BARR: Milley And Biden Together Have Crossed A Dangerous Constitutional Line

Recently disclosed actions by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley highlight a serious fraying of the civilian-military structure at the very core of our constitutional republic and also reveal a deep public misunderstanding of that relationship. Combined, these factors pose a danger the likes of which the country has not witnessed in modern times, if ever.

Our Constitution on this point is crystal clear. There is one commander-in-chief, and that person is the President of the United States. The decision to place the elected civilian leader of our country at the apex of the country’s armed forces was purposeful as a means of protecting the citizenry and the states from an overly-powerful national army that could undermine the constitutional order the Framers had so carefully constructed. Without this safeguard, the Constitution likely would not have been ratified in 1788.

Notwithstanding this constitutional clarity on military matters, inter-service rivalries and bureaucratic shenanigans have cropped up throughout our history. In modern times, these practical problems led Congress to pass two major reorganizations of the military command structure.

The first of these was the National Security Act of 1947, which clarified the chain of command from the president on down by establishing the Department of Defense headed by a cabinet-level Secretary.

Then, in 1986 to address problems that hampered the conduct of the Vietnam conflict, and serious inter-service rivalries thereafter, Congress passed the Goldwater-Nichols Act. This law further clarified the lines of authority for military decision making, and made absolutely clear that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had no operational control or command over any military units or individuals. His responsibility is advisory only — to the president, the secretary of defense and the National Security Council.

Any action by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to make or direct operational, military decisions is directly contrary to the law; in a word, unlawful.

Yet, to Milley and those who support him, which apparently includes Democrat leaders on Capitol Hill, many major journalists and even President Biden himself, these legal restrictions are trumped by their partisan hatred of Donald Trump. Thus, in the days immediately preceding the November 3, 2020 election, and continuing through Biden’s inauguration the following January, Milley took it upon himself to brazenly violate Article II of the Constitution, the National Security Act, the Goldwater-Nichols Act and his own oath of office.

Just days before the 2020 election, reflecting his personal concerns that President Trump’s behavior might cause China’s military to respond adversely, Milley apparently called his counterpart at the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to assure him that he – Milley – would make sure no such actions by the United States took place.

Subsequently, according to published accounts that Milley has not denied, in early January he directed that subordinate officers (over who Milley has no lawful command authority) inform him if they became aware of any orders with which Milley might disagree that concerned nuclear weapons decisions by Trump, presumably so he could countermand them.

By thus placing himself directly between the president and the Secretary of Defense, which is the person to whom the president issues operational commands as commander-in-chief, Gen. Milley was acting unlawfully.

Milley has not expanded on these allegations, beyond suggesting they were approved by the Secretary of Defense (which they were not) and that they reflected historical precedent (which they do not). Milley is scheduled to testify on Capitol Hill next week, but severe damage to the constitutional fabric of our country already has resulted.

In the immediate aftermath of these startling revelations, Biden not only declined to fire Milley, but actually expressed “confidence” in him.

A president who exhibits so little regard for the constitutional authority of the office he holds, not only demeans and undercuts his own presidency, but by his actions encourage further and possibly even more dangerous erosion of presidential authority by military leaders who may harbor policy disagreements with Biden’s successors. Journalists who deem such gross insubordination as practiced by Milley to be acceptable because it was predicated on action against Trump, exacerbate the constitutional divide.

Milley and Biden have opened a can of constitutional worms that truly will plague future presidents of both major political parties.

The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Milley.

It has been fascinating to follow the recent career of General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, an advisory body of military commanders that, by law, lies outside the chain of command.
It’s not clear Milley knows that.
Being a thoroughly modern major general, he seems to be more interested in blockading “white rage” than honing the fighting skills of our military.

So I was edified to see that Milley has put down some of his thoughts in a new Art of War. It is a very different sort of book from the Chinese classic by Sun Tzu.

It is not just that Sun Tzu was interested in winning wars and prevailing over the enemy. He also understood that his country had enemies and that it was important to be able to distinguish effectively between friends and enemies. “I will force the enemy to take our strength for weakness, and our weakness for strength,” he wrote in one famous passage, “and thus will turn his strength into weakness.”

Milley has turned that old-fashioned “binary” idea on its head—he deconstructed it, you might say, and implicitly showed how out of sync with our times poor old Sun Tzu is.

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Woke Florida College Students Chime in on How 9/11 Should Be Taught

Here’s yet another story demonstrating how concerned we should be for future generations. Campus Reform’s Ophelie Jacobson recently conducted a series of short interviews with students at the University of Florida, in which she asked how they believed 9/11 should be taught in the classrooms. The answers were predictable but still disturbing.

Students suggested that 9/11 lesson plans should keep “gruesome” facts out of the teaching, while also avoiding conversations about who was responsible for carrying out the attacks. One student said the curriculum should “avoid placing blame.”

Some of the students argued that professors should not discuss American exceptionalism while teaching about the terrorist attacks. One student insisted that “we don’t need more nationalism in this country…we need more healthcare.” She continued:

“I think they should focus on America’s faults, not how amazing we are and how we need to be superior because we’re not.”

One has to wonder how this particular person would enjoy living in Afghanistan or Somalia.

Another student chimed in, echoing the point that America should not be portrayed as the greatest nation. They said:

“In terms of propagating this idea that our nation is the best no matter what…I would agree that that should be avoided.”

American exceptionalism seemed to be a significant point of contention for these individuals. One of them claimed it is “rooted in a lot of colonist and imperialist notions of how we should treat other people.”

Another asserted that “it’s a dangerous mindset to teach young people that because I think that’s the reason why a lot of people grow up to be extremists and really nationalistic.”

This is the type of tripe that is being taught to students at many American universities. It is part and parcel of a mindset that insists we should focus almost exclusively on America’s faults instead of also acknowledging its strengths.

To these people, acknowledging the evil that led to the 9/11 terrorist attacks is not as important as people who engaged in bigotry against Muslim Americans after it occurred. It is also more politically expedient to focus on bigotry, because it allows them to promote their agenda, which involves demonizing America as much as possible. In the end, this is more about politics than anything else.

No, Mr. President, we won’t ‘move on’ from your Afghanistan disaster

“That was four or five days ago” is quickly becoming the permanent mantra of the Biden administration and its media allies. Journey back a mere two weeks, and you will recall President Joe Biden, in a home-field-advantage interview with George Stephanopoulos, saying those words about the harrowing scenes at the Kabul airport.

First of all, it wasn’t true — it had only been two days. More important, every promise the president made turned out to be false: He didn’t end the violence at the airport, and he didn’t maintain our troop presence until every last American was out.

Now more than 100 American citizens are stranded. In Afghanistan. Under the Taliban. Even journalists who worked for the US-government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe are abandoned to the vicious whims of the Taliban.

His bizarre temper tantrum of a speech on Tuesday, in which for some reason he scolded his critics and the American people, was meant to turn the page on the debacle he created in Kabul. And the president’s sycophantic pom-pom brigade in the media heralded his performance as “defiant!”

Well, that kind of tough talk might have made Corn Pop back down in Biden’s epic tale of standing up to gangsters at the local swimming pool. But the American people aren’t buying it.

Team Biden is now counting on the Afghan disaster to fall into the dustbin of news cycles past. Good luck. Americans won’t forget the shocking display of weakness they have been treated to for weeks now. They will never forget the image of Biden, slumped over, head resting in his hands, cowed under the questioning of Fox News’ Peter Doocy.

Even as his poll numbers sink off the table, Biden’s boosters insist this is just a blip. Nobody will remember, they convince themselves. Americans will get back to Netflix and TikTok. But there are moments that define presidencies, and Biden has found his.

It’s a close-up of his back as he refused time and again to answer for his actions that spilled American blood. This isn’t about the attention span of the American voter, it is about indelible images of a president who can’t be trusted.

Biden is demonstrably not trusted by our allies, even as he dams his ears to the cacophonous chorus of condemnation coming from them. He is not trusted by the Afghan soldier who literally saved his life in a rescue operation back in 2008, now trapped without help. He is not trusted by Gold Star families disgusted by his behavior with them. And he is losing the support of even those Americans who voted for him despite his having spent most of the 2020 campaign in his basement.

Today, Biden’s only hope is that his diplomatic leverage with the Taliban will force them to allow our citizens and allies to escape and usher in a kinder and gentler Islamic caliphate that hews to Western norms. The only problem with this is that the Taliban wants death to America more than it wants International Monetary Fund loans and invitations to UN cocktail parties. That the president and his band of Ivy League idiots don’t understand this is frankly amazing.

Biden has always promised to level with Americans, to shoot from the shoulder. He could have done that here. He could have said, “Boy, we made mistakes, and I’m to blame.” He could have demanded the resignations of the Cabinet secretaries who abetted his shameful decisions. But he didn’t, and he never will. That the buck stops with Joe Biden is a rhetorical tool for him. It is also a damning reality, one he and his legacy will never escape.

Next week, New Yorkers will once again be stopped in their tracks by the piercing twin columns of light commemorating the heroes of 9/11. Joe Biden hoped it would be a photo-op for his presidency, the man who ended the Forever Wars. But as our fellow citizens and allies sit beneath the scimitar swords of those dedicated to killing us, we feel no safety, no security. We are angry, and we should be.

No Mr. President. We will not move on. This is who you are. Forever. Not just four or five days ago.

This revisionary BS is what passes for ‘higher education’ these days.
And if your children aren’t instructed about the truth earlier, they’ll suck this up as if it was real history.

UNC course says WWII was ‘Japan’s attempt to roll back Euro-American colonialism.’

The UNC course syllabus also characterizes Japan’s military aggression during World War II as ‘the first global attack on white Anglo-American hegemony.’
As part of the curriculum, students will give presentations on topics that involve their classmates’ romantic lives as they relate to race.

The University of North Carolina is offering a class called “Global Whiteness,” which involves student presentations on Trump and interracial hookups on campus.

Campus Reform obtained the fall 2021 syllabus, covers the concept of race since the 19th century, but also contains what appears to be revisionist narratives of American history, specifically World War II.

Specifically, the syllabus appears to place blame for the Pacific Theater on America and the West. The course overview describes World War II in the Pacific as “the first global attack on white Anglo-American hegemony” and “Japan’s attempt to roll back Euro-American colonialism.”

A previous iteration of the course, taught in 2019, included a class session titled “Nasty, Angry White People,” according to an earlier syllabus reviewed by Campus Reform.

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Biden Makes Islamic Terrorism Great Again

For the past several years, global terrorism was in retreat and had dropped off the list of Americans’ fears entirely. Now, after the debacle in Afghanistan, it’s suddenly front-page news again. Will a revival of terrorism be President Joe Biden’s legacy?

Rewind the tape to 2015. ISIS – which emerged as a powerhouse after President Barack Obama’s decision to evacuate Iraq – was claiming huge swaths of land, to the surprise of Obama (who had dismissed ISIS as the “JV team”). And, not coincidentally, the number of terrorist attacks spiked. In 2013, there were four Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide. By 2015, the number had exploded to 106, three of them in the U.S.

In 2015, ISIS struck in Paris in a coordinated assault, killing more than 130 people, and the attack in San Bernardino, California, claimed 14 lives and injured 22. Earlier that same year, terrorists killed five people at a recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, two in Garland, Texas. In the next year came the ISIS-inspired mass shooting at a Florida nightclub that claimed 49 lives, bombs in New York and New Jersey, an attack in Ohio.

In December 2015, terrorism was at the top of the list of problems facing the United States, according to an ongoing Gallup poll, beating out the economy, government, and guns as chief concerns. Obama, meanwhile, kept telling the nation that defeating ISIS would be a long and arduous process, which was true only because Obama was micromanaging the effort.

Proof of that came when ISIS was routed just seven months after President Donald Trump took office. As we noted at Investor’s Business Daily, “Rather than talk endlessly about how long and hard the fight would be, Trump said during his campaign that, if elected, he would convene his ‘top generals and give them a simple instruction. They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS.’” Turns out he meant it.

Since then, the number of Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide has plunged. In the U.S., there have been only two acts of terrorism in the past four-plus years that were fueled by Islamic extremism. And in Gallup’s poll of top problems, terrorism stopped even registering. No one mentioned it in the July 2021 survey.

Then Biden, in an eerie repeat of the Obama years, decided to pull troops out of Afghanistan against the advice of many, after which the country quickly fell to Taliban terrorists – despite Biden’s promise that this wouldn’t happen. And then ISIS suddenly re-emerged, this time called ISIS-K.

Biden seems to think that ISIS won’t be a problem this time around because, in his view of the world, the Taliban and ISIS are “arch” enemies. Never mind that the Taliban is made up of terror specialists who now are equipped with some of the most advanced weaponry in the world.

Plus, it’s far from clear that the Taliban will help in any fight against ISIS-K. After all, the Taliban had previously released thousands of ISIS-K prisoners from the Bagram Air Force Base after the U.S. abandoned it.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Friday that “Well, I don’t know the exact number. Clearly, it’s in the thousands when you consider both prisons, because both of them were taken over by the Taliban and emptied. But I couldn’t give you a precise figure.”

Some of the prisoners released by their “arch enemies” may have been involved in the terrorist attacks in Kabul that claimed the lives of 13 U.S. military men and women.

In response to that, Biden has launched two drone attacks against ISIS-K planners. But the question going forward is this: Will the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan, the rebirth of ISIS, and the appearance of American weakness fuel another huge spike in Islamic terror around the world – including in the United States?

If, God forbid, that does happen, the cause will be easy to pinpoint. And Joe Biden will have presided over two major increases in global terrorism since 9/11.

The Danger of Biden’s Fragile Ego

After the tragic terror attacks in Kabul today, we are now venturing into extremely dangerous political waters that require wisdom, discipline, and strength… three attributes that our current American president is woefully lacking.

Yes, Joe Biden is a weak, narcissistic man. And he knows it. This is the danger.

When weak men want to prove to the world (literally to the world in this case) that they are not the weak men we all see that they are, there is a danger that they will present some grand gesture of strength to overcompensate for their weakness.

In the case of Joe Biden, this grand gesture of strength will be at the expense of young Americans who wear the uniform of our military. The very real danger right now is that this president will try to prove his courage and strength by exploiting the courage and strength of our troops by putting them in even greater danger than they already are due to this president’s weakness.

Look at who Joe Biden is.

He is a weak man who likes to talk tough.

Remember when he tried to show how he’d take on Donald Trump as the Democratic Party’s candidate? He was in the midst of a crowded primary for the nomination, and he needed to project strength. So how does a guy like Joe Biden do that?

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he would “beat the hell out of” President Donald Trump if they were in high school over his crude comments about women.

“When a guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it’ and then said, ‘I made a mistake,'” Biden said Tuesday of Trump, according to video of the remarks posted on Facebook by the University of Miami College Democrats.

“They asked me would I like to debate this gentleman, and I said no. I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him,'” said Biden, getting laughter and applause from the crowd at the University of Miami.

Yeah… Biden’s the tough guy, so he threatens to take Trump behind the gym and “beat the hell out of” him. This is what weak men do. They bluster. And Biden is such an obvious weakling that we all laughed about it.

Think about some of the other bizarre moments in Biden’s recent past.

The infamous “Cornpop” rant. The entire bizarre, rambling story was meant to project what a tough guy he is.

In Biden’s telling, CornPop was a “bad dude” who “ran a bunch of bad boys”, was armed with a straight-razor and backed by other gang members. And he was threatening to “cut” the future vice-president.

Instead of calling the police, Biden met CornPop and his cronies head on, having armed himself with a 6ft chain. After a standoff, CornPop backed down.

Do you see? Biden, the skinny white guy, confronted the bad dude who ran with a bad gang, and he made the scary black dude back down. Forget the inherent racist tropes built into Biden’s yarn, the whole point is to project an image of Biden as the tough guy.

He does this all the time.

Remember when a voter in Michigan confronted him during the campaign? Biden’s response was to tell the voter he was “full of sh**” and called him “a horse’s ass.”

How about when he called a voter a “damn liar” and challenged him to a push-up contest?

Time and time again throughout his career, Biden has defaulted to the faux tough-guy stance with over-the-top gritted teeth and threats of physical violence against a political foe to prove his point. It’s become a joke, but only because we all know what a buffoon he is and how his tough-guy posturing doesn’t square with his legacy as a weak man who will do what he is told and has never really shown personal strength in standing for anything.

This reflex to talk tough and threaten others is a revealing insight into the man’s psyche and his instincts when backed into a corner. When his weakness is exposed, he reacts with over-the-top tough-guy language and threats of violence. It’s how he always chooses to prove he’s strong.

This is who Joe Biden is and always has been.

The only difference is that now he has the constitutionally granted powers of Commander-in-Chief to use our military to back up his empty threats and to project the strength that he doesn’t have.

We must be wary of this.

America will instinctively and reflexively want to rally around any show of strength and retaliation that is framed as a response to these terror attacks. We must be wary that the response to these terrorists is about our dead Marines and the safety and security of Americans still in Afghanistan and not an egotistical reflex of a weak man who is backed into a political corner of his own making.

Weakness begets weakness, and poor decisions beget more poor decisions. Biden has always stood for one thing and one thing only: His own narcissistic political advancement. Until now, it was pathetic and pitiable. Now, it’s deadly.

We Have No President

Diplomacy was back. Leadership was back. The adults were back in the White House. That’s what we were sold. That’s what we were told. Liberal reporters basked in the afterglow. The political class breathed a sigh of relief. And the honeymoon commenced. Everything Joe did had an aura of being “historic.” The man got ice cream and this media establishment would go bananas. And then, reality hit. They forgot about our longest war in Afghanistan which was unraveling. And Joe’s inability to get a handle on the crisis shows that the White House has truly become the Home of the Merciful Rest. We have no leader.

Joe Biden still has not owned this crisis. He has yet to say, ‘I screwed up.’ He keeps saying the buck stops with me. Sure, that is until the images of desperate Afghans trying to get inside the airport at Kabul are blasted on the television sets. Then, it rapidly becomes ‘it’s Trump’s fault’ which is a talking point that his people tried to peddle but didn’t stick. It’s simply too pathetic to even repeat. What’s more disturbing is how this administration thought it was fine to simply ignore the collapse of Afghanistan. Maybe the liberal media wouldn’t cover it. It explains why Joe thought he could remain on vacation at Camp David. It’s why Jen Psaki tried to take the week off. It was only after EVERYONE slammed them that they poured their pina coladas out and returned to work. Yes, some serious adulting here—true profiles in leadership here.

The chaos in Kabul was simply too great to ignore. This is our longest war. We have operational infrastructure here—and it all went to crap rapidly. The thing is we knew this was going to happen. Did anyone really think the Afghan government whose credibility arguably died in 2009 when Hamid Karzai stuffed ballot boxes and committed widespread voter fraud, would last? The Taliban were going to make massive gains. We knew this. Days after Biden’s July 8 remarks where he said the Afghan government would remain and that this wouldn’t be like Saigon 1975, the State Department sent a memo painting a much different picture. It was obviously ignored.

Joe was so obsessed with leaving on August 31 that he didn’t have a plan to get 15,000 American citizens out of the country before then. It’s obvious. We’re scrambling. And we’re not doing anything to expand our perimeter or venture out to get our citizens out of harm’s way. We’re trusting the Taliban to behave. We’re trusting terrorists to behave. The adults are back in the White House, they said.

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Botched Pullout From Afghanistan Signals End of ‘Liberal World Order.’

If President Joe Biden’s no-questions-please press conference on the collapse of the American puppet government in Afghanistan and the end of the U.S. imperium in the Middle East felt like a funeral, that’s because it was.

The ignominious defeat, after 20 years of fruitless, half-hearted warfare, marks the end of the federal geopolitical Leviathan state that emerged during and in the aftermath of World War II.

Good riddance to it.

It’s fitting that the end should come with Biden, a lifelong, legislatively undistinguished congressman first elected from Delaware in 1973, and who served as President Barack Obama’s vice president from 2009 to 2017. Over the past seven months as president, however, he has ruined the economy, expanded the welfare state, encouraged anarchy, criminalized dissent, destroyed the First Amendment, elevated a superannuated apparatchik such as Dr. Anthony Fauci to a position of unconstitutional authority, and crippled patriotic Americans’ faith in their country and its ideals.

Biden couldn’t do it alone, of course. But with partners such as Gen. Mark Milley as the “woke” chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Antony Blinken at State; Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon; William Burns at the CIA, which just put another “O-fer” on the board by failing to accurately assess the situation in Kabul; and veteran Democrat operative Ron Klain as his chief of staff, he’s had plenty of help, particularly from the country’s malignant media, which fans the flames of “social justice,” gender studies, largely manufactured racial resentment, and sexual deviancy.

Biden did stumble upon one important truth in his speech: The United States should never again engage in fruitless wars of choice and nation-building against third-rate, largely imaginary countries in which we have no vital interests. He thus implicitly endorsed the position held by presidents as disparate as George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, and Dwight Eisenhower, and to whose sage advice about foreign entanglements and the ravenous military-industrial complex we should have been heeding more often, instead of international adventurers such as Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, both Bushes, Clinton, and Obama.

Their so-called liberal world order has given us the Bay of Pigs, the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War (which ended with Saddam Hussein still in control of Iraq), and the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Imagine a world designed and run by the Council on Foreign Relations and other interventionist think tanks, and you’ve pretty much got it.

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Afghanistan and the Cost of Having a ‘Normal’ President.

Consider this a letter of congratulations. I address it to Democrats everywhere who told us that Joe Biden would return the United States to a state of normality.

I address it also to those, many putative Republicans as well as Democrats, who fought tooth-and-nail against Donald Trump because—well, because he was not a “normal” politician.

Donald Trump issued mean tweets. He made fun of the media, often singling out reporters by name.

He was bombastic (more bombastic than President Joe Biden?).

He lied (again, did he lie more often than Biden?).

No thoughtful person believed there was anything to the fabricated gossip about Russian collusion in determining the 2016 election—which does not, of course, mean that that tissue of grotesque lies was not believed and assiduously circulated by many Big Names in the media.

Nor did it insulate Trump from being compared to virtually every tyrant in history (“literally Hitler,” remember?).

There is now a lot of hand-wringing about the performance of Joe Biden. I’ll give you a little then vs. now in a moment.

First, I want to raise the question of whether the people who helped put Joe Biden in office should have their hand-wringing licenses suspended.

There are several putatively conservative outlets—those that deserve Bill Kristol’s “elevated conservative” seal of approval—who worked overtime to disparage Trump.

They bought wholesale into the Jan.-6-riot-is-an-insurrection-threatening-“our-democracy” meme.

That is all looking as rancid as the Russian collusion delusion, but I haven’t heard any apologies.

Instead, we are treated to high-minded (by which I do not mean “intelligent”) analysis of Biden’s faults, blunders, mistakes.

I do wonder whether such people, who helped put Biden in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue deserve to be heard on the question of his liabilities.

I offer that for future consideration: should those who helped put Biden in office now deserve a hearing when they are complaining about his performance?

I confess that I do not listen to them.

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Did Iowa’s new gun law kill background checks?
In a surprise to no one who’s paying attention, doomsayers in the Democratic Party were wrong

As Iowa lawmakers debated a gun rights bill this past legislative session, critics issued some dire warnings. Without requiring Iowans to get government permission to buy and carry firearms, they said, the state would devolve into lawlessness.

Under consideration was a proposal to modernize Iowa’s gun permit system, making permits to carry or acquire guns optional.

“This bill bans or kills background checks in this state, there’s no doubt about it,” state Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames, said on the Iowa House floor this spring.

The Legislature passed the bill — known as “constitutional carry” or “permitless carry” — along party lines and it took effect July 1. Iowans now may purchase and carry weapons without a permission slip from the state.

In a surprise to no one who’s paying attention, the doomsayers in the Democratic Party were wrong. Weeks after the law went into effect, it turns out the government still is running a lot of background checks on Iowa gun buyers.

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When In Doubt, Blame A Republican For COVID Deaths

Throughout the COVID crisis, we’ve witnessed an amazing display of leftist logic. No matter the circumstances, Republicans were always at fault.

When the coronavirus first swept the nation in early 2020, the deaths were concentrated almost entirely in the country’s liberal enclaves: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania.

And we know a big reason: Democratic governors in those states panicked and ordered nursing homes to take sick elderly out of hospitals, even if they were positive for COVID. The result was that nursing homes turned into death camps.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was even caught red-handed lying about the number of nursing home deaths to cover up this tragedy.

Yet at the time, blame for every COVID death in the country was pinned on the supposed ineptitude of President Donald Trump (rather than communist China, where the blame ultimately rests).

That was almost exactly how candidate Joe Biden framed it, as a matter of fact. “If the president had done his job, had done his job from the beginning, all the people would still be alive,” Biden said during the presidential campaign, as the death toll reached 200,000. “All the people. I’m not making this up. Just look at the data.”

Trump did, to be sure, send lots of mixed messages about COVID. But so did Democrats.  Biden himself attacked Trump’s supposed xenophobia after he quickly slapped a travel ban from China – before we knew of any cases in the U.S. Top Democrats, along with the sainted Anthony Fauci, were publicly downplaying the disease early on, telling people not to worry, not to bother with masks, and get out and party.

Never mind. Now that Biden’s in charge, he and the rest of the liberal chorus is blaming … Republican governors for the current rise in COVID cases.

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The Panic Pandemic: Fearmongering from journalists, scientists, and politicians did more harm than the virus.

The United States suffered through two lethal waves of contagion in the past year and a half. The first was a viral pandemic that killed about one in 500 Americans—typically, a person over 75 suffering from other serious conditions. The second, and far more catastrophic, was a moral panic that swept the nation’s guiding institutions.

Instead of keeping calm and carrying on, the American elite flouted the norms of governance, journalism, academic freedom—and, worst of all, science. They misled the public about the origins of the virus and the true risk that it posed. Ignoring their own carefully prepared plans for a pandemic, they claimed unprecedented powers to impose untested strategies, with terrible collateral damage. As evidence of their mistakes mounted, they stifled debate by vilifying dissenters, censoring criticism, and suppressing scientific research.

If, as seems increasingly plausible, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 leaked out of a laboratory in Wuhan, it is the costliest blunder ever committed by scientists. Whatever the pandemic’s origin, the response to it is the worst mistake in the history of the public-health profession. We still have no convincing evidence that the lockdowns saved lives, but lots of evidence that they have already cost lives and will prove deadlier in the long run than the virus itself.

One in three people worldwide lost a job or a business during the lockdowns, and half saw their earnings drop, according to a Gallup poll. Children, never at risk from the virus, in many places essentially lost a year of school. The economic and health consequences were felt most acutely among the less affluent in America and in the rest of the world, where the World Bank estimates that more than 100 million have been pushed into extreme poverty.

The leaders responsible for these disasters continue to pretend that their policies worked and assume that they can keep fooling the public. They’ve promised to deploy these strategies again in the future, and they might even succeed in doing so—unless we begin to understand what went wrong.

The panic was started, as usual, by journalists. As the virus spread early last year, they highlighted the most alarming statistics and the scariest images: the estimates of a fatality rate ten to 50 times higher than the flu, the chaotic scenes at hospitals in Italy and New York City, the predictions that national health-care systems were about to collapse. The full-scale panic was set off by the release in March 2020 of a computer model at the Imperial College in London, which projected that—unless drastic measures were taken—intensive-care units would have 30 Covid patients for every available bed and that America would see 2.2 million deaths by the end of the summer. The British researchers announced that the “only viable strategy” was to impose draconian restrictions on businesses, schools, and social gatherings until a vaccine arrived.

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A Ministry of Fear Rules America.

Back in 1943, the British novelist Graham Greene published “The Ministry of Fear,” a thriller set in World War II London involving mercy killings, exploding suitcases, seances, Luftwaffe air raids, outright murder, insane asylums and undercover Nazi spies. It was successfully made into a movie the following year starring Ray Milland as the troubled protagonist, and directed by Fritz Lang, himself a refugee from Hitler.

Both novel and film capture the paranoid atmosphere during that troubled time, with danger lurking even in something as innocent as a cake. Whom or what can you trust? As the world falls apart, and the future is shrouded in threat and mystery, society devolves into a dog-eat-dog struggle for survival, in which neither the old verities nor the old pieties obtain any longer.

Welcome to America, 2021. In just a few short months since the mysterious elevation of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., inexplicably elected the 46th president of the United States, our country has undergone a stunning rapid devolution from a confident, economic powerhouse to a shabby debtor nation afraid of its own shadow.

The American Ministry of Fear, however, is not located in the Chancellery of the National Socialist German Workers Party in Berlin, but in every petty federal, state, and local bureaucracy, doctor’s office, TV news station, big-city newspaper, college and university in the country.

From the start of the COVID-19 manufactured panic, these agents of influence have waged a relentless war on the American psyche. And now, despite their miniscule majorities in Congress, they rule with an iron fist that brooks no demurral.

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Just to point out, if and when a ‘real’ vaccine – not this experimental genetic potion that’s never before been authorized for use in humans– passes the standard FDA approval regimen and is available, I’ll consider getting the shot. Until then, all this hypocritical and hyperbolic going on serves to confirm nothing more than the similar line about global warming: “When the elites start personally acting like it’s a real emergency, I’ll think about considering as such.”

The establishment has squandered its credibility, which is why its demand that everyone take the shot is getting shriller and the attempts to force people more punitive. Imagine if they had been honest from the beginning. Imagine if they had been held accountable. But to do that, you have to imagine having a ruling class that doesn’t suck. And that’s more imagination than anyone can muster.

Imagine If They Hadn’t Lied to Us for the Last 18 Months

Everybody wrap something around your face again even though they said you wouldn’t need to if you got vaxxed! But they didn’t lie – no, apparently a bunch of people – and not just those evil white nationalist-Christian-gun-Jesus-flag people – are refusing to get the vaccine, and the reason is that they are moral defectives somehow in thrall to Tucker Carlson’s Svengali-like powers of persuasion. You see, the people who won’t get it are stupid people who hate science because they refuse to trust the people who have spent the last year-and-a-half lying to them.

I don’t blame those folks a bit.

Let’s try a thought experiment. Let’s imagine our ruling class was not as utterly corrupt, dishonest, incompetent and downright stupid as it manifestly is. I know that’s hard, but go with me.

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Editorial O’ The Day

Don’t make gun owners pay for crimes they don’t commit

The city of San Jose in California recently made history, but not for anything good. Gun-owning residents will soon be required to pay a premium price to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Mayor Sam Liccardo, a gun control advocate, recently announced a new “innovative” ordinance in response to the tragic mass shooting that befell the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) rail yard in May.

The new law will mandate gun owners pay liability insurance and an annual fee for costs incurred by gun-related violence. And at what cost? The freedom to exercise their right to keep and bear arms legally without being burdened with arbitrary financial burdens.

California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, with 107 restrictive provisions in the books. Last year, there were over 2,220 homicides in the state — a 31% increase from 2019.

Law-abiding gun owners shouldn’t be held criminally or civilly liable for crimes they don’t commit. Since these gun owners aren’t responsible for these acts of violence, how can they be responsible for the wrongdoing of others?

Much to the chagrin of gun control advocates, responsible gun owners already take appropriate precautions and practice gun safety. Across the Golden State, gun owners safely store their firearms and teach their peers to handle firearms with care. How does requiring gun owners to obtain personal insurance for ownership prevent crimes they aren’t responsible for?

What’s “innovative” about punishing innocent people for crimes perpetrated by others and pricing them out of firearms ownership?

If politicians were serious about tackling crimes and preventing future mass shootings, they wouldn’t direct law enforcement to target innocent residents. Law enforcement is already overextended and short-staffed tackling crime. Deploying police to enforce such an ordinance would waste taxpayer dollars and raise Fourth Amendment concerns.

The San Jose mayor erroneously claims purchasing insurance will incentivize safe gun ownership like car insurance does safe driving. He further insists insurance will cost “a couple dozen dollars”—though an exact figure has yet to be determined. Those who are unable to afford it, he said, will have the fee waived, which raises questions about how necessary it is in the first place.

An “innovative” approach to tackling crime won’t incur added costs and make legal gun ownership a privilege. Why? Firearms ownership isn’t conditional on paying the equivalent of a poll tax; it’s a sacred, inalienable right enshrined in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution.

Imposing arbitrary fees on this basic right is not only draconian, it’s discriminatory.

Ordinances like this won’t address illegal activity involving firearms—especially rising violent crime rates befalling the state’s largest cities. Instead, these proposals will price out low-income, minority residents from the market instead making gun ownership a luxury — not a right. That’s not innovative; that’s regressive.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a trade association representing firearms manufacturers, estimates consumers spent an average of $600 on firearms last year. The additional fees that’ll be incurred by this lopsided ordinance will make gun ownership more expensive than it should be.

Mayor Liccardo concedes in an op-ed for CNN, “Skeptics will say that criminals won’t comply. They’re right.”

With increased demand for firearms and ammunition across the country, it’s ill-advised to discriminate against law-abiding residents, including California gun owners, who desire to protect themselves and their loved ones from the very criminals laws should be targeting.

At the end of the day, this sweeping initiative shouldn’t be exported statewide. Policies like it will grossly infringe on the rights of citizens and make firearms ownership a privilege for the wealthy, privileged few.

Tackling crime shouldn’t come at the expense of our civil liberties.

Destroying Our Military from Within

President Joe Biden and the left are doing what no adversary has ever accomplished: destroying America’s military. What has never happened from without is now happening from within. Our armed forces’ ability to deter war and conduct military operations in defense of our nation is being undermined by those responsible for readiness to accomplish these missions.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act. It requires, inter alia, that orders for military operations must pass from the president, through the secretary of Defense and then directly to the commanders of our 11 unified combatant commands. The Joint Chiefs of Staff — the generals and admirals who head each branch of our armed forces — are not in this “chain of command,” but they are responsible for ensuring combatant commanders have adequately trained personnel, weapons and equipment to accomplish their geographic and functional missions. They are also required to provide advice to the president and Defense secretary on strategy, policy, training and readiness.

Today, the readiness of our armed forces is being adversely affected by indoctrinating our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines in politically correct tripe such as critical race theory, systemic racism and “white privilege” in the military. Retention of junior and midgrade officers is dropping like a stone. Reenlistments are down. Recruiters are waiving standards once deemed important. Yet, the Joint Chiefs are going along to get along.

In recent congressional testimony, JCS Chairman Gen. Mark Milley was asked why U.S. military personnel are being required to learn critical race theory. In his response, our most senior military officer claimed he read books by Mao, Marx and other enemies of freedom. So did we — because we wanted to know more about our adversaries.

There are two serious problems with the general’s response. First, our troops are not learning critical race theory voluntarily. They are forced to do so. Second, critical race theory is not being offered as evidence of how our enemy thinks. It is being presented as what’s wrong with our country.

Members of Congress should ask all our senior military officers how teaching critical race theory improves combat ability, preparedness or morale? If it doesn’t, why teach it? How does teaching our troops that the country they swore to serve and protect is evil and unworthy of their loyalty build esprit de corps? How can troops in combat know their fellow warriors have their backs when they have been taught to distrust each other on the basis of race?

In our forthcoming book, “We Didn’t Fight for Socialism,” we asked more than 500 veterans why they volunteered to serve in uniform and go in harm’s way when necessary. Nearly all gave virtually the same response. They joined, served and risked life and limb because they love our country. For them, America means freedom, liberty, opportunity and self-determination; principles encouraged throughout their service. Now, thanks to Biden and the top brass at the Pentagon, our troops are learning just the opposite.

When we served in the Marine Corps, semper fidelis — “always faithful” — was our motto. To this day, semper fidelis is more than a slogan. For us, it is a way of life. We were taught that it meant to always be faithful to God, country, Corps and each other. Fast forward to the present. Our troops are now being asked to be faithful to a leftist belief system that denies God, tears down our country, undermines military preparedness and makes service members distrustful of each other. Biden and his leftist puppet masters are doing what no foreign enemy has been able to do: destroy our military. Sadly, they are being assisted by weak generals and admirals playing politics.

If You Want to Support Women’s Rights, Then Support their Right to Defend Themselves

I remember what it felt like the first time I had my sense of newly built security ripped from me. I had just turned 19. I was so young. I was just a kid. Like most young people, I never thought that it could happen to me.

At the time I was in the military, living off base in Missouri with a female roommate. After about a week of noticing things were “off” in the house (the back door would be unlocked, then open physically, etc.) I brought it up at work.

Some of my co-workers said I was working too much. They even suggested I go speak to someone in mental health… but I kept listening to my gut instincts as I have done my entire life. That ultimately is what ended up keeping me safe.

Shortly after informing my work about what was happening in our house. The break-in happened. The local police got involved, the base got involved… everyone knew. As a result, my commander ordered us back on base because that was all he could do to keep us safe.

My roommate and I had been targeted and as a result, the only way to avoid us being put directly in danger was to be ordered onto a military installation with 24/7 security.

Soon after, I received orders to move down to Florida. I had gotten married and thought after moving I’d feel safer.

I was wrong. In fact, things got worse. Even at home, I didn’t feel safe. I had no way of defending myself. When it got dark outside, I’d go around making sure every door and window was locked. I couldn’t even sleep through the night. I had regressed to an almost child-like state of being afraid of the dark. I felt weak, afraid, even violated.

My husband was getting ready to deploy, so he was gone most of the time. I bought a big dog, but that didn’t help. I was suffering from a form of trauma, and it was a major problem.

But then a friend, a technical sergeant, explained to me what a concealed-carry permit was — and it changed my life forever.

In the military and law enforcement, guns are a tool that we all learn to use that allows us to defend ourselves. There is a misconception in parts of our society that label guns as “dangerous, evil weapons for destruction,” but that wasn’t my experience.

I quickly applied for my concealed carry and I was (until recently) able to sleep through the night again. I felt at that time that I could defend myself. I finally felt like myself — a young woman able to live her life to the fullest.

It was a wonderful transformation — one that I expanded on recently in an episode of my podcast, “Luna Talks with Anna Paulina.”

With my sense of security restored, I felt I had to share my story. I wanted people, especially women, to know they had an alternative way of dealing with fear and trauma. Little did I know this endeavor would cause such backlash, especially on social media.

My civilian friends didn’t understand why I needed a gun, even though I went through a traumatic experience. And these women’s clothing companies with which I was working wanted to cut ties with me after I began posting online about my story and using firearms.

The strangest response was people saying they didn’t want me to be political. I didn’t think I was being political. To me, the Second Amendment isn’t a political issue. It’s a matter of basic protection. I was simply sharing experiences to get people to realize that self-defense is an option. Was I not exhibiting the ultimate support for women by empowering them to feel safe and secure?

Yet I was being called a “terrorist” and “a baby killer.” But I didn’t care. I knew there were people out there who would benefit from my story.

This issue is especially relevant after COVID-19. According to the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice, incidents of domestic violence spiked more than 8 percent nationwide in 2020 following lockdown orders. And mind you, these were just the reported incidents; so many victims don’t come forward.

What I went through was only a fraction of what many women endure. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, one out of every six American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. What a sad and horrifying statistic.

Yet self-defense for women isn’t promoted in mainstream society — especially not in our schools — and there’s often a stigma around firearms (I know firsthand from the demonization I endured).

But if we truly want to empower women to be victors, not victims, shouldn’t we teach women how to defend themselves? Shouldn’t we demonstrate for girls how to feel secure and confident in a cruel world? Isn’t that a better long-term strategy than, say, decrying the patriarchy during a college seminar?

So, let me conclude with this: Thank God for the Second Amendment.

I want to pass this message on to people everywhere — especially women and victims of domestic violence. Because if we truly want to help, we should be empowering them, not hindering their God-given right to self-defense.

A Truly Fraudulent Presidency

Earlier in Joe Biden’s presidency, we wondered if his wife Jill was running the White House, and in effect the country. It’s still not out of the question, but it’s beginning to look more like Chief of Staff Ron Klain, unelected and not confirmed by the Senate, is the real president. This should make all Americans uncomfortable.

Klain, who was the vice president’s chief of staff when Biden held that office, has been called “the man executing Biden’s mission” (which seems to be carrying out the Cloward-Piven model that advocates manufacturing a political and economic crisis so that politicians can accrue more power in order to fix it, and use that power to kill off capitalism). He’s also been called Biden’s “co-pilot and fixer.”

Yes, those descriptions could be used to define the chief of staff for any president of any party. There are times, however, and this appears to be one of them, when a chief of staff wields too much authority.

Klain is no statesman. He’s a confirmed “political animal.” Anyone who thinks that’s a benign label that could be applied to any Washington operative, consider that the Democrats are doing their best to transform America from a civil society into a political society, where government intervention into private affairs is the rule rather than the rare and unwanted exception.

While the Washington press corps and much of the U.S. media are playing the role of Biden’s publicists, the London Times reports, in what has to be an accidental indictment of the White House arrangement, that Klain is “the driving force behind the actual president,” an “operator who knows the business of government inside out.” The reporter who wrote the story, one Sarah Baxter, wants readers to meet “President Klain,” who also happens to be Biden’s “brain.”

Klain, she writes, is “powerful, confident … trusted to exercise power and take decisions, he keeps his boss informed while lifting the burden of office from him.” Making life easier on Biden is necessary because the president is “pacing himself” on the job so he can run again in 2024 – as an 81-year-old.

Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has met with Biden since he’s become president and from what he’s seen, he believes “his staff is driving him hard left.” Of course, staff members have always influenced the elected officials they work for. In a sense, staff is policy. But what we’re seeing today, outside of the Wilson administration, might be unprecedented in U.S. history. (Though there’s no question that Barack Obama was firmly in the Svengalian grip of adviser Valerie Jarrett.)

In a number of ways, Biden is not the man voters were told they were electing. Not only has he likely abdicated to Klain, he has divided the country far more than united it. He’s not the adult back in charge, as the Donald Trump haters said he would be, nor is he the centrist the party and media promised.

“In short, Biden is pushing more change than some of his voters want. The change they wanted was to get rid of Trump, not elect a new FDR,” says Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York.

Obvious to all is that Biden is cognitively challenged, not the “sharp” alternative to the mad-tweeting Donald Trump. Biden needs a whisperer, someone to guide him through his foggy moments. He’s ended up though with someone who has taken him by the hand away from the middle and down the road to progressive disaster. Whether it’s Klain, First Lady Jill, or someone still unnamed is irrelevant.

The point is the Biden presidency, if not his election, too, is a fraud, an exercise in stagecraft. Someone has his or her hand in his back and is projecting their voice so it will sound like his.

Op-Ed Points Out Disconnect Between Anti-Gun Beliefs And Actions

Anti-gun groups are having a ball these days. Not only does their preferred party control the House, the Senate, and the White House, but a surge in violent crime is making people very, very nervous. The fact that there’s also been a gun-buying surge has only made them giddier.

However, a recent op-ed over at the New York Daily News about the surge in violence brought up an interesting point.

The recent spike in gun violence has brought New York City to a genuine inflection point in criminal justice policy. It’s not yet an existential crisis. While the statistics are bad, they do not point to an all-out loss of control of our streets like the 1980s and early ’90s. But the decisions made by policymakers and voters over the next weeks will determine whether we risk losing control again.

Despite claims to the contrary out of City Hall, the social anxiety of the pandemic is not primarily responsible for the rise in gun violence. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers faced desperate economic hardship and unprecedented disruption. Very few of them shot their neighbor or robbed a bodega at gunpoint. For every young man who has chosen to engage in gun violence, thousands of his peers are looking for work and going to school.

Gun violence is not about poverty. Poor people are not criminals. This current wave of violence is about score-settling. It’s about criminal actors taking advantage of fewer witnesses on the street and the concealing of identities behind masks. It’s about removing the disincentives to criminal behavior, including pretrial detention for violent crime. It’s about the ill-conceived reduction of the NYPD’s gun suppression capabilities with the elimination of anti-crime teams.

Progressive reformers and law enforcement officials agree on almost nothing, except that a very small number of offenders commit the vast majority of crime. Identify and contain these offenders, and crime drops. They also agree that gun crime spreads as quickly as COVID. Each shooting carries the near-certain risk of retaliation. If not contained, this contagion spreads throughout entire neighborhoods, disproportionately impacting communities of color. At-risk groups of young men are uniquely susceptible to the luring excitement of gang life. Call them gangs or crews, they travel together to adjacent neighborhoods or housing developments, shoot at other young men, and flee home. The rival group then retaliates. In some neighborhoods, this back-and-forth continues for generations.

Note the bolded line.

It’s interesting to me that progressive reformers and law enforcement officials can agree on almost nothing except that the number of actual offenders is small. It’s interesting because another thing they agree on, at least in large urban centers, is that gun control is needed.

In other words, the anti-gun jihadists know that the total number of bad actors is minute, yet they still want to enact restrictions on the population as a whole because of the acts of a small handful of people. They know this is the case. They know that law-abiding citizens are law-abiding. They know that the vast majority are law-abiding.

And still, these anti-gun zealots want to infringe on our rights.

Honestly, this doesn’t surprise me, but it does infuriate me. It would be different if they believed there were more criminals than there actually are. That’s not the case, though.

They know it’s not all of us. They know it’s just a tiny handful and I suspect they also know they get their guns through illicit means. They know all of this and still they push their anti-gun agenda.

They know. They just don’t care.