Drag show at Nevada Air Force base cancelled when the Pentagon found out about it

Drag show at Nevada Air Force base cancelled when the Pentagon found out about it 1

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Drag show at Nevada Air Force base cancelled when the Pentagon found out about it 2

Is it the policy of the Department of Defense to not fund drag shows on military bases or not? There seems to be some confusion. A drag show was scheduled to take place at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada today. At the last minute, it was cancelled. The reason for the cancellation is that the Pentagon officials found out about it and shut it down.

Pride Month begins today and the drag show was to be in celebration of it. The show was approved by Air Force leaders, but Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told the Air Force that it is not Defense Department policy to fund drag shows on bases. So, the show in Nevada has been canceled. Perhaps it has been moved off base. This is an issue that has become a hot topic in recent months as drag shows have popped up. Conservatives argue that the Defense Department should not be spending taxpayer money on them.

Austin and Milley have to save face quickly because they both told a congressional committee recently that the Department of Defense does not fund drag shows on military bases. That doesn’t track with reports that drag queen story hours on bases around the world, including in Montana, Nevada, Virginia and Germany have been held.

“Drag queen story hours is not something that the Department funds,” Austin told the committee.

Milley chimed in by asking to see the flyers for the events Gaetz was referring to and saying he is not aware of such events and does not support them being held on military bases.

“I’d like to take a look at those because I don’t agree with those,” Milley said.

When Milley was informed about the event this week, he was visibly angry about the decision to host the event on base, according to a U.S. official and a defense official.

“Consistent with Secretary Austin’s congressional testimony, the Air Force will not host drag events at its installations or facilities. Commanders have been directed to either cancel or relocate these events to an off-base location,” an Air Force official said when asked about the Nellis event.

Somebody is in trouble.

The base commander was informed in the past few days that the drag show must either be canceled or moved off base.

“Per DoD Joint Ethics Regulation (JER), certain criteria must be met for persons or organizations acting in non-Federal capacity to use DoD facilities and equipment. As Secretary Austin has said, the DOD will not host drag events at U.S. military installations or facilities. Hosting these types of events in federally funded facilities is not a suitable use of DOD resources,” deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh said in a statement.

Is it a breakdown in communication to military base leaders or are the bases scheduling drag shows and hoping to get away with it?

Two events in the summer of 2022 brought attention to drag shows on military bases.

One was a scheduled June event at which a drag queen with the stage name Stacey Teed would read stories to children at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The event was canceled after a backlash.

Another was a planned July event at which a sailor, under the drag queen alter ego Harpy Daniels, was slated to perform at a ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summer Festival’ held at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia. Ultimately, the act did not perform at the event.

If the name Harpy Daniels sounds familiar, I wrote about him in May when he was hired as a digital ambassador for the Navy and it’s recruitment efforts. Yes. In the name of promoting diversity in the Navy, a drag queen was hired to help boost recruitment numbers.

The first drag queen show on a U.S. military base may have been in 2014 at Kadena Air Base in Japan.

A bill was introduced in Congress in August 2022 that “prohibits Department of Defense funding from being obligated or expended to organize, promote, or host drag shows as a means of implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.” That was during a Democrat-majority House and it didn’t move forward.

In 2021, Nellis Air Force Base was in the news over a drag queen show.

“Ensuring our ranks reflect and are inclusive of the American people is essential to the morale, cohesion, and readiness of the military,” Nellis Air Force Base said in a 2021 statement to Breitbart after the Nevada base hosted its first drag queen show. “[We are] committed to providing and championing an environment that is characterized by equal opportunity, diversity, and inclusion.”

“Diversity is one of our military’s greatest strengths and works best when our force represents all Americans,” a Pentagon spokesperson similarly told Task & Purpose. “Our people’s experience, professionalism, and commitment have always been our decisive advantage. Diverse backgrounds and experiences contribute to the innovative thought, creative adaptation, and cultural understanding necessary for us to successfully operate in today’s complex, asymmetric environments.”

In May, House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Matt Gaetz sent a letter to Austin and Milley about drag shows on military bases. He sent details of six other events on bases approved by the military. He asked for information on whether any punitive action has been taken against anyone using taxpayer money on them.

Uh oh: Biden falls on stage at Air Force Academy commencement

Uh oh: Biden falls on stage at Air Force Academy commencement 3

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Uh oh: Biden falls on stage at Air Force Academy commencement 4

Joe Biden fell.


This time at the Air Force Academy graduation. And unlike his stumbles on Air Force One’s stairs, this was quite the tumble and he required help to get back to his feet.

First of all, everybody of all political persuasions should hope he is OK and recovers quickly from any injuries he may have suffered. When you are 80 years old taking a fall is no small matter.

Even Donald Trump said a few relatively nice words about Biden’s fall and managed to make a joke about his own way overblown (also military academy-related) near stumble when he was president. At the time the media made out like Trump was on death’s door. I will have a piece tomorrow about the double standards the media has exhibited when covering the age questions regarding the two men.

Biden looking very old and infirm has become an indelible part of how Americans see him, and for good reason. There is nothing shameful about being old and infirm–if we are lucky enough to die of natural causes we will likely all reach that point. My mother-in-law passed away quite recently and it was very painful to watch her physical decline. She will always be the vital and feisty woman I first met in my mind, but I could see the frustration she felt as her body left her unable to do what her mind demanded.

Getting old is not for the faint of heart.

It is an open secret that Biden no longer has the stamina to perform his duties as president, and we don’t need to see the evidence of his physical decline every day of the week to realize that he is not now (nor was he ever, mentally) up to the job. He is not Diane Feinstein-level infirm, but closer to that end of the spectrum than most politicians.

Being president is one of the most mentally demanding jobs in the world. Even being a Congressman or Senator–at least in a competitive seat–requires amazing stamina. Having worked with many politicians and candidates over the years I have seen how physically demanding the job is too. It may not appear so, but the intellectual demands become physical after a while. If you aren’t moving, cajoling, or fundraising, you are getting briefed on something or another.

I often say that the most important characteristic of a political candidate is stamina. If you don’t have stamina, don’t run.

Being president is another level, because your decisions, your speech, and your actions move mountains. It really isn’t a job for the old and infirm. Bush and Obama were both famously physically fit, and even Reagan was an outdoorsman who loved riding horses and chopping wood. Trump? Who knows where his energy comes from? Sugar, I would bet. Yet Trump, too, is too old for the presidency.

Whatever you think of Biden the man, or Biden the politician, it is difficult to argue that Biden the physical specimen is fit to serve for 5 1/2 more years.

Should Biden’s obvious decline become more of an issue there will be whispers again about how to replace him. Surely they have already begun. I sincerely doubt he would go willingly, though, and nobody wants Kamala to be the candidate but Kamala and her acolytes.

Gavin Newsom is the Democrats’ backup plan, and he is running a shadow campaign. It’s clear that many Democrats want him instead of Biden. But it’s not so easy to stage a palace coup–if Biden wants to stay in, he will. And if Biden doesn’t stay in, Kamala will likely want the job and it will be difficult to dissuade her.

Expect another basement campaign from Biden next year, unless he drops out. He will be working hard on the issues that matter to the country. Solving problems. “Finishing the job.” Whatever slogan you like.

If it is Biden vs. a generic Republican he would lose. Biden vs. Trump or Biden vs. DeSantis?

That will be an epic race.

US birth rates remain stubbornly low

US birth rates remain stubbornly low 5

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US birth rates remain stubbornly low 6

The Associated Press leads off this report with the rather milquetoast observation that birth rates in the United States last year “didn’t return to pre-pandemic levels.” That’s true, but it obviously doesn’t tell the entire story. The birth rate in the United States had been steadily declining with only a few exceptions for well over a decade. A very slight increase was recorded in 2021, but it was largely attributed to couples who had decided to postpone pregnancies during the early, uncertain days of the pandemic in 2020 when a significant drop was registered. Over this same decade, there was also a very measurable shift in the demographics of age in terms of who is having children. And all of this could have serious, long-term consequences for the country.

U.S. births were flat last year, as the nation saw fewer babies born than it did before the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

Births to moms 35 and older continued to rise, with the highest rates in that age group since the 1960s. But those gains were offset by record-low birth rates to moms in their teens and early 20s, the CDC found. Its report is based on a review of more than 99% of birth certificates issued last year.

A little under 3.7 million babies were born in the U.S. last year, about 3,000 fewer than the year before.

Simply looking at the raw number of successful births doesn’t tell the whole story. The reality is that the average number of births per woman in any society that’s required to maintain a stable population over the long run (known as the replacement rate) is roughly 2.1 births per woman. We have now dropped below 1.7. That’s not quite as bad as what we’re seeing in Japan, which is in the middle of an actual population crisis, but that’s the direction we appear to be heading in.

And then there are the demographics I mentioned above. The largest number of births came from mothers who were 35 or older. Meanwhile, the number of young women in their late teens and early twenties (once the leaders in birth rates) reached a record low. This is problematic for a couple of reasons.

First of all, while every child is a blessing and should be welcomed into a loving family, pregnancies in older women are more problematic. Historical data shows that mothers over the age of 35 are the most likely to experience perinatal mortality and neonatal morbidity when compared to the more “traditional” birth ages of 18 to 29. In other words, when the group having the largest percentage of babies is also the group most statistically likely to lose babies, the long-term problem is accelerated.

Meanwhile, fewer women in their late teens and early twenties are having children. We don’t have much more than anecdotal evidence to go by, but this trend seems to be the result of shifting social attitudes rather than some sort of spike in infertility rates. In fact, American marriage rates are now a shocking 60% lower than they were fifty years ago. That must be a factor. The devaluation of institutions like marriage and the nuclear family has predictably produced any number of negative results for this country. But the decline in birth rates is high on the list of issues.

Depopulation is a slow form of cultural suicide. But what, if anything, can be done about it? You can’t just send out the FBI to round up people and forcibly take them to a Justice of the Peace and then to a hotel honeymoon suite. (I probably shouldn’t be giving them any ideas.)  Japan recently passed a new law offering cash and tax incentives to encourage people to get married and have children. It sounds sort of silly, but should we be considering something like that? Then again, if you really need the government to literally bribe you to get married, what are the chances you’ll make it through the long run? But no matter what we do or don’t do, if this birth rate situation doesn’t turn around soon, the upcoming generations need to prepare for some hard times.

State of Denial: Newsom looking to buy energy this summer

State of Denial: Newsom looking to buy energy this summer 7

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Onward, Climate soldiers!
Marching as to war,
With the Globe of Gaia,
Going on before.

If ever there was a state singing the song of the Climate Cultists, that state is California and the unctuous, manipulative high priest leading the chorus from his Dias is Gavin “Randall Flagg” Newsom.

His policies and arrogant diktats -codified and enforced by a network of uber-Progressive elected and appointed officials – have taken the once halcyon, rock-solid Golden State into an age of uncertainty, economic upheaval, and citizen/tax base out-flight. No extreme position based on the flimsiest of Climate Change Science™ or fabulism is too extreme to become legal and binding in CA, tangible, documentable harm to the citizenry be damned.

It’s always “The Future” with these Green schemers and why?

Because you can’t prove the future, unlike the experienced, imposed misery of the here and now. Regrettably, deteriorating lifestyle conditions “now” are allowable and noble (but not shared) sacrifices “the people” must be forced to abide in in the name of “the future.” You’ll notice that the future is never better for you and me – it’s just their metric of success for the climate.

Besides – our ruling class knows “the people” are too stupid to understand the plan in any event. Even when they come right out and baldly lay it on you.

Like this lovely lady from the WEF, talking about “the poor.” She means you and me, you know – precisely as Newsom with “Californians” when he talks in big Green terms. Benevolent dictators.

Same same.

If I want to fly, I buy some carbon emission rights from someone who can’t afford to fly, for example… Or if someone lives in a small house, he can sell his carbon emission rights to someone who lives in a big house. This way, poor people can benefit from the green economy.

The Newsoms, Bidens, progressives, Greens, and globalists of the world are doing YOU the big favor, you see?

Sometimes, though, they get out a little ahead of their skis, and darned if they don’t have to do some quick tap-dancing to cover their tracks before “the people” either notice something amiss – like the constant, blazing hypocrisy – or wake up entirely and demand an end to the current regime.

The governor is in that position right now. He has shoved his state so perilously close to the climate cliff energy-wise, that he is in search of stop-gap measures to keep the magic trons flowing through the wires, and he’s in a hurry. Why?

Because summer’s coming, and it gets HOT.

For most of the year, California’s quest to rid itself of fossil fuels seems on track: Electric cars populate highways while energy from wind, solar and water provides much of the power for homes and businesses.

Then it gets hot, and everyone in the nation’s most populous state turns on their air conditioners at the same time. That’s when California has come close to running out of power in recent years, especially in the early evenings when electricity from solar is not as abundant.

Now, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to buy massive amounts of renewable energy to help keep the lights on. The idea is to use the state’s purchasing power to convince private companies to build largescale power plants that run off of heat from underground sites and strong winds blowing off the coast — the kinds of power that utility companies have not been buying because it’s too expensive and would take too long to build.

We laid out the markers on solar and wind, but we recognize that’s not going to get us where we need to go,” Newsom said during a news conference last week. “The issue of reliability has to be addressed.”

Well, that’s brilliant. The governor who proudly crowed about shutting down CA’s reliable, cheap nuclear power plants knows that summer is hot, which takes tons of extra electricity, or people get HOT AND CRANKY. Which is why they have to…

…avoid rolling blackouts, state officials turn on massive diesel-powered generators to make up the state’s energy shortfall

…which is completely antithetical to “clean energy.”

That’s brilliant.

To Newsom, the obvious answer is to have companies build vastly expensive, unreliable power plants that take years – the companies build them, CA buys the electricity generated from them. Fed green subsidies, of course that means you and me, pick up a good portion of the construction cost.

For Schlitz and giggles – you have any idea what POTATUS’ Green subsidies in his latest boondoggle would put back in the economy if they were canceled?

The price tag of the Inflation Reduction Act’s green energy tax credits is much higher than originally thought. This week, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) provided a new score of the credits for the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) analysis of House Speaker McCarthy’s debt ceiling bill—which would eliminate the credits—and pegged the cost of the credits at $570 billion from 2023 to 2033, roughly double its original estimate of $270 billion over 10 years. Among other things, this indicates the Inflation Reduction Act does not reduce deficits after all.


Even better, for this round of catch-up, Newsom wants the state’s already over-burdened consumers to foot the bill. But he’s not saying anything about that part yet.

…Laugh if you must, but Mr. Newsom does seem to have succeeded in keeping Californians in the dark when it comes to the full cost of his energy plans, as the AP explains:

Customers would have to pay for the new power the state buys through a new, still undetermined, charge on their electric bills.

What a compelling proposal! Mr. Newsom is promising that Californians will pay more, but won’t reveal how much more while he’s seeking to enact his plan. How could anyone be opposed?…

All of the companies would be selling their product to a single buyer, the state – what could go wrong?

It’s brilliant, right?

…Publicly-owned utilities, like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, fear the state’s entrance into the energy market will create new competition, potentially increasing prices for everyone in a market already struggling with a lack of supply.

Patrick Welch, legislative director for the California Municipal Utilities Association, said if California starts buying power the state would be competing with utilities “and that could further drive up prices.”

State of Denial: Newsom looking to buy energy this summer 8

It’s not like CA consumers aren’t already paying through the nose for progressive renewable energy pipe dreams as it is.

What’s a couple more years and a couple more billions?

Just keep your mandated EV plugged in. They may need it to keep the a/c on THIS summer as not a spade of earth will move.

A Pride flag was burned in North Hollywood and Gavin Newsom lost his mind

A Pride flag was burned in North Hollywood and Gavin Newsom lost his mind 9

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A Pride flag was burned in North Hollywood and Gavin Newsom lost his mind 10

A Pride flag was burned at an elementary school in North Hollywood. It belonged to a transgender teacher at the school. It was a small flag displayed in a planter outside of a classroom at Saticoy Elementary School. Governor Gavin Newsom is shook by this incident and ranted on Twitter about it.

Progressives are so deranged that everything is blamed on “the far-right” whether there is proof or not. It is automatically assumed that the far-right is responsible in the media and among Democrat politicians. Los Angeles police are investigating it as a “vandalism hate crime.” There has been absolutely no evidence that anyone or any group in particular is responsible for burning a little flag in a planter but the Governor of California lost his mind because he conflates it with everything else going on in current events.

The timing of the Pride flag burning comes weeks after some parents objected to the announcement of a Pride event at the school – remember, this is an elementary school – in which teachers read students a book about diversity and “all kinds of families.” The book is titled “The Great Big Book of Families.’

There is some confusion about where the flag was displayed. A source I used for the story, Fox in L.A., reported that the flag was in a planter outside a classroom. But NBC News reports that someone broke into the school during the weekend that preceded May 22. The person (s) who broke in burned the flag, according to the Los Angeles Unified School District. So, was the flag inside or outside?

Alan Hamilton, a deputy chief with the police department’s Valley Bureau, said in a statement Wednesday that the Pride flag was in a potted plant.

“There was a small potted plant that was set on fire on the campus and the plant had a small (4 x 6 inch) PRIDE flag inside the potted plant container. Both the plant and the flag were destroyed by the fire,” he said.

“There are no suspects in custody at this time,” Hamilton added.

Los Angeles School Police will provide additional patrols around the campus, the school system said in a statement.

The police said the investigation is ongoing. With no suspects in custody, isn’t it premature to assume a political connection to what amounts to either simple vandalism or breaking and entering along with property destruction? What if it is just some pre-teen or teen punks who were bored and up to no good? Burning a small flag in a planter seems like peanuts compared to other alleged hate crimes. Because so many of these stories turn out to be hoaxes, it’s hard to take them on face value without any kind of proof that it really happened as it is being reported.

The school district sent a message to the school’s families on May 22.

“I’m calling to inform you that we experienced a break-in over the weekend at Saticoy Elementary that resulted in vandalism and is being investigated as a hate-motivated incident. We are cooperating with law enforcement. This is a reminder that we rely on our entire school community to keep our school safe and secure by reporting any suspicious activity on campus after hours. If you see something, say something,” the message said.

“Los Angeles Unified is committed to creating a safe and inclusive learning environment that embraces the diversity of the communities we serve. The District encourages everyone in our school communities to treat each other with respect, kindness and compassion so that our students can be empowered to achieve their greatest potential,” it continued.

It’s automatically assumed to be a hate crime because it is a Pride flag. What if it’s just a random act of vandalism without a political agenda? Because some parents threatened to protest the school event, the initial reaction is that it must be a hate crime, thus implying the parents are behind it.

Several parents were upset and threatened to protest. Parents who opposed the program launched an Instagram account, Saticoy Elementary Parents. A message posted on the Instagram page tells parents “who share conservative values” and “don’t feel this material is appropriate to teach to the children” to protest outside the school at the start of the school day on June 2.

Details about the flag being burned were not released by officials, however, the LA Times reported that someone broke into the school on the weekend of May 20- 21.

Why weren’t details released when it happened? If the police are investigating it, don’t they want tips and public input to help out? This whole thing seems fishy.

In the meantime, Gavin Newsom is ranting on Twitter about right-wing extremists, which usually means anyone who doesn’t go along with the far-left agenda. As usual, he went too far when he claimed that they are “trying to eliminate the existence of minority communities.” What does that mean? Sounds violent to me. Is the governor trying to incite violence? It sure doesn’t sound like he’s trying to help.

Today begins Pride Month. Look for more of this to come. The L.A. teachers union blames “the minority” but isn’t the transgender teacher the minority at the school?

United Teachers Los Angeles called the actions “another brazen attempt perpetrated by the intolerant minority to divide our communities and demean educators.”

They released a statement saying in part, “At a time of unprecedented threats against the LGBTQIA+ community and anti-trans legislation, this unwarranted response is a blatant attempt to create a hostile environment, not just for visibly transgender people, but for anyone who does not fit neatly into strict male or female gender presentations. Whether North Carolina or California, public schools should be considered safe havens for our students, communities, and the educators who serve them. No educator, regardless of whether or not they conform to gender stereotypes, should have to go to work and fear any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior may occur against them.”

UTLA is asking the LAUSD to take action and protect its employees from harassment and discrimination.

I have not been seen any reports of teachers or employees at this elementary school being harassed.

Media corruption is destroying America

Media corruption is destroying America 11

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Media corruption is destroying America 12

America is under attack from within. It threatens to destroy our civilization.

It is easy to place the blame for the decline of America on the Democrats. Or the academics. Or the raving lunatics who call themselves activists. Or…<insert countless other groups here.>

And all of them deserve their share of the blame for the rampant crime, the breakdown of social order, and the long slide of our society into oblivion.

But honestly, the people who are doing the most damage to America are the Mainstream Media. None of these other groups holds a candle to them when it comes to undermining American society. It’s not even close. 

The MSM works diligently and constantly to destroy Americans’ grasp of reality. It is, they believe, their duty. Without their constant spewing of “The Narrative™,” many more Americans would realize the connection between Leftist ideology and the disaster area that American Blue zones have become. And the disaster that the Left is trying to impose on the rest of us.

Americans know that Biden is a doddering incompetent. Yet he is favored to win next year. This is because the MSM will move mountains to carry him over the finish line, mostly by smearing Republicans.

You see their nefarious influence everywhere if you know to look for it. Crime reporting, for instance, is fundamentally distorted. A crime committed by a member of a disfavored class is hyped; others are memory-holed. Riots are either “mostly peaceful” or “the worst attack on American democracy since the Civil War.” Democrat corruption is swept under the rug; Republican misdemeanors are national crises.

Adam Schiff, Peter Strzok, and James Comey are American heroes; Donald Trump is a Russian spy.

Most Americans understand at some level that they are being gaslighted, but for the most part, the only data they have comes from the MSM. So despite people knowing that they are being told outright lies, they wind up believing them.

I asked a confidant who is a die-hard Democrat what he agreed on with his party, and he couldn’t answer. What then, did he object to in Republican policy? Again silence.

But he will vote Democrat because Republicans are “mean fascists.” He literally agrees with everything Republicans do but buys the MSM line that Republicans are uncompassionate fascists for doing them.

This is the effect of propaganda. The constant repetition of falsehoods works.

This is why independent media is vital to ensure that our country can be reborn. 

The point isn’t that we are always right. How could we be? We often disagree with each other. I’ve even called John a “sweet summer child!” Nicely, of course!

But we are honest with you about what we know and what we think. We actually respect the readers enough to tell the truth as we see it. That is the best you can ask for. We tell you what we think, pour passion into our writing, and know you will make up your own mind because you are rational adults.

The MSM? The New York Times and Washington Post, our two most prestigious newspapers, shared a Pulitzer Prize for covering Russiagate. Almost every word they wrote was fabricated. And still, millions believe that Trump is a Russian spy because they kept on being told that he was. Ask many a NeverTrumper, even, and many of them are still taken in by the lies.

The MSM even goes after parodies these days. Ed just wrote about how NBC assigned two reporters to attack an account that parodies AOC, and The Babylon Bee actually gets fact-checked. This is how deeply corrupt the media is, even censoring unapproved jokes. It is stasi-level stuff.

The coming election will be the most important in our lifetimes–even more important than 1980’s election. In 1980, America was teetering on the brink, but most Democrat politicians still loved America. They were wrong on policy but weren’t committed to the destruction of our country.

Today? The Democrat Party hates America, and if you listen to them, they will tell you so. The MSM itself endlessly repeats how awful average Americans are. They have one goal: turn America into a socialist “paradise” with them, coincidentally, running everything. Funny how that works.

If we lose in 2024, it’s hard to see how America comes back. The deck will be too stacked against us. We’ll keep fighting, but the odds against us get longer. 

Do you want the Pride flag flying at our embassies or the American flag?

That’s why we ask you to join us in the fight to defend America. It’s not because we are rich and greedy and want to be richer and greedier. Not that I don’t want to be rich, but that is not why I do this. If it were, I would be in another line of work. One where I make more money and my fingers wouldn’t hurt from typing so much.

Yes, they actually hurt from typing.

We keep plugging away because the Left has stacked the deck against us, and we need your help to stay in business. Target and Budweiser aren’t advertising with us. None of the big corporations do, for obvious reasons. If we had to rely on ads alone, we would be dead and gone.

We rely on you to keep HotAir alive. That’s just a fact of life.

In return for your VIP Membership, we give you extra content–the VIP columns, of course, but the real bonus is the shows that Ed does. And Beege and I will be starting our own show soon, which should be a blast.

But honestly, the VIP content is not the reason you should join HotAir’s fast-growing VIP program. You should do it because America deserves diverse voices, and censorship has become a favorite tactic of the Left. They want–they need–us silenced. Republicans aren’t their enemy; free thinkers are.

If you value free-thinking, please join us, and if you do, you can get 50% off by using the code SAVEAMERICA.

We really do need your help. We don’t get government or nonprofit grants. Billionaires don’t shower us with money. You are our base of support.

So please join us, and together, we can save America.

Is it illegal to film in a police station?

Is it illegal to film in a police station? 13

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Is it illegal to film in a police station? 14

This is a question that popped up over at Reason, where Joe Lancaster has studied the applicable laws. Is it legal for private citizens to film the actions of the police, not just in public, but inside the publicly available sections of police stations? I’ll confess that my immediate response was to assume that the answer would pretty much always be “yes.” But it turns out that the police don’t always agree and many departments have attempted to enact and enforce bans on filming their activities. And even when sunshine laws are passed in some states assuring the rights of citizens to do this, the police have attempted to find ways to get around those laws. The NYPD in particular has been problematic in this area, seeking to stop residents from filming their activities. They offer some reasons for taking this position that might make sense to some people… sort of. But it’s still not a good look.

Recording the police can be an effective tool for transparency and oversight, but a new report shows how far the New York Police Department will go to keep from being filmed.

Courts have generally upheld a right to film so long as citizens don’t physically obstruct official police business. But police departments are constantly relitigating the question. In 2018, for instance, North Carolina police claimed that a right to record the police did not include a right to livestream the police. A federal appeals court rejected that argument in February…

The NYPD claims that while recording police may be okay, recording inside a police station is not. A department spokesperson told Gothamist that recording inside precincts is forbidden “because it undermines the privacy of people who interact with the criminal justice system and compromises the integrity of ongoing investigations.”

The linked article examines the activities of so-called “First Amendment auditors.” This is a new subgenre of YouTube content creators. They go into public places including police stations and become confrontational about filming public officials to see what sort of response they receive. One such “auditor” in New York City named Sean Paul Reyes has been arrested multiple times for doing this.

I don’t see any reason to become intentionally provocative with the police or other public officials just to get a response out of them. If they aren’t trying to stop you from filming, you should be able to continue to do so peacefully and respectfully. But if you’re getting up in their faces, particularly when it comes to the cops, there’s an old lesson about “poking the bear” that comes to mind.

For their part, the NYPD claims that filming inside the police station is banned “because it undermines the privacy of people who interact with the criminal justice system and compromises the integrity of ongoing investigations.” As I suggested above, that explanation isn’t entirely without merit. I strongly believe you should be able to film the activities of the police themselves while they are in uniform and on duty. After all, they work for the taxpayers. But any civilians coming into the police station are a different matter. If they are suspects, they still have a limited right to privacy. And if they are regular citizens who may be reporting a crime, publishing a video of them doing so could place them in danger. Also, protecting the identity of undercover officers could be a significant concern.

But for run-of-the-mill activity by uniformed police, it seems as if filming them should be allowed by default. The courts don’t always agree, however, and Lancaster highlights multiple instances where they have ruled in favor of the police. In New York City, where Reyes records his stunts, the City Council passed a law in 2018 called the Right to Record Act. The bill established an affirmative right for residents to film the police “in their official capacity” in most, though not all instances. There is no exception for the public areas of police stations.

The law also required the NYPD to publish an annual report detailing the number of incidents where someone was arrested who had been filming the police. In 2021 and 2022, there were 2,700 such arrests. But we should note that not all of those people were arrested solely for filming the police. Many just happened to be filming when they were being arrested for something else. Still, that’s a lot of arrests.

I’ll confess that this turned out to be a more complicated topic than it had appeared to me at first glance. In general, I still lean toward sunshine being the best disinfectant and believe that the public should be allowed to know what law enforcement is up to. But there are some situations where keeping a record of police activity could expose other people and produce negative consequences. So… it’s complicated.

To give you a flavor of what these “First Amendment auditors” are up to, here’s one sample from Mr. Reyes.

Governor Abbott names interim attorney general as Ken Paxton awaits impeachment trial

Governor Abbott names interim attorney general as Ken Paxton awaits impeachment trial 15

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Governor Abbott names interim attorney general as Ken Paxton awaits impeachment trial 16

Governor Greg Abbott appointed former Secretary of State John Scott as interim attorney general to serve while Ken Paxton awaits his impeachment trial in the Texas Senate. When the Texas House impeached Paxton toward the end of its legislative session, he was immediately suspended. Scott will fill the position until further action is taken.

Scott worked with Abbott in the attorney general’s office when Abbott served in that position. He was Secretary of State for a little more than a year, from October 2021 to December 2022. He left that position to return to private practice. Before that, he served as a deputy for civil litigation under Abbott in the attorney general’s office. He oversaw all civil litigation in that office, which totaled over 22,000 lawsuits.

“John Scott has the background and experience needed,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “He served under me in the Texas Attorney General’s Office and knows how the Office of the Attorney General operates.”

“His decades of experience and expertise in litigation will help guide him while serving as the state’s top law enforcement officer,” the governor said.

The governor said that Scott has “handled cases at all levels of the judicial system.” He is a Fort Worth attorney with more than 34 years experience. He has handled cases up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Democrats disapprove of the appointment because Scott worked with former President Trump during Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania. Scott said in interviews that Biden is president and he has “not seen anything” to suggest widespread voter fraud. He doesn’t accept Trump’s claims about the election.

While he was secretary of state, Scott oversaw the forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election results. Some administrative errors were found, along with other mistakes in the four largest counties, but no widespread fraud. The state’s largest counties are Republican-controlled Collin and Tarrant counties and Democrat-controlled Dallas and Harris counties. When the audit was completed, he left the office to return to private practice.

He was in charge of the rollout of the state’s new ID requirements for mail-in ballots and the applications for them. During that time, about 12 percent of mail-in ballots were rejected during the 2022 primary and about 4 percent were rejected during the general election that followed in November.

Scott was the first COO of the Health and Human Services Commission before he worked in the attorney general’s office. He oversaw the overhaul of the agency’s internal ethics and fair contracting policy. He receives praise for his work there.

“The impact of John’s sound assistance, advice, and counsel cannot be overstated,” said former HHS Commissioner Chris Traylor said in a statement at the time. “He brought with him to the HHS system the legal acumen and the commitment to excellence necessary to affect immediate change during one of the most difficult periods for any state agency in recent memory.”

He also developed the strategic plan for technology and security at state agencies and boards as chair of the board of the Department of Information Resources.

Scott will serve as interim attorney general until the completion of Paxton’s impeachment trial in the state Senate.

The accusations of misconduct in Paxton’s office came from former top officials in the office.

The accusations of misconduct were levied in 2020 by eight former top officials who quit or were fired shortly after taking their concerns about Paxton’s behavior to law enforcement. Four of the fired executives filed a whistleblower lawsuit arguing that they were improperly retaliated against by Paxton and his first deputy, Brent Webster. After Paxton was suspended from office, Webster told agency employees that he would be stepping into Paxton’s role.

Most recently, six officials and employees took a leave of absence from the agency to help with Paxton’s Senate trial. The agency had come under criticism for allowing employees to come to Paxton’s defense in the days before and after Paxton was impeached.

Scott’s experience includes diplomacy with Mexico during his time as secretary of state. And he won the largest jury verdict in an asbestos lawsuit in 1998. His legal experience is varied and that likely serves him well as attorney general.

As secretary of state, Scott also served in a diplomatic capacity, managing the state’s relationship with Mexico, Texas’ largest trading partner. With cracking down on illegal immigration a top priority for Abbott, Scott helped negotiate pacts with the governors of Neuvo Leon, Chihuahua, Coahuila and Tamaulipas to improve border security efforts.

In 1998, Scott gained national notoriety, at least in legal circles, for winning $28 million in an asbestos lawsuit — at the time, the largest jury verdict of its kind in the United States.

When he resigned as secretary of state, he worked as a lobbyist. He did so during the regular legislative session that ended Monday. He stopped lobbying work on May 27,the day the House voted to impeach Paxton. His clients included South Texas College, a pro-life group called Human Coalition, a New York-based blockchain company, and a subsidiary of Superior HealthPlan.

For now, he is being touted as a “trusted and respected conservative” by other Texas conservatives. We’ll see how long that lasts.

Chesa Boudin to found Criminal Law & Justice Center at UC Berkeley

Chesa Boudin to found Criminal Law & Justice Center at UC Berkeley 17

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Chesa Boudin to found Criminal Law & Justice Center at UC Berkeley 18

If there is something Chesa Boudin knows about, it’s how not to fight crime and how to ensure justice is not done.

He is an expert. I wish he were one of a kind, but unfortunately, he is one of many Soros prosecutors dedicated to ensuring that criminals don’t get justice and the law doesn’t get enforced.

That must be why UC Berkeley is hiring him to found a new Criminal Law and Justice Center. Apparently, the new “thing” even in law schools is destroying law and making sure justice isn’t done.

For those of you blessed with a memory that blocks traumatic events from your mind, Chesa Boudin managed to do the impossible: he convinced San Franciscans that he was too Left-wing to have in government. Under his guidance, the city went from bad to much worse.

Boudin earned his credentials as a radical and a criminal lover. Born of Weather Underground terrorist parents, he was raised by friends of his parents who were themselves terrorists who got away with it. You may know them: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who, like his parents, had been members of the Weather Underground.

His parents were arrested for murder when he was a baby. The people who raised him escaped prosecution but were no less guilty of crimes, which is why they became University of Chicago academics. It is a perfect credential in modern America to be a Left-wing terrorist who gets away with it. You win a Che Guevara T-shirt!

Such credentials instantly got him into the best schools in America, because there is nothing like hatred for our society that excites the academic soul. His academic pedigree is impeccable: Yale undergrad, Rhodes scholarship, and Yale Law.

Credentials heaven!

Proving that there are ideas so insane that only an academic would believe them he brought his radical politics to the job for which he was elected: District Attorney of San Francisco.

This is where he shone, becoming a criminal’s best friend. San Francisco became so crime-ridden under his stellar leadership that the residents actually recalled him from the office, which is so gobsmackingly difficult that it took real skill to achieve this level of hatred from San Francisco Leftists.

It is their firm belief that other people should pay the price for their principles, and they resented that somehow they wound up picking up the tab.

As so often happens with our elite institutions, failing upward is a viable career path, and Chesa has hit the jackpot. It is unsurprising that Berkeley would provide a sinecure for Boudin–that is how these things often work–but it takes real balls to have him found a center dedicated to criminal law and justice.

Berkeley is proud, though, of their choice, and points to his experience of being the child of terrorists as proof he is up to the task:

Chesa Boudin has spent his whole life grappling with incarceration and its far-reaching implications. As the founding executive director of Berkeley Law’s new Criminal Law & Justice Center, he sees an exciting opportunity to build on his work of transforming the criminal legal system in profound ways.

A lifetime of visiting my biological parents in prison and my work as a public defender and district attorney have made clear that our system fails to keep communities safe and fails to treat them equitably,” Boudin says. “I’m thrilled to join the nation’s premier public law school and engage with brilliant scholars and students to drive meaningful change by elevating the lived experience of those directly impacted.”

The center will be a research and advocacy hub to boost Berkeley Law’s public mission in the criminal justice arena. It will help foster research collaboration among faculty members and others, enhance law students’ training and practice opportunities, and strengthen connections between the university and the outside world.

Since coming to Berkeley Law, I have wanted to create a criminal law and justice center to further advance the important work of our tremendous faculty and clinics in this area,” Dean Erwin Chemerinsky says. “I am delighted to launch the center and that Chesa Boudin will be its first executive director. Chesa was chosen after a national search and has substantial experience across the criminal justice system. He has thought deeply about the system, and I cannot think of anyone better to create and direct this important center.”

This is, of course, the ultimate “Screw you!” to the plebs who want to live without being harassed and assaulted by criminals. And I have to imagine that while kicking average people in the nuts is not the whole point of the exercise, it certainly is the icing on the cake for the academics who are going to use tax dollars to fund this absolute farce.

This reminds me of CUNY’s Law School speaker who used her speech to attack America and American law enforcement. Public institutions are dedicated to telling the public how awful we all are.

This being California, almost no level of malfeasance is ever punished, yet Boudin managed to get booted from his job. The Elite, being who they are, had to strike back and endorse Boudin as a model public servant.

So it goes in Blue America. If you have the right politics and the right credentials, you can leave actual dead bodies in your wake and get applause from the powers that be.

Someone is mocking a Democrat on Twitter — and NBC News is on it

Someone is mocking a Democrat on Twitter -- and NBC News is on it 19

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Does this qualify as “news”? It certainly does for the Protection Racket Media, which either ignores or cheers satire of disfavored entities as “brave.” When it comes to its favorite protected class — Democrats — it’s another matter. NBC News assigned two reporters to get the scoop on how Elon Musk retweets a parody account “mocking” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

We’ve come a long way since that Campari ad in Hustler targeting Jerry Falwell and the media’s lionization of Larry Flynt as a free-speech advocate, eh? Via Twitchy:

A verified Twitter account mocking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has skyrocketed in followers and engagement over the last two days, with some help from Elon Musk. Twitter appeared to reinstate the once-banned account in May, with Musk soon interacting with it and boosting its following.

Twitter has promoted the parody account in other ways, too, including ranking it first in search results for “AOC,” above Ocasio-Cortez’s official account.

Oh noes! Elon Musk is having fun with a parody account! STOP. THE. PRESSES.

Of course, this wouldn’t have been a story at all if it weren’t for AOC herself exploring the outer reaches of the Streisand Effect:

On Tuesday, the account garnered wide attention on the platform after the real Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “FYI there’s a fake account on here impersonating me and going viral. The Twitter CEO has engaged it, boosting visibility. It is releasing false policy statements and gaining spread. I am assessing with my team how to move forward. In the meantime, be careful of what you see.”

“Be careful of what you see”? That’s an interesting warning, because the account in question isn’t exactly hiding its intent. Here’s a screen shot of its profile:

Someone is mocking a Democrat on Twitter -- and NBC News is on it 20

This is not an account that’s attempting to hijack AOC’s identity on Twitter. Just as it did before getting “permanently” blocked by previous Twitter ownership, the AOCPress account explicitly identifies itself as parody in both its display name and in it profile. The previous ownership took a dim view of satire, even when disclosed to this extent. Musk clearly doesn’t feel the need to white-knight for AOC.

NBC News feels differently, apparently. It takes two reporters to cover the AOC Is Being Mocked story, complete with conspiratorial insinuations about Twitter’s owner for … having fun. The coverage suggests something nefarious about poking fun at politicians after a couple of centuries or more of newspapers and other media outlets running editorial cartoons that routinely do the same.

In the end, we’re left asking the question: what news value does this story and report have? Other than the need to somehow delegitimize criticism and ridicule of one of America’s most self-important buffoons, it has none at all. That’s why I now call it the Protection Racket Media.

However, that goes beyond NBC News, and even beyond news media. Twenty-seven years ago, Hollywood lionized Hustler’s publisher in the Milos Forman film The People Vs Larry Flynt, specifically in reference to that Campari ad that satirized Falwell, a major political and cultural figure at the time. To refresh memories, the phony ad (which played off Campari’s double-entendre “my first time” ad campaign) had Falwell claiming that he’d had sex with his mother in an outhouse. It didn’t have the word “parody” anywhere in it, although given the source, that was painfully obvious — a point that ended up playing against Falwell in court.

At the time, the need to protect this kind of parody became a cause celebre among media outlets and activist organizations. As I recall, many media outlets filed amicus briefs with the Supreme Court, although I was only able to find one of the court’s certs admitting a handful of them from June 26, 1987. (Anything before 1995 is difficult to research.) Even in this one order, the following entities were granted cert to file briefs supporting Flynt and Hustler:

  • Law and Humanities Institute
  • Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
  • Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press
  • ACLU Foundation
  • Richmond Newspapers
  • American Editorial Cartoonists
  • Association of American Publishers
  • HBO

Seems like the media thought parody was an important principle to protect. What changed? Nothing … except the target. As long as parodies attacked the Right, the media and the legal industry protected and championed them (and correctly so). The Left’s grip on media outlets made them the gatekeepers to ensure that political parodies ran mainly in one direction. That changed with the advent of the Internet, and then the blogosphere, and finally with social media — at least until the the Left managed to exert control over those platforms.

But when Elon Musk bought Twitter and restored parody accounts such as this one, suddenly that calculation no longer holds. The thin-skinned Left and its Protection Racket Media wants to choke off any ridicule of its allies, which is why we got a two-reporter investigation of a Twitter account. When a self-important progressive congresswoman from Brooklyn finds herself the target of some clearly labeled satire, that needs to be suppressed! Or at the very least investigated, and the effort painted as sinister and illegitimate.

Don’t be fooled. The effort to quash the AOCPress account isn’t about principle — it’s about power. And this NBC News report is nothing more than a butthurt lament that they can’t do more to protect AOC than this.