Commentary: The Republican Party Is the Indispensable Last Line

Group of people at a Trump rally, man in a "Keep America Great" hat

I was the speaker at a large Republican event recently and, inevitably, the grievance was aired in the Q&A portion: “Where’s the Republican Party? They are worthless. They won’t do anything.” 

This is one of the most common refrains on talk radio. Glenn Beck does it almost daily. Steve Deace and his team never stop. Rush used to do it regularly. And therefore, a lot of conservatives and traditionalist Americans think it is true. But is it? 

Exhibit number one in this case is always the failure to repeal Obamacare. That’s where the line of accusation really kicked in. 

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Commentary: Don’t Let Democrats in Washington Mess with Your Credit Card

As President Biden and Democrats in Washington debate trillions of dollars in new government spending, Tennesseans would be wise to hang onto their wallets. And now thanks to a new proposal being discussed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and other progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Tennesseans would be wise to hold onto their credit cards too.

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Commentary: America Needs to Decide How It Will Stand Up to China in Taiwan

USS Alabama at deck in Mobile, AL

According to Russia’s Interfax news agency, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently announced, “Just like the overwhelming majority of other countries, Russia views Taiwan as part of the People’s Republic of China. This is the premise we proceed from and will continue to proceed from in our policy.” At the time of this statement, Russian forces were conducting joint naval exercises with Chinese forces in the Pacific—culminating in a 10-ship joint formation sailing through Japan’s Tsugaru Strait on October 18. 

This, following a series of unprecedented Chinese military aircraft incursions into Taiwan’s airspace, has rattled Taiwan and America’s other allies in the region, namely Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. During the first week of October, over 150 aircraft, including advanced SU-30 fighters and H-6 heavy bombers, flew into Taiwanese airspace. An unprecedented 56 tactical aircraft penetrated Taiwan’s airspace in a single 24-hour period on October 4, the highest single day total to date. 

China has already taken control of multiple islands claimed by these allies in an effort to access vast oil and natural gas resources, as well as project its military power in the contested territorial waters of the South China Sea. China’s ongoing trade dispute with Australia has also ratcheted up tensions in the region. 

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Afghanistan Withdrawal Disaster Would Not Have Happened Under President Trump

On Feb. 29, 2020, the U.S. and the Taliban signed the Doha Agreement, which set conditions for an American military withdrawal from Afghanistan. A few days later, then-President Donald Trump picked up the phone to call Taliban leader Abdul Ghani Baradar. On that call, Trump explained to Baradar in no uncertain terms that, if he and his men didn’t fulfill the agreement, which included a pledge not to attack U.S. forces, the Taliban would suffer dearly. Not a single U.S. soldier was killed in combat in Afghanistan for the rest of Trump’s presidency.

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Commentary: America’s Students Deserve a History and Civics Education Free of Political Agendas

Across the political spectrum, Americans are recognizing the importance not just of school choice but of what students actually learn in schools. Elected representatives have finally taken notice as well. In Michigan, the state legislature has proposed two bills that seek to address how American history and civics are taught.

Unfortunately, some want teachers to tell students that they should understand American history primarily by looking for racism, injustice, and oppression. The phrase “critical race theory” (CRT) has been used mainly in academia to describe this filter on history and civic instruction.

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Commentary: Defense Department Pulls a Bait and Switch on Vaccines

On August 24, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a memo to senior Pentagon leadership announcing that he was implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all military service members. The day before, the FDA had issued full authorization to Pfizer for their Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine product (the nomenclature of which is meant to be a mashup of the words “COVID”, “mRNA”, and “community”) . At first glance it would seem that the mandatory vaccination policy, while scientifically unsound and strategically foolish, was at least a policy being implemented according to both the letter of the directive and in accordance with the law. But a further examination of the facts and the manner in which this order is being implemented makes clear that the military’s implementation of this order is illegal and highly unethical.

In the memo, Secretary Austin issued a directive and a promise, that “Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance.” The problem with this is that the Comirnaty vaccine product that was approved by the FDA is not available anywhere in the Military Health System. It is not even in production, according to the military’s TRICARE healthcare providers. If a soldier goes to a military hospital or a private provider to receive an approved Pfizer COVID vaccine, he will be administered the unapproved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is a vaccine that is not approved but has been administered under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). We are told that this is but a brand name difference, that the formulation is the same, and they can be used interchangeably. But as the FDA was approving the Comirnaty product, they were renewing the authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech product. If it’s just a matter of brand name, why issue an approval for one brand name and an EUA renewal for the other? This is because they are not actually the same. 

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Commentary: Christopher Steele Is a Product of Corrupt FBI

Just as the special counsel’s investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane—the FBI counterintelligence probe launched in the summer of 2016 to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—is showing signs of life, one of the central figures in the hoax is attempting to burnish his sullied image.

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos has produced a documentary featuring Christopher Steele, the man responsible for the so-called dossier bearing his name. “Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier,” streamed on Hulu Monday night; promotional clips hinted that, far from a hard-hitting interview exposing Steele for the charlatan he is, Stephanopoulos gave Steele a chance to spin his story ahead of possible new indictments related to John Durham’s inquiry into the Trump-Russia election collusion hoax.

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Commentary: No Reason for White Guilt

Recently, Ibram X. Kendi was chosen as a recipient for the 2021 MacArthur Genius Fellowship. This event has been met with resounding applause on the Left as it is presumed to be both a well-justified instance of reparative justice and a logical continuation of the 1960s Civil Rights movement. In truth, this event constitutes neither of these things. 

In recent years, we have seen increasing instances of anti-white rhetoric within America, exemplified in the rise of critical race theory, Black Lives Matter, and the writings of folks like Kendi.

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Commentary: Hillary’s Secretive, Russiagate-Flogging Pair of Super-Lawyers

The indictment of Hillary Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann for allegedly lying to the FBI sheds new light on the pivotal role of Democratic operatives in the Russiagate affair. The emerging picture shows Sussmann and his Perkins Coie colleague Marc Elias, the chief counsel for Clinton’s 2016 campaign, proceeding on parallel, coordinated tracks to solicit and spread disinformation tying Donald Trump to the Kremlin.

In a detailed charging document last month, Special Counsel John Durham accused Sussmann of concealing his work for the Clinton campaign while trying to sell the FBI on the false claim of a secret Trump backchannel to Russia’s Alfa Bank. But Sussmann’s alleged false statement to the FBI in September 2016 wasn’t all. Just months before, he helped generate an even more consequential Russia allegation that he also brought to the FBI. In April of that year, Sussmann hired CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that publicly triggered the Russiagate saga by lodging the still unproven claim that Russia was behind the hack of Democratic National Committee emails released by WikiLeaks.

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Commentary: China Develops Hypersonic Missiles, While U.S. Intelligence Agencies Cultivate Political Correctness

I am sure it’s a totally unfounded rumor that the Central Intelligence Agency, the world’s most lavishly funded bastion of spooks, is about to shorten its name to “The Central Agency,” retiring the embarrassing and divisive word “intelligence.”

I don’t know how the rumor got started, but the news, reported on Oct. 16 by The Financial Times, that in August, the Chinese had successfully tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, lit a fire under the rumor mill.

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Mollie Hemingway Commentary: Taking on the Establishment

Before the 2018 midterm elections, Trump’s political advisors were thinking about the president’s re-election bid and noticed a curious commonality among incumbent presidents who didn’t get re-elected: they all faced challengers from within their own party.

Five U.S. presidents since 1900 have lost their bids for a second term. William Taft lost to Woodrow Wilson, Herbert Hoover lost to Franklin Roosevelt, Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter lost to Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. While each election is determined by unique factors, all five of these failed incumbents dealt with internal party fights or serious primary challenges.

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Commentary: Vaccination Rates Not Linked to Lower COVID Rates, Epidemiology Paper Finds

On Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article noting that California has some of the lowest COVID-19 case rates in the US, even though the Golden State’s vaccination rate lags many states that are currently struggling with the delta variant.

“One clear example is the New England states of Vermont and Maine,” the Chronicle reported. “Relatively shielded from the worst of the nation’s previous surges, they have struggled against the delta variant, which has sent their case rates soaring.”

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Commentary: Biden’s Possible Abandonment of Taiwan

Joe Biden

“Goodbye, great power competition and hello, strategic competition,” this is what the Biden Administration’s Pentagon spokesperson recently told Daniel Lipmann of Politico. According to analysts, these comments signal a shift toward a more cooperative, even conciliatory, American posture toward the Chinese Communist Party. Further, President Joe Biden told the media on October 6 that he had “spoken with [Chinese President Xi Jinping] about Taiwan. We agree that we will abide by the Taiwan Agreement.” 

The agreement that Mr. Biden was referring to was the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, an ambiguous agreement forged between China and the United States in which Taiwan would be treated by the United States as a foreign country without being formally recognized as such. While the 1979 agreement does allow for the provision of American military aid to Taiwan such that Taiwan can “maintain a sufficient self-defense capability,” the terms of this agreement allow for the Americans to shirk away from Taiwan whenever it is convenient for Washington do so.  

The Biden-Xi call came on the heels of China’s brazen violation of Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) during the week of October 1. At that time, China deployed more than 50 warplanes to violate Taiwan’s ADIZ, testing Taiwan’s overworked air defense network and pushing the island’s military to the point of exasperation. At some point, a grave miscalculation will occur between China and Taiwan—a mistake that could spark another world war that Washington is not prepared or willing to fight.

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Commentary: Colin Powell Was an American Patriot

It was an enormous shock to learn that Colin Powell died at 84 of complications from COVID-19.

His devotion to duty, commitment to America, and innate sense of dignity and decency, made him seem ageless and timeless.

We live near the Powells in McLean, Virginia.  Our pictures hang side-by-side at Simon’s Shoe and Luggage Repair. As a four-star general, Secretary of State, and National Security Adviser, Powell wandered around town as a normal citizen. He greeted one and all with courtesy and kindness.

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Commentary: The Steady Decline of Our Once-Beloved Military

The highest echelon of the U.S. military is becoming dysfunctional. 

There are too many admirals and generals for the size of the current U.S. military. It now boasts three times the number of four-star admirals and generals than we had during World War II—when the country was in an existential war for survival and when, by 1945, our active military personnel was almost nine times larger than the current armed forces. 

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Commentary: Virginia Likely to Reinstate Parole for Even Murderers

man in handcuffs

Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) predicts that Virginia’s senate will vote to bring back parole in 2022 — “across the board,” meaning for even the most serious crimes, such as murder. Restoring parole could increase the number of murders, rapes, and robberies in Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports:

A movement to reinstate parole in Virginia could hinge on the outcome of election results next month. Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe has indicated willingness to support expanded parole….While many Democrats support reinstating parole broadly in Virginia, Republicans generally oppose it. The Democrats hold a 55-45 seat edge in the House of Delegates…the issue will be debated in next year’s General Assembly session.

“I will be introducing a bill that will reintroduce parole across the board,” said Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond. “I think it will pass [the] Senate Judiciary [Committee] and … the full body.” Democrats control the Senate 21-19. Senators are not up for election until 2023. But Morrissey said he predicts a possible roadblock to parole expansion in the House, where he thinks Republicans will make gains in the Nov. 2 election….Virginia created parole in 1942 and abolished it in 1995, passing a “truth in sentencing” law among other criminal justice measures in an effort to reduce high crime rates….

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Commentary: Campus Radicals Destroy What Made American Universities Wonderous Institutions

Students walking on college campus

There is no faster – or more amusing – way to make a campus radical lose his composure than to fuss about the importance of cultural literacy.

The term “cultural literacy,” made popular by the controversial scholar E.D. Hirsch, describes a person’s capacity to comprehend cultural references and use that knowledge in conversation with others.

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Commentary: Solving the Supply Chain Problem Requires Less Government, Not More

During the latter part of the 20th Century, Americans became accustomed to hearing stories of shortages of basic items in the Soviet Union.  The metaphor of “waiting in line for bread” came to signify anything where a state-managed effort led to the inefficient and ineffective distribution of consumer goods and services.  The state-generated supply chain problems were the butt of jokes for comedians everywhere.

Well, “bread lines” have now officially arrived in America and nobody is laughing.  The middle class and the poor have especially lost their sense of humor over the supply chain disruptions that have led to shortages and higher prices being found everywhere from the grocery store shelves to the provision of medical supplies.  Nothing is funny about shelves, wallets, and medicine cabinets all emptying out simultaneously.

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Commentary: Spy Couple Follow in the Grand Tradition of Treasonous Leftist Couples

In the wake of the recent arrest of Maryland nuclear engineer, Jonathan Toebbe, and his wife, Diana Toebbe on charges they tried to sell classified nuclear warship information to a foreign country, the mainstream media has focused on the “mystery” of how this could happen. But very little media coverage has focused on their progressive political background—the most likely key to their misdeeds. 

In fact, strangely enough, husband and wife traitor teams are often linked to left-wing politics. Why hasn’t the establishment media focused on this tie?

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Commentary: Biden Priorities Put Citizens, Not National Enemies, in the Crosshairs

When 13 U.S. service members were killed by suicide bombers as American citizens were abandoned in Afghanistan last August—in perhaps the most ill planned military operation since our efforts in Somalia which resulted in naked U.S. servicemen being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu—it should have given us a clue about the Biden Administration’s priorities. Much as the Somalian disaster led to a massive influx of Somali immigrants, which is changing the makeup of the Midwest, we can soon expect a surge in Afghan immigration.

In retaliation for the Kabul airport bombings, the United States conducted a drone strike on what the world was told were ISIS-K members. When confronted about the irregularities of the operation, General Mark Milley described the air attack as a “righteous strike.” We later learned this “righteous strike” killed an innocent aid worker and nine members of his family. No one has been held accountable for this tragic political slaughter.

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Commentary: Educating Students About the Victims of Communism

Olbram Zoubek Communism Victims Memorial

Many Americans today assume that the threat of Communism subsided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But “We continue to see Communist and socialist regimes pop up and spread not only in Latin America – for example, in Venezuela and Nicaragua – but around the world,” says Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC). “These regimes regularly kill their own citizens and have a devastating effect on human rights and their national economies.” In fact, over 1.5 billion people – including those living in Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and, of course, China – currently live under oppressive Communist and socialist governments.

Founded in 1993 by a bipartisan, unanimous Act of Congress, VOC is “devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”

Before coming to VOC, Bremberg served as the Trump administration’s Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. During his time there, which he describes as a “profound and life changing experience,” he “became aware of the challenge of China,” which was “far worse” than he had realized. He notes that the U.N. International Human Rights Council made investigating the United States’ record on racism during the summer of 2020 its highest priority – putting it above China’s appalling human rights violations against Uyghurs, among other ethnic groups within its borders.

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Commentary: January 6 and the FBI’s ‘Operation Cold Snap’

Close up of Capitol with Trump and America flag in the wind

The tony, bucolic town of Dublin, Ohio would be one of the last places in America expected to host a convention of white supremacist militiamen. Nestled along the Scioto River, the Columbus suburb’s biggest claim to fame is hosting the PGA’s annual Memorial Golf tournament every summer.

But in June 2020, days after the nation was roiled by Black Lives Matter looting and rioting, a man from Wisconsin named Stephen Robeson sponsored a “National Militia Conference” at a Dublin hotel. (Yes, that was the real name of the event.) 

According to BuzzFeed’s exceptional July 2021 investigative report on the FBI-led plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, Robeson “helped organize the national meeting, and he was enthusiastically pushing people he knew to attend.” The purpose of the conference was to recruit people who ultimately would stoke “political violence” against governors who refused to reopen their states after lockdowns supposedly necessitated by COVID.

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Commentary: Ten Ways the Chinese Government Lied, Misled, and Messed Up Early on in the Pandemic

A plethora of politicians and government officials across the globe screwed up in their handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Chinese government, however, was acutely damaging with its ineptitude, because it, more than any other entity, had a chance to limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus when it first emerged in late 2019. Instead of trying to contain the virus with the help of the international community, however, the Chinese government lied, misled, and stalled. All of humanity has experienced the disastrous result of this negligence.

In his new book, Uncontrolled Spread, physician, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb focused his considerable expertise on pointing out the ways in which the world’s response to COVID-19 fell short, and how we can better prepare for the next inevitable pandemic. Early on in the book, he chronicled numerous examples of the Chinese government’s inept, corrupt handling of what was then an emerging outbreak. Here are ten of them:

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John Fredericks NFL Picks: Chiefs Down, But Are They Out? Cards Look to Stand Up to Naysayers

John: It’s great to get my cohorts – Jack and Nate- back in the saddle this week after they spent week five licking their silly millennial wounds. Perhaps they needed a “safe space” last week from the micro-aggressions of Godzilla picking too many winners. I remind my sons all time: I’m the Silverback of this family until further notice! Get over it.  

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Commentary: The One Number That Puts Youngkin in the Governor’s Mansion

Some more thoughts on the FOX News poll showing former Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe up by 5 points over Republican challenger Glenn Youngkin just three (and now two) weeks out from the November 2nd election.

One of the numbers in the poll? McAuliffe’s support among black voters at +63. Which is shorthand for a 79/16 gap — which sounds atrocious (and quite frankly, is atrocious for a party built on the premise that all men should be free).

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Commentary: Leftists Are Waging a War on ‘Gifted’ Children

Public schools across the country are eliminating gifted and talented programs, removing advanced courses and overhauling admissions processes to achieve equity across racial categories.

Removing gifted and advanced courses is a no-cost way to cover up the racial achievement gap while ignoring its root causes, according to Harry Jackson, president of the Thomas Jefferson High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA).

“Gifted programs and advanced courses provide a mechanism for low-income households to achieve a stellar education for their children and serve as a ‘great equalizer’ to those families that opt for private education,” Jackson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “By eliminating gifted programs and advanced courses in the name of equity, they will create greater inequities,” he said.

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Commentary: A Call to Amend Section 230 for Social Media Transparency

Smart phone opened on home screen

Amid growing bipartisan agreement that increased regulation of social media platforms and their content moderation policies is needed, the path forward remains murky. Should Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act be discarded or strengthened? Should companies be broken up using antitrust laws? Should government set speech rules for the web? Should users decide them? Or should there be no rules at all?

There is no shortage of solutions being put forth to solve the challenge of social media censorship. The problem is that without a better understanding of how social platforms invisibly shape the public square of democracy today, we don’t know which of these possible solutions might have the greatest impact. In short, to fix social media, we first need a better understanding of its ills: Section 230 must be amended to legislate social platform transparency.

A new RealClearFoundation report, “Transparency Is the First Step Toward Addressing Social Media Censorship,” outlines the public data sets we need to usher in transparency and better understand the challenges we face.

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Commentary: The Movement of Black Lives Matter

If Black Lives Matter were a civil rights organization, one would reasonably expect its patron figure to be Martin Luther King, Jr., and its aspiration to be King’s vision of a race-free America where individuals are judged on their merits and not by their skin color. Instead, the revered figure and inspirational icon for Black Lives Matter activists is a designated terrorist and convicted cop killer: Assata Shakur. 

In the 1970s Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a group that robbed banks and murdered police officers to achieve a Marxist revolution. Shakur is still wanted for the 1973 murder of Werner Foerster, a New Jersey state trooper who stopped her for a broken taillight on her car, whereupon she pulled out a gun and shot him. The 34-year-old officer and Vietnam vet was lying wounded on the pavement pleading for his life when Shakur walked over and finished him off, execution-style. Foerster left behind a wife and two young children. Shakur was convicted of the murder but escaped from prison in 1979 with the help of left-wing terrorists, including Susan Rosenberg. With the help of Rosenberg and others, Shakur fled to Communist Cuba, where she has lived as a fugitive for nearly 40 years. After being pardoned by Bill Clinton, Rosenberg went on to become board vice chair of Thousand Currents, the left-wing nonprofit organization that served as Black Lives Matter’s fiscal sponsor from 2016 to 2020. 

The dedication page of Patrisse Cullors’s memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, contains these lines written by Shakur, which allude to the most famous incitement from Marx’s Communist Manifesto:

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. 

It is our duty to win. 

We must love each other and support each other. 

We have nothing to lose but our chains.

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Commentary: ‘Woke’ Superman’s Mission Is Neither Bold Nor Brave

DC Comics recently revealed that in an upcoming issue titled “Superman: Son of Kal-El,” the son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent would be bisexual, and that he’s going to fight “real-world problems” such as climate change, that he’ll protest the deportation of refugees, and date a “hacktivist.”

What exactly is a “hacktivist”? Isn’t hacking illegal? Is Superman supporting  criminal activity? It’s a chore to keep up with all the different iterations of the current superheroes, but DC Comics is calling  it a “bold new direction” for the character. I  see nothing “bold” about it.

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Commentary: America Might Be Headed for a Rome Versus Byzantium Scenario

In A.D. 286 the Roman emperor Diocletian split in half the huge Roman Empire administratively—and peacefully—under the control of two emperors.

A Western empire included much of modern-day Western Europe and northwest Africa. The Eastern half controlled Eastern Europe, and parts of Asia, and northeastern Africa.

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Commentary: I’m Leaving My California Teachers’ Union

I have been a middle school special education teacher for 18 years. Every day I spend in the classroom is a joy – the work is hard, but so rewarding – and with almost two decades of experience, I know how my students learn best.

Imagine my surprise when the California Teachers Association – which spends zero days per year with students – tries to tell teachers how to run their classrooms.

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Commentary: Biden Reinstates Catch and Release with More Than 227,000 Illegal Aliens Released Since January 2021

President Joe Biden has reinstated “catch and release,” a policy allowing illegal aliens to be released into the United States pending an immigration hearing — which had been discontinued under former President Donald Trump — resulting in more than 227,000 illegal aliens being released on their own recognizance through Aug. 2021.

That is out of 535,000 aliens apprehended in Fiscal Year 2021 by the U.S. Border Patrol, a porous 42 percent catch-and-release rate by Biden.

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Commentary: The FDA’s Power over Food and Drug Approval

Competition tends to bring about a better product or service, at a lower price, than does monopoly. This is a basic premise held by virtually all economists, disputed by pretty much no one in the profession. The entire antitrust edifice of the American system is built upon this foundational aspect of the dismal science.

And yet when push comes to shove, our society jettisons this insight, at least when it comes to assuring the quality of our food and drugs.

The Food and Drug Administration is a monopoly agency entrusted with this task. Its word is final concerning such matters. No competition is allowed. If a private agency set itself up as an alternative, it would first be subjected to raucous laughter, and then its creators jailed.

The FDA is a licensing agency. If it does not approve of a food or drug, it is illegal to offer it for sale. What is the non-monopolistic alternative to this sad state of affairs? This is called certification. How, pray tell, does this work? It is simple. Different firms set themselves up as evaluators of the quality of food and drugs, and each of them subjects these products to their examinations. They certify some as approved, and list others as not approved.

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory Is Being Taught in Public Schools

Group of young students at table, reading and wearing masks

The National School Boards Association (NSBA), which according to its website serves about 51 million public school students nationwide, made headlines recently when it requested that President Biden use federal terrorism statutes and issue other “extraordinary measures” against those pushing back against school boards that are indoctrinating children in critical race theory (CRT) and gender ideology. Much has already been written about this, and for good reason. In our Constitutional Republic, the federal government has no authority over education. As James Madison famously stated in Federalist 45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.” A quick scan of the Constitution reveals that the people and states have delegated no educational power to the federal government. Because all power originates in the people and the states, all powers not delegated to the federal government remain in the states and the people. The Tenth Amendment states this principle explicitly.

Instead of leaving educational policy (and challenges to it) to state and local governments, however, President Biden is using the power of federal law enforcement to quell debate and intimidate parents from exercising their First Amendment rights. Using federal law enforcement to chill debate on what is and should be a truly local issue is totalitarianism at its zenith. All totalitarian states centralize educational control in the federal government for the purpose of indoctrinating children in their preferred ideology.  The Nazis, Soviets, and Communist Chinese all did (or still do) it, and now, following in their footsteps, the Biden administration is giving it a try, albeit in an indirect, more nuanced manner.

But this piece is actually about a second, more subtle point. A key presupposition underlying the NSBA’s request — and the Biden DOJ’s response — is that parental protests against school boards are completely unfounded. As the NSBA letter notes, “many public school officials are [] facing physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.” The letter then states that “[t]his propaganda continues despite the fact that critical race theory is not taught in public schools and remains a complex law school and graduate school subject well beyond the scope of a K-12 class” (emphasis added).

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Commentary: California’s New Ethnic Studies High School Graduation Requirement Is Another Example of Why Parents Should Homeschool Their Kids

California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 101, authored by Riverside Democrat Jose Medina and cosponsored by the California Teachers Association (CTA), which mandates one “ethnic studies” course for graduation from high school beginning in 2030. Newsom had previously rejected AB 331, a similar bill by Medina, because it was “insufficiently balanced and inclusive.” For Katy Grimes of the California Globe, the revamped AB 101 “is not any of those things,” and ethnic studies is not an academic discipline.

Those who opposed AB 331 note that “ethnic studies” divides the people into “us and them.” Jewish organizations protested the anti-Semitic content. The authors of the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC) removed their names and founded the Liberated Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum Institute, and their curriculum “is expected to be even more anti-Semitic than the original ESMC.” As Grimes shows, this is hardly the only problem.

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Commentary: New Group Equips Parents with Seven Tools to Combat Wokeness in K-12 Education

Captured in a metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia primary school, seated amongst his classmates, this photograph depicts a young Asian-American school boy, who was in the process of creating a drawing, and was choosing from a box of crayons, the colors he’d use in order to bring his ideas to life. It is important to know that these objects are known as fomites, and can act as transmitters of illnesses.

It’s no secret that the far left has infiltrated higher education with its radical ideas. But now, woke ideology has come for K-12 classrooms across the country. 

“As parents, we send our kids to school to learn to think critically, to figure out how to solve problems, and to respectfully discuss and resolve differences of opinion,” Ashley Jacobs, executive director of Parents Unite, said Friday during the new organization’s first conference. 

“But,” Jacobs said, “our educational systems are not enabling these skills, and in some cases, [they are] stifling them.” 

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Commentary: Stanford Epidemiologist Says COVID Vaccination Is Primarily a Matter of Personal Health, Not Public Health

As one-size-fits-all COVID vaccine mandates sweep government, academia, and corporate America, new data are emerging that undermine the public health justifications for these policies. Studies from multiple countries now indicate that vaccination alone is less effective than the acquired immunity many already possess and unable to prevent transmission in the medium-to-long term.

Since the pandemic began, more than 100 million Americans have recovered from the virus. Many are workers deemed “essential” just last year. While the government paid others to sit at home, essential workers were required to continue working, exposing themselves to the coronavirus in a pre-vaccine world.

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Roger Simon Commentary: Time to Stop ‘Communism, American-Style’

Some will remember that comedy classic from 1961, “Divorce, Italian Style,” starring Marcello Mastroianni. Unfortunately, 60 years later, we seem to be moving toward, even living through, a far less funny, real-life “Communism, American Style.”

What is “Communism, American Style”? As yet one would think it bears little resemblance to the Soviet kind with its gulags and so forth.

Or does it?

On Oct. 6, the Los Angeles City Council proclaimed, nearly unanimously (11–2), COVID-19 mandates that require proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, movie theaters, salons, shopping centers, and just about every other public indoor space you could think of in the entertainment capital.

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Commentary: A Closer Look at a Supreme Court Case That Could Help Decide the Legality of Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Every now and again, an otherwise arcane legal topic suddenly becomes relevant to contemporary political debate. At that point, general commentary suddenly becomes filled with newly minted experts with strong positions on what is typically a nuanced issue. Thus, at various points during the past decade, Twitter saw a flood of hitherto undisclosed connoisseurs on the intricacies of the Logan Act, a constitutionally problematic piece of legislation that emerged from the same 18th century administration that brought us the infamous Alien and Sedition Acts. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, some observers suddenly expressed deep-seated opinions on the Jones Act, a complex piece of maritime law most people had probably never heard of prior to 2017.

So it seems to be with Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the previously obscure 116-year-old precedent – it barely warrants a footnote in most constitutional law treatises – that people have taken to citing whenever anyone questions the legality or constitutionality of vaccine mandates in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Jacobson is not some sort of argumentative checkmate. If the decision were actually taken to the lengths that some of its proponents suggest, it would be a truly terrifying ruling.

Although I drafted most of this article before encountering Josh Blackman’s excellent law review article on Jacobson (available here), I did rely on it for some of the procedural history of the case, as well as some of the cases from the pandemic that relied upon Jacobson. It is well worth a read for anyone else interested in learning more about the case.

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Commentary: The First Step to Rightsizing Education Spending Is Reforming Teacher Pensions

In the past year, Congress has rushed more than $204 billion in federal emergency funds to states to support K-12 schools. 

But 23 states had fewer incoming students this fall. This declining enrollment is likely in part due to pandemic-related trends but is also a symptom of changing birth rates and families geographically relocating.

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Commentary: Parents Aren’t Domestic Terrorists

It is probably an understatement to say that when one group designates another as a terrorist organization, diplomatic relations between the two become strained.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.”

Truths. Equal. Creator. Rights. Concerned parents want schools to teach truths, not ideologies; operate under equality, not equity; and respect faith in our Creator and our parental rights. These are the fundamental principles from our Declaration that are at stake in American education today.

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Commentary: The Left Destroys Everything It Touches

What was the purpose for the insane opposition of the Left between 2017 and 2021? To usher in a planned nihilism, an incompetent chaos, a honed anarchy to wreck the country in less than a year?

No sooner had Donald Trump entered office than scores of House Democrats filed motions for impeachment, apparently for thought crimes that he might, some day, in theory, could possibly commit.

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Commentary: The Problems with Censoring Doctors over Their COVID-19 Stances

Everyone has a right to their opinion. The question is: does everyone have a right to voice their opinion? Increasingly, in these strange times, it seems that we physicians have the right to voice only certain opinions, when it comes to discussing Covid-19.

Wanting to hit the mute button on physicians who choose to challenge the public health narrative, especially in regard to vaccination for Covid-19, is understandably tempting. We carry a bit more authority than lawyers or statisticians when we share our thoughts about medical matters; and quite a few physicians seem to have little interest in toeing the party line. However, appealing as it might be to silence these voices, succumbing to the temptation of censorship might end up costing our society more than it gains.

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Commentary: A.G. Garland’s Use of Police Power Against Parents Could Be His Undoing

Destruction of the family has always been at the center of the collectivist project. In chapter two of The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels point out that the destruction of private property will never be complete until the “abolition [Aufhebung] of the family” is accomplished. The dream is perennial among snarling misanthropists. A couple of years ago, an interview in The Nation with a radical feminist explained that if you “want to dismantle capitalism” then you have to “abolish the family.”

It is worth keeping that in mind as the little drama of Merrick Garland versus the parents of America unfolds. I wrote about the attorney general’s absurd but troubling memorandum shortly after it was released on October 4. As all the world knows (but only some precincts of the world admit), Garland threatened to mobilize the entire police power of the state against parents. Why?

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Commentary: Beware of Regime-Approved Whistleblowers

Ritual humiliation of social media companies is becoming something of a tradition. Most typically, social media CEOs are hauled before Congress, harangued for a day, promise to “do better,” and then go back to business as usual.

Last week a new kind of social media witness appeared: a whistleblower. Frances Haugen emerged with a great deal of fanfare, complete with a public relations firm, a verified account on Twitter, and a fawning entourage, including members of the press and Congress. But instead of denouncing social media for its excessive power, wealth, and hostility to traditional American values, Haugen pleaded for regulations that happen to align with the peculiar values and interests of Silicon Valley.

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Commentary: If Polls Are Right, Democrats Are Doomed But If They’re Wrong, It’s Worse

In less than three months, President Biden’s approval rating has tumbled from a remarkable position in a polarized nation to the lowest of all but two presidents since 1945. Democrats are panicked though refusing to course-correct, hoping the pandemic will retreat, the economy will rebound, and their agenda will pass through Congress and turn out to be popular down the line.

The standing of the party with voters, at this time, isn’t in doubt. It’s awful. Biden’s average job approval rating on July 20 was 52.4% in the RealClearPolitics average before tanking precipitously and taking the party’s fortunes with him as the delta variant surged and American troops withdrew from Afghanistan in a deadly and tragic exit. RCP currently has him at 43.3%. His approval in Gallup has dropped 13 points since June, six points in this last month. The latest Quinnipiac University poll had Biden’s approval/disapproval at 38/53, down four points in three weeks. Specific findings on leadership questions were dreadful, with Biden’s numbers falling since April by nine points on the question of whether he cares about average Americans, seven points on whether he is honest, and nine points on whether he has good leadership skills.

The latest Morning Consult/Politico findings from last week showed Biden’s approval underwater across the board, at 45% approval overall, at 40% on the economy, 44% on health care, 40% on national security, 33% on immigration and 36% on foreign policy. The only number not underwater was Biden’s COVID approval of 49%-46%, 30 points lower than it was last spring. Across all polling Biden’s approval on the questions of competence and accomplishment have suffered. And that Morning Consult/Politico survey stated, “The shares of independent and Democratic voters who say Biden has underperformed expectations have doubled over the past three months.”

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Commentary: The Insufferable Piety of the Progressive Elites

Freedom in Australia is now at the mercy of a state and its police apparatus bent on controlling people’s every movement.

But despite the extensive footage of protests gone violent, neither American liberal media nor domestic social justice movements are raising alarms about police brutality in that country.

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Commentary: Remembering the Courage of Christopher Columbus

Today we remember the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, who in October 1492 landed in the Bahamas and became the first Western European to discover what the Europeans would call the New World.

When Columbus and his crew of approximately 200 sailors left Spain in three crowded ships – the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria – they set their sails toward an unknown horizon. They expected to discover a trade route to India. (Most Europeans at the time knew the earth was round – but they were unaware of the North and South American continents.) Instead of finding a route to Southeast Asia, Columbus and his crew landed on a continent of new opportunities. Columbus’s accidental discovery opened a permanent passage across the Atlantic and redrew the known map of the world.

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Commentary: Five Reasons ‘Roe’ Is Ripe for Reversal

closeup of a baby

It seems like only yesterday the Left went to war to stop Judge Brett Kavanaugh from ascending to the Supreme Court. Crackpots and charlatans flocked to the call for accusations, no matter how fictional, that might sink his nomination. The Left extracted a compromise from squishy Republicans to give the FBI enough time to frame . . . er, “investigate” Kavanaugh before proceeding to a confirmation vote. The Left is still furious at FBI Director Christopher Wray for failing to gin up a predicate for stopping Kavanaugh’s eventual confirmation.

Even then, it was very clear that the public relations assault had nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s history with the opposite sex. As they tried to weaponize sketchy sexual abuse allegations against Kavanaugh, we learned later that Democrats suppressed allegations of sexual abuse committed by their own leaders and supporters (Andrew Cuomo, Harvey Weinstein, U.S. Represenative John Conyers, former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and Bill Clinton to name just a few examples). When these leaders were held accountable, it usually followed a long period of cover-ups and denials by their political allies. 

But Democrats didn’t really care about whether Kavanaugh committed sexual assault in the 1980s. It was, everyone knew, all about abortion. 

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