Well, here’s some news you hardly ever see these days! A US city announced that in just one year, murders have dropped by 30% and shootings by 17%. How did they do it? Bail reform? Replacing cops with social workers? Federal grants?

No, the city was Jacksonville, Florida, where the Republican prosecutor targeted violent repeat offenders and pushed for stiff penalties instead of letting them back out on the streets to do it again.

Hey, Chicago, Seattle, Portland, New York, et al: maybe you should give enforcing the law a try. It’s crazy, but it just might work!

Related: At this writing, we’re still waiting for comment from the Black Lives Matter organization on a new FBI report showing a disproportionate 32% increase in murders of black Americans from 2019 to 2020, and various experts saying this was not due to the coronavirus but to BLM-endorsed policies such as defunding the police.

And if you’re scratching your heads over how a virus that forced everyone to stay home and watch TV could have sparked skyrocketing crime and murder rates, you’re not alone. But some people are still pushing that idea. In her latest column, Ann Coulter takes a look back to remind us of what happened, how some people did indeed try to blame it on the pandemic, and how they were unable to provide any more evidence of that than if they’d blamed all the crime and murders on UFOs.

This week, top Pentagon official Preston Dunlap, the founding chief architect officer of the U.S. Air Force and Space Force since 2019, announced his resignation. In doing so, he released a frightening warning about the state of readiness of the US Defense Department.

He described the US government as the world's largest bureaucracy in which people were more concerned with defending their turf than defending America, and competing with each other instead of China. He said on his first day of work at creating what should be a branch of the armed forces on the cutting edge of technology, he instead found a dinosaur:

“I arrived to find no budget, no authority, no alignment of vision, no people, no computers, no networks, a leaky ceiling, even a broken curtain.” He said that as he was writing his resignation, “I received notification that the phone lines are down at the Pentagon IT help desk. Phone lines are down? It’s 2022, folks.”

And in what I assume is preaching to the choir here, he added, “By the time the Government manages to produce something, it’s too often obsolete; no business would ever survive this way, nor should it.”

I hear a lot of complaints about letting billionaires like Elon Musk take over space technology. But when you consider Washington’s recent track record, I fear that if the current government brain trust had been in charge of NASA in the ‘60s, they not only wouldn’t have made it to the moon, they’d still be arguing over whether any lifeforms we might find on Mars are diverse enough.

Earth Day

April 22, 2022

Today is Earth Day, and I’ll wish you a happy one, depending on how you define it. If you think of it as a day to remember the traditional meaning of “conservative,” that is to be good conservators of the planet that God has blessed us with, and to be good stewards of the land, water, air and animals so that it can be passed down to future generations, then happy Earth Day.

If you define it the way that so many people do now, as being all about climate change, global socialism and honoring the achievements of the environmental movement, then no thanks. I don’t feel like celebrating $7 gas, food shortages, massive government overreach, killing elderly people because there’s not enough reliable energy for heat or air conditioning, and empowering communists and dictators because they refuse to stop drilling for oil and commit economic suicide. Ironically, whenever I hear today’s eco-radicals talk, I can’t help thinking, “Someone must’ve put something in their water supply.”

Speaking of Earth Day, it’s pretty well established by now what a hypocrite Biden’s “climate czar” John Kerry is. He zooms all over the world in private jets and limousines to lecture the rest of us that if we don’t reduce our carbon footprint, we’ll destroy the planet. And now, here’s another example of his personal air pollution:

Kerry has been dodging a Freedom of Information Act request for data that should be public, about the names and salaries of his climate staff. He’s refusing to divulge that until October 2024, just before the next Presidential election. This week, Kerry attended a climate discussion at MIT where a Boston Herald reporter tried to ask him about his lack of transparency. The paper reports that he high-tailed it out of the room so fast, he “burned rubber.”

Doesn’t he know how bad burning rubber is for the environment?

Incidentally, I don’t remember the American people voting to give John Kerry a lot of power over our lives. But I am old enough to remember when we specifically voted NOT to do that.

Related: Kerry is hardly the only wealthy hypocrite who creates massive amounts of CO2 flying around to scold the rest of us to stop burning fuel. In honor of Earth Day, here is a rogue’s gallery of celebrity enviro-hypocrites.

The powers that be can see the opposition growing to Big Tech’s control of free speech, with Elon Musk putting his money where his mouth is to help put an end to it, and they’re suddenly speaking out to maintain that control. Free speech is an existential threat to the left, and they know it, so they’re pushing back. It’s as if someone, somewhere, had flipped a switch.

Former President Obama, speaking Thursday for the Obama Foundation at Stanford University Cyber Policy Center, said, “The biggest reason for democracy’s weakening is the profound change that’s taken place in how we communicate and consume information...Our new ‘information ecosystem’ is turbocharging some of humanity’s worst impulses...Lies, conspiracy theories, junk science, quackery...[dramatic pause]...white supremacists, racist tracts, misogynous screeds –- people are dying because of misinformation.”

Which “misinformation” is he talking about? I don’t suppose he means the vast amount of fake news that has been brought to us over the past half-dozen years or so, courtesy of the left. The few real journalists out there have been busy exposing their fake stories all this time and the work has not let up. I hardly even know where to start in re-enumerating all the pieces of misinformation that have come, uncensored, from the left.

No, he means the stories that get in the way of what the left wants to do. By and large, he’s talking about REAL stories, the ones that leftist-funded “fact”-checkers, or partisan letter writers, wrongly flag and censor as mis- or dis-information.

On Monday, a group of former intelligence and national security officials issued a joint letter warning that pending legislative attempts to restrict or break up the Big Tech monopoly –- Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon –- would jeopardize national security. Especially with Moscow posing such a threat, they say, this centralized power is crucial to advancing U.S. foreign policy.

When my research team and I first saw this story, the first thought we had was, “Hey, what do you bet the names on this letter are pretty much the same as those names on the letter saying Hunter Biden’s laptop looked like Russian disinformation?” And, guess what? It turned out we were right!

The great Glenn Greenwald did some checking and found that out. He writes:

“While one of their central claims is that Big Tech monopoly power is necessary to combat (i.e., censor) “foreign disinformation,” several of these officials are themselves leading disinformation agents: many were the same former intelligence officials who signed and now-infamous-and-debunked pre-election letter fraudulently claiming that the authentic Hunter Biden emails had the “hallmarks” of Russian disinformation (former Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Obama CIA Director Michael Morell, former Obama CIA/Pentagon chief Leon Panetta). Others who signed this new letter have strong financial ties to the Big Tech corporations whose power they are defending in the name of national security (Morrell, Panetta, former Bush National Security Adviser Fran Townsend.)”

Greenwald’s piece is on Substack and highly recommended reading. Here’s the link --- it’s by subscription, but his key points are addressed below.

There are two separate bills right now in the House and Senate, and both have received bipartisan support. This seems to have shocked Big Tech, who apparently assumed they were in the catbird seat with their very powerful lobby, and Greenwald suggests this letter is an act of desperation. He explains that there are certain politicians, especially those from Silicon Valley such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who might work behind the scenes to kill the bill but, when voting times comes, will not be able to take a public stand against it and will have to vote yes. So Big Tech is trying to keep both these bills from reaching the floor.

According to Greenwald, they’ve got pressure on New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, because both his daughters hold jobs with Big Tech. As the New York Post has reported, Jessica lobbies for Amazon (cozy) and Alison is a product marketing manager at Facebook. According to reports, Schumer has engaged in maneuvers to keep the bills from getting a full floor vote, but he told The Intercept that he supports both bills and will vote in favor.

As Greenwald explains it, this difficulty in killing the bills is why pro-censorship former operatives of the CIA, Homeland Security and Pentagon are getting involved. They hold little sway with the Senate Judiciary and House Antitrust Committees, but they “command great loyalty” from the national security committees. Because of the threat they say is posed by Russia, they demand in this letter that both bills first be reviewed by congressional committees with national security jurisdiction: the Armed Services Committees, Intelligence Committees, and Homeland Security Committees in both House and Senate.

Here’s the letter in full:

Greenwald also cites a September article by Emilly Birnbaum at Politico headlined, “12 former security officials who warned against antitrust crackdown have tech ties,” and quotes extensively. These are the 12 former officials who signed another letter –- similar, but relating to competitiveness with China –- last fall. Here’s that article:

Right there at the top is a picture of Leon Panetta, who is, as the caption says, one of those former officials who “are advisory board members or senior counselors with a public relations firm that represents Google.” That firm is Beacon Global Strategies. We checked, and he and Mike Morell are both still listed on their website, their pictures side by side.

Apparently, though, quite a few in the intel/defense world don't agree that we must control information to maintain national security. Retired Gen. Wesley Clarke and numerous others have called that a “myth” at seminars like these.

As for the ones who are pushing for an unencumbered Big Tech, Greenwald puts it well: “...These former intelligence officials are exploiting their national security credentials to protect an industry in which they have a deep financial interest.”

At the same time, it helps those with a deep, abiding political interest. Ever since the Russia Hoax of 2016, political operatives have been exploiting fears of Russia to, in Greenwald’s words, “manipulate Americans to support the preservation of Big Tech’s concentrated power, and to imply that anyone seeking to limit Big Tech power or make the market more competitive is a risk to U.S. national security.”

This latest letter –- signed, remember, by some enthusiastic Russia Hoaxers –- says, “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marks the start of a new chapter in global history, one in which the ideals of democracy will be put to the test.” Translation: we're in a different world now, and to ‘save democracy’ we'll have to change our idea of what free speech is.

Greenwald sees through their strategy and says, “The cynical exploitation could hardly be more overt: if you hate Putin the way any loyal and patriotic American should, then you must devote yourself to full preservation of Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.”

We know what Putin is. But we also know what George Soros is, and one big reason we want Big Tech reined in is that we’re sick of seeing stories like this one:

Yesterday, a promo was released for an interview by Piers Morgan with former President Trump. It painted it as the “most explosive” interview of the year, and showed Trump saying, “Very deceptive” and storming off the set, barking, “Turn the cameras off!”

Yeah, about that… One thing we learned from “The Daily Show,” which won scads of Emmys by deceptively editing interviews to make Republicans look dumb, was that whenever you grant an interview to a hostile reporter, make sure you record a copy of the entire interview for yourself. Trump apparently did.

Trump’s communications director released an audio recording of the interview showing that it actually ended on friendly terms, with Morgan saying, “That was a great interview,” Trump agreeing, and both thanking each other. That’s when Trump said, “Turn the cameras off.” The promo was edited to make it falsely appear he said that as he was rising in anger. And the “very deceptive” quote was lifted from another part of the interview when he chided Morgan for repeatedly saying he had just one more question, then asking more.

I’m surprised they actually thought they could get away with this moldy old trick again. To give you an idea of how long we’ve been on to it, Instapundit blog master Prof. Glenn Reynolds linked to an article he wrote in the New York Post titled, “Bring Your Own Camera.” It was about a deceptively-edited ABC interview with Sarah Palin, and it ran in 2008, fourteen years ago.