Joe Kool

President Biden’s FDA is preparing to ban menthol cigarettes.

According to NBC, 85% of black smokers use menthol cigarettes. The public health nannies are going to make sure that blacks can’t make that mistake any longer. Or, they’ll have to do it illegally.

It’s for their own good: Properly Conducted Black Lives Enforcement Matters. And it’s not like over-regulation of cigarettes can bring people into unfortunate interaction with police.

Nobody is going to figure out some home based method of flavoring cigarettes, and selling untaxed cigarettes is already against the law. Eric Garner is a perfect example. You may recall, he died when a cop used a choke hold while arresting him for selling single cigarettes, depriving the State of New York of badly need tax revenue.

Garner said “I can’t breathe,” long before George Floyd, probably as a result of selling menthol cigarettes.

Doing what they do

The electrons had barely come to rest before my prediction yesterday was fulfilled: Biden Says Rioters Who Stormed Capitol Were Domestic Terrorists

Mr. Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.

We already have such laws of course, probably more than we need given TSA, but we refused to apply them all last summer. People were fired at the New York Times when they unaccountably published an Op-Ed by Tom Cotton pointing it out.

We went all summer acquiescing to extended occupation of US territory by declared insurrectionists who – across the country – committed massive property destruction, murder, extensive arson, and pervasive looting of government. And, opportunistically, against private citizens and businesses having no connection to the grievances. We were told it was a “A summer of love” and “People will do what they do.”

This Wednesday we had a bit of property destruction and a little looting directed at government in a single city. And maybe an unjustified police shooting. After which everyone went home. But it was the wrong property, the wrong lootees, and an unarmed white female. This time it’s different.

I hit the “publish” button yesterday mere hours before Joe Biden’s knee-jerk “DO Something” reaction was to threaten revival of uber-progressive racist Woodrow Wilson’s Sedition Act of 1918:

The Sedition Act of 1918 curtailed the free speech rights of U.S. citizens during time of war.

Passed on May 16, 1918, as an amendment to Title I of the Espionage Act of 1917, the act provided for further and expanded limitations on speech. Ultimately, its passage came to be viewed as an instance of government overstepping the bounds of First Amendment freedoms.

President Woodrow Wilson, in conjunction with congressional leaders and the influential newspapers of the era, urged passage of the Sedition Act in the midst of U.S. involvement in World War I…

…The provisions of the act prohibited certain types of speech as it related to the war or the military [and what wouldn’t?]. Under the act, it was illegal to incite disloyalty within the military; use in speech or written form any language that was disloyal to the government, the Constitution, the military, or the flag; advocate strikes on labor production; promote principles that were in violation of the act; or support countries at war with the United States.

In regard to speech, proto-President Biden has already benefitted from the interventions of Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Apple, Instagram, Snapchat, and a growing list of corporate adjuncts of the “Democratic” Party whose inconsistent judgment is substituted for the 1st Amendment.

They’re telling us President Trump incited insurrection with his pre-‘Stop the Steal’ rally. Well, Ann Althouse has done a wonderful thing by fact checking this claim, providing examples from the address. This is short and a must read: The 7 most violence-inciting statements in Donald Trump’s speech to the crowd on January 6th. Sadly, it’s a Google blog, and I’d rather not send them the traffic. But Althouse nails it, so I’ll view it as subversive to Google.

The state of social media alternatives to Twitter, as an example, is not encouraging. Parler is in the news because its app has already been kicked off Google’s store and has been threatened by Apple with delisting unless they (Parler) start repressing speech according to the Progressive narrative. On that news I opened a Parler account.

I have had a Pro account at Gab since 2016 to support them monetarily. It is difficult to donate to Gab, since no payment processor (Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, etc.) will allow it. Gab is the wild, wild west. They’ve achieved pariah status. You have to send a check or Bitcoin.

If Parler doesn’t accept a de facto form of Twitter moderation rules – and their terms of service could easily be bent that way without change – the same fate may await them, and I can’t see a way to donate to Parler. I’ve asked them about it.

If they stand up for their principles, they’re going to need it. They’ve been trying to thread the needle between Twitter and Gab. So long as any small group can effortlessly impose their sense of being offended, that needle is imaginary.

Gab has already suffered a concerted effort to destroy it. It hangs on, but monetization has been made so difficult that I wonder about how long that will last. I don’t login to Gab much at all, and I don’t read the stuff on Gab I don’t like, and there’s lots of it. Possibly this will be true as I check Parler, too. The fact that Gab can offend me, and Parler may possibly offend me, is exactly the point.

Supporting such platforms is a speech action (whether the Dems get Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission overturned or not) individuals can take to reduce the stranglehold of Big Tech on free speech.

Publishers are rolling over to cancel publication of books to which the Cancelists object. GoFundMe and Kickstarter, as examples, are erasing funding campaigns at the hint of pressure from the SJW/Antifa/BLM/
Progressive axis. People are losing their jobs over having peacefully assembled. Alinsky’s advice:

“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

… has been highly refined.

I already miss 2020.

Those in possession of absolute power can not only prophesy and make their prophecies come true, but they can also lie and make their lies come true.
-Eric Hoffer

Washington D.C. riot

I have seen a couple of comments today of the form, “Now, at least, the Left is condemning riots.” I doubt the people who express this sentiment do so unironically.

I’m sure they are aware that while the opportunity to condemn BLAMTIFA looting, arson, and murder has been available for months; it elicited only condonation from Democrats. That violence is not suddenly on the table.

No, The Left sees a different opportunity – legislation. Some ill-advised people protesting election fraud have handed Pelosi and Schumer the keys to the Black Maria with “Do SOMETHiNG!” stenciled on the side.

The legislative response from our newly minted Big Left General Government will turn out worse than their CCP virus policies. Always looking for excuses to expand their takedown of the Constitution, the identity essentialists faction of State Control are aroused and enabled.

Trust, integrity

Not quite a year ago, three US Senators and a Representative were sufficiently worried about the integrity of US voting technology – “an integral part of our nation’s democratic process.” – that they wrote to the private investment firms owning majority shares in the three largest voting machine vendors: Dominion, Hart InterCivic, and Election Systems & Software.

These were Senators Elizabeth Warren (MA), Amy Klobuchar (WI), Ron Wyden (OR), and Representative Marc Pocan (WI). Senator Warren has posted a copy of the letter on her official website, here.

The letter goes on to say:

“Election security experts have noted for years that our nation’s election systems and infrastructure are under serious threat. In January 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated the United States’ election infrastructure as “critical infrastructure” in order to prioritize the protection of our elections and to more effectively assist state and local election officials in addressing these risks. However, voting machines are reportedly falling apart across the country, as vendors neglect to innovate and improve important voting systems, putting our elections at avoidable and increased risk. In 2015, election officials in at least 31 states, representing approximately 40 million registered voters, reported that their voting machines needed to be updated, with almost every state “using some machines that are no longer manufactured.” Moreover, even when state and local officials work on replacing antiquated machines, many continue to “run on old software that will soon be outdated and more vulnerable to hackers.”

In a separate letter (March 2018) Senators Klobuchar and Jeanne Shaheen (NH) had written to the 3 election equipment vendors (as distinct from the investment firms):

“Recent reports of U.S. IT and software companies submitting to source code reviews in order to access foreign markets have raised concern in Congress given the sensitivity of the information requested by countries like China and the Russian Federation. As such, we write to inquire about the security of the voting machines you manufacture and whether your company has been asked to share the source code or other sensitive or proprietary details associated with your voting machines with the Russian Federation.”

The letters’ signatories are all Democrats.

My point is not that this is proof even Democrat legislators think the 2020 election was sufficiently fraudulent to justify overturning it.

It is that we have every reason to be alarmed about voting machines running Windows 7 in 2020 (11 years after Microsoft support ended), hardware consisting partially of Chinese parts, and whose software source code has been shared with Russia and China: Combined with a completely unprecedented number of mail in ballots one of the election contestants predicted would show their candidate a winner late in the count after trailing significantly. They were accurate. Perhaps presciently, in a year where every pollster overestimated their prospects.

A relatively minor effect? We can no longer even discuss voter ID. What does ID matter when only the rubes will even register to vote? Can you ID a voter whose signature on a mail-in ballot isn’t checked, or forged by a ballot counter? Can you ID a voter who may merely be a hidden algorithm or a Chinese hack? We need at least to think our elections matter.

That’s the point Warren, Klobuchar, Wyden, Shaheen, and Pocan were making.

Rasmussen’s poll tells us 30% of Democrats believe “it is very likely (20 percent) or somewhat likely (10 percent) that it [the election] was stolen.” This must be addressed. Even if 90% of that 30% approve of the theft. Especially then.

That 47% of all voters think Trump was robbed… that this percentage of the electorate can even contemplate this question should alarm us all even more than the possibility alarmed the letters’ signatories. All of whom are Democrats.

If there was ever an issue calling for bipartisanship; if there was ever an issue squarely within the purview of government regulation – this is it. Democrats and NeverTrumpers who contend that Trump’s refusal to concede until all legal remedies have been explored is an international embarrassment to the United States miss the mark. Our election process needs to be fixed. Our election machines need to be as hardened as our missile silos. At minimum, Trump’s suits should look at accomplishing that.

If no other outcome from the legal disputes over this election are forthcoming, EVERY American should wish that the real problem is solved. The embarrassment is that we can’t vote as believably as third world satrapies.

It’s not Trump’s apparent loss that rankles so much as it is the demand we uncritically trust the ballot counting in Detroit, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Atlanta. Or else we’re deplorable, though I guess we are anyway.

Finally, if you think the concern over Chinese parts in American voting machines is a piffle, you should read this. If the Chinese are building backdoors into your “smart” doorbell, a soft target, please consider the value of backdoors into your electronic election systems. And combine that with the level of incompetence and overt deception we’ve seen in those conducting elections at the precinct level.

Evidence

Most of the people demanding that Sidney Powell produce potentially witness endangering evidence, outside the courtroom, right now; are the same ones who insist, in spite of clear evidence to the contrary, that Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian dezinformatsiya. They are the same people who suppressed that story.

It has been just three weeks since the election. Recounts are still going on. If the allegations have any truth, the story will be very complex. Let’s remember it took Al Gore 37 days to concede after withdrawing his first concession in 2000. The only deadline is the day the Electoral College votes.

And, as Democrat Speaker of the House Tom Foley and George Mitchell, the Senate Democrat leader, said in a 1991 joint statement:

These allegations [fake news about a 1980 deal with Iran to keep American hostages until after Carter lost] are both persistent and disturbing. We have no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, but the seriousness of the allegations, and the weight of circumstantial information, compel an effort to establish the facts.

(This is often misquoted as, “Even though there is no evidence, the seriousness of the charge is what matters. The seriousness of the charge mandates that we investigate this.“. Which is a pretty good paraphrase, nonetheless.)

Democrats applied this same logic to the Steele dossier. The differences are that they were the source of the dossier, they were the source of leaking it, and they insist to this day it was true – despite evidence from their own Special Counsel.

I don’t want to believe in massive election fraud either, but over the last 5 years the Democrat leadership have demonstrated they are capable of such a conspiracy.

Nearly a Third of Democrats Believe the Election Was Stolen From Trump.