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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Thursday, February 29, 2024

2024 Election: Change is in the Air!

For almost a century, there has been one constant in American politics: Jews vote for Democrats. There are multiple reasons for this fact but, regardless of the reason, the one thing Democrats could rely on was the Jewish vote. However, the Biden administration’s increasingly open hostility to Israel may be changing that pattern. One poll out of New York shows something remarkable: More than 50% of New York’s Jews plan to vote for Donald Trump!.........

In America, though, by the 1930s, Jews had made the same journey that blacks did, finding what they thought was their permanent political home with the Democrats. The Republican party was seen as the party of antisemitism and, especially after WWII, Democrats played on that visceral fear.  Few Jews, even the ones who escaped from or survived the Holocaust, made the connection between Hitler’s socialism and the rising socialism of the Democrat party. The inability to see this link—and this was true despite Karl Marx’s openly expressed antisemitism or Stalin’s Jewish purges—kept Jews tied to Democrats.

Before I retired I owned a pest control company and one of my customers was an older Jewish couple, the wife has since passed.  They became more than customers, and we discussed everything, including politics and Trump. For years her husband never told me he was a Republican, and we had a good laugh over that.

At any rate I asked her why Jews who lead conservative lives, work hard, believe in education, are devoted to family values, and raise their children with those same values, vote for a party that supports all things antithetical to that, and is openly antisemitic?

She said she's a conservative in her head, but a liberal in her heart.

Since I'm a history buff I laced all my conversations with historical support, and as time went by she said she was going to vote for Trump, much to the chagrin of her friends.  All of whom wanted to know why she listened to that exterminator?  And, that was perfectly understandable.

The point being, is you can't reason people out of positions they've not been reasoned into.....normally. If we three hadn't developed a friendship, she would have never been exposed to my views, or heard the history behind those views, the logic of my arguments, or any reason to go outside the social paradigm of her group.  But eventually time, reality, and truth come together, and generations change. When that happens, foundational social paradigms are subject to change, and then reality is easier to embrace.

I will also say this. The first time Obama ran I saw signs for him all over Cleveland's Eastern suburbs, where there's a large Jewish population.   When he ran the second time, the number of signs were noticeably less. I believe that intellectual change started earlier than most believe, including those who were starting to make the change.   It's the head versus heart issue. They just needed a some event to trigger the change of heart.
While Jews have voted against their interests for decades, I think American Jews now see America is existentially in jeopardy, and no matter how little they may or may not be concerned about Israel, American Jews definitely don't want to see American democracy destroyed, especially by a blatantly open antisemitic political party.   Especially a party that has corruptly twisted the rule of law with lawfare, and fraudulent criminal charges, realizing if they can do this to conservatives, Republicans, Christians, whites, and a former President of the United States, then they can do it to Jews also.

Some may not be able to bring themselves to vote for a Republican, especially Trump, just as many conservatives refused to vote for McCain and Romney, but they may choose to not vote at all, and that's a win for Trump, and possibly the down card for the House and Senate.  

New York Strives For "Climate Justice"

@ Manhattan Contrarian

In 2019, New York enacted a Climate Act, imposing on the citizens various legal mandates for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and net zero targets, the most immediate of which is a mandate of 70% of electricity production from zero-carbon-emissions sources by 2030. The official title of the Act is actually the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

I’ve written a lot about portions of the Act dealing with reducing carbon emissions. Those portions are completely delusional, but at least they ostensibly have something to do with protecting the world’s climate. And then there is this “Community Protection” piece. What is that about? Try reading some of the materials coming out of our climate bureaucracies and you will learn that a second and co-equal focus of the Act is supposedly helping or protecting what they call “justice communities” living near at least some of the power plants.

CO2 emissions do not disproportionately affect these nearby “justice communities.” So the activists have come up with a different hook to use to demand closure of fossil fuel power plants on behalf of “justice communities.” That hook is certain local pollutants, particularly nitrogen oxides and PM2.5, the latter referring to very fine “particulate matter” of diameter 2.5 micrometers or less. The claim is that emissions of these pollutants, particularly as emitted from the sub-category of power plants known as “peakers,” is destroying the health of the people in the “justice communities.”

This campaign to close the “peaker” power plants makes even less sense than the campaign to eliminate CO2 emissions from the world by building millions of wind turbines. I know that may seem hard to believe, because you would think that nothing could make less sense than trying to eliminate carbon emissions by building millions of wind turbines. But consider the remainder of this post, and see if you agree with me.

I understand that there is a serious scientific debate as to whether this PM2.5 stuff, in small doses such as might come from a power plant burning natural gas, has any adverse health consequences at all. However, you don’t need to get into that debate to understand why the campaign against the “peaker” plants makes no sense.

Let’s start with some of the over-the-top claims of the advocates. A collection of the main environmental and “community” groups advocating for the closure of the “peaker” plants has gotten together to form something called the “PEAK Coalition.” The constituent groups in question go by the names UPROSE, THE POINT CDC, New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, and the Clean Energy Group. Last month they put out a big Report with the title “Accelerate Now! The Fossil Fuel End Game 2.0.” The term “accelerate” summarizes what they want — they want the closure of the “peaker” plants speeded up and indeed done immediately. Here’s the reason why, from their introduction:

Throughout New York City, in response to demand for electricity that cannot be met by other sources of energy generation, highly polluting “peaker” power plants fire up in the South Bronx, Sunset Park, and other communities of color, exposing people living in these communities to numerous health risks. These expensive and inefficient oil and gas peaker plants spew harmful emissions into neighborhoods already overburdened by pollution, exacerbating widespread health problems. Peakers are a prime example of how low-income communities and communities of color bear the brunt of a host of energy and industrial infrastrucTture that poses significant public health and environmental hazards.

And then, an emotional tale of how power plants are somehow targeted specifically at harming the justice communities:

[E]very child growing up in the South Bronx is acutely aware that the city does not care about them. The moment they step outdoors, it is clear that their neighborhoods are unimportant to the city. The infrastructure reflects historical scorn for their existence. . . . A member of the PEAK Coalition was made to witness their own father’s stroke as a result of the environmental conditions they are forced to live in. . . . We cannot accept any infrastructure that jeopardizes the health and happiness of residents.

But then you get to a map of where these “peaker” plants are located, and the majority are in middle class or even wealthy neighborhoods. Here is the PEAK Coalition map from page 12 of their Report:

The largest capacity peaker plants are in Astoria, Queens — a very middle class area. The second largest is in a remote area of Staten Island. The plant on West 59th Street in Manhattan is right next to some of the most expensive condos in the City — just built in the last few years. I’ve never read a word about their having trouble selling those condos because they are next to a peaker power plant.

Roger Caiazza has an excellent post on February 7 critiquing the advocacy for immediate closure of all the peaker plants. Roger points out that the state bureaucrats (NYSERDA and the Department of Environmental Conservation) put on a webinar on January 23, from which he was able to get a copy of the slides. One of the slides is titled “What Kind of Sources Create Air Pollution Burdens in New York?” Here is that slide:

You can see that this one is specifically about PM2.5, and doesn’t include nitrogen oxides as well; and they don’t appear to have a comparable slide for the nitrogen oxides. Still, the story for PM2.5 shows just how ridiculous it is to blame this kind of pollution mostly on peaker power plants. The slide shows from the state’s own data that only 4% of PM2.5 emissions come from the entire electricity generation sector, and only a tenth of that, 0.4% of the total, from the peaker plants. Of the remaining 96%, the large majority comes from burning wood, and the rest from a wide variety of sources, mostly in industry, agriculture and transportation. While they don’t have a comparable slide for nitrogen oxides, there is every reason to believe that the story would be similar, although probably less heavily weighted to wood.

Meanwhile, does anybody live in fear of the health effect of particulate or nitrogen oxide emissions from burning wood in a fireplace? The particulate emissions are what give the wood smoke its pleasant smell. My own neighborhood has a large number of older buildings with wood-burning fireplaces. On cold days in the winter, there is a faint pleasant smell from the fires. I’ve never heard of anybody complaining, and apartments with fireplaces carry premium prices. The PM2.5 and NOx emissions are surely a multiple of what can be found in the air of the South Bronx from the peaker power plants.

Caiazza rightly points out that the PEAK Coalition people pay no attention to the need for the peaker plants to step in at times of peak demand, particularly the coldest days in the winter and the hottest days in the summer, to keep the lights on and the heat and air conditioning running. Nobody in New York has anything close to a solution for this issue other than natural gas power plants. More wind turbines and/or grid battery storage are never going to work.

Biden Exploits Indigenous Spirituality to Appease Environmentalists

Alaskan native tribes are being deprived of oil revenue and ignored. 

By | Feb 28, 2024 @ Liberty Nation News Tags: Articles, Opinion, Politics

A watchdog group has filed a “scientific integrity” complaint against the Biden administration for employing “Indigenous knowledge” as justification for canceling seven oil and gas leases in Alaska. The decision was allegedly a political maneuver to appease environmental groups unhappy with the administration’s earlier approval of a massive drilling operation (the Willow Project) in the Alaskan petroleum reserve. The president’s people appear to have exploited Native American spirituality to court white liberal votes while impoverishing Alaskan tribes.

Complaint of Shoddy Science

Protect the Public’s Trust wrote in their complaint that “…the Biden administration’s decision making, through the use of Indigenous Knowledge, is susceptible to manipulation without even the pretense of adhering to scientific principles….” The chief basis of the allegations is Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland’s September 6, 2023, announcement that the seven leases would be terminated:

“President Biden is delivering on the most ambitious climate and conservation agenda in history. The steps we are taking today further that commitment, based on the best available science and in recognition of the Indigenous Knowledge of the original stewards of this area, to safeguard our public lands for future generations.”

Indigenous Knowledge and Oil Revenues

It is not clear what Indigenous Knowledge offers to the field of climate science. And while many remote native villages still subsist on caribou, walrus, and whale, tens of thousands of Alaskan natives depend on these leases for their community services, personal incomes, and economic hopes for their future generations. The Inupiat North Slope communities and other tribes live in isolated regions where jobs are scarce. Alaska boasts a high level of energy employment, where wages trend some 50% above average national wages. Additionally, Native Americans receive distributions of oil revenue.

Following the 1968 discovery of vast Alaskan petroleum reserves, the bipartisan Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 created more than 200 Native-owned corporations, including the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC). Alaska Public Media (APM) states:

“By creating more than 200 Native-owned corporations like ASRC and seeding them with 44 million acres of land and $1 billion, the legislation was one of the most progressive land deals ever struck between the U.S. government and Indigenous people. Since its inception, ASRC has paid out more than $1 billion in dividends, with recent per-shareholder payments as high as $7,000 a year. Only people with Alaska Native heritage can own shares, with a few exceptions. … the deal helped create monetary wealth for ASRC’s 13,000 shareholders and those of dozens of other Alaska Native-owned corporations. ASRC has now been listed as Alaska’s top revenue-generating business for the past 27 years. It says it has 13,500 employees across the country and ranks among the top regional corporations in its yearly cash dividends…”

Hundreds of millions of additional dollars are generated from real estate taxes, enabling otherwise impoverished Native Alaskan communities to build grocery stores, water and sewer lines, communications infrastructure, schools (that teach native language), and health and rescue services. All of these efforts have been compromised by the Biden about-face on leases, but community leaders claim they have been completely ignored. APM reports:

“Doreen Leavitt, director of Natural Resources and Tribal Council Secretary for the Inupiat Community of the Arctic Slope (ICAS,) argued that the Biden administration’s actions amounted to a slight against Alaska Native villages’ right to self-determination.

“…Responsible resource extraction has, since the passage of ANCSA, become a cornerstone of the regional economy, Leavitt told the committee. Further limiting already restricted land usage threatened to further upend a fragile economic foothold for the Inupiat. The tribe would have shared these comments with the Biden administration had they ever been consulted, Leavitt said.”

Some tribes claim conservation efforts seek to “turn our homeland into one giant park,” which will undermine economic development and restrict subsistence efforts. One area resident remarked that “it’s wilderness areas and romantic notions of what the Arctic should be that continue to drive outsiders to glibly advocate for limiting resource development.” A bill – H.R. 6285, “Alaska’s Right to Produce Act” – seeks to reinstate the leases canceled by the Biden administration.

Biden Confusion

Government policies must balance competing objectives, but the scales for Biden persistently seem to tip toward self-interest and re-election. The president has recently paused emissions regulations and climate goals for EVs to appease UAW workers for November, signaling that climate urgency takes a back seat to his campaign. Similarly, breaching government oil-lease commitments to Indigenous tribes to showboat for environmentalists is justified by appeals to Native American spirituality – not to help conservation, climate, or Native Americans, but to politicize all social causes for Biden 2024.


Read More From John Klar

Progressive Prosecutors Build a New Kind of Police State

By @ Sultan Knish Blog

Before New York Attorney General Letitia James launched her selective prosecution of former President Trump, the former public defender was advocating for the “criminal justice reforms” that empowered criminals and terrorized a state.

AG James had run for office promising to “reform NY’s criminal justice system and to investigate and prosecute Trump’s family businesses” and she kept her word. Criminals now roam free in the state while prosecutorial resources were dedicated to targeting political opponents.

In New York, criminals have nothing to worry about from the Attorney General’s office, only Republicans do. And this is becoming the norm among “progressive prosecutors”.

The crime waves sweeping the country and the serial prosecutions of former President Trump and other conservatives are not separate events, but the common outcome of a fundamental transformation of the justice system from punishing crime to punishing political opposition.

Within prosecutorial circles, the same debate has been taking place between maintaining even handed professional standards or using the profession to advocate for social justice as in other fields. In the media, it’s been between objective reporting and biased activism, and within medicine, between treating those who are sickest or prioritizing disadvantaged groups.

Among prosecutors, the debate has taken the form of the familiar social justice formula of “punching up” or “punching down”. Progressive prosecutors argue that prosecuting violent junkies or serial thieves is “punching down” and that they should advocate for change by dropping those cases, which make up much of their workload, and attacking the ‘root causes’.

The first part of this argument has gotten plenty of attention as cities and communities fight to oust radical prosecutors (dubbed by some the Soros DAs because of that billionaire’s backing for such figures) because even in an era of soaring crime rates, they refuse to bring criminals to justice. But it’s the latter part of that argument which may be even more dangerous.

What are the ‘root causes’ of social problems and how should they be fixed? If sending muggers to prison is ‘punching down’, whom are the prosecutors going to be ‘punching up’ against?

Too few have connected the vigorous prosecutions of Trump, his supporters and former administration officials to the same movement that gives violent criminals a pass, but they are two sides of the same coin. Progressive prosecutors have been attacked as promoting lawlessness, but more accurately they are promoting a new concept of what the law is.

Prosecutorial discretion means choosing which criminals to prosecute based on a set of values. The same philosophy which allows a DA to refuse to bring charges against a repeat sex offender because he is a member of an oppressed minority group allows him or her to bring charges against a driver for smearing his tires over a BLM street graphic, or for a federal prosecutor to choose which president to prosecute for taking home classified documents.

Prosecutors are not supposed to be judges or legislators, but social justice activism demands that everyone use their profession to be an advocate for social change, And that social change, under the revolutionary agenda of leftist movements, demands “punching up” against political power rather than “punching down” against those helpless victims who are merely mugging people because of the economic policies of Trump and other Republicans.

That is what progressive prosecutors believe and act upon. By engaging in sustained lawfare against conservatives, they believe that they are fighting against the ”root causes” of crime.

And all other social problems.

Police defunding was misunderstood from the beginning. Despite the impression created by CHAZ or the BLM riots, the end goal is not lawless anarchy, but a new kind of police state which merges generous welfare and street lawlessness with relentless prosecution of speech and other political offenses. Such systems already exist to varying degrees in Europe where ordinary citizens often have more cause to fear, for example, London’s Met police than criminals do. This new era of law enforcement officers has already begun in this country at the very top, but will take some time to make its way to street level.

The same phenomenon is moving more rapidly through the ranks of prosecutors, many of whom come through a limited set of law schools and are highly attuned to their careers and the political trends that can assure them a lucrative income or strand them in a backwater.

Federal prosecutors, the most savvy of careerists, understood that early on and the aggressive prosecutions of conservative figures, along with the failed prosecution of leftists for some of those same offenses, is the result. Local DA’s like Fulton County’s Fani Willis, got the memo, and so did state officials aspiring to higher office, like Attorney General James.

This isn’t “lawlessness”: it’s a new sort of law based on a different set of values. And those values are fundamentally hostile to the traditional notions of law, fairness and freedom.

Law enforcement and the justice system in its various forms were brought into being to protect the ruling class and then to protect individuals from harm by criminals. The American experiment significantly watered down the elements of the legal system that treated the persons and the agendas of the ruling class as uniquely worthy of protection and democratized law enforcement so that it protected the persons and property of each individual citizen instead.

Progressive prosecutors, for all that they claim to be making the system fairer, are actually reverting to that earlier two tier system in which the justice system is a means of enacting the agendas of the ruling class rather than protecting the lives and property of individuals. Like those government bureaucrats who choose which regulations they adhere to, some prosecutors have usurped the powers of the people.

‘Punching up’ is really ‘punching down’.

The philosophy of the progressive prosecutors, much like DEI medicine, places more value on some lives than others based on their race, gender or other protected characteristic, almost entirely devalues personal property while valuing government property quite highly, and seeks to punish political dissent against the ruling class while rejecting the notion that its members have any obligation to protect the ordinary citizenry.

This progressive police state, like the rest of the social justice system, values generalities over specifics. It addresses “root causes” rather than protecting Mrs. Rosen or Mrs. Johnson from having their purses stolen, it drives “systemic change” rather than ensuring that a repeat sex offender stays away from the Greenview playground, and pursues other ruling class ideological agendas rather than providing defined services to a defined person.

The classical American view set out the duties of civil servants and elected officials in terms of the needs of the people while the progressive approach is to define the ideology of this governmental ruling class as the answer to all the needs of the people whether they know it or not. The shift in definition is also a shift in power that allows the ruling class to define its agenda as the embodiment of the national welfare and any opposition to it as a threat to the people.

This is why they often describe Republicans and conservatives as “threats to democracy” whose political views must be prosecuted and who need to be locked up to save the agenda.

Enacting the progressive agenda through every institution also involves protecting it through those same institutions. And within the ambit of prosecutors, that can mean dragging opponents of that agenda into court. Prosecutors who believe in social change are dropping the prosecution of criminals whom they consider victims of society while prosecuting opponents of social change for having caused all the social problems with their conservative politics.

Criminalizing dissent is not overreach: it is a necessity for those who believe that criminality stems from the political views of society and not the individual life choices of criminals.

Criminal justice reform legalized everything from drugs to shoplifting, sprang violent felons from prisons and eliminated bail, but it also worked to outlaw defensive measures from legal gun ownership to barring businesses from asking applicants about their criminal past. A raft of new laws targeting single family homes, theft prevention programs, surveillance equipment and a multitude of other conditions and tools that they blamed for criminality went up even as stealing was treated as a victimless crime and junkies carrying out violent assaults were set loose.

The criminal justice reform movement is as concerned with policing businesses and ordinary people as it is unconcerned with policing criminals. And a particular priority of the new progressive policing is punishing speech and ideas that are deemed hateful and sustain an oppressive capitalistic system of “whiteness” that they claim is the root cause of crime.

The more organized the ideas and the system, the more they need to be rooted out.

And that is what the lawfare aimed at conservatives, especially conservative elected officials, is about. Progressive prosecutors are implementing their agenda one freed criminal and one imprisoned conservative at a time. 

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.  Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.  Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Michigan Takes a U-Turn Back to the Rust Belt Stephen Moore

Stephen Moore  |  Feb 28, 2024 @

No state in modern times has transitioned from a worker freedom state to one that forces workers to join a union and pay dues to labor bosses. All the momentum across the country in the last two decades has been in the opposite direction: allowing workers the right to choose a union -- or not.

That's why what happened last week in Lansing, Michigan, is such a tragic setback for workers' rights and for the economic competitiveness of the state where Henry Ford rolled off the assembly lines the iconic Model T some 100 years ago.

Thanks to a corrupt deal between the labor bosses, the Democratic state legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan will no longer be a right-to-work state.

Is Whitmer intentionally TRYING to lose jobs in Michigan? Amazing how short the memories are in Lansing. Starting in the 1970s, Motown, which for decades had been the very symbol of America's industrial might, collapsed into the symbol of the American "Rust Belt." Closed-down factories turned Flint and Dearborn into virtual ghost towns.

From the 1970s to the early 2000s, Detroit crumbled into poverty. Whole neighborhoods were bulldozed, drug dealers were seemingly at every street corner, and homes were selling for less than $10,000 as the jobs disappeared and so did the families.

It wasn't that auto jobs left the country -- though some did. The real story was that the factories relocated out of the forced-union states and the moving vans delivered the jobs to South Carolina, Alabama, Texas and Tennessee. Why? Because these were states with pro-business policies that didn't cede control over to corrupt union brass.

Over the last three decades, right-to-work states created twice the number of jobs as forced-union states. According to Epoch Times reporter Kevin Stocklin, commenting on a 2022 Bureau of Labor Statistics report: During the COVID-19 pandemic, "Right-to-work (RTW) states added 1.3 million jobs since the start of the pandemic, while non-RTW states lost 1.1 million jobs."

That's one of many reasons why the booming South has taken over first place in terms of industrial production from the rusting Midwest and Northeast.

About a decade ago, Michigan realized it had to change or die. Michigan joined 25 other states and became a right-to-work state. Tens of thousands of workers said goodbye to the unions. Michigan made a comeback and a mini-renaissance followed. It was like the Michigan Wolverines winning the college football national championship.

But throughout this period, the unions were unrelenting in their opposition. They held protests in front of the capital, chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, right to work has got to go!" They spent tens of millions of dollars to elect Democrats to get the law overturned.

Whitmer and her cronies also resorted to a false advertising campaign that this was all about "a restoration of workers' rights." Just the opposite. Forced unionization degrades workers' rights because from now on in Michigan, you must join the union, and you must pay dues to the corrupt union bosses. The United Auto Workers union has been plagued with financial fraud and massive pay packages to the union leaders. That doesn't trickle down to the rank-and-file workers whose paychecks are pilfered to pay for this largesse.

Right-to-work states do not prohibit unions. There are union facilities throughout the South. Every worker chooses for themselves whether to join or not. Many workers -- especially the hardest-working and most productive ones -- would rather negotiate their own salaries, which in many cases are HIGHER than the rigid union pay scale.

The unions have never answered a simple question: If the union label is so beneficial to workers, how come you need to force them to join?

Many businesses won't even consider locating a new factory or blue-collar operation in a forced-union state. The auto jobs in America will now accelerate their migration to the Southern states.

Gretchen Whitmer is turning back the clock. Not to the glory days of Michigan, but more probably to the era of the Rust Belt, with closed factory doors and longer unemployment lines. So much for "Hail to the Victors."

Mann vs Steyn: That Judgment Was a Constitutional Disaster

By Rich Kozlovich

Last Thursday, February 8, 2024, a Washington, DC jury found Mark Steyn need to pay Michel E. Mann a million dollars, because of loses he didn't show, couldn't show, and didn't have.  Just like the Trump trials in New York, where he was prevented from defending himself, and was accused of fraud, found guilty of fraud, and there wasn't any accuser.  The corruption of the New York, and the DC jury pools, the prosecutors, and the judges is beyond description. 

The DC Superior Court entered the jury's verdict in final judgment, and Steyn shows what happens next:

What happens now? Well, in the next few weeks, there will be certain "renewed" motions from defendants that one is obliged to do, although they are highly unlikely to find favor with Judge Irving. After that, the case will be appealed by all parties - loser Steyn because he wants the decision overturned, and winner Mann because he wants the original corporate defendants, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, put back in the dock. (Irving, the "fifth trial judge", dismissed them from the case a couple of years back.)

The DC Court of Appeals, being the way it is, is likely to accede to Mann's wishes, but not Steyn's. How long that will take is hard to say, but, given the length of the last merely "interlocutory" appeal, it's unlikely to be quick. At that point, Mark will go to the US Supreme Court. A minimum of four out of nine judges is required to grant a writ of certiorari and hear the case. As Amy K Mitchell noted on Friday, one of them, Samuel Alito, grasped the implications of Mann vs Steyn half-a-decade back:

The petition in this case presents questions that go to the very heart of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press: the protection afforded to journalists and others who use harsh language in criticizing opposing advocacy on one of the most important public issues of the day. If the Court is serious about protecting freedom of expression, we should grant review.

Justice Alito also foresaw the DC Jury's verdict:

The controversial nature of the whole subject of climate change exacerbates the risk that the jurors' determination will be colored by their preconceptions on the matter. When allegedly defamatory speech concerns a political or social issue that arouses intense feelings, selecting an impartial jury presents special difficulties. And when, as is often the case, allegedly defamatory speech is disseminated nationally, a plaintiff may be able to bring suit in whichever jurisdiction seems likely to have the highest percentage of jurors who are sympathetic to the plaintiff 's point of view.

To emphasize just how dangerous this verdict was, Steyn goes onto quote others saying:

On that last point, Steve from Manhattan, a Steyn Clubber who attended the early part of the trial, notes:

The official court docket includes handwritten notes to the judge from the jury. I decided today to look at a few of them. Here is a note from one juror to the judge that was filed on January 18th:

'It is well known for my family and friends that I am not a fan of fox news. I wanted to inform the judge [indecipherable] to the sensitivity of this case. I did not recognize the defendant as a fox news host until opening statements.'

Needless to say, this person remained on the jury and voted for a $1 million punitive damages verdict—after recognizing Mark Steyn as a Fox News host.

The official court docket includes handwritten notes to the judge from the jury. I decided today to look at a few of them. Here is a note from one juror to the judge that was filed on January 18th:

'It is well known for my family and friends that I am not a fan of fox news. I wanted to inform the judge [indecipherable] to the sensitivity of this case. I did not recognize the defendant as a fox news host until opening statements.'

Needless to say, this person remained on the jury and voted for a $1 million punitive damages verdict—after recognizing Mark Steyn as a Fox News host.

 As Denyse O'Leary puts it in our comments section:

Many people don't understand how serious the problem of Steyn's defeat by the climate lobby is. Let me help:

It becomes risky to criticize climate change claims, no matter how questionable. At at time when governments contemplate destroying agriculture and confining people to within fifteen minutes of their homes in order to fight climate change, any number of whackjob theories will be promoted, always protected by fear of successful legal action against critics.

This at a time when I keep seeing articles whizzing through the science media about the growing problem of questionable or fraudulent research - that the Top People are always "going to" do something about...

Picture the Covid Crazy cubed. If we keep silent and do nothing at this point, we will *earn* a great deal of it. Better to fight the Crazy now.

This verdict is a massively dangerous precedent against the most important foundational level of American law.  The Constitutional rights under the First Amendment, freedom of speech.   

We really need to get that, and we really need to bring the federal judiciary under control with term limits and Congress needs to exercise their constitutional authority in determining the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary, with the exception of what's called original jurisdiction and defining that can get messy. 

Russia Sanctions – Biden’s Doomed Economic War on Putin

A sad case of geopolitical theater.

by | Feb 27, 2024 @ Liberty Nation News Tags: Articles, Opinion, Politics

 Russia Sanctions – Biden’s Doomed Economic War on Putin

President Joe Biden threatened crippling economic sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine. Then Russia invaded Ukraine. The administration imposed a spate of economic sanctions in response – but Russia continued its invasion and subsequent war against Ukraine. Though the Kremlin initially had a bit of a hiccup in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) when the European Union (EU) and the US imposed economic sanctions, Moscow found workarounds with the help of China, Iran, North Korea, and other allies. Russia’s GDP has rebounded. Why, then, does the president think a fresh new round of sanctions will fare any better?

Biden’s Sanctions Are Not Strategy-Driven

Like so much of Biden’s approach to the Ukraine crisis, there is no guiding strategy for the financial pressure. Sanctions have been applied incrementally with no specific objective other than the hope that economic pain will make Russian President Vladimir Putin and his cadre of oligarchs see the error of their ways and stop waging war against Ukraine. That hope faded quickly. In a recent Politico report, the failure of Biden’s sanctions is painfully evident. Politico explained:

“[T]wo years on, Russia’s economy has rebounded. Its factories are humming, its oil and gas sales are relatively strong, and its people are at work in a system retrofitted to be all about the war. Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, appears firmly in charge of the Kremlin, despite hopes that Russia’s elite would turn on him as the economic pressure grew.”

Not deterred by his sanctions failing to achieve the desired impact, Biden has issued hundreds more. “I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of Aleksey Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader,” President Joe Biden announced in a White House press statement on February 24. “We are also imposing new export restrictions on nearly 100 entities for providing backdoor support for Russia’s war machine,” the statement reads. After more than two years of sacrifice, Ukrainian defenders “continue to fight with tremendous courage,” as Biden put it. The truth is the current US national security team didn’t put all the sanctions it had at its disposal into the fight.

The equivalent of 600 sanctions could have been implemented before against Putin to impede his war machine but weren’t. Using the death of the Russian dissident Aleksey Navalny as the motivation for the new round of sanctions seems more geopolitical theater than a move by the US to make a substantive difference in Moscow’s behavior. Those familiar with how Biden’s White House staff sees the world are skeptical that the new economic limitation on the Kremlin will matter much.

“Analysts also express doubt that the latest round will have much impact. Critics of the US sanctions policy say it is another utilitarian step that only creates an illusion of decisive US actions as Ukraine’s defenses are crumbling against Moscow’s invasion,” Ian Talley and Vivian Salama wrote for The Wall Street Journal. Additionally, the Biden administration has a habit of not having a coordinated or integrated approach to its attempt to clamp down on Russia’s ability to continue its war on Ukraine.

For all its crowing about putting Russia in an economic vice, the US has not prevented Russia from profiting from continuing to sell refined petroleum products to the EU. “An EU sanctions loophole that allows imports of Russian crude if it’s refined elsewhere made Russia an estimated $1.2 billion from sales of fuels in the European Union last year,” reported recently.

Russia Can Work Around Economic Penalties

The Biden administration may think it’s tightening the economic screws on Russia to reduce its warfighting capability, but the evidence doesn’t back that up. Instead, Putin’s close relationship with China’s President Xi has enabled the Kremlin to maintain a profitable trade relationship around the world.

Russia’s alliances with Iran and North Korea have kept the flow of ballistic missiles, drones, and artillery ammunition flowing. Furthermore, reports from inside Russia indicate Putin has put his country on a wartime weapons production footing, contributing to a positive, if not increasing, GDP.

The latest economic indicator as of September 2023, reported by Trading Economics, is that the Russian GDP Annual Growth Rate was 5.5%, compared with the US GDP at 3.3% as of December 2023. To paraphrase Inigo Montoya from the movie The Princess Bride, “President Biden, you keep using that word ‘sanctions.’ I do not think it means what you think it means.” Biden’s warfare by trade bans and penalties against Russia has not worked. Economic sanctions have not impeded the war on Ukraine – and there is little evidence they ever will.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.

Read More From Dave Patterson


Tweet of the Year for 2024?

February 27, 2024 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

In the arena of public policy, who are the worst hypocrites?


  1. Politicians who push for higher taxes while using clever tactics to protect their own money?
  2. Preening celebrities who lecture us peasants about climate while they use private jets?
  3. Politicians who send their own kids to private school while fighting against school choice?

I’m tempted to say the third group is the worst. And Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina and Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky deserve to be on the list because of what they recently wrote.

Here are some excerpts from their column in USA Today.

We’re proud public school graduates… That’s why we’re so alarmed that legislators want to loot our public schools to fund their private school voucher scheme. …In North Carolina, the Republican legislature passed a voucher program with no income limit, no accountability and no requirement that children can’t already go to a private school. This radical plan will cost the state $4 billion over the next 10 years, money that could be going to fully fund our public schools. In Kentucky, legislators are trying to amend our constitution to enshrine their efforts to take taxpayer money from public schools and use it for private schools. …The future of our nation goes to class in public schools, and all Americans must be on guard for lobbyists and extremist politicians bringing similar plans to their states. …We are going to keep standing up for our public school students to ensure that they have the funding they need, and that teachers are paid like the professionals they are. It’s what’s best for our children, our economy and our future.

There are many things to criticize about their editorial, such as the fact that they are kowtowing to teacher unions. Or the fact that they ignore all the evidence about school choice producing better results for students. They even imply that school choice is part of a segregationist agenda even though minority students would be the biggest beneficiaries. So there are lots of reasons to condemn the editorial.

But the best critique is from Phil Kerpen. Here’s his response on Twitter (now X). Brief, but to the point.

It’s worse than disgusting.

P.S. In my list of hypocrites above, I should have included politicians in other countries who praise government-run healthcare but then run to the United States for their own treatment. And also bureaucrats at places like the IMF and OECD who get tax-free salaries yet promote higher taxes for everyone else.

P.P.S. Fortunately, Gov. Cooper’s awful views haven’t stopped progress in North Carolina.

Michigan Muslims Take Biden Hostage to Save Hamas

By @ Sultan Knish Blog

While Israeli commandos rescued a 70-year-old man and 60-year-old man who were being held hostage in Gaza, Hamas supporters in America were taking an 81-year-old man hostage in D.C.

Hamas may be losing in Gaza, but it’s winning in Michigan.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib is now the latest Michigan Muslim terror activist to urge Hamas supporters in the state to reject Biden in the primary by casting an “uncommitted” vote.

According to Rep. Tlaib, who became the only member of Congress to refuse to vote to condemn Hamas rapes of Jewish women, her goal is to “create a voting bloc” to stop Israel’s campaign to take down the Islamic terror group.

The campaign, misleadingly titled, “Listen to Michigan”, to pressure Biden into saving Hamas is being run by Layla Elabed, Rep. Tlaib’s sister and its spokesman is Abbas Alawieh, who had served as Rep. Tlaib’s legislative director and then as Rep. Cori Bush’s chief of staff.

The leading signatory of ‘Listen to Michigan’ is Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud (pictured above) who after the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7 had addressed a pro-Hamas rally declaring that Dearborn was “the city of resistance”.

That same rally featured Osama Siblani, the publisher of the Arab American News paper and with whom Biden officials had met in an attempt to end the pro-Hamas pressure campaign, who had previously told the Washington Post that, “Mr. Bush believes Hezbollah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions are terrorists, but we believe they are freedom fighters.”

The Dearborn mayor had spoken at a previous pro-Hamas rally at which Osama Siblani had threatened, “We are the Arabs that are going to lift Palestinians all the way to victory. Whether we are in Michigan, and whether we are in Jenin. Believe me. Everyone should fight within his means. They will fight with stones. Others will fight with guns. Others will fight with planes, drones. And others will fight with rockets. And others will fight in their voice.”

Michigan Muslims have decided to fight by taking Biden hostage while playing the victim.

Mayor Hammoud had recently convinced Biden to condemn a Wall Street Journal op-ed by a MEMRI counterterrorism researcher which exposed the level of terror support in Dearborn.

Hammoud then repaid Biden by doubling down on fighting to save Hamas from Israel.

The number two signatory is Michigan State Assembly Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash out of Hamtramck, the first all-Muslim governed city in the country, who has accused Israel of “genocide” and promoted a message urging “context” for the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7.

(Rep. Aiyash was profiled in the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Election Jihad report.)

The Hamtramck politician was rapidly elevated by the Democratic Party to one of the top positions in the state after first being elected in 2020. Rep. Aiyash abused that power to first block a resolution condemning the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7 because it did not also criticize Israel and complained that it neglected “the conversation around the Palestinian people, particularly in the Gaza Strip, who for decades have endured mistreatment.”

He has now decided to repay the Democratic Party by taking Biden hostage for Hamas.

Also signing on to the campaign is State Rep. Alabas Farhat, newly elected in the 2022 midterms, who claimed that asking him to condemn Hamas was a “racist dog whistle”, and who has accused Israel of “apartheid”, “occupation” and the “systematic murder of Palestinians.

Also listed is ‘Bill’ Bazzi, Dearborn Heights’ first Muslim mayor, as well as Dearborn Councilman Mustapha Hammoud, the son of Abed Hammoud. Abed Hammoud, a Lebanese immigrant and an “old family friend” of Gov. Whitmer, who had headed the Congress of Arab American Organizations alongside Osama Siblani, had complained that a government crackdown on the Hezbollah Islamic terrorist group was “smearing the whole community”.

“Now people are scared to even say `I want Hezbollah to defend Lebanon,’” he had objected.

Despite that, the Obama-Biden administration had made Hammoud an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. Hammoud is currently listed as the lawyer for Hezbollah financier Mohammad Bazzi: a “specially designated global terrorist” who has been described as “a player for senior Hezbollah operatives and senior Iranian leadership”.

Hammoud, the other Hammoud, Farhat, Aiyash and multiple other Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, and Muslim officials across Wayne County benefited from significant Democratic Party funding outlays. But they did not run for office or take power for the party, the country or for anyone or anything except members of their tribal group and its ideology of Islam.

Given a chance they demonstrated that their only loyalty was to Islam and Muslim terrorists, not America or even the Democrats who brought them here, nurtured them and funded them.

At a recent speech, Rep. Ilhan Omar, speaking in her native language, hailed Somalis as “people of one blood” and “people who know they are Somalians first”.

“The US government will only do what Somalians in the US tell them to do,” the translation describes the Somali Muslim congresswoman as saying. “They will do what we want and nothing else. They must follow our orders.”

“Sleep in comfort knowing I am here to protect the interests of Somalia from inside the US system,” Rep. Omar assured them.

That is the ‘Listen to Michigan’ campaign writ large.

“We are on the road to a great victory here in D.C. and there in Palestine,” Osama Siblani, who had openly expressed his support for Hamas and Hezbollah, boasted at the same rally at which Mayor Hammoud spoke and at which other ‘Listen to Michigan’ signatories were present.

To the Hamas caucus in America, they are fighting one war whether it’s in Israel or America.

And Democrats are learning the hard way that their new Muslim constituency has no loyalties or allegiances to anything except, as Rep. Omar put it, “people of one blood” and, as has been made clear in Dearborn, people of the same religion. And the issue goes far beyond Israel.

Hamtramck Amer Ghalib, the mayor of the first all-Muslim governed city in America, is one of the ‘Listen to Michigan’ signatories. Democrats squirmed when Ghalib banned flying gay flags, compared black people to animals and attacked Christians. He praised Saddam and Iran.

These are a few of the other things that Democrats have to accept from their new electorate.

‘Listen to Michigan’ and you can hear the mayor of the first all-Muslim governed city thanking a Sheikh and celebrating the “young people from the Salafi stream who came out with great enthusiasm and elected me”. Salafis, like the Al Qaeda group, are a Jihadist movement.

‘Listen to Michigan’ and you can hear the Dearborn mayor hailing his city as a “city of resistance” at a pro-Hamas rally.

‘Listen to Michigan’ and you can see Michigan being taken hostage by Islamic terrorists. And that same movement is now bent on hijacking the 2024 presidential election. With Biden polling poorly, the Hamas supporters in Michigan are betting that they can either force Biden to save Hamas by imposing sanctions on Israel or that they can take credit for his election defeat.

The emerging narrative is that the Democrats aren’t turning out voters because the party hasn’t come out strongly enough in support of Hamas and against Israel. If the Democrats lose in 2024, that narrative will solidify and future Democratic Party presidential candidates will be warned to support Islamic terrorism and oppose those like Israel who resist it or lose

A handful of Muslim settlers in Michigan built up their state within a state, they’ve taken the Democratic Party hostage and now intend to take the United States of America hostage.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine. Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Thought For the Day

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t.
The other half have nothing to say and keep on saying it.
Robert Frost, Poet (1874 - 1963)

Preconceptual Economics

By Rich Kozlovich

I subscribe to John Mauldin Economics.  I like it because unlike most economists, I can actually understand what he's saying.  I don't always agree, but he doesn't spew out a lot of incomprehensible economic jabberwocky.  So, on Saturdays I get an e-mail from John Mauldin discussing the latest in economics, and this week I thought his commentary, The Good News/Bad News Economy, was, overall, quite good, except his comment about inflation being caused by supply disruptions.  

While that's true the real cause of inflation is taxes, spending, borrowing, and regulations, all of which are out of control and a supply disruption was merely a trigger.  At any rate, I loved the science analogy.  Ive written about scientific fraud for many years and twisting data isn't just an issue for economic fraud.

Definition leads to clarity, and in science false scientific analysis is classified (among other things) as data dredging, conclusions in search of data, etc.  But I like Danae's definition.  She calls it Preconceptual Science. 
I can assure you there's a high degree of probability there's more "Preconceptual Science" going on out there than real science, and the biggest reason for that is government grant money has made scientific integrity and oxymoron.  The FED, and the federal government as a whole, is the reason there's so much "Preconceptual Economics" going on out there also.  Ask American car makers why they're going to lose billions on electric vehicles.  How could they not know this was a loser endeavor?
I knew from the beginning this electric car insanity was going to be a loss.  I knew the claims about global warming was fraudulent.  I knew alternative energy wasn't only a loser, it was environmentally disastrous, and wrote about it from the beginning, even when my friends chuckled thinking I was nuts.
Time and truth are on the same side, and I ended up bring right on all counts, and I was an exterminator for 40 years, not a scientist.  Furthermore, I'm an autodidact. I'm not formally trained in any of the things I write about, and end up being right about. have to ask yourself.  If the bugman could know all that, how did these highly educated professional managers not know it?  Ideology makes smart people stupid, that's how.  
So, I think we can add "Preconceptual Economics" to discussions involving the economy, and save a lot of time when discussing all the economically fraudulent analyses we see going on now.