Don’t Confuse Trusting the Experts with Knowing the Facts

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Patrick Carroll

“[H]ow can we avoid trusting too easily? My proposal is that we adopt what I call ‘citation needed’ culture. As the name implies, the idea here is to create a culture where we habitually demand evidence, especially for contentious ideas. Any time someone makes a claim, your instinctive response should be ‘citation needed.’ Growing up, we learned to take things at face value, to take the teacher at their word. But this is a bad habit, one we would do well to abandon.” (12/02/22)

Senate votes to put itself in charge of US railroad workers

Source: ABC News

“The Senate on Thursday voted to avert a looming strike of the nation’s railway workers by forcing a labor agreement. A bipartisan majority of senators approved a House bill that will codify a tentative agreement between the rail companies and rail unions, which was brokered in September and subsequently rejected by some of the workers. The Senate separately voted down two additional provisions to address the labor dispute: whether to institute a 60-day extension of the so-called cooling off period between both sides and whether to grant workers seven days of paid sick leave. … President Joe Biden vowed in a statement on Thursday to sign the rail agreement bill ‘as soon as it comes to my desk.'” (12/01/22)

Congress is shocked, shocked by the COVID fraud it created

by James Bovard

“Like Captain Renault in the gambling casino in ‘Casablanca,’ congressmen are ‘shocked, shocked’ by all the fraud spawned by the trillions of dollars in COVID handouts they approved. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis issued a report Thursday blaming fintech firms for the pilfering of Paycheck Protection Program loans that began in 2020. But the real fraud is the illusion that members of Congress give a damn about plundering American taxpayers. PPP was enacted in March 2020 and eventually provided $800 billion in loans to more than 11 million businesses. Congress designed the program to carpet-bomb the nation with federal tax dollars.” (12/01/22)

Ukraine war: Up to 13,000 Kyiv regime troops killed since invasion, official says

Source: Sky News [UK]

“Ukraine’s armed forces have lost up to 13,000 soldiers so far in the war against Russia, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak has said. His comments are believed to be the first estimate of dead since late August, when the head of the armed forces said nearly 9,000 military personnel had been killed. ‘We have official figures from the general staff, we have official figures from the top command, and they amount to (between) 10,000 and 12,500 to 13,000 killed,’ Mr Podolyak told the Kanal 24 channel. ‘We are open in talking about the number of dead,’ he added, saying more soldiers had been wounded than had died. … Oleksiy Arestovych, another of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s advisers, claimed on Wednesday that the Russian death toll was around seven times that of Ukraine’s.” (12/02/22)

“Free Speech” and “Permissive Platforms” Aren’t the Same Thing, But They’re Both Good

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

“‘By ‘free speech,” [Elon Musk] tweeted on April 26, ‘I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people.’ Speech regulated by law — even law that embodies ‘the will of the people,’ were there such a thing — isn’t free speech. Free speech is simply an absence: The absence of threats of force (by law or otherwise) to forbid or punish speech. I’m a big fan of free speech. … I’m also a fan of what Musk is actually defending: Twitter as a permissive platform.” (12/01/22)

Appeals court orders end to special master review process in disgraced former president’s documents case

Source: CBS News

“A three-judge federal appeals court panel in Atlanta ruled that the special master review process that oversaw the Justice Department’s use of non-classified evidence collected earlier this year at Donald Trump’s Florida residence must end. The unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit reversed the decision of Judge Aileen Cannon, a federal judge from Florida who granted Trump’s request for the review and appointed semi-retired federal Judge Raymond Dearie of New York as an independent arbiter, or special master, to sift through the documents for any that may be subject to claims of privilege by the former president. … Trump can now ask the full 11th Circuit to rehear the case or appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.” (12/01/22)

Not Even N95 Masks Work To Stop Covid

Source: Brownstone Institute
by Ian Miller

“Even though the CDC and Dr. Fauci explicitly claimed that wearing anything to cover your face would be effective at preventing transmission, many have now quietly dismissed that messaging. Fauci specifically said that ‘cloth coverings work,’ not just surgical or N95s. Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams famously suggested that rolling up a t-shirt in front of your face would be effective protection. Yet public health departments and the media are now highlighting the importance of ‘high quality,’ ‘well fitted’ masks. Their desperation to justify masking has led to remarkably poor studies being released to support their anti-science messaging. There is new research that has been released showing that masks are ineffective, regardless of type. And it’s not just new research, it’s high quality research.” (12/01/22)

South Africa: Ramaphosa faces threat of impeachment over “Farmgate”

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is facing a possible impeachment threat over the ‘Farmgate’ scandal. The president has been accused of covering up a $4m (£3.3m) theft from his farm in 2020, including kidnapping and bribing the burglars into silence. A three-volume report from an independent panel has found that Mr Ramaphosa abused his position and may have broken an anti-corruption law. He has denied wrongdoing, and said just $580,000 of cash was stolen. He said the money was from selling buffalo. The panel’s findings have been handed to parliament, which is set to examine them and decide whether or not to launch impeachment proceedings next week. The report has led to calls for him to resign.” (12/01/22)