How they tricked Trump into locking down the US

How they tricked Trump into locking down the US. By Jeffrey Tucker.

On March 9, 2020, Trump was still of the opinion that the virus could be handled by normal means.

Two days later, he changed his tune. He was ready to use the full power of the federal government in a war on the virus.

The official story from the participants who are talking is that everyone around him wore him down and just convinced him.

Something about this story has never really added up. How could one person have been so persuaded by a handful of others such as Fauci, Birx, Pence, and Kushner and his friends? He surely had other sources of information — some other scenario or intelligence — that fed into his disastrous decision. …

It was Debbie Lerman who first cracked the code: Covid policy was forged not by the public-health bureaucracies but by the national-security sector of the administrative state. She has further explained that this occurred because of two critical features of the response: 1) the belief that this virus came from a lab leak, and 2) the vaccine was the biosecurity countermeasure pushed by the same people as the fix.

Knowing this, we gain greater insight into 1) why Trump changed his mind, 2) why he has never explained this momentous decision and otherwise completely avoids the topic, and 3) why it has been so unbearably difficult to find out any information about these mysterious few days other than the pablum served up in books designed to earn royalties for authors like Birx, Pence, and Kushner.

Based on a number of second-hand reports, all available clues we have assembled, and the context of the times, the following scenario seems most likely.

On March 10, and in response to Trump’s dismissive tweet the day before, some trusted sources within and around the National Security Council (Matthew Pottinger and Michael Callahan, for example), and probably involving some from military command and others, came to Trump to let him know a highly classified secret.

Imagine a scene from Get Smart with the Cone of Silence, for example. These are the events in the life of statecraft that infuse powerful people with a sense of their personal awesomeness. The fate of all of society rests on their shoulders and the decisions they make at this point. Of course they are sworn to intense secrecy following the great reveal.

The revelation was that the virus was not a textbook virus but something far more threatening and terrible. It came from a research lab in Wuhan. It might in fact be a bioweapon. This is why Xi had to do extreme things to protect his people. The US should do the same, they said, and there is a fix available too and it is being carefully guarded by the military.

It seems that the virus had already been mapped in order to make a vaccine to protect the population. Thanks to 20 years of research on mRNA platforms, they told him, this vaccine can be rolled out in months, not years. That means that Trump can lock down and distribute vaccines to save everyone from the China virus, all in time for the election. Doing this would not only assure his reelection but guarantee that he would go down in history as one of the greatest US presidents of all time.

This meeting might only have lasted an hour or two — and might have included a parade of people with the highest-level security clearances — but it was enough to convince Trump. After all, he had battled China for two previous years, imposing tariffs and making all sorts of threats. It was easy to believe at that point that China might have initiated biological warfare as retaliation. That’s why he made the decision to use all the power of the presidency to push a lockdown under emergency rule. …

It only took a few weeks for Trump to become suspicious about what happened. For weeks and months, he toggled between believing that he was tricked and believing that he did the right thing. He had already approved another 30 days of lockdowns and even inveighed against Georgia and later Florida for opening. …

He did not fully change his mind until August, when Scott Atlas revealed the whole con to him. …

To top it off, the vaccine failed to arrive in time for the election. This is because Fauci himself delayed the rollout until after the election, claiming that the trials were not racially diverse enough. Thus Trump’s gambit completely failed, despite all the promises of those around him that it was a guaranteed way to win reelection.

To be sure, this scenario cannot be proven because the entire event — certainly the most dramatic political move in at least a generation and one with unspeakable costs for the country — remains cloaked in secrecy. Not even Senator Rand Paul can get the information he needs because it remains classified. If anyone thinks the Biden approval of releasing documents will show what we need, that person is naive. Still, the above scenario fits all available facts and it is confirmed by second-hand reports from inside the White House.

It’s enough for a great movie or a play of Shakespearean levels of tragedy. And to this day, none of the main players are speaking openly about it.

Great story, fits the facts.

But it gets worse. Nowhere do Americans discuss the obvious — closing borders was the simple and cost effective way of beating covid in the first year or two when it was somewhat deadly. It’s as though Americans have been brain-washed into believing the only two responses are “lock down” or “not lock down.”

If the US closed its borders sufficiently to keep out the virus, then it would also keep out illegal immigrants. Obviously, that cannot be contemplated.

The US right wing missed a great opportunity here to talk about — and close — borders. Totally missed. So oblivious, they don’t even seem to have noticed. Tricked.

Trump Exploits Little-Known Legal Loophole Where You Avoid Indictment By Not Committing A Crime

Trump Exploits Little-Known Legal Loophole Where You Avoid Indictment By Not Committing A Crime. By the Babylon Bee.

As rumors continue to filter in that Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg’s attempt to indict former President Donald Trump is falling apart, a new report has indicated Trump’s team of attorneys is seeking to exploit a little-known legal loophole through which he can avoid indictment by not actually committing any crime. …

The revelation of this loophole provides an explanation for the former President’s seemingly nonchalant attitude toward the New York legal case.

Trump again expressed his innocence in a post to his Truth Social account. “You can’t indict someone when they don’t actually commit a crime! Everyone says so!” Trump said. “Only my team of attorneys, the very best ever assembled in human history, could make this discovery, yet the corrupt New York DA continues this witch hunt! SAD!”

Despite Trump’s use of this seldom-utilized tactic, Mr. Bragg vowed to continue moving forward with the case. “I don’t care if he’s committed a crime or not,” Bragg said in a statement to the media. “We’ve got to stop his 2024 campaign somehow, so we’ll just keep trying to make stuff up. I’m in full-on straw-grasping mode here.”



It’s Looking Like Trump Won’t Be Indicted

It’s Looking Like Trump Won’t Be Indicted. By Matt Margolis.

The left was practically salivating at the thought of Trump getting indicted and arrested, but just as quickly as the hype started, it seems to be fizzling out. It looks like their dreams of seeing him in handcuffs are slipping away faster than a greased pig at a rodeo. At this point, I dare say that it looks like it won’t happen at all.

That’s right. No indictment. No handcuffs. No perp walk. The radical left has been yearning for this moment for years. And for a few days, it seemed like that wish might finally come true. However, it now appears to be just another chapter in a never-ending fantasy that always falls short of becoming a reality.



The first hint that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of Trump was going sour was when former Michael Cohen legal advisor Robert Costello appeared as a surprise witness on Monday. Trump touted Costello’s testimony as conclusive and irrefutable evidence of his innocence. And he may not have been exaggerating.

It sure does look like Costello’s testimony, along with the evidence he presented — a five-year-old letter from Michael Cohen’s attorney affirming that Cohen made the payment to Stormy Daniels alone and that Trump had no role in reimbursing him — had a significant impact on Bragg’s case against Trump. This impact was so substantial that the Manhattan grand jury did not assemble on Wednesday, and while they did meet on Thursday, they did not hear the case involving Trump, postponing the alleged indictment to at least next week.

However, it remains doubtful that the indictment will occur at all. In fact, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that there is speculation that the prosecutors have been unsuccessful in persuading the jury to accept that Trump is guilty of a crime.

It is often said that a grand jury would even vote to convict a ham sandwich. But not even a grand jury is going for these trumped up charges.

Western democracy’s future is suddenly looking brighter.

A Year Into War, Ukraine Faces Challenges Mobilizing Troops

A Year Into War, Ukraine Faces Challenges Mobilizing Troops. By Matthew Luxmoore.

One Ukrainian paid almost $10,000 to flee the draft. Another has ignored five military summonses. A third avoids public spaces, fearing a military official will pounce and issue a call-up.
After a year of war, Ukraine is facing increasing challenges in raising the troops it needs to resist Russian forces and eject them from its territory.

When Russia invaded in February last year, thousands of volunteers lined up outside military recruitment centers. With many of them now dead or injured, Ukrainian authorities are scrambling to recruit replacements, often drafting those who have neither the desire nor the training to serve. The result is a growing number of fighting-age men who are attempting to evade service.

So far, Ukraine has managed to replenish its ranks regularly, and has largely succeeded in holding back a months long Russian onslaught in the east as it awaits an influx of tens of thousands of fresh troops, many of them trained in the West, to drive its planned spring offensive.

But while polls show that support for the defense effort remains high, the stock of willing volunteers now appears to be dwindling.

Ukraine’s population is less than one-third the size of Russia’s, not accounting for the exodus of millions since the war began, and the kind of coercion used in Russia’s authoritarian system isn’t an option, Kyiv says.

“We can’t do as Russia does and drive people to war with batons,” President Volodymyr Zelensky told reporters in February, three days after he renewed a decree on mobilization that makes reservists and most healthy men of fighting age eligible for call-up, in place since the war started. He said evasion of military service was a serious issue for Ukraine. …

Ukraine had a standing army of 260,000 when Russia invaded, and around 100,000 have been killed or wounded since then, according to Western estimates. …

With men between the ages of 18 and 60 banned from leaving Ukraine, a small number have resorted to radical means to get out. The country’s border force frequently reports arrests, publishing stories of men cross-dressing as women, paying smugglers to whisk them out and one almost drowning as he tried to cross a river that runs along the border with Hungary this month.

The most reputable source I’ve seen reckons the exchange ratio for casualties is 1 Russian for 0.6 Ukrainians. In the long run, at that rate, Russia will win. (In WWII, it was 1 Russian for 0.33 Germans.)

Let’s see how the offensives go this year. The Russian one has peaked and is passing, but doesn’t seem to have amounted to much. Next up, the Ukrainians will have a go.

The Voice is the Biggest Ever Change to Australia’s Governance

The Voice is the Biggest Ever Change to Australia’s Governance. By Paul Kelly. This PC editor of The Australian is finally coming out swinging against the Voice.

This referendum is a profound risk for Australia. It has been a long process but with extremely limited consultation with the public — no constitutional convention, no parliamentary committee collaborating on the model, no meaningful effort to strike bipartisanship, incredibly not even the release of legal advice from the Solicitor-General and then, on Thursday, the Prime Minister doubling down in a rejection of efforts to modify or temper the model whose flaws have been documented.

In his announcement Albanese endorsed a maximalist voice, thereby guaranteeing a fundamental change in Australia’s system of parliamentary and executive governance and making a contentious referendum even more contentious. Instead of putting qualifications on the voice Albanese went the other way — bowing before the Indigenous working group, he refused any meaningful change to the voice’s capacity to advise the executive government or address reported concerns of the Solicitor-General and Attorney-General. …

The optics are disastrous — Albanese left the impression of a compliant prime minister submitting to Indigenous demands. …

Beware prime ministers when they get emotional; it usually means a lurch into unreality. …

It is a sad conclusion from Albanese’s latest remarks that he seeks to carry this referendum on a tactic of deception — relying on goodwill, emotions and the injustice Indigenous people have faced for so long. This is an intellectual and moral deception. …

There are numerous problems with the model but Labor essentially has chosen to ignore them and press ahead in a “crash through or crash” fatalism. …

No criticism allowed, that’s how we do things in the age of Woke:

It is, frankly, incredible that since Albanese outlined his proposed referendum at the Garma Festival seven months ago there has been no public institutional process to examine and assess the proposal – just talk behind closed doors. This is an unacceptable foundation on which to ask the Australian people to endorse probably the most far-reaching referendum proposal since Federation. …

Lying by omission is par for the course nowadays:

The voice is an institution based on group or racial identity … We are told by Albanese this will unite the country. How does that work?

If the Australian public understood what this institutional arrangement involved would they vote for it? That’s why Albanese’s campaign says the two issues are recognition and consultation. But that’s misleading.

There are thousands, probably millions, of people who support recognition and consultation but who will oppose the voice because they believe it is divisive or dangerous. …

Power for the Woke team:

The referendum is about power. The voice will make representations not just to parliament but the executive government including cabinet, ministers and public servants as decision-makers. The idea the voice has limited influence because it is advisory is disingenuous. It will function as a powerful political entity exerting enormous influence. That’s the entire purpose. It’s what the whole idea is about.

The constitutional amendment is open-ended and unlimited, such that the voice can make representations on virtually anything – from the conditions of Indigenous people to tax, social, economic, resources, cultural, defence and foreign policy. …

The appeal to moral vanity will be irresistible to the usual suspects:

The Prime Minister said people should support the referendum because we will “feel better” about ourselves. This is insulting and demeaning. …

The more he says this, the more he insults people. On every issue Albanese has deferred to the authority of the voice. This is surely an omen of the future – he has previously said it would be a brave government that ignored the advice of the voice. This underlines the sheer enormity of the political nature of this proposal. …

Will ordinary Australians be impressed when voice members give doorstop TV interviews on parliamentary sitting days? Will they be impressed when there are public brawls over whether the voice has been properly consulted and listened to? Will they be impressed when there are deals done and horse-trading between voice members and federal parliamentarians? …

This looms as a remarkable moment for Australia given our elites – the professional classes, corporate leaders and progressive opinion-makers – seem united in supporting the referendum, with Labor assuming they will put money behind it. … This referendum will become the most critical test for many years of the character and leadership quality of those elites. …

It’s not going to fly:

The problem is the model of the voice being proposed, its extraordinary constitutional powers and their implications. It is fatuous to say those constitutional powers, once granted, will not be used. The case against the referendum lies in its essence – the institutional power it seeks to create. That is where the decision must be weighed and made. Albanese carries the final responsibility for that model — and he has failed that test.

The opinion polls are about 50% in favor of the Voice and dropping. Then there’s the shy Tory effect — people tell a pollster that oh yes they’re in favor, not wanting to appear racist. But in the privacy of the election booth…

Posie Parker protests: iron fist of intolerance in velvet glove of woke

Posie Parker protests: iron fist of intolerance in velvet glove of woke. By Brendan O’Neill.

To give people like Lidia Thorpe a veto over our government, vote for the Voice.

It is a mystery to me that anyone could look at those Posie Parker gatherings and think Posie Parker is the problem.

On one side there’s the diminutive bottle-blonde from Britain whose rallying cry is “Let women speak”. Parker’s supporters are mainly women, too. All of them have been impeccably civil. They’ve stood still in a public place and given calm, sensible speeches, mainly on their concerns with transgenderism.

On the other side, in contrast, there is a baying mob. We’ve seen huge crowds of Posiephobics bellowing insults at these women who only want to speak.

I was horrified by the sight of independent senator Lidia Thorpe crawling on her hands and knees – after she was knocked to the ground by cops – so she could tell “that thing” (Parker) that she was not welcome here.

That thing? Now that’s dehumanising language. …

I have been alarmed by the heaving crowds that have tried to menace Parker into silence. The mob has chanted “F..k off, Posie, f..k off”. Social media has overflowed with hyperbolic effluent about Parker. She’s scum, she’s a Nazi Barbie. Misogyny much?

So, yes, there has been hate and hysteria on the streets of Australia these past couple of weeks. But it hasn’t come from Posie’s camp. It has come from her searingly intolerant critics.

The woke demonise Parker as a bigot, but it is they who behave like bigots. …

The fury around Parker tells us a really important truth about political correctness. It comes dolled up in the language of kindness and fairness, but in reality it’s a chillingly unforgiving creed that will destroy anyone who deviates from its commandments. In the mob loathing for Parker we can glimpse the iron fist of intolerance that lurks in the velvet glove of woke. …

Btw, who is Posie Parker?

Posie Parker is the pseudonym of Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, one of the best-known blasphemers against trans thinking.

She believes sex is immutable. She thinks a man never becomes a woman, no matter how many hormones he takes or surgeries he undergoes. She wants biological males out of women’s sports and women’s spaces.

Her Let Women Speak initiative is genius, in my view. She cleverly entices the woke to behave in a menacing fashion in full public view.

Across Britain and now in Australia, her public stunts lure misogynists into daylight. She knows the counter-protesters will make her point for her. She and her allies say: “Let women speak”, and the mob essentially replies: “No. Shut up. Go home.” …

Posie and her allies are defending reason and freedom. They’re standing up for biological truth and the right of women to express themselves.

Their woke persecutors, meanwhile, are the foot soldiers of irrationalism. They fantasise that there are 72 genders and they clamour for the silencing of all who disagree.

hat-tip Stephen Neil


US bank values are actually $2 trillion lower than book value

US bank values are actually $2 trillion lower than book value. By the Stanford Business School.

We analyze U.S. banks’ asset exposure to a recent rise in the interest rates with implications for financial stability. The U.S. banking system’s market value of assets is $2 trillion lower than suggested by their book value of assets accounting for loan portfolios held to maturity. Marked-to-market bank assets have declined by an average of 10% across all the banks, with the bottom 5th percentile experiencing a decline of 20%. …

A case study of the recently failed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is illustrative. 10 percent of banks have larger unrecognized losses than those at SVB. Nor was SVB the worst capitalized bank, with 10 percent of banks having lower capitalization than SVB. On the other hand, SVB had a disproportional share of uninsured funding: only 1 percent of banks had higher uninsured leverage. Combined, losses and uninsured leverage provide incentives for an SVB uninsured depositor run. …

Overall, these calculations suggest that recent declines in bank asset values very significantly increased the fragility of the US banking system to uninsured depositor runs.

The banking crisis isn’t really over. The suspension of the mark-to-market rules in the GFC leaves the banks appearing ok, but really they are vulnerable. Quickly rising interest rates devalued their bond portfolios, so the central banks are now under a lot of pressure not to lift interest rates further.

Russian hypersonic weapons are a game changer?

Russian hypersonic weapons are a game changer? By Alex Krainer.

It was in 2018 that Vladimir Putin took the stage to present Russia’s new hypersonic weapons. The term “hypersonic” refers to missiles that fly at speeds of 5 mach [5 times the speed of sound] and higher. …

Russia is the only country in the world that has deployment-ready hypersonic missiles — not one but three types: Zircons, Kinzhals and Avantguards. …

In World War 1, tanks were the game changing military technology. Since World War 2, it’s been the air-force. Aircraft carrier strike groups have been an irresistible force wherever they travelled, dominating the seas ever since. But hypersonic precision missiles have rendered that force obsolete overnight.

Today’s ABM [Anti-Ballistic missile] systems are only effective against missiles flying at speeds up to mach 3.5.

Russia’s new Kinzhal missile flies at speeds of mach 12 to mach 15 and nothing in western defensive arsenals can stop its strike…. The Kinzhal flies at altitudes of between 20 and 40 km, with a maximum range of 2,000 km. When above target, it dives perpendicularly and accelerates to 15 mach, generating enormous kinetic energy in addition to its explosive payload. …

The first Kinzhal strike, delivered one month after the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, was perhaps the most significant: Russian forces targeted a large weapons depot in Ukraine which had been built during the Soviet times to withstand a nuclear strike. It was buried 170 meters (over 500 ft) underground and protected by several layers of armored concrete. … That first strike with a single Kinzhal missile destroyed Ukraine’s nuke-proof underground weapons depot. This was a message for the west.

The Kinzhal was developed with the express purpose of destroying aircraft carrier strike groups. If it could destroy a warehouse built to withstand a nuclear strike, it can cut through an aircraft carrier like a hot knife through butter. …

Only the Russians have operational hypersonic missiles:

The critical issue with hypersonic weapons are the extreme temperatures reached during hypersonic flights on the surface of missiles, which can cause them to break apart mid-flight. Russia is the only nation that has developed special materials that enable the missiles to withstand this stress, so their flight can be controlled throughout its trajectory and delivered with pinpoint accuracy.

Western intelligence estimated that Russia had some 50 Kinzhals at the start of the war in Ukraine, and thus far it has used only 9 of them. Last week, they fired six Kinzhals in a single salvo. That too, was a message. … United States have 11 aircraft carrier strike groups. Of these, fewer than half will be active at any one time (while others are in dock for maintenance, or in preparation). Firing six Kinzhals in one go is military-speak for, “we have the capability to sink ALL of your aircraft carriers at once.” …

Russia has the capacity to build about 200 Kinzhals per year and now has means of delivering Kinzhal and Zircon missiles anywhere from aircraft, ships and submarines. In addition to destroying aircraft carriers, they can also destroy NATOs ABM missile sites.

But, maybe they are not a game-changer (see from 12 minutes, especially):

When the Kinzhal (or any hypersonic missile) dives down into the thicker air under 30,000 feet to hit a target, it is slowed down to mach 2 – 3 and its scramjet engine then stops working. So then it is unpowered and moving ballistically (and therefore predictably), and can be defended against with existing missile defenses.

So, scary story, but probably not a game-changer.

Russia’s Latest Battlefield Antiques — tanks from the 1950s!

Russia’s Latest Battlefield Antiques — tanks from the 1950s! By Stephen Green.

The model number of Russian tanks refers to the year the tank first appeared. For instance, the T62’s debuted in 1962. The exception is the T90, which is a T72 dressed up for the export market. The top of the line Russian tank is still a variant of the T72.

It was barely two weeks ago that I wrote about the appearance of Russian “museum pieces” being readied for frontline combat in Ukraine. Having lost more than 3,000 capable main battle tanks from the late-’60s vintage T-64s through fully modernized T-90s, Moscow was pulling far less capable T-62 medium tanks out of storage.

Well, if the T-62 is a museum piece, then the T-54/55 series — whose development began before the Cold War officially began — is practically an archeological exhibit. And yet those very same tanks, first built when toddler Boomers were grooving on the first season of Howdy Doody, have been spotted on railcars moving west towards Ukraine from Soviet-era depots in the east. The Soviets built a crap ton of them, too — more than 60,000 between 1946 and 1981. …

Firepower is firepower. If a 75-year-old design can be used for infantry support (it wouldn’t last a hot minute in the main battle tank role), then those foot soldiers are better off with a T-55 nearby than without one.

Sending in T-55s certainly appears desperate, and maybe it is. But it’s one more indicator — in case we actually needed one — that Vladimir Putin is committed to his stupid war for the long haul.

Auditing Biden’s ‘Victory’: A veteran auditor lays it all out

Auditing Biden’s ‘Victory’: A veteran auditor lays it all out. By Bruce Bawer.

Veteran MBA and CPA and retired auditor  Joseph Fried, in his book Debunked: A Professional Auditor Reviews the 2020 Election, has written what must surely be the definitive work on the 2020 US election.

Throughout the book, Fried’s objective is to “analyze the major claims of fraud or irregularity, the credibility of those claims, the available evidence, and the threshold audit standards the states applied, or should have applied, relative to those claims.” …

In some cases, an election result cries out for an audit. One test is statistical likelihood. The 2020 election, as it turns out, failed this test spectacularly. … For forty years, nineteen bellwether counties around the country have correctly predicted the ultimate winner of the presidential sweepstakes – and who won eighteen of them in 2020? Trump. …

Not in 150 years has a candidate whose vote total jumped as much as Trump’s did from one election to the next ended up losing the election. … Rarely has a president lost a re-election bid even as his party picked up seats in the House. Then there’s the blatantly obvious difference in voter enthusiasm between Trump — with his epic campaign rallies — and Biden, whose events sometimes seemed to draw more journalists than voters.  …

None of this, Fried underscores, proves anything. But all of it points to the urgent need for a legitimate audit. …

Some states even sent out unsolicited ballots to every registered voter. All of these actions were blatant invitations to massive fraud. Republicans who protested were condemned as racist reactionaries – even though most countries in “progressive” Western Europe ban absentee ballots entirely for resident citizens, and those that do allow them are much stricter in distributing them. …

In many locations, there was large-scale “vote harvesting” – the practice, by political operatives, of going door-to-door to collect voters’ completed absentee ballots and then delivering them (perhaps intact, perhaps not) to the appropriate polling place. And a number of state governments – often at the last minute – made illegal changes in election procedures. …

A New York Post reporter interviewed a New Jersey Democrat who professed to run a ballot-harvesting operation whose participants collected voters’ completed mail-in ballots, took them out of their envelopes, discarded the ones containing votes for Trump, replaced them with new ballots marked with votes for Biden, then sent them in to be counted. The man running this scheme told the Post reporter that he knew of anti-Trump postal workers who’d thrown out ballots en masse in Trump-friendly neighborhoods. …

In several swing states there were sudden late-night jumps in voting tallies, all of them massively favoring Biden, and many of them occurring after a mysterious period during which vote counting, or at least vote reporting, stopped.

In no fewer than 353 counties in 29 states, there turned out to be more registered voters than voting-age citizens. …

Yes, Trump’s lawyers have lost dozens of election challenges in courts – but it’s rarely mentioned that he’s lost most of them “on the basis of procedure or process.” Of the thirty cases decided on merit, notes Fried, Trump won 22.

Yes, election-security “experts” were quick, after Biden’s 2020 upset, to dismiss concerns about election fraud as “conspiracy theories.” Yet as Fried points out, it takes weeks after an election to discern where there has been fraud. (Fried also reminds us that several dozen so-called intelligence “experts” similarly attested that the Hunter Biden laptop was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.) …

The question marks raised by all the apparent shenanigans that he itemizes make it impossible to say with any confidence that Joe Biden really won the White House – at least not until the elections in all six of the states that Fried discusses here have been subjected to a real, complete audit.

Much more at the link.

We will never know who really won, for sure. Much of the evidence is routinely discarded after two years. Many of Trump’s court cases were put aside because there was no reasonable remedy — once illegal votes are mixed in with the legal votes, how can it be undone?  Counting machine irregularities are very difficult to prove because of their ephemeral electronic nature, though the circumstantial evidence is strong. The very widespread cheating by every available means is like being attacked by a swarm of bees — proving just a few acts of cheating isn’t enough.

But like most of the US electorate in polls, we think the result was definitely tainted and probably wrong. Certainly the Democrats have been acting guilty ever since.

(How did most of the electorate figure that out, given that every voice in the media has been loudly asserting that the election was fair, and rudely name-calling anyone who disagreed? Oh, how the narrative people must wish they could control all of the Internet. They’re working on it.)

Australian Government Goes For the Extreme Version of the Voice

Australian Government Goes For the Extreme Version of the Voice. By Chris Merritt.

Now that the final text of the proposed constitutional changes has been decided upon, and announced by a very emotional PM who is “all in,” the referendum battle begins in earnest.

The government has signed up to a plan that is so extreme and unworkable it will galvanise the No case by ignoring the problems that have come to light since a preliminary version was unveiled last July.

Instead of fixing those problems in order to split the No vote, the government of Anthony Albanese has appeased the extremists within its own Indigenous working group on the referendum.

Reasonable people who were waiting to see the final form of the proposed constitutional amendment have just been given the green light to vote no.

Apartheid — yes!

Explicit constitutional recognition of Indigenous people was a late addition to this project – and it shows. It seems the real goal has always been to establish an institution of state that would turn back the clock to the days when ­racial privilege dictated public ­policy.

Instead of standing up for the egalitarian principles of modern Australian democracy, the government has adopted a proposal that would entrench racial privilege by exposing ministers and public servants to the risk of legal liability.

Two governments for one country:

The executive branch of government would be subjected to a new system of accountability in which real power – the power to sue – would be vested in a race-based institution whose members would not necessarily be elected by anyone. …

If the court decides there is a constitutional implication that ministers and public servants should consider the voice’s advice, or inform the voice before making decisions, the consequences would be disastrous.

Public administration would slow, the bureaucracy would need to expand and decision-makers would be at risk of legal liability. …

If this referendum succeeds, every federal minister and every decision-maker in the federal public service could be at risk unless they inform the voice before making decisions, provide information about matters awaiting decision, wait for a response from the voice and generate a paper trail showing the views of the voice have been considered.

This is ludicrous. How much information will ministers and public servants be required to give the voice about decisions they propose to make? How long would ministers and public servants need to wait while the voice considers its position? …

Racist, duh:

It is wrong in practice and in principle.

It would destroy the doctrine of equality of citizenship by introducing a permanent system of racial preference when it comes to federal lawmaking and administrative decisions.

It would give Indigenous Australians a second method of influencing public policy that goes beyond the benefits of representative democracy that are already enjoyed by all citizens regardless of race. …

More constitutional power than you

Right from the beginning, when the Prime Minister unveiled his preliminary model for an Indigenous voice, it was clear that equality of citizenship — the bedrock of egalitarian Australia — would be destroyed unless big changes were made.

Yet behind closed doors, the Albanese government has decided to water down the principles of egalitarian democracy to mollify one special interest group.

The Australian narrative-people might have convinced themselves that they are discriminating on the basis of ancestral habitation of Australia, but they’re not fooling anyone else. The South African apartheid regime could have said the same, because whites settled South Africa before blacks (the Zulus had wiped out the natives on one of their periodic genocidal sweeps, just before the Dutch settled), but the whole world knew it was really race based.

Racism by any other name is still racism. Don’t do it.

hat-tip Stephen Neil