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  "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."
        - Nelson Mandela

9 March 2024

Generation Z gets wake-up call on how the ‘real world’ works:  'Success isn't handed to you'

Working a full-time job, more specifically the traditional job hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., may be too much for Gen Z to bear.

Gen Z is discovering the real world.  They are shocked at the idea that you actually have to work a full-time job in order to make money.

"I'm so upset.  Nothing to do with my job at all, but just like the 9-to-5 schedule in general is crazy."

Words of wisdom for Gen Z-ers who complain about their full-time jobs:  this is your first, maybe your second job, right?  The best way is to buckle down, work hard, and achieve what you want.

Success isn't handed to you, and that's exactly what Gen Z-ers assume.

Everything from government policy to the way that IT administrators are teaching kids is doing the exact opposite.  Take, for example, student loan debt forgiveness:  we are teaching kids that they do not have to work hard to pay off their student loans and that other people will do it for them.  This is coming from the highest levels of government.

Developing a work ethic is instrumental to being successful.

A recent survey from ResumeBuilder revealed that nearly 75% of managers of business leaders say that Gen Z – anyone born from 1997 through the 2000s – are more difficult to work with than other generations.

Even more concerning, a whopping 49% of business leaders and managers surveyed said it is difficult to work with Gen Z all or most of the time due to lack of communication skills, effort, motivation and even technological skills.

12 January 2024

 North Carolina latest to scoop retirement funds from Ben & Jerry’s over ice cream brand’s Israel boycott

North Carolina closed out last year by becoming the most recent state to divest its public employee pension from the corporate parent of Ben & Jerry’s over the ice cream company’s boycott of Israel.  North Carolina is a swing state in politics.  Other states to pull retirement funds over Ben & Jerry’s boycott of Israel span the traditional political boundaries and include Arizona, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

The North Carolina Retirement Systems — which provides retirement benefits for more than 1 million members, including teachers, firefighters, police officers and government employees — is withdrawing $40 million from Ben & Jerry’s and affiliates.  This includes its parent company, Unilever PLC, a U.K.-based company.

"Unilever rejects completely and repudiates unequivocally any form of discrimination or intolerance.  Antisemitism has no place in any society," the company said in its June 2022 press release.  "We have never expressed any support for the Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement and have no intention of changing that position," it continued.

Ben & Jerry’s, a company long known for its left-leaning advocacy, maintained an independent board of directors to continue its activism even after it sold to Unilever.  "It’s not likely Unilever anticipated allowing the popular ice cream brand to have its own board would lead to so many problems.  I think when they signed the contract, Ben & Jerry’s anticipated something like this.  Unilever didn’t anticipate anything like this.  Generally, when a parent tells a kid not to do something, they expect them to listen."

In the face of the BDS movement — short for boycott, divest and sanction — the North Carolina legislature passed a law in 2017 that prohibits "the North Carolina Retirement Systems or the Department of State Treasurer from investing in any company engaged in a boycott of Israel."

"Antisemitism has no place in North Carolina."

22 December 2023

 Calls grow for Biden to denounce Colorado's removal of Trump from 2024 ballot:  'Smartest move'

The Colorado Supreme Court disqualified Trump from appearing on the state's ballots in 2024, citing the 14tth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Capitol riot of Jan. 6, 2021.  Tuesday's 4-3 ruling is stayed until Jan. 4 because of likely appeals, and it is widely expected Trump will take the case to the Supreme Court.

A growing number of political commentators and experts are calling for the Biden administration to denounce the Colorado Supreme Court’s removal of former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot, arguing it could be a strong political move for him.

"If Biden were smart, he’d denounce the CO Supreme Court ruling.  He’d call it wrong and show confidence he can win without throwing Trump off the ballot.  But he won’t do that because he is too afraid of the progressive left and too weak to stand up to them."

"Democrats in Colorado are removing President Trump from the ballot because the ‘Democrat’ Party opposes democracy, which is a system where voters get to select their elected leaders. If Biden and the ‘media’ actually believed in democracy, they would denounce this immediately."

"The smartest move for Biden would be to direct the DOJ to oppose Colorado’s efforts to kick Trump off the ballot."

Biden "should do everything he can to distance himself from these efforts.  The more partisan it looks, the more it will help Trump."

"James Freeman Clarke once said ‘a politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation.’  It is time for Biden to show that he can think of the next generation and oppose this insidious ruling."

"Americans need a 9-0 ruling from our U.S. Supreme Court justices to send a definitive signal that the Colorado court’s action is unconstitutional."

Gen Z and millennial women are waking up to the lies feminists fed them. Now they are upset and alone.

Essayist laments the fact that she’s single at 38 and feels "unbelievably betrayed by feminism."

She feels that way because it is that way.  For decades our culture has failed women by spreading falsehood after falsehood about men, marriage, motherhood and career.  And it has wreaked havoc on women’s lives.

"You’ve missed your opportunity.  You are going to be alone.  You’re not going to have a family."

"I was constantly fed this idea that women can do everything.  We don’t really need men … I do feel in many ways betrayed by that line of thinking."

She received this message from "so many of the women" in her life.  "I want to go back to some of those teachers and coaches and say, ‘What the hell did you mean by that?  Because we can’t do it all.  We can’t.  That’s a lie!’"

She has been slammed with hateful comments, particularly from men, who insist she’s been selfish.  She’s a product of her choices, they say, and, well, too bad.

If the goal isn’t marriage and family, what is the goal?  To be satisfied with being single forever because at least you have a paycheck and no one to whom you must answer?  "I don’t want to wake up at 60 and say, ‘Oh, well, I had a lot of fun!’"

That’s the thing about movements and trends:  They seep into the culture to such a degree that they cease to need a name at all.  You don’t even recognize it’s there, and yet it’s governing your every move.

11 December 2023

 Major blue states hemorrhaging tax base as red states reap rewards

Illinois, New York and California have been hemorrhaging high-earning residents who have packed their bags for states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina in recent years, according to newly released IRS data.

And South Carolina too!  30,000 people move into Greenville County each year.

Major blue states have been losing a large amount of adjusted gross income (AGI) as it moved across state lines.

Illinois lost a net 105,000 people in 2021, which cost the state approximately $10.9 billion in AGI, which was a marked increase from $8.5 billion in 2020 and $6 billion in 2019.

New York similarly lost $24.5 billion in 2021, which spiked from $19.5 billion in 2020 and $9 billion in 2019.

California bled $29.1 billion in AGI in 2021, which was nearly triple what the state lost two years earlier.

The AGI in Florida, which has no state income tax, swelled to $39.2 billion in 2021, an increase from $23.7 billion in 2020 and $17.7 billion in 2019.  Some $9.8 billion of Florida's increase came from New York, while $3.9 billion came from Illinois, $3.7 billion from New Jersey and $3.5 billion from California

Texas also benefited from the blue-state exodus, drawing $10.9 billion in 2021 compared to $6.3 billion in 2020 and $4 billion in 2019.  Approximately half of Texas' increase was reportedly due to residents fleeing California.

California's hemorrhaging population also contributed $4.4 billion to Nevada, $2.7 billion to Arizona and $2 billion to Washington state.

Illinois lost much of its income to its neighbors, but Florida, Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin were the biggest beneficiaries.

The top 15 cities by rate of population growth between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, were concentrated in red states such as Texas, Florida, Arizona, Tennessee, and Idaho.

17 November 2023

Experts raise alarm after Biden strikes agreement with China to shut down fossil fuels

Climate pact will nudge America 'closer to Beijing-style central planning, production quotas, and groupthink.'

U.S. energy experts are warning of the economic and national security implications of President Biden's pact with China this week to move towards shutting down fossil fuel production in favor of green energy.

The State Department announced this week it had struck a deal with its Chinese counterparts pledging to "accelerate the substitution for coal, oil and gas generation" with green energy sources like wind and solar power.  The nations, which account for nearly half of global greenhouse gas emissions, also agreed to "deepen policy exchanges" on reducing carbon emissions in various sectors, like power, industry, buildings and transportation, across their economies.

Experts also noted that China has rarely followed through on international accords and stands to financially benefit from such an agreement since it controls much of the world's green energy supply chain.

"So, you're basically writing an agreement that guarantees China a customer and guarantees their manufacturing sector decades of purchasing.  Of course China would love this agreement.  And their obligations — they'll just ignore that.  They've ignored every other obligation.  It is basically guaranteeing China decades of wealth, guaranteeing America is going to buy their products."

"The cooperative initiatives outlined by State Department will create make-work for bureaucrats, subsidies for rent-seekers, photo ops for local politicians, and new opportunities for Chinese agents of influence and industrial spies."

China produces about 75% of all lithium-ion batteries.  More than 50% of lithium, cobalt and graphite processing and refining capacity is located in China.  China has a greater than 80% share in all the manufacturing stages of solar panel manufacturing.  China further produces a staggering 95% of all global polysilicon, ingot and wafer supplies necessary for solar products.

graphic not found While China has established a stranglehold of green energy supply chains, it has also led a massive expansion of coal power to sustain its massive economy.  In 2022, the nation permitted a whopping 106 gigawatts of new coal power capacity, roughly quadrupling the amount permitted in 2021.

China already accounts for about 27% of total global greenhouse gas emissions.  The nation's emissions output is equivalent to triple the total of the U.S., which is the world's second-largest emitter.

Burning coal produces more carbon emissions compared to burning any other fossil fuel.  Coal power can have as much as twice the carbon footprint as natural gas.

"The Biden Administration reaffirmed its commitment to China to push climate policies that will effectively destroy the U.S. energy industry in favor of green energy initiatives that rely on China’s production of solar panels and batteries."

"The Sunnylands agreement is nothing more than political sop from Communist China to try to help Biden and Kerry politically, and to keep the America-hurting climate hoax going.  The agreement does not bind China to cut emissions or to do anything else of importance."

The agreement is "laughable" because it states China remains committed to the 2015 Paris Accords.  "Not a single country complies with the Paris Agreement, not even France.  The Paris Agreement is based on the false premise that CO2, a trace gas that makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere, is causing catastrophic warming.  It's not, and China knows it.  That's why the global consumption of coal in 2022 increased by 9%, and China built two coal plants per week to generate affordable, reliable electricity.  Xi knows that the grid in America is getting crushed under the weight of a so-called energy transition.  Over 80% of our reliable thermal generation from natural gas and coal will age-out in the next two decades.  Instead of aging out, we need to build new generation more than ever.  Yet, the current administration is making new, reliable electric generation construction nearly impossible.  Biden's bailout of China has turned our foreign policy to 'China first, America last.'"

"But keeping the climate hoax alive is very important to China for three reasons:  1) climate spending and climate regulations hurt the U.S. economy and help the Chinese economy; 2) mandates for green technology deepen U.S. dependence on China for that technology; and 3) both of the aforementioned compromise US national security and further China’s goal of becoming the lone global superpower by 2049."

graphic not found Fossil fuel power generation produces 60% of U.S. electricity, according to federal data. By comparison, wind accounts for 10% of electricity produced and solar generates just 3% of total electricity.

"Consumers are fed up with EV mandates, gas appliance bans, and other climate initiatives the Biden Administration continues to peddle.  Clearly climate alarmism remains a higher priority to President Biden than ensuring American consumers have access to affordable energy and consumer goods.  Consumers’ Research will continue to call out these ideologically-driven policies that hurt American consumers while helping the Chinese Communist Party."

The effect on climate change, if any, will be negative, as the ‘cooperation’ will nudge the United States closer to Beijing-style central planning, production quotas, and groupthink."

10 November 2023

graphic not found One Million Views and Counting for YouTube Video Defending Israel

Audiences worldwide hear an Objectivist perspective on the Hamas-Israel war.

The video by the Ayn Rand Institute that clarifies Israel’s moral status in the Middle East has skyrocketed past one million views in its first week on YouTube.  Published on October 26, “Did Israel Steal Palestinian Land?” amassed 286,000 views within 24 hours, and eclipsed the one million mark on November 1.

The 35-minute video challenges the misleading narrative of shrinking Palestinian lands and the claim that Israel stole them, and explores the history of how the Israeli territories were lawfully acquired, the Palestinians’ repeated failures to form an enduring, peaceful state, and the broader philosophic question of what moral premises are necessary to validate any claim to statehood.

See the video here.

8 November 2023

 Hamas Leaders are Billionaires

Hamas bosses Khaled Mashaal and Ismail Haniyeh are worth an estimated $4 billion each, and political bureau leader Mousa Abu Marzouk is worth $3 billion.

Qatar and Turkey have provided safe havens for Hamas honchos.  "Both of these countries openly harbor and finance Hamas."

 "Much like many Russian elites, senior Hamas officials often live in luxury, while the average Gazan faces dire living conditions."

"The first and most meaningful step that the United States can take to cut off Hamas funding would be to stop giving money to Iran."

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on a private jet. (Israeli Embassy)

2 November 2023

 Liberal dark money network has donated $10M to anti-Israel causes

One of the largest left-wing dark money networks has funneled more than $10 million to anti-Israel causes over the past five years, according to records reviewed by The Post, as the embattled Jewish state faces calls for its destruction in demonstrations across the US during its war against Hamas terrorists.

Washington, DC-based Arabella Advisors contributes to an array of progressive nonprofits through its New Venture Fund, Hopewell Fund, Sixteen Thirty Fund, North Fund, and Windward Fund, which have given a combined $10,833,396 to anti-Israel groups since 2018.

Those nonprofits have gone on to support radical Palestinian activist groups that have been linked to terrorism and agitated against US support for Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas jihadists that killed more than 1,400 people — including at least 33 Americans.

The largest share went to NEO Philanthropy, which collected $5,161,465 from four of the five funds since 2018, and runs a project founded by antisemitic activist Linda Sarsour.

MPower Change, Sarsour’s project, circulated false information from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry about casualties from a missile that struck a hospital last week — despite US intelligence and the Israeli military confirming that terrorists fired the rocket.

The group also promoted a Democratic Socialists of America-led rally in New York City this month, where protesters displayed antisemitic signs including a Nazi swastika.

Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, which asked the IRS to investigate Arabella Advisors in August, told The Post that the dark money network’s donors “should be mortified that their money is being routed to organizations leading blatantly antisemitic, pro-terrorist pep rallies.”

“The network should immediately ask for their money back from these radical groups, and Arabella’s financial backers should reconsider the cost of supporting a network that is tacitly endorsing an alarming movement of hate aimed at Jewish communities across our country,” Sutherland said.

Arabella Advisors reported more than $1 billion in revenue in 2020, according to its tax filings. Founded in 2005 by former Clinton administration official Eric Kessler, the for-profit firm is not required to disclose its donors, though left-wing billionaires George Soros and Pierre Omidyar have volunteered multimillion-dollar contributions to the fund.

22 October 2023

Son of Hamas leader on decision to denounce terror group:  'They don't care' about Palestinians

The son of a founding Hamas leader broke his silence on his decision to denounce the terrorist group after he turned on his own family and converted to Christianity, suggesting Israel "explore using gas" to get Hamas out of the tunnels in Gaza.

"It sounds horrible, but I don’t see any other option.  The tunnels are interconnected, and gas could be one of the solutions.  But this has to be in the right time.  We cannot just rush into Gaza.  There’s no modern army that is prepared for this type of war.  And most importantly, we need to get the civilians out of the picture.  As long as there are civilians there, then the operation might be incomplete,"

"I was born at the heart of Hamas leadership… and I know them very well.  They don't care for the Palestinian people.  They do not regard the human life."

"I saw their brutality firsthand back in 1996 when I spent about a year and a half in Megiddo Prison.  They killed so many Palestinian people at that point, and this is when I decided that I cannot be together with this movement.  Today, 25 years later, they are the rulers of Gaza, and we see what they are capable of doing."

"Hamas is not a national movement.  Hamas is a religious movement with a goal to establish an Islamic state.  They don't care for nationalism.  Actually, they are against nationalism.  But that's my understanding that they are using the Palestinian cause only to achieve their goals, so the long-term goal… [is] transforming the Middle East and the world into an Islamic state."

Yousef said the real culprit behind the scenes is Iran - a known sponsor of the terror group.  The country's foreign minister posted an ominous tweet on Wednesday that said time is "running out" for Israel.  "Iran is the real master in this picture.  Hamas does not serve the Palestinian people, Hamas serves Iran.  Those are the masters of Hamas.  So their lie about nationalism, that they are a national movement…  They are using Palestinian people as a human shield."

"We need to free Gaza from Hamas.  Israel … is doing the Palestinian people the greatest favor by bringing Hamas down."

At least 4,800 people have been killed on both sides since the war began earlier this month, including at least 30 Americans.

Hamas reportedly has upwards of 200 hostages held in Gaza, which is currently facing dire food, water and medicine shortages.

15 October 2023

Nearly 1,500 Muslim imams endorse 'fatwa' against Hamas following Israel attack

 The Global Imam Council, which represents 1,470 Muslim Imams around the world condemned Hamas' terrorist attack on Israel and endorsed a Fatwa against the terror organization.

The GIC, based in Najaf, Iraq, condemned Hamas' October 7 attack last week, declaring that it stands "with the Jewish people in their struggle against ISIS-like Islamist terrorism carried out by Hamas."

"The Global Imams Council (GIC), our members, and the 800+ communities led by our Imams worldwide, abide by the Fatwa issued against Hamas by The Islamic Fatwa Council on 9 March, 2023, charging Hamas with corruption and crimes against humanity;  forbidding Muslims from supporting, donating to, joining or praying for the terrorist organization.  The GIC is proud to have proposed the Fatwa against Hamas to The Islamic Fatwa Council, and contributed to its Resolution Document that outlines the Islamic legal charges against Hamas," the group wrote in a statement.

The GIC went on to condemn the "extremist and violent rhetoric" used by pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas protesters in the U.S. and Europe.

Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters took to the streets in the U.K. and Australia this weekend, with many shouting slogans in favor of killing Jewish people.

Senior Muslim Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Hamas

The Islamic Fatwa Council — a non-governmental clerical body headquartered in Najaf, Iraq — issued a Fatwa, or religious edict, last week condemning Hamas’ repression of Palestinians in Gaza and calling on the terrorist group to make peace with Israel.  The council stated that Hamas was responsible for racketeering, extortion, the use of child soldiers, and falsely accusing Palestinians of treason.  The fatwa dictates that Muslims should not “pray for, support, finance or fight on behalf of Hamas.”  An animated series of videos released in January detailing harsh living conditions in Gaza under Hamas rule — produced by the U.S.-based Center for Peace Communications and titled “Whispered in Gaza” — spurred the religious ruling.

The Islamic Fatwa Council is a judicial body that specializes in Islamic law, represents both Sunnis and Shiites, and is chaired by Grand Ayatollah Shaikh Fadhil al-Budairi.  Among several key mission objectives, the council says it strives to “reclaim the Islamic legal system from extremists, Islamists, and supporters of terrorism.”  The fatwa is the first against Hamas by an accredited Islamic legal body.

“Since its brutal takeover of the Gaza Strip, Hamas has trained child soldiers, jailed activists who dare expose its corrupt authority, and stolen aid money to fund its military activities.  The fatwa is welcome news, as it demonstrates increasing recognition among some Muslims in the region that Hamas’ extremism and repression are key drivers of Palestinian conflict with Israel.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies’s Long War Journal.

“Our faith, in its wisdom, enjoins us to be an enemy to the oppressor and an aid to the oppressed,” said Muhammed Ali al-Maqdisi, the council’s spokesperson.  “That is why the fatwa was issued against Hamas.”

Noting the public outcry after the release of “Whispered in Gaza,” al-Maqdisi added, “Nearly everyone who follows Palestinian affairs saw these videos in which numerous inhabitants of Gaza — men, women, and children — described what they had been subjected to by Hamas’ corruption.  They testified before the world to the many forms of extortion and intimidation they have suffered.”

Hamas has a long record of repression.  In a report on human rights practices in Gaza in 2021, the U.S. State Department notes that Hamas’ human rights abuses include, among others, “credible reports of unlawful or arbitrary killings by Hamas personnel; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by Hamas personnel; unjust detention; political prisoners or detainees; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; [and] arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression and media, including violence, threats of violence, unjustified arrests and prosecutions against journalists, censorship, and the existence of criminal libel and slander laws.”

In one prominent case, on November 1, 2021, Hamas arrested peace activist Rami Aman for holding a Zoom call with Israelis.  The terrorist group criticized Aman for “holding a normalization activity,” a charge Hamas official Iyad al-Bozom described as a crime.

13 October 2023

Hedge fund manager has blunt advice for Harvard students involved with pro-Hamas groups

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman took to social media on Thursday to offer some advice to Harvard students whose membership in student groups that signed on to a pro-Hamas letter following the terror group’s attack on Israel could cost them job opportunities.  Ackman, the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, received both his bachelor’s degree and MBA from Harvard and on Tuesday called for the university to release the names of members of student groups that signed the letter, which stated that the "Israeli regime is entirely responsible for all unfolding violence."  Ackman said that he and other CEOs want to know who is in those groups so the business leaders won’t "inadvertently hire any of their members."

"If an organization of which you are a member puts out a public statement you disagree with, you have a few choices.  You can: Stay silent and have the entire world conclude that you stand by the statement.  Convince the other members of the group to withdraw or otherwise modify the statement so that it can reflect the views of all members.  Or you can resign in protest.  Claiming that you had no involvement or knowledge of the statement, but remaining a member of the organization without it withdrawing the statement, is perhaps the worst of the alternatives, as it appears to simply be an attempt to avoid accountability while continuing to be a member of the organization."

Ackman then explained that students should put themselves in the position of a business leader considering whether to hire an applicant who had engaged in behavior that reflects poorly on their character.  "If you were managing a business, would you hire someone who blamed the despicable violent acts of a terrorist group on the victims? I don’t think so. Would you hire someone who was a member of a school club who issued a statement blaming lynchings by the KKK on their victims? I don’t think so," Ackman wrote.

Contrary to a Harvard Law student’s suggestion that it is harassment for a prospective employer to consider a job applicant’s connection to controversial student groups, it is actually their responsibility to consider aspects of their character, given that applicant, once hired, becomes a representative of the company.  "It is not harassment to seek to understand the character of the candidates that you are considering for employment.  In fact, as CEO, it is your obligation to do so on behalf of all of the other employees in your company, the clients and customers it serves, and all of your other stakeholders."

11 October 2023

From 1947 to 2023:  Retracing the complex, tragic Israeli-Palestinian conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict was reignited once again on October 7 after a surprise offensive launched by Hamas against Israel.  In retaliation, Israel ordered air strikes and a "complete siege" of the Gaza Strip, the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave.

1947:  A UN special committee proposes a partition plan giving 56.47 percent of Palestine for a Jewish state and 44.53 percent for an Arab state.   Palestinian representatives reject the plan, but their Jewish counterparts accept it.  1948-49:  On May 14, Israel’s prime minister reads the Proclamation of Independence.  The Jewish state takes control of 77 percent of the territory of Mandate Palestine, according to the UN.  For Palestinians, this date marks the “Nakba”, the catastrophe that heralds their subsequent displacement and dispossession.  The armies of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq attack Israel, launching the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  1956: The Second Arab-Israeli War, or the Suez Crisis, takes place after Egypt nationalises the Suez Canal.  1959: Yasser Arafat sets up the Palestinian organisation Fatah.  1964:  The PLO is created.  1967:  The Third Arab-Israeli War, or the Six-Day War.  Israel seizes the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.  1973:  On October 6, during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Egyptian and Syrian armies launch offensives against Israel.  1979:  An Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement is signed.  Egypt regains the Sinai Peninsula, and becomes the first Arab country to recognise the State of Israel.  1982: Israeli troops storm into neighbouring Lebanon to wipe out Palestinian guerrilla bases.  1987:  Uprisings in Palestinian refugee camps in Gaza spread to the West Bank marking the start of the First Palestinian Intifada ("uprising" in Arabic).  During this uprising Hamas, influenced by the ideology of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, was born.  From the outset, the Islamist movement favours armed struggle and rejects outright any legitimacy of an Israeli state.  1993:  Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sign the Oslo Accords.  The accords see the creation of the Palestinian Authority, which gets administrative control of the West Bank and Gaza.  2000:  Israeli prime minister Sharon provokes Palestinians by making a tour of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa/Temple Mount site, sparking the Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada.  It lasted until 2005.  2002:  The Israeli government begins the construction of a wall to separate Israel from the West Bank.  The UN Security Council speaks for the first time of a coexistence between the two states of Israel and Palestine.  2004: Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the paraplegic co-founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, is killed in an Israeli helicopter strike.  Eight months later, PLO chairman Arafat dies at a Paris hospital following a prolonged illness.  2005: Mahmoud Abbas is elected president of the Palestinian Authority.  After a 38-year occupation, Israel pulls out of Gaza.  2006:  Hamas sweeps the legislative elections in the Palestinian Territories, causing the US and EU to freeze direct aid to the Palestinian government.  2007: Hamas seizes control of Gaza.  2008:  Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launch a surprise offensive on Gaza, killing more than 200 people in one day.  Shortly after, the IDF follows up with a two-week-long ground invasion of Gaza.  A UN report concluded that both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes during the conflict.  2009: Israel and Hamas declare unilateral ceasefires.  2012:  Israeli forces kill top Hamas commander Ahmed al-Jaabari in an air strike and follow with more strikes over an eight-day campaign during which Hamas retaliates by firing rockets at Jerusalem for the first time.  2014: Three Israeli teenagers are abducted and murdered near the West Bank city of Hebron.  Israeli authorities blame Hamas for the incident and launch multiple air strikes on Gaza, prompting an exchange of rocket fire with Hamas over a seven-week period.  2018:  Tens of thousands of Palestinians rally near the Israeli border in the Gaza Strip to protest Israel’s blockade of the enclave.  Demonstrations continue for several months.  2021:  Palestinian worshippers clash with Israeli police in May at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound following weeks of mounting tension.  Hamas unleashes a barrage of rockets into Israel.  Israel responds with air strikes on Gaza, setting off an 11-day conflict resulting in the deaths of more than 200 people.  2022:  Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes on August 5, killing a senior militant of the Islamic Jihad group and triggering retaliatory rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave.  2023:  On January 26, Israeli forces kill nine Palestinian Islamic Jihad gunmen and civilians in a raid on a flashpoint town in the occupied West Bank.  Palestinian militants hit back by firing two rockets, triggering retaliation from Israel. 

On October 7, Hamas mounts an unprecedented, multipronged surprise attack on Israel with fighters infiltrating the heavily fortified Gaza border in several locations by air, land and sea.  Israeli forces respond with air strikes on Gaza and military reinforcements to the border.

28 September 2023

What Happened to America?

By Michael Hurd, on Facebook

Most people do not understand:  The United States is already in a second civil war.

The overwhelmingly favorite opposition candidate for president (a former president) is being charged with crimes.  The party in power is preparing to put him in jail.  Yes, they'll go through the motions of "rule of law."  They're rushing it, brazenly on a timetable to fit with the election calendar.  It's almost funny, it's so on the nose.  But the laws being upheld are -- well, made up.  Judges are literally giving political opinions -- "Donald Trump is a crook" -- without evidence.  Nor do they seem to think evidence is necessary.  They're treating political opinions as if they're convictions.  All they care about is optics -- that it looks like they're going through due process.  Everyone asks, "Will Donald Trump be convicted?"  They never ask, "Of what?"  In the meantime, the son of the creepy, demented puppet still in power -- Hunter Biden, the coke-addicted and whore-addicted transmission unit for the income of his crime family -- has been charged with breaking actual laws.  We all know he's not ever going to be in jail.

The party in power using intimidation tactics and threatening to put the major opponent in jail?  Yes, that's banana republic stuff.  It's also the stuff of a country in civil war.  Because millions of us are madder than hell.  All it takes is one match -- and you'll see a conflagration.  I don't know who or what the trigger will be.  But we're close to one.

The Constitution and Bill of Rights are enforced selectively.  Governors of states of the Party in power reserve the right to suspend all or parts of the Bill of Rights whenever they declare an "emergency."  An emergency means: when their power is threatened.  This is the stuff of dictatorships.  The minute anyone fights back -- and millions of Americans are, in some sense, prepared to fight back -- then it's a civil war.

If you think for one minute that the sociopaths in power will allow Donald Trump to win the general election next year and that Joe Biden (or Gavin Newsom, or Michelle Obama, or whomever) will step aside gracefully, as the loser -- you haven't been paying ANY attention.  This will not happen.  The Party in power is there to stay.  The Republicans are just a nominal opposition power.  RINOs (the majority of Republicans in power, I now believe) are in pretty open alliance with the Commiefascists who call themselves Democrats.  There are a few pretty good eggs in the Republican party, I suppose, but simply by being part of the Establishment regime, they remain part of the problem.  They remain enablers of evil and corruption, whether they mean to or not.

This regime in power is not reformable; it's an occupying force.  I don't know how we're going to get rid of this occupying force.  It seems like mass passive resistance might be a good place to start.  This would destabilize their power, and distract them, which would admittedly be dangerous -- but arguably not as dangerous as a growing tyranny.

As a psychotherapist for 35 years, I have watched human nature in action.  I understand denial is a comfort.  To some degree, it's perhaps even essential to help fortify one's mind and body for a coming and inevitable conflict.  You see that with marriages or families falling apart.  You see it with things like substance abuse.  "There's an elephant in the living room."  People ignore the problem, and almost pretend it isn't there, because it's too difficult and painful to face.  Inevitably, it all blows up.  It ALWAYS blows up, because it has to.  Sometimes there's even a better result, after all the pain. But the pain is unavoidable.  It's coming, and in varying degrees people sense it.  Their primary struggle -- psychologically speaking -- is their struggle NOT to sense it.

But it's coming.  Donald Trump has been the catalyst.  Whatever his fate, I believe the climax to the story of America's fall will revolve and center around him.  But he was never the full story.  The full story is the fall of our republic -- the end of the rights of man.  In principle, those rights will always exist.  America's story (1776-2020) was an early chapter in the struggle to uphold man's rights.  We are the generation that lost them.  But any generation -- including, even, our own -- could remain the generation to win them back.  It starts with facing reality; the facts.  Most of us are not yet doing that.

IF what you say is true, then it is time to call for the arrest of the President and any accomplices for the crime of being in rebellion against the U.S. Constitution.  Words are cheap, but are you ready to take action?  Make the National News!  Call for Air Force One to be diverted when it flies over a state in agreement with your statements - South Carolina perhaps, or South Dakota maybe, or Texas ... Call for sending up escort fighter planes to force it to land; then arrest him!  I stress the word "IF"; if you are not willing to act on your claims, then your words are just noisy wind.

4 September 2023

Texas sends 12th migrant bus to LA; city may seek legal action despite approving sanctuary status

Texas sent a 12th bus filled with migrants to Los Angeles, which arrived Monday morning, nearly a week after city leaders voted to pursue legal action against the Lone Star State.  The bus arrived at about 7:15 a.m. on Monday at Union Station.  The bus was carrying migrants, including 23 men, 20 women and 21 children, all from Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Russia, and Venezuela.

Abbott’s program has delivered a total of 435 migrants to L.A. since buses started arriving on June 14.  In total, the program has sent more than 30,000 migrants to Democrat-led cities across the U.S., including New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The bus arrived nearly a week after the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to pursue a lawsuit and criminal probe against Texas over its migrant bussing program.

L.A. City Council members approved a motion on June 9 to formally establish the city as a sanctuary city.  "The LA City Council members are complete hypocrites," Abbott spokesperson Andrew Mahaleris said in the statement.  "In June, they unanimously voted to become a sanctuary city, welcoming migrants to the city.  Texas began busing migrants to sanctuary cities like Los Angeles last year to provide relief to our overrun and overwhelmed border communities."

"Instead of complaining about dealing with a fraction of the border crisis our small border towns deal with every day, the City Council should call on President Biden to take immediate action to secure the border – something the President continues failing to do."

3 September 2023

Texas law requiring some drunken drivers to pay child support goes into effect

Texas drunken drivers who kill a child’s parent or guardian in a crash are now liable to pay child support, according to legislation that went into effect Friday.  Texas House Bill 393, also known as Bentley's Law, was first filed Nov. 14 of last year.  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed the bill June 2.

"Any time a parent passes is tragic, but a death at the hands of a drunk driver is especially heinous," the Republican governor wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.  "I was proud to sign HB 393 into law this year to require offenders to pay child support for the children of their victims."

The amount of child support depends on multiple factors, including the child's educational needs, medical needs and any reasonable child care costs.  The standard of living that the child is used to is also considered.

"[T]he defendant shall begin payments not later than the first anniversary of the date of the defendant's release from the facility," the law states.  "The defendant may enter into a payment plan to address any arrearage that exists on the date of the defendant's release.  The defendant must pay all arrearages regardless of whether the restitution payments were scheduled to terminate while the defendant was confined or imprisoned in the correctional facility."

2 September 2023

graphic not found Russian 'missile factory explodes near Moscow in Ukraine strike'

A key Russian plant producing electronics for Vladimir Putin 's missiles has been struck in Ukraine's latest drone attack on the aggressor nation, Kyiv has claimed.  A kamikaze drone strike on Lyubertsy close to Moscow hit the Tomilinsky Electronics Plant research and production enterprise, claimed Kyiv.  The attack is another major blow to Putin as Ukraine ramps up its drone attacks on Russia.  The extent of casualties and damage to Russia's vital missile factory was not immediately clear.

29 August 2023

Ukraine Obliterates Putin’s $315 Million Radar Station With US-Made HIMARS Missile

Ukrainian forces are reported to have successfully obliterated a multi-million dollar avant-garde Russian radar system in the occupied Kherson region.  The radar system, known as the Predel-E, was destroyed by high-precision HIMARS missiles, manufactured and donated by the United States.

The drone footage shows plumes of black smoke billowing into the air after the HIMARS missiles hit their mark, reducing the mobile unit to a charred metal skeleton.  The radar system had only been in operation since June and was considered a "unique" addition to Russia's military arsenal.

The attack not only destroyed the Predel-E but also took out a Leer-2 electronic warfare system that was meant to protect the radar.  Additionally, a Strizh electronic warfare system and two Murom-P video surveillance systems were also reportedly wiped out.

The news also comes in the wake of Ukraine’s unveiling of a mysterious new "super-missile" that has reportedly ‘flawlessly’ attacked one of Vladimir Putin's prized $250 million Triumf air defense systems in annexed Crimea.

4 August 2023

graphic not found The sunset of the Trump tax cuts will cast darkness on the economy

If Congress does absolutely nothing – which is what Congress is best at doing – then pretty much every American is going to be paying higher taxes.  Rich or poor, your tax bill is going up – and economic growth will decrease – when the non-permanent provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 expire at the end of 2025.

Unless Congress does something, the next few years will see the economy continue to struggle as American small businesses – the engine of the American economy – act to preserve their capital in the face of a hostile economic climate.  This means no investment, no growth and no jobs.

The folks on the lower end of the income spectrum are going to be forking over an extra 3% of their annual earnings to Uncle Sam, while higher earners will get a smaller hike that will cost them more in absolute terms.

The damage done by the expiration of key provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will be amplified, as the American economy is currently in shambles and, unfortunately, policies coming out of D.C., inflation and limitless deficit spending are only making things worse.

The bottom line?  If you think the economy is bad now, it’s going to get a lot worse if Congress lets the non-permanent provisions of the TCJA expire.

1 August 2023

Hunter Biden told Archer that Chinese chairman loved him for his 'last name,' posse of 'godlike Aryan men'

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Joe Biden had coffee with Hunter Biden's Chinese business partner, Archer told Congress.

Hunter Biden told business partner Devon Archer that the Chinese tycoon who helped them secure a multi-million-dollar venture in the communist state loved him for his "last name" and for always traveling with "handsome godlike Aryan men," according to emails.  Hunter bragged to Archer about his relationship with Che Feng, a Chinese business tycoon who they referred to as "The Super Chairman."

The emails show that Feng helped Hunter’s firm Rosemont Seneca Partners and James Bulger’s firm Thornton Group LLC secure their partnership with Jonathan Li's firm Bohai Capital in order to later launch Bohai Harvest RST (BHR), which is controlled by Bank of China Limited.

The email thread began on Sep 21, 2011, when Michael Lin, the co-founder of Bulger's Thornton Group, forwarded a term sheet of the joint venture fund with Li to Hunter and Bulger, who is the namesake nephew of Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger.

Joe Biden, as vice president, had coffee with Li and wrote a college letter of recommendation for Li's daughter.


26 July 2023

Hunter Biden pleads 'not guilty' as plea deal falls apart during Delaware court appearance

Hunter Biden's plea deal fell apart during his first court appearance Wednesday morning and he pleaded "not guilty" as federal prosecutors confirmed the president's son is still under federal investigation.  Hunter Biden was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts of willful failure to pay federal income tax, as part of plea deal to avoid jail time on a felony gun charge.  Hunter Biden pleading guilty to the two misdemeanor tax offenses would not immunize him from future charges.

But Judge Maryellen Noreika did not accept the plea agreement, questioning the constitutionality — specifically the diversion clause and the immunity Hunter Biden would receive.  Hunter Biden was also expected to enter into a pretrial diversion agreement regarding a separate felony charge of possession of a firearm by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance.

Bidens allegedly 'coerced' Burisma CEO to pay them millions to help get Ukraine prosecutor fired:  FBI form

Democrats have abandoned classic liberals

Traditional Democratic voting blocs no longer have a home in today’s Democratic Party.

The revealing questions and answers with two IRS whistleblowers last Wednesday put on full display the two-tiered standard of justice now advocated by progressive Democrats.

Attempts to censor and suppress evidence and testimony the following day highlighted the party’s full-throated commitment to censorship.  Seeking to shut down "heretical" Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., all eight Democrats voted against allowing Kennedy to offer public testimony.  They were overruled by the committee’s 10 Republicans.  Did you ever think you would see the majority of the Democratic Party outright attack a Kennedy?

The Party seems to be doing its level best to purge itself of classical liberals.  Joe Biden has proven he is the most progressive president ever, fulfilling the assurance by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.  The RealClearPolitics average shows more than 30 percent of Democratic primary voters support someone other than President Biden, refuting his agenda and actions.

Support for free speech, due process, military readiness, public safety, and fiscal sanity are now considered heresy on the left.

1. First Amendment  – Today’s Democratic Party has all but abandoned the First Amendment in favor of censorship.  According to Pew Research, support for online government censorship among Democrats has risen dramatically from 40% in 2018 to 70% in July 2023.

In his testimony, Kennedy exposed how truth gets censored.  "Nobody has ever pointed to a single piece of misinformation that I published," he said.  "I was removed for something they call 'malinformation.’  Malinformation is information that is true, but is inconvenient to the government."  The ACLU and other former First Amendment champions of the left are silent.

2. Due Process  – Likewise, Democratic voters who support the Fourth Amendment’s due process provisions aren’t finding a lot of support within their party.  It is the Republican Party that passed the "Fourth Amendment is Not for Sale Act" to prevent unreasonable searches and seizures to stop government from buying up private data without a warrant.

Democrats have become the party of "government can do no wrong" and they get to pick the winners and losers.

3. Military Readiness  – Though Kennedy’s uncle, President John F. Kennedy, was a proponent of a strong military, today’s Democrats see military spending as the only part of the federal budget they’re willing to cut.

4. Public Safety  – What about those Democratic voters who live in dangerous communities and support public safety?  Their party has abandoned them on that issue as well.  As Democrats fight to cut funding for police, elect prosecutors who won’t prosecute, and do away with cash bail, they leave vulnerable those who live in the bluest areas – their own voting blocs.

5. Fiscal Sanity  – Finally, the ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats who believed in balanced budgets went from being an endangered species to being extinct.  Spending restraint was never pristine in either party, but progressives don’t even pretend to take it seriously.

LONGTIME DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKER TURNED ACTIVIST DEFECTS TO REPUBLICAN PARTY – "It's official:  My wife and I have switched our party affiliation from Democrat to Republican!"  Dov Hikind, who spent 36 years in the New York State Assembly and later founded Americans Against Antisemitism, tweeted.  "[People] have long been asking, 'Dov, when are you gonna leave the Democratic Party?'  Well, the time has come [because] the Dems have turned their back on Jews & Israel, so it's officially done!"

BIDEN HAS BEEN CAUGHT RED-HANDED TRASHING THE CONSTITUTION – Biden is the defendant in a lawsuit accused of what Federal District Court Judge Terry Doughty calls "the most massive attack against free speech in United States history."  Yet the appeal Biden filed on Monday is devoid of even one winning argument in his own defense.  Count on it to go nowhere.  Biden's been caught red-handed violating the U.S. Constitution.  On July 4, Judge Doughty announced that the evidence produced so far indicates the president is operating a vast, illegal censorship scheme to muzzle his criticsBiden, numerous White House staff and employees of 11 federal agencies are being sued for operating a whole-of-government censorship operation to prevent you -- the public -- from seeing social media posts that challenge Biden policies on a wide range of issues from vaccines to climate change, inflation and more.  Not to mention any posts that mock Biden family members.

McCarthy Indicates Biden Impeachment is Coming graphic not found

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dropped a bombshell during an interview this week, declaring that the Republican-controlled chamber is edging closer to an impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden.  Shocking allegations have emerged, suggesting that Biden may have accepted millions in bribes from foreign countries.  The political landscape is heating up, and the stakes have never been higher!

McCarthy’s explosive remarks come in the wake of a bombshell revelation by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).  Last week, an FBI-generated FD-1023 form emerged, exposing a stunning claim made by a human confidential source.  According to the source, Burisma’s co-founder and CEO, Mykola Zlochevsky, alleges that he was “coerced” by none other than the then-Vice President Biden and his son.  Shockingly, millions of dollars in bribes were allegedly exchanged for their assistance in pressuring Ukraine to oust a prosecutor who had been investigating Burisma.  This revelation has sent shockwaves through the political landscape.

“The FBI kept this from the IRS,” McCarthy told Fox News host Sean Hannity.  “So, not only do they claim that they were bribed, we now find information that 16 out of 17 payments from Romania were provided to the Biden shell companies while he was vice president.”  McCarthy highlighted that the purported bribes to the Biden family have emanated from countries like Ukraine, Russia, Romania, and China, fueled by their prevailing issues with public corruption.

“This is rising to the level of impeachment inquiry, which provides Congress the strongest power to get the rest of the knowledge and information needed,” McCarthy said, later adding:  “I believe we will follow this all the way to the end. And this is going to rise to an impeachment inquiry the way the Constitution tells us to do this. And we have to get the answers to these questions.”

25 July 2023

graphic not found Five ways Ayn Rand predicted America's political crises, from parents spurned to the rise of cancel culture

The deterioration of traditional cultural norms and the social upheaval that’s followed — from the living room to classroom the boardroom — is no surprise to Ayn Rand scholars.  The celebrated Russian-born American author and philosopher predicted with haunting accuracy many of the nation’s current crises.  Among her observations: Government would encroach on parental rights, stifle academic and scientific research, and fuel a dangerous mentality of victimhood.

1.  Rand foresaw America’s tragic failures in education.  Centralized educational bureaucracy has reached deeply into local education in recent decades — to the quantifiable detriment of the system and the nation’s schoolchildren.

2.  Rand warned against government encroaching on parental rights and authority.  Government has stepped between parents and children in ways Americans until recently never dreamed possible.  School boards and bureaucrats openly silence parents trying to maintain a voice in public education.

"The government has no right to interfere in the upbringing of a child, which is entirely the responsibility and the right of the parent." — Ayn Rand

3.  Rand predicted the intellectual dangers of victimhood.  People of all races, creeds and colors flooded the world’s greatest immigrant nation to chase opportunity they did not have at home — and still do today.  The rise of victimhood culture has erased this opportunity for millions of Americans.

4. Rand warned that ever-larger government would stifle intellectual freedom.  Science, academia and the arts have become increasingly dependent on government largesse in recent decades.  Intellectual and creative freedom that made the United States the global leader in research and popular culture has been replaced by conformity.

5. Rand argued capitalism would perish in a society cowed by cancel culture.  American-style capitalism produced wealth and opportunity never before imagined in human history.  Rand argued that leftists of her time were morally corrupt for advocating utopian philosophies and pushing the United States toward statism.  But she was even more critical of conservatives and traditionalists who failed to fight back.

graphic not found
    Riots in Kenosha, Wi. in 2020      Ayn Rand predicted these American crises

22 July 2023

graphic not found IRS whistleblowers reveal who's really to blame for shocking Biden corruption

Biden corruption case relies on veteran IRS agents whose testimony holds up against Hill Democrats

In Wednesday’s marathon House hearing, Oversight Committee Democrats ran into a buzzsaw:  two IRS whistleblower agents — Gary Shapley, the supervisor on the investigation who went public a few weeks ago, and Joseph Ziegler, the lead investigator on the case, who was publicly identified for the first time at the hearing.

In gory detail, the agents outlined how President Biden’s Justice Department quashed the Biden corruption investigation from within while publicly pretending that it was being conducted with independence and integrity.

When committee Democrats tried to poke holes in the testimony, they ended up on the receiving end of what they hadn’t bargained for:  fusillades of fact — damning data about the millions raked in by the president’s son and family members from apparatchiks of corrupt and anti-American regimes.

The very best tax-enforcement agents were assigned to the Biden case. Shapley and Ziegler have combined decades of education and experience in tax law and financial bookkeeping practices.

Because they’ve been investigators for such a long time, they know how to testify — how not to get intimidated (especially when you know much more than the people asking the questions do) and how not to accept the premise of questions loaded with inaccuracies and misimpressions.

It showed. The ranking Democrat on the panel, and thus the first in the minority to ask questions was Jamie Raskin, of Maryland, a tireless progressive partisan and former law professor who never tires of posing as a legal titan.  But his questions were rife with disinformation and the witnesses called him on it.

While the whistleblowers have been completely consistent, Delaware U.S. Attorney David Weiss has repeatedly changed his story.  The agents stress that they were being ordered by prosecutors not to follow leads that could have garnered evidence against Joe Biden.  Despite all the obstacles, they managed to make a strong case against Hunter Biden, but they couldn’t get it charged because Weiss told them he was not the ultimate decisionmaker — he was being stymied by the Biden Justice Department.

Contrary to what the [U.S.] attorney general [Garland] would have the country to believe, it was not Weiss’s job to ask for special counsel authority.  It was Garland’s duty to appoint a special counsel the moment he realized there was a conflict of interest that prevented DOJ from investigating in the normal course.

There could be no more profound conflict than the Biden Justice Department’s being in the position of investigating President Biden’s son and other family members in an international corruption probe in which the president himself is deeply implicated.

Biden’s attorney general did not appoint a special counsel because he made protecting his boss, the president, his highest priority.  That is why the case the whistleblowers so compellingly described at the hearing was sabotaged.  The culprit here is not Weiss. It’s Garland.

These corrupt individuals have forgotten their oath to preserve, protect, and uphold the U.S. Constitution.  Their loyalty instead to a given individual – even if he is the President – is treasonous.

graphic not found Elites want you to own nothing, they even want to take this away

Just over a decade ago, you may have taken out a mortgage from a big financial company, but you wouldn’t have to compete with them, or the companies that they have funded, to buy a single-family home.  today, the elite are trying to get you to rent the American Dream -- from them.

Some of the biggest names in finance, like BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world and purveyor of ESG ideals, Blackstone, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and Capital One, among others, have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into backing companies that purchase single-family homes and rent them back to middle and working-class Americans.

In the fourth quarter of 2021 alone, corporations bought 80,000 homes, which was about 18 percent of all single-family homes sold during that quarter.

Owning a house has been the defining symbol of that American Dream. There’s a good reason for that—it’s an important asset for creating wealth.  If you wanted people to create more wealth, a key path to doing that would be making it easier for them to own a home.

The elite in the U.S. and globally don’t want that at all.  A recent report from real estate brokerage firm Redfin showed housing affordability hitting a historic low in the United States, with less than a quarter of the homes listed in 2022 considered affordable for the typical US homebuyer.

It’s not just the US, either.  In the UK, top British mortgage lender Halifax noted that property was unaffordable for the average buyer in about 80% of towns.  In the Netherlands, it has been recently reported that first-time buyers are priced out of more than 96% of the market.

In the United States, as well as around the globe, owning a home helps individuals and families build wealth.  Per the Federal Reserve Board’s 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances, the home (aka primary residence) was the largest asset owned by dollar amount across all households and across all ethnic groups.  More U.S. households have home equity than stocks and mutual funds or retirement accounts (including IRAs, Keogh plans, Thrift Savings Plans, and 401K(k) accounts).

21 July 2023

"Try that in a Small Town" song upsets the Woke crowd

Jason Aldean ‘Small Town’ backlash:  Country singer, wife Brittany fight back amid controversies

Aldean’s new single, "Try That in a Small Town," has sparked backlash for its perceived racist content and had its music video pulled from Country Music Television (CMT).

"Try That in a Small Town" was released in May, and the lyrics speak to small towns not putting up with riots and lawlessness many cities faced in the summer of 2020.

"In the past 24 hours I have been accused of releasing a pro-lynching song (a song that has been out since May) and was subject to the comparison that I (direct quote) was not too pleased with the nationwide BLM protests," Aldean shared with his nearly 8 million fans across social media.  "These references are not only meritless, but dangerous," he continued. "There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it - and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage - and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far."

He further clarified the meaning of the song, writing, "‘Try That In A Small Town,’ for me, refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief.  Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences."

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19 July 2023

Federal court hands Biden's Ministry of Truth a big defeat

Government bureaucracies and the Biden administration cannot be trusted.

In a landmark decision that should have all Americans cheering, a Louisiana federal court recently upheld their First Amendment right to speak without being censored by the government.  Judge Terry Doughty said the case, Missouri v. Biden, "arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history."

Judge Doughty issued a preliminary injunction forbidding numerous federal agencies, including the FBI, the Justice Department, and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as many individuals within the executive branch like White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, from communicating or meeting with: "[S]ocial-media companies for the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech posted on social-media platforms."  The injunction bans the feds from working with outside groups such as the Stanford Internet Observatory that induce social-media companies to suppress and delete "protected free speech."  And it even prevents the government from "notifying social-media companies to Be on The Lookout (‘BOLO’) for postings containing protected free speech."

Missouri and Louisiana, alongside five individual plaintiffs, including Jim Hoft who runs The Gateway Pundit and two infectious disease epidemiologists, challenged the alleged collusion of the Biden administration with social-media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.  They claimed the administration was suppressing dissenting voices and controlling the narrative on numerous issues including elections; the effectiveness of masks and the COVID vaccine as well as the COVID lab-leak theory; the Hunter Biden laptop story; parodies that targeted the defendants; and negative posts about the economy and President Joe Biden.

The court's ruling underscores the importance of safeguarding our First Amendment rights to free speech and freedom of expression in a time when advances in technology make it ever easier for the government to suppress speech it disagrees with on numerous issues, disagreements that the government tried to justify by labeling it as "misinformation."  That is exactly what the Chinese Communist government has become expert in.

Judge Doughty’s 155-page opinion has page after page after page detailing the extensive meetings, emails, and other communications between government officials badgering and threatening social-media executives to censor and close accounts.

Platforms like Facebook were actually providing their government handlers with reports on how they were carrying out the government’s directed censorship.

The FBI’s continued claim that it was only concerned with "disinformation" by foreign countries is directly contradicted by the evidence in the case. Judge Doughty concluded that the "FBI made no attempt to distinguish whether those reports of election disinformation were American or foreign."  It is obvious from the facts that the many government officials and agencies involved were only concerned with censoring any views, opinions, and claims – foreign or domestic – that disagreed with, or criticized their (and the government’s) political, social, and medical orthodoxy on multiple issues.

They were engaging in viewpoint discrimination, a direct and blatant violation of the First Amendment, and according to Doughty, "virtually all of the free speech suppressed was ‘conservative’ free speech."  While the First Amendment normally only applies to the government and not private parties like Twitter and Facebook, these social-media platforms essentially became agents of the government.  Through them, the government used its "coercive power or exercised such significant encouragement that the private parties’ choice [to censor] must be deemed to be that of the government."

The result was the suppression of "millions of protected free speech postings by American citizens."  Doughty concluded that "substantial evidence" of the government’s extensive, widespread, coercive behavior "depicts an almost dystopian scenario" in which the "United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’"

The Biden administration says this injunction should be overturned so it can "promote responsible actions to protect public health, safety, and security," i.e., continue to censor the public postings and opinions of American citizens.

GOP rep. estimates up to $100M flowed through Biden family accounts:  This looks 'sinister'

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., joined "Mornings with Maria," Tuesday to discuss the FBI's alleged coverup of Hunter Biden's shady business dealings with foreign nationals and President Biden's "soft" China policy.

People wonder, is Joe Biden basically compromised vis-à-vis the Chinese Communist Party which runs China of course?  These things begin to look real, we’re talking literally, it’s not $10 million, it’s well over 20, $30 million, some estimates as high as $100 million flowing through these accounts.  We have to get to the bottom of it, but we’re getting slow-walked ourselves from the administration obviously, and their partisans and their supporters.  This looks more and more sinister, every time we look at it, and just if we could release the SARS (Suspicious Activity Reporting System) which we cannot, they’re classified yet.  Those suspicious activity reports will be corroborated by these whistleblowers tomorrow.

There are emails about Hunter Biden being very upset because he’s having to support his whole family.  Well, how is Hunter Biden supporting his whole family?  He’s got shell businesses, shell corporations that he is receiving money in, playing on his father’s position, getting that money.  He’s not really doing anything for it, whether it be sitting on an energy company in which he has no business, or having no idea what energy’s all about.  It’s corruption.  I view the family as a crime syndicate because it isn’t just the family itself, they’ve got satellites around them, helping them facilitate their transactions and so it’s pretty massive, pretty deep.  Quite frankly our federal investigative agencies, the line agents were working hard on this, they were being stymied by people at the top.

Anti-woke marketplace PublicSq. to begin trading on NYSE

The conservative alternative to Amazon goes public.

Patriotic online marketplace PublicSq. is thriving as more American consumers seek out products and services offered by non-woke companies, and now the conservative alternative to Amazon will soon be owned by "we the people."

PublicSq. will become a public company trading under ticker symbol PSQH on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

PublicSq. now has over 1.1 million consumer members active on its platform and more than 55,000 businesses, 90% of which are small businesses. Accounts are free for both buyers and sellers.

5 July 2023

Etiquette classes new corporate trend for the uncouth

The share of companies with intentions of making work etiquette classes available to people in their employ moving forward came in at 20%.  Those firms will add to the 45% of organizations where training on workplace etiquette course offerings have already been rolled out.

Taking the classes on proper workplace conduct was something 60% of firms with existing or planned offerings will make mandatory for the entirety of their workforce.

Companies surveyed pointed to things such as increased client interactions, instances of inappropriate work attire and a need to get workers "on the same page" about office conduct as factors that prompted them to bring the trainings to their employees.

"Most or all" of their employees who fall in the 18-27 age range or recently got their college degrees would have to take the classes.  Members of Generation Z "get criticized for lack of professionalism, which is code for not having the ‘soft skills’ needed to be effective at work.  Gen Z candidates never had the opportunity to learn these skills on-site as their experience in college or entry-level positions was remote due to the pandemic."

The largest percentage, at 78%, pointed to "making polite conversation" as something their employees would learn in the course they are offering.  Work-appropriate dress was another top skill, with three-quarters citing it.  Over two-thirds of companies also said they would teach "writing professional emails" and "taking constructive criticism."

5 July 2023

Biden likely violated First Amendment during COVID-19 pandemic, federal judge says

Google, Meta and Twitter were all named in the lawsuits.

A U.S. District Court judge is temporarily preventing White House officials from meeting with tech companies about social media censorship, arguing that such actions in the past were likely First Amendment violations.

The Tuesday injunction by Louisiana Judge Terry A. Doughty was in response to recent lawsuits from Louisiana and Missouri attorneys general.  The suits allege that the White House coerced or "significantly encourage[d]" tech companies to suppress free speech during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Doughty is barring several federal officials and agencies – including some of Biden's Cabinet members and White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre – from contacting social media companies in efforts to suppress speech.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period perhaps best characterized by widespread doubt and uncertainty, the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth,’" Doughty wrote.  The injunction also claims that "the censorship alleged in this case almost exclusively targeted conservative speech," but that issues the case raises are "beyond party lines."

"Viewpoint discrimination is an especially egregious form of content discrimination," Doughty argued.  "The government must abstain from regulating speech when the specific motivating ideology or the perspective of the speaker is the rationale for the restriction."

"Happy birthday America. You get your First Amendment back!!!" Missouri AG Andrew Bailey wrote in a tweet.

"If the allegations made by Plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history," the injunction adds.  "In their attempts to suppress alleged disinformation, the Federal Government, and particularly the Defendants named here, are alleged to have blatantly ignored the First Amendment’s right to free speech."

Disney stock downgraded over streaming, theme park growth fears

Disney’s stock was downgraded this week by investment advisory company KeyBanc Capital Markets over fears of stalled growth at its Disney+ and Hulu streaming services and lower attendance at its theme parks.  "While Disney appears less expensive versus its historical average, we believe the stock is unlikely to work until a number of items have line of sight to being resolved."

The analysts' main concerns included the slow growth of subscribers to Disney+ and Hulu, a possibly too-high price for the new ESPN streaming service, weak theme park attendance compared to company expectations, the company being too ambitious about content distribution profits, and shares dropping last year with a similar financial setup this year.

"We prefer to step aside, acknowledging meaningful uncertainty, and wait for further catalysts, as buying the dip has been a losing trade," predicting a "deceleration of revenue" between the third and fourth quarter despite Disney’s bullish expectations.

Since its peak of nearly $200 in late 2021, Disney’s stock has fallen sharply, ending Friday at $89.28.

2 July 2023

Biden policies cost US households $10K

A recent report authored by Mulligan that compares fiscal impact between the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations, data showed U.S. households facing $10,000 worth of extra costs, mostly from automobile, fuel economy and emissions standards.  If Biden’s regulatory costs continue to rise at their current rate, American households can expect to lose $60,000 if the president wins re-election.

Costs Americans would have faced under a second consecutive Trump administration, the average U.S. household was estimated to save $21,000 over eight years.

"Workers are not able to be as productive as they used to be. We see it at the school level, the kids aren't learning. Wages aren't keeping up with inflation.  That's the other side of the productivity coin.  Health care business, telecommunication business, these are things adding to our Internet bills, adding to our banking fees and prescription drug costs, etc.  So when you add all the thousands of regulations together, you're getting something that's very noticeable and impactful for everyday people."

President Biden’s resurgence of regulatory burdens may become exacerbated by stagnant economic growth, low productivity and remaining inflation pressures.

"President Trump did something, first thing that had ever happened in American history:  he had a budget for the regulators.  And he comes from business.  No businessman runs his business without a budget for his managers.  And so he gave all his regulators a budget and we saw amazing results from that.  They were cutting out old regulations, cutting out unneeded regulations, and they were putting in some new ones that they felt were needed."

Earlier this week, President Biden touted his "Bidenomics" policies despite poor poll numbers indicating that Americans have very little confidence in his ability to steer the U.S. economy.

29 June 2023

graphic not found Supreme Court sets new limits on affirmative action programs in landmark ruling

The Supreme Court on Thursday set new limits on affirmative action programs in cases involving whether public and private colleges and universities can continue to use race as one factor among many in student admissions.

The court held that Harvard and UNC's admissions programs violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The vote was 6-3 in the UNC case and 6-2 in the Harvard case.

Students for Fair Admissions, a conservative group, sued Harvard University and the University of North Carolina over their race-conscious admissions programs, alleging intentional discrimination toward Asian American applicants.  The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the group in a decision that will have major ramifications for the college admissions process in the U.S.

"Both programs lack sufficiently focused and measurable objectives warranting the use of race, unavoidably employ race in a negative manner, involve racial stereotyping."

"University programs must comply with strict scrutiny, they may never use race as a stereotype or negative, and -- at some point -- they must end."

18 June 2023

Articles of impeachment against Preident Biden, VP Harris

'Joe Biden's failure to secure the southern border' cited as the basis of the impeachment

"Given the severity of the violation of Joe Biden's constitutional oath to faithfully execute the office of the president, United States to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, this is something that we must do with our majorities in the House of Representatives," Boebert stressed.  "This is our duty because Joe Biden has neglected the constitutional duty of the office of president of the United States."

1 May 2023

Supreme Court accepts case that has potential to erode power of federal regulators

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a dispute between a group of New Jersey fishermen and the federal government that could decide the much larger issue of whether costly federal regulation has overstretched its legal boundaries.

Last year, the fishermen petitioned the Supreme Court to take up a lawsuit challenging a regulation issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that requires fishermen to pay up to $700 per day to fund the salary of a contractor who monitors their boat to ensure compliance.  The fishermen say that the regulation is out-of-bounds for a federal agency, and such a burdensome requirement should be imposed by Congress only.

Lower courts have rejected arguments that the rule goes too far by leaning on the Supreme Court precedent set in Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.  But on Monday, the Supreme Court accepted the fishermen's petition and said it will need to determine if Chevron should be overturned.  Chevron legal doctrine has been opposed by conservatives who say the federal government has grown too big and too bloated with federal regulations made by agencies that bypass Congressional oversight.  "Over the years, the Chevron doctrine has been used by lower courts as a tool to give bureaucratic and unaccountable administrative agencies excessive deference in interpreting statutes.  The Court's decision to grant this case is a promising sign that it intends to either overturn the precedent or give much needed clarity to lower courts applying it."

The case, Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, will be heard next Supreme Court term that begins this fall.

26 April 2023

Gen Z hardest generation to work with, according to survey:  ‘They lack discipline‘ and 'like to challenge you’

A new study reveals that nearly 75 percent of managers of business leaders say that Gen Z — anyone born from 1997 onward — are "more difficult to work with than other generations."

A number of managers also agreed that Gen Z workers lack communication skills, effort, motivation and even technological skills.

The problem is serious enough that 20 percent of managers and business leaders included in the survey said that they had to "fire a Gen Z employee within a week of the employee’s start date." After just a month, that number rose to 27 percent.  And one of the top reasons that GenZers are being canned from their jobs, according to the April survey, is that they are "too easily offended."

"I’ve butted heads more than once with a Gen Z employee, because since our company is online-based, they think they know everything about the digital world and that they can teach me. They think they’re better than you, smarter than you, more capable than you, and they will tell you to your face."

The only other generation that came close to Gen Z's unpopularity was Baby Boomers.

21 April 2023

graphic not found Russia admits its own warplane accidentally bombed Russian city of Belgorod, near Ukraine border

When a powerful blast shook a Russian city near the border of Ukraine residents thought it was a Ukrainian attack.  But the Russian military quickly acknowledged that it was a bomb accidentally dropped by one of its own warplanes.  Belgorod, a city of 340,000 about 25 miles east of the border with Ukraine, has faced regular drone attacks that Russian authorities blame on the Ukrainian military, but the explosion late Thursday was far more powerful than anything its residents had heard before.  It left a 66-foot-wide crater in the middle of a tree-lined boulevard flanked by apartment buildings, shattering their windows, damaging several cars and injuring two residents.

graphic Military experts said the weapon likely was a powerful 1,100-pound bomb.

Analysts and U.S. officials have described Russia's tactics in the Ukraine war as akin to the methods applied by the armies on both sides of the First World War, as Moscow has thrown wave after wave of both man and machine at the front lines for months, rapidly depleting its resources with little to show in return.

19 April 2023

graphic not found China’s ‘Achilles heel’ exposed in takedown of secret NYC police station

The FBI and federal prosecutors announced Monday the arrests of two New York residents who set up and ran an undisclosed Chinese government police station in Manhattan's Chinatown neighborhood.

"Look at how elaborate this is:  we're many, many oceans away from China, but yet they've got an operation right in New York City to control adverse opinion against their regime.  We're not talking about Beijing and Shanghai.  We're talking about New York City."

"Here's what we know happened inside the secret police station in Lower Manhattan.  At the very least, the station was providing some government services, like helping Chinese citizens renew their Chinese driver's licenses.  But to do even that, the law requires that individuals like the defendants who act as agents of a foreign government give prior notice to the attorney general before setting up shop in New York City.  That didn't happen."

More troubling, however, is evidence allegedly showing that on at least one occasion, a Chinese National Police official directed one of the defendants to help locate a pro-democracy activist of Chinese descent living in California.  "In other words, the Chinese national police appear to have been using the station to track a U.S. resident on U.S. soil."

The fact that China reacts "so strongly" to adverse opinion proves that the U.S. adversary is trying to protect its greatest vulnerability.  "The thing that they fear more than anything are their own people.  They fear their own people more than they fear the United States and our adversaries for sure.  And this sort of reveals how much that fear really is."

14 April 2023

graphic not found Russian T-90 Tank From Ukraine Mysteriously Appears in Louisiana

Someone left a Russian T-90A tank, which open source intelligence (OSINT) trackers say was captured by Ukraine last fall, on a trailer after the truck hauling it broke down and pulled into this truck stop off U.S. Interstate 10.

The T-90A is modern by Russian standards, having been introduced two decades ago, which makes its puzzling voyage from battlefield Ukraine to a truck stop in Louisiana all the more difficult to make sense of.

Whoever was hauling the tank had to go back to Houston and get a new truck and asked if they could store it at Peto’s truck stop.

The tank has damaged front and rear fenders.  It is clearly not fully kitted out, but it has at least some explosive reactive armor containers on the turret.  It also has the "dazzlers" at least still fitted from the Shtora-1 self-protection system.  Its various machine guns have been removed..

It “belonged to Russia's 27th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Guards Tank Army...  It was abandoned in Kurylivka, Kharkiv Oblast (49.660195, 37.699288) around 25 September 2022.  It was captured by Ukraine's 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, hence the yellow 9s on the tank while in Louisiana (this is the marking the 92nd puts on their equipment).”

12 April 2023

Bud Light suffers bloodbath as longtime and loyal consumers revolt against transgender campaign

Bud Light suffered a bloodbath this past weekend.  Consumers nationwide revolted against the nation's top-selling beer brand after it stepped "recklessly" into the culture wars last week with its new spokesperson, transgender TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, according to bar owners and beer-industry experts around the country.

"In Bud Light's effort to be inclusive, they excluded almost everybody else, including their traditional audience."

Sports fans, working people and women were cited as loyal Bud Light consumers the brand suddenly excluded in its race to go woke.

"They've already done enough damage in one week to disrupt year-long sales projections."  Sales of Anheuser-Busch bottled products dropped 30% over the past week, while draught beer plummeted 50%.

Bud Light normally outsells rival products Miller Lite and Coors Light 25 to 1 at Braintree Brewhouse in Massachusetts, a sprawling sports bar just outside Boston.  Not this week.  Eighty percent of Bud Light drinkers ordered something else this week, Brewhouse owner Alex Kesaris said — while the 20% who did order Bud Light "weren’t on social media and hadn’t heard yet" about its new transgender pitch person.  "They didn’t order it again," after other patrons told them about the Bud Light marketing misfire.

One pub in Hell’s Kitchen, a New York City neighborhood known for its large and vocal gay community, reported that Bud Light draft sales dropped 58% this week, while Bud Light bottle sales were down 70%.

Bud Light's decision to dive into the culture wars was a "bad decision" that defied "virtually every rule in building brands and marketing."

That fact was evidenced in a nightmare scenario for Bud Light sales reps in Texas, where the brand has for years has sponsored a large weekly dart league with 100-plus players each Thursday night.

The bar typically sells though three kegs of Bud Light at the event — a total of 495 12-ounce pours.  The bar sold only four 12-ounce Bud Light bottles this week, as the dart players held a mass protest against their league sponsor.

"You don't just make up those sales. People aren't going to drink twice as much Bud Light the following weekend to recover the lost business."  For a brand as large as Bud Light, the public relations calamity already represents millions of lost dollars — even if the consumer revolt ended tomorrow.

Bud Light is famous for hiring the best marketing people in the business, but this time they hired the wrong person.

Their effort to be inclusive excluded the people who matter most — Bud Light drinkers.  "It seems Bud Light has everything to lose and very little to gain," as its current drinkers "are not real receptive to this new development."

"It's kind of mind-boggling they stepped into this realm.  You're marketing to an audience that represents a fraction of 1% of consumers while alienating the much larger base of your consumers."

Bud Light sales actually have been declining for years.  The brand is likely to be overtaken soon by Corona or Modelo as the nation's top-selling beer brand, according to industry observers.  The current ad campaign may hasten its demise with a self-inflicted wound, sources indicated.

3 April 2023

21 states threaten banks with legal action over woke policies:  'Stay in your lane'

A coalition of 21 state attorneys general sent a stark warning to dozens of financial institutions and asset managers, warning them against pursuing woke environmental and social initiatives.

In a letter sent Thursday to 53 of the nation's largest financial institutions, which collectively manage trillions of dollars worth of assets, the attorneys general threatened to take legal action if the firms veer from the best interests of their clients while pushing social priorities.

The effort comes ahead of proxy season during which most companies hold annual shareholder meetings where they vote on key policy initiatives.

"This ESG nonsense is filtering into a lot of our states and the way they're doing it is really, really concerning and probably flagrantly illegal."

The letter stated that in recent years large asset managers, which hold majority stakes in major publicly-traded companies, have used client assets to change companies' behavior to align with so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.

Critics — including attorneys general, state treasurers, the energy industry and consumer advocacy groups — have accused ESG-focused asset managers of sidestepping their legally-mandated fiduciary duty of looking out for the wellbeing of clients whose money they manage.  "You are … not only bound to follow the general laws discussed above but also have extensive responsibilities under both federal and state laws governing securities.  Broadly, those laws require you to act as a fiduciary, in the best interests of your clients and exercising due care and loyalty.  Simply put, you are not the same as political or social activists and you should not be allowing the vast savings entrusted to you to be commandeered by activists to advance non-financial goals."

The attorneys general took particular issue with ESG practices that push aggressive climate policies which opponents have argued would hamper the fossil fuel industry and increase consumer energy prices.

The letter highlighted that asset managers participate in Climate Action 100+ and have joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAM).  The two associations require members to make certain climate commitments.

The NZAM requires members to "accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions and for asset managers to play our part to help deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement."  NZAM members also commit to implement "a stewardship and engagement strategy, with a clear escalation and voting policy, that is consistent with [their] ambition for all assets under management to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 or sooner."

"None of this is financially defensible," the attorneys general stated in their letter.  "Instead, it is a transparent attempt to push policies through the financial system that cannot be achieved at the ballot box."

BlackRock, which alone manages more than $8.5 trillion, has explicitly leveraged client funds to push green transition policies to combat global warming.

In addition to BlackRock, the letter was sent to Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Invesco, JP Morgan, State Street and dozens of other asset managers.

"The message is:  'Stay in your lane and do what you're supposed to do.  You have a fiduciary obligation under our various states laws to maximize investment.  That's your job.  That's what you're supposed to be doing.  We're aware of state law and if it needs be, we will defend our state pensioners against anything outside that lane.'"

29 March 2023

How the banking crisis could hammer small businesses

The fallout from a spate of bank failures is rippling throughout the economy, threatening to ignite a credit crunch that could hit small business the hardest.

The Federal Reserve and Wall Street economists are warning that lending standards may become drastically more restrictive in coming months amid ongoing turmoil within the financial system.

During a credit crunch, banks significantly raise their lending standards, making it difficult for businesses or households to get loans.

"The current banking crisis could also be an equivalent to say, a 50 basis point rate hike."

"Banks are tightening lending conditions, so, yes, availability of credit is shrinking. And that’s clearly going to impact small businesses."

Banks were already tightening lending standards before the crisis within the industry began.  A growing number of banks tightened lending standards and saw reduced demand in the final three months of 2022.

The rapid rise in interest rates played a direct role in the failure of Silicon Valley Bank.  Increasing interest rates threaten to exacerbate instability within the financial system.

SVB largely catered to tech companies, venture capital firms and high net worth individuals who were pulling cash at a rapid pace as the once red-hot tech sector cooled.  When the bank announced it was trying to raise capital from investors and that it would take a $1.3 billion loss on long-term securities that had tumbled in value amid higher interest rates, depositors panicked and a bank run ensued.

The Fed recently delivered another quarter-percentage point rate hike, lifting the benchmark funds rate to a range of 4.75% to 5%, the highest since 2007. It marked the ninth consecutive rate increase aimed at combating high inflation.

27 March 2023

Students deserve to know this shocking truth about communism

Students deserve the facts about communism, both its brutal history and the ongoing oppression of those still living under such regimes.

Communism emerged in the 19th century as a political, societal and economic ideology.  Karl Marx, in his Communist Manifesto, established the goals and measures necessary to achieve communism that included the abolition of private property, abolition of the rights of inheritance, the establishment of a classless society, and the centralization of power in the hands of the state.  It also specifically called for the destruction of all aspects of the old system through violence and revolution.

The first attempt to install communism occurred in Russia in 1917, as Vladimir Lenin’s initial promise of peace, land and bread quickly devolved into terror, collectivization, famine and civil war leading to the deaths of almost 7 million people.  Things only got worse under Josef Stalin who killed upward of 20 million Soviets.  Those who dissented or stood against this cruel system of rule were sent to the Gulag – a system of forced labor camps – or were executed.  Many tried to escape; most were unsuccessful.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, but communism did not.  Today, one-fifth of humanity still lives under its brutal rule.  North Korea threatens nuclear war from a sprawling, 21st-century gulag; Cuba continues to jail, torture and murder dissidents who dare to dream of democracy; Vietnam arrests citizens for simply posting messages critical of the party; and China commits genocide in mass "re-education" camps, separates families, forcibly sterilizes minority women, uses forced and child labor, and harvests organs of political prisoners – all while it crushes liberty in Hong Kong, threatens to invade Taiwan, spies on us at home, and steals billions annually in global intellectual property theft.

Alarmingly, a 2020 VOC poll found that 40 percent of Americans have a favorable view of socialism.  That figure rose to 49 percent in Gen Z, with a third of Gen Z supporting the gradual elimination of capitalism in favor of a more socialist system.  Even more shocking, 18 percent of Gen Z and 13 percent of millennials reported that communism is a fairer system than capitalism and deserves consideration in America.

These results are only possible in a generation whose education was devoid of the true history of communist regimes and their deadly ideology.  The history and social studies K-12 academic standards in one state failed recently to even mention the Russian revolution, Lenin or the gulags in the entirety of its over 400 pages.

We ignore the truth about communism at our own peril.

21 March 2023

graphic of Hunter Biden not found Biden family makes ‘admission of corruption’ in foreign business deals

After President Biden claimed allegations of family payments from Hunter Biden’s business associate are "not true," one China expert and author has signaled an "admission of corruption" from the First Family.

The House Oversight Committee revealed that they had obtained bank documents showing that the president's son, Hunter, the president's brother, Jim, and Hallie Biden, the widow of the president's late son, Beau, received payments from Hunter's business associate Rob Walker and their joint venture with Chinese energy firm CEFC.  A spokesperson for Hunter Biden's legal team confirmed the payments.

"This is essentially an admission of corruption, and I'm sure that the House Oversight Committee is going to follow up on this. But this doesn't happen in the real world in the absence of payoffs, influence peddling and, yes, corruption."

On March 1, 2017, less than two months after then-Vice President Joe Biden left office, State Energy HK Limited, a separate Chinese company, wired $3 million to Robinson Walker, LLC.  "Biden family members and their companies began receiving incremental payments over a period of approximately three months" from Mr. Walker.

"We don't know what the Bidens did in return for this money.  The lawyer said that it was seed capital for a business.  We haven't been able to find a business.  Right now it looks like the Biden family just pocketed this money."

"In the beginning, the White House denied having any knowledge or the fact that their family was involved in any sort of way, shape or form with the CCP.  But now we have bank records that reveal otherwise."

San Francisco's reparations plan will lead to this surprising outcome for Blacks like me

The wrongs of history will not be corrected by the city's plan for reparations.

San Francisco recently announced a plan that seeks to provide reparations for the Black community.  Under this proposal, every eligible Black adult in San Francisco would receive payments of $5 million, elimination of personal debt and tax burdens, a guaranteed annual income of at least $97,000 for 250 years, and the ability to purchase a home in San Francisco for only $1.

The cost for this plan would be $600,000 per non-Black family or roughly $250 billion dollars in total to taxpayers.

This is not a parody; this is an actual proposal.

The city-appointed "Reparations Committee" would have you believe that their goal is equity and equality, but whether their intentions are genuine or not, the results of such a measure would only deepen a racial divide and stoke flames of resentment.  It's irrational, it's financially implausible, and it is politically insane, and that’s why San Francisco Democrats are trying to make it law.

I say this as the great-great-grandson of a slave: if there were ever a political slippery slope, this is it.

Providing reparations to a group of people hundreds of years removed from the sin of slavery does not right the wrongs of history.  It serves only to create a perpetual sense of victimhood, victim entitlement and promotes resentment amongst the people.

Perhaps this is exactly what the left wants, which is even more of a reason to reject an idea as disastrous as this one.

The issue of reparations for slavery has long been a controversial topic in the United States.  While some argue that it is necessary to rectify the wrongs of the past, others believe that reparations would only create more problems than they solve.

I am one of those people.  I am also someone who believes that reparations ignore history and the genesis of slavery, which includes Africans selling Africans into the slave trade, but we’ll get back to that.

Moreover, the notion of reparations assumes that all white people benefited from slavery and have a moral obligation to pay reparations to all Black people.  Such an assumption is both unfair and untrue, as not all White people benefited from slavery, nor do all Black people suffer from its legacy.  This oversight from the left further illustrates the soft bigotry that accompanies their "solutions," to inequality.

Not every person born Black in America needs, or wants, a liberal to put their arm around them and take care of them.  I for one, am more than capable of taking care of myself, as are most of the Black people I know.

The curse of the well-meaning liberals has been condemning the Black community for decades.  We don’t need the Great Society on steroids, we need government out of our lives in exchange for a focus on family and values.

Once one group has been compensated, it would only be a matter of time before another group demands compensation for perceived injustices done to them.  This would further divide the country along racial lines and create more resentment among people who did not receive any form of compensation.  It would also be challenging to determine who is entitled to reparations and who is not, which would undoubtedly lead to legal challenges and further unrest.

Even more unfortunate is that the authors of this horrific policy will undoubtedly call its opposers racist.  Well, I’ve been black for a very long time, and I look forward to hearing what they call me.

Providing reparations based on skin color also ignores the historical context of slavery and how it began in Africa with Africans enslaving other Africans.  Slavery has been a part of human history since the beginning of civilization, and Africans were not the only people to practice it.

The transatlantic slave trade was facilitated by Africans themselves, who captured and sold their fellow Africans to European traders.  While slavery was undoubtedly a dark chapter in American history, it is not the sole responsibility of white people to pay reparations for it.  In fact, its no living person’s responsibility.

The best thing liberals can do for the Black community isn’t writing a check with someone else’s money, it’s encouraging and supporting a return to a two-parent household.

Providing reparations to a class of people based on their skin color alone would only serve to deepen the racial divide in the United States.  It's not a hand up, it’s a destructive Marxist proposal that will set precedent for nationwide wealth redistribution based on race.  It’s counter to every principle our society is founded on, and if implemented, may be the first step to the very destruction of our society.

Republican Wesley Hunt represents Texas' 38th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a West Point graduate and War on Terror combat veteran.

14 March 2023

Comer reveals new Biden family member has emerged in GOP-led probe:  'We've got a problem here'

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., has revealed that a new Biden family member has emerged in the investigation into Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings – Hunter Biden is the son of President Joe Biden.  The revelation raises more national security concerns about foreign "influence peddling."  "We assumed [...] this was just about the president's son and two brothers, but now there's a new name that's emerged."

The Republican detailed how long-anticipated financial records, to which the Treasury Department recently granted access, indicate that the Biden family received a $3 million payment from individuals tied to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) shortly after President Biden's tenure as vice president concluded.

"There were three different Biden family members that received a cut from that $3 million, including a new Biden family member that's never before been included in any of these investigations.  So, our question is: What exactly did they do to receive that money? What was the purpose of that $3 million wire?  Now, that's just the first wire that we've actually been able to obtain bank records.  There are many, many more."

The Treasury Department allowed the release of the suspicious activity reports (SARs) Tuesday.  The SARs reportedly involved funding from "China and other foreign nations."

"So, we've got a problem here with respect to trying to determine what exactly this family was doing to receive these transactions from China.  This is important, and I think every American should be concerned about this issue of national security."  The thousands of records span 14 years.

"This is an investigation of Joe Biden, and we're investigating the Biden family, and again, after this new batch of information, it expands.  There are more family members involved in this than just the president's son."

"What they've said in the media is, 'Oh, this was for business.'  We can't identify any business.  It appears it went into their personal account, so if China is investing with the Bidens in a business, we can't find any business.  They don't manufacture anything.  They don't sell anything.  They don't own any real estate.  We don't know what the business is."

Comer has long suspected "influence peddling," suggesting Hunter sold his father's political influence abroad for lump sum payments.

Hunter Biden has been under investigation since 2018 over matters related to his overseas business dealings.  Meanwhile, President Biden is also under investigation for his alleged mishandling of classified material.

11 March 2023

Silicon Valley Bank has collapsed

Regulators closed down one of Silicon Valley’s most important banks on Friday, marking the largest bank failure since the Great Recession (2008) and the second-biggest in U.S. history.

Earlier in the day, Silicon Valley Bank suspended trading of its plummeting shares and depositors rushed to withdraw their money.  They have insurance protection through the FDIC, a federal agency that insures bank deposits, usually up to $250,000.  As one of the main institutions where start-ups deposited their venture-backed investments, SVB’s failure sent shock waves through the industry.  The turmoil comes as the tech companies retrench and shed workers, while rising interest rates spark signs of broader financial distress.

SVB is a publicly traded bank based in Santa Clara, Calif. — the heart of Silicon Valley. It is federally insured, meaning that if it cannot pay depositors, it will get some money from the government.  According to its website, SVB works with “nearly half " of venture-backed start-ups in the United States, and its clients include 44 percent of venture-backed tech and health-care companies that went public, including Pinterest and ZipRecruiter.

At the end of December, Silicon Valley Bank held around $209 billion in total assets, making this the second-largest failure of a federally insured bank in U.S. history, after Washington Mutual, which collapsed during the financial crisis in 2008.

SVB was holding a high number of Treasury and other government bonds — amounting to more than half of its assets, according to Bloomberg News.  As interest rates rose, those bonds became less valuable, and the bank needed to recoup the losses.

SVB shares tanked 60 percent on Thursday, after the bank said in a filing a day earlier that it had sold $21 billion in assets and planned to sell some of its stock to raise money.  The disclosure sparked panic among tech investors and company founders, who encouraged start-ups to withdraw their money.  Following the sharp decline in shares, trading on SVB stock was halted.  Regulators then closed the bank.

Concerns over SVB hit banking stocks more broadly on Thursday and Friday.  First Republic Bank, which also serves many California tech companies, had fallen around 22 percent on Friday afternoon.  Shares of Bank of America had fallen around 1 percent, and Morgan Stanley shares fell over 2 percent on Friday afternoon.

Banks are especially sensitive to rising interest rates.  With inflation still running hot, the Federal Reserve officials have signaled that they will continue to tighten policy further to get prices under control, but their hawkish stance has heightened fears of a recession.

On the heels of the Great Recession, bank failures spiked, with 140 failures in 2009, 157 in 2010, and 92 in 2011.

Home Depot co-founder torches ‘woke’ Silicon Valley Bank collapse, warns recession may be here already

Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus issued a strong warning for everyday Americans after the devastating collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, urging Americans to "wake up" and understand that the U.S. economy is in "tough times."

"I feel bad for all of these people that lost all their money in this woke bank.  You know, it was more distressing to hear that the bank officials sold off their stock before this happened.  It's depressing to me.  Who knows whether the Justice Department would go after them?  They're a woke company, so I guess not.  And they'll probably get away with it,"

"I think that the system, that the administration has pushed many of these banks into [being] more concerned about global warming than they do about shareholder return.  And these banks are badly run because everybody is focused on diversity and all of the woke issues and not concentrating on the one thing they should, which is, shareholder returns,"

"Instead of protecting the shareholders and their employees, they are more concerned about the social policies.  And I think it's probably a badly run bank."

The former CEO concluded by issuing a grim economic warning to consumers, arguing that the Biden administration is "obtuse" to the problems that plague everyday Americans.

[Biden's] proposal to tax the middle class and the rich is about as dumb as I've heard it a long time.  In a recession like this, you don't do things like that."

9 March 2023

Stock market will crash in 60 days, best-selling author on Lehman collapse warns

After Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated the bank isn’t finished raising rates, one market expert has warned a crash could come in a matter of days.  "They're playing catch up, and while they were doing quantitative easing in 2021, inflation started to rage and now they're trying to catch up,"

The withdrawal of capital from middle-class families has been "spectacular".  For every 1% increase in rates, $50 billion is taken "out of the pockets of middle-class families."

"Auto loans right now are approaching 14%, almost 20% of auto loans are one thousand a month, and so the middle-class families are getting hammered."

"Ten million in cash today generates $510,000 a year in Treasuries. Wow.  Think about that:  a year ago, you're talking that this was $70,000.  We have to do the math here, common sense.  You've been in the market for two years in these moronic fang stocks that have gone nowhere, the most crowded trade on earth.  You're flat to down after two years, and now you're looking over at a money market fund or a one-year treasury, and you get $510,000 of interest risk-free when a year ago you were getting 70."

The market crash trigger will come from the S&P earnings missing estimates big time.

"Everybody's expecting $226, that's priced for perfection.  So what happens is, when we deteriorate in jobs the next two, three months, that will bring into question the S&P earnings, and the S&P earnings are probably $190, so that'll trigger it."

8 March 2023

Iowa bill pushes to halt 'woke agenda' in state universities, eliminate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) spending

A bill progressing through the Iowa House of Representatives would halt a "woke agenda" in the state's colleges by banning diversity, equity and inclusion spending.

"For too long, the DEI bureaucracies at our institutions of higher education have been used to push a woke agenda on the faculty, staff and students.  Under the guise of diversity and inclusion, these programs work to indoctrinate students into their preferred political ideology."

House File 616 would prohibit the state's public universities from spending money on DEI offices or on employees working in positions centered around race, gender identity or sexual orientation.&  "This bill aims to dismantle these DEI programs and ensure this money is being spent for the true benefit of students.  The bill also would redirect DEI funding to reduce in-state student tuition and to scholarships for lower- and middle-income students.  The legislation would "return Iowa’s higher education institutions’ focus back to academic excellence."

2 March 2023

Biden is piling up losses once again

President Joe Biden is supposedly planning on running for reelection.  Yet, with the 2024 presidential election looming, Biden is losing his grip on the party and piling up losses left and right.

Congress is poised to reject a law passed by the Council of the District of Columbia that would remove or reduce penalties for several violent crimes, the first time Congress would overrule the city in 30 years.  Biden had expressed opposition to the GOP-led push to overturn the law, and yet 31 House Democrats joined Republicans in the effort.  Now, several Senate Democrats are hopping on board, and Biden has already backed down from any veto threat.

Biden is facing other challenges from his own party.  Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is joining Republicans to try and undo a Biden administration rule that “allows retirement plans to consider environmental, social, and corporate governance.”  Biden has already promised a veto.

More notably, 59 House Democrats joined Republicans to pass a bill that would require the administration to issue inflation estimates on “major” executive orders.

Meanwhile, Biden is facing a likely (though not yet certain) loss in the Supreme Court with his student debt amnesty plan.  The Biden administration admits that it has no backup plan to fulfill this grand campaign promise.  If the Supreme Court does its job correctly, it will leave Biden with yet another loss after he bypassed Congress to try and fulfill an unachievable promise.

That would leave Biden with only two grand wins to run on in 2024.  The first is the bipartisan infrastructure bill that he signed into law and leaned on heavily ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.  That is now overshadowed by him and his abysmal transportation secretary ignoring an ecological disaster in Ohio.  The other is the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which was a climate bill disguised as an inflation bill that actually made inflation worse.

Biden is sitting at an approval rating of around 43%.  He never recovered from botching the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which resulted in 13 dead U.S. service members and several Americans stranded to the whims of the Taliban.  The border crisis has spiraled out of control, with the Biden administration unwittingly ushering MS-13 gang members across the country.

Biden is getting older and staying unpopular.  His presidency has been nothing but blunder after blunder, and a narrowly divided Congress is forcing him to either veto legislation or to surrender.

Democrats are itching for an opportunity to dump him as the 2024 nominee, and Biden is presenting them with justifications day after day.

27 February 2023

These 51 big businesses target conservatives.  Here’s what you can do to stop them

It is not a secret that over the past decade, hundreds of large U.S. corporations have adopted woke policies, regularly injecting left-wing ideals into their products, services and employment practices.  But some of these businesses have recently gone much further than merely promoting social justice causes;  they have chosen to target conservative customers and employees, coercing or forcing Americans to abandon their deeply held beliefs in order to receive important goods or services or to stay employed.

It is not a secret that over the past decade, hundreds of large U.S. corporations have adopted woke policies, regularly injecting left-wing ideals into their products, services and employment practices.  But some of these businesses have recently gone much further than merely promoting social justice causes; they have chosen to target conservative customers and employees, coercing or forcing Americans to abandon their deeply held beliefs in order to receive important goods or services or to stay employed.

Although many conservatives have heard stories about corporate discrimination in recent years, they have often struggled to keep track of which businesses have been part of this movement, and which have largely stayed on the sidelines.  A new project launched by the 1792 Exchange, a nonprofit organization, seeks to shed light on this important problem.

1. Banks

Perhaps the most influential groups of woke companies in the report are banks.  Numerous large banks are using their financial might to effectively force business customers into adopting climate change policies, even when it will require that those customers dramatically change their business practices.

Many of these banks have also weaponized their operations to promote social and ideological views favored by the left.  For example, Bank of America vets its vendors based on their commitment to LGBTQ views, and it has ceased lending with some gun manufacturers.  It has also provided funding to Planned Parenthood, as well as the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has a long track record of targeting conservative groups.

Bank of America and its CEO, Brian Moynihan, as well as many of the other banks that have been assigned a "High Risk" score by the 1792 Exchange have been some of the biggest supporters of the radical environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement.  ESG is a kind of social credit scoring model that aims to fundamentally transform the global economy so that it’s more in line with the United Nations’ left-wing Sustainable Development Goals.

The 1792 Exchange identified 21 "High Risk" banks:  Ally Financial, Amalgamated Bank, Bank of America, Berkshire Bank, BMO Harris, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Eastern Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First Republic Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, TD Bank, Bancorp, Trillium Asset Management, Truist, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.

2. Transportation

The 1792 Exchange determined that five large transportation companies fall into its "High Risk" category — Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and XPO Logistics.

Southwest Airlines fought against state laws that sought to enhance election integrity by limiting questionable practices like mail-in balloting.

3. Retail Giants

The 1792 Exchange labeled 15 large businesses in the "Retailing" industry as "High Risk" companies, including popular brick-and-mortar stores Best Buy, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Lululemon, Macy’s, Madewell, Target and Walmart.  The online retailers included in the report as "High Risk" are Alibaba, Amazon, Chewy, eBay, Etsy, Shopify and Warby Parker.

4. Food and Beverage Companies

Ten large food and beverage companies were given "High Risk" ratings in the 1792 Exchange report:  Altria, Ben & Jerry’s, Cargill, Coca-Cola, HelloFresh, Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, PepsiCo, Starbucks and the JM Smucker Company.

Fighting Back

Unfortunately, the 51 companies mentioned throughout this article are just the tip of the iceberg.  Numerous other important corporations are also actively undermining conservatives and/or discriminating against families or businesses who do not share their radical views.

Conservatives should identify companies that offer similar products and services to those offered by businesses that discriminate and switch, whenever possible.  If you can switch products or services, be sure to tell both the business you’re leaving and the new, non-discriminatory business why you’re making the change.

If there aren’t any good alternatives, then send a letter to businesses that are engaging in discrimination to tell them that you’re considering leaving because of their actions.  Companies don’t often receive letters like these, so they do have an impact.

Finally, conservative lawmakers need to prioritize policies that reject ESG social credit scores and other systematic attempts meant to coerce companies into embracing leftist causes.  The legislation proposed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis earlier this month that would limit the use of ESG scores in banking is a great place to start.

Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek privately complained to DeSantis about 'pressure' from woke left amid Florida fight graphic not found

As the showdown between Florida's legislature and The Walt Disney Company heated up over an education bill that liberal activists incorrectly labeled the "Don't say gay bill," Disney's then-CEO called Gov. Ron DeSantis and complained about the "pressure" he faced.

"As the controversy over the Parental Rights in Education bill was coming to a head, Chapek called me.  He did not want Disney to get involved, but he was getting a lot of pressure to weigh in against the bill."

"We get pressured all the time.  But this time is different.  I haven’t seen anything like this before."

Chapek told shareholders that he had called DeSantis on March 9 to urge him not to sign the bill, which restricts schools from teaching gender and sexuality to children in kindergarten through third grade.  Activists nicknamed it the "Don't say gay bill" despite the legislation not using those terms.

According to a report from the New York Post, Chapek had privately expressed his hesitancy to involve his company in the political issues in Florida, the home of Disney World, in the months prior.  But the pressure campaign within Disney and from Democrats nationwide ultimately convinced him take a stand.

DeSantis, however, issued a warning:  If Disney got involved with the legislation, "People like me will say, ‘Gee, how come Disney has never said anything about China, where they make a fortune?’" DeSantis told Chapek.

The Florida governor said if Disney stayed out of the politics, Disney would face 48 hours of outrage when the bill passed.  "[And] when I sign it, you will get another 48 hours of outrage, mostly online,'" DeSantis said, adding, "Then there will be some new outrage that the woke mob will focus on and people will forget about this issue, especially considering the outrage is directed at a political-media narrative, not the actual text of the legislation itself."  But Disney "ultimately caved to leftist media and activist pressure and pressed the false narrative against the bill."

Other reports showed that Disney had been pushing messages that conservatives blasted as "woke" — like enforcing gender and sexuality messages in movies and television shows.  A show producer reportedly said on a leaked Disney staff call that she had a "not-at-all secret gay agenda" and had been "adding queerness" to kid's programming.

"Behind the scenes, I was not, as a father of children ages five, four, and two, comfortable with the continuation of Disney’s special arrangement," DeSantis wrote in his memoir.  "While the Walt Disney Company and its executives had a right to indulge in woke activism, Florida did not have to place the company on a pedestal while they do so—especially when the company’s activism impacted the rights of parents and the well-being of children."

DeSantis' book aims to showcase his governing thesis that fighting for conservative principles paid off for Florida and could benefit other states and even the whole country.

23 February 2023

College releases '1776 Curriculum' to fight back against critical race theory

Hillsdale College released what it is calling the "1776 Curriculum," which is designed to give K-12 teachers the tools to teach students a more patriotic approach to American history.  "Our curriculum was created by teachers and professors – not activists, not journalists, not bureaucrats."

The curriculum offers nearly 2,500 pages of materials, broken down into grade-specific lessons, while offering guidance to teachers.

The materials stand in stark contrast to the New York Times' 1619 Project, which has gained popularity at some schools as a movement toward more race-based education has gripped the country.

The new curriculum promises to teach that "truth is objective," while also emphasizing that "individuals should be judged based on their specific actions tending toward a certain character instead of their label, group identity, sex, religion or skin color."

The curriculum comes as many states have either banned or introduced legislation to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools, with 28 states launching efforts to curtail the controversial lessons.

"The more important thing in American history is that which has endured rather than that which has passed.  That is, America’s founding principles which have outlasted and extinguished from law various forms of evil, such as slavery, racism and other violations of the equal protection of natural rights."

College's 'forbidden courses' program promoting free speech praised by student: 'I was blown away'

The University of Austin is re-writing the precedent of the First Amendment on college campuses – offering a "forbidden courses" program to promote free speech without fear of judgment in the classroom.

"Everyone, even the instructors, really had this charity.  And by charity, I mean they heard everyone for what they were saying.  They were willing to talk practice differences, and that allowed us to have these really cool conversations about all sorts of topics that we normally don't get to talk about on university campuses today, things like religion, sexuality, politics, but discussing things maybe outside the normal two-party system."

The university describes the one-week session on its website as offering students the chance to engage in "small discussion-based seminars, lectures, and social activities … to explore the great questions of our time."

The "forbidden courses" program will be offered again this coming summer.

20 February 2023

H.Con.Res.9 - Denouncing the horrors of socialism.

This concurrent resolution denounces socialism and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States.  Referred in Senate (02/07/2023).


Denouncing the horrors of socialism.

Whereas socialist ideology necessitates a concentration of power that has time and time again collapsed into Communist regimes, totalitarian rule, and brutal dictatorships;

Whereas socialism has repeatedly led to famine and mass murders, and the killing of over 100,000,000 people worldwide;

Whereas many of the greatest crimes in history were committed by socialist ideologues, including Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, Fidel Castro, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Daniel Ortega, Hugo Chavez, and Nicolás Maduro;

Whereas tens of millions died in the Bolshevik Revolution, at least 10,000,000 people were sent to the gulags in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), and millions more starved in the Terror-Famine (Holodomor) in Ukraine;

Whereas between 15,000,000 and 55,000,000 people starved to death in the wake of famine and devastation caused by the Great Leap Forward in China;

Whereas the socialist experiment in Cambodia led to the killing fields in which over a million people were gruesomely murdered;

Whereas up to 3,500,000 people have starved in North Korea, dividing a land of freedom from a land of destitution;

Whereas the Castro regime in Cuba expropriated the land of Cuban farmers and the businesses of Cuban entrepreneurs, stealing their possessions and their livelihoods, and exiling millions with nothing but the clothes on their backs;

Whereas the implementation of socialism in Venezuela has turned a once-prosperous nation into a failed State with the world’s highest rate of inflation;

Whereas the author of the Declaration of Independence, President Thomas Jefferson, wrote, “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.”;

Whereas the “Father of the Constitution”, President James Madison, wrote that it “is not a just government, nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has in his personal safety and personal liberty, is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest”; and

Whereas the United States of America was founded on the belief in the sanctity of the individual, to which the collectivistic system of socialism in all of its forms is fundamentally and necessarily opposed:  Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress denounces socialism in all its forms, and opposes the implementation of socialist policies in the United States of America.

Passed the House of Representatives February 2, 2023.

Party  YeasNaysPresentNot Voting
Republican  219003
Democratic  10986143
Independent  0000
Total  32886146

Adams(D)North CarolinaNay   <<====
Armstrong(R)North DakotaYea
Balint(D)VermontNay   <<====
Barragán(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Bean (FL)(R)FloridaYea
Beatty(D)OhioNay   <<====
Beyer(D)VirginiaNay   <<====
Bishop (GA)(D)GeorgiaYea
Bishop (NC)(R)North CarolinaYea
Blumenauer(D)OregonNay   <<====
Blunt Rochester(D)DelawarePresent   <<====
Bonamici(D)OregonNay   <<====
Bowman(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Boyle (PA)(D)PennsylvaniaYea
Brown(D)OhioPresent   <<====
Bush(D)MissouriNay   <<====
Cárdenas(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Carson(D)IndianaNay   <<====
Carter (GA)(R)GeorgiaYea
Carter (LA)(D)LouisianaYea
Carter (TX)(R)TexasYea
Casar(D)TexasNay   <<====
Casten(D)IllinoisNot Voting
Castor (FL)(D)FloridaYea
Castro (TX)(D)TexasNay   <<====
Chu(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Cicilline(D)Rhode IslandPresent   <<====
Clark (MA)(D)MassachusettsYea
Clarke (NY)(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Cleaver(D)MissouriNay   <<====
Clyburn(D)South CarolinaYea
Cohen(D)TennesseeNot Voting
Connolly(D)VirginiaNay   <<====
Costa(D)CaliforniaNot Voting
Courtney(D)ConnecticutNay   <<====
Crockett(D)TexasPresent   <<====
D'Esposito(R)New YorkYea
Davids (KS)(D)KansasYea
Davis (IL)(D)IllinoisNay   <<====
Davis (NC)(D)North CarolinaYea
De La Cruz(R)TexasYea
Dean (PA)(D)PennsylvaniaYea
DeGette(D)ColoradoNay   <<====
DeLauro(D)ConnecticutNay   <<====
DeSaulnier(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Doggett(D)TexasNay   <<====
Duncan(R)South CarolinaYea
Dunn (FL)(R)FloridaYea
Edwards(R)North CarolinaYea
Escobar(D)TexasPresent   <<====
Eshoo(D)CaliforniaPresent   <<====
Espaillat(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Evans(D)PennsylvaniaNay   <<====
Fletcher(D)TexasNay   <<====
Foushee(D)North CarolinaNay   <<====
Foxx(R)North CarolinaYea
Frankel, Lois(D)FloridaYea
Franklin, C. Scott(R)FloridaYea
Frost(D)FloridaNay   <<====
Fry(R)South CarolinaYea
Garamendi(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Garbarino(R)New YorkYea
García (IL)(D)IllinoisNay   <<====
Garcia (TX)(D)TexasNay   <<====
Garcia, Mike(R)CaliforniaYea
Garcia, Robert(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Golden (ME)(D)MaineYea
Goldman (NY)(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Gomez(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Gonzales, Tony(R)TexasYea
Gonzalez, Vicente(D)TexasYea
Good (VA)(R)VirginiaYea
Gooden (TX)(R)TexasYea
Gottheimer(D)New JerseyYea
Graves (LA)(R)LouisianaYea
Graves (MO)(R)MissouriYea
Green (TN)(R)TennesseeYea
Green, Al (TX)(D)TexasNay   <<====
Greene (GA)(R)GeorgiaYea
Grijalva(D)ArizonaNay   <<====
Harder (CA)(D)CaliforniaYea
Hayes(D)ConnecticutNay   <<====
Higgins (LA)(R)LouisianaYea
Higgins (NY)(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Himes(D)ConnecticutNay   <<====
Hoyer(D)MarylandNay   <<====
Hoyle (OR)(D)OregonPresent   <<====
Hudson(R)North CarolinaYea
Huffman(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Hunt(R)TexasNot Voting
Jackson (IL)(D)IllinoisYea
Jackson (NC)(D)North CarolinaYea
Jackson (TX)(R)TexasYea
Jackson Lee(D)TexasPresent   <<====
Jacobs(D)CaliforniaPresent   <<====
Jayapal(D)WashingtonNay   <<====
Jeffries(D)New YorkYea
Johnson (GA)(D)GeorgiaNay   <<====
Johnson (LA)(R)LouisianaYea
Johnson (OH)(R)OhioYea
Johnson (SD)(R)South DakotaYea
Joyce (OH)(R)OhioYea
Joyce (PA)(R)PennsylvaniaYea
Kamlager-Dove(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Kean (NJ)(R)New JerseyYea
Kelly (IL)(D)IllinoisNay   <<====
Kelly (MS)(R)MississippiYea
Kelly (PA)(R)PennsylvaniaYea
Kiggans (VA)(R)VirginiaYea
Kim (CA)(R)CaliforniaYea
Kim (NJ)(D)New JerseyYea
Kuster(D)New HampshireYea
LaLota(R)New YorkYea
Langworthy(R)New YorkYea
Larsen (WA)(D)WashingtonYea
Larson (CT)(D)ConnecticutNay   <<====
Lawler(R)New YorkYea
Lee (CA)(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Lee (FL)(R)FloridaYea
Lee (NV)(D)NevadaYea
Lee (PA)(D)PennsylvaniaNay   <<====
Leger Fernandez(D)New MexicoPresent   <<====
Mace(R)South CarolinaYea
Magaziner(D)Rhode IslandYea
Malliotakis(R)New YorkYea
Manning(D)North CarolinaYea
Matsui(D)CaliforniaPresent   <<====
McCollum(D)MinnesotaNay   <<====
McGarvey(D)KentuckyNay   <<====
McGovern(D)MassachusettsNay   <<====
McHenry(R)North CarolinaYea
Meeks(D)New YorkYea
Menendez(D)New JerseyYea
Meng(D)New YorkYea
Mfume(D)MarylandNay   <<====
Miller (IL)(R)IllinoisYea
Miller (OH)(R)OhioYea
Miller (WV)(R)West VirginiaYea
Molinaro(R)New YorkYea
Mooney(R)West VirginiaYea
Moore (AL)(R)AlabamaYea
Moore (UT)(R)UtahYea
Moore (WI)(D)WisconsinNay   <<====
Morelle(D)New YorkYea
Mullin(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Murphy(R)North CarolinaYea
Nadler(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Napolitano(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Neal(D)MassachusettsNay   <<====
Nickel(D)North CarolinaYea
Norcross(D)New JerseyYea
Norman(R)South CarolinaYea
Nunn (IA)(R)IowaYea
Ocasio-Cortez(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Omar(D)MinnesotaNay   <<====
Pallone(D)New JerseyNay   <<====
Pappas(D)New HampshireYea
Pascrell(D)New JerseyNay   <<====
Payne(D)New JerseyNay   <<====
Pence(R)IndianaNot Voting
Pingree(D)MaineNay   <<====
Pocan(D)WisconsinNay   <<====
Porter(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Pressley(D)MassachusettsNay   <<====
Ramirez(D)IllinoisNay   <<====
Raskin(D)MarylandNay   <<====
Rodgers (WA)(R)WashingtonYea
Rogers (AL)(R)AlabamaYea
Rogers (KY)(R)KentuckyYea
Ross(D)North CarolinaPresent   <<====
Rouzer(R)North CarolinaYea
Ryan(D)New YorkYea
Sánchez(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Santos(R)New YorkYea
Sarbanes(D)MarylandNay   <<====
Scanlon(D)PennsylvaniaPresent   <<====
Schakowsky(D)IllinoisNay   <<====
Scott (VA)(D)VirginiaNay   <<====
Scott, Austin(R)GeorgiaYea
Scott, David(D)GeorgiaNay   <<====
Sherman(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Sherrill(D)New JerseyYea
Smith (MO)(R)MissouriYea
Smith (NE)(R)NebraskaYea
Smith (NJ)(R)New JerseyYea
Smith (WA)(D)WashingtonNay   <<====
Stansbury(D)New MexicoPresent   <<====
Stefanik(R)New YorkYea
Steube(R)FloridaNot Voting
Takano(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Tenney(R)New YorkYea
Thanedar(D)MichiganNay   <<====
Thompson (CA)(D)CaliforniaYea
Thompson (MS)(D)MississippiYea
Thompson (PA)(R)PennsylvaniaYea
Timmons(R)South CarolinaYea
Tlaib(D)MichiganNay   <<====
Tokuda(D)HawaiiNay   <<====
Tonko(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Torres (CA)(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Torres (NY)(D)New YorkYea
Van Drew(R)New JerseyYea
Van Duyne(R)TexasYea
Van Orden(R)WisconsinYea
Vargas(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Vasquez(D)New MexicoYea
Velázquez(D)New YorkNay   <<====
Wasserman Schultz(D)FloridaYea
Waters(D)CaliforniaNay   <<====
Watson Coleman(D)New JerseyNay   <<====
Weber (TX)(R)TexasYea
Webster (FL)(R)FloridaYea
Williams (GA)(D)GeorgiaNay   <<====
Williams (NY)(R)New YorkYea
Williams (TX)(R)TexasYea
Wilson (FL)(D)FloridaYea
Wilson (SC)(R)South CarolinaYea

12 February 2023

Treasury Secretary Yellen warns of 'unsustainable' debt loads

The Congressional Budget Office's most recent long-term outlook projected the U.S. national debt to equal 98% of GDP at the end of 2022. If nothing changes, the debt is forecast to grow to its historic high of 107% of GDP in 2031, and will reach 185% of GDP in 2052.

Bipartisan spending over the last two decades has led the national debt to increase from about $10 trillion when President George W. Bush took office, to roughly $14 trillion when President Barack Obama followed suit, to $24 trillion when President Donald Trump began his term and more than $30 trillion at the start of President Joe Biden's administration.

If the U.S. fails to raise the debt ceiling, the government may be forced to temporarily default on some of it spending obligations, which Yellen has previously warned would carry severe negative economic consequences. Interest rates would likely spike, and demand for Treasurys would drop; even the threat of default can cause borrowing costs to increase, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

graphic not found

10 February 2023

Disney World was our destination.  What I found could be the end for a beloved American company.

Massive layoffs at Disney are unsurprising.  Its woke business model is unsustainable.  On Wednesday, Disney announced they would be laying off 7,000 employees and going through their third restructuring in five years.  This is not a healthy company.

I hold grudges against companies.  We don’t wear Nike because they embraced America-hating former quarterback Colin Kaepernick and for a family with two immigrant parents, blessed to be Americans, we cannot abide this.  I stopped using Gillette products when their ad tore into boys and men as angry possible rapists.  I have a husband, a brother and two sons and will not allow males to be depicted like that for advertisement.  And our family canceled a trip to Disney World last year after they inserted themselves into the political debate over Florida’s Parental Rights Law.  Manhattan Institute senior fellow Chris Rufo showcased leaked videos from inside the company openly discussing "adding queerness" into children’s programming.

We arrived at our hotel late and while my husband and I checked in the kids watched a TV in the lobby.  "I remember this show from when I was little," my still little 7-year-old exclaimed.  It was "The Three Caballeros," his favorite.

As I looked up the year the film was made (1944), I discovered that Disney has inserted a disclaimer before the film that notes:  "This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures.  These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now.  Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together."

The disclaimer also appears before films like "Aladdin," "Dumbo" and "Peter Pan."  It’s another attempt by Disney to placate the woke critics.  What Disney should learn, quickly, is that those critics can never be placated.

We had loved the Disney parks on past visits.  We loved the rides and the way everything just functioned well.  The staff were happy and helpful.  While the parks are still successful, what we found on this visit are parks in various states of disrepair.  Many of the rides we went on experienced technical difficulties.  The staff were grumpy.

The day we returned from Disney World, the story broke about the controversy involving Disney’s "Proud Family" cartoon.  Clips from the show feature a far left point of view and the pushing of leftist concepts.  It’s a show more interested in woke indoctrination than entertainment.  Easy prediction:  this show will fail and Disney will lose ever more money trying to be woke.

Wokeness is deeply unpopular in America.  They’re loud but they’re nowhere near the majority.  Disney is running out of time to see the light and go back to Walt Disney’s pro-American, pro-child vision that we all had known and loved.  Or we’ll be telling stories about a great American company that once existed but they fell for the woke virus and were killed by it.

2 February 2023

Florida's workforce is larger than New York's for first time ever

Florida's economic boom has pushed the Sunshine State above New York in the number of employed workers for the first time.

According to data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the month of December 2022, Florida had 9.669 million employed workers, compared to New York's 9.661 million.

A spokesman for Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told FOX Business, "As Governor DeSantis said in his second inaugural speech, 'It is often said that our federalist constitutional system — with fifty states able to pursue their own unique policies — represents a laboratory of democracy.' Florida has exemplified the successful example of freedom, and our success is revealed in metrics like this."

The spokesman also pointed to data indicating that Florida has led the country in new business formations with over 1.7 million created since January 2020 and that over one-third of those were launched in 2022 alone.

Data released by the Census Bureau in December showed that Florida was America's fastest-growing state.  Florida's population grew by 416,754 residents, or 1.9%, from 2021 to 2022 to more than 22.2 million.  New York had the largest population decrease of all 50 states from 2021 to 2022, as it declined by 180,341 residents, or -0.9%, to about 19.6 million.

28 January 2023

'Shark Tank' star Kevin O'Leary trashes blue states for punishing success

The entrepreneur explains why he’s pouring $45 million into North Dakota’s economy.

Mr. Wonderful has his finger on the pulse of small business innovation — and is claiming that states like New York, Massachusetts and California no longer do.  Millionaire entrepreneur and television personality Kevin O’Leary called out Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., by name Friday on "Varney & Co.," as well as other anti-business leaders, for punishing American success.  "Most of the venture capital for the last 40, 50 years, since the mid-1950s was highlighted in places like Silicon Valley and around the Boston area.  So Massachusetts, New York, California.  These were the heyday years," O’Leary said.  "Nobody wants to do business in these states anymore."

After the U.S. Treasury awarded North Dakota $45 million in economic stimulation funds, the state elected O’Leary Ventures to manage the money, creating the Wonder Fund North Dakota program.  While many may wonder, why North Dakota?, O’Leary cited stable policy, the fourth-largest GDP in America, its massive tech center and no "super taxes" from Sen. Warren.

"Why would I put that in New York or Massachusetts or California, which I don’t even think is in business anymore?" he posited.  "Why put it in Massachusetts where you're penalized for success?  If you're a successful entrepreneur there, Elizabeth Warren's policy super taxes you.  You're punished for success.  Forget that.  I'm going to go to North Dakota."

O'Leary got his first hint about the Midwest state’s profitability after striking a "Shark Tank" deal with a company from the city of Fargo.  He claims that it has become "one of the most successful deals in ‘Shark Tank’ history," going from zero to $50 million in sales in just a few months.  "[There's] a very pro-business governor in [Doug] Burgum and policy that makes sense for money," he said.  "And frankly, you can get your kids in school in North Dakota."

While still applauding states like Florida, Texas and Oklahoma for their business-friendly policies, O’Leary claimed North Dakota "has got so much energy" and "such fantastic policy" to cater to all 11 sectors of the economy.

"We don't want to promote bad policy, and the way we do it is we vote with our dollars," the businessman said.  "Let's get out of Massachusetts and let's get to North Dakota."

27 January 2023

25 states hit Biden admin with lawsuit over climate action targeting Americans' retirement savings

The lawsuit — led by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and joined by 24 other states including Louisiana, Texas and Virginia — challenges a Department of Labor (DOL) rule unveiled in November and which is set to go into effect on Jan. 30. The rule would open the door for fiduciaries to factor so-called environment, social and governance (ESG) considerations into Americans' retirement accounts, an action the states argued could significantly harm the financial interests of customers.  "The Biden administration is promoting its climate change agenda by putting everyday people’s retirement money at risk."

In the lawsuit, the states allege that the DOL violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974.  The law safeguards the retirement income of 152 million U.S. workers, equivalent to more than two-thirds of the nation's adult population, and covers roughly $12 trillion in assets.  The states noted that ERISA requires retirement plan assets to be held for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants in the plan and that the fiduciaries must act solely in the interest of said participants.  The Supreme Court has previously ruled that such "benefits" are defined as "financial benefits."

"Investments should be made using sound economic principles, not woke policies.  These firms have a responsibility to invest with their client's best financial interests in mind rather than Biden’s disastrous agenda."

Liberty Energy CEO Chris Wright, a private plaintiff in the case, added that his company was suing because the regulation "makes it harder to protect our workers’ retirement security and impedes investing in our industry and its ability to provide reliable and affordable energy to our communities."

"This rule is an affront to every American concerned about their retirement account.  The fact that the Biden Administration is now opting to risk the financial security of working-class Americans to advance a woke political agenda is insulting and illegal."

"For generations, federal law has required that fiduciaries place their clients’ financial interests at the forefront, and I intend to fight the Biden Administration in court to ensure that they cannot put hard-working Americans’ retirement savings at risk."

Companies like BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard, which collectively manage trillions of dollars in assets, have taken lead roles in the ESG movement.  In response to the growing movement, Republican state attorneys general and financial officers have fought back, canceling contracts with the firms and threatening legal action over how they handle customers' investments.

"Everyday Americans are having their investment dollars used against them as those in power favor a political agenda over financial returns.  It is the actions like that of these attorneys general that will ensure Americans are safe from activist-investors and progressive elites who would rather focus on politics than upholding their fiduciary duty."

"As America’s oldest consumer protection agency, we will continue to support state officials in their efforts to protect the American people from the dangers of ESG and companies that are choosing politics over profits."

25 January 2023

Why Kevin McCarthy booted three left-wing Democrats from their House committees

graphic not found According to McCarthy, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., will not be returning to the House Intelligence Committee, while far-left Squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., will not be returning to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Schiff has been accused of lying about details of the alleged ties between Trump and Russia, and he was mocked after the dossier compiled by former British intelligence author Christopher Steele detailing the alleged ties, which Schiff heavily promoted at the time, was found to contain false information.  Schiff was also accused of exaggerating the details of the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, which was at the center of the former president's first impeachment trial.

Swalwell has been sharply criticized over his ties to a suspected Chinese spy named Fang Fang, or Christine Fang, which surfaced in a 2020 report from Axios.  According to the report, Fang was part of an expansive Chinese spying operation that targeted politicians to gain proximity to political power and helped him fundraise during his 2014 run for Congress.  Later reports revealed that Swalwell had intimate relations with the suspected spy.  "He cannot get a security clearance in the private sector.  So would you like to give him a government clearance?"

Ilhan Omar has been criticized for comparing the U.S. and Israel to terrorist groups, accused Israel of terrorism and war crimes, and minimized the actions of the 9/11 hijackers.  "I promised you last year that as speaker she will no longer be on Foreign Affairs, and I’m keeping that promise," he said to cheers.

17 January 2023

Wyoming legislators propose bill to phase out EVs by 2035

Wyoming legislators are pushing a bill in Cheyenne that could phase out electric vehicles by 2035, to protect a state economy largely fueled by gas and oil.  Legislators say oil and gas production has "long been one of Wyoming’s proud and valued industries," which has created countless jobs and contributed to the state’s economy.

Legislators are concerned that infrastructure is not in place to support President Biden’s ambitious goal to phase out gas vehicles and have half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be zero-emissions vehicles.

Charging stations would need to be installed across the long stretches of highway across Wyoming, while efforts to supply electricity to those stations would need to be ramped up.

We are countering what California and Oregon have started with stopping sales of new petroleum vehicles.  We are very concerned about the source of minerals in countries with poor environmental laws, and we are very concerned about the disposal of the battery, which will be hazardous materials."

The bill states that the domestic supply of the minerals used in the EV batteries are limited in the country and they are not easily recyclable or disposable.  "Phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035 will ensure the stability of Wyoming’s oil and gas industry and will help preserve the country’s critical minerals for vital purposes."

My car can go 400 miles on a tank of gas.  Your EV's range is not even close.  My car takes 10-15 minutes to refuel.  If you can find a high-capcity charging station, your EV takes 30 minutes.  If not, it could take hours.  If you buy an EV pick-up truck, and tow a boat to the lake, your truck is only good for 50 miles.  Environmentally, all those expensive chemicals for your batteries are hazardous.  EVs are not viable; EVs are a step backwards.

15 January 2023

Devin Nunes rips top Democrats after ‘Twitter Files’ bombshell on Russia collusion:  ‘Fools’

fter warning of major flaws in the Trump-Russia collusion investigation in 2018, Truth Social CEO and former California Congressman Devin Nunes reacted to the latest "Twitter Files" release which validate his original concerns around top Democrats peddling a false Russian bot narrative.

"They should be embarrassed. They should be ashamed. It's the same people that were there in 2017 and 2018. They're still there today. They don't apologize. They look like fools, they are fools."  And hopefully, maybe someday they'll just wake up and be ashamed of themselves, and I don't know, just get a new job or something."

Nunes’ comments come just hours after journalist Matt Taibbi unveiled part 14 of the Twitter Files on Thursday, diving into the "Russiagate lies" and how he says a "fake tale of Russian bots" helped Democrats denounce the famous Nunes memo about flaws in the Trump-Russia investigation.

"It actually shows what Twitter knew, when they knew it, what they were talking about.  And clearly, Adam Schiff, who we knew at the time always lied, but this is proof of that, that he knew there was nothing there.  They knew it wasn't Russian bots," Nunes said Friday.  "And then my Senator Feinstein, of all people, who was also doing the same thing, and when Twitter came back and said, hey, there's nothing there.  They doubled down and basically tried to get Twitter to lie and make something up."

Nunes argued the revelations show how "senile" the president is starting to become.  "He's always said a lot of stupid things, but look, this is beyond the pale in the sense that if you juxtapose the difference between Trump, who never touched the documents, they went to Mar-a-Lago, he was the President of the United States, they never could name what documents they were, and I think what you're starting to see is the corruption that we have at the archives," Nunes said.

"Nobody should be celebrating any of this madness.  There should have never been a special council for Trump.  Obviously, what they're doing to Biden, they've now appointed somebody who has a lot of questions to answer.  This special counsel, although they say he's a Republican, he should be questioned on his ties to the Russia hoax."

7 January 2023

Kevin McCarthy wins House speaker on 15th vote

"I hope one thing is clear after this week:  I will never give up," McCarthy said after the victorious vote.  "I will never give up on you, the American people.  And I will never give up on keeping our Commitment to America. Our nation is worth fighting for."

Taking the anti-McCarthy votes off the table capped a week in which McCarthy was able to chip away at the 20 Republicans who opposed him, thanks in large part to negotiations that will dramatically reshape the way the House is run.  Some of the most conservative members of the House said they got virtually everything they wanted out of the talks and started to break for McCarthy on Friday morning.

McCarthy agreed to allow a single lawmaker to make a motion to elect a new speaker, returning to the way the House ran for decades before that practice was eliminated under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  He agreed to votes on term limits and the adoption of a budget resolution that balances the budget in 10 years, and a cap on fiscal year 2024 spending at FY 2022 levels.

McCarthy agreed to reject any negotiations on spending with the Senate until the Senate passes its own spending bills.  He agreed not to increase the debt limit without spending cuts or other fiscal reforms, to set up a committee to examine the weaponization of government against U.S. citizens, and to ensure no bills are brought up on the floor until at least 72 hours passed.

And he agreed to give three members of the House Freedom Caucus three seats on the House Rules Committee, which sets the terms of debate for all legislation headed to the House floor.

Republicans who were holding back their votes until the deal was done praised it as a series of changes that will beat back the excessive spending and regulation that have defined the first two years of the Biden administration.

"We are negotiating a historic conservative victory to finally stop reckless SPENDING and DEBT from crushing our children & grandchildren," Rep.-elect Mary Miller of Illinois tweeted Friday.  "We will ensure a Republican House cannot do what Senate Rs did when they passed the disastrous $1.7 TRILLION omnibus!  We must STOP BIDEN!"

Rep.-elect Ralph Norman of South Carolina said restoring fiscal sanity is his top priority and said the deal would help make that happen.  Rep.-elect Dan Bishop of North Carolina said the deal will "make the People’s House truly work for the American people again."

For both Republicans and Democrats, McCarthy’s election means members-elect of the 118th Congress can be sworn in and assigned to committees, and that the regular work of the House can begin.  GOP lawmakers have said for months that once their work begins, it will lean heavily on managing the federal government through passing a budget and individual spending bills, and tough oversight of the Biden administration.

graphic not found Kevin McCarthy delivers first remarks after winning House Speaker:  'Our nation is worth fighting for'

"You know – my father always told me:  It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  And now we need to finish strong for the American people," McCarthy said.  "As Speaker of the House, my ultimate responsibility is not to my party, my conference, or even our Congress.  My responsibility – our responsibility – is to our country. Two months ago, you voted for a new direction for our country. You embraced our Commitment to America.  And now, we are going to keep our commitment to you.  There is nothing more important than making it possible for American families to live and enjoy the lives they deserve."

McCarthy revealed some of his priorities for this session of Congress, which included: investigating China, securing the country’s border, and attempting to eliminate some of the federal debt, which is over $31 trillion.

He vowed to build a "nation that is safe" and help form a "future that is built on freedom."  McCarthy also wanted to construct a "government that is accountable where Americans get the answers they want, need, and deserve."

"We pledge to cut the regulatory burden, lower energy costs for families, and create good-paying jobs for workers by unleashing reliable, abundant American-made energy," McCarthy added.  "Our first bill will repeal funding for 87,000 new IRS agents. Because the government should be here to help you, not go after you."

The Republican also said he would reopen the U.S. Capitol Building, which remained behind additional security measures and was mostly inaccessible to the public following the riots on Jan. 6, 2021.  "My friends – this chamber is now fully open for all Americans," he said, which was met with thunderous applause from Republicans.  Democrats in the chamber remained silent.

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