Commentary: The Federal Trade Commission Shouldn’t Be a Lawless Agency

The Federal Trade Commission has been on the march.  Over the past month, the Commission has held two “open” meetings, rescinded two major bipartisan agreements by party-line vote, and positioned itself to write regulations for the first time in decades.

In the words of a former commissioner, the current FTC is “Icarus flying without the constraints of history, economics, or law.”  He predicts that its “regulatory overreach…will end with the FTC’s wings melting in the courts.”

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Commentary: White Privilege and the Layers of False Ideology that Support Its Concept

Group of kids playing with a rainbow parachute cloth in a field

White privilege is a myth. A relic of a time that no longer exists and that none of us living and raising kids today have ever really experienced. There was once a time when legal and cultural advantages were offered to whites, but those days are gone and pretending otherwise is causing great damage to children and our society.

White Privilege Talk Harms Children Psychologically

White privilege is a concept which hurts both white and non-white children, albeit in different ways. For white children, you steal from them the ability to feel pride in who they are, their ancestors, and in their cultural inheritance. Certainly every nation and people can find stains in its history. The past was a violent and merciless place in which all sides are implicated.

White privilege requires that children of European descent are never allowed to feel deserving of what they, their parents, or their ancestors have achieved. They are never allowed to believe that they have rightfully earned anything. Consequently, they are pressured to actively give up what is theirs in penitence. This is obviously damaging and abusive for a child to endure.

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Commentary: Taxpayers End up Paying off the Insane Tuition Costs of Grad Programs at Elite Colleges

A see of college graduates at the commencement ceremony.

“Columbia and other wealthy universities steer master’s students to federal loans that can exceed $250,000. After graduation, many learn the debt is well beyond their means,” notes the Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reports on Columbia University’s Master of Fine Arts Film program, one of the worst examples, in an article titled “Financially Hobbled for Life: The Elite Master’s Degrees That Don’t Pay Off”:

Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.

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Commentary: A January 6 Detainee Speaks Out

Joe Biden’s Justice Department notched another victory last week in the agency’s sprawling investigation into the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill against Biden’s presidency.

On Wednesday, Michael Curzio pleaded guilty to one count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in the Capitol building. The government offered the plea deal to Curzio’s court-appointed attorney in June; Curzio faced four misdemeanor charges, including trespassing and disorderly conduct, for his role in the Capitol breach.

Curzio will pay the government “restitution” in the amount of $500 to help pay for the nearly $1.5 million in damages the building reportedly sustained. (The Architect of the Capitol initially said the protest caused $30 million in damages but prosecutors have set the figure far lower.)

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Commentary: Biden Has Given Putin a Huge Win on the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

For years, Democrats and their cable news echo chamber conjured up and broadly disseminated the most lurid and patently ludicrous rumors about former President Donald Trump being a corrupted and (literally) compromised agent of Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. Democratic talking heads ultimately tried in vain to distance themselves from this sordid oeuvre‘s most far-fetched talking points, such as the infamous “pee video kompromat” from the discredited Steele dossier. But for four years, Democrats’ unquenchable obsession with the “Russiagate” hoax pervaded, distorted and sullied our politics.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Critical Race Theory Can Only Hurt the Military and the Country

Guy in military uniform

Critical race theory has now taken hold in the U.S. military. And I have to say, I find it perplexing. My father served for three decades in the U.S. Army. I grew up understanding that the military is about forming a bond, a unit, a team working toward the same goals and protecting each other while achieving them.

So, you can imagine my shock when I started to learn how seriously the leaders at the Pentagon were starting to integrate critical race theory (CRT) in their curriculua. In fact, a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Lynne Chandler Garcia, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, “I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy.”

As Mark Davis opined in Newsweek, “Finding such warped content in today’s liberal college classrooms is not surprising. But finding it at the U.S. Air Force Academy is unacceptable.” I couldn’t agree more.

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Commentary: Supreme Court Raised the Bar for Challenge to Georgia Election Law

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee has prompted extensive commentary about the implications for future challenges to election laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Litigants arguing that some laws, such as Georgia’s newly enacted SB 202, disproportionately affect racial minorities may have a greater challenge meeting the standard set forth by the court than the standard that some lower courts had been using in recent years.

But while the justices split on a 6-3 vote on whether a pair of Arizona statutes ran afoul of the Act, it voted 6-0 (with three justices not addressing the question) in concluding that Arizona did not act with discriminatory intent. This holding sets the stage for the Justice Department’s recent lawsuit against Georgia, and it offers hints at how district courts and reviewing courts should behave. In short, the Justice Department has an uphill battle.

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Commentary: America’s Revolutionary Beginnings

Boston Tea Party

Warren climbed the wide steps from Marlborough Street to the door of the Province House, the old mansion with its Tudor-style chimney stacks and ornate gables built a century ago by a wealthy Boston merchant. But for generations now it had been the residence of the royal governors of Massachusetts. For a moment he studied the large royal seal affixed over the door, a reminder of the awesome empire that the governor represented, then looked above it to the eight-sided cupola crowning the mansion, noting the weathervane at the very top shifting in the breeze.

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Commentary: The Liz Cheney Meltdown, and What It Means

Liz Cheney

Bye, Liz.

The abject implosion of a politician once thought to possess national prospects — though not due to her talent but rather her name and connections — might have been overshadowed by the alarming performance just a few hours later by our near-invalid president. But Liz Cheney’s bizarre performance on the U.S. Capitol steps Wednesday was nonetheless notable.

If you haven’t followed the lead-up to Wednesday’s meltdown, it involved the sham 9/11 Commission–style inquiry being built to examine the Capitol riot of Jan. 6. That inquiry, to be chaired by partisan hack Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson on behalf of Nancy Pelosi, is obviously not built to fully examine what happened that day; it’s built to assign blame to the Republican Party for what Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat Party is determined to present as a casus belli against half of the American people.

Pelosi’s Jan. 6 commission is a big deal, because she has turned the Capitol into an armed camp behind razor wire for most of the past six months and change over the dubious assertion that the protesters who descended on the building and briefly disrupted the vote to certify a presidential election that still reeks of irregularity and worse presented an “insurrection” and a “grave threat to democracy” to trump (pun not intended, but whatever) anything else since the Civil War.

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Commentary: Biden Gaffe Renews Questions About COVID Transparency

Joe Biden smiling at crowd

President Biden so desperately wants the vaccine-hesitant part of the country to get their shots that he may have spread a little misinformation. “You are not going to get COVID,” he promised during a CNN town-event Wednesday night, “if you have these vaccines.”

Of course, this is not true. Biden knows it. He said as much later during the forum, explaining that, while vaccinated individuals enjoy significant protections, they can still test positive for the virus. But even if that happens, the president pointed out, the vaccine largely mitigates the most serious dangers. “You are not going to be hospitalized,” he said, reciting the latest scientific consensus. “You are not going to be in the IC unit, and you are not going to die.”

The fact that fully vaccinated individuals can still contract the coronavirus is a medical reality. It has also led to more uncomfortable questions about transparency for the Biden administration.

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Commentary: No Longer ‘Democrats’

Democrats No Longer

In the old days, Democrats had predictable agendas, supposedly focused on individual rights, the “little guy,” and distrust of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.

The Left, often on spec, blasted the wealthy, whether the “lucre” was self-made or inherited. The old-money rich were lampooned as idle drones.

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Commentary: Attend a School Board Meeting

If you want to know, up close and personal, the banality of evil, attend a school board meeting. With critical race theory and forced vaccination and masking all the rage, I did just that last night.

This board meeting wasn’t my first. When I was a kid, my dad ran for school board and won after a terrible teacher (a feel-good hippie) allowed one of my classmates to steal my work all year and put his name on it. Said teacher taught us second-graders macramé and little else. My family had moved from a high-performing school district to this less-than-stellar place. For about three years, I learned nothing new. My parents were incensed. So my dad ran for board treasurer, got elected, and promptly pissed everyone off.

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Commentary: White House Collusion with Facebook Is Not About Public Health

Last Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki revealed that the Biden administration will partner with Facebook and other social media platforms to surveil COVID-related posts. They plan to flag and censor people whom the administration considers to be purveyors of COVID “disinformation” or “misinformation.”

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Commentary: America Needs to Take China’s Military Threats Seriously

Soldiers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army

During his presidency, Barack Obama, in his infinite wisdom, liked to tell us that wars are passé and publicly chided Russia’s Vladimir Putin for acting like a relic of the 20th century. Privately, Obama seems to have been aware of the extremely dangerous situations he helped create in Iran, Syria, Russia, and China, and told Trump during their 2016 transition talks that war was likely with North Korea.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Misery Index Rises

Biden Misery Index

This column is becoming a weekly checklist on the descent of American public policy and attitudes further into the depths of frivolity, chaos, and national self-dislike. I was honored to make a small contribution last week to the edition of this website celebrating its fifth anniversary. In the editors’ statement on that anniversary, they renewed their hostility to the ineptitude and moral decrepitude of the bipartisan ruling class, their “opposition to the unaccountable administrative state,” their dislike of an American oligarchy, particularly the “Big Tech monopoly to suppress disagreement,” and their contempt for “pernicious utopian ideologies.” It is a privilege to be associated with such opinions.

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Commentary: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journalism Professors Protest ‘Objectivity’ in News Reporting

Carroll Hall UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Journalism professors at UNC Chapel Hill are protesting a “core values” statement that upholds objectivity as a key tenet of news reporting.

Faculty members of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media converged last week to bemoan a statement of values that’s etched in granite and is found in the lobby of their school.

The core values statement, installed two years ago, touts objectivity, impartiality, integrity and truth-seeking, and after their kvetching session that statement was reportedly scrapped from the school’s website, the News & Observer reports.

In 2019, Walter Hussman, a UNC alumnus and owner of a media conglomerate of newspapers and other media outlets, donated $25 million to the UNC journalism school. Part of the donation contract installed those values into the school’s wall and mission, according to UNC’s website.

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Commentary: Why Are Defense Department Schools Transitioning Students’ Gender Behind Parents’ Backs?

DODEA Schools Transgenderism

Our men and women in uniform are prepared to lay their lives on the line every day to uphold the Constitution and protect the nation from enemies who would do us harm, but what many service members may not realize is that a personal threat to their families exists much closer to home.

As parental outrage with “progressive” curriculums—for example, comprehensive sex education, gender identity, and “anti-racist” programs—sweeps across the country, military parents have good reasons to be up in arms.

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Commentary: The Cuban Revolution Won’t Be Televised

Cuban Flag on Pole

Citizens charged their government with repression. The rebuttal came via a truncheon. Some people miss their own irony.

The Cuban government killed one protester, roughed up cameramen for the Associated Press, abducted citizens from their homes, and shut down the internet in response to demonstrations that erupted last weekend. “The order to fight has been given,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced. “Into the street, revolutionaries!”

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Commentary: Incommensurability in 2021 American Politics

American Flag at US Capitol

The ubiquitous term “paradigm” and the concept of “paradigm shifts,” were popularized by the historian and philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. He used them to characterize, roughly, a scientific theory’s fundamental elements and the changes in fundamental elements that occur with scientific revolutions and changes in theory.

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Commentary: Despite What Biden Says, Guns Factor in Only a Small Percentage of Violent Crimes

Police Car

In response to sharp increases in violent crime, President Biden stressed again last week that his administration is focused on “stemming the flow of firearms used to commit violent crimes.”  But critics warn that this “guns first” approach ignores a basic fact – about 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms.

Although firearms were used in about 74% of homicides in 2019, they comprise less than 9% of violent crimes in America.

The vast majority of violent offenses – including robberies, rapes and other sex crimes – almost always involve other weapons or no weapons at all.

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Commentary: Critical Race Enthusiasts Should Learn the Lesson of ‘Defund the Police’

Crowd of people in the streets, protesting and Black Lives Matter movement

A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.

Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).

What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.  

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Commentary: Confronting Teacher Union Twaddle

Randi Weingarten at AFGE

Randi Weingarten, the gaffe-prone president of the American Federation of Teachers has outdone herself, and that isn’t easy. In a series of seven open letters over the years, I have playfully chided the union boss about her trove of inane and bizarre musings. But now she has jumped the proverbial shark.

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Commentary: Income Inequality in America Related to Deaths

Holding Hands

The top quarter of American income earners can expect to live a decade longer than the bottom quarter, medical research shows. This health disparity seems downright cruel. Not only do those in poverty have to pay more for things like credit and insurance, they also pay more years to the Grim Reaper.

Unlike income inequality, transferring years of life from the rich to the poor is not a feasible option. To find a real solution, we must know what drives the inequity.

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Commentary: The National Security Agency and Tucker Carlson Controversy

Tucker Carlson vs. NSA

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s charge that the National Security Agency illegally spied on him and leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought “to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American,” declared MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectively claiming that “I’m not a crazy person overstating a case!”

When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?

The Carlson controversy cannot be understood outside the context of perennial NSA abuses. The NSA possesses a “repository capable of taking in 20 billion ‘record events’ daily and making them available to NSA analysts within 60 minutes,” the New York Times reported. The NSA is able to snare and stockpile many orders of magnitude times more information than did East Germany’s Stasi secret police, one of the most odious agencies of the post-war era.

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Commentary: One State Can Make a Difference

Farmer on a tractor, tilling field

Late last month, Montana ended its participation in the extended federal unemployment benefits program. No surprise this event was little noted in the national press, since Montana’s decision to exit the program had a direct effect on fewer than 20,000 people (the total unemployed population of Montana). Yet Montana’s decision had an enormous effect on the country as a whole.

Particularly for those inside the Beltway, it is easy to focus on Washington, D.C. as the only place where policymaking matters. And with an administration desperate to centralize power as it prints ever-growing piles of money with which it hopes to bribe or threaten states and localities, such an attitude is understandable. Recent developments in states like Montana far outside the beltway, however, show how national political innovations can be driven by states with smaller populations far from the beltway swamp and present conservatives with a path for political success. 

While elections in Montana often are driven by local and idiosyncratic issues as well as personal relationships (understandable in a state with some of America’s least populated state house and senate districts), Montana is and has long been a very red state. The only Democratic presidential candidate since 1948 to win a majority here was Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 landslide win over Barry Goldwater. It is much easier to convince and move 1 million people in Montana than 332 million Americans. And yet by moving 1 million Montanans (or 800,000 South Dakotans) or 1.8 million Idahoans, the Right can often exercise an outsized influence on the national debate. 

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Commentary: The Agenda Worse Than Critical Race Theory

BLM Protest in Denver

Few notice what is taught in school until it is too late. Today’s push for Critical Race Theory (CRT) is extraordinarily ambitious, and it is hard for defenders of traditional education to imagine anything more toxic than this theory that has seemingly burst on the scene.

But, as bad as it may seem, CRT is not thene plus ultra of pernicious radical ideology. It can get worse, and it is delusional to believe that just because a given idea is incredibly stupid and destructive, it is therefore impossible for something worse to come along. If that were true, today’s PC madness would have died out decades ago.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Mind of a Writer

Macbook pro with cup of black coffee and notepad next to it

The late Kurt Vonnegut had a simple yet profound approach to writing. “When I write,” he said, “I simply become what I seemingly must become.”

Stephen Hunter, another great American writer, has a similar approach to his craft today. His process isn’t so much about writing prose or creating plot or conducting research. What really matters, he says, is that the book becomes your life, always either on your mind or in your subconscious.

As Hunter explained to me this week on my podcast, “Newt’s World,” writing has become a part of his normal life, like brushing his teeth.

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Commentary: Florida Woman Received a $100,000 Fine for Parking on Her Own Property

Car Tire In Driveway

There’s nothing worse than when you’re having a bad day and come back to your car to find a parking ticket on your windshield. Except, maybe, if that ticket was for $100,000, and you got it for parking on your own property.

That’s what happened to Sandy Martinez, a resident of Lantana, Florida. Teaming up with attorneys at the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice (IJ), she is suing the town over a parking violation fine assigned to her that totaled more than $100,000.

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Commentary: Inflation Has Arrived

Wildly excessive federal spending is causing major inflation and shortages, which may lead to a recession and perhaps a financial crisis. Despite the evidence of inflation, Congress is proposing to spend $3.5 trillion on top of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed earlier this year and the intended $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. For comparison, federal revenue is only expected to be $3.8 trillion this year.

Evidently, the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden have adopted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to the peril of every American citizen. MMT, which is similar to Keynesian economics, says that the U.S. should not be constrained by revenues in federal government spending since the government is the monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar. MMT is a destructive myth that provides cover for excessive government spending. And it’s not modern, since reckless government spending has been around for thousands of years.

Embracing MMT is similar to providing whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. We know the outcomes will not be good.

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Commentary: The Capitol Cover Up

United States Capitol at night

Judge G. Michael Harvey sounded floored.

During a detention hearing this week for Robert Morss, arrested last month for his involvement in the Capitol protest, a federal prosecutor told Harvey she needed permission from the government before she could turn over to him a slice of video related to Morss’ case. Joe Biden’s Justice Department continues to seek pre-trial detention for people who protested Biden’s election on January 6; prosecutors want to keep Morss, an Army ranger and high school history teacher with no criminal record, behind bars until his trial can begin next year.

But assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jackson hesitated when Judge Harvey asked to see the footage captured by the U.S. Capitol Police surveillance system cited as evidence in government charging documents.

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Commentary: The Dictatorial Democrats – Using the Rhetoric of Democracy to Subvert It

Those who prattle on about democracy the most support it the least. “In America, if you lose, you accept the results,” said Joe Biden on Tuesday. Meanwhile, his fellow Democrats were conducting an undemocratic stunt to thwart the people’s will in Texas.

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Commentary: The Macro Subjectivity of ‘Microaggression’ Studies

Micro-Aggression

Ever since the most blatant forms of racism and discrimination in America faded, what are called microaggressions have, in the view of leftist academics and social justice activists, taken their place. These are “a form of racism,”  the slights and insults that, though subtle and small and typically unconscious, are insulting and harmful to their targets.

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Commentary: The Fight for Freedom in Cuba

2021 Cuban government protest in Naples Florida

Thousands of demonstrators in more than 40 cities and towns throughout Cuba have taken to the streets to protest 62 years of oppression.  In a communist country that suppresses dissent, the recent wave of protests is the most significant grassroots stand against the dictatorship in more than three decades. 

Since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Cuban people have lived under the oppressive rule of the Castro dictatorship.  Upon Raúl Castro’s recent retirement, his handpicked successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel seized control of the Communist Party, Cuba’s only legal political party, and the presidency, in an election that was neither competitive, free, nor fair.

As the communist regime attempts to deflect blame for the state of unrest, basic goods and services are in short supply. The fact is Cuba is suffering from a severe economic crisis.  Food is scarce, the health care system is overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and electricity outages are a regular occurrence.

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Commentary: ‘Class’ – the Word We Dare Not Speak

How often during the last year of woke, have middle- and lower-class Americans listened to multimillionaires of all races and genders lecture them on their various pathologies and oppressions?

Million-dollar-a year university presidents virtue signal on the cheap their own sort of “unearned white privilege.”

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Commentary: Research Used to Justify California’s ‘Equity’ Math Doesn’t Add Up

Black Pen on Equations

The push to create “equity” and more “social justice” in public schools in America’s largest state rests on this basic premise: “We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” declares the current draft of the California Math Framework, which also states that it rejects “the cult of genius.”

Informed by that fundamental idea, the 800-page Framework calls for the elimination of accelerated classes and gifted programs for high-achieving students until at least the 11th grade.

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Commentary: Unions’ Focus on Woke over Work Rankles Rank and File

Los Angeles school teacher Glenn Laird has been a union stalwart for almost four decades. He served as a co-chair of his school’s delegation to United Teachers Los Angeles and proudly wore union purple on the picket line.

But Laird is now suing to leave UTLA and demanding a refund of the dues the union has collected since his resignation request. His turning point came in July 2020 when the union, the second largest teachers union in the country, joined liberal activists to demand that Los Angeles defund the police in response to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

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Commentary: Conservatives Shouldn’t Accept the Idea of ‘Systemic Racism’

Black Lives Matter protest

The official “Conservative Case Against Banning Critical Race Theory” appeared in the New York Times last week. Penned by a progressive Yale professor, two non-progressives, and the allegedly conservative David French, the article claims state efforts to ban CRT undermine a good, free-thinking education. Others have dissected this silly claim in detail, so it’s not worth rehashing all of that here. What readers should take away from the Times op-ed is an increasing willingness among respectable conservatives to grant the idea of “systemic racism.” They believe there is nothing wrong with accepting this core tenet of modern liberalism and that it’s absolutely true. 

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Commentary: The Democrats’ Topsy-Turvy Spin Machine

Joe Biden talking to staff members

The guessing game of how long the levitation of the Biden presidency can be taken seriously seems to be entering a new phase. The deluge of illegal entries into the United States at the southern border is now running at a rate of closer to 3 million than 2 million a year and yet we still see and hear the bobbling talking head of the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas assuring us, “The southern border is closed.” 

The media has provided almost no coverage of this calamitous invasion. A recent Trafalgar poll found that 56 percent of Americans don’t think Joe Biden is “fully executing the duties of his office,” yet the docile White House press corps continues to ask him about his ice cream and other such probing questions of national interest. Apart from a rising stock market and a quieter atmosphere, the record of the new administration is one of almost complete failure. 

The oceanic influx of unskilled labor at the southern border cannot fail to aggravate unemployment and depress the incomes for the vulnerable sectors of what, under President Trump, was a fully employed workforce. The administration has reduced domestic oil production and squandered the country’s status as an energy self-sufficient state. These are all familiar issues to those who follow public affairs, but the 95 percent Democratic-supporting media preserve the cocoon of a fairyland Biden presidency, whose bumbling chief flatters himself with comparisons to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Commentary: FBI Caught Lying About ‘Lego Man’ Charged in January 6 Capitol Breach

Robert Morss

The Department of Justice now says a DoJ court document claiming to have  recovered a “fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set” from the home of a man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach was “a miscommunication,” and the Lego set was actually unconstructed and in a box. Robert Morss, 27, is accused of leading fellow rioters in what prosecutors say was “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” with officers on Jan. 6.

The new court filing said, “In original detention memoranda, the undersigned stated that law enforcement found a ‘fully constructed US Capitol Lego set.’ That statement appears to be inaccurate. The Lego set was in a box and not fully constructed at the time of the search.”

Once again, the Justice Department has had to admit that they lied about events surrounding January 6th. While the Lego lie may seem silly, it is part of a pattern that federal law enforcement has demonstrated in this case, and indeed over the past five years.

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Commentary: An Inside Look at Lockdown Orders from 2020

Person putting hands on glass, inside of home

Life in the United States and in many parts of the world was transformed in mid-March 2020. That was when the great experiment began. It was a test. How much power does government have to rule nearly the whole of life? To what extent can all the power of the state be mobilized to take away rights that people had previously supposed were protected by law? How many restrictions on freedom would people put up with without a revolt?

It was also a test of executive and bureaucratic power: can these dramatic decisions be made by just a handful of people, independent of all our slogans about representative democracy?

We are far from coming to terms with any of these questions. They are hardly being discussed. The one takeaway from the storm that swept through our country and the world in those days is that anything is possible. Unless something dramatic is done, like some firm limits on what governments can do, they will try again, under the pretext of public health or something else. 

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Commentary: Leading the Charge Against Critical Race Theory

Young boy reading a book

Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.

The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.

In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color.

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Commentary: The Obamas’ Aggressively Political Netflix Show

Screenshot from Obama's Political Netflix show

No, Higher Ground isn’t where the Obamas plan to move to from their beachfront Martha’s Vineyard mansion when they flee the rising ocean levels caused by climate change. It’s the name of their production company, which in May 2018 inked a “high eight-figure” production deal with Netflix to go along with their $65 million contract with Viking Press to write their memoirs. Announcing the Netflix partnership, the former president promised that “these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.” (That’s what Oprah always says, too, about her own noble but inert efforts as producer.)

Anyway, a year after their big announcement, the Obamas — apparently not wanting to rush too precipitously into anything — finally made public their first slate of Netflix projects. One is a biopic of Frederick Douglass. (That topic took a year to come up with?) Others include Bloom, a drama series about the “barriers faced by women and by people of color” in New York’s post-war fashion business, and Fifth Risk, a documentary series about “everyday heroes” in government. (Can I write the one on Maxine Waters?)

But the project we’re here to talk about is the just-released We the People. It’s a series of 10 civics lessons for kids, each in the form of a four- or five-minute piece of animation. (Somehow, the word “cartoon” seems inappropriate, given that this show is almost entirely lacking in humor.) Nine of the 10 episodes are music videos featuring original songs performed by some of the biggest names in the music business today. (I know that they’re some of the biggest names in the music business today because I’ve only ever heard of two of them.) The 10th features a poem. Perhaps needless to say, all of these videos exhibit the hyper-Benetton-ad-level diversity — e.g., hijabs galore, and more people in wheelchairs than you’ll ever see in real life — that is de rigueur everywhere in the entertainment industry nowadays.

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Commentary: The Massive Pushback Brewing Against the Progressive Left Could Dwarf the Tea Party Sea Change of 2010

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Victimizers quickly becoming victims is a recurrent theme of Thucydides’ history. In his commentary on the so-called stasis at Corcyra, he offers his most explicit warning about the long-term dangers of destroying legal institutions, customs, and traditions that serve the common good for short-term gain. 

The historian notes that in the inevitable yin and yang of politics, the destroyers inevitably will seek, but do so in vain, refuge in what they have destroyed. Between 2017 and 2021 the Left has done exactly that. 

What was common to the media’s deification of the criminally minded Michael Avenatti, and the promotion of a series of abject hoaxes? Do we remember the Steele “dossier,” the supposed authority of Fusion-GPS, the Schiff “report,” and the entire Russian “collusion” yarn? 

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Commentary: The Battle Against Big Tech Is an Existential Fight for Conservatives

Person holding phone up in Times Square.

For Big Tech billionaires, these are the best of times, and the worst of times.

Why the best? Because the long arm of social media and online commerce has never reached further and deeper into Americans’ culture, spending habits, lifestyles, and worldview. Likewise, the net worth of these billionaires has risen to undreamed-of heights. COVID was, for tech barons, a blessing in disguise: it trapped Americans indoors, where they could do little else but browse the web, consume digital entertainment, and spend their stimulus dollars on imported Chinese doohickeys. Even as the dreaded virus has retreated, Big Tech has successfully locked in its gains.

Why the worst of times, though? The very rise of Big Tech has portended greater scrutiny. The debasement of Big Tech’s competitors and natural enemies—from brick-and-mortar stores to Trump supporters—has ensured that the drumbeat of criticism of social media companies and online retailers has never been more stridently percussive. 

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Commentary: Florida’s DeSantis Is America’s Great Right Hope

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Democratic Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan shatter everything they touch. Ron DeSantis, conversely, seems to get everything right. The Florida Republican has emerged as America’s governor. 

“We’re standing with our folks. We’re going to do the right thing. We leaned into it, and we stood strong,” DeSantis told Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently.

Rather than snip a tax, kill a regulation, and then doze off, as too many Republicans have done, DeSantis is a tireless, full-spectrum conservative. He has authorized a host of economic, cultural, and law enforcement initiatives that are buoying Florida and transforming him into the Great Right Hope.

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Commentary: Biden’s Domestic Terrorism Strategy Has Roots in Clinton Years

The “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” released last month by the National Security Council, claims to take a “narrowly tailored” approach. Something along those lines is indeed evident throughout the document.

In 2016, readers learn, “an anti–authority violent extremist ambushed, shot, and killed five police officers in Dallas.” The national strategy document does not identify the killer, Micah Johnson, an African American veteran who hated cops. Johnson actually shot a dozen officers but managed to kill only five, and he had bomb-making materials in his home. This killer only opposes “authority” and his murder victims remain unidentified in the NSC document.

In 2017, according to the National Strategy “a lone gunman wounded four people at a congressional baseball practice.” Readers are not told this was James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Republicans and targeted them for assassination. That should easily qualify as domestic terrorism but here Hodgkinson is only a “gunman.” The National Strategy does not reveal that the “wounded” included Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.), who barely escaped with his life. The NSC document fails to mention that Hodkinson also shot Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, an African American.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Overcoming Defeat and Denial in Afghanistan

With each passing day in Afghanistan the Taliban grows stronger, and the pro-American government forces grow weaker.  Anecdotally, you can see the momentum building in the news coverage.

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal, which has been tracking war in Afghanistan for years, estimates that as of Sunday the Taliban controlled 213 districts. It reports that the government controls 70 districts, and some 115 districts are being contested. Thus, after the United States, NATO, and our Afghan allies spent 20 years fighting to create a post-Taliban country, the evidence is growing that we have lost.

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Commentary: The Founding Elite vs. The Current Elite

Close-up of Mt. Rushmore

In an insightful Independence Day Twitter thread, Emily Zanotti expressed her partiality for this provision of the Declaration of Independence:

[T]his is my favorite part: ‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ Can you imagine writing that? Signing your name to that? Acknowledging that this document means you will come out of this broke, dead, and remembered as a traitor if you do not win. Signing your own death warrant. Man, that took balls . . . 

In recognizing and celebrating the signatories’ fortitude, Zanotti illuminated the stark contrast between the visions of America’s founding elite and its current elite.

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Commentary: Don’t Force My Church to Pay for Abortions

Baby hand in adult hand

Imagine, 75 years ago, some British officer lining up a group of young Indian children against a wall in Bombay, handing some bullets to Mahatma Gandhi, and ordering him to load soldiers’ rifles so that they could execute the youngsters.

Would you expect Gandhi to go along with that? Why would an officer even give such an order – except to humiliate Gandhi and mock what he stood for?

Perhaps that gives you some idea of how it feels for the people of my congregation, Cedar Park Church, to be ordered by Washington state officials to provide an insurance plan that covers abortions. Directly paying for abortion coverage is as unimaginable to us as putting bullets in a gun we know would be used to end a child’s life. It is antithetical to everything we preach, teach, and believe. That’s why we had to file a lawsuit through our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys that is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear arguments today.

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