“2020 was an ugly year and so far, 2021 doesn’t look any prettier.
With mass lockdowns still enacted, businesses failing by the hundreds of thousands, rising suicides and drug overdoses, and a pandemic that still has yet to subside, things may seem bleak.
Surprisingly, the 1984 comedy classic “Ghostbusters” can teach us a lot about the situation we’re stuck in and how we can get out of it.
Hint: More government is not the answer.”
“We need an open digital commons, where individuals maintain ownership of their own identities and where speech is highly resistant to political pressure.”
One rule of thumb is that all things being equal (which they usually aren't), the side working to control who gets to speak is the one you should worry about.“Thou shalt not dissent” should a be red flag with a siren.
“Much like segregation was legal while being illegal, if the judiciary is wrong or refuses to rule, what barrier is there to tyranny except breaking the law? An eternal constitutional paradox”
“The government is a big trap designed to keep people in its orbit.
You are supposed to work within the context the government provides to live your life, make money, and affect social change.
Or you're at least supposed to be too afraid of the government to step out of line.
But even rebelling against the government directly is part of the trap. It means you have accepted the importance of the government-- that it is capable of controlling you.
Harry Browne identified different "traps" like these that we fall into in his 1973 book, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.”
“Neither Trump nor Biden is likely to concede, forcing SCOTUS to act.”
“Should Latinos see America as a land of systemic racism, xenophobia, and immigrant children in cages? Emma Jimenez, an independent journalist who immigrated from Peru, debunks some common myths. She also shares why becoming an American citizen was the most rewarding experience of her life.”
“What do Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want America to look like? They say they want America to emulate Scandinavian countries like Denmark and Sweden. But do their proposed policies reflect that? Or do they point down a darker path? Debbie D’Souza, a native Venezuelan and political commentator, investigates.”
"I believe that I'm channeling my ancestors," says Second Amendment activist Brent Holmes, who carries an assault rifle to protests in Richmond, Virginia.
“Wonder Woman 1984 will be hitting theaters (or streaming services) soon. Gal Gadot was fantastic as Diana in 2017’s Wonder Woman, but… she didn’t get her worldview quite right. She had to learn a powerful lesson about how humanity actually works, and it’s time to explain what Wonder Woman got wrong and why it matters to you.It’s tempting to oversimplify both great things and terrible things by assigning responsibility to one important player. Diana was convinced that Ares, the God of War, was the mastermind behind World War I. So, logically, killing Ares meant ending the war.Unfortunately, Diana found out that it just doesn’t work that way.
And whether you’re celebrating or blaming Obama, Trump, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden or Jeff Bezos, chances are it’s a lot more complex than that. Understanding that it’s not as straightforward as ‘your guy = good, their guy = evil’ is something Diana had to come to terms with… and she almost got there.”
“Nestride Yumga experienced real corruption and civil rights abuses in Africa. Then she came to America, the land of opportunity, education, and freedom. So when Black Lives Matter protests declared America guilty of systemic racism and injustice, she knew she had to defend her adoptive country.”
“The documentary "Coup 53" explores how a seemingly easy regime change wrecked U.S. foreign policy for decades.”
“It sounds like Disney and the other theme parks in California have had enough. It sounds like they are starting to put some pressure on the state to get some REAL guidelines for reopening parks. CAPA, an organization representing California theme parks, has sent a formal request for these guidelines so that Disneyland and other parks can prepare for reopening...like nearly everything else in the country.”
“A huge amount of progress has taken place that a lot of people just don't take into account, especially smart people who are attending to the real problems of the world," says Ronald Bailey, Reason's science correspondent and the coauthor, with Marian Tupy of HumanProgress.org, of Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.For instance: In 1990, the World Bank estimated that about 1.9 billion people lived in "absolute poverty," defined as surviving on the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $1.90 a day. By 2018, the number had dropped to 650 million, even as global population increased. If current trends continue, less than 5 percent of the planet's population will be in absolute poverty by 2030.Despite ongoing problems in the Amazon and elsewhere, forests are expanding on net across the planet. "If you look broadly across the entire globe," says Bailey, "what you find is forests have expanded since the 1980s to an area that's about the size of Alaska and Montana combined, basically 800,000 square miles of land." And the world is getting safer, too, especially for poor people. "The chance of a person dying from a natural catastrophe—earthquake, flood, drought, storm, wildfire, landslide, or epidemic—has declined by nearly 99 percent since the 1920s and 1930s," write Bailey and Tupy.Other positive trends include continuing economic growth and rising living standards around the globe, far fewer food shortages and famines, a decline in the number of autocratic regimes, and a reduction in major armed conflicts.Bailey tells Reason that this massive ongoing progress is largely ignored because politicians and the media have an interest in foregrounding bad news—and because human beings, at least in the past 200 years, tend to take progress for granted. He says that's a mistake. Progress is the result of implementing better ideas for organizing society. "Basically," he says, "the Enlightenment happened." With that came the rise of representative government, property rights and markets, and especially the free speech and open inquiry that are essential for technological and social innovation.
“Bridget Phetasy on why Trump and Biden fail to inspire and how new media are reshaping politics.Until the Republicans and Democrats start appealing to voters like her, they will have to eke out tighter and tighter victories by scaring partisans with insane claims. Despite that, Phetasy is optimistic because she thinks new media are staging a conversation that speaks to politically homeless independents.”
“It's a scary time in America. In the last few weeks, we've seen police violence, protests, riots, snitch lines... all framed by the backdrop of a viral pandemic. It's not hard to see that a lot of people are hurting and angry. It's also not hard to understand why.
“The vice-presidential candidate opportunistically painted the site's co-founders as villains when they were actually helping law enforcement to catch sex traffickers.”
“Biden picked the only VP candidate whose record on police and criminal justice reform is just as terrible as his own.”
“Oprah Winfrey is a self-made African American woman with a net worth of over $2 billion USD, and she has now taken the opinion that America is best viewed through the lens of a racial caste system. In this understand of America, even the poorest white still has innate white privilege and an advantage over other groups. But is her own success story possible in such an imagined world?”
“As families flock to virtual charter schools and "pandemic pods," California blocks the money from following the child. ”
“The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, also known as the EARN IT Act, is a dangerous bill introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. If it becomes law, it will end private communication on the internet.The EARN IT Act is part of a long history of using sex panics to expand state power. If we fall for it this time we may effectively end freedom of expression and open communication on the internet as we know it.EARN IT threatens website providers’ and other intermediaries’ ability to provide end-to-end encrypted services. End-to-end encryption is critical to ensuring private communication and often personal safety.Like so many of the save-the-children bills before it, EARN IT will not combat child sexual exploitation, but it will be the largest expansion of state surveillance powers in recent history, eliminating private communication on the internet."Tip of the hat to The Honest Courtesan.
“American doctors are holding a “White Coat Summit” in Washington, D.C. to address “a massive disinformation campaign” by the media about coronavirus.
Dr. Stella Immanuel has successfully treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients using Hydroxychloroquine. This broadcast went viral and Facebook DELETED this video off our page. This censorship is out of control!
Watch as Dr. Immanuel tackles the media's narrative about Hydroxychloroquine.”
The Decalogue isn't universal. It never has been. Insisting that it applies to everyone is just another way to control the another's behavior. After all, how can they dare question if it's "God's will?"Adapted from a discussion at another site.
Despite the best of intentions, the U.S. Department of Education is fundamentally illegal.A short one adapted from a discussion at another site.
Funny how all this was predicted in a 2010 Rockefeller Foundation report. It's almost like there is a master plan.
“This song was played frequently on KVIL in Dallas back in 1980. Until today, I had feared that this song was lost. When i came across a recorded performance today I was elated! It is a wonderful song of patriotism that this country really needs! Please watch it and share it with your friends and help revive the song!”
“This 4th of July, when you watch the fireworks, will you think about the Declaration of Independence?
We should. After all, the holiday is meant to honor the Declaration. It, and the Constitution it led to, help keep us free.”
“Dennis Prager has traveled all over the world. But at the end of every trip, he returns home with a new appreciation for America. Why? Because no country is more open, more generous, and has done more for the cause of freedom than America has.”
“Breaking it down is very simple to understand.”
“Our lovely and unbiased healthcare professionals are here to explain why your job and family are stupid and not a worthy reason to put lives at risk, but rubbing shoulders with 10,000 strangers to shake signs and burn cars is!”
“If you’ve been to New York, you’ve probably visited Central Park. But there’s a part of its story you won't see.
It’s a story that goes back to the 1820s, when that part of New York was largely open countryside. Soon it became home to about 1,600 people. Among them was a predominantly black community that bought up affordable plots to build homes, churches and a school. It became known as Seneca Village. And when Irish and German immigrants moved in, it became a rare example at the time of an integrated neighborhood.
Everything changed on July 21, 1853. New York took control of the land to create what would become the first major landscaped park in the US -- they called it “The Central Park.”
In the Vox series Missing Chapter, Vox Senior Producer Ranjani Chakraborty revisits underreported and often overlooked moments from the past to give context to the present. Join her as she covers the histories that are often left out of our textbooks. Our first season tackles stories of racial injustice, political conflicts, even the hidden history of US medical experimentation.”
“Protestors who have formed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (or CHAZ) in Seattle have released a series of demands, which include, among other things, free housing, college and socialized medicine.”
“In the years following the Civil War, Booker T. Washington devoted his life to helping blacks transition out of slavery and into freedom. While his ideas were never fully embraced in his time, today, more than a century later, they remain strikingly relevant. Derryck Green from Project 21 explains.”
“His famous line that a "riot is the language of the unheard" is often taken out of context.”
“The 2020 graduating class faces challenges unlike any class before it. Uncertainty looms at every turn: job prospects, social interactions, and many other aspects of “normal life” once taken for granted. So what lessons can be learned from this unparalleled situation? Dennis Prager offers three.”
DC Lockdown – America’s Militarized Inauguration
“Wow, are they that afraid of the American people?”
IT’S SCIENCE, BRO: ‘Experts’ Now Claim You Should Wear TWO Masks, Not One
“Joe Biden, Mitt Romney, and Tom Cruise do it, and you should want to be cool and scientific like them!”
Biden will be inaugurated amid high security, before a 'Field of Flags' instead of people
NW adds: This will not look good. I think part of the problem is not security, but that people aren't excited by Biden and Harris. This may be the least bad alternative they could come up with.
“Black supremacy is as dangerous as white supremacy, and God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men and brown men and yellow men. God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race and the creation of a society where all men will live together as brothers, and all men will respect the dignity and the worth of all human personality.”
The doctor who denied COVID-19 was leaked from a lab had this major bias
“US Right to Know, an investigative public health nonprofit group, decided to look into the matter further. Through a public records request, they were able to obtain emails that show The Lancet statement was organized by employees of EcoHealth Alliance, which in turn has close ties with the Wuhan lab.
Judge releases Utahn charged in U.S. Capitol riot despite objections
“Restrictions ordered for John Sullivan, who prosecutors say ‘thrives at inciting chaos’”
Democratic politicians shift positions on lockdowns as Biden inauguration looms
“After months of vigorously imposing lockdown measures across the country, high profile Democratic politicians have begun shifting their positions on lockdowns as Biden's inauguration approaches.”
‘We Just Wanted Our Voices To Be Heard.’ Capitol Protesters Speak Out
“In the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot during a Donald Trump rally, corporate media won’t talk to the protesters or try to understand their point of view. So I did.”
Facebook’s Sandberg deflected blame for Capitol riot, but new evidence shows how platform played role
“Fliers and hashtags promoting the pro-Trump rally circulated on Facebook and Instagram in the days and weeks beforehand”
"We did it!"
“To make this clear. CNN was embedded with BLM/Antifa pretending to be Trump supporters videoing them incite a riot. This is freaking huge. If CNN is allowed to maintain its press access anywhere in DC there needs to be a serious overhaul of our entire system.”
Feel Good Now—Pay Later
“The Biden stimulus is crammed with goodies but makes no economic sense.”
COVID Lockdowns May Have No Clear Benefit vs Other Voluntary Measures, International Study ShowsNW adds: Interesting timing here. Especially since people were raising questions eight and nine months ago.
After Capitol riot, Biden backs domestic terror law. It's a predictably misguided response.
“Even if aimed at white supremacists, new legal powers will inevitably be used in the same way existing ones are: against Black and brown people.”