If it saves one life …

In January 2013, then-President Barack Obama said, “If there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this [gun] violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try.”

A month later he tweeted, “If we save even one life from gun violence, it’s worth it.”

In a press conference Vice President, Joe Biden said, “As the president said, if your actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking.”

It’s a common plea for action.

Perhaps now-President Biden should keep this in mind as he touts various spending bills to curb global warming.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, reports that a study found that globablly climate change annually causes almost 120,000 additional heat deaths but avoids nearly 300,000 cold deaths.

Lomborg further noted the frequently mentioned deaths due to weather-related events such as floods, droughts, storms and fire — mostly blamed on climate change — actually have declined. “In the 1920s, these disasters killed almost half a million people on average each year. The current climate narrative would suggest that natural disasters are ever deadlier, but that isn’t true,” he writes. “Over the past century, climate-related deaths have dropped to fewer than 20,000 on average each year, even though the global population has quadrupled since 1920.”

Each year, more than 100,000 people die from cold in the United States, and 13,000 in Canada — more than 40 cold deaths for every heat death.Lomborg wrote in July in The New York Post

This piece was also published in The Financial Post.

He concluded his WSJ op-ed by saying, “Climate change is a real problem we should fix. But we can’t rely on apocalyptic stories when crafting policy. We must see all the data.”

If it saves one life?
http://dlvr.it/S5D53d

Apple Will Scan All IPhones for Illegal Child Abuse Images, Sparking Privacy Debate

Customers queue to get their reserved iPhone 12 mobile phones at an Apple store in Shanghai on Oct. 23, 2020. (STR/AFP via Getty Images)

Apple announced Thursday is it planning to scan all iPhones in the United States for child abuse imagery, raising alarm among security experts who said the plan could allow the firm to surveil tens of millions of personal devices for unrelated reasons.

In a blog post, the company confirmed reports saying that new scanning technology is part of a suite of child protection programs that would “evolve and expand.” It will be rolled out as part of iOS 15, which is scheduled for release sometime in August.

Apple, which has often touted itself as a company that promises to safeguard users’ right to privacy, appeared to try and preempt privacy concerns by saying that the software will enhance those protections by avoiding the need to carry out widespread image scanning on its cloud servers.

“This innovative new technology allows Apple to provide valuable and actionable information to [the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children] and law enforcement regarding the proliferation of known CSAM,” said the company, referring to an acronym for child sexual abuse material. “And it does so while providing significant privacy benefits over existing techniques since Apple only learns about users’ photos if they have a collection of known CSAM in their iCloud Photos account. Even in these cases, Apple only learns about images that match known CSAM.”

The Cupertino-based tech giant said the system will utilize breakthrough cryptography technology and artificial intelligence to find abuse material when it is stored in iCloud Photos, said the firm in its blog post. The images will be matched to a known database of illegal images, the firm said, adding that if a certain number of those images are uploaded to iCloud Photos, the company will review them.

Those images—if they’re deemed illegal—will be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The software won’t be applied to videos, Apple added.

“Apple’s expanded protection for children is a game-changer,” John Clark, the president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said in a statement on Thursday about the initiative. “The reality is that privacy and child protection can coexist.“

But some security experts and researchers, who stressed they support efforts to combat child abuse, said the program could present significant privacy concerns.

Ross Anderson, professor of security engineering at the University of Cambridge, described Apple’s proposed system as “an absolutely appalling idea,” according to the Financial Times. “It is going to lead to distributed bulk surveillance of … our phones and laptops,” he remarked.

When news of the proposal broke on Wednesday evening, John Hopkins University professor and cryptographer Matthew Green echoed those concerns.

“This sort of tool can be a boon for finding child pornography in people’s phones,” Green wrote on Twitter. “But imagine what it could do in the hands of an authoritarian government?”

Green said that “if you believe Apple won’t allow these tools to be misused [crossed fingers emoji] there’s still a lot to be concerned about,” noting that such “systems rely on a database of ‘problematic media hashes’ that you, as a consumer, can’t review.”

The expert told The Associated Press that he’s concerned Apple could be pressured by other, more authoritarian governments to scan for other types of information.

Microsoft created photoDNA to assist companies in identifying child sexual abuse images on the internet, while Facebook and Google have implemented systems to flag and review possibly illegal content.

The Epoch Times has contacted Apple for comment.

Jack Phillips

Jack Phillips – Senior Reporter – The Epoch Times based in New York.

Source: Apple Will Scan All IPhones for Illegal Child Abuse Images, Sparking Privacy Debate

Opinion | Donald J. Trump: Why I’m Suing Big Tech

If Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can censor me, they can censor you—and believe me, they are.

 

Trump announces his lawsuits at a Bedminster, N.J. press conference on July 7. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
 

One of the gravest threats to our democracy today is a powerful group of Big Tech corporations that have teamed up with government to censor the free speech of the American people. This is not only wrong—it is unconstitutional. To restore free speech for myself and for every American, I am suing Big Tech to stop it.

Social media has become as central to free speech as town meeting halls, newspapers and television networks were in prior generations. The internet is the new public square. In recent years, however, Big Tech platforms have become increasingly brazen and shameless in censoring and discriminating against ideas, information and people on social media—banning users, deplatforming organizations, and aggressively blocking the free flow of information on which our democracy depends.

No longer are Big Tech giants simply removing specific threats of violence. They are manipulating and controlling the political debate itself. Consider content that was censored in the past year. Big Tech companies banned users from their platforms for publishing evidence that showed the coronavirus emerged from a Chinese lab, which even the corporate media now admits may be true. In the middle of a pandemic, Big Tech censored physicians from discussing potential treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, which studies have now shown does work to relieve symptoms of Covid-19. In the weeks before a presidential election, the platforms banned the New York Post—America’s oldest newspaper—for publishing a story critical of Joe Biden’s family, a story the Biden campaign did not even dispute.

Perhaps most egregious, in the weeks after the election, Big Tech blocked the social-media accounts of the sitting president. If they can do it to me, they can do it to you—and believe me, they are.

Jennifer Horton, a Michigan schoolteacher, was banned from Facebook for sharing an article questioning whether mandatory masks for young children are healthy. Later, when her brother went missing, she was unable to use Facebook to get the word out. Colorado physician Kelly Victory was deplatformed by YouTube after she made a video for her church explaining how to hold services safely. Kiyan Michael of Florida and her husband, Bobby, lost their 21-year-old son in a fatal collision caused by a twice-deported illegal alien. Facebook censored them after they posted on border security and immigration enforcement.

Meanwhile, Chinese propagandists and the Iranian dictator spew threats and hateful lies on these platforms with impunity.

This flagrant attack on free speech is doing terrible damage to our country. That is why in conjunction with the America First Policy Institute, I filed class-action lawsuits to force Big Tech to stop censoring the American people. The suits seek damages to deter such behavior in the future and injunctions restoring my accounts.

Our lawsuits argue that Big Tech companies are being used to impose illegal and unconstitutional government censorship. In 1996 Congress sought to promote the growth of the internet by extending liability protections to internet platforms, recognizing that they were exactly that—platforms, not publishers. Unlike publishers, companies such as Facebook and Twitter can’t be held legally liable for the content posted to their sites. Without this immunity, social media companies could not exist.

Democrats in Congress are exploiting this leverage to coerce platforms into censoring their political opponents. In recent years, we have all watched Congress haul Big Tech CEOs before their committees and demand that they censor “false” stories and “disinformation”—labels determined by an army of partisan fact-checkers loyal to the Democrat Party. As the cases of fellow plaintiffs Ms. Horton, Dr. Victory and the Michael family demonstrate, in practice this amounts to suppression of speech that those in power do not like.

Further, Big Tech and government agencies are actively coordinating to remove content from the platforms according to the guidance of agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Big Tech and traditional media entities formed the Trusted News Initiative, which essentially takes instructions from the CDC about what information they need to “combat.” The tech companies are doing the government’s bidding, colluding to censor unapproved ideas.

This coercion and coordination is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has held that Congress can’t use private actors to achieve what the Constitution prohibits it from doing itself. In effect, Big Tech has been illegally deputized as the censorship arm of the U.S. government. This should alarm you no matter your political persuasion. It is unacceptable, unlawful and un-American.

Through these lawsuits, I intend to restore free speech for all Americans—Democrats, Republicans and independents. I will never stop fighting to defend the constitutional rights and sacred liberties of the American people.

Mr. Trump was the 45th president of the United States.

Source: Opinion | Donald J. Trump: Why I’m Suing Big Tech

Supreme Court Likely To Issue Major Ruling on Ballot Harvesting Soon

Election workers count ballots in Philadelphia, Penn., on Nov. 4, 2020. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court is poised to issue a major ruling that could impact the practice of “ballot harvesting” across the United States.

The court’s current term is slated to expire at the end of this month, which is this Thursday, and it is likely to rule on a voting rights case that calls into question Arizona’s law that bans ballot harvesting, or the practice of collecting ballots for delivery. Also under consideration is the state’s law that mandates the dismissal of ballots that were cast in the wrong voting district.

After the Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit against the laws, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Democrats and overturned them. Later, Arizona state Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.

The GOP-controlled Arizona Legislature passed a ballot harvesting bill in 2016that made the practice—typically carried out by Democratic-aligned groups—of going door-to-door asking people to take their ballots to a local polling place unlawful. The law makes exceptions for family members, caregivers, and people living in the same household. Republicans have said this would eliminate fraud and other irregularities.

In a divided ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’s majority argued that the law was a bid to suppress minority voters.

“The district court found that, in contrast, the Republican Party has not significantly engaged in ballot collection as a Get Out the Vote strategy,” Justice William Fletcher wrote for the majority last year. “The base of the Republican Party in Arizona is white,” Fletcher added. “Individuals who engaged in ballot collection in past elections observed that voters in predominantly white areas were not as interested in ballot-collection services.”

However, Brnovich argued (pdf) to the Supreme Court that the law barely impacted minority groups’ ability to vote and cited “slight statistical differences.”

“No one was denied the opportunity,” he said in his arguments before the court.

Brnovich further stipulated there are a “plethora of options” for voters to cast ballots in elections, saying that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals used that small statistical difference and then “tried to extrapolate that somehow that Arizona’s laws were racist or unconstitutional.”

Michael Carvin, an attorney for the Arizona GOP, said during questioning that the law creates difficulties for Republicans during elections.

“It puts us at a competitive disadvantage relative to Democrats,” he told Justice Amy Coney Barrett. “Politics is a zero-sum game. And every extra vote they get through unlawful interpretations of Section 2 hurts us. It’s the difference between winning an election 50 to 49 and losing an election.”

Source: Supreme Court Likely To Issue Major Ruling on Ballot Harvesting Soon

Happy birthday, Eric Blair — the dystopian world you conjured is still here year after year

“The centuries of capitalism were held to have produced nothing of any value. One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Statues, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets — anything that might throw light upon the past had been systematically altered.”

— “Nineteen Eighty-four”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve taken to placing a little sticky note over the camera atop my desktop computer. If former FBI Director James Comey and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg do it, so will I. Big and Little Brothers may be watching.

Happy birthday, Eric Blair.

On this day in 1903, Eric Blair was born in India.

But the year for which he is most noted is 1984, even though he died in 1950.

Under the pen name George Orwell, Blair penned the novels “Nineteen Eighty-four” and “Animal Farm,” as well as several other semi-autobiographical books and numerous essays. Eric Blair as six weeks old

When Orwell wrote “Nineteen Eighty-four” he wasn’t forecasting a particular date, he simply transposed the last two digits in 1948, when he wrote much of the book. Though a life-long socialist he despised the totalitarian and despotic nature of communism, fascism and Nazism.

He added to the lexicon: Big Brother, thoughtcrime, newspeak, doublethink, Room 101, as well as the painted slogans WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

In “Nineteen Eighty-four” the warring nations kept changing enemies, sort of like today.

If you don’t think freedom is slavery, consider the “Life of Julia” — the Obama campaign video that showed a woman relying on government handouts from cradle to retirement. Julia, by the way, was the girlfriend of Winston Smith, the main character in “Nineteen Eighty-four.”

Ignorance is definitely strength, not for us but for politicians who the ignorant keep electing.

As for newspeak and doublethink, consider the language of the Obama and Trump and Biden administrations. Obama said we were not fighting a war against terrorists but trying to prevent man-caused disasters. His Defense Department (They don’t call it the War Department anymore.) sent out a memo saying: “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’” And a man standing on a table, firing a gun, shouting Allahu Akbar is merely workplace violence.

Trump was going to attack Iran for downing our drone, then the called it off. He was going to have ICE round-up immigrants who had been ordered deported, then he delayed it. He was going to impose tariffs, then he did not. During the election campaign he took 141 policy positions on 23 issues over the course of 510 days. He changed stances on immigration, ObamaCare, entitlement programs, gay rights, the Middle East and so much more.

Biden’s bureaucrats’ budget language refers to “birthing people,” not mothers.

Not to be outdone, the quacks at the Nevada Legislature actually passed AB287, which declares that on public documents the term mother is to be replaced with “person giving birth” and father with “other parent.” The governor signed it June 8 and there was no news coverage of the event.

The Federal Reserve in the past week put out a memo instructing staff to use bias-free language. The memo lists terms like “Founding Fathers” and “manmade” as well as the pronouns he and she as offensive.

Then there is the news media blackout of all the Hunter Biden monetary shakedowns, obscene photos and racial slurs — never mind the social media banning of a former president and many others.

Trump was called a xenophobe for suggesting the COVID-19 virus came from a Wuhan lab, but now that is widely accepted as highly likely.

Orwell wrote: “‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”

Recently a law professor suggested editing from classroom teachings the details of the Dred Scott case in which the Supreme Court ruled a Black man could not file suit in court because he was not a citizen. The prof wants to omit language “so gratuitously insulting and demeaning.” He said assigning the case forces students “to relive the humiliation of [Chief Justice Roger] Taney’s language as evidence of his doctrine of white supremacy.”

How can there be any thoughtcrime if we are not allowed to use certain words or study history? People aren’t in the country illegally, they are merely undocumented. And this too changes over time. Once the word negro was the preferred and the politically correct term, but now it is a slur.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” Orwell wrote in “Nineteen Eighty-four.” “In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

Today’s cancel culture is Big Brother incarnate.

Statues are being torn down. Books are banned. Social media posts are censored. Speech is deemed the same as violence. Silence is also violence. But violence is free speech. Any thought outside the strictly proscribed is a crime. Thoughtcrime literally.

The editorial page editor of The New York Times was ousted after fellow staffers demanded his scalp for having the audacity to publish an op-ed by a U.S. senator calling for sending troops to quell rioting. (It now has a lengthy editors’ note atop it online disavowing much of the op-ed’s content.) The editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer was forced to resign for daring to publish an opinion piece under the headline ”Buildings Matter, Too.” When President Trump tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts …” Twitter hid it behind a warning label because it “glorifies violence.”

Movies and television shows are being canceled lest they offend the snowflakes. Classic children’s books are being ripped from the library shelves for being insensitive.

Bowing to racial sensitivity, the Associated Press changed its stylebook to call for the capitalization of the “b” in the term Black when referring to people in a racial, ethnic or cultural context. It was reasoned that lowercase black is a color, not a person. But the AP still uses a lowercase “w” for white, whether a color or a person. Affirmative action run amok?

Back in 1975, David Goodman wrote in The Futurist magazine that 100 of 137 Orwell predictions in “Nineteen Eighty-four” had come true. With the advance of computer surveillance and drones, how many more have come true?

In 1983, while working as the city editor of the Shreveport Journal, I penned a soft feature tied to the 35th anniversary of the original writing of Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

I observed in that piece that Orwell’s book was about a totalitarian dystopia in which BIG BROTHER WAS WATCHING YOU, suggesting this was like the infrared camera equipped drones or huge network of cybersnooping computers, long before the NSA revelations. 

“George Orwell respected language and railed against its abuse,” I wrote in 1983. “He was particularly offended by the propaganda — some of which he helped to write for the BBC in World War II. He saw firsthand the way the press was tricked and subverted for political purposes in the Spanish Civil War. Battles that never happened. Heroes who became traitors.”

In another piece posted here in 2013, I asked whether Orwell was a satirist or a prophet.

Walter Cronkite in a foreword to the 1983 paperback edition of “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” claimed the book has failed as prophecy only because it has served so well as a warning — a warning against manipulation and power grabbing and the loss of privacy in the name of state security.

And Cronkite couldn’t resist adding: “1984 may not arrive on time, but there’s always 1985.”

Orwell himself called his book a satire and took pains to correct those who saw it merely as a denunciation of socialism.

In a letter written shortly after the publication of the book, Orwell wrote, “My novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-four’ is not intended as an attack on socialism, or on the British Labour party, but as a show-up of the perversions to which a centralized economy is liable, and which have already been partly realized in Communism and fascism.

“I do not believe that the kind of society I describe will arrive, but I believe (allowing, of course, for the fact that the book is a satire) that something resembling it could arrive. I believe also that totalitarian ideas have taken root in the minds of intellectuals everywhere, and I have tried to draw these ideas out to their logical consequences. The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English speaking races are not innately better than anyone else and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.”

A Newsweek article in 2018 asked the question: “Is Trump nudging America toward corrupt authoritarianism?” Isn’t corrupt authoritarianism redundant?

Back in 2008, when the Las Vegas Review-Journal launched its blogging section online, I engaged in a bit of self-indulgent navel gazing in a column trying to explain why. I leaned on Orwell like a crutch.

I explained that I and other newspaper scriveners were joining the lowing herds browsing the ether — otherwise known as bloggers, those free-range creatures who mostly chew up the intellectual property of others and spit out their cuds online.

In an effort to find a rationale for this otherwise irrational exercise I grabbed Orwell’s “Why I Write” essay from 1946, in which he lists various reasons for writing.

First is sheer egoism: “Desire to seem clever, to be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc., etc.,” Orwell explains. “It is humbug to pretend this is not a motive, and a strong one. Writers share this characteristic with scientists, artists, politicians, lawyers, soldiers, successful businessmen — in short, with the whole top crust of humanity. … Serious writers, I should say, are on the whole more vain and self-centered than journalists, though less interested in money.”

I think that was both a salute and a sully to the profession of journalism.

The second rationale, according to Orwell, is aesthetic enthusiasm: “Perception of beauty in the external world, or, on the other hand, in words and their right arrangement. Pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story. …” Orwell explains. “Above the level of a railway guide, no book is quite free from aesthetic considerations.”

Third is historical impulse: “Desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity.”

Finally, and probably most importantly, political purpose: “Using the word ‘political’ in the widest possible sense. Desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after. Once again, no book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.”

Orwell wrote this shortly after he penned “Animal Farm,” but two years before “Nineteen Eighty-four.” He said “Animal Farm” was his first conscious effort “to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole.”

Orwell wrote against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism.

Ayn Rand wrote for free-market capitalism.

Robert A. Heinlein wrote for libertarianism.

Others espouse various “isms” and objective journalism attempts to eschew them, not always successfully.

So, what moves one to write?

As our master Orwell said, “All writers are vain, selfish, and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery.”

Everybody loves to unravel a good mystery, right?

Happy birthday, Eric Blair.

A version of this blog has been posted annually for several years.
http://dlvr.it/S2SYdr

Why a SCOTUS justice did an about face on free speech

How did Oliver Wendell Holmes in less than a year switch from saying arguing against the draft — that it was tantamount to falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater — to arguing that free speech is necessary for a marketplace of ideas seek out the truth. Oliver Wendell Holmes

In March 1919 Holmes wrote the unanimous opinion in Schenck v. U.S. Charles Schenck was convicted of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 for writing a pamphlet arguing that the draft violated the 13th Amendment prohibition against involuntary servitude.

Holmes reasoned that the pamphlet posed a “clear and present danger” and: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic.”

In October 2019 Holmes did an about face and wrote a dissent in the 7-2 conviction of pamphleteer Jacob Abrams, a Russian immigrant, for writing that workers should go on strike to prevent the U.S. from going to war against Russia. In the case of Abrams v. U.S., Holmes wrote:

“Persecution for the expression of opinions seems to me perfectly logical. If you have no doubt of your premises or your power and want a certain result with all your heart you naturally express your wishes in law and sweep away all opposition. To allow opposition by speech seems to indicate that you think the speech impotent, as when a man says that he has squared the circle, or that you do not care whole heartedly for the result, or that you doubt either your power or your premises. But when men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas—that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market, and that truth is the only ground upon which their wishes safely can be carried out. That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment. Every year if not every day we have to wager our salvation upon some prophecy based upon imperfect knowledge. While that experiment is part of our system I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country.”

The NPR Radiolab recently broadcast a nearly hour-long discussion of the reason Holmes changed his stance so quickly. Scroll down to “What up Holmes.” It makes a compelling argument as to why a man in his late 70s made such an abrupt change in stance on the First Amendment right of free speech and changed how the courts and American treats speech and press rights.
http://dlvr.it/S29Qzm

Militia group endorses McGeachin for Idaho governor

The founder of the Real 3%ers of Idaho said McGeachin told him, “If I get in, you’re going to have a friend in the governor’s office.”

BOISE, Idaho — The president and founder of the Real Three Percenters of Idaho, a conservative militia group, endorsed Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin for Idaho governor.

Eric Parker, who was part of Ammon Bundy’s standoff with federal agents in Nevada back in 2014, said in a video that was posted to his Telegram channelthat he crossed paths with Lt. Gov. McGeachin and she was supportive of their cause.

He explained that McGeachin was one of 53 former and current Idaho lawmakers who sent a letter to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in September 2017 that claimed Parker’s treatment for his role in the Bunkerville standoff in Nevada was a “miscarriage of justice.”

“So I walk up to Janice and I tell her thank you so much and I give her a hug and she says, ‘if I get in, you’re going to have a friend in the governor’s office,'” Parker recalled.

He added that McGeachin showed a particular interest in his friend, Todd Engel, who was about to go on trial for his role in the standoff.

“And so we approached her told her this story, and told her our feelings and showed her the evidence that was under protective order that we couldn’t show anybody else that was my first questions for her, I said, ‘I’m not sure this is legal,’ and she said, ‘I want to see it,’ she wanted to see what they did,” Parker said.

Engel was found guilty in 2017 and was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison.

In February 2019, McGeachin showed her support of Engel and supporters of the Real 3%ers of Idaho in a photo that was taken outside of her office in the statehouse.

McGeachin appeared to make a heart sign in the photo she posted and later deleted. She wrote in the caption, “Sending love to Todd Engel from the Idaho Capitol.”

Engel’s conviction was vacated two years later by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Parker said that happened because of help from politicians like McGeachin.

Which is why he said last month that, “We need to do everything we can to get her where she can do the most good for us.”

On Wednesday, The 208 spoke with Parker about what he said in his video, specifically what he meant by McGeachin’s statement about having “a friend in the governor’s office.”

Parker rejected the idea that a “rightwing militia leader” endorsed McGeachin. Rather, he said his militia group is an advocacy group for constitutional and property rights. An advocacy group that also practices “convoy security training” with toy cars and guns.

According to Parker, the Idaho group is “not a militia” and “not anti-government,” but merely promotes self-reliance and self-sustainability.  Which is why he, as president and founder of the Real 3%ers of Idaho, is promoting McGeachin for governor.

Three percenter groups take their name from the false belief that only 3% of colonists fought the British during the Revolutionary War. The number was much higher.

The Anti-Defamation League states that militia groups saw a resurgence beginning in 2008, thanks in part to Three Percenter groups that sprung up across the country.

Source: Militia group endorses McGeachin for Idaho governor

A Memorial Day reflection

“At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the lessons of the workaday world, they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the coral islands of the Pacific. They answered the call to save the world from the two most powerful and ruthless military machines ever assembled, instruments of conquest in the hands of fascist maniacs. They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest. They succeeded on every front. They won the war; they saved the world.”    — Tom Brokaw in “The Greatest Generation“ H.A. Mitchell

My father joined the Army when he was 16. He lied about his age.

He knew what was coming and was there when it came. He was in Pearl City that Sunday morning in 1941 when World War II began.

He spent the rest of the war hopping from island to island with his artillery unit. He said he chose artillery because he wanted to make a lot of noise.

I know he was in the Philippines about the time the survivors of the Death March of Bataan were rescued. The rest are a blur in my memory, though I recall him telling about how they censored letters home lest they fall into enemy hands and give away troop locations — you couldn’t write that the food was “good enough,” because the ship was at Goodenough Island.

He was a decorated hero, but said he refused to wear the Purple Heart so he wouldn’t have to explain exactly where the wound was located.

When he and his war buddies got to together they seldom talked about the fighting, only the antics, like climbing on the hood of a truck and stealing eggs out of the back of another truck as it slowly climbed a steep hill.

But one of his friends once let slip that Dad, a bulldozer operator, actually did that scene from a John Wayne movie in which the bulldozer operator raised the blade to deflect bullets while rescuing pinned down soldiers.

To hear him and his friends talk, it seemed like they spilled more beer than blood, but somehow still managed to win the war and save the world.

(Reprinted from a previous post.)
http://dlvr.it/S0ngcM

Trump’s 1776 Commission to Reassemble, Tackle Critical Race Theory in History Education

An American flag flies near the Lincoln Memorial on December 22, 2018. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Members of the 1776 Commission, which President Joe Biden disbanded on his first day in White House, are reportedly set to meet again with a renewed focus on combating the teaching of U.S. history based on the Marxist critical race theory.

The advisory commission was established by the Trump administration in November 2020 to celebrate and promote the principles enshrined in the nation’s founding documents. It is commonly seen as a response to The New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project, which argues that the United States was founded as, and remains today, a racist nation.

Nearly four months after its dissolution, the commission regained attention when a leading member spoke against a Biden administration’s proposal to prioritize funding education programs that promote the 1619 Project and critical race theory, an ideology rooted in Marxist class struggle but with an emphasis on race, with the goal of dismantling all institutions of American society, which it deems as tools of racial oppression.

“The Proposed Rule should be withdrawn, just as individual states, which actually have the authority over the nation’s K-12 educational system, should oppose race-based pedagogy as part of their curricula and even if attempted to be imposed by the federal government,” Matthew Spalding, the executive director of the 1776 Commission, wrote in a letter to the Education Department.

“On behalf of my fellow Commissioners, I submit and draw your attention to Appendix III of The 1776 Report,” Spalding added. The appendix explains why race-focused narratives like the 1619 Project and critical race theory are “fundamentally incompatible” with the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which connects liberty-loving Americans everywhere regardless of their race.

“Proponents of identity politics rearrange Americans by group identities, rank them by how much oppression they have experienced at the hands of the majority culture, and then sow division among them,” the document reads. “While not as barbaric or dehumanizing, this new creed creates new hierarchies as unjust as the old hierarchies of the antebellum South, making a mockery of equality with an ever-changing scale of special privileges on the basis of racial and sexual identities.”

In an interview with Washington Examiner, Spalding said that members of the 1776 Commission will convene next week in Washington on the campus of Hillsdale College. One of their topics will be critical race theory, which sees racism in all aspects of American life.

“When we start going about dividing people by groups, by social identities, and especially by identities that deal with race, and we’re starting to make those kinds of divisions, all Americans should get very nervous,” said Spalding. “It’s a departure away from the historic grounding of civil rights in America, which is that we all are equal.”

The commission’s first and last report, commonly referred to as the 1776 Report, was taken down after Biden’s inauguration. It can still be found on the publicly archived Trump White House and Hillsdale College websites.

Source: Trump’s 1776 Commission to Reassemble, Tackle Critical Race Theory in History Education

New “Ghost Guns” Rule To Be Published Tomorrow & Pistol Brace Rule Submitted

WASHINGTON, D.C.-(Ammoland.com)-The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has sent its new proposed set rules surrounding pistol braces to the White House ahead of publishing the proposed regulations on unfinished frames and receivers.

The new rules surrounding unfinished frames and receivers are due to be published in the Federal Registry tomorrow for a public comment period. The comment period will be open for 90 days. Last December, gun owners pushed back against the proposed regulations on pistol braces, causing the ATF to pull the new set rules. With the Biden administration’s push for more gun control, it will take a monumental effort by gun owners to sway the tide against the new regulations.

A Biden executive action gave the ATF 30 days to develop new rules and regulations on unfinished frames and receivers. In his press conference, Biden referred to the items as “ghost guns” and tried to insinuate that companies market the kits to criminals.

In reality, only a small percentage of completed firearms made from these kits are used in crimes. Most guns used in crimes are stolen.

Another executive action Biden took during the same press conference was to give the ATF 60 days to develop new rules and regulations about pistol stabilizing braces. It looks like the ATF provided the Whitehouse with a preview of the new rules on May 17. The ATF has wanted to take action on pistol braces for a while. When the Biden transition team asked the ATF for a “want list.” The agency’s leadership team said their main concerns were pistol braces and homemade firearms.

Many expect the rules to look like the ATF regulations submitted to the Federal Registry last December. Those regulations would make any stabilizing brace based on a stock design a shouldering device. That would mean any pistol with a barrel under 16 inches equipped with the device would become a short-barreled rifle (SBR) and be subjected to the NFA.

The regulations did say the ATF would waive the $200 fee for a tax stamp on the newly created SBR, but that would mean the gun owner would have to go through the lengthy and confusing process of applying for a tax stamp. The newly created rifle would also be registered with the ATF. That registration is something many gun owners will refuse to do.

The new ATF rules on unfinished frames and receivers will hurt the market. It will vastly expand the definition of readily convertible to anything that can be finished in eight hours in a fully equipped machine shop. Almost all unfinished frames and receivers will require a background check to transfer.

The regulation aims to kill off the market for unfinished frames and receivers and shut down the companies that produce these kits. Gun rights groups see this as a way Biden is trying to get around the Congressional blockage of gun control measures the same way the government agency changed the classification of bump stocks. They believe that the ATF is basically creating gun laws which it does not have the authority to do. These groups plan to challenge any new regulations against new rules against unfinished frames and receivers.

The Federal Registry will open the comment period on unfinished frames and receivers as soon as the new rules are published. AmmoLand encourages its readers to submit well-thought-out comments. Once we obtain a copy of the pistol brace rule, we will publish it for our readers to review.

Once the comment period begins, readers can file comments at the following link.


Source: New “Ghost Guns” Rule To Be Published Tomorrow & Pistol Brace Rule Submitted