Commentary: Little Outcry over Antifa’s Equal-Opportunity Beatdowns of Journalists Left and Right

From covering displaced refugees around the globe to the obstacles faced by protesters seeking change in America, freelance photojournalist Maranie Staab believes her camera can be a force for truth and social justice. The work of a “conflict photographer” often requires physical courage in places she has reported from, such as Africa and the Middle East. It certainly did so on Aug. 22, while Staab was covering demonstrations in Portland, Ore.

Members of the left-wing group antifa called her a “slut” and then demanded that journalists assembled to cover the protests “get the f— out.” Staab, a 2020 reporting fellow for the liberal Pulitzer Center, tried to calm the situation. She was assaulted. She told the Willamette Week that they grabbed her phone and smashed it. Then they threw her to the pavement and sprayed her with mace. The ugly assault on Staab (below) was filmed and distributed quickly online, resulting in widespread condemnation.  “If we’re on a public street and a newsworthy event is occurring, you’re not going to tell me what I can and cannot film,” Staab told the weekly newspaper.

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Commentary: The Treacherous Road to Runaway Inflation

In January, 2001, America had a balanced budget, low debt, and was at peace. Here, briefly, is what lay ahead: war, financial crisis, civil unrest, massive growth of the federal government, and now severe inflation.

Never in the history of America has our government in its ineptitude created such a false economy, risking hundreds of years of hard work on unsound and unworkable economic policies. The Founders wisely relied on dispersion of power. They knew there would be dishonest and incompetent politicians but, in this case, the entire government is infected with deceptive leaders.

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Commentary: The Media Doesn’t Accurately Cover Defensive Gun Usage in America

While Americans know that guns take many innocent lives every year, many don’t know that firearms also save them.

On May 15, an attacker at an apartment complex in Fort Smith, Ark., fatally shot a woman and then fired 93 rounds at other people before a man killed him with a bolt-action rifle. Police said he “likely saved a number of lives in the process.”

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Commentary: Angelo Codevilla, ‘The World’s Most Privileged Man,’ Has Died

Angelo Codevilla was many admirable things in his long, productive, and amazing life: an immigrant, a student-athlete, a naval officer, a scholar, a husband, a father, a foreign service officer, a Capitol Hill staffer, an adviser to senators and presidents, a distinguished author of great insight and foresight, and—above all things—a patriot. Although he had already accomplished a great deal in his 78 years and faced some recent health challenges, he was determined to overcome these and never abandoned the fight.

Angelo, who died Monday night, was a man of great energy and spirit, raring for the battle, and determined in every way he could to contribute to it.

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Roger Simon Commentary: The Democrats’ War on Blacks Keeps Growing in the Pandemic

One of the key reasons I left the Democratic Party years ago was the atrocious way they treated black people.

I’m not just talking about “Jim Crow” or LBJ’s well-known patriarchal and racist use of the “n-word” to celebrate blacks voting Democratic forever in gratitude for his ultimately useless early “virtue signaling” called the “War on Poverty.”

(Notice any difference between South Central then and now?)

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Commentary: The Afghanistization of America

The United States should be at its pinnacle of strength. It still produces more goods and services than any other nation—China included, which has a population over four times as large. Its fuel and food industries are globally preeminent, as are its graduate science, computer, engineering, medical, and technology university programs. Its constitution is the oldest of current free nations. And the U.S. military is by far the best funded in the world. And yet something has gone terribly wrong within America, from the southern border to Afghanistan. 

The inexplicable in Afghanistan—surrendering Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, abandoning tens of billions of dollars of military equipment to the Taliban, and forsaking both trapped Americans and loyalist Afghans—has now become the new Biden model of inattention and incompetence.

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Commentary: The Bidenization of America

Joe Biden

Day by day, as the Biden Administration crashes into utter shambles and a cloud of dust reminiscent of 9/11, the Bidenization of America becomes more stark and horrifying. 

I can remember no more pitiful words from a senior American government official in 65 years than Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s complaint that the Taliban government in Kabul was disappointing in its lack of “inclusiveness.” (To be sure, that is not all it lacks, and that could hardly have been a surprise.) 

Nor can I think of any diplomatic initiative by a senior American government official more certainly doomed to ludicrous failure than environment ambassador John Kerry’s recent trip to China requesting the collaboration of the People’s Republic in this administration’s hell-bent-for-leather assault on what it is trying to identify as climate change. 

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Commentary: IRS Guidance Would Punish Small Business Owners with Families

Most IRS guidance documents make for poor pleasure reading. Then again, most IRS guidance doesn’t effectively impose a retroactive tax on small business owners merely for having a family. IRS Notice 2021-49, issued on August 4, includes a bizarre interpretation of the law that will effectively raise taxes for business owners with close relatives, even if their family members have no involvement in the company.

A core goal of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed early on in the pandemic was to assist businesses in keeping employees on their payroll even as they dealt with the economic effects of lockdowns. Part of the plan was the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which provides a tax credit against employer payroll tax liabilities.

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Commentary: One Simple Change to Begin Reversing the Left’s Takeover

Take heart. The resurgence of a freedom-based conservatism has already begun. On the other side of the pandemic tyranny, the debacle in Afghanistan, and the catastrophic reckoning with inflation, Americans will be ready to be rid of the screechy pseudo-intellectuals who ruin everything. When that day comes, it’s critical we take steps to eliminate the Left’s toxic syndicate that indoctrinated so many Americans. It’s not enough to beat them back. We must look to the source of this poison that almost overtook our country.

There are so many problems that need to be unwound. Leftist authoritarianism has infected everything as indoctrinated graduates began assuming leadership roles in heretofore apolitical organizations from churches to school boards to the military. Instead of trying to fight the battle on every front, we should look first to stopping it at its source: Academics unmoored from market incentives.

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Commentary: Leaks Renew Concern over Facebook’s Fact-Checking Sway

This week the Wall Street Journal unveiled “The Facebook Files” – an investigative series based on leaked internal Facebook materials that offer an unvarnished look at how the social media giant sees its platform and its impact on society. A central theme of the reporting is the degree to which Facebook’s own research is at odds with its public statements, and that internally it has recognized the harms the platform causes for society even while publicly touting its benefits.

The Journal’s reporting raises myriad concerns over the state of social platforms generally today, from Instagram’s toxic influence on teenage girls to the impact of algorithmic changes on political discourse to how Facebook secretly shields influential users from its content moderation rules.

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Commentary: Epitaph for the ‘War on Terror’

Twenty years after the U.S. government declared war on terrorism, it consummated its own defeat in Kabul and Washington, in a manner foreseeable, foreseen, and foreshadowed in 9/11’s immediate aftermath. Fixation on itself and unseriousness about war are the twin habits of heart and mind that disposed the ruling class to defeat. The practical explanation for why and how it accepted defeat is found in the overriding interest each part of the ruling class has in doing what it wants to do. 

On the night of September 11, 2001, Muslim governments strictly forbade public celebrations of the carnage. The Palestinian Authority, anticipating that outraged Americans would destroy them to avenge the day’s events, even called the attacks al nachba—“the disaster.” But as the U.S. ruling class made clear that it was accepting defeat, the Muslim world’s media and streets celebrated.

Two decades later, after that defeat’s logic had worked its way through and transformed American life, and as the government’s self-humiliating exit from Afghanistan consummated it, much of mankind followed Muslim crowds in celebrating—including prominent Americans. 

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Commentary: House Abortion Bill Would Repeal Existing Laws, Prohibit Future Pro-Life Laws

In response to pro-life policy victories like the Texas Heartbeat Act and an upcoming Supreme Court case asking the justices to provide a constitutional course correction to America’s arbitrary and unworkable abortion jurisprudence, pro-abortion legislators in Congress are advancing a deceptively named piece of legislation called the Women’s Health Protection Act. The radical, far-reaching proposal would entrench unfettered access to abortion in federal law.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her congressional allies—as well as the media —have characterized the Women’s Health Protection Act as simply “codifying Roe v. Wade.”

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Commentary: The Tedious Work of Politics

In his crystalline column about the California recall and, by extension, the center-right populist movement in general, American Greatness Managing Editor Ben Boychuk singled out what must be done, namely “the tedious work of politics”:

That means laboring and building at the local level—beginning in our own neighborhoods. That means not only attending school board and city planning meetings but also running for those seemingly low-level posts because that’s how real candidates for higher office are made . . . [I]t is an argument for seeing the state as it is and changing course accordingly . . . Nobody was ever coming to save us. We can only save ourselves.

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Commentary: Virginia, Not California, Will Provide Lessons for 2022

In the wake of a big statewide campaign win of any kind, political pundits rev into overdrive with broad pronouncements about the takeaways and what the result reveals about the mood of the nation. Often, the results are more prosaic — simply the political status quo for that particular state or district in that specific slice of time.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s smackdown of the recall was no different this week. Few longtime state politicos were surprised by his ability to win big in solidly blue California.

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Commentary: Like His Hero, FDR, Joe Biden Shambles His Way Through History, Leaving the World to Wonder Who is Captaining this Ship of State

The distant eyes and slack mouth, the befuddled shuffle off the walkway, recurrent unexplained schedule gaps and public disappearances, and off-the-wall comments finally make Joe Biden a pale copy of his hero, Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In wrapping up a war and realigning the world order, the first eight months of Biden as president resemble the last years of Roosevelt—except that FDR was on the cusp of victory against an avowed enemy.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Political Prisoners

Capitol Riot

The latest “conspiracy theory” consuming the political Right, our media betters warn, is the idea that the Biden regime is creating a class of political prisoners stemming from the January 6 protest on Capitol Hill. Scoffing at accusations that January 6 protesters are treated differently from other protesters, columnists and talking heads insist it’s nothing more than right-wing media spin.

A rally scheduled this weekend for January 6 defendants has official Washington apoplectic. Dozens of Americans remain locked up in a D.C. jail and at facilities across the country as they await trials that won’t begin until at least mid-2022.

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Commentary: Biden’s Vaccine Mandate Could Rise or Fall Based on 2012 Roberts Ruling on Obamacare Individual Mandate

“Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority.”

That was Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion ruling in 2012 that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was unconstitutional under Congress’ Article I, Section 8 power to regulate interstate commerce.

And yet, the mandate was rescued in the very same decision by Roberts, ruling that penalty under the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’ Article I, Section 8 power to collect taxes.

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Commentary: A China Story Bob Woodward Chose Not to Tell

In a just world, if the reporting of Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their new book Peril is accurate, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley would be sharpening his ceremonial sword and planning seppuku. Woodward and Costa have reported that Milley circumvented the chain of command and made unauthorized calls to CCP Gen. Li Zuocheng.

If Woodward and Costa got the story wrong, however, they should be the ones sharpening their swords. Although more reliable than most in Big Media, Woodward has reported many stories of questionable accuracy over the years. There was the dubious “potted plant” signal for the equally dubious “Deep Throat,” the imaginative deathbed confession of CIA Director William Casey, and the misinterpreted “slam dunk” quote by former CIA Director George Tenet among others.

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Commentary: Bullets, Ballots, and Books

The bomb that detonated at Scripps College on the afternoon of February 26, 1969, didn’t injure anyone, but an innocent young woman was badly maimed when another device exploded almost simultaneously in Carnegie Hall at adjacent Pomona College. Hidden inside a shoebox wrapped in brown paper, the second bomb left 20-year-old Mary Ann Keatley blind in one eye and ripped two fingers from her right hand. Keatley, married just five months earlier to an undergraduate at Claremont Men’s College, worked as the secretary for the Pomona political science department. These two explosions, and a third two weeks later, shattered windows, and wrecked buildings.

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Commentary: Adopting a ‘Woke Culture’ Hurts Diversity and Inclusion

I have been watching with great personal and professional interest over the past few years as employers, predominantly the larger publicly traded companies, but sometimes the smaller companies as well, have been forcing their employees to make political choices instead of general work condition choices when weighing career decisions. Likewise, they are forcing their customers to make the same sort of political calculus when deciding whether or not to purchase their company’s goods or services.

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Commentary: Nobody Is Coming to Save California

In the end, it wasn’t really even close.

California Governor Gavin Newsom easily survived his recall election on Tuesday, with voters rejecting his ouster by nearly two-to-one. The results won’t be official until next month, but as of now, the “no recall” vote leads by a resounding 27 percentage points. By any account, it was a big win for the third-rate politician who is utterly incapable of making a public statement without resorting to platitudes and clichés.

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Commentary: The ‘Foul Spirit’ of George W. Bush and America’s Ruling Class

As with so many other aspects of our time, we seem destined to suffer the most trite and underwhelming imitations of things that once were great or at least impressive. Exhibit A would be the great war advocate, George W. Bush. Can there be a more perfect synthesis of the last 20 years of disappointing American politics than this man? He exemplifies everything—unaware, unashamed, unapologetic—that the American ruling class has become. NeverTrumpers and neocons yearn for a return to the days of measured, steady Bush leadership. We are told constantly now that he is kind, polite, well-bred: a politician from a more dignified tradition of public servants than those of late. But of course, in reality he is none of these things.

The everlasting incompetence and mesmerizing self-delusion on display at his recent 9/11 remarks make that clear.

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Commentary: Conservatives Should Not Listen to the Eco-Right

If there’s one thing the Left knows cold, it’s deception. From Vladimir Lenin to Saul Alinsky, leftists are unparalleled masters of the art of victory through hoodwinking: Defeating opponents by fooling them into false agreement.

Owning the battlefield in this war starts with controlling the language. We’ve seen this play out in the debate over abortion access, with pro-choice activists redefining “pro-life” to mean anything but the conviction that life begins at conception—and swindling unwitting Christians into their ranks.

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Commentary: Breaking Up America

I never thought I’d be writing about secession or anything close. Not in a million years. “America, the Beautiful” is my favorite national song, bringing tears to my eyes with its “sea to shining sea.” Giving up the magnificence that entails would be heartbreaking on so many levels.

But the times being what they are and the man occupying the presidency being who he is, not to mention those surrounding him being who they are, plus the issues that divide us from national defense to education to immigration to race to public safety to the pandemic to values in general being so intractable, I feel compelled to discuss secession or division as if they were a real possibility worth considering.

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Commentary: Biden’s Medical Apartheid

Joe Biden

Events this weekend showcased the intense bifurcation of America into two separate realities. As our country observed the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, former presidents gathered, sans Donald Trump, in New York for a solemn ceremony — wearing masks even though they are fully vaccinated and were outside. In Shanksville, Pa., George W. Bush leveraged the occasion to take a not-very-veiled shot at the MAGA movement, comparing its most fervent adherents to the 9/11 terrorists.

Meanwhile, at stadiums across America, massive crowds of rowdy, unmasked college football fans tailgated, packed into stadiums, and also recalled the grim events of 2001, but in far more boisterous displays of patriotism.

This same-day divergence highlights the sharply divided nation of 2021. That chasm will now only widen as Joe Biden targets many of those same people, the ones unwilling to live under the thumb of onerous government virus mitigation restrictions. These ineffective mandates may nominally emanate from science, but they moreover stem from a preference for coercion and control by Democrat politicians, all with the assistance of powerful business interests, including Big Tech and Big Pharma.

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Commentary: The Other Back to School Story

Back to school stories this year will focus, naturally, on the Covid-19 pandemic’s toll on students and families and on remedying these difficulties.

But another story is being shortchanged: it’s about how parents sought new options for their children like homeschooling, small learning pods, and micro-schools, with civic entrepreneurs and their partners creating new organizations or expanding existing ones to meet this demand.

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Commentary: Americans Can’t Afford Joe Biden’s America

Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes  report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.

It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.

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Commentary: Cancel Culture is Both a Scarlet Letter and a Reign of Terror

In a recent Atlantic article, Anne Applebaum compares our college campuses to New England Puritanism. She did so by drawing on the storyline of the novel “The Scarlet Letter,” wherein Hester Prynne suffers eternal ignominy for having sex and getting pregnant outside of wedlock. So, too, Applebaum wrote, do many today receive a scarlet “C,” marked for shunning at the behest of a “Cancel Culture.”

While Applebaum’s comparison is helpful, a more fitting reference exists, one both historical and literary. The French Revolution, which began in 1789, provided the backdrop for Charles Dickens’snovel “A Tale of Two Cities.” It tells a tale with parallels to the college experience of today.

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Commentary: Winning the Cold Civil War

We find ourselves in a cold civil war. But we have no real generals. A war without generals is no war at all. There is no liberty or death, only death, the death of our once cherished republic. Leading Republicans who should be our generals fight battles, sometimes with spirit, but they don’t seem to see the war in its entirety, particularly its cultural aspects.

This is a war not over the size of government or taxes, but over the American way of life. The war is between those who salute the flag, and those who take a knee. Those who believe that America is built on freedom, and those who believe America is built on racism. Those who are convinced that America is good, and those who are convinced America is bad. These differences are too large to bridge. This is what makes it a war. In this case, a cold civil war.

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Commentary: New Study Vindicates States that Canceled Expanded Unemployment Welfare Early

Debate over the welfare state is once again making headlines. On Monday, the expanded unemployment welfare system was finally allowed to expire after more than a year. Originally created as a “short-term” measure authorized for a few months in March 2020 then repeatedly extended, these benefits paid many of the unemployed more than their former jobs, with benefits reaching up to $25/hour in dozens of states.

Dozens of Republican-led states chose to end the benefits early. This week’s termination of enhanced benefits was in the Democrat-run states that maintained the expanded payouts, and with their lapse, the debate over whether these benefits were disincentivizing work was reignited.

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Commentary: Remember What Happened After the Soviets left Afghanistan, and Why

Red Forest near Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Exclusion Zone.

If you watched HBO’s recent docudrama about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, you may have been struck by the historic connection to the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan. The epilogue posited the theory that the need for helicopters to mitigate the nuclear disaster caused the Russians to pull the attack helicopters from Afghanistan, making the already pointless war impossible to continue. So in 1988, the Soviets cut their losses and withdrew from Afghanistan. 

The Afghan rebels did not seize control of Afghanistan until 1992. But the 1988 withdrawal also played a huge role in the loss of legitimacy for the Soviet system itself. The apparent juggernaut wielded terrifying power at its borders but remained frail and vulnerable to collapse from within. The very idea that the great Soviet evil empire could fail set off a series of dominoes that led to its collapse. The Afghan war, the struggling economy, and the Chernobyl disaster all combined to reveal the wise and powerful leaders in Moscow as incompetent despots.

More than 30 years later, American planners may have felt they had years or at least months during which residual civilians could make an orderly departure from Afghanistan as needed. The Soviet puppet government lasted almost four years (ironically, longer than the Soviet Union continued to exist), so why wouldn’t an American-sponsored government be able to hold on at least that long? The American planners probably believed that they were prolonging the longevity of the puppet regime by leaving nearly $80 billion in military equipment in the hands of the American-aligned Afghan government.

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Commentary: Joe Biden Is an America Last President

If Joe Biden has been consistent about anything since assuming the presidency, it has been his pathological habit to get stuck on one colossal mistake by committing another just like it, causing equal or greater damage to the country. So long as it momentarily appeases the never-satisfied extreme Left that sustains him, Biden apparently has no problem throwing more oily rags onto the dumpster fire. He is truly the “America Last” president.

The best, most recent example of this is the Biden White House’s complete immolation of our mission in Afghanistan. After two decades of spending incalculable blood and treasure there, we deserved a more noble exit. Giving the Taliban a supply of free military hardware that would make other countries envious added insult to injury. Jimmy Carter was unceremoniously booted from office for his similar haplessness with the Iran hostage crisis. At least Carter seemed ashamed by his failures. Not so with the current occupant.

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Commentary: Four Scientific Questions We May Never Know the Answers To

Questions set the scientific method in motion. Without that initial curiosity, that “I wonder…”, that “What if…”, we would not have the technology, the medicine, nor the knowledge that we have today.

But not all questions have readily attainable answers. Despite our formidable advances in probing reality over the years, there are some things we are still incapable of concretely knowing. One day, that could change, but for these topics it’s currently hard to fathom how. Here are four questions that humans may never know the answers to:

Do You See Red Like I See Red?

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Commentary: Justice Department’s Foremost Felony Charge Against January 6 Participants May Be on Thin Ice

More than eight months after the worst attack on Washington since the Civil War, as Joe Biden describes it, not a single American has been charged with sedition or treason related to the alleged “insurrection” on January 6, 2021.

As Ben Boychuk explained in his Thursday essay, despite many harsh warnings insisting  the government would build sedition cases, so far Biden’s Justice Department has failed to live up to its promise.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Poor Leadership During the COVID Era

“Get vaccinated,” whispered the doddering, white-haired failure of a president before beating a hasty retreat from the podium. Reporters barked questions at him which neither he nor his handlers had interest in answering, because they have no answers.

Joe Biden has no answers for COVID-19. What Joe Biden has is blame and Otherization for Americans not invested in the tired narratives of his handlers and the managerial elite he represents so badly.

That’s clear. It’s the only true takeaway from the disgraceful, alarming speech Biden gave Thursday.

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Commentary: The Vaccine Mandate Assault on the Common Good

Joe Biden

As Joe Biden launches via executive order a sweeping vaccine mandate for all federal government workers, and now a brand-new initiative for private-sector mandates, the issue has once again risen to the forefront of the national dialogue. 

United Airlines, for example, recently became the first U.S. airline to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all its employees. United Airlines’ mandate takes effect on September 27, and it might augur a broader trend: A poll conducted last month by insurance and advisory firm Willis Towers Watson, for example, suggests that 52 percent of private-sector employers surveyed expect to have a workplace vaccine mandate by the end of 2021. As Biden’s brand-new announcement of a Department of Labor rule for private sector vaccination requirements now makes clear, that poll was prescient.

Against this backdrop, several Republican-leaning states have advanced laws or executive orders that prohibit private sector vaccine mandates for employees, customers, or in some other respect. That tally is now at least eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. The legal mechanics and specifics differ from state to state. But the highest-profile and most mechanically straightforward Republican-led assault on vaccine mandates is the one in my new home state, Florida. 

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Commentary: Justice Department Should Defend Unborn Not Abortion

Leave it to Attorney General Merrick Garland, once seemingly destined for the Supreme Court. When choosing between America’s most vulnerable members and most determined political lobby, he picked the abortion industry over millions of babies.

He didn’t put it that way, of course. He explained, “The department will provide support from federal law enforcement when an abortion clinic or reproductive health center is under attack.”

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Commentary: Recall the California Ideology

California once was run by alternating conservatives and mostly centrist Democrats.

True, paleo-liberal governors like Pat Brown greatly expanded the welfare state. But they also believed in pushing integration, building freeways, dams, aqueducts, and power plants, while preventing forest fires, directing the mentally ill into state hospitals, and ensuring the state enhanced the housing, timber, oil and gas, nuclear, and agricultural industries.

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Commentary: Voter Fraud Is a Supreme Court Problem

As a few American Greatness writers, and many of its readers, have pointed out: If our votes don’t count, nothing else matters. Election fraud should be the top subject in our minds every single day.

Last week, a brilliant piece by Ted McCartney suggested we march on Washington, D.C.—peacefully, but in huge numbers—with just a single demand: A constitutional amendment that requires all voting to take place in-person, on Election Day, with voter ID, on paper ballots, and that the ballots be counted that same evening on live-streamed television under the watchful eyes of as many in-person observers as want to be there.

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Commentary: Lack of Liberty Leads to Death

It’s been 20 years since my son was old enough for his first MMR vaccine. At that time, the CDC was insisting on two things: 1) there had been a huge increase in children with autism, and 2) there was no connection between the MMR vaccine and that increase in autism. I could see very clearly that if you believed the first it would be extremely easy to not believe the second. Once you unleash hysteria, it’s hard to call it back. That is what I call the 2020 Fallacy.

Thanks to Thomas Sowell, I knew that the CDC’s first claim was not true. There was no dramatic increase in the occurrence of autism. There was a dramatic increase in what we diagnosed as autism. Neurologists invented the autism spectrum disorder to explain a long-existing phenomenon. And with that invention, the so-called “dramatic increase in autism” was born.

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Commentary: Biden Administration’s Fall from Grace

From the moment he was nominated until the last few weeks, the media carried a lot of water for Joe Biden. In spite of his apparent lack of energy or brains, we were regaled with tales of his experience, good judgment, and, above all, his empathy. 

America was back. The adults were now in charge. No more “mean tweets.” Biden’s presidency would be a time of competence and compassion. 

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Commentary: What the Capitol Celebrity Police Officers Did to Roseanne Boyland

The most violent clashes between police and protesters on January 6 occurred inside and outside the west terrace tunnel. The tunnel leads to doors that open into the Capitol building; according to federal documents, “the Lower West Terrace Door was heavily guarded by U.S. Capitol Police and [D.C. Metro Police] personnel, who had formed a defensive line to prevent unauthorized access into the U.S. Capitol via the tunnel.”

Dozens of people have been arrested and charged with various offenses, including assaulting police, for their conduct at the tunnel that afternoon.

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Commentary: New January 6 Stories That Complicate the Media Narrative

The Associated Press reported in August that Robert Reeder, a Maryland man, pleaded guilty to “parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.” He argued for leniency because, “he is a registered Democrat who wasn’t a supporter of former President Donald Trump.” So why did he join the incursion into the Capitol building? Because, he says, he was an “accidental tourist” with nothing better to do.

But an online group that calls itself Sedition Hunters recently tweeted a picture it says shows that same “accidental tourist” attacking a police officer. Curiously, the “accidental tourist,” who didn’t support Donald Trump, happened to be wearing a red “MAGA”-style hat. His attorney argued in court, “Mr. Reeder is not politically active, is not and has never been a member of any right-wing or anti-government or extremist group and has, unfortunately, been publicly grouped with many others (whose) views he abhors.”

The story reminds one of John Sullivan, a Black Lives Matter activist who infiltrated the January 6 incursion to encourage violence, bully police officers, and generally stoke mayhem. While many of the trespassers remain locked up without bail, Sullivan mysteriously received pre-trial release.

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Commentary: The Unchanging Telos of the Democrats

Afghan people

Watching the Biden Administration bring into the country tens of thousands of unvetted Afghans, who are neither U.S. citizens nor native Afghans who assisted American troops, I am coming to wonder whether Biden was actually wrong to describe the withdrawal of American forces as an “immense success.” It was, in fact, exactly what Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other Democratic operatives said it was: a success that will move the Democrats toward their goal of creating a one-party state. 

Like the illegal aliens streaming across our southern borders and the efforts to remove restrictions against voting fraud, the influx of Afghan refugees is intended to increase the number of votes that will likely go to the Democratic Party, no matter how badly they mismanage the country. 

Looking at these coordinated steps, I am reminded of an idea put forth by Aristotle in book six of the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle famously insisted on a distinction between technical expertise (e.g., building a house) and deeper, more foundational forms of knowledge. The most primal wisdom is sophia, which deals with universal knowledge that underlies all other true modes of knowing. But Aristotle also raises the question of whether there are not forms of techne that are so well developed that they reflect sophia. The two examples that he cites are Phidias’s work as an architect and Polykleitos’s achievements as a sculptor. According to Aristotle, the excellence that characterizes their technical skills indicates their creators are truly wise.

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Commentary: Biden Surrendered to the Taliban, the GOP Must Not Surrender to Biden

Impeach Biden, court martial the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Only one man lost his job over Afghanistan. Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller challenged Biden’s incompetent and spineless Joint Chiefs of Staff to take responsibility for their dereliction of duty that led directly to the catastrophe in Afghanistan. Taking responsibility meant resigning. Biden’s military men immediately smeared him as mentally ill and forced him out of the Marines.

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Commentary: Jacob Chansley Pleads Guilty to Obstruction, Remains in Jail

Jacob Chansley, arguably the most iconic figure of the January 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol, today pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

Chansley, 33, turned himself in to law enforcement and was arrested on January 9. A grand jury indicted Chansley two days later on six nonviolent counts including obstruction, civil disorder, and “parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a Capitol building.” The remaining counts will be dropped.

Judge Royce Lamberth accepted Chansely’s plea agreement with Joe Biden’s Justice Department, which continues to arrest and charge Americans for even minor involvement in the Capitol protest. Nearly 200 defendants face the obstruction charge, a felony added to mostly misdemeanor cases. (I explained the charge here in March.)

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Commentary: Fundamentally Transforming America

“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” 

That was the “composite character” David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, on the campaign back in 2008. By “we,” the composite character meant himself and running mate, Senator Joe Biden. In 2021, with the Delaware Democrat in the White House, an update on the transformation process is in order.

In 2008 the United States was already a democratic republic, in which the people had selected presidents as different as Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. After FDR’s New Deal and  LBJ’s Great Society, the United States was already a top-heavy welfare state. Any fundamental transformation, therefore, would have to come through different channels. 

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