Why a Trauma Kit is essential and what it should contain

3

Tiny SquirrelGun shows are great places to meet kindred spirits and at the last one I went to I met David Dietrich who is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He was selling a fantastic range of Trauma items (although I admit he got my attention with a small pack on his stall labeled “Vasectomy Kit.”) Anyway, I asked him to come up with something that would really be of use to you guys and he produced a doozy. Check this list out. Thanks David, this is really useful. 

Most people likely think about equipment for trained specialists in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) when they hear “Trauma Kit.”  Other terms used are “Blow-Out Kit,” and “Individual First Aid Kit” (IFAK).  However, they would be wrong.  Such kits are instead designed to be used by the first responder, whether he is a police officer, infantryman, or just a Good Samaritan.

A Trauma Kit is a far cry from a typical First Aid Kit.  While the latter is designed to support minor injuries and medical issues, the former is essential for saving someone’s life in the next ten minutes.  That means such kits are focused on major bleeding from gunshots, stabbings, and amputations.  In addition, they address breathing obstructions from anaphylaxis or massive tissue damage.

For the purposes of post-disaster preparedness, a Trauma Kit provides coverage where there will likely be no medical services for some time.  That means we will be on our own.  We ourselves may be not only the first responder, but also the last.  So, acquiring and learning to use the components of such a kit is a critical capability.  This is one reason why so many military combatants have survived serious wounds in our recent wars.

One axiom is indisputable – all bleeding stops.  The question becomes, how it will stop?  Do you want to let it stop on its own, after the casualty has bled out, or do you want to play an active role, stopping the bleeding yourself in sufficient time for the casualty to become an asset once again?  The Trauma Kit provides a means to that end, through various included devices.

jbc-corporation-medical-assault-kit
Image: Pictured are the JBC Corporation Medical Assault Kit, costing over $200, and the GetReady! Field Trauma Kit, listing at $99.95.

So, what does a Trauma Kit look like?  First of all, it is relatively small, easily carried on a belt, armor plate, or in a backpack.  Secondly, it does not usually contain the items we expect to see in First Aid Kits.  Rather, they include tourniquets, pressure bandages, blood clotting agent, occlusive dressing, tension pneumothorax needle, and nasopharyngeal airway. There may be a few other odds and ends as well, but those are the basics.

 

Let’s take a look at components of a trauma kit, to better understand why they are used:

 

tourniquets
Image: Pictured are rubber tubing, RATS, SWAT-T, and CAT-T.  Others to consider are are SOF-TT, and TK-4.  They range in price from approximately $6 to $32 each.

Tourniquet.  There are many designs and brand available, from simple rubber tubing to complex windlass or ratcheting designs.  But, they all have one purpose – to constrict or eliminate blood flow to the bleeding extremity.  While these used to be a tool of last resort, military experience has proven their worth in saving lives as the tool of first choice.  If properly applied and combined with other devices, they can be safely removed later.

 

compression-bandages
Pictured are the H&H Medical H-Bandage and the ubiquitous “Israeli Bandage.”  They range in price from approximately $6 to $15 each.

Compression (Pressure) Bandage.  There are several commercial brands out there, typically based on the original Israeli Bandage.  As the tried and true method for staunching blood flow is pressure and elevation, their purpose is to maintain pressure at the injury site, as well as provide a clotting medium.  This is accomplished through an integrated dressing and pressure device.  The hands are then left free to perform other functions. Here are some examples of commercially available Pressure Bandages:

 

Pictured are the Celox Hemostatic Granules,  QuikClot Combat Gauze, and QuikClot Clotting Sponge.  They range in price from approximately $13 to $42 each.
Pictured are the Celox Hemostatic Granules,  QuikClot Combat Gauze, and QuikClot Clotting Sponge.  They range in price from approximately $13 to $42 each.

Hemostatic (Clotting) Agent.  There are mainly two commercial brands out there, found in three forms.  These are QuikClot and Celox, using sponges, gauze wraps, or poured granules.  The key component is either a clay mineral (kaolin), used in QuikClot, or a crustacean derivative (chitosan), used in Celox.  Both types interact with blood plasma to rapidly form clots.  They work independently of blood platelets or thinning drugs.

 

 

Pictured are the H&H Medical Wound Seal Kit and Compact Wound Seal.  Other companies also produce simple and valved options.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $30 each.
Pictured are the H&H Medical Wound Seal Kit and Compact Wound Seal.  Other companies also produce simple and valved options.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $30 each.

Occlusive Dressing (aka Chest Seal).  Several brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are designed to block inhalation through the thoracic cavity, rather than normally, into the lungs.  If such a condition, known as a “sucking chest wound,” is allowed to continue, the lung on that side will likely collapse, putting pressure on the aorta and heart, resulting in painful breathing and associated circulatory problems.

 

 

 

Pictured are the BD Angiocath and the H&H Medical Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  Enhanced versions are also available.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $43 each.
Pictured are the BD Angiocath and the H&H Medical Tension Pneumothorax Needle.  Enhanced versions are also available.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $43 each.

Tension Pneumothorax Needle (TPN).  Several brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are designed to release air and/or fluid pressure in the external thoracic cavity that may lead to the same conditions described under Occlusive Dressing above.  So, this device is for closed, versus open chest wounds.  The TPN is probably the most difficult of all the Trauma Kit devices to apply, and should by studied and practiced.

 

Naso-Pharyngeal Airway (NPA)

Pictured is the Rusch Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway.  Packaged with water-soluble lubricant, they range in price from approximately $5 to $15 each.
Pictured is the Rusch Robertazzi Nasopharyngeal Airway.  Packaged with water-soluble lubricant, they range in price from approximately $5 to $15 each.

Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies. They are used to maintain breathing in the event of an airway blockage due to anaphylaxis or tissue damage.  They are basically comprised of a stiffened rubber tube, beveled on one end and enlarged into a bell shape on the other.  Assisted by accompanying water-based lubricant, they are fully inserted into a nostril up to the bell.

compressed-gauzeCompressed Gauze.  Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are used primarily to absorb and aid in the clotting of blood.  Almost always comprised of cotton, they are the most versatile Trauma Kit component.  And it cannot be overstated that you can never have enough gauze.  Additional uses include absorbing other bodily fluids, covering burns and lacerations, wrapping dressings, and securing splints.

 

Trauma Shears

Pictured are 3.5” and 5.5” light duty Trauma Sheers from Rescue Essentials and Ronson.  Other, more robust sheers are available.  They range in price from approximately $3 to $50 each.
Pictured are 3.5” and 5.5” light duty Trauma Sheers from Rescue Essentials and Ronson.  Other, more robust sheers are available.  They range in price from approximately $3 to $50 each.

Numerous brands are used by the military and other agencies.  They are used primarily to cut away clothing and other accessories (eg bra underwire) to quickly access the point of injury.  Their unique design provides a safe and easy method to cut through almost anything, including coins!  The major take-away regarding arterial bleeding is that saving clothing comes in a distant second to saving a life.

 

 

 

 Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Medical (Duct) Tape.  This ubiquitous resource really comes into its own in a medical kit.  Not only can it be used to secure bandages and dressings, but it also has applications for foot care (eg prevention and treatment of blisters), wrapping splints, making snow goggles, and repairing medical gear and other items.  Mini rolls, primarily for storage purposes, are the best configuration.  Don’t leave home without them!

 

 

Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.
Pictured are rolls from eGear and H&H Medical.  Also found among survival gear, they range in price from approximately $1 to $4 each.

Medical Gloves.  These are included in Trauma Kits primarily to protect the responder, not the patient.  Bodily fluids can carry many dangerous diseases, and having additional barriers during treatment may keep the responder from becoming a casualty.  In addition, they may preclude the need for further cleansing following treatment.  Simple glove removal and disposal may be sufficient action under tactical conditions.

Marking Pen

Pictured are mini Sharpies.  Full-sized versions can also be used.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $3 each.
Pictured are mini Sharpies.  Full-sized versions can also be used.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $3 each.

This is important not only for recording information on a Casualty Card, but also for marking other information, such as the date and time of a tourniquet application.  Such marking can be on the device itself, or even on the forehead of the patient.  There are other uses for such pens, such as taking notes on environmental conditions, and descriptions of agents (eg animals, plants, suspects) involved.

 

Pictured are the H&H Medical standard and Marine Combat Casualty Care Cards.  They range in price from approximately $2 to $4 each.
Pictured are the H&H Medical standard and Marine Combat Casualty Care Cards.  They range in price from approximately $2 to $4 each.

Casualty Response Documentation Tool (CRDT).

This is an event recording card, containing information describing patient and injury, treatment (including drugs) administered, mental state, circulation, respiration, mechanisms of injury (MOIs), medical conditions, and overall patient medical status, from routine to critical.  It’s always good to keep track of what’s happening in such cases, for reference prior to future treatment.

 

 Pictured are medical pouches from Eagle Industries and Maxpedition.  Another common brand is Rothco.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $45 each.

Pictured are medical pouches from Eagle Industries and Maxpedition.  Another common brand is Rothco.  They range in price from approximately $15 to $45 each.

Pouch.  Typical military kit dimensions are 8 inches long by 6 inches wide by four inches deep when full.  It uses the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) to fasten to Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment (MOLLE) configured backpacks.  Made of rugged Cordura nylon, this Pouch can be used under adverse environmental and tactical conditions.  It should be readily accessible for immediate use.

 

Other Components.  A number of other items may be included in a Trauma Kit for various reasons.  For example, if the owner would like to access the kit for minor injuries, and not dip into important trauma components, then adhesive bandages may be included.  In addition, medications (eg aspirin) should be considered.  Sterile wipes and water for cleaning wounds, flashlight for nighttime, and CPR shield round out the list.

 Pictured are a CPR Shield, regular strength Aspirin, Moist Towelettes, Sterile Water, Penlight, Adhesive Bandages, and Gauze Pads.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $5 each.

Pictured are a CPR Shield, regular strength Aspirin, Moist Towelettes, Sterile Water, Penlight, Adhesive Bandages, and Gauze Pads.  They range in price from approximately $1 to $5 each.

_________________________________________________________________

 

David Dietrich is co-owner of GetReady! Emergency Planning Center, getemergencyready.com. He has been preparing for uncertainty since he was a youth, recognizing that backpacking is about smaller, lighter, and multi-capability.  His experiences in the Boy Scouts and military have given him an appreciation for the real meaning of the Scout Motto – “Be Prepared.”  Today, David runs a disaster preparedness business that is focused on the creed – helping you help yourself.  It is about delivering resources, training, education, and consulting in preparation for a failure of civility.  Prepared people are survivors.

 

 

 

 

What you didn’t learn in Conceal Carry Training. And how this information could change your life.

4
Image: Target shooting, Kelly McCarthy. Now’s the time to think about the consequences of pulling the trigger in a defensive situation

Pulling that trigger is something you need to have thought about BEFORE you ever have to do it. Could you shoot a kid? No? Could you shoot a kid with a gun aimed at your wife? Maybe? Could you shoot a pregnant woman? Never? Could you shoot a pregnant woman with a gun to your kid’s head. Would you shoot a gunman threatening a clerk in a convenience store if you’re safely hiding at the back and in no immediate danger? Could you shoot your wife? Are you going to risk your life for a stranger? Are you willing to endure the court case? The massive hit to your finances? To even, possibly, have to move town because people won’t believe that what you did was necessary. So many ifs, right?

Here are the steps that COULD follow a defensive shooting:

  • Shots Fired
  • 911 Call
  • First Responders
  • Local law enforcement supervisors
  • Detectives – In some places the ADA will be dispatched
  • Investigation/Questioning
  • Prosecutor Determination
  • Trial Phase
  • Sentencing
  • Appeal Process
  • Civil Trial

See what I mean. Being the hero can get you in a whole world of trouble? That’s why I am probably only going to draw and shoot if I’m saving someone with the same last name as me.

Reporting a defensive shooting

So you pulled the trigger. You need to prepare for how you would report a defensive shooting. Rule No. 1. Don’t incriminate yourself. The 911 operator is not your friend but is trained to keep asking questions which are being recorded. Keep it simple.

  • Dial 911
  • Report there’s been a shooting.
  • Give them your name and the address you’re at
  • Tell them who is in the house/building. (Maybe send the kids next door if they are present.)
  • Describe any injuries and whether you need EMS
  • Describe yourself, your clothes. Put your weapon on the floor or in clear sight. (Unless you are using it to subdue a criminal.)
  • If you are insured with an organization that provides an attorney, call them. If you have an attorney call them.
  • Tell the police the bare minimum. Be cooperative but spare the details. Say only:
    • Officer, I was in fear of my life/my family member was threatened and at risk of losing their life. (You would not pull the trigger to save property. The fallout is NOT worth it for something insured or inanimate.)
    • I will sign the complaint.
    • Be helpful and show them what the assailant used to attack you.
    • Introduce any witnesses.
    • Tell them you are invoking the Fifth Amendment until you have had time to talk to your attorney and calm yourself down. You should say you’ll be back within 24 hours to talk to them. Be prepared to be arrested. And be prepared to spend a long time being questioned.
    • Remember to say: “If he/she survives I want to press charges.” Remind everyone that you’re not the aggressor here. 

Exposing Hypocrisy over Political Violence

0

The American people have been lied to in different but equally sinister ways about both the events last summer, and the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6th

By Brett Kimball, College student and political activist from Gaithersburg, MD.

Any acts of political violence are reprehensible and cannot be tolerated if the country is to survive. Republicans rightly condemned the actions of those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. In contrast, Democrats who encouraged and funded the Antifa, BLM rioters for most of the past year. wasted no time exploiting the Capitol attack for political gain. They immediately accused not just the few who committed violent acts, but all Trump supporters as complicit in “domestic terrorism” and even “sedition.”

It is as if Democrats hadn’t watched what the riotous mobs of BLM and Antifa thugs did to our once-beautiful cities over the summer. Thousands of protests broke out starting in June in the name of George Floyd and others, most of which had morphed into full scale rioting and looting in our city streets.  These protests and riots lasted for over seven months and resulted in the deaths of at least 23 innocent civilians including retired police captain David Dorn in St. Louis, MO. Seven-hundred police officers were injured and more than 150 federal buildings were damaged across the US. This doesn’t even include the small businesses which were destroyed physically by this mob. They destroyed historic statues, defaced buildings and private property with anti-American slogans, burned American flags, assaulted people in the streets, and demanded fealty to the cause for which they claimed to be advocates for. It was “obey or shut up,” all summer and beyond.

Republicans rightly condemned the violence with many governors calling in the National Guard to tamp down the violence. In fact, Obama even called in the guard to do that very same thing during the Ferguson riots back in 2014, referring to those causing violence as “thugs”. He was right to do so.

But how did the Democrats react this time? They certainly didn’t meet the occasion with the same fervent determination which they showed after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. To the contrary, they encouraged the protests to continue whilst at the same time gas lighting large portions of the American people into believing that there was no violence at all. But our eyes do not deceive. We knew what we saw and watched with never ending frustration as they egged on those seeking to destroy and uproot our society.

They called Trump a fascist when he began pressuring governors to request help in the form of National Guard troops. Even when President Trump used the very same verbiage that Obama had used just six years earlier, referring to the mob as “thugs”, he was of course derided once again as guilty of being a deeply racist individual.

Democrats like Maxine Waters called for further unrest, even going so far as to encourage harassment of Trump supporters, should they dare to enter a public space. Radical Democrat Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said last summer, “There needs to be unrest in the streets as long as there is unrest in our lives.”

Then Sen. Kamala Harris appeared on the Colbert Show last summer defending the rioters, “They’re not gonna’ let up, and they should not”.

Violence and intimidation being used as political tools by Democrats is not a new phenomenon. Back in 2018 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a press conference, “I just don’t know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be.”

The campaign for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris even set up bail funds to bail out the few rioters and looters who actually ended up in custody. All charges ended up dropped and the whole debacle was swiftly memory-holed by the Democrat party and their followers.

Image: https://bailfunds.github.io

This sounds nothing like the outcries we’ve been hearing from our neighbors to the left in recent weeks. In fact, it perfectly illustrates the gross and inexcusable double standards upon which the current Democratic Party platform rests firmly. The rules only apply to us, never to them.

With the full support of their media apparatus and the talking heads in the entertainment industry, they have convinced themselves, and millions of other Americans that what BLM and Antifa did was “mostly peaceful”.

They had already begun painting all conservatives with the broad brush of “domestic terrorist” or “seditionist sympathizers” the night of January 6th. They wasted no time seizing the opportunity presented to them in order to demonize the half of America who didn’t vote for them.

The American people have been lied to in different but equally sinister ways about both the events last summer, and the events at the Capitol on Jan. 6th. With Democrats, as always, being the primary benefactors of their own distortions of truth and double standards.

To the patriots out there feeling misrepresented and unfairly treated right now, I say, stay safe, stay vigilant, and hold your convictions close, they can’t silence you or our movement no matter how hard they are about to try.

3 Harmful Consequences of Killing the Keystone XL Pipeline

0
Canadian and American jobs depended on the 1,700mile pipeline. Gas and oil will continue to be transported by rail and road and contribute to CO2 emissions.
From CO2 emissions to jobs to investment, Biden’s move will have the opposite of its intended effect.

President Joe Biden wasted no time after Wednesday’s inaugural ceremonies before getting to work. He signed 17 executive orders and memorandums—by far the most in history on a president’s first day—one of which halted construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried crude oil from Canada through the US.

“Construction on the long disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline halted Wednesday as incoming U.S. President Joe Biden revoked its permit on his first day in office,” the Associated Press reports. “The 1,700-mile (2,735-kilometer) pipeline was planned to carry roughly 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.”

This is just the latest—but likely final—development in a long fight over this project. The Keystone pipeline was first commissioned in 2010, but this part of it, the XL pipeline, was blocked by the Obama administration in 2015. Then, President Trump reversed course in 2017 and, after lengthy legal challenges, finally paved the way for it to proceed. But sadly, Biden’s latest decision is likely the end of this years-long fight. 

“We will begin a safe and orderly shut-down of construction,” Keystone XL President Richard Prior said.

Biden’s rationale for shutting down the project is clear. He believes that carbon emissions and climate change pose a grave threat to the environment and the economy. Thus, the president hopes to block more use of fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions by thwarting this project.

“The Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest,” Biden wrote in his executive order. “The United States and the world face a climate crisis. That crisis must be met with action on a scale and at a speed commensurate with the need to avoid setting the world on a dangerous, potentially catastrophic, climate trajectory.”

“Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives,” the president concluded.

Biden’s “solution” here is to use the power of the federal government to spike a massive economic project years in the making. His benign intentions will not ameliorate the lasting fallout from the many unintended consequences this intervention will surely bring.

Here are three key ways Biden’s move to block the Keystone pipeline will backfire.

Even those who share Biden’s goal of reducing CO2 emissions shouldn’t support his move to block the pipeline. Blocking its construction will, most likely, lead to higher emissions, not a reduction.

Why?

Well, Keystone had already promised to use green technology and eliminate all CO2 emissions from its operations by 2030. And it’s not as if blocking this pipeline will actually mean the oil doesn’t get transported. It will just have to be transported by more costly, less efficient measures like rail shipping. 

“The Obama State Department found five separate times that the pipeline would have no material impact on greenhouse gas emissions since crude would still be extracted,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board explains. “Shipping bitumen by rail or tanker would result in 28% to 42% higher CO2 emissions and more leaks.”

Ironically, this unintended consequence will likely mean that more carbon gets emitted—the exact opposite of Biden’s goal.  

Any time the government steps in and squashes economic investment, job losses are sure to follow. Biden’s blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline is no exception.

If allowed to go through, the pipeline project would have created 11,000 jobs and $1.6 billion in wages, according to Fox Business. These gains will all now be lost. Biden regularly says he wants his environmental policies to create good-paying, union jobs— but what the president just did will accomplish the opposite. This is why even left-wing elected officials like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau oppose Biden’s decision.

If there’s one thing that’s bad for investment, it’s uncertainty. And that’s exactly what Keystone has faced thanks to the federal government’s knee-jerk reversals and regulatory whiplash.

Yes, you can build it. Wait, no you can’t. Yes, actually you can. Wait, never mind, now it’s blocked again.

“It is impossible for American businesses to make big, long-term investments in a political environment in which every project is up for renegotiation — or summary economic execution — every time the White House changes hands,” the National Review editorial board wisely warns. “Surely, in a continental nation as vast as ours, with an economy as complex as ours, it shouldn’t be possible for one man serving a short term in a temporary elected office to undo years of work and billions of dollars in investment. This is pure foolishness, and it will cost us.”

Biden says he wants to promote economic growth and investment. But if this kind of whipsawing regulatory reversal pervades the new president’s tenure, businesses will—quite understandably—end up reducing their investments to account for such uncertainty.   

Even the smartest and most brilliant bureaucrats and elected officials will never be able to issue sweeping economic diktats from offices in Washington, D.C. without incurring massive unintended consequences. It’s simply impossible for any centralized authority to have enough knowledge of vast industries and complex situations across the continent to effectively account for all variable and potential outcomes.

“Every human action has both intended and unintended consequences,” economist Antony Davies and political scientist James Harrigan explain. “Human beings react to every rule, regulation, and order governments impose, and their reactions result in outcomes that can be quite different than the outcomes lawmakers intended.”

The Biden administration’s decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline will, no doubt, provide a poignant example of when big government goes wrong. But it would be a mistake to think these shortcomings are specific to President Biden, environmental policy, or oil pipelines.

Central planners will always end up missing the nail when they swing the hammer—because they’re working while blindfolded.

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education. This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

INSIGHT: What We Can Expect From a Biden Administration

0
Image: Twitter

Joe Biden became the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. Eager to implement his agenda, Biden signed a number of executive orders after he was sworn into office, beginning the process of undoing some of former President Donald Trump’s legacy. 

Jessica Anderson, director of Heritage Action for America, joins the “Problematic Women” podcast to share her reactions to Biden’s inaugural address, and her insights on what policies we can expect to see implemented by a Biden administration. The interview is printed below.

Virginia Allen: We are so excited to welcome back to the show Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America. 

Jessica served in the Trump administration for a time as the associate director of intergovernmental affairs and strategic initiatives for the Office of Management and Budget, and she frequently appears on a number of major networks, including Fox News. 

Jessica Anderson

Jessica, welcome back to the show.

Jessica Anderson: Hey, everyone. Thanks for having me.

Allen: So, let’s begin by just talking about your reactions to what happened yesterday. Former Vice President Joe Biden became President Joe Biden. So, what were your thoughts on Biden’s inaugural address and the events of yesterday?

Anderson: Wow! Well, what a day it was. Lot of emotions going throughout the day, for sure, just both on a personal level of living here in the District in Washington, D.C., and then just on a professional level of recognizing so much is changing. 

And I’m reminded that there really are no permanent victories, just as there are no permanent failures, in this town. Everything comes and goes every four years, and that couldn’t be more stark or more true when you look at the contrast between former President Trump’s legislative agenda and the legislative governing agenda that’s now being put forward from Biden.

And so, while it was a day of pomp and circumstance, and America flag-waving and calls for unity and hope, I think underneath a lot of this really good and nice-sounding rhetoric was the reality of a very destructive legislative policy agenda. 

And I’m very eager for us to get back into the fight and start recognizing that Biden’s priorities need to be about creating jobs, not taking them away; to be about reopening the economy, not shutting it down; to be about removing regulations so that we’ve got more health care and the vaccine to more people that want it. 

And so, I think, as Day Two begins, this is really the task at hand. But the day itself was fine. It was nice to see some snowflakes, and it was certainly nice that it’s now in our rearview mirror, and we can get to work.

Lauren Evans: Yeah, no, Jess, I love that. Always moving forward, one thing I love about Heritage Action. 

This inauguration looked a lot different than inaugurations in the past. I know you went to the inauguration in 2016 of President Trump and there were lots of people, but due to COVID and security concerns, there was 20,000 National Guard troops. And it’s so funny to me, the citizens of D.C., what with all these National Guards, one of my favorite new trends is on TikTok. Women of D.C. are just scrolling. It’s just National Guardsman after National Guardsman.

Anderson: It’s like Fleet Week, right? It’s like Fleet Week for the 20-somethings in D.C. Look, I take the humor in it. I think it’s important that we find some humor to talk about these days, otherwise we’re just going to go crazy. 

But the reality is that we had an inauguration with the backdrop of the National Guard that flanked the road that the president and the vice president would normally walk with a cheering crowd. 

That was wildly absent, and in place of it was our nation’s military. And first and foremost, we thank the troops. They’re there because it’s their job to be there. My husband is former military. It was our job to be in places like that. I get it.

But the reality is that it’s really reflective of a little bit of the cloud that is over this entire inauguration process just because of how things have gone down and what this transition of power has looked like. But we’re here. We’re where we are. 

It’s Day Two. President Trump has left the White House for arguably the final time, and I think as conservatives, we’re in a place today where we realize that it would be a complete mistake to forget the issues that brought Trump to Washington in 2016 in the first place.

I mean, he came because millions of Americans across the country were unhappy with the state of the economy, unhappy with political correctness, illegal immigration, America’s role in the world and the international stage, and these concerns aren’t going away. 

For Biden to be successful, he has to address these issues, and I think that we are all going to be looking very closely at what he does on each of these main points as we get into the business of the legislative agenda ahead.

Allen: Well, I think we are all watching now President Biden and asking that question of, “OK, what are his legislative priorities, his policy priorities, really going to be?” And I wonder if he maybe gave us a little bit of a clue into that during his address on Wednesday. 

I want to play just one minute of his speech for you. Let’s take a listen.

President Joe Biden: Few people in our nation’s history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we’re in now. Once-in-a-century virus that silently stocks the country. It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II. Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear. And now the rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.

Allen: So, Jessica, your reaction? What do you think that these remarks can tell us about Biden’s priorities? He referenced things like fighting the pandemic, but then also the issue of racial justice and really pushing back on that, and things like climate change.

Anderson: First off, there’s nothing wrong with having an aggressive agenda for the first 100 days of any presidency. We have seen that historically the last 200 years. It is a part of when power changes. So, there’s nothing wrong with having a big, bold agenda. 

What I have a problem with, though, and what I think is concerning to conservatives and freedom-loving Americans across the country, is that Biden’s agenda is wrapped around failed policies of the Obama administration. 

I mean, other than COVID-19, everything that he is describing are things that we know how the story ends. We know what the results are. These measures are misguided. They’re destructive at times and at places, and at a point in our country’s history, in a moment for each of us where we should be looking for opportunities to give Americans more jobs, to open up and to support our economy, our families, our American institutions, this is a far-left progressive agenda that he’s putting forward.

I mean, look at climate change and the fact that he has signaled that he wants the United States to enter back into the Paris climate accords. I mean, this is about shutting down American jobs with really no climate impact. Same with the Keystone Pipeline. These are thousands of jobs of engineers, of construction workers, all at risk, all lost amidst the backdrop of a pandemic. 

And you look at COVID-19, and these ideas of a mask challenge or a mask mandate. And I have to wonder, has he read the science about masks, and has he read the science about the best way that we can have a targeted scientific approach? I mean, I’d love to get him some Heritage product so he can get smart on this. I mean, he’s missing so much of what good could be happening right now.

So, it’s unfortunate, I think. I think those elements of his speech were divisive and destructive instead of trying to pull people together, and I think it’s a preview of what’s likely the next four years, but again, as I said at the beginning, nothing is permanent in Washington, and that’s going to be true with Biden’s governing agenda. 

And as conservatives, we’re going to have to fight hard to rebuild the conservative movement where it’s needed and to get off the mat and block and tackle some of these destructive policies.

Evans: Well, Jess, I’m so glad you brought up the Paris climate accord, and we’re recording this Wednesday afternoon after the inauguration, and this isn’t Month One priority. This is Day One priority. He is planning on signing executive orders to really undo some of these policies of the Trump administration. 

Can you let us know some other examples of that?

Anderson: Yes, and he’s been pretty clear. Biden’s chief of staff had a memo out over the weekend that outlined exactly what they’re going to do and where they plan to use executive orders. So, we mentioned the Paris climate agreement. Also, he’s looking at rescinding the Keystone Pipeline permit. This will be a huge job-killer. It’ll make us more dependent on foreign energy. 

It basically walks back all the good that the Trump administration did on our energy independence. It looks like there’s going to be massive, massive changes to our border security, both from an illegal immigration standpoint—last I saw, it looks like he’s trying to give citizenship to 11 million illegal immigrants that are here in this country—to everything from halting the construction of the border wall. 

There’s comments out today about an executive order funding sanctuary cities, which we all know is a hotbed for an unconstitutional way to harbor illegal immigrants on the backs of our cities.

And so, it’s a long list. There’s rumors about the Iran deal and whether or not we would re-enter that. Obviously, there’s a lot of flaws in the Iran deal when you look at the two main tenets of it, that it does not allow United Nations inspectors to inspect the Iran nuclear facilities, nor does it handle ballistic missiles. 

So, I’m not really sure how you could have a deal with Iran that’s meant to limit nuclear power when you don’t tackle ballistic missiles, which is one of the main ways you can destroy and have nuclear wars. 

So these are, again, failed, misguided policies of the past. They do not have an eye toward unity. They certainly don’t have an eye about going forward. And I think it’s a mistake for him to lead by that.

And on the tactic that he’s using, I think the tactic itself, that this is essentially an executive order dump, if you will, or an executive order kind of binge, this is why he has to do this, because executive orders skirt the legislative process. They go around Congress. They go around the American people, and it’s easy to legislate by pen because you don’t have to do the hard work of debate and the legislative process with members [of Congress]. 

So, I think it’s revealing that he’s choosing to do so many executive orders instead of putting these through the legislative process, which, by the way, the Democrat Party is in control of. 

Let’s not forget: It’s a Democrat-controlled House and Senate right now. So, time will tell, but I think at the end of the day, what we’re looking at here is very destructive policies on Day One, and the first 100 days that conservatives should be alerted to and do everything in our power to stand against them.

Allen: Well, I know Jessica, for me personally, I’ve been thinking a lot about just what does the future hold for the economy. Several of my family members are small business owners, and I’m, frankly, just a little bit worried about, OK, what are the actions that the Biden administration will take to actually cause harm to the economy and move backward on that progress that Trump made? 

Will we see a repeal of the tax cuts? What do you think we can expect from Biden regarding his economic policy?

Anderson: Well, that’s a good question. It’s definitely something that is top of mind. The first thing on his list, though, is this $1.9 trillion COVID economic recovery package, as he has called it. 

If you look closely at it, though, you see that this is really a wish list of the progressive policy goals that the left has had, what with their $350 billion worth of state bailouts, the $15 minimum wage, bills on voting rights that are tapped in that would hollow out state election integrity laws. I mean, this is basically his list, all kind of packaged nicely underneath this $1.9 trillion.

But it’s interesting because it’s really going to be a game of numbers. You’ve got his proposal of $1.9 trillion. We have already spent $3.5 trillion, and this is all in comparison to the $900 billion that was spent during the financial recovery period. 

So, when you just look at how much the country is spending on COVID relief, it eclipses over the $900 billion that was spent for the federal government’s bail out of the financial industry, which at the time we thought was the worst of the worst.

So, it is a new level of spending. It is a new level of spending without thought to debt or thought to targeted relief, and it’s unfortunate, because this is going to be a pattern I think we’re going to see from him. 

I mean, we were talking the other day about this $15 minimum wage with some friends of mine, like when the economy is at its best, and it’s a free market-based economy, and it’s working to produce jobs, and to keep jobs and to reach the labor market, people are making minimum wages of $15 because it rises to that. 

You don’t need to have this strenuous top-down approach when it comes to economics.

So, to repeal much of the tax cuts, it will have to go through Congress. Does he present a plan like that soon? Probably. But first on his docket is this $1.9 trillion, trying to get it passed under this guise of economic recovery, but we know that these are misguided policies, more spending, and not even all of it is related to COVID.

Evans: Well, speaking of Congress, not only did the presidential office switch parties today, the Senate switched parties, with the swearing-in of the new senators from Georgia. What is the best- and the worst-case scenario, now that both houses of the legislature are Democrat-controlled?

Anderson: 
Well, it’s a 50/50 in the Senate, with [Vice President] Kamala Harris breaking the tie. And then you have a very slim majority in the Democrat-controlled House, where you have Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi now continuing to reign. And you have her in a position to exhort an insane amount of power over the committees and the processes of bills moving. 

So, I think at the end of the day, conservatives are going to have to rely on some legislative procedures, whether that’s trying to block things at the committee level or motions to recommit when they get to the floor, but leveraging and using every single procedural and legislative tool basically in the toolbox to stop the agenda where they can is important.

But then, the second strategic thing that I think we’re going to end up spending a lot of time talking about is where are moderates? When you look at pre-tea party, you had Blue Dog Democrats that were kind of in the space that [Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.] is today. I mean, we don’t call them that anymore, but Blue Dogs were a thing 10-plus years ago. 

And so the question becomes, do the moderates, the problem-solving caucus in the House; the Joe Manchins, [Sens. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Jon Tester, D-Mont.] in the Senate, what do they do? And are they in tune with their own constituents and their own base? And do they stand up to it?

I mean, Joe Manchin was the one that stood up to the Democrat Party and said, “We are not a party that goes after the police. The Defund the Police movement, that’s not us, guys. Hello, reminder.” 

So, there is an element here, I think, that we should be very mindful of when you look at the moderate wave, and what do they do and how do they pull the legislative agenda to the middle? 

That said, I think Biden is going to have a hard time keeping all of those different factions within the Democrat Party and the liberal agenda in place, because he has moderates on one side, and then he has the [far-left] “Squad” on the other, and he’s going to try to keep it all together and intact and have a governing agenda.

And I think that Biden led a very intentional campaign, talking to American voters that he would be a middle-of-the-road president. But if we look at Day One and Day Two activities, he really is embracing the worst ideas of the left, and we’re going to have to see, does he go more extreme than the Obama years? 

Does he try to bring the party back to the middle? And we just don’t know that yet.

Allen: Well, and, of course, he’s spoken so much about unity. We saw that during his address on Wednesday, and I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope that those words do become actions and that, like you say, he does really seek a little bit more of that middle-of-the-road approach, but we’re just going to have to wait and see. 

Jessica, I want to ask, just to lighten it up a little bit. I want to ask you about …

Anderson:
 Totally.

Allen:  … the fashion that we saw on Inauguration Day. There were so many ladies on that stage, all looking lovely. What were your thoughts on what we saw, and also just how the media [have] treated some of these left-of-the-aisle women versus what we’ve seen from women’s magazines and their treatment of conservative women?

Anderson: Well, finally, a topic we can all agree on here, right? I mean, it’s wild. 

Honestly, the women’s magazine world from the last four years has basically ignored Melania Trump, arguably one of the most fashionable first ladies that we have had since Jackie Kennedy. I mean, the girl just looks good. 

And so you have that, and then you now have Vogue and other women’s magazines eager to put Vice President Harris on their covers for her fashion choices, and that’s the first thing out the gate. 

I mean, it’s like they just decided, again, to cover politics. We know that’s not true. They willfully ignored [Melania Trump]. And it’s a sad moment, I think, when you see women’s magazines only highlight one type of woman.

They were silent during [Supreme Court] Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s trials, talking about her and how you could be a working mom today. They’ve really lost all credibility, I think, to talk about women’s issues, because they ignore all other women in the country that don’t think like them. 

So, I think that’s one. Two, it was interesting to see kind of the split-screen today, where you had all of the kind of CNN talking heads talking about how just radiant everyone looked and their choice of designers and politics by fashion and all of that. 

It’s like all of this now has come back and is in vogue, but it really just shows to me the hypocrisy of the entire industry, and I’m not sure that we can think of them as credible.

And furthermore, I’m not even sure that the far left even agrees with it, because they were complaining about Vice President Harris’ Vogue coverage because she was in her sneakers and a suit and didn’t look as glamorous as they thought she should. 

So, you really can’t ever please the liberal left when it comes to these things. So, my motto: “Why even try?”

Evans: Well, you wrote probably my favorite article that I’ve read in 2021 so far, and I don’t think I’ve even told you yet. It inspired me so much that I am working on a Heritage video for it, and it’s “The Year of Conservative Woman.” And the first line reads, “2020, the Year of the Woman, for real this time.” 

Can you tell our listeners a little bit about that?

Anderson:
 Yes, and you’re so sweet. That’s been such a passion project of mine, if you will, because I think what’s happened is as we’ve allowed women’s magazines and mainstream media to define what it means to be a woman, we’ve given away so much of the terms. 

We’ve given so much of what it means to be a female conservative, and so I wrote this piece with an eye towards that, of everything we learned with Justice Barrett, of that you could be a working mom and ascend to the highest legal spot and legal role in the land. And you could do it with your lovely children behind you and your husband standing as a partner beside you, and you didn’t have to be mean about it, right? 

You didn’t have to be cold. You could be smart.

I mean, that moment when Judge Barrett, at the time, held up her blank notebook when they were asking, “What are the notes?” I mean, that was just a moment where you’re like, “Wow, this girl’s got it together.” 

And so, what I really want us to recognize is that the beginnings of the feminist movement are not the feminism that you see today. We are so far from where things began. If anything, we need a reformation of returning back, and so, I think that there’s a lot that we can learn from Justice Barrett. 

I think there’s a lot that we can learn from other women that are conservative leaders in Washington and on the national stage, and we should look to them. And we should look to them in the same way that we look to liberal women and recognize that there are role models that look differently and that conservative women have stepped up to the plate.

Look at the huge gains in the House. I mean, these are good things to have women making political and policy decisions, because women have just as much ability to be in the room as men do. 

I mean, this is what this is about and having the choice. You don’t have to choose one or the other. You don’t have to choose having a family or having a career. You can simply choose to have both if you want, or have neither, if you want.

Evans: I love it so much, and I love, too, in your article, you talk about how the founders of feminism in the United States really look to the Founders of our country. They wrote that all men and women are created equal. 

But I do have to admit, I did make one little edit when I was taking your article and getting all excited. I made it “2021 Is the Year of the Woman.” I’m claiming this year, too.

Anderson:
 Let’s claim it. Let’s just take it back, I mean, right? The Susan B. Anthony kind of movement and what she means for legal rights and equal treatment under the law, I mean, this is where we are today, and I think that to just allow the left to own the women’s movement is a mistake, because there’s so many of us conservative women that are trying to make a difference. 

And it’s not about these false choices. It’s really about having new role models that can lead and prove that you can have an empowering career and a family, and you don’t have to be radicalized, right? You don’t have to be radicalized to be empowered.

Allen: Yeah, so good. Jessica, thank you. For all of our listeners, if you like what Jessica is saying, be sure to follow her on Twitter, @JessAnderson2. 

You can also visit the Heritage Action for America website at heritageaction.com. There’s tons of awesome resources and information on there about how you can get involved politically in your own community, right in your own towns, so be sure to check that out. 

But Jessica, we are just so thankful for your time today. Thanks so much for joining us.

Anderson: Thank you so much for having me.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we will consider publishing your remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. 

Plus, we welcome our colleague Helena Richardson, director of The Heritage Foundation’s intern program, to the show to discuss an exciting new way for high school and college students to get involved in public policy.  

Reproduced from The Daily Signal with permission. Original here.

The Case Against Class-Warfare Tax Policy

0

by Dan Mitchell

I’ve shared three reasons why Biden’s tax plan is misguided (the tax code is biased against rich taxpayers, the tax hike would have Laffer-Curve implications, and it would saddle America with the world’s highest corporate tax burden).

For Part IV of the series, let’s explain why every piece of his plan will backfire.

There are three main arguments for higher taxes, though I don’t find any of them convincing.

  1. Spite and envy against successful entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, and business owners.
  2. Bringing more money to Washington to finance a larger burden of government spending.
  3. Bringing more money to Washington to ostensibly lower the burden of deficits and debt.

For what it’s worth, Biden’s proposed spending increases are far larger than his proposed tax increases, so we can rule out reason #3.

So we have to ask ourselves whether reasons #1 and #2 are compelling.

And when considering those two arguments, we also should ask whether those reasons are sufficiently compelling to justify throwing millions of Americans into unemployment and reducing the nation’s competitiveness.

The answer should be a resounding no.

In a column in the Wall Street Journal from last July, Philip DeMuth elaborated on the damage that would be inflicted by Biden’s class-warfare agenda.

Mr. Biden has proposed to reinstate the Obama tax rates for top earners while simultaneously imposing an unlimited 12.4% Social Security payroll tax on earnings over $400,000. …Mr. Biden proposes to eliminate the capital gains reset to fair market value at death. For long-term holdings, much of that gain is merely inflation, created by the government’s failure to maintain price stability, so this is effectively a tax on a tax. The remaining gains are usually from corporate earnings, which were already taxed once, when they came in the door. It will be difficult to keep your business or farm in the family if the Biden scheme forces it to be liquidated to pay the death taxes. …If a President Biden has his way, the top capital-gains tax rate will be 39.6%—the same as for ordinary income. This could be a triple whammy: cutting the estate tax exemption in half, eliminating the capital gains reset to fair market value, and then doubling the capital-gains tax rate. A small step for the government, a giant loss for the American family. …The former vice president’s ambitious spending programs would more than offset any new revenue from his tax proposals. …This isn’t a debate between growing the pie vs. redistributing the pie; it is about everyone settling for a smaller pie.

The final two sentences deserve extra attention.

First, nobody should be deluded that tax increases will be used to reduce red ink. Yes, Biden is proposing to collect a lot more money, but he’s proposing about $2 of new spending for every $1 of projected tax revenue.

Brian Riedl’s Chartbook has the grim details on Biden’s spending agenda.

Second, the point about “growing the pie” is critically important since even a very small reduction in long-run growth will have a surprisingly large impact on household finances within a few decades.

The bottom line is that living standards in the United States are significantly higher than living standards in Europe, in large part because fiscal burdens are not as onerous in America.

Biden’s plan to make America more like FranceItaly, and Greece is not a good idea.

U.S. Army Special Forces Highlight Readiness Capabilities

0

Taken last week this video demonstrates the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) areas of readiness. They maintain high standards in physical fitness, training, daily performance, and personal appearance.

There’s a great deal of preparedness going on right now, and quite a lot of restructuring:

 354th Fighter Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska is using the shortest days of the year to prepare for war in the Arctic under darkness and amid harsh weather conditions. Every flying unit at the base was assembled on the runway for what the Air Force calls an Elephant Walk. More than thirty fighters and two refueling aircraft participated in the exercise. (Here)

Given the last several decades of U.S. military war campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, many are likely to regard Special Operations Forces such as Navy SEALs or Special Naval Warfare units as primarily focused upon and experienced in counterinsurgency missions. While such a thought would indeed be accurate when it comes to the SOF mission envelope, war planners also see Special Operators as increasingly vital when it comes to the possibility of major-power maritime conflict as well. (Here)

For the nearly 200 candidates scrambling through Hoffman Forest at Camp Mackall, the struggle to become a Green Beret is real. But Army commanders are making sweeping changes to shorten and revamp the course. The aim is to meet evolving national security threats and to shift from a culture that weeds out struggling soldiers at every point to one that trains them to do better. (Here)

Special operations forces were the first deployed in the war in Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago and likely will be the last troops to leave the country, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said after visiting U.S. forces and American military leadership in Afghanistan… (Here)

Change is coming to the U.S. Marine Corps. For decades, the service pinballed between two different roles, serving as an amphibious “second land army” in both world wars, but specializing in counter-insurgency and police action for most of the rest of its history. In two recent documents — the Commandant’s Planning Guidance and Force Design 2030 — the Marine Corps officially embraced support to fleet operations as its preeminent purpose. The Marine Corps seeks to enable the U.S. Navy’s access to contested areas and support the penetration of adversary air and maritime defenses while simultaneously disrupting enemy efforts to threaten the U.S. fleet. Operationally, the Marine Corps’ concept for expeditionary advanced base operations calls for a dispersal of the force. This creates the potential to dismantle Marine air-ground task forces — the most hallowed organizing principle in modern Marine doctrine and culture…U.S. Special Operations Command should take a keen interest in the modernization efforts of the Marine Corps. They serve as a live-action case study for dramatic organizational change — the sort of change that Special Operations Command may now be expected to enact. (Here)

As a term, “Irregular Warfare” generates strong emotions within the Department of Defense and across the U.S. government. Proponents welcome the increased focus it gives to influence and legitimacy, and consider this emphasis to be indispensable amidst the irregular competition posed by asymmetric threats across the competition continuum. Opponents may accuse IW as being conflated with all of competition, disregard IW in favor of singular emphasis on conventional deterrence, opt for investment in incrementally improving warfighting potential, or defer all activities short of war to other departments and agencies. (Here)

The National Clock and Watch Museum in Lancaster, PA

0

This lady made a video of the Engle Clock at the The National Clock and Watch Museum in Lancaster, PA. As of 2020, this museum houses over 12,000 watches and clocks. When it opened in 1977, it housed fewer than 1,000 items.

The short video before the photos in this video was when she sat for the presentation of the 1,049 lb. Engle Clock. This marvel of a clock was sent on tour across the United States for 70 years, from around 1881 to 1951, when it disappeared from public view.

The clock was rediscovered in a barn in the 1980’s and lovingly restored by staff at the museum. It currently runs for visitors at the museum at noon and 2 pm. According to their website, the museum recently reopened on November 3, 2020 to members and on November 4, 2020 to the public – since it was previously closed for months due to COVID-19.

Watch US Navy sink USS Durham with three anti-ship missiles

0

Last September, the U.S. Navy and its allies used a decommissioned American ship as target practice during a major Pacific military exercise, launching missiles from the air and sea to demolish and sink the vessel.

Planes and ships from the U.S., Australia and other partner nations turned their fire on the retired Navy ship USS Durham. The sinking exercise was part of the annual Rim of the Pacific event, or RIMPAC, the world’s largest set of multilateral maritime drills.

We assume it sent the right message.

“We have met the enemy..and he is us.”

0

Daily Caller, by Bob Barr

In a subtle redirection of Shakespeare’s oft-quoted assertion in Henry VIto “first .  .  .  kill all the lawyers,” Democrats inside government and their cohorts in the private sector are moving to censure not necessarily all lawyers — just those who fail to kowtow to their liberal orthodoxy.

This purge is but the latest chapter in the radical rulebook long focused on “reimagining” our society into one premised not on individual liberty protected by the rule of law, but rather one built on group identity and forced allegiance thereto. It has been a long time coming, but the Democrat Party’s capture of the Senate majority allows them to dramatically accelerate their villainy.

For decades, liberals have worked tirelessly to deconstruct America’s system of education, one premised on classical pedagogy and local curriculum control – a structure that stressed objective standards of learning and which rewarded achievement. Our country’s public education now is a cartoonish, Rube Goldberg-esque system defined by federal bureaucrats and ruled over by teachers’ unions and tenured professors. In this morass, what is deemed correct and worthy of being learned is subjective, with no foundational values.

This toxic recipe has spawned a generation of government and corporate leaders steeped in the liberal notion that government is the default mechanism to address every real or perceived shortcoming in society. For today’ culture warriors, using the power of their positions in government and in the business arena is a moral imperative.

The so-called mainstream media has trended liberal since at least the 1960s. That this communications sector is wholly embedded with the Democrat Party is no surprise and is not going to change any time soon if at all. What is far more problematic is the explosive growth of communications technology now concentrated in the hands of so-called “progressives.” This, far more than any federal law or regulation ever could do, is empowering the Left to exert a degree of societal control not fairly dreamt of at the turn of this millennium.

Beyond being now on the precipice of gaining control of federal legislative, regulatory, and executive mechanisms, and already enjoying close friendships with the Lords of Social Media (including Facebook, Google, and Twitter), Democrats now are turning their sights on one of the last remaining redoubts of opposition – conservative lawyers.

Well-known conservative lawyers in Washington, D.C., such as Cleta Mitchell, are being forced to “disassociate” from their law firms for having leant their legal skills to the Trump administration’s challenges to evidence of alleged fraud in last November’s election.

An offending attorney’s role need not even have been as an active participant in conferences or conference calls disputing President-elect Biden’s electoral victory to earn the ire of Democrat scalp hunters. One Atlanta-based father and son pair of lawyers with a Philadelphia law firm were forced out after the son was “outed” as having listened in on the January 2nd conference call between President Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger.

The Left has turned especially against attorney Members of Congress who declared any degree of support for Trump’s electoral challenges. Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and his Missouri colleague, Sen. Josh Hawley, committed what in the eyes of the Left are offenses warranting disbarment, if not criminal prosecution. One of their House colleagues, Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, has been similarly assailed.

The attacks against attorney lawmakers and other members of the Bar who supported Trump have gone far beyond grievances by individuals who may not like the particular senators or congressmen. The attacks are being led by national lawyer organizations and, more ominously, by law school deans. Some of these lawyer critics imply that those who simply alleged that there were irregularities in the election are themselves guilty of “insurrection.”

There was a time when Democrats in particular would openly defend lawyers who were under attack for having represented an unpopular cause or client (it happened to me when I first ran for Congress in 1994). This reflected the principle that standing firm in defense of the unpopular was the essence of good lawyering. For the Left now, that quaint notion obviously no longer prevails. What prevails instead is a toxic political partisanship reminiscent of despotic regimes of the sort our Founders recognized and provided a Constitution and Bill of Rights to guard against.

Fifty years ago, in 1971, cartoon strip character “Pogo” declared, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” It is no longer a cartoon.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s. Originally appeared in the Daily Caller.

The most incredible hyperrealistic cakes compilation of 2020

0

Who knew this was a thing? People bake cakes and decorate them with the features of celebrities! And someone went to the trouble of compiling a video. Amazing. (Was it a lock down phenom???)

Made in America

0

By Robert Romano of Americans For Limited Government who was there for the Donald Trump Inauguration and there for his send-off. He says: Thank you, President Trump, for your service to our country.

I had the honor and privilege to bid former President Donald Trump farewell this morning while he and the former First Lady Melania Trump boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland one last time.

It was only the second time I got to hear a Trump speech in person. The first was his Inaugural four years ago. And so perhaps it was fitting that I only ever got to see both his first and last speeches as President.

It was also the last Make America Great Again rally — for now — complete with the classic rock and other oldies tunes pounding on the loud speakers. That was fun.

Before proceeding to his remarks, he invited his wife to the podium to say a few words. She said: “Being your First Lady was my greatest honor. Thank you for your love and your support. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you all. God bless your families. And God bless this beautiful nation.”

Trump began by naming some of his many accomplishments, including the creation of the U.S. Space Force: “We created a new force called Space Force. That in itself would be a major achievement for a regular administration. We were not a regular administration.” No, they were not.

President Trump was an outsider who came to Washington, D.C. to shake things up, which he did, renegotiating trade deals with Canada, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and even got China to agree to a phase one trade deal with the 25 percent tariff on $250 billion of goods in effect and another 7.5 percent on the remaining $300 billion of goods.

He and his White House, including senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, helped broker historic peace treaties, the Abraham Accords, between Israel and her neighbors Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco, normalizing diplomatic relations.

Trump put American sovereignty first, and summoned the will to construct some 450 miles of new steel border fencing along the southern border, fulfilling his signature campaign promise.

At the send-off speech, Trump touted reforms at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which made it easier to fire and remove bad employees and to deploy additional resources that expedited health care received for those who fought for our nation: “We took care of our vets, our beautiful vets. They were very badly treated before we came along.”

Trump also talked up the deregulatory agenda which he credited for the job creation seen during his tenure, with a 50-year low in unemployment as recently as Feb. 2020 before the Chinese coronavirus struck.

“When we started, had we not been hit by the pandemic, we would’ve had numbers that would have never been seen. Already, our numbers are the best ever,” Trump said, pointing to the more than 16 million jobs recovered since April when labor markets bottomed last year, forming a V-shaped economic recovery that still has some ways to go.

Trump appeared to be in good humor, telling his assembled supporters: “I hope they don’t raise your taxes, but if they do, I told you so.” That got a good laugh.

“You’re going to be seeing some incredible things happening, and remember us when you see these things happening… I’m looking at elements of our economy that are set to be a rocket ship up… We have the greatest country in the world. We have the greatest economy in the world,” Trump said, predicting that the economic recovery would continue robustly over the coming months.

The real key, Trump said, would be the Covid vaccine now being distributed he said would drive new cases down: “[A]s bad as the pandemic was, we were hit so hard just like the entire world was hit so hard. Places that thought they got away with it didn’t get away with it, they’re suffering right now. We did something that is really considered a medical miracle. They’re calling it a miracle, and that was the vaccine.”

Trump also touted the 234 federal judges confirmed including three Supreme Court justices.

Trump thanked his supporters and the American people: “You are amazing people. This is a great, great country. It is my greatest honor and privilege to have been your president. I will always fight for you. I will be watching, I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better.”

He wished the new Biden administration well: “I wish the new administration great luck, great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”

Finally, Trump concluded, “The things that we’ve done have been just incredible, and I couldn’t have done them without you. So, just a goodbye. We love you. We will be back in some form.”

Now, that I am certain of. He shall return. And thank you, President Trump, for your service to our country.

We’ll never get another president like you. Made in America. Farewell, Mr. President.

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

That’s weird – the Biden White House sent me this email

0

As I reported recently, the SRC Twitter page was removed last Fall and I have had problems with the SRC Facebook page which was suspended for a while. Amazon and Google do not permit SRC to use their embedded ads or make commission from any sales on their platforms.

So be it. I understand that the Left and the oligarchs that fund it are fundamentally opposed to pro-life conservatives who just want to get on with own lives and all the responsibilities that go with that. Hence, self-reliance. It’s not just about canning your own food and bug-out bags. It’s about small government, individual responsibility, serving your local community, keeping the unelected bureaucrats at arm’s length.

So imagine my surprise when this was emailed to me this morning. The Biden White House was busy last night. They eviscerated the Keystone pipeline and took out 8,000 jobs; they paved the way for amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants; lifted the ban on travel from hostile Arab nations; reversed the order preventing men from using women’s bathrooms, made executive appointees sign an “ethics pledge” (that made us laugh); and then he signed the US back up for the biggest wealth transfer scam on the planet – the Paris Agreement. This is the international climate scam that President Trump got us out of. And now we’re back in it. And in an epic piece of trolling, they sent me the email below. I never received an email from the Trump White House, so imagine my surprise to see this in my inbox this morning!

The next your years are going to be long, slow and bitter for conservatives. Yet, I suspect their plans to “deprogram” us won’t go as smoothly as they think it will!

11 Big Moves Biden Could Make on His First Day as President

0

Joe Biden will have a busy day after taking the oath of office as president at noon Wednesday, as the Biden campaign promised and incoming chief of staff Ron Klain recently affirmed. 

Klain issued what has become a widely reported Jan. 16 memo on Biden’s first 10 days as president, laying out a plan to aggressively make changes that won’t require action by Congress. 

“On Inauguration Day, President-elect Biden will sign roughly a dozen actions to combat the four crises,” Klain wrote, specifying  “the COVID-19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis.”

Just as outgoing President Donald Trump reversed many of predecessor Barack Obama’s executive actions, Biden is about to do the same to Trump. 

The Left has declared war on our culture, but we should never back down, nor compromise our principles. Learn more now >>

Here are 11 major actions Americans can expect from Biden on Day One. 

1. Enforcing Restroom Choice

The Obama administration issued guidance from the Department of Education to schools, warning that that under federal law known as Title IX, schools could lose funds for discriminating on the basis of sex if they didn’t allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice. 

However, the Trump administration reversed Obama’s school bathroom policy, asserting that Title IX covers sex but not gender identity. 

“On his first day in office, Biden will reinstate the Obama-Biden guidance revoked by the Trump-Pence administration, which will restore transgender students’ access to sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity,” the Biden campaign said on its website. “He will direct his Department of Education to vigorously enforce and investigate violations of transgender students’ civil rights.”

2. Welcoming Illegal Immigrants

Not all of Biden’s actions will be executive actions. Presidents don’t always submit legislative proposals to Congress on their first day in office, but aides say Biden will do so on a longtime agenda item that eluded Democrats: a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. 

Image: Twitter. Caravan from Honduras busting through Guatemala Border in route to the USA

“The president-elect … will continue to advance legislative solutions to critical problems, such as in the immigration bill he will send to Congress on his first day in office,” Klain wrote to the transition team. 

Klain didn’t provide details about the immigration legislation in the memo, but it likely will include a bill to provide legal status to the nation’s 11 million or more illegal immigrants, as mentioned by the campaign. 

On his first day in office, the campaign said, Biden “will send to Congress a bill for legislative immigration reform that will modernize our immigration system and give nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants a roadmap to citizenship.” 

Without explaining, the Klain memo also said that Biden will take executive action on his first day to “restore humanity to our immigration system.”

3. Rejoining Climate Pact

Obama entered the multinational Paris climate accord calling for countries to reduce carbon emissions that some scientists say cause global warming or climate change. Trump withdrew from the climate pact in 2017. 

The United States will rejoin the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, which includes 174 countries, on Inauguration Day, the Klain memo says. 

According to a report from The Heritage Foundation, the energy regulationsaccepted by the Obama administration as part of the accord could have killed hundreds of thousands of jobs, harmed American manufacturing, and destroyed $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035.

The agreement also could have been a barrier to America’s achieving 3% economic growth, the think tank concluded. 

Biden won’t stop there, according to his campaign: 

On Day One, Biden will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement. But we must go further. In his first 100 days in office, Biden will convene a climate world summit to directly engage the leaders of the major greenhouse gas-emitting nations of the world to persuade them to join the United States in making more ambitious national pledges, above and beyond the commitments they have already made.

This won’t be the only climate action, Klain wrote: “The president-elect will sign additional executive actions to address the climate crisis with the urgency the science demands and ensure that science guides the administration’s decision making.”

4. Lifting Travel Ban

The Supreme Court upheld Trump’s restrictions on travel from countries with failed states, including some majority-Muslim countries. Nevertheless, Biden intends to reverse what Klain called the “Muslim ban.”

The administration’s travel restrictions covered North Korea, Venezuela, Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. The list of countries initially included Sudan.

The Biden campaign had pledged: “As president, Joe will rescind the Trump administration’s Muslim ban on Day One and urge Congress to pass the No Ban Act to ensure future administrations cannot restore Trump’s ban.”

5. Opening Vaccination Centers

The Trump administration pushed development of COVID-19 vaccines through the project called Operation Warp Speed. The federal government shipped out two approved vaccines to states, but many of them have been inefficient in administering the shots. 

Biden said Jan. 15 that he would order the federal government to establish vaccination centers on his first day in office. 

“On my first day in office, I will instruct the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to begin setting up the first of these centers,” Biden said. “By the end of our first month in office, we will have 100 federally supported centers across the nation that will ultimately vaccinate millions of people.”

6. Imposing Mask Mandate

During remarks Dec. 22 on COVID-19, Biden said: “My administration will start to do its part on its first day—with masking requirements, a new strategy on testing, and accelerated production of protective gear.”

Biden wanted to impose a national mask mandate, but advisers reportedly determined that would lack the constitutional authority to do so. 

In what largely will be a symbolic move on existing policy, Biden will launch a “100-Day Masking Challenge” expected to include a mask mandate on federal property and during interstate travel.

Many health experts have been skeptical of the effectiveness of such a national mask mandate. 

7. Boosting Union Power

In a bone thrown to one of Democrats’ biggest constituencies, Biden has said he will give more power to federal labor unions on his first day as president. 

“On Biden’s first day in office, he will restore federal employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively, and will direct his agencies to bargain with federal employee unions over nonmandatory subjects of bargaining,” his campaign said

In his four years, Trump helped curb the power of federal unions, a plan upheld in courts. 

As part of a move for civil service reform, Trump also made it somewhat easier to fire federal employees, who are known for being nearly impossible to terminate for cause. 

8. Canceling Student Loan Debt

Biden plans to extend coronavirus-related limits on student loan payments, according to the Klain memo. The incoming president has indicated support for canceling student loan debt. 

“As previously announced, [Biden] will ask the … Department of Education to extend the existing pause on student loan payments and interest for millions of Americans with federal student loans,” the memo says. 

Biden’s campaign website called for forgiving “all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges for debt-holders earning up to $125,000.”

9. Creating ‘Right’ to Housing 

In light of the economic downturn during the COVID-19 pandemic, Klain said, Biden will sign an executive order to “extend nationwide restrictions on evictions and foreclosures and provide more than 25 million Americans greater stability, instead of living on the edge every month.”

Biden also seeks to enforce a national right to housing—and intends to lay the groundwork on his first day, according to the campaign:

Biden believes everyone should have the right to a safe roof over their head. On the first day of his administration, he will direct his secretary of Housing and Urban Development to lead a task force of mayors and other local elected officials to put on his desk within 100 days a roadmap for making this right a reality nationwide.

10. Halting Federal Executions

Biden, an opponent of the death penalty, will impose a temporary halt to federal executions, Politico reported. This comes as many Democrats in Congress are calling for ending the federal death penalty

Since July, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has executed 13 death row inmates, the last on Saturday, according to The Associated Press. The executions followed a 17-year hiatus by the federal government, and Trump set a 120-year record for a president in executions on his watch, AP reported. 

11. Achieving ‘Racial Equality

A section called “Racial Equality” in the “Unity Task Force Recommendations,” from the campaigns of Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., states:

On Day One, we are committed to taking anti-racist actions for equity across our institutions, including in the areas of education, climate change, criminal justice, immigration, and health care, among others.

The section on racial equality calls for taking executive actions to:

—Require “communities receiving certain federal funding to proactively examine housing patterns and identify and address policies that have discriminatory effects.”

—Direct the Department of Housing and Urban Development to funnel “increased resources to measuring and identifying discrimination in the housing market through such strategies as paired testing and correspondence audits.”

—Roll back actions by the Trump administration, “including restrictions on labor rights, collective bargaining, and unions.”

From Jan. 21 through Feb. 1, the Klain memo also said, Biden’s actions will include executive actions on COVID-19 that could help reopen schools and businesses while expanding testing. 

Biden also will push for more coronavirus-related economic relief, according to the memo. He also plans executive actions on “Buy American” provisions, criminal justice reform, and more on climate change. 

A Note for our Readers:

The Left has declared war on our culture, our police, and our laws.

You’ve witnessed the failed Left-wing policies that have led to a broken-down culture, loss of personal freedom, skyrocketing abortions, destroyed businesses, and homelessness.

But we’re not backing down from our principles. 

America is a land of promise, and conservative policies can make those promises ring true for all Americans. She is worth defending. 

If you want to advance your principles in 2021, you need to join us in the fight now. 

Activate your 2021 Heritage Membership today and bring conservative change to America in a time where it is desperately needed. LEARN MORE »@FredLucasWH

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is chief national affairs correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Abuse of Power: Inside The Three-Year Campaign to Impeach Donald Trump.” Send an email to Fred.

Goodbye, Mr. President

0

You won’t believe what Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said about our brave National Guard.

0

With today’s ALG Minute, here’s Catherine Mortensen.

Democrat Steve Cohen, a congressman from Tennessee was on CNN -this week making some of the most scurrilous accusations yet against his fellow Americans. He insinuates that national guardsmen protecting the U.S. capitol could be radical plants who want to harm the country. Through some truly twisted logic he said:

“the [National] Guard is 90 some-odd percent male, and only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. You gotta figure that in the Guard, which is predominately more conservative … there are probably not more than 25% of the people that are there protecting us that voted for Biden.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN)

And your point is? What should be done to Trump voters?

The danger from the new Congress to conservatives is not merely from their policies – but their sheer vindictiveness.

Meanwhile, the acting Pentagon chief says there’s no intelligence of an insider threat from the National Guard.

Reproduced with permission.

Left Calls for ‘army of citizen detectives’ to ‘monitor’ conservatives

0

“We need… an army of citizen detectives… our weapons will be computers and cell phones, we who are monitoring extremists on the internet and reporting their findings to authorities.”

By Catherine Mortensen

A chilling video calling for an ‘army of citizen detectives” to monitor and report conservatives to “authorities” is making the rounds on left wing social media. The video, produced by California author Don Winslow,  calls Trump supporters domestic terrorists, comparing them to 9-11 terrorist Osama bin Laden.

From the video:

“The greatest threat facing America today comes from within. Radical extreme conservatives, also known as domestic terrorists disguise behind regular jobs, they are your children’s teachers, they work in supermarkets malls, doctors offices, and many are police officers and soldiers.”

“We have to fight back. In this new word battlefield, as changes, computers can be more valuable than guns. And this is what we need now more than ever, an army of citizen detectives and proposing reforms to this army, our weapons will be computers and cell phones, we who are monitoring extremists on the internet and reporting their findings to authorities, remember before the Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, he had to be found. He was found by a CIA analyst working on a computer 1000s of miles away. It’s up to you.”

The video ends by calling on leftists to hunt down Trump supporters online and reminding them that “before the Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, he had to be found. He was found by a CIA analyst working on a computer 1000s of miles away. It’s up to you.”

The Left’s army of citizen monitors will be greatly assisted by the ever-growing corporate cancel culture. This week the Washington Post carried an op-ed by prominent Trump critic Max Boot, a Post columnist and CNN global affairs analyst that calls to shut down “the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition.”

Last month, a Washington Post essay encouraged the media to shun Republicans who questioned the election results.

The essay itself admitted promoting “a radical approach” yet stood by it as “the only way to safely proceed with live interviews with Republicans who may be carrying a dangerous conspiracy theory that spreads on air.”

Also last month, the Washington Post published an essay comparing denying election results to denying the Holocaust and using that as a pretext to silence opposing voices.

“We would not allow a Holocaust denier to speak on evening news programs or have free rein on social media,” the essay’s authors write unequivocally. “Old and new media alike should no longer give a platform to these dissimulations, starting with Trump’s.”

For the first three years of Donald Trump’s presidency the mainstream media reported on little else but the fake Russian collusion story which attempted to delegitimize the 2016 election results. To this day, Hillary Clinton calls Trump’s presidency illegitimate.  The false narrative pushed by the media and Democrat leaders radicalized their followers to burn down cities, take over an entire police precinct in Seattle, and attack Trump supporters at rallies.

So for these people now to eliminate all news platforms that report on issues of voter fraud and election integrity is the height of hypocrisy.

I, for one, am off Facebook (mostly). I’m off Twittter. I’ve been off both for several weeks and don’t miss them, at all. I’ve dumped Fox News and now go to trusted news sites such as:

Because Big Tech censorship is coming for all of us, Americans for Limited Government is urging our followers to sign up to receive our content in our free daily newsletter. Join our “Tell Two Friends” campaign by sharing this link to subscribe to our newsletter with two friends who share our limited government principles.

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

Energy Independence: Mission Accomplished

0

At least for now, America is self-sufficient in energy.

By Richard McCarty

In the 1970s, America saw what happens when a country is dependent upon unfriendly countries for oil. Prices skyrocketed, gas was rationed, and drivers still had to sit in long lines to get gas. Consequently, energy independence has long been a stated goal of U.S. leaders, but it remained stubbornly elusive. Under President Trump’s leadership, the U.S. finally achieved energy independence.

Unlike Obama, Trump understands the power of the market and the need for affordable energy. You may recall that when gas prices were high under Obama, we were told to check the air in our tires, that there was little we could do to bring down the cost of oil because America had so little of it, and that we could not drill our way out of high prices. Obama was wrong. Perhaps he did not think it was possible for us to produce enough oil of our own, or perhaps he just opposed more drilling, but, either way, he was wrong. Under Trump, we have drilled more, and prices have remained reasonable throughout his presidency – unlike the huge swings that we saw in gas prices under Obama.

As expected, Trump reversed a number of Obama’s policies that were detrimental to energy production and distribution. For example, Trump killed Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” which was a key part of Obama’s War on Coal. Trump also approved the Dakota Access Pipeline, which was completed over the violent and bitter opposition of the Left.

Trump’s policies have paid off. Since January of 2017, both domestic natural gas and oil production have increased by roughly 25 percent. (Of course, these numbers were even higher prior to the pandemic and economic shutdowns.) Due to these gains, the U.S. became the world’s largest producer of oil, surpassing both Saudi Arabia and Russia. Furthermore, we also became a net energy exporter for the first time in nearly seven decades.

Due in part to our increased oil production, Trump was able to take a hard line with the Iranian regime knowing that we did not need their oil. Although Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of many of our soldiers, previous presidents never dared to take him out, but Trump could and did. Because we stood up to Iran, other Middle Eastern countries were more willing to stand with us – and Israel – against Iran.

As the U.S. moved closer to energy independence, it was easier to improve our relations with Israel. For example, previous presidents had declined to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, where it belonged; but Trump moved the embassy in his first year in office. Furthermore, Trump’s predecessors had long leaned on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians and mollify neighboring countries. By contrast, Trump recognized that the Palestinians were a major impediment to peace and stopped coddling them.

With a freer hand, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to formally annex more settlements – theoretically located on Palestinian land – into Israel. The United Arab Emirates saw this and decided to cut a peace deal in exchange for Israel not annexing additional land – and for the U.S. not recognizing any such annexation for the next several years. After brokering this Israeli peace deal, Trump quickly brokered three more. It should be noted that these four Israeli peace deals were the first in a quarter of a century.

President Trump ran on unleashing America’s energy potential, and that is exactly what he has done. If Joe Biden were smart, he would keep Trump’s very successful energy policies, which have helped create good jobs, kept energy costs down for consumers, and enabled our leaders to pursue foreign policies of our own choosing. Unfortunately, Biden will likely remain under the spell of the global warming alarmists and pursue policies that kill jobs, drive up energy costs, and make America more dependent upon foreign countries – and more dependent upon unreliable energy sources, such as wind and solar.

Richard McCarty is Director of Research for Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

4 Key Points About Trump and ‘Incitement’ Law

0
Image: Twitter (before they canceled the President of the United States of America)

If and when the Senate holds its second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, this time after he no longer is president, one argument in his defense may well be based on a legal precedent that has guided incitement cases since 1969. 

The House of Representatives impeached the president Wednesday for “incitement to insurrection” because of Trump’s speech at a rally a week earlier as Congress began to debate objections to certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. That protest Jan. 6 turned into a deadly riot when a mob of hundreds overran security and broke into the Capitol.  

Here are four things to know about the crime of incitement. 

1. What Does the Supreme Court Say About Incitement?

The standard of proof in a criminal case is much much higher than for impeachment of a federal official. But the legal bar for prosecuting incitement is quite high, thanks to the “Brandenburg test” established by the Supreme Court in 1969. 

The Brandenburg test requires that however inflammatory speech may be, the government can’t prosecute unless the speech is directed at inciting violence and poses an imminent threat of violence, and violence is likely to occur.

“The president’s defense team should raise this as a matter of law, but politics is not the law,” Matt Pinsker, a former federal prosecutor and author of the textbook “Homeland and National Security Law and Policy: Cases and Materials,” told The Daily Signal. 

“I’ve read the text of the Donald Trump speech and it doesn’t meet the time, place, and manner test or the legal standard under Brandenburg,” said Pinsker, an adjunct professor of government and public affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University whose expertise includes how homeland security law may conflict with the First Amendment. 

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine is investigating potential charges against the president and other speakers at the rally preceding the riot. 

Even if a speaker clearly advocated violence, by law the threat still would have to be imminent. In proving an imminent threat, Pinsker said, courts would look at a “cooling off” period. 

“I have lived in D.C. and it is about a 40- to 45-minute walk from where Trump spoke to the Capitol,” Pinsker said. “That would not be imminent. If he gave this speech near the Capitol steps, it might be imminent, but it would be lacking other standards.”

2. What Does Federal Law Say?

Similarly, laws on the books require intent. 

The federal statute defines an insurrectionist as “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto.”

Federal riot law includes a provision on those “with intent” to “incite a riot” or to “aid and abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying out a riot.”

3. What Did Trump Actually Say?

The biggest mitigating factor, if Trump were being prosecuted in a legal setting, would be the president’s call for attendees at the “Save America” rally near the White House to “peacefully” march to the Capitol.

Trump’s speech preceding the riot was harshly criticized on both sides of the political aisle. 

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” the president told the large gathering. 

However, Trump made other comments that could be interpreted differently. 

“Fraud breaks up everything, doesn’t it? When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules,” he said. 

The president also said: “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

Also, Trump tweeted to his supporters Dec. 19, weeks before the rally: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”

Still, most of Trump’s rallies tend to be wild, Pinsker said, and on Jan. 6, the events that followed were not foreseeable–at least not in a legal setting. 

“If I were prosecuting the case, I would raise all these points,” Pinsker said. “Since Trump began running for president, he said things that upset people and has said more inflammatory things in the past than he said at this rally. There is legal precedent, but there is also factual precedent. The facts don’t bear out that his past rallies led to violence.”

4. What Legal Cases Are Relevant?

Cornell Law School points to Supreme Court cases that affirmed the Brandenburg test. A significant difference between these cases and the Capitol riot would be that the rulings did not involve instances before actual violence occurred. 

The first relevant legal case established the test, Brandenburg v. Ohio. 

Clarence Brandenburg was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan’s Ohio branch. It held a rally in the summer of 1964, during which Brandenburg said: “If our president, our Congress, our Supreme Court continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it’s possible that there might have to be some revengeance [sic] taken.” 

Brandenburg then went on a rant about Jews and blacks. 

He was charged with and convicted of violating an Ohio law against “advocat[ing] … the duty, necessity, or propriety of crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform,” as well as “voluntarily assembl[ing] with any society, group or assemblage of persons formed to teach or advocate the doctrines of criminal syndicalism.” 

But in 1969, the Supreme Court overturned Brandenburg’s conviction in an opinion that said

Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

Only a few years later, in 1973, this standard was tested in the case of Hess v. Indiana. An Indiana University protester was charged with incitement for saying, “We’ll take the f—ing street again.”

The high court ruled that the protester’s profanity was protected under the Brandenburg test, since the speech “amounted to nothing more than advocacy of illegal action at some indefinite future time.” 

Further, the court determined, “since there was no evidence, or rational inference from the import of the language, that his words were intended to produce, and likely to produce, imminent disorder, those words could not be punished by the State on the ground that they had a ‘tendency to lead to violence.’”

In 1982, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co., after civil rights activist Charles Evers threatened violence against people who wouldn’t boycott white businesses in Mississippi. 

Strong and effective extemporaneous rhetoric cannot be nicely channeled in purely dulcet phrases. An advocate must be free to stimulate his audience with spontaneous and emotional appeals for unity and action in a common cause. When such appeals do not incite lawless action, they must be regarded as protected speech.

Reproduced with permission from The Daily Signal. Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Fred. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Game of Chicken: Trump versus the Republican Establishment

0
Image: A.F. Branco

There’s been a lot of talk about Donald Trump forming a third party once he’s out of office, and given that an overwhelming majority of Republicans still support him, it would seem to make sense.

Some Republican talking heads, however, say it would be a big mistake, because Trump could never win the presidency without the votes of Republicans who want to see him banished.  They also point out that a Trump political party would lack the time and organization to run a serious slate of House and Senate candidates, thus even if he were elected he would get zero cooperation from Congress.

Even so, there’s an overriding reason why Trump should form a third party.  In a game of chicken, once the polls showed that a Republican establishment candidate would be lucky to get 20 percent of the vote in a three-way general election, the GOP would be faced with a simple choice:  No matter how many hissy fits jellyfish Republicans threw, anti-Trump Republicans would have to either offer Trump the party’s 2024 nomination or face extinction.  Literally.

Given that the country will be in a guaranteed state of massive chaos and decline in 2024 as a result of disastrous Democrat policies, Trump might just be able to win even without anti-Trump Republican votes.  As a bonus, if the Republican Party of McConnell, Graham, Romney, et al were to become extinct, it would be a huge step forward for those who believe in liberty.

The Ruse of “the People’s House”

The feigned indignation over the invasion of the capitol building, intended to intimidate American serfs, has featured the timeworn phrase “the people’s house.”  Of course, any serious person realizes that by no stretch of the imagination does the Capitol Building have anything to do with “the people.”

What actually goes on inside the Capitol Building is the passing of laws to help improve the lives of citizens of other countries while making the average U.S. taxpayer poorer and less free.  The swamp rats who occupy the Capitol Building could care less about their constituents, because they themselves are shielded from the kind of problems everyday Americans have to deal with on a daily basis.

The reality is that the Capitol Building is home to 535 political criminals who ignore the Constitution and routinely violate the rights of Americans day in and day out.  So, please, media hacks, spare us the “the people’s house” gibberish.

The Upcoming Joe Biden Impeachment 

Newbie Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene intends to file articles of impeachment against Joe Biden the day after his inauguration.  In a legitimate Congress, Biden would be impeached and convicted for his quid pro quo demand to Ukraine, his part in the Russia-collusion hoax, and his family’s sleazy business dealings in China, Ukraine, and Russia.  But it’s not a legitimate Congress, so, of course, he’ll be allowed to skate.

It will be interesting to see how many Republicans will have the courage to stand with Congresswoman Greene.  It will also be interesting to see how many Republicans will go to the other extreme and instead speak out against her.

Speaking of impeachment, it seems to me that the ten Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump should also be calling for the impeachment of Kamala Harris for repeatedly encouraging last summer’s riots — something they actually voted to impeach Trump for, even though they were well aware that he called for “peaceful” and “patriotic” protests.

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time. Copyright Robert Ringer 2021.

Why Care About Identity Theft? Here’s why!

0

This video shows what happens when someone learns the hard way why she should care about her identity.

Transcript: Lynn didn’t worry about identity theft. She always said, who’d want to steal my identity? Lynn never had a credit card or borrowed money. She figured thieves wouldn’t mess with someone who had no credit history. One day, Lynn decided to apply for a credit card. She sent in her application, but the company turned her down. Lynn wanted to know what happened. Why didn’t she get the credit card? She got a free copy of her credit report to find out. There, Lynn discovered that someone had opened eight credit cards in her name. They even got a car loan. And whoever used her name wasn’t paying any of the bills. The credit report said all the accounts were overdue. Lynn tried to fix these mistakes, but she found out that it’s not easy to prove that you did not do something. Those businesses held Lynn responsible for the bills, at least until she proved that the bills belonged to an identity thief. It took a long time, but she fixed the problem. Now Lynn checks her credit report every year to look for signs of identity theft.

I found this video on the AAA site. https://aaa.protectmyid.com. I have signed up for this service. I am not receiving remuneration for this endorsement. I just mostly like the AAA and feel they’re probably fairly straight shooters who won’t sell my data.

Building a healthy financial life starts with your credit and identity. From understanding credit basics to spotting signs of identity theft, ProtectMyID® gives you the information you need to strengthen your status, achieve your goals and secure your financial future.

Amazing Footage of F/A 18 Hornets and Super Hornets!

0

Naval aviators  soar in this spectacular footage of F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets as they takeoff and land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) from October 2014.

The video includes the aircraft flying in tandem formation at low altitude above the water, conducting banking and rolling maneuvers at high-speed, and making high-speed passes over the aircraft carrier. It was filmed from the cockpit and pilot point-of-view.

Film Credits: Lt. Ian Schmidt, Released by Lt. J.G. Michael Hatfield, Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared King

NAVY Names New Ships

0

(U.S. Navy video).

WASHINGTON: – Secretary of the Navy announces the naming of four new ships, the future: Constellation-class Frigate, USS Chesapeake (FFG 64), the Expeditionary Sea Base, USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), the Virginia-class Attack Submarine, USS Silversides (SSN 807) and the Amphibious Transport Dock Ship, USS Pittsburg (LPD 31).

Three future vessels are named after ships steeped in naval history and two others after a Medal of Honor recipient* and a Native American tribe. 

Braithwaite detailed the announcement Jan. 8 during a visit to one of the Navy’s first heavy frigates and oldest commissioned ship afloat – USS Constitution.

“The decks and lines of this proud ship speak to our storied past, and the Sailors who operate her reveal the strength of our future,” said Braithwaite. “We must always look to our wake to help chart our future course. Together, these future ships will strengthen our Navy and carry on our sacred mission to secure the sea lanes, stand by our allies, and protect our nation against all adversaries.”

The future ships will bear the names and hull numbers:

USS Chesapeake (FFG 64)

USS Silversides (SSN 807)

USS Pittsburgh (LPD 31)

USNS Lenni Lenape (T-ATS 9)

USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7)

The future Constellation-class frigate USS Chesapeake (FFG 64) will be named for one of the first six Navy frigates authorized by the Naval Act of 1794. The first USS Chesapeake served with honor against the Barbary Pirates in the early 1800. Following an at-sea battle with HMS Shannon in 1813, the ship was captured by the Royal Navy and commissioned her HMS Chesapeake. Braithwaite recently travelled to England where he retrieved a piece of the original frigate from the Chesapeake Mill in Hampshire.  

“Like Constitution and Constellation, the first Chesapeake was a mighty sailing ship that declared our nation a maritime power,” said Braithwaite. “The new USS Chesapeake, FFG-64, will proudly carry on the legacy of that name into the new era of great power competition.”

Last year, Braithwaite named future Constellation-class frigates USS Constellation (FFG 62) and USS Congress (FFG 63) to honor the first six heavy frigates.

To honor the Silent Service, the future Virginia-class attack submarine USS Silversides (SSN 807) will carry the name of a WWII Gato-class submarine. The first Silversides (SS 236) completed 14 tours beneath the Pacific Ocean spanning the entire length of WWII. She inflicted heavy damage on enemy shipping, saved downed aviators, and even drew enemy fire to protect a fellow submarine. A second Silversides(SSN 679) was a Sturgeon-class submarine that served during the Cold War. This will be the third naval vessel to carry the name Silversides. The name comes from a small fish marked with a silvery stripe along each side of its body.

“Those who run silent and deep in this new attack submarine will inherit a proud legacy, and the capabilities to forge a strong future for our nation and our allies,” said Braithwaite.

The future San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Pittsburgh (LPD 31) will be the fifth Navy vessel to bear the name. The first was an ironclad gunboat that served during the American Civil War. The second USS Pittsburgh (CA 4) was an armored cruiser that served during WWI, and a third USS Pittsburgh (CA 72) was a Baltimore-class cruiser that served during WWII – supporting the landing at Iwo Jima. The fourth USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720) was a Los Angeles-class submarine that served the Navy from December 1984 to August 2019.

To honor the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, a future Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ship will be named USNS Lenni Lenape (T-ATS 9).  This will be the first naval vessel to carry the name of the Lenni Lenape tribe who are indigenous people of the Northeastern Woodlands, and the first tribe to sign a treaty with the United States in 1778.

“As a resident of the Keystone State, I know that Pittsburgh is a proud city with a strong legacy of service. I am confident that the crew of the future Pittsburgh will demonstrate the same excellence in support of amphibious and littoral operations around the world,” said Braithwaite. “And, the future USS Lenni Lenape will carry the legacy of the Lenape people for generations to come.

The future USNS Lenni Lenape will join USNS Muscogee Creek Nation (T-ATS 10), USNS Navajo (T-ATS 6), USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7), and USNS Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek (T-ATS 8) providing a wide range of missions including open ocean towing, oil spill response, humanitarian assistance and wide area search and surveillance.

Also joining the fleet will be the first Expeditionary Sea Base USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), carrying the name of Marine Corps Medal of Honor recipient Private First Class Robert Ernest Simanek who earned the nation’s highest medal for valor for his actions during the Korean War when he unhesitatingly threw himself on a deadly missile to shield his fellow Marines from serious injury or death.  

“Private Simanek stands in the unbroken line of heroes extending from the early Marines who once stood in the fighting tops of our original frigates, to the Marines holding the line around the world today, and those who will deploy from the future USS Robert Simanek for years to come,” said Braithwaite. “This Expeditionary Sea Base continues the honored legacy of warriors from the sea, exemplified by her namesake.”  

Simanek, a Detroit, Michigan, native, joined the Marine Corps in August 1951. He was just 22 years old when he sailed for Korea, joining Company F, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines in May 1952 to serve as a rifleman and as a radioman when needed. In addition to the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart, he was also awarded the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars. Simanek, now 90, lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Along with the ship names, Braithwaite also selected individuals who will be recognized as sponsors for several ships he recently named. The sponsor plays an important role in the life of each ship and is typically selected because of a relationship to the namesake or to the ship’s current mission. The following individuals were identified as sponsors:

Melissa Braithwaite will sponsor the future USS Constellation (FFG 62).

Barbara Strasser will sponsor the future USS Chesapeake (FFG 64).

Gail Fritsch will sponsor the future USS Barb (SSN 804).

Mimi Donnelly will sponsor the future USS Tang (SSN 805).

Michelle Rogeness will sponsor the future USS Wahoo (SSN 806).

Cindy Foggo will sponsor the future USS Silversides (SSN 807).

Kelly Geurts will sponsor the future USS Wisconsin (SSBN-827).

Nancy Urban will sponsor the future USS Pittsburgh (LPD 31).

*Marine Corps Pfc. Robert Simanek was just 22 years old when he jumped on a grenade to save his fellow Marines. But unlike many of the men who have done the same brave thing, he survived to tell his own story.

Simanek was born April 26, 1930, and grew up in Detroit. He was the second-youngest of four boys, all of whom served in the military. Simanek’s oldest brothers fought in World War II. His youngest brother served alongside him in Korea. 

Poland defies Social Media Giants with Massive Fines

0

The Polish government has passed a new law that would fine social media companies $2.2 million every time they censor lawful speech on their platforms.

Under its provisions, social media services will not be allowed to remove content or block accounts if they do not break Polish law.

Image: Facebook (ironically!)

In the event of removal or blockage, a complaint can be sent to the platform, which will have 24 hours to consider it. Within 48 hours of the decision, the user will be able to file a petition to the court for the return of access. The court will consider complaints within seven days of receipt and the entire process is to be electronic.

Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro made clear that the legal initiative is designed to fight censorship.

This sounds like a genius idea to us! We were kicked off Twitter months ago in the early stages of the anti-conservative, anti-skeptic, anti-lockdown, pro-life, pro-gun, pro-Trump purge. We didn’t lie about anything but they silenced us anyway!

What do you think? Should we fine the asshats at Twitter, FB, etc. when they break our law, notably the First Amendment?

Media Are Still Peddling One of the Great Myths of the Great Depression

0
Image: The Daily Post

The “Hoover did nothing and FDR saved us” fairy tale is the myth that refuses to die.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once cautioned newcomers to learn from those who held the same positions before. “Try to make original mistakes rather than needlessly repeating theirs,” he said.

Image: Daily Post January 9, 2021 

Harry Kazianis should have taken Rumsfeld’s advice before writing this annoying paragraph in his April 2, 2020 commentary at Fox News:

The rapidly worsening pandemic is shaping up as the defining challenge of the Trump presidency. Future historians will judge if Trump should be viewed like President Herbert Hoover or President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in meeting the challenge. While Hoover is generally blamed for not doing enough to fight the Great Depression, Roosevelt is generally credited with ending it.

To his credit, Kazianis doesn’t claim that this view is his own considered opinion. He offers no evidence he has researched the topic himself. He simply implies it’s a common view. That’s still an offense, only slightly less sinful than knowingly fobbing off falsehoods as truth. It’s how lies and errors become institutionalized.

In Great Myths of the Great Depression, I showed that not even Franklin Roosevelt believed that Herbert Hoover was innocent, inactive, or a bystander. In his 1932 campaign for the presidency, FDR assailed Hoover for “presiding over the greatest taxing and spending administration” in American history. FDR’s running mate, John Nance Garner of Texas, declared that Hoover was “leading the country down the path to socialism.”

Roosevelt and Garner criticized the Hoover administration for jacking up tariffs to record highs, as well for more than doubling federal income tax rates. Upon assuming office in March 1933, FDR mostly followed Hoover’s example and prolonged the Depression with harmful schemes of his own.

FDR’s own Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, declared this:

We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…I say after eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot!

The “Hoover did nothing and FDR saved us” fairy tale originated with statist media and historians intent upon advancing an ideological agenda. Fake news, fake history—not the first time or the last time both have been employed in the service of state worship.

Arthur Schlesinger, among the worst culprits, smeared small-government President Calvin Coolidge with deliberate distortions aimed at making people think he too helped cause the Great Depression. If you want to empower government elitists to “plan” an economy, you have to get people to think that small government is bad and big government is good; since the evidence for that is scant at best, you just make it up if truth means little to you.

So Mr. Kazianis, the next time you casually miseducate Americans about the Hoover-Roosevelt years, please come up with something that’s at least original if not factually correct.

Meantime, here are some helpful sources to improve anyone’s understanding of that era:

New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America by Burton W. Folsom

“Great Myths of the Great Depression” by Lawrence W. Reed

“The First Government Bailouts: The Story of the RFC” by Burton W. Folsom

“The Politically-Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal” (reviewed by Raymond Keating)

“The Real Questions You Should Ask Your Economics Professor” by Lawrence W. Reed

“The Smoot-Hawley Tariff and the Great Depression” by Theodore Phalan, Deema Yazigi and Thomas Rustici

“Myth: FDR Was Elected in 1932 on a Platform to Plan the Economy” by Lawrence W. Reed

“FDR’s Folly: How Roosevelt and His New Deal Prolonged the Great Depression” by Burton W. Folsom and Jim Powell

“The Great Crash and Depression, 90 Years Later” by Lawrence W. Reed

“Franklin Roosevelt and the Greatest Economic Myth of the 20th Century” by Burton W. Folsom

Lawrence W. Reed
Lawrence W. Reed

Lawrence W. Reed is FEE’s President Emeritus, Humphreys Family Senior Fellow, and Ron Manners Global Ambassador for Liberty, having served for nearly 11 years as FEE’s president (2008-2019). He is author of the 2020 book, Was Jesus a Socialist? as well as Real Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courage, Character, and Conviction and Excuse Me, Professor: Challenging the Myths of Progressivism. Follow on LinkedIn and Parler and Like his public figure page on Facebook. His website is www.lawrencewreed.com.

This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

CC Logo

December Defensive Draws

0
11 Cases of Defensive Gun Use as 2020 Came to a Close

The world has said “good riddance” to 2020 and ushered in a new year. Although 2020 was a year in which many people faced extraordinary challenges, it did come with a silver lining for advocates of a strong Second Amendment right—unprecedented growth in the number of Americans who embrace their right to keep and bear arms.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Americans bought an estimated 21 million firearms in 2020, with 8.4 million Americans buying a gun for the first time last year.

Additionally, the number of Americans with concealed carry permits continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate than in past years. This likely was due to record-long delays in permit processing and shutdowns because of COVID-19.

It is hardly surprising that law-abiding citizens flocked to exercise their Second Amendment rights last year. It was, after all, a year replete with widespread civil unrest and calls to strip resources from police departments already hamstrung by a global pandemic.

The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>

But even during “normal” years, the right to keep and bear arms plays an important role in preserving the public safety.

According to a 2013 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost every major study on the issue found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times a year. We have good reason to believe that many of these defensive gun uses aren’t reported to police, much less make the local or national news. 

For this reason, The Daily Signal each month publishes an article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read accounts from 2019 and 2020 here.) 

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in December. You may explore more by using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database.

  • Dec. 2, Yorkville, New York: Three or four armed intruders kicked in a door of a residence and forced a woman to the floor at gunpoint while they burglarized her home. Another resident heard the commotion from a bedroom, grabbed a “long gun,” and exchanged fire with the intruders, forcing them to flee, police said. The woman they had assaulted was wounded in the shootout but her injuries were not life-threatening.
  • Dec. 4, Alexander City, Alabama: A driver recognized a wanted murder suspect walking along a rural road and held him at gunpoint until police arrived. A U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and local police had been on a four-day manhunt for the suspect, who is alleged to have shot to death his girlfriend and her teenage son.
  • Dec. 6, Blountstown, Florida: A man used his AR-15 to defend himself against two armed, masked gunmen who approached his home, threatened the three residents, and demanded money. At one point, a robber pointed his gun at a resident’s head, which appears to have sparked a shootout, police said. Two residents were injured in the ensuing firefight, but the assailants fled and the residents were expected to survive.
  • Dec. 8, Lacombe, Louisiana: Four armed intruders broke into a residence and assaulted the homeowner, police said. The homeowner was able to grab and shoot his own firearm, killing two attackers and wounding the others, who now face a plethora of felony charges. The homeowner’s 4-year-old daughter was injured in the crossfire, but was expected to make a full recovery.
  • Dec. 11, Las Vegas, Nevada: An employee of a car dealership confronted a homeless man who was attempting to break into the business, police said. The intruder became physically aggressive and shoved the employee to the ground, where he injured his head. Police said the employee then drew a firearm and shot and killed his attacker in self-defense.
  • Dec. 14, Atlanta, Georgia: During an argument at an apartment complex, a man pulled a gun and shot another man several times in the back, wounding him. A woman who lived there drew her own firearm and fatally shot the gunman in self-defense, police said. She was not expected to face charges. 
  • Dec. 17, Pine Bluff, Arkansas:  A paramedic defended himself and his partner with his firearm after a call to a domestic dispute turned violent. The paramedics began to treat a woman who told them that her boyfriend had beaten her; the boyfriend angrily confronted them for treating her injuries. After a physical altercation, he took out a gun and opened fire on the paramedics, police said. One paramedics was armed and, though injured, shot back, killing the boyfriend. Both paramedics were treated for gunshot wounds, but they and the woman survived.
  • Dec. 22, Green Township, Pennsylvania: A man at a gun range inexplicably turned his firearm on his friend, shooting and wounding him, police said. Another gun owner saw the attack and came to the friend’s aid, fatally wounding the gunman and likely saving the friend’s life.
  • Dec. 25, Stockton, California: Upset by an ongoing dispute, a neighbor forced his way into a woman’s residence on Christmas Day, police said. A verbal confrontation soon turned into a physical assault, prompting the woman to shoot and wound the man in defense of herself and her family.
  • Dec. 26, Chicago, Illinois: An armed robber walked into a cell phone store and demanded store property at gunpoint from an employee. The employee, a concealed carry permit holder, drew his own handgun and fatally shot the robber, police said.
  • Dec. 27, Port Arthur, Texas: Several armed men forcibly followed a woman into her residence, holding her and her young children at gunpoint, police said. The homeowner, who heard what was happening from another room, armed himself with a rifle and shot at the men, killing one and sending the other two fleeing.  

Although we all can hope that 2021 brings increased stability and lower crime rates, we also should hope that America’s new gun owners do not forget the lessons of 2020.

America’s civil society and “scheme of ordered liberty” are fragile things that can be severely disrupted with little warning.

Unfortunately, many gun control advocates still want to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to defend themselves in public, or with the firearms of their choice, best suited to their situation, experience, or comfort levels. There is little doubt that these law-abiding Americans will benefit from a 2021 where the nation returns to “normalcy,” and the chaos of 2020 begins to feel more like a fevered dream than a lived experience.

So say “good riddance” to 2020—but remember what it taught us about the right to keep and bear arms.

Amy Swearer is a legal fellow in the Edwin Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Unlimited undocumented immigration is back

0

Joe Biden announced that he will immediately move to give citizenship to millions of illegal aliens once he gets into office in two months. “I’m going to make a commitment in the first 100 days, I will send an immigration bill to the United States Senate with a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people in America.”

Joe Biden, NBC News November 24 2020

Unlimited illegal immigration—what the left calls undocumented–is what a Biden administration wants, and that is what it will be able to get after Jan. 20.

This is perhaps the most important domestic policy issue at stake for America as we face single-party leadership in both chambers of Congress and the White House. And it couldn’t come at a worse time for our country as Americans struggle to keep businesses open and regain a public health footing from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 virus.

President-elect Joe Biden has a long record of calling for unlimited immigration. 

In 2015, he was recalling a conversation he had with a former president of Singapore about what separates America. He stated that it was “an unrelenting stream of immigration—nonstop, nonstop.” 

The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>

He had previously expressed this desire to the National Association of Manufacturers, where he said that the “constant, unrelenting stream” of immigrants into the U.S. was the basis for our economic strength. 

He emphasized that he wanted “not dribbling” amounts, but “significant flows.”

With the left in control of the U.S. Senate, the Biden administration has a Congress available to rubber-stamp its most radical immigration agenda items. And make no mistake: The left will not waste this political opportunity. Its leaders understand that mass immigration historically transfers into more leftist voters.

It’s no coincidence that the open-borders lobby has found a permanent home with leftists. It means pure political power. Look no further than California as Exhibit A.

So, what can the Biden administration do with a House and Senate controlled by the far left? First, it can seek to legalize all illegal aliens within the U.S., with token exceptions for some hardened criminals.

Keep in mind that the U.S. doesn’t even know how many illegal aliens are here, in part because the left has opposed any effort to try to better understand that number. The Biden team claims it is around 11 million, but other estimates top 22 million. 

Such an amnesty effort would not make any attempt at assimilating illegal aliens into the U.S. mainstream—adopting our language, culture, and patriotism.

Second, the borders would be open and overrun. Promising amnesty has already resulted in a run on the border, or the “Biden Effect.” Once the wheels start moving toward the largest amnesty in our history, the Border Patrol would be overwhelmed by illegal aliens seeking to get their claim to the most prized passport in the world—and all the government benefits that come along with it.

Couple this green light with stand-down orders to the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and you have a recipe for absolute disaster without any limiting principle. A recent Gallup poll found that more than 158 million adults would migrate to the United States if they could. 

With a Biden presidency and a leftist-controlled Congress, what will be able to stop them?

Third, scarce resources would be directed away from current Americans and toward amnestied immigrants. This means it would be open season on the buffet of federal government welfare programs, as well as the continued strain on America’s job availability, education budgets, health care costs, and public safety resources.

Translation? Americans forced to compete for employment opportunities as wages decrease, crowded schools with burgeoning numbers of students who don’t speak English, rising health care costs, increased COVID-19 spread, and more gang-related crime, as Americans have seen from the ruthless MS-13 where it has taken hold.

But as Biden says of illegal immigrants, “We owe them.”

Americans are directly affected by immigration policy in many important aspects of our lives—jobs, the economy, education, health care, crime, and national security. 

Americans and lawful immigrants want our immigration laws enforced and our borders secured.

Yet, we are on the verge of having neither. With the White House and Congress under single-party leadership, it will be up to the American people to frequently and loudly voice their opinion that open borders and amnesty are wrong for America.

This column first appeared in The Washington Times.

Reproduced from The Daily Signal with permission. Original here.

COMMENTARY BY

Mike Howell @mhowelltweets

Mike Howell is senior adviser for executive branch relations at The Heritage Foundation. A lawyer, he previously worked in the general counsel’s office at the Department of Homeland Security and, before that, for the chief oversight committees of the House and Senate.

Lora Ries@lora_ries

Lora Ries is a senior research fellow specializing in homeland security at The Heritage Foundation.

“Come On, Vaccine” Music Parody from the Holderness Family

0

The Holderness Family creates original music, parodies, and Vlogs for YouTube to poke fun of themselves and celebrate the absurdity in circumstances most families face in their day to day life. They published “Christmas Jammies” in December 2013 and life hasn’t been the same.

Here they tackle the Dexy Midnight Runners’ classic, “Come on, Eileen.” It’s fun!

Since then, their popular parodies, “All About That Baste”, “Baby Got Class,” and original music “Snow Day” have received national news coverage. Penn, the Dad, took a chance and left his job as a news anchor to join his wife Kim, the Mom, at their video production and digital marketing company, Greenroom Communications, LLC.

Lola and Penn Charles are always happy, respectful and eat all of their vegetables (that last sentence is a lie). Penn, Kim, Lola, and Penn Charles publish Vlogs and other nonsense to this channel as often as they can while remaining sane.

THE VOTER FRAUD GAMBIT EMPOWERED KAMALA HARRIS

0

Originally at Daily Caller, Permission to reproduce from Bob Barr

As tragic as the violence at the U.S. Capitol building last week was, the loss of the two Republican Senate seats in Georgia’s Jan. 5 runoff election is by far the more politically consequential event. What makes this twin loss so gut-wrenching for the GOP is that it could have easily been avoided, if during the eight weeks between the Nov. 3 national election and the January runoff President Trump had focused on the upcoming runoff instead of trying to overturn the results of the presidential election.

The immediate consequence of the losses suffered by Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler is to hand New York Democrat Chuck Schumer the keys to the senatorial kingdom. With an evenly divided Senate, this situation makes Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the de facto 101st senator and, at least for the next two years, one of the most powerful individuals in the U.S. government.

Unlike vice presidents before her, whose job description once was derided by FDR’s two-term vice president, John Nance Garner, as “not worth a pail of warm spit,” Harris will hold very real, significant power whenever called on by Schumer to break a tie in Democrats’ favor. In fact, simply the threat of exercising such a vote constitutes real power that can be – and will be — employed by Schumer as well as by President Biden to implement their agenda.

It did not have to turn out this way, as both Georgia Senate seats were very winnable. In order to have won them, however, the GOP and particularly President Trump needed to do one thing — turn out Republican and independent voters. That is all it would have taken; to simply keep reminding Georgia Republican and independent voters how important it was to not lose these two seats in order to maintain a system of checks and balances against a Democrat House and White House.

In fact, one poll indicated that voters wanted this outcome. The November 2020 Verified Voter Omnibus Election survey, conducted by Echelon Insights two weeks after the Nov. 3 election, found that almost two-thirds of respondents identified one-party control of the House, Senate and White House as their most serious concern. Nearly two-thirds! American voters clearly recognized what Trump did not, or simply refused to act on. The entire country now will pay a very heavy price for that tragic lapse.

Any mature and reasonably seasoned political observer would have urged (as many tried to do) that the immediate and clearly overriding goal in the aftermath of the November vote was to win those two runoffs in order to stem the toxic tide of a Democrat trifecta — House, Senate and presidency.

Trump’s inability to set aside his hurt pride after losing the Nov. 3 election essentially gave a massive and undeserved victory to the Democrats. Instead of focusing on the runoff election, Trump and his team of lawyers did precisely what they should not have done – they kept the attention in Georgia focused on November and on Trump, instead of on Perdue, Loeffler and January.

This behavior seriously undermined the GOP’s efforts to present and maintain a positive message, which would thereby have given Republican voters a reason to vote in January. Trump’s petulance led to this major defeat and threatens to undercut virtually every legislative and regulatory gain made during his four years in office (with the exception, thank goodness, of his federal judicial nominations which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell masterfully shepherded through the Senate for him). It also imperils such vital rights as those guaranteed by the Second Amendment, which had been protected for four years by the Trump administration.

At the state level too, Trump’s constant harping on problems surrounding the Nov. 3 election in the lead-up to the Jan. 5 runoff, will haunt the GOP moving forward – particularly in 2022, when Georgia’s gubernatorial election takes place. The president’s repeated insults directed at Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp these past two months will only strengthen the likely Democrat nominee, Stacey Abrams, who Kemp narrowly defeated two years ago.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s Seventh District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003. He served as the United States Attorney in Atlanta from 1986 to 1990 and was an official with the CIA in the 1970s.

How to turn plastic waste in your recycle bin into profit – and materials for 3D printing

0

By Joshua M. Pearce, Wite Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University

Saved from the trash heap and ready for transformation. Nathan Shaiyen/Michigan Tech, CC BY

Joshua M. Pearce, Michigan Technological University

People will recycle if they can make money doing so. In places where cash is offered for cans and bottles, metal and glass recycling has been a great success. Sadly, the incentives have been weaker for recycling plastic. As of 2015, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. The rest pollutes landfills or the environment.

But now, several technologies have matured that allow people to recycle waste plastic directly by 3D-printing it into valuable products, at a fraction of their normal cost. People are using their own recycled plastic to make decorations and gifts, home and garden products, accessories and shoes, toys and games, sporting goods and gadgets from millions of free designs. This approach is called distributed recycling and additive manufacturing, or DRAM for short.

As a professor of materials engineering at the forefront of this technology, I can explain – and offer some ideas for what you can do to take advantage of this trend.

How DRAM works

The DRAM method starts with plastic waste – everything from used packaging to broken products.

A chart showing the various routes plastic waste can take to become custom plastic recycled products.
From trash to treasure – the DRAM flowchart. Joshua M. Pearce, CC BY

The first step is to sort and wash the plastic with soap and water or even run it through the dishwasher. Next, the plastic needs to be ground into particles. For small amounts, a cross-cut paper/CD shredder works fine. For larger amounts, open-source plans for an industrial waste plastic granulator are available online.

Next you have a few choices. You can convert the particles into 3D printer filament using a recyclebot, a device that turns ground plastic into the spaghetti-like filaments used by most low-cost 3D printers.

Filament made with a 3D-printable recyclebot is incredibly cheap, costing less than a nickel per pound as compared to commercial filament, which costs about US$10 per pound or more. With the pandemic interrupting global supply chains, making products at home from waste is even more appealing.

The second approach is newer: You can skip the step of making filament and use fused particle fabrication to directly 3D-print granulated waste plastic into products. This approach is most amenable to large products on larger printers, like the commercial open source GigabotX printer, but can also be used on desktop printers.

Granulated plastic waste can also be directly printed with a syringe printer, although this is less popular because print volume is limited by the need to reloading the syringe.

My research group, along with dozens of labs and companies throughout the world, has developed a wide array of open source products that enable DRAM, including shredders, recyclebots and both fused filament and fused particle 3D printers.

These devices have been shown to work not only with the two most popular 3D printing plastics, ABS and PLA, but also a long list of plastics you likely use every day, including PET water bottles. It is now possible to convert any plastic waste with a recycling symbol on it into valuable products.

Furthermore, an “ecoprinting” initiative in Australia has demonstrated DRAM can work in isolated communities with no recycling and no power by using solar-powered systems. This makes DRAM applicable anywhere humans live, waste plastic is abundant and the Sun shines – which is just about everywhere.

Toward a circular economy

Research has shown this approach to recycling and manufacturing is not only better for the environment, but it is also highly profitable for individual users making their own products, as well as for small- and medium-sized businesses. Making your own products from open source designs simply saves you money.

A series of photos showing how plastic waste first becomes filament and then can be used on a desktop 3D printer to make a camera bubble tripod.
From waste to filament to a camera tripod. Joshua M. Pearce, CC BY

DRAM allows custom products to be made for less than the sales tax on conventional consumer products. Millions of free 3D-printable designs already exist – everything from learning aids for kids to household products to adaptive aids for arthritis sufferers. Prosumers are already 3D-printing these products, saving themselves collectively millions of dollars.

One study found MyMiniFactory users saved over $4 million in one month alone in 2017 just by making toys themselves, instead of purchasing them. Consumers can invest in a desktop 3D printer for around US$250 and earn a return on investment of over 100% by making their own products. The return on investment goes higher if they use recycled plastic. For example, using a recyclebot on waste computer plastic makes it possible to print 300 camera lens hoods for the same price as a single one on Amazon.

Individuals can also profit by 3D-printing for others. Thousands are offering their services in markets like Makexyz, 3D Hubs, Ponoko or Print a Thing.

A skateboard is held up before a large 3D printer.
The Gigabot X 3D printer makes larger items. Samantha Snabes/re:3D, CC BY

Small companies or fab labs can purchase industrial printers like the GigabotX and make high returns printing large sporting goods equipment like snowshoes, skateboard decks and kayak paddles from local waste.

Scaling up

Large companies that make plastic products already recycle their own waste. Now, with DRAM, households can too. If many people start recycling their own plastic, it will help prevent the negative impact that plastic is having on the environment. In this way DRAM may provide a path to a circular economy, but it will not be able to solve the plastic problem until it scales up with more users. Luckily we are already on our way.

3D printer filament is now listed in Amazon Basics along with other “everyday items,” which indicates plastic-based 3D printers are becoming mainstream. Most families still do not have an in-home 3D printer, let alone a reyclebot or GigabotX.

For DRAM to become a viable path to the circular economy, larger tools could be housed at neighborhood-level enterprises such as small local businesses, makerspaces, fabrication labs or even schools. France is already studying the creation of small businesses that would pick up plastic waste at schools to make 3D filament.

I remember saving box tops to help fund my grade school. Future students may bring leftover plastic from home (after making their own products) to help fund their schools using DRAM.

[Like what you’ve read? Want more? Sign up for The Conversation’s daily newsletter.]

Joshua M. Pearce, Wite Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering, Michigan Technological University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

H.R. 1: Democrats’ Latest Attempt to Rig Elections

0

Democrats are changing the rules to give themselves an unfair advantage in every election.

By Richard McCarty

Democrats love to rig elections. After all, why should they take a chance on losing and play by the rules, when they can just change the rules to make it easier for themselves to win? Changing the rules to give themselves an unfair advantage is exactly why Democrats introduced H.R. 1, a radical bill that would change both our campaign finance laws and our voting processes across the country.

Here are just a few of the provisions of this outrageous bill.

  • H.R. 1 would give control of the Federal Election Commission to Democrats. The FEC, which regulates federal elections, is run by six commissioners. Under current law, no more than three of the six commissioners can be from the same party. That reduces the likelihood that the FEC will be used to punish political opponents. Removing this protection would allow Democrats to wield the agency’s powers against Republicans. For those who doubt that Democrats would ever do such a thing, just look at what happened to conservative nonprofits during Lois Lerner’s tenure at the IRS.
  • H.R. 1 would require state officials to automatically register residents to vote, which would open the door to all sorts of errors and potential fraud. For starters, the crafters of this legislation seem to forget that some people do not wish to vote for religious reasons, others are incapable of voting, and still others do not register because they do not want to be called for jury duty. Registering those who will not or cannot vote makes no sense; all it does is enable voter fraud by relatives, neighbors, or caregivers. Furthermore, how will states know which residents are citizens, which are legal aliens, and which are illegal aliens?
  • H.R. 1 would make it more difficult to scrub the voter rolls of those who have moved or died. Voter rolls should be constantly updated; otherwise, the number of names that could be used to vote fraudulently continues to grow. As it is, voter rolls in many places across the country have not been properly scrubbed, and this legislation would simply make the tedious process harder.
  • H.R. 1 would require states to set up drop boxes for absentee ballots. Unattended ballot drop boxes – which may be opened without any election observers present – create more opportunities for fraud as well as for theft or destruction of ballots.
  • H.R. 1 would eliminate all state restrictions on voting by mail. In other words, states would have to accept mail-in ballots from every voter – even if a voter had no particularly compelling reason why they could not show up in person on Election Day.
  • H.R. 1 would gut all voter ID laws. Going forward, even in states that have voter ID laws on the books, people would be able to vote even if they do not have a valid ID. All that would be required of them would be to sign a statement asserting that they are who they say they are. Obviously, if someone is determined to commit voter fraud, lying on a form will not stop them.
  • H.R. 1 would allow jail inmates to vote. If a person cannot be trusted with their freedom, how can they be trusted with their vote?
  • H.R. 1 would require same-day registration. Same-day registration adds to the cost of running elections, creates more work for poll workers, can cause lines and delays at polling places, and makes it easier for people to vote multiple times in the same election.

With millions angry with the electoral processes exploited by Democrats to elect Joe Biden, now would be about the worst possible time to pass such legislation. Of course, if there’s one thing that we know about Democrats it is that they do not care about the welfare of the country – as evidenced by their indifference toward those devastated by the coronavirus shutdowns and their last-minute push to impeach Trump just days before he leaves office.

Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Impeachment is not just about removing Trump—it’s about canceling you

0

By Robert Romano

The House has voted to once again impeach President Donald Trump, charging him with incitement of insurrection. The single article of impeachment states the President “willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol.”

President Trump did nothing of the sort, but the facts do not matter to the House.

At the Save America Rally on Jan. 6, President Trump explicitly urged everyone to “peacefully” protest the Electoral College certification of Joe Biden as President-elect: “We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Under no standard of law do those statements constitute incitement of insurrection. They are political speech fully protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Unfortunately, President’s Trump call for peaceful protest was not heeded, as some of the crowd breached the perimeter around the Capitol, attacked police officers and then proceeded to storm into the U.S. Capitol, broke down doors, smash windows and made their way to the floors of the House and Senate, resulting in the deaths of five individuals, including two Capitol Hill Police Officers.

To be clear, these rioters do not represent President Trump, his movement or this country. They do not represent me. Such acts of political violence are unacceptable, wrong and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

After the violence began, Trump immediately urged his followers to stop on Twitter, stating: “I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!”

Just today, the President issued another statement denouncing violence: “In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind. That is not what I stand for, and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers. Thank You.”

None of that was enough for the House, which conducted no investigation, held no hearings and provided no due process in this proceeding.

That is because this snap impeachment is not just about removing President Trump from office with just six days left in his term — it is about canceling you and the 74 million Americans who voted for him.

This rush to judgement will not end in the Senate, where a trial is constitutionally prescribed — although, after Jan. 20 any case for removal will be moot — it will go on and on.

If you supported President Trump, if you thought the 2020 election was not conducted honestly, either you renounce him, or you could lose your job. Your access to banking. Your social media accounts. Subjected to political violence. It will never end.

If the Senate proceeds to another divisive trial, and were to vote to convict, either before or after Jan. 20, then tens of millions of Americans will be disenfranchised. The nation will be divided.  And even the Union imperiled.

This impeachment undermines the peaceful transfer of power almost as much as storming the Capitol did.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=uf01sDadV2M%3Fenablejsapi%3D1%26autoplay%3D0%26cc_load_policy%3D0%26cc_lang_pref%3D%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26loop%3D0%26modestbranding%3D1%26rel%3D0%26fs%3D1%26playsinline%3D0%26autohide%3D2%26theme%3Ddark%26color%3Dred%26controls%3D1%26https%3A

As Sen. Lindsey Graham today warned, this impeachment “will do great damage to the institutions of government and could invite further violence at a time the President is calling for calm… The process being used in the House to impeach President Trump is an affront to any concept of due process and will further divide the country. The President, who will be leaving office in less than a week, has committed to an orderly transfer of power, encouraging calm and rejecting violence.”

Graham added, warning House and Senate Republicans to oppose this rushed process, “To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party.”

Graham warned that it is the American people themselves are being targeted by this impeachment: “The millions who have supported President Trump and his agenda should not be demonized because of the despicable actions of a seditious mob. The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable.”

Sen. Graham is exactly right. There is a lot more at stake than the removal and disqualification of President Trump.

Millions of Americans who supported President Trump think this means they are next. That Congress is declaring them to be enemies of the state. Are they wrong?

As House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), who was gunned down by a fanatical political opponent at the 2017 Congressional baseball practice, a victim of political violence in our country, said on the floor of the House today: “At this moment we need to be focused on toning down the rhetoric and helping heal this nation as we move towards a peaceful transition of power to President-elect Joe Biden next week… I have seen the dark evil of political violence first-hand and it needs to stop. But all of us need to be unequivocal in calling it out every single time we see it, not just when it comes from the other side of the aisle.”

Scalise quoted Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, when President Lincoln called on the country to come together after the tumultuous Civil War that claimed 620,000 American lives: “With malice toward none with charity for all with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

America is at a dark crossroads. One path leads into an endless abyss, risks civil war and could destroy the Union and lead to tyranny.

The other path is the long and difficult road to rejoining a national dialogue, reestablishing national brotherhood and affirming that we are all Americans working together to heal our republic.

We have to find a way to come together, because the alternative is unthinkable. We will not get this moment back.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

TRENDING