Thursday, July 29, 2021

DELTA VARIANT BULLET POINTS

BY SCOTT JOHNSON | POWERLINE


My law school classmate Kevin Roche went on to become general counsel of UnitedHealth and then chief executive officer of its health information/data technology division Ingenix. As any regular reader of his Healthy Skeptic site can quickly surmise, he has mastered the research on Covid-19 and related issues. For some reason that is not apparent to me, Kevin undersells his expertise. In my opinion, he knows what he’s talking about.

I called Kevin this morning to ask if he would restate his findings regarding the Delta variant and vaccine effectiveness in the form of bullet or numbered points. He has responded to my request in the post “What more can I say.”

Kevin introduces his summary with a comment that I know is close to his heart in the midst of the present confusion and hysteria: “I…take more than a little pleasure watching the alleged Biden administration (who the hell is really in charge over there?) which only got elected because of the epidemic and whose handling of the epidemic is the only issue on which there has been (no more) a positive rating, flop and flounder like the beached fish in rapidly-lowering Lake Mead.”

Kevin concludes with a comment regarding the CDC’s latest mask recommendations: There couldn’t “be worse messaging than the CDC telling vaccinated people to wear masks. Readers know that I don’t find any evidence to suggest masks play any role in limiting transmission in the community….And what is the point in pushing, even forcing people to get vaccinated if they have to still abide by all the same futile and stupid restrictions. But at least the CDC is consistent, they have done an absolutely atrocious job of communication.”

In between these comments are his points. Read the whole thing below.

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/07/delta-variant-bullet-points.php

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RFELATED ARTICLE

What More Can I Say

By Kevin Roche| Healthy Skeptic

The only thing that spreads faster than CV-19 is panic about CV-19.  It has been a while since I pointed this out, but you can’t spell pandemic without panic.  (And what party abbreviation do those other three letters stand for?  Hmmmm) (For the record, I am a free-market libertarian.)  After all this time, I would like to believe that my beloved skepticism, even cynicism, had been adopted by the majority of my fellow citizens in regard to any pronouncement from our political leaders, physicians, scientists and most of all, public health experts.  Could there have been a worse record of performance from this group?  No.

Now, I don’t really believe this because the consequences are too severe for all of us, but I do take more than a little pleasure watching the alleged Biden administration (who the hell is really in charge over there?) which only got elected because of the epidemic and whose handling of the epidemic is the only issue on which there has been (no more) a positive rating, flop and flounder like the beached fish in rapidly-lowering Lake Mead.  Their credibility is shot and this abysmally incompetent group is setting up the Dems for an epic fail in the next few elections.  Simply epic.  And I will enjoy every moment.  I vote that we for free move all progressives to California and New York, let anyone else in those states move for free to somewhere else, and then divorce those two states.  They can keep DC too.  Then the rest of us can return to sane government and policy.

Notwithstanding my exasperation with the failure of common sense and skepticism to prevail, I will try one more time to simply list why we shouldn’t get all hysterical again and what data our supposed government experts should be providing.

Let’s start with Delta.  Contrary to the misinformation being spread by many, including the so-called experts, the research to date shows:

1.    It has a lower hospitalization and death rate.

2.   It is perhaps somewhat more transmissible.

3.   It does not result in substantially higher viral loads.

4.   Vaccines are only marginally less effective against Delta infections.

5.   It does not have a worse impact on children.

Now let us move on to vaccine effectiveness, where we find that:

1.    People who are vaccinated can get infected, but do so at lower rates than the unvaxed.

2.   People who are vaccinated and get infected have lower viral loads than the unvaxed who become infected.

3.   People who are vaccinated and get infected are less likely to be infectious and transmit.

4.   People who are vaccinated have much lower rates of hospitalization and death than do those who are unvaccinated and get infected.

5.   The research is actually mixed as to whether vaccination or prior infection provides a stronger adaptive immune response.

6.   If you understand adaptive immunity, whether from infection or vaccination, in regard to respiratory viruses, none of the above is a surprise, e.g., the performance of flu vaccines and the difficulty in developing an RSV vaccine.

Now what do we need, other than a complete replacement of said political leaders and experts.

1.    Provide case, hospitalization and death data by vaccination status and give us days after second dose that the case was identified in the case of “fully” vaccinated individuals.  Full adaptive immunity is unlikely in 14 days, it takes weeks for memory B and T cells to be completely in place.

2.   Give us the age structure of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated.

3.   Show us at least a very representative sample of cycle numbers from supposedly positive PCR tests in both the vaxed and unvaxed cases.  I am certain this will reveal much higher cycle numbers and lower viral loads in the vaxed cases.

4.   Do representative sampling of supposed positives from vaxed and unvaxed persons and attempt to culture the test swabs.  I am again certain this will show much less presence of viable virus among the vaxed group.

5.   Give us complete reinfection cases among the unvaccinated, including hospital and death rates.  Reinfections among the unvaxed are the equivalent of breakthrough infections in the vaxed and a direct comparison about rates and outcomes would be helpful.

6.   Stop hiding how many hospitalizations listed as CV-19 ones aren’t actually for CV-19.  The state of Minnesota started doing this for breakthrough infections but it should be done for all cases, so we can compare true serious outcomes.

Finally, come up with better and more accurate messaging on how respiratory virus vaccines should be expected to work.  Stop calling them breakthrough infections; the virus isn’t breaking through some physical barrier.  Give people at least a rudimentary explanation of how adaptive immunity works.  Explain that adaptive immunity is weaker in older persons and those with serious health issues, so we can expect to see cases and even serious illness continue among that group.  Once more, for the three millionth time, tell people this virus is not going away, we will live with it, we will adapt to it, we will have preventive and treatment measures that are effective, but it ain’t disappearing.  And life is too short and too valuable to waste it in futile attempts to avoid CV-19.

I just have to note as well, after I wrote this, that could there be worse messaging than the CDC telling vaccinated people to wear masks.  Readers know that I don’t find any evidence to suggest masks play any role in limiting transmission in the community.  I have summarized my reasons for that repeatedly.  And what is the point in pushing, even forcing people to get vaccinated if they have to still abide by all the same futile and stupid restrictions.  But at least the CDC is consistent, they have done an absolutely atrocious job of communication.

That, that, that’s all folks!!!

https://healthy-skeptic.com/2021/07/28/what-more-can-i-say/

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

New Left socialism is an urban legend

By William Haupt III | The Center Square contributor 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. - J. Scott Applewhite | AP

"Socialism didn't work. Socialism could never have worked because it is based on false premises about human psychology and society, and gross ignorance of human economy."

– David Horowitz

Socialism is strangely impervious to referendum in real-world experience. Over the past hundred years, there have been dozens of attempts to build socialist dynasties. The Soviet Union, Maoist China and Venezuela thought they were too big to fail. Yet die hard socialists will claim they failed because were "hybrid-socialist." None will admit they failed because socialism is a Ponzi scheme.

Given the recent resurgence of socialism, especially now that it is embraced by the left and we have socialists at every level of American government, it's time to re-visit all the reasons why socialism fails. It's also time to dispel the myths about socialism, especially "hybrid socialism." Since the left is replacing capitalism with socialism one law at a time, it's time we look at real time modern socialism.

If socialism is a failed experiment, why do so many on the left, especially our youth, favor socialism over capitalism? Simply because politicians like AOC and Bernie Sanders tell them Scandinavian capitalism is socialism due to their abundant social welfare systems. The left has perpetrated this urban legend to justify building an elitist power base that is maintained with federal dependence.

Contrary to the Sanders narrative, the success of Nordic countries like Sweden, Denmark, Norway and others is antithetical to a model welfare state. Their standards of living, low poverty, generous education systems, and single-payer health care programs are all paid for by the people. They are not a gift from the government. Their average income tax rates are over twice of that in America.

"I repeat! Denmark is not a socialist country. It is driven by the free markets."

– Lars Rasmussen

Scholars Assar Lindbeck and Nima Sanandaji conclude the success of the Nordic model roots in its culture and the free markets. The Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark have a combined population equal to New York City. Their societies rely on high levels of social trust, a robust work ethic and considerable social cohesion; contrary to the principals of socialism.

Those who pontify the merits of socialism don't understand it; or they are the few elitists that will profit from it. It is a system of wishful ideas inconsistent with market and human reality. Socialists promise equality and security without investment, but deliver equal misery, insecurity and tyranny.

Since socialism is a pyramid scheme of collective ownership, once people conceive they are not getting their fair share, government sequesters all economic resources and rations them back to society. This continual demise of collectivism transforms socialism into irreversible totalitarianism.

This is recorded historic fact, not fiction. "The goal of socialism is communism."

– Vladimir Lenin

When socialism's foundational pyramid collapses, it transmutes into Communism. Then citizens become subjects under Marxism. Their only reversal of fortune is to escape to capitalist nations.

America has a long history of rescuing those fleeing from oppression and liberticide. After WWII as socialism and Communism consumed Europe, the U.S. accepted more refugees than any other free nation. Over 100,000 Jews fled Germany and hundreds of thousands of Latvians, Lithuanians, Croats, Ukrainians and Estonians escaped Europe and came to America for freedom and liberty.

In 1959, when Castro seized control of Cuba, he confiscated all U.S. businesses. Fearing a U.S. invasion, Castro asked the USSR to send nuclear missiles to Cuba. It took two tense weeks for the USSR and JFK to agree to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey in trade for the Soviets removing their weapons from Cuba. When Cubans realized America could not liberate Cuba, they fled to America.

Anxious to escape socialism, they risked their lives in makeshift watercraft to make the dangerous, 90-mile journey to the shores of Florida. Although many perished, over a million made it to the U.S.

"Cuba is not communist nor socialist but a well planned nation of social justice."

– Fidel Castro

This month, thousands of Cubans protested in the streets over the shortage of food and medicines and harsh restrictions on free speech. President Miguel Díaz-Canel blamed it on the 1962 U.S. "policy of economic suffocation" against Cuba. He said, "These protests are against the U.S. not Cuba."

He called the protesters hired mercenaries to destabilize the nation and restore Cuban capitalism. Diaz-Canel cried out, "The order to fight has been given, into the street, go Cuban revolutionaries!"

Many protests were broadcast on social media, showing marchers shouting slogans against the government and the president, calling for reforms. People overturned police cars and looted state-owned stores that overcharge Cubans for the most basic necessities, such as food and medicine.

After decades of providing a haven to Cubans fleeing Communism, Biden's Homeland Security's Alejandro Mayorkas told Cubans: "Let me be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not be welcome in the United States." A Black Lives Matter spokesman criticized the U.S: “The people of Cuba are being punished by the U.S. because the country has maintained its commitment to sovereignty."

Fidel Castro said, "I liberated Cuba from capitalism." Under Fidel Castro’s Communist regime, an economic crisis plagued the country since the 1959 Revolution. The economy was on life support from the USSR until it collapsed in 1989. By 1993, Cuba's GDP declined 35%. Their government health care fell into ruins. No new housing has been built since 1960. The peso continues to lose its value with inflation.

"I find capitalism repugnant. It is filthy, it is gross, it is alienating."

– Fidel Castro

For years, Cubans made the impossible possible in homemade vessels fighting the swift currents of the Straits of Florida to escape Castro's Marxism. These refugees were seeking freedom from tyranny. They brought value to America in return for the opportunities in a free capitalist nation, unlike those who are crossing our borders today only to get a free ride from American taxpayers.

Real socialism is not an urban legend. It is thriving 90 miles south of Florida. We need not look any further than across the bay to see how people live in a real socialist state. We see what life is really like under a Marxist regime. Life for Cubans proves the socialist pipe dream the left used to capture the hearts of millennials is an urban legend about a fairyland that never existed and never will exist.

Socialism appeals to those that feel the world owes them a living simply because they exist. They expect equality without equal investment. They believe those that have more must give something to them because they have less.

"The reason this country continues its drift toward socialism and big nanny government is because too many people vote in the expectation of getting something for nothing, not because they have a concern for what is good for the country."

– Lyn Nofziger

https://www.thecentersquare.com/national/op-ed-new-left-socialism-is-an-urban-legend/article_27249096-ee07-11eb-a417-3f475dd9ce5c.html

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The FBI’s Whitmer Kidnapping Case Looks Like A Potemkin Terror Plot

By Max Morton | The Federalist


With the help of snitches, the FBI rounded up some unemployed, homeless, mostly alone and angry loudmouths to build a fantasy football-style display of domestic terrorism fear-porn.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a slew of reporting on the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, specifically, the fact that the FBI seems to have played a far more considerable role in it than had previously been reported. BuzzFeed News produced an exposé on the case detailing how the FBI used 12 informants and undercover FBI agents to infiltrate the Wolverine Watchmen militia group, which prosecutors allege planned to kidnap Whitmer in the run-up to the 2020 national elections.

The problem with the case is that it appears the FBI, through informants and undercover agents, hatched the kidnapping plotserved in the key leadership positions of the militia group, trained the militia members in military tactics, actively recruited participantsand funded much of the militia’s activities. Then, when various members of the Watchman militia became uncomfortable with the kidnapping plot, with several quitting, the FBI’s primary informant pushed the plot along, eventually becoming the militia group’s leader.

The Primary Informant’s Story Doesn’t Add Up

The primary informant, known only as Dan, has been identified in court documents as a former U.S. Army Iraq War veteran. Dan reportedly volunteered to the FBI after stumbling across the Wolverine Watchman group on Facebook.

Dan, whom court documents say earned a college degree in criminal justice after his stint in the Army, stated he had previously worked as an executive protection agent and a National Rifle Association firearms instructor, and was a current employee of the U.S. Postal Service (the exact nature of his duties at USPS is not publicly released).

He testified in court that he had been searching for Second Amendment-related Facebook posts to find tactical training opportunities to retain the perishable combat skills he acquired during his tour of duty in Iraq. After viewing the Watchman’s page, he applied for acceptance to their private Facebook group and was admitted after answering a series of vetting questions.

At the time Dan applied for membership with the Watchman militia, in March 2020, the Watchman militia had only a single member with military experience: Joe Morrison, a reserve U.S. Marines mechanic serving part-time with a reserve logistics support group (according to court documents, a second military veteran, Daniel Harris, was recruited into the group five months later, in July 2020). Morrison had no combat arms training beyond boot camp and zero combat experience.

It is puzzling exactly what kind of “tactical training opportunities” Dan, an Iraq War combat veteran, hoped to gain from a ragtag group of largely untrained and inexperienced civilian militia. According to Dan’s testimony, he participated in extensive, months-long, house-to-house warfare in Sadr City during his 14-month rotation in Iraq. The question of why someone with Dan’s combat experience would seek to join the Watchman militia to receive training went unasked and unexamined during depositions and court hearings.

This ‘Plot’ and These ‘Conspirators’ Are a Joke

Federal and state prosecutors in this case have indicted 14 defendants from across the country; not just from Michigan, but from states as far as away as Virginia, Delaware, and South Carolina. Some of the defendants are less than sympathetic characters and have made inflammatory statements in text messages, social media posts, and in front of wired FBI informants who dutifully recorded their every word. Prosecutors repeatedly claimed the defendants are dangerous threats to the public, but they have presented no actual evidence of this beyond the defendants’ inflammatory speech.

The prosecutors’ main claim that the defendants had demonstrated their ability and intent to use explosives in the plot was derived from their laughable attempts to ignite uncompressed black powder during a group training event sponsored by one of the FBI informants—which in itself proved how unskilled and incapable the defendants were in the handling or use of explosives. In fact, the group’s only actual planning with regard to explosives was done by an undercover FBI agent who posed as an explosives expert and black market broker for military-type explosives.

Reading through the court documents, text messages, and transcripts for this case is like listening to the David Allen Coe country song about pickup trucks, single-wide trailers, prison, and being drunk and down and out—in the rain. To the nation’s elite class, the defendants in this case are a collection of flyover America’s pile of broken toys: the surplus population who were left behind in globalization’s destruction of working-class America.

With the help of a strong supply of snitches, the FBI rounded up some unemployed, homeless, mostly alone, and angry loudmouths to build a fantasy football-style display of domestic terrorism fear-porn. The only thing more depressing than realizing middle America is now just a bunch of NPCs in the latest version of “Call of Duty: Rogue National Security State” is that there are likely more of these manufactured cases coming to an America near you.

How Powerlessness Affects a People

In a republic like America, there is a designed tension between the citizen and the state. The citizen, as the individual, is protective of his natural rights, privacy, and liberty, while the state, as the establishment, is ostensibly concerned with the prosperity, safety, and security of the republic as a whole.

Our Constitution was designed to balance the friction between Alexander Hamilton’s “The vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty” and John O’ Sullivan’s “The best government is that which governs least.” When that balance is disrupted, there is political conflict.

The elite and powerful can express their political concerns with big-money donations to politicians and pithy outrage from their blue-check Twitter accounts. The little people, the working-class flotsam and jetsam of America, have to just suck it down. They can vent their frustrations on social media, but no one is listening to them—except for people like Dan and the army of informants employed by the government.

The powerless often cope with their powerlessness through what can only be called LARPing, or live-action role-playing. This and ill-advised braggadocio is a way to feel like they have some control over their lives.

One LARP Faction Against Another

A majority of the defendants in this case were clearly LARPing as revolutionary-style patriots. This was evident when, as the FBI informants and agents pushed the plot along to more dangerous ends, many of the group’s members got cold feet and quit, with some go so far as to move out of state.

In a better America, the FBI would recognize this and dispatch an agent or two to deliver a wake-up call to these LARPers. After all, is the FBI’s purpose in inserting themselves into these types of organizations to avert political violence, or is it to manufacture cases that lead to political headlines and promotions for those agents involved?

Obviously, in America now, it is the latter—and that is the crux of the problem. Essentially, the FBI and its collection of law enforcement partners in the Joint Terrorism Task Forces are also LARPing, as counterterrorism heroes.

For the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces and their army of informants, there is money to be made in counterterrorism inflation. According to the Department of Justice Inspector General, the FBI spends more than $42 million per year on paid informants. Some informants have earned upwards of $4.9 million for their work. In this case, informant Dan earned nearly $55,000 for six months of work, in addition to his U.S. Postal Service salary.

Counterterrorism is hard work. Finding an actual domestic terrorist in a country with very few incidents of domestic terrorism is an even harder task. It appears it is much easier, more profitable, and a much better career move for all involved to create a Potemkin terror plot and then swoop in to play the part of counterterror hero.

The trouble is, while they are wasting valuable time and resources creating shocking headlines, federal agents are ignoring the real threats to Americans, while meddling in and ruining the lives of the most powerless in our society.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/07/26/the-fbis-whitmer-kidnapping-case-looks-like-a-potemkin-terror-plot/

Monday, July 26, 2021

Mark Levin: Standing Up to Marxism Is the Fight for America’s Soul

Mark Levin says the Left is waging war against America’s soul on multiple fronts. They masquerade under a myriad of social causes: Critical Race Theory, Genderism, Democratic Socialism, Progressivism. But they were all birthed at the altar of Marxism. In Mark’s newest book, he exposes how these radical, divisive tactics and ideals are being adapted to the American scene. Now, as the nation’s future hangs in the balance, Mark arms you with the knowledge and understanding of the Left’s tactics. And with that knowledge we just might stand a chance to stem the tide and win this battle.

Click here to view the video by Mark Levin about his new book American Marxism courtesy of the BlazeTV YouTube Channel.

Click here to check out Mark Levin’s YouTube channel.

https://firearmslife.com/mark-levin-standing-up-to-marxism-is-the-fight-for-americas-soul/

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RELATED

American Marxism By Mark Levin

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER


The seven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, Fox News star, and radio host Mark R. Levin explains how the dangers he warned against in the “timely yet timeless” (David Limbaugh, author of Jesus Is Risen) bestseller Liberty and Tyranny have come to pass.

In 2009, Mark R. Levin galvanized conservatives with his unforgettable manifesto Liberty and Tyranny, by providing a philosophical, historical, and practical framework for halting the liberal assault on Constitution-based values. That book was about standing at the precipice of progressivism’s threat to our freedom and now, over a decade later, we’re fully over that precipice and paying the price.

In American Marxism, Levin explains how the core elements of Marxist ideology are now pervasive in American society and culture—from our schools, the press, and corporations, to Hollywood, the Democratic Party, and the Biden presidency—and how it is often cloaked in deceptive labels like “progressivism,” “democratic socialism,” “social activism,” and more. With his characteristic trenchant analysis, Levin digs into the psychology and tactics of these movements, the widespread brainwashing of students, the anti-American purposes of Critical Race Theory and the Green New Deal, and the escalation of repression and censorship to silence opposing voices and enforce conformity. Levin exposes many of the institutions, intellectuals, scholars, and activists who are leading this revolution, and provides us with some answers and ideas on how to confront them.

As Levin writes: “The counter-revolution to the American Revolution is in full force. And it can no longer be dismissed or ignored for it is devouring our society and culture, swirling around our everyday lives, and ubiquitous in our politics, schools, media, and entertainment.” And, like before, Levin seeks to rally the American people to defend their liberty.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Black Detroit Residents Far More Worried About Crime Than Police Reform

 BY RICK MORAN | P J MEDIA


AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File

A new USA Today/Suffolk University/Detroit Free Press Poll finds that Detroit residents are far more concerned about public safety than they are police reform.

By a staggering 9-1 margin, residents say they would feel safer with more cops on the street, not fewer, and by a 3-1 margin reject the idea of “defunding the police.”

Detroit is a city that’s 79 percent black, which underscores the idea that the issue of public safety is not a racial issue. The importance of police reform in the black community may be oversold.

White Detroit residents were far more likely to name reforming police as a major issue, according to the poll. And there were differences in emphasis on reform between black men and women.

USA Today:

Black men were twice as likely as Black women to report having been stopped and questioned by police investigating crimes, 38% compared with 17%. What’s more, Black men were twice as likely as Black women to say they weren’t satisfied with how police handled the encounter, 46% compared with 20%.

“You have some good cops and then you have some bad ones,” Derrick Wilson, 52, who also goes by the name D.J. Raw, said in a follow-up interview. At times, some of those surveyed said they had seen racial profiling in the approach police took toward them personally and toward their neighborhoods in general.

The Detroit poll was one in a series of USA Today surveys called Cityview, looking at attitudes toward police, crime, and police reform. A poll taken last month of Milwaukee residents found most were dissatisfied with the job their police department was doing.

But Detroit residents’ concerns are more basic, given the threat to ordinary people just leaving the house.

In Detroit, one in five residents (19%) cited public safety as the biggest issue facing the city, second only to education, named by 23%. On a list of eight concerns, police reform ranked last, at 4%.

The poll found a significant racial divide on the issue. Black residents ranked crime at the top of their list of concerns: 24% cited public safety, just 3% police reform.

But white residents were a bit more concerned about police reform than public safety, 12% compared with 10%. Education was by far the biggest issue on their minds, named by 31%.

“It’s scary sitting in the house, and when you go outside to the gas station or the store, it’s possible someone will be shooting right next to you,” Charlita Bell told USA Today.

The police reform/criminal justice reform movements believed they could radicalize black residents across the country by portraying police as the enemy. Instead, they have highlighted the need for police protection among the city’s most vulnerable residents.

And Democratic politicians, hoping to ride the wave of manufactured disgust over police misconduct, miscalculated badly.

 https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/rick-moran/2021/07/25/detroit-residents-far-more-worried-about-crime-than-police-reform-n1464580?utm_source=pjmedia&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl_pm&newsletterad=&bcid=227841a8b1ca836b99e21ea36efa6859&recip=28551147

Saturday, July 24, 2021

African Americans and the Economy under Trump

By SCOTT TURNER  | National Review


Then-president Donald Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (second from right) and conservative black supporters in the Cabinet Room at the White House, June 10, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Democrats may not have noticed how the black community benefited from this economy, but black voters sure did.

It has been six months since President Trump left the White House and Democrats are still race-baiting the former president and Republicans. Representative Byron Donalds (R., Fla.) was yet another target of Democrats’ wrath in this respect after he was denied entry into the Congressional Black Caucus because of his continued support for President Trump.

There are those who want you to believe, as President Biden said during the election, that Donald Trump was “one of the most racist presidents” ever and that the Republican Party is just as bad. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simply take a look at the economic record of the last four years.

Before COVID-19 severely impacted our social and economic lives, black Americans were seeing real benefits from lower taxes and lower regulation. The unemployment rate for blacks reached a record low of 5.2 percent and black labor-force participation reached 63.2 percent, the highest it had been since the 2008 recession.

The poverty rate for black Americans also reached record lows, while a total of 1 million lifted themselves out of poverty between 2016 and 2019. Over the same period, real median household income for black families rose over $4,000 after actually falling over the previous 14 years (2002–2016). With incomes rising so fast, it should not be surprising that black homeownership skyrocketed to 47 percent, another mark not reached since the 2008 recession.

While countless Americans benefited from the blue-collar boom ignited by Republican economic policies, black Americans fared particularly well, especially compared with their experience during the Obama economy. Then, black median weekly earnings grew just 1.8 percent on average, which was less than the 2.1 percent growth for white earnings. Under President Trump’s pre-pandemic economy, however, black median weekly earnings grew 4.1 percent on average — higher, in fact, than the 3.4 percent earning growth for whites.

The exceptional economic success that bolstered black American families during that period was no accident. President Trump worked closely with black leaders like me to craft an agenda that would help our communities realize our dreams. Consider just a few significant examples.

First, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 created nearly 9,000 opportunity zones in which capital gains on long-term investments are taxed at zero. Each of these opportunity zone census tracts, which had to be nominated by state governors and certified by the secretary of the treasury, had to have a poverty rate of at least 20 percent or a median income less than 80 percent of that in the state. The selected opportunity zones ultimately had an average poverty rate almost double that of more-affluent communities in the state and were home to a higher share of black and Hispanic households.

The incentives created by these opportunity zones helped raise $75 billion in capital for underserved communities in their first two years — enough to create approximately 500,000 jobs — and were on track to lift 1 million people out of poverty.

Second, Republicans passed the most sweeping criminal-justice-reform legislation in a generation: the First Step Act. This landmark legislation reformed the sentencing laws that have wrongly and disproportionately harmed black communities for decades. Black communities want law and order, and building trust in our criminal-justice system is one of the best ways to promote public safety. The First Step Act gave nonviolent offenders the chance to reenter society as productive, law-abiding citizens.

Finally, President Trump, along with Republicans in Congress, made key strategic changes to strengthen our historically black colleges and universities — including moving the federal Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative back to the White House, fully forgiving $322 million in disaster loans to HBCUs, and enabling faith-based HBCUs to receive equal access to federal support. Trump also signed the FUTURE Act which, with strong bipartisan support, made $255 million in annual funding for HBCUs permanent and increased funding for the Pell Grant program. Other legislation also included $100 million for scholarships, research, and centers for excellence at HBCUs.

Democrats may not have noticed all the work Republicans did for the black community, but black voters sure did. Between 2016 and 2020, Trump doubled his support among black women and received almost 20 percent of the vote of black men. No other Republican has come close to these numbers for decades.

In spite of what you may hear, black people do not want open borders, we don’t want to defund the police, and we don’t want higher taxes and more spending.

Entrepreneurship, innovation, skills training, economic sustainability, and generational wealth creation are equally as important in the black community as in any other in America. That is what Republican policies delivered and it can be the foundation of a truly multicultural middle-class party for decades to come.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2021/07/african-americans-and-the-economy-under-trump/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=ca1484e2-01eb-43b2-93dd-9744c35aa988

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Biden has a crime problem and a police problem

By William Haupt III | The Center Square contributor

Police arrest a protester refusing to get off the streets during an imposed curfew while marching in a solidarity rally calling for justice over the death of George Floyd Tuesday, June 2, 2020, in New York. - Wong Maye-E / AP photo

“Blessed are the peacekeepers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

– Matthew 5:9 NIV

As Antifa and BLM protesters pillaged, looted and burned communities across America last year, not one liberal politician attempted to stop them or tried to help the police. Their four-day orgy of self-congratulatory rampage continued unchecked and progressives watched America burn like Rome. Instead of stomping out the fires of violence, they urged cities to defund police departments.

With violent protests erupting around the nation, then U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and a myriad of other high profile progressive politicians and leftist groups scheduled their own protests. They also asked people to donate money to bail these criminals out of jail. Harris tweeted, “If you are able to, please chip in to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting in Minnesota on May 30th."

A day after the riots ravaged the nation, Joe Biden's Democratic campaign bragged that they gave donations to Minnesota Freedom Fund to bail out those who were jailed after the Minneapolis riots.

"I believe that the practice of posting cash bail is just a modern day debtors prison.”

– Joe Biden

Before the pandemic, the U.S. economy experienced its longest growth period in modern history. Unemployment was the lowest in decades, the stock market was up and inflation was down. Since this was an election year, the left took advantage of this tragic opportunity to retool their message. The left turned the election into one focused on racism, social injustice, and attacking the police.

Instead of helping calm the rioters and restore peace in America, the left's misinformation machine went into overdrive. They promulgated the rioting, burning and looting of America as a protest against Donald Trump and Republicans. They ranted this message at every whistle-stop. To win, they needed to drown out Trump's message about his many foreign and domestic victories.

"Cities are burning, are you watching? I stand with Minneapolis. This is our change."

– Lizzo Star

Reports from Axios News estimate that the vandalism, looting, and burning of communities across the U.S. will cost insurance companies more than any organized violent acts of crime in our history. Claims adjustor Loretta Walters said, "This is the first multi-state catastrophe we've ever declared."

Recently, a member of a group accused of plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor was rumored to be a white supremacist. The media had a field day with this. But the continual deadly, violent street crimes by radical attackers upon innocent Americans daily got less ink than a church bingo game.

"People will adjust to defunding the police. Change takes courage.”

– Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

In September, a report by U.S. Crisis Monitor concluded that activist group leaders from BLM and Antifa they talked with, retorted that Biden's election will have no effect on community violence. It was their opinion that this violence will not only be sustained but it will get worse as the year goes on. Yet this gruesome revelation received no mention on any major cable or TV network in America?

Biden and the Democrats based their entire election on race, fairness, woke ethics, LGBT rights, redistribution of wealth, punishing the police, increased government subsidies and taxing the rich.

They promised America if they took back the government and defunded the police, street crimes and violent acts by groups such as BLM and Antifa would cease. So what actually happened? We all know.

"When a man repeats a promise again and again, he means to fail you."

– Edmund Fuller

Since Biden took office, over half of all major cities report they are experiencing higher rates of violent crime. The Major Cities Chiefs Association predict that many cities are set to outpace last year's numbers. In Chicago, homicides are up 33%, and shootings nearly 40%. New York Police Department data show murders jumped 14% and shootings 50%. LAPD's Rosario Cervantes confirmed, in Los Angeles, homicides increased 36% and hate crimes against Asians increased over 150%.

When Biden promised to deliver peace and prosperity if Democrats won the brass ring, how come we are seeing increased violent crimes, personal assaults, robberies, shootings and homicides?

The director of the National Association of Police Organizations blames Democrats and Biden for the current increase in crime. "He has gone off the deep end" with the type of reforms that he and Congress are trying to enact. Bill Johnson, director of the Police Benevolent Association chapters said "Biden has gone too far left with his rhetoric on law enforcement and we cannot do our jobs."

The Police Executive Research Forum shows retirements are up 45% and resignations increased 20% while hiring fell below 5% since Biden took office. They concluded that low morale is the main cause for the sharp increase in resignations and retirements. Officers say they've been demonized. Morale is low and officers fear for their lives. If they fight off attacks they will be accused of abuse?

Under pressure from advisers, Biden recently met with state leaders and urged them to use billions of relief funding to "hire more officers." Biden called on them to use the money to finance more overtime pay, to buy better weapons and spend more on recruiting new applicants.

"With our reform bills and gun control bills, officers will work smarter in our urban communities."

– Joe Biden

Biden’s strategy went over like a lead balloon with many at the forum. They claimed that funding is not the problem. Attendees expressed concerns with the "non-stop rhetoric from Congress about defunding departments, criticism of officers trying to do their job, and the media's biased coverage of incidents."

They believe retirements and resignations will continue and drive away applicants.

Just last month, Biden touted his crime prevention strategy. His plan included spending more on social programs, insuring all gun dealers verify applications and run background checks, and he would like to see better gun control laws. He never once mentioned increasing funding for police.

Author Shannon Alder opined, “Intelligence is anticipating how your message will be perceived.”

During the last election, every progressive promised to defund the police including Harris. Although Biden never did join the "defund chorus", he never once defended the police. Biden took sides with the far left on cutting back budgets and using the money to fund community programs.

When the nationwide riots first erupted, the left should have helped quell the violent storm before it became a tornado. Instead, they chose to preach the merits of defunding local police departments. Now, that is coming back to haunt them. But the real victims are innocent Americans.

These people paid for protection. Now they are being deprived of it.

"Police officers put the badge on every morning, not knowing for sure if they'll come home at night to take it off."

– Tom Cotton

https://www.thecentersquare.com/opinion/op-ed-biden-has-a-crime-problem-and-a-police-problem/article_528d4bc6-e680-11eb-b6e2-c7ae1f2e75d1.html

 

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Democrats, Big Tech look to divide Black America

By Bruce LeVell  | The Washington Times


Illustration on Big tech dividing Black America by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Disinformation that Republicans are racist has spread far and wide

Fake news, cancel culture, and misinformation have been around for generations. The media has always found a way to weaponize content, whether in print, online, or running over the airwaves. Many times, it’s been used by Democrats to divide and control minority populations by propagating the myth all Republicans are racist.

Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson, when he signed the Civil Rights Bill, said, “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now, they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference. For if we don’t move at all, then their allies will line up against us and there’ll be no way of stopping them, we’ll lose the filibuster and there’ll be no way of putting a brake on all sorts of wild legislation. It’ll be Reconstruction all over again.”

Was that sentiment because Mr. Johnson was concerned about Black people being mistreated in America, or was it because he saw an opportunity for Democrats to control the Black voting base?

As early as the 1950s, the Democratic Party understood the value of keeping Black Americans in their camp. Obviously, our section of society was a powerful voting block due to the strength in our numbers. 

And since then, they’ve largely been able to keep the Black community in their corner by ramping up the rhetoric that Republicans are racist and Democrats are the Black community’s saviors.

President Joe Biden is particularly adept at propagating this narrative – and his friends in the mainstream media and Big Tech – are all too happy to comply.

Why else would voter-ID laws (of which the majority of Black America agrees with) be labeled as “Jim Crow 2.0?” Why else would Democrats push critical race theory, which purports we as Black people are “oppressed” and “victims” of “white privilege,” with no chance of succeeding on our own? Why would they preach about “systemic racism” in law enforcement, which is doing its best to keep Black and Brown communities safe? To oppose any one of these Democratic policies, you’re automatically dubbed “racist” – no matter what your skin color – and it effectively shuts down any form of real debate.

Democrats want to keep us down and divided, so we’re dependent on them to provide our salvation. But all they’re really doing is making things worse – and some in the Black community are catching on.  

Democrats were so complacent and cocky in the lead up to Donald J. Trump’s 2016 run they never assumed Black people would ever vote for him. 

I recall sitting in Mr. Trump’s conference room in the summer of 2015 with many pastors, predominantly African American, and the then-presidential candidate stated one of the key issues affecting Black America included getting unemployment down and building and restoring generational wealth in the Black community.

That famous quote, “what the hell do you have to lose” was an in-your-face call to Black voters asking them to look at what Democratic policies had done to their schools, their roads, and their communities in general. 

The call was asking Black America to give Republicans a chance to fix what Democrats had not fixed for decades. For those Black conservatives who supported Mr. Trump on mainstream media, including CNN, MSNBC, and other networks, there was a constant onslaught of intimidation, talking over you, and name-calling by Democrats, especially Black ones. 

One thing I can commend the left for accomplishing is the constant division of Black America that pitted Black Democrats against Black Republicans. One was good, and the other was evil.

Before running for office, Mr. Trump has been in the public eye for over 40 years as a celebrity, builder, businessman, author, and more. Never in history did anyone on any network late-night show or elsewhere accuse him of being a racist until he put his name on the ballot.

That is when the Democratic party turned to their traditional playbook from generations before and decided that their play was to shape him as a racist to scare Black Americans away from even thinking about supporting him. Yet, ironically, his policies while President, from criminal justice reform to developing Opportunity Zones, to lowering Black unemployment to the lowest levels ever recorded, did more for our community than Democrats ever promised.

Yet, you wouldn’t know it if all you listened to was MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, and read the news propagated by Facebook and the Big Tech goliaths. 

The racist Republican troupe has been ingrained in our consciousness from decades of Democrats and the media repeating it. I recall my first political volunteer job stuffing envelopes for Ronald Reagan as a high school student. I remember some of my Black classmates saying, ‘why are you supporting Reagan? He’s a racist?’ But once again, while he was a famous movie star and later governor, he was never accused of being a racist until he was about to put his name on the Republican ballot. 

The unfortunate part about new technology in the digital age is the ability to move this disinformation and “fake news” around the world in seconds. Woke members in the media will happily repeat it – both as a way to virtue-signal and to prevent Republicans from carving off a larger block of the Black vote.

We, as the Black community, need to wake up. Evaluate government policies based on their merit, not by which party proposes them. Democrats have been race-baiting, dividing, and failing us for too long. I mean, what do we have to lose?

Bruce LeVell is a retail jewelry manufacturer owner and the executive director of National Diversity Coalition for Trump. He is the former chair of the Gwinnett County Georgia Republican Party, and a frequent contributor on Fox News, One America News, Newsmax TV, MSNBC & CNN.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/jul/19/democrats-big-tech-look-to-divide-black-america/