Monday, November 28, 2022

America's moral decline started 60 years ago

By William Haupt III | The Center Square contributor

Students and faculty recite the "Pledge of Allegiance" during an assembly at the Crystal Boarding School in Crystal, N.M., on the Navajo Nation. -  John Locher | AP file photo

"Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. What a Utopia." – John Adams

The English Reformation took place in 16th-century when the Church of England broke from the authority of the pope. In 1527, when King Henry VIII requested an annulment and Pope Clement refused, Parliament abolished all papal authority and King Henry VIII became head of the Church.

This led to two centuries of violent disputes over religion. Anyone who refused to join the Church of England was denied civil liberties and rights. Freedom of religious worship was one of the major driving forces that drove people from Europe, especially England, to the ports of Plymouth Harbor.

Most of our founders were Christians and opened and closed each day of the Convention with a prayer. When they were writing our Constitution, they agreed there would be no national religion.

"Our rights to happiness don't come from government but a higher source – God." – John Dickinson

From our founding, through a Civil War and two Great Wars, Americans toted their bibles and guns into the bloodiest of battles to defend liberty, freedom and democracy around the world. After World War II, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a melancholy Christian, added "one nation under God" to the pledge of allegiance.

It was not until 1962 when the New York school board approved an optional prayer to open class that prayer in school was challenged. Sixty years ago this week, in Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court declared school prayer unconstitutional. Engel became the lexicon to admonish all school prayer.

"Any prayer in our classrooms, voluntary or not, is a lesson in bad civics." –Steven Engel

Since the Supreme Court banned organized public school prayer, over the years this has been linked to numerous social ills and an increased decline in respect for authority in the classrooms. Sociologists agree, eliminating school-prayer put America on the road to moral and spiritual ruin.

Since our founding, in schools across the U.S., students stood at attention with their hands over their hearts reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. This tradition reminded students of the greatness of our nation and that America was "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette that making students recite the Pledge of Allegiance violated the First Amendment. This ended a tradition of 165 years. Today, it is common to see half of a class sitting down during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Former NFL player Colin Kaepernick cited this case 73 years later to justify kneeling during the National Anthem. This outraged many Americans, including President Donald Trump, who still believed the promotion of good citizenship is a legitimate goal that should not be undermined for any reason.

"Every person in this nation has an obligation to honor the blessings of America." – Harlen Stone

Since the mid-1960s, every traditional American institution has been targeted for racism and bias toward some obscure group and considered unjust. All American traditionalism is called obsolete since it does not support declining moral standards of young Americans and is insulting to identity groups. There is something wrong with everything that made America the greatest nation on earth.

Since the federalization of union education in the 1970s and Common Core, teachers spend far less time teaching U.S. history, English, literature, sociology and civics, music, and art. Instead schools fixate on social justice, environmentalism, CRT, LGBT relationships and having safe sex. And this has led to declining test scores, social violence, and lost respect for America and her institutions.

Most universities have become secular seminaries for the dissemination of liberalism. Aside from indoctrination, students are learning little about living in traditional America. For example, one can earn a B.A. without taking one class in basic civics, U.S. or world history, or even in government.

"Students spend more time at parties than classes and still find ways to graduate." – Cinda Chima

Young people have been taught that morality and good citizenship are nothing more than personal choices. Recently, a New York college professor told a Post reporter, "Children today don't think morals are facts." He noted, “They've been taught morals are nothing more than your personal opinions."

Today's public school students are taught marriage is marriage and gender has nothing to do with it. Children can be raised by two mothers, or fathers or a single parent. A father nor a mother has nothing unique to offer a child. And single parent households can live off of government handouts.

It is a mortal sin to mention the "Bible" in a classroom. There are no moral truths because there is no religious basis for morality. During the Enlightenment, the Bible guided our founders in crafting Americas institutional values. Today they are being guided by a socially acceptable woke culture.

"Wokeism is a religion without salvation. Once canceled out you're banned forever." – A.E. Samaan

This last election proved that young voters, trendy women and identity groups do not care or vote for policy issues that are destroying the economy and are threatening their security. Election data from Edison Research shows the right to abortion on demand was the driving force for millennials, identity groups, and white female college graduates to vote for Democrats this last election. These groups also believed in canceling student loans, socialized medicine, and federalizing elections.

Democrats have held an advantage in every midterm or presidential election since the late 1990s. This year, citing Biden's stimulus spending, extended unemployment checks and his support for legalizing same sex marriage, Gen Z and young millennials showed a pronounced shift toward the Democratic Party. This group also showed the highest increase in voter turnout over last election.

Daniel O’Connell wrote, "Nothing is politically right which is morally wrong." At one time, Americans are taught to rely on their feelings to determine how to behave and what to believe in and what was wrong. Today, instead of being given moral guidance to develop a foundation for their moral future, children are being taught that anything is OK as long as you feel good about it. They are told it is OK to break the law if you feel it's unjust, and morality is a personal choice uncontrolled by society.

If we consider the issues that drove Gen Z and millennials to the Democratic Party last election are considered immoral, un-American, unreligious, and most were even illegal not that long ago, it is disturbing that we are witnessing the moral decay of American society and no one is doing a thing about it. Loss of respect for traditional values and out of control immorality destroyed Rome and it can happen here.

"There can be no high civility without a deep morality." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, November 27, 2022

2 House Races Remain Uncalled, Republicans Lead in Both

By Allen Zhong  | The Epoch Times

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R) speaks about close race, presumed win

Two House races still have not been called more than two weeks after Election Day.

The Republican Party is expected to strengthen its majority in the lower chamber of Congress when those two races are officially declared as GOP candidates are leading in both contests.

In the redrawn 13th Congressional District in California, John Duarte, a Republican Party candidate, received 50.2 percent of the total votes as 99 percent of the votes have been tabulated. Democrat candidate Adam Gray trailed Duarte by 593 votes, less than 0.5 percent.

There’s no automatic recounting law in California.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) already declared victory and her Democrat opponent Adam Frisch has conceded. Boebert leads Frisch by 554 votes, less than 0.5 percent.

The race has not been called because Colorado law requires an automatic recounting when the difference is less than 0.5 percent.

With these two seats being added to the Republican majority, the GOP would have 222 seats in the U.S. House while the Democratic Party would have 213.

According to data compiled by the Cook Political Report, Republican House candidates received more than 3.3 million popular votes than their Democratic counterparts in the midterm elections.

Out of the total 106.6 million votes, Republicans beat Democrats with an advantage of 50.8 percent to 47.7.

Charlie Cook, founder of the Cook Political Report, wrote on Nov. 14 that the Republican Party—with a 4.9 percentage point advantage at that time—would normally gain 20–30 seats in the House, but didn’t gain as many seats as anticipated.

“Simply put, Republicans picked up the votes they needed, just not where they needed them most. Clearly something or someone intervened, affecting the outcome of the election in the places that mattered,” he wrote.

American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Emeritus Michael Barone believes House Republicans won the popular vote because the turnout in Central cities worked against the Democrats.

The popular vote didn’t give the Republican Party more seats because of redistricting, and Republican voters are more concentrated than before, he said.

However, the advantage in popular votes indicates the Republican Party could have a hopeful 2024.

“Republican House candidates won 58 percent of the popular vote in the South and 53 percent in the Midwest, two regions that together account for 298 of the 538 electoral votes. Duplicating that support is one way an unproblematic Republican nominee could top 270 electoral votes in 2024,” he wrote.

With President Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the White House and the U.S. Senate still being controlled by the Democrats for the next two years, the Republican majority in the House can hardly move forward with its policy agenda.

However, it’s most likely the Republicans will launch more investigations into the executive branch after January.

The House Oversight Committee will investigate President Joe Biden and his alleged involvement in his son Hunter’s foreign business deals, Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced on Nov. 17.

Contrary to the president’s claims, the elder Biden was directly involved in Hunter’s international business dealings, Comer said, citing whistleblower evidence.

“This is an investigation of Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and why he lied to the American people about his knowledge and participation in his family’s international business schemes,” he said at a press conference.

Comer, who is the incoming Oversight Committee chairman, claimed that the Biden family “flourished and became millionaires by simply offering access to the family.”

“This committee will evaluate the status of Joe Biden’s relationship with his family’s foreign partners, and whether he is a president who is compromised or swayed by foreign dollars and influence,” Comer said.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that the House of Representatives could begin an impeachment inquiry against Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas when the new 118th Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2023.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Kari Lake Files First Lawsuit Over Midterm Election Results

By Sarah Arnold |Townhall.com

AP Photo/Matt York

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed the first lawsuit against election officials in Maricopa County, claiming that laws were violated after it took over a week to get the midterm election results. 

Lake is requesting the court to provide records on how they counted the votes during the November 8 midterm elections, in which she has publicly cast doubts that her Democrat opponent Katie Hobbs won the Arizona election fairly. 

The defendants listed in the suit include Stephen Richer, the Maricopa County recorder, and other officials. Lake is alleging that there were misprinted ballots that were not readable by voting machines, the mixing of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines at polling locations that discouraged voters from casting ballots.

“Given instances of misprinted ballots, the commingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines discouraging people from voting, as demonstrated in the attached declarations, these records are necessary for Plaintiff to determine the full extent of the problems identified and their impacts on electors,” the lawsuit reads.

Earlier this week, GOP Arizona attorney general candidate Abe Hamadeh also filed a lawsuit against Maricopa County election officials alleging “errors and inaccuracies” in the management of certain polling places and the counting of ballots in the election.

In a letter, Arizona’s attorney general office said that the county must answer for the issues voters experienced while voting on Nov. 8.

“These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa County's lawful compliance with Arizona election law,” the letter reads.

Meanwhile, Lake has yet to concede to Hobbs, saying “if we give up now, we will no longer have a country.”

"Would you get on a plane if HALF of the engines didn't work?" Lake asked, adding “would our friends in the media be able to broadcast their nightly propaganda if HALF of their studio equipment was not working?”

Friday, November 25, 2022

Oh, So That's the New Argument to Bring Back Mask Mandates

By Matt Vespa | Townhall.com

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s reign of terror is finally ending next month when that demented little elf finally retires, leaving an ugly legacy of distrust, science fiction, and outright lies. Fauci has been one of the go-to experts on infectious diseases, but COVID has imbrued what was once considered a sterling record of public service. Fauci and his cronies have done more to erode the public trust in our institutions, and it was all over a virus with a 99.8 percent survival rate. They treated this as a super Ebola pandemic. None of the doomsday projections regarding the death rate came true, and their containment protocols were based on shoddy data or outright falsehoods. And they’re responsible for the appalling regression in math and reading scores as these medical fascists shut down schools, triggering a secondary mental health crisis among teenagers that has yet to reach its peak.   

Now, these same people want to bring back mask mandates and social distancing over concerns about so-called long COVID, that’s government-speak for we want to control you again (via NY Post):

Masks and social distancing should be mandated or encouraged in public to protect people from possible “long COVID”, according to a new report commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The report by the independent research agency Coforma, published Monday, was based in part on interviews with more than 60 people — including patients dealing with lingering COVID-19 symptoms, as well as their caregivers and health care providers. 

The recommendations included establishing public policies that purportedly protect “everyone from long COVID” – including the reinstatement of a mask mandate.

According to the document, jurisdictions dropping mask mandates some two years into the pandemic has made life difficult for those struggling with long COVID.

At a presser this week, Fauci continues pushing the vaccine, a settled issue. Those who wish to get the shot have already done so, while the skeptics have not been jabbed. Medical professionals like Fauci have yet to realize that most of the country has tuned them out. We’ve moved on as a society, enjoying life with COVID as it’s now endemic like cold/flu season. You’re not going to boost the vaccination rates anymore, folks. And we sure as hell are not going back to mask mandates and social distancing.

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A Reader's Comments:

Once more with feeling. An N95/K95 or surgical mask is designed to stop 95% of particulate and/or mist droplets larger than 0.3µm. No matter how well fitted to the wearer's face, even if it was glued to the skin around the edges, it cannot stop a roughly spherical virus that's 0.1µm~0.12µm in size. It's like dropping large olives, large acorns or shooter marbles through a chain link fence. They * Sail * Right * Through. The reason surgeons and their teams, doctors and nurses suturing or dressing open wounds wear masks is to prevent them from exhaling/spraying droplets of saliva into said open wound or incision. They are NOT worn to prevent either medical staff or patients from transmitting or contracting any disease.

It's meaningless Virtue Gesticulation Kabuki played out on the public stage to reinforce to the weak that they must obey our kind and benevolent, totalitarian government apparatchiks.

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RELATED ARTICLE

WaPo: The Vaccinated Now Account for a Majority of COVID Deaths

By Jim Hoft | Gateway Pundit

Posted with Permission by Techno Fog

There’s a remarkable concession appearing in The Washington Post today:

“a majority of Americans dying from the coronavirus received at least the primary series of the vaccine.”

The latest data shows that 58% of COVID-19 deaths in August 2022 were from people who were vaccinated or boosted. Based on past figures and the current trends, we can reasonably estimate that the number of vaccinated/boosted COVID-19 deaths will only rise. (In September 2021, the vaccinated accounted for 23% of COVID-19 deaths; in January/February 2022, the vaccinated were 42%.)

This is what happens when you rush ineffective and dangerous vaccines.

The FDA’s promises of efficacy – 91% for the Pfizer vaccine and 93% for the Moderna vaccine – were always based on hope, not data. So too were the promises of safety. At the time of the official approvals, both Pfizer and Moderna hadn’t submitted any type of long-term numbers on effectiveness. Their trials were polluted with the unblinding of participants and their safety studies are “ongoing.”

Now, we’re seeing efficacy numbers plummet within months of vaccination. The pandemic is of the vaccinated. The boosters? They’re to the benefit of the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical companies, as they mask the true problems with the two-shot vaccines.

Even with these numbers, the outgoing Anthony Fauci continues to vouch for the jab, stating the data “overwhelmingly show the effectiveness of vaccines.”

This is the same man who demanded school closures, inserted himself into the 2020 election by criticizing Trump’s COVID-19 response while complimenting China, and criticized Governor Ron DeSantis for reopening Florida’s schools.

All the while, Fauci was lying to the public about COVID-19 origins. In May of 2020, he told National Geographic that COVID-19 “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

What he didn’t tell us was that he and US government clients were sabotaging and shutting down research and fact finding into the lab leak theory. What he didn’t say was that internal communications among himself and Francis Collins and Jeremy Farrar, revealed through a FOIA request by Jimmy Tobias, discussed “accidental lab passage in animals” and how the Wuhan lab was the “Wild West” and why the lab leak was a serious possibility.

Maybe we’ll get the truth once Republicans take power. Fauci has promised cooperation but be assured he’ll continue to be the slippery little doctor. Then there’s the lawsuit against the Biden Administration where Fauci is being deposed. It’s a bit more difficult to evade questions from seasoned attorneys who have you for eight hours.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

What You Need to Know about the Colossal Mess of FTX

 BY JIM GERAGHTY | National Review

Founder of FTX Trading Limited, Sam Bankman-Fried, speaks during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., December 08, 2021.(Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

On the menu today: Over the course of November, you’ve probably noticed increasingly dramatic coverage of the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. It turns out that the disheveled young so-called genius running one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges and a major cryptocurrency hedge fund — a man once touted as the next Warren Buffett — was making it all up as he went along, like Bluto Blutarsky in Animal House. In other words, the cryptocurrency titan who was previously the Democrats’ second-biggest donor after George Soros now looks like a younger, nuttier Bernie Madoff.

Sam Bankman-Fried: Crook, Nut, or Both?


I haven’t written one of these explainers since the GameStop brouhaha. If I’m writing an “explainer,” there’s a good chance I needed the subject explained to me.

Let’s start at the very beginning, because as Maria Von Trapp reminded us, that’s a very good place to start. A cryptocurrency is a money-like asset that is designed to be used on computer systems and electronic banking, but that is not backed by anything like a government or a bank. Theoretically, anything could be used as currency. Back in grade school, you probably used Halloween candy as a lunchroom currency in early November — two small bags of M&Ms equaled one Snickers bar. Unlike the shell beads, coins, paper, and other objects used as currency throughout history, cryptocurrency is not tangible or physical; it only exists electronically. But if two people agree that the cryptocurrency has a particular value, they can use it to buy or sell goods or services. Or someone can buy a cryptocurrency and hold onto it like a stock or other asset, hoping it rises in value.

Right now, the most widely held cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin, Etherium, Tether, USD Coin — which, as the name would suggest, is pegged to the dollar — and BNB.

Back in 2017, Sam Bankman-Fried noticed that Bitcoin was bought and sold at significantly different prices in different countries’ markets — sometimes 60 percent more than the lowest priced markets. He bought Bitcoin in the markets where it was the cheapest, and then resold it in South Korean markets at a much higher price, what he nicknamed “the Kimchi Premium.” After a month, he launched his own trading house, Alameda Research.

Bankman-Fried founded FTX, which is short for “Futures Exchange,” in 2019. “In creating FTX, I wanted to build a platform for professional traders like me, while also bringing crypto trading to the mass market and first-time users,” he later said. He and his team had considerable experience with a lot of other big-name financial firms and tech companies such as Optiver, Susquehanna, Google, and Facebook. In other words, those who invested in and with the exchange believed that this team knew what they were doing.

As a cryptocurrency exchange, FTX allowed customers to trade cryptocurrencies for other assets, such as conventional — some would say, “real”– money or other cryptocurrencies. As with all currencies, the value of any given cryptocurrency is determined by what people — the market — collectively believe it is worth. If you have bought your morning coffee with U.S. dollars for your entire life, you likely feel confident that the coffee shop will accept payment in U.S. dollars tomorrow.

Every currency is maintained by a sufficiently widespread belief that the currency is currently worth something and will continue to be worth something in the foreseeable future. A currency’s value crashes when people no longer believe it is worth much, or worth anything at all.

FTX grew spectacularly fast. By March 2021, FTX had bought the rights to rename the home of the NBA’s Miami Heat as the “FTX Arena.” You may recall the Super Bowl commercial from this past February featuring Larry David, with the joke being that David didn’t understand cryptocurrency and thus was passing on investing in the next big thing — a pretty funny irony in light of recent events.

In August, Sam Bankman-Fried was on the cover of Fortune magazine, with a headline asking if he was the next Warren Buffett. He was touted like the other tech-industry boy-wonder geniuses, the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Mark Zuckerberg — a disheveled and casual wunderkind who had apparently discovered some key business secret or truth that had eluded the rest of us.

Sam Bankman-Fried does not look like the most powerful man in crypto. Friendly and rumpled, with an unruly halo of curly hair, the 30-year-old widely known as SBF has an affinity for League of Legends, fidget spinners, and other trappings of nerd culture. But underneath the goofy facade is a trading wunderkind whose ambition knows no limits.

An MIT physics grad, SBF honed his trading skills at renowned quant shop Jane Street Capital before launching a successful firm of his own, Alameda Research. In 2019 he founded crypto exchange FTX, hailed by some as the best derivatives platform ever built.

As recently as September, FTX was believed to be worth $32 billion. In addition to running the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Bankman-Fried continued to run Alameda Research. This is like having the same person running the New York Stock Exchange and Bridgewater Associates, to pick a market and a hedge fund that are familiar to most people.

If you’re like me, you’ve felt like you didn’t really understand what the heck cryptocurrency was and didn’t bother investing in it. Well, our inability to understand these things really paid off in this case.

At the beginning of November, the website CoinDesk reported that “Bankman-Fried’s trading giant Alameda rests on a foundation largely made up of a coin that a sister company invented, not an independent asset like a fiat currency or another crypto. The situation adds to evidence that the ties between FTX and Alameda are unusually close.”

This may not be legal; reportedly, “the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining whether FTX improperly used billions of dollars of customer funds to prop up a trading firm that he also founded, Alameda Research.” In other words, people gave money to the FTX exchange thinking they were investing in various cryptocurrencies, and it was instead being used to support the bottom line of the cryptocurrency hedge fund.

The CoinDesk report also led to lots of people in the financial and tech sectors wondering how much of FTX and Alameda’s financial assets were based on non-crypto, tangible financial assets. The fear was that the company’s financial assets were largely cryptocurrency, and thus capable of losing value quickly and with little warning.

About a week later, FTX entered negotiations with the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, seeking to be acquired by the larger exchange. The initial assessment from Binance was that FTX still had value, but it had a “liquidity crunch” — it couldn’t turn its cryptocurrency assets into real-world-currency assets fast enough. But about a day later, Binance suddenly changed its mind, backing out of the deal and ominously declaring that, “The issues are beyond our control or ability to help.”

That was a giant flashing neon sign that FTX had some sort of terrible problems lurking beneath the surface.

FTX has since filed for bankruptcy, and John Jay Ray III, who is running what’s left of the company, declared in the bankruptcy filing that basically no one at FTX left any records of what they were doing, and may well have never understood what they were doing when they were actually doing it. Ray wrote:

I have over 40 years of legal and restructuring experience. I have been the Chief Restructuring Officer or Chief Executive Officer in several of the largest corporate failures in history. I have supervised situations involving allegations of criminal activity and malfeasance (Enron). I have supervised situations involving novel financial structures (Enron and Residential Capital) and cross-border asset recovery and maximization (Nortel and Overseas Shipholding). Nearly every situation in which I have been involved has been characterized by defects of some sort in internal controls, regulatory compliance, human resources and systems integrity.

Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here. From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.

Remember, this is the guy who cleaned up Enron!

Bankruptcy filings are not often entertaining reading, but this one stands out because it basically makes FTX look less organized, professional, and disciplined than the fraternity in Animal House. Where the institution doesn’t look chaotic, it looks like a giant scam:

  • “Many of the companies in the FTX Group, especially those organized in Antigua and the Bahamas, did not have appropriate corporate governance. I understand that many entities, for example, never had board meetings.”
  • “The FTX Group did not maintain centralized control of its cash. Cash management procedural failures included the absence of an accurate list of bank accounts and account signatories, as well as insufficient attention to the creditworthiness of banking partners.”
  • “The FTX Group’s approach to human resources combined employees of various entities and outside contractors, with unclear records and lines of responsibility. At this time, the Debtors have been unable to prepare a complete list of who worked for the FTX Group as of the Petition Date, or the terms of their employment. Repeated attempts to locate certain presumed employees to confirm their status have been unsuccessful to date.”
  • “Employees of the FTX Group submitted payment requests through an on-line ‘chat’ platform where a disparate group of supervisors approved disbursements by responding with personalized emojis.”
  • “Corporate funds of the FTX Group were used to purchase homes and other personal items for employees and advisors. I understand that there does not appear to be documentation for certain of these transactions as loans, and that certain real estate was recorded in the personal name of these employees and advisors on the records of the Bahamas.”
  • “The FTX Group did not keep appropriate books and records, or security controls, with respect to its digital assets.”
  • “One of the most pervasive failures of the FTX.com business in particular is the absence of lasting records of decision-making. Mr. Bankman-Fried often communicated by using applications that were set to auto-delete after a short period of time, and encouraged employees to do the same.”

That last one makes you wonder if Bankman-Fried didn’t want to leave any paper trail of what he was doing with other people’s money. The much-celebrated wunderkind now looks like either a crook, or a nut, or both:

“Mr. Bankman-Fried, currently in the Bahamas, continues to make erratic and misleading public statements. Mr. Bankman-Fried, whose connections and financial holdings in the Bahamas remain unclear to me, recently stated to a reporter on Twitter: “F*** regulators they make everything worse” and suggested the next step for him was to “win a jurisdictional battle vs. Delaware”

Many on the right are wondering if Bankman-Fried got away with it for so long because he was exceptionally generous to the Democratic Party, and lots of people on the left wanted to believe the image he offered.

In August, Politico described Bankman-Fried as “one of the biggest donors in Democratic politics. . . . [He’s] one of just a handful of donors who spent $10 million-plus backing President Joe Biden in 2020, and in the last year, he’s hired a network of political operatives and spent tens of millions more shaping Democratic House primaries. It was a shocking wave of spending that looked like it could remake the Democratic Party bench in Washington, candidate by candidate. Looking ahead to the 2024 election, he has said he could spend anywhere from $100 million to $1 billion.”

When you have $1 billion, you can buy a lot of friends who don’t want to look too closely at how you made your fortune. NBC News reported:

In just two years since Bankman-Fried’s first political donation, his money hired dozens of top-flight lobbyists and political operatives, made major investments in newsrooms like ProPublica and Semafor, and made him the second-biggest Democratic donor of the 2022 midterms, behind only the 92-year-old financier George Soros. He said $1 billion would be a “soft ceiling” for his spending in 2024.

Apparently, there’s no proof to the rumor that the Ukrainian government invested heavily in FTX, with some folks on social media spinning a conspiracy theory that the Ukrainians gave to FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried gave money to Democrats, and Democrats and the Biden administration sent U.S. aid to Ukraine. FTX was a partner in helping the Ukrainian government convert donated cryptocurrencies to fiat money.

But the story is bad enough as is, without crazy rumors of elaborate global money-laundering. It is believed that more than a million people have lost the money they invested in FTX, an estimated $8 billion or so.

Just How Woke Has Our Military Become? Marco Rubio and Chip Roy Give Us an Idea.

 By Spencer Brown |  Townhall.com

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The United States military has long been respected around the world, serving as a significant deterrent to outside nations and actors who otherwise wish to harm America. But that reputation has been changing under the Biden administration as its leaders implement leftist policies and spread radical ideologies that have undermined the readiness and effectiveness of our country's fighting forces. 

To highlight the trend, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) released a new report this week — titled "Woke Warfighters" — enumerating the ways in which the Biden administration and its allies at the Pentagon have been weakening America's fighting men and women. 

"America’s volunteer warriors regularly risk their lives not in the name of conquest, but so others may be free," notes the report from Rubio and Roy. "They are driven by a love of country and a sense of service and honor that is increasingly rare today. The United States and the world are better off because of these brave men and women," the Republican lawmakers add. 

"Unfortunately, President Joe Biden and his administration are weakening America’s warfighters through a sustained assault fueled by woke virtue signaling," the report warns. "Our military’s singular purpose is to 'provide for the common defense' of our nation. It cannot be turned into a left-wing social experiment," Rubio and Roy explain. "It cannot be used as a cudgel against America itself. And it cannot be paralyzed by fear of offending the sensibilities of Ivy League faculty lounges or progressive pundits," they note of the left's corrosive influence that emerged on so-called elite campuses before being exported to other institutions, including the U.S. military.

"The world is a dangerous place, and the Biden Administration’s insanity is eroding our greatest source of security in it," Rubio and Roy explain before making a 16-page case from what they've identified as the most nefarious ways leftist ideology has been foisted on America's service members and, in some cases, their families. 

From protecting incompetent leaders whose lack of preparedness and failure to execute during President Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan ended up costing the lives of 13 U.S. service members, to protecting "resistance" leaders and punishing the righteous, the report highlights the operational issues that have developed in order to protect leftist ideology rather than the military's mission. 

For example, Rubio and Roy cite the story of a U.S. Army chaplain who sent an email to his unit in the wake of the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, celebrating the end of Roe and arguing that the ruling "upholds the sanctity of life of the unborn" and "honors the U.S. Constitution." The email also asked the service members to pray "for the safety of our Supreme Court Justices" as their lives were threatened as a result of their decisions on the case. After sending the email, the chaplain was scrutinized with an investigation.

Compare the treatment of the chaplain with the junior medic who, in uniform, recorded and posted a video to CCP-run TikTok attacking the Supreme Court for its decision and asking "how am I supposed to swear to support and defend the Constitution and a country that treats its women like second-class citizens?" According to Rubio and Roy, "that medic has not received any disciplinary action for her remarks."

The Republican lawmakers' report also lists Critical Race Theory's implementation as having an inherently racially divisive effect on warfighters, and calls out Biden's military leaders for similarly focusing on dividing people along individual differences in gender or sexual orientation rather than emphasizing the common cause, camaraderie, and larger mission at hand. 

Instances like Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's stand-down order for all service members and civilian Department of Defense employees to "discuss extremism in their ranks" also received a mention in the report, as do individuals including 1619 Project advocate Bishop Garrison, who leads the Biden administration's Countering Extremist Activity Working Group (CEAWG) within the DOD. 

Instead of focusing on preparedness and training to support the United States against foes such as China, Russia, North Korea, or Iran, Rubio and Roy point out that Biden's Pentagon is requiring service members to "receive training on the transgender service policy, including advice on how to use pronouns properly and when to recommend their subordinates consider gender reassignment surgery," according to the report. "These policies are purported to make our armed forces more inclusive and compassionate, but they are harmful to the people they claim to help and are sapping our combat readiness," the Republicans note. 

The report also calls out the Department of Defense Education Agency (DODEA) and its leftist leadership for pushing similarly divisive ideologies on the children of service members in the schools it has set up in the United States and around the world, often the only choice parents have when they are stationed or deployed. 

"Rather than making the case for American greatness and protecting our nation, the military is parroting woke nonsense," Sen. Rubio said in a statement accompanying the report. "It's dumb, it doesn't work, and it's dangerous. We need to spend more time thinking about how to counter Chinese aircraft carriers and less time thinking about pronouns," he added.

Rep. Roy noted that the DoD's "priority should be training the men and women of our Armed Forces to be a united, lethal, and battle-ready force primed to defend the United States and her interests at a moment's notice. Instead, Biden's woke Pentagon is using taxpayer dollars to promote blatant anti-American ideology," he added. "It has to stop. We need to end this politicization of our military and keep our Armed Forces focused on defending our national security."

The full report can be viewed here.

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RELATED ARTICLE

Is the military too ‘woke’ to recruit?

By Meghann Myers | The Military Times


Tech. Sgt. Rachel Armstrong congratulates airmen during a basic military training graduation ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio July 13. (Vanessa R. Adame/Air Force)

How political perceptions may be stifling the willingness to serve"

The Army missed its recruiting goal by about 15,000 new soldiers in 2022, coming up 25% short of its goal at a time when each of the services were struggling to meet their benchmarks. Military officials worry that all of the branches have had to reach deep into their pools of delayed entry applicants, a move that puts them behind in recruiting for the new year.

Military recruiters have leaned on tried-and-true factors to explain the challenges, including low unemployment and a dearth of applicants up to physical, educational and behavioral standards.

But the truth is, no one keeps detailed data on what’s stopping America’s youth from signing up. Experts and senior military leaders point to the perennial factors of competition from the private sector and a dwindling number of young Americans both qualified and interested in military service. But what they don’t have much information on is why that propensity is going down, and whether the country is undergoing an ideological shift in attitude toward military service.

One possibility that is increasingly resonating with veterans is that the military is too “woke.” Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., for example, is among a group of Republican senators who have repeatedly blamed recruiting problems on the Biden administration for trying to build a “woke Army.”

Thomas Spoehr, director of the Center for National Defense at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, recently opined that wokeness is the “chief worry of grizzled American veterans today.”

“The largest threat they see by far to our current military is the weakening of its fabric by radical progressive (or ‘woke’) policies being imposed, not by a rising generation of slackers, but by the very leaders charged with ensuring their readiness,” he wrote. “Wokeness in the military is being imposed by elected and appointed leaders in the White House, Congress, and the Pentagon who have little understanding of the purpose, character, traditions, and requirements of the institution they are trying to change.”

Spoehr acknowledged that “direct ‘cause and effect’ studies on the impact of woke policies such as these do not exist,” but suggested that “common sense” dictates that it is having an effect on recruiting.

“Is anyone surprised that potential recruits — many of whom come from rural or poor areas of the country — don’t want to spend their time being lectured about white privilege?” he wrote.

In an interview with Fox News, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a West Point graduate and Army officer who served in Germany during the Cold War, talked about the campaign he is launching, including TV ads and a website, to target what he calls “woke polices” directed toward the military.

“How can we ask young men and women who have decided to risk their lives for America, even die for America, to affirm that our country is inherently racist?” Pompeo wrote in a Sept. 28 opinion column for Fox. “How can we ask them to view their brothers and sisters in arms through the narrow prisms of race or gender? The clear and obvious answer is that we cannot — not without putting their lives at risk on the battlefield. A woke military is a weak military.”

But Defense Department leaders, while often apprehensive to address the intersection of politics and recruiting, have said they don’t see a connection anecdotally or statistically

“That whole ‘woke’ terminology has me a little perplexed,” Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force JoAnne Bass told Air Force Times Sept. 6. “I don’t know that I agree [with] and appreciate that term.

“I’ve said it before; I think perhaps we do need to wake up to what our society is about today. Perhaps we need to wake up to how we actually have more in common than not. Perhaps we need to wake up to the goodness of the diversity that America brings to the table. That diversity is not just singular to demographic diversity, but … it’s experiences and it’s cognitive diversity as well. I don’t subscribe to the ‘wokeness’ in the way that it’s discussed. I actually think that, yeah, we probably need to wake up to the goodness of what all airmen and what all people bring to the fight.”

In reality, service members spend hundreds of hours a year on mandatory training, covering everything from operational safety to financial responsibility and suicide and sexual assault prevention, with a tiny fraction of that focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion education.

But what seems to incense people is that the issue of racial disparity is discussed at all, not that it’s truly cutting into time spent on training.