An Analytical Review of the Central Scientific Facts About the Efficacy of Face Masks and Claims They Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19

In a terse essay titled “Science and Dictatorship,” Albert Einstein warned that “Science can flourish only in an atmosphere of free speech.” And on his deathbed, Einstein cautioned, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted in important affairs.”

With reckless disregard for both of those principles, powerful government officials and big tech executives have corrupted or suppressed the central scientific facts about face masks. The impacts of this extend far beyond the issue of masks and have caused widespread harm and countless deaths.

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Commentary: Americans Can’t Afford Joe Biden’s America

Americans are tapped out. They are struggling to pay for higher prices at the pump, the grocery store, and just about everywhere else. Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics August Producer Price Indexes  report showed on an unadjusted basis, the final demand index rose 8.3 percent for the 12 months ended in August, the largest advance since 12-month data were first calculated in November 2010.

The Producer Price Index is a precursor to what retail prices will be doing in months ahead, and the August report is more bad news. The 8.3 percent annual increase in final demand signals that Americans will be paying much more for goods and services in coming months and verifies what everyone who pays their own bills already knows, Joe Biden’s America is a much more expensive place to live and it is going to get worse.

It is time for Congress to just put a stop to the madness and refuse to pass the budget reconciliation bill. Our nation cannot afford to hit the accelerator when we are already feeling the inflation pain from our prior debt excesses.

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Report: Nearly 300 Afghan Refugees En Route to Nashville

Roughly 300 Afghan refugees are headed for Nashville, but one of the organizations taking them in refused to say Monday whether someone or some entity is vetting those refugees for health or security risks. Staff at the Islamic Center of Nashville did not return The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment Monday.

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FBI Fires Lead Investigator in Whitmer Kidnapping Plot

After an investigation into Special Agent Richard Trask, accused of beating his wife after the pair attended swingers’ party in July, the FBI agent who once lead the investigation into the plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has been fired. 

“Trask was fired, according to a source familiar with his case, while awaiting trial on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and allegations he smashed his wife’s head against a nightstand and choked her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party in July,” The Detroit News reported. 

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Commentary: Facing Uphill Final Stretch, Elder Focuses on Latino Turnout

It’s a bright, cloudless morning in this heavily Latino, working-class exurb of San Diego. A “We’re Hiring” sign hangs in the window of a run-down McDonald’s on the corner of a major thoroughfare, Civic Center Drive. One side of the restaurant exterior serves as a homeless encampment, strewn with debris, while just down the street, construction has ramped up again in a trendy revitalized area with new storefronts and restaurants mixed in with the old.

Conservative talk show host Larry Elder, who shot to the top of the GOP pack of candidates vying to replace California Gov. Gavin Newsom since entering the recall race in July, is furiously trying to make his closing arguments to voters at the first of three stops Friday in Southern California.

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The Taliban Controls a Vast Array of Weapons After America’s Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Afghan, coalition forces advance into Taliban heartland British Lt. Col. Andrew Harrison, 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment commander, conducts a shura with Tor Ghai village elders after ISAF and ANA secured the village during a recent operation. (Photo courtesy of Task Force Helmand Public Affairs)

When the Taliban assumed control of Afghanistan last month, the group took possession of a U.S.-funded weapons stockpile worth tens of billions of dollars.

The U.S. invested nearly $83 billion in bolstering the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), more than $24 billion of which went to funding weapons, vehicles and other equipment, according to a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report published in July. The amount of funding for weapons, vehicles and equipment is based on a 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) estimate that roughly 70% of the investment went towards other budget items like training.

In the aftermath of the shocking collapse of the Western-backed Afghan government last month, U.S. defense officials estimated that Taliban militants took dozens of aircraft including Blackhawk helicopters and thousands of vehicles, communications equipment and weapons. Republican lawmakers demanded the Biden administration provide them with a full accounting of the equipment that was in the Taliban’s possession while GOP members of the House Armed Services Committee introduced a bill requiring the White House to share the information with Congress.

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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee Gets New Democrat Challenger as 2022 Race Inches Closer

JB Smiley Jr. and Gov. Bill Lee

On Wednesday, Memphis City Council member JB Smiley Jr. announced he is running for Tennessee Governor. Smiley, a Democrat, held an event at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis and posted a video on social media debuting his announcement. 

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District Policy Not Followed in Rutherford County Schools’ COVID-19 Mask Policy, Group Says

An attorney for Rutherford County Schools (RCS) reportedly said there is no record of anyone filing a mask policy through a policy committee or the director of schools. This, according to a press release that the group Rutherford Students First emailed Monday.

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College Student in Missouri Filmed Throwing Away 2,977 9/11 Memorial Flags

American Flag blowing in the wind

A student senator at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri was filmed tearing out and throwing away nearly 3,000 American flags featured in a 9/11 memorial on campus, as reported by the New York Post.

The student, Fadel Alkilani, was captured on video Saturday as he tore the flags out of the ground and stuffed them into multiple large garbage bags. The student filming the incident, Nathaniel Hope, confronted Alkilani; Hope said that Alkilani falsely claimed that the memorial was “in violation of school rules,” and “was also saying profanity.” In the video posted to Twitter, Alkilani, who is wearing a face mask, stops for a few moments when he realizes that he is being filmed, then quickly walks away with the bags, calling Hope “weird” before leaving the scene.

The 2,977 flags were placed in the grass on the campus’s Mudd Field for the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks in 2001, with each flag representing one of the victims of the attacks in New York City, Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania on that day. This has become a common tradition around the country every year since 2001, often organized by conservative student groups.

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New Poll Suggests Little Change among Californians in Recalling Governor, But Large Partisan Divide

Anew poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker.

The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.

The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state.

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Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty Blasts Joe Biden’s ‘Unlawful, Counterproductive Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate’

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) on Monday criticized U.S. President Joe Biden for his new COVID-19 vaccination mandates. Biden said that, in order to work, all employees of private employers with 100 or more employees must take the COVID-19 vaccination or subject themselves to an at-least-weekly COVID testing.

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Democrats See Trump Supporters and Unvaccinated as Bigger Threat Than Taliban, China: New Poll

A majority of Democratic voters believe that supporters of former President Trump and unvaccinated Americans pose a bigger threat to the nation than the Taliban or China, according to a new Scott Rasmussen poll.

Among Democrats, 57% believe that Trump supporters are a serious threat to the nation, and 56% believe the same about unvaccinated individuals.

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Merit System Is Unjust Because It Rewards Productive Individuals, Professors Argue

Woman on laptop working outside

Professors from the University of Arizona and the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs are arguing that “success and merit” are “barriers” to the equity agenda. 

“Admitting that the normative definitions of success and merit are in and of themselves barriers to achieving the goals of justice, diversity, equity and inclusion is necessary but not sufficient to create change,” professors Beth Mitchneck and Jessi L. Smith recently wrote for Inside Higher Education.

Mitchneck and Smith attributed those definitions to a “narrow definition of merit limited to a neoliberal view of the university.” Specifically, they express concern that universities receive funding and recognition based on the individual performances of professors’ own work such as peer reviewed journals and studies. 

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FDA Will Need More Time to Decide If Juul Can Sell E-Cigarettes

Health officials delayed a decision Thursday on whether e-cigarettes made by Juul and other top companies can stay on the U.S. market.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it needs longer than the Thursday deadline to determine if Juul and other select companies’ products can continue to be sold in the U.S., according to a press release.

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Commentary: Cancel Culture is Both a Scarlet Letter and a Reign of Terror

In a recent Atlantic article, Anne Applebaum compares our college campuses to New England Puritanism. She did so by drawing on the storyline of the novel “The Scarlet Letter,” wherein Hester Prynne suffers eternal ignominy for having sex and getting pregnant outside of wedlock. So, too, Applebaum wrote, do many today receive a scarlet “C,” marked for shunning at the behest of a “Cancel Culture.”

While Applebaum’s comparison is helpful, a more fitting reference exists, one both historical and literary. The French Revolution, which began in 1789, provided the backdrop for Charles Dickens’snovel “A Tale of Two Cities.” It tells a tale with parallels to the college experience of today.

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Crom Carmichael: ‘Joe Biden’s Definition of Unity Is About Bending the Knee’

Joe Biden

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed All-Star Panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to weigh in on Joe Biden’s idea of unity for America.

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Facebook Buys up the Outstanding Invoices of Minority-Owned Small Businesses

Facebook is spending $100 million to buy up the outstanding invoices of small businesses owned by women, racial minorities, veterans, disabled people and LGBTQ+ people, the company announced last week.

The Invoice Fast Track Program allows certain “small, midsize and diverse-owned businesses” to submit outstanding invoices to Facebook. The tech giant then buys the invoices, giving the business cash immediately, and the business’ customers pay Facebook instead.

The program is designed to help “diverse-owned” businesses improve their cash flow and hire more employees, according to the program’s description.

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Alaska Airlines Fired Flight Attendants for Saying Democrat Transgender Bill Harms Women

N615AS Alaska Airlines 2000 Boeing

Alaska Airlines fired flight attendants for questioning its support of a proposed federal law that would open women’s spaces to biological males, according to complaints filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Their union, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, allegedly refused to defend their Title VII employment rights against religious discrimination during the proceeding and “disparaged” the employees’ Christian beliefs.

The Seattle-based air carrier, which once decorated a plane with the logo of Nirvana’s first music label Sub Pop, did not respond to queries from Just the News about the allegations and why employees shouldn’t fear official retaliation for expressing their views.

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Crom Carmichael Talks Militarization of the U.S. Government and Biden’s Vaccine Mandates

healthcare worker talking to patient after vaccination

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed All-Star Panelist Crom Carmichael in studio who compared the militarization of the U.S. government in response to COVID19 vaccine mandates to that of Nazi Germany.

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Lt. Col. Jonathon Myers and Retired U.S. Marine Talks Efforts to Rescue Stranded Americans Left Behind in Afghanistan by Biden Administration

Former marine Jonathon Myers

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed author and retired Marine, Lt. Colonel Jonathan Myers to the newsmakers line to discuss his efforts to rescue American citizens left behind in Afghanistan.

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Wisconsin Congressional Delegates Respond to Biden Admin COVID Vaccine Mandates

Wisconsin congressional delegates responded to the Biden Administration’s COVID vaccine mandates. Three Representatives, Gallagher (R-08-WI), Fitzgerald (R-05-WI), and Steil (R-01-WI), expressed disagreement with Biden’s order, requiring businesses that employ over 100 people to mandate vaccinations or weekly COVID testing. Biden’s order also mandated that any healthcare facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid to have all of their employees vaccinated.

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Virginia Manufacturers Criticize Biden’s ‘Heavy-Handed’ Vaccine Mandate

A new federal policy, which would require many private businesses to enforce COVID-19 vaccine mandates or weekly testing, has come under criticism from Virginia manufacturers.

President Joe Biden announced a new rule Thursday, which will require private businesses that employ 100 or more people to require every worker be vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive weekly tests. The rule, which will be promulgated through OSHA, is expected to face legal challenges from Republican states. It will affect about 100 million people nationwide.

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Commentary: Terry McAuliffe is the Abortion Candidate

While pro-life candidate for governor, Glenn Youngkin continues to talk about rational pro-life measures, like preventing taxpayer funding for abortions and passing a Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, pro-abortion former governor Terry McAuliffe, is sounding one note all over Virginia: he is promising to prevent any new pro-life law and to ultimately help see Roe v. Wade codified in the Virginia Constitution.

Terry McAuliffe is making protecting abortion promoters his top priority as witnessed in his comments and actions at two events in Virginia yesterday. At a small business forum sponsored by the Multicultural Chamber Alliance in Fairfax, VA, McAuliffe’s opening remarks focused on how proud he was to have kept Virginia’s abortion facilities open as governor and stopped any new pro-life laws from being enacted. Unsurprisingly, the small business leaders were not very excited, and the only applause was from his own cheer squad that he travels with.

Later in the afternoon, he returned to Charlottesville where he made a campaign stop at the local abortion facility to promise to “be a brick wall against any anti-choice (pro-life) laws. He said clearly to those present, “I will always fight to protect women’s clinics!” Obviously, the campaign funding he has received from the abortion industry is calling the tune he dances to. Their goal is to get him elected so as to protect the abortion industry in the Commonwealth. They have no interest in protecting women’s health or the lives of the babies they carry.

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Battle Over Lynchburg City Council Terms Has Capital Square Implications

An obscure item in the Lynchburg City Council Meeting Minutes could have implications on the control of Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol Square. The Lynchburg City Council is currently working on an agenda item to move next year’s city council election from 2022 to 2023. 

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Florida Supreme Court Justice Stephen Grimes Dies at 93

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Stephen Grimes passed away at 93. He was the 72nd justice to serve on Florida’s high court since Florida’s statehood. Grimes served from 1987 to 1997 and served as Chief Justice from 1994 to 1996.

Grimes was appointed by Florida Gov. Bob Martinez after a long career as a lawyer with Holland & Knight in Bartow, Fla. After his Supreme Court retirement in 1997, Grimes returned to Holland & Knight to continue practicing law.

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Michigan House Republicans Consider Bills to Grant IDs to Illegal Aliens

Michigan House floor

Michigan House Republicans will be taking up two bills this week introduced by Democrats that would grant state identification cards to illegal aliens.

Republicans will be considering HBs 4835 and 4836, the first of which strikes a current provision in law that requires a resident eligible for an ID to establish “that he or she is legally present in the United States.”

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Republican Candidates Lead Democratic Candidates in 2022 Campaign Funding

Governor DeSantis and other Republican leaders currently lead their Democratic counterparts in campaign funding by what gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) said was an “ungodly” amount.

August finance reports for the state candidates and political committees who are fundraising for the 2022 elections were filed on Friday to the Florida Division of Elections (FDE) part of the Florida Department of State (FDS).

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Michigan Cities Won’t Say Whether They’ll Adopt Critical Race Theory Resolution

After the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution in favor of teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT) last week, the mayors of Michigan’s largest cities won’t say whether they support the resolution. 

The Conference of Mayors defines CRT as a “malleable practice [that] critiques how the social construction of race and institutionalized racism perpetuate a racial caste system that relegates people of color to the bottom tiers and recognizes that race intersects with other identities, including sexuality and gender identity.”

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Arizona Student Assessments Hint at Significant Learning Loss Amid COVID Pandemic

Students in Arizona’s public schools failed reading and math assessments at higher rates this spring than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Test results from the AzM2 and MSAA – Arizona’s two statewide assessments conducted annually – show around oner-third of students who took the tests passed them, though the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) warns not to read too deeply into the low scores.

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Commentary: Vaccine Mandate on Businesses Is Immoral and Unconstitutional

On Thursday, Joe Biden announced a sweeping plan to demand a huge swath of our nation step up and take the Covid-19 shot whether they like it or not – federal employees, workers in companies with more than 100 workers, federally-funded pre-school teachers.

It was the biggest step toward big government control over our personal lives and individual health that we have seen since the founding of our nation.

Healthcare decisions have been – and always will be – between an individual and their physician. At least that has been what Democrats have argued since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision which legalized abortion.

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Alachua County Officials’ Request to Impose Mask Mandates Rejected by University of Florida and Santa Fe College

Alachua County officials have called upon the University of Florida (UF) and Santa Fe College (SFC) to mandate masks for all students, faculty, and staff. The higher education institutions have rejected the request from the county commissioners.

Alachua County sent a letter to UF and SFC, located within Alachua County, last week asking them to join the county, the county school board, and the City of Gainesville in an effort to be of one accord in mandating masks.

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Lawsuit Challenges Ohio’s Stand Your Ground Law

Two state lawmakers, the Ohio State Conference of the NAACP and the Ohio Organizing Collaborative filed a lawsuit Thursday that challenges the state’s recently passed Stand Your Ground law, claiming Republican legislators violated the state constitution.

The lawsuit claims GOP lawmakers added the measure to an unrelated bill and passed it an hour later without providing public notice or debate. Everytown Law, an organization with a New York City mailing address that litigates gun safety issues, is representing the four plantiffs, along with the Ohio law firm Bloomekatz Law.

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Michigan State Senator: Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Seizing Absentee Ballot Distribution Control

Jocelyn Benson

A Republican Michigan state senator claimed Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) is seizing control of the absentee ballot distribution process and “forcing sensitive voter information to be transmitted over the internet.”

State Sen. Jon Bumstead (R) said in a press release that he has created a website for constituents to register their concerns about changes Benson wants to make to how absentee ballots are distributed and counted.

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Two Former Arizona Governors Endorse Karrin Taylor Robson in GOP Gubernatorial Campaign

Fife Symington, Karrin Taylor Robson and Jan Brewer

Former Arizona Governors Jan Brewer and Fife Symington on Monday both endorsed Karrin Taylor Robson in the crowded GOP Gubernatorial primary campaign.

During the campaign, the two former governors will serve as co-chairs for Robson, a businesswoman and member of the Arizona Board of Regents.

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Savannah Mayor Johnson Supports Teaching Critical Race Theory; Georgia’s Other Big-City Mayors Mum on Mayors’ Conference Resolution

Savannah, GA Mayor Van R. Johnson II

In the wake of the U.S. Conference of Mayors adopting a resolution backing the use of critical race theory (CRT) in public schools, Savannah, GA Mayor Van R. Johnson II (D) has affirmed his support for the measure.

The mayors of Georgia’s four other largest cities have yet to declare their stand on the issue.

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Ohio’s Largest City Will Require Masks Indoors

People walking in airport

Masks are returning in Ohio’s largest city as Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther has announced a new mandate for indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.

Ginther said the rapid rise of COVID-19 numbers in the city requires city government to take action. He said he will issue an executive order requiring masks in all indoor spaces as of Friday.

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Arizona Police Recruiting in Washington Days After Vaccine Mandate

Arizona state trooper SUV in desert

Arizona’s state police force is in the Pacific Northwest in an attempt to bolster its ranks. The push comes on the heels of news that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee isn’t allowing exceptions to his vaccine mandate.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety announced that they would be in Washington from Sept. 7 through Sept. 19 to recruit potential new officers. 

Their counterpart, the Washington State Patrol, shared Arizona’s announcement on Twitter. 

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Vaccine Mandate Leaves 4,800 Minnesota Businesses Scrambling

COVID Vaccine

Minnesota businesses are rushing to figure out the impact of new COVID-19 rules President Joe Biden announced Thursday that could affect 100 million Americans.

The mandate requires all federal workers and contractors get vaccinated, with limited exceptions. Biden said the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees to vaccinate employees or test them weekly.

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Justice Department Plans Action in Two Ohio Communities

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown speaks at 2008 Labor Day Festival

The U.S. Justice Department will spend a half-million dollars to help one Ohio community two years after a mass shooting, and it announced an assessment is planned into another city’s police department.

Nine people died and dozens were wounded when a gunman opened fire in the Oregon District in Dayton a little more than two years ago. A $488,054 DOJ grant will help pay for four additional mental health counselors and related costs at two mental health facilities to help those affected by the shooting.

“We have an obligation to help our communities recover from violent crimes, abuse, and other criminal activity. I am glad the Department of Justice is providing the necessary mental health resources to help those impacted by the tragic Oregon District shooting in Dayton,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said. “Families and communities that were directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy will have these additional resources at their disposal to begin healing and receive the necessary care they need to recover.”

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University of Michigan Anti-Racist Hiring Initiative to ‘Decolonize Educational Material’

The University of Michigan Department of Health Management and Policy is hiring for tenure-track research positions on “Anti-Racist Policy Analysis.”

This new set of five hires will be distributed among the Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan Medical School, and School of Nursing, and School of Information.

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Ohio Lawmakers Mum After U.S. Constitution Slapped with ‘Harmful Language Alert’ by Woke Bureaucrats

Interior of the National Archives and Records Administration

After the bureaucrats at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) slapped a warning label on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, Ohio lawmakers are ducking the issue. 

NARA, which organizes America’s historical documents in an online catalog, warns that some of the content could be triggering. 

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Mayors of Tennessee’s Largest Cities Refuse to Say Whether They Support Critical Race Theory in K-12 Public Schools

The mayors of Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Knoxville declined to say Monday whether they support public schools teaching Critical Race Theory (CRT). This, even though those four mayors — Jim Cooper, Jim Strickland, Tim Kelly, and Indya Kincannon — belong to the United States Conference of Mayors, which recently adopted a resolution supporting CRT in K-12 public schools.

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