The Manchester Free Press

Saturday • April 17 • 2021

Vol.XIII • No.XV

Manchester, N.H.

American Education: Child Indoctrination, Struggle Sessions and Debt Slavery

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-03-24 11:09 +0000

The following article was provided by Sam Jacobs, Lead Writer and Chief Historian for Ammo.com

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Seemingly overnight, a large segment of America has gone insane. We’re not talking about the culture of paranoia and safety that has metastasized in the wake of COVID-19 hysteria. We’re talking about the ideological shift, particularly on cultural issues, that has occurred since the start of the Obama Administration.

To pick an easy example, it would have been fairly uncontroversial even five years ago to say that men should not be allowed to compete in women’s sports, regardless of what they might subjectively “identify as.” And yet, this is now a subject contention across a number of sports, including mixed martial arts and powerlifting. What’s more, having the wrong opinion and expressing it publicly might make you the subject of a public shaming, up to and including losing your job and being de facto blacklisted from your industry.

The point isn’t to litigate the specific topic of trans identified men competing in women’s sports. We use this only as one example of a broader cultural shift. Another, far more troubling development, is how quickly a significant and powerful minority of Americans grew to believe that America is a fundamentally racist country and that white Americans are somehow uniquely evil by virtue of their birth.

Both of the above are extreme viewpoints and would have been recognized as such even five years ago. Now, one can have one’s name blackened for taking the wrong viewpoint.

But this change did not come out of nowhere. In fact, it’s the product of decades of indoctrination of generations of Americans through what is called “education.” We use scare quotes here, because there is little evidence that American schools educate their students anymore – if, by education, we mean imparting knowledge rather than ideology.

This isn’t simply something to handwave away as “those crazy kids on college campuses and their left-wing professors.” Generations of far-left indoctrination have created a critical mass of Americans openly hostile toward American values and the very notion of liberty itself. If one is looking for an explanation for how we got to this point, a deep and critical view of education – from kindergarten through post-graduate – is in order.

The punchline? You’re paying for it in the form of America’s student loan program, which is little more than a massive welfare program for universities with multi-billion dollar endowments.

What Do We Mean When We Say “Indoctrination?”

When discussing any subject, it’s important to define terms. So when we say “indoctrination,” what is it that we’re talking about? What do we mean by that?

We mean it in the ordinary sense of being taught to think in terms of a specific ideology, rather than being taught how to think critically. What’s more, it is worth looking at the ideological bedrock on which the indoctrination exists. Not only are students not taught to think critically, but the first premises of the ideology they are indoctrinated in are rooted in hostility toward Western civilization.

We have written about this with regard to the Frankfurt School in another article, which explores the ideological underpinnings of America’s indoctrination of youth. The short version is that American youth, since at least the 1960s, with significant acceleration in the 1980s, have been indoctrinated with hostility toward Western civilization in general, with the obvious corollaries of hostility toward whites, the nuclear family, Christianity, private property and men. Perhaps most troubling is the view that Western civilization and the aforementioned categories are uniquely evil and responsible for the lion’s share – if not all – of the world’s evil.

This indoctrination has active elements, but primarily relies upon passive elements to do its heavy lifting. While one might immediately balk at a narrative being forced onto them, one is much less likely to resist the imposition of a narrative delivered passively, in the background, as if it weren’t a narrative at all, but simply a basic truth that is beyond questioning. This is precisely how the leftist worldview is presented to children as young as five; not merely actively pushing the narrative that the world prior to 1965 – or 2015 – was a hellscape of white, cisheteronormative patriarchal oppression and exploitation, but using this narrative as the background that permeates all other truths.

One example of how this works in practice is an AP history curriculum that relentlessly mentions race. But it is how race is mentioned that is the key takeaway. Rather than a balanced, nuanced and exploratory discussion of America’s complicated racial history, the curriculum simply notes when there are too many white men in a president’s cabinet, presenting it as a given that there are a certain threshold of minority members to be met so that the cabinet would not be considered “racist.”

There is also the reductive nature of indoctrination. That is to say, concealing truths that contradict the narrative being pushed. Children are not taught certain things, or they are simply not mentioned, such as the fact that the United States didn’t invent slavery, but it did fight one of the bloodiest wars in human history to end it. These “lies by omission” are, much like the passive narrative, arguably a much more potent means of indoctrinating children than beating them over the head with modified slogans presented as “knowledge.”

We will get into the specifics of how this indoctrination works as we move through this article. However, what we mean by indoctrination is a substitution of ideological conformity training for critical thinking skills, with a basis in the Western tradition.

School Indoctrination Examples

As we dive into specific examples of how schools indoctrinate, keep in mind that indoctrination is not limited to these ideologies.

Critical Pedagogy: The Ideology of Indoctrination

This indoctrination is not occurring by accident. It is a concerted agenda of the far left under the rubric of what is known as “critical pedagogy.” One should immediately take pause whenever something includes the word “critical.”

The urtext of critical pedagogy is Pedagogy of the Oppresseda book by Brazilian Marxist educator Paulo Freire. Critical pedagogy believes that the purpose of education is not to educate, but to “help students question and challenge domination, and the beliefs and practices that dominate.” These are, of course, leftist code words for indoctrinating children into a radical left-wing world view. Far from a marginal ideology, it is the prevailing educational philosophy of the 21st century. If you’re looking for a clearinghouse of articles about how it works from the perspective of educational proponents, you need look no further than a teachers’ union magazine – the articles are almost universally dripping with critical pedagogy. We strongly urge you to head down to the library and pick up a physical copy of an issue. It will be very eye opening.

In the following text, we will explore what critical pedagogy looks like in practice. But also the various specific iterations it takes, such as critical race theory and “gender” ideology. We believe this will shed a great deal of light on how children are being indoctrinated in the public schools.

Indoctrination Starts Early: Critical Race Theory for Kindergarteners

One of the biggest misconceptions about the indoctrination of youth is that it begins in college. There is an often touted statistic about how few college students change their opinions and world view over the course of a four-year liberal arts education. This ignores just how early the indoctrination of youth in America and the Western world begins. If we told you that kindergarteners were being “educated” in critical race theory and gender ideology, you would probably think that we were making it up, but this is, in fact, happening as we speak and has gone on for years.

Indeed, the primary and secondary education systems largely get a pass when the subject of far-left campus hijinks is brought up. But this is 13 years of training where children are systematically prepared for the further indoctrination that takes place once they get to higher education.

There’s a good chance that you’ve never heard of the “Racial Literacy Curriculum” from the oddly named company Pollyanna. Before launching into our own opinions on the curriculum, it is worth noting what the company has to say about itself. Racial Literacy Curriculum “aims to help students acquire an awareness of their own racial socialization and skills for engaging in productive conversations about race and racism.”

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that these are essentially code words for anti-white racism and white racial self-loathing. The curriculum begins in kindergarten with a unit titled “The Physical World Around Us – A Celebration of Skin Colors” and trains children as young as five to begin noticing race. First graders begin indoctrination about the importance of “social awareness and empathy.”

By third grade, the curriculum becomes much more explicit in its aims. The third-grade unit is titled “Stories of Activism – How One Voice Can Change a Community (and Bridge the World).” This is also the age where children are introduced to slavery. “[S]tudents will understand and analyze the power of an action and/or voice… and how we can be agents of communal, social, political, and environmental change.” It goes without saying that there is a very specific notion of what kind of “change” is called for.

Fourth graders will learn about the largely discredited theory that it was the availability of certain resources that provided some cultures with an advantage over others. The goal here is for students to “be able to analyze history and other social assertions that fabricate myths of racial superiority, including the ability to critique and dispel Eurocentric perspectives[.]”

Curriculum for fifth and sixth graders is little more than extended denunciation of American history as one of genocide, enslavement and exploitation. Two of the questions asked of fifth graders are “Why do Eurocentric perspectives dominate the historical narrative of immigration?” and “[W]hat were the forms of resistance and various contributions made by those who lived in the U.S.?” Sixth graders will be taught that American society is “a society that’s plagued with violence and efforts of dehumanization.”

Seventh grade curriculum is called “What is race?” and the answer is basically coterminous with the critical race theory and cultural Marxist definitions of race. This prepares students for their eighth-grade unit, which is the apotheosis of the entire project: “Racism as a Primary ‘Institution’ of the U.S. – How We May Combat Systemic Inequality.” Here, students will “upack [sic] sophisticated ideas like white privilege and white supremacy.” The stated goal of this unit – and thus, the entire project – is that “students will set commitments for rectifying current social ills, such as learning and planning how to carry out anti-racist activism and/or social advocacy in their communities and/or to improve their everyday lives.”

Not only is this a troubling left-wing agenda being delivered to your children on your dime, it’s also worth asking what any of this has to do with education. The above is little more than an “age-appropriate” (so-called) version of radical critical race theory. It is not education, it is propaganda. Elementary schools in Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, California, Rhode Island, Missouri, and Illinois have begun indoctrinating children in this.

But more than simply “stupid” or “crazy,” this is an incredibly troubling curriculum. What, after all, will the world look like when the lion’s share of America’s “educated” people have been force-fed the narrative that whites are the source of the world’s problems from the age of five? What will a majority-minority America look like when America’s largest ethnic group is pilloried as uniquely, historically evil?

These are all critical questions, particularly with Joe Biden appointing critical race theorist and San Diego school superintendent Cindy Martens to Deputy Secretary of Education, who told white teachers they were guilty of “spirit murdering” black children and urged them to undergo “antiracist therapy.” She has also stated that only black Americans “know who America really is.”

Séxual Indoctrination of Children in America’s Schools

Séx education in public schools has always been a controversial topic. However, with respect to people who have opposed it for years, the content of séx education in public schools is far more troubling today than it was 20, or even 10 years ago. This is because of the way that public schools teach very young children about transgender ideology and abortion.

Children as young as six are being taught about transgenderism – and not just as a social phenomenon, which might be troubling enough – but also as a valid life choice, simply one of many in the marketplace of séxuality. Children from kindergarten to fifth grade are shown the YouTube videos “Queer Kid Stuff,” which we have linked to so that parents can inspect the material for themselves. Was this done in New York, San Francisco or Portland? No, it was inflicted on children in Superior, Colorado, a small town of about 13,000. The same school invited the Trans Community Choir to perform a play about a transgendered bird.

“Queer Kid Stuff” is designed for children as young as three.

Not only is this wildly inappropriate for children, it further séxualizes children and, to the point of this article, indoctrinates them in a radical gender ideology that is likely not the values their parents want to pass onto them.

There is some appetite to federalize this agenda, if you can believe it. The Equality Act would extend the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to “séxual and gender identity” (SOGI). As pointed out by a very valuable article from the Heritage Foundation, this would lead to a deluge of increased gender and séxual propaganda aimed at your children without respect to your personal values or consent of such a curriculum. Five states (California, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and Washington) as well as the District of Columbia already have SOGI laws. It is explicitly banned in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah, with Florida and North Carolina mandating that all séxual education focus on “monogamous heteroséxual marriage.”

Some states are even encouraging children to identify as trans by providing medical treatment without parental consent. Denying your child’s “gender identity” (not a real thing) can be considered abuse and neglect, with the attendant consequences.

But the Heritage Foundation article points out that SOGI education is largely an attempt to take such propaganda outside of the carefully watched realms of séx ed and introduce it everywhere. This would include mandating that children read gender propaganda in their literature and history classes, places where there is far less attention paid by parents to what their children are learning, in the naive assumption that the culture wars have not yet entered these classes. Even such seemingly unassailable classes such as math and phys ed will be home to deconstructions of the gender binary and celebrations of trans-identified athletes.

Children are also being indoctrinated with pro-abortion propaganda. Indeed, a 2016 California law mandates teaching children about abortion as a form of birth control. While the law requires that such education be "medically accurate and objective,” a California teacher found themselves in hot water when they showed children videos of what abortion actually looks like. And lest you think this is limited to kooky California, note that Chesterfield, MO (population 47,605) public schools were providing abortion referrals to children as part of their “séx ed” curriculum.

College Brainwashing and University Indoctrination

All of this, however, is simply a prelude to the indoctrination which your children will endure once they are sent off to higher education. This is not only where the most robust and intrusive indoctrination occurs – of course, because the children are finally “out of the clutches of their parents” – but the leftist indoctrination also becomes a sort of semi-official state religion that all are required to pledge fealty to.

Fully 72 percent of all American college professors describe themselves as liberal, with only 15 percent describing themselves as conservative. But as we will see, “liberal” really just means “leftist” – and in many cases, committed Marxists. These people don’t simply hold ideas you disapprove of, they actively seek to indoctrinate your children in contempt and hatred of your values – and you. This isn’t just a contempt for Christians, conservatives and libertarians. Conventional, middle-of-the-road liberals are likewise subject to this scorn.

The professors are only one part of the equation. There is also the growing army of diversity consultants, effectively racial and séxual commissars who police every interaction on campus and whose presence looms large. Even the suspicion of wrongthink can ruin a young person’s academic career and to some extent their life. This army of diversity consultants is incentivized to find racism and injustice without regard to whether or not it actually exists, hence the growing number of infractions against the intellectual orthodoxy that prevails on college campuses today. This is intense pressure that would be hard for fully grown adults to resist, let alone young people away from home for the first time and ripped away from their support networks.

Dissent is not required. A lack of proper enthusiasm is enough. And these are only the foot soldiers of the enforcement of ideological conformity. There is also a seasoned cadre of administrators with the power to enforce their regime. A commitment to social justice as viewed by the far left is increasingly considered a necessary part of one’s education.

Many times, students are subject to what are effectively Maoist struggle sessions during their orientations. Students are told that such widespread beliefs are judging individuals regardless of race, or believing that America is a meritocracy is a “microaggression” or a small act of racism. What’s more, denying that one is a racist is seen as proof that a person is a racist in a strange age of Catch-22 logic.

There is significant evidence that this environment transforms the ideological view of students. An extensive study conducted on college students in the 1990s found that there were significant changes in world view, that these conformed with the ideology of the faculty and that they were so dramatic that they could not be explained simply through the maturing of young minds.

There is an additional layer to this onion that is especially troubling: A college degree is required for an officer’s commission in the United States military. Thus, when President Barack Obama purged the military command structure, there were easy replacements culled from this indoctrination process in America’s universities.

The list of shenanigans taking place on America’s college campuses is far too long to even begin to dive into here. However, if you are looking to follow the latest and greatest in leftist madness on America’s college campuses, The College Fix and Campus Reform are great resources for news in this area.

But as we said in the introduction: The punchline here is that you’re footing the bill for all of it, while your kids are consigned to a life of debt peonage.

The Role of Student Loans

We’re often told that there has never been a better time to be an American because of an abundance of cheap consumer goods. And while this is somewhat true, it ignores the fact that the cost of houses, healthcare and college education have increased significantly over a short period of time. In the case of a college education, this is particularly problematic because, right or wrong, students are told nearly from the time they are old enough to walk that they need a college degree to get a “good job.”

Between 2008 and 2018, the cost of a college education has increased by 25 percent. One of the primary drivers of this is the federal student loan program. Like many government programs, it is sold to the public as the means of leveling the playing field and increasing fairness throughout society. However, the main result of the federal student loan program is that the cost of a college education has gone through the roof.

It’s fairly easy to understand why. For the last 50-plus years, the federal government has effectively given colleges a blank check for education. No matter how much money is needed for a college education, the federal government will underwrite it. The Parent PLUS Loan is the biggest culprit. With no cap, parents may borrow as much as they need – not just to pay for their children’s education, but also lodging, books (which are often themselves price gouged) and any miscellaneous living expenses associated with a college education.

What’s more, thanks to bankruptcy “reforms” introduced by Senator Joe Biden, it is impossible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy like every other form of debt.

Only 30 cents for every dollar spent on education actually goes toward education. What’s more, administrators have increased 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, while the number of full-time faculty has actually come down. Meanwhile, academic standards continue to decline – and it’s easy to offer politicized disciplines like Women’s Studies, African-American Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Gender Studies and Whiteness Studies (the last of these being unique in that it is a pillorying of whites rather than a deification of them, as other ethno-narcissistic disciplines are) – with zero educational content when the free money machine is turned on full throttle.

So what can be done about all this? For one, a college education is necessary for a certain style of gainful, white collar employment, regardless of whether or not the degree is actually related to the employment. Only 27 percent of college graduates are actually employed in fields related to their academic discipline. In part, this is because college education is a proxy for IQ tests, which are illegal in employment. This ban should be lifted.

IQ Test Ban: A Major Driver of the University Crisis

The ban on IQ tests is a major driver of the university crisis. A somewhat little-known 1971 Supreme Court case, Griggs vs. Duke Power Company, is responsible for this and is a case study in unintended consequences. The Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, ruled that IQ tests were too broad and, thus, “racist.” The only way to get a similar picture of prospective employees was a college degree, which forced a number of people who have no business in academia to obtain college degrees as a prerequisite of employment.

Part of this is a basic question of intelligence. People are either able to understand certain concepts and complete certain tasks or they aren’t –and this strongly correlates with IQ. But there is also the matter of “soft skills” – doing things you don’t want to do, showing up on time, working well with others – which are also inadvertently measured by IQ tests. It’s not that every person with a high IQ has good soft skills. Many, of course, do not. But it is, however, true, that measuring IQ is a good proxy for measuring soft skills.

Part of the argument is that IQ tests don’t actually measure anything, but this is demonstrably false: IQ tests are just about the only thing the social sciences have produced that’s actually “science” as it would be understood in any other scientific field. What’s more, IQ tests are neither linguistically nor culturally biased as is often claimed. They are able to meaningfully measure cognitive ability in humans regardless of these subjective factors. Jordan Peterson has pointed out that if IQ is inaccurate, then psychology as a discipline simply doesn’t work.

Throwing out IQ testing for job employment means that employers have to find some other way to determine if applicants are up to the tasks performed. Without IQ to rely on, employers opted, in the main, for requiring a college degree. This, despite the fact that four years spent studying sociology or English literature or American history, fails to prepare one for a career in maintaining spreadsheets and sending emails. These tasks could easily be covered in business classes at the high school level. But again, employers are prevented from using what is a quick, easy and inexpensive metric for employment because of “disparate impact.”

While it’s certainly true that mean IQ scores for black Americans are lower than those for whites, there is no reason to believe that this is unchangeable. While individual IQ is fairly plastic after a certain age, group IQ is not. One example is that women generally scored lower on IQ tests than men, but now generally score higher. There is no need to rely upon mumbo jumbo about how the tests are “racist” – it’s possible to raise group IQ and, in fact, the black-white IQ gap has narrowed considerably. There is also a phenomenon, known as the Flynn effect, where the average IQ in America has increased by three points every decade.

Put simply: Individuals cannot get meaningfully more intelligent after a certain age, but groups can increase their average IQ rather dramatically in short periods of time.

But, as is often the case, the complicated and controversial truth lost out to the quick and easy fix that lined the pockets of insiders. Rather than figuring out how to close the IQ gap, something that would have taken time – and also probably money and effort – college degrees now became a de facto requirement for gainful employment. Three generations of Americans were told that a college degree was a necessity for the American Dream. More to the point, it was required for all manner of white collar employment, specifically due to the ban on IQ tests.

With the market flooded, universities could charge whatever price they liked and the cost of a college education increased accordingly. Between 2009 and 2019 alone, the cost of college increased by 25 percent.

Another driver is that the cost of college is now underwritten by the federal government in the form of student loans. In 1993, the federal government began securing student loans. Unlike Medicare, where the government will only reimburse up to a certain amount that is deemed to be the value of the service, colleges have a blank check. The government will simply come up with whatever students can’t afford.

What’s more, the drive to “forgive” student loans is little more than a boondoggle for the upper middle class, who hold the lion’s share of these loans. Forgiveness might be a solid bargaining chip in reform of the entire system, which would necessarily mean doing away with the student loan system as we know it. In a perfect world, this would be financed, not by passing the bill onto the American taxpayers and consumers, but by making colleges pay for their role in the debacle in the form of heavily taxing their endowments to pay for it. Peter Thiel has suggested making universities foot the bill anytime someone discharges their student loans in bankruptcy, on the basis that they were responsible for the bad loans in the first place.

For those who are able, pulling your kids out of public schools – and being seriously skeptical of private alternatives, many of which are just as bad – is in order.

Conservatives and libertarians might balk at such nakedly confiscatory taxation, but today’s colleges are little more than indoctrination factories for the foot soldiers of a cadre of militants intensely hostile toward Western civilization and the American way of life. We should be mindful about salvaging whatever we can from them while aggressively kneecapping their ability to brainwash our children and attack our freedoms.

 

Written by  Sam Jacobs

 
Categories: Blogs, United States

Make Your Company Great Again!

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2021-03-12 17:00 +0000

Trump Buddha statues are sold out on the Chinese online shopping portal Taobao.  A seller on Taobao made 100 ceramic statues of Donald Trump in the traditional Buddha pose and sold them all off.  Prices varied from $153 and $613, depending on size.

Fancy owning a ceramic statue of former POTUS Donald Trump? He sure looks awfully calmer than his human counterpart. You can have a miniature version (5 feet) for $153 on the Chinese online shopping platform Taobao. But if you want to make sure everyone notices you have Trump's Buddha avatar in your home or office, go for the 14 feet statue. It will cost more, at a pricey $613. The product even as a joke tagline for its listing posted on the site, "Make your company great again!", based on Donald Trump's signature MAGA slogan. 

While the statue shows Trump with his trademark hairdo, it has, uncharacteristically, a rather peaceful expression on his face. His hands are seen resting on his lap, referencing the traditional iconography of Buddhist statues in China. As per an Insider report, the figurine's description says: "Trump, who knows Buddhism better than anyone." 

Commenting at the link Mr. Smith says, "That is utterly obscene."  Mr. Smith trumpets his relevance with a show of glorious outrage.  Have we reached peak wokism yet?

Categories: Blogs, United States

The Crumbling Narrative

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-03-10 21:15 +0000

It's nice that somebody on the left is saying it out loud.  From Glenn Greenwald:

Perhaps the most significant blow to the maximalist insurrection/coup narrative took place inside the Senate on Thursday. Ever since January 6, those who were not referring to the riot as a “coup attempt” — as though the hundreds of protesters intended to overthrow the most powerful and militarized government in history — were required to refer to it instead as an “armed insurrection.”

This formulation was crucial not only for maximizing fear levels about the Democrats’ adversaries but also, as I’ve documented previously, because declaring an “armed insurrection” empowers the state with virtually unlimited powers to act against the citizenry. Over and over, leading Democrats and their media allies repeated this phrase like some hypnotic mantra:

But this was completely false. As I detailed several weeks ago, so many of the most harrowing and widespread media claims about the January 6 riot proved to be total fabrications. A pro-Trump mob did not bash Office Brian Sicknick’s skull in with a fire extinguisher. No protester brought zip-ties with them as some premeditated plot to kidnap members of Congress (two rioters found them on a table inside). There’s no evidence anyone intended to assassinate Mike Pence, Mitt Romney or anyone else.

Yet the maximalist narrative of an attempted coup or armed insurrection is so crucial to Democrats — regardless of whether it is true — that pointing out these facts deeply infuriates them. A television clip of mine from last week went viral among furious liberals calling me a fascism supporter even though it did nothing but point out the indisputable facts that other than Brian Sicknick, whose cause of death remains unknown, the only people who died at the Capitol riot were Trump supporters, and that there are no known cases of the rioters deliberately killing anyone.

I added the boldface above, highlighting what this talk of "insurrection" and "domestic terrorism" is all about.  Democrat leaders want an excuse to use the military against their political opponents.

Read more...

Categories: Blogs, United States

From The Babylon Bee

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-03-10 13:01 +0000

Heroic Secret Service Agent Dives In Front Of Biden As Reporter Tries To Ask A Question

WASHINGTON D.C.—In an extraordinary act of bravery and heroism, a Secret Service agent dove in front of Biden to block a question from a pesky reporter. 

As Biden slowly stepped out of his vehicle, a nosy reporter rudely attempted to ask him intrusive questions about things that were none of her business.

"Nooooooooooo!" said agent James Carter...

Read more...

Categories: Blogs, United States

Johnson & Johnson at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2021-03-08 10:53 +0000

I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine yesterday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. My wife saw a notice for it last Wednesday, so I called the number and got through instantly, if you can believe. The first available slot was Sunday, 9:40am.

So off we went yesterday. I had originally gotten myself scheduled for the Pfizer vaccine on March 30th but I had no problem getting a new appointment for yesterday. The lady on the phone said they would take care of cancelling my 3/30 appointment.

It's just under an hour's drive. There was a large tent set up in the infield with I'd say eight or ten drive through lanes, each lane having at least four vaccine stations. We had to wait about five minutes to get to the station and got a shot. My wife was along for the ride, since she gets her second Pfizer shot in a couple of weeks. She had no side effects from the first.

After the shot in the arm was delivered, we were directed to a waiting area where we sat in the car for 15 minutes. That area had 7 or 8 lanes with 10 or 12 cars in each lane. There was another waiting area for people who were required to wait 30 minutes. Not a lot of cars went in that direction.

After the 15 minutes our lane was opened up and off we all went. We decided to have breakfast afterwards, but it being Sunday morning every diner we went passed had a line of people outside waiting to get in. Eventually we found the Temple Street Diner where we walked right in and got served. Great place right around the corner from us and off the beaten path.

I have a card now that says I've been vaccinated. When I made the appointment I was told I would get one and that I should keep it. It sounds like the powers that be want the option to deny travel, or something, to any who can't prove they were vaccinated.

Twenty hours later, no side effects. I've been taking a quercetin and zinc capsule, a D3, and a multivitamin everyday. Every other day I take a niacin capsule. I've felt protected by taking them, to the point where I was considering refusing a Moderna vaccine if that's what I was going to receive.

My Navy daughter had miserable flu-like side effects for a day after she get her second Moderna shot, and several people she knows had similar reactions. None for me with the J & J, aside from a very slight soreness in the arm.

Start to finish, from leaving the house to getting the shot and getting to the diner, even after searching out a few diners, took 2 1/2 to 3 hours. That's with the track being about an hour away from the house. It was well organized, and a lot of people were on hand to direct and dispense.

I'll continue to take my vitamins.  To my knowledge I'm not suddenly liberated, though for me and my wife here in New Hampshire, the lockdown hasn't been onerous.  Some friends and relatives refuse to into a restaurant, but we haven't worried about that.  For the near future masks and social distancing will continue to be required.  Restaurants will continue to operate at a reduced capacity, and some remain closed, open only for takeout.  Unfortunately some have already gone under.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Flashback to May 30, 2013

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2021-03-04 18:58 +0000

Eight years ago this spring I published the following post explaining the origins of my libertarian viewpoint.  I called it "My Libertarian Viewpoint."  I'm reposting it now for a few of reasons.  First, the lessons it describes me learning back in the day, continue to apply.  Second, I continue to find that a discouraging number of people have yet to learn these lessons.  Finally, the supply.demand/price concepts ought to be applied to the task of draining Swamp, in my view, as I posted a few days ago in, "It Was a Market Before It Was a Conspiracy."  If you have the time and the inclination, read this one first, then go to "It Was a Market Before It Was a Conspiracy."  Tell me if you agree.

My Libertarian Viewpoint

It was my 6th grade teacher,  Miss Inez C. Searle, who gave me my introduction to economic theory according to the Austrian School, although at the time I had no idea she was giving our class an economics lesson.  But, there it was — our very first lesson in Unintended Consequences on a Grand Scale. 

If you lean libertarian you've probably heard of the Austrian School of Economics, and names like Ludwig von Mises or Friedrich Hayek.  Economics to the Austrians was the study of human action.  What makes a person choose one thing over another?  

The Austrians figured out that you can measure certain tendencies in decision making.  For example, they measured how the price of an item could affect the actions of buyers and sellers by counting how many of the items were offered and sold at various price levels. 

People study that question all the time.  Businesses want to know: How many widgets did we sell when we ran that sale? If we raise prices next week, will we make more money or will we drive people to our competitors?

In the course of exploring questions like that, the Austrians also figured out why it almost never works out when a government decides to set a "fair price" for widgets.  The Austrians became the intellectual heroes to the libertarian set, since their work made the case for individual liberty in practical terms.  It turns out that countries where individual liberty is prized happen to be the wealthiest of nations.   

It was the fall of 1958 at the John Fitch School in Windsor, Connecticut, and at that time Miss Searle was closing in on retirement.  "Old school" didn't begin to do her justice.  At age 66 she still taught penmanship according to the Zaner-Bloser method.  We wrote with steel tipped pens that we dipped in ink.  It was pretty messy until we got the hang of it.  The little jars of India Ink fit right into a hole cut into the upper right hand corner of our desks.  We'd uncap them for penmanship and cap them again for all the other subjects.

Unlike some teachers we hear of today, Miss Searle did not get into politics with us, but there was this one time, though, when she talked to us about policy.  On that day she gave a rather passionate lesson on the effects of a price support.  Now, some of us might have heard the term "price support" but we had no idea, nor did we really care, what it meant. 

Miss Searle explained.  The U.S. government had passed a law setting a minimum price for wheat.  The idea was to make sure that the wheat farmers would get a fair price.  But there was a problem because the higher wheat price, logically enough, encouraged farmers to plant more wheat than they would otherwise have done.  A lot more wheat.  Unfortunately, but also logically enough, the higher wheat price did not encourage anybody to buy it.

That meant farmers were going to get stuck with loads of extra wheat that nobody was willing to buy.  That is, they would be stuck with it unless somebody did something about it.  The government was that somebody.  In order to make sure the plan to help the farmers actually actually helped the farmers, the government stepped in and bought all of the farmers' excess wheat.  But that wasn't the end of it.  Miss Searle went on to explain that having bought the wheat, the government was faced with a problem of storing it somewhere. 

So on top of the tax dollars wasted on wheat that nobody wanted, the government added on the cost of storing the stuff.  Miss Searle took a dim view.

The lesson was clear.  By meddling with the price of wheat in order to to help the farmers, the government created such a huge surplus that storing the extra wheat was a problem. 

Not long ago I found myself thinking about Miss Searle and her price support tirade, and I got to wondering what might have been going on around the time that would have set her off.  I googled and found a couple of interesting things. 

It was several years earlier that congress passed and President Eisenhower signed the Agricultural Act of 1954.  Among other things the Act provided for various minimum and maximum quantities of agricultural "commodity set-asides."

TITLE I-SET ASIDE OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES

SEC. 101.  The Commodity Credit Corporation shall, as rapidly as the Secretary of Agriculture shall determine to be practicable, set aside within its inventories not more than the following maximum quantities and not less than the following minimum quantities of agricultural commodities or products thereof heretofore or hereafter acquired by it from 1954 and prior years' crops and production in connection with its price support operations:

Commodity  Maximum quantity Minimum quantity Wheat (bushels) 500,000,000 400,000,000 Upland cotton. (bales) 4,000,000 3,000,000 Cottonseed oil (pounds) 500,000,000 0 Butter (pounds) 200,000,000 0 Nonfat dry milk solids (pounds) 300,000,000 0 Cheese (pounds) 150,000,000 0

 Such quantities shall be known as the "commodity set-aside".

SEC. 102.  Quantities of commodities shall not be included in the commodity set-aside which have an aggregate value in excess of $2,500,000,000.  The value of the commodities placed in the commodity set-aside, for the purpose of this section, shall be the Corporation's investment in such commodities as of the date they are included in the commodity set-aside, as determined by the Secretary.

I'm speculating here, but it seems a stretch that mere passage of this law would cause Miss Searle such hearburn.  After all, it was all of four years earlier, but then again when you're 66, four years is next to nothing. Trust me on this. 

It strikes me, though, that this little excerpt from the Agricultural Act of 1954 indicates how badly legislators of the time misjudged the effect of their price supports.  Apparently this legisation was passed to counter the effect of earlier legislation in which price supports had originally been instituted.

As I googled away, I came across something else that was going on at the time.  In 1958, that same year I started 6th grade, there had been an uptick in the number of grain elevator explosions.  It's wild speculation maybe, but I wonder if that's what got Miss Searle's attention.

HISTORY OF GRAIN DUST EXPLOSIONS
An Iowa State University study1 stated that, of all the industrial dust explosions in  the United States, those in grain elevators occur most frequently and cause the most injuries and property damage.  Between 1860 and 1975 there were 340 grain elevator explosions which killed 170 persons and injured 638...

The Iowa State study showed that an average of 6.7 grain elevator explosions occurred each year from 1938 to 1946, with a total of 130 injuries and 33 deaths.  The average dropped to about 2 explosions each year from 1947 to 1955, with a total of 7 deaths and 13 injuries.  There was an increase to about 8 per year from 1958 to 1975, with a total of 37 deaths and 215 injuries.

A sudden jump in the number of grain elevator explosions ties in very nicely with the theme of the unintended consequences.  It was in the right time frame and you could make a plausible case that one thing led to the next.  The government intervened with a price support for wheat, which caused a surplus of wheat, which in turn increased storage requirements, finally resulting in a higher frequency of grain elevator explosions.  Maybe Miss Searle had a relative or friend who was injured or even killed in one of them.  Probably not, but it makes for a dramatic story.

In any case, Miss Searle's lesson in the adverse effects of a price control made an impression on me that was reinforced some years later when I was a sophomore at the Hartford Branch of UConn. 

That was the year I took a microeconomics course taught by Dominick Armentano, who later on would become Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Hartford and also Research Fellow at The Independent Institute.  But in the fall of '67 when I sat in his class at The Branch he was still Mr. Amentano.

One fine afternoon in his classroom I awoke to the sounds of Mr. Armentano explaining the effect of price changes on quantity supplied and quantity demanded.  Suddenly economics was not boring.  He a drew graph on the board like the one below.    

Then he drew two horizontal lines straight across the graph, one above and one below the intersection of supply and demand, just like the lines in the graph above.

I took great interest in what Mr. Armento was doing.  He explained how moving the price up or down from that point of intersection created a widening gap between the supply curve and the demand curve. If you go below that intersection point, he explained, you can expect a shortage, and the lower you go the more severe the shortage.  If you go the other way you create a surplus.  I was wide awake.  That's exactly what Miss Searle was talking about.

Further reinforcement came a few years later when I got the real life demonstration of a shortage.  Oil.  At the time people blamed it on an "embargo" by OPEC, but the shortage was really the result of a price ceiling, also known as a price control.

The embargo was a non-event. The production cutbacks were trivial. The wrong lessons were learned. In short, everything we think we know about the events triggered 30 years ago today is wrong.

Let’s start with the embargo. Most people believe that it was directly responsible for long gasoline lines and for service stations running dry. The shortages were, in fact, a byproduct of price controls imposed by President Nixon in August 1971, which prevented oil companies from passing on the full cost of imported crude oil to consumers at the pump (small oil companies, however, were exempted from the price control regime in 1973). In the face of increasing world oil prices, “Big Oil” did the only sensible thing: It cut back on imports and stopped selling oil to independent service stations to keep its own franchisees supplied. By May of 1973 (five months before the embargo), 1,000 service stations had shut down for lack of fuel and many others had substantially curtailed operations. By June, companies in many parts of the country began limiting the amount of gasoline motorists could purchase per stop.

Because it was easy to blame OPEC the lesson was not learned at policy making levels.  We had to do it all over again in 1979, this time policy makers blamed Iran.

By the Iranian oil crisis in 1979, the controls had grown unsustainable as oil prices escalated in global markets. With lines forming once again and fistfights breaking out at the pump, President Carter quickly waived most of the controls on oil and gas prices to make more fuel available.

...

By the 1980s, Congress and the administration had figured out that price controls were not the answer.

President Reagan, who rode to office on anger over the recurrent energy crises and inflation of the previous decade, immediately abolished what remained of oil and gas price controls upon entering office in 1981.

...

By 1986, the deregulation of the petroleum industry led to record production levels and a glut of oil that drove prices down to $10 a barrel.

And it was only a few short years earlier that doomsayers were convinced we would run out of oil.  Were they confusing geology with economics?  I doubt it.

Over the years I'd find more examples of govenment trying to "help out the littel guy," or saying it is, only to find what it actually did was make things worse.  Take those low interest college loans that were supposed to help more people go to college.  The result?  College tuitions rose to absorb all that borrowed money, countless graduates (and kids who didn't graduate) are now buried in student loan debt, and college is more expensive than it ever was.  

How about housing?  The government promotes home ownership by underwriting no-money-down mortgages through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  If mortgage companies were going to stay in the business there was no choice but to follow along.  The result?  People bought houses they would otherwise not have been able to afford, which drove housing prices through the roof, creating a real estate bubble that eventually burst.  When prices stopped going up and the economy started cooling down, housing foreclosures turned a recession into a depression.  And the government, naturally, blamed Wall Street.

The solution to any crisis is always a new or expanded government purpose. 

I owe all of this marvelous insight to a couple of influential teachers who planted libertarian concepts in my brain.  At the heart of their lessons is this one truth.  Everybody is a capitalist in one way or another, even our left wing President Obama.  

Recently the president urged a college graduating class not to look upon government with distrust.

Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices.   

That's really the capitalist in Obama.  He takes every opportunity to make his pitch.  His product is government — the bigger, the better.  When he vowed to transform America, what Obama did was to embark on a campaign to dramatically grow the progressive market share.  There's a lot of money to be made.

Categories: Blogs, United States

News Anchor Calls It Quits

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-03-02 16:06 +0000

Kari Lake: "Journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom...
I don’t like the direction it is going."

Categories: Blogs, United States

It Was a Market Before It Was a Conspiracy

Libertarian Leanings - Wed, 2021-02-24 22:18 +0000

There are strong reasons for believing that what to us appear the worst features of the existing totalitarian systems are not accidental byproducts, but phenomena which totalitarianism is certain sooner or later to produce.

— The Road To Serfdom, Chapter 10 by Friedrich Hayek

Incentives matter.  

I consider it a miraculous accident of history that our U.S. Constitution was created during the time of Adam Smith, he of "the invisible hand."  It was Smith's observation that the collection of players in a free market acting individually in their own interests had the counterintuitive effect of regulating themselves and each other.  Those ideas gave our Founding Fathers the wild notion that personal self interest might be harnessed to create a system of government in which liberty might endure.  So they settled on a structure with three separate branches on the theory that each branch defending its own turf would act as a check on the others and prevent any one branch from acquiring too much power.  For more than 200 years it has worked, more or less.  

Times have changed, and the invisible hand is no longer an effective limit on government power.  With our separate branches having less interest in competing with each other than in cooperating to extend their powers, it's government pursuing its own interests at the expense of the people.   

When Donald Trump first campaigned on draining the swamp, we had no idea how big the swamp really is, and it's clear in retrospect, neither did Trump.  But when he unexpectedly beat its anointed candidate in 2016, the ferocity of its retaliation gave a glimpse of the swamp's true dimensions.  The next four years of Russian collusion, Mueller investigation, impeachment, and other hoaxes featured the CIA, DOJ, and FBI in a multi-pronged attack on the outsider.

The swamp includes a vast network of political action committees, multi-national foundations, think tanks, academic institutions, multi-national corporations and financial institutions, media outlets, non-profits, and federal agencies.  In fact the swamp is so far reaching that it seems preposterous to believe there is such a thing.  How easy to dismiss it as a wild conspiracy theory.  Who could believe it? 

But then 75 million Trump voters watched as the 2020 presidential election was stolen, and the media in lockstep simply denied that it happened.  No crack investigative journalists were on the case.  Coverage was suppressed.  Mention of the stolen election on social media was censored.  In the midst of it all a very unexpected thing happened.

Time Magazine published an article describing the coordinated election theft as a grand and noble conspiracy to "save democracy" from the "authoritarian" Donald Trump.  People and organizations in and out of government conspired to "fortify" the 2020 presidential election by promoting mail in voting, absentee ballots, expanded early voting, loosened requirements for voter identification, to name a few of the conspiracists' strategies.  Time said it was all to prevent voter suppression and guarantee a fair election.  In reality the fix was in for Joe Biden.

They all might have gotten away with it, but Trump's support so far outpaced expectations that in the wee hours of election night, vote counting had to be halted in key counties of several battleground states.  It seemed more Biden votes had to be manufactured and counted out of sight from poll watchers.  The fraud was obvious.  A narrative had to be established and Time Magazine got the "scoop" with its "noble conspiracy" theory to explain what a good thing the fraud was.  How did America come to this?

I find clarity in seeing the swamp, first, as a market.  Conspiracy became the natural outgrowth.

Strange as this may seem, I see a key similarity between today's situation and the oil crises of the 1970s.  Americans who were alive in the 60s and 70s may remember the cars lined up waiting to buy gas.  Lines stretched out into street and down the block as people waited to fill up before the gas stations ran out of gas.  What people may not remember is that the crises, two of them, were both caused by congress having set maximum legal prices on oil.  Ronald Reagan finally won the economic argument, and the price ceilings that caused the shortages were removed.

A maximum legal price makes it more difficult, sometimes impossible, to profitably sell whatever it is that is subject to it.  The low price discouraged supply, but had the opposite effect on demand.  Not only did American drivers see no reason to curtail their driving, decades of low fuel prices had discouraged the design and production of fuel efficient American cars.  Demand for gasoline remained high while supplies were kept artificially low.  The classic example of a shortage. 

For a snapshot of today, look to the recent runoff elections in Georgia where the campaigns for four Senate candidates spent somewhere north of $830 million, averaging $207,500,000 per candidate.  Meanwhile, the salary for most senators and congressmen is $174,000 per year.  Contributors are buying something, taxpayers are buying something else.  Who wins that contest?  Congressional salary levels are set by law.  In my book that qualifies them as a maximum legal price, but what is it causing a shortage of?  Taxpayer representation maybe?

A recent poll shows that congressional approval ratings are in the toilet.  Only 25% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, and that's up from 15% in December.  Meanwhile 71% disapprove.  Americans want representation and good government, and they aren't getting it.

You might say it's a bear market in representation, and a bull market in the political influence.  But the bull market is an illicit market.  Sure, it's a legal market, but only because the market makers make the campaign finance rules.  Today's congressional influence market has some similarities to the black market in booze during Prohibition.

When Prohibition made booze illegal, an illicit market in alcohol was immediately created.  Organized crime stepped in to fill the need – or maybe crime stepped in and organized to fill the need.  Either way, in with them came the large and sophisticated supply chains, the corruption of many local government officials, and bloody gang wars.  A turning point came with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, when Al Capone's gangsters disguised as cops gunned down some of Bugs Malone's gangsters in a Chicago garage.  Something had to be done, but the fact is, gang wars over booze distribution didn't end until Prohibition was repealed.

The swamp is analogous to organized crime and the paid-for-officials during Prohibition.  In the place of mob supply chains for booze, an elaborate campaign financing legal structure has evolved that says who may bribe whom, and who may not, and how they must go about reporting their bribes.  The ready supply of influence creates its own demand, and the influence market has gone well beyond campaign finance.  In addition to the purchasing power of the campaign contribution, there are opportunities for delayed compensation with jobs after service and speaking engagements.  For those still in office, generous book ghost writing and publishing deals are a way to launder huge rewards for "services rendered."  The swamp has become an industry of international proportions whose mission is to direct the flow of U.S. federal dollars in massive amounts.

There is a climate industry that takes in billions annually.  The sun is shining for green industry initiatives.  There are grants large and small by the thousands.  There is foreign aid, administered by favored non-government organizations.  Think tanks get money to study things, and schools get money to indoctrinate.  There is no end to the money handed out by our federal government, and for the influence buyers that money is their return on investment in our elected officials and sometimes our unelected officials.

The 2020 election ought to be considered today's St. Valentine's Day Massacre moment.  The unthinkable has happened, and nobody has been willing to stop it.  Half of the nation is in the grip of a national hysteria that denies any election fraud and elevates a riot into insurrection and treason. 

Something has to be done.  But what do we repeal?  How do we bust up an influence racket in Washington that has gone global in scope?  Since no one in the swamp can be expected to shut down the gravy train, the solution has to come from the grass roots through the states – a series of constitutional amendments.

I have some suggestions on what they might be:

  • Campaign finance amendment to establish central management and reporting of all federal campaign contributions and expenditures for maximum transparency.  I envision a kind of blockchain system like a cryptocurrency. Disallow contributions of any kind from any organization, allow contributions only from individuals.  American citizens could contribute as much as they like to as many candidates they like.  There would be a starting date before which contributions are disallowed, say two years before election day, and an ending date after which contributions are disallowed.  Election day could also be the end date.  Leftover campaign funds would become property of the federal treasury.  All contributions and expenditures would be publicly reported.  Illegal and laundered contributions would be considered bribery or treason for both the donor and the receiver with severe penalties imposed.  Minimum penalty of prison time, maximum the death penalty.
  • Congressional reform amendment to put congressional pay in line with Fortune 500 CEO pay and at the same time make the acceptance of outside income for elected officials and their family members illegal.  Such illegal income during the time of office and for five years afterwards would be considered bribery or treason for both the donor and the receiver with severe penalties imposed.  Minimum penalty of prison time, maximum the death penalty.  Elected officials should owe allegiance to taxpayers, and taxpayers should pay them for it.
  • Eliminate the income tax.  Our income tax is a model of government intrusion and surveillance.  It is also justification for any and all redistributionist schemes.  Alternative taxation can be by tariff as it had been in the past, or a national sales tax.  Tax consumption rather than production.  Getting this amendment is a long shot, but it's worth a try.  At a minimum extending of tax free status for foundations and other organizations should be outlawed.
  • Eliminate public sector labor unions, or any organization that negotiates on behalf of federal employees at any level.  Labor negotiates with public sector unions pit government labor and management on one side of the table against the taxpayer on the other, with the result that the taxpayers are unrepresented.

The purpose of all of the amendments is to cut off funding of the swamp.  Some of these ideas may seem unrealistic, or impossible to achieve.  Or it may seem that the proposed amendments won't accomplish their purposes.  Comments and any other ideas for draining the swamp are welcome.  I plan to elaborate on the proposed amendments in a future post.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Diamond Princess Revisited

Libertarian Leanings - Tue, 2021-02-23 20:51 +0000

Nancy Pelosi observed a moment of silence marking 500,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday held a moment of silence on the House floor to commemorate the nearly 500,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.

“The chair asks all members in the chamber as well as members and staff throughout the Capitol to rise for a moment of silence in remembrance of more than 500,000 Americans who have passed away from the COVID-19 virus,” Pelosi said on the House floor.

The moment of silence comes in the same week the House is expected to take up a sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Eleven months ago Libertarian Leanings projected, very roughly, that there could be 622,000 U.S. deaths from the coronavirus based on an analysis of the coronavirus outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and extrapolating those percentages to total U.S. population.  Back in March of 2020 official projections were much lower.

Diamond Princess Coronavirus Outbreak

Age Passengers Infected Deaths %Infected %Deaths 0 - 9 16 1 0 6.25% 0.00% 10 - 19 23 5 0 21.74% 0.00% 20 - 29 347 28 0 8.07% 0.00% 30 - 39 428 34 0 7.94% 0.00% 40 - 49 334 27 0 8.08% 0.00% 50 - 59 398 59 0 14.82% 0.00% 60 - 69 923 177 0 19.18% 0.00% 70 - 79 1015 234 6 23.05% 2.56% 80 - 89 216 54 1 25.00% 1.85% Totals 3711 619 7 16.68% 1.13%             H1N1 2010
308,745,538 60,800,000 12,469 19.69% 0.0205% USA 2020 330,000,000 55,044,462 622,474 16.68% 1.13% USA 2021 332,256,797 28,826,307 512,590 8.68% 1.78%

The USA.2021 coronavirus numbers come from Worldometer and were last updated February 23, 2021 as of the time of this writing.

My rough projection from last March of the total number of deaths from coronavirus turns out to be much closer to Worldometer's recently reported number than I ever dreamed it would be – 512,590 vs. 622,474.

Comparing the actual numbers from today to the Diamond Princess numbers from a year ago is interesting but not necessarily instructive.  On the Diamond Princess social distancing was not possible, there were no available treatments, and the passengers had no masks to wear.  The passenger population was slightly skewed toward the elderly, so you might expect a higher fatality rate than you would in the general public.  Yet, here we are nearly a year down the road, and the number of fatalities derived from applying the Diamond Princess infection and fatality rates to the broad population gets to a closer number than the experts.

Would U.S. COVID deaths be much different if we had not done all the things we've been forced to do?  Suppose businesses and schools had not been shut down, and suppose we were not required to quarantine, would we have been any worse off?

More importantly, suppose prescribing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) had not been outlawed as it has been in so many states, including "Live Free or Die" New Hampshire.  Suppose the mainstream media hadn't demonized and dismissed it as useless, even dangerous – and all because Trump said it could be a "game changer."  Suppose social media hadn't censored mention of it, removing videos of doctors who described their success treated patients with it.  What then?

The example of India might give us insight.  India is the world's leading producer of HCQ, which is widely used as a prophylactic against malaria.  What was the impact of COVID in India?  If he numbers at Worldometer are to be believed, India has done vastly better than the U.S. at protecting its citizens.  Perhaps it's more accurate to say India has done much better at letting its citizens take care of themselves. 

India vs. U.S.A.

Country Population Infected Deaths %Infected %Deaths             USA 2021 332,256,797 28,826,307 512,590 8.68% 1.78% India 2021 1,388,753,057 11,016,434 156,498 0.79% 0.14%

The COVID infection rate in India was eleven times lower than in the U.S.  The fatality rate for those who were infected was thirteen times lower in India than in the U.S.  Can the Worldometer numbers be trusted?  Who can say, but how far off could they be?

The political response to the pandemic has had a devastating impact on so many people's lives.  Arguably hundreds of thousands have died unnecessarily because the Washington elite and the media preferred to inflict damage Trump than to provide proper treatment to those infected.  Had HCQ been properly used as recommended by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko lives would have been saved. 

Conclusions: Risk stratification-based treatment of COVID-19 outpatients as early as possible after symptom onset with the used triple therapy, including the combination of zinc with low dose hydroxychloroquine, was associated with significantly less hospitalizations and 5 times less all-cause deaths.

Coronavirus deaths weren't the half of it.  The lockdown orders forced businesses into bankruptcy.  Jobs were lost, drug use and suicides went up.  Most damaging of all, election fraud was rampant, and no one, not even the Supreme Court, would do anything about it.  The pandemic was the excuse to revamp election laws in several battleground states, changing them in ways that violated the U.S, Constitution.  Laws intended to ensure the integrity of the elections were simply ignored if they couldn't be changed.

For the first time in modern history, vote counting was halted for several hours on election night.  The most plausible explanation for it is, election fixers badly underestimated Donald Trump's support.  Vote counting had to be stopped so that enough Biden votes could be manufactured and trucked to overcome it.  Trump was comfortably ahead when counting stopped, permanently behind when counting resumed.

The mainstream media, social media, and the journalist class chose to suppress any coverage of election anomalies, rather than investigate them.  We may never have an honest election again.  America herself has been grievously wounded, perhaps fatally.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Globalists Have Been Interfering In Our Elections For Quite Some Time

Libertarian Leanings - Mon, 2021-02-22 10:22 +0000

Clarice's Pieces by Clarice Feldman is my regular Sunday morning read.  Her topic this morning was energy.  At the end of it there was something she said that struck a nerve.  Clarice concluded with reservations about America's chances for avoiding a crippling Green New Deal.  Why?  We have "a man obviously senile" in the White House.

At the time I’d have joined others in predicting none of this would pass into law, but that’s before the White House was occupied by a man obviously senile who needs to hold his fractious troops together by catering to the ninnies supporting this nonsense. Even the Australian press has commented on it. Ours doesn’t, although as Yaacov Apelbaum, quoted here, notes, there is ample evidence in the videos of Biden’s appearances that he meets the eight diagnostic filters for multiple dementia/early Alzheimer patterns.

That remark sparked me to speculate that globalists have been interfering to the point of controlling our elections for quite some time.

For starters, where did Obama come from? How on earth did an unknown Illinois state senator rocket to the White House?

And then look how Candy Crowley jumped into the debate against Mitt Romney in the 2012 election – a move that was clearly planned in advance. At the time I wrote it off as media bias, shocking and unprecedented as it was.  But now I think of it as evidence that the significant elements of the media have been bought outright – in somebody's pockets.  It's unnatural for the media to be that biased, and it was previously unthinkable for a moderator to actually jump into a presidential debate.

Hillary was, of course, Obama's anointed successor.  In the summer of 2016 we could see that the FBI and DOJ were bought and paid for – in somebody's pockets – but at the time I thought they were in Hillary's pocket.  The Hillary email investigation, AKA Midterm Exam, was clearly intended to make her problems go away, at the same time the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was intended to find a crime that could be pinned on Trump and thus torpedo his presidential bid. Media helped out by publishing their leaked lies.

At the time I wouldn't have given credit to globalists for getting Bernie Sanders out of Hillary's way in the 2016 Democrat primaries.  But now I count it among their successes at subverting our elections.  Oh, and Seth Rich is dead.

Trump screwed them up, though, first by winning in spite of them, and then by not being guilty of a crime.  In the 2020 election he almost did it again. But what happened?

There is an astonishing amount of evidence of of "irregularities" in our 2020 elections that can be found at HereIsTheEvidence.com. The website houses a list of 1,694 items including affidavits by 923 fact witnesses.  In a nutshell, the election was fixed for Joe Biden.

Joe Biden, who is in no way an attractive candidate, was pressed into service to set up impeachment number one. Without Biden running there were no grounds for impeaching Trump over a phone conversation with the Ukrainian president.  Because the discussion of Burisma was billed as interference in the 2020 election, Joe Biden had no choice but to run.  It would hardly have been out of order for Trump to ask a foreign head of state about corruption by private citizens – Burisma board member Hunter Biden and his father Joe.

So there was Biden, 47 years into his career and on his third try for the White House, having never won a state primary. Once again Sanders had to be shoved aside.  Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina was persuaded to give Biden his endorsement, lukewarm at best, and magically Biden rose to the top of the ticket.  I suppose Elizabeth Warren deserves some credit for the magic.  She kept her futile candidacy alive, which kept her voters from switching to Bernie long enough to kill his chances to win the nomination.

When we got to the 2020 general election Trump's popularity was so seriously underestimated that election night vote counting had to be halted so that ballots could be manufactured and trucked into key precincts.  America wound up with the waxwork dummy for a president.

The key to it all is the hate campaign. It has been relentless and increasingly intense. Every conservative movement and every Republican president is instantly labeled racist, and each smeared a little more than the one before.

In the media narrative Reagan was likable but stupid and unrealistic.   They ridiculed his star wars defense initiative, and called him Ray-Gun. Bush 41 was the aristocrat so out of touch he couldn't buy a pair of socks on his own. It got really nasty with Bush 43 – the chimp. He was CIA's target in the Plame affair. At the time I thought the Plame affair was a case of unusually bold federal bureaucrats protecting their own interests by subverting a Republican president.  I was still looking at it in a domestic partisan light, never dreaming it could be connected to globalist interest.

That has all changed. Media and Big Tech coordinated on suppressing any public discussion of election fraud.  International media joined in the piling on.  Trump was cast as a villain in a class all by himself.  He was and continues to be such a threat, he is so evil that even his voters are evil. We Trump supporters have been labeled domestic terrorists. It's astonishing really.  And one thing we can be sure of, the next Republican presidential candidate who gets any kind of support will be vilified even more than Trump.  A candidate like that may never arise. 

It is usual for the party out of power to make big gains in a midterm election.  Even if you thought the 2020 election was completely above board, you couldn't say that Democrats made any gains in popularity.  They barely won control of the Senate, and in the House they lost seats.  Biden's victory was a triumph of media inspired fear and hatred.  (Funny that I still see those stupid blue yard signs that say, "Hate has no home here.")  We are poised for a 2022 midterm red wave.  If it doesn't happen, that's the time for watching the Shit Hit The Fan.  Conservatives have to prepare for 2022 -- all possibilities.

There is some hope, I think, although it may just be my usual naivete. It's hard for me to imagine anybody thinking Biden is even an adequate president, yet there are those who love him. The hope is that some Biden voters – the live ones – will stop refusing to see what's right in front of them.  For that to happen they may have to confront some very difficult realizations, and I'm not confident in the willingness of many to admit they were so badly in error.  In any case conservatives must continue to wage the information war.  And hope it doesn't get beyond that.

Updated 2/21/21

Categories: Blogs, United States

Electoral Lessons From The Georgia Libertarian Party

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2021-02-21 10:50 +0000

Even though the Republican Party has been a huge disappointment in recent years, at the moment it is the only ticket to freedom in America. David Perdue fell 0.3 percent short of avoiding a runoff for the U.S. Senate that he eventually lost.  If one in seven of the Georgia Libertarian voters had chosen Perdue over Shane Hazel, Republicans would have kept control of the Senate.  Writing in American Greatness Edward Ring says Libertarians are being used.

Support for individual liberty and economic freedom isn’t helpful if it splits into pieces the voters who favor those ideals. The only individual liberty that Democrats still seriously care about is legalized drugs. They are overtly against economic freedom. The Democratic Party is controlled from above by global corporations and billionaires, and from below by militant collectivists, “anti-racists,” and climate change zealots. Democrat voters will never be seduced into supporting Libertarian candidates at nearly the rate as Republican voters.

[...]

If Libertarians, from Georgia to California, are serious about what they believe, they’ll value the results that come from hard work and compromise. It is easy to be a spoiler. It is easy to build a website, have meetings, and even run candidates for office. Because by comparison, reforming an established political party is very, very difficult. But that is the task at hand. It is the only way to win.

Obviously the Republican Party has disappointed a lot of people. Obviously the Republican Party does not live up to the pure ideals of libertarians, and it never will. But the allegation that Republicans are no better than Democrats, when it comes to protecting individual liberty and economic freedom, is a preposterous delusion. It isn’t even close.

Since the rise of the internet which began to take off around the year 2000, there has been a gradual libertarian infiltration of the Republican Party.  Now is not the time for it to stop.  If 2022 does not produce a midterm red wave, I fear American freedom will be beyond recovery.

Categories: Blogs, United States

The Poisonous U.S. Mainstream Media

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2021-02-20 13:50 +0000

Here is Sky News Australia host Cory Bernardi on the brilliant leader of our free world.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Michael Anton On The Election And Its Aftermath

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2021-02-19 11:28 +0000

According to Michael Anton, it's a grim looking road ahead for liberty minded Americans.

What we now have, more and more, is a one-party oligarchy. This was the nemesis of the Trump presidency. Like all oligarchies, ours rules by coercion, not consent. It exerts its power primarily by constraining allowable, expressible opinion: it knows that the thing which cannot be said eventually becomes that which cannot be thought. And the chief thoughts it wishes to suppress are objections to its own misrule. When and where it cannot “persuade”—that is, propagandize—it punishes, with the defiant fired from their jobs, made unemployable, cut off from the financial system, even, in some cases, shunned by friends and family. This is not “death,” exactly. But how much less cruel is it, really, to cut people off from human contact and the means of making a living? And how much real misery—and desperation—does it produce?

Against recalcitrant groups, organizations, even whole states, our ruling class uses its control of communications to wage demonization campaigns akin to two-minute hates, except lasting much longer. Witness, for example, corporate America’s united boycott of North Carolina over “transgender” bathrooms and the now-routine practice of Blue states issuing travel and other bans on their agencies or employees doing any business with Red states that don’t entirely toe the latest Blue line.

Before joining the Trump administration as a national security official, Michael Anton authored The Flight 93 Election under the pen name Publius Decius Mus in the Journal of American Greatness.

Read the whole thing.

Categories: Blogs, United States

But Evidence Was Only Slightly Doctored

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2021-02-14 12:01 +0000

Doggedly sticking to the narrative, CBSN's Lana Zak carefully frames her questions and then talks over Michael van der Veen's replies.  To no avail.  Van der Veen scores his points.  

Categories: Blogs, United States

Idaho House Votes to Encourage Holding Physical Gold and Silver to Protect State Reserves

Libertarian Leanings - Sun, 2021-02-14 05:00 +0000

The following article was provided by Jp Cortez, Policy Director for the
Sound Money Defense League

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Boise, Idaho (February 11, 2021) -- The Idaho State House today overwhelmingly approved a bill which enables the State Treasurer to protect state reserve funds from inflation and financial risk by holding physical gold and silver.

State representatives voted 51-19 to pass House Bill 7, the Idaho Sound Money Reserves bill, sending the measure introduced by Representative Ron Nate (R-Rexburg) and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Steve Vick (R-Dalton Gardens) to the Senate for a hearing.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League and others, HB 7 would permit – but not require – the State Treasurer to hold some portion of state funds in physical gold and silver to help secure state assets against the risks of inflation and financial turmoil and/or to achieve capital gains as measured in Federal Reserve Notes.

Testifying earlier before the House State Affairs Committee, Rep. Nate said, “With new concerns about financial instability, it makes sense for investors, and it makes sense for states, to turn to real assets, especially in terms of precious metals, to protect their funds.”

The Idaho Treasurer is given very few options for holding, managing, and investing Idaho’s “idle moneys” (which currently amount to several billion dollars). H7 adds physical gold and silver so long as they are held in a secure depository in Idaho or a neighboring state.

Jp Cortez, Policy Director of the Sound Money Defense League, said, “Because of market conditions and statutory constraints, Idaho’s reserves are invested almost exclusively in low-yielding debt paper – such as corporate bonds, tax-anticipation notes, municipal bonds, repurchase agreements, CDs, treasuries, and money market funds.”

“These debt instruments appear to have low volatility, but they carry other risks – including pernicious inflation and the steady erosion in real value of principal, coupled with interest rates that are negative in real terms,” Cortez continued.

By holding almost nothing but low-interest debt paper, Idaho’s reserves have mustered a return well below 2% -- a negative rate of return when adjusted for inflation.

H7 simply adds the authority to hold physical gold and silver directly – and in a manner that does not assume the counterparty and default risks involved with other state holdings. Meanwhile, H7 bill does not grant any authority to buy stocks, futures contracts, or other financial instruments.

“An allocation to physical gold and silver fits squarely within the objective of protecting Idaho ‘idle moneys’ against financial risks and would logically be included in a list of safe investment options,” said Stefan Gleason, President of Money Metals Exchange, an Idaho-based national precious metals dealer named this year by Investopedia as the best overall precious metals dealer in the United States.

The monetary metals can provide a hedge against inflation, debt default risks, and stock market declines – and have historically boosted investment returns while also reducing volatility,” said Gleason.

House Bill 7 is expected to be heard before the Senate State Affairs Committee as early as next week.

The Sound Money Defense League is an Idaho-based public policy group working nationally to promote

sound money policies, including reaffirming the constitutional role of gold and silver as money.  For comment or more information, call 1-208-577-2225 or email jp.cortez@soundmoneydefense.org.

 

Jp Cortez is the Policy Director for the Sound Money Defense League, a non-partisan, national public policy group working to restore sound money at the state and federal level and publisher of the Sound Money Index.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Democrat Priorities

Libertarian Leanings - Sat, 2021-02-13 20:55 +0000

It's not news that the Cuomo administration required nursing homes to accept recovering covid patients.  It's not news that thousands of New York's nursing home-bound elderly contracted and died of it.  This was known back in May when the New York Department of Public Health quietly removed from its website the executive order mandating that nursing homes accept these patients.

It is news that papers like the New York Times are reporting on it now, and that Governor Cuomo is under fire for it.  But it's not the crime it's the cover-up.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide privately apologized to Democratic lawmakers for withholding the state’s nursing home death toll from COVID-19 — telling them “we froze” out of fear that the true numbers would “be used against us” by federal prosecutors, The Post has learned.

The stunning admission of a coverup was made by secretary to the governor Melissa DeRosa during a video conference call with state Democratic leaders in which she said the Cuomo administration had rebuffed a legislative request for the tally in August because “right around the same time, [then-President Donald Trump] turns this into a giant political football,” according to an audio recording of the two-hour-plus meeting.

But consider the warped priorities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide confessed privately this week that the administration suppressed the true COVID toll in the homes. She also offered an apology — not to the thousands of New York families who needlessly lost loved ones thanks to her boss’s mismanagement but to Democratic lawmakers put in a difficult “political position with the Republicans” by the coverup.

Has America achieved Peak Democrat?  Andrew Cuomo and his ilk have been shielded by the media for so long, coddled by the Department of Justice for so long, they don't have to be smart, and they certainly don't have to be honest.  Democrats nationwide have achieved a level of stupidity and arrogance never before seen.  Cuomo even received an Emmy for his coronavirus press conferences.  Will anyone ever be held accountable for the unnecessary nursing home deaths?

Categories: Blogs, United States

Yugoslavian Woman Issues Warning To Americans

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2021-02-12 23:29 +0000

This video was first published in July of 2020.

Categories: Blogs, United States

Letter To Pelosi From Chief Steven A. Sund

Libertarian Leanings - Fri, 2021-02-12 13:47 +0000

In a February 1, 2021 letter to Nancy Pelosi, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund refuted the impeachment charge against Donald Trump.  Unlike previous MAGA demonstrations, what occurred on January 6th was a "well coordinated armed assault" on the Capitol.

At no time during the previous MAGA I or MAGA II events did the crowd attempt to storm or attack the Supreme Court building, or the adjacent Capitol building, and based upon all available intelligence, nothing of that sort was expected to happen on January 6.

[...]

We were monitoring the actions and demeanor of the crowd, which at the time did not raise any concerns, when we received word at 12:52 p.m. that a pipe bomb had been located at the Republican National Committee headquarters, immediately adjacent to Capitol Grounds. We responded immediately to coordinate and send resources to the scene, including a number of officers, officials, and a bomb squad. We also dispatched resources to look for other explosive devices, suspects, and vehicles. At almost the exactly same time, we observed a large group of individuals approaching the West Front of the Capitol.

When the group arrived at the perimeter, they did not act like any group of protestors I had ever seen. Unlike other heated protests, these protesters did not simply congregate to angrily voice their grievances. As soon as this group arrived at our perimeter, they immediately began to fight violently with the officers and to tear apart the steel crowd control barriers, using them to assault the officers. It was immediately clear that their primary goal was to defeat our perimeter as quickly as possible and to get past the police line. This mob was like nothing I have seen in my law enforcement career. The group consisted of thousands of well-coordinated, well-equipped violent criminals. They had weapons, chemical munitions, protective equipment, explosives, and climbing gear. A number of them were wearing radio ear pieces indicating a high level of coordination.

If I had to guess I would say Antifa planned and carried out the attacks.  Chief Sund said that he had asked for support from the National Guard ahead of time, but he was unable to get approval for their deployment.  The best he could get was to have 125 troops from the D.C. National Guard made ready, once approval was given.

On Monday, January 4, I approached the two Sergeants at Arms to request the assistance of the National Guard, as I had no authority to do so without an Emergency Declaration by the Capitol Police Board (CPB). My regular interactions with the CPB, outside of our monthly meetings regarding law enforcement matters, were conducted with the House and Senate Sergeant at Arms, the two members of the CPB who have law enforcement experience. I first spoke with the House Sergeant at Arms to request the National Guard. Mr. Irving stated that he was concerned about the “optics” and didn’t feel that the intelligence supported it. He referred me to the Senate Sergeant at Arms (who is currently the Chair of the CPB) to get his thoughts on the request. I then spoke to Mr. Stenger and again requested the National Guard. Instead of approving the use of the National Guard, however, Mr. Stenger suggested I ask them how quickly we could get support if needed and to “lean forward” in case we had to request assistance on January 6.

At Mr. Stenger’s direction, I called General William Walker, commanding officer of the D.C. National Guard. I advised that I had not received CPB approval, but wanted to know how many National Guard he could provide and how fast could he provide them if they were needed on Capitol Hill on January 6. He advised that he could repurpose 125 National Guard and have them to me fairly quickly, once approved. I asked General Walker to be prepared in the event that we requested them.

I doubt that law enforcement will ever reveal who was behind the assault on the Capitol, especially if it was Antifa, whose members were repeatedly let off the hook for the rioting and destruction in cities throughout the U.S. over the summer of 2020. 

Impeachment has become political theater and a joke.  The Capitol Hill assault was planned, it began while Trump was still speaking, and nothing Trump said could be construed as incitement.  In view of the escalating attacks against Donald Trump over the last four years, along with the violent rhetoric from Democrats, I'd say Nancy Pelosi was more to blame for the January 6th assault than Donald Trump.

Update 2/12/21:  I should add, 

In light of Chief Sund's repeated requests for assistance and repeated denials, you might think the National Guard would be ready to leap into action when violence broke out.  You would be wrong about that.

Almost two hours later, by 4:00 p.m., we had still not received authorization from the Pentagon to activate the National Guard. Mr. Stenger offered to have Senator McConnell call the Secretary of the Army to expedite the request. I concurred that this would be a good idea. I followed up approximately 20 minutes later to check on the call and express the need for leadership to call to assist in expediting the request. The first 150 members of the National Guard were not sworn in on Capitol grounds until 5:40 p.m., four and a half hours after I first requested them and three and a half hours after my request was approved by the Capitol Police Board. I still cannot fathom why in the midst of an armed insurrection, which was broadcast worldwide on television, it took the Department of Defense over three hours to approve an urgent request for National Guard support.

Who were those armed insurrectionists?  Trite of me to ask, but what did our federal officials know, and when did they know it?

Categories: Blogs, United States

Be Careful Of That Absolute Proof

Libertarian Leanings - Thu, 2021-02-11 11:57 +0000

Last week I posted Mike Lindell's Election Documentary that claimed to demonstrate "Absolute Proof" that the 2020 election was hacked.  Larry Johnson reported a few days ago on Gateway Pundit, some of the evidence Mike Lindell presented in his documentary should not be relied upon.

If you have been led to believe that Hammer and Scorecard were used to steal the election for Joe Biden, I regret to inform you that claim is suspect. This does not mean I am siding with RINOS like Romney and Barr, who deny that there was any fraud. That too is false. Donald Trump was robbed, he did not lose the election.

So far, there is significant circumstantial evidence of unusual amounts of internet traffic between foreign locations and the United States. But we do not have any tangible, verifiable evidence showing votes being switched via a command or intervention from a foreign server. Investigations continue to ferret out what happened and these efforts may produce such proof. What we do know with certainty is that there were unusually large numbers of adjudicated ballots in a few key counties, that there was ballot stuffing, that counterfeit ballots were counted and that the Dominion voting machines in Antrim County, Michigan failed to accurately record the actual number of votes for Donald Trump.

This brings me to the Mary Fanning segment in the Michael Lindell produced video, ABSOLUTE PROOF. Mary Fanning claims to have evidence that foreign servers, including locations in China and Iran, were changing vote totals in specific counties. Unfortunately, she has not published any of this alleged evidence. You just have to trust her. But I dug into the information she is relying on and learned that her source is Dennis Montgomery.

Montgomery has a checkered past...

Johnson reached out to has friend, Yaacov Apelbaum, who confirmed Johnson's suspicions.

Even a superficial evaluation of Montgomery’s data shows that it’s laced with massive errors and anomalies. Here are a few examples:

  1. Many of the source and destination IP addresses don’t match the locations specified in the description
  2. Some of the company/entity names don’t match the assigned relocations
  3. The entries use DBA names for companies instead of the actual legal name, which is what you would get if you did an actual low level IP to organization resolution
  4. All of the destinations are protected with firewalls, so, the “INTRUSION METHOD” referencing the word “FIREWALL” is meaningless.  Also, from the limited attack vocabulary it obvious that whoever wrote this is not familiar with actual cyber offensive operations.
  5. Source date format is incomplete and is missing the time zone
  6. Some of the records are incomplete, for example, one row states that “TRUMP: DOWN 44,905”, but it failed to add the entry “Y” under the “SUCCESS” column
  7. The tabs on the spreadsheet show that the titles were created manually (“Sheet 1” vs. “Sheet1”), which is unlikely if this data came from an automated process
  8. The values in the field titled “TARGET ID”, which has to format of a MAC address was most likely created with a random number generator. A sampling of some of these MAC addresses yielded no results of knows network card manufacturers

All of the evidence suggests that this is part of an influence operation that is most likely designed to discredit future claims that there was any election fraud.

Johnson concludes:

I am not trying to harm nor divert attention away from proving the fraud in the 2020 election. I want to make sure we have the right information in order to make the strongest, most persuasive case. We cannot afford to rely on unreliable information.

Categories: Blogs, United States

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