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THE GRAMMATICAL FICTION?
"Judges are the teacher's pets who always did what their composition teacher told them; that is how they got straight As and rose up the ranks of respectable society."
How the Destruction of Grammar and Logic Got Biden into the Oval Office
Many people snickered at the claim made in Texas v. Pennsylvania that there is only a one in a quadrillion chance that Joe Biden won all the swing states as currently claimed. The true meaning beneath the statistic is simple: the vote counts certified in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Georgia are fake, so let's cut through all the noise and decide what to do next. "One in a quadrillion" is a rarified way of saying it just didn't happen.
Texas's case was shot down because in the United States both grammar and logic have been overtaken by rhetoric.
The old trio: Grammar, logic, and rhetoric
Rhetoric is not the same thing as logic or grammar. Philosopher Richard Weaver championed rhetoric as a tool to share truth rather than skirt it. But ever since the ancient birth of "sophistry," there have been rhetoricians who see logic and grammar as disposable tools to support a primary rhetorical agenda. (Some call this, basically, propaganda.)
When people ask you, "how can 95% of doctors be wrong?" or "how can all the courts be wrong?," you should keep in mind that the overemphasis on rhetoric has been universal in colleges since the 1980s, even in Christian and conservative colleges. Professional degrees in medicine and law followed undergraduate degrees in which rhetoric, rather than literature, was used to teach people writing. This was the fruit of the endless battles over "general education" requirements.
Consider some stupid ideas that have attained a consensus in the worlds of medicine and law.
The same medical community that concluded that racial justice rallies were not dangerous during a COVID pandemic but patriotic rallies were also concluded that there is no purpose to indicating on birth certificates whether someone is male or female.
The Supreme Court (even with its mythical conservative majority) that decided, indirectly, that birth certificates can be issued showing two fathers and no mother has also claimed that the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution does not mean that citizens in all states have equal protection of their voting rights (see here). To come up with the latter, they appealed to the question of "standing" — which is a rhetorical move rather than a rational or logical examination of the claims put forward by Texas.
So, now, the faux consensus on election fraud
Many liberals who insist there is "no evidence" of election fraud refer us to the fact that so many courts have rejected lawsuits filed by people alleging fraud. From this trend one can conclude two things.
First, it is commonplace in the United States for people to confuse credentials for evidence, and therefore to think a summary of what credentialed authorities say about evidence is as good as, or better than, or the same thing as, a summary of evidence. They believe such things because they have been taught to think rhetorically — asking what is most persuasive — rather than logically (what is actually true) or grammatically (what is rational).
Second, courts are run by the most educated people in America, which means they went to colleges where rhetoric was literally forced on every student and logic and grammar were systematically devalued. Every composition and rhetoric teacher in English 101 begins by telling students to consider their audience before writing an essay.
Judges are the teacher's pets who always did what their composition teacher told them; that is how they got straight As and rose up the ranks of respectable society. So while their audience is vesting all their authority in judges, the judges are doing what rhetoricians taught them. They are basing their rhetorical responses on what their imagined audience wants to hear. Liberals — those who most resemble their English 101 teachers from college — are the audience that judges have in mind when they write their opinions. In citing judges, liberals are merely stating their own rhetorical position through deceitful ventriloquism, which has nothing to do with the facts or what a reasonable person would conclude from looking at facts.
The rhetorical reading of election fraud claims
In a world where rhetoric has replaced logic and grammar, standards and thresholds become easily adapted to the "situation" and "audience." I compiled a list of questions that election fraud–deniers cannot answer logically or rationally here.
With grammar now deemed less important than rhetoric, terms such "beyond a reasonable doubt" can seamlessly turn into "a strong case in response to one particular reasonable doubt." The audience has no clear understanding of conjunctions, prepositions, articles, or subordinate clauses. One can transform any phrase rhetorically into the opposite of what it means grammatically.
Grammar is key to ratios and therefore to mathematical reasoning. The ratio of Joe Biden votes to total votes is not the same as the ratio of Joe Biden votes to Trump votes. Votes counted divided by votes cast is not the same ratio as votes cast divided by votes counted. People who have no command of grammar have no real defense against propagandists. Skilled rhetoricians can construe "preponderance of" to mean "convincing possibility in."
A video emerges of Georgia workers throwing out Republican poll-watchers based on false claims about a broken water pipe, then surreptitiously scanning ballots taken from a hidden suitcase. The fact that authorities lied, threw out observers, and then did things they were not legally entitled to do shows a preponderance of evidence that they committed an election crime. People who committed one election crime would probably be capable of committing another election crime (reporting fake results), so their credibility as witnesses should be received with suspicion.
The audience trained to think rhetorically will interpret these facts irrationally (that is, against the "ratio"). There exists one possible explanation — they were just putting away papers and doing some regular housekeeping. This excuse is far-fetched but comforting to some. The audience sees the preponderance of evidence favoring the anti-Trump position because of the irresistible option to see the image as innocent rather than incriminating. Within the evidence, there exists a possibility — they weren't scanning ballots, but doing some other wholesome paperwork after hours — and the innocent possibility sounds more convincing to the audience. So even this obvious video evidence is "debunked" and deemed "not credible," despite the fact that affidavits signed by Republican poll-watchers before they knew of the video's existence matched the events and timing caught on video, while the Georgia state officials made statements that were completely disproved by the video.
In the ungrammatical and illogical world of rhetoric, the fact that an election authority broke one law and got caught can be interpreted as proof that he didn't break other laws and therefore merits credibility as a witness. How does this work? The audience likes the suggestion that if such people had committed more crimes, they would have been caught engaging in them (a presumption that runs utterly against the reality that people are usually creatures of habit). The fact that these accused parties are actively preventing any investigation that would reveal more crimes is then taken rhetorically as proof that they must be innocent.
... When shown video of Democrats affixing boards over windows to prevent observers from seeing them count ballots, liberals claim that this disproves fraud because no observers can state that they witnessed any illegal activities during the tabulation process. The fact that the Democrats were bold enough to hide possible crimes from observers looks to liberals like proof that they must not have committed any crimes.
Logic involves the use of reason to examine different claims and decide which one is most plausible or certain. Grammar involves the effective use of language to convey meanings honestly and efficiently.
Rhetoric is different. It is the art of argumentation, a "craft" tailored to the goals of the speaker and his audience. A good rhetorician can convince an audience of a certain proposition even if the proposition is false. Good logicians and good grammarians will not fall for the tricks of a good rhetorician.
... We now live with the result of bad education. To believe in Biden's win, we would have to believe that since nobody has given a clear reason for the simultaneous stoppage of vote-counting in key swing states, no nefarious reason could exist for it. We would have to believe that Republican observers were expelled in multiple districts simply because all the election officials were in the same bad mood. We would assume that all affidavits provided by Trump's team are lies, but all statements provided by Biden's team are truthful. We would have to believe that millions of voters who favored Biden by breathtaking margins mailed in their ballots late enough that they arrived after the Election Night, to be counted with no observation, but no large contingent of Trump voters mailed in ballots on such a late date. We would have to believe that Democratic activists who support amnesty for people who defrauded immigration processes or asylum claims, and who spent four years equating Trump to Hitler, would miraculously show restraint and report nothing but honest vote totals. We would have to believe that honest mistakes caused the computer glitch in a Michigan county, but nowhere else, even though authorities are actively preventing the Trump team from inspecting the software and hardware. (read more)
WALL STREET TITANS CRY FOUL
"Wall Street is losing its mind and Wall Street now wants to change the rules of the game because a bunch of people with accounts ranging from $500 to $2,500 are taking down the billionaires."
It took less than a day for big tech, big government and the corporate media
to spring into action and begin colluding to protect their hedge fund buddies
on Wall Street. This is what a rigged system looks like, folks! #RobinHood
#RedditArmy #GME #GMEtothemoon https://t.co/UhrwGHCjng
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 28, 2021
Guys this is the first chink in the armor of this bull market basically the system
subsidizes HFs [hedge funds] now through their prime brokers aka Wall Street.
This is a public relations nightmare for the Fed and the new White House
Basically they asked to help stop the WSB* long army.
— Ed ☯️ The Obsolete Man (@DowdEdward) January 28, 2021
*WSB = https://reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets
"If the average American suffers a loss, that’s a darn shame. If big players suffer a loss, shut everything down!"
FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN THE ELECTION
Super Computer & Military in Italy altered the election results in 17 States
... While Antifa was rampaging through the Capitol during Biden’s ratification, pretending to be Trump supporters, across the ocean in Rome, Italy, Arturo D’elio, an employee at Leonardo SpA, was busy providing sworn testimony in court. Where D’elio works is important. Leonardo is the world’s eighth largest defense contractor, and Italy is a member of NATO.
In his deposition, D’elio revealed the scheme that proved to be successful in using Leonardo computer systems as well as military satellites located in Pescara, Italy. D’elio’s hi-tech equipment altered the election results in the 2020 Presidential Election in the United States. D’elio swore under oath that he altered results in seventeen states—that’s right, seventeen, not just the six swing states.
Those who participated in this scheme were not minor players. Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, was involved. So were officials at the U.S. Embassy in Rome. MI-6 and the CIA were involved. Others were involved too, household names in the USA, but revealing those scoundrels will have to wait. What we have here is not just the smoking gun. It’s the confession of the person who used the gun. His sworn testimony is evidence, the very thing we have long awaited. We have always known that votes were altered. Now, we know not only how it was done but also who the people were who were responsible for changing the election’s outcome. We have proof about who stole votes from Trump and gave them to Biden.
The scandal this has produced in Italy is so large that Conte’s government will probably fall. It should. That this has happened is being repressed by the U.S. media. No surprise about this but, because this is the biggest story since Pearl Harbor, I don’t believe it can be swept under the rug. The bad guys, those like Chuck Schumer and even some Republicans, know it’s coming. This is why they want to get rid of President Trump once and for all. This discovery may have come too late, but maybe not. Perhaps there is still time to save our republic. Share this far and wide. I’ve provided links to the evidence and to the analysis.
(read more and see more links to evidencd)
COURT FILINGS CONCERNING ELECTORAL FRAUD
ANTIFA ACTIVIST DOUBTS BIDEN WON
“There is definitely something kind of fishy to say that Biden got all of these votes..."
EXCLUSIVE: John Sullivan, AKA “Jayden X”, Opens Up About His Involvement In January 6th Capitol Riot
War Room With Owen Shroyer
John Sullivan joins Owen for an in-depth discussion about what happened on January 6th and how the left and the right can find unity and defeat the establishment's globalist agenda for humanity.
John Sullivan: “I saw a lot of Trump rallies starting to pop up across the nation, I saw the support that he was getting. But I didn’t see really any of the support that Biden was getting. I see no rallies for Biden.”
“You don’t see Biden rallies with Biden 2020 signs flags popping up all over the US. You see a lot of Trump rallies and Trump 2020 rallies. So that does speak for itself.”
“That does speak for something – that people are willing to go out and advocate for something that they believe in.”
“There is definitely something kind of fishy to say that Biden got all of these votes when Trump had all of these people out there protesting.”
“I believe that [Biden] won in the sense that that’s what came through the system, right? That came through the ballot machines. That’s what counted. Do I think that there could have been some kind, some sort of miscount or rigging? Yes, I do.”
"We have to hold every single person responsible for leading our nation into this point of darkness.”
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH WAS BUILT BY THE LEFT
Those who have spent years begging and pleading with Silicon
Valley to aggressively police speech and content have single-handedly
gutted one of the key initial values of the internet: empowering
people to compete with corporate & political power centers.
This is what you built: https://t.co/puQx3rO7G2
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 27, 2021
BANANA REPUBLIC NEWS (Crime in the Militarized Capital City) II
Despite Heavy Military Presence, Man Killed in Anacostia
“This morning [Monday], there was a shooting inside a store at the corner of Good Hope road in Southeast. Five were shot, and Edward Wade, a 22 year old college student, was killed. A suspect has been arrested.
Edward’s mom was in the car waiting for him – they were just getting coffee and something to eat. Just two hours later, the store was re-open for business. His mom, still suffering the immense trauma caused a mere few hours earlier, when she lost her son, his body not even buried, and business is going on as usual at the place he was murdered.
My heart goes out to Christine Wade and everyone who knew her son. I hope you can share her story so more people in our city, who like me don’t live in Ward 8, are aware of her loss, and the loss of so many other mothers like her.” (read more)
Additional coverage here.
BANANA REPUBLIC NEWS (Crime in the Militarized Capital City) I
Robbery Between Howard University and a Whole Foods Market
“Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force seek the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a vehicle in reference to an Armed Robbery (Gun) of an Armored Car Employee offense that occurred on Tuesday, January 26, 2021, in the 2300 block of Georgia Avenue, Northwest.
At approximately 10:51 am, two suspects approached an employee of an armored car company at the listed location. The suspects brandished guns and demanded the US currency the employee was transporting. The victim complied and the suspects took the US currency. The suspects then attempted to take the employee’s handgun. When the suspects tried to remove it from the holster, the handgun discharged.
The suspects then fled the scene in a vehicle. No injuries were reported.
The vehicle was captured by a surveillance camera (read more)
A MIND IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE
If you haven't figured out that this is a charade yet, you're not paying attention.
Former White House stenographer Mike McCormick reports Joe Biden has lost 50 percent of his cognitive abilities. McCormick, who worked for Biden for six years, details Biden’s decline in his new book Joe Biden, Unauthorized. After working with Biden up close, McCormick says Biden is not the same man and has suffered at least 50 percent decline. (read more)
THE RESISTANCE TO RAPACIOUS HEDGE FUNDS
"It's perhaps worth noting that historically, dating back to the days of Rome, once the people get sufficiently irritated, they have no trouble at all slaughtering the elite whose power is based on the very authority they have been abusing and in which the people no longer believe. "
Gamers 1, Bankers 0
Not unlike certain lawyers, bankers are beginning to discover that gamers are really freaking good at playing games once they figure out what the rules are. No matter what the game is.
Investors on Reddit have launched an attack that’s both trolling and serious on Wall Street firms by purchasing shares in GameStop, pushing the stock price up over 480% in a week, costing hedge funds millions of dollars, and skyrocketing young investors’ portfolios and egos.
Popular subreddit r/WallStreetBets (WSB), whose tagline is “Like 4chan found a Bloomberg Terminal,” has over 2 million members reading and posting “stonks” tips and news. Its biggest obsession in recent weeks has been raising the stock price of GameStop, the old-school video game mall retailer.
“They’re digitally doing it in a coordinated attack,” Howard Lindzon at Social Leverage, an early stage seed investment fund, told BuzzFeed News.
Lindzon thinks the investors chatting across Reddit — who tend to be millennial and Gen Z men — are just having a fun time causing trouble for hedge funds who’d bet on shares in the gaming retailer dropping. “They’re just playing a game,” he said. “And they’re having a blast.”
But Wall Street hedge funds, including Citron Research and Melvin Capital, had shorted the stock, meaning they had bet against it and needed it to drop in price in order for their investments to be successful.
Even the cries about "it's unfair, it's coordinated" are the same. It's perhaps worth noting that historically, dating back to the days of Rome, once the people get sufficiently irritated, they have no trouble at all slaughtering the elite whose power is based on the very authority they have been abusing and in which the people no longer believe. (read more)
THE RESISTANCE III
"That’s where Mr. Biden’s halt may run into trouble, according to Louis Fisher, a leading scholar on presidential and congressional powers."
Biden's order to halt border wall construction is likely illegal, experts say
... Biden’s directive pausing border wall construction is probably illegal, several experts told The Washington Times, saying he has the power to cancel Defense Department money that was being funneled toward the project, but he went too far by halting construction paid for by money Congress had specifically approved for the wall.
Mr. Biden’s order last week also put 5,000 people out of work, and will waste “billions” of dollars to pay off contractors for work that will no longer be done, said the man who oversaw construction for the Trump administration.
Mark Morgan, who was acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told The Washington Times in an exclusive interview that as of Jan. 20 they were still spending money Congress had approved three years ago on wall construction, and a president is required to carry that out.
“The president just can’t unilaterally say ‘Congress, what you appropriated funding for, no, I’m not going to do that,’” Mr. Morgan said. “He was basically telling CBP to break the law to stop construction.”
Some 460 miles of wall built under Mr. Trump, and Homeland Security had plans — and funding — to erect more than 300 more miles, Mr. Morgan said.
All of that came to a halt soon after Mr. Biden’s Inauguration Day proclamation.
Border officials said the only exceptions were a few spots where crews had to do quick safety fixes, such as covering up open trenches or tying down loose material, before they parked the backhoes and put down the shovels.
Some of the ongoing construction was being paid for with money President Trump had siphoned from Department of Defense accounts under his border emergency. Experts said Mr. Biden was within his powers to revoke the emergency and reclaim that money.
But Congress also allocated $.1375 billion each year from fiscal year 2018 through the current fiscal year 2021 specifically toward wall construction.
“If he is halting the expenditure of DOD funds — that Trump reprogrammed to build the wall — I think Biden is acting properly. If Biden is doing more then he might be acting improperly,” said Mr. Fisher, who spent four decades as the Library of Congress’s senior specialist on separation of powers issues. “Congress did appropriate some funds for the wall, although less than Trump requested. Withholding that money, I think, would be improper.”
Mr. Biden, in issuing the halt, called the wall “a waste of money that diverts attention from genuine threats.”
His order paused both current and planned construction “to the extent permitted by law.” He also ordered a review of the consequences of canceling the projects outright. Mr. Biden made an exception “to ensure that funds appropriated by the Congress fulfill their intended purpose.”
In practice, sources told The Times, the wall was halted across the board.
James P. Pfiffner, professor emeritus at George Mason University and an expert on presidential powers, said he wasn’t familiar with the specifics of the wall, but said in general presidents are required to spend money as Congress directed — though they can fudge the timing.
“If Congress appropriated money for the wall, it should be spent,” he said. “The president has some discretion over the timing of expenditures, and it is reasonable for some funds to be delayed. If it was a significant delay, the administration should notify Congress with a deferral notice, but it cannot defer spending past the end of a fiscal year.”
Mr. Pfiffner did offer another possibility. He said the Biden team could claim fungibility of funds.
Congress allocated $4.125 billion for wall construction from 2019 through 2021. As long as Homeland Security has spent that much — even if some of it came from siphoned Pentagon money — it could argue it’s fulfilled Congress’s intent, and it can try to return the other money.
Congress’s power to control spending is a fundamental tenet of government.
That was one of the problems Mr. Trump faced in 2019, when he delayed sending security assistance money to Ukraine. The Government Accountability Office ruled that he had violated the Impoundment Control Act, and that became evidence against him in his first impeachment trial.
“Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law,” the GAO ruled in the Trump case.
Unlike Mr. Trump’s situation, which led to his first impeachment, there is no suggestion that Mr. Biden engaged in a quid pro quo over the wall money.
Homeland Security referred all questions about the legality of the halt back to the White House, which didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Morgan, in his interview with The Times, bristled at White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s declaration during a briefing last week that the wall “has not worked even to keep the country safer, even to keep bad actors out.”
“The new president of the United States’ press secretary got out and just lied to the American people. She said walls weren’t effective. That’s just a lie,” Mr. Morgan said.
He pointed to Mr. Biden’s vote in the Senate 2006 for 700 miles of double-tier border fencing, which is more than Mr. Trump erected. And Mr. Biden was vice president in the Obama administration, which itself built miles of border fencing.
Mr. Morgan said there was a reason the Obama team built walls: “Every measure of success improves where we have the wall, technology and personnel.”
The former CBP chief also saw an irony in Ms. Psaki’s assertion. He said on so many other areas, such as coronavirus, the Biden team says it’s following what the experts say.
“When it came to the border wall, they did the opposite,” Mr. Morgan said. “They will not find a Border Patrol agent that’s on the front lines today that will tell them the wall doesn’t work.”
He said the wall project is a system, including high-speed roads and lighting and technology.
Combined, they give the Border Patrol a much better chance to interdicting and turning back or arresting an attempt to breach the border.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents, said the numbers from Arizona bear that out.
In the Tucson Sector, which covers most of the state’s southern half, the eastern part has been the site of some of the most intense wall-building over the last four years. The more remote western part has not.
Mr. Judd said over a five-day period last week, the agents detected about 2,006 illegal entries in the western part, and apprehended 915 — a success rate of about 46%.
In the eastern part, where wall has been built, they detected just 1,180 entries, and apprehended 881 — a success rate of about 75%.
“This is why we say walls work,” Mr. Judd said. “Walls allow us to dictate where the entries take place, and if we can dictate where entries take place we can be a lot more effective.” (read more)
THE RESISTANCE II
"The resistance is that once this is done you have the absolute truth."
Jovan Pulitzer on Individuals Saying This was the Most Secure Election in History
Jovan Pulitzer is attempting to forensically validate the ballots in Maricopa County Arizona. But the Board of Supervisors in the county is attempting to prevent him from doing his work there.
Pulitzer has also offered to review the ballots in Fulton County Georgia and the Georgia Senate approved his effort there. But the last we heard on Georgia was that the FBI came in and took custody of some ballots and sent them to the shredder.
OANN interviewed Pulitzer and after describing his methodology and the information that he can identify in his ballot review process and he explained that the end result is that the machines will review the ballots and this will take the human element out of the review process. When asked what is the downside to this, Pulitzer said:
The downside is humans are removed, biases are removed and we can get absolute fact. You know we’ve been told this was the most secure election ever in the history of the United States. I don’t believe that because if it was it’d be very transparent and we can look at it, so what’s the resistance? The resistance is that once this is done you have the absolute truth.
This is the first answer needed. We need to confirm the number of valid ballots and then determine the winner of the 2020 election. We have not yet done this. The government requires ballots be maintained for 22 months after a federal election. We have about 19 months left to review the ballots in the swing states and get an accurate count of ballots there. Please contact these legislatures to make sure they know you want this to happen.
Pulitzer’s method can then be used going forward to ensure integrity in our elections. But we must first know the truth from the 2020 election. (read more)
THE RESISTANCE I
Texas is the FIRST state in the nation to bring a lawsuit against the Biden Admin.
AND WE WON.
Within 6 days of Biden’s inauguration, Texas has HALTED his illegal deportation freeze.
*This* was a seditious left-wing insurrection. And my team and I stopped it.
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) January 26, 2021
BANANA REPUBLIC NEWS I
Sham Impeachment "Trial" of Deposed President to Move Forward.
Heavy Military Presence in Capital City.
The Senate just voted on my constitutional point of order.
45 Senators agreed that this sham of a “trial” is unconstitutional.
That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process.
This “trial” is dead on arrival in the Senate.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 26, 2021
This is the BEST takedown of Democrats’ unconstitutional impeachment sham I’ve seen.
EVERY American should see this speech from @RandPaul.
Watch what your elected officials are busy debating while millions of Americans are suffering
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 26, 2021
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (fib becomes fiasco)
No Cause for Alarm
Different demographic groups excelling in different areas of endeavor does not prove discrimination.
Wells Fargo chief executive Charlie Scharf’s leaked comments describing “a very limited pool of black talent to recruit from”—taken from a company-wide meeting and accompanying memo regarding black under-representation among bank executives—have ignited a firestorm, trending on Twitter and prompting outrage from media figures and celebrities.
“Perhaps it’s the CEO of Wells Fargo who lacks the talent to recruit Black workers,” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “It would be hard to find a cleaner example of self-perpetuating systemic racism in action,” Washington Post editor and columnist Karen Attiah wrote.
Yet Scharf’s claims, harsh as they may sound, aren’t racist or bigoted; nor are they factually incorrect. The reaction to what he said illustrates a popular fallacy in American culture that any disparity can be chalked up to discrimination. In 2018, only 4.1 percent of Wells Fargo’s senior workforce was black. Did discrimination drive this disparity? Choice is a much more plausible driver in group variation.
According to a large-scale Georgetown University analysis in 2016, African-American students are significantly underrepresented in the top majors for getting a banking job, such as finance, business, economics, and mathematics. One’s college major is an important factor in shaping the talent pool from which employers such as Wells Fargo hire. Black students make up 7 percent of all STEM majors, roughly half their percentage share of the American population.
As Thomas Sowell has pointed out, inequality between groups is the norm, not the exception, in human affairs. Black Americans are overrepresented in the NBA by a factor of six. African-Americans outperform other racial groups in other areas, such as popular music. According to one analysis, a successful musician from the 2010s was twice as likely to be black than the average American. Black success in the music industry recently culminated in a historic Pulitzer Prize win in music awarded to rapper Kendrick Lamar.
Contrary to media narratives about systemic police racism, black Americans are the most over-represented group in law enforcement (they make up 15.5 percent of law enforcement members but 12.3 percent of the population). Asians are significantly underrepresented in professional sports and law enforcement. No one claims that these disparities reflect systemic bias against Asians.
Racial bias does exist in some situations and can sizably influence outcomes. Some studies find bias against minorities in hiring, though other research finds prioritization of minorities in the hiring process due to widespread affirmative action programs. Moreover, external factors such as limited school choice, high crime rates, and lack of opportunity in poor black communities all undermine the life chances of black youth. These are serious problems but they don’t prove racial discrimination.
Human variation across race and gender lines in various occupations is complex. Women are over-represented in psychology and nursing; men are over-represented in trucking and HVAC maintenance; Asians are over-represented in STEM; and Jews are over-represented among American Nobel Prize winners and the film industry. Discrimination is not a universally plausible hypothesis for why some groups excel in some fields but not in others.
Apart from the larger ramifications of Scharf’s controversial comments, his statement was not universally deemed as racist even by even those present for his remarks. “The meeting was incredibly constructive,” Alex David, president of the African-American Connection Team Member Network, told Reuters. “I walked away being incredibly surprised at how genuine and sincere he is.”
There is every reason for corporations to nurture talent among underrepresented groups. But the reality that groups make different life choices is not in itself a cause for alarm. (read more)
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (friction becomes fact, the press incites resentment and violence)
Narrative Before Facts
When will the media acknowledge their role in spreading false and inflammatory stories about police shootings?
When officer Rusten Sheskey shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back last year, the media wasted no time establishing the standard narrative: another unarmed African-American shot by racist police.
In a CNN segment on August 25, anchor Jake Tapper said, “Video shows police shoot unarmed black man.” The Washington Post, CNN, PBS, Buzzfeed, Vogue, and several other outlets referred to Blake as “unarmed.” The day after the shooting, David A. Graham, a staff writer at The Atlantic, asserted, “It’s nearly impossible to imagine any way that his shooting was justified.”
Democratic politicians and celebrities jumped on the story, too. Joe Biden tweeted, “Once again, a Black man—Jacob Blake—was shot by the police. In front of his children. It makes me sick. Is this the country we want to be?” Kamala Harris declared that “the life of a black person in America has never been treated as fully human.” Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete in the world, tweeted to her more than 800,000 followers condemnation of the “continued genocide of Black people at the hand of the police.”
But as Blake himself admitted in a television interview with ABC News last week, he was not unarmed. “I realized I had dropped my knife, I had a little pocketknife, so I picked it up,” Blake told Michael Strahan on Good Morning America. More critically, Blake admitted his actions at the time were wrong: “I shouldn’t have picked it up . . . considering what was going on. . . . At that time I wasn’t thinking clearly.”
Blake’s astonishing admission came days after Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Graveley announced that his office would not charge Officer Sheskey, based on the results of an investigation by former Madison police chief Noble Wray. During a press conference, Wray emphasized that he, too, had been “emotionally troubled” after seeing the initial video of the police encounter in August, and that it had been a “stressful endeavor” to work in policing for several years as an African-American man. However, his 25-page report definitively concluded that the shooting was “justified” because Blake consistently did not comply with the officer’s orders and motioned toward him with his knife. Further, according to the report, Officer Sheskey did not retreat for reasonable fear of the children in the car being “harmed, taken hostage, or abducted by Blake.” For those who deemed the seven shots fired at Blake excessive, Wray’s report clarified that officers are trained to shoot dangerous suspects until the threat to their safety has subsided, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s DAAT standards.
The tragic outcome of Blake’s error in judgment is that he will likely never walk again. But the false story fostered by politicians, media, and celebrities produced tragic outcomes, too. The ensuing riots in Kenosha destroyed several businesses and cost millions of dollars in damage to public property. In a heart-rending interview, the owner of a destroyed car dealership stated, “I’m a minority too. I’m a brown person. I have nothing to do with this. . . . This is not the America I came into.”
All of this pain, damage, and suffering certainly could have been averted had Blake obeyed the officer’s commands when he was first approached. But the irresponsible and ideologically framed coverage of this and other police shootings has also played a part in creating a dangerous feedback loop of mistrust of police, noncompliance with their lawful instructions, tragedy, and public outrage. (Blake also said in his Good Morning America interview, “I didn’t want to be the next George Floyd.”)
The most damning detail in this story, however, is that the victim himself, Blake, has expressed more honesty and remorse for his actions than the media and political elites who pushed an inflammatory, racialized narrative before all the facts were in. (read more)
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (friction becomes fact, Biden the Usurper incites resentment and violence)
"Reflexive invocations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” have become the Tourette’s Syndrome of left-wing professors and activists. They are au courant, shallow terms of the moment, lacking depth or weight."
Words of Division
Cloaked in an appeal to unity, President Biden’s inaugural speech hit all the expected themes of racial resentment and blame.
It’s an odd way to seek national unity: call a significant portion of the American public white supremacists, racists, and nativists. Welcome to the Biden presidency.
Joe Biden’s inaugural speech as 46th president is predictably being hailed for its “unifying” message. And just as predictably, his invocations of the divisive bromides of the identitarian Left are being swept under the rug.
According to Biden, we are a “great nation” and a “good people.” But we also oppress minorities with an ever-rising fervor. “Growing inequity” is among the greatest challenges facing the country, according to Biden, along with the “sting of systemic racism” and encroaching “white supremacy.” Only now are we confronting “a cry for racial justice, some four hundred years in the making.”
One might have thought that more than 50 years of civil rights legislation; the banishing of Jim Crow segregation; the ubiquity of racial preferences throughout corporate America, higher education, and government; trillions of dollars of tax dollars attempting to close the academic achievement gap; and the election of black politicians by white voting districts would have reduced inequity, not increased it. But to Biden’s speechwriters, steeped in academic victimology, racial inequity is always with us, requiring constant remediation from government.
Biden rattled off a litany of white America’s sins: the “harsh, ugly reality” of “racism, nativism, fear, [and] demonization”; “anger, resentment, hatred, [and] extremism.” He did not name white Americans as such, but he did not need to. That qualifier is inherent in the language he chose to adopt.
This characterization of America’s worsening racism is not just factually ungrounded, it is also a tasteless rhetorical move in an inaugural address. Reflexive invocations of “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” have become the Tourette’s Syndrome of left-wing professors and activists. They are au courant, shallow terms of the moment, lacking depth or weight.
In fact, such terms are so overused today that it is easy to tune them out. But that would be a mistake. The “systemic racism” conceit means that every American institution is illegitimate and needs to be reconstructed. Biden’s cabinet nominees, whether in health, finance, environmental policy, or education, have declared that eradicating systemic racism is their top priority. How this agenda will play out has already been adumbrated in the CDC’s initial priority list for Covid vaccinations: hold off on vaccinating the elderly, despite their higher risk levels, because the elderly are disproportionately white. Racial quotas will become even more the order of the day than now. The diversity obsessives in the federal science bureaucracies waited out Donald Trump’s presidency. They will now redouble their efforts to treat a researcher’s race and sex as scientific qualifications in the awarding of federal research grants. Expect to see any mention of merit or excellence denounced as a form of bigotry, a response that the University of California and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, as well as an army of corporate diversity trainers, have already perfected.
The next four years will likely be one long anti-white-privilege struggle session. Any real effort to close racial achievement gaps, such as fighting the “acting white” ethic that prevents many inner-city children from trying hard in school, will be deferred and discredited. Biden is betting that white liberals, at least, will continue hanging their heads in penance for their hereditary crimes and trot off to their latest show trial. Given past behavior, he’s probably right. (read more)
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (fiction becomes fact)
The Dystopian Imagination
Why did the twentieth century produce so many works of fiction depicting not an ideal future but a future as terrible as could be imagined?
Why did the twentieth century produce so many—and such vivid—dystopias, works of fiction depicting not an ideal future but a future as terrible as could be imagined? After all, never had material progress been greater; never should man have felt himself freer of the anxieties that, with good reason, had beset him in the past. Famine had all but disappeared, except in civil wars or where regimes deliberately engineered it; and for the first time in history, the biblical span—or longer—was a reasonable hope for many. Medicine had conquered the dread infectious diseases that once cut swathes through entire populations. Not to enjoy luxuries that Louis XIV couldn't have imagined now was evidence of intolerable poverty.
Yet even as technology liberated us from want (though not, of course, from desire), political schemes of secular salvation—communism and Nazism—unleashed a barbarism that, if not unique in its ferocity, was certainly so in the determination, efficiency, and thoroughness with which it was practiced. The attempts to put utopian ideals into practice invariably resulted in the effort to eliminate whole classes or races of people. Many, especially intellectuals, came to regard the utopian condition, in which earth is fair and all men glad and wise, as man's natural state; only the existence of ill-intentioned classes or races could explain the fall from grace. Where hopes are unrealistic, fears often become exaggerated; where dreams alone are blueprints, nightmares result.
It is hardly surprising that a century of utopian dreams and coercive social engineering to achieve them should have been a century rich in imaginative dystopias. Indeed, from The Time Machine to Blade Runner, the dystopia became a distinct literary and cinematic genre, and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and George Orwell's 1984 became so much a part of Western man's mental furniture that even unliterary people invoke them to criticize the present.
The dystopians look to the future not with the optimism of those who believe that man's increasing mastery of nature will bring greater happiness but with the pessimism of those who believe that the more man controls nature, the less he controls himself. The benefits of technological advance will be as nothing, they say, by comparison with the evil ends to which man will put it.
The great dystopias do not still command our interest because of their technological prescience. The contrivances they describe are often from today's standpoint laughably nave. H. G. Wells's time machine is hardly more than an elaborate bicycle made of ivory, nickel, and quartz. The radio reporter's aluminum hat, filled with transmitting equipment, in Brave New World, strikes us today as ridiculous, despite Huxley's reputation for scientific foresight. In 1984, Orwell imagines a computer as being full of nuts and bolts, with oil lubricating its operations—more steam engine than motherboard.
Yet, this technological naïveté finally does not matter, for the dystopians' purpose is moral and political. They are not crystal gazing but anxiously—despairingly—commenting on the present. The dystopias—depicting journeys to imaginary worlds, removed more in time than in space, whose most salient characteristics are exaggerations of what their authors take to be significant social trends—are the reductio ad absurdum (or ad nauseam) of received ideas of progress and sensitive indicators of the anxieties of their age, which is still so close to our own.
Some of these anxieties now seem unnecessary to us or based upon false premises. Reading about them today is salutary, however, for it encourages us to step back from our current worries and wonder whether they, too, might not be chimeras. Wells's The Time Machine, for example, is virtually a tract on the social-medical fears of his time, most of which, in light of subsequent experience, proved unfounded.
Wells's hero travels 800,000 years into the future. Mankind, he discovers, has divided into two species: the diurnal Eloi; and the nocturnal, subterranean Morlocks. The Eloi are soft, weak creatures, small in stature and effete in gesture and conduct, who devote their time to the simple pleasures of erotic play and eating delicious fruit. The Morlocks, toiling in their underground factories, make everything the Elois need for their easeful existence. But like human spiders, the Morlocks emerge after dark to prey upon the Elois, who are meat for them.
Wells's outdated social Darwinian and eugenic preoccupations are clear enough from his fantasy. Society, Wells thought, was splitting into two castes that eventually would evolve into separate species because of their different conditions of existence. On the one hand were the owners of capital, doomed to mental and physical enfeeblement because they never had to struggle to survive; on the other were the workers, made increasingly stunted, amoral, and angry by the harshness of their labor. Wells's future dystopia showed what he thought would happen when this division reached its end.
Four years after The Time Machine first appeared, the Boer War broke out, and British army recruitment centers seemed to bear out Wells's worst fears. An astonishing number of British working-class men failed to measure up to the army's undemanding physical requirements—so much so that recruiters had to lower their standards. Eton adolescents stood six inches taller than slum school pupils of the same age: here were two nations indeed, and a division into two species might have seemed imminent to someone as steeped in Darwin as Wells.
Yet a mere half century after Wells's death, his countrymen's average height had increased by an inch per decade: both the Eloi and the Morlocks grew larger as the struggle for existence grew less desperate and survival more assured.
The division of society into separate castes also preoccupied Jack London's dystopia, The Iron Heel, published in 1907. London foresees an America in which the plutocracy of the Gilded Age, with hired mercenaries, confronts an immiserated proletariat. Determined to protect their wealth, the plutocrats mobilize their fascistic organization, the Iron Heel, to destroy U.S. constitutional liberties so thoroughly that mass terror ensues and Latin-American-style disappearances (which London describes with frightening prescience) become commonplace. London accepts in toto Marx's theory of the ever widening disparity between the owners of capital and those with only their labor to sell, with one important exception: he believes that the proletarian revolution lies in the distant future. In the meantime, man will squirm under the Iron Heel, like a worm under a boot.
Like all dystopians who favor the common man, London does not stoop to flatter. He hates the Iron Heel, but that does not mean he loves the proletariat as anything but an abstraction. When London portrays it in revolt, you begin, despite the author's intentions, to side with the Iron Heel: "It was not a column but a mob, an awful river that filled the street, the people of the abyss, mad with drink and wrong, up at last and roaring for the blood of their masters. I had seen the people of the abyss before, gone through its ghettos, and thought I knew it; but I found that I was now looking on it for the first time. Dumb apathy had vanished. It was now dynamic—a fascinating spectacle of dread. It surged past my vision in concrete waves of wrath, drunk with hatred, drunk with lust for blood—men, women and children, in rags and tatters, dim ferocious intelligences with all the godlike blotted from their features and all the fiendlike stamped in, apes and tigers, anemic consumptives and great hairy beasts of burden, wan faces from which vampire society had sucked the juice of life, bloated forms swollen with physical grossness and corruption, withered hags and death's-heads bearded like patriarchs, festering youth and festering age, faces of fiends, crooked, twisted, misshapen monsters blasted with the ravages of disease and all the horrors of chronic innutrition—the refuse and the scum of life, a raging screaming, screeching demoniacal horde."
And this, to London, is the last—the only—hope of humanity. Even the Morlocks seem preferable.
It is not surprising that the two greatest literary dystopians, Huxley and Orwell, were English. For to be English in the twentieth century was to breathe in a climate of unrelieved pessimism. It was a period of continuous national decline. Starting from a position of world power and influence, England ended up a mere province, struggling to keep pace with the likes of Belgium or Holland. True, its people were much better off in material terms at the end of the century than at its outset, but man's sense of well-being depends upon comparison with others as well as upon his absolute condition. Material progress and despair went hand in hand in England: a nourishing brew for the dystopian imagination.
Huxley's book was published in 1932; Orwell's appeared in 1949. Huxley feared the growing Americanization of English life (though soon after publishing the book, he emigrated to California, America's ne plus ultra); Orwell feared the growing Sovietization of English life that had taken place during World War II. It seemed to both men that their native land no longer had sufficient intellectual, cultural, or moral energy to chart its own course through history and was caught in the grip of forces that the individual could struggle against only in vain.
Both dystopias retain their power to alarm because they are prophetic, almost in a biblical sense: they issue permanent calls to resist trends that, irrespective of the political regime we happen to find ourselves under, will impoverish human life.
Huxley's Brave New World is set in an indefinitely distant future: it will not be possible for many years to say that Huxley's apprehensions have not proved justified. It is unlikely that populations will undergo genetic and environmental manipulation in the exact way that Huxley foresaw: there will never be a fixed number of predetermined strata, from Alpha Plus to Epsilon Minus Semi-Morons. But as an Italian scientist prepares to clone humans, and as reproduction grows as divorced from sex as sex is from reproduction, it is increasingly hard to regard Huxley's vision as entirely far-fetched.
Brave New World describes a sexual regime that increasingly resembles the one that rules today. A little boy, younger than ten, must visit a psychologist because he does not want to indulge in erotic play with a little girl, as his teachers demand: a situation we seem to be fast approaching. Not only does sex education start earlier and earlier in our schools, but publications, films, and television programs for ever-younger age groups grow more and more eroticized. It used to be that guilt would accompany the first sexual experiences of young people; now shame accompanies the lack of such experiences.
In Huxley's dystopia, as among liberals today, enlightenment and permissiveness are synonymous. The Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning tells his students how it was in the old, unenlightened times: " ‘What I'm going to tell you now,’ he said, ‘may sound incredible. But then, when you're not accustomed to history, most facts about the past do sound incredible.’
"He let out the amazing truths. For a very long period . . . erotic play between children had been regarded as abnormal (there was a roar of laughter); and not only abnormal, actually immoral (no!): and therefore had been rigorously suppressed. A look of astonished incredulity appeared on the faces of his listeners. Poor little kids not allowed to amuse themselves? They could not believe it. . . .
" ‘But what happened?’ they asked. ‘What were the results?’
" ‘The results were terrible . . . Terrible,’ he repeated."
Later, the director's superior, Mustapha Mond, one of the ten World Controllers, notes: "Freud had been the first to reveal the appalling dangers of family life. The world was full of fathers—was therefore full of misery; full of mothers—therefore full of every kind of perversion from sadism to chastity; full of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts—therefore full of madness and suicide." As for home—"a few small rooms, stiflingly over-inhabited by a man, by a periodically teeming woman, by a rabble of boys and girls of all ages. No air, no space; an understerilized prison; darkness, disease, and smells." In Brave New World, the word "mother" is smutty, in the same way that it is indelicate in the area of the city where I work to ask about the identity of a child's father. As in Brave New World, the word "father" is "not so much obscene as . . . merely gross, a scatological rather than a pornographic impropriety." In the matter of human relations, we are halfway to Huxley's dystopia.
Huxley himself was highly ambivalent about the family as an institution. He not only felt that it would, but that it should, disintegrate. His powers of imagination, however, overwhelmed his ratiocination, so he was able to convey the horror of a world in which "everyone belongs to everyone," a world in which no one formed any deep attachment to anyone else.
The ultimate target of Huxley's dystopia was the idea of the good life as the instant gratification of sensory desires. Mustapha Mond tries to prove to his students their good fortune to live in the Brave New World:
... Huxley surmised that life lived as the satisfaction of one desire after another would result in shallow and egotistical people. True, he had a poor opinion of mankind to start with: "About 99.5% of the entire population of the planet are as stupid," he once wrote, "as the great masses of the English." But after gratifying their desires instantly throughout their lives, people would cease to carry the divine spark that distinguished man from the rest of creation. They would seek entertainment unto death: at Brave New World's Park Lane Hospital for the Dying, "at the foot of every bed, confronting its moribund occupant, was a television box." I think of my own hospital, where the dying usually depart this world to the sight and sound of driveling television soap operas.
Those who live lives of immediate gratification, Huxley thought, would not be able to bear solitude of any kind. As Mustapha Mond explains, "people are never alone now. We make them hate solitude; and we arrange their lives so that it's almost impossible for them to ever have it." A life devoted to instant gratification produces permanent infantilization: "at sixty-four . . . tastes are what they were at seventeen." In our society, the telescoping of the generations is already happening: the knowledge, tastes, and social accomplishments of 13-year-olds are often the same as those of 28-year-olds. Adolescents are precociously adult; adults are permanently adolescent.
Orwell's 1984 refers more directly to contemporary events than does Huxley's book: the narrative takes place in the near rather than the distant future and obviously sets its sights on Stalinism. When I traveled in the communist world before the fall of the Berlin Wall, I found that everyone I met who had read the book (clandestinely, of course) expressed immeasurable admiration for it and marveled that a man who had never set foot inside a communist country could not only describe the physical environment so well—the universal smell of cabbage, the grayness of the dilapidated buildings—but also its mental and moral atmosphere.
It was almost as if the communist regimes had taken 1984 as a blueprint rather than as a warning. How could one watch North Korea's "Great Leader" Kim Il Sung enter into a vast stadium in Pyongyang, as I did in 1989, without recalling the "hymn to the wisdom and majesty of Big Brother"—"an act," Orwell writes, "of self-hypnosis, a deliberate drowning of consciousness by means of rhythmic noise," during which "to dissemble your feelings, to control your face, to do what everyone else was doing, was an instinctive reaction": instinctive because self-preserving. The Great Leader stood there impassively for minutes on end as 150,000 people threw up their arms in organized spontaneity, worshiping him, exactly as Orwell described. It was 40 years, more or less to the day, after the publication of 1984.
In Romania under Ceauşescu, the television reported in mind-numbing detail the figures from the annual harvest, while everyone stood in line for hours to obtain a few miserable potatoes: just as the telescreen in Big Brother's Oceania tormented the population with news of the over-fulfilment of the Three-Year Plan, while there was never a sufficiency of anything. Often I washed with precisely the same kind of soap that Orwell's "hero," Winston Smith, had to use; and when Smith reflects upon the quality of life in Oceana, I hear the voices of Albanians or Romanians under communism: "was it not a sign that this was not the natural order of things, if one's heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one's socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes?"
People with no experience of life except under communist regimes would tell me that they knew—though they were unsure how—that their life was not "natural," just as Winston Smith concludes that life in Airstrip One (the new name for England in 1984) was unnatural. Other ways of life might have their problems, my Albanian and Romanian friends would say, but theirs was unique in its violation of human nature. Orwell's imaginative grasp of what it was like to live under communism seemed to them, as it does to me, to amount to genius.
The totalitarian world Orwell describes in 1984 is thankfully today more a historical curiosity than a serious threat, except in an Islamist version. Yet, many of Orwell's ideas, like those of Huxley, remain pertinent, even though the threat of Stalinism has passed, for Orwell warned us about undesirable trends that arose from the condition of modernity as much as from Stalinism. His fears arose not just from his intuitive grasp of Stalinist states and his knowledge of communist conduct during the Spanish Civil War but from his experiences with the BBC's bureaucracy during World War II, where he witnessed firsthand the potential of the modern mass media to mislead and manipulate.
Consider his treatment of the family. In 1984, parents fear their children, whom the Spies, the Party's youth organization, have indoctrinated. The Spies encourage and reward the denunciation of every political unorthodoxy, even in the nooks and crannies of private life, the very possibility of which is lost as a result. In modern England, parents fear their uncontrollable children, whom their peers, saturated with the violent and selfish values of a degraded popular culture, have indoctrinated. In both cases, parents are no longer the source of moral authority. Orwell forces us to confront imaginatively this overthrow of the natural order.
Doublethink—the ability to hold two contradictory ideas and assent to both—is with us, too, and will remain so as long as we have large bureaucracies that claim to act for our own good while pursuing their own institutional interests. And what is political correctness but Newspeak, the attempt to make certain thoughts inexpressible through the reform of language?
Orwell's book also offers a prophetic view of modern politicized history. Winston Smith copies a passage from a child's history textbook: "In the old days, before the glorious Revolution, London was not the beautiful city that we know today. It was a dark, dirty, miserable place where hardly anybody had enough to eat and where hundreds and thousands of poor people had no boots on their feet and not even a roof to sleep under. Children no older than you are had to work twelve hours a day for cruel masters, who flogged them with whips if they worked too slowly and fed them on nothing but stale breadcrusts and water. But in among all this terrible poverty there were just a few great big beautiful houses that were lived in by rich men who had as many as thirty servants to look after them. These rich men were called capitalists. They were fat, ugly men with wicked faces, like the one in the picture on the opposite page. You can see that he is dressed in a long black coat that was called a frock coat, and a queer shiny hat shaped like a stovepipe, which was called a top hat. This was the uniform of the capitalists and no one else was allowed to wear it. The capitalists owned everything in the world, and everyone else was their slave. They owned all the land, all the houses, all the factories, and all the money. If anyone disobeyed them, they could throw him into prison, or they could starve him to death. When any ordinary person spoke to a capitalist he had to cringe and bow to him, and take off his cap and address him as ‘Sir.’ "
The kind of historiography expressed in this satirical passage has become virtually standard in the various branches (feminist, black, gay, and so on) of academic resentment studies, in which history is nothing but the backward projection of current grievances, real or imagined, used to justify and inflame resentment.
The object of such historiography is to disconnect everyone from a real sense of a living past and a living culture. Indeed, the underlying theme uniting the two great dystopias of the twentieth century is the need to preserve a sense of history and cultural tradition if life is to be bearable. This theme is all the more powerful, because both Huxley and Orwell were by nature radicals: Huxley was a socialist at Oxford, flirted with fascism in the 1930s, and then became a West Coast guru; Orwell was a socialist from an early age and a lifelong enemy of the status quo. Both implicitly realized as they contemplated the future that preservation was as important as change in human life: that the past was as important as the present and the future.
In both dystopias, people find themselves cut off from the past as a matter of deliberate policy. The revolution that brought about the Brave New World, says Mustapha Mond, was "accompanied by a campaign against the Past"—the closing of museums, the blowing up of historical monuments (as in the Taliban's Afghanistan), the banning of old books. In 1984, "the past has been abolished." "History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right."
Such dystopian engineering is at work in my own country. By the deliberate decision of pedagogues, hundreds of thousands of children now leave school without knowing a single historical fact about their own country. The historical principles that museums have traditionally used to display art have given way to ahistorical thematic displays—portraits of women from a jumble of eras, say. A meaningless glass box now sits on a pediment in London's Trafalgar Square as a "corrective" to the historical associations of that famous urban space. A population is being deliberately created with no sense of history. (read more)
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (fact becomes fiction)
The New Censors
Journalists celebrate the destruction of freedoms on which their profession depends.
After the 1967 summer of riots, journalists, politicians, and sociologists spent many words and dollars trying to find and cure the “root cause” of the racial unrest. They failed, but eventually a solution did emerge. The root cause of riots turned out to be rioters. Peace returned to the streets once police adopted new crowd-control tactics and prosecutors cracked down on lawbreakers. Mob violence came to be recognized not as an indictment of American society but as a failure of policing.
That lesson was forgotten last year, when police were lambasted for trying to control violence at Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests. Journalists disdained tear gas and arrests in favor of addressing the “systemic racism” supposedly responsible for the disorder. After the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, some raised questions about police failure to stop the mayhem, but once again, progressive journalists are focusing elsewhere. They’ve identified a new root cause of mob violence: free speech.
They’ve cheered the social-media purge of conservatives and urged further censorship of “violent rhetoric” and “disinformation.” It’s a remarkably self-destructive move for a profession dependent on freedom of speech, but the journalists now dominating newsrooms aren’t thinking long-term—and can’t imagine being censored themselves. The traditional liberal devotion to the First Amendment seems hopelessly antiquated to young progressives convinced that they’re on the right side of history.
When I wrote in 2019 about journalists’ new antipathy to free speech, it seemed bad enough that they were targeting rivals in their own profession with advertising boycotts and smear campaigns that led to conservative journalists being fired and banished from social media. But since the Capitol riot, they’ve gone beyond “de-platforming” individual heretics. Now they want to eliminate the platforms, too.
It wasn’t enough to ban Donald Trump from Facebook and Twitter if he and his followers could move to Parler—so Parler had to be shut down, too. Big Tech obliged, succumbing to pressure from the media and their Democratic allies in Congress. (Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores, and Amazon forced Parler offline by booting it off its web servers.) This unprecedented suppression was denounced by conservative and libertarian publications like the Wall Street Journal and Reason, and by a few independent journalists like Glenn Greenwald, but the usual solidarity among the press against censorship was missing.
The [Amazon affiliated] Washington Post headlined an editorial, “Parler deserved to be taken down [by Amazon Web Services].” The Guardian called for still-harsher censorship through federal regulation that would restrict “online harms” and promote “social values such as truth telling.” At MSNBC and CNN, commentators longed for more government action—a new equivalent of the 9/11 Commission to investigate the Capitol riot—and further corporate censorship.
CNN’s senior media reporter, Oliver Darcy, called for telecom companies like AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast to stop providing platforms for the distribution of “lies” and “conspiracy theories” by conservative channels like Fox News, Newsmax, and One America News Network. On his CNN show Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter discussed further steps to “curb” the “information crisis,” and he offered no objection to the solution offered by a former Facebook executive: “We have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences.”
A few mainstream journalists expressed mild reservations about the Parler shutdown—the Los Angeles Times called it “troubling” though also “understandable”—but most didn’t even bother taking a position. Their attitude was nicely captured by the fictional Titania McGrath, the satirically woke character on Twitter created by British comic Andrew Doyle. “If you don’t like our rules, just build your own platform,” she tweeted. “Then when we delete that, just build another one. Then when we delete that, just build your own corporate oligopoly. I really can’t see the issue.”
In the short term, silencing conservative outlets benefits mainstream journalists in the same way that the Parler shutdown benefits Facebook and Twitter: by eliminating competition. But the zeal for censorship isn’t just cynical self-interest. Progressive journalists have been in an ideological bubble so long that they’ve come to believe their own hype about the right-wing menace—and they’re oblivious to their blatant double standards.
They pretended that riots across the United States last year were “mostly peaceful protests,” while the one at the Capitol was a historic “insurrection” and “attempted coup” that put “democracy in peril.” Its symbolism made the Capitol riot a singularly horrifying spectacle on television, but the actual toll in life and property was much smaller than that of last year’s mob violence, which claimed at least 15 lives and caused more than $2 billion in damage.
... But why would any sensible journalist go along with them? Their own profession’s freedom rests on the First Amendment, which allows them to print information no matter how misguided it’s deemed by others, and on landmark Supreme Court decisions protecting even speakers who make generalized calls for violence. That freedom allowed journalists to spend two years promoting a conspiracy theory about Russia collusion, a falsehood that did far more far to cripple the federal government than the Capitol riot. They encouraged last year’s riots by convincing the public, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, that black men were being disproportionately killed by white police officers.
The promoters of those “Big Lies” assume that they won’t be censored as long as Democrats rule Washington and Silicon Valley, but the precedents being set will give Republicans weapons for payback when they return to power. The eventual result will be bipartisan censorship. Far better to let police and courts deal with rioters—and leave Americans free to say what they want. (read more)
THE MINISTRY OF TRUTH (flails and fails)
The Truth Survives Scrutiny. The Narrative Does Not.
We live within a maze of lies; a matrix of mendacity.
Unlike most of you, I learned that years ago while attending meetings and hearings about a boondoggle public works project and then consistently reading in the newspaper the following morning a subtly corrupted version of the events. They weren't outright lies, but a fast scan of the initial paragraphs would leave one misinformed. The truth might at times be found deep within the story where few readers would see it, but that veracity was infrequent.
Having never lost my youthful curiosity, I asked myself, "If they are lying about this, what else are they lying about?"
Today, the narratives and contrived explanations are even more outlandish, pervasive and less credible.
Now, everyone notices (Left, Right and Center) the ever lengthening Pinocchio noses. Yesterday, this blog reported Andrew Sullivan calling out, "Pravda level propaganda," from the Washington Post. Glenn Greenwald left The Intercept over censorship. We reported two days ago Louis Farrakhan's words, "you have government that tells lies to the people and manipulates fear in the people to accomplish agendas that are not necessarily in the best interest of the people." Also on Sunday, George Stephanopoulos tried frantically to get Sen. Rand Paul to say there had been no electoral fraud. The honest Senator stated, "The debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur. We never had any presentation in court where we ever looked at the evidence..." He is, after all, his father's son.
The truth about the fraudulent election cannot be censored, suppressed or labeled a conspiracy theory. Too many already know what happened. They are not keeping quiet.
The illegitimate Biden regime cannot keep back the tide of truth. The corrupt grifter-in-chief is no King Canute.
Anyone intent on limiting the press or truth-tellers should know history is not on his side. Start by reading: AREOPAGITICA; A SPEECH OF Mr. JOHN MILTON, For the Liberty of UNLICENC'D PRINTING, To the PARLAMENT of ENGLAND. If that exceeds your reading abilities, read the First Amendment.
"We know they are lying. They know they are lying, They know that we know they are lying.
We know that they know that we know they are lying. And still they continue to lie."
– Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
“In our country the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State.”.
REAL NEWS - The Pretend Insurrection & The Anarchists for Hire
"It does not appear the mainstream media is looking for the truth behind this tragic event."
MORE VIDEO EVIDENCE Shows the ‘Riots’ At the US Capitol Were Infiltrated by Antifa and Other Radicals
Antifa and others inserted themselves into the Capitol protests and framed Trump supporters. There is now ample evidence to support this.
Antifa-BLM leader John Sullivan organized an Antifa protest at the Washington Memorial not far from the US Capitol on January 6th.
This was right before the violence at the US Capitol.
For some reason, the mainstream media refuses to report on this Antifa protest.
John Sullivan was later arrested for rioting inside the US Capitol. No one has yet asked what happened to his cronies?
There is also video of Antifa handing out weapons from a bag during the Capitol Hill riots.
The media has also ignored this.
Now a new video has surfaced showing Antifa or Antifa-like individuals in the Capitol on January 6th huddling in a Capitol office and regrouping after rioting in the capitol.
The individuals appear happy that they did what they planned on doing – rioting in the Capitol.
One man had a Trump flag around his neck (see above).
Another woman hollers into the room full of what appear to be Antifa anarchists and gives them directions on how to escape the Capitol building.
... This is all consistent with what we previously reported.
Experts agreed with our reporting that the protests were infiltrated by outside groups:
Other Antifa members bragged about dressing up as Trump supporters:
Antifa members were in the area during the shooting of innocent Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt too: (read more)
REAL NEWS - Here is the latest from Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Hunter Biden Accused Ex-Wife of Drinking Wine and Smoking Pot “at Camp David with Michele”
... Hunter Biden drafted a letter to his ex-wife that he kept on his laptop. In this letter Hunter claimed his ex was drinking wine and smoking pot with friends, including “at Camp David with Michele”.
Hunter Biden is a tortured soul. He has longtime problems with alcohol and drugs and he, unfortunately, wrote about these problems and drafted letters to family members complaining about their responses to his issues.
Hunter kept these communications and more on his laptop which he left at a computer repair store. After a certain period of time, Hunter forfeited the rights to his laptop because he never returned to pick it up. This was all spelled out in his contract with the computer repairman. The repairman reported to the FBI that he had Hunter’s laptop and they eventually stopped by and took it. There is no indication that the FBI did anything with the laptop other than hiding it.
But the computer repairman made a copy of the contents of the laptop. The laptop contained pictures, videos, letters, text messages, and other documents related to Hunter’s life. And unfortunately, Hunter kept copies of nearly everything on that laptop.
For example, Hunter maintained a PornHub account where he stored pictures and videos of his escapades:
Hunter’s laptop also included letters that Hunter drafted. In one letter Hunter directs his comments to his ex-wife and shares the following after rambling about his ex leaving him:
And you are drinking wine and smoking pot on the porch with Chris and Amy (the oh so virtuous) or at Camp David with Michele or in NYC with MD, or on the beach with Art and his kids. And I am here waking up alone on my way to a breathalyzer and a pee test…for what?( I have the liver of a 20 year old by the way according to my last blood test.)
Hunter complains to his wife that he has to be drug tested but she can go and drink wine and smoke pot with her friends, notably “at Camp David with Michele”. Of course, this likely refers to Michelle Obama since it is at Camp David but we can’t say for sure. (read more)
More documents from Hunter Biden's laptop here dealing with his Communist China affairs.
Additionally, these might be of interest: Hunter Biden’s Pornhub Page and the Hunter Biden Texts.
PRAVDA WRIT LARGE
"So I'm very worried about what a Biden-Harris administration is going to do when it comes to leakers and whistleblowers and sources, except for the ones who are leaking to their approved journalists for reasons that are designed to advance their interests."
Glenn Greenwald: 'Journalists Are Authoritarians'
What went wrong at the outlet he co-founded, what's wrong with the ACLU, and what might go wrong in the Biden administration
Few journalists are more relentlessly iconoclastic than Glenn Greenwald, who shared a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the Edward Snowden revelations.
Though unapologetically progressive, the 53-year-old former lawyer never shrinks from fighting with the left. A week before the 2020 election, he quit The Intercept, the online news organization he co-founded in 2014, because, by his account, it refused to run a story unless he "remove[d] all sections critical of" Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Denouncing what he called "the pathologies, illiberalism, and repressive mentality" that led him to be what he characterized as "censored" by his own media outlet, Greenwald railed that "these are the viruses that have contaminated virtually every mainstream center-left political organization, academic institution, and newsroom."
Like a growing number of refugees from more-traditional news organizations, Greenwald took his talents to Substack, a platform that lets independent content creators earn revenue directly from their audiences. He wasted no time lobbing grenades, posting stories and videos with titles like "No Matter the Liberal Metric Chosen, the Bush/Cheney Administration Was Far Worse Than Trump" and "The Three Greatest Dangers of Biden/Harris: Militarism, Corporatism and Censorship, All Fueled by Indifference."
Reason's Nick Gillespie spoke with Greenwald via Zoom in November. The reporter appeared from his home in Brazil, where he lives with his husband, two children, and numerous dogs. Among other topics, they discussed what Greenwald sees as a generational fight playing out in newsrooms and what he fears from Biden's presidency.
Let's start with you leaving The Intercept, this amazing publication that you helped start only a few years ago. What happened?
Well, some of you may recall that when I created The Intercept with Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, it was at the height of the Snowden story back in 2013. I was at The Guardian at the time. And I had received a lot of support institutionally and editorially from The Guardian. But I began noticing, as I worked with other media outlets to report that story, a lot of internal obstacles that they thought were quite difficult to overcome in terms of doing the reporting not just with that story but that, in general, I thought needed to be done.
Because Laura and I had a lot of visibility with that story, and Jeremy had done a lot of high visibility reporting of his own, including having produced a film about [then–President Barack] Obama's war on terror called Dirty Wars that had received an Oscar nomination, we had a lot of leverage to create a new media outlet. We obviously didn't do that, given that we all had very good platforms at the time to replicate what was already being done.
We only left the places we were at, which were very secure, because we thought we could do something different in journalism. One of the principal visions we had was that the model for how journalism is often conducted inside corporate media outlets—which is this hierarchical top-down structure, where editors impose not necessarily an ideology as much as a tone. So they flatten out the vibrancy and personality and voice in journalism….It was making it not just ineffective but actually quite boring.
The idea was, it's going to be a journalism-led media outlet, where editors are there to help you when you need it, to kick the tires on stories, to make sure that things are factually sound. But they're not the bosses. They're not the people you have to overcome who decide whether you can be heard or not. And I had written into my contract, just like I did at The Guardian and Salon, that except in very rare cases where there is very complex original reporting, like in the Snowden story and the Brazil reporting we did last year, that I would just publish directly to the internet with no editorial intervention.
That was the model we were building, that I thought I was building. I never thought it had anything to do with ideological dogma, and certainly never fealty to any political party. I was a vehement Obama critic at the time, and before that was a vehement critic of George Bush and Dick Cheney. We called ourselves adversarial, because we were going to be adversarial to political power, not subservient to it.
I felt as though we had gotten off course for a few years now by becoming more and more linked with the Democratic Party. Particularly in the age of Trump, where we had become not so much a journalistic outlet but more an activist outlet, designed not to report the truth no matter who it aggrandizes or angers but serving the interests of the Democratic Party. And more so, undermining the interest of Donald Trump, which ultimately became the same thing.
It all culminated in them essentially telling me that I couldn't publish my own story…at a news outlet that was built on my name….It was a huge irony. And being stifled in saying what I wanted to say, obviously, was something I could never accept, and my readers wouldn't want me to. So I left.
You've written that the Bush-Cheney administration was far worse than the Trump administration. You've also argued that in various ways the Obama administration was worse.
I started writing about politics because I thought the media was so dormant and complacent about these radical assaults on civil liberties under Bush and Cheney taking place during the war on terror. And then under Obama, they went to sleep even further. They got hypnotized into thinking that he was a noble and benevolent leader.
I'll give you just one example, which is press freedom. Under Obama, as I'm sure you know, the Espionage Act of 1917—one of the most pernicious laws we have on our books; it was enacted under Woodrow Wilson, and it was designed to criminalize dissent from U.S. participation in World War I—was invoked against whistleblowers and sources, like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning and a dozen others, more under Obama than every other prior president combined. It ended up being three times more prosecutions under the Espionage Act for our sources as journalists than all previous presidents, including Nixon or Eisenhower or whoever you want to pick. And the press said almost nothing.
Trump gets in, and The Washington Post changes its motto to "Democracy Dies in Darkness," essentially saying press freedom is under assault. [White House reporter] Jim Acosta writes a bestseller with some pompous, self-glorifying title, like Danger: Reporting in the Era of Trump. What the fuck ever happened to Jim Acosta that constitutes an assault on press freedom? The worst thing Trump ever did to any of them was to say mean things about them in tweets. Those aren't assaults on press freedom. I was threatened by the Obama administration with prison when I was doing the Snowden reporting. I was criminally indicted by the [Jair] Bolsonaro government at the beginning of  for the reporting I did in Brazil. Those are attacks on press freedom. Saying Jim Acosta is an idiot, and tweeting something insulting about Wolf Blitzer, isn't.
So you go through those metrics. George Bush and Dick Cheney started new wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama started new wars in Libya and Yemen. What new wars did Donald Trump start? He escalated bombing campaigns, which he inherited, in a pretty grotesque way. But he didn't start any new wars.
When you look at things like the destruction of Iraq or the implementation of a torture regime—what has Donald Trump done that even remotely compares in terms of moral evil to any of that? Nothing. And yet we're supposed to treat George Bush and Barack Obama like morally upstanding statesmen and Donald Trump like the literal reincarnation of Hitler.
Did you vote for Donald Trump in the last election?
I didn't vote. It's ironic: That's the one old journalism trope that I agree with, which is that if you vote, you psychologically become too connected to a politician. I prefer to just keep my distance.
After leaving The Intercept you migrated to Substack, a service that allows creators to put up whatever content they want and then to charge money for it. You charge $50 a year or $5 a month for what you produce there. A lot of other people are doing the same thing: Andrew Sullivan, Matt Taibbi, Matt Yglesias. Is this the future? Is it scalable?
I think it's grounds for being optimistic, in the sense that it isn't just people like me….It's letting new voices be discovered too. Substack says, "We're not approving or disapproving the content that goes out on our platform. We're just providing a service that allows people to come and monetize their journalism or their writing." In that sense, it is good.
But…whatever independent entity arises that gives journalists freedom and begins to compete with corporate media outlets, they turn their guns on it. People don't realize this. The main reason Facebook and Google and Twitter so actively censor now isn't because they wanted to. They don't want to. They never wanted to. They wanted to tell that story that Substack is telling—that AT&T tells, right?—which is, "Look, we're just a neutral platform. We don't pick and choose who gets to speak."
Nobody expects if Milo Yiannopoulos calls Alex Jones on AT&T and does a conference call that AT&T intervenes and cuts off their service, because people accept that AT&T is a content-neutral service. That's what Facebook and Twitter wanted to be. They had to stop doing that. They had to start censoring…because journalists at CNN and NBC and The New York Times demanded they do so. Turning on their huge megaphones and saying, "Look at the extremists and the hatefulness these platforms are giving voice to." And they're going to do the same thing to Substack and Patreon. It's just a question of time.
You sketch out an economically driven reason for the homogenization of journalism. It's partly that people at CNN and The New York Times want to get rid of anything that's going to get more eyeballs than they do. But some of the work that you've done recently has been in starkly ideological terms. Can you talk a little bit about what's going on at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and how that reflects or refracts larger ideological questions, particularly on the left?
In one sense, what's happening at the ACLU is the same thing happening on every college campus, practically; in corporate workplaces; and also in newsrooms. It largely breaks down on generational lines. Not completely, of course, but largely.
This younger millennial set—who are now not that young anymore; they're in their mid-30s or older and starting to assume managerial authority within these institutions—grew up believing that free speech is not an absolute value, and that it needs to give way in all kinds of instances where more important political agenda items and more important political values are in conflict with it, as they understand it. By which they mean: Ideas and arguments that may endanger marginalized people by making them uncomfortable, or that might lead to the implementation of harmful policies by convincing people to support them, are not ideas that should be heard. They're ideas that should be suppressed in the name of these greater political values.
So this conflict that is in the ACLU, in one sense, is a common one. The problem is the ACLU is a singular organization….They really were the only game in town when it came to defending an absolutist framework of free speech. They didn't give a shit what other values were at play.
These Jewish lawyers in the 1970s represented the actual Nazis who were wearing swastika armbands and their right to march down the streets of Skokie, Illinois, where a large population of Holocaust survivors were. That's how radical they were. And not just free speech but also due process. The idea that you cannot, no matter how odious a person's crime is that they're accused of, assume their guilt without giving them full due process.
I know a lot of people at the ACLU. I've worked with the ACLU for years. I have a lot of friends there who are lawyers. And they are now being riven by the same conflicts. Part of it is financial—after Trump, a huge number of liberals who thought the ACLU was just a liberal organization gave millions and millions of dollars, not in the name of civil liberties but in the name of stopping Trump, which sometimes converged and sometimes didn't. So they started becoming an overtly political organization.
What do you think drives that generational shift? Part of it probably is just that every generation rebels or pushes away from the older generation. But it does seem that younger people do not see the idea of free speech as an absolute right. How did that happen?
I have to say, when some pundits, like [New York magazine's] Jonathan Chait, were obsessed with these college campus controversies, I really didn't pay much attention. Because I just thought: I had a lot of views in college, and I grew out of them. I wasn't interested in chiding 21-year-old sophomores at Oberlin. I didn't think that was a very important power center to go and denounce and confront the way Jonathan and others were doing obsessively.
They turned out to be right in the sense that [the students] didn't grow out of it. They brought it with them to their workplaces. And as I said, these millennials aren't 20 anymore. They're 35 and 40, and they still haven't grown out of it.
When you learn in childhood that if you have something unpleasant, you run to mommy and daddy, who protect you from it….And then you go off to college, and you have deans in your dorms and administrators who, if you hear something in class that upsets you, they don't tell you to argue against it. They coddle you and tell you that you have a right to be safe from those things. And then you get to your workplace, and you hear a colleague saying things that upset you because you think they're terrible or destructive or harmful or wrong. Instead of engaging them, writing about them, the way journalists used to do…they run to human resources. They turn it into an H.R. complaint.
And I think the best book that I've read is one that I'm sure is known to a lot of your audience, which is The Coddling of the American Mind by Jonathan Haidt [and Greg Lukianoff]. In fact, it explained it so well that it actually changed not just how I viewed these issues as a journalist who writes about free speech but also even as a parent. If [your kids] have something that's upsetting them, your instinct is to go protect them. I realized, no, sometimes you have to just let them experience the unpleasant thing and learn those skills about how to navigate it.
In preparing for this, I came across an old CNN appearance of you arguing with Jeffrey Toobin about the release of the documents that Chelsea Manning gave to WikiLeaks. You were arguing that this was a good thing. It was beneficial for citizens to know what was going on. Toobin was saying, as a journalist, that we should not have access to these sorts of documents, because the government said they were secret. Do you expect to see that dynamic with the news media going forward?
One of the things that really bothers and disturbs me the most is that, as we were talking about earlier, the intention of Facebook and Google and Twitter, and Silicon Valley in general, from the beginning was not to censor. They began to censor because journalists demanded they do so, in part because journalists are authoritarians who believe that the modes of information [should be] regulated by them and by others. That's just unfortunately the modern-day mentality of the journalist. It used to be an anti-authoritarian mentality. Now they work for big corporations and become authoritarians.
But also, they don't believe in the right of citizens to confront power centers. They think that reporting means somebody in power, like in the CIA or the FBI, gives you information and tells you to go repeat it to the public. And then you go and do that. And they think that's reporting. But if somebody's outside of the scope of power—like some low-level Army private, like Chelsea Manning, who doesn't occupy an important position in Washington, or Edward Snowden—does the same thing, not with the intention of propagandizing but with the intention of illuminating, they view that as criminal.
Journalists view the dissemination of information about what powerful people are doing in the dark not as their principal function and purpose—which is what it ought to be if we had a healthy media—but as something to be denounced and condemned.
What do you think the future holds for whistleblowers under Biden and [Vice President Kamala] Harris?
The irony is, we were talking earlier about how media figures have petulantly whined about trivial acts on the part of Trump, like tweeting mean things about Wolf Blitzer and Chuck Todd. And the reality is that the only thing the Trump administration really has done that's genuinely menacing to press freedom is the prosecution and attempted extradition of Julian Assange, for publishing not information in connection with the 2016 election but the 2010 Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and diplomatic cables that exposed war crimes and other acts of barbarism and savagery on the part of the U.S. and allied governments. The theory that's being used to prosecute Assange is one that would criminalize almost any journalist. In fact, the theory used by the Bolsonaro government [in Brazil] to try and indict me earlier this year was very similar to that theory. I think they thought, "Well, if the U.S. government is doing this to Assange, we can do this to him." And it will be used against other journalists as well.
I think that Trump remembers several things. He remembers that Julian Assange published information about Hillary Clinton that helped him win. He realizes that Edward Snowden risked his liberty and has been in exile for seven years now, because he exposed the abusive nature of spying powers of the [National Security Agency] and the CIA and the FBI that were used against the Trump campaign and then the Trump administration. And [he knows] that the people who want Julian Assange and Edward Snowden punished, John Brennan and James Clapper and Susan Rice and Mike Hayden, are the same people who have worked clandestinely, and I think corruptly, to undermine the Trump campaign and then the Trump administration, using and abusing the powers of the state to do so.
The reason they want Julian Assange to die in prison, and the reason they want Edward Snowden to have to live out the rest of his life in Russia, or be in prison as well, is obviously not because they regard them as ongoing threats but because they want to create a climate where people who discover illegal acts on the part of powerful people inside the government, who want to expose those acts the way Snowden or Manning—who was tortured—or Assange have done, think to themselves, "Wait, if I do that I'm going to have my life destroyed the way these people had."
The people who prosecuted Snowden was the Obama administration. The people who tortured and prosecuted Chelsea Manning were Obama's. Even though he added a humanitarian gesture after seven years and let her go by commuting her sentence. They chose not to prosecute Assange even though they wanted to, but that was before the 2016 election. They now hate him even more, and so I'm sure they're going to continue that prosecution as well. (read more)
PRAVDA ON THE POTOMAC II
"You're Forgetting Who You Are As A Journalist": Rand Paul Slams Stephanopoulos In Sunday Spat Over Election Integrity
Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took to ABC on Sunday morning with George Stephanopoulos to discuss election integrity of the 2020 election, in a discussion which immediately devolved into an inquisition during which Paul was repeatedly pressed to disavow clams that the election was stolen.
Paul not only pushed back - he put Stephanopoulos in his place, accusing the host of 'inserting yourself in the middle' and 'forgetting who you are as a journalist.'
Stephanopoulos began by asking Paul to admit the "election was not stolen" - to which Paul responded by saying "The debate over whether or not there was fraud should occur. We never had any presentation in court where we ever looked at the evidence..."
Paul continued: "There were several states in which the law was changed by the Secretary of State and not the state legislature. To me those are clearly unconstitutional and I think there's still a chance those do finally work their way up to the Supreme Court."
"No election is perfect," Stephanopoulos shot back, telling Paul there were "86 challenges filed by President Trump, all were dismissed". As Paul tries to argue that many cases were dismissed for lack of standing and not due to examination of evidence, Stephanopoulos responds: "Can't you just say the words 'this election wasn't stolen'?"
'75% of Republicans want to look at election integrity,' Paul responds. Stephanopoulos responds by saying that those 75% agree with him because they were "fed a big lie" from the President.
Paul pushed back, telling Stephanopoulos: "You immediately say everything's a lie instead of saying there's two sides to everything. Historically what would happen is if I said I thought there was fraud, you'd interview someone else who said there wasn't. But now you insert yourself in the middle and say that the absolute fact is that everything I'm saying is a lie."
"You're saying there's no fraud and it's all been investigated and that's just not true," Paul continues, with Stephanopoulos arguing at the same time. Paul then goes into specifics, detailing irregularities in states in like Wisconsin. "I plan on spending the next two years going around, state to state, fixing these problems," Paul continues. "Let's have an open debate. It's a free country!"
"There has been no thorough examination of all states to see what problems we had and see if we could fix them," Paul says, responding to Stephanopoulos' claims that Bill Barr pronounced there was "no widespread election fraud".
"There's two sides to every story," Paul says. "Interview someone on the other side, but don't insert yourself into the story to say we're all liars."
"You're forgetting who you are as a journalist if you think there's only one side," Paul says. "A journalist would hear both sides and there are two sides to this story."
... Election integrity aside, Paul has been a vocal critic of the Biden administration in recent days. On Saturday, we noted Paul's interview with Fox host Sean Hannity, where he pummeled the Biden administration's decision to push for a $15 minimum wage increase that could put 4 million people out of work - leading the Kentucky Republican to exclaim:
"'Why does Joe Biden hate Black teenagers?' ... Why does Joe Biden want to destroy all of these jobs?"
Paul comments come amid ramblings from various leftist economists who insist that there's no impact on employment from such a drastic minimum wage hike...
...common sense (and historical experience) for anyone who has ever run an actual business is that raising costs on the lowest-skilled workers in your organization will ripple all the way up, forcing either higher prices to the end-user (eradicating the 'living wage' improvement) and or forcing layoffs as management hold margins and reduce costs (the least-skilled first).
Historically speaking, the black unemployment rate is twice that of whites, while minimum wage increases - as we've shown repeatedly over the last week - correlate with spikes in job losses just about every single time.
That's not an "alternative" fact, that's the awkward reality of 'unintended consequences' from nanny-state intervention write large for the last 70 years.
Paul also blasted Biden for canceling the Keystone XL oil pipeline:
"It's kind of a strange beginning to an administration," Paul said.
"You're going to put your best foot forward and the first thing you say is, 'This is how I'm going to kill jobs' ... 'I'm going to kill thousands of jobs of the Keystone pipeline with ending it.'"(read more)
PRAVDA ON THE POTOMAC I
"It's a treat that a prisoner gets when they ask for, 'A morsel of food please,' " Kamala said shoving her hands forward as if clutching a metal plate, her voice now trembling like an old British man locked in a Dickensian jail cell. "'And water! I just want wahtahhh….'Your standards really go out the f—ing window." Kamala burst into laughter.
The Washington Post Tried To Memory-Hole Kamala Harris' Bad Joke About Inmates Begging for Food and Water
At a time when legacy publications are increasingly seen as playing for one political "team" or the other, this type of editorial decision will not do anything to fix that perception.
When The Washington Post published a 2019 campaign trail feature about then-presidential hopeful Kamala Harris' close relationship with her sister, it opened with a memorable anecdote in which Harris bizarrely compared the rigors of the campaign trail to…life behind bars.
And then proceeded to laugh—at the idea of an inmate begging for a sip of water.
It was an extremely cringeworthy moment, even by the high standards set by Harris' failed presidential campaign. But now that Harris is vice president, that awful moment has seemingly vanished from the Post's website after the paper "updated" the piece earlier this month.
... The scene was a brilliant bit of reporting and writing because it did what few political features can accomplish: showing, rather than telling, something about the candidate at the center.
The original quote might have demonstrated something about Harris—indeed, it suggests why her presidential primary campaign flopped so hard—but its disappearance suggests something about the Post, and about the way traditional political media are preparing to cover Harris now that she's one heartbeat away from the presidency.
... Reason asked the Post why the Harris feature was updated, and if the paper could point to other examples of "updating" political features to remove details that show officials in an unflattering light.
As part of an online series rolled out before President Joe Biden's and Harris' inauguration, "we repurposed and updated some of our strong biographical pieces about both political figures," Molly Gannon Conway, the Post's communications manager, told Reason via email on Thursday. "The profile of Maya Harris was updated with new reporting, as noted online, using the existing URL. The original story remains available in print."
Conway did not include any other examples of content that had been similarly updated. She also did not respond to a question about whether Harris' team had requested the change. The vice president's office did not return a request for comment.
The Post, of course, can do whatever it pleases with its own content. It can update or rearrange or delete any detail in any story at any time.
Still, the decision to remove that specific passage—and to replace it with a puffy opening about how Maya has "been a constant companion along Kamala Harris's journey into history"—is questionable at best. Yes, Harris' inauguration as America's first female vice president is historic, but that's no reason to ignore or erase her troubling history as a cop and politician. It also raises questions about the Post's approach to covering Harris going forward. At a time when legacy publications are increasingly seen as playing for one political "team" or the other, this type of editorial decision will not do anything to fix that perception—is there any doubt that the Post would not have treated an inartful comment from Mike Pence in the same way?
Intentional or not, the memory-holing of the older version of the piece sends a message that the Post is willing to pave over its own good journalism to protect a powerful politician from her own words. (read more)
Are Americans Rational?
... Just this morning I got a missive from Paul Craig Roberts containing the following bullet points:
• Joe Biden’s Twitter account has 20 million followers. Trump’s Twitter account had 88.8 million followers.
• Joe Biden’s Facebook account has 7.78 million followers. Trump’s Facebook account had 34.72 million followers. How likely is it that a person with four to five times the following of his rival lost the election?
• Joe Biden, declared by the biased presstitutes to be president by landslide, gave a Thanksgiving Day message and only 1,000 people watched his live statement. Where is the enthusiasm?
• Trump’s campaign appearances were heavily attended and that Biden’s were avoided. Somehow a candidate who could not draw supporters to his campaign appearances won the presidency.
• Despite Biden’s total failure to animate voters during the presidential campaign, he received 15 million more votes than Barack Obama did in his 2012 re-election.
• Biden won despite underperforming Hillary Clinton’s 2016 vote in every urban US county, but outperformed Clinton in Democrat-controlled Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, the precise cities where the most obvious and most blatant electoral fraud was committed.
• Biden won despite receiving a record low share of the Democrat primary vote compared to Trump’s share of the Republican primary vote.
• Biden won despite Trump bettering his 2016 vote by ten million votes and Trump’s record support from minority voters.
• Biden won despite losing the bellwether counties that have always predicted the election outcome and the bellwether states of Ohio and Florida.
• Biden won in Georgia, a completely red state with a red governor and legislature both House and Senate. Somehow a red state voted for a blue president.
• Biden won despite the Democrats losing representation in the House. (read more)
THEIR NAME IS LEGION
World Satanic Society 2020 Year-End Report [Did they meet in Davos?]
Fellow-Satanists, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen! The year 2020 has been a banner year for our society and for His Satanic Majesty! [Applause]
Our major success of 2020, of course, was in locking down half the planet by hyping a not-too-dangerous respiratory virus that's mostly dangerous for the old and the sick with the help of Satanic Minion Tedros Adhanom Boutros-Boutros-Boutros Ghebreyesus at our affiliate World Health Organization. This has allowed us to proactively set in motion a controlled demolition of the global economy. It stands to greatly enrich our members, whereas the inevitable spontaneous collapse would have wiped us out. [Enthusiastic applause, shouts of "Bravo!"]
Still, we must not grow complacent; the virus ploy will stop working for us at some point. We do not want to find ourselves in the situation of a Boutros-Boutros-Boutros who cried wolf one time too many! The hype is wearing off already. The use of the term "lockdown" was unfortunate; after all, it is US prison slang for locking inmates in their cells. Plus those damnable Russians seem to have developed their Sputnik-V, a vaccine that actually works. Now everybody seems to want it instead of our preferred toxic, fertility-destroying potions. Still, it brought tears of joy to many a Satanist's face watching millions of people wear face masks and stand 1,5 meters apart just as shown in Stanley Kubrick's excellent film "Eyes Wide Shut" starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. [Confused looks; some stifled guffaws, a smattering of applause]
Our other major success of this past year has been in installing Kamala Harris, a fellow-Satanist code-named "Matilda," as the leader of the free world. Like virtually all of His Satanic Majesty's maidservants, Kamala is barren, or, if you prefer, "child-free." To be fruitful and multiply requires God's grace and, needless to say, God is not exactly on our side. By the way, this is why we are always looking for new blood, preferably the blood of Christian children. It helps our members remain active to an obscenely old age. Henry Kissinger and George Soros have had their fill. Joe Biden is waiting for his transfusion now. [Laughter]
Installing "Matilda" (her code name immortalized by her Jamaican compatriot Harry Belafonte) has been a gargantuan task for our members and their allies and minions in the Democratic Party and the Deep State. But it all worked out thanks to the wonderful US public education system. It has produced several generations of Americans who can barely count on their fingers and toes. Were they able to do basic arithmetic, they would have spotted the problem: 74 million votes for Trump plus 81 million votes for Biden gives us 155 million votes total. But there were only 153 million registered voters just two years ago, so that's 101% voter turn-out. And then 160 million are said to have voted, so that's 104.5% turn-out! Compare that to 55.7% turn-out in the 2016 election. [Furrowed brows, nervously twitching fingers and toes]
There is no way to make the numbers make any sense. Since 2016 the US population grew by just under 8 million. Optimistically assuming half of them became eligible to vote; that would add 4 million to the rolls. Optimistically assuming all of them actually registered to vote, that would only make 157 million. Accept the reported stunning voter turn-out number for 2020 of 66.7%. That's just under 105 million votes total—nowhere near then 160 million number that has been reported. If Trump got 74 million votes, as reported, then just 31 million votes would be the theoretical maximum for Biden—less then half as many as for Trump. [Stunned silence]
So how could Biden and Harris have won? Easy! The same way it was possible to knock down three New York skyscrapers using two airplane drones on 9/11. If the people haven't been taught to count, you can get them to believe just about anything! [Laughter, applause]
And so, barring an act of God, "Matilda" will be installed as Queen of the White House while Joe Biden, kept alive by the blood of Christian infants, will just sign his name and say "Yes, Madam Vice President" whenever "Matilda" pokes him with a stick. The possibility of an act of God is not to be excluded, of course; remember Sodom and Gomorrah. Nevertheless, we should expect that this particular reincarnation of "Matilda" will get crowned with all due pomp and circumstance and proceed to get fat in America just another "Matilda," in the inspired words of Hugh Masekela, "gettin' fat in Africa." And then, of course, she'll follow the script and "take the money and run to Venezuela..." [Stunned gasps]
...because, you see, she'll have to! By the end of her term there won't be much of a country for her to continue to get fat in. And this brings us to the final traditional part of the year-end report: the forecast. According to our Satanist friends at Deagel.com (lovely understated Satanic logo, by the way, kudos to the designers!) by 2025 the United States will lose 70% of its population, 92% of its real GDP and its economy will be slightly smaller than that of Mexico. Meanwhile, China will remain the world's largest economy, growing slightly, while Russia and India will skyrocket to rank second and third. The world rankings will look quite different. Germany will find itself somewhere between Chile and South Africa. Switzerland and the United Kingdom (should this silly anachronism still exist) will rank somewhere between Slovakia and Greece. The Swedes will be poorer than the Romanians... and so on. The world is changing before our eyes and nothing will ever be the same. [Stunned silence]
We should take hope, however, because we can be sure that this changed world will provide ample Devil's playgrounds for us Satanists in the formerly rich but soon to be destitute nations of the world. Yes, what with the China-Russia tandem pretty much in charge of the entire globe, we will be cast out into the darkness from the Eurasian heartland and forced to hang on at the edges of the world, but before that happens we'll have quite a feast! Tuck in, friends! The Satanic buffet is open! (read more)
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