Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Erie Times E-Edition Article-County poised to create rail advocacy group

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2021

I hate to mention this but an advocacy group already exists.

What could be more typical than creating a bureaucracy duplicating the efforts of an existing private organization, incorporating it into county government, adding duplicate personnel, office space and equipment requirements, based on a gambling industry based grant that admittedly may not exist after after this year? All this with the result being ‘bring high-speed rail to Erie County by 2060.’

2060! By then rail may be replaced by something of which we haven’t yet dreamed. Elon Musk is likely already working on it.

If anyone with any sense were in charge they would give the money to All Aboard Erie and keep their noses out of AAE’s business. All Aboard Erie has already done research on routes, existing rail lines and what it may take to update them. They are ahead of any game government could conjure up.

It will take Erie County until 2060 to fix the storm sewers.

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

― Ronald Reagan

Ed Palattella Erie Times-News USA TODAY NETWORK The Erie area’s push for expanded passenger rail service could soon be on the financial fast track.

Erie County Council on Tuesday night will voter to create a county agency called the Erie County Rail Future Commission and fund it with $1 million in gaming revenue.

The group, made up of an appointed board and a chief administrative officer, is designed to lobby for enhanced rail service and ‘establish relationships with all rail-oriented organizations in the Northeast Corridor and work to promote rail service of all kinds throughout Erie County,’ according to the resolution that would create the commission.

Once created, the commission would take shape with the appointment of nine commissioners — seven appointees of County Council and two appointees of the county executive. The commission would then hire a chief administrative officer and office staff.

County Council, which meets at the courthouse at

6 p.m. on Tuesday , is scheduled to take separate votes on whether to create the Rail Future Commission and fund it using the $1 million.

Council is also scheduled to vote on amending the county’s administrative code to incorporate the commission into the code and make it part of county government, County Council Chairman Carl Anderson said.

The proposed creation of the commission comes three months after local rail advocates created a new coalition to lobby for the high-speed rail and other rail improvements in Erie. In July,

All Aboard Erie announced the formation of the Lakeshore Rail Alliance , a multi-state coalition of seven passenger rail organizations that will use their collective voice to push for better mobility along Amtrak’s Lake Shore Corridor between Chicago and New York City.

All Aboard Erie, a group dedicated to the development of high-speed rail and improvements to public transportation, was chosen to host the coalition because of its central location between the Midwest and East Coast, the group said.

Some of the alliance’s priorities include at least four daily round trips linking Chicago and New York, as well as investments in tracks, stations and high-speed rail. The alliance is also expected to lobby for improvements using money in President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill.

The Erie County Rail Future Commission is separate from the Lakeshore Rail Alliance, though the two groups are expected to be ‘working partners,’ Erie County Clerk Doug Smith said.

Anderson said he proposed the creation of the commission to help organize and enhance the different rail advocacy programs and to obtain federal funding through the infrastructure bill. He said the county must act now to take advantage of possible large-scale federal funding for rail.

‘This might be the only opening we have for a century,’ Anderson said.

Anderson said he also proposed creating a county-level commission, rather than providing grants to rail groups, to provide more county oversight over the operations and funding. He said the commission would be the central agency for the rail inititatives.

‘The whole purpose is that they would align with one another,’ he said of the rail groups.

How the funding works The $1 million in funding is from a $4.3 million pool connected to the money that Erie County government receives as part of its share of revenue from Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Summit Township.

County government splits an annual allocation with the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority for being the host county of Presque Isle Downs & Casino, which opened in 2007.

The $4.3 million allocation differs from the annual allocation. It represents money the state is sending the county to make up for revenue the casino lost due to the introduction of online gaming, or interactive gaming, in 2019.

The county is not guaranteed to get a similar allocation, related to interactive gaming, every year, said Jim Sparber, the county’s finance director. He said the county, at this point, would treat the $4.3 million as ‘one-time’ revenue.

Erie County Council on Tuesday will also vote on how to distribute the rest of the $4.3 million. Council’s proposal:

– $1 million to the Erie County Rail Future Commission – $1.946 million passed through to the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority, based on the distribution formula of gaming revenue to the county and ECGRA – $633,915 appropriated to the county’s fund balance – $395,677 to the Erie County Redevelopment Authority, for improvements in Union City and Corry – $250,000 to fund a grant for Erie’s Hagen History Center, which Anderson said will use to preserve and digitize their collection, which includes historical county records. Anderson said the center will also use the money to leverage other funding. – $100,000 to the Enterprise Development Fund of Erie County, which the Erie County Redevelopment Authority manages. The Enterprise Development Fund is designed for low-income, minority, rural and female borrowers. The $100,000 would help capitalize the fund’s loan program, which has been in demand during the pandemic, according to County Council records. Advancing high-speed rail The Erie County Rail Future Commission is responsible for raising other funds in addition to the $1 million it would receive from the county via gaming revenue. The group is to ‘work to leverage funding through state and federal sources,’ according to the council resolution.

Anderson said he pushed for the use of gaming money for the commission because the county is supposed to use that money to aid ‘transformational’ projects. He also said he does not expect the county to use other gaming money to fund the commission beyond the $1 million.

‘We understand this is, right now, one-time funding from a one-time source,’ he said.

The proposed ordinance that would incorporate the commission into the county administrative code also lists the commission’s purpose.

In addition to lobbying for enhanced passenger rail service, according to the ordinance, the commission is to push to ‘develop Erie to Pittsburgh passenger and commercial rail line’ and help promote the Wabtec locomotive plant in Lawrence Park’s ‘development of battery-powered locomotives to decrease emissions and increase local employment and prosperity.’

The commission, according to the ordinance, is also to lobby to ‘bring high-speed rail to Erie County by 2060.’

Contact Ed Palattella at

Amtrak’s eastbound Lake Shore Limited passenger train, with service from Chicago to New York City, pulls into Union Station in Erie on July 23. Erie County Council on Wednesday is scheduled to vote on creating the Erie County Future Rail Commission to lobby for high-speed rail. CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE/ERIE TIMES-NEWS

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The Backsliding of America – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2021

His book lists 45 aggressive goals with which the communists planned to destroy a free nation from inside. The five listed below have already done serious damage to America:

1. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio and TV.

  1. Present immorality as “normal, natural and healthy.”
  2. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with “social” religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity.
  3. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the grounds that it violates the principle of “separation of church and state.”
  4. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for Socialism and current Communist propaganda.

By Dr. Igor Shepherd

Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve
your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall
repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it.
John Adams-1756

I left the lifeless credos of Russia and moved to Seattle, Washington, in 1993, a few years after the Iron Curtain collapsed. The “perestroika” in the new Russian Federation did little to change the lives of average Russian citizens who were scraping by to feed their families. Mother Russia still felt cold and lifeless, and the people ambled to-and-fro with the same anxieties and suspicions. I was still an active reserve officer for the Strategic Rocket Force when I married my wife, June, an American flight attendant, and moved to the USA. It did not take long for me to notice that there were a lot of churches in and around Seattle. I could not help but consider that maybe the reason America was so awesome was because of their faith in God.

The change for me was enormous. I could not speak fluent English and I was experiencing a way of life that was both astounding and daunting at the same time. Seattle itself was an intoxication to my senses. The fishy smells of the Puget Sound, the vibrant ferry trips to flowery islands, and the quiet hum of luxury cars speeding down the smooth freeways was an unexplainable pleasure. Unlike the citizens in Russia, I noticed people laughed and showed a lot of emotion in public.

When I experienced my first encounter at a fast-food drive-thru I was hooked. My patient wife put up with my need to eat fast food every day for months. But it was my first visit inside the grocery store, standing in front of a long aisle full of all kinds of amazing breads, that the realization of communism versus God hit me. In Russia we had only two choices for bread—dark or white—nothing soft and fancy like the breads before me. As I stood there in that aisle, frozen, gawking, June looked over and caught my angry expression. She asked if I were okay. I did not know how to tell her that I felt cheated and deceived by my country of birth.

Religious persecution has been part of history in almost every nation, and America is no exception. When the Puritans fled England to America in 1620, due to persecution against their Christian beliefs, their goal was freedom to exercise their faith and worship God based on Biblical scripture of the Old and New Testaments. They wanted the right to connect to God under a one-on-one relationship, not through papal authority and legalistic rituals the Catholic church in England had strictly imposed. But once the Puritans, America’s first Protestants, arrived on America’s shores, they lost sight of the true Christian message of mercy and soon were persecuting other Protestant sects with different religious viewpoints, non-believers, American natives, and their new neighbors, the Catholics, who had also migrated to the New World.

I can imagine after living through rough bullying in England for their beliefs, the Puritans did not want to chance a repeat of persecution through a Catholic takeover in America, and thus why they tried to purify their faith in the new land. But their actions, and the disputes between other religious groups, simply led to greater conflicts. But though these clashes occurred, America was still considered a Christian-founded nation because there is none righteous, no, not one, and America’s founding fathers recognized this truth and the undeniable fallibility of man. They understood that to build a free and morally safe country Biblical principles were important enough to be implemented within society and judicial law, as well as equal protection for all religious beliefs.

The citizens and leaders of the USA put God first and allowed His handprints to be stamped across America. Though the people were far from perfect, their choice to adhere to Godly tenets blessed the nation. People lived as free men and women, with the right to follow their dreams and visions, and be rewarded for their labor with private ownership of land and homes. As America rose to superpower position, so did her bold witness of Jesus Christ to the world.

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Putin Warns of League of Nations Revival: What Are the Implications? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2021

FDR’s early death resulted in his enemies taking control of Washington and converting his dream into a Cold War nightmare. Bretton Woods institutions like the World Bank and IMF were turned into instruments for usurious re-colonialization instead of long-term productive credit generators under an international New Deal. Throughout the Cold War, the United Nations became increasingly an impotent servant of empire without any means of giving a voice to the majority of her 193 member nations.

Matthew Ehret

It would do us well to take Putin’s words with full seriousness and avoid staining human history with another world war. 

Faced with increasing pressure to dissolve the five member UN Security Council, President Putin warned on October 21:

“If we remove the veto right of the permanent members, the UN would die the very same day – it would turn into the League of Nations. It would simply become a discussion platform”.

As walls separating east and west along Manichean Cold War lines of “democratic/free” vs “authoritarian/enslaved” are quickly being erected before our eyes, it is worth pondering not only the deeper implication of the Russian president’s message but also those healthier pathways out of the coming storm before it is too late.

League of Nations and the Imperial Hoax of WWI

Created in 1919 by forces centered in London and the racist Anglo-American establishment of the USA, the League of Nations was sold to a beaten-down world as the last and greatest hope for peace.

The groups then centered around Round Table leader Lord Alfred Milner (1), had taken control of the British Government in a form of soft coup in 1916 in order to shape the terms of the post-war order.

It was a major gamble of course since there were no guarantees that those imperial plotters who kicked over the world chessboard in 1914 would necessarily come out victorious.

From 1902 onward, Lord Milner, King Edward VII and his coterie of imperial co-thinkers across the Anglo-American deep state had invested significantly into lighting the world on fire via color revolutions, a plethora of assassinations and of course a long-planned global war that turned the world inside out.

In opposition to standard theory narratives taught in sundry history departments, WWI was a war with one aim: Destroy the spread of a community of cooperating sovereign nation states which had been forming in the last decades of the 19th century. Internationally, statesmen of 1870-1900 were applying Lincoln’s system of protectionism, national credit, industrial growth and win-win cooperation under the banner of “American System” champions Friedrich List and Henry C Carey. By 1890, such policies were championed by Sergei Witte of Russia, Otto von Bismarck of Germany, President Carnot of France, and many Lincoln republicans in the USA.

Despite the fact that Russia was a member of the British-led Entente Cordiale, both Germany and Russia who had historically tended to industrial cooperation along Witte-Bismarck strategic lines were the primary targets for destruction.

This was a fact better understood at the time, with The Daily Mail of December 14, 1909 even publishing an editorial reading: “the king [Edward VII] and his councillors have strained every nerve to establish Ententes with Russia and with Italy; and have formed an Entente with France, and as well with Japan. Why? To isolate Germany.”

It is without a doubt that many Anglo-American grand strategists expected a cooperative United States to be drawn into “the war that was to end all wars” much earlier on. With nationalist President McKinley’s 1901 murder, anglophile traitors quickly swept into power under Teddy Roosevelt who was seduced into King Edward VII’s plans for an Anglo-American special relationship as the basis for a new Anglo-Saxon world order.

Woodrow Wilson’s accession to the presidency from 1912-1920, and the establishment of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 only re-enforced the belief that America was sufficiently under the control of a supranational financier elite which had never quite forgiven the belligerent colony for winning independence in 1783.

When Germany found herself the last nation to be prepared for a war that had been set into motion by the architects of the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale (later joined by a bewildered Russia), America was expected to jump in immediately.

Military pacts well known to all geopoliticians of 1914 ensured Russian intervention on Serbia’s side if the latter got in a fight. Similarly, Germany had guaranteed its support for Austria in any fight it found itself enmeshed in.

When an anarchist terror cell from Serbia known as ‘the Black Hand’ was deployed to kill Archduke Ferdinand of Austria on June 28, 1914, a chain of events was put into motion that led a sleep walking world into the slaughterhouse.

Finally realizing what had happened, Kaiser Wilhelm wrote despairingly in August 1914:

“England, Russia, and France have agreed among themselves… to take the Austro-Serbian conflict for an excuse for waging a war of extermination against us… That is the real naked situation slowly and cleverly set going by Edward VII and… finally brought to a conclusion by George V… So the famous encirclement of Germany has finally become a fact, despite every effort of our politicians and diplomats to prevent it. The net has been suddenly thrown over our head, and England sneeringly reaps the most brilliant success of her persistently prosecuted purely anti-German world policy against which we have proved ourselves helpless, while she twists the noose of our political and economic destruction out of our fidelity to Austria, as we squirm isolated in the net. A great achievement, which arouses the admiration even of him who is to be destroyed as its result! Edward VII is stronger after his death than am I who am still alive!”

The fight inside the USA

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Can Poland Be Poland—and Stay in the EU? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2021

Responding to these threats, Prime Minster Mateusz Morawiecki is accusing the EU of “blackmailing” Poland and holding a “gun to our head.”

“If you want to make Europe into a nation-less superstate,” says Morawiecki, “first gain the consent of all European countries and societies for this.”

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“Let Poland be Poland!”

That was the call of American conservatives, four decades ago, when the Solidarity movement of labor leader Lech Walesa arose in the port city of Gdansk to demand their freedom of the Communist system imposed upon Poland by the Soviet Union after World War II.

A decade later, Poland broke free of the Soviet Bloc and Warsaw Pact, and later joined the European Union and NATO.

The question that has arisen today also has to do with issues of Polish identity and independence.

Specifically, can Poland be Poland — and still remain in the EU?

In recent years, the ruling Law and Justice Party has revised its governmental structures. The judiciary has been subordinated, brought under greater central supervision and control, and a disciplinary chamber has been established and empowered to remove judges.

Such action, says the EU Commission in Brussels, violates basic EU law, which applies to all member states and trumps national law.

Brussels wants the chamber abolished.

Moreover, on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and the media, the Polish government has taken stands more consistent with its Catholic traditions than with the social agenda of a secularized Europe.

The same holds true for the Hungary of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Poland and Hungary are ostracized as “illiberal democracies.”

At a rally of tens of thousands in Budapest Saturday, Orban told supporters that Washington, the EU in Brussels, and billionaire George Soros are using their money, media and networks to bring to power the Hungarian leftist opposition in next April’s parliamentary elections.

“But what matters,” said a defiant Orban, “is not what they in Brussels, in Washington and in the media, which is directed from abroad, want. It will be Hungarians deciding about their own fate.

“Our strength is in our unity … We believe in the same values: family, nation and a strong and independent Hungary.”

Let Hungary be Hungary.

In this social-cultural-moral clash inside the EU, outsider Vladimir Putin comes down on the side of the traditionalists and nationalists in countries where Christianity retains a hold against secularism.

This weekend, Moscow released excerpts of Putin’s blistering attack on a woke West at last week’s gathering of the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi:

“We’re surprised to see things happening in countries that see themselves as flagships of progress,” said Putin. “The struggle for equality and against discrimination turns into aggressive dogmatism verging on absurdity.

“Opposing racism is a necessary and noble thing, but the new ‘culture of abolition’ turns into ‘reverse discrimination’ … Here in Russia the absolute majority of our citizens don’t care what color a person’s skin is.

“People who dare to say that men and women still exist as a biological fact are almost ostracized … not to mention the simply monstrous fact that children today are taught from a young age that a boy can easily become a girl and vice versa.

“Let’s call a spade a spade: This simply verges on crimes against humanity under the banner of progress.”

In the clash between Poland and the EU, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged that a solution be found acceptable to both, rather than engaging in a long and bitter battle that leaves one side victorious and the other estranged.

Yet, today, Poland is being threatened with economic sanctions, including a possible withholding of annual EU stipends and money set aside for EU nations to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to these threats, Prime Minster Mateusz Morawiecki is accusing the EU of “blackmailing” Poland and holding a “gun to our head.”

“If you want to make Europe into a nation-less superstate,” says Morawiecki, “first gain the consent of all European countries and societies for this.”

Membership in the EU is popular in Poland, and the government has not threatened a walkout, a “Polexit,” like the “Brexit” that British Tories voted for in 2016 and carried out.

Still, Brussels fears that successful Polish defiance of its demands could lead other EU nations to make demands, and the grand project of creating a European superstate, a One Europe whose member nations are accorded limited rights similar to those of the 50 states of the American Union, could collapse and fall apart.

National governments receive from membership in the EU not only the benefits of open markets, free trade and travel from one nation to another, but also, for nations like Poland and others in eastern and southern Europe, annual transfer of wealth from the EU.

The chokehold the EU has on its members is money. Brussels can cut off the funds transferred annually to Poland, as well as funds voted to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, together a goodly slice of Poland’s GDP.

The questions raised by the rebellious Poles are fundamental: Which takes precedence, when they come into conflict, Poland’s constitution and Poland’s laws, or the laws of the European Union?

Conflict appears inevitable, and the Poles will ultimately have to decide whether their country and constitution transcend EU law, or the reverse is now true.

The Best of Patrick J. Buchanan Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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‘Fed-Protected’ Man Identified As Mystery Instigator Of J6 Capitol Breach | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on October 26, 2021

There is good reason why AG Garland ran from Massie’s question faster than he could find words — and why he couldn’t even keep eye contact as he was dodging Massie’s gaze.

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

via Revolver News,

In a House hearing on Thursday, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) questioned AG Merrick Garland about a mysterious man, Ray Epps, instructing protesters to enter the US Capitol building on January 5, and who later shepherded crowds towards the Capitol on January 6.

The story of the mystery man, Ray Epps, featured in Rep. Massie’s video above is in fact far more shocking than even the good Congressman implies in the hearing. It’s a story so strange, and so scandalous at every turn, that it threatens to shatter the entire official narrative of the “Capitol Breach” and expose yet another dimension of proactive federal involvement in the so-called “insurrection” of January 6th. If Revolver News’s previous reporting points to a proactive role of the federal government in relation to the conspiracy cases against Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, the Ray Epps story that follows suggests a similar, yet more egregious, explicit, direct and immediate degree of federal involvement in the breach of the Capitol itself.Here is a transcript of Thomas Massie’s exchange with the Attorney General, just in case you skipped past the video above.

Rep. Massie: As far as we can determine, the individual who was saying he’ll probably go to jail, he’ll probably be arrested, but they need to go into the Capitol the next day, is then directing people into the Capitol the next day, is then the next day directing people to the Capitol. And as far as we can find. You said this is one of the most sweeping in history. Have you seen that video, or those frames from that video?AG Garland: So as I said at the outset, one of the norms of the Justice Department is to not comment on pending investigations, and particularly not to comment on particular scenes or particular individuals.Rep. Massie: I was hoping today to give you an opportunity to put to rest the concerns that people have that there were federal agents or assets of the federal government present on January 5 and January 6. Can you tell us, without talking about particular incidents or particular videos, how many agents or assets of the federal government were present on January 6, whether they agitated to go into the Capitol, and if any of them did?AG Garland: So I’m not going to violate this norm of, uh, of, of, of, the rule of law.[Looks down and away]I’m not going to comment on an investigation that’s ongoing.

There is good reason why AG Garland ran from Massie’s question faster than he could find words — and why he couldn’t even keep eye contact as he was dodging Massie’s gaze.After months of research, Revolver’s investigative reporting team can now reveal that Ray Epps appears to be among the primary orchestrators of the very first breach of the Capitol’s police barricades at 12:50pm on January 6. Epps appears to have led the “breach team” that committed the very first illegal acts on that fateful day. What’s more, Epps and his “breach team” did all their dirty work with 10 minutes still remaining in President Trump’s National Mall speech, and with the vast majority of Trump supporters still 30 minutes away from the Capitol.Secondly, Revolver also determined, and will prove below, that the the FBI stealthily removed Ray Epps from its Capitol Violence Most Wanted List on July 1, just one day after Revolver exposed the inexplicable and puzzlesome FBI protection of known Epps associate and Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes. July 1 was also just one day after separate New York Times report amplified a glaring, falsifiable lie about Epps’s role in the events of January 6.Lastly, Ray Epps appears to have worked alongside several individuals — many of them suspiciously unindicted — to carry out a breach of the police barricades that induced a subsequent flood of unsuspecting MAGA protesters to unwittingly trespass on Capitol restricted grounds and place themselves in legal jeopardy.Corroborating Ray Epps’s IdentityIdentifying the individual in Thomas Massie’s video as Ray Epps was a surprisingly quick and easy task for the Internet.It took less than a week after January 6 for online researchers to track down Epps down and confirm his identity. Researchers uncovered his personal Facebook profile, where Epps shared his life story on Mark Zuckerberg’s social media app, under his real name.On Facebook, Epps posted photos of himself boating, on horseback, and bear-hunting with a crossbow.That’s a pretty big bear to hunt with a crossbow. And in many respects, Epps is quite an impressive figure. He served in the US Marines and ultimately worked his way up to full Marine Sergeant, according to his previous public title “SGT USMC” (Sergeant, US Marine Corp) and his private Facebook nostalgic musings.

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Bipartisan legislators demand answers from Fauci on alleged puppy experiments

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2021

By Jackie Salo

The White Coat Waste Project report claimed that the researchers locked the dogs in cages with hungry sandflies so that the insects could eat them alive.
The White Coat Waste Project report claimed that the researchers locked the dogs in cages with hungry sandflies so that the insects could eat them alive.

Some of the pooches were also allegedly injected with disease-causing parasites.

“The commissioned tests involved injecting and force-feeding the puppies an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them,” lawmakers wrote.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is being slammed by lawmakers for allegedly providing a grant to a lab in Tunisia to torture and kill dozens of beagle puppies for twisted scientific experiments.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is being slammed by lawmakers for allegedly providing a grant to a lab in Tunisia to torture and kill dozens of beagle puppies for twisted scientific experiments.

The bipartisan group also raised concerns about allegations that scientists slit dogs’ vocal cords so that they wouldn’t bark during the experiments.

“This cruel procedure — which is opposed with rare exceptions by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and others — seems to have been performed so that experimenters would not have to listen to the pained cries of the beagle puppies. This is a reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds,” the letter said.

Rep. Nancy Mace and 23 colleagues sent a letter to Dr. Fauci addressing their "grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs."
Rep. Nancy Mace and 23 colleagues sent a letter to Dr. Fauci addressing their “grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs.”

In addition to Mace, the letter was signed by Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) and Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), among others.

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Anthony Fauci Facing Quiz Over NIH Funding for ‘De-barking’ Beagle Puppies

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2021

Darragh Roche

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is seeking answers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Dr. Anthony Fauci about funding that was provided for experiments on beagle puppies.Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. A group of lawmakers is seeking answers from Fauci about experiments on puppies. © Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on July 20, 2021 in…

Twenty-four members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to Fauci, who is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a part of NIH.

The letter was prompted by the nonprofit group White Coat Waste which obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act that appear to show NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer money for experiments on beagle puppies in a lab in Tunisia.

Those experiments reportedly involved testing drugs on the animals and in some cases, they were “de-barked” through a procedure called a cordectomy.

The lawmakers, led by Republican Representative Nancy Mace of South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, wrote to Fauci on October 21 with a number of questions about the matter that they want to be answered by November 19.

“We write with grave concerns about reports of costly, cruel, and unnecessary taxpayer-funded experiments on dogs commissioned by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,” the lawmakers wrote.

Pointing to White Coat Waste and media reports, the members of the House wrote that “from October 2018 until February 2019, NIAID spent $1.68 million in taxpayer funds on drug tests involving 44 beagle puppies.

“The dogs were all between six and eight months old. The commissioned tests involved injecting and force-feeding the puppies an experimental drug for several weeks, before killing and dissecting them.

“Of particular concern is the fact that the invoice to NIAID included a line item for ‘cordectomy.’ As you are likely aware, a cordectomy, also known as ‘devocalization,’ involves slitting a dog’s vocal cords in order to prevent them from barking, howling, or crying,” the letter went on.

“This cruel procedure – which is opposed with rare exceptions by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and others – seems to have been performed so that experimenters would not have to listen to the pained cries of the beagle puppies. This is a reprehensible misuse of taxpayer funds,” the lawmakers said.

The letter noted that this does not appear to be the only instance where NIH-funded experiments on beagles. On its website, White Coat Waste says there have been four such experiments in four different locations around the world.

The lawmakers want to know how many drug tests have been performed on dogs since January 2018 and what the cost has been. They also want to know why these tests have taken place even though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require new drugs to be tested on dogs, among other questions.Video Player is loading.Current Time 0:00/Duration -:-0Fauci: Americans ‘Likely’ Need Third Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

In addition to Mace, the following members of the House signed the letter: Cindy Axne (D-IA), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Scott Franklin (R-FL), Andrew Gabarino (R-NY), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Fred Keller (R-PA), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Lisa McClain (R-MI), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Brian Mast (R-FL), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Scott Perry (R-PA), Bill Posey (R-FL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Daniel Webster (R-FL).

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Propounding weird language is worsening today’s social fraying

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2021

Propounding weird language is worsening today’s social fraying

WASHINGTON – Today’s pervasive sense of social fraying is exacerbated by a proliferation of weird language. National anxiety will find political expression.

Never mind the secretary of homeland security calling the southern border ‘closed,’ a garden-variety fib refuted by graphic journalism. And disregard the Biden administration, the supposed restorer of norms, violating not only norms but possibly also laws. A norm: President Joe Biden waited until after the Senate confirmed Lina Khan as a member of the Federal Trade Commission to announce that she would be chair. A law: It is illegal for tax-exempt churches to engage in political activity, but Vice President Kamala Harris has made a video, to be played in Black churches in Virginia, advocating the election of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

People expect no better from government officials, who are puzzled by voters’ reluctance to trust them with multiple-trillion-dollar tranches of their decreasingly valuable money. Speaking of inflation:

Travelers increasingly find cards in their hotel rooms saying, or implying, approximately this: ‘This facility is so distraught about our imperiled planet that your sheets will not be changed daily unless you selfishly insist.’ Perhaps altruism actually motivates this money-saving policy. Conceivably, however, inflation is involved: When a business’ costs go up, it can pass the increase along to customers – or it can cut other costs by eliminating services.

The Federal Reserve, which did not foresee today’s inflation, foresees it being ‘transitory.’ Meaning that it will not be forever. But, then, the laws of thermodynamics suggest that pretty much everything is transitory. What matters is how long things will last.

Or which large numbers of dollars to worry about. A recent New York Times article was about the ‘glut,’ ‘dizzying amount’ and ‘avalanche’ of third-quarter campaign contributions to House and Senate candidates of both parties. The Times was astonished by the sum $450million. This is 4.5% of the $10 billion that Americans are spending this year on Halloween candy and paraphernalia. Or 0.128% of the $3.5trillion price (itself a substantial understatement) of the Build Back Better legislation that the Times endorses and that even-more-progressive people consider skimpy. Those who are alarmed about the amount of money in politics might consider reducing the amount of politics in the distribution of money.

History’s largest U.S. infrastructure debacle – the maybe, sort of high-speed Los Angeles-to-San Francisco rail project – was supposed to cost $33 billion and be completed last year. Today’s fantasy cost is $98 billion – expect the guess to triple again – and construction of the first leg, connecting Bakersfield and Merced, is scheduled to begin in 2029. Consideration is being given to using conventional – not high-speed, not green – diesel trains of the sort that already connect Los Angeles and San Francisco (as do planes, cars and buses).

Walgreens is closing five more stores – bringing the total in recent years to 22 – in San Francisco, where laws against brazen, large-scale shoplifting are often unenforced. In Chicago, a police report says that prosecutors told investigators there would be no charges in a deadly gunfight between two factions of a street gang because the fighters were ‘mutual combatants,’ meaning they were consensually trying to kill one another. Portland, Ore., the nation’s 26th largest city, is in the second year of riots, originally about George Floyd, today perhaps for fun, and an officer explained why police did not intervene in last week’s episode of fires and smashed store windows: Pending ‘clarity,’ police are following ‘the most restrictive interpretation’ of a new state law limiting crowd control measures.

In June, when Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra testified to a Senate committee about ‘birthing people,’ a.k.a. mothers, he was already falling behind the swift evolution of progressive nomenclature. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s revised ‘lactation-related language’ respects mothers by identifying them as ‘human milk-feeding individuals.’

Almost nothing infuriates people as much as inflation – government’s failure to preserve the currency as a store of value. Even more infuriating, however, is a pervasive sense of arrogance and disorder, which now includes public officials and others propounding aggressively, insultingly strange vocabularies. Next November, there might be a cymbal-crash response to all this.

Contact George Will:

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Do not blame the pandemic for kids’ lack of testing progress

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2021

The standard government solution for a program that has been failing since for 60 years.

Schools need the extra funding the American Rescue Plan is bringing in, but that funding has to be targeted in ways that work.

Do not blame the pandemic for kids’ lack of testing progress

The results from the latest nationwide tests of student proficiency are grim. Downright depressing. For the first time in the 50-year history of these tests, the scores of 13-year-olds fell in both reading and math. Scores for 9-year-olds showed no improvement compared with 2012.

The gap in scores between white students and Black and Latino students grew.

Nor can anyone blame the pandemic for this. The tests were administered in very early 2020, before the pandemic shut down most in-person schooling.

The results come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, well-known for its biennial tests called ‘the nation’s report card.’ But this is a different iteration of NAEP tests given to students ages 9, 13 and 17, and less frequently. The Long-Term Trend Assessment looks at progress — or lack of it — over stretches of time. Scores were last reported for the 2012 tests. (The 17-year-olds weren’t tested in this latest round because the pandemic struck before their exams were scheduled to take place.)

No single test tells the whole story of what students are learning or achieving (and these scores are not broken down by state or school district). But the long-term results shouldn’t shock anyone; they’re pretty much in keeping with what the biennial NAEP tests have found: Many students are significantly below grade level on the basics. If students had been making even incremental progress over the previous eight years, that should have added up to at least a significant improvement.

If anything, scores should have been depressed in 2012 because for the previous few years, school budgets had been squeezed to the breaking point by the Great Recession.

From that point until the pandemic, more money was available for education.

Still, many factors could have contributed to the fall-off. The No Child Left Behind Act ended in 2015, and though it was a crazily rigid, narrow and punitive law, its replacement essentially allowed states to eliminate any real consequences for schools when students were doing poorly. Once schools ended programs and laid off large numbers of teachers during the recession, it could have taken some years to rebuild.

The improved economy meant that teachers often could find more lucrative work outside the public education system.

The nation can’t afford to play guesswork with this. It’s quite possible that President Biden’s proposal for universal preschool will make a real difference down the road. There’s evidence that high-quality preschool helps disadvantaged students significantly. But lack of such preschool isn’t an excuse for the backward slide we’re seeing.

The U.S. Department of Education should be putting its research muscle behind an effort to figure out what happened to the nation’s students over those eight years.

There’s still a problem, for example, with schools not using the reading curricula that have been proven to improve literacy. Or perhaps more money needs to go toward reducing the attrition rate among teachers; somewhere between 30% to 50% of them leave within their first five years.

The test results show that going ‘back to normal’ after the pandemic isn’t going to cut it. Schools need the extra funding the American Rescue Plan is bringing in, but that funding has to be targeted in ways that work.

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The Military Origins of Facebook

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2021

Facebook’s growing role in the ever-expanding surveillance and “pre-crime” apparatus of the national security state demands new scrutiny of the company’s origins and its products as they relate to a former, controversial DARPA-run surveillance program that was essentially analogous to what is currently the world’s largest social network.

In light of this, it was no exaggeration when New York Times columnist William Safire remarked that, with TIA, “Poindexter is now realizing his twenty-year dream: getting the ‘data-mining’ power to snoop on every public and private act of every American.”

by Whitney Webb

In mid-February, Daniel Baker, a US veteran described by the media as “anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists, and anti-police,” was charged by a Florida grand jury with two counts of “transmitting a communication in interstate commerce containing a threat to kidnap or injure.”

The communication in question had been posted by Baker on Facebook, where he had created an event page to organize an armed counter-rally to one planned by Donald Trump supporters at the Florida capital of Tallahassee on January 6. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!,” Baker had written on his Facebook event page.

Baker’s case is notable as it is one of the first “precrime” arrests based entirely on social media posts—the logical conclusion of the Trump administration’s, and now Biden administration’s, push to normalize arresting individuals for online posts to prevent violent acts before they can happen. From the increasing sophistication of US intelligence/military contractor Palantir’s predictive policing programs to the formal announcement of the Justice Department’s Disruption and Early Engagement Program in 2019 to Biden’s first budget, which contains $111 million for pursuing and managing “increasing domestic terrorism caseloads,” the steady advance toward a precrime-centered “war on domestic terror” has been notable under every post-9/11 presidential administration.

This new so-called war on domestic terror has actually resulted in many of these types of posts on Facebook. And, while Facebook has long sought to portray itself as a “town square” that allows people from across the world to connect, a deeper look into its apparently military origins and continual military connections reveals that the world’s largest social network was always intended to act as a surveillance tool to identify and target domestic dissent.

Part 1 of this two-part series on Facebook and the US national-security state explores the social media network’s origins and the timing and nature of its rise as it relates to a controversial military program that was shut down the same day that Facebook launched. The program, known as LifeLog, was one of several controversial post-9/11 surveillance programs pursued by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that threatened to destroy privacy and civil liberties in the United States while also seeking to harvest data for producing “humanized” artificial intelligence (AI). 

As this report will show, Facebook is not the only Silicon Valley giant whose origins coincide closely with this same series of DARPA initiatives and whose current activities are providing both the engine and the fuel for a hi-tech war on domestic dissent.

DARPA’s Data Mining for “National Security” and to “Humanize” AI

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, DARPA, in close collaboration with the US intelligence community (specifically the CIA), began developing a “precrime” approach to combatting terrorism known as Total Information Awareness or TIA. The purpose of TIA was to develop an “all-seeing” military-surveillance apparatus. The official logic behind TIA was that invasive surveillance of the entire US population was necessary to prevent terrorist attacks, bioterrorism events, and even naturally occurring disease outbreaks. 

The architect of TIA, and the man who led it during its relatively brief existence, was John Poindexter, best known for being Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor during the Iran-Contra affair and for being convicted of five felonies in relation to that scandal.

See the rest here

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