Totalitarianism: Government coordinated censorship, woke purging of voices, suppression of free speech, and politicization of too many government agencies are NOT a good thing.
There is a very good article shared below entitled ‘The Five States of Totalitarianism.’ I would highly recommend you read it and think about the implications.
History is a good teacher if we pay attention.
As my boy scout motto proclaimed, ‘be prepared.’ It’s no one else’s responsibility but ours!
CPAC 2023: Conservatives from across the country and even around the world came to network, learn, and get inspired…more accurately fired up.
I attended my first CPAC in 1978 as a College Republican from the University of Michigan. Much has changed, but I still ran into old friends and comrades in arms from past battles.
All kinds of conservatives from many stipes show up and get rejuvenated. Spirits are high. Activists are optimistic. I think the future is bright…our best is yet to come!
Republican Presidential Primary: It’s starting and the consensus is that the two big gorillas in the room are President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
There are others, but virtual asterisks in the current discussions. However, way too early to count anyone out. Let’s remember Jeb Bush and John Kasich in 2016.
Ambassador Nikki Haley and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy have both officially entered the race. Having their voices and those of others considering the race is healthy for the conservative movement and our country. We need to be having a national discussion.
Keep an eye on the next generation of conservative leaders. They portend a bright future!
East Palestine, Ohio: When politics gets in the way of good governance and when partisanship seems to determine reaction at a time of crisis, we have a problem.
A true disaster hit Ohio and President Biden and Transportation Secretary had “other priorities.” It took weeks for any meaningful response, let alone an onsite visit to assess the damage. This is not a minor rail crash, this has huge long-term implications for the people of Ohio, especially those in and around East Palestine.
As New Gingrich pointed out in his article below: “The Secretary of Transportation cannot find the time to visit the town, look at the site, and try to coordinate help for his fellow Americans. Meanwhile, President Biden chose to visit Kiev over East Palestine and enthusiastically pledged more money for Ukraine while his Federal Emergency Management Agency rejected Gov. Mike DeWine’s request for an emergency declaration.”
Why the callous political response? Why did former President Trump have to be the first national leader to put the crisis on the political map? Why did Democratic leaders seemingly ignore the catastrophe while jetting around the world?
I’ve often said that we elect the president of the Battle Ground States of America versus the president of the United States of America. No incident or example better makes my case. Sad.
COVID Origins: Still political. The Democrats and Biden can’t admit to anything that might prove former President Trump as being “right.” This kind of partisan gamesmanship is sad.
As SEMAFOR reported, now the Energy Department believes that the pandemic was most likely the result of an accidental leak at a laboratory in China, according to the Wall Street Journal. However, the agency reached its conclusion with “low confidence,” meaning there’s still plenty of uncertainty. The FBI has also concluded the virus probably spread as a result of a lab leak, whereas other agencies either believe it spread via natural transmission or haven’t reached a conclusion. “Right now, there is not a definitive answer that has emerged from the intelligence community on this question,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on CNN yesterday.
Biden’s Ukrainian Blunder: It’s not what you think. We absolutely have a strategic interest and gave our word to defend Ukraine when it agreed to give up its nuclear weapons upon the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The blunder is that Biden and his team are giving Ukraine just enough weapons, of limited capacity, to barely advance and kick Putin’s thugs out of Ukraine. This half a$$ approach is maddening and costing tens of thousands of lives, untold damage to the country, cities and infrastructure, not to mention delaying Ukraine’s ability to run the hoodlums out of their homeland.
Read more below and follow me on Twitter & GETTR – @sanuzis
60 Plus Weekly Video Rewind
This Week: Senator Rick Scott moves to protect Social Security & Medicare, Joe Biden (literally) says he will raise your taxes, and House GOP holds Democrats feet to the fire!
Links to the articles discussed in the video:
DONATE TO 60 PLUS!
We’re fighting every day for seniors and retirees by working to eliminate the death tax, ensure healthcare freedom, and save social security for future generations. With your essential help we will continue the fight. You can even donate using Bitcoin and Ethereum!
Thank you for your help and support of the 60 Plus Association.
Donate Today! Visit https://www.60plus.org/donate
Sen. Rick Scott’s Protect Our Seniors Act will keep politicians from stealing from Medicare
There has been a lot of talk in Washington recently about Social Security and Medicare. We think that’s great and certainly better than the status quo of pretending nothing is wrong while these essential programs go bankrupt.
It’s time for Congress to do something positive and protect Social Security and Medicare, rather than gut them. It can start by looking in the mirror and putting some accountability measures on itself, stop spending like drunken sailors and end its terrible habit of ignoring insolvency and stealing from Medicare every chance it gets.
Thankfully, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida just introduced a bill that will impose accountability on Congress, and we think it should pass right away.
This is how Congress works when it comes to critical programs such as Social Security and Medicare right now. Whenever politicians in Washington need money, they raid entitlements.
It happened with the Affordable Care Act. It happened again late last year in the Democrats’ so-called Inflation Reduction Act when they took $280 billion out of Medicare to pay for their woke pet projects. In both cases, politicians created alleged “savings” and used it as an excuse to steal money from Medicare.
Fire Buttigieg: Mediocrity Kills
Incompetence should not be accepted. Joe Biden should fire Department of Transportation Sec. Buttigieg and bring accountability for the failures of his administration.
President Joe Biden must fire Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. From the Southwest Airlines computer meltdown, to the Federal Aviation Administration’s unprecedented collapse of air travel (the first time since 9/11 that every plane was grounded), to the total failure to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Norfolk Southern Rail disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, Buttigieg has proven he is incapable of doing the job.
The woke personnel policies of the Biden administration took the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (a town of 103,000) and placed him in charge of the most complex transportation system in the world. It has been a hopeless mismatch of identity politics and the demands of the real world.
As Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote, “Our government is playing with our lives as it prefers diversity, equity, and inclusion over ensuring the best qualified employees are hired on the basis of racially and gender-blind competitive tests and experience.”
Sen. Marco Rubio was exactly right when he wrote President Biden demanding that Secretary Buttigieg be fired. Sen. Rubio rightfully pointed out that Buttigieg “has repeatedly demonstrated a gross level of incompetence and apathy” that has demonstrably harmed Americans.
DeSantis moves toward GOP presidential bid on his own terms
Republican presidential contenders typically fight for prime speaking slots at the Conservative Political Action Conference. But as conservative activists gather in suburban Washington this week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be courting donors more than a thousand miles away in Texas and California.
The apparent CPAC snub is nothing new for DeSantis, who has emerged in the early phase of the 2024 presidential election as a leading contender for the GOP nomination even as he ignores many conventions of modern politics.
DeSantis is a frequent voice in conservative cultural fights on cable television, but he often avoids gatherings of fellow Republican governors and party leaders, who are quick to complain in private about his go-it-alone approach. He is the only top-tier presidential prospect yet to court voters in Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina, the states hosting the GOP’s opening presidential primary contests. And he is often at odds with the press, refusing even to notify local media of last week’s rare three-state tour with law enforcement.
Indeed, as DeSantis moves toward a White House run, it is becoming increasingly clear that the 44-year-old Republican governor will manage his presidential aspirations in his own way, on his own timeline, with or without allies in national GOP leadership or relationships with the press.
The Puzzling Gap Between How Old You Are And How Old You Think You Are
There are good reasons you always feel 20 percent younger than your actual age.
This past thanksgiving, I asked my mother how old she was in her head. She didn’t pause, didn’t look up, didn’t even ask me to repeat the question, which would have been natural, given that it was both syntactically awkward and a little odd. We were in my brother’s dining room, setting the table. My mother folded another napkin. “Forty-five,” she said.
She is 76.
Why do so many people have an immediate, intuitive grasp of this highly abstract concept—“subjective age,” it’s called—when randomly presented with it? It’s bizarre, if you think about it. Certainly most of us don’t believe ourselves to be shorter or taller than we actually are. We don’t think of ourselves as having smaller ears or longer noses or curlier hair. Most of us also know where our bodies are in space, what physiologists call “proprioception.”
Yet we seem to have an awfully rough go of locating ourselves in time. A friend, nearing 60, recently told me that whenever he looks in the mirror, he’s not so much unhappy with his appearance as startled by it—“as if there’s been some sort of error” were his exact words. (High-school reunions can have this same confusing effect. You look around at your lined and thickened classmates, wondering how they could have so violently capitulated to age; then you see photographs of yourself from that same event and realize: Oh.) The gulf between how old we are and how old we believe ourselves to be can often be measured in light-years—or at least a goodly number of old-fashioned Earth ones.
AI Can Tell Us How Russians Feel About the War. Putin Won’t Like the Results.
Russian propaganda is good at manipulating public opinion. But its effects aren’t working like they used to.
Vladimir Putin is notorious for deploying propaganda on Russian citizens, one of the oldest plays in the authoritarian playbook. But does it work?
When it comes to Russia’s war against Ukraine, the answer would seem to be yes. At the national level, public polling of Russian attitudes toward the war have shown support remaining relatively stable since the Feb. 24, 2022, invasion: On average, Russians still seem to support the war, even if not with the overwhelming positivity that the Kremlin might suggest. Even dips in national level public support have recovered over time, as polling showed was the case after Putin announced the “partial mobilization” in September.
But in an authoritarian country, polling is unreliable. While polling works when people are willing to tell the truth, other tools are needed in places like Russia where such openness and access cannot be assumed.
Artificial intelligence can help with this. For the past year, the Center for Strategic and International Studies has worked with FilterLabs.AI, a Massachusetts-based data analytics firm, to track local sentiment across Russia using AI-enabled sentiment analysis.
Sentiment analysis is a well-tested form of artificial intelligence that trains computers to read and understand human-generated text and speech. The analysis evaluates scraped public documents and comments across social media, news media, messenger app groups (including Telegram, which is widely used in Russia), and other popular forums to gauge what people are thinking and feeling at the local level, and whether that sentiment is trending positive or negative.
The Ukraine War’s Prelude to What?
The longer this preview war goes on, the sooner will follow the nightmarish main attraction.
he Ukraine mess is daily looking more like the Spanish Civil War of 1936 to 1939, a meat grinder that took 500,000 lives. That three-year conflict became a savage proxy war and prelude for the belligerents of World War II.
The Ukraine battlefield is proving a similar laboratory of death. New lethal weaponry and tactics are introduced, modified—and always improved—from drones to guided missiles to internet-fed artillery.
Likewise, a similar pre-global war lineup of the eventual adversaries is emerging in preview of a much larger, much scarier war to come.
The first mission of Ukraine, the aggrieved victim of a peremptory Russian attack, was simple survival.
But now that it has been armed to the teeth and its soldiers proved far more capable and heroic than Putin’s once-feared Russia, Kyiv now seeks to push back Russians to their 2014 Ukrainian acquired borders.
Next President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has announced that the third stage will be to eject every Russian from 2013 Ukraine. He promises to reabsorb both the Crimea and the Donbas.
That is an ambitious goal that might require preemptive attacks inside Russia and on the Black Sea.
The Republican Temptation
President Biden’s surprise trip to Kyiv deserves at least a respectful nod in private from his antagonists at home, even if they are lukewarm to negative about his approach to Ukraine—and there are different ways to be negative about it, as I’ll discuss.
If nothing else, this was well played. It was planned in secret, stayed secret, had exciting spy-novel trappings—an unmarked train!—and went off without a hitch. You can detest someone and his policies and still admire his gamesmanship, a la “Rommel, you magnificent bastard, I read your book!” Those who want to cavil about it have been complaining that he went to Ukraine and not somewhere else, i.e., East Palestine, Ohio, the site of a train derailment and chemical accident.
That was also relatively well-played as a political matter, since it connects to a larger anti-Biden theme, which is that he doesn’t care about Trump-supporting areas of the country—or that he cares more about his “globalist” agenda than the lives of ordinary Americans. Still, doing the “he should have done this thing rather than that thing” seems like sour grapes, a talk-radio cavil.
The question is what effect Biden’s dramatic play here is going to have on the Republican Party and conservatives more generally. As the GOP is the opposition, it can be expected to oppose. There are two kinds of opposition possible. One, represented by the more hawkish elements among conservatives, would hold that Biden is talking a big game but isn’t actually committing enough resources to the effort in Ukraine to get the job done. This view is most eloquently expressed by Frederick Kagan and his colleagues at the Critical Threats Project and the Institute for the Study of War.
The FTC should settle the Microsoft-Activision dispute
Millions of parents and grandparents have purchased video games and consoles for their children and grandchildren. Of course, video games aren’t just for young people. An increasing number of seniors — the demographic represented by our organization, the 60 Plus Association — are playing video games as well, often on their phones.
Video games provide numerous benefits to older people, including opportunities to connect online with others and exercise both body and mind. Seniors can even bond with grandchildren around video games.
The fact that people of all ages enjoy video games on various devices underscores the strength of the video game sector. There are game titles for everyone, reflecting robust competition and consumer choice in the marketplace. The video game industry also creates jobs, drives innovation, and provides opportunities for investors.
But now, the Federal Trade Commission is threatening to undercut America’s success in this sector by suing to block Microsoft’s acquisition of video game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard. This is just one more recent example of federal regulators disrupting the efficiency of the marketplace.
Regulation should protect consumers, not competitors. Just as important, regulation should not undermine investment, innovation, or the ability of American companies to compete globally.
The Five Stages Of Totalitarianism
Fears of a growing totalitarian tendency in the US have swelled during 2020–22. But how close are we really to a totalitarian state? How have such regimes come about historically and what are the warning signs?
This article will answer these questions by examining totalitarian regimes in the eighteenth and twentieth centuries and the pattern by which they came to power.
Stage 1: Discontent and Rumblings
Every new order rises on the ruins of the old.
Those who would establish a new regime must tap into or generate dissatisfaction with the status quo. However much those desiring a reset may despise the old order, they can’t accomplish much without harnessing or fabricating a similar attitude in the public. Then the revolutionary totalitarian appears as the solution to these problems…
… So is the United States headed for totalitarianism? Here we move from facts to speculation—a risky business. The answer is not straightforward. But if we are careful to avoid exaggeration, some useful comparisons can be made…
… One final point must be made. Though troubling similarities exist between the trajectory of the US and the historical examples of totalitarianism outlined above, we must avoid both the extremes of an alarmist fatalism and a starry-eyed state of denial. On the one hand, the events of the past few years in our country are grim. On the other, history does not work like a machine, and many factors are at play here. I do not claim to know the future, and I do not believe in historical determinism. In the end, whether the United States is headed for totalitarianism or not is largely up to us and whether or not we resist these trends.
Our military leaders need a national security ‘fast lane’ to compete with China
The Chinese spy balloon incident highlights both the brashness of China’s military ambitions and the U.S. military’s struggle to counter China’s bold moves with new capabilities such as modern air surveillance tools. The most pressing weapons threat the People’s Liberation Army poses to the United States is not balloons, however, but a vast missile program designed to hold the U.S. military at arm’s length, now outnumbering the U.S. in launch capacity and possessing technical advantage in the form of hypersonic missiles designed to outmaneuver defenses.
More systemically, the balloon incident lays bare the audacity of China’s increasingly aggressive military strategy and its focus on rapidly developing and fielding new capabilities. In response, the United States must focus on rapidly developing and fielding new tools to counter China’s bold actions.
The fundamental job of any leader is to identify priorities — challenges and opportunities — communicate them, and then make the hard choices necessary to make progress against these priorities. Too often, our defense enterprise fails to meet this bar. But the U.S. does have a few people in leadership positions who correctly identify a rising China as not only a top rhetorical priority but one that merits difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall has defined seven initiatives to counter China, and Gen. David Berger, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, has launched a sweeping redesign of his force toward this same end.
AARP: Seniors’ Lobby or Insurance Company?
Washington is full of special interest groups whose reputations make them formidable participants in the ongoing battle over what the government should be doing.
Among the most powerful of these groups is AARP. Formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, it has, over the years, been transformed into a network of well-informed, politically active seniors who vote and who can be provoked into entering the fray whenever they can be made to believe their benefits are threatened.
This makes them a group to be feared. No one wants to cross AARP, at least not politically. Few have lived to tell the tale. That makes the group a powerful voice on issues related to health care and other subjects of concern to the elderly.
It’s time, though, to start asking whether AARP’s vaunted reputation is grounded in reality or if it’s just hype.
CPAC 2023: Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears compares state of America to 1984
Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears (R-VA) compared the current state of the United States to the dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell during a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
Sears made the comments during a panel on parent activism and education, a major issue in her and Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R-VA) electoral victories in 2021.
“It is not 1963 — when my dad came — it’s 1984,” Sears said, referring to her father’s immigration to the U.S. from Jamaica. “If we don’t get a grip, we’re going to be living in some kind of dystopian society. [We have] to fight for our children, our grandchildren, our nieces, our nephews.”
Sears said the fight for school choice was the “new Brown v. Board of Education,” referring to the 1954 Supreme Court decision that prohibited racial segregation in schools. The lieutenant governor said she was willing to lose her next election over the issue.