student athletes] is not covid-19. It’s suicide and drug use.”

Democrats have long loved to sell their Big Government programs with claims of doing it “for the children.” They self-righteously proclaim the virtue of their position while vilifying any opposition as uncaring and selfish. Such has been the case with COVID. How many times have Democrats claimed that those who reject their mask claims are “uncaring” or, even worse, want to spread the virus? Similarly, any suggestion that the damage from the lockdowns is worse than COVID is met with a Democrat-led cacophony of ridicule and anger for daring to question “the science.” Meanwhile, children are suffering and dying because of the abuse of authoritarian “do-gooders.”


Obama’s Latest Autobiography Rewrites Israeli History to Make You Hate the Jewish State

Obama portrays Britain and then Israel as occupying powers in Palestine, without ever explaining who actually owned the land they were and are supposedly occupying. He makes no mention of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. As The Palestinian Delusion explains in detail, the Mandate directed the British to encourage “close settlement by Jews on the land” for “the establishment of the Jewish national home.” What gave the League the right to do such a thing? The dying Ottoman Empire had ceded Palestine to the League in 1918. Jews had lived in that land from time immemorial, and it was otherwise sparsely populated. It was a perfect place for the Jews who faced discrimination, harassment and worse in Europe and elsewhere to settle.

Thus the common assumption, which Obama fosters, that the Israelis are illegitimate occupiers of a land that belongs rightly to the Palestinians, founders on the facts. There never was a Palestinian state. No Palestinian king, or emperor, or president. There never was a Palestinian nationality or ethnicity distinct from the nationality and ethnicity of the Arabs of the region. Palestine, like Staten Island or Georgetown, was always the name of a region, not a nation-state or ethnonational home.

Obama also claims that the Jews “organized highly trained armed forces to defend their settlements,” without mentioning that in 1919, a Muslim leader, Amin al-Husseini, a member of a prominent Arab clan in Jerusalem, orchestrated a series of attacks on Jews all over Palestine. The following year, he instigated riots in Jerusalem during Passover. Amid mass looting and rapes, six Jews were murdered and over two hundred more injured. A court of inquiry found that “the Jews were the victims of a peculiarly brutal and cowardly attack, the majority of the casualties being old men, women and children.”

This violence was ongoing. In August 1929 in Jerusalem, rioting Arabs murdered 133 Jews and injured over two hundred more, many in their homes. In Hebron, they murdered another sixty-seven Jews, and in Safed, twenty more. The British government-appointed Shaw Commission found that the riots “took the form, in the most part, of a vicious attack by Arabs on Jews accompanied by wanton destruction of Jewish property.” Obama mentions none of this.

His description of the birth of the State of Israel is no more fair or accurate: “As Britain withdrew, the two sides quickly fell into war. And with Jewish militias claiming victory in 1948, the state of Israel was officially born.”

The “two sides” were actually tiny Israel against the giant massed forces of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Transjordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. They didn’t “fall into war”; the Arab League declared war immediately after Israel declared its independence. Obama’s use of the term “militias” to describe the Israel Defense Forces is doubtless chosen for its resonance with the right-wing, racist, white supremacist militias that American Leftists hysterically imagine to be stalking the land.

Even worse, Obama claims that “for the next three decades, Israel would engage in a succession of conflicts with its Arab neighbors.” One would get no hint from his account of the fact that Israel “would engage” in all these conflicts not out of some imperialist or supremacist impulse, but because each and every time, Arab forces carried out an unprovoked attack against the Jewish state. But Obama appears determined to portray Israel as the aggressor, trusting in the general ignorance of his readership.

Obama’s animus toward Israel is so great that he even calls the Temple Mount “one of Islam’s holiest sites,” without ever mentioning its central importance in Judaism.

A Promised Land thus includes a concise primer for Leftists to remind them of why they must hate Israel. As Obama’s dotty old puppet prepares to enter the Oval Office, this is not a good sign for America’s alliance with Israel, or for peace in the Middle East.



Naturally, attorney general candidates won't be asked about Hunter Biden (NY Post)

Trump campaign takes fight over Pennsylvania election, ballot laws to Supreme Court (Fox News)

Georgia Senate runoffs see more than 1.3 million ballots already cast (Fox News)

Tennessee governor enacts restrictions on social gatherings but rightfully forgoes mask mandate (Fox News)

London under full lockdown as UK struggles to contain new COVID strain (National Review)

Overdoses hit record 81,230 in single year (Disrn) | Memo to Pelosi: Overdose deaths far outpace COVID deaths in San Francisco (AP)

After government hack, media mum on ex-cybersecurity chief highlighted for contradicting Trump's fraud claims (Fox News)

New York Times quotes leftist who wants to withhold COVID vaccinations from the elderly since "older populations are whiter" and to "level the playing field" (NTB)

Straight from the source: Bill de Blasio says mission is to "redistribute wealth" in school system (Fox News)

Seattle district claims the U.S. education system is guilty of "spirit murder" against black children (City Journal)

DOJ accuses Zoom executive of leaking user data to Beijing officials (Disrn)

Congress to approve $1.375 billion for border wall in 2021 (The Hill)

"Big Tech was a huge part of why Biden won the election. It will receive its reward." —Keith Koffler

Judge rules San Diego County strip club ruling also protects eateries (Fox News)

NYC restaurants band together to ban Andrew Cuomo from dining in their establishments (Examiner)

Not identifying sex on birth certificates pushed in New England Journal of Medicine (National Review)

Judge rules Wisconsin inmate convicted of sexually abusing daughter has constitutional right to taxpayer-funded sex reassignment surgery (Washington Examiner)

Rick Warren and Saddleback Church host "blacks only" worship service (NTB)

Policy: The Left has now fully embraced racism (The Federalist)



21 December, 2020

'Show us the evidence': Scientists call for clarity on claim that new Covid-19 variant strain is 70% more contagious

Boris Johnson was last night urged to publish clear evidence of the Covid data he used to cancel Christmas for millions.

The Prime Minister has warned the new variant of coronavirus may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than previous strains and could overwhelm the NHS.

But last night one scientist demanded greater transparency over the number that shut down swathes of the UK.

Carl Heneghan, Professor of Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Primary Care, expressed scepticism over the 70 per cent figure.

He said: 'I've been doing this job for 25 years and I can tell you can't establish a quantifiable number in such a short time frame.'

He added 'every expert is saying it's too early to draw such an inference'.

Professor Heneghan said there was no doubt this time of the year, the 'height of the viral season', was a difficult time for the NHS. But he said failure to put out the basis of the figures was undermining public trust.

He added: 'I would want to have very clear evidence rather than 'we think it's more transmissible' so we can see if it is or not.

'It has massive implications, it's causing fear and panic, but we should not be in this situation when the Government is putting out data that is unquantifiable.'

He added: 'They are fitting the data to the evidence. They see cases rising and they are looking for evidence to explain it.'

The new variant was found on September 20 in Kent.

By mid-November, 28 per cent of cases in London were attributable to it. And in the week starting December 9, it was responsible for 62 per cent.

Professor Heneghan said that if it was true the new variant was more transmissible 'we should be locking down the whole country' as people leaving the capital to avoid restrictions would spread it.

Announcing the new Tier Four restrictions, Boris Johnson blamed the new Covid strain and said 'it may be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the old variant'.

He also said the new virus could boost the reproduction rate – known as R – by 0.4. When R is above 1 the virus is increasing. If it is below 1, it is decreasing.

Mr Johnson said the figure, which came from analysis by government advisory body The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), was 'early data' and 'subject to review'. But he added: 'It's the best we have at the moment.

'We have to act on information as we have it because this is spreading very fast.'

Peter Horby, chairman of Nervtag and Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the University of Oxford, said the figure of 70 per cent was based on 'converging data'.

He said: 'This is including, but not limited to, the rate of change in the frequency of detection of the variant (the growth rate) and the correlation between R values and the frequency of detection of the new variant.'

Minutes from the Nervtag meeting from December 18 said they had 'moderate confidence' that the new variant, known as VUI-202012/01, 'demonstrates a substantial increase in transmissibility compared to other variants'.

The variant demonstrated exponential growth when national lockdown measures were in place, the minutes added.


Australian Bureau of Statistics: Australian deaths, 1 January to 27 October 2020

The coronavirus has actually SAVED lives. It has wiped out some of the elderly but the rest of the population is doing fine

Deaths have been lower than average during the winter months in 2020.

Respiratory disease deaths have been lower than historical minimums since June.

Throughout this report, counts of deaths for 2020 are compared to an average number of deaths recorded over the previous 5 years (2015-2019). These average or baseline counts serve as a proxy for the expected number of deaths, so comparisons against baseline counts can provide an indication of excess mortality. The minimum and maximum counts from 2015-19 are also included to provide an indication of the range of previous counts. Minimums and maximums for any given week can be from any of the five years from 2015-19.

Deaths remained below historical averages since mid May, although the difference temporarily narrowed in late July and mid August. The number of deaths typically declines during spring with the end of the influenza season. Despite the lack of a severe 2020 influenza season, the number of deaths has followed traditional patterns, declining during the spring months.

Deaths were below the historical minimum range for most of June and July, late August and since mid September. Between 3 June and 27 October, there have been 57,939 deaths, 3,388 below the average of 61,327.


Rep. Kevin Hern: Capitalism pulled me out of poverty, why can't AOC admit it saved her, too?

It is well-documented that my colleague, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., worked in the service industry before running for Congress. It’s part of the reason why she gained so much traction with young people in her party.

To be honest, I admire her ambition and think it should be applauded that she has found such success. It’s only possible in America.

What’s less well-known is that she is far from the first person to make that economic jump and that there are several sitting members of Congress who come from much poorer backgrounds and worked their way to prosperity.

No one wants to talk about it because we’re conservative. We believe that capitalism is what pulled us out of poverty and we want to maintain that system for future Americans.

The beauty of America is that anything is possible. No matter what economic class you are born into, there is an opportunity to turn yourself into anything, if you are willing to work for it. There’s no limit to what you can achieve with a big idea and a strong work ethic.

There are not many people in Congress who can testify to that statement quite like I can.

For many years of my childhood, we didn’t have electricity or running water, because my mom and stepdad couldn’t afford to pay the bill.

I remember coming home from elementary school not knowing if we’d have food for dinner most nights. I was mocked by my classmates for my worn-out clothes. I was looked down on for receiving free lunches at school. We were constantly moving from house to house because my stepdad never made the rent.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and I walked through similar doors of opportunity, a door called capitalism, but she wants to permanently shut that door to everyone behind her.

That didn’t stop me from dreaming. In fact, it motivated me. It inspired me to work so hard that my future family would never live like that.

To that end, I went to work and I worked hard. I earned an architectural drafting certificate while still in high school to earn money for college. I earned a degree in engineering and started working in aerospace.

My career took a detour when the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up, changing the aerospace industry forever. I was out of a job and didn’t know what was next when I first learned about the opportunities available as a McDonald’s franchisee.

What AOC and far-left have done for Democrats: SmithVideo
I spent 10 years flipping burgers at McDonald's while saving up $100,000 to buy my first restaurant in the franchise system. I wasn’t just flipping burgers, though. I worked every role in the store, from the cash register to the fryer to the drive-through.

I was learning the management side as well, every aspect of running a McDonald's. In my spare time, what little I had, I was writing code, developing real estate, pig farming – any small job I could do to save up for that first restaurant.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez likes to tell people that Republicans make fun of her for being a waitress, but you can imagine the condescending comments and ridicule I get for McDonald’s?

No doubt about it, I’m the butt of endless jokes. People call me the ‘McCongressman’ and trivialize my real-world experience because it’s tied to the golden arches.

It doesn’t bother me because the McDonald’s franchise program helped me realize my American Dream. I’ve embraced the nickname ‘Big Mac’ and I share my ‘secret sauce’ to success with anyone who wants to listen.

America is a one-of-a-kind place. We are lucky to live in a land of opportunity, where someone like me can build a multi-million-dollar company after growing up with absolutely nothing, where someone like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez can bartend one day and be elected to Congress the next.

She and I walked through similar doors of opportunity, a door called capitalism, but she wants to permanently shut that door to everyone behind her.

The American Dream is achievable for those who are willing to work for it. The same opportunities I had 40 years ago are still available today, but they’re in danger.

We must fiercely protect and defend those opportunities from socialist policies that would destroy us in pursuit of ill-conceived ideas that have repeatedly destroyed the countries who employ them.

What we’re seeing in California and New York under hypocritical COVID mandates is the future that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues want.

The American entrepreneurial spirit will be crushed under their policies and the American Dream will die a tragic death.

It’s easy to promote impossible ideas and ride them to fame, but the danger comes when people expect you to act on them; you can never live up to those promises. Socialism has long been a dirty word because of the very real destruction it has caused across the globe.

Nevertheless, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wants you to believe that this time will be different. We can’t afford to find out.



20 December, 2020

2020: The Year We Lost The Plot

Rob Slane

“Our Government, along with Governments around the world will shortly announce the quarantining of whole populations for a seasonal respiratory virus which leaves 99.8-99.9% of those who get it in the land of the living. What is more, they will also announce a shutdown of the entire economy for months and then, when the epidemic has actually gone, will mandate that you cover the lower half of your face with a bit of cloth. They will do this by frightening people into compliance with a barrage of propaganda, slogans, data entirely taken out of context, and the threat of massive fines.”Anyone making this claim at the beginning of the year would rightly have been thought to have mislaid the plot and their marbles, long ago. But here we are, at the end of that same year, and it is precisely what has happened.Only it is much worse than that.

Had you somehow been persuaded to give credence to this insane prophecy, you would probably have been comforted by the following thought: “They’ll never get away with it. The people will never stand for it.”Not a bit of it. Somehow, millions of people across the country, and in fact across the world, were persuaded to accept it. By far the majority somehow thought that quarantining whole nations of healthy people for a virus, for the first time in history, was a good idea. Well, actually the second time in history to be precise. It was tried in 2009 by the Mexican Government during the Swine Flu outbreak, but they had the good sense to end it after a couple of weeks after realising how much it would devastate the country.Yet not only do we have our imaginary conspiracy loon’s mad ravings come true, but those same people who have accepted it look upon those of us who have been pointing out the madness of it all as if we were those who had taken leave of our senses. Oh irony, thou hast had a field day in 2020. As St. Antony the Great put it:“A time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying, ‘You are mad; you are not like us.’”To cut to the chase, we have gone and thrown out reason, rationality and proportionality this year. A coronavirus, which posed a danger to a very small proportion of our society, but which actually has an Infection Fatality Rate of around 0.2% – 0.26% (not too dissimilar to a bad seasonal flu), and which could thus have been dealt with proportionality, somehow became the catalyst for the biggest mass hysteria in the history of the human race. Indeed, many were so taken in by the great hypnotic spell set in motion by charlatans with their “hard-hitting emotional messaging,” that they adopted practices so irrational and disproportionate to the threat, one wonders how they managed to live before this year.

The history books tell of one of our great Kings, Canute, demonstrating to his courtiers that contrary to their supposition, he could not in fact control the waves. In our day, it’s like King Canute has gone rogue, telling his subjects that he can control the waves and viruses, and his subjects have responded by not only believing him, but by taking any action he tells them they must do to stop the waves or the virus, including confining themselves to their homes, closing their businesses, wearing cloths on their faces, along with umpteen other truly bizarre and wholly useless diktats. Then, when the waves or the virus continue doing what waves and viruses do, a wave of Covidian Logic bursts over us and we find it is our fault that they have not been controlled. We didn’t shut down hard enough or long enough, or we played board games at Christmas.
In the real world, the only thing that got controlled this year was not a virus, but people. That all went off spiffingly, or spaffingly as Comrade Johnson might put it. People were suppressed, people were controlled, people were — you might say — owned. And by and large they acquiesced in putting their hand to this National Suicide Plan.Of course, the reply that comes the way of anyone who points this out is:“Ah, but if we hadn’t locked down and masked up, the deaths would have been in the hundreds of thousands.”To which the answer is simply:“Nope. Lockdown cannot be shown to have saved a single life.”

Sweden, by not turning itself into a basketcase, failed to have the anything like wave of mass deaths predicted by the Enthusiasts for Lockdown. Nor did other nations that took a similar approach. A recent peer-reviewed study from France, looking at 188 countries, has confirmed what should have been obvious all along:“Stringency of the measures settled to fight pandemia, including lockdown, did not appear to be linked with death rate.”Then of course there was the Danish RCT study, which showed no significant statistical difference between infection rates of those wearing surgical masks, and those with no masks.Imagine that!Imagine that we were put under house arrest for months, made to cover our respiratory passages with bits of cloth, forced to alter our lives, and threatened with fines for non-compliance — and none of it made any difference to mortality.Imagine that this Government and Parliament caused the complete shutdown of the economy for months, putting millions on the dole, wrecking 1,000s of businesses, causing the worst recession for 300 years, and piling up a future of debt, poverty, mental health issues and reduced life expectancy — and none of it saved any lives.

Imagine that we are still in this situation, with people still acquiescing in the destruction of their own country, the Government and media still feeding us lies, and with no real plausible end to this madness.Actually, you have no need to imagine it. Even though it is so outlandish that even the most unhinged, basement-dwelling “conspiracy nut” on the planet could not have come up with this, it is indeed the year you just lived through. We lost the plot in 2020, and the most pressing question is: will we get it back in 2021?


Trump's Legacy: Blacks, Hispanics, and Blue-Collar Workers

The president's performance wasn't historic, but it was an improvement.

One of President Donald Trump’s many achievements is the way he shifted the demographics of the country’s electorate with his unique appeal. There are three key demographics that, for the last half-century or so, have been particularly tough for Republicans: blacks, Hispanics, and blue-collar workers. Trump made inroads with all three groups for a lot of overlapping reasons. And he gained among minorities while being slandered as a “racist” almost daily by the mainstream media. In many ways, this shift IS the Trump legacy.

Caveat: Ballot harvesting and bulk-mail balloting skewed a lot of things in the 2020 election, so, as always, keep that in mind with any discussion of results.

Call us crazy, but it’s almost like the color of someone’s skin or the amount of money they earn doesn’t automatically determine their political interests. In fact, most humans simply want jobs to provide for their families, economic security, and a culture and country they feel they belong in. Democrats win votes by dividing people along those lines and fomenting hate. Trump won them by bringing voters into the big tent. He continuously spoke to blacks, Latinos, and blue-collar workers in kitchen-table terms.

For blacks, Trump had the guts to ask for their votes in 2016, essentially asking, What do you have to lose? He continued to court the black vote in 2020. And why not? What president in recent memory had actually done more for blacks?

Trump advocated school choice (which Democrats and their teacher-union backers hate) and increased funding for historically black colleges and universities. He pushed through significant criminal justice reform, which in large part undid the over-incarceration effects of legislation written by the 1990s version of Senator Joe Biden. President Trump advocated economic-empowerment zones and the “Platinum Plan,” which were just part of the policy agenda specifically designed to increase black employment. Prior to the pandemic, Trump’s presidency saw the lowest black unemployment on record.

That resulted in winning the votes of 9% of black women and 19% of black men — 12% overall, and a big improvement from his 8% showing in 2016. To put it in perspective, however, that’s not a historic achievement. While Trump did improve upon his own showing four years ago and upon that of Mitt Romney and John McCain (who ran against an incredibly popular black man), he only matched Bob Dole in 1996 (12%) and he fell short of the black vote (as a percentage) won by Ronald Reagan (14% in 1980), Gerald Ford (17% in 1976), and Richard Nixon (15% in 1968).

Hispanics have not been nearly as one-sided for Democrats as blacks, but Republicans still struggle to reach Latinos. Surely the “racist” wall-builder Trump, who “wants to keep out all the Mexicans,” wouldn’t gain among Hispanics, would he? Yes, he would. Heck, Trump even carried Zapata County, Texas, which is on the Mexican border and may be the most heavily Hispanic county in the nation.

As it turns out, being Hispanic doesn’t mean automatically and unthinkingly demanding open borders, as Democrats now seem to think. It also doesn’t mean you’re automatically a ward of the state, as Democrats seem to think.

Hispanics have families and want jobs to provide for them. The ones who went to the trouble of emigrating legally (or who have been here for generations) don’t want to compete for those jobs with low-wage illegals, regardless of their nation of origin. They have that in common with blacks.

Our Louis DeBroux wrote in January, “By assuming Hispanics will always vote Democrat and are driven primarily by immigration, Democrats are making little effort to understand the other issues that are important to Hispanic voters. Those include good jobs, a decent education for their children, the rising cost of college, affordable housing for their families, etc.”

A lot of Hispanics from nations like Cuba or Venezuela are terrified of Democrat socialism. They’ve seen it before, and it’s why they fled their home countries. You don’t board a makeshift raft and cross an ocean only to vote for the same policies you fled.

Trump’s pitch was simple: He was far preferable to the alternative. “Joe Biden has spent 47 years betraying the Hispanic American community totally,” he said, “sending their jobs to China, raising taxes on their families and small businesses, making their communities less safe, attacking their values, and trapping their children in failing government schools.” Trump worked to do the opposite of every one of those things, and an increasing number of Hispanics rewarded him with their votes — 47% of Hispanics in Texas went for Trump, for example, and according to Bloomberg, “he took 61% of Miami-Dade’s 482 majority-Latino precincts, up from 26% of them in 2016.” Nationwide, Trump won 32% of the Latino vote, up from 28% in 2016. That’s not the best ever for a Republican, as Ronald Reagan won 37% and 34%, respectively, and George W. Bush netted 35% and 34%, respectively. But, again, Trump saw improvement over recent Republican presidential performance.

Non-whites overall? Trump got 26% of their votes. Only George W. Bush outperformed that in 2004 with 28%.

Interestingly, however, according to Breitbart, Trump lost ground with whites: “President Donald Trump won 64 percent of white people who did not graduate from college in the 2020 election — which is down from his 70 percent share of those voters in 2016.” And he lost “roughly 4.5 million votes” among the “white/college-grad” segment.

Worst white supremacist president ever.

Blue-collar workers of any race — the hourly workers at your local grocery store, the servers at your local restaurant, the factory workers who made your car — have traditionally voted Democrat. Beginning at least with FDR’s “New Deal,” it was Democrats who were perceived to be “for the little guy,” who pushed for higher wages and better benefits. Somewhere along the line, however, Democrats forgot that and began pushing for speech codes, race (bait) training, and gender confusion in the workplace, and then shut down the country, costing many of those workers their jobs.

It was Barack Obama who called us “bitter clingers,” Hillary Clinton who dubbed us “deplorables,” and Joe Biden who derided the “chumps” voting for Trump. Leftist elitist contempt for the average American has only increased over the years, and, by golly, the average American noticed.

As our Douglas Andrews aptly put it, “Democrats are now the elites, the paternalists, the Chardonnay-sippers, the theater-goers, the media darlings, the foundation favorites, the advanced-degree types, and the party preferred by Wall Street. Republicans, on the other hand, have welcomed in the workers, the grinders, the hog butchers, the middle-managers, the guys and gals in the field and on the shop floor. The Republican Party is diverse, but the common thread is Patriotism. We love our country, and we don’t apologize for it.”

Lisa Lerer of The New York Times looked at blue-collar workers and found some “striking” results: “Of the 265 counties most dominated by blue-collar workers — areas where at least 40 percent of employed adults have jobs in construction, the service industry or other nonprofessional fields — Mr. Biden won just 15.” In other words, Scranton Joe underperformed among this cohort, and if he can’t win among these voters, what Democrat can?

Indeed, Donald Trump, the blue-collar billionaire, set about to get government out of our way by lowering taxes and reducing regulation. He battled the media over its gross bias, effectively revealing their tarnished reputation forever with the “fake news” moniker. He challenged the condescension from coastal elites and put a stop to divisive swamp-think like Critical Race Theory training in federal agencies. He undid bathroom mandates and rejected speech codes. In other words, he fought the same culture battles your average, er, Joe is out there fighting in the heartland.

As George Hawley and Richard Hanania write at National Review, “Cultural concerns, not economic interests or policy preferences, were the real dividing line in 2016, and remain so today.”

To sum it all up, what Trump accomplished was to significantly broaden the base of the GOP. If other Republicans can learn the right lessons from that, even Trump’s loss will provide a template for future victories.



18 December, 2020

Why The Number '3' May Make You Rethink The COVID Hysteria

Yesterday I promised to explain why the number three is among the most compelling data points discovered so far in Covid-19 research. And it’s something that you most likely won’t see in the mainstream media, even though the data is right there in the FDA’s research.

Covid has clearly been THE most heavily researched topic of 2020. Google Scholar shows roughly 90,000 scientific studies and academic papers on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 that were published this year, which is a great testament to how quickly researchers can mobilize.

Many of these studies, however, were limited in nature. They were small-scale, involving only a handful of test subjects. Or they relied upon data from numerous, disparate sources, which introduced a lack of uniformity into the experiment.

But late last week, the FDA published its analysis of the Pfizer/BionTech COVID-19 vaccine trial results, called BNT162b2.

And the results are extremely valuable:

1- The study was very large, involving tens of thousands of people;

2- The participants came from all walks of life and highly diverse genetic compositions;

3- The rules and protocols were completely uniform across the entire experiment.

This is quite rare. Of the nearly 90,000 COVID-19 studies this year, very few meet these criteria.

Perhaps more importantly, there was no funny arithmetic involved, like how the government and media tend to count anyone who sets foot in a hospital or mortuary as Covid-related.

I told you yesterday that the vaccine results are very promising: only 8 people out of 20,033 who received two full doses of the vaccine ended up testing positive for COVID-19.

And perhaps even better, ZERO out of the 805 subjects over the age 75 (who received the vaccine) tested positive for COVID.

So Pfizer has clearly done something extraordinary here.

But as the New England Journal of Medicine wrote late last week, “Important questions of course remain.”

There were numerous adverse reactions to the vaccine, and the Journal rightly wonders whether “unexpected safety issues [will] arise when the number [of vaccinated individuals] grows to millions and possibly billions? Will side effects emerge with longer follow-up? How long will the vaccine remain effective?”

These are among the big questions that remain unanswered.

But the FDA felt that the benefits of Pfizer’s vaccine outweigh its potential risks… so they approved an ‘Emergency Use Authorization’ for BNT162b2.

And that’s great. Pfizer’s vaccine is now available to anyone who wants one. Imagine if everything in government could move so briskly.

This is what leads me to the number three… because, in addition to the people who received the vaccine, another roughly 20,000 people received a placebo.

How many of them do you think ended up testing positive for Covid during the same evaluation period?



Well, out of 20,000 people who did NOT receive the vaccine, 162 of them expressed symptoms of acute respiratory illness and tested positive for COVID-19 during the evaluation period.

And out of those 162 in the placebo group who tested positive for Covid, THREE of them had ‘severe’ Covid. And only one of them was hospitalized.

(The study also clearly defines ‘severe’ Covid by a quantitative measurement of oxygen saturation. So there was no subjectivity involved.)

So from the roughly 20,000 participants who did NOT receive the vaccine, 162 (0.8%) tested positive for COVID-19 during the evaluation period. And THREE (1.9% of the positive tests) had ‘severe’ Covid. [see page 30 of the report]

Remember– this was a BIG test. Tens of thousands of people, from all walks of life, under uniform research conditions. So this is pretty pristine data.

Yet the numbers show that 98% of the people who tested positive for Covid during the evaluation period had a mild case.

It’s astonishing that they still want to shut down the economy given this data.

Now, I’m not dismissing Covid. A lot of people have suffered from it, and a lot of people have died.

But it’s absurd that COVID-19 has become a sacred, hallowed, untouchable topic that outweighs every other priority in our society.

Covid is more important than any other medical condition. It’s more important than freedom. It’s more important than our value system. It’s more important than basic human decency and the ability to engage civilly with one another.

Politicians and public health emperors don’t want a single person to die of Covid. But they don’t give a damn about suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, and every other disease that’s going untreated right now because of the Covid hysteria.

They’ll happily arrest people who dare to open their businesses.

They’ll pepper spray people who, even if sitting by themselves, take off their masks.

They’ll censor and cancel you for expressing a view that doesn’t conform to the fear narrative.

They’ll shame and ridicule you if you have any concerns about the vaccine.

And they want us all afraid and locked up against our will.

Human beings aren’t meant to live like this. Yet now we can see the data for ourselves: 1.9% of people who tested positive for Covid had a severe case.

And if you include people who had asymptomatic Covid and didn’t even realize they were sick, the percentage of severe cases is even lower.

Certainly there will be people who reject this data. But you can’t have it both ways. You can’t dismiss the Covid severity rate while claiming that the vaccine is safe.

Both results come from the same research and the same conditions. So they’re either both true, or neither is true.

Yet all we hear about now is gloom and despair.

Joe Biden talks about the dark winter ahead and waffles about a national lockdown. Bill Gates insists we’ll be locked up until early 2022. And Fauci says even if we take a vaccine we’ll still have to wear masks, social distance, and avoid other people.

But maybe they ought to ‘listen to the scientists’ and have a look at their own data for a change before abusing the Constitution and playing God with people’s lives.


More Evidence Shows Total Deaths in 2020 Are No Different Than Prior Years

This year will go down in history as a year to be remembered for many reasons, one of them being the coronavirus that has ravaged our country.

If you listen to the media, this virus has added hundreds of thousands of excess deaths this year that otherwise would have been alive.

But in reality, when you look at the actual numbers nothing is different than what it should be. It falls completely within average numbers.

The total mortality rates in the USA in 2020 are no different compared to previous years. There is no massive spike due to COVID as reported by a John Hopkins University article which was mysteriously taken down recently.

Panic has resulted in the wake of recommendations by both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) to shut down the economy because of reports that 300,000 Americans have died from COVID. Just recently, the CDC quietly corrected itself that only 9,210 Americans have actually died from Covid 19 and the others died from other diseases like influenza and pneumonia that closely resemble COVID.

The report from Johns Hopkins stated,

After retrieving data on the CDC website, Briand compiled a graph representing percentages of total deaths per age category from early February to early September, which includes the period from before COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. to after infection rates soared.

Surprisingly, the deaths of older people stayed the same before and after COVID-19. Since COVID-19 mainly affects the elderly, experts expected an increase in the percentage of deaths in older age groups. However, this increase is not seen from the CDC data. In fact, the percentages of deaths among all age groups remain relatively the same…

Total deaths in 2020 (as of November) for all types of mortality causes totaled 2.5 million, whereas, in 2018 and 2019, they were 2.8 million and 2.9 million respectively. There is no massive spike that had happened and there is no reason to shut down the economy.


The Unholy Trinity of Fake News

There are three basic ways that the Leftmedia grossly misinforms the public.

If it’s true that the cornerstone of a healthy republic is a free press, then America has a big problem. The seizure of the legacy news media by rabid leftists has created a situation in which we can no longer trust the information we’re given. All major news outlets (print, television, and digital) have become mouthpieces for the Democrat Party and the Left, spinning stories to fit their narrative, burying others that don’t fit, and flat-out lying when those two tactics fail. Welcome to the age of fake news.

President Donald Trump has been credited with popularizing the term fake news, but he didn’t create the phenomenon. It arose in the 1990s during the Clinton years — and we started The Patriot Post in 1996 in large measure to counter this problem. Left-leaning reporters and editors, sons and daughters of the 1960s and Watergate, fawned over Bill and Hillary, burying or downplaying stories about Bill’s personal indiscretions and the crimes committed by his closest associates.

The perversion of the legacy media into a Democrat Party organ reached its zenith during Barack Obama’s presidency. In partnership with tech oligarchs who helped them weaponize social media, leftists tried to shape a narcissistic, politically tone-deaf, anti-American community organizer into the Second Coming. They were so effective at their work that by the time Trump became president, media figures were no longer afraid to show their true colors and go after the 45th president with all guns blazing.

Three key types of fake news have been used in the assault to take down Donald Trump and the American republic he so steadfastly defended — omission, hypocrisy, and lies. Perhaps the most effective at this point, considering the circumstances, is omission.

News outlets routinely bury stories they don’t want us to hear. Earlier this election season, the New York Post published a series of articles revealing the extent of the Biden family’s corruption. The paper shared concrete evidence of Hunter Biden’s shady foreign dealings while his father was vice president. Seeing what happened to Hillary Clinton after her illegal email server took up too much of the news cycle in 2016, other news outlets refused to report on the story, and Twitter and Facebook censored any mention of it. They knew that widespread coverage of the story would harm Biden’s chances of winning the presidency. It is only now that the Electoral College has met that we are starting to hear more about it. But don’t count on the media to go after Biden. They are much more selective in their “investigative journalism.”

This brings us to the second brand of fake news: hypocrisy. The former vice president tried to burnish his bona fides two years ago with the #MeToo movement by saying that all women should be believed when they come forward accusing males of sexual misconduct. Except, of course, when that male is Joe Biden. When Tara Reade came forward with her own credible story about Biden’s sexual misconduct, the media did not chase down the story, or any of the multitude of accusations about Biden that have surfaced over the years. Instead, they collaborated with Biden’s campaign to downplay the story. Never mind that they trained their sites on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, targeting him for character assassination and making his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, the poster woman of the #MeToo movement.

It turns out that Ford’s story and all the other smear stories against Kavanaugh were lies, which is the third tactic of fake news. When in danger or in doubt, the Left will simply lie to get its message across. Much of the coverage of the Trump administration was predicated on this tactic, whether it be the bogus Russia-collusion narrative that eventually led to his impeachment, the smears that he was willfully ignorant in combating COVID-19, or the false narrative that he supported white supremacy. None of these stories hold any basis in fact, but they were repeated so often that people believed them.

While the “fact-check” has become the Left’s most potent tool to bolster its fake news strategy, there were few fact-checks on the aforementioned fake news. Leftmedia outlets use the “fact-check” not to investigate their own stories but to smear Republicans and conservatives for voicing facts and ideas that go against leftist dogma. In May, Trump was “fact-checked” for predicting that we would have a coronavirus vaccine by year’s end. His statement proved to be true, but rather than wait until January 1, 2021, to see if Trump was correct, the media leaped to rebut the prediction as soon as he made it. And not because of what Trump said, but because it was Trump who said it.

Since its earliest years, American journalism has always had a political tilt. But there were journalistic standards that were taught, handed down, and respected. Journalism was considered a serious vocation entered into by people dedicated to informing the public and keeping politicians honest.

Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world right now. Freedom of the press is listed first in the Bill of Rights for a reason. Without it, none of the other freedoms or the Constitution itself mean all that much. Leftists know this, and if they are going to turn America into a socialist country, the press has to be the first thing they control and thus destroy. Our mission is to provide a bold voice against that leftist agenda.



17 December, 2020

The Road Ahead for Our Compromised Republic

Under a Biden administration, our spirit and our resolve will be put to the test.

With his Electoral College victory putting Joe Biden one step closer to the presidential oath on January 20, grassroots Patriots have to face a sobering reality: The Supreme Court’s refusal to even grant Texas a hearing in its suit against Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin leaves millions of Americans believing our republican form of government as established by the Constitution has been compromised — badly.

The issue isn’t even fraud, although ballot fraud will have to be addressed if Republicans expect to win the White House ever again. The real issue is the failure to follow the law and the U.S. Constitution. When election officials and judges in the aforementioned four states usurped electoral powers reserved by the Constitution to their respective state legislatures, they did far more damage to the norms, standards, and traditions of America than Donald Trump was ever accused of doing.

We simply cannot be confident that every legal vote was counted, nor every illegal vote disallowed. For example, Scott Adams notes that we were forcibly denied transparency during the vote counts in crucial states. That alone is good cause to question just how free and fair the 2020 election was — although Joel Pollak noted in an interview with Adams that there are other reasons to do so as well. The simple question is this: If they had nothing to hide, why did they go to such great lengths to avoid transparency?

Worse, they’ll claim that those who did stand up in opposition to and then demanded accountability for the extra-constitutional changes are the ones harming the country, and then they’ll use such nonsense to justify retaliation. Assuming Biden takes office, that threat will become much greater — especially should he pick Andrew Cuomo for attorney general, given the war on dissent currently being waged by the Cuomo regime in New York.

The situation is undeniable: Our rights under the First Amendment will be in danger. The Second Amendment will also be in their sights. We noted earlier that the deck would (continue to) be stacked against grassroots Patriots by Big Tech and the mainstream media, but we must also be wary of the state and its ever-growing powers.

We’re at a dangerous point. The Left may indeed have defeated Trump, but doing so may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. Already, there are glimmers of good news. Robert Cahaly of the Trafalgar group — a pollster who called the 2016 election accurately — notes that grassroots Patriots are demanding answers from their leadership. Georgia Republican Party chairman David Shafer is also taking steps to ensure election integrity, even taking on a fellow Republican to do so.

No matter what happens over the short term, grassroots Patriots must maintain hope that the Republic can be reborn from the ashes of this compromised state. Anything less would be a failure, and failure cannot be an option.


Pandemonium of Pandemic Prattle

With vaccines shipping out, the Leftmedia is still sowing doubt and panic.

As the first shipments of vaccines roll into America’s heartland, the focus has been on process and politics rather than ensuring Americans of the safety and need to choose to take the coronavirus vaccine. Americans are understandably weary of the topic of COVID because if its politicization — mask versus no mask, open school versus no school, outdoor dining versus no dining at all. And now, it’s a matter of who recommends the vaccine — a Trump supporter or a Biden supporter. Perhaps that’s why the modern-day miracle of getting a vaccine to a population in the same year the novel virus locked down the American economy has been met with scorn instead of applause.

At the early stages of the virus, when it wasn’t clear what demographic was most impacted or which treatments worked, Americans were willing to adjust their lives for their safety. During that window of time, the initial actions of Operation Warp Speed began. This emergency response team of experts assembled by the Trump administration planned on having millions of doses of vaccine to the American public by January 2021. (Remember when the Leftmedia “fact-checked” that prediction?) After just nine months, OWS hopes to administer the first immunization by today, December 14.

While Americans in growing number are protesting the closure of their businesses permanently, Bill Gates declared that the America-first approach is “selfish.” Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says the new measure of success will be when up to 80% of Americans are vaccinated, pushing real relief into the late summer or fall of 2021.

The same voices in the media, elected world, and unelected bureaucracy that have been demanding mask mandates, closures, and lockdowns are now among those politicizing the vaccine and sowing doubts of its research and trial processes. This shouldn’t be a surprise in light of then-candidate Kamala Harris’s declaration in the VP debate with Vice President Mike Pence that “if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it,” or New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s criticism that he was “not that confident” and viewed the vaccine during the Trump administration as “bad news.”

On CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was grilled about the funding and reimbursement for the vaccine instead of being asked intelligent questions about its development and distribution. Azar did manage to communicate that the U.S. will have 900 million doses of vaccine under contract for its citizens, with options to purchase three billion doses more and that excess inventory will be made available to allies of the U.S. The second Pfizer doses will follow along with Moderna’s vaccine, likely to be approved this week, yielding up to 20 million Americans vaccinated by the end of this year.

On Fox News, Chris Wallace challenged Moncef Slaoui, PhD, the chief scientific advisor for OWS who was handpicked by the Trump administration after a distinguished career of three decades leading in vaccine science. Instead of interviewing Slaoui about vaccine administration and effectiveness, there were just more questions about hypotheticals and political arguments. Slaoui expertly navigated his answers to underscore the importance of Americans taking the vaccines to achieve a level of immunity that gets this viral spread under control.

Appropriately, a group of parrots is called a pandemonium. No matter the work, the science, or the data, the pandemonium of media haters parroting the destructive distrust in our country will continue to sow fear in whatever way it can. The goal is to redefine life, gender, and family, accuse neighbors of racism and bigotry, and now to sow fear of taking an innovative vaccine. May we all be aware of the pandemonium prattling on with the seeds of discord that will only further the Left’s agenda of growing government and reducing freedoms for the average American.


US intel veterans lied about ‘Russian plot’ — and the media bought it hook, line and sinker

If there is one thing that the Hunter Biden laptop episode has proved, it is that former directors of the CIA aren’t as adept at evaluating evidence as advertised.

Five former directors or acting directors of the CIA signed a letter asserting that the laptop, first reported by this newspaper in the weeks before the election, “has all the hallmarks of Russian information operation.”

More than 50 former senior ­intel officials, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, signed the letter, which was used by the Biden campaign and the media to discredit the damning e-mails about Hunter Biden’s business dealings.

The signatories should have thought better of their missive when they felt compelled to ­include the line, “We want to emphasize that we do not know if the e-mails, provided to the New York Post by President Trump’s personal attorney, are genuine or not, and that we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”

That also should have tipped off reporters to the fact that the letter was rank speculation masquerading as informed analysis. But true to form, they happily ran with it instead.

In a complete reversal from the Cold War era, journalists in the Trump years have not only reflexively believed representations from national-security professionals about nefarious Russian plots, they have actively sought them out and promoted them.

In this case, it was former US ­intelligence officials who were spreading disinformation in an ­attempt to mislead the American public about a consequential matter touching on the front runner in an American presidential campaign. The call came from inside the house.

Anyone believing the officials, who used their past titles and long experience to lend credibility to their letter, would have been shocked to learn last week that Hunter Biden is under federal investigation for tax crimes.

According to news reports, the laptop hasn’t advanced the investigation, but the feds have looked at it, and there’s no indication that it’s foreign disinfo.

The provenance of the laptop wasn’t, to paraphrase Winston Churchill’s famous line about ­Soviet foreign policy, a puzzle inside a riddle wrapped in an enigma, but as simple as Hunter Biden — not the most careful person — accidentally leaving it at a Wilmington, Del., repair shop.

The idea that the Russians were behind the laptop was always far-fetched. Certainly, no one would ever accuse Rudy Giuliani, who brought the device to light, of being a credible source of information. But if the Russians were behind it, they would have had to fabricate the laptop, drop it off at the repair shop, hoping that the owner would eventually look at it and be alarmed enough to tell someone about its contents — or compromise the repair shop owner and make him a tool in their operation.

This might have been plausible, if we, indeed, have been living in a Russian spy novel for the last five years. We haven’t.

Still, Democrats and the media relentlessly hewed to the Russian disinformation line. Of course, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Adam Schiff spouted it: “We know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.” Biden used it to deflect during a debate with Trump: “There are 50 former national-intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plan[t].” And the press, like Lesley Stahl of “60 Minutes” did in an interview with Trump, insisted that there was ­absolutely nothing to see here.

We don’t know where the Hunter Biden story ends up. But if he gets indicted, it’s at least going to be a significant distraction for President Biden and raise questions about how much he knew about his son’s sketchy dealings.

This is the kind of story voters should be aware of when choosing a president. And they would have been if there hadn’t, in effect, been an American conspiracy to misinform people, led by former US intelligence officials who shamefully abused the public trust.


What’s so great about a Trump rally?

I’m so glad you asked! My best friend and I attended our second Trump rally over the weekend, and we can’t wait to tell you about it.

Today, if you’ve done any quick skim of fake news headlines about the Trump rally, you’ll have been bombarded with negativity and cries about how Trump supporters are evil, racist, sore losers, and blah blah blah. What a surprise, it’s the same nonsense we’ve been hearing for 4 years. I’m just patiently waiting for the Left to get more clever with their insults, like please come at me with something a little more original. They won’t because it’s all they’ve got and it’s already such a far stretch from the truth!

Women for America First hosted this weekend’s March for Trump rally, not a bunch of old, white, racist men, as the Left would want you to believe. The D.C. Freedom Plaza rally was the final stop on the March for Trump bus tour, which traveled from Florida to D.C. in just two weeks.

We heard from prominent conservative speakers, such as General Flynn, Sebastian Gorka, Mike Lindell, Pastor Mark Burns, David Harris Jr., to name a few; all of whom shared messages of encouragement to tell patriots to keep fighting for President Trump.

In addition to your classic USA chants, we prayed, sang the National Anthem, exclaimed the Pledge of Allegiance, and even witnessed Marine One fly over us.

As my friend and I marched from Freedom Plaza to the Supreme Court, we joined in patriotic chants such as, “USA!”, “God Bless America!”, “4 More Years!”, “Stop The Steal!”, to name a few.

Outside of the Supreme Court, we sang and danced to “God’s Country,” “Eye of The Tiger,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” along with other songs that fit our situation.

We saw old friends and made new friends. Everyone was excited and full of hope. People were kind, polite, and shining with patriotism.

When reflecting on the weekend, my friend, Rachel and co-host of Peachy Patriots (a conservative Rumble series), said, “The Trump Rally was a great reminder to fellow patriots that we aren’t alone and we won’t give up without a fight.”



16 December, 2020

One place we haven't heard much about amid the COVID hysteria is Cambodia

Tom Woods

Cambodia is reporting zero deaths from COVID. Not zero deaths yesterday, or last week, or last month. Zero deaths, period.

Now you know the standard view: places that "listen to The Science(TM)" manage to keep the virus under control, and wise government policy is what makes the difference between one country and another.

How anyone can still believe this in December 2020 is beyond me. The phrase "policy invariance" is now one of my favorites. It doesn't seem to matter what we do. The mayor of Los Angeles even admitted that the behavior of the people there hadn't changed at all and they were seeing a major spike anyway. He's so close to an important truth, but you know what they say: none so blind....

Cambodia was ranked 89th in the world for its preparedness for an infectious disease outbreak.

Are we supposed to believe that the reason Cambodia is at zero is the huge supply of public-health PhDs they have there?

Could there be explanations other than government policy? Practically every chart in existence screams out this conclusion at us -- the charts in yesterday's email, which I hope you saw, being particularly revealing.

Here's the thing:

Dr. Fauci has been doing his level best to give the impression that COVID is an equal-opportunity killer. He will emphasize extreme outliers to give the impression that the average 35-year-old is at genuine risk, when the average 35-year-old has a vastly higher chance of dying in a bicycle accident.

Not only is COVID not an equal-opportunity killer for individuals, but it is evidently also not an equal-opportunity killer for countries and regions, either.

Africa has barely been touched by the virus -- and again, not because public-health PhDs have been having their way.

In east Asia we've seen "policy invariance," according to Stanford's Jay Bhattacharya. Hard lockdown in China, lackluster response in Japan, and evidently good results in both cases.

The COVID crazies in the West want to blame us: why, if only we'd been like east Asia, etc. But it's obvious, given the policy invariance, that something other than government policy is at work.

That could be:

Overall health, Vitamin D levels, age, or low obesity levels -- or T-cell immunity (Bhattacharya's supposition).

In Japan, in fact, a September seroprevalence study yielded an astonishing result of 47%, which suggests masks and social distancing aren't the explanation for the low death count. Lots and lots of Japanese had it (so they failed to "stop the spread"), but they didn't get sick or die -- almost certainly because of preexisting immunity. Not because of the public-health PhDs.

If government policy were the explanation, there should be piles of corpses in Florida at the moment, where even theater and live music have made a comeback. And yet such blue-state, "follow the science," ruin-people's-lives states like New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Mexico, and New Jersey, among others, have worse hospitalization numbers per million right now.

All of this should be excruciatingly obvious by now.

And yet chances are, you're surrounded by people trying to blame you and your neighbors for their bad behavior -- for bad behavior is what makes "cases" rise!

If the insanity has reached a point that you've decided the time has come at last to join my private group, where you'll be surrounded by normal people and be able to stay up on what's actually happening as opposed to panic-mongering lunacy, I remind you of an added bonus: the group is permanently off Facebook.

So if that was holding you back, no longer.

See you there:


Amid fears of overwhelmed medical systems, data shows ample hospital capacity nationwide

As fears persist of overwhelmed medical systems and at-capacity hospitals nationwide, data indicate that ample hospital space remains available for both COVID-19 patients and other medical needs, with one official at a major hospital network stating that the country is "managing pretty well" the latest surge of COVID-19.

For most of 2020, rising positive test results of COVID-19 have brought with them fears of swamped hospitals, overwhelmed medical systems, emergency patients being turned away, and COVID-19 patients being triaged, suffering and dying in hallways and vestibules.

Much of that fear crystallized in the early stages of the pandemic, when parts of the northern Italian medical system were put under significant strain due to a crush of COVID-19 patients. In response, leaders and medical officials around the world suspended elective surgeries and constructed emergency medical facilities to cope with anticipated waves of COVID-19 patients.

In many cases those facilities were eventually shuttered for lack of patients, even after millions of dollars had been invested in their construction. In Chicago, for instance, the city spent $120,000,000 on four facilities to treat a total of 38 patients.

The latest spike in positive COVID tests has brought renewed fears of hospitals straining under an influx of COVID-19 patients, with some facilities across the country reporting difficulties managing large numbers of patients, either from a dwindling number of scarce beds or not enough medical officials to man them, or both.

Capacity nationwide appears to be far from overwhelmed

Yet federal government data compiled from state-level reports suggests that hospitals nationwide have considerable space left to deal with both routine medical issues and COVID-19 patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services offers on its website estimates of hospitalization rates across the United States. The data, the department says, is "estimated from hospital submissions, either reported through their state or reported through HHS Protect," which the department describes as "a secure data ecosystem ... for sharing, parsing, housing, and accessing COVID-19 data." (HHS did not respond to queries about any limitations or caveats to the data.)

The HHS numbers belie forecasts of impending collapse of the U.S. medical system. As of Saturday, the department estimated that hospitals nationwide were at about 75% capacity. ICU beds were even lower, at 63.5%. Patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 occupied just under 15% of all beds nationwide.

Even in areas that have recently posted huge surges in positive COVID tests, the numbers were largely similar to the national average: In New York, 76% of hospital beds (and 61% of ICU beds) were taken.

In California, where positive test results have skyrocketed, 76% of inpatient beds were likewise filled (though the ICU numbers were notably higher than New York's, at 79%).

Ohio, which has also seen a surge in positive tests over the last few months, has 71% of inpatient beds taken, and 77% of ICU beds.

Those numbers are not far out of line with national average occupancy rates seen in normal times and are, in some cases, lower than what are widely considered optimal rates.

'We are not in crisis care'

Dr. Joanne Roberts, the chief value officer of Providence St. Joseph Health system, told Just the News that "a well-functioning hospital probably runs about 85% capacity on an average day."

The problem, she pointed out, is that a virus like COVID-19 can "quickly overwhelm that last 15%" due to its virulency and ability to send a significant number of patients to the hospital at once.

Roberts, who coordinates the chief medical officers of Providence St. Joseph's 51 constituent hospitals across seven states, said her system has been working creatively to address spikes in patients.

"We've spent a whole lot of energy decreasing the other number of patients as we possibly can," she said, "trying to do hospital-at-home models, stopping non-urgent procedures that require ICU space. You can't stop emergency. But you can stop some things that are coming into the hospital, say, a knee replacement."

"It's a dance that every one of our hospitals is doing today," she said. "Some are still doing elective procedures, some are not. Because governors have allowed our hospitals to figure that out, we are seeing our hospitals figure that out themselves."

Roberts confirmed that none of their hospitals is turning patients away.

"What we have done is we've done some creative bed usage," she said. "We've done some agreements with smaller hospitals that they would send some surgical cases to us in our larger hospitals, and once the patient was stable after surgery, we'd send them back to recover in the smaller hospital."

"We've not done anything like close our emergency departments," she added, "and I can't imagine that happening."

Roberts said that her system's hospitals are "reflecting the national emergency" as they deal with increases in patients.

"There are guidelines for emergency situations of normal care, contingent care, and crisis care," she said. "We are not in crisis care. That's where New York was, earlier in the pandemic. They were in crisis mode." Improvements in such factors as personal protective equipment have mitigated those challenges somewhat since then, she said.

Roberts noted that the critical issues are "less about bed capacity and more about staff capacity," particularly as staff get sick — including with COVID-19 — and must take time off, stretching other staff even thinner.

Of course, many medical facilities across the country are working under considerable strain to deal with the current spike. Some hospitals, such as locations in California, Texas and elsewhere, have been forced to set up tent-based medical facilities to deal with surges in patients. Yet similar circumstances have been seen during particularly virulent flu seasons, as happened in 2018 in states across the country.

The novelty of COVID-19, of course — along with its high virulence — means the coronavirus pandemic may pose a more significant risk of overwhelming hospitals than even a nasty flu season.

"The difference now compared to the spring and summer surges," Roberts said, is that "in those first two surges ... we would see a surge in Seattle and the rest of our system would be okay. A week later we'd see a surge in Southern California, and the Seattle surge would be down. What we're seeing now is a surge across the whole country. It's not so local as it used to be."

Still, she acknowledged, "the country is managing pretty well" — an assessment which accords well with current national hospital occupancy data.



Despite record turnout, 80 million Americans didn't vote (NPR)

Judge releases Dominion audit report, which claims system "designed" to "create systemic fraud" (Daily Wire)

Georgia Runoff: Mail-in ballot requests top one million as early voting begins (Disrn)

Jon Ossoff says feds should ensure illegal immigrants receive good wages (Free Beacon)

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell leaving GOP over Trump's attempt to overturn election (NBC News)

Special Counsel John Durham is expanding team with prosecutors, making "excellent progress" (Fox News)

The New York Times has not covered the Eric Swalwell honeytrap scandal a single time (Not the Bee)

The Times slams writer not calling Jill Biden "Dr." Here's how the NYT referred to Dr. Ben Carson for years. (Daily Wire)

Media scramble to un-remember their dismissals of Trump's Operation Warp Speed win (National Review)

Governor Cuomo is destroying New York City's restaurant industry (FEE) | And yet, NYC could face "full shutdown" beyond indoor dining, Mayor de Blasio warns (NY Post)

United Auto Workers union pays $1.5 million to settle corruption probe (Free Beacon)

Portland autonomous zone removing barricades after totally weak-kneed mayor and police chief apologize (Daily Caller)

California church displays nativity scene that incorporates Black Lives Matter (Just the News)

NFL ratings plummet, despite a pandemic forcing millions to sit at home with nothing to do (Post Millennial)



15 December, 2020

Statement on Second NYC Lockdown from New York Young Republicans

Today, we wake up to a quieter city—a dying city. Democrat politicians like Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio have taken direct, authoritarian, anti-American action to effect the destruction of thousands of small businesses. In doing so, they have destroyed the American Dream for untold numbers of entrepreneurs to satisfy the whims of an elite that disrespects and disserves all Americans.

Andrew Cuomo stands at the vanguard of these rabidly power-hungry politicians. This morning’s closure of indoor dining is but the latest anti-business action he has taken. The callous, arbitrary, and malicious technocracy that the Democrats have constructed and the altar at which they worship the deity “Science” (which bears little relation to the faithful execution of the scientific method) exists only an excuse to justify their every self-serving action.

Cuomo’s own statistics hold dining, both indoor and outdoor, responsible for less than two percent of China Virus transmissions, while indoor gatherings at residences account for over seventy percent. This action, taking effect just as a cold spell swoops into the city, will lead to greater China Virus transmissions. Cuomo does not care about this; he cares only about his own image. We know that Democrat politicians across the country, including Cuomo, have hypocritically violated their own restrictions; do they seriously expect everyday Americans not to do the same?

This Club knows that indoor dining can be conducted in a safe manner. We proved that with the execution of our 108th Annual Gala, which was held in accordance with all applicable regulatory restrictions and which resulted in zero known or suspected cases of China Virus transmission. We also know that the restaurant industry has been strung along by Cuomo and de Blasio, asked to invest in an ever-changing set of infrastructure that aligns with the order of the day. This makes for an untenable state of affairs.

We stand with every business that suffers due to Democrat-mandated, unscientific lockdown orders. We call on the business community to defy these orders en masse as Mac’s Public House has. We call for civil disobedience to defend Liberty and the rights of Americans to associate freely and to conduct business as they choose.

We condemn Democrats’ new favorite hobby of rule by fiat. We condemn Cuomo’s actions and denounce his pathetic charade of success best demonstrated through the recent publication of his self-laudatory book on his handling of the China Virus in New York. And we stand with the families of the thousands of nursing home residents whose blood indelibly stains his hands.

Via email:


Mourning the death of the great Republic

Over the last month, I like tens of millions of other Americans have been wrestling with grief. We may not have recognized it as such but what we have been feeling and experiencing is a deep, painful, raw grief.

It would be too simplistic to chalk it up to a bitterly fought election. It is far more than that. For what I believe we are mourning is the loss of our nation. I have come to see what I and so many others are going through as the mourning process for the death of the United States.

For those who dismiss this or laugh, you have no power over me or my thoughts. With the death of my country, I no longer care one way or the other what you think. You are alien to me, vile creatures who frankly disgust me. And how else could we react? The evidence is crystal clear that the election was stolen. The individual you are about to install is a demented fool who cannot prevent himself from spouting out the truth – he had the greatest voter fraud operation ever known and he is prepared to step down and hand the government over to a pathetic witch who couldn’t get 1% of the vote in the Democrat primaries.

As with any death, there are five stages of grief that most people experience. Once on the “other side” of those stages you can begin to look forward. That is where I find myself today and where I trust millions of my fellow patriots will soon join me. Let’s review the stages

The first stage of grief when the loved one has expired is denial. Everyone I know tasted that on November 4 and 5. It wasn’t true, it couldn’t be true that the communists had won. When people went to bed, Trump was winning in all the states in question. By morning, large “dumps” had turned the tide. That denial clouded our judgement and prevented swift action in the days immediately following the election that might have saved America’s life. But we didn’t move, we trusted someone in the GOP or the campaign or the White House would do what was necessary. They didn’t – either from the same paralysis we had or due to collusion with the enemy. Now, it doesn’t matter. What could have been done was not done.

The second stage is anger. No need to dwell on that one. The rage that most of us felt was debilitating. I, for one, could not speak to anyone but my closest friends. I found myself falling into fantasies of mass retribution of the most heinous kind. But life intervenes and the rage fades. Oh, it is not gone. The overwhelming thirst to hurt the usurpers and their fellow travelers will, I hope, never go away. But for now, the anger needs to be put aside.

The third stage of grief is “bargaining.” That one has not lasted very long for me either. Once I saw that the so-called “leaders” of the Republican Party were already licking their chops at working with the Commander-in-Thief Biden, I knew there was no deal to be made. We always knew in our hearts that the GOP was complicit in the attacks on Trump starting from before he took the oath of office as was the CIA, the FBI, and the rest of deep state traitors. But once it smacked me and others in face, it was obvious that there was no bargain to be had. That hated Trump. They hated the millions of us to who voted for him more. They had nothing for us.

Of course, the fourth stage of grief is depression. And, it is very hard not to be depressed. The agenda that will be pushed now is not just the death of America; it is an act of contempt for all that America was and what many of us had prayed it would be again. But now the government will open the borders and destroy any cultural cohesion while killing the hopes of American workers. The plutocrats will get their wage cutting, job killing dreams come true. We will trade away our sovereignty to a gaggle of globalist bureaucrats from failed counties just so the scum of Corporatist America can make a few more points on their mountains of money.

And, worst of all, our sons and daughters will be put to war to be policemen of the world, dying and being mangled to make the world safe for Central Bankers and their trolls. The cycle of endless war that Donald Trump did so much to be bring to an end will be relaunched in a sea of American blood and wasted treasure.

Pretty tough to not be depressed. But out of this progression we reach the final stage of grief, acceptance. And that is where I find myself today, accepting the fact that the election was stolen, that an illegitimate occupation government sits in Washington and that all of us will have a very heavy price to pay for our failure to prevent it. I accept that this is where we are today.

But acceptance does not mean I am stuck where I am. It does not mean that I have to meekly go along with the insults and indignities that flow from the occupiers. I am still free to act, to refuse to participate in the orgy of destruction and hate that are the hallmarks of the Democrat-Marxist regime. And, regardless of the censorship and the daily dose of raw propaganda sold as “news” or “entertainment” or “sports,” I can seek ways to find the others with whom I agree and speak with them, to build a true organization free of the death-grip of the empty husks that pass for political organizations today.

This is where I am, accepting where we stand and looking for an effective vehicle and platform from which to launch the most vicious counter-attack possible. Time for grief is over. Yes, it is sad. The United States was a great place and beautiful experiment in self-government. But it is gone. All any of us can do now is fight to have a say in what will rise from the ashes and work for the Restoration of our once-great nation.


Asymptomatic People Do Not Spread COVID-19

According to media reports, COVID-19 “cases,” meaning positive PCR test results, are soaring across the U.S. and around the world, leading to the implementation of measures that in some cases are stricter than what we endured during the initial wave.

However, as detailed in several recent articles, including “Why COVID-19 Testing Is a Tragic Waste,” PCR tests are being used incorrectly, resulting in the false appearance of widespread transmission.

In reality, the vast majority of people who end up with a positive test will not develop symptoms and aren’t infectious. Needless to say, if you’re not infectious, you pose no health risk to anyone, and being placed under what amounts to house arrest is nothing but cruel and unusual punishment for no reason whatsoever.

Positive Test Rates Have No Bearing on Mortality Rates
In The Highwire report above, Del Bigtree breaks down how excessively high test sensitivity leads to falsely elevated “case” numbers that in reality tell us nothing about the situation at hand. As noted by Bigtree, what’s missing from the COVID-19 conversation is the actual death rate.

“If COVID is a deadly virus, what should we see when cases increase?” he asks. The answer, of course, is an increase in deaths. However, that’s not what’s happening.

Aside from a small bump at the beginning, when doctors were unsure of the appropriate treatment and some states recklessly and irresponsibly sent infected patients into ill equipped nursing homes, the death rate has remained relatively flat while positive test rates have dramatically risen and fallen in intervals.

In the video, Bigtree features a November 4, 2020, tweet by White House coronavirus adviser Dr. Scott Atlas showing the number of positive tests (aka “cases”) in blue and COVID-19 related deaths in red, since the start of the pandemic up until the end of October 2020. As you can see, there’s no correlation between the positive test rate and subsequent deaths.

Vast Majority of ‘COVID-19 Patients’ Are Asymptomatic

One of the explanations for why positive test rates and mortality do not go hand in hand is the simple fact that a vast majority of those testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 are asymptomatic. They simply aren’t sick. The PCR test is merely picking up inactive (noninfectious) viral particles.

In one study,2 which looked at pregnant women admitted for delivery, 87.9% of the women who tested positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 had no symptoms. Another study3 looked at a large homeless shelter in Boston. After a cluster of COVID-19 cases was observed there, researchers conducted symptoms assessments and testing among all guests residing at the shelter over a two-day period.

Of 408 people tested, 147, or 36%, were positive, yet symptoms were conspicuously absent. Cough occurred in only 7.5% of cases, shortness of breath in 1.4% and fever in 0.7%. All symptoms were “uncommon among COVID-positive individuals,” the researchers noted.

Asymptomatic Transmission Is Very Rare

During a June 8, 2020, press briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for the COVID-19 pandemic, made it very clear that asymptomatic transmission is very rare, meaning an individual who tests positive but does not exhibit symptoms is highly unlikely to transmit live virus to others.

“We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases, they’re following contacts, and they’re not finding secondary transmission … it’s very rare, and much of that is not published in the literature,” Van Kerkhove said.

Just one day later, Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s emergencies program, backpedaled Van Kerkhove’s statement, saying the remarks were “misinterpreted.”4 Needless to say, when you’re trying to justify the implementation of a vast surveillance network, it’s no good to admit a vast majority of people are having their privacy infringed upon for no good reason whatsoever.

Asymptomatic People Pose No Risk to Others
Most recently, a study5 in Nature Communications assessed the risk posed by asymptomatic people by looking at the data from a mass screening program in Wuhan, China.

The city had been under strict lockdown between January 23 and April 8, 2020. Between May 14 and June 1, 2020, 9,899,828 residents of Wuhan city over the age of 6 underwent PCR testing. In all, 92.9% of the entire city population participated in the testing. Of these, 9,865,404 had no previous diagnosis of COVID-19 and 34,424 were recovered COVID-19 patients.

Not a single one of the 1,174 people who had been in close contact with an asymptomatic individual tested positive.

In all, there were zero symptomatic cases and only 300 asymptomatic cases detected. (The overall detection rate was 0.3 per 10,000.) Importantly, not a single one of the 1,174 people who had been in close contact with an asymptomatic individual tested positive.

Additionally, of the 34,424 participants with a history of COVID-19, 107 individuals (0.310%) tested positive again, but none were symptomatic. As noted by the authors:6

“Virus cultures were negative for all asymptomatic positive and repositive cases, indicating no ‘viable virus’ in positive cases detected in this study … The 300 asymptomatic positive persons aged from 10 to 89 years …

The asymptomatic positive rate was the lowest in children or adolescents aged 17 and below (0.124/10,000), and the highest among the elderly aged 60 years and above (0.442/10,000). The asymptomatic positive rate in females (0.355/10,000) was higher than that in males (0.256/10,000).”

More HERE (See the original for links)



Black Lives Matter accuses Biden of ignoring it: "It's demeaning to our hurt and trauma" (Fox News)

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former VP contender, turns down Team Biden offer (Daily Wire)

Smart strategy: Trump urged to send Paris climate plan to Senate for ratification to block Biden (Washington Times)

NY Times assistant who edited Senator Tom Cotton's "Send in the Troops" column resigns (Daily Beast)

Facebook "fact-checking certifier" is a Hillary Clinton superfan (Post Millennial)

For the record: Media said a vaccine by end of year was impossible (Daily Wire)

The hidden crisis: Elderly people are dying from isolation (NBC News)

Self-victimhood (read: "wokeism") is a personality type, researchers find (Reason)

Russian hackers breach U.S. government, targeting agencies, private companies (NBC News)

Seattle City Council considers new "poverty defense" to excuse misdemeanor crimes such as theft and assault if culprit is homeless, addicted to drugs, or has mental health issues (Daily Mail)

Multiple people stabbed, 23 arrested during election protest in Washington, DC (National Review)

Video shows Proud Boys tackling counterprotester wielding a knife amid DC violence (Washington Examiner)

Despite the Illinois State Police's best efforts, deep-blue Illinois leads the way in 2020 gun sales (The Truth About Guns)

California judge blocks Governor Newsom from enforcing lockdown order on Catholic churches (Washington Times)

While New York goes out of business, Cuomo throws himself a birthday party (FrontPage Magazine)



14 December, 2020

Americans Said No to Coronavirus Contact Tracing Spy Apps

But will they be able to stay off the “national server” if the Democrats take over?

When the NHS, Britain's socialized medicine system, debuted its contact tracing app, six million eagerly rushed to download it. After a few days, 10 million had downloaded and installed the app, and after a month, around 40% of smartphone users had put a monitoring device on their phones that would trace their social interactions and could tell them to isolate at any moment.

In October, Governor Cuomo launched a New York contact tracing app based on technology from Google and Apple, and some assistance from Bloomberg’s organization.

"It’s going to not only bring contact tracing to a new level," Cuomo boasted, while claiming that it wouldn't violate anyone's privacy.

Few New Yorkers seemed to believe him. Despite being available in Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Russian, Haitian Creole, and, even more unexpectedly, English, the app hasn’t taken off and Cuomo’s regime has refused to reveal the data that would actually show if it’s tracking positive cases. The lack of data transparency has been the second biggest story about Cuomo’s mismanagement of the pandemic, after the deaths of 11,000 nursing home residents when his administration forced nursing homes to accept infected patients. The numbers are likely higher, but the Cuomo administration, in its typical fashion, is refusing to release the data.

After a month, only 5% of New Yorkers have downloaded Cuomo’s spy app. That’s far short of the 60% that’s needed for contact tracing to work.

Even Europeans haven’t hit that 60% target. Few outside Communist China have.

Apple and Google claimed that they needed at least 15%. Only a few states in America hit that bar and they tend to have small populations that lean leftward. Most Americans have opted out.

Governor Murphy launched his state’s contact tracing app to great fanfare, urging a, “shared sense of personal responsibility to support our contact tracing efforts”. Only 4% of New Jersey residents decided to take up the former Goldman Sachs tycoon on his modest proposal.

Murphy, like Cuomo, had forced nursing homes to accept infected coronavirus patients. Some of the state’s deadliest outbreaks had also taken place in state hospitals for veterans.

Pennsylvania's Governor Wolf and Secretary of Health Richard Levine, debuted their contact tracing app in September.

“We won’t know who has downloaded the app, who has received notifications and who used symptom check,” Richard (Rachel) Levine, who had taken his mother out of a nursing home and into a hotel, while forcing nursing homes to take in infected patients, assured Pennsylvanians.

Only 4% of Pennsylavanians were convinced. Richard Levine has begun pleading with 13-year-olds to download the app. If there’s anything that’s bound to reassure state residents, it’s a strange man in a blonde wig urging their children to download an app to monitor them.

Contact tracing app adoption in America isn’t likely to get much better even with more time.

Governor Northam rolled out a contact tracing app in Virginia back in August. After half a year, the state has passed Google's 15% bar with an estimated 19% of smartphone owners having installed the app.

But few people are actually using it.

Only 553 people submitted their positive results out of 100,000 positive tests in the state.

While Democrat governors and their European counterparts have brandished download figures, many people download apps and then uninstall them. Or leave them on and then pay no further attention to them. The actual utilization of contact tracing apps is laughably miniscule.

Virginia’s 800,000 plus downloads figure still only comes out to 553 people submitting results.

That’s why Governor Cuomo in New York and the NHS in the UK refuse to release their impact numbers. Considering the performance of contact tracing apps in Europe, it’s not hard to guess what they’re hiding.

Italy's Immuni app was downloaded by 14% of the population, but only had 155 positive results submitted in three months. In France, after 2.3 million downloads, only 72 risk contacts were flagged.

A lot of people can be badgered into passively downloading an app, but when it comes time to upload their results and have the system notify everyone they’ve been around, they just as passively choose not to do it and the system fails.

After a year of touting contact tracing as the answer, the assault on privacy has stalled.

Contact tracing apps have failed miserably in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. California only got around to launching its contact tracing app now. The numbers are worse in much of the rest of the country with only 8 million Americans actually using contact tracing apps.

Trust is the biggest factor in the adoption of contact tracing apps. And very few Americans trust Big Tech, the government and its public health experts with tracking their lives and the lives of those around them. The NHS app intends to start asking users about their personal lives to "score" their lifestyles for coronavirus risk. It's easy enough to see this sort of thing as not only a privacy violation, but as an echo of China's public surveillance and social credit system.

In a socialized medicine system where people are already penalized for their risk factors by being denied access to medical care, leaving them with few options except emigration or death where age or obesity can mean a denial of medical care, and where babies can be killed because saving them is not deemed to be the best use of resources, a “score” isn’t just a score.

Few people want to be denied medical treatment because they failed the social credit system.

Conservatives are the most likely to see the downside of such calculations and the more conservative parts of the United States have the lowest utilization rates of contract tracing apps.

Nevada's contact tracing app was only downloaded 70,000 times, as of last month, and zero exposures were registered in September. In Wyoming, its app only managed 5,000 downloads.

South Carolina’s legislature banned the use of contact tracing apps by government agencies.

But all of that may be about to change if the Democrats succeed in their plan to place Biden in the White House. Biden's team is filled with Big Tech lobbyists and strongly favors a national contact tracing app infrastructure. While the Trump administration allowed states to define their own policy, the Democrat plan has been to nationalize the crisis and control the response.

Key to their plans is the creation of a national server that would store information across state lines, and allow national authorities to monitor everyone’s movements even if they leave a state.

Ten states have already moved their codes to Microsoft’s National Key Server maintained for the Association of Public Health Laboratories. Another five are following suit. As of now, virtually every state and area, such as D.C., with a contact tracing app, is on the National Key Server. That includes heavily populated states such as California, New York, and Michigan.

The hodgepodge of apps and approaches will be replaced by one system to rule them all.

Scott Becker, the CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, has also been touting Biden’s plans for app contact tracing. A national server will make a national contact tracing app much easier to implement. Google, which is also involved in the national server using its own cloud system, has, along with Apple, rebranded “contact tracing” as “exposure notification”.

Big Tech decided that people were leery of “contact tracing” so they gave it a new name.

Meanwhile, Biden’s people have been coordinating with the Rockefeller Foundation on testing plans.

"Policy makers," the Rockefeller Foundation had urged, must "allow the infection status of most Americans to be accessed and validated in a few required settings and many voluntary ones."

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito recently warned that the "pandemic has resulted in previously unimaginable restrictions on individual liberty".

Despite that, under President Trump, Americans have still enjoyed an oasis of human rights compared to the brutal restrictions and measures in the rest of the world. Red states were able to choose less restrictive and abusive routes for tackling the pandemic, even while blue states relentlessly violated civil rights under the guise of a public health emergency.

All of that may be coming to an end.

The near future may be a mandatory national app based either on the existing Apple or Google architecture embedded into virtually every smartphone, or, worse, GPS tracking like Norway’s app which was withdrawn after being panned by Amnesty International, linked to the National Key Server, which will serve as a key element of a national pandemic social credit system.

Americans rejected contact tracing, but a Biden administration won’t take no for an answer.


France allows care home residents to spend time with their families over Christmas even if they are POSITIVE for Covid in new rules to fight loneliness

French care home residents will be allowed to spend time with their families over Christmas in a bid to tackle loneliness - even if they test positive for Covid-19.

The relaxed rules will be in place between December 15 and January 3 and have been deemed 'essential' to maintain family ties and fight loneliness.

News of France's policy comes amid a raging row over care home rules in the UK - with many slamming lockdown visitor bans for causing severe damage to pensioners' mental health.

Last month it was revealed that Britain may also see relaxed care home rules around Christmas - with the Cabinet Office suggesting that residents can be one of the three-households in a family's Christmas bubble.

More than a third of France's 57,500 virus deaths have occurred in care homes. Residents have been subjected to strict isolation measures - including being restricted to their rooms - to slow the spread of the disease.

A new six-page document from France's Health Ministry that laid out the relaxed visitation rules for the Christmas-New Year period said they applied even to homes that have infected residents. Residents who haven't tested positive will be allowed out again to spend time with their families.

Residents who have tested positive will be allowed to receive up to two visitors in their room.

The rules said care home residents, 'like the rest of the population, should benefit from the possibility to spend the end of year holidays in the company of their loved ones.'

Earlier this week it was announced that Paris will be under curfew on New Year's Eve to avoid another spike in cases.

France's Prime Minister Jean Castex said the City of Light would be in darkness on a night traditionally associated with parties and fireworks.

It is all part of a nationwide curfew across France which starts next Tuesday, December 15, when everyone will have to stay at home from 8pm until 6am.

The only exception will be Christmas Eve, when people will be able to go out, but only in small groups.

Mr Castex said: 'Christmas occupies a special place in our lives and our traditions…We therefore authorise travel for this evening of December 24, but by reminding you the rule I gave you last week – no more than six adults at a time.'

Explaining why this was necessary during a live TV address about the Coronavirus crisis on Thursday night, Mr Castex said: 'We are not yet at the end of this second wave and we will not be on December 15.'

Mr Castex said this was the date when the objective had been to get 'below 5,000 new Coronavirus cases per day,' but this had not happened.

'The curfew will be strictly controlled with only limited possibilities for exemptions,' said Mr Castex.

'The establishments which we had planned to reopen on December 15, will remain closed for three more weeks,' said Mr Castex, referring to theatres, cinemas, concert halls, museums, zoos and casinos.

On Wednesday of this week, 14,595 new cases of Coronavirus were recorded in France – the highest figure since November 25.

When the second lockdown was announced at the end of October, there were about 60,000 new cases per day, but the new figures are still considered too hight.

President Macron had set the threshold of 5,000 cases per day as the target to proceed with an end to lockdown.



12 December, 2020

Gov. Noem Posts COVID-19 'Graphs the Media Won't Share with You'

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has been criticized for her freedom-first approach to the coronavirus pandemic. While she always took the health and safety of residents in her state seriously, she pushed back on calls for a statewide lockdown early in the pandemic because the numbers did not justify it.

"I took an oath when I was in Congress, obviously, to uphold the constitution of the United States," she told Fox News in April. "I believe in our freedoms and liberties. What I've seen across the country is so many people give up their liberties for just a little bit of security, and they don't have to do that."

She has continued with that mindset ever since, refusing to lock down as a second surge of the virus sweeps the nation.

On Thursday, she posted graphs of New York and California’s coronavirus cases, which she said, "the media won't share with you."

"California and New York locked down, closed businesses, and mandated masks. They did the 'right' thing. And STILL cases are climbing," she said.

Earlier in the week, she said South Dakota was in good financial shape due to her administration's approach to COVID-19.

In comparison, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Wednesday that tax hikes are coming, and they could be significant.


The plague of White College Democrats

Eighty-five percent of counties with a Whole Foods store voted for Joe Biden. That factoid, relayed by The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman, tells you something important about the election -- and about today's Democratic Party.

"The Democracy," as it was called in the 19th century, long thought of itself as the party of the people, the defender of the little guy, the side that stood up for the folks not able to stand up for themselves.

There was always something to this. From its formation to reelect Andrew Jackson in 1832, the Democratic Party has always been a coalition of groups not considered typical Americans but that together could form a national majority. Naturally, the precise composition of this coalition has changed over time.

Barack Obama's Democratic Party was a top-and-bottom coalition of those at both ends of the income, education and occupational scales. Obama, who, as an Illinois legislator, gerrymandered a top-and-bottom district for himself, provided substantive and psychological sustenance to both sides.

Joe Biden's Democratic Party has a different balance. The boy from working-class Scranton, as he is billed, ran best not in factory cities but in university towns.

His highest percentage in Michigan was in the county containing Ann Arbor, not Detroit. He ran stronger in Madison, Wisconsin's Dane County than in Milwaukee County; stronger in Iowa City than in Des Moines; stronger in Missoula, Montana, with its university than in Butte with its copper mines; just as strong in metro Columbus (Ohio State University) as in metro Cleveland.

Biden's strongest area in California was the San Francisco Bay (University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University). His strongest county in upstate New York was Tompkins (Cornell University). His strongest counties in North Carolina were Durham and Orange (Duke University and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill).

White college grads -- Joel Kotkin's "gentry liberals," Arnold Kling's "highly educated elites" -- have become the dominant constituency in the Democratic Party. Even as the descendants of the party's blue-collar constituents have become Donald Trump Republicans, Democratic percentages among white college graduates have ballooned.

Pew Research Center polling showed white college graduates 50% to 42% Republican in 1994 -- the breakthrough year when Republicans captured the House after 40 years of Democratic control -- and 57% to 37% Democratic in 2019. That's happened even as they've become a larger percentage of the electorate.

To which an old-time Democratic Party boss -- Tammany Hall's Charles F. Murphy or Chicago's Richard J. Daley -- would have asked, "What do these people want?"

In the 1990s, the answers very fairly obvious. Affluent voters wanted tax rates held down, and they wanted their verdant suburban and trendy central city neighborhoods protected from violent crime and welfare dependency.

Led by Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson and New York's Rudy Giuliani, local Republicans and some Democrats cut violent crime and welfare rolls by more than half. In Washington, Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton assisted and encouraged this process and largely froze tax rates.

Today's college graduates, more numerous than their 1994 predecessors and schooled on increasingly "politically correct" campuses, don't have such concrete goals. They're unfazed by marginal Obama-era tax increases and untroubled -- so far, anyway -- by the vertiginous increases in homicides after the May 25 incident in Minneapolis.

What they want out of politics is not so much anything concrete as it is symbolic: assertions of opposition to what they regard as America's "systemic racism," and opposition to assertions of "America first," whether that means enforcement of immigration laws or "xenophobic" restrictions on travel from China, where COVID-19 originated.

In Democratic primaries, these voters, as I wrote in June, "flitted from one candidate to the next, tilting toward Sen. Kamala Harris after she whacked Joe Biden for opposing busing in the 1970s, then luxuriating in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's stentorian assurances that, on every issue, 'I have a plan for that,' then swooning for the assured articulateness of then-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg."

They seem chemically dependent on denunciations of Donald Trump, to the point that subscription- or ratings-hungry news media feel obliged to lard not just news accounts but even food pages and movie reviews with "Orange Man Bad" sneers. Trump is routinely described as a "racist" with no evidence cited.

White Democratic college graduates' central faith is that they oppose other Americans' systemic racism. Nearly a majority of them told pollsters they were bothered that Joe Biden is a white male in his 70s. Only about 30% of black and Hispanic Democrats feel the same, according to Pew. One group has more concern for ethnic origin and personal style than for real-life consequences for actual people.

White Democratic college graduates complain that Trump acts childishly; is impervious to criticism and fixated on symbolic trivia; and refuses to confess error or admit defeat. Fair criticism or self-description? Or both?


Lockdown Consequences Include Our Mental Health

Over the last several months, there’s been plenty of debate about whether a V-shaped economic recovery was possible, as “15 days to slow the spread” turned into months, and millions of Americans lost their jobs. The rebound was not quite a V, of course, especially for retail and restaurant workers. Moreover, the worry about finding or even keeping one’s job, combined with the unexpected additional tasks of homeschooling, wearing masks, and socially distancing, has taken its toll on our collective mental health.

It’s a subject we’ve touched on before, when our Thomas Gallatin observed the growing health consequences from the then-two-month-old pandemic lockdown. With the passage of time, more of the consequences are becoming evident. For example, we can now see that the expected baby boom from last spring’s shelter-in-place order isn’t happening everywhere.

But the coronavirus has sentenced the most vulnerable of us to a virtual house arrest for more than eight months now, and their despair has been on display in the form of increased suicide rates, higher alcoholism rates, and other self-destructive behaviors. Now we have more empirical evidence of this depression, as an annual Gallup Health and Healthcare poll taken in November shows the number of people who self-evaluated their mental well-being as “good” or “excellent” fell to its lowest level since the poll was instituted in 2001. In one year, that combined figure fell from 85% to 76%. And as the pollsters warned, “Previous research from Gallup’s ongoing COVID-19 tracking survey in April found that although majorities of Americans said they could continue following social distancing guidelines as long as necessary before their physical health and financial situation suffered, less than half said the same of their mental health.”

While we may joke about today’s date being March 286th, our lives and routines have genuinely been upended. Many kids no longer go to school, workers who can do so toil from home, and all the extra activities in a family’s life — sports, proms, graduations — have been postponed or canceled. In certain ways, people have adapted — witness the new phenomenon of the “fake commute.” It’s also worth noting that the lone subgroup that didn’t register a decline in mental health in the Gallup poll were those who regularly go to church. Out of all 19 groups measured, weekly church attendees had the highest percentage of those rating their mental health as “excellent” at 46%. (This, of course, assumes they can still go to church every week; it’s unclear whether virtual church counts in the category.)

But humans can only be isolated for so long before they lose out to despair — or rebel.

“While public officials are busy cracking down on freedom using a viral pandemic as their justification, another pandemic comes chopping and reaping, this one caused by the extreme measures that have produced no beneficial results,” note the editors of Issues & Insights. They add, “Both the elected and unelected who have brought this on need to be held accountable.”

And, as if to reiterate their point, they argue, “Thanks to power-mad, narcissistic, risk-averse, cowardly me-too public officials, America and other nations under lockdowns are suffering emotionally. … Shut-it-down officials are the worst among us, the last people who should be making decisions about others’ lives.”

It’s rare that our federalist system has shown the divide in America so clearly. In some states, restaurants are open, sports are being played, and — aside from the mandates to mask up — things are relatively close to the pre-pandemic normal. On the other side of the wire, people are being ordered to stay home for the holidays, and small businesses are being shuttered, many of them never to reopen.

Those grounded in faith know that there will be something on the other side of this pandemic, although we can’t be certain of how it will arrive or what form it will take. Perhaps we get all the way back to where we were before, although there are some pandemic-induced innovations we may not mind keeping around, such as working from home (faux commute or not).

More likely, though, there will be a little piece of our complacency lost, just like those who survived the Great Depression never forgot the financial lessons they learned the hard way. In this case, the lesson may need to be one of maintaining our freedom. But we have to get it back first.



Data analysts believe they've uncovered widespread illegal voting in Georgia (National Review)

House Republicans call for special counsel to investigate the 2020 election (National Review)

Facebook threatened to ban popular YouTube comedian JP Sears for "violating community standards," so he's moving to Parler (Not the Bee)

YouTube to remove videos claiming mass fraud changed election results (Politico)

Major media outlets mostly ignore story linking Eric Swalwell to Chinese spy (Washington Examiner)

Ric Grenell calls out CNN's Jake Tapper for belatedly covering Hunter Biden story (Fox News)

MSNBC lefty partisan Joy Reid to teach "journalism" at Howard University (Daily Caller)

FDA approves emergency use authorization for at-home test (Washington Examiner)

Court strikes another blow against California's absurd restrictions on religious services (Free Beacon)

Michigan Democrat removed from committees, facing "investigations" after making "threats" against Trump supporters (Daily Wire)

Johns Hopkins, long believed by university to be abolitionist, owned slaves (NBC News) Cancel him!

Xenophobic China restricts U.S. official travel to Hong Kong (AP)

Three studies that show lockdowns are ineffective (FEE)

There's rich, and there's Jeff Bezos rich: Meet the five members of the centibillionaire club (NPR)

Policy: Small business is just as important as small government (The Federalist)

New Yorkers Shocked by These Real Joe Biden Quotes — "The first mainstream African American who is bright, articulate, and clean."



11 December, 2020

All you need to know about government healthcare

In Britain, government hospitals even kill healthy people

Hundreds of babies died needlessly amid repeated failures at Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Trust, according to the first report from an independent review into its maternity services.

The review by Donna Ockenden, a healthcare expert, found a “lack of kindness and compassion” from staff — with women often blamed for the loss of their babies — and a failure to learn when things went wrong.

A review looked at 250 cases of stillbirths, brain damage, and deaths of babies and mothers at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust and says “urgent action” is needed to improve safety.

In all, 1,862 cases are being investigated, making it the largest review of its kind in NHS history.

A highly critical report found:

An “unacceptable” lack of kindness and compassion from some maternity staff

Families’ concerns about their care were dismissed or “not listened to at all”

Midwives failed to recognise when a pregnancy wasn’t progressing normally

Repeated failures to escalate problems to more senior staff

“Continuing errors” in monitoring babies’ heart beats

Inappropriate use of drugs, including oxytocin to speed up labour

A culture of reducing the number of caesarean births without considering if it was causing harm

The report found 13 mothers died between 2000 and 2019.


Don't Let COVID-19 Lockdowns Become a Permanent Power Grab

This week, as Los Angeles County announced it would lock down all outdoor dining, a video went viral. That video featured restaurant owner Angela Marsden, proprietor of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill, decrying the lockdown policy while pointing to the erection of production catering set up for a Hollywood shoot just a few feet away. "Everything I own is being taken away from me, and they set up a movie company right next to my outdoor patio," Marsden said, adding that she has spent approximately $80,000 complying with the requirements of LA County, only to see it shut down her business completely.

There is no scientific policy justifying LA County's outdoor-dining shutdown. In fact, during a Board of Supervisors meeting, a community member quizzed LA County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis on the evidence to support such a ban. Muntu provided no such evidence, likely because there is none.

But those who want to run their businesses in a safe and secure fashion are being targeted nonetheless by a political class incentivized to pursue tyranny rather than rational policy. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti -- who told police to stand down as rioters tore through his city during a pandemic -- said that his "heart goes out to Ms. Marsden" and then added, "No one likes these restrictions, but I do support them as our hospital ICU beds fill to capacity." He explained, "We must stop this virus before it kills thousands of more Angelenos." He did not explain why, if outdoor dining was so dangerous, Hollywood is still allowed to engage in it.

That's no surprise. Throughout the pandemic, one set of rules has applied to America's most ardent lockdown advocates, and another set of rules has applied to everyone else. LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to ban outdoor dining ... and then went to an outdoor restaurant later that evening. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is currently locking down some 33 million citizens but had no problem eating indoors with members of the California Medical Association at The French Laundry. Mayor London Breed of San Francisco ate at that same posh restaurant the next day. Austin Mayor Steve Adler told his constituents, "stay home if you can" in a Facebook video filmed from his vacation timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, where he'd just headed with seven others after a wedding in Austin. Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago got her hair cut and called it an "essential" business activity while promoting lockdown. Gov. Andrew Cuomo told everybody to stay home for Thanksgiving and then announced he would be getting together with his daughters and his 89-year-old mother, only to then reverse himself.

The message is obvious: Our intellectual and moral betters in politics are free to make their own rational calculations on COVID-19 risk. The rest of us are to be locked in our homes until further notice. When these political actors suggest that we must act out of an abundance of caution, they mean that they ought to enjoy abundance while benefitting from our caution.

You and your family are capable of making the same decisions Cuomo, Garcetti, Newsom, Lightfoot and Adler do. You should be careful; you should engage in social distancing, mask up when in close proximity with others and generally avoid social gatherings involving those with preexisting conditions. But you can do all of these things and still live in a free society. Our politicians don't believe that, because our politicians have seen how easily so many Americans were willing to indefinitely suspend their freedoms out of trust in our authorities. Until the incentive structures change, our freedoms will continue to be throttled by people who have no problem exercising their own.

One need not be a COVID-19 skeptic in order to question whether the enthusiastic authoritarian streak revealed by those politicians can be curbed. The longer we tolerate it, the more our politicians will normalize their power grabs.



Michigan judge allows probe of Dominion voting machines (Fox News)

Joe Biden picks California AG Xavier Becerra as health secretary (Reuters)

"Your daily reminder that ... Xavier Becerra tried to FORCE pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in CA to advertise free abortions." —Liz Wheeler

Now who's contesting elections? The Democrat House could overturn results in Iowa and New York (WSJ)

"House Democrats are sweating, having lost at least 10 seats when they were supposed to gain that many. If Ms. Miller-Meeks and Ms. Tenney prevail, the House will likely be split 222-213, leaving the GOP five seats from a majority in 2022 and potentially narrowing Nancy Pelosi's path to be re-elected as Speaker in January. The Democratic pressure to do everything in their power to prevent these two losses will be immense."

DNI John Ratcliffe urges John Durham to release interim report in order to protect investigation (Daily Caller)

House passes bill to end federal marijuana prohibition (Yahoo Finance)

ABC's George Stephanopoulos directs viewers to Democrat fundraising page (The Federalist)

Trump announces lawyer Rudy Giuliani tests positive (Washington Examiner)

California residents under strict stay-at-home orders through Christmas (NPR)

Sweden's infection rate soars above Britain, Germany, and Spain (Daily Mail)

Trump orders withdrawal of troops from Somalia (NY Post)

Congress moves to block troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and Germany (

Diplomats who became ill in Cuba and China may have been targeted with a type of radiation (Daily Wire)

NYC's shooting surge reaches "levels unseen in years" (Fox News)

LA restaurant owner's outdoor dining area shut down by mayor. Days later, film production company sets up outdoor dining area 15 feet away. (Not the Bee)

Ohio allows full-contact wrestling but bans post-match handshakes (Disrn)

Policy: The war on the Electoral College has only just begun (National Review)



9 December, 2020

The FDA is as paralytically slow as ever -- denying safe and effective healthcare to millions

On December 1, the UK pharmaceutical regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, the US will wait on the FDA bureaucracy to reach a decision.

The British will be able to start receiving the vaccine within days. Their focus will be on protecting the frontline workers and the elderly; those in the highest risk groups. Those in the highest risk groups in the US, on the other hand, will be forced to wait.

On November 9th, Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their vaccine was over 90 percent effective. A press release is no substitute for the actual data from the study, and review of the data is necessary. They applied to the FDA for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) on November 30th. An EUA allows the FDA to streamline the approval process in the case of an emergency, or if running a clinic trial is impossible.

The FDA released a notice in the Federal Register on Nov. 27, giving the public information about the EUA approval meeting. This provided the public with the opportunity to comment on the proposals being discussed, which is the normal process for federal agencies issuing regulatory changes. Finally, on December 10th, the FDA advisory committee will meet to discuss the EUA request. Upon reaching a recommendation, the FDA will choose whether or not to act upon it, which the FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn said in an interview would likely be within a few days.

According to Dr. Hahn, the FDA has been and will continue to review data and generate reports to prepare for the meeting during this time. In his interviews, Dr. Hahn’s description of the process implies that he believes that slow equals safe. But this is a false dichotomy. Rather than setting an arbitrary deadline for how long approvals should take to be complete, approvals should last until a rigorous analysis can be completed. How much additional data will we be able to gather by waiting a week longer than the UK?

The EUA means that this is an emergency. On average COVID-19 deaths amount to over 1,500 per day. For much of the year, excess deaths were even higher than COVID-19 deaths. Whether those deaths are undiagnosed COVID-19 deaths or deaths due to our response does not matter; they are a result of the virus and need to be considered when we are weighing the tradeoffs. We need to consider the risk of the vaccine and the risks of people contracting COVID-19 without the vaccine.

Unfortunately, the FDA has a long history of risk aversion when considering these tradeoffs. Former FDA Chair Scott Gottlieb detailed the culture of risk aversion at the FDA and its pitfalls. Vahid Montazerhodjat and Andrew Lo used Bayesian decision analysis to analyze the FDA approval stance. They also find that the FDA is too conservative, overweighing the risk of ineffective treatments and undervaluing the cost of rejecting effective treatments for severe diseases. This lengthens the process from discovery in the lab to use as treatment, which already sits at an average of over 15 years.

But this risk aversion and slow process is outdated in today’s rapidly advancing world. Technology is progressing at a rapid pace. It took researchers at Moderna just two days to design their vaccine in January, something unimaginable years ago. The rapid speed with which researchers are able to isolate a problem and design a solution tailored to it is only increasing as our technology improves. For example, just this week researchers released that they have solved the 50-year-old protein folding challenge, successfully cultured meat grown in a lab, and discovered a treatment to de-age and regenerate neurons.

Just 10 years ago it would have been impossible for so many people to seamlessly transition to working remotely. It should be no shock that science is seeing these improvements too.

Despite the rapid advances or science and technology, the FDA is still mired in an outdated regulatory process designed for the world of fax machines, not smartphones. The regulatory process is more suited for the pre-internet age, stifled by much slower data collection and the movement of information. We need nimble regulations that are able to keep up, rather than arcane and ritualized procedures.

Of course, you can’t shorten the time to conduct clinical safety and efficacy trials, but the UK allowed Pfizer to submit information on a rolling basis to shorten the approval process timeline. The FDA can do that to make it easier. The FDA could also end the requirement to fax or mail in hard copies of data.

The FDA also has a history of moving the goalposts, and requesting additional data from pharmaceutical developers, lengthening the approval process. After some time on the market, the Multiple Sclerosis drug Tysabri was found to increase the chance of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy and was voluntarily withdrawn from the market. Despite the FDA advisory committee recommending only a warning accompanying the package, the FDA required they create a risk map and limited the availability of the drug, which they didn’t require for Rituxan, which was in a similar situation.

Similarly, the FDA added requirements during the EUA process. In October, they announced a 2-month post injection review for side effects for 50 percent of participants. This forced Pfizer to wait an additional month to apply in order to meet the requirement. Eric Topol worked to convince the FDA to add this requirement to lengthen the process. The FDA’s decision was called “bureaucratic jujitsu” by a supporter. I’d call it bureaucratic obstruction which cost the lives of thousands of people forced to wait for the vaccine. Meanwhile patients in the UK are able to receive that vaccine.

The UK approval should inspire us to enact a reform that is far overdue and is a simple alternative that still keeps the protections of a regulatory agency but will allow for some speed. We should have reciprocity agreements with regulators in other countries. This would allow any drug approved for use in another country to be used by American patients. Some countries, like Australia and New Zealand, already take FDA approval into consideration during their approval process.

The U.S. government can limit reciprocity to countries that have a proven track record of approving safe and effective drugs. This would include countries in the European Union, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. This reciprocity would reduce delay and limit wasting time and effort applying to multiple regulatory bodies. Comparing the approved drugs in the UK and the US, researchers have found no significant difference in the safety between the countries, suggesting that MHRA approval is no less safe than FDA approval.

Ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective is important, no one is arguing that. The question is how long a process is necessary, considering the continuing death toll. While the FDA abides by their bureaucratic process, the MHRA has acted quickly and approved the Pfizer vaccine, allowing people in the UK to begin to be vaccinated.

The FDA approval process, even in their Emergency Use Authorization, is a long process, taking time and costing us lives.


Texas Files Lawsuit With SCOTUS Challenging Election Procedures in 4 Swing States

Texas is suing Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in the Supreme Court over "unconstitutional irregularities" in the election process, saying the states used the coronavirus pandemic to justify "ignoring state laws" with regard to absentee and mail-in voting.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging the four swing states violated state and federal law when they modified election procedures. The four battleground states listed in the suit were key to President Donald Trump's path to victory in 2016 and were vital to his reelection bid. Given the number of electoral votes at stake, the plaintiffs argued the states will "determine the outcome of the election."

"With all unlawful votes discounted, the election result is an open question that this Court must address," Paxton's brief to the Supreme Court said.

Without factoring the four states into the electoral vote totals, former Vice President Biden, who has 306 votes, would be down to 244, compared with Trump's 232. Therefore, the plaintiffs argue, those states are critical to the election. Trump won all four states in 2016 but lost them this year.

The suit charged executive and judicial officials in the four states with making "significant changes" to election rules, a move that the plaintiffs argue "did away" with security measures for absentee and mail-in ballots. Among the measures that the plaintiffs say were removed were signature verification, witness requirements, poll observers and authorized secure ballot drop-off locations.

Signature verification and the ability for people to observe the election process are two issues the Trump campaign and the president have stressed in their election fight. Poll observers being kept too far from where ballots were being opened was one of the first problems the campaign had with the election, and Trump has pushed Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to demand signature verification in the election.

"The Republican Governor of Georgia refuses to do signature verification, which would give us an easy win. What's wrong with this guy? What is he hiding?" Trump, who also called Kemp a RINO (Republican in name only), tweeted on Monday.

Without matching signatures, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said, a recount in Georgia means nothing because alleged "fraudulent" ballots would still be added to the total votes for each candidate.

On Election Night, Trump had the lead over Biden as in-person votes were being counted. However, that lead quickly dwindled as states counted mail-in ballots, a voting method the president dissuaded his supporters from using. In the suit, the plaintiffs argue that there was a "one in a quadrillion" probability of Biden winning the popular vote in the four key swing states, given Trump's lead early on Wednesday morning after the election.

"Invalid or fraudulent votes debase or dilute the weight of each validly cast vote," the plaintiffs wrote in the brief.

The four states targeted in the Supreme Court filing are all ones that the Trump campaign has gone after themselves, but so far they've been fighting a losing legal battle. In legal filings, they cited many of the same reasons as the Supreme Court brief, and White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the most recent development meant "huge."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel called the lawsuit a "publicity stunt" and not a "serious legal pleading." She said that Paxton, not voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia and Pennsylvania, was to blame for the "erosion of confidence in our democratic system." Nessel added that the issues raised in the complaint have already been litigated and "roundly rejected."

Legal experts aren't confident the Supreme Court will take the case, though, and the plaintiffs are up against the clock. The plaintiffs' attorneys argued that the Supreme Court has jurisdiction over the case because it isn't just a matter of state laws but a violation of the Constitution. They added that the Supreme Court is the only forum that can "delay" the December 14 deadline for states to appoint their electors and pushed for them to do so.

8 December, 2020

Patrick Basham Lays Out Why He Believes Biden's Election Win Is 'Statistically Implausible'

Pollster Patrick Basham explained during an interview with Fox News’s Mark Levin why he believes Joe Biden’s supposed election victory, while “not statistically impossible,” is “statistically implausible.”

Basham said during the interview that aired Sunday that he looked at numerous “non-polling metrics,” which have a “100 percent accuracy rate in terms of predicting the winner of the presidential election,” to come to his conclusion.

“Something very strange has happened because the numbers just don't add up,” he said referring to the election results.

Some of the “dozen or more” metrics include “party registration trends, how the candidates did in their respective presidential primaries, the number of individual donations, [and] how much enthusiasm each candidate generated in the opinion polls.”

He said these metrics pointed to a Trump victory in 2016 and “that was again the case in 2020.”

“So if we are to accept that Biden won against the trend of all these non-polling metrics, it not only means that one of these metrics was inaccurate ... for the first time ever, it means that each one of these metrics was wrong for the first time and at the same time as all of the others,” Basham explained.

The founding director of the Democracy Institute said if 100 observers were only shown the “vote breakdown by demographic group” on election night, 99 “would say, well, obviously, Trump.”

Basham also called into question the ballot rejection rate for absentee and mail-in ballots, which he said was “historically low.”

“Rejection rates, which in the primaries earlier this year were well into the double-digits and which historically have often been very, very high in these key swing states, or at least in the key swing counties, we're seeing rejection rates of less than 1 percent, often very close to to zero,” he noted. “Given the increase in absentee balloting and the lack of experience that most of the new voters and those doing the counting would have with those ballots, it is implausible, to put it politely, that that figure would be as low as it was.”


More Lockdowns Aren’t Answer to Stopping COVID-19

As infections increase during the “second wave” of the coronavirus, too many politicians are knee-jerking to reimpose harsh restrictions such as business shutdowns, curfews, and home confinements.

These types of sweeping and overly restrictive COVID-19 measures cause needless harm, especially for the majority of generally healthy Americans who will experience moderate to no symptoms if they catch the virus.

More effective approaches include doing more to protect vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions; getting newly approved rapid at-home tests into the hands of more Americans so those who are infected can be immediately identified and quarantined; and preparing for a potential vaccine by developing a plan for quick distribution and prioritizing who gets it first.

Shutting down entire states only worsens the economic devastation as well as the health and welfare of otherwise healthy Americans. The answer to defeating the coronavirus can’t be choosing between our health and our economy. The answer isn’t either-or, rather it’s both-and.

Our economic health has an incredible effect on our physical and mental health, and vice versa. The longer that healthier, lower-risk Americans are out of work, deprived of contact with family and friends, and sheltered at home, the more public health suffers, both physically and mentally.

Governors and local officials need to make shutdown decisions on a targeted, county-by-county basis, based on virus case numbers and infection rates. And such actions must be very temporary.

Research shows that areas where state and local officials have allowed places to safely reopen are well on their way to economic recovery. Meanwhile, in areas with excessive restrictions, including business and school closures, families and children are struggling.

We’ve also seen that strict lockdown orders in many European countries haven’t prevented a second wave of the virus.

A more effective approach to stopping the spread is widespread testing—figuring out who has the virus and temporarily quarantining them from others as they ride out the illness.

The Food and Drug Administration has just approved COVID-19 self-tests that can be easily conducted at home or work and don’t need to be sent off to a lab. Rapid manufacture and distribution of these kits is now key.

Quickly determining who is infected and who isn’t can go a long way toward mitigating the spread of the virus and makes going into businesses, schools, churches, and other facilities much safer.

Especially for nursing home and hospital staff who work around vulnerable people, being able to rapid-test each day before going into work will help prevent more breakouts and deaths.

States also must prepare an effective distribution strategy for a potentially soon-to-be-released vaccine. State public health agencies must prioritize who should receive the vaccine first.

The top of the list should include those with the highest degree of transmission risk and those who may experience the severest consequences of an infection. That means starting with front-line health care workers, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions.

States also immediately should allow pharmacists to administer the vaccine, just as many already allow them to administer flu and pneumonia vaccines. Pharmacists are positioned to ensure fast and efficient mass immunization, and that kind of rapid response could prevent millions of additional infections and tens of thousands of additional deaths.

A complete road map to recovery (found here) has been created by the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission; it contains 265 specific, actionable recommendations, including those mentioned above. The road map was developed for governments, businesses, churches, educational institutions, and community organizations to navigate as safely as possible through the pandemic.

Instead of indiscriminate and ineffective statewide shutdowns, public health measures should be focused on continuing to inform Americans how to reduce their chances of catching and spreading COVID-19; doing more to protect the elderly and those with underlying conditions; distributing rapid at-home tests to determine who may be contagious; and preparing a strategy for rapid public vaccination once a vaccine is released.

Lockdowns and prohibiting families from visiting one another in their own homes this holiday season aren’t the answers, and there’s no reason they should be the go-to tool for our leaders.

It’s time that the same politicians who regularly lecture us about “following the science” actually look in the mirror and take their own advice.

Following the science and assessing everything that we’ve learned in the months since the pandemic first struck will help us to defeat this deadly disease more quickly; recover our jobs and our economy; and get us reunited with family and community and back to some sense of normality again.


Universal flu vaccine could be on the horizon after trials show experimental jab can protect humans 'from getting countless strains of the virus'

A universal flu vaccine could protect patients from countless strains of the virus for at least 18 months, scientists have found.

Those over 65, in care homes and frontline medics are told to get the jab every year because the virus constantly mutates to evade the body's defences.

The current jab is based on predictions of which strain of influenza may cause havoc in Britain and only offers protection against three or four.

But today scientists inched a step closer to a universal jab which can protect against countless flu strains, after human trials showed it triggered the production of antibodies that block the influenza virus' spike proteins - stopping it from invading cells and causing an infection.

Despite not being proof that it works, it offers a first glimpse of a possible new jab.

It works by triggering an immune response against the 'stalk' part of the virus' spike protein — which it uses to help it invade cells.

This part, unlike the 'head' of the spike, rarely differs between the hundreds of strains meaning a vaccine against it could provide wide-ranging and long-lasting immunity.

Coronavirus has killed three times as many people as influenza and pneumonia this year, official data has revealed.

Covid-19 was listed as the underlying cause of death in 48,168 fatalities recorded in England and Wales between January and August, according to a September report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Influenza caused just 394 deaths during the same time period and pneumonia — often caused by the flu — was behind 13,619 deaths.

But deaths from the two common respiratory illnesses have actually outnumbered Covid-19 fatalities since July, when the pandemic began to fade away, the data also revealed. For instance, flu and influenza killed 14 people on August 31 — the most recent day figures are available for, compared to five from the coronavirus.

The report also revealed flu or pneumonia were mentioned on more than 70,000 death certificates, which is more than the 52,327 linked to Covid-19. When a condition is mentioned on a death certificate it means doctors consider it to have contributed to someone's death but to have not been the main factor that lead to the end of their life.

Deaths from pneumonia and influenza were seven times below the average 100,000 deaths they cause each year, which experts said was due to social distancing restrictions hampering the transmission of the diseases.

This means that without lockdown restrictions Covid-19 could easily have caused more than a tenth of a million fatalities.

Millions of flu vaccines are rolled out by the NHS in the UK every winter to stop a major outbreak of influenza, which adds pressure to busy hospitals.

But the jabs often miss the mark because they don't protect against all strains and can only be 30 to 40 per cent effective.

Health chiefs called on people to get the flu vaccine this year to protect health services from a 'double-whammy' of Covid-19 and flu cases.

Influenza — considered the most likely to cause a pandemic — kills around 17,000 people every year in England and up to 62,000 in the US, according to statistics.

When Spanish flu struck in 1918/19, it spread through a third of the world's population and is estimated to have killed around 100million people.

Results of the study on the universal flu vaccine, published in the journal Nature Medicine, saw it administered to 65 US adults aged between 18 and 39.

Participants were given two injections of the trial vaccine — which focused on the 'stalk' of a spike protein — three months apart.

Ten blood samples were taken to see if the individuals still had any antibodies — disease-fighting proteins — against the hundreds of strains of the virus.

'Vaccination was found to be safe and induced a broad, strong, durable and (trigger) functional immune response targeting the conserved,' the team from the New York-based Mount Sinai School of Medicine wrote in the study.

'The results suggest that (the vaccine candidate) has the potential to be developed as universal vaccines that protect broadly against influenza viruses.'

Professor Florian Krammer, from Mount Sinai School of Medicine who led the study, said: 'An influenza virus vaccine that results in broad immunity would likely protect against any emerging influenza virus subtype or strain and would significantly enhance our pandemic preparedness, avoiding future problems with influenza pandemics as we see them now with Covid-19.'

Professor Krammer added: 'Our chimeric hemagglutinin vaccine is a major advance over conventional vaccines which are often mismatched to the circulating strains of virus, impacting their effectiveness. 'In addition, re-vaccinating individuals annually is a huge and expensive undertaking.'



6 December, 2020


It seems that I am not dead yet. Although my energies for blogging are much reduced, I have been able to keep posting to some extent. I have mainly found material worth posting on POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. I have had a bit of fun with postings about China on the latter. So I think I will continue to be able to post a few worthwhile things


Examining the Evidence for Democrats' 'No Evidence of Voter Fraud' Claim

On November 14, the U.S. edition of The Guardian ran an article by Harvard Law professor Laurence H. Tribe headlined "Republicans are playing with fire. And we all risk getting burned." Tribe claimed that there is "no evidence" so far of systemic fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

The next day on FNC's Fox News Sunday, Mr. Tribe and Judge Kenneth Starr discussed the president's legal challenges to the election. It's an interesting exchange, and one can watch it here and here. In this writer's opinion, Mr. Starr was the more persuasive, for Tribe again claimed "there is nothing in his [Trump's] arguments and no evidence to back them."

Immediately after Tribe's claim, FNC's moderator quoted a November 12 joint statement put out by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a division of the DHS: "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes or was in any way compromised." The CISA's statement is quite short, and it should be read with a jaundiced eye. There are no links to web pages that explain its methodology and how it arrived at its conclusion that the 2020 election is "the most secure election in American history." But that's not saying much, given America's long history of election fraud.

By employing the same "no evidence" rhetoric, both Tribe and the CISA attempt to shut down the debate. The tacit implication is that they have examined all of the evidence and found none of it to hold water. Also, by employing "no evidence" rhetoric, they expect us to accept them as the experts on these matters.

But this article isn't about rhetoric; it's about evidence, and there is "no evidence" that the vote counts in the 2020 presidential election are correct. But then no one can produce evidence to demonstrate what the legitimate vote counts were in any presidential election, at least within any reasonable time constraints. The changes to our voting systems in the 2020 elections were expressly designed so that there cannot be any evidence. Professor Tribe should tell us what the evidence would consist of that would allow us to know what the correct vote counts are.

Larry Tribe may like to oraculate from on high as though he were some objective, disinterested analyst calling balls and strikes, but he's actually a highly partisan left-wing Democrat. In the Guardian article, he touches on the possibility of state legislatures going rogue and appointing electors who would vote against the candidate the people (supposedly) voted for. In disapproving of that, Tribe proves himself a hypocrite, for back in 2016, he was involved with Electors Trust and even wrote a letter "encouraging electors to vote against Trump." In other words, Tribe was urging that they go rogue and become faithless electors. Also, when President Trump fired FBI director James Comey, which was entirely within his purview, Tribe urged impeachment. Tribe seems little better than the worthies on MSNBC and CNN who were hired precisely because they're willing to say anything.

Only a small portion of Tribe's article in The Guardian deals with vote counts. It quickly gets past election issues and degenerates into yet another broadside against Republicans in general and Trump in particular, and it's wacky, repugnant stuff. However, it can be read for its sociological value and for entertainment.

For Tribe to pooh-pooh the considerable evidence that has been brought forward is evidence of Tribe's bad faith. Perhaps Larry Tribe is a fraud. What kind of election systems would Tribe propose that would give Americans confidence in the vote count?

It was after the 37-day post-election brouhaha in 2000 when I started thinking about how to mend our broken election systems. One of my aims was not only to make fraud detectable, which it currently isn't, but also to make fraud impossible to commit, or at least much more difficult. Have any of the changes made to our election systems since 2000 tried to do that? Of course not — the changes have all been geared to making registration and voting easier and easier. Election integrity hasn't been the aim.

Larry Tribe would benefit from watching the opening to Mark Levin's FNC show of November 22, "What is the civil litigation process of 2020 election suits?" He can find it here and here. Not only will Tribe discover that there are tons of evidence, but he might also learn how to litigate a case.

Why shouldn't the Tribes of this world be required to prove that no fraud occurred? For that matter, why shouldn't the boards of elections in the states be required to provide proof of the integrity of their elections? Voters are expected to just accept that the election officials in the several states are competent and honest and wouldn't dream of breaking the law to throw an election to their candidate.

Whenever some self-appointed "expert" makes a claim of there being "no evidence" for something, insist that he produce the evidence for his claims. Ask him: what evidence do you have that there is "no evidence"?

Because they haven't demanded that our election systems be fixed so that vote counts can be shown to be correct, the American people may deserve to have a frail, senile president and a braying, hebephrenic V.P. More's the pity.

As of November 30, we were still counting votes for U.S. representatives. If it weren't for the 20th Amendment, which moved Inauguration Day from March 4 to January 20, we'd have 43 more days to contest this election's fraud. The U.S. Supreme Court needs to vacate the presidential elections in Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, and especially Pennsylvania and order that new elections be held with more security. The mountain of evidence of fraud demands a do-over.


Founding Fathers of Silicon Valley Give Up on California, Move to Texas

It’s got to be a public relations gut punch for California Governor Gavin Newsom, who’s done little to retain all the companies bailing out of Silicon Valley because it’s too expensive to conduct business there.

The headquarters for one of the Founding Fathers of the Silicon Valley is pulling up stakes and leaving the Golden State. Bill Packard and Dave Hewlett’s legacy company, Hewlett-Packard, is packing up “the garage” and moving to Texas.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise, split off from the hardware portion of the company in 2015, is moving its HQ to Houston.

But HPE’s move is particularly notable because Hewlett-Packard was one of the original Silicon Valley success stories, founded by partners Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage in Palo Alto 1939. In 2015, that company split into HPE and hardware maker HP Inc., which is not moving. But even that company is reducing its footprint in California, consolidating its Bay Area sites to San Jose.

The company reported $7.21 billion in earnings in the fourth quarter, which now will not replenish California’s tax stockpiles. No one is being fired in this move.

The pandemic is giving companies a good reason to get out of the California gulag. CNBC reports that there are more virtual employees. Companies don’t want the expensive overhead.

The coronavirus pandemic has given a number of tech companies and prominent Silicon Valley figures an excuse to exit California. Without many needing to go into an office every day, many are questioning the high cost of living and the state’s hefty taxes amid a broader shift to remote work.

The pandemic also means that employees can live nearly anywhere. Affordable housing considerations for employees will become less of an issue.

The Left-leaning employees may vote out the conservatives in the next election, though, as Texas is being overrun with Silicon Valley ‘fugees.

Data analytics software company Palantir Technologies moved its headquarters to Denver, Colorado from Palo Alto, California, earlier this year. The company’s co-founder Joe Lonsdale followed suit, and announced last month he was moving the headquarters of 8VC, his venture firm, from San Francisco to Austin, Texas.

Dropbox CEO Drew Houston has also reportedly decided to move to Austin. Dropbox said in October it will stop asking employees to come into its offices and instead make remote work the standard practice. For employees who need to meet or work together in person, the company is setting up “Dropbox Studios” in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin and Dublin when it’s safe to do so.

Some companies are also allowing employees more flexibility with where they work, while retaining office space.

Twitter and Square are letting employees work from home “forever,” while Microsoft said workers will have more flexibility to work from home. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted in May that 50% of employees will be working remotely within the next decade.

In the last decade, well more than 13,000 companies have moved out of California. The South Star Communities newspaper reported that “1,800 relocation or “disinvestment events” occurred in 2016, the most recent year available, setting a record yearly high going back to 2008. About 13,000 companies left the state during that nine-year period. Of the 1,800 events, 299 of those departures landed in Texas.”

And the moves are understandable because California has utter “contempt for business,” according to Joseph Vranich, a corporate relocation expert. Vranich’s company Spectrum, a huge presence in Orange County, just moved it’s HQ out of California.

“Departures are understandable when year after year CEOs nationwide surveyed by Chief Executive Magazine have declared California the worst state in which to do business,” said Vranich, a corporate relocation expert who jokes that he loves California’s weather, but not its business climate. Until recently, Spectrum and Vranich were based in Irvine, Calif. …

Hostility toward businesses, high utility and labor costs, punitive regulations and worrisome housing affordability for employees are among California’s other negatives, Vranich said. …

“Signs are that California politicians’ contempt for business will persist,” he said.

A study of the companies moving out of the state found that according to numbers in 2016, 275,000 jobs and $76.7 billion in capital funds “were diverted” out of California.



Trump's legal team to submit evidence of over 40,000 people who voted twice in Nevada (Post Millennial)

Iowa Democrat Rita Hart asks House lawmakers to overturn her loss (Washington Times)

Rep. Mo Brooks plans to challenge Electoral College vote (Daily Wire)

Biden surge in red states won't help Democrats with looming redistricting fights (Washington Examiner)

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib headline anti-Israel hatefest (Free Beacon)

CNN anchors and Biden advisers attended major CCP conference with Xi Jinping (National Pulse)

Nancy Pelosi caves, backs bipartisan relief proposal as basis for new negotiations (Washington Times)

Prominent diversity consulting firm funded entirely by taxpayer dollars (Free Beacon)

Appeals court gives OK to North Carolina voter ID law (Washington Times)

"Time to cancel everything": Los Angeles residents are ordered to stay in their homes (Daily Mail)

CDC shortens recommended quarantine time from 14 days to as few as seven (Washington Examiner)

The three stooges: Obama, Bush, and Clinton willing to get vaccine on camera (NPR)

"I thought we weren't supposed to trust the Trump vaccine for the China virus? Now that the election is over, it seems safe." —Keith Koffler

House backs curbs on China stock listings, sends bill to Trump (Bloomberg)

Adult businesses, foreign operators target Parler social platform with pornography (Disrn)

November bankruptcies hit 14-year low with steep drop in personal filings (Fox Business)

Labor board claims evil Google illegally spied on and fired workers (Washington Examiner)

Kayleigh McEnany opens press conference with video of Dems breaking own lockdown rules (Daily Caller)

Austin mayor tells community to stay home while in Cabo after flying there in private jet (Fox News)

Jon Ossoff, whose father took $1M from relief fund, slams greedy businesses raiding PPP (Free Beacon)

Kentucky mayor falls asleep in fast-food drive-thru line, crashes into pole (Fox News)

KFC rolls out self-driving 5G "chicken trucks" in China (Interesting Engineering)

Father and son graduate Texas police academy together: "It gave us a bond" (People)

102-year-old World War II veteran has Columbia park named in her honor (Baltimore Sun)

Policy: If you smash capitalism, you can't "build back better" (Daily Signal)



3 December, 2020

An Election Bombshell Gets Buried

It's hard to decide what's more outrageous: a mind-bendingly impossible 570,000-to-3,200 ballot dump in Pennsylvania favoring Joe Biden over Donald Trump, or a mainstream media blackout of this and other election anomalies.

In any case, a collective media yawn is simply not the appropriate response to news such as this — at least not in a healthy republic. Then again, such stories don't happen in a healthy republic.

Nor is "Look, the election is over" an appropriate response. But that's exactly what we got from Kate Bedingfield, whom Biden just tapped to be his White House communications director. "Virtually everyone on Earth has accepted that truth except for Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani," Bedingfield falsely asserted. "The Trump campaign has been laughed out of every courtroom, with their meritless and baseless lawsuits meant to undermine the will of the American people."

As for the Pennsylvania ballot-dump bombshell, this news of a massive and decisive "spike anomaly" was provided by Phil Waldren, a retired Army colonel and former combat officer with a background in information and electronic warfare. As Paul Kengor writes, "Waldren, who testified along with Rudy Giuliani's team, brought to the hearing his considerable expertise in analysis of election-data fraud. After Waldren presented his material, the chair opened the floor for questions. Rudy Giuliani went first, asking Waldren to clarify what his analytics team means when they talk about 'spike anomalies' in voting patterns. These, as Waldren defines them, are 'events where a numerical amount of votes are processed in a time period that is not feasible or mechanically possible under normal circumstances.' Waldren showed a chart with a shocking example of an apparent massive dump of votes for Joe Biden."

Giuliani pressed Waldren for clarification about the spike, and the shocked reaction of those in attendance speaks for itself. And one wonders what kind of judge would, as Bedingfield suggested, laugh such evidence out of a courtroom or, likewise, the eyewitness evidence of Olivia Jane Winters, a registered Democrat and vote inspector who told of being repeatedly cursed at and threatened with bodily harm merely for having tried to enforce the state's election laws. The hearing was chock-full of compelling witnesses like Waldren and Winters, but the media's coverage was nearly nonexistent.

If you're keeping score at home, Joe Biden bagged 99.4% of that enormous chunk of votes. Donald Trump? 0.6%.

As we've said before, it's critical that every fraud charge in this election be investigated thoroughly — for the sake of this election and all future elections. Whether in Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin or Georgia or Nevada or Arizona, if we're going to have confidence in our electoral process — more confidence than, say, the people of Venezuela or Cuba have in their electoral process — we need to address both the fraud-friendly nature of mass mail-in balloting as well as the potential for data manipulation in our vote-counting machines.

We're the world's most advanced country. We've been a beacon of freedom and democracy to all other nations. We put a man on the moon more than half a century ago. Is a reliable and tamper-resistant election system too much to ask for? How about a free press that helps safeguard such a system?

Sadly, today, the answer to both questions is Yes.


New Conservative Coalition Is a Foundational Shift

Democrats are scrambling to explain away the inroads Republicans have made with minorities, as evidenced in the November election results. Instead of listening to the concerns of the Black and Hispanic voters who voted for President Trump — after years of being assured that Trump is one of the “most racist presidents” in history — Democrats are instead blaming them.

“Some Democrats argue that the support for Mr. Trump is an example of machismo culture, venerating traditional gender roles and a kind of hyper-masculinity,” the New York Times reported. But Axios admitted, “The media (and many Democrats) are fairly clueless about the needs, wants and trends of Hispanic voters. Top Latinos warned about overlooking and misreading the fastest-growing population in America — but most didn’t listen.”

The same is true of Black voters (Trump gained 4 more percentage points of the Black vote over his 2016 numbers), yet progressives such as Chauncey DeVega at Salon still insist that white supremacy “now controls the Republican Party.”

Here’s what they’re missing: A new coalition is taking shape. It’s multiethnic, multiracial — and it’s conservative. It rejects the regimentation of identity politics, and even rejects the attendant language (just 3% of Hispanics use the term “Latinx,” for example). It’s working class and it’s growing.

The new coalition rejects the premise of the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” the grand critique of America, which says the U.S. is fundamentally racist and a real-life dystopia. They know better. It’s the country they or their parents or their grandparents came to, and in many cases, fled to. The America they experience is one of opportunity and freedom.

The left tells them the past was unbearable, yet plans to ensure that the future will be worse. Minority-owned small businesses were hit disproportionately hard by the pandemic lockdowns, but the incoming Biden administration hints at more of the same. Working from home is a privilege that Blacks and Hispanics are far less likely to enjoy.

They also reject any Green New Deal. In 2018, California lawyers filed a massive civil rights lawsuit claiming that the Golden State’s climate policies disproportionately punish the poor, especially Blacks and Hispanics. “California’s climate policies guarantee that housing, transportation and electricity prices will continue to rise,” the lawsuit says, “while ‘gateway’ jobs to the middle class for those without college degrees, such as manufacturing and logistics, will continue to locate in other states.”

Democrats pledge to make California a model for the nation.

More than anything, the new coalition has come together over jobs. They see Republican policies as more likely to result in job creation, and Democratic policies as less likely to. They know this because they’ve seen it.

“During each of the [first] three years of Trump/Pence, about 380,000 Blacks climbed their way out of poverty, compared to only 80,000 for the Obama/Biden era,” a University of Colorado study found. “More than a half-million Hispanics moved up the economic ladder past the poverty line in each of the three years of Trump/Pence, compared to only 150,000 for the Obama/Biden era.”

We shouldn’t leave out Asian Americans, who also moved in greater numbers to the R camp. There’s evidence that affirmative action is behind much of that movement; the Trump administration has backed a lawsuit brought by Asian Americans against Harvard’s affirmative action policies. Again, it’s all about opportunity.

Of course, the prevailing narrative is that the GOP of the future is the man-cave of the aging white male in decline. The truth, however, is that Republicans on Nov. 3 lost ground with white men, while gaining greater support from white women and minorities.

For years, the left has divided America along the lines of race and gender, and attempted bring together these camps into a working-class, multiethnic coalition. They have succeeded.

It’s just that the working-class, multiethnic coalition votes Republican.


Bad News for Progressives: It's Still a Conservative Country

It's not exactly clear how it happened. No one expected it, least of all the media and pollsters. But that promised big blue wave of Democratic victories across the country turned instead into a red tidal wave from coast to coast. Most progressive ballot issues in the states -- from tax increases to racial preferences -- also came crashing down.

A big reason for this turnaround in the election was the massive turnout for President Donald Trump on Election Day. The irony is that Trump's coattails pulled hundreds of Republicans over the goal line -- but as things currently stand, they didn't save him from a razor-tight defeat.

So, how deep were the losses for the Democrats? In the U.S. House, Nancy Pelosi thought her troops would gain 10 to 12 seats. Instead, they lost, at last count, nine.

But the real carnage was in the state houses. Hold on to your hats; here is the latest from our allies at the American Legislative Exchange Council. The GOP gained a total of 192 House and 40 Senate seats. Republicans flipped control of three chambers.

As a result of these big and improbable wins, Republicans now have majority control in both House and Senate chambers in 31 of 50 states. Democrats have control in only 18 states. That's a map of the USA that looks awfully red throughout middle America, with only the rusting Northeast and the West Coast colored blue.

What is truly stunning about this story is that Democrats and liberal/progressive donors (Michael Bloomberg, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, et al.) poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the states to take over legislatures with unprecedented spending in Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania. The American Legislative Exchange Council president, Lisa Nelson, estimates that Democrats outspent Republicans "at least 3-to-1 in the states." And all they got was a lousy T-shirt.

Money just doesn't buy you love with voters.

Speaking of money, voters don't want politicians taking more of it from them. In Illinois, Colorado and California, major tax hikes lost, and tax cuts were approved by voters. Racial preferences, rent control and pro-union measures went down in flames in California -- the cradle of progressive wacko ideas.

Even Democrats admit that their party's embrace of socialism was a major turnoff to voters. Rep. Abigail Spanberger from Virginia won her race, but she isn't a happy camper. "We need to not ever use the words 'socialist' or 'socialism' ever again," she says. Democrats, she angrily continued, "lost good members because of that."

Though litigation is ongoing, Republicans appear to have lost by a razor's edge the prize of the White House, which is a stinging defeat for conservatism. But no one in modern times has turned out voters like Donald J. Trump. Even USA Today admits that it was the big "Trump turnout" that swung state and local elections in a conservative direction.

If the Democrats govern as the party of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, they can expect even deeper losses in 2022. They may even suffer their ultimate nightmare, a return to the White House by Trump in 2024. Trumpism and putting America first are still alive and well.



2 December, 2020

You can't keep a good blogger down

I have mustered enough energy to do some blogging. Below is an article that bears closely on something I have written. It energizes me into putting it up. It rightly sees a bit of clinical psychology originally published in 2003 as very influential to this day.

As it happens, the topic concerned was one that I had already extensively researched, so I knew where the skeletons were buried. It was a totally absurd piece of research. My comments on it published at the time can be found here:

How the Left Uses ‘Science’ to Extend Its Bias in Media and Academia

The 2020 election has revealed jaw-dropping levels of “liberal” or progressive bias in the media, from the increasing ascendance of woke language, enforced by the thought police, to deliberately ignored issues and information considered uncongenial to those dominating the agenda. To many, it seems as if the power being exercised against freedom of uncoerced and uncensored expression had metastasized full-blown out of almost nowhere. However, that ignores the fact that the bias extends beyond the media, to think tanks and “research” devoted to creating ammunition for the left/progressive conclusions the media loves to reach, and this bias has been around for a substantial period of time.

An excellent example of the production of the groundwork for the bias infusing media today is “research” published in 2003, in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin. Supported by $1.2 million in federal money, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition” supposedly provided an “elegant and unifying explanation” for political conservatism. If you have been paying attention this year, some of its themes will seem familiar.

The authors found resistance to change and tolerance for inequality at the core of political conservatism. While proclaiming their findings to be nonjudgmental, they also concluded that conservatism was “significantly linked with mental rigidity and close-mindedness, increased dogmatism and intolerance of ambiguity, decreased cognitive complexity, decreased openness to experience, uncertainty avoidance, personal needs for order and structure, need for cognitive closure, lowered self-esteem; fear, anger, and aggression; pessimism, disgust, and contempt.”

The researchers also equated Hitler and Mussolini with Ronald Reagan as “right-wing conservatives...because they all preached a return to an idealized past and favored or condoned inequality in some form.” And the types of inequality conservatives supposedly favored included the Indian caste system, South African apartheid, and segregation in the US.

Of course, according to the study, that “does not mean that conservatism is pathological or that conservative beliefs are necessarily false, irrational, or unprincipled.” But its authors certainly implied it.

Unfortunately, the hit-piece “research” overlooked crucial distinctions.

“Conservative” and “liberal,” as well as “progressive,” are adjectives that have been converted into nouns. But adjectives modify something else. That means the questions that must be addressed if bias is to be avoided include what it is someone is trying to conserve, in what ways whether we are liberal is to be judged, and what is to be considered progress.

America’s history illustrates these distinctions. Our founding was radical although it sought to conserve what the colonists considered their rights. America was liberal in trying to provide the broadest possible sweep of individual freedom against government coercion. It was tremendously progressive in its recognition of inalienable rights for all (a long way from the “conservative” divine right of kings). And it was brought together under a constitution our founders intended to conserve that vision, which was considered a beacon of hope to the world.

Trying to restore or conserve that vision does not logically categorize one with Hitler, nor does every politician who has sworn “to preserve, protect and defend [i.e., conserve] the Constitution of the United States” belong in that category. America’s past proves the folly of a study that makes no distinction between those desiring to conserve the power of governments to be massively abusive of its citizens and those seeking to conserve the ideal of a government constrained from such abuse, by returning to a prior approach where such abuses were off-limits. When such diametrically opposed positions are both given the same label, it produces misunderstanding, not insight.

In addition to equating political conservatism with some of history’s most egregious abuses of human liberty, which are plainly inconsistent with conservatism’s principles, the study employed sleight of hand to characterize conservatives as condoning inequality while implying that others do not.

Given that all men are not equal in all ways, inequality is unavoidable. Inequality of results is unavoidable if people are treated equally under the law—the form of equality our founders defended. However, efforts to mandate more equal results are inconsistent with treating citizens equally, as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and others committed to liberty have demonstrated. For the government to give to some requires taking from others without their consent, violating their rights to equal treatment. Yet the APA study simply ignored the inequality of treatment inherent in such policies, and so misrepresented conservatives as favoring inequality even when they are, in fact, combating government-imposed unequal treatment.

The study also denigrates conservatives for close-minded resistance to political change, presumably in contrast to more open-minded liberals and progressives. However, rather than closed-mindedness, hesitation to adopt sweeping changes in government originating in someone’s imagination might represent the frequently reinforced recognition of politically imposed changes’ consistent track record of failure. As economist Paul Heyne once put it: “economic theory often treats proposals for reform of the economic system so unkindly...[it] calls attention to the unexamined consequences of proposals for change. It won’t work out that way is the economist’s standard response to many well-intentioned policy proposals. Realism is not necessarily conservatism, but it often looks quite similar.” And when inherited rights and freedoms are the objects being conserved, conservatives and libertarians are fellow travelers.

America was founded to protect the freedoms of every citizen from government coercion. One need not be a genius to recognize the value of conserving that. But this Psychological Bulletin “research,” now almost two decades old, missed that point entirely, by treating all resistance to change as equivalent, regardless of the value of what is being defended, and by misrepresenting American conservatives’ views on inequality, as well as other cheats. Far from being an “elegant and unifying explanation” for political conservatism, it was just one more libel against it.

Unfortunately, in the seventeen years since that article was published, what careful thinking would once have recognized as slander disguised as science has seeped into much of our political culture as all but unchallengeable truths. And freed from the necessity of valid premises, as logic would require, those motivated to shift social cognition “their” direction have changed thinking considerably over time. But that is not the same as better representing the truth.

A more accurate result of such research would have been that many self-proclaimed conservatives have deviated from the principles they espouse. That deserves criticism. But it does not establish that all those principles are in error. However, such a more accurate and limited conclusion would have forced those who constantly work against attempts to defend our freedoms from encroachment to face the fact that they are further, rather than closer, to the ideal of liberty that led to America’s creation. And that wouldn’t move the electoral needle in their desired direction.

The 2020 election results will be a test of earlier liberal/progressive “investments” in modifying how Americans think about things. But at this point, perhaps more important will be whether, after the fact, people recognize how much they have been manipulated, which is the first step to thinking more accurately, which must precede learning to effectively resist that manipulation.


Progress report

While there is no way I will be able to revive my regular schedule of blogging, I find I am able to put up a few bits and pieces here and there. I have just posted to: (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH) and (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)


The time has come

I am 77 and have been blogging since 2002. But my health and vitality are now so low that I will have to cut back. I have put up three blogs so far today and that may be all I can manage. All I want to do now is sleep. I hope what I have done has been some help to some people


The ‘Trump is Hitler’ meme collides with reality

The use and abuse of the word fascism these past four years has done real damage.

So this is how America’s ‘fascist’ presidency ends — with the peaceful transfer of power.

This is the news that Donald Trump has kind of conceded the US presidential election to Joe Biden. With Trump’s blessing, the official transition process has begun – though he is continuing to claim the election was ‘rigged’.

The Trumpist tantrum over the 2020 election result – the increasingly absurd, evidence-free attempts to prove the Democrats stole the White House via mass electoral fraud – seems finally to be colliding with reality.

But so is another absurd idea, entertained by many supposedly sensible people since before Trump won in 2016. The idea Trump is essentially a fascist intent on keeping his manicured hands on state power forever.

Ever since Trump arrived on the political scene, the Hitler comparisons have flown. ‘Donald Trump is actually a fascist’, ran one not-so-subtle headline in the Washington Post, while Britain’s Independent opted for the more charitable ‘he’s not Mussolini or Hitler just yet – but he’s not far off’.

In the weeks before the 2020 election, the Proud Boys – a pro-Trump group whose boozed-up members show up at protests to brawl with Antifa – were ludicrously elevated into some paramilitary group, waiting in the wings to forcibly keep Trump in power.

Just contrast all that with the takes we’re seeing now. Ever since Joe Biden’s decisive election victory, with some lurid exceptions, the response from the liberal media has been more snarky and triumphalist than anything else.

Even as Trump’s legal team has continued to refuse to concede, concocting ever more absurd stories of the vote being hijacked by George Soros and the late Hugo Chavez, the tone has been one of well-earned derision.

‘Can this get any more pathetic?’, ran one New York Times headline in the wake of that press conference last week, at which Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, sweated out his hair dye as he made his insane claims.

So either Trump’s post-election coup is not nearly as sophisticated as elite journalists were expecting, or they never believed their own bullshit about Trump and fascism in the first place. Neither speaks well of them.

To take issue with the ‘Trump is Hitler’ meme is not to squabble over semantics or overheated partisan rhetoric. It has been immensely damaging to politics over the past four years, for a few reasons.

First, it has made criticising the Trump administration in a clear-eyed way virtually impossible. Rather than attack Trump for the wrongheaded things he was actually doing, pundits constructed fantasies of a new 1930s. Much time was lost arguing the toss over their fever dreams rather than discussing what was actually happening.

Trump’s years spent sowing doubt in the electoral process is a case in point.

His refusal to recognise any election result that doesn’t go his way – he also claims he won the popular vote in 2016 – is genuinely shameful and anti-democratic. But as the past few weeks have shown, these are more egotistical rants than serious threats to American democracy.

Second, it has downplayed the ills of the political elites who preceded Trump. Anyone who joined the anti-Trump ‘Resistance’ was hailed as a hero – even warmongering Republicans responsible for inflicting genuine fire, fury and bloodshed on innocent people around the world.

Similarly, the Trump administration’s detention of migrants at the southern border was time and again held up as uniquely fascistic. Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused Trump of running ‘concentration camps’.

But while Trump’s family-separation policy was brutal, the detention centres run during Barack Obama’s tenure were hardly pleasant. Indeed, the ‘it’s only bad when Trump does it’ routine reached its embarrassing nadir when leading Democrats unwittingly tweeted an image of caged migrant children dating from 2014.

But more than all that, more than an assault on common sense and rational debate, the Trump-Hitler stuff has been a vile assault on historical memory itself.

As Brendan O’Neill wrote on spiked last week, the tendency among some liberals to liken politicians they dislike to Nazis and policies they dislike to the Holocaust relativises the greatest crime in human history, diluting its unique depravity and historical specificity.

Such talk, in turn, adds weight to the arguments of assorted anti-Semites and Islamists today, who insist the Holocaust was overstated, just one bad historical event among many bad historical events, and that we all go on about it way too much.

Now the ‘Trump is Hitler’ talk has been exposed for what it always was – a mix of elite hysteria and desperation to de-legitimise the election of a president that the liberal establishment loathed.

But as faintly ludicrous as it has all been, it has come at a serious cost.


The Coming Totalitarianism

If you haven't heard of "The Great Reset," it's time to start paying attention.

Back in August, Apple became the first company on earth to reach a market value of $2 trillion, even as the world remained besieged by the coronavirus. Hot on its heels are Microsoft ($1.6 trillion), Amazon ($1.59 trillion), Google ($1.2 trillion), and Facebook ($789 billion). For perspective’s sake, it should be noted there are only 17 countries in the entire world whose GDPs are larger than these five mega-corporations. Mega-corporations that, along with their globalist-minded allies, have little use for the rules and regulations these “pesky” nation-states can impose on them. Hence, they and their equally corrupt media allies are bent on imposing a new world order called “The Great Reset.” It is nothing less than George Orwell’s 1984 — on steroids.

Columnist James Delingpole sums up this monstrous agenda. “Put simply, it is the blueprint for a complete transformation of the world economy,” he writes. “There will be no money, no private property, no democracy. Instead, every key decision — what you do for a living, how much stuff you consume, whether you can take a vacation — will be decided for you by a remote, unaccountable elite of ‘experts.’”

What experts? Those who will be attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at the end of January in Davos, Switzerland. Forum CEO Klaus Schwab, a German octogenarian, is the driving force behind this elitist power grab. “COVID-19 lockdowns may be gradually easing, but anxiety about the world’s social and economic prospects is only intensifying,” he insists. “There is good reason to worry: a sharp economic downturn has already begun, and we could be facing the worst depression since the 1930s. But, while this outcome is likely, it is not unavoidable.”

How do Schwab and his contemptible allies intend to avoid the consequences of the chaos they themselves created? “To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed.” He concludes, “In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”

What Schwab is proposing has nothing whatsoever to do with capitalism. What he is proposing, also using terms like “Fourth Industrial Revolution” to obscure his agenda, is a globalist oligarchy comprised of billionaire elitists answerable to no one but themselves.

Nothing has been more instrumental in realizing this agenda than COVID-19. Schwab, who also coauthored a book titled COVID-19: The Great Reset, insists that one way of looking at the pandemic is as a “silver lining” because “it has shown how quickly we can make radical changes to our lifestyles.” In other words, the singularly worst consequence of the globalist order — the one inflicted on the world and purposefully allowed to spread by Chinese communist thugs and their World Health Organization puppet — should be viewed as an opportunity rather than the crime against humanity it truly is.

According to Schwab, The Great Reset requires three main components — all of which require top-down control of every economic sector on the planet. “During the COVID-19 crisis, companies, universities, and others have joined forces to develop diagnostics, therapeutics, and possible vaccines; establish testing centers; create mechanisms for tracing infections; and deliver telemedicine,” he states. “Imagine what could be possible if similar concerted efforts were made in every sector.”

A chilling video posted on Facebook by the WEF tells you everything you need to know, offering eight predictions the globalists wish to impose on the world by 2030:

“The United States won’t be the world’s leading superpower. A handful of countries will dominate.”

“You won’t die waiting for an organ donor. We won’t transplant organs. We’ll print new ones instead.”

“You’ll eat much less meat. An occasional treat not a staple. For the good of the environment and our health.”

“A billion people will be displaced by climate change. We’ll have to do a better job at welcoming and integrating refugees.”

“Polluters will have to pay to emit carbon dioxide. There will be a global price on carbon. This will help make fossil fuels history.”

“You could be preparing to go to Mars. Scientists will have worked out how to keep you healthy in space. The start of a journey to find alien life?”

Laughingly, the video ends with this statement: “Western values will have been tested to the breaking point. Checks and balances that underpin our democracies must not be forgotten.”

Checks and balances that underpin democracies? One of the bedrocks of all democracies is private property. Another is fair and transparent elections. A third is the reasonable expectation of privacy.

Does anyone seriously believe any of these contemptible mandarins will own nothing, or ever again allow their agenda to be challenged at the ballot box? Is there any doubt that Big Tech already engages in unprecedented levels of surveillance — when it and its media allies aren’t actively censoring “misinformation” inimical to that agenda?

The New World Order is the Same Old Communism, replete with the yawing chasm between the “more equal” wannabe totalitarian party insiders and a wholly oppressed proletariat who will ostensibly be “happy” living lives dictated by the whims of their masters.

Catholic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò isn’t buying the rank propaganda. In a letter to President Donald Trump — one conveniently buried by the same media that thinks it has secured a place at the globalist insider table — he warned about the “transition” the entire world is currently experiencing. “The fundamental rights of citizens and believers are being denied in the name of a health emergency that is revealing itself more and more fully as instrumental to the establishment of an inhuman, faceless tyranny,” he wrote.

Not quite. Plenty of these tyrants have faces. Progressive politicians all over America are tripping over themselves to impose ever more unconstitutional diktats, yet again under the guise of “flattening the curve,” using the very same methods that failed the first time around. Toward that end, they saw Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to turn in one’s neighbors or one’s own family if they defied the very same edicts the politicians themselves ignored.

Is there anything more indicative of a totalitarian society?

“When the coronavirus hit, Americans did not realize how thoroughly their ruling class had already jelled into an oligarchy with the intention above all to crush them,” writes Angelo Codevilla. “Neither did they comprehend how assuredly it would not waste this opportunity to do so.”

In short, while ordinary Americans yearn for a “return to normal,” our would-be globalist overlords are determined to make sure that never happens. And while they have generated an avalanche of media-trumpeted hysteria and fear surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday in America, more than likely it will pale in comparison to the orchestrated deconstruction of Christmas — all over the world.

The Great Reset and its utterly despicable enablers demand nothing less.



Sidney Powell files lawsuits alleging massive election fraud in Michigan and Georgia (Disrn)

Rudy Giuliani claims Trump team has a "mountain" of evidence (Examiner)

Joe Biden is unlikely to offer Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren jobs (Just the News)

Biden's communications team raises questions over revolving door with leftist networks (Fox News)

Barack Obama takes shot at evangelical Hispanics who voted for Trump despite "racist" rhetoric (Fox News)

After years of calling Trump supporters Nazis and Klan members, Alyssa Milano wants to "extend an olive branch" (Not the Bee)

Facebook used "secret internal ranking" to suppress "right-wing" sources after the election (Daily Wire)

CNN silent after investigation finds nurse's claims dying patients do not believe in coronavirus is a "massive exaggeration" (Disrn)

YouTube snubbed Thanksgiving on its Twitter account, celebrated "Unthanksgiving" instead (Disrn)

Nursing home COVID deaths now eclipse 100,000 in the U.S. (Disrn)

New York City to reopen schools for 200,000 students December 7 (Politico)

5,000 Alabama students haven't shown up for any sort of class (AP)

Coronavirus delays national math and reading tests until 2022 (Fox News)

U.S. sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf as Iran vows retaliation for scientist's assassination (Daily Wire)

Thrice-deported illegal immigrant arrested for double homicide after jail ignores ICE detainer (Examiner)

Nike and Coca-Cola lobby against Xinjiang forced-labor bill (NY Times)

"Welcome to the worst in corporate greed and swamp culture. China is persecuting an entire region of its country, but who wants to have to charge more on an iPhone?" —Keith Koffler

Britain expects "very significant" week for Brexit talks as clock ticks down (Reuters)

LANDBACK campaign supporters vandalize statues in "national decolonial day of action" (Disrn)

U.S. women's soccer team dons BLM shirts and kneels for national anthem on foreign soil (Daily Wire)

Star-studded Time's Up charities spent big on salaries, little on helping victims (NY Post)

Denver mayor who told citizens to "avoid travel" gets caught flying for Thanksgiving (

Antiracism icon Robin DiAngelo paid more than black woman for the same job (Free Beacon)

MSNBC's Chris Hayes haunted by 2016 "fun fact" when he suggested electors abandon POTUS-elect (Fox News)

Fish farts almost caused a diplomatic crisis for Sweden (Not the Bee)

Policy: The Supreme Court got church restrictions right (National Review)

Policy: Jordan Peterson's new book couldn't be more timely (FEE)



1 December, 2020

Sidney Powell Releases the 'Kraken' in Georgia with Explosive New Lawsuit

Defense Attorneys Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and others have filed a lawsuit in Georgia demanding that the results of the 2020 election be set aside because of “massive election fraud” and foreign influence in the election. The lawsuit claims that 96,600 mail-in ballots “were fraudulently cast” and that “136,098 ballots were illegally counted as a result of improper manipulation of the Dominion software.”

Powell, a high-profile attorney who represents former Trump National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn, asks that the governor be enjoined from certifying the election. The 104-page lawsuit claims that Gov. Brian Kemp, Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger, and the chair and members of the Georgia State Elections Board failed to police the alleged fraud, including “multiple violations of Georgia laws, including O.C.G.A. §§ 21-2-30(d), 21-2-31, 21-2- 33.1 and §21-2-522, and multiple Constitutional violations, as shown by fact witnesses to specific incidents, multiple expert witnesses and the sheer mathematical impossibilities found in the Georgia 2020 General Election.”

The lawsuit, co-filed with attorney Lin Wood and an Atlanta attorney, asks a judge to set aside the results of the election in a permanent injunction; enjoin elections officials from certifying the election; demands that all voting machines be subjected to forensic assessment; and asks that election officials produce 36 hours of surveillance video of “all rooms used in the voting process at State Farm Arena in Fulton County, GA from 12:00am to 3:00am until 6:00pm on November.”

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, also alleges that Georgia’s sloppy mail-in balloting was responsible for thousands of shady, illegal votes.

Plaintiff’s expert also finds that voters received tens of thousands of ballots that they never requested. (See Exh. 1, Dr. Briggs’ Report). Specifically, Dr. Briggs found that in the state of Georgia, based on a statistically significant sample, the expected amount of persons that received an absentee ballot that they did not request ranges from 16,938 to 22,771. This range exceeds the margin of loss of President Trump by 12,670 votes by at least 4,268 unlawful requests and by as many as 10,101 unlawful requests.

She alleges that voters were denied their due process because the fraud diluted their votes and treated the mail-in ballots differently in different counties, which is similar to what Trump attorneys have alleged in the Pennsylvania election case.

The lawsuit alleges that “rogue actors” were able to manipulate the voting software.

Russell Ramsland confirms that data breaches in the Dominion software permitted rogue actors to penetrate and manipulate the software during the recent general election. He further concludes that at least 96,600 mail-in ballots were illegally counted as they were not cast by legal voters.

The lawsuit used some of the open-source statistics that Matt Braynard has put out on his Twitter account. Braynard was a 2016 data chief for the Trump campaign. He put out a video outlining his findings on YouTube.


If Voters Had Known About 8 Stories Media Ignored, Trump Would Have Won, Says Media Watchdog

Noncitizens likely voted at a high enough rate to alter the 2020 Electoral College tally, potentially flipping the states of Arizona and Georgia in the presidential election, according to an analysis by Just Facts, a research group.

That’s significant, and while it wouldn’t be enough to hand the election to President Donald Trump, it potentially could have made a difference. Only U.S. citizens are legally allowed to vote in federal elections.

The revised estimate, as of Monday, shows that Trump could have won 259 electoral votes if noncitizen votes were not counted. But that would likely still leave former Vice President Joe Biden with 279 electoral votes, nine votes more than the 270 needed to win.

The current electoral vote tally stands at 306 for Biden, 232 for Trump. Arizona has 11 Electoral College votes, while Georgia gets 16.

Just Facts first released an analysis on Nov. 8, five days after the election, that calculated a lower and upper estimate of the extent of noncitizen voting. That analysis determined that Trump could have won as few as 259 electoral votes—or as many as 285. The latter would have secured a second term.

However, as more mail-in votes were counted, Biden’s lead widened in states such Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Nevada.

Several major media outlets have projected Biden as the president-elect, but the Trump campaign is still litigating in several battleground states. The Trump team has not made noncitizen voting a significant part of its allegations of voter fraud.

The revised study estimated the number of noncitizen votes cast in the states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania—all of which were closely contested on election night.

It estimated that 234,570 noncitizen votes benefited Biden across seven battleground states. That estimate did not change as more votes were counted.

“Based on the latest vote counts and the upper and lower bounds of the study results, Georgia and Arizona would flip to Trump, leaving him with 259 Electoral College votes,” James Agresti, president of Just Facts, told The Daily Signal. “Under the upper bound, Nevada gets really close, with Trump down by 3,858 votes.”

With the exception of Arizona, each of the states in question appeared to be favoring Trump until the early-morning hours of Nov. 4, but began to shift to Biden over several days. North Carolina is the only state of the seven that appears likely to go to Trump.

The Electoral College will cast its vote in 50 states and the District of Columbia on Dec. 14.

The estimate is based on the percentages of noncitizens that voted in previous elections, predicated on a 2014 study by researchers at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, that evaluated rates of noncitizen voting in 2008 and 2010, Agresti said, applied only to the seven battleground states.

The Old Dominion study determined 6.4% of noncitizens voted in the 2008 presidential election and 3% in the 2010 congressional midterm elections, with 81% voting Democrat.

The rate was high enough to change the Electoral College vote count in 2008 (although not enough to swing the presidential election) and actually change the outcome of some congressional races, particularly the Senate race in Minnesota that year.

That race was decided in favor of Democrat Al Franken over Republican Norm Coleman by just 312 votes out of more than 2.86 million votes cast.

Agresti noted that illegal noncitizen voting is just “one type of fraud” that could have occurred in the 2020 election.

Asked about the proliferation of mail-in voting and ballot harvesting, he said, “That could certainly make it easier, with fewer checks and balances,” for a larger number of noncitizens to vote.

Last week, USA Today criticized the initial study claiming in a “fact check” column that rated the study as “missing context,” and arguing that it “relies on unverifiable estimates.”

The USA Today fact check largely relied on rebuttals from left-leaning sources such as the Fair Elections Center and the Brennan Center for Justice. USA Today also referenced a Wired magazine article to question the Old Dominion researchers.

Just Facts issued a rebuttal on Tuesday to what it called a “slanderous ‘fact check'” of its study:

The Just Facts study doesn’t claim to have the precise 2020 numbers, and is clear in its reliance on the Old Dominion study and other sources, such as a 2008 Harvard/YouGov survey, the Government Accountability Office, and the Social Security Administration, to apply data from past elections as the basis for the assumptions of the numbers this year.

Agresti noted that as many as 15% of noncitizens said they were registered to vote, based on survey data cited in the Old Dominion report.

The full extent of noncitizen voting is a problem, as demonstrated in past years in Pennsylvania, said Hans von Spakovsky, the manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative at The Heritage Foundation.

“We don’t know the full extent of the problem, but we know it is a problem,” von Spakovsky, a former member of the Federal Election Commission, told The Daily Signal. “We need to require proof of citizenship from people registering to vote.” ?


Our Overlords Are Using The ‘Big Lie Technique’ To Convince Us Masks Work

The “big lie” propaganda technique, a phrase coined by Adolf Hitler, purports to tell a lie so "colossal" that people simply wouldn’t believe the teller "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously." You’ve doubtless seen the most famous adaptation of this, which may or may not have been said by former Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. It goes as follows:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Now today, we thankfully don’t have an all-powerful “State,” not yet anyway, but we do have what I’ll call the ‘System,’ a toxic mishmash of do-gooder Big Tech overlords, power-hungry ‘public servants,’ liberty-hating ‘health officials,’ and frightened corporations bullied into both submitting and forcing others to submit to this nonsense. And that ‘System,’ as it were, is most certainly busy repressing dissent in order to bolster its very own, albeit new, “Big Lie,” that “face masks work to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Not a soul could have possibly predicted this eight months ago when established science laughed at the idea that a piece of cloth over people’s faces would somehow abate the spread of a highly contagious respiratory virus. Everyone is aware of the extreme course-reversal our overlords took on forced public masking almost overnight. We’re supposed to believe they simply told us a "noble lie" to preserve masks for healthcare workers, but the problem for them is that back then they gave us solid reasons backed up by decades of science to make their case.

“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask when you’re in the middle of an outbreak,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said back in March. “Wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often, there are unintended consequences; people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”

Obviously, the good doctor eventually took an about-face on that advice, attributing it, apparently, to a national shortage of fabric capable of being turned into face coverings, or something. But what part of his initial rationale was incorrect? Did scientists not know about “droplets” in March? Apparently they did, considering Fauci addressed the issue in his statement. Did the “unintended consequences” he listed suddenly disappear as soon as mask use to “stop the spread” became a literal religious cult? Did people stop fiddling with their masks and touching their faces? Of course not. Given the amount of almost nonstop “fiddling” I see just in my own observations, it’s hard to imagine any real gain in the reduction of droplet transmission not being more than made up for by bacterial and viral surface spread.

With so many high-mask-compliance places now going into lockdown, does it not strike anyone as odd that the bold statements made by our overlords months ago - that 80+% mask compliance would end the pandemic, or at least severely curb it - are now being memory-holed? Remember when CDC Director Robert Redford told us in July (and God knows how many other times), that mask-wearing would end this pandemic. I believe he may have even said that masks were a “vaccine,” although the memory-holing is fogging my own memory a bit.

Remember when Variety wrote in May about a “compelling new study” they claimed provided “fresh evidence for a simple solution to help us emerge from this nightmarish lockdown.” Their ‘solution’? “If 80% of Americans wore masks, COVID-19 infections would plummet.” Well, mask compliance is well, well above 80%. In fact, in the states that fine businesses for people not wearing masks in their facilities, boots on the ground tell me it’s pretty close to 100%. Yet, other than a few New England states where the virus just hasn’t hit yet, high mask compliance states aren’t really doing any better than low mask compliance ones, and are in many cases doing quite worse.

From Italy to France to Czechia to the United Kingdom to lockdown and mask-loving U.S. states like Illinois, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Michigan, and California, the virus is spreading like wildfire regardless of humans turning themselves and their societies into pretzels trying to avoid it. The data is right before the eyes of anyone who bothers to look, as the Mises Institute’s Tom Woods points out in this powerful video that YouTube felt obligated to suppress (you know, to protect the Big Lie). Mask mandates, no matter how strictly imposed and adhered to, are almost always eventually followed by tremendous spikes in the virus. And yet, the response from the powers-that-be is always, always, ALWAYS to MASK HARRDERRR!!! California, which has mandated masks statewide for months, decided to deal with a November spike in cases by extending their outdoor mask mandate, despite the fact that zero science says the virus spreads outdoors to any significant extent. Oh, and they’re also locking down, albeit without admitting that the masking has completely failed to curb the virus. Otherwise, why would they need to lock down? Yep, it’s just another one of those difficult-to-answer questions that only a Big Lie could even begin to answer.

Of course, when infection rates do come down, and they will, they will come down regardless of how high or low mask “compliance” is in an area, because that’s also what viruses do when a certain seroprevalence is reached (yes, there are problems with PCR tests, but the herd immunity threshold admittedly seems higher than what many of us initially thought). Except, the masks will then be given the “credit” in the high compliance areas, while the low compliance areas that also decrease will be ignored.

Whether they mean well or they just want to turn us all into faceless sheeple capable of obeying even the most absurd and destructive commands, the truth is, it takes a lie the size of Mount Everest to continually prop nonsense like this up and to keep people believing it despite what we all see in front of our eyes. It takes a "Big Lie."



For the notes appearing at the side of the original blog see HERE

Pictures put up on a blog sometimes do not last long. They stay up only as long as the original host keeps them up. Some newsapers keep their published pictures online for as little as a week. I therefore keep archives of all the pictures that I use. The recent archives are online and are in two parts:

Archive of side pictures HERE

Archive of this year's pictures in the body of the blog. Note that the filename of the picture is clickable and reflects the date on which the picture was posted. See here

My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Personal); My Home page supplement; My Alternative Wikipedia; My Blogroll; Menu of my longer writings; My annual picture page is here; My Recipes;

Email me (John Ray) here.