Stop the 'Ministry of Truth' (Again)

Too few understand the scale of the Left’s attack on America. This lack of understanding stems from a rejection of what our senses are telling us and our refusal to think critically about our nation and the future liberty of our children. The now-renamed federal “Disinformation Governance Board” (more accurately, Orwell’s 1984 Ministry of Truth) the Covid “vaccine,” “climate change,” “transgenderism,” have nothing to do with truth, health, climate or one’s sex.

The Ministry of Truth… is concerned with erasing the truth of the past and present and replacing it with whatever the Party deems “correct.” Those in charge of the ministry decide what “truth” is.

What the Mis-Dis-Mal-information gang does have to do with includes spying on Americans and monitoring elections to ensure removal of any information that might be found in an abandoned laptop, for example, and preventing the investigation of voter fraud.

Federal authorities searched the suburban Virginia home of former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark Wednesday... Clark features heavily in the House Select Committee hearing today that focuses on former President Donald Trump's efforts to push the Justice Department to do his bidding in the weeks before the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

His crime seems to have been believing that the 2020 election had irregularities that might be worth investigating.

Forgotten, but not gone.

In March, President Biden issued an executive order to federalize the mid-terms that all polls show Democrats losing badly. You didn’t think Progressives were going to allow their accelerating fundamental transformation of America to be stopped by a silly mid-term, did you? As the reach of this column by Mollie Hemingway broadens, be assured it will be labelled MDM: Mis-Dis-Malinformation.

Executive Order 14019 ignores that the Constitution does not give the executive branch authority over elections. That power is reserved for the states, with a smaller role for Congress. With H.R. 1 and other Democrat Party efforts to grab more control over elections have thus far failed, Congress hasn’t authorized such an expansion.

Did the labeling of Hunter Biden’s laptop as "disinformation" alter the election outcome? We will never know. What we do know is that 48 percent of Americans believe it did and 16 percent of Biden voters would not have voted for him had they known about it. This is what happens by design when the government monitors and is allowed to label information rather than letting speech and thought survive, or not, in a free marketplace of ideas.

Having told the American people that this attack on speech and thought had been “paused” and Minister of Truth Nina Jankowicz fired, the administration gave the task of  truth assignment to the ever-vacuous Kamala Harris, and now, quietly, the Ministry of Truth is back in action.

Why was this clear violation of the primary right of all humans, to use our unique gift of speech to speak our unique thoughts freely – reinstated so quickly?  Because the truth of the costs of going green must be hidden until those paying these costs have already been impoverished.

White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy wants them to censor content on the costs of a force-fed green energy transition, and "We need the tech companies to really jump in,” she said, because highlighting the costs of green energy is “equally dangerous to denial because we have to move fast."

"Highlighting," not lying about, "the costs" is disinformation. It is axiomatic that if free speech and thought enabled rather than hindered the goals of this Administration, censorship would not be on the table. The idea of censoring speech in America is a blatant and unconstitutional attempt to force the public to “choose truth over fact,” raising the questions, “Whose ‘truth’?” and, more importantly, "Who gets to decide?"

Those familiar with the totalitarian movements of the last century will see the demand to accept a "vaccine" (which does not prevent infection, does not prevent re-infection, does not prevent transmission, and so fits no previously-known definition of the word, “vaccine”), the acceptance of the "climate change" fiction, and the required approval and celebration of the sexual mutilation fantasy of "transgenderism," as exactly what they are: Party membership. Refuse Party membership by speaking against the Klimate Kult, refusing the “vaccine,” rejecting gender “re-assignment,” and be removed from school or your career and excluded from professional, social and economic life by the Party.

You will be made to care.

In 1945, General Eisenhower, the WW2 Supreme Allied Commander, European Forces, on finding the infamous death camps, marched the local townspeople through the camps to force the them to understand the evil to which they had turned a blind eye as millions were murdered and incinerated. No moral or ethical difference, only a difference of scale, exists between those German townspeople and those continuing to demand the “vaccine” be forced on others regardless of Pfizer's own documentation, “Cumulative Analysis of Post-authorization Adverse Event Reports,” that at least 1,223 recipients of their vaccine died and another 42,000 experienced “serious” adverse events in the first 90 days of injections. In the world of professional athletes, FIFA has noted the 420 percent increase in athlete deaths in 2021That the FDA accepted this “vaccine” as “safe and effective,” is indicative of a government that "choose[s] truth over fact.”

We are ruled by those not interested in freedom, liberty or truth. This is what former president Trump meant when, in his inauguration speech, he said,

Today's ceremony, however, has very special meaning because, today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C., and giving it back to you, the people.

It was that giving back power to those to whom it belongs that got him run out of town on a rail.

For those not yet connecting the dots, here is Obama campaigning in 2008:

We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

A straight line connects that speech to our new Truth Ministry. From here on, things will only get worse unless our own national socialists are stopped, now.

Time to Play 'Truth or Consequences'

There are lessons to be learned from the baby formula shortage, though few of our elected representatives are clever enough or sufficiently industrious to be instructed. The biggest lesson is this: every time our elected representatives cede another portion of their constitutional authority to unelected bureaucrats, they weaken the sinews of our nation.

The price of gasoline is an obvious example. Prices at the pump have doubled and more since President Biden took office. This did not happen because there is any shortage of crude oil reserves or refining capacity. This happened because Congress knowingly granted unelected bureaucrats at agencies like the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency the power to override market demand for crude oil and refined products.

The choice to utilize that power or not then rests with the executive branch, aka: the President. Trump reigned in Interior, the EPA, et al. The result was that we did what Barack Obama tartly assured America we could not possibly do: we drilled our way to two dollar per gallon gasoline. Biden has given Interior, the EPA, et al. their head to gallop away and even applied a bit of the whip for good measure. The result? It’s a crapshoot whether your next fill up will set you back a Franklin, or just a handful of Jacksons.

Where does it stop?

How does this mindset, or rather lack of mindful attentiveness, lead us to the baby-formula shortage we face today? There are at least three reasons, all inter-related and all applicable to the production of most every vital resource domestically produced today.

Globalization Breeds Automation Breeds Consolidation: It will be a very, very long time till the cost of labor in developing Asian countries like China approaches anything like equity with the cost of labor in nations that are industrially and economically mature. The only way to stay domestically competitive in many an American industry is to rely more and more on automation. While the capital investment to automate processes is significant, the operating costs once the robots go to work are trivial. Plus, they are unlikely to demand mental-health wellness days or gender re-assignment elective surgery.

If one is going to invest in automation, it makes the most sense to make that investment a single time at one big plant rather than multiple times at a plethora of small plants. I do not claim to know the baby formula market, but I have seen this time and again in other markets. As automation takes root, consolidation follows and products that used to come from dozens of factories scattered across the country now come from a handful of plants. The fact that the shutdown of Abbott’s plant in Sturgis, Mich. could have such a marked effect on the baby food market strongly suggests to me that the baby formula market has followed that course.

Bureaucrats Wear Blinders:  Bureaucrats are necessary. I won’t even say they are a necessary “evil,” because there is nothing inherently evil about telling a fair-minded person that his job is to “make sure thus and so is done, and done correctly.” Still, there must be limits to the power of a bureaucrat. A company does not want an accountant to forgo auditing their books in order to stroll over to the Research and Development department to opine on new formulas the chemists are trying out.

But there is another side to that mindset. Having their role narrowly restricted, many bureaucrats seem to believe that the world they are allowed to impact is the only world that exists. As the old saw suggests, a carpenter equipped only with a hammer tends to see every problem as a nail.

Imagine if you had cause to be concerned about the welfare of children at a neighbor’s house. The Department of Children and Family Services sends an inspector over. That inspector is charged with looking at everything that impacts the welfare of the children and to weigh competing factors before making a recommendation. The official may conclude the children are being well cared for, or that there are certain shortcomings in the household that should be corrected. When DCFS does it’s job correctly, it removes a child from a household only if the child is in clear and imminent danger. If the kids are living on fast food and Goldfish crackers, the inspector may recommend dietary improvements. If the children are not being fed and living in filth, they will and should be removed from the danger and neglect.

I'm from the government and I'm here to help.

In our example, what DCFS does not do is to send over an electrician to inspect the wiring and base their decision on whether the home is up to code. But that is precisely the mindset of the bureaucratic inspector, whether from the FDA, the EPA, OSHA or any other of the alphabet soup of government bureaucracies. And that leads us to the final problem:

Nobody Looks at the Big Picture: We are told that the Sturgis plant was shut down because bacteria (described by some outlets as “deadly," but hyperbole is as common in stories involving elements of risk as funny hats are at a Shriners convention) was found in the plant. Not only was the plant shut down, Abbott – surely at the advice of counsel – issued a recall notice for formula already on the shelves. Thus, the fear of tort liability more or less instantly caused a shortage and heedless bureaucratic despotism ensured demand could not be quickly satisfied.

Politicians love to piously declare that they are following the science, although few understand enough science to recognize gravity if you dumped a bushel of apples on their head. The bigger problem is that when they invoke the magisterial authority of science, they only consider one aspect of science, much as the blinkered bureaucrat considers only their own mission and authority.

There is another aspect of science involved here, as with the fossil-fuel debate, the vaccine debate, the gender debate, etc. That is the science of public welfare. That science is not about one thing, it’s about everything. It is precisely that science that our public officials are elected to consider and act upon.

Let's say that bacteria was found at the Sturgis plant. Was it truly “deadly”? Was it found in an isolated area? How widespread was the contamination? Is there anything that could be done to ensure that formula already on the shelves could be used safely? Given the choice between boiling formula before using it and not having formula, I’m pretty sure what choice most mothers would make. Could Abbott have been protected from lawsuits in such a case?

There are many more issues that should have been considered before the plant was shut down and product recalled, because those two drastic actions have had drastic consequences for public welfare. Unfortunately this administration possesses no one with the courage to make those kind of decisions, much less that ability to understand they need to be made.

THE COLUMN: No Country for Old Men

The President of the United States, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., who is 79 years old and suffering from senile dementia at the end of a long life of bullying, lying, boasting, conniving, grifting, grafting, and living off the public tit to an extent indecent even by Washington standards, declared war on Russia on Friday. In the course of a typically blustering, hectoring speech, the senescent Biden went off script and interpolated the following peroration: "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in power."

To which the only proper response is: "For God's sake, this man cannot remain in the Oval Office." Joe Biden needs to be removed from the White House as soon as possible, before his failing mind, his erratic behavior, and his proven lack of character get us all killed. The question is, is there enough political will in the capital to do what needs to be done?

Biden's blunder was immediately walked back by the few adults left in the room, called a "gaffe," or—worse—actually defended by the neocons and other leftists as truth-telling on a heroic scale, evocative of Ronald Reagan's 1987 "tear down this wall" speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which two years later actually did result in the Wall coming down. But his rash words continue to ring, now matter how swiftly his handlers and apologists and even Biden himself try to make us disbelieve our own lying ears:

Mush-mouthed as usual, and delivered with all the Scrantonian sincerity of one of his typical campaign speeches, Biden's address was not only the low-water mark of his presidency so far, but a nadir in the history of the United States and its practice of diplomacy. 

As bad as the State Department is, it's generally been able to enforce some sort of diplomatic protocol on even its loosest cannons. Barack Hussein Obama's spectacular breach of etiquette in his toast to Queen Elizabeth in 2011 was a notable exception. On the other hand, Donald Trump's own Warsaw speech in 2017 was a triumph of forceful, cogent argumentation and a full-throated defense of Western civilization.

But for Biden to end his intemperate saber-rattling with a call for Vladimir Putin to be deposed is something nearly unprecedented in our nation's history. George H.W. Bush, during his feckless and pointless war against Saddam Hussein, effectively did so, at least as a hypothetical, and characteristically hedged his bets:

'I would be be willing to take a new look if the army took matters into their own hands,' said Bush, who noted that the United States would not resume normal relations with Iraq as long as Saddam remains in power. 'If a new regime emerged then I'd like to see what their goals are.' Despite his claim that Saddam 'has got to go,' Bush said again that it is not his intention to involve the United States in Iraq's internal affairs.

But Saddam wasn't deposed, and it was left to Bush II to clean up Poppy's mess, by making an even bigger one.

During his long occupation of a Senate seat, Biden served for many years on the foreign-relations committee, and learned all the wrong lessons without acquiring an ounce of real-world savvy. This is the problem with electing a lifelong senator to the presidency with no prior executive experience except ribbon-cutting ceremonies and attending foreign funerals as veep. Senators' words have no real-world consequences; presidents' do. Senators can say anything they want, because their words carry no executive authority and they cannot be legally held accountable for them. They're meant for the ears of voters back home, not for the guy in the Kremlin with his finger on the button.

For 50 years this creepy blowhard has been dining out off his dead wife and daughter, and more recently, a dead son, parlaying sympathy votes into a lifetime sinecure. Now, by accident/design/hook/crook he's Potus. And God help us, by calling for regime change in Moscow, he's just given the Russians a casus belli, should they choose to accept it. They would be perfectly within their rights to do so under the laws of war.

All in all, it's just another hair-raising moment in the funhouse ride from hell that has been the Biden "presidency" so far. Robinette Junior came to D.C. in the 1970s and he's brought the '70 back along with him to the White House: flaccid leadership, an energy crisis, rampant inflation, and consummate failure abroad. Even the lickspittle media can't disguise the stench of his latest poll numbers

Amid Europe’s largest land war since World War II, 7 in 10 Americans expressed low confidence in President Joe Biden’s ability to deal with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a new NBC News poll, and 8 in 10 voiced worry that the war will increase gas prices and possibly involve nuclear weapons. And during the nation’s largest inflation spike in 40 years, overwhelming majorities said they believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy. Those are some of the major findings of the new national NBC News poll, which found that Biden’s overall job approval rating had declined to 40 percent, the lowest level of his presidency. 

This simply cannot continue if the nation is to survive. The stumbling block, of course, is what would come after him should he be removed via the 25th amendment or suffer an unfortunate act of God or simply reach the end of his rapidly diminishing physical and mental capacity: President Kamala Harris. A vapid affirmative-action female-type person without the slightest aptitude for any job she's so far been handed by the Democratic establishments in California and D.C., she very likely would be even worse than her current boss, at least for the short time she, too, would hold office.

Heroes to zeroes in two years.

But take heart: there is precedent. During the Democrat/Washington Post coup against Richard Nixon in 1974, the first order of business was to remove Tricky Dick's veep, the genially corrupt Spiro T. Agnew, the former Baltimore County executive and governor of Maryland, on conveniently discovered charges of penny-ante bribery, extortion, and income-tax violations. Such things were and remain part of the way business is done in Baltimore—just ask the former Nancy d'Alesandro, now Speaker Pelosi, about corruption in Baltimore—but they suddenly loomed large when it was time to overturn the results of the 1972 presidential election, which saw Nixon win 60.7 percent of the popular vote, carry 49 states (he lost only Massachusetts and D.C.), and garner 520 electoral votes.

Less than two years later, both Agnew (replaced by congressman Gerald Ford) and Nixon were gone. So it can be done, and perfectly legally. And don't worry—if Biden were to leave office early, Nancy Pelosi would not automatically become vice president. The succession pecking order only kicks in when both the senior executive offices suddenly become vacant. 

Removing Biden shouldn't be that difficult. Section 4 reads:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

There's a catch, of course:

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

We can cross that Rubicon when we come to it. America at this point in her history is no country for old men, no matter which party they belong to.

               ELLIS
           ...What you got ain't nothin' new.
           This country is hard on people. Hard
           and crazy. Got the devil in it yet
           folks never seem to hold it to
           account.

                        BELL
           I'm... discouraged.

                          ELLIS
           You can't stop what's comin. Ain't
           all waitin' on you.
The two men look at each other. Ellis shakes his head. ELLIS ...That's vanity.

In the meantime, and for the sake of the nation, Biden must go. 

Biden Blows Up Yet Another Gas Pipeline

Are you baffled by an administration which, to take just one example, adopts an open border policy at home while mouthing platitudes about the sanctity of borders regarding Russian incursions in Ukraine? There’s an easy answer: its policy is to strengthen the hand and fill the pockets of  those who oppose and wish to weaken us at every turn while harming the interests of American citizens and our allies abroad.

Take seven-billion-dollar Eastern Mediterranean Gas Pipeline. In August of 2020 I reported how the Greeks, Cypriots, and Israelis  had coordinated plans for a 1,200-mile undersea pipeline connecting Israeli and Cypriot gas fields to Greece and then to Europe. This is a huge, expensive project in which, following on the Abraham Accords engineered by then-President Trump, the United Arab Emirates has a substantial interest, including a 22 percent stake in the large Israeli Tamar gas field.

President Trump  supported the pipeline. But President Biden, in a “non -paper” (an unofficial communication), has notified the Greek government that we are no longer supporting the project, allegedly because it posed a security threat to the region. Except, of course, when Russia wanted waivers to build Nord Stream 2,  a non-green gas pipeline to Europe, it had no such qualms.

The Eastern Mediterranean pipeline would have benefitted our allies Greece, Cyprus, Israel and the UAE. It would as well, have provided desperately needed future  energy supplies to Western Europe which has been engaged in suicidal green policies. As a result, Western Europe at the moment faces a cold winter with insufficient energy, predictable shortages, higher prices, and potentially disastrous economic consequences, including manufacturing shutdowns.

It is hard to sympathize with a Europe whose leaders have made their lack of natural energy sources like coal and oil worse by adopting explicit anti-energy policies. Its governments have banned hydraulic shale fracturing of which it does have substantial amounts of technically recoverable shale gas. Coal-rich Germany has made itself dependent on outside sources of energy, primarily Russian gas, shutting down three nuclear plants and planning to mothball three more this year. It has allowed LNG import terminals to be snarled in permitting delays, cutting off another possible source.

But even if you have little sympathy for our allies on this score, the withdrawal of support for the pipeline will harm U.S. interests. If we wish to discourage Russian incursions into Ukraine, we are hamstrung by Europe’s dependence on Russian gas (about 40 percent of imports at present) and certain to rise. To tighten the screws, Russia has the capacity to inflict great damage by instituting a gas embargo or simply reducing gas supplies, reducing Europe to dependency. Additionally. Russia has had a large hand in fueling the "green" opposition to energy in western Europe.

Russia is not the only beneficiary of this volte face on the pipeline. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to undermine the project from its inception because he gets no benefit from it. Why shouldn’t this latest Biden administration blunder give him more reason to crow?

Joe and Vlad: the Odd Couple

President Biden was roundly mocked last week for answering a reporter's question about a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine with a bowl of fully dressed word salad which began, "It's one thing if it’s a minor incursion." And rightly so -- it was a bizarre response that sent the wrong signals to all parties. I'm sure Ukraine's President Zelensky didn't relish having to send out this tweet in reply:

But this isn't the first time that Biden has broadcast mixed signals on Russia. Remember when his administration gave the go-ahead for construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will allow Russia to transport natural gas to desperate western European nations like Germany without having to go through Ukraine? Team Biden had condemned the project in the clearest possible terms, saying Nord Stream was "a bad deal because it divides Europe, it exposes Ukraine and Central Europe to... Russian manipulation, and because it goes against Europe’s own stated energy and security goals." And then one day -- immediately after Russian hackers shut down a major American pipeline for several days, oddly enough -- he relented. Sorry, Ukraine!

Even seemingly unrelated Biden moves have redounded to Russia's benefit. The cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline extension, for instance, was Biden's first attempt at undermining former President Trump's goal of American energy independence. Well, here we are a year later and American oil imports from Russia have more than tripled! Whereas thousands of oil and gas workers in the U.S. and our ally Canada have lost out, thousands of Russians (and their Putin-crony, ex-KGB, oil billionaire bosses) have gained.

What's in it for the Big Guy?

We've just had four years of frankly libelous accusations against Donald Trump, claiming that he was a Putin stooge who colluded with the Kremlin to (somehow) steal the 2016 election, that he might even have been a Soviet sleeper agent, or at least that he was desperate to prevent the leaking of whatever kompromat they had on him. The reality is that Trump came into office hoping to improve our relationship with Russia, just like every president since the fall of the Berlin Wall, but on the level of policy he was actually tougher on Putin than any of his predecessors.

Meanwhile, Biden is always happy to talk trash about Putin to American reporters -- he's recently taken to claiming, unbelievably, that he looked Putin in the eye in 2014 and said to him, "I don't think you have a soul" -- but somehow Putin always seems to come away the winner in every situation Biden involves himself in.

Is it just me, or is "America First" sounding like a much better foreign policy by the day? I bet they're starting to feel the same in Kiev right about now as well. In Moscow, well, maybe not so much.

Of Covid Mandates and Legal Liabilities

Last month President Biden announced an initiative that he asserts will ‘stop’ the SARS Cov-2 virus. A scientifically implausible objective, his outline included a plan to require all private businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or require weekly testing. The mandates are curious because they burden businesses in unprecedented and legally nebulous ways.

Using a mechanism referred to as an Emergency Temporary Standard through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the administration asserts mandating vaccines will stop the transmission of the virus. However, the vaccine was neither developed for, nor indicated to arrest transmission of the virus. According to the FDA website, the vaccine is intended to “…reduce severe illness, hospitalization and death.”

So why might the Administration be issuing mandates for a vaccine that cannot achieve their stated purpose of ‘stopping the virus”? Consider possible reasons by looking through the lens of liability.

Cross my heart and hope to die.

As business-minded leaders do in the face of government overreach, a response must be developed that helps create certainty for the business. To get there in this case, one must review the most fundamental aspect of a mandate… if the business requires the action as a condition of employment, the business owns the consequence of what happens as a result. Understanding the business of vaccine liability may help a business determine whether it is in its best interest to accept the premise of the Biden Administration mandate, or perhaps consider other strategies, including legal challenges.

An important element of the liability relating to vaccines is whether the individual receives the Emergency Use Authorized (EUA)-version of the vaccine, or the newly FDA-approved, branded-version known as Comirnaty. While there is no difference in the actual drug in the syringe, there are differences in the liability protection offered under EUA for those who manufacture, distribute or in some way deliver the vaccine, compared to the FDA-approved Comirnaty.

According to the Congressional Research Service, “…in order to encourage the expeditious development and deployment of medical countermeasures during a public health emergency, the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to limit legal liability for losses relating to the administration of medical countermeasures such as diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines.”

In a declaration effective February 4, 2020, nearly six weeks before the U.S. lock-downs, the HHS Secretary invoked the PREP Act and declared Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) to be a public health emergency warranting liability protections for covered countermeasures inclusive of the available vaccines. According to the current PREP ACT, the protection against liability reaches into 2025.

Ummm...

All state and local governments, medical providers and related manufacturers and distributors of modalities for treatment of Covid-19 were exempted from liability. So for anyone who receives the EUA- version of the vaccine, which as of this writing is still the only version available in the U.S., one has no recourse from a liability perspective, except in very specific and limited circumstances should one experience an adverse event or die. However, once FDA-approved and sold under the brand name Comirnaty, liability is handled differently. Comirnaty is currently only available in Israel.

Under normal circumstances, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides compensation for injuries caused by most vaccines routinely administered in the U.S., such as childhood vaccines and non-pandemic seasonal influenza vaccines.

Enter mandated businesses. Once a vaccine is mandated by a private business, an entity not outlined and protected under the PREP Act, nor protected once a branded drug is available on the market, liability protection seemingly does not  exist for businesses.

Looking beyond the PREP ACT, consider the long-term efficacy data currently available. Since vaccines have only been available for a relatively short time, long-term data is simply unknown. However, that doesn’t mean the potential adverse events are not a liability for which a mandated company must model and prepare.

Consider the language from the FDA’s website, pertaining to long-term efficacy of the FDA-approved Comirnaty regarding Myocarditis and Pericarditis.

Additionally, the FDA conducted a rigorous evaluation of the post-authorization safety surveillance data pertaining to myocarditis and pericarditis following administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine and has determined that the data demonstrate increased risks, particularly within the seven days following the second dose. The observed risk is higher among males under 40 years of age compared to females and older males. The observed risk is highest in males 12 through 17 years of age. Available data from short-term follow-up suggest that most individuals have had resolution of symptoms. However, some individuals required intensive care support. Information is not yet available about potential long-term health outcomes. The Comirnaty Prescribing Information includes a warning about these risks.

Add to this, we now believe the SARS CoV-2 virus was modified in a Chinese lab and the liability issues are more nebulous. A recently exposed a 2018 grant proposal submitted by Peter Daszak of the Eco Health Alliance, to DARPA, the Pentagon’s research and development arm. The proposal sought funding to engineer a Furin Cleavage site (FCS) into a beta coronavirus. The FCS was intended to increase the virulence of the virus in humans. DARPA deemed it too dangerous and denied the grant.

A year later, in 2019, a beta coronavirus virus with a FCS shows up having potentially ‘leaked’ from a Wuhan lab at which Daszak was coincidently using National Institute of Health (NIH) funding to make gain-of-function modifications to beta family coronaviruses. A significant percentage of the spike protein from the original strain of SARS Cov-2 are in the vaccine now being mandated. What other enhancements were made to that virus and inadvertently stitched into the vaccine? The answers are presently unknown.

Companies must decide whether mandating the vaccine for their most valuable asset, their employees, is a sound business decision. Can businesses confidently assert that without a legal fight, they will not have some liability in the face of potential short and long-term health issues associated with the currently available vaccine?

Keystone Pipeline Firm Sues Feds for $15 Billion

Back when Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, we mentioned the possibility that TC Energy, the Canadian energy firm which owned and operated Keystone, might ultimately sue the U.S. government for damages. Well it looks like they're going to do just that:

In a statement on July 2, [TC Energy] said it had filed a notice of intent with the State Department to begin a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement. The company said it aims to “recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the Keystone XL Project’s Presidential Permit,” adding that it suffered a loss of more than $15 billion “as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its NAFTA obligations.”

Killing the XL has meant the loss of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border; it has meant that oil and natural gas is now being transported by rail, which is both more dangerous and more carbon intensive, and now it might end up costing American taxpayers a few billion dollars. Who, exactly, has benefited from this idiotic move?

Oh, right -- the activists.

 

The Electric-Vehicle Booglaoo

Lawrence M Friedman, an expert in legal history and property law, was one of my favorite law professors. As a student at the University of Chicago and its law school, he had been part of the Second City cast with Elaine May and Mike Nichols, and it you think there’s no way someone can make the subject of property law engaging, you haven’t had a class with Professor Friedman. An author of a number of books (including fiction) he said something in his work, “The Horizontal Society,” which strikes me as particular appropriate as the Biden administration rolls out its fantasy energy and infrastructure plans:

The average citizen, who has no idea how... a refrigerator works. still feels that scientists, if they worked hard enough, could cure AIDS or the common cold, or get electric power out of turnip juice, or send a satellite zooming off to Pluto.

No better example of this sort of fantasy thinking can be found in the plan to transform the auto industry. And no better example can be found of the way lunatic ideas and the greedy grab by myriad interests for federal funds for ridiculous projects can be found than this one.

Like plugging in a toaster!

On March 29 something called the Alliance for Automotive Innovation , an alliance of auto manufacturers, supplies and the United Auto Workers wrote to the President  supporting the shift to electric-drive vehicles. Like courtiers praising the emperor’s new clothes, the Alliance dubs the Biden plan a “bold, comprehensive vision and innovation that will place the U.S. at the forefront of creating a cleaner future for motor vehicle transformation.” 

Then it goes on to the cost (certainly just a down payment  for something that will cost even more). It turns the notion of supply and demand on its head, seeking funds to first create demand and then to supply the products for the demand they just created. It is slathered with blather like “we need a comprehensive plan that takes present market realties [only about 2 percent of 14.5 million worth of new vehicle sales were for electric vehicles] as well as the on-going investment and innovation in internal combustion engine (ICE) technologies."

Ignoring the spin we see a bottom line that stretches out endlessly and pays off all the Democrat interest groups it can possibly grease. Here's what they want on the demand side: 

Increasing demand, however, will not increase the supply without yet more federal largesse. So here’s what they want to do to increase the supply:

  1. Expand tax credits to allow manufacturers  to “retool, expand, or build new facilities for the manufacturing, recycling, of these vehicles, batteries, fuel cells, components and infrastructure."
  2. Expand the domestic manufacturing conversion grant program to accelerate  the needed technologies.
  3. Develop (presumably through more federal money or tax credits)   extraction, processing and recycling of the critical minerals needed for these vehicles (now mostly imported from China).
  4. Research and development grants  for new innovation “that will make the zero-emission future a reality."
  5. Grants and loans  for advanced technology.
  6. Training and development programs to “upskill” the work force.
  7. New investment tax credits for hydrogen production and storage.
  8. Grants to “reequip, expand, and establish facilities for the manufacturing of clean energy technologies and components."

The cost of these ambitious efforts is predicted at the very end of this wish list: $4-12 billion in the tax-credit expansion alone and another $12-25 billion for manufacturing conversion. I don’t think this covers more than a fraction of what this proposal suggests. Do you?

No fumes, no worries, no explosions!

On the other hand, I've reread it several times, and besides scratching my head at the new economics in which we are asked to create and greatly fund a non-existent demand to deal with a non-existent problem ("climate change") and then to create a fount of new funds to meet this confected demand. Puzzling.

More puzzling in this paean to electric vehicles is the absence of the need for more electric power production. Not one word of it. Toyota’s president  is one auto manufacturing leader skeptical of the entire notion of massively increasing electric vehicles:

Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Japan would run out of electricity in the summer if all cars were running on electric power. The infrastructure needed to support a fleet consisting entirely of EVs would cost Japan between ¥14 trillion and ¥37 trillion, the equivalent of $135 billion to $358 billion, he said.

“When politicians are out there saying, ‘Let’s get rid of all cars using gasoline,’ do they understand this?” Mr. Toyoda said Thursday at a year-end news conference in his capacity as chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Toyota is a leader in hybrid autos and has no small experience to back up their president’s concerns.

In what was undoubtedly a rare moment of reality, the Washington Post  acknowledged the increased amount of electric energy these “clean cars” need is energy produced almost entirely by fossil fuels now that in this country atomic energy has been so reduced.

How much more electricity will be needed for electric cars? About 150,000 electric vehicles were sold in California in 2018 — 8 percent of all state car sales. The state projects that electric vehicles will consume 5.4 percent of the state's electricity, or 17,000 gigawatt hours, by 2030.

California, for one, doesn’t have sufficient capacity to meet existing demand, and there are no plans I know of in the works to increase it. 

There’s one more thing radically wrong with this blinkered notion that substituting more expensive transportation and servicing it when conventional transportation and the means to fuel it is cheaper, more readily available, and requires no enormous outlays to continue.

Unless someone comes up fast with a way to create electric power for electric vehicles from turnip juice, a transportation policy that has at its core an enormous switch to electric vehicles without a substantial increase in electric power production is, on its face, insane.

The Blue Wave that Wasn't

There's a lot about this 2020 election which remains uncertain, but one thing that we know for sure is that the projected Blue Wave, which had the Democrats retaking the Senate and making double digit gains in the House, didn't happen. Thus far they've only picked up one senate seat, and even if they win the two run offs in Georgia -- an outcome that is not at all certain -- the best they can hope for is a 50-50 tie, with the vice president as tie-breaker.

And that's not even taking into account the possibility that West Virginia's Joe Manchin, the last of the Blue Dog Democrats, finally accepts that there's no longer a place for him in AOC's party and decides to cross the aisle.

In the House, Republicans have already picked up eight seats. If GOP candidates win all of the races where they're currently leading, they will have 213 seats (with 218 a majority), a far cry from the 196 GOP seats FiveThirtyEight projected just before the election. As Jim Geraghty pointed out, "[I]f ten Democratic members got stuck in traffic or on a delayed flight, Democrats would temporarily not have a majority in the chamber."

Party leadership is so anxious about this that Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer are reportedly pressuring members not to accept positions in a Biden administration if they're offered, for fear that it would whittle away at their already razor thin majority.

This isn't the type of dominance which the Democrats had been banking on, and it goes a long way towards undermining their boldest electoral promises. Consequently, it wasn't surprising that stocks fell for so-called renewable energy firms in the days following the election, as the market reacted to the improbability that the left would be able to implement their environmental agenda in any permanent way.

First Solar, a manufacturer of solar panels, dropped 8.6%, while home solar provider SunPower fell 2.8%. SunRun, another provider of residential solar, closed flat after declining earlier, and fuel cell maker Plug Power slipped 2%. All have outperformed the broader market this year, with the solar power companies in particular gaining momentum in recent months as the polls swung in favor of Joe Biden in the presidential race and Democratic Senate candidates.

Which isn't to say that a President Biden couldn't do a lot of damage on his own to the economy overall, the oil and gas industry specifically, and to the environment ultimately. He is reportedly already planning to create a White House National Climate Council and embed climate specific offices in all (or most) executive departments.

But without the senate, with a precarious majority in the House, and without the backing of the Supreme Court, a Biden Administration would be prevented from sweeping changes. We shouldn't stop fighting, but we should also thank heaven for small favors.

Gettysburg, 2020

On three hot days in early July, 1863, Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and the federal Army of the Potomac under George Meade collided, almost accidentally, at a small town in southern Pennsylvania called Gettysburg. The result was an epic struggle that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers on both sides and determined the course of the American Civil War.

Gettysburg was the high-water mark of the Confederacy, which effectively ended with the near-suicidal Pickett's Charge, a stunning blunder by Lee who ordered his troops to march across a field and into the teeth of the Union rifles and cannons. The South never seriously threatened the North again, but there was even worse news for the rebels to come: at the same time Gettysburg was being fought Ulysses S. Grant was capturing the seemingly impregnable fortress of Vicksburg in Mississippi. Soon enough, Grant would be on his way east, to finally put the insurrection of the Southern Democrats down.

Once again, Pennsylvania finds itself at the center of our current Cold Civil War, which all year has been flickering hot. The Keystone State is the lynchpin of both President Trump's and Joe Biden's electoral-college strategies, and its 20 electoral votes may well prove to be dispositive at the end.

Going into today's vote, this is what my electoral map looks like:

Trump won Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes by just 44,000 votes in 2016, which presaged his wins in Michigan and Wisconsin and his narrow defeat in Minnesota. The state's rabid leftist attorney general, Josh Shapiro, has already declared that Biden will win -- by any means necessary:

To that end, look for typical Democrat chicanery in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, which is reportedly already going on. The polls from the ferociously anti-Trump media have been designed to discourage Republican voters. Going into the vote today, if you believe what you read in the newspapers and see on television, things look bleak for Trump -- and this despite the fact that he's running against a senile, corrupt old man who is simply being used by the Democrats in order to install the Manchurian Candidate, Kamala Harris.

"Bayonets!"

Things looked bleak for the 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Little Round Top on the second day at Gettysburg. Defending the hill, his men out of ammunition, Col. Joshua Chamberlain did the only thing he could in the face of an advancing Alabama regiment. "Bayonets!" he shouted and led his men down the hill to scatter the startled Confederates and save the day for the Union.

The radical Democrats have gambled everything on Campaign 2020. They are out and proud as the anti-American Party, the party of rioters, the party of impeachment, the party of the Russian collusion hoax, the weaponizers of the Covid-19 panic. From the moment Trump won election four years ago, they have waged unceasing war on him, on our political system, and our country.

Gettysburg ended on July 3. The next day, the torn nation defiantly celebrated the anniversary of its independence.

It's time to save the Union once more. Vote.