TO MY READERS, I HAVE A REQUEST

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You know how much I respect your skills and talents. Today, I’m asking you to share them with me and your fellow readers.

Please send me your self-reliance tips (no politics, please!)

You all know by now that I am being harried off the internet for sharing conservative viewpoints from leading writers. While I will continue to do this, I am only going to respond to the effects of the damaging progressive policies being implemented in Washington D.C. To rail against the actual policies will exhaust and frustrate us all, as well as ensure that we are kicked off this hosting platform, lose the last of our advertisers and get blocked by the big email providers.

So, I am turning to you! You homemakers, gardeners, hobbyists, hunters, survivalists, car enthusiasts, parents, fisherfolk, experts, military experts, marksmen, inventors, bakers, heritage skill experts, — all of you with cool things to share.

I would like to ask you to send me your recipes, instructions, guides, photos, step-by-step instructions, and videos*. Please email them to me at selfreliancecentral@gmail.com . Remember NO POLITICS. This is my desperate attempt to get us back to our self-reliant roots and swamp the site with preparedness and quality of life improvements. Please know that I am the only person involved at SRC and I can’t pay but I would truly love to share your passions. (Please send only your original material. Copyright and intellectual property lawyers trawl these sites to sue people who use other people’s work.)

*If you make a video, I suggest you post it direct to rumble.com rather than on this site, as you can get paid when people view them. Let me know what you have posted and if I share it with my readers and viewers that means more eyeballs and more money earned for you!

Ready for adventure? Consider exploring this network of spectacular drives

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(BPT) – There’s nothing quite like packing up your car and heading out onto the open road. With over four million miles of road crisscrossing the country, how do you choose where to go?

In much the same way Congress set aside lands to be protected as national parks, the Department of Transportation has designated a network of spectacular drives that are protected as part of the America’s Byways collection. The collection contains 184 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads in 48 states. To become part of the America’s Byways collection, a road must have features that don’t exist anywhere else in the United States and be unique and important enough to be a destination.

In support of the great American road trip, Toyota Motor North America has become the official automotive partner of the National Scenic Byway Foundation. Included in Toyota’s support is $50,000 to fund the inaugural year of the Love Our Byways micro-grant program, to help support local conservation and beautification programs that will be amplified by grassroots volunteers. Find out how you can get involved at NSBFoundation.com, where you can join, volunteer or donate today!

“America’s Byways are roads that take you to the very heart and soul of America, connecting us to this country’s beauty, history and culture,” said National Scenic Byway Foundation president Chris Sieverdes. “Whether you’re looking for a bit of nostalgia on Historic Route 66 or culturally relevant exploration by touring the Selma to Montgomery March Byway, the collection has a road that’s sure to stir your soul. As the national voice of scenic byways and roads, we’re excited to partner with Toyota and look forward to working with them to preserve the grand drives that are part of our nation’s automotive heritage.”

If you’re searching for great road trip ideas, visit TravelByways.com to scout routes all over the country. Just click on the states that interest you and you’ll find myriad choices to begin the trip of a lifetime.

How to get to the bottom of your backside discomfort

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(BPT) – From exercise and travel to self-care and beyond, there are many activities that will help better your health and wellness physically and mentally. However, sometimes the most well-meaning activities can have unintentional effects on your body, including causing pain, discomfort and even uncomfortable backside itching or burning.

The good news? Back there issues are common and there are solutions to help manage and treat the irritation. To help you get to the bottom of why your backside may be feeling a bit off, consider the following triggers that might be causing discomfort.

1) Working the glutes

Moving your body is one of the best ways to maintain your overall health and wellness. However, strenuous weightlifting or exercises that increase pressure on your rear, such as bike riding, can lead to some unwanted backside issues. To help prevent that discomfort from leaving the gym with you, make sure to practice good form and warm up properly to reduce the risk of over-exertion, straining or injury.

2) Planes, trains and automobiles

Change in routine that inevitably comes with traveling often impacts our bodies more than we may realize. Particularly, extended time spent sitting on planes, trains or in the car coupled with not-so-ideal bathroom scenarios can lead to uncomfortable back there pains. As you plan out your travels, map out your route to give yourself breaks from sitting and find accessible bathroom options to ensure you can avoid “holding it in.” Additionally, find room in your suitcase for products to help you feel comfortable along the way, like Preparation H Soothing Relief Cooling Spray. The spray soothes and cools for fast, targeted relief of burning and itching in an easy-to-use, no-touch form to help keep you feeling fresh and comfortable.

3) Stressing out

Experiencing stress on a regular basis not only has a negative impact on mental well-being, but it can also have an impact on your body. In fact, prolonged stress can be linked to digestive issues, such as upset stomachs, loss of appetite and even constipation. Common coping mechanisms, like unhealthy snacking or alcohol, can create a negative impact on digestive health as well. Try incorporating stress-relieving activities into your daily routine, such as yoga, meditation or even chatting with a friend or loved one. Your belly and backside will thank you.

4) Favorite fragrances

Practicing good hygiene is an important part of taking care of your body; however, utilizing too many fragrance-focused products to keep clean may cause irritation or dryness to the skin, especially in the down-there region. Additionally, over-scrubbing sensitive areas when washing may also cause broken skin. Try simplifying your wash routine and use one gentle product instead. Less is more.

5) Wardrobe malfunction

A secret culprit of backside discomfort is wearing tight clothing. Restrictive fashion or lacy undergarments, especially when items are made of synthetic fabrics like polyester, can cause skin friction and even trap excess moisture, which could create a damp and irritating environment for your behind. Try incorporating looser fitting clothing options into your wardrobe, as well as pieces that are made of more breathable materials, like cotton.

Sometimes the sneaky culprits of backside discomfort can be common day-to-day activities. Taking a little extra effort to find solutions that work best for you will help prevent backside pains and help you stay comfortable all day long.

For more information, visit www.preparationh.com.

Allergy-friendly options to replace classic sandwiches

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(BPT) – Did you know 85 million Americans avoid buying foods with the top nine allergens because of allergies of someone in their household? According to Food Allergy Research and Education, $19 billion is spent annually to avoid specific proteins or allergens in their food. For parents especially, you know packing nutritious lunches your kids will actually eat is a struggle — but it’s even more challenging for those with food allergies or sensitivities. Fortunately, more companies and products are available today to make this a little easier.

“Creating lunches that are appealing both in how they look and taste, especially for particular dietary needs, is not as hard as it used to be,” said Gina Fontana, certified health coach and founder of the blog Healthy Little Vittles. “We can still enjoy our favorite meals by replacing problematic ingredients with alternatives that won’t cause us to experience unwanted symptoms.”

For consumers trying to avoid the most frequent allergy culprits, or who just want to follow a more plant-based lifestyle, here are tips for creating tasty lunches that kids and adults alike will be happy to find in their lunchboxes.

What are the top 9 allergens?

Food Allergy Research and Education lists the top food allergens as:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Soy
  • Sesame

For many with severe allergies, brief contact with even a trace amount can cause a serious allergic reaction.

How can you replace the sandwich?

Sandwiches are probably the number one lunchbox staple in the U.S. but choosing bread that’s delicious and appealing to the eye while not containing gluten or wheat can be difficult.

Fortunately, Little Northern Bakehouse creates entirely allergy-friendly and gluten-free bread. For parents, using their bread can help keep kids’ minds at ease as they head back to school with sandwiches just like their classmates have. Kids will never know the difference between this gluten-free bread and the real thing, because the size, taste and texture are like a typical slice of bread. Its Whole Grain Wide Slice is a good-sized gluten-free bread, differing from others that tend to be smaller.

“The size of this bread makes it easy to fill, wrap and get creative with whatever you pack inside,” said Fontana.

Fontana created this recipe for using the bread to make a tasty lunch whether for the lunchbox or as a delicious weekend on-the-go option:

Veggie Sushi Sandwich Rollups

Ingredients

1 loaf Little Northern Bakehouse Whole Grain Wide Slice Bread
Vegan cream cheese
2 nori sheets
1 avocado
1 cucumber
Shredded carrots
Everything bagel spice for garnishing

Instructions

Peel and slice cucumber into thin strips. Spoon avocado into bowl and smash with fork.
Cut crusts off each bread slice. Microwave one slice of bread at a time 12-15 seconds, then gently roll slice of bread flat with a rolling pin, making sure to flatten ends well.
Spread thin layer of vegan cream cheese over slice, then add piece of nori (cut to fit the slice of bread) on top of cream cheese.
Spread thin layer of smashed avocado over nori, then add slice of cucumber and some shredded carrots toward lower third of the bread slice.
Roll slice from the bottom up, then place rolled slice onto a plate, seam side down. Then repeat the process for all the bread slices.
You can slice the rolls like sushi or just eat as rollups! Sprinkle with everything bagel spice before enjoying.
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Replacing the classic PB&J

Now you’ve got a bread option, but how can you replace the peanut butter in the perennial kid favorite, PB&J? Try one of these ideas to replace peanut butter:

  • Hummus
  • Sunflower seed butter
  • Vegan cream cheese

With one of these options, you can pack an alternative PB&J. Pair with apple slices, carrot sticks and raisins, and let your child enjoy the freedom to be a regular kid with your average kid’s lunch.

Find creative ways to pack

One great tool for lunches is the bento box, originating from Japan, but now available everywhere. With these containers you can include several bite-sized lunch items including a variety of fruits, veggies, dipping sauce, vegan string cheese and other items. They are also washable and reusable, which helps cut down on excess packaging.

Visit LittleNorthernBakehouse.com for recipes, tips for gluten-free living and more.

How creepy is this?

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Last week, Friday, President Biden warned there are fewer democracies today than 15 years ago, during a public address on human rights and antisemitism for dedication of Dodd Center at University of Connecticut.

But it’s how he does it.

China Power Struggle – But Not The One You Think!

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  • China may have to set aside its ambitious plans to cut carbon emissions — at least in the short term — in order to tide over its worsening power crisis, said analysts, says CNBC
  • Such balancing act could be “uncomfortable” for China as it comes just weeks after President Xi Jinping said China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, said Gavin Thompson, Asia-Pacific vice chair at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.
  • Boosting coal supply cannot be a permanent solution to address the power shortages, given the need to reduce carbon emissions over the long term, said Morgan Stanley. (Yeah, right!)

The short-term reality is that China and many others have little choice but to increase coal consumption to meet power demand.

Gavin ThompsonASIA-PACIFIC VICE CHAIR, WOOD MACKENZIE

CNBC has fallen for the BS from the CCP over China’s emission-cutting plans. It doesn’t have any. The hard truth is they have no power right now and the supply chain is suffering as a result – as is their economy. As coal is nationalized the country has been unable to respond fast enough – prices are the same everywhere and the usual laws of supply and demand do not apply. Instead some towns are seeing as much as 80% reduction in power availability. Cue the coal industry!

Military to SEALS: Decline and we’ll come after you for training costs!

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Navy, Marine Corps Issue Policy, Deadlines for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for Active, Reserve Forces – Let’s be very clear about this, SEALs get this attention, but this is happening to all service members. That Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Guardian loses no less in this disaster.

Sailors with Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command (NMRTC) Bremerton administer the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to all unvaccinated active duty personnel assigned to commands in Puget Sound, Wash., Aug. 31, 2021. US Navy Photo

All active-duty Marines and Navy personnel must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 28, and reservists by Dec. 28, to comply with the Department of the Navy’s latest immunization policy, the services announced in all-hands messages.

The vaccines are mandatory even for those service members who’ve been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease but are unvaccinated. Anyone who isn’t officially exempt – either for a medical or administrative reason – faces punishment or adverse administrative action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice if they don’t get vaccinated by the deadline.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, in an Aug. 25 memo, ordered mandatory vaccinations for most of the force and directed the service secretaries “to impose ambitious timelines for implementation and to report regularly on vaccination completion using established systems for other mandatory vaccine reporting.” A service member is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after completing the second dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or 14 days after getting the single dose of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Military officials say the continuing spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, and in particular the more contagious Delta variant, makes getting vaccinated even more important to prevent infections and illness that risk the health and readiness of military service members.

“Of note, all Navy COVID deaths have been individuals not immunized (one individual was partially vaccinated),” Navy officials wrote in a Navy message, released Aug. 31 and detailing the new vaccination policy. “In consideration of this persistent health and readiness threat to Navy service members, vaccination against COVID-19 is now mandatory.”

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro issued the department’s 2021-2022 Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy on Aug. 30, which took effect immediately. It applies to active-duty service members, service members in the Selected Reserve, and service members in the Individual Ready Reserve.

“Protecting the health of the force and warfighting readiness is of paramount importance,” Del Toro wrote. “I thank and applaud all of you who have become fully vaccinated. Your action helps to ensure the health and safety of you, your family, your shipmates and your mission.”

“As the faithful maritime protectors of our country in peacetime and war, each of us must take ownership of our readiness to preserve and protect the force, and ensure the success of our mission,” he said. “Effective immediately, all DON active duty service members, who are not already vaccinated or exempted, are required to be fully vaccinated within 90 days and all Reserve Component service members are required to be fully vaccinated within 120 days of this issuance with an FDA approved vaccination against COVID-19.”

The move comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Aug. 23 decision to fully license the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, which previously had been available under emergency-use authorization for anyone age 16 and older. That vaccine, now being marketed as Comirnaty, remains available under emergency-use authorization for anyone ages 12 to 15 and as a third dose for some people who are immunocompromised.

As of Aug. 31, the FDA had not fully approved the other two available vaccines – the two-dose Moderna vaccine or the single dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine – so those remain available under the existing emergency-use authorization.

All Marines in active-duty units and in the reserve component – that’s Active Reserve, Selected Marine Corps Reserve and Individual Mobilization Augmentees – “shall be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless medically or administratively exempt,” the Marine Corps announced on Sept. 1 in a message issued by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger. “All non-exempt active component personnel will achieve full vaccination no later than 90 days from the date of (ALNAV 062/21), and all non-exempt reserve component personnel will achieve full vaccination no later than 120 days from the date of” ALNAV 062/21.

“Prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, service members will have access to healthcare providers at DoD administration sites to address questions or concerns with COVID-19 vaccination,” the message stated. The Marine Corps will issue additional guidance at a later date for any Marine who’s required to get the additional “booster” shot of COVID-19 vaccine. While the message did not include vaccination policy for Marine Corps civilian employees and contractors, “additional guidance…will be promulgated in a follow-on” message, the service wrote.

“Marines in recruit training will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccination,” a Marine Corps spokesman told USNI News. It’s unclear whether vaccination would be required before anyone unvaccinated ships to boot camp.

For the Navy, “new accessions will be fully vaccinated as soon as practicable following service entry,” the Navy message states.

Both services’ administrative messages detail vaccine documentation requirements, medical and administrative exemptions, vaccine administration and reporting of any adverse vaccine reactions.

Navy commanding officers and officers-in-charge are tasked with identifying Navy personnel who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 and, “in coordination with supporting cognizant medical authority, direct that unvaccinated Navy service members will initiate vaccination with an FDA-licensed vaccine or, optionally and alternatively, with a vaccine approved for emergency use, on a timeline that achieves full vaccination” per the DoD immunization policy, the Navy message states. Counseling will be provided “regarding refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine. This counseling will include access to a healthcare professional to answer questions regarding the risks of COVID-19 and the benefits of COVID-19 vaccinations.”

For any Navy service member who is unvaccinated by the deadline, “their ultimate disposition will be determined by the designated COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority (CCDA),” the Navy message says. “The CCDA will serve as the central authority for adjudication and will have at his or her disposal the full range of administrative and disciplinary actions. Until further notice, authority is withheld for initiating non-judicial punishment, courts-martial, or administrative separation in cases of Navy Service Members refusing the vaccine. The assigned CCDA and specific required reporting procedures and information will be promulgated via separate message.”

A service member who previously tested positive for or was infected with COVID-19 won’t get a pass from getting vaccinated, however. “A history of COVID-19 disease and/or positive serology is not a valid exemption from COVID-19 vaccination,” the Marine message states.

Any Marine or sailor who refuses to be fully vaccinated and doesn’t get approved for an exemption will face administrative action or punishment because the vaccination policy is ordered by the Defense Department and is considered a lawful general order.

“The order to obtain full vaccination is a lawful order, and failure to comply is punishable as a violation of a lawful order under Article 92, Uniform Code of Military Justice, and may result in punitive or adverse administrative action or both,” Del Toro wrote in his all-hands message. “The Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps have authority to exercise the full range of administrative and disciplinary actions to hold non-exempt service members appropriately accountable. This may include, but is not limited to, removal of qualification for advancement, promotions, reenlistment, or continuation, consistent with existing regulations, or otherwise considering vaccination status in personnel actions as appropriate.”

The policy does allow for certain exemptions.

“Permanent medical exemptions will be granted only when an individual has a medical contraindication to the required COVID-19 vaccine(s),” the Marine Corps wrote in MARADMIN 462/21. “For COVID-19 vaccination, a permanent medical exemption must be approved by the first O-5 or O-6 command surgeon in the member’s chain of command, after initial recommendation by a licensed DoD healthcare provider, and after evaluation by an appropriate medical specialist when appropriate.” A unit without a command surgeon must submit a permanent medical exemption request to the Director of Health Services, Headquarters Marine Corps, after getting an appropriate initial recommendation by a licensed DoD healthcare provider.

In addition, “temporary medical exemptions must be authorized by a licensed DoD healthcare provider, and may be granted when there is a temporary medical reason for postponing vaccination,” the message states.

Administrative exemptions are those issued for non-military reasons, granted “only when the commander determines that an individual service member has a valid reason to remain unvaccinated, typically for a brief (30 days or less) period,” it added.

In addition, “service members who are actively enrolled in COVID-19 clinical trials are exempted from mandatory vaccination against COVID-19, per ref (b), until their participation in the trial is complete,” the message states. These include Marines and sailors who are participating in clinical trials including a study looking at how exposure to the coronavirus might protect against future infections and identifying any chronic health issues tied to the disease.

The mandatory policy comes as the services have fallen short in encouraging more service members to get vaccinated, something that remained voluntarily as long as there was no FDA-licensed vaccine.

As of Aug. 25, “approximately 58 percent of active-duty Marines have been fully vaccinated,” Capt. Andrew Wood, a service spokesman, told USNI.

The Navy had the highest fully-vaccinated rate at 73 percent of the force; the Air Force and Space Force were at 57 percent fully vaccinated; and the Army was the lowest at 40 percent fully vaccinated, John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, told reporters at an Aug. 25 briefing.

The COVID-19 vaccine is the latest immunization required for service members under DoD Instruction 6205.02, “DoD Immunization Program.”

From Project Veritas

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Veritas Logo

Dear Kelly,

Project Veritas released a new video today featuring an interview with current U.S. Department of Homeland Security [DHS] Insider Aaron Stevenson, who serves as an Intelligence Research Specialist for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services [USCIS].

Stevenson decided to go public with information about a “reasonable fear” loophole that exists in the federal government’s immigration policy, which could allow potentially dangerous migrants to stay in the United States under false pretenses. He had previously sat down with Project Veritas for an interview in the shadows.

Here are some of the highlights from today’s video:

  • Aaron Stevenson, DHS Insider and Intelligence Research Specialist for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: “An email sent out by the Director of USCIS, which notified us about a rule change coming forward, is going to shift the adjudicative authority of defensive asylum away from immigration judges and giving it to asylum officers, which are USCIS.”
  • Ur Jaddou, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services: “The proposed system seeks to reduce processing times by transferring the initial responsibility for adjudicating certain protection claims from immigration judges to USCIS asylum officers. This rule would simplify the adjudication process for certain individuals who are encountered at or near the border, placed into expedited removal proceedings, and determined to have a credible fear of persecution or torture.”  
  • Stevenson: “This is going to be the biggest change to immigration policy in my lifetime. It’s being done without anybody knowing what’s going on about it and there’s been no coverage for the American people to know what’s going on.”
  • Stevenson: “[This new policy] leaves very little accountability to the public when this kind of operation exists. And when you couple that with giving the adjudicative authority away from an immigration judge to an asylum officer, you are removing any type of public pressure that they could apply on policies that they’re creating.”
  • Stevenson: “If the asylum officers get this ability, I will say it’s going to be a rubber stamp of immediately getting ‘credible fear’ or ‘reasonable fear’ [asylum seekers] to be able to stay in the country if they’re going to be deported…also their path to citizenship.”
  • Stevenson: “I will lose my job” for going public.

You can watch the video here:

The DHS whistleblower added that the public can go to www.regulations.gov/ to make their voices heard on immigration issues such as these.

If more federal government employees have information that the public should know about, particularly encompassing vaccines and immigration issues, contact VeritasTips@protonmail.com.

Be Brave,

James O’Keefe

ESG: Woke to Broke

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Corporations are under tremendous pressure to look woke. ESG is one of the new, popular methods of investing for public and private companies, it’s a massive exercise in virtue signaling, generally following a progressive or green agenda. Of course, there are lots of subsidies in things like ‘renewable’ energy, but mostly this type of investing is about trying not to look like an “evil capitalist” in the eyes of the chattering classes and antifa. So what’s ESG? And who loudly supports it?

Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) is an evaluation of a firm’s collective conscientiousness for social and environmental factors. It is typically a score that is compiled from data collected surrounding specific metrics related to intangible assets within the enterprise. It could be considered a form of corporate social credit score. Research shows that such intangible assets comprise an increasing percentage of future enterprise value.

And who likes it? Our old enemy, Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum and The Davos Agenda are huge fans.

So, what’s more important for a company: to make a profit, or to do “social good?” More and more companies seem to be focusing on the latter. But is that a good business strategy? And, what does that mean for the economy, for you, and most importantly for your retirement investing? Let this sensible professor for Pepperdine explain.

Biggest farm landowner in the US?

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Guess who is the largest private owner of farmland in the US. A 2018 purchase of 14,500 acres of prime eastern Washington farmland – which is traditional Yakama territory – for $171m helped him get that title.

None other than Bill Gates, the Microsoft billionaire and fan of the World Economic Forum’s desire to end farming, round up people and hive them in cities and rewild all countryside.

This is a map from January 2021.

“Bill Gates made headlines in November 2017 when one of his investment firms, Belmont Partners, announced the $80 million purchase of 25,000-acre plot of land in Arizona to build a smart city — “Belmont.” 

Belmont will be a fully functioning community with bustling businesses, schools and 80,000 homes. Once the city gates open, Belmont will be able to host an equivalent population to Salt Lake City, which is home to more than 193,000 people.” Smartcitydive

In total, Gates owns approximately 242,000 acres of farmland with assets totaling more than $690m. To put that into perspective, that’s nearly the size of Hong Kong. And it’s not only farmland – he’s buying water rights as well.

Combine that with Black Rock’s investment in middle-class homes we reported on here and we’re looking at full implementation of the WEF and its evil founder Klauss Schwab’s long held dream to return to feudalism – with us as the serfs – all in the name of Climate Change and the Great Reset!

Katie Couric Edits Ruth Bader Ginsburg Comments About National Anthem Protests to ‘Protect’ Her

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All the news that’s fit to coddle the minds of woke social justice warriors.

That’s the message to the world from prominent television journalist Katie Couric.

The former “Today” co-host actually admitted in her memoir “Going There” that she edited a 2016 interview with the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to “protect” her.

What was Couric protecting Ginsburg from?

Couric asked Ginsburg what she thought about former NFL player Colin Kaepernick and the trend he started in the sports world of kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

Ginsburg answered with wrongthink.

She said the protesters were “stupid” and “arrogant,” and she generally blasted the protests as youthful “folly.” Some of these lines of criticism made it into the final released interview, but the most condemning were left out.

Ginsburg said that the protesters showed “contempt for a government that has made it possible for their parents and grandparents to live a decent life.”

She then said that the protests show why “education is important.”

“Notorious RBG,” as her fans call her, wasn’t done.

“Would I arrest them for doing it? No,” she said to Couric of the protesters. “I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning.” 

Ginsburg said the protests were a “terrible thing to do,” even if there was nothing illegal about them, but if they “want to be stupid” there is no law that should stop it.

Of course, these words from the left-wing icon are utterly verboten to the modern woke left. In just a few years, common sense when it comes to the flag and our country—that they are something worth respecting no matter what part of the political spectrum you are on—has utterly collapsed.

Couric’s need to edit this interview for her audience says a lot, and there’s much to unwrap about it.

The big issue that drew headlines is that Couric, assumedly a journalist, was willing to cut up an interview to make the interviewee look better and dodge the implications of what she was saying. According to the Daily Mail, Ginsburg’s staff also wanted the edits.

On this point of journalist standards, Couric got roasted from the left and right. Even The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman called it “toxic.”

Couric made the ridiculous excuse that Ginsburg, a Supreme Court justice who bore the responsibility of making complicated decisions on the most important legal cases in the country, didn’t understand the question.

But the question seemed crystal clear. Is Couric implying that Ginsburg was old and confused about a straightforward question about Kaepernick and national anthem protests? If that was the case, it seems this would have provoked serious questions about why Ginsburg was even sitting on the nation’s highest court.

Still, as bad as the editing was, it’s hard to see it as shocking at this point. Couric was actually ahead of the game as far as where much of left-of-center media is going.

The young wokes have taken over newsrooms, and they can’t tolerate anything that doesn’t immediately conform to how they see the world. No longer can left-of-center outlets merely exert the more subtle bias of carefully selecting which stories to cover or not cover to direct political narratives.

Now, there is enormous pressure for every story to support the narrative, whether it’s true or not.

Did The New York Times pull back from the deeply-flawed, and in many casesoutright inaccurate, 1619 Project? Of course not. It won a Pulitzer Prize and is being peddled in K-12 schools around the country.

Couric knew that Ginsburg’s left-wing superfans expect their hero to embrace the “racial reckoning” that could surely only be opposed by icky deplorables and other unmentionables.

To hear that she wasn’t aboard their mass call to condemn America would have put her on the wrong side of history, ripe for cancelation alongside the statues and historical figures that were soon to be torn down.

But the left still needed Ginsburg. For many, she’s a quasi-religious figure who stands for all progress and good things in America. It needed her vote on the Supreme Court and it needed her to remain the secular saint to praise and worship.

Surely, St. Ruth couldn’t possibly be against diversity, equity, and inclusion, that just cannot be.

It’s hard to imagine today, but there was a time not long ago when prominent thinkers and leaders on the left didn’t outright promote the Howard Zinn tale of America as a country rotten all the way through.

That Ginsburg was more complicated than the absurd portrait created for her is deeply problematic for today’s absolutist cultural revolutionaries.

After all, if Christopher Columbus, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincolnneed to be torn down and forgotten for not conforming to the left’s ever-evolving ideology of today, a left-wing Supreme Court justice from 2016 certainly shouldn’t get a pass.

As with the Soviet Union and other totalitarian states, the past must be carefully cultivated to weed out all complexities and to conform exactly to what the revolutionaries want from the world.

And that brings up the final point about Couric’s decision to edit the Ginsburg interview. She openly admitted that she did this to protect Ginsburg’s legacy, that she had stepped outside of her role as a journalist to do so.

Besides a few frustrated and angry tweets, Couric clearly thinks there will be no repercussions to her actions. She can just openly tell the world that she has gotten into the business of manipulating interviews to tell the right story and expects things to just roll along as if nothing happened.

There appears to be an assumption that the hard left has unassailable control, that it’s better to just admit to throwing out professional standards rather than anger or offend its ideological adherents.

This may keep people like Couric in positions of power under current circumstances, but it adds to the simmering discontent and distrust that now exists toward America’s most powerful institutions. The veneer of objectivity is drifting away. Democracy is stirring.

By Jarrett Stepman, a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of Historypodcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” Reproduced with permission, original here.

This Doctor Opposes COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate. Now His State Won’t Let Him Practice Medicine.

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Dr. Stephen Skoly is unable to practice medicine or see patients after defying Rhode Island’s vaccine mandate. (Photo courtesy of Skoly)

Dr. Stephen Skoly is a well-known oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Rhode Island. He has been called to testify before lawmakers and serves as chairman of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity.

Skoly joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” along with Mike Stenhouse, president of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, to explain why they’re fighting heavy-handed government mandates. 

But recently, Skoly made news for another reason: He opposes his state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate. Because of his principled stand, he no longer is allowed to see patients or practice medicine.

Listen to the podcast or read a lightly edited transcript below.

Rob Bluey: Dr. Skoly, let’s begin with you. You are a well-known surgeon in Rhode Island and you’ve recently been ordered to cease care by the state Department of Health because you objected to the health care worker vaccine mandate. Can you explain to us what’s going on in your situation and what you currently face today?

Stephen Skoly: Sure. I received a compliance order on Friday, Oct. 1, to prohibit in-person care for my patients and the other patients that I would see throughout the state. I’ve been practicing here since 1988 and actually have a multitude of contracts, which include some of the state facilities as well as my private practice. The state facilities are inclusive of the Department of Corrections, special needs facilities, Zambarano Hospital, Eleanor Slater Hospital … and again, as I said, in addition to that, my private practice.

Bluey: And this is big news in your state. The Providence Journal has covered the story extensively. Can you explain how you ended up in this situation and some of the principle positions that you’ve taken that have led the state to come after you for this?

Skoly: Sure. The COVID mandate was issued in the middle of August with a charge of mandated vaccinations for health care workers by Oct. 1. I looked into a multitude of things. The most important for me at that point was a medical exemption. I had a somewhat complicated issue following a couple episodes of Lyme disease, which resulted in me having some Bell’s palsy. I had an ocular injury as a young adult to one of my eyes, which I’ve had some lens replacements.

And Rhode Island is pretty known for patients with Lyme disease. I mean, Lyme disease is very prevalent in southern New England. It’s prevalent in Connecticut and Long Island, certainly the Rhode Island shore, the cape, and the islands. And early on when I had this, a lot was not known about Lyme disease, and it came apparent that the Bell’s palsy I had associated was pretty much pathognomonic for making a diagnosis.

So I had that as a young adult. Now, some of the literature also suggests that these vaccinations and this COVID-19 vaccination could predispose patients with a history of Lyme disease and Bell’s palsy at an increased risk of developing Bell’s palsy. I recovered fine as a young adult, but I’m in my 60s now and might not recover so quickly or might not recover at all and I really don’t want any issues with my eyes.

So we looked at and we listened to the literature about the medical immunization exemptions. And when my primary care looked at it, there’s really no place, there’s no box to check. You either have an exemption because you have a severe allergic reaction or basically you’ve developed some type of myocardial problem secondary to the vaccination.

From that standpoint, and in conjunction with the fact that I actually recovered from COVID—I got COVID in December of 2020, pretty sick for a few days, all the symptoms with the exception of I didn’t really have a lot of the pulmonary symptoms, but certainly a lot of symptoms. And I did my appropriate quarantine and came back to the office.

I have been following my antibodies since that time and as recently as last week have quite a high level of COVID-19 spike protein IgG, which is the antibody for the recovery of my process. And it’s given me a pretty robust naturally acquired immunity and probably, and the literature is suggesting, that I might have five times the antibodies that a fully vaccinated person might have.

So that in conjunction with the fact that I have a medical reason to look into, also in conjunction with the fact that throughout this whole process, the whole pandemic, we’ve been practicing heightened universal precautions. 

I guess it’s OK for me to have seen a lot of patients who need my emergency services through the pandemic when, quite honestly, there was no vaccination, there was no herd immunity, and there really were inadequate medical interventions. 

Fast forward 19, 20 months later, we’re approaching herd immunity, if not already achieved it. We have a vaccination and I have naturally acquired immunity, in addition with universal precautions. I think I should be able to continue practicing.

Bluey: Well, doctor, I’ll come back to you because I have some follow-up questions I want to ask you, but I want to bring Mike Stenhouse into this conversation because the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity has recently produced a policy brief titled “Natural Immunity Should Be Included as a Vaccine Exemption.” So Mike, tell us your perspective on this and, looking at the data and the research, what you found.

Mike Stenhouse: Sure. And there’s a larger issue at play here, if I could first, Rob. And the mandates we’re seeing in Rhode Island—and don’t forget, there are multiple mandates. We have a school mask mandate for K-12 in this state and we have this health care worker vaccine mandate. The science is clear, and we put it forth in our memo with regard to natural immunity and vaccine immunization, I call it God-made immunity, which is natural immunity, versus man-made immunity, which is vaccine immunity. And in almost every case, something God-made is superior to something man-made.

And we have an epidemiologist who is an adjunct scholar to our center and he’s a regular guest on my video blog show called “In the Dugout With Mike Stenhouse.” And for months, six months, four to six months, he’s been talking about how natural immunity seems to be equal to, if not superior to, vaccine immunity.

So we [published] policy briefs where he cited the studies that show that. And even since we’ve put that policy brief out, the evidence is pouring in. It’s now overwhelming that natural immunity, as Doc Skoly just told you, is more effective, more protective than vaccine immunity.

But here’s the higher level point, Rob, if I may. In every case with the school mask mandates and with these vaccine mandates, this government in Rhode Island, the Department of Health officials, Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, and then the governor, Daniel McKee, are ignoring the real science. They’re basing mask and vaccine mandates on nonscientific data. They don’t put forth any data. They don’t even claim that there is specific research out there to back up their data.

I’d like to talk later about a court case that’s going on with the mask mandates to tie it in, but the higher level point here is that the state itself is not following the science, the real science, as they purport they do.

Bluey: Well, let me ask both of you this, on that note, and I do want to get to that court case in a moment, but the Rhode Island Department of Health and other elected officials in the state obviously appear to be putting politics ahead of health, as I’m hearing you describe this situation. As you’ve gone to them and explained the situation with natural immunity and maybe some of the other reasons that the vaccine mandate shouldn’t be imposing these requirements on individuals, what is the response you’re hearing from them?

Skoly: Well, I’ll direct that because it’s certainly affecting my ability to see patients. And we’re in the process of probably rescheduling in this quarter 2,100 patients. I mean, I understand the challenges facing public health officials when this pandemic started and nobody’s going to minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with the pandemic. It truly changed America and it’s sad, but the pandemic is certainly winding down and I want to get back to work.

My compliance order, I have not even been afforded a disciplinary hearing at this point. My challenge is, can I get a hearing? And I am assuming that they have no urgency to have this case heard before some type of disciplinary board.

The health and safety of my patients has never been, nor will it ever be, compromised or jeopardized, nor my staff. And with universal precautions and what we’ve done throughout the pandemic, there is no detriment to me seeing patients.

Bluey: On that note, it seems that if you’re having to cancel so many appointments with patients, they themselves are perhaps in a situation where they’re not getting the care that they need. So what has the reaction been from them, Doctor?

Skoly: I think the reaction for me has been extraordinary. I thought when I did this originally, I’d be the lone wolf. And as this goes further and further, I’m not the lone wolf. And I understand the charge of the Health Department and public health officials. I mean, for pandemics going forward, I think the algorithm is going to have to change. But having said that, their charge is to protect the public and I’m no imminent threat to the public at all, but there’s a threat to all the patients and what I do not being seen.

I trained at a Level I trauma center. I trained at Cook County Hospital and I thank those guys for the training that they gave me. It’s probably the first trauma center in the nation. It gave me the opportunity to take those skills here. I’ve done a lot of trauma, both in my practice and my private practice and for the state. And I think for me, not being able to continue to do that puts the health and safety of the public at greater harm than me not working.

Bluey: Mike, let’s bring you back into the conversation here and talk about the lawsuit you referenced earlier against the state’s school masking mandates. I know that parents are concerned about this, having the kids in a setting where all day they are forced to wear a mask, some of maybe the health implications related to that. What does the debate in Rhode Island look like right now and where do you see that going in the future?

Stenhouse: Right. I’ll get to that, but I want to go back to the question you asked two questions ago about what’s the reaction been when presented with the real science. There is no reaction because there has never been a forum for that. In our state, our pandemic response has been totally done under executive emergency action, whether it’s rules from the Department of Health or executive orders from the executive branch and the governor. No debate. The General Assembly, like cowards, have chosen not to engage. They don’t want to get involved.

So there has never been a forum where the alternative science can be presented and the fake science presented by the state can be challenged except for in this other court case.

So, in this other court case, parents brought a lawsuit against the state, three different departments of the state. The Department of Education, the Department of Health, and the executive branch all issued orders or rules to require masks. In no case did they cite the research to back up their mandates.

In court, for the very first time, there was a forum where the other, our side could be presented. And I can tell you that we are kicking their butts. They are panicked. They are trying to stop the epidemiologist expert from testifying. They’re trying to stop parents from testifying because they are tearing down the case, the medical premise for these mandates. It’s a clear case where the emperor has no clothes at all.

And in this open court, which is still ongoing, the government’s case is being systematically torn apart. And when Doc Skoly has his hearing—now, whether that’s in a public forum, we don’t know yet—the science will also show that the state has no medical basis for which to make these mandates, or at least to deny his claim of natural immunity. This is why this is so important in our state, because never before in a public forum has the real science been allowed to be presented.

Bluey: Mike, what is motivating these what appears to be elite bureaucrats in the state to impose these restrictions and these mandates on individuals like Dr. Skoly and so many of the other parents? Is it politics? Is it top-down control from Washington where, obviously, President [Joe] Biden has imposed similar policies? Or is there some other motivating factors?

Stenhouse: Well, we don’t know for sure. Of course, they say and they believe they have the science, even though they never cite it. I think it’s both of those things, top-down controls, politics. There’s probably some money involved, too. 

We know that the Big Pharma companies want to push these vaccines and whatnot and we don’t know if there are kickbacks or people are bought and owned. We’ve had this discussion in our state before on mandates for the HPV virus seven or eight years ago when we found out that the state was basically getting kickbacks from Big Pharma for every vaccine it administered.

So we don’t exactly know, but the term “tyranny” has been thrown around an awful lot around here. Just for no reason, they do whatever they want without any justification. And at least in these hearings, now there’s a chance for us to respond. I wish I knew their motivations, Rob, but they’re not good ones, I’ll tell you that.

Bluey: And explain to our listeners why the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity has decided to take on this issue so directly. Obviously, having the chairman of the organization and the CEO speaking out there vocally about what’s going on in Rhode Island sends a strong message to the citizens of that state.

Stenhouse: I’ll let Doc respond in depth, but I’ll say this, in addition to the medical and technical reasons that Doc Skoly listed why he didn’t comply with the vaccine order, the unjust order, is because we stand for individual liberty and freedom. … So there was a principled reason why Doc took this position as well because it is the mission of our center to preserve and protect individual and constitutional rights. Doc Skoly, your thoughts on that.

Skoly: Yeah, sure. I’m sure at this point, appropriately so, there are a lot of health care workers in the state of Rhode Island who are practicing and are not vaccinated. I don’t know how they’re going to monitor that compliance. I don’t know what affidavits are going to come forward.

The executive order was issued Aug. 15 for compliance Oct. 1. So in my particular situation, I was able to practice with monitoring and COVID testing until Oct. 1, and then they knew and I made it public that I was not going to get vaccinated for my medical reasons and I wanted a medical exemption. So I am now, after Oct. 1, an imminent threat to the health of the public, but for every one of us who was unvaccinated and tested appropriately between Aug. 15 and Oct. 1, were we not imminent threats? We were unvaccinated then. And imminent I think means like right now.

And I am sure there are licensed practitioners in the state of Rhode Island and facilities, in fact, a lot of the facilities are asking for extensions and exemptions. They’re asking for extensions for compliance, because there’s a critical need for some of their services.

I think my open defiance of this medical tyranny wasn’t consistent with the government narrative that exists right here and they’re taking it out on me. We kind of expected it. I kind of knew it. I didn’t think it would go this far. I thought I would already have been granted a hearing and maybe make some type of exemption based on my medical history.

Bluey: And Dr. Skoly, when it comes to you taking this stand publicly, as I mentioned earlier, it’s been covered widely by The Providence Journal, and I imagine that in the medical community people are paying attention to what you’re doing. Where do you ultimately want this to end? What is the best outcome for you in this situation and how can that maybe influence other policies in states beyond Rhode Island?

Skoly: Sure. I think the charge would be to have the Department of Health start to look at the science, look at God-given immunity, look at naturally acquired immunity, look at and facilitate a discussion for that medical exemption immunization form where the patient can have a personal choice with their physician to determine what’s in their best interest.

At this point, here in Rhode Island, because of this and the way I see it, our freedom of choice, our personal responsibility, and our liberties are kind of vanishing right before us. So I’d like, certainly, that to be evaluated. And if you start to acquire and start to look at the science with natural immunity and the COVID survivors, they should be granted freedom from the vaccine mandate.

Bluey: And Doctor, one follow-up question to that. You mentioned the number of cancellations you’ve had to do as a result of this order. What does it mean for your livelihood? Are you able to continue indefinitely or does there come a point where you have to make some tough choices about what’s going to happen with your medical operation now?

Skoly: Yeah. I mean, I knew this going in, and I mean, I’m not the big boy, but I didn’t start doing this a few weeks ago. I’m in this until the end. I want to see this through. I couldn’t have done this 10 or 15 years ago. My kids were in college. You have familial obligations, you have your parents to take care of. I’m in a position now where I can withstand it a little bit. And it’s really given me a lot of sympathy for maybe, not demeaning the little guy, but the person who has to go to work, who can’t say, “I’m not going to work for a couple days because I want to stand in principle,” and their families are dependent on them.

I’m in a position, fortunately, pretty conservative investor, have kind of done OK. I can withstand this for a little bit. And I think I’m right and I think I’ve got this.

Bluey: Well, I know that our Daily Signal listeners will appreciate that principled position that you are taking. Mike, I want to go back and give you an opportunity to answer that same question. Where do you ultimately want to see this end up and what role do you see your organization ultimately playing in not only the education of people in Rhode Island, but maybe having an influence for other state-based policy organizations?

Stenhouse: Yeah, and we do think that potential to be something that can be important to other states in the future is there, and here’s why. 

So my advice to anyone listening, we’ve seen all these lawsuits in all these states, and most of them are getting shut down, denied by the courts, because the arguments have been, well, does the government have the authority to impose these kinds of mandates and eliminate choices from people and do these mandates impose on people’s constitutional rights? And the courts are more consistently than not saying, “Well during an emergency, during a medical emergency in this pandemic, yes, we have to give government that leeway.”

What’s different about the court case with the parents—we call it the “parents united lawsuit”—who are going against school mask mandates, and what will be different in Doc Skoly’s hearing is the argument is not going to be so much on the power of the government versus the rights of the people, it’s going to be attacking the very medical basis that the government is using for these mandates.

In the school mask mandate trial, they’re arguing that there is no emergency among kids and masks, even if there was, are not the solution. Science says that they are ineffective.

So they’re attacking the medical premise that the government is making and we’re winning the day. I don’t know that we’ll ultimately win the case, but we are winning the day. And the state’s attorneys are panicked because they’re used to arguing this on a constitutional basis, which is pretty much a proven failure in this state.

So what I would like to see is what Doc Skoly just said, is to see the actual science get debated more and become part of the discussion so people in government and elected officials can determine whether or not there’s a real basis for seeking to impose these kinds of heavy-handed mandates on the citizenry.

Bluey: Well, thank you for helping to expose what is going on there. I want to give each of you an opportunity to make the last word here. Mike, Dr. Skoly, I think that our listeners really appreciate what goes on in the states, increasingly so as they see what’s happening in Washington. So if you want to tell us a little bit more about what the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity does and any of the other things that you might have going on at the organization, I’m sure that they would be grateful to hear about this.

Stenhouse: Well, I’ll give Doc the final word. RIFreedom.org is our website. We have a petition out there for Doc Skoly. It’s RIFreedom.org/DocSkoly. And just in a few days, I think we have about 500 signatures and each petition generates an email to state and health officials. So we’re really enthused about that.

It was Ronald Reagan who conceived the State Policy Network three, four decades ago because he said it’s great to have groups like [The Heritage Foundation]. This is exactly his cause. It’s great to have national groups like Heritage Foundation, but we need little mini Heritages across every state because there’s going to be so many state-based battles I can envision in the future. And Ronald Reagan was so prescient about that and correct. And we are the little mini Heritage in Rhode Island.

So for everything you guys stand for, we stand for it, too. We’re fighting it at a local level, where you guys fight it at a national level. Thank you for doing what you do and we’re just following in the tradition.

Skoly: I’ll follow up, and thank you as well for what you do. Mike, I hope this isn’t the last word. I hope we continue this debate and are able to show the science to a multitude of regulatory agencies.

I mean, the health care system, as well as what you just talked about a little bit, Mike, the educational system, has certainly been challenged even before COVID. I’m in my fourth decade of work and now I haven’t worked in seven or eight days. So I’m out there a little bit seeing what’s going on in America, certainly seeing what’s going on in Rhode Island, in my community. Has everybody looked around and seen what’s going on? It’s COVID chaos and it’s truly transformed our society.

So the final word is, if these mandates are allowed to continue, what kind of mandate is next? And I guess that’s why I’m just going to stand on principle. And hopefully I can do this for a long time and it has an appropriate outcome for the citizens of our state and for their health and safety.

Bluey: I think it’s a fair question to ask and I’m glad that you posed it. It’s something that we all need to consider. Having just interviewed Victor Davis Hanson, who wrote a book called “The Dying Citizen,” talking about the importance of citizenship and speaking up, I think that you both are a testament to what he’s talking about and I thank you for coming on the show today and describing what’s going on in Rhode Island. We’ll make sure to include a link to that petition in our show notes. And please keep us posted as things develop there. We want to make sure we follow this case.

Skoly: Last though, because I don’t want to steal that term, but that term I used, COVID chaos, was from his article on the Afghanistation of America, which I thought was just profound.

Bluey: Well, thank you for that. Dr. Stephen Skoly is chairman of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity and Mike Stenhouse serves as its CEO. Thank you both for being with The Daily Signal.

Skoly: Thank you very much.

Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Deplatformed: How Big Tech and Corporate America Help Subvert the 1st and 2nd Amendments

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Anyone familiar with the Bible is familiar with the Mark of the Beast: Without this mark, no man may buy or sell.

Regardless of one’s religious faith or lack thereof, there is an illustrative case in this biblical story: When one cannot buy or sell, one is metaphorically up the creek. Short of producing everything one needs oneself, buying and selling are necessary parts of virtually every modern person’s life.

In our modern world, we can begin to see a sort of Mark of the Beast: While ideas and even objects aren’t banned, they are increasingly difficult to come by, not due to government fiat, but due to the machinations of corporations hostile to the American values of freedom.

One can be in favor of the free market while recognizing a simple truth: There is no way that America’s Founding Fathers would have sat on their hands while five corporations dominated American discourse and commerce. It is hard to imagine, for example, the Founders suffering a single private bank processing most of the payments in the United States and refusing to do business with gun merchants. Alternately, one can scarcely imagine that the Founders would have sat still for three companies – all of them hostile toward American values and the Constitution – dominating political discourse and deplatforming anyone who opposed them.

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This is the situation in which we find ourselves as a nation today: Guns are not illegal, but private companies will make it increasingly difficult to buy, sell or own them – up to and including pulling your bank account. You have all the freedom of speech you like, but prepare to be deplatformed or have your voice buried by large tech corporations with their thumb on the scale of American discourse.

As the American economy has become more corporatist – such that the market is controlled by the interrelation between monolithic mega-corporations, Wall Street and the state – and less capitalistic and dynamic, the American press and economy are now being dominated by forces hostile toward the American public and American values.

No less an authority than James Madison warned Americans that the First Amendment alone was not enough to protect free speech. In Federalist No. 47 and Federalist No. 51, he argued that the separation of powers was necessary to protect free speech by preventing one branch of government from accumulating too much power at the expense of the others and, indeed, the rest of society at large.

This is an important point to remember when considering the First Amendment implications of Big Tech and its war on free speech and gun freedom. The Founding Fathers did not live in a world where a few large corporations had more power than the (incredibly limited and power impoverished) government had, either at the federal or the state level. It’s doubtful that they could have conceived of such a thing.

But they did carefully consider the problem of centralized power as it pertained to the rights enshrined in the Constitution. At the end of the day, the Constitution is just a piece of paper with no ability to enforce itself. What’s more, if the Founders did not address the notion that the private sector could meaningfully and substantially circumvent rights for all Americans, it was simply because they could not conceive of such a thing, not because they were writing the private sector a blank check.

Table of Contents

Corporate Big Brother: Banks as Gun Control

Who needs to pass gun control laws anymore? The left can simply appeal to payment systems, banks and processors as a method of non-state gun control.

Case in point: Andrew Ross Sorkin’s December 2018 article decrying credit card companies for “financing” mass shootings. As with many arguments from the left, the premise is flawed, but very simple: Because eight out of 13 shootings that killed more than 10 people in the 2010s involved a credit card purchase (though, as always, it is worth asking what counts as a mass shooting and what is being left out of the tally – more on this here), credit card companies have a responsibility to step up and stop allowing their customers to make purchases for firearms using credit cards.

This effectively amounts to a request for banks to begin surveilling the legal economic activity of their customers.

It’s not far-fetched to consider that some mass shootings have been facilitated by credit card purchases. The Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateenas well as Aurora theater shooter James Holmes used credit cards to purchase the weapons and ammunition they ultimately used to commit mass murder.

But mass shootings, particularly those not part of urban gang warfare, are incredibly rare, despite the overwhelming amount of media attention paid to them. What’s more, while statistics for such would be difficult to formulate, the vast, overwhelming majority of firearms and ammunition purchases made with credit cards are made by law-abiding citizens for entirely legal purposes. For most Americans, firearms purchases can be a spike in their normal spending for the month. And what of it? The call for credit card companies and other payment processors to monitor the economic activity of law-abiding citizens would cause an outrage if the government were to do it, so why is the American public supposed to sit still for an invasion of their privacy simply because a private company is performing the surveillance?

Anyone who has ever made a firearms purchase knows that the bill can add up quickly. The oft-demonized AR-15 can easily top $4,000 when the price of a scope, rifle case and a decent cache of ammunition are added to the bill. Even a humble handgun purchase can quickly hit over $1,000 when a good holster and ammo are tacked on. This means that millions of Americans purchasing firearms for no reason other than recreation or self defense are going to have their personal finances investigated by a corporate Big Brother, with all the lack of transparency one can expect from a massive bank whose starting premise is “guilty until proven innocent.”

The attempt by the left to get banks to snoop on legal purchases amounts to nothing more than the stigmatization of the exercise of one of the rights enshrined in our Constitution. And while some would argue that the Constitution only limits the government’s actions, it must constantly be asked why we should allow for such an intrusion into our private lives simply because a private company is doing it.

“If you don’t like it, just make your own credit card company.”

Hardly.

Corporate Gun Control and the Mark of the Beast

Deplatformed: How Big Tech and Corporate America Subvert the Second Amendment

After the Parkland Shooting, the American media entered into another round of its “something must be done” (read as: your guns must be taken away) propaganda. One result of this was some of the biggest banks in the United States dropping or scaling back their relations with gun manufacturers.

JPMorgan Chase’s Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake crowed to reporters that the company’s relationship with firearms manufacturers “have come down significantly and are pretty limited.” Bank of America announced its intention to stop extending credit to business clients manufacturing “military-style weapons.” One must, of course, ask if this applies to companies engaged in supplying the United States military itself or the increasingly militarized police found in our nation’s cities.

Bank of America stopped short at stigmatizing the retailers who sell such weapons. Citigroup, however, took the step of requiring any of its business partners to restrict firearms sales to those over the age of 21, as well as those who have not passed a background check. They also barred their partners from selling so-called “high capacity magazines” and bump stocks, which were later banned.

Amalgamated Bank went perhaps the furthest of all, refusing to invest any of its assets in companies involved in the manufacture of “firearms, weaponry and ammunition.”

This leads into another aspect of corporate gun control: Not only is the left demanding that big banks snoop around in your legal purchases, the banks are also starting to make it more difficult for gun manufacturers to obtain the financial services banks would never dare to deny to any other law-abiding company simply on the basis of what they sell.

There is, of course, consumer push-back. For example, the somewhat successful boycott of Dick’s Sporting Goods after it ceased selling so-called “assault weapons.” But Dick’s is still in business and still not selling scary black rifles. And while you can do your business with a competitor, it still doesn’t change the fact that the message has been sent: Companies can remove legal items from their shelves in a politicized fashion with virtually no meaningful consequences.

There is also the growing specter of private companies banning customers from carrying in their stores. Huffington Post compiled a list of seven companies who do not want legal firearms being carried in their businesses. Outback Steakhouse was at the center of a story where a law enforcement officer was asked to leave because he was carrying, something that he is required to do when he is in uniform. Salesforce, a popular software platform for online retailers, will no longer do business with companies who sell virtually all forms of semi-automatic weapons.

Microsoft has put language in its Code of Conduct that prevents users from using them “in any way that promotes or facilitates the sale of ammunition and firearms.” This is another sweeping example of corporate attempts to infringe upon America’s Second Amendment rights. There is nothing illegal or immoral about owning, selling or promoting firearms. Indeed, the right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the Second Amendment.

This is a form of corporate coercion that shows the limitations of simply relying upon the Constitution and the free market to ensure one’s rights are respected. It’s hard to imagine that the Founders would simply have thrown up their hands and accepted that corporations were making it impossible for them to exercise their rights simply because there was nothing “unconstitutional” about it.

Beyond this, however, there are two rather frightening developments.

The first is several liberal state governments skinning the cat from the other end. Rather than making it difficult or impossible to purchase firearms, they are going after the National Rifle Association. While many well-meaning people in the Second Amendment movement consider the NRA to be weak tea (and not without good reason), the fact remains that the NRA is the most public and prominent opponent of gun grabbers. The fall of the NRA at the hands of gun grabbers (as opposed to more principled pro-Second Amendment groups) would spell disaster for gun rights in America, setting a precedent that would be used against other organizations protecting gun freedom.

The State of New York, led by Andrew Cuomo, has started attacking insurance programs offered by the NRA to its members. He has also attempted to threaten every insurer and bank in the state to not do business with the NRA. It is important to remember that the banking industry is largely centered in New York, meaning that the governor of that state has an outsized influence on how banking is done across the nation.

Another chilling example of corporate coercion goes beyond the Second Amendment and into the First: Popular veteran rights and gun blog “No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money” was removed from Blogger, a blogging platform owned by Google, on the grounds that it “promoted or sold regulated items.” The website was later restored with the explanation that it was removed by an automated system.

PayPal, the biggest payment processing system on the Internet, cannot be used for any exercise of your Second Amendment rights, nor to pay for dissident thinkers’ services such as Stefan Molyneux and Alex Jones or even Wikileaks. One is not obligated to support or defend the beliefs of any of these people or groups to see that a dangerous precedent is being set. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) has an extensive list of companies and brands that have instituted anti-firearm corporate policies or have supported further strict legislation.

These are neither the first nor the only times that Big Tech and corporate America have attempted to censor conservatives, libertarians, pro-gun freedom forces and others with opinions to the right of John McCain. Some have argued, not without solid evidence, that Big Tech is involved in a full-throttle war against conservatives and free speech on the Internet. We’re inclined to agree.

Big Tech’s War on Free Speech

There is a war against free speech and Big Tech is the one waging it. Congress has looked into this, with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas leading the charge, not allowing Facebook and other Big Tech companies to weasel out of answering hard questions that the public has about censorship on the Internet.

It’s less true to say that Facebook, Google and other Big Tech platforms “lean left” than it is to say that they push a globalist, neoliberal, corporatist line that eschews any sort of values or ethics other than growth. Edward Abbey has said that the philosophy of growth for the sake of growth is also the philosophy of the cancer cell.

The Big Tech war against free speech is nothing new and there have been canaries in the coal mine for years. Everyone remembers MILO being shown the door on Twitter for a dubious accusation that he led a mob against actress Leslie Jones. But the real test case was not him, it was hacker and troll Andrew Auernheimer, commonly known by his handle “weev.”

weev (always lowercase) is difficult to defend because he has unpopular viewpoints. To wit, he has a large swastika tattooed on his chest. However, proponents of the First Amendment and free speech shouldn’t be concerned with what weev thinks or says, because what he thinks or says is irrelevant to whether or not he has the right to think it and say it. But Twitter and other Big Tech platforms were smart in choosing such an ideological pariah to test the waters.

There is a direct line to be drawn from the deplatforming of weev on Twitter to the unpersoning of Alex Jones to the shadow banning and outright deplatforming of conservative voices all across the web. Mainstream, establishment conservatives have done themselves a disservice by attempting to defend themselves against deplatforming on the basis that “I’m not a Nazi” for two reasons.

First, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Nazi or not. All legal speech should be allowed on social media, or else Big Tech is an editorial content curator, which makes it liable for anything that is posted on there. This means that your ex-spouse lying about how you missed Little Timmy’s baseball game on Facebook can be construed as defamation, for which Facebook is liable because they didn’t remove the status update. Facebook’s pretense that it is a content-neutral platform, a claim that is patently false, is what protects it from being sued every time someone lies about someone else on the platform or from being hauled into court every time that ISIS uses WhatsApp to coordinate an attack.

But the other reason is that for many on the left, there is not a tangible difference between weev, MILO, Alex Jones, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Wayne LaPierre, Ted Cruz, Ben Sharpiro or the President of the United States. Anyone to the right of John McCain is seen as either a literal fascist, a fascist apologist, or a gatekeeper who opens the door to fascist ideology. 

Big Tech will not stop at deplatforming actual, self-avowed fascists, nor will it stop at conspiracy theorists, edgy conservatives, or even “respectable” centrist types like Dave Rubin. To throw the far right under the bus in the hopes of satisfying Big Tech’s blood lust is a strategic mistake – it legitimizes the entire process of deplatforming, which will eventually swallow up anyone who believes in the Constitution and the rule of law. Big Tech and the left either see no difference between you and a Nazi, or pretend not to because it’s politically expedient.

This is doubly important because of how many Big Tech companies are actively spying on their users. The EFF maintains an annual detailed list of who is telling the government about its users and their data, who informs users that the government is sniffing around about them, and who even bothers to disclose their data retention policies.

What this means is that if and when the federal government begins compiling a list of “potential right-wing terrorists” or “right-wing extremists” (to the extent that they do not already maintain such lists), they will have a ready-made mine of data from Big Tech, who have shown themselves to be more than willing to cooperate with the federal government, with minimal or no arm-twisting on the part of the feds. Take, for example, the Philadelphia synagogue shooter. Self-proclaimed “free speech” platform Gab was more than willing to hand over all the data they had about his account to the feds without even being asked.

Sure, no one wants to be in the position of defending a synagogue shooter. But the point is that these platforms, even the ones who allegedly have your back, have shown themselves willing to roll on their users provided enough of a fever is whipped up in the press.

Conservatives Censored on Social Media

Deplatformed: How Big Tech and Corporate America Subvert the Second Amendment

It’s worth showing just how many mainstream, run-of-the-mill conservatives have been censored by Big Tech – it’s not just the MILOs and the weevs of the world who are being shown the door. Indeed, we believe that these types are censored not out of any actual desire to suppress so-called “hate speech,” but instead to act as a test case for setting the precedent for suppressing legal speech. Here are some examples that are worth considering: 

  • Pastor Rich PenkoskiThis pastor runs a popular Facebook page, “Warriors for Christ.” He was suspended mid-sermon for criticizing the rainbow flag. He was previously banned for calling an atheist a liar and sharing verses from the Quran that called for the killing of non-Muslims.
  • Over Two Dozen Catholic PagesIn July 2017, Facebook banned several Catholic pages with millions of followers. Most were based in Brazil. Facebook removed the pages without explanation.
  • Rep. Marsha BlackburnNot even elected officials are immune from social media deplatforming. Facebook removed an ad for Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s campaign that attacked pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood.       
  • Alveda KingFacebook removed paid ads from Martin Luther King’s niece Alveda King for her documentary on Roe v. Wade.                    
  • Ryan T. AndersonTwitter refused to run several ads from Christian radio stations for an upcoming interview with Ryan T. Anderson. Anderson is a critic of             transgenderism and radical gender ideology.     
  • Robert SpencerThe head of JihadWatch.org, a website covering radical Islam, was removed from social media and even had his credit cards canceled. He also claims that Google buries him in results for searches about “jihad.”
  • Brian FisherThe President of the Human Coalition notes that this anti-abortion group has had prayer apps removed from the Apple store and has had its content repeatedly removed from Twitter despite taking pains to ensure that all of it is within Twitter’s narrow, anti-First Amendment guidelines.   
  • PragerUPragerU is very much the picture of mainstream, run-of-the-mill, completely non-edgy conservatism on the Internet. Despite this, they repeatedly have their content removed from YouTube. Dennis Prager, head of PragerU, is suing YouTube. He notes that Delta Air Lines couldn’t say “conservatives can’t fly with us,” but YouTube, ostensibly a neutral platform, is effectively allowed to say that conservatives can’t use their services.
  • David Kyle FosterDavid Kyle Foster is a leader in the “ex-gay” movement, a group of Christians who claim that their religion has “cured” their homosexuality. His Vimeo channel, featuring over 700 personal testimonials, was pulled from Vimeo for being “hateful.”

Even the Declaration of Independence has been removed from Facebook as “hate speech” due to their “filtering program.” Yes, really. Nor is it only conservative groups who have been targeted. Moderates and leftists who don’t toe the party line – like Andy Ngo, Tim Pool and Michael Tracey – have likewise been targeted by deplatforming and shadowbanning.

Deplatforming is not limited to social media. Chase Bank has been accused of depriving conservative voices of banking services. This returns us to the Mark of the Beast notion: What good is free speech if banks – banks – can keep you from receiving payments. And how far off are we from seeing conservative voices deprived of their ability to pay?

Imagine showing up at the grocery store and finding out that your money’s no good because you have a concealed carry permit. Sound far-fetched? So would have having your bank account closed for being a conservative activist.

The Great Conservative Purge of 2021

Deplatforming on the Internet went to a much more disturbing level in the wake of the 2020 election and the breaching of the capitol building by protesters on January 6, 2021. This event, much like the attack of September 11, 2001, began to be used as a pretext for increasing encroachment on the civil liberties of ordinary citizens, not limited to a mass purge of Twitter users. 

Some of the more egregious examples of how Big Tech moved to constrain free speech on the Internet are worth calling out. The elephant in the room was the removal of President Donald Trump from Twitter, as well as Facebook, Instagram (which is owned by Facebook), Pinterest and even Spotify. While there is no evidence that the big tech companies colluded with one another in an attempt to silence the president, it is suspect on its face due to the outwardly coordinated nature of the deplatforming. 

The attack on President Trump was not limited to his social media accounts. Trump’s primary lender, Deutsche Bank AG, announced that it would no longer have any dealings either with Trump personally or with his companies. Signature Bank closed the president’s two personal banking accounts. Payment processor Stripe prohibited donations to the president’s campaign (Stripe had previously shut down the account of alternative social media site Gab). 

Conservatives on Twitter reported that they were losing tens of thousands of followers in the span of hours as conservatives, libertarians and patriots were removed from the platform. ZeroHedge reported on its Twitter account that over 70,000 accounts were suspended on Friday alone

The deplatforming of the president was denounced not just by conservatives in the media and Congress, but also by German Chancellor Angela Merkle, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and key Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. One can safely assume that these people were not motivated by their undying love of President Trump, but by broader concerns about crackdowns on freedom of expression. 

At the same time, Parler, an alternative to Twitter that was pitched primarily to conservatives who were deplatformed, was removed from the Google Play and Apple app stores before it had its web hosting denied entirely by Amazon. Again, three companies with no accountability to the public who were elected by precisely no one removed an entire platform of communication from the Internet with, as far as anyone knows, no means for appealing the decision. 

Salesforce announced that it was “taking action” against the Republican National Committee. Specifically, Salesforce has moved to “prevent its use of our services in any way that could lead to violence.” However, this seems to include any questioning of the results of the 2020 election, which, it is worth pointing out, is not fully accepted as valid and fair by a significant portion of the American electorate. Specific numbers on this vary, but it is worth referring to several polls to paint a picture of just how widespread the view that significant election fraud took place in 2020

  • A Rasmussen poll found that 30 percent of Democrats believed there was fraud in the 2020 election. 
  • A Politico poll found fully 79 percent of Trump voters believed the election was stolen. Given that 74 million people voted for Donald Trump, this equates to over 58 million voters. 
  • The same poll reported that only 38 percent of Trump voters accept the results of the election. Again, using the same numbers, this means that over 45 million Americans do not see the 2020 election as being legitimate. 
  • 70 percent of Republicans do not believe that the election was free and fair according to a Politico / Morning Consult poll

All of this adds up to one simple fact: A significant portion of Americans, amounting to tens of millions of voters on both sides of the political spectrum, do not believe that the 2020 election was legitimate. Does Big Tech plan to deplatform all of them? How many will be fired for their jobs for not kowtowing to the official line on the 2020 election? How many will lose their banking services? If the alleged “most powerful man in the world” can have his access to social media and banking denied, what hope is there for the rest of us? 

Ron Paul, the kindly physician who is known for, among other things, his principled opposition to wars of aggression, was removed from Facebookafter he posted an article in opposition to Big Tech deplatforming. Former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, had a video removed from YouTube without explanation on the same day. Steve Bannon had his YouTube account removed entirely. Arfcom, one of the most popular gun websites on the entire Internet, had its hosting from GoDaddy, an Amazon Partner, removed without warning or explanation. Former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling had his insurance cancelled because of his social media presence

There was never any reason to believe that the deplatforming of select individuals would end with the deplatforming of a few “outre” individuals with ideas that, as the saying might go, “everyone agrees have ideas that are beyond the pale.” Indeed, the recent wave of Internet deplatforming shows precisely why freedom of speech – even for ideas that one might find loathsome – is important. The trial balloons that have been floated over the last few years were actually canaries in the coal mine. It was the process of acclimating the public to the idea that people could be exiled from social media and deprived of a means to communicate for no reason other than saying something that rubbed unaccountable tech moguls the wrong way. 

The social media crackdown appears to be a prelude to something far more ominous. Elected officials, particularly those on the Democratic side, referred to the trespassing at the capitol building as “terrorism” and called for more robust investigation and prosecution of acts of “domestic terrorism.” With the president of the United States himself, leading conservative media figures and, indeed, entire platforms being thrown off of the Internet, there is every reason to believe that when elected officials talk about “domestic terrorists” they are speaking of people who have not broken any laws and whose only crime is being critical of a corporate-neoliberal regime that now rules America without meaningful opposition. 

Indeed, we can already see the storm clouds circling. A number of participants in the January 6th protests who did not breach the capitol building reported that they returned to their jobs to find out that they had been fired for participating in a lawful and peaceful protest. This didn’t begin in January – all the way back in October, a woman was fired for attending a Trump rally

The specter of government power in the form of a new “anti-domestic terrorism” law, Big Tech deplatforming and socioeconomic pressure being leveraged against any and all critics of the new regime is very real. This union of corporate and government power, coupled with street-level violence and ostracization, is the very essence of fascism. 

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? i.e., Who Watches the Watchers?

Of course, it’s important to ask for a list of left-wing groups who have been banned from social media. But somehow, left-wing groups – even those who violate the terms of service, such as several accounts dedicated to doxing right-wing accounts and inciting violence against conservatives, libertarians and others on the right – are allowed to operate with impunity.

Indeed, it is worth asking who decides what is against the rules at Facebook, Twitter, etc. There is an answer to this question: For Twitter, it’s a “Trust and Safety Council” comprised of 12 left-wing groups and one conservative group you’ve probably never heard of: The Network of Enlightened Women. The 12 left-wing groups include the Anti-Defamation League and GLAAD, both of whom have labeled mainstream conservative groups as “hate groups.”

For Facebook, they rely upon a “fact-checking” process that leverages Snopes and PolitiFact as impartial “fact checkers.” YouTube uses the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center, both left-wing groups known for their attacks on mainstream conservative organizations. Facebook, for its part, deleted 57 of over 200 “hate groups” demanded by the SPLC in August 2017.

What Is To Be Done?

Deplatformed: How Big Tech and Corporate America Subvert the Second Amendment
The question after reading this becomes: What should be done, if anything?

It’s difficult to imagine a situation where government interference in Big Tech is going to have the desired outcome. The result might be more and greater censorship than existed before. However, it is worth noting that Sen. Ted Cruz, not exactly known as a proponent of Big Government, has been at the forefront of attempts to hold Big Tech accountable for its censorship of conservative voices on the Internet.

But it’s quite possible that new laws and regulations are not required. What is instead required is a more rigorous enforcement of the laws and regulations that are already on the books. To wit: Are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube content-neutral platforms or are they editorial platforms? If the former, then it would seem that their case for being able to censor legal speech on their platforms is legally flimsy. If the latter, then they are responsible for everything posted on their platforms by every user. Similarly, if Google is intentionally manipulating its results to yield a politicized result, that is likely in violation of existing telecommunications statutes.

The American shift from capitalism to corporatism has had dire unintended consequences: Power has coalesced in both Washington, D.C. and many tech and media companies, such that the latter can undermine American rights and manipulate American political opinion with impunity, while the former abdicates its oath to defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Sam JacobsWritten by Sam Jacobs. reproduced with permission. Original here.

Virginia School System Deflects Charges It Covered Up Rape of Ninth Grade Girl by ‘Gender-Fluid’ Boy

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By Mary Margaret Olohan 

Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia is being accused of covering up allegations that a boy in late May sexually assaulted a ninth grade girl in her school’s restroom—the nightmare scenario so often described by opponents of radical transgender school policies. 

The school system allegedly covered up the incident by transferring the male student to a neighboring school where police said he was arrested after sexually assaulting another student.

In a statement to The Daily Signal on Wednesday, Loudoun County Public Schools defended itself from accusations that it improperly handled two sexual assaults in its school buildings. 

However, the statement notably did not express sympathy toward or compassion for crime victims or their families. 

“Loudoun County Public Schools is aware of the media and social media reports concerning alleged sexual assaults at two of our high school campuses,” the official statement says. “While LCPS takes student privacy seriously and cannot reveal details concerning the actions of any specific student, we do want to clarify our investigative process.” 

The school system’s statement says that officials followed legal processes and reported the alleged assaults to law enforcement. 

“Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office was contacted within minutes of receiving the initial report on May 28,” the LCPS statement says, adding:

Once a matter has been reported to law enforcement, LCPS does not begin its investigation until law enforcement advises LCPS that it has completed the criminal investigation.

To maintain the integrity of the criminal investigation, law enforcement requested that LCPS  not interview students until their investigation is concluded. LCPS has cooperated and continues to cooperate with law enforcement.

Conspicuous Media Silence 

More than a full day after The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak published the cover-up allegations Monday evening, major news media outlets had not yet reported on the story. They include ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and The New York Times. 

None of those media outlets responded to requests for comment from The Daily Signal. 

Many of the outlets forgoing coverage of the Loudoun incidents have actively covered the Loudoun County School Board’s actions over the past few months. CNN, for example, published an Aug. 12 story on the board’s adoption of “an inclusive policy for transgender and gender-expansive students” that described “heated” board meetings and detailed those new school system policies.  

Ian Prior, executive director of the parent activist group Fight for Schools, told The Daily Signal that it’s “appalling” to see much of the media ignoring the story. 

“We are talking about allegations of two sexual assaults by the same person in Loudoun County Public Schools,” Prior said Wednesday. “This is about the safety of our children, and any media outlet not digging into what LCPS knew, and when they knew it, is engaging in journalistic malpractice.”

Same Suspect in Both Cases

The victim’s father, Scott Smith, told The Daily Wire that in late May, a boy dressed in a skirt entered a girls restroom at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Virginia, and sexually assaulted his ninth grade daughter. 

The suspect in the case was “gender-fluid,” Rosiak reported.

Police arrested Smith during a Loudoun County School Board meeting June 22 where he and others voiced their disapproval of the school system’s new policy on transgender students. 

He eventually was sentenced to 10 days in jail, all of it suspended, for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Video footage shows police officers dragging the distraught and bloodied father from the school board meeting. 

The school system told The Daily Signal that Smith did not register in advance to speak to the school board, suggesting that this was why he was not permitted to speak. 

Photographs and videos of Smith’s arrest quickly circulated on the internet, making him a “poster child,” as Rosiak wrote, for right-wing “domestic terrorism” types described by the National School Boards Association in a Sept. 29 letter asking President Joe Biden to instruct his administration to take action against parents protesting radical school policies. 

“It has been so hard to keep my mouth shut and wait this out. It has been the most powerless thing I’ve ever been through,” Smith told The Daily Wire. 

“I don’t care if he’s homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, transsexual. He’s a sexual predator,” Smith said of his daughter’s attacker.

Police confirmed two reports of sexual assaults at Loudoun schools, in May and in October. 

Smith’s attorney, Elizabeth Lancaster, told Fox News that both assaults were committed by the same person, although the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office would not confirm that fact to The Daily Signal since the suspect is a juvenile. 

Lancaster did not immediately respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment. 

Regarding the October sexual assault, police said that a 15-year-old teenager from Ashburn was charged with sexual battery and abduction of a fellow student from Broad Run High School, also in Ashburn, after the suspect “forced the victim into an empty classroom where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her.”

“The suspect remains held at the Loudoun County Juvenile Detention Center,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. 

The sheriff’s office confirmed to The Daily Signal on Wednesday that a two-month investigation was conducted to determine the facts of the May sexual assault “prior to arrest,” and that the case awaits court proceedings. 

The Daily Wire confirmed through a public records request that a May 28 police report exists detailing forcible sodomy and sexual battery at Stone Bridge High School. 

Smith’s attorney also told The Daily Wire that the teenage suspect has been charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio in the May assault. The sheriff’s office would not confirm those details to The Daily Signal. 

Loudoun County Public Schools further defended itself in its Wednesday statement by saying that it is prevented from disciplining students without following federal Title IX grievance processes—a procedure that, according to the Department of Education, incorporates “due process principles, treats all parties fairly, and reaches reliable responsibility determinations.” 

The statement from the school system says:

LCPS does impose interim measures to protect the safety of students involved in the original incident, deter retaliation, and preserve the integrity of the investigation and resolution process. LCPS has complied and continues to comply with its obligations under Title IX.

The school system then specifically defended school board members, noting that they are “typically not given details of disciplinary matters.”

“The board may be obligated to consider long-term suspensions or expulsions and must ensure that students have not been deprived of due process,” the statement says, adding:

Consequently, members of the Loudoun County School Board were not aware of the specific details of this [May] incident until it was reported in media outlets earlier this week. We are unable to locate any records that indicate that Scott Smith had registered in advance to speak at the June 22, 2021, board meeting.

What Did They Know, When Did They Know It?

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The Daily Signal on Wednesday that the Stone Bridge High School assault case was reported to the Loudoun County school resource officer on May 28 by school personnel.

The school district quietly transferred the teenage suspect to Broad Run High School after the alleged assault, Rosiak reported.  

That suggests that Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler may have lied when he said at the June 22 school board meeting that “the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist,” adding: “We don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms.” 

Prior, the parent activist who leads Fight for Schools, emphasized to The Daily Signal that if Ziegler “knew and lied, he should be immediately terminated.” 

“If he didn’t know, he is an incompetent fool and should be immediately terminated,” Prior added. 

The Fight for Schools director added that it “stretches the bounds of reason” for school board members to say they did not know about the two sexual assaults, “given that much of the community became aware of Smith’s situation in the days that followed his arrest.” 

“Even if they were completely out of touch and did not know” of the incidents, Prior told The Daily Signal, “the fact that the board was passing a policy that would allow biological males to use girls’ bathrooms, it was incumbent on them to investigate before voting for that policy.”

“At best,” he said, “this is incompetence and neglect of duty on their part.”

Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Civil Disobedience: American Style – Look at Who is Awake Now!

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There is a feeling of disquiet in the air in America. Nothing seems to be working as it should, our old patterns have been disrupted. So what’s happening here? It is a civil disobedience that the left has urged since at least the 1960s being put into action by those who contribute to modern civilization. Let’s look at the “Let’s Go Brandon” viral chant that is not only sweeping the country, but the world.

Let’s Go Brandon!

Retiring soldier forced to take vaccine or face court martial.

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Watch this video or listen here to this shocking leaked audio from a pregnant officer with just two weeks to serve before medical severance, who would prefer not to have the shot in case it affects her baby. The DOCTOR threatens her with court martial for non-compliance. Remind us again that this is about health and best outcomes. This is about control and exercises in authoritarianism.

Chloe’s Story: Trading Up (Not college)

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Are universities the only ticket to a meaningful and financially rewarding career? Or is there another way? Opportunities in the trades are plentiful and profitable—setting young people up for rapid success compared to expensive and time-consuming college degrees. PragerU’s latest short documentary, Trading Up, informs people about the valuable benefits of a career in the trades and the great pride trade specialists derive from their work—despite our current culture’s narrative that “everyone must attend a university.”

Mike Rowe 

Couple years ago, my foundation awarded a work ethic scholarship to a young woman named Chloe Hudson. Chloe had dreamed of becoming a plastic surgeon, but thought twice about the wisdom of borrowing the $400,000 required for medical school. So she decided to weld instead, and applied for a modest amount from mikeroweWORKS.

What happened next, is a great American success story, and today, Chloe Hudson is the subject of a short documentary that makes a compelling case for the trades. I’m in the documentary as well, along with Robert Kiyosaki, but make no mistake – this is Chloe’s film, and Chloe’s story. And it’s a good one.

If you agree, please share it. A short trailer is attached, with a link to the film. https://bit.ly/3BEOgtjSeriously, if you or someone you know is wondering if opportunities still exist in the skilled trades, or if a college degree is really the best path for the most people, give this a look. It’s worth your time. MikePS. Earlier today, I posted a similar post on the importance of reinvigorating the trades. It was shared 65,000 times, (so far.) If you shared that one, please share this one. It’ll help move the needle…PPS Big thanks to PragerU for making this happen, Justin Folk for directing, and Chloe Hudson, for defying the norms, seizing the day, and making mikeroweWORKS proud. Congratulations!

WATCH: Australian Activist Arrested for Videoing

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Regular readers know my friend Christopher Field, “Topher”, the activist and filmmaker. We have run his videos and articles many times over the years. He has stood up against climate change lies, water theft in Australia, and now, the utter totalitarianism of the Victoria government in Australia and its power-crazed premier, Dan Andrews and the police and powers that be in Melbourne, Topher’s home town.

He is making a documentary. He has been filming in Melbourne, once voted the most livable city in the world. And yesterday he was arrested for “incitement’. This is the documentary he is making. Read the details and consider donating. The only thing protecting us here in America is the US Constitution which affords We, the People some basic freedoms. In Australia, the government controls everything. Including taking away all their firearms. The vicious thugs of police understand that and act accordingly, knowing there is no real threat from the locked down and browbeaten citizenry.

Topher filmed his arrest. I have added it below. These police were quite decent and Topher is currently out on bail. But this won’t be over for him. They are making examples of people who stand up to the lockdowns. he is on their list.

Battleground Melbourne

The Fall of the World’s Most Livable City, through the eyes of those who risked everything to save it.

Battleground Melbourne charts the extraordinary fall from grace for the once ‘Most Liveable City’ in the world.

The last 18 months has seen Melbourne, Australia, fall from ‘Most Liveable’ to ‘Most Locked-down’ city in the world. It’s an astonishing fall which has brought with it previously unthinkable levels of civil unrest and government repression and sparked protests around Australia and throughout the world as scenes reminiscent of the USSR or CCP have gone viral.

The fact that these scenes are playing out on the streets of a city in a wealthy and ‘free’ country makes this an ominous warning for all. If it can happen here, it could happen anywhere.

Battleground Melbourne tells this story from the perspective of the activists and journalists who tried to save the city of Melbourne. This is our story. The Government and the media have already told their twisted and dishonest side of the story, Battleground Melbourne is our reply. This is how we set the record straight and ensure the world will forever know the truth.

We have been smeared with false accusations, called every name you can imagine, assaulted, arrested, imprisoned. But even after all this, they haven’t defeated us. Our love for freedom, and our love for our once wonderful city, compels us to battle on.

Battleground Melbourne is a story of men and women who love freedom. It’s a story of courage in the face of fear, of triumphs and failures, and ordinary people giving everything to change the course of history for the city they love.

Covid-19 has sent shockwaves around the world, but nowhere has the political reaction to the virus been more extreme or more repressive than in the ‘free’ city of Melbourne. Seven time winner of the ‘World’s Most Livable City’ award, Melbourne has become a cautionary tale that has shocked the world with a dysfunctional parliament, sham ‘inquiries’, politically motivated arrests, secrecy, abuse of human rights, and heavily armoured riot police roaming the streets with ‘shoot on sight’ orders against unarmed civilians.

The world has watched in horror as watches scenes from the streets of the once idylic city of Melbourne, as it has descended into a police state reminiscent of Communist China’s repression of Hong Kong, or worse.

Battleground Melbourne tells the story through the eyes of the men and women who risked it all to try and save their city. Weaving together interviews from key freedom activists and journalists, with live as-it-happened footage from on the ground, this Documentary tells the world the truth of how Melbourne fell, as seen by the freedom fighters who dared to stand in the face of a tyrannical government and fight for the freedoms of themselves and their children.

Battleground Melbourne is perhaps the most important documentary of our time. Narrated by Topher Field, and including interviews with top freedom fighters and gritty, real life footage of protests and police repression, this documentary will forever stand as a snapshot of a city in crisis, and a cautionary tale for the whole world.

In order to do justice to this critical moment in history we need to have enough budget to hire a team of the best film makers that Melbourne has to offer. To truly tell this story in the way it deserves to be told we need cinematographers, editors, motion graphics artists, composers, and many more film industry professionals to collaborate together, and that means we need budget to pay them.

Topher Field is an experienced Documentary maker with a 12 year history of political commentary and film makeing and will take the reins as Director of Battleground Melbourne. To contribute (as I have) go here.

Things we can’t talk about anymore.

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I just spend several hours cleaning out references to the pandemic from all the Facebook feeds we operate. The online censors were labelling them – and in some cases blocking them from your view. So I have gathered them together for you to check out on your own.

More about the insatiable Black Rock

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From the Financial Times:

BlackRock’s revenues climbed to record highs during a volatile third quarter while assets under management retreated slightly but remained near an industry peak of $9.5tn. “Our long term flows were great given the quarter we had for markets,” said chief executive Larry Fink, citing a 10th consecutive quarter of active equity inflows and demand for sustainable active and index strategies.

Our AUM decline was a function of a stronger US dollar,” he said. Overall assets under management at BlackRock tallied $9.46tn at the end of September, up 21 per cent on the year, but down slightly from $9.49tn at the end of June. It dominates the league table for asset managers, with Vanguard next in line at $8.3tn of assets at the end of August.

Biden reinstates catch and release with more than 227,000 illegal aliens released since Jan. 2021

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Image: Kelly McCarthy – Rare section of border with a “fence.” In this case, repurposed Vietnam-era temporary landing strips. Note the big gap illegal entrants climb over. Taken in California.

This is a return to the chaos and lawlessness on the border across party lines that preceded Trump’s tenure of office and serves as a partial reminder of why Trump was elected in the first place.

By Robert Romano

President Joe Biden has reinstated “catch and release,” a policy allowing illegal aliens to be released into the United States pending an immigration hearing — which had been discontinued under former President Donald Trump — resulting in more than 227,000 illegal aliens being released on their own recognizance through Aug. 2021.

That is out of 535,000 aliens apprehended in Fiscal Year 2021 by the U.S. Border Patrol, a porous 42 percent catch-and-release rate by Biden.

For comparison, out of 203,000 apprehensions in Fiscal Year 2020, under Trump, just 308 resulted in an alien being released on their own recognizance, just 0.14 percent.

Everyone else was either detained pending a hearing, stayed in Mexico or was deported.

In short, Trump ended catch and release, and Biden has started it up again.

The data comes as 67 percent of Americans have lost confidence in President Biden’s ability to protect the southern border, disapproving of his handling of the issue, according to an Oct. 6 poll from Quinnipiac.

The reinstatement of catch and release also comes amid a record number of border encounters by the Border Patrol.

Fortunately, the policy shift does not include those who are refused entry and expelled under Title 42 of the U.S. Code, a policy implemented by Trump to refuse entry to those who pose a health risk because of Covid. In FY 2021, 935,000 aliens were refused entry because of Covid, compared with 197,000 in FY 2020.

The shift in policy came as the Supreme Court in August upheld the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Biden’s rescission of the Remain in Mexico policy was arbitrarily implemented and must continue.

Given the Supreme Court’s ruling, it will interesting to see how many additional illegal immigrants will now be kept in Mexico, but already the Biden administration is floating trial balloons that it still intends to violate the court order and end the migrant protocols.

This is a return to the chaos and lawlessness on the border across party lines that preceded Trump’s tenure of office and serves as a partial reminder of why Trump was elected in the first place.

Proving skeptics wrong, Trump in a very short amount of time secured the border by enforcing existing immigration laws, using emergency funds to build the wall and successfully negotiating the Remain in Mexico policy with Mexico.

That was a track record that would have been easy for Biden to build on top of, thereby taking an issue away from Trump, who is seriously considering running for president again in 2024. Biden would be wise to take the reprieve granted to it by the Supreme Court and reimplement the Remain in Mexico policy wholeheartedly. It was working.

Instead, Biden has once again served the border issue up on a silver platter for Trump, creating an easy opportunity for the former president to exploit in the 2022 midterms and in 2024 should he run again. Trump’s case in 2016 that he made successfully was that he was the only candidate who had the capability and willingness to secure the border. Biden in 2021 is proving him right.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

BREAKING INVESTIGATION — PANORAMA EDUCATION, OWNED BY U.S. AG MERRICK GARLAND’S SON-IN-LAW, CONTRACTED WITH 23,000 PUBLIC SCHOOLS & RAISED $76M FROM INVESTORS

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Last week, Attorney General Garland sent a memo to the head of the FBI, directing him to work with local law enforcement “to address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff.”
 
Critics say that Garland made the move in response to parents vocally opposing mask mandates and race-related teaching implemented by local school boards.
 
The move by Garland to have the FBI investigate parents at school board meetings quickly put his son-in-law’s nationwide education business — Panorama Education — in the spotlight. 

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks investigated Panorama Education – co-founded and owned by Xan Tanner, Attorney General Garland’s son-in-law.

Here’s what we found:
23,000 U.S. schools use Panorama surveys.$76 million in capital raises since 2017 – including Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, as an investor.Critics say that Panorama surveys are the gateway to a new critical race theory curriculum in the schools.Tanner’s company has a big footprint within K-12 education across the country. 

Panorama describes its business as supporting “13 million students in 23,000 schools and 1,500 districts across 50 states.”

Panorama contracts with 50+ of the nation’s 100 largest school districts.

READ our investigation published at Forbes to learn more about Panorama, Attorney General Garland, and the potential conflict.Together, let’s hold the political class accountable. 

It’s your money!

Fighting for Transparency,

Adam Andrzejewski 
Founder and CEO, OpenTheBooks.com

Thomas W. Smith
Chairman

Dr. Tom Coburn
Honorary Chairman – In Memoriam
 

READ FORBES: PANORAMA EDUCATION, OWNED BY U.S. AG MERRICK GARLAND’S SON-IN-LAW, CONTRACTED WITH 23,000 PUBLIC SCHOOLS & RAISED $76M FROM INVESTORS

Update: Great Reset headed to YOUR Neighborhood

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Last week I ran this piece about the people who are actually running the world. In it we identified the financial organizations who own just about everything in every sector of life and business. Black Rock was one of those companies.

Well, now one of the massive players is coming for your neighborhood. If you recall, getting regular people out of the suburbs and into controllable urban environments is an aim of the Great Reset. And right now they’re being helped to do it on the cheap.

In the first quarter of 2021, 15% of U.S. homes sold were purchased by corporate investors — not families looking to achieve their American dream. While they’re competing with middle-class Americans for the homes, the average American has virtually no chance of winning a home over an investment firm, which may pay 20% to 50% over asking price, in cash, sometimes scooping up entire neighborhoods at once so they can turn them into rentals.

‘Sticks & Bricks” Display by North Korean Army Would Make Mr. Miyagi Proud

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Great work, guys! Seriously, if you want to work in Las Vegas there’s a spot at the Hard Rock for you. This demonstration of strongman skills from the North Korean Army is hilarious. And reminds us why we all carry firearms – it’s much less hassle!

The Big Squeeze: Biden’s Inflation Costing Families $2.1K a year

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“We’re actually accumulating debt at the rate of over $2 million per minute.”

By Catherine Mortensen

Moody’s Analytics chief economist, Mark Zandi, told the New York Post that families are now paying on average $175 more a month for on food, fuel and housing. That amounts to an additional $2,100 each year.

Spurred by supply shortages and massive government spending, inflation has become an added tax on middle-class Americans coming out of the COVID lockdowns.

Over the past couple of months, Allison, a wife and mother of a toddler and teenager in Chicago, told the New York Post she’s been spending about $50 more each week on groceries to feed her family — and that’s at a discount supermarket chain, Aldi’s.

“I used to spend $70 a week, but all of sudden this summer, I noticed that I couldn’t leave the store without spending at least $120,” said Allison, who works in education.

Like millions of Americans whose income has not kept pace with inflation — up 5.3 percent in August compared with a year ago — Allison and her family are feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living and giving up some things just to make ends meet.

Her family is scrimping now. “There are no more splurges like going to Home Depot to buy an extra plant or eating out,” Allison said.

Although government officials have called the inflation “transitory,” it’s running at a 30-year high, and has been for months.

The number of US households that report that it is “very difficult” to pay their usual expenses has increased by 8 percent since early August, to 26.5 million, according to the Oct. 6 Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.

Salesforce predicts that consumer prices could increase 20% during the holiday season.

The Consumer Price Index — a major gauge of inflation — showed that energy costs are up 25% compared to a year ago, and the food index increased 3.7%.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the skyrocketing energy costs last week, “Crude oil has risen 64% this year to a seven-year high. Natural-gas prices have roughly doubled over the past six months to a seven-year high. Heating oil has risen 68% this year. Prices at the pump are up nearly a dollar over the past 12 months to a national average just over $3 a gallon. Coal prices are at records.”

Allison told the New York Post that she had recently reached out to a debt-relief attorney, Leslie Tayne, to help her consolidate and lower her outstanding debt, which includes a hefty student loan.

“My business has exploded,” Tayne told The Post.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) gave a speech last week on the Senate floor in which he noted that we are accumulating debt like we never have at any time in our history.

“We’re actually accumulating debt at the rate of over $2 million per minute. Some say deficits don’t matter. Some on the left say they have this new monetary theory we can just print it all up you can all have free stuff. ‘There will be manna from heaven and nothing could go wrong. We’re just going to give you money. If not $1,400 check a month or a year, why don’t we give you monthly checks and that’s part of the new plans.’

“The new plan of the $3.5 trillion [spending bill] that we’re facing down at this point, that’ll all be borrowed to give people ‘free money.’ But I think people are smarter than that.I think people know that ultimately you don’t get anything in life without hard work you don’t get anything life really for free.

“There are ramifications to so much borrowed money.

“When someone comes to you and says, ‘Here’s a thousand dollars, all you got to do is sign up for this,’ most people immediately recoil and they say, ‘Well that might be a scam. Somebody’s going to be ripping me off.’ But that is the sort of bait and switch of the politics we face now.

“People are saying, ‘We’re going to give you free college, free cars, free cell phones, free this, free that. Everything in life will be free. You won’t have to work anymore.’  The problem is there are ramifications. Money doesn’t grow on trees. The money’s got to come from somewhere. Either we borrow it, we become more indebted to foreign countries, or we tax people for it or … we simply print the money. When the Federal Reserve prints the money, as we increase the money supply, the money that we have becomes worth less and less. It loses its purchasing power this is the insidious tax of inflation.

“Inflation is a regressive tax. It doesn’t affect everyone the same. In fact, the tax of inflation affects the working class the people of lower incomes and those on fixed incomes and retirees on pensions. It affects them much worse because they don’t have the ability for their income to go up.”

Amen, Sen. Paul.

Catherine Mortensen is Vice President of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

Thought you were being played? You were right. The Great Reset – New World Order – call it what you will it’s happening!

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This is a really long watch. But you will never regret the time you spent learning this information. I am stunned it’s still on YouTube. It’s a brilliant documentary by Tim Gielen made this year, 2021. He reveals how a small group of super rich criminals have been buying virtually everything on earth, until they own it all. From media, health care, travel, food industry, governments…everything.

That allows them to control the whole world. Because of this they are trying to impose the New World Order. Bill Gates (his foundation), Klaus Schwab (World Economic Forum) , George Soros (Open Society), … This incredibly eye opening documentary reveals something astonishing: the majority of our world is owned by the very same people. Because of this they can control the entire world and impose their wicked agenda onto all of humanity. This is the time to expose them and to rise up as one to defend our freedom.

The name of the two companies who virtually owns the world are Vanguard and BlackRock. They are at the heart of the Deep State or Cabal. Their plan is the Great Reset where they want to enslave every human on earth.

Share this video wherever you can! Learn more here: Https://www.stopworldcontrol.com

Righteousness + Force in America: The Trap of Righteous Activism Coupled with State Power

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By ammo.com with permission.

There are two ways of getting things done: persuasion or coercion. You either convince someone of the value of your ideas or you hold a (literal or metaphorical) gun to their head. The latter has been the norm throughout human history. Most of what we value about the contemporary West is a shift toward the former occurring over the last 250 years or so.

However, there’s an important difference between the despotisms of old and coercive governments in the modern era: modern-day tyrants frame themselves as the righteous side in any conflict.

Think about it: Ancient Persian Emperors and the German Kaiser didn’t paint themselves as the moral superiors of their enemies. They simply wanted their stuff and, if they could, they took it. In contrast, during the American Civil War or the Allied cause during World War II, force didn’t justify itself. Instead, force was justified by the righteousness of the cause.

(President Lincoln openly, repeatedly stated more than a year into the Civil War that his call to “end slavery” was a useful means by which to justify his real objective: To preserve the Union.)

The need to justify force with righteousness is not limited to wartime. Every new coercive law or regulation is justified not on the basis of “I’m strong enough to take your stuff and so I think I will,” but because “our cause is just.” While some who would take your freedom or your life are motivated by their desire for power, the most vicious monsters in human history were all motivated by righteousness. They seek to perfect creation, no matter what the cost, rather than simply acquire power for its own end – a philosophically important distinction.

It is this philosophy of using state power to impose one’s morality on others that in part has made American politics such a bloodsport nowadays. If you follow the thread from the Abolitionist movement (which provided moral justification for the Union’s invasion of the Confederacy) through the Temperance movement (which culminated in Prohibition) to the Progressivism movement as we detail below, you’ll see why.

What Do We Mean by Righteousness?

Righteousness is simply the sense that one’s cause is so just that “the ends justify the means” – the ends could be anything. A critical feature of righteousness is the belief in the perfectibility of man and earth. It is often accompanied by philosophical progressivism, the view that the world becomes a better place, morally speaking, over time.

Righteousness requires coercion. This necessitates a large administrative state to enforce the prevailing diktats of the secular-religious. An excellent example from recent history is the campaign against tobacco, which in the span of a few years was chased from every public place.

Righteousness is not simply progressivism. It is a specific type of progressivism forged in America through the experience of Pietist Protestant Christians. The Pietists were originally Scandinavian Lutherans, but the posture of Pietism spread to most Protestant denominations in the United States: The Northern Baptists and Methodists, the Congregationalists, the Disciples of Christ, the Presbyterians, and others.

The Pietists rejected ritualistic or “liturgical” religious practice in favor of an inner experience expressed in one’s daily life. Correct beliefs and proper living were the focus, culminating in the Holiness Movement, which was an extreme and fundamentalist expression of Pietism. Holiness tolerated no deviation from orthodoxy in either thought or deed.

Righteousness, like its Pietist forebears, isn’t satisfied that you do and say the right things, you need to truly believe the right things. Compliance is not enough. You have to love Big Brother.

Righteousness moved from the realm of the deeply religious Protestant pietists of early America into the mainstream progressive movement. The latter adopted this surety and energy, seeking to expand their ersatz religion into every aspect of American life.

Righteousness is dangerous as a political force because of how certain it makes those infected with it. What’s more, political righteousness makes the stakes increasingly apocalyptic, allowing the ends to continually justify any means, up to and including the death camp.

This is not hyperbole: Righteousness does not prohibit your political participation, it demands it, and it sees everything else about you as superfluous.

Righteousness Enters the World Stage: Abolitionism

It is often said that before the Civil War, the United States “are,” but after the War, the United States “is.” This is a reference to the formerly theoretically sovereign nature of each state as compared to “one nation, indivisible” found in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was created after the Civil War by a Union war veteran.

Why does this distinction matter? Because it was a distinction which the Confederacy, headed by Jefferson Davis, was willing to test in the furnaces of war.

civil war

In the run-up to the War, Davis repeatedly pointed out that the U.S. was a voluntary union of states which delegated authority to Washington, as ratified in the U.S. Constitution in the Bill of Rights #9 and #10. Thus if a state wanted to leave the Union, it could do so. Despite the best efforts of the southern states to maintain the Union, at the end of the day they voted to secede because their differences with the northern states were irreconcilable. Was slavery one of the issues over which they didn’t agree? Yes, absolutely. Slavery was an issue that plagued the Founders as well.

Yet Davis made an important point: Just because one doesn’t like slavery (and we don’t like slavery, let’s be clear) that does not then automatically mean that one supports President Lincoln using the U.S. Army to roll into the Confederacy in order to occupy them and make them behave the way we’d like them to. This is persuasion vs. coercion in action.

(One of the reasons Jefferson Davis was never tried for treason following the Civil War is that his case would’ve given him a platform to highlight the Constitutional issues presented by the North’s invasion of the South.)

Fast forward to the present day. If you’re reading this then you’re likely a Unionist (i.e. happy that the U.S. is intact), at least in spirit if not in name, and also a fan of President Lincoln. Yet it was President Lincoln who said, in a widely publicized 1862 letter written more than a year into the War:

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do lesswhenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause (of saving the Union), and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.”

One can point this out without arguing in favor of slavery as it’s clear President Lincoln knew what he was doing – trying to save the Union – and that picking up the moral banner of ending slavery was a useful means by which to ally himself because it furthered his goal of saving the Union. Machiavelli would’ve been proud, and so were the Abolitionists, who got a taste of what righteousness and force can do once the reins of state power are grasped.

It was these Abolitionists who not only claimed the moral high ground for President Lincoln during the War but who, following Appomattox, then went about the Reconstruction of the Southern state governments, which was largely a disaster. During Reconstruction, the Northern Republicans attempted to form Southern state governments with people who either had no experience in governance or had no connections to their constituents because the righteousness of their cause, “reconstructing” the South, would make it all work in the end.

Note that this is not a condemnation of the abolitionist cause, instead, it is a condemnation of the social phenomenon of righteousness, which generally sees political orthodoxy as trumping basic competence.

The end of the Civil War led to a total war against American citizens. Significant portions of Southern states were stripped of the right to vote and the right to keep and bear arms. The Radical Reconstructionist Congress was all too eager to ride roughshod over the Southern states because they felt ideologically and morally justified in doing so.

What caused the Civil War will always remain a question of debate. What will not is that it represented a massive transfer of power upward from sovereign individuals and states to a centralized federal government, as Jefferson Davis warned. This provided later incarnations of righteousness and force with a ready-made set of tools to increase the efficiency of coercion.

The Reconstruction period did little to heal the nation. It gave us the Klan and Jim Crow laws, but it stands as an example of righteousness having a large effect on American politics.

jim crow laws

Righteousness must also be considered separately from the question of abolition itself, which was a moot point by the time the Reconstruction governments came into power. It’s one thing to see slavery, which was the default mode of human production throughout all of human history, as a great moral evil that must be ended at once. It is another to dramatically punish, humiliate, and disenfranchise people who participated in this economic system.

It is still another thing entirely to attempt to dramatically remake the world into one’s personal vision of Heaven on Earth. The carpetbaggers flooding Southern states during the Reconstruction Era believed that they simply needed to point the right guns in the right direction to create their earthly paradise.

Righteousness, in addition to a tangible ability of coercion through the military, cops, and courts, was the animating force of Reconstruction; however, it didn’t end there.

Righteousness Comes for Your Daily Life: Temperance

The Prohibition Era and the Temperance Movement that preceded it are oft-overlooked areas of American history; however, this is our next stop on the tour of armed, militant righteousness.

Temperance was not originally in favor of Prohibition. The Temperance Movement, as the name suggests, was originally about moderate drinking. This was a time when the average American rarely consumed water and instead hydrated with beer and spirits. Only later did Temperance become synonymous with teetotaling and banning alcohol.

The pro-Prohibition or “dry” argument is rarely given enough attention, with many dismissing the period as a brief blip of madness requiring no further explanation. However, it’s worth diving into what the drys believed.

The drys believed that alcohol was not simply an individual choice, but a highly corrosive social factor. They blamed the decay of the family and a host of other social ills on demon alcohol.

Post-World War I urbanization added gas to the fire. People were concerned about their children moving to cities and becoming introduced to saloon life. It followed, for the drys, that banning alcohol would end these social ills. In many cases, they believed the final result would be the Second Coming.

prohibition

The degree to which Prohibition “worked” or could have is debatable, but we definitively know that Prohibition drove the rise in organized crime and militarized policing in a symbiotic relationship.

Strange as it might sound, the “drys” tended to be part of the Progressive Movement of the early 20th Century. They too sought to cure social ills like child labor, dirty meat, women’s disenfranchisement, and the like using coercion rather than persuasion. Despite the rather strange bedfellows, conservative Christian anti-liquor people allied with labor activists and proto-feminists. We can now begin to see how righteousness begins to move into the modern left.

Prohibition was also a dramatic intensification of force.

Abolition wanted to remove a barbaric economic system from America. Temperance, however, attempted to police the daily behaviors of average Americans. It is frequently noted how few who fought for the Southern cause were impacted by abolition. The abolitionists sought systemic change. No one was ever thrown in jail for being a plantation owner.

Temperance, on the other hand, made tens of millions of Americans into felons overnight. 

The scale of Temperance is important to note as it is a far more aggressive posture than the War on Drugs because it went after a substance that had been widely used for centuries. Banning cocaine in 1920, the year the Volstead Act took effect, would have impacted orders of magnitude fewer people.

Abolitionists saw a system as the center of great moral outrage. Abolitionism saw individuals as the engine. And so that’s who it targeted: Not a regional economic system, but individuals consuming the world’s most widely used substance in any amount.

Righteousness Comes For Everything: The Progressive Era

The Progressive Era of the early 20th Century offers insight because it is the first serious attempt to use righteousness combined with coercion to take over every aspect of American society. Unfortunately, it would not be the last.

income tax

The Progressive Era saw righteousness rule America as a broad coalition of suffragettes, Prohibitionists, labor reformers, child advocates, and other interest groups. This was the era that gave us federal control over medicine, the income taxcompulsory education of children, and a host of other measures that curbed individual liberty.

People were not asked to live righteous lives. They were forced to using state power.

The Era was wrapped up in religious zeal, taking place at the same time as the Third Great Awakening, an uptick in HolinessNazarene, and Pentecostal religious denominations, which were Pietist Protestant movements emerging in the second half of the 19th Century. Much like later movements, these religious groups sought to make heaven on earth by reforming human behavior.

The social sciences also began in earnest around this time. They offered secular solutions that mirrored their religious alternatives. Man was broken, not by sin, but by socialization. Salvation was not to be found in the Gospels but in the social sciences.

This secular view of man fits well with the religious views of Social Gospel. Social Gospel believed that the Gospel held answers not just for spiritual life, but for social problems as well: alcoholism, urban crime, racial tensions, environmental concerns, and other issues – common goals made for a common cause.

The Progressive Era was largely successful in that it transformed a passive and largely benign federal government into an all-pervasive bureaucracy. It formed the basis of the administrative state which was greatly expanded, first under FDR, then under LBJ.

It was the first time in American history that using righteousness and force seeking to coerce all non-believers into compliance became a mass, mainstream political trend in American politics. The parallels to the modern left are easy to draw in this context.

Righteousness Conquers the World: Wilson and Progressivism

Woodrow Wilson was, by all accounts, the progressive President. What he did at home pales in comparison to what he did abroad. Much of the map of the modern world owes a lot to President Woodrow Wilson.

woodrow wilson

Wilson was the originator of the Wilsonian foreign policy, which broadly speaking means that aggressive ideological aims are pursued abroad. For Wilson, this meant forming the League of Nations, national sovereignty over ancient empires, and the Western-liberal version of democracy.

Nations had long fought for their own freedom. They had sometimes fought for the freedom of their allies, but it was thinly veiled realpolitik. Wilson, however, demanded a specific vision of freedom for the world.

It was not the riches of the colonial world or geopolitical considerations fueling Wilson’s drive to get into World War I, something that he ran against. Wilson wanted to end the possibility of any future war by remaking the world in such a way that war would be impossible.

Righteousness and coercion were no longer the exclusive provinces of one set of religious do-gooders. It was the official policy of the American Departments of State and War.

Why Righteousness Trends Toward Totalitarianism

Righteousness is always impossible to enforce without tyrannical measures trending toward totalitarianism. This is because righteousness attempts to tackle problems so large that massive state intervention is required. The bigger the problem, the more state intervention, coercion, is required.

This is why the current iteration of righteousness and force is so insidious. It attempts to untangle the Gordian knot of human inequality. Not equality before the law or equality of opportunity. But human inequality as such.

The current crusade of righteousness is using the levers of state power, which are now capable of reaching every corner of the globe and monitoring virtually all private communication, to chase after a totally flat, “equal” society without any divergence of the outcome.

This type of equality means kneecapping some people and is arguably the final result of the stages of righteousness and force outlined above. Righteousness and force in America first attempted to tackle an economic problem, Abolitionism; then a moral problem, Temperance; followed by a political problem, Progressivism.

It now attempts to solve the problem of why some people have more than others, more health, wealth, fame, beauty, etc…

Such radical leveling requires highly invasive state power. Such power is dangerous on its own but also invites sociopathic personalities to pursue it. The people who desire it most deserve it least.

Once this impulse is let out of the cage, it is very hard to get the genie back in the bottle. History teaches us this with outbursts of righteousness-driven force such as Mao’s Red Guards or the violent American radicalism of the 1970s.

Wokeness and the social justice movement are a further intensification of the principle of righteousness armed with force because of its attempt to level every aspect of society at the outcome level.

Its desire to enforce radical equality of outcome is not limited to America’s borders. Increasingly, since the Bush and Obama Administrations, it views American military power as something to be aggressively and proactively projected in its service.

Historically speaking, American intervention was justified by American interests, not a specific set of values. This is why America supported dictators around the world in the struggle against Communism. It was not an endorsement of their views or actions, but a recognition of realpolitik. America needed allies and found them where she could.

Compare with the post-9/11 view of American intervention: America must turn Iraq into Japan in the desert, not because this is good for America, but because liberal democracy is especially noble and righteous.

Righteousness and force have become universalist. Any deviation from a specific form of political organization or way of life is seen as prima facie evidence of electoral chicanery or tyranny.

This offers insight into the $64,000 question: Why can’t San Francisco just leave Oklahoma City alone? For that matter, why can’t California cities leave the more rural, suburban, and conservative parts of California alone? Because of this universalist drive for an extremely abstract notion of human equality effectively without limits.

Any variance from their all-encompassing notion of righteousness requires force, not persuasion, to correct.

“History doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes” and this is a great example of how that old historical cliche plays out in the real world. The “protests” of summer 2020 aren’t all that different from the protests of the 1960s and 1970s, but there is more going on here than a simple expression of popular rage or even the boredom of the young adults.

The riots of 2020 were not terribly different from how death squads work in banana republics. The leftists were allowed to burn, loot, pillage, and assault at will, but any response in defense would result in arrest and criminal charges. Thus, there is the quasi-religious nature to the movement, expressed in the exuberant fanatical violence of last summer. These riots act as something of a victory dance and an act of war – is it not clear that the righteous were able to increase their social and political power in the United States by rioting?

Furthermore, there is a religious aspect to the COVID-19 hysteria. It ignores actual data on the subject in favor of an ever-shifting official “science.” The adherents of this leverage coercion through mask and vaccine mandates while also openly calling for punishment or even death for those who do not comply.

The COVID cult introduces fear into the mix, a form of coercion, with an eye toward gaining compliance and assistance from those not otherwise predisposed toward ideological flights of fancy.

The pandemic provided an opportunity for otherwise diffuse forces to band together in the name of controlling every aspect of human behavior. It also provided insight into just how many restrictions on human freedom people were willing to submit to.

Weaponized Righteousness Cannot Be Reasoned With

It runs counter to the general sense of fair play and open-mindedness that the Anglo-Saxon tradition is known for to say that there is a person or group of people who are not worth communicating with.

But the righteous want total control over every aspect of social and private life, and they are satisfied with nothing less and will do anything to get it. Their desires for control are an insatiable black hole, an endless quest for new dragons to slay.

Further, they do not respect the notion of rights as you and I understand them. Rights, for the militantly righteous, are positive values provided by the government in the service of moving the world closer to their utopia. Rights are not boundaries to be respected but are instead manipulated as a means to an end.

Finally, because their ideology has a quasi-religious nature to it, there is no arguing with them. Arguing with the righteous over whether or not America is an inherently racist country is a bit like arguing with a brick wall over whether or not the moon is made of green cheese.

Political righteousness has no sense of “live and let live,” let alone any sense that persuasion is better than force.

The cynic can be reasoned with or even bribed. For the true believer, there is no acceptable result except for total and complete victory. Those seeking to ensure freedom for themselves, their family, their community, and their future would do well to form a clear picture of how militant, weaponized righteousness has worked in the past.

Righteousness and force didn’t end last summer – we can see it in the digital pages of our electronic newspapers almost every day. The attempts to decide what is right for you and yours, and to enforce such at gunpoint is the essence of armed righteousness. The reader will ignore its ever-changing manifestations at his own peril. Sam JacobsWritten bySam Jacobs

Communism Humor

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by Dan Mitchell

I’ve been recently receiving lots of good material for our collection of communism humor.

I shared items in both August and September, and now we have a new batch for October.

The first bit of satire shows that it’s better to be victimized by capitalism than communism.

The second item in our collection is a further reminder that you have to choose whether you want full socialism or a full stomach.

Our next item is almost identical to one that I shared back in March, except mountain lions have been replaced by Canadian geese.

Next we have a big of humor involving two of history’s biggest mass murderers, Stalin and Lenin.

And here’s my favorite item, which will appeal to history buffs who remember that Hitler and Stalin agreed to carve up Poland.

A nice reminder that totalitarianism is reprehensibleregardless of the flavor.

Statist ideologies are the opposite of libertarianism.

US Navy nuclear submarine engineer and wife are charged with spying ~ Messages hidden in PEANUT BUTTER sandwiches, gum wrappers!

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The FBI says it has arrested American husband-and-wife spy team, Diane Toebbe, 45, and Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and charged them with selling classified information ‘concerning the design of nuclear powered warships.’ In a scene reminiscent of the TV show the Americans, the FBI recovered a blue memory card wrapped in plastic and placed between two slices of bread on a peanut butter sandwich, court documents said. (PDF below) The FBI provided the contents of the memory card to a Navy subject matter expert who determined that the records included design elements and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors, the Justice Department said.

The FBI conducted similar dead-drop exchanges over the next several months, including one in August in Virginia in which Toebbe was paid roughly $70,000 and concealed in a chewing gum package a memory card that contained schematic designs for the Virginia-class submarine, according to court documents. 

According to a criminal complaint filed in West Virginia and unsealed on Sunday, 45-year-old Jonathan Toebbe, who has a top-secret clearance, “has passed, and continues to pass, Restricted Data as defined by the Atomic Energy Act … to a foreign government … with the witting assistance of his spouse, Diana Toebbe,” the military news outlet reported.

Specifically, the U.S. Department of Justice has accused Jonathan Toebbe of selling information for nearly the past year to a contact he believed to represent a foreign nation but was instead an FBI agent.

Daily Mail has a good piece

Us v Jonathan Toebbe Complaint Ecf No 1 Unsealed 0 by OWNEditor on Scribd

Dr. Rand Paul Hosts Puppy Press Conference, Introduces Bipartisan FDA Modernization Act to End Animal Testing Mandates

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On Oct 7th, Rand Paul, along with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), introduced the FDA Modernization Act to end animal testing mandates. This legislation would end an outdated FDA mandate that requires experimental drugs be tested on animals before they are used on humans in clinical trials. 
 
The bill would not ban animal testing outright, but would allow the option for drug sponsors to use alternative methods where they are suitable.
 
This act would accelerate innovation and get safer, more effective drugs to market more quickly by cutting red tape that is not supported by current science. 
 
It also prevents the needless suffering and death of animal test subjects—which is something Rand thinks both Republicans and Democrats can agree needs to end. 

REVEALED: Pfizer Lobbying Hits Decade High as DOZENS of High-Profile Political Appointees Become Big Pharma Reps.

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Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent vaccine rollout, pharmaceutical giants including Pfizer and Moderna have substantially increased their lobbying efforts, a National Pulse investigation has revealed.

The lobbying apparatuses at both vaccine-reliant companies – in terms of the number of lobbyists hired and the overall budget deployed to influence government officials – have seen dramatic increases since 2019.

The news comes one day after hidden camera footage revealed a Pfizer scientist admitting: “Basically, our organization is run on COVID money now.”

Many of the new Big Pharma hires have come from consulting firms with deep and historical links to the current White House, and President Joe Biden himself.

The sheer number of political operatives who have recently gone on to work for Big Pharma, from both Democrat and Republican offices is staggering. Now, it’s their constitutional right to lobby, but Moderna and Pfizer know they are buying clout.

The National Pulse, under our friend Raheem Kassam, has assembled a list of those declared by Pfizer and Moderna alone. The list includes their previous jobs or affiliations. Of the 83 listed, many come from high level backgrounds such as the White House, presidential candidates, the Speaker of the House’s office, and a number of congressional offices. Great work, guys. Visit their site for the latest in conservative news.


Pfizer.

  1. Justin McCarthy, Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs under President George W. Bush
  2. Brian Arthur Pomper, Chief International Trade Counsel to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus
  3. Bill Morley, General Counsel to Senator Arlen Specter
  4. Remy Brim, Senior Health Policy Advisor to Senator Elizabeth Warren
  5. Mark Mioduski, Democratic Clerk for the Committee on Appropriations in the U.S. House of Representatives
  6. Brian Griffin, Senior Leadership Advisor and Floor Policy Director for Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Senator Byron Dorgan
  7. Ben Howard, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs under President Donald Trump
  8. Kate Keating, Chief of Staff to Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Congressman Joseph Crowley
  9. David Schiappa, Secretary to Senate Republican Leaders
  10. Lavita Legrys, Director at the Office of Legislative Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama
  11. Mike Mckay, Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Gregory Meeks
  12. Cristina Antelo, Legal Fellow with the Senate Democratic Steering Committee
  13. Tom Davis, former Congressman
  14. Michael Werner, Policy Advisor to Senate Democrats Policy Committee
  15. Daniel Elling, Staff Director for the House Committee on Ways and Means
  16. Cookab Hashemi, Chief of Staff to Representative Raul Ruiz and Representative Jackie Speier
  17. Robert Holifield, Staff Director of the Senate Agriculture Committee
  18. Hannah Smith, Legislative Correspondent to Senator Blanche Lincoln
  19. Blanche Lincoln, Former Senator and Congresswoman
  20. Colin Roskey, Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services under President Trump
  21. Thomas Scully, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Bush.
  22. Brian Diffell, Legislative Director to Senator Roy Blunt
  23. Kelli Briggs, Chief of Staff to Representative Pat Tiberi
  24. Anne Wilson, Legislative Director to Representative Anna G. Eshoo
  25. Peter Wallace, Legislative Correspondent to Representative Ric Keller
  26. Katharine Hayes, Legislative Correspondent to Representative Mark Schauer
  27. Akshai Datta, Senior Legislative Assistant to Representative Ami Bera
  28. Darrel Thompson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intergovernmental and External Affairs to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
  29. Shanti Ochs Stanton, Floor Assistant to the Democratic Leaders Office
  30. Natalie Farr, Chief of Staff to Senator Cory Gardner
  31. Steven Elmendorf, Chief of Staff to House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt
  32. Steven Irizarry, Senior Counsel for Senate Special Committee on Aging
  33. Stephen Northrup, Health Policy Advisor to Senator Michael Enzi
  34. Jennifer Swenson, Deputy Legislative Director to Senator Pat Roberts
  35. Catherine Robinson, Law Clerk on the Committee on Ways and Means
  36. Emily Mueller, Deputy Legislative Director to Senator Pat Roberts
  37. Stephen Claeys, Trade Counsel on the Committee on Ways and Means
  38. Paula Burg, Director and Senior Advisor for Health and Entitlements on the Senate Budget Committee
  39. Elissa Alben, Senior Counsel for International Trade and Competitiveness on the Senate Committee on Finance
  40. Karissa Willhite, Deputy Chief of Staff to Senator Robert Menendez
  41. Gordon Taylor, Chief of Staff to Representative Chris John
  42. Tucker Shumack, Tax and Finance Counsel to Senator Olympia Snowe
  43. Todd Novascone, Chief of Staff to Senator Jerry Moran
  44. Jerome Murray, Chief of Staff to Representative Stacey Plaskett
  45. Moses Mercado, Deputy Chief of Staff to Representative Richard Gephardt
  46. Tim McGivern, Chief of Staff to Senator Jim Brownback
  47. Chris Giblin, Chief of Staff to Representative John Carter
  48. Tony Bullock, Chief of Staff to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
  49. Dee Buchanan, Chief of Staff to House Republican Conference
  50. Dean Aguillen, Advisor to Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  51. Eden Shiferaw, Representative Marcia Fudge
  52. Jane Loewenson, Senior Health Policy Advisor to Democratic Leader Tom Daschle
  53. Andrea LaRue, Counsel to Democratic Leader Tom Daschle
  54. Brady King, Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Kendra S. Horn
  55. Joshua Fay Hurvitz, Legislative Director to Representative Anthony D. Weiner
  56. Lisa German Foster, Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Jack Reed
  57. Irene Bueno, Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton in the Domestic Policy Council and Chief of Staff’s Office
  58. Ashley Gunn,  Senior Director of Cabinet Affairs to President Trump
  59. Monica Popp, Chief of Staff to Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn
  60. Hazen Marshall, Policy Director to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
  61. Christopher Wilcox, Staff Assistant to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan
  62. Marti Thomas, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs under President Clinton
  63. Karina Lynch, Legislative Director to Representative Scott McInnis
  64. Cheryl Jager, Senior Health Policy Advisor for House Republican Leadership
  65. Matthew Hoekstra, Legislative Director for Senator Ben Lujan
  66. Susan Hirschmann, Chief of Staff to Representative Van Hilleary
  67. Christopher Hatcher, Legislative Director to Representative Scott McInnis
  68. Ann Marie Buerkle, Congresswoman
  69. Shimon Stein, Senior Advisor to House Majority Leader/Republican Whip
  70. Kristi Remington, Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice under President Obama
  71. Malloy McDaniel, Policy Advisor to Senator Mitch McConnell
  72. Craig Kalkut, Chief Counsel of Senate Antitrust Subcommittee
  73. Ashley Davis, Special Assistant to Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge under President Bush
  74. Greg Nickerson, Tax Counsel to Representative Bill Thomas

Moderna.

  1. Darren Willcox, Assistant to Speaker Dennis Hastert for Health Policy
  2. Erin Strawn, Legislative Associate to Representative Joe Cunningham
  3. Valerie Henry, Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Greg Walden
  4. James Derderian, Chief of Staff to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce
  5. Carmencita Whonder, Advisor on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee to Senator Chuck Schumer
  6. Marc Lampkin, General Counsel for the House Republican Conference
  7. Araceli Gutierrez, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Graduate Fellow
  8. Emily Felder, Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee
  9. Nadeam Elshami, Chief of Staff to Representative Nancy Pelosi

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