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As an aside to the story about the Washington Post saying in 2020 that “experts” found Trump’s claim that oil prices would spike under Biden “dubious,” and that prices would more likely be lower, this is a good opportunity to point out one of the many glaring flaws in the methodology of what currently passes for “fact-checking.” And that is the reliance on so-called "expert" opinion as a substitute for objective facts.

There’s a term for that: the “appeal to authority.” It means claiming that something must be true if one “credible” source believes it. It’s one of the most common logical fallacies.

https://www.logicalfallacies.org/appeal-to-authority.html

(I apologize for citing logic, since we now know that’s just a form of white supremacy.)

Many modern “fact-checkers” rely on this, and media and social media outlets use them to censor any questioning of their pronouncements as if they are unassailable fact, handed down from Mt. Sinai on stone tablets. Later, when we discover they were wrong, we’re told, “The science has changed.” But science doesn’t change, we just learn that our original understanding of it was WRONG. And the only way to figure that out is to question authority. Which we’re not allowed to do because that’s known as the “scientific method,” and that’s also now been branded as “white supremacy.”

I’d like to recommend a book that should be required reading for all people who want to declare themselves “fact-checkers.” It’s by Christopher Cerf, and it’s called “The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation.” It’s a history of the many false things that experts once assured us were true, such as that man could never fly, that it would be fatal for a human to travel faster than 30 mph, that there’s no reason any person would ever need a home computer, and many more. And my favorite genius, the Decca Records executive who turned down the Beatles, telling them that guitar groups were on the way out.

Yes, these are the “experts,” the people we now rely on to tell us truths that are so irrefutable that some people want to make trying to refute them illegal. That's why when a "fact-checker" begins with "experts say," I say you should prepare for a snow job. By the way, "experts" assured us years ago that due to global warming, snow would be a thing of the past by now.

Putin's invasion of Ukraine has sparked letters touching on stories that are going around. Here are two...

From John K:

“Mike, a history lesson is in order here. Didn't USSR, now Russia, help in [email protected] the Nazis? Some pundits are saying that Russia is now invading European lands. How did that happen? We don't have history on the History channel or Wikipedia. This land was never European land but as I recall it was part of Russia before we sorted that out. The fake new Republic of the World, or as they say the New world Order promulgated by the Sorosbrand and "Progressive Liberals," is or is coming soon to a theatre near you. The play is just starting, so take your seat. I want to sit next to you.”

From Fiorella W:

“I hear many conflicting stories about Putin's real motive. One source says that the U.S. has established 11 biolabs in Ukraine and Putin has taken 7 out... And then, of course, there is the whole Biden family continuing corruption with the puppet regime. What should we believe?

Thanks to you both, and to all who have written. Yes, Soviet Russia did fight against Hitler, after Germany invaded Russia in June, 1941.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/invasion-of-the-soviet-union-june-1941

Technically, the Soviets became our allies when we entered the war. That’s why, with the way people tend to think in “either/or” terms, alliances ever since have been framed in that way. You checked a box: 1) pro-Nazi, or 2) pro-Russia. Later on, it became 1) pro-Russia, or 2) pro-China. The truth: NONE of them deserve our support.

Eastern Europe was carved up in 1945 at the Yalta Conference –- led by FDR (very ill at the time), British Prime Minister Churchill and Soviet Premier Stalin. They were then looking at terms to induce the Soviets to enter the war in the Pacific. Because of that, and also because Russia had done much in recent days to drive back the Germans, Stalin was seen to have an advantage at the talks.

Stalin refused to relinquish Poland but said he’d permit free elections. Same with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. At that time, Soviet Russia was an "ally," but that was exposed as a sham when, in 1945, the U.S.S.R. made it clear they’d be clamping down on Poland and not allowing political freedom at all. Our former “ally” controlled those Eastern European nations and also East Berlin, which they shockingly encased behind a wall topped with barbed wire and snipers. In March 1946, Churchill gave his speech saying an “iron curtain” had descended upon Eastern Europe, marking the start of the Cold War.

Since then, the U.S.S.R. has fallen and Russia’s borders have changed. But we see from this snippet of history that distinctions between so-called “Russian territory” and “Eastern Europe” are likely lost on Vladimir Putin.

https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/yalta-conference

To say Ukraine was once “part of Russia” echoes Putin’s propaganda campaign but ignores the naked, horrific aggression he committed. Some have even said that since Ukraine has corruption, the altruistic Mr. Putin was trying to right a wrong by invading. As if Russia doesn’t have corruption? I have hardly ever heard anything crazier: that Putin is trying to “save” Ukraine from corruption by bombing the daylights out of it. Couldn’t he have just...made a phone call or something?

I say that facetiously to set up a point: that when Trump tried to address corruption through a phone call, he got impeached. Putin wouldn’t have such worries.

Then there’s the story about biolabs. We don’t know --- it’s hard enough finding out about biolabs in China and talking about those freely --- but even if this is real and NOT Russian disinformation, invading Ukraine and killing thousands of innocent people is not an acceptable response. Sounds like a pretext to us. It works well as propaganda, though, because after what we’ve learned about the World Health Organization, it’s believable. But it doesn’t justify Putin’s invasion. Here’s a good write-up by Kyle Becker.

https://beckernews.com/3-russian-ministry-of-defense-claims-it-has-evidence-of-u-s-funded-bioweapons-labs-in-ukraine-44303/

We do know that Putin is a sociopath because operatives have killed many of his critics, defectors, and others besides. From the Homeland Security News Wire in 2020: “...Putin has adopted a milder version of Stalin’s tactics of random killings in order to instill a generalized sense of fear and insecurity in the Russian elite.” They provide a list of murders.

https://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20200825-putin-s-victims-a-long-list-getting-longer

We’ve long known that Putin is a KGB thug, but there are loathsome factions in the U.S. that avoid criticism of him. Bizarrely, President Biden even has Putin involved in the negotiations for a new “Iran deal,” which we know would lead to Iran becoming a nuclear power. Mark Levin had a great show on this and related matters Sunday night.

https://video.foxnews.com/v/6299850695001#sp=show-clips

We’ve heard some particularly inane observations, such as that Ukrainian President Zelensky shouldn’t be believed "because he was an actor.” Well, Ronald Reagan was an actor, and he was about as trustworthy as it gets. That doesn’t mean Zelensky is trustworthy, just that the observation is stupid. Putin undeniably is a thug, and Zelensky understandably wants our help with a no-fly zone, but we must anticipate the perhaps-literal fallout. To reject this step does not make one pro-Putin in any way, just pro-using-your-brain.

Trump’s political enemies call him pro-Putin because he’s flattered Vlad now and them, calling him “smart” and such. They fail to understand that this move in itself was smart –- played to discourage Putin from cozying up to China. (Too late now, it seems.) Critics play checkers when they should be playing chess.

Here are more debunked stories...

https://thenationalpulse.com/2022/02/28/pro-ukraine-propaganda-floods-social-media/

And here’s a fabulous more-recent Ukraine history lesson, a “premium” article by Jeff Carlson and Hans Mahncke for The Epoch Times. Highly recommended...

https://www.theepochtimes.com/before-russias-invasion-of-ukraine-a-decade-of-destabilization_4316990.html/?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=TheLibertyDaily

(Note that The National Pulse, just for offering facts, feels the need to run a disclaimer: “For the avoidance of doubt, The National Pulse is against wars of aggression, and is not supported financially by any government or entity acting on behalf of a government or foreign interest...”)

As for George Soros, yes, his influence in Ukraine has been huge, starting in 1989, just before the fall of the Soviet Union. He’s been pushing for Ukraine to enter the E.U. We highly recommend Matt Palumbo’s book about him, THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN, in which Ukraine gets its own fascinating chapter, with names you’ll recognize from Trump’s first impeachment and even the Steele “dossier.” That country’s full of the kind of secrets you’d expect from a pro-Obama, pro-Hillary crowd.

There are so many unknowns. As we said Saturday, this really is “the first draft of history.” It’s a shame we can’t trust what our own government tells us. Scott Adams, bestselling author and “Dilbert” creator,” called the situation “a big black box that we can’t see into.”

Even so, there's one truth we should agree on: that unprovoked aggression is always wrong. For everything else you might read or hear about this war, ask yourself two questions: 1) Has this person generally been right before, and 2) How can this person possibly KNOW what he’s saying is true?

Day 12

March 8, 2022

With our usual caveats that we can’t cover breaking news, and that first reports from war zones are often unreliable, here is today’s continuously-updated feed of Ukraine bulletins from Fox News:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-3-7-2022

Among the latest developments as Monday starts day 12 of Russia’s invasion:

Russia claimed it will honor another ceasefire, but Ukraine rejected a proposal to evacuate Ukrainian citizens to Russia and Belarus, the equivalent of evacuating out of the frying pan and into the fire. Ukraine is also calling for a worldwide boycott of Russian products.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy held a Zoom meeting over the weekend with 280 US Congress members. With NATO having rejected his request to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, Zelenskyy pleaded with lawmakers to introduce an oil embargo on Russia and stop buying Russian oil. He also said if the US had started serious sanctions months ago, there wouldn’t have been any war. That must’ve been an uncomfortable phone call for the Biden backers in Congress.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ukrainian-president-zelenskyy-makes-one-request-us-meeting-change-everything/

Visa and Mastercard announced that they will cease all transactions involving Russian banks. But Robert Spencer at PJ Media argues that that will mostly harm ordinary Russians who might oppose Putin’s invasion. It also sets more precedent for financial companies to deplatform people with unapproved views.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2022/03/06/why-americans-shouldnt-be-happy-that-mastercard-and-visa-have-suspended-russia-operations-n1564206

Nick Arama at Redstate.com notes that Paypal, Payarama and Adobe have also suspended operations in Russia. Yet President Biden continues doing business with Russia, buying their oil instead of pumping our own.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/03/06/latest-shoe-is-a-big-one-to-drop-on-russia-but-joe-biden-is-still-holding-back-n532341

Meanwhile, China was only too happy to step in and fill the void. Russia will start using China’s UnionPay credit card system instead of Visa and Mastercard.

https://news.yahoo.com/russian-banks-switch-chinese-card-161004241.html

The Chinese foreign minister touted China’s relationship with Russia, calling Moscow China’s “most important strategic partner.” Previous Presidents understood that both powers had to be treated with a mixture of praise/diplomacy and ironfisted restrictions because we wanted each of them kept off-balance and dependent on/afraid of us so they wouldn’t align with each other. Previous Presidents understood that it was better to have an uneasy alliance with each against the other than to have Russia and China team up against us. But previous Presidents weren’t Joe Biden.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/china-russia-most-important-strategic-partner-ukraine-invasion

This is today’s Fox News link for the latest bulletins on the Russian invasion of Ukraine:

https://www.foxnews.com/live-news/russia-ukraine-war-3-8-2022

Some of the top stories from the past 24 hours: President Biden has FINALLY been pressured into ending US imports of Russian oil, but at this writing it’s unknown whether he’ll take his foot off the neck of America’s oil producers or try to replace it with oil from OPEC or (God forbid) Iran (which would spike gas prices even higher), or just rely on sunshine, windmills and wishes (which would send gas prices to the moon.)

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy said some of the responsibility for deaths in Ukraine falls on nations that refused to impose a no-fly zone. The UN estimated that over 2 million people have fled Ukraine. US officials estimate that more than 3,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, which is about 1 out of every 300 Russian military members. Ukraine officials claim that Russian forces are shelling a humanitarian corridor established to allow evacuees to leave safely.

For those who want to understand more of what’s going on with Russia and Ukraine, Putin’s history and motivations, and what’s likely to happen in the future, Kamil Galeev of the Wilson Center has a series of interesting Twitter threads that take a deep dive into those subjects.

https://twitter.com/kamilkazani/status/1498377757536968711

You might start with this one, which is very eye-opening. All the “Z’s” you see popping up in Russia do not mean the people support Zelenskyy.

https://twitter.com/kamilkazani/status/1500495309595725831

Okay, here’s a real “fact-check,” or maybe I should say a punch in the gut with reality: Monday, the average price of a gallon of gas in the US hit a record high of $4.104, surpassing the previous record of $4.103 set in 2008. The best you can say for Biden is that it might not actually be the highest ever when you adjust it for the galloping inflation that’s the only thing he seems interested in fueling.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/u-s-gas-prices-hit-new-record-high

Naturally, the highest price is in deep blue California, where the average price of a gallon of gas is $5.43. That means in many places, it’s much higher, like in the $6 range. And if any alleged “experts” still think Trump’s prediction of even higher prices seems “dubious,” some oil traders are now bracing for oil to hit $200 a barrel by the end of this month.

https://www.westernjournal.com/warning-americans-traders-eye-200-per-oil-barrel-month-report/

Meanwhile, President Biden was finally pressured enough that he will reportedly announce an end to importing Russian oil on Tuesday morning.

https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/biden-russian-oil-import-ban

But what will he replace it with? Judging by comments from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, buying it from Iran is on the table. He’d rather buy it from terrorists than let Americans pump it. A meme has gone viral that says Biden is scouring the world for any place that has oil other than Texas. That doesn’t even make sense from an environmental standpoint since our oil is much cleaner than Russia’s and doesn’t have to be transported halfway around the world.

Even in liberal Massachusetts, one Springfield man told a reporter that the gas prices made him sick to his stomach, adding, “They’re killing the working man.”

https://www.westernjournal.com/american-brutal-reaction-gas-prices-bidens-america-sick-stomach/

Biden’s fellow Democrats (the former “friend of the working man” Party) are starting to panic and suggest any gimmicks to try to temporarily lower the price of gas before the November elections.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/gas-prices-democratic-bloodbath-midterms-republicans

But they’re still unwilling to do what everyone with a brain bigger than a chicken’s knows we have to do: reverse Biden’s idiotic policies and get our pumps and pipelines back online ASAP. Last week, House Republicans introduced a bill to do that, and Democrats voted it down by 221-202.

https://notthebee.com/article/house-democrats-voted-down-a-major-oil-independence-bill-because-they-prefer-renewable-energy-and-someone-needs-to-tell-them-that-you-can-do-both-its-fine-to-do-both

Maybe those $6-a-gallon gas prices will convince them to hold a do-over and get it right this time by passing Ted Cruz’s Energy Freedom Act. Or maybe they think that keeping gas prices sky-high will prevent all those truckers from reaching Washington to protest them. The big question is, how long will they keep on killing the working man before they finally force themselves to admit that Trump was right and unleash America’s energy industries?

Targeting DeSantis

March 8, 2022

Last week, Florida’s legislature passed a law similar to Mississippi’s law that bans abortion after the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. The White House immediately went ballistic over this, with strong statements of opposition from both President Biden and Vice President Harris.

https://redstate.com/streiff/2022/03/07/the-biden-harris-attack-on-the-new-florida-abortion-law-shows-how-much-the-left-fears-ron-desantis-n532641

But as that article points out, this is only one of many recent state laws reining in abortion, some of them more severe than Florida’s. So why the immediate harsh reaction to Florida? Redstate's reasonable theory is that they’re scared to death of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is proving to be a tough, effective, very popular leader who could run for President and draw the same supporters as Trump, only without the years of media-amplified negatives.

That’s why you’re hearing so many anti-DeSantis stories (for example, he “yelled” at teenagers to take off their masks – spoiler alert: he didn’t). Expect to hear a lot more attacks on DeSantis and Florida by Democrats, even as many of them are fleeing to Florida to escape the consequences of their own insane policies.

By the way, kudos to VP Harris for at least having the honesty to use the word “abortion” in her statement. Biden continued the usual liberal fuzzy euphemism game of calling it “reproductive health care.” It’s not very healthy for babies, is it?