Centers for Diseases Control (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has “recommended” that children wear masks while playing. Her offered reason is to ensure Covid is not spread by “heavy breathing” of children near each other while around a soccer ball.
Dr. Walensky’s recommendation is one more example of Covid authoritarians’ refusal to “listen to the science.” The science says no to lockdowns and masks. The masks are not blocking the very small viruses in “heavy breathing.” Dr. Walensky also ignores the science showing that wearing a mask while exercising or playing sports has negative health effects.
Dr. Walensky’s most outrageous disregard of science is ignoring the fact that children are statistically unlikely to be at risk of either spreading Covid or becoming very sick from it.
Dr. Walensky’s recommendation is one of many examples of how children are harmed by the overreaction to coronavirus. Many children have had their physical and mental health damaged because they cannot go to school, play with their friends, or even have a birthday party because of the lockdowns.
Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, the two major teachers’ unions — the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) — have stood in the way of reopening schools. Teachers’ union leaders have claimed it is too dangerous for teachers to resume in-person instruction, even though adults are at little or no risk of getting Covid from children. Sadly, teachers’ unions are disregarding the interest of children. Recently released emails show the CDC disregarded the science in favor of the AFT’s restrictive guidance when developing recommendations concerning reopening schools.
The negative effects of lockdowns and school closings for children have led many parents to consider alternatives to government schools.
Some private schools have not just remained open, they have followed the science and not forced their students to wear masks.
Many parents are also considering homeschooling. Homeschooling parents obviously can ensure their children are not forced to obey mask, social distancing, and other unscientific mandates.
Parents interested in providing their children with a quality education that emphasizes the ideas of liberty should consider my homeschooling curriculum. The Ron Paul Curriculum provides students with a well-rounded education that includes rigorous programs in history, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. The curriculum also provides instruction in personal finance. Students can develop superior communication skills via intensive writing and public speaking courses. Another feature of my curriculum is that it provides students the opportunity to create and run their own internet-based businesses.
The government and history sections of the curriculum emphasize Austrian economics, libertarian political theory, and the history of liberty. However, unlike government schools, my curriculum never puts ideological indoctrination ahead of education.
Interactive forums allow students to learn from each other outside of a formal setting. The curriculum’s emphasis on self-directed learning and student interaction makes it ideal for parents who need to work from home but still want to homeschool their children.
I encourage parents looking at alternatives to government schools to go to RonPaulCurriculum.com for more information about my homeschooling program.
A group of furious parents lined up before Virginia’s Loudoun County School Board this week to read several “pornographic” passages from books assigned to ninth graders in the district, amid a recall effort against several of the board’s members.
What are the details?
In a clip from Tuesday night’s meeting provided by Media Research Center, the first mom reads from a book describing a domestic violence scenario where the narrator talks about a female “coming out of some car in these tight-a** little shorts…telling me she’s going to leave me.”
“I grab her by the neck and start punching her,” the mother continues to read. Later, the narrator describes keeping the female “in a closet for a couple of days” where “she kept on screaming, begging to be let out. Begging for water.”
The rest of the excerpts were sexual in nature.
“Jasper wasn’t even my boyfriend, just this dude I did some hacking with once in a while,” the second mother reads. “He was pretty basic…but he had a big d***. And sometimes a girl just needs a big d***.”
A third parent read about sex acts involving a “boy — his pants around his ankles — squeezed between April’s straddled legs as she lay on top of a teacher’s desk.” The narrator describes flipping the “boy” around, “pushing him against the wall” and then dropping to their knees.
The fourth mother reads an excerpt where the narrator declares, “she sucked my d***. I didn’t really want it to happen, it just kinda did.” Another character in the book replies, “Wait a minute, is that what was really going on? She did your homework and you ate her c******!”
A gentleman who said he is representing a group of parents in a harassment suit addressed the board following the readings.
After listing off a number of the sexual acts covered, he pointed to the panel and asked, “By show of hands, does anyone up here want to talk about that stuff now? Not a single hand, because it’s very uncomfortable and we’re in a room full of adults.”
He said the reason no one wants to talk about it is “because they’re not acceptable topics,” and added, “my kids don’t go to your crap schools, but theirs do.”
Angry Loudoun County public school parents read heinous passages from county’s 9th grade reading material. https://t.co/GYnQFExJ00
When asked for reaction by Fox News, Loudoun County Public Schools pointed to a news release published Wednesday where the district reminded “parents that if they feel a book is not appropriate for their student” they may “submit a formal request for the Reconsideration of Instructional Materials.”
One parent, who did not want to be named, told the outlet, “This is the same district that banned Dr. Seuss and ‘Huckleberry Finn’ as being ‘offensive,’ yet they’re having children read pornography that violates every code of conduct in their sexual harassment training.”
Australia “Ready” To Resume Dialogue With China As Beijing Ratchets Trade War
The past months have seen Australia-China relations reach their lowest point in history. That decline was brought about in Canberra’s decision to join the United States in seeking to curtail China’s economic and political rise, particularly during the final year of the Trump administration.
The cost has been huge for Australian exports, given China has long been its biggest trading partner, and has since the summer played hardball as it holds all the cards in the trade war, unleashing barriers and sanctions resulting in severe collateral damage on everything from seafood to coal to barley to wine to beef, and tourism sectors – along with hitting some other commodities, even timber.
And now Australia says it’s ready and willing to resume dialogue with Beijing. On Thursday Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced at a press conference while standing alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “Australia seeks a constructive relationship with China we stand ready at any time, amongst all of my counterparts and colleagues, to resume dialogue.”
She underscored further while meeting her US counterpart in D.C. that Australia is “open, clear, consistent” on the number of immense challenges it faces with China.
And Blinken responded by assuring its ally that the United States will not leave Australia “alone” in the face of China’s aggressive economic coercion.
“I reiterated that the United States will not leave Australia alone on the field, or maybe I should say alone on the pitch, in the face of economic coercion by China. That’s what allies do. We have each other’s backs so we can face threats and challenges from a position of collective strength,” Blinken said.
Payne had followed up further with saying her country “seeks a constructive relationship with China” and that “We stand ready at any time, amongst all of my counterparts and colleagues, to resume dialogue.”
“But we have also been open and clear and consistent about the fact that we are dealing with a number of challenges. We welcome the clear expressions of support from Washington as Australia works through those differences. It is hard to think of a truer expression of friendship,” the top Australian diplomat added.
Hundreds of scholars, including some distinguished figures, have applied for positions at an online education startup that promises explicitly non-“woke” instruction in a number of academic disciplines.
Named “American Scholars,” the project was started several months ago by Matthew Pohl, former University of Pennsylvania admissions officer. As soon as word got out, résumés started to stream in from academics offering their participation, its leaders said.
Pohl described the project as the fruit of his gradual disillusionment with his career in the academic world, where he drove admissions at several prestigious universities. He noticed that with regard to education, most students weren’t getting their money’s worth, attributing that to the “administrative bloat” of establishment colleges, as well as the spread of quasi-Marxist ideologies that have come to be collectively known as “wokeness.”
He intends the project as an antidote to both. The interactive format of part-lecture, part-documentary video with quizzes, and feedback sessions will aspire to demonstrate that quality learning can be furnished at a fraction of the cost of a modern-day college. Meanwhile, the content itself will be rooted in traditional American values, in sharp contrast to the ideologies currently dominating most universities that promote hostility toward such values.
“There is a massive and unrecognized demand for actual professors, business leaders, real thinkers whom regular people can associate with and learn from to better understand how they can live better lives through the Constitution and through conservative values,” Pohl told The Epoch Times, later adding that the guiding principles of the project could be more accurately described as “classical liberalism.”
“We actually expect a significant number of people who do not identify as conservative to join us—simply because they agree with our values,” he said in an email.
For the role of chief academic officer, who is responsible for the scholarly grade of the content, Pohl tapped Michael Rectenwald, a retired liberal studies professor at New York University.
Having given up his communist beliefs, Rectenwald left his job after he irked colleagues by criticizing the woke ideology. He went on to become an authority on corporate socialism, a convergence of government and business interest in establishing a novel form of totalitarian, socialist rule. He’s authored several books on the topic, including “Google Archipelago: The Digital Gulag and the Simulation of Freedom,” which warns against the rising power and ambitions of gigantic digital companies.
American Scholars will offer modules taught by bona fide academics on history, the Constitution, the natural sciences, math, writing, business, economics and personal finance, ideological studies, literature, technology science, law, and religious studies, Rectenwald said.
He’s already received applications from several hundred scholars, including some prominent names, from which he’ll be soon picking the first 10 instructors.
“We even have chairs of departments interested in working for us,” he said.
Rectenwald shared with The Epoch Times a sample of the applicants’ names under the condition that they won’t be released for now, as none of them has yet been selected for any of the positions. In addition, Rectenwald has his own list of “top-notch talent” he’ll ask to come onboard.
“It’s going to be something where they’re able to deliver content in the way they want to, without the pressures that are being exerted on them in the university system to accommodate various ideologies like critical race theory and socialism and postmodernism and so forth,” he said, adding that such ideologies also will be taught, but from a critical standpoint.
The first offerings, planned to start in the fall, will focus on history, the Constitution, economics, and personal finance, he said.
The material will be suited for homeschoolers, college prep, as well as adult learning.
The project doesn’t seek to be accredited as an actual university, but rather to equip its alumni with the knowledge to “push back against some of the pernicious ideologies that are being purveyed in the system,” Rectenwald said.
“We’ve got to be frank. We’re in the midst of a major culture war.”
The content range, as well as the format of the platform, was selected based on a series of focus group polls of a total of about 1,000 families, Pohl said. Personal finance, for example, stood out as both an acute interest of the poll respondents as well as a blind spot of the current university system, where students often sign up for massive debt with little to no calculation of return on investment that would allow them to make such decisions adeptly, according to Pohl.
Development of the online platform is run by an expert who for now requires anonymity, due to his involvement with Big Tech, Pohl said.
So far, the project is self-funded with some offers coming in from investors, he said. He plans a subscription model starting at $19 a month and scaling up to about $39 a month for premium access.
American Scholars fits into a growing selection of education platforms that approach their material from a more traditional standpoint. The conservative Hillsdale College offers free courses on a variety of politically relevant subjects, while PragerU recently began offering an online education portal for K–12 students.
Bret Baier grilled Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on whether her crusade against former President Donald Trump was in the interest of her constituents and she responded by criticizing Fox News.
Cheney’s appearance Thursday on Fox News was her first live interview since the Republican Party voted her out of her leadership position Wednesday.
“You, and your colleagues, at least in part, were elected to block the Biden agenda, which Republicans believe is too far left, and could lead to other things. Aren’t they correct to claim that your focus on the election and President Trump was somehow not going to get them to that goal?” Baier asked.
“No, I think that’s actually wrong, Bret,” Cheney responded.
“I think if you look at where we’ve been since the election since Jan.6, we’ve had a real focus on, making sure people understand that the Biden policies are dangerous,” she explained.
“If you look at the impact for the people of Wyoming, banning oil and gas leases on public lands is really dangerous, is really heartless. We’ve been very clear about that. What’s happening at the border is very dangerous,” Cheney added.
She went on to say that there were too many people in the Republican Party who were willing to enable Trump’s claims that the election was fraudulent.
“The people of Wyoming believe deeply in the Constitution. The people of Wyoming know that we must use the Constitution as our shield, that we must defend the Constitution,” explained Cheney.
“And so when you look at the challenge that the former president is presenting, right now still today, claiming that the election was stolen, claiming that our electoral process does not accurately reflect the will of the people. No remorse or regret for Jan. 6, continuing to use the language that we know inspired value in the past,” she said.
Baier interrupted her and pushed her on why her crusade was representing voters in Wyoming when Cheney zeroed in on Fox News.
“We all have an obligation and I would say Fox News especially, especially Fox News, has a particular obligation to make sure people know the election wasn’t stolen,” Cheney said.
“And we’ve said that numerous times,” Baier said.
Cheney and Baier interrupted each other as Baier attempted to respond to her demand.
“Brett, you’re doing the interview, I’m answering the questions,” Cheney said testily.
“We need to make sure that the American people recognize and understand that the election wasn’t stolen, that we shouldn’t perpetuate the big lie, and there’s real danger,” she continued.
She went on to say that she did not vote for Joe Biden and that she would not vote for a Democrat “ever.” She also said that Trump’s policies were better for the country than those of Biden.
“The issue is whether or not we are going to stand up for the rule of law and stand up for the Constitution. That is above partisanship, that is above politics,” Cheney concluded.
Here’s the full interview with Cheney on Fox News:
“This Is The Ministry Of Truth”: Merriam-Webster Edits Definition For “Anti-Vaxxer” To Include Opponents Of Mandatory Jabs
In another horrifyingly Orwellian example of the media world powers-that-be – in this case, dictionary impresario Merriam-Webster, struggling for relevance in the digital age – the official definition of the word “anti-vaxxer” (a recent edition to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary) has been changed to include people who oppose forced inoculation mandates.
It’s a subtle, but still shocking, example of how the White House’s narrative trickles down through the media firmament, from the news, to talk shows, and even to the dowdy business of reference-book publishing.
RT reported on the change, citing a tweet from rapper and podcaster Zuby, who tweeted a photo of the changed definition with the caption “Welcome to 1984. This is The Ministry of Truth”.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary has changed their definition of ‘anti-vaxxer’ to include
‘people who oppose laws that mandate vaccination’.
This isn’t the first time that Merriam-Webster has been embroiled in an ugly political episode. Back in October, Merriam-Webster edited its definition of the word “preference” to explicitly note that it is now considered “offensive” in reference to a person’s “sexual preference.” The revision helped back up Hawaii Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono when she accused Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett of being biased against gay people when she used the term as a synonym for ”sexual orientation.”
For the record, the term “anti-vaxxer” is relatively new, having entered the Merriam-Webster dictionary lexicon in 2009. The connotation is that anyone who expresses skepticism about vaccines or their safety is branded as an unhinged conspiracy theorist on par with the “9/11 truthers” or those who believe in the “Flat Earth” conspiracies.
In the 21st century, all media companies are being forced to find new ways to innovate and monetize, now that the fact that their entire dictionary is available online for free has started to cut into book sales growth, we suppose MW has, in its own way, decided to innovate. Since nobody cares about facts and the correct usage of words, it will just tell you whether using them will make you racist or not.
The week-long exercises come as the US is looking to boost military cooperation between its allies in the region to counter China. Tensions between Japan and China have been high due to a dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Speaking to reporters, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said Tokyo was looking to expand its military ties with “like-minded” countries beyond the US. He described France as “a like-minded country that shares with Japan the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
Australia will also join a part of the exercises that will be held in the East China Sea. The US, Japan, Australia, and India form the informal grouping known as the Quad, which is seen as a possible foundation for a NATO-style military alliance in Asia. France joined the Quad for military exercises when it led naval drills in the Bay of Bengal.
Above: Opening ceremony for exercise Jeanne D’Arc 21, in Camp Ainoura, Sasebo, Japan, May 11, 2021. Source: US Marine Corps
Strengthening military ties in Asia is a crucial part of the Biden administration’s China policy. In his first address to Congress, President Biden said he told Chinese President Xi Jinping that the US “will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe.”
“It’s Not Great”: Biden Stimulus Hits Turbulence As Pushback Grows Over Disincentivized Workers
The Biden administration’s latest push to further endebt the country with unnecessary stimulus has hit a ‘series of speed bumps‘ as The Hill puts it.
In short, there’s growing belief that showering unemployed people with money has disincentivized them from finding work, while the same overstimulus has led to inflation which we’re told is ‘transitory’ despite today’s y/y PPI print of 6.2% (vs. 5.8% expected) being the highest on record.
Of course there are, because facts are now a partisan issue. More via The Hill:
Economists are split over the issue, but it has served as an opening for Republicans to get a toehold in the unfolding battle for public opinion on Biden’s plans.
“It’s not great,” one Democratic strategist acknowledged of the April jobs report. “And it will certainly slow down the process and any momentum Biden had in recent weeks without a doubt because Republicans will use this to show that some of these ideas being pushed aren’t sound.”
The above has left moderate Democrats scrambling to reel in Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill. Some have suggested a smaller infrastructure package which would be much more narrowly focused in the hopes of gaining bipartisan support ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
Progressive Democrats, however – apparently not understanding that members of their own party such as Joe Manchin will block aggressive money grabs – say the party needs to ‘go big’ and stop worrying about all this bipartisan malarkey.
“Let’s not pretend that Republicans are interested in any sort of compromise. Let’s go big, go bold, and make the ultra-rich and corporations finally pay their fair share so we can invest in working families,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in a Wednesday tweet following a meeting between Biden and bipartisan leaders regarding his infrastructure plan.
Inflation is of course the next problemfor Biden – after CPI rose 0.8% in April and 4.2% y/y leading into April – exactly what we (and former Obama economic adviser Larry Summers, as it so happens) warned of while Biden was pushing the $1.9 trillion pandemic package.
The White House is downplaying the whole thing – with press secretary Jen Psaki describing the inflation as “transitory.”
“We knew just as the economy sort of shrunk and shut down that as it’s turning back on there would be some of these impacts,” she said, adding: “As we experience this massive transition, we continue to chart our path to recovery and we know that a number of the investments that we have proposed were long needed even before the last several months.”
Altogether, the latest economic data is likely to ‘complicate’ stimulus negotiations to put it lightly.
Ohio Offers Weekly Million Dollar Lottery Prize For Vaccinated People
The US is reporting around 118 million people are fully vaccinated this week. At about 2.2 million shots per day, that is impressive but not enough. Ohio, in particular, has concocted a plan to boost the number of people getting the COVID-19 vaccine by entering them in a weekly drawing for a million dollars, according to local news WLWT.
Gov. Mike DeWine uses the old “carrot and stick” trick, otherwise known as a motivational tactic that uses a reward (such as the chance to win a million dollars) to influence human behavior and push more people to receive the vaccine.
Five Ohioans will be drawn over five weeks, with the first drawing held on May 26.
“The pool of names for the drawing will be derived from the Ohio Secretary of State’s publicly available voter registration database,” said DeWine.”Further, we will make available a webpage for people to sign up for the drawings if they are not in a database we are using.”
The Ohio Department of Health is sponsoring the special weekly drawing for vaccinated people. DeWine is using existing federal COVID relief funds for the winning prize.
The only qualifications Ohioans need are to be vaccinated and over the age of 18.
“I know that some may say, ‘DeWine, you’re crazy! This million-dollar drawing idea of yours is a waste of money.’ But truly, the real waste at this point in the pandemic — when the vaccine is readily available to anyone who wants it — is a life lost to COVID-19,” the governor said.
Using newly printed money as a motivational tactic to manipulate human behavior to get more residents to receive the vaccine is absolutely dystopic in every way.
“Please fix your article @mkraju@CNN I’m one of the few GOP folks who will even talk to you in the hallway. There will be zero if you insist on misreporting our words,” he added.
The CNN report tried to group Massie’s comment with other Republicans who refused to talk about the rioting at the Capitol or downplayed the violence that occurred.
Massie had previously earned the ire of former President Donald Trump when he tried to derail passage of the first coronavirus relief bill in March 2020. Trump called him a “third rate grandstander” and called for the party to expel him.
Here’s the misleading report from CNN:
CNN reporter chases GOP lawmaker after Capitol riot remark
Here Are The States Hardest Hit By The Gasoline Shortage
Colonial Pipeline restarted operations Wednesday evening after a ransomware attack paralyzed the entire pipeline system that spans from Texas to New Jersey since last Friday. The company warned it could take days to normalize and that its pipeline would not be fully functional immediately.
Colonial’s pipeline carries about 100 million gallons per day of gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, resumed operations around 1700 ET Wednesday. The company said it would take several days for deliveries to recover fully, and disruptions are still possible.
Four states and federal regulators relaxed fuel driver restrictions to increase deliveries of supplies to stem fuel shortages. Georgia suspended sales tax on gasoline until Saturday.
Tracking firm GasBuddy (by the way, the number one app in the App Store) outlines the hardest hit states by the fuel shortage.
As of 2300 ET Wednesday (or an hour before midnight), GasBuddy provided a full list of the percent of gas stations with fuel outages per state:
The Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Tennessee seem to be the hardest hit states by the gasoline shortage, with relief that may not come until the weekend. Even if Colonial’s pipeline system is flowing, there is a shortage of qualified tanker drivers that may prolong shortages or at least result in continued elevated prices.
All week, drivers across the Southeast US have waited in long lines to fill up, panic hoarded fuel, were given a taste of what it’s like to live in socialist Venezuela.
With the fuel shortage crisis entering the sixth day, seventeen states and Washington, DC, are still under emergency declarations to address fuel shortages.
The emergency declaration covers Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
The shortage has pushed up the average US price of gasoline above the $3 mark for the first time in 6.5 years.
Just how much inflation is the consumer willing to take? Well, a breaking point could be nearing as consumer prices are exploding at the fastest pace since the early 1980s.
Prince Harry has weighed in on podcasting king Joe Rogan’s comments regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for young people, saying Rogan should “just stay out of it” while warning, “you’ve got to be careful about what comes out of your mouth.”
What are the details?
Last month, Rogan suggested on “The Joe Rogan Experience” that he would not recommend a healthy 21-year-old get vaccinated against the coronavirus, but said he believes vulnerable people should get the shot.
The podcaster was blasted over the remarks, and he later clarified his statements while adding, “I at least try to be honest about what I’m saying.”
But the “Armchair Expert” podcast wanted to get Prince Harry’s thoughts on Rogan’s comments, according to Page Six.
The U.K. royal — who moved to the U.S. last year — told “Armchair” hosts Dax Shepard and Monica Padman that the right thing for Rogan to do would have been “just stay out of it.”
“This issue is in today’s world with misinformation endemic,” the prince said. “You’ve got to be careful about what comes out of your mouth.”
He also scolded Rogan, adding that “with a platform comes responsibility.”
The New York Post noted that Page Six “exclusively reported that Rogan’s comments would not sit well with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have been huge supporters of COVID-19 vaccinations,” pointing out that “the couple served as campaign chairs of Global Citizen’s VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World, which served to increase donations and sharing of vaccine doses around the world.”
Harry himself has refused to “just stay out of” American politics.
During the 2020 election cycle, he and wife Meghan Markle issued a video widely interpreted as an effort to sway voters to pull the lever for then-candidate Joe Biden.
When asked for his reaction to the couple weighing in the race at the time, then-President Donald Trump said, “I’m not a fan of hers, and I would say this — and she probably has heard that — but I wish a lot of luck to Harry, ’cause he’s gonna need it.”
Since then, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey seen worldwide, wherein they criticized the royal family and alleged that there are racists in their ranks.
There have been few politicians in modern times who have done more to undermine personal liberty, capitalist prosperity, small government and especially world peace than the Cheney Clan. So upon Liz Cheney’s ouster from the #3 job in the US House GOP hierarchy, we say: Good riddance!
And, no, we don’t begrudge her vote to impeach the Donald. The man is such an insufferable bully-boy and megalomaniac that upon his richly deserved exile from Washington her “yes” vote amounted to little more than a slightly offensive Bronx cheer. But what is profoundly offensive about the Cheneys is their central role in high-jacking the Republican Party in behalf of the demented worldview of a small priesthood of neocon intellectuals. The latter have turned the Warfare State of the now defunct cold war with the Soviet Union into a globe-spanning imperialist monster that has bled America dry fiscally and unleashed unjustified destruction and mayhem all around the planet in a manner that would have put even Imperial Rome to shame.
The immorality, stupidity and monumental fiscal waste of the neocon Forever Wars is bad enough, but actually there is something even more lamentable. To wit, in today’s world, prosperity and liberty depend more than ever on fiscal rectitude and a conservative party that fights relentlessly and effectively to uphold it. Otherwise, the inherent self-aggrandizing proclivities of the state and the pork-barrel propensities of elected politicians will mushroom unchecked.
Yet impairment of the fiscally conservative party was the basic and original reason why the Reagan Revolution failed. It was hard enough to get elected GOP legislators to walk the plank in behalf of canceling popular Washington handouts or curtailing the entitlement benefits of up to 45% of the public that gets checks directly or indirectly from Uncle Sam. And that was even with the tailwind of a charismatic communicator in the Oval Office.
But when they were asked to face the slings and arrows of domestic interest groups and beneficiaries enraged by the Gipper’s budget cuts while simultaneously voting for massive defense increases even larger than the domestic cuts, well, they just didn’t.
After the early 1981 round of modest spending cuts it was all over except the shouting because the incipient neocons of the day convinced Reagan that the economically and industrially collapsing Soviet Union was still striving for world domination and first strike nuclear capacity, when both propositions amounted to exaggerations, lies and self-serving propaganda of the military industrial complex.
As a result, Reagan essentially threw in the towel on domestic spending retrenchment to save his huge and wholly unnecessary defense buildup. In turn, that meant that virtually no domestic programs of material import were abolished, thereby insuring that the programs modestly cut in 1981 could live for another day and an eventual recovery and make-whole, which is what actually happened.
So when the defense budget kept rising and some of the domestic cuts just got pushed back to state and local governments, the total spending share of GDP barely missed a beat during the Reagan era. In fact, the government spending share of GDP ended higher than during any previous presidential term since WWII.
Total Government Spending Share of GDP:
Eisenhower 1960: 27.5%;
Kennedy-Johnson 1968: 30.7%;
Nixon-Ford 1976: 32.9%;
Carter 1980: 32.7;
Reagan 1988: 33.7%
Still, contrary to neocon revisionism, the Reagan defense buildup did not cause the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It was the inherent impossibility of communist dictatorship and central planning that caused its economy to fail, the morale of its people to wither and its military to run out of resources.
This not only put the lie to the Reagan defense buildup, but, more importantly, offered the Republican party a historic reprieve. It could now jettison its embrace of Big Government on the Pentagon side of the Potomac and its politically motivated acquiescence to the Welfare State to assure funding for the the Warfare State.
But that was not to be and it’s Liz Cheney’s old man more than anyone else who is responsible. By becoming a stalwart war-hawk, he helped lose the strategic moment in history in 1991 when the shell of the Soviet Union formerly disappeared from the face of the earth, bringing to a close the 75-Years War that incepted with the “guns of August” in 1914.
At that point, America needed a Secretary of Defense who could see that the waters of war had parted, and that the Warfare State which had barnacled American governance for most of the years since the Great War could now be dismantled. Destiny had, in fact, bestowed upon Washington a golden opportunity to lead the world to disarmament and a restoration of the status quo ante of 1913—a world at peace and enjoying a flowering of global commerce, prosperity and freedom like never before.
What America got, instead, was a brash advocate of Washington hegemony in a now so-called “unipolar” world and an arrogant champion of applying military power or the threat of it against weak states like Iraq, Iran and North Korea which did not bend to Washington’s edicts, even if they presented no national security threat to the American homeland (they clearly didn’t).
Indeed, Dick Cheney emerged during those years as the foremost advocate of the American Imperium, and not unsurprisingly so. We had known him as a colleague in the US House as a moderate conservative on the issues, but also as a man in a hurry to accumulate power. That he did by rising to the rank of House GOP Conference Chairman after 1985, the same position that Liz Cheney holds today.
So when Bush the Elder called upon him to become defense secretary in 1989, Cheney was by then a 50-year old who had spent his entire career suckling from the public teat. That started in the Wisconsin statehouse in 1966 and thereafter he was quickly off to Washington as a Congressional intern in 1969. There he soon hitched his star to Don Rumsfeld in the Nixon White House, eventually working his way up the slippery slope to Chief of Staff to President Ford. And that was followed by election to Congress from Wyoming in 1978 and embrace of the neocon national security ideology during his years in the US House in the 1980s.
The man’s sins as Secretary of Defense were history changing. He fully supported Bush the Elder’s rash drawing of a line in the sand during Saddam’s petty quarrel with the Emir of Kuwait over OPEC quotas; the latter’s alleged theft of oil from Iraq via directional drilling along their artificial border that had been affixed by the Arab League as recently as 1960; and the war debts to Kuwait that had stemmed from Saddam’s Gulf States supported invasion of Iran during the 1980s.
The fact is, America had no dog in that hunt and should have never intervened military, but essentially did so because it could for the first time since WW II owing to the Soviet Union’s disappearance.
What added insult to injury, however, was Dick Cheney’s personal diplomacy in convincing Saudi Arabia to permit several hundred thousand American troops to be deployed on the sacred lands of the two holy places, the catalyst which turned America’s anti-Soviet mercenary army in Afghanistan, Osama bin-Laden and his al-Qaeda jihadists, into implacable enemies. The war on terrorism which inexorably followed thereupon was essentially the spawn of Cheney’s foolish brinkmanship in a middle eastern world he did not remotely understand and which presented no threat to the safety and security of America anyway.
Likewise, it was Cheney and his neocon pals in the administration of Bush the Elder who launched the unwarranted demonization of Iran, which became another bloody thread in the neocon hegemony. The phony “leading state sponsor of terrorism” charge, in fact, has justified Washington’s destructive meddling in the region ever since.
Ironically, after Washington helped Saddam Hussein make war on the Iranians during the 1980s, Cheney ultimately put him to the gallows during the regency of Bush the Younger, paving the way for his fortunately aborted plan to take out Iran’s embryonic uranium enrichment facilities with nuclear bombs. The single most important development attendant upon the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, of course, was the opportunity for NATO to declare victory, fold its tent and dissolve.
Alas, that was not to be, either, because it was Dick Cheney and his neocon henchman who got the NATO allies into the first Gulf War and conceived of the perversely misguided strategy of bringing the former eastern European satellites of the Soviet Union into NATO. So doing, they laid the foundation for today’s utterly pointless and dangerous confrontation with Russia owing to NATO’s hostile presence on its very doorstep.
Needless to say, the Cheneys are a case of the rotten apple falling directly and completely from the poisoned tree. To our knowledge, Liz Cheney has never strayed an inch from the neocon line on any of the Forever Wars, Washington’s foolishly provocative pressure on Russia or the current insane $800 billion national security budget.
Undoubtedly, the Donald’s rejection of the neocon imperium, poorly and inconsistently executed as it was, is what turned the Cheneys into enemies. And for that, at least, he deserves some credit. Moreover, if his misguided followers in the ranks of House Republicans can now get rid of the Cheney Clan, he deserves even more.
At least that would be a start toward the restoration of a conservative party free from the toxic influence of Washington’s neocon cabal, and therefore capable of re-engaging with its real mission in American democracy—that of bringing Leviathan to heel on both sides of the Potomac.
President Donald Trump did not mince words in response to Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) confirming that he would challenge Trump-endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) in a run for House GOP leadership.
Stefanik is considered the overwhelming favorite to replace Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for Republican conference chair.
What are the details?
Roy told CNN on Thursday that he would throw his hat in the ring to challenge Stefanik, confirming The Daily Caller‘s report from a day before saying he was considering the move. A closed-door vote is set for Friday morning.
Trump then issued a statement bashing Roy, writing:
“Can’t imagine Republican House Members would go with Chip Roy—he has not done a great job, and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district. I support Elise, by far, over Chip!”
The numbers on tomorrow’s vote will be very interesting. https://t.co/TY5nXXo9S5
Stefanik has been considered the shoo-in replacement for Cheney, since several GOP members — including some from the conservative House Freedom Caucus — expressed their support for the New Yorker. Former President Trump also endorsed Stefanik, who is fiercely loyal to the former president but is one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress when it comes to policy.
Roy, who is also a Freedom Caucus member, wrote a letter to his fellow GOP colleagues earlier this week urging them to pick someone other than Stefanik as the No. 3 in leadership, citing her liberal voting record.
Unlike Cheney, Roy voted against impeaching Trump, but he did condemn the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and urged his fellow members from the House floor not to give in to demands to throw out Electoral College votes from some states as Trump wanted.
“That vote may sign my political death warrant, but so be it,” Roy said, according to Texas Monthly. “I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and I will not bend its words into contortions for personal political expediency.”
The Hill reported that conservative groups Club for Growth and FreedomWorks both endorsed Roy, but several GOP members are expected to skip Friday’s vote on who will replace Cheney, saying the decision has been made.
“The cake is baked,” GOP Rep. Troy Nehls (Texas) told the outlet.
“If anybody doesn’t know who they’re voting for by now, [they should] go to the candidate forum,” Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) said.
“I think she’s already got enough commitments. And if two-thirds of ’em stick, she’ll be fine,” saying it’s “too little, too late” for Roy, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) added.
Chamath Palihapitiya Is ‘Doing Just Fine’ As SPAC Implosion Leaves Retail Traders Holding The Bag
Not that long ago, Bloomberg lauded Chamath Palihapitiya as the “King of SPACs” and the trendiest investor in America. Now, the financial news organization’s tone has changed, portraying him more like the pied piper who led an army of retail traders to their doom. Take for example Arnav Naik, a teenaged Michigan residents who parlayed $5K into $35K day trading within 6 months during the pandemic.
After seeing Palihapitiya’s tweets about Clover, he decided to take that sum and plunk it down on Clover call options.
While longtime money managers wince at these antics, Palihapitiya’s fan base has been eating it all up. Arnav Naik, a 17-year-old from Troy, Mich., says he got into SPACs after his high school went remote and his swim season was canceled. He started reading the Reddit day-trading forum WallStreetBets and trading stock options, parlaying about $5,000 in savings into $35,000 within six months by betting on an electric-truck SPAC and GameStop.
After seeing Palihapitiya tweet about Clover, Naik doubled down. In January he put almost all his money into Clover call options—an all-or-nothing bet that the shares would go up. If they climbed to, say, $35 he could turn his savings into $130,000. “When you slap a name like ‘Chamath’ on there, it has a lot of potential to rocket up, like how Tesla did with Elon,” he says. “He’s going to join the WallStreetBets meme god pantheon.”
Clover, like many other SPAC stocks, has tumbled this year as investors have come to doubt whether its business model is actually viable. Chamath’s Social Capital fund, has, of course, posted enviable returns over the past decade, investing in bitcoin, Tesla, Slack and others. Coming from humble origins (his Sri Lankan parents arrived in Ottawa as refugees), Palihapitiya made his way to work in venture capital, before convincing a 23-year-old Mark Zuckerberg to appoint him head of growth at Facebook.
Despite these successes, Chamath has, since at least 2007, been honing a pitch where he casts himself as the consummate insider who can’t wait to break into the capitalist rulers club and upset the existing order. In that time, he has slammed everyone from VCs to consultants – basically everybody he works with.
His targets over the years include Facebook Inc.: “Ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” Venture capitalists: “A bunch of soulless cowards” who pump money into “useless, idiotic companies.” Charitable giving: It’s done for “branding” and “validation.” Politicians: “They’re all f—ing puppets.” The startup economy: “An enormous multivariate kind of Ponzi scheme.” The traditional IPO process: “Negative value.” Hedge funds: “Those suck.” Big banks: “No smart person goes and works at Goldman.” Government: “Just a large validation of one’s personal ego.” Consultants: “Useless.”
One early boss told Bloomberg that Palihapitiya had more “chutzpah” than tech know-how.
He went into banking after studying electrical engineering at the University of Waterloo, but quit when he received no bonus, he said on a podcast in December. He dreamed of making the Forbes billionaires list, and at his first tech job, at AOL, according to Josh Felser, who hired him, he’d say he expected to hit that number before he turned 30. “He knew little about tech, yet he had chutzpah and was an in-your-face negotiator, which we needed,” Felser says. He adds that Palihapitiya regularly stole his parking spot.
Naik, Palihapitiya’s teenage fan, has lost almost all his money and won’t get it back unless Clover’s stock rebounds. But he doesn’t blame Palihapitiya. “He’s doing the best he can,” Naik says. “It’ll keep growing. I really think I’ll get a huge return.” Regardless of the outcome, he plans to become an investment banker.
Unlike Naik, the hedge funds that invested in the SPAC that merged with Clover made money—filings show most sold and pocketed a quick gain around the time the deal was announced. Palihapitiya and his partners did even better. Because they gave themselves 20.7 million shares for putting the deal together, their $171 million investment has almost doubled to $320 million. A week after the Hindenburg report, Palihapitiya said he controlled a $10 billion to $15 billion fortune, triple what he’d told another interviewer 10 months earlier, and compared himself to Warren Buffett.
With his fortune swelling to as much as $15 billion even as an index of SPACs has fallen 17% from the highs earlier in the year, Palihapitiya is already reportedly chasing his next deal with Equinox, the fancy gym chain.
And if anybody knows the gym business, it’s Chamath.
An area around Inver Grove Heights, Minn., is the site of an ancient meteorite crash, according to recent analysis by the Minnesota Geological Survey. The discovery came as scientists were updating geologic maps of Dakota County. They identified anomalies in the rock record — certain layers appeared out of order or irregularly sized. This led to further examination and the identification of small grains of shocked quartz, which is known to be produced only by the extreme shock and compression of a meteorite impact or nuclear explosion. “It’s really exciting and new,” geologist Julia Steenberg told MPR News host Cathy Wurzer. Steenberg and her colleagues are hoping to do more research to better understand the age of the impact and the size of the meteorite involved. Globally, known meteorite impact sites are exceptionally rare. This is the first identified in Minnesota and one of fewer than 200 in the world.
American shoppers continued to flock to the nation’s malls in greater numbers in April, with the foot traffic gap nearly halving in just two months, reinforcing the view of a retail recovery gaining traction.
Foot traffic at a sample of 50 malls in April showed that, compared to the pre-pandemic April 2019 level, it was down 18.7 percent, a marked improvement from recent months, according to a report provided to The Epoch Times by mobile-device location data analytics firm Placer.ai.
“In this metric, there was a strong forward momentum with the visit gap shrinking from 23.7 percent down in March to just 18.7 percent down in April,” the company said in the report.
“This is the strongest mark the index has seen since the pandemic began, and another sign that the retail recovery is already in progress,” the report noted, adding that the data “further deepens the optimism around top tier malls and their ability to anchor key retail expansions moving forward.”
Placer’s report also featured a striking statistic, namely that mall foot traffic surged by a staggering 3991.7 percent in April compared to April 2020, although the report noted that “this number is essentially meaningless as the comparison is to a fully shut down month the year prior.” An earlier mall traffic comparison between March 2021 and March 2020 showed a sharp 86 percent rise, although with much the same caveat that the baseline was low due to pandemic-related closures in March last year.
The fate of the retail recovery was clouded by earlier economic data showing U.S. consumer spending falling by the most in 10 months in February as a cold snap gripped many parts of the country and the boost from a second round of stimulus checks faded. But the most recent release from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) dispelled much of that gloom, showing personal consumption expenditures in March saw a sharp 4.2 percent boost. Consumption is a key driver of the U.S. economy, accounting for around two-thirds of gross domestic product.
The consumer spending data came on the heels of a Moody’s report that upgraded its outlook for the U.S. retail and apparel sector from stable to positive.
“As pandemic pressures ease and the cadence of vaccinations accelerates, we expect the retail sector to experience broad-based improvement. Operating profit will grow a robust 10-12 percent in 2021, and hard-hit sectors such as apparel, department stores, and off-price will see the most pronounced operating profit growth over the next 12 to 18 months,” said Mickey Chadha, Moody’s vice president and senior credit officer, in a statement.
U.S. economic growth accelerated sharply at a 6.4 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, fueled by the rush of consumer spending, according to a separate BEA release on U.S. gross domestic product.
But the accelerating growth has revived concerns about the economy overheating and putting upward pressure on prices.
A Labor Department report Wednesday showed that inflation has soared above economists’ predictions and by the most in over a decade, as fiscal stimulus and booming demand pushed against supply constraints.
The year-over-year consumer price index (CPI), a measure of inflation, jumped by 4.2 percent in April after rising 2.6 percent in March. This is the largest 12-month increase since September 2008, when the index rose by 4.9 percent.
On a monthly basis, the CPI inflation measure jumped 0.8 percent in April after rising 0.6 percent in March, while the so-called core CPI, which excludes the volatile food and energy components, soared by 0.9 percent. The surge in the core CPI is the largest monthly increase since April 1982.
The spike in inflation is likely to stoke fears of an interest rate hike by the Fed, although Federal Reserve officials have played down the concerns by predicting that price rises would be “transitory.”
Fed officials have also repeatedly said they will not raise rates or reduce the monthly bond-buying program until inflation averages around two percent for a longer period of time.
On April 27, Human Rights Watch released the report “A Threshold Crossed: Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution.” In over 200 pages of rigorous research, the authors establish why, under the 1973 Convention against Apartheid and 1998 Rome Statute, the race-based order through which Israel governs the Jewish and Palestinian population between the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan River amounts to the crimes of apartheid and persecution. The report follows an identical conclusion by the Israeli human rights group B’tselem that Israel’s regime of Jewish supremacy amounts to apartheid. That the findings of the report are meticulous in their analysis and overdue in their conclusions is an understatement.
Ellen Degeneres denied that the allegations of a toxic workplace environment led to her ending her talk show and instead blamed the climate of hatred under former President Donald Trump.
Degeneres made the comments during an interview Thursday with host Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s “Today.”
Guthrie asked if she had trouble making the decision to end her show and Degeneres said she had first thought of ending the show in 2018 because of the hatred during the Trump administration.
“First of all I had been struggling with it for a while. I really did think I was gonna stop season 16, because, it was, if you can remember there was a different president, and it was a different time, and there was a lot of hatred and anger, and stuff,” Degeneres said.
“And then my brother was like, ‘You bring so much joy to people. If you stop, then all that darkness wins. You’re the light, like, stay and help people be kinder and be more compassionate,'” she continued.
Degeneres completely denied that the accusations of a toxic workplace led to her ending the show and said that instead the attacks encouraged her to stay longer than she wanted to stay.
She also said that the campaign against her and her show appeared to be “orchestrated,” and cited comments from her celebrity guests as evidence that the allegations were not true.
“You know, for me to read in the press about a toxic work environment — when all I’ve ever heard from every guest that comes on the show is what a happy atmosphere this is and what a happy place it is,” Degeneres said.
She went on to say that she was a victim of clickbait headline writers who thought it was too perfect to cast her as a villain after she took on the motto, “be kind.”
Guthrie asked her what she would have made her motto if she could go back and change it.
In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings. “Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance. “If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask,” he said, summarizing the new guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. “Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.” Comment: What other rights will be denied to those who choose to refuse the experimental and risky vaccines?
An Antifa protester at a demonstration near Seattle was filmed proudly proclaiming, “I can’t wait until black people lynch white people.”
The chant was heard during a far-left black bloc protest against a Billy Graham association event.
At first a woman is heard stating, “I can’t wait until black people hang you, I can’t wait.”
When she is asked to repeat the statement, she proudly clarifies, “I can’t wait until black people lynch white people.”
“I can’t wait until black people lynch white people”
A person part of the #antifa black bloc at the protest against Billy Graham association event near Seattle shouted racist statements yesterday. They also chanted “death to America” & burned US flags. pic.twitter.com/Rlob8ynIlI
When asked if anyone else in the group agrees with the statement, a man puts his hand up and says “I do, I do!”
According to journalist Andy Ngo, the leftists also chanted “death to America!” while burning U.S. flags.
As we highlighted last month, a group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis were caught on camera telling a white liberal ally, “You’re white! You don’t belong!” before demanding that he leave the area.
Following the conviction of Derek Chauvin, BLM mobs also descended on diners in New York while telling white restaurant owners to “get the f**k out” of the city.”
The ‘George Floyd Autonomous Zone’ in Minneapolis also last month issued a list of ‘rules for white people’ that they have to abide by in order to enter the area.
Biden Says 'Rule Is Simple": Get Vaccinated Or Wear A Mask Until You Do "The choice is yours."https://t.co/gtRSmlsahX — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) May 13, 2021 * * * PayPal: Donate in USD PayPal: Donate in EUR PayPal: Donate in GBP
Israel's Military Initiates Ground Invasion Of Gaza Defense minister vowed to expand & sustain IDF's Gaza operations until "there is complete quiet".https://t.co/iYLhsJwoNu — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) May 13, 2021 * * * PayPal: Donate in USD PayPal: Donate in EUR PayPal: Donate in GBP
Rockets Fired At Israel From South Lebanon As Fears Grow Hezbollah To Enter Conflict "Unclear" who was responsible for new attack from Lebanon…https://t.co/0R5xVm1i7V — Infinite Unknown (@SecretNews) May 13, 2021 Flashback: – Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years’: ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, … Read more