Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Focus on "red flag" a red herring in CO nightclub shooting

Focus on "red flag" a red herring in CO nightclub shooting

We saw a similar narrative take shape in the wake of the murders of three University of Virginia football players on campus just last week. The local newspapers and websites ran numerous pieces wondering why the state’s “red flag” laws hadn’t come into play, while there was almost no discussion whatsoever about what led prosecutors to drop felony hit-and-run charges filed against the suspect last year; charges that would have resulted in a lifetime prohibition on gun ownership if he’d been convicted rather than accept a plea deal to reduced charges and a suspended sentence.

These are just a couple of very visible examples of the lack of consequences that many defendants receive in the criminal justice system. Every day on Cam & Co we feature similar stories in our “Recidivist Report” segment. Today, for example, we highlighted the failure of the probation system in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania in keeping track of those on electronic home monitoring, including the suspect charged with five counts of attempted murder for shooting at a funeral service in Pittsburgh late last month.

Wwo days before police say Shawn Davis shot five people at a North Side funeral on Oct. 28, Allegheny County Adult Probation received an alert that his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet had been removed.

No action was taken.

“We get a lot of alerts,” Probation Supervisor Jason Bright testified in a court hearing Friday. “They’re not all legit.

“If you get an alert, it’s not immediately checked upon.”

In Davis’ case, it wasn’t checked at all — until after he was charged with attempting to kill five people.

Bright was called as a witness on Friday during a bail hearing in an unrelated homicide case.

Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Ramaley, who was opposing bail for that defendant, was trying to show Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Beth A. Lazzara that electronic home monitoring — increasingly used by probation and pre-trial services — is unreliable in keeping the community safe.

Electronic home monitoring, Ramaley said, is not appropriate “particularly in extremely dangerous, violent individuals.

“It will not (protect) public safety in Allegheny County the way it’s being run.”

Davis was placed on electronic home monitoring in April of this year after a judge suspended a 10-to-23-month prison sentence Davis received last year for attempting to rob  a store clerk at gunpoint. Not only did Davis not have to report to prison after trying to shoot the clerk, he was able to repeatedly violate the terms of his home monitoring with no consequence.

On June 13, probation issued a request for a warrant for Davis, after EHM recorded four separate alerts of unauthorized leave or entry between June 9-13.

Davis told his probation officer he had been leaving to go to his girlfriend’s house even though he was not permitted to do so.

Although he was warned about his behavior, Davis again left his home on June 15.

“It is respectfully recommended that due to the refusal to comply with community supervision, the severity and violent nature of the present offense, Davis remain detained and a (probation) hearing be scheduled at the court’s earliest convenience,” wrote Probation Officer Brandon Bailey.

Bright reviewed and signed that request.

However, following a June 24 hearing before Charlene Christmas, who is listed in paperwork as a hearing officer, it was determined that Davis would get new EHM equipment. He was released on June 28.

And just a few months later he’d be accused of once again removing his electronic monitoring device, only this time authorities say he went on to shoot multiple people at a funeral on the north side of Pittsburgh.

All of the attention placed on “red flag” laws allows the media and lawmakers to ignore the very real problems in our criminal justice and mental health systems, even though addressing the crises in those institutions is both far more important and effective in terms of reducing violent crime and effectively dealing with dangerous individuals. These “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” may take guns away from those deemed by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others, but they do nothing to treat the underlying dangerousness of the individual. In fact, the vast majority of “red flag” laws, including Colorado’s, have no mental health component to them whatsoever, and continue to give supposedly dangerous individuals access to all kinds of things they could use to harm themselves or others; from sharp knives to gasoline and matches.

I think the reason why we’re hearing so much talk about “red flag” laws right now is pretty simple: gun control activists and their allies in politics and the media are trying to exploit these tragedies to try to expand the use of ERPOs and make them easier to implement. Anti-gun lawmakers are more than happy to claim they “did something” by pushing for “red flag” laws while ignoring the crumbling criminal justice system and the critical shortage of resources for those suffering from a mental health crisis in states like Colorado, and the gun control lobby is equally thrilled to see legislators aim their fire at gun ownership instead of addressing the fundamental flaws in some of our most important institutions.

Unredacted Fauci e-mails: a bad look

Unredacted Fauci e-mails: a bad look

Shawn Thew/Pool via AP

I expect you are not surprised at all to learn that I think Anthony Fauci is a liar, extortion artist, and a fraud.

I am keeping my adjectives safe for work. My NSFW descriptions would be less charitable. Whether he is a criminal is up to others to decide, but his policy recommendations during the COVID pandemic have cause massive and irreparable harm. His legacy is one of destruction, but his reputation will remain strong due to the efforts of his friends.

Left-wing journalist Jimmy Tobias, who writes often for The Nation and The Guardian, has been a FOIA machine. He has been tracking down the origins of COVID and the likelihood of a coverup taking place at the highest levels of our government.

The coverup doesn’t seem to be about direct American involvement in the creation of COVID, but rather about the connections between COVID, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and US funding. Ass covering, essentially.

Tobias is a self-described FOIA fanatic, and has extracted documents out of the government. The first batch he got were redacted, so he sued in order to get the unreacted versions. He is still working his way through the reams of paper he must sort through, but already he has discovered exactly what you would expect.

They have been hiding quite a bit, and Anthony Fauci’s retirement is going to be busy answering questions.

We don’t know all the secrets yet, but a few things pop out right away.

Remember, the US has been funneling money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, including funding “gain of function” research specifically intended to increase the virulence and dangerousness of viruses for research purposes. We funded the latter through the EcoHealth Alliance, as has been established decisively. That research was successful–they created a virulent virus that made mice, at least, sicker. And they did it in a lab that was not safe. This is established.

We don’t know if the effects would be the same on humans, although as you may recall 100% of the research done on the COVID boosters was in 8 mice, not humans, so clearly mice experiments can translate to humans. Even “fact checkers” debunking concerns about the paucity of evidence for safety and effectiveness concede that the data comes from 8 mice. So not comforting.

The scientists involved in investigating the origins of COVID looked at the WIV and came away…unimpressed. In fact, they describe the Institute as the “Wild West,” where dangerous deeds were the norm.

There is also a lot of back and forth about the quality of the science behind a famous paper claiming that COVID-19 was of natural origin. That paper, written by virologists who originally believed that COVID was man-made, was written after a single conference call with Anthony Fauci and some friends of his. They went from believing that COVID was engineered to–with no additional research–writing a scientific paper published in Nature Medicine insisting that COVID was completely natural.

Quite a reversal of opinion, and quite a rapid turnaround time. Right after the conference call. Coming to the conclusion that Fauci and company insisted was true. Writing a paper to prove it, despite the fact that Fauci and company claimed (back when they believed that the virus was engineered) that these scientists were not experts in coronaviruses at all. Suddenly, after a phone call, they were!

That paper, by the way, was funded by Anthony Fauci, who led the call “explaining” to them that COVID certainly had a natural origin.

This is a bad look, at the least. Fauci wanted them to say something, and they said it. Perhaps they believed it, but we know for certain that their careers depended upon his goodwill. And that he didn’t want to be connected to a lab leak at a lab he funded that was run like the “Wild West.”

All this seems noteworthy, at least.

Perhaps these scientists were convinced by Fauci and company that COVID could not be man made, but then why exactly publish a paper with no further research? Especially if Fauci and company told them that not being experts at coronaviruses they had made a basic mistake?

This is not how science usually works, and without a transcript of the call it is impossible to know the thinking behind it. One of the scientists involved wrote an email describing the call as organized to “challenge a certain theory,” not as an attempt to ferret out the truth.

At the very least this new trove of documents exposes the underbelly of how some science is done and the conflicts of interest that can distort what is put out to the public. The facts definitely demonstrate that Fauci and company had a strong interest in downplaying a man-made origin for COVID.

After all, they may have funded its development in a lab that had “Wild West”-type safeguards, meaning very few. Scientists who looked at the virus and concluded it was man-made–and there were even suggestions that the FBI and MI-5 get involved in ferreting out the truth–are summoned to a conference call in which 3 “experts” berate them for their assertions. And they change their minds, immediately!

None of the coronavirus scientists–supposed experts on specifically these viruses–write a paper describing their conclusions. Instead, the scientists who had insisted publicly that COVID was man-made reverse their position publicly, and themselves write a paper contradicting their earlier assertion. Again, seems odd. Not dispositive, but again noteworthy.

Is everybody pure as the driven snow? Perhaps. But it looks bad, to say the least.

Was coercion involved? Or was there a genuine change of heart? I hope we find out.

In fairness to all, here is a Twitter thread aimed at debunking the conspiracy implications. I don’t buy it completely, since everybody knew that the emails would eventually come out and hence would keep all pressure verbal, but clearly there is a strong case to be made that everything was innocent. I think they were hiding something. Dr. Rassmussen does not. She is an expert at virology, I on how politics and government work. Both forms of expertise are relevant, of course. So pick your poison.

Have the Democrats Destroyed Our Election System?

Have the Democrats Destroyed Our Election System?

Is there any point in voting if we can’t trust the system -- or whether the liberty-denier Democrats will abide by the rule of law or basic decency?

Do you get the feeling that you’ve been had?

That terrible sick-in-your-stomach sensation when scam artists laugh and you realize they’ve done it again?  When all of our hopes for the conservation of liberty have been destroyed by the same type of schemes that we all should have seen coming a mile away?

How does a party trying to destroy our constitutional republic for two years with poll after poll screaming that we are on the wrong track avoid a humiliating defeat at the ballot box?

How does a party steeped in the worst aspects of fascism and socialism in a collectivist witch’s brew even have a chance after everyone has seen what they are at their core?

What did they offer?  More of the same only worse, and we were supposed to believe Gen Z and everyone else couldn’t wait to get all their ballots in?

You get the feeling that the illegitimate Left is verging between trying to hide their malicious merriment at ‘winning’ again and coming out with a ‘what are you going to do about it’ moment.

The liberty deniers of ‘the nation’ seems to be on the verge of the latter with a screed titled: “Democrats, Time to Go Big.”  Starting out with the fact that even they can’t believe they did so well:

Amazingly, Democrats survived 2022, retaining control of the Senate, and barely losing the House. With inflation and crime up, Biden unpopular, the vast majority saying the country is on the wrong track, and the history of voters’ punishing the president’s party in midterm elections, Republicans found it easy to peddle their “red wave” predictions. Among Democrats, fusillades from the perennial circular firing squad began long before Election Day. And yet, Democrats enjoyed the best midterm results for a presidential party since George Bush’s Republicans in 2002 in the wake of 9/11.

The author even admits that the fascist far Left was running on fumes, with nothing to offer:

Democrats did not offer a coherent argument about the economy or inflation, nor an answer to Republican race-baiting on crime… CNN’s exit polls suggest that the three-fourths of the electorate that considered the economy not good or poor voted strongly Republican.

It’s pretty revealing when even the nation’s socialist media openly admits that the far Left shouldn’t have ‘won’ anything. Curiously, they didn’t gloat about mail-in election harvesting, chain-of-custody-free drop boxes, and ballot counting that is probably still dragging on (we’re guessing that abacuses are difficult to master).

They claim that their destruction of our free and fair voting system makes them ‘defenders of democracy.’  Do they also claim to be defenders of ‘basic rights’?  The past few years have seen the fascist far Left attacking free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, the right to self-defense, and the rest of the Bill of Rights.  So, let’s apply the legal maxim of Falsus in Uno, Falsus in Omnibus -- false in one thing, false in everything -- when they also claim to be ‘defenders of democracy.’ 

Even worse in all of this is the problem the midterms were just a wild goose chase. That they had no real worries about losing that much no matter how much they destroyed the country. The plan all along was to cheat as they have before, but with improved methods gained through experience. Hence the reason they kept on carping on the ‘election denier’ false narrative to suppress complaints about cheating in elections.

All through the past two years, we had the hope that the liberty deniers would be voted out and we could at least start back on the road to recovery. Restoring our freedoms that have been under attack for all this time.  It kept us going through all the destruction they keep bringing down on us on a daily basis.  The problem is that the illegitimate Left has been maliciously two steps ahead of us all this time.  

Recent events are reminiscent of a plot point in the Star Trek original series episode “The Ultimate Computer.”  The story revolves around the testing of a new system known as M5 in running the Enterprise when it goes out of control.  At one point, chief engineer Scotty works on trying to cut off its control circuits.  The only problem is that when they try that the M5 already had a workaround, and it had sent fake signals through the circuit that Scotty was working on to have them waste time in that pursuit.

They were decoyed away from the main problem, thinking they could re-establish control and the system played them until it was too late.  That’s what it feels like now, we had been hoping to reestablish control with the midterms. The Left was just playing along as though they were going to be sent down to defeat as has always happened in history.

But they always knew they were going to run the same 2020 playbook that was successful two years ago. Why wouldn’t they?  They got away with it the last time around and they were able to demonize their political enemies to boot, so why not?

This means they are going to do it in 2024 and forever because it works for them. Remember, they think they are ‘saving the planet’ or something, so what’s a little immorality here and there?

It was very telling that Senator Chuck Schumer waited until after the midterms to drop their ultimate election cheating scheme. 

Having "all 11 million or however many" (upwards of 42 Million) illegal invaders jump to the front of the line. Was that the purpose of scamming us until after the midterms? To buy some more time to get their permanent underclass in place? Never mind what it will do to the country. 

The question then becomes, what can we do about it?

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Trump in Exile: A Tale of Two Men

President Donald Trump speaks during the 9/11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., on Sept. 11, 2017. (DOD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr)

Trump in Exile: A Tale of Two Men



He was the best of candidates. He was the worst of candidates. He was regaled for his wisdom. He was reviled for his foolishness. He gave his followers hope, led his opponents to despair.

Donald Trump is not Paris, and no 21st century American political writer reminds anyone of Charles Dickens, but I invoke the opening of “A Tale of Two Cities” to illustrate the duality of hope and despair that the name Donald J. Trump elicits.

MAGA Republicans got their wish Tuesday when Trump announced his third campaign for president. So did progressive Democrats. It remains to be seen which of them will live to regret their luck.

Will ex-President Trump be able to harness the raw power of Candidate Trump circa 2016, the populist tornado who wrecked his opposition, or will he be a lackluster imitation who is motivated not by any desire to improve the nation, but by a puerile desire to salve his own ego?

It’s no secret that I’ve been a nearly unswerving supporter of the man ever since his famous ride down the escalator at Trump Tower in June of 2015. The one exception was a column I wrote in September 2017 when it appeared that Trump was about to surrender on the issue of illegal immigration. It is useful to recall that moment because it demonstrated what could be called Trump’s potential fatal flaw—an overweening desire to be liked. Trump is most successful when he follows his instincts and throws caution to the winds. When he curries favor with the political class, or follows polls rather than his heart, he can lose his way.

In that 2017 column, just half a year into the Trump presidency, I noted that there were troublesome signs that he might be co-opted by his political opponents and fail to deliver on his America First agenda:

“Trump filled his cabinet and his administration with establishment Republicans and Democrats who could be expected to steer the president back toward the leftist, globalist agenda they supported. Bringing limousine liberals Jared and Ivanka into the West Wing was like inviting Hillary Clinton to share the Lincoln Bedroom, and banishing Steve Bannon was a guarantee that Trump’s nationalist campaign agenda was just a winning premise, not a promise.”

But nothing that had come before prepared me for the shock I felt when Democratic Party leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, after meeting with Trump, issued their statement about a supposed agreement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that would have offered immigration amnesty to so-called “Dreamers.”

“We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides,” they said.

Amnesty? No wall? Impossible!

After facing a barrage of criticism, Trump insisted that there was no deal, then made matters even worse by tweeting (remember when he could tweet?): “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!”

“Yes, Mr. President,” his supporters shouted in unison. We did—and still do—want to throw out people who entered the country illegally. As “Angel Mom” Mary Ann Mendoza, whose police officer son Brandon Mendoza was murdered by an illegal alien, tweeted back at Trump: “You better not let my son down. You PROMISED a border wall, you PROMISED no amnesty…”

Trump listened when his base rose up and demanded that he honor the pledge he had made on the campaign trail, and after that he never again threatened to betray his core promises, which, of course, made him a dire threat to his political foes, who worked tirelessly to destroy his presidency.

In a sense they succeeded. Trump was forced to spend the first two years of his administration mired in the falsehoods of Russiagate, then endure the petty lies of the first impeachment when he should have been heralded for trying to protect the nation from the corrupt dealings of Joe Biden and family. After all the bad publicity he endured, it was a miracle that the 45th president came as close to winning a second term as he did, even if you discount the likelihood of election fraud (which I don’t).

So now for the past two years, Trump has been biding his time, hinting broadly that he would seek to duplicate the triumph of Grover Cleveland in returning to the White House after losing reelection and yet living a life in exile at Mar-a-Lago. In a sense, he has been Napoleon waiting in Elba for the opportunity to return to power, certain that he was born to lead and feeling unfulfilled by all the good he had accomplished during his time as emperor because something more awaited him.

Unfortunately, what awaited Napoleon was the catastrophic Battle of Waterloo and a return to exile. Now we wait to find out if Trump will meet a similar fate, or whether he can defy the odds and vanquish his enemies, who have impeached him, investigated him, subpoenaed him, and would no doubt like nothing more than to arrest and imprison him.

The comparison between Trump and Napoleon is not as far-fetched as it sounds. Although one is a democratically elected president and the other a military man who seized power, they both succeeded because of the brute force of their personalities.

Back in 2016, I wrote a column exploring the similarity of Trump’s character to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s description of Napoleon in his essay “Man of the World.” Emerson described the foundation of Napoleon’s popularity this way: “[H]is real strength lay in [the people’s] conviction that he was their representative in his genius and aims.” Those words certainly applied to Trump in 2016, and apart from the one aberration I have already cited, I think he continues to be a near perfect representative of the aspirations of the people.

Looking back at Emerson’s essay six years later, I now see there are even more hints of what makes Trump such a formidable adversary:

“I call Napoleon the agent or attorney of the middle class of modern society; of the throng who fill the markets, shops, counting-houses, manufactories, ships, of the modern world, aiming to be rich. He was the agitator, the destroyer of prescription, the internal improver, the liberal, the radical, the inventor of means, the opener of doors and markets, the subverter of monopoly and abuse. Of course the rich and aristocratic did not like him.”

You can always count on Emerson to cut to the quick, and it’s no accident that the essay on “Napoleon” appears in a volume titled “Representative Men.”

What Trump and Napoleon both exhibit in large measure is a force of personality that could shape a continent, or a world, and yet by doing so they can become both exhausted and exhausting. There is a reason why Donald Trump is both the most loved and the most hated man in American politics. As with Emerson’s description of Napoleon, “Men found that his absorbing egotism was deadly to all other men,” but without that ego, without that brute force, Trump would never have been able to charge the ramparts and the fortifications of the Deep State. He would never have withstood the assault on his character and his family by the juggernaut mainstream media.

If the rich and aristocratic classes are terrified of Trump returning to power, there is good reason. He is in their world, but not of it. If he resists their siren song of globalism and cheap labor, he just may be able to avoid the fate of Napoleon and enjoy a second act more powerful than the first.

Democrat Congress cooks up DACA amnesty in the lame duck session

 Democrat Congress cooks up DACA amnesty in the lame duck session 

By Monica Showalter Democrats know they have just a few weeks left to do as much damage as they can before the Republicans take over in the House. That explains the news out there that House Democrats are planning a mass amnesty for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, illegal aliens who are minors under Obama-era protection from deportation, brought in by their parents or the human smugglers they paid, if not here on their own. According to a report from Fox News dated Saturday: Democrats and immigration activists are looking to get some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants through Congress in the lame duck session before they lose the House of Representatives to Republicans at the beginning of 2023. Senators and activists held a press conference Wednesday calling for Republicans in the chamber to work with Democrats to pass a version of the DREAM Act, which would grant a path to citizenship for recipients (and those otherwise eligible) of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

 That program, established by President Barack Obama in 2012, granted protection from deportation for millions of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The program was recently dealt a blow when an appeals court upheld a 2021 ruling that prevented further enrollments, which was found to be illegal. While it does not affect the approximately 700,000 already enrolled, the ruling fueled new pushes for a permanent "fix." However, the DREAM Act would go beyond that 700,000 with advocates estimating it could give a pathway to citizenship for approximately two million. Ads by topple LEARN MORE 11/23/22, 7:08 AM Democrat Congress cooks up DACA amnesty in the lame duck session - American Thinker 2/5 According to an email from the Center for Immigration Studies (not up on their website at this point), that's problematic, because there are a lot of criminals in that 700,000 alone: Washington, D.C. (November 22, 2022) – A new Center for Immigration Studies report details how our immigration laws handle criminal alien minors who are dealt with, not in adult criminal court, but in the juvenile justice system. This is especially relevant now, as the media is reporting that House Democrats will bring up a bill to grant permanent residence to beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in the lame duck session of Congress. The CIS report documents that: Juveniles commit a large number of serious offenses. For instance, in 2020, there were 1,353 known juvenile homicide offenders and, in 2019, juveniles constituted 8 percent of all arrests for murder. Juvenile perpetrators are much more likely to be processed through a juvenile justice system than a criminal court.

 However, our immigration laws do not subject to removal alien minors “adjudicated” delinquent in juvenile courts, as our laws do for aliens convicted in criminal court, even for offenses up to and including murder. One of the prime selling points for DACA and DREAM Act legislation has been that beneficiaries are not criminals and don’t pose a risk to public safety. But is this true? The DACA program has never disqualified aliens adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court, and as a result many DACA recipients were affiliated with gangs and many had arrest records. USCIS has admitted that “we let those with criminal arrests for sexually assaulting a minor, kidnapping, human trafficking, child pornography, or even murder be provided [DACA] protection”. So amnesty is set to go out to even killers of Americans. Sound like a sound choice in choosing whom to allow in to the U.S.? Only to the congressional Democrats who are backing this proposed new law. While foreign doctors, nurses, engineers and entrepreneurs pay thousands in legal costs and patiently wait in line for years for their number to get called in order to immigrate here legally, bottom-of-the-barrel gang members are being handed instant amnesty and a path to U.S. citizenship through this hideous new DACA amnesty measure

Don's Tuesday Column

        THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   11/29/2022

Enough thankful lessons to go around

Readers’ patience is appreciated when technical issues delay a Tuesday column for a couple of days, as happened last week. Result: a Thanksgiving Day column seemingly devoid of Thanksgiving. I do have deep gratitude for many things, in my life and our nation; not least is that this column has, for nearly 18 years, allowed a local conservative to inform, analyze and vent.

In Thanksgivings past, the shear enjoyment of tables, platters, and plates filled and refilled were as much a sporting event as the broadcast games; unfortunately, the unforgiving metabolism of a 70-something body means avoiding such indulgences. Maybe some turkey cold cuts will suffice now that the 10+ pounds lost, after a summer’s worth of restaurant and seafood excesses, has been maintained.

A local event provided services to the less fortunate. It was rewarding to know our community stepped up; it was also unnerving that thousands tolerate the inconvenience of long lines for basic essentials like haircuts. Curiosity compels asking if this event has seen a trend over the years; pandemic-induced economic malaise has hit the lower strata the hardest. A return to economic vitality will be welcomed by all.

Post-Thanksgiving reflections: A Bugs Bunny and Friends cartoon contained a vignette of a lazy cat chastised by its owner over its failure to keep mice out of the house. The fat, lazy cat exclaimed, “I’m all for a hard day’s work, as long as it’s done by someone else.”

Ironic humor arose over the cat’s solution: teach other cats how to catch the mice that the lazy cat avoided (being beneath his dignity). An old saying was that those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. That salient lesson addresses many in society who have an aversion to hard work unless done by others.

It’s a worthwhile annual topic, succinctly written by John Stossel in “Thanksgiving Lessons.” “Thursday, if you eat a nice meal, thank the Pilgrims. They made Thanksgiving possible. They left the Old World to escape religious persecution. They imagined a new society where everyone worked together and shared everything. In other words, they dreamed of socialism. Socialism then almost killed them.”

For the moment, set aside the “woke” narrative of misfortunes by Native tribes after Europeans migrated to North America seeking economic and religious freedom from stratified, oppressively regimented European monarchies. From the Pilgrims to subsequent waves that found expanses of unoccupied land unseen in their lifetimes, an inexorable surge set conflicts in motion that brought out the best and worst of humanity—among Natives and newcomers.

No groups monopolized virtue or vice—Native tribes included sophisticated cultures with written and spoken bodies of knowledge, to vicious tribes practicing unrelenting aggression, even genocide, upon neighboring groups whose lands and existence inhibited the aggressors’ designs.

Europeans’ culpability is documented but often excludes the realities of 1) unlimited, and mostly unoccupied, land for the taking by 2) a culture incompatible with nomadic hunters and gatherers that gave mutilation and slaughter as good as they got. Inform yourself by reading “Thanksgiving a ‘Myth’ or a ‘Problematic Holiday’? What Nobody Tells You About Indians and Other Native Americans,” ( Its details support my summation.

John Stossel recounts the documented (by Gov. William Bradford) experiences of the Pilgrims’ “collectivist” means of production, and provision of basic needs. “From each according to their ability, to each according to their need,” was the system agreed upon even before landing in the New World.

“As I [Stossel] explain in my weekly video, the Pilgrims attempted collective farming. The whole community decided when and how much to plant, when to harvest and who would do the work. Gov. William Bradford wrote in his diary that he thought that taking away property and bringing it into a commonwealth would make the Pilgrims ‘happy and flourishing.’

“It didn’t. Soon, there wasn’t enough food. ‘No supply was heard of,’ wrote Bradford, ‘neither knew they when they might expect any.’ The problem, Bradford realized, was that no one wanted to work. Everyone relied on others to do the work. Some people pretended to be injured. Others stole food.

“The communal system, Bradford wrote, ‘was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment.’ Young men complained of ‘spend[ing] their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense.’”

Perceived unfairness and injustices: Strong men working harder than weak men; single men providing for others’ families; young men doing more work than older men; women’s production of clothing given to those producing none of their own.

Facing starvation and deprivation, Gov. Bradford imposed the “unfairness” of private property and the possession of the fruits of one’s own labor. Sha-zam! All, even women and children, went willingly into the fields to grow their own corn, the excess of which could be traded or bartered for others’ self-produced wares.

Over a decade ago, before the Obamacare debate, this column used the above lessons to warn of the deceptively-promoted panacea of “socialized medicine,” idealistically praised while adherents deflected from the failures of government-run health care wherever imposed.

Economic facts remain: nothing can be “redistributed,” medicine or otherwise, without being taken from someone first. Progressive-minded ideologues stubbornly resist the fact that government is the least efficient, the most onerous, wasteful and, ultimately, the most despotic decider of what is “taken,” “distributed,” and mandated. Exhibit A: Government response to COVID-19 via mandates, lockdowns, closures, quarantines, vaccines, masking, travel, etc. “Constitution be damned, we know best, we are science, you will obey, or else.”

Censorship and History

Censorship and History

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

“His parents said these [things] because they feared the [Pharisees], for the

[Pharisees] had agreed already that if anyone confessed [Jesus was] Christ, he would be put

out of the synagogue” (John 9:22).

I have an existential question for you based upon the above quote:

Are today’s Democrats modern-day Pharisees, or were the Pharisees early members of the Democratic Party?

I’m being a little facetious, obviously; the Democratic Party did not exist in the Roman Empire. But what we are witnessing today in modern America is a repetition of history. Censorship. If you don’t toe the right party line, out you go. Biden’s party didn’t invent it, but they are certainly strong adherents to it. 

How many people have been “censored”—removed from Twitter, YouTube, et al—or even arrested and put in jail for “election denial,” January 6 “insurrection crimes,” pro-life advocacy, questioning the COVID-19 vaccine, or “climate denial”? Off with your head, peasant. What the Left is doing today isn’t new, by any means. It’s why freedom is always in danger, and when we fall asleep and slacken our diligence, we lose it. That’s the most important lesson here.

The story in John 9 is about Jesus healing a blind man on the Sabbath day. The Pharisees hated Jesus because, frankly, they perceived him as a threat to their power. What is interesting in the quote above is that the blind man’s parents “feared…the [Pharisees];” they would not speak up in defense of their son because they were frightened they would get…censored. Kicked off Twitter. Or a 1st century Palestinian parallel, not allowed access to the synagogue (far worse actually). Freedom of speech was restricted unless you said the right thing. And anything that might have sounded like support for Jesus was definitely the wrong thing.

Donald Trump has been re-instated onto Twitter, if he wants to go back. Elon Musk did a “democratic” thing and let the people on Twitter have a vote. It was 51.8% for Mr. Trump to 48.2% against him. We all rejoiced because “the majority” voted for “free speech.” Democracy won!

Well, maybe it’s my pessimistic, cynical nature, but I didn’t really see the vote that way. What I saw was that 48.2% voted AGAINST free speech. Almost half voted to deny a right to an American that they themselves enjoy and would probably explode if it were forbidden to them. “Don’t you dare deny me the right of free speech! But we can do it to others we don’t agree with.” Phariseeism maxed out. Talk about blindness. This is nothing but blind, mechanical, irrepressible hatred of Mr. Trump. And, yeah, “parents” (another target of Democrats today) and the rest of us should be frightened. The Pharisees (and Romans) eventually killed the man they hated. And many of his followers.

It doesn’t matter one whit what you think of Donald Trump. He hasn’t been convicted of any crime, he is a former President of the United States. You may not like what he says (millions of Americans obviously don’t) but that does not give you the right to deny him freedom of speech. In fact, that is one of the very reasons the 1st Amendment exists—to protect ALL political speech, especially that which other people find disagreeable. In the late 1790s, when John Adams threw some of his political opponents in jail because he didn’t like what they said, he lost the election of 1800 to Thomas Jefferson, a man he hated. Let’s hope that historical precedent is repeated with Joe Biden.

This kind of censorship/restrictionism is common for totalitarian governments and elitists (like Pharisees). The current lockdown situation in China is a perfect example. Of course, nobody in China has “freedom of speech”; walk down any street there carrying a “F*** Xi Jinping!” sign, and, after five minutes, you’ll never be heard from again. The Chinese know that and accept it because they can’t change it. They are getting fed up with the virus lockdowns, but they can’t change that, either. I still do some online English teaching with Chinese students. This weekend, one of my students (in Beijing) had to cancel three classes because he couldn’t leave school due to the virus quarantine. Three other students (in the southern city of Guangzhou) had to cancel, or delay, class the past two weekends due to being quarantined. As I have said before, these lockdowns have absolutely nothing to do with the virus and everything to do with Lord Xi informing the peasants that he is in control and they WILL obey. It’s about power, not about the virus. Xi Jinping couldn’t care less how many people die because of Covid. But he does care about free speech and people thinking they have the right to do things he doesn’t want them to do. Like leaving home and buying food. “You can’t do that until I tell you that you can.” It’s tyranny, not the virus. “You can’t get on Twitter, Mr. Trump, until you submit to the elitist dogma.” And 48% of Twitter users agreed with that.

When Democrats in America die, they don’t go to heaven; they go to China. That’s their dream.

The Democratic Party is the most hypocritical institution on earth right now. They scream “democracy” and “racism,” but they are anti-democratic and racist to the core. Like the Pharisees of old, and the CCP of today, they love power, dominance, and manipulation. And if citizens don’t yield, then they get censored, or worse. That this is happening in America is, in one sense, shocking. Our whole founding was predicated on just the opposite vision.

But history warns us. And, tragically, as Hegel said, “History teaches us that men learn nothing from history.” Let’s hope it’s not too late.