California Ban On Standard-Capacity Gun Magazines Overturned

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors Note: For years, the progressive clarion call has been to “follow California.” From auto emissions, treatment of the homeless, criminal enforcement or lack thereof, to gun policy, our oversized state has provided a swagger and arrogance coupled with its immense economic power, to change the political debate. However, overreach has now become a huge problem as well as public demonstration of failed policy. Now it seems that the new mantra needs to be “avoid becoming like California.” The controversy over “high capacity” and “semi-automatic weapons of war” is relatively new, but the weapons are not. Pictured above is a Mauser C96 “broom handle” that even came with a controversial “pistol brace.” When was this gun made available? It first appeared in 1896, 127 years ago. Clearly, guns have not changed. It is our people that have changed.

Federal judge Roger Benitez overturned California’s ban on standard-sized ammunition magazines, with California Attorney General Rob Bonta filing an immediate notice of appeal. The injunction on the ban will be stayed for 10 days, which means that the ban’s overturn will likely not take effect as the decision is appealed.

“Unless we enshrine a Right to Safety in the Constitution, we are at the mercy of ideologues like Judge Benitez,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom in a public statement responding to the decision. “This is exactly why I’ve called for a Constitutional amendment, and this is why I’ll keep fighting to defend our right to protect ourselves from gun violence.”

Standard-capacity magazines have been illegal to manufacture, import, keep, or offer for sale, give, or lend since 2000, and illegal to purchase or receive in any way since 2013. Proposition 64, passed by California voters in 2016, made it illegal to possess even legally acquired standard-capacity magazines with more than 10 rounds under the rationale such a measure would limit mass shootings. Anyone who did not turn in their standard-capacity magazines by July 1, 2017, could have faced up to a year in prison before an earlier injunction by Benitez. The most popular firearm sold in 2022, a Sig Sauer P320 pistol, comes with a 15-round magazine except where otherwise limited, such as in California. 

“There is no American history or tradition of regulating firearms based on the number of rounds they can shoot, or of regulating the amount of ammunition that can be kept and carried,” wrote Benitez in his latest ruling.

Benitez first struck down Proposition 63’s rule in June 2017 right before enforcement began, noting only six mass shootings between 2006 and 2013 used the banned magazines, and that “entitlement to enjoy Second Amendment rights and just compensation is not eliminated simply because they possess ‘unpopular’ magazines holding more than 10 rounds.” In 2018, a 2-1 panel of the Ninth Circuit Court affirmed Benitez’s ruling on the confiscations.

In 2019, Benitez ruled against the ban on the acquisition of standard-capacity magazines, citing varying outcomes of women’s self-defense cases where having additional bullets made the difference between life and death. This decision was upheld in a 2020 panel of the Ninth Circuit Court, then overturned by an en banc decision of the same court in 2021. The United States Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit Court’s en banc decision in 2022 and remanded it back to Benitez for a new decision. Benitez’s latest ruling, if upheld in the appeals process, could allow for the resumption of the legal sale of standard-capacity magazines in California.


This article was published The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Desperate Governors Beg For Offshore Wind Cost Relief

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Six Atlantic shore Governors are begging the Feds to bail them out of a huge looming offshore wind cost overrun. They sent Biden a joint letter asking for a list of relief measures ranging from tax breaks to revenue sharing.

The outcome is far from clear but my guess is the largess is unlikely to appear, especially given the ongoing federal budget battles. Maybe later. However most of the requests also likely require major regulatory changes, which could take years. They might even take legislation which could be never.

But the need is urgent as the offshore developers are demanding immediate power price increases of around 50% lest they leave for better opportunities elsewhere. They can do this because offshore wind is a global boom. Even mid-income developing countries like Indonesia are talking big offshore numbers.

Ironically, it is this boom that is driving some of the sticker-shocking price increases. There is even a shortage of highly specialized crane ships to erect these huge towers. The supply chain is a seller’s market, at least on paper. Rising interest rates are another big driver.

The letter is pretty vague, but there are basically three kinds of federal relief requested. These are tax credits, revenue sharing, and streamlined permitting. I am sure there is lots of lobbying going on by the developers, as well as the Governors. Unfortunately, it is all secret so the specific issues are well hidden, making the following brief analysis somewhat speculative.

The letter is here:

There look to be two tax credit issues. The first, which the IRS might actually be able to do something about, involves the definition of the renewable energy project that gets the investment tax credits. At present, probably only the generating assembly counts. This likely includes the tower and monopile foundation as well as the turbine generator and enormous blades.

But it may not include the extensive undersea connector cabling, the massive offshore substations, the huge export cabling, and the costly onshore transmission upgrades. These system components make up a sizable fraction of the project cost.

The second issue is the bonus tax credits awarded under the so-called Inflation Reduction Act. This is a 10% credit bump that developers get if they meet certain domestic content specs. Offshore wind already gets a big break under IRA because their content requirement is just half that of all other renewable projects.

As far as I can tell, they want the presently measly requirement to be even less. This is likely because most of the components come from overseas. America has very little specialized offshore component production capability since we have never built any here. Building this kind of industrial capacity will take a long time.

However, since the specific domestic component requirements are in the law, the IRS may have very little leeway, and what they have should require rulemaking. How this works out will be very interesting to watch. It might take legislation, which is uncertain, to say the least.

On revenue sharing, the States want a piece of the billions of dollars developers are paying the Feds in offshore site lease payments. Single sites have paid over a billion. Some sites are at least partially within State waters, but most are not.

Here the question is why taxpayers in, say, Wyoming should, in effect, pay to lower electricity bills in New Jersey? The agency in charge of offshore leasing is the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the Interior Dept. They are gung ho for offshore wind, so might not mind sharing revenue if it keeps the project coming.

I have no idea what the legalities are here except they are likely to be complex. BOEM has been doing offshore oil and gas leasing in the Gulf for a long time, so there should be a big body of law to deal with.

Who gets how much is an interesting question, especially for projects set to sell juice to several States. Plus, the States expect to sell some to other States. Given that many of the power purchase contracts at issue are with utilities, not States, maybe they should get the money.

For that matter, if this revenue sharing happened, the Gulf states might want a piece of the oil and gas action. None of this is simple, for sure. (Aside: maybe the Feds should collect royalties on the harvested wind power, like the 18.75% they get on offshore oil production.)

As for speeding up permitting, that is already a hot topic in Congress, but there is no consensus on what it even means, much less how to do it. I think BOEM is already going as fast as it can, ignoring many issues in the process, such as whale deaths. And, of course, the Biden Executive Branch cannot speed up the Judiciary, where a lot of the project delay lies in litigation.

In short, this seemingly simple letter is pointed at some really hairy issues. The talks are going on in secret, and I have yet to see any detailed analysis of the potential policies and ramifications thereof. If the fate of Atlantic offshore wind really depends on taking these hairy steps, then we are in “Nobody knows land” for sure. This cannot be good from the investment point of view so more stocks may drop.

Stay tuned to CFACT to see how this wacky offshore drama plays out. It might be a while.


This article was published by CFACT, The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


A Noted Physician Advocates COVID Civil Disobedience

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Famously, at the start of his 1849 essay, “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience,” Henry David Thoreau observed, “That government is best which governs least.”

Few policymakers or politicians during COVID were influenced by Thoreau, who also pointed out that “government never furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got of its way.”  Did government mandates and lockdowns make us safer or less safe during COVID? Healthier or less healthy?

Thoreau defined the “right of revolution” as “the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.”

Dr. Vinay Prasad is a practicing oncologist and a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. He is one of the foremost practitioners of evidence-based medicine in the world. He believes the time has come to “refuse allegiance” and “resist” the COVID bureaucracy, which resorts to lies

To those who justify irrational policies such as masking a toddler, Prasad writes, “Just because things are bad, or the disease is worse than the intervention, doesn’t mean the intervention helps, or should be done.” Prasad is bringing Frédéric Bastiat’s classic idea to medicine: Do not ignore consequences.

Prasad has become increasingly disturbed at policies made for political, not medical, reasons. Recently, responding to a report that N-95 masks are being mandated for children enrolled at a Montgomery County school, in Maryland (a suburb of DC), Prasad wrote, “Only non-violent resistance can halt irrational public health actors.” At this point, note that the original title of Thoreau’s essay was “Resistance to Civil Government.”

The following are the forms of non-violent resistance Prasad recommends: Even if you or your child are sick, do not test for COVID. Send your child back to school when he is well enough. “Stop reporting these illnesses” to schools and employers. “Complain to your employer about any mandates.”  “Decline any further COVID-19 vaccination, unless RCTs [randomized controlled trials] show benefit in your age group.”

In short, ignore authorities; they don’t have your best interests in mind. Prasad adds that this resistance “is the only logical course left… It’s time to go dark with all COVID data. If enough people don’t participate, the irrationality will stop. Eventually.”

If Prasad had advocated this in 2020 or 2021, he may have found his board certification subject to disciplinary hearings. But this is 2023, and despite censorship, evidence is mounting, and the intellectual climate is changing.

Isn’t all medicine evidence-based medicine? Dr Prasad would answer, if only. In 2015, with his colleague Dr. Adam Cifu, Prasad wrote Ending Medical Reversal. Prasad and Cifu observed:

Medicine is the application of science. When a scientific theory is disproved, it should happen in a lab or in the equivalent place in clinical science, the controlled clinical trial. It should not be disproved in the world of clinical medicine, where millions of people may have already been exposed to an ineffective, or perhaps even harmful, treatment.

In their book, Prasad and Cifu wrote, “Each of us recalls moments when we realized that what we had told our patients, or did for them, was wrong: We had promoted an accepted practice that was, at best, ineffective.” Notice the use of the qualifier “at best,” as often interventions are harmful.

Prasad and Cifu estimated “as much as 40 percent of the things doctors do are ineffective.” They give many examples, such as estrogen replacement for postmenopausal women and medical procedures such as “stenting open coronary lesions in people with stable angina.”

If you watch television, you have probably seen the incessant Pfizer ads promoting their COVID treatment drug, Paxlovid. Yet, Dr. Prasad tells us, that despite the Biden administration’s pushing and subsidizing the drug, there is little evidence that the drug works.

Even without cronyism showing the way, ineffective and dangerous drugs are not uncommon in the annals of medicine. Until 1992, the drug flecainide was part of the standard of care to stabilize patients with irregular heart rhythms. Prasad and Cifu reported, “a large study called the Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (or CAST trial) showed that flecainide, as well as a similar drug, decreased PVCs as expected but also increased patients’ chance of dying.” (emphasis added.)

Prasad and Cifu drew the essential conclusion that “even the most careful reasoning and the best scientific models do not guarantee an effective clinical treatment. What works in the lab, or on a computer, or in the head of the smartest researcher does not always work in a patient.” 

Yet Prasad and Cifu acknowledge, “this is a lesson that many physicians and leading researchers still have not really learned.” Lack of learning contributed mightily to the devastating policy errors during COVID. 

Writing years before COVID, Prasad and Cifu observed, “What has happened in medicine is that the hypothesized treatment is often instituted in millions of people, and billions of dollars are spent, before adequate research is done.” During the pandemic, necessary economic tripwires were disabled when vaccine manufacturers were indemnified from liability for harm caused by their products.

Prasad and Cifu provide timeless insights into why ineffective and dangerous treatments persist without “a strong evidence base.” They observe, “The weak evidence base is often ignored because of doctors’ faith in mechanistic explanations or studies that were designed to be deceptive by industry.”

Prasad and Cifu described the “act now, data later” mindset so common in medicine and in life today: “We have a problem; we need a solution. We hear the mantra every day. We need to solve this problem now. Ten minutes ago. Yesterday. It is not just in medicine but everywhere.”  This mindset, adopted by millions of Americans, is behind every ill-conceived practice instituted during COVID and also behind the increasingly destructive rush to “green energy.”

Reversing errors is not easy. Prasad and Cifu explained,

It is very hard to accept evidence that something you have done for patients, something that you truly believed was beneficial, is not useful. The evidence is even harder to accept when you have been well compensated for your work. Because of this, acceptance of medical reversals is never easy and opposition to them is usually passionate.

Thus, the medical administrative state won’t easily change. Yet, Thoreau asserted, government “can have no pure right over my person and property but what I concede to it.” We have conceded too much. With our concessions, we have lost our humanity. In Thoreau’s words,

The mass of men serve the state… not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies… In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgment or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well. Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs.

We can regain our medical freedom by being more than “straw or a lump of dirt.” We can expand our comfort zone to go against the herd. The time is now to resist pressure from friends and family and to stop obeying authorities. Non-violent resistance is a viable recourse.


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

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Is America A Bad Place To Work?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Recently I encountered a study by an organization called Oxfam Research. That study: Where Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off. As defined in Wikipedia, Oxfam was founded in 1942 as a confederation of 21 independent charitable organizations, centered in Oxford England focusing on alleviating global poverty and led by Oxfam International. There is an American affiliate. I thought the study would be worthy of a deep dive.

As the proverbial “big dog,” we can expect operations to take off after us. It did not take long to discern the orientation of this 39-page study – attacking America. After lauding the American economy by size, the authors made this statement, “Despite a powerful economy, one that largely drives the global economy forward, the United States does little to share revenue with workers and does even less to ensure workers are safe and protected while on the job. These are political choices, not inevitabilities.”

The introduction then launches into a tirade against the United States seemingly written by the lawless members of Black Lives Matter. Out of left field they made this statement, “The long legacy of slavery and subsequent immigration policies in the US underscore the ways in which the government of this country has written laws and policies meant to create hierarchies of workers in which workers of color, especially women of color, were excluded from protections, stable wages, and the ability to organize.”

I looked at the history of slavery and when the other 37 countries abandoned slavery. Some of the countries (like Iceland) did not exist or were barren of population during the 19th century. Some of the countries may not have had slaves, but they were involved in the slave trade. They also welcomed very few immigrants. An example, go to Sweden in the 19th century and try to find someone who wasn’t a native-born Swede.

The bottom line is the Western world abandoned slavery as a policy in varying stages during the first half of the 19th century, which timing was about concurrent with America. On the other hand, many of these countries had slavery within their borders but did not acknowledge it. Germany had slavery in the 20th century and two countries not in the study, China, and Russia, still have slavery up to today.

The United States ranks 36th out of thirty-eight countries in their survey of how employees thrive by the Oxfam standards. Mexico is ranked last, but it is a lawless mess. Interestingly, that “socialist heaven”, Denmark, ranks 37th. Notwithstanding that Bernie Sanders touted Socialism in Denmark as a model for the United States, their Prime Minister offered “I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism,” he said. “Therefore, I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

And where are people banging down the door to enter? America. Angela Merkel engineered a mass migration from Northern Africa during the first part of this century. This has caused unrest in most countries where mass migration happened. Look at the war on the streets of France. In Sweden, the immigrants have not exactly blended into their society as crime has soared and jobs have not.

Concurrent with the Oxfam study coming out stating how badly America treats its employees, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released information that income in the United States for employees had grown over the past fifteen years while all those ‘generous’ benefits have shrunk incomes for employees in Greece, Italy, France, etc.

Here are some fun facts about the economies that are lauded by the report:
The eurozone economy grew about 6% over the past 15 years, measured in dollars, compared with 82% for the U.S. Maybe all those “benefits” employees receive in the other countries come with a cost – like no jobs.

The United States has had a steady flow of over ten million job openings for a couple of years since the pandemic subsided. There are few job openings in the EU which is part of the strife caused by immigrants. There are no jobs.

Oxfam is another elitist organization attempting to establish criteria for employees who do not work in the real world. And then they insult the intelligence of people who decide to go where the jobs are – America — by telling them the jobs in America are tainted by racism. If the economy is so racist, why do Indian Americans and Asian Americans have higher average incomes than Caucasians? Why do immigrants have a higher homeownership rate than native-born Americans?

Here is another finding from diving into Oxfam’s anti-success attack on America. They have a separate study incorporated in the report showing the best places in America to work. The best places are in varying shades of green and the worst are in varying shades of red. The green states are places like California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York where people are moving from in the hundreds of thousands and the red ones are where the economies are booming.

Conclusion: Oxfam thinks the people relocating are just stupid and do not understand what they are giving up. On the other hand, the simpletons leaving for red states realized the only ones getting the benefits defined by Oxfam are the public employees. The transplants have given up paying the unsupportable cost of outsized benefits.


This article was published by Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.

A Shocking Sight in Tucson

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Something was seen in the city that is common in other cities but rare in Tucson.

My wife and I saw a shocking sight on a recent trip to the Barnes and Noble bookstore on East Broadway Blvd. in the City of Tucson.

The bookstore’s parking lot was crumbling, unkempt, and devoid of any landscaping.  But that wasn’t the shocking sight.  After all, the property resembled the many barren parking lots and ugly strip malls that we had passed for miles across the city on our drive to the bookstore, a drive almost totally devoid of any aesthetically pleasing properties or thoroughfares.

Two office buildings near the bookstore also weren’t shocking, although they were unusual for Tucson.  They were attractive class-A buildings of about eight stories.

The shock was the Marriott Courtyard hotel on a side street across from the office buildings. Its grounds were beautifully landscaped and maintained, with no bare dirt, weeds or litter along its frontage.  It looked so out of place in Tucson that I thought that we had been magically transported to another Sunbelt city or to one of the other cities where we used to live before moving to Tucson six years ago for family reasons.

An unfair, hyper-critical exaggeration?  Not at all.  Even a neighborhood ward office had foot-high weeds and litter in front of it.

Does Tucson look like this because it is poor, or is it poor because it looks like this?  Are the conditions the result of decades of bad governance, citizen apathy, or what?

A clue to the answer can be seen in the wealthy part of the metropolis known as the Foothills, which is in unincorporated Pima County.  (An astonishing 36 percent of metro Tucson is unincorporated.)

Actually, with a median household income of about $91,000, the Foothills is not very wealthy compared to truly wealthy locales in America.  However, relative to the City of Tucson, it is wealthy.  As such, unlike Tucson, it doesn’t have poverty and a low tax base as excuses for its subpar upkeep and bad governance.

The saving grace for the Foothills is its pretty natural setting on the slopes of the Santa Catalina Mountains, its views of city lights and mountains, its abundance of natural vegetation, and its large residential lots.  But those positives don’t hide the negatives.

The negatives are the result of human actions, or inactions, not nature.  They include deteriorated roads, bare dirt and scraggly and poorly maintained shrubs in medians and rights-of-way, illegal signs on roadsides and on utility poles, tacky signs and banners in violation of sign ordinances in front of businesses and apartments, and my top annoyance, litter, which my wife and I pick up on our daily five-mile walks.

Local government and utilities don’t help matters.  After completing work along roads, they typically leave behind barricades, sandbags, piles of dirt, and litter.  Likewise, car parts and broken glass aren’t swept up after auto accidents.

A subject for another day is the fact that in the roughly 30 square miles of the Foothills, there is not one civic center, municipal park, or public ball field, except for ball fields at public schools.

The operative word is “bizarre.”

Why do Tucsonans settle for less?  I have no idea, but an experience of mine might be instructive.

Becoming tired of picking up trash and litter every day, I politely asked property owners along a one-mile stretch of a major street if they could help out by keeping their frontages clean.  The property owners were a gated community of homes costing more than a million dollars, a private golf course where an annual membership costs $18,000, and a high-end resort.  Only the resort agreed to do so.

Something is clearly amiss with the culture in Tucson.

This is in marked contrast to my experience in a city that Tucsonans think isn’t relevant to them, because they see it as hoity-toity and uber-wealthy, although it has the same median household income as the Foothills and was not very prosperous in its earlier years.  It just looks wealthier than it is, due to having a good government that makes attractiveness and competitiveness high priorities—and a government with nonpartisan elections that had a vision years ago of what the city could grow up to be.

The city is the City of Scottsdale, a municipality 100 miles north of Tucson with a population of 241,361.

I was on the board of an ungated HOA in Scottsdale with approximately 4,000 homes.  The desert landscaping along the HOA’s miles of public roadways was beautiful and well-maintained. It was also free of litter, for the simple reason that we had a worker drive around on a work cart once a day to pick up litter.

It helped that the City of Scottsdale, like other cities in metro Phoenix and across the land, has strict and strictly enforced ordinances and codes governing landscaping, property maintenance, and signs.

For example, one Scottsdale ordinance requires that property owners maintain the public rights-of-way along streets bordering their property, up to the curb of the street or the pavement.  Dead, dry, or bare dirt areas are prohibited, and it is required that desert landscaping be maintained free of grass and weeds.

Another ordinance requires a detailed landscaping plan for all new construction, specifying which of the city’s authorized shrubs and trees will be planted, what authorized ground cover will be put down, and the number of plantings and their spacing in accord with city requirements, including a specified ratio of trees to parking spots in parking lots.

The City of Tucson and Pima County also have ordinances governing landscaping, property maintenance, and signs, but the codes are obviously inadequate or unenforced.

There’s no mystery as to where high-paying companies would prefer to locate their headquarters or major operations.  But Tucson’s political, governmental and business establishment doesn’t seem to realize that curb appeal matters.


Photo credit: Craig Cantoni for The Prickly Pear



Here’s How Biden Admin Destroyed Our Immigration Law

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Since early 2021 we have witnessed somewhere between 7 million and 8 million illegal entries across the now-nonexistent southern border of the U.S.

The more the border vanished, the more federal immigration law was rendered inert, and the more Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas spun fantasies that the “border is secure.” He is now written off as a veritable “Baghdad Bob” propagandist.

But how and why did the Biden administration destroy immigration law as we knew it?

The Trump administration’s initial efforts to close the border had been continually obstructed in Congress, sabotaged by the administrative state, and stymied in the courts. Nonetheless, it finally had secured the border by early 2020.

Yet almost all of the Trump administration’s successful initiatives were immediately overturned in 2021.

Construction of the wall was abruptly stopped, and its projected trajectory was canceled. The disastrous Obama-era “catch and release” policy of immigration nonenforcement was resurrected.

Prior successful pressure on Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador to stop the deliberate export of his own citizens northward ceased.

Federal Border Patrol officers were forced to stand down.

New federal subsidies were granted to entice and then support illegal arrivals.

No one in the Democratic Party objected to the destruction of the border or the subversion of immigration law.

However, things changed somewhat once swamped southern border states began to bus or fly a few thousand of their illegal immigrants northward to sanctuary city jurisdictions—especially to New York and Chicago, and even Martha’s Vineyard.

The sanctuary-city “humanists” there who had greenlighted illegal immigration into the southern states suddenly shrieked. They were irate after experiencing the concrete consequences of their own prior abstract border agendas. After all, their nihilism was always supposed to fall upon distant and ridiculed others.

New York Mayor Eric Adams went from celebrating a few dozen illegal immigrants bused into Manhattan to blasting his own party for allowing tens of thousands to swamp his now bankrupt city.

But why did the Biden administration deliberately unleash the largest influx across the southern border in U.S. history?

The ethnic chauvinists and Democratic Party elites needed new constituents, given their increasingly unpopular agendas.

They feared that the more legal Latino immigrants assimilated and integrated into American society, the less happy they became with left-wing radical abortion, racial, transgender, crime, and green fixations.

Democratic grandees always had bragged that illegal immigration would create what they called “The New Democratic Majority” in “Demography Is Destiny” fashion. Now they slander critics as “racists” who object to left-wing efforts to use illegal immigration to turn southwestern red states blue.

Mexico now cannot survive as a modern state without some $60 billion in annual remittances sent by its expatriates in America. However many illegal immigrants rely on American state and federal entitlements to free up cash to send home.

Mexico also encourages its own abject poor and often indigenous people from southern Mexico to head north as a safety valve of sorts. The Mexican government sees these mass exodus northward as preferable to the oppressed marching on Mexico City to address grievances of poverty and racism.

The criminal cartels now de facto run Mexico. An open border allows them to ship fentanyl northward, earn billions in profits—and kill nearly 100,000 Americans a year. Illegal immigrants pay cartels additional billions to facilitate their border crossings.

Don’t forget American corporate employers. Record labor nonparticipation followed the COVID-19 lockdown. In reaction to the dearth of American workers, the hospitality, meat packing, social service, health care, and farming industries were desperate to hire new—and far cheaper—labor.

Human rights activists insist that the borders themselves are 19th-century relics. And the global poor and oppressed thus have a human right to enter the affluent West by any means necessary.

Many in the tony suburbs and in universities do not live anywhere near the southern border. So they pontificate on the assurance that thousands of unaudited illegal immigrants will never enter their own enclaves or campuses.

The result is elite-bottled piety—but not firsthand experience with the natural consequences of millions chaotically fleeing one of the poorest countries in the world to pour into the wealthiest. Without background checks, vaccinations, and health audits, legality, high school diplomas, English facility skill sets, or capital, the result is an abject catastrophe.

Polls continue to show that the American people support measured, diverse, legal, and meritocratic immigration as much as they oppose mass illegal immigration into their country and the subsequent loss of American sovereignty on the border.

They understand what the Biden administration does not: No nation in history has survived once its borders were destroyed, once its citizenship was rendered no different from mere residence, and once its neighbors with impunity undermined its sovereignty.

Ending illegal immigration now depends solely on the American people overriding the corrupt special interests and leaders who profit from the current chaos and human misery.


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

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Premiere Racist Scholar Ibram X. Kendi Under Investigation

Estimated Reading Time: < 1 minute

Editors’ Note: This investigation follows the July dismissal of Florida State University professor Eric Stewart, a criminology “scholar” who was found to have faked data and rigged research.


Boston University is investigating the head honcho of “anti-racism” studies, Ibram X. Kendi, according to a reporter from The Boston Globe.

Kendi, who I consider to be the Al Sharpton of the millennials, opened an “anti-racism” center at Boston University in 2020. There’s an investigation into the center following accusations that Kendi mismanaged grant funding, failed to deliver on key projects, and unleashed “employment violence” on staff.

This is the natural consequence of making race-baiting, and not merit, the guiding principle of an education center.

Former employees allege there is “employment violence,” even though no violence allegedly occurred. People are simply unwell and use the word “violence” flippantly. These former employees allege that layoffs are akin to “employment violence.”

This is going exactly as poorly as I expected it to go.


This article was published by The Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Rand Paul Comes Out Swinging Against Lindsey Graham Over Ukraine Aid

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul called out his fellow Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham over Ukraine aid Thursday while on Fox Business.

Graham told reporters Wednesday those opposed to giving Ukraine more aid should stay out of it until they’ve visited Ukraine and seen the war firsthand.

“Somebody needs to remind the Senator that we don’t have any money. We are about $1.5 trillion dollars in debt for this year. Over the last three months we’ve accumulated almost a trillion dollars in three months. The total is $33 trillion, so we don’t have like an extra rainy day fund or a surplus we can send them,” Paul said in response.

“We have to borrow the money from China to send to Ukraine, so no matter what your sympathies are in the war, and I am sympathetic to Ukraine fighting off the Russian aggressors, but at the same time I think it’s irresponsible to think about their country before I think about my country.”

Paul claimed U.S. funding is also helping Ukrainian government worker pensions, and he believes most Americans agree with him that aid needs to be cut.

Paul then went on to criticize Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy for saying he’s not holding elections next year, claiming it would be inconvenient during a war and expensive. Paul then argued Europe has a greater incentive to help Ukraine fight off Russia, and Ukraine should rely on its neighbors.

Zelenskyy is visiting the White House and Capitol Hill this week to ask the U.S. for more aid in addition to the $100 billion that Congress has already approved, per The Wall Street Journal. President Joe Biden’s administration has called for an additional $24 billion in aid amid a spending conflict that threatens a government shutdown Sept. 30. (RELATED: ‘Huge Catastrophe’: JD Vance Says US ‘Blank Check’ Spending Focus On Ukraine Is ‘Massive Strategic Victory’ For China)

Other Republicans have expressed opposition to additional funding.

“There’s no money in the House right now for Ukraine,” Florida Rep. Byron Donalds told The Recount. “It’s not a good time for [Zelenskyy] to be here, quite frankly. That’s just the reality.”

Republican Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar told the Daily Caller News Foundation he would never support additional funding for Ukraine, since there are more dire issues domestically.


This article was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

Here’s All The Evidence Connecting Joe Biden To Hunter Biden’s Foreign Business Dealings

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

The amount of evidence connecting Joe Biden to Hunter Biden’s business dealings is growing as Congressional investigations continue to reveal new information surrounding Hunter Biden’s engagements.

Witness testimony, emails, text messages, flights, and additional evidence indicate Joe Biden was knowledgeable about Hunter Biden’s business dealings and communicated with his son’s business associates on numerous occasions.(RELATED: These Are The Biggest Lies Joe Biden Told About Hunter’s Foreign Influence Peddling)

Hunter Biden’s former business associate Devon Archer testified in July to the House Oversight Committee that Joe Biden spoke with his son’s business associates more than 20 times, including a spring 2014 dinner with Russian oligarch Elena Baturina and a spring 2015 dinner with Vadim Pozharskyi, an executive with Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings.

In addition, Archer mentioned a meeting Joe Biden had in Beijing with a Chinese business associate, whose daughter later received a college recommendation letter from then-Vice President Joe Biden.

Hunter Biden was being paid more than $80,000 per month by Burisma when the dinner with Pozharskyi took place, according to bank records released by House Oversight. Baturina wired $3.5 million to a shell company owned by Archer and Biden in February 2014, bank records show.

“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” Pozharskyi emailed Hunter Biden in April 2015, according to Hunter Biden’s laptop archive.

The Biden family and its associates received more than $20 million from Ukrainian, Russian, Chinese, Romanian, and Kazakhstani business associates, the bank records indicate. (RELATED: Biden-Appointed Prosecutors Did Not Cooperate In Hunter Biden Case, FBI Agent Testifies)

Archer also described to House Oversight how the Biden family “brand” represented by Joe Biden protected Burisma from scrutiny and kept the firm in business. Archer said Hunter Biden “called D.C.” at Burisma’s December 2015 board meeting because of pressure from Pozharskyi and Burisma founder Mykola Zlochevsky.

Joe Biden took a trip to Ukraine days after Hunter Biden’s phone call and archived emails show then-VP Biden’s office worked with one of Hunter Biden’s business associates on media inquiries related to Burisma on the day of the apparent phone call.

Internal State Department emails show Joe Biden’s office sent them talking points and instructed officials not to single out Zlochevsky in response to media questions. Archer could not confirm whether Joe Biden was on the other end of his son’s phone call.

After his testimony, Archer told Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson it is “categorically false” to claim Joe Biden did not know about his son’s business dealings. In the interview, Carlson displayed a personalized letter Joe Biden sent to Archer in 2011 apologizing for not being able to meet him.

Archer also told Tucker Carlson Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin was a “threat” to Burisma’s business before Joe Biden successfully pressured Ukraine into getting Shokin fired. Archer told Carlson about a raid Shokin orchestrated on Zlochevsky’s office that occurred soon before Shokin was fired. (RELATED: Bankers Flagged Hunter Biden’s Business Dealings As Part Of Warning About Devon Archer, Docs Show)

“You remember last year I was authorized to say we’d do the second tranche of a billion dollars. And he didn’t fire his chief prosecutor. And because I have the confidence of the president, I was there, and I said: I’m not signing it. Until you fire him, we’re not signing, man. Get it straight. We’re not doing it,” then-VP Joe Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations in September 2016.

House Oversight has requested records from the State Department related to Shokin and Burisma to better understand why U.S. officials changed their perception of Shokin in late 2015. Unearthed memos from U.S. and European officials show Shokin was making progress on Ukraine’s anti-corruption goals before he was fired.

A separate FBI FD-1023 form contains allegations from a confidential human source that Zlochevsky bragged about sending bribes to Joe Biden and Hunter Biden. Zlochevsky claims he sent $5 million to Joe Biden and $5 million to Hunter Biden to get Shokin fired, the confidential human source said. The Ukrainian oligarch allegedly possesses two recordings of Joe Biden and 15 recordings of Hunter Biden discussing the bribes. Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said in June the FBI is investigating the bribery allegations.

IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley testified to the House Ways and Means Committee in May and disclosed a transcript from Hunter Biden’s former business associate Rob Walker who said Joe Biden met in May 2017 with officials from CEFC China Energy, a Chinese energy company doing business with Hunter Biden. Shapley confirmed Joe Biden’s apparent meeting with CEFC associates when he testified publicly in July.

Furthermore, Shapley disclosed a threatening text Hunter Biden allegedly sent in July 2017 to a different Chinese associate where he referenced Joe Biden’s presence in the room. (RELATED: DOJ Official Reportedly Approached IRS Whistleblower About Hunter Biden Accusations Before He Testified)

“I am sitting here with my father and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled. Tell the director that I would like to resolve this now before it gets out of hand, and now means tonight,” Hunter Biden said, according to Shapley.

“I will make certain that between the man sitting next to me and every person he knows and my ability to forever hold a grudge that you will regret not following my direction. I am sitting here waiting for the call with my father,” Hunter Biden added. Images from Hunter Biden’s laptop demonstrate he was with Joe Biden the night he sent the apparent text message, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

Hunter Biden texted a CEFC associate on Aug. 3, 2017, boasting over how the “Bidens are the best” at doing what his boss wants for the company, House Oversight revealed in June.

“The Biden’s are the best I know at doing exactly what the Chairman wants from this [partnership],” Hunter Biden told CEFC associate Gongwen Dong. The next day, Hunter Biden’s shell company Owasco PC received a $100,000 payment from CEFC, House Oversight discovered.

The Chairman of CEFC was Ye Jianming, a businessman who was linked to the Chinese Communist Party before being arrested for bribery, House Oversight said in a memo released in May. Emails on Hunter Biden’s laptop show he was “office mates” with Joe Biden and Dong, alongside Jill Biden and his uncle James Biden.

Hunter Biden’s failed guilty plea deal with the Department of Justice (DOJ) indicates he made more than $600,000 from CEFC in 2017 and roughly $1 million from Hudson West III, a business entity he formed with a CEFC associate. IRS whistleblower Joseph Ziegler testified in July that Hudson West II brought in $3.7 million overall and confirmed the payment from CEFC.

An email sent in May 2017 by former Hunter Biden business associate James Gilliar alludes to Joe Biden as “the big guy” in a discussion about a potential business deal.

“10 held by H for the big guy,” Gilliar suggested, with the “big guy” moniker referring to Joe Biden, former business associate Tony Bobulinski confirmed to the New York Post. “Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u are face to face[.] I know u know that but they are paranoid,” Gilliar texted Bobulinski on May 20, 2017, according to House Oversight.

Walker received $3 million worth of payments from State Energy HK, a different Chinese energy firm, and sent more than $1 million of those payments to LLCs held by Biden family members, House Oversight revealed in March. Ziegler also confirmed the payments from State Energy HK in his testimony.

“It’s really hard. But don’t worry, unlike Pop [Joe], I won’t make you give me half your salary,” Hunter Biden texted his daughter Naomi in 2019, according to text messages from his laptop archive reported by the New York Post. Emails on Biden’s laptop indicate he wired himself $100,000 from Joe Biden’s bank account when he was dealing with financial issues.

Moreover, emails on Biden’s laptop show Hunter was paying Joe Biden’s phone bill and paid for house repairs for Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware residence, the Daily Mail reported. 

Hunter Biden took an estimated 15 flights with his father on Air Force Two when Joe Biden was vice president, according to an analysis conducted by Fox News. The first son accompanied then-VP Biden on trips to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Africa and Asia, the outlet reported.

House Oversight has requested the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide records from Hunter Biden’s apparent flights and multiple aliases Joe Biden appeared to use for government purposes, including a meeting with Ukraine’s president that Hunter Biden was aware of ahead of time.

Hunter Biden’s business associates visited the White House more than 80 times when Joe Biden was vice president, Fox News reported based on White House visitor logs.

The younger Biden met with his father, Devon Archer, and a lobbyist for Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov at the Naval Observatory, the vice president’s official residence, Archer testified. House Oversight is looking closely at the Naval Observatory meeting as part of its investigation, the New York Post reported.

The House Ways and Means, Oversight and Judiciary Committees will be leading an impeachment inquiry into Joe Biden over Hunter Biden’s business dealings and IRS whistleblower testimony accusing the DOJ of giving Hunter Biden special treatment in their ongoing investigation, Speaker McCarthy announced Tuesday.

The role Joe Biden allegedly played in Hunter Biden’s business dealings is a central component of the impeachment inquiry and House Oversight’s probe into the younger Biden’s affairs.

The White House said in June that Joe Biden was “not in business” with his son and Joe Biden said Archer’s testimony was “not true” in August.

“The House GOP investigations have turned up no evidence of wrongdoing by POTUS,” White House spokesman Ian Sams tweeted on Sept. 12. “In fact, their own witnesses have testified to that, and their own documents have shown no link to POTUS,” Sams added.

Hunter Biden was indicted Thursday on three gun charges and faces a maximum of 25 years in prison. Special counsel David Weiss is simultaneously investigating Hunter Biden’s taxes following the collapse of his plea deal in July. Shapley and Ziegler have accused DOJ investigators of giving Hunter Biden special treatment under Weiss’ watch prior to his special counsel designation.

Biden pleaded not guilty to two tax misdemeanors after Delaware U.S. District Court Judge Maryellen Noreika scrutinized an immunity provision in the pretrial diversion agreement for his felony gun charge. Noreika’s pressure caused a dispute between Biden’s counsel and the DOJ resulting in the collapse of Biden’s plea agreement.


This article was published by The Daily Caller News Foundation and is reproduced with permission.

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Washington’s involvement in the Russo–Ukrainian war is encouraging new and hostile combinations of powers.

Last week, North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un visited Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. The meeting was serious, in contrast to their perfunctory summit four years ago. This time Moscow was the suitor, seeking artillery shells, missiles, and perhaps more for its war against Ukraine.

American commentators chortled at the once grand Russian state’s supplications to such an isolated and impoverished regime. Yet whatever embarrassment Putin may feel is undoubtedly minor compared to the potential benefits for his government. Russia already outproduces Ukraine, Europe, and the U.S. in critical materiel, and is seeking to increase its edge, possibly to prepare another offensive.

In contrast, Ukraine’s allies are, if not quite useless, then significant disappointments. General Valery Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s highest-ranking soldier, complained that Kiev’s artillery forces “have been outshot tenfold at times because of limited resources.” It seems the U.S. has been unable to keep up with Ukraine’s demand. Europe has done no better. Oops!

Indeed, European military efforts barely qualify as pathetic. Germany’s once-celebrated Zeitenwende has turned into a bust, as the Scholz government has retreated from its lofty goals. Even worse, the British government, despite its Churchillian rhetoric, has moved backward on defense outlays as a share of GDP and announced cutbacks in its ground forces since it is protected by water and ships—and by the United States, of course. European officials prefer to leave the latter factor unstated, and Washington continues to play the patsy, especially under President Joe Biden. Rather than laugh at Moscow, Washington should ask why its allies are so much less prepared for war than the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Putin’s turn to the DPRK highlights the failure of Washington’s policy of war against all. Although still the world’s most powerful nation, the U.S. has encouraged the formation of a growing antagonistic coalition.

For years, Moscow and Beijing were divided on key issues, and both governments tempered their cooperation with Pyongyang and Tehran. Today, American hostility has driven all four together. Their grouping remains ungainly, but both the DPRK and Iran are strengthening Russia’s war effort and likely will gain much in return. China has increased its political influence with and won economic concessions from Iran, while the DPRK offers a potential military deus ex machina that could greatly complicate Washington’s task in any war with the People’s Republic of China.

Indeed, a few years ago, both Moscow and Beijing were generally opposed to Iranian and North Korean nuclear efforts. Today, perceived necessity has degraded or even dissipated those sentiments. Russia is expanding economic ties with both governments to ease the impact of American sanctions. Forging a new relationship with Moscow has been especially important for the North, which is suffering from serious food shortages. More worrisome for Americans, Russia might also aid Pyongyang’s missile development, including ICBMs capable of targeting the U.S. If so, Washington officials have no one to blame but themselves, having bragged about helping to kill Russian generals and sink Russian ships. Moscow now has a chance to return the favor. Unfortunately for the U.S., proxy wars don’t run only one way.

China has been more cautious but has nevertheless benefited from the purchase of cheap Iranian oil. The PRC has also helped keep North Korea afloat. Although Beijing would prefer a pliant, house-broken ally without nukes, a well-armed, aggressive North offers at least two benefits. The first is to unsettle Northeast Asia and especially Washington’s allies, discouraging them from looking beyond their own security. The second is to pose an especially serious threat if Seoul supports the U.S. in a conflict with China.

To allied officials, the failure of much of the so-called Global South to commit to the West in its campaign against Russia has been a shock. History weighs heavily on one-time colonial relationships. Moreover, the U.S. of late has proved to be inconsistent, reckless, and destructive. Not even its friends feel comfortable dealing with arrogant officials who have carelessly, and often callously, started or supported wars that ended up killing hundreds of thousands of people while insisting that “the price is worth it.”

Most members of the Global South still oppose Moscow’s aggression. Nevertheless, they rejected the West’s claim to moral leadership and eagerly took advantage of discounted oil shipments and sanctions-busting opportunities. Even India, seen as a major counterweight to Beijing, has resisted allied affection.

Yet Washington has learned nothing. For instance, the Biden administration fulminated against North Korea for aiding Moscow. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan suggested that the DPRK would suffer from global scorn: Its support for Russia is “not going to reflect well on North Korea and they will pay a price for this in the international community.” Alas, Pyongyang’s rulers are not known for feeling shame. Countries that maintain relations with the North are unlikely to change their position because of an arms deal with Russia. Other states aren’t likely to pay much attention.

Indeed, an air of unreality surrounds Washington’s well-demonstrated ability to make enemies. The Russia-China axis is of greatest concern. Neither country has any interest in warring against the U.S., but mutual cooperation makes it more difficult for Washington to counter their activities in their respective regions. And when their efforts align, as in the Middle East, where both are engaging Iran and Saudi Arabia, American influence suffers.

Unfortunately, antagonism toward America, or at least American policy, is the strongest force pushing them together. For instance, Beijing and Moscow compete for influence in Central Asia and elsewhere, including North Korea. Territorial disputes between China and Russia reach back in history. Beijing has brazenly stolen Russian technology and is ruthlessly using its current geopolitical advantage for economic gain. The PRC also is concerned about its ties with the West amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Sino-Russian entente looks solid.

Rather than consider revising policies that have backfired so spectacularly, some U.S. policymakers assume that eventually one of the contrary powers will defect. For instance, three years ago the Atlantic Council’s John Herbst wrote: “The Chinese-Russian temporary alignment of interests is unlikely to overcome the fundamentals of geopolitics.” Alas, Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine undercut that theory, with Russia becoming dependent on the PRC. Nevertheless, Herbst still insists that Russia will eventually come the West’s way, choosing to be a docile junior partner to America rather than China.

There is similar talk about the PRC and North Korea. American analysts insist that Chinese support for the North is not to Beijing’s benefit, which should give its nominal ally to the U.S. If only Xi Jinping properly understood his own nation’s interest, he would encourage Korean unification under a government allied with America, strengthening Washington’s containment policy toward the PRC. Moreover, Moscow’s burgeoning dealings with the DPRK, assert American policymakers, should spark concerted Chinese pressure against the North’s ongoing military expansion. If only American officials explained Beijing’s interests to Beijing’s solons, the latter would enthusiastically advance U.S. interests.

These are charming sentiments of the “wouldn’t it be great” variety. Wouldn’t it be great if the U.S. could do whatever it wanted without the slightest response from its adversaries? Wouldn’t it be great if American officials merely needed to state their wishes and foreign leaders would rush to comply? Wouldn’t it be great if even the most foolish, self-serving, and counterproductive American policies were greeted with wild acclaim and complete acquiescence around the globe?

Unfortunately, that isn’t our world today.

The anti-American coalition might not last because its internal pressures are so great. Washington, however, is doing its best to hold its adversaries together. Warring against Moscow and threatening other states both politically and militarily creates an obvious common bond. Challenging the serious, even vital interests of such governments cannot help but foster shared antagonism toward America. Absent a change in American policy, confrontation seems certain and conflict is possible.

Yet American policymakers never seem to learn. Today, Capitol Hill is filled with demands to wage war in (and effectively on) Mexico in the name of combating the drug trade. If the U.S. invades, one can imagine the hostile reaction in Mexico and across Latin America, which long have bridled at imperious Washington policies. Some of those governments might seek greater cooperation with China and Russia in response.

The Putin-Kim détente reflects decisions made in Moscow and Pyongyang—but also in Washington. Myopic American policies are encouraging cooperation among several unfriendly governments. The U.S. may outlast or overcome any such combinations. If the past is prologue, however, many brave Americans may end up dying unnecessarily along the way. Such is the price of Washington’s “war against all” approach to the world.


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

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.