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Thursday, December 03, 2020

Democrat Lockdowns Exempt Hollywood, Destroy Small Businesses

By On December 03, 2020
Before Thanksgiving, Los Angeles imposed a curfew and, in a shocking oversight, asked Hollywood to follow it. While the entertainment industry isn't as big a part of the local economy as it would like you to think, its producers, directors, and stars provide a disproportionate share of the capital that the Democrats politicians who run the place use to get elected to higher office.

After ordering Hollywood to restrict filming to the same curfew as other businesses, a few hours later the order was withdrawn followed by a final plea to film shoots to “to voluntarily limit and/or avoid activities likely to invite a negative community response" which could "jeopardize community confidence in our ability to operate safely."

As if allowing movie studios to shoot around the clock while shutting down small businesses might "invite a negative community response" or raise questions about the corrupt system.

The film permit office now claims that “the State of California has viewed workers supporting the film, television and commercial production industry… as essential for the state’s critical infrastructure.”

What role does shooting movies play in the “critical infrastructure” of California? Money.

Not for the economy. In that regard, the entertainment industry is much less crucial than many of the industries that had been shut down by the lockdowns. With unemployment claims topping 8 million and California Democrat leaders fighting to eliminate freelance workers, that’s a drop in the bucket. If the crews in question were working in restaurants, they wouldn’t matter.

But the critical infrastructure that Hollywood funds is the political ambitions of the Democrats.

During the gubernatorial race, Hollywood poured millions into Newsom’s campaign, and celebrity fundraising helped put Garcetti into the mayor’s office. The Democrat with the biggest haul of industry cash usually wins. Your local pizza shop isn’t going to compete with that.

If only there were some sort of industry dedicated to exposing social injustice using art.

While restaurants spent a fortune prepping to meet the new regulations, only to be shut down anyway, the entertainment industry goes into a new lockdown with nothing to worry about.

All of this is happening under the watch of Muntu Davis, LA’s top health officer who was picked in the wake of the Black Lives Matter race riots to implement “equity”. Equity is now the top value at LA County's Department of Public Health which declares that it seeks to "ensure just systems, policies and practices". That means giving Disney a pass, but shutting down cafes.

This is what social justice lockdowns look like. Not just in LA, but across the country.

"New York City's economy is in a downturn, but film production has been a bright spot," a New York Times article chirps. Even while Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio targeted Chassidic Jews, ranting about weddings and synagogues, the entertainment industry and its allied media were exempted, and the accompanying rules were bent and broken.

Even while Democrat leaders were lecturing about the dangers of church and synagogue services, the Video Music Awards went on and celebrities were allowed to dodge curfew.

Since no election could go forward without Saturday Night Live, the high school talent show staffed by unfunny social justice activists, with occasional celebrity cameos, went forward, along with a live studio audience. Cuomo and De Blasio, not to mention the media, decided not to notice that SNL was flouting the rules by paying audience members so they counted as crew.

Having a live audience of Manhattanites to laugh when you howl insults at President Trump is an essential activity in New York. Unlike irresponsible, non-essential stuff like religious services.

As the New York Times notes, "The major studios... all report that they are full." 559 permits have been granted and 35 series are already filming in the city even though, as one studio boss notes, “one person every week or two test positive somewhere on the lot.” Unlike churches or synagogues, or weddings, these shoots are never described as superspreader events.

In a truly surreal scene, New Amsterdam, a TV drama, was caught filming outside Bellevue Hospital, blocking the path of real doctors and nurses, a population prone to infections. Even while Democrat leaders complain that there aren’t enough hospital beds, the NBC medical drama takes up space in and around hospitals while getting a free pass from the authorities.

The Times story noted that, “the large crew found it impossible to perfectly socially distance” and leaves it at that, while photos show no actual social distancing by the crews.

But the New York Times has its own Hollywood studio deals involving the 1619 Project.

Governor Cuomo is so dependent on entertainment industry cash that he flew out to California for fundraisers, including one organized in Beverly Hills by the MPAA featuring major studio heads with tickets going for as much as $50,000. This year, Cuomo held a fundraiser for his birthday featuring movie stars who praised him for protecting Hollywood's tax credits.

Those $420 million in tax credits are a net loss for the state, but a gain for Cuomo. That tops California’s film tax credit total of $330 million.

Cuomo had been insisting that the “state has no money”, and was threatening to cut first responders. He even tried to tax volunteers who came to help during the pandemic.

"We're not in a position to provide any subsidies right now," Cuomo falsely claimed. Then he called for maintaining the same insane level of Hollywood subsidies, and went further by making sure that only the big studios who fund his corrupt ambitions cash in on the $420 million.

After claiming that there would be no money to pay police, no money for anything, New York State kept the $420 million in subsidies but limited it to studios spending over $1 million.

The “state has no money” for cops and firefighters, but has $420 million for Hollywood.

Just to bring the corruption up to Chicago levels, Cuomo's proposal made sure that Saturday Night Live, but no new productions, would get access to the $420 million subsidy. If only there were some talented political satirists with a weekend show who could mock this crookedness.

Back in California, Disney's Captain Marvel got $20 million in tax credits in California. Netflix's 13 Reasons Why, which has been blamed for encouraging teenage suicide, vacuumed up over $40 million. You can’t expect one of the wealthiest companies in America to set off a spike in teenage suicides and promote pedophilia without some serious taxpayer subsidies.

When California and New York dole out $750 million in tax breaks to some of the wealthiest donors in a powerful industry who fund the political ambitions of top Democrats like Newsom and Cuomo, there’s no reason to expect their projects to be subjected to everyone else’s rules.

That’s why the order to limit film shoots to the 7 AM to 10 PM curfew was quickly pulled in LA. The county may be banning public gatherings, and destroying the last surviving small businesses who were on their last legs, but film shoots are back at half of pre-pandemic levels.

And that’s not just in America.

The UK has some of the most onerous lockdowns around, and its order shut down clothing stores, mobile phone shops, cafes, hotels, museums and “places of worship”, but left open "professional film and TV filming". Religion is non-essential, but television must go on.

There has been a great deal of discussion about the harm caused by the lockdowns to the livelihoods of tens of millions of people, but there’s been little discussion about who has been exempted from lockdown restrictions and their corrupt political and economic rationales.

The best leverage against lockdown self-righteousness is the exposure of the hypocritical and discriminatory treatment that closes small businesses while leaving giants like Amazon and Target, Disney and Netflix, wealthier than ever because of the lockdowns that benefit them.

The LA Film Office warned productions about a “negative community response”. It’s about time.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Democrats Run America’s Rathole Cities

By On December 02, 2020
Last year, President Trump called Baltimore a "disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess".

Speaker Pelosi responded by calling Trump’s comments “racist attacks”. Vox claimed that Trump was using “racist tropes” and US News conducted a fact check accusing him of racism.

Now the rat race numbers are in. Orkin, the past control company, ratted out the "rattiest cities" and Baltimore has broken through into the top 10 for the first time. Like a rat clambering after a piece of moldy cheese, Charm City leaped up four places to be America’s 8th rattiest city.

Baltimore has never been able to deny that it’s a rat-infested hellhole. But Democrats and their media are good at deflecting with false accusations of racism and then changing the subject.

"If there are problems here, rodents included, they are as much his responsibility as anyone's, perhaps more because he holds the most powerful office in the land,” the Baltimore Sun had retorted in an editorial after President Trump’s criticism of the terrible conditions in the city.

But there’s one thing that the rattiest cities in America have in common. And it isn’t Trump.

In Chicago, rated as the rattiest city in the country six times in a row, 83% of residents, dead or alive, legal or illegal, human or rat, voted for Hillary. The last time Chicago had a Republican mayor was 1931 and the ratty city has no official Republican members on its city council.

It does however have multiple socialist city council members.

Despite promises by Democrat officials, the city’s rat problem only keeps getting worse.

In May, rat complaints nearly doubled even as officials insisted that there were no more rats.

“It doesn’t mean that there’s a lot more rats. People are seeing them, and they are calling,” Josie Cruz, the Deputy Commissioner of the Bureau of Rodent Control, argued.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel had created the bureau with 120 employees and a $10 million budget.

Cruz has been on this job for at least two decades and tens of thousands of rat complaints keep coming in. Chicago has tried dry ice, spears, and rat birth control. The one thing it hasn’t tried is getting rid of the Democrat rats that have burrowed deep into its municipal government.

The number of rat complaints in Chicago rose from 32,855 in 2014 to 50,963 in 2017. That’s 1,876 complaints for every 100,000 people. And since exterminator folklore has it that there are 10 rats you don’t see for every rat you do see, that means Chicago has half a million rats.

If they just registered to vote, the Democrats would never lose Illinois.

What makes Chicago so much more rat-infested than other cities? The answer lies with a corrupt Democrat system in which trash pickup and rodent removal was controlled by local aldermen who could use it for political patronage. The system was finally abandoned in 2013 but the rats had gotten too much of a head start and have burrowed throughout the city.

But that’s just what happens when a city votes for Democrats. First Democrats, then rats.

Hillary Clinton became the first Democrat to get over 70% of the vote in Los Angeles County. Not coincidentally, Los Angeles is once again in second place as the 2nd most rat infested hellhole in the nation. In New York City, Hillary Clinton won 79% of the vote. It’s unknown if the rats voted, but if they did it was probably as a bloc because the city is 3rd in the rat race.

The rat problem in Los Angeles and New York is easily traceable to its vagrant population.

Democrat politicians had embraced living on the street as a protected and subsidized activity. A typhus outbreak followed in Los Angeles. The disease, which is carried by fleas living on rats, centered around Skid Row, the epicenter of the city’s homeless population. The ban on evicting vagrants or preventing them from covering the streets in filth has been a boot for the rats.

And Los Angeles Democrats even took special steps to protect the rats by banning rat poison.

Like every other quality of life problem, New York City’s rat crisis turned critical under De Blasio.

According to Open the Books, there were 44,850 rat sightings in Brooklyn and 33,553 in Manhattan alone. Despite spending $32 million and a trap that drowns rats in liquor, there’s no end in sight. A 2014 study estimated that there were over 2 million rats in New York City. At the rate at which rats reproduce, there will soon be more rats than Democrats in the Big Apple.

In Washington D.C., the 4th rattiest city in America, Hillary Clinton won 86% of the vote. In San Francisco, the 5th rattiest city, 84% of residents voted for Hillary.

It's only fitting that the rats should be overrunning D.C.

When visiting the Lincoln Memorial before President Trump's inauguration, I saw a rat scurrying up the stairs. Even the Washington Post, the city's official rat paper, has run headlines like, "I saw 13 rats in 20 minutes. D.C., we have a rodent crisis."

Rat complaints in D.C. rose from 2,443 in 2014 to 4,097 in 2019.

Mayor Muriel Bowser responded with rat tours dubbed "Rat Walks". They haven’t helped.

To no one’s surprise, Capitol Hill has the third highest number of rat complaints in D.C.

Meanwhile, San Francisco had legalized public vagrancy, resulting in streets that were covered in human waste. Like Los Angeles, Democrats banned some forms of rat poison making it all but impossible to kill them. Exterminators are so in demand that they have waiting lists.

"Poop. Needles. Rats. Homeless camp pushes SF neighborhood to the edge," the San Francisco Chronicle headlined one story. And then there are San Fran locals like "rat girl" who breeds and releases hundreds of rats in the city.

No wonder, San Fran has as many rats as Democrats.

Detroit is once again the 6th rattiest city in America. Motor City rats are also car enthusiasts and have been known to crawl into cars, chew up the fuel injection system, or nest in the dashboard. One mechanic reported 15 cars damaged by rats in six weeks.

And that might not be the only thing the rats are chewing up.

Too many votes were registered in 37% of Detroit's precincts during the 2016 election, but it wasn't enough to hand Hillary a win in Michigan. This time out there might be more rats.

Philadelphia rose 3 places to become the 7th most rat-infested city in the country.

"They look like cats to me," one resident complained. Another neighborhood described “jumping rats” operating in broad daylight.

82% of Philadelphia residents voted for Hillary Clinton and only 15% for President Trump.

While there isn’t a firm statistical correlation between the number of rats per square mile and the number of votes cast for Democrats, any city infested with rats is also infested with Democrats.

And vice versa.

It’s no coincidence that the most rat-infested cities in the country are also the places where Hillary, and any Democrat with a pulse, will walk away with at least 70% of the vote.

Minneapolis, unsurprisingly, Denver, and Baltimore round out the rest of the top 10. What unites all of them is an unswerving allegiance to the Democrats and a massive rat problem. Of the 20 rattiest cities in America, only two have Republican mayors.

Baltimore does indeed have rats. It also has two kinds of elected Democrat officials: those who have already been convicted of a crime and those who have not. Charm City is unique in the number of city officials who have been arrested and tried for assorted forms of corruption.

As long as someone rats them out.

The Baltimore City Council consists entirely of Democrats. Baltimore's last Democrat mayor won three quarters of the vote. Baltimore's rat problem has been growing with its Democrat problem.

A Baltimore City Health Department report conceded that “the rodent infestation rate in Baltimore is six times the national average.” And, unlike other cities, Baltimore has mostly given up. Rats are the city’s unofficial mascot, showing up on souvenir t-shirts and sweatshirts.

From “Charm City” to The City That Reads” to “The Greatest City in America”, Baltimore has tried out many slogans. But there’s only one that really fits it.

Rat City.

Meanwhile the fallout from Mayor Pugh's arrest, conviction and sentencing on fraud and conspiracy charges, continues to reverberate through the Democrat establishment.

Rat City has many rats, but maybe they aren’t Baltimore’s biggest problem. Democrats are.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Monday, November 30, 2020

A Woke Museum in an Illiterate City Goes for Broke

By On November 30, 2020
Baltimore is overrun by murders, rats, and rampant illiteracy. Then its art museum went woke.

Like a medieval monastery after the fall of Rome, the Baltimore Museum of Art is a relic of another time filled with the relics of another era. The Baltimorean merchants, bankers, and railroad tycoons who decided a century ago that their city needed an art museum to boost its civic pride are long gone and Charm City’s favorite work of art is its mascot: a giant rat.

Does a city where a third of the population is functionally illiterate need a large collection of French impressionists? And does one of the nation’s murder capitals need Andy Warhol?

When the woke Visigoths took over the BMA, they came for the white men first. And the museum’s collection is full of the works of white men: precious and worthless both.

"At the BMA we have a singular vision for our immediate future, which is to put equity, diversity, and justice at the forefront of every decision," Christopher Bedford, the museum's very woke curator, declared.

Asma Naeem, a Pakistani immigrant and the BMA's new art curator, attacked a critic for not understanding the “equity-based vision, values and considerations that undergird our decision.”

Art, schmart. Who needs art when you’ve got the creative fires of social justice that made Soviet art into an influential movement that changed the world as we know it burning in your soy belly?

Bedford, who is an extremely white man, announced that the museum would no longer be buying art by white men this year. Between Rembrandt, Titian, and Durer, they've got too many.

“You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall,” he insisted. “To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”

Bedford had already begun purging the collection by putting seven major paintings on sale, including by Warhol, to buy “art” by “artists of color”. Since Bedford wouldn’t know art if it fell on his head, which at the BMA is a possibility, that part was easy. The rest was complicated.

Pesky questions about the sale reared their head, like did Bedford even have a right to sell the art. The sale or ‘deaccession’ as they call it in the art world, was happening under regulations meant to help museums deal with the pandemic. But the BMA wasn’t reacting to the Wuhan Virus, but the Woke Virus, and it wasn’t selling art because it needed money, it needed woke.

And it was unclear if the paintings had been gifted under conditions that would allow the sale.

Prominent voices in the art community, including former key figures at the BMA, protested. Sothebys blinked, announcing the auction would be postponed, and then unblinked, claiming that the postponement had been an error in which it confused an Islamic museum in Israel with the BMA. That’s the sort of natural mistake that happens at a major auction house all the time.

Finally, the BMA’s own board canceled the auction at the last minute blaming the public outcry.

More importantly, the Association of Art Museum Directors made it clear that the BMA was abusing its relaxed guidelines during the pandemic to do something pandemic-unrelated.

“Our vision and our goals have not changed,” the BMA unapologetically declared “It will take us longer to achieve them, but we will do so through all the means at our disposal.”

The BMA will lose $50 million with former board chairs pulling their donations in order to make $65 million. But it’s about the destructiveness of the act more than the actual money. How else can the BMA’s new leadership prove that they’re revolutionary visionaries than through a round of politically correct épater le bourgeois virtue signaling and racial divisiveness by a white man?

“The most important artists working today, in my view, are black Americans,” Bedford declared.

By “important”, Bedford and the museum of an illiterate city don’t mean talented or aesthetically pleasing. When your “lens” is social justice, then important means anti-American. And so the most important artists are the ones who have the most moral leverage for hating this country.

There are few aesthetics at stake in trading one set of nonsensical childish images for another, the broad abstract brushstrokes of Franz Kline’s Green Cross and the green finger painting splatters of Andy Warhol’s Oxidation Painting, for Mark Bradford's hyperkinetically colorful visual gibberish, or Amy Sherald, who produced the notoriously terrible Michelle Obama portrait.

The art world dispensed with aesthetics and tradition, leaving nothing but abstract concepts.

The Baltimore Museum of Art is another scene on the woke battlefield, replacing abstract sneering at American culture and religion with abstractions that rage against America.

American wokeness is just pop Marxism. Our cultural revolution is a rerun of Russian and Chinese totalitarianism with corporate sponsors.

During the Bavarian Soviet Republic, there was an abortive attempt to set fire to the museums. The Russian Futurists declared in one of their manifestos that the creative works of the past had to be “thrown overboard from the steamship of modernity.” But all of this posturing ended with the Futurists and everyone else being forced to produce Socialist Realism for propaganda.

The only thing totalitarian regimes really want when it comes to art is mass communications.

The Baltimore Museum of Art, like many institutions public and private, is being reimagined as the projection of a new political order, each part of it meant to articulate a single ideology. The result isn’t an art museum, just as socialist realism’s propaganda posters weren’t art. Art, as a painting or a museum, is meant to inspire and reflect, while propaganda short circuits both.

Propagandists don’t want people to think. What they want is for them to agree.

In art, as in life, the initial revolutionary thrill of destroying the old gives way to the stultifying reality of the totalitarian order. Totalitarian revolutions don’t create, they destroy, and their only message is the familiar one from Shepard Fairey's old "Obey" giant stickers.

Fairey would become much more famous for creating the iconic Obama “Hope” poster.

"How did this work, no matter how righteous or well-intentioned, help George Floyd as he was pinned to the ground by a white man in a uniform, in broad daylight, surrounded by onlookers, as his life faded away over almost nine minutes?" Bedford demanded to know in the Baltimore Museum's new vision statement.

What Baltimore really needs is less traditional art and more art to inspire race riots.

Andy Warhol probably wasn’t much use to George Floyd on account of being dead. Floyd might have tried to hit the officer with a copy of Warhol’s The Last Supper, one of some hundred distotrted yellow reproductions of the famous painting, the BMA wanted to sell for $40 million.

None of the artists being sold off would have helped George Floyd because they’re also dead or fairly elderly. None of them are located in Minneapolis. The BMA’s largest Matisse collection in the world would have been even more useless as Matisse is dead and also not in Minneapolis.

Not to mention every BMA artist from Rembrandt to Picasso. If the purpose of art is to save career criminals high on drugs when they get into confrontations with police, then art is useless.

But that’s activism, not art. And when art melds with activism, it becomes propaganda.

What the BMA’s director was saying is that art is useless unless it’s agitprop. Nothing is of any value unless it serves the cause of Black Lives Matter. Or, as Stalin once put it, artists are the “engineers of souls”. Behind the feeble attempt at poetry was the reduction of art to machinery. Engineers were needed to service tractors and artists would have to service their operators. The goal of art, like farm equipment, was to keep the vast failing machine of socialism running.

Baltimore is almost as much of a disaster as the Soviet Union and needs its own propaganda.

The declaration that art is useless unless it serves a racial agenda is the familiar one of Socialist Realism which declared that art which doesn’t serve the working class is worthless.

Or as the All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers declared, “the artistic representation of reality must be linked with the task of ideological transformation and education of workers in the spirit of socialism."

But the BMA credo has become that of American culture. Everything, from standup comedy to fashion to literature to journalism to education, must serve a single political purpose. If your comedy routine or your capri pants wouldn’t have saved George Floyd, they must do better.

Woke culture transformed comedy into hysterical political screeds (not in the funny sense) and everything else into a seesaw of pandering and indoctrination that conscends to minorities and badgers white people without ever creating anything of lasting value or merit because it exists purely for the needs of the moment. The irony of jettisoning Warhol for woke agitprop is that the woke art is as disposable as the commercial advertising culture that he was mocking. When everything is a slogan, then nothing has a message that lasts beyond momentary manipulation.

And an art museum, a university, or a national culture built on such things has no future.

Just ask the Soviets.

But Baltimore, like so many American cities, has no future. The old Baltimore that built the BMA envisioned a booming tomorrow and dug into its pockets to show it was as good as New York City. Where is Baltimore headed besides gangs murdering each other on broken streets, sewers full of dead rats, drug deals, corrupt politicians and mobs ravaging what’s left of the fallen city?

When you’re already broke, you might as well go woke. It makes the ride down more interesting.

The looting of the BMA is a perfect coda to a looted city. The old BMA was meant to inspire and some of the museum’s impressive art collection still can and does. But culture can’t thrive without a culture. The Greeks and Romans didn’t lack for great works of art, what they lacked at the end was the character and vision to sustain a culture that had been founded on great things.

An art museum in a national disaster of a city is little more than a medieval monastery holding on to some fragments of civilization while outside warlords and their mobs loot and pillage cities.

And the woke Visigoths have come for the museum even if they don’t understand what’s in it.

"Museums are not mausoleums or treasure houses," a letter co-written by Asma Naeem snippily concludes. Unfortunately, not for Naeem, but for the human race, the BMA is a treasure house of French art, one of the greatest such treasure houses in the country, that is now at risk.

The woke age is a dark age and the pillaging is underway.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Cops Refuse to be the Thanksgiving Police

By On November 28, 2020
After failing to deal with months of violent riots in Portland, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that she instead wants the police to go after families celebrating Thanksgiving.

When asked whether Oregonians should call the police on their neighbors if they have more than 6 people in their homes for Thanksgiving, she replied, “This is no different than what happens if there's a party down the street... they call law enforcement."

Except law enforcement has no interest in replying.

The Marion County Sheriff’s office, whose jurisdiction includes the state capital, declined, stating, "We cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic."

When Governor Cuomo of New York, whose order forcing nursing homes to accept infected coronavirus patients may have killed as many as 11,000 senior citizens, tried to enlist law enforcement in his crackdown on Thanksgiving, the sheriffs of New York also wouldn’t do it.

The Steuben County Sheriff's Office assured that "the men and women of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will not be peeking in your window or attempting to enter your property to count the number of persons at your table on Thanksgiving."

"I can't see how devoting our resources to counting cars in our citizens' driveways or investigating how much turkey or dressing they've purchased is for the public good,” the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office objected.

“This national holiday has created longstanding family traditions that are at the heart of America, and these traditions should not be stopped or interrupted by Governor Cuomo’s mandates,” the Erie County Sheriff's Office declared.

"With regard to the Thanksgiving Executive Order, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office will NOT be enforcing it," another office stated, "So don't feel a need to hide cars, cover with leaves or walk 3 blocks so your house doesn't become a target of the Governors EO."

Democrats and their media have blamed this rebellion on Republican sheriffs in conservative areas, but Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr is a black Democrat and his office still opted out of the "enforcement of Thanksgiving gatherings".

While Governor Cuomo fumed that this Irish Democracy was, "frightening to democracy", a Buffalo print shop began selling stickers of Cuomo's giant head peering into windows.

Next door in New Jersey, Governor Murphy threatened to be, “as all over it as we can be."

Then he was caught on a viral video dining out with his family. Meanwhile, the Howell Township police chief stated, “I wasn’t going to have my police officers going knocking on doors and ruining somebody’s holiday just to check how many people are inside their house.”

The law enforcement rebellion wasn’t new in California. It had been going on for some time.

After Governor Newsom issued his latest curfew, the sheriffs of Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, Tulare County, Fresno County, El Dorado County, and others announced that they would not be enforcing it with either tickets or arrests.

And no one would be tampering with Thanksgiving.

"The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office will not be determining—including entering any home or business—compliance with, or enforcing compliance of, any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, Thanksgiving or other social gatherings," the Sacramento County Sheriff stated. “We will not dispatch officers for these purposes."

“From the very beginning, we have not enforced these orders. We are not going to make criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens," Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said.

.In Ohio, some sheriffs were willing to be the Thanksgiving police, while others weren’t.

"It's not knocking on people's doors on Thanksgiving and saying, 'You've had more than eight or 10 people,' and it's not to make criminals out of everyday working people," Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.

The law enforcement uprisings in New York, California, Oregon, and Ohio are part of a larger trend with local police departments indicating that they don’t want to be the mask police.

A study in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Online found that only 10% of police departments surveyed were acting as the mask police while 70% encouraged following the rules. This attitude by law enforcement forced some of the biggest cities in the country to bypass the police and utilize other means of enforcing their lockdowns and arbitrary decrees.

In Los Angeles, violators were threatened with having their water and power shut off. In New York City, a legion of city inspectors were pulled away from other duties to swarm Orthodox Jewish areas in Brooklyn after Governor Cuomo announced a crackdown on religious Jews.

The use of inspectors rather than police has become a widespread and illegal tactic for targeting small businesses, but has reached its limit as most businesses can’t survive if they close down.

The early months in the pandemic saw a boom in surveillance technologies, including drone flybys and infrared remote scans, but most police departments didn’t want anything to do with them.

A small number of police departments adopted the drones and made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Not only did most people hate them, but they also proved to be useless. Police departments that tried using the drones to break up large gatherings found that people wouldn’t listen. And the surveillance capabilities of the drones had been vastly overhyped.

As the Black Lives Matter riots broke out, police departments shifted away from coronavirus enforcement to cope with the violence and avoid being caught up in viral videos. It was around this time that the increased crime rate brought on by the riots and the mass jailbreak of prison inmates to protect them from the virus tied up the resources of underfunded departments.

Coronavirus enforcement, something most departments and officers didn’t want to do anyway, was the first casualty of the new dangerous environment brought on by the BLM riots.

Law enforcement had only been able to commit the spare resources to coronavirus enforcement because of a drop in crime rates early in the lockdowns, but once crime rates soared and cities and counties hit highs that hadn’t been seen in decades or generations, all of that ended. The budget cuts brought on by the collapse of small businesses and police defunding also left local law enforcement without enough resources to even answer calls, let alone play mask police.

And most law enforcement personnel are resentful of having been hung out to dry, robbed of resources and political support by Democrat governors and mayors, and then told to enforce widely unpopular shutdowns and mask fines by those same politicians.

Democrat politicians can’t defund the police and expect them to shut down Thanksgiving.

“It’s ironic on the heel of these cries to 'defund the police' and limit their response to what some perceive as non-emergency calls that the police department is now being asked to police family gatherings during the holiday season,” the president of Akron’s police union objected.

Not all law enforcement personnel have opted out of coronavirus enforcement. Elected sheriffs have the easiest time shrugging crackdowns away. Urban police chiefs appointed by mayors can’t put out dismissive press releases as easily, but they have made it a very low priority.

The struggle to enforce coronavirus lockdowns and codes without much support from police departments is a sign of just how challenging the post-police vision of the Democrats will be.

Democrats have turned to inspectors to fine small businesses and pull their licenses, but the inspectors are running into angry small business owners and patriotic crowds.

The Anne Arundel County Health Department was forced to cancel evening enforcement and daytime enforcement in rowdier bars. It also had to stop sending female inspectors. After Democrat Milwaukee health inspectors faced a backlash for harassing a pro-Trump rally, they no longer go anywhere without a police escort. That defeats the purpose of police defunding.

The bigger purpose of police defunding is to fundamentally shift enforcement priorities from fighting crime to pursuing social agendas, and while police departments dutifully rack up hate crime citations and participate in community policing events, their mission hasn’t changed.

The coronavirus lockdowns succeeded in dividing the country and destroying small businesses on an unprecedented scale, but they failed to turn America into East Germany. Instead the fault lines of the pandemic revealed that much of the country would not go along with the crackdown.

And the men and women of law enforcement, for the most part, did the right thing.

Even in difficult times, that ought to give us hope for the future of our country. And this Thanksgiving, it is another thing about this great nation to be thankful for.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Being Thankful for the Left

By On November 26, 2020

When we celebrate Thanksgiving, after being thankful for family and friends, for health and comfort, for food and shelter; we shouldn't forget to be thankful for the left.

There is no light without darkness and without evil, the good often fails to find their own voice. It is in the presence of slavery that we remember the worth of freedom. Men and nations are forged in war; not only the war of shell and shot, but the war of ideas. War teaches us to fight for what we have. Wars of ideas teach us to stand up for what we believe.

It is because conservatives are basically hopeful and confident that we are also prone to extremes of despair. Too many us were shocked at the decline of our society because of our great confidence in it. The faith that conservatives have in America makes them vulnerable to being crushed by the latest victory of the left. 

I have seen far too much despair and defeatism, too many comments that suggest there is no hope for America and the only thing left to do is pour a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. But those comments testify to how sheltered Americans are from the struggles against tyranny around the world.

Eight years of Obama is bad, but try sixty-nine years of Communism on for size. That's what generations of Russians had to live through. Ask some of the conservative activists in Europe who have never had any of the freedoms that we still take for granted whether they've given up hope. Ask people from countries where criticism of Islam can mean death, whether they've given up hope.

There are countless tales of courage over the last century of men and women who did not stop fighting, who did not stop teaching their children so that they would not stop resisting. And those stories have not ended. They continue today in Europe, Asia and South America. And those people would envy the conditions under which we fight, where we can protest without being shot or sent to prison, where we can have a shot at winning elections if we try hard enough.

Where we are, compared to 100 percent of the rest of the world, still free.

We face a hard fight, not only for our freedom, but the freedom of the world. The international left has made America its special project. It knows that if it can extinguish the hope of liberty in this land then it will drive the rest of those who hope for freedom across the ocean deeper into despair. And it wants your despair. It wants you to give up so that the rest of the world gives up too and bows under its chains.

And yet this fight is a glorious one. This fight is our birthright. And we should be thankful for the fight.

It would be more pleasant if there were no Obama or Biden. If Alinsky had never been born and Marx had never been whelped. It would be nice if we lived in a world where red was just a color and the Democratic Party was a rural movement suspicious of the Federal government and dreaming of an agrarian utopia. But then so would never having to work for a living or getting up out of bed.

Life is challenge and we face all kinds of different challenges. We get up early out of bed in the morning and drive to work. We rise in the middle of the night when the baby cries and we go to the hospital when our loved ones need us there. We do dreary things and terrible things that seem so different from the life we imagined as children. And we do them not only because they are duty, but because these challenges, the daily ones and the once in a lifetime ones, make us who we are.

Besides these prosaic challenges, the daily routines and the occasional tragedies, there are uncommon challenges that we face when the foe comes to our gate and demands that we bow and become slaves. This is the challenge that we face as a society, a nation and a people. It demands more of us and it ennobles us. It makes us a great people and a great nation, rather than only another people who seek to live in comfort with no thought for anything else.

Good emerges in response to evil. We need our enemies to remind us of who we are and what we can do when our backs are against the wall. We need evil to remind us of the good that we are capable of. As a whetstone sharpens a sword, so evil sharpens us into a weapon against it. It makes us morally stronger and teaches us the stark truths that we cannot take refuge from evil; we must confront it.

If there were no left, would there be nearly as much patriotism among true Americans as there is now? And if there were no left, how many of us would really contemplate the core principles of freedom and free enterprise? If there were no left, how many of us would ponder what we truly believe and what compromises we are willing and unwilling to make? If there were no left, would we be the same people that we are today?

For those of us who believe in the Bible, the Lord created both darkness and light. And if it were not for the darkness, would the light be nearly as precious to us? Imagine a world without sunrise or sunset, where the sight of rays of light clearing away the darkness would have no meaning? And then remember that things are treasured to the extent that they can be taken away from us.

Would we value freedom as much if we did not have to defend it? Would we hold it as dear if we did not fear that it would be taken away? Would we even be aware of what freedom is and what a free people must be if not for the dark hand of those who wish to strip us of those freedoms?

It is the left's opposition that has added urgency to a hundred issues, from the national debt to the War on Terror to freedom of speech and of religion. It has made us think about those issues, to take them out of the back of our minds and hold them up to the light as a reminder of how important they are and what must be done about them.

The left's corruptions remind us of the need for purification. As it gathers the worst of all around it, we find ourselves called to be better than we are. As the left works to doom our country, and as we suffer defeat after defeat, these defeats only serve to remind us that we must be better, that we must do more, learn more and become more in order to save our country.

War is the great teacher and this is a political war, short on bodies and heavy on minds, it is a war in which casualties are not taken in the chest or the arm, but in the mind, in reason and emotion, and against these weaknesses, we can and will prevail.

As we fight the left, we become stronger, more dedicated and more purposeful. We become the men and women that we were meant to be.

As you sit around your tables, thinking of all that you have gained and lost this year, remember and be thankful for the left, for though the winter ice gives way to the summer sun and bitter defeat gives way to sweet victory, it is defeat and hardship that teaches better than comfort and ease. We can learn more from our defeats than we ever could from our victories. Our defeats teach us endurance and fortitude, they teach us that defeat can be borne and that its sting can be turned into the weapon that unseats the foe. And our foes make us who we are.

Their evil teaches us to find the good within ourselves. Their strength teaches us to find our own strength. And their plots against what we have teach us how many treasures we have, not least of these being the full value of our freedom and our happiness that they wish to take from us.

Their war on America is teaching us to be better Americans. It may not feel that way right now, but we are privileged to have this opportunity and this fight.  

We should be thankful for the left, its assaults on us are teaching us how to fight and its plots against our freedom are teaching us how to be free.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How a Trump Prosecutor Took Down a Third of the Cincinnati City Council

By On November 25, 2020
"As Donald Trump returns to Cincinnati today, I think it's important to say in my role as an elected leader for the city that he does not represent our values - not anywhere close. Indeed, he undermines them daily," Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld tweeted two years ago.

Now, P.G. Sittenfeld, the leftist mayoral candidate, whose Senate bid had been funded by Obama and Biden backers, was arrested on corruption charges. In some places that might be a shameful distinction, but in Cincinnati it just means a third of the city council has been busted.

Or 40% of the ‘Gang of Five’, the five Democrats who had illegally colluded on city business via text messaging resulting in $101,000 in fines and attorney fees to be paid for by taxpayers. When Democrat politicians violate the law, it's the taxpayers who still end up on the hook.

Sittenfeld, a young leftist, was being touted for bigger things. One of his fundraising events was hosted by Bill Burton, Obama's former deputy press secretary and the co-founder of Priorities USA, the biggest Democrat super PAC formed to support Obama and then Hillary Clinton, Mike McCurry, Bill Clinton's ex- press secretary, and Tad Devine, Bernie Sanders’ former top strategist.

During his Senate primary bid, a PAC known as New Leadership for Ohio was formed to support Sittenfeld. The PAC raised and spent $788,104 in 2016. Questions were raised at the time, why an English literature professor at the University of Cincinnati donated $275,000 to it. While that was an earlier election, Sittenfeld’s current troubles revolve around a corrupt PAC.

Sittenfeld’s indictment states that "Sittenfeld corruptly solicited and received payments to the PAC, controlled by Sittenfeld, all in connection with Project 1." The PAC is not named in the indictment, but Sittenfeld had allegedly described it as a PAC, “that my name is not connected to... basically no one knows about it... my name and no filings, and no paperwork.”

But he promised that he could "deliver the votes" in exchange for contributions to the PAC, and showed voting data to prove that bribers were "making good bets and good investments."

And he was also running for mayor on a platform of equity and justice.

How much did it cost to buy into what Sittenfeld called a “winning endeavor”? $40,000.

Sittenfeld joins Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard, who pled guilty to wire fraud, after charges of bribery and attempted extortion were dropped, but vowed to continue fighting for racial justice.

Dennard, who had complained about “classism” within the black community, was arrested at a Starbucks before she could lead an “equity” meeting. Dennard had gotten started as an activist with Sittenfeld’s campaign, then worked on his staff, including as political director of his Senate campaign, before running for office while wearing an “unbossed and unbought” button.

The FBI accused her of taking $15,000 from a developer in exchange for favors.

"I could really use your help. It's kind of urgent to get it today. Happy to help you. But need yours too," the unbought and unbossed Dennard allegedly texted.

As a member of the Gang of Five, Dennard was also sued by Retired Assistant Police Chief David Bailey for calling him a racist. Dennard, who had attended Black Lives Matter protests and thrown around terms like ‘intersectionality’, had been one of BLM’s backers on the council.

"Since I filed it, Ms. Dennard has been indicted by a grand jury on public corruption charges related to her attempt to sell her council vote for money," the former cop noted. "I have come to the conclusion that her words no longer mean anything in the public arena."

The third of the trio, Jeff Pastor, is a Republican, by party identification, who had tried Islam, and then Judaism, before announcing that he was a “polyamorous atheist”. Pastor, a supporter of Black Lives Matter congratulated Biden on his “victory” shortly before his arrest by the FBI.

Some of the $55,000 that Pastor allegedly accepted, including bags of cash, was laundered through a non-profit, Ummah Strength. Ummah, an Islamic term, was in this case apparently used as the basis for a fitness non-profit and development company.

All the scandalous details aside, a third of the Cincinnati City Council has been busted on fairly similar charges and similar crimes in under two years. What does that say about Cincinnati?

Cincinnati's city council is dominated by Democrats. David DeVillers, a Trump pick for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, wasted little time in going after crooked politicians since taking office in 2019. After taking down Dennard, he brought down Pastor, and now Sittenfeld, accounting for an incredible third of the city’s town council.

“The fact that we had two in one year, that tells you all you need to know," DeVillers had said about the city's culture of corruption. “We’re going to prosecute those cases. Our goal is to make people nervous and stop them from doing this.”

The Democrat majority on the council has to be getting nervous every time they take a bribe.

In Cincinnati, we welcome and actively want immigrants and refugees to live here. In Cincinnati, we believe climate change is real," Sittenfeld had ranted before President Trump's visit. "In Cincinnati, we affirm that Black Lives Matter." But the leftist Democrat, who is running for mayor and was once touted for the Senate by Obama allies, forgot the most important thing in Cincinnati.

In Cincinnati, thanks to President Trump, crooked politicians who take bribes now get busted.

DeVillers had advised the Iraqi High Tribunal in its trial of Saddam Hussein, so he's equipped to tackle political corruption. And his approach of aggressively pursuing public corruption cases has unquestionably paid off. And it’s in keeping with President Trump’s promise to clean up the Democrat machine. Too many Americans have been abandoned in corrupt cities controlled by crooked politicians who are out for themselves and face little competition and less oversight.

"I really think we did a disservice by not being aggressive," DeVillers told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "The idea of taking shots is what we need to do in cases like that. We do it in murder cases. We do it in drug cases. We should do it in public corruption cases."

The shakeup of the Cincinnati City Council sends a message that political corruption will no longer be tolerated. And the fall of a third of the Cincinnati City Council is just one small local measure of the impact that President Trump is having on draining the swamp in America.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Democrat Governors are Suicidal -- or They Don’t Believe in Their Own Lockdowns

By On November 23, 2020
A week before issuing a statewide mask mandate and a few weeks after trying to ban Thanksgiving, Governor Newsom attended a dinner party, maskless, for a lobbyist.

The size of the party, a dozen people, contravened, Newsom’s own Thanksgiving crackdown limiting gathering sizes and urging members of different households not to mingle. The photos also contravened Newsom’s 93 to wear a mask at dinner between bites.

"COVID-19 has NOT gone away. Take the new case rates seriously. We cannot let our guard down," Newsom had urged on Twitter. "Wear a mask, limit mixing with those you don't live with, and physically distance."

Photos of the dinner party showed no social distancing, no mask wearing, and no precautions.

Those attending the party included not only Newsom, but top California Medical Association officials. The CMA had lobbied to suspend “non-urgent” and “non-essential” procedures. It had also cheered Newsom’s mask mandate warning that “anti-science extremists” were “putting public health at risk” in an ad campaign released earlier this summer by the association.

The anti-science extremists apparently include the CEO of the California Medical Association.

Newsom’s dinner party comes after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser violated her own quarantine, traveling to Delaware for Biden’s election party, one of the “high-risk” states, while partying with Democrat political operatives, before returning home and then refusing to quarantine.

Bowser claimed that she didn’t have to follow her own rules because it was “official business”.

The coronavirus is presumably obliging enough not to infect politicians who are traveling on official business to party with fellow Democrats, but knows to infect people at Trump rallies.

In Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot told residents to “cancel traditional Thanksgiving plans”, after joining a massive crowd celebrating Biden’s claim to have won the 2020 presidentia election.

“There are times when we actually do need to have relief and come together, and I felt like that was one of those times. That crowd was gathered whether I was there or not,” Lightfoot argued.

Of course all of this isn’t really news.

Governor Whitmer’s husband was already caught demanding his boat, Governor Pritzker’s family was caught traveling around the country, Governor Murphy was caught dining indoors, Governor Cuomo didn’t bother social distancing or wearing a mask at a Sharpton event, Mayor Lightfoot was caught getting a haircut, and Speaker Pelosi was caught at a hair salon.

Senator Dianne Feinstein was caught repeatedly not using a mask, and Senator Kamala Harris had no problem piling into an elevator with her entire staff. All this is just business as usual.

Even without listing the numerous Black Lives Matter marches and Biden victory parties, or the Women’s March in D.C., it’s all too obvious that Democrat leaders don’t follow the rules.

And that leads to one of two inevitable conclusions.

Either Democrat leaders are suicidal or the mask and lockdown regimen doesn’t work.

But what absolutely cannot be true is the media narrative that Democrats are following science and should be trusted to lead us through the pandemic using a regime of lockdowns and masks.

The same Democrat leadership lecturing us that masks save lives goes maskless whenever it can. And that might be forgivable if they weren’t constantly pretending that the only people not wearing masks are Republican scofflaws who are endangering all of us with their selfishness.

The only thing more unforgivable than corruption is hypocrisy.

But the fundamental question is why Governor Newsom, Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bowser, Mayor Lightfoot, and so many others are casually violating their own restrictions and guidelines.

If Governor Newsom truly believed, as he tweeted, “Wear your mask. Physically distance. Do not let your guard down. Your actions could literally save lives”, would he have joined a crowded party at the French Laundry for a lobbyist and adviser, without doing any of these things?

The only two rational conclusions are that Governor Newsom has no regard for his own life (we already know that he, like most Democrat governors on this list, has no regard for human life when he ordered skilled nursing facilities to accept coronavirus patients in a cruel act that one geriatric doctor compared to, “premeditated murder”) or he doesn’t believe his own guidance.

Are Democrat leaders particularly suicidal? That seems unlikely.

Newsom, Cuomo, Murphy, Whitmer, and Pritzker, not to mention Pelosi, Feinstein, Bowser, and Lightfoot, can be accused of many things, but a wilful disregard for their lives isn’t one of them.

That leaves us with the cold hard reality that they don’t believe the things that they’re telling us.

Some of the violations of guidance meant to stop the spread of the virus can be dismissed as selfishness that doesn’t directly put Whitmer or Pritzker at risk. But when Newsom and Cuomo, among others, casually hang out in close proximity without masks, there’s only one conclusion.

They don’t practice this stuff because they don’t think it works.

What do they know that we don’t? Mostly, that nothing they’re doing will really make a difference, but that they need to be seen to be doing something. This is a common problem in politics. President Trump suffered from poor ratings on the coronavirus because, while his administration did practical things behind the scenes, it didn’t impose abusive mandates.

Like the kind that Biden ran on.

People expect medicine that really works to taste bitter and any real approach to a crisis to cause pain. That’s why we have to take off our shoes and belts when we fly even though the TSA has not stopped a single terrorist attack after all these years of airport shoelessness.

But the TSA was never meant to stop terrorism. It was there to show that the government was taking the problem seriously. And the more miserable flying became, the tighter the security.

There’s a term for that sort of thing: security theater. And there’s a term for what we’re doing now: medical theater. All of these are subsidiaries of political theater in which governments and politicians pretend to be doing things even though they know none of it really matters.

Congress spends a lot of its time holding entirely useless hearings that only exist so that its members can tweet about how seriously they’re taking the thing that the hearing is about.

Governor Cuomo mismanaged the coronavirus in the worst way possible, lying to the public, sending thousands of infected patients into nursing homes, imposing lockdowns and bragging his way through innumerable press conferences, before illegally scapegoating Orthodox Jews for the virus ahead of the second wave, but never missed a press opportunity or book deal.

That’s why his coronavirus leadership book hit the bestseller lists ahead of the morgues.

Democrat politicians know exactly how to navigate the pandemic, not to save lives, but to maximize their approval ratings, book sales, and potential presidential runs down the road. It doesn’t matter how many people die. Arguably more people dying in your state is better.

Just ask Cuomo who still holds down a nationwide championship in coronavirus corpses.

What is really important in any crisis is to be seen taking it very seriously by holding constant press conferences and imposing pain, lockdowns, restrictions, mandates, on the public. The more people suffer, the more a politician must get credit for doing everything to fight the virus.

The governors know that what they’re doing isn’t working and they don’t know what does. Their strategy isn’t to protect the people in their states, but to protect their political careers.

To find out what people really believe, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

Governor Newsom knew, before imposing his statewide mask mandate, that masks don’t work. If he thought they did, he would have been wearing one while hanging out with his pals. But to a lot of people, masks provide a sense of control and so politicians happily mandate masks.

Newsom, Cuomo, Whitmer, Murphy, and the rest of the gubernatorial gang don’t have a plan to deal with the virus. Their only plan is to wait it out and come out looking good. That’s why they wear masks in front of the camera and then take them off the first chance they get.

They’re not leaders, they’re politicians, with no clue what to do in a real crisis. Except lie.

As winter is upon us, there are only two possible explanations why so many governors repeatedly violate the rules that they tell us mean the difference between life and death.

Either they’re suicidal or they’re lying to us.

Since none of them have yet grasped a noose, put shotguns in their ears, or plunged needles filled with uncut heroin in their veins, they’re not suicidal. They are corrupt and incompetent. And while they destroy the lives and livelihoods of millions, they go on partying behind closed doors.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The Real Presidential Election was Rigged in 2018

By On November 22, 2020
“We should be prepared for this to be closer to an election week, as opposed to an Election Day, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson warned.

Benson was one of the beneficiaries of an initiative that started with the Secretary of State Project backed by the Democracy Alliance and George Soros. Democrats were convinced that they could have won in 2000 and 2004 if they had controlled state secretary of state posts.

Benson, a veteran of the Southern Poverty Law Center and assorted structural initiatives to benefit Democrat voter strategies nationwide, was backed by a river of cash, with her own fundraising topping $1 million, and iVote throwing in nearly another million.

iVote is a Democrat organization whose goals include mandatory voter registration, universal mail voting, and the end of any measures, like voter ID, to fight voter fraud.

Republicans were outspent 2 to 1 and Michigan got an ‘Election Week’.

While Republicans wasted money, iVote spent $6 million to rig the battleground in key states. Benson took control in Michigan, while in Arizona, a state where the Republican candidate was expected to win, Katie Hobbs, another radical leftist, won in a close election in 2018.

Arizona Democrats spent over $2 million just on TV ads for Hobbs. $895,000 came from iVote.

In Colorado, another Republican favored to win in a state where the secretary of state was usually a GOPer, was cut off at the knees by another leftist backed by a ton of outside cash.

Jena Griswold vastly outraised the Republican incumbent with most of the money coming from out of state. This year, she sent out a fundraising letter, falsely accusing President Trump of an “assault on democracy” after spending years attacking him on Twitter.

While Republicans were riding high, Democrats were taking over elections in key states. For mere millions, they managed to secure control of the election systems at the heart of the fraud.

Every state but one that had a Democrat acting as secretary of state was called for Biden.

Michigan, Arizona, and Colorado were among the key battleground targets in 2018. The Democrats didn’t get all the seats they wanted. After making Deidre DeJear, an Obama staffer endorsed by him, into a star, bringing top Democrats to campaign with her, and outspending Republicans, 3 to 1, her Republican opponent still decisively won Iowa. DeJear and the Democrats were coming after Iowa’s Voter ID measures, but they failed. In Ohio, Democrats plowed over $2 million into Kathleen Clyde's campaign and outspent her Republican opponent 5 to 1. And still lost. But even without Ohio and Iowa, the Democrats had built an election map.

Where the Democrats could not secure the office, as in Nevada, they used the pandemic as a pretext for rigging the election. In Nevada, Governor Sisolak rejected a push by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske requiring the registration of ballot harvesters, after ramming through a bill requiring universal mail-in ballots and legalizing harvesting. But having control of the actual office was still crucial in the battleground states that Democrats were counting on in 2020.

The office was linked up with top leftist PACs and organizations. They selected candidates whose real appeal wasn’t local, but urban, young women with Ivy League degrees and hipster glasses, young black activists, and leftists with a penchant for cultural warfare who would draw in the real money from California and New York into obscure state elections in the midwest.

Once in office, they began following a map for revamping statewide election systems in ways that would favor Democrats and disfavor Republicans. In Michigan, a hard fought battle was fought over a Democrat plan to implement ballot harvesting and count ballots received two weeks after the election. Conservative activists sued over inflated voter rolls, including registration rates in Leelanau County that exceeded the number of adults.

But while a few battles were won, the war was lost once Benson was able to send out absentee ballots to 7.7 million people, rewriting election law, and getting away with it. In September, Benson announced an election partnership with Detroit in which her office would train 6,000 election workers while altering ballot counting practices. Detroit was at the center of the glaring abuses in Michigan which has led one former secretary of state to call for an investigation.

Democrats had vastly outspent Republicans on pushing through Proposal 3, a grab bag of Democrat goodies, including straight ticket voting, automatic voter registration, same day voter registration and universal absentee voting. The Republican failure to put up a serious fight against Proposal 3 in 2018, long before the pandemic, had largely doomed Michigan.

Once again, Democrats and the Left, for a pittance, had rigged the 2020 election in 2018.

In Colorado, Griswold had her own ambitious plans, including ‘fixing’ ballots by text message, bypassing election clerks, and showering election judges with cash. Postcards were dispatched to everyone, including the dead, urging them to vote. Judicial Watch noted that in 40 of Colorado's 64 counties, voter registration rates were higher than the number of adult citizens.

Meanwhile, Griswold was threatening, "I will include @realDonaldTrump in the referral for prosecution. He may not have presidential immunity anymore depending on the election."

In Arizona, Katie Hobbs desperately fought to keep Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee, a case involving the state's ballot harvesting and out-of-precinct voting ban that had been illegally struck down by 9th Circuit Court Democrat judges.

While the case went to the Supreme Court, Hobbs and Arizona Democrats are still fighting it.

Meanwhile Hobbs demanded an investigation of the Trump administration over mail-in ballots.

In 2018, Democrats struck a calculated blow against the electoral system, one that paid off tremendously when a pandemic arrived that allowed them to carry out their wildest plans. But these plans were already in the pipeline long before the pandemic provided an excuse.

There are many lessons that Republicans ought to learn from 2020, but the biggest of them is studying and understanding the larger battlefield and the levers of power behind the scenes.

The Left excels at understanding and exploiting these levers. The Right does not. The Left deploys grand schemes for transforming institutions through a roadmap of policies that unfold across generations. Meanwhile the Right, all too often, has no plan beyond this year.

When it comes to elections, the Left’s plan has been abundantly clear for a long time.

Eliminate all election safeguards, maximize the flow of ballots, and control the count so that a huge torrent of ballots, beyond checking or verifying, rains down in a prolonged process, of Election Week rather than Election Day, with plenty of opportunities to ‘find more ballots’.

The roadmap’s policies, universal registration and absentee voting, along with ballot harvesting, allowing Democrat groups to collect massive amounts of ballots, have also been very clear.

Count every vote, but make sure that no votes actually count.

This war on Election Day had its biggest victory in 2020. And if the pandemic goes on, so will the progressive dismantling of our electoral system and its replacement with mass fraud.

Election Day is at stake.

If Biden ends up in the White House, it will be partly due to Republican losses in Arizona, Michigan, and Colorado, not in 2020, but in 2018. That year, Democrat operatives prepared for 2020 by flipping a secretary of state seat that Republicans had held in Colorado for six decades, and seats that Republicans had been favored to win in Arizona and Michigan. That combined with the loss of Pennsylvania’s governorship in 2014 and 2018 and the secretary of state office with it, set up the real invisible election battlefield waged behind the scenes by election officials.

The battle for Election Day is not just a fight to win elections, but to protect their integrity.

The Democrat operatives embedded in 2018 were following a nationwide strategy while Republicans holding secretary of state offices are usually just local officials with no bigger plan.

Republicans hold the majority of secretary of state offices, but they’ve been slow to adapt to a Democrat project that has been underway for two decades. And conservatives have not been as enthusiastic about fundraising for an obscure state office even while leftists have poured millions into them as part of a larger master plan that succeeded in 2018 and unfolded in 2020.

In 2022, secretary of state offices will be up for grabs in Colorado, Illinois, Arizona, Ohio, and Michigan. Democrats have a plan to seize control of Election Day and abolish it forever.

Do conservatives have a plan to save Election Day?

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The End of Sports

By On November 19, 2020
When the Dodgers won the World Series, few Americans were watching the game that had once been dubbed America's Pastime. The 2020 World Series broke all sorts of records, mostly bad ones, becoming the least watched world series. With an average of less than 10 million viewers, the series commanded the attention of some 3% of Americans.

The 32% drop in viewers came at a time when people, many stuck at home, are obsessively watching television. What were the other 13 million who had been watching last year do? The one thing they weren’t doing was watching a game they had once cared about.

It wasn't just baseball.

The NBA finals ratings dropped 51%. Game 6 brought in 8.2 million viewers and the series only managed an average of 7.45 million viewers. That's after the conference finals brought in just a little over 4 million viewers. And the NFL is facing its own ratings struggles as are other sports.

The media has frantically dug for apolitical reasons to explain these trainwreck numbers, but the simple reality is that sports used to be competitively divisive, but are now politically divisive. The truly woke viewers are exiting for the WNBA and women’s soccer, whose numbers are up, while conservative viewers are jettisoning current games for highlight reels of past glories.

Sports used to be a metaphor for America. Practice, play fair, and win. The rules might differ, but the meritocracy of talent and the ethics of sportsmanship were essential to American life. The metaphor is different now. Don’t bother playing, get woke, become a nuisance, score a $126 million contract with Nike, followed by a Netflix series about your life, and become an icon.

Sports is still a metaphor for America, but a very different kind of country in which talent doesn’t matter, but monetizing radical aggrieved victimhood is how the game is really played and won. And if that’s what it takes to become a sports icon, whatever your politics, why bother watching the game when you can tweet support for the BLM protests, or just get out there and riot?

Big Sports and the media are blaming the presidential election for their viewership drop. They’re not wholly wrong, but they were the ones who politicised the game. The message behind all the protests, the kneeling, the locker room boycotts, the emblems and the stunts, was that politics is more important than sports. Viewers took them at their word and changed the channel.

If politics is America’s real national pastime, why waste time watching a few failed Colin Kapernicks, who may have a better arm, but worse public relations timing, do their thing? If they had just dropped out and spent years protesting, they could have also been sports icons.

The problem with politicising everything is that everything then becomes irrelevant. If sports only matters when it’s political, then it doesn’t matter. Neither do food, fashion, music, or any of the other things that people used to care about before caring became exclusive to politics.

The Soviet Union only cared about sports as a vehicle for proving the superiority of the New Soviet Man so that even Soviet women playing sports turned out to be New Soviet Men. Soviet sports were uninteresting because they existed for ideological reasons. Players were advanced or tanked based on their sponsors within the Communist Party. Those athletes who could, did their best to escape the USSR so that they would be able to play for themselves.

But where do you go to defect from the NFL, MLB, or the NBA?

The Soviet Union flagrantly cheated when playing non-Warsaw Pact countries because the triumph of Communism was much more important than the rules of the game. But the whole point of a self-contained world with its own rules, absurd as they might occasionally be, is as a test of character. When the rules don’t matter, neither does the game. That’s the woke crisis.

Wokeness insists that the moral, ethical, and procedural rules that govern our lives don’t matter in the face of the systemic racism that leads police officers to shoot criminals. It’s okay to loot stores, ambush drivers on highways, and stab police officers. If human life and personal property don’t matter in the face of the urgency of woke politics, then what rules do?

And if we can’t agree on any rules, what’s the point of playing?

Big Sports began violating its own rules to accommodate woke protests against America. The impact may be less immediately destructive than Black Lives Matter rioters setting fire to a neighborhood, but ended up setting fire to the business model and ratings of the industry.

Sports has always been a form of ritualized combat whose purpose was a test of character. When character doesn’t matter and the rules don’t matter, all that’s left is the combat, and the real battles are taking place off the field and the court. And viewers are changing the channel to CNN or FOX News where the combat is closer to being real than in the sports bubble.

The media and Big Sports promise that will change when the election is over, but the fight isn’t over, it’s just getting started. Elections have become another game where the rules don’t matter. And in a country where ritualized political combat is becoming more combative and less ritualistic, ritualized combat that is becoming more political and less combative won’t play.

The NFL and MLB, and to a lesser extent the NBA, depended on a national consensus. The end of the consensus means the end of the nation and, much less seriously, their end. It’s no coincidence that the high point of the hero worship of great players came when Americans were united in their values and in their sense of national purpose, or that all of the above are passing.

Americans do fewer things together. The old network appointment viewing of sitcoms, dramas, award shows and games has given way to scattershot streaming geared to individual taste. Big Sports was never going to survive in an environment in which we agree on few things, and in which everything is a political test that will alienate a quarter of the country either way.

Big Sports, like their corporate partners, decided that pandering to the radical sports journalists, to woke companies, and to the Wokicrats who run much of the country mattered more. And in the process they revealed the underlying truth that Disney, Nike, and the cultural values of their executives mattered more than the games they pretended to care about. And the rest is history.

The falling ratings are a symptom of the end of sports. MLB, the NFL, and the NBA aren’t going away, but neither are they going anywhere except to Communist China. Like Hollywood, the country’s other big entertainment industry has abandoned America while expanding to China. Americans have less money and fewer people, and the rules of the game are too complicated.

In China, the rules are simple. Don’t mention Hong Kong or Taiwan, and praise the Party.

America’s cultural rules have become bewilderingly complicated as the country fractures, and there’s no way to win. Kneel or stand for the anthem, everyone still loses the Catch 22.

But the end of sports is the end of hundred million dollar contracts, not the end of the game. The games, the real ones, were played to see how far a ball can go and what a man can do. The familiar games we play had their echoes in the dust of medieval European towns and on Greek fields. The games will not be lost, only the huge corrupt industries that grew around them.

While the role of the billion dollar sports industries fade in the lives of ordinary Americans, the games will live on in backyards, cul-de-sacs, and grassy fields where we will go on playing them, instead of paying to watch others play, and we’ll do it by the rules we grew up with. We will go on standing for the anthem and testing our arms, our legs, and our hearts.

In sports, as in life, it is not the big organizations, but what we do as individuals, that define us.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Fighter vs. Failer

By On November 18, 2020
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. graduated from the University of Delaware with a C average: the 506th student in a class of 688. When his grades weren’t C’s, they were usually D’s.

He then struggled through a JD from Syracuse University where he was nearly expelled after being caught plagiarizing a paper, and finally graduated 76th out of a class of 85 students. His academic performance was so miserable that an insecure Biden would spend much of his political career lying about academic successes that were humiliatingly exposed as frauds.

Biden falsely claimed that he had "graduated with three degrees from college", was "the outstanding student in the political science department", that he "went to law school on a full academic scholarship", that he was "in the top half" of his class. None of that ever happened.

Robinette was a bad law student and he did not make a good lawyer, bouncing from one firm to another, working briefly as a public defender without leaving any impression, and managing a pool. Successful young attorneys on their way up do not take jobs managing swimming pools.

Instead Biden went into politics and continued failing his way upward by crawling through the corrupt underbelly of Delaware politics. His first bid for the White House failed miserably, so did his second bid, and it seemed like he would become just another aging senator looking for an exit strategy to a lobbying firm or an industry trade group that would pay him a lot of money.

And then Obama decided to make Biden his number two, not because he liked him, but because he held the old white male politician in contempt. The final insult came when Obama picked Hillary to succeed him while offering Biden a Rose Garden press conference for his ego.

“And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden,” Obama sneered this time around.

During the primaries, Biden was forced to pretend he had asked Obama not to endorse him.

Joe Biden is a failer and he’s always been one. His career comes down to political grease and dumb luck. There has never been anyone at this position who has not accomplished a single thing except being in the right place at the right time, before invariably screwing it up.

Biden, as a young man, got into the Senate, and it didn’t take him long to become a national laughingstock, confining his career prospects to Delaware for a generation. Obama plucked him from obscurity, and Biden messed that up, getting dumped for Hillary. Now that he’s calling himself president-elect, the one thing to remember is that Biden always messes it up in the end.

Biden is a failer. He’s a C student who gets by on luck and then it all comes apart until someone takes pity on him, and he hangs on long enough to try for something bigger and messes that up.

President Trump is a fighter. Unlike politics, the free market is much less forgiving of failures. Nobody stays a billionaire because his investors, like Delaware voters, can’t be bothered to find a better prospect than a crooked old hack who gropes their wives and takes their money.

In business, you either make money or you don’t. In politics all you have to do is steal money.

Biden made money for other people, including his crooked family, by wetting his beak in a vast ocean of taxpayer money that was just there. President Trump had to turn profits using money that people were actually attached to, instead of vast reserves of misappropriated tax revenues.

President Trump has been in tough spots over and over again, and bounced back from them using grit, smarts, and determination. Biden never really learned to bounce back from anything. Politics is just a river that carried him along, and when he failed, as he invariably did, he just spent another decade in politics and then another one after that until an opportunity arrived.

Biden doesn’t know how to fight, but he is the greatest coaster in American politics.

Early in his failing career as a lawyer, Biden hooked up with the biggest crime organization in this country. The Democrat organization, sensing a certain gift for gab, a glib facility for lying indispensable to an otherwise failed law student and lawyer, put him up for public office, and carried him for a fifth of the age of the government of our great constitutional republic.

It’s still carrying him now.

Biden could barely manage to campaign or get through an interview without a gaffe. There would have been nothing for him if Democrat organizations in Philly, Detroit, and key cities hadn’t conspired to up the ante on the ballot fraud to an absurd and catastrophic degree. It’s that same organization and its media apparatus that is fighting to drag him to the White House.

The Democrat organization carries Biden, but in this fight, Trump is carrying the GOP.

The natural Republican inclination isn’t to fight an election result. Nixon didn’t. If Florida had gone just as narrowly for Gore, as it did for Bush, would he have challenged the results?

And then the Democrats would have been in charge of America after September 11.

But President Trump’s natural instinct is to fight. And he’s dragging Republicans into the fight with him. That’s the definition of leadership. Nobody would ever accuse Biden of leading his party anywhere. Biden gets ideas all the time, like splitting up Iraq or sending $200 million to Iran, but nobody actually pays any attention to them. They nod politely and go on ignoring him.

If Biden were to ever get back into the Oval Office, he might have the title, but he would still be the crazy uncle whose Obamanoid staffers would humor him by listening to his rambling stories.

And then they would do what they were going to do all along anyway.

That’s also what the rest of the world would do every time they got a call from Joe Biden about anything that didn’t involve funneling money to his son, his brothers, or other Biden relatives.

Nobody has ever ignored President Trump. Failers get ignored: fighters are acknowledged.

One reason Obama respected Hillary and despised Biden is that she gave him a good fight. But Biden isn’t a fighter. He’s still the C student who tries to claim that he had a full scholarship.

In a fight to the finish, do you bet on the fighter or on the failer?

That’s the great question of American politics now. In a match between a street fighter and an organization man, who will prevail? Biden has the organization: and it is a vast organization encompassing not just the official structure of the Democrats, or the far greater network of activist groups funded by the wealthiest leftists in this country, or the media, but also a huge chunk of the oligarchy from Big Tech to Wall Street. But President Trump has the determination.

Presidents, like all leaders, can’t be organization men. That’s by constitutional design. Even when a weak politician is carried into the White House, he falls apart once he’s inside.

Just ask Jimmy Carter.

Anyone who gets to that level, good or bad, needs the innate drive and instincts to wield power. And Americans rarely make the mistake of choosing men so weak that, like Carter, they’re entirely unfit for the task at hand because of their weakness, rather than their bad character.

There’s a drive and a determination that takes men places. Some men make their destinities while others are fortunate enough to become made men. In a fight between a failer and a fighter, it’s the man who can fight who succeeds even when the odds are against him.

Biden never had the drive to succeed. He was a failure as a student, as a lawyer, as a politician, and managed to fail his way out of the White House the last time he was lucky enough to be there. “And you know who really doesn’t have it? Joe Biden,” Obama said this election cycle.

He still doesn’t. Trump does.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.



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