Saturday, August 1, 2020

"We're Screwed": The Worst Months For Both Renters And Landlords Still Lie Ahead

"We're Screwed": The Worst Months For Both Renters And Landlords Still Lie Ahead Tyler Durden Sat, 08/01/2020 - 22:30

Rent has barely trickled in across the U.S. over the last couple months as the country continues to grapple with a decimated economy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The only reason that many landlords have not gone belly-up alongside of their respective tenants has been due to the emergency "relief" provided by the government in the form of relentlessly printing, handing out and destroying the U.S. dollar.

Now, with further emergency funding still up in the air and eviction moratoriums about to expire, an ugly picture is starting to emerge for both renters and their landlords. In fact, Bloomberg predicts that the "worst is yet to come". 

33% of renters didn't make their full payment in the first week of July, a recent survey showed. This means that 12 million renters could face eviction over the next four months. In places like New York and Houston, more than 20% of renters say they have "no confidence" in their ability to pay rent next month. 

John Pollock, staff attorney at the Public Justice Center, commented: “You’d have to go back to the Great Depression to find the kind of numbers we’re looking at right now. There’s almost no precedent for this, which is why it’s so scary.”

If he thinks the economic numbers are scary, he should look into how the Fed is trying to paper over them - that's even scarier.

The pandemic caused layoffs across the country beginning in March and, since then, many U.S. citizens have been relying on the government dole, credit cards or digging into their savings to survive. About 11 million renters spend at least half of their income just keeping a roof over their head, Bloomberg writes.

While stimulus measures - including $1,200 checks that went out months ago and eviction moratoriums - helped the problem, the government is still struggling to extend those measures. Unemployment benefits, which were hiked by $600 per week during the pandemic, also remain an unknown. 

One analysis says that landlords could wind up losing more than $22 billion in rent over the next four months as a result of the economy. Chuck Sheldon, who manages about 1,650 apartments in New Mexico has said that the $600 unemployment boost was a "huge" part of him still being able to collect most rents on time. 

Mary Cunningham, vice president of the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, said: “If Congress doesn’t do anything, I think we are in for a dark fall and winter.”

John Pawlowski, a senior analyst at real estate research firm Green Street Advisors, has a different take. He thinks there won't be an "immediate" crash if unemployment benefits are not extended: “People still need a place to live.”

Former bartender and 33 year old Brooke Martin disagrees. She told Bloomberg that she can't cover her $1,800 per month apartment on unemployment, after she pays off student loans and utilities.

She concluded: "As of the end of the month, we’re screwed. There’s just no two ways about it."


Friday, July 31, 2020

Frontline ER Doctor From Viral HCQ Video Fired From Job (Updated)

Update: Breitbart News is still unable to post to their 1.4 million followers on Twitter, after the social media giant locked their account for posting the viral video of pro-HCQ doctors at the heart of the latest debate over Silicon Valley censorship.


Is the tyranny of public education about to end?



Parents across the country are coming to grips with what the upcoming school year will be like for their children. Will schools be open? Closed? Will children have to wear masks? Will classes be staggered? Will distance learning be the only option?

Questions questions questions.

Whatever your views on public education – and mine are unspeakably dim – the fact remains parents need answers and children need structure.

The vast majority of school districts are wrestling with coronavirus mandates and social distancing requirements. The health of the students, teachers, administrators and parents must all be factored in.

But not everyone cares about students. I refer specifically to the Los Angeles Teachers Union, which is engaged in nothing short of extortion.

Not the teachers, mind you; the unions. It often appears teachers are unaware of what their union representatives are doing on their behalf.

A July 14 article entitled "Los Angeles Teachers Union says public schools should not reopen unless their demands are met" notes: "The Los Angeles Teacher's Union is one of the largest in the state, and the United Teachers Los Angeles say public schools should not reopen unless their demands are met. Their demands include implementing a moratorium on private schools, defunding the police, increasing taxes on the wealthy, implementing Medicare for all, and passing the HEROES Act, which allocated and additional $116 billion in federal education funding to the states. The union's demands also took aim at charter schools. The United Teachers Los Angeles union says these policies must be implemented on both the state and national level before reopening schools." [Emphasis added.]

Did you hear that, folks? The biggest school district in California is holding parents and students hostage until their insane leftist demands are met on the national level.

Understand, these demands have nothing whatever to do with health considerations. Other school districts refusing to reopen at least use COVID-19 as an excuse. But in Los Angeles? Nope. They're blatant about their political agenda.

And who is hurt the most by these demands? Low-income families and working parents, of course. "Ironically, public schools have essentially ditched lower-income families almost completely even though school district bureaucrats have long based the political legitimacy of public schools on the idea that they are an essential resource for low-income students," notes Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute.

"The union, like city councils that are defunding police, are taking a political stance that will hurt millions of Americans," observes Bryan Preston with PJ Media. "The union's actions amount to an illegal strike, and they should be fired and the union forced to disband. But no Democrat politician in California dares take them on. The teachers union is the most powerful lobby in the formerly Golden State. Democrats own California, and the teachers union owns the Democrats."

During the nationwide school shutdowns last spring, parents saw firsthand the kind of "education" their kids are getting. Many were horrified at the blatant indoctrination being pushed on their kids. Others, looking ahead, don't want their children to have to submit to the dystopian safety guidelines issues by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and which are being implemented in many schools. And some parents are simply revolted by the extortion demands by the unions.

So parents all over the country, being resourceful, are addressing the educational needs of their children in a wide variety of ways, all exciting.

Many parents will opt to homeschool. In fact, interest in homeschooling has exploded. In North Carolina alone, so many parents were withdrawing their children from the system to homeschool that the government website crashed.

Some parents are "microschooling," a home-based option in which several families share the responsibilities of teaching their multi-aged children.

Some parents are banding into "pods" and pooling their resources to hire a teacher. It's the modern-day version of a one-room school house, with complete parental control over the curricula.

To the absolute horror of educational unions, parents are being championed in the highest quarters as President Trump pushes school choice solutions by – get this – attaching funding to the parents, not the schools. "If schools do not reopen, the funding should go to parents to send their child to public, private, charter, religious or home school of their choice – the key word being choice," said the president.

"The best way out of this mess: fund students, not the education bureaucracy," wrote Larry Sand in American Greatness. "If a school district or the state decides not to hold classes, parents should be able to use education dollars to pay for their child's education elsewhere."

This is HUGE, folks. Just huge – and long overdue. It's not exactly defunding public education (yet), but it's a start. It's also a blow to the unmitigated arrogance of the teachers' unions.

(Remember the list of demands by the United Teachers Los Angeles, which includes a moratorium on private schools and charter schools. All teachers' unions are violently opposed to parental control of their children's educational choices.)

School choice is supported by 75 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats. Those are enormous numbers, but "while some on the left have been coming around to parental choice, teacher unions and their camp followers aren't budging." What a surprise.

Attaching funding to the child, not the school, would shatter the government monopoly and encourage schools to compete for students. It would break the groupthink one-size-fits-all stranglehold of the viciously hostile teachers' unions. At a stroke, it would go a long way toward curing the majority of educational problems in our nation.

"If people got to choose their kids' school, education options would be endless," writes John Stossel in his excellent book "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity." "There could soon be technology schools, cheap Walmart-like schools, virtual schools where you learn at home on your computer, sports schools, music schools, schools that go all year, schools with uniforms, schools that open early and keep kids later, and, who knows? If there were competition all kind of new ideas would bloom."

But until that happens, parents are at last seizing the opportunity to take back the education of their children. In short, there may be a very powerful silver lining to this nationwide disruption: More children will be freed from the tyranny of public education. It's about time.

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Suicide Weekend?


We’re in a period of accelerated novelty that feels like we might be on the brink of a cognitive singularity, as described by Terence McKenna.Or, at least I am!

So I picked this video to take a break from the rioting and the political mayhem that’s going on. I’m crazy for Beluga whales and this is so sweet! Plus there aren’t any videos made yet about the late-breaking story from last night.

Flynn Case Update: We’ve talked before about Judge Emmett Sullivan’s refusal to abide by the DOJ’s dismissal of charges against Michael Flynn. Over a month ago, the US Court of Appeals granted a writ of mandamus that would compel Sullivan to dismiss the egregious prosecution. He has refused. This was after Sullivan had already refused to do so for an entire previous month. He instead appointed the very biased John Gleeson, a retired Clinton appointee to rebut both the DOJ and Flynn’s defense and to argue that Flynn should be jailed for perjury – as part of his prior non-perjury charge. Never mind that it is not within Sullivan’s power to appoint a Special Prosecutor!

Two months on, Sullivan has yet to grant the motion to dismiss Flynn’s case, which like so much that is happening in these times, is utterly unprecedented – and increasingly absurd, as more exculpatory evidence previously withheld from the court keeps being declassified every week, proving Flynn’s innocence.

Thursday, it was announced that the case will be re-heard on August 11th, “en banc”, which means by a group of judges on bench. They are dragging this out as long as possible because Flynn stumping for Trump will be a very bad look for the Demon Party.

Ghislaine Maxwell Case Update: her lawyers and the victims’ lawyers filed several court requests back and forth yesterday with regard to Maxwell’s attempts to delay the unsealing of lurid depositions from a 2015 defamation suit filed against her. This was after the judge on Wednesday denied her request to keep them sealed. Her request was denied and the first tranche of court documents and emails were released at about 10PM last night.

Here’s a quick thumbnail of the contents, so far:

There is now evidence given under oath that Bill Clinton visited Jeffrey Epstein’s pedophile island with two young girls. This is in addition the the pilot flight logs, which showed him going there more than a dozen times. This might explain why Ghislaine was protected for so long: The courts and the media were protecting the Clintons.

We also see that victims reached out to Obama’s FBI and they were repeatedly ignored, which now implicates Comey, Mueller and Eric Holder in what was an international compromise operation.

How did Jim Comey’s daughter, Maureen end up on the prosecution team against Ghislaine Maxwell? Is this appropriate? Shouldn’t she recuse herself?

This is a list of men with whom Ghislaine Maxwell directed Virginia Giuffre to engage in sexual activities, according to the newly-released documents:

– Alan Dershowitz
– Glenn Dubin
– Stephen Kaufmann
– Prince Andrew
– Jean Luc Brunel
– Bill Richardson
– Marvin Minsky

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Videos and images and many more depositions will be released on Monday and there are already rumors of a “suicide weekend”.

Alexandra Bruce

Contributed by Alexandra Bruce



A Post-Brexit Agrochemical Apocalypse For The UK?

A Post-Brexit Agrochemical Apocalypse For The UK? Tyler Durden Fri, 07/31/2020 - 02:00

Authored by Colin Todhunter via,

The British government, regulators and global agrochemical corporations are colluding with each other and are thus engaging in criminal behaviour. That’s the message put forward in a new report written by environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason and sent to the UK Environment Agency. It follows her January 2019 open letter to Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer CropScience, where she made it clear to him that she considers Bayer CropScience and Monsanto criminal corporations.

Her letter to Baumann outlined a cocktail of corporate duplicity, cover-ups and criminality which the public and the environment are paying the price for, not least in terms of the effects of glyphosate. Later in 2019, Mason wrote to Bayer Crop Science shareholders, appealing to them to put human health and nature ahead of profit and to stop funding Bayer.

Mason outlined with supporting evidence how the gradual onset of the global extinction of many species is largely the result of chemical-intensive industrial agriculture. She argued that Monsanto’s (now Bayer) glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide and Bayer’s clothianidin are largely responsible for the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef and that the use of glyphosate and neonicotinoid insecticides are wiping out wildlife species across the globe.

In February 2020, Mason wrote the report ‘Bayer Crop Science rules Britain after Brexit – the public and the press are being poisoned by pesticides’. She noted that PM Boris Johnson plans to do a trade deal with the US that could see the gutting of food and environment standards. In a speech setting out his goals for trade after Brexit, Johnson talked up the prospect of an agreement with Washington and downplayed the need for one with Brussels – if the EU insists the UK must stick to its regulatory regime. In other words, he wants to ditch EU regulations.

Mason pondered just who could be pulling Johnson’s strings. A big clue came in February 2019 at a Brexit meeting on the UK chemicals sector where UK regulators and senior officials from government departments listened to the priorities of Bayer Crop Science. During the meeting (Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum Keynote Seminar: Priorities for UK chemicals sector – challenges, opportunities and the future for regulation post-Brexit), Janet Williams, head of regulatory science at Bayer Crop Science Division, made the priorities for agricultural chemical manufacturers known.

Dave Bench was also a speaker. Bench is a senior scientist at the UK Chemicals, Health and Safety Executive and director of the agency’s EU exit plan and has previously stated that the regulatory system for pesticides is robust and balances the risks of pesticides against the benefits to society.

In an open letter to Bench, Mason responded:

That statement is rubbish. It is for the benefit of the agrochemical industry. The industry (for it is the industry that does the testing, on behalf of regulators) only tests one pesticide at a time, whereas farmers spray a cocktail of pesticides, including over children and babies, without warning.”

It seems that post-Brexit the UK could authorise the continued use of glyphosate. Of course, with a US trade deal in the pipeline, there are major concerns about glyphosate-resistant GMOs and the lowering of food standards across the board.

Mason says that glyphosate causes epigenetic changes in humans and animals: diseases skip a generation. Washington State University researchers found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate. In the first study of its kind, the researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Glyphosate has been the subject of numerous studies about its health effects. Robert F Kennedy Jr, one of the attorney’s fighting Bayer (which has bought Monsanto) in the US courts, has explained that for four decades Monsanto manoeuvred to conceal Roundup’s carcinogenicity by capturing regulatory agencies, corrupting public officials, bribing scientists and engaging in scientific fraud to delay its day of reckoning.

Kennedy says there is also cascading scientific evidence linking glyphosate to a constellation of other injuries that have become prevalent since its introduction, including obesity, depression, Alzheimer’s, ADHD, autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, brain, breast and prostate cancer, miscarriage, birth defects and declining sperm counts.

In her new document sent to the UK Environment Agency, Mason argues there is criminal collusion between the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Chemicals Regulation Division and Bayer over Brexit.

She also claims the National Farmers Union has been lying about how much pesticides farmers use and have ignored the side effects of chlorpyrifos, chlorothalonil, glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The NFU says farmers couldn’t do without these inputs, even though they destroy human health and the environment.

Of course, farmers can and do go without using these chemicals. And the shift away from chemical-intensive agriculture is perfectly feasible. In a recent article on the AgWeb site, for instance, US farmer Adam Chappell describes how he made the shift on his 8,000-acre farm. Chappell was not some dyed-in-the-wool organic evangelist. He made the shift for financial and practical reasons and is glad he did. The article states:

He was on the brink of bankruptcy and facing a go broke or go green proposition. Drowning in a whirlpool of input costs, Chappell cut bait from conventional agriculture and dove headfirst into a bootstrap version of innovative farming. Roughly 10 years later, his operation is transformed, and the 41-year-old grower doesn’t mince words: It was all about the money.”

Surely there is a lesson there for UK farmers who in 2016 used glyphosate on 2,634,573 ha of cropland. It is not just their bottom line that could improve but the health of the nation. Mason says that five peer-reviewed animal studies from the US and Argentina released in July 2020 have focused minds on the infertility crisis being caused by glyphosate-based herbicides.

Researchers at The National University of Litoral in Sante Fe, Argentina, have published three concerning peer-reviewed papers including two studies on ewes and rats and one review. In one study, researchers concluded that glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides are endocrine disruptors. They also stated that glyphosate-based herbicides alter reproductive outcomes in females.

But such is the British government’s willingness to protect pesticide companies that it is handing agrochemical giants BASF and Bayer enormous pay-outs of Covid-19 support cash. The announcement came just weeks after Bayer shareholders voted to pay £2.75 billion in dividends. The fact that Bayer then went on to receive £600 million from the government speaks volumes of where the government’s priorities lie.

According to Mason, the new Agriculture Bill provides a real opportunity for the UK to adopt a paradigm shift which embraces non-chemical farming policy. However, Defra has stated that after Brexit Roundup Ready GA21 glyphosate tolerant crops could be introduced.

It is also concerning that a post-Brexit funding gap could further undermine the impartiality of university research. Mason refers to Greenpeace, which notes that Bayer and Syngenta, both sell neonicotinoid insecticides linked to harmful effects on bees, gave a combined total of £16.1m to 70 British universities over five years to fund a range of research. Such private funding could create a conflict of interest for academics and after Brexit a potential shortage of public money for science could force universities to seek more finance from the private sector.

Neonicotinoids were once thought to have little or no negative effects on the environment because they are used in low doses and as a seed coating, rather than being sprayed. But evidence has been mounting that the chemicals harm bees – important pollinators of food crops. As a result, neonicotinoids have been banned by the EU, although they can still be used under license.

According to Bayer’s website, academics who reviewed 15 years of research found “no adverse effects to bee colonies were ever observed in field studies”. Between 2011 and 2016, the figures obtained from the 70 universities – about half the total in the UK – show Bayer gave £9m to fund research, including more than £345,000 on plant sciences. Syngenta spent nearly £7.1m, including just under £2.3m on plant sciences and stated that many years of independent monitoring prove that when used properly neonicotinoids do not damage the health of bee populations.

However, in 2016, Ben Stewart of Greenpeace UK’s Brexit response team said that the decline in bee populations is a major environmental and food security concern – it’s causes need to be properly investigated.

He added:

But for this research to command public confidence, it needs to be independent and impartial, which is why public funding is so crucial. You wouldn’t want lung cancer studies to be heavily reliant on funds from tobacco firms, nor research on pesticides to be dependent on the companies making them.”

Stewart concluded:

As Brexit threatens to cut off vital public funds for this scientific field, our universities need a cast-iron guarantee from our government that EU money will not be replaced by corporate cash.”

But Mason notes that the government long ago showed its true colours by refusing to legislate on the EU Directive (2009/128/EC) on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. The government merely stated that current statutory and voluntary controls related to pesticides and the protection of water, if followed, afford a high degree of protection and it would primarily seek to work with the pesticides industry to enhance voluntary measures.

Mason first questioned the government on this in January 2011. In an open letter to the Chemical Regulation Directorate. The government claimed that no compelling evidence was provided to justify further extending existing regulations and voluntary controls.

Lord Henley, the Under-Secretary of State for Defra, expanded further:

“By making a small number of changes to our existing approach we can continue to help feed a growing global population with high-quality food that’s affordable – while minimising the risks of using pesticides.”

In her numerous reports and open letters to officials, Mason has shown that far from having ‘high-quality food’, there is an ongoing public health crisis due to the pesticides being used.

She responded to Henley by stating:

…instead of strengthening the legislation, the responses of the UK government and the CRD have considerably weakened it. In the case of aerial spraying, you have opted for derogation.”

Mason says that, recently, the day that Monsanto lost its appeal against Dewayne Lee Johnson the sprayers came around the Marina in Cardiff breaking all the rules that the EU had set for Roundup.

We can only wonder what could lie in store for the British public if a trade deal is done with the US. Despite the Conservative government pledging that it would not compromise on the UK’s food and environment standards, it now proposes that chlorine-washed chicken, beef treated with growth hormones, pork from animals treated with ractopamine and many other toxic foods produced in the US will be allowed into the UK. All for the bottom line of US agribusiness corporations.

It is also worth mentioning at this point that there are around 2,000 untested chemicals in packaged foods in the US.

Ultimately, the situation comes down to a concentration of power played out within an interlocking directorate of state-corporate interests – in this case, global agrochemical conglomerates and the British government – and above the heads of ordinary people. It is clear, that these institutions value the health of powerful corporations at the expense of the health of the population and the state of the environment.


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Are we seeing the collapse of public education? One can hope



That thunderous noise that sounds like the Twin Towers crashing down is public education collapsing. Big teacher unions are using blackmail tactics for the reopening of schools, while wealthy school districts refuse to reopen as teachers continue to receive full pay.

With the closing of schools in March over the pandemic, parents have once again become their children's teachers. They have had an opportunity to see firsthand what their children are learning – and not learning – and many are balking at sending them back to the public classroom. Even for schools that do reopen, virtual learning will continue along with the Twilight Zone restrictions recommended by the CDC.

A national poll shows that 40% of parents are more likely to homeschool once the shutdown ends. So many parents were withdrawing their children from the system to homeschool that a government website in North Carolina crashed.

Some parents are being blocked from withdrawing their children from the system. The fight is over money – not children. Because district funding is based on the number of students enrolled in their system, public schools will lose funding if parents homeschool them.

History of American Education

Homeschooling has its roots in colonial America. Prior to the 1830s, education was local with families teaching their children, as well as some private schools. Private tutors and small academies prevailed in the American South until after the Civil War. In New England, locally controlled one-room schools took root and became an important part of the life of many small communities. These small units existed in some parts of the U.S. until the 1960s and are making a comeback. Judeo-Christian values with religious teaching and morals were the foundation for children's education even if the school was not church related.

In 1837, politician Horace Mann overhauled the public school system in Massachusetts and established the first state "normal school," which was a state-financed and state-controlled teachers college. Teachers would be the front-line troops to spread statism – centralized federal control – throughout society. Public schools would train students to be obedient to government dictates and promote secularism rather than Christianity.

UNESCO was founded as the education arm of the United Nations to separate children from parental and church influences and indoctrinate them in humanism and one-world government. Even though the U.S. has pulled out of UNESCO, its left-wing ideology is already deeply embedded in American schools.

Family First

The right of parents to determine the education of their children is a fundamental right. This is antithetical to the philosophy of public schools and teachers' colleges, which view themselves as the sole arbiters of children's education. Homeschooling parents are especially in the cross-hairs of these bureaucrats who attack the right and ability of parents to educate their children and form their worldviews and beliefs.

NBC News reports that college of education professor Kevin Welner does not believe parents are capable of teaching their own children:

"'Parents are trying to decide what is right for them during a time of crisis, which isn't easy,' said Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center and a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Education.

"'But what is important to recognize is that what parents did with remote learning wasn't home-schooling but an "emergency response that involved trying the school in the home,' he said.

"'Home-schooling is very different. It is very demanding and requires a lot of hard work, preparation and time.

"'Parents need to have not only the subject area knowledge, but also knowledge of how to teach, and because that often requires a big commitment by at least one parent to succeed, it doesn't work with every situation,' Welner added."

Even as schools closed for 55 million children across the nation, the media and academic elites began attacks on homeschooling. The May-June issue Harvard Magazine published a shocking article about the "risks" of homeschooling.

Elizabeth Bartholet, a Harvard law professor and faculty director of the Law School's Child Advocacy Program, called for a ban on homeschooling because it supposedly "violates children's right to a 'meaningful education' and their right to be protected from potential child abuse." She said that some homeschooled "children are simply not learning basic skills or learning about the most basic democratic values of our society."

Is Bartholet so uniformed that she doesn't know nearly two-thirds of government school students aren't proficient in reading and that homeschooled students tend to outperform academically and socially their peers in conventional schools? Did she purposely ignore a 2018 report from the Department of Education that found 79% of government schools had violent incidents or crimes on their campuses and around 20% of students had been bullied in recent school year?

As the academic performance of students in government schools has continued to spiral downward, there has been reform after reform with no improvement. Taxpayers are continually gouged for more money to add more technology, more hours, more days, more courses, more layers of bureaucracy – ad infinitum.

The Future of Public Education

The decades-old premise that public education is one of the most important institutions in America has been exposed as a fraud. With the shutdown there is no longer the window dressing of school sports, school music programs and other extracurricular programs, free child care services and the social function of sports. When schools do reopen, social events will be canceled, team sports will be gone, and school days will be shorter.

Parents are questioning just what they are getting for their money. Why should they continue to pay for government schools that promote radical sex curriculum, social justice, Common Core, pornography, transgenderism, Black Lives Matter studies, the 1619 Project and anti-American history?

Lawmakers will have no reason to fleece the American taxpayer for more money with the "new norm" of virtual learning since there will be less staff, fewer teachers and smaller budgets. Universal compulsory attendance and long school days will seem antiquated.

With the exciting education alternatives that are available, parents no longer have to depend upon mass government indoctrination centers.

The pandemic seems to have provided the catalyst for many parents to exit the public school system. This just might be the beginning of the end of public education as we know it today.


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Why we should believe none of the polls



The November election is already decided, say many in the left-leaning media, and President Donald Trump has lost, almost 100 days before Election Day.

Some polls show Democratic presidential standard-bearer Joe Biden leading by as much as 13 points, "a nearly-insurmountable lead" that leftist pundits say Mr. Trump almost certainly cannot overcome. This has led some on the right to despair.

Both major parties are in transition. Democrats are transforming from liberalism to globalist socialism, and abandoning the blue-collar working class. Republicans are metamorphosing from globalism to pro-worker American populism.

Gallup this month declared that "since January Americans' party preferences have shifted dramatically. … What had been a 2-percentage point Republican advantage … has become an 11-point Democratic advantage."

Polls reflect what a tiny representative "sample" of only a few hundred people say, and this year many conservatives are afraid to share their opinions. If pollsters "oversample" Democrats, their polls will be even more inaccurate than in 2016.

Democrats depend on minorities. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won only 37% of white votes, and lost because she got "only" 89% of black votes. Rasmussen finds that only 77% of blacks approve of Biden; Trump could win 14-21% of black votes and 41% of Hispanic votes.

The leftist media love polls, which turn politics into sports, a horse race. Polls let media manufacture their own exclusive "news" on slow news days, and promote their biases by selecting slanted questions and leftist respondents to manipulate, moralize and demoralize their audience.

How accurate are political polls?

Consider our "democracy." Roughly 1 in 4 "eligible voters" (citizens 18 or older) are not registered to vote, many because they do not want to be on jury duty lists. Of those who register, up to half do not vote. Of those who vote, less than half vote for the winner.

Recent presidents, therefore, have typically been chosen by roughly 18% of eligible voters – only slightly more than 1 potential voter in 6.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, no bill can be passed without approval of at least 50% plus one of all lawmakers present, a quorum. By this standard, any president "elected" by only 18% of eligible voters should be illegitimate.

We have no national vote for president. Under the Electoral College, we choose our chief executive through 50 separate state elections plus one in the District of Columbia. It is irrelevant, therefore, that in 2016 Hillary Clinton won a slightly larger "nationwide popular vote," mostly due to one-third of America's welfare recipients, who reside in Democrat-dominated California. A "national poll" is meaningless.

In recent days, statewide polls show Trump beating Biden with 60% of the vote in Kentucky, 52% in Montana, 50% in Michigan, 49% in North Carolina, Texas and Georgia and 48% in Pennsylvania. The left-of-center national media never report these polls.

President Trump in the highly credible Rasmussen poll has risen to a statistical tie with Biden.

Only 37% of Biden voters are for Biden; 60% say they are voting against Trump, whose supporters suffer no such enthusiasm gap. As Nina Turner, former co-chair for Sen. Bernie Sanders, says, voting for Biden is like eating a "bowl of s***." America, wake up and smell corrupt Joe.

American Thinker pundit Brian Joondeph sees many leftist-media-paid polls as rigged. "The Washington Post-ABC News poll," he writes, "sampled 1,000 adults. Not likely voters, not registered voters, not even eligible voters, just whoever answered the phone."

"They also oversampled Democrats by 6%," Joondeph continues, "and their sample contained 399 Trump supporters compared to 522 Biden supporters, over a 25% advantage for Biden."

Likewise, the Quinnipiac University poll "oversampled Democrats by 10 points, 34 to 24%." Even the Fox News poll "oversampled Democrats by 4 points," writes Joondeph. Those polled recently by Monmouth University favored Biden by 13%, but they believed Trump would win the election. Huh?

A libertarian Cato Institute YouGov national survey finds that 62% of Americans are afraid to share their political views. Nowadays, ordinary opinions can get you threatened, stalked, attacked, fired, firebombed, or even killed by internet radicals and violent mobs. This fear is shared by 77% of Republicans, 59% of Independents and even 52% of Democrats. Only a majority (58%) of hard-core leftists feel free to express themselves.

Would you tell a telephoning stranger who claims to be a pollster if you support President Donald Trump? Many millions of Americans would not. So why believe any of today's polls?

Lowell Ponte is a former Reader's Digest Roving Editor. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other major publications. His latest paper co-authored with Craig R. Smith, "The Secret War," shows how to rethink several areas of investment to protect and grow your savings against little-known economic threats. For a free, postpaid copy, call toll-free 800-630-1492.


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Senate expands inquiry into Obama's Russia-collusion probe


Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa

In a dramatic expansion of the inquiry into the Obama administration's now-debunked Russia collusion claims against the Trump campaign in 2016, two senators have requested documents from the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence and the State Department.

Just the News reported Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., the chairman of the Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, of the Finance Committee have dispatched letters to those agencies and the FBI.

They appear to focus on officials who disseminated  Christopher Steele's discredited anti-Trump dossier, an opposition research document funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign that was used by the FBI to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.

Among them are longtime Clinton associate and former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, who has admitted he received and provided copies of the Steele dossier. Others are Clinton associates Cody Shearer and Sidney Blumenthal. Shearer, a relative of Talbott, wrote a similar dossier that was provided to Steele.

Also in the crosshairs are former State Department officials Victoria Nuland, Jonathan Winer and Kathleen Kavalec.

"The senators also made their most sweeping demands for records from CIA, including any information the spy agency provided the FBI concerning the credibility of Steele as a human source. Recently declassified footnotes from Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz's report on Russia probe abuses revealed that the CIA had raised red flags about Steele's reporting, including that he had been targeted with Russian intelligence agency disinformation about Donald Trump while writing the dossier," Just the News reported.

The letter to the FBI and Department of Justice lists 17 categories of information the senators seek in their review of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane operation. They include potential conflicts of interest related to the Obama administration's policy decisions with respect to Ukraine and Burisma Holdings.

They also seek records linked to James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Flynn, Glenn Simpson Kevin Clinesmith, Bruce Ohr, Stefan Halper ,Steele's contact with State Department officials and any "information provided to or received from the CIA about persons affiliated with the Trump campaign."

The senators request "any correspondence to or from the U.S. Embassy in London about the FBI sending any official or affiliated person to the United Kingdom to gather information about … anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign."

From the CIA they want records of any requests for assistance from foreign allies in the Russia collusion case.

JTN reported the CIA "also was pressed for records concerning the conduct of former Obama-era director John Brennan, including his contact about the Russia probe with fired FBI Director James Comey and then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid as well as any travel he took to Ukraine, Russia's neighbor."

Johnson already had been given permission to subpoena Blue Star Strategies for its investigation of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that paid Hunter Biden more than $3 million while his father was Barack Obama's point man for Ukraine policy.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, boasted of pressuring Ukrainian officials to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma by threatening to withhold a billion dollars in American loan guarantees.


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Yale epidemiologist: Dr. Fauci running ‘misinformation campaign’ against hydroxychloroquine

Risch, however, is sharply criticizing Fauci’s approach to evaluating the drug’s effectiveness, arguing that repeated trials and tests have shown that it is markedly effective at treating COVID-19 so long as it is administered properly. Risch, a professor of epidemiology and the director of Yale’s Molecular Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory, has been pushing for the drug’s use in the […]


Hydroxychloroquine, COVID, FDA; and Pharma and all its whores around the world


by Jon Rappoport

July 29, 2020

(To join our email list, click here.)

“We are talking about private contracts outside the scope of government. We’re talking about local barter, and the issuing of local currencies, the building of private money systems. During the Great Depression, many citizens looked around and said, ‘We still have land and food, we still have commodities. Nothing has changed here. We just have to invent a way to conduct commerce among ourselves.’ One estimate states that, during the Depression of the 1930s, there were 1500 private money systems across America.” (My notes for “The Underground”)

I have made my case concerning the fake pandemic. Many times now.

From the beginning—the failure to isolate, purify, or actually discover a novel coronavirus by correct procedures. The meaningless diagnostic tests and the meaningless case numbers. The propaganda. The use of “the virus” as a cover story obscuring high-level corporate and government crimes.

Of course, many people believe in the COVID-19 virus. And of these, some have been seeking treatments outside the bounds of government certification.

This is their right. They are exercising freedom in managing their own health. And so some of them are taking hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

The FDA, which certifies all medical drugs as safe and effective, before they are released for public use, has not recommended HCQ for COVID treatment. It has banned the drug for that purpose, outside of hospitals and clinical trials.

The FDA‘s track record—which I’ve been documenting for the past 25 years—is a horror show. The first key review I became aware of was authored in 2000, by Dr. Barbara Starfield, and published on July 26th of that year, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Starfield stated that, annually, FDA-approved medicines kill 106,000 Americans. That’s over a million Americans per decade. So relying on the FDA to decide whether HCQ is a useful drug is not a concession some Americans are willing to make.

Pharma and all its allies and minions and whores are focusing on a jackpot bonanza for COVID treatment: vaccines and new antiviral drugs. Pharma does not want competition. It definitely does not want to see a landscape in which all sorts of alternative treatments for COVID (or any purported disease) are rampant and free-wheeling.

We are seeing multiple censorship actions across platforms, when people, including doctors, speak positively about HCQ.

Fauci is very much in the pro-Pharma camp, of course. He and Gates want an RNA vaccine to come to market, by any means necessary. They also want antiviral drugs to dominate COVID treatment.

A very sharp reader spelled out the Pharma-anticipated future for these new (toxic) antiviral medicines. And not just for COVID. Up to now, there has been very little mainstream progress in getting drugs specifically designed to treat viruses into the marketplace. This is Pharma’s big opportunity. They envision a trillion-dollar operation that will elevate antivirals (for treating any viruses) to the level of, say, antibiotics, which are used against bacteria. COVID would simply be the first major “breakthrough.”

So we have a war going on. HCQ and other alternative modalities vs. vaccines and antivirals. Pharma does want to lose this one. It would be disastrous.

I am not touting HCQ. I am putting it this way: if many people are convinced, or become convinced, that HCQ is a drug of choice, and if they believe it is helping them, then a major rebellion against Pharma and the FDA and its counterparts around the world takes off. It soars. And it spurs the use of other alternatives on which Pharma makes zero profits.

So-called natural health and alternative medicine have been booming since the 1980s. A new escalation would send very serious shock waves through the pharmaceutical industry.

Fauci is well aware of this. He is fronting for the industry in every possible way. Trump, with his statements favoring HCQ, has become a major threat in that regard.

When you see new reports of soaring COVID case numbers—a con which I’ve documented six ways from Sunday—you’re not only witnessing a planned strategy to maintain the war against the economy and therefore against billions of people whose lives are at stake; you’re also watching a justification for pushing antivirals and vaccines. For the benefit of Pharma.

The last thing the pharmaceutical industry wants to see is their own case-number con giving birth to wildcat outbreaks of health freedom. People leaving the nest. People going elsewhere for treatment.

Individuals making decisions about their own treatments—this is very serious business. People should look deeply before making choices. In the case of various HCQ protocols, they should consider: dosage levels; when in the course of illness the drug would be given (early or late); whether there is illness requiring treatment to begin with; whether people may have a heredity condition which could make HCQ perilous or even lethal—these are some of the relevant considerations.

The FDA and Pharma want to be the first and last word.

Life and Liberty say they are not the first and last word.

In that regard, there is another issue: licenses vs. contracts. The medical cartel, backed by governments, has established medical boards which grant licenses to practice medicine. These special persons, doctors, are handed the right to treat and cure diseases. This is an attempt to create a monopoly.

There is another avenue: private contracts. Here is the analogy I’ve used to describe this situation. Two adults, Joe and Fred, enter into an agreement. Joe says he has a health condition. He will be the patient. Fred will be the practitioner. Fred has a well on his property. Fred believes the water has a special healing quality. He will give some of it (or sell it) to Joe, who will drink it over the course of two weeks.

Both men, in their contract, agree that no legal liability will be attached to the outcome. They are both responsible. They are of sound mind. They don’t require government permission to sign or fulfill their contract.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Joe and Fred are operating on their own. They have that natural right. They also have the right to be wrong—in case the water treatment doesn’t work, or is harmful.

Of course, all sorts of meddlers will claim this arrangement is illegal and absurd. Meddlers always try to curb freedom. That’s their crusade in life. They can’t stand the idea of people making their own choices and decisions and then accepting the consequences.

I’m not saying governments will honor such contracts. Governments are prime meddlers. I’m saying these contracts (and not just in the arena of healing) stand outside governments. They are citizen-to-citizen. They are prior to government. They are intrinsically more real than government.

THIS is what COMMUNITY actually means.

The Matrix Revealed

(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, The Matrix Revealed, click here.)

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.


Trump Sparks Firestorm With Suggestion To Delay Elections 'Until Vote Can Be Safe'

President Trump fired off a Thursday tweet that's about to dominate the weekend news cycle - suggesting that the 2020 election could be postponed over concerns that mail-in ballots will lead to "the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history," adding "It will be a great embarrassment to the US


US Q2 GDP Crashes By A Record 32.9%, Worse Than Great Depression

The biggest question we had ahead of today's unprecedented GDP drop was "how do we show it on a chart without losing the impact of all other prints?" Well, for better or worse, this is the best we could come up with: at -32.9% annualized, Q2 GDP just plunged by the most on record.


Ex-Porn Star Jenna Jameson Says Jeffrey Epstein Is An “Amateur” & Children Are “Hunted” At “Parties”


What Happened: In a series of recent tweets, Jenna Jameson shared that she has “heard terrible things about “The Hunt.” Implying that societal elite people “hunt” children as young as 4, at “parties.” She went on to state that “These topics circulate” among the elite. She also tweeted about Hollywood, expressing that “The reason why Hollywood has been so incredibly silent on child sex trafficking is not only do they partake, they are covering for the big league hitters. The ones that hide in the shadows under the cover of a crown.”

Just prior to those tweets, she brought up Jeffrey Epstein, tweeting the following:

If you think Epstein is somehow unique, you’re sadly mistaken…there are MANY Epstein’s, that make him look like an amateur. Child hunting games, sacrifice, torture of children as young as 2. The elite.

Jameson’s perspective is quite unique. As she’s shared many times before, she was raped as a child and groomed for the porn industry. She claims she is a victim of child sex trafficking.

Why This Matters: We’ve been writing about this topic quite some time, especially more so this year with all of the recent revelations that have made their way into the mainstream regarding elite child sex trafficking. Epstein’s case goes beyond just the dealings involving Maxwell and himself, and the issue of trafficking very young children, and teenage children, it is much more widespread than Epstein. Epstein is being made out to be a rich billionaire with connections that allowed him to entice young women into his home to be sexually abused, but we really need to talk about just how widespread this type of abuse is among people who are made out to be idols, like multiple Vatican officials, politicians and celebrities.

If you want to dive deeper, I recently published this article that does just that.

This kind of stuff is all over the place, and the theme involves high ranking people. As a paper published in European Psychiatry details:

Research eventually led to the Franklin scandal that broke in 1989 when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment’ members. Former state senator John W DeCamp, cited as one of the most effective legislators in Nebraska history, is today attorney for two of the abuse victims. A 15 year old girl disclosed that she had been abused since the age of 9 and was exposed since the age of 9 and was exposed to ‘ritual murder’ of a new born girl, a small boy (who was subsequently fried and eaten) and three others.

Our Interview With A Survivor

If you want to go even deeper on this, we conducted an interview with a survivor of elite child sex trafficking/slavery. You can access the full interview and start your free trial HERE on CETV, a platform we created to help combat internet censorship and allow us to continue to do our work and get the word out about various issues and topics.

The interview is with Anneke Lucas, who is is an author, speaker, advocate for child sex trafficking victims, founder of the non-profit organization Liberation Prison Yoga, and creator of the Unconditional Model. Her work is based on personal experience of a 30-year healing journey after surviving being sold by her family as a child sex slave to a pedophile network.

The interview is deep, and goes into the consciousness aspect of her experience and why that aspect is so important.

The Takeaway

We have to ask ourselves, are the ones we are choosing to let govern us capable of steering the world in the direction that creates peace and harmony? Or are their actions, now coming to the surface, coming from a state of being that is inherently disconnected and violent? If these things are true, why do we continue to participate in elections, and uphold a system that’s dominated by corruption, misinformation and these types of acts?

Why is so much information being censored on the internet right now, yet child porn continues to run rampant? What type of world are we choosing to create? Why do we continue to simply follow and obey rules that are clearly not in our best interests? If billions of us can all come together and lockdown for the coronavirus, imagine what we could do if we all came together for what we truly wanted to create in this world.

This issue may be perceived as “negative”, but we can’t change it by ignoring it. It must be acknowledged and brought to light, as there are still many children losing their lives as a result of this activity. Do we wish for this to continue? Are we being pushed to ask big questions and move towards creating a different experience here?


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg RESPONDS to Rep. Matt Gaetz


After 5 years of lies from Big Tech about their suppression and censorship of Centrists and Conservatives, things are finally starting to happen!

Whether ironically or strategically, Wednesday’s Congressional hearing had been teed-off by the “White Coat Summit” on Monday, in which dozens of MDs descended upon DC, seeking to correct the unprecedented misinformation about hydroxychloroquine, the WHO-designated “Essential Medicine” which has been administered to pregnant women since 1955 and is taken daily for decades at a time by autoimmune patients.

Now, it’s suddenly demonized as “dangerous” and banned from prescription to treat COVID by 44 out of 50 US states, which is unprecedented and kooky. The pediatricians in the group sought to put the one-in-a-million mortality rate among school-age COVID patients into perspective (4-5 times lower than influenza), so that schools may re-open.

The “White Coat Summit” was put together by the formidable Dr. Simone Gold, who is also an attorney and who has been doing a yeoman’s job of countering the breathtaking skullduggery that has been coordinated worldwide across governments and health agencies against HCQ, in addition to spotlighting the medically unnecessary and economically suicidal lockdowns of healthy individuals worldwide.

As if to demonstrate the juggernaut of pure evil that’s been erected around us by the demonic Globalists who control Big Pharma and Big Tech, the videos and posts featuring these doctors were promptly removed by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Twitter didn’t merely flag the President’s retweet of the video, they deleted the post, entirely. But he fared better than his son, Donald Jr. and Sidney Powell, the attorney representing Gen. Michael Flynn, whose Twitter accounts were suspended for retweeting these videos, demonstrating the arbitrary enforcement and the capriciousness of their “rules”.

Big Tech continues to hew to World Health Organization guidelines, despite the fact that the WHO lied to the US in order to protect the Chinese Communist Party, despite the fact that Trump has since cut ties with the UN agency and despite the mounting evidence from peer-reviewed studies that HCQ is effective, both as a preventative and when used to treat early stages of the disease.

On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted, “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders. In Washington, it has been ALL TALK and NO ACTION for years, and the people of our Country are sick and tired of it!”

The lightweight questioning by Congress proved his point and as the hearings were coming to a close, the White House made an announcement about directing the FCC to implement Trump’s May 27th Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship, stating “President Trump will continue to fight back against unfair, un-American, and politically biased censorship of Americans online.”

The EO directs the Department of Commerce to request that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) clarify the scope of the Section 230 exemption within the 1996 Communications Decency Act, to ensure that it “does not permit social media companies that alter or editorialize users’ speech to escape civil liability. The petition also requests…transparency requirements on their moderation practices, similar to requirements imposed on broadband service providers under Title I of the Communications Act.”

Alexandra Bruce

Contributed by Alexandra Bruce



Think Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist? My Own ‘Lived Experience’ Says Otherwise


Given the moral authority that many progressives assign to the lessons of “lived experience,” it seems counterintuitive that they are the ones now strenuously downplaying the scourge of cancel culture. No less a progressive icon than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently brushed off the phenomenon as just a bunch of entitled people being “challenged” and “held accountable” for their problematic views. New York Times columnist Charles Blow believes cancel culture doesn’t even exist, except to the extent it’s simply a desirable by-product of grass-roots activism:

Once more: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS CANCEL CULTURE. There is free speech. You can say and do as you pls, and others can choose never to deal this you, your company or your products EVER again. The rich and powerful are just upset that the masses can now organize their dissent.

— Charles M. Blow (@CharlesMBlow) July 11, 2020

A common theme is that the faux-victims complaining about cancel culture are high-profile cynics, playing the martyr for the benefit of clicks and fans. Ocasio-Cortez describes the complainants as people who “get their thoughts published and amplified in major outlets,” while Blow tells us that “the rich and powerful are just upset that the masses can now organize their dissent.” It’s hard not to see this as a rhetorical shell game. If canceled individuals fade into obscurity, we never hear their stories. But if they do manage to get their story out to the media, they’re dismissed as pampered pundits. By means of this damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don’t logic, cancel-culture Truthers can pretend away the existence of thousands of victims.

Of course, it’s absolutely true that wealthy cancel-culture targets such as J. K. Rowling get enormous attention. But that’s not just because of their wealth and fame: It’s because their stories act as a stand-in for the many other, more obscure, figures who’ve been mobbed in the press, on campuses, on social-media forums, and in arts and literary subcultures. The vast majority of cancel culture’s victims are people you’ve never heard of, who don’t have the means to fight back, or who have learned to keep quiet so they don’t lose whatever reputation or job security they still have.

I know, because I was once one of them.

* * *

This isn’t the first time I’ve alluded publicly to my ordeal. I’ve spoken about it on Twitter and various podcasts. But the ongoing effort to deny cancel culture’s existence has convinced me that I need to lay out my own experience in a more systematic way.

In 2008, I decided to pursue a career as an academic biologist. Science in general, and evolutionary biology in particular, had been a passion from a young age. Even as an undergraduate, I maintained a blog that I used to debunk pseudoscience, and critique creationism and Intelligent Design. I was outspoken, and sometimes launched headlong into debates with Christian conservatives. Creationists and IDers frequently told me I was wrong or stupid, but my critics never called me a bigot.

This changed, however, when I started graduate school in 2013. This was an environment where I didn’t have to worry about right-wing creationists. Rather, the pseudoscience I observed was coming from the other side of the political spectrum—especially in the form of “Blank Slate” proponents who argued (falsely) that sex differences in human personality, preferences, and behavior are entirely the result of socialization.

It was also during this time that I started to take an interest in what many now call “gender ideology.” This ideology not only invites compassionate treatment for trans individuals (which I support), but also promotes the scientifically inaccurate claims that biological sex exists on a continuous “spectrum,” that notions of male and female may be mere social constructs, and that one’s sex may be determined by self-declared “identity” instead of reproductive anatomy. When I pushed back against these claims, I was smeared as a transphobic bigot. Fearing professional harm, I stopped engaging, ceding the field to those who champion fashionable fictions.

I graduated with a PhD in evolutionary biology from UC Santa Barbara in 2018, and took a postdoctoral position at Penn State. I’d just joined Twitter, and observed that the pseudoscience I’d seen on campus had by now metastasized to the wider world and become the stuff of everyday hashtags. Even scientists whom I knew personally and respected were parroting this nonsense as scientific fact. But I dared not say a word. I would soon be applying to tenure-track assistant-professor jobs; I could not be seen publicly arguing down the claim that internally felt gender feelings trumped biology.

In October 2018, the Grievance Studies scandal dropped, bringing renewed focus on the intellectual degradation within academic fields focused on gender and sex. A few weeks later, one of the world’s most prestigious scientific journals, Nature, published an editorial claiming that classifying an individual’s sex using any combination of anatomy and genetics “has no basis in science.” These events, happening in such close succession, pushed me beyond my threshold for restraint. Despite my academic mentors’ warnings that speaking up could ruin my career, I let my bottled-up frustrations out in an essay I sent to Quillette. It was published under the headline, The New Evolution Deniers.

The essay went viral. And while I received my fair share of praise for it, I also knew I’d provided critics with a bona fide gotcha moment. (“I did not train to be a scientist for over a decade just to sit quietly while science in general, and my field in particular, comes under attack from activists who subvert truth to ideology and narrative,” I wrote.) Blank-Slate feminists and trans activists alike publicly accused me of wrongthink.

What’s worse, my heresies were multiplying, as I had taken to Twitter to defend my views and confront my critics. I also eventually co-authored another Quillette essay, with endocrinologist Dr. William Malone and author Julia Robertson, titled No One Is Born in ‘The Wrong Body’, arguing that children are put at risk of long-term harm if they are indoctrinated with ideologically torqued misinformation about their bodies and behavior.

In October 2019, following the publication of that second article, I received word that someone had posted a new listing in EcoEvoJobs, the largest job board in my field, that read, “Colin Wright is a Transphobe who supports Race Science.” This was during the height of the academic-recruitment season. The post was eventually removed by the board operator. But there was no telling how long it was up or how many of my colleagues had seen it. (I expressed concern to the board operator, and urged that they vet listings before they go live, but was told this wasn’t possible. Luckily, a tech-savvy friend volunteered to run a script that scanned the board for my name on a minute-by-minute basis, and sent me a text message when it got a hit.) At the time, I had nearly a hundred job applications being reviewed by search committees. I locked my Twitter and resolved, once again, to lay low.

But of course, I fell off the wagon. If you’re looking for common characteristics among those of us who get targeted for cancelation, it isn’t money or privilege. Rather, many of us simply have an inability to mumble slogans we know aren’t true. Over time, we become exasperated with dishonest propaganda that masquerades as social justice, and we speak out. It’s a habit rooted in the truth-telling, whistle-blowing impulse that, not so long ago, progressives applauded.

I broke my Twitter silence on Valentine’s Day, 2020, when the Wall Street Journal published an essay I’d co-authored with developmental biologist Dr. Emma Hilton, titled The Dangerous Denial of Sex. Although constrained by the space limitations of the op-ed format, Dr. Hilton and I were able to briefly outline the science of biological sex, and detail how its denial harms vulnerable groups, including women, gay men, lesbians, and, especially, gender non-conforming children. Even more than other pieces I’d bylined, this one unleashed a tidal wave of online hate—perhaps because we’d pricked the precious conceit that gender ideology saves children instead of harming them. Several Penn State professors publicly denounced the essay as transphobic. Students and faculty complained to my department’s diversity committee that I’d launched “a personal attack on individuals with non-binary gender identity,” and that my presence at PSU “made them feel less comfortable.”

“In for a penny, in for a pound,” as the expression goes. Earlier this year, on February 22nd, I tweeted out a Guardian article titled, “Teenage transgender row splits Sweden as dysphoria diagnoses soar by 1,500%,” accompanied by my own two-word commentary: “social contagion.” My tweet would have made sense to those familiar with the work of Brown University academic Lisa Littman, and particularly her scientific paper hypothesizing links between “rapid onset gender dysphoria” (ROGD) and peer contagion within cliques of teenage girls. However, activists were able to contort my comment in a way that suggested I was targeting the children themselves or suggesting gender dysphoria was akin to a virus. Knowing I was on the job market, a Michigan State University graduate student (and president of the Graduate Employees Union) named Kevin Bird accused me of “spreading disgusting transphobic pseudoscience.” Unlike other critics, Bird didn’t even pretend to be motivated by anything other than a desire to deny me employment in my field.

Colin is now spreading disgusting transphobic pseudoscience. He’s on the job market. I hope The EEB community is paying attention. This isn’t how you @DiversifyEEB

— Kevin Bird (@itsbirdemic) February 23, 2020

Bird himself offers an interesting case study, because his example illustrates how even a single ideologically radicalized troll can present the appearance of a grass-roots campaign. If Bird’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he is the same activist who led a campaign against his own university’s senior vice president of research and innovation, theoretical physicist Stephen Hsu. Bird has no particular distinction in his academic field, has tweeted support for burning banks, and is on record stating that he has no “interest in attaining or discovering truth” when he does science. But he also has worked tirelessly to build up his online stature as a cancel-culture enforcer and a warrior “against fascism.” As such, he has been able to mobilize flash mobs of online trolls to aid in his deplatforming efforts—which is why Hsu was forced to resign his VP position despite the spurious nature of Bird’s racism accusations.

It was around this time that I was contacted by a biology-department chair at a private liberal arts college in the Midwest. He commended me for my writings, and told me that he’d even used my New Evolution Deniers essay as a basis for discussion in his own classes. But while he and his fellow biology-department faculty would likely support my hiring, he said, the school’s own human-resources department would almost certainly block me as “too risky.” These experiences remind me that when Blow extols “the masses” who are canceling people like me, the people he’s praising are actually just a small coalition of professional trolls such as Bird, working in effective concert with the risk-averse, upper-middle corporate bureaucrats who now have taken over decision-making on many college and university campuses.

Guilt by association is a hallmark of all social panics. And in early March, I received a text message from a close friend and research collaborator who is now an assistant professor at a major research university, informing me that his colleagues had started questioning him about our affiliation. He told me that this sort of thing was happening frequently enough that he felt the need to publicly denounce my views to clear his name. And that’s exactly what he did. Ask yourself what other ideological movements and historical periods we tend to associate with such performative acts.

Later that month, someone again posted “Colin Wright is a Transphobe who supports Race Science” to the EcoEvoJobs board. I contacted the board operator—again—expressing my concerns. This time, I received no response.

Meanwhile, an anonymous Twitter account informed me that “preemptive emails” had been sent to academic search committees about me. While it is impossible to verify these claims, I note that the same tactic is known to have been used against former psychology professor Bo Winegard, who was recently fired from Marietta College after a persistent effort by similar (perhaps the same) activists to smear him as a racist and “race scientist.” In fact, these anonymous “masses,” as Blow calls them, may just be one person.

In April, I chose to leave academia. To give credit to Penn State, I was not fired. In fact, I had the opportunity to extend my fellowship contract for another year. However, I no longer believed that any amount of hard work or talent on my part would lead to a tenure-track academic job in the current climate. Nor did I want to spend my time constantly responding to false accusations of transphobia and racism. I had embarked on this journey because I love science, and wanted to help beat back the forces of pseudoscience in the public sphere. But that project is impossible when scientists themselves have become intimidated by small clusters of activists who demand that the scientific method be subordinated to magical thinking, and who seek to ruin the lives of those who dissent. If you follow in my footsteps, you can expect to receive similar treatment.

None of the views I have ever espoused are extreme. Indeed, all or most are taken as common sense by pretty much anyone who isn’t an activist or professional academic. And I will repeat them here. Male and female are not social constructs, but are real biological categories that do not fall on a spectrum. Humans are sexually dimorphic, and this matters in certain contexts, such as sports. Ignoring the reality of sexual dimorphism can harm women and members of the gay community whose experience of discrimination is rooted in these real differences between male and female bodies. Esoteric theories of gender that purport to deny the reality of biology, or that conflate biological sex with secondary sexual characteristics or sex-based stereotypes, can confuse children; and are likely partly responsible for the massive uptick in self-reported gender dysphoria among adolescents, especially teen girls.

In the closing lines of The New Evolution Deniers, I wrote that academia was “no longer a refuge for outspoken, free-thinking intellectuals,” and that “one must now choose between living a zipper-lipped life as an academic scientist, or living a life as a fulfilled intellectual.” My own experience, reinforced by the steady flow of emails I receive from concerned academics, would suggest that the situation has only gotten worse.

What you have read here is the story of just one ex-academic. But it should concern everyone that the entire academy is now being held hostage to a vocal minority that insists we should inhabit a fantasy intellectual milieu that is little more than an ideologically deflected play on Christian myths. Make no mistake: Cancel culture is very real. And its manifestations are not confined to the rich and powerful. As with many cultural processes, the fight to roll it back will be a long, hard struggle. I don’t pretend to know how it will end. But I do know that it begins by opening our eyes to the problem. To do otherwise would represent—if I may borrow a phrase from the social-justice lexicon—the literal erasure of my own lived experience.



Colin Wright is Managing Editor of Quillette.

The post Think Cancel Culture Doesn’t Exist? My Own ‘Lived Experience’ Says Otherwise appeared first on Quillette.


Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Top researcher, a Democrat, warns Big Tech is stealing election from Trump


President Donald J. Trump waves as he disembarks Air Force One at Miami International Airport Friday, July 10, 2020, and is greeted by state and local officials. (Official White House photo by Tia Dufour)

For Harvard-trained research psychologist and Democratic voter Robert Epstein, the question isn't whether or not Google and other Silicon Valley giants are manipulating their searches and feeds to make sure Donald Trump doesn't win reelection.

A supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020, he told WND in an interview Wednesday he has statistical evidence to back up the tech titans' bias, derived from more than seven years of research, internal documents, emails, videos and the testimony of whistleblowers.

He has testified to Congress that Google manipulation of search results could have cost Trump 2.6 million votes in 2016. In 2020, he believes, as many as 15 million votes could be manipulated.

And as Silicon Valley CEOs testified to Congress Wednesday about their outsized influence, there was "anecdotal" evidence, such as the claim of Breitbart News that Google has manipulated its algorithm to curb traffic to the site and those of other conservative outlets. On May 1, for example, a Google search for "Joe Biden" resulted in 30,000 impressions for Breitbart News links. After May 5, it dropped to zero.

Robert Epstein

What is needed now, Epstein believes, is to follow up his research in 2016 and 2018 with a large-scale system of field agents in every swing state to monitor Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and others in real time.

He had the funding lined up to launch the ambitious project in February, but the money "dried up" he said, when the coronavirus hit and "sucked all of the oxygen out of Washington."

Now, with interest returning to the election, he has the people and systems in place and just needs the money. Many small donations have come in, he said, but he needs much more to pull it off – about $10 million.

He emphasized to WND he is not a Trump supporter but a "supporter of democracy." He wants Joe Biden to win, but he wants the election to be fair, recognizing that in the future the tech giants could put their massive power behind a candidate he doesn't want.

"It's not in our interest to turn the election over to Google and the gang," he said. "To give them carte blanche is insane."

The goal of his monitoring project is to force the tech companies "to back off in the swing states."

"And when we do get them to back off, we will be able to detect that," he said.

But much more funding is needed "to do this in a credible way that would be taken seriously by the courts and also by mainstream media."

"We have people on standby, we have a very ambitious program of what we want to monitor," explained Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology in Vista, California.

The plan is to do a "real time analysis so we can make announcements almost every day if we find bias in news feeds, tweet suppression and the sequence of YouTube videos."

All of that would be reported to Congress, journalists and the Federal Trade Commission.

He said he's getting calls from Congress members, senators, attorneys general and others, but there's no money.

"There is so much as stake here that I'm dumbfounded," he said. "This is the watershed year, where we either turn over democracy to the tech companies – and maybe never get it back again – or we fight them."

Epstein – who was famed behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner's last Ph.D. student at Harvard – has been a research psychologist for nearly 40 years. He has served in various editorial positions at Psychology Today magazine and Scientific American MIND. He's the author of 15 books and more than 300 scientific and mainstream articles on artificial intelligence and other topics.

'Serious threat to democracy'

In testimony one year ago to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, he emphasized he is "not a conservative."

"I am here today for three reasons: to explain why Google presents a serious threat to democracy and human autonomy, to explain how passive monitoring systems can protect us both now and in the future from companies like Google, and to tell you how Congress can immediately end Google’s worldwide monopoly on search."

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies in a House hearing Dec. 11, 2018 (video screenshot)

He found in 2016 that biased results generated by Google's search algorithm likely impacted undecided voters in a way that gave at least 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton.

He based that on his preservation of more than 13,000
election-related searches conducted by a diverse group of Americans on Google, Bing, and Yahoo in the weeks leading up to the election.

Google search results were significantly biased in favor of Clinton, he found, in all 10 positions on the first page of search results in both blue states and red states.

Epstein said he knows the number of votes that shifted because he conducted dozens of controlled experiments in the U.S. and other countries that measure precisely how opinions and votes shift when search results favor one candidate, cause or company.

He calls the shift "SEME," for the Search Engine Manipulation Effect.

His first scientific paper on SEME was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015. SEME, he noted, also has been replicated by a research team at one of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany.

Epstein warned that SEME is one of the most powerful forms of influence ever discovered in the behavioral sciences, particularly because it is invisible to people, or subliminal, in effect.

"It leaves people thinking they have made up their own minds, which is very much an illusion," he told the Senate Committee. "It also leaves no paper trail for authorities to trace. Worse still, the very few people who can detect bias in search results shift even farther in the direction of the bias, so merely being able to see the bias doesn't protect you from it."

SEME, he said, is an example of an "ephemeral experience," deliberately engineered to change someone's thinking.

Epstein noted to WND on Wednesday that Google internal emails leaked to the Wall Street Journal showed the company created "ephemeral experiences" to change people's views about Trump's ban on travel from terrorist nations.

"These companies understand what's at stake and that's why they are being so brazen," he said. "If they are brazen about Breitbart, imagine what they are doing with ephemeral experiences and search results."

He also pointed to the power of YouTube's manipulation of videos through its "up-next" algorithm, which pushes to users subsequent videos of YouTube's choice.

Some 70% of videos people watch on YouTube are suggested by its up next algorithm, Epstein said.

He and his team are studying and measuring the power that algorithm possesses to influence votes and opinions.

"If a platform wants to shift people's views and votes, you can't counteract what they're doing," he said. "In most cases, you can't even see what they are doing – unless you are monitoring."

Epstein said a member of the Senate committee asked him for questions to pose to the Big Tech CEOs on Wednesday.

"Generally speaking they are not asking the right questions," he said of the lawmakers.

Epstein said he could give some of the CEOs, including Google parent Alphabet's Sundar Pichai, "a stroke on live TV ... because I know the truth."

"It's not just I know the numbers, but I've been talking to whistleblowers for quite a while and talking about people who are considering becoming whistleblowers," Epstein said.

He believes a significant way to hold the tech titans accountable is for states to bring charges for illegal in-kind contributions.

"If you are Facebook sending targeted messages only to Democrats to vote, that is a massive in-kind campaign contribution that is illegal," he contended.

'Debunked' study?

Last August, as WND reported, President Trump spotlighted Epstein's study concluding Google manipulated millions of votes in favor of Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The former secretary of state responded, contending the study had been "debunked."

Hillary Clinton speaking at the Brown & Black Presidential Forum at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 11, 2016 (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

Epstein, who voted for Clinton in 2016, fired back on Twitter, stating "to my knowledge no credible authority has ever 'debunked' either my 2016 and 2018 election monitoring projects or my controlled studies on internet influence."

Epstein pointed out his "2016 monitoring findings were based on an analysis of 13,207 election-related searches, along with the 98,044 web pages to which the search results linked."

He said the "pro-Hillary bias was significant at the .001 level."

In his testimony to the Senate in July, Epstein warned that Google is working to ensure that Trump does not win reelection in 2020.

In an interview with WND in December 2018, Epstein pointed to a video leaked in September 2018 that showed Google executives at their first weekly meeting after the election of Donald Trump in 2016 exhibiting panic and dismay while expressing their determination to thwart the new administration's agenda as well as the emerging global populist movement.

"You heard people saying it. It's not my imagination," Epstein said.

Noting again that he voted for Clinton, he told WND, "I don’t care whether I share those values or not, a private company not elected by the people should not have that kind of power."

But Google has that power in 200 countries around the world, not just in the U.S., he noted.

"That's obscene," Epstein said.

He estimated that the outcomes of about 25% of elections around the world are being determined by Google’s search algorithm.

Not politically neutral

A senior software engineer at Google admitted in a July 2019 interview with Project Veritas that the tech giants are not politically neutral and that his company manipulates search algorithms "to do what we want them to do."

"It's time to decide, do we run the technology, or does the technology run us?" said Greg Coppola, who worked on artificial intelligence and the popular Google Assistant software.

"Are we going to just let the biggest tech companies decide who wins every election from now on?"

After the interview was published, Google put Coppola on administrative leave.

Project Veritas asked Coppola about CEO Pichai's testimony to Congress in December 2018 in which he insisted Google's algorithms are politically unbiased.

Coppola began by expressing his respect for Sundar as a manager and noted that the Google Assistant on which he works, the counterpart to Apple's Siri, "really doesn't have a political bias."

However, regarding Google's algorithms, he said it's "ridiculous to say that there's no bias."

"I think everyone who supports anything other than the Democrats, anyone who's pro-Trump or in any way deviates from what CNN and the New York Times are pushing, notices how bad it is," he said.


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