Commentary: Georgia Conducting Secret 2020 Ballot Review –– Keeping Plaintiffs in the Dark

After several Fulton County, Ga., poll monitors testified last year that boxes of mail-in ballots for Joe Biden looked liked they’d been run through a photocopy machine, state investigators quietly broke the seal on one suspicious box and inspected the hundreds of votes it contained for signs of fraud, RealClearInvestigations has learned exclusively.

At the same time, a key whistleblower told RCI that state investigators pressured her to recant her story about what she and other poll monitors had observed — what they called unusually “pristine” mail-in ballots while sorting through them during last November’s hand recount.

“I felt I was under investigation,” said Suzi Voyles, a longtime Fulton County poll manager whose sworn affidavits have been used by election watchdogs to sue the county for access to the ballots in question.

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Commentary: China’s COVID Coup

Xi Jinping

It is time for Americans to contemplate the possibility that the United States may be surpassed as the world’s most influential country. The Chinese have just won the greatest strategic victory in the last 30 years since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. However it originated, the novel coronavirus was repressed within China by recourse to draconian measures but was deliberately permitted to infect the rest of the world, enabling China to exploit the blunderbuss Western lockdowns and make a giant leap towards economic preeminence in the world. 

This push toward Chinese economic preeminence was something widely predicted prior to the Trump era but clearly was not happening in the first three years of the Trump presidency, as unemployment nearly vanished in the United States, illegal immigration was almost completely stopped, and American economic growth soared, generated by an increasing workforce and sharp gains among the lowest 20 percent of income earners. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic almost 16 months ago, however, the United States and the West generally have suffered a severe economic slowdown, vast increases in the money supply, and an epochal spike in unemployment.

Assuming the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped accidentally, China must be credited for a remarkable coup of strategic improvisation in translating a public health crisis into a large economical and geopolitical advance at the expense of the West. The American indulgence in an entire summer of white-hating, statue-toppling, rioting, and denigration of American history, freedom, and values astonished the world. Moreover, it helped China propagate its message that democracy leads to chaos and waste and that the United States is an unreliable and unstable country. This argument is assisted by what appears to be the practice of the Biden regime of declaring American moral shortcomings to the world as Secretary of State Antony Blinken did in his unfortunate encounter with the Chinese foreign minister at Anchorage three months ago. 

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Commentary: Recent History Suggests FBI Involvement in January 6

Remember Christopher Steele?

The author of the infamous 2016 “dossier” was an impeccably credentialed former British intelligence officer who, we were assured, had the goods on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Nearly every major news and opinion outlet vouched for his reputation and reliable sources inside the Kremlin.

Steele frequently was described as an “ex-spy” in charge of a well-respected global consulting firm in London; he was alternatively a victim of Trump’s public taunts and a hero willing to risk his life and reputation to spare America the election of a Putin puppet.

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Commentary: The Biden No-Go Zones

Joe Biden

In American journalism, there are supposed to be some clear, nonnegotiable third-rails. 

One is zero tolerance for overtly racist language and comportment among our movers and shakers. Reporters, for example, for four years damned Donald Trump for his neutralizing summation that there were both “fine people” and extremists mingled among the hordes of protestors during their occasionally violent encounters in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

It mattered little to the media that Trump added qualifiers of “many” and “both” sides of the protests: 

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides . . . And I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? . . . Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats—you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too.

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Commentary: Counterfeit Civics and Educating for American Democracy

A white protester showing support by raising his fist for the Black Lives Matter demonstration

The National Association of Scholars opposes the proposal, “Educating for American Democracy.” The proposal has attracted some well-meaning supporters, but they are mistaken about what Educating for American Democracy—EAD—would bring into being.

Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy is a “framework” that prescribes how American K-12 schools should teach civics. That word “framework” is part of EAD’s official self-description, and it deserves a closer look. In this case, the so-called “framework” is really a well-developed plan to impose a politically progressive program of instruction on almost all American students. The framework determines the ideas to be taught and the means by which these ideas would be conveyed and enforced. The content of EAD is antithetical to how the vast majority of Americans understand our country.

Precedents

We have been here before, several times. In the early 1990s, the academic Left hijacked the National History Standards. Under the Left, those “standards” projected a dismal view of the nation’s past, but a public outcry, led by former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lynne Cheney, prompted a retreat. In January 1995, the U.S. Senate voted 99 to 1 to repudiate those standards.

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Commentary: Quashing H.R. 1 is Not Enough

People going to vote

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends: 

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .

H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting. 

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Commentary: Big Tech Only Has Itself to Blame for Republican Rethinking of Antitrust

Smartphone with display of social media apps

There are few, if any, political issues that now generate the breadth and intensity of bipartisan backlash as does the rise of Big Tech.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the major parties largely diverged on their specific grievances against the woke Silicon Valley monopolists who serve as gatekeepers for America’s 21st-century public square. Republicans, by and large, focused on censorship of conservative online speech. Democrats, by contrast, tended to focus on economic concentration; the five American corporations with the largest market caps, for example, are tech behemoths Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google Alphabet, and Facebook. This divergence has stymied efforts to rein in the Big Tech oligarchy on issues such as Section 230, the 1990s-era provision permitting platforms to engage in publisher-like content-moderation decisions without being legally treated as publishers.

Conservatives still have myriad concerns with Big Tech’s noxious brew of speech suppressions, shadow bans, and unaccountable deplatformings. Those concerns are both legitimate and justified by Big Tech’s ever-expanding list of misdeeds. But there is an emerging sea change in the way conservatives conceptualize the relationship between Big Tech’s unfettered content-moderation leeway and the sheer economic clout wielded by the relevant corporate actors.

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Commentary: The Inevitable Fruits of Critical Race Theory

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.

A black man went on a multistate shooting spree recently. The suspected gunman, Justin Tyran Williams, said he specifically targeted white men in his rampage that left five wounded. “Basically, [Williams] explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Columbus (Georgia) Police detective Brandon Lockhart testified Monday.

A racially motivated mass shooting would be the number one news story on CNN . . . were the races reversed. But a black man intentionally shooting white men is just not that interesting to those outside of conservative media.

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Commentary: Only National Conservatism Can Unite the West and Contain China

Person waving flag outside of window

“Europe will be your revenge,” are the purported words of West German Chancellor Conrad Adenauer to French Prime Minister Guy Mollet in 1956. The quip was related to America’s siding with Egypt and the USSR during the Suez Canal Crisis against Great Britain, France and Israel. Regardless of Adenauer’s precise intention, the quote underscores the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has always suffered fissures, even if it held together long enough to win the Cold War and longer still, for NATO and the EU to expand into Central and Eastern Europe.

Whether the Suez Crisis in the 50s, Charles de Gaulle’s unilateral withdrawal of France from NATO’s high command structure in the 60s, Willy Brandt’s overtures to the East via Ostpolitik in the 70s, or Reagan’s placement of strategic intermediate range nuclear warheads in West Germany in the 80s against the wishes of the German left, European-American rivalries and conflicts of interest have always been part and parcel of the Atlantic Alliance. And yet the alliance remains important, because North America and Europe share indissoluble bonds that cut across religious, political and cultural history. Modern democracy — despite its relativization and ‘deconstruction’ by progressive historians — was incubated in the West. For this reason alone the alliance is of value: because Western nations share a common heritage. Commonality breeds loyalty and fosters cohesion, both of which are necessary for the preservation of norms and traditions. Europe and North America have a lot in common with one another, and therefore they share a collective interest in preserving what makes them unique within the vast panoply of human political arrangements.

During Trump’s presidency, left wing media wisdom dictated that Trump had sullied America’s relationship with the EU and NATO by calling the former out as a trade rival and the latter —Germany in particular — as a freeloader on American security guarantees. But as European political columnist Jorge Gallarza pointed out in Newsweek, the prospect of a Biden Presidency — and with it, Biden’s wisdom and appreciation of the true importance of the American relationship with Europe — does not appear to have tipped the geopolitical scales towards Anglo-European rapport. In January, the EU signed a trade deal with China that could have just as easily been postponed until Biden took office to allow for the president’s feedback. Likewise, well after Biden won the election, President Macron of France pontificated — in typical multilateral idealism fashion — about Europe’s future role in world affairs as one of “strategic autonomy.” The writing was on the wall: in a world in which China is on the rise and America appears to be sputtering, Europe will be largely neutral.

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Commentary: New Harvard Data (Accidentally) Reveal How Lockdowns Crushed the Working Class While Leaving Elites Unscathed

"Closed until further notice" sign

Founding father and the second president of the United States John Adams once said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” What he meant was that objective, raw numbers don’t lie—and this remains true hundreds of years later.

We just got yet another example. A new data analysis from Harvard University, Brown University, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation calculates how different employment levels have been impacted during the pandemic to date. The findings reveal that government lockdown orders devastated workers at the bottom of the financial food chain but left the upper-tier actually better off.

The analysis examined employment levels in January 2020, before the coronavirus spread widely and before lockdown orders and other restrictions on the economy were implemented. It compared them to employment figures from March 31, 2021.

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Commentary: What Greek Epics and Their Teachings on the Special Relationship Between Fathers and Sons

Greek statue of man's face

Father’s Day inspires mixed emotions for many of us. Looking at advertisements of happy families could recall difficult memories and broken relationships for some. But for others, the day could invite unbidden nostalgic thoughts of parents who have long since died.

As a scholar of ancient Greek poetry, I find myself reflecting on two of the most powerful paternal moments in Greek literature. At the end of Homer’s classic poem, “The Iliad,” Priam, the king of Troy, begs his son’s killer, Achilles, to return the body of Hektor, the city’s greatest warrior, for burial. Once Achilles puts aside his famous rage and agrees, the two weep together before sharing a meal, Priam lamenting the loss of his son while Achilles contemplates that he will never see his own father again.

The final book of another Greek classic, “The Odyssey,” brings together a father and son as well. After 10 years of war and as many traveling at sea, Odysseus returns home and goes through a series of reunions, ending with his father, Laertes. When Odysseus meets his father, however, he doesn’t greet him right away. Instead, he pretends to be someone who met Odysseus and lies about his location.

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Donald Trump Commentary: A Plan to Get Divisive and Radical Theories Out of Our Schools

Teacher holding book, reading to boy student

As a candidate, Joe Biden’s number one promise was to “unite” America. Yet in his first months as president, his number one priority has been to divide our country by race and gender at every turn.

There is no clearer example than the Biden administration’s new effort aimed at indoctrinating America’s schoolchildren with some of the most toxic and anti-American theories ever conceived. It is vital for Americans to understand what this initiative would do, what drives it and, most importantly, how we can stop it.

For decades, the America-blaming left has been relentlessly pushing a vision of America that casts our history, culture, traditions, and founding documents in the most negative possible light. Yet in recent years, this deeply unnatural effort has progressed from telling children that their history is evil to telling Americans that they are evil.

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Commentary: Georgia’s Election Reform Makes It Easy to Vote and Hard to Cheat

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, it’s not difficult to find voters in Georgia who were discouraged by the messiness of the 2020 election process.

It’s one thing to be disappointed by the outcome. It’s entirely another to feel disenfranchised and frustrated by questions and uncertainties surrounding absentee ballot handling, unsecured drop boxes, and questionable third-party funding of local elections.

In evaluating federal, state, and local voting safeguards, these and other serious complications — glitches, missing votes, even water pipe breakages at polling locations or ballot drop boxes — raised legitimate concerns and weakened voter confidence in Georgia’s election integrity.

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Commentary: China’s Threats to Taiwan Are Threats to American Prosperity

Semiconductor

The dictatorial, repugnant, and repressive Chinese government has ended freedom in Hong Kong. Now it threatens Taiwan, the most important producer of semiconductors for American products — jeopardizing America and her prosperity.

Most American producers are suffering shortages of semiconductors, and if China prevails in its quest to take Taiwan, China will be positioned to shut down American industry by refusing to ship semiconductors to the United States. A Sino-American embargo would precipitate the shuttering of automobile, appliance, and military equipment production, the internet, and processors in virtually every product and industry.

With laser focus, China’s government strengthens its military and economy, as our federal government officials — the most mendacious and incompetent since the FDR depression — weaken American manufacturing and commerce, subvert truth, and squander time and resources on the vacuous follies of gender politics and climate change.

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Commentary: White Liberal Control Freaks Are a Menace to Liberty

The greatest threat America faces isn’t “white supremacy” or any foreign power, but America’s own ruling class. China understands very well that Americans have less to fear from Chinese armies than they do from their own Stasi-like informants with “In This House, We Believe . . . ” signs on their front lawns. 

The Chinese have a word for this demographic: baizuo, which literally means “white left.” It’s a political pejorative referring to narcissistic white American liberals. 

In a time of vaccine passports, “disinformation,” and make-believe insurrections, the anti-social, authoritarian tendencies of this lot have never been a clearer menace to America and its tradition of civil liberty. 

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Commentary: Donald Trump’s Comments on the Virus, Elections Deem True

On Saturday, June 12, former President Donald Trump released a statement that, in tone, will have his opponents rolling their eyes.

“I told you so,” they will say, because Donald Trump told them so and managed to get in a bit of signature Trump braggadocio along the way.

Under the legend “Statement by Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America,” this is what he wrote:

“Have you noticed that they are now admitting I was right about everything they lied about before the election?”

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Commentary: The Real Threats to Our Democracy

United States Capitol at night

In the Wall Street Journal of June 10, Peggy Noonan captured the kernel of the crisis of national division that afflicts America: Donald Trump and opposed perceptions of last year’s presidential election. Equitable person though Noonan is, she qualifies as a Trump-hater, whose invective against Trump has only escalated over time.

Noonan’s premise today is that any question about the 2020 presidential election is unfounded conspiracism, but that suspicion is growing, spread by “the Trump underworld—the operatives, grifters, and media figures around him  . . .  This lessens our faith in our systems   . . . it leaves the GOP with an untreated cancer.” She holds that “QAnon is important” in propagating this fraud. She thinks that anyone who wasn’t appalled by the storming of the Capitol on January 6 has given up on democracy. Lingering concern about the fairness of the result is in itself an assault upon democracy. “The breaching of the Capitol happened because of a conspiracy theory: that the election was actually won by Mr. Trump but stolen from him by bad people.”

She makes no allowance for exactly the opposite view: that there is ample evidence that Trump was sandbagged in rigged voting and vote-counting in only six states, stonewalled by the courts, and defamed by a unanimous national political media: the courts couldn’t face overturning the election, and the media can’t accept the idea that it was a tainted election. I agree with her that “the only thing that can stop” (the cancer that supposedly afflicts the GOP, even if it is in fact benign righteousness) “is true facts independently developed and presented with respect and receipts.” 

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Commentary: Federalism is Key to Surviving a Divided Nation

We live in a divided nation. Our politics have become not just polarized, but toxic. For a country founded on the principles of individual liberty, democratic choice in representative government, and republican protection of natural rights, America has seemingly lost its way. American politics have devolved into a zero-sum game power struggle between two wings of the same establishment—with the prize being the privilege of exploiting the American working class. We are a long way, both figuratively and literally, from the raging fires of liberty that opposed the crown’s Stamp Act in 1765. 

Like all empires, America’s decline, or “transformation” in the words of our 44th president, was the result of poor decisions by both elected leaders and the citizens who elected them. Corruption on the part of a rent-seeking elite and apathy on the part of the citizens have delivered us to our present situation. Although it is important to understand the mistakes that we made along the road to our failing empire, the real question we should be asking now is what are we to do about our current predicament. 

In David Reaboi’s essay in the Claremont Institute’s The American Mind, he discusses the importance of ending traditional America’s favorite pastime of arguing the same ground with the political opposition over and over again—as if minds are not already made up and just one more pithy tweet or witty meme would finally produce a tidal wave of political defections. Instead, he states, we should consider the work we must do in order to salvage some form of republican society that appreciates and protects the founding principles of America’s charter and our way of life. 

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Commentary: Anatomy of the Woke Madness

Black Lives Matter Protest in DC, 5/31/2020

Wokeism has become our most popular secular religion—at least for a moment dethroning climate change. It reduces all of the past and present into puerile binaries between “whites” and “non-whites.”

Its aim is for the present generation to rewrite our history—whether by The 1619 Project and cancel culture or iconoclastic statue-toppling and Trotskyization of names and places. Wokeism becomes a child’s morality tale of noble non-white victims versus villainous white victimizers. Erasing the past and its language supposedly fuels a recalibration of the future, all in the here and now, a holy Year Zero

In the process, wokeism has done a lot of damage to America, and will do even more if left unchecked. Here are its chief characteristics.

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Commentary: Media Begins Its Meddling in the 2024 Primary

Paul Ryan wearing a red shirt and waving

In March 2018, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) took to the lectern to announce he had received “assurances” that President Trump was not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller. “We have a system based upon the rule of law in this country.” A month later, Ryan announced his retirement from Congress. 

In July 2018, Ryan refused to permit an effort to impeach then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for obstructing congressional inquiries into the Russian collusion hoax. Ryan’s protection of Mueller and his untimely retirement helped tip the 2018 midterm elections against his party and Nancy Pelosi has held the speaker’s gavel ever since then. 

Mueller should have been fired and Ryan should have urged Trump to do it. Mueller proved himself to be a fumbling and doddering fool unable to grasp the basics of the investigation he supposedly led. The real directors of the witch hunt, Trump haters led by Andrew Weissman, abused the powers of the special counsel to leak, smear, and harass the sitting president. It was, from the very start, a political operation intended to deny Trump the full freedom and powers an elected president normally would enjoy. It wasn’t quite a coup because power didn’t change hands. But it added to the continuing loss of confidence Americans have in achieving political change through elections. 

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Commentary: The Rise of ‘Bull Moose’ Populism Is What’s Giving Life to the GOP

former President Teddy Roosevelt exhorts the crowd during his unsuccessful run for another term: the "Bull Moose" Campaign -- Barre, Vermont, August 31, 1912.

Former President Teddy Roosevelt felt “strong as a bull moose” after losing the Republican presidential nomination in 1912. Now, thanks to President Donald Trump’s legacy, that “bull moose” energy is on the winning side of the GOP’s 2022 primary season.

There are many labels for the movement I describe as “Bull Moose” populism. It’s mainly known as America First, National Conservatism, National Populism, the “New” Right, or Trumpism. Whatever its name, the candidates who can articulate the vision best will see the most passionate grassroots support in 2022 and beyond.

To that end, the “Bull Moose” moniker is useful, because it harkens back over a century to a time when, in certain ways, American politics was just objectively better. There was fortitude and will, even forcefulness, that commanded respect. President Trump embodied that approach not unlike our 26th president, the Rough Rider himself, and so it should come as no surprise that their visions are so alike.

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Commentary: Another January 6 Falsehood: $30 Million in Damages to the Capitol

The U.S. Capitol Police on Monday morning conducted what it called a “routine” training exercise on the grounds of the Capitol. The stagecraft, almost five months to the day from the January 6 protest, involved emergency vehicles and helicopters. The agency warned area residents not to be “alarmed,” which of course was the exact reaction USCP wanted.

Call it insurrection theater. The USCP has acted as the Democratic Party’s stormtroopers since January 6, attacking peaceful Americans during the protest, lying about the death of officer Brian Sicknick, and now making officers available for embarrassing cable news hits where they share their hurt feelings and the permanent trauma they’ve suffered since enduring the supposedly harrowing ordeal. The distressed officers, however, seem just fine with the fact that a still-unidentified colleague shot and killed an unarmed woman, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt.

Capitol-employed apparatchiks have played a key role in shaping the narrative about what happened on January 6, all in service to their Democratic paymasters.

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Commentary: Combating Global Food Insecurity 

As COVID-19, violent conflicts, and natural disasters persist around the world, an increasing number of people face an additional crisis: food insecurity.  Although food insecurity existed in many low- and middle-income countries prior to 2020, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated this global challenge.

Today, according to the United Nations World Food Program Live Hunger Map, an estimated 870 million people live on insufficient food consumption.  This figure has increased since 2019, when an estimated 821 million people did not get enough food to eat. 

Within the 79 countries in which the World Food Program operates, the number of people suffering from acute malnutrition or worse has doubled to 270 million people since 2019.

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Commentary: Minimum Wage Hikes Led to Lower Worker Compensation, New Research Shows

Opponents of minimum wage laws tend to focus their criticism on one particular adverse consequence: by artificially raising the price of labor, they reduce employment, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.

“Minimum wage laws tragically generate unemployment, especially so among the poorest and least skilled or educated workers,” economist Murray Rothbard wrote in 1978. “Because a minimum wage, of course, does not guarantee any worker’s employment; it only prohibits, by force of law, anyone from being hired at the wage which would pay his employer to hire him.

Though some economists, such as Paul Krugman, reject Rothbard’s claim, a recent study found the overwhelming body of academic research supports the idea that minimum wage laws increase unemployment.

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Commentary: China’s Three-Child Policy Shows Xi Jinping Is Terrified

Xi Jinping

The Chinese government has carried out a massive population control campaign since the 1970s with the hope that it would generate economic prosperity. The government unremorsefully forced women to receive abortions, pressured or forced millions of women to be sterilized, and punished families with multiple children with debilitating fines. More than 300 million children were aborted under China’s one-child policy. 

Last week, the Chinese government ended the two-child policy, which had been in effect since 2016, and instead enacted a three-child policy. The new policy is essentially an admission that the Chinese Communist Party’s heinous population control policies will not give it the riches it had hoped for. Instead, the population control program will deliver a demographic disaster, which will ravage the country’s economy for generations. 

Many economists recognize that population control never improved China’s economy — that was the result of increased freedom in the marketplace and foreign investment. And the Malthusian crisis the government was so desperately trying to avoid with population control was an entirely false specter. 

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Commentary: Massive Government Spending Has Caused High Inflation Levels and a Weakening U.S. Dollar

$100 bills in rubber bands

Inflation is up 4.92 percent the past 12 months as of May, the most since July 2008’s 5.5 percent, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, amid a torrent of trillions of dollars of government spending, Federal Reserve money printing and a weakening dollar combined with the continued economic rebound led by reopening businesses from the 2020 Covid lockdowns.

The past three months alone, inflation has grown at an accelerated rate of 2 percent combined. If that trend were to hold up for the rest of the year, inflation would come closer to 8 percent.

In the month of May, price jumps in fuel oil at 2.1 percent and piped gas service at 1.7 percent offset a 0.7 percent drop in gasoline prices. In addition, new car prices grew 1.6 percent. Used cars and trucks grew at 7.3 percent again after a 10 percent jump in April. Apparel jumped 1.2 percent. And transportation services grew 1.5 percent after a 2.9 percent jump in April.

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Commentary: Letters from a D.C. Jail

This week, five Republican senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland regarding his office’s handling of January 6 protesters. The letter revealed the senators are aware that several Capitol defendants charged with mostly nonviolent crimes are being held in solitary confinement conditions in a D.C. jail used exclusively to house Capitol detainees.

Joe Biden’s Justice Department routinely requests—and partisan Beltway federal judges routinely approve—pre-trial detention for Americans arrested for their involvement in the January 6 protest. This includes everyone from an 18-year-old high school senior from Georgia to a 70-year-old Virginia farmer with no criminal record.

It is important to emphasize that the accused have languished for months in prison before their trials even have begun. Judges are keeping defendants behind bars largely based on clips selectively produced by the government from a trove of video footage under protective seal and unavailable to defense lawyers and the public—and for the thoughtcrime of doubting the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.

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Commentary: As the U.S.-China Trade War Continues, Career Training Is America’s Best Defense

People working on desktop computers

Amid the ongoing trade war between China and the United States, lawmakers are moving to pass a comprehensive new bill to boost economic competition, minimize reliance on China, and promote investment in the American workforce. With our economy beginning to recover, we need to focus on preparing young people to fill vital roles in the years ahead and decrease our reliance on tech and talent from abroad. 

China has the world’s second-largest economy and a faster-growing and more lucrative tech industry that “is poised to come out ahead” of the U.S., according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal last year. It’s winning the 5G race, contributes more to AI research, and because its population is so large, it has more data to feed to machine-learning and transportation technologies like self-driving vehicles.

If the U.S. wants to prevail in the tech race, we have to start with education. The pandemic has provided motivation for the U.S. to seek greater economic independence and bring jobs back to our shores. Career-oriented learning solutions can help fill these specialized jobs.

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Commentary: China Is the Big Winner from Our COVID Hysteria

Xi Jinping

The tidal wave of probability, circumstantial evidence of such mass and consistency that it is now almost irrefutable, that the novel coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, will alter China’s relationship with the world and particularly with the United States.

Accompanied as it is by the increasing volume of evidence that Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases—a post he has held for 37 years—and chief medical advisor to the president, went to unjustified lengths to deny that the coronavirus was anything but an unforeseeable escapee from a live food market, the unraveling story will ramify very widely. Seen as a whole, it has been an immense strategic victory for the People’s Republic of China. This victory is all the more remarkable because it was probably an extraordinary act of improvisation.

There is no reason to believe at this point that the Chinese authorities deliberately manufactured this virus and unleashed it mindless of the great damage it wrought among China’s civilian population. The great preponderance of evidence now is that the coronavirus was indeed manufactured, presumably for the purpose of enhanced research. As not infrequently occurs, it escaped, and while China imposed draconian measures to contain its spread among the Chinese population (and has never published believable figures about the extent of the harm that it did in China) it waited an unconscionable length of time before taking any measures to reduce its spread outside China.

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Commentary: The Lethal Wages of Trump Derangement Madness

Trump protest

Think about it: For about five years, anything candidate, president-elect, and President Trump said or did, the media, the Left, and progressive popular culture opposed in Pavlovian fashion.

Anything that Trump touched was ridiculed or discredited—regardless of evidence, data, or cogency. The merits of a Trump policy, a Trump assessment, a Trump initiative were irrelevant—given the primordial hatred of the Left of all things Trump: the president, the person, the family. 

Under the reductionist malady of Trump Derangement Syndrome, facts and logic did not matter. Instead, anything not said or done in opposition to Trump empowered the supposed existential Trump threat. Ironically, some of the most deductive and reductionist Trump haters were supposedly professionals, the highly educated, and the self-proclaimed devotees of the Enlightenment. And yet in their uncontrolled aversion and detestation, they suspended all the rules of empiricism, logic, and rationality—and people died as a result.

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Commentary: Twenty Billion Reasons to Take Homeschooling More Seriously

Boy in gray shirt on laptop at home

American public education is so hard to reform because of its great size. The economy of K-12 education here is bigger than some countries, and we’re not talking rinky-dink countries either.

“Federal, state, and local governments spend $720.9 billion, or $14,840 per pupil, to fund K-12 public education,” reports the website Education Data.

By contrast, the annual gross domestic product of oil giant Saudi Arabia in 2017 was only $687 billion, according to World Bank statistics. That same year, Switzerland, with its banks, watches, cheese, and army knives, raked in only $679 billion.

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Commentary: Fighting Back in a Woke World of Cancel Culture

Empty office

By now there are enough “cancel culture” stories to fill volumes. After my own story about standing up to a woke mob – and succeeding – went viral on Twitter, I decided to speak out, because I am convinced that Americans need more encouraging stories about standing up to cancel culture, and information on how they can do it themselves.

In order to withstand attacks, you’ll need to be armed with an understanding of the ideas in play, and the courage to stand up to bullies. I hope my story can help give you both.

My story began in 2010, when my husband and I founded a nonprofit organization that trains people around the world who are providing care for survivors of trauma. We were pleased with the success of our organization for the first several years, but around 2016, we noticed a change.

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Commentary: Biden’s Dishonest Domestic Terrorism Claims

Joe Biden speaking

It was hardly surprising when President Biden used his speech on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre to exacerbate racial tensions by shamelessly revising the history of black progress during the past century. Such demagoguery has long been a standard Democratic tactic. It was, however, startling to hear him claim that “Terrorism from white supremacy is the most lethal threat to the homeland today, not Isis, not Al-Qaeda — white supremacists.” If Biden truly believes this, he is unfit to be the commander in chief. Despite his insistence that this information was provided by the “intelligence community,” a joint report from the FBI and the DHS clearly refutes this claim.

Released on May 14, the “Strategic Intelligence Assessment and Data on Domestic Terrorism” reveals that the threat from domestic violent extremists (DVEs) is far lower than Biden would have us believe. According to the report, for example, “The year 2019 represented the most lethal year for DVE attacks since 1995, with five separate DVE attacks resulting in 32 deaths.” Even one such fatality is too many. Yet, compared to other causes of death, this number is infinitesimal. It is, according to the CDC, about half the average annual death rate associated with bee, hornet, and wasp stings. Moreover, the perpetrators don’t include roving bands of KKK hooligans or Neo-Nazis:

The greatest terrorism threat to the Homeland we face today is posed by lone offenders, often radicalized online, who look to attack soft targets with easily accessible weapons. Many of these violent extremists are motivated and inspired by a mix of socio-political goals and personal grievances against their targets.

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Commentary: Florida is Overcoming ‘Systemic Privilege’ by Putting Students Before the ‘System’

Students in shop class at school with safety goggles on

Throughout America, a very important – and highly racialized – conversation is taking place about overcoming injustice. Here in Florida, that conversation has often gone in a markedly different and very promising direction. And schoolchildren of color are among the greatest beneficiaries.

The conversation in Florida, at least as it pertains to education, has focused on what might be called “systemic privilege.”

If you are unfamiliar with this (de-racialized) mash-up term, try this: Go to a public forum and suggest that all families should be treated fairly – that all parents should have access to the per-pupil funds for their children even if they choose to educate them outside the public school system.  

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Commentary: Remembering D-Day

D day

This Sunday marks the 77th anniversary of the greatest gamble in World War II.

On June 6, 1941, more than 156,0000 allied forces launched from the sea onto the beaches of Normandy.  Nearly 7,000 allied ships commanded the French coastline, and more than 3,200 aircraft dominated the skies.  A few miles inland, 23,000 paratroopers landed to block German reinforcements from the shore.

After years of preparation, practice, and training, the Allies had come to break German power in Europe.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: American Businesses, Celebrities Need to Stop Kowtowing to China

China Tiananmen

This past week marked the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.

On June 4, 1989, pro-democracy protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing for peaceful demonstrations. Led by students, the demonstrators denounced China’s ruling Communist Party and sought greater freedoms for the Chinese people.

In response, the Communist Party sent the military to crush the protests. The Chinese government has never released any figures, but we know the People’s Liberation Army massacred anywhere from several hundred to several thousand people.

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Commentary: No One Supreme Court Case Can Relieve Us of Our Duty to the Unborn

Infants feet in woman's hand

The Supreme Court’s decision to take up Mississippi’s petition to reinstate their landmark ban on late-term abortions has brought forth an outpouring of both giddiness and trepidation from the pro-life community. Pro-life Americans are by turns hailing the opportunity for the greatest legal victory for the unborn in decades and declaring the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a litmus test on the usefulness of the entire conservative legal movement.

I don’t want to downplay Dobb’s importance. Mississippi’s law, protecting the lives of unborn children after 15 weeks, is both one of the bravest acts on behalf of mothers and children by any American legislature and striking in its common sense and humanity. That every one of America’s 50 states is, by judicial fiat, one of the very few places on earth that allow children to be aborted on-demand this late into pregnancy, is a disgrace whose correction is long overdue.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court merely agreeing to hear Mississippi’s appeal after lower courts struck the law down, represents a victory unto itself. To get to this point, at least four justices had to have agreed that this area of the law is in need of clarification and perhaps correction. Amicus briefs from many of the country’s leading pro-life lawyers will introduce arguments at the highest level of American jurisprudence that may seed future legislation and lawsuits even if Mississippi’s law is not allowed to go into effect.

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory Has Radically Transformed America’s Corporations and Public Schools

People in the streets protesting

Just four weeks ago, I wrote about the rising resistance to the woke craze and critical race theory, and much has transpired since then.

Here in California, even Disneyland has not been spared the wrath of the crazies. On May 7, the incomparable Christopher Rufo reported that “The Wokest Place on Earth” now includes employee trainings on systemic racism, white privilege, white fragility, and white saviors, and also launched racially segregated “affinity groups” at the company’s headquarters.

But just five days later, Rufo disclosed that Disney “has removed its entire antiracism program from the company’s internal portal, effectively scrubbing it out of existence.” Rufo added, “This is a major victory in the war against ‘woke capital,’” and noted that a “significant backlash from the public” was responsible for the shift. While some skeptics suggested that the policy was being “tweaked or rebranded, not scrubbed,” Rufo responded, “Possibly, but small victories start to add up. We’ve set the precedent—and forced a $329 billion company to back down.”

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Commentary: Be Very Skeptical About Sen. Warren Throwing More Money at the IRS

Elizabeth Warren

Closing the “tax gap,” or revenue owed to the federal government that goes uncollected, has long been a favorite deus ex machina for lawmakers who want more revenue without having to raise rates. But Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Commissioner Chuck Rettig really put dollar signs in lawmakers’ eyes when he claimed the tax gap could be as large as $1 trillion. Always eager to appear knowledgeable on policy issues, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is putting forward a plan to collect extra revenue that only gets worse the deeper you dig into it.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand how far off on an island Rettig is with his estimate. The IRS’s last official estimate of the size of the tax gap placed it at a far, far lower $381 billion. Even considering that this estimate may not have factored in underpayment from cryptocurrencies, offshore holdings, and pass-through businesses, the tax gap still remains far closer to $500 billion than to $1 trillion.

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Commentary: BLM Founder Patrisse Cullors, Marxist Abolitionist

Patrisse Cullors

Black Lives Matter founder Patrisse Cullors has been in the news a lot lately because of controversy over her income and financial dealings, including recent purchases of several new homes. Cullors lashed out at these criticisms by protesting, “The fact that the right-wing media is trying to create hysteria around my spending is, frankly, racist and sexist.”

The fact is that Cullors’ own organization has demanded answers. Hawk Newsome, head of Black Lives Matter Greater New York City, called for “an independent investigation” of Cullors. “If you go around calling yourself a socialist, you have to ask how much of her own personal money is going to charitable causes,” says Newsome. “It’s really sad because it makes people doubt the validity of the movement and overlook the fact that it’s the people that carry this movement.… We need black firms and black accountants to go in there and find out where the money is going.”

But another particularly striking Cullors revelation of late has gotten almost no publicity. It was flagged for me by Mike Gonzalez, author of an upcoming major new book on BLM. It’s a video by Cullors titled, “What Is Abolition And Am I An Abolitionist?” Posted on her personal YouTube channel, it needs to be widely watched.

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Commentary: Voter Photo IDs Are the Rule in Europe and Elsewhere

Democrats and much of the media are pushing to make permanent the extraordinary, pandemic-driven measures to relax voting rules during the 2020 elections – warning anew of racist voter “suppression” otherwise. Yet democracies in Europe and elsewhere tell a different story – of the benefits of stricter voter ID requirements after hard lessons learned. 

A database on voting rules worldwide compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center, which I run, shows that election integrity measures are widely accepted globally, and have often been adopted by countries after they’ve experienced fraud under looser voting regimes.

Britain is Europe’s outlier in generally not requiring voter IDs, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims to change that. He went to the polls in May with wife-to-be Carrie Symonds.

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Victor Davis Hanson Commentary: The New Regressive Dark Ages

Once upon a time long ago, we agreed there were certain immutable laws of human nature. These laws were based on facts, reality, and data. 

In other words, we accepted common sense about the way the world worked according to logical and even “scientific” principles. That assumption defined us as “enlightened” rather than Dark Age reductionists and ideological- or myth-driven zealots. 

Not now. “Progressives,” especially the media, are most often regressive, anti-Enlightenment, and intolerant people, who start with a deductive premise and then make the evidence conform to it—or else. 

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Commentary: New York and New Jersey Are Among the Top 10 States Where Residents Pay the Highest Lifetime Taxes

Tax withholding forms

In the mood for a depressing statistic? A new report from the financial services firm Self concludes that the average American will pay an astounding $525,037 in taxes over their lifetime—roughly 34 percent of their lifetime earnings. 

But the numbers aren’t uniform across the country; they vary wildly from state to state. Based on taxes on earnings, spending, property, and cars, here are the 10 states where residents pay the highest taxes over a lifetime.

1. New Jersey

Topping the list is New Jersey, where residents will, on average, owe an astounding $932,000 in taxes over their lifetime. That’s nearly 50 percent of their typical lifetime earnings!

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Commentary: Paul Ryan Was an Ineffective Leader of the Republican Party

Paul Ryan

We aren’t actually governed by Paul Ryan, whose brief time as House Speaker ended in what can only be described as a surrender. Ryan bolted from the Speaker’s chair the minute the 2018 elections were over. He was happy to leave Congress to take a “cashing-in” job on the Fox Corporation board while his party took an electoral bath in those midterms he could blame on Donald Trump.

But as readers of The American Spectator know, in this space we’ve been exploring the premise that Americans are governed by people who suck. And Ryan put himself in that category even from outside the elective-office sphere this week when he offered up a tired and tiresome narrative about the future of the Republican Party.

What is it with these washed-up politicians, who are clearly the party’s past, demanding the GOP follow their instructions as to its future? Do we have to exhume the remains of Nelson Rockefeller and Thomas Dewey or conduct seances with them for guidance in how to defeat the 21st-century Left?

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Commentary: Honoring America’s Heroes on Memorial Day 

Soldier at gravesite of U.S. veterans

On Memorial Day, we commemorate and honor our fellow Americans who gave their lives in service to our country. 

Throughout America’s history, our military men and women have bravely defended our God-given freedoms against the evils of religious persecution, slavery, foreign enemies, and radical terrorism.   

The first defenders of American freedom were the courageous Continental Army and its leader, General George Washington.  As we noted in our documentary “The First American,” it was a monumental challenge for Washington to mobilize a poorly trained and under-equipped army to victory against the British. 

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Commentary: No Schools are Safe from Critical Race Theory – Even in Tennessee

Downtown Franklin, Tennessee

Williamson County? Never heard of it. What’s the big deal?

Well, a lot.

Williamson County, Tennessee is what you might call “Republican Heaven.” Just south of Democrat-stronghold Nashville, much of it is a gorgeous suburb, home to the likes of country star Luke Bryan of “American Idol” fame – on an 150 acre estate – and Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Its county seat, Franklin, has a downtown straight out of an updated version of Norman Rockwell, the kind of place you can get both great barbecue and haute cuisine.

That small city and county are growing like crazy in large part because they are also supposed to have one of the best public school systems in the country.

Supposed to…

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Commentary: Conservatives and Republicans Must Reclaim Memorial Day

Veteran cemetery with table set for lives lost who served America

In the face of the Far Left’s attempts to rewrite American history through the now-discredited 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory, Republicans and conservatives must reclaim the key dates and events in American history and there is no better place to start than Memorial Day 2021.

Memorial Day was created not as a “holiday” or an excuse for corporate merchants to advertise sales, but as a solemn commemoration of the dead of both sides in the American Civil War.

In that context Memorial Day commemorates a number of constitutional conservative values, not the least of which is the inviolability of the Constitution itself.

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Commentary: If He Wants to Unite the Nation, Biden Should Take Up School Choice

Joe Biden

Throughout his campaign and his presidency so far, Joe Biden has focused his message on fostering unity in the country. Newsflash: it’s not working. 

Despite the president’s stated goal of ending the “uncivil war that pits red against blue,” as he called it in his inaugural address, issues including health care, immigration, racial justice, and even Covid-19 continue to divide the American electorate. Ostensibly, few issues remain on which Republicans and Democrats can find common ground. 

That’s where school choice should come into the picture. Recent polling suggests that school choice may be the issue where a majority of Americans see eye to eye. If Biden really wants to unify, he should pick up the mantle of choice.

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Commentary: Spinning Wuhan with ‘Intelligence’

Wuhan Institute of Virology

Joe Biden’s instruction to the U.S. intelligence community to report whether the novel coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology is a comical attempt to avoid being discredited by the unraveling narrative that China’s role in the pandemic is another manifestation of racism. You know, the racism that results in Asian Americans being beaten in the streets by white Trump voters insidiously disguised as black Democrats. Having much invested in that narrative, the Democratic Party wants to distance itself from its unavoidable collapse.

Basic facts should be stipulated.

U.S. intelligence does not possess hard facts to prove exactly what happened in that lab. If it had them, it would have informed the previous president as well as the current one. 

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Commentary: Giving Parents the Choice in Their Children’s Education

With widespread school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the debate over school choice has once again taken center stage.

For the past seven years, approximately two-thirds of Americans have consistently supported school choice.  Additionally, support is largely bipartisan, with 82 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Democrats in favor of school choice.  

The positive impact of access to quality education is clear.  As President Donald Trump said during his State of the Union Address on February 4, 2020, “The next step forward in building an inclusive society is making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.” 

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