Thursday, September 30, 2021

Civilization Requires Deterrence

Deterrence is the ancient ability to scare somebody off from hurting you, your friends or your interests — without a major war.

Desire peace? Then be prepared for war. Or so the Romans believed.

It’s an easily understood concept in the abstract. But deterrence still remains a mystical quality in the concrete since it is only acquired with difficulty and yet easily forfeited.

The tired democracies of the 1930s learned that lesson when they kept acquiescing to Hitler’s serial aggressions.

Hitler’s Germany foolishly later attacked a far stronger Soviet Union in 1941, given Moscow’s lost deterrence after its lackluster performances in Poland and Finland, its pact with the Nazis, and its recent purges of its own officer corps.

Deterrence is omnipresent and also applies well beyond matters of war and peace. The current crime wave of murder and violent assault in our major cities is the wage of loud efforts to defund the police and contextualize crimes as somehow society’s rather than the criminal’s fault.

As a result, lawbreakers now believe there is a good chance that robbing people or hurting or killing them might result in monetary gain or at least bloody satisfaction. They no longer fear a likely sentence of 30 years in prison. So, they see little risk in hurting people. And innocents suffer.

With a border wall, an end to catch and release, and tough jawboning of the Mexican and Central American governments, a new American deterrent stance in 2019-20 discouraged once unstoppable waves of migrants.

Northern bound migrants knew that even if they reached and crossed the border, there was a good chance all such effort would be for naught, given quick apprehension and deportation.

So, in their rational calculations, migrants waited at home for less deterrent times. And they found them when Joe Biden stopped construction on the wall, renewed catch and release, and eased pressures on Mexico to interrupt caravans headed northward.

Abroad, Donald Trump restored the strategic deterrence lost by his predecessor.

Barack Obama had dismissed the murderous ISIS as “JVs” — and they thrived. He shrugged when China stole territory in the South China sea to build military bases. He dismantled missile defense in Europe to coax Vladimir Putin to behave during his own 2012 reelection campaign.

Obama loudly announced redlines in Syria while never intending to enforce them. He gave the Taliban back their incarcerated terrorist leaders in exchange for the return of the American deserter Bowe Bergdahl. And he sent the Iranians nocturnal cash to coax them to conclude an appeasing Iran deal. Aggression followed as U.S. deterrence eroded.

As an antidote to all that, Trump destroyed the ISIS “caliphate.” He obliterated an attack of Russian mercenaries in Syria. He took out terrorist masterminds like Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and the ISIS cutthroat Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

To dangerous actors, an unpredictable Trump appeared likely to strike back if provoked. As a result, America’s enemies become fearful of challenging the United States. And its friends and neutrals were more ready to join a power again deemed not just reliable, but willing to take reasonable risks to assist in their safety.

Key to deterrence is for all parties to know beforehand the relative power of each and the likelihood that it may be used. When strong powers unfortunately transmit signals of weakness, whether deliberately or inadvertently, then weak powers are confused and come to believe their rivals may not be so strong as their armed forces appear. Often, unnecessary wars are the unfortunate result.

These are quite dangerous times because Joe Biden has cut the defense budget. He withdrew recklessly from Afghanistan, leaving behind American citizens, our Afghan allies and friends, and tens of billions of dollars worth of modern weaponry and equipment.

He angered our NATO partners who were abandoned with some 8,000 troops, in a country that the United States had once implored them to enter. He has politicized the military into a caricature of an elite woke top brass at odds with traditionalist enlisted soldiers.

The result is that our enemies — Vladimir Putin’s Russia, the Chinese Communist apparat, the Iranian theocrats, the lunatic North Koreans — are now pondering whether Biden’s reckless laxity is an aberration. Or is it now characteristic of his administration? Or does it even signal a new weaker and confused America that offers enemies strategic openings?

Like the would-be felon, or the potential border crosser, our enemies know the United States has the power to deter unwanted behavior, given its vast military, huge economy, and global culture.

But they may have contempt that with such strength comes such perceived confusion. And thus, in the manner of an emboldened criminal, or migrant, they try something that they would otherwise not.

In sum, deterrence at home and abroad is now dangerously lost. And it will be even scarier trying to recover what was so rashly and foolishly thrown away.


Biden Slammed for Promising 'Consequences' for Border Patrol Agents in Whip Hoax

On Saturday, former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard slammed President Biden’s remarks that there would be consequences against the Border Patrol agents falsely accused of whipping illegal immigrants.

As Katie reported, last week several leftist media outlets claimed that Border Patrol agents on horseback were using whips to keep Haitian migrants from entering the southern border. As she and Spencer reported, these claims were incorrect.

Following the reports, “[t]he White House and the Department of Homeland Security announced on Thursday Border Patrol's horse unit will no longer be operating in Del Rio, Texas after they were falsely accused of using whips against Haitians who were illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border,” Julio reported last week. Furthermore, the agents at the center of the controversy were placed on administrative leave amid an investigation.

“I promise you, those people will pay. There will be an investigation, underway now, and there will be consequences. There will be consequences,” Biden said on Friday. “It's an embarrassment, but beyond an embarrassment, it is dangerous. It’s wrong, it sends the wrong message around the world, it sends the wrong message at home. It's simply not who we are."

On the Fox News segment “Watters World” on Saturday, Gabbard discussed the “scandal” and slammed Biden for acting as “judge, jury, and executioner,” against the Border Patrol agents accused of whipping migrants.

“He’s absolutely wrong. He needs to apologize to the American people for saying what he said, and here’s why. He’s somebody who's been very outspoken as being against autocrats, autocracies, dictators – but what he essentially did was act as judge, jury, and executioner for these customs and border control agents on horseback,” Gabbard said in the interview.

“When the president of the United States has already declared their guilt and that they will be punished. And the other bigger issue that this points to, which is one that we all need to be concerned about, is that if we are no longer a country of laws, if we are no longer a country where we know we will be presumed innocent unless proven guilty, then we don’t have a democracy,” Gabbard continued.

Last week, as Katie reported, Gabbard blasted Biden’s ongoing border crisis and urged him to revert to immigration policies implemented during the Trump presidency.

“The Biden/Harris open-door policy has been a disaster. It needs to end now. The main beneficiaries of open borders are the gangs, cartels, and human traffickers. The Trump policy of having people wait on the other side of the border worked and needs to be reinstated,” Gabbard said in a tweet. In another tweet, she said “@JoeBiden @KamalaHarris, the humanitarian and national security crisis on the southern border is the direct result of your open-border policy. As I said in my 2020 presidential campaign, we can’t have a secure nation if we don’t secure our borders.”


Facebook Smeared Me With Its ‘Fact-Checking.’ Now, I’m Suing the Tech Giant

Chad Wolf

Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security during the Trump administration, is a visiting fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy.

I was surprised to read The Washington Post’s recent editorial concluding that pro-choice protesters had crossed the line by demonstrating in front of the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

After all, The Washington Post is not exactly a conservative or rational voice on these types of issues. Almost all the points in the editorial made perfect and logical sense, including the concluding statement: “Leave spouses, children and homes out of it.”

As I finished reading the editorial, one overriding thought came to mind. Where was this logical point of view in 2020 when many Trump administration officials, including me, had to endure months of protests outside our homes for simply doing our jobs?

My experience started in the summer of 2020, shortly after civil unrest began around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody. I was acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which got involved because it has responsibility to protect over 7,000 federal properties, some of which were targeted by violent extremists.

For doing my job and exercising the authorities provided by Congress, my home was targeted by “professional” protesters who gathered out front week after week after week. Although I had seen other Trump administration officials endure this sort of behavior, seeing it outside your own home, on your street, gives you a different perspective.

The “protest” in front of my residence usually played out the same way. The protesters would organize roughly a quarter of a mile away and march through my neighborhood streets, holding up traffic, until they arrived in front of my house. There they remained for an hour or more to shout through loudspeakers, again while holding up traffic.

At no point did these protesters apply for a permit, which is required in the city of Alexandria. Even so, city officials allowed the illegal protests to continue.

Worse yet, a third-term member of the Alexandria City Council, John Chapman, actively participated on several occasions. His participation not only legitimized the illegal nature of the protest, but signaled that doing so at someone’s residence was valid.

From a security perspective, I knew my family and I were relatively safe because of the round-the-clock protection of the U.S. Secret Service. I knew that if any of the protesters decided to take their actions to another level, Secret Service agents were on the ready and always one step ahead.

Nevertheless, this unwelcomed activity put me on edge, since such “protests” can turn ugly quickly.

The situation also required my wife and I to have tough conversations with our two sons, who were both in middle school. We had to explain to them why people protest to express their views but why you should never do so in front of someone else’s home, where a family resides.

As a family, we altered our routines regularly. We were especially attentive to apparent strangers and newcomers to our neighborhood.

One of the most disappointing aspects was the response of some neighbors whom we had lived among for over 10 years. A few of them joined in with the protesters, who regularly mentioned my children’s names and where they went to school.

Instead of asking me about and seeking to understand my work at the Department of Homeland Security, these neighbors chose to disrespect me and my family on numerous occasions.

This was particularly difficult for my wife, who is active in our community (raising thousands of dollars for our public school, for instance) and goes out of her way to be nice and neighborly to almost everyone in our neighborhood.

Over time, the protests diminished and eventually stopped. I long have respected anyone’s right to peacefully protest, something I reiterated numerous times publicly as acting DHS secretary. But there is a time and place to protest.

Showing up at someone’s residence or at a restaurant where he is dining is not it. Such action, in my opinion, diminishes the cause that the protesters seek to elevate.

It’s unfortunate that protesting outside private homes has become part of the left’s playbook. Any conservative who lives near Washington, D.C., knows that he probably is in the minority among neighbors. But the lack of decorum and decency from some of those who live closest to us was something we had not planned on.

Fast-forward to the Biden presidency, and such neighborhood protests appear to be nonexistent despite the administration’s many difficulties on the southern border and elsewhere.

Whatever the reason for this discretion, I will be the first one to say it’s a good development and one that should endure. For the first time in a long time, I agree with The Washington Post: Leave spouses, children, and homes out of it.


Obama Takes Shot at Biden on Border

The nation was been keeping a keen eye on Joe Biden’s first 8 months in office, even though it has been hard to watch at times. The President has been largely negligent on the issue of border security, which is ludicrous knowing that every migrant eyeing the American border was bolstered by his election.

Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that a great majority of the punditry, (some who lean left, even), have suggested that the US border is essentially wide open at this moment.

Even Biden’s former boss, Barack Obama, is growing perturbed.

Former President Barack Obama said Tuesday that open border policies on the Southern border were “unsustainable” for the United States.

“We have borders,” Obama said in an interview with ABC News host Robin Roberts. “The idea that we can just have open borders is something that … as a practical matter, is unsustainable.”

The president acknowledged that President Joe Biden was still dealing with migrant emergencies on the Southern border, calling it a “painful reminder” that America had not fixed the broken immigration system.

The statement, while somewhat vague, belies the internal strife of the Democratic Party at this crucial juncture of the Biden administration, and has telegraphed what is perhaps a long road to recovery for the liberal left.




Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Article in the London "Times" says the last U.S. election was rigged

“So Trump was right.” Thus begins a broadside in the Sunday Times that amounts to a clarion call for the world: America’s president came to power in an election that was “rigged.”

“The American public is slowly waking up to the fact that they are being led by an ineffectually devious, senile halfwit,” Rob Liddle writes. “Donald Trump is back in the lead in the opinion polls. Imagine how awful a president must be if people would rather that sack of meat with mittens were back in charge.”

“Soon the public will wake up to something even more unpleasant and sinister: that the last presidential election was a fraud, rigged by big business, the labour unions and, more than anything, the media and the tech companies,” he continues. “If that election had taken place in any other country, it would have been called ‘unfree’. And, as more and more evidence emerges, it terrifies me that the same thing could happen here.”

“The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election,” a bombshell Time article released just days before the Senate impeachment trial, appears to have provided some of the best evidence that the election was “fortified” by a shadowy cabal that included giant corporations, big tech giants, and powerful labor unions.

“What we didn’t know until we were told in February this year, courtesy of Time magazine, was that there actually was a conspiracy — a secret coalition of chief executives, labour unions, left-wing pressure groups and media companies — to manage what information was available to the voting public,” Liddle went on. “Its aim, as The Wall Street Journal put it, was to ‘suppress unwanted elements of US political conversation’. What a wonderful phrase.”

“Time magazine reported this as if the cabal — it called the arrangement a cabal — had been acting heroically,” he added. “To save the US public from making the same mistake again and electing that Brobdingnagian boor — and to do so by suppressing stories favourable to him.”

The Times writer also references a disturbing betrayal by Trump’s Joint Chief of Staff at the time that should be sending off alarm bells from sea to shining sea.

“Now we discover that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was also conspiring against the president,” Liddle writes. “Twice Milley called Chinese diplomats to let them know that he would countermand any order from Trump to attack China — which seems to a lot of US conservatives to be an act of pure treason. Milley also went behind his president’s back to connive with the Democrat leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi.”

“The reasoning for this was that Trump was ‘unhinged’ — a familiar notion peddled by the media for the four years of his presidency,” he continues. “Was he? I don’t know. He didn’t seem terribly hinged to me, but then Americans rarely do. But more unhinged than your average American — or Joe Biden?”

“Whatever the case, that election one year ago was plainly rigged,” he argues. “Not by fraudulent postal votes. But by an affluent elite conspiring, brutally at times, to ensure that the American public heard only one side of the story.”

The last part is arguable, particularly in light of evidence that has arisen from the Georgia and Arizona audits. Regardless, the author concludes his argument by noting that “liberals” appear to be oblivious to this insidious threat to “democracy” posted by giant corporations, unions, and big tech colluding to oppose candidates that threaten their stranglehold on power.

“What worries me most is that so few liberal commentators seem capable of understanding that this was a grotesque manipulation of democracy,” he argues. “And yet surely they must see it, no matter how appalling Trump seemed to them (and indeed, quite often, to me). Instead, those very acts that subverted democracy are depicted as valorous.”

“The author of that article in Time said the conspirators ‘we’re not rigging the election; they were fortifying it’,” he concludes. “Wow. Isn’t that a little chilling? And are you looking forward to a ‘fortified’ general election over here?”

Indeed. The way all of Western Civilization is heading, “rigged” elections may soon become the norm. Americans and their brethren in once-free nations around the world may someday look back at the halcyon days when they were able to pick their own leaders as nothing more than a distant memory in an eclipsed golden age.

Grandfathers, grandchildren astride their knees, will explain to them about why they did nothing. “It all started with Trump…”


Biden lies about the advice he received about the Afghanistan retreat

John Stossel

Just 12 days ago, I detailed how Joe Biden was caught in one of the biggest, most consequential lies in modern presidential history.

Now, this isn't an "I did not have sexual relations" kind of lie designed to cover up an embarrassing Oval Office sexcapade. And it isn't a "biggest presidential inauguration audience in history" kind of lie designed to boost an ego against a negative media cycle. It isn't even an "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" kind of lie designed to jam your legislation through with a damnable broken promise.

This lie was in the midst of an ongoing military mission that resulted in the careless and unnecessary murder of 13 servicemembers thrust into harm's way by an incompetent president without full use of his faculties and without serious advisors who recognize his dangerously diminished capabilities but refuse to step in and do anything about it.

As a reminder, in mid-August, as the Taliban took over the last parts of Kabul and terrified Afghans trampled over American citizens as they desperately hurled themselves onto the fuselage of an Air Force jet ending in their eventual plummet back to earth, Joe Biden decided his main problem was a PR challenge that would be cured with some damage control with former Clinton Advisor George Stephanopoulos on ABC News.

Knowing that literally nothing in Biden's feckless career gave him anything close to wisdom or expertise when it comes to military strategic planning, Stephanopolous asked the obvious question: Who in the hell advised you on this nightmare in Afghanistan, and why didn't you listen to the experts?

Here's the key exchange.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But your top military advisors warned against withdrawing on this timeline. They wanted you to keep about 2,500 troops.

BIDEN: No, they didn't. It was split. Tha-- that wasn't true. That wasn't true.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They didn't tell you that they wanted troops to stay?

BIDEN: No. Not at -- not in terms of whether we were going to get out in a timeframe all troops. They didn't argue against that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no one told -- your military advisors did not tell you, "No, we should just keep 2,500 troops. It's been a stable situation for the last several years. We can do that. We can continue to do that"?

BIDEN: No. No one said that to me that I can recall.

Today, under oath, before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gen. Mark Milley and Gen. Kenneth McKenzie swore that they had, in fact, advised Biden to keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan to avoid exactly what occurred.

Once again, as a reminder, when directly asked about that very specific thing, Biden told Stephanopoulos, "No. No one said that to me that I can recall."

Someone is lying.

The White House's professional liar Jen Psaki issued this statement as she saw the trap her boss was in.

When you purposely omit the fact that when asked specifically about the 2,500 troops, the president said, "No. No one said that to me," it seems pretty clear that you're not on the side of the truth.

Here are the options before you, fellow American:

Either both Generals Milley and McKenzie are lying in classic Pentagon CYA fashion and they never advised Biden about the troops and the danger of his withdrawal plan.

Or, Biden is lying (and continues to lie through his spokesliar) and is more than willing to throw his military advisors under the bus to save his pathetic political skin.

Or, President Joe Biden has no idea what is going on, can't remember the advice he was given, and, quite possibly, doesn't remember what he had for lunch today.

As entertaining (and terrifying) as that last option may be, I suspect it's option number two. Biden is lying. He will say anything he needs to say and sacrifice anyone in Washington, DC, who stands in the way of his corrupt, craven political ambition.

This is the hallmark of his entire 50-year career.

He was willing to ruin the reputations of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas.

He was willing to plagiarize other politicians' speeches and lie about his academic career.

He was willing to sidle up to segregationists in the Senate so he could be groomed for more powerful senate responsibilities.

He was willing to lie about his "good friend" and "brother" John McCain when he campaigned for vice president.

He was willing to claim Mitt Romney wanted to put African-Americans "back in chains" when he desperately campaigned for re-election.

This is who he has always been.

And this latest lie ended with the blood of those 13 American troops spilled in the Kabul streets on his way out of Afghanistan.

"No. No one said that to me." Is there anyone... anyone who believes this crap?


UK: No, I am not a person who has a womb. I am a woman


Defending his assertion that 'it's not right' to claim that only a woman can have a cervix, Sir Keir Starmer said that transgender people were among the most 'marginalised and abused'.

He also said there needs to be 'a mature, respectful debate about trans rights', which is, of course, absolutely true. So let's have one.

Except we can't, can we? As we have seen from countless Twitter pile-ons and cancellation attempts, there is no such thing as a mature debate around the complex issues of gender identity, for the simple reason that many campaigners refuse to countenance any 'truth' other than their own — all, of course, in the name of tolerance.

The second anyone — be it J.K. Rowling or Labour's own Rosie Duffield MP (whose comments about only women having cervixes were the reason Starmer was asked about it) — says anything that deviates even slightly from the accepted 'sunshine and rainbows' narrative, all hell breaks loose.

The second anyone — be it J.K. Rowling or Labour's own Rosie Duffield MP, pictured, (whose comments about only women having cervixes were the reason Starmer was asked about it) — says anything that deviates even slightly from the accepted 'sunshine and rainbows' narrative, all hell breaks loose +6
The second anyone — be it J.K. Rowling or Labour's own Rosie Duffield MP, pictured, (whose comments about only women having cervixes were the reason Starmer was asked about it) — says anything that deviates even slightly from the accepted 'sunshine and rainbows' narrative, all hell breaks loose

It's remarkable how much power this apparently powerless community actually wields: across social media, in schools and universities, in our institutions and policies. With the possible exception of the climate change lobby, I'd say there are now few causes that hold more sway, culturally or politically.

To me, that's not marginalisation and abuse; that is, as they say in the corridors of Whitehall, 'uber cut-through'. Indeed, the issue certainly had cut-through at the Labour conference, far more so than any actual policies.

Such was the prominence of the question, you'd be forgiven for thinking that there was no greater problem facing the nation.

The spectacle of Labour bigwigs, with or without cervixes, trying to dodge the question was excruciating. On one hand they knew the answer, and knew what the majority of Labour voters think; on the other, they lacked the courage to respond with honesty and candour, for fear of ending up like Ms Duffield and being run out of town.

It's remarkable how much power this apparently powerless community actually wields: across social media, in schools and universities, in our institutions and policies. If anyone - be it JK Rowling - deviates from the narrative, all hell breaks loose +6
It's remarkable how much power this apparently powerless community actually wields: across social media, in schools and universities, in our institutions and policies. If anyone - be it JK Rowling - deviates from the narrative, all hell breaks loose

Thank goodness for Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who at least has the balls to say what he believes. A 'total denial of scientific fact' he called Starmer's comments, for which he has been roundly criticised, not least because his view apparently contradicts NHS advice on screening, which says 'trans men who still have a cervix should have cervical screening to help prevent cervical cancer'.

But what he said is right. Trans men who still have a cervix remain, at least in that one biological respect, female. That is a scientific fact.

He also contradicts the sentiment printed on the front cover of the latest issue of medical journal The Lancet. Trailing an article about menstruation, the term 'bodies with vaginas' was used in lieu of the word 'women', leading a number of respected academics to call it 'insulting and abusive'.

Editor Richard Horton has apologised for conveying the impression that 'we have de-humanised and marginalised women'.

And that, really, goes to the heart of this whole debate. In striving to help one group, we have somehow ended up diminishing the rights and identities of another, much larger group, that is to say women.

It now feels as though not only are our safe spaces being eroded, but also our fundamental right to exist. I wouldn't for one second deny that trans people have suffered disproportionately and unfairly from discrimination and abuse. Nor would I want them to live anything other than happy, healthy, fulfilled lives.

But what I and a lot of others simply can't understand is why this needs to happen at the expense of women's identities.

Whoever you are and whatever you want to be, that's up to you. I would never judge anyone. But I am, and want to continue to be called, a woman. Not a person with a womb or any of the many other absurd and reductive euphemisms used to deny females their identity.

Is that really such a problem?


France cuts back visas for North African nationals over immigration policy

France will slash the number of visas available to nationals from Maghreb countries because of their governments' refusal to take back illegal migrants sent home by the French authorities, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Tuesday.

The questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris© Reuters/GONZALO FUENTES The questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris
Immigration is becoming a key campaign issue for the French presidential election set for April next year, with right-wing and far-right parties challenging centrist President Emmanuel Macron's policies. Macron has not yet said whether he will stand for re-election.

Attal said the French government would halve the number of visas available to nationals from Algeria and Morocco and reduce those for Tunisians by almost a third.

"It is a decision that is made necessary as these countries do not accept back nationals whom we do not want and cannot keep in France," he told French Europe 1 radio.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said on Monday she would call a referendum proposing drastic limits on immigration if she is elected president next year.

Le Pen said on France 2 television the referendum would propose strict criteria for entering French territory and for acquiring French nationality, as well as giving French citizens priority access to social housing, jobs and social security benefits.

In 2017, she made it to the second round of the presidential election, but was defeated by Macron, who won more than 66% of the vote.




Tuesday, September 28, 2021

China set to clamp down on abortions for 'non-medical purposes' amid slowing population growth

China has made a reduction in the number of abortions performed for "non-medical purposes", a strategic goal in new guidelines that the country's cabinet says are aimed at improving women's reproductive health.

Between 2011 and 2020, China's population growth was the slowest since the 1950s

China has already enacted strict measures aimed at preventing sex-selective abortions and health authorities also warned in 2018 that the use of abortion to end unwanted pregnancies was harmful to women's bodies and risks causing infertility.

The State Council said the new guidelines, which were published on Monday, would aim to improve women's overall access to pre-pregnancy health care services.

The guidelines also state the need to improve knowledge of reproductive health and prenatal and postnatal care "to promote healthy pregnancy and reduce unwanted pregnancies".

Think tanks and policy researchers have identified China's declining birth rate as a major social policy challenge in the coming decades.

Although China remains the world's most populous nation, the latest census showed population growth from 2011 to 2020 was the slowest since the 1950s, and was expected to slow even more within a few years.

After years of trying to limit population growth, Beijing is now promising new policies aimed at encouraging families to have more children.

It said in June that it would now allow all couples to have three children instead of two.

Han Xiaoan, 34, a mother of two children living in central China's Henan province, told the ABC it was "very hard to understand abortion for non-medical needs".

"But, it's ironic how the government intervenes into our families depending on what they need," Ms Han said. "When they need to slow down the population growth, the government brings women to force abortions. "Now they are changing their policies."

Li Hongxia, a 55-year-old doctor living in China's southern province of Guangdong, told the ABC she supported the announcement because of some medical tragedies in China before. "There were women who were forced to have abortions in the past because they had breached the one-child policy," Ms Li said.

"Now, the one-child policy is no longer existing, it's a great move to make our medical practices more regulated."

However, Ms Li said China needed to improve the quality of sex education at high school because the country's youth groups deserved a better curriculum to understand contraception and protection for women.

"It is more important to make sure young people are able to access better knowledge about contraception in their classroom," she said. "You can't avoid unwanted pregnancy in the future if you don't tell them how to do birth control.

"In this case, the new policy won't make any sense."

Policies designed to reduce the financial burden of raising children are also being introduced.

Yi Fuxian, the author of Big Country with an Empty Nest, said the announcement was part of Beijing's aim of reducing premarital pregnancies or unwanted pregnancies among underage women.

The senior scientist in obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison told the ABC that though details of Beijing's policy was not officially issued yet, the government's attitude towards abortion "should be related to the population policy".

"In the past, China regarded population as a burden and implemented the one-child policy, which not only encouraged individuals to have abortions but also involved the government in forcing abortions," Dr Yi said.

"Flyers from abortion service providers used to be all over the streets across the country. "Abortion is as casual as dining out. Both formal and informal hospitals dare to provide the service. The whole social atmosphere is full of contempt for life and disregard for the health of pregnant women.

"Now that the population policy has begun to change and is gradually shifting from 'treating the population as a burden' to 'respecting life', abortion is bound to be regulated and not treated as a trifling matter, as it was in the past."

Dr Yi said the international community should respect the changes. "Although China will regulate abortion, it will not be as strict as it is now in the US and Australia and even more impossible to prohibit abortion," Dr Yi said.

"Individuals will still have a lot of freedom while protecting life. There is still a great deal of freedom for individuals to protect their lives. The outside world should not over-interpret this."

However, Zhai Zhenwu, the director of the China Population Association, told the ABC that though Beijing announced it only this week, reducing non-medical need abortion has been practised for more than seven years. "It was practised well before the implement of two-child policy, so it's not a new concept," Mr Zhai said.

"The aim is to reduce the risk of women's reproductive health and unmarried pregnancies and to increase women's awareness of self-protection and contraception.

"Unlike Western societies, unmarried pregnancy is still a taboo in Chinese society, so this notice is more of a guideline.

"The main purpose is to improve the sex education for young men and women, and bring better contraceptive knowledge to protect themselves."


Rubio bill would empower Americans to ‘fight woke corporate elites’

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced the Mind Your Own Business Act, which would enable shareholders to hold woke corporations accountable.

Specifically, the legislation would require corporate directors to prove their “woke” corporate actions were in their shareholders’ best interest in order to avoid liability for breach of fiduciary duty in shareholder litigation over corporate actions relating to certain social policies. It would also incentivize corporate management to stop abusing their positions to advance left-wing social policies by increasing their personal liability to shareholders for breaches of fiduciary duty resulting from those policies.

Rubio told Fox Business News, “If a company is going to boycott a state or pull a product off the market because it has an American flag on it and they are concerned that might offend some people, or if a company is going to make these decisions under pressure from either the woke culture or some employee uprising internally, then they should have to justify to their large shareholders why they’ve done it and why that’s in the best interest of the company.”

Rubio added that he wants to end corporate policies of “kowtowing to pressure from China or pressure from the woke cancel culture in America.”

In a Fox Business News guest column, Rubio wrote, “No more legal tricks that shield these corporate executives from accountability. If they really believe that being woke is good for business, they should have to say so—and prove it—under oath in court.”

Americans for Limited Government (ALG) has been a leader in fighting woke corporate tyranny. President Richard Manning said his group “strongly supports Senator Rubio’s leadership on this important issue.”

Manning added that “woke corporations seem to be jumping over each other to prove who is willing to give more money or change corporate direction to accommodate a loud group of far left activists who are characterized as ‘stakeholders.’ Pensioners, those who hope to retire someday and other investors, have a right to expect that the companies they own are acting in their interests and not being the pawns of people whose goal is to destroy the free market system.”

The National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project (FEP), a free-market group that has partnered with ALG in the fight against corporate tyranny is also backing the Rubio bill.

“This is an important first step toward reining in the most aggressively politicized American corporations.” said Scott Shepard, FEP director.

Shepard explained why this bill is particularly important in today’s business climate:

Increasing numbers of corporate executives have indulged their own personal policy preferences at company – shareholder – expense, taking controversial, inflammatory and oft-times discriminatory and illegal positions on behalf of their companies. They sometimes claim that these actions are justified because the actions will, in some hazy way, benefit the company’s bottom line at some distant or unspecified time. But in the rare instances that they provide any evidence to support those claims, the evidence itself so biased and incomplete it only proved the point that their actions were not related to the company’s bottom line.

In other instances, corporate executives have justified their use of corporate assets to advance their personal policy preferences with claims that some group of stakeholders (e.g., employees, customers) have “demanded” that the action be taken. Various constituencies demand all sorts of things that business owners rightly ignore. In acceding to only some demands, the executives are employing their own policy preferences. Moreover, these executives make no effort to poll (in safe and unbiased conditions) their stakeholders to ascertain those stakeholders’ genuine interests and then to establish policy that genuinely and fully reflects that whole panoply of interests. Instead, they amplify the demands that suit their preestablished personal policy preferences, while suppressing dissent in many ways.

Rubio’s Mind Your Own Business Act is a private-sector solution to the problem of woke corporations. Specifically the bill:

Requires large public companies listing on national stock exchanges to provide shareholders with significant holdings with certain privileges with respect to claims for breach of fiduciary duty under covered circumstances.

Covered circumstances include if a company takes an action on a primarily non-pecuniary basis in response to State law, boycotts a class of persons or industry on a primarily non-pecuniary basis, or uses primarily non-pecuniary public reasoning for an action.

Corporate defendants would be bound by presumptions that pecuniary interest does not include common defenses used to defend exercises of business judgment, including the media image of the company or employee morale.

Ensures that for claims of breach of fiduciary duty against management brought by shareholders under these covered circumstances, management would have the burden of proof and, if found in breach of their duties, be liable without indemnification by the company for a minimum amount of damages and attorney’s fees.

National Center Executive Vice President Justin Danhof, Esq., who directed FEP for nine years, applauded Sen. Rubio for swimming against the tide.

“There are very few leaders willing to stand up to the corporate elites who are corrupting our culture with all manner of woke policy positions and corporate posturing meant to please the Davos crowd,” said Danhof. “That’s what makes Senator Rubio’s actions stand out, and why conservatives, particularly conservative investors, should laud this legislation.”


Up Is Down And Fiction Is Truth. Welcome To The Fake Reality Of The Left

I watch in bewilderment when I see educated people pledge allegiance to the Left and the insanity for which it stands. I see decent, law abiding people putting the Democratic Party ahead of their own country. Reality, which can clearly be seen by any normal person, is seen as something totally different by some. How can that be? How can scientific advice from one set of researchers be considered the truth but scientific advice from another set of equally talented researchers be dismissed as fake?

How can someone see a city being burned to the ground and senior citizens brutally attacked and then delude themselves into thinking it's a peaceful protest? How do they justify the cancel culture and then say they support free speech? Or, in the disgusting case of Bette Midler, how can they defend this washed up actress viciously and disgustingly attacking Melania Trump's accent but claim to love immigrants and multiculturalism?

It's all quite confusing.

Until you spend some time in the land of the Left, and then it becomes much more clear. Before I go on, let me just explain that I lived in that land for several years. I was never a great Leftist, but I supported many things that liberals and the Left supported in the earlier years, like internet neutrality, the end of endless wars, and equal rights for all. But over time, things changed, and liberal organizations began veering very hard to the Left. Almost overnight, it seemed, tolerance disappeared. Discussing ideas and disagreeing with official positions was something you did at your own risk.

I saw firsthand you could be asked to leave someone's home just for having a different opinion than they had. I saw a good friend go into a near rage when he learned I owned a handgun. I still remember the glaring anger in his eyes over such a simple thing. You would think I told him I killed babies for fun. Wait, I probably would have been congratulated for that. We got past that moment, for a while, but I became increasingly frustrated by unknown and unseen forces dictating what I should and should not believe. For example, I'm all for gay and lesbian rights, not super rights, just equal rights. But then it became known that bisexuals had to be included. OK. I can live with that.

But soon after, transgender people where thrown into the mix, so GLB became GLBT. A lot of gay people were not okay with that but it's not like there was a vote or anything. It was just a command from beyond that people eventually accepted. And then "Q" was added and that really confused people. Q stands for queer but who are they? How are the Q's different from the GLBT's? Things were getting weird, but again, there was no vote on the matter. Accept it and shut up. Some people did shut up but then bullying began and it became obvious that compliance was going to be enforced. It was sort of an organic compliance.

There was no single person or group organizing the bullying. It just seemed to emerge from the liberal collective. From there, on all kinds of issues, compliance became the rule, with bullying and shaming used as weapons. Attacks on people's jobs and families came next. And that morphed into the entire cancel culture which has done immeasurable damage to our society.

So we're back to my first paragraph, wondering how all this madness took root and why apparently sane people are taken in by it all. Well once you've been in it and escaped, as I have, it becomes very obvious what's going on. It's propaganda, just like the Left has been using since Karl Marx first picked up a pen. It's everywhere, spreading around the globe like a deadly virus but now it's digital, moving at the speed of light. It's on thousands of websites, and they all stick to the same narrative which reinforces their lies so that the lies look like the truth.

If all the top liberal websites say the sky is green, and they say it over and over and shame anyone who still sees it as blue, eventually everyone will agree and admire their new green sky. No amount of scientific data will convince them otherwise.

The Left has turned lying into an art form. Generally speaking, whatever they say is the opposite of the truth. They claim to support a free democracy, yet their candidates are harsh authoritarians. They compare Trump to Hitler, yet all over the nation, indeed all over the world, elected officials from the Left are the ones taking away freedoms, locking down populations and destroying jobs using a virus as an excuse, and forcing "hate crime" laws upon us to control not only our behavior but also our thoughts.

They paint conservatives as Nazis which is completely contrary to what conservatives actually believe in. But they don't care about the truth. They have an agenda and if they have to lie that's completely acceptable to them. How they get there doesn't matter. They'll slander you, physically attack you, ruin your life, burn down your city, or even kill you. History shows that's true. They don't care about the damage or the harm or the pain they inflict.

These are dangerous people.

I was researching free speech earlier today and one of the search results was for a group called "Free Speech TV" and naturally I wanted to check it out to see if it was a good resource. In reality it's a hard Left propaganda site pretending to support free speech. The entire site is anti-Trump, pro-Socialist garbage. There's not one ounce of criticism toward any candidate from the Democratic Party. It should be named "We Hate America TV" but that would be honest and the Left is never honest.

Consider Amy Goodman, the Communist who hosts the radio show "Democracy Now". Her entire show complains about America, promotes Marxism, and defends everything ever done by the Palestinians. Black Lives Matter is another fraudulent organization. Go to their website and see what they really stand for. They don't care about black people. BLM exists to promote Marxism and they use racism as a cover to gain public support.

Half the homes in my neighborhood have "Black Lives Matter" signs in their yards and are occupied by white liberals who probably have no idea what they're really supporting. I give BLM credit for their branding, though. You can't criticize them without looking like a racist, even if your intent is to expose them as the racists that they actually are. And if you say black lives matter, in the most generic way possible, you're still promoting a racist Marxist organization. So good job, BLM, on your branding, but you're still a horrible, hate filled organization.

Space permitting, I could list hundreds of authoritarian, socialist, freedom-hating organizations and websites that hide behind wonderful sounding names that could compel you to support them. Often their true goals are far more sinister than their websites suggest.

But I'll give them one break: they have to lie. If they told people the truth, no one would support them. Lying is the only way the Democratic Party can win an election. Brainwashing kids in school is the only way students can be convinced that America is so evil that it's OK to commit domestic terrorism and risk decades in prison.

The Left lies. It does it all day, every day. It never stops. So when your neighbor or relative puts up a BLM sign in their yard or starts complaining about that fascist in the White House, stand your ground but have a little pity too. The propaganda they're exposed to is relentless and very powerful. It becomes their reality. Up becomes down. Fiction becomes truth. And what they call freedom is actually enslavement.


State Police Force Faces Mass Resignations Over Vaccine Mandate

The increase in vaccine mandates among certain professions has driven a number of American workers to seek new employment, including a number of healthcare workers in New York State. In fact, the exodus in NYC could be so significant that the National Guard and foreign doctors may need to be brought in to fill the gap.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Massachusetts, it’s the police force that could soon be gutted.

The State Police Association of Massachusetts (SPAM) said dozens of troopers have submitted their resignation papers as a result of the state’s COVID vaccine mandate.

The state is requiring all executive department employees to show proof of vaccination by October 17, or risk losing their jobs.

The Union released a statement in which they suggested that these officers would seek employment in places with “reasonable” practices instead.

To date, dozens of troopers have already submitted their resignation paperwork, some of whom plan to return to other departments offering reasonable alternatives such as mask wearing and regular testing.

The State Police are already critically short staffed and acknowledged this by the unprecedented moves which took troopers from specialty units that investigate homicides, terrorism, computer crimes, arsons, gangs, narcotics, and human trafficking, and returned them to uniformed patrol.

The debate over vaccine mandates has been a heated one here in the United States, and with the federal government now solidly pushing for more of these regulations to go into place, there is no end in sight for the argument.




Hate speech from a prominent British Leftist

Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner put on an awkward show of unity tonight after he rebuked her for branding Tory ministers 'racist, homophobic, scum'.

The Labour leader and his deputy ostentatiously sat next to each other on the stage in Brighton in an apparent bid to quell civil war rumours.

They could be seen whispering in each others' ears as activists discussed reforming party rules - although neither looked very comfortable.

Earlier a clearly infuriated Sir Keir insisted 'that is not language that I would use' as he was grilled about the incendiary comments by Ms Rayner at a fringe meeting.

He said ominously that he would be 'speaking to Angela later' about the jibes, although he stopped short of demanding she apologise - something she has flatly refused to do.

Ms Rayner - who has been accused of blatant leadership manouevring - launched the extraordinary attack on Conservatives during an event for activists at the Labour conference in Brighton last night.

But despite a furious reaction, Ms Rayner this morning insisted she was right to highlight 'pretty scummy' comments by Boris Johnson and others.

Unusually going head-to-head with Sir Keir on TV, she told Sky News' Trevor Phillips programme she had been speaking at a 'post-watershed' fringe meeting with members to 'fire them up'.

Pressed on whether she regarded 14,000 Tory voters in her own Ashton-under-Lyne constituency as racist and homophobic, Ms Rayner said her remarks were about the PM.

'I am not saying anyone who voted for the Conservatives are racist or scummy,' she added.

She made clear she would only apologise if the PM said sorry for his previous 'racist' comments.

Sir Keir looked uncomfortable as he was read Ms Rayner's remarks on the Marr show this morning. 'Angela and I take different approaches,' he said. 'That is not language I would use.'

Addressing a raucous meeting of North West activists last night, Ms Rayner said: 'I'm sick of shouting from the sidelines, and i bet youse lot are too.

'We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, mysoginistic, absolute pile …of banana republic…Etonian…piece of scum…and I held back a little…that I have ever seen in my life'.

On Sky News, Ms Rayner said that 'scum' is a 'phrase that you would hear very often in northern working class towns'.

Appearing on Sky News after Ms Rayner, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said she should offer a proper apology.

'It is absolutely appalling,' he said. 'There is no place in public life for that sort of language, that sort of behaviour.'

He added: 'It would be befitting if she just apologised rather than talking around the subject.'

However, former shadow chancellor John McDonnell - who once joked about activists wanting to lynch former minister Esther McVey - defended Ms Rayner saying she was passionate and 'we've all been there, late at night'.

Amid Tory fury at Ms Rayner last night, minister Amanda Milling said: 'Shocking. Angela Rayner must apologise for these comments.

'Don't forget Rayner was Corbyn's henchman when Labour became embroiled in antisemitism.

'She failed to act. Rather than throwing around false accusations the Conservatives are focused on the people's priorities.'


UK: Labour apologises 'unreservedly' to Jewish members as it passes new rules to tackle anti-Semitism in the party

Jewish Labour members received another unreserved apology from the party tonight as it brought in new rules to tackle anti-Semitism.

The party conference in Brighton voted to bring in a new independent disciplinary system that would take power away from the leader's office.

The move was a key demand of the Equality and Human Rights Commission when it carried out its bombshell review into anti-Jewish racism in the party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

But despite some heckling in the conference hall at the Brighton Centre the measure was passed this evening after a vote of members and unions.

Earlier the conference had heard from Jewish former MP Ruth Smeeth, who said she felt 'sick' attending the event, for fear of more abuse from party members.

Labour leader Keir Starmer said the reforms, part of a number of changes to the constitution brought in today, were 'a major step forward in our efforts to face the public and win the next general election'.

He added: 'This is a decisive and important day in the history of the Labour Party. I promised to tackle anti-Semitism in our party.

'We've now closed the door on a shameful chapter in our history. I want to acknowledge the courage of all the people who spoke up against it.

Shabana Mahmood told Labour conference that anti-Semitism in the party was 'shameful' and apologised 'unreservedly' to Jewish Labour members and the wider Jewish community.

Ms Mahmood, the Labour Party national campaign co-ordinator, told members at the conference in Brighton: 'It has been a shameful period in our history, utterly horrifying and today with your support for these rule changes we decisively turn the page on that shameful period in our history.

'We apologise unreservedly to our Jewish members and to the wider Jewish community and we resolve from this conference floor today that no community will ever go through this pain again.'


Now the historic Blackpool illuminations are under attack

image from

A 'Native America' display of lights part of the Blackpool illuminations for 60 years may be removed - after they were labelled racist by a tribe member.

The world-famous light show has been attracting millions of visitors to the Lancashire seaside town for over 140 years.

But one of the illuminated attractions, which has featured in the light show since the 1960s, has now come under fire for portraying allegedly racist imagery.

The offending tableau, located to the north of Blackpool Promenade, depicts six axe-wielding Native Americans in war bonnets, dancing around a totem pole.

It has prompted a complaint from a member of the Native American tribe, Chickasaw Nation, who is now living in England - who says the display paints Blackpool as a town that supports racism and discrimination.

The man has met with Blackpool Council bosses to discuss the lights, and has called for them to be 'removed or concealed'.

But the council has defended the inclusion of the panel, and said the lights were 'designed and created many years ago and intended to be a celebration of different cultures'.

However, a council spokesman said that the continued use of the lights in upcoming years would be addressed.


Australia: Inclusion actually means exclusion in the woke community

In the names of inclusiveness and social justice, girls and women are losing opportunities for athletic achievement – and even losing their gender identities, writes Tim Blair.

If ever you hear a woke type ­talking about the need for ­“inclusion”, brace yourself. It usually means someone is about to be excluded.

The latest victims of inclusion are female netball players. Last week several girls’ netball teams were swept aside in a state championship because netball administrators allowed a boys’ team to compete.

By “compete”, I mean “dominate”. The Queensland Suns Under-17 team, an all-male outfit, easily won the Under-18s championship in Brisbane against all-female ­opponents.

As you’d expect.

Parents and fans at the final expressed understandable outrage. So did NRL legend Cameron Smith, whose wife watched a game in which fellow former NRL star Matt Geyer’s daughter played against the boys.

“She just said Matt’s daughter’s team were a gun side and they had no chance. The males were just too fast, too physical. It was just a disadvantage to the girls,” Smith said on SEN.

“It’s crazy. How do you put one male team in against all the other ­females and expect the girls to compete? Particularly at that age when they’re still developing. It’s not fair.”

Damn straight. But according to Netball Queensland, allowing boys to play against girls was even better than fair. It was inclusive, the highest level of woke accomplishment to which ­humanity can possibly aspire.

Following criticism, Netball Queensland issued a statement boldly defending its decision to deny girls any chance of winning. It’s a masterpiece of social justice sophistry. Let’s take a walk on the woke side:

“We want to make clear that there is a place for everyone in our sport.” Except for a place on top of the podium. That’s now reserved for boys.

“We stand by the decision to choose inclusion over exclusion.” Says the same organisation that excluded girls from even the possibility of a championship win.

“We recognise that change is sometimes uncomfortable …” Especially for girls, who will probably give up netball entirely if they’re going to be beaten in every match.

“We are buoyed by the support of our wider netball community …” As one sharp-eyed observer noted, they really should have used a more inclusive term than “buoyed”.

“We’d like to address the assertion that the young women who played the State Titles were disadvantaged in any way.” Really? The boys won their games by an average of 29 points and took out the final 46-12. If that’s not evidence of disadvantage, then what the hell is?

“We see this as a great development opportunity.” But not for girls, at least in terms of claiming a title.

“The inclusion of both women and men in the competition in 2021 was about affording all netballers the opportunity to play and develop our great game.” And for boys, and boys only, the opportunity to win.

“While we have been subject to commentary around the different physical attributes it should also be remembered that men are new participants to our sport and play a different style of netball.” A style known as “successful”. Because they’re boys playing against girls.

“It’s also imperative that we provide a platform for men and boys to participate – because if you can’t see it, you can’t be it.” I can’t see a girls’ team ever winning a netball championship again if boys are allowed to compete.

“And we aspire to be a sport for all.” You’ve taken a sport designed for girls and women and have handed it over to boys and men. Congratulations, ladies.

Queensland Netball’s idiocy, which if extended to other exclusively-female sports would scrub women from peak athletic involvement, is part of a broader woke war on women.

Last week the totally woke American Civil Liberties Union celebrated the memory of late Supreme Court justice and feminist hero Ruth Bader Ginsburg by promoting an old Ginsburg quote.

Problem was, Ginsburg’s 1993 quote used non-woke words such as “her”, “woman” and “she”. So the ACLU helpfully edited it, which turned an eloquent statement on abortion rights into an abortion ­itself.

“The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] wellbeing and dignity,” the updated gender-neutral version reads.

“When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.”

Fully adult humans should be capable of hearing or reading words that refer to women without having an ­inclusiveness-based panic attack.

Similarly, formerly-prestigious British medical journal The Lancet last week indicated its devotion to wokeness by also excluding women. “Historically,” The Lancet reported, “the anatomy and physiology of bodies with vaginas have been ­neglected.”

Seriously? “Bodies with vaginas”? That’s where wokespeak is taking us. They are reducing women to their genital component form.

Sensible people, such as psychologist and author Dr Jessica Taylor, took issue with this. How, Dr Taylor wondered, could The Lancet present itself as caring about the exclusion of female bodies and female biology from medicine and science when the journal won’t even name them?

“I would like to hear The Lancet explain their scientific rationale for keeping the use of the word ‘men’, ‘male’ and ‘man’ when they are refusing to use the word ‘woman’, ‘women’ and ‘female’,” Dr Taylor added. “Genuinely, I would like to hear that argument.”

They don’t have one. That’s why we hear nonsense phrases instead, like “if you can’t see it, you can’t be it”.

We are increasingly seeing women not mentioned in elite correspondence. What happens next?




Sunday, September 26, 2021

Japan Could Mix Things Up in the Taiwan Straits

The USA plus the rest of Asia would make a powerful counterweight to China. Even Vietnam could join in. They have no love of China. China did invade them a few decades back

After the disastrous meeting in Anchorage earlier this year, China is on the offensive. If not, it's certainly making moves because it easily slapped around Secretary of State Antony Blinken. It was an embarrassment. The adults are back, right? Well, they're getting the belt—by everyone.

China and the Taliban have both clinched wins over the Biden White House. And knowing how Biden seems wholly disengaged with everything, I'd take some things out for a spin. Our shambolic exit from Afghanistan showed the world that American was "rudderless." The world sees we're a nation deeply divided. Now is the time to make some moves—and China certainly is exhibiting that in the Taiwan Straits. Yet, one nation could throw a wrench in Beijing's neo-imperial plans.

Look, if we were to compare Asia to a sports division, it would be the National Football Leagues' NFC East. It's stacked with powerhouse teams (historically), vicious competition, and no love among its members. Taiwan's defensive strategy heavily relies on US support. Its immediate goal is to hold off a Chinese onslaught long enough for American carriers and troops to arrive. Will that happen? Nothing's really set in stone, and it would take a long time for us to reach the besieged island should this happen. Frankly, this is a World War III situation and carriers be damned—ICBMs would be flying. Yet, Japan decided over the summer to get a bit more aggressive as well.

Japan knows that Taiwan's security is tied to its own—and discussions of a defense pact were in the works. In June, Japan's deputy defense minister was quite clear that defending democratic Taiwan was a national security priority for Japan. It did not sit well with China—at all. In August, Japan and Taiwan held a virtual meeting on the matter (via Asia Times):

Taipei and Tokyo held unprecedented security talks…a move that prompted China’s diplomatic displeasure.

The discussions were held under a “2+2” format and attended by a pair of senior lawmakers from Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). They took place online and lasted half an hour longer than the planned hour, according to Reuters.


Experts who have spoken to Asia Times on the potential for security cooperation between Tokyo and Taipei have suggested a range of feasible options the two sides could agree on.

The two could, for example, coordinate their intelligence, communications and responses to Chinese air intrusions in the gap between Taiwanese air space and Japan’s southern Ryukyu Islands.

A legal-logistical mechanism could be established in Japan to assure backup for Japan-based US forces if they deploy to or around Taiwan. Or, a joint Japan-US headquarters could be established, possibly on Okinawa, where the US deploys a Marine division and related assets to coordinate Japanese-US forces in regional operations.

Now, in September, the talks are still unofficial. There's no official security pact, but The Diplomat argued that this "renaissance" in Taipei-Tokyo relations may not last, though the fact that both islands have a shared interest in keeping China at bay will remain. We shall see what happens.


Why does Biden's vaccine mandate not apply to welfare recipients and others?

On Sept. 9, President Biden declared that all companies with more than 100 employees must “ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.”

According to Biden’s federal vaccine mandate, any company that does not comply will face a fine of $14,000 per case.

During his speech, Biden also declared that “all nursing home workers who treat patients on Medicare and Medicaid” and that “those who work in hospitals, home healthcare facilities, or other medical facilities” as well as “all executive branch federal employees” and “federal contractors” must get vaccinated.

If these Americans choose not to get vaccinated, they will lose their livelihoods. As Biden said, “This is not about freedom or personal choice.”

But Biden’s federal vaccine mandate does not apply to Americans on welfare, illegal immigrants, members of Congress, U.S. Postal Service employees and several other groups.

This is not only unfair, but it flies in the face of Biden’s goal “to require more Americans to be vaccinated, to combat those blocking public health.”

So, per Biden’s edict, Americans who work at a company that employs more than 100 people have no choice but to get vaccinated. The same standard applies to the health care workers who have heroically put their lives on the line treating COVID-19 patients.

But for reasons unexplained, Biden refuses to mandate vaccines for the 59 million Americans who receive welfare benefits.

Put another way, Biden is mandating that the Americans who supply most of the tax revenue to pay for America’s welfare system be vaccinated or lose employment. But the beneficiaries of the welfare state are exempt.

This is even more flummoxing given that data shows Medicaid recipients are among the least vaccinated.

In Georgia, for example, only 10 percent of Medicaid recipients were fully vaccinated, compared with 33 percent of the Peach State’s general population, as of May 31. Similarly, in Idaho, only 20 percent of Medicaid recipients were fully vaccinated, while 44 percent of the state’s general population had been fully vaccinated, as of June 1.Similar trends apply throughout the states.

Illegal immigrants are also exempt from Biden’s vaccine mandate.

According to a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “The Department of Homeland Security continues its vaccination efforts to include voluntary vaccinations for individuals in the care and custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Once again, for working American citizens, Biden says it is not about freedom or personal choice, but for illegal immigrants, vaccinations are voluntary.

When pressed about this blatant double standard, Biden’s White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, simply replied, “That’s correct.”

Apparently, voluntary vaccination also applies to Postal Service workers. According to Dave Partenheimer, a Postal Service spokesman, “The COVID-19 vaccination requirements included in the White House executive order issued on September 9, 2021 for federal employees do not apply to the Postal Service.”

Finally, Biden’s vaccine mandate does not apply to Congress, even though there are 535 members, which puts Congress well over the 100-employee threshold.

Federal judge upholds hospital system's COVID-19 vaccine mandate
Federal appeals court blocks NYC teacher vaccine mandate
Biden’s vaccine mandate is narrowly targeted toward the 80 to 100 million American citizens who get up and go to work but ignores the 60 million Americans on welfare, the thousands who illegally cross our southern border every day, the 640,000 Postal Service workers and Congress, among others.

Biden’s vaccine mandate is not about getting the vulnerable vaccinated. It is about the Biden administration unfairly and unnecessarily forcing hard-working Americans to choose between their bodily autonomy and their livelihood.


Federal Judge Strikes Down Portions of Florida Law Banning ‘Sanctuary Cities’

A Florida law prohibiting the establishment of so-called sanctuary cities, or municipalities trying to shield illegal immigrants from arrest, violates federal law, a federal judge ruled this week.

Florida Senate Bill 168 bars sanctuary policies, or policies that prohibit or impede law enforcement from complying with federal immigration law or that block law enforcement agencies from communicating or cooperating with federal immigration agencies.

The Florida Legislature passed the legislation in 2019 and Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed it into law.

But some of the groups that supported and were involved with crafting the law, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), have “been described as anti-immigrant hate groups,” U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom, an Obama nominee, wrote in her 110-page ruling.

“This involvement strongly suggests that the Legislature enacted SB 168 to promote and ratify the racist views of these advocacy groups.”

As part of the ruling, Bloom highlighted a press conference held by state Sen. Joe Gruters and state Rep. Cord Byrd with Floridians for Immigration Enforcement (FLIMEN) that highlighted victims of illegal immigrant criminals, including a couple who spoke about how their son was killed by an illegal alien who had been deported twice before reentering the United States.

“We are very, very proud to be here today with these groups of people and to stand with our Angel families—to end the kind of anarchy that does exist with the criminal activity of some members of the illegal alien population,” Karyn Morton, of FLIMEN, said at the time.

“By referring to immigrants as illegals, criminals, murderers, and victimizers, the press conference was clearly intended to cast immigrants in a demeaning and threatening light, thus demonstrating the speakers’ racial animus toward the immigrant population,” Bloom said.

Gruter’s description of illegal immigrants as “illegals” also revealed a racial animus, the judge claimed.

That contributed to the finding that the passage of the bill was racially motivated, she added. She struck down some portions, including parts aimed to ban sanctuary cities.

The Community Justice Center, one of the plaintiffs, said in a statement that the ruling was “a victory for immigrants across the state of Florida.”

“This law was clearly developed to encourage racial profiling, civil rights violations, isolation of immigrant communities, and unjust deportations. It did more harm for the causes of public safety than good. This should send a clear message to Gov. DeSantis and all those proponents of this racist law that they will not go unchallenged,” the center stated.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the University of Miami School of Law’s Immigration Clinic joined with the center in filing the lawsuit.

Dan Stein, FAIR’s president, told The Epoch Times that the ruling is an example of judges legislating from the bench.

“This is a mockery of justice; this is a complete insult to the democratic process and the freedom of Americans to petition the legislature,” he said.

He said Bloom repeatedly put forth “unsubstantiated derogatory pronouncements” in “an attempt to usurp the legislature’s prerogative to decide what the laws state are.”

FLIMEN and two legislators singled out in the ruling, Gruters and Byrd, both Republicans, didn’t immediately respond to requests by The Epoch Times for comment.

The state plans to appeal the ruling; Stein and a spokesperson for DeSantis both predicted the appeal will be successful.

“Yet again, a federal trial court judge partially enjoins a plainly constitutional state statute,” Taryn Fenske, the governor’s spokesperson, said in a statement to news outlets. “We disagree with the judge’s ruling and expect to win on appeal.”


George Floyd's alleged killer, former police officer Derek Chauvin, launches appeal against his conviction

The former Minneapolis police officer convicted in George Floyd's murder intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence, saying the judge abused his discretion or erred during several key points in the case.

He is appealing on grounds of a tainted jury pool and juror misconduct, among others

The former police officer was convicted on two counts of murder and one count of manslaughter

According to documents filed on Thursday, Derek Chauvin intends to appeal on 14 grounds.

Among them, he said Judge Peter Cahill abused his discretion when he denied Chauvin's request to move the trial out of Hennepin County due to pretrial publicity.

He also said the judge abused his discretion when he denied a request to sequester the jury for the duration of the trial, and when he denied requests to postpone the trial or grant a new one.

Chauvin was convicted earlier this year on charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Mr Floyd's 2020 death.

He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison — a sentence higher than the presumptive 12 and a half years after the judge agreed with prosecutors there were aggravating factors in Mr Floyd's death.

Chauvin was also charged in the federal court with violating Mr Floyd's civil rights when he knelt on his neck for about nine and a half minutes he was face down on the ground, not resisting and pleading for air.

He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Chauvin had 90 days from his sentencing to file notice that he intended to appeal. In addition to his notice, he also filed a motion to put the appeals process on hold until the Supreme Court reviewed an earlier decision to deny him a public defender to represent him in his appeal.

In an affidavit filed on Thursday, Chauvin said he had no attorney in the appeals process and no income aside from nominal prison wages.

His case before Judge Cahill was funded by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association's legal defence fund.

Chauvin wrote: "I have been informed that their obligation to pay for my representation terminated upon my conviction and sentencing."

The grounds of his appeal

All grounds that Chauvin raised in his notice of intent to appeal had been raised previously by defence attorney Eric Nelson as the case worked its way through the district court.

Mr Nelson had previously argued that intense publicity around Mr Floyd's death tainted the jury pool and the trial should have been moved away from Minneapolis.

There were reports in February that Chauvin had been prepared to plead guilty to third-degree murder and an announcement during jury selection that Minneapolis reached a $US27 million ($37.18 million) settlement with the Floyd family.

Chauvin's court filing also said the district court erred when it concluded that Morries Hall, the man who was with Mr Floyd on the day of his arrest, would not be forced to testify on behalf of the defence.

He also said the court erred when it permitted prosecutors to present cumulative evidence on use of force.

Chauvin said he also intended to argue that Judge Cahill abused his discretion when he failed to allow Chauvin to strike "clearly biased" jurors for cause, when he allowed the state to add a charge of third-degree murder, when he limited the admissibility of evidence from a prior arrest of Floyd, and when he denied Mr Nelson's post-verdict request for a new trial and request for a hearing to question jurors to investigate alleged misconduct.




Friday, September 24, 2021

A judge in Florida on Wednesday blocked a city’s COVID-19 mandate from taking effect

Circuit Judge Monica Brasington, a Sen. Rick Scott appointee, granted a request for an emergency injunction. That means the mandate, which was slated to take effect on Oct. 1, is blocked for now.

“The city did not put on any evidence, at all, at the injunction hearing,” Brasington wrote in a 7-page ruling.

“Without any evidence, the court is unable to consider whether the vaccine mandate serves a compelling interest through the least restrictive means, whether the vaccine mandate meets a strict scrutiny test, a rational basis test, or whether it meets any other standard,” she added.

Gainesville’s City Commission on Aug. 5 decided all city employees needed to get vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19. A week later, City Manager Lee Feldman ordered employees to get at least one dose by Oct. 1 and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 14.

More than 200 Gainesville employees sued, noting that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in stopping transmission of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus has stopped. They also said that the mandate did not make sense because many of them have natural immunity, or protection from having had COVID-19, and because area hospitals were not experiencing a shortage of beds.

In a recent hearing, the employees argued that the mandate violated their right to privacy under the Florida Constitution.

That means defendants have to show that the law “furthers a compelling state interest in the least restrictive way,” Judge Brasington said.

But the city submitted no evidence, called no witnesses, and did not file any affidavits or declarations, leading the judge to rule in favor of the plaintiffs.

“The city had an opportunity to present evidence that would show that this Vaccine Mandate was the least restrictive means to meet a compelling government interest. The city did not do that and, in fact, did not present any evidence, at all. Therefore, the court is required to find that the city failed to meet its burden of proving that the vaccine mandate furthers a compelling state interest in the least restrictive way,” she ruled.

The city is prohibited from enforcing the mandate and firing or disciplining any employee who fails to comply with it.

“The court agreed that the city doesn’t own its employees’ bodies,” Jeff Childers, an attorney for the plaintiffs, told The Epoch Times.

Jon Cicio, one of the plaintiffs, said he was relieved.

“It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can get back to focusing on serving the citizens the way they deserve, with no distraction,” he told The Epoch Times.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican who filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs, also celebrated the ruling.

“I was proud to stand with police and first responders to stop the city of Gainesville from firing them based on an unlawful government vaccine mandate. Today, the court agreed and protected their jobs. This is great news,” she wrote on Twitter.

A lawyer for Gainesville declined to commen


British minister's asylum plan will break international law, says UNHCR

Priti Patel’s new asylum plan stigmatises those seeking asylum in the UK as “unworthy and unwelcome” and creates a two-tier system that would be in violation of international law, the UN Refugee Agency has said.

The UK Nationality and Borders Bill, which the government has introduced in order to deter people from attempting “illegal” entry into the UK, will create a “lower class of status” for the majority of refugees who arrive in the country spontaneously, the UNHCR said.

The bill, which was published in July and is currently going through parliament, would make it a criminal offence for an asylum-seeker to arrive in the UK without permission. Asylum seekers would face up to four years in prison if convicted.

It also seeks to “rapidly remove” asylum seekers who arrive in the UK via unauthorised routes, and grant them only temporary protection, with limited rights if it cannot immediately do so.

Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UNHCR’s UK representative, said there was no evidence the bill would achieve its aim of deterring asylum-seekers from travelling to the UK without the correct documents.

She said: “This bill would undermine, not promote, the government’s stated goal of improving protection for those at risk of persecution. It seems to be aimed at deterring refugees, but there’s no evidence that would be the result.

“Those arriving irregularly will be stigmatised as unworthy and unwelcome, kept in a precarious status for ten years, denied access to public funds unless destitute. Family reunion will be restricted.”

The bill is based on the notion that asylum-seekers should seek sanctuary in the “first safe country” they arrive in – however the UNHCR said there was no such requirement under international law, and the principle was not in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The UN body said requiring all refugees to claim asylum in the first safe country would be “unworkable”.

Ms Pagliuchi-Lor added: “This differentiation of treatment has no basis in international law.

“The Convention’s definition of a refugee doesn’t vary according to the route of travel, choice of country of asylum, or the timing of a claim. Are we saying that an Afghan refugee is less deserving in the UK than when in Iran or Pakistan?

“There are no quick fixes to what is a global problem. The humane solution lies in working with neighbours on refugee transfers – and with countries of origin on returns of those who are not refugees and have no right to remain – and improving the UK system.”

The bill has attracted condemnation from a range of respected voices, including the UK’s modern slavery tsar, who warned in a strongly worded letter to the home secretary that the proposed reforms would make the identification of victims of modern slavery “harder” and “create additional vulnerabilities”.

Dame Sara Thornton said: “Those entering this country irregularly may become exploited at any point, particularly if they have debt incurred for their journey. Differential treatment of refugees based on the nature of their arrival may only serve to exacerbate vulnerability.”

The Law Society of England and Wales has also warned that the UK’s global reputation for justice was being put at risk by the new bill.

The Law Society president, I Stephanie Boyce, said: “There are significant concerns and a lack of clarity over whether the Nationality and Borders Bill would comply with international law or, indeed, uphold access to justice for extremely vulnerable people.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “The entire government is determined to tackle the unacceptable rise in dangerous Channel crossings at every level.

“The New Plan for Immigration provides the only long-term solution to fix the broken system, which includes changes to the law to tackle criminal gangs and prevent further loss of life. It fully complies with all our international obligations including under the European Convention on Human Rights and the UN Refugee Convention.

“People should seek protection in the first safe country they reach, like France. They should not, after having obtained safety, make further unnecessary and dangerous journeys to their preferred destination as a matter of choice.”


Britain exploring trade agreements

I always thought that Britain should join NAFTA but NAFTA is no more. Its succesor is USMCA

The UK is considering joining a trade partnership between the US, Canada and Mexico or an Asia-Pacific free trade group after Boris Johnson gave up on his dream of a bilateral deal with Washington.

The prime minister accepted a direct free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK was not high on US president Joe Biden’s list of priorities after meeting with his American counterpart in the White House on Tuesday.

The UK will instead look to improve trade links with the US by exploring other avenues such as inserting itself as the fourth member of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) or joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the Independent understands.

We’ve taken a look at the two trade pacts and what they could mean for the UK.

The CPTPP was born out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a group promoted by then-US president Barack Obama as part of Washington’s increased emphasis on relations with Asia.

Obama’s successor, Donald Trump, pulled out in 2017 and Biden has not rejoined the group.

The UK revealed it was formally applying in January 2021 and negotiations began in June.

The CPTPP, which took effect in 2018, includes agreements on market access, movement of labour and government procurement.

The Department for International Trade said joining the trade group would cut tariffs on food, drink and cars and improve access to the markets of its members, such as Mexico, New Zealand and Vietnam.

Other benefits are said to include easier travel between partnership countries and cheaper visas.

If accepted, the UK would become the first European member, joining Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.


Britain may also bid to join the trade partnership between the US, Canada and Mexico as a fourth member in the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

USMCA came into effect in July 2020 as a replacement for the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), which was torn up by Donald Trump.

Britain already has trade agreements with Canada and Mexico. therefore the main benefits of joining would be linked to the US element of the deal.

There has previously been no talk of extending the three-nation arrangement.


(1) Males and females are different after all

An angry backlash has erupted after an all-boys netball team won a state title in Queensland by beating sides made up of female players in the decider.

The Queensland Suns Under-17 team was comprised entirely of boys and won the Under-18s championship in Brisbane this week, beating regional female teams en route to the trophy.

The Courier Mail reports after the Suns beat the Bond University Bull Sharks 46-12 in the final, some members of the crowd directed abuse towards the boys, with many believing it was unfair they were allowed to compete.

Suns coach Tammy Holcroft told the publication: “The abuse ranged from comments made courtside deliberately within earshot of the Suns contingent, to adults making vulgar comments directly behind the team bench.

“It’s disappointing that the frustration was directed at the players.

“At the very core of this, our boys just want to play and they copped the brunt of these comments and behaviours and were made to feel unwelcomed and unsupported.”

NRL commentator and radio host Andrew Voss said it was “bulls***” the boys team, which was undefeated throughout the tournament and boasted an average winning margin of 29 goals, was allowed to compete against the girls.

“How is that common sense?” Voss said on his SEN breakfast show. “You’re surely not going to endorse that as the way of the future, at Under-18s level.

“They say they want to be inclusive, not exclusive. That’s bulls***. It’s a farce.”

NRL legend Cameron Smith said former Melbourne Storm teammate Matt Geyer’s daughter played against the Suns team this week, and Smith’s wife went along to watch a game.

“She just said Matt’s daughter’s team were a gun side and they had no chance. The males were just too fast, too physical, it was just a disadvantage to the girls,” Smith said on SEN.

“It’s crazy. How do you put one male team in against all the other females and expect the girls to compete? Particularly at that age when they’re still developing. It’s not fair.

“That’s a weird one to enter a male team in the netball competition.”

In a Facebook post after the final, the Bull Sharks wrote: “Congratulations on an outstanding tournament to our 18U Women. Undefeated by other women’s teams for the week and runners up in the State Titles.”

The comments on a separate Facebook post promoting the final questioned why an all-boys team was competing against a girls side.

“Netball QLD in their wisdom thought it would be fair to include a young men’s state team against regional young women’s team and allow them to contest the State Title,” Jodie Muir wrote.

Renee Miles replied: “Netball QLD seems to be as intelligent as the QRL,” with a face palm emoji.

Netball Queensland posted about the success of the state titles on Facebook, but the comments underneath were extremely critical.


(2) Males and females are different after all

Following the debut of MMA fighter Alana McLaughlin, an Australian advocate has called for transgender athletes to be banned from competing in professional women’s sports.

McLaughlin, the second openly transgender woman to compete in MMA in the United States, won her debut on Friday night via submission at the Combate Global prelims.

The 38-year-old used a rear-naked choke against Celine Provost to end the match three minutes, 32 seconds into the second round.

Provost landed multiple punches in the first round, but McLaughlin ultimately came out on top.

As she was declared the victor, McLaughlin wore a shirt with the phrase, “End Trans Genocide.”

Her debut comes as multiple states argue bills aimed at restricting transgender athletes from participating in youth, high school and college sports.

Speaking on 2GB’s Ben Fordham Live, Save Women’s Sport Australasia co-founder Katherine Deves said including transgender athletes in professional sport was “an attack on women and girls”. “Humans cannot change sex,” she claimed.

“Sex matters for sport. Sport does not care about your feelings or your identity.

“This is male violence against women. It is sanctioned, and celebrated, and monetised.

“It’s an attack on everything that women have fought for, for equality of access to sports competitions.

“How far do we have to fall as a society before the authorities stop pandering to the woke and start protecting women and girls?

“We don’t want to have mediocre males playing against the most elite women in the world.

“Women’s sports is not a dumping ground for men who can’t hack it in male competition.”

According to Sport Australia, there is no evidence of athletes transitioning from a man into a women in order to gain a competitive advantage.

McLaughlin, who began her gender transition after leaving the U.S. Army Special Forces in 2010, said she hopes to be a pioneer for transgender athletes in combat sports.

“I want to pick up the mantle that Fallon put down,” McLaughlin told Outsports before the fight, referring to Fallon Fox, who in 2012 became the first transgender woman to fight in MMA.

“Right now, I’m following in Fallon’s footsteps. I’m just another step along the way and it’s my great hope that there are more to follow behind me.”

McLaughlin began training a year ago and was cleared to fight by the Florida State Boxing Commission after having her hormone levels tested, according to ESPN.

She said it was a “nightmare” finding an opponent.

“I‘m getting a lot of variations of the same nasty messages calling me a cheater,” McLaughlin wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

“She almost finished me more than once, and on scorecards she definitely won that first round.

“This is the only post I‘ll make about this. Transphobes are just making my block hand stronger.”