"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." -- George Orwell

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Today, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, a case which raises the issue of whether a law that criminalizes camping on public property by homeless people who have nowhere else to qualifies as "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Eighth Amendment. I highly doubt the Eighth Amendment can do much to help the homeless. But courts could help them in a different way: by striking down exclusionary zoning as a violation of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Today's oral argument reveal more sympathy for the plaintiffs' argument among the justices than I might have expected. But I highly doubt there are going to be five votes to affirm the Ninth Circuit's ruling in their favor. The fundamental problem with the plaintiffs' position is that the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause of the Eighth Amendment only restricts the types of punishments that the government can use, not the range of activities it can criminalize in the first place. Prof. Michael Mannheimer, a prominent academic expert on the Eighth Amendment, articulates this point well in his amicus brief in the case.

At the oral argument, Justice Neil Gorsuch suggested some criminalization of sleeping outside by homeless people might be forbidden by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, or by the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment. I think he may be right about that, though I don't know enough about the relevant questions to be sure. These issues, however, are not before the Court.

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I wanted to change up the newsletter's format a little bit to write about an underappreciated benefit of increasing the production of private, market-rate housing: It's an incredibly simple strategy for improving housing affordability!

If states and cities remove zoning restrictions, complex permitting processes, and the like, builders will construct more housing and prices will fall. There's endless evidence that this neat-and-tidy free market story is true.

America's non-market affordable housing strategies, in contrast, rely on a bewildering system of price controls, mandates, and subsidies to achieve the same results.

In addition to being costly to taxpayers, hard to navigate for program participants, and occasionally constitutionally problematic, this needless complexity is also self-defeating.

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As a direct result of the United States approving $61 Billion in new military aid to Ukraine, Russia has announced they are now required to take two additional states of Ukraine - Sumy and Kharkiv -- to assure Russian national security.

The aid package from the United States includes long-range ATACMS missiles, which can be used to strike targets inside traditional Russia, so Russia needs a safety zone to protect itself from such launches.

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Authored by Steve Watson via Modernity.news,

Scientific American has published a piece claiming that “misinformation,” such as the notion that there are only two sexes, is “being used against transgender people” and in order to target “gender-affirming medical care.”

The article states that there are three types of “misinformation,” and they are “oversimplifying scientific knowledge, fabricating and misinterpreting research, and promoting false equivalences.

How Anti-Trans Efforts Misuse and Distort Science

Three types of misinformation are being used against transgender people: oversimplifying scientific knowledge, fabricating and misinterpreting research and promoting false equivalences

Illustration of multicolored waves of graphs in rainbow colors on green surface.

Falsehoods and half-truths obscure the actual science around trans rights.

Jorg Greuel/Getty Images

In 2023 alone, more than 500 anti-trans bills were proposed or adopted in nearly every state in the United States, targeting everything from drag performances to gender-affirming medical care to school inclusion policies for trans people. Support for these measures has been enabled and propelled by scientific misinformation, which has proven to be a distressingly effective tool in outraging a public that might otherwise be broadly empathetic, or at least uncertain about where to stand. In the following Q&A, law professor Florence Ashley and scientist Simón(e) Sun describe to OpenMind co-editor Corey S. Powell how deceptions in science have been used to disenfranchise trans people and other marginalized groups. (This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.)

Claire's Observations:  Where please is the evidence that "deceptions in science have been used to disenfranchise trans people, and other marginalized groups"?!?  That is what I would like to see, please!!  If one has a record of this happening, I want to know about it.  Please present it, rather than throwing wild-ass speculations out there, would you?!?  We have had enough of those, thank you very much!!

And let's treat ALL human beings with kindness and compassion;  enough said?!?!?  As a Christian, who has several translations of the Bible at home, in every translation of the Bible I have after Jesus asked us to "love thy neighbor as thyself", there were zero  exceptions to that, period, end of discussion!!!!



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West Prep Academy, a New York City middle school with a significant percentage of special needs students, is planning on sending them to an unsafe 127-year-old building to make room for migrant kids. The school, in which 43 percent of students have special needs, and 90 percent are Black or Latino, shares a building with PS 145, which has been inundated with a surge in enrollment of migrant children.

“This building is not equipped to house students with special needs [or] students that don’t have any special needs — it’s not equipped, it’s 127 years old,” said Denise Johnson, a parent of a West Prep Academy sixth-grader. “The issue is we are coming from a building that is substantial, with all [the] equipment to service their students to a building that lacks resources.”

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April 23 was marked by new Russian precision strikes on Ukrainian military and industrial facilities in various rear regions, including in the capital. After several waves of night strikes, Russian missiles were also launched in the day time. After the air defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was depleted both in the rear regions and near the frontlines, Russian drones and missiles are effectively destroying their targets no matter when or where.

On the night of April 23, explosions thundered in Kiev, Mykolaiv, Kharkiv, Cherkasy, Odessa and Poltava regions.

Russian strikes were reported in the Ukrainian capital and on its outskirts. Explosions thundered in Kiev, as well as in the areas of Vasilkovo and Bila Tserkva. According to unconfirmed local reports, Russian strikes destroyed at least one launcher of an air defense system deployed south of the capital.

The southern Odessa region is pounded by Russian strikes on a daily basis. Russian drones and missiles are destroyed the port infrastructure and various military targets in the region, where the military equipment from NATO and other Kiev’s partners is coming by sea.

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A legal action that promises to be explosive has been filed in the US Federal Court and could also have repercussions in Europe: a lawyer from the Children’s Health Defense (CHD), the association led by Robert F. Kennedy jr, now an independent candidate in race for the November 2024 Presidential Election, has filed a lawsuit alleging that lawyers representing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fraudulently withheld evidence that vaccines can cause autism.

«The evidence submitted in support of the motion clearly shows that attorneys from the Department of Justice concealed and misrepresented highly relevant information from the special masters in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the judges in the courts». Mack Rosenberg told The Defender.

Autism spectrum disorders are conditions in which people have difficulty establishing normal social relationships, use language abnormally or not at all, and exhibit limited and repetitive behaviors. Furthermore, they experience difficulties in communicating and relating to others.

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Russian troops are firmly in control of the battlefield situation and are steadily pushing back Ukrainian forces, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu has said.

Speaking at the meeting with top Russian commanders on Monday, the minister announced that Moscow had liberated the villages of Pervomayskoe and Novomikhailovka, west and southwest of the Russian city of Donetsk, as well as the settlement of Bogdanovka not far from Artyomovsk, known in Ukraine as Bakhmut. The latter strategic city was captured by Russia last year after months of bitter fighting.

He added that the control zone was also being expanded in Berdychi and Georgievka, north and west of Donetsk.

Ukraine has lost almost half a million troops

”Our high combat potential allows us to constantly strike the enemy and prevent him from holding the defense line,”Shoigu noted, estimating Kiev’s losses at half-a-million troops since the start of the conflict.

The units of Russia’s West battlegroup have hit over 170 facilities of the Ukrainian armed forces, as well as destroyed two fixed-wing drones of the enemy, the battlegroup’s spokesman Ivan Bigma told TASS.

Russian troops destroyed four boats with a Ukrainian assault force on the Dnieper River in the Kherson Region in an overnight strike, Governor Vladimir Saldo said on Tuesday.

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When you bite into a piece of celery, there’s a fair chance that it will be coated with a thin film of a toxic pesticide called acephate.

The bug killer — also used on tomatoes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and other fruits and vegetables — belongs to a class of compounds linked to autism, hyperactivity and reduced scores on intelligence tests in children.

But rather than banning the pesticide, as the European Union did more than 20 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed easing restrictions on acephate.

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One of the best-known figures in the far-right Alternative for Germany party said Tuesday at his trial on charges of using a Nazi slogan that he is “completely innocent.”

Björn Höcke went on trial at the state court in the eastern city of Halle last week, months before a regional election in the state of Thuringia in which he plans to run for the governor's job. He is accused of using symbols of unconstitutional organizations, a charge that can carry a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years.

Höcke is accused of ending a speech in nearby Merseburg in May 2021 with the words “Everything for Germany!” Prosecutors contend he was aware of the origin of the phrase as a slogan of the Nazis’ SA stormtroopers, but Höcke has argued that it is an “everyday saying.”

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One of the most lifeless places on Earth is actually hiding an underground biosphere teeming with microscopic life! Researchers have unearthed this amazing oasis under Chile’s Atacama Desert. The findings not only change our view of life on Earth, but they might prove that there is still life under the soil of dead alien worlds like Mars!


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The details of NYC's controversial debit card program for asylum seekers have leaked, and critics are saying the program is unfairly generous. Is that true?

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The United States faces a dire fiscal reality as its annual interest expense on debt soars to $1.1 trillion, a staggering increase from just three years ago. With total debt ballooning by over $11 trillion since 2020, the nation grapples with unsustainable deficit spending habits and a lack of serious leadership. As warnings go unheeded and political inertia persists, the public must demand change to avert a looming fiscal crisis of unprecedented proportions.

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Former First Lady Melania Trump, former President Donald Trump’s wife, headlined a fundraiser on Saturday evening, her first solo event of the 2024 campaign.

Exclusive photos of the former first lady — provided to Breitbart News by her longtime photographer, Andrea Hanks — show her alongside Log Cabin Republican leaders Ric Grenell, Bill White, and Bryan Eure.

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Authored by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,

At a cost of $250 million, Millennium Challenge 2002 was the largest and most expensive war game in Pentagon history.

With over 13,500 participants, the US government took over two years to design it.

The exercise pitted Iran against the US military. Washington intended to show how the US military could defeat Iran with ease.

Paul Van Riper, a three-star general and 41-year veteran of the Marine Corps, led Iranian forces in the war game. His mission was to take on the full force of the US military, led by an aircraft carrier battle group and a large amphibious landing force in the Persian Gulf.

The results shocked everyone…

Van Riper waited for the US Navy to pass through the shallow and narrow Strait of Hormuz, which made them sitting ducks for Iran’s unconventional and asymmetric warfare techniques.

The idea is to level the playing field against a superior enemy with swarms of explosive-laden suicide speedboats, low-flying planes carrying anti-ship missiles, naval mines, and land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles, among other low-cost but highly effective measures.

In minutes, Van Riper emerged victorious over his superior opponent and sank all 19 ships. Had it been real life, 20,000 US sailors and marines would have died.

Millennium Challenge 2002 was a complete disaster for the Pentagon, which had spent a quarter of a billion dollars to set up the extensive war game. It produced the exact opposite outcome they wanted.

So what did the Pentagon do with these humbling results?

Like a child playing a video game, they hit the reset button. They then rigged and scripted the game so that the US was guaranteed to win.

After realizing the integrity of the war game had been compromised, a disgusted Van Riper walked out mid-game. He then said:

“Nothing was learned from this. And a culture not willing to think hard and test itself does not augur well for the future.”

Claire's Observations:  I am having a double face-palm, at velocity upon reading this!!!  Yikes!!

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A gag order that severely limits what former President Donald Trump can say publicly about a case where a Democrat district attorney is seeking to put him in jail was the focus in court on Tuesday as part of the business records trial he faces in Manhattan.

Democrat District Attorney Alvin Bragg accused Trump of violating the gag order 11 times for allegedly attacking witnesses and other members of the court — even if they have attacked him.

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By Tyler Durden

One of the biggest questions of our time is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides's Trap. It seems that, in the short term, the US will likely avoid direct conflict with China, but in the long term, there will be a slow march toward conflict in the Indo-Pacific region. 

On Tuesday, Admiral John Aquilino, the head of the US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), told reporters in Tokyo that China has become increasingly aggressive across Asia. 

"We all need to understand that it's moving very fast," Aquilino said, as quoted by Bloomberg

He said, "The buildup of military power despite a bad economy, the increased narrative of all things inside the 10-dash line are Chinese sovereign territory, then the actions that are going toward enforcement."

After serving three years as the head of INDOPACOM, Aquilino will step down. He oversees 380,000 soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, guardians, Coast Guardsmen, and Department of Defense civilians. 

He warned about rising tensions near the Second Thomas Shoal, where the Philippines has held the line since World War II. A recent incident of Chinese vessels using water cannons to block Philippine military vessels has been an ominous sign for some military observers. 

Aquilino also spoke about China's economy, indicating the world's second-largest economy "has drastically been reduced" because of a "real-estate market crash."

"You go ask any economist if the Chinese are going to deliver 5.3% growth, and they will tell you, 'No way,'" Aquilino said.

Aquilino also called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime "disgusting" for spending large sums of money on the military while a food shortage ripples through the country. 

Aquino's comment comes days before US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to China. He is expected to convey Washington's "deep concerns" about Beijing's support for Russia's defense industrial base.

Claire's Observations;  One cannot, logically, support a foreign policy which pushes large geopolitical entities together, then labeling their geopolitical union as "an axis of evil",  as US foreign policy has done with Russia and China,  

Instead of collaboration, and a willingness to work together, the Bi-di-Bye White House has chosen a path of 

continuous confrontation with both countries, and this is a completely insane path for the US government to choose.

And I say this because right now, the US military does not have the troop strength; the weaponry; the manufacturing; or the money to successfully pursue a successful outcome against either- or both - countries.  And after all the billions spent on weaponry, why is the US so pitifully behind Russia and China when it comes to their advanced development?

Do we have any real accountability from those people who sell, and design weapons?!?  We should, starting NOW!!

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An illegal alien is accused of sexually assaulting two young girls under the age of 13 after breaking into a home in St. Joseph County, Michigan.

Miguel Hernandez-Ruiz, a 25-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, has been arrested and “charged with first-degree home invasion and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person” younger than 13 years old, WoodTV reported.

According to the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office, on March 20, Hernandez-Ruiz allegedly broke into a residence at the Sweet Lake Mobile Home Park in Sturgis, Michigan. When police arrived on the scene, they found two girls who had been sexually assaulted.

A manhunt for the suspect ensued and Hernandez-Ruiz was ultimately arrested in early April in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He fought extradition before being charged in St. Joseph County for the incident.

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A transgender student, who is accused of beating a fellow student, attacked police officers during his hearing.

The transgender student — a biological male who believes he is a female — allegedly beat a young girl with a Stanley cup at Pennbrook Middle School in Pennsylvania and had more on his so-called “hit list.”

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The Biden campaign is doing everything they can to hide how absolutely feeble he is looking but this video says IT ALL.

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George Washington University law school professor Jonathan Turley blasted the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s criminal case against former President Donald Trump. During an interview where he discussed the opening statements of Trump’s hush money trial which began on Monday, Turley called the case an “embarrassment” to the justice system.

Pointing to a recent poll in which only 35% of respondents thought that Trump’s actions that led to the case was “illegal,” Turley pointed out that “we would end up with the same 35%” if a polling was held on whether Trump was plagued on something as random as “the bubonic plague.”

We have these hard numbers on either end of the poll when it comes to Trump. They don’t move no matter what the subject is. What’s clear is in this case, Trump is right. I mean, this is an embarrassment. I mean the fact that we are actually talking about this case being presented in a New York courtroom leaves me in utter disbelief,” he stated.

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America First Legal (AFL) a conservative legal nonprofit filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration on Wednesday, accusing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) of destroying federal records. The lawsuit alleges that several emails from former employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were deleted in violation of the Federal Records Act.

The controversy began when AFL requested an investigation from the HHS’s Inspector General into the CDC’s alleged policy of deleting employee emails. AFL’s inquiry was prompted by concerns over the CDC’s alleged promotion of controversial educational content.

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A Democrat sheriff in Texas has taken steps to ensure that at least some of the migrants flown to Martha's Vineyard a year and a half ago may remain in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.

In September 2022, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida sent nearly 50 migrants, who made a brief stop in his state after crossing into the U.S. in Texas, to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, an island with six of the wealthiest, most exclusive towns in America, all of which adopted sanctuary policies regarding illegal immigrants several years ago.

Now, at least three of those migrants have been given "bona fide determinations" that will allow them to work legally in the U.S. as they await their U visas. U visas, short for U nonimmigrant status visas, are granted to some illegal immigrants who have been "victims of crimes" and yet have helped "law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity," said a website for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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