Taxing Asset Inflation Caused by Debt Monetization: The WMD of Moral Hazards

Since the creation of the United States Income Tax, government and taxpayers have wrangled over definitions of what constitutes “income,” how it is to be calculated, and when it is to be “recognized” — that is, subjected to tax.  A recent New York initiative (predictably backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) would tax appreciated assets held by wealthy taxpayers before they were sold. 

This hideous tax policy hints at the temptation for government to shift its tax base to rapidly-appreciating assets when magnifying inflation through reckless debt monetization:

A new tax is being proposed by progressive lawmakers and activists that would impose a new form of capital gains tax on New Yorkers with $1 billion or more in assets…. With New York state staring at a $13 billion deficit,…. [l]awmakers are proposing a new kind of mark-to-market tax on unrealized capital gains. Currently, taxpayers pay capital gains tax on assets only when they sell. The new policy would tax any gain in value for an asset during the calendar year, regardless of whether it’s sold. 

The complexity of this state tax law would be profound.  And what of assets subsequently sold at a loss — will the state refund the taxes on the phantom gain that it “recognized” the previous year? 

Blatantly Unconstitutional

In 1920, when America grappled with the issue of whether capital gains constituted taxable income, the United States Supreme Court settled the matter in Eisner v MacomberEisner concerned the government’s effort to tax as income a stock dividend (a dividend issued not in cash but as an additional pro rata share of stock).  The Court did not mince its words:

Yet, without selling, the shareholder, unless possessed of other resources, has not the wherewithal to pay an income tax upon the dividend stock. Nothing could more clearly show that to tax a stock dividend is to tax a capital increase, and not income, than this demonstration that, in the nature of things, it requires conversion of capital in order to pay the tax….. enrichment through increase in value of capital investment is not income in any proper meaning of the term. (pp. 213, 214-215).

AOC and “Tax Fairness” advocates cannot constitutionally tax unrealized capital appreciation. 

Asset Taxation, COVID Relief, and Inflation

But the very attempt reveals an insidious threat.  Massive federal spending under COVID will create seismic inflation of asset values while crushing real wages and economic growth.  If the government shifts its tax base from income to capital appreciation, it will perpetuate its own fiscal sustenance by taxing the inflation it has unleashed. 

This concept of taxing “gain” that is attributable to inflation is behind the current Dem push to tax wealthy New Yorkers for holding on to assets in an inflationary cycle.  Calling out Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for essentially giving Congress a green light to print money without fear of rate hikes, Wall Street Journal writer Joseph Sternberg cautions:

Treasury will benefit from Mr. Powell’s success in stoking stock and other asset markets to record highs over the past year even as the pandemic and attendant lockdowns throttled the Main Street economy. The growing disconnect between Wall Street prices and Main Street profits holds open the prospect that capital-gains taxation will grow ever more reliable as a revenue source. Expect lawmakers to take full advantage…. The government traditionally relied for revenue on the economy’s underlying productivity. The overall dependence on personal-income and corporate-profits taxation ties fiscal health to wage growth and corporate success. This was a practical incentive, although not always a strong or effective one, for lawmakers to care about the Main Street economy…. To make the government proportionately more dependent on Fed-inflated capital gains, as Democrats are wont to do, would weaken an important tie between Congress’s fiscal role and the real economy. This is especially dangerous given mounting evidence in the economics literature that monetary and financial excess saps Main Street productivity rather than bolstering it.

Traditional economic theory held that the overprinting of money (a la Zimbabwe) caused inflation.  The Federal Reserve has generally viewed the economic world similarly, noting in a video that “when the money supply increases, and neither velocity nor quantity changes, the price level must also increase—we call this inflation.”  This principle has been challenged with Quantitative Easing, which was touted as the new modern money supply solution to those old crusty economic restraints. 

This led some in the Federal Reserve to chart new fiscal territory:

Milton Friedman famously said, “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output.” We are currently engaged in a test of this proposition…. In my view, recent developments make a compelling case that traditional textbook views of the connections between monetary policy, money, and inflation are outdated and need to be revised. 

The Moral Hazard

These are sweet-smelling words to the money-printers, foreshadowing the reckless gate-flinging debt monetization now embraced by the federal government; unchallenged by a COVID-anxious citizenry.  But Quantitative Easing was premised on the idea that it would be followed by Quantitative Tightening in an improved economy.  That has never been witnessed.  Instead, real wages continued to decline following the 2007-8 financial implosion, consistent with economists’ warnings that wages could not keep pace with inflation.

Contrast today’s fiscal America with Ron Paul’s warning to Congress in 1978:

When the federal government spends money it does not have… and pays the bills by creating new dollars out of thin air, the value of each existing dollar must fall…. The government also creates new money in the banking system, by a complicated process called monetizing the debt. What this all amounts to is inflation. (p. 108)

The federal government has now monetized some $10 trillion in COVID “relief” that may prove to be the final nail in the American fiscal coffin.  Joseph Sternberg is warning of the temptation for AOC and others to tax not real income, but inflationary growth fueled by debt monetization (money-printing).  The potential for an “IWMD” (Inflationary Weapon of Mass Destruction), unleashed but then uncontainable, cannot be overstated. 

But this shift depends on the Ponzi-like proliferation of ever more debt — Quantitative Tightening becomes catastrophic.  This scheme will work only so long as the money keeps flowing — a post-COVID economic decline and spiking inflation will likely serve as justification not to hit the brakes on debt monetization, but to keep those fiat-printing mechanisms fully primed to “stimulate the economy.”  Then there’s universal income….

In seeking to tax unrealized income from hyper-inflated capital assets, AOC et al are launching an aggressive, unconstitutional plan to destroy the national economy while growing government limitlessly.  Given her past pronouncements, she likely understands this travesty even less than she comprehends cow farts

What is terrifying is not that AOC is calling for insane monetary policy and whole new means of tax takings.  What is terrifying is that almost no one is raising the fiscal alarum.

(Also published March 26, 2021 at American Thinker)

Liberal Vermont Professor Opposes Social Justice Tyranny

On March 8, a University of Vermont (UVM) professor joined the growing chorus of brave souls willing to risk their careers and public scorn to stand for what is right.  Professor Aaron Kindsvatter, a self-declared liberal, claims the University is embracing dubious ideological racial policies.  The intolerant backlash against this professor was fast and fierce, but so too have been the expressions of support.

Americans once regarded themselves as sharing agreement on most goals, just differing in desired means.  But “social justice ideology” does not broach dissent: it negates traditional liberalism and free speech protections.  Thus, “liberal” professors will be silenced as readily as conservative speakers such as those at Middlebury College.  “Social Justice” ideology behaves much like an institutionalized cult.  

A Profile in Courage

Professor Kindsvatter titled his latest video (“Racism and the Secular Religion at the University of Vermont)” as allusion to that religiosity, warning that this ideology will seed future hate and division:

….whiteness falls under the umbrella, in the derogatory meaning of the word, of critical social justice. And whiteness, the thinking that informs it is so crude, and so lacking in falsifiability, and it speaks so eloquently to our tribal impulses that the same logic that informs what’s currently being called whiteness right now can easily find its way to desperate persons who need a group to hate and who will adopt the suppositions that inform whiteness towards their own ends. 

This intelligent foresight is indistinguishable from many conservative warnings.  In The Madness of Crowds, conservative Douglas Murray warned:

We face not just a future of ever-greater atomization, rage and violence, but a future in which the possibility of a backlash against all rights advances — including the good ones — grows more likely. A future in which racism is responded to with racism, denigration based on gender is responded to with denigration based on gender. At some stage of humiliation there is simply no reason for majority groups not to play games back that have worked so well on themselves. (p. 9).

This stifling social-justice ideology now predominates at American universities. Professor Kindsvatter’s alarm should concern all citizens:  

I just couldn’t believe that someone would denigrate another person by their race in such a crude way on a progressive campus. I know it happens in society, I just didn’t expect it to happen in my workplace. I was also aware though that it wasn’t OK to speak up about it…. I never expected the concept of whiteness to endure because it’s so obviously discriminatory, but not only has this ideology endured in the University, it has flourished…. Do you see how clever this ideology is at protecting itself? It makes it impossible to dissent from on pain of being labeled a racist…. 

“Sisters of Color” Attack

In response to these criticisms, a group of UVM students called “Sisters of Color” launched a petition demanding Professor Kindsvatter resign, claiming

His most recent video, “Racism and the Secular Religion at the University of Vermont” is harmful to our campus’ community of color. His demands to remove anti-racist work done by administrators on the basis that it “reduces his identity to his race” defends his privilege and denies accountability that campus groups have spent years advocating for. 

Predictably, these “students of color” demonstrate precisely the “impossibility of dissent” that this honest professor warned of:

Claims of being “suppressed” for his “moderate views” are unsavory and asinine—the first step towards any kind of progress on campus is through accountability and having honest discussions…. Having conversations around anti-racism and acknowledging the role of whiteness in systemic racism has been supported by every department on campus, as it is rooted in our campus’ common ground values. Speaking out against this work is harmful when you cannot hold yourself accountable and begin practicing good allyship. This video is particularly harmful towards the community of color through his calls to organize.

(Translation: “Only after indoctrination may you express an accordant opinion.”)

The students also display the “anyone who disagrees with our racist classification of people, is a racist”:

A UVM faculty member, especially one who teaches courses in counseling, should not hold this ideology employed by white supremesists. The freedom of free thought is not what is being restricted here, it’s the fact that Aaron Kindsvatter is using his position of power and authority as a platform for spewing these ideologies. 

Fortunately, supporters of Professor Kindsvatter have created a rebuttal petition, encouraging more “freedom of free thought.” 

“Social Justice” ideology employs layers of circuitous pseudo-logic to call it’s racist identification system anti-racist; to call unfairness equity; to label constitutional guarantees as white supremacy; and to silence dissenting speech as a necessary precondition for “progress.”  Opposing such toxic nonsense is not the responsibility just of conservatives, but of intelligent Americans of any stripe who affirm the Bill of Rights.

(Ideological) Science is Real!

The supposedly rationalist mantra of the secular Left, displayed on yard signs and media posts, that “science is real” begs the question.  Science itself is morphing into an ideological magic show, where facts are twisted (or simply ignored) in favor of preconceived conclusions themselves embraced very unscientifically.  Real science is real — but fake ideological claims feigning scientific bona fides are now all too real.

The bizarre politicization of COVID offers the most recent example.  Condemning the naming of the virus based upon its geographic origin was a boldly partisan move — “real science” has done this routinely for years.  Instantly, America was split politically over a disease — where was the real science to bind us?  Where was the real science behind shut-downs, restrictions on speech and worship liberties, providing vaccines to young blacks (low risk, scientifically) in priority to old whites (scientifically at very high risk)? And what in this surreal world is the “scientific” justification to divide Americans into the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated for travel and other rights? — both groups can spread the virus with equal ease.  Or so the science tells us.

Excluding Scientific data from consideration

Where is the “science” in renewable energy programs?  How is it scientific to estimate future reductions in CO2 emissions by excluding the costs of CO2 and ancillary pollutants generated in the manufacturing, transport, installation, and disposal of solar panels?  Scientifically, rooftop solar applications are the most expensive (financially and environmentally), and do not eliminate the need for a grid. Scientifically, Vermont is one of the worst states in the nation to go solar, it has so little sun — but it leads the renewable energy charge, in the name of “real science.”

Similar avoidance of real science obtains to the EV Car program.  However, what both of these “programs” offer is huge expansion of government, real suffering for the poor due to regressive regulatory structures, gargantuan profits for the renewables industry, and a false sense of moral accomplishment in proponents.  These are ideological, political goals being achieved at the expense of (while in the name of) “real science.”  This makes them triply scientifically suspect.

Perverting Statistics on race

How about racial justice?  Just as the Progressives in Vermont have deliberately manipulated race statistics to falsely slander police forces as overt racists, they have abused “real science” to now claim that disparities in wealth and land ownership between blacks and whites in Vermont were caused by historic systemic racism.  In fact, large numbers of impoverished blacks have moved to Vermont recently and now their poverty is being manipulated to fault Vermonters.  This is not “real science” — it is a pathetic, deliberate perversion of statistical science to justify a hateful, ideologically pre-sought goal.

Remembering the “Science” of Eugenics, and Lobotomies

This examples of “abuse of science for ideological power” extends to most of the boondoggle ideological folly that Vermont’s progressives have imposed on the citizenry in the name of enlightened science, reminiscent of their previous efforts during the eugenics effort, and as ardent proponents of (scientific!) “liberating” lobotomies.  (What is the “real science” about children who surgically alter their genders but wish later in life to revert? — that is some “real science” that the Left stifles as scientific arsenic to their fallacious ideology.) This abuse of science has been unfolding for some time in the secular world, where numerous “scientific truths” are embraced — using ideological faith.

If only the secular New-Left could pause in its re-creation of the intellectual universe, to contrast some “real science” with its theoretical assertions.  In that laboratory analysis, many of its vapid assertions are DOA: “Dead On Arrival.”

Left-Wing Hatred has Escalated Post-Trump

Hillary Clinton infamously declaimed “half of Trump’s supporters” as “irredeemable” and a “basket of deplorables.” Barack Obama sneered at “bitter” Americans who “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…” Joe Biden condemned “10-15% of Americans” as “just not good people.” This dehumanization of the other, a propaganda tool essential for war and genocide, is a central tenet of America’s New Left—an ideological departure not only from “old-school” liberalism, but from the Constitutional foundations of the nation.

The vilification of those who do not conform to its tenets is fundamental to liberal-democratic dogma.

“Classical” liberalism distrusted the state which it saw as a threat to individual liberties. In the 1960’s, this way of thinking evolved into a modern liberalism, which viewed government as the vehicle by which social and economic equity could be achieved. This doctrinal evolution may have been in good faith, but has bloated into a progressive politicization that increasingly controls citizens’ lives with utopian proposals. Thus, the political theory founded on individual liberty from state interference mutated into the present determination to employ the state to enforce ever-expanding moral, economic, and cultural oversight. The reparations effort, climate change, the #metoo movement: all call for government encroachment in the name of liberty (including even the elimination of subconscious racism).

The vilification of those who do not conform to its tenets is fundamental to liberal-democratic dogma. Leftwing hatred went full-throttle following the Capitol assault. Particular care was taken to vilify all conservatives, linking them to the KKK and Nazis. One histrionic editorial published the day after declared: “The lineage between the slaveholding secessionists and the modern insurrectionists could not have been more clear: Both groups were willing to destroy the union and both used violence to deflect their own racial fantasies of power and privilege slipping away.”

Another commentator, writer and American Unitarian pastor John Pavlovitz, claimed that former President Trump exposed other people’s hate. Pavlovitz writes that Trump gave “like-minded people license” to “unapologetically admitting who they always were but were previously fearful of declaring.” He continues: “You became the flag they could proudly wave in defiant hatred of so many. You’ve made bigotry, misogyny, and racism socially acceptable again and that has been a kind of twisted gift because it’s allowed me to really see people; not as they pretend to be on the surface—but in the very depths of their wounded, weaponized hearts.”

New Leftists, that spent the last four years insisting that “no human is illegal,” and “kindness is everything,” are now in power, and the bankruptcy of their lawn-sign ideology has become evident.

The left’s seething rage was never caused by Donald Trump, but he became a perfect lightning rod for it ever since he made his way down the now-infamous golden escalator in 2015. Now, with President Trump out of office, the contempt for America, the Constitution, and fellow citizens that undergirded the Obama/Clinton/Biden-esque demonizing of American conservatives is not only openly visible—it’s official policy. New Leftists, that spent the last four years insisting that “no human is illegal,” and “kindness is everything,” are now in power, and the bankruptcy of their lawn-sign ideology has become evident.

The conflation of Donald Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Americans with slaveholders and the Schutzstaffel may seem flippant, but it is intentional and extremely dangerous. These conflations are now uncritically repeated by a left who spent the last four years characterizing Donald Trump and popular conservatism as a “threat to democracy,” a threat to America, and a threat to our national security. And threats, as we all know, are meant to be exterminated.

There is a form of “pathological dualism” that pervades leftist thinking post-Trump, one that divides people into “unimpeachably good” and “irredeemably bad” categories. In their 2018 bestsellerThe Coddling of the American MindGreg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt describe how the left can revert to a politics of hate and blame with so little cognitive dissonance (italics in original):

“Identity can be mobilized in ways that emphasize an overarching common humanity while making the case that some fellow human beings are denied dignity and rights because they belong to a particular group, or it can be mobilized in ways that amplify our ancient tribalism and bind people together in shared hatred of a group that serves as the unifying common enemy.”

The left’s ideological hatred (and ideology of hatred) cannot be appeased: there is no such thing as “agree to disagree.” The evidence for this contempt for all things Constitutional and American has been mounting for some years, though many hoped it would subside once Donald Trump faded from the scene. Instead, left-wing hate is being mainstreamed and normalized by leaderscultural icons, even late-night liberal talk shows, which have started to resemble witch-burnings, so mouth-foaming is their uncorked partisan wrath against fellow Americans who voted “unacceptably.”

There is no hope that this ideological virus will fade: it must be vituperatively opposed. That’s the advice of European Parliamentarian and scholar Ryszard Legutko, who, having lived under martial law and communist rule in Poland, is one of the few voices qualified to recognize the dangers of liberal-democratic ideology. In March 2019, two years after a crowd of Middlebury College students shouted down Charles Murray, Professor Legutko made headlines when he too was silenced by unruly radicals who, in effect, proved Legutko’s chief premise: leftist ideology does not tolerate dissent.

He explored this idea thoroughly in his 2018 book, The Demon in Democracy, where Professor Legutko sets out to warn the world—and America in particular—that liberal-democratic totalitarianism had firmly seized all of Europe, and had set its eyes on America. Forewarning the danger we face now that left-wing hatred is moving freely through American institutions, Legutko emphatically insists it is a “…mistake to ignore the fact that liberal-democratic ideology has long since ceased to be open (if it ever was) and has entered a stage of rigid dogmatization. The more conquests it makes, the less the victors are willing to show clemency to anyone outside the winning forces.”Portland riot.

Portland riot.

AMERICA’S UNIQUE ROLE IN THIS GLOBAL BATTLE

It is baffling that those who say they are “inclusive,” “tolerant,” and “diversified” are the most monolithic group-thinkers ever to arise as a majority in America’s landscape. Professor Legutko explains, in detail, how this bizarre ideology arose, why it is so dangerous, and what its intentions are. His emphasis on the United States is two-fold: the encroachment of leftist ideology seems to be intensifying here, and (more importantly) the entire world depends on America to hold the fort of civilization against this toxic cult that threatens genocidal fury if the walls of our constitutional Republic are torn down. He writes, “…in America we can still see a culture war continuing unresolved for decades, although the forces of the left seem to prevail gradually over those of the right. Europe has not had such a war, and it is highly unlikely it will break out in the foreseeable future as there is no social force of any significance that could launch an offensive against the cultural monopoly of the left.”

Biden et al. rush to expand government rapidly into every aspect of society, including thought, education, family, and the economy.

Legutko instructs that liberal-democratic ideology is neither liberal, nor democratic. Instead, it bears persistent similarities to communist ideology, including its view of itself as a church-like savior of all humanity. This explains the flurry of vague “social justice” laws that disregard conventional Constitutional law and its protections, as well as the reckless proliferation of government-imposed “equity” programs. Instead of a free people living in communities protected by a Bill of Rights against government intrusion, Biden et al. rush to expand government rapidly into every aspect of society, including thoughteducationfamily, and the economy.

As Legutko explains, “In its essence, liberalism is unabashedly aggressive because it is determined to hunt down all nonliberal agents and ideas, which it treats as a threat to itself and humanity. The organizing principle of liberalism—as in all other philosophies aiming to change the world radically—is therefore dualism, not pluralism.”

The likeness to communism also explains the erstwhile communist whistleblowers are visible in today’s America, reporting neighbors for mask or social distancing “violations,” displaying a (constitutionally-protected) confederate flag, uttering a microaggressive comment, or “misusing” a trans-pronoun.  Legutko describes these new “warriors” (who take no actual risks, because the entire media and state establishment backs them):

“An intellectual’s sharp eye and perceptiveness will always recognize what is politically dangerous: a sentence, a metaphor, a proverb, an incorrect text on the bulletin board, a work of fiction—a seemingly little thing and yet shamelessly undermining the liberal-democratic rules. And because liberal-democracy, like communism, produced large numbers of lumpen-individuals, there is no shortage of people who ecstatically become involved in tracking disloyalty and fostering a new orthodoxy.”

Liberal-democratic ideology is utopian, seeing itself as the sole arbiter for all things “good” for humanity’s future: saving the planet, stopping hateful racism and sexism, undoing wealth disparity, ending all suffering forever. A deeper (albeit, fictional) exploration of this delusional phenomenon of crafting human utopias was undertaken by Fyodor Dostoevsky, in his prophetic novel The Possessed. Scathingly condemned by leftists of his time (according to a 1962 afterword by Marc Slonim), “[t]he indignant liberals saw in it a calumny on the Russian intelligentsia.” Dostoevsky foretold with eerie precision the subsequent dark purges in the Soviet Union. His novel reveals the narcissistic cynicism of the Revolution’s leaders: that the people are used by political opportunists who care nothing for proletarian struggles.

This treatment of everyday people and their struggles is evident today, especially in how elites on the left use (and abuse) those they claim to be “helping.” This manifests in regressive taxes to “help” the poor, climate legislation that hurts small businesses, and even race: many (white) Americans invoke their “unimpeachably good” (recalling Lukianoff and Haidt) crocodile tears for George Floyd, then transfer blame for his victimhood onto every non-bowing “other” American as complicit actors. Last year, Breonna Taylor’s killing fueled more rounds of rage, as every past shooting was recalled as proof of societal white guilt. In reality, elite liberal democrats are exploiting George Floyd and black suffering to consolidate political power under a totalitarian ideology feigning as liberating.BLM protest.

BLM protest.

Legutko warns liberal-democratic ideology is, in many ways, more frightening than communism, because it is detached from the horrors of communism and thus ignorant of its potential for harmembraces rather than eschews state control, and operates as a “great, liberal-democratic church.” Identity politics excludes universal rights, in the name of equality; it elevates race or sexual preference in status. In the name of multiculturalism, it destroys all culture. In the name of liberty, it coerces all—in speech, thought, and action (what Legutko describes as “coercion to freedom”).

Post-Trump, the left (and even some on the supposed right) are scouring the land for scapegoats…

If Americans do not stand and fight this insidious evil today, they will one day be forced to fight it from an underground movement, in hiding. This ideology sweeps past barriers like Constitutionsfreedom of expressionexchange of ideas, or civility. It has no patience, tolerance, time, or respect for such “tools of oppression.” The world must be remade now, the old torn down. (Although, what that world is to become in this new utopia is not disclosed because no one knows—what is “next” will be determined after this round… of purges.)

Post-Trump, the left (and even some on the supposed right) are scouring the land for scapegoats—all his supporters are racist, homophobic haters who must be exposed, called out, forced to repent, expelled from positions of authority, lose their jobs, be doxxed. This is the secular shunning from the new Church of Identity. Get on board, or get crushed! Corporate America has joined the fray, including Big Tech’s escalating censorship of political speech. Under what rock is the believer in America and Constitutional law to seek shelter?

Legutko explains this is both the means and ends of today’s liberal ideology: this is as good as it gets. Utopia will never “arrive,” universal rules equally applicable to all will not be established. Instead, this infection will reach deeper into private life, and never be sated with revenge (justice) or satisfactory restitution for infinite past wrongs. It will unravel when it implodes, killing many millions. Like the economist and social theorist Thomas Sowell has long warned, this ideological errancy will create more and more inequities. By focusing on “equity of outcomes,”  this utopian quest will ensure fewer and fewer equalities of opportunity, skewing outcomes yet more, and so on. Perfect equality of outcome is a certain impossibility.

Americans equipped with these simple truths must stand against utopian dreams that deliver dystopian realities. That horrifying future is now visible, as shameless unjustified attacks against fellow citizens escalate in intensity and scope.

Donald Trump has passed from view, but the virus of New Leftism is thriving and easy to see. And what is visible is that it is a bitter, seething contempt, far wider than any one man.

Why a Mandatory COVID Vaccine is Unconstitutional

A mandatory COVID-19 vaccine might save lives, but that doesn’t mean it would be constitutional.  Many say “we must do what the doctors say,” without any thought for Constitutional restrictions.  Neither medical nor constitutional factors may properly be analyzed in a vacuum: when brought together, there is no question that a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination law would conflict violently with the U.S. Constitution.

New York’s Bar Association recently called for the imposition of mandatory vaccinations, stating

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) is recommending that the state consider mandating a COVID-19 vaccine once a scientific consensus emerges that it is safe, effective and necessary…. “The magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented over the last 100 years by any measure – the number of lives lost, the survivors who remain seriously ill, the risks faced by health care workers, the disproportionate impact on communities of color, the profound trauma and the disruption to our economy,” said NYSBA President Scott M. Karson.

The New York Bar has committed gross legal malpractice in this declaration: it has misrepresented both the law and the facts.  

The Constitutional law regarding states’ use of police powers to protect public health and safety is well established.  ANY infringement by government of a fundamental right is subject to strict scrutiny, which chiefly incorporates two concepts: that in such cases the government’s interest must be “compelling” (what the NY Bar refers to as “necessary”); and that it be accomplished by the “least restrictive means.” Under this standard, “… the court presumes the policy to be invalid unless the government can demonstrate a compelling interest to justify the policy.”  Further, “[t]his test applies even when the government has a legitimate purpose in adopting the particular law.”

There is no question that restricting travel, assembly, or speech impacts a fundamental constitutional liberty: all of these have been compromised under COVID.  But America has never compelled vaccinations without exemptions (or the option to pay a criminal fine).  Is the dramatic intrusion of compulsory vaccinations “necessary”?  

Comparing Diseases

To evaluate just how grossly incorrect the New York Bar is in its position, let us compare diseases.  Surely the government would have constitutional difficulty mandating a human papillomavirus vaccine, or say, injected vitamin supplements.  Regardless of whether these were “safe and effective,” the intrusion on individual liberties would surely be “unnecessary.”  On the other end of this comparative spectrum might be ebola, an illness with a mortality rate of up to 90% that targets pregnant women and the very young — few would argue the government lacked constitutional “necessity” in the event of an ebola outbreak in the United States.

The legal question of the constitutionality of mandatory vaccinations is thus dependent on the medical evidence — how deadly is COVID-19?  COVID-19 occupies a relatively innocuous position on that spectrum of deadly scourges, and the rates of mortality are declining.  That is, the medical evidence falls far short of surmounting that legal standard of strict scrutiny required by the United States Constitution.

The seminal case on the constitutionality of forced government vaccinations is Jacobson v. Massachusetts, a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court decision that affirmed Massachusetts’ authority to impose mandatory smallpox vaccinations.  Yet Jacobson does not answer today’s COVID-vaxx question: smallpox was unquestionably a much more deadly illness.

In reaching its decision in 1905, the Court was circumspect:

Smallpox being prevalent and increasing at Cambridge, the court would usurp the functions of another branch of government if it adjudged, as matter of law, that the mode adopted under the sanction of the State, to protect the people at large was arbitrary and not justified by the necessities of the case. We say necessities of the case because it might be that an acknowledged power of a local community to protect itself against an epidemic threatening the safety of all, might be exercised in particular circumstances and in reference to particular persons in such an arbitrary, unreasonable manner, or might go so far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public, as to authorize or compel the courts to interfere for the protection of such persons. (p.28)

The New York Bar’s proposal to mandate vaccinations for COVID goes “…far beyond what is reasonably required for the safety of the public….”  

The Jacobson Court specifically cited (p. 29) yellow fever and Asiatic cholera as comparable diseases warranting quarantine or other restrictions on personal liberty.  Yellow fever has a mortality rate of 15-50% of reported cases; Asiatic cholera kills in mere hours, with a mortality rate approaching 50%; smallpox killed 30% of those infected.  How would the Jacobson Court have evaluated COVID-19, especially if the law imposed a mandatory vaccination without the escape path of paying a fine?

COVID-19 does not rise to that level of medical “necessity” required by existing American law for a person’s rights (and body) to be violated by government in the name of “protection of health.”  Current studies reveal that it is primarily the very elderly who are at risk and should be protected:

…the infection fatality rate is lowest in people five to nine years of age (0.001%), increasing to 0.1% among those 25 to 29 years of age, almost 1% among those 60 to 64 years of age, and is highest among those 80 years and older (8.4%).

Will the New York Bar mandate vaccinations for children who face a .001% mortality rate, to protect the small minority of citizens who face an 8.4% risk of death?  That would seem to turn Jacobson on its head:

…in every well ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand. (p.29)

The Constitutional (and Health) Balance

Does the risk of death to a minority elderly population legally justify imposing intrusive burdens on the majority?  This is the opposite of imposing a vaccination regimen on a minority to protect the majority, as occurred in Jacobson.

And remember, those rates of COVID death are dropping:

The standardized mortality ratio dropped from 1.26 (95% CI, 1.15-1.39) in March to 0.38 (95% CI, 0.12-0.88) in August, at which time the average probability of death (average marginal effect) was 18.2 percentage points lower than in March.

COVID is now rampant, increasing herd immunity well ahead of a government-imposed pharmaceutical rescue.   It is also less deadly, and a very far cry from the menaces of ebola, yellow fever, smallpox, or cholera that would justify government power to forcibly stick a needle in a child’s arm.  (Perhaps New York will simply prohibit the unvaccinated from being able to buy or sell goods….).

Citizens must learn these clear legal precedents for themselves.  As for the New York Bar, it should be disbarred: for evident legal malpractice.

Vermont “Tax Structure Commission” Proposes Sales Taxes for Groceries

A recent bureaucratic “Report” recommends expanding Vermont’s sales tax to include food, groceries, electricity and clothing to… help the poor!  The Vermont Tax Structure Commission (VTSC) argues “broadening the tax base” will be easier for government, and more equitable than current exemptions because sales tax revenues will be redistributed “equitably” to the poor.  Unsurprisingly, the method of “equitably” calculating and disbursing this massive revenue increase is unstated.

Sales taxes are inherently regressive.  VTSC acknowledges this quite openly (p.22):

Sales taxes are by their nature regressive…. This means that including groceries and other necessities, as we recommend, adds to regressivity. However, we do not make this recommendation in isolation. We note the vital importance of protecting low-income households from bearing any additional burden, and in Chapter 5 we recommend a comprehensive review of the income, transfers, and taxes for low-income Vermonters to ensure that… no one is bearing an undue burden of taxation relative to their resources….

But this monstrous report offers nearly zero policy ideas to “equitably” redistribute the money to the poor, blithely offering:

In particular, we believe there are more efficient ways to protect low-income Vermonters from the burden of a sales tax on necessities, and more effective ways to promote public goods than exemptions from the sales tax…. A significant portion of the new revenue resulting from the broadened sales tax would be deployed to strengthen and rationalize the distribution system to support lower-income Vermonters, and to make sure that no one is harmed by the tax changes…. [I]t is important to find a mechanism to distribute these payments on at least a monthly basis, and bi-weekly would be even better. (pp. 11, 12, 40)

But the “particulars” are unstated; the “mechanism to distribute” is unknown (though “important to find”); there is no “distribution system to support lower-income Vemonters,” let alone one that can be monetarily “rationalized.”  The tax-and-spend double-speak a-la-COVID translation is: “There are more efficient ways to protect poor people from taxes than exempting them from tax.”  It literally says that.

The Real Problems, Hidden

In contrast, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities Reports:

Existing credits and rebates designed to offset the sales tax often fail to provide significant relief for many low-income families. To offset fully the sales tax on food for the low- and moderate-income families on which it imposes a significant burden, a credit or rebate should meet two tests. First, it should be available to all poor and near-poor individuals and families who are exposed to the tax. Second, it should be large enough to offset the sales tax on a family’s grocery purchases. None of the seven states now administering sales tax credits or rebates meet these two tests. (p. 30)

The report then lists numerous additional inefficiencies of credit programs.

Vermont’s latest tax restructuring proposal addresses neither of these concerns — it offers no substantive plans to fairly redistribute sales taxes on food.  But there is endless justification of how this plan will help the government:

By trying to use the sales tax as a tool to encourage community goods, and exemptions from the sales tax for necessities as a tool to protect low-income Vermonters, the legislature puts itself in the position of having to decide what’s necessary, and what’s good, and what’s not. Food is a necessity; is soda? Is candy? Does the legislature want to be in the business of making judgements about what’s necessary if it doesn’t have to? Clothing is necessary; is a $50 hat? ….The legislature is charged with making these difficult and important distinctions when necessary, but all other things being equal, it is probably better to reduce subjectivity in the tax code when possible. (p. 84)

But all things are most definitely not equal — these proposals would create inequities while increasing bureaucratic administration costs.  The VTSC Paper (packed with subjective “climate change tax policy”) also advises expanding Vermont’s sales tax to education and most services.  It draws distinctions between which classes of healthcare providers will be taxed (much like soda versus celery).  Frighteningly, it “puts the legislature in the business of making judgements [sic] about” who gets money, how much, and when.  

State Money-grab from the Poor

Vermonters tightened their belts under COVID; their state’s bureaucracy expanded its belly, and is hungry for “broadened revenue streams” to save Vermonters from their impoverishment.  The VTSC is optimistic about it’s amorphous plan:

In general, we conclude that exempting broad categories of necessities is not an efficient way to protect low-income Vermonters from the financial burden of paying a sales tax on necessities…. (p. 68).

(Get that, again? — government should tax food, because not taxing food is not an efficient way to protect people from… taxes on food. Go ahead — read it, that’s what it says.)

Vermont’s Progressive Majority consistently transfers money inefficiently from one group to another, always enlarging the government bite.  Now they wish to tax bread, to “feed the poor.”  

Let them tax cake!

Will the Federal Government Deprogram Subconscious Racism? (A Clockwork Black)

The fallacy that America is “systemically racist” is rooted in arguments that the white majority suffers from subconscious racism which contaminates the “system.”  Proponents of Critical Race Theory and government-created “Equity” insist they have yet-to-be-discovered solutions, including conditioning of those who suffer “white guilt” and white fragility.”  President Joe Biden has eagerly joined this crusade to…. eliminate subconscious racism!

White Americans are kept in the dark as to the details of this enlightened reprogramming, but are told that the Bill of Rights is an impediment to these lofty new goals to eradicate systemic biases.  The first step in eliminating subconscious racism is to stifle conscious thoughts: the liberties of Free Speech and Due Process are viewed as tools of oppression by the white majority.  

It is axiomatic that government cannot eliminate subconscious racism.  Yet, government can be very effective at fomenting racism, as numerous current and historical examples demonstrate.  America is about to try it’s hand at this folly.

Government conditioning to eradicate human evil is hardly novel.  But what happens when government seeks to do great good, by conquering the individual human will to do great evil?  How will the BLM Utopian Police State eradicate human racism?  Is this not the same old reconditioning Kool-aid of Pol Pot and Mao, poured into newly-manufactured George Floyd bottles?

A Clockwork Black?

Anthony Burgess famously delved into this subject, in 1963.  In his iconic novel “A Clockwork Orange,” a seemingly incorrigible criminal is redeemed using “science” — only, the experiment fails miserably.  Burgess was delving into exactly the issue America’s extremist progressives deliberately obfuscate: the horror of government reprogramming.  

In a 2012 essay, Burgess plainly explained what he had tried to express through fiction:

I had read somewhere that it would be a good idea to liquidate the criminal impulse through aversion therapy; I was appalled…. What I was trying to say was that it is better to be bad of one’s own free will than to be good through scientific brainwashing…. I have been derided and rebuked for expressing my fears of the power of the modern state—whether it be Russia, China, or what we may term Anglo-America—to reduce the freedom of the individual…. The behaviorist approach to man, of which Professor Skinner is a great exponent, sees him moved to various kinds of action by aversive and non-aversive inducements. Given the right positive inducements… we shall all become better citizens, submissive to a state that has the good of the community at heart. We must, so the argument goes, not fear conditioning. We need to be conditioned in order to save the environment and the race. But it must be conditioning of the right sort…. 

The goal of the “American Experiment” was to secure equal opportunity for all.   Efforts at “equity” aim for a sun that will melt the wings of such fairy-like dreams while depriving citizens of even an aspirational hope of equality of opportunity.  Today’s quixotic, counterproductive BLM movement is no different.  One does not abolish racism by decree, any more than lewd thoughts.  One conquers racism through love, not fear and hate.  

This transfer of a sort of “dark-church” authority to the secular state is reflected in the COVID panic, and how quickly many Americans wish to abandon the Constitution in trust of Big Brother — and Big Brother Pharma.  Orwell warned of the power of an omnipotent state to inflict unprecedented destruction upon the human condition.  It is ironic that ALL Americans are familiar with Orwell’s books, but so few absorb that his warnings applied to all government structures — not just the Soviet Union.

Burgess explained that his title “Clockwork Orange” derived from “…an old Cockney slang phrase, implying a queerness or madness so extreme as to subvert nature, since could any notion be more bizarre than that of a clockwork orange?”  Today’s world looks more akin to a “Clockwork Black,” in which the techno-state and modern alienation have pushed humanity far away from awareness of its own soul.  Far too many Americans are lining up to be absorbed willingly into that dead machine.

Said Burgess: 

[W]hen the social entity grows large, …the governing machine becomes remote, impersonal, even inhuman. It takes money from us for purposes we do not seem to sanction; it treats us as abstract statistics; it controls an army; it supports a police force whose function does not always appear to be protective…. The modern state, whether in a totalitarian or a democratic country, has far too much power, and we are probably right to fear it…. Pre-natal and infantile conditioning makes the slaves happy in their slavery, and stability is enforced not through whips but through a scientifically imposed contentment…. It would seem that enforced conditioning of a mind, however good the social intention, has to be evil.

Clearly, BLM activists (and Joe Biden) have not read Burgess.  Antifa is well-steeped in blackness. The Clockwork Black, ticks.

President Big Brother?

And so Joe Biden declared that “… he had a mandate to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.”  As with other extremists, he defines neither what that term means, nor how he will eliminate subconscious bias.  Instead he confidently proclaimed:

“Again, I’m not promising we can end it tomorrow, but I promise you we’re going to continue to make progress to eliminate systemic racism, and every branch of the White House and the federal government is going to be part of that effort….” 

Exposing in practical terms the limitations posed by Anthony Burgess, Cal Thomas recently opined:

In addition to reinstating mandatory race theory training for federal employees, Biden proposes spending even more money we don’t have to fix a problem beyond the government’s reach. As with original sin, curing racism is best solved internally. It is a matter of the heart. If racism is systemic, meaning it is embedded in white people, how is it possible to eliminate it? Do those on the receiving end of discrimination have a role to play? This is a question Democrats never address. If spending money is the key to limiting racism, more progress should have been made by now.

Such common sense is shunned — soon it will be silenced as a typical gaslighting by a white person who must be silenced.  There are ominous harbingers from the Biden Administration:

President Biden signed four executive actions Tuesday aimed at increasing racial equity across the nation, a move the administration said was a big early step in his efforts to dismantle systemic racism, though civil rights groups made it clear they will press for more-sweeping change in the months ahead.

Time will tell how effective this government is at sweeping away subconscious hatreds, rather than inculcate new ones.  The ticking of the Clockwork Black grows audible….

How could such grand designs be anything but “good”? 

Legislation Vilifies Vermont Farmers as White Supremacists

Vermont House Bill H.273 calls for $10,000,000 to assist BIPOC people to purchase land in every Vermont town.  As justification, Vermont’s farming community, and generations of dirt-poor white farmers, are denigrated in a cascade of blatant falsehoods that allege their complicity in Indian genocide and sharecropping.  The bill could have been about helping poor black people; instead it is about condemning poor white ones.  

H.273 alleges

Prior to Vermont self-declaring its occupation of the land in 1777, it is estimated that at least 10,000 Indigenous persons were living in the region, specifically upwards of 4,000 Abenaki living in the Champlain Valley.

Thus begins an endless tirade against Vermont’s indigenous white dairymen, invoking  the Dawes Act, Jim Crow laws, “federal land policies,” “redlining,” the “Servicemen’s Readjustment Act,” and even sharecropping:

Sharecropping was the federal government prohibiting Black farmers from owning property and as a result they were forced to rent land from White landlords. Many Black farmers at this time experienced unfair terms and agreements.

The 1910 U.S. Census (Table 1, p. 577) identified 34 Indians residing in Vermont in 1890; 5 in 1900; 26 in 1910, and fewer than 1,000 “Negroes” in 1890 and 1900; 1,621 by 1910. The 1960 Census (Table 15) reflects 572 black residents in 1920, 568 in 1930, 584 in 1940, 443 in 1950, and 519 in 1960.  Hundreds of thousands of white Vermonters have endured a crushing poverty that “native” Vermonters well know, but which those who condemn them recast as “white privilege.”   H.273 claims that BIPOC people with no connection to Vermont, or farming, or the land, or Abenakis, or resources, must be given land because of a historic oppression that never occurred. 

For 100 years, Vermont’s dairy farms and communities have steadily declined.  White children starved, and were crippled or killed in farm accidents on white farms.  They rarely had healthcare, usually lacked decent clothing or shoes, often lacked teeth.  There was no Abenaki genocide — and no sharecropping oppression — on Vermont’s dairy farms.  

H.273 re-writes this suffering, as oppression:

During and since these early days of colonization and slavery, due to local, State, and federal policies that were intentionally developed to economically, socially, and racially discriminate against members of the BIPOC community, multi-generational poverty has created a disturbing disproportionate wealth gap for land and home ownership in what we now know as Vermont and the United States…. The foundation of our current economic system was built on land that was taken from Abenaki and other Indigenous persons, and the structures of our economic system were constructed with the labor of enslaved persons. The legacy of settler colonialism and chattel slavery has been systemic racism and discrimination embedded into many aspects of our modern way of life on this land.

There were 32,709 farms per the 1910 Census (Supplement Table 1): 28,968 “Native white;” 3,721 “Foreign-born white;” and 20 “Negro and other nonwhite.”  Today barely 600 of those 32,709 dairy farms remain.  Following the Spanish Flu, “…many rural Vermonters… left the grinding poverty of hill farms and moved to urban areas of southern New England and elsewhere to work in war production factories.”  Then the Great Depression descended, followed by continuing decline…. ever since!  The dairy industry is worse than ever — COVID hurt dairy farmers, and milk prices remain abysmal. 

H.273 legislate an alternate reality:

The laws and policies of our State and nation severed Indigenous persons from their land while denying them, Black persons, and other Persons of Color from having the opportunity to access and to own land. These actions of the State led to systemic racism that has impacted all Vermonters who have historically suffered from discrimination and who have not had equal access to public or private economic benefits due to race, ethnicity, sex, geography, language preference, immigrant or citizen status, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or disability status…. In order to offer repair for the systemic discrimination faced by many persons throughout the State over the past four centuries, the State of Vermont must engage in a just transition to an economic system that systemically undoes racism instead of reinforcing it. 

H.273, like its upside-down perversion of Vermont history, does the opposite: it “transitions to an economic system that systemically reinforces racism that the Vermont and federal Constitutions have sought to undo.”  It justifies racism using racist labels, manipulates statistics and re-writes history, while ignoring constitutional law that prohibits such race-only legislation, in an open attack on an impoverished, long-suffering, decent culture and people.  

This is legislative exploitation, of long-marginalized rural white people.

Vermont Progressives Fabricate Racism to Justify Decriminalizing Prostitution

Ten Vermont legislators have sponsored a Bill (H.268) to creat a “Sex Work StudyCommittee” concerning the legalization of prostitution in Vermont.  But this bill strives to re-write Vermont history via an absurdly vacuous lie that Vermont prohibited prostitution because of “white supremacist” motives.  In fact the impetus for banning prostitution in Vermont and elsewhere was from feminists and suffragettes.  How then could ten elected Vermont representatives draft — and seek to establish as law — something so patently false? 

House Bill 268, referenced to the Judiciary Committee on February 17, states:

Sec. 1. FINDINGS AND INTENT 19 (a) The majority of Vermont’s laws on prostitution were adopted more than 100 years ago and have remained largely unchanged since that time…. Historically, these types of laws were used to prosecute men of color for having relationships with white women. 

It’s bad enough the world must contend with actual racism, without these partisan legislators fabricating nonexistent racist history to justify….  “developing a modern approach to State involvement in sexual activity for hire by consenting adults.”  Perhaps legalizing prostitution makes sense — but how can the subject be legitimately addressed, now that it has been tarnished with such a baldface lie as justification.  Since this assertion or “finding” is the foundation of this Bill, and since it is demonstrably false, why continue with the next section?  This farce has no legitimacy — it is a prostitution of legislative process to advance racist partisanship, yet again.

These legislators cannot point to a single case of such a thing ever happening in Vermont, the most BIPOC-friendly state of all America since its founding.  If they could prove a single incident, would they impute a racist motive to Vermont’s entire 1915 Legislature?  Damn right they would!  If elected officials slander their own people, surely they must possess and procure evidence other than an unsubstantiated “historically, these types of laws were used….”  After all, they have now made it an issue in a prostitution bill.

In truth, (and until these traitors re-write the Encyclopedia Britannica to accord with their toxic fictionalizations):

In the late 19th century….  With the rise of feminism, many came to regard male libertinism as a threat to women’s status and physical health…. Antiprostitution campaigns flourished from the 1860s, often in association with temperance and women’s suffrage movements. International cooperation to end the traffic in women for the purpose of prostitution began in 1899. In 1921 the League of Nations established the Committee on the Traffic in Women and Children, and in 1949 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a convention for the suppression of prostitution…. By 1915 nearly all states had passed laws that banned brothels or regulated the profits of prostitution…. Authorities also intervened to prevent girls from being coerced into prostitution (“white slavery”). 

Women initiated the prohibition of prostitution to prevent white slavery, and now a deluded clan of Progressive white Vermont legislators have introduced a law that claims these old laws were passed not to protect white women victims, but black male ones.  If ever there was a revealing example of utter lies and slander being used to advance a racist-driven ideology of contempt, H.268 is the petri dish.  These uneducated rubes have gone streaking in the Vermont snowdrifts for all to see, shivering in the frigid stillness of vapid stupidity.  

Perhaps the adroit Vermont media will inquire of these legislators for an example or two of Vermonters’ forebears halting black men at the borders to Canada and Massachusetts from leaving the state with white Vermont gals in tow (in between smuggling slaves to Vermont via the Underground Railroad).  Or perhaps, after electing the first BIPOC man to a state legislature (in 1836!), Vermont decided by 1915 to reverse course and (silently, perhaps subconsciously) abandon its well-established record of welcoming tolerance to persecute the 1,173 black men who lived here (per U.S. 1910 census, Table 2).  

Race activists assert (in the area of racial disparities in the criminal justice system) that “…the matter of reducing racial disparities must not – under any circumstances – be seen as a partisan issue.”  How could anything be more obviously partisan than fabricating race-baiting lies to “liberate” Vermont from the criminalization of sex for hire?  Vermont’s factually-deficient crew of virtue-signalling H.268 sponsors have pushed racist shaming to new pinnacles of Pinnochian proboscises and partisan ptooey.  

Is passing lies as laws the new social justice pattern for America, or just Vermont?  Accountability is past due.  Will Vermont’s Progressive Supermajority Legislature, bent on using any Alinskian means available, actually pass legislation this false in order to allow young women (of any color) to sell their bodies freely?  

Vermont will see, soon enough.

Facebook Blocks American Thinker Articles from Boosting

Facebook has consistently prevented factually accurate American Thinker (AT) articles from being boosted, while permitting the promotion of meanspirited liberal doggerel.
“Boosting” on Facebook is a paid service whereby businesses or individuals can pay to promote their posts more widely, including to target audiences. Over the last three weeks Facebook has refused boosting for seven articles that I wrote for AT, but has allowed me to boost a CNN article that was ideological.

My writing is my art, as well as my political speech and ultimate “free expression.” It is based on decades of study as an attorney, farmer, and intellectual. I am not paid anything to write for AT — my wage is a sense of meaningful contribution to important dialogues.

Facebook does not owe me a platform. But does it owe me honesty? Shall it parade as open and unbiased while censors one political view over another? This is neither journalism, nor “social media” — it is something sinister, restrictive of liberty, insidiously pernicious. If the platform is not equal, and quells facts and legal scholarship in favor of ranting tripe, it should advertise that, fairly. 

Articles Rejected

On February 1, AT published my commentary reporting the launch in Vermont of a new acronymical class of citizens granted special status: ADOS (American Descendants of Slaves). This group excludes Native Americans and Jews, classifying based on a presumed historical prejudice but excluding other marginalized groups. Too extreme for Facebook: boost denied.

On February 12 my piece on regressive taxation by those calling themselves progressive — an incontrovertibly well-established factual argument using links to public documents — was rejected for boosting by Facebook. Similarly, on February 15 my discussion of an overtly racist, incendiary Vermont BLM poet was deemed unworthy of paid dissemination. Not one media outlet in America (aside from AT) has reported these hateful railings against rural Vermonters. Facebook is ensuring it stays that way.

On February 17 AT published my revelations that Vermont (like many states) threw federal meals guidelines to the wind — and a great deal of CO2 and pollutants as well — when it used fleets of school buses to deliver meals to pretty much anybody who wanted one. This was never approved by voters, was gratuitously regressive (guidelines could easily have been preserved), and environmentally incompetent. But Facebook ensured fewer voters learned of these truths, rejecting the boost (in the name of stopping “false news”?). February 18th featured a commentary relating a horrible rant in the Vermont House by a representative who called his own constituency white supremacists — during a devotional! Too hot for Facebook: “Boost Rejected!

Liberal Post Boosted

But on February 19, I posted (and successfully boosted) a CNN opinion piece railing against Vermont because it didn’t pay $10,000 enticements to immigrants of color to relocate to Vermont as part of its (deservedly infamous) “pay-to-come-live-here” program. But to allocate money based solely on race is patently unconstitutional; this person is neither an attorney nor a Vermonter; the piece is slanderous and negative, lacking supportive evidence or law. Facebook will allow me (a conservative) to pay them money to promote something false, slanderous against my state, and that I did not pen, but denies me the ability to promote my own scholarly work.  

After wincing through a paid promotion of a patently toxic CNN commentary, I discovered a new hurdle when my February 20 AT piece was posted on Facebook: the message “Boost Unavailable.” Apparently my persistence had incurred an algorithmic rebuke, and now I was not even permitted to try to boost my AT writing. This article related an incident in Vermont where a newly-created “Race and Inclusion Committee” announced it would draft policies based on closed hearings at which white people were banned. This is flagrantly unconstitutional, and unreported in national news media.But Facebook says “verboten.” 

February 21 marked my seventh boost rejection of an AT article by Facebook in less than three weeks. This article considered the call by Vermont’s “Executive Director of Racial Equity” to pause regulatory initiatives to reduce Vermont’s CO2 footprint because “deadlines reinforce a white supremacist culture.” 

Free Exchange of Ideas Compromised

Almost all of my articles are commentaries built on facts which are then used for discussion. Is reporting facts — regressive tax policies, exclusive meetings based on melanin pigment, contents of a devotional, poetry that calls for jailing and killing white people, using school buses to deliver meals inequitably, a novel acronym, a “race official” calling to halt global warming solutions — the equivalent of political statements? As we see here, facebook blocked the dissemination of facts in the name of…  a mysterious process that remains in the dark. This is two-faced; Darkbook; Orwellian fascism.

Poland is well ahead of the United States in preserving liberties: it has legislated fines against companies that institute stealth filtration of speech:

“Freedom of speech is not something that anonymous moderators working for private companies should decide,” said [Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian] Kaleta…. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki announced… in a Facebook post, ironically enough, that ….“We are now increasingly faced with practices we believed were left in the past,” he added. “The censoring of free speech, once the domain of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, is now back, but in a new form, run by corporations who silence those who think differently.” “Discussion consists in the exchange of views, not in silencing people. We do not have to agree with what our opponents write, but we cannot forbid anyone from expressing views that do not contravene the law,” he added. 

America is the opposite — Democrats have openly, vulgarly, demanded that these same entities filter conservatives out and leave dumb lies in.  

Facebook will not likely permit boosting of this commentary. Therefore, please “post and share” it… freely.