The Consequences of Obsessive Category Disorder

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

In the name of diversity, America’s racial classifiers obliterate diversity.

Long ago, long before the diversity movement and the sprouting of departments of diversity and inclusion in academia, government, media, and industry, I lived in a San Antonio barrio, where my friends and neighbors who were Mexican nationals and Mexican Americans, referred to themselves as “Mexican,” and where I referred to myself as “Italian.”

Since then, I’ve lived in Phoenix for 30 years and am now living in Tucson, where Mexicans still refer to themselves as Mexicans, unless they’ve had the misfortune of being miseducated in college and/or working as a programmable automaton in Big Media, Big Academia, Big Business or Big Government. 

In these big institutions of conformity and appalling ignorance of history and anthropology, Mexicans are agglomerated with other distinctly different nationalities and ethnocultural groups and plastered with the labels of “Hispanic,” “Latino,” or the latest linguistic monstrosity of “Latinx.”

This labeling is done by people who see themselves as educated, enlightened, and open-minded, but prove otherwise in their thoughtless parroting of utterly ridiculous “racial” concoctions. (The penultimate word in the preceding sentence is in quotes because today’s racial categorization is mostly anti-science, in that it has little basis in evolutionary science, genetics, or anthropology.)

Inanity, and possible insanity, also can be seen in the other “racial” labels that have become the lingua franca of those with a pathological need to reduce the rich diversity of the nation and the world to six categories that are an incongruous mix of skin color and geographic origin. In addition to the official and specious category of Hispanic are the official and specious categories of White, African American, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander.

Given current trends, it may come to pass someday that people will be required to wear their assigned label on their backside, like a bumper sticker for humans.  

I’ll return to the other catch-all categories momentarily but will first finish the discussion on Hispanics (aka Latinos, Latin Americans, or Latinx).

The word “Latinx” was masterfully ridiculed in a December 19, 2021, op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. I can’t do a better job than the op-ed and letters in exposing the silliness of such nouveau terms as “Latinx,” so I won’t try; but I will mention some facts about Latin America apparently not known by those inflicted with Obsessive Category Disorder, or OCD.

One fact is that an estimated 30 million people of Italian descent live in Brazil, which is the largest country by population in Latin America. To that point, here are questions for those with OCD:  How should these Italian Brazilians be classified—as Hispanic, White, Latino, Latinx, or Latin American? And for the millions of Italians who have intermarried with black, Spanish, and indigenous Brazilians, are their offspring considered to be people of color, and if so, what color? (If you’re not sure what color is produced from mixing the colors of olive, black, brown, beige, and white, you can call a color expert at Sherwin-Williams or your local hardware store.)

Even miseducated college graduates might know enough to understand that the Romance languages spoken in Latin America have their etymological roots in the Latin language, which is how Latin America got its name. (Given that I studied Latin for four years in high school, I’m an honorary Latin American.)

Another explanation for how Latin America got its name can be found in the wonderful work of history, The Last Emperor of Mexico, by Edward Shawcross. Unfortunately, directors of diversity and inclusion won’t read the book, because it’s three standard deviations above the average IQ for the “profession.”

Anyway, Shawcross explains that in the 1850s, under the reign of Napoleon III, French thinkers invented the term “Latin America” to rally southern Catholic peoples against a feared onslaught from northern Protestant peoples. He goes on to write, “Soon after a French journalist used it in print in 1856, a Columbian living in Paris wrote a poem warning that the Anglo-Saxons, as he referred to the United States, were the mortal enemies of Latin Americans.”

This dovetailed with a belief of Catholic monarchs that due to cultural and historical differences between Catholicism and Protestantism, Anglo-Saxon nations were better suited to democracy and liberalism while Latin nations were better suited to monarchies. In turn, this became a pretext for French, Spanish, and Habsburg monarchs, who, fearing republicanism and American hegemony in the New World, to attempt to recreate their own hegemony, by taking the side of Mexican rebels who wanted to overthrow the fledgling Mexican republic and restore the monarchy.

On a personal note, although I am not an Anglo-Saxon Protestant or an apologist for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and colonialism, I’ve long held that the parts of the Americas where Latin-Catholic culture is more dominant than Anglo-Saxon-Protestant culture are less free, less prosperous, and less liberal, in the classical sense. This also applies to certain parts of the United States, which I won’t identify here, because it’s too easy to be misunderstood without writing a long dissertation on the subject.

Having covered the official category of Hispanic, let’s turn now to the other official categories of White, African American, Asian, Native American, and Pacific Islander. As with the Hispanic category, those inflicted with OCD have reduced a large number of distinct nationalities and ethno-cultural groups to this handful of categories. Then, in violation of equal rights and equal opportunity laws, they discriminate against those in the concocted White category, and more recently, against those in the concocted Asian category, in college admissions and in hiring and promotions, in the name of diversity and inclusion.

Note the incongruous and inconsistent way that the categories are organized. Only one of the categories, the White category, refers to skin color. The rest refer to the geography of origin: Africa for African Americans, Asia for Asians, the Americas for Native Americans, the Pacific Islands for Pacific Islanders, and Europe’s Hispanic Peninsula, or the Iberian Peninsula, for Hispanics. The only exception is when African-American category is called the Black category.

Whoever coined these categories should be arrested for committing a crime against the field of anthropology. The crime has resulted in absurdities, in people having their heritage overlooked or insulted, and in much political mischief.

Take the Asian category, where scores of unique nationalities and ethnocultural groups are lumped together as if they are homogenous. 

To see firsthand how absurd this is, try convincing Filipinos and Koreans that they are the same as the Japanese. Or, following the lead of corporations, appoint a Han Chinese or East Indian Hindu to a board of directors or senior management position to represent all peoples who hail from Asia, including Uyghurs, Mongolians, Eastern Russians, Malaysians, Pakistanis, and many others.

This is as ridiculous and insulting as believing that Boston Brahmins or the Pilgrims or the Chesapeake Bay colonists were no different from my poor Italian ancestors or the ancestors of Albanian Americans, Iranian Americans, Jewish Americans, Walloon Americans, and so on for hundreds of other groups force-fitted into the White category and stereotyped as privileged, bourgeois, racist, and oppressive.  Yes indeed, that certainly describes my immigrant grandfather, who worked as a coal miner in southern Illinois; or my wife’s grandfather, who worked as a field hand in the oil fields of western Pennsylvania.

To circle back to the subject of diversity on corporate boards, a board would need thousands of directors to represent all of the world’s peoples. To get an idea of how many peoples there are, go to the following link, scroll through the list of ethnic groups that come up, and click on the names of the various ethnic groups to get the names of the sub-groups within each one.

Only those with Obsessive Category Disorder can believe that they are furthering racial enlightenment and diversity by obliterating this rich diversity and by using such fatuous words as “Latinx”.

 

 

 

 

 

Gun Control Comes from a Place of Privilege

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: We think the observations made by the author are very perceptive and largely overlooked. However, we would also add that even those in nice neighborhoods depend on police who are often suffering from funding deficiencies and local prosecutors who ignore the law. But even aside from these issues, the average response time for a 911 call in urban America averages around eleven minutes. In rural areas, it can even be longer. In a life-threatening situation, this is far too long to be helpful. The police response is largely to fill out reports, not stop the carnage. They simply can’t get there fast enough in many circumstances. Therefore, when silly, well-meaning people want to take your guns away, they are really taking your protection away and leaving your fate in the hands of your attacker. In reality, you must be the “first responder”, and if you think otherwise, you are hopelessly naive.

 

Assuming we know what’s best for others is rarely a good idea.

The concept of privilege gets a bad rap in many circles, and understandably so. Many have taken it way too far, using it as a means of bullying their political opponents into submission. But while the excesses of this rhetoric are certainly problematic, I don’t think we should do away with the concept entirely. Behind all the moral grandstanding lies a kernel of truth, one that can provide some valuable insights if applied correctly.

The principle, essentially, is that certain people have unearned advantages, and those advantages can shape how they see the world. Affluence, for instance, can make someone blind to the needs of the poor. Likewise, those with an above-average aptitude, intelligence, or physical appearance might find it difficult to relate to those who were not equally endowed with those gifts.

The problem with this blindness is that it can easily lead to hubris, that is, unwarranted self-confidence. Indeed, one of the hallmarks of privilege is thinking we know the best course of action for a given situation when we really don’t.

The classic example of this is the story of a famous French princess who, upon hearing that the peasants had no bread, simply replied, “then let them eat cake.” She was so unfamiliar with their circumstances that the solution she dismissively prescribed was positively laughable. Another example of privilege was when the lockdown elite told us to “just stay home,” seemingly oblivious to the fact that staying home is simply unfeasible for many working-class people.

Now, progressives are typically pretty good at pointing out places where privilege is leading to blindness and hubris (indeed, they often see privilege even where it doesn’t exist). But there’s one occurrence of privilege that always seems to get a pass, and that is the privilege associated with gun control.

Out of Touch

Consider, for example, someone who’s from a wealthy, safe neighborhood. They know very little about what it’s like to live in a high-crime area. They have probably never been robbed or threatened with violence from a total stranger. And if they do face threats, they have no qualms with calling the (armed) police who are usually responsive and happy to help.

Now compare that to the experience of someone from a rougher part of town. First, the cops there are probably not as responsive. What’s more, the cops can often become antagonistic, poking their nose where it doesn’t belong (see below) and sometimes arresting the very people they arrived to help.

Unsurprisingly, confidence in the police is noticeably lower in these communities.

So what do you do if you live in a high-crime area where you can’t trust the police to help you? For many, the answer is to buy a gun. Indeed, 88 percent of gun owners cite crime protection as one of the main reasons they own a gun, and people who have been recent crime victims report higher rates of gun ownership than those who have not been recent victims.

This brings us to the point about privilege. To many people who grew up in these rough neighborhoods, saying “just call the cops” is like saying “let them eat cake.” It isn’t actually helpful advice. It just demonstrates how little we know about their circumstances and how unqualified we are to speak to their issues.

To be sure, the people in these communities are often divided over the issue of gun control themselves. Even so, if someone is buying a gun, there’s a good chance it’s because they don’t feel safe without it. So before we tell them they are better off disarmed, perhaps we should take stock of how privileged we are to not need guns ourselves.

A Decades-Old Problem

The connection between gun control and privilege may sound new to many, but it’s actually an issue that goes back decades. In 1978, for instance, the economist and libertarian philosopher Murray Rothbard drew attention to this problem in his book For a New Liberty. To make his point, he quotes an article written by Don Kates for the Cato Institute’s Inquiry Magazine. Kates, for his part, pulls no punches.

“Gun prohibition is the brainchild of white middle-class liberals who are oblivious to the situation of poor and minority people living in areas where the police have given up on crime control,” Kates writes. “Such liberals weren’t upset about marijuana laws, either, in the fifties when the busts were confined to the ghettos. Secure in well-policed suburbs or high-security apartments guarded by Pinkertons (whom no one proposes to disarm), the oblivious liberal derides gun ownership as ‘an anachronism from the Old West.’”

Kates goes on to highlight exactly what kind of people are being impacted by gun control policies. Citing a 1975 national survey, he notes that the leading subgroups who owned a gun only for self-defense were blacks, the lowest income groups, and senior citizens. “These are the people,” Kates eloquently warns, “it is proposed we jail because they insist on keeping the only protection available for their families in areas in which the police have given up.”

Four decades later, FBI data showed African Americans were still disproportionately impacted by anti-carry laws, accounting for 42 percent of all possession charges even though they accounted for just 13 percent of the overall population.

Of course, none of this will make gun control any less contentious. There is no silver bullet here. But perhaps this paradigm can at least give us a lesson in humility. Namely, don’t assume you know what’s best for someone if you haven’t walked a mile in their shoes.

*****

This article was first published by FEE, Foundation for Economic Education, and is reproduced with permission.

Some Timely Satire: No Left-Wing Extremists in the US

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Judging by media coverage, there are only right-wing extremists.

Groucho Marx said that he didn’t want to be a member of any club that would have him. To paraphrase the comedian, I don’t want to be a member of any political tribe that would have me, especially not the control freaks who want to remake America into their extreme image and subjugate me and my loved ones and take our stuff and constitutional rights.

Thankfully, there are no longer any extremists on the left for me to guard against—at least according to the mediaExtremists only exist on the right.

That explains why the pejorative “right-wing” is used in the media ten times more or so than “left-wing.” It also explains why there has been an avalanche of stories about the threat of right-wing extremists and white supremacists and no stories about left-wing extremists and white Marxists.

One can only conclude that there is no one on the left like the Arizonan who, along with other numbskulls, stormed the Capitol wearing an animal skin and Viking horns—a freak who made me ashamed to be an Arizonan.

The unbathed, scraggly rioters in Portland, Seattle, Kenosha, and other cities must’ve been on the right, despite their claim that they were Antifa, or anti-fascists, because extremists are only on the right. 

Being learned people with an exceptional knowledge of history, the Antifa no doubt knows that the right is often the left, and vice versa. Journalists certainly know this, considering that they are even brighter and more versed in history than the Antifa, due to having a degree in the toughest major in college next to an education major.

Here’s a quick history lesson for the unlearned who don’t have the intellect of Antifa or journalists: The word “fascism” got its name in Italy from the bundle of sticks called “fasci,” a symbol of the collective nature of Benito Mussolini’s fascism. As with Hitler’s National Socialists, fascism was a combination of nationalism and socialism. The fascists may not have owned the means of production, but they didn’t have to, because they controlled the capitalists, which is the dream of control freaks like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Elizabeth Warren.

Are AOC and EW right-wingers?

More history: Starting with the Progressive Era in the early twentieth century and continuing for a few decades, white eugenicists led the powerful eugenics movement, which had the mission of stopping undesirables from reproducing, through forced sterilization and other measures. They called themselves progressives but must’ve been right-wingers in disguise, because progressives would never have resorted to such an abuse of government power.

Likewise, President Woodrow Wilson, a former Ivy League academic, called himself a progressive but must’ve been a right-winger. After all, no one on the left would’ve passed the Sedition Act and arrested reporters for speaking out against American soldiers being slaughtered in the First World War. Similarly, no one on today’s left would cancel people or get them fired for exercising their First Amendment right of free speech.

Senator Joe McCarthy was indeed a right-winger (and a drunk). He was so extreme that he went after lovey-dovey Kumbaya Americans who wanted to turn America into a Communist paradise like the Soviet Union and Red China, which, combined, starved and executed tens of millions of people. He is so vilified for what he did that the word “McCarthyism” is synonymous with “right-wing extremism.” Funny thing, though, the word “Wilsonism” or “eugenicism” did not enter the political lexicon as being synonymous with “left-wing extremism.”

All of this shows that the left is smarter than the right. Progressives and their fellow cadres in the copycat media have commandeered the language to their advantage and convinced America’s youth that the only threat to their freedom and well-being comes from the right.  

Speaking of right, Groucho Marx was indeed right. Americans should not want to be a member of a political tribe on either the right or left that harbors extremists, even if the tribe would have them.

They Are Neither Socialists nor Communists

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

A wise man during a recent lunch pointed out to me that Republicans and Conservatives often banter about terms, calling Leftists either Socialists or Communists. Mark Levin has an excellent, well-researched, bestselling book out on the subject called American Marxism. But are they really?

This very thoughtful and insightful person stated that they really are not Marxists, etc. He suggested I write a piece on the topic. Here we are.

Most Leftists have abandoned the name Communists because it became tattered — not because of the failed policies or the millions of people murdered. The reason is because of the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the collapse, Leftists have abandoned the term much like they stopped calling themselves Liberals and have since ruined the word progressive.

The preferred term these days is “Socialist.” They have even become more inventive with many calling themselves “Democratic Socialists.” The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) has sold itself a bill of goods that they are not totalitarians. They just want all decisions made through the government.

If they are neither Socialists nor Communists, what are they? They are something you cannot call someone without casting a negative aspersion on them or you or both. What they are and what my enlightened friend pointed out is that they are Fascists. Now that your ears are burning, hear me out on this because my friend is correct.

Fascism used to compete with Communism. The reality is both are a form of totalitarian government that oppresses and murders people, but they are distinctly different. That is why in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the two groups were fighting on the streets of Germany to contest the ruling government. As you know, the Fascists won that battle and the Nazis became the symbol of evil for all mankind.

So why was my friend correct that they are Fascists? Communism is a manner of government where all the means of production is controlled centrally. There is no division between the government and the economy.

Fascism is central control through a capitalist system. Socialism nationalized property explicitly, while fascism coopts the means of production by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the totalitarian authority wants it used. That is why after WWII Germany was able to again become a productive society so quickly despite the complete devastation of the country. Their industrial leaders (capitalists) were still in place after the war. Think Volkswagen.

If you think of post-war China which is often called Communist China, it has not been Communist the entire time. Certainly, it started out as Communist under Mao Tse-Tung. They even had the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s so Mao could cleanse the country of capitalism. Then Deng Xiaoping came to power acknowledging that Communism does not work as an economic system and the country was a mess. He instituted changes that allowed capitalism to flourish in the country. Currently, Xi Jinping is cracking down on capitalists and their companies, thinking he can go back to the days of Mao without killing their economy. Notice all the capitalists he is either harassing or arresting. We will see how that works out. But for over 30 years China was fascist and still is. It just has not acknowledged it.

We are experiencing a lot of fascism in America. Interestingly, it radiates mostly from those who state they are anti-fascists. For example, look at how free speech is being suppressed. Anybody who is not a lying politician knows the Left has been suppressing free speech through private companies, the most prominent of which are Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and others. These companies function as news services while stating they are exempt from normal press rules allowing them to block speech the Left does not like.

The entire pandemic has operated in a fascistic manner through private industry. Face mask mandates, vaccine mandates, proof of vaccination mandates, mask mandates on airplanes. Companies are forced to use resources to control their customers while the companies’ non-compliance would result in significant financial penalties.

When President Biden announced private industry vaccine mandates, he had no authority. He stated the rules would be issued through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Every company fell in line except to my knowledge one — The Daily Wire. For over two months there were no rules, but companies were complying. As soon as the regulations were issued multiple lawsuits were filed and many courts ruled against the mandate. Yet so many companies were used to our government operating in a fascistic manner they just complied based on a speech by the President.

States, particularly ones run by Leftists, have gotten into the act. They have forced their policies down the throats of capitalist companies. We who live in California have a multitude of these diktats forced on capitalist companies who once again are subject to severe penalties for non-compliance. For example, you cannot get a straw for a drink in California unless you beg for it. Now you cannot get plastic silverware with take-out food unless you beg for it. Neither of these rules will solve any kind of pollution problems, but legislators are fascists and keep issuing these diktats.

Recently, they required stores to have gender-neutral toy shelves if they are selling toys. There are hundreds of these kinds of top-down fascistic rules where legislators who have never run a business control businesses that are just trying to operate and produce a profit.

If you think that these fascist directives for business just affect major businesses – think again. Gardeners are typically entrepreneurial immigrants who are working their way up the economic ladder for themselves and their families. There is not a high level of education needed nor are the businesses capital intensive. California has outlawed a mainstay of these hardworking people’s tools – gasoline leaf blowers and lawnmowers. Not only will these people need to buy new battery-operated equipment, but it is estimated a three-person crew will need to carry with them 30 or more fully charged batteries to complete their daily workload. Another fascistic order telling small businesses how to operate.

Fascism is attractive to these totalitarians. They do not have to control the means of production; they just control the laws under which the method of production works. Use the wrong material in a building and you are fined. Do not enforce the Fascists’ laundry list of incomprehensible rules and you are fined. The Fascists line their coffers while getting their societal plans enforced. They use the fines to force more diktats down the throats of people just trying to make a living. And as opposed to Communism, in a Fascist government the companies are capable of producing a product like an automobile or a washing machine.

Whether Communist, Socialist, or Fascist, they are all totalitarians. They are all run by people who think they know better than the average person, so they try to tell people how to run their lives. The name “Fascist” was ruined forever by Hitler and his gang of thugs. The Left likes to tell you that Fascism is right-wing which is the big lie. It is akin to Communism but just differs in the means of production. Communism’s means of production has failed everywhere it has been tried. So, what is a totalitarian to do other than become a Fascist but call themselves Socialists?

The Legalized Sexualization Of America’s Young Children

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Let’s peek in on a typical classroom scenario approved by the National Sex Education Standards (NSES). Mr. Smith’s 7 and 8-year-olds are answering true-false questions: 1) “Sexual intercourse should be ONLY between a cisgender male and cisgender female.” 2) “There are only two genders.” 3) “Cisgender boys who identify as girls must go only into restrooms labeled ‘BOYS.’”

The correct answers are all FALSE according to NSES.

The class discussions necessary for small kids to understand the test terms should drop the jaws of sane parents. Second graders still play hide-and-seek and may take stuffed animals to bed. Now public-school teachers are destroying their innocence in explaining the widely (and wildly) differing sexual behaviors of adults in bed.

Too many public-school leaders have entered the morass of mental derangement and opened little innocent minds to concepts rated “R” because they are labeled “sex education.”

Dr. Judith A. Reisman, professor and former consultant to the Department of Education explains: “Little brains are not designed to process sexual stimuli of any kind.” Sexualized behavior is learned by what children see, hear, or experience — yes, even in school.

Down the hall from Mr. Smith, the 10- and 11-year-olds review their lessons using NSES core expectations for elementary grades including the joys of masturbation and how hormone blockers help transgender children.

Their vocabulary test includes gender identity, gender nonbinary and expansive, and lesbian, to name a few. The test covers differing behaviors of sexual intimacy and how same-sex couples can acquire children, such as in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy.

Virginia middle-school children 13 and 14 will soon reveal their “sex lives” in the Fairfax Youth Survey including these questions:

  • How old were you when you had sexual intercourse for the first time?
  • During your life, with how many people have you had sexual intercourse?
  • Have you ever had oral sex?

Youth barely into puberty will assume, then, that the norm for kids their age is to be sexually active.

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), established by Dr. Mary Calderone, previous medical director for Planned Parenthood, was partially funded by Hugh Hefner’s Playboy organization. These are the opening words on the SIECUS website: “[T]he ability of the federal government to enact sweeping sex education requirements continues to be a focal point of advocacy efforts.”

NEA resolution B-53 Sex Education instructs that “…programs should include information on… diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity…homophobia…lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) issues.”

Parents who disagree with any of the above are called bigots, meaning almost 30% of Americans are so-labeled by far-left extremists who seek to cancel their rights. These tax-paying parents deserve to remove their children from the required “health” (sex ed) courses, yet 29 states have no opt-out provision.

Nobody disagrees that young children need sex-abuse education. Kids should also understand that Miguel, who has two daddies, can be a friend and so can Harriet, who was born as Harry. But youngsters should be spared details of Harry’s puberty-blocking medication and what daddies and mommies do in their bedrooms.

And when children do receive such information, it should be from parents — who know their own values and children. The late Dr. Melvin Anchell, American physician, psychoanalyst, and educator, writes that indoctrinating young children sexually causes “irreparable harm” that can last throughout their lives.

Lori Porter, of Parent Rights in Education explains: “…it [is] now okay to show what can only be described as ‘sexually obscene’ material to minor children in the classroom, but it [is] still quite illegal to show that same material to children in any other venue.”

Independent Women’s Voice recently designed a TV spot showing illustrations in a Virginia school library book. Stations deemed it too explicit for late-night audiences.

How do the schools get by with making pornography available to minors, while 49 states and federal laws prohibit it? It’s simple: “Sex education” (called health) is exempt. 

Today’s parental outrage is not aimed against what “woke” parents do sexually or teach their own children. Parents are demanding their rights to control how they educate their children about sex beyond the basics of human anatomy, awareness of sexual diseases, and pregnancy prevention, the former boundaries for sex education in schools.

Today, however, public educators feel free to tell little Sophie and Sammy that although each was born with a vagina or a penis, those organs can be changed. And if the kids ever feel they need to discuss details, they should talk to the school counselor, not their parents.

Heads up, “educators” — you are not co-parents of America’s children.

Heads up, politicians — you must amend laws to prohibit pornography in public schools. The recent Virginia gubernatorial elections revealed politicians ignore that fact at their political peril.

*****

This article first appeared in The Independent Women’s Forum and is reproduced with permission.

Human Smuggling Is Booming in Arizona, With Deadly Consequences

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

COCHISE COUNTY, Arizona—Wanda Sitoski loved holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter—you name it, she had boxes of decorations for them all.

But her upcoming 65th birthday was more significant than most, as Sitoski was poised to retire, kick back, and travel.

On Oct. 30, 2021, as she drove to her favorite expensive restaurant to celebrate with her son the evening before the big day, a 16-year-old who was smuggling four illegal aliens in his car ran a red light at 105 miles per hour and killed her instantly.

“All she wanted to do was retire and drive to the Grand Canyon. She wanted to sit in peace and quiet. And a 16-year-old kid took all that away from her,” Sitoskis’s son, Edward Fritsch, told The Epoch Times.

“The day that happened, my soul was split in half.”

Cochise County in Arizona shares 83 miles of international border with Mexico. The illegal immigrants coming through the county aren’t seeking asylum—they’re doing everything they can to avoid law enforcement and get to Phoenix, according to Sheriff Mark Dannels.

“These people can’t turn themselves in, they’ll get deported. These are the bad people. We’re dealing with the worst of the worst,” he said.

Border Patrol apprehensions in the Tucson sector, which includes Cochise County, almost tripled in 2021 compared to 2020.

In the fiscal year 2021, border agents apprehended more than 190,000 illegal aliens in the sector, compared to 66,000 the year before. Thousands more evaded capture.

Dannels said his office currently tracks between 900 and 1,000 smuggling vehicles in the county every month—a massive increase that began escalating at the start of President Joe Biden’s tenure.

Drivers are being paid about $1,000 per illegal alien they smuggle.

The immediate destination is usually Phoenix, which is used as a hub to travel to other cities throughout the United States.

“It’s like the cartel Uber. They just stage in public places all along the roadways waiting to get called up to go pick them up,” Dannels said.

*****

Continue reading this article at The Epoch Times.

Why the Bastardization of the Scientific Method Is so Dangerous

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

When married to power, an exaltation of science can have disastrous effects.

Over the past half-decade, there has been a growing trend signaling a shift in the perceived and accepted role of science. It is not uncommon to see slogans and mottos such as “the science is settled” and “believe in science.”

Statements like this present two major problems: first, science is determined to be final and indisputable; second, it is accompanied by a value or moral judgment. For example, scientific studies indicate that wearing a helmet can reduce head injury by 48%, serious head injury by 60%, traumatic brain injury by 53%, [and] face injury by 23%.”

While it takes little effort to align with science on such a matter, I intend to demonstrate that an application of the first behavior is contradictory to the foundation of science and the second lies entirely outside its purview.

To establish common ground, we begin by reviewing the merits and fundamentals of the scientific method. First, an observation is made, followed by a question regarding the observation. A hypothesis is then formed that could potentially answer the question. A prediction about future results based on the hypothesis is then tested via experiments. Analysis of the results of the experiments are utilized to confirm or reject the hypothesis. If the results seem to demonstrate that the hypothesis is correct, then confidence begins to build in the predictive power of the hypothesis and its ability to describe the real world. If the results seem to demonstrate that the hypothesis is incorrect, then the scientific method loops back on itself, and the hypothesis is challenged, refined, modified, or discarded. The process is rigorous, thorough, and exacting. It is also deeply empirical, meaning it relies on information from the real world; it can only extract data from things that have already happened. In its most basic form, this process is what constitutes “science” as commonly referred to in media and conversation.

With common ground established, the first major problem can be addressed. It is, ironically, anti-science to ever declare that science is settled. There are a few characteristics of the scientific method that substantiate this claim. Since the scientific method is based on empirical data in relation to a hypothesis, it is reliant on the senses and perceived experiences. This means it is wholly dependent on the past. Science cannot properly predict the future; it can only model what has happened and make a reasonable projection about what could happen. Scientific law hangs on statistical probability.

In addition, since man is not omniscient, the future will forever remain unknown. As man continues to explore the physical world, there always exists the possibility that enough data will accumulate to falsify, or at least cast into doubt, a well-established scientific conclusion. Because of these conditions, statements declaring the science to be settled are altogether unscientific: they reject the core principles and practices of the scientific method and the nature of human experience. Such conditions expose the ridiculousness of any insinuation that science is settled. Strictly speaking, science is unable to ever be settled. Imagine the carnage if scientists around the world had retired their lab coats and accepted the alleged “clinical proof” that certain cigarettes were not actually harmful or medically superior to other brands. Fortunately, continued use of the scientific method has built a compelling counterargument that cigarettes are in fact very detrimental to the body.

The second major problem may have more perilous implications when thoroughly examined. In the preceding discussion, it is clearly shown that science is only able to approach statistical truth based on empirical evidence. Science is, however, utterly unable to tell us what is right or wrong. There is nothing naturally occurring within the scientific method that empowers it to make value judgments or moral decisions. It cannot tell us what is good, bad, better, or worse. In essence, science is never able to say “should” or “must.” To return to our previous example, science may conclude that wearing a helmet prevents head injuries in motorbike accidents, but it is powerless to dictate that motorists should wear helmets. To do so is to make a value judgment that can only be made by individuals.

Wearing a helmet is only prescriptive if the individual motorist values the possibility of preventing a cracked skull more than riding freely in the wind. Knowing the risks and being informed by science, most motorists would likely choose to wear a helmet, but science is unable to tell them that is the choice of highest value, since individuals have different, and differing, value systems. In regards to science, what is right is dependent on the precise ends desired by individual actors and their values.

As Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises stated, “There is no use in arguing about the adequacy of ethical precepts…. Ultimate ends are chosen by the individual’s judgments of value. They cannot be determined by scientific inquiry and logical reasoning.”

Allowing science to make universal value judgments also enables it to define morality. An example of this can be found in the debates surrounding abortion law. Science can tell us when a heartbeat begins, how developed a baby is in the first, second, and third trimester, and even the sex of the baby. But again, it is absolutely powerless to tell us whether it is or is not moral to abort the baby. Such an evaluation would rest on the value judgments and moral code of the individual.

The issue, then, with slogans like “believe in science” is the tendency to conflate science with morality and value. When science is wielded to make laws, it is most often done with a moral code attached. It has been shown that science is not able to do this, so the only way science can be used to make law is for someone, some real person or persons somewhere, to draw a moral conclusion based on the science. This personal, individual moral conclusion is then applied wholesale upon all that the law will reach. It is, for this reason, that science should never be used as a justification in any government action to enforce moral systems.

Doing so results in the morals and values of the few being imposed upon the many. But it is only individuals who can make decisions about what they will do in regard to any scientific consensus. F.A. Hayek put this neatly when he said that “individuals should be allowed … to follow their own values and preferences rather than somebody else’s.”

The results of any scientific study require interpretation, and any interpretation is necessarily subjective. The interpretation of results may go on to inform value judgments and moral codes. But if science moves into a space where its conclusions can never be challenged and it also determines morality, then it suddenly ceases to exhibit characteristics of science and has assumed characteristics of religion.

When conveniently married to power, an exaltation of science to this status can have disastrous effects, as evidenced by the acts committed by the Third Reich and other totalitarian regimes.

“Science cannot lie, for it’s always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge, to deduce what is true,” Hitler famously asserted.

The further scientists drift from the scientific method to tell people what they should do, the more they undermine science and increase the potential to restrict choice, destroy human liberty, and harm real people.

It should always be remembered that while science can tell us that a phone will carry our voices through the air, it will never be able to tell us what should be said.

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This article was published by FEE, Foundation for Economic Education and is reproduced with permission.

Newsom, Democrats Go for Californians’ Guns

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Even as crime is surging in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom and his allies in the legislature are seeking to make it more difficult for citizens to defend themselves.

This week, Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) introduced Assembly Bill 1594, which reads, “This bill would specify that a gun industry member has created or maintained a public nuisance, as defined, if their failure to follow federal, state, or local law caused injury or death or if the gun industry member engaged in unfair business practices.”

It’s a blatant attempt to bankrupt the gun companies, a clear violation of the Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” The 2008 Heller decision by the U.S. Supreme Court clearly affirmed that meant an individual right, not just that of a state militia. And a right obviously can only be exercised if one has the physical means to do so.

For example, the First Amendment right to freedom “of the press” can only be exercised if paper companies are not impeded in their business of selling paper to publishers and the public. If the “paper industry” could be sued because, say, terrorists used paper to publish plans for attacks, then the paper would go up in cost so high the exercise of freedom “of the press” would be impinged.

AB 1594 was introduced after Newsom reacted against a U.S. Supreme Court action that let stands, for now, a Texas law allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers. It’s by no means clear the court will let that law stand permanently. But Newsom said in a Dec. 11 statement, “If states can now shield their laws from review by the federal courts that compare assault weapons to Swiss Army knives, then California will use that authority to protect people’s lives, where Texas used it to put women in harm’s way.”

Newsom’s spokesperson, Daniel Lopez, reiterated that sentiment in a statement Tuesday, “So long as the United States Supreme Court has set a precedent which allows private citizens to sue to stop abortions in Texas, California will use that same ability to save lives.”

Actually, pro-lifers say abortion takes a life, and with modern medicine childbirth rarely leads to the death of the mother. All medical procedures involve some risk, including abortions, not only to the baby, but for the mother.

Guns also are specifically mentioned in the Bill of Rights, while abortion only has become a right since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision—still controversial—which the court might reverse or modify.

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Continue reading this article at The Epoch Times.

Biden’s Mandate Goes to The Supreme Court

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

President Joe Biden, or more likely his handlers that pull the strings, imposed a controversial mandate on large and small employers to force vaccination for the Wuhan virus. Having been unable to get legislation through Congress, he decided to use Executive edict, thereby essentially writing legislation, which is the job of Congress.

This Presidential overreach has now gone before the Supreme Court and early indications are that it is not going well for the Administration.

The conservative majority on the court seems skeptical that law can essentially be written by Biden himself, avoiding Congress, by ordering OSHA, an agency that is a regulatory body for workplace safety, to enforce a medical mandate. It also seems that at least some justices do not believe OSHA has the power, under current law, to be imposing a mandate for vaccinations.

It is also becoming increasingly clear, to even those with little medical training, that those individuals who have been vaccinated both get and spread the virus. If that is true, what is the purpose of a mandate, even if the President has the authority to impose one? Listening to some of the comments from the judges, it is not clear they are well informed on a variety of virus issues. Some dialogue indicated that some were blissfully unaware that the vaccinated were spreading and becoming ill. Some unvaccinated individuals have already had the virus, and thus have more robust protection than vaccinated people. But the government only seems to recognize antibodies and T cells that result from vaccines and ignore those same cells and immune system mechanisms if created naturally. This is absurd.

There appears to be no logical medical reason or legal authority for imposing such a mandate. Rather it is largely a political move to satisfy the Democrat Party base, which ran on the lofty proposition that they could control the virus because they “had a plan” and the other guy supposedly did not. How is that working for ya?

Well, the plan is failing on a number of levels and it is obvious to anyone who is still reasonably alert. It is once again a central planning hammer, of one size, fits all medicine. The medical profession has moved from treating the patient to groveling before public health officials and politicians. 

Beyond the profound constitutional questions of avoiding the Congress and assuming police powers that rightfully belong to the states, the mandate has created additional collateral damage that goes well beyond violating the function of the Executive under the Constitution. Besides a serious blow to medical ethics,  they have recruited corporations to violate basic rights instead of the government doing it directly. And it would seem that some corporations, many highly beholden for subsidies and bailouts, are more than willing to play along with the attack on liberty.

Mandates and their enforcement violate personal liberty and the right to medical privacy. It introduces the question: how far into employee private affairs can an employer go, as a condition of employment? Since the vaccines do not stop the transmission of the virus to others, it is hard to argue a private mandate is in the general health interest of the workforce. However, it could be argued that vaccines reduce the severity and therefore the chance, and expense, of hospitalization. Since private companies subsidize healthcare and are concerned about a fully functioning workforce, they would have some legitimate interest in reducing potential health costs and absenteeism.

How far can you go in that direction? Smoking increases potential health care costs. So do drinking, bad driving,  a bad diet, and abortions. Does a company have a right to dictate these kinds of personal choices to employees? Where did my body, my life go to? Do you mean a society that endorses the idea that minors can undergo sex-change operations without parental consultation because “we all have personal autonomy with our bodies”, will allow employees to have private choices circumscribed by employers because it might reduce potential costs? Are we now serfs living on the manor, subject to the rules of the prince?

What if the vaccines are shown to have serious side effects that show up in the future? May an employee, forced by the condition of employment to take an experimental drug, sue the employer for damages? Should employers even be interfering in lifestyle and medical questions like this? Perhaps in the form of incentives such as gym memberships or reduced health insurance premium payments, they might wish to incentivize their workforce towards certain behaviors. But mandates, that if violated, result in termination?

Moreover, vaccines are not the ONLY way to reduce the severity of the virus and potential cost. Could employers demand that certain medications and therapeutics be taken by employees because taking them reduces the severity and the chance of hospitalization? Could you imagine Bank of America mandating that ivermectin be taken if an employee develops Covid, because it has been shown to reduce the severity, and thereby likely reduce costs? There would be justifiable outrage. Medication is a choice that should be made by the patient and his doctor.

It has also demonstrated that the Federal Government, by providing payments to medical companies and others, can use fear of financial retribution to coerce private companies to do their bidding. It can do this to defense contractors and others with direct contact with the Federal Government. In fact, since most large companies and universities, and even local schools receive at least some funding from the Federal Government, this use of financial intimidation sets another ugly precedent. That which the Federal government subsidizes, it should control.

Some of our corporations have now snuggled into bed with the Federal Government, such as the auto companies, airlines, and the big banks, all of which received bailouts of one form or another, that the relationship would likely bring a gleam to the eye of Benito Mussolini.

Such a wide range of medical companies may receive Medicare or Medicaid payments, it would seem to include the entire industry. Does it follow that this extends to employees who are not officers in the corporation? Does it extend to patients?

How else can one explain, for example, the Mayo Clinic dismissing 700 nurses, during a huge surge in the pandemic with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant? Could it be because they might get Medicare money, research money, and the like? It seems illogical, and just plain stupid, to fire medical workers when you have a surge in critically ill patients to care for. That is certainly not putting the patient’s interest first. It is putting money and the government first. This has tarnished the Mayo Clinic’s reputation with both its staff and its clients. In addition, imagine the cost that must be absorbed to re-hire and train new nurses up to the superior standards found at the Mayo clinic. Who eats those costs?

And, it begs this question: why do so many highly trained medical personnel choose not to be vaccinated?

Likewise firing military personnel when we face significant challenges from China, Russia, and Iran hardly seems the right thing to do to enhance combat readiness. However here, the government has more authority because they run the armed services, one of the few real responsibilities given to the Federal government by the Constitution. In addition, people voluntarily serve and agree to certain rules. That said, there are multiple examples now, of Naval ships having to abort their missions and stay in port because their crew of 100% vaccinated sailors are experiencing an outbreak of the virus. Just because you might have the power to coerce things in the military does not necessarily mean it is the correct policy.

Biden has repeatedly divided the country by attacking those who have chosen not to vaccinate, some on religious grounds, some on medical grounds, and many who have already had the virus, and thus have protection more thorough and longer-lasting than offered by the vaccine. He repeats the big lie that the unvaccinated are the cause of the continuation of the pandemic.

This is one of those rare occasions where the failure of a medical procedure is blamed on those who did not have it. You would think at some point the Administration would see the sheer idiocy of their policies. But, that may be wishful thinking.

We certainly hope the Supreme Court will block the Administration from further unconstitutional edicts, but our worry is they can’t entirely stop the Administration from wreaking damage on schools, universities, private companies, and others, fearful that money, if not law, will rule.

American Traitors: Academics Working for China

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

It took a federal jury in Boston less than three hours to return guilty verdicts on all six felony counts against Charles Lieber, the former chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Lieber, “one of the country’s top research chemists” according to the New York Times, lied to the FBI about his participation in Beijing’s Thousand Talents Program, did not pay income tax on money from Chinese sources, and failed to report his Chinese bank account to the Internal Revenue Service.

The case against the Harvard academic was airtight. Nonetheless, members of America’s academic elite are up in arms that the Department of Justice prosecuted Lieber, and many are campaigning against law enforcement efforts.

China’s regime has bought America’s academic community and turned it against America.

“The conviction of Lieber is very good news,” Kerry Gershaneck, the author of Political Warfare: Strategies for Combating China’s Plan to “Win Without Fighting” and a professor in Taiwan, tells Gatestone. “This case is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what needs to be done by the U.S. government to penetrate and prosecute China’s co-option of America’s academia.”

Justice did not go after Lieber for espionage or intellectual property theft. Instead, it hit him with relatively minor charges in order to obtain convictions. Yet make no mistake: Lieber’s activities were deeply injurious to the United States. The Harvard professor recruited American talent to work in China. In 2011, Lieber had agreed to become a “strategic scientist” at the Wuhan University of Technology and consequently a part of the Thousand Talents Program, an effort to attract foreign specialists for Beijing.

“While working on the Communist Party’s payroll, Lieber was in a perfect position to spot and assess potential vulnerable students and faculty for China to recruit,” says Gershaneck.

For his efforts, Beijing rewarded Lieber handsomely: $50,000 a month, among other payments.

As Charles Burton, once a professor at Brock University and now a leading expert on China’s infiltration of Canada, tells Gatestone, “Scientists around the world, identified as leaders in areas of advanced research that are strategic priorities, are targeted by a well-funded sophisticated engagement that plays on their vanity, naiveté, and greed.”

China apparently appealed not only to Lieber’s greed but also to his vanity. Before conviction, the now-disgraced scientist told the FBI that he collaborated with China to increase his prospects of gaining Chinese support for winning a Nobel Prize.

Unfortunately, China’s allies in America blame the Justice Department’s China Initiative, established in 2018, for Lieber’s conviction. They accuse this law-enforcement effort of “racial profiling,” “selective prosecution,” and “prosecutorial overreach.”

“The reason people like Lieber lie is because they are afraid,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a Washington, D.C. lawyer representing researchers investigated for China ties, to the New York Times. “It’s really sad. They are afraid to answer truthfully, ‘Are you a member of the talent program?’ I’m sure during the Red Scare, people said they were not a member of the Communist Party.”

A more likely explanation for Lieber lying to federal authorities is that he knew what he was doing was wrong, that he was aware he was taking money to harm the United States. China’s Communist Party has been engaged in decades of taking, by guile, theft, and other means, scientific knowledge, know-how, and other valuable intellectual property. Lieber knew he was part of those Chinese efforts.

China’s theft of intellectual property alone injures the U.S. to the tune of perhaps $500 billion a year, according to John Ratcliffe, the former director of national intelligence. Lieber’s efforts facilitated the loss of valuable technology on top of this staggering sum.

“For more than 70 years, the Chinese Communist Party has invested extraordinary effort into infiltrating and co-opting America’s academia,” Gershaneck says. “Academic infiltration and subversion are vital elements of the Communist Party’s political warfare against the U.S., and to this end its United Front and intelligence organizations aggressively target America’s universities, individual scholars, think tanks, and even K-12 teachers and students.”

The effort has been successful. I am told there are “thousands” of professors on Beijing’s payroll in California universities.

China is about to put even more effort into taking over foreign institutions of higher education. “Chinese ruler Xi Jinping in a major speech in September stressed that it is a regime priority to attract foreign professionals to transfer state-of-the-art scientific know-how to China, saying this is crucial to China’s technological self-reliance and national rejuvenation,” says Burton, the Canadian academic now at the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

Xi is serious about attracting talents like Lieber. In his September speech, Xi said he would “exhaust all means” to recruit foreigners. China, Xi said, is “more eager than any period in its history” for professional talent.

He delivered his words at a two-day conference on luring foreign talent, the third nationwide meeting on developing technology.

The Chinese dictator in September established a two-decade timetable to become the world’s science and technology leader. He talked about the struggle on the world’s “main economic battlefield.”

China’s regime believes that the competition for talent is a war. In that war, China’s military has access to all technology in nominally civilian Chinese institutions and companies, and the Chinese military is planning to use this tech to develop the means to kill Americans by the hundreds of millions.

In China’s official war on America — People’s Daily in May 2019 declared a “people’s war” on the United States — Americans working for Beijing, whatever their intention, are essentially traitors. Lieber, a traitor, has inflicted incalculable damage on America.

Lieber will likely receive a prison sentence shorter than six months.

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This article is reproduced with permission from the Gatestone Institute.