Rush Limbaugh: Conservative Icon and Giant

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rush Limbaugh’s passing this week triggered sadness on the Right and glee on the Left. The Left’s grave dancers exulted in his death, believing that they had just rid themselves of one of America’s greatest and most persuasive opponents of their twisted views favoring an Orwellian future for our nation.

With Rush no longer available to counsel and guide us, conservatives should take the opportunity afforded by his passing to reflect on one of the most basic questions of all — what is it to be a conservative? What differentiates us from the Left?

Conservatism is founded on two core concepts: (1) personal responsibility and (2) the critical importance of liberty in our lives. In an important way, these two concepts are opposite sides of the same coin. We should have the liberty to govern our own lives but in having that right must be prepared to take personal responsibility for outcomes resulting from the exercise of those liberty rights.

The Left, on the other hand, despises both of these concepts. This hatred is not merely peripheral to the Left’s worldview but rather is at the very core of it. The Left has created a cult of victimhood.  To prosper under the Left, you have to prove yourself a victim. (But, as we shall see in a moment, you have to be the right kind of victim). If you are a “person of color,” all of your woes have nothing to do with the choices you have voluntarily made in your life but instead are the result of a racist society. There is a racist under every rock and behind every bush. How America could be a racist society when 350,000 white Union soldiers gave their lives in a great civil war to free black Americans is never explained by the Left and is studiously ignored.

The term “person of color” was carefully chosen by the Left to enlarge its potential base from blacks to Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians. The only group clearly excluded from the party is whites. In the Left’s racist worldview (and here really is something that is truly racist), whites are responsible for all  woes of “people of color.” And thus we see the proliferation of the racist terms “white privilege,” “white fragility,” etc. We see the Left’s preoccupation with “reparations,” where people who never owned slaves will have their taxes raised to make payments of free money to people who never were slaves (but happen to be of the right skin color).

Now, it’s true that some people truly are victims:  a policeman who is shot in the spine by a criminal and spends the rest of his life in a wheelchair; an American soldier who fought in Vietnam, was exposed to Agent Orange and prematurely contracts a fatal form of cancer; a young boy or girl whose parents are both killed in an automobile accident after being hit by a drunk driver. But these are hardly the kind of victims whose cause is ever championed by the Left. For the most part, these individuals and their fates are largely ignored because they do not advance the Left’s identity politics. White high school seniors who are discriminated against by Harvard University when they apply for admission are also “victims” (victims of truly racist admission policies), but they are not victims either as the Left sees it. Why? Because although they are members of a group, they are not members of a group the Left favors, they are members of a group the Left despises.

What is written above undoubtedly would be termed “hate speech” by many on the Left, and this brings us to the second point: the critical importance of liberty in our lives. As a core value, it is enshrined in the Declaration of Independence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

By and large, today’s Left despises liberty. For the Left, the only kind of speech that is protected by the First Amendment is speech the Left agrees with.  Anything the Left disagrees with is “hate speech” and must be suppressed. The Left’s organs in the Tech World – Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter, are only too happy to comply. Hence the savage attack on Parler, an alternative to Twitter that declined to censor conservative postings and therefore had to be crushed. Hence the Left’s efforts to get advertisers to boycott the Tucker Carlson show on Fox News and to get him kicked off the air. The world has changed dramatically from the days when the American Civil Liberties Union battled in favor of the right of Nazis to march in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in the suburbs of Chicago. 

Obviously, the Left would also like to see the Second Amendment go and the ownership of firearms be prohibited. The latest schemes are focused on the imposition of draconian taxes and registration requirements. “Liberty be damned!  We’re the Left and we know what’s good for you! Shut up and obey!”

In summary, the Right can best honor the memory of the great Rush Limbaugh by continuing to campaign as vigorously as it can for the core values of personal responsibility and liberty that Rush devoted his life to.

Mass Murder Cover Up

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

A storm covers the skies of New York as a scandal has broken surrounding its Governor. Charges have come forth asserting a cover-up of the number of deaths occurring in New York nursing homes that were hidden from the public. That may be true, but that is not the real cover-up. There is another group of people whose hands are drenched in blood and we could have seen this coming.

There are two ways to stifle a free press. There is the way tyrants have done it like Erdogan in Turkey or Chavez in Venezuela. They gradually restrict the rights of a free press until the rights were obliterated. Then there is what has happened in the United States where the press has become overwhelmingly ideologically aligned with a political viewpoint such that they self-stifle their own rights.

What went on in New York was not unknown; rather it was just not convenient to the narrative necessary to destroy the political fortunes of Donald Trump. Anything that conflicted with that narrative was buried — even if that cost thousands of senior citizens their lives.

On April 25, 2020, Michael Goodwin of the New York Post disclosed the truth about what took place. Yes, he is a columnist for the very same paper that five months later broke the story regarding the financial mishaps of Hunter Biden, the son of Donald Trump’s opponent. That story was spiked by mass media and Big Tech hoping to vanquish that evil man in the White House.

Goodwin’s column (his second on the subject) clearly placed blame for the tragedy at the hands of the Governor’s March 25th memo regarding how to handle nursing home patients. “This directive is being issued to clarify expectations for nursing homes receiving residents returning from hospitalization and for nursing homes accepting new patients.” In “an urgent need to expand hospital capacity,” Cuomo dictated that all residents be returned to nursing homes. This ordered propelled the explosion of deaths in the homes. Goodwin went on to cover the disaster in multiple columns and point the finger directly at Cuomo. His protestations fell on the deaf ears of fellow journalists.

The same hearing-impaired journalists went on to lionize Cuomo for his leadership on the COVID issue. His daily press briefings became catnip for them as they praised Cuomo and demonized that dunderhead in the White House. Then-candidate Biden chimed in on numerous occasions praising Cuomo for his leadership while his errant policy piled up bodies in funeral homes.

The guy in the WH pointed out that he sent a hospital ship to New York City and built a makeshift hospital facility at the Javits Center that went barely used while shipping the elderly back to nursing homes to die in mass numbers. Cuomo held more news conferences and the Trump-hating press cooed. By the time Cuomo reversed his disastrous decision, the bodies had been stacked to the sky. But he was oh so brilliant.

So brilliant he received a special Emmy award. It should have been for performance in a drama series because his musings were near-complete fiction and, as it turns out, a lie.

It was predictable that a press that has abandoned any hint of independence would lead to a story like this where mass death would be hidden from the public in the name of their righteous cause.

Who needs Pravda when the entire press is Pravda?

This is not the only story our once free press buried to conquer the evil Orange Man. A group of political hacks claiming to be Republicans formed The Lincoln Project. Their biggest claim to fame is engineering massive defeats for Republican candidates and they too hated that villain in the White House.

The Lincoln Project soaked $90 million out of people telling them that they would turn Republicans against Trump. Three things happened. The first was a higher percentage of Republicans voted for Trump in 2020 than in 2016. They also lined their own pockets to the extent of $50 million or more.

The third and the bigger story was they hid another scandal. The kowtowing press helped to cover up that one of the leaders of the group was harassing young males. John Weaver harassed at least 21 men. This was known within the Lincoln Project since at least June and once again the press was willing to sacrifice another group of people as long as Trump was under attack. The issue has come forward now that the Left-wing media no longer needs the Lincoln Project to destroy Trump. How many young men could have been saved if the press was doing its job?

The Weaver affair pales in comparison to what happened in New York. In New York, the horrible policy was ignored with the cost of thousands of lives. The only reason it is being focused on now is because of the fact an official working for Cuomo admitted they lied about the numbers. They lied about the numbers because they feared their negligence would have made the Trump Administration look good. The people of New York don’t care why they lied, they just care about their dead family members.

Cuomo has blood on his hands, and it has been known for 10 months if you cared to really look. The press has known for 10 months and ignored it and blood also is on their hands. Their ideological bent is responsible and until our press assumes once again its rightful position of protecting free speech and an evenhanded position more tragedies like this will be left uncovered.

*****
This article first appeared February 21, 2021 in the Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Biden: China’s Genocide Of Uighurs Just Different ‘Norms’

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Over a million Uighurs and other minorities have been detained in camps in China; but to Biden, that’s just different ‘norms.’

During President Joe Biden’s CNN town hall Tuesday evening, he dismissed the forcible internment, systematic rape, torture, and genocide of the Uighur population in China, labelling what China is committing against the majority Muslim population a “different norm.”

Over a million Uighurs and other minorities have been detained in camps in China, according to estimates. The U.S. declared China’s actions “genocide” last month.

Biden said he is “not going to speak out against” the Chinese Communist Party’s actions in Hong Kong, in Taiwan, or their actions against the Uighurs.

“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home,” said Biden. “So the central, well, vastly overstated, the central principle of [China’s President] Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

“I point out to [Chinese President Xi] no American president can be sustained as a president, if he doesn’t reflect the values of the United States,” said Biden. “And so the idea that I am not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uighurs in western mountains of China and Taiwan, trying to end the one China policy by making it forceful … [Xi] gets it.”

“Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow,” Biden said.

Biden has a point; “norms” in China are very different from the United States. For instance, the BBC was banned in China last week for reporting on the systemic torture and rape occurring in Uighur concentration camps.

Asked at the CNN townhall if China will face consequences for the genocide, Biden responded that the U.S. will “reassert our role as spokespersons for human rights at the UN and other agencies.”

“China is trying very hard to become the world leader. And to get that moniker and be able to do that, they have to gain the confidence of other countries. And as long as they are engaged in activity that is contrary to basic human rights, it’s going to be hard for them to do that,” he said.  “But it’s much more complicated than that, I shouldn’t try to talk China policy in 10 minutes on television here.”

In February, the State Department issued a statement that called China’s actions against the Uighurs “atrocities” that “shock the conscience and must be met with serious consequences.”

The Trump administration designated them a genocide and Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he agrees with that determination.

*****

This article first appeared in The American Conservative on February 18, 2021 and is reproduced with permission.

 

Will France Save Us Again?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

After saving us in the Revolutionary War, will it save us from wokeness?

France deserves our gratitude, at least from those of us who believe that America is worth saving in spite of its imperfections.

First, France helped us in winning the Revolutionary War. That would be the war that is claimed by today’s poorly educated racial revolutionaries to have been started for the expressed purpose of continuing slavery.

Now French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that American wokeness is a threat to the classical liberal foundation of France. By extension, then, it’s also a threat to the United States, because America has the same liberal foundation.

We should thank him for the warning, although it might be too late for the U.S.

Specifically, Macron was referring to the illiberal virus masquerading as social justice and racial equality that has emanated from American universities and spread throughout American government, media, public schools, and corporations. He and his ministers don’t want it to spread to France.

This follows Macron’s criticism in October of “certain social-science theories entirely imported from the United States.”

France’s Minister for Higher Education Frédérique Vidal was more direct when she recently pledged to conduct an investigation into academics who look “at everything through the prism of wanting to fracture and divide.” She was referring to academics seeing all social issues through the prism of race, which is a foundational tenet of American wokeness.

Another foundational tenet is that the way to address the legacy of past prejudices against non-whites is to replace the former prejudices with new prejudices against whites. This is similar to the psychological condition of abused children becoming abusive parents.

Such pathological thinking is reinforced by the removal of science from the social sciences and the removal of impartiality from history, in a process that began decades ago as political correctness and has since morphed into cancel culture and speech codes.

As a result, races that used to be stereotyped negatively are now stereotyped positively, and vice versa. Non-whites now get a positive spin while whites get a negative one.

Forgotten in this wild swing of the pendulum is the fact that many white ethnocultural groups had also been stereotyped negatively in American history and treated accordingly. For example, the founding white Anglo-Saxon Protestants didn’t look kindly on the Irish in the 19th century, on southern Europeans in the 20th century, on Catholics (papists) in general, and on Jews in general.

On a personal note, as this Italian writer knows, Italians were known as swarts or worse and seen as a half-step up from blacks. Some were even lynched.

For sure, my Italian grandparents who emigrated as poor and poorly educated peasants from Italy in the early 20th century were not responsible for slavery or Jim Crow.

That responsibility lies with Anglo-Saxon Protestants, but even that is an unfair generalization. Puritans of New England, along with the admirers of Cromwell known as Roundheads, tended to be anti-slavery.  Conversely, Southern Cavaliers and admirers of Charles I tended to be pro-slavery.

In spite of such historic facts and important distinctions between the many white ethnocultural groups, all whites are now stereotyped as homogenous and equally responsible for the nation’s original sins.  They’re all tarred as racist and privileged. At the same time, those wielding the tar brushes can’t figure out why this has triggered resentment and a political backlash.

Naturally, progressives among the brush wielders deny their role in causing the social pathologies in so-called minority communities, especially African-American communities. Due to their condescending and paternalistic belief that blacks couldn’t make it without the help of whites like them, they put blacks on the new plantation of welfare dependency, which made men unnecessary in the financial support of children and caused the incidence of families headed by single moms to more than double in short order.

The condescension and paternalism continue today with racial quotas masquerading as diversity and inclusion, with the push to do away with test scores that have a disparate impact on certain races, with formulaic “news” stories that incessantly point out how these same races don’t fare well and need special help because they can’t help themselves, and most noticeably, with advertisers who make sure that the same races are represented in commercials and ads way out of proportion to their population, either because of racial pandering by the advertisers or out of fear of being labeled as racially insensitive by interest groups.

No wonder the French are afraid of importing such racial pandering and divisiveness.

France’s fear is heightened by its problems with the assimilation of Muslim immigrants, especially those from its former colonial outposts. 

The fear isn’t due to racism towards Muslims but to the fact that a large number of them are Islamic fundamentalists who don’t hold Western values about equality, democracy, and women’s rights.

Macron and his education minister have warned that the fundamentalists and their leftist enablers are trying to distract the public from the facts with diatribes about colonialism.

On a related note, the newly published book, Prey:  Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Harper, 322 pages) details the dire facts about the treatment of women by fundamentalist immigrants in France, Germany, and Sweden.

The author is a Somalian immigrant with firsthand experience on the subject. Unlike whites in the West who commit cultural suicide by making excuses for aberrant behavior and sanitizing statistics of incriminating evidence, Ali includes pages of statistics on the staggering increase in rapes and other violence towards women at the hands of migrants from societies marked by polygamy, patriarchy, and illiberalism.

She goes on to lambast politicians and authorities for being quick to document discrimination against the migrants and other minorities but reticent to document their violence against women and other crimes, for fear of being called racist. She has special scorn for feminists who vilify white men while excusing immigrant men of crimes against women because they believe the perpetrators to be “victims of racism and colonialism.”

The worst case of sexual assault by migrants happened on Dec. 31, 2015, when 661 women claimed to have been assaulted in downtown Cologne by hundreds of men, most of whom were asylum-seekers of Arab and North African origin. Only three of the alleged perpetrators were convicted.

It’s understandable that Macron doesn’t want to import American wokeness on top of France’s existing racial troubles.  The question is, will Americans heed his warning?

Probably not. After all, the U.S. didn’t learn from the French experience in Indochina and the Middle East. Ignoring the warning signs of history, it went ahead and lost lives and treasure in both locales, just as the French did.

President Biden Has Promised to Pass the Equality Act—Here’s How That Threatens Your Freedoms

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Today [2/18/21], the “Equality Act” was introduced in Congress.

With a Democrat-controlled House and Senate, the passage of this legislation is more likely than ever before. And President Joe Biden campaigned on the promise that he would sign the Act into law within his first 100 days if passed.

But the “Equality Act” should be concerning to anyone who values religious freedom and true equality.

It is a deliberate attempt to force people of faith—good people who serve everyone—to promote messages and celebrate events that conflict with their sincere beliefs. The “Equality Act” would also threaten the equal treatment of women and upend the bedrock understanding of male and female in our law and culture.

To understand how, let’s take a more in-depth look at this legislation and its ramifications.

What is the “Equality Act”?

The essence of the “Equality Act” is its addition of “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to already existing federal nondiscrimination laws. This would prohibit employers, preschools, and even religious schools and organizations from making choices based on basic biology, bodily privacy, and their beliefs about the nature of marriage. It would apply to every single recipient of federal financial assistance (including every public school and almost all colleges and universities.)

And though “nondiscrimination” sounds good in the abstract, that is not what this bill is truly about. The bill actually poses a devastating and unprecedented threat to free speech, religious freedom, and the progress that women have made toward true equal treatment in law and culture.

The good news is that God has equipped Alliance Defending Freedom for such a time as this.

With 11 Supreme Court victories since 2011, ADF will stand up to the Biden administration, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans.

How would the “Equality Act” threaten religious freedom and free speech?

ADF has seen the impact that laws similar to the “Equality Act” have had across the country. And we stand ready to provide a strong defense for religious freedom and free speech.

  • The “Equality Act” could forbid churches and religious nonprofits from requiring their employees to live out their religious beliefs about marriage, sexual morality, and the distinction between the sexes. They could be required to open their sex-specific facilities to members of the opposite sex. ADF successfully represented one Massachusetts church after the government threatened to force it to open its women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence to males.
  • The “Equality Act” would threaten religious foster care and adoption agencies with closure if they operate according to their deeply held belief that the best place for a child is a home with a married mother and father. In New York, for example, the state is using a sexual orientation, gender identity regulation—similar to the “Equality Act”—to shutter the adoption services of New Hope Family Services, which has been placing children in loving homes for over 50 years. ADF is representing New Hope in court.
  • It would threaten creative professionals and other business owners who simply want to live and work according to their beliefs. ADF successfully represented promotional printer Blaine Adamson after he respectfully declined an organization’s request to print shirts with a message promoting an LGBT pride festival because the message violated his religious beliefs. But Blaine offered to connect the organization to another printer who would create the requested shirts. Even so, the organization filed a discrimination complaint against Blaine, and a local human rights commission ordered him to undergo diversity training.
  • The “Equality Act” would also force individuals to speak messages that violate their beliefs under the threat of punishment. ADF is representing Dr. Nicholas Meriwether, who was disciplined by Shawnee State University for declining to refer to a male student as a woman. He offered to refer to the student by first or last name only, in order to respect both the student and his own beliefs, but this did not satisfy the university, which still punished him.

How would the “Equality Act” threaten women?

  • The “Equality Act” would force women to share private spaces with men.

This is a threat to women who need critical services, such as those provided by Downtown Hope Center in Anchorage, Alaska. ADF successfully defended Downtown Hope Center after the city government tried to force the shelter to allow biological men who identify as female to sleep mere feet from women, many of whom have suffered rape, sex trafficking, and domestic violence. For these women, having a biological man in the room where they sleep or undress triggers severe anxiety and trauma—so much so that one woman said she would have to leave the shelter and sleep in the woods in the Alaskan winter, because she could not sleep in the same room as a biological male.

  • The “Equality Act” would also undermine the purpose of Title IX.

Title IX was created to ensure equal opportunities for women in education. The “Equality Act” could destroy many of those opportunities. Among other consequences, the “Equality Act” could allow male athletes who identify as female to compete in women’s sports.

ADF represents four girls in Connecticut, where a state high school athletic policy does just that. These four female athletes have already lost races, state championships, and opportunities to compete at the highest level. Our laws should recognize the biological differences between the sexes; by ignoring those differences, the “Equality Act” could make Connecticut’s disastrous policy a nationwide reality.

What about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)—doesn’t that provide some protection for these groups?

If you’re not already concerned about the scope and reach of the “Equality Act,” here’s another issue.

In the past, similar proposals have claimed to respect the concerns of the religious community, offering a few narrow protections for religious freedom. But the “Equality Act” offers no protections for religious freedom . In addition, the bill would forbid religious individuals and organizations even to invoke the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. That would make it harder for the faithful to defend themselves against a bill designed to punish them for living out their beliefs.

Does that sound like equal treatment to you?

Essentially, the “Equality Act” gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment.

The Bottom Line

Laws must respect freedom and promote justice for every citizen, no matter who they are. But that is not what the “Equality Act” does. Instead, it threatens Americans’ fundamental liberties. And that is something no American should stand for.

That’s where you come in.

Will you commit to standing for the freedoms upon which this nation was founded?

Every generation faces a unique moment when it is called on to protect the guarantee of liberty enshrined in our Constitution. This is our moment. Today, you can help defend the American promises of life and liberty.

If you believe these promises are worth defending, please sign the statement.

  • I stand for America’s founding principles: that all men are created equal with inalienable, God-given rights.
  • I stand against any unlawful effort by the Biden administration to restrict my constitutional liberties.
  • I stand for freedom and will join Alliance Defending Freedom to preserve free speech, religious freedom, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and marriage and family

*****

This article was published on February  18, 2021 by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) and is hereby republished with permission. To sign the statement immediately above, please go to the ADF website to sign and submit at the bottom of the homepage.

The Golden Rule

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Even for those not religiously inclined, the wisdom of the Golden Rule is widely acknowledged. As a civilizing instinct, treating others as you wish to be treated is an admonition of considerable heft.

It is abundantly clear, that at the present time living in the United States could readily benefit from its application.

In the current era of the “cancel culture”, let us all remember that if you cause other people to be shamed and to lose their jobs simply for taking a position on public policy different from your own or even expressing a thought different from that of the approved sacred media texts, this malevolent power can come around and be applied to yourself.

There is a general rule about revolutions, to wit; they always reach the stage when the revolution eats its own children.

Let’s take the New York Times (NYT.) Having unleashed the mass of lies and sheer misrepresentation of events surrounding the 1619 Project, it is entirely fair to treat the NYT by the standards it treats others. Besides the irony of Progressives constantly howling about the benefits of being non-judgmental, we witness judgementalism on steroids.

They contend every fiber of America is racist and must be rooted out by the scolds that prowl the news and opinion pages.

OK, let’s treat them as they have treated others. Fair enough?

Not only has it been determined that the Ochs family who founded the NYT  included slave owners and Confederates, but that their very name, New York, is derived from the Duke of York, a monumental slave trader. Should not the Times be forced to change its name and pay reparations? And while we are at it, should not the NYT gift their building and property back to the Manhattan Indian Tribe of the area, the rightful original owners?

This is, after all, how they treat others.

Moreover, there is the Golden Rule of philosophy – apply the same arguments to yourself as you apply them to others.

For example: although the NYT is not alone in this, it has been a standard argument for years by Progressives that people lack moral agency or the power to really know right from wrong, acting in accordance with their existing knowledge. They argue further that there is no objective standard of behavior. We can’t be guided by the Bible, the scribblings of ancient desert nomads. We are guided by the views of society at the current time, shaped mostly by public intellectuals, i.e., people like themselves.

Thus, criminals are shaped by their environment mostly and the institutions and zeitgeist of their time. We cannot really hold them responsible for their actions. By this logic, criminals should not be punished.

But racists and slave owners were a product of their times. They had intellectuals of their era as well, such as George Fitzhugh who argued slavery was “the Southern beau of communism.” Fitzhugh had no use for Adam Smith and John Locke. Few realized that Fitzhugh wrote, “how much truth, justice, and good sense there is in the notion of the Communists as to the community of property.” After all, socialism “is simply the new fashionable word for slavery.”

And since there are no objective standards of right behavior, we cannot blame slave owners for being what they were. It was the intellectual and social environment they grew up in and hence no one is really to blame.

They believed that human behavior and achievement was a matter of skin color, similar to the fashionable arguments today about “white privilege”.

Not only do Progressives leap out of their own skin of moral relativity to accuse people of the past of not upholding the standards of today, but they also go even a step further into the ether. They accuse an entire society of the actions of their great, great, great grandparents.

Hardly anyone today believes children owe either the monetary or moral debt of their parents or even great, great grandparents. But the NYT apparently does.

It is worth noting that it was a distinct minority of ancestors that owned slaves while most did not. Only about 25% of the Southern population owned slaves, which ironically included Black slaveholders and Indian tribes as among those owning slaves. Most of the country did not own slaves and much of the country opposed the institution. Many immigrants that came to America before and after the Civil War had no ancestral ties to the horrid practice but some did have political affiliation with the Democratic Party that ran much of the North and the South, both under a slave regime and Jim Crow.

Having said that, how can one believe that distant ancestors are responsible for bad actions, especially if there are no objective standards and it is all caused by the environment anyway?

And while we are exposing contradictions, why does the NYT so fervently support Democrats since that political party had more to do with the racial injustices of the past than any other party in America?

Not only that, they ignore all the important steps to limit slavery taken in America from the three-fifths compromise to the Northwest Ordinance, the suppression of the international slave trade, the Missouri Compromise, the Civil War, the new Amendments to the Constitution, the desegregation of schools, the military and of sports and the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s and 1970s.

Most of the 1619 Project is the dubious product of college-educated Black women. How could they get educated and recruited to the nation’s leading newspaper if there is such bigotry in America?

Not only does the NYT deny the same arguments about moral agency to the South that they apply to criminals, but they also seem to have no inkling of the century and a half of historically unique progress, blocked ineffectively by Democrats. They have become judgmental fanatics with historic amnesia.

And few at the NYT seem to realize their solutions to today’s racial tension are far closer to Fitzhugh’s rather than Locke, Franklin, Jefferson, and Madison.

If we were to treat the NYT as they treat others, they should be forced to take a knee in front of the slavery-hating Republicans. The New York Times corporation should be liquidated and the proceeds paid to those they have wronged. Their writers and employees should be banned (aka “canceled) from journalism for sure and more importantly, from Twitter.

Hillsdale Imprimis: Who Is in Control? The Need to Rein in Big Tech

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors’ Note: The following January, 2021 Hillsdale Imprimis article is an American wake-up call. The threat and urgency to deal with this advancing danger as described by Mr. Bokhari below is existential for the nation, our liberty, and for the generations to follow. We believe this call parallels Churchill’s warnings to the world in the 1930s.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at Hillsdale College on November 8, 2020, during a Center for Constructive Alternatives conference on Big Tech.

In January, when every major Silicon Valley tech company permanently banned the President of the United States from its platform, there was a backlash around the world. One after another, government and party leaders—many of them ideologically opposed to the policies of President Trump—raised their voices against the power and arrogance of the American tech giants. These included the President of Mexico, the Chancellor of Germany, the government of Poland, ministers in the French and Australian governments, the neoliberal center-right bloc in the European Parliament, the national populist bloc in the European Parliament, the leader of the Russian opposition (who recently survived an assassination attempt), and the Russian government (which may well have been behind that attempt).

Common threats create strange bedfellows. Socialists, conservatives, nationalists, neoliberals, autocrats, and anti-autocrats may not agree on much, but they all recognize that the tech giants have accumulated far too much power. None like the idea that a pack of American hipsters in Silicon Valley can, at any moment, cut off their digital lines of communication.

I published a book on this topic prior to the November election, and many who called me alarmist then are not so sure of that now. I built the book on interviews with Silicon Valley insiders and five years of reporting as a Breitbart News tech correspondent. Breitbart created a dedicated tech reporting team in 2015—a time when few recognized the danger that the rising tide of left-wing hostility to free speech would pose to the vision of the World Wide Web as a free and open platform for all viewpoints.

This inversion of that early libertarian ideal—the movement from the freedom of information to the control of information on the Web—has been the story of the past five years.

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When the Web was created in the 1990s, the goal was that everyone who wanted a voice could have one. All a person had to do to access the global marketplace of ideas was to go online and set up a website. Once created, the website belonged to that person. Especially if the person owned his own server, no one could deplatform him. That was by design, because the Web, when it was invented, was competing with other types of online services that were not so free and open.

It is important to remember that the Web, as we know it today—a network of websites accessed through browsers—was not the first online service ever created. In the 1990s, Sir Timothy Berners-Lee invented the technology that underpins websites and web browsers, creating the Web as we know it today. But there were other online services, some of which predated Berners-Lee’s invention. Corporations like CompuServe and Prodigy ran their own online networks in the 1990s—networks that were separate from the Web and had access points that were different from web browsers. These privately-owned networks were open to the public, but CompuServe and Prodigy owned every bit of information on them and could kick people off their networks for any reason.

In these ways the Web was different. No one owned it, owned the information on it, or could kick anyone off. That was the idea, at least, before the Web was captured by a handful of corporations.

We all know their names: Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon. Like Prodigy and CompuServe back in the ’90s, they own everything on their platforms, and they have the police power over what can be said and who can participate. But it matters a lot more today than it did in the ’90s. Back then, very few people used online services. Today everyone uses them—it is practically impossible not to use them. Businesses depend on them. News publishers depend on them. Politicians and political activists depend on them. And crucially, citizens depend on them for information.

Today, Big Tech doesn’t just mean control over online information. It means control over news. It means control over commerce. It means control over politics. And how are the corporate tech giants using their control? Judging by the three biggest moves they have made since I wrote my book—the censoring of the New York Post in October when it published its blockbuster stories on Biden family corruption, the censorship and eventual banning from the Web of President Trump, and the coordinated takedown of the upstart social media site Parler—it is obvious that Big Tech’s priority today is to support the political Left and the Washington establishment.

Big Tech has become the most powerful election-influencing machine in American history. It is not an exaggeration to say that if the technologies of Silicon Valley are allowed to develop to their fullest extent, without any oversight or checks and balances, then we will never have another free and fair election…..

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If Big Tech’s capabilities are allowed to develop unchecked and unregulated, these companies will eventually have the power not only to suppress existing political movements, but to anticipate and prevent the emergence of new ones. This would mean the end of democracy as we know it, because it would place us forever under the thumb of an unaccountable oligarchy……

Continue reading at Imprimis: Who Is in Control? The Need to Rein in Big Tech

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Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford and was a 2020 Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy. In 2018, he obtained and published “The Google Tape,” a recording of Google’s top executives reacting to the 2016 Trump election and declaring their intention to make the American populist movement a “blip” in history. He is the author of #Deleted: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal the Election.

Big Tech’s Influence on the Elections Is Deeper Than You Think

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

We have become well acquainted with the autocratic, unchecked power of Big Tech and their censorship. It was just last month that the President of the United States was deplatformed from every social media platform – once one pulled the trigger, the dominos fell and within hours President Trump was removed from the internet.

Poland is considering bold actions against the unchecked power multi-billion dollar corporations have obtained in deciding what speech is acceptable and what is not, comparing the actions of these platforms to what they experienced during the communist era.

Here in America, where freedom of speech is understood as a fundamental, inalienable right of a free people, Big Tech takes advantage of their section 230 protections, while continuing to censor, deplatform, or shadowban users with whom they disagree, garnering outrage from politicians, but no action.

Beyond their deplatforming, shadow banning, and censorship, the 2020 election gave rise to a new influence Big Tech has in our democracy with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg alone giving hundreds of millions to election offices to influence or change the way local elections offices conducted the election.

The idea that Zuckerberg and Big Tech would give away their millions simply out of the goodness of their heart to protect democracy without trying to exert influence for one candidate or ideology is at the least questionable. And we need not simply theorize about their plan, corporations are outright bragging about their master plan of coordinating the results of the election now that it is over:

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time.”

One focus of this election influence is the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) which in 2018 spent a mere $1.4 million, but in 2020 received over $350 million from Zuckerberg and his wife alone. This influence was seen throughout the country – right here in Arizona too.

Capital Research has looked into CTCL and found that it spent $5 million in Arizona, $3 million of which went to Maricopa County led by Democrat County Recorder Adrian Fontes – essentially the electorally decisive county. And what happened in Maricopa County? Though Trump went from 590,465 votes in 2016 to 995,665 in 2020, he lost the county to Biden who somehow doubled Clinton’s 2016 performance, receiving 1,040,774 votes in 2020. This equaled $1.80 from the CTCL per Biden vote in Maricopa County.

But what kind of effect did Big Tech money, and especially Zuckerberg and the CTCL, actually have? It’s just as the Times article brags – “they got states to change voting systems and laws…” In Wisconsin, the Zuckerberg-backed grant stipulated the submittal to CTCL and implementation of the “Wisconsin Safe Voting Plan” circumventing the role of the legislature and other elected bodies in the development of elections procedures.

In Pennsylvania, the grants aided in the placement of a ballot drop box every four-square miles or for every 4,000 voters in Democrat strongholds compared to one drop box every 1,100 square miles or for every 72,000 voters in Republican strongholds.

This is the new Big Tech censorship. Though not removing someone from their platform, they drown out conservative votes by giving money to elections offices to drive up turnout in select locations while ignoring others. This creates a two-tier election system suppressing the turnout of voters Zuckerberg doesn’t like.

The left has complained about the role of money in elections. The hundreds of millions spent at local elections offices wasn’t philanthropy, it was a strategic investment with an expected return. The best approach to ensuring election integrity is a proactive one, but this election is over and we can’t go back, so it is time that states pass strong legislation prohibiting private, outside funding of election offices. Even the appearance of impropriety in elections is dangerous, so elections should be funded, directed, and guided by state governments not private organizations, and especially not Big Tech.

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This article was produced by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club on February 18, 2021 and is reprinted with their permission.

Will the Fed’s “Feelgood” Medicine Cause an Economic Collapse?

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Dr. Max Jacobson became known as Dr. Feelgood and “Miracle Max” for treating wealthy celebrities with concoctions, “mixing amphetamines, vitamins, enzymes, tranquilizers, placenta, and anything else that inspired him.” Jacobson’s most famous client was President Kennedy, who became sadly dependent on Jacobson’s “elixirs.”

How much speed, narcotics, and other powerful drugs Jacobson injected into Kennedy we will never know. Certainly, Jacobson’s elixirs allowed Kennedy to override his body’s signals that would have led to more sustainable treatments for his ailments.

Many decades ago, Dr. Feelgood was a cover story for New York Magazine; the cover rhetorically questioned Dr. Feelgood, You make me feel so good, are you sure it’s all right?

The Fed has become the economy’s Dr. Feelgood with its expansionary monetary policy. The lender of last resort has become the prime pusher of financial amphetamines. The Fed is promoting moral hazard by working overtime to eliminate consequences for risk-taking. Such policies didn’t begin with Covid-19.

Along with staggering increases in the money supply, the Fed’s balance sheet has almost doubled from about $3.8 trillion in August 2019 to $7.4 trillion in January. With the Fed’s willingness to support corporate debt, even junk bonds have plunged to record low yields. President Biden wants to “go big” with new deficit stimulus programs that will need still more of the Fed’s largesse.

Long-time Fed critic and financial analyst James Grant, writing in the Wall Street Journal, calls out Fed chair Jerome Powell for being the Fed’s Dr. Feelgood. Grant quotes Powell saying, “What we’re thinking about now is providing the accommodation that this economy needs for as long as it needs it.” What Jacobson did for Kennedy, Powell is sure he can do the country.

Of course, behind Powell are the over 400 Ph.D. economists providing intellectual succor for easy money schemes. Powell may be the Fed’s head, but the monetary Dr. Feelgood is the collective persona of an ideology that robs from the poor to give to the wealthy.

Consider the case of investment bank Morgan Stanley. Before Covid-19 hit the economy, Morgan Stanley stock was trading at about $55 a share. Their stock hit a March Covid low of $27 a share and today trades at around $73 a share. As a result, “Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman’s annual pay rose by $6 million, or 22%” to $33 million a year. Without the Fed’s asset bubble support, Morgan Stanley’s stock and Gorman’s salary would likely be considerably lower. Down the road, the rest of us will pay when the asset bubble bursts.

Grant explains how artificially low-interest rates prop up the stock market.:

“Ultralow interest rates are a financial psychotropic. They induce feelings of neediness (on the parts of savers to reach for yield), grandiosity (by corporate deal-doers to reach for the moon) or fantasy (for any who would try to rationalize otherwise insupportably high stock prices with reference to the tiny cost of a loan).”

The market process depends on accurate price signals. Grant warns, “Ground-scraping interest rates turn savers into speculators and quarantined millennials into day traders. They facilitate overborrowing, suppress market signals, misdirect investment dollars, and promote the dubious business of turning well-financed public companies into heavily indebted private ones.”

The interest rate is a core price in the economy, facilitating discovery of the real cost of borrowing money. As Don Boudreaux puts it in his book The Essential Hayek, “There’s trouble if prices do not reflect realities.” Boudreaux explains, “Our trust in the overall ‘correctness’ of people’s economic decisions, however, requires that the prices that people use to guide their decision-making are reasonably accurate sources of information.”

None of this is to imply that those setting Fed policy are evil or stupid. Yet, good intentions won’t spare us from the consequences of policy driven by mistaken beliefs. Consider a recent essay by Eric Levitz, who mocks the “regressive” idea that “there is some ‘natural’ benchmark interest rate that exists outside of politics and policy, and that the Fed is corruptly flouting this natural market law.” As a consequence of his misguided beliefs, Levitiz concludes “condemnations of the Fed for bailing out corporate America with its easy money policies” are unwarranted.

Levitz is not alone in believing politicians and policymakers, not markets should set interest rates. Jörg Guido Hülsmann summarizes their ideology:

“We are told by virtually all the experts on money and finance—the central bankers and most university professors—that the crisis hits us despite the best efforts of the Fed; that money, banking, and financial markets are not meant to be free, because they end up in disarray despite the massive presence of the government as a financial agent, as a regulator, and as money producer; that our monetary system provides us with great benefits that we would be foolish not to preserve. Those same experts therefore urge us to give the government an even greater presence in the financial markets, to increase its regulatory powers, and to encourage even more money production to be used for bailouts.”

Grant explains, “The official message is rather that today’s unprecedented monetary-policy offensive holds no potential for anything but a wholesome reduction in the damage of the lockdown-induced recession.” Many people want to believe this “official message,” though it is misguided.

The Cantillon Effect

Richard Cantillon was an 18th-century economist whose work came before Adam Smith. He is most famous for his observation that is now known as the Cantillon Effect: The creation of new money—inflation—does not have equal effects across the economy. Those who are the first recipients of new money, “political entrepreneurs,” gain at the expense of everyone else.

Suppose a family of four sets down to dessert after dinner with one pie to share. Cutting the pie into eight equal pieces means dessert today and tomorrow with each member of the family receiving one slice each evening. Now, suppose one member of the family said, “Let’s create eight additional slices.” If each family member received four pieces, the amount of pie each family member received would be the same.

Suppose the family member cutting the pie sixteen ways has an ulterior motive. He wants more pie at the expense of everyone else. After slicing the pie sixteen ways, he gives everyone two slices and keeps the extra eight pieces for himself. Someone in the family might remark, “My two slices of pie are smaller and less filling.” “No, you are mistaken,” the pie cutter obfuscates. “You are receiving two slices of pie as always.”

Similarly, as Ananya Chowdhury explains, monetary expansion “results in arbitrary benefit to some who have not created any economic value and detriment to others who have not destroyed anything of economic value.”

You may be trying to make sense of the incessant claims by politicians and economists that in order to save the economy the Federal Reserve must engage in fresh rounds of monetary easing. In that case, the Cantillon Effect provides useful insights: Wealth is redistributed to the primary beneficiaries of the new money.

The injection of new money, Don Boudreaux explains, sets the stage for business failures and stagnation in the future:

“The process of injecting newly created money into the economy can distort the pattern of relative prices and, hence, encourage an unusually large number of faulty economic decisions—that is, encourage an unusually large number of economic decisions that are revealed only later to be mistaken. Specifically, injecting new money into the economy causes too many resources to be invested in those industries that first receive the new money. Those industries over-expand.”

In Human Action, Ludwig von Mises wrote of interest rate manipulations: “The wavelike movement affecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression, is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion.”

Some people believe the judicious use of monetary policy can avoid the worst. Mises has a wake-up call: further credit expansion can only postpone—but not prevent—the business cycle’s liquidation stage. Mises writes, “There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as the result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.”

Monetary expansion today, like a Dr. Feelgood elixir, leads to future trouble. In The Constitution of Liberty, Hayek concurred with Mises,

“There are two points which cannot be stressed enough: first, it seems certain that we shall not stop the drift toward more and more state control unless we stop the inflationary trend; and, second, any continued rise in prices is dangerous because, once we begin to rely on its stimulating effect, we shall be committed to a course that will leave us no choice but that between more inflation, on the one hand, and paying for our mistake by a recession or depression, on the other. Even a very moderate degree of inflation is dangerous because it ties the hands of those responsible for policy by creating a situation in which, every time a problem arises, a little more inflation seems the only easy way out.”

Yet, few have studied economic principles set out by Mises, Hayek, Boudreaux and others in the Austrian school of economics.

Many people want to believe in the Fed’s Dr. Feelgood magical powers. Many believe that the Federal Reserve Board has learned to prevent long-term bear markets. “Don’t fight the Fed” is used as a mantra by those who are convinced stock prices only go up. “This time is different” is their mistaken belief.

Of course, human beings want to believe the Fed is in control of an essentially uncontrollable economy. In a bear market, people, rather than questioning their false belief, lash out with recriminations and blame.

The hubris of politicians and Fed chairs is only a reflection of our hubris. As a society, we have collectively spent beyond our means and have had the arrogance to believe that there will be no consequences.

Grant warns, “In neither medicine nor central banking is free lunch on offer. Say yes to a cortisone injection for that inflamed knee, and you risk cartilage damage, death of a nearby bone, nerve damage, etc.”

Take for example a young family house hunting. Grant asks, “Do low mortgage rates advantage young families shopping for their first houses?” “Maybe not,” Grant explains, “if the same low rates spark a rise in house prices greater than the evident savings in interest expense.”

By attempting to create perpetual sunshine on financial assets, the Fed makes it difficult to enter the stock market or housing markets for those on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

Eventually, as Mises wrote, all the Fed expansionary policy in the world will not stave off a significant and perhaps a catastrophic bear market. In a bear market, new and even more dangerous populist political movements will be born out of the resulting economic suffering.

The promise of cheap money leading to perpetual asset price sunshine may seem like a reality today. Tomorrow the consequences will be like Dr. Feelgood’s needles. To avoid the worst, markets—not politicians or bureaucrats, must be free to uncover the real cost of borrowing money.

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This article first appeared on February 9, 2021, and is reproduced with permission of the American Institute for Economic Research, AIER

Opinion: Rush Limbaugh’s Life-Affirming Strength

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editor’s note: Following the death of Rush Limbaugh, we’re highlighting this column from December 2020.

I deeply admire Rush Limbaugh. Not because of his conservative viewpoints, and not because he’s a uniquely talented broadcaster who can make dropping a pencil interesting radio.

No. I have been most impressed over the years by Limbaugh’s strength of character, a crucial leadership attribute in woefully short supply at a time of failing institutions and callow public personalities.

Strength of character? Limbaugh?

Yes, Limbaugh. For those who may be unaware, in January, Limbaugh was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. After nearly a year of pursuing experimental treatments, he recently told his audience that his illness has entered a terminal stage. Yet, Limbaugh continues on with his show—if anything, with greater gusto than before he fell ill—only taking time off periodically during “treatment week.”

Limbaugh also hasn’t yielded to the emotional toll a terminal illness surely takes. He never complains publicly. He never feels sorry for himself. To the contrary, his persona—a mixture of faux hubris combined with a passion for conservative politics mediated by a great sense of humor—remains unchanged.

Indeed, if he hadn’t announced publicly that he’s ill, I doubt the audience would be able to tell the difference.

The only change I have noticed after listening to Limbaugh regularly since the early ’90s—and really, the only allusion he makes to the severe difficulties he is surely experiencing—has been a greater willingness to reveal his personal faith, something he rarely discussed previously.

Limbaugh says he believes in Jesus Christ and regularly tells his audience that upon awakening every morning, he thanks God that he’s still breathing. Healthy or ill, such thankfulness is a practice we would all be wise to emulate because you never know what each day will bring.

In his great public aplomb, Limbaugh reminds me of the late actor Michael Landon’s valor in the face of his 1991 terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis. Landon was a hugely popular television star, having played “Little Joe” on “Bonanza,” “Pa,” on “Little House on the Prairie,” and an angel on “Highway to Heaven.”

When he became ill, rather than stay behind closed doors, as was usually done back in the day, he publicly announced his diagnosis on the Tonight Show—unprecedented back then—and in so doing, helped shatter the cruel stigma often faced in those days by terminal cancer patients…..

Read the full article at The Epoch Times.

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This article appeared at The Epoch Times on December 18, 2020 and was updated on February 17, 2021.