RRND Email Full Text (Published)

  • China: Beijing, other city regimes end required COVID-19 tests for public transit

    Source: National Public Radio [US state media]

    “Chinese authorities on Saturday announced a further easing of COVID-19 curbs with major cities such as Shenzhen and Beijing no longer requiring negative tests to take public transport. The slight relaxation of testing requirements comes even as daily virus infections reach near-record highs, and follows weekend protests across the country by residents frustrated by the rigid enforcement of anti-virus restrictions that are now entering their fourth year, even as the rest of the world has opened up. … The country saw several days of protests across cities including Shanghai and Beijing, with protesters demanding an easing of COVID-19 curbs. Some demanded Chinese President Xi Jinping step down, an extraordinary show of public dissent in a society over which the ruling Communist Party exercises near total control.” (12/03/22)


  • TX: Family of entrepreneur murdered by cop say he was defending his home

    Source: Yahoo! News

    “A tech entrepreneur in Texas wasn’t given ample time to drop a rifle he was carrying on his own front porch before he was fatally shot by police last month, his devastated family told NBC News. Rajan ‘Raj’ Moonesinghe, 33, had returned from a trip and suspected his home had been burglarized during the early-morning hours of Nov. 15. That’s when he held a rifle outside his front door and was encountered by an Austin police officer who quickly shot him while almost simultaneously ordering Moonesinghe to drop the gun, relatives said.” (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)


  • 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)


  • 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)


  • 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)


  • AZ: Cochise County regime certifies election results after court order

    Source: NBC News

    “A Republican-led county in Arizona that flouted a statutory deadline for election certification ended up certifying its results Thursday shortly after a judge ordered officials there to take action. Officials in Cochise County voted 2-0 to accept the results of the Nov. 8 election, enabling statewide certification to move forward Monday. Ann English, the sole Democrat on the three-member Board of Supervisors, and Vice Chair Peggy Judd, a Republican, voted to approve the election results. GOP member Tom Crosby was absent. ‘I am not ashamed of anything I did,’ Judd said before the vote. Judd added that she felt compelled to act because of the judge’s order but doesn’t ‘like to be threatened.’ Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs sued Cochise County this week after the two Republicans on the board voted to further delay certifying the election results. The county previously postponed certification at a Nov. 18 meeting.” (12/01/22)


  • IN: AG asks medical board to discipline doctor for mentioning practicing medicine

    Source: ABC 7 Eyewitness News

    “Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita asked the state’s medical licensing board to subject abortion provider Dr. Caitlin Bernard to disciplinary sanctions as the two battle over abortion in the state. … In June, Bernard publicly disclosed that she had provided abortion care for a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio to Indiana for care. At the time, there was a six-week abortion ban in place in Ohio. … Rokita claimed he is not reporting Bernard to the medical board for performing an abortion, saying his office is not trying to expose anyone’s medical file. In a statement released Wednesday, Rokita alleges that Bernard ‘failed to uphold legal and Hippocratic responsibilities by exploiting a 10-year-old little girl’s traumatic medical story to the press for her own interests.'” (12/01/22)


  • FL: Former Gaetz associate sentenced to 11 years for sex trafficking, other crimes

    Source: Axios

    “Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Thursday for sex trafficking of a minor and other crimes, AP reports. Greenberg had been a central figure in a federal sex crimes investigation involving Gaetz, though the representative has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing. … Before the sentencing, Greenberg’s lawyer told a federal judge his client deserved leniency for his crimes because he assisted in investigations of 24 people, including eight involving sex crimes. … Greenberg’s arrest led to a federal investigation into Gaetz over allegations he paid a 17-year-old girl for sex.” (12/01/22)


  • Nigeria: Regime charges student with defamation over tweet about politician’s wife

    Source: The Guardian [UK]

    “Nigeria has charged a student with ‘criminal defamation’ over a tweet he posted about the physical appearance of the country’s first lady. Aminu Adamu was arrested at his university in northern Jigawa state on 18 November and transferred to the capital, Abuja, five months after his online post about Aisha Buhari, the president’s wife. … According to the court documents, Adamu said he had commented on a photo of the first lady on Twitter. It was not clear whether he had intended to make a joke or to accuse her of corruption.” [editor’s note: From what I can tell from other stories, none of which just come out and say it, he seems to have accused her of becoming “fat” on “poor people’s money” – TLK] (12/01/22)


  • Google appeals huge Android bribe demand to EU’s top court

    Source: Seattle Times

    “Google is challenging a record European Union antitrust fine that took aim at the Android operating system’s role in restricting mobile competition and consumer choice. The company said Thursday that it filed the appeal against the 4.125 billion euro ($4.3 billion) penalty ‘because there are areas that require legal clarification from the European Court of Justice,’ the EU’s top court. Google previously appealed to a lower tribunal, which had slightly lowered the original 4.34 billion-euro penalty in a decision largely siding with the European Commission. It’s the largest-ever antitrust fine issued by the commission, the 27-nation bloc’s top competition watchdog. In its 2018 decision, the commission found that the dominance of Google’s Android resulted in less competition and consumer choice. The U.S. tech giant had argued that free and open-source Android resulted in cheaper phones and spurred competition with its chief rival, Apple.” (12/01/22)


  • NH: Man charged after fake ad draws calls to candidate

    Source: US News & World Report

    “A New Hampshire man is accused of posting a fake Craigslist ad for a free trailer with a legislative candidate’s number on the day of the election, later telling investigators he meant it to be a joke after a flood of unwanted calls and texts jammed up the candidate’s cellphone. Michael Drouin, 30, of Merrimack, was indicted on a felony charge of interference with election communications …. The candidate, Bill Boyd, a Republican who went on to win, turned off his phone after receiving more than 37 phone calls or text messages in 45 minutes on the morning of the election, prosecutors said.” [editor’s note: I’ve been tempted to do something like this to the spam calls from Warnock’s minions; hell, I don’t even live in Georgia! – SAT] (12/01/22)


  • Key US inflation measure that the Fed follows rose 0.2% in October, less than expected

    Source: CNBC

    “Inflation rose in October about in line with estimates, sending a sign that price increases at least are stabilizing, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The core personal consumption expenditures price index, a gauge that excludes food and energy and is favored by the Federal Reserve, rose 0.2% for the month and was up 5% from a year ago. The monthly increase was below the 0.3% Dow Jones estimate, while the annual gain was in line. The gains also represent deceleration from September, which saw a monthly increase of 0.5% and an annual gain of 5.2%.” (12/01/22)


  • CT: Yale sued over student mental health policies

    Source: SFGate

    “Yale University is accused in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday of discriminating against students with mental health disabilities, including pressuring some to withdraw from the prestigious institution and then placing ‘unreasonable burdens’ on those who seek to be reinstated. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut on behalf of current and former students seeks no monetary damages. Rather, it demands changes to Yale’s withdrawal policies, including the required forfeiture of health insurance and tuition payments, among other rules. ‘Yale’s withdrawal policies and practices push students with mental health disabilities out of Yale, impose punitive consequences on students who have withdrawn, and place unreasonable burdens on students who, after a withdrawal, seek reinstatement’, according to the suit, which contends that the burden is most harsh on students ‘from less privileged backgrounds.'” (12/01/22)


  • Hong Kong: Beijing puppet court delays trial of pro-democracy publisher Jimmy Lai

    Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [Canadian state media]

    “The trial of a Hong Kong newspaper publisher who was arrested in a crackdown on a pro-democracy movement was postponed Thursday after the region’s leader asked China to effectively block him from hiring a British defence lawyer. Jimmy Lai, 74, faces a possible life sentence if convicted under a national security [sic] law imposed by the ruling Communist Party on the former British colony. The government objected after judges on Monday approved Lai’s plan to hire Timothy Owen, a veteran human rights lawyer. Chief Executive John Lee asked China’s Communist Party-controlled ceremonial legislature to decide whether foreign lawyers who didn’t normally practice in Hong Kong could be rejected for national security [sic] cases. Beijing imposed the security [sic] law after pro-democracy protests that started in 2019.” (12/01/22)


  • CO: Worker pleads guilty in election equipment tampering case

    Source: CBS News

    “A former elections manager who prosecutors say assisted in a security breach of voting equipment in a Colorado county pleaded guilty on Wednesday under a plea agreement that requires her to testify against her former boss. Sandra Brown is one of two employees accused of helping Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters allow a copy of a hard drive to be made during an update of election equipment last year in search of proof of the false conspiracy theories spun by former President Donald Trump. Brown, 45, pleaded guilty to attempting to influence a public servant, a felony, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor, but will not be sentenced until right after she testifies at Peters’ trial next year so her performance on the witness stand can be considered.” (12/01/22)


  • Europe debates: Should we ban Russians for actions of their government?

    Source: Christian Science Monitor

    “In the early weeks of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Petr Tuma, a Czech career diplomat, supported the idea of opening the European Union to Russians morally opposed to — or even simply fearful of — becoming front-line soldiers, as ‘some kind of asylum and safe haven.’ But not anymore. Nine months into the war, military-age men ‘have been in Russia long enough to express their disagreement with what’s going on.’ Most haven’t, he says. The EU is wrestling with a dilemma: to allow Russians continued access to Europe, letting them escape consequences of Putin’s war, or to cut them off, and risk losing them as potential allies in Russia. Neither does he think it’s fair to allow Russians generally — from middle-class Muscovites on holiday to potential soldiers — to travel to the EU.” (12/01/22)


  • Spain: Fifth letter bomb defused, prime minister and arms firm among targets

    Source: France 24 [French state media]

    “Bomb disposal experts defused a fifth letter bomb on Thursday as Spain stepped up security to confront a spate of explosive devices sent to high-profile targets, including the prime minister and the Ukrainian ambassador in Madrid. Early indications suggest that all five of the packages were sent from within Spain, the country’s Deputy Interior Minister told journalists. Rafael Perez, the junior minister responsible for security, said the homemade devices were sent in brown packages containing a flammable powder and tripwire that would generate ‘sudden flames’ rather than an explosion. The packages were addressed to the heads of the institutions they were sent to. Perez said one of the devices had detonated — injuring a security officer at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid, three others were detonated by the security forces in controlled explosions and one had been kept intact for investigative purposes.” (12/01/22)


  • Harris attends secretive gathering of influential Democratic donors

    Source: Fox News

    “Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday appeared at an event hosted by a shadowy group of left-wing [sic] millionaire and billionaire donors to speak ahead of their four-day conference. The Call Center Workers United Twitter account posted two photos from the event hosted by the Democracy Alliance, which included Harris holding a microphone while speaking to an audience. The name of the event is titled ‘Powering up for Democracy,’ and the screen in the background of the event shows that the four-day gathering is in Washington, D.C. ‘Our very own Katrina Berry just spoke about our Nov. 1 strike and our growing worker-led movement at #DemocracyAlliance conference,’ the tweet said. ‘She got a standing ovation from VP Harris, Jane Fonda, and more! We’re so so proud!! #1u.'” (12/01/22)


  • Babysitters to return as disgraced former president whines: Ye “tried to f*ck me”

    Source: Independent [UK]

    “The backlash over former president Donald Trump’s pre-Thanksgiving meal with antisemitic rapper Kanye West and white nationalist Nick Fuentes has led the twice-impeached ex-president’s aides to revive a 2020-era measure used to keep him from embarrassing himself while Mr Trump is reportedly blaming the disgraced musician for the negative press. According to a source who spoke to NBC News, Mr Trump has directed his anger at Mr West, who just two years ago waged a third-party presidential campaign aimed at siphoning votes off from Joe Biden to help the then-president win reelection. ‘He tried to f*** me. He’s crazy. He can’t beat me,’ the ex-president said, referring to Mr West’s stated intention to mount another campaign for the presidency with an eye towards the 2024 general election. … aides to Mr Trump are making arrangements to keep at least one staffer from his nascent presidential campaign at his side at nearly all times.” (12/01/22)


  • World court: Scant disagreement in Chile, Bolivia water row

    Source: SFGate

    “The International Court of Justice on Thursday found little to rule on in a long-running dispute over a small river which flows from Bolivia to Chile as the Latin American neighbors had mostly resolved their conflict during the proceedings. The United Nations’ highest court spent most of the hour-long hearing explaining that the two countries’ legal claims over the Silala River — a short waterway in the Atacama Desert — were ‘without objection’ as both countries have now agreed on how the water should be managed. ‘It is an international watercourse, as both parties now agree,’ said an American judge Joan E. Donoghue, who serves as the court’s president. Bolivia had initially rejected this designation since international law requires international water resources to be managed cooperatively.” (12/01/22)


  • Germany: Parliament votes to approve EU-Canada trade pact

    Source: ABC News

    “German lawmakers on Thursday approved a free-trade [sic] deal between the European Union and Canada, moving the accord a step closer to taking full effect. The pact, formally known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, was signed in late 2016. Most of its terms have been implemented provisionally since 2017, but the parliaments of the EU’s 27 member nations must ratify the deal for -it to come fully into force. … The deal eliminates almost all customs duties and increases quotas for certain key products in Canada and the EU’s respective markets.” (12/01/22)


  • Our Year-End Fundraiser is OVER!

    THANK YOU, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone who supported the freedom movement’s daily newspaper through our annual “year-end fundraiser!”

    EXTRA SPECIAL, eternal gratitude to long-time supporters RWJr, JR, and DM, who combined for a whopping $345 yesterday, pushing our total (as of 6am US Eastern time this morning) from $2403.50 to $2,748.50 … $173.50 more than we needed to reach our goal!


    With long-time supporter GL’s “matching funds” of up to $2,575, we are well past our goal of $5,150!

    The “fundraising thermometer” on our site is now green instead of red!

    This will be the last update, so I’m using up the last few exclamation marks from the box of them I bought especially for the fundraiser!!!

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU all for your support! Apart from the (very) occasional reminder that we’re a “reader-supported” publication, I won’t be yammering at you about money again until next October.

    Yours in liberty,
    Tom Knapp
    Rational Review News Digest / Freedom News Daily

  • Iran: National soccer team receives subdued welcome home

    Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    “Iran’s national soccer team received a subdued welcome home after its World Cup defeat against the United States, a match played against the backdrop of ongoing anti-government protests in Iran. The players returned to Iran late Wednesday, a day their 1-0 loss. Anti-government protesters, considering the team a symbol of the regime, had celebrated the loss in some Iranian cities with fireworks and cheers. Iran’s treatment of the players will likely be scrutinized because they refrained from singing the country’s national anthem during their opening World Cup match. Many considered the move a show of solidarity with the protests. The team did sing the anthem in subsequent matches.” (12/01/22)


  • SpaceX delays launch of Japanese moon lander again, citing rocket issues

    Source: Space.com

    “SpaceX just stood down again from the launch of a Japanese moon lander. The Hakuto-R lander, which was built by Tokyo-based company ispace, and NASA’s Lunar Flashlight cubesat were scheduled to launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Thursday (Dec. 1) at 3:37 a.m. EST (0837 GMT). But that’s no longer the plan. ‘After further inspections of the launch vehicle and data review, we’re standing down from tomorrow’s launch of @ispace_inc’s HAKUTO-R Mission 1; a new target launch date will be shared once confirmed,’ SpaceX announced via Twitter on Wednesday evening. It was the second such delay for the mission: It was originally supposed to launch early Wednesday (Nov. 30), but SpaceX pushed things back a day ‘to allow for additional pre-flight checkouts.'” (11/30/22)


  • The Decline of Higher Education

    Source: City Journal
    by John Ellis

    “In the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties, academic-freedom disputes routinely took a particular shape. In a small town, somewhere in the heartland, there would be a college campus on which a young academic loudly voiced his opinions on controversial matters — mostly political, but sometimes also on sexual morality, or even on legalizing drugs. This would offend the sensitivities of some local townspeople. Someone like the local mayor would lean on the college president (probably a personal friend), the president would then lean on the department chair, and the young professor was soon gone. The American Association of University Professors would then intervene, and the individual would be reinstated, because the AAUP would in effect threaten blacklisting. Reports of cases like this were reasonably common.” (12/03/22)


  • George Orwell, Call Your Venezuelan Office

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “It appears that the American people are being prepared for a change of mindsets. After many years of treating Venezuela as an enemy, opponent, adversary, competitor, and rival, it seems that U.S. officials are now changing course and paving the way toward converting Venezuela to a friend, partner, and ally. George Orwell, please call your office in Venezuela. Now that the American people will be expected to abandon the deep hostility toward Venezuela that has long been inculcated in them, there is a strong likelihood that the U.S. will also change its attitudes toward Eastasia and Eurasia.” (12/02/22)


  • The Far Right Is Getting What It Asked For

    Source: The Atlantic
    by Charlie Warzel

    “Ye’s Infowars disaster is emblematic of something that seems to be happening across the far right. Although their messaging is always noxious and hateful, right-wing shock jocks and politicians like to employ thinly veiled innuendo and dog whistles to rally their audience. The game is to push the boundaries of social acceptability but leave just enough room to deny culpability when things go off the rails. Then they can blame political opponents for bias and censorship when they’re criticized or suspended by the supposedly ‘woke’ left. But things are taking a turn, and it’s not just about Ye. … It’s a dog-catches-car moment: Republicans are getting what they asked (and tweeted) for, and finding that it makes them uncomfortable by association (in public at least).” (12/02/22)


  • How We Recraft Dr. Fauci’s Position Matters So Much

    Source: Independent Institute
    by K Lloyd Billingsley

    “After more than fifty years in government and 38 years as head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Dr. Anthony Fauci is finally heading for the door. Raymond J. March contends that deciding Fauci’s replacement is an important matter. His replacement will mean little without key reforms to Fauci’s position. … The new NIAID boss should be under a five-year contract, renewable only once and subject to performance review.” (12/02/22)


  • Commerce investigation: Chinese Solar Manufacturers Cheated to Avoid Duties

    Source: The American Prospect
    by David Dayen

    “Preliminary findings from a Commerce Department investigation into trade violations in the solar industry show that four companies based in Southeast Asia have circumvented decade-old anti-dumping and countervailing duties, by serving as a transshipment point for imports of Chinese solar components. The investigation was a source of controversy, as large solar installers in the U.S. claimed it was leading to delays in projects. The main solar trade group driving the controversy, the Solar Energy Industries Association, counts as members the parent companies of the firms that Commerce has found to be circumventing duties and violating U.S. trade law: BYD, Canadian Solar, Trina Solar, and LONGi Solar. Duties on solar imports from China have been imposed since 2012, a result of the fact that China gave illegal subsidies to its manufacturers and dumped cheap solar panels on world markets to gather market share.” (12/04/22)


  • 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)


  • Congress is shocked, shocked by the COVID fraud it created

    Source: JimBovard.com
    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)


  • “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)


  • 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)


  • After Mahsa Amini, Iran’s anti-clerical tradition returns with a vengeance

    Source: Responsible Statecraft
    by John Limbert

    “The Islamic Republic must have a death wish. Faced with an abusive and out-of-control morality police force, the brutal and tragic death of the young Mahsa Amini, and an angry popula­tion, the response should have been obvious: appoint a com­mis­sion to investigate (and whitewash); punish a few lower-level officials; and get the hated ‘guidance patrols’ off the streets, where they have become the focus of popular grievance. Instead, the authorities, oblivious to the obvious, declared war against their own people, answering protesters with bullets, bullies, and brutality. … The pro­testers are threatening the foundations of a system that has kept a few senior clergymen in their offices and villas, which, after so long a time, they have come to see as their preroga­tives.” (12/01/22)


  • “Failure Theater” Is Back, and Look Who’s Doing the Failing

    Source: Commentary
    by Noah Rothman

    “Politico reports this week that the Republican National Committee is conducting a ‘review of the party’s performance’ in the midterms, and they’re bringing in a dozen Republicans from across the party’s ideological spectrum to assist. There’s nothing wrong with that, barring the axiomatic caveat that a statement drafted by committee will say less in direct proportion to the number of voices contributing to it. The council will ‘help chart a winning course in the years to come.’ That suggests, at a minimum, its members should know something about winning elections. Most of them do, or are, at least, invested in victorious outcomes. But the bizarre inclusion of Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters on the team suggests this enterprise is willing to entertain losers, too. … what does Masters bring to the table (besides being a token representative of a very loud albatross around the GOP’s neck)? Excuses.” (12/01/22)


  • Why this doctor applauds Elon Musk ending Twitter’s COVID “misinformation” ban

    Source: New York Post
    By Marc Siegel

    “Elon Musk’s decision to remove Twitter’s COVID ‘misleading information protocol’ should be applauded not attacked, as it’s been in the media. His move is a nod to free speech and, more important, to the idea that when you assert people are spreading misinformation there’s an implicit understanding you know the truth and they don’t. This is dangerous posturing because the truth itself is often flexible, changeable, dependent on vantage point, never certain — especially in the case of a virus we are still learning about, with no consensus on effective public-health protocol or absolute measures to prevent spread. When it comes to COVID, what was yesterday’s misinformation has become tomorrow’s truth and vice versa, a reality that goes beyond Anthony Fauci’s and others’ infamous flip-flopping on masks.” (11/30/22)


  • China’s Protests Punch a Hole in Xi’s Credibility

    Source: Foreign Policy
    by Deng Yuwen

    “Students and members of the public have taken to the streets in major cities across China, with protesters in Shanghai calling for Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to step down — a rare sight in China, where protest is strictly curtailed. … Commentators calling these the largest protests since 1989 are mistaken. The Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao years saw mass protests that drew tens of thousands of participants or more, destroyed local government offices, and had to be put down by armed police. The crowds in videos emerging from protests … are generally small, ranging from several hundred to over a thousand. Rather, it is Xi’s heavy-handed suppression of social dissent over his time in office and his concomitant expansion of public expenditures and targeted poverty alleviation, buying the affections of the underclasses and all but eliminating open public protest, that makes the current wave of protests significant.” (12/01/22)


  • Eight Reasons Why Now Is a Good Time for a Ukraine Ceasefire & Peace Talks

    Source: Common Dreams
    by Medea Benjamin & Nicolas JS Davies

    “As the war in Ukraine has dragged on for nine months and a cold winter is setting in, people all over the world are calling for a Christmas truce, harkening back to the inspirational Christmas Truce of 1914. In the midst of World War I, warring soldiers put down their guns and celebrated the holiday together in the no-man’s land between their trenches. This spontaneous reconciliation and fraternization has been, over the years, a symbol of hope and courage. Here are eight reasons why this holiday season too offers the potential for peace and a chance to move the conflict in Ukraine from the battlefield to the negotiating table …” (12/01/22)


  • Here’s How We Make Housing Affordable Again

    Source: Libertarian Institute
    by Vanessa Brown Calder

    “Between federal and local policy reforms, there are abundant opportunities for policymakers to improve housing affordability for families. In order to increase housing affordability for families, policymakers should eliminate zoning and land use regulations, make TCJA reforms to property and mortgage interest deductions permanent, eliminate Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum and Section 301 tariffs on Chinese imports, end Department of Commerce policies that ensure antidumping and countervailing duty restrictions, and pass federal land reform legislation, like the HOUSES Act, among other things.” (12/01/22)


  • Rotten Apple

    Source: Common Sense
    by Paul Jacob

    “Apple Inc. has a good side and a bad side. A strong work ethic, oodles of innovativeness, much neat technology. But a taste for censorship and a willingness to abet the censorious efforts of China’s totalitarians. One manifestation of Apple’s contempt for unfettered discourse? Its apparent threat to kick the Twitter app off the iOS platform now that Twitter is run by someone friendlier to freedom of speech than the previous management.” (12/01/22)


  • Is Solar the New Snake Oil?

    Source: The Pamphleteer
    by Davis Hunt

    “Last Tuesday, General Skrmetti joined eight other attorneys general in sending a letter urging a handful of solar lending companies to suspend loan payments and interest for those financing a purchase from a solar company called Pink Energy. After an onslaught of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Pink Energy, a solar installation company, filed for bankruptcy and closed their doors this October. With 27 former locations in Tennessee, the multistate business was touted as Music City’s ‘premier solar company.’ That is, until Pink Energy locations began closing down and Tennesseans began filing complaints. ‘What do we do now? I’m paying money for basically a paperweight on my roof,’ Geoff Edwards told WSMV back in October after the Pink Energy location in Murfreesboro disconnected its phones and shut its doors with no formal announcement made to local customers.” [editor’s note: So PE is the new Solyndra? – SAT] (12/01/22)


  • Expanding the child tax credit is a terrible bipartisan idea

    Source: Orange County Register
    by Veronique de Rugy

    “Democrats have lost the House of Representatives and, along with it, the chance to pass more of their preferred policies in 2023. This makes the ‘lame duck’ period before the January arrival of the new Congress their last opportunity to fully control Capitol Hill for a while. It’s also a chance for outgoing legislators from either party to pretty much do as they please. My fear is that the outgoing majority will, with the help of some misguided Republicans, push for a disastrous expansion of the child tax credit. Such a measure would revive the expanded credit passed by Congress in the American Rescue Plan of 2021, under the cover of the pandemic.” (12/01/22)


  • Senator Markey Takes a Dive

    Source: EconLog
    by Roger Koppl & Abigail Devereaux

    “Diving is an important skill in soccer. No one has touched you, but, like a toddler throwing a tantrum, you throw yourself on the ground and cry out in faux agony …. If you do it right, the referee will think there has been a serious foul and penalize the opposing team. It’s not fair play, but it’s part of the game. Diving is part of the game of politics as well, and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey is a master. … he sent Twitter owner Elon Musk a letter howling over ‘a fake Twitter account in my name.’ And it had a blue check! … [The] error was quickly corrected, and no harm came to Markey or his career. The account was created by a Washington Post reporter who acted ‘with the permission of a U.S. senator, Edward J. Markey.'” (12/01/22)


  • NATO Exists To Solve The Problems Created By NATO’s Existence

    Source: Caitlin Johnstone, Rogue Journalist
    by Caitlin Johnstone

    “NATO has doubled down on its determination to eventually add Ukraine to its membership, renewing its 2008 commitment to that goal in a meeting between the foreign ministers of the alliance in Bucharest, Romania this past Tuesday. … It has become fashionable among the mainstream western commentariat to claim that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had nothing to do with NATO expansion, but as recently explained by Philippe Lemoine for the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, that’s a completely false narrative that requires snipping past comments made by Putin out of the context in which they were made. Many western experts warned for years in advance that NATO expansion would lead to a conflict like the one we’re seeing today, and they were of course correct.” (12/01/22)


  • A Voice of Sanity in the Ukraine War

    Source: CounterPunch
    by Ellen Taylor

    “The Monroe Doctrine has been a No-Trespassing sign nailed to the gate of US foreign policy for almost 300 years. Naval exercises are performed by the US in places like the Yellow and South China Seas. Enacted by other countries off our coasts, however, they would be unthinkable. Take the Cuban missile crisis, for instance, in which the USSR placed missiles in Cuba as a tit-for-tat retort to the US placement of nukes in Turkey. It almost destroyed the planet. When it comes to other countries’ security needs, however, US ignores their demand for equivalent safety.” (12/01/22)


  • January 6 Was Not a Seditious Conspiracy

    Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
    by Jacob G Hornberger

    “Simply because two people are convicted of seditious conspiracy doesn’t mean that the thousands of other people involved in the Capitol protests are also guilty of seditious conspiracy. The convictions apply only to the people who are convicted, not to the thousands of other people who aren’t convicted. In other words, you can have a situation where thousands of people have no intention whatsoever of committing seditious conspiracy and who are simply protesting some governmental action. At the same time and in that same situation, you can have two people who are conspiring to commit sedition.” (12/01/22)


  • It’s Time for Congress to Ban Earmarks

    Source: Cato Institute
    by Romina Boccia

    “Last month, Republicans won majority control of the House of Representatives after price inflation hit a 40‐​year high, squeezing family budgets and creating economic uncertainty. An overwhelming majority of voters — 78 percent, according to a pre‐​election Politico poll — listed inflation and the economy as their top motivating concerns. Republicans now have an opportunity to put an end to the excessive spending that’s contributing to rising prices. Banning earmarks should be their first step.” (12/01/22)


  • The left [sic] cannot condemn heinous acts if it means agreeing with a Republican

    Source: Fox News
    by Greg Gutfeld

    “Let’s talk about pedophilia. One of the all-time great, you know, pickup lines. So, you know, the whole Balenciaga story, they did a photo shoot with kids that involved stuffed animals in bondage gear. … That was the weird part, the whole child porn case thing. So Balenciaga went into crisis mode, throwing everyone else under the bus until they realized it was a bus full of kids. Hopelessly cornered, they then apologized. But that’s not what this monologue is about, it’s about what really troubles the left [sic]. It’s never the crime or the criminal, it’s about when such incidents force them to agree with conservatives [sic], and they hate that. … But they can’t agree with the right because then they lose their cachet. So they won’t.” (12/01/22)


  • The crypto dollars in politics flowed to Republicans, too

    Source: Washington Post
    by Jim Geraghty

    “Sam Bankman-Fried deserves all the grief he’s getting, and it is good to see lawmakers symbolically returning donations from FTX executives by donating equivalent amounts to charity. Bankman-Fried was among the biggest donors to Democrats this past election cycle, distributing more than $40 million through direct contributions and super PACs. But Bankman-Fried said he gave to more than Democrats. He … donated ‘about the same amount of money’ to Republicans. That $40 million went unnoticed because all his Republican donations were ‘dark money,’ he said. And there’s another key figure at FTX, executive Ryan Salame, who gave roughly $24 million to Republicans this past cycle and who has, so far, largely avoided being a face of the FTX debacle. … Bankman-Fried and Salame were essentially two giant piles of money oozing around Washington, asking who wanted to be friends.” (12/01/22)


  • Watching China’s Protests: First Do No Harm

    Source: The American Conservative
    by Doug Bandow

    “Scarcely a month after the People’s Republic of China held its party congress and anointed Xi Jinping dictator-for-life, streets across the country filled with protestors. Their anger surged across geography, wealth, and class, fed by continued Covid lockdowns and destruction of normal civic life based on propinquity to someone who might have been in the same room as a person with possible Covid symptoms sometime in the previous several months. Most ominous for the Chinese Communist Party were demonstrators denouncing dictatorship, Xi, and the CCP, and demanding freedom of expression, democracy, and the rule of law. … Most Americans would like to help, but proposals to intervene are myopic, even reckless. There is little meaningful that Washington can do.” (12/01/22)


  • The “Dobbs” Promise Gets Tested at the Supreme Court

    Source: The American Prospect
    by Marc Spindelman

    “The Respect for Marriage Act’s enhanced statutory protections for the right to marry are a legislative response to concerns generated by the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling about the future of LGBTQ constitutional rights. Although Dobbs repeatedly promised that its elimination of constitutional abortion protections ‘unequivocally’ didn’t ‘cast doubt on’ pro-LGBTQ constitutional decisions, its conservative constitutionalism and disregard for past rulings made it risky to rely on assurances that LGBTQ marriages and families are safe. In 303 Creative v. Elenis, slated for oral arguments next week, the Court has a chance to redeem its word by protecting LGBTQ equality again. If bets are right, however, and the case yields new First Amendment free-speech exemptions to Colorado’s public accommodations law, the Court will squander the chance.” [editor’s note: If they uphold Freedom of Association, for PRIVATE sector actions, they will be upholding the First Amendment – SAT] (12/01/22)


  • How the Supreme Court Could Reshape Social Media

    Source: The Dispatch
    by Andrew Egger & Harvest Prude

    “A pair of cases on the [US Supreme C]ourt’s current docket, Gonzalez v. Google and Twitter v. Taamneh, question when tech giants can be held civilly liable for content posted to their platforms. In each case, the initial plaintiffs were American family members of people killed in terrorist acts abroad. They sued tech giants — Google in the former case; Google, Facebook, and Twitter in the latter — over allegedly permitting content supportive of terrorism to proliferate on their social media sites. … lower courts have long ruled that internet companies that host user-generated content can’t be held liable as accessories for crimes users used their platforms to commit. But these matters have never been litigated at the Supreme Court.” (12/01/22)


  • Stoltenberg’s Provocative Pledge on Ukraine’s NATO Membership

    Source: Antiwar.com
    by Ted Snider

    “At the NATO foreign ministers’ summit in Bucharest on November 29, both the foreign ministers of the member states and the Secretary-General of NATO, General Jens Stoltenberg, renewed NATO’s 2008 pledge to welcome Ukraine into NATO. But Stoltenberg’s comments were provocative and insincere in at least three ways.” (12/01/22)


  • Trouble in the Midlands

    Source: Quillette
    by Hardeep Singh

    “In 2013, David Faggard, then a major in the US Air Force, wrote a paper for the Military Review about an online phenomenon called ‘social swarming.’ In conventional warfare terms, swarming describes a battlefield tactic designed to inflict maximum damage on a target by overwhelming it with a coordinated deployment of all available assets. Faggard suggested that future conflicts will involve ‘mobile-media wielding e-citizen soldiers employing social swarming tactics to overwhelm a system, a decision maker or a critical node.’ If the ‘swarm’ managed to transition from an online setting to the real world, he warned, ‘violence may ensue.’ Although his paper focused on the Arab Spring and countries like Iran, Pakistan, and Russia, a recent report shows that ‘social swarming’ can be helpful to understanding Western unrest, such as the violent clashes between the Muslim and Hindu communities that broke out in the UK during August and September of this year.” (11/30/22)


  • Is Nancy Pelosi Stupid or Does She Just Know Her Supporters Are?

    Source: Town Hall
    by Derek Hunter

    “It’s an age-old question: Are Democrat politicians really that stupid, or do they just know their voters are? There is no wrong answer. Joe Biden personifies this dilemma — a wildly stupid man with full-blown dementia, it’s tough to assign motive to anything dumb he does or says because it could be either of those options. He’s been dumb much longer than he’s been senile, but he is very senile. It’s impossible to know which factor is more to blame for his, say, ignoring the existence of his grandchild Hunter had with a stripper then denied the paternity of. Actually, in that case it could just be that Joe Biden is a jerk. Other politicians, those with a sense of self and awareness of their surroundings, make it difficult to know if they’re really that dumb or they know their followers are.” (12/01/22)


  • The 1962 Sino-Indian War and the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Source: Hoover Institution
    by Miles Maochun Yu

    “No country has been more aggressive toward its neighbors than communist China. In its seven decades of existence, the Beijing government has conducted more military actions against its neighbors than any other major country in the world — ranging from full-scale invasions, such as against India (1962) and Vietnam (1979, 1980s), to military actions of dangerous brinksmanship that nearly dragged the world to nuclear Armageddon, such as China’s bloody fights with the Soviet Union (1969) and its decades-long armed conflicts against U.S.-supported Taiwan (1954, 1958, 1995, 1996). One of the telling episodes that can inform the CCP’s peculiar way of war is the 1962 Sino-Indian war.” (11/30/22)


  • There’s No Natural “Carrying Capacity” for the Human Population

    Source: American Institute for Economic Research
    by Donald J Boudreaux

    “The late, great Julian Simon spent decades battling intellectually against biologists and zoologists who were convinced that human population growth, if governments did not hold it in check with draconian measures, would spell doom for multitudes of humans. … These students of animal development and behavior insist that every species inhabits an environment with a natural ‘carrying capacity.’ If the population of a species grows in number beyond the limits of its environment’s carrying capacity, the death rate of members of that species will rise, while its members’ birth rate fall …. Contrary to what most people seem to believe, we don’t obtain resources from an existing stock created for us by nature, leaving fewer resources available for use tomorrow each time we withdraw some amount for our use today. Instead, resources are ultimately fruits of the human mind and effort.” (11/30/22)


  • Why Does Who Replaces Dr. Fauci Matter So Much?

    Source: Independent Institute
    by Raymond J March

    “Regardless of anyone’s opinion of the man, he has become a legendary figure. He’s had a children’s book, a documentary, adorning yard signs, and clothes to ‘flaunt the Fauci’ made in appreciation. Consequently, who replaces him has become an often-asked question. Some contend nobody could wear all of Dr. Fauci’s hats successfully, and it will take a team to replace him. Others fear the polarized political environment will stop talented candidates from wanting the job. Whoever fills his shoes will likely have to be a highly accomplished scientist, a well-respected physician, and have extensive public sector experience. Who will replace Dr. Fauci is a vitally important question for politicians and health policymakers. And that’s deeply concerning.” (11/30/22)


  • Britain May Be Headed Toward a “De Facto General Strike”

    Source: In These Times
    by Marcus Barnett

    “In Britain today, anyone asking a worker about the direction the country is headed will be unlikely to receive a printable answer. Stumbling from crisis to crisis, the country is on its third prime minister of the year. Energy bills have skyrocketed by 96% since last winter, and rent has shot up by as much as 20%, while inflation – which currently stands at 12.3% – has been predicted to rise as high as 18% by the first few months of 2023. … An analysis by the Trades Unions Congress (TUC, the British equivalent of the AFL-CIO) released earlier this year found that British workers earned £60 ($70) less per month in real wages in 2021 than at the start of the financial crisis in 2008 – the longest wage slump since the Napoleonic Era.” (11/29/22)