Biden administration’s proposed ’22 NASA budget boosts spending in all programs

The just released summary budget by the Biden administration for 2022 includes a $1.5 billion increase in NASA’s budget, with increases for every NASA project across the board.

Maybe the only part of this that is surprising is the $325 million increase to the manned Artemis project to return to the Moon. Democrats have traditionally tried to cut such programs, even as they increased the spending in NASA’s climate budget. Though the Biden administration has shown that its priorities remain in line with this by increasing NASA’s climate budget by a hefty $2.3 billion, it did not cut Artemis but increased its budget also.

This budget proposal is also in line with the general trend in Washington, which is to spend money as if it grows on trees. Trump had also increased NASA’s budget, but tried to counter those increases with cuts in other areas, both in NASA and elsewhere. None of his proposed cuts however were ever really approved, as Congress has no interest in cutting anything.

Now that Biden and the bureaucracy is in power the money to them is going to flow like water from a burst dam. Whether the American people actually benefit from this spending remains to be seen. In general, since the 1960s the payoff from increased federal spending has been poor to terrible. I don’t see any reason to expect otherwise, even if the support of manned space exploration by the Biden administration helps fuel a new commercial renaissance in space. That renaissance cannot last if the country that supports it goes bankrupt.

Today’s blacklisted American: Dennis Prager and his organization PragerU

They’re coming for you next: Joining a host of other big tech software companies in their blackballing of the website PragerU, founded by radio host Dennis Prager, the Chinese owned social media ap TikTok placed its own permanent ban on the site this week.

According to PragerU, TikTok claims the ban is because of “‘multiple violations’ of their community guidelines,” a claim that is utter garbage and a lie. PragerU is simply a conservative website touting the traditional American ideals of life, liberty, personal responsibility. Because these are values that the dominant socialist and Marxist culture in both America and China oppose, PragerU must therefore be censored.

Nor has TikTok been alone among the social media giants in its blacklisting of PragerU. Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify have all taken actions to either block the site and its videos or prevent people from finding them. In every case the reasons cited are always either “a mistake” or a claim that PragerU violated some vague unstated “community standard.”

Make no mistake. The people who work for these big social media companies want to squelch any dissent from the modern Marxist agenda, and will do whatever they can to censor that dissent. Expect this blacklisting to get worse in the next few years, especially because these tech bullies are discovering they pay no penalty for doing so.

Today’s blacklisted American: Cinderella, because cast was “too white”

Cinderella banned

They’re coming for you next: A theater company in Minnesota decided to cancel its production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Cinderella because the cast was “too white.”

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres was planning to stage Rogers & Hammerstein’s classic play later this year but a director scrapped the show this week — slamming its lack of racial diversity, twincities.com reported.

“It was 98 percent white,” the theater’s director, Michael Brindisi, said of the show’s actors Wednesday. “That doesn’t work with what we’re saying we’re going to do.” Brindisi said he considered recasting but instead decided to put a self-inflicted spin on cancel culture — and “scrap this and start fresh with a clean slate.”

“Recasting” is a mealy mouthed word that really means he would have fired some white actors he had already chosen and replaced them with black actors. And the only reason he would be firing them is because of their skin color, since he had already done his auditions and decided that these people were qualified.
» Read more

Investigation: Top German scientist fabricated data

Fraud in science: A just released investigation has found that one of Germany’s most cited psychologists fabricated data in a government-financed study.

Hans-Ulrich Wittchen, one of Germany’s top psychologists and an expert in treating anxiety and phobias, is not shy about promoting himself. His email signature says he is a “highly cited researcher,” and with good reason. He has almost 1000 articles to his name, according to the Web of Science, and has racked up nearly 70,000 citations. He is an editor of Germany’s diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders—the bible of clinical psychology—and until 2017, he led a psychology research institute at the Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden).

Yet his reputation is under fire after an investigation into one of his studies found evidence of manipulation—and elaborate efforts to cover up the misdeed. The investigation report, turned over to TU Dresden in February and obtained by Science, also shows Wittchen intimidated whistleblowers and pressured senior TU Dresden staff. The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA), a public health organization, is suing the company it paid to do the study. And the Dresden public prosecutor’s office is now investigating criminal charges related to the study.

Apparently the study only surveyed about 75% clinics on its list, and then simply copied data to complete the survey for the other clinics. Then Wittchen made veiled threats to investigators, manipulated documents to hide what had been done, and even tried to get two whistle-blowers fired, accusing them of doing the misdeeds.

This report illustrates a reality that few are willing to recognize. The science field is rife with corruption in the areas where government funds and government-employed scientists converge. The dishonest scientists are likely a very tiny minority, but they are often the ones who have pushed their way up to the most powerful posts, not by doing science but by playing the politics required to gain power. The result is that the science coming from the government institutions they run is now frequently suspect.

We have seen this in the past year in the world’s health agencies worldwide. Their leaders have repeatedly made statements concerning COVID-19 that simply have no backing in research, have no consistency, are repeatedly contradictory, and seem based on politics rather than data. This same problem has also exhibited itself for decades in the climate field, as well as many other sociological and medical fields.

The only long term solution that will really work would be to separate government from science, a goal that is likely unrealistic. At a minimum at least we should be trying to shift the government research money so that it goes to independent private companies on a case-by-case basis, rather than permanent government agencies that are run by the government.

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Anyone under 50 in Vermont who is not a minority

14th amendment banned
We don’t need no stinkin’ 14th amendment in Vermont!

You want to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot in Vermont? Well, if you are not part of the new BIPOC community (Black, Indigenous, People Of Color) you have to go to the back of the bus.

This according to a decision by Vermont’s state government on April 3rd:

Governor Phill Scott, a Republican who voted for Joe Biden, explains. “If you or anyone in your household identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a person of color (BIPOC), including anyone with Abenaki or other First Nations heritage, all household members who are 16 years or older can sign up to get a vaccine!

Before this announcement the rules had limited vaccinations to all those over 50. The new rules opened up shots to everyone but whites over 16 years or older.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: Whites at Cornell University

The Civil Rights Act of 1964: repealed by Cornell
The Civil Rights Act of 1964: repealed by Cornell

Continuing my weeklong series documenting the modern bigotry of our culture, today’s bigot is Cornell University, who recently offered a segregated rock-climbing course that whites were forbidden to attend. From the course’s original description:

This class is for people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color.

Moreover, that original course description made it very clear that the course was limited to such students only.

The original description gave no indication that BIPOC [Black, Indigenous People, Others of Color] students were the “special focus” of the course, instead of the only eligible category for enrollment. While [that original version] said students “will also talk about BIPOC individuals and groups in rock climbing,” that sentence was immediately followed by the restriction to “people who identify as” BIPOC.

Such a class would be illegal under both federal and New York state law.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted American: the David Horowitz Freedom Center and its webpage FrontPage

Today's modern witch hunt
Burn witches: What the Southern Poverty Law Center
does to ordinary conservatives.

They’re coming for you next: The conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center and its publication FrontPage Magazine has found itself repeatedly blackballed by various major companies, simply because the center stands for freedom and the principles of western civilization.

In just the past couple of years, MasterCard temporally shut us down, one of our local banks closed our account due to our “controversial positions on issues,” and a brokerage firm closed our account for “unknown reasons.” Amazon will not allow the Freedom Center, a 501 c3 IRS designated nonprofit, to participate in their Amazon Smiles charity campaign because of the SPLC’s [Southern Poverty Law Center] designation of the Center has a “hate group” and now Disqus, the largest networked community platform on the Internet, has canceled our service.

The last example from Disqus involved that company’s sudden decision to cease providing the FrontPage website its commenting service.
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Conservatives on the email provider MailChimp

The cancelled Bill of Rights
Doesn’t exist at MailChimp

They’re coming for you next: The email provider MailChimp has since the November election made it a clear policy to routinely cancel the accounts of conservatives if they dare send out any emails it deems politically incorrect.

In November MailChimp instantly disabled the email account of two tea party organizations, one in Virginia and the other in South Carolina, when they each tried to send out email notices to their members about post-election pro-Trump rallies.

In January MailChimp did the same to a conservative organization in California that was running a conference calling for the end of the overbearing lockdown rules imposed by the Democrat governor Gavin Newsom.

Because the ReOpenCalNow organizers are targeting a high level audience of policymakers, they assembled an email list of several thousand of California’s local elected officials. The list includes city council members, county supervisors, and members of school boards. Using MailChimp, they sent out three email blasts before receiving the following message:

“We received a direct complaint regarding a recent campaign sent from the account with the username ReOpen Cal Now. Direct complaints are serious because they indicate that a recipient contacted Mailchimp, our hosting facility, or a blocklisting agency about an unsolicited email.” The MailChimp email went on to say: “Because the content associated with your industry conflicts with our Acceptable Use Policy (mailchimp.com/legal/acceptable_use), Mailchimp is unable to serve as your email service provider and your account has been disabled.”

MailChimp went on to reject all appeals, and it is clear that the reason they would not reinstate ReOpenCalNow’s account was not because of spam. The laws protecting people from receiving spam do not apply to publicly available emails of elected officials. Every email on the list compiled by ReOpenCalNow were publicly available and corresponded to an elected official. [emphasis in original]

» Read more

Shetland spaceport application rejected by local monument authority

The application to build a spaceport on one of the Shetland Islands has been rejected by a local monument authority because it would cause “extensive and adverse impact on the cultural significance” of a WWII radar station.

Mr Strang [head of the spaceport organization] said he was “greatly surprised” by the decision, claiming HES [Historic Environment Scotland] had “done nothing to preserve the site for the last 50 years”.

Skaw is the UK’s most northerly Second World War radar station and protected as a scheduled monument of national importance. The proposed space centre would be built almost entirely with in the RAF radar station site. It would require the removal of nine buildings, including air raid shelters, guard huts and those associated with the radar system. More than 200 archaeological features, such as foundations of buildings, gun emplacements and bomb craters would also be removed.

The Shetland Islands are very remote with few job opportunities for its residences. Putting a spaceport there seems like an excellent idea, especially because it will create hundreds of jobs where none exist now.

The radar facility did the same, but it did so more than seventy years ago, during World War II. Protecting these old and unused buildings for the sake of those long gone jobs seems utterly foolish.

The spaceport people say they will oppose this decision, but it is not clear from the article what they can do. The law as written appears to give this historical agency full power to veto.

Today’s blacklisted American: Former President Donald Trump

The cancelled Bill of Rights
What Facebook & Instagram want cancelled.

They’re coming for you next: Both Facebook and Instagram instantly removed today an interview of former President Donald Trump in which he suggested he might run again for president in 2024, merely because the clip contained his voice.

[The interview] was for The Right View. … During the 18-minute interview, Trump also spoke about running for President again in 2024. Lara [Trump, whose show it was and who is Trump’s daughter-in-law] had been promoting it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter beforehand.

At 9.26pm on Tuesday night, four minutes before it was due to be uploaded, Facebook emailed Lara’s team warning them that it would be removed if it went live. At 9.51pm, they emailed again to say that they’d taken it down.

Lara shared screenshots of the emails on Instagram afterwards. ‘And just like that, we are one step closer to Orwell’s 1984. Wow,’ she wrote alongside them.

Trump has been banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram since the January 6 riots, cut off from his supporters and unable to get messages to them in the way he did before.

In their email, the Facebook employee said that ‘content posted in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking) and will be removed. ‘This guidance applies to all campaign accounts and Pages, including Team Trump, other campaign messaging vehicles on our platforms and former surrogates’. [emphasis mine]

The audacity of this censorship of a former president of the United States by these companies is breath-taking. The highlighted quote makes it clear: Their goal is to silence Trump, in every way possible. They do not celebrate free speech, or the ability of everyone to express themselves publicly. The only people who will be allowed freedom of speech will be those who agree with them.

Though they are private companies who should have the freedom to publish who they wish, these companies also have been granted special tax status as utilities which provide a platform for everyone, not a publisher who picks and chooses what he wishes to publish. Under this tax benefit, they have no right to block anyone’s show, period.

Putting aside these legalities, why would any Republican, conservative, or anyone who supports free speech remain a user of Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? They are not only clearly Democratic Party operatives, working to promote that political party’s agenda, they also clearly view anyone who disagrees with that agenda to be pond scum. Why provide any support to such authoritarians?

FAA says it will “lead” investigation into Starship #11 crash yesterday

They’re coming for you next: The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced today that it will “oversee” the investigation into the crash at landing yesterday by SpaceX’s eleventh Starship prototype.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which had an inspector at SpaceX’s facilities to observe the test flight, said in a statement that the FAA will oversee the company’s investigation into the “prototype mishap.” The FAA has conducted similar mishap investigations after previous Starship test flights. “The [Starship] vehicle experienced an anomaly during the landing phase of the flight resulting in loss of the vehicle,” an FAA spokesperson said. “The FAA will approve the final mishap investigation report and any corrective actions SpaceX must take before return to flight is authorized.”

The FAA noted that it will also work with SpaceX to identify reports of light debris in the area, saying that there have yet to be any reported injuries or damaged to public property.

What will really go on here is that an FAA official will observe closely as SpaceX conducts the investigation. That official might have some background in space engineering, but he or she will be completely unprepared to actually lead the investigation. Thus in the end the FAA will really only be able to rubber stamp SpaceX’s conclusions, though it might as all governments do, demand its own pound of flesh before issuing that stamp.

Up to now the FAA has tried very hard to work with the new commercial space companies, especially SpaceX, doing as little as it can to impede their progress. There are strong signs however that this might now change with the Democrats in control of the White House and Congress. If so, expect the FAA to cause SpaceX some grief during this investigation, grief that could significantly delay further test flights.

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Conservative news organizations, as proposed by Columbia journalism professor

The cancelled Bill of Rights
What this academic wants cancelled.

They’re coming for you next: In complete ignorance of the free speech’s most basic principle — not to give the government or any ruling body veto powers over anyone’s speech — the head of the digital journalism center at Columbia University, Emily Bell, recently demanded exactly that, calling for the government and news media to tighten its rules to restrict speech at conservative news organizations.

Bell was testifying at a House hearing engineered by Democrats to encourage such censorship.

Bell said that the unprecedented events of 2020 and 2021 coincided with “widespread and often politized information” on “conservative cable news channels” and that local reporters need to “learn new cadence.” She added that the country needs to “rethink what public broadcasting is in the digital age” and “apply some pressure to the platform companies to allow much greater auditing.”

While she had couched her words carefully, there was no mistaking her meaning. She wants the government, the media, and the big social media platforms to work together to silence any conservative opinions she dislikes.

I would give her the benefit of the doubt and consider her merely sincere and naive, someone who simply wants to stop misinformation in the press, except that the only misinformation she identifies is connected with conservatives and conservative protests. Somehow the bad reporting in connection with the rioting by Antifa and Black Lives Matter, designed to hid their violent and rebellious nature, seemed perfectly okay with her. Nor was she apparently bothered by the effort of the mainstream press and the big tech companies like Twitter and Facebook to censor all mentions of corruption by Biden and his son Hunter, prior to the election.

To put it bluntly, Bell is a typical leftist academic, partisan to her bones and eager to smash her boot into the face of anyone with whom she disagrees. And her goal is to smash that boot into the face of all conservatives, now and forever.

NASA in contact with China to get the orbital data of its Tianwen-1 Mars Orbiter

Though by law NASA and the scientists cannot exchange data or communications with China due to security concerns, NASA and Chinese officials did exchange communications recently in order to coordinate the orbits of their orbiters presently circling Mars.

Jurczyk noted that NASA’s knowledge of China’s space program is largely limited to publicly available information because of restrictions placed by federal law on its interactions with Chinese organizations. Those restrictions do allow NASA to engage with China if approved by Congress. “Most recently, we had an exchange with them on them providing their orbital data, their ephemeris data, for their Tianwen-1 Mars orbiting mission, so we could do conjunction analysis around Mars with the orbiters,” he said.

In a brief statement to SpaceNews late March 29, NASA confirmed it exchanged information with the China National Space Administration (CNSA), as well as other space agencies that operate spacecraft at Mars. “To assure the safety of our respective missions, NASA is coordinating with the UAE, European Space Agency, Indian Space Research Organisation and the China National Space Administration, all of which have spacecraft in orbit around Mars, to exchange information on our respective Mars missions to ensure the safety of our respective spacecraft,” the agency said. “This limited exchange of information is consistent with customary good practices used to ensure effective communication among satellite operators and spacecraft safety in orbit.”

Such limited communications are actually permitted under the law that Congress passed, as long as they do not involve any exchange of technical information. There has been a push, however, in the planetary community for years to increase direct communications with China, allowing the transfer of all kinds of information, both scientific and technical. Until the law gets changed none of this should happen.

Of course, what matters laws these days? I will not be surprised if the Biden administration, rather than demanding a change in the law, instead begins expanded communications between NASA and China, in complete and utter contempt for the law, with no one objecting.

Biden administration to form its own National Space Council

The Biden administration has announced that it will continue the National Space Council, restarted during the Trump administration.

The new council will of course be made up entirely of Biden appointees, just as the Trump council was made up of Trump appointees, and will like the Trump council merely be a loudspeaker for space policies that the Biden administration wants established. There will be little continuation of policy. In fact, the new council, made up of Democrat politicians, will likely work to end the policies created during the Trump administration.

My cynicism here of the Biden administration should not be construed as support for the council under Trump. After watching the first session of the council under Trump I concluded it was nothing more than a vehicle for Trump propaganda, and therefore not worth getting much attention.

Congress taking aim at SpaceX and Starship testing

They’re coming for you next: The Democratic Party leaders on the House committee that normally does not overseer the FAA’s commercial space office have now raised their concerns about the recent test flights of SpaceX’s new rocket, Starship, in particular demanding an investigation into the flight of prototype #8, which the FAA claims had occurred despite one FAA issue.

The latest version of SpaceX’s FAA launch license for the Starship suborbital test flight program, issued March 12, allows those test flights to take place “only when an FAA Safety Inspector is present at SpaceX’s Boca Chica launch and landing site.”

The change stemmed from an investigation into SpaceX’s violation of that launch license during the SN8 test flight in December. SpaceX proceeded with the flight despite the FAA determining that the flight profile exceeded the maximum allowed risk to the uninvolved public for “far field blast overpressure” in the event of an explosion. While the SN8 vehicle exploded upon landing, there were no reports of damage outside of the SpaceX test site.

FAA directed SpaceX to investigate the incident, delaying the flight of the next Starship prototype, SN9. That investigation included “a comprehensive review of the company’s safety culture, operational decision-making and process discipline,” the FAA said in a Feb. 2 statement.

The FAA cleared SpaceX to proceed with launches, with SN9 and SN10 launching and landing — and both exploding upon or shortly after landing — on Feb. 2 and March 3, respectively. Neither caused any damage outside of the SpaceX test site.

The FAA’s response to SpaceX’s launch license violation, including the lack of any penalties beyond the investigation, prompted criticism from two key members of Congress. In a March 25 letter to FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) sought to “register our concerns” with the incident. DeFazio is chair of the House Transportation Committee and Larsen the chair of its aviation subcommittee.

Much of these claims about the flight of prototype #8 however only appeared to become a significant concern after the Biden administration and the Democrats took power in January. Prior to that the FAA did not seem very troubled by that flight. In fact, the so called risk, “far field blast overpressure,” seems very contrived, especially since we have now had four Starship crashes on its landing pad, with no evident damage to even SpaceX’s own equipment nearby. Prior to January 20th the FAA was untroubled. After January 20th it suddenly became a deadly issue requiring stricter supervision by the government, though what that FAA inspector on sight can do or even know about the launch is baffling.

What these Democrats really don’t like is that someone is freely accomplishing something without their supervision or control. Like mobsters looking to exhort money, they are essentially telling SpaceX, “Nice business you got here. Sure would be a shame if something happened to it.”

With today’s fourth Starship crash, expect the Demorats in Congress now to swarm like flies over manure, all aimed at shutting down the most innovative new American space company in decades.

Today’s blacklisted Americans: California’s ethnic studies uses Nazi language to demonize Jews

They’re coming for you next: The new California ethnic studies program that is expected to be imposed on all the state’s classrooms is in fact based entirely on critical race theory (CRT) that makes whites the devil and all other minorities its victims, except Jews, who are targeted for special condemnation using language reminiscent of Nazi Germany.

Because of outrage over the bigoted nature of the earlier versions, two revisions have been offered, both of which really changed nothing of substance. The last version however added the following:

Two lessons have been offered about Jews. One, following crude CRT dogma, teaches that Mizrahi Jews coming to the United States from Arab lands were mistreated by “white” Ashkenazim. The other suggests that Jews of European descent have white privilege.

The Jewish Journal points out that Jews are the only group in the curriculum for whom the term “privilege” is used. And this privilege is not earned by way of talent, or educational and professional attainment, but rather trickery. The ESMC, echoing Nazi propaganda about Jews as impostors and appropriators hiding in plain sight, points out that American Jews often change their names (“this practice of name-changing continues to the present day”) to change their rank in the social hierarchy.

The historical reality of repeated genocidal attacks on Jews because of their perceived or imagined privilege is not offered as counterpoint, because ethnic studies teachers assume the Holocaust is taught in world history class. But next year in San Mateo County, world history will be replaced by ethnic studies.[emphasis in original]

There is a lot more in the article at the link. Overall it outlines the racist, white- and Jew-hating nature of critical race theory, about to be imposed on all students in California’s public school system, even as that system removes any teaching about world history and the Nazi genocide of millions of Jews.

Rick, stating the truth in Casablanca
Click for video.

Note that while this program is being created by the bigoted idiots in the state’s various ethnic studies programs, it was mandated by the state’s Democratically-controlled legislature and signed into law by the previous Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, and later endorsed by the present Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom.

If you live in California, you voted for this, either from apathy, ignorance, or maybe even your own bigoted motives. And while one would expect Californians to be horrified and ashamed by this, I fully expect more apathy and ignorance, even as the bigots gain more power.

As I say, they’re coming for you next. And I fear that few decent people are doing anything to stop these thugs.

More data: Lockdowns did nothing to slow COVID

It was always about power: A review of 87 regions worldwide has now found that the lockdowns imposed in panic in the past year did nothing to slow COVID, while contributing massively to economic devastation and increased mortality associated directly to that devastation.

Both a restrictive and global analysis were performed in the study. In the restrictive analysis, direct comparison of two regions took place if three of the four following conditions were similar: population density, percentage of urban population, human development index, and total area of the region. The global comparisons included regions and countries worldwide.

In the restrictive analysis, only one comparison (or 3 percent)—between the state of Roraima, Brazil, and the state of Rondonia, Brazil—was significant, while in the global comparisons, only 1.6 percent were significantly different. “Indeed,” the researchers wrote, “the global comparison confirmed the results found in the restrictive one; only 1.6 percent of the death rates could be explained by staying at home.”

Put another way, in about 98 percent of the comparisons, there was “no evidence that the number of deaths/million is reduced by staying at home.” The findings were backed up by real-world examples taking place at the time.

Even if this study had found that there was a five percent reduction in COVID deaths resulting from lockdowns, that number would not have justified the damage done to lives, businesses, and the health of millions because they were trapped in their homes, could not work, or see their doctor for other health concerns.

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Democrats go after Parler and its investors

Our modern Congress, as controlled by the Democratic Party
What the modern Congressional show trials will resemble,
as demanded by the Democratic Party

In February Democratic Party congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) and her fellow Democrats demanded the social media platform Parler provide Congress a detailed list of all its investors and creditors, while also demanding the FBI investigate the company.

The Democratic Party demands were based on an outright falsehood, that Parler was part of a conspiracy to overthrow the government during the protests at the Capitol on January 6th.

In her letter, the congresswoman goes on to claim that Parler “allowed Russian disinformation to flourish on its platform prior to the November 2020 election, facilitating Russia’s campaign to sow chaos in the American electorate.”

“Individuals with ties to the January 6 assault should not — and must not — be allowed to hide behind the veil of anonymity provided by shell companies,” continued Maloney in her letter.

The problem with this fantasy is that the evidence shows that the public social media planning for the January 6th protest was done on all the platforms, not just Parler, with the bulk taking place on the more established older forums like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.

Moreover, Parler this week responded to Maloney by pointing out that it had teamed up with the FBI — prior to January 6th — in order to track any posts that might suggest violence or illegal activity.
» Read more

Georgia state legislature passes new election laws

In what might be the first sign that at least one Republican-controlled state legislature has recognized that their state’s voting system is corrupt and prone to tampering, Georgia’s government has passed and signed into law a range of changes designed to make election fraud more difficult.

Most of the changes appear to me to be either minor window-dressing or watered-down reforms that will help but not alleviate the problem. One change however is major, significant, and will likely guarantee that control of the voting system will now be under the supervision of the state’s elected officials, not the appointed bureaucrats in the election board.

The bill removes the secretary of state as the chair of the state election board, making the position instead elected by the state General Assembly. This, effectively, turns the five-person board over to the state legislature, with the chairperson elected by both chambers and one member each appointed by each chamber. The bill also gives the state election board the ability to suspend county election officials, who are replaced by an individual picked by the board.

In other words, come the next election should Georgia’s elected state legislature be unsatisfied by how the election is run — such as when election bureaucrats willy-nilly illegally revised the law at their whim (as happened in many states in 2020) — it will be in a position to stop such shenanigans in their tracks.

More important, this signals a willingness of this state’s elected government to reclaim some of its Constitutional power, something that state governments have been casually giving away for decades in the naive belief that taking them out of the equation would prevent corruption. Hah! NOT.

The best way for a representative democracy to limit corruption is to give as much responsibility as possible to the elected officials. At least if they do wrong the voters can vote them out of power. Appointed bureaucrats are immune from pressure by the electorate, and that is not a healthy situation for a democracy.

Other state governments, in Arizona and Pennsylvania for example, have their own reforms proposed, but Georgia is the only one to so far get the changes put into law. Hopefully many other states will soon follow. Such actions will be the only way to prevent the fraud that strongly points to a theft of the presidential election in 2020.

Today’s blacklisted American: Professor suspended by university for having opinions

Today's modern witch hunt
Burn witches: What St. Joseph’s University really wants to do.

They’re coming for you next: St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania last month suspended math professor Gregory Manco from teaching for the vile crime of simply expressing opinions opposing the payment of reparations to blacks for something (slavery) that hasn’t existed in the U.S. for more than 150 years.

The university’s only statement upon taking this action:

“We thank our students for bringing to our attention a possible violation of our values. The University launched an investigation into a report of bias. The faculty member will not be in the classroom or in a coaching role while the investigation is conducted,” Director of Public Relations and Media Gail Benner wrote in an email to The College Fix. [emphasis mine]

In other words, the values of this university are that no one can express any opinion its leaders do not like. With such values, this university would feel right at home in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

Moreover, the university’s actions are a direct violation of its own policies [pdf], which state:
» Read more

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Lincoln and Washington, by Chicago’s Democratic mayor

Lincoln banned as evil by Chicago politicians
Chicago Democrats to ban Lincoln.

Blacklists are back and the Democrats got ’em: Lori Lightfoot, the Democratic Party mayor of Chicago, has begun the formal process for removing forty historical monuments in Chicago, including statues of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Ulysses S. Grant.

Her reasons for throwing these fundamental Americans into the scrap heap of history? Well, she created a committee to review 500 monuments in Chicago and ended up deciding that 40 should go. It has said this:

Reasons for making the list include promoting narratives of white supremacy; presenting an inaccurate or demeaning portrayal of Native Americans; celebrating people with connections to slavery, genocide or racist acts; or “presenting selective, over-simplified, one-sided views of history.”

…Besides five statutes of Lincoln, others on the list include the General John Logan Monument in Grant Park; the General Philip Henry Sheridan Monument at Belmont and Lake Shore Drive; a statue of Benjamin Franklin in Lincoln Park; the Haymarket Riot Monument/ Police Memorial at 1300 W. Jackson Blvd; the Italo Balbo Monument in Burnham Park; and the Jean Baptiste Beaubien plaque at the Chicago Cultural Center. [emphasis mine]

» Read more

A data-based broad look at the entire COVID epidemic, one year later

The Scream by Edvard Munch
The Scream by Edvard Munch

One year ago I posted an essay entitled COVID-19: the unwarranted panic. At that time we had just begun a “15-day-lockdown” to slow the spread of the virus, a lockdown that has ended up lasting a year with literally no signs of ending, even though vaccines for the coronavirus are now available and are being administrated widely to millions.

In that essay I reviewed four early science studies that provided some solid initial data about the coronavirus, all of which strongly suggested that it was not the plague many government healthy officials at that time were proclaiming it to be. Instead, these studies showed that it was only a threat to the elderly sick, that it was relatively harmless to a young population, and that the death rate was low, likely well below 1% and possibly very comparable to the flu.

These data strongly suggested to me that lockdowns, social distancing, masks, and restrictions on the freedom of the healthy and young were all a bad idea. Better to follow the traditional response to past such epidemics in which you quarantine the sick, protect the vulnerable (the elderly), and allow everyone else to go about their lives as normal.

We did not do this, however. Instead, as a society we chose in the past year to do the exact oppose, imposing strict lockdowns, mandating social distancing and mask use everywhere, while quarantining the healthy. We did this based on the worst scenarios and models put forth by health officials, who firmly believed COVID-19 was far worse than any past epidemic, and required a new, radical, and much harsher response.

I now want to ask, one year later: Whose conclusions about the seriousness of COVID-19 were more accurate? Was it just another type of flu, though maybe somewhat worse, as I posited, or was it the deadly pestilence predicted by the world’s health authorities?
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Today’s blacklisted Americans: Anyone who worked for Trump

The cancelled Bill of Rights
A document no one in Washington believes in.

Blacklists are back and the Democrats got ’em: It is now very clear that anyone who worked for President Trump during his term in office is now being blackballed by the political class in DC and in the media.

[R]esumes are gathering dust, book manuscripts are being rejected, and corporations are being threatened with boycotts if they hire members of Trump’s team. “They are being blocked everywhere,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

It’s “natural for the party that lost the White House, just as we saw after the Bush and Obama administrations, to spend a few months in the wilderness, so to speak,” added Brian Walsh, a partner at PLUS Communications.

But this time feels different, and many critics have said it is deserved. “They took a wrecking ball to the ‘swamp.’ Why would the ‘swamp’ want them back?” a top K Street lobbyist asked. [emphasis mine]

I find the highlighted quote especially ironic, in that I think Trump’s biggest failure is that he did not take a wrecking ball to the “swamp,” never truly cleaned house, even when it was patently obvious — especially in agencies like the FBI and the Justice Department — that a housecleaning was desperately needed.
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Today’s blacklisted Americans: The oppressed fight back at Boise State

The good black half of this student
A typical slide from a critical race theory class.

They’re coming for you next: Forced to attend a bigoted critical race education class at Boise State University where a white student was apparently treated like scum, it appears other students there taped the session and forwarded it to the Idaho state legislature.

The results were somewhat gratifying.

[A]dministrators have abruptly suspended all of the school’s general education classes called “University Foundations 200: Foundations of Ethics and Diversity.”

“We have been made aware of a series of concerns, culminating in allegations that a student or students have been humiliated and degraded in class on our campus for their beliefs and values,” states a March 16 memo from President Marlene Tromp to the campus community. “This is never acceptable; it is not what Boise State stands for; and we will not tolerate this behavior,” Tromp stated. “…Given the weight of cumulative concerns, we have determined that, effective immediately, we must suspend UF 200.” She goes on to note that academic leadership will determine next steps “to ensure that everyone is still able to complete the course.”

Tromp’s decision came around the same time as Idaho lawmakers passed a state education budget that takes away about $409,000 from Boise State University because of its social justice curriculum, Idaho Ed News reports. [emphasis mine]

The highlighted words provide us the real reason Boise administrators suspended these race lectures. » Read more

Today’s blacklisted Americans: Virginia teachers & parents who oppose teaching children that whites are evil and minorities cannot be racist

Today's modern witch hunt
Burning witches: what the modern left wants to do to its opponents.

They’re coming for you next: In an effort to slander their opponents and prevent them from shutting down the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) with its blatant anti-white propaganda, administrators, teachers, and some parents in Loudon County, Virginia, began compiling an enemies list of anti-CRT parents and teachers to blacklist those individuals and silence them.

Members of a 624-member private Facebook group called “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” named parents and plotted fundraising and other offline work. Some used pseudonyms, but The Daily Wire has identified them as a who’s who of the affluent jurisdiction outside D.C., including school staff and elected officials.

The sheriff’s criminal investigations division is reviewing the matter — but the group’s activities might be no surprise to top law enforcement because the county’s prosecutor, narrowly elected with the help of $845,000 in cash from George Soros, appears to be a member of the Facebook group.

Secret communications reviewed by The Daily Wire do not offer any evidence of racism by the group’s targets. Their opponents were apparently those who objected to, sought to debate, or were even simply “neutral” about “critical race theory,” a radical philosophy opposed by many liberals and conservatives but increasingly embraced by governments.

The article is gentle about how it describes “critical race theory,” which is a wholly bigoted program designed to generate hate between whites and all minorities as it demonizes whites as evil and blesses all minorities as perfectly pure and good.

One email from the Facebook group outlined how the supporters of this bigoted race theory program planned to use that enemies list.
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NASA confident Webb will launch in October

In a briefing held yesterday, NASA officials — in summarizing the status of the James Webb Space Telescope — stated they were presently confident that its launch will take place in October this year, as presently planned.

[Eric Smith, JWST program scientist> said the program is dealing with one new technical issue. Two communications transponders suffered separate problems during testing in January. Engineers have tracked down the problems with the two units and started repairs this week. “Those boxes will be back in time for us to make our planned shipping date,” he said.

That issue, he acknowledged, will use some of the remaining schedule margin. “The plan right now is that we’ll get them back in time so that we don’t have to use all of it,” he said. “That’s the main thing that we’re watching regarding the margin.”

If launched in October, Webb will only be a decade behind schedule and a mere 20 times over budget, having been initially proposed to launch in 2011 for a cost of $500 million. Instead, it will cost about $10 billion.

The article also notes that the Biden administration might change the telescope’s name because Webb as a bureaucrat early in his career apparently publicly opposed homosexual rights. Such opinions can no longer be allowed, and anyone who has them must be blackballed as quickly as possible.

No matter. Webb was merely NASA’s administrator through almost its entire first decade, leading the agency in its triumph over the Soviets in the race to the Moon. Such achievements cannot be honored as they illustrate the past greatness of America. Moreover, Webb was a white man, and this makes him totally unqualified to receive any laurels. Today’s modern America hates itself and all white men.

The article also notes a variety of issues that will cause more delays of the new big astronomy boondoggle at NASA, the Roman Space Telescope. They say its launch will likely be delayed to 2026 because of the Wuhan flu panic. I predict this is only a foretaste. Expect many more delays and budget overruns, probably pushing its launch into the 2030s.

But no matter. What is really important is that this new boondoggle is named for a woman!

Biden nominates former senator Bill Nelson for NASA administrator

The Biden administration today announced that it has nominated former Democratic senator Bill Nelson for Florida to be the next NASA administrator.

Nelson was a big proponent of SLS. He also was a big opponent of commercial space for many years, changing his mind only during the last few years in the Senate.

He is also old, 78. Though that age by itself does not guarantee failing mental abilities, the last time I saw Nelson live was during 2017 hearings instigated by senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) related to the Outer Space Treaty. During those hearings he struck me as confused, unaware of the most recent developments in commercial space, and repeatedly struggling to express himself on the simplest topics.

In this sense he will make a great bookend with Joe Biden. In both cases the weak-minded elected official does not run things. Instead, it is the unelected Washington bureaucracy in charge.

How this will impact the growing and successful commercial space market at this moment remains unclear. Within NASA there are two camps, one favoring private enterprise and the other wanting to control it so that NASA decides everything. For the last half of the 20th century through the first decade of the 21st the latter was in charge. In the past decade the former has gained ascendancy.

As a longtime supporter of the latter group, Nelson’s appointment therefore could shift that battle in a way that aborts America’s new private space effort.

Today’s blacklisted American: Bi-racial HS student punished for refusing to condemn his white half

The good black half of this student
One slide shown during the class, illustrating that according to
critical race theory, the student’s black half is pure goodness,
even as his white half is the devil incarnate.

They’re coming for you next: A Las Vegas high school student, born from the marriage of a white man and black woman, was given a failing grade because he would not label his white half as evil and racist.

William Clark received a failing grade in his Sociology of Change class after he refused to categorize and label his racial, religious and sexual identities, according to a press release from Schoolhouserights.org, which supports civil rights litigation in defense of students’ freedom of conscience in public education.
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Today’s blacklisted Americans: In Iowa the oppressed fight back

The Bill of Rights, not cancelled!
Not yet cancelled, at least in Iowa.

Today’s story about blacklisting might actually be revealing a hopeful sign, albeit only one which is still not resolved entirely in favor of freedom.

Our story begins in October 2020:

In October, David Johnsen, the dean for the college of dentistry at the University of Iowa, sent a mass email to the college criticizing an executive order issued by then-President Donald Trump. The email condemned the barring of certain types of diversity training that aim to promote “anti-American race and sex stereotyping.”

A conservative student, Michael Brase, “replied all” to the email, asking clarifying questions and sparking discussion on the email chain of about 1,200 students, faculty, and staff. Between two email threads, 18 emails were exchanged over the topic. According to the Daily Iowan, in one of his follow-up emails on the thread, Brase says “simply do the trainings without intentionally race/sex scapegoating people in those trainings. That shouldn’t be that hard.”

According to The Gazette, administrators at the university then summoned Brase to a disciplinary hearing for “unprofessional behavior.” The letter used to summon Brase included warnings of “dismissal” based on his actions.

This is very typical of our modern fascist and bankrupt academia. While partisan Democrats and leftists always have the right to say anything they want, and use all resources — some that are entirely inappropriate — to spread their message, partisan Republicans and even non-partisan neutrals have no right to question this behavior, and if they do must be punished immediately.

In this case however Iowa elected officials actually appear to be doing their job. After getting his disciplinary summons, Brase immediately contacted his local legislator, complaining that this behavior by administrators in a publicly financed institution seemed unjust and wrong. And unlike most modern legislators, who routinely run for the hills when such issues are brought before them out of fear of being called racist, these legislators heartily agreed with Brase.
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Today’s blacklisted Americans: 30,000 videos banned by YouTube for stating COVID conclusions that disagree with health authorities

BANNED!

They’re coming for you next: Google’s YouTube has now blacklisted more than 30,000 videos simply because they stated conclusions relating to COVID-19 vaccines that either contradicted or challenged opinions or conclusions held by the World Health Organization or other governmental health authorities.

The headline is only listing the videos removed by YouTube because they state conclusions relating to various coronavirus vaccines that YouTube disagrees with. It turns out this is only the tip of the iceberg.
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