“Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils.” —Benjamin Franklin (1789)
IN TODAY’S DIGEST
I’m in favor of reparations, and it’s all whitey’s fault that we don’t have ‘em yet.
Barack Obama might not have expressed himself quite so candidly. After all, he’s a man of great depth and nuance — or, as Joe Biden would say, “articulate and bright and clean.” But this is the essence of his thoughts on the matter. He told as much yesterday.
As Peter Heck writes, “On the ‘Renegades’ podcast he co-hosts with Bruce Springsteen, Obama shared his views on race relations and the part reparations might play in improving them. The former president expressed that while office he considered pursuing reparation payments to black citizens as compensation for the [generational] wealth lost as a consequence of slavery, but ultimately decided it would be a fruitless venture. Obama said that while he has always thought reparations would be ‘justified,’ he knew that ‘the politics of white resistance and resentment’ would prevent any meaningful action.”
Ah, the ol’ “politics of white resistance and resentment.” Why, it’s as if he thinks white people “get bitter and they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them as a way to explain their frustrations.”
(If you aren’t down with turning over trillions more in transfer payments to non-victims of atrocities you never committed, Barack Obama thinks you need to listen more closely to your white guilt.)
How fitting, though, that two of our nation’s foremost narcissists have come together to collaborate on a wokecast called “Renegades: Born in the USA.” As if anyone but the dimmest of dim bulbs believes there’s anything even remotely renegady about this ultra-privileged leftist duo.
As for our nation’s debt to the descendants of slaves, where was Obama when it mattered? When he was, oh, president? We’ll tell you where: He was cowering behind a carefully cultivated image of electability. As Fox News reports, “He opposed reparations during his 2008 presidential campaign, arguing that ‘the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed.’”
Apparently, good schools and good jobs are no longer good enough.
Remember: This is the same slippery guy who was in favor of same-sex marriage back in 1996, but then lied about it during the 2008 presidential campaign in order to get elected, and then ultimately came back around in 2012, when he figured the sands had shifted sufficiently for him to “rediscover” that long-ago support.
In much the same way, Obama now says reparations are “justified” and that “there’s not much question that the wealth … [and] the power of this country was built in significant part — not exclusively, maybe not even the majority of it, but a large portion of it — was built on the backs of slaves.”
Bravely spoken, now that he’s more than four years out of office. Seems Obama just can’t stop leading from behind. Of course, he’s also emblematic of one of the many intractable problems with reparations: namely, Who owes what to whom? After all, he’s half-white, and so are millions of other Americans. For the Obamas, would the bill for slavery simply be moved from his checking account to Michelle’s?
As to the merits of reparations, our Thomas Gallatin addressed the issue earlier this week, covering Democrat Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee’s recently submitted HR 40, as well as some principled dissent from the likes of Utah Representative and former NFLer Burgess Owens. “Reparations are not the way to right our country’s wrong,” Owens said. “It is impractical and a nonstarter for the United States government to pay reparations. It is also unfair and heartless to give black Americans the hope that this is a reality.”
Another strong conservative voice within the black community, that of another former NFLer, Herschel Walker, is also against reparations. “Where does the money come from?” he asked “Does it come from all the other races except the black taxpayers? Who is black? … Who is the guilty party? Should we start at the beginning where African Americans sold your African American ancestors into slavery? And to a slave trader who eventually sold African American ancestors to slave owners?”
Finally, it was some 20 years ago when former hard-leftist-turned-conservative David Horowitz addressed the issue of reparations, and his 10-point argument, which took the form of an advertisement and caused a furor when it ran in nine college newspapers, has aged remarkably well.
Each of his 10 points is powerful on its own, but perhaps the tenth one is the most powerful: “The reparations claim is a separatist idea that sets African-Americans against the nation that gave them freedom.”
“For all America’s faults,” Horowitz writes, “African-Americans have an enormous stake in their country and its heritage. It is this heritage that is really under attack by the reparations movement. The reparations claim is one more assault on America, conducted by racial separatists and the political left. It is an attack not only on white Americans, but on all Americans — especially African-Americans.”
Regardless of what Johnny-Come-Lately Obama might think.
Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, ran into stiff opposition from Senate Republicans on Wednesday. As one of Biden’s most radical nominees, Becerra was sure to elicit a strong challenge from Republicans, who have highlighted both his complete lack of healthcare and medical experience as well as his record opposing Californians’ religious liberty and right of conscience. His hearing performance didn’t help.
So what are Becerra’s “qualifications”? For the Biden administration, his commitment to pursuing a radical leftist agenda is paramount. By nominating Becerra, Biden is seeking to weaponize the HHS into an enforcement agency.
During his confirmation hearing, it became patently clear that Becerra is fully on board the radical leftist agenda, as his record as California’s AG attests. Socialist Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asked if he would help push the Left’s racial “equity” agenda by committing “to collect the data we need to see the racial disparities in our health care system and to attack those disparities head on.” Becerra readily answered, “Senator, I’m looking forward to working with you on this because it’s time.”
Becerra is an abortion absolutist and enthusiast. When questioned by Republican Senator Steve Daines (MT) if he could “name one abortion restriction that you might support,” Becerra demurred. Again Daines asked, “To be clear, is there any line you would draw? Is there just one restriction that relates to abortion that you might support?” Once again Becerra dodged, refusing to give a straight answer and saying only, “I respect those who take a particular view; my job will be to make sure that I’m following the law.”
On the issue of religious liberty, Becerra was challenged for falsely claiming he “never sued nuns” for objecting to and fighting against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. “You actually sued the federal government who had given an exemption to the nuns,” Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) observed. “Can you explain what the Little Sisters of the Poor were doing wrong?”
Becerra sought to spin away from the obvious by hiding behind semantics: “Our problem was that the federal government was not abiding by the law as we saw it … and we took action … so that California could administer its programs to make sure that the Affordable Care Act continued to work.” Sasse called out Becerra for a “complete nonsense answer” and continued to press: “What you’re saying isn’t true. You say you didn’t sue the nuns, you sued the federal government that was keeping you from making sure that the nuns had to buy contraceptive insurance. Were the nuns going to get pregnant?” Once again Becerra responded by hiding behind semantics.
As noted above, it’s clear that Becerra’s experience and record do not qualify him for the position of HHS secretary. He’s a radical who would seek to use the agency against Americans’ freedoms of conscience and religion under the guise of promoting “healthcare.”
David Daleiden, the undercover journalist who exposed Planned Parenthood’s trafficking of aborted baby parts, was ruthlessly attacked by California’s then-Attorney General Kamala Harris, but that was an effort continued by Xavier Becerra. Daleiden warns, “Becerra’s treatment of me shows exactly why he shouldn’t be put in charge of the Department of Health and Human Services. His record shows that he would abuse the power of this agency as a weapon in the culture war, wielding it on behalf of political allies like Planned Parenthood and against ‘enemies’ like the Little Sisters of the Poor and me. Most gravely, he would fail in HHS’s most basic responsibility to protect the lives and health of the tiniest Americans, instead exploiting them for experimental use and turning the clock back to old policies that say our children are more valuable dead than alive. We all deserve better.”
On February 22, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis became the most consequential politician in America.
That was the day America learned a majority of the justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court are easily intimidated cowards whose refusal to even consider the unconstitutional machinations surrounding the 2020 elections has put this nation on the brink of complete lawlessness.
In his dissent, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, Justice Clarence Thomas highlighted the pusillanimity of his fellow justices. “The Pennsylvania Legislature established an unambiguous deadline for receiving mail-in ballots: 8 p.m. on election day,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “Dissatisfied, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended that deadline by three days. The court also ordered officials to count ballots received by the new deadline even if there was no evidence — such as a postmark — that the ballots were mailed by election day. … These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”
Not inexplicable. Explicably and explicitly corrupt, and columnist C. Edmund Wright explains the tortured logic that enabled it. “Those trying to challenge Pennsylvania’s obviously corrupt and rigged election system have been told that they cannot challenge the laws ahead of the election, because there is not yet a victim,” he writes. “They’ve been told that fellow Americans impacted by Pennsylvania’s corrupt system cannot challenge, because of standing. Now they’ve been told that they cannot challenge after the election, because it’s after the election — and therefore moot.”
Columnist Michael Walsh was even more on point, describing the 2020 vote as a “free-for-all election in which you could vote without ID, vote months ahead of the election, vote days after the election, ‘cure’ your ballot if you made a ‘mistake,’ allow a complete stranger to ‘harvest’ your vote, and never have to prove provenance.”
He then sounded the ultimate warning: “One more election under these rules and the Republic is dead.”
Enter Governor DeSantis. As of now, the man who appears to be one of the precious few Republican politicians with an ounce of testosterone has proposed a series of new initiatives designed to ensure at least one state in the nation conducts its elections with integrity. To wit:
- Address the use of ballot drop boxes.
- Address ballot harvesting so that no person may possess ballots other than their own and their immediate family.
- No mass mailing of vote-by-mail ballots — only voters who request a ballot should receive a ballot.
- Vote-by-mail requests must be made each election year.
- Vote by mail ballot signatures must match the most recent signature on file.
Transparency in the Elections Process
- Political parties and candidates cannot be shut out from observing the signature matching process.
- Supervisors of Elections must post over-vote ballots to be considered by the canvassing board on their website before the canvassing board meets.
- Prohibits counties from receiving grants from private third-party organizations for “get out the vote” initiatives.
Transparency in Elections Reporting
- Requires real-time reporting of voter turnout data at the precinct level.
- Supervisors of Elections must report how many ballots have been requested, how many have been received, and how many are left to be counted.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats and their media enablers framed these proposals as something that directly benefits DeSantis. South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel labeled them as “something that could help his election chances.” The Orlando Sentinel stated that DeSantis is “targeting voter registration.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist John Kennedy insisted the governor is pushing “for an array of controversial changes” that would “likely help his party and his own reelection chances next year.”
State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) agreed. “I hate to go here, but it looks partisan, it looks like there’s an effort to get a strategic advantage,” he asserted. “Knowing that Democrats overwhelmingly vote by mail … I feel it’s the elephant in the room.”
Daniel Smith, an elections “expert” at the University of Florida, went the “voter suppression” route. “If voters are sent a mail ballot, there’s a better chance they will vote,” Smith said. “Republicans don’t want that, the way it is now. So there’s no principle, it’s all partisanship driving that.”
When one is advocating “principles” whereby ballots are mailed out in massive quantities — whether requested or not — some context is necessary. In 2020, Maria Matthews, director of the state Division of Elections, testified in federal court that while as many as 85,000 voters might be ineligible to cast ballots, it could take years to process that data.
More context? When Eric Holder was attorney general, he made a career out of preventing voter rolls from being cleaned up. In fact, at a 2009 meeting of the Voting Rights Section, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes made it clear exactly where the department stood on the issue. “We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law,” she stated. “It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”
Flash-forward to 2021, and there’s every indication Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, won’t be any better. Consider this exchange between him and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) at Garland’s confirmation hearing:
Lee: “Do you believe that efforts to purge voter rolls of individuals who have either died or have left the state in question or to require voter identification are racially discriminatory and an assault on voting rights?”
Garland: “This one is one I can’t answer yes or no because you’re asking about motivations of individuals, some of whom may have discriminatory purpose and some of whom have no discriminatory purpose.”
Really? Removing dead and ineligible voters from voting rolls might be discriminatory if the motive for doing so isn’t sufficiently “pure”? According to whom? Moreover, the phoniest — and most racist — trope promulgated in America is the Left’s insistence that people of color are fundamentally incapable of procuring the same ID and being the same fully informed and technologically capable citizens as every other group of Americans.
Yet it is precisely that trope the Left will use to bludgeon weak-kneed Republicans more terrified of being labeled a bigot than losing the republic via election fraud.
DeSantis isn’t one of them. “Last November, Florida held the smoothest, most successful election of any state in the country,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing his proposals. “While we should celebrate this feat, we should not rest on our laurels. Today, we are taking action to ensure that Florida remains a leader on key issues regarding our electoral process, such as ballot integrity, public access to election information, transparency of election reporting and more. By strengthening these election integrity protections, we will ensure that our elections remain secure and transparent, and that Florida’s electoral process remains a blueprint for other states to follow.”
It’s a blueprint Republicans ignore at their peril — or quite possibly their extinction.
Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah and Tom Cotton of Arkansas have announced a plan to raise the federal minimum wage that they claim will meet the needs of lower-income workers without harming small businesses and killing jobs. An important part of the calculation is that the Romney-Cotton plan will also make the E-Verify system mandatory, ensuring that workers are legal.
The two senators propose to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2025, then peg that wage to inflation for automatic adjustments every two years. They arrived at the $10 number after consulting a 2019 wage report by the Congressional Budget Office that found a $10 minimum wage was less likely to cost jobs. According to CBO estimates, phasing in a $10 minimum wage over five years would cost approximately 100,000 jobs on the high end, with a median estimate of virtually no job loss at all. Many states — especially the most populous ones — already have minimums at or above $10 an hour.
The same CBO estimate found that a $15 minimum wage phased in over the same time frame, which is the current Democrat plan, would cost anywhere from 1.3 million to 3.7 million jobs. Only three states have wages at or higher than $13 an hour. The Democrat wage-hike plan also does not include pinning the wage to inflation, and it certainly doesn’t make E-Verify mandatory.
“Our legislation would raise the floor for workers without costing jobs,” Romney said in a statement, “and automatically increase the federal minimum wage every two years to match the rate of inflation. Additionally, our bill would protect American jobs by requiring employers to use E-Verify to ensure that businesses cannot hire illegal immigrants.”
The Democrat plan isn’t nearly as economically sound as what Republicans have offered in large part because Democrats don’t really care about American business. Democrat Representative Ro Khanna (People’s Republic of California) proclaimed any business that can’t afford to pay $15 an hour shouldn’t exist. Such contempt for America’s small business owners to go along with ignorance of simple economics is par for the course in the modern Democrat Party, and the leftist hardliners will surely push back against the Romney-Cotton proposal as not being high enough to “help” low-wage workers. The fact that millions of those people will not be able to get a job precisely because of a minimum wage that is too high is apparently beside the point.
The mandatory E-Verify provision will of course make the Romney-Cotton plan a nonstarter with Democrats, but also with some businesses. E-Verify, which allows businesses to confirm the legal status of immigrants they hire, is currently a voluntary system. It is deeply unpopular with some businesses, and a number of employers have steadfastly refused to use it. However, if it does become mandatory, use of E-Verify will stabilize the labor market and protect jobs for American citizens. It will also help reduce illegal immigration since jobs are often what bring people across the border.
There may be room to debate the exact size of the minimum wage hike, if the class-warfare Dems can be kept in their box. That’s a big if, but some Senate Democrats, like Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have signaled that the $15 minimum wage may be too high. With an evenly divided Senate, there will have to be some give and take if any progress is to be made. Mandatory E-Verify, though, is likely dead in the water.
Biden appears determined to open up the borders and go back to the Obama-era come-one, come-all immigration policy. The illegal immigrants he plans to let flood into the country will need jobs, and compelling employers to check the status of immigrant employees runs counter to that. It can never be said enough, however, that unbridled immigration puts downward pressure on wages and makes jobs tougher to come by for working citizens.
Of course, the federal minimum wage ought not to even exist, but the Romney-Cotton plan at least offers a reasonable solution that reduces the harm to business while protecting American workers. For these reasons, Democrats will surely fight against it because they are more interested in political victory than long-term economic stability.
How much of the population would you say “identifies” as one of the “LGBT” categories? Ten percent? Twenty-five percent? Based on the adulating attention in news and entertainment this segment of the population commands, including cultivated Netflix movie listings and Hollywood quotas to go along with a whole dedicated “Pride Month” dutifully observed by businesses nationwide, you could be forgiven for thinking so.
But what if we told you the number of “LGBT” individuals in America was actually just 5%?
According to Gallup, that’s the case, and only because of a dramatic rise in recent years: “Gallup’s latest update on lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identification finds 5.6% of U.S. adults identifying as LGBT. The current estimate is up from 4.5% in Gallup’s previous update based on 2017 data.” Way back in the dark ages of 2012, it was just 3.5%.
The Rainbow Mafia will argue that the percentage is even higher, especially because Gallup says “7.6% do not answer the question about their sexual orientation.” They’ll say this is evidence that LGBT individuals are still oppressed and are afraid to come out.
We’d argue the exact opposite is the reason for the nine-year 60% surge in alternative identifications.
That said, young people account for the bulk of the surge, and the rebellious among them are especially susceptible to having a martyr complex. They gravitate toward forbidden behavior as a way to buck the system all while secretly reveling in whatever opposition they encounter. And, in this case, they’re lionized for it.
Beginning in the ‘60s, this manifested in the “free love” movement that could only take off because of prevalent birth control and then the legalization of abortion. Love “without consequences.” Now, of course, the rebellion du jour is gender dysphoria. Supposed oppression becomes the attraction.
LGBT individuals are by and large not the victims of discrimination, of course. Quite the opposite — they’ve become nearly sacrosanct.
Gays and lesbians who were “born this way” are encouraged to be their “true selves” and then are adoringly celebrated. So-called “transgendered” people who were not born that way are likewise revered as the very bravest members of society. Anyone who points to biological science is silenced.
The worst part of this is the predatory nature of the Rainbow Mafia. “Younger Americans are increasingly likely to consider themselves part of the LGBTQ community: Nearly 16 percent of Generation Z, those 18 to 23 in 2020, consider themselves something other than heterosexual,” reports NBC’s “Out News,” which of course thinks this trend is actually a marvelous revelation that this percentage has been true but suppressed all along. But don’t think for a moment that the Rainbow Mafia isn’t deliberately indoctrinating our children to increase its own ranks.
The purveyors of this sick-think are exploiting vulnerable young people, especially those without fathers and primarily through entertainment as indoctrination, to further the Left’s divisive identity politics for cultural and political gain. Young Americans — our children and grandchildren — deserve so much better.
“If you talk to journalists who cover Washington,” said Fox News’s Brit Hume, “you won’t find many who are pro-life, you won’t find very many who are environmental movement skeptics, you won’t find very many who think that the NRA’s anything other than a menace. You will find very few who are Republicans, and you won’t find very many who are self-acknowledged conservatives. It’s just not there.”
He didn’t say that yesterday, though. Or last week. Or last month. He said it in 2004, in Scott Collins’s book, Crazy Like a Fox: The Inside Story of How Fox News Beat CNN.
We call your attention to this simply to illustrate just how little has changed in 17 years. And to illustrate the insatiable desire of the Left to destroy any and all dissent, even when the deck is stacked supremely in its favor. Again, leftists don’t want to discuss or argue or defeat dissent in the marketplace of ideas — they want to summarily eliminate it.
A few years earlier, Thomas Jefferson described those “who would wish to dissolve this Union” as “monuments of safety with which the error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.” Which is apparently an 18th-century way of saying, Dissenters are welcome so long as they can be vigorously engaged. And who can argue with him?
Well, the Left, that’s who.
“What steps did you take prior to, on and following the Nov. 3, 2020, elections and the Jan. 6, 2021, attacks to monitor, respond to and reduce the spread of disinformation, including encouragement or incitement of violence by channels your company disseminates to millions of Americans?” That’s the partial text of a letter penned by Democrat Representatives Anna Eshoo and Jerry McNerney to major cable providers such as Comcast, Verizon, and Cox, and to digital companies including Roku, Apple, and Hulu. As The Washington Times reports, “House Democrats are pressuring cable TV providers and online streaming companies to purge conservative media outlets from their platforms or at the very least do more to censor content they deem fake and misleading.”
More to the point, Eshoo and McNerney ask, “Are you planning to continue carrying Fox News, OANN and Newsmax on your platform both now and beyond the renewal date? If so, why?”
Yikes. These people are sick. And just think: They were actually elected to office by our fellow Americans. Admittedly, though, they both represent districts in California, and we know how well that’s working out.
Jonathan Turley, professor at The George Washington University Law School, spoke during the committee’s hearing on the subject of disinformation in the media. (“Disinformation” is, increasingly, the term used by the Left to describe speech with which it doesn’t agree — and the term it’s using to label Fox, Newsmax, and OANN as a menace to society.)
The hearing can be viewed here, and Hurley’s five-minute opening remarks, which begin at the 40:25 mark, are worth listening to. “As evident in my writings,” he begins, “I maintain what was once a mainstream view of free speech: that the greatest protection against bad speech is more speech. That view is admittedly under fire, and indeed may be a minority view today. But history has shown that public and private forms of censorship do not produce better speech. It is rather a self-replicating, self-perpetuating path that that only produces more censorship and more controlled speech.”
Regarding the letter from Eshoo and McNerney, he pulled no punches. “To be honest, from the perspectives of free speech and the free press, the letter is not just chilling; it’s positively glacial.”
Hurley then quoted a classical liberal, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, an FDR appointee who some 70 years ago warned, “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.”
Professor Hurley closed by doubling down on Justice Douglas’s warning: “Some of the measures being discussed this week have the potential to defeat us all.” Indeed, they do, and conservatives had best defeat those attempts to silence millions of voices before it’s too late.
“The days of Wikipedia’s robust commitment to neutrality are long gone,” Wikipedia cofound Larry Sanger recently lamented. “Wikipedia’s ideological and religious bias is real and troubling, particularly in a resource that continues to be treated by many as an unbiased reference work.”
It is that view of the site being “an unbiased reference work” that is the real problem. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia essentially started as an experiment in public-accumulated knowledge. The site bills itself as “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.” As such, Sanger notes, “[Wikipedia] is not perceived as credible by librarians and academics because it lacks a formal review process and is ‘anti-elitist.’”
Worse, Sanger explained, leftist activists have moved in to gradually “take control of any influential institution not explicitly conservative … and they just work harder, and in more subtle ways, on the ones that are explicitly conservative.” It’s groupthink, too, he says: “And then when the rest of the media and tech became insanely far left, Wikipedia naturally went along with the trend.”
A glaring example of this leftist takeover of Wikipedia is noted by Fox News, which reported, “The two main pages for ‘Socialism’ and ‘Communism’ span a massive 28,000 words, and yet they contain no discussion of the genocides committed by socialist and communist regimes, in which tens of millions of people were murdered and starved.” How can you even begin to have an accurate understanding of the far Left’s bloody ideology without acknowledging its history in practice? You can’t, and that’s the point of Wikipedia’s bias.
Back in 2015, Sanger warned, “Wikipedia never solved the problem of how to organize itself in a way that didn’t lead to mob rule. People that I would say are trolls sort of took over. The inmates started running the asylum.” And that’s bad news for maintaining truth and integrity.
Many people are hardwired to make quick decisions, often resulting in conclusions that are incorrect. This typically happens when their conclusions are reached on the basis of too little information or information that isn’t factual. Unfortunately, taking the time to test information for accuracy requires more discipline than many people are willing to expend.
Since lots of folks think they are smart enough to correctly connect the least number of dots to reach a valid conclusion, this leads many of them to underrate complex issues and look for simple answers. As a result, their conclusions are often unsupportable. This is what happens when you hear clip-clopping in the dark and conclude that a horse is coming — but it actually turns out to be a zebra.
So, when we “connect the dots,” what are the “dots” we try to connect? Most of them consist of information provided by other people. If we trust them, we tend to trust the information they provide. When a trusted source tells us it’s a horse, we think, Yes, that seems to make sense, so it must be a true. Although that kind of reasoning is more or less logical (and sometimes even correct), it’s still lazy and runs the risk of being seriously wrong.
This becomes even more problematic when we trust people we don’t know, including television personalities, actors, journalists, and politicians. Lots of people trust these celebrities because they think they are important and believe important people tell the truth. This becomes an even bigger problem when a trusted source is only quoting someone else, or even many others. This can result in an intellectual echo chamber in which multiple voices reinforcing one another can all be equally wrong.
Another problem is that the dots we rely on are words and failing to recognize that the same words can have very different meanings for different people. For example, take the words “white privilege.” The meaning of “white” is clear enough in this context, but “privilege” is anything but. It is defined as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.” The term “white privilege” suggests a zero-sum assertion that some benefit is explicitly granted to white people while being intentionally withheld from all others. It eliminates the possibility that other variables can be involved; things like education, experience, value systems, cultural imperatives, and so on. It defines whole populations in the abstract while asserting collective outcomes that are specific. Actual white privilege was far more common in the past, and it may even operate in some instances today. But there is no evidence that it is currently “systemic” (whatever that means). Therefore, to generalize from the exception to the whole, especially in formulating policy, only creates problems.
Finally, there’s the problem of proactive inhibition. This happens when you’re forced to accept the rival meaning of something out of fear that if you don’t, you will be punished. A good example is in the area of gender identification. The word “gender” was originally used as a term in grammar and had nothing to do with sex. It is now used to denote a range of sex “identities” that are not limited to male and female. It imposes different social meanings on what has been historically and genetically determined as binary. Failure to accept this new social meaning now leaves the user open to criticism and even retribution. It even requires a reformulation of language to alter grammatical gender, resulting in linguistic confusion.
Sadly, sometimes it’s just simpler to throw logic and truth to the wind and give up. For too many folks, it’s easier to accept that a zebra is just a horse of another color.
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Top of the Fold
- House Democrats aim to pass $1.9 trillion COVID bill on Friday (CNBC)
“The package includes $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, a $400 per week jobless benefit supplement and an extension of programs making millions more Americans eligible for unemployment insurance. It also puts $20 billion into Covid-19 vaccinations, $50 billion into testing, and $350 billion into state, local and tribal government relief. The plan as of now would hike the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. The provision may not survive in the final bill.”
Government & Politics
- NRA sues New York Attorney General Letitia James, correctly says she wants to destroy her “political enemy” (Reuters)
“The NRA, which filed for bankruptcy last month and said it would switch its incorporation to Texas from New York, accused James of ‘weaponizing’ her powers to pursue a ‘blatant and malicious retaliation campaign’ against the group because she dislikes what it stands for. … In seeking the lawsuit’s dismissal, the NRA countered that James sued ‘with the sole purpose of seeking to dissolve a political enemy.’ It also said her ‘selective enforcement’ of state not-for-profit laws violated its constitutional rights to free speech and equal protection.”
- President Joe Biden signs executive order on securing critical supply chains (CBS)
“The president specifically said a shortage of computer chips, semiconductors, has created a serious problem in the U.S. economy. Mr. Biden said leaders in his administration will work with industry leaders to discover solutions for the semiconductor shortfall.”
- Dozens of House Democrats want Biden to give up sole authority to launch nuclear weapons (Fox)
Dumb and Dumber
- Biden rescinds Trump’s apprenticeship program to placate organized labor (Daily Wire)
- Biden cancels Trump’s “Operation Talon” that targeted sex offenders living in the U.S. illegally (Human Events)
Science & Big Tech Oligarchs
- Steven Crowder temporarily suspended from Twitter for discovering that “people — who may not be real people — have voted from addresses that do not exist” (Daily Wire)
- New analyses show Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine works well (NY Times)
Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate
- Black Lives Matter Foundation raked in more than $90 million last year (Daily Wire)
“Black Lives Matter had about $8.4 million worth of expenses last year, which included ‘staffing, operating and administrative expenses, civic engagement, programs and field expenses, rapid response, and crisis intervention,’ according to the impact report. They also dispensed more than $22 million in grants to the organization’s local chapters and other black-run organizations around the U.S. They ended the year flush with $60 million.”
Editor’s note: Why not use that $60 million for reparations? Just sayin’.
- California bill would fine stores $1,000 for having separate boys and girls sections (PJ Media)
Odds & Ends
- Ex-aide Lindsey Boylan details sexual harassment allegations against Governor Cuomo (NY Post)
- U.S. bank profits fell 36.5% in 2020 — but still posted a $147.9 billion windfall (Reuters)
- We now have the full landing video of NASA’s Mars rover and it’s EPIC (Not the Bee)
“Non Compos Mentis” Award
- Soledad O’Brien, the Democrats’ “expert” in Senate hearing on “misinformation,” is a prolific conspiracy theorist (Post Millennial)
- Couple welcomes stranded Texas delivery driver into their home for five days (Disrn)
- Policy: The “Equality Act” would impose transgender ideology on everyone (Daily Signal)
- Policy: How the “Fight for 15” could enable a wave of youth lawlessness (City Journal)
- Satire: Media criticizes Governor DeSantis for vaccinating Republican seniors instead of killing them (Babylon Bee)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.
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Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. What follows are a few though-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed herein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.
Re: “Big Tech Censors Remove Book Questioning ‘Transgender’ Dogma”
“At least at this time Ryan T. Anderson’s book is still available on Barnes and Noble’s website. Also Google still has it listed. We’ll see how much longer that lasts. I have been involved with this transgender dysphoria personally: My oldest brother, who has since passed away, and my older son, who was born Michael but now goes by Michele. My brother realized after ‘reassignment surgery’ that things didn’t improve for him and he lost much — wife, children, other family members. He was no happier after than before.” —Colorado
Re: “Waking Up to the Free Speech Threat”
“I would like to know how we get people to realize just how dangerous the Democrats are. How do you get people who have been indoctrinated in school instead of educated to realize that the Democrats want to destroy our Constitution and Bill of Rights? Once they have accomplished that, we will have no rights at all. Anyone have an answer?” —Arizona
Re: “Voting Third Party Is a Vote for Tyranny”
“Right now we have a two-party system in this country. Everybody has to align with one party or the other. That is absurd. The problem is that with our current system, we can elect a candidate with as little as 34% of the vote. We need more parties. We also need ranked-choice voting to ensure that any winner gets at least 50% of the vote.” —Illinois
Re: “Reparations in the Age of ‘Unity’”
“The reparations scheme seeks to attaint all Americans of European descent for the sins of a few of their ancestors. This is unconstitutional and flagrantly unjust. It also would imply the Cherokee nation is liable for its own ancestors who held black slaves. This would create an additional set of legal problems. If done through the federal Treasury, it would be in violation of the 14th Amendment, Section 4, which canceled any debts claimed by slaveholders related to the emancipation of the slaves. We do not owe their debts, including whatever they might have owed to their former slaves, even if such claims could be carried across generations. Besides, Congress already addressed the issue in settlement acts between 1865 and 1868.” —Minnesota
Re: “Tuesday Short Cuts”
“I’m surprised Mr. Bill Gates doesn’t realize that using natural gas for heating a home is more efficient than using a combustion-fired power plant to provide electricity to heat the home. A natural gas power plant loses about 65% of the energy from gas as waste heat, whereas a standard high-efficiency furnace delivers at least 93% of the heat to the home. That’s 180% more carbon emissions. Now, he might say his housing projects are powered by wind and solar panels, but the reality is that on cold winter nights, the primary power sources must be coal, gas, or nuclear energy. Wind and solar cannot deliver enough even with energy storage without substantial land usage and the environmentally significant volume of resources needed to build them.” —Minnesota
Garland Says Portland Riots Maybe Not Terrorism — Joe Biden’s attorney general nominee offers a dubious standard for declaring a riot domestic terrorism.
Satire: How to Speak the Language of Woke — Vocabulary lessons in 2021 — how to speak woke. Learn now or be canceled.
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
Insight: “With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people.” —Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992)
Observations: “Equality is a social condition. Equity is social engineering.” —Andrew McCarthy
Indeed: “Ever notice how protecting people from dangerous misinformation looks exactly the same as censoring true information you’re scared of?” —Frank J. Fleming
Belly laugh of the week: “Watching a woman put her mask on between bites of food and I can’t help but wonder how we survived so long as a species.” —Sydney Watson
For the record: “The authoritarian left has broadened out the meaning of incitement to include any verbiage that elicits strong emotions … so long as conservatives are responsible for such verbiage. Thus, it’s possible incitement to call people by their biological pronouns but perfectly innocent fun to wink and nod at widespread looting and rioting. … The establishment media are fond of saying that we’re experiencing a crisis of authoritarianism in America; they point to the criminal acts of Jan. 6 and suggest that right-wing authoritarianism threatens democracy itself. The far greater threat to democracy, however, lies with an authoritarian left that is now ascendant in virtually every powerful institution in America.” —Ben Shapiro
Upright I: “My ancestors were slaves. And my life as a young woman was a mess. Was my life a mess because my ancestors were slaves? I don’t think so. My life was a mess because I lived a wanton, irresponsible existence, defined by promiscuity, petty crimes and scamming the nation’s well-meaning but totally confused welfare system to the greatest extent of my ability. Did I need reparations to turn things around for me? Certainly not. I needed a wake-up call, which, to my great gratitude, I got, from a few church-going black Christians who told me the way I was living was unacceptable. I went to church, took back responsibility for my life and turned my circumstances around. The problem with the idea of reparations is it redirects attention away from exactly where attention is needed: on individuals’ personal responsibility for their own unique lives.” —Star Parker
Upright II: “Compensation for damages is a basic legal principle. It’s about personal responsibility. Individual A sues individual B for damages caused. Exactly what the damages were and exactly how B injured A must be shown in a court of law. Today, only a small fraction of our population has ancestors who were around before 1865 when slavery was legal. The idea of collective guilt, with no specific individual identified as causing the damage and no specific individual showing how he or she was damaged, doesn’t fly. If there is any legitimate claim of collective guilt, it is the guilt of original sin, which we learn in the book of Genesis. Every man and woman is imperfect and responsible for fixing themselves — and, by doing so, helping to fix the world.” —Star Parker
Friendly fire: “Multiple administrations have made the callous choice to lock up thousands of children seeking refuge in the United States of America. As long as we see people seeking a better life as ‘aliens’ instead of fellow human beings, our immigration system will continue to fail us.” —Ilham Omar
Non compos mentis: “Bold reimagination is so [important]. DHS shouldn’t exist, agencies should be reorganized, ICE gotta go, ban for-profit detention, create climate refugee status & more.” —AOC
Village idiot: “The Patriarchy continues to try to crush my neck with their heavy boots, cut off my life force and take away my voice—Even those who call themselves artists…………..You know who you are!!! DEATH TO THE PATRIARCHY! Now and Forever.” —Madonna, who’s worth nearly a billion dollars
And last… “In four weeks, the Biden administration has been known for two things: open borders and closed schools.” —Senator Rick Scott
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.