DEI Is An Attack on Free Speech

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Jonathan Haidt is a professor at NYU, an acknowledged leader in the field of social psychology, and a champion of free speech. He recently faced a requirement that all scholars wishing to present research to the Society for Personality and Social Psychology were to submit a statement explaining “whether and how this submission advanced the equity, inclusion, and antiracism goals of SPSP”.

He resigned instead.  This was no small sacrifice, but Haidt takes his principles seriously.  Moreover, as he pointed out on his way out the door “Most academic work has nothing to do with diversity“.

Scholars working, for example, on ultra-bright nano-structured photo emission electron studies would be required to present their “anti-racist“ bona fides. Academics in all disciplines, as well as administrators, would be forced to “betray their quasi-fiduciary duty to the truth by spinning, twisting or otherwise inventing some tenuous connection to diversity“.

This is not just another quibble among pointy-headed academics. Refusing jobs to dissenters is meant to quash the last remnant of open debate in American higher education.

Our universities, particularly the elite, were once celebrated as sanctuaries for unpopular ideas, where free discourse was sacrosanct and none need face fear of censure over doctrinal disputes.

But when the Left achieved numerical domination in the majority of universities over recent decades, their mindset evolved into rooting out the few dissenters in their midst, or, better yet, blocking them from getting a job in the first place.

The reason so-called anti-racists feel justified in forcing their views into unrelated disciplines, such as the hard sciences, is that they view the entire world through the lens of race. Ibram S. Kendi, the leading proponent of anti-racism, writes “there is no such thing as a non-racist or race-neutral policy“.

Their opinions on everything from raising taxes (good) to merit-based promotion in schools (bad) are race-based. It follows that if you disagree with their views, then you’re a racist.

The philosophy of anti-racism is profoundly anti-education and anti-merit. Colleges and universities are less and less committed to the search for truth or the transmission of knowledge. Instead, they are in thrall to the endless dictates of the ironically titled “social justice” bureaucracy.

DEI offices larger than many academic departments (and better paid) are now sprouting in the halls of academia. 25% of all universities now mandate DEI statements from job applicants and 40% more are considering jumping on the bandwagon.

DEI statements are loyalty oaths to race-based ideologies, similar to those required by authoritarian regimes throughout history.  They often demand evidence of the applicant’s past support of such notions as Critical Race Theory, which holds that an individual’s tendency to racial bias can be reliably determined from their skin color.

To our state’s shame, Arizona’s universities have enthusiastically thrown themselves into the front lines of this movement. According to a Goldwater Institute report, Arizona State University last fall required DEI loyalty oaths for 81% of all job applicants. NAU was at 73% while the University of Arizona demanded 28% bend the knee to be considered for a job.

Such required ideological allegiance makes a mockery of the value of any research these aspiring scholars may do. The results are predetermined. In 2020, two major research organizations and 16 scientific societies issued a joint statement that researchers “must stand against the notion that systemic racism does not exist“. No research was cited.

Topics like urban crime, immigration, and welfare fraud are rarely studied when only the approved narrative is permitted anyway. Ignoring data inconsistent with the agenda gives us startling conclusions as when “scientists” proclaimed that family dinners and church services were COVID “superspreaders“, while massive racial protests and pro-abortion rallies were no problem.

The Left has a way with words. Diversity now means rigid conformity. Equity stands for unearned equal outcomes. Inclusion means the exclusion of dissenters.

But Americans are starting to catch on. Outraged parents are protesting overt racism in school curricula.  A growing number of universities and corporations are pulling back on DEI mandates. In Arizona, SCR 1024 is a proposed constitutional amendment that will hopefully be on the ballot next election. It would eliminate racist instruction in our public schools.

Take heart.

White Man Down: Frustration Is Not Racism

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: Larry Elder, the author of this article, is an African American and a prominent conservative writer, speaker, talk show host and former candidate for Governor of California.


About Scott Adams, the white male creator of the (once) popular “Dilbert” comic strip, The Washington Post wrote:

On his Feb. 22 episode of “Real Coffee With Scott Adams,” the creator of the comic strip “Dilbert” decided to riff on a much-criticized Rasmussen poll and promote a type of segregation. He declared that Black Americans are part of a “hate group” and urged White people to “get the hell away from Black people.”

National Public Radio condemned Adams’ “racist rant.” His distributor dropped him after several outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, stopped carrying the strip. Adams later said his comments were “hyperbole,” but the damage was done.

About the “much criticized” Rasmussen Poll, it asked American adults the following question: “Do you agree or disagree with this statement: ‘It’s OK to be white.’” Eighty-one percent of white of American adults strongly or somewhat agree, 7% strongly or somewhat disagreed and 13% responded, “not sure.” As for blacks, 53% strongly or somewhat agree, 26% strongly or somewhat disagree and 21% of blacks responded, “not sure.”

In interpreting the poll, Adams confusingly said, “If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with white people … that’s a hate group.” Twenty-six percent of blacks strongly or somewhat disagreeing is not “nearly half.” Also, Adams made no comment on the nearly 20% of whites who either strongly or somewhat disagree or are not sure whether “it’s OK to be white.” Presumably, Adams would not want them as neighbors either.

Adams said a lot of things in his “racist tirade,” including that he tried to be supportive of blacks, but felt his efforts were not appreciated:

So I think it makes no sense whatsoever, as a white citizen of America, to try to help Black citizens anymore. It doesn’t make sense. There’s no longer a rational impulse. And so, I’m going to back off from being helpful to Black America, because it doesn’t seem like it pays off. Like I’ve been doing it all my life and the only outcome is I get called a racist.

He also said he is kindred spirits with those who believe in hard work and merit.

Do you really think Adams, a former Bernie Sanders supporter, is the only white person who feels this sense of frustration? After all, we have had affirmative action or race-based preferences now for over 50 years. And some black students want separate dorms and graduation ceremonies. How is that different from what Adams said?

Nearly every major city from New York to Los Angeles has or has had a black mayor, with many having or having had black police chiefs. Yet, when a black suspect was mistreated recently in Memphis, the black mayor of Los Angeles suggested the cops would have reacted differently had the suspect not been black. Never mind the cops and the Memphis police chief are black.

In Baltimore in 2015, black suspect Freddie Gray died in police custody. The mayor was black; the number one and number two in charge of the police department were black; three of the six officers charged were black; the police department is majority minority; City Council is all Democrat, majority black; the state attorney who brought the charges was black; the judge before whom two of the officers tried their case, and who found them not guilty, was black; and U.S. attorney, Loretta Lynch, was black, as was then-President Barack Obama. Yet despite all these black players and decision-makers, the Department of Justice announced a civil rights investigation.

At a time when anti-black racism has never been less of a factor, most blacks demand reparations, properly described as payments from those who were never slave owners to be given to those who were never slaves. Schools promote concepts like critical race theory that characterize whites as oppressors and blacks as victims. Some blacks complain about “microaggressions.” If in response to “Black Lives Matter,” a white person says, “All Lives Matter,” all hell breaks loose.

Is it really surprising that some whites, like Adams, are now saying, “Check, please!”? He just said it out loud. Frustration is not racism.

This article was published by Chronicles and is reproduced with permission.

Law Schools’ Heckling Trends Show Disturbing Future For The Legal System, Experts Argue

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Law schools that permit students to heckle and disrupt speakers fail to impress upon them the importance of free speech rights and could have a negative impact on the future of the legal profession, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

In the past year, protestors have attempted to shut down speakers at Stanford University, Yale University, University of California, San Francisco and Georgetown University because of their political views. If law schools fail to teach students how to respect free speech during their time in school, that will be reflected in the legal profession when the students graduate, experts argue.

“As future lawyers, law students have an ethical obligation to respect the rule of law,” CeCe O’Leary, a Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) attorney, told the DCNF. “When law schools fail to enforce their own heckler’s veto policies, they abdicate their duty to teach respect for the law.”

Law schools should be “dedicated to resolving disputes through reasoned debate, not through shouting down contrary views,” Eugene Volokh, a law professor at University of California Los Angeles, told the DCNF.

“When we see law students acting that way, especially with impunity, that bodes ill for their future as lawyers, or the future of the legal system more broadly,” he explained.

Last week,  (SLS) students and the school’s Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Tirien Steinbach heckled Fifth Circuit Judge Kyle Duncan during a discussion about COVID-19, guns and Twitter. Steinbach responded to Duncan’s call for an administrator to calm the room by asking him to reflect on whether his speech was “worth the pain that this causes and the division” while students shouted phrases including “your racism is showing” and “respect black women.”

“What we saw at Stanford Law school forebodes a concerning future for the rule of law in this country,” Speech First Executive Director Cherise Trump told the DCNF. “The behavior by the disrupters and the apparent encouragement by campus leaders not only normalizes these childish tactics, but it also normalizes the idea that if someone holds a different opinion then they are your political enemy and should be eliminated from the field. This type of thinking is incongruent with American jurisprudence and could seriously threaten the reliability and confidence in our legal system.”

Stanford later apologized for the disruptions, prompting hundreds of students to protest Jenny Martinez, law school dean, by dressing in black and lining the corridors to stare her down. Several student groups rejected the apology and doubled-down on their support for the disruption and for Steinbach’s intervention.

“In veiled language, the law school threw its capable and compassionate administrators who were present at the event, and who interceded productively, under the bus, and expressed an intent to ensure that such disruptions do not occur again,” the Stanford National Lawyers Guild wrote.

The guild said in its letter that the disruption was “justified” because of Duncan’s “abhorrent” behavior.

“It is ironic that Judge Duncan repeatedly criticized protestors for being ‘disrespectful,’” the group wrote. “Judge Duncan’s record, jurisprudence, views, and personal conduct are beyond “disrespectful”: they are as antithetical to the social justice mission of [National Lawyers Guild] as it is possible to be.”

When students are permitted to disrupt speaker events, they are learning that “suppression, rather than reasoned debate, is the right way to resolve disputes,” according to Volokh. Heckling, while unconstitutional, is also a sign that law schools aren’t doing a good enough job at “educating students about their First Amendment rights—both what they include and what they do not include,” O’Leary said.

The First Amendment is a common hot-button issue when it comes to proposed laws. New York, for example, considered a law that would have censored “hateful conduct” on social media, but it was shot down by the district court in February.

The FBI toed the line of First Amendment restrictions when it colluded with Twitter to censor specific accounts and may have infringed on users’ rights, experts previously told the DCNF.

The trend of heckling and disregarding free speech rights goes beyond Stanford, and examples can be pinpointed at several other universities nationwide.

In March 2022, students at the the formerly-known University of California, Hastings College of Law, now UC San Francisco, heckled conservative legal scholar Ilya Shapiro by shouting and banging their hands on the table to drown him out. The protest, which violated the school’s event policy prohibiting disruptions, came in response to a tweet Shapiro made in January 2022 criticizing President Joe Biden’s promise to select a black woman as his Supreme Court nominee, after which Georgetown University placed him on academic leave.

Georgetown law students held a sit-in protest soon after to demand Shapiro be terminated, as well as reparations including a place for students to cry, the National Review reported.

The frequent disruptions “are symptoms of a deeper problem of ideological uniformity at most law schools, and an intolerance for dissenting (usually right-of-center) viewpoints,” Bill Jacobson, founder of conservative non-profit Legal Insurrection and director of the securities law clinic at Cornell University, told the DCNF.

Surveys find that students on college campuses are afraid to voice their opinions on campus for fear of retaliation by peers or faculty members, according to a survey conducted by free speech watchdog Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). Broken down, the results revealed that conservative students are more likely than their liberal peers to feel like they can’t speak freely.

“Any law student who disagrees with woke DEI policies or activities on campus is completely silenced out of fear of being shouted down or targeted,” Trump added. “And keep in mind, the students who are encouraged to use tactics like this by administrators with political agendas will take these tactics with them as they enter the professional world. They will become attorneys, Supreme Court clerks, judges, lawmakers, and advisors.”

More than 100 students protested a free speech panel at Yale Law School in March 2022 that featured Monica Miller, American Humanist Association legal director, and Kristen Waggoner, president of the conservative legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Free speech is essential to a free society. It curbs gov’t power. Lawyers must engage with people & ideas they dislike,” Waggoner wrote in a Monday Twitter thread. “We can’t have a working justice system if advocates choose bullying & intimidation over logic & persuasion. Yet this is what some law schools teach & model.”

Public universities are bound by the First Amendment while many private universities, such as Stanford, “promise First Amendment-style free speech rights,” Haley Gluhanich, FIRE program officer, told the DCNF. These policies, however, are not always enforced.

“The problem is that these policies are not enforced because the vast majority of disruptions and shout-downs target conservative speakers who are unpopular with administrators and faculty,” Jacobson told the DCNF. “Empty words and platitudes from administrators make the problem worse, because it sends a message that no matter the policy, disruptions of conservative speakers have no negative consequences. I doubt this attitude of indifference would happen if the speakers being disrupted were left-of-center.”

Gluhanich said that schools that fail to protect speech “would only further encourage hecklers to use such tactics to stifle expression they disagree with, which will lead to fewer speakers, fewer ideas being shared, and fewer conversations.”

“When law schools not only allow, but in some cases encourage, their students to heckle and shout down speakers, they embarrass the entire legal profession,” Kimberly Hermanm, SLF general counsel, told the DCNF.

Georgetown, Yale and Stanford University did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

This article was published by The Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.

A Wasteland of Corpses, Living and Dead: A Devastating Inside Look at Phoenix’s Homeless Zone

Estimated Reading Time: 11 minutes

Intense poverty, frequent crime, social instability, high mortality, poor living standards: these qualities describe third-world countries. They also describe “The Zone”: the sprawling encampment of over 1,000 homeless in downtown Phoenix just blocks from the state capitol and amidst what was once a thriving business district. It’s an area where law and order don’t seem to exist; so much so that locals have given the area another, much darker nickname: “The Thunderdome.”

The crisis reached a new high after the discovery of a premature baby’s remains several weeks before Thanksgiving last year, burned in the middle of the street. A month later, a similar grisly fate befell a homeless man.

“That child burned… that was the beginning of the end for me. I don’t know why that hit us so hard,” said Karl Freund, who was leasing a building in The Zone and is suing the city of Phoenix over their handling of the homeless crisis. “Someone set a child on fire, and then two weeks later somebody burned a body just a block away. Then you see the people that are so mentally ill that you can’t place them in society. We walked out a year ago to see a girl masturbating 20 feet away from my car in the parking lot.”

Death and depravity are a common occurrence in The Zone.

Last month, Phoenix police shot and killed a Spanish-speaking homeless man who lunged at them with scissors. Attempts to incapacitate the man with stun guns were unsuccessful. Police had responded to a 911 call from a woman reporting the man approaching her aggressively while attempting to trespass her property.

Drug deals, addicts using, defecation and urination, assaults, sexual acts, and rapes are also done out in the open with increasing impunity. Gangs run the streets of The Zone, making the homeless pay for their tent space and beating them up at will. Registered sex offenders roam the streets, having been dropped off in The Zone. Businesses close but must continue paying rent.

The Zone sprung up outside Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) Human Services Campus, an organization that provides food, shelter, and more to the homeless. It’s located in a dense and diverse business district that includes a near-historic sub shop, appliance manufacturer, cabinet manufacturer, steel manufacturer, millworker, textile company, metal supplier, door supplier, ironwork company, glass and mirror shops, counter supply store, air conditioning supply store, funeral supply store, motorcycle shop, RV shop, auto repair store, electrical supply store, art museum, custom printer, waste services, paper company, several recycling services, several automotive stores, and several transportation companies. Business owners neighboring The Zone have seen the homeless population — and attendant crime — grow over the last two years and four months.

Angie Ojile, a commercial designer and realtor in The Zone for over 20 years, said that she sees this and more every day. She said she watched four people taken out of the area in body bags in a one-day period. The level of danger is so prevalent that Ojile says that other businesses refuse to come there: pizza shops won’t deliver, and plumbers won’t service the buildings. Limitations on those services pale in comparison to her other, more pressing problem: retaining employees. Ojile told AZ Free News that one young woman she hired was initially excited to work for her, but left out of fear for her safety after several days navigating The Zone.

Ojile says the city is to blame for these troubles.

“Everything they do defies logic. It’s hurting people — not helping people,” said Ojile.

The homeless relentlessly bombard Ojile’s property with human waste, fires, garbage, drug use, assaults, and gang activity. Ojile estimates that she spends more on cleanups around her property than some pay for mortgages.

“The ground is so saturated with feces and urine, I can’t even breathe. We’ve got walls that are so full of feces, it’s disgusting. You can’t even look in that direction,” said Ojile. “We had dreams when we bought this property, and now we’re paying for it.”

Property assessments estimate Ojile’s property to be worth well over $2 million — but only if The Zone didn’t exist. A realtor told Ojile that her property was essentially worth nothing due to The Zone, and that he couldn’t sell the property in good faith due to that. Anyone who bought Ojile’s property — if buyers could be found — would find themselves in the same predicament as Ojile: unable to run her business properly, causing her to fall behind on property taxes.

Ojile said that nobody from the city bothered to return her calls for help. The supervisor representing that district, Steve Gallardo, has never returned her calls. Even an ombudsman wasn’t able to get information for her in a timely manner, something which the ombudsman allegedly remarked was unusual.

“I went to the city immediately for help, but no one would ever get back to me,” said Ojile.

This crisis hasn’t just taken a financial toll on Ojile; it has imposed a great emotional and physical toll. Ojile’s dog has gone missing three times, at least. The homeless have cut her fence to take the dog; she’s had to track down her dog in homeless tents and even an animal shelter.

Last week, Ojile became severely ill while working inside her business — a sickness unlike she’d experienced before. The room she was working in wasn’t completely insulated from the outside: she had to board over one of the windows, since the homeless would break it every time she fixed it and the city would fine her for blight over the broken window. Ojile suspected that she’d been exposed to someone smoking fentanyl.

Help from law enforcement isn’t always an option for Ojile in situations like that. According to Ojile, officers told her that they wouldn’t enforce the law equally in The Zone for fear of losing their jobs.

Phoenix Police Department (PPD) reported 278 incidents in 2020 and 206 incidents in 2021. There were around 200 incidents last year. There have been well over 4,000 calls from 2019 through last year, with over 1,200 calls for fire department assistance alone last year.

For Freund, the growth of crime in the area has reached a tipping point. He’d hoped to open a real estate office in the building he’d leased, but the state of the area hasn’t made that possible. Freund said that the PPD has not only stopped responding but stopped answering their calls.

“The day-to-day down there is unlivable for anybody and I can’t believe we subject humans to this environment,” said Freund. “Why would you subject humans to that kind of living condition? There’s prostitution, murder, physical beatings.”

Freund fought to open his business in that building, spending hundreds of thousands on property taxes, renovations, and fixing damages caused by the homeless. According to Freund, they’ve attempted to set his building on fire multiple times and stolen all of the copper wiring and pipe. He gave up hope on the property after 20 months; he managed to find another to sublet the property. The thousands he spent in property taxes and beautification wasn’t enough to spur the city to action — just as is the case for so many others in The Zone.

Although these business owners have languished for years, several weeks’ worth of sports fans visiting the city were spared the crisis. Ahead of the lucrative NFL Super Bowl and PGA Waste Management Open that were held in the Phoenix area in February, the city committed to cleanup efforts of homeless encampments. However, these cleanup efforts aren’t permanent. The homeless are free to return to the areas after cleanup ends; they already have. Only 33 of the homeless accepted services during Phase One of the city’s December cleanup, according to the deputy director for the Office of Homeless Solutions, Scott Hall.

Apart from cleanups, the city has directed their millions in funding on a “housing first” or “permanent supportive housing” model, sometimes called “affordable housing.” The theory behind this model is that the homeless will choose to seek employment, become financially responsible, and receive mental health care and/or substance abuse treatment if food and housing are provided. The theory also posits that enabling the homeless to choose their housing and support services will make them more likely to remain in that housing and stick with self-improvement initiatives.

The city has poured millions of funding to create housing; yet available housing hasn’t kept pace with the number of homeless, the retention rates of the homeless in their housing and program participation remains poor, and the crisis is progressively spreading to surrounding areas. Even so, the city allocated another $12 million last October, another $8 million last November, and another $25 million in January to prove the housing first theory correct.

The city recently unveiled their latest attempt at free housing for the homeless on Feb. 8: five shipping containers repurposed for “sustainable” housing. These living structures’ purported sustainability comes at the cost of $200,000 for one-bedroom, one-bathroom’s worth of solar panels providing power, an incinerator toilet, LED lighting, and economical heating and cooling. The Arizona Department of Housing issued a $1.2 million grant for the five units.

Then there was the 24/7, single-stall, $200,000 toilet for the homeless launched in January.

Other city initiatives providing the homeless with more resources also appear to have failed to make a noticeable impact on the crisis.

In December, the city launched an employment program that pays the homeless $65 to work five-hour shifts. However, those directly impacted by or handling the crisis say that these kinds of approaches haven’t led to lasting change.

Ojile said that the homeless she’s known for many years don’t feel like they’re getting help. Some of the homeless she knows in the area have been there for decades. They’re trapped alongside Ojile.

“We can’t get out. They’re crashing our property values,” said Ojile. “There’s people that are homeless that don’t want to be near this.”

A broker estimated the value of Ojile’s property at around $2.4 million. However, the broker informed Ojile that her property is unmarketable due to the state of The Zone.

“[The] values are based ‘as if’ the property was not associated or in proximity to the situation currently occurring adjacent to the Property (i.e. homeless, mental health, drugs, gangs, etc.). Unfortunately, the property is deemed unmarketable at any realistic value at this date due to these issues along with safety concerns that would be perceived by any prospective buyer, tenant or investor that would normally have invested in the property. Further, at this date, the city of Phoenix who is trying to manage a difficult problem, has ‘kicked the can down the road’ and now that ‘can’ is on and surrounding your property. Additionally, since you have disclosed various items to me (break-ins, been threatened, witnessed drug purchases, individuals urinating/defecating on the property, etc.) as a licensed real estate agent held to ADRE Rules and Statutes, I am required to notify all potential buyers, tenants, investors of such. Therefore, as referenced above, post touring the property, which they will see the issues firsthand and my disclosure of all facts I am aware of associated with this property, I again state that the property is unfortunately ‘unmarketable’ at this time.’” (emphasis added)

Angie’s property and others are regularly bombarded with human waste, fires, garbage, and drug use.

Judge Glock, a senior fellow with a Texas-based nonpartisan policy group called the Cicero Institute, said that leaders are gravely mistaken to believe that a housing-first approach works.

“They’re convinced by a very small group that nothing can be done, that anything that moves people off the sidewalk is cruel, and the only option is a house for every single person that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per person,” said Glock. “It’s an unfortunate mindset, but that’s what a small group of activists have convinced them.”

Jeff Taylor, chairman of the board for the Salvation Army’s western territory, said that residential behavioral health treatment needs to occur before any kind of housing efforts. Taylor shared with AZ Free News just one of many initiatives to house the homeless that failed.

“They took 20 of their star people from the shelter, they got them apartments and they went to Target and got furniture, went to Walmart, got their closets filled with clothes, moved all 20 into apartments and they had employment. Within a week they’d sold everything, and they were running drug dens out of the housing,” recounted Taylor. “The problem isn’t getting someone clean; it’s keeping someone clean. Recovery is measured in years.”

Taylor said that the homeless with mental health or drug addictions were only as good as their treatment programs. What’s more, Taylor expressed concern that the crisis would only worsen due to the newest drug to hit the streets: fentanyl. The potency equivalent of other, more costly hard drugs, such as crack cocaine and heroin, only costs $1 for fentanyl.

“This is a humanitarian crisis that will only get worse,” said Taylor. “Fentanyl is a whole other ballgame.”

Sam Stone, a Phoenix City Council candidate, said that permanent supportive housing wouldn’t incentivize the homeless to get their lives on track. Stone doesn’t live in The Zone, but he’s spent much time there over the years attempting to solve the crisis.

“We have to start from the perspective that chronic street homelessness is not an acceptable lifestyle choice,” said Stone. “What they’re talking about is just warehousing addicts and mentally ill people until they die. Without treatment for their issues, they’re never going to get better. All they ever do is demand we spend more and more money. None of that does anything to change what’s going on. You have to lead with services. You have to switch things around. You have to make it tough to live on the street and easy to get into treatment.”

Stone and others we spoke to referenced Austin, Texas, as a poster child for mitigating homelessness. Austin voters reinstated a public camping ban in May 2021, after the city council ended a similar ban that had been in place for 23 years. Encampments quickly flooded the city, and the homeless were underfoot everywhere. That reality no longer exists: the homeless are few and far between throughout the city, and shelters are operated on a closed-campus basis, meaning that the homeless have to be referred in order to receive services.

Viewing The Zone and Phoenix’s homeless crisis isn’t a partisan issue. Catherine Miranda, a newly elected Democratic state senator representing the district containing The Zone, published a lengthy article last December criticizing the city’s approach to addressing their homeless.

Miranda declared that Phoenix’s housing first dreams had failed her homeless constituents. The freshman lawmaker urged the enforcement of existing street camping bans, prioritization of short-term rather than permanent housing, and treatment of mental health and addiction problems first.

“Phoenix wants to give the homeless permanent homes without addressing the root causes of their homelessness. No wonder it’s been a disaster,” wrote Miranda. “The state and city should refocus on a ‘Treatment First’ philosophy. While the failed ‘Housing First’ model does not require treatment for drug addiction or mental health problems, programs like recovery housing tie to sobriety or mental health checkups.”

Miranda also noted that building houses takes years, resulting in the homeless continuing to live a dangerous, unhealthy lifestyle on the streets.

“While we wait years or decades for these thousands of homes to be built, they want to keep allowing our most vulnerable neighbors, who are struggling with drug addiction and severe mental illness, to live and die on our streets,” stated Miranda.

The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) annual point-in-time (PIT) homeless counts over the past few years reflect a historic high in the homeless population, the likes of which haven’t been experienced in well over a decade. Last year’s MAG counted nearly 3,100 unsheltered homeless. That’s a 131 percent increase from 2013, when there were just over 1,300 unsheltered homeless.

The 2022 PIT also reported that 44 percent of homeless were in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or safe haven programs, while 56 percent weren’t. 2020 was the first time in recent years that there were more unsheltered homeless individuals: 49 percent were sheltered homeless individuals, while 51 percent weren’t. However, this decline preceded efforts to mitigate COVID-19 spread, such as reducing shelter capacity.

In 2019, 52 percent were sheltered, while 48 percent weren’t. Even those 2019 numbers reflected a significant decline in the number of homeless seeking sheltered services: the number of unsheltered homeless increased by 22 percent from 2018 to 2019, while the number of sheltered declined by seven percent.

According to the latest Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Inventory Count, Maricopa County and Phoenix had over 12,300 beds available for homeless housing last year. Nearly 8,100 of these were permanent housing, while just over 4,200 were emergency, safe haven, and transitional housing.

Homeless deaths have also been increasing at a significant rate. The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that homeless deaths more than doubled from over 250 in 2019 to nearly 600 in 2020, with a slight decline to just over 500 in 2021 before skyrocketing to over 700 last year.

Though crimes and deaths have increased in the area, emergency services haven’t been able to keep up. Emails obtained by AZ Free News revealed that the Phoenix Fire Department won’t respond to calls without PPD assistance and assurance that the scene of the incident is secure, due to how dangerous The Zone has become.

Even then, police claims of an incident scene being secure aren’t always accepted by first responders. Emails revealed that the scene could span multiple city blocks and contain crowds likely to assault the emergency responders.

The emails also revealed that first responders considered the Black Lives Matter (BLM) riots of 2020 to pale in comparison to the everyday dangers of The Zone. The first responders noted that they lacked adequate protection and resources to respond in that area.

“At no point during the protests did I feel like our folks were in the potential danger that they face every day responding to the area surrounding CASS,” stated the email.

Freund says he noticed a shift in the city’s handling of the homeless around November 2020. He said that the numbers of homeless in The Zone began to increase greatly around that time, and that the homeless became more resistant to residents’ requests to move. Freund said that law enforcement activity began to slow down around that time as well.

Now, Freund and leaders like Stone are warning that this problem is spreading.

“You walk into The Zone, it’s like you’re walking out of America. It’s a nightmare hellscape that shouldn’t exist anywhere in this country, but it’s also what a lot of our major cities are coming to look like,” said Stone. “Unless we start looking to get our homeless population into treatment or off the streets, The Zone isn’t going to stay in The Zone.”

This article was published by Goldwater Institute and is reproduced with permission.

EXCLUSIVE: Here’s How Many Pride Events The Air Force Held In 2022, According To A Just-Launched DEI Newsletter

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Air Force hosted 67 Pride celebrations in 2022, according to the first Air Force Office of Diversity and Inclusion quarterly newsletter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Among those events, top Air Force leaders participated in the first service-wide LGBTQ+ Pride event organized by a new volunteer team within the Air Force focused on LGBTQ+ issues, the newsletter, dated February 2023, shows. The LGBTQ Initiatives Team (LIT) participated in 67 Pride commemorations across 33 Air Force and Space Force installations throughout 2022 and intends to organize more events this year.

“Through their hard work,” the newsletter states, referring to multiple diversity-focused working groups including the LIT, “we are one step closer to building a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible Total Force that values and leverages every member’s unique attributes.”

The LIT is one of seven “Air Force Barrier Analysis Working Groups” chartered to identify “root causes” and determine whether or not these “root causes” detract from DEI in the force, according to the newsletter. Other groups include the Black and African American Employment Strategy Team, the Disability Action Team and the Women’s Initiative Team.

Each all-volunteer team reviews demographic data collected from Air Force and federal-level sources to devise ways to increase ethnic, disability and “gender diversity” in the Air Force, according to the newsletter. Teams then provide recommendations to decision-makers.

In 2022, the LIT created a list of LGBTQ+ celebrations and “affinity groups” across the Air Force, the newsletter states. The LIT also hosted over 100 people at the first Air Force-wide LGBTQ+ event, including Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, and Chief of Space Operations Gen. Chance Saltzman.

In 2023, the LIT plans to develop a centralized Pride network in 2023 and create standardized training for Air Force airmen and Space Force guardians to create their own groups, according to the newsletter. It also intends to publish “transgender medical standards.”

The LIT was first established in April 2021, according to a press release. Its plans for next year are the latest steps toward the Air Force’s attested goal of increasing LGBTQ+ inclusion and feelings of acceptance among the ranks.

On June 1, 2022, the Barrier Analysis Working Group hosted a Pride-themed Cross-Cultural Mentoring Panel featuring representatives from the Air Force, businesses and nonprofits, according to a press release.

The Biden administration updated transgender service policies for every branch of the armed services in 2021. Services quickly opened up to transgender members and began distributing guidance and training materials.

For example, the Air Force Academy, which trains officers, rolled out a diversity curriculum in 2021 instructing cadets to avoid gendered language, including words like “mom” and “dad.”

The Air Force did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

This article was published by The Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.

Lying to Ourselves

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

One of the peculiarities of our age is the ferocity with which intellectuals and politicians defend propositions that they do not—because they cannot—believe to be true, so outrageous are they, such violence do they do to the most obvious and evident truth. Agatha Christie (a far greater psychologist than Sigmund Freud), drew attention almost a century ago to the phenomenon when she had Dr. Sheppard, the protagonist and culprit of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd say, “It is odd how, when you have a secret belief of your own which you do not wish to acknowledge, the voicing of it by someone else will rouse you to a fury of denial. I burst immediately into indignant speech.”

Among the propositions defended with such suspect ferocity is that men can change straightforwardly and unambiguously into women, and vice versa. Now everyone accepts that they can change into something different from ordinary men and women, and can live as if they were of the opposite of their birth sex; moreover, there is no reason to abuse or otherwise maltreat them if they do, and kindness and human decency require that we do not humiliate them or make their lives more difficult than they are. But this is not at all the same as claiming that those who take hormones and have operations actually are the sex that they choose, or that it is right to enshrine untruth in law and thereby force people to assent to what they know to be false. That way totalitarianism lies.

To propound and defend ideas that you know are false is intellectually and morally frivolous, but it lacks the usual enjoyment that frivolity is supposed to supply. It is combined with earnestness but not with seriousness: one thinks of the Austrian saying under the Habsburgs, “the situation is catastrophic but not serious.”

An excellent example of the tendency to adopt ideas that are known to be false and yet are made the basis of policy is the Scottish government’s bill to reduce the legal obstacles to sex change. The bill proposed that adolescents from the age of sixteen could change their sex (for all legal purposes) without having to undergo any medical examination or treatment, and simply after completing three months of living as the sex that they desired to be.

Let us overlook the fact that “living as a woman” or “living as a man” implies that there is a binary distinction between male and female that is not merely a matter of social convention: no one, surely, could truly believe that after three months of role-playing, however successfully or gratifyingly to the person who role-plays, someone changes his or her sex. And this theory was put to a practical test very shortly after the passage of the bill (though it was vetoed by the British government). There was an understandable outcry in Scotland when violent sex offenders against women who claimed to be changing sex were sent to women’s prisons. The Scottish administration was forced to back-pedal, and the two were sent to men’s prisons instead.

How to explain that societies that prided themselves on having overthrown superstition and on basing themselves upon scientific enquiry nevertheless believed in the grossest absurdities?

Now according to the theory adopted by the government, these men were straightforwardly women because they identified as such. They were as female as Marilyn Monroe. Their motive for changing sex was beside the point: according to the theory, it was their self-identification that counted. And the fact that they had been violent towards women was also beside the point: a woman’s prison, after all, can be expected to house women who have been violent to women. If the administration genuinely believed the theory behind its own legislation, it would have stuck to its guns: the sex offenders who were men when they committed their offences were now women, and since women should be sent to women’s prisons, these two offenders should have been sent to women’s prisons, outcry or not.

If we try to look on this episode with the eye of a future social historian, on the assumption (by no means certain) that western societies will someday come to their senses and that their social historians will be at least moderately sensible, what will we hypothesise? How to explain that societies that prided themselves on having overthrown superstition and on basing themselves to an unprecedented extent upon scientific enquiry, and that had a higher percentage of educated people than ever before in human history, nevertheless believed in the grossest absurdities? What could have possessed them?

I think that social historians will find a clue in G. K. Chesterton’s book, Orthodoxy, though it was published more than a century before the phenomenon for which the explanation is sought, in 1908. Chesterton wrote:

The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered … it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.

Pity and compassion, formerly Christian virtues, are the virtues that run wild in the modern social liberal’s mind. Indeed, one might almost say that he has become addicted to them, for they are what give meaning and purpose to his life. He is ever on the lookout for new worlds not to conquer, but to pity. In his mind, pity and compassion require that he adopts without demur the point of view of the person he pities, for otherwise, he might upset him; he must not criticise, therefore. In short, if need be, he must lie, and he frequently ends up deceiving himself as well as others. And if he has power, he will turn lies into policy.

This article was published by Law and Liberty and is reproduced with permission.

Hoorah for Hate Speech

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

You, like I, certainly are stunned that there would be a day in the United States where people are talking about banning certain forms of speech and branding it as “hate speech.” As someone who is a free speech absolutist, I find the entire matter repulsive. I applaud that the opportunity to offend me by speech exists. It is an essential American freedom.

First, let’s define a “free speech absolutist.” One can’t encourage violence against a group or a person. One can’t yell “fire” in a crowded place when there is no emergency. Other than that, Americans are free to speak as they wish.

The problem with hate speech is it is in the eye of the beholder. For example, almost any time Elizabeth Warren or our current White House press secretary says something, I want what they are saying banned. What is said by the head of the NEA or AFT (teachers’ unions) almost universally is hate speech to me and is likewise racist. Any of the people whining and saying there is hate speech that needs restricting is a perfect example of people who actually need to be stifled. It is a good bet they can’t possibly think of anything they say qualifies as hate speech, and therein lies the problem.

There are two factors as to why we have reached this point. First, those politically right of center have developed a burgeoning voice separate from the legacy media. When I was growing up, we thought we were getting the straight scoop. We did not realize how much the establishment was filtering what we received. They chose what stories to expose and that has become more pronounced since.

Then came William F. Buckley and National Review. Next was the emergence of talk radio exemplified by the master – Rush Limbaugh. Finally, the ultimate offender — Fox News. Today there are myriad internet sites representing “objectionable” thought, but to the Left the major evils are those voices on Fox News and talk radio.

I remember having a discussion with Jill Stewart, the former managing editor of the LA Weekly. Jill told me about when she worked for the Los Angeles Times for seven years. She would constantly include information in her articles to educate the readers about the going-ons in Los Angeles. Her editors would consistently cut those relevant facts stating, “That is inside baseball.” She grew disgusted with their perverse desire to hide information from their subscribers and left.

Today it is overarching attitude of what is now referred to as the Legacy media.

Do you remember the first time you heard that funny word – Google? Little did you know your life would be so changed as the internet took over and we became married to smart phones. The internet was touted as “liberating” our lives. It would allow free information to flow for all to see. It turned out not to be that way as power was consolidated in the hands of a few companies and their over-educated and wisdom-free employees.

We have now become largely dependent on Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the Apple app store to get and send our information. When we signed up for these sites, they all had their intended purposes, but we never thought they would become omnipresent in our culture. We never thought they would exert control over our communication like they have.

This has evolved from the 1996 Communications Decency Act and the now infamous Section 230. This act was developed during the infancy of social media. Platforms are allowed to “restrict access to or availability of material that the provider or user considers to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.” In today’s world that covers just about everything.

It seems you can get away with obscene, lewd, lascivious and filthy today as opposed to in the past. Excessively violent once had a clear interpretation, but now has connotations never conceived. Harassing or otherwise objectionable is fairly broad and is being used to suppress the speech of those who express things unliked by certain elements of society. And all of this is justified because of the last phrase – whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

We have come to find out that not everyone is treated equally because these companies get to define what they believe is “appropriate speech” under the guise they are private enterprises and not subject to First Amendment rules. They establish what they call their “moderation policies” that clearly appear to tilt one way politically. The one most orientated to the use of the written word is Twitter. It is now clear they worked in conjunction with the federal government to restrict free speech – a clear First Amendment violation.

There are third party operations that like to be guardians of what is supposedly “right and just.” Snopes is the most well known, but it is clear they have a political agenda. Then there is Newsguard. They say “We help you decide which news sources to trust — with ratings from humans, not algorithms. With trust ratings for over 7,500 websites produced by real journalists.” Well, there is an operation you can trust and believe me they have no agenda – yeah, right.

There have been positive developments against this organized attempt to shut down free speech and tell people what they can and cannot say. Many left-of-center journalists have jumped ship and gone to publish on their own on sites like Substack. Real journalists are free to do in-depth journalism without a snotty editor telling them what they are writing is “inside baseball.” As it turns out, without the albatross of news operations like the New York Times where group think is hung around their necks, they are producing down the middle real journalism.

Then there is the drama going on at Twitter which is playing out in front of our eyes. Yet we know the Legacy media is doing their best to ignore that story just like they ignore the stories buried by Twitter.

The only thing I find to be true hate speech is people constantly calling out hate speech.


This article was published by Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Culture of Death: Dem Resigns After Calling to Abort Kids with Disabilities to Avoid Using Up School Budgets

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

As the late Pope John Paul II once said, we are living in an era where most countries promote a “culture of death.” One of the most obvious examples of this is the zealous, almost religious support of so many for abortion; even many people who understand that abortion is wrong still admit exceptions for rape and incest, as if the killing of an innocent baby somehow ceases to be the killing of an innocent baby based on the circumstances of conception. My point being that in many European, American, and Asian countries, a lot of people have become more or less desensitized to death and even murder. An extreme instance of this is the Democrat who recently complained that down syndrome children or children with other disabilities need special educational resources when he argued they should have just been killed before birth, so as to avoid inconveniencing anybody. That is how cheaply Democrats value individual human life.

MRCTV reported that Michael Hugo resigned from his position as Framingham Democratic Committee chair about a month after he created a “firestorm” with his comments during a city council meeting about “abortion access.” Hugo whined that children born with mental or physical disabilities are supposedly strains on school budgets.

Hmm, seems we’ve heard complaints about “non-perfect” people and demands to kill them en masse before in recent history. . .oh, that’s right, Adolf Hitler believed in exterminating anyone who was “imperfect” so such people wouldn’t “burden” the system! And we know how well Hitler’s theories played out!

“[MRCTV] ‘That becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to the children who were born with the defect,’ Hugo said at the Feb. 7 meeting.

The comment sparked immediate fury from the public, forcing the Framingham Democratic Committee to condemn Hugo’s remarks at a February 26 meeting – about three weeks later. Hugo faced widespread calls to resign, demands that weren’t calmed with his copious ‘apologies’…

While Hugo’s comments are revolting to say the least – there’s not really a word in the English language to capture the evilness of suggesting an infant be murdered if they’re anything less than physically perfect – I fail to see how his comments are any different than Ana Navarro openly claiming on CNN last year that babies with Down syndrome should be aborted if their families don’t want the burden of raising a child with a difference (she even used her own brother as an example of such a proverbial boat anchor).”

Despite the fact that Hugo apologized, he also complained how ill-used he was and asserted the story was unnecessarily amplified. Geez, can’t a guy say children should be murdered so they don’t use up money without being harassed???

In Jan. 2022, at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., activist Katie Shaw, who has Down Syndrome, noted that there is a waiting list in America to adopt Down Syndrome kids, but over 80% of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. The abortion rate is horribly tragic, but Shaw’s comment proves that children with disabilities have families ready and waiting to welcome and love them, even if their biological parents can’t (I can also say as someone who heard Shaw speak that day that she was more articulate than half of Congress).

School budgets in this country aren’t being drained by children with disabilities, they are being drained by stupid projects like LGBTQ sex ed and CRT; illegal aliens; and individuals who overspend and do their jobs poorly. Maybe if schools stopped buying pornographic programs and racist literature for children, there would be more money for the precious, joyous, and loving children who have just as much a right to life in America as those whom Democrats consider physically “perfect.”

This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.

Hospitalized With, or Hospitalized For? (A COVID Revelation)

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

You can fool all of the people some of the time; you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” The fact that this quote is attributed either to Abraham Lincoln or P.T. Barnum perhaps testifies to its originator’s bona fides at fooling people.

Either way, the temporal element of the quote gets lost in discussing the respective magnitudes of those fooled. Nevertheless, in a practical application of it, the passage of time has resulted in the various governmental narratives regarding COVID having fallen apart. Except for a few hangers-on (the “some of the people all of the time”), most now acknowledge that lockdowns were a disaster; that school closures were never necessary and that they worsened educational outcomes and preexisting divides; that vaccine skeptics were justified and not monsters after all; and even that — as stated by the headline of a recent New York Times op-ed — “The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned?”

It has been three years. Isn’t it about time we got more accurate data on COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths?

In the early weeks of the pandemic, many people wanting an accurate picture of the COVID’s scope sought out clear data. These people were not government health officials, but they had technical expertise in epidemiology, medicine, health, statistics, economics, child psychology, and many other fields — an illustration of the dispersed knowledge across society that Friedrich A. Hayek wrote about. Trusted with information as free citizens, they could get an accurate read on the situation and would even be able to explain it to others.

They were not trusted with information. Still, they knew enough to see that the official numbers were terribly muddied, so they probed on. Government officials and their media gatekeepers were discomfited and encouraged people and social media to “cancel” them and bury them with invective.

Among the muddied data were COVID hospitalizations and, consequently, deaths. Former AIER president Edward Peter Stringham wrote in July 2020 about what a Texas medical care facilities managing partner had told Alex Berenson (who later took Twitter to court for suspending him at the request of the Biden administration over his COVID questioning) about cases and hospitalizations. The partner said that “discharge planners are being pressured to put COVID as primary diagnosis — as that pays significantly better. … You open up your hospitals for normal medical care and you test everyone (sic) of those patients — the result is a higher percentage of patients who have COVID — now.”

As Stringham explained, “The hospitals are under financial pressure from having to mostly stop doing business for months, so they are classifying as many people as possible as a COVID case in order to gain the subsidy offered by the federal government.”

The federal CARES Act included a 20 percent increase on Medicare reimbursement rates to hospitals for patients with a COVID-19 diagnostic code. So hospitals did have financial incentive to exaggerate the number of COVID hospitalizations and deaths.

The politicians and public health officials had their own incentives for the same — the higher numbers kept people in fear, and a fearful populace was surprisingly acquiescent to authoritarian acts hitherto unthinkable in peacetime: strict curfews, dress codes, shutting down entertainment districts, and requiring official papers to shop, dine, attend school, or travel.

But not everyone. Throughout the country, people were asking questions and hearing strange, jarring tales that nevertheless proved true. “COVID hospitalizations and deaths” also included gunshot victims, “intentional and unintentional injury, poisonings and other adverse events,” a “90-year-old man who fell and died from complications of a hip fracture,” “a 77-year-old woman who died of Parkinson’s disease,” more gunshot victims, even “a guy who was struck by lightning, fell off a roof, admitted to the hospital with serious injuries from the fall.”

These bizarre attributions were the absurd ends of the problem of “hospitalized with” or “hospitalized for” COVID that plagued researchers and questioning citizens curious about the scope of the problem. All that was known was that some people listed in the official data had been admitted to the hospital not on account of a dangerous COVID infection, which is what most people assumed the data meant, but for some other reason. But how many? What proportion of COVID hospitalizations were “hospitalized with” vs. “hospitalized for”? We didn’t even know that.

We would get the occasional glimpse that the proportion of “hospitalized with” could be quite large. On July 26, 2021, for example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on “COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigation and Reporting.” The report noted that 26 percent of “breakthrough” (post-vaccination) COVID hospitalizations and 24 percent of breakthrough COVID deaths were “asymptomatic or not related to COVID-19.” But it was only concerned with COVID hospitalizations and deaths for individuals who had received vaccination, not all of them.

In September 2021, a preprint was released of a study examining Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitalizations related to COVID after vaccines became available. The study found that barely over half (52 percent) of COVID patients in the VA were hospitalized for COVID, while the remainder were there for some other reason and incidentally found to be infected. Study authors made a cogent point about the question of “hospitalized with” vs. “for”: “If hospitalizations are used as a metric for policy decision-making, patients hospitalized for the management of COVID-19 disease should be distinguished from patients who are hospitalized and incidentally found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

Some areas did begin tracking the difference, including New York (57 percent “for” at the time of publication), Ontario (54 percent), and Massachusetts (30 percent).

On January 13, CNN medical correspondent Leana Wen publicly called for accurate accounting of COVID hospitalizations and deaths. In a Washington Post column, Wen highlighted data from Massachusetts showing that “only about 30 percent of total hospitalizations with COVID were primarily attributed to the virus” and discussed the problems from overcounting COVID hospitalizations.

The following day, CNN anchors questioned her assertions, with Poppy Harlow asking if she had “thought about” whether her information might “give fodder to conspiracy theorists and those who downplay COVID, to anti-vaxxers.” Wen, to her credit, noted that others’ criticism was that “You should have said this two-and-a-half years ago.” Wen said, “I think at the end of the day we just need the truth.”

On that count, Wen is right. We just need the truth.

This article was published by American Institute for Economic Research and is reproduced with permission.

Department of Energy’s Lab Leak Bombshell Exposes the Utter Bankruptcy of ‘Experts’ and the Media

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

In 2020, if you thought it was possible COVID-19 came from a lab in China you were labeled a conspiracy theorist, a peddler of misinformation, “bonkers,” and a racist.

Facebook and other social media removed the lab leak claim from their apps or slapped “misinformation” labels on it. Facebook did so in lockstep with the government.

So according to the standard set in 2020, the Department of Energy just came out as a racist purveyor of misinformation this week.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that, according to a classified intelligence report provided to the White House and Congress, the Department of Energy concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic likely came from a lab leak.

“The Energy Department’s conclusion is the result of new intelligence and is significant because the agency has considerable scientific expertise and oversees a network of U.S. national laboratories, some of which conduct advanced biological research,” the Wall Street Journal report said.

Most Americans with common sense surmised two years ago that there was a pretty decent chance that a strange, new virus with unusual properties coming from Wuhan, China, may have had some connection to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Ah, but according to the venerated defenders of free speech in the press, thinking that a ruthlessly authoritarian regime could possibly have a virus leak from a lab and cover it up was just crazy talk. Only a racist would think that. All right thinking, not racist people, were better off assuming the virus came from someone in China eating a bat or a pangolin.

“Someday we will stop talking about the lab leak theory and maybe even admit its racist roots. But alas, that day is not today,” wrote New York Times COVID-19 reporter Apoorva Mandavilli on Twitter in 2021.

Now, the Department of Energy didn’t confirm that COVID-19 came from a lab. There is still a great deal we don’t know, and the Chinese Communist Party has made it difficult to ascertain what really happened. In fact, we may never know what happened.

That a virus may have leaked from a lab and killed millions of people is a huge story with potentially massive geopolitical implications. But it’s still not my biggest takeaway from the Wall Street Journal report.

The big story is that when the pandemic began, when governments began instituting lockdowns and mandates, when our economy was shut down and our society sent into convulsions, the idea that the virus leaked from a lab was treated as a “conspiracy theory.” Powerful actors and interests in the United States—in the media, the government, and in Big Tech, thought it was better to suppress and denounce the story rather than seek the truth and let the American people decide what to do.

“Sen. Tom Cotton Repeats Fringe Theory of Coronavirus Origins,” read a headline in The New York Times.

“Scientists have dismissed suggestions that the Chinese government was behind the outbreak, but it’s the kind of tale that gains traction among those who see China as a threat,” a subheading on the article read.

Good work, “scientists.”

National Public Radio, you know, the outlet that continues to get millions in taxpayer dollars, was particularly aggressive in denouncing any idea that a lab leak was possible.

“Scientists Debunk Lab Accident Theory of Pandemic Emergence,” read one headline. NPR had another piece on “bonkers” conspiracy theories, which included an inset about “misinformation” like “COVID-19 was created in a lab in China.”

Even more, and this really gets to the heart of the problem, most corporate media was quicker to denounce the lab leak idea as fundamentally illegitimate than to press our government and Chinese authorities to find out if the idea was true. It was more important to “debunk” former President Donald Trump and the right-wing bad guys than to pursue truth. That was the impulse.

Don’t take it from me. MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan admitted this after the Wall Street Journal report broke.

“The simple reason why so many people weren’t keen to discuss the ‘lab leak’ *theory* is because it was originally conflated by the right with ‘Chinese bio weapon’ conspiracies and continues to be conflated by the right with anti-Fauci conspiracies,” Hasan wrote on Twitter. “Blame the conspiracy theorists.”

It’s your fault they had to censor the truth! They just couldn’t let the bad guys win. Hasan followed up, writing, “It’s hard to have a good faith disagreement about a major issue if the issue itself has been hijacked by bad faith folks.”

That’s actually true. It is hard to have a “good faith” disagreement when bad faith people in our media and institutions are willing to circle the wagons for a narrative and silence those who disagree.

“Multiple major liberal media figures are now publicly admitting their side couldn’t fathom a real discussion about lab leak theory because of Trump,” New York Post reporter Jon Levine tweeted. “In 5 years these people will look you in the eye with a straight face and say there was never any effort to shut down speculation about the covid lab leak theory and that people only think that because of right wing misinformation.”

How many times have we seen this sequence of events play out in the last few years?

Remember this in the future when you are force-fed stories about how the “experts” say this and the “scientists” say that. Left-wing institutional gatekeepers think it’s more important to give the public a bogus story or to hide from the truth because they think the most important thing in this world is to “own” the conservatives and promote their own ideology.

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.