Commentary: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Journalism Professors Protest ‘Objectivity’ in News Reporting

Carroll Hall UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media

Journalism professors at UNC Chapel Hill are protesting a “core values” statement that upholds objectivity as a key tenet of news reporting.

Faculty members of UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media converged last week to bemoan a statement of values that’s etched in granite and is found in the lobby of their school.

The core values statement, installed two years ago, touts objectivity, impartiality, integrity and truth-seeking, and after their kvetching session that statement was reportedly scrapped from the school’s website, the News & Observer reports.

In 2019, Walter Hussman, a UNC alumnus and owner of a media conglomerate of newspapers and other media outlets, donated $25 million to the UNC journalism school. Part of the donation contract installed those values into the school’s wall and mission, according to UNC’s website.

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Commentary: Critical Race Enthusiasts Should Learn the Lesson of ‘Defund the Police’

Crowd of people in the streets, protesting and Black Lives Matter movement

A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.

Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).

What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.  

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Commentary: Confronting Teacher Union Twaddle

Randi Weingarten at AFGE

Randi Weingarten, the gaffe-prone president of the American Federation of Teachers has outdone herself, and that isn’t easy. In a series of seven open letters over the years, I have playfully chided the union boss about her trove of inane and bizarre musings. But now she has jumped the proverbial shark.

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Commentary: One State Can Make a Difference

Farmer on a tractor, tilling field

Late last month, Montana ended its participation in the extended federal unemployment benefits program. No surprise this event was little noted in the national press, since Montana’s decision to exit the program had a direct effect on fewer than 20,000 people (the total unemployed population of Montana). Yet Montana’s decision had an enormous effect on the country as a whole.

Particularly for those inside the Beltway, it is easy to focus on Washington, D.C. as the only place where policymaking matters. And with an administration desperate to centralize power as it prints ever-growing piles of money with which it hopes to bribe or threaten states and localities, such an attitude is understandable. Recent developments in states like Montana far outside the beltway, however, show how national political innovations can be driven by states with smaller populations far from the beltway swamp and present conservatives with a path for political success. 

While elections in Montana often are driven by local and idiosyncratic issues as well as personal relationships (understandable in a state with some of America’s least populated state house and senate districts), Montana is and has long been a very red state. The only Democratic presidential candidate since 1948 to win a majority here was Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 landslide win over Barry Goldwater. It is much easier to convince and move 1 million people in Montana than 332 million Americans. And yet by moving 1 million Montanans (or 800,000 South Dakotans) or 1.8 million Idahoans, the Right can often exercise an outsized influence on the national debate. 

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Mind of a Writer

Macbook pro with cup of black coffee and notepad next to it

The late Kurt Vonnegut had a simple yet profound approach to writing. “When I write,” he said, “I simply become what I seemingly must become.”

Stephen Hunter, another great American writer, has a similar approach to his craft today. His process isn’t so much about writing prose or creating plot or conducting research. What really matters, he says, is that the book becomes your life, always either on your mind or in your subconscious.

As Hunter explained to me this week on my podcast, “Newt’s World,” writing has become a part of his normal life, like brushing his teeth.

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Commentary: Inflation Has Arrived

Wildly excessive federal spending is causing major inflation and shortages, which may lead to a recession and perhaps a financial crisis. Despite the evidence of inflation, Congress is proposing to spend $3.5 trillion on top of the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill passed earlier this year and the intended $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. For comparison, federal revenue is only expected to be $3.8 trillion this year.

Evidently, the Democratic Party and President Joe Biden have adopted Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) to the peril of every American citizen. MMT, which is similar to Keynesian economics, says that the U.S. should not be constrained by revenues in federal government spending since the government is the monopoly issuer of the U.S. dollar. MMT is a destructive myth that provides cover for excessive government spending. And it’s not modern, since reckless government spending has been around for thousands of years.

Embracing MMT is similar to providing whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. We know the outcomes will not be good.

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Commentary: The Capitol Cover Up

United States Capitol at night

Judge G. Michael Harvey sounded floored.

During a detention hearing this week for Robert Morss, arrested last month for his involvement in the Capitol protest, a federal prosecutor told Harvey she needed permission from the government before she could turn over to him a slice of video related to Morss’ case. Joe Biden’s Justice Department continues to seek pre-trial detention for people who protested Biden’s election on January 6; prosecutors want to keep Morss, an Army ranger and high school history teacher with no criminal record, behind bars until his trial can begin next year.

But assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Jackson hesitated when Judge Harvey asked to see the footage captured by the U.S. Capitol Police surveillance system cited as evidence in government charging documents.

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Commentary: The Fight for Freedom in Cuba

2021 Cuban government protest in Naples Florida

Thousands of demonstrators in more than 40 cities and towns throughout Cuba have taken to the streets to protest 62 years of oppression.  In a communist country that suppresses dissent, the recent wave of protests is the most significant grassroots stand against the dictatorship in more than three decades. 

Since the end of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, the Cuban people have lived under the oppressive rule of the Castro dictatorship.  Upon Raúl Castro’s recent retirement, his handpicked successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel seized control of the Communist Party, Cuba’s only legal political party, and the presidency, in an election that was neither competitive, free, nor fair.

As the communist regime attempts to deflect blame for the state of unrest, basic goods and services are in short supply. The fact is Cuba is suffering from a severe economic crisis.  Food is scarce, the health care system is overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and electricity outages are a regular occurrence.

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Commentary: ‘Class’ – the Word We Dare Not Speak

How often during the last year of woke, have middle- and lower-class Americans listened to multimillionaires of all races and genders lecture them on their various pathologies and oppressions?

Million-dollar-a year university presidents virtue signal on the cheap their own sort of “unearned white privilege.”

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Commentary: FBI Caught Lying About ‘Lego Man’ Charged in January 6 Capitol Breach

Robert Morss

The Department of Justice now says a DoJ court document claiming to have  recovered a “fully constructed U.S. Capitol Lego set” from the home of a man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach was “a miscommunication,” and the Lego set was actually unconstructed and in a box. Robert Morss, 27, is accused of leading fellow rioters in what prosecutors say was “one of the most intense and prolonged clashes” with officers on Jan. 6.

The new court filing said, “In original detention memoranda, the undersigned stated that law enforcement found a ‘fully constructed US Capitol Lego set.’ That statement appears to be inaccurate. The Lego set was in a box and not fully constructed at the time of the search.”

Once again, the Justice Department has had to admit that they lied about events surrounding January 6th. While the Lego lie may seem silly, it is part of a pattern that federal law enforcement has demonstrated in this case, and indeed over the past five years.

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Commentary: The Obamas’ Aggressively Political Netflix Show

Screenshot from Obama's Political Netflix show

No, Higher Ground isn’t where the Obamas plan to move to from their beachfront Martha’s Vineyard mansion when they flee the rising ocean levels caused by climate change. It’s the name of their production company, which in May 2018 inked a “high eight-figure” production deal with Netflix to go along with their $65 million contract with Viking Press to write their memoirs. Announcing the Netflix partnership, the former president promised that “these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.” (That’s what Oprah always says, too, about her own noble but inert efforts as producer.)

Anyway, a year after their big announcement, the Obamas — apparently not wanting to rush too precipitously into anything — finally made public their first slate of Netflix projects. One is a biopic of Frederick Douglass. (That topic took a year to come up with?) Others include Bloom, a drama series about the “barriers faced by women and by people of color” in New York’s post-war fashion business, and Fifth Risk, a documentary series about “everyday heroes” in government. (Can I write the one on Maxine Waters?)

But the project we’re here to talk about is the just-released We the People. It’s a series of 10 civics lessons for kids, each in the form of a four- or five-minute piece of animation. (Somehow, the word “cartoon” seems inappropriate, given that this show is almost entirely lacking in humor.) Nine of the 10 episodes are music videos featuring original songs performed by some of the biggest names in the music business today. (I know that they’re some of the biggest names in the music business today because I’ve only ever heard of two of them.) The 10th features a poem. Perhaps needless to say, all of these videos exhibit the hyper-Benetton-ad-level diversity — e.g., hijabs galore, and more people in wheelchairs than you’ll ever see in real life — that is de rigueur everywhere in the entertainment industry nowadays.

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Commentary: Leading the Charge Against Critical Race Theory

Young boy reading a book

Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.

The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.

In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color.

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Commentary:The Massive Pushback Brewing Against the Progressive Left Could Dwarf the Tea Party Sea Change of 2010

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Victimizers quickly becoming victims is a recurrent theme of Thucydides’ history. In his commentary on the so-called stasis at Corcyra, he offers his most explicit warning about the long-term dangers of destroying legal institutions, customs, and traditions that serve the common good for short-term gain. 

The historian notes that in the inevitable yin and yang of politics, the destroyers inevitably will seek, but do so in vain, refuge in what they have destroyed. Between 2017 and 2021 the Left has done exactly that. 

What was common to the media’s deification of the criminally minded Michael Avenatti, and the promotion of a series of abject hoaxes? Do we remember the Steele “dossier,” the supposed authority of Fusion-GPS, the Schiff “report,” and the entire Russian “collusion” yarn? 

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Commentary: Florida’s DeSantis Is America’s Great Right Hope

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Democratic Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gavin Newsom of California, and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan shatter everything they touch. Ron DeSantis, conversely, seems to get everything right. The Florida Republican has emerged as America’s governor. 

“We’re standing with our folks. We’re going to do the right thing. We leaned into it, and we stood strong,” DeSantis told Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently.

Rather than snip a tax, kill a regulation, and then doze off, as too many Republicans have done, DeSantis is a tireless, full-spectrum conservative. He has authorized a host of economic, cultural, and law enforcement initiatives that are buoying Florida and transforming him into the Great Right Hope.

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Commentary: Biden’s Domestic Terrorism Strategy Has Roots in Clinton Years

The “National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism,” released last month by the National Security Council, claims to take a “narrowly tailored” approach. Something along those lines is indeed evident throughout the document.

In 2016, readers learn, “an anti–authority violent extremist ambushed, shot, and killed five police officers in Dallas.” The national strategy document does not identify the killer, Micah Johnson, an African American veteran who hated cops. Johnson actually shot a dozen officers but managed to kill only five, and he had bomb-making materials in his home. This killer only opposes “authority” and his murder victims remain unidentified in the NSC document.

In 2017, according to the National Strategy “a lone gunman wounded four people at a congressional baseball practice.” Readers are not told this was James Hodgkinson, a Bernie Sanders supporter who hated Republicans and targeted them for assassination. That should easily qualify as domestic terrorism but here Hodgkinson is only a “gunman.” The National Strategy does not reveal that the “wounded” included Representative Steve Scalise (R-La.), who barely escaped with his life. The NSC document fails to mention that Hodkinson also shot Capitol Police special agent Crystal Griner, an African American.

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Commentary: The Founding Elite vs. The Current Elite

Close-up of Mt. Rushmore

In an insightful Independence Day Twitter thread, Emily Zanotti expressed her partiality for this provision of the Declaration of Independence:

[T]his is my favorite part: ‘And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.’ Can you imagine writing that? Signing your name to that? Acknowledging that this document means you will come out of this broke, dead, and remembered as a traitor if you do not win. Signing your own death warrant. Man, that took balls . . . 

In recognizing and celebrating the signatories’ fortitude, Zanotti illuminated the stark contrast between the visions of America’s founding elite and its current elite.

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Commentary: Don’t Force My Church to Pay for Abortions

Baby hand in adult hand

Imagine, 75 years ago, some British officer lining up a group of young Indian children against a wall in Bombay, handing some bullets to Mahatma Gandhi, and ordering him to load soldiers’ rifles so that they could execute the youngsters.

Would you expect Gandhi to go along with that? Why would an officer even give such an order – except to humiliate Gandhi and mock what he stood for?

Perhaps that gives you some idea of how it feels for the people of my congregation, Cedar Park Church, to be ordered by Washington state officials to provide an insurance plan that covers abortions. Directly paying for abortion coverage is as unimaginable to us as putting bullets in a gun we know would be used to end a child’s life. It is antithetical to everything we preach, teach, and believe. That’s why we had to file a lawsuit through our Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys that is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which will hear arguments today.

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Commentary: The Intelligence of Canines

Dog lying on magazine with glasses on

Albert Einstein. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Marie Curie. Gaia. The first person came up with the general theory of relativity. The second is regarded as perhaps the greatest classical composer of all time. The third is the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. The fourth isn’t a person at all; it’s a dog.

All might be considered geniuses.

Some individuals are supremely gifted, with abilities that the vast majority of people cannot hope to replicate even after years of dedicated practice – the adolescents who are chess grandmasters, the musicians with perfect pitch, the professional athletes who make their colleagues look like amateurs. Scientists have been studying these people for decades, hoping to uncover genetic, environmental, or social underpinnings for their talents. Researchers have yet to find satisfactory answers.

Which brings us to dogs.

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Commentary: Biden Is Unfit to Be President — And the Media Is Unfit to Cover Him

Joe Biden

Joe Biden is not mentally or physically fit to be president of the United States. This has been obvious to anyone with eyes or ears for the entirety of his presidency. Acknowledging this simple fact should not be a partisan issue. Regardless of policy disputes, Republicans and Democrats alike should want the leader of the free world to exhibit strength, power, and reassurance on both the national and the world stage. But Biden is merely a figurehead. He is a facsimile of a leader in an office that normally demands sharpness, stamina, and clear-headedness.

No honest assessment can conclude that Biden’s public appearances present a man who is in control of his faculties or who looks sharp and confident. On the contrary, he looks frail, weak, indecisive, unsure of himself, and unsteady. When he speaks, he often says things that simply don’t make sense, even as he almost exclusively reads from a teleprompter or uses notecards. He has repeatedly said that if he takes unscripted questions from the press, he’s “gonna get in trouble” from his staff.

Yet those who do not follow politics closely or ignore conservative outlets could be forgiven for thinking that Biden is fully capable, thanks to the corrupt Fourth Estate that has refused to accurately cover Biden’s ever-increasing list of embarrassing moments.

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Commentary: Secure Law and Order in America

Over July Fourth weekend, according to CNN, at least 233 people were killed and 618 others were injured in more than 500 shootings across the country. Unbelievably, those tragic statistics actually represent a 26 percent decrease from July Fourth weekend in 2020. But overall, violent crime in 2021 across the nation—and especially in major urban corridors—has only increased over 2020’s horrific baseline. Nationwide murder rates in 2021 to date show a roughly 25 percent annual increase over 2020, and that number spikes to roughly 30 percent in our large cities. In New York City, there has been a 32 percent year-to-date increase in rape and a 42 percent increase in grand larceny.

Increasingly, Americans do not need to look very far to experience the horrific violence in an up-close and personal manner. Last week, for instance, a 22-year-old University of Chicago student was senselessly killed by what appeared to be a stray bullet while riding the subway system near the university’s Hyde Park campus. As a University of Chicago alum and former Hyde Park resident, that could have very easily been me. But such heartbreaks are not limited to the city of Chicago, America’s murder capital. All across the nation, “could have easily been me” is becoming commonplace, as Americans survey the carnage and destruction all around them.

The extended escalation in violent crime in America began in earnest in the aftermath of George Floyd’s unfortunate death. Black Lives Matter, an avowedly Marxist organization despite its anodyne-sounding name, immediately latched onto the post-Floyd national racial reckoning and instrumentalized it for its own agenda. Together with Antifa and various left-wing anarchist groups, BLM helped orchestrate a summer of riotous mayhem and bloodshed like the country had not seen in decades. Major cities were hit the worst, but even distant suburbs such as Kenosha, Wisconsin, were not spared the BLM-antifa warpath.

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Commentary: Wally Funk’s Lifelong Journey to the Stars

Plane flying in the sky

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk always wanted to fly.  She had her first flying lesson when she was nine years old and grew up making wooden planes, building treehouses, riding horses, biking, hunting, and fishing.  As a young girl growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Wally recalls, “I did everything that people didn’t expect a girl to do.”   

Wally’s curiosity and love of flying, however, would ultimately shape the rest of her life.  She obtained her flying license at Stephens College when she was in her teens, then joined the “Flying Aggies” aviation team at Oklahoma State University, where she earned a degree in education.  Wally then got her first job at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where she was the only female flight instructor.

At the height of the Space Race, in 1961, when she was just 22 years old, Wally became infatuated with the idea of taking her passion for flying to the next level, as an astronaut in space.  

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Commentary: What Americans Lost When We Abandoned the Secret Ballot

Person putting mail-in ballot in ballot return box

My father likes to say that the secret ballot means that he doesn’t have to listen when I tell him how I voted. This joke conceals a serious point: Ballot secrecy is not just a right of the individual but also a guarantee to all that my vote was not wrung from me by bribery or intimidation.

Out of a desire to make voting “easier” and perhaps exaggerated fears of public gatherings during the pandemic, most U.S. jurisdictions permitted unrestricted mail-in balloting in 2020. What did Americans lose when ballot secrecy was attenuated or vanished altogether?

Make no mistake, ballot secrecy is incompatible with secure mail-in balloting. At the polls, we each go into a little booth and make our choices in private. By contrast, no one knows where a mail-in ballot was filled out, or if a party or union activist hovered over the voter or even filled in the circles. Nobody knows what inducements, whether cash or threats, were offered to ensure that the person voted “correctly.” And if the ballot was “harvested” – turned in to the vote-counters by activists instead of by voters themselves – our suspicions deepen.

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Commentary: A Warning About Joe Biden’s Power Plan

Joe Biden

With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.

Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths.
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.

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Commentary: ‘The Truth’ vs. Objectivity in American Journalism Today

Lately, the local ABC News affiliate in Washington, D.C., has been running promotional spots with the well-worn tagline “speaking truth to power.” That is an odd slogan for a media outlet that can certainly be counted among the powerful in the region. It also raises a question as to whether this local news department has truly discovered “the truth” and is devoting its broadcasts to sharing it with its viewers.  

At least implicit in the use of the slogan is a recognition by the station that truth does indeed exist. Sadly, many in American journalism are increasingly denying the existence of objective truth and calling for an end of objectivity in journalism. As Stanford University communications professor emeritus Ted Glasser said recently, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”  In other words, the task of a journalist is to push the progressive narrative forward, truth and objectivity be damned. 

Glasser isn’t alone. Recently, in a speech at Washington State University, “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt also questioned the value of objectivity. “I think it’s become clearer that fairness is overrated,” he said. “The idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.”  

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Reclaiming the Spirit of Independence Day

Planes in the sky letting off red, white and blue smoke

On Independence Day we reflect together as a nation on a remarkable moment in history 244 years ago, when 56 men from 13 colonies gathered in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence. There, our founders declared with one voice: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This act of political and moral courage changed the world forever. Since 1776, the values and ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution have been exported to democracies around the globe and have lifted millions of people out of tyranny, poverty, and oppression.

Unfortunately, some in America seek to diminish America’s founding, rewrite our history, and invalidate the spirit of independence which led our founders to create the greatest, freest, and most prosperous nation on Earth.

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Commentary: Catholics Are Getting Smart About Responding to Gender Ideology

People sitting in pews at a Catholic church

Catholic parishes, schools, and dioceses have for years responded to transgenderism by simply ignoring the issue altogether. But that’s starting to change, largely because the problem is getting too big for churches to ignore. 

“My sense is that nearly every parish includes families with loved ones grappling with identity issues or gender dysphoria,” Mary Rice Hasson told The American Spectator. 

Hasson, who directs the Catholic Women’s Forum at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, recently founded an initiative called the Person and Identity Project, which aims to equip Catholic parishes and schools with resources to combat gender ideology. 

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Judge Michael Warren Commentary: Celebrate Your Right to the American Dream as Written in the Declaration on Independence

American flag in the grass

The toxic cultural and political environment in which we live continues to slowly unravel our once shared belief in the American Dream. Many people on this Independence Day will undoubtedly go through the empty gestures of fireworks, barbecues, and family gatherings. Hardly any will reflect on the magnificent Declaration of Independence and how, despite its many flaws, it is a shining, monumental change for all of mankind. Let’s look at four such reasons:

First, it is the first major document in world history that dedicates the creation of a country to key founding First Principles:  the rule of law, unalienable rights, limited government, the Social Compact, equality, and the right to alter or abolish an oppressive government. Governments and countries before then were forged by blood, conquest, ethnic group, religion, and similar circumstances. In America, we committed ourselves to groundbreaking ideals. It has been those ideals that have motivated massive changes within our society for a more just and free government.

Second, the document is dedicated to freedom. Certainly many of the Founding Fathers were hypocrites when they proclaimed liberty and held slaves. Such Founding Fathers were flawed and blind men like the near entirety of human history before them. But with the Declaration, they did something earth shattering. They opened the entire world’s eyes to a new vision – one based on liberty, in which free people would rule themselves. The promise of the vision continues to reverberate today.

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Commentary: Defund the FBI

It’s been a gold star week for the men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Nearly six months after the events of January 6, the FBI, under the direction of Joe Biden’s vengeful Justice Department, is accelerating the nationwide manhunt for anyone involved. Since June 23, agents have arrested 17 people from Florida to California. Charges range from assaulting police officers and criminal trespassing to something called “destruction of property in special maritime and territorial jurisdiction and aiding and abetting.”

The dragnet is part of the nonstop campaign of terror unleashed by the Biden regime against the political Right. Attorney General Merrick Garland, who compares January 6 to the Oklahoma City bombing and Capitol protesters to terrorists, pledged the “Capitol breach” probe would be his top priority. Garland last week bragged in a press release that his department reached the “benchmark” of arresting 500 people and warned he would “hold all January 6 perpetrators accountable” for their actions that day. His prosecutors routinely ask the courts to keep the accused behind bars awaiting trials that won’t start until late this year or perhaps even 2022; dozens have been held for months in a D.C. jail that specifically houses January 6 defendants.

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Commentary: One Voting Group Could Hold the Key to Republican Victories in the Mid-Terms, If GOP Can Keep Them

Mail in ballot with U.S. flag

In 2016 the unprecedented turnout of non-college whites played a crucial role in former President Trump’s election. Since then, left-leaning research organizations have dedicated substantial effort to reinforcing the narrative that non-college whites are a shrinking demographic and will soon be outnumbered, paving the way for an unchecked left-wing agenda.

Not so fast. New analysis from Market Research Foundation (MRF) shows while whites without a college degree have declined as a share of eligible voters, their turnout rates are rising. This is particularly relevant in rust belt states, where non-college whites turned out substantially higher in 2020 than they did in 2016.

According to the latest Market Research Foundation Memo on Voter Turnout:  

“Nationwide the U.S. Census shows the share of white non-college Americans has declined as a share of eligible voters from 45% in 2016 to 41% in 2020. However, the white non-college turnout rate in 2020 was the highest observed in at least 20 years. Nationwide the white non-college vote rose six points from 58% in 2016 to 64% in 2020 according to new analysis from Brookings.

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Commentary: Military Potentially Losing Middle America

United States military troops

Traditionalist and conservative America once was the U.S. military’s greatest defender.  

Bipartisan conservatives in Congress ensured generous Pentagon budgets. Statistics of those killed in action, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, reveal that white males, especially those of the rural and middle classes, were demographically “overrepresented” in offering the ultimate sacrifice to their country.  

When generals, active and retired, have become controversial, usually conservative America could be counted on to stick with them.  

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Commentary: Critical Race Theory Discourse Is Political Gaslighting

Back of the Statue of Liberty

Happily, the spirit of American liberty seems to be awaking from its decades-long slumber.

Unless you’ve been living in an underground bunker for the past two years (I wouldn’t blame you too much if you had), you know there’s quite a lot of controversy over critical race theory (CRT). You also know that just as those who oppose it have started to gain some momentum in pushing back against it (like parents in Loudoun County, Virginia), legacy media shills all leaped into action, concern trolling about ordinary Americans’ alarm over this racist theory’s presence in their children’s schools. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here for 11 articles in two weeks on the RealClearPolitics homepage doing exactly that.)

This is a crystal clear example of what Michael Anton calls the “celebration parallax”: “a fact pattern is either true and glorious or false and scurrilous depending on who states it.” Thus, when CRT fanatics indoctrinate your children to hate America and to hate one another on the basis of their skin color, it’s a much-needed dose of hard medicine for a racist people whose country’s “very DNA” is racist (according to the “1619 Project”). But when you—a patriotic, decent American mom or dad—point out how evil a thing that is to say unironically, let alone teach to children and force on Americans across the country via human resources departments, it’s either not happening, or we’re overreacting, or opposing it will hurt the Right “in the long run,” or it’s innocuous and really just about “teach[ing] children that slavery is bad and racism still exists.”

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Commentary: CDC Reports 51 Percent Increase in Suicide Attempts Among Teenage Girls2

Beth Palmer was 17 and dreaming of becoming a singer in March 2020 when the United Kingdom went into lockdown because of the coronavirus. One month later, she was dead.

“She was a wonderful, wonderful daughter. She was just funny, she lit up the room.,” said Mike Palmer, Beth’s father. “She was so affectionate and loving as well. She basically had the world at her feet. She had everything, everything to live for.”

Palmer didn’t die of the coronavirus. She took her own life.

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Commentary: When the Olympics Stole the Great Americans’ Gold

Olympic gold medal

Despite his team’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets is being hailed as the greatest basketball player in the world. The title of greatest player will always be a matter of debate, like the question of the greatest basketball play of all time. 

Candidates could include LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala in the 2015 NBA finals, Larry Bird’s steal and pass to Dennis Johnson in the 1987 playoffs, or any number of plays by Michael Jordan. When considering the greatest-play prospects, along with the greatest-ever sports rip-offs, however, Americans should not overlook the 1972 Olympics in Munich. 

Mike Bantam, Jim Brewer, Tom Burleson, Doug Collins, Kenny Davis, James Forbes, Tom Henderson, Bobby Jones, Dwight Jones, Kevin Joyce, Tom McMillen, and Ed Ratleff formed the youngest team the United States had ever fielded. This pickup squad of collegians faced a more experienced Soviet squad—for all practical purposes, a professional team. 

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Commentary: The Tragic Truth of Organ Harvesting in China

For nearly two decades, allegations of organ harvesting in communist China have emerged.  Today, China’s organ transplant trade is estimated to be a $1 billion industry, reportedly fueled by the exploitation of “prisoners of conscience.”

After conducting an investigation, a seven-member international and independent China Tribunal issued a judgement in December 2018.  The judgment concluded, “The Tribunal’s members are certain – unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.”

China’s organ transplant industry began to increase dramatically in 2000.  Hundreds of hospitals offered transplants, thousands of transplant surgeons were trained, transplant research was conducted by the military, and the immunosuppressant industry was subsidized by the state.  

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Commentary: Open Letter to Anti-Nuclear Activists

Biohazard sign

Anti-nuclear activist groups like the so-called Physicians for Social Responsibility, Ploughshares, Union of Concerned Scientists, Federation of American Scientists, and others criticize the U.S. and national security professionals for supposedly wrongly “demonizing” Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.  Hypocritically, these same anti-nuclear activists routinely “demonize” the U.S. national security community and any President and Congress that wants to modernize the U.S. nuclear deterrent to prevent World War III.  More than one anti-nuclear activist has called me and my colleagues the “root of all evil” because we will not “give peace a chance” by engaging recklessly in yet another dangerously irresponsible act of unilateral disarmament—like banning U.S. ICBMs. 

Maybe you have no idea how many times the U.S. has “given peace a chance” with consequences that make nuclear war more likely? 

Under the Presidential Nuclear Initiative (PNI), the U.S. unilaterally reduced tactical nuclear weapons from 15,000 to 180.  But Russia cheated on the PNI and now has at least a 10-to-1 advantage.  (See Dr. Mark Schneider, “Russian Nuclear Force Expansion and the Failure of Arms Control” RealClearDefense October 24, 2019.) 

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Commentary: Pandemic Lockdowns Were a Public Health Mistake

More evidence to confirm what many Republican lawmakers and free-market advocates such as Americans for Limited Government were saying from the start of the Covid pandemic, lockdowns would be one of the most tragic mistakes in American history.

The Rand Corporation and economists from the University of Southern California have released a new study examining the effectiveness of pandemic lockdowns, using data from 43 countries and all 50 US states.

“We fail to find that shelter-in-place policies saved lives,” the authors report. In the weeks following the implementation of these policies, excess mortality actually increases—even though it had typically been declining before the orders took effect.

And across all countries, the study finds that a one-week increase in the length of stay-at-home policies corresponds with 2.7 more excess deaths per 100,000 people.

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Commentary: Biden’s Reversal of Border COVID Rules Is an Act of Sabotage

Joe Biden

Since the Biden Administration assumed power in January, many Americans could be forgiven for feeling like they’re being held hostage, tied up in the trunk of a car, and driven to a place they do not want to go. Nowhere is this more evident than on the immigration problem, where Biden has reversed numerous policies that kept American safe, and it seems he has done so for no other reason than because Donald Trump is the one who put them in place.

Because he is beholden to the radical Left for his ascension to the White House, Biden predictably has adopted the usual anti-borders agenda including catch-and-release, demoralizing ICE, and defunding border wall construction. His expected next move, the reversal of Trump-era rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the United States, is nothing short of political sabotage.

While COVID-19 may be on the decline in the United States, thanks in large part to the Trump Administration’s work on Operation Warp Speed, the same cannot be said for many of the poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries from which those who most often show up at our doorstep originate. Just as our nation is turning the corner on a deadly global pandemic, it makes absolutely no sense at this moment to ease up on health restrictions on foreign nationals seeking entry. Only someone with Machiavellian political motives would propose such lunacy.

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Commentary: The Systemic Con Behind Wokeism

Group protesting; "no justice no peace" sign

There are lots of reasons why wokeism spread like wildfire once America lost its collective mind during the pandemic, quarantine, self-induced recession, and rioting of 2020. 

Wokeism was never really about racism, sexism, or other -isms. Instead, for some, it illustrated a psychological pathology of projection: fobbing one’s own concrete prejudices onto others in order to alleviate or mask them. 

So should we laugh or cry that Black Lives Matter’s self-described Marxist co-founder turns out to be a corporate grifter? Patrisse Cullors has accumulated several upscale homes and is under investigation by the IRS for allegations of the misuse of funds from one of her foundations.

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Commentary: Making Sense of the Post-Pandemic Economy

Guy on phone with stocks on computer screen

Are you having a hard time understanding why the housing market is heating up, and why the cost of essentials such as milk, eggs, and gas is climbing? Are you in the market for a used car? Then you know how expensive those are right now. And why can’t businesses find employees, yet millions remain unemployed? Economists agree the recovery isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. That’s because we’ve never had a situation before where the heavy hand of government shut down private enterprises on a nationwide scale. The market distortions are enormous. As states reopen, there is a herky-jerky feel to the economy that has many people unsettled.

Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently, “the recovery is not linear. Rather, it is proceeding in fits and starts. Sales of physical goods, for example, dipped only briefly when Covid hit, recovered quickly, and are now well above their pre-pandemic levels. In stark contrast, businesses that deliver personal services, such as restaurants and hotels, suffered a devastating depression and are still below their pre-pandemic levels.”

By far the most uneven outcome so far since the economy crashed in spring 2000, besides the 7.6 million fewer jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, has been inflation, which is up 5 percent the past 12 months.

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Commentary: Tax All Foundations and Endowments Now

Yale University

If there were trillions of dollars socked away in convenient vehicles to avoid taxes and benefit the ultra-elite should we not tax them? Are they not fair game in a just system of taxation, where the little guy and the middle class have to pay up—or else? 

The largest endowments, mainly universities indoctrinating students in social justice, wokeism, and class warfare, pay absolutely no taxes. 

The big foundations, promoting radical left-wing activism, likewise pay no taxes. 

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Commentary: Reorienting the Purpose and Practice of Academic Assessment

Person filling in exam answers

Our K-12 schools are organized more like a swim meet than a swim lesson. The emphasis is on student placement results rather than on ensuring all students learn. Students move on to the next lesson, concept, or skill regardless of whether mastery was achieved at the previous level.

Donald P. Nielsen explains this analogy in Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education:

In a swimming meet, the purpose is to determine who is the fastest swimmer. In public schools we spend a lot of time grading students on what they have learned and then ranking them, rather than ensuring that every child has learned. What we need, however, is a public school system that is organized like a swimming lesson. In a swimming lesson, the instructor’s goal is different. The goal is to make sure all students, even the slowest, learn how to swim. Swimming meets can be a result of swimming lessons, and grading can be a result of learning, but ranking students by ability should not be the primary goal of teachers or of the system as a whole.

In swimming, as in any other athletic or artistic endeavor, classes are grouped based upon the current achievement level of the students, not based on age. A swimming coach would never consider putting advanced swimmers and beginning swimmers in the same class, even if they were of the same age. Similarly, a music teacher would not put an advanced piano player in a class with beginners…. Age is not a relevant factor in either swimming or piano lessons, but it is the overriding factor in our schools. No other major learning activity is strictly age-based. Our schools shouldn’t be either.

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Commentary: Georgia Conducting Secret 2020 Ballot Review –– Keeping Plaintiffs in the Dark

After several Fulton County, Ga., poll monitors testified last year that boxes of mail-in ballots for Joe Biden looked liked they’d been run through a photocopy machine, state investigators quietly broke the seal on one suspicious box and inspected the hundreds of votes it contained for signs of fraud, RealClearInvestigations has learned exclusively.

At the same time, a key whistleblower told RCI that state investigators pressured her to recant her story about what she and other poll monitors had observed — what they called unusually “pristine” mail-in ballots while sorting through them during last November’s hand recount.

“I felt I was under investigation,” said Suzi Voyles, a longtime Fulton County poll manager whose sworn affidavits have been used by election watchdogs to sue the county for access to the ballots in question.

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Commentary: China’s COVID Coup

Xi Jinping

It is time for Americans to contemplate the possibility that the United States may be surpassed as the world’s most influential country. The Chinese have just won the greatest strategic victory in the last 30 years since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. However it originated, the novel coronavirus was repressed within China by recourse to draconian measures but was deliberately permitted to infect the rest of the world, enabling China to exploit the blunderbuss Western lockdowns and make a giant leap towards economic preeminence in the world. 

This push toward Chinese economic preeminence was something widely predicted prior to the Trump era but clearly was not happening in the first three years of the Trump presidency, as unemployment nearly vanished in the United States, illegal immigration was almost completely stopped, and American economic growth soared, generated by an increasing workforce and sharp gains among the lowest 20 percent of income earners. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic almost 16 months ago, however, the United States and the West generally have suffered a severe economic slowdown, vast increases in the money supply, and an epochal spike in unemployment.

Assuming the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped accidentally, China must be credited for a remarkable coup of strategic improvisation in translating a public health crisis into a large economical and geopolitical advance at the expense of the West. The American indulgence in an entire summer of white-hating, statue-toppling, rioting, and denigration of American history, freedom, and values astonished the world. Moreover, it helped China propagate its message that democracy leads to chaos and waste and that the United States is an unreliable and unstable country. This argument is assisted by what appears to be the practice of the Biden regime of declaring American moral shortcomings to the world as Secretary of State Antony Blinken did in his unfortunate encounter with the Chinese foreign minister at Anchorage three months ago. 

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Commentary: Recent History Suggests FBI Involvement in January 6

Remember Christopher Steele?

The author of the infamous 2016 “dossier” was an impeccably credentialed former British intelligence officer who, we were assured, had the goods on Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. Nearly every major news and opinion outlet vouched for his reputation and reliable sources inside the Kremlin.

Steele frequently was described as an “ex-spy” in charge of a well-respected global consulting firm in London; he was alternatively a victim of Trump’s public taunts and a hero willing to risk his life and reputation to spare America the election of a Putin puppet.

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Commentary: The Biden No-Go Zones

Joe Biden

In American journalism, there are supposed to be some clear, nonnegotiable third-rails. 

One is zero tolerance for overtly racist language and comportment among our movers and shakers. Reporters, for example, for four years damned Donald Trump for his neutralizing summation that there were both “fine people” and extremists mingled among the hordes of protestors during their occasionally violent encounters in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

It mattered little to the media that Trump added qualifiers of “many” and “both” sides of the protests: 

We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides . . . And I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally—but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, OK? . . . Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats—you had a lot of bad people in the other group, too.

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Commentary: Counterfeit Civics and Educating for American Democracy

A white protester showing support by raising his fist for the Black Lives Matter demonstration

The National Association of Scholars opposes the proposal, “Educating for American Democracy.” The proposal has attracted some well-meaning supporters, but they are mistaken about what Educating for American Democracy—EAD—would bring into being.

Roadmap to Educating for American Democracy is a “framework” that prescribes how American K-12 schools should teach civics. That word “framework” is part of EAD’s official self-description, and it deserves a closer look. In this case, the so-called “framework” is really a well-developed plan to impose a politically progressive program of instruction on almost all American students. The framework determines the ideas to be taught and the means by which these ideas would be conveyed and enforced. The content of EAD is antithetical to how the vast majority of Americans understand our country.

Precedents

We have been here before, several times. In the early 1990s, the academic Left hijacked the National History Standards. Under the Left, those “standards” projected a dismal view of the nation’s past, but a public outcry, led by former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Lynne Cheney, prompted a retreat. In January 1995, the U.S. Senate voted 99 to 1 to repudiate those standards.

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Commentary: Quashing H.R. 1 is Not Enough

People going to vote

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) has upset the plans of his party leaders to jam though hyper-partisan legislation and tip the electoral balance in favor of Democrats for all future elections. Manchin, a secretary of state before he was elected governor, is refusing to end the filibuster, or to vote for H.R. 1, the cynically named “For the People Act.” Writing in the Charleston Gazette Mail, Manchin contends: 

The right to vote is fundamental to our American democracy and protecting that right should not be about party or politics. Least of all, protecting this right, which is a value I share, should never be done in a partisan manner. . . . I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy . . .

H.R. 1, which Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to bring to the floor for a vote this week, proposes a near-complete takeover of elections by Congress; it would replace most state election laws, substituting new laws that in some instances are even worse than the “progressive” approach take in states like Minnesota and California. The proposed law also taps the people’s tax revenue for political campaigns and hijacks state rules on redistricting. 

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Commentary: Big Tech Only Has Itself to Blame for Republican Rethinking of Antitrust

Smartphone with display of social media apps

There are few, if any, political issues that now generate the breadth and intensity of bipartisan backlash as does the rise of Big Tech.

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the major parties largely diverged on their specific grievances against the woke Silicon Valley monopolists who serve as gatekeepers for America’s 21st-century public square. Republicans, by and large, focused on censorship of conservative online speech. Democrats, by contrast, tended to focus on economic concentration; the five American corporations with the largest market caps, for example, are tech behemoths Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google Alphabet, and Facebook. This divergence has stymied efforts to rein in the Big Tech oligarchy on issues such as Section 230, the 1990s-era provision permitting platforms to engage in publisher-like content-moderation decisions without being legally treated as publishers.

Conservatives still have myriad concerns with Big Tech’s noxious brew of speech suppressions, shadow bans, and unaccountable deplatformings. Those concerns are both legitimate and justified by Big Tech’s ever-expanding list of misdeeds. But there is an emerging sea change in the way conservatives conceptualize the relationship between Big Tech’s unfettered content-moderation leeway and the sheer economic clout wielded by the relevant corporate actors.

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Commentary: The Inevitable Fruits of Critical Race Theory

Captured in a metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia primary school, seated amongst his classmates, this photograph depicts a young Asian-American school boy, who was in the process of creating a drawing, and was choosing from a box of crayons, the colors he’d use in order to bring his ideas to life. It is important to know that these objects are known as fomites, and can act as transmitters of illnesses.

A black man went on a multistate shooting spree recently. The suspected gunman, Justin Tyran Williams, said he specifically targeted white men in his rampage that left five wounded. “Basically, [Williams] explained throughout his life, specifically white males had taken from him, and also what he described as military-looking white males had taken from him,” Columbus (Georgia) Police detective Brandon Lockhart testified Monday.

A racially motivated mass shooting would be the number one news story on CNN . . . were the races reversed. But a black man intentionally shooting white men is just not that interesting to those outside of conservative media.

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Commentary: Only National Conservatism Can Unite the West and Contain China

Person waving flag outside of window

“Europe will be your revenge,” are the purported words of West German Chancellor Conrad Adenauer to French Prime Minister Guy Mollet in 1956. The quip was related to America’s siding with Egypt and the USSR during the Suez Canal Crisis against Great Britain, France and Israel. Regardless of Adenauer’s precise intention, the quote underscores the fact that the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) has always suffered fissures, even if it held together long enough to win the Cold War and longer still, for NATO and the EU to expand into Central and Eastern Europe.

Whether the Suez Crisis in the 50s, Charles de Gaulle’s unilateral withdrawal of France from NATO’s high command structure in the 60s, Willy Brandt’s overtures to the East via Ostpolitik in the 70s, or Reagan’s placement of strategic intermediate range nuclear warheads in West Germany in the 80s against the wishes of the German left, European-American rivalries and conflicts of interest have always been part and parcel of the Atlantic Alliance. And yet the alliance remains important, because North America and Europe share indissoluble bonds that cut across religious, political and cultural history. Modern democracy — despite its relativization and ‘deconstruction’ by progressive historians — was incubated in the West. For this reason alone the alliance is of value: because Western nations share a common heritage. Commonality breeds loyalty and fosters cohesion, both of which are necessary for the preservation of norms and traditions. Europe and North America have a lot in common with one another, and therefore they share a collective interest in preserving what makes them unique within the vast panoply of human political arrangements.

During Trump’s presidency, left wing media wisdom dictated that Trump had sullied America’s relationship with the EU and NATO by calling the former out as a trade rival and the latter —Germany in particular — as a freeloader on American security guarantees. But as European political columnist Jorge Gallarza pointed out in Newsweek, the prospect of a Biden Presidency — and with it, Biden’s wisdom and appreciation of the true importance of the American relationship with Europe — does not appear to have tipped the geopolitical scales towards Anglo-European rapport. In January, the EU signed a trade deal with China that could have just as easily been postponed until Biden took office to allow for the president’s feedback. Likewise, well after Biden won the election, President Macron of France pontificated — in typical multilateral idealism fashion — about Europe’s future role in world affairs as one of “strategic autonomy.” The writing was on the wall: in a world in which China is on the rise and America appears to be sputtering, Europe will be largely neutral.

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