Cuba Demoted to “Not Real Socialism”

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

If the Socialist Party of Great Britain is an authority on such things, it is official: in light of recent anti-communist protests and civil unrest, Cuba has been demoted to “Not Real Socialism” and reclassified, along with the USSR and other failed socialist experiments, as “actually state capitalism.”

La Revolucion, it appears, is moving into the last stage of what we might call the Niemietz Cycle in honor of Kristian Niemietz’s excellent-and-downloadable-for-$0 book Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies (I review it here and here). The first stage is the “honeymoon” stage where things look like they’re going well. Contrary to what neoliberal naysayers might think, short-run successes seem to prove that socialism is viable.

In the second stage, which Niemietz calls the “Excuses-and-Whatabouttery” stage, mounting socialist failures are explained away as the products of a series of unfortunate (and entirely coincidental) events, like weather in the Soviet Union and Zimbabwe. In the case of Cuba, we’re told–as we have been hearing for six decades–that the country’s problems aren’t because of socialism. They’re actually because of the US embargo. If it weren’t for the embargo, we’re told, the regime would be stable and socialist Cuba would thrive.

I think the embargo is a terrible idea that should be lifted immediately, as it has given Cuban communists a convenient scapegoat for their country’s problems. The embargo, however, is not what causes Cuba’s woes, and people blaming the embargo overlook the fact that Cuba trades pretty extensively with the rest of the world–how else do you think Canadian and Mexican merchants get the Cuban cigars they hawk to American tourists? It’s not because a Cuban Rhett Butler is smuggling them past a blockade. It’s because Cuba trades freely with the entire world. I suspect the US embargo hasn’t really hurt Cuba that much more than the “transgender bathroom” boycott hurt Target.

The “embargo” story also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in light of Marxish claims about imperialism and free trade. On one hand, we learn that “periphery” countries are poor because they trade freely with rich countries like the United States and welcome foreign direct investment. On the other hand, we learn that Cuba is poor because it cannot trade freely with the United States. I’m not sure how this works without a lot of auxiliary assumptions. It also ignores the conspicuous and inconvenient truth that the Cuban government restricts imports and has only lifted these restrictions for food, medicine, and toiletries “temporarily” in response to the protests.

In the last stage of the Niemietz Cycle, the failures become too obvious to ignore or explain away, and the country is demoted to “not real socialism.” Western intellectuals fawned over Stalin’s experiment with socialism, and only after it became a conspicuous failure did we learn that “It wasn’t actually socialism; it was Stalinism, and if only Trotsky had been in charge instead of Stalin….”

Cuba’s defenders have made much of its literacy programs and health care; however, 2018 research by Gilbert Berdine, Vincent Geloso, and Benjamin Powell shows that while Cuban health data aren’t exactly fake news, they aren’t exactly accurate, either. Even if the data are above reproach, there’s another important and uncomfortable question: if Cuba is a workers’ paradise, why are so many people trying so hard to leave? Migration patterns tell the clearest story. Cuba might provide asylum for high-profile American intellectuals and dissidents, but people “vote” overwhelmingly against socialism and for capitalism when they risk life and limb to get from Cuba to the United States. They may not be able to build a case from first principles explaining exactly why they prefer capitalism to socialism in a way that would satisfy a lot of intellectuals, but they demonstrate by their actions which system makes it possible for them to live as they see fit. Moreover, a few seconds with Google suggest to me that actually moving to and getting a job in Cuba would be really, really difficult, and if this website is correct that “A university professor can expect to earn in the region of CUP 1,500 (around US$68 per month),” I understand why so many intellectuals are perfectly happy to extol the virtues of Cuban socialism from comfortable offices and armchairs in the United States instead of lining up to live the collectivist dream.

We can sit around all day and debate the merits and demerits of socialism, whether or not Cuba is “real socialism,” whether or not its apparent reclassification is a demotion or a promotion (as the Babylon Bee calls it), and what intellectuals think people should do and want. Alternatively, we can look at socialism’s miserable track record and try to learn from what people actually do and actually want. Retroactively saying “Actually, that isn’t real socialism” about the Cuban revolution won’t change the fact that people vote for freedom and against socialism in overwhelming numbers.

*****

This article was published on July 19, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from AIER,  American Institute for Economic Research

‘Woka-Cola’: Ad Trolls Coke for Defending China, Giving Americans Diabetes

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Consumers’ Research, a consumer advocacy group, launched a series of advertisements Thursday calling out Coca-Cola’s “woke hypocrisy” for its reported defense of China and alleged health concerns associated with its sugary drinks.

Part of the campaign is a video advertisement satirizing a Coca-Cola commercial, which is set to music with lyrics like “Just drink Coke, the road to obesity” and “China is our labor supplier that drives our stock price even higher.” The group also created a website, “alwayswokacola.com,” to continue to expose the company.

In addition to promoting the video advertisement that will air in Atlanta and nationwide, Consumers’ Research says it plans to drive mobile billboards around Coca-Cola’s headquarters, the Coca-Cola museum, and the Georgia State Capitol for 28 days.

“Today, we are launching AlwaysWokaCola.com and the accompanying ads as a satirical reminder to Coke to focus on their consumers, not woke politicians. The company has taken its eye off the well-being of the customer,” Consumers’ Research Executive Director Will Hild said in a statement Thursday.

“Their products continue to contribute significantly to childhood obesity, they have sourced sugar from companies in China reportedly using forced labor, and they have such poor quality control that racist directives, like ‘be less white,’ are included in staff training,” Hild added.

The campaign aims to “to amplify the voice of consumers fed up with how the company is failing them and as a warning to Coke and other companies,” according to the statement.

“Any corporation who decides to distract from their misdeeds by taking radical positions on political and social issues that are unrelated to their business to garner positive praise from woke politicians and press is on notice, it’s not going to work,” Hild said.

The new advertisements are part of a seven-figure campaign Consumers’ Research is conducting to also expose American Airlines, Nike, Ticketmaster, and the MLB, according to a press release. The Consumers First Initiative aims to give consumers transparency about companies so they can decide for themselves what products to buy.

Coca-Cola was sued along with the American Beverage Association in 2017 for allegedly knowingly misleading consumers about the health effects of its drinks. Coca-Cola said at the time that the accusations were “legally and factually meritless,” according to The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

The plaintiffs in the case said they’ve since withdrawn the complaint, recognizing that both groups “have moved away from claiming that their products have no connection to chronic disease.”

The company also reportedly pushed back on legislation that sought to crack down on forced labor in China. Coca-Cola has been tied to sugar suppliers in Xinjiang, where China is reportedly committing a genocide against the Uighur ethnic minority group.

Coca-Cola defended, according to The New York Times, that it “strictly prohibits any type of forced labor in our supply chain” and has independent auditors monitoring its suppliers.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola continues to make statements about political issues in the U.S. Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey earlier this year labeled a Georgia voting bill that has since been passed as “unacceptable.”

“It is a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity—this is frankly just a step backwards,” he said. “We have said for many decades we promote within Georgia better society and better environment and this is a step backwards and our position remains the same. This legislation is wrong.”

The company also allegedly promoted a course that encouraged people to “be less white.” The lesson was later deleted from LinkedIn.

*****
This article was published on July 16, 2021 and is reproduced from The Daily Signal.

Biden Administration Wants to Silence People They Don’t Agree With

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

“We’re flagging problematic posts for Facebook that spread disinformation.”

Those were the words of White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki last week, and they should send chills up and down your spine. It’s bad enough that we already have Big Tech playing speech police on a daily basis. Now, the federal government is flagging “problematic posts” FOR Facebook?!?

But this level of government censorship and collusion doesn’t stop with Facebook. Psaki turned around the next day to say that if you’re banned from one social media platform, you should be banned from them all. And she admits that the White House hasn’t taken any options off the table when it comes to exercising more control over social media platforms. For the record, that also appears to include censorship of your text messages. (That’s right. They’re even trying to get your phone carrier involved).

So, just to recap. The federal government, which is supposed to uphold the U.S. Constitution, is actively aiding social media companies in censoring and banning Americans. Has anyone in the Biden administration read the First Amendment?

Surely President Biden must have at some point. After all, he’s been in public office since the 1970s. But Biden took it a to a whole other level, accusing Facebook of “killing people” for allowing “COVID misinformation.” That’s certainly an interesting attack considering Facebook has been a willing partner in censoring people. But apparently, the social media giant hasn’t gone far enough for President Biden’s tastes.

So, what exactly do the Democrats mean by “misinformation”? And what posts have the Biden administration flagged as such? Predictably, Psaki would not commit an answer, maneuvering around the question like a skilled tap dancer.

But Jen Psaki doesn’t have to say it for us. The reality is that this has nothing to do with COVID. Democrats and Big Tech have one goal in mind. They want to silence conservatives like you. Just look at what’s taken place this past year:

  • Google-owned YouTube de-platformed the pro-life group LifeSiteNews without explanation.
  • YouTube demonetized The Epoch Times, an independent news media that doesn’t claim a party affiliation.
  • Facebook deleted conservative actor Kevin Sorbo’s page without telling him why.
  • Twitter shut down MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell
  • Google, Apple, and Amazon teamed up to remove the Parler app from the internet for a period of time.
  • And Twitter banned President Trump while he was still the President of the United States with Facebook extending its ban of Trump to at least two more years this past June.
  • The list could go even further. But one thing is clear. The Biden administration isn’t even pretending anymore. They want an internet crack down on people they don’t agree with, and they’re using COVID as their excuse.

    This is outrageous, and it’s incredibly dangerous.

    If the government is allowed to decide who is banned from the public square today, what does that look like tomorrow? Or four years from now? Or a decade from now?

    And what does it look like if your preferred party isn’t in power?

    This should not only concern Republicans, but Democrats, Independents, and anyone who values free speech. Because if the Biden administration get its way, criminalizing speech could be next.

    *****

    This article was published on July 22, 2021 at the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

    Too Much Money Chasing Too Few Goods and Services

    Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

    Inflation can be considered a tax, an especially regressive one, falling harder on those with lower income and/or assets.

    As we’ve noted previously, the Federal Reserve’s “M2” monetary aggregate began growing significantly faster than the “GDP” measure of economic output in the United States beginning around 2008, amidst the 2007-2009 financial and economic crisis.

    With the federal government’s massive fiscal and economic “stimulus” policies arriving together with a pandemic and government lockdowns, M2 growth has recently risen dramatically higher than GDP growth.

     

     

    Earlier this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (within the U.S. Department of Labor) reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose in June at one of its fastest growing rates in more than a decade. Some people have been pointing to the fact that year-over-year changes in the CPI may be high recently in part because the comparisons to last year’s levels were amidst the onset of the pandemic. But in the second quarter of 2021, compared to the first quarter of 2021 and on a seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI rose at an annualized rate of more than 8 percent, which is the highest quarterly growth rate since the third quarter of 1981.

    It’s always worthwhile to keep an eye on alternative inflation measures, given the estimation issues associated with government statistics, and considering the source of those statistics.

    Along those lines, a recent survey of small businesses by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) returned a result for prices that hasn’t been reached since 1981.

    And the prices component of the monthly Institute for Supply Management survey of business purchasing managers rose in June 2021 to its highest reading since July 1979.

    Inflation can be considered as a tax, and an especially regressive one, falling harder on those with lower income and/or assets. Inflation can be considered one cost of government.

    *****

    Continue reader this article at Wolf Street.

     

    It’s About Time We Stopped “Trying Communism”

    Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

    I don’t know how many protests, solidarity movements, refugees, human rights alerts, economic collapses, and purges are going to get this message through everyone’s heads, Communism is a terrible system of governance. In fact, at this point, we should be consistent. Any government that does not guarantee as to the very justification for its existence, individual rights, open markets, and accountable governance, is worth challenging.

    I am of course referring to the ongoing protest in Cuba, to which those on the far left will shamefully attribute to the US embargo on the Communist regime. Others may simply beat around the bush and try to attribute the reasons for the protests to current events. Although all these may contribute to the discontent fueling the Cuban protests, just like every single Communist regime, the ultimate reason why things are going poorly is that the people live under a crushing regime of incompetence and oppression.

    To make room for a colleague that will inevitably publish on the Cuban protests in more detail, my article will focus not on Cuba but on the general topic of Communism.

    The Shameful Track Record of Communism

    Real Communism has never been tried before, but it certainly has been attempted in all sorts of flavors and every single one of them sucked. For some reason, their leaders can’t bring themselves to care about the rights of individuals. Perhaps it undermines their overall collectivist views? Perhaps individual dignity would lead down the slippery slope to capitalism? Perhaps individual rights and preferences are a bourgeois construct? That’s certainly what Che Guevara, the leader of Cuba’s Communist revolution, and Fidel Castro, Communist Cuba’s first leader thought. In fact, Human Progress points out,

    “Both Guevara and Castro considered homosexuality a bourgeois decadence. In an interview in 1965, Castro explained that “A deviation of that nature clashes with the concept we have of what a militant communist should be.”

    Although the American Left somehow rationalizes the deification of men like Che Guevara, they seem to conveniently forget that much like all power-hungry dictators with no regard for human life, he was blatantly a racist, a bigot, and a mass murderer. Human Progress notes,

    “According to Álvaro Vargas Llosa, homosexuals, Jehova’s Witnesses, Afro-Cuban priests, and others who were believed to have committed a crime against revolutionary morals, were forced to work in these camps to correct their “anti-social behavior.” Many of them died; others were tortured or raped.”

    Even today the Cuban government and every single communist country are incredibly repressive. In fact, in reaction to the protests that some may keep telling themselves aren’t against the Communist government, they just shut off the internet. You don’t do that when the people are protesting the actions of a foreign government, such as a US embargo; you do that when the protestors are against the domestic government.

    To briefly highlight some of the many atrocities committed by Communist regimes let’s start with China. It’s been a little bit more than a month since the anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square Massacre and tens of millions died in Mao’s Great Leap Forward as well as the Cultural Revolution. A failure of Communist economic and political reform respectively. North Korea is such a repressive and poor country, it’s hard to even know where to begin. Furthermore, there are entire books about how life in the Soviet Union sucked.

    In Cambodia (this one is cool because my family fled this genocide so that’s why we all live in America now), under the communist Khmer Rouge, not only did they manage to kill off as much of a quarter of the population, but the mass murder, starvation, and torture got so out of hand, communist Vietnam had to intervene with military force. Vietnam is probably one of the more well-behaved communist nations; however, they still have a repressive one-party state and much like China, their current economic success is directly attributed to market reforms. In other words, becoming less communist and more capitalist.

    It is simply puzzling that in all these regimes that purport to represent the proletariat, they end up doing more to impoverish and oppress the working class than even the most sadistic capitalist. In hindsight, it really isn’t that difficult of a question. As mentioned before, any government that does not protect individual rights, open markets, and constraints on power is not only a recipe for disaster but a moral tragedy.

    In liberal democracies, like the United States, there is much talk about the consent of the governed to which governments derive their legitimacy. We already have trouble justifying the impositions that we live under as truly consensual. Such a notion cannot even remotely exist in a Communist regime or any authoritarian regime for that matter.

    There is not a single country that adopted Communism or moved in its direction that was able to provide the standards of living and prosperity found in a free and open society like the United States. In fact, that bar is too high, because not a single one has produced any sort of relative prosperity without some sort of market reform, and not a single one can produce a human rights record that doesn’t make the problems in freer countries look like child’s play.

    The Basics of Governance

    It has become fashionable for some, like the Chinese Communist Party and all those around the world who share their sentiments, to call for a system of moral relativism when it comes to governments. Respect the rights of governments, not individuals. Such a way of thinking believes that the world must be inclusive of different types of political systems, from the freest to the most oppressive. It eschews any sort of moral foundation when it comes to the rights of individuals or sound economic thinking. It subscribes to the fantasy that different political systems work for different countries.

    This is empirically false, which is why the current rules-based international order holds that human rights and open markets are the universal standards for good state conduct.

    Take a look at any economic freedom index. There is a powerful correlation between prosperity and free markets. Objective metrics such as infant mortality rates, educational attainment, calorie consumption, life expectancy, and other desirable indicators are all better in richer countries than poorer countries. Basic political science and legal theory tell us that checks and balances are necessary for an accountable government, whether that be preventing the arbitrary use of power or full-on massacres.

    Think about it; qualified immunity, a doctrine granting protections for police in the United States against being sued for infringing on a private citizen’s rights, already causes enough problems here. Imagine if an entire government had such privileges? A restrained and gridlocked government is far preferable to an unrestrained and power-drunk one.

    Finally, there’s the basic truth that governments cannot run society; they merely exist to facilitate a productive natural order by securing rights and establishing peace. Commerce, invention, culture, and trade arises spontaneously without central dictate. This is why societies in command economies like Maoist China were incredibly bleak and drab. This is also why former Soviet Union president Boris Yeltsin was so amazed and awestruck when he visited a grocery store in the United States. The New Haven Register notes,

    “He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, there would be a revolution.”

    Key Takeaways

    People will always try to find some superficial reason for why a Communist state is failing, whether it’s because of sanctions, resource shortages, inflation, civil unrest, or what have you. These are all fine and good but they ultimately fail to see the elephant in the room. Or in this case, the highly authoritarian, oppressive, and economically incompetent system in place.

    We live in an age where ignorance is a choice when it comes to the superiority of a free and open society. The quicker we stop averting our eyes and look at the facts, the quicker we can move towards a world where every individual, regardless of their geographical and political fortune, can live free and prosper.

    *****

    This article was published on July 17, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

    How Democrats Could Steal the Midterms

    Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

    By now everyone with two working brain cells knows, or pretends not to know, that Democrats cheated on a colossal scale to get Whisperin’ Joe into the White House.  So it’s safe to say that Republicans, having wised up to the Donks’ stratagems and skullduggery, will capture both House and Senate in next year’s midterms.  Right?  Yes.  That is, assuming elections actually take place on November 8, 2022.

    Who doubts that Democrats, with a death grip on power now, are capable of anything to keep Pelosi and Schumer on top and Biden’s cabal in the White House calling the shots?  Well, in a takeaway from those absconding Dem Texas legislators, you can’t be defeated if you don’t show up for the game.

    Fixing a presidential election proved simple; given the number of candidates involved, rigging midterms would be a reach.  An alternative?  Regarding national contests, things get complicated, but here are two money quotes from a 2004 Congressional Research Service report on federal elections: Congress would have the power, by statute, to “postpone … House and Senate elections,” and “Congress could enact a statute delegating the authority to postpone an election to the Executive Branch.”  Justification for either action?  “Terrorism,” “calamitous events,” and the ambiguous “national emergency” — such as, say, civil disorder on a massive scale leading up to Election Day.

    Consider this scenario: on November 6, 2022, two days before federal elections, mayhem breaks out in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and other blue cities across the country.  Masked provocateurs roam the streets, damaging property, assaulting innocents, fighting the police officers confronting them, and targeting polling stations for burning.  To sow confusion, a few are wearing MAGA hats.  Mayors and governors appear caught by surprise and announce that it will take days to get the National Guard in to quell disturbances.

    The left and its allies in the media will highlight the disturbances and accuse white supremacists and Trump sympathizers of fomenting unrest in hopes of dissuading voters from leaving home to cast ballots for Democrat House and Senate candidates.  The January 6, 2021 “insurrection” idiocy (with American citizens in custody for months for trespassing) will be revived by the MSM to muddy the waters….

    *****

    Continue reading this article published July 20, 2021 at American Thinker.

    Fact-Checking 6 Claims at Senate Democrats’ Voting Law Hearing

    Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

    Senate Democrats took their push to nullify state election laws on the road Monday, holding a “field hearing” in Atlanta to attack Georgia’s recent election reforms and promote their bill to eliminate voter ID and other requirements.

    Only Democrat members of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee showed up to question witnesses, also all Democrats.

    Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Republicans had the opportunity to call a witness to defend the Georgia law, but didn’t request one. A spokesperson for the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., didn’t respond Monday to The Daily Signal’s emails and phone inquiries on this point.

    The hearing, held at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, included numerous assertions, some true, but others debunked in previous fact checks.

    Here’s a look at six big claims from the hearing in Atlanta, which Democrats titled “Protecting the Vote.”

    1. ‘Hurdles’ to Ballot Drop Boxes

    Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., isn’t a member of the Rules and Administration Committee, but was the first witness in his home state. Warnock, who took office in January, criticized Georgia’s election reform law for “reducing the number of drop boxes where voters can return those ballots.”

    Klobuchar jumped in later to say, “If you’re looking for evil, you can find it pretty easily” in the Georgia law.

    “Drop-off boxes cannot stay open beyond the time of the early voting,” Klobuchar said, adding, “Some of these voters were working day and night, several jobs, then they can’t go to a drop-off box.”

    The fact is that ballot drop boxes weren’t used in Georgia nor in most other states before the 2020 election, which took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Georgia election officials provided drop boxes to collect voters’ ballots based on Gov. Brian Kemp’s emergency order to address voting concerns during the pandemic.

    But for Senate Bill 202, passed by Georgia lawmakers, officials wouldn’t have to provide drop boxes in future elections. That said, fewer drop boxes will be available as those elections presumably take place without a pandemic.

    Also, the new law restricts voting by drop box to hours when early in-person voting is available.

    Each county in Georgia must provide at least one drop box under the law. But boxes will have to be located near early-voting sites and be accessible for dropping off absentee ballots when those polling locations are open.

    2. ‘Big Lie’

    Democrat senators and witnesses argued that the law in Georgia and other election reforms across the United States were prompted by former President Donald Trump’s claim that his election loss in November to President Joe Biden was fraudulent.

    “We saw record-breaking voter turnout in our last elections—participation that should have been celebrated—get attacked by craven politicians, and, spurred on by the big lie, these same actors are now rolling back voting rights in a way that is unprecedented in size and scope since the Jim Crow era,” Warnock said.

    Biden beat Trump by about 12,000 votes out of 4.9 million cast, according to official final results, to win Georgia’s 16 electoral votes.

    Georgia state Rep. Bill Mitchell, a Democrat and president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, called the November election a major success.

    “I define its success not by our candidates’ winning their elections, but by the fact that when you have as many people vote as we did in the 2020 election cycle, with as few problems, with all challenges being dismissed—you have to consider that to be successful,” Mitchell said.

    Mitchell later said “The Heritage Foundation and others” were pushing election reform legislation.

    The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank, is the parent organization of The Daily Signal.

    “When you have the highest levels of voter participation, combined with the lowest levels of challenges, why would you want to change that?” Mitchell said.

    However, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last week reported that digital ballot images show that Fulton County election officials scanned about 200 ballots two times in the November election. Skeptics of the election results argue that apparent double counting is evidence of a need for a closer examination of ballots in Georgia. 

    The newspaper noted that the discovery was unlikely to change the election results in Georgia. But some conservative commentators, such as Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson, expressed concern about the finding.

    The duplication of at least 200 ballots is evidence of problems with tallying votes in Georgia, but far from proof that the state’s election results were affected in Biden’s favor. 

    3. ‘Adequate Polling Locations’

    One of the more compelling witnesses was neither a lawmaker nor an activist, but a voter named Jose Segarra. The Air Force veteran told his story of waiting in line for hours.

    “I, along with thousands of Georgians, had to wait for hours in order to cast my vote in the 2020 general election,” he said.

    “Our government needs to ensure that we have adequate systems and processes in place to allow every eligible voter to cast their ballot without such undue burdens,” Segarra said without specifying federal or state government, adding:

     

    To do this, we need to have an adequate number of polling locations and these locations to be properly resourced and open for as expansive a period as possible. Voters should have the opportunity to vote on Saturdays and Sundays. Lots of people work on Saturdays, so Sundays need to be an option. It would also make it much easier for some people to vote if Election Day were a federal holiday.

    Georgia’s new election law does provide “additional voting equipment or poll workers to precincts containing more than 2,000 electors.”

    The law added early voting on two Saturdays and one Sunday that previously were not available to Georgians, stating:

     

    Requiring two Saturday voting days and two optional Sunday voting days will dramatically increase the total voting hours for voters across the state of Georgia, and all electors in Georgia will have access to multiple opportunities to vote in person on the weekend for the first time.

    Under the new law, counties in Georgia have flexibility to open early voting for as long as from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at minimum.

    Previously, some rural counties didn’t provide for early voting for eight hours on a workday, The Washington Post reported.

    Thus, the law actually expanded hours for early voting. 

    4. ‘Mass Challenges’

    Warnock announced new legislation he is co-sponsoring with fellow Senate Democrats Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Jon Ossoff of Georgia. Ossoff, like Warnock, took office in January after defeating a Republican incumbent in a special election.

    The legislation, called the Preventing Election Subversion Act, seeks to prevent the overturning of elections based on mass challenges or by legislators controlling the makeup of a state board of elections.

    The proposal is tied directly to provisions that Warnock said are in SB 202, the basis of Georgia’s new law.

    Warnock said Georgia’s law would let “a single person make unlimited, mass challenges to the ability of other Georgians to vote, clearing the way for baseless accusations.”

    The language of the law does make it more difficult for government officials to outright dismiss a complaint about election procedures and ballots. Specifically, it says:

     

    Any elector [voter] of a county or municipality may challenge the qualifications of any person applying to register to vote in the county or municipality and may challenge the qualifications of any elector of the county or municipality whose name appears on the list of electors. Such challenges shall be in writing and shall specify distinctly the grounds of the challenge.

    There shall not be a limit on the number of persons whose qualifications such elector may challenge. Upon such challenge being filed with the [local] board of registrars, the registrars shall set a hearing on such challenge within ten business days after serving notice of the challenge.

    As another justification for his legislation, Warnock argued that Georgia’s new law “allows partisan officials in the state Legislature to control our state board of elections and take over local election administrators, and it allows them to engage in these takeovers even as the votes are still being cast.”

    The Associated Press reported in March that under the new law, the Legislature does indeed have an increased role in the State Election Board, but it can’t overturn elections at a whim, as Warnock seemed to suggest. 

    Georgia’s elected secretary of state has a diminished role in elections under the new law. This is the basis for Democrats’ claim that partisan politics could play a role.

    “The secretary of state will no longer chair the State Election Board, becoming instead a non-voting ex-officio member,” Georgia Public Broadcasting explained in a report. “The new chair would be nonpartisan but appointed by a majority of the state House and Senate. The chair would not be allowed to have been a candidate, participate in a political party organization or campaign or [have] made campaign contributions for two years prior to being appointed.”

    5. ‘Rushed Through’

    Georgia state Sen. Sally Harrell, D-Dunwoody, said the Republican-sponsored law lacked adequate input from Democrats in the state Legislature.

    “Election bills were rushed through without public input and voted out along party lines,” Harrell said. “Questions addressed to bill authors by minority members were frequently answered dishonestly and disrespectfully. … In the nine years I have served in the [Georgia] General Assembly, I have never seen such blatant disregard for the legislative process as I did with the passage of SB 202.”

    Previous media reporting shows the legislation moved quickly through the Legislature to Kemp’s desk. Questioning this speed has been a consistent line among critics, including the U.S. Justice Department.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke, who is leading the federal lawsuit against Georgia’s voting law, has said the bill was “a rushed process that departed from normal practice and procedure.”

    “The version of the bill that passed the state Senate … was three pages long,” Clarke said in June during a press conference announcing the litigation. “Days later, the bill ballooned into over 90 pages in the House. The House held less than two hours of floor debate on the newly inflated SB 202 before Gov. Kemp signed it into law the same day.”

    6.  Water Bottles, Ballot Harvesting

    Warnock also complained that Georgia’s election law is “making it harder for community organizations to assist voters, whether from requesting a ballot to just handing out a bottle of water.”

    The law prohibits campaign workers from distributing food, drink, or anything else of value to waiting voters, and from setting up a table within 150 feet of the building or 25 feet of a voter.

    However, the law specifically allows official poll workers, as opposed to campaign workers, to provide water to voters. 

    As for the “community organizations” Warnock cited, the law prohibits ballot harvesting, a controversial practice in which  political operatives obtain large numbers of ballots from election officials and then deliver the ballots to those officials once they’ve been voted.

    The practice has been used to achieve fraud in several elections, among them a North Carolina congressional race later overturned in court and a Texas mayor’s race that led to multiple indictments.

    *****

    This article was published on July 19, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Daily Signal.

    Getting Red In Your Ed

    Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

    It is well known that America’s schoolchildren are woefully ignorant of their national history and government. Majorities of young adults no longer feel grateful to be an American, undoubtedly because they fail to comprehend the precious freedoms to which they were born.

    So are the teacher’s unions who educate our children concerned about this deplorable situation? Do they have a plan to correct it? You know the answer.

    Instead, the National Education Association recently voted to ensure that all American school children are comprehensively taught Critical Race Theory. This is the unscientific notion that white people are inherently, incorrigibly racist and thus America’s foundational values were and are bigotry and racial oppression.

    As the NEA puts it, “all K – 12 schools should teach children that White supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-indigenity, racism, patriarchy, capitalism, and anthropocentrism form the foundation of our society“. Furthermore “to deny opportunities to teach truth about Black, Brown and other marginal races minimizes the necessity for students to build efficacy”.

    Not sure what that last means, but basically nobody is trying to prevent teaching about slavery, Jim Crow or the struggles racial minorities have faced. It should be balanced with the recognition that America has come a long way in correcting injustices and that there are boundless reasons to feel pride and love for our country.

    The NEA means business. They’re allocating a $127,000 addition to normal operating funds to push CRT. More ominously, this allocation includes funding an “opposition research” effort meant to smear parents and organizations opposed to racist propagandizing of their children. Charming.

    These same unions also spearheaded the effort to keep schools closed long after it was known that school children were neither the victims nor spreaders of serious Covid disease. They demanded political favors, like forcing private schools to also close and limiting new charter schools, as the ransom for their return to the work they were being paid to do. Some schools are not open even yet.

    The results of their mulish selfishness are trickling in. It’s bad. Students in every grade are failing classes and falling behind.

    Preliminary research suggests that students will return with less than 50% of normal learning gains in math and under 70% in other subjects. Since these are averages, disadvantaged and disabled learners will fare even worse. Catching up this much academically is difficult, if not impossible. It will take years if ever, to undo the damage.

    Meanwhile, our nation’s teachers’ unions are doubling down on the effort to turn public schools into centers for radical indoctrination. History is now taught as the ceaseless struggle between oppressors and victims. A substitution of “race” for “class“ is the only deviation from classical Marxist theory.

    Students in biology are taught that gender is merely a social construct and that they are free to select theirs “don’t let anyone tell you otherwise“. Math instruction is threatened by “social justice“ warriors who deem requiring one correct answer and showing your work to be “white“.

    Great literary works are being culled, and our history obliterated, for lack of adherence to modern standards of political correctness. Shakespeare and Steinbeck are among those facing permanent removal.

    Some teachers are refusing to teach “To Kill a Mockingbird“ because of racist language and the depiction of a “white savior“. That’s rich. Arguably the most influential anti-racist novel of modern times is shunned because Atticus is a decent white man who helps blacks and that doesn’t fit CRT’s malignant stereotypes.

    In a few months, they’ve gone from claiming CRT isn’t taught in K-12 to insisting that instruction must be universal. Fortunately, grassroots and parent groups are waking up and fighting back. They should consider resisting not only objectionable courses of instruction, but the politicized education system that creates them.

    Clear majorities, including 75% to 85% of minority parents, favor charter schools and other forms of school choice. Yet there is stiff political resistance to reforms like Educational Savings Accounts, which empower parents. Arizona’s legislative Democrats this session voted unanimously to deny parents these options, thus denying them leverage in their dealings with unresponsive unions and schools.

    So is public education meant to benefit the big people or the little people?

    *****
    Thomas C. Patterson, MD is a retired Emergency Medicine physician, Arizona state Senator and Arizona Senate Majority Leader in the ’90s. He is a former Chairman, Goldwater Institute.

    Democrats’ Lawless Governments Can Get Even Worse

    Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

    It has taken 72 years since the publication of the book 1984 for us to finally arrive at being led by President Orwell. He has been sending out his shock troops to convince Americans not to believe their own eyes and ears and blame Republicans for defunding the police and surging crime. They are truly shock troops because Americans are dazed and confused by the bewildering arguments that blame Republicans. Only the most desperate Democrats are adopting this line. I am here to tell you as bad as the lawlessness being unleashed on Americans by Democrat mayors and district attorneys it can and will most likely get even worse.

    The trashing of our laws to allow criminals to walk out of stores with hundreds of dollars of goods without legal recourse or allowing violent criminals out after arrest without bail to further their personal crime wave bafflingly can get even worse. We know that because it is going on in France.

    Kobili Traore was an immigrant from Mali who obtained French citizenship. He had been arrested and sentenced by French courts 20 times for violent assaults. His only known means of support was as a drug dealer. Despite that, the French government made no attempt to take away his citizenship and deport him back to Mali.

    Traore met retired Jewish physician Dr. Sarah Halami numerous times along with her daughter in the stairwell of the Paris building where they lived. He called them “dirty Jews.” This was witnessed by numerous neighbors.

    Traore proceeds to break into the home of Dr. Halimi at four in the morning. He tortured her for over an hour while reciting verses from the Quran and shouting “Allahu Akbar!” He used anti-Semitic names and call her Satan.

    In testimony from her neighbors, the police arrived at Dr. Halimi’s place while she was still alive. They became aware first-hand of the activities inside and heard her screaming. Instead of asserting there were exigent circumstances and breaking down the door, the police decide to go back downstairs and wait for reinforcements.

    At that time, Traore threw Dr. Halimi from the third-story balcony of her home where she fell to her death. Only at this point did the police arrest him.

    The murderer was not sent to prison but instead was sent to a mental institution because he was under the influence of an illegal substance. Traore was high on marijuana, but apparently in a state of delirium. Most people who digest too much marijuana want to sit on a couch and consume bags of Cheetos. Not Traore. He went into a murderous anti-Semitic rage. It is still not clear why the murderer was not sent to prison where he could be cleansed of the drug and held there.

    Seems like an open and shut case of first-degree murder, but not in France. Not only was the fact it was a hate crime suppressed for nine months, but the case was also assigned to a judge who was known as a member of an anti-Semitic group.

    The judge proceeded to prejudice the process. She refused to allow a reconstruction of the crime. She stated a reconstruction of the crime would be “traumatic” for the defendant. The judge never heard arguments from the victim’s family.

    The judge ordered her own psychiatric analysis of Traore. Her hand-picked psychiatrist determined that Traore was in a state of acute delirium (on marijuana) and stated that because of that he could not be responsible for his actions and could not be tried. The judge in coordination with two other judges declared the murderer not guilty and free of all charges.

    The case immediately was sent to the Court of Appeal. The Court acknowledged that Traore had committed an anti-Semitic murder. It went on to validate the lower court opinion that Traore was not responsible for his actions and set him free.

    As despicable as this story may seem to you, are we that far from situations like this? We allow criminals to sneak back into the country multiple times. From all appearances, our southern border is largely being controlled by drug cartels that have become human traffickers.

    Our society is consistently amplifying any slight against Blacks, Asians, or Muslims, but has muffled anti-Semitic attacks which remain 60% of hate crimes. We have violent criminals let out of jail prematurely or without bail, after a crime with some clueless thought, these people will become humanitarians in the interim. We have Democrat elected officials hog-tying police preventing them from protecting the people they were hired to protect.

    Instead of changing police back to their intended role and ridding us of these criminals, the mayors, city councils, and DA’s are responsible for our plunging law enforcement and the corresponding explosion of crimes at all levels. The Democrats are busy creating fairy tales about Republicans defunding the police. Unless we cleanse ourselves of these irresponsible souls, we will soon descend to the levels that France has already achieved.

    *****

    This article was published in Flash Report on Jul7 17, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the author.

    Dangerous Infrastructure Bill: Flooding America’s Suburbs with High-Density Housing Projects

    Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
  • This proposal… amounts to “abolishing the suburbs” by making them more like cities.
  • Apartment buildings…. could be built in the middle of any suburban neighborhood, and there is nothing you could do to stop it. A housing project could be built next door to your home. One-acre lots could be subdivided to cram in as many houses as possible.
  • They claim that cities are undesirable places to live because they are crowded, hot, and lack nature, so it is unfair that people have to live there. Ironically, their solution seems to be to make more of them….
  • Worse, local governments presumably know what is best for their communities. That is why communities have local governments rather than a federal government deciding everything for everyone. If residents desired different zoning, their officials would have already made those changes on their own…..That is probably why it is being hidden within a massive bill and not talked about.
  • The federal government has no power to force this change, but the president has floated withholding federal money that towns rely on for things like roads unless the towns comply…. What town can afford to lose all federal transportation dollars — funded with taxes that they pay?..,, Basically, it is not far from extortion.
  • Most cities, and most low-income people, vote for Democrats. For politicians, this means that if you can make the countryside into cities, in 10 years, everyone will be voting for only one party.
  • Many counties will find it hard to resist the temptation to take the cash. But in the long-term they are saddling themselves with a huge influx of poverty whose financial effects will outweigh any grants. Of course, they will also completely change the aesthetics and culture of the neighborhood — and irrevocably alter its political makeup.
  • Interview with Luke Rosiak, an investigative reporter with The Daily Wire. He warns of a little-noticed provision in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal that could have major consequences for how people will be forced to live — and for a political power-grab in the country.

    Gatestone Institute: President Joe Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal says that money granted to towns and counties will come with a condition: eliminating “prohibitions on multifamily housing” and zoning restrictions such as “minimum lot sizes.” This proposal, it has been said, amounts to “abolishing the suburbs” by making them more like cities.

    Rosiak: Yes. Apartment buildings as well as duplexes — essentially carving up suburban homes into multiple apartment units — could be built in the middle of any suburban neighborhood, and there is nothing you could do to stop it. A housing project could be built next door to your home. One-acre lots could be subdivided to cram in as many houses as possible. If you bought into a neighborhood of one-acre lots and enjoy a bit of privacy, your neighbor could soon be able to sell his acre to a real estate developer who could put eight buildings on it.

    GI: What is the purpose of this?

    Rosiak: As USA Today put it: “A house with a white picket fence and a big backyard for a Fourth of July barbecue may be a staple of the American dream, but experts and local politicians say multifamily zoning is key to combating climate change, racial injustice, and the nation’s growing affordable housing crisis.” As part of the administration’s desired $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, “cities would allow… apartment buildings with fewer than six units to be built next to a traditional house….”

    Part of the “purpose” is the claim that we need to spread out poverty to make things more “equitable.” They claim that cities are undesirable places to live because they are crowded, hot, and lack nature, so it is unfair that people have to live there. Ironically, their solution seems to be to make more of them by cutting down trees in the suburbs and putting up tall buildings. They also claim it will help the environment because if Americans live more densely, they are more likely to take mass transit and use fewer cars.

    GI: Is this what Americans want? More poverty and increased population density in their suburbs?

    Rosiak: Plenty of Americans love the big-city lifestyle; but they are already living in cities. Many other Americans have chosen big backyards for their kids to play in and to have some privacy. If you moved into a neighborhood based on certain expectations – whether it was one house on each quarter-acre, half-acre, or acre – you likely do not want that thrown out the window. With rising crime rates and remote work, people’s preferences have actually been shifting to moving even further out in the country, to have even more space than before.

    Worse, local governments presumably know what is best for their communities.

    That is why communities have local governments rather than a federal government deciding everything for everyone. If residents desired different zoning, their officials would have already made those changes on their own. This tells you that the move will most likely be horrifically unpopular among voters of both parties. That is probably why it is being hidden within a massive bill and not talked about.

    The federal government has no power to force this change, but the president has floated withholding federal money that towns rely on for things like roads unless the towns comply.

    President Biden’s campaign platform called to “Eliminate local and state housing regulations that perpetuate discrimination” through a bill called the HOME Act. It would make “surface transportation funding and community development block grants contingent on” eliminating policies such as “ordinances that ban apartment buildings from certain residential areas or set a minimum lot size for a single-family home.'” What town can afford to lose all federal transportation dollars — funded with taxes that they pay?

    Since the infrastructure bill is sending billions of dollars to local governments, the administration appears to be using it for the same purpose, saying that local governments will not be eligible for some of this money unless they make zoning changes. Basically, it is not far from extortion.

    GI: So the administration wants to turn the suburbs into cities? Why would a political party want to do that?

    Rosiak: Most cities, and most low-income people, vote for Democrats. For politicians, this means that if you can make the countryside into cities, in 10 years, everyone will be voting for only one party. In fact, one of the best predictors of how a person will vote is population density. If you live on an acre or more, you are probably a Republican, and if you live in a high-density area, there is a good chance you are a Democrat.

    Politically, control of America comes down to the suburbs. Right now, they are the only areas that are “purple.” If you can move residents of the suburbs to the “left” by 10 points by adding high-density housing, then you have secured permanent political control.

    Many voters will be furious, but to the politicians, that will not matter: the new residents are sure to give one party the majority it wants. That is what the infrastructure bill conditions are really about: securing a one-party control of government. Who’s in charge of your county or town is incredibly important: it determines criminal justice policy, school boards, and spending. The population shift could also tip congressional seats and impact the electoral college. And of course, added high-density housing could also come with traffic, never-ending construction, crime, and gangs.

    GI: Is this infrastructure bill a done deal?

    Rosiak: It is still in the negotiations stage, and details have so far been essentially secret. But the current administration has repeatedly said it intends to include zoning provisions along these lines, and other politicians have not given any indication that they understand the significance of what is being done or that they intend to fight it.

    If a bill passes with these strings attached, suburbs are likely to go the way of Loudoun County, Virginia. Loudoun was a semi-rural community until a few years ago, when its local representatives permitted the construction of thousands of townhouses. The first thing the new residents did was to vote those representatives out and their representatives in. Now Loudoun County is more like San Francisco on the Potomac.

    Many counties will find it hard to resist the temptation to take the cash. But in the long-term they are saddling themselves with a huge influx of poverty whose financial effects will outweigh any grants. Of course, they will also completely change the aesthetics and culture of the neighborhood — and irrevocably alter its political makeup.

    The infrastructure provisions are not the only way the current administration is methodically seeking to increase the population density and poverty rate of suburbs. In June, the president signed an executive order affecting Department of Housing and Urban Development money, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” with similar goals.

    *****

    This article/interview was conducted on July 15, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from Gatestone Institute.