3 Top Democrats Who Celebrated Or Denied Leftist Street Violence Get Big Bucks From Hypocrites In Corporate America

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

If these sanctimonious organizations truly believe in law and order, where were they when leftists burned down our cities?

While corporate donors fund Democratic members of Congress who have signaled their approval for violence so long as it is heralded by leftist groups Antifa and Black Lives Matter, they hypocritically threaten to yank funding from the 147 Republicans who voted not to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

As cities burned across the country this past year, many top Democrats did not condemn the rioting and looting, or merely brushed it off as “mostly peaceful.” This narrative was likewise promoted on CNN and MSNBC, as reporters stood among fiery streets and lied to our faces about the violence in the name of social justice.

Judicial Watch Sues Capitol Police for Riot Emails, Video

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police seeking for emails and videos concerning the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 (Judicial Watch v. United States Capitol Police (No. 1:21-cv-00401)). 

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit under the common law right of access to public records after the Capitol Police refused to provide any records in response to a January 21, 2021 request for: 

  • Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021.
  • Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021through January 10, 2021.
  • All video footage from within the Capitol between 12 pm and 9 pm on January 6, 2021 

Congress exempts itself from the Freedom of Information Act, and the Capitol Police declined to produce any records about the riot to Judicial Watch, writing in a February 11, 2021, letter that the requested emails and videos are not “public records.” 

“The public has a right to know about how Congress handled security and what all the videos show of the US Capitol riot,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “What are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer trying to hide from the American people?”

*****

Judicial Watch issued this announcement on February 16, 2021. 

 

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

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

 

Will France Save Us Again?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

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

*****

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

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

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*****

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

The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

The New York Times has published a “fact check“ by Linda Qui declaring that Donald Trump’s lawyers “made a number of inaccurate or misleading claims” during the Senate impeachment trial. In reality, much of the article consists of flagrant falsehoods propagated by Qui and the Times.

“Inciting Violence”

With regard to Trump’s speech on the day of the Capitol Hill riot, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said: “Far from promoting insurrection against the United States, the president’s remarks explicitly encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights peacefully and patriotically.”

That statement is demonstrably true, as the transcript of the speech shows that Trump asked his supporters to go “to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Qui, however, alleges that his attorney’s statement “is exaggerated” because Trump “used the phrase ‘peacefully and patriotically’ once in his speech, compared with 20 uses of the word ‘fight’.”

Qui’s argument presumes that Trump used the word “fight” to denote physical violence. This mimics the Democrat’s impeachment resolution, which declares that Trump is guilty of “inciting violence” because he said in his speech: “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

However, both Qui and the Democrats are quoting Trump out of context. The transcript shows that Trump never called for violence or even vaguely implied that. In fact, it is glaringly obvious that he was talking about legal and verbal fighting. To wit, 10 of the 20 times in which Trump used the word “fight” are found in these statements:

  • Rudy Giuliani has “guts, he fights. He fights.”
  • “Jim Jordan, and some of these guys. They’re out there fighting the House.”
  • “If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight. You primary them.”
  • “The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation. But it used to be that they’d argue with me, I’d fight. So I’d fight, they’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. … They had their point of view, I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called suppression. And that’s what happens in a communist country.”

Highlighting the duplicity of those who claim that Trump’s use of the word “fight” amounts to incitement, Trump’s attorneys showed video footage of numerous Congressional Democrats using the word “fight” more than 200 times, including more than a dozen times in which they used the exact phrase for which they impeached Trump: “fight like hell.”

Antifa Involvement in the Capitol Hill Riot

Speaking about the Capitol Hill riot, van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was a leader of antifa.” Qui begins her critique of this statement by changing the word “a” so that it becomes “the.” Thus, she claims that van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was the leader of antifa.” Qui then writes:

This is misleading. Mr. van der Veen was most likely referring to John E. Sullivan, a Utah man who was charged on Jan. 14 with violent entry and disorderly conduct. Mr. Sullivan, an activist, said he was there to film the siege. He had previously referred to antifa—a loosely affiliated group of antifascist activists that has no leader—on social media, but he has repeatedly denied being a member of the movement. The F.B.I. has said there is no evidence that supporters of the antifa movement had participated in the Capitol siege.

Those four sentences contain five elements of deceit:

  • Sullivan’s claim that he was in the Capitol only to film the riot is flatly disproven by video footage that shows him breaking a window, calling for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, and celebrating the riot with an accomplice.
  • Qui neglected to reveal that Sullivan was also charged with “interfering with law enforcement.”
  • a) Sullivan’s denials of involvement with antifa are implausible given that he:
    was the leader of a group called “Insurgence USA,” which sold “black bloc” tactical gear (often used by Antifa) and rubber pigs (carried by Antifa to mock police officers).
    b) threatened to physically rip Trump out of the White House in accord with antifa’s mission to use violence against people they deem to be “fascists” (this explicitly includes Trump, his supporters, all police officers, and anyone who stands in the way of their self-described “radical left-wing” agenda).
    c) organized an event called “Kick These Fascists Out of DC.”
  • Qui parrots the propaganda of antifa by reporting that they are “antifascist activists,” even though they embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism, including but not limited to:
    a) using “determined youths, armed, dressed in black shirts and organized in military fashion” to fight in the streets (Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals).
    b) leftist economic policies like a “strong progressive tax” on businesses, heavy unionization, a minimum wage, and government control of industries (Mussolini’s Fascist Manifesto).
    c) the suppression of “all criticism or opposition” (Cambridge Dictionary).
  • Qui’s claim that the FBI found no involvement by antifa in the Capitol Hill riot is outdated and out of context. Two days after the riot, an FBI official was asked about antifa involvement, and he replied “we have no indication of that at this time.” Five days after that, the FBI filed an affidavit for the arrest of Sullivan.

In short, Qui turned the truth about every major aspect of this matter on its head.

Georgia’s Absentee Ballots

Regarding Trump’s statements about electoral fraud, Trump attorney Bruce Castor stated: “Based on an analysis of publicly available voter data, the ballot rejection rate in Georgia in 2016 was approximately 6.42%. And even though a tremendous amount of new first-time mail-in ballots were included in the 2020 count, the Georgia rejection rate in 2020 was a mere four-tenths of one percent. A drop-off from 6.42% to 0.4%.”

Once again, Qui attempts to refute a statement that is entirely true. She does this by alleging:

Georgia elections officials have repeatedly debunked this claim, which conflates the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in 2016 to the rejection rate specifically for signature mismatch in 2020. (Ballots can also be rejected for arriving late or not having a signature, among other reasons.)

In 2016, Georgia rejected about 6.4 percent of all returned mail-in ballots and 0.24 percent of those ballots because of signature-matching issues. It is unclear what the 0.4 percent refers to, but in both 2018 and 2020, Georgia rejected 0.15 percent of mail-in ballots because of signature-matching issues.

To the contrary, it is abundantly clear what the 0.4% refers to: the overall rejection rate—just as Castor said. Ballotpedia details the components of this 0.4% figure as follows:

This total was calculated by adding all accepted absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (1,327,126) with the total number of rejected absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (4,602) and dividing the total number of rejected ballots by the sum.

As of Jan. 7, 2021, the Nov. 3, 2020, absentee voter file provided by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office was last updated Nov. 16, 2020. Following communication with the Secretary of State’s office, there are no plans to update the file further and any such updates, were they to occur, would take place on an ad hoc basis.

Using raw data from Georgia’s Secretary of State, Just Facts confirmed Ballotpedia’s work and calculated a rejection rate of 0.35% in 2020.

That said, the rejection rate of 6.4% in 2016—used by Castor, Qui, and Ballotpedia—comes from a secondary source (the U.S. Election Assistance Commission) that appears to be inconsistent with the primary source (Georgia’s Secretary of State). Ballotpedia mentions this discrepancy in a footnote and calculates a rejection rate of 2.9% in 2016 using the primary source data. Just Facts confirms that these calculations are accurate.

Regardless of whether Georgia’s 2016 mail-in ballot rejection rate was 6.4% or 2.9%, the 0.35% rejection rate in 2020 was at least 88% lower. This means that if Georgia had the same rejection rate in 2020 as in 2016, at least 34,000 fewer absentee ballots would have been cast. In comparison, Joe Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia was 11,779 votes.

Georgia’s Signature Audit

With further regard to potential fraud in Georgia’s election, Castor said: “President Trump wanted the signature verification to be done in public. How can a request for signature verifications to be done in public be a basis for a charge for inciting a riot?”

Qui attacked that truthful statement with the following barrage of misinformation:

This is misleading. Contrary to Mr. Trump’s belief and Mr. Castor’s repetition of it, Georgia does verify signatures. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state noted that the state trained officials on signature matching and created a portal that checked and confirmed voters’ driver’s licenses. In a news conference last month debunking Mr. Trump’s claims, Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, explained that the secretary of state’s office also brought in signature experts to check over 15,000 ballots. They discovered issues with two, and after further examination, concluded that they were legitimate.

Neither Castor nor Trump said that Georgia doesn’t verify signatures. Instead, Trump questioned the integrity of the signature verification process in Fulton County, Georgia. This county is a Democratic Party stronghold with an extensive history of corruption.

Moreover, the signature match of more than 15,000 ballots that Qui characterized as “debunking Mr. Trump’s claims” does nothing of the sort. This is because it was performed in Cobb County, not Fulton County. Trump directly addressed this matter in his speech on the day of the riot:

We’ve been trying to get verifications of signatures in Fulton County. They won’t let us do it. The only reason they won’t is because we’ll find things in the hundreds of thousands. Why wouldn’t they let us verify signatures in Fulton County? Which is known for being very corrupt. They won’t do it. They go to some other county where you would live. I said, “That’s not the problem. The problem is Fulton County.”

Summary

In direct contradiction to a so-called “fact check” by Linda Qui of the New York Times, genuine facts prove the following about the circumstances surrounding Trump’s impeachment trial:

  • On the day of the Capitol Hill riot, President Trump explicitly encouraged his supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically.”
  • In the same speech, Trump told his supporters to “fight” legally and verbally, not physically.
  • An antifa leader was arrested for participating in the Capitol Hill riot, during which he called for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, broke a window, interfered with police, and celebrated the riot with an accomplice.
  • Antifa activists, who claim to be “antifascist,” embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism.
  • In Georgia, the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in the 2020 election was 0.35%, or at least 88% lower than in the 2016 election.
  • Despite repeated requests by Trump, a signature audit of mail-in ballots has not been performed in Fulton County—a Democratic Party stronghold with an extensive history of corruption.

The points above don’t address every falsehood in the fact check, but they reveal a pattern of brazen dishonesty and/or incompetence by the Times.

*****

This article first appeared in Just Facts on February 17, 2021 and is reproduced with permission from the author.

Six Principles for State Legislators Seeking to Protect Free Speech on Social Media Platforms

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Political free speech in the United States is under attack. Tech media giants who own and control virtually all social media platforms available to Americans are working together to silence groups with whom they do not agree.

In just the past year, large, multi-billion-dollar, multinational corporations—including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Twitter—prevented a sitting president from communicating directly with the American people. Members of Congress have been banned from communicating with their constituents. Newspapers were stopped from providing important reports about election topics. And perhaps worst of all, everyday Americans have regularly been blocked from sharing their own political views with friends and family on popular social media platforms.

Confronted with these assaults on speech, the founders of Parler listened to big-tech apologists who endlessly told conservatives, “If you don’t like it, you can go build your own platform,” and built their own social media business. But after experiencing monumental growth by promising to be a bastion for free speech, big-tech companies crushed Parler, shutting the entire platform down. As of this writing, it remains unclear whether Parler will return.

When Congress passed the Communications Decency Act (CDA) in 1996, which created the now-infamous Section 230 statute that big-tech companies use as a justification to silence speech, America’s powerful big-tech cartel did not exist. The internet was much more democratized than it is today.

At the time Congress passed CDA, it explicitly found that the internet played a crucial role in empowering people to share their views without censorship, including political views. Congress also made clear that it believed users should control for themselves the information they do and do not wish to receive and share. In fact, Congress explicitly stated that Section 230 was designed to preserve open political discourse and to encourage internet platforms to continue providing uncensored political speech—not to suppress it.

However, the rise of the present big-tech cartel has destroyed the internet as it existed in 1996. Even those who have long been defenders of giving companies great leeway in determining how they control their businesses and property, including libertarian icon Ron Paul, are now warning against, in Paul’s words, the “social media purges” conducted by large technology corporations.

Paul has rightfully said these “purges” are “shocking and chilling,” and that a nefarious marriage between massive tech companies and the government has formed that regularly restricts political speech and suppresses dissent.

“Those who continue to argue that the social media companies are purely private ventures acting independently of U.S. government interests are ignoring reality,” Paul said.

Free speech is the central tenet of any representative form of government, and it is far too important to allow a cartel of multinational corporations to attack and restrict it while intellectuals discuss and debate how market forces might somehow, someday, someway find a strategy to penetrate the government-protected tech cartel that now operates in a system that is anything but a free market. The situation has been made even more difficult because government works hand-in-hand with the tech cartel, grants market-inhibiting advantages and protections through corporate law, and provides additional market-inhibiting protections through the misapplication of Section 230.

Currently, the internet is a ubiquitous and extremely powerful means of shaping and potentially repressing free speech, political discourse, individual rights, the outcomes of elections, and a host of other important political activities. Multinational tech giants currently block Americans from utilizing the internet to discuss many important topics, including irregularities in election vote-counting, COVID-19 medications that could save thousands of lives, and self-contradictory statements issued by the World Health Organization.

The Heartland Institute believes in finding and promoting free-market solutions to social and economic problems. That means that in the vast majority of cases, we believe the fewer regulations and restraints on businesses, the better. Everyone prospers in a truly free-market system. However, tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, and Google are not the products of a free market. They arose in large part because of market-corrupting government favoritism and legal protections, and they have exploited those advantages to suppress political free speech. When such a cartel of multinational corporations works in concert to suppress individual rights, champions of free speech and human rights must avail themselves of all means advisable and necessary to protect Americans’ most basic liberties.

To read the rest of this article click here.

*****

This article first appeared at Heartland Institute on February 5, 2021 and is republished by permission.

Troop Deployments in Washington Are a Disaster Waiting to Happen

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Tyranny in form is the first step towards tyranny in substance,” warned Senator John Taylor two hundred years ago in his forgotten classic, Tyranny Unmasked. As the massive National Guard troop deployment in Washington enters its second month, much of the media and many members of Congress are thrilled that it will extend until at least mid-March. But Americans would be wise to recognize the growing perils of the militarization of American political disputes.

The military occupation of Washington was prompted by the January 6 clashes at the Capitol between Trump supporters and law enforcement, in which three people (including one Capitol policeman) died as a result of the violence. Roughly eight hundred protestors and others unlawfully entered the Capitol, though many of them entered nonviolently through open doors, and most left without incident hours later.

The federal government responded by deploying twenty-five thousand National Guard troops to prevent problems during President Joe Biden’s swearing-in—the first inauguration since 1865 featuring the capital city packed with armed soldiers. Protests were almost completely banned in Washington for the inauguration.

Instead of ending after the muted inauguration celebration, the troop deployment was extended for the Senate impeachment trial. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) declared, “So long as Donald Trump is empowered by Senate Republicans, there is still the chance that he is going to incite another attempt at the Capitol.” But the Senate vote on Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) motion labeling the trial as unconstitutional signaled that the trial will be anticlimactic because Trump is unlikely to be convicted. The actual trial may be little more than a series of pratfalls, alternating between histrionic Democratic House members and wild-swinging, table-pounding Trump lawyers. A pointless deluge of political vitriol will make a mockery of Biden’s calls for national unity.

Then the troop deployment was extended into at least mid-March because of unidentified threats made to members of Congress. Acting Army Secretary John Whitley announced last week: “There are several upcoming events—we don’t know what they are—over the next several weeks, and they’re concerned that there could be situations where there are lawful protests, First Amendment-protected protests, that could either be used by malicious actors, or other problems that could emerge.”

“We don’t know what they are” but somebody heard something somewhere, so the military deployment will continue. Threats have occurred in waves toward members of Congress at least since the farm crisis of the 1980s, but prior menacing did not result in the occupation of the capital city.

Perpetuating the troop deployment is also being justified by melodramatic revisionism. In congressional testimony last week, Capitol Police acting chief Yogananda Pittman described the January 6 clash at the Capitol as “a terrorist attack by tens of thousands of insurrectionists.” Apparently, anyone who tromped from the scene of Trump’s ludicrous “I won by a landslide” spiel to the Capitol was a terrorist, or at least an “insurrectionist” (which is simply “terrorist” spelled with more letters). Is “walking on the Mall with bad thoughts” sufficient to get classified as a terrorist in the Biden era?

Placing thousands of troops on the streets of the nation’s capital could be a ticking time bomb. The longer the National Guard is deployed in Washington, the greater the peril of a Kent State–caliber catastrophe. The Ohio National Guard’s volley of fire in 1970 that killed four students and wounded nine others was a defining moment for the Vietnam era.

Forty years later, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published an investigation of the Kent State shooting based on new analyses of audio recordings from the scene. The Plain Dealer concluded that an FBI informant who was photographing student protestors fired four shots from his .38-caliber revolver after students began threatening him. That gunfire started barely a minute before the Ohio National Guard opened fire. Gunshots from the FBI informant apparently spooked guard commanders into believing they were taking sniper fire, spurring the order to shoot students. The informant denied having fired, but witnesses testified differently. (The FBI hustled the informant from the scene and he later became an undercover narcotics cop in Washington, DC.) Though there is no evidence that the FBI sought to provoke carnage at Kent State, FBI agents involved in COINTELPRO (the Counterintelligence Program) in the 1960s and 1970s boasted of “false flag” operations which provoked killings.

If some malicious group wanted to plunge this nation into chaos and fear, National Guard troops at a checkpoint would be an easy target—at least for the first moments after they were fired upon (most of the troops do not have ammo magazines in their rifles). The sweeping reaction to January 6 might be far surpassed if troops are gunned down regardless of whether the culprits were right-wing extremists, Antifa, or foreign infiltrators. An attack on the troops would likely perpetuate the military occupation and potentially spur Biden to declare martial law.

Last spring, when riots erupted after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, President Trump warned that “the Federal Government will step in and do what has to be done, and that includes using the unlimited power of our Military and many arrests.” Many activists were justifiably appalled at the specter of Trump seizing dictatorial power over areas wracked by violent protests. But the danger remains regardless of who is president.

Martial law is the ultimate revocation of constitutional rights: anyone who disobeys soldiers’ orders can be shot. There are plenty of malevolent actors here and abroad who would relish seeing martial law declared in Washington, the paramount disgrace for the world’s proudest democracy.

Unfortunately, Biden would have plenty of support initially if he proclaimed that violence in Washington required him to declare martial law. As the Washington Post noted in 2018, a public opinion poll showed that 25 percent of Americans believed “a military takeover was justified if there were widespread corruption or crime.” The Journal of Democracy reported that polls showed that only 19 percent of Millennials in the US believed that it would be illegitimate “in a democracy for the military to take over when the government is incompetent or failing to do its job.” But trusting to military rule for Millennial wish fulfillment would be the biggest folly of them all. Support for martial law is the ultimate proof of declining political literacy in this nation.

Regardless of the risks, some politicians are clinging to the presence of the troops in Washington like Linus clutching his “security blanket” in a Peanuts cartoon. Will we now see regular alarms from a long series of politicians and political appointees working to “keep up the fear”?

History is littered with stories of nations scourged by “temporary” martial law that perpetuated itself. Anyone who believes America is immune should recall Senator Taylor’s 1821 warning against presuming “our good theoretical system of government is a sufficient security against actual tyranny.”

*****

This article first appeared on Mises Wire, on February 10, 2021, and is reproduced with permission granted by the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Democrats’ Hypocrisy on Political Violence Runs Deep

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

There is a reason Republicans don’t wear t-shirts emblazoned with the image of Augusto Pinochet, but Democrats do wear shirts emblazoned with the image of Che Guevara.

After the Civil War, the Democratic Party (with the notable exception of the Ku Klux Klan) had renounced employing domestic terrorism, armed insurrection, and political violence as tools for advancing their agenda. This nearly unanimous bipartisan consensus between Republicans and Democrats prevailed for around 100 years, throughout syndicalists and anarchists bombings and assassinations, including of President William McKinley. It prevailed up through the Puerto Rican nationalists’ 1950 assassination attempt on President Harry Truman, which claimed the life of White House Police Officer Leslie Coffelt; and the 1954 attack in the U.S. House Chamber, which wounded five representatives, including the Hon. Alvin Barkley (R-Mich.).

In each instance, the overwhelming majority of the country supported the convictions under law of these terrorists. And, of course, the same was true with regard to the perpetrators of the political violence that took the lives of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Kennedy brothers.

But as the Baby Boomers came of age and the Vietnam War raged, the consensus regarding political violence, armed insurrection, and domestic terrorism began to change. While the overwhelming majority of anti-war protestors were non-violent, there emerged a group of leftist domestic terrorists and violent insurrectionists—many of them the privileged spawn of well-to-do parents—bent upon the violent overthrow of the U.S. government, which they deemed a fascistic, imperialistic empire.

Inured with a sense of entitlement and purblind by the false “revelations” of their communistic ideology, they used the war as justification for pursuing their political goals by any means they considered expedient—including armed robbery, bombings, and murder. Many of the members of left-wing domestic terrorist organizations—like the Weather Underground (which bombed a police station, the Pentagon, and the Capitol) and the May 19th communist organization (which also bombed the Capitol)—were arrested and convicted; others beat the rap due to the authorities violating laws protecting defendants’ rights, which are not usually found in fascistic, imperialistic empires.

Excusing, Condoning, Rewarding

In the aftermath of America’s involvement in Vietnam, the public soul-searching over issues related to the unpopular conflict, such as war crimes, the status of draft dodgers, and the rectitude of deferments, resulted in a collective moral lassitude. America wanted to move on from the Vietnam War, and the personal, familial, and national conflicts it created. And few had more reasons to want the past forgotten or rewritten than America’s domestic terrorists, armed insurrectionists, and other practitioners of political violence.

The first harbinger of the reality that these domestic terrorists and armed insurrectionists could evade the full—or, in some cases, any—punishment for their crimes occurred when President Jimmy Carter (who also granted clemency to draft dodgers) pardoned the four Puerto Rican nationalists who had wounded five U.S. Representatives in the House chamber. It was a precedent for pardoning domestic terrorists that was followed by both of his Democratic successors—Bill Clinton, who commuted the sentence for explosives and weapons of Susan Rosenberg; and Barack Obama, who commuted the sentence for seditious conspiracy, attempted robbery, explosives, and vehicle theft of Oscar Lopez Rivera.

This was a critical step in the Democratic Party’s capitulation to the radical Left’s support—excusing, condoning, and ultimately rewarding political violence and domestic terrorism…..

*****

Continue reading this article published on February 5, 2021 at American Greatness.