02/21/21

Operation Choke Point 2.0 is Emerging

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

I was just thinking about this old Obama administration program this week as it was a web tag it used years ago. Additionally, there was a time that Congressman Darryl Issa came to Clearwater to speak at an event I attended and he spoke on this disgusting program among other topics.

Well, Kelsy Bolar is on the case and a big hat tip to her for the alarm she is sounding. Let’s keep in mind the moves that Bank of America made in partnership with the FBI to report their own customers’ banking records that they asserted went to Washington, DC to begin a revolution at the Capitol on January 6. You can imagine that this program is quite the talk in the halls of Congress by progressives.

Operation Choke Point: The Government's Covert War on ...

Here goes:

Amongst the record-breaking number of executive actions taken by President Joe Biden was one related to a little-known, frightening Obama-era program called Operation Choke Point. The program, dubbed so under former Attorney General Eric Holder, uses the power of the federal government to target legal yet leftist-disfavored businesses. These include gun sellers, pawnshops, and short-term money lenders.

The Trump administration did its best to end this blatantly unconstitutional program that sought to discriminate against legal industries. In 2017, the Justice Department declared the program “formally over.” At the end of Trump’s term, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency established the Fair Access rule to solidify its culmination.

Operation Choke Point... DOJ Cuts Businesses From Banks

But on Jan. 28, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency under President Biden announced it would pause the Trump-era rule intended to prevent another Operation Choke Point from happening again.

The Backstory of Operation Choke Point

The Trump administration rule appeared innocuous enough, instructing banks to “conduct risk assessments of individual customers, rather than make broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers when providing access to services, capital, and credit.”

Under Operation Choke Point, federal regulators instructed banks to do the opposite — to openly discriminate against entire industries the Obama administration found objectionable. Weaponizing the power of banking regulators at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Comptroller of the Currency, the Obama administration realized it could block entire industries from the banking system that it didn’t like. This made it difficult — if not impossible — for politically disfavored businesses such as gun sellers and short-term lenders to operate.

Essentially, by using the power of federal banking regulators to intimidate banks from providing their services to these industries, the administration choked off their access to the financial system, leaving them paying more for essential banking services, or unable to use a bank at all.

The Obama administration claimed the program was intended to root out fraud by cutting off “high risk” industries from the banking system. But the administration didn’t make any differentiation between legal and illegal “high risk” industries, intentionally grouping lawful industries such as firearms sellers with patently illegal activities like Ponzi and credit-card schemes.

Different agencies within the Obama administration denied wrongdoing in various ways. At least one bank, however, admitted to choking off three legal enterprises at the government’s behest. Dozens of business owners — many of them gun sellers and short-term lenders — said their bank accounts and access to credit card processing platforms were suddenly stymied or shut down with no explanation and no opportunity for recourse.

Given its stained reputation, we shouldn’t expect the Biden administration to bring back Operation Choke Point under the same shameless name. But the return of the larger strategy behind Operation Choke Point appears here to stay.

Whereas seven years ago the idea of using the powers of the federal government to choke certain Americans from public life was controversial enough for the Obama administration to deny wrongdoing, in today’s era of social justice and cancel culture, it’s applauded.

Build Your Own Banks

Within corporate America, an employee was run out of Boeing over an article he published 33 years beforehand arguing women shouldn’t serve in combat (a position many Americans hold today). In the media, a Jewish, pro-Israel, pro-choice, bisexual writer was choked from The New York Times for not being leftist enough.

In Hollywood, a conservative actress was choked from Disney for expressing politically incorrect views on her private social media account. In the beauty blogging world, a conservative blogger was ousted from her role as a Sephora representative.

For all intents and purposes, Operation Choke Point is happening every day on a massive scale. Yet instead of “just” choking off access to capital and banking services, we’re witnessing a stranglehold on information, speech, and the broader marketplace of ideas. Concerningly, the government is now playing an active role.

As exemplified by Parler and the recent Twitter purge, Big Tech is choking conservatives off their social media platforms while Democrats cheer it on. In an attempt to choke conservatives out of entire industries of employment, critical race theory training and pledges are being forced on schools, government workplaces, and the armed forces.

This Dynamic Is Now Worse

Signs of Operation Choke Point’s formal resurrection are symbolic of the larger attempt by government actors to choke politically disfavored industries and individuals from the mainstream. While cancel culture has led to a politicized economy, the federal government’s arbitrarily targeting of individuals, groups, and entire companies will increase the politicization of the country, where the only acceptable views are from those in power.

Operating in the dark corners of the federal bureaucracy, Operation Choke Point bypasses public input and the legislative process, leaving politically unpopular individuals and businesses to fend for themselves. If the Biden administration’s rule reversal is any sign, the next four years won’t be about unifying the country to “Build Back Better.”

After being choked from essential services in the economy, conservatives and right-of-center businesses will have no choice but to Build Your Own — if that’s even still tolerated or allowed. Build your own banks, build your own credit card processing companies, build your own web hosting platforms, build your own social media platforms, build your own companies, build your own media, build your own schools, and build your own country — because you’re choked from “ours.”

Of course, all this will do nothing to further the causes of bipartisanship, unity, and healing President Biden claims to desire. Capitalizing on the trend of cancel culture, a return of Operation Choke Point would devastate an already damaged country. By abusing the powers of federal regulators, Operation Choke Point 2.0 would solidify what most right-of-center Americans already know: Instead of unity, Democrats want you choked from everyday life.

Three years ago, former President Obama infamously claimed his administration “didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” While it’s tempting to point to Operation Choke Point to refute this, perhaps Obama was right. With Biden sitting by Obama’s side, the Obama administration wasn’t the least bit embarrassed about using its powers to choke legal businesses from existence. Indeed, it was the entire goal and they appear poised to do it again.

02/21/21

WHO Reports other Possible Diseased Animals and Covid

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Per the WSJ in part: World Health Organization investigators are honing their search for animals that could have spread the new coronavirus to humans, identifying two—ferret badgers and rabbits—that can carry the virus and were sold at a Chinese market where many early cases emerged.

Members of a WHO team probing the pandemic’s origins say further investigation is needed into suppliers of those and other animals at the market, some of which came from a region of China near its Southeast Asian borders where the closest known relatives of the virus have been found in bats.

Team members say they have yet to establish all the creatures sold, legally or illegally, alive or dead, at the market in the Chinese city of Wuhan that was tied to the first known cluster of cases in December 2019.

China’s National Health Commission and foreign ministry declined to comment.

The WHO team is juggling multiple competing hypotheses and still isn’t sure if the virus first jumped from animals to humans at the market or if it was circulating elsewhere first.

Has anyone asked what wildlife China exports to the United States? Hello investigative journalists, where are you? What would Customs and Border Patrol have to report on this matter? They do the inspections or should when not chasing illegal migrants coming across our Southern border or working with ICE to track down criminal aliens.

Looking a little deeper:

Wild products are regarded as superior to farm-raised, and the legal market simply makes it easier to launder poached animal products.

During a recent EIA investigation in China, undercover agents spoke with three different ivory traders who all said that at least 90 percent of what they trade legally is poached, said Thornton. A common method of feeding illegal products into the market is reusing and counterfeiting government-issued permits. Meanwhile, about 96 African elephants are killed each day for their ivory, a rate that could wipe them out within a decade.

China is the largest market for illegal wildlife products – and the market continues to grow. “Wildlife species that are bred in captivity for commercial purposes make some products widely available, which drives up consumer demand and increases poaching in the wild,” said Sharon Guynup, an environmental journalist and Wilson Center public policy fellow.

Reducing Demand, Stopping Trade

To reduce consumer demand in China, the non-profit International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has run several innovative outreach campaigns, said Grace Ge Gabriel, the regional director of IFAW’s Asia chapter.

In one campaign, Chinese pop stars, athletes, TV celebrities, and CEOs denounced buying wildlife products in a series of public service announcements and ads that were posted on billboards, buses, in airports, and other public places. Another initiative targeted the belief that ivory comes from elephant teeth and the extraction didn’t kill them. An IFAW survey found that in 2007, 70 percent of Chinese people didn’t know that elephants died for the ivory trade. Three years into a campaign to change this misconception, they found that of the 44 percent of people who had bought ivory in the past year, only seven percent said they would do so again.

More detail here.

Humm, it is quite the business it seems.  China Animal Exports to the United States in 2018 were more than $2 million.

In 2018, the top partner countries to which China Exports Animal include Hong Kong, ChinaJapan, the United States, and Korea, among others. Details here.

One must also ask what other countries trade animals with China that also partner with the United States that put the health of humans at risk?

Last April, Fox News at least touched on the matter:

Pangolin

China is offering tax incentives to wild animal exports despite banning their sale and consumption within the country amid fears that the practice was responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Sunday report.

SMALL-TOOTHED FERRET-BADGER LIFE EXPECTANCY

Although no consensus has been reached on the virus’ origins, multiple studies have pointed to so-called “wet markets” in the southeastern Chinese city of Wuhan, where wild animals were bought and sold for consumption.

COVID-19 is one of a “family” of coronaviruses commonly found in bats. It is suspected to have passed through a mammal, perhaps pangolins – the most-trafficked animal on the planet – before jumping to humans.

At these wet markets, live, wild-caught animals, farm-raised wild species and livestock frequently intermingle in unsanitary conditions that are highly stressful for the animals – circumstances that are ripe for infection and spillover.

In February, China’s government banned the sale and consumption of wild animals, saying that its “potential risk to public health has aroused wide public concern.”

But within a few weeks, the country’s Ministry of Finance and tax authority announced it would offer tax incentives to the export of wild animal products, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing government records.

02/21/21

Neo-Marxism: Cultural Marxism, Postmodernism, and Identity Politics

By: Jason Brown | Gulag Bound

POSTMODERNISM

I am only going to scratch the surface here because this is a deep subject.  However, I think it is important to understand Marxist ideology and its evolution, when analyzing the current political climate, and where we stand today.  Marxism refers to the world view and ideology of Karl Marx.  I guess you could say he wrote the book on communism.  The Communist Manifesto was published on February 21, 1848, in London, by a collection of German Socialists that were referred to as the Communist League.  This work was written by Karl Marx, with the assistance of Friedrich Engels.

The Communist ideology was responsible for the death of more than 100 million people in the 20th Century alone.  Communism destroys the very fabric of society and has always ended with a totalitarian state and murder of all dissenters.  This ideology only works in theory.  When everything is assembled and it is applied to the real world, the result is catastrophic. This idea is great on paper but extremely dangerous in practice.  Communism has never created the utopia that its advocates preach to the masses.  Marxism acts as a social, political, and economic philosophy, that analyzes the effect that capitalism has on labor and productivity.  Marx advocated for a workers’ revolution to end capitalism and adopt a communist government to assure fairness and equality for the working man.  This social conflict pits the bourgeoisie, or capitalists, and the proletariat, or workers against each other in a struggle for power, or as communists like to call it, equality.  In the end, it amounts to a struggle between the haves and the have nots.  The circumstances in which the haves become the haves and the have nots become have nots, are irrelevant in this equation.  The consensus among these Marxists is that every one person that is wealthy, acquired that wealth by depriving another of the same opportunity.  This assumption is a generalization, and is baseless, with no empirical evidence to even suggest that this argument is true.

This social power struggle was waged by what Vladimir Lenin used to refer to as, useful idiots, or those that fight for a cause that they do not fully understand.  It was an oversimplification of the free market, that was sold to the useful idiots as, capitalism vs. the workers.  All of the economic nuances that make the wheels of the market turn are ignored and the result is an irrational ideology that feeds on emotion, jealousy, and greed.  The so-called, workers, showed the same greed that they accused the capitalists of displaying.  The difference here is that the have nots, want more without putting in the time or work to earn more.

Jacques Derrida looking all insolent and Marxist [AW, GB], Arturo Espinosa Seguir, for PIFAL Pencil on Fabriano., CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

By the end of the 1960s, Marx’s communism became a harder sell, as time after time, country after country, this ideology had failed miserably and led to mass genocide.  You could not push Marxism out there and continue to promote it because it had been an abject failure every time there was an attempt to implement it.  The utopia that communism promises does not exist, and has never existed.  This struggle for power had to be repackaged and rebranded.  Jacques Derrida (1930-2004), was an Algerian-born French philosopher that is best known for a method of analysis referred to as deconstruction.  Deconstruction is a type of analysis that examines the relationship between text and meaning.  This suggests that metaphysical constructs, meanings, and societal hierarchies are unstable due to a reliance on arbitrary means of identification.  In other words, there is a near-infinite number of ways to interpret the world as we see it.   One’s perception of what they see or experience, coupled with their personal world view, affects how they interpret the world.

This concept of deconstruction was then used as the basis for the development of postmodernism.  Postmodernism puts forth a strategic blueprint for the destabilization of what we consider societal norms.  Examples of these affected norms are identity, historical progress, and epistemic certainty.   In 1979, postmodernism was deemed a legitimate branch of philosophy.  Derrida’s postmodernism refers to man’s tendency to reward those with particular traits/status, at the detriment of others that do not meet the established criteria.  This is key to his argument here, and this is the component of postmodernism that creates the victim class that we see today.  This victim class is used to push identity politics to the masses, in the form of gender, sexual orientation, race, political affiliation, etc.  This is how they have divided us.  This is the most potent weapon that is being used against the American people.  These ideological groups, that force the masses into a tribal mentality have become commonplace in modern society?

Postmodernism has completely consumed the Social Sciences as they exist in academia today.  Postmodernism is much more versatile than its core ideological roots that existed in Marxism due to the fact that the points of conflict increase exponentially.  Instead of the bourgeoisie vs the proletariat, we now have race vs sexual orientation vs ethnicity vs socioeconomic status vs gender identity, the list goes on.  All of these groups, vying for power and influence over the others.  This proves to be counterproductive at best, a complete disaster at worst. Why, because these groups or tribes that people choose to follow are social constructs, created by those that seek to divide us, and conquer us.  A population at war with each other does not have the time, energy, or will to resist tyranny.  But in reality, this tribal mentality creates victims, and victimhood that is based solely on a straw man is detrimental to the development of the individual.  Postmodernism is similar to Marx’s communism because it encourages collectivism where everyone gets a trophy.

All of this based on the perceived concept of equity.  Equity refers to equal outcome, or in other words, everyone gets an equal size piece of the pie. Individuality means equal opportunity, meaning the harder you work and the more effort you put in, the larger your piece of the pie.  Creating a victim class of people might be good for carving out a permanent voter bloc, but it demeans those that are led to believe that they are being victimized as it destroys incentive and makes them want to either settle or take from others.

We are seeing this right now with Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa.  BLM is calling for reparations and some in the group have called recent looting of private businesses, reparations, in order to justify this lawlessness.  But in reality, BLM is an organization founded by self-professed Marxists and is acting more like a group of revolutionaries looking to overthrow the US government, than a group that fights for racial justice.  It is also ironic that the crowds made up of these communist revolutionaries seem to be made up of mostly white millennials.  The so-called, anti-fascists or Antifa go around torching private businesses, firebombing federal buildings, and burning books.  I think maybe these people should look up the definition of fascism, and then for a practical understanding of what a fascist is, stand in front of a mirror.

Antifa in action, photo via globalnews.ca

These groups say that they are being oppressed, they want change, but they have never seen the other side of the coin.  The Marxism that had to be abandoned in the ’70s has been resurrected, as for decades now academia has taught our youth that Marx and communism are favorable to the system that we live in now.  All while ignoring the millions that were murdered by communist regimes operating under Marx’s ideology.  Academia is indoctrinating our children, and these indoctrination camps that we like to call universities have paved the way for a resurgence of Marxism and the collectivist mentality.  It is still multifaceted making it postmodernism in its application, but the terms Marxism and communism have become cool again, and young people are not shy about using them to describe themselves.  We have a generation of useful idiots, and this group of sheep is ignorant because we have allowed academia to make them ignorant.

As mentioned previously, our young people are being engineered to act as political activists, in support of an anti-American, anti-capitalist, authoritarian narrative.  This is why you see the attempt to eliminate God from the minds of people as these influential institutions need to make faith a thing of the past so that their influence reaches god status.  Without God, bad actors with an intent to rob us of our liberty, have full authority.  Communism within a society cannot coexist with the peoples’ belief and trust in God.  The idea that every interpretation and every viewpoint is 100% viable is being taught to young people, and we have already lost at least one generation to this twisted view.  I am not suggesting that one should be prevented from offering their viewpoint or interpretation, as it is our right as Americans to speak our mind, without fear of persecution.  But if someone looks at an apple, and tries to claim that it is a banana, we should not entertain the notion that the apple is a banana, just to avoid hurting the feelings of the person making the statement.  Facts are not societal constructs, they are facts.  Allowing people to fabricate their own facts and reality is dangerous.  It is much more dangerous than hurting someone’s feelings.


Jason A Brown is 42 years old, a husband, father of one daughter, Practical Nurse of 13 years, and holds a B.A. in Criminal Justice/Homeland Security.  Jason also enjoys studying sociology, philosophy, constitutional law, politics, and history.