Opinion: Joe Biden Just Made the Worst Foreign Policy Blunder Since 1950

Buildings at the Artux City Vocational Skills Education Training Service Center, believed to be a re-education camp where mostly Muslim ethnic minorities are detained, north of Kashgar in China's northwestern Xinjiang region, on June 2, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images)

Commentary by Thomas Del Beccaro

Recently, I wrote that the world would be “Living Dangerously for Four Years Under Joe Biden.” In plain terms, Joe Biden is not physically or mentally up to the job.

By dismissing the Chinese regime’s atrocities against the Uyghurs, a Muslim minority who live in Xinjiang in northwest China, as part of “different norms,” Biden could be plunging the world into an international crisis sooner than any of us could have imagined.

In 1968, the historian Will Durant wrote in his “Lessons of History,” that “War is one of the constants of history, and has not diminished with civilization or democracy. In the last 3,421 years of recorded history, only 268 have seen no war.” Sadly, there has been a war somewhere in the world every year since.

Regardless of the luxuries in which Americans live, it remains true that, in every era, there are regimes that are barbaric or seek domination of their people and often the regions around them, if not more.

China is one such country. Recently, it was reported by the New York Post that “The State Department said it was ‘deeply disturbed’ by a report that claims Muslim women being held in Chinese re-education camps detaining millions of Uyghurs are being systematically raped, sexually abused and tortured.”

While not every atrocity can be remedied by the United States, none of them should be tolerated. All of them should be met by statements from our Commander in Chief that America aspires for freedom for everyone and that no atrocity can be justified or tolerated.

Beyond that, an administration should use diplomacy and economic sanctions at a minimum to confront the atrocities. Military intervention, while a last resort, should never be taken off the table.

With respect to China, a country that permits live organ harvesting, military intervention is not an option for those atrocities. Clear-eyed resolve, diplomacy, and sanctions, however, are a must.

All of which brings us to Joe Biden’s statement related to China and the Uyghurs. In a rambling response on national television, Biden first justified China’s abuses by saying:

“If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home . . . So the central—well, vastly overstated—the central principle of [Chinese leader] Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

He also said, “Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

Atrocities are not justifiable norms and prior wrongs don’t justify current atrocities.

Biden’s comments could be the worst foreign policy blunder since Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson’s speech at the National Press Club on Jan. 12, 1950. In that speech, he “defined the American ‘defensive perimeter’ in the Pacific as a line running through Japan, the Ryukyus, and the Philippines. This denied a guarantee of US military protection to the Republic of Korea (ROK).”

Not long after, the world was plunged into the Korean War after North Korea invaded South Korea in June of 1950. Many reasonably believe that Acheson’s statement that the United States’ sphere of concern, i.e. its defense perimeter, didn’t include what is South Korea today was a green light for North Korea, with the support of China and Russia, to invade South Korea.

Joe Biden’s comments just gave comfort to China that the United States won’t interfere in its domestic atrocities. The same words shall give comfort to Iran, Russia, and every dictator around the world—regardless of whether clarifying statements are made by the Administration in the days and weeks ahead.

God only knows what they will do with Biden’s green light.

The world, on the other hand, now knows just how weak Joe Biden is.

One lesson of history is that wars are started based on an adversary’s weakness and that is why the world will be living dangerously under Joe Biden.

Thomas Del Beccaro is an acclaimed author, speaker, Fox News, Fox Business, and Epoch Times opinion writer, and former chairman of the California Republican Party. He is the author of the historical perspectives “The Divided Era” and “The New Conservative Paradigm

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Birdpuk.com

Source: Opinion: Joe Biden Just Made the Worst Foreign Policy Blunder Since 1950

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Expresses Concern About COVID-19 Vaccines in Leaked Footage

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies at a Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees Joint Hearing in Washington on April 10, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made comments last year about COVID-19 vaccines that clash with policies that his platform has implemented, leaked video shows.

Zuckerberg said in July 2020: “I do just want to make sure that I share some caution on this [vaccine] because we just don’t know the long-term side effects of basically modifying people’s DNA and RNA … basically the ability to produce those antibodies and whether that causes other mutations or other risks downstream. So, there’s work on both paths of vaccine development.”

Zuckerberg took a different stance when appearing in a virtual forum in November 2020 with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading government scientist.

“Just to clear up one point, my understanding is that these vaccines do not modify your DNA or RNA. So that’s just an important point to clarify,” Zuckerberg said, prompting Fauci to say: “No, first of all, DNA is inherent in your own nuclear cell. Sticking in anything foreign will ultimately get cleared.”

Facebook didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The footage was published by Project Veritas, a journalism watchdog. It was allegedly from Facebook’s internal weekly question-and-answer session.

Zuckerberg’s Facebook has imposed harsh guidelines on what people can post about COVID-19, and banned or restricted a number of users for violating the policies.

Facebook earlier in February said it would take down any posts with claims about vaccines deemed false by health groups or its so-called fact-checkers.

vaccine shot
A health care worker prepares a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center inside the Blackburn Cathedral, United Kingdom, on Jan. 19, 2021. (Molly Darlington/Reuters)

Facebook stated in a blog post, “Today, following consultations with leading health organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), we are expanding the list of false claims we will remove to include additional debunked claims about the coronavirus and vaccines.”

The list includes “claims that the COVID-19 vaccine changes people’s DNA.”

Administrators for some groups will be required to greenlight all posts if the groups have been labeled problematic in terms of posts that have been made.

“Claims about COVID-19 or vaccines that do not violate these policies will still be eligible for review by our third-party fact-checkers, and if they are rated false, they will be labeled and demoted,” the company stated.

Footage showing Zuckerberg commenting privately on various issues has been made public before by Project Veritas. In one clip, he praised President Joe Biden’s early executive orders “on areas that we as a company care quite deeply about and have for some time.”

“Areas like immigration, preserving DACA, ending restrictions on travel from Muslim-majority countries, as well as other executive orders on climate and advancing racial justice and equity. I think these were all important and positive steps,” he said.

Facebook banned former President Donald Trump in January while Trump was still in office. Trump remains blocked from the platform.

Source: Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Expresses Concern About COVID-19 Vaccines in Leaked Footage

Bill calls for Nevada to conduct presidential primaries instead of caucuses; No! Bring back smoke-filled backrooms

A bill introduced in Carson City today would change the way the state’s two major political parties nominate presidential candidates — from the current caucus system to a primary in which voters in each party simply cast ballots, rather than have to listen to boring speeches and actually talk to other party members.

Assembly Bill 126 is sponsored by Assemblyman Jason Frierson and Assemblywomen Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Brittney Miller. The bill calls for the primaries to be held on the Tuesday immediately preceding the last Tuesday in January of each presidential election year, which would make Nevada the first nominating state. The bill also would allow same-day voter registration, which could lead to shenanigans such as “Operation Chaos,” suggested by Rush Limbaugh in 2008, calling for Republicans to vote for Hillary Clinton in Democratic primaries to keep her in the race and divide the Democrat Party.

“This legislation is yet another reason the Silver State deserves to be the first presidential nominating state in 2024,” Nevada State Democrat Party Chair William McCurdy II said in a statement posted by KOLO-TV in Reno. “We are a majority-minority state with a strong union population and the power structure of the country is moving West. I want to thank Speaker Frierson, who has devoted his career in the Assembly to make our voting process more expansive and equitable, for his help in securing Nevada’s spot on the national stage.”

Frankly, the state has no business telling state Republican and Democratic parties how to choose their nominees, nor should the taxpayers, many of whom are members of other parties or are independents, pay the millions of dollars it will take for the state and counties to conduct these primaries.

Columbia School of Law professor and election law expert Nathaniel Persily observed in 2008, “The move toward primaries has transferred power away from political parties to the media, who are then in a position to describe someone as having momentum.”

As I have said before, primaries turn serious political contests with serious consequences into beauty pageants and/or reality TV competition with ill-informed dullards from the lowest common denominator sitting on their couches and voting for the best quips and the worst gaffes occurring during their short attention spans.

Bring back the smoke-filled backrooms and let serious people with studied philosophies put forth the best candidates for each party. But if a party wants to conduct a primary, they should pay for it themselves and run it themselves and pay the consequences of getting pretty candidates with pretty slogans and an utter lack of competence and capability — witness the presidential candidates put forth by both major parties in 2020.

When this topic was broached in 2015, I noted, “No one, but no one has stepped back and asked the one vital question: What business is it of the Democrat-dominated state Legislature as to how or when any political party nominates its candidates?”

Not only is the Constitution silent on political parties, our Founders were actually disdainful of political parties.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789, “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”

Earlier, in 1780 John Adams wrote, “There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

In his farewell address in 1796 George Washington said:

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

Sounds downright prescient, doesn’t it?

Yes, a caucuses can be a drudge.

As I noted after the 2012 caucuses, the Republican presidential caucus wasn’t exactly a well-oiled machine. There were long delays, breakdowns in communication, misfires and miscues. In fact, 20 minutes into it I sent out a tweet or twit or whatever saying: “GOP organization — an oxymoron.”

As sure as worms after a rainstorm and just as there was in 2008 a bunch of people are wringing their hands and bemoaning the unseemliness and the rough-hewn nature of it all — people actually talking to each other about politics, poor turnout, delayed vote count results, etc., endless freaking out. They are saying, again, the raucous caucus should be replaced with a nice aseptic primary in which state paid bureaucrats and septuagenarian volunteers man the polls for 12 hours and the voters hide behind curtains to choose their party standard bearer.

In 2008 then-Democratic state Sen. Dina Titus promised to introduce a bill to conduct presidential primaries in Nevada. “This notion of neighbors getting together with neighbors to talk about politics, that’s just not Nevada,” she said. “What I found in my caucus is that the meeting didn’t lead to collaboration, cooperation and a good discussion. It led to hostility. It’s too complicated.” And she was a professor of political science — an oxymoron.

Bring back smoke-filled backrooms and let those willing and able to roll up their sleeves and scuffle with their neighbors to see whose principles and ideas come out victorious.

Here is my comment back in 2012:
http://dlvr.it/RsqWpJ

We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!

The thumb twiddlers over at the website Wallethub have put their experts with too much time on their hands to the task of answering authoritatively, definitively and mathematically the burning question: Which is the most sinful state in America?

Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

Wallethub informs us that the most sinful state is Nevada — the hands down champion at gambling, drinking, carousing, jealousy, greed, lust and laziness.

To be precise, Wallethub informs us, “In order to determine the most sinful states in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states across seven key dimensions: 1) Anger & Hatred, 2) Jealousy, 3) Excesses & Vices, 4) Greed, 5) Lust, 6) Vanity and 7) Laziness.”

Most casinos per capita was given double weight on the 100-point scale. Pay no heed to the fact Nevada’s population is only about 3 million, while in non-COVID years it hosts more than 40 million gambling, drinking, greedy, lustful visitors from the other 49 states and from abroad.

Nevada ranked No. 1 in the greed category — which was measured by the number of casinos per capita, as well as gambling related arrests, charitable donations as a share of income, share of population with gambling disorders and persons arrested for embezzlement.

Nevada ranked 2nd for jealousy — which was measured by thefts per capita, identity thefts and frauds. That seems like an odd way to measure jealousy. Isn’t it more along the line of coveting your neighbor’s … whatever?

Nevada ranked 4th in the lust category — which was measured by the teen birth rate, google searches for vulgar sites, average time spent on those sites and the number of persons arrested for prostitution and vice per capita. Pay no heed to how many of those arrested for prostitution and vice might be from out of state or that it is legal in a number of counties.

At least we ranked only 29th in vanity — which was measured by the number of beauty salons per capita, google searches for plastic surgeons and spending on personal care products.

Wyoming was the least sinful state, but should be a given in a state where you spend all your time trying to keep out of the wind.

Nevada finishes last on so many state-by-state rankings. Now there is something to brag about.
http://dlvr.it/RsqWdX

Parler CEO Says Social Media App Is Back Online, Gets New Servers

The social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Va., on July 2, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)
The social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Va., on July 2, 2020. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

An executive with Parler, a social media platform favored by conservatives, said Monday that it will resume service with new management—coming about a month after Amazon Web Services removed its service from its servers.

Interim CEO Mark Meckler said in a news release that the company moved to a new server farm, saying that users should expect to be able to use the website on Monday.

As of 10 a.m. ET on Monday, the Parler website appeared to be accessible via desktop. Epoch Times staff members reported they could not access the desktop version of the site. Users posted on Twitter that they were able to use the mobile Parler app.

Meckler said that new users should be able to sign up for the service within a week or so.

“We are off of the big tech platform so that we can consider ourselves safe and secure for the future,” Meckler said in the release. He did not disclose what company is hosting Parler.

Elaborating, Meckler said that the firm is using artificial intelligence programs and human editors to investigate speech that violates its terms of service agreement.

“Cancel culture came for us and hit us with all they had. Yet we couldn’t be kept down. We’re back, and we’re ready to resume the struggle for freedom of expression, data sovereignty, and civil discourse. We thank our users for their loyalty during this incredibly challenging time,” said Dan Bongino, according to the release.

Meckler was tapped as the company’s CEO after the former executive, John Matze, was let go by the company several weeks ago.

Matze had announced: “On January 29, 2021, the Parler board controlled by Rebekah Mercer decided to immediately terminate my position as CEO of Parler. I did not participate in this decision,” Fox News reported. “I understand that those who now control the company have made some communications to employees and other third parties that have unfortunately created confusion and prompted me to make this public statement.”

Following the Nov. 3 election, Parler saw a significant spike in users as many moved from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms due to fears of censorship. In the wake of former President Donald Trump’s Twitter suspension, Google and Apple took action against Parler, and days later, Amazon terminated its hosting service agreement with the company.

Parler, in response, filed a lawsuit last month against Amazon, arguing that the company violated antitrust laws and colluded with other Big Tech firms to deplatform the website. The company alleged in a court filing that Amazon was primarily concerned with whether Trump would have moved to Parler, rather than alleged violations.

The Epoch Times reached out to Parler for comment.

Source: Parler CEO Says Social Media App Is Back Online, Gets New Servers

Learned a new word today

R-J photo of Saturday storm damage.

I learned a new word today. As a person who has worked with words nearly all of his life, I like expanding my vocabulary, even if the new word is a conjured amalgam and does not appear in the 14-year-old dictionary on my shelf.

The word is: “gustnado.” It appeared in a news story in the morning paper about the Saturday storm that blew through the valley. A weather service meteorologist explained that a gustnado is a “cyclonic circulation” toward the ground. “A gustnado is just sort of a quick spin up toward the surface and not really connected with the cloud surface itself,” he said.

According to Wikipedia, “A gustnado is a brief, shallow surface-based vortex which forms within the downburst emanating from a thunderstorm.[2] The name is a portmanteau (a blend of words to form a new word) by elision (omission of one or more sounds in a word) of “gust front tornado“, as gustnadoes form due to non-tornadic straight-line wind features in the downdraft (outflow), specifically within the gust front of strong thunderstorms.” By the way, portmanteau and elision are new words for me, too.

Why they don’t simply call it a whirlwind is beyond me, but the language evolves over the years. For the better, for the worse.

Here is an explainer:

Illinois TV station from a year ago.
http://dlvr.it/RsljVL

7 Republican Senators Who Voted to Convict Trump Face Backlash From Within Party

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) points to her a Batman mask as she departs after House impeachment managers rested their case in impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington on 11, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) points to her a Batman mask as she departs after House impeachment managers rested their case in impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington on 11, 2021. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The seven Republican senators who called former President Donald Trump guilty of inciting an insurrection are already facing backlash from within the GOP, where Trump remains a popular figure.

The Louisiana GOP’s Executive Committee unanimously voted to censure Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) over his vote, the party said in a brief statement.

The state party had said earlier this week that it was “profoundly disappointed” when Cassidy sided with five other Republicans and all Democrats in the upper chamber to declare the trial constitutional.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), another guilty vote, was condemned by the North Carolina Republican Party.

“North Carolina Republicans sent Senator Burr to the United States Senate to uphold the Constitution and his vote today to convict in a trial that he declared unconstitutional is shocking and disappointing,” North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said in a statement.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walks in the Capitol as the Senate proceeds in a rare weekend session for final arguments in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 13, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) talks to reporters in the U.S. Senate subway as Cassidy heads to the Senate Chamber to attend the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington on 11, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Pennsylvania GOP Chairman Lawrence Tabas noted how Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) voted to convict Trump. “I share the disappointment of many of our grassroots leaders and volunteers over Senator Toomey’s vote today,” Tabas said in a statement. “The vote to acquit was the constitutionally correct outcome.”

The other four Republicans who sided with Democrats were Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.).

The Utah, Maine, Alaska, and Nebraska Republican parties had not issued statements regarding the votes as of early Sunday. The Maine GOP couldn’t be reached. The other parties didn’t respond to requests for comment. Sasse has faced mounting opposition for his anti-Trump statements and votes in recent weeks.

The group of Republicans who called Trump guilty were praised by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Speaking on the Senate floor following the vote, he described them as “Republican patriots.”

The votes could have repercussions in 2022 for Murkowski, who is up for re-election.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) leaves the chamber as the Senate voted to consider hearing from witnesses in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 13, 2021. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
Epoch Times Photo
Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) walks through the Senate subway at the conclusion of former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, in Washington on Feb. 13, 2021. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

“It’s not about me and my life, my job, this is really about what we stand for. And [if] I can’t say what I believe that our president should stand for, then why should I ask Alaskans to stand with me?” Murkowski told reporters on Capitol Hill.

“So there’s consequences, I guess, with every vote, and this was this was consequential on many levels, but I cannot allow my vote, the significance of my vote, to be devalued by whether or not I feel that this is helpful for my political ambitions.”

The terms of Toomey and Burr are also slated to end in two years, but both are planning to retire.

Romney was elected in 2018. Sasse, Collins, and Cassidy were re-elected in 2020.

Epoch Times Photo
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on Feb. 13, 2021. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
In this image from video, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) speaks after the Senate acquitted former President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Feb. 13, 2021. (Senate Television via AP)

Cassidy said in a short video statement that he voted to convict Trump “because he is guilty.”

Burr said Trump “directed his supporters to go to the Capitol to disrupt the lawful proceedings required by the Constitution” on Jan. 6, adding: “When the crowd became violent, the President used his office to first inflame the situation instead of immediately calling for an end to the assault.”

“President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes,” Romney said.

Sasse said in a statement that he promised Nebraskans when elected in 2014 that he’d always vote his conscience.

“In my first speech here in the Senate in November 2015, I promised to speak out when a president—even of my own party—exceeds his or her powers. I cannot go back on my word, and Congress cannot lower our standards on such a grave matter, simply because it is politically convenient. I must vote to convict,” he said.

Collins, delivering a speech on the Senate floor, told colleagues: “This impeachment trial is not about any single word uttered by President Trump on Jan. 6, 2021. It is instead about President Trump’s failure to obey the oath he swore on Jan. 20, 2017. His actions to interfere with the peaceful transition of power—the hallmark of our Constitution and our American democracy—were an abuse of power and constitute grounds for conviction.”

Source: 7 Republican Senators Who Voted to Convict Trump Face Backlash From Within Party

Trump Impeachment ‘Political Theater,’ Ignores US History: Constitutional Lawyer

Constitutional lawyer Rick Green in an interview with "American Thought Leaders." (The Epoch Times)

The impeachment effort against former President Donald Trump is “political theater” that goes against the history of the United States and the American Constitution itself, according to constitutional attorney Rick Green.

“When we have political actors involved, we get political theater. And that’s a lot of what we’re getting here. Is this the judiciary now? Is the Senate now the judiciary that will try any citizen? Because an impeachment is specifically for someone that is in office, according to the American Constitution,” Green, a former Texas state representative and co-founder of the Patriot Academy, told “American Thought Leaders.”

Trump’s attorneys have stated that it goes against the Constitution to impeach or try a former office-holder.

“Virtually everyone agrees that impeachment in our Constitution is designed for those three categories listed in Article 2, Section 4. And that’s the president, the vice president, and civil officers—so people that are still serving in office,” Green said.

He said the concept being pushed currently in the impeachment trial—that if Trump isn’t convicted he will get away with doing “horrible things,” and future presidents will be able to “do whatever they want and get away with it”—is “a total red herring.”

“It’s literally fantasy,” the attorney said.

House Democrats, joined by 10 Republicans, voted on Jan. 13 to approve a single article of impeachment (pdf) against Trump for “incitement of insurrection,” making him the first president to be impeached twice. On Feb. 9, he became the first former president to stand trial.

Democrats allege that the president incited violence at the Capitol in a speech he delivered near the White House on Jan 6. In his address, Trump used the words “fight like hell” in reference to his team’s legal efforts around election integrity. The Democrats allege that Trump used the words to incite his followers to commit violence.

However, Democratic House impeachment managers, led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), in their arguments on Feb. 10, presented no new evidence to support the allegation that Trump incited an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month.

donald trump, trump
President Donald Trump at the Save America rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Lisa Fan/The Epoch Times)

Green suggested that in this case, constitutional provisions are being abused in order to “silence” the “opposition.”

“My fear is a separation of powers conflict here that the Senate becomes more and more the judiciary… and now if they can go after someone that’s a citizen like Donald Trump is today, well, they can indict you. They can indict me, they can prevent us from running for future office.

“I know that was not the view of the Founding Fathers. And when you abuse a constitutional provision in one instance, then other people will be able to abuse it in other instances in the future.”

The constitutional attorney accused the Democratic House impeachment managers of stringing elements of the American Constitution together in order to argue that a former president can be impeached.

“I’ve said this throughout this whole process that what they’re doing and pulling together different parts of the Constitution and creating these new rules is more worthy of a banana republic than a constitutional republic,” he said.

Green said language from Article 1, Section 3 of the Constitution was taken, “separated,” and mixed with some of the language in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, in a way that was both “masterful” and “deceptive.”

“The reason they’re doing that is because on one hand, they want to say he’s the president. On the other hand, they want to say, it doesn’t matter if he’s the president, he did something awful, and we can still impeach. Putting those things together is the way that they’re trying to make their case. It’s when we say political theater,” he explained.

“They took a few kernels of truth—a few phrases out of the Constitution that are obviously there, and even few historical stories. They used those to weave that together to create a fantasy of a situation that has never been done in history—but it feels like it’s accurate and is truth because of the little kernels of truth that were thrown out there. That’s frankly good political theater,” Green said of the impeachment managers in the way that they presented their arguments.

The attorney said that at this point, the United States is living “post-Constitution,” and urged Americans to read the text of the Constitution themselves.

“We’re literally ignoring the constitutional history and the plain text of the Constitution. I think it’s important for us to actually as citizens, to go look at the Constitution ourselves, and not just listen to the silver tongue rhetoric,” he said.

He added: “It’s just like any other trial, you walk into a trial. If trial attorneys are really good, they paint the picture that they want you to believe and I’m afraid they’ve done that in this case, but it is new territory, and it ignores 240 years of history in the United States. And most importantly, it ignores the Constitution itself.”

The Democrats face an uphill battle in convincing enough Republican senators that Trump should be convicted. Forty-four Republicans voted on the first day of the trial that the Senate doesn’t have jurisdiction to try Trump because he’s now a private citizen. Several Republican senators said on Feb. 9 that the vote is an indicator of how the GOP members will ultimately vote on the question of whether the former president is guilty.

Democrats need the votes of at least 17 Republicans in order to secure the supermajority needed to convict Trump. If the vote from the first day of the trial is any indication, the impeachment managers need to change the minds of at least 11 Republicans, a task which even liberal media commentators concede is virtually impossible.

https://www.scribd.com/document/494198699/Impeachment-Resolution

Source: Trump Impeachment ‘Political Theater,’ Ignores US History: Constitutional Lawyer

2020 Election Fiasco Favored Dems, So Congress Is Trying To Make Sloppiness Permanent

2020 Election Fiasco Favored Democrats, So Now Congress Is Working To Make Sloppiness Permanent

A new congressional bill seeks to grant Democrats the power to overhaul state election processes and impose new regulations on political advertisements and donors, granting Congress “ultimate supervisory power over federal elections.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/494081104/117th-CONGRESS-1st-Session-H-R-1-as-Introduced

Democrats introduced the new 800-page “For The People Act of 2021” in early January with the hopes that their control in the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate would allow for swift passage of the bill. The legislation is packaged as an anti-corruption reform bill, marketed by its sponsors, corporate media outlets, and other activist institutions as a way to “expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants.”

Some of the measures in the bill, however, include eliminating the opportunity for states to protect themselves against the modifications weaponized in the 2020 election, such as preventing restrictions on vote-by-mail and imposing voter ID laws.  Those measures also give the federal government control over political speech online by expanding the definition of electioneering communications and expose political and nonprofit donors’ information to the public in connection to the causes they support.

Critics of the legislation are cautioning against the bill’s attempts to overhaul election processes, saying it hurts Americans’ trust in the voting systems created by their states and infringes on their privacy as political donors.

One month after Democrat Rep. John Sarbanes of Maryland introduced the bill, a group of nine former Federal Elections Commission officials wrote a letter to congressional leadership urging them to consider the ramifications of the potential law on the bipartisan elections agency, including removing a member from the six-person body to gain “partisan control.”

“Proponents claim this radical change is necessary to prevent ‘deadlock’ on the Commission and assure efficient operations. This perception of perpetual deadlock is incorrect. … Political actors who violate campaign finance laws, and their partisans, are often quick to denounce enforcement as a ‘partisan witch hunt,’” the letter states. “The FEC’s bipartisan makeup is a direct response to this claim and is fundamental to public confidence in the system.”

A coalition letter led by People United For Privacy and signed by 130 organizations also expressed concerns with the bill’s provisions requiring federal record and public exposure of citizens’ private donations to nonprofits and other organizations, expanding the definition of “electioneering communications” to police online ads, and forcing the disclosure of past donations from political appointments.

“Our elections will not be more honest, more informed, or more secure from foreign interference if we sacrifice the privacy of American citizens. But our democracy will be weakened if voices are eliminated from public debate through intimidation and overregulation,” the letter states.

Not only would the various acts included in the legislation provide opportunities for harassment and bullying, some warn, but it would also impose “excessive” burdens on organizations that want to run political advertisements.

“It puts excessive regulation on these nonprofit organizations that they don’t currently have in terms of running ads and for smaller organizations, especially that have limited resources. This really just could kill their ability to advocate on the causes that they care about,” Heather Lauer, executive director for People United for Privacy, told The Federalist. “So those are kind of the things that we’re focused on, the things that impact an individual’s First Amendment rights as a donor as well as the things that impact the ability of nonprofit organizations to speak on behalf of donors on issues of importance.”

Source: 2020 Election Fiasco Favored Dems, So Congress Is Trying To Make Sloppiness Permanent

Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer as Intelligence Chief

Feature photo | George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs | Additions and editing by MintPress News

Ben Nimmo, a former NATO press officer and current senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, has announced Facebook has hired him to “lead global threat intelligence strategy against influence operations” and “emerging threats.” Nimmo specifically named Russia, Iran and China as potential dangers to the platform.

His announcement was greeted with joy by several NATO officials but was not met with such enthusiasm by others. “More censorship on the way as the former NATO press officer turned Pentagon-funded ‘researcher’ who labeled real people as Russian bots and peddled disinformation to link Jeremy Corbyn to Russian active measures moves to big tech,” responded investigative journalist Max Blumenthal.

Nimmo’s questionable past certainly raises questions over whether such an official having a substantial say in what 2.8 billion Facebook users worldwide see in their feeds is such a positive step for the free and open exchange of information.

“Disinformation agents”

For example, in 2019, U.K. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed secret Conservative Party documents showing negotiations the Tory government had with the U.S. over the privatization of the National Health Service (NHS). With just days to go before the U.K. general election, the scandal could have toppled the government and brought into power the most radical antiwar, anti-establishment government in the country’s history. Corporate media went into overdrive to spin the news, and Nimmo was a key part of this, immediately announcing, without evidence, that the documents “closely resemble…a known Russian operation.” His supposedly expert conjecture allowed the story to become “Corbyn’s links to Russia” rather than “Tories privatizing the NHS in secret.” Nimmo’s work helped the Conservatives to an election victory and consigned Corbyn to the scrapheap.

This was much to the relief of Nimmo’s Atlantic Council, who had brandedCorbyn the “Kremlin’s Trojan Horse” — someone pushing Moscow’s agenda abroad. A British Army general was of a similar opinion, claiming that if Corbyn were to win the election, the military would respond. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said that the U.S. government was “doing its best” to prevent a radical leftist from winning power in the U.K.

Nimmo has been extremely liberal with whom he labels Russian disinformation agents. In 2018, his research identified one Twitter user, @Ian56789, as a “Kremlin troll.” In reality, the user, Ian Shilling, was a British pensioner, as Sky News was easily able to confirm, interviewing him on air and asking him the patently absurd question if he was actually a Russian bot or not. Despite clearly being a flesh and blood human, Shilling’s account was later deleted anyway.

In the past, Nimmo has also insisted that Ruslana Boshirova was an influential Russian bot. In reality, she is an internationally known concert pianist, as one Google search would have shown. This sort of behavior does not augur well for those critical of Western foreign policy, who have faced constant harassment, suspension, or outright bans from social media.

Pro-war putsch

The Atlantic Council began as an offshoot of NATO itself and maintains extremely close connections to the military alliance. It continues to receive major funding from Western governments and weapons contractors, and its board of directors is filled to the brim with senior American statespersons, such as Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Henry Kissinger. Also appearing on the board are no fewer than seven former CIA directors and a number of top military generals, such as Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis, Wesley Clark, and David Petraeus.

In recent years, the council’s employees have penetrated deep into big tech and social media organizations. In 2018, it announced it had partnered with Facebook to aid in the curation of Facebook news feeds of users worldwide, giving it considerable power over what sort of views to highlight and which to demote. One year previously, Jessica Ashooh left the position of the council’s Deputy Director of Middle Eastern Strategy to take the position of Director of Policy at Reddit, the eighth-most visited website in the United States. However, as with many intelligence agencies, it is unclear whether one truly “leaves” the Atlantic Council.

It is not just Russia that is in NATO’s crosshairs. Last week, the Atlantic Council published an anonymous, 26,000-word report stating that their goal for China was regime change and advising President Biden to draw a number of “red lines” around it, beyond which the U.S. would respond militarily. Meanwhile, the head of STRATCOM, Admiral Charles A. Richard, wrote that the U.S. must prepare for a potential nuclear war with Beijing.

Greater control

The military escalation has been mirrored by an intensifying online propaganda war, where the U.S. has attempted to isolate China economically and stop advancing Chinese technologies such as Huawei’s 5G network, mobile phone, and semiconductor manufacturer Xiaomi, and video sharing app TikTok. Nimmo has played his part in ramping up suspicions of nefarious Chinese activity online, claiming the existence of a wide-ranging pro-Beijing bot network encouraging Americans to believe that China has handled the COVID-19 pandemic far better than the United States. That Americans might have come to that conclusion on their own appears not to have been considered.

There is an enormous government effort to convince its population of the existence of (foreign) government efforts to manipulate their opinions online. In a massive case of projection, Western governmental organizations point the finger at their enemies, all the while securing greater access and control over the means of communication themselves, to the point where it is now difficult to distinguish where the deep state ends and the fourth estate begins. Nimmo’s move from NATO to NATO-aligned think tank to Facebook is just another example of this phenomenon. Perhaps the reason Nimmo is not looking for any Western influence operations online is that he is part of one.

Source: Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer as Intelligence Chief