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The Reality of Democrat Economics
Paying People Not To Work Is Not An Economic Stimulus
Back in 2009, Nancy Pelosi infamously declared the best way to revive the economy was to dole out ever more generous food stamps and unemployment benefits. The more people collecting welfare the better.
This was a headline in the New York Times recently: "End of $600 Unemployment Bonus Could Push Millions Past the Brink."
Here was the lead on the "news" piece:
"When millions of Americans began losing their jobs in March, the federal government stepped in with a life preserver: $600 a week in extra unemployment benefits to allow workers to pay rent and buy groceries, and to cushion the economy.
"With economic conditions again deteriorating, that life preserver will disappear within days if Congress doesn't act to extend it. That could prompt a wave of evictions and inflict more financial harm on millions of Americans while further damaging the economy."
These benefits are not a "life preserver," but a job-killer. A study for the Committee to Unleash Prosperity by University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan estimated 10 million fewer Americans working by the end of the year, thus killing any chance of a "V-shaped recovery."
Perhaps that's why Pelosi is so adamant about the policy remaining in place. This would mean a high unemployment rate in November when voters go to the polls. How convenient for Pelosi and Joe Biden. (read more)
The Agenda of the Left is Destructive
We Are In The Process Of Completely Losing America
When I was growing up, I was taught to love America. My father was in the U.S. Navy, our family spent six years overseas as he served at a military base in a foreign land, and every day I would say the Pledge of Allegiance at the local school for military children that I attended. It was during this period of time that Ronald Reagan was first elected president of the United States, and the things that he said about the greatness of America’s values really inspired me. Of course no nation has ever been perfect, but at one time the United States was united by a common set of values that we were constantly striving to live up to. And one of the reasons why I am often so hard on America in my articles is because I want us to rediscover those values and start trying to live up to them once again.\
Unfortunately, the truth is that all of the things that once made America so great are slipping away from us a little bit more with each passing day.
For example, just look at how much freedom of speech is being eroded. Once upon a time, people would gather in homes or marketplaces to exchange ideas, but now we gather on giant social media platforms to share ideas with one another.
And during the early days of social media, speech was left relatively uncensored and it allowed interesting ideas to spread rapidly. Sadly, things are completely different now, and the level of censorship that we are witnessing is really scary.
There is a certain video that contains footage of prominent doctors talking about potential treatments for COVID-19 that has created quite a stir. I am sure that most of you know the video that I am talking about, because it started to spread rapidly on Tuesday. But then Facebook banned it, Twitter banned it, YouTube banned it and other social media platforms banned it as well. My wife tried to put up a copy of the video herself, and it was taken down immediately.
And when Donald Trump Jr. tried to share the video on Twitter, his entire account got partially suspended.
At this point, freedom of speech is essentially dead on our major social media platforms, and because they have such a dominant position in our marketplace of ideas, that means that freedom of speech has been severely crippled in our society as a whole.
Freedom of religion is being greatly eroded as well. States such as California continue to ban large church gatherings in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but meanwhile they don’t have any problem with the large groups of protesters that are gathering night after night in our major cities to riot and commit acts of violence.
If conditions are good enough for thousands upon thousands of rioters to get together and cause chaos, and if conditions are good enough for thousands upon thousands of people to go shopping at Wal-Mart, then conditions are certainly good enough for Christians to go to church. (read more)
Nadler is a Joke
AG Barr destroys Jerry Nadler in another House Democrat testimony disaster
He came, he saw, he ate their lunch. Bill Barr, denied a meal break, feasted instead on a gaggle of Democratic amateurs.
Another congressional hearing, another Dem disaster. They planned a public hanging of the attorney general and spent weeks constructing their scaffold. He is corrupt, a liar, a toady, they and their media handmaidens assured us, and the House Judiciary Committee will reveal all.
Two obstacles quickly became apparent. The first is that the Dems were led by Rep. Jerry Nadler, whose rabidness is exceeded only by his haplessness.
The start was delayed because Nadler was in a minor car accident. That was obviously an omen, but Nadler doesn’t take hints, so he plowed forward into a head-on crash with a heavyweight opponent superior in every way.
Nadler specializes in duds, demanding that former special counsel Robert Mueller testify a year ago, only to see the Russia, Russia, Russia hysteria collapse on national TV. Then Nadler, bearing a lifetime grudge against President Trump, did such a terrible job in the first impeachment hearings on Ukraine that Speaker Nancy Pelosi demoted him and turned the task over to Rep. Adam Schiff.
Yet Nadler is a slow learner and there he was Tuesday, opening the ballyhooed attack on the AG with a statement that was a farrago of lies, fake news and slanderous attacks on law enforcement, Barr and Trump. It was so over-the-top, so fact-free and unsupportable, that it had zero chance of setting the stage for a meaningful interrogation.
Then again, honest interrogation was not the intent. Pelosi’s House only does character assassination. (read more)
Stating the Obvious
Jim Jordan accuses Big Tech of being ‘out to get’ conservatives
Big Tech is “out to get conservatives,” Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan charged Wednesday as lawmakers grilled the heads of Amazon, Facebook and other online giants in an explosive congressional hearing on their power.
Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg were joined via videoconferencing due to the coronavirus on Capitol Hill for the antitrust hearing by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent company Alphabet.
Lawmakers argued that the companies have gained not only an outsize share of dollars and users, but also control over online discourse.
“I’ll just cut to the chase,” said the Republican Jordan in a fiery opening remark. “Big Tech is out to get conservatives. That’s not a suspicion, that’s not a hunch — that’s a fact.” (read more)
“If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.”
George Bernard Shaw
The Agenda of Black Leninist Marxists
Why Marxist Organizations Like BLM Seek To Dismantle The "Western Nuclear Family"
One of the most oft-cited and criticized goals of the Black Lives Matter organization is its stated desire to abolish the family as we know it. Specifically, BLM’s official website states:
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.
This idea isn’t unique to BLM, of course. “Disrupting” the “nuclear family” is a commonly stated goal among Maxist organizations. Given that BLM’s founders have specifically claimed to be “trained Marxists,” we should not be surprised that the organization's leadership has embraced a Marxian view of the family.
But where does this hostility toward the family originate? Partly, it comes from the theories of Marx and Engels themselves, and their views that an earlier, matriarchal version of the family rejected private property as an organizing principle of society. It was only later that this older tribal model of the family gave way to the modern “patriarchal” family, which promotes and sustains private property.
Clearly, in the Marxian view, this “new” type of family must be opposed, since the destruction of this family model will make it easier to abolish private property as well. (read more)
All Military Spending is Wasted - Every Single Cent
As Congress Blocks Defunding the Pentagon, Here Are Ten Things We Could Have Spent the Money On
The National Priorities Project has put together a list of ten better uses for the $74 billion than giving it to one of the world’s largest bureaucracies.
The majority of House Democrats joined with the Republican colleagues yesterday in voting down progressive legislation that would have cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent ($74 billion) and used the money to fund healthcare, housing, and education for the poorest Americans.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, sponsored by Barbara Lee (D–CA) and Mark Pocan (D–WI) was soundly defeated 93-324, with 139 Democrats joining all 185 voting Republicans in rejecting the idea. Despite the defeat, Pocan vowed to continue pushing an anti-war agenda. “We will keep fighting for pro-peace, pro-people budgets until it becomes a reality,” he said. Democrats who voted against the military budget cuts received over three times the contributions from the defense industry as those who voted for the reduction. Earlier today, the Senate also voted down the proposal.
The result will no doubt disappoint the majority of Americans as well. A poll conducted last week by Data for Progress found that 56 percent of the country supported the idea to defund the military and use the money to fight COVID-19 alleviate the growing housing crisis. Democrat-voters supported the plan by 69 to 19 percent, with Republicans also backing it, by 50 to 37 percent. The proposal is hardly a radical shift; the military’s budget has increased by around 20 percent under President Trump alone, reaching near-historic highs. (read more)
10 Big Fat Lies You're Being Told About The Portland Riots
Democrats have fully pivoted on the nightly Portland riots. They’ve gone all-in on blaming the riots on President Trump thus allying themselves with the antifa and Black Lives Matter anarchist and communist mobs. Instead of black bloc balaclavas or masks, the politicians have donned the cloak of civil libertarianism. In doing so, they make a mockery of it.
Democrats, so far as I can find, have never denounced the violent mobs, though New York Governor Andrew Cuomo once wagged a finger at George Floyd rioters while simultaneously explaining that it wasn’t really their fault because “income inequality” led to violence. Indeed, the only remonstrance issued was over people burning down black-owned businesses – their “own house” as he put it, because burning your own stuff “never makes sense.” As denunciations go, it was a rambling nothing-burger. Atlanta’s mayor voiced similar disgust with the arsonists and looters.
In fact, mayors, governors, and prosecutors have fallen all over themselves to support the violent mobs in Seattle, New York, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and, of course, Portland, often conflating the “mostly peaceful” protesters upset with the killing of George Floyd – remember him? – with the ones looting Louis Vuitton, tearing down statues of George Washington, and trying to burn down federal buildings.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan ceded a section of the fancy Capitol Hill neighborhood to the mob. She handed over a police precinct to the mob. Two murders, gunshot wounds, assaults, and rapes took place at her pet mob’s little “summer of love” squat. She’s never apologized.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey gave over a police precinct to the mob. Police officers inside thought they’d die that night and if they’d stayed they would have. When rioters weren’t boosting free stuff from the Target, looters and rioters were spectating the conflagration they’d started at the precinct with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. The mayor later asked President Trump for money to help rebuild it. Trump said hell no.
But this is an election year and time is short. The mobs are deployed to cause chaos and misdirection, as they were in Portland and elsewhere in the months leading up and after the 2016 presidential election. They are cracking heads and cold-cocking Trump rally-goers who dare bring a contra-narrative to one of their riots.
Far from denouncing the violent and destructive nightly arsons and assaults, Democrats embrace the riots to denounce President Trump. They point to the mobs of concerned citizens who have been impelled, catapulted from their spot at the tattoo parlor to join the mob in the streets because how-dare-Trump-send-police-to-defend-a-federal-building that the left is obsessed with bringing down.
It’s a real-time exercise in psy-ops. It’s gaslighting writ large. But they believe you’re dumb enough to believe it. (read more)
“The tree of liberty must be watered periodically with the blood of tyrants and patriots alike.”
More to read about the COVIDIOTS, Mask-Morons and Assorted Intolerants
And on to the round-up of all the stories I’ve noticed, or which have been been brought to my attention, in the last 24 hours:
“Insanity in individuals is something rare but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Democrats Have a Big Bad Biden Problem
"Shut The Eff Up Forever" - Morning Show Host Slams Biden For Calling Trump "The First Racist President"
Political affiliations and preferences are a funny thing, especially in the US, where black and latino Democratic voters repeatedly chose former Vice President Joe Biden over his more progressive rivals (Bernie, Warren), as well as DNC insider favorite Kamala Harris (whom the Bernie Bros successfully tarred as "Cop-mala").
Biden's unwavering popularity with minority voters is one of the few legitimate strengths in the Biden column. Of course, the most jarring thing about Biden and his campaign right now is the fact that he's reportedly been hiding out in his basement and only doing a limited number of speeches and media appearances. The few campaign-related interviews Biden does do are inexplicably buried by mainstream (ie Democratic Party-aligned) media orgs, if they're covered at all.
One example of this occurred earlier this week, when one of the most popular radio hosts in the country - "The Breakfast Club" radio host Charlamagne Tha God - derided Biden and his penchant to mistakenly violate progressive orthodoxies, saying he "wished [Biden] would shut the eff up forever" and go back to hiding in the basement.
Biden's mistake? Saying that Trump was the "first" racist American president. Even though the founding fathers and their immediate successors have been dead for centuries, Charlamagne insisted that at least 12 former presidents owned slaves. That's not actually true. According to at least one source, eight former presidents owned slaves. Admittedly, this distinction doesn't exactly dilute Charlamagne's point. (read more)
Breed Won't Share Her Black Toys With White People
San Francisco Mayor Blasts 'Woke' White BLM Supporters For Hijacking Movement
In an interview with Vogue Magazine, San Francisco Mayor London Breed discussed a range of issues. When asked about the current cultural moment, she said that she was overwhelmed by the response from people who are not black to the Black Lives Matter movement. However, she also expressed frustration with so-called “white allies.”
When she was asked if she had any critiques of the current demonstrations, she responded:
Then she answered a question as to whether for not she felt that the concerns of San Francisco’s black residents were being heard. Breed’s response was sharp criticism of the progressive movement:
Thank you, Mayor Breed! Though it could be just as easily argued that progressive policies are bad for everyone. She presides over a city that had more drug addicts than high school students in January of 2019. It also spawned the Snapcrap app that tracked public defecation. (read more)2020-07-24 d
The End of Government Schools for Prosperous Families?
Schools Steal This Joy From Children": Homeschool & Outdoor Programs See Huge Surge Amid COVID-19
School districts and counties across the US, including counties in COVID-resurgent Texas this week, have mandated that all public and private schools not start their school year until after Labor Day (Sept. 7). Even after that Fall start date, some areas witnessing the current resurgence of cases, such as in California, may not return in person at all or at least go to a half-capacity scenario while offering online options for those families in a position to allow their children to stay home. But concerning online contingency plans, the trend appears to be: Remote learning? No thanks.
Bottom line is that school-wise it's a time of extreme uncertainty and anxiety for families across the US. And then there are the difficult questions of assuming the moment a 'normal' school year actually kicks off - will masks be required through the day? will younger students really be able to practice social distancing? will a school shut down completely again the moment a student or staff member gets coronavirus? will on-campus schooling be safe?
Due to these and other lingering questions, homeschooling is set to explode across the US, despite elites at places like Harvard doing their best to push stereotypes of "insular conservative homeschoolers" and the supposed "dark side" of homeschooling as somehow "detrimental" to societal progress. (read more)
Buy Low - Sell High
If DeSean steps out of the Eagles locker room and into the city, there is much to discover about the anti-Black pioneers of Philadelphia’s Jewish community. More than three generations before the Liberty Bell was rung in the state house steeple, Jews were already wealthy and powerful in the “City of Brotherly Love.”
For instance, Jonas Phillips was a founder of Philadelphia’s original synagogue, Mikveh Israel. In February of 1792, he placed an advertisement in the city newspaper to hunt and return his freedom-seeking “Negro Woman Slave” who “took nothing with her but the clothes she had on.”
In another public notice he was selling “A young handy NEGRO MAN, about nineteen years of age”—a human being he sold as a regular in-stock item, along with fish hooks, silks, ginger, linens, and other dry goods.
So common was slave trading among the Philadelphia Jews that two Jewish historians concluded: “The Jews who could afford them had both servants and slaves. The Quakers were the only people who as a religious denomination opposed the institution of slavery.” In fact, a large influx of Jews into the city occurred after the decline of the Jewish community of Barbados, but those settlers were not fleeing any anti-Jewish oppression. They left Barbados because of the emancipation of the slaves there! No more free Black labor and the Jews bounced, according to Peter Wiernik, “most of them going to Philadelphia.” (read more)2020-07-24 b
Wuhan Virus was found in a March 2019 sewage waste sample taken in Spain
Ken McCarthy Compares Coronavirus Science to Nazi Science
Ken McCarthy of BrassCheck TV has compiled a list of sources for people skeptical of official pronouncements about the COVID pandemic. He writes:
“Right now I’m in the ‘Bernays/Goebbels/Fauci PLUS the structure of Nazi Science and why US science is starting to look frighteningly similar’ mode. Also, also, newish, it appears that the dreaded “Novo” Wuhan Virus was found in a March 2019 sewage waste sample taken in Spain. Not a surprise to honest virologists. But a big problem to the ‘New virus that ate the world’ fraud meisters.” (listen to audio) (read more)2020-07-24 a
“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, is it now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it?”
Edward Bernays, 1928
Sly with Statistics
The COVID Panic Is A Lesson In Using Statistics To Get Your Way In Politics
It is unlikely that pundits, politicians, and the general public have ever been so obsessed with numbers as they are right now. I speak, of course, of the numbers surrounding deaths and illnesses attributed to COVID-19.
For months now, every new day has brought new headlines about total COVID-19 infections, total deaths, and estimates put out by models claiming to predict how many deaths will soon occur.
These numbers have become the focal points of many politicians' careers. This is especially true for state governors and other politicians in executive positions who now in this time of "emergency" essentially rule by decree. New edicts are regularly issued by policymakers, allegedly based on an assessment of the all-important numbers. These decrees may unilaterally close businesses, cut people off from important medical procedures, ban religious gatherings, or even attempt to confine people to their homes. Those who refuse to comply may have their livelihoods destroyed.
"The Number" becomes the standard by which all behavior is judged. Will Activity X increase The Number or decrease it? For those who wish to engage in Activity Z, they must first prove that it will not increase The Number. Nothing shall be allowed that doesn't have a good effect on The Number.
But there's a problem with this way of doing things: the number in question only tells us about the one thing being measured. If we only have a number for that one thing, then we tend to ignore all the other things that aren't being assigned a number.
Focusing on One Number, Ignoring Others
Things get even more lopsided if one number is being continually updated in real time, while other numbers are updated only occasionally. (read more)
Americans with Disabilities Act Has Enriched Concrete Suppliers and Installers, Plus Many Attorneys
After 30 Years, Did The Disabilities Act Work?
Thirty years ago, President George H.W. Bush signed [7/26/1990] the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was supposed to create a new era of equality and justice.
Instead, the ADA often turns disabilities into assets, encouraging far more people to claim to be disabled to receive special treatment or privileges.
The ADA’s breadth and vagueness have spurred a deluge of absurd federal decrees and more than half a million lawsuits that risk stigmatizing people the law sought to assist.
The ADA is essentially a federal command for people to treat certain other people “nice”- with harsh penalties for any behavior considered not nice – and with niceness defined on a case-by-case basis through endless court cases and complaint settlements. Anyone who is disabled acquires a legal right to request accommodations from employers and others, with the federal government and private lawyers waiting to sue anyone who fails to “accommodate.” Congress defined “disability” far more broadly than most Americans recognize, including anyone who claims they have significant trouble standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, or thinking.
The ADA is known as “Attorney’s Dreams Answered.” According to lawyer Mark Pulliam, the ADA “may be the most widely-abused law in our history…. Nationwide, a cottage industry has developed among a bottom-feeding element of the plaintiffs’ bar that specializes in bringing a high volume of cookie-cutter lawsuits against small businesses for technical violations of the ADA, and extorting quick settlements of several thousand dollars each.” Federal judges have characterized mass-produced ADA lawsuits as a “sham” and “an ongoing scheme to bilk attorneys’ fees from the defendant.”
Hundreds of Florida businesses were hit with cookie-cutter ADA access lawsuits in 2016 and 2019 complaining that “the pipes in the bathrooms weren’t properly wrapped” and similar grave perils. The Florida News-Press reported that “some of the harshest critics of these suits come from people who are disabled or advocate on behalf of people with disabilities.” Kevin Berry, co-chairman of the Southwest Florida ADA Council, complained that the lawsuit surge “has the reverse effect. If someone comes in with a wheelchair or an obvious disability, the (business owner) is saying, ‘Here comes a lawsuit.’”
One federal judge denounced a lawyer filing such lawsuits for behaving like “a parasite disguised as a social engineer.” But the legal carpet-bombing continues. Late last year, four law firms filed “more than 100 putative class actions charging that retailers are violating the ADA by marketing gift cards that do not include Braille versions,” as the Cato Institute’s Walter Olson, one of the ADA’s most persistent and perceptive critics, reported. (read more)
Not All News Is Fit to Print
Why New York Times praises ‘cancel culture’ but skips over its own racist history: Goodwin
In a recent article about Mount Rushmore, The New York Times said of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt that “each of these titans of American history has a complicated legacy.”
Reporters Bryan Pietsch and Jacey Fortin casually summarized the woke herd’s litany of grievances: Washington and Jefferson owned slaves, Lincoln was “reluctant and late” to issue the Emancipation Proclamation and Roosevelt “actively sought to Christianize and uproot Native Americans.”
Rushmore’s sculptor, Gutzon Borglum, didn’t escape unscathed. “Borglum had been involved with another project: an enormous bas-relief at Stone Mountain in Georgia that memorialized Confederate leaders,” the reporters wrote.
There was little in the story that was remarkable, and that was the point. The Times, as the chief media cheerleader for the chaos unfolding across the nation, routinely eviscerates America’s heroes, its culture and, through the paper’s 1619 Project, its founding.
Four years after it abandoned its traditional standards of fairness to try to defeat Donald Trump, the paper is now fixated on rewriting the story of America. The drive-by attack on the Rushmore presidents was part of its cancel-culture agenda.
Yet the Times has never applied to its own history the standards it uses to demonize others. If it did, reporters there would learn that the Ochs-Sulzberger family that has owned and run the paper for 125 years has a “complicated legacy” of its own. (read more)
Stupid Seattle Socialists
Rioters in Seattle busted out windows of a pot shop and scrawled “gentrifier” on it outside, according to a report.
A group of 150 people gathered late Wednesday at Cal Anderson Park before busting out windows and starting a pair of fires on Capitol Hill, including one inside a business that firefighters later extinguished, police told the Seattle Times.
At another nearby business, Uncle Ike’s, which bills itself as Seattle’s “favorite pot shop,” protesters wrote the word “gentrifier” on the front of the building, which also had some of its windows smashed, video shows.
The protesters then took aim at another storefront, breaking into Rove Vintage, where they stole merchandise before setting those items on fire in the middle of a street, the newspaper reports, citing police and video footage.
Rove Vintage, meanwhile, is owned by the wife of one of the Seattle cops who fatally shot a pregnant black woman three years ago, according to city and state business records cited by the newspaper. (read more)
Senate Wants to Keep Black Cannon-Fodder Volunteering
Senate passes veto-proof bill that will strip Confederate names from military bases
The Senate on Thursday passed a $740 billion defense spending bill that includes a provision to remove the name of Confederate leaders from military bases — setting up a showdown with President Trump who is opposed to the move.
The GOP-controlled chamber overwhelming passed the legislation with a vote of 81 to 14 — well over the number required to override the presidential veto which Trump threatened to wield last month in a bid to stop the bill.
The National Defense Authorization Act includes a plan to change the names of army bases named after Confederate soldiers, such as Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Benning in Georgia, which are named after Confederate Gens. Braxton Bragg and Henry Lewis Benning. (read more)
"If the law were confined to its proper functions, everyone’s interest in the law would be the same. Is it not clear that, under these circumstances, those who voted could not inconvenience those who did not vote?"
A Political Python
John Cleese: Society Is Now Controlled By The Most Touchy, Emotionally Unstable, & Fragile People
Former Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star John Cleese has had enough of political correctness and the cancel culture, and as for the state of the "dysfunctional world we live in," warning that "it's completely hopeless..."
As for the sense of hopelessness he feels, Cleese blames the “power seekers.”
“I believe there’s something wrong with these people. The reason they want to be powerful is that they want to control people, so that they don’t get lathered into situations that they can’t control emotionally. The one thing they fear is losing power, so they’ll do almost anything to hold on to it.
If they don’t know what they’re doing or what they’re talking about, there’s no way (the world) will ever get well.”
The 80 year old comedian is as politically savvy as he is humorous as he brings his one-man-show "Why There Is No Hope" to live-stream after blasting the BBC last month as "cowardly and gutless" for temporarily taking down an episode of Fawlty Towers that made fun of Germans and World War II and also featured a character using a racial slur.
Cancel culture "misunderstands the main purposes of life which is to have fun", Cleese told Reuters, referring to the trend in which people are ostracised because of behaviour or remarks seen as objectionable. (read more)
Tampering With Evidence With Intent To Deceive
St. Louis Prosecutor’s Office Busted Altering Pistol To Classify As Lethal In McCloskey Case
The person who ordered the tampering of evidence should not only be immediately fired, but charged with a crime and justice brought swiftly against their actions as it has been revealed that someone in Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s staff ordered the crime lab to disassemble and reassemble the pistol that Patricia McCloskey waved at trespassers in June because it was nothing more than a non-operable “prop.” Needless to say, they were busted. (read more) (additional story with more details)
Diversity Is NOT Our Strength
Illegal Alien Drunk Driver Charged With Killing Three Retired Police Officers in Highway Crash
This could have been avoided.
A 28-year old man who has been charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter in the highways deaths of three retired police officers who were driving motorcycles appears to be in the country illegally.
Ivan Robles Navejas, who is currently detained in the Kerr County, Texas jail on the manslaughter charges, has been issued an immigration hold by the Department of Homeland Security, suggesting that his presence in the country is unlawful.
Navejas had been arrested for a highway crash in which three members of a motorcycle club for retired police officers were killed. Joseph Paglia, Jerry Wayne Harbor, and Michael White were killed after the collision on Texas’ Medina Highway, in which Najevas is alleged to have crossed over to the wrong side of the highway and crashed into the motorcyclists. (read more)
“Government requires make-believe. Make believe that the king is divine, make believe that he can do no wrong or make believe that the voice of the people is the voice of God. Make believe that the people have a voice or make believe that the representatives of the people are the people. Make believe that governors are the servants of the people. Make believe that all men are created equal or make believe that they are not.”
Edmund S. Morgan
Brown person spits in brown drinks. Arrested.
New Jersey Starbucks employee arrested for spitting in cops’ drinks
A New Jersey Starbucks employee spat in drinks ordered by police officers and then bragged about it — leading to his easy arrest, reports said Tuesday.
Kevin Trejo, 21, of Westwood was charged Monday with subjecting a law enforcement officer to contact with a bodily fluid, tampering with a cup of coffee knowing it was ordered by an officer and for creating a hazardous condition, NJ.com reported.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Trejo allegedly spat in the drinks at a Park Ridge location and was “arrogant enough to be bragging about it,” which led cops to question him, Chief Joseph Madden told the outlet, calling the actions “very disturbing.”
Bodily fluids like saliva are a primary way people can contract the coronavirus, experts have said.
The barista has since been fired and the coffee giant is cooperating with the investigation, the outlet reported. No other workers were involved. (read more)
Of course they don't count.
President Trump Signs Executive Order Banning Illegal Immigrants From 2020 Census Count For the Purpose of Congressional Representation
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order banning illegal aliens from 2020 Census count for the purpose of Congressional representation. (read more)
Not Niggardly News: Don't Snigger. He deals in words, not sticks and stones.
11-Year-Old Black Child Made $1K Selling ‘N-Word Passes’ to White Friends at School
White parents tried to make adopted kid woke, failed.
The woke white parents of an adopted 11-year-old black child were shocked to discover that he had made over a thousand dollars selling ‘n-word passes’ to white kids at school.
A woman going by the name of ‘Mortified Mom’ told Slate that she and her husband, who are both white, adopted a 5-year-old girl called Taylor and an infant boy called Martin. The children, who are both black, are now 11 and 16-years-old.
The mother relates how “we’ve done our best to have honest, age-appropriate discussions on race, our privilege, and how messed up the systematic oppression and racism in our country is.”
Being the budding entrepreneur that he is, 11-year-old Martin devised an ingenious revenue-generating scheme – he would sell ‘n word passes’ to his fellow middle school students for $25-$50 a pop. (read more)
“I know not with what weapons World War 3 will be fought, but World War 4 will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Forgive Them Not Their Trespasses
St. Louis Couple Charged With Felony After Using Firearms To Ward Off Trespassing Protesters
A wealthy St. Louis couple who made headlines last month for displaying firearms in front of their home as a group of BLM activists marched towards the Mayor's house will be charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon, and face a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault.
St. Louis' top prosecutor, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, announced on Monday that she would be filing charges against personal injury attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey.
"It is illegal to wave weapons in a threatening manner -- that is unlawful in the city of St. Louis," Gardner said in a statement, adding that she was recommending community service in lieu of up to four years in prison, according to Politico.
The McCloskey's defenders - including several GOP leaders, President Trump and others have urged Attorney General William Barr to investigate Gardner - while Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said in a Friday radio interview that he would likely pardon the McCloskeys if they were charged and convicted. (read more)
The Federal Bureau of Prevarication - Part II
The "Primary Subsource's" Guide To Russiagate, As Told To The FBI
Much of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into Donald Trump was built on the premise that Christopher Steele and his dossier were to be believed. This even though, early on, Steele’s claims failed to bear scrutiny. Just how far off the claims were became clear when the FBI interviewed Steele’s “Primary Subsource” over three days beginning on Feb. 9, 2017. Notes taken by FBI agents of those interviews were released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Friday afternoon.
The Primary Subsource was in reality Steele’s sole source, a long-time Russian-speaking contractor for the former British spy’s company, Orbis Business Intelligence. In turn, the Primary Subsource had a group of friends in Russia. All of their names remain redacted. From the FBI interviews it becomes clear that the Primary Subsource and his friends peddled warmed-over rumors and laughable gossip that Steele dressed up as formal intelligence memos.
Steele’s operation didn’t rely on great expertise, to judge from the Primary Subsource’s account. He described to the FBI the instructions Steele had given him sometime in the spring of 2016 regarding Paul Manafort: “Do you know [about] Manafort? Find out about Manafort’s dealings with Ukraine, his dealings with other countries, and any corrupt schemes.” The Primary Subsource admitted to the FBI “that he was ‘clueless’ about who Manafort was, and that this was a ‘strange task’ to have been given.”
The Primary Subsource said at first that maybe he had asked some of his friends in Russia – he didn’t have a network of sources, according to his lawyer, but instead just a “social circle.” And a boozy one at that: When the Primary Subsource would get together with his old friend Source 4, the two would drink heavily. But his social circle was no help with the Manafort question and so the Primary Subsource scrounged up a few old news clippings about Manafort and fed them back to Steele. (read more)
The Federal Bureau of Prevarication - Part I
What Did Comey Know And When Did He Know It?
On March 20, 2017, then-FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the FBI was formally investigating whether there were contacts between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. We later learned that the alleged basis for this investigation was the Steele Dossier. Since then, we’ve also learned that the information in the Steele Dossier was fake.
The big question now is when did the FBI know that the whole investigation, which severely handicapped Trump’s first term, was baloney?
The answer, based upon newly released documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee, is that by mid-February 2017 Comey knew or should have known that the Steele Dossier was a hoax perpetrated by the Hillary campaign. (read more)
“The State acquires power at the expense of freedom, and because of its insatiable lust for power it is incapable of giving up any of it. The State never abdicates.”
The Understatement of the Month
Trump calls Anthony Fauci a ‘bit of an alarmist’ amid COVID-19 pandemic
President Trump and Fox News host Chris Wallace went toe to toe Sunday in a wide-ranging, and at times combative interview that included the commander-in-chief defending his handling of the coronavirus and calling Dr. Anthony Fauci a “bit of an alarmist.”
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and member of the White House coronavirus task force, became the focus of attacks last week by two administration officials — Trade Representative Peter Navarro and aide Dan Scavino — questioning the decisions he made during the coronavirus pandemic and whether he’s leaking information to the media.
“Well, I don’t know that he’s a leaker,” Trump told Wallace in an interview that aired on “Fox News Sunday.”
Fauci, who called the attacks “bizarre,” criticized states for reopening too soon and causing a surge in cases and said local leaders should press people to wear masks. (read more)
The Incredible Whiteness of Race Idiots
“White Fragility” Comes to Washington
Profiteering race theorists expand their footprint in the federal bureaucracy
Critical race theory—the academic discourse centered on the concepts of “whiteness,” “white fragility,” and “white privilege”—is spreading rapidly through the federal government. Last month, a private diversity consultant, Howard Ross, conducted a training for federal financial agencies called “Difficult Conversations about Race in Troubling Times,” which asked white employees at the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the National Credit Union Association, and the Officer of the Comptroller to pledge “allyship amid the George Floyd Tragedy.”
According to whistleblower documents, the training begins with the premise that “virtually all White people contribute to racism” and have internalized “fairly consistent narratives about race” that “don’t support the dismantling of racist institutions.” Therefore, the trainers argue, white federal employees must “struggle to own their racism” and “invest in race-based growth.”
“White managers” are asked to create “safe spaces” where black employees can explain “what it means to be Black” and be “seen in their pain.” White employees are instructed to “provide unconditional solidarity,” remain silent, and “sit in the discomfort” of their own racism. If any conflicts arise, the trainers insist that whites “don’t get to decide when someone is being too emotional, too rash, [or] too mean” and cannot protest if a person of color “responds to their oppression in a way [they] don’t like.”
Ross, who created the training, is a fixture in what can be called the “diversity-industrial complex.” Based on a review of federal contract data, since 2006, he has billed the federal government more than $5 million for diversity trainings, seminars, and materials. His biggest year was 2011, when he billed the General Services Administration $3 million for “consulting services” and NASA $500,000 for “power and privilege sexual orientation workshops.”
It’s somewhat distasteful, though crucial, to disclose that Ross is white. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history but has positioned himself as an expert in “neuro-cognitive and social science research,” spending the past three decades selling “unconscious bias,” “white privilege,” and “white fragility.” Ironically, though, Ross has used his own privilege to enrich himself at taxpayers’ expense. In the language of his own discourse, he has monetized collective black pain to create individual white profit.
Incredibly, Ross and his likeminded colleagues have expanded their footprint under the conservative Trump administration. Based on a review of federal contract data, since Trump’s inauguration, Ross has conducted at least 17 trainings for federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the National Institute of Health, and the Office of the Attorney General.Since Trump’s inauguration, Ross has conducted at least 17 trainings for federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the National Institute of Health, and the Office of the Attorney General. The permanent bureaucracy understands that it can ignore the policies and priorities of any one administration, while building institutional power according to its own ideological agenda. The diversity consultants and their bureaucratic enablers want to convert “everyone in the federal government” to the work of “antiracism,” a concept that, in their vision, does not signify colorblindness but rather an aggressive new racialist ideology. The trainings make clear its assumptions and prescriptions. (read more)
Will Cancel Culture Mob Cancel New York Times Subscriptions?
The family that owns The New York Times were slaveholders: Goodwin
It’s far worse than I thought. In addition to the many links between the family that owns The New York Times and the Civil War Confederacy, new evidence shows that members of the extended family were slaveholders.
Last Sunday, I recounted that Bertha Levy Ochs, the mother of Times patriarch Adolph S. Ochs, supported the South and slavery. She was caught smuggling medicine to Confederates in a baby carriage and her brother Oscar joined the rebel army.
I have since learned that, according to a family history, Oscar Levy fought alongside two Mississippi cousins, meaning at least three members of Bertha’s family fought for secession.
Adolph Ochs’ own “Southern sympathies” were reflected in the content of the Chattanooga Times, the first newspaper he owned, and then The New York Times. The latter published an editorial in 1900 saying the Democratic Party, which Ochs supported, “may justly insist that the evils of negro suffrage were wantonly inflicted on them.”
Six years later, the Times published a glowing profile of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the 100th anniversary of his birth, calling him “the great Southern leader.”
Ochs reportedly made contributions to rebel memorials, including $1,000 to the enormous Stone Mountain Memorial in Georgia that celebrates Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson. He made the donation in 1924 so his mother, who died 16 years earlier, could be on the founders’ roll, adding in a letter that “Robert E. Lee was her idol.”
In the years before his death in 1931, Ochs’ brother George was simultaneously an officer of The New York Times Company and a leader of the New York Chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
All that would be bad enough given that the same family still owns the Times and allows it to become a leader in the movement to demonize America’s founding and rewrite history to put slavery at its core. As part of that revisionism, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln are suddenly beyond redemption, their great deeds canceled by their flaws.
But shouldn’t such breathtaking self-righteousness include the responsibility to lead by example? Shouldn’t the Times first clean out the Confederates in its own closet?
That was the question last week. It is now more urgent because of the new information.
A week ago, I was “aware of no evidence or claims that any members of Bertha’s family owned slaves or participated in the slave trade.”
That statement is no longer accurate. I have found compelling evidence that the uncle Bertha Levy Ochs lived with for several years in Natchez, Miss., before the Civil War owned at least five slaves. (read more)
"Common sense has to be kept as an esoteric secret in the dark temple of culture."
Portland or Portlandia - Part III
ACLU, Oregon Attorney General Sue Feds for Protecting Portland from Violent Rioters, Antifa Mob
As Portland descends further and further into third world s***hole status thanks to the nightly riots over the last eight weeks that have left a trail of destruction, Oregon attorney general Ellen Rosenblum has stepped in to file a lawsuit to stop the feds from interfering with the riots, effectively protecting the rioters from any consequences. Pretend “mayor” Ted Wheeler has refused to allow the Portland police to quell the riots, so the city officers stand aside while the destruction continues. (read more)
Portland or Portlandia - Part II
“F*** THE PEACEFUL PROTESTS” Shouts Angry BLM Leader At Portland Rally
The emboldened terrorists are no longer hiding their true feelings. What used to be kept behind a PR friendly veil of “we don’t condone violence” is now out in the open. Not only are they openly saying they want to abolish the United States, but they are now calling for violent protests, shouting “F*** THE PEACEFUL PROTESTS!”
At the same rally where they called for abolishing the U.S.A., president of “non profit” Don’t Shoot Portland, Tai Carpenter, took to the microphone to go on her own deranged rant, and repeatedly condemned peaceful protesting, essentially saying her protests need to be violent. She explains that calling for peaceful protest is “an exercise in All Lives Matter bulls***!”
And oh yeah, that’s her mother, Teressa Raiford, standing behind her in the black jacket, cheering this speech on. Raiford founded Don’t Shoot PDX in 2014 and recently ran for mayor. Also cheering her on is pastor Mark Knutson, who has sponsored several gun control initiatives over the years. Knutson was also cheering on the person who wants to abolish the USA. The individual in the “Black Queen” shirt with the “I Can’t Breathe” mask is Danialle Inez James, the protester who was acquitted of crimes by a Multnomah county jury after she *allegedly* walloped a TV cameraman in the back with a pallet at the Occupy ICE protests in 2018. (read more)
Portland or Portlandia - Part I
"I Was Terrified" - 'Protesters' Fume About Feds Brutally Suppressing Portland Riots
On Thursday and Friday, #resistance and far-left twitter was abuzz with talk of a terrifying new force on the streets of Portland: federal agents wearing plain clothes and using unmarked vans to snatch up protesters and shuffle them to the nearest police precinct. Before the agents showed up, some brave locals complained that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other city officials had simply let a bunch of "anarchists" set up their own version of Seattle's "CHOP".
Unwilling to countenance another "CHOP", President Trump issued an executive order calling for all federal statues and monuments to be protected against vandals and rioters. This resulted in the deployment of what some called "Barr's Army" - a "violent gang" of federal agents who snatched up peaceful protesters left and right (never mind the vandalism and destruction these demonstrations have caused since the death of George Floyd, including another bout of violence that emerged this week.
WaPo has unsurprisingly lionized the demonstrations in stories with titles like "50 Nights Of Protest" and others. Last night, a video surfaced of ICE agents who had been deployed to the city. (read more)
The Federal Bureau of Insurrection
Declassified: Christopher Steele's "Primary Sub-Source" Was His Own Employee; NYT Russiagate Propaganda Shredded By Strzok Comments
FBI documents declassified by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reveal that Christopher Steele's "primary sub-source" for his infamous Clinton/DNC-funded dossier was a 'non-Russian employee of Christopher Steele's firm.'
Per Graham's office:
•The document reveals that the primary “source” of Steele’s election reporting was not some well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian based contract employee of Christopher Steele’s firm. Moreover, it demonstrates that the information that Steele’s primary source provided him was second and third-hand information and rumor at best.
•Critically, the document shows that Steele’s “Primary Sub-source” disagreed with and was surprised by how information he gave Steele was then conveyed by Steele in the Steele dossier.
Meanwhile, a second document released by Graham absolutely shreds a New York Times article authored by Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo. Journalist Sharyl Attkisson details how comments made by former FBI agent Peter Strzok revealed the article, entitled "Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contact With Russian Intelligence," was absolute propaganda. (read more)
The FDA Protects Pharmaceutical Company Profits
Hydroxychloroquine Should Be Available Over The Counter
It is time to take the bull by the horns to conquer the Wuhan virus. Drastic action is necessary, like on December 8, 1941 after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
President Trump should order immediate public access to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) by making the medication available over-the-counter (OTC). Liberals have interfered with public access to this medication for COVID-19 through the old-fashioned route of requiring a prescription and then having a pharmacist fill or reject the prescription.
Millions of Americans do not visit physicians, and cannot obtain a prescription for HCQ if they did. Even if you have been exposed to COVID-19, you cannot obtain a prescription for HCQ in most states because regulators prohibit dispensing it without a positive test result, which typically cannot be obtained until late in the progression of the disease.
No one credibly doubts that HCQ is safe, and safer than many medications currently available OTC. No one credibly doubts the dozens of studies showing that early use of HCQ, pre-exposure and immediately after exposure to COVID, has helped many overcome this dreaded disease.
Americans do not need a prescription to obtain hundreds of medications which once required a prescription. Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Claritin, Flonase, and Primatene Mist are medications that have been shifted from Rx to OTC in recent years, not because the medical establishment pushed for the change, but because of public demand for it.
No demand is higher at this time than for a medication which helps prevent against COVID. Yet Americans are not being allowed to access the medication which they want and need, and instead are being told by FDA and state officials that they cannot have it. (read more)
The End Is Near
Stock Market Crash 2020: Welcome To The End Game
The Nasdaq is going vertical
The Nasdaq is on its final run and is going vertical, a classic end of bubble move. This is trader heaven and turns into speculator hell for those who think that markets do grow to the skies. It could go up a long way in price but it won’t go for long in time. It could last to Christmas, it could fold tomorrow, but my feeling is that unless this bubble is cut down by the Fed, the final move will be large and quick.
You can refer to the dotcom crash for the general shape of what looks possible next.
The attempts by the government to pump up the economy with new money is resulting in it going straight into equities and straight into the tip of the equity spear, the giant high beta story stocks. This is a malfunction of the QE mechanism that supports asset prices and slowly trickles the benefits of this support down the pyramid of wealth. Now the game is up because the new money is going straight into this bubble of financial assets that are spiralling up out of control.
If we now get a Nasdaq bull vertical that is the end of the chapter of the process, it will be followed by a devastating crash as everyone dashes to the exit in a blaze of wealth destruction.
The Federal Reserve needs to get a lid on this fast and it appears to be trying to by tapering its balance sheet, but the bubble is still fizzing and if it does not stop soon it will do what bubbles generally do, erupt then collapse. The final eruption before collapse looks to be underway and we should only hope it doesn’t happen.
If it does enter the terminal bubble phase and then collapse, it will be the second blow to the U.S. and world economy, which repeats the 1930 narrative of the one-two punch of twin crises. In the Great Depression it was “stock market crash” followed by “banking crisis.” Here it will be “lockdown” followed by “stock market crash.” (read more)
No "Green" Utopia in Our Future
Why A Great Reset Based On Green Energy Isn't Possible
It seems like a reset of an economy should work like a reset of your computer: Turn it off and turn it back on again; most problems should be fixed. However, it doesn’t really work that way. Let’s look at a few of the misunderstandings that lead people to believe that the world economy can move to a Green Energy future.
 The economy isn’t really like a computer that can be switched on and off; it is more comparable to a human body that is dead, once it is switched off.
 Economic growth has a definite pattern to it, rather than simply increasing without limit.
 Commodity prices behave differently at different stages of the economic cycle. During the second half of the economic cycle, it becomes difficult to keep commodity prices high enough for producers.
 The low prices since mid-2008 seem to be leading to both peak crude oil and peak coal. Crude oil production started falling in 2019 and can be expected to continue falling in 2020. Coal extraction seems likely to start falling in 2020.
 Modelers missed the fact that fossil fuel extraction would disappear because of low prices, leaving nearly all reserves and other resources in the ground. Modelers instead assumed that renewables would always be an extension of a fossil fuel-powered system.
 The same issue of low demand leading to low prices affects commodities of all kinds. As a result, many of the future resources that modelers count on, and that companies depend upon as the basis for borrowing, are unlikely to really be available.
 On a stand-alone basis, intermittent renewables have very limited usefulness. Their true value is close to zero.
 The true cost of wind and solar has been hidden from everyone, using subsidies whose total cost is hard to determine.
 Wind, solar, and hydroelectric today only comprise a little under 10% of the world’s energy supply.
 Few people understand how important energy supply is for giving humans control over other species and pathogens.
We do indeed appear to be headed for a Great Reset. There is little chance that Green Energy can play more than a small role, however. Leaders are often confused because of the erroneous modeling that has been done. Given that the world’s oil and coal supply seem to be declining in the near term, the chance that fossil fuel production will ever rise as high as assumptions made in the IPCC reports seems very slim.
It is true that some Green Energy devices may continue to operate for a time. But, as the world economy continues to head downhill, it will be increasingly difficult to make new renewable devices and to repair existing systems. Wholesale electricity prices can be expected to stay very low, leading to the need for continued subsidies for wind and solar. (read more)
“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”
Preppers Won't Have to Stand in FEMA Breadlines
It's The Preppers That Are Laughing Now...
Since the crash of 2008 much has been made of the fact that the world did not end or the sky fall in on us – unless of course you are one of the people who have been touched by bankruptcy, homelessness, addiction or even suicide as a result of the crash. The truth is that, since the financial collapse, life has not improved, improved very little or even got worse for a huge number of individuals around the world.
Many political and financial pundits have highlighted the fact that the problems that caused the sub-prime crisis and subsequent bank collapses around the world are in fact a systemic problem. However, it appears that very little has been done to remedy the situation. The basic problem is not complex at all – it is very simple in fact:
1.All closed systems have limits and the economic and ecological world system is nearing the limits of tolerance.
2.The main beneficiaries of the current system are a tiny minority (often referred to as the 1%), which is in fact growing smaller, further exacerbating imbalance.
3.No attempt has been made to address a flawed system that is ultimately unsustainable – papering of the crack is all that has occurred.
If you accept the 3 points above then it is easy to see that we are not in fact headed anywhere better in the short or medium term. If no attempts are made to deal with the distribution of capital, the availability of financially meaningful employment, the facilitation of resources and investment in genuinely productive and beneficial enterprises then circumstances will continue to deteriorate.
The short to medium term solution to the 2008 crisis was quantitative easing, or stimulus, however many would argue that the stimulus was given to the arse when it needed to be given to the brain of the patient. Stimulus in the wrong place is of no benefit if the system remains unchanged, or if the beneficiaries only gain more from maintaining the status quo, instead of engaging in reform.
So here we are in 2020, QE or stimulus never ended, although somewhat declining in recent years, it has now been ramped up again to frightening levels. We now have a situation where the broken system of 2008 is still broken but now with a level of leveraging across countries and corporations that is eye-wateringly catastrophic. (read more)
The Serfs Next Door
The Quiet Return Of Feudalism
Few policy items have more ominously heralded the ongoing realignment of our politics than Universal Basic Income. That its proponents and detractors can’t seem to agree on what UBI is intended for in the first place is merely a measure of that omen.
Take Spain. The country’s far-left government was an early fan of the policy, and when it leaped on the unemployment caused by lockdowns to implement a version of it, the handouts were popularly mocked as la paguita—Spanish for pocket money. The derisive analogy was swiftly censured as xenophobic—the potential pull effect for illegal migrants deemed a red herring—or more creatively still, as aporophobic, a made-in-Spain woke neologism for aversion towards the poor. Yet it was fresh college graduates, not illegal aliens nor the destitute, that users of la paguita fretted UBI would put on the dole. UBI-skeptics fear this more than any potential loopholes for migrants or layabouts: namely, further untethering the over-credentialed young from the demands of the labor market, directing them instead towards “more creative pursuits” of dubious societal interest while turning the self-sufficient lower-middle classes into their unconsenting patrons.
The dissonance over who exactly UBI is meant to assist is extremely revealing. The policy was initially designed in Silicon Valley to make automation painless, but liberals on both sides of the Atlantic have hailed the insurance it provides against labor market disruptions. The reckoning with the need for a larger safety net is actually widespread, but the unalloyed welfare that UBI would afford entitled millennials remains a no-go across much of the right. By embracing UBI, the left seems to have made peace with our tech-induced drift away from self-sufficiency and towards generalized dependence. But creating a dependent class out of the supposedly “best and brightest” is still deemed profoundly perverse on the right.
This realignment around work and welfare is but one instance of what Joel Kotkin describes in his latest book as The Coming of Neo-Feudalism, the surreptitious supplanting of liberal capitalism—a blend of economic opportunity, pluralism and dispersed political power—with a new regime dominated by tech oligarchs, enabled by their legitimizers in the so-called “progressive clerisy,” and so far acquiesced to by most everyone else. The proposition that a class of tech overlords is infiltrating liberal institutions will sound far-fetched to most of Kotkin’s readers, but that’s only because our connotations of “feudalism” suffer from recency bias. This f-word often calls to mind pre-revolutionary France, where a monarchic nobility and a conservative priesthood united to preserve their privileges at swords’ point until 1789.
That late form of feudalism is displayed in Kotkin’s choice of cover—an engraving of a nobleman and a priest riding a peasant’s back printed two months before the storming of the Bastille. But what the book warns about is feudalism at an embryonic stage, one where the interests of nobility and clerisy may not jibe all the time, and where the third estate’s submission is still unknowing. Similarly, it took centuries after Rome fell for medieval feudalism to fully take shape, with the Church emerging first as a check on kings’ earthly power before becoming their geopolitical ally, and the servants toiling in the rural estates of the post-Roman nobility barely conscious of their evolving towards serfdom. Then as now, Kotkin argues our feudalization is slow but steady, with ever more power concentrating among fewer hands. Kotkin is better known as an urbanist than as a historian, which is precisely how he garners the historical savvy and prescience to discern the trend stealthily unfolding—for unlike in the early Middle Ages, cities and not rural areas are the microcosm of the neo-feudal order.
Big tech CEOs and the “progressive intelligentsia” form an unlikely coalition, corporate power being a classic progressive gripe. So what about today’s tech overlords makes them more palatable than the bankers and utility oligopolists they’ve replaced? Hipness and woke capitalism surely play a part, but their primary appeal to the wider society is in Kotkin’s view technical, grounded in the growing premium our economy places in technological skill. More than a technocracy, this is a technocratic ratchet—the techies hold the keys to an economy they’ve ushered in and keep making more complex. Progressive opinion-makers have largely acquiesced to the concentration of productive know-how in ever fewer hands, even as the less affluent are shut out of the pathways towards acquiring it. Worse still, the societal benefits from technological innovation reaped by everyone else keep diminishing—where innovation was once concerned with productivity, transport or housing, its link with improved living standards has all but broken under society’s hype over social media and artificial intelligence.
Atop the neo-feudal order sit these two powerful blocks, and the economic disruption their alliance portends is correspondingly far-reaching, not limited to a single set of policy wins for tech companies. Even if their tax evasion or greedy data collection practices are reined in with transnational digital taxes and ambitious privacy rules, for big tech these will amount to little more than inches on the margin, mere bumps on the road towards neo-feudalism. To work out the contours of the new economic order, Kotkin proposes instead to size up the larger tenets of liberal capitalism undergoing erosion. This starts with property, the ladder through which a majority could once reach middle-class prosperity but that is being pulled up before our very eyes.
Under feudalism, serfdom was the norm—toiling on the land of someone else who robbed you was the only path to subsist. Similarly, as the clustering effects of today’s knowledge economy keep driving capital and labor towards already cramped cities, property has concentrated in ever fewer hands, with home renters left similarly property-less. Cities used to be hotbeds of opportunity, today they are segregated dystopias. Where strivers could once take jobs that afforded spacey homes, amenities and savings, today the squeezed middle is driven out of cities altogether by skyrocketing housing, transport and childcare costs. Where suburbia once stood to pick up the pieces of our urban dysfunctions, today that last redoubt of the property-owning middle is reaching full capacity in turn, with the comfortable lifestyle it affords shunned by the environmentalist clerisy.
This crisis of property is behind the mantra that “today’s young are the first generation to face dimmer prospects than their parents,” borne out in endless surveys. A married couple of first-generation college graduates today struggles to buy a home even at the age their non-college educated parents did, effectively delaying the age at which the upward mobility both generations worked so hard to chase can take its effect. Even as it remains the only real launchpad to wealth accrual, homeownership is increasingly the monopoly of those lucky to inherit it, which further tilts a playing field at birth already more uneven than ever. And all this concerns only what Kotkin calls the modern “yeomanry” of financially insecure but credentialed professionals. Even grimmer are the prospects of the neo-feudal serfdom, that netherworld of low-skilled jobs in the service precariat. Devoid of technical skills, these neo-serfs live paycheck to paycheck in what former Labor Secretary Robert Reich once called the “share-the-scraps-economy”—a wordplay on the “sharing economy”—with not a whiff of any real economic opportunity.
But just like medieval serfs felt bound to the feudal system through the Christian hope of redemption, so is our neo-feudal order held together, as much as by economic relationships, by the cultural values evangelized from the clerisy downwards. Yesteryear’s societal ethos was one of dynamism, creative destruction and widespread opportunity for all, which, when sincerely embraced by those at the top, gave the entire system a buttress of legitimacy. For the managerial class holding the reins, living out these values and leading by example reinforced their position atop the system—creating jobs meant supporting middle-class livelihoods, reneging from corporate welfare and accepting the diktats of antitrust enforcement meant playing by the rules.
The values underpinning today’s neo-feudalism, rather than allowing for elites to be renewed through competition and merit, serve to entrench the ones we’re stuck with. Pluralism in online discourse is on the way out and any talk of breaking up the tech giants is defamed as antitrust heresy, effectively enshrining their natural monopoly over the digital space. (read more)
Official Autopsy Report Confirms George Floyd Died of a Fentanyl Overdose - It Was Not Homicide
HENNEPIN COUNTYNO.: 20-3700
MEDICAL EXAMINER’S OFFICE
CASE TITLE: CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST COMPLICATING LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBDUAL, RESTRAINT, AND NECK COMPRESSION
DECEASED: George Floyd aka Floyd Perry
46-year-old man who became unresponsive while being restrained by law enforcement officers; he received emergency medical care in the field and subsequently in the Hennepin HealthCare
I. Blunt force injuries
A. Cutaneous blunt force injuries of the forehead, face, and upper lip
B. Mucosal injuries of the lips
C. Cutaneous blunt force injuries of the shoulders, hands, elbows, and legs
D. Patterned contusions (in some areas abraded) of the wrists, consistent with restraints (handcuffs)
II. Natural diseases
A. Arteriosclerotic heart disease, multifocal, severe
B. Hypertensive heart disease
1. Cardiomegaly (540 g) with mild biventricular dilatation
2. Clinical history of hypertension
C. Left pelvic tumor (incidental, see microscopic description)
III. No life-threatening injuries identified
IV. Viral testing (Minnesota Department of Health, postmortem nasal swab collected 5/26/2020): positive for 2019-nCoV RNA by PCR
VI. Toxicology (see attached report for full details; testing performed on antemortem blood specimens collected 5/25/20 at 9:00 p.m. at HHC and on postmortem urine)
A. Blood drug and novel psychoactive substances screens:
1. Fentanyl 11 ng/mL
2. Norfentanyl 5.6 ng/mL
3. 4-ANPP 0.65 ng/mL
4. Methamphetamine 19 ng/mL
5. 11-Hydroxy Delta-9 THC 1.2 ng/mL; Delta-9 Carboxy THC 42 ng/mL; Delta-9 THC 2.9 ng/mL
6. Cotinine positive
7. Caffeine positive
B. Blood volatiles: negative for ethanol, methanol, isopropanol, or acetone
C. Urine drug screen: presumptive positive for cannabinoids, amphetamines, and fentanyl/metabolite
D. Urine drug screen confirmation: morphine (free) 86 ng/mL
(read the full report)
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