• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

Hello Elon Musk’s America!?

The great American free-speech panic

Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has revealed how terrified the elites are of freedom of speech.

TOM SLATER
EDITOR

30th April 2022

Freedom of speech is the ‘dread of tyrants’. That’s how Frederick Douglass, the American abolitionist, statesman and former slave, put it in his seminal 1860 speech, ‘A Plea for Freedom of Speech in Boston’ – taking aim at a racist mob who had shut down an abolitionist meeting and the authorities that had refused to protect it.

The battle lines in America’s free-speech wars are very different today, as of course are the stakes. ‘Slavery cannot tolerate free speech’, thundered Douglass. He saw open discussion as the means to liberation. Today, those who might consider themselves his heirs think you can censor your way to utopia. But one thing at least remains stubbornly the same: more than 160 years later, free speech still fills the American elites with dread.

What else could we conclude from the week-long meltdown over Elon Musk buying Twitter? The political and cultural elites have been gripped by panic. Human-rights groups are up in arms. Woke celebrities are threatening to flounce off the platform. All because Musk – a self-touting ‘free-speech absolutist’ – says he wants to pare back Twitter’s content-moderation policies, to ensure that Twitter functions as a freer ‘digital town square’.

The richest man in the world purchasing one of social media’s most consequential platforms is perhaps an unlikely blow for democracy. We at spiked would certainly rather the fate of free speech online didn’t rest on which billionaire happens to be in charge. But Musk’s takeover of Twitter has at least demonstrated that the rest of America’s ruling class – certainly those who run its institutions and its government – are united in terror at the prospect of people being able to hear and say what they like.

According to CNBC, members of President Biden’s inner circle, Democratic strategists and Barack Obama are worried Musk might lift the ban on Donald Trump and cause ‘misinformation’ to swirl ahead of the next election. White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about Musk this week, but did refer to the president’s ‘concerns about the power of social-media platforms, including Twitter and others, to spread misinformation’.

LIVE EVENT: Joanna Williams and Brendan O’Neill on how woke won

LIVE EVENT: Joanna Williams and Brendan O’Neill on how woke won

SPIKED

Here we see a neat demonstration of how the Democrats’ years-long moral panic about ‘misinformation’ maps rather neatly on to censoring their opponents. That had already been made clear with the Hunter Biden laptop scandal – the New York Post exposé that Twitter and Facebook labelled as misinformation and censored in the run-up to the 2020 election, but has since been backed up as true by other outlets.

The human-rights establishment is similarly shaken by the prospect of more free speech on the internet. Amnesty International USA has warned Twitter’s new boss not to ‘erode enforcement of the policies and mechanisms designed to protect users’, noting the ‘disturbing persistence of hate speech on Twitter’. Among the activist set, meanwhile, Musk has been smeared as a racist whose definition of free speech is ‘allow[ing] white nationalists to target / harass people’.

The American elites, whose forebears gave the world the First Amendment, have apparently decided that similar standards cannot possibly apply on the internet. That ‘hate speech’ should be censored on social media has become common sense among so-called liberals, even though it is impossible to censor in US law. Censorship of those deemed ‘hateful’ – a now bloated category which, according to Twitter’s current policies, includes those who ‘misgender’ – has been outsourced to the private sector, and the elites are worried that Twitter under Elon Musk might no longer oblige.

Indeed, Big Tech censorship was never about a few oligarchs deciding to inflict their views on everyone else. Jack Dorsey, the Twitter CEO who presided over Trump’s ban and many more besides, is a sort of hippy libertarian and has wholeheartedly endorsed Musk. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerburg resisted the role that was being foisted upon him – as digital Minister of Truth – for years before he eventually gave in. The pressure on them to censor came from within – from the sort of Silicon Valley workers currently apoplectic about Musk’s takeover – and from without – from Democrats threatening to break up or regulate the tech giants if they didn’t clamp down on ‘misinformation’ and ‘hate’.

Musk Derangement Syndrome, with Andrew Doyle

PODCAST

Musk Derangement Syndrome, with Andrew Doyle

SPIKED

The American elites have come up with all kinds of convoluted reasons as to why it’s good and proper for Silicon Valley to wield its unprecedented power against those they disagree with. But those reasons keep changing in revealing ways. Before this week the argument was that Twitter can set whatever speech policies it likes because it’s a business and anyone who doesn’t like it can go elsewhere. Now they’ve suddenly changed their tune. And for all their deeply felt concern about misinformation the elites have turned a blind eye in recent years to how their war on misinformation has produced its own kind of misinformation – such as the hasty branding of the Hunter Biden story or the Covid lab-leak theory as bonkers conspiracy theories, only for it to turn out later that there was actually something to them.

This has become a vicious circle. Some of the genuinely mad movements unleashed in recent years – from QAnon to Stop the Steal to Covid anti-vax guff – are actually a demonstration of a well-worn argument against censorship. Namely, that censoring bad ideas doesn’t make them go away and can give them a glamour they do not deserve. Censorship has a way of making people think they’re on to something. Combine this with a mainstream media that now routinely prizes The Narrative over the facts – calling BLM riots ‘mostly peaceful’ and Kyle Rittenhouse a ‘white supremacist’ – and you’ve got a toxic mix. The crisis of trust in the mainstream has sent many looking for answers at the margins. And the more that do, the more censorship is meted out.

But then again this was never really about misinformation, was it? This is about America’s ruling class becoming deeply sceptical about one of America’s founding values, and deeply sceptical about their fellow citizens. So-called liberal elites simply do not believe that ordinary people can be trusted to sort truth from illusion and are now convinced that some higher power must vet their reading material for them. They believe that the answer to bad speech is not more speech, but ruthless corporate censorship. They have convinced themselves that free speech is a threat to civilisation, rather than the core of civilisation.

And all it took was for an election not to go their way. It is striking that this philosophical turn away from free speech, which had been slowly congealing in academia for some time, suddenly went mainstream around 2016 – after a certain someone became president and the coastal elites went looking for answers as to why those voters they’d either ignored or smeared as racists had suddenly taken against them. Trump’s election was the catalyst for the explosion of censorship on social media, which before then was restrained by today’s standards. Tellingly, discussing what Musk’s Twitter might be like in terms of freedom of speech, a tech writer for the Atlantic speculates it will look ‘a lot more like Twitter did in, say, 2016. This is not a good thing!’

Whether Twitter under Elon Musk will be a good thing remains to be seen. What we do know is that he’ll have a fight on his hands, from American elites who now believe censorship is all that separates them from barbarism. It’s a nice reminder that freedom of speech remains an incredibly radical idea, that it empowers those at the bottom and rattles those at the top. It is still the dread of tyrants – even the pathetic, hysterical bunch who rule America today.

Tom Slater is editor of spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Slater_

Received From Kristi Ann’s “HAVEN”…

Thank you!

THE ARRIVAL OF 1984 WHEN CROOKED DEMS DETERMINE WHAT IS SEEN, HEARD, AND READ!


ELECTIONS

The Disinformation Governance Machine 

It is critical that we stand up to and forthrightly reject the Biden Administration’s unconscionable new assault on freedom. 

By Roger Kimball at American Greatness:

April 30, 2022

Remember the date: April 27, 2022

That’s when the mask came off the creaky Orwellian juggernaut that is the Biden Administration. 

The senile rictus disappeared and something far more threatening took its place. 

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell called the enforcement mechanism of his totalitarian propaganda regime the “Ministry of Truth.” Appearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee, the ironically named Department of Homeland Security was slightly more subtle. 

Too many people have read Nineteen Eighty-Four. Calling a government-funded effort to suppress criticism of the regime the “Ministry of Truth” would cause people to worry and complain. Instead, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the creation of the “Disinformation Governance Board.” 

No, I am not making that up. 

I sympathize with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who said he wondered whether this new assault on free expression was a “belated April Fools’ joke.

Unfortunately, it’s not.  

Granted, it is as preposterous as an April Fools’ Day prank. So is its director, Nina Jankowicz, a 33-year-old anti-Trump hack, who is described—God help us—as an “internationally recognized expert on disinformation.” You can judge how expert by looking up her truly embarrassing videos on the subject (among many other subjects). 

So what will the Disinformation Governance Board actually do—besides, I mean, provide fodder for standup comics and incredulous commentators? In one sense, it is a little hard to say for sure since its actual duties and extent of its powers have yet to be spelled out.  

But one doesn’t need fine print to know that this new police force will have essentially two jobs.  

One job will be to suppress criticism. Former U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is right. This is exactly the sort of thing, she told Fox News, one expects to see in dictatorships, not in free countries. The board, she said, amounts to a “department of propaganda” promulgated by a government that is afraid of its own people. Did someone discover that the president’s son had a laptop full of compromising, and probably criminal, information?  

Come down like a ton of bricks on anyone with the temerity to publicize that fact, especially if the discovery was made just before a presidential election.  

Now that Elon Musk has tendered his $44 billion offer to buy Twitter, that company may not be quite so reliable an ally of the totalitarian agenda of the Democrats.  

In 2020, Twitter froze the New York Post’s ability to share its content on the site and suppressed anyone who dared to comment on Hunter Biden’s laptop until the 2020 election was safely over. That might not happen now. People are wising up. Last year’s woke corporation might just be this year’s watchdog for genuine transparency.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson cut to the chase when he observed that neither Mayorkas nor the administration he serves wants freedom. What they want, Carlson said, is “power and to get power, they plan to control what you think.” 

Ponder what Mayorkas told the House subcommittee last week: 

We have so many different efforts underway to equip local communities, to identify individuals who very well could be descending into violence by reason of ideologies, of hate, false narratives, or other disinformation and misinformation propagated on social media and other platforms.

Translation: some people may disagree with us because of things they see or read or hear.  

Therefore, we need to tamp down the sources of those competing ideas. 

Which brings me to the second task of the Disinformation Governance Board.

Suppressing ideas the regime doesn’t like is only one part of the job. The other part is disseminating narratives pleasing to those in power. One hand is busy pulling out and poisoning what they regard as weeds. The other hand is nurturing the delicate shoots of the approved narrative. 

And it’s that part of the story that makes the name of this new agency so brilliant. Not only will it be on the lookout for contrary ideas to stamp out—governing, as it were, “disinformation”—but it will also need to foster and disseminate competing disinformation.

Hillary Clinton and her myrmidons in the media, the FBI, and the intelligence services did a fine job with the Russia collusion hoax. But think how much more effective an official, government-sanctioned service will be. No more amateur-hour stuff, no more wiping servers “with a cloth,” no more lying lawyers, no more leaked fabrications. Now the people in charge will have the full coercive power of the state behind them.  

Tucker Carlson said that the creation of this new chamber of the government’s department of anti-freedom drew “a line in the sand.” I hope he is right. The Biden Administration’s Orwellian assault on individual freedom is patent as daylight. It is critical that we stand up to and forthrightly reject this unconscionable assault on freedom.  

How? 

Carlson quotes Max Blumenthal, editor of The Grayzone, who responded with admirable forthrightness to a threatening letter from a government proxy. “Do you,” Blumenthal asked, “seriously expect us to grovel for approval from the same tentacle of the national security state and financial oligarchy that has rated CNN as a highly credible news source and whose board of advisors is a grotesque gallery of corporate propagandist spooks, documented liars, and war criminals who’ve never faced a scintilla of accountability for their actions?”

The answer, of course, is yes. That’s exactly what they expect.  

We must do everything in our power to disappoint them.

THE DISAPPEARING AMERICAN FEMALE ANIMAL!?

MAY 1, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER  at PowerLine:

FIGHT OF THE YEAR?

Last night 19,000 fight fans packed Madison Square Garden for a title bout. Dave Portnoy said the pre-fight atmosphere “may be the most electric environment I have ever been in.” Here is his brief video shot shortly before the action began:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=powerlineUS&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1520586194706444290&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.powerlineblog.com%2Farchives%2F2022%2F05%2Ffight-of-the-year.php&sessionId=3d734a7bb359e5ce482ca0777378d66e785e97c9&siteScreenName=powerlineUS&theme=light&widgetsVersion=c8fe9736dd6fb%3A1649830956492&width=550px


One of the fighters was Irish and the other a Puerto Rican from New York, so there was a strong ethnic element in the crowd, with Irish flags, in particular, everywhere. So in some ways it was typical of a much-anticipated title fight.

Except that the boxers were women: Katie Taylor, who entered the bout undefeated at 20-0, and Amanda Serrano, who came in at 42-1-1. The fight was at 135 pounds and five belts were at stake. The fighters put on a great show. Women fight two-minute instead of three-minute rounds, and a title match is 10 rather than 12 rounds. The result is non-stop action. The Garden crowd last night was on its feet throughout, roaring its appreciation for the fighters. Lots of pro boxers watched the fight and tweeted about it. Caleb Truax, for one, tweeted: “Guys…That’s the F****** FIGHT OF THE YEAR!”

The action was furious, with Serrano mostly the aggressor throughout. The early rounds were anyone’s call. In the fifth Serrano staggered Taylor and it looked like she might take her out, but Taylor managed to survive. Taylor was still wobbly in the sixth, but came back strongly in the later rounds. The result was a split decision, 2-1 for Katie Taylor.

I thought Serrano probably won the fight, although that was just impression and I didn’t make a serious attempt to score it. Dave Portnoy agreed:

I hate that decision. I thought it was a draw but if anybody won it was Serrano. The only one in trouble the entire fight was Taylor. Great fight though.

There no doubt will be a rematch, as both fighters agreed immediately afterward. Sportsmanship is generally at a high level in boxing, and that was especially true last night. Serrano and Taylor embraced when the final bell rang, and in their comments afterward saw themselves as partners in the development of women’s boxing.

I have not been a fan of women’s boxing, mostly on principle because I don’t like the idea of women getting hit as a form of entertainment. But it is impossible not to appreciate the athletic skill and courage of fighters like Taylor and Serrano. There is no question that last night’s fight was a great sporting event.

This video from DAZN, which broadcast the fight, is 15 minutes of highlights. In truth, the whole fight was a highlight. I will post the complete bout if a video becomes available. Meanwhile, here it is. Buckle your seat belt:

Biden, THE LOST BRAIN JOINING THE CROOKED POLITICIAN!

Darkest day yet under Biden

by Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent | 

 | April 29, 2022

DARKEST DAY YET UNDER BIDEN. The specter of recession and war settled over Washington on Thursday, on top of inflation that has already cut into the public’s standard of living and increased its worries about the future. It was, in short, a very bad day — one of the most concerning so far in the presidency of Joe Biden.

Many experts professed to be surprised by the news that the economy shrank by an annual rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022. “Gross domestic product unexpectedly declined at a 1.4 percent annualized pace in the first quarter … the worst since the pandemic-induced recession in 2020,” the business network CNBC reported. “The negative growth rate missed even the subdued Dow Jones estimate of a one percent gain for the quarter.”

For his part, in the course of a single sentence, Biden tried to suggest that the drop was the result of “technical factors” while at the same time blaming events around the world — and, most importantly, not himself. “While last quarter’s growth estimate was affected by technical factors,” he said in a statement, “the United States confronts the challenges of Covid-19 around the world, Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and global inflation from a position of strength.”

Later, when asked if he fears a recession is on the way, Biden wandered all over the place. “Well, no, I’m not concerned about a recession,” he began. “I mean, you’re always concerned about a recession, but the GDP, you know, fell to 1.4%. But here’s the deal: We’ve also had — last quarter, consumer spending and business investment and residential investment increased at significant rates, both for leisure as well as hard products, No. 1. No. 2, unemployment is the lowest rate since 1970. … So I think we’re — what you’re seeing is enormous growth in the country that was affected by everything from COVID and the COVID blockages that we — occurred along the way. Now, you always have to be taking a look. And no one is predicting a recession now. They’re predicting, or some are predicting, there may be a recession in 2023. I’m concerned about it…”

It wasn’t terribly reassuring. Biden then said the real answer to the nation’s economic problems is for Republicans on Capitol Hill to support raising taxes on rich corporations. Meanwhile, Biden is asking Congress to pass another of the giant spending measures that have contributed to inflation, which is, in turn, contributing to recession fears.

The question now is whether the factors that shrank the economy in the first quarter of this year will continue through the second quarter, creating a recession. Businesses built up inventories in the last quarter of 2021, then pulled back in 2022. Perhaps that will change. Exports declined — perhaps that will change, too. Consumer demand remains strong. And presidential leadership? While Biden seems committed to spending levels that feed inflation, he also seems, judging by his remarks above, a little confused about what to expect or what to do.

On the war front, Biden wants a huge increase in U.S. support of Ukraine. He sent Congress a request for $33 billion more, on top of the $13.6 billion lawmakers approved last month. It is a big deal. Here is how the New York Times reported it:

President Biden signaled a vast increase in America’s commitment to defeating Russia in Ukraine on Thursday as he asked Congress to authorize $33 billion for more artillery, antitank weapons and other hardware as well as economic and humanitarian aid. The request represented an extraordinary escalation in American investment in the war, more than tripling the total emergency expenditures and putting the United States on track to spend as much this year helping the Ukrainians as it did on average each year fighting its own war in Afghanistan, or more.

An “extraordinary escalation.” The level of American aid has spurred concerns that the U.S. is depleting its own weapons resources to support the Ukrainian fight against Russia. “After just two months, our aid to Ukraine has drawn down a quarter of our entire stockpile of Stinger anti-air missiles and a third of our Javelin antitank missiles,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday. “This would be less of a problem if we had a robust defense industrial base to quickly refill our armories. But defense manufacturers have admitted that the production lines for some critical components have dried up, and it could be years before they could replace the weapons we’ve sent to Ukraine.”

Biden denied the Russian charge that the war in Ukraine is now a proxy war, with Russia fighting with its own troops and the U.S. fighting through the Ukrainians. But it’s hard to see how, given the levels of aid and involvement, the U.S. effort in Ukraine is not a proxy war. Indeed, that seems to be a given at this point. As the New York Times’s Ross Douthat observed last month, “President Biden’s team seems to be following a Cold War playbook of cautious proxy war rather than embracing sweeping Bushian ambitions.” Now, perhaps, it is becoming less cautious.

In sum: Given the developments in the economy and the U.S. involvement in Ukraine, Thursday was a pretty sobering day. And yet much of the conversation among elite press outlets has been obsessed with two other things: 1) House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recorded comment to colleagues in the days after the Capitol riot that, if he were to talk to then-President Donald Trump, he would recommend that Trump resign (in the end, McCarthy never made the recommendation and later denied he had said that to his colleagues); and 2) the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the first to take place in its full glory, with an in-person crowd and the president attending, since the twin scourges of COVID and Trump.

The subject line of Politico’s influential Playbook newsletter on Friday morning, after the grim news on recession and war? “How to do WHCA weekend like a pro.” The subject line of Playbook on Thursday morning? “Inside Biden’s WHCA dinner speech.” The subject line on Wednesday? “Fauci pulls out of WHCD. Is Biden next?” The hype and frothiness seemed a strange contrast to the seriousness of events going on all around. But that is the reality in Washington at the moment.

For a deeper dive into many of the topics covered in the Daily Memo, please listen to my podcast, The Byron York Show — available on the Ricochet Audio Network and everywhere else podcasts can be found. You can use this link to subscribe.

“The technology to store energy simply hasn’t kept pace with our ability to generate it!”

April 30, 2022

How to Turn a Whole State’s Power Production to Wind and Solar Dreams

By Joe Herring at American Thinker:

Many ideas considered radical a decade ago now enjoy mainstream support in the environmentalist movement.  Demands to “decarbonize” electricity production are proceeding apace despite the limitations of generating electricity reliably and affordably from renewable sources alone.

The technology to store energy simply hasn’t kept pace with our ability to generate it, leaving renewable sources like wind and solar handicapped by their inherent intermittency.  Consequently, renewables provide only a fraction of Nebraska’s energy needs and find economic viability only through a regime of heavy government subsidy

Despite this technological deficiency, clean energy advocates still insist we decommission “dirty” sources sooner rather than later.  Cities and regions who have done so have encountered grave disruptions in production and delivery, resulting in rolling blackouts, brownouts, and at times grid failure under heavy demand.

This is not entirely by accident.

Artificial scarcity raises prices, which in turn reduces consumption, a prime goal of the modern environmental movement.  When combined with mandated lifestyle changes and forced energy retrofits to homes and businesses, renewables advocates claim that the lower production capabilities of clean energy won’t be a problem, being offset by lower demand from consumers.

However, this strategy ignores the problem of meeting baseline energy needs for manufacturing, communications, internet, medical facilities, and even the charging of electric vehicles, none of which is an elective use of power.

Nebraska has 166 publicly owned utilities, including cooperatives and public power districts, serving approximately 1.9 million residents.  We are the only state served entirely by publicly owned utilities.  This publicly owned structure keeps costs low by removing the profit motive from the equation. 

Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, and Lincoln Electrical System are the major players in power generation in our state and are governed by elected boards, which, according to activist group Nebraska Conservation Voters, now boast majorities of “clean energy advocates.”

Races for public power boards aren’t known as high-spending affairs, so the influx of substantial amounts to one candidate over another can easily swing a race.  A good example can be found in the campaign of Aaron Troester, a farmer from O’Neill, Nebraska, who is now the representative for Subdivision 2 on the NPPD board.

A group calling themselves Nebraskans Against Corruption (NAC) sent out a direct mail piece in support of Troester, touting him as the candidate who “will stand up to NG&T  [sic] and stop the corruption.”

“NG&T” refers to the Nebraska Electric Generation and Transmission cooperative, who supported Troester’s opponent.  NEG&T supports an “all of the above” philosophy toward electricity generation that includes renewable sources when available but stops short of using them exclusively.

Advocates of maintaining a diverse base of electricity generation sources are derided as obstacles to innovation and dismissed out of hand by the environmentalist movement’s policy and funding hegemons, effectively shutting them out of the discussion.

“Decarbonizing” the production of electricity leaves no room for an “all of the above” viewpoint.  Adopting a “carbon neutral” system necessitates mothballing coal- and natural gas–fueled plants, and along with them any dissenting opinion.

Troester denied any knowledge of Nebraskans Against Corruption.  However, his denial is weakened, as his largest contributor (very nearly his only contributor), a group known as Nebraskans for Common Ground (NCG), is the sole funder of Nebraskans Against Corruption and a part of its leadership.

Along with a third group, Nebraskans for Fiscal Responsibility (NFR) this trio of “grassroots” independent committees have funneled hundreds of thousands of out-of-state dollars directly into Nebraska’s public power board campaigns. 

Dividing money from a central source among numerous “cutouts” is intended to give the impression of a larger network enjoying broad popular support, despite many such organizations existing almost entirely on paper alone.  The three “Nebraskans” groups are an example of this tactic, known as AstroTurfing.

Nebraskans for Common Ground has little online presence, with only a Facebook page launched in September of 2020 and dormant ever since.  A vibrant citizen action group would be expected to have far more points of engagement with its supporters than a social media page with eight followers.

Nebraskans Against Corruption spent a little over $7,200 of NCG money in support of Troester, along with nearly $7,000 for Mary Harding and another $4,800 for Sheila Hubbard.  All three were candidates for NPPD, with only Hubbard failing to win a seat.

NCG gave Troester more than $72,000 in cash.  Between the NCG and NAC, Troester received nearly $80,000 in cash and in-kind support to win a race that typically sees total expenditures closer to a quarter of that amount.

All three “Nebraskans” groups are under the care of Lincoln Electric System board member Chelsea Johnson, also deputy director for Nebraska Conservation Voters (NCV) (State Senator Eliot Bostar is the executive director), which is the state-level arm of the League of Conservation Voters, a Washington, D.C.–based environmentalist organization that receives a great deal of its funding from the San Francisco–based Sea Change Foundation. 

Each of Johnson’s groups was established entirely with LCV cash.

The Sea Change Foundation is presently the subject of congressional inquiry, suspected of channeling hundreds of millions of dollars from Russian interests (including the Russian government) to environmental activists in the United States to convince Americans to abandon reliable energy sources in the name of climate change.  The goal is to hamstring America’s economy with high energy prices, an unreliable power supply, and unpredictable economic outcomes.

The Troester campaign is but one of many influenced by Ms. Johnson’s careful management of LCV’s money.  Similar stories attach to other NPPD candidates, including current board members Charlie Kennedy, Mary Harding, Bill Hoyt, and Melissa Freelend, who, along with Troester, give NPPD a board stacked with five “clean energy advocates” courtesy of national and international money.

There were a few others unable to leverage their LCV campaign windfall into victory on the NPPD board, but Ms. Johnson found additional success on the OPPD board, backing current chair Amanda Bogner, current secretary Janece Mollhoff, and member Sara Howard with significant sums and in-kind contributions.

The amounts involved are indeed startling, especially when considering the relatively low profile of the races the money funded. 

According to filings with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, in the 2020 election cycle alone, nearly $600,000 was spent by the League of Conservation Voters (or their PACs) on Nebraska races for seats on the Public Power boards, a smattering of Democrat party groups, and a state Senate race (Eliot Bostar for Legislature).

Nearly all dollars passed through Nebraskans for Common Ground on its way to hand-picked candidates.

According to the Nebraska Conservation Voters website, they have “won 88% of their targeted races.”

Both NPPD and OPPD started community solar programs, and Nebraska saw more wind energy growth than most other states in 2018 and 2019. In November of 2019, OPPD set the state’s first decarbonization goal of net-zero carbon by 2050. 

“Elon Musk’s battle with Twitter was a major victory”

A Big Win in a Long War

Elon Musk’s battle with Twitter was a major victory. But it is only part of the eternal war between self-anointed elitists and the people over free speech.

By Thaddeus G. McCotter at American Greatness:

April 29, 2022

In the darkest days of World War II, after three arduous years of fighting for their very survival, Britain and the allies finally began to turn the tide. As recorded in the archives of the International Churchill Society, upon the victory over German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at El Alamein, Prime Minister Winston Churchill was urged to “ring out the bells” to herald their victory in “The Battle of Egypt.” 

Churchill demurred: “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

So, too, is it with Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter in the censorious Left’s war on free speech.

Musk intends to bring changes to the platform, reports Ryan Saavedra at the Daily Wire.com, including “loosening up the platform’s content moderators, making the platform’s algorithms open-sourced, eliminating bots, and authenticating real humans on the platform.” 

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO explained his reasons for the purchase: “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated . . . Twitter has tremendous potential—I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it.”

The Left was swift in averring that the protection and promotion of free speech is one of the few changes they don’t support. Typifying their apoplectic response is former governor of Vermont and past Democratic National Committee chairman, Dr. Howard Dean, who tweeted

Hi Twitterverse. Many thanks for the knowledge and sharing over the past ten years or so. If Musk takes over Twitter I will be off within a few hours. Might be just as well for my well being but I’ve learned a lot of valuable stuff from many of you. Thank you all. Howard

While Dean’s and others’ parting is sweet sorrow, this is by no means the Left’s “farewell. Adieu!” in their lust for censorship. Yes, Musk’s purchase of Twitter is (ostensibly) a major victory for free speech. But it is merely a victory in a battle. The Left’s war on free speech continues and, in the wake of Musk’s victory, will only intensify.

Consider this letter from former intelligence officials advocating the continuation of the collusion between government and Big Tech corporations to monitor and censor online speech. Barack Obama, whose administration fostered the collusion between government and Big Tech to stifle dissent, demanded more be done to censor online speech. And, of course, there is the Biden Administration’s establishment of the “Disinformation Governance Board” (a.k.a. “Ministry of Truth”) within the Department of Homeland Security to chill free speech and silence dissent. Refusing to be left out of this fetid morass of elitism, hypocrisy, and deceit, the corporate media, too, is all in on the censorship bandwagon.

Representative of the corporate media mindset is Martin Baron, who delivered the annual Compton Lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As reported in the MIT News, Baron’s obliviousness to irony and abject lack of self-awareness, indeed, epitomize an industry with a cratering public approval rating. 

The path we are on today is an invitation to ruin . . . Verifiable fact, objective reality, is now under determined, deliberate, cynical, and malevolent assault. I can think of no greater threat to our system of governance, or to the public good.

He is right, of course. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize the road to ruin is his beloved censorship. Because, in Baron’s mind, the problem is that you are too stupid to make your own decisions. Hold your nose and take in this patronizing passage that reeks of Baron’s elitist condescension: 

To get us back to a society firmly rooted in objective reality, I believe we will have to come up with answers to some urgent questions. Here are a few. What makes the human mind susceptible to falsehoods from nonexperts and resistant to evidence-based facts from people with expertise? How can we better signal to the public that knowledge is not static? . . . How can we get the public to better understand and weigh the risks they face in daily life? How do we better signal that there is a distinction between scientific facts and policy decisions? . . . How can reality-based professionals disseminate information in a manner that is more persuasive to more people?

Could one rationally expect better from Baron, who “has been one of America’s highest-profile newsroom leaders for the last two decades,” serving at the Miami HeraldLos Angeles TimesNew York TimesBoston Globe, and the Washington Post?

Nope.

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What happens when the underpinnings of that democracy are eroded? What happens when instead of debating policies, we find ourselves debating the most basic facts? What happens when we can’t even agree on what constitutes a fact? What happens when all those elements we rely upon for determining what is a fact—expertise, education, experience, and evidence—are routinely devalued, dismissed, and denied?

What Baron is asking on behalf of himself and the corporate media is “what happens to elitists like me when you peons won’t listen?” Odd, isn’t it, how the morally relative Left that believes truth is subjective now wants to determine objective verities? Odd, too, how their latest siren song is that we must make the world safe for elitism to save our democracy? 

Baron, Biden, Obama, and the (oxymoronically named) intelligence community’s recent expressions in support of censorship are all part of a coordinated campaign to stifle free speech and dissent to advance the Left’s agenda. Why? The Left loathes free speech because they cannot win an honest debate. Really, who in their right mind can defend policies that have failed for generations? Ironically, then, its war on free speech is lamentably one of the few instances where the Left has confronted and accepted reality. And, as they proclaim, the Left seeks to fundamentally and coercively transform not only America, but reality, itself.

Hence, as noted by Drew Allen in an exceptional American Greatness essay, “The Ruling Class’ Pantheon of Lies”: “Would-be totalitarians like Obama don’t want to prevent the flooding of the public square with raw sewage. They want the exclusive ability to flood the public square with sewage and prevent its cleanup.”

So, again, Musk’s battle with Twitter was a major victory; but it is only part of the eternal war between self-anointed elitists and the people over free speech. It is “the end of the beginning” in cleansing the public square from the Left’s sewage. Yet, as history instructs, any lapse in a free people’s commitment to the struggle for free speech—indeed, for all their God-given, constitutionally recognized, enumerated, and protected individual rights—will spur a recrudescence of the Left’s deceitful sludge into the public square and our private lives.

For, as the abolitionist Wendell Phillips warned Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society in 1852: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few.”

About Thaddeus G. McCotter

The Hon. Thaddeus McCotter is the former chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, current itinerant guitarist, American Greatness contributor, and Monday co-host of the “John Batchelor Show.”

THE DEM GANGSTERS AND THEIR NEWSPAPERS SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR THEIR FASCISM TO DESTROY DONALD J. TRUMP!

New York grand jury fishing expedition into Trump’s businesses ending without charges

JAZZ SHAW Apr 30, 2022 4:01 PM ET

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AP Photo/Chris Seward

Last year, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance convened a grand jury to investigate the business dealings of Donald Trump and his family in New York City. This was likely done largely at the bidding of then-Mayor Bill de Blasio who had vowed to “run Donald Trump out of town.” He was also likely spurred on by state District Attorney Letitia James who has been running her own series of fishing expeditions into Trump’s affairs. Vance was replaced this year by the new, infamously soft-on-crime Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, who took over the investigation. Now, with more than six months invested in this effort and countless witnesses and documents having been examined, the grand jury is reportedly about to be dismissed. And it appears that no charges will be filed Against Trump or his business associates. (Mediaite)

A six-month grand jury convened to hear evidence in the investigation into the business dealings of former President Donald Trump has reportedly ended, and no charges are expected to be filed as the investigation appears to be waning.

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg recently ceased sending evidence to jurors. Bragg inherited the investigation from his predecessor, Cyrus Vance.

Vance began the investigation following allegations Trump’s business lied about the value of its properties. It was alleged the Trump Organization did so for the purposes of leveraging tax breaks and receiving preferential loan treatment.

The WaPo described this development as a “criminal investigation that appears to be fizzling out.” And for once, I tend to agree with them.

Prosecutors had gone to the trouble of setting up a special “war room” in Manhattan for the specific purpose of gaming out the investigation into Trump. The WaPo reports that the room has now been emptied and abandoned. Also, Bragg stopped sending evidence and updates to the grand jury last month. A new jury is not expected to be empaneled.

So was this all just much ado over nothing? It’s certainly looking that way. The only thing they ever appeared to find as an excuse to bring charges against Trump was a claim that he had “inflated” the estimated value of his assets in an attempt to obtain more favorable loan and interest rates from lenders. He’s almost certainly done that, but so has pretty much every other large business in the country. Such things are rarely prosecuted.

There’s also the inconvenient fact that the statute of limitations for improperly reporting such business data is five years. Nearly all of the alleged incidents took place before Trump entered the White House, so most of them couldn’t be charged even if there was sufficient evidence and a will to do so.

This entire affair has, from the beginning, been nothing more than a fishing expedition as I suggested above. The very liberal city of New York is run by people who were enraged at Trump’s very existence once he ran for president, despite previously having very much enjoyed seeing all of the money and business he brought into the Big Apple. They were desperate to find something they could do to drag him into court and try to damage his reputation. This was all very similar to the aforementioned District Attorney Letitia James, who literally ran for office on a pledge to “go after” Donald Trump despite there not having been a single accusation of any wrongdoing on his part.

Now everyone will wind up shuffling their feet and looking rather embarrassed as the grand jury goes home and Trump remains in his new home state of Florida without facing a day in court. But I suppose this is what you get when you elect people who start investigations in search of a crime rather than investigating actual crimes which are reported. You can’t get Alvin Bragg to ask a judge to require bail for a suspect charged with a gun crime, but he was more than ready to lock up Donald Trump if he could find any excuse to do so. Sadly for Bragg, it looks like the star of that show won’t be coming home to perform for him.