Sunday, August 29, 2021

Cancel culture and an anti-life agenda lead to firing of religious broadcaster

 The big bombshell on Twitter Saturday morning was the firing of Daniel Darling, who, until Friday, was the senior vice president of communications for the National Religious Broadcasters. Mr. Darling’s sin, as reported by the Religion News Service, was refusing to recant his endorsements of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Now, wait a tick, you might say. What’s wrong with that? Millions of religious people have been vaccinated and, more importantly, vaccinations are not mentioned in the Bible, nor are they forbidden by Christian theological doctrines. Plus, Christians pioneered the concept of vaccines as a way to alleviate human suffering.

Well, yeah. But that was before the Coronavirus pandemic and the mass hysteria that seems to have infected a large part of the church. Nowadays, it is no longer hip among the Christian right to be pro-vaccine and it may even be hazardous to your job security if the reports of Darling’s dismissal are accurate.

While the National Religious Broadcasters Association has not commented publicly, a source authorized to speak on Darling’s behalf said that the religious writer and broadcaster was fired because he promoted Coronavirus vaccinations on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” It wasn’t immediately clear whether the bigger sin was promoting the vaccines or appearing on MSNBC.

On the segment, which appeared on August 2, Darling told Joe Scarborough, “I believe in this vaccine because I don’t want to see anyone else die of COVID. Our family has lost too many close friends and relatives to COVID, including an uncle, a beloved church member, and our piano teacher.”

Darling also said that he was proud to be vaccinated. He made similar comments in a USA Today opinion piece on August 1.

Per the report, leaders at the NRB met with Darling this week and told him that his statements violated the NRB’s stance of neutrality on Coronavirus vaccines. He was reportedly given the option of signing a statement that admitted insubordination or being fired.

There’s a lot to unpack here. First, I’m going to acknowledge that the NRB is a private religious organization and has the right to set its own standards. They have the right to hire and fire who they please.

But there are moral, ethical, and religious problems with the NRB’s actions even if Darling’s firing passes the legal test. The most obvious one is that Christians should not be neutral about COVID-19 vaccines. They should wholeheartedly endorse them as a gift from God.

The vaccines, which have been proven to be very safe over more than 5 billion doses, are effective at reducing the spread of COVID-19 and of minimizing the severity of those who become sick through breakthrough infections. In other words, they alleviate human suffering and help to heal the sick, which is a fulfillment of Jesus’s commandments to his followers.

Second, Darling’s firing is a violation of its own commitment to fighting censorship of religious broadcasters. On August 13, the NRB Twitter account said, “We are committed to fighting for the right of Christian communicators to speak freely and truthfully without fear of censorship.”

Unless, of course, free speech angers the many evangelical Christians who believe that vaccines are the Mark of the Beast or some such nonsense. A religious broadcasting organization might do better to educate its followers about why getting vaccinated doesn’t mean that you are condemned to hell, as a Twitter friend’s mom was recently told by her pastor.

Christians also need to be educated on vaccines because they have driven a lot of the spread of COVID-19 in the US. As I’ve described several times in the past, a great many COVID clusters have been centered on churches that refused to suspend in-person services and/or use mitigation strategies. My own church was the center of a recent outbreak in which one woman died and another lost her baby. The majority of the infected were not vaccinated.

I could understand firing Darling if he violated Christian teaching. For instance, if he was ensnared in a sex scandal like Jerry Falwell, Jr. or was alleged to have covered up sexual abuse like several leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention. But there is no Biblical directive or Christian doctrine against vaccines.

Rather than working to heal the sick, too many Christians have been working to spread the virus around their communities. In my opinion, the NRB should help to convince Christians that the way to fulfill Christ’s commandment to love your neighbor (not like that Rev. Falwell!) is to stop infecting their communities with a life-threatening disease.

Since some Christians reject vaccines because they believe that they contain elements of aborted babies, the NRB should also point out that pro-life ethicists have “blessed” the use of all three Coronavirus vaccines that are in common use in the United States.

The firing of Daniel Darling is a troubling indication of the too-cozy relationship between the evangelical church and the Republican Party. Darling’s case reminds me of the furor from December 2019 when Mark Galli wrote an article for Christianity Today arguing that Donald Trump should be removed from office. Galli was eventually forced out after then-President Trump blasted the magazine and a furor erupted among readers.

The ousters of Darling and Galli are examples of political cancel culture run amok in the church. This is particularly galling from a religion and a party that claim to be pro-life, but the anti-vaxxer movement has led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and even more severe illnesses in this country alone. As one wag posted on the internet recently in satire of the anti-abortion bumper sticker, “COVID-19 stops a beating heart.”

Christians who are figuratively martyred by the right-wing Christian establishment are in good company, however. Honoring the Bible and God’s teaching doesn’t always guarantee success in this world as Jesus himself warned us. The prophet Hosea preached for more than 60 years without success. The important thing is to remain faithful.

Christians used to acknowledge that both parties were imperfect and fallible. That is less and less the case as the view on the right has become more and more that no Christian can be a Democrat as well as the corollary that “real Christians” must vote Republican. (Interestingly, I know Christians on the left who also think that no Christian can be a Republican. Both of these views are wrong.)

The Bible tells us that this world is not our home. If we are equating Christianity with our particular brand of politics and in the process helping a virus ravage our communities and our country, then we are doing Christianity wrong. It’s time to start over and focus on the basics.


And speaking of censorship and cancel culture, I’d like to give a shout-out to The First. When The First bought out Resurgent last year, I didn’t think I’d last long. However, here I am, still posting away. I really don’t endorse anything else that The First publishes, but I am grateful that they have not silenced me or Steve.

From the Racket

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The persecution of the unvaxxed

 In my travels around the interwebs over the past few days, I’ve noticed a theme that seems to be popping up more and more. The theme is the idea that people who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 are now second-class citizens who are being persecuted in their own country.

This new theme is similar to the claims that Marjorie Taylor Greene put forth last spring that mask mandates were similar to the Holocaust, but the persecution complex is now spreading to people and outlets that were once considered serious. In a recent article in the Blaze, Steve Deace compared vaccine mandates to slavery while Thomas Massie took a page from Rep. Greene’s repertoire and, in a now-deleted tweet, compared vaccine cards to concentration camp tattoos.

Victim status, once considered to be a province of the left, is now being proclaimed by the right. But do the claims of victimhood really stand up to facts and logic?

The differences between slavery, the Holocaust, and a vaccination drive in the midst of a pandemic should be obvious. For starters, African slaves and European Jews had no control over their status. They were born black or Jewish and nothing that they could do would change that. In Germany, even Jews who were so fully assimilated that they didn’t know they were Jewish were shipped off to the concentration camps along with Orthodox, practicing Jews.

On the other hand, the unvaccinated have a choice. They can be vaccinated or they can refuse. As a federal judge noted in July, vaccine skeptics are not being forced to be vaccinated. They have a choice, but there are consequences if they refuse. And accepting the consequences of your actions is a very conservative idea.

So what are the consequences? Some employers and schools are requiring vaccinations, but in many cases, there are alternative methods of compliance for those with religious objections. These alternative methods of compliance often include periodic COVID testing and mask requirements. The problem isn’t that the COVID anti-vaxxers are being forced to get the vaccine, it’s that they don’t want to be required to take any action at all to mitigate the spread of the disease.

Earlier this week, Delta Air Lines became the first company to raise health insurance premiums for unvaccinated employees. This is not a mandate, but it is an incentive to do the right thing. Does this constitute harassment of vaccine skeptics? No, because there is a valid reason for the company to pass along this surcharge, namely that it needs to stem the financial losses from providing care for unvaccinated employees.

“The average hospital stay for COVID-19 has cost Delta $50,000 per person,” CEO Ed Bastian said in an employee memo announcing the policy. “This surcharge will be necessary to address the financial risk the decision to not vaccinate is creating for our company.”

“In recent weeks since the rise of the B.1.617.2 variant, all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID were not fully vaccinated,” Bastian added.

So we have valid reasons for more restrictive rules on those who refuse to be vaccinated, which are a self-selected group, rather than an ethnic minority being singled out for persecution. Unlike Holocaust Jews and African slaves, all the unvaccinated have to do to escape the restrictions, which pale in comparison to concentration camps and slave plantations, is to get vaccinated.

That pretty much destroys the claims of unjust persecution, but is there precedent for singling out people who refuse to be vaccinated? Well, yes, now that you mention it, the US has had vaccine requirements going back more than 100 years. The first vaccine requirement in the US dates back to an 1850 Massachusetts law that mandated the smallpox vaccine for public school students.

Today, all 50 states mandate several vaccines for school enrollment and, as a result, many of the diseases that we vaccinate for are rarely encountered in the US. The military mandates even more vaccines for recruits and international travelers can expect to get even more shots. If you don’t get the required shots, you can’t go to school, join the military, hold certain jobs, or travel outside the country, but for some reason, this was never considered persecution until now.

A forgotten bit of American history is the story of “Typhoid Mary,” an Irish cook who was an asymptomatic spreader of typhoid fever. Mary was forcibly quarantined but released on the condition that she would stop cooking, which allowed her to spread the disease. When she started working at kitchen jobs again and causing more outbreaks, she was quarantined for the rest of her life. The restrictions that the unvaccinated face today are mild by comparison.

As far as Delta’s financial surcharge, that is not unprecedented either. I’ve worked for companies in the past that give financial incentives in their health insurance for employees who don’t use tobacco or who get annual physicals. These aren’t punishments as much as they are passing along the costs of bad decisions.

I’m still seeing frequent arguments that have been debunked months ago. Among these are the idea that vaccines are worthless since they aren’t 100 percent effective when in reality, they reduce your chances of being infected and the severity of illness in a breakthrough infection. Some claim that the vaccines have not been tested on pregnant women when a cursory internet search quickly turns up several recent studies confirming the safety of COVID vaccines during pregnancy. Others say that vaccines don’t slow the spread of the disease. However, not only do they slow the spread by preventing infection, there is evidence that they reduce transmission in breakthrough cases. Some claim that the vaccines are dangerous, but with more than 5 billion doses of the vaccines administered, all have proven to be very safe with very few serious complications.

The sheer volume of misinformation floating around cyberspace makes it impossible to address every conspiracy theory and lie. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it isn’t what the anti-vaxxers don’t know, it’s that they know so much that isn’t so. The scientific and medical information is being drowned out by the political voices of grifters and conspiracy theorists.

The shift toward claiming victim status to avoid the consequences of bad decisions is not necessarily a new phenomenon on the right, but it is an unfortunate one. It is symptomatic (pun intended) of the right’s movement away from traditional conservatism and toward something very different.


Worth noting is that a federal judge in Michigan re-leashed the Kraken legal team yesterday. Not only is the Kraken back on the leash, but the court spanked them with a rolled-up newspaper and called them bad dogs.

I haven’t read the full document, which is linked in the tweet above, but the judge called for sanctions against Lin Wood, Sidney Powell, and others. The Kraken attorneys will be forced to pay legal fees for the State of Michigan and the City of Detroit and will have to take continuing education courses. The lawyers may end up being disbarred for their actions in the frivolous lawsuit.

The judge noted, “This case was never about fraud — it was about undermining the people’s faith in our democracy and debasing the judicial process to do so."

Justice is being served. Get it while it’s hot.

From the Racket

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Joe Biden may pull off the pullout

 We are more than a week into the Afghan evacuation. The operation has turned into something in between Dunkirk and the Berlin Airlift and seems to be going better than I would have thought possible when it started. Two weekends ago, I thought that we would be looking at a chaotic bloodbath as we had to fight to bring out the last Americans. The reality has been very different.

The AP reports that Monday was the biggest day for the evacuations so far with 10,400 people ferried out on 28 US military flights in 24 hours, followed by another 6,600 on another 15 flights during the next 12 hours. Those numbers dwarf the 3,900 removed in the first 24 hours of the airlift. As I was writing this article, a new one-day best total was announced, reporting that 21,600 passengers had been removed by US and Allied aircraft.

The total number of evacuees is almost constantly changing but Yahoo News reported on Monday that a total of 3,376 US citizens had been removed. The total number of evacuees, which includes Afghans who worked with the US military and the government, along with their families, exceeds 37,000.

And it has all been done without the loss of a single American life. A firefight erupted near the airport on Monday that left one Afghan soldier dead, but so far that is the only report of violence inside the pocket of territory held by Coalition forces.

The ability to continue the airlift without losses is due largely to the Taliban’s decision to stand down and let the evacuation continue. There is little doubt that Taliban forces could disrupt the flights to and from the airport as well as the loading process if they wanted to, but so far they are content to let the process continue.

The questions at this point are how many more Americans are left in-country to be evacuated, how they will be able to get to the airport, and how long the process will take. President Biden has not ruled out extending the airlift beyond August 31, but the Taliban considers that date non-negotiable. If the evacuation continues beyond the end of the month, the situation could get considerably more dicey.

As to the number of Americans, the government doesn’t seem to know exactly how many were in Afghanistan. As National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan explained to Yahoo, “The reason we can’t give you a precise number is because not every American who comes into Afghanistan goes and puts themselves into a database at the U.S. Embassy. They don’t have to. Many of them choose not to.”

State Department employees have reportedly been placing thousands of calls to try to determine the location of Americans that they believe may be in Afghanistan. They are also trying to determine whether the Americans that remain in-country want to leave.

Why wouldn’t Americans want to leave a country that is now under Taliban rule? They may want to stay with their families. They may be Muslims who are sympathetic to the Taliban like John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban” captured in 2001. Some may even be staying to join the anti-Taliban resistance.

Early on, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters that he did not have the “capability” to send units into the city to retrieve American citizens as England and France had done. That seems to have changed, however. Over the weekend, France 24 reported that American helicopters rescued more than 150 Americans who were unable to reach the airport gates.

But there may be more Americans out there. Fox News aired a phone call on Tuesday from a woman claiming to be in Afghanistan who said that her family was stranded at home.

“When we try to get to the airport, we either get beaten up or we are afraid for our lives,” the woman said. “For four days — three, four days — we didn’t hear anything from anywhere. And then they’re saying to go to the airport, but we’re not being given clear guidance. They are saying one thing and the next day they come and say something else. So you really exactly don’t know what to do. There is a lot of miscommunication going on.”

There have also been reports that Taliban fighters are confiscating passports from Afghan-Americans. It is not clear how widespread this practice has been, but more breaking news as I write this reports that the Taliban will begin blocking Afghans from the airport. This move could potentially strand thousands of Afghan allies and set up a confrontation between the Taliban and Coalition forces.

Putting all that together, there are at least seven days left in the airlift. If the current effort can continue, up to another 140,000 people can be evacuated before the Taliban slams the door on the effort. That will be a remarkable accomplishment in and of itself.

The more difficult problem is going to be accounting for the Americans who might or might not be in Afghanistan and might or might not want to leave. In the end, I don’t know if it will even be possible to know if we were successful in evacuating all of the US citizens who wanted to leave.

It is virtually assured that not all the Afghans who want to leave and escape the Taliban will be able to do so, however. I’m not sure that we could remove all the people who want to avoid living under Taliban rule if we stayed a year.

While the Afghan airlift is so far proving to be very successful, it does not erase the questions about why the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated so quickly. The Biden Administration has come under sharp criticism for not getting Americans and Afghan allies out earlier before we had to depend on the good graces of the Taliban to do so.

Those questions still need to be addressed, but if the Biden Administration can successfully evacuate the Americans stuck in Afghanistan, it will blunt much of the criticism directed at Biden’s foreign policy. After all, most of the country supports the withdrawal from Afghanistan but doesn’t like the way the evacuation has been handled. If the exit turns out to be less of a disaster than it originally seemed, Biden will almost certainly benefit.

From the Racket

Inflation fears are deflating

 A couple of months ago, there were dire predictions of runaway inflation. As the economy started to heat up in April and May, prices surged and fed fears that inflation would erode the value of the dollar and ultimately mean your paycheck would be able to buy less. The alarms about inflation have been muted over the first half of the summer, however.

There are several reasons for this. One of the most obvious is that we’ve been distracted by other stories. First came the Delta variant surge and then the Afghanistan debacle. It’s well known and understood that the media veers wildly from one story to the next like a pack of lemmings. The inability to focus on more than one subject at a time is one of our national weaknesses. I blame MTV. And TikTok.

But there are other reasons as well. One of these is the Delta variant itself. Economic growth and employment were both strong in July, but those numbers are likely to slow a bit in August. A big part of that slowdown will be the return of some Coronavirus restrictions as well as Americans deciding to hunker down once again on their own initiative.

Additionally, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, explained to CNBC that he believes that growth would begin to slow over the coming months because the easy economic gains have already been made and the economy will now begin to revert to the pre-pandemic mean of about two percent growth. The fiscal stimulus will fade and the low-hanging fruit of the recovery has already been plucked with overall output at about 98 percent of pre-COVID levels.

“Growth has peaked, the economy will slow a bit in the second half of this year, then much more noticeably in the first half of 2022 as fiscal support fades,” Zandi said. “The contours of growth are going to be shaped largely by fiscal policy over the next 18 months. The tailwind just blows less strongly, and may stop altogether by this time next year.”

Already, many of the price spikes of last spring are fading. Oil prices have fallen over the past few weeks and the Energy Information Administration is forecasting that gas prices, which rose due to increasing demand and low inventories, will begin to drop to about 30 cents below their July average. I’ve already noticed lower gas prices in my area.

Likewise, the price of lumber has sharply declined over the past few months after spiking in the spring. Yahoo Finance noted that lumber had increased 377 percent in one year but then lost 74 percent of its value. As the lumber bubble popped, the commodity’s value fell back to 2018 levels.

“Supply and demand dynamics worked as expected,” Home Depot COO Ted Decker told Fox Business.

A lot of people simply got the inflation story wrong as Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab, explained to Yahoo Finance. The spring price spikes were largely due to supply disruptions that have mostly been corrected in subsequent months. Most but not all.

"It really is a function of what service or commodity product you're talking about. I think some of those imbalances are probably stickier in nature, not least being semiconductors,” Sonders said.

The semiconductor market is definitely one of the areas that cannot be considered a bright spot. The microchips that power just about everything from toothbrushes to mobile phones to cars continue to be in short supply due to both rising demand and supply constrictions.

The global shortage of semiconductors will continue to constrain production of items such as automobiles and mobile phones. Several automakers have already cut production due to the shortage. Smartphone makers have been working from stockpiled parts for the past few months, but those raw materials and components are starting to run out.

As we all know, when supply is constrained but demand remains high, we can expect prices to rise. Those price increases will apply to many other electronic devices as well, such as video game systems and smart appliances.

Sonders also pointed out that sustained inflation needs both price and wage increases. Companies cannot continue to raise prices if doing so means that their customers can no longer afford to buy their product. However, if prices and wages rise in tandem it can create a wage-price spiral. For this reason, it will be interesting to see if wages continue to rise as the economy settles into a normal pattern.

“When you go through real serious periods of inflation, like in the 1970s, it had a lot to do with the psychology — the psychology of workers willing to ask for higher wages ... [and] companies' willingness to pass on higher costs,” Sonders said. “And there's a psychological aspect to that which is harder to quantify, but something that we have to keep in mind as we think about the longer term implications of what we're seeing right now.”

And, to be fair, there are still those who foresee more widespread inflation. Fox News recently reported on a forecast for more inflation in the second half of 2021 by Advance Auto Parts. Advance’s outlook references Supply-chain disruptions as well as a labor shortage, wage inflation, and higher costs for raw materials.

On balance, however, inflation fears seem to be ebbing. Rapid economic growth is slowing to a more manageable pace and commodities that spiked in the spring are returning to normal levels. Prices for some goods and services will continue to rise over the next few months, but these price increases seem to be tied to specific supply problems rather than more widespread inflation.

From the Racket

Monday, August 23, 2021

Competence is dead, but hypocrisy will live forever

 The situation in Afghanistan continues to simmer and the biggest debate is over who is most to blame. Let me put that argument to rest. Both sides are to blame along with the 70 percent of the American people who decided it was time to end the war regardless of whether we had won or not.

As is often the case, information, some of it contradictory, is coming out in dribs and drabs. We won’t have a full picture of exactly what happened for a while. I expect a Bob Woodward tell-all by the end of next year and I’d support an independent commission into the handling of the withdrawal. But when I say “independent commission,” I want a nonpartisan one that will sort through the evidence and compile the facts for posterity, not a hatchet job or a whitewash. To do that, we need a commission that looks back beyond January 20, 2021.

Photo by Rita Morais on Unsplash

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I’m going to reiterate that I opposed the Afghan withdrawal under both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. I’m also going to state categorically that Joe Biden has not handled the withdrawal well. There is evidence that President Biden ignored warnings from his military advisors and failed to communicate with allies. That’s bad stuff, but it also sounds like criticism that was directed at The Former Guy over the past four years.

Again, I opposed the withdrawal, but if America was determined to hand Afghanistan over the Taliban (and this was something both parties agreed on since Trump’s negotiations with the Taliban did not include representatives from the Afghan government), there is a case to be made for ripping off the bandaid and just pulling out. Even in this case, however, there should have been a phased withdrawal that allowed American citizens (and our Afghan allies) to fall back to Kabul and be evacuated in an orderly manner.

The Catch-22 here is the Afghan National Army depended on support from US contractors. We built an army that depended heavily on force multipliers such as close air support and artillery and then we removed those assets.

A prescient article from Reuters in June notes that Donald Trump’s executive agreement with the Taliban (it wasn’t a treaty since it was never ratified by Congress as an Alert Reader pointed out, another similarity between Trump and Obama) required the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and non-diplomatic civilian personnel, including US defense contractors.

The article quoted John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), who accurately predicted that the loss of these contractors who helped to maintain military equipment, manage supply chains, and train Afghan personnel “may be more devastating to the effectiveness of the Afghan security forces than a withdrawal of our remaining troops.”

So should President Biden have violated the Trump-Taliban agreement and left these contractors in place? Doing so might have helped to prop up the ANA and delayed the fall of the country, but it would have also left more US citizens in place to become potential Taliban hostages. It was a Catch-22.

It may well be that, to summon a line from the old movie, “WarGames,” that “the only winning move is not to play.” But remember that Afghanistan was not originally a nation-building exercise. It was a punitive expedition to attack a country that housed the man and the organization who were responsible for the September 11 attacks. The vote to authorize military force against Afghanistan was a bipartisan, almost unanimous agreement.

Should we ignore attacks on the US homeland in order to avoid getting involved with another insurgency? Maybe we should have just leveled Afghanistan and left. There are obvious negatives to both of those strategies as well. A better idea may be to put some research and thought into developing a viable counterinsurgency strategy.

And so now, we have calls for Biden to resign over his handling of the Afghan situation. In many cases, the calls for Biden’s resignation are bad faith calls from people who excused everything that President Trump did, including setting the stage for the current debacle, but in some cases, such as Steve Berman’s article this morning, they are from good-faith critics of both presidents.

Personally, I don’t think for a minute that Biden will resign unless the situation gets much, much worse. As I’ve noted in the past, Biden’s Afghan policy was supported by a strong majority of Americans and is essentially a continuation of Donald Trump’s policy. (Admittedly, this is one of the few areas where Biden continued Trumpian policy.) Two new polls, one from Yahoo News/YouGov and one from Politico/Morning Consult, show that about half of the country still approves of the withdrawal.

Presidents don’t resign because they kept campaign promises that the country supports, even if those promises were based on an ill-advised policy. In the case of Afghanistan, the surprising strength of the Taliban and the weakness of the Afghan government actually bolster the case for withdrawal, if not for the incompetent handling of the evacuation and public relations.

The bottom line here is that Joe Biden was not elected because America thought he was intelligent or competent. He was elected because America thought he was more intelligent, competent, honest, and sane than Donald Trump. So far, he has cleared this low bar.

The story of today’s Afghanistan mess is the story of incompetence in both parties and war fatigue among the public. The Trump Administration negotiated a deal with the Taliban with rose-colored glasses. Joe Biden then continued down the same path to get us to the point where we are today. (I’ll point out that not everyone on either side was wrong about Afghanistan. Whatever their other faults, Lindsey Graham and Hillary Clinton are among the people who correctly sounded the alarm on the withdrawal.)

But neither party wants to acknowledge the incompetence within their own ranks. And both parties at times will totally reject competent experts as “elites.” We’ve come to a point where a great many Americans view knowledge and expertise as a bad thing.

That’s where the hypocrisy comes in. If there’s anything that is destroying American greatness today it is the tribalism that allows us to complain about the splinters in the opposition’s eye while ignoring the planks in our own.

If we want to dig our way out of the current morass, it’s going to take Americans from both sides insisting on a basic level of competence from our leaders and holding our own side accountable. We can’t continue to fall into the trap of thinking that the worst person on my side is better than the best person on theirs. Spoiler alert: If you think this, you’re wrong, no matter which side you’re on, and you are part of the race to the bottom.

The first step in finding bipartisan competence is to turn off the outrage media that has turned demonizing political opponents into a cottage industry and stop listening to the conspiracy theories that run rampant on the internet. Tune out, unplug, and go talk to some real people with different views.


In a developing story, a man in a pickup truck claims to have a car bomb in Washington, DC. The man is currently near the Library of Congress and claims to have enough ammonium nitrate to destroy two city blocks. The man says that he does not want to die but is ready to “die for the cause.”

Many of us have expected the possibility of more right-wing (possibly QAnon) violence since the January 6 domestic terror attack on the Capitol. It was only a few days ago that the Department of Homeland Security warned of the possibility of “anti-government/anti-authority” extremists. They seem to have hit the nail on the head.

In the alleged bomber’s video, the man, who speaks with a distinct Southern accent and has tentatively been identified as Ray Roseberry, 49, of North Carolina. Roseberry calls out Joe Biden in a livestream rant and claims that four other car bombs are located around the District of Columbia.

Roseberry’s attempted terror attack is yet another red flag that the current culture of “Flight 93” thinking and claims of oppression and fascism and authoritarian plots are bringing the US to the brink of revolution. Roseberry, by his own admission, wants to start a revolution.

I have trouble understanding why people who claim to love America and want to make it great again are willing to destroy it, but that is would be the ultimate conclusion of the course that Roseberry and his ilk want to take. A civil war or revolution would destroy America as we know it and may well fracture the Union. Anyone who loves America should resist this line of thinking.

Now let the people claiming that the bomb threat is a false flag and that Roseberry is an undercover Antifa agent come forward. [insert eye-roll here]

From the Racket