“Fakebook” is Determined to Destroy Free Speech

We recently heard a story of a Chinese national who was discussing the news media. She said most Chinese people are surprised at how many Americans continue to pay attention to the mainstream media.

She said nearly all Chinese (clearly an opinion, not necessarily provable) simply don’t pay attention to their media. They understand it is all useless and biased information, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

Of course, they are right. All Chinese media, as well as corporations and local governments, are controlled by the CCP. Nothing of significance happens in China that isn’t approved of, or directed by, the Party.

As she observed, mainstream American media also effectively follow the “Party line.” It is barely more objective than Chinese media. The exact method by which the American media is controlled differs from China, but the effect does not. It is difficult, bordering on impossible, for reporters or editors in the U. S. today to report news, or express opinion, that differs from the narratives promoted by leftists, Democratic leaders, and corporate media.

As an example, look at the corruption and censorship expressed by major social media platforms. For good or ill, most Americans get their news today from them. And most of it is biased, inaccurate, or outright lies.

Just this week, it was revealed that Facebook censored posts related to the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse. Facebook censored posts, removed them, or readjusted their algorithms so people couldn’t find them. Zuckerberg would make a good Bond villain. Or maybe he is more like the Unabomber, but with fewer social skills, and worse wardrobe, and less personality.

Facebook has, falsely, claimed they were “doing God’s work” by protecting us from false statements about things like Covid. That is a load of crap, to use a sophisticated journalistic term! They actually censor information simply based on their political views. If you are conservative, or even just objective, you are likely to be de-platformed or suppressed.

Facebook is a pro-censorship, leftist, Democratic platform that uses its editorial license and company profits to stifle conservative views and directly support Democratic voters. Zuckerberg gave nearly half a billion dollars of his own fortune to local election officials so they could boost turnout in counties that vote heavily Democratic. The Biden Administration and Democratic leadership know this and owes a ton of favors to Zuckerberg.

That is why they are working hand-in-hand with him to develop legislation that will secure “Fakebook’s” place at the top of the social media hierarchy, keep Zuckerberg a rich man, stifle competition, and censor conservatives. As we have observed in these pages, the fake whistleblower from Fakebook is part of the strategy to stifle diversity of opinion and entrench our tech overlords as determinants of what is acceptable thought. Some outlets, like NPR, here, bragged about how lucky they were to be given millions to turn out Democratic votes. Other analysis, here, notes it may be a teeny tine problem when oligarchs fund what should be public operations, thus effectively “owning” the leaders they help elect.

Do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of Mollie Hemingway’s new book, which details the collusion between big tech, the media, and Democratic leadership. It is discussed here, and in dozens of other columns and op-eds you will find if you do a quick search.

It is reality, not a conspiracy theory, to observe that American Oligarchs, legacy media, and big tech work together, regularly, to suppress conservative views. This is the direction in which we are headed, and the White House, as they have bragged, is all in as they work with social media to censor posts. If you wonder what it looks like for a formerly free nation to gradually lose its freedom, wonder no more. Just look out the window.

The Inflationary Train Wreck Ahead

Economics has been called “the science of scarcity” and “the dismal science.” While a lot of my peers may take offense to that description, it is economists who are called on to analyze data, predict the future, and share our conclusions, however rosy or gloomy they may be.

Sometimes the information we have before us is so compelling there is only one way to interpret it. Today is such a time. As I look at key indicators, it is hard to escape the conclusion that we are headed toward some very dramatic events.

It reminds me of an incident experienced by my uncle, Bill Cook, back in the 1930’s. The images he shared were just as stark as the economic future that looms ahead today.

Bill Cook left Iowa for Reno, Nevada where he spent his life. He made a living as a railroad man. He was the engineer on freight trains; the huge ones that went on and on and fascinated me as a boy.

About twenty years ago he told me about a time he was involved in a massive train wreck. Another train, which came from behind his, was engineered by a man who had many years on passenger trains but very little experience with freight trains. The difference is huge. Freight cars typically carry many tons while passenger cars are comparatively light.

Lacking understanding of (and respect for) the care needed on a long downgrade, the passenger trainman went into it too fast. Realizing he needed to slow down, he made a fatal mistake. He slammed on his air brakes – an action that caused all the air pressure to be released. That left him with no braking power.

Bill could see the other train coming, so tried to pull his train off onto a siding. It rapidly became clear the collision was unavoidable. Try as he would to avoid it, the second train hit the back of his. Fortunately, for Bill, he was far enough forward that he was not injured. But the wreckage behind him was massive.

The men on the second train were doomed. Bill said it was impossible to imagine the sight of two 80-ton diesel engines colliding and being tossed into the air. The back of the first engine was almost vertical up against the front of the second, which was also almost vertical. Railroad car after car crashed. The remains of the engineer of the second train were gathered up in a shoe box.

Bill was later exonerated of any responsibility for the event; but he never forgot what he saw and the feeling of impending doom as he watched the unfolding of an unstoppable disaster.

When I watch the current economic situation, I have something like the feeling my uncle did.

As an economist, I am aware of a simple rule from one of the twentieth century’s great minds – Milton Freidman. Inflation tends to be the difference between the rate of growth of the money supply and the real (inflation adjusted) rate of growth of output. (For example, growing the money supply at a 5% rate, with GDP growing at a real rate of 3.5%, causes inflation of about 1.5%.)

Since about 1960, the money supply (called M2 by the Fed) has been increasing at a little less than 7% per year. Over that same period, inflation adjusted GDP has been increasing at about a 3% rate. Inflation over the same period has averaged about 3.7%. Given other influences (lesser) on inflation, that’s close enough for me.

In the last 18 months, the money supply has been increased by about 31%. That’s more than 20% per year! The fastest GDP (adjusted for inflation) grew since 1960 is 7.2%. If we hit that high mark again (and that is very unlikely), inflation would be about 13%!

That’s not the worst of it. Over the long-term, interest rates tend to run about 3% more than the rate of inflation. You do the math. Extremely high interest rates bring the train wreck of falling housing values and downward pressure on stock values (the basis of a huge amount of retirement funds). The inflation train is on the downhill side of the mountain. You can see the collision coming – but it may already be too late to get off the tracks!

What Biden’s Nomination of Saule
Omarova to be Comptroller of the Currency Tells Us

By J Robert Smith

  • Nov. 24, 2021
  • 1-min read

Not long ago, who would have believed that an American president would nominate a communist for an important U.S. Treasury job? Not a “I’ve seen the light” repentant communist, like Whittaker Chambers, but a person who must believe that the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union was fake, like the moon landings that tinfoil-hatters swear never happened.

Joe Biden is the president and Saule Omarova is the communist — or communist sympathizer, depending on reports. Then again, Omarova disavows being a Bolshevik. Easier to slip through the confirmation process with a disavowal, possibly. In any event, Omarova isn’t exactly a small government, free-market sort. Her positions are radical. Marxism (aka communism) isn’t a dirty word among Democrats and progressives nowadays.

Rounding out Omarova’s resumé: shoplifting, which is fitting in that communism is a form of organized thievery. Stalin committed crimes, too.

Once upon a time in America, there would have been collective outrage at plucking a communist or fellow traveler for any role in our government. You see, communism is antithetical to a free society. It’s darkness to our light. But in those bygone days, Americans — Republicans and Democrats — were reared to embrace liberty and the core beliefs that made freedom possible. Yes, we had differences, but we shared a culture rooted in traditional values.
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What do Nordstrom’s, Louis Vuitton, and Burberry have in Common?

By J Robert Smith

  • Nov. 22, 2021
  • 2-min read

How’s that defunding and hogtying police working out, Democrats? Ask residents in the California Bay Area and Chicago for feedback. Over the weekend, there were a spate of brazen store robberies (more like gang lootings) in the City by the Bay and the Windy City, among other blue state communities.

From the Real Deal, November 22:

Brazen thieves targeted stores in four Bay Area cities, including a Walnut Creek Nordstrom’s, in a three-day spree that forced officials to restrict access to San Francisco’s Union Square.

Crowds looted and vandalized Union Square, San Francisco’s retail center, on Friday night, burglarizing Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Maxford’s Jewelry, and other high-end brands, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. They also hit cannabis dispensaries around the city Friday night, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said at a news conference on Saturday.

Better to pillage high-as-a-kite, no doubt.

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Fauci or Blofeld?
Is There Even Really a Difference?

By Rob Meyne

  • Nov. 16, 2021
  • 2-min read

There is a constant battle to protect freedom from intrusions by our own government. Restrictions on our freedom, including direct violations of the bill of Rights, are often supported by individual citizens, the media, and various political cohorts.

The most notable of these is the Democratic Party. Not to suggest the Republican Party is a walk in the park. It is just the better of the two alternatives, as regards freedom. The Democratic Party is the only major national political organization whose agenda is nearly entirely devoted to reducing freedom, giving more wealth and more power to government, and taking it from the private sector. That is, almost without exception, what Democratic proposals do. They are also the only active political party that endorsed, defended, and fought to preserve slavery, BTW.

The Covid pandemic is the defining event in America’s history of constant, if gradual, erosion of our freedom.

First, this: America is less free than it was several decades ago. That is simply not arguable. If you do not understand that you need to spend some more time looking at the issue. Erosions of our freedom, large and small, are today overwhelming. More on this another time.

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Do You Believe That Right-Wing Activists are a Threat to America?

By Rob Meyne

  • Nov. 11, 2021
  • 2-min read

It is essential to the leftists pulling Biden’s strings for you to believe right-wing activists are a great threat to America. That is in spite of the fact that there have been zero large, deadly right-wing attacks since Oklahoma City. And that was one lunatic, not an organization.

The media and leftists/anti-Trumpers continue to call the January 6 riot “deadly,” implying that Trump supporters killed people. They did not. The only person killed was shot by a Capitol Hill police officer.

But they need Americans to be afraid, panicked, and blame their fellow countrymen. Generally, conservatives dislike the policies of leftists. The leftists dislike us.

In a nation this large and diverse, there will always be examples of bad conduct, on all sides of the political discourse. The question, however, is whether it can be substantiated that right wing violence is the main domestic threat. The quick answer is no.
Recently, the National Association of School Boards, working with the help of the White House, accused parents who attend school board meetings of being domestic terrorists. Attorney General Merrick Garland agreed. He directed the FBI to watch parents and look for crimes. Got it? The FBI is watching parents, rather than Muslim terrorists, ANTIFA, or BLM.

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The Unconscionable Treatment of the January 6 Protesters

By J Robert Smith

  • Nov. 10, 2021
  • 1-min read

The DC jail isn’t Andersonville Prison, but its conditions have been long reputed as wretched.

This from Colbert I. King, The Washington Post, November 6:

The U.S. Marshals Service conducted an unannounced inspection and found evidence of “systemic” mistreatment of detainees, including unsanitary living conditions and the punitive denial of food and water. Inspectors found “large amounts of standing human sewage” in toilets in multiple cells, and cells that had been lacking water for days. Staff members “were observed antagonizing detainees” and “directing detainees not to cooperate.” One inmate was warned by a staffer to “stop snitching.”

The Marshals transferred 400 federal detainees out of the prison as a result of their findings. About 40 January 6 protesters remain confined there, however.

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Fact or Consensus? It Can’t Be Both

By Rob Meyne

  • Nov. 8, 2021
  • 1-min read

Those who went to a liberal arts school or just had a good general education know a little bit about the scientific method. Under the broader banner of “science,” it is used widely in today’s political discourse.

The scientific method relies on continuing experimentation, testing, and confirming hypotheses. Scientific “proof” must be made public, the data shared, and the test replicable.

How do we know 32 degrees F is freezing? We know it because we have evaluated it thousands of times and, in the absence of mitigating factors, gotten the same result.

Last weekend there was a story on aspirin. New studies suggest aspirin may not be a good tactic for preventing heart attack or stroke. For many years, it has been considered unchallenged “fact.” Millions of people have been advised, by their health care professionals, to take small, daily doses of aspirin.

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Biden’s “Win” Was Against All Odds

By Rob Meyne

  • Nov. 4, 2021
  • 1-min read

One of the ways courts, auditors, regulators, and other investigators determine the likelihood of a specific act is through statistical analysis. It is hugely useful in not determining exactly what did or did not happen – a crime, embezzlement, etc. – but it gives you a good idea where to look further.

In regard to 2020, there is a lot of information that screams loudly that something wasn’t right. When a series of things happen that were statistically nearly impossible, the result was, too.

Every four years, Census takes a measure of how many people report having voted. Every time, the results they get are very close to the actual turnout. This year, however, the Census number suggested there were some 5 million more votes counted than cast. This has never happened before.

This linked article (Chronicles: Biden’s Inexplicable Victory) discusses eleven different statistical or historical anomalies that we are to believe occurred in 2020. None of them suggests a Biden victory was likely. Essentially all of them suggest Trump was not only a favorite, but a prohibitive one, and likely won in terms of legal votes that were counted accurately.

Trump supporters were far more enthusiastic; attendance at his events was through the roof, and just the energy and effort of the campaign was hugely in favor of the GOP. Biden didn’t so much as run for office as nap for it. He seldom even left his basement.

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Why Is It Dangerous
To Ask Questions About January 6?

By Rob Meyne

  • Nov. 2, 2021
  • 2-min read

You’ve heard January 6 was the biggest attack on our democracy since the Civil War. This statement is so ridiculous, by itself, that you don’t need more examples. But you have also heard it was a deadly, armed action, with killings by domestic terrorists. You’ve heard it was an insurrection, seditious, a treasonous act. You’ve heard it was instigated, planned, and coordinated by Trump and his supporters.

The problem is none of that is supported by facts.

When Americans are being accused of committing treason, yet the FBI announces it has found no evidence of that, it should put an end to much of that talk. Check out the extensive discussion about whether January 6 involved treason or sedition, from the Guardian. (The Guardian: Treason or Sedition?)

It is inarguable that January 6 saw a riot. People should be held accountable for violence and any other criminal activities. If a protestor swung a flagpole at a police officer, or shot bear spray at them, they should be punished. No one in authority on either side denies that.

It is unproven, and hyperbolic in the extreme, to suggest it was a deadly insurrection. No one was killed that day by MAGA supporters. The only person shot was an unarmed female U. S. veteran who was killed in cold blood by a Capitol Hill police officer.

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