Rise of the Soros “Prosecutors”

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

A recent report by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) examined George Soros’s funding of the progressive district attorney (DA) movement that has swept America’s urban centers and found that the infamous billionaire’s financial support for the disastrous movement has been far larger than was previously thought.

Early this year the Capital Research Center reported that Soros had spent at least $29 million directly supporting dozens of DA candidates, nearly two dozen of which remained in office. Now it is clear that Soros’s capture of the criminal justice system is even more expansive than was feared.

Millions More

LELDF’s report highlights that Soros has also spent millions of dollars supporting far-left organizations that serve as the foundation of the “rogue prosecutor” movement, including the Brennan Center, Fair and Just Prosecution (a project of the notorious Tides Foundation), and the Vera Institute for Justice.

Over the years dozens of prosecutors and DAs around the country have attended seminars and policy sessions hosted by the Soros-funded organizations. DA’s have also signed onto criminal justice reform letters written by the organizations, gone on sponsored jaunts across the globe for meetings and forums, and received public relations help from doting videos and articles about their commitment to justice and reform. In all, LELDF concluded, as many as 75 prosecutors have benefited, directly and indirectly, from Soros’s financial largesse, which totaled over $40 million.

Among them is the recently recalled, former San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, who benefitted indirectly from Soros’s contributions to organizations that opposed his recall. John Chisolm, the Milwaukee County prosecutor who disastrously decided to let the man responsible for the Waukesha massacre out of jail on minimum bail, also made the list after receiving direct support from Soros’s Safety and Justice PAC.

While there is a substantial difference between direct and indirect support from Soros, Soros’s PR attack dogs have done nothing to dispute the $40 million figure, choosing instead to quibble over the characterization of “Soros prosecutors.”

Catastrophic Reform

No matter how much Soros and his allies attempt to obfuscate, the evidence is clear. Soros has spent tens of millions of dollars to impose his vision of “reform” upon the world, and the results in America’s urban areas have been catastrophic.

*****

This article was published by Capital Research and is reproduced with permission.

The Economist Whose Theory Predicted Today’s Calls for Censorship in the 1970s

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase wrote a paper in 1974 that implicitly predicted the increasing popularity of censorship among the intellectual class.

 

After Elon Musk’s offer to purchase Twitter was accepted, the Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans for a “disinformation” governance board. Musk’s purchase is not final, and the governance board is now paused, but the reaction to these events has been telling.

One might expect professionals in the market for ideas would be concerned by a government agency policing speech. Curiously, many groups who historically have defended free speech against interference seem slow (or absent) in response.

Members of the journalism industry have reacted negatively to Musk’s vocal support of free speech. His purchase is “dangerous,” and his commitment to free speech will lead to people being “silenced”.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press attacked Musk for wanting free speech, claiming that this desire was inconsistent with the fact that he has criticized people in the past.

This claim by the AP confused many, as criticism is obviously compatible with free speech.

Time magazine voiced opposition to Musk from another angle, trying to disparage his “tech bro” obsession with free speech

CNN writers crafted the suggestive headline, “Twitter has been focused on ‘healthy conversations.’ Elon Musk could change that”.

At The Conversation, Filippo Menczer, a professor of informatics and computer science at Indiana University, argues John Milton’s idea of the uncensored marketplace of ideas is outdated and calls for “refereeing” of social media. And of course, this refereeing isn’t censorship. Why would you think that?

Another professor writing for The ConversationJaigris Hudson, argues Elon Musk’s free speech push will make speech less free because if harsh language is allowed some people will stop talking. This article when set next to this Washington Post piece and the AP tweet underscores a consistent theme of mistaking free speech for freedom from criticism.

Head bureaucrat of the government’s “paused” disinformation board, Nina Jankowicz, also wishes Twitter would move in another direction. Jankowicz wonders, why not allow verified accounts to edit the Tweets of people using free speech too dangerously?

Although it isn’t uncommon for high-level military bureaucrats like Jankowicz to desire censorship, academics and journalists have long been stalwart defenders of the importance of an uncensored marketplace for ideas. For a long time, universities and newspapers were seen as places where controversial means and ends could be debated publicly. “The truth will out” was the final defense of these institutions against calls for censorship.

This defense of the marketplace of ideas was so universal among the professional intellectual class that it inspired Nobel Prize-winning economist Ronald Coase (1910-2013) to write a paper trying to explain why this was so. And, using this same paper, we can see Coase implicitly predicted the increasing favorability of censorship among the professional intellectual class.

In a 1974 paper, Coase, the Clifton R. Musser Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School, mused over an interesting puzzle. Professional intellectuals focus tremendous effort in highlighting why the market for goods and services requires regulation. Meanwhile, those same intellectuals often argued that the market for ideas should be free from regulation.

So, why the asymmetry?

To answer this puzzle, Coase first dismissed two popular but wrong explanations for this paradox.

The first explanation is that markets for goods and services can have market failures. For example, if gasoline buyers and sellers don’t have to pay for the pollution gasoline generates, they will buy and sell too much at the expense of those who experience pollution.

However, the problem with this explanation is obvious. There can also be failures in the market for ideas. Even if it’s correct that the best idea will win, it’s obvious that the best idea won’t always win immediately. Pollution in the market for ideas, such as disinformation, is also possible.

In other words, the market for ideas also has market failures. On this criteria, both types of markets should be regulated–or neither.

The second wrong explanation for why professional intellectuals defend the market for ideas from regulation is that unregulated speech is necessary for a functioning democracy. This explanation sounds okay at first, so what’s wrong with it?

Well, the market for goods and services is also necessary for a functioning democracy. As Coase puts it,

For most people in most countries (and perhaps in all countries), the provision of food, clothing, and shelter is a good deal more important than the provision of the “right ideas,” even if it is assumed that we know what they are.

So good ideas being necessary for a functioning democracy can’t be an explanation for why the market for ideas should be unregulated, since professional intellectuals favor regulation for goods and services which are also necessary for a functioning democracy.

The asymmetry remains.

Coase finishes his essay by solving the paradox. Why do professional intellectuals defend the market for ideas against regulation but not the market for goods and services?

The market for ideas is the market in which the intellectual conducts his trade. The explanation of the paradox is self-interest and self-esteem. Self-esteem leads the intellectuals to magnify the importance of their own market. That others should be regulated seems natural, particularly as many of the intellectuals see themselves as doing the regulating.

So, the market for ideas is the market controlled by intellectuals. They see their market as a higher and more important calling. The market for goods and services, in their view, is both less important and more corrupted.

So how does Coase’s explanation here predict the increasing calls for censorship in the market for ideas?

Remember the explanation Coase gave. Professional intellectuals considered the market for ideas as above regulation because they controlled the market.

But times have changed since Coase wrote his article in 1974.

The internet has revolutionized the landscape of the market for ideas. It’s no longer the case that the well-credentialed have the most sway in the ideas market. Recent years have been characterized by creators on YouTube, podcasts, and, most recently, Substack dominating the market for ideas.

Now that the market for ideas is no longer dominated by academia and the journalism industry, members of those groups no longer have the same incentives to stop industry regulation.

In fact, as in many industries, it may be in incumbents’ best interest to regulate competition. After all, if people get their new commentary from Joe Rogan and not CNN, that hurts CNN’s bottom line.

So, although Coase did not foresee the decentralization of the market of ideas in his piece, the logic of his paper gives a clear prediction. If the ones who hold the reins to the market for ideas lose their grip, calls for regulation are sure to follow. And this is exactly what we’re seeing.

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

Forget School Choice, Education Microgrants Are Microsocialism

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Not all education choice initiatives are created equal.

West Virginia’s near-universal Hope Scholarship, for example, empowers families to choose the learning environment that’s the best fit for their children — without costing taxpayers more. Microgrants do exactly the opposite.

The Hope Scholarship is an education savings account, or ESA, that families can use for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, online learning, educational services and therapies, and more. The ESA provides students leaving the public system or entering kindergarten or first grade with nearly 100% of existing state-level K-12 funding. That’s about $4,300 per pupil, and in West Virginia, where the average private school tuition is about $4,750, it goes a long way. In contrast, Idaho’s microgrant program, Empowering Parents, gives only $1,000 toward various educational expenses (excluding private school tuition) yet still costs taxpayers more money. That’s because there’s a catch: Idaho’s microgrants are primarily for children who stay in public schools.

That’s a common problem with microgrant programs. At the margin, West Virginia helps a child’s family afford a better option; Idaho does not.

The larger economic problem is that microgrants are microsocialism. Rather than redirecting funds from the existing K-12 education budget, as ESAs do, microgrants generally require new money. That means taxpayers fork over additional money the state distributes to somebody else. That’s why the Left does not see microgrants as a threat to the status quo. If the point is merely a larger handout, the Left loves it. But the point should be that every family finds the educational environment that’s best for their child. By that standard, microgrants are counterproductive.

Not only are microgrants bad policy, but they’re also a bad education reform strategy.

When presented with two proposals, one more robust and one more modest, legislators tend to opt for the more modest proposal. This way, they can have their cake and eat it, too, getting credit for at least doing something while blocking the more expansive reform.

Aware of this dynamic, proponents of microgrants portray them as a form of “school choice.” Legislators then think they can placate school choice proponents by enacting microgrants while reassuring choice opponents that they blocked more robust policies, such as ESAs. In this sense, microgrants are entirely parasitic on efforts to enact broad education choice policies. This is why proponents of microgrants work almost exclusively in red states, where the prospects of enacting choice policies are the best they’ve ever been. Microgrant proponents count on education choice coalitions to do the hard work of moving the Overton Window, then slip in and pass their own modest proposal at the expense of true school choice proposals…..

*****

Continue reading this article at The Washington Examiner.

Biden Pressuring Dem Governors for More Gun Control

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Biden-Harris administration is sympathetic Democratic governors to pass more gun control legislation with the apparent belief that if more states pass restrictive anti-gun bills, it will be easier for the administration to push for similar legislation at the federal level.

The White House has already contacted governors in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, California and Delaware. The bills they have come up with are similar in concept and some even use similar language. The legislation usually includes 21+ age restrictions for firearm purchasers, Red Flag bills as well as “assault weapon” and standard-capacity magazine bans.

Nowhere have gun owners been hit harder than in Biden’s home state of Delaware, where a bill that would prohibit magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds and a bill that would outlaw most semi-auto rifles are awaiting Gov. John Carney’s signature, after flying through the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

“Every center-fire rifle that’s magazine fed will be banned,” said John Sigler, who is past president of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, past president of the National Rifle Association, and a current NRA Board member.

Delaware is a small state. Sigler has known Biden for decades.

“All of this is being driven by the White House,” Sigler said. “Joe has been a gun banner forever – back to when he was running the Senate Judiciary Committee. My first dealings with him involved ‘Saturday Night Specials’ and ‘Cop Killer’ bullets. This is exactly what those of us here in Delaware feared when he announced he was running for president.”

HB 450 will become law the moment Gov. Carney signs it, which he is expected to do. It will ban 63 firearms by name, as well as any semi-auto rifle with a detachable magazine, any shotgun with a telescoping or folding stock or a revolving cylinder, any pistol with a detachable magazine outside the grip or a threaded barrel, and all pistols and rifles with fixed magazines capable of hold more than 17 rounds.

HB 450 states that gun owners cannot sell, offer for sale, transfer, purchase, receive or possess one of the banned firearms after the effective date – except you can keep what you had on or before the effective date. By prohibiting sales, the bill takes away the firearm’s value.

SS 1 for SB 6 bans magazines capable of holding more than 17 rounds. It, too, awaits Gov. Carney’s signature, which he has promised to do.

There is no grandfather clause in this bill. Anyone who owns a magazine capable of holding more than 17 rounds must surrender it to police for a “buy back” or risk misdemeanor charges for the first offense and felony charges the second time they’re caught with a 17+ magazine.

At first, the bill said the state would pay the owner $10 per magazine, but they only allocated $45,000 for the “buy back.” Now, the bill has been amended to offer the owner “current market value” for their property, which the legislature did not define. It has still only allocated $45,000 taxpayer dollars.

Delaware Sportsmen will sue

The Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association has no choice but to sue once the bills are signed into law, Sigler said. It will be a costly endeavor.

“Our membership is stepping up to the plate, and people we’ve never heard of are contributing,” Sigler said. “We are preparing right now and we will see what transpires, but we will litigate. We promised to sue and we are going to carry out our promise.

*****

This article was published by the Second Amendment Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

 

Transgender Activists Manipulate Parents With Suicide Threats

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Do you want a dead daughter or a live son?”

This question, which is really a threat, is the central tenet of the campaign selling gender ideology to parents.

Parents are often told that they are putting their gender-nonconforming child at risk of suicide if they don’t medically “transition” him or her to appear as the opposite sex or at least treat their child as the sex he or she chooses. The child then internalizes this information and believes that suicide is an inevitable outcome without transition, as opposed to an unhealthy response to internal distress.

The pernicious assumption behind this horrific question is that parents do not have the best interest of their children at heart and that the “experts” know better. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Parents who are not caught up in this social contagion know that children who threaten suicide are not born in the wrong body and that a risky regimen of puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries won’t bring children the peace and joy they desperately crave. A child who threatens suicide requires love, kindness, and therapy to address underlying struggles, not sterilization

The children captivated by gender ideology often have underlying conditions, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder, which are associated with lagging social skills, obsessive rumination, depression, and anxiety. 

Both research studies and the stories shared by a growing number of those who have detransitioned reveal a tendency to self-harm and suffer from eating disorders. Life has been hard for these highly sensitive and emotionally intense young people, and they’re understandably seeking relief.

These vulnerable children, often girls, deserve their parents’ involvement as they struggle through puberty, and they need their parents’ emotional and financial support until they make it safely to adulthood.

At its horribly rotten core, the culture created by the question “Do you want a dead daughter or a live son?” intentionally drives a painful wedge between parents and children unless parents consent without question to immediate social and medical transition. Parents who would do anything to keep their children safe are shoved aside by arrogant and callous school staff, doctors, and therapists.

Rather than assuring children that no one is born in the “wrong” body, schools and many doctors and therapists choose to parrot activist slogans instead.

Children are told that doctors guess the gender when a child is born and sometimes get it wrong; that if they don’t feel like they fit into regressive stereotypes about males and females, they must be transgender; that a “safe space” is one that affirms fleeting feelings rather than biological reality; and that anyone who doesn’t immediately and fully embrace their new transgender identity hates them and wants to “erase” them. Most perniciously, children receive a steady drumbeat of messages focused on suicide and death.

These slogans are used like a giant switch that turns off critical thinking and forbids even gentle questioning. They are repeated over and over in colorful children’s picture books; at GSA (gender sexuality clubs) meetings; and in-classroom lesson materials created by organizations like Queer Kids, Gender Spectrum, Advocates for Youth, and, of course, Planned Parenthood, an organization that profits from this ideology by doling out cross-sex hormones at clinics across the country.

These slogans are also baked into local and state transgender policies adopted—often quietly or even without a formal vote—by school boards. 

Misguided advocates for so-called transition procedures may be familiar with the suicide-centered activist slogans that populate their social media feed and the materials distributed by the many professional associations captured by this ideology, but they definitely haven’t done the research to familiarize themselves with the irreversible damage that so many young people experience after transitioning to appear as the opposite sex.

That damage can include, according to a list compiled at The Federalist, “loss of bone density, increased risk of blood clots, premature brain aging and increased aggression, reduced capacity for sexual pleasure, future infertility, and increased risk of heart disease.

Activists and misguided school staff, as well as an alarming number of doctors and counselors who have carelessly embraced the gender gospel, must stop making vulnerable students’ lives harder.

A recent analysis by Jay Greene of The Heritage Foundation found that “existing literature on this topic suffers from a series of weaknesses that prevent researchers from being able to draw credible causal conclusions about a relationship between medical interventions and suicide.” (The Daily Signal is the news and analysis site of The Heritage Foundation.)

I participated in a recent event discussing Greene’s conclusion that it is possible that “increasing minors’ access to cross-sex interventions is associated with a significant increase in the adolescent suicide rate.” The findings suggest that the “gender-affirming” policies and standards of care put in place in the name of protecting children from suicide must be reevaluated. 

It’s time to stop cruelly manipulating children with cult-like slogans. It’s time to stop driving a wedge between parents and their vulnerable children.

Our society must support parents, protect children, and keep families intact by turning away from propaganda centered around suicide threats. We must end secretive and destructive policies that harm children and instead pass laws that affirm that parents have primary responsibility for their children’s education and health.

*****

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

What Is the End Game with Ukraine and Russia?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Is it just me, or is the United States sliding towards a major war without really any kind of debate? No declaration of war for sure, as such a thing as following the Constitution clearly cannot be considered by the leadership class in this nation.

There has not been any kind of use of force resolution either.

Instead, $40 billion has been appropriated for Ukraine and most Republicans signed on without hesitation or asking any questions. Democrats, once an antiwar party, ignominiously pulled out of one war in Afghanistan and immediately got us involved in another.

The expansion of NATO continues, which by treaty could involve us in a war with Russia if they get crossways with any number of new members. Have we thought this through?

Putin is a dangerous aggressor. On that, it is possible for all to agree. But have we been going out of our way to aggravate him? Is this the best way to deal with him?

And if he is so evil, why are the Germans and the Italians doing big business with him for energy? Why are they destroying their own energy capacity and making themselves more dependent on such a dastardly foe?

Moreover, what can be strategically accomplished with the current US intervention?

It is to weaken Russia we are told.

If that is true, why is the ruble rising against the dollar, with the dollar being the second strongest currency in the world? Who is being weakened here? As long as Russia dominates energy markets and is backed up by China, how weak are they?

Russia will have all the food, fertilizer, and energy it will need, while the rest of the world will not? Who here is the weakened party?

And why this silence among all the war hawks about the role of China? What does the NBA and Nike shoe, the big banks and brokerage houses that lecture us constantly about our shortcomings think of this nefarious alliance with China, Russia’s chief benefactor?

Moreover, the Russians seem to be slowly winning the war on the ground. That is the emerging reality. Are we willing to spend our money to fight Russia right down to the last Ukrainian? If what we have done will not stop them, what will it require? Are we ready for what it will require or are we just flushing $40 billion down the drain to look good?

Russia seems to be consolidating in the East. The Economist reports Ukraine is outnumbered 10 to 1 in artillery. Many other categories of war show similar lop-sided advantages for the Russians. And while the Ukrainians have fought bravely, they are fighting a much larger power willing to take heavy casualties. In a dictatorship like Russia, which controls the press, and has no political opposition, casualties don’t create the normal negative feedback loop.

How can Ukraine win if they cannot gain air superiority and further, interdict their opponent’s supply lines?  That would require a much greater effort on our part and risk invading Russian territory.  But with all of the resources of Russia, their larger population, and their productive capacity for war kept intact, Ukraine simply can’t win this war of attrition if Russia can bomb Ukrainian infrastructure at will but Ukraine can’t touch the Russians.

How can Ukraine win a war of defense only, outnumbered and outgunned in every military category? They for sure can make the Russians pay dearly, but can they win? What is your answer? If we can’t win, what are we doing?

It could be argued we are fighting for democracy. How can that be seriously argued since Zelensky just banned all political opposition?

And if you do think you are fighting for “democracy”, what benefit to the cause is it to lose? Counterfactually, this could simply encourage the Chinese and the Russians to bolder actions.

As peripheral matters, the US is doing some very strange things that can do significant long-term damage to ourselves. It is not just the tremendous expense and the drawdown of our own inventory of missiles and equipment.

Seizing Russian foreign reserves, with no judicial process at all, simply on the whim of the US, has demonstrated that the US dollar is not a safe place to put your foreign reserves. China, India, and Middle Eastern dictatorships, all took note of this. This has the potential to upend the entire post-war monetary framework built up after the Bretton-Woods Treaty.

The US has profited immensely by having the dollar the reserve currency of the world and the oil settlement currency of the world. Did we just blow that up for a war we can’t possibly win?

Over the weekend, a newly minted NATO member Lithuania decided to block the transit of goods to Kaliningrad. Look it up on a map.  It is part of Russia and the home of their Baltic fleet.

It is one thing to block purchases of Russian goods (sanctions) it is quite another to block Russian goods from getting from one part of Russia to another. That is clearly a direct intervention into the internal affairs of another country and not a “sanction” on “foreign” trade. How would we feel if Russia blocked the shipment of beef from Iowa to Ohio?

It would appear it is an act of war.

Ok, did Lithuania clear that with us? As a new member of NATO, do they not know that if Russia retaliates all of NATO is treaty-bound to come to their aid? Is our decision to expand this war in the hands of a small foreign nation rather than our Congress? Yes, it appears that it is!

Did World War III just start while the world was chattering about Biden falling off his bike?

Are the American people fully aware of what we are getting ourselves into?

When are Republicans going to start asking some important questions about what procedure is followed to commit this county to war, why are we doing it, what is the end game, can it be won, and what will be the cost?

In short, is it too much to ask that our U.S. Representatives and Senators do their damned jobs?

 

Jan. 6 Committee Ignores Clear Evidence Of Mass Illegal Voting, Systematically Broken Election Laws

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The Jan. 6 Committee completely sidestepped the verifiable evidence of systemic violations of election law, illegal voting, and more.

 

In its attempt to blame former President Donald Trump for the crimes committed on January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, House Democrats have spent the week focused on Trump’s unsupported claims of widespread election fraud. The Jan. 6 select committee and the legacy media outlets promoting the show trial completely ignore, however, the verifiable evidence of systemic violations of election law, illegal voting, and the constitutionally deficient execution of the November 2020 election—including issues Trump challenged following the election.

Georgia provides a peach of an example. President Biden won Georgia and the state’s 16 electoral votes by a margin of 11,779 individual votes, but before the state certified the results of the November 2020 election, Trump challenged the outcome, raising several issues both in and out of court. Trump hammered accusations of fraud in Fulton County, claiming counterfeit ballots secreted in suitcases and vote-flipping by Dominion Voting Systems gave Biden the victory. But Trump also contested the Georgia results based on evidence indicating that tens of thousands of illegal votes were improperly counted.

Shortly after the November general election, Mark Davis, the president of Data Productions Inc. and an expert in voter data analytics and residency issues, compared voting records obtained from the Georgia secretary of state’s office with the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. After excluding individuals who moved within 30 days of the general election, Davis “identified nearly 35,000 Georgia voters who indicated they had moved from one Georgia county to another, but then voted in the 2020 general election in the county from which they had moved.”

Trump highlighted this evidence during a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. His election lawyers, he said, noted from that data they “have actually hard numbers” of tens of thousands of votes that were counted illegally, and that with the margin of victory less than 12,000, “that in and of itself is sufficient to change the results or place the outcome in doubt.”

The lawyers explained that they “would like to sit down with your office . . . if you are able to establish that our numbers are not accurate, then fine.” While the secretary of state’s representative indicated he was “happy to get with our lawyers and we’ll set that up,” Cleta Mitchell, one of Trump’s election lawyers, told The Federalist that meeting never happened.

But instead of meeting, according to Mitchell, the day after their call with the secretary of state’s office, lawyers sent Trump’s legal team “a very nasty letter saying they wouldn’t give us any data until we dismissed all pending litigation.” Then, after Trump’s team dismissed the lawsuit following Senate candidate Kelly Loeffler’s withdrawal of her objections to the Georgia electors and asked for the promised meeting to review the data, the secretary of state’s office withdrew the offer, Mitchell told The Federalist.

While Trump’s legal team was unable to either present their evidence in court or secure a meeting with the Georgia secretary of state’s office to compare the data, Davis continued to pursue out-of-county illegal voting. Last year, Davis told The Federalist that in May 2021, he obtained an updated voter database from the secretary of state’s office and compared that data to the NCOA information he had processed in November.

As I reported at the time: “When Davis ran the data, he found that, of the approximately 35,000 Georgians who indicated they had moved from one county to another county more than 30 days before the November general election, as of May, more than 10,300 had updated their voter registration information, providing the secretary of state the exact address they had previously provided to the USPS. Those same 10,000-plus individuals all also cast ballots in the county in which they had previously lived.”

Mitchell, now a senior legal fellow at the Conservative Partnership Institute, told The Federalist that in addition to the individuals who moved out of a county more than 30 days before the election and then voted illegally in their prior county, Trump’s legal team identified an additional 30-plus categories of illegal votes that were wrongly included in the certified totals.

“We never were able to present our evidence to the court, however, because the chief judge of Fulton County, Chris Brasher, failed to appoint a judge eligible to hear the election contest for a month,” Mitchell said.

None of those 30-plus categories involved the Dominion Voting System, claims of counterfeit votes, or ballot harvesting, but concerned specific violations of the Georgia election code. And those numbers far exceeded Biden’s 11,779-vote margin of victory.

Yet the January 6 Committee and their cohorts in the press cast all the challenges to the November 2020 tabulations as crazy conspiracy theories of fraud peddled by Trump to steal the election.

The same anti-Trump media lied about Trump’s telephone call with Raffensperger, falsely telling the country that Trump had “pressured the Georgia Secretary of State’s chief investigator Frances Watson” to “find the fraud,” promising that she would soon be a “national hero.” But two months later, when the transcript of the call was released, it became clear that Trump was speaking of establishing there were 11,780 illegal votes from the various categories identified by his lawyers.

“The fact is we had already found many more illegal votes than the margin (11,779),” Mitchell told The Federalist, “We didn’t need to ‘find’ anything.” “We already knew which votes were illegal and had been included in the certified total,” the election lawyer said, stressing that, under Georgia law, if the “evidence established that there are more illegal or irregular votes than the margin of victory, the remedy is a new election.”

Last July, the secretary of state’s office confirmed to The Federalist that its “investigation into the approximately 35,000 residents who moved from one county to another more than 30 days before the election remain[ed] ongoing.” But follow-up outreaches to Raffensperger and key members of his staff inquiring on the status of the investigation went unanswered.

Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 Committee continues to spin challenges to the November 2020 election as concerning nothing but nonsensical claims of voter fraud. With the corrupt media’s cooperation, the vast majority of Americans may never learn of the systemic violations of election lawillegal voting, and the disparate treatment of voters in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the latter seen most clearly with the infiltration of funding from Mark Zuckerberg to targeted Democratic-heavy populations.

Heck, it’s unlikely most members of Congress know of these systemic problems with our electoral system. But with midterms around the corner and Democrats likely facing a bloodbath, don’t be surprised if left-leaning politicians and their friends in the press discover substantial problems in about five months’ time.

*****

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

ESG: Is This Green Iron-fist Fantasy a Major Cause of Inflation and Economic Destruction?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Is rich people’s greentopian fantasy causing middle-class misery? The answer is yes, according to analysts such as Marlo Oaks, Utah state treasurer, and longtime investment manager. In fact, Oaks says he knows a major reason why increasing fuel prices, which drive up costs across the board, are so high:

Supply is being choked off by “woke” capital investors who favor green dreams over fossil-fuel practicality.

Making his case, the Utah official states that in 2015 there were 59 funds globally among institutional investors that raised $46.6 billion for oil and gas projects. Yet note what happened during the next six years:

By 2021, there were only 11 funds and $4.6 billion raised — a drop of more than 90 percent.

Oaks fingers as the culprit something called ESG. What is ESG? Standing for Environmental, Social, and Governance, it is, technically and ostensibly, “the measurement of the impact (both positive and negative) that a business has on the environment and on society including an assessment of the governance practices (or lack thereof) that impact all stakeholders,” explains Certainty.

But in practice, avers Oaks, it’s not so innocuous. In fact, he states that the only logical explanation for the drastic 2015-2021 fossil-fuel investment collapse is ESG. “People have decided that they do not want to participate in the fossil fuel industry and so are cutting off capital,” he says.

The Utah treasurer made his comments on an edition of Tucker Carlson Today, a relevant excerpt of which was played yesterday evening on Tucker Carlson Tonight. Host Carlson introduced the topic, stating that the idea behind ESG “is to push corporate America left and punish companies that disagree with the orthodoxy.”

One of the entities/people responsible for this — mentioned during the Carlson segment — is multinational investment management corporation BlackRock and its chairman and CEO, billionaire Larry Fink. The New American reported on Fink’s “woke capital” schemes in the February article “Unseen Dark Hand: The Man Who Uses YOUR Money to Make Corporations Go Woke.”

As for Oaks, making the case that ESG is largely responsible for rising prices, he told Carlson:

So if you think about value-based investment strategies, historically there’s been socially responsible investing, yes, and impact investing more recently. So socially responsible investing is really the idea that you avoid certain companies that you don’t want to participate in; so it might be tobacco, firearms, gambling [because they’re contrary to your values].

…Okay, and then on the other side is impact investing, where you’re looking for innovation to solve a problem. So it might be cancer, for example: If you’re worried about cancer or interested in that, you might look for companies to invest in that have innovation that can help solve that problem.

ESG is an outgrowth of socially responsible investing, and instead of just avoiding companies, ESG actively engages with companies and engages with the market to drive a political outcome.

In other words, ESG-oriented puppeteers such as BlackRock don’t just refrain from investing in oil and gas projects, but actually, pressure other companies to not do so.

Carlson then pointed out that because the money used to apply this pressure is in big state retirement funds nationwide — investment funds in which retirees and people on fixed incomes have their money — millions of Americans are unknowingly and inadvertently financing this economic destruction. Oaks agreed, and said:

In fact, today’s inflation really starts with ESG because, if you think about … why gasoline prices are so high, a lot of it is a supply issue. And the reason that we don’t have enough supply in this country, one reason why, is we don’t have enough capital going in to oil and gas projects.

So in 2015 there were 59 funds raised globally among institutional investors; 46.6 billion dollars was raised. Six years later, in 2021, 11 funds were raised — 4.6 billion dollars — a drop of over 90 percent in the face of improving economics in oil and gas. The only explanation … that makes sense is ESG:

People have decided that they do not want to participate in the fossil fuel industry and so are cutting off capital.

There is an active drive, and we’ve heard it from this [Biden] administration, to cut off capital to the fossil fuel industry. It’s very troubling.

Carlson then pointed out that when Oaks says “people have decided,” at issue is really “a very small number of people who make these investment decisions. So it’s not the people who are participating in the fund at the retail level.” It’s puppeteers such as Larry Fink, stated Carlson (video below).

It gets even worse, though, according to Vivek Ramaswamy, founder of Strive Asset Management. Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box last week, he accused massive ESG-oriented entities of an anti-trust violation. Ramaswamy stated that not only do these companies collude in a way that causes rising, budget-busting gasoline prices, but they apply their greentopian standards only to the United States and Europe. Thus are they stifling our energy production to the benefit of foreign corporations such as PetroChina. And what is one of PetroChina’s major shareholders?

BlackRock.

So these woke firms are essentially saying, “ESG for thee, China for me,” states Ramaswamy (video below). Note, too, that China is our world’s biggest polluter by far.

So it’s the spirit of (pre)1776: MASA — Make America Subjugated Again. The only real question is, if these puppeteers were purposely trying to destroy the U.S., what would they do differently?

*****

This article was published by The New American and is reproduced with permission.

Your Misery Is All About Their Power

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

It is a testament to mankind’s enduring optimism, as much as our enduring hubris, that with every generation hope should spring anew that the fundamental forces which have governed our affairs since time immemorial have changed for the better.

After each passing calamity, the majority are once again lulled back into the comforting fantasy that we’ve reached the end of history, that the perennially destructive impulses of vanity, pride, greed, narcissism, cowardice, and inhumanity have been consigned to mere curiosities in our books and historical records, no longer playing any significant role in the decision-making of those with the power to shape our reality and the causes to which they recruit us.

No event in living memory has more thoroughly lain bare the folly of that notion than the response to Covid-19.

At every turn, the story of the world’s response to Covid is the story of power: The perception of it, the exercise of it, the fear of it, the abuse of it, and the pathological lengths to which some will go to obtain it.

During the response to Covid, we witnessed the ability of those who were perceived as having the power to simply make up reality as they went along. They were able to redefine scientific terms, causality, history, and even entire principles of the enlightenment virtually at leisure. More often than not, their narratives made no logical or chronological sense; in many cases, the absurdity was the point.

We were told that a two-month lockdown of one city in China had eliminated Covid from the entire country—but nowhere else—a false syllogism dutifully repeated by our political class for two years.

We were told that the purpose of lockdowns had been to flatten the curve, but also to eliminate the virus, in order to buy time for vaccines for the virus.

We were told that lockdowns in China violated human rights, fractured society, and led to deaths by other causes, but that lockdowns in the west did not.

We were told that outdoor protests spread the virus, unless the protest was for the right cause, in which case it slowed the virus.

We were inundated with reminders that all the myriad harms of lockdowns, from lost education and bankruptcies to drug overdoses and famine—while regrettable—were merely a result of the “pandemic,” and thus outside the control of the leaders who’d ordered the lockdowns.

We were told that “science” was a command to be followed, rather than a process for building and testing knowledge.

We were told that masks were useless and we were bad for procuring them, until we were told that they were mandatory and we were bad for refusing them. This, again, was attributed to a change in “science”—a natural force outside the control of our leaders.

We were told that medical information shared before the “science” had so changed was misinformation to be censored, even if the change in “science” was retroactive.

We were told that national governments, local governments, and private businesses could each impose mandates if they wished, but that no government could revoke a mandate imposed by a local government or private business.

We were told that lockdowns didn’t weaken human rights, our leaders were simply interpreting data differently; but now that we’d had lockdowns, fundamental rights to movement, work, and commerce were contingent on vaccination.

We were told it wasn’t safe for American children to attend school in-person, and that they had to wear masks if they did so attend, but also that it was never unsafe for European children to attend school without masking.

We were told that school closures were good and that opposition to them had to be censored until we were told that school closures had always been bad.

Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

Those in power were able to so whimsically shape our reality because the officials, journalists, judiciaries, citizens, and self-styled intellectuals who were meant to keep power in check were revealed to be little more than sycophants. And they were sycophants so that they could retain some of that power for themselves.

In short, people seek power because other people are sycophants, and people are sycophants because sycophancy is the simplest route to power. This age-old dynamic is what allows those in power to shape reality so free of accountability, scrutiny, or even basic logic. It’s the reason that power has always been fought over with scorched-earth ferocity, and why, in the absence of institutions adequate to keep it in check, power is almost always seized by sociopaths.

To Friedrich Nietzsche, the foundational motivating force behind all human behavior was not so much happiness, or even survival, but instead the will to power—to have one’s will exerted onto existence as one perceived it.

Nietzsche deconstructed preexisting notions of morality into what he termed “master” and “slave” morality, which he distinguished primarily by the motivations behind them. Master morality was motivated by the self-actualization of one’s own virtues and will onto existence.

Slave morality, by contrast, was motivated by limiting the power and self-actualization of others. To Nietzsche, the will to power was itself neither good nor bad, it was simply the fundamental force behind all human actions; but more often than not, human actions were motivated by slave morality.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that, in the process, he does not become a monster himself. Gaze long enough into an abyss, and the abyss will gaze right back into you.” ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886

Perhaps more than any event in history, the response to Covid illustrated Nietzsche’s point that human behavior is not fundamentally motivated by happiness, but instead by the simple will to power—to have one’s will exerted onto one’s perceived existence—and how easy it is to subvert that will toward the petty limitation of others’ self-actualization. Healthy people living their lives normally were demonized not because they were threatening, but because they were self-actualizing in a way that the mob could not.

The unvaccinated were vilified not because they were dangerous, but because they were free. Those questioning these things had to be censored not because their thoughts were wrong, but because they were thinking. Children could not be allowed to grow and live not because it was risky, but because preventing them from living was simply something for the mob to do.

I dare not imagine the living hell that some human beings must experience in their formative years to learn that power can be used to enslave others by motivating them toward the petty limitation of their peers; I would not wish such hell on anyone. Nor did I ever imagine that I would spend two years having to convince people that what’s good for themselves and their loved ones actually is good, but here we are.

I dislike what I witnessed during Covid, particularly what it revealed about the minds of those around me. What I believed were commonly-shared ideals of liberalism, humanity, critical thinking, universal rights, and constitutionalism were revealed to be little more than the modern trappings of sycophancy—fashion statements popular among contemporary elites only to be jettisoned as soon as the rich men who funded their employers, peers, and influencers decided that they were no longer convenient.

We were told that war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. But worst of all, our own friends and peers were told to ostracize and vilify us if we did not do as we were told—and far too often, they did as they were told.

*****

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

What Is Juneteenth to All Americans?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

As the nation celebrates the holiday called Juneteenth, it is only natural to reflect upon the experience and ongoing struggles of African-Americans within the overall American experience. That there is even a Juneteenth to celebrate as a separate day of independence for former slaves is a testament to this. For those still somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of Juneteenth, a short history is perhaps in order. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which decreed that all individuals held as slaves within states in rebellion against the Union were free by Executive mandate. In many places across the South, Union soldiers marched through cities and plantations spreading news of the ostensible freedom now afforded to enslaved peoples. This was a nice enough sentiment, certainly providing a sense of euphoria for the African-Americans – free and enslaved – gathered together in churches and private homes across America for Watch Night services, where they awaited news of the Proclamation. In reality, though, Lincoln’s decree was little more than legerdemain and political theater.

The mandate freed slaves only in states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery still operational in border states loyal to the Union. Moreover, it provided exemptions for Confederate states that had already fallen under Union control. Of course, freedom for those slaves still under the purview of the Confederacy was entirely contingent upon military victory by the North. Enter Texas. Due to a fairly effective blockade, the westernmost state of the Confederacy would not fall under Union control until June 1865. Texas slaveowners knew of Lincoln’s decree; they simply didn’t bother telling their chattel, lest they grow restless and difficult to control. On the nineteenth of the month, some 2,000 Union soldiers under the command of Brig. Gen Gordon Granger marched into Galveston. From the Juneteenth to celebrate as a separate day of independence for former slaves is a testament to this. For those still somewhat unfamiliar with the concept of Juneteenth, a short history is perhaps in order. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which decreed that all individuals were held as slaves within states in rebellion. From the balcony of the former Texas Confederate headquarters, Granger delivered the news that some 250,000 souls held in bondage were now free. Even the most casual student of American history knows that the specter of slavery was not truly gone until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment. But it became a custom within the African-American community – especially in the South – to celebrate June 19, shortened, of course, to Juneteenth.

It should be apparent by now why Juneteenth is important to Blacks in America, but why is it important to everyone else? The great abolitionist, author, and orator Frederick Douglass once asked a similar question regarding the value of Independence Day to those held under the burden of slavery. On July 5, 1852, at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, Douglass delivered his now-famous speech “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” In it, he praised the bravery and wisdom of those who risked their lives to gain independence from their British masters, noting that while this was not the highest virtue, it was a rare and laudable one. Yet, Douglass could not help but observe that the benefits of those virtues did not extend to his kind:

What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence…The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me.

Douglass did not begrudge the freedoms enjoyed by the beneficiaries of the divorce from the British Empire. As an escaped slave, he enjoyed many of those freedoms, if not all. Yet, in this nation, ostensibly conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, “the mournful wail of millions” cried out against their bondage. A celebration of independence was meaningless to those who had little independence to celebrate. Sure, there were some slaves who achieved a level of success and independence. At the dawn of the War of 1812, Kentucky slave Frank McWhorter used the freedom of being “hired out” and allowed to keep a portion of his wages to build a saltpeter factory. With that particular war raging, McWhorter converted the factory into a gunpowder manufactory, enabling him to purchase his wife’s freedom in 1817, and his own in 1819.

This of course, was not the experience of the majority of slaves, and this is why Juneteenth matters. During the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era, in the wake of the Thirteenth Amendment, African-Americans were allowed to vote, own property, seek office, use public accommodations, and otherwise enjoy the privileges of fully enfranchised citizens. Unless one was an indigenous native, (and, to a large degree, a woman) this was the closest the nation had gotten to honoring the proposition that all men are created equal. Yet, when Reconstruction ended, many individual states, especially in the South, became fearful of political and economic gains made by former slaves and their kin, and passed restrictive laws such as the Jim Crow statutes that reduced Blacks to second-class citizens at best. Once again, the promise of equality to all was broken, and that is why Juneteenth matters.

It is not necessary to give here a full history of the African-American experience between June 19, 1865 and the present. Most of us know it, or enough of it to understand many of the things that still divide us. Recently, I had the privilege of reviewing an excellent book by Rachel Ferguson and Marcus Witcher, Black Liberation Through the Marketplace. One of the points they made is that the history of Blacks in America is so vastly different from that of the majority, that it is nearly impossible to fit us within the nation’s political culture. I agree with that assessment, and yet we are all Americans. I have relatives still alive who tell stories of living under the glare of segregation. And while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 put an end to de jure segregation in the United States, de facto segregation remained.

For instance, public schools were not integrated in my birth state of Florida until 1970. I was born a scant five years later. I have cousins a decade or so older who remember the first time they entered a classroom with new classmates who did not look like them. This is why Juneteenth matters. It is taken as given among classical liberal thinkers that while we may differ in talent, ability and motivation, all of us are born inherently possessed of certain natural rights which should be protected in equal measure for all. Of course I agree with this, but historically, America has not. It was only in 1967 that Loving v. Virginia afforded the right for couples of mixed races to marry without government interference. The very right to love whom one wished to was proscribed until only 55 years ago, which is eight years longer than I have been alive. This is why Juneteenth matters.

Even now, African-Americans are roughly seven times more likely to be approached by police on suspicion of a crime, six times more likely to be arrested, and seven times more likely to be convicted. Some may wish to quibble bias at this, and there are certainly arguments to be had over the role of personal choice vs public policy, but that is for another time and place. What is relevant here is that the cost of this is not borne by the African-American community, as the Institute for Advancing Justice Research and Innovation estimates that the carceral state imposes an aggregate burden on taxpayers of over $1 trillion per year. Once again, this is why Juneteenth matters, and not just to me and my fellow African-Americans.

America is a promise, one that has yet to be met. As July 4 commemorates the initiation of that promise, Juneteenth commemorates the work yet to be done, reminding us all that there are still miles to go before we sleep. Douglass would no doubt agree, likely observing now as he did then:

The far off and almost fabulous Pacific rolls in grandeur at our feet. The Celestial Empire, the mystery of ages, is being solved. The fiat of the Almighty, “Let there be Light,” has not yet spent its force. No abuse, no outrage whether in taste, sport or avarice, can now hide itself from the all-pervading light.

This is what, to all Americans, is Juneteenth.

*****

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