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30 Taliban fighters killed in disastrous bomb-making class

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At least 30 Taliban militants have died in Afghanistan after they blew themselves up during a bomb-making class, reports news.com.au

Afghan officials said the group had gathered inside a mosque for a “bomb-making training” session in the village of village of Qultaq in northern Afghanistan on Saturday.

The Afghan Army said the explosion was so powerful that there were no survivors and the fighters – including six foreign nationals who were expert mine makers – could not be identified because of the extent of the damage.

This Facebook page had fun with their responses. “Kids these days, they blow up so fast” was one that tickled me.

COVID-19 vaccines are not comparable in terms of efficacy, experts agree.

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Image: Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By Karina Toledo  |  Agência FAPESP
Which is the best COVID-19 vaccine? For the experts who participated in a webinar held by FAPESP, this question cannot be answered right now.

The various vaccines approved and in use around the world were developed using different techniques and tested under different conditions, so the results of the respective Phase 3 clinical trials completed to date are simply not comparable.

“It’s impossible to say if this or that vaccine confers more protection than another. They’ve never been compared in a scientific study, and different clinical outcomes were assessed [in each Phase 3 trial],” said when asked which vaccine he would prefer to take. “There’s no scientific evidence for any answer to that question,” he said.

Prof. Ricardo Sobhie Diaz, Federal University of São Paulo’s Medical School

According to Mirian Dal Ben, an infectious disease specialist at Hospital Sírio-Libanês in São Paulo, people should take “the first vaccine they’re offered”. All the vaccines are being rigorously tested and none will be approved unless they meet the safety and efficacy criteria required for large-scale delivery.

This position was also defended by Eduardo Massad, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School (FM-USP). “I took part in Butantan Institute’s protocol to assess the immune response in older people, so I’ve taken CoronaVac [developed by the Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Sinovac Life Sciences], but I’d take any vaccine,” he said. “You should take the first one that comes along. They all protect you against the disease, which is what matters.”

Livestreamed in Portuguese only on February 3, the webinar Designing and interpreting vaccine effectiveness studies was part of the series FAPESP COVID-19 Research Webinars produced with the support of the Global Research Council (GRC).

During the event, Diaz outlined the various COVID-19 vaccine production platforms in existence. The oldest and most studied is based on inactivated viruses. This technology is used by Sinovac for the CoronaVac vaccine tested and produced in Brazil by Butantan Institute, and by India’s Bharat Biotech for its Covaxin vaccine. A host of well-established vaccines use it, including influenza, cholera, rabies, poliomyelitis, hepatitis A and bubonic plague vaccines. The virus is cultured in a laboratory and inactivated by heat or radiation so that it does not cause the disease when it is injected into the human organism, but triggers an immune response.

Types of vaccine

Four other types of vaccine are being developed or used in national programs to combat COVID-19. In viral vector vaccines, a different virus is modified so that it cannot replicate in the human organism and used as a vector to deliver a piece of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. These include Sputnik V (Gamaleya Research Institute, Russia), ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 (AstraZeneca and Oxford University, UK), and Ad26.COV2.S (Janssen Vaccines, part of Johnson & Johnson, USA). In genetic vaccines, nucleic acids from the novel coronavirus stimulate cells to produce viral proteins, which cannot infect other cells but are foreign enough to trigger the body’s defense systems. Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Fosun Pharma all use this technology. The fourth type, exemplified by Novavax (USA), is known as a protein subunit vaccine, meaning that it uses a laboratory-made fragment of the spike protein.

In her presentation, Dal Ben explained how the preclinical and clinical trials that assess vaccine safety and efficacy are designed. In Phase 1 and 2 trials, scientists focus on what they call laboratory outcomes, especially humoral immunity (involving the development of antibodies that neutralize the virus) and cell-mediated immunity (lymphocytes that recognize and destroy cells infected by the virus). These are also verified in Phase 3 trials, but their main aim is to assess clinical outcomes associated with immunization.

Phase 3 clinical trials can be designed to answer different questions, Dal Ben said, such as how much protection derives from a single or double dose, and how far the vaccine avoids hospitalization, death and asymptomatic transmission of the virus.

The questions to be answered determine key elements of the design, she added, including the number of volunteers, the profile of the study sample (age, ethnicity, degree of exposure, presence of co-morbidities, predominant variants in the region, etc.), and how the volunteers are to be divided into groups – two (vaccine and placebo) or three (single- or double-dose vaccine and placebo), among other formats. It is also necessary to decide whether the study will be single-blind, in which case the volunteers do not know which group they are in, or double-blind, when neither the researchers nor the subjects know; what type of placebo to use (an inert or innocuous substance such as saline, or another vaccine, for example); and how to monitor the volunteers.

“How the volunteers will be monitored and for how long also depends on the questions to be answered,” Dal Ben said. “If infection by SARS-CoV-2 is the outcome to be measured by the trial, monitoring can stop when the patient tests positive using RT-PCR but will have to continue if the goal is to see whether the case progresses to a severe condition or death. And if the aim is to find out how long vaccine-induced immunity lasts, monitoring must be long-term.”

The rarer the event to be detected, the more subjects must be included in the study so that the results are statistically significant, the webinar presenters explained. For example, the death rate among COVID-19 patients is 0.5%-1%, so finding out how well a vaccine prevents death requires a far larger number of volunteers than assessing protection against hospitalization, which is needed in some 20% of cases.

According to Dal Ben, the Phase 3 trials held so far to assess COVID-19 vaccine efficacy have used very different criteria, making comparison impossible. In the CoronaVac trial, for example, volunteers who experienced fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after the second dose were considered “suspected cases”. AstraZeneca’s trial, in contrast, considered suspected cases to be only volunteers with fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of smell, and loss of taste.

“Sore throat, which is very common in mild cases of COVID-19, wasn’t covered in the UK or Brazil trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the findings published by AstraZeneca in The Lancet. In the South African trial, however, it was,” Dal Ben said. “Could this be why the vaccine’s efficacy was lower in South Africa?”

Another point that makes comparisons meaningless, Massad said, is that the volunteers were vaccinated at different times and places in each trial, entailing variable degrees of exposure to the virus. There may even be variations in disease incidence within the same clinical trial if the placebo and vaccine are administered to the respective groups at different times, although this can be corrected by mathematical modeling.

The cost of delays

Massad discussed the formulas used in clinical trials to calculate vaccine efficacy and presented a model to estimate the number of deaths that would not have occurred in Brazil if mass vaccination had begun in January.

“If no one were vaccinated, there would be 350,000 deaths by the end of this year,” he said. “The number has now reached a little over 220,000. If vaccination had begun in January, it wouldn’t have risen much by December [considering that 70% of those susceptible would be vaccinated in six months]. A one-month delay will cost 41,000 more lives. Two months will cost 73,000, three months will cost 97,000. If we start vaccinating for real only in May, 111,000 more people will die. The slow start to vaccination has a cost in human lives.”

The calculations assume a vaccine with 90% efficacy delivered to 80% of the population and do not take into account the novel variants of the virus that may be more transmissible.

“Brazil has the capacity to vaccinate at least 10 million people per day. If we had enough doses for everyone, we could get the job done in little more than 20 days,” Massad said.

A recording of the complete webinar is available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bNLtyMSIxE.

This text was originally published by FAPESP Agency according to Creative Commons license CC-BY-NC-ND. Read the original here.

Capitol Hill police officer Brian Sicknick was not killed by a fire extinguisher as New York Times withdraws report

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By Rick Manning

A Capitol Hill police officer was not killed on Jan. 6 at the US Capitol by someone using a fire extinguisher as a blunt instrument.  It was a lie, reported by the New York Times using two anonymous “law enforcement” sources and now the “Grey Lady” has retracted the guts of the inflammatory story, now stating, “New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.”

The tragic death of Brian Sicknick was one of the primary drivers in the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings against President Trump and is being used as the rationale for a crackdown on groups that the left has targeted by the suddenly engaged Department of Homeland Security.  And the only three parts of the story which seems to be true are that Brian Sicknick was a Capitol police officer, he was at or around the Capitol on Jan. 6 and tragically he died from causes unknown on Jan. 8, 2021.

What has become clear is that he did not have trauma to his head, and he reportedly texted with his brother that he was okay after the Capitol was brought under control.

It is known that sympathetic stories about the shooting inside the Capitol Building of Ashli Babbitt were circulating on Jan. 7, and media’s overall narrative was being dispelled at the time when the big lie reported by the New York Times changed everything.

This is not to excuse any of the actions of those who invaded the Capitol Building, but it is important to recognize that one of the agreed upon facts of the events of the day, including a funeral in the Capitol honoring the fallen officer was not only not true, but was clearly concocted to drive a messaging narrative that has underwritten the national perception of the events of that day.

Doctors, medical examiners and other emergency personnel had to know that Officer Sicknick did not die in the manner that was reported, yet they all remained silent for over a month, allowing the dangerous lie to imbed itself into the American consciousness.

A FoxNews report on Feb. 6, quoted the Metropolitan DC Police Chief Robert Contee on the autopsy process, “… speaking vaguely, (Contee) also suggested Sicknick’s injuries may not have been immediately visible. “That determination is made by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, so MPD’s role in that is to make sure that the medical examiner has all of the evidence they need to make that determination.”

It doesn’t require fictional NCIS crime coroner genius Donald ‘Ducky’ Mallard to determine if the Officer got hit in the head or not. Yet the DC Medical Examiner has chosen to allow the false fire extinguisher story to remain unchallenged and used for political purposes.

Faced with an impeachment of the President and subsequent trial, it wasn’t until Friday, February 12, when the President’s defense team was making their case that the New York Times finally began to back away from their story.  It is being said on Capitol Hill that one of the reasons House managers ended their demand for witnesses was that the real facts would be brought out surrounding the Officer’s death, destroying one of the key prosecution narratives.

None of the above should in any way disparage the memory of Officer Brian Sicknick, but it does accentuate the simple point that it is almost impossible to believe anything the multi-national media feeds you.  After two impeachments based upon fake anonymous sources, manipulated evidence and a breathtaking dishonesty by law enforcement, prosecutors, the media and the elected establishment from both political parties, truth has become more elusive than ever.

While the big lie(s) that have been told over the past five years about Trump supporters are being used as justification for federal round ups of those who dare oppose the regime that has gained power in D.C., it becomes more important than ever that truth be told and heard.

The good news is that about six weeks after the Big Tech takedown of free speech site Parler.com, that platform which allows points of view without ideological bias is back up and running.

Now it is up to those of us who have the truth to tell it without fear.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

THE ROYAL DECREES OF KING GEORGE III NOW ARE THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS OF PRESIDENT BIDEN

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Daily Caller

by Bob Barr

America’s true “Greatest Generation” won our nation’s independence only after a costly and bloody war against Great Britain. It took eight years and many thousands of lives, but when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the United States was a nation no longer subject to the arbitrary and absolute royal decrees issued by King George III. Now, 238 years later, we are reverting to a nation governed by the modern version of royal decrees – executive orders.

The painstakingly crafted Constitution that formalized our representative democracy in 1788 has continued a tripartite government of checks and balances essential to prevent any one branch from exercising unbridled power. Despite this system having withstood all manner of challenges, there now is a very real danger that the unprecedented use of executive orders by President Joe Biden to bypass the legislative branch will seriously, if not irreparably, damage our constitutional framework.

George Washington, our first and in many respects our best president, truly understood the system he helped create, and was genuinely loath to overstep those constitutional checks and balances. For example, during his two terms in office, Washington issued only eight executive orders. This is an astoundingly small number, considering that his near God-like popularity and the lack of any limiting precedents gave him the practical power to have used the executive order extensively to rule as he might have wished.

To one degree or another, most presidents since then have followed this tradition, using the executive order and other unilateral presidential missives for the limited purposes for which they have been recognized; that is, as a tool to administer the executive branch of government, and not to implement policies or to circumvent the will of the Congress.

In fact, during America’s first 48 years, presidents issued only 30 executive orders – a number America’s current president, Joe Biden, is on pace to exceed during his first month in office. Problematically, many of Biden’s decrees, such as that stopping the multi-billion-dollar Keystone XL Pipeline, have nothing to do with the administrative running of federal agencies, and everything to do with far-reaching public policy preferences.

It would be unfair to blame only Biden for the state of abusive presidential power in which we find ourselves. The problem is multi-faceted and has been building for many years. It is fair, however, to sound the constitutional alarm right now, and to shine the spotlight on him as our country, or more precisely, our Constitution faces the perfect storm of a president more than eager to expand the power of the office he only recently inherited, aided by majorities of his political party in both houses of Congress.

Biden is enabled further in this drive to place his “stamp” on federal policies, by a public largely ignorant of and uncaring about the history of or reasoning behind the limitations on executive power placed there by our Founders.

The significant growth of presidential power in recent years has met little pushback from the other “co-equal” branches of government, other than loud cries of political “foul” issued by members of the political party not able to sign executive decrees. Even in the very rare instances in which the Congress actually pushed back against a president’s executive actions, as when it passed the War Powers Act in 1973, its knees wobbled and it wrote into the law enough leeway for presidents easily to sidestep its requirements.

Federal courts, including the Supreme Court, also have shown little appetite to rein in executive branch overreaches. In fact, of the more than 14,000 executive orders issued by all presidents from Washington to Biden, only two were found to have overstepped constitutional boundaries (one by President Truman, the other by President Clinton).

Recent presidents eager to exercise expanded power have been aided greatly in this mission by the rise of hyper partisanship and congressional gridlock. This has created numerous opportunities for partisan lawmakers to look to the White House to advance policy agendas they have been unable or unwilling to accomplish themselves.

Ultimately, however, such changes so cavalierly made by the “stroke of the Biden pen” are a great disservice (and danger) to the “strokes” of the pens our Founders’ used in crafting the system of limited and defined powers accorded the federal government 238 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. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.

A Reader Writes: Is this a ‘Dave’ situation?

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A reader who is trained in facial recognition wrote me to say he believes that these photos are impossible. That one of these people is not Biden. If you look at photos of Biden in 2016, he says, his ear lobes dangle. In more recent photos, his ear lobes are attached, or “angled.” As our ear lobes do not change over the span of a life time he called it out. He is not alone. A quick search of the interwebs reveals many people questioning the difference. What do you think? Tinfoil hat conspiracy or did art predict life when Kevin Kline became the President for his doppleganger in the movie Dave?

Biden’s ear lobes are causing a stir

And it’s not just his earlobes. His signature is also causing concern to some. According to a man who says he’s a pharmacist who has been trained to recognize fake doctors’ signatures, he believes Jill Biden might be signing Executive Orders for her husband. Look at the images below and decide for yourself.

Screenshot of the Biden’s signatures
Recent signature on an Executive Order. (Who wrote that ‘B’?)

Trump attorney rips off mic after questioning from CBSN anchor

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What do you think? Is this a reasonable response? Some think he was patronizing, others think MVDV (Michael van der Veen) just destroyed the entire media in this clip. Great TV. Starts at the 3 minute mark.

The Senate voted Saturday to acquit former President Donald Trump on a charge of inciting the January 6th insurrection at the Capitol. Following the vote, defense attorney Michael van der Veen joined CBSN’s Lana Zak to discuss the trial in a sometimes contentious interview.

An Interview with Matthew Tyrmand – Investigative Journalist, Political Activist, Friend

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Matthew Tyrmand did an interview with Chronicles, a magazine his father founded, to discuss his work and thoughts about the future of America after the 2020 election. You may recognize his name as we often run data from his openthebooks.com project which identifies and itemizes the most egregious misuses of government spending.

Matthew is also involved with Project Veritas, the organization responsible for sending in undercover journalists to expose the lies of the left. As a reporter he also reported on the Hunter Biden Russian corruption scandal hushed up by the MSM and the Biden crime family’s lackeys.

I know and like Matthew. He’s smart, brave, kind and generous. But even more I respect his insight. He comes by it naturally. He is the son of Chronicles Founding Editor Leopold Tyrmand—the anti-Communist, Polish ex-patriot writer who survived much of WWII as a Jew living in plain sight under the Germans only to be captured in Norway and sent to a concentration camp as he was trying to escape to France.

Articles about Matthew are usually in Polish so it’s a rare opportunity to see a great piece in English. Here Chronicles talks to him about the political world in general, the recent scandals and the path for conservatives going forward. It’s a great interview and I hope you’ll click through to read it. I don’t usually direct traffic to other places but I strongly encourage you to read this as we prepare for our immediate future.

Read it here. Chronicles

Image: Read more here. Chronicles

President’s Day – Don’t Let Others Define America for Your Children

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By Rick Manning

Many years ago, schools in my home state of California used to celebrate two of our greatest President’s birthdays, Feb. 12 for Abraham Lincoln and February 22 for George Washington as holidays. Children would learn stories about how a poor boy who grew up in a log cabin became the President who held our nation together against all odds, and about a surveyor, soldier, planter who risked everything to bring our great nation into being.

Kids would make stovepipe hats and beards for Abe and axes for George, as a symbol of the story about how he confessed to cutting down a cherry tree by saying, “I cannot tell a lie.”  Whether the latter story was true or not, it imbued children with a sense of honor about how they should behave and about the type of men who fought the greatest power on earth for their freedom.

However, the curriculum of the time had moved away from memorizing great writings and speeches in history rationalizing that people can always look them up. And unfortunately, President’s Day has morphed into little more than an excuse to take a Monday off and go buy a mattress or some other discounted items.

It is valuable to have children spend extended focused time learning progressively more about the man who held the revolutionary army together through the frozen winter of 1777, later choosing to step down from the presidency because he didn’t want to be king, and the man who fulfilled the constitutional promise of freeing the slaves. In many respects it is through their leadership, courage and foresight that America was forged.

Instead, our post-modern youth view the Father of our Country as little more than a self-interested slaveholder and Lincoln as someone who somehow fell short, in spite of being assassinated shortly after forcing the 13th amendment to the Constitution outlawing slavery through Congress.

And our nation groans under the ignorance of our youth as they demand to cover murals of Washington and tear down statues of Lincoln repudiating the history that gave them both their affluence and the right to dissent.

But there is something that each of us can do.  Rather than cede the stories of our two greatest presidents to malevolent curriculum writers, we can share the truth about our founding with our children and grandchildren on this and every other day.

We can demand that our local schools return to requiring the memorizing and reciting of three great foundations of our nation: the opening two paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.

While words reflecting the aspirations for freedom ring throughout our history, these three simple summaries of why our nation is the greatest on earth will help restore the foundation that our youth have been deliberately denied by those who manipulate them into self-loathing hatred of their greatest privilege, being an American.

As you think about what this nation means, which is more than any one person, remember that we are, “created equal endowed by the Creator with certain inalienable rights among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….”

That our nation government is based upon the principles that, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

And in perhaps the greatest speech, this side of the Sermon on the Mount, Abraham Lincoln defined the Civil War fields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which just five months prior were saturated in blood, saying,

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

“Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Imagine the changes for the better if each of our children and young adults had these three simple complementary definitions of the American experiment in individual liberty running as the background music in their minds as they look to the future.

In the fight for our nation, I can think of no better place to start than making certain those who despise liberty aren’t allowed to define it for our children, and every parent, grandparent and great grandparent can take care that your children have some protection by their knowledge of the truth.

Rick Manning is President of Americans for Limited Government.

Forgot a Valentine Card? Make her a Cupid’s Kiss!

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It’s a Chocolate, Raspberry, and Cinnamon delight! You’ll need some pink sugar or crushed cinnamon hearts to rim the glass and then the liquors listed below. The good news is you can get most in airline-sized bottles so it shouldn’t break the bank!

  • Chambois
  • Cacao White
  • Fireball
  • Grenadine (or pink food dye in a pinch. Remember Grenadine adds sweetness.)
  • Half and half

PISTOL RECLASSIFICATION LOOKS TO BE ATF’S NEXT GUN CONTROL GAMBIT

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By Bob Barr

What the Biden Administration has planned for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is anyone’s guess, other than the certainty the agency’s regulatory power will continue to be used to go after legally owned firearms and ammunition.

Image: Holstered 1911, Kelly McCarthy

In fact, ATF already is on the move. An official request for public comment by ATF just last December provides a road sign as to where the regulatory agency is likely to start now that it is under the command of a gun-control president. Even though pressure from House Republicans forced the ATF to withdraw its public notice at the time, it very clearly outlines the agency’s intent to reexamine the legal status of pistols that use “stabilizing braces.”

Stabilizing braces are a common feature for increasingly popular AR-style pistols that were approved by ATF nearly a decade ago. Manufacturers of the pistol accessory declared to ATF in 2012 that such devices served to facilitate one-handed shooting of pistols — an important feature for individuals unable to do so because of disabilities or other physically limiting factors.

However, in what has become a preferred modus operandi for the agency’s decision-making, it has changed its mind, claiming that the popularity of AR and AK-type pistols featuring these braces suggests the accessory no longer is being used in the “spirit” for which its original approval was sought.

If, as expected, the ATF returns to the issue now that Joe Biden occupies the White House, individuals who currently own the estimated three to four million of these pistols already deemed “lawful” by the government, would be forced to register the firearms as “short-barrel rifles” subject to registry and taxation under the National Firearms Act.

As with other regulatory about-faces by the ATF in recent years, there is no “public safety” basis for this move. Whether the handgun brace fits within the “spirit” of the original approval is irrelevant to the larger issue of whether such pistols present an identifiable and significant public safety risk – factors which could offer at least a colorable basis for the ATF decision. No such data exists, of course, other than a single incident in which an AR-style pistol was used in the 2019 mass shooting outside a Dayton, Ohio bar; hardly a scientific basis for declaring a lawful device to be a public menace.

The ATF claims it would review firearm samples on a case-by-case basis, and consider factors such as caliber, length, weight, and whether the firearms use other accessories that suggest it is to be fired from the shoulder rather than anchored to an arm when determining whether reclassification is warranted. Still, the ATF offers no further commentary on why all of a sudden it wants to reexamine pistol braces, other than it apparently feels such accessories may be skirting NFA regulations on short-barrel rifles.

Questioning whether feelings provide a proper basis on which to limit the exercise of an individual’s Second Amendment rights, is something all Americans who care about the Bill of Rights should be doing. Unfortunately, even Republican administrations have failed to do so, and in so doing have set precedents for what this Democrat administration is contemplating.

For example, the ATF, at the urging of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his immediate successor, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, employed a similar lack of factual basis or common sense when it changed its mind and made bump stocks unlawful in 2019.

From a practical perspective, long-barreled pistols are more difficult to carry inconspicuously, and they lack the effective range of standard-length barreled rifles. Additionally, there is no functional difference between these firearms and any other firearm capable of accepting detachable magazines, such as would make them any more appealing for criminal activity.

In fact, what makes these types of guns less appealing to would-be criminals makes them more appealing for concerned homeowners looking for a firearm more stable than a traditional pistol, but more agile in hallways and furnished interiors than a standard rifle or shotgun. It is these law-abiding citizens, not criminals, who would be punished if ATF proceeds with its wrongheaded plans.

In the past, neither reason nor logic has provided consistent bases for many of ATF’s regulatory edicts, and considering the deep anti-Second Amendment bias of both President Biden and Vice President Harris, this gun control gambit is certain to be one of the first of many regulatory attacks on lawful gun owners and manufacturers.

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. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and serves as head of Liberty Guard.

Bob Barr represented Georgia’s 7th District in the House of Representatives from 1995-2003. He now practices law in Atlanta, Georgia and is Chairman of Liberty Guard (a non-profit, pro-liberty organization). He also heads the Law Enforcement Education Foundation (LEEF) and a consulting firm, Liberty Strategies. Originally published in FullMAGnews

6 Bleak Consequences From CBO’s Report on the $15 Minimum Wage

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McDonalds are intruding 1000 self-order kiosks per week in the USA

Rising incomes are a great thing, and it would be wonderful if all jobs paid at least $15 per hour. After all, that would reduce government welfare spending and give people more freedom and greater financial security.

Hence liberal lawmakers’ Raise the Wage Act of 2021 (S. 53), which would incrementally increase the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour in June 2025.

But as a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office makes clear, governments can’t simply mandate higher wages into existence without imposing significant unintended consequences.

Before pushing ahead with their naïve, populist $15 minimum wage agenda, policymakers should take heed of the CBO’s report. While it refers to billions of dollars and millions of workers, these figures represent the incomes and livelihoods of actual workers, families, and small businesses in their states and districts.

1. 1.4 Million Lost Jobs

The CBO estimated median job losses of 1.4 million and noted that losses are “unlikely to be much lower,” but “could be much higher”—potentially 2.7 million or more lost jobs. It’s important to note that these job losses don’t include losses already estimated to occur because of separate state and local wage increases, such as Florida’s recent passage of a $15 minimum wage.

2. A Potential Class of Permanently Unemployable Individuals

Jobs lost to the minimum wage—by way of companies going out of business, automating low-wage jobs, or off-shoring them—won’t come back. 

At $15 per hour, individuals who cannot yet produce at least $36,000 (the cost to employers, including taxes, of a full-time employee making $15 per hour) will find it hard to get their foot in the door and gain the experience to move up the income ladder.

The CBO explained that, early on, most workers who lost jobs would still be looking for work, but by 2025, “half of the 1.4 million people who would be jobless because of the bill would have dropped out of the labor force,” with “young, less educated people” disproportionately pushed out of the labor market.

Some individuals with disabilities and older workers would also withdraw from work because a $15 minimum wage “would induce some workers with serious health conditions to claim disability benefits and some older workers to claim retirement benefits earlier than they would have otherwise.” 

These workers would lose out on higher incomes, personal satisfaction, and dignity that comes from work, and society would lose out on their contributions.

Moreover, children raised in homes where parents cannot find work could face lifelong disadvantages.

3. Double Whammy on Employers’ Costs

In addition to many companies having to pay higher wages, they would also have to pay higher unemployment insurance taxes. 

As the CBO report notes, “Spending for unemployment compensation would increase under the bill because more workers would be unemployed.” Thus, “[states would] increase their tax revenues to maintain a positive balance in their unemployment trust funds.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, state unemployment insurance provides limited benefits, for short time periods, and workers must meet substantial eligibility criteria to qualify. 

For workers who lost jobs and employment opportunities because of a $15 minimum wage, unemployment insurance would be a wholly inadequate support.

4. Higher Prices

Grocery store profit margins average 1% to 3% while restaurants average 2% to 6%, and according to payscale.com, the average income for a small business owner is $69,000. That doesn’t leave much room for pay hikes without subsequent price hikes.

As the CBO report explained, “Higher wages would increase the cost to employers of producing goods and services. Employers would pass some of those increased costs onto consumers in the form of higher prices, and those higher prices, in turn, would lead consumers to purchase fewer goods and services,” leading to employers cutting jobs and resulting in a smaller economy.

One consequence that proponents of the $15 minimum wage may not have thought through is its impact on the already expensive cost of child care. In a forthcoming report, I estimate that the cost of child care could rise by thousands of dollars per year for families. 

5. Less Capital, Lower Productivity

The bill would cause the amount of capital—buildings, vehicles, machines, equipment, and tools, including technology—to decline. 

That’s significant because capital and education (including experience) are the two keys to workers becoming more productive and thus earning higher incomes. 

Consequently, the CBO reported that the “reduction in investment would reduce workers’ productivity and lead to further reductions in their employment.”

6. $34 Lost Income for Each $100 Gained

The CBO report estimates that pay will rise by $509 billion for workers who are employed at higher wages, but will fall by $175 billion for those who have less or no employment because of a $15 minimum wage. 

While on net, a $333 billion increase seems like a positive outcome, policymakers shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers—especially when the consequence is lost incomes and jobs for those most in need.

The CBO report confirms what economists, employers, and even households know to be true—you can’t create something out of nothing. The only way to generate true and lasting wage gains is for workers to become more productive through education and technological advancement.

Rather than supporting measures like a $15 minimum wage that might sound good but would actually be destructive, policymakers should seek policies that help generate real income gains.

Expanding alternative forms of education, such as apprenticeships; reducing unnecessary regulations so that businesses can invest more in workers; and opening doors to entrepreneurial opportunities for lower-income workers by reforming occupational licensing requirements and allowing all types of workers the freedom to contract are just a few ways to generate income gains that don’t hurt others.

Rachel Greszler is research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget, of the Institute for Economic Freedom, at The Heritage Foundation. Read her research.

Reproduced with permission. Original here.

The World’s Most Economically Illiterate Statement

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by Dan Mitchell

Back in 2014, I shared two videos, one narrated by Prof. Don Boudreaux and the other narrated by Prof. Deirdre McCloskey, making the point that grinding poverty and material deprivation were the norm for most of human history. It wasn’t until capitalism emerged a few hundred years ago that we made the jump from agricultural poverty to industrial prosperity.

I know at least one person who didn’t watch those videos.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley isn’t as well known as other members the “The Squad,” especially Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar (jointly featured in this bit of satire), but she deserves some sort of recognition for being totally clueless about economics and history. Indeed, she may even deserve some sort of prize for uttering the year’s most economically illiterate sentence.

The two aforementioned videos illustrate why her statement is nonsensical, but let’s share some updated numbers to illustrate why she is profoundly wrong.

The Our World in Data site, maintained by Max Roser at Oxford University, is a great resource for researchers. If you go to the section on economic growth, you’ll find lots of information and many charts examining what has happened to living standards over long periods of time.

For instance, here’s a look at gross domestic product (GDP) over the past 2000 years. As you can see, per-capita economic output was very low (and very flat) until capitalism emerged in the 1700s and 1800s.

Thanks to capitalism’s emergence (along with the rule of law), we are vastly better off today than our ancestors.

Here’s another look at the data, but let’s focus on just the past 200 years. Yes, the 1800s was the era of the “industrial revolution” and so-called sweatshops, but that was a building block to our current prosperity.

To be fair to Congresswoman Pressley, it’s only the first part of her statement (“poverty is not naturally occurring”) that is grossly inaccurate and economically illiterate.

She then added that poverty “is a policy choice,” presumably because she wants people to believe that more redistribution can make it go away. That part of her statement also is wrong, according to both U.S. data and global data, but not quite as ludicrously erroneous.

by Dan Mitchell
Daniel J. Mitchell is a public policy economist in Washington. He’s been a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, an economist for Senator Bob Packwood and the Senate Finance Committee, and a Director of Tax and Budget Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy. His articles can be found in such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and Washington Times. Mitchell holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University. Original article can be viewed here.

Will the Minority Leader’s vote determine the Impeachment outcome?

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It looks like Mitch McConnell will vote to acquit Trump in second impeachment trial, as day five gets underway today. This could have gone either way. McConnell has condemned Trump for the Capitol nonsense and his wife quit as Transportation Secretary under President Trump in protest. Yesterday Trump’s defense rested. The vote should come today but there is no sign there are the votes – or the stomach – for finding a citizen guilty. There is every chance the case will go to the criminal courts, but on impeachment it looks like Trump may go free. Because of this man.

Meanwhile it’s Kentucky’s junior senator who is attempting to steer the GOP caucus out of the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump, providing an array of arguments that will likely usher them toward an acquittal of the former president as soon as this weekend. 

McConnell may still be the strategic brain of the GOP, but Paul is showing he’s much closer to where its heart beats.

Rand Paul’s preemptive constitutional challenge to the trial became the initial guiding light for Republicans looking for cover. As the trial bends to a close, he’s one of the few participants taking on the House Democratic impeachment managers in personal terms, charging them with hypocrisy.

Read more here at the Lexington Herald Leader – it’s fascinating!

Ice dams. All you need to know.

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Watch the REAL science behind those pesky ice dams. Watch this amazing video to learn where you are losing energy and where you’ll get your ice problems.

Ice dams are not always natural occurrences caused by freezing weather. Ice dams are the cause of interior heat loss known as thermal or air bypass to attic spaces that permit micro-melts or uneven snow melts that freeze at the cold gutter, soffit, or overhang locations. Basement negative pressure and upper floor thermal bypass corrections usually minimize the ice dam phenomenon. Ice guard, gutter melting cords, and gutter caps contraptions are only bandages.

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. Figure 1 (below) shows a cross section of a home with an ice dam.

What causes ice dams?

There is a complex interaction among the amount of heat loss from a house, snow cover, and outside temperatures that leads to ice dam formation. For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above 32°F while lower surfaces are below 32°F. For a portion of the roof to be below 32°F, outside temperatures must also be below 32°F. When we say temperatures above or below 32°F, we are talking about average temperature over sustained periods of time.


Figure 1. Cross section of a one-and-a-half story house with an ice dam.

The snow on a roof surface that is above 32°F will melt. As water flows down the roof it reaches the portion of the roof that is below 32°F and freezes. Voila! – an ice dam.

The dam grows as it is fed by the melting snow above it, but it will limit itself to the portions of the roof that are on the average below 32°F. So the water above backs up behind the ice dam and remains a liquid. This water finds cracks and openings in the exterior roof covering and flows into the attic space. From the attic it could flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the ceiling finish.

Immediate action:

  • Remove snow from the roof. This eliminates one of the ingredients necessary for the formation of an ice dam. A “roof rake” and push broom can be used to remove snow, but may damage the roofing materials.
  • In an emergency situation where water is flowing into the house structure, making channels through the ice dam allows the water behind the dam to drain off the roof. Hosing with tap water on a warm day will do this job. Work upward from the lower edge of the dam. The channel will become ineffective within days and is only a temporary solution to ice dam damage.

Precautions

There are precautions you can take to minimize the chances that your home will be damaged when the snow starts falling. 

As the ice dam builds, the water from the melting snow begins to pool behind it and can eventually work up under the shingles and enter the attic, causing damage to the roof, ceilings, walls and contents of the house or apartment. When the ceiling insulation becomes wet, it loses its insulation value, which can make the attic even warmer and make the ice dam condition worse. Proper ventilation helps keep the attic cool and may help avoid ice dams. 

Generally speaking, if your home was built before 1970 and has not had the attic insulation R-Value upgraded or the attic ventilation improved, your roof may well be a candidate for the formation of ice dams. Your goal is to create a cool, dry underside of the roof deck, so as to discourage the rapid melting of snow on the roof. Good airflow from under the eaves or soffit area, along the underside of the roof, and out through roof vents will help accomplish this. Ridge vents need to be kept open and clear.Tenants of homes or apartments should check with their landlords for details.

Lessen your potential for this type of damage by providing a higher R-Value of insulation in the attic. This will keep your house warmer, the ultimate goal of keeping your attic cooler. Most experts agree that the R-Value of attic insulation should be at least R-30 (R-38 is preferable in northern climates). This increased attic insulation will make your home more energy efficient and also should help lower your heating/cooling costs.

Also, anything that leaks heat into the attic can contribute to the problem. This includes exhaust fan ducts, chimneys, attic hatches and pipe penetrations. Sealing around these can help. Upgrades in both insulation AND ventilation must be made for maximal effectiveness. Consult a reputable roofing and/or insulation contractor and be sure to contact your local building code department for additional information, as well as required permits. Some other options include:

Ice belt 

Install metal flashing all the way along the eaves and extend to the area of the roof above the attic. It should cover the area where the ice will form and provide a slippery surface that snow and ice will slide off.  It also provides a surface that water won’t flow up under as it does with shingles. There are other membranes that serve the same purpose to keep the water out that can be installed under the shingles at the eaves. Removing the rain gutters is often necessary since they can become a blockage holding the snow and ice at the edge of the roof causing a dam. 

A metal roof

These, while expensive, eliminate ice dams completely.  The snow and ice will slide right off, and they have no horizontal seam that water can get up under. 

Heat tracing 

Heat tracing can be run along the eaves. You turn them on if an ice dam begins to form and the heat will melt the snow and ice on the eaves, eliminating the ice dam.  It’s relatively easy to install and fairly inexpensive to purchase.  It only needs to be run when a dam is forming, so it is not a large energy user. 

Roof rakes 

Once winter arrives, make every effort to keep the snow load on your roof to a minimum. Long-handled devices called “roof rakes” allow single story homeowners to stand on the ground and pull the snow off the roof.  This reduces the chance for ice dam formations as they can go undetected under a snow load. It also reduces the chance of roof failure due to an excessive snow load.

During winter months, make sure gutters and downspouts are kept free of snow and ice buildup and the formation of icicles. Keeping them clear allows a ready path for the melted roof snow to exit the roof, thus eliminating the potential for ice dam formation, and reduces the weight of ice and snow on the gutters and down spouts. Excessive weight can cause these devices to pull away from the house or be otherwise damaged. 

A Reader Writes: Every Day Tactical (Situational) Awareness

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My wife and I are ex-cops. She and I have both worked for the Federal Protective Service stationed in Kansas City and I have worked for several upscale suburbs north of Kansas City, MO. We’re retired now, but we still watch for bad guys, everywhere we go.

Before we go into a convenience store or gas station, we take a quick look to observe the body language of the people already in there. If anyone is crouching and hiding we back off and call 911. After that, we get the cell phones on camera mode and get ready to photograph anyone coming out, and any vehicles leaving. This can help the police a great deal as any one of these cars might be a suspect or a get away car. Be careful don’t let anyone know you’re filming. Sometimes there are people in these stores acting strangely, maybe high, or drunk or with mental issues. If you see them, wait a while or keep going. No one wants their day ruined with an interaction like that. If you must enter the building, have your phone in your pocket all set to hit 911 and be prepared with the names and address of your location. Store windows that are covered with so many ads you can hardly see in there, we find worrisome. They call for extra caution.

When we go to the movies, we keep a close eye on the exits. In Aurora, CO recently, a man gained entry to a theater via an exit door that had been propped open and started shooting, killing several and wounding even more. It was another “Gun Free Zone” i.e. low-hanging fruit for a bad guy. I contend that if anyone had opposed him with a single shot he would have dropped his gun and fled. If anything happens, I draw and cover the 180 degrees in front of us, my wife draws and covers the 180 behind us for additional threats.

Rolling up to an ATM, we always look for people standing around or sitting in a nearby car. We will wait for a bit, to see how they react to us watching them. When doing this, we must be ready to engage them quickly. If in doubt, and if you’re not armed, give the place a miss and come back later. Always go somewhere well lit and know your number by heart. Don’t use machines that are remote or hidden such as being located behind buildings, behind pillars, under tress, behind walls, or away from public view. If you use bank drive-thru ATM machine the same rules apply. Make sure there are no obvious hiding places or suspicious persons loitering in the area. If there are, listen to your gut instinct and drive away. Keep your doors locked and the car in gear, with your foot firmly on the brake, while using the ATM machine. Keep a close eye on your rear and side-view mirrors during the transaction. In every case, put your money somewhere safe immediately.

When we go to a restaurant, whether its fast food or a nice place, we sit where at least one of us can face the door to see who comes in. We glance at everyone to ascertain their demeanor. There are fewer places to rob in these lockdown days so everything that is open is a target as are the people sitting in or around it. We check to see if someone is armed and trying to rob the place and patrons or even if they might want to kill everyone in there. It’s a split second thing, but our lizard brain tells us when things are just “wrong” and you should trust it. Mass murders can happen in restaurants.

If I’m with someone other than my wife, I ask the person(s) I’m with if they are packing heat. I never assume they are. Recently, I was with a guy who always packs, however, on that day, he wasn’t, because he knew I always did. Never assume, always ask.

Before you go home, keep an eye out to the traffic behind you. See if anyone is following you. If you suspect they are, make a series of turns. All rights or all lefts. If they stay with you, do not go home. You don’t want them finding out where you live. Drive to the nearest police station and start honking your horn outside. Of course, you should get the tag and vehicle the and color as they will high tail it when they see where you’re headed. A photo is good if you have a passenger who can take it.

If you have an expertise you’d like to share I am turning to you! You homemakers, gardeners, hobbyists, hunters, survivalists, car enthusiasts, parents, fisherfolk, experts, military experts, marksmen, inventors, bakers, heritage skill experts — all of you with cool things you’re willing to share, please email me at selfreliancecentral@gmail.com . Remember NO POLITICS. This is my desperate attempt to get us back to our self-reliant roots and swamp the site with preparedness and quality of life improvements. Please know that I am the only person involved at SRC and I can’t pay but I would truly love to share your passions. (Please send only your original material. Copyright and intellectual property lawyers trawl these sites to sue people who use other people’s work.)

Springsteen’s Jeep Ad: Socialists Call for Unity Only When They’re Winning

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By Tony Perkins

Unfortunately for football fans, the political ads didn’t end when the election did. 

The millions of people who tuned into Super Bowl LV found that out the hard way, thanks to companies like Jeep—who tried to sell cars with condescending ads that tell the 74 million Americans who didn’t vote for Joe Biden that the country’s in much better shape, because liberals always know better.

Most people tuning into the game were probably hoping for an escape from the country’s tensions. Instead they got a sermon from left-wing activists like Bruce Springsteen, who’s decided that unity has magically been achieved now that Democrats are in power. 

Image: “The Middle” Jeep commercial

The commercial, called “The Middle,” kicks off with a Kansas chapel that sits in the exact center of the country. “It never closes,” the voice of Springsteen tells us. “All are more than welcome to come meet here in the middle. It’s no secret that the middle has been a hard place to get to lately between red and blue, between servant and citizen, between our freedom and our fear.”

He tells us, amid waving flags, that freedom “belongs to us all,” and “We need the middle”—a case that would have been a lot more convincing had Springsteen himself not called for an “exorcism” in the capital last fall to get rid of the conservative “bums.” 

UPDATE: You couldn’t make this up. After spending $2 million on their preachy ad with Springsteen the news broke that the aging musician had been arrested at Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, New Jersey, on November 14 and charged with DWI, reckless driving and consuming alcohol in a closed area, Jeep decided to put the commercial on ice.

Suddenly, the idea that “we stand on common ground” rings a little hollow. As does his insistence that the country has magically become the “ReUnited States of America” under three weeks of a radical Biden.

Critics of the ad, which seemed to be everyone from The Washington Post to Mollie Hemingway, called the two-minute exercise patronizing, “particularly obnoxious, and tone deaf.”

“Being preached to by someone who doesn’t respect my views,” one Twitter user posted, “who relishes in suppressing them, having the nerve to pretend to be ‘my community’ and declare unity. They have no idea how transparently cynical the whole thing came across.” 

And who on Earth, Hemingway wanted to know, would say the country is reunited now?

Biden won an election that came down to about 40,000 votes in three states, she pointed out. Then, despite the media’s insistence that he’s a “unifier,” Biden set to work signing a slew of far-left executive orders and pursuing major COVID policy without the support of a single Republican member. If that’s the reunited states of America, you could have fooled us.

What Jeep wants everyone to believe is that now that Democrats control the federal government and have jerked the wheel to the left, everything’s going to be OK, because the cultural elites agree with it. 

In other words, when Republicans “win a national election, that’s divisive—but when Democrats win one, [it’s] unifying,” Hemingway shakes her head. 

Give us a break. Most Americans can see right through this musician’s kumbaya after sitting through years of his conservative name-calling. They despised Donald Trump, sure. But in the end, he was just a convenient cover for the left’s hatred of the conservative, pro-family, pro-life, pro-religious liberty policies the 45th president represented.

For proof, check out The Washington Post’s review of the ad. It’s not mad because the New Jersey rocker is talking down to half of America. It’s mad that he’s suggesting unity without making conservatives pay for their sins first: 

Despite the healing sound of his voice, Springsteen is ultimately preaching reconciliation without reckoning—which after January’s Capitol siege is no longer an acceptable path toward progress … Suggesting that we should all swiftly and metaphorically travel to the nucleus of White, rural America to make up and move along feels insulting and wrong.

Bruce Springsteen is a hard-core liberal ideologue. “For a celebrity so identified with one party to go to the other side’s turf after his side has won the election and call for unity is not really an effective tactic,” National Review Online’s Dan McLaughlin agreed. “People see it for what it is: We won, now get together behind us.” 

That’s the kind of hard-line extremism that got America into this mess. It certainly won’t get us out.

Tony Perkins is president of the Family Research Council. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

What’s Really Driving Impeachment 2.0?

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Why are Democrats so afraid of Trump running for president again?

By Robert Romano

That was the tweet from the House Democratic Caucus on Feb. 7, neatly outlining the only possible reason for the Senate to proceed with the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on charges of “incitement of insurrection” for the speech Trump gave on Jan. 6 at the Save America Rally that preceded the storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.

It is certainly not to remove Trump from office, whose term expired on Jan. 20. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution states “The President… shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” And Article I, Section 3 states “Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States…”

The fact that the House impeached Trump prior to his term ending does not save this process, as upon expiration of his term, the impeachment became moot. As a constitutional matter, it is simply too late for the trial.

Here, the Constitution mentions removal twice as a punishment upon conviction in impeachment trials, and the one time in mentions disqualification, it is prefaced in conjunction with removal. Meaning, once a president’s term is over he cannot be disqualified, because to do that he’d have to be removed. Here, the Constitution was explicitly limiting the House’s exercise of the impeachment power to only a sitting president, thereby precluding the possibility of targeting a former president, thus rendering the trial of Trump unconstitutional.

And the purpose of the trial certainly is not to try any real crime. In his speech, Trump explicitly urged those protesting the certification of the election results by Congress to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Not only is that not incitement, under the First Amendment, it is protected speech.

Whereas, under criminal incitement, in 18 U.S.C. Section 373 for example, the House of Representatives would need to prove that “with intent that another person engage in … the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against property or against the person of another” that Trump’s speech “solicits, commands, induces, or otherwise endeavors to persuade such other person to engage in” violence.

But nothing in the speech comes anywhere near that. Moreover, the attack on the Capitol appears to have been pre-planned by right-wing militia groups who Justice Department filings show were planning the Capitol breach as early as Jan. 1 on Facebook. The FBI also revealed via a wanted poster that the two bombs placed outside the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee set to go off on Jan.6 were planted the night before on Jan. 5. And, separately, a Black Lives Matter activist John Earle Sullivan who was also charged in the Capitol riot told the Epoch Times “he knew of plans to storm the Capitol” which he had seen in “undergrounds chats and things like that.”

So, lacking any crime with which to try Trump or a legitimate process, and the fact the riot was planned ahead of time and not incited, and with 45 Senate Republicans opposed to the process on constitutional grounds, this impeachment has almost no chance of convicting Trump — and so we are left with disqualification from running for office as the principal justification for proceeding with the trial.

Here, the facts are simple: In the swing states of Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, President Joe Biden barely beat former President Trump by a scant 43,000 votes — 10,400 in Arizona, 11,800 in Georgia and 20,600 in Wisconsin. In addition, Democrats lost 13 seats in the House of Representatives, and barely won a Senate majority with Vice President Kamala Harris now casting the tie-breaking vote.

And so perhaps Democrats are afraid that Trump — who in 2024 would be 78 — is going to run for president again, and that given Biden’s narrow win, he would be vulnerable to being ousted. Perhaps they don’t even want Biden to run again, who will be 81 years old in 2024. They’d rather Harris or someone else run, but not if Democrats have to square off against Trump again.

They don’t want a rematch. Now, maybe Trump doesn’t want one either. But should he run, it is for the American people to decide if Trump deserves another term of office — not the Senate.

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

Why the Culture War matters.

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Editor’s note: A recent article in the Daily Torch, Thank you, President Trump for inspiring a new generation of conservatives, seemed to resonate with a lot of our readers. It was written by a young college student from Maryland, Brett Kimball, who simply wanted to thank President Trump for all the President has done. ALG News sat down with Brett to talk about his piece.

ALG News: Thank you for joining us, Brett.  Tell us a little bit about the piece that you wrote, and it was obviously really heartfelt. Why did you want to write it?

Brett Kimball: Yet really this was just something that I’ve been really passionate about I’ve been feeling a lot of. I’ve been feeling very grateful for President Trump for reinvigorating the spirit and the love of this country in America’s youth and specifically conservatives. It was important for me personally because I was never really into politics before Trump came on the scene.

Politics was just kind of something I had accepted that I never really had any control over. It was an insider deal. But when I saw him, he seemed more relatable than anybody that I had seen in politics before. As I watched him go through the campaign trail and get elected and start actually accomplishing the things that he had promised that he would, that was kind of a new thing. He really gave a voice to all of the younger people who felt abandoned by the system. In college and in other institutions they tone down their views thinking they couldn’t really talk about anything. Trump gave them a voice and wasn’t afraid to say things that maybe weren’t popular but were absolutely true and needed to be said.

It’s been really important to me to have had this opportunity to get involved.  I credit him with all of the opportunities that I’ve had, and a lot of other people like me have had to express ourselves and to get involved.

ALG News: Thank you, Brett. I really enjoyed your piece. But one thing that does trouble me about young people is the exit polls after the 2020 election showed that people in your age group voted for Joe Biden two to one over President Trump. I’m really struggling to understand why so many young people are embracing socialism, can you make any sense of that for us.

Brett Kimball: I think it comes down to a sense of almost entitlement.I don’t mean that everybody of my generation just expects everything to be handed to them. There are a lot of people I know my age who are not like that. I mean the more socialist wing of the Democratic Party.  I think the problem comes in, when you raise an entire generation I call the “participation trophy generation” because when I was growing up there was this attitude of “Everybody is a winner.”  But when you get out into the real world, you have to actually make something of yourself.  I think that part got lost in translation to where you have people graduating college, many of whom have never worked. I know many of these kids get out of college and they don’t know what to do.

I think that the allure of socialism is it sounds good! You don’t really have to think beyond that because that’s not that’s not your job. On the Left, it is whatever sounds good, and it definitely sounds good free college sounds great. But then you start to look into what that actually means nothing is actually free. It’s all coming out of taxpayers who work for a living. The government giving things away for free is never the answer, because it’s never free and it never will be. The quality is never the same. you Anything that the government provides for free, is going to be of a lesser quality. It’s never the answer and it really is doing more damage than good.

ALG News: Do you have any insights or thoughts or advice for older Americans like myself on just what we should be doing to try to save our country?

Brett Kimball: I think the number one thing that the conservative movement and the elected Republicans have lost sight of over the last couple of decades is the culture war. That is the number one thing that Trump was elected for. Trump was outlandish, at times, but it was all in service of fighting this cultural war that’s been ignored by establishment Republicans. What I mean by that is, establishment Republicans kind of took the route of, “Okay, we’ll just focus on policy.” It seems like they’ve been focused on the policy for the last you know 20 or 30 years and that’s fine, but that’s exactly how the Left has been able to take over our institutions, like the universities, the workplaces, and  all of these different things that they’ve just sort of infected. It’s why you see people going into college and coming out you way further to the Left. You don’t really find conservative professors. I think that was the biggest mistake of the last couple of decades on the part of Republicans and conservatives was abandoning that the cultural institutions.   We need to follow Trump’s example, go ahead and start trying to get into those institutions.

ALG News: That’s terrific insight and I thank you very much Brett. You can check out Brett’s columns at the Daily Torch.com.

Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Rand Paul EVISCERATES Biden’s Education Secretary Over Gender In Sports

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Biden’s education secretary nominee refuses to say if he’d ban biological men from competing against biological women in sports. (Sorry about the ad.)

And it’s not just the Senator. His wife Kelley is pissed too. In this article at the Daily Wire (now a Members Only free site to read these articles) she points out how unfair it is to the biological girls who have striven to be the best. Look at the difference in the physiques in the photo below from the page of the Daily Wire.

Image: Daily Wire Website

Bank of America squeals to FBI

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NEW YORK POST: Customers are calling for a boycott of Bank of America, after a report that the bank handed over the account information of hundreds of innocent people in connection with the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol.

Show me your warrant!

At the request of the FBI, the country’s second-largest bank allegedly snooped through information of anyone making certain purchases in and around Washington before and after the riots, and handed over the information of 211 people, according to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.

Frédéric Bastiat: In defense of a free economy

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“Sometimes standing against evil is more important than defeating it,” wrote novelist N.D. Wilson. “The greatest heroes stand because it is right to do so, not because they believe they will walk away with their lives. Such selfless courage is a victory in itself.”

In the last six of his 49 years of life, brought to an untimely end by tuberculosis, the classical liberal Frenchman Frédéric Bastiat produced an astonishing volume of books and essays in defense of free markets and free people. He towered over the smug intellectuals and politicians of his native France, most of whom were mentally mired in the country’s ancient traditions of statist central planning of the economy.

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws,” he reasoned. “On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”

Bastiat also gave us perhaps the world’s most succinct description of the redistributive apparatus of government: “The State is the great fiction through which everyone lives at the expense of everyone else.”

The world in the 21st century is beset with economic fallacies that are, for the most part, modern versions of those that Bastiat demolished 16 decades ago.

If a posthumous Nobel Prize were to be awarded to just one person for crystal-clear writing and masterful storytelling in economics, no one would be more deserving of it than Bastiat. Here is the great pity of his short time on this earth: while he lived and ever since, his own country never possessed the collective wisdom to give him the honor and attention he deserved. His selfless courage in expressing timeless, irrefutable truths while almost all around him wallowed in fallacy constitutes a great moral victory indeed.

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

Frédéric Bastiat

Bastiat was born in the port village of Bayonne on the Bay of Biscay in southern France. He was just 14 when the French defeat at Waterloo dispatched the dictatorship of Napoleon Bonaparte and put the old monarchy back in place.

At 17, Bastiat was working for his family’s export business, where he experienced firsthand the absurdity of protectionism and other wealth-stifling trade restrictions of the French government. Of this period in Bastiat’s life, economist Jim Powell writes,

While he didn’t want a commercial career, he was interested in the civilizing influence of commerce and the many ways that laws hurt people. He observed, for instance, how the 1816 French tariff throttled trade, resulting in empty warehouses and idle docks around Bayonne. In 1819, the government put steep tariffs on corn, meat, and sugar, making poor people suffer from needlessly high food prices. High tariffs on English and Swiss cotton led to widespread smuggling.

Inheriting the estate of his grandfather upon the elder’s death in 1825, Bastiat could afford to devote considerable time to the thought, reading, and debates with friends that a few years later would yield an explosion of wit and wisdom from a prolific pen. He was elected to two minor public positions in the early 1830s: justice of the peace and county assemblyman.

Bastiat published his first article in 1844. He was 43 years old, but he understood the economic world better than almost anyone twice his age, and he knew better than anybody how to explain it with an economy of words. He employed everyday language, conversational tone, and an innate clarity that flowed from his logical and orderly presentation. Nothing he wrote was stilted, artificial, or pompous. He was concise and devastatingly to the point. To this day, nobody can read Bastiat and wonder, “Now what was that all about?”

He was unequivocal in his opposition to limitless government. “It is not true,” he wrote, “that the function of law is to regulate our consciences, our ideas, our wills, our education, our opinions, our work, our trade, our talents, or our pleasures. The function of law is to protect the free exercise of these rights, and to prevent any person from interfering with the free exercise of these same rights by any other person.”

David Hart is the editor of Liberty Fund’s English translation of The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. He writes,

Bastiat thought the modern bureaucratic and regulatory State of his day was based on a mixture of outright violence and coercion on the one hand, and trickery and fallacies (sophisms) on the other. The violence and coercion came from the taxes, tariffs, and regulations, which were imposed on taxpayers, traders, and producers; the ideological dimension that maintained the current class of plunderers came from a new set of “political” and “economic sophisms” that confused, misled, and tricked a new generation of “dupes” into supporting the system. The science of political economy, according to Bastiat, was to be the means by which the economic sophisms of the present would be exposed, rebutted, and finally overturned, thus depriving the current plundering class of its livelihood and power.

Economics these days can be dull and lifeless, larded with verbosity and presumptuous mathematics. Bastiat proved that economics doesn’t have to be that way, or at least that the core truths of the science can be made lively and unforgettable. In literature, we think of good storytelling as an art and stories as powerful tools for understanding. Bastiat could tell a story that pierced you with its brilliance. If your misconceptions were his target, his stories could leave you utterly, embarrassingly disarmed.

Bastiat was unequivocal in his opposition to limitless government.

One of his most memorable analogies comes from “The Candlemaker’s Petition,” in which candlemakers protested to the government “the unfair competition of a foreign rival. This foreign manufacturer of light has such an advantage over us that he floods our domestic markets with his product. And he offers it at a fantastically low price.”

That competitor turns out to be the sun, which provides free light in competition with the makers of candles. Bastiat wittily demolished the proposed “remedy” of the protectionist candlemakers — forbidding windows or requiring that they be painted black — and explained that it is to society’s advantage to accept all the free sunlight it can get and use the resources that might otherwise go to candles to meet other needs.

Protectionist arguments such as those from the candlemakers came under relentless assault by Bastiat. Why should two countries that dig a tunnel through their mountainous border to facilitate travel and trade then seek to undo its advantages by imposing burdensome taxes at both ends? If an exporter sells his goods abroad for more than they were worth at home, then buys valuable goods with the proceeds to bring back to his homeland, why would anyone in his right mind condemn the transactions as yielding a balance of trade “deficit”? If you’re a protectionist before reading Bastiat, you’ll either repent after reading his work or forever remain in darkness with no excuse that you weren’t instructed otherwise.

Bastiat’s 1850 essay, “That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen,” introduced his famous parable of the broken window. It’s a brilliant exposition of what would later become known as “opportunity cost,” a core concept in economics. If a hoodlum breaks a baker’s window, the economy in general is not “stimulated” because the baker must now do business with a glazier. Less visible but just as real is the fact that to replace the broken glass, the baker must cancel his plans to buy other things, such as a suit of clothes. The act of destruction means a gain for the glazier, but that gain is more than offset by the losses of the baker and the tailor.

Bastiat served the last two years of his life in France’s Constituent and Legislative Assemblies, where he worked tirelessly to convince fellow members of the merits of freedom and free markets. They proved to be his toughest audience. Most were far more interested in selfish and ephemeral satisfactions (such as power, money, reelection, and the dispensing of favors to friends) than in eternal truths.

He could be devilishly brilliant in his denunciations of his colleagues with political power who presumed to plan the control the lives of others, as in this admonition:

Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.

Or in this one, my personal favorite:

If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?

His most famous work is The Law, which appeared the year he died. Were it required reading in schools today, it would transform the world, as it has opened minds and changed lives for many decades.

Bastiat was interested in the civilizing influence of commerce and the many ways that laws hurt people.

Inspired by The Law and other contributions of Bastiat, a “network of principled business leaders” now bears his name: The Bastiat Society.

The world in the 21st century is beset with economic fallacies that are, for the most part, modern versions of those that Bastiat demolished 16 decades ago. The answers to the vexing problems those fallacies produce are rarely to be found in proposals that empower bureaucracy while imposing tortuous regulations on private behavior. It’s far more likely that the answers lie in the profound and permanent principles that Frédéric Bastiat did so much to illuminate, and to which Powell offers these words of tribute:

And so that frail Frenchman whose public career spanned just six years, belittled as a mere popularizer, dismissed as a dreamer and an ideologue, turns out to have been right. Even before Karl Marx began scribbling The Communist Manifesto in December 1847, Frédéric Bastiat knew that socialism is doomed. Marx called for a vast expansion of government power to seize privately owned land, banks, railroads, and schools, but Bastiat warned that government power is a mortal enemy, and he was right. He declared that prosperity is everywhere the work of free people, and he was right again. He maintained that the only meaningful way to secure peace is to secure human liberty by limiting government power, and he was right yet again. Bastiat took the lead, he stood alone when he had to, he displayed a generous spirit, he shared epic insights, he gave wings to ideas, and he committed his life for liberty. He earned his place among the immortals.

For further information, see:

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.

Foraging Guide: Edible Jelly Mushrooms

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Amber Jelly Roll (shorter video)

Amber jelly roll or Willow Brain mushroom (Exidia recisa) is an often overlooked edible mushroom found on deciduous sticks and branches. Its season is typically fall through winter, and even during dry spells this species can be harvested for the table. Exidia recisa typically fruits in autumn and winter. It is widely distributed in North and Central America, Europe, and northern Asia.

In the second video, Adam looks in depth at two popular edible jelly mushrooms and tells you how identify them: the Wood Ear (Auricularia angiospermarum) and Amber Jelly Roll (Exidia recisa).

Catch & Release is Back in Border Towns. Is COVID?

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The Biden administration has revived “catch and release” when it comes to dealing with illegal immigrants at the southern border.

He signed an executive order revoking former President Donald Trump’s stop to the practice — which allows undocumented migrants to remain in the US while awaiting immigration proceedings.

The executive order only permits Border Patrol to hold an undocumented illegal alien crossing the border up to 72 hours.

The difference in this Border town was immediate as you can see in the video below.

The influx of immigrants who should be quarantining in accordance with COVID regulations indicates that either the administration is prepared to sacrifice the health of Americans in order to admit illegal immigrants to fulfill their liberal agenda – or that COVID and all the draconian curtailments to freedom that have come was always a scam.

If COVID is the threat to the nation we have been led to believe over the past year, allowing potential COVID carriers to cross the border and then just disappear into the hinterland is a slap in the face to the frontline health workers, everyone who has suffered from the disease, and the family members of all those who succumbed to coronavirus.

Woke Crowd attack Dolly’s Super Bowl Ad!

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When they come at Dolly they’re coming at us!

Even Dolly Parton can’t escape the wrath of the woke elite. After debuting her first-ever Super Bowl ad, where she flips the lyrics to her iconic song from “9 to 5” to “5 to 9,” the country music legend came under fire for being a capitalist who celebrates hard work and the pursuit of the American dream. 

Parton’s ad was produced by Squarespace, a company that promotes itself as a way to build and design your own websites to help “make your 5 to 9 full time.” Because for many people, the “side hustle” that they do in their own time is the job they love the most. They do the 9 to 5 to pay the bills, but as soon as they can earn a living through their side hustle, they leave the 9 to 5 job they don’t like.

“Workin’ 5 to 9, you’ve got passion and a vision,” Parton sings in the Super Bowl remix. “’Cause it’s hustlin’ time, only way to make a livin’. Gonna change your life. Do something that gives it meaning with a website that is worthy of your dreamin’!”

The celebration of working nights to make a living and pursue a career with meaning sounds innocuous enough. But freelance journalist and “organizer” Kim Kelly, writing for NBC News, calls the ad “tone deaf” and “a “rare miscalculation” on Parton’s part.

“Its office workers are portrayed as being overjoyed to continue working after hours, their side hustles are painted as freeing, fun and fulfilling, and the song itself encourages them to ‘be your own boss, climb your own ladder,’” she writes. “It’s a perfect storm of gig economy propaganda.”

While Parton’s ad primarily praises the at-home entrepreneur working nights to start his or her own business, Kelly views it as a celebration of the entire gig economy, which in her view is oppressive.  

The gig economy encompasses a wide variety of professions, from freelance writers and musicians to truckers, handymen, ride-share drivers, and grocery deliverers. The sector comprises an estimated 57 million Americans, and represents 35% of the U.S workforce. 

The gig economy is particularly liberating and empowering for women who want to prioritize their role as mothers and caregivers, artists who want to pursue their passion projects on the side, and entrepreneurs who want to start something new.

In exchange for traditional benefits such as health care and employment protections, the gig economy offers workers independence and flexibility. They get to decide when, with whom, and how much they work, and can supplement their regular income or earn a livelihood from independent contracting. However, according to labor organizers such as those attacking Parton’s Super Bowl ad, the freedom to work for yourself is wrong.

“The gig economy is a wretched alternative to a stable paycheck and proper benefits, and efforts to paint it as a matter of ‘independence’ or ‘being one’s own boss’ downplay how hard it is for so many gig workers to make ends meet,” Kelly writes for NBC. She adds:

It’s not ‘fun’ or ’empowering’ to juggle multiple jobs; it’s an indictment of a system in which people aren’t paid fairly and workers are squeezed down to the last drop of energy.

Nevermind that a poll commissioned by Lyft found that 71% of gig economy workers don’t want to be employees—or the surveys that indicate those who choose to freelance have more job satisfaction than those who work as traditional employees. 

Or that compared to the median family household income in the U.S., gig workers actually earn more each year. Organizers like Kelly believe they know what’s good and “empowering” for workers like you and me, and for that reason, they want to restrict the way Americans are allowed to work. 

In California, they already succeeded in this effort. In 2019, lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 5, a law that imposed some of the most significant restrictions on independent workers in American history.

In the 13 months since AB5 took effect, the law has devastated the state’s gig economy. It was so destructive, dozens of politically connected professions successfully lobbied lawmakers for special exemptions, while app-based ride-share and delivery service companies invested $200 million to win their own carve-out. 

Meanwhile, little guys such as independent florists and holiday performerswere left behind trying to operate under the unworkable law. The Independent Women’s Forum has documented dozens of stories about people losing work.

Despite its backlash in liberal California, leftist lawmakers in Washington, D.C., are poised to pass legislation that would make Parton’s “5 to 9” hustle illegal for many. 

Last week, Democrats in Congress reintroduced the Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act, which would impose a version of California’s AB5 on the entire nation. It includes a provision that would reclassify millions of independent contractors as employees, which would destroy the creative entrepreneurial spirit.

Taking away the ability to pursue your own side hustle is not only an attack on the American workforce, it’s an attack on capitalism itself, which is essentially why Kelly was so disappointed by Parton’s problematic ad in the first place:

And as much as we all love Parton, she’s still a capitalist and still a very, very rich woman; she has a vested interest in boosting her public profile, and Squarespace surely paid dearly for the privilege of borrowing some of her sparkle. 

Parton doesn’t need the money herself, but between funding her philanthropic efforts, supporting her family and local community and expanding her empire, I can see her welcoming an influx of filthy lucre. The reality is that it made good business sense, and she’s always been a shrewd businesswoman.

Capitalism has fueled the rise of flexible opportunities that allow men and women to start a business, supplement their family’s income, and balance caregiving responsibilities, medical issues, and other priorities. It’s also what enabled Parton to rise up from a life of poverty to become the queen of country music. 

Parton didn’t get there by working 9 to 5 at a music shop with government-mandated benefits. She got there with her own sweat and hustle. A modern-day economy that opens the door for more Americans to pursue their dreams through the pursuit of hard work gives us a reason to celebrate—not shame. 

As Parton told Hoda Kotb on “Today“:

We did something real special working with Squarespace, which as you know, is this new way to get things out there—building your own websites, promoting your own products. This was a wonderful way to bring back that song and add new words and talk about what these new people are doing so I’m excited about it.

Parton’s new take on an old favorite is a poignant reflection of the gig economy: the freedom and flexibility to work when and how you choose, and the ability to create a career for yourself with meaning. 

While it’s unfortunate that organizers would work overtime to smear her for the innocent promotion of the entrepreneur spirit, it’s an accurate reflection of the larger attack that’s facing the American dream. 

Kelsey Bolar is a senior writer and producer at The Daily Signal and a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Forum. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

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.  

World’s Longest Field Goal- Robot vs NFL Kicker

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Mark Rober, formerly of NASA built a Field Goal Kicking Robot to take on the NFL’s longest field goal record holder, Matt Prater.

Now they’re bragging about it.

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Apparently it’s OK to manipulate an election when it’s for our own good because we’re not smart enough to think for ourselves. .

Image: Full article here
Having protested about election rigging for four years, apparently it’s absolutely fine to do it if you just hate the incumbent President. Note how the TIME headline says “saved” the election.

“There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day. Both sides would come to see it as a sort of implicit bargain–inspired by the summer’s massive, sometimes destructive racial-justice protests–in which the forces of labor came together with the forces of capital to keep the peace and oppose Trump’s assault on democracy.

The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors. The scenario the shadow campaigners were desperate to stop was not a Trump victory. It was an election so calamitous that no result could be discerned at all, a failure of the central act of democratic self-governance that has been a hallmark of America since its founding.

Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result. “The untold story of the election is the thousands of people of both parties who accomplished the triumph of American democracy at its very foundation,” says Norm Eisen, a prominent lawyer and former Obama Administration official who recruited Republicans and Democrats to the board of the Voter Protection Program.” More here.

The Silencing of the American Conservative

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By Frank McCaffrey

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has noticed one thing since the current administration took power. Many people are shying away from speaking out against the government. ALG President Rick Manning is not thrilled to see this.

ALG President Rick Manning said “freedom isn’t free. Freedom has a cost. The signers of the Declaration of Independence, or basically wealthy people who put everything on the line for freedom. Their lives and their fortunes on the line for freedom. And, you know, I never thought in my lifetime that I would be put in that position, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to let a bunch of pimply faced Silicon Valley creeps define for me what I can say what I can believe and try to change America through intimidation.”

Manning denounced the “Twitter mobs” and refuses to let others dictate what he can and cannot say in his exercise of free speech.

“When a small mob, a small percentage of the mob goes off and shuts up the rest of the population, that’s when you have real problems. That’s when you have Hitler rise in Germany, is when a small mob intimidate the rest of people. It is the answer to the question that everybody always asked, ‘How can a civilized country like Germany and fallen into Hitler’s hands?’ It’s because the people were intimidated and didn’t want to lose their stuff. And as a result, they were not willing to speak up and say no, you cannot do that here. I’m saying right now. No, you can’t do that here.”

Manning is also not thrilled to hear how Donald Trump is being treated.

“The impeachment trial of Donald Trump is an attack on political speech. Nothing more, nothing less. And anybody who bows to that attack on political speech is effectively saying we want we will only allow discourse between people where there’s no discussion of anything that might at all want to change the administrative states. It is plummeting towards full federal government control. That’s about shutting people up.”

Should people be afraid to exercise their first amendment rights in America?

Manning said, “I think it’s pretty clear that there’s been an intimidation campaign run by the left. The whole cancel culture campaign was designed as attack on corporations. It is pretty obvious that there’s an attempt by the left to make it so if you speak out on politics, if you say anything that’s not on the approved list of things to say that they will go after you and jump to cancel you. We apologize for saying ‘all lives matter.’ A lot of a lot of people pretty high profile and so obviously people who are lower profile and feeling more vulnerable are beginning to say, ‘No, maybe I don’t need to speak out I still think the same way. But I don’t need to put myself in the crosshairs ‘“

Will there be consequences for speaking your mind? Some have experienced them.

The answer, according to Manning, is, yes. “There is a group of people who are aggressively seeking to shut up, anybody who doesn’t mean just kneel to them. And that group of people will you know they’ll attack, you know local barber and they’ll attack somebody who’s just trying to bake cakes. We saw that in a masterpiece cake case which, you know, one, cake, cake baker in Colorado, ended up having his entire life turned upside down because he didn’t want to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Similarly, we’ve seen florists and others, and that occurred in the last, you know, five to six years have been kind of building, and now they now the left is becoming even more emboldened and they want to stop anybody from talking having any kind of speech. And if you want to know if it’s effective, all you have to do is look at the Newsmax interview with Michael Lindell a couple days ago, when Lindell was talking about the elections and Newsmax, the anchor got to their state their statement out saying, ‘we believe Joe Biden won.’ And we’re worried. And that was strictly driven by federal lawsuit, and you know so people are being shut up and people aren’t choosing not to speak because, for one of the first times in American history. It’s almost state sponsored terrorism. Or there’s a war. There’s a group of people who in fact do attack the for your point of view, and not attack you with a just verbally but they attempt to ruin you. And people make those choices.”

Manning believes the courts will be very busy fighting for those who want to fight for their rights.

“We’re entering a new era in America and what’s really going to depend upon is whether the courts work or not, you know, because here’s what we know. The Left, through the bill called HR 1, wants to make it so if you give money to a group like Americans for Limited Government that that money will have to be reported. As a result, there’s anonymity as there shouldn’t be under law, the left is going to try to force reporting because they want to do. They want to basically intimidate people away from being able to give money to groups like Americans for Limited Government.

“So here’s what that means. They view what we’re doing here on this camera, having an honest conversation about what’s happening in America as to be such a threat to their ability to control this country that they want to shut down the ability to do that. And you know that’s kind of antithetical to the concept of free speech. In fact, it is antithetical, but you know they don’t care about that because it’s about power and control. When the good news is in the courts. The courts have come down repeatedly saying they can’t do that.

“And so there’s a case Alabama the NAACP, which, you know, the state of Alabama was trying to get the, the membership list and the importance of people giving money to the local NAACP. NAACP said no, and the courts agreed that the NAACP didn’t have to. And the reason for that protection was because of politically it was an attempt to intimidate people from giving money to the NAACP. That that case which was from the early 1960s late 1950s is every bit as applicable today on the other side. And so the courts are honest the courts are real, you don’t have anything to worry about. And if they aren’t, then you got a lot more to worry about than way to get your money.”

We will have to see what people will feel free to do in the coming months and years.

Frank McCaffrey is Director of Americans for Limited Government News and a contributing editor to the Daily Torch. Reproduced with permission. Original here.

Sebastian Gorka: Democrats Working on Amendment for NSA, CIA to Target Americans as Terrorists

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The Biden administration is working with congressional committees to allow intelligence agencies to “target” American citizens as terrorists, Sebastian Gorka, host of the America First radio show, warned on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.

Gorka stated, “I was informed yesterday by a private citizen that the Biden administration — and this comes on top of what Austin is doing with the military — but the Biden administration is working with the Senate and House intelligence committees to make amendments to an executive order from the 1980s — it’s called 12333 — to permit the NSA and the CIA to target U.S. citizens as domestic terror threats.”

More at Breitbart. Interview below.

Communism Humor

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by Dan Mitchell

I’ve already shared some politician humor and some socialism humor in 2021, so it’s time to complete the trifecta with a new edition of communism humor.

We’ll start with some gallows humor about the link between communism and famine.

As far as I can tell, the fad of millennials eating Tide pods has gone away, but since young people are dumb enough to be infatuated with socialism, I’m sure they’ll find something new that’s both stupid and dangerous.

Sticking with the famine theme, here are some translations from the Far East.

Next, we have an item that suggests that March 14 should join December 26 as some type of holiday.

Though I’m sure the former President of the European Commission will be puzzled by the above meme.

As usual, I’ve saved the best for last.

I’ve already written about how many academics (including some economists!) were apologists for communist totalitarianism. Our final meme is a good way of finding out whether some of them still exist.

For the full collection of communist and socialist humor, click here. You won’t find a special wing for Bernie Sanders mockery, but there should be one (also see herehere, and here). And I should probably add a wing for AOC as well (see herehere, and here).

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