The Manchester Free Press

Monday • December 4 • 2023

Vol.XV • No.XLIX

Manchester, N.H.

Israel is Undermined by Critical Race Theory

Granite Grok - Sun, 2023-11-19 01:00 +0000

The world is fractured over the Israel-Hamas conflict, reflecting changing attitudes toward the State of Israel, especially in America. Pro-Palestine college protests have not merely opposed civilian casualties in Gaza but called for eliminating Israel entirely under the mantra “from the river to the sea.”

These are essentially calls for genocide against the chief victims of the Nazi Holocaust!

Many far-left students and political opportunists have been conditioned by social justice ideology to view the entire world through an oppressor-oppressed lens. Critical Race Theory (CRT) applies this theory to race, ascribing all disparities in wealth and achievement to racial oppression.

However, the Jewish experience in America doesn’t fit CRT at all: Jews have thrived in the US (as have Asians). Family and community ties are better predictors of positive outcomes than skin color, revealing the deep flaws inherent in CRT. Thus, social justice activists label Jews as “Super White” traitors to the cause of the oppressed or to deny their racial identity. (They displayed this when Whoopi Goldberg infamously claimed Hitler’s genocide against the Jews was “not about race.”)

The dangers of this race-based CRT ideology are displayed in bold antisemitism by left-leaning college activists. LGBTQ+ advocates are standing with Hamas, chanting “Intifada” and condemning Israel. Yet these same groups would be persecuted in most Muslim nations and enjoy relative freedom in Israel. The horrific assaults against Israeli civilians are shrugged off as justified, and Israel’s very right to exist is under attack. Hamas and gays are strange bedfellows indeed….

This incongruous alliance is explained by the neo-Marxist ideology of social justice, which claims that all people are divided into classes of oppressed versus oppressors. Nuances of Jewish history are overcome using oversimplifying comparisons with colonization, apartheid, or even American slavery. It is by virtue of CRT that Jews are now condemned; sandwiched between the experience of US blacks in slavery and the Palestinians in Gaza, the Holocaust eclipsed.

BLM and other proponents of CRT do not openly criticize Jewish people, but neither do they acknowledge Jews as fellow victims of oppression. As with Asians excelling in America, any group that succeeds is attacked as oppressive. This sentiment was foreshadowed long ago by James Baldwin when he wrote, “The Jew profits from his status in America, and he must expect Negroes to distrust him for it.” CRT gives legs to that racist sentiment.

The survival of the State of Israel is linked to social justice ideology and the culture wars raging in America today. The outcomes of both battles hang in the balance and will determine whether the Judeo-Christian worldview survives.


John Klar is an Attorney, farmer, and author. Mostly farmer… And Regular Contributor to GraniteGrok and VermontGrok.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

In Surprise Move (Not!) Marxists Announce That They’d Like to Tax The Rich

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 23:30 +0000

I’m not sure if they’ve got guillotine logos made up yet, but a coalition of groups easily identified as Marxists has formed a coven of free-market-hating hucksters looking to impose a 3% wealth tax on Vermont’s excessively successful (as defined by the thieves).


“We all see the effects of increased income inequality, as wages for the vast majority of Vermonters are not keeping up with rising costs of living,” Heilweil said Thursday. “We see the effects of insufficient revenue being raised to provide basic services, and we see the inevitable costs of these goods and services — public goods that the government should be providing — being passed on to low- and middle-income taxpayers who can least afford them, while our current tax structure protects the wealth of a small number of residents.”

The newly formed coalition includes seven interest groups: the Public Assets Institute, American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont, Vermont Conservation Voters, Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont-National Education Association and Voices for Vermont’s Children.


They were inspired by the 4% surcharge on income over one million recently instituted by Massachusetts. If they are successful in the pursuit, and why wouldn’t they be, they should print up T-hirts that say, “If they can drive away wealth creation, so can we.” That is what inevitably happens. People with mobility can escape a confiscatory government. They can also take any jobs and opportunities that wealth fosters with them. While those left behind find themselves left paying for the spending spree, Democrats took based on revenues they no longer have.

The Communists at the Valley News don’t seem to care about any of that. They are beside themselves with glee, writing,


Now, the conversation over fair taxation has moved from the national stage to statehouses. Proponents of the Fair Share for Vermont proposal on Thursday pointed to Massachusetts’ new millionaires tax, a 4% tax surcharge on income exceeding $1 million, as an example.

In Vermont’s left-leaning legislature, at least one chamber seems eager to take on the topic this coming legislative session. Rep. Emilie Kornheiser, D-Brattleboro, who chairs the House’s tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, told VTDigger that on her committee’s to-do list is to “get our heads fully around taxing wealth and what that means, and what the definition of income is.”


Translation: politicians who are convinced that there is no limit to how much wealth a government can or should accumulate will define what wealth and income mean – not for themselves – but for you. “Revenue” that, using every example of government theft as taxation as our baseline, could be laundered into the hands of wealthy people who – coincidentally – are donating to their re-election campaigns with whatever is left after it gets ground into dust by the unsustainable cost of running that sort of government.

And always to the applause of special interest groups who will beg the government to take more while the people they claim this will help will – as always –  be hit hardest.


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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Bans and High Taxes Fuel Black Markets for Tobacco & Vape Products

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 22:00 +0000

As the Biden administration gets closer to finalizing its proposed rule banning the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars nationwide, a well-known aphorism comes to mind: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

The administration’s logic behind the federal ban is that doing so will reduce smoking and correspondingly improve public health. This is the same logic used to justify increasing tobacco taxes or banning tobacco and vaping products at the state level.

When a state bans flavored tobacco or increases excise taxes on cigarettes, legal cigarette sales in the state tend to fall as a result. But what about illegal and out-of-state sales?

High cigarette taxes and bans on flavored tobacco products create black and gray markets through which smugglers become the new suppliers of these products.

Tax rates and smuggling

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy tracks cigarette smuggling in the United States. Its 2021 report showed how cigarette smuggling increases as excise tax rates on tobacco products increase.

New York, which taxes cigarettes $4.35 a pack, saw the highest rate of inbound smuggling—54.48%. The total number of smuggled packs, more than 254 million, was second in the country behind California’s more than 465 million. California also had the second-highest inbound smuggling rate (44.02%) and a tax rate of $2.87 per pack.

When taxes get high enough to encourage large-scale smuggling, tax revenue falls as people stop buying from legal vendors and start buying on the street, and as some vendors switch to out-of-state suppliers and simply don’t report or pay taxes on those purchases. As a result of their high taxes, California and New York saw the two largest revenue losses—more than $1.3 billion and $1.1 billion, respectively.

With a tax rate of $3.51 per pack, Massachusetts had the fourth-highest inbound smuggling rate (37.59%) and the ninth-highest number of smuggled packs (more than 63 million), resulting in the sixth-largest revenue loss (nearly $224 million) in 2021.

Where were these Massachusetts and New York smugglers purchasing these products? Mostly in New Hampshire.

With by far the lowest state tax on cigarette products in the Northeast ($1.78 per pack), the Granite State saw one of the highest outbound smuggling rates in 2021 (-34.13%, which translates to more than 32 million packs).

As smugglers crossed into New Hampshire to purchase cigarettes, the State of New Hampshire collected an additional $58 million in revenue.

High cigarette taxes incentivize illicit market activity, encouraging smugglers to purchase products in low-tax states, cross state lines with them, and consume or resell the products in high-tax states.

A similar dynamic takes place when a state bans tobacco products.

Bans and black markets

After Massachusetts banned flavored tobacco in 2019, JAMA Internal Medicine found that flavored tobacco sales dropped in the state. Successful policy, right?

Not so fast. “In fact, the flavor ban has been far from successful, as sales in both New Hampshire and Rhode Island experienced double-digit growth—almost making up for the entire decrease in Massachusetts,” according to the Tax Foundation.

After Massachusetts’ ban, total sales of flavored tobacco in New England fell by only about 1% from June 2019–May 2020 to June 2020–May 2021.

While sales of flavored tobacco decreased by 24% in Massachusetts between the year before the ban to the year after the ban, they increased by 22% in New Hampshire, 18% in Rhode Island, and 6% in Vermont.

In Fiscal Year 2021, Massachusetts lost out on $125 million in tobacco excise tax revenue as sales shifted to other states.

It’s a mistake to equate falling cigarette sales at licensed, regulated shops with an equivalent decline in smoking. The evidence shows that high taxes and bans on tobacco products shift a lot of activity to the black market.

A University of California at San Diego study of Massachusetts licensed tobacco retailers in the two years before and the two years after the flavored cigarette ban found that the number of new tobacco retail licenses fell by 53% after the ban, with the total number of retail licenses falling by 5.8%. This finding, combined with the documented increases in out-of-state sales and cross-border smuggling, underscores the point that the ban has not ended menthol cigarette smoking in Massachusetts but rather has moved these products onto the black market.

Responding to incentives

Massachusetts created strong incentives for people to buy tobacco products elsewhere and bring them into the state for personal use and/or sales. People responded just as expected.

It’s important to recognize that criminals respond to incentives, too. Gangs and drug smugglers can increase their revenues by adding cigarette smuggling to their repertoire of illicit activities. In the name of public health, states can find themselves strengthening existing organized crime networks and even creating new ones by imposing bans or high tax rates.

Bans and punitive tax rates also induce evasive behaviors among otherwise law-abiding citizens.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue’s Illegal Tobacco Task Force issues press releases boasting of its enforcement of the state’s tobacco laws. Those press releases list people charged with running large-scale smuggling operations that include flavored tobacco, vapes, and marijuana. But they also include store owners arrested, convicted, and jailed for purchasing tobacco products out of state to avoid Massachusetts’ high taxes.

It’s worth noting that the task force is part of the Department of Revenue. It was created “to address the problem of illegal tobacco distribution in the Commonwealth and the loss of millions of dollars of legitimate tax revenues to the state every year [emphasis added].” Massachusetts’ tax policy stimulated so much tax evasion that the state created a separate team just to find and punish tax evaders.

The solution to this interstate smuggling, some advocates argue, is a nationwide ban. Such policies used to be called “prohibition.” But as that term has fallen out of political favor, advocates instead use the term “ban” now.

There is a large overlap between the people who want to ban tobacco and vaping products and the people who want to maximize government revenue for social welfare programs. Those two goals are in conflict. A Tax Foundation analysis of a proposed menthol cigarette ban shows how.

“A nationwide ban would result in a federal revenue decline of $1.9 billion in the first full year after prohibition,” according to the Tax Foundation. “In the states, the decline in excise tax revenue would be $2.6 billion, the decline in sales tax revenue would be $892 million, and the decline in MSA payments would be $1.2 billion, for a total state revenue loss of $4.7 billion.”

In New Hampshire, where menthol cigarettes make up 34% of the state’s market, a federal ban would mean more than $49 million in lost revenue, of which 71% would be a decline in excise tax revenue.

And just like Massachusetts’ ban resulted in 90% of its lost sales merely moving to neighboring states, a federal ban would increase sales and consumption of other tobacco products like non-flavored cigarettes, and it would move sales and consumption of menthol cigarettes underground.

For example, according to the Reason Foundation, “approximately 22 million additional packs of nonmenthol cigarettes were sold in those states in the year after [Massachusetts’] flavor ban, leading to a net increase in cigarette sales.”

Where will illicit menthol cigarettes come from after a nationwide ban is enacted? The same place so many other banned products do: China.

In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned flavored vaping products. It boasts that since the ban, it has rejected 99% of requests to sell new e-cigarettes, implying that the ban has reduced access to undesired products.

But CBS News reported in June that the “number of different electronic cigarette devices sold in the U.S. has nearly tripled to over 9,000 since 2020.”

The FDA’s ban excludes disposable vape products. So, predictably, consumers migrated to disposables. But closing that “loophole” isn’t the solution advocates think it is. The surge in different vape products sold has been “driven almost entirely by a wave of unauthorized [emphasis added] disposable vapes from China.”

Consumers and suppliers always find ways to circumvent federal bans.

The primary achievement of such bans will be to replace legal, regulated products with illegal, unregulated ones, often from unscrupulous manufacturers. In a legal market, manufacturers and sellers have strong incentives to build market share by building trust with consumers. Legal markets promote accountability. Black markets do the opposite. Manufacturers and sellers have strong incentives to conceal their identities, which weakens accountability and reduces consumer safety.

Any federal ban would bolster illicit trade, flooding the market with less safe products from unaccountable manufacturers.

The goal of high cigarette taxes and flavored tobacco bans may be an altruistic one, namely, to reduce smoking and improve public health. But the actual outcome of such policies is what’s important. Creating black markets, reducing accountability, shifting money from legitimate businesses to criminal networks, and reducing overall economic and personal freedom create a net negative for the economy and society.

Reducing teen smoking is a worthy goal, which is why it’s already illegal for teens to smoke. Rather than using policy levers that distort market incentives and infringe on the personal freedom of adults, activists should focus on improving their efforts to educate young people about the risks of smoking.


Mitchell Scacchi | JBartlett

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

US Army Wants Unvaccinated Soldiers They Discharged to Return to Service

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 20:30 +0000

Rumors abound that the US military can’t achieve recruitment quotas. Insiders and a few veterans groups are insisting that the thinking behind not signing up is spurious – that it’s not that bad under Biden, but this letter from the US Army suggests there are issues.

Care of Igor Chudov, who reminds us that “We were assured that these discharges would “not affect military readiness.”



Yeah, so sorry about that blight on your record. How about if we pretend that never happened and you can come back?

My first thought is, how much is this like a situation where the city of Minneapolis – which is not a crime-riddles dumpster fire – said, sorry about that Geroge Floyd thing? We’ll parole Derrik, say Floyd died of a fentanyl overdose, and you can come back to work for the city police department. We didn’t mean to stab you in the back and defund you.

“Hell no” comes to mind as a response absent what would be a perfectly justifiable curse-riddled tirade. Nothing else about you or how you approach situations is different. You degraded us and called us names, and upon discovering that wold make you look bad, you’re looking for an easy out.

Screw you.

But that’s just me.

And yes, I am a strong believer in forgiveness, but there’s a catch. You have to be truly repentant, and I have no doubt that the US military, under its current command structure, is trying to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic, and they need a few more chairs. Absent common sense reform away from #woke nonsense that has no place in any military and a complete change in command, you’ll take the record correction, but unless we get invaded, you get to clean this mess up yourself.

Or am I being too harsh?

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Transfering Wealth From Poor People to Rich People Under the Guise of Saving the World

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 19:00 +0000

A new Texas study calculates the full costs of operating electric vehicles (EVs) approach the equivalent of $17.33 per gallon. Doubtless, battles will be waged over the accuracy of these calculations.

But what is indisputable is that these various costs, whatever their amount, are being passed on to low-income Americans who could not afford a new car, let alone an EV. Indeed, the government is compelling even people who don’t drive at all to pay for the fancy cars of those who can afford to do so. Similar regressive wealth transfers accompany solar panel and heat pump programs, which are equally inequitable.

The Texas Study

An October 2023 study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation assessed the various direct state and federal subsidies for (EVs), as well as indirect supports, including infrastructure and transmission costs. Though the study comes a bit late in the game, surely including these various additional expenses is necessary to measure the true cost of an EV. The question must be asked why the government that has essentially taken over the manufacturing of EVs and solar panels by regulatory fiat has not undertaken this analysis. But Americans may also ask – since these cars are subsidized so heavily and inequitably – why they will keep being touted as the environmental cure-all and manufactured anyway.

EVs share four attributes with solar panels, heat pumps, and many other government initiatives to save the planet from carbon dioxide. They aren’t commercially viable without a government mandate, they’re regressively paid for on the backs of low-income taxpayers, they are much more expensive than touted, and the manufacturing process is counterproductive for the goal of saving the environment.

While noting that “Billions in credits for EVs translate into negligible real-world fuel economy improvements,” the Texas study mostly addresses the third attribute, concluding that the true cost of operating an EV is approximately $17.33 per gallon in today’s dollars once sizeable state and federal subsidies and indirect supports are factored in. Doubtless, EV proponents will poo-poo the amount of costs attributed to EVs by the analysis, including challenging the ten-year, 120,000-mile lifespan of the cars used for the study. But the fact that huge subsidies are allocated is indisputable: The International Monetary Fund recently cautioned that spending on climate change initiatives threatens to inflict a global debt crisis led by the United States.

Regressive Payouts

These costs are passed on to taxpayers who cannot afford expensive cars or may not drive at all. When the federal and state governments allocate huge sums for fancy cars (knocking an estimated $50,000 off the true price tag, according to this study), it is extracting that money in part from low-income taxpayers who are struggling with housing and food inflation. The researchers estimate that “EVs receive nearly seven times more credits under federal fuel efficiency programs than they provide in actual fuel economy benefits.” And many of the Americans indirectly footing that bill may use mass transit or walk to work on foot.

This nasty little secret is ardently swept under the rug by so-called “progressives.” Renewable energy programs are patently regressive, meaning they transfer wealth from poor people to rich people under the guise of saving the world. Solar panels are subsidized similarly to EVs, using massive state and federal credits that are funded by raising electricity rates. For instance, Vermont’s Department of Public Utilities estimates that the Green Mountain State’s net metering program (which subsidizes rooftop solar installations through electric rates) increases electricity costs by $37 million annually. Retirees on shrinking fixed incomes are paying ever more in taxes, indirectly through electricity rates.

Renewable boondoggles are not just regressive: They are also inefficient. The Texas study observed that the highly subsidized batteries used in EVs would better serve the environment elsewhere:

“First and foremost are the tax credits, grants, and loans for domestic battery manufacturing, which is by far the most expensive component of an EV. … Toyota estimated that the amount of materials to make one EV battery can be used to make 90 hybrid batteries and that those 90 hybrids will result in 37 times more emissions reductions over their lifetime than one EV.”

Solar Panels Compared

Similar complaints can be made about solar panels, especially when subsidies for rooftop arrays are contrasted with more efficient solar farms. If the goal is to reduce energy use and industrial waste, why would the government subsidize expensive individual homeowner solar arrays? A solar farm costs between $0.80 and $1.30 per watt to build “rather than the $2.86 per watt average cost of a residential installation.” Yet regressive subsidies compelling grandma to pay for her rich neighbor’s non-recyclable solar array (while she heats with electricity) continue unabated.

Another example of the renewable scam is found in the unending (though counterproductive) ethanol program, which dramatically increases industrial corn production. It also drives up corn prices for human food, just as EV subsidies drive up lithium prices unsustainably. A 2016 Yale study determined that “ethanol has been antithetical to fuel economy” and “While the overall impacts on climate remain uncertain, there is no clear evidence that ethanol is part of the solution rather than the problem.” Yet the subsidized stuff still goes into Americans’ gas tanks, by law.

Regressive Renewables Redux

Climate change profiteers don’t want consumers looking behind the regulatory curtain, peering at the filthy lucre being harvested from their children’s futures in the false name of saving them. The world is threatened with total economic collapse and hyperinflation of energy costs, and the policy failures of renewable energy might end society long before climate change.


John Klar is an Attorney, farmer, and author. Mostly farmer… And Regular Contributor to GraniteGrok and VermontGrok.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Constitutional Crimes

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 17:30 +0000

Americans have been very lax with their Blessings. In a country that offers so much, how is it that we take it all for granted without caring to ensure its operational integrity? No wonder that today, we are on the precipice of joining the rest of the third-world inhabitants!

Logic and common sense inform us that our freedoms all come with limitations. Think about safety on the highways; posted along with the speed is the word “limit.” It’s required and even practical since men and women usually require controls. So, on this point, while certain acts have received freedom’s legal pass, explain the actual speech involved when burning our National flag or the value of “privacy” after becoming pregnant?

These queries are citizen-related; what about those that the citizens elect for representation? This two-sided coin meshes and thus increases the election of buffoons or worse. Once again, freedom only works properly when a responsible, alert, and informed citizenry is its guide.

For some time, those graduating with law degrees never once opened up or studied the law of our land, our Constitution. The majority of representatives have law degrees. Although otherwise upstanding, why is this law degree such an attraction for holding office to both the candidate and the voter?

This leads to two obvious injustices which have remained either unnoticed or, more likely, unknown. Over time, both have sewn a terrible web of intrigue and criminality.

We want to thank Jim Bowman for this Contribution – Please direct yours to
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The first is this weighty weapon of issuing an “Executive Order.” Its frequent defense is that George Washington issued them! Yes, he did, but what is not mentioned is that he used them sparingly and within the proper legal framework. As its title infers, they were strictly for issuing corrective measures to problems within his “Executive” branch. Today’s version of EO usage is similar to transforming a young and innocent lady into a common streetwalker!

Still, it’s a problem solver. Can’t get it through Congress? “Don’t worry about that old fuddy-duddy document from 1787 or the system of governing which has worked so well, we’ll just write an EO!” The subsequent results from these illegal actions are the proof! And now, with the American people experiencing this abuse for so long, it’s considered routine!

The second Constitutional crime came with the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. The basic purpose of its writing was to ensure equal rights to those who were freed. So, it would seem that this needn’t be an Amendment but rather a legal directive with an expiration date. However, even the legal ratification of the Fourteenth seems questionable given the late Congressman Lawrence P. MacDonald’s book, ‘We Hold These Truths.’

To quote, “Three-fourths of the states did not ratify the proposed amendment, as required by the Constitution; but…Congress had the Secretary of State proclaim it ratified anyway –on July 20, 1868.” He further states, “…the Fourteenth would have foredoomed freedom under constitutional law because it conflicts so sharply with the rest of the Constitution.” Back then, it was an accepted fact that ratification by the rebellious states was a precondition to being re-admitted into the Union.

More affecting and more understandable is this asinine judicial interpretation that once an illegal enters American soil, her forthcoming baby will be granted citizenship! This interpretation directly challenges the purpose of America’s immigration process and requirements if all an immigrant has to do is to sneak in through the southern border so that her child would be automatically rewarded!

Another knock on the Fourteenth is the redundancy. It repeats the “due process clause” of the Fifth Amendment and the “equal protection clause” of its previous Thirteenth Amendment. Still, its judicial referencing continues.

As stated, this particular amendment has become too depended upon by today’s Courts. It has gotten to the point that it is a catch-all of many assorted rulings. It seems that the late Congressman Lawrence P. MacDonald may have been correct when theorizing how the 14th  “…would have foredoomed freedom…

Quelling any reader curiosity, Rep. MacDonald is a relative unknown today since he was among those aboard the Korean Airlines flight 007 (en route from Anchorage to Seoul), which received scant media notice simply due to the fact that it was downed by military aircraft from none other than our Russian trading partners.


Jim Bowman is a retired boilermaker and Vietnam Veteran who has been writing for 30+ years, including two books. “This Roar of Ours,” 2011, and “Our American Being, Righteously Free,” 2023.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Karen Testerman et al Sue Sec. of State David Scanlon and NHGOP Chair Chris Ager

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 16:00 +0000

Having lost the battle over allowing non-Republicans to vote in the Republican Primary, objectors, lead by Karen Testerman, have filed suit in District Court over alledged violations of state and federal law.

Plaiintiffs have delivered the suit, exhibits, and a Motion for Expedited Consideration or Preliminary Injunctive Relief which you can review at their respective links.

The Case

The asuumption is that by violating state laws and rules with regard to when citizens can change their party affiliation for the purpose of voting these downstream impacts lead to additional violation of election law, corrupting the very process by which the state chooses its representatives to the elctrocal College.

I feel like I’ve not quite framed that as preciely as the suit implies but that seems to be the gist of it and I know you will all correct me if I got that 30,000 foot generalization wrong. We’re taking about elections, primaries, and process which is summarized (IMO) in the request for expeditied injunctive relief.

The controversy and constitutional violations are two-fold; first, the defendants misused a statute specifically designed for “state offices” for a federal presidential primary. Secondly, regardless of whether the statute is for a state or federal primary election, the defendants violated the New Hampshire Change of Registration statute of RSA 654:34-IV, by permitting a change in political affiliations well beyond the first Wednesday of June, setting an unlawful date of October 6, 2023.

The argument that the practice of alowing party flips to meddle in primaries has been permitted for decades is, according to Plaintiffs, contradicted by NH RSA 654:34-IV.

 “No person, who is already registered to vote, whether his party membership has been previously registered ornot, shall affiliation with a party ordisaffiliate from aparty between the first Wednesday in June and the daybefore the state primary election”. id

Palintiffs cite a number of references in support of their cause in the court filings, all of which – at least on paper – appear to give them grounds to challenge what has just been done becasue we’ve been doing it though I am fuzzy on other points with which Defendants and the Court will have to wrestle.

This all began over the matter of open primaries and efforts to close them. I spoke to NHGOP Chairman Ager at the FITN Summit after the last row. He told me he had submitted as requested the disputed resolution receiving a similar response from the Secretary of State. That the referendum passed by the party delegates as worded violated state statue.

Plaintiffs have returned to present state stautue in conjunction with it’s implied affect of primaries, State elections, and Federal and Constitutional law to challenge that.

Again, a 30,000 foot summation. Read the docs to dig into the weeds and then let us know what you think.

Will it stand up to scrutiny? Can it?

We’d love your thoughts.


Plaintiffs are Karen Testerman, Lynn-Diane Briggs, and Wayne Paul Saya, Sr.


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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

NewsGuard: Surrogate the Feds Pay to Keep Watch on the Internet and Be a Judge of the Truth

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 14:30 +0000

In May 2021, L. Gordon Crovitz, a media executive turned start-up investor, pitched Twitter executives on a powerful censorship tool.  In an exchange that came to light in the “Twitter Files” revelations about media censorship, Crovitz, former publisher of the Wall Street Journal, touted his product, NewsGuard, as a “Vaccine Against Misinformation.”

His written pitch highlighted a “separate product” – beyond an extension already on the Microsoft Edge browser – “for internal use by content-moderation teams.” Crovitz promised an out-of-the-box tool that would use artificial intelligence powered by NewsGuard algorithms to rapidly screen content based on hashtags and search terms the company associated with dangerous content.

How would the company determine the truth? For issues such as COVID-19, NewsGuard would steer readers to official government sources only, like the federal Centers for Disease Control. Other content-moderation allies, Crovitz’s pitch noted, include “intelligence and national security officials,” “reputation management providers,” and “government agencies,” which contract with the firm to identify misinformation trends. Instead of only fact-checking individual forms of incorrect information, NewsGuard, in its proposal, touted the ability to rate the “overall reliability of websites” and “’prebunk’ COVID-19 misinformation from hundreds of popular websites.”

NewsGuard’s ultimately unsuccessful pitch sheds light on one aspect of a growing effort by governments around the world to police speech ranging from genuine disinformation to dissent from officially sanctioned narratives. In the United States, as the Twitter Files revealed, the effort often takes the form of direct government appeals to social media platforms and news outlets. More commonly the government works with through seemingly benign non-governmental organizations – such as the Stanford Internet Observatory – to quell speech it disapproves of.

Or it pays to coerce speech through government contracts with outfits such as NewsGuard, a for-profit company of especially wide influence. Founded in 2018 by Crovitz and his co-CEO Steven Brill, a lawyer, journalist and entrepreneur, NewsGuard seeks to monetize the work of reshaping the Internet. The potential market for such speech policing, NewsGuard’s pitch to Twitter noted, was $1.74 billion, an industry it hoped to capture.

Instead of merely suggesting rebuttals to untrustworthy information, as many other existing anti-misinformation groups provide, NewsGuard has built a business model out of broad labels that classify entire news sites as safe or untrustworthy, using an individual grading system producing what it calls “nutrition labels.” The ratings – which appear next to a website’s name on the Microsoft Edge browser and other systems that deploy the plug-in – use a scale of zero to 100 based on what NewsGuard calls “nine apolitical criteria,” including “gathers and presents information responsibly” (worth 18 points), “avoids deceptive headlines” (10 points), and “does not repeatedly publish false or egregiously misleading content” (22 points), etc.

Critics note that such ratings are entirely subjective – the New York Times, for example, which repeatedly carried false and partisan information from anonymous sources during the Russiagate hoax, gets a 100% rating. RealClearInvestigations, which took heat in 2019 for unmasking the “whistleblower” of the first Trump impeachment (while many outlets including the Times still have not done so), has an 80% rating. (Verbatim: the NewsGuard-RCI exchange over the whistleblower.) Independent news outlets with an anti-establishment bent receive particularly low ratings from NewsGuard, such as the libertarian news site, with a 49.5% rating, and conservative site The Federalist, with a 12.5% rating.

As it stakes a claim to being the Internet’s arbiter of trust, the company’s site says it has conducted reviews of some 95% of news sources across the English, French, German, and Italian web. It has also published reports about disinformation involving China and the Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Hamas wars. The model has received glowing profiles in CNN and the New York Times, among other outlets, as a viable solution for fighting fake news.

NewsGuard is pushing to apply its browser screening process into libraries, academic centers, news aggregation portals, and internet service providers. Its reach, however, is far greater because of other products it aims to sell to social media and other content moderation firms and advertisers. “An advertiser’s worst nightmare is having an ad placement damage even one customer’s trust in a brand,” said Crovitz in a press release touting NewsGuard’s “BrandGuard” service for advertisers. “We’re asking them to pay a fraction of what they pay their P.R. people and their lobbyists to talk about the problem,” Crovitz told reporters.

NewsGuard’s BrandGuard tool provides an “exclusion list” that deters advertisers from buying space on sites NewsGuard deems problematic. But that warning service creates inherent conflicts of interest with NewsGuard’s financial model: The buyers of the service can be problematic entities too, with an interest in protecting and buffing reputations.

A case in point: Publicis Groupe, NewsGuard’s largest investor and the biggest conglomerate of marketing agencies in the world, which has integrated NewsGuard’s technology into its fleet of subsidiaries that place online advertising. The question of conflicts arises because Publicis represents a range of corporate and government clients, including Pfizer – whose COVID vaccine has been questioned by some news outlets that have received low scores. Other investors include Bruce Mehlman, a D.C. lobbyist with a lengthy list of clients, including United Airlines and ByteDance, the parent company of much-criticized Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok.

NewsGuard has faced mounting criticism that rather than serving as a neutral public service against online propaganda, it instead acts as an opaque proxy for its government and corporate clients to stifle views that simply run counter to their own interests.

The criticism finds support in internal documents, such as the NewsGuard proposal to Twitter, which this reporter obtained during Twitter Files reporting last year, as well as in government records and discussions with independent media sites targeted by the startup.

And although its pitch to Twitter (now Elon Musk’s X) “never went anywhere,” according to Matt Skibinski, the general manager of NewsGuard, his company remains “happy to license our data to Twitter or any platform that might benefit.” Coincidentally (or not), X comes in for criticism in NewsGuard’s latest “misinformation monitor” headlined: “Blue-Checked, ‘Verified’ Users on X Produce 74 Percent of the Platform’s Most Viral False or Unsubstantiated Claims Relating to the Israel-Hamas War.”

Meanwhile, one of the sites targeted by NewsGuard earlier, Consortium News, has filed a lawsuit against it, claiming “First Amendment violations and defamation.”

Beginning last year, users scanning the headlines on certain browsers that include NewsGuard were warned against visiting Consortium News. A scarlet-red NewsGuard warning pop-up said, “Proceed With Caution,” and claimed that the investigative news site “has published false claims about the Ukraine-Russia war.” The warning also notifies a network of advertisers, news aggregation portals, and social media platforms that Consortium News cannot be trusted.

But Consortium News, founded by late Pulitzer Prize finalist and Polk Award winner Robert Parry and known for its strident criticism of U.S. foreign policy, is far from a fake news publisher. And NewsGuard, the entity attempting to suppress it, Consortium claims, is hardly a disinterested fact-checker because of federal influence over it.

NewsGuard attached the label after pressing Consortium for retractions or corrections to six articles published on the site. Those news articles dealt with widely reported claims about neo-Nazi elements in the Ukrainian military and U.S. influence over the country – issues substantiated by other credible media outlets. After Consortium editors refused to remove the reporting and offered a detailed rebuttal, the entire site received a misinformation label, encompassing over 20,000 articles and videos published by the outlet since it was founded in 1995.

The left-wing news site believes the label was part of a pay-for-censorship scheme. It notes that Consortium News was targeted after NewsGuard received a $749,387 Defense Department contract in 2021 to identify “false narratives” relating to the war between Ukraine and Russia, as well as other forms of foreign influence.

Bruce Afran, an attorney for Consortium News, disagrees. “What’s really happening here is that NewsGuard is trying to target those who take a different view from the government line,” said Afran. He filed an amended complaint last month claiming that NewsGuard not only defamed his client but also acts as a front for the military to suppress critical reporting.

“There’s a great danger in being maligned this way,” Afran continued. “The government cannot evade the Constitution by hiring a private party.”

Joe Lauria, the editor-in-chief of Consortium News, observed that in previous years, anonymous social media accounts had also targeted his site, falsely claiming a connection to the Russian government in a bid to discredit his outlet.

“NewsGuard has got to be the worst,” said Lauria. “They’re labeling us in a way that stays with us. Every news article we publish is defamed with that label of misinformation.”

Both Lauria and Afran said that they worry that NewsGuard is continuing to collaborate with the government or with intelligence services. In previous years, NewsGuard had worked with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. It’s not clear to what extent NewsGuard is still working with the Pentagon. But earlier this year, Crovitz wrote an email to journalist Matt Taibbi, defending its work with the government, describing it in the present tense, suggesting that it is ongoing:

For example, as is public, our work for the Pentagon’s Cyber Command is focused on the identification and analysis of information operations targeting the U.S. and its allies conducted by hostile governments, including Russia and China. Our analysts alert officials in the U.S. and in other democracies, including Ukraine, about new false narratives targeting America and its allies, and we provide an understanding of how this disinformation spreads online. We are proud of our work countering Russian and Chinese disinformation on behalf of Western democracies.

The company has not yet responded to the Consortium News lawsuit, filed in the New York federal court. In May of this year, the Air Force Research Lab responded to a records request from journalist Erin Marie Miller about the NewsGuard contract. The contents of the work proposal were entirely redacted.

Asked about the company’s continued work with the intelligence sector, Skibinski replied, “We license our data about false claims made by state media sources and state-sponsored disinformation efforts from China, Russia and Iran to the defense and intelligence sector, as we describe on our website.”

The Daily Sceptic

Other websites that have sought to challenge their NewsGuard rating say it has shown little interest in a back-and-forth exchange regarding unsettled matters.

Take the case of The Daily Sceptic, a small publication founded and edited by conservative English commentator Toby Young. As a forum for journalists and academics to challenge a variety of strongly held public-policy orthodoxies, even those on COVID-19 vaccines and climate change, The Daily Sceptic is a genuine dissenter.

Last year, Young reached out to NewsGuard, hoping to improve his site’s 74.5 rating.

In a series of emails from 2022 and 2023 that were later forwarded to RealClearInvestigations, NewsGuard responded to Young by listing articles that it claimed represent forms of misinformation, such as reports that Pfizer’s vaccine carried potential side effects. The site, notably, has been a strident critic of COVID-19 policies, such as coercive mandates.

Anicka Slachta, an analyst with NewsGuard, highlighted articles that questioned the efficacy of the vaccines and lockdowns. The Daily Sceptic, for example, reported a piece casting COVID-19 lockdowns as “unnecessary, ineffective and harmful,” citing academic literature from Johns Hopkins University.

Rather than refute this claim, Slachta simply offered an opposing view from another academic, who criticized the arguments put forth by lockdown critics. And the Hopkins study, Slachta noted, was not peer-reviewed. The topic is still, of course, under serious debate. Sweden rejected the draconian lockdowns on schools and businesses implemented by most countries in North American and Europe, yet had one of the lowest “all-cause excess mortality” rates in either region.

Young and others said that the issue highlighted by NewsGuard is not an instance of misinformation, but rather an ongoing debate, with scientists and public health experts continuing to explore the moral, economic, and health-related questions raised by such policies. In its response to NewsGuard’s questions about the lockdown piece, Young further added that his site made no claim that the Hopkins paper was peer-reviewed and added that its findings had been backed up by a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Yet to NewsGuard, Young’s site evidently posed a misinformation danger by simply reporting on the subject and refusing to back down. Emails between NewsGuard and the Daily Sceptic show Young patiently responding to the company’s questions; he also added postscripts to the articles flagged by NewsGuard with a link to the fact checks of them and rebuttals of those fact checks. Young also took the extra step of adding updates to other articles challenged by fact-checking non-governmental organizations. “I have also added postscripts to other articles not flagged by you but which have been fact checked by other organisations, such as Full Fact and Reuters,” Young wrote to Slachta.

That wasn’t enough. After a series of back-and-forth emails, NewsGuard said it would be satisfied only with a retraction of the articles, many of which, like the lockdown piece, contained no falsehoods. After the interaction, NewsGuard lowered the Daily Sceptic’s rating to 37.5/100.

“I’m afraid you left me no choice but to conclude that NewsGuard is a partisan site that is trying to demonetise news publishing sites whose politics it disapproves of under the guise of supposedly protecting potential advertisers from being associated with ‘mis-’ and ‘disinformation,’” wrote Young in response. “Why bother to keep up the pretence of fair-mindedness John? Just half my rating again, which you’re going to do whatever I say.”

NewsGuard’s Skibinski, in a response to a query about the Daily Sceptic’s downgrade, denied that his company makes any “demands” of publishers. “We simply call them for comment and ask questions about their editorial practices,” he wrote. “This is known as journalism.”

The experience mirrored that of Consortium. Afran, the attorney for the site, noted that NewsGuard uses an arbitrary process to punish opponents, citing the recent study from the company on misinformation on the Israel-Hamas war. “They cherry-picked 250 posts among tweets they knew were incorrect, and they attempt to create the impression that all of X is unreliable,” the lawyer noted. “And so what they’re doing, and this is picked up by mainstream media, that’s actually causing X, formerly Twitter, to now lose ad revenue, based literally on 250 posts out of the billions of posts on Twitter.”

The push to demonize and delist the Daily Sceptic, a journalist critic of pharmaceutical products and policies, reflects an inherent conflict with the biggest backer of NewsGuard: Publicis Groupe.

Publicis client Pfizer awarded Publicis a major deal to help manage its global media and advertising operations, a small reflection of which is the $2.3 billion the pharmaceutical giant spent on advertising last year.

The NewsGuard-Publicis relationship extends to the Paris-based marketing conglomerate’s full client list, including LVHM, PepsiCo, Glaxo Smith Kline, Burger King, ConAgra, Kellogg Company, General Mills, and McDonalds. “NewsGuard will be able to publish and license ‘white lists’ of news sites our clients can use to support legitimate publishers while still protecting their brand reputations,” said Maurice Lévy, chairman of the Publicis Groupe, upon its launch of NewsGuard.

Put another way, when corporate watchdogs like the Daily Sceptic or Consortium News are penalized by NewsGuard, the ranking system amounts to a blacklist to guide advertisers where not to spend their money.

“NewsGuard is clearly in the business of censoring the truth,” noted Dr. Joseph Mercola, a gadfly voice whose website was ranked as misinformation by NewsGuard after it published reports about COVID-19’s potential origin from a lab in Wuhan, China.

“Seeing how Publicis represents most of the major pharmaceutical companies in the world and funded the creation of NewsGuard, it’s not far-fetched to assume Publicis might influence NewsGuard’s ratings of drug industry competitors,” Mercola added, in a statement online.

Lee Fang is an independent journalist based in San Francisco. He writes an investigative newsletter on Substack via

Lee Fang | RealClear Wire

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s Attorney General Asks the State Supreme Court to Sanction Thought Crime

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 13:00 +0000

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office and this is just a guess, appears to be using the recent rise in left-wing anti-semitism to push for a court ruling that allows the State to use civil rights law to silence speech it decides at any given moment is offensive.

As background, some White Nationalists displayed a banner on a highway overpass (Keep New England White) and were arrested for trespassing. The State also charged them with violating New Hampshire Civil Rights law. A judge saw it that way and dismissed it over the summer, noting that the State’s interpretation of the Civil Rights Law in this context would allow it to bring civil actions against a wide range of protected activity, gutting free speech in the process. The judge even tossed out the trespassing charges based on infringements of First Amendment rights.

It wasn’t a great day for tyranny. Still, tyranny never sleeps, or not for long, so after licking its wounds for five months, the Attorney General’s office has appealed to the State’s highest Court for a more favorable verdict (article may be paywalled).


In a statement Thursday, Attorney General John Formella said his agency “firmly believes that the right to freedom of speech does not provide people with the license to unlawfully trespass, inflict harm upon our communities, and interfere with the rights of law-abiding citizens based on animus towards others’ race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or sex.”


What a contrived pile of misleading tripe. The First Amendment never gave anyone the right to trespass unlawfully, but it does protect free speech from arbitrary government declarations that make speech in public places an act of trespass. Likewise, the First Amendment protects speech from efforts by the NH AG to turn New Hampshire’s Civil Rights Law into a social justice cudgel to wield without regard to any other protected right.

Is the AG’s Office destined to trip over the same landmine that got the case dismissed in the first place?


The State’s construction does not stop at messages motivated by race. Presumably, the State could bring a civil action against a person whose presence on public property is motivated by any other protected characteristic. For example, the State could, under this theory, bring a civil action against a person who walks on public sidewalks, knocking on doors to spread the message of their religion. The State could likewise regulate a person who drives a car on a public highway to a job working with people with disabilities. The State could prohibit abortion protests on the Statehouse lawn. “Such a law that confers on police a virtually unrestrained power to arrest and charge persons with a violation of the resolution is unconstitutional because the opportunity for abuse, especially where a statute has received a virtually open-ended interpretation, is self-evident.” (citations removed).


And so they appealed.

A favorable ruling (for the AG) at the State’s High Court would affirm that the government can restrict speech in public places to a degree that would create inequity. Public places could be further cordoned off to silence speakers with fees and fines that make speech an increasingly expensive commodity you have to buy. You can speak, but only if you can afford the permit or the fines for speaking without one.

The State would also – as I noted here – be violating the very law they claim as justification for the original charges and their appeal.


If the AG insists on proceeding with this “critical case,” he is violating the statute he claims justifies the prosecution. The assholes with the “Keep New England White sign “… have the right to engage in lawful activities and to exercise and enjoy the rights secured by the United States and New Hampshire Constitutions and the laws of the United States and New Hampshire without being subject to actual or threatened physical force or violence against them,” by the government.


The Attorney General’s Office has insisted that the conduct (holding an offensive banner up on an overpass) was unlawful despite the risk that it could give the state “a virtually open-ended interpretation, [and] unrestrained power to arrest and charge persons with a violation.

That appears to be the goal.

We already have laws to protect citizens from trespass and harm. This would empower the State to prosecute a presumption of future harm based on non-violent expression. To arrest, detain, or prosecute people based on their perception or preference concerning the subject or the speaker.

Thought crime.

While you are asking yourself why, don’t forget that it is the AG of a Republican governor pursuing this abuse of power at what appears to be a politically opportune moment. The rise in outrage over comments about Jews and Israel. Are they hoping the public or the Court will be swayed to allow this tyranny?

Let’s hope not.

And while we’re at it, perhaps former AG Kelly Ayotte and Senator Chuck Morse can give us their thoughts. They are both running for governor, as are Joyce Craig and Cindi Warmington on the Democrat side. What do you think about this matter? Which side would you choose?

Free Speech or Thought Crimes?



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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Moving In and Moving Out

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 11:30 +0000

Two weeks ago, the US Census Bureau released data on where Americans are moving from and moving to. The states with the biggest moves are people leaving California (one million) and New York (half a million). Most Californians went to Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Washington State. Most New Yorkers went to Florida, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

There was another group of people, about 50K, who left Florida for Georgia. Census officials suggest it was because they were fleeing the rising cost of living in Florida. The cost of living rise in Florida comes in no small part from the Californians and New Yorkers moving in and pushing up prices.

There’s some data on which US cities are the least and most expensive in case you’re thinking about a move yourself. It compared the cost of living in each. The top three cheapest cities include 1) McAllen, Texas; 2) Augusta, Georgia, and 3) Amarillo, Texas.

If you’re just looking for cheap grocery bills, your best moves are to 1) Pierre, South Dakota, 2) Houma, Louisiana 3) Thibodaux, Louisiana (the cities in Louisiana are west of New Orleans).

There’s one place you should definitely not move to, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Three years ago, the George Floyd riots in that city destroyed hundreds of buildings and businesses. There was over $500M in damages.  An after-riot report found the Mayor, Democrat Jacob Frey, and the city officials profoundly failed in their duties to protect the people and facilities of their town. It is three years later. The city is still struggling to rebuild and rehab itself and its image.

Two weeks ago, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Frey agreed to spend $14M to build a new police station. It replaces the one that they wouldn’t protect. BLM and Democrat rioters burnt it down. You would think the new police station would be good news.

But here’s the bad news. This week, the city council rejected a plan to hire the police necessary to fill that building. Minneapolis has about 500 police officers right now, down 40% since the BLM riots.

Sure, the police chief is disappointed. He and others are asking local citizens to get involved. They better hurry. Minneapolis is in the middle of a crime wave. Murders, shootings, and carjackings are all dramatically up since the BLM riots.

There’s a lot of power locally if we get involved. Life can get a lot better. But involvement is required. If Minneapolis were serious about righting its ship, it would not be replacing a building and not restaffing its police force.

An empty building will not stop their crime problem. The city’s leadership will claim victory. They will say they spent money on the problem. They will let their citizens assume dollars spent equate to problems solved. But it just ain’t so. It just does not work that way. You need police on the street to reduce crime. Just think about it.


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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Night Cap: Can You Win By Playing Both Sides

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 02:30 +0000

John F. Kennedy had a famous saying, “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a time of crisis, remain neutral.” I have never been a fan of people who choose to sit on the fence, and the inability to pick a side is a sign of weakness and poor leadership.

Maybe the only thing worse is playing both sides, which is the modus operandi of Joe Biden and his Administration.

Unless you have motivations beyond moral clarity, deciding which side to support in the Israeli and Hamas conflict should not require much thought. One side has been our biggest ally in the Middle East, if not the world, for decades, and the other is a terrorist gang supported by one of our biggest adversaries, Iran. One is a civilized democracy with solid human rights beliefs, and the other has proven they do not believe in human rights, nor do they have any respect for human life, period.

Some say the contrast blurs when you introduce the connection between the Palestinian people and Hamas. The Palestinians made their choice nearly a decade ago when they put Hamas in power in the last election held in Gaza. We cannot put the Palestinian people in the same category as Hamas, but their failure to remove them from power makes differentiation difficult.

Biden and Blinken have not shown unconditional support for Israel and have put severe pressure on Netanyahu and Israeli forces to agree to a cease-fire. They claim it would be to give the hostages an opportunity to leave Gaza. The problem is we do not even know where the hostages are or if they are still alive. Calling for a break in the battle to get them safely out is premature at best. A cease-fire will only benefit Hamas, which will use the break in hostilities as an opportunity to rearm or kill Israeli troops.

When Hamas invaded Israel on October 7, Biden reacted quickly to direct our Naval resources to the Middle East. It appeared to be a proactive response to the attack and our support of Israel. It also gave us confidence that we were supporting our troops in the region. But after nearly 60 attacks on our military personnel, Biden and his team have sat on their hands and done virtually nothing. The Administration’s actions towards Iran, whom everyone recognizes as supporting Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, have also indicated mixed signals. Instead of tightening the restrictions on Iran to make it more difficult for them to support the terrorist groups, they relaxed sanctions, freeing another $10 Billion of frozen assets that Iran can use against Israel and America.

The only logical explanation for Biden’s actions is he is compromised by Iran or he has a personal monetary gain to be made by going soft on Iran. That is not the action we need from our Commander in Chief, but can we expect any better from President Biden? I think not.

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

A Post Veteran’s Day Observation from a Vietnam Vet

Granite Grok - Sat, 2023-11-18 01:00 +0000

After well over fifty Memorial/Veterans Day observances, I finally figured out the “why” of omitting even the slightest reference to our Korean or Vietnam veterans during our patriotic observations on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

Being a “Nam” vet, I have been well-conditioned for such treatment. Still, I always questioned this attitude regarding our vets from our nation’s first undeclared and forgotten Korean War. It now makes sense since too many politicians for too long have danced to a foreign drummer, no matter the cost!

WWII is rightly celebrated at every opportunity, especially since it was the last time those self-promoting pontificators remained true to their sworn oath of office when they declared that a state of war existed! That happened years before I was born, and I’m just about eighty years old now!

Following our WWII victory, in less than five years, American GIs were again in combat, this time against a communist enemy in Korea, which now appears as a dry run in lieu of our next dereliction of duty in Vietnam. However, in Korea, who knew that Gen MacArthur was not allowed to accept Chiang Kai-shek’s offer of invading China, which obviously would have saved American lives and probably changed the final outcome. And that was just one of many restrictions! The bridges over the Yalu River were supply routes for the invading Chinese army but were restricted targets for our bombers.

Concerning Vietnam, the same held true, again, against another communist enemy when restricting our military’s ability to gain victory while protecting the enemy’s supply sources in the North and their supply routes in the South. In addition to the official; “rules of engagement,” a new page was added to our Vietnam sacrifice. The chemical Agent Orange (AO), along with other lesser-mentioned “agent” colors, were introduced as defoliants to supposedly limit the enemy’s
movement/concealment. A strange concern for a war effort that was never intended to succeed!

The bottom line to this new chapter of warfare is that AO has caused many deaths of former veterans. While in service to their country, government policy endorsed the reckless spraying of friendly forces and maybe even an unlucky enemy or two! The dangerous side effects from AO exposure surfaced years later when the babies of veterans were born with deformities, and the veterans themselves were dying prematurely of prostrate cancer and suffering from other ailments.

From a personal perspective, I was fortunate to be diagnosed early so that radiation treatments prolonged my living, but more importantly, my children were not affected. Their births occurred before AO’s long-term effects were made public and before I realized I had been exposed.

So, is there any doubt as to why Washington celebrates WWII? It was their last official act of honorably endorsing and supporting a military victory. As stated, I finally awakened to why our government and our media elites continue to ignore both undeclared wars; it’s because our government’s official policies intentionally prevented victory in either one.

A side issue needs to be aired since it carries over to the present. There’s no denying the “exceptional” treatment directed at the Nam vet when returning home to another enemy: that of disgust and hatred from their fellow Americans, especially when experiencing the venom from our campus locales. Also, it got so that a Nam vet would not list his military service on a job application form; uniforms were closeted after arriving home, and when returning in winter months, our deeply tanned appearance was usually credited to a Florida vacation. Given this homecoming, Nam vets were indeed the exception to America’s tributes.

Veterans of those two “wars” are now in their later years, but ever since coming home, I personally can attest to the fact that Nam vets were always ready for a rematch, to go back and finish what America started, and I expect our Korean brothers were no different—hell, just knowing that this time, victory would be had made it a no-brainer!

In closing, veterans in general, from every war and especially the WWII vets who were with us in Nam, are a proud bunch who join together to sincerely wish each other and our fellow citizens a happy Veterans Day in a peaceful America. God Bless America.


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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Watch: A Very Special Message From ‘President Joe Biden’ (snicker)

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 23:30 +0000

Comedian and Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham lucked out in one respect. The guy who currently occupies the Oval Office looks a lot like one of his oldest and most popular characters. He has not let the similarity (or dare I say, crisis) go to waste, using Walter to make sport of Biden, the process, all of it.

And often.

In this bit from a year ago, Walter, as President Biden, gaffes his way through a public service announcement about the importance of “erections” and whether the ballot box stuffers are getting paid.

“Walter” Biden assures us the elections are rigged as he sidebars his way through the remarks. A bit of speculation and truth as humor, and we can always use more of those things.




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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Why Did Gordon MacDonald Not Recuse Himself?

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 22:00 +0000

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has just heard the appeal of Rep. Jon Stone regarding his request to keep private the records of police misconduct when he was a police officer.  Gordon MacDonald and Barbara Hantz Marconi heard the oral arguments.

Gordon MacDonald should have recused himself, and Barbara Hantz Marconi arguably should have had to as well.

As AG, Gordon MacDonald argued to keep the list of police officers on the Laurie list from public view. He took his argument to the Supreme Court. He should not now be on the Supreme Court listening to appeals of those who wish to have their police corruption files kept private.

As AG Gordon MacDonald stated in August 2018, the Laurie List should not be private. He knew at the time that Police Detective James F McLaughlin (documents show he was added in June 2018) was on the list, but instead of saying anything, he continued working with him and Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin on the Grand Jury Criminal Investigation leading to the settlement agreement with St Paul’s School.

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As AG Gordon MacDonald upheld former St. Paul’s School student Owen Labrie’s convictions in September 2018 to the Supreme Court (on which Barbara Hantz Marconi presided) in full knowledge that Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin was working under him. While working under his direction, Julie Curtain obtained files without warrants from St Paul’s School; made cold calls to the alumni/students whose files she had obtained; trained those to become “victims” of sex abuse and then trained them for intercept calls to wealthy targets. These targets could hear Julie Curtin training the women on the end of the phone.

As AG Gordon MacDonald/Assistant AG Jane Young wrote to the publishers of Lacy Crawford’s “memoir” “NOTES ON A SILENCING” because they claimed the publishers should have checked with his office first before publishing chapters that document Julie Curtin’s activities obtaining student files from St Paul’s School. He/Jane Young did not mention in the letter, nor did Alyssa D’Andrea at the Concord Monitor (now at NHCADSV) mention that, in fact, Julie Curtin was working under his direction when she obtained the files without warrants—in the case of Lacy Crawford, Concord Police refused to hand her files, which they’d obtained without a warrant.

As AG Gordon MacDonald also did not believe that Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard should be on the Laurie List after a DWI.

As AG Gordon MacDonald dismissed the class action lawsuit brought by Russ Rilee on behalf of David Meehan et al against the State for Youth Detention Center abuse for “victim negligence” despite the fact that the AG’s office has millions of documents that have been hidden over the years documenting complaints. At least one of those victims has stated that he was sodomized by a police officer before he even reached the youth detention center. Julie Curtin has been appointed to investigate Nicholas Huppe’s (aka Niko Roswell’s) claims that his mother, Armida Geiger, took payments from Father Leonard Foissy to sex traffic him and other children to his father, a police officer in Rochester, priests, and his grandfather, a marine.

Julie Curtin now works for Gordon MacDonald’s old client, the Diocese of Manchester, and is apparently paid by Shaheen & Gordon for her services.  She no longer works at Concord Police Department for unexplained reasons. Deputy AG Geoffrey Ward ignored and stonewalled multiple requests for an answer about concerns regarding her misconduct from myself (John Scippa of Police Standards & Training forwarded my complaints to Gordon MacDonald’s office, and Jane Young said Geoffrey Ward would reply, but he never did.

Rep. Susan Homola of Hillsborough County followed up as well. She, too, was stonewalled. Then Geoffrey Ward deleted the files of 28 police officers on the Laurie List with no explanation and became a federal prosecutor with Jane Young as US Attorney. Scott Murray is another federal prosecutor working with them. He took Julie Curtin’s sworn affidavits and investigation to prosecute Owen Labrie, knowing that it was a dishonest prosecution and that he himself lied when he stated in May 2016 that police and prosecutors had done a thorough investigation and found nothing else to prosecute).

As AG Gordon MacDonald had to recuse himself regarding Purdue Pharma for conflicts of interest since he repped Purdue when he was at Nixon Peabody. Rep. Jon Stone “was a member of the Claremont Police Department’s Drug Investigation Unit around the time of his termination.”

As AG Gordon MacDonald did nothing to stop Publicly elected officials Amanda Grady Sexton, Congresswoman Ann Kuster, and other officials from violating citizens (Owen Labrie’s) First Amendment rights because he had a conflict of interest:  his own interest in blocking ABC/GMA from airing a program which would have exposed Concord Police corruption in the St Paul’s School cases.  Had the program aired, another suit in which he was also compromised Rapuano & Does v Dartmouth Board of Trustees (on whose board is Governor Sununu, who appointed him as AG & who approves the budget for the NHCADSV – beneficiaries of the suit brought by Chuck Douglas, Chair of the NH Judicial Committee), might have collapsed.  Dartmouth Professor David Bucci, who’d been denied the right to defend himself, might not have been driven to suicide.

As AG Gordon MacDonald allowed former Monsignor Edward Arsenault to have the remainder of his sentence for defrauding the Diocese of Manchester (Gordon MacDonald & David Vicinanzo’s client at Nixon Peabody), the Catholic Medical Center and a dead priest’s estate- vacated.

Public corruption is presided over and protected by Gordon MacDonald, New Hampshire’s Supreme Court Chief Justice.

Racketeering and profiteering should have no place in courts, in the judiciary, in prosecutors, police departments, or with lawyers and non-profits. Why does it happen in New Hampshire?

I continue to speak up because I am inspired by the British journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown, who bravely reported on the 1MDB scandal, which became perhaps the biggest global scandal in recent US history, leading to US v Pras Michel earlier this year.  She faced threats of defamation suits by the law firm Loeb & Loeb, just as I have faced threats of defamation from Shaheen & Gordon on behalf of Amanda Grady Sexton and the NHCADSV.

It’s not defamation if it is true. And New Hampshire has constitutional First Amendment protections.


This is an email to a long list of folks in the NH government and the alleged criminal justice system.

The post Why Did Gordon MacDonald Not Recuse Himself? appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

To Pay for Administering the New Carbon Tax on Home Heating Fuels They’ll Need a New Excise Tax on Home Heating Fuels!

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 20:30 +0000

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is charged under the Clean Heat Standard (Act 18/S.5) with operating the “carbon credit” system created by the law, is now soliciting ideas for how to fund said operation.

Keep in mind that the carbon credits on their own are estimated to add at least 70¢ to every gallon of fossil-based home heating fuel (oil, propane, kerosene, natural gas) purchased by Vermonters. This amounts, on average, to over $500 per household per winter. Just the cost of the credits.

The bureaucratic cost of operating the credit system is, well, extra. And the leading suggestion for how to cover that extra cost is – guess what – ANOTHER TAX ON HOME HEATING FUELS! On top of the coming carbon credit “tax” and the existing excise tax on same.

The PUC’s Order Seeking Recommendations for Funding Report of November 3 ends with, “The Energy Action Network’s [a truly awful conglomeration of special interests] Clean Heat Standard whitepaper identifies a small surcharge on fossil-fuel sales to provide the funding necessary to support the Department’s role in verification of compliance and evaluation.” “Small,” of course, is different in the eyes of the person forced to pay the tax than those of the ideological zealot proposing it.

Not surprisingly, the PUC leaves out one key detail regarding what might allow for an informed suggestion for where the money should come from to run their carbon tax program: how much revenue they need to do so. For some reason they don’t say. For some reason our legislators didn’t want to be associated with such a number either and made no effort to find out before they passed the law. Maybe – just maybe – that’s because they know it’s going to be a very unpopular number.

The current excise tax on fuel oil, kerosene, propane, and other dyed diesel fuel is $0.02 per gallon and raises between $4 to $4.5 million per year.

Advocates for these carbon taxes often point to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a regional credit system for large-scale electrical generation as an example. In 2023, RGGI reported an operating budget of $3,118,019 (RGGI website). Let’s take that as a base cost. But RGGI is a far simpler a program, and therefore far cheaper to run, than the Vermont Clean Heat Standard.

The number of credits in RGGI are determined and issued by the single entity, RGGI, and then auctioned off on a quarterly basis to the small handful of major utilities required to buy them. “Verification of compliance and evaluation” in this case is not particularly complicated. Vermont Clean Energy Carbon Credits, on the other hand, will be generated, not issued, literally by thousands of individuals performing hundreds of thousands of “clean heat measures” — a wide variety of activities from installing heat pumps to replacing appliances to insulating buildings – at just as many locations all around the state, each of which needs to be independently verified and assigned a credit value by someone, either directly or indirectly, on the state’s payroll. This is complicated. Way complicated. Probably impossibly complicated. It will take an army of bureaucrats to do this work if you don’t want to open the program up to massive fraud and abuse. (Important possibility: maybe they do!)

Equally if not more complicated than generating Vermont’s carbon credits is keeping track of them. RGGI, as mentioned above, just auctions them off on a quarterly basis and that’s it. Vermont’s system requires setting up what is essentially a commodities exchange – that will, by the way, be subject to federal financial regulation – where these financial instruments (credits) are expected to bought, sold, and kept track of until ultimately retired.

Establishing and running this exchange will require highly skilled (read expensive) oversight and a very sophisticated (read expensive) IT system. How much this will cost? I don’t pretend to know, but the IT upgrade that the Vermont DMV just got cost something like $45 million. No IT intensive program is cheap to set up or properly maintain.

In conclusion, operating the Clean Heat Carbon Tax will be a massively complicated and grotesquely expensive bureaucracy to run. It will be much more labor intensive than RGGI, the cost of which is, unlike the Vermont program, shared by multiple states. More people equals more salaries, plus more sophisticated technology equals much higher overall costs. I can easily see these costs far exceeding $10 million per year, not including start-up costs. That’s admittedly just a gut guess, but whatever the number is, look for it to come out of your even higher heating bill.

So, I do have a suggestion for the PUC and the Energy Action Network, and the lawmakers who passed this monstrosity of a law and their never-ending appetite for other people’s money. Not a suggestion of how to pay for it, but where they can stick it.


Rob Roper is a freelance writer with 20 years of experience in Vermont politics, including three years of service as chair of the Vermont Republican Party and nine years as President of the Ethan Allen Institute, Vermont’s free-market think tank. He is also a regular contributor to VermontGrok.

The post To Pay for Administering the New Carbon Tax on Home Heating Fuels They’ll Need a New Excise Tax on Home Heating Fuels! appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

A Killer Worse Than COVID

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 19:00 +0000

On August 22, the DHHS announced its allocation of an additional $1.4 billion toward the development of new Covid treatments and vaccines. If good health is their purpose, that’s like pouring gasoline on a fire.

President Biden lit the match to ignite his brand of healthcare with these words: “I signed off this morning on a proposal to present to Congress requests for additional funding for a new vaccine.” With all due respect to the office of the presidency, the CDC’s surveillance system, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), indicates that as of September of this year, 1,593,415 adverse events were attributed to the old vaccines, including 36,231 deaths.

We are confronted with a strange irony here. Look at it realistically. The disease of a government that can’t balance its own budget, accumulating deficits running over $33 trillion, continues to force its agenda on the people as the best cure for COVID. Consider BlackRock analyst Edward Dowd’s revelation presented by Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis) to Senate hearings: “From February 2021 to March 2022, millennials (ages 25-44) experienced the equivalent of the Vietnam War, with more than 60,000 excess deaths. The Vietnam War took 12 years to kill the same number of healthy young people you’ve just seen die in 12 months.”

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Furthermore, a red flag for young athletes should be a warning to youth of facts that indicate the potential danger of the experimental vaccine: “Starting in June 2021, not a single month has passed with fewer than 29 reported deaths of athletes worldwide. The tally surged to 90 reported cases in December 2021 alone.” What caused NBA star LeBron James’ son, Brawny James, to go into cardiac arrest during practice? This continuous “one size fits all” jabbing the world remedy also has many other disturbing consequences, including myocarditis, Turbo Cancer, auto-immune, neurological, and God only knows how many other health problems. The truth is the federally funded, highly advertised vaccine cure is a killer worse than COVID-19.

Why does DHHS ignore the fact that the new Covid variants are very mild? And why do they continue to ignore the fact that they are easily managed by the proven drug Ivermectin? It’s because their goal, enforced by the intimidating power and wealth behind DHHS/UN/WHO, is to take our God-given personal healthcare rights away with the promise, “You’ll be safe; just do what we say.” The bottom line is that it’s common knowledge that Party loyalty very seldom appoints the most competent bureaucrats. Is there any reason to believe DHHS appointments do not also owe their jobs to the politics-as-usual system?

It’s simply a fact. You can’t trust a healthcare system that continues to operate as if continuously spending more money will promote good healthcare. Americans who love liberty should ask why in the world it is wise and good for our health to have our personal healthcare decisions transferred from ourselves and our doctors — to both federal and international government agencies such as the DHHS and the WHO.

For an overview of how bad the governments performance in healthcare, please check out this link


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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Friday Meme Overflow-Overflow

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 17:30 +0000

To all those who are sending in memes, thank you!  I do end up using many of them.  Also, please do share this post, and if you share an individual meme, consider mentioning you saw it on the Grok!

Speaking of, from this week, Monday Edition and Wednesday Edition.  Also check out my latest Israel-focused meme, link, and commentary post if this is a topic of interest.


*** Warning, a few possibly off-color ones, in case tender eyes are about ***



I’ve occasionally had conversations where this has happened… where, instead of incuriosity, someone leans forward with wide eyes and a genuinely eager look and says “I hadn’t heard that – tell me more”!









What I found very curious is how defense stocks jumped – and significantly – BEFORE the October 7 attack in Israel.











It still amazes me that there are LGBT people who are pro-Hamas.







What’s that meme?  Something like “I don’t care who you are… nobody has 50+ people in their life that ‘commit suicide'”.




Something far too few people recognize.





People simply don’t think things through.  Consider this enthusiastic advocate of an all-cashless society.  The idea that his cashless payment could be vulnerable to power outages or a government turning you off because they don’t like something you do is doubtless beyond him.






That’s a good point.



I have to wonder if they have internal project names, like the T-1000…










I so want this to be satire.  I really do.






If reparations are truly on the table, then I want all whiney-*ss little b!tches to be repatriated back to the ancestral motherland.  Because without slavery that’s where you’d be.  The below meme is a repeat, but accurate:






In a book I got for my Bar Mitzvah – a treasury of Jewish stories, jokes, proverbs, etc. – there were numerous mentions of the Rothschilds.  All in a good-humor way.  The more I learn about these snakes, the more I think they’re an utter shame & embarassment to us.








In my journal for my kids, I have one entry discussing the top ten things that I’d do differently were I back in my 18-year old body knowing what I know now / being who I am now.




Well done!




I do not expect 2024 to be a legitimate election, assuming one is even held.  MHO, some pretext for “public safety” will be found to cancel it entirely.  Purely a “temporary” thing, of course.




He had me at “mass deportations”… just, if he somehow gets in, expect both the Left and Right to fight this tooth and nail.




No.  Do not just turn and walk away.  Walk in, ask for the manager, and then TELL THEM why you’re leaving the store…






The problem is that Islam is an aggressive, expansionist ideology.  They want the whole world.







Pick of the Post:


A tie:



Very true.  And this one:



Note something: This is – and I’m guessing here – someone who was likely pro-Jab before this tragic injury.  This is the kind of thing that haunts… and will be shared to multiple people.  NOBODY who was a Jab skeptic switches to being for it – the flow is one way only: from Covidian True Believer to skeptic.  Already, and I don’t recall which polling agency, something like 25% of people believe they know someone who died from the Jab.  The know-someone-injured has to be higher.  What happens when that hits 50%?  60?




Palate Cleansers:





And don’t forget… come back Monday for another edition.  Same Meme Time.  Same Meme channel.

Please do consider buying me a coffee.

Buy Me a Coffee




The post Friday Meme Overflow-Overflow appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Quit Your Bitching and Own It, and Then Do Something Different

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 16:00 +0000

American Exceptionalism isn’t or shouldn’t be the idea that because we are American, we are better. It is that, in America, we have left the door open to the opportunity to be exceptional, to be better, no matter what that means to any individual.

What is exceptional, or was, is the palette. The American canvas on which you could – if you chose to do the work – create your own exceptional experience despite the risk or danger. Freedom offers great opportunity but requires taking on risks. Nothing is guaranteed, but it is a unique opportunity to find your sense of accomplishment, even in failure—on the path to your exceptionalism. You do the work, follow a few rules, and we’ll do our best to stay out of your way.

To suggest we’ve wandered away from that is an understatement. What was once a destination to find one’s place with whatever skills you had or could accumulate on your own is an opportunity to line up, for lack of a better term, to get free sh!t. The discontent on both sides of the equation has replaced the promise of that blank palette. The caravans of people herded here for a better life – the ones who are not here to make mischief – will find ghetto life as bitches on the federal teat less than inspiring. The people paying for it even less so.

New York Mayor Adams finds himself on the side of “less so.” While being investigated for receiving alleged foreign campaign contributions (which I’ve suggested is a result of all his bitching about the Migrant Crisis), Adams has announced significant cuts to the New York City budget to offset these unanticipated costs. “It” is straining local resources. He has recommended a hiring freeze on police. He is cutting one billion from public education. Child care, food assistance, closing libraries on Sunday, and limiting access to other public spaces are also options. But it won’t be enough.

The progressive caucus and plenty of Democrats blame Adams, shouting, “How dare you?” Eric Adams blames the federal government.


“No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, D.C., today’s budget will be only the beginning,” he said.


They are all to blame.

Decades of virtue signaling about the need to openly embrace illegal border jumpers without regard to the actual cost are chickens that have come home to roost. A crisis over which Mr. Adams could have cared less while it was thousands of miles away on some Red State border. But Eric Adams voted for this. That progressive caucus and all of those Democrats chose this. Many New Yorkers whose lives have been impacted by the masses or the consequences that brought them will pay the price in lost services and higher taxes—and in return, get a more crowded, dirty, and dangerous city.

They eschewed the law and did the crime but have no interest in doing the time. But this is progressive policy, and the sh!t sandwich you ordered is only getting bigger. Without a course change, perhaps a change in how you vote, this is your new reality, and it does not go away if you stay on this course.

It sounds dismal and tragic, and it is, but it is the storm you summoned. Lightning, you called down upon yourselves. But it is not one without hope. This is still America. For a sliver of the sum Mayor Adams claims he needs to cut, you could stick them on a plane and send them home. It would be a one-time expense, even if it were more than a few pieces of silver (though I suspect you’d save a lot more not paying local hotels to house them).

Screen them, vet them, and unless they are a tremendous value add, offshore them the way you do climate emissions.

And don’t be afraid to say something like, we are a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws. If the Federal government cannot be bothered to enforce them, we must because the people who did it properly have rights, too, and we are obligated to protect them.

It’ll hurt at first. The Marxist press you pretend is unbiased news might take a few bites out of your ass. But you might get to keep your Library Sunday, your not-quite-so-poorly policed streets, the food assistance, and open public spaces, but not if you keep voting for Democrats or until you force Democrats to change their priorities or be more honest about the price they make you pay.

You can blame someone else, but you voted for this. Quit your bitching and own it. Then, do something different. And wouldn’t that be exceptional?


Apologies for any typos – most of them (I believe) have been corrected post-publication.

The post Quit Your Bitching and Own It, and Then Do Something Different appeared first on Granite Grok.

Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

The TSA Is Still Crazy after All These Years

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 14:30 +0000

The TSA has been promising to end its boneheaded ways for more than 20 years. Flying out of Dallas International Airport last week, I ruefully recognized that all TSA reform promises are malarkey.

As I neared the end of a TSA checkpoint line, I saw two women loitering behind a roped-off section for CLEAR, a new biometric surveillance program that works with 35 airports and coordinates with TSA. CLEAR involves travelers standing in photo kiosks that compare their faces with a federal database of photos from passport applications, driver’s licenses, and other sources. The Washington Post warned that airport facial recognition systems are “America’s biggest step yet to normalize treating our faces as data that can be stored, tracked and, inevitably, stolen.”

Though the CLEAR program is purportedly voluntary, TSA agents at Washington National Airport recently threatened long delays for any passenger who refused to be photographed by CLEAR, including U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR). Merkley said that TSA falsely claimed there were signs notifying people that the facial scans are optional. But the clock is ticking down on seeking voluntary cooperation. TSA chief David Pekoske announced in March that “eventually… we will require biometrics across the board.”

“Idle hands are the tool of the devil,” as the old saying goes, and the same is true of cell phones. I raised my phone camera, snapped a few shots of the women, and the howling commenced.

“What are you doing?” screamed a young woman wearing a CLEAR jacket. “You can’t take my photo!”

“But you’re scanning people’s eyeballs,” I replied. What could be more intrusive?

“That doesn’t matter because you can’t take our photo – it’s not allowed!” She sounded as if I had desecrated a federal temple.

I gave her a Cheshire cat smile. With her three-inch artificial fingernails, I wondered if she planned to audition for a Dracula movie. Her colleague speedily exited, perhaps to summon police to end my assault. But if airport officials had sought to seize those photos, they would have faced a legal ruckus.

The queue finally reached the stern middle-aged TSA dude sitting behind plexiglass who checked identification and boarding passes. He stared at my driver’s license and then gave me an intense look. TSA considers a “cold, penetrating stare” a terrorist warning sign, but I assumed this guy was above suspicion. I was tempted to ask how many TSA Watch Lists included my name, thanks to TSA bashes I wrote for the New York Times, USA Today, the New York Post, the Washington Times, and other publications. Was this TSA dude reading about how the TSA chief denounced me in 2014 for “maligning” TSA agents?

TSA protocols make flying vexing without making travelers safe. As I approached the luggage scanner, I removed my wallet and stuffed it in the bottom of my carry-on bag. More than 500 TSA agents have been fired for robbing passengers. In July, three TSA agents at Miami International Airport were arrested because they pilfered property “while the passengers were distracted with their own screenings and not paying attention to their items,” the New York Post reported. A TSA agent admitted to partnering with another TSA employee to steal a thousand dollars a day, including grabbing cash from wallets sent through TSA x-ray systems.

TSA decrees are wildly inconsistent, but every command is presumed sacrosanct. Flying out of Washington Dulles Airport the prior week, I was told to keep my laptop in my courier bag. Fine by me. In Dallas, a TSA drill sergeant wannabe barked orders for everyone to remove their laptops and lay them out before sending them through the x-ray machines. TSA agents have been caught selling stolen laptops on eBay, so I tried to keep an eye on my computer.

TSA lunacy also obliged me to modify my attire. Instead of good ol’ blue jeans, I was, wearing Dockers. Prior to entering TSA’s Whole Body Scanner at Washington National Airport for a recent flight, I did everything right – emptied my pockets, removed my belt and boots, and sported a friendly smile (ok, not that friendly). But as I exited the scanner, a TSA supervisor grimly announced, “We have to do a supplemental patdown.”

“What the heck are you talking about?” I groused.

He pointed to the large screen next to the scanner that showed the problem: an illuminated thin line directly in front of my groin.

“That’s the zipper on my pants,” I exclaimed.

“Sir, we have to do a supplemental patdown. If you want it conducted in a private room, we can do that,” came the rote TSA reply.

“Hell no. Let’s do it where the TSA surveillance cameras record the search.” Never, ever go into a private room with TSA agents.

A tall, heavyset TSA agent with his hair tied in a bun atop his head came up and began vigorously grappling my ankles. Did TSA agents have a daily quote for groping or what? As I left the checkpoint, I muttered about TSA standing for “Too Stupid for Arby’s.”

Dockers were slightly less likely to trigger this boneheaded alert than blue jeans. But it wasn’t my fault that TSA screeners failed to detect 95 percent of the test bombs and weapons during covert tests by federal inspectors.

I had no trouble in the Whole-Body Scanner in Dallas last week, but my carry-on bag failed the TSA inspection.

A beefy young female agent hoisted my bag and carted it to the end of the checkpoint area. She was the final participant in the gauntlet of village idiocy that I had to pass before reaching my plane. She summoned me to explain its contents and my depravity. “Is there anything sharp in this bag?”

“No,” I replied. Geez, how much did TSA pay for x-ray gizmos that were more obtuse than a presidential speechwriter?

She unzipped my bag and began pawing through it. In lieu of a machete, she found a small half-full jar of peanut butter. “You can’t take liquids on a flight,” she announced solemnly.

“It’s peanut butter. It’s not liquid.”

“It’s liquid, and it’s prohibited,” was her decree. Did TSA covertly classify peanut butter as a bioweapon, or what?

“Ya, whatever,” I said as I abandoned the jar to federal custody.

Chatting with another jaded traveler as I put my boots back after clearing the checkpoint, he asked if I was upset about losing my peanut butter.

I smiled: “I’ll settle accounts with TSA later.”

James Bovard is the author of ten books, including 2012’s Public Policy Hooligan and 2006’s Attention Deficit Democracy. He has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and many other publications.


James Bovard | Mises Wire

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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

Trump Promises to Block Funding to any School that Imposes Mask or Vaccine Mandates

Granite Grok - Fri, 2023-11-17 13:00 +0000

Last weekend, I took a trip to Claremont, New Hampshire, for the Trump Rally. He was one of three candidates I’d not yet heard this cycle. The others were Haley and Scott. Scott dropped out, so I won’t see him, but I caught up with Trump: long drive, sunny day (if only about 39 deg.), and some interesting observations.

Trump was, of course, Trump. There’s no escaping that. But he knows his audience and took several opportunities to tweak the media. They obliged by swallowing the bait, hook, lure, and several dozen yards of fishing line. Some things never change. But some do. Regular readers will know I’ve been on 45 for years to back away from all his warp-speed talk. To accept that he was snowballed like many of us and took longer than some to realize it – or, at least, his speech writers took too long.



He didn’t talk about it at all except to say that as president, he would (and I’ll add, try to) block funding to schools that teach CRT, that gender-bending grooming business to young kids, and that impose any mask or vaccine mandate.

Lots of applause.

He may have been saying this while “on tour” for a while, but it is the first I have heard of it, and that’s good news.

He also mentioned the need to clean out the bureaucracy, which includes the healthcare industrial complex. Again, good to hear, though it is a sentiment he shares with Ron DeSantis. As we reported here a few weeks ago,


As President DeSantis says, he will lead a major overhaul of the FDA, CDC, and NIH. Push for term limits for bureaucrats. Address the power of the CDC, FDA, and NIH abuse with their grant writing. End the revolving door and kickbacks between CDC, FDA, NIH, and big pharma. And require more rigorous research before government agencies issue reports making medical claims.


How dare you put a DeSantis thing in a Trump Rally post! I know, but it’s relevant, and we have readers who support both, and you’ll all have to deal with each other eventually, or we’re looking at more Bidenomics and all that other garbage, no matter which Dem is pulling whose strings.

All that talk about unity, coalescing, and the 11th commandment when it means only getting behind your guy … is none of those things.

Trump was also, as I noted, Trump. He picked on everyone and, at one point, had to remind an audience member who’d shouted it out that you can’t call Chris Christie a fat pig. He must have told him four or five times that you can’t call Chris Christie a fat pig.

On the way in, I saw one protester. A guy on a bicycle (bring-bring) with a makeshift mini-sandwich board that read “lock him up” on one side and “shame on Claremont” on the other. The dope in the vehicle in front of us with the Bernie sticker taped into their back window honked. Taped. Talk about a lack of commitment. No wonder Sanders kept losing the nomination. Wait. That’s right. The Democrats stole it from him. Twice.

Much like the last Rally I attended in Manchester (2018 as media), the people were friendly, patriotic, energized, and there were a lot of them. I saw plenty of people I knew or recognized. And the High School in Claremont was ill-suited to the draw. A lot of people could not get in, but here are a few of the ones that did (people were still coming through the Secret Service Screening line when I took these).



By the time Trump spoke, the upper gallery was packed, and we could see people outside trying to peer through the glass doors.

It was a fun event to cover, but next time, I’d like to do it a bit closer to home than Claremont (though I’d never been there, so that was one of several reasons to make the 90-minute trip).

As for getting to candidate events, that left me with Tim Scott (who dropped out a few days ago) and Nikki “no Hate Speech” Haley; with two months to go, I should be able to get to one of her events at the very least, so I can say I heard and reported from all of them in person.

And yes, I am covering the visit by Kari Lake next month for a Hillsborough County Republican Committee event, so check back for that in the future. And no, she is not running for President, but she is Kari Lake.


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Categories: Blogs, New Hampshire

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