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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Biden’

Peering Into a Forever-War Crystal Ball – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2021

The war in Afghanistan is hopeless and has long been failing by every one of the US military’s own measurable metrics, so much so that the Pentagon and the Kabul government classified them all as secret information a few years back.  

It hardly requires clairvoyance to offer such guesswork.  That’s because Biden basically is who he says he is and who he’s always been, and the man’s simply never been transformational.  One need look no further than his long and generally interventionist past record or the nature of his current national-security picks to know that the safe money is on more of the same.

https://original.antiwar.com/?p=2012341875

by Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.)

Originally posted at TomDispatch.

More than 19 years ago, the U.S. launched the air war that would become the ground invasion and “liberation” of Afghanistan. More than 17 years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared “major combat” over in that country with just 8,000 US troops still stationed there. Approximately nine years after that, at the end of an Obama-era “surge,” US troop levels would reach around 100,000 (not counting contingents of NATO allies, as well as private contractors, CIA agents, and those involved in the American air war in that country). Today, those troop levels are finally down to 2,500 (plus, of course, those private contractors and that air power, which actually ramped up significantly in the Trump years). That, in other words, is how Donald Trump “ended” the American war in Afghanistan. Those remaining troops are supposed to be gone by May 1, 2021, but don’t count on it in the Biden era, since our new president (who, as vice president, had indeed been against the Obama-era troop surge) is seemingly committed to keeping some kind of “counterterror” force in that country.

In any case, 19-plus years after Washington put everything it had into Afghanistan except nuclear weapons (something Donald Trump threatened to do at one point), the Taliban is the very opposite of defeated. As the PBS NewsHour described the situation in an on-screen note introducing a recent report on developments there: “The Taliban is stronger in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001, occupying one-fifth of the country with around 60,000 full-time fighters.”

Isn’t it strange when you think about it that, other than some antiwar efforts by veterans of those conflicts, Americans have been so little concerned with nearly two decades of constant military failure across the globe for which we’ve squandered trillions of taxpayer dollars? Worst of all, those “forever wars” show every sign of continuing in the Biden years and possibly beyond, as former Army officer and TomDispatch regular Danny Sjursen, author most recently of Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War, explains so vividly (and painfully) today. Sjursen, who has in the past been all too accurate in his expectations about American war-making, offers a little crystal-ball look at what all of us might expect in the next four years from the country that just won’t stop fighting and a citizenry that seems as if it could care less. ~ Tom


The Future of War, American-StyleBy Maj. Danny Sjursen (ret.)

Hard as it is to believe in this time of record pandemic deaths, insurrection, and an unprecedented encore impeachment, Joe Biden is now officially at the helm of the US war machine.  He is, in other words, the fourth president to oversee America’s unending and unsuccessful post-9/11 military campaigns.  In terms of active US combat, that’s only happened once before, in the Philippines, America’s second-longest (if often forgotten) overseas combat campaign. 

Yet that conflict was limited to a single Pacific archipelago. Biden inherits a global war – and burgeoning new Cold War – spanning four continents and a military mired in active operations in dozens of countries, combat in some 14 of them, and bombing in at least seven.  That sort of scope has been standard fare for American presidents for almost two decades now.  Still, while this country’s post-9/11 war presidents have more in common than their partisan divisions might suggest, distinctions do matter, especially at a time when the White House almost unilaterally drives foreign policy.

So, what can we expect from commander-in-chief Biden?  In other words, what’s the forecast for US service-members who have invested their lives and limbs in future conflict, as well as for the speculators in the military-industrial complex and anxious foreigners in the countries still engulfed in America’s war on terror who usually stand to lose it all? 

Many Trumpsters, and some libertarians, foresee disaster: that the man who, as a leading senator facilitated and cheered on the disastrous Iraq War, will surely escalate American adventurism abroad.  On the other hand, establishment Democrats and most liberals, who are desperately (and understandably) relieved to see Donald Trump go, find that prediction preposterous.  Clearly, Biden must have learned from past mistakes, changed his tune, and should responsibly bring US wars to a close, even if at a time still to be determined.

In a sense, both may prove right – and in another sense, both wrong.  The guess of this longtime war-watcher (and one-time war fighter) reading the tea leaves: expect Biden to both eschew big new wars and avoid fully ending existing ones.  At the margins (think Iran), he may improve matters some; in certain rather risky areas (Russian relations, for instance), he could worsen them; but in most cases (the rest of the Greater Middle East, Africa, and China), he’s likely to remain squarely on the status-quo spectrum.  And mind you, there’s nothing reassuring about that.

It hardly requires clairvoyance to offer such guesswork.  That’s because Biden basically is who he says he is and who he’s always been, and the man’s simply never been transformational.  One need look no further than his long and generally interventionist past record or the nature of his current national-security picks to know that the safe money is on more of the same.  Whether the issues are war, race, crime, or economics, Uncle Joe has made a career of bending with the prevailing political winds and it’s unlikely this old dog can truly learn any new tricks.  Furthermore, he’s filled his foreign policy squad with Obama-Clinton retreads, a number of whom were architects of – if not the initial Iraq and Afghan debacles – then disasters in Libya, Syria, West Africa, Yemen, and the Afghan surge of 2009.  In other words, Biden is putting the former arsonists in charge of the forever-war fire brigade.

There’s further reason to fear that he may even reject Trump’s “If Obama was for it, I’m against it” brand of war-on-terror policy-making and thereby reverse The Donald’s very late, very modest troop withdrawals in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.  Yet even if this new old hand of a president evades potentially existential escalation with nuclear Russia or China and offers only an Obama reboot when it comes to persistent low-intensity warfare, what he does will still matter – most of all to the global citizens who are too often its victims.  So, here’s a brief region-by-region flyover tour of what Joe’s squad may have in store for both the world and the American military sent to police that world.

The Middle East: Old Prescriptions for Old Business

It’s increasingly clear that Washington’s legacy wars in the Greater Middle East – Iraq and Afghanistan, in particular – are generally no longer on the public’s radar.  Enter an elected old man who’s charged with handling old business that, at least to most civilians, is old news.  Odds are that Biden’s ancient tricks will amount to safe bets in a region that past US policies essentially destroyed.  Joe is likely to take a middle path in the region between large-scale military intervention of the Bush or Obama kind and more prudent full-scale withdrawal. 

As a result, such wars will probably drag on just below the threshold of American public awareness, while avoiding Pentagon or partisan charges that his version of cutting-and-running endangered US security.  The prospect of “victory” won’t even factor into the equation (after all, Biden’s squad members aren’t stupid), but political survival certainly will.  Here’s what such a Biden-era future might then look like in a few such sub-theaters.

The war in Afghanistan is hopeless and has long been failing by every one of the US military’s own measurable metrics, so much so that the Pentagon and the Kabul government classified them all as secret information a few years back.  Actually dealing with the Taliban and swiftly exiting a disastrous war likely to lead to a disastrous future with Washington’s tail between its legs is, in fact, the only remaining option.  The question is when and how many more Americans will kill or be killed in that “graveyard of empires” before the US accepts the inevitable.  Toward the end of his tenure, Trump signaled a serious, if cynical, intent to so.  And since Trump was by definition a monster and the other team’s monsters can’t even occasionally be right, a coalition of establishment Democrats and Lincoln-esque Republicans (and Pentagon officials) decided that the war must indeed go on.  That culminated in last July’s obscenity in which Congress officially withheld the funds necessary to end it.  As vice president, Biden was better than most in his Afghan War skepticism, but his incoming advisers weren’t, and Joe’s nothing if not politically malleable.  Besides, since Trump didn’t pull enough troops out faintly fast enough or render the withdrawal irreversible over Pentagon objections, expect a trademark Biden hedge here.

Syria has always been a boondoggle, with the justifications for America’s peculiar military presence there constantly shifting from pressuring the regime of Bashar al-Assad, to fighting the Islamic State, to backing the Kurds, to balancing Iran and Russia in the region, to (in Trump’s case) securing that country’s meager oil supplies.  As with so much else, there’s a troubling possibility that, in the Biden years, personnel once again may become destiny.  Many of the new president’s advisers were bullish on Syrian intervention in the Obama years, even wanting to take it further and topple Assad.  Furthermore, when it comes time for them to convince Biden to agree to stay put in Syria, there’s a dangerous existing mix of motives to do just that: the emotive sympathy for the Kurds of known gut-player Joe; his susceptibility to revived Islamic State (ISIS) fear-mongering; and perceptions of a toughness-testing proxy contest with Russia.

When it comes to Iran, expect Biden to be better than the Iran-phobic Trump administration, but to stay shackled “inside the box.”  First of all, despite Joe’s long-expressed desire to reenter the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran that Trump so disastrously pulled out of, doing so may prove harder than he thinks.  After all, why should Tehran trust a political basket case of a negotiating partner prone to significant partisan policy-pendulum swings, especially given the way Washington has waged nearly 70 years of interventions against Iran’s politicians and people?  In addition, Trump left Biden the Trojan horse of Tehran’s hardliners, empowered by dint of The Donald’s pugnacious policies.  If the new president wishes to really undercut Iranian intransigence and fortify the moderates there, he should go big and be transformational – in other words, see Obama’s tension-thawing nuclear deal and raise it with the carrot of full-blown diplomatic and economic normalization. Unfortunately, status-quo Joe has never been a transformational type.

Keep an Eye on Africa

See the rest here

Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and join us on Facebook. Check out the newest Dispatch Books, John Feffer’s new dystopian novel Frostlands (the second in the Splinterlands series), Beverly Gologorsky’s novel Every Body Has a Story, and Tom Engelhardt’s A Nation Unmade by War, as well as Alfred McCoy’s In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power and John Dower’s The Violent American Century: War and Terror Since World War II.

Danny Sjursen, a TomDispatch regular, is a retired U.S. Army major, contributing editor at Antiwar.com, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, and director of the Eisenhower Media Network (EMN). He taught history at West Point and served tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge and Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War. He co-hosts the “Fortress on a Hill” podcast.

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Joe Biden’s War

Posted by M. C. on January 19, 2021

All in all, it does not appear possible that Biden will have the luxury of picking and choosing theaters of Cold War, which sets us up for the spectacle of the United States that could not defeat the Taliban attempt to tackle two Eurasian major powers all at once. 

https://southfront.org/joe-bidens-war/

Writtne by J.Hawk exclusively for SouthFront

The 2000 presidential race being done and over, except for the tens of millions of Americans who believe the election was stolen and a general cloud of illegitimacy that will hang over the Biden presidency for the entirety of his term, Joe Biden finds himself in the place of a dog who was chasing a car—and caught it. Given the magnitude of America’s problem, one would have to be a spectacularly vain and/or power-hungry individual to want the job of President, but then again, who if not Joe Biden is that guy? And now that he has the job, he will have to address a broad range of domestic and international issues in a way that somehow prevents the increasingly intractable problems from causing a system-wide crack-up of US politics. The occupation of the US Capitol with the participation of great many active and retired police officers and members of the military, to the point of prompting US Joint Chiefs to issue an unprecedented proclamation to their troops to shut up and follow orders, means that the temptation to seal the deepening chasms dividing the US society through some sort of desperate foreign adventure intended to secure new markets and resources for US corporations, and therefore US workers and farmers, will increase. That expansion is to be accomplished at the expense of China and Russia, replacing their own homegrown corporations and state monopolies with US-based ones, on the model of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states, and even European countries that are heavily penetrated by US financial and information technology firms to the point of having sacrificed a great deal of their sovereignty. Russia and China have preserved themselves from becoming US “semi-periphery”, in both economic and political sense, which makes them obvious targets for Biden’s own “maximum pressure” campaigns to subjugate them, of the sort that Iran and Cuba, for example, have been bearing for decades. But while it’s clear that US will be openly hostile to both China and Russia, seeking to delegitimize their political institutions and promote destabilization and regime change, it does not appear the Biden administration foreign policy team has a clear plan on how to prioritize between these to biggest targets.

The Indirect Road to China

It is evident from a variety of sources, including quasi-private think tanks like the Atlantic Council and the pronouncements of senior US military officers like Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Milley that the US establishment regards China as a rising power and Russia as a declining one. The latter assessment appears to be based on a simple lack of understanding of processes occurring within the Russian Federation in the last two decades, combined with the Western propensity to regard course of history in linear rather than cyclical terms. US power has grown since 1776, therefore it will always continue to grow. Russia’s power declined after the collapse of USSR, therefore it is bound to continue to decline. But regardless of the source of the misconception, in practical terms it means that while China is viewed as the bigger threat, the Main Enemy, as it were, Russia is seen as a more vulnerable and therefore more attractive target. Judging by the changes in the US policies toward Russia, it appears that the goal of US foreign policy became first regime change in Russia, followed by economic isolation of China that would be much easier to achieve once both the Middle East and the Russian Federation, potential or actual sources of vast quantities of raw materials China’s manufacturing and population require, became US satellites in the same way Australia, for example, already is.

This development would place China in a position identical to Japan’s in the late 1930s, a country that proved highly vulnerable to steadily escalating US economic warfare and which moreover could not capitalize on its Non-Aggression Pact with USSR due to its rather ill-conceived alliance with Nazi Germany. Once isolated by US pressure, Japan gambled everything on a three-theater war against China, the British Empire, and the United States which it ultimately lost. Moreover, should Russia become a US satellite state, its military forces could be committed to a land campaign against China, in the name of “democracy promotion”, mirroring USSR’s decision to join the war against Japan that was solicited by Western powers unwilling to sustain the heavy losses an invasion of Japan would inevitably cause.

The Russian Bear Refuses to Play

The “Free Russia” component of US strategy went into high gear in 2014, when it was expected that the Kiev Maidan would be swiftly followed by one in Moscow, particularly after Western economic sanctions that were imposed as “punishment” for the reunification of Crimea. Were that strategy implemented two decades later, it would have likely enjoyed quick success. Instead it merely validated Prime Minister Witte’s “if you give Russia 20 years of peace, you won’t recognize her”. Instead of becoming a US client state, Russia became more independent and assertive internationally, demonstrating this not only in Ukraine but also in Syria. In spite of the US dominance in the Middle East, the small Russian military contingent in Syria proved impossible to dislodge through the usual US means of supplying and directing proxy non-state actors against the Russian presence.

It does not appear that Western powers-that-be have fully grasped the import of the 2014 “stab in the back” to the Russia-West relations for contrary to the usual Western propaganda, the Russian Federation in 2014 was very much a West-oriented country, seeking greater membership and involvement in Western economic and political institutions. The betrayal of these aspirations by Western actions means that Western leaders are now viewed as utterly untrustworthy, which means that greater exposure to and interdependence with Western economies and institutions is seen as a source of mortal danger to the Russian state. Since both nature and geopolitics abhor a vacuum, the West’s rejection of Russia meant better and more extensive relations with China, motivated by both countries’ shared interest in countering aggressive policies aimed at each of the two. In practical terms it means that it is not in China’s self-interest to see Russia succumb to Western pressure, just as it is not in Russia’s interest to see China fall either. That convergence of Russian and Chinese interests means that Obama-Harris foreign policy will have to reassess the Obama-Biden strategy of “Russia first, China second”.

Escalation or a Two-Front War?

Simply continuing the Obama-Biden strategy will be tempting but tricky. For starters, US sanctions against Russia have already greatly escalated during the Donald “Kremlin Asset” Trump presidency, whose initial outreach toward Russia which triggered #RussiaGate was likely nothing more than an attempt to interest Moscow in an alliance against Beijing, followed by economic warfare when it turned out Moscow was not about to sacrifice its stable relationship with Beijing for the sake of courting favor of fickle and unreliable United States and other Western countries. OFAC’s admission that there is hardly anything more that can be sanctioned in Russia suggests that all the “painless” options have been exhausted. Further expansion of sanctions, by leveling them against Russia’s sovereign debt or cutting Russia off from SWIFT, for example, would also have serious consequences for the United States and Europe. There is a reason these lines have not been crossed yet, and it remains to be seen whether the Biden Administration will be desperate enough to cross them. Further escalation of sanctions would also damage US-EU relations that Biden claims he wants to restore, and it is telling that Biden is framing the restoration of these alliances in terms of opposing China. Germany’s opposition to Trump-era sanctions against North Stream 2 means that the United States is limited where Europe’s vital interests are concerned.

Moreover, it does seem that the US “Deep State” is frustrated by Russia’s resistance and is getting impatient to finally grapple with China. It has already made many moves in that direction during the Trump administration, including the crackdown on Huawei, the effort to ban or seize Tik-Tok, last-minute moves to expand US contacts with Taiwan in violation of the “One China” policy, and most notably by the growing importance of naval and air power in Pentagon thinking. When Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley of the U.S. Army says that the Army will need to have its spending cut in order to bolster the U.S. Navy budget, this is no longer some Trumpian whim, but rather an expression of broad-based consensus preferences. Something that violates the long-standing if unwritten rule that each of the three major services, Army, Navy, Air Force, gets an equal share of the defense budget, cannot be anything other than an indicator of a major shift of focus.

Because while a US naval build-up would have consequences for Russia, since USN warships carry long-range land-attack missiles that are to be supplemented by hypersonic weapons and possess anti-ballistic missile defense capabilities, they are hardly suitable for the task of “defending the Suwalki Gap” and other NATO missions in Eastern Europe. Even the US Marine Corps, which during the Cold War had a major European NATO mission in Norway, is shedding its tanks and artillery to reshape itself as a force for littoral combat in the many archipelagoes of western Pacific. So, if anything, it looks like the United States military is actually sacrificing its ability to put boots, and tanks and guns, on the ground in continental Europe for the sake of putting ships and planes into and over the East China Sea and possibly the Arctic Ocean.

Biden’s team could try to reverse all that, but doing so would carry high political costs. Hunter Biden’s China ties are a liability that will be exploited should Joe “show weakness” toward China. The “Uyghur genocide” rhetoric will only intensify in the coming years, there is nothing that Biden can do to stem that, not anymore than Trump could tamp down on the “Russian collusion” theories that proliferated over the years. China’s success at tackling COVID-19 has only raised the sense of urgency about the “China threat” among the US supremacists. And finally there are the domestic US constituencies, often consisting of traditional Democratic Party voters, who backed Trump because the confrontation with China meant the possibility of manufacturing jobs of coming back to the US.

Oceania vs. Eurasia

All in all, it does not appear possible that Biden will have the luxury of picking and choosing theaters of Cold War, which sets us up for the spectacle of the United States that could not defeat the Taliban attempt to tackle two Eurasian major powers all at once. As in the previous iteration of “Cold War”, the battlefield will be the peripheral countries that are torn between the United States and the Eurasian powers. These include the European Union, whose economic interests are not served by US-led escalation toward either Russia or China, but also Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, Philippines, and even India which collectively represent a geopolitical “no-man’s land” since their alliance commitments to the US are balanced by economic ties to America’s “designated enemies”.

Whether the United States is up to the task of handling this kind of a challenge is an open question. China’s, Russia’s economic systems are far more viable than they were during the Cold War, and are also healthier than Western economies that are struggling under massive debt burdens and require constant monetary stimulus policies by their respective central banks. US internal problems and divisions will likewise drain attention and budget funding away from international adventures. Should Biden focus on implementing this extreme foreign policy agenda at the expense of domestic priorities, the next round of isolationist backlash in the US will be even stronger than the previous one. So the situation in many ways resembles that facing the Nixon Administration in the late 1960s. However, is anyone in the Biden Administration willing to pursue détente policies?

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Cleaning Up The Leftovers From Biden’s Last Bout Of Leadership

Posted by M. C. on January 5, 2021

Let there be no doubt, in foreign policy terms “leadership” is the bipartisan and benign euphemism for America First nationalism. And that usually means some sort of war. Biden already has his warriors in place from the Obama years: Bloody Susan Rice, Blinken at State, Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. There will be others filling in the mid ranks as those principals call in their former deputies, who call theirs.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2021/january/04/cleaning-up-the-leftovers-from-biden-s-last-bout-of-leadership/

Written by Peter Van Buren

As Trump leaves office the only president to have not started a new war since WWII—and Joe Biden, who supported so many of America’s wars, including (vice-) presiding over the second and third Iraq Wars, heads into office—the talk is again what should be the most terrifying words anyone outside the US could hear: More American Leadership. Thing is, we haven’t cleaned up the leftovers from the last bout of leadership yet.

President-Elect Biden pulls no punches about how he feels about Trump’s lack of war, saying “Trump has abdicated American leadership in mobilizing collective action to meet new threats. This is the time to tap the strength and audacity that took us to victory in two world wars and brought down the Iron Curtain.” His SecState-nominee Antony Blinken used the word “leadership” in a speech 16 times. Biden himself wrote an essay in Foreign Affairs titled “Why America Must Lead Again.” Introducing his national security nominees, Biden said “America is back, ready to lead the world.”

Let there be no doubt, in foreign policy terms “leadership” is the bipartisan and benign euphemism for America First nationalism. And that usually means some sort of war. Biden already has his warriors in place from the Obama years: Bloody Susan Rice, Blinken at State, Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense. There will be others filling in the mid ranks as those principals call in their former deputies, who call theirs.

The problem with America’s leadership spurts is that they are often left uncompleted. They are played for US domestic political consumption and leave behind a mess someone else has to clean up when politics shift. Worst of all, no one in America seems to ask those overseas who are about to be freed, liberated, encouraged to revolt, or otherwise enlightened by the arrival of the American Empire if they indeed want any leadership today.

So maybe before spewing out any new leadership, Biden could start by cleaning up some of the leadership he and others left behind. Start with Iraq.

Quick, Jeopardy-style, when did the Iraq War end? Correct answer of course is “What is never.” America wrecked the place from the air in 1991, then invaded by land in 2003. Those American troops mostly left in 2010, then returned in 2014, and today loiter like dropouts in the high school parking lot in unknown but relatively small numbers. The American Embassy in Iraq, physically still the size of the Vatican and once the largest embassy in the world in diplomatic headcount, sits mostly empty with a security guard-to-diplomat ratio that would embarrass any Twitter warrior.

You would wish that was all, but the horrors of the Iraq Wars are such that even bodies already buried find their way to the surface. Among the many US atrocities few today know about (Google “Haditha Massacre,” “Mahmudiyah rape,” “Abu Ghraib torture”) loom the Nisour Square murders.

On a hot as hell September 16, 2007, Blackwater mercenaries hired by the State Department as security killed 17 Iraqi civilians—including two children—and injured 20 in Nisour Square, central Baghdad. The US lied and prevaricated for years, until finally the truth slithered out that none of the Iraqis were armed, the Blackwater guys panicked, and their so-called defensive fire was beyond any legitimate rule of war.

The State Department tried to intervene, allowing the defendants to claim State’s own Diplomatic Security officers had offered them on-the-street immunity in return for later recanted testimony (Nisour Square wasn’t the only time State lied to cover for Blackwater). It took seven years until a US court convicted four Blackwater employees. All four were pardoned by Trump in December 2020.

“That was years ago” say many of the same Americans willing to connect a police shooting today to the first slaves arriving on this continent in 1619. Though the average American might vaguely remember something bad happened with Blackwater, every Iraqi knows what Nisour Square stands for: American invasion, false promises of freedom, arrogant use of power. The same way Vietnamese know My Lai and thousands of other such incidents whose names never made it into the American press. Or perhaps how the remaining scraps of the Lakota people still reference Wounded Knee. No reckoning allowed save the marvelous sleight of hand of America’s fragile memory.

Read the whole article here.

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Electoral College confirms Joe Biden as president-elect amid threats of violence and Trump protests – MarketWatch

Posted by M. C. on December 16, 2020

The only violence I have seen emanates from Antifa, BLM and George Soros’. Biden people.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/electoral-college-meets-amid-threats-of-violence-and-trump-protests-11607961822

By

Chris Matthews

The Electoral College formally declared Joe Biden president-elect Monday, after California cast its 55 votes for the former vice president and put him beyond the 270-vote threshold needed to secure victory. 

The final tally showed Biden beating President Donald Trump by a electoral-vote margin of 306-232. In the popular vote, Biden won by more than 7 million votes, or a margin of 4.5%.

“In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed,” President-elect Biden said during a speech Monday night from Wilmington, Del. “We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our election remains intact.”

Electors across the country voted amid threats of violence and the continued, unsubstantiated allegations by President Donald Trump that he lost the November election as the result of widespread election fraud.

Meanwhile, alternative slates of unofficial electors met in swing states won by Biden, including Pennsylvania, Georgia and Wisconsin, to cast votes for Trump in the hopes that federal courts will rule the electoral votes cast for Biden invalid.

“As we speak today, an alternate slate of electors in the contested states is going to vote and send those votes up to Congress,” Trump aide Stephen Miller told Fox News early Monday. “This will ensure all of our legal remedies will remain open.”

Legal observers, however, said that such votes are no more than political theater. “These electors have neither been certified by state executives nor purportedly appointed by state legislators,” wrote Rick Hasen, an election-law expert at the University of California, Irvine, on his blog. “They don’t have legal authority and so this does not affect the counting of Electoral College votes.”

U.S. presidents are not directly elected by voters. Rather, the Constitution says that citizens must vote in state elections for a candidate. The party of the winning candidate in each state then chooses a slate of electors to vote in the Electoral College.

Read more: As Electoral College vote looms, many avenues remain for Republican obstruction, experts say

This year, election officials and electors in many states are took extra precautions to guard against threats of violence, though protests off the process have so far been peaceful. The Michigan State Capitol was closed due to “credible threats of violence,” the Washington Post reported, while in Arizona, the vote was held in an undisclosed location for safety reasons, according to the New York Times.

In Wisconsin, electors were instructed to enter the capitol grounds through an “unmarked side door” to avoid protesters, as electors in the state reportedly having received threats of harm against them and their families if they followed through with their pledged votes for Biden.

Trump has consistently stoked the anger of his supporters, tweeting this weekend that swing states “CANNOT LEGALLY CERTIFY these votes as complete & correct without committing a severely punishable crime.” The president has continued to advance allegations of election fraud that have been discredited in the more than 50 court cases he and his allies have lost in seeking to overturn the results of the November election.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to hear a case filed by the state of Texas and joined by the Trump campaign and publicly supported by 126 House Republicans that sought to have the results of the presidential balloting in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin declared unconstitutional and effectively hand Trump a second term.

Though there remains active litigation in courts wherein the Trump campaign and its allies are seeking to decertify results in many of the same battleground states, the Supreme Court’s refusal to even hear the Texas case represents a comprehensive rebuke of theories of widespread voter fraud or illegal changes to state election law as factoring into the Trump loss to Biden.

Biden, whose popular-vote margin over Trump exceeds 7 million, defeated Trump 306 to 232 in the Electoral College vote.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Congress Again Proves that the Business of Washington is War

Posted by M. C. on December 15, 2020

As the first African-American to take charge of the Pentagon, the Austin pick is celebrated as a great victory for “diversity.” However, if we move beyond the color of a person’s skin, Biden’s selection is not all that diverse. Gen. Austin was head of the US Central Command under an Obama Administration that launched a brutal war on Libya under false pretenses and pursued a regime-change policy in Syria that involved arming and training jihadists. Upon retirement, as is all too common with military leaders, he cashed in on his service with a position on the board of military contractor Raytheon.

Austin will be “business as usual” for Washington’s warmongers and the military contractors who make a fortune inventing endless conflicts overseas.

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/december/14/congress-again-proves-that-the-business-of-washington-is-war/

Written by Ron Paul

Libertarian educator Tom Woods famously quipped that “no matter who you vote for you end up with John McCain.” Unfortunately Woods was proven right for about the thousandth time this past week, as Washington again showed us that it is all about war.

First, we learned that if Joe Biden ends up in the White House next month he intends to put a deep state member of the military-industrial complex in charge of the Pentagon. General Lloyd Austin will be only the second Defense Secretary in decades to require a special Senate waiver to serve in that position. Gen. James Mattis under President Trump also needed a waiver, as he had been out of the military less than the required seven years before becoming Defense Secretary.

But the revolving door between active military service and civilian leadership of the Pentagon is perhaps less troubling than the revolving door between the military-industrial complex and leadership of the Defense Department.

As the first African-American to take charge of the Pentagon, the Austin pick is celebrated as a great victory for “diversity.” However, if we move beyond the color of a person’s skin, Biden’s selection is not all that diverse. Gen. Austin was head of the US Central Command under an Obama Administration that launched a brutal war on Libya under false pretenses and pursued a regime-change policy in Syria that involved arming and training jihadists. Upon retirement, as is all too common with military leaders, he cashed in on his service with a position on the board of military contractor Raytheon.

Austin will be “business as usual” for Washington’s warmongers and the military contractors who make a fortune inventing endless conflicts overseas.

Then things went from bad to worse, as the yearly monstrosity called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was passed with an amendment severely restricting the US president’s ability to remove troops from Afghanistan and Europe. Offered by neoconservative Congresswoman Liz Cheney, daughter of the warmongering Dick Cheney, the amendment all but guarantees that America’s longest war in history will continue pointlessly onward.

A coalition of warmongering Democrats and Republicans have been furious with President Trump for his last minute effort to draw troops down from Afghanistan and elsewhere, and they appear to have a veto-proof majority to tie the president’s hands.

Congress has for decades believed that the president can go to war whenever or wherever he pleases without a declaration, but if the president dares attempt to end a war their belief in a “unitary executive” is thrown out the window. What hypocrisy.

The Constitution is clear that the president is the commander in chief of the military and as such should have the authority to move troops as he sees fit. The Founders understood that 535 Members of Congress trying to micromanage troops on the battlefield is not a good idea.

Congress has it backward. It should be very difficult for a president to take the country to war and easy for that war to be ended.

Time after time, the “peace” candidate usually wins the election. But no matter how sick the American people are of endless war, the war machine finds a way to keep chugging along. What will it take to return to a policy of peace and prosperity?


Copyright © 2020 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
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Joe Biden Wants a Huge New Tax on Gun Owners | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 5, 2020

The stick behind the stick is a penalty of up to ten years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine. Registration involves filling out a thirteen-page registration form and providing fingerprints and a photograph of yourself.

According to Biden the pragmatist circa 1985:

During my 12.5 years as a Member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control. In my opinion a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime.2

Despite his recognition of the futility of using gun control to reduce crime and gun violence, the “pragmatist” turned to the dark side when it became politically expedient to do so.

https://mises.org/wire/joe-biden-wants-huge-new-tax-gun-owners

Mark Thornton

Joe Biden’s gun policy platform offers support for almost all conceivable forms of government restrictions on the Second Amendment. This includes bans and restrictions on sales, expansion of registration and background checks, expansion of buyback programs and gun-grabbing statutes, and the closing of all sorts of “loopholes.”1

While we are only at the policy platform stage, where proposals are grandiose and imprecise, Biden’s legislative agenda will clearly be anti–Second Amendment and not a program to reduce crime and violence. First, he wants to stop the “gun violence epidemic” with restriction on rifles when it is handgun shootings, not rifles, that are a problem and one that is mostly confined to big cities controlled by leftists. Second, he wants to go after “assault weapons” and “weapons of war” when he should know that rifles like the AK and AR “sporters” are not military-grade fully automatic weapons. Third, he would like to hold gun manufacturers civilly liable for criminal acts committed with guns, a move which would shut down the industry, the true goal. In support of the government’s buyback program, i.e., the carrot, Biden has added a gun tax for anyone who wishes to keep their rifles and high-capacity magazines. If you want to avoid the buyback and keep your guns and high-capacity (greater than ten rounds) magazine, you would have to register both under the National Firearms Act, which triggers a $200 tax for each rifle and magazine—the stick. The stick behind the stick is a penalty of up to ten years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine. Registration involves filling out a thirteen-page registration form and providing fingerprints and a photograph of yourself.

ye-join-button_250x55.png

ye-join-button_250x55.png

This is certainly bad enough for gun owners and Americans in general, but if history is a teacher the end results could be much worse, potentially catastrophic.

Joe Biden was sold to the American voter in 2020 as a moderate of the Democrat Party.  He was not a conservative, but neither was he an AOC progressive or a Sanders socialist. His image as a white moderate male was also used to help sell the voters on Barack Obama.

There was also a time when Biden was actually a pragmatist on Second Amendment rights. As the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, he helped pass the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act, which overturned decades of anti-gun court rulings and regulations to restore most gun owner rights and reexpanded commerce by eliminating restrictions on how and where guns could be sold. The legislation’s passage helped lay the foundation of the modern gun rights movement. According to Biden the pragmatist circa 1985:

During my 12.5 years as a Member of this body, I have never believed that additional gun control or Federal registration of guns would reduce crime. I am convinced that a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control. In my opinion a national register or ban of handguns would be impossible to carry out and may not result in reductions in crime.2

Despite his recognition of the futility of using gun control to reduce crime and gun violence, the “pragmatist” turned to the dark side when it became politically expedient to do so. In 1993 he helped pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which required background checks through a new national checking system (the National Instant Criminal Background Check System [NICS]). The next year he helped obtain a ten-year ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazine sales.

As vice president, he was President Obama’s point man in developing legislative proposals and executive orders to shore up gun control at the national level, and yet even that administration admitted that gun control is almost a futile endeavor and that their efforts amounted to little more than feel-good measures.

While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the American people want action. If even one child’s life can be saved, then we need to act. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love.3

Indeed, with more than a century of experience we know that gun control does not reduce crime but rather increases it, as John Lott has demonstrated. According to Lott’s evidence and that of independent researchers, no form of gun control has positive effects and most forms have negative effects on crime, murder, and mass shootings. Indeed, the most noteworthy policies that improve these problems are the elimination of gun-free zones and the expansion of concealed carry laws.4

With respect to Biden’s proposed gun tax, what are the expected outcomes? The tax is certainly not designed to raise revenue, as it would raise little and entail a good deal of bureaucratic spending. It would no doubt encourage gun buybacks and reduce gun ownership at the margin, but to what end? It would mostly impact responsible gun owners economically impacted by the lockdowns and unemployment. These are the gun owners who reduce crime rates because of the deterrence factor they provide. The gun tax would also encourage the diversion of guns and high-capacity magazines to the black market.

Most importantly, would the gun tax reduce access to guns and in turn reduce crime and violence? Biden has already admitted that the answer is no: “a criminal who wants a firearm can get one through illegal, nontraceable, unregistered sources, with or without gun control.” Efforts to reduce gun violence through policies of red tape and taxes are doomed to fail and only lead to further inroads of enhanced policies of restrictionism and even outright prohibition.

For example, in order to address the real and imagined problem of narcotics addiction, which was already in decline at the end of the nineteenth century, the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act was passed in 1914 to regulate and tax the production, importation, and distribution of opiates and cocaine products.

However, the courts interpreted the legislation to mean that doctors could prescribe these drugs in the course of normal treatment, as a dental anesthetic or for short-term pain management, for example, but not as a treatment for addiction. This turned regulation into prohibition and quickly turned the imaginary crimes of blacks and Asians into very real crimes all across the country. Desperate addicts were willing to pay high prices and commit crimes to satisfy their addictions, and smugglers and drug dealers quickly developed a black market.

Similar negative consequences resulted from the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which started as a tax to reduce imagined crimes by minorities, i.e., Reefer Madness, only to quickly devolve into an outright prohibition. Fortunately, we as a people have recognized this mistake and are moving to legalize cannabis and hemp, i.e., marijuana, in a state-by-state process that works in the face of federal and international law.

As horrific and far-reaching as the consequences of the war on drugs have been, the consequences of “commonsense” gun control laws are potentially much greater in the long run. In a very important contribution, Stephen Holbrook demonstrates that the Nazis used gun registration information instituted and collected by the Weimar Regime to rapidly disarm the Jews and other political adversaries. This in turn greatly facilitated the Holocaust.5 A disarmed American population would similarly be much more vulnerable to political repression.

But putting this possibility aside, Biden’s gun control proposals, including the gun tax, offer no possibility of improved security, while most of them will make us less secure and more prone to crime and violence. Most importantly, they are all an affront and threat to our liberty as enshrined in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Author:

Contact Mark Thornton

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

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ClubOrlov: Are Americans Rational?

Posted by M. C. on December 4, 2020

Roberts is a Republican and therefore believes that the Democrats stole the election. A Democrat, once it turns out that Trump won after all, would believe the opposite. But that makes no difference because, as I keep repeating, the US is not a democracy and it doesn’t matter who is its president.

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/11/are-americans-rational.html

Club Orlov

I’ve been holding back on commenting on current events because they are far too silly. At this point it is safe to say that the elections in the US have been thoroughly botched and that, no matter who is ultimately chosen as president for the next for years, enough questions will remain in the minds of enough people to thoroughly delegitimize the national leadership in the eyes of at least half the country.

Just this morning I got a missive from Paul Craig Roberts containing the following bullet points:

• Joe Biden’s Twitter account has 20 million followers. Trump’s Twitter account has 88.8 million followers.

• Joe Biden’s Facebook account has 7.78 million followers. Trump’s Facebook account has 34.72 million followers. How likely is it that a person with four to five times the following of his rival lost the election?

• Joe Biden, declared by the biased presstitutes to be president by landslide, gave a Thanksgiving Day message and only 1,000 people watched his live statement. Where is the enthusiasm?

• Trump’s campaign appearances were heavily attended and that Biden’s were avoided. Somehow a candidate who could not draw supporters to his campaign appearances won the presidency.

• Despite Biden’s total failure to animate voters during the presidential campaign, he received 15 million more votes than Barack Obama did in his 2012 re-election.

• Biden won despite underperforming Hillary Clinton’s 2016 vote in every urban US county, but outperformed Clinton in Democrat-controlled Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, the precise cities where the most obvious and most blatant electoral fraud was committed.

• Biden won despite receiving a record low share of the Democrat primary vote compared to Trump’s share of the Republican primary vote.

• Biden won despite Trump bettering his 2016 vote by ten million votes and Trump’s record support from minority voters.

• Biden won despite losing the bellwether counties that have always predicted the election outcome and the bellwether states of Ohio and Florida.

• Biden won in Georgia, a completely red state with a red governor and legislature both House and Senate. Somehow a red state voted for a blue president.

• Biden won despite the Democrats losing representation in the House.

• In Pennsylvania 47 memory cards containing more than 50,000 votes are missing.

• Pennsylvania 1.8 million ballots were mailed out to voters, but 2.5 million mail-in ballots were counted.

Roberts is a Republican and therefore believes that the Democrats stole the election. A Democrat, once it turns out that Trump won after all, would believe the opposite. But that makes no difference because, as I keep repeating, the US is not a democracy and it doesn’t matter who is its president.

It is not a democracy because the vast majority of votes—all Democratic votes in Republican states and all Republican votes in Democratic states—are simply thrown away. That’s roughly half the electorate who have no chance of making their vote count in the state where they live. Of course, they could move to a different state, in which case their vote would be thrown away for the opposite reason—lost as part of a superfluously large majority.

This is easy enough to explain to any rational person—but not to the vast majority of Americans, for whom such logic goes in one ear and comes out the other. In short, they are not rational. Worse than that, their leaders are not rational either. This brings us to the second point—that it doesn’t matter who is president.

Trump keeps talking about making America great—by bringing manufacturing back from China. Except that the opposite has happened over the past four years: China’s industrial production has continued to grow (although more slowly than before) while in the US it has continued to decline. Nor is is there any reason at all to think that this is going to change over the next four years.

Biden keeps talking about America continuing as the leader of the free world—except that America is no longer the leader of much of anything and there is no reason to think that anything can be done to reverse this slide. Thus, no matter who becomes (or remains) president, the US administration will continue to wallow in nostalgia while steadfastly refusing to admit defeat.

This defeat has multiple elements. First, the shale oil gamble is over. Drilling rates have collapsed, many shale oil companies are bankrupt, and US oil production is set to plummet from over 12 million barrels per day at its peak to around 5 million by next June (according to Art Berman, whose opinion I trust). After that point the US will once again become a major oil importer, and since no other swing producers are available this will drive up oil prices, perhaps beyond the previous all-time record of $150/barrel, resulting in a US oil import bill of half a trillion dollars a year. But it is doubtful whether that much extra oil can be produced at almost any price.

Second, national bankruptcy is looming ever closer. The federal government now overspends its revenues by a factor of two or more, meaning that for every dollar of federal revenue it borrows and spends at least two. Previously, despite its already ridiculous size and exponential growth rate, US federal debt could be given an appearance of legitimacy because enough foreign buyers could be found for it; but this is no longer the case. And so this debt is looking less and less legitimate because it is being monetized—simply printed into existence—as the Federal Reserve degenerates into a pure pyramid scheme.

Third, the US dollar (along with some other currencies to which it is tied) is poised on the edge of a hyperinflationary wipe-out. In an effort to shore up the economy a great deal of money has been unleashed into the economy and it went chasing after stocks, keeping it from triggering hyperinflation. Thus we have the truly bizarre combination of a record-high stock market along with record-high bankruptcies, foreclosures and evictions. At some point confidence in the stock market will evaporate and all of this notional money will go chasing after anything that isn’t made of paper (with the possible exception of toilet paper). Much of this notional money will evaporate as people liquidate their stock holdings, but enough will remain to result in hoarding and hyperinflation. The US dollar will devalue internationally and the US will lose access to imports.

Fourth, the US has lost its lead militarily, definitely to Russia and possibly to China and Iran. Its major military asset is its aircraft carrier fleet, which is by now completely useless because it can be destroyed using conventional weapons from a safe stand-off distance which is greater than the reach of its aircraft. Consequently, it cannot be deployed close enough to an enemy shore to make its aircraft useful. US military bases, hundreds of which are scattered all over the globe, but mostly clustered along Russia’s and China’s borders, are also useless militarily, as demonstrated by Iran’s rocket attacks against two of them in Iraq. In short, the entire US military is by now more of a liability than an asset—likely to draw the US into a military confrontation which it cannot win.

Now, do you hear these points discussed in the national media, in the course of the election campaign or otherwise? Do these points come up at all in conversations with colleagues, neighbors, friends and family? Are these topics of discussion in high school civics classes? (Wait, what high school civics classes?) No? And yet they are real, and their consequences are at this point unavoidable, and refusing to acknowledge them will only exacerbate their effects.

Collapse is bad enough when you and everyone around you can acknowledge it. But if everyone from the president (pick either one) to the lowliest convenience store clerk is incapable of accepting it as real and thinking through some of the immediate consequences, that makes it much, much worse. I refuse to accept any of the responsibility for this dreadful state of affairs; I’ve been doing all I can to warn people for a decade and a half now. It is now pointless for me to issue any more warnings. All I can do now is watch the inevitable unfold.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article-Why forgiving student debt is a bad idea

Posted by M. C. on November 30, 2020

About once a year Jonah comes up with a winner. Of course he neglected to mention one of the main causes for increased debt. Increased tuition due to to easy Fed loan money. Easy money lets schools jack prices and pay for ever increasing admin positions, safe rooms and worthless (no real world job possibilities except teaching it again) PC approved majors.

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=20d7666bc

One good rule of thumb is to judge parties and politicians by their priorities. Politicians often pretend to be for every good thing under the sun, so the best way to judge them is to look at which things they actually work to achieve or spend political capital on. This will tell you not only what they’re really for, but which constituents they really care about.

By that metric, it will be very revealing if one of Joe Biden’s first actions as president will be to forgive student debt.

That’s an idea swirling around Democratic circles — particularly among the progressive base, which is worried that Biden might actually mean all that centrist and moderate stuff he said during the campaign. The base turned out for Biden, and now they want their pay-off — literally so, in the case of massive debt forgiveness.

Last week, a coalition of 236 progressive groups led by teachers unions called on Biden to cancel student debt on his first days at the office. Biden himself has already urged Congress to cancel $10,000 as part of a pandemic relief package.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have called for even greater debt forgiveness. Sanders’ plan would cost an estimated $1.6 trillion dollars.

I think it’s a bad policy, and bad politics.

Let’s start with the policy: As economists on the left and right will tell you, the economic cratering caused by the pandemic is not like a typical recession. In normal times, bailing out failing businesses is a bad idea because, among other things, it creates what economists call “moral hazard” — incentivizing bad decisions people make when they think someone else (i.e. taxpayers) will pick up the tab.

A restaurant that was profitable before COVID-19 hit did nothing wrong. Trying to keep such businesses, and their employees afloat during the pandemic, which Washington did on a bipartisan basis, was a good idea.

Proponents of loan forgiveness are claiming this is just like that. Well, before the pandemic no one was calling for a mass bailout of small businesses, but lots of progressives were calling for student debt cancellation. In other words, they think the pandemic is a crisis that shouldn’t go to waste.

That doesn’t automatically mean they’re wrong, but it doesn’t make them right either. Student loan forgiveness, even according to formulae that exclude the very well-off, has very few broader economic benefits. As Jason Furman (Barack Obama’s chair for the Council of Economic Advisors) notes, debt forgiveness would be taxable — which would cut into any stimulative effect on the economy.

Think about it this way: If you only have $1.5 trillion to spend, what policy would help the most people actually struggling right now? I don’t think cancelling student loans would rank in the top 20.

Which brings me to the politics. Most Americans, especially most poor Americans, don’t have student debt, because most of them didn’t go to college in the first place. Moreover, most people who did go to college have no or very little student debt.

According to the liberalleaning Brookings Institution, roughly 30% of undergrads have none.

Another 25% have up to $20,000 in loans. Despite what you may have heard about the student debt crisis, only 6% of borrowers owe more than $100,000. Virtually all of them borrowed so much because they attended graduate school.

You can argue that people who choose to get graduate degrees — including many young doctors, lawyers and engineers in training — deserve relief. But do they deserve help more than truck drivers, mechanics or short-order cooks?

Heck, do they deserve relief more than the doctors, lawyers and engineers who chose to pay off their loans?

One reason teachers unions — a huge source of donations and political organizing for the Democratic Party — want loan forgiveness is that teachers and administrators can boost their pay by going back to school to get advanced degrees. Other municipal and federal workers — another major constituency for Democrats — have similar rules.

Whether or not you think that’s a good overall policy (I don’t), using the pandemic as an excuse to reward workers who are far less likely to lose their jobs and more likely to find new employment if they do, seems awfully self-serving.

The popularity of this idea stems from the fact that the Democratic Party has increasingly become the party of educated professionals, as the GOP has become more working-class. Lots of poor people are still Democrats, but they aren’t a major source of power within the party — the bureaucrats claiming to speak for them are. And that’s who Democrats are prioritizing.

Jonah Goldberg is editorin- chief of The Dispatch and the host of The Remnant podcast. His Twitter handle is @JonahDispatch.

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Like Most Democrats, Biden Sided With the Virus | The Stream

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2020

That fanned the panic, which Democrats counted on. That allowed them to shut down their states. To destroy the Trump boom economy. And to make the case for massive micromanagement of individual citizens. You know, the Great Reset, which Canada’s Justin Trudeau admits will be the pretext for enacting a pre-existing globalist agenda.

Joe Biden’s son Hunter sought illicit millions from China and was subject to Chinese blackmail. We know that from the laptop the FBI hid in a basement and the media wouldn’t report on. What we don’t know? Whether Biden directly coordinated his strategy with China. Or if he simply and cynically figured out on his own how to make the COVID crisis worse.

https://stream.org/like-most-democrats-biden-sided-with-the-virus/

By John Zmirak

Vanity Fair reported back in October that Joe Biden advisors pressured the company Pfizer to hold off announcing its vaccine until after the election. The magazine clogs the story with plenty of propaganda language. It disguises this political pressure as “scientific” caution, but the facts are clear.

The Biden team was desperate to keep Americans scared and locked down in their homes until their ballots were cast. Chief among those exerting such massive political pressure was Ezekiel Emanuel. He’s the euthanasia enthusiast who’d withhold life-saving medicine from anyone over age 75.

This seems shady as hell, from a story on Oct. 22.

Biden coronavirus task force member @ZekeEmanuel worked with @EricTopol to pressure Pfizer not to apply for approval of its vaccine on an expedited timeline before the election. https://t.co/M8L0oPfPdI pic.twitter.com/fCqvcTpkdO

— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) November 24, 2020

The Disney Animatronic Dead President-Elect

It seems that Biden’s gambit worked. That Disney Animatronic Dead “President-Elect” Joe Biden will successfully dodge the legal challenges to his victory. I hope I am wrong. But if I’m not, we need to know precisely the kind of shell of a man we’re dealing with. And who are his closest and most important allies.

The biggest and most effective of these, it’s clear, is the COVID virus. Or the Wuhan Flu, is you want to use the scientific convention in existence until Beijing snapped its fingers, and worldwide media obeyed it. To all appearances, Joe Biden obeyed China, too. He directly cooperated, at every stage, with a Chinese biowarfare attack on the rest of the world. The reward he sought in return? The White House. Should his election stand, the lesson the world will draw from it should be clear: Friends of China prosper. Get the hint?

Was Biden Following Orders, or Just Sniffing Out His Interests?

Joe Biden’s son Hunter sought illicit millions from China and was subject to Chinese blackmail. We know that from the laptop the FBI hid in a basement and the media wouldn’t report on. What we don’t know? Whether Biden directly coordinated his strategy with China. Or if he simply and cynically figured out on his own how to make the COVID crisis worse. Then ride it to win the election. Either scenario would explain his actions. The one theory that wouldn’t is that Biden was a patriotic American, doing the best he could.

Ask yourself: Why did Joe Biden oppose Donald Trump’s life-saving travel ban on China? China had locked down its own country to travel, and was welding people to die in their apartments inside Wuhan. What’s the patriotic explanation of Biden back in January smearing Trump as “xenophobic” for rejecting travelers whom China wouldn’t admit? China sent a million possible carriers out to the world like Japanese Zeros on Pearl Harbor morning. They spread the disease, so China didn’t suffer alone. They brought it first and worst to Italy, where we saw horrific scenes of hospital wards turning into morgues. What part of that was it right for Joe Biden to wish on Americans?

Why Kill All Those Old Folks?

Ask yourself again why blue-state governors such as Andrew Cuomo (now facing an Emmy Award for impersonating a U.S. governor) dumped virus patients on nursing homes. Why kill off tens of thousands of America’s most vulnerable? I have found no rational explanation for doing that. Or for leaving thousands of beds empty on medical ships such as the U.S.S. Comfort, and field hospitals such as Samaritan’s Purse set up.Please Support The Stream: Equipping Christians to Think Clearly About the Political, Economic and Moral Issues of Our Day.

If such a virus dump on the elderly had happened in just one state, I’d chalk it up to incompetence. But this policy was apparently coordinated. It only happened in blue states, such as New York, New Jersey, Michigan and California. And the massive die-off of veterans and grandmas in those states helped pad the death tolls.

Fanning the Panic, for the Great Reset

That fanned the panic, which Democrats counted on. That allowed them to shut down their states. To destroy the Trump boom economy. And to make the case for massive micromanagement of individual citizens. You know, the Great Reset, which Canada’s Justin Trudeau admits will be the pretext for enacting a pre-existing globalist agenda.

Remember, my friends, the virus is very smart. It knows to spread when people sing in church. But not to spread when they loot cities to demand we defund the police. The virus knew better than to spread when Democrats harvested votes. Or rallied by the thousands to protest the danger of in-person voting. But it absolutely would have spread and killed millions if people had to show up and show ID at polling places.

The Virus: Too Smart for Us

Such a crafty virus. It made sure that the only safe time to announce an upcoming vaccine against it would be … just two weeks after the election the Democrats were counting on it to win them.

Maybe Joe Biden is right: this virus is so hyper-intelligent and powerful we’d better ally with it. And with China. Resistance is futile.

John Zmirak is a senior editor at The Stream, and author or co-author of ten books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism. He is co-author with Jason Jones of “God, Guns, & the Government.”

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Being Pro-union Means Being Antiworker | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 24, 2020

Union “rights” already delete workers’ freedom to associate with a different union, to choose alternative forms of group representation, such as voluntary unions, and to represent themselves in negotiations with employers. They delete workers’ freedom to associate with nonunion employers or to resolve workplace issues directly with employers, forcing arrangements exclusively through unions.

The PRO Act would exacerbate all those denials of workers’ freedom of association. It would repeal right to work laws, which twenty-seven states have to protect workers from being forced to join a union and pay union dues involuntarily. It would require employers to provide private employee information (including cell phone numbers, email addresses, and work schedules) to union organizers, violating the associational rights of those who don’t want to join or be approached by unions

https://mises.org/wire/being-pro-union-means-being-antiworker

Gary Galles

After becoming the apparent president-elect, Joe Biden clearly promised to unify Americans. However, that promise was in sharp contrast to what his campaign promises would actually achieve.

Granting unions their fondest wishes is clearly part of Biden’s labor policy, as illustrated by his statement that “I am a union man. Period” in his 2019 campaign-opening speech and his website’s opposition to the “war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers” under the current administration. And International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) president Lonnie Stephenson asserted a Biden administration would advance unity because it would be “a win for all working people.”

The problem is that Biden’s support for unions, particularly the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which is the primary means of granting their wishes, would help unions at the expense of the vast majority of American workers, a major blow to unity.

The PRO Act passed this February in the Democrat-controlled House but without Republican-controlled Senate approval. Carl Horowitz wrote that it would “dismantle virtually every existing safeguard against union monopoly in the private-sector workplace.” Eric Boehm described it, it is a “veritable grab bag of policies that labor unions have been pushing Congress to pass for years,” to further advantage unions at the expense of others’ freedom of association.

Unions already deprive many Americans of their freedom of association. As the Supreme Court found in Janus, unions inflict a “significant impingement on associational freedoms that would not be tolerated in other contexts.”

Union “rights” already delete workers’ freedom to associate with a different union, to choose alternative forms of group representation, such as voluntary unions, and to represent themselves in negotiations with employers. They delete workers’ freedom to associate with nonunion employers or to resolve workplace issues directly with employers, forcing arrangements exclusively through unions.

They delete employers’ freedom to not associate with unions or to solely employ workers who have no union involvement. In heavily unionized industries, they undermine consumers’ freedom to associate with lower cost, nonunion producers and force taxpayers to face higher-cost government services as a result of government employee unions. In each of these ways, freedom of association is applied only as a special privilege for unions and denied to others.

Further, unions violate the most basic freedom of association of many current union members. Many have never been given the right to vote on unionization, and those who might try are often kneecapped. That is because once a majority of the workers for an employer votes to certify a particular union, it becomes the monopoly negotiator for all workers. No further elections need ever be held, and attempts are strewn with roadblocks. So workers added after a union is certified need never be given a vote on the union, those who voted for it need never be given a chance to reconsider. That means no one who started work in GM’s Michigan plants since 1937 has voted to certify their union, and virtually no one who started work in government within the last half century has either, revealing that even union workers’ freedom of association is also a victim.

The PRO Act would exacerbate all those denials of workers’ freedom of association. It would repeal right to work laws, which twenty-seven states have to protect workers from being forced to join a union and pay union dues involuntarily. It would require employers to provide private employee information (including cell phone numbers, email addresses, and work schedules) to union organizers, violating the associational rights of those who don’t want to join or be approached by unions. It would allow unions to initiate snap elections in nonunion workplaces more rapidly, limiting opponents’ ability to present opposing positions. And it would codify “card check” elections, eliminating the protections against coercion provided by a secret ballot.

It would allow the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to invalidate a vote against unionization for virtually whatever what it decides was “employer interference.” It would require contractors and franchisees to bargain with unions, regardless of whether they have control over wages, benefits, etc., outlaw employment arbitration clauses, authorize “secondary boycotts” by unions against companies maintaining a business relationship with a target company, and more.

Far from unions benefiting all workers, advancing unity, they actually create disunity not only by constricting workplace competition, but by denying many others their freedom of association. Further, those denied that fundamental right include many union members, whose interests unions supposedly represent. And the PRO Act that Joe Biden is all in for will increase the discriminatory treatment of Americans. That is an odd way to advance our unity, regardless of the words claiming otherwise. Author:

Gary Galles

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University. He is the author of The Apostle of Peace: The Radical Mind of Leonard Read.

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