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Politics & Law

Jan 6 Committee Has So Far Failed To Make a Criminal Case Against Trump

Writes Jonathan Turley, “Jan. 6 committee has yet to establish a criminal case against Trump“:

[…] It is difficult to make a criminal case over what an official failed to do. Yet the last hearing seemed to focus on a number of things that did not occur, from a draft tweet that was not sent to an executive order that was never signed. There were discussions of appointing Trump attorney Sidney Powell as a special counsel, seizing voting machines or replacing the Justice Department’s leadership. As unnerving as these proposals were, they also were not carried out.

It is the type of evidence used to show mens rea — “guilty mind.” However, crimes generally require both guilty minds and guilty acts. Building a criminal case on the failure to act to stop the violence is a notoriously difficult case to make.

[…] It is even more difficult when the House committee has blocked any serious investigation into the potentially contributing failure of Congress to take better precautions before the riot, another costly act of omission.

[…] Looking objectively at the evidence, the committee never supplied “credible” proof of crimes. That is not to say the evidence is not shocking; indeed, it is like a series of “jump scares” involving Trump and others raising unfounded or unconstitutional courses of conduct.

[…] The Jan. 6 committee has made a case against Trump personally and politically. It has not done so criminally.

Read the full article.

Brian Simpson: Is US Constitution in Danger?

James Valliant interviews Professor Brian Simpson to discuss threats to America’s constitution from calls to end the filibuster, pack the court, release decisions, and how your economic liberties are protected by the constitution.

 

Also by Brian Simpson:

Ayn Rand Institute on The End of the Federal Protection of Abortion Rights

The philosophers at the Ayn Rand Institute – Onkar Ghate, Ben Bayer, and Yaron Brook – have a thought-provoking discussion on abortion rights with the over-turning of Roe v. Wade, which now allows for state-level bans on abortion.

(Though this is not the end of abortion in America, it is an ominous stepping stone to it, as those seeking abortions in states where abortion is/will be banned will have to travel out of state to obtain a legal abortion).

 

Issues covered include:

  • How the majority opinion empties the right to liberty of its content;
  • Justice Clarence Thomas’s opposition to substantive due process;
  • Why the Ninth Amendment has not been used in Supreme Court rulings on abortion;
  • The incrementalism behind Chief Justice John Roberts’s concurrence;
  • Why Roe v. Wade was a good decision despite its imperfect reasoning;
  • The dissent’s defense of individual liberty against majority will;
  • The dissent’s forceful protest against the unprincipled, anti-individualist majority opinion;
  • Why the dissent is right that the majority is inconsistent with its own reasoning in claiming that abortion is different from other rights;
  • Questions about whether the court typically tailors its reasoning to fit a predecided outcome;
  • The problem with the viability standard and the idea of balancing rights with a “state interest” in the fetus;
  • How the dissent undermines its own case by citing Lochner v. New York as a case that was rightly overturned;
  • How the morality of self-sacrifice contributed to the Dobbs ruling and the dissent’s failure to cite the right to the pursuit of happiness;
  • Why the widespread acceptance of collectivist premises have contributed to the abridgment of abortion rights;
  • Why the concept of “states’ rights” is an expression of collectivism;
  • How the fight over abortion rights will continue at the state and federal level.

 

Ben Bayer, Agustina Vergara Cid, and Don Watkins at the Ayn Rand Institute analyze the implications of Roe vs. Wade being overturned.

The Right to Abortion and the Ninth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Writes Ira Stoll in Abortion Right Not in Constitution, Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Exist:

“The Supreme Court’s opinion in Roe v. Wade,410 U.S. 113 (1973) discovered a right to abortion in the Constitution within the “right to privacy.” That privacy right itself had been discovered in a case about birth control, Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965). Griswold’s declaration that the “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations,” has been widely mocked.

To my mind, the gem within Griswold is Justice Arthur Goldberg’s concurrence. Goldberg, joined by Justice Brennan and Chief Justice Warren, focused not on penumbras or emanations but on the plain text of the Ninth Amendment.”

Stoll goes on to quote Justice Arthur Goldberg:

“The [Ninth] Amendment is almost entirely the work of James Madison. It was introduced in Congress by him, and passed the House and Senate with little or no debate and virtually no change in language. It was proffered to quiet expressed fears that a bill of specifically enumerated rights could not be sufficiently broad to cover all essential rights, and that the specific mention of certain rights would be interpreted as a denial that others were protected….the Ninth Amendment shows a belief of the Constitution’s authors that fundamental rights exist that are not expressly enumerated in the first eight amendments, and an intent that the list of rights included there not be deemed exhaustive. …the fact that no particular provision of the Constitution explicitly forbids the State from disrupting the traditional relation of the family — a relation as old and as fundamental as our entire civilization — surely does not show that the Government was meant to have the power to do so. Rather, as the Ninth Amendment expressly recognizes, there are fundamental personal rights such as this one [abortion], which are protected from abridgment by the Government, though not specifically mentioned in the Constitution.”

Stoll concludes correctly:

The mere fact that an abortion right isn’t mentioned in the Constitution doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. The rights don’t come from the Constitution. The Constitution exists to protect the rights, including those it doesn’t explicitly mention.

Then why explicitly mention and enumerate rights?

“A problem with rights not written into law is that people may have widely varying views of them. Without legislative language, for example, one person’s idea of a right to an abortion may collide with another person’s view of a fetus or embryo having a ‘right to life.’

Read the whole article.

Jordan McGillis: Climate McCarthyism

Jordan McGillis, deputy director for policy at the Institute for Energy Research, on Climate McCarthyism:

In 2020, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Brian Schatz, Tom Carper, and Sheldon Whitehouse penned an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg calling on the company to toe the Democratic Party line. “If Facebook is truly ‘committed to fighting the spread of false news on Facebook and Instagram,’” the senators wrote, “the company must immediately acknowledge in its fact-checking process that the climate crisis is not a matter of opinion and act to close loopholes that allow climate disinformation to spread on its platform.”

Less than a year later, Zuckerberg’s company seemingly tightened its review process to adhere to the Democrats’ wishes. In May 2021, Facebook applied the dodgy new standard against Manhattan Institute senior fellow Mark Mills’s review of a book by Steven Koonin, former undersecretary in the Department of Energy under President Barack Obama. As Koonin described the incident in the pages of the Wall Street Journal, Facebook labeled postings of the Mills review as having “very low scientific credibility” and linked to a critique on the website ClimateFeedback.org, thus discouraging users from engaging with Mills and Koonin’s work—exactly as the Senate Democrats demanded. In these cases, it is easy to blame the companies that acquiesce—perhaps one large rival to Meta in the midst of an ownership change will buck this trend—but the politicians and bureaucrats doing the jawboning deserve ire, too.

Read the full article.

Brian Simpson: Is US Constitution in Danger?

James Valliant interviews economist Brian Simpson on the threats to America’s constitution: from calls to end the filibuster, pack the court, release decisions, and how the constitution protects your economic liberties.

The Banality of Putin and Xi

Yaron Brook and Elan Journo have written an insightful analysis on why tyrants like China’s Xi and Russia’s Putin appear “charismatic” & “successful”: the intellectual’s hatred of freedom and western appeasement.
They make four important points:

Freedom fuels human progress and prosperity.

For individuals to live, think, produce, and thrive, the role of a proper government is to protect their freedom. It is freedom that fuels human progress and prosperity. No one who values human flourishing can look at Putin, Xi or any other dictator as anything but a lethal aberration….They dominate, brutalize and exploit those who think, teach, invent, produce, run businesses, create value at whatever scale. By violating the rights of their citizens, Putin, Xi and other dictatorial leaders defy the objective conditions necessary for individuals to live and prosper. They are destroyers. “To deal with men by force,” observed philosopher Ayn Rand, “is as impractical as to deal with nature by persuasion.”

Putin & Xi’s regimes are geared toward parasitism and exploitation.

Putin-aligned oligarchs have ransacked the country. China’s caste of party-aligned operatives have raked in billions, amid the country’s impressive economic rise. That rise, now seemingly slowing, occurred despite not because of China’s dictatorial leadership. It was a consequence of the slight degree of economic freedom the Party condescended to permit — and which it is now undoing….Such dictators and their hangers-on are thugs, gangsters and murderers who operate under the state’s (ostensible) moral authority. Human parasitism is an expression of not of efficacy, but of impotence.

Western intellectuals & policymakers have a prejudice against freedom, especially markets.

You can see it in the bias against markets, deemed messily inefficient, and in favor of central planning….many in the West are afflicted by what you might call Central-Planner Envy, and this leads them into warped thinking. It picks out supposed accomplishments  — “Behold the highspeed trains in Xi’s China!” — while evading the full reality of the uncountable individuals whose rights are trashed in the course of maintaining the regimes system’s pervasive repression.

Western appeasement, investment, and whitewashing embolden Russia and China.

…Russia and China are afforded the undeserved moral status of civilized countries. By agreeing to sit down with them at summits and multilateral meetings, our heads of state perpetuate the fiction that Putin and Xi as efficacious and benevolent leaders that belong in the company of rights-respecting nations.

The United Nations is a major culprit in whitewashing these regimes. Both have permanent seats on the UN’s powerful Security Council(!), despite violating the organization’s stated principles — flagrantly, repeatedly, and on a vast scale. What about the massacring of pro-democracy student protesters at Tiananmen Square in 1989? Dousing the last embers of intellectual freedom? Interning thousands of Uighurs in concentration camps? Wiping out the last vestiges of freedom in Hong Kong? Ongoing piracy of foreign-owned intellectual property? The dishonest handling of the COVID pandemic? No, China has learned that it is effectively untouchable.

This official whitewashing encourages, and is reinforced by, the willingness of American and European companies to invest in China and Russia as if they were basically free, civilized, moral regimes….Putin’s regime, for example, has benefited handsomely from the inflow of foreign capital and joint-ventures with BP, Shell and Exxon. But, since the war in Ukraine, all three of these companies are frantically departing the Russian market, suffering losses in the tens of billions of dollars.

When you reflect on how the U.S. and European nations dealt with Putin’s past aggression, his initiation of war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, is exposed as foreseeable, rather than strategically shrewd let alone “genius.” Passive appeasement by the U.S. and Europe emboldened Putin…

Required reading.

 

The Problem with the Umbrella approach to Libertarianism

Professor Phil Magness has a tweet thread on why Libertarians eventually turn away from freedom, to alt-right or marxism:

He remarks that this “originates from attempts to synthesize exogenous illiberal ideas into libertarian thought.” He identifies this as libertarian thinkers “dabbling in illiberal thought.” One example he uses is the case of Austrian, anarchist, “critical thinker” Hans Herman Hoppe:

Hoppe’s “argumentation ethics,” in turn, is explicitly lifted from the Discourse Ethics tradition in critical theory. Hoppe even directly sources the origin of his “argumentation ethics” claim to his old grad school advisors Habermas and Karl-Otto Apel.”

Again, having trained directly under Habermas, Hoppe was deeply versed in critical theory, approved of it, and used it in his work. He simply gave its traditionally far-left political disposition a far-right makeover.”

“Hoppe also imports an eclectic mix of reactionary racial theorists that originated wholly externally to the Austrian-liberal economic tradition. You see this in his book Democracy the God That Failed, where he describes Mises’s open immigration views as a relic of a bygone age.”

After rejecting Mises on immigration, Hoppe replaces them with appeals to far-right racial theorists such as J. Phillipe Rushton and the novelist Jean Raspail (of “Camp of the Saints” infamy). These figures populate the footnotes of his book whenever he talks about immigration.

Like Yarvin’s use of Carlyle, Hoppe’s main influences are EXTERNAL to classical liberalism/libertarianism, and indeed quite a few of them are traditional ADVERSARIES of libertarian economic philosophy – Marx, Habermas & the critical theory world.

Why do figures such as Yarvin, Hoppe, and their various followers veer down this illiberal path? In each case, it stems from them finding something dissatisfying with the traditional classical liberal status quo. So they search for external authors in other traditions.”

The problem with the “umbrella approach of libertarianism” is that the objective value and meaning of liberty—freedom from the initiation of physical force—is not a self-evident axiom, but a sophisticated conclusion from a long chain of observations and premises—a specific philosophy.

To the extent that the underlying philosophy is pro-reality (this-worldly, natural), pro-reason (logic and evidence of senses), or pro-egoism (individualism), it will have a proper conception of liberty; as it strays its conception of liberty will be corrupted. This is what happened to the “classical liberal” tradition.

It’s no coincidence that the rise of freedom, and the birth of America, historically occurred along with the Renaissance thru Enlightenment, with the cherishing of reason (vs faith), science (vs superstition), and individual rights (vs collectivism) to various degrees.

This view is best expressed by philosopher Ayn Rand:

“I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.”

If one wishes to be an advocate of liberty, one must first be an advocate of reason, then and only then, does “all the rest follow.”

Why Communism Fails in Practice

Economically, communism fails in practice because a society with no government (agency to protect rights), no money (no indirect trade, only barter), and no wage labor (no specialization under a division of labor) is a terrible idea.

Then why do people continue to support it?

“When, at the age of twelve, at the time of the Russian revolution, I first heard the Communist principle that Man must exist for the sake of the State, I perceived that this was the essential issue, that this principle was evil, and that it could lead to nothing but evil, regardless of any methods, details, decrees, policies, promises and pious platitudes. This was the reason for my opposition to Communism then—and it is my reason now. I am still a little astonished, at times, that too many adult Americans do not understand the nature of the fight against Communism as clearly as I understood it at the age of twelve: they continue to believe that only Communist methods are evil, while Communist ideals are noble. All the victories of Communism since the year 1917 are due to that particular belief among the men who are still free.” – Ayn Rand, quoted in the forward to her novel, We The Living.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQMDJPaGhzI

The Mask Mandate Is Illegal: Quotes from the District Court Judgment

From the Brownstone Institute:

The transportation mask mandate, imposed January 21, 2021 as part of 100 days of masking to crush the virus, and that has ruled transportation throughout the country for well more than one year, has been struck down in Federal Court: Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc. vs. Joseph R. Biden, Case No: 8:21-cv-1693-KKM-AEP, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle presiding and writing the opinion.

This means that for all this time, passengers and transportation employees have been forced to follow a mandate, enforced with criminal penalties, that has been illegal. Countless millions have been threatened, victimized, hectored, barked at, thrown off buses, trains, and planes – with even young children forcibly muzzled as their parents are denounced – when in fact, it has been the federal government itself that has been violating the law.

Alaska, American, Southwest, Delta, and United Airlines all announced within hours that they would no longer enforce the mask mandate. Amtrak and all other airlines joined. The transportation mask mandate is effectively gone, following 16 months of brutal enforcement of an edict now declared to be illegal.

The New York Times, which has editorialized in favor of the now-condemned mandates, comments: “Still, the ruling also comes at a time when new coronavirus cases are sharply rising again….” – which sets up another round of propaganda to blame the judge for a seasonal wave.

Here are some excerpts from the judgment from the judgment, Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc. vs. Joseph R. Biden, Case No: 8:21-cv-1693-KKM-AEP, by Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle:

As travelers have been reminded for more than a year, federal law requires wearing a mask in airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs as well as on airplanes, buses, trains, and most other public conveyances in the United States. Failure to comply may result in civil and criminal penalties, including removal from the conveyance. This masking requirement – commonly known as the Mask Mandate – is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulation published in the Federal Register on February 3, 2021….

Within the past two years, the CDC has found within § 264(a) the power to shut down the cruise ship industry, stop landlords from evicting tenants who have not paid their rent, and require that persons using public conveyances wear masks. Courts have concluded that the first two of these measures exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority under §264. …

No court has yet ruled on the legality of the third. At first blush, it appears more closely related to the powers granted in§ 264(a) than either the sail order or the eviction moratorium. But after rigorous statutory analysis, the Court concludes that§ 264(a) does not authorize the CDC to issue the Mask Mandate….

As the list of actions suggest, the federal government’s use of the quarantine power has been traditionally limited to localized disease elimination measures applied to individuals and objects suspected of carrying disease…. Though the government once conceded that § 264(a) merely “consolidates and codifies” this history, see id., it now finds a power that extends far beyond it to population-wide preventative measures like near-universal mask requirements that apply even in settings with little nexus to interstate disease spread, like city buses and Ubers. Such a definition reverses the import of history as well as the roles of the States and the federal government….

The opposite of conditional release is “detention” or “quarantine.” Anyone who refuses to comply with the condition of mask wearing is – in a sense – detained or partially quarantined by exclusion from a conveyance or transportation hub under authority of the Mask Mandate. They are forcibly removed from their airplane seats, denied boarding at the bus steps, and turned away at the train station doors-all on the suspicion that they will spread a disease. Indeed, the Mask Mandate enlists local governments, airport employees, flight attendants, and even ride-sharing drivers to enforce these removal measures.

In short, their freedom of movement is curtailed in a way similar to detention and quarantine. See BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY (11th ed. 2019) (defining “detention” as “confinement or compulsory delay” and “quarantine,” as the “isolation of a person … with a communicable disease or the prevention of such a person . . . from coming into a particular area, the purpose being to prevent the spread of disease”). Neither detention nor quarantine are contemplated in§ 264(a) though-the section the CDC relied upon to issue the Mask Mandate….

As a result, the Mask Mandate is best understood not as sanitation, but as an exercise of the CDC’s power to conditionally release individuals to travel despite concerns that they may spread a communicable disease (and to detain or partially quarantine those who refuse). But the power to conditionally release and detain is ordinarily limited to individuals entering the United States from a foreign country….

One definition it relies upon is even broader, defining “sanitation” as the “applying of measures for preserving and promoting public health.” If Congress intended this definition, the power bestowed on the CDC would be breathtaking. And it certainly would not be limited to modest measures of “sanitation” like masks. It would also justify requiring that businesses install air filtration systems to reduce the risks from airborne contagions or install plexiglass dividers between desks or office spaces. So too, a power to improve “sanitation” would easily extend to requiring vaccinations against CO VID-19, the seasonal flu, or other diseases. Or to mandatory social distancing, coughing-into-elbows, and daily multivitamins….

The CDC issued the mandate in February 2021, almost two weeks after the President called for a mandate, eleven months after the President had declared COVID-19 a national emergency, and almost thirteen months since the Secretary of Health and Human Services had declared a public health emergency. This history suggests that the CDC itself did not find the passage of time particularly serious….

Although a closer question than the failure to properly invoke the good cause exception, the Mask Mandate fails this reasoned-explanation standard. Beyond the primary decision to impose a mask requirement, the Mask Mandate provides little or no explanation for the CDC’s choices. Specifically, the CDC omits explanation for rejecting alternatives and for its system of exceptions. And there are many, such that the overall efficiency of masking on airplanes or other conveyances could reasonably be questioned.

The Mandate does not address alternative (or supplementary) requirements to masking, such as testing, temperature checks, or occupancy limits in transit hubs and conveyances. It also does not explain why all masks – homemade and medical-grade – are sufficient. Nor does it require “social distancing [or] frequent handwashing,” despite finding these effective strategies for reducing CO VID-19 transmission…

Even if these alternatives were not so obvious that the CDC had to explain its decision to reject them, the Mandate fails to explain other significant choices. For example, the Mandate relies on studies explaining that “universal masking” reduces transmission of COVID-19 at the community level. 86 Fed. Reg. at 8028.

But the Mandate does not require universal masking. It exempts individuals who are “eating, drinking, or taking medication” and a person who is “experiencing difficulty breathing” or who is “feeling winded.” It also excludes individuals who cannot wear a mask due to an ADA-recognized disability and all children under two years old. The Mandate makes no effort to explain why its purposes-prevention of transmission and serious illness-allow for such exceptions. Nor why a two-year-old is less likely to transmit COVID-19 than a sixty-two­ year-old….

In sum, irrespective of whether the CDC made a good or accurate decision, it needed to explain why it acted as it did. Since the CDC did not explain its decision to compromise the effectiveness of its Mandate by including exceptions or its decision to limit those exceptions, the Court cannot conclude that the CDC “articulated a ‘rational connection between the facts found and the choices made.”

[T]he Mandate exceeded the CDC’s statutory authority, improperly invoked the good cause exception to notice and comment rulemaking, and failed to adequately explain its decisions. Because “our system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends,” the Court declares unlawful and vacates the Mask Mandate.

 

Ideology: Candace Owens vs. The Founding Fathers

From Candace Owens:

Wars are fought over land and money—never ideology. Ideology is what those that are in power use to convince those beneath them that they should be willing to lay down their lives on behalf of. Virtues and values are never practiced by those that demand we die for it.

From the Declaration of Independence:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

Writes Ayn Rand on ideology:

“A political ideology is a set of principles aimed at establishing or maintaining a certain social system; it is a program of long-range action, with the principles serving to unify and integrate particular steps into a consistent course.”

“It is only by means of principles that men can project the future and choose their actions accordingly.”

“Anti-ideology consists of the attempts to shrink men’s minds down to the range of the immediate moment, without regard to past or future…above all, without memory, so that contradictions cannot be detected, & errors or disasters can be blamed on the victims.”

“In anti-ideological practice, principles are used implicitly and are relied upon to disarm the opposition, but are never acknowledged, and are switched at will, when it suits the purpose of the moment. Whose purpose? The gang’s.”

“Thus men’s moral criterion becomes, not ‘my view of the good—or of the right—or of the truth,’ but ‘my gang, right or wrong.’ ” [“The Wreckage of the Consensus,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal]

 

Joe Biden: America’s Racist in Chief

 

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

 

“The person I nominate…will be the first Black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court.” – U.S. President Joe Biden

The nominee, is a Democrat Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a capable candidate (any rejection of her would be due to the political bent of her judgments, and not because of her IQ).

I don’t have an opinion on Jackson, but her skin color or that she has a womb and XY chromosomes (is a woman) should have no bearing on whether one is nominated as a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Such “affirmative action” hires only stigmatize those selected as not being able to earn their position based on merit.

As for the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, here is what he has to say:

Other zingers:

The Hill: 62 percent polled say Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president

From “62 percent of voters say Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine if Trump were president: poll“:

62 percent of those polled believed Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president

“A majority of American voters say that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine had former President Trump still been in office, according to a new survey released on Friday.

“A new Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS)-Harris Poll survey released Friday found that 62 percent of those polled believed Putin would not be moving against Ukraine if Trump had been president. When looking strictly at the answers of Democrats and Republicans, 85 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats answered this way.

“However, 38 percent of all Americans polled believed that Putin would have invaded Ukraine even if Trump had been president.”

The majority believe Putin Saw Weakness in Biden

“A majority of Americans polled — 59 percent — also said they believed that the Russian president moved on Ukraine because Putin saw weakness in President Biden, while 41 percent said that it was not a factor in Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

U.S. “Selective” Sanctions Does Not Kick Russia Out of SWIFT

“The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Russian financial institutions, Russian elites and their family members, the Nord Stream 2 AG — the parent company of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline — and, the White House confirmed Friday, Putin himself, among other entities.

“However, the U.S. has resisted calls to kick Russia out of the SWIFT international banking system, despite appeals from Ukrainian officials and some U.S. lawmakers.

Brook: Elon Musk Best Represents “The Spirit of America”

Yaron Brook is at his finest as he explains why capitalist Elon Musk best represents “the Spirit of America”:

Starlink is high-speed, low-latency broadband satellite internet engineered by SpaceX.

Ukranian Kira Rudik: On Why She Fights For Freedom

 

Enes Freedom Booted From NBA For Defending Freedom

Writes Marc Thiessen in the Washington Post on why “Enes Freedom was cut for exposing how U.S. corporations became foreign agents of Communist China“:

When the United States supported China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in the 1990s, through its admission in 2001, the hope was that U.S. businesses would influence China to be less repressive. Instead, U.S. businesses became lobbyists for the totalitarian regime here at home. It’s not the Chinese government that is trying to silence Freedom; it’s the NBA — worried about its bottom line and its corporate sponsors — who pressured Freedom to stop criticizing China, and then clearly drove him from the court when he refused. The Chinese Communist Party sat back and watched while its paid vassals did its dirty work.

Their malign influence extends beyond the basketball court. U.S. corporations now effectively act as foreign agents of the Chinese regime, lobbying Congress on its behalf. Freedom pointed out that U.S. corporations such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Nike lobbied against the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which bans imported goods made with slave labor. “Instead of Communist Party, they are the ones that are doing their propaganda,” he said.

Then there is the hypocrisy. Companies such as Coca-Cola spoke out against Georgia’s voting law but now sponsor the Olympics in a country engaged in genocide. They “preach social justice at home but ignore it when it could affect their revenue” from China, Freedom says.

[…]

When he became a U.S. citizen in November, he changed his last name from Kanter to Freedom. Now, for exercising his newfound freedoms, he might lose his basketball career. “I’m 29,” he told me. “I’m healthy. I can play another six years. So, hope that’s not the case.” But he adds, “If that is the reason that I am not going to be able to play basketball again, then you know what? Oh well. I can look back at least and say I did the right thing.”

Many other athletes share Enes Kanter Freedom’s convictions, but not his courage — which is why Beijing made an example of him. The Chinese regime might have the power to silence its critics at home. But for the NBA to help a totalitarian dictatorship reach into this country and punish one of its leading critics is a disgrace.