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Propaganda

October 15, 2021

One of the hallmarks of leftists is an unshakable belief in the power of propaganda to override obvious reality. I discussed this yesterday, in the story about Nancy Pelosi scolding reporters for not doing a good enough job of selling Biden’s massive spending and government expansion. They believe that the problem is never that their product stinks, it’s just that the “messaging” is off.

They also seem to believe that since they have so much of the media and social media acting as their unpaid propaganda arm, if they can keep anything negative off of those channels, then people will never know about it. If the media can suppress it, then it doesn’t exist. But it’s not just Hunter Biden’s laptop that disproves that.

Back in the old Soviet days, humorist P.J. O’Rourke wrote that whenever he traveled to nations behind the Iron Curtain, as soon as locals found out he was from America, they’d take him aside and privately tell him all the latest jokes about what incompetent nitwits their leaders were. The commies believed that just because they’d intimidated people into not criticizing them out loud and into voicing rabid support in public that they actually didn’t know they were living terrible lives of oppression and deprivation. Imagine Facebook bans backed up by gulags.

Fortunately, here in America, we still have some outlets for free speech (this newsletter for instance), but the leftist-supporting organs are trying to smother it, sometimes in hilarious ways. The biggest recent example was how an obscene chant against Joe Biden at a NASCAR race was turned into “Let’s go, Brandon” by an NBC reporter desperate not to admit what viewers were clearly hearing. But that didn’t make people stop cursing Biden, it just gave rise to a widely-merchandised “Let’s Go, Brandon” craze, which I like because it enables people to express their true feelings about Biden without cursing in front of the children.

The recent Disney-Plus “documentary” on Dr. Anthony Fauci also has a couple of websites scrambling for creative ways to cover up the public’s true reaction. The movie gives the fawning hero treatment to the government health bureaucrat that many people are well and truly sick of (in the latest Rasmussen survey, 54% of likely voters say he’s “lost all credibility”), and viewers made their feelings known.

At RottenTomatoes.com, the professional critics gave it a laughably high 91% positive rating while audiences gave it 2% (for comparison, they give the often-cited worst movie ever made, “Plan Nine from Outer Space,” 45%.) The disparity between the critics’ raves and the public’s disgust was so glaring that the website briefly disabled the public rankings, but now, they’re back. Silencing the public didn’t make the truth go away any better than it did for the USSR. The site did, however, put a disclaimer on the audience reviews, saying that “some viewers expressed their dissatisfaction with the subject matter by giving the documentary a Rotten rating.”

Funny, I read some of the reviews and they specifically cited how disappointed they were in the film itself for being a fawning fan letter rather than an honest, informative appraisal. Although they obviously don’t like Fauci, either, especially after seeing him in the movie, working at home under a giant painting of himself.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/478899/

The Internet Movie Database also showed its sympathies for Democrats by trying some blatant vote-rigging to hide the public’s hostility to the film. The average viewer rating was 1.6 out of 10, so they simply changed it to 5.8. I’ll assume they found a box of late ballots in a car trunk.

https://www.westernjournal.com/terrible-reviews-imdb-rigs-fauci-movie-scores-got-caught-forgetting-major-detail/

All these sites are accomplishing by falsifying their ratings systems is to destroy their own credibility, not restore Fauci’s. If they’ll do this, why should we ever trust their ratings of any film? Will they downgrade “Gone With The Wind” to one star for being politically incorrect, or tell us Al Gore’s global warming movie is better than “Citizen Kane?” I’d probably believe both of those claims before I’d believe that audiences gave “Fauci” a 5.8. Like P.J. O’Rourke, I’ve had too many people tell me privately what they really think of it.

Leaked border documents

October 15, 2021

Fox News has obtained leaked Border Patrol documents showing that the Biden Administration has released at least 160,000 illegal immigrants into the US, most with little or no supervision, and broadly (and possibly illegally) expanded the limited parole system to make over 30,000 of them eligible for work permits (question to low-skilled minority Americans who were enjoying their first raises in years under Trump: how is that vote for Biden working out for you?)

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/leaked-border-patrol-docs-release-immigrants-us-biden-administration

This is hardly news to anyone who doesn’t get their news from the Biden-whitewashing media. Frankly, I’m surprised it isn’t more (and it soon will be, with massive caravans already on the way to our former Southern “border.”) The real news is Biden's abuse of limited paroles, which by law are to be granted “on a case by case basis and only for significant humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit” with recipients being closely monitored. Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott said he never approved more than five or ten in a year. Biden is treating them like house brand Halloween candy and handing them out by the tens of thousands to anyone who shows up at our doorstep.

As you can see at the link, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has a whole bag full of “root causes” for the surge, none of which have anything to do with Biden reversing all of Trump’s successful border security measures and incentivizing illegal immigration. If you want to find the “root cause” of this disaster, stop looking in Central America and search 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The story of the day, or perhaps the year, comes from a mom in Loudoun County, which is one of two affluent Virginia counties currently embroiled in protests over race-based training being pushed on school kids. (The other is Fairfax County.) I don’t know if it’s too late for a confirmed left-leaning political hack like Attorney General Merrick Garland to have some sense knocked into him, but on the off-chance this woman’s story might make an impression, I sure hope he’s reading this.

The AG might not have known he was kicking a hornets’ nest when he issued a memo to various government agencies likening these justifiably angry parents to domestic terrorists and calling on law enforcement to deal with them accordingly, but he sure did, and thank God the parents and civil libertarians are stirring. We’ve heard more than enough criticism in recent days of parents daring to challenge the curriculum in their kids’ schools. This all comes down to the essential question of who will decide how children should be educated –- their own parents, or the government? Who has the final say?

Xi Van Fleet, who as a child endured the Maoist Revolution in China before immigrating to the United States, has spoken with FOX NEWS and other news outlets to explain how AG Garland’s Department of “Justice” and the National School Boards Association are using tactics similar to those she witnessed in Communist China to take control of children and prevent parents from having any say. If you think that sounds far-fetched, well...did YOU grow up in China during the Maoist Revolution?

https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-mom-survived-maoist-china-school-board-association-doj-communist-tactics

What she saw then was disturbingly similar to what we’re seeing in American “cancel culture.” The goal in those days was to cancel traditional Chinese culture and destroy their heritage. The spate of statue-toppling by leftist rioters that destroyed symbols of our national history would have been smiled upon by Chairman Mao.

“When I was in China,” she said, “I spent my entire school years in the Chinese Cultural Revolution, so I’m very, very familiar with the communist tactics of how to divide people, how they canceled the Chinese traditional culture and destroyed our heritage. All this is happening in America.”

There could be nothing more divisive than teaching children that, based on the color of their skin, they belong in one of two groups: the privileged oppressors and the victimized oppressed. But that’s exactly what “anti-racist” training does. To those who might still think “anti-racism” just means being against racism, I’m sorry, but that isn’t what it means at all. If only that were true.

And never mind the violent riots, arson and statue-toppling of last year that went virtually unpunished; Garland now wants to prosecute parents for threats and violence (of which he gave no specific examples) towards school personnel. He said that “threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values.”

I’ll tell you what runs counter to our nation’s core values: the government overriding parents to determine what their will children learn, even if the parents consider the force-fed curriculum to be child abuse.

Van Fleet, whose son graduated from Loudoun High School in 2015, gained attention in June when she spoke powerfully at a Loudoun County School Board meeting about what is wrong with race-based indoctrination such as Critical Race Theory. After Garland’s announcement of the tough stand he’d take against parents, she had more to say. “I do have a question,” she told FOX NEWS. “What’s [the] next step? Is the Tiananmen Square crackdown the next, or the parents who one day risked their lives just to speak out for the children. That’s why I’m here.”

Other parents are speaking up as well, though they are scared. Harry Jackson, president of the Thomas Jefferson High School PTA in Fairfax County, said parents are intimidated about speaking before the school board. “They have instilled fear within the parents,” he said. “They created fear amongst the community which you’re supposed to service and support.” Another parent, Suparna Dutta, who pulled her son out of that school, called Garland’s announcement “shocking.”

“I am scared,” Dutta said to FOX NEWS. “Yet, I believe I’m living in a time when if I don’t speak up for my child and if I don’t stand up for what’s right in America, I don’t know what the next generation will be left with.”

G. Q. Pan and Jan Jekielek of EPOCH TIMES also have an eye-opening story about Van Fleet and her experience during the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/virginia-mother-who-survived-maos-cultural-revolution-sees-parallels-in-america_4044797.html?utm_source=partner&utm_campaign=TheLibertyDaily

This is a premium story, but I’ll offer some highlights and commentary below. If you do subscribe to their premium service, you can see her interviewed on EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/i-want-to-wake-people-up-xi-van-fleet-survivor-of-maos-cultural-revolution_4045860.html

Van Fleet was a first grader when the Cultural Revolution started in China, she said. Traditional classes ceased for the older kids and they were inducted into Mao Zedong’s Red Guards, who set about destroying vestiges of traditional China. The Red Guards brought violence and destruction to anyone and everything they considered “counter-revolutionary.” The criminal justice system was paralyzed, she said, so they faced no consequences for what they did.

Consider the real violence going on in our country last summer, and how the perpetrators faced essentially no consequences for their criminal acts.

Van Fleet said the Red Guards attacked the “Four Olds”: old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits. I can think of a few for the America of 2021:

Old ideas: Parents are in charge of their kids’ upbringing.

Old culture: We value monuments to our nation’s history.

Old customs: Biological men stay out of the ladies’ room.

Old habits: We reflexively rise for the national anthem.

She said the Chinese version of “cancel culture” grew to the point where they’d go to houses and destroy items reminiscent of pre-revolutionary China. “I remember this whole street was just a mess of things destroyed,” she said, “and the people, those homeowners, howling and crying.

If all this sounds extreme, Van Fleet says she can see the similarities here, with people afraid to speak out, lest they be called “racist.” The term “racist” no longer means anything but is used as a political weapon. “...In the last few years, it has changed its meaning,” she said. “Anyone who kind of disagrees with the ideology from the left becomes a racist.”

She also sees a big similarity between Critical Race Theory and policies implemented by Mao. Citizens were put into categories, the good “Five Red Categories” and the undesirable “Five Black Categories,” who were the descendants of rich farmers and other “class enemies.” Those people were humiliated and forced to go to “struggle sessions” where they were made to confess their privileged status. Does this sound a lot like CRT to you? It does to Van Fleet.

She describes CRT as Marxist class struggle rhetoric repackaged to focus on race so it works better in American society. And she would know. Once you see the similarities she’s pointing out, you can’t un-see them. So, parents --- everyone --- keep speaking out.

Airline cancellations

October 13, 2021

Earlier this week, when Southwest Airlines was reeling from the cancellations of nearly 1,000 flights, they denied that it was due to employees protesting the COVID vaccine mandates. Instead, they blamed the weather and air traffic control issues, which mysteriously didn’t seem to be grounding any other airlines’ flights.

Biden press secretary Jen Psaki mocked Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting it was vaccine resistance-related, snarking that he was a “business travel and health care expert.” Cruz shot back on Twitter that he heard directly from an informed source that it was a planned vaccine sickout, and it appears he was correct.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/megan-fox/2021/10/12/exclusive-southwest-whistleblower-canceled-flights-the-result-of-a-coordinated-protest-against-vaccine-mandate-n1523499

There’s a lot of information at that link, including a pilot telling Tucker Carlson that 30% of pilots are unvaccinated and if they’re fired, it will cause “massive disruptions in the supply chain.” But it’s a risk that many are willing to take on the general principle that a President should not have the power to dictate that Americans inject something into their bodies that they don’t want.

The anonymous Southwest Airlines whistleblower who spoke to PJ Media claims there are 22 airlines, along with truckers and other transportation employees, many of them connected via FreedomFlyers.org, who are banding together to fight vaccine mandates, so people should expect more disruptions in the coming days and weeks.

This movement is likely to grow as more workers realize that they have the power to push back. For instance, New York health care workers are in desperately short supply, and a federal judge just issued a temporary injunction against enforcing the state’s vaccinate-or-be-fired mandate on those with religious objections.

https://www.westernjournal.com/federal-judge-rules-religious-exemptions-vaccine-mandates-must-allowed/

Meanwhile, Biden’s OSHA has now finalized its rule requiring the mandate, making it more than just a threatening PR release. It’s setting the stage for a huge economic disruption over a disease whose case numbers have been dropping steadily since September 1st (from a peak of 191,863 new cases in the US to 52,327.) Biden might also try “following the science” and recognize natural immunity among the millions already exposed or the growing number of effective treatments. But he’s willing to risk imploding the economy over a forced vaccine mandate even with supply chain issues already reaching dangerous levels.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/supply-chain-crisis-national-emergency-home-depot-nardelli

All I can say is: “Heckuva job, Joe!”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows why she’s having so much trouble getting a Democrat Congress to pass $5 trillion in new spending. No, for once, she didn’t blame Trump. She scolded reporters, “Well, I think you all could do a better job of selling it, to be very frank with you.”

https://redstate.com/jeffc/2021/10/12/nancy-pelosi-scolds-reporters-for-not-selling-build-back-better-effectively-n455780

I guess she felt it necessary to remind them that as members of the news media, it’s not their job to report objectively on politics. It’s their job to go out and sell the Democrats’ crazy agenda to regular Americans who reject it because they actually have sense enough to know better.

Interestingly, Fox News reported that on Monday, Pelosi had talked about Democrats being willing to separate and back the vital parts of the massive spending package. But she backtracked after “progressives” threw a fit because they’re adamantly opposed to prioritizing certain spending. They insist on having it all.

I couldn’t think of a better description of “progressives” in general than people who refuse to prioritize the most important things and instead demand to spend an unlimited amount of other people’s money on absolutely everything on their wish list.

Aesop also described them perfectly in his fable, “The Dog and His Reflection.”

http://read.gov/aesop/026.html

Amazingly, that was 2700 years ago. Even Bernie Sanders wasn’t alive then.

Google's misdirection

October 13, 2021

You might have heard that Google is going to crack down on digital ads from “climate change deniers” to stop the spread of “misinformation” about the settled science of manmade global warming.

Now, you might think that free inquiry to challenge accepted premises and see if they can be disproven is the very essence of science. I always thought one great thing about science was that if every powerful institution on Earth believed something, but one guy with a telescope could disprove it, then the institutions had to admit they were wrong. But no more. We now have Big Tech overlords who have infinite wisdom to determine what is true, just as they determined that COVID-19 came from bats in a wet market that didn’t sell bats and that Hunter Biden’s laptop was just a fictitious creation of Russian propagandists.

Joe Cunningham at Redstate.com believes he knows why Google is taking this censorious stand now, and it has little to do with “misinformation.” It’s more about misdirection, or distracting people from what’s really going on at Google with Internet security and how they monetize mining your personal data. Also, they know Democrats hate anyone questioning apocalyptic climate predictions because that’s their excuse for printing money, and Google wants to stay on the good side of Congress.

https://redstate.com/joesquire/2021/10/11/heres-the-reason-google-is-going-after-climate-denial-right-now-n453532

Read that and you won’t have to worry about Google censoring content because you’ll be using DuckDuckGo or some other privacy-protecting search engine and browsing with Brave, Firefox or anything other than Google Chrome.

Speaking of the settled science of manmade catastrophic climate change that MUST NOT BE QUESTIONED, two scientists have written a report finding that virtually all predictions of changing climate through the end of this century are based on outdated scenarios and years-old data such as CO2 emissions that are ever-changing and no longer accurate.

https://issues.org/climate-change-scenarios-lost-touch-reality-pielke-ritchie/

It’s a long and challenging read, but well worth it. And I thought I’d better point it out to you because I assume Google won’t.

When Joe Biden said he had never even spoken with son Hunter about his son’s foreign business affairs, the opposite was true, and today we all know it. Recall that he said on CBS News in October of 2019, “I have never discussed my business or their business, my son’s or daughter’s...because I know where I have to do my job, and that’s it, and they have to make their own judgments.” In Spartanburg, South Carolina, in August of 2019, he said, “I’ve never discussed with my son or my brother or anyone else anything having to do with their businesses. Period.” And he stated flatly to FOX NEWS’ Peter Doocy, “I’ve never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

Millions of people believed those words when they voted for him, but according to a McLaughlin & Associates poll, 4.6 percent of Biden voters –- easily enough to swing the election –- said they wouldn’t have voted for him for President if they had known about his family’s business dealings with China.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/media-s-hiding-of-hunter-biden-scandal-robbed-trump-of-clear-win-poll/ar-BB1aZGcF

Social media has continued to hush that up, even when it meant censoring the venerable NEW YORK POST, which broke the laptop story. It was labeled “Russian disinformation.” (By the way, that’s how you “rig” an election before you’ve cast even one fraudulent ballot.) Today, Biden is President of the United States, and life has gone on for the son of the President, with the news of him selling five of his “artworks” the other day for $75,000 a pop to mysterious unnamed buyers. All I can tell you about their identity is that they were not me.

https://www.businessinsider.com/hunter-bidens-art-gallery-arrangement-is-whacko-ethics-law-expert-2021-10

The POST has remained on the laptop story, however, with investigative reporter Miranda Devine scheduled to release her book on the grimy subject, LAPTOP FROM HELL, in about a month. And Britain’s DAILY MAIL is on it, too. They’ve just reported on more emails from Hunter’s abandoned laptop –- one of, at last count, three laptops that were either lost, stolen or left behind --- that show much more financial “intersectionality” between Hunter’s life and Joe’s. These include exchanges with Eric Schwerin, Hunter’s business partner at consultancy firm Rosemont Seneca, who also did his taxes. Schwerin was quite plugged into then-Vice President Joe Biden’s affairs –- more so, it seems, than was the White House –- even fielding offers for a book deal and managing the donation of his Senate papers to the University of Delaware. Typically, White House officials handle such donations, not outside business managers.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10070093/Joe-Biden-Hunters-shared-bank-accounts-make-president-target-FBI-probe.html

According to the DAILY MAIL, Joe Biden and his son even shared bank accounts and paid each other’s bills. The way they shifted funds around raises questions about whether money from Hunter’s dealings with both China- and Russia-based businesses was sent to their joint accounts.

That’s why President Biden could be drawn into the FBI investigation of his son. As a former prosecutor and expert on money laundering and criminal tax law said to the DAILY MAIL, “Whatever transaction you’re looking at, if there’s a connection to a family member or a friend, sure, the answer is yes [they would be investigated].”

One thing that might be discovered is whether or not funds from their joint father-and-son accounts were used to pay for Hunter’s week-long bender with a prostitute in May of 2018. But the sleazefest is really just one aspect of this. The DAILY MAIL report has much more detail on the nature of what the FBI might be looking at, and it’s bad, including corruption, money laundering and selling influence.

John Cassara, a former U.S. intelligence officer and Treasury special agent who specialized in money laundering investigations, said that “if Joe were not President, he would probably be in prosecutors’ crosshairs right now along with his son.” (I might say it another way: if he were not a Democrat President.) Ironically, what makes all of this especially egregious is that Biden IS President. “This sort of thing should not be happening,” Cassara said. “It undermines the full faith in the U.S. government. It undermines trust and our international reputation. It’s an embarrassment.”

FOX NEWS senior analyst Brit Hume appeared with Tucker Carlson Tuesday night to comment on this. A master of understatement, he first noted that “clearly, Hunter Biden crossed ethical lines in the activities he engaged in.” The idea that President Biden himself or his campaign might have profited from, say, Hunter’s dealings in Ukraine would “move the matter up quite another notch and add one more thing to the reasons why Joe Biden’s popularity rating has been plummeting...”

When asked by Carlson if we could be certain that Attorney General Merrick Garland will conduct a “free and fair’ investigation into both men, Hume had one word: “NO.”

Why such negativity? Simply put (and we agree), “The one thing that this Merrick Garland has turned out to be, for all of his reputation as being a fine jurist and a man who deserved a seat on the Supreme Court, he appears to be weak as water when it comes to upholding the independence of the Department of Justice and keeping the Justice Department out of politically motivated investigations.”

Looking into parents’ behavior as if they were terrorists, he said, is “something that no sensible attorney general would EVER allow himself to be involved in or give the green light to, and yet he did it. So, no, I don’t think we can depend on that at all. It might depend on investigative journalism to uncover this, or congressional investigations if the Republicans ever get control of one of both houses of Congress.”

He hopes that if the NEW YORK POST comes out with another Hunter laptop expose, the mainstream will not respond as “disgracefully” as they did last time with their move to shut it down. He doesn’t expect mainstream media to put their own investigative teams on it, though. They’d probably just minimally follow the story on a day-to-day basis. “That would be about the most we could hope for, but that’s a lot better than nothing, which is what we got last year from these, I think, politically corrupt news organizations.”

He used the border story as an example of something that wasn’t widely reported at first but that has finally broken through, as it’s so big the mainstream can’t get away with ignoring it. The same thing could happen with this.

He also pointed out that a President’s approval ratings are always a major factor in the midterm elections, and Biden’s are in the dumper, in part because of this. (I would add that it’s hard to tell how much of the drop is because of Hunter, as there are so many Joe Biden-caused catastrophes.) Hume sees the Democrats’ outlook for 2022, especially in the House, as “very poor” and thinks it’s likely they'll be swept out of both Houses. I’ve never been much on the concept of early voting, but in this case I wish we could vote today.