Mail Fraud

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

A recent cover of The Week magazine proclaimed “Undermining Democracy. The GOP’s blueprint for nullifying Democratic votes in 2024“.

The article was another installment of the concentrated effort on the Left to convince Americans that voter fraud is essentially nonexistent, just a hoax used by Republicans as an excuse to deny the franchise to underprivileged Americans.

But is it true? Are Republicans using strategies like restricting the number of weeks early voting is allowed, cleaning up outdated voter rolls, and requiring voter ID simply to squelch minority votes?

The Week article didn’t describe one voter who had been even partially hindered from voting. Critics seldom do because such cases are devilishly hard to find.

Any limiting of access is illegal under federal law and the Department of Justice has a large and aggressive enforcement unit. Yet during the eight years of the Obama administration, just four cases were filed under the relevant voting rights section.

Moreover, a 2019 survey of turnout data from all 50 states concluded that voter ID laws, for example, “have no negative effect on registration or turnout“ for any race, gender, party or age groupThe Census Bureau in 2012 reported that blacks nationally had a higher turnout rate than whites.

Mississippi had a higher percentage turnout of black voters than white, unlike Connecticut, New York, or Delaware. Much reviled Georgia’s black turnout percentage was higher than New York’s in 2018 and 2020, all during times when Republicans were being loudly accused of voter suppression. They must be the most inept vote suppressors in history.

The Maricopa County 2020 audit was meant to clear up some of these issues of fraud versus suppression. It was never intended by its sponsors to overturn the election. So all the chortling by its detractors when that didn’t happen is their mistake.

Nevertheless, both sides felt vindicated. One thing for certain is that allegations that voter fraud doesn’t exist were again demolished. Voters voting in multiple counties, mail-in ballots from prior addresses, dead people voting, deleted files and duplicated ballots were all uncovered.

But the commission whiffed on the issue of bulk mail voting. The practice of sending unsolicited ballots by mail to millions of voters is by far the greatest potential threat to election integrity.

Unfortunately, they looked for evidence of mail fraud in the wrong place at the wrong time. The audit was of the accounting process and never really addressed how the ballots were generated in the first place.

Mail-in fraud has caused entire elections to be canceled and major schemes have been busted in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and other states. But any fraud discovered is likely only the tip of the iceberg. Fraud from bulk mail voting/ballot harvesting occurs out of sight and leaves few traces.

Unlike in-person voting, there is no ability to assure the vote is cast independently.  Arizona’s sole safeguard has been the notoriously easy-to-game signature verification process with no ID required.

Normally, a chain of custody violations is considered a major breach by election officials. Here, there is no chain of custody. What could go wrong?

There’s a reason that after Democrats discovered electoral gold in 2016, votes by mail more than doubled in 2020, and just 28% voted in person on election day. Yet as far back as 2005, the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform advised that “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud”.

Our sister democracies know that. 74% ban absentee voting entirely for citizens living in the country, 6% have very strict restrictions and another 15% require photo ID to obtain a mail ballot. France and Mexico banned mail-in voting after massive fraud and political intimidation were finally discovered.

America has a serious problem. Our elections do not have and do not deserve, the confidence of a majority of Americans.

The overriding problem is not the lack of access to the ballot. In fact, a plurality of voters believes it is too easy to vote.

It’s not stolen elections or miscounted ballots. It is intentionally flawed election laws that permit massive security leaks, raising the undeniable possibility of widespread cheating.

That, friend, is the true threat to democracy.

*****

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.

4 Scary Charts Show How Fast the Federal Government is Heading Toward Fiscal Disaster

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes
Every day Americans will ultimately pay the price for the federal government’s recklessness.

The national debt is rapidly closing in on $29 trillion. The federal government now owes an astounding $228,999 per taxpayer. All the while, politicians in Washington, DC are bickering over whether to spend $4.5 trillion more or “just” $1.5 trillion. Yet almost entirely omitted from the debate over the so-called “infrastructure” spending bonanza is the fact that the federal government is already running off a fiscal cliff—as a new analysis makes plain.

The Manhattan Institute’s Brian Riedl recently released his 2021 Chart Book, and it paints a devastating picture of the federal government’s finances. Here are 4 charts that show just how fast it is approaching budgetary disaster.

Image Credit: Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute

Riedl estimates the trajectory of the national debt even under the rosy assumption that new spending programs are not added. He nonetheless shows that the federal debt will nearly double by 2030.

Image Credit: Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute

What matters is not just the total debt figure, but how it relates to the overall size of our economy, as measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which reflects how much the US produces in a year. Right now we’re already above a 100 percent debt-to-GDP ratio, which is normally considered a red flag, yet under Biden’s proposed additions to the budget baseline the debt would reach an astounding 250 percent of GDP within 30 years. That’s right: We’d owe 2.5 times more than we make annually.

Image Credit: Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute

Some progressives like to cite military spending and tax cuts as drivers of the nation’s deficit woes. (And there’s certainly plenty of room for cuts in the defense budget). Yet the reality nonetheless remains that the welfare state’s various entitlement programs are what’s really driving the problem. Riedl shows that the future deficits projected through 2031 are mostly driven by the enormous funds that will be needed to keep Social Security and Medicare from collapsing.

Image Credit: Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute

No, it is not the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts that are really driving this problem. Yes, the reductions in the corporate tax rate, income tax cuts, and other changes will likely lead to the federal government collecting less revenue than it otherwise would have. Yet that’s a small price to pay for reducing the corporate tax rate’s harsh burden on workers and more generally letting Americans keep more of their own money. And, as Riedl shows, it’s only a marginal contributor to skyrocketing projected deficits.

Many Americans might see these figures and charts and feel their eyes start to glaze over. The federal government’s dismal finances can certainly seem like an abstract or far-away issue. But unless Congress drastically reins in its spending addiction, Americans will feel the consequences in their everyday lives.

In just a matter of years, the annual interest payments on the debt that taxpayers must finance are set to hit $1 trillion. If interest rates even modestly increase, that sum could skyrocket. Right now, even before all this new debt, taxpayers spend $800 million per day just servicing the interest on the national debt. Further progression down this path will ultimately mean massive increases in taxation.

So, too, we will face slower economic growth and lower paychecks as the debt crowds out private sector investment and drags down the economy.

“Deficit spending extracts resources from the real economy and there is no guarantee that the government uses these resources better than the private sector,” Mercatus Center senior fellow Veronique de Rugy told FEE in a previous interview.

Indeed, many studies show that higher debt leads to lower economic growth—aka, lower income growth for everyday Americans.

“We are likely already paying for the heightened debt levels in the form of lower living standards,” de Rugy said. “And we will continue to suffer if we keep this up.”

What’s more, we continue to court a fiscal crisis in the near-to-medium-term future. According to the Peter J. Peterson Foundation, high levels of federal debt mean a “greater risk of a fiscal crisis” that “could further destabilize the U.S. economy and erode confidence in U.S. currency on an international scale.”

So voters should find the trends exposed by Riedl’s revelations deeply concerning. If the federal government doesn’t get its house in order, it is everyday Americans, not politicians, who will ultimately pay the price.

Click here to check out Brian Riedl’s full chartbook and report.

*****

This article was published on October 16, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Foundation for Economic Education.

 

How the Fed’s Easy Money Spurred Today’s Financial Frenzies

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Though the effective federal funds rate remains less than 0.1 percent, the reaction of the markets and financial press as the ten-year Treasury yield crossed the 1.5 percent threshold near the start of the month reminds us just how fragile our economy’s underlying monetary framework has become over the past two decades. Regularly at a minimum of at least 4 percent in the postwar period, ten-year Treasury yields haven’t crossed that threshold in over a decade and were in steady decline from 1992 onward.

This persistently loose monetary policy forces even the most risk-averse portfolio managers to take on equity premiums previously outside their comfort zone—see J.P. Morgan’s 2021 Long-Term Capital Market Assumptions report. This is because beyond the speculation cheap money facilitates among the most risk tolerant of asset managers, persistently low effective federal funds rates and Treasury yields cause yield compression. That is, long stretches of low interest on supposedly “safe” US Treasury securities force investors to “reach for yield,” a euphemism for taking on a higher risk premium by investing in less certain financial instruments or equities because of the lowered rate of return on safer investments. When the majority of market participants do so, however, this diminishes the returns of those exact assets.

In the bond market, for example, the rush for corporate junk bonds causes their price to rise and their yield to therefore fall, thus pushing their rate and the rate on Treasurys closer together. Under pressure to maintain their profitability and promised returns to expectant clients, fund managers no matter their risk tolerance are all forced by necessity in the same direction. This crisis waiting to happen is magnified when inflation is cause for investor concern, when low-yield securities hand investors a negative yield at year’s end when measured in real dollars.

Today’s enormous equity bubble is in no small part a direct result of this phenomenon. With an average cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings ratio (CAPE) across the three major indexes of almost 40—that is, companies on the three major indexes are trading at an average price of forty times their earnings per share as averaged out over the last ten years—it is little wonder that Fed minutes have become arguably the single most important macroeconomic determiner of equity futures. As anyone who follows the particularly overweight tech sector knows, even a small and brief spike in rates or Treasury yields causes the NASDAQ to tumble.

The story is a familiar one. Looking at the past thirty years, we find Fed policy tinkering first creating and then bursting bubbles: keeping rates too low for too long before aggressively jacking them up. Far from “solving” the ups and downs of the business cycle, the so-called great moderation of the 1990s was a result of Alan Greenspan’s overactive monetary policy, unleashing a torrent of cheap money and facilitating takeovers at any hint of trouble. Whether it was a currency crisis in Mexico, a government debt default in Russia, or even the Y2K scare, the answer was always the same: cheaper central bank liquidity. What followed was the dot-com bust and recession.

Even before the so-called boom in busts, the increase since 1980 in financial crises, currency crises, and bubbles, it was several government policies that kick-started the engine of financial innovation, which is wrongly blamed by many in the press and left-leaning academia for this increased economic instability: first by destroying the existing Bretton Woods monetary system through overspending on welfare programs and war, then by capping interest rates paid on bank deposits at a time when inflation meant depositors were losing money on their deposits, this while banks’ traditional revenue source, thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages, was being simultaneously made unprofitable for the same reason. Thus, institutions, depositors, investors, and borrowers were all but pushed into the uncertain waters of increasingly complex financial innovation.

From jumbo CDs to money market mutual funds, securitized mortgages, and derivatives, financial innovation became a fixture of the US economy, rising from just 4.2 percent of GDP in 1970 to 7.4 percent in 2018. In the end, even the government became totally dependent on these products to help finance its own debt and domestic consumer spending—which itself rose from just over 60 percent in 1970 to nearly 70 percent today.

It was Wall Street that acted as a magnet for dollar holdings abroad, which funded the cheap credit, reckless spending, and risky investing that has become so familiar today. Indeed, the real wonder is that the twin pillars of fiscal and current account deficits holding up the roof have held up as long as they have. How long they will continue to do so is anyone’s guess.

*****

This article was published on October 15, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

The 2020 Election Wasn’t Stolen, It Was Bought By Mark Zuckerberg

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The true story of how Mark Zuckerberg privatized the government’s voter registration and vote counting for Democrats in 2020.

During the 2020 election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent hundreds of millions of dollars to turn out likely Democratic voters. But this wasn’t traditional political spending. He funded a targeted, private takeover of government election operations by nominally non-partisan — but demonstrably ideological — non-profit organizations.

Analysis conducted by our team demonstrates this money significantly increased Joe Biden’s vote margin in key swing states. This unprecedented merger of public election offices with private resources and personnel is an acute threat to our republic and should be the focus of electoral reform efforts moving forward.

The 2020 election wasn’t stolen — it was likely bought by one of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful men pouring his money through legal loopholes.

Partisans Running Local Election Offices

The Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and The Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) passed a staggering $419.5 million of Zuckerberg’s money into local government elections offices, and it came with strings attached. Every CTCL and CEIR grant spelled out in great detail the conditions under which the grant money was to be used.

This is not a matter of Democrats outspending Republicans. Private funding of election administration was virtually unknown in the American political system before the 2020 election.

Big CTCL and CEIR money had nothing to do with traditional campaign finance, lobbying, or other expenses that are related to increasingly expensive modern elections. It had to do with financing the infiltration of election offices at the city and county level by left-wing activists, and using those offices as a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements, as well as to launch intensive outreach campaigns in areas heavy with Democratic voters.

For instance, CTCL/CEIR funded self-described “vote navigators” in Wisconsin to “assist voters, potentially at their front doors, to answer questions, assist in ballot curing … and witness absentee ballot signatures,” and a temporary staffing agency affiliated with Stacey Abrams called “Happy Faces” counting the votes amidst the election-night chaos in Fulton County, Georgia.

CTCL demanded the promotion of universal mail-in voting through suspending election laws, extending deadlines that favored mail-in over in-person voting, greatly expanding opportunities for “ballot curing,” expensive bulk mailings, and other lavish “community outreach” programs that were directed by private activists.

CTCL drove the proliferation of unmonitored private dropboxes (which created major chain of custody issues) and opportunities for novel forms of “mail-in ballot electioneering,” allowed for the submission of numerous questionable post-election-day ballots, and created opportunities for illegal ballot harvesting.

CTCL greatly increased funding for temporary staffing and poll workers, which supported the infiltration of election offices by paid Democratic Party activists, coordinated through a complex web of left-leaning non-profit organizations, social media platforms, and social media election influencers.

Staggering Partisan Spending

The amount of additional money these groups poured into elections offices in Democrat-voting areas was truly staggering. To put it in perspective, federal and state matching funds for COVID-19-related election expenses in 2020 totaled $479.5 million. The CTCL and CEIR money totaled $419.5 million. These two private non-profits were responsible for an 85 percent increase in total additional election funding — and that largess was concentrated in a relatively small number of heavily Democratic municipalities.

Although CTCL and CEIR are chartered as non-partisan 501(c)(3) corporations, our research suggests the $419.5 million of CTCL and CEIR spending that took place in 2020 was highly partisan in its distribution and its effects.

Of the 26 grants CTCL provided to cities and counties in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia that were $1 million or larger, 25 went to areas Biden won in 2020. The only county on this list won by Donald Trump (Brown County, Wisconsin) received about $1.1 million—less than 1.3 percent of the $85.5 million that CTCL provided to these top 26 recipients.

But even in Brown County, Wisconsin, where heavily Democrat Green Bay is located, the funding disparities are glaring. The Wisconsin legislature provided roughly $7 per voter to the city of Green Bay to manage its 2020 elections. Rural counties in Wisconsin received approximately $4 per voter.

The CTCL funds boosted Democratic-voting Green Bay resources to $47 per voter, while most rural areas still had the same $4 per voter. Similar funding disparities occurred near Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Flint, Dallas, Houston, and other cities that received tens of millions of dollars of CTCL money.

Preliminary analysis shows this partisan targeting of CTCL funding was repeated in battleground states across the country. Our first case study, however, examines the effect of CTCL spending on the 2020 election in Texas.

The figure below shows the counties that received CTCL spending ranked by per-capita CTCL spending in Texas. As can easily be seen, the counties with the highest per-capita levels of CTCL spending were Democratic counties.

It should be noted that Tarrant County, which contains Fort Worth, is listed as a Republican county but flipped Democrat in 2020. The DFW exurban Denton and Collin Counties, which are solidly Republican, are not included here because they received no CTCL funding.

Funding and managing elections have always been a government function, not a private one, and for good reason. Private organizations are not subject to the rules for public employees and institutions — they are not required to hold public hearings, cannot be monitored via open-records requests and other mechanisms of administrative and financial transparency, are not subject to the normal checks and balances of the governmental process, and are not accountable to voters if the public disapproves of their actions.

The practical effect of these massive privately manipulated election-office funding disparities was to create a “shadow” election system with a built-in structural bias that systematically favored Democratic voters over Republican voters. The massive influx of funds essentially created a high-powered, concierge-like get-out-the-vote effort for Biden that took place inside the election system, rather than attempting to influence it from the outside.

We call this the injection of structural bias into the 2020 election, and our analysis shows it likely generated enough additional votes for Biden to secure an Electoral College victory in 2020.

How This Money Affected Texas

Although the magnitude and partisan pattern of CTCL and CEIR spending on its face would suggest their efforts harvested a large number of extra Democratic votes, more proof is needed.

We analyzed the likely effects of CTCL and CEIR spending on Biden’s vote margin in 2020 using publicly available data from government reports combined with widely available voter and demographic data. Specifically, we used Bayesian Additive Regression Trees (BART) to “learn” how changes in key election variables impact the change in Biden’s 2020 vote share.

BART is a machine-learning algorithm that is considered a gold standard in making causal inferences. It enables us to avoid mistaking correlation for causation in our estimations.

For each county, we used 1) two-party Hillary Clinton 2016 vote share, 2) turnout percent in 2016, 3) county share of the total state population, 4) geographic location, measured in terms of longitude and latitude, and 5) per-capita CTCL and CEIR spending, to predict changes in Biden’s two-party 2020 vote margin.

The figure below shows the expected impact of per-capita CTCL spending on Biden’s vote total in Texas, according to our model.

The undulating line shows the amount by which Biden’s vote total is expected to change as CTCL’s per-person spending increases. The actual per-capita level of CTCL spending in Texas, represented by the vertical line, is shown to have narrowed Trump’s Texas margin of victory by about 200,000 votes, which, while significant, was not enough to swing Texas into Biden’s electoral vote column.

To put this figure into perspective, however, Ted Cruz’s margin of victory over Beto O’Rourke in Texas’ 2018 Senate race was only 214,921 votes. It is not inconceivable that Democrats would consider a similar effort, were it to take place in 2024, a small price to pay to oust Cruz from his hotly contested Senate seat.

Did Zuck Bucks Flip Wisconsin and Georgia?

Our preliminary results in Georgia and Wisconsin suggest a similar impact on Biden’s vote margin from CTCL spending. And spending in those states was likely large enough and targeted enough to have shifted them into Biden’s column.

This research and analysis project will culminate in the creation of a counterfactual electoral map based on the combined results of our state-by-state analysis. It will reflect how the election results would have looked after the last legal ballot was counted if CTCL and CEIR did not spend their $419.5 million in 2020.

We have good reason to anticipate that the results of our work will show that CTCL and CEIR’s involvement in the 2020 election gave rise to an election that, while free, was not fair. The 2020 election wasn’t stolen — it was likely bought with money poured through legal loopholes.

*****

This article was published on October 12, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Federalist.

Let’s Go Brandon!

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

From the outset, it should be clear that showing disrespect for the President of the United States is not a good thing.  It might be deserved, but it is a sad commentary on the state of things today that it is so openly expressed.

The Left started this and now their guy is subject to ridicule. I can recall walking near the ASU campus a few years ago and seeing multiple Buck Fush bumper stickers. You likely recall them as well. Since the rise of the New Left in the 1960s, politically active youth on the left side of the political spectrum has circled the drain of political discourse and in the mainstream culture as well. It has incrementally gotten worse over the years. It now has morphed into open bullyings, such as the Left’s shameful behavior toward Arizona Democrat Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

There has been a general decline in public verbiage. Language once reserved for the rare occasion when you might drop an artillery round on your foot is now commonplace among hip comedians, rap artists,  the dialogue in movies, and unfortunately, just normal conversation.

And then we had the torrent of epithets thrown at President Trump. Thus, over the past 20 years or so, as our culture rots further and swearing becomes more mainstream, it is not surprising such name-calling is becoming routine.

I didn’t like it then, and I don’t care for it now even though I appreciate the sentiments.

It has nevertheless become a popular chant now at college football games and other venues. It is both unnerving and satisfying for the crowd to get into a rhythmic rendition of F**K Joe Biden. While richly deserved, it still startles the sensibilities of those of us who once had mothers who would not tolerate such behavior.

Then along came an NBC female sports announcer who inadvertently has captured perfectly the temper of the times. While interviewing the winner of a NASCAR race, the crowd burst into their spontaneous frustration with the current President. If you have seen the video,  it is inescapably clear they are shouting F**K Joe Biden in the background during the post-race interview. And of course, the lady reporter pivots while on the air and says to the winner named Brandon, and to the viewing audience, that the crowd is saying “Let’s Go, Brandon!”

There you have it. An open lie promulgated by the press. We are not supposed to believe our own ears. Just like we are supposed to believe that men can have babies and menstruate, that we can spend trillions that won’t cost anything, and that masks will protect you from Covid. “Let’s Go Brandon” has become a rallying cry for those who detest what Joe Biden and what the Democrats are doing to the country all while being sheltered and protected by the dishonest and corrupt media. It is what happens to a party collapsing in the polls because they chose to lock down the economy causing mass unemployment and supply chain chaos, open the borders, leave Americans behind in Afghanistan, print money and bring back inflation, encouraged hundreds of urban riots and a subsequent crime wave, curtailed our basic freedoms of speech and assembly, and the right to make healthcare decisions. The government that can’t deliver the mail on time instead thinks to change the entire climate of the earth. Americans are witnessing and feeling the frightful synergy of radical ideology (a race into socialism) and gross incompetence and extreme dishonesty of those in power, i.e., the Democrats.

Then, at another racing event, the phrase was issued on television by a young man who looks to be maybe 9 or 10 years of age. The announcer knew the code, but because the expression was otherwise benign, he just looked nervously into the camera. The other kids burst into laughter. That is what is so nice about the expression. Even a kid can say it and not get into trouble but we all know what it means.

The Democrats deserve every ounce of the ridicule now being directed at them. They have been arrogant, sanctimonious, and wrong.

They also demand we believe their many lies, while contrary evidence is obviously before us. We are supposed to embrace their alternate reality and if we don’t, we are bad people.

The phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” has become a quick way of identifying your political tribe in this fractured world. You can say it without being offensive, but everyone on the Right side of the political spectrum gets the joke right away. Somehow, the expression seems to encapsulate all the political idiocy of the day, plus the rank dishonesty of many of our leading politicians and the media. And, you can say it without using the F word.

The video of the 9-year-old immediately went viral and multiple websites have popped up selling T-shirts and hats with the “Let’s Go Brandon” invocation.

I recently stopped at a truck stop to use the restroom. I bumped into an elderly man fumbling with his mask. He took it down and said, ” I can’t figure out now when I am supposed to wear the blank thing.” Someone piped up and said, “Let’s Go Brandon”. The whole place erupted in laughter. Everybody got it and everybody endorsed the sentiment.

The Democrats have overstepped and a not-so-quiet rebellion against them has started. Trying to label those who disagree as political terrorists are making it just that much worse for Democrats. It is evident at school board meetings and among airline pilots. People are sick of governmental edicts, especially if they make no sense. If this sentiment continues to grow, the next election cycle will be a powerful rebuke to their ideas and policies. “Let’s Go Brandon!” will be the rallying cry of 2022.

 

 

New Reasons to Dislike Hate Crimes

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Hate crimes always seemed like a stupid idea to me. If you are a Jew and your family member is murdered, do you really care that the murderer is a Jew-hater? It goes the same for Blacks, Gays, or any other group. Personally, I would not care what the murderer’s motivation was; I would want them dead regardless. It is not a stretch to understand that people would use the law to expand the notion of a hate crime. That has once again been proposed making it an even better idea to junk the statute.

Hate crime legislation was first proposed in the 99th Congress which lasted from 1985 through 1986. It finally passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives in the 101st Congress in 1989 and then did the same in the U.S. Senate that year. George Bush, the elder, signed it into law that year. Just because it was passed with such large numbers and signed by a Republican president did not make it a smart idea.

It was initially passed to collect and publish data on crimes of race, religion, or ethnicity. In 1997, the categories of sexual orientation, gender or disability were introduced as additional categories. They passed and became law in 2009.

The question of motivation is always open to interpretation. As you may remember, a person went into some facilities that were deemed to have sex workers in them, mostly of Asian heritage. Of course, you must believe all Asians are exactly alike even though they could be in the U.S. from more than a dozen countries. When it became evident that the murderer was more interested in their employment orientation than the native heritage of the people he murdered, the press adjusted their storyline to question whether there was now a new category of hate crimes — against sex workers.

“Hate crime legislation has never been about punishing people for their beliefs or speech. Rather, it is about punishing people for their criminal actions.” That is a quote from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) website. Of course, it is about punishing people for their thoughts or words; otherwise, there would not be enhanced penalties for violent crimes because it is perceived that the person who perpetrated the crime does not like Jews or Blacks, or Gays. The hate comes specifically from what they said or what they have been shown to believe. Very few hate crimes have people writing on the chest of the victim that the only good Jew (Black or Gay) is a dead Jew (Black or Gay).

“There is a troubling new expansion of antiscience aggression in the United States. It’s arising from far-right extremism, including some elected members of the US Congress and conservative news outlets that target prominent biological scientists fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

That statement by Peter Hotez, MD, Ph.D., Dean National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor University, was made in an article in the Public Library of Science Biology Journal. He calls for hate crime protection for scientists — especially Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Though the article does not cite any physical threats made against various scientists, it does cite where people have questioned their decisions and findings. With the Left, including President Biden, constantly telling us we must listen to the scientists and criticizing anyone who dares to question the advice of the anointed, it does seem it was the logical next step to make it illegal to question “scientific authorities.”

To further justify the rationale of his lofty argument, Professor Hotez compares the people who denounce scientists to you guessed it — Nazis. For good stead, he not only names Hitler, but Mussolini, and throws in Marxists to be inclusive. But there is no mention of the erratic and inconsistent advice offered by the scientists for the past two years; just that one is evil for questioning them.

You are saying to yourself that this idea is from one person in one journal. Don’t bet against the proposal moving forward. This is how Critical Race Theory, ballot harvesting, and other harebrained ideas have moved forward into the mainstream and adopted as the gospel by the Left. After all, that is how we got the idea of hate crimes in the first place. On many college campuses today one can be accused of spewing hate speech by skipping over trigger warnings.

Jumping on the hate crime bandwagon is the National School Boards Association. The organization sent a letter to President Biden asking for federalizing enforcement against parents protesting the actions of school boards across the country. That is despite little to no acts of physical violence against school board members and certainly no cases of parents protesting outside of elected school board members’ homes or following them into bathroom stalls. In the letter they stated, “As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” It had to come, parents protesting policies regarding the education of their children taken by school boards at public schools is now proposed to be a hate crime.

Is it far behind to consider it a hate crime to criticize the President? Unless, of course, the President is a Republican.

*****

This article was published on October 10, 2021, in FlashReport, and is reproduced with permission from the author.

If Hospitals Are Overwhelmed, Maybe They Should Stop Threatening to Fire Staff

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

As if COVID hysteria hasn’t been bad enough, President Biden took it to the next level last month. In a troubling press conference, Biden announced vaccine mandates for private companies that employ 100 or more people—making sure to emphasize that this is not about “freedom or personal choice.”

But this wasn’t the first time we’d heard about mandatory vaccines. Some employers around the country, especially those in healthcare, already had their own mandates in place.

And so far, the consequences have been disastrous. In the past month:

  • One hospital in New York (which had announced its own vaccine mandate in August) had to pause delivering babies after experiencing mass staff resignations due to the vaccine mandate.
  • Also, in New York, Governor Hochul had to deploy the National Guard to fill hospital staff shortages.
  • In Houston, 153 hospital staff members either resigned or were fired for refusing to get the vaccine.
  • And in Louisiana, the CEO of the state’s largest hospital system said in August that they “cannot find” nurses to bring in for help with the shortages. So, what did he do about it? The hospital doubled down on its mandate, now instituting fines for employees with unvaccinated spouses!

Arizona certainly hasn’t been immune to the problem. Right here in our very own state, one hospital administrator told AZ Free News that there have been issues ensuring beds at smaller hospitals due to delays in replacing equipment. But the main issue, the administrator said, is that Arizona’s larger hospital chains are losing staff due to the vaccine mandates.

Despite all this, the establishment media continues to beat the same drum. They want you to believe that hospitals are near or over capacity even though the current wave, which is subsiding, has been much smaller than previous waves.

But perhaps the problem isn’t more cases and COVID hospitalizations. Perhaps the problem is that hospitals are overwhelmed because they are experiencing staffing shortages due to the vaccine mandate. Or what if the capacity issues are tied to other contagious illnesses, such as RSV? Or maybe it’s because people are now starting to deal with other ailments and elective surgeries that they’ve been putting off because of COVID.

Of course, corporate media doesn’t want to look into these possibilities. Nor do they want to ask questions about why so many good healthcare professionals, who have stood on the frontlines of the pandemic, are refusing the vaccine.

Instead, they want to turn these medical professionals into villains, simply because they refuse to fall into line and get the jab. No dissent, discussion, or debate is allowed in the woke media echo chamber.

These divisive and authoritarian tactics must stop. If someone wants to get a vaccine for COVID, or anything else, they should have the freedom to do so. And if they don’t want the vaccine, that should be their choice.

But no free people should ever be compelled by force of government into certain medical decisions they disagree with.

Giving up that freedom could cost us a lot. And now, it’s costing us a lot of vital healthcare professionals—and some hospital beds.

*****

This article was published on October 15, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club.

The Erasure of ‘Women’ Is Escalating

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

The campaign to erase references to women has reached new levels of absurdity. In just the last few weeks, it’s made forays into social media, medical journals, and even federal legislation.

For example, if you’ve spent much time on social media lately, you’ve likely seen the ACLU’s edits of a quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg to remove offending references to “women.”

Last October, now-Vice President Kamala Harris had no problem quoting an uncensored Ginsburg in the Senate confirmation hearings for Amy Coney Barrett. But conventions on these delicate matters change fast. Eleven months later, the ACLU felt the need to strike the affronting words.

The stunt stirred up enough controversy that the ACLU had to apologize. Executive Director Anthony Romero confessed that “it’s somewhat Orwellian to rewrite historical utterances to conform to modern sensitivities.”

Still, “having spent time with Justice Ginsburg,” explained Romero, “I would like to believe that if she were alive today, she would encourage us to evolve our language to encompass a broader vision of gender, identity, and sexuality.” In other words, while it may be best not to alter past quotes, we should avoid regressive references to “women” from now on.

The Lancet’s Sept. 25 cover is even more disturbing. It features a single, stark quote on white background, reducing women to “bodies with vaginas.”

The medical journal, like the ACLU, has issued its half-hearted apology. They didn’t intend to dehumanize and marginalize women, explained Editor-in-Chief Richard Horton. Their goal, rather, is to “emphasize that transgender health is an important dimension of modern health care, but one that remains neglected.” He goes on and on in this exculpatory fashion, lamenting the scourge of “menstrual shame and period poverty.”

Or, in the words of Demi Lovato: Sorry, not sorry.

Both episodes have played out on social media. But there’s another erasure campaign underway in the shadows. Take, for instance, the Newspeak that has crept into the 2021 budget reconciliation bill now going through Congress. This sweeping tax-and-spend proposal would affect far more than just our fiscal health.

Sex-specific words such as “women,” “females,” and “mothers” have gone missing in some of the very places you’d expect them—such as with “maternal mortality.” Instead, we discover awkward constructions, over and over, like “pregnant, lactating, and postpartum individuals and individuals with the intent to become pregnant.”

Reconciliation packages are supposedly limited to budgets. But for gender ideologues, the process has become a chance to start erasing references to women and females.

While “individual” or “person” is common in legal documents when the referent could be male or female, that doesn’t explain what’s happening here. The authors of this section intend to neuter references to women.

How do we know? Because they’re departing from past usage, and even the typical usage still present here and there in the reconciliation text when referring to or quoting preexisting law. Take, for example, the Medicaid section, which must still refer to “pregnant and postpartum women.”

It’s no surprise that a simple word search of existing law turns up 96 references to “pregnant women” already in the federal code. A search for “women” turns up 1,118 references.

And then, just last month—with few precedents—this changes.

This comes on top of other efforts to advance this Newspeak. For instance, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, early this year, made degendered language standard practice for Congress.

Gender activists have pushed a sweeping piece of legislation—the misnamed Equality Act—which would enshrine their views in civil rights law. But as they work toward that goal, activists are focused on erasing women incrementally by slipping the same kind of language into bills moving through Congress now.

These efforts are provoking resistance, however, and not just from committed traditionalists. Most Americans object to gender ideology. Whether it’s being pushed on minors in the doctor’s office or the sports arena, this is true. Hence the pushback to the flag-flying stunts from the ACLU and The Lancet. And why both groups had to issue apologies.

The campaign also is facing resistance from nonconservative quarters. Atheists like Richard Dawkins have pushed back against the transgender ideology that inspires these language games. Many feminists, including radical feminists, also oppose it.

Meanwhile, activists’ efforts are sporadic and contradictory. We see this even in the internal inconsistencies of the budget reconciliation bill text, as noted above.

Finally, gender ideology contradicts natural reality. Not just the natural moral law written on every heart. We’re talking about mammalian biology.

Hard facts like these should give us hope that common sense will prevail against gender activists’ efforts to erase women.

*****

This article was published on October 13, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal.

Beware of the Progressive Redefinition of Moderates

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Progressive thought control efforts have turned to a new attack on moderates.

As reported on The Hill, first-year Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), said “Referring to the small handful of conservative Democrats working to block the president’s agenda as ‘moderates’ does grave harm to the English language and unfairly maligns my colleagues who are actually moderate yet by and large understand the stakes of this historic moment.” He linked moderates and progressives together, as “united in our commitment to passing President Biden’s agenda,” and that “Anyone trying to obstruct that agenda” is not a moderate.

This redefinition of moderates is reminiscent of the treatment of the Tea Party during an earlier impasse over the debt ceiling. In the wake of a historic explosion of federal power and spending (though dwarfed by current proposals) and when 40 percent of every federal dollar was borrowed, left-leaning politicians and pundits called for moderates to join them in supporting President Obama’s demand for higher taxes and bigger government. Predictably, they called everyone who wanted to undo some of that profligacy an extremist.

In both cases, Democrats demonized those who were at least moderately concerned with citizens’ constitutional rights and wallets. They hoped to find people willing to support their budget priorities, and the massively higher burdens those priorities required. In the end, they hoped to remake America in their own image, while buying off the smallest number of citizens necessary to implement their 50 percent “landslide.”

It is important to note that in both such cases, as well as many others, the moderation Democrats called for was moderation in defense of liberty. Those who resisted were branded unreasonable extremists and shown the door.

While such rhetorical distortions reflect current progressive-left thinking, there is a source Americans can turn to for a more reasonable point of view. It comes from an “electoral manifesto” written by Frederic Bastiat in 1830. His dead-on discussion of moderation is worth recalling now:

Moderation…plays a role in this army of sophisms.

Were those who each year voted for more taxes than the nation could bear moderates? What about those who never found the contributions to be sufficiently heavy, emoluments sufficiently huge, and sinecures sufficiently numerous…the betrayal of the confidences of their constituents?

Are those who want to prevent…such excesses extremists? I mean those who want to inject a dose of moderation into spending; those who want to moderate the action of the people in power…those who do not want the nation to be exploited by one party rather than another.

Left to itself, [government] soon exceeds the limits which circumscribe its mission. It increases beyond all reason…It no longer administers, it exploits…It no longer protects, it oppresses.

This would be the way all governments operate…if the people did not place obstacles in the way of governmental encroachments.

Prodigality and liberty…are incompatible

Where can there be liberty when the government, in order to sustain enormous expenditures and forced to levy huge fiscal contributions, must resort to the most offensive and burdensome taxation…to invade the sphere of private industry, to narrow incessantly the circle of individual activity, to make itself merchant, manufacturer, postman and teacher.

Are we free if the government…subjects all its activities to the goal of enlarging its cohort of employees, hampers all businesses, constrains all faculties, interferes with all commercial exchanges in order to restrain some people, hinder others, and hold almost all of them to ransom?

Can we expect order from a regime that places millions of enticements to greed all around the country…increasingly spreading the mania for governing and a zeal for domination.

Do we want, then, to free government from the plotters who pursue it in order to share out the spoils, from factions who undermine it in order to capture it, and from the tyrants who strengthen it in order to control it? Do we want…order, freedom and public peace?

Do we want the government to take more of an interest in us than we take in ourselves? Are we expecting it to restrain itself if we strengthen it and become less active if we send it reinforcements? Do we hope that the spoils it can take from us will be refused…Should we expect a supernatural nobility of spirit…in those who govern us, while for our part we are incapable of defending…our dearest interests!

Be careful…we should not shut our eyes to the evidence…are we going to destroy [liberty’s] work?

Frederic Bastiat wrote his electoral manifesto at a time when politically popular “moderates” enabled expanding government coercion, while “extremists” defended liberty. Unfortunately, little seems different today. But if we recognize with him what is at stake–liberty too precious to be bargained over–we might yet turn this destructive tide.

*****

This article was published on October 9, 2021, and is reproduced with permission from AIER, American Institute for Economic Research.

COVID expert Dr. Peter McCullough urges ‘unbreakable resistance’ to vaccines for kids

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

This ‘can’t be about COVID at this stage,’ he said. It’s about ‘some type of totalitarian takeover that’s occurred all over the world. Something very dark is going on.’

 

(LifeSiteNews) — Eminent COVID-19 expert and highly published physician Dr. Peter McCullough provided a comprehensive well-documented presentation to colleagues regarding the “unbelievable atrocity” occurring in the West due to gene-transfer vaccine campaigns, the necessity for an “unbreakable resistance” against children receiving the jab, and the “astounding … ineptitude and willful misconduct” of public health agencies.

McCullough, who has made the case that no one in the world has more authority on this topic than him, provided detailed analysis of multiple scientific studies and data reports demonstrating the “failure of the vaccine program,” the suppression of effective early treatments, and the “robust, complete and durable” qualities of natural immunity.

Dr. Robert Malone, the architect of the mRNA platform used by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and organizing co-signer of a recent public declaration in defense of early treatments, promoted the presentation, tweeting, “I’ll say it again. Watch the speech from Dr. Peter McCullough. He is on fire. And he is spot on. He [sic] summary of the data are [sic] precise and detailed. Please take the time to watch that video. And get outraged.”

Among many topics addressed by McCullough at the October 2 annual meeting of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons was an initial focus on the serious lack of transparency of safety data and proper monitoring of the program.

“I have chaired data safety monitoring boards for over two dozen therapeutic products,” McCullough told his audience. His participation in this capacity has included heading boards for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Big Pharma corporations.

Data Safety Monitoring Boards (DSMB) are defined as a “ committee of clinical research experts … who monitor the progress of a clinical trial and review safety and effectiveness data while the trial is ongoing. This committee is independent of the people, organizations, and institutions conducting the clinical trial … [and] can recommend that a trial be stopped early because of concerns about participant safety …”

“I have made some critical calls as a chairman of a data safety monitoring board to shut down a program when it wasn’t safe,” McCullough explained. “And, I can tell you, that threshold is a few cases where we can’t explain it, a few cases. We get to five unexplained cases [and] we start to get very, very uncomfortable.” When “we get to 50 unexplained deaths in a release of a product, it’s gone. It’s gone. We shut it down and we figure out what went wrong. For new biologic products demand safety, safety, safety.”

1976 Swine flu vaccination campaign stopped after 25 death reports

He went on to discuss the 1976 swine flu vaccine campaign the government suspended after just 10 weeks due to 25 sudden deaths and 550 reports of Guillain-Barré syndrome following vaccination.

“The comfort level was gone. We had vaccinated 25% of our 220 million people in the United States [at the time]. And that was it! The concern for safety was too great. Deaths escalated after stopping the program up to 53. This was the standard, and still should be the standard today,” explained the editor of two medical journals.

The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) released October 8 reports 778,683 adverse events in the U.S. following COVID vaccination, including 16,310 reports of deaths and 75,605 reports of hospitalizations, between December 14, 2020, and October 1.

In addition, it remains a concern that these figures are just “the tip of the iceberg,” as a “2010 Harvard-executed study commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed that reported vaccine injuries to VAERS represent an estimated 1% of actual injuries.

More recently, whistleblowers have documented at least 45.000 and 48,000 deaths respectively from just one government database at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS).

No DSMBs in place, and ‘No safety review! That is malfeasance.’

McCullough cited a paper from May involving 57 authors from 17 countries which, having noticed no evidence of DSMBs and External Advisory Committees (EAC) established to monitor the COVID-19 vaccine drive, wrote “vaccination should be halted immediately.”

“If we don’t have safety mechanisms in place for the vaccine programs, shut them down,” McCullough said, “because [the highest priority is] safety, safety, safety. Our concern was this was a dangerous mechanism of action, we had skipped all the critical testing to understand what this is going to do long term to the human body.”

To this day, “there’s been no external advisory committees, no human ethics committee, data safety monitoring board,” he described. “The FDA and the CDC are the sponsors of the program. They cannot be the adjudicators of death. They cannot. That violates every regulatory law that we know.”

As early as January 22, “we had a big problem. We had 182 deaths,” McCullough continued (displaying slide 11 of his power point presentation). “The expected number of deaths, [from] all vaccines combined, [is] 158 per year [from approximately] 287 million shots per year in the United States. 182 [deaths using the COIVD vaccines] were over the line. And if we had a data safety monitoring board, this program would have been shut down in February for excess mortality and it would have been reviewed.

“We only had 27 million people vaccinated in the United States [at the time]. What happened? Nothing! No safety review! That is malfeasance. Malfeasance is wrongdoing by those in position of authority. And that’s what happened,” he said.

Further, McCullough accused the CDC, FDA, NIH, the White House, Senate and House of Representatives of being “all implicated in this. None of them demanded an effectuated safety report and a stop in February. They are all culpable.”

‘One is more likely to die after the vaccine’ than from COVID itself

Citing another early peer-reviewed safety warning by Jessica Rose (slide 12), with bar charts showing an enormous jump in reports and deaths due to vaccines in 2021, 40 times higher than in 2020, he observed, “We had Americans dying after vaccination. It was obvious. This is an obvious data signal. All experts agree it’s obvious,” and yet the vaccination program was not shut down…..

*****

Continue reading this article, published on October 11, 2021 at Life Site.