Yesterday, just for fun, we offered up an exuberant thank-you to the almighty Facebook for, as of Wednesday, magnanimously allowing previously-banned speech about the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a possible source of covid-19. Until now, only the wet-market "accidental" origin hypothesis, which left the Chinese government blameless, has been allowed on FB. Now, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell has a response on the same subject that picks up where our tongue-in-cheek commentary left off.

Ironically, he responded on Twitter. Like Alan Dershowitz, he sees enormous danger in letting social media be the "speech police."

"Facebook," Bozell said, "which claims to be fighting misinformation, essentially admitted today that THEY have been spreading misinformation for over a year. Yet another reason to remove the protections Facebook and others receive from Section 230."

The Facebook "fact"-checking program has been shown to be fraudulent, in actively suppressing valid debate on the origins of covid-19, favoring Chinese propaganda instead. This has to stop, not just with covid-19 but across the board.

And if you think this is bad about Facebook, check out what former FB employee Morgan Kahmann had to say about that company's secret --- well, formerly secret --- "Vaccine Hesitancy" algorithm. It's the latest Project Veritas video.

This is a strategy through which comments that are deemed, either by "robot" or by human "rater," to be "vaccine-hesitant" are suppressed on Facebook. This whistleblower's story about a program that mimics some attributes of Communist China's "social credit score" should be more than enough for us to insist on an end to social media censorship and narrative-shaping.

We've seen that what they label misinformation can turn out to be correct, and their chosen "facts" are the misinformation. For example, multiple stories over the past few days have suggested that those who've already had the virus might want to think twice before getting the vaccine and likely don't need it anyway, as they have strong natural immunity from fighting off the real infection. Uh-oh, would Facebook tag me as "vaccine-hesitant" just for passing this information along? (I'm not --- I got the vaccine.)

Even though this whistleblower was fired for speaking out, he's glad he did it, and he has a message for other staffers, about 25 percent of whom he estimates are uncomfortable with what they're doing with algorithms at Facebook and might want to go public, too: "I'd say go ahead and do it. And just think about what I said. There's a lot of blowback to telling the truth. And that's true as far as human history is concerned....Just weigh it out. Can you live with yourself for the rest of your life if you work at Facebook and you knew about this? Especially if it came out later, and you're like, 'Man, I saw that so many times. I could have said something and, I didn't."

"I have to show somebody this," he continued, "because at least, even if nothing were to come of this, and for some reason everything was scrapped, I would still think...that it was worth it...At least I tried, I tried to show somebody this."

Be sure to watch the whole video. At the end, there's a website address to visit if you would like to help Morgan and his family.

Despite all the efforts by medical researchers and crackpot tech billionaires to live forever, a scientific study published in the journal Nature Communications estimates that the longest any human will ever be able to live is 150 years.

The reason is that around age 120, the human body suffers a complete loss of resilience, or the ability to recover from injury or illness. The study’s author said, “As we age, more and more time is required to recover after a perturbation, and on average we spend less and less time close to the optimal physiological state.” Thank you, Captain Obvious!

Of course, some people think they can find ways to put off aging, like traveling to Mexico for regular stem cell infusions to give themselves the body of a five-year-old, which sounds like a great plan, doesn’t it?

So once again, science seems to have proven what the Bible already tells us, in Genesis 6:3: “And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Of course, there are some people mentioned in Genesis who far outlived that shelf life, but I assume God made an exception in their cases, one that most of us shouldn’t count on. In fact, most of us will be lucky to reach the limit mentioned in Psalms 90:10: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten…”

What’s important to remember is that while we all want to live as long as possible, in the end, it’s not the quantity of your years but the quality that matters. Seventy years of helping others, loving your family and being loved in return, and fulfilling the mission that God planned for you is better than 120 years spent missing all the joys of life because you were too obsessed with trying to live to 120.

This might be a good time to mention that if you’ve been vaccinated or had COVID already, take a “risk” and come out of your bedroom, rejoin the world, take off the mask and breathe some fresh air. Your brain probably needs it.

Funny poll numbers

May 28, 2021

A new AP/NORC poll is raising eyebrows because it claims that President Biden has an overall approval rating of 63%.

Considering he had an approval rating of 54% shortly after taking office, and almost all Republicans and even some Democrats are appalled at his far-left lurch, where did those 9 extra points come from? Are there people who actually like having a crisis on the border, more racial animosity, exploding crime rates, disappointing jobs numbers, rising inflation and higher prices for gas, when you can even find it? The only thing Biden’s touched that hasn’t been a disaster is the COVID vaccine developed under Trump that he takes credit for.

Personally, I always take polls with a pillar of salt, particularly ones that claim their sample is representative of the population, but don’t give any details (the population of the New York Times editorial room, maybe.) But this one seems especially mind-boggling in light of another new survey from Gallup.

It shows that the economic confidence index which measures Americans’ confidence in the economy fell from +2 in April to -7 in May. That’s where it was in March, so confidence in the economy is moving backwards even as the pandemic is ending. The survey also found that only 43% of Americans think the economy is getting better, while 53% think it’s getting worse.

If James Carville was right, and what matters to Americans is “the economy, stupid,” then anyone who really believes Biden has a 63% approval rating when 53% of Americans think the economy is getting worse must be pretty stupid about either polls, math or both.

I’ve pointed out many times over the years that the strongest proponents of gun control laws seem to know the least about guns. They’ve found their ultimate representative in David Chipman, President Biden’s nominee to head the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. His Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday at times looked more like a shoot to create video for future NRA commercials.

For instance, he wants to ban “assault weapons,” but couldn’t define what one was (to be fair, nobody can: that’s a nebulous term created by gun control advocates, and many of the characteristics they list for an “assault weapon” are actually cosmetic or safety features.)

Chipman also admitted he wants to ban the AR-15, the most popular rifle in America, even though a letter from 21 state Attorneys General urging Biden to withdraw Chipman’s nomination points out that the AR-15 is used in fewer murders than “sharp objects.”

Then there was this bizarre moment, about the alleged threat of violent crime by law-abiding gun owners.

Chipman conceded that most gun owners are law-abiding but said someone may buy a gun legally, then go on to do something illegal with it. But if that’s the criteria, then we should probably ban cars, too. Most career criminals, such as drug gang members, prefer to get black market guns that aren’t traceable and don’t require a background check.

And when they use those guns, you should hope and pray that there’s a law-abiding gun owner close at hand.

(Warning: huge sarcasm alert)

We interrupt this commentary on censorship as discussed by legal expert Alan Dershowitz to offer the following words of gratitude and praise to Almighty Facebook:

Thank you, THANK YOU, O benevolent, magnificent and powerful Facebook, the arbiter of truth and blocker of misinformation for every American –- and, indeed, the entire planet –- for finally allowing us to express an opinion at odds with the one viewpoint you have permitted about the origin of the virus. We understand why, in your deep concern for our well-being, you spent the past year boldly and tenaciously censoring our slightest question about the “wet market” theory of origin for covid-19. It must have been quite important to make us believe that it entered the first human being quite innocently from a bowl of fresh and tasty bat soup or pangolin pie.

Why, you even dictated, in the interest of accuracy and anti-racism, that we CALL it covid-19, and not something outrageous like “China virus” or “Wuhan virus,” even though it came from Wuhan, China. Thank you so much for your wisdom and your guidance, as we realize that sometimes we need to be told what to think and otherwise kept in line.

Dear FB –- may we call you FB? –- we thank you for graciously informing us these many months that stories about the virus possibly emerging from the Wuhan lab were “misinformation,” nothing more than right-wing conspiracy theory and propaganda, and not worthy of your great and magnificent social media platform. Your diligent and tireless fact-checkers worked around the clock to make sure we expressed only the truth as you saw it, because you cared so much that only the right information would be shared with our “friends.” How thoughtful you were to protect us all from the woefully ignorant view that the Chinese bioweapons program might pose a risk.

Suddenly, now, the tide has turned –- even at the White House, where President Biden has called for an investigation after his State Department disbanded the one Trump had initiated –- and you, Dear Facebook, in your infinite, all-seeing and all-knowing authority and mysterious wokeness and wonderfulness have decided the narrative should change, so you've tweaked your algorithms and now permit us to speculate that the virus came from the Wuhan lab after all.

We are even allowed to say that some Wuhan lab staffers came down with symptoms consistent with covid-19 in the fall of 2019. Praise to you, glorious Facebook! We trust your inerrant judgment in finally offering us this freedom, as you know best, and, again, thank you, THANK YOU, for keeping such a close and protective eye on the information we read and share.


Now, on to Dershowitz and the First Amendment.

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz did an interview for the EPOCH TV show “Crossroads” to express concern about the removal of Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier from the U.S. Space Force over his stated opposition to Marxism and Critical Race Theory, and also about President Trump’s removal from Facebook, Twitter and other platforms after the Capitol Hill security breach on January 6 of this year.

Before Trump was removed from Twitter, he had about 90 million followers. Twitter says his ban will stay in place indefinitely. Facebook has upheld his ban but has been told by its advisory board to put a time limit on it.

“What Donald Trump tweets --- I may disagree with every word he says, but he has the right to say it,” Dershowitz said. “And more importantly, people forget the First Amendment has two aspects: one, the right of the speaker --- Donald Trump to speak --- that’s one part of it. And the second part, which is largely ignored, is the right of you and me the public to hear and read and see what he has to say to accept or reject it in the marketplace of ideas.

“When you ban a speaker,” Dershowitz continued, “you also ban his viewers and listeners from having access to that speech, and that’s an equally dangerous aspect of violating free speech rights.”

Of course, most of the “moderation of content” (censorship) is being done to conservative and pro-Trump speech.

Lohmeier’s comments about Marxism spreading through the military were deemed “politically partisan,” and he also spoke less-than-glowingly of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s pro-CRT agenda. He was removed from the 11th Space Warning Squadron just a few days ago, on May 19.

Censorship is at the top of Dershowitz’ mind right now; he has a new book out called “THE CASE AGAINST THE NEW CENSORSHIP: Protecting Free Speech from Big Tech, Progressives and Universities.” Here’s the interview, highly recommended, in which he describes this censorship as something new, “a sign of the times.”

“I’m critical of Marxism,” Dershowitz said in the interview, “I’m critical of ‘race theory,’ I’m critical of Black Lives Matter --- not the concept, the organization. I’m critical of many of the things that today you can’t criticize.” He mentioned a course he co-taught at Harvard about ten years ago called “Taboo,” about subjects you couldn’t talk about, and back then it ran 14 weeks. “Today, it could be a thousand-week course,” he quipped.

We have to use our power as consumers, he said, to STOP THIS CENSORSHIP.

The government isn’t supposed to be in the business of censorship, but Dershowitz says it's using Big Tech to sidestep the First Amendment. Be sure and see his full interview, which features multiple examples of the “new” censorship. He also briefly examines the history of government censorship, starting with the Alien & Sedition Acts very early in our nation’s life. Believe it or not, just a few years after the Bill Of Rights was passed, this law that made it a serious, prison-worthy crime to criticize the government, yet it was signed into law by President John Adams and supported by Alexander Hamilton and even George Washington.

“We’ve always had a struggle in our country,” Dershowitz says, “between those who believe in free speech and those who believe that they know better.” I would say that right now, we have a huge oversupply of people on the left who think they know better and have no problem at all with shutting down any speech they deem “problematic.”

Dershowitz brought up the current struggle in the Mideast, noting that former President Trump would very much like to go on social media and express support for Israel. “But they say ‘No, Trump lies! You can’t be on Twitter, you can’t be on Facebook, you can’t be on YouTube.’” Yet they leave up horribly anti-semitic and even pro-Hitler speech, wrongly implying that this is truthful.

“That’s the problem,” he says, “because when you have censorship of some things, then other things seem to have the imprimatur of truth.”

In applying this to Facebook and the virus, we could say the “bat soup” theory was given the imprimatur of truth. Until it wasn’t. “The Truth” is whatever Facebook decides it will be, on any given day. Have mercy on us, O Great And Powerful Facebook.

I can hardly believe anyone is still flailing this dead horse, but some Democrats have been pushing for a memo to be released that would reveal why then-Attorney General Bill Barr declined to prosecute President Trump for obstruction of the Russia Collusion investigation. They were certain it would show that he ignored advice to prosecute Trump.

Well, it’s finally out. It shows that the Office of Legal Counsel advised him against prosecuting Trump because, aside from the issues about whether you could prosecute a sitting President, there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute him even if he weren’t President. So another cherished anti-Trump narrative goes up in smoke.

Personally, I’d think that all the evidence you’d need that Trump didn’t obstruct the investigation was that it dragged on for years, cost taxpayers $30 million and found absolutely nothing. It was based on partisan lies, falsified evidence and imaginations fired by the fever of Trump Derangement Syndrome. America would have been better off if it had been obstructed by an outbreak of common sense in DC, but that’s not likely to happen in our lifetimes.

About a month ago, a concerned father named Andrew Gutmann was dismayed at the indoctrination his daughter, a student at the prestigious Brearley School in New York City for the past seven years, was receiving in “antiracism,” which is, of course, racism. (Just as Orwell said that Ignorance Is Strength and War Is Peace, so Racism Is Antiracism.) Gutmann wrote a remarkable letter to the administrators, which, if you didn’t see it then, is available on Substack and linked to here, in a column by Bari Weiss.

A lot has happened since Gutmann sent the letter. It went viral. We wrote about it. Fortunately, it has played a huge role in bringing attention to the problem of toxic “Critical Race Theory” as it is being taught in schools --- not just in New York, either, but across the country.

Parents pay $54,000 a year to send one child to Brearley. And before their child may be considered for enrollment, parents must take an “anti-racism pledge.” Now, one might think there’s nothing wrong with this; who's for racism, right? But “anti-racism” means something else entirely, which is to say it is the most racist doctrine that’s been seen in America since the Jim Crow days. The difference is that the racism is turned on white people --- even white children, who are taught that they are “privileged” and that they should be ashamed of their “whiteness.” As for children "of color," they're taught that white people are racist and, deep down, hate them. There is hardly anything more damaging one can say to any child. It is straight-up child abuse, to both black and white kids.

Mr. Gutmann let the administrators have it: “If Brearley’s administration was truly concerned about so-called “equity” [equality of outcomes, as opposed to equality of opportunity], it would be discussing the cessation of admissions preferences for legacies, siblings, and those families with especially deep pockets. If the administration was truly concerned about “diversity,” it would not insist on the indoctrination of its students and their families to a single mindset, most reminiscent of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.”

Of himself and his wife, he said that “we no longer have confidence that our daughter will receive the quality of education necessary to further her development into a critically thinking, responsible, enlightened and civic minded adult.” Needless to say, he was pulling his daughter out of the school. Father of the year!

“...Brearley’s obsession with race must stop,” he wrote. “It should be abundantly clear to any thinking parent that Brearley has completely lost its way.” He went on to craft what might be the most spot-on indictment of Critical Race Theory that has ever been written. Again, if you haven’t seen this, it’s an absolute must-read.

And now, a month later, Gutmann has followed up his explosion into the media spotlight with another letter, intended to “dispel several common misperceptions pertaining to this movement [CRT].”

He says the perception that opposition to CRT comes just from the political right is incorrect. (This should be welcome news to us on the right.) “...I have received several thousand supportive emails and messages from people throughout the country,” he says, “including many from self-described Democrats and liberals. The tone of most of the messages is not at all political in nature; instead, the tenor is one of desperation and powerlessness.”

Parents and grandparents can’t stand to see their kids being taught “to feel guilty solely because of the color of their skin” and “being brainwashed to turn against their own families.” Even teachers, he says, have written to him to say they have tears in their eyes “because they are required, day after day, to teach fundamentally divisive, racist doctrines and being forced to demonize their own students.”

He relates letters --- the ones he considers the most frightening of all --- from people who came here from the former Soviet Union or from formerly Communist countries in Eastern Europe. (He doesn’t specifically mention Communist China, but that would apply as well.) These first-generation immigrants tell him they have “seen this movie before.” The chill we get when we see our children being indoctrinated in school, or when we’re censored by social media for daring to deviate from approved “facts,” or when we hear about people’s careers being “canceled” over something as innocuous as a tweet from a decade or two ago, is uncomfortably similar to what these immigrants experienced in the land of the not-free.

“Simply put,” Gutmann writes, “they cannot believe this is happening here.”

He goes on to warn that this indoctrination isn’t happening just in schools, but in major corporations and organizations across America. We’ve talked about some of the examples he cites: the anti-racist training forced on employees by Coca-Cola and the Walt Disney Company, the hiring quotas for pilots at United Airlines, the American Medical Association’s roadmap to “social justice” (displaying an obsession with anti-racist jargon that would likely drive the most dedicated members of the medical profession to madness), and even the push within our own Defense Department.

One reason this concerned dad decided to write again, he says, was to clarify that his original letter wasn’t primarily about race. His first concern was that the school wasn’t even willing to talk to parents or engage in any debate about their “anti-racism” initiatives. That “touches the heart of democracy itself,” he writes. Democracy won’t work unless we can debate freely the most difficult issues of our time. “We have allowed a very small but vocal minority, amplified by the power of social media, to shut down nearly all debate on the topic of race and critical race theory,” he writes. “The simple cry of ‘racist’ or the threat of that cry will nearly always do so. This cannot be allowed to continue.”

I would add that race isn’t the only topic being mishandled in this way, to deliberately shut down debate. And though Mr. Gutmann stresses that the issue of Critical Race Theory transcends politics, the people shutting down debate on this and other issues are doing it for political reasons. Any question of global warming gospel or the safety of new vaccines makes one a “science denier.” Any question of the election results or the origin story of COVID-19 makes one a “conspiracy theorist.” Never mind that right now, even the “fact”-checkers who tried to censor any mention of the Wuhan virology lab are scrambling to deal with what is very likely the truth about that.

Gutmann writes, “We must begin to have a national conversation about the story we want to tell our children and about the future we want for our country.” That is true, but for much too long, the conversation has been one way, and we can’t permit that any longer. While some are working overtime to extinguish America’s founding principles and make skin color our defining feature, we have to push back against this evil, at the ballot box (from President down to school board) and in every area of life, to reaffirm our principles of individual freedom and make sure they apply to all Americans.