Saturday Special (03/25/2023): Down Memory Lane

In the highly unlikely event that you didn’t hear, daughter Kyla turned 14 today. If you weren’t aware it’s probably because Mommy didn’t post enough pictures. 🙂

Those pictures are wonderful memories. And seriously we couldn’t take enough.

Jeff Minick has four children and many grandchildren. For 20 years, he taught history, literature, and Latin to seminars of homeschooling students in Asheville, N.C. He is the author of two novels and two works of nonfiction.

Interviewing family members about their life experiences is a great way to learn more about them. (Biba Kayewich)

Interviewing family members about their life experiences is a great way to learn more about them. (Biba Kayewich)

Saving and Sharing Good Memories Is Easy, Healthy, and Fun

No matter how fast life seems to fly by, memories keep us connected to the happy days of yesteryear

MARCH 21, 2023 

Trust me friend a hundred years
Goes faster than you think, so don’t blink

Written by Casey Beathard and Chris Wallin, that’s the refrain for country music star Kenny Chesney’s poignant hit song, “Don’t Blink.” The ballad tells of a 102-year-old man celebrating his birthday on television, who when asked the secret of life, says:

Don’t blink, just like that you’re six years old
And you take a nap
And you wake up and you’re twenty-five
And your high school sweetheart becomes your wife

Don’t blink, you just might miss
Your babies growing like mine did
Turning into moms and dads
Next thing you know your better half

Of fifty years is there in bed
And you’re praying God takes you instead

Most of us, even the young, have experienced this revelation of time sweeping past us, as fast and furious as a wind in March. A 29-year-old kisses her daughter’s bruised knee suddenly recollects her own mother doing the same for her after she had tripped and fallen in the yard and is jolted by how swiftly the years have flown away since her childhood.

And yet, while we can’t reset the ticking clock of our lives, just like that young mother, we, fortunately, can return, if we so choose, to happier days gone by via that time capsule of the mind: the memory.

The Way We Were

“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it,” L.M. Montgomery, author of “Anne of Green Gables,” wrote in “The Story Girl.”

It’s for this reason that we look with pity on our loved ones undergoing the ordeal of dementia, witnessing their confusion and the progressive loss of their faculties. In myriad ways, human beings are made up of memories, and when those memories begin vanishing, so does the person.

That people wish to prevent that disappearance by preserving the present, especially those moments associated with joy or achievement, can be seen everywhere. Pharaohs and kings have left monuments as signs of their glory so that others might remember them. Writers and painters frequently include themselves or the people and places they’ve known in their art.

The rest of us snap photographs or make videos in hopes of capturing those fleeting delights of a graduation or a wedding, using the pictures later to aid recollection. Some folks keep a journal to record their toddler’s first step, the day she learned to ride a bicycle, and her first dance in middle school. We keep these mementos not only as markers of celebration but also as sparks to light the flames of memory.

And here are some other ways to keep those fires burning.


One spring morning nearly 40 years ago, I sat at her dining room table and asked my mother about her family tree, recording the information as she spoke. It was good stuff, but I should have asked Mom for details from her own life. What was her favorite candy as a kid? Her favorite game? When and where did she first meet my dad? What was her biggest dream for herself when she was 16?

I know a lot about my mom and have passed much of that information to my children, but I missed the perfect chance to know a whole lot more.

With the help of some electronic device or even just pen and paper, ask family members questions and record their answers. If you’re a 16-year-old who’s close to your grandfather, set aside an hour or so, lift up the lid on his past, and write down what he says. His responses may surprise you. Grandparents might reverse this process, asking their offspring similar questions. Either way, the result is a time capsule, bits of the past and present to be reopened and treasured in the future.

The Joy of the Jar

Memory jars—small, decorative boxes will serve just as well—are easy, provide fun for the family, and can even give you a much-needed lift on a bad day.

The concept is simple. Take a large, clean jar with a lid, decorate it as you will, and keep it on the kitchen counter or the dining room table where it won’t be overlooked. Alongside it, keep some pens, pencils, and pieces of paper for recording memories. Cutting some three- by five-inch index cards in half for reasons of space works perfectly fine.

After that, how you use the jar is up to you. Some people make a memory jar a part of some special occasion—birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas. Those present write down a comment about the event or the person involved and drop it in the jar. With the same purpose in mind, some people create a memory jar for the funeral of a loved one. Others pass the paper and pens around the supper table once per week and have family members write down an event they want to remember. It can be as important as making the cut for the basketball team or as trivial as baking a pie with Mom. A few words usually suffice to jog the memory.

If you’re keeping your own personal memory jar or box, sometimes pulling out one of the written reminders can bring a flood of sweet thoughts or a needed smile. The comments deposited in a memory jar honoring a deceased relative, when read later, can bring tender memories. If the jar has notes from the entire family, a shared meal is the perfect time to have two or three people dig into the jar, pull out a note, read it aloud, and then ask the person who wrote it to tell the story behind the note.

These aids to memory can bring laughter and tears, as well as deeper connections with those we love.

Which brings us to one of the best ways to savor the past and keep it alive

Story Time

Epoch Times Photo
People love hearing about their parents’ and grandparents’ childhood adventures and mishaps, such as accidentally smashing a window while playing baseball. (Biba Kayewich)

Who doesn’t enjoy a good story?

If you want your childhood memories kept alive, tell those stories to your children and grandchildren. We know kids love hearing about Grandma’s beloved foxhound when she was an adolescent or the time Dad hit a home run playing sandlot ball but smashed a neighbor’s window, because they keep coming back and asking for more. And if you want to better recall the kids’ stories of their adventures or humorous moments, tell those stories to friends or other family members.

Look online for the “power of telling stories to kids about our past,” and you’ll find a dozen or more benefits derived from this activity, from the development of better listening skills in school to an enhanced ability to make moral judgments. Best of all, however, you’re leaving a part of yourself in your children, who will remember and relish your childhood tales long after you’ve left this earth. An example: My uncle and dad passed on some wild tales about my Great-Grandfather Clark. Both my children and grandchildren have gotten some fun from these family gems, but the stories also connect them to an ancestor born 150 years ago and will live on in them and perhaps their descendants.

Whatever avenue we use—photographs, journals, story boxes, or storytelling—passing along our memories, especially the good ones, enriches those around us, keeps our special moments a vibrant part of who we are and reconnects us with our heritage.

Week-ends (03/25/2023)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of  This Just In…


Geoff Stone of Muskego, WI

Aaron Brooks

Florida Panthers players Eric and Marc Staal

Airus by Airion Health



Pentagon doctors

The city of Philadelphia


US volunteers in Ukraine


“The prospect of a former president in handcuffs and being ushered into a courtroom by law enforcement might delight Trump’s political enemies, but what will it do for the nation that is already reeling from so many economic, foreign, and cultural challenges? Trump has already called for protests should he be indicted. This will not end well.”
Cal Thomas

“Look, I don’t know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I just, I can’t speak to that. But what I can speak to is if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to do something about pornstar hush-money payments, that’s an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office and I think that that’s fundamentally wrong.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

“Given the damage the Left and the Left’s political party, the Democrats, are doing to America, you would think conservatives would understand that defeating the Left is by far their most important task. … Yet, apparently, millions of conservatives, including some leading ones, do not understand that defeating the Left is their most important task.”
Dennis Prager

“Oh my God, [red states] are going to keep the outbreak smoldering in the country [because they won’t get vaccinated]. It’s so crazy. I’m mean, they’re not doing it because they say they don’t want to do it. They’re Republicans. They don’t like to be told what to do. And we gotta break that.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci

“Make no mistake: It is saddening and wrong for an adult to mutilate and poison his body just because he’s convinced himself that his inner self (the soul) is actually the opposite of his outer self (the body). It is exponentially more wrong and downright evil to manipulate, indoctrinate, and mutilate children in the name of this ideology.”
Emmy Griffin

“Here’s a grim but telling stat to chew on, courtesy of a new paper published by the Crime Prevention Research Center’s John Lott: There are 3,007 counties in these United States, but a stunning 56% of our nation’s murders occur in just 2% of those counties — counties that contain cities like Philly, New York City, LA, Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore, DC, Dallas, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Houston, and the like. Care to guess which political party runs each of those cities?”
Douglas Andrews

“I love Trump. Like, as a person, I think Trump is funny and insightful.”
Tucker Carlson cleaning up after his “I hate him passionately” text became public

“If public education wasn’t the unionized outfit that it is, the Democrats wouldn’t care. They would want as much competition as possible. But if you give parents the ability to make purchasing decisions, they might choose an institution that’s not unionized. That’s why the teachers union[s] and the school districts and the Democrats have fought charter schools every step of the way.”
Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL)

“The backlash against extreme sex ed is exploding. Proponents insist they just want to provide information. Nonsense. When lessons include more than biology, someone’s values are being imposed. Comprehensive sex education is an ideology or religion, stressing gender fluidity, sexual experimentation and pleasure seeking, while repudiating parents’ roles and traditional values.”
Betsy McCaughey

“When Hillary Clinton said it takes a village to raise a child that was code for what they really believe, which is that it takes Big Government to indoctrinate a child.”
Gary Bauer

“There is zero reason why the trans flag should appear on any government building. Zero.”
Sydney Watson

“Coffee is in fact horribly racist, and there’s data to back it up. Every facet of the coffee industry, in fact, is rooted in racism. From the moment the whites viciously stole coffee from Black and Brown People to the present-day Karen sipping her morning cup of white supremacy, whites have been able to drink the fruits of our labor and our culture with impunity.”
From an article titled, “Is coffee racist? How drinking coffee perpetuates white supremacy”

“I was born with ants in my pants!”
World-renowned musician, singer and comedienne Charo, who just completed 20 days of sold-out performances in Ft. Lauderdale


Men are dominating “Women of the Year” lists


Over 300 Catholic churches hit with destructive acts of vandalism since spring 2020

This week we celebrate National Medal of Honor Day


Trump’s gonna be arrested. Trump’s gonna be arrested. Oh, wait…


I hired sexy cowboys for my mom’s 80th birthday — she loved it to death

Masks of ignorance; teachers, leave kids alone; the crazy political party; loss of faith = malaise

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (03/24/2023): It is clearer every day which party is radical, extreme, dangerous, and flat out crazy

Today’s highly interesting read (03/23/2023): The Mask of Ignorance

Today’s highly interesting read (03/21/2023): Hey Teacher, Leave Them Kids Alone

Today’s highly interesting read (03/19/2023): There is Malaise in Our Country Because we Have Lost Our Faith

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (03/25/2023)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Originally written by both my lovely wife, Jennifer and me, this blog brings you the latest news about our furry friends including articles, columns, photos and videos. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 4 PM. Wet snow expected. An additional 5-8 inches of snow. Winds gusting as high as 35 mph. WHERE…Portions of south central and southeast Wisconsin. IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. PRECAUTIONARY ACTIONS… Slow down and use caution while traveling.

Cloudy. High of 32. “F”

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny early then increasing cloudiness later in the day. Lots of leftover snow. High of 42. “D”

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Before we get to this week’s news a note about a story posted two weeks ago.

Some readers were taken aback by an article about abused bogs at an illegal cannabis cultivation site in California. Readers were not upset with yours truly. They were angered by the substance of the article, and rightfully so.

Should I not have posted, even though it came from a very reliable news source?

Many times in the past I have written that unfortunately the “news isn’t always good.” Needless to say the inhumane treatment of dogs in California was an outrage. I posted for reasons I covered news on the radio or selected topics when I hosted talk radio. The story was controversial and emotional And I wanted to make a statement, a point about these illegal sites.

Every week I am inundated with possible news stories about dogs I could include on The Barking Lot. Here are some headlines from stories this week:

Parents charged after boy found in locked dog cage inside Philadelphia home

3-year-old Louisiana girl can no longer smile after foster dog bites face 

Man beats dog to death, hide it under sink: Police

My guess is dog lovers and people checking out this blog have no interest in reading that junk. So it’s not getting published here. There are rare exceptions. If you missed the story and want to read it, it’s in this edition.

Now for this week’s news.

Drug-sniffing dog put his paws on a man’s car. Idaho Supreme Court says he trespassed.

Supreme Court to hear case between Jack Daniel’s and dog toy maker.

Talk Nicely When Training Dogs. It Makes a Difference.

Can dogs talk by pressing buttons? What science says about the debate.

VIDEO & ARTICLE: ‘Such a sweet boy.’ SC rescue dog holds new mom’s hand on way home from shelter in viral video.

How a Senate aide and her guide dog made Capitol Hill more accessible for all.

Yeh. Zeus is big.

NPR asked to see your pet artwork — you unleashed your creativity.

VIDEO: Boxers go crazy over T.Rex in their backyard.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!

Goodnight everyone, and go boldly this weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy. 

Canadian actor, author, producer, director, screenwriter, and singer William Shatner turned 92 this week. He’s best known as Captain James T. Kirk in the 60s series Star Trek and its subsequent blockbuster movies.

Star Trek chronicled the exploits of the crew of the starship USS Enterprise whose five-year mission is to explore space. The series took place in the 23rd century, after an advanced alien people, the Vulcans, introduced their technologies to Earth, giving humans the opportunity to embark on intergalactic travel at speeds faster than light. 

Despite the TV series running for only three seasons (1966–69) it became one of the most popular brands in the American entertainment industry.

Spacy music is the theme this week. Let’s get traveling.

Shatner revealed in 2020 that he suffers from swollen joints and various age-related “aches and pains,” and uses CBD oil to treat his pain. 

Two weeks ago today Shatner appeared in Milwaukee to share behind-the-scenes stories from his career and answered audience questions following a screening of the classic film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Photo: John Graber

The 1960’s (that gave us Star Trek). A jet and rocket era with America fascinated with outer space travel.

Now we take you inside music from the Ultra-Lounge series, described by the record company as:

“An era batted in gimlets, hi-balls, straight up, on-the- rocks, shaken not stirred, hi-octane elixirs dressed in garish garni. A time viewed through the seductive daze of slow-burning lipstick-kissed cigarettes that end up dancing ashtray dancing with cigar stubs and cherry stems. The atmosphere mambos to the soundtrack of cool. Rumbling saxophones. Jazzy vibes, over-heated Hammonds, and the sexy chill of a brush a cross a cymbal. So pour yourself a cocktail, slip off your shoes, shuffle across the shag to your favorite easy chair and enjoy an intoxicating taste of the Ultra-Lounge.”

“Ultra-Lounge” is a series of 1950’s to 1960’s lounge music cds released by Capitol Records.

One of the tracks in this space age pop compilation sounded like something out of a Jetsons cartoon or early 60’s newsreel despite its 1946 origin. The orchestra leader is David Rose.

Again, David Rose is the orchestra leader.

His name may sound familiar, but for music that doesn’t quite make this week’s theme.

Let’s stay with the space age of the 1960’s.

Loved this TV series, even as goofy as it got. The space family Robinson is sent on a five-year mission to find a new planet to colonize. The voyage is sabotaged time and again by inept stowaway, Dr. Zachary Smith. The family’s spaceship, Jupiter II, also carries a friendly robot who is constantly verbally abused by Dr. Smith, but is a trusted companion of young Will Robinson.

The unaired original pilot of Lost in Space reused Bernard Herrmann’s music from the 1951 sci-fi classic The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Also, in case you didn’t know, the set of the Robinsons’ craft ran a bill of $350,000 — about $2.5 million in today’s bucks. In the story of the show, the flying saucer supposedly cost $30 billion. The cost of Jupiter 2 was more than the Enterprise on Star Trek, which began airing when Lost In Space started its second season.

Jupiter 2’s hull is constructed of titanium (real) and cosmium (not real).

The series revealed that the ship’s trip to Alpha Centauri would take 5.5 years, meaning it travels at about 79% the speed of light. How does it achieve such speed? It’s fuel, deutronium (not real).

The Robot costume weighed about 200 pounds and cost $70,000, about half a billion dollars in today’s curency.

NEXT, a clue previewing our next selection.

Not exactly sure?

Need another clue?

He’s a Grammy Award-winning pianist, arranger, composer and conductor.

Waldman has a very interesting story and resume. At the age of five Waldman began playing piano and was considered a child prodigy. He was hired to demonstrate pianos at a local music store at age 12. While in high school, he performed with the Northwestern University Jazz band.During his career Waldman has worked with numerous artists including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Patti LaBelle, Celine Dion, Beyoncé, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Manilow, Ray Charles, The Stylistics, Michael Bublé, Quincy Jones, Johnny Mathis, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli, John Travolta, and Kenny G. He is also a helicopter and airplane pilot and instructor.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a far out weekend.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: Apache

He was a session drummer who played with Eric Clapton‘s band Derek and the Dominos on the 1970 classic “Layla.”

Played with George Harrison.

On Glen Campbell‘s “Gentle on My Mind.”

Crosby, Stills and Nash’s “Marrakesh Express.”

The Beach Boys‘ album “Pet Sounds.”

Mason Williams’s “Classical Gas.”

Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis.”

Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number.”

Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”

Harry Nilsson.


Seals & Crofts.

Joe Cocker.

Jim Gordon died last week at the age of 77. The cause is believed to be natural causes.

Jerry Lordan, a British singer/guitarist/songwriter, wrote “Apache” for The Shadows, a very popular band in the UK that never made it in America, mostly because they never toured here and never were promoted here. Lordan got the idea for “Apache” after watching the movie of the same name in 1954 starring Burt Lancaster as the Apache warrior Massai.

“I wanted something noble and dramatic, reflecting the courage and savagery of the Indian,” said Lordan.

Gordon’s drum solo on the Incredible Bongo Band’s 1973 version of “Apache” is highly regarded. The instrumental has been called “hip-hop’s national anthem.”

Don’t remember? You may when you hear it.

In 1983 Gordon used a hammer and a knife to murder his 71-year-old mother, Osa Marie Gordon, later claiming that he had heard voices telling him to kill her. He was given a sentence of 16 years to life and never left prison. Gordon died at a medical and psychiatric facility in Vacaville, California.

Today’s highly interesting read (03/24/2023): It is clearer every day which party is radical, extreme, dangerous, and flat out crazy

Today’s read is from Jack Hellner writing in the American Thinker. Here’s an excerpt:

It is sad that only 74% of registered voters believe that parents have more rights to choose major, life-changing medical surgery than school officials. 

Who are the 26% of voters who believe the parents have no right to know?

In a normal world, the media would call the people who were in a significant minority the extremists and declare their policies controversial.

The problem is we live in a time where most journalists believe those of us who want parents to make decisions for their children, instead of the government, and who want limits on the abortions, like most of the world does, are the extremists and then they claim we are prejudiced. 

Read the entire column here.

NEWS/OPINION BRIEFS – Friday, March 24, 2023

Briefs are posted every weekday morning, M-F


Wisconsinites would see a net increase in taxes and fees of more than $108 million under Gov. Tony Evers’ budget, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Meanwhile, measures to improve tax collection efforts would generate another $34.1 million.

The memo shows the nearly $1.5 billion in tax reductions in his budget, including a 10 percent break for the middle class, would be overshadowed by proposed tax increases on manufacturers and investors.


The Children’s Wisconsin Foundation announced Thursday that it has decided not to host the 2023 Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk — a downtown tradition for 45 years.

“We recognize the importance this event has held for many families and made this decision with careful time and consideration. We know for many, Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk was an opportunity to remember, honor and celebrate the care of a child and the healthcare journey,” the foundation wrote in a press release.

“As we look to the future, Children’s Wisconsin is transforming our health system to consider the whole child, including their physical, social and mental health and well-being. This focus on the whole child includes ensuring our fundraising events are engaging for kids and adults of ALL abilities.”

Instead of hosting the race, Children’s Wisconsin said that it was instead going to hear feedback about how it could create new and more inclusive events that could possibly replace the run in the future.

“During this year off, we are reaching out to our most steadfast supporters – participants like you – to help us collect ideas and feedback on how our events can be more representative of the communities we serve while also identifying what makes our events special and should be retained.”

The Briggs & Al’s Run & Walk was created when legendary Marquette coach Al McGuire decided he wanted to do something for the kids of Children’s Wisconsin. McGuire would later approach Bill Dwyre, former sports editor of The Milwaukee Journal, and suggested the creation of a community event.

The end result was a race to benefit the hospital that started at Marquette’s campus and ran through downtown Milwaukee. The first event, called the JournAl’s Run, took place on Sept. 30, 1978. It cost $5 a person, $10 for families and $100 for corporations, but many more donations were made and the 3,500 registered runners raised $20,000.

The run was later renamed the Briggs & Al’s run and would become a fixture in the Milwaukee community for 45 years. During that time the event raised $22 million, according to the foundation.

—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly said he wants to be hauled into court in handcuffs if he’s slapped with unprecedented charges in the “hush money” case involving porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump, 76, told advisers of his plan, saying that if he has to go through the ordeal of getting arrested and arraigned, he’d prefer making it a “spectacle,” the Guardian said Wednesday, citing unidentified sources close to him.

The ex-president — who’s seeking the Republican nomination for a third White House bid in 2024 — also wants to avoid any special treatment that could make him look weak, the sources reportedly said.

It’s unclear how serious Trump is about the plan, which could be stymied by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the Guardian said.

Trump’s lawyers are also adamantly opposed and have urged him to surrender quietly and be arraigned remotely if he’s indicted, the Guardian said.

The lawyers have reportedly pointed to Secret Service concerns about security, leading Trump to tell pals this past weekend that he didn’t care if he got shot because it would make him “a martyr.”

Trump also speculated that an attack on him could propel him back to the presidency, the Guardian said.

No ex-US president has ever been charged with a crime.

—NY Post

Leaked audio from a recent Chris Rock performance revealed the comedian comparing an arrest of former President Donald Trump to rapper Tupac, saying it’s only going to make him “more popular,” adding, “he’s just going to sell more records.”

“Are you guys really going to arrest Trump? Do you know this is only going to make him more popular? It’s like arresting Tupac, he’s just going to sell more records. Are you stupid?” Rock was heard saying in the leaked audio clip.

Rock also joked about allegations that Trump paid porn star Stormy Daniels hush money, saying, “That’s romantic,” adding, “We’ve all been cheated on. Don’t you wish that the person that cheated on you paid off somebody so you wouldn’t find out?”

Chris Rock is not the only one who believes it would be “stupid” for Democrats to arrest their political rivals.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and Twitter, said on Saturday that Trump will win reelection in a “landslide victory” if he is handcuffed and arrested.

Many others rallied around Trump following the news of his arrest prediction, with radio host Clay Travis declaring, “We now live in a banana republic.”

—Breitbart News

Children and teens in Utah would lose access to social media apps such as TikTok if they don’t have parental consent and face other restrictions under a first-in-the-nation law designed to shield young people from the addictive platforms.

Two laws signed by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox Thursday prohibit kids under 18 from using social media between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., require age verification for anyone who wants to use social media in the state and open the door to lawsuits on behalf of children claiming social media harmed them. Collectively, they seek to prevent children from being lured to apps by addictive features and from having ads promoted to them.

The companies are expected to sue before the laws take effect in March 2024.

The crusade against social media in Utah’s Republican-supermajority Legislature is the latest reflection of how politicians’ perceptions of technology companies has changed, including among typically pro-business Republicans.

Tech giants like Facebook and Google have enjoyed unbridled growth for over a decade, but amid concerns over user privacy, hate speech, misinformation and harmful effects on teens’ mental health, lawmakers have made Big Tech attacks a rallying cry on the campaign trail and begun trying to rein them in once in office. Utah’s law was signed on the same day TikTok’s CEO testified before Congress about, among other things, the platform’s effects on teenagers’ mental health.

But legislation has stalled on the federal level, pushing states to step in.

Outside of Utah, lawmakers in red states including Arkansas, Texas, Ohio and Louisiana and blue states including New Jersey are advancing similar proposals.

—ABC News

An EF1 tornado caused significant damage to over a dozen buildings in the Los Angeles suburb of Montebello Wednesday, less than 24 hours after a weaker tornado damaged mobile homes in the small coastal city of Carpinteria.

There were reports that at least one person was injured, as well as roofs ripped off buildings and cars destroyed in the heavily populated Montebello area.

It happened around 11 a.m. local time as a lone thunderstorm moved through. The tornado was estimated to have wind speeds up to 110 mph, making it the strongest to hit the Los Angeles metro since March 1983, according to the National Weather Service.

Seventeen structures were damaged, 11 significantly enough to be declared too dangerous to inhabit, according to the NWS.

The tornado primarily impacted an industrial warehouse-commercial business district. One building’s roof collapsed. Cars were damaged with windows destroyed.

The storm came on the heels of the latest atmospheric river to batter parts of California with rain and high winds. At least five people were killed during the storm.

It was the second time in less than 24 hours that a tornado caused damage in the region. The first was Tuesday evening in Santa Barbara County, when a tiny line of thunderstorms moved ashore.

—Weather Channel


If there’s one thing Joe Biden must do as Donald Trump faces a mountain of legal challenges, he must keep his mouth shut. The temptation to comment must be overwhelming, especially for the White House staff and those lined up to work on Biden’s 2024 campaign. Yet, for various reasons, the urge to offer a poorly timed jab from Joe, which usually falls flat, has to be tempered in these unprecedented times. While he may be an incompetent clown presiding over America’s precipitous decline, Joe Biden occupies the Oval Office and the powers and privileges of the bully pulpit. Even a lousy quip can have devastating consequences for him and his party in the long run regarding the potential arrest of Trump over the hush money scheme he had with former porn star Stormy Daniels.

The case is shoddy, the statute of limitations for the violations of the law being considered has expired, and the whole circus reeks of political bias. It’s unsurprising, and even legal analysts, who are not Trump supporters, know matchsticks support the case. Yet, and I had to admit this, should Biden continue this moment of Zen regarding Trump’s legal woes, it shows he’s doing something the former president is not: playing the long game.

Biden wants Trump as the 2024 Republican nominee. And the Donald’s call for protests if he’s arrested and the half-cocked social media post from him declaring that he was going to be placed in cuffs this week don’t help his case with voters who might want to vote for him again but are hesitant to gamble backing a man viewed to be unpredictable. In 2016, that worked since voters wanted change and were tired of the Clintons. In 2024, Trump is now a former president. He’s no outsider, and he can’t use the same playbook, though that’s what the Biden team is counting on, hence the silence over what the Manhattan district attorney’s office is going to do.

The question is whether Biden will remember to stick to the script of his handlers and not let slip a dig at Trump or any remarks that could be construed as influencing the investigation. There’s also a chance that Trump isn’t indicted in this investigation.

One thing Biden does have going is that the media knows the implications of his commenting on Trump’s legal issues, so you’d assume they’d avoid asking him questions about the troubles engulfing his predecessor. And while he’s mentally degraded, I do trust that Joe will be aware enough to know him commenting on such a matter behind the seal of the president of the United States.

—Matt Vespa, Townhall

It’s clear that Joe Biden and his family took massive amounts of money from communist China.

His open borders policies are dangerous and deadly.

He lies all the time.

Biden and his left-wing allies condemn America every chance they get.

Biden says you are “cruel” and “sinful” if you want to protect children from being exploited by the radical transgender movement.

Biden and the left are threatening free speech and waging war against religious liberty.

But for most of the country, it doesn’t seem like there’s any drama because the mainstream media and Hollywood aren’t upset about any of that.

Here’s what I suspect so many of us just don’t want to admit: We are in a very dramatic, consequential moment in American history. This is not the Eisenhower or Reagan years. Our constitutional Republic is in danger.

Anyone we nominate will in short order appear to be “stuck in drama” because the left will demonize them.

I don’t want to mince words here: The neo-Marxist left is a threat to freedom. It intends to force you to kneel and become a slave to its demands. That was obvious during COVID, when our free speech rights were restricted, when our churches were closed and when our jobs were threatened.

And if you resist the chains of neo-Marxist slavery, they will use every tactic possible to portray you and the candidates you support as “controversial,” “racist” and “extreme,” etc., etc.

But in reality, they are the extremists waging war against freedom and normalcy.

—Gary Bauer

It’s no secret the vast majority of Republicans want to vote President Joe Biden out of office in the 2024 election. And who could blame them? With skyrocketing inflation, banks collapsing, a wide-open southern border, politically weaponized federal law enforcement agencies, ideological grooming of children, unchecked Chinese surveillance, federal interference in U.S. elections, and more, it’s completely understandable for millions of Americans to be on the lookout for potential candidates who could get the country on the right track.

While important, the 2024 GOP presidential primary — which has already attracted the attention of prominent conservative figures — doesn’t begin for several months. In the meantime, there are significant vehicles American restorationists could use to defeat leftist radicalism. Chief among them is state legislatures, but conservatives are squandering the opportunity to advance their legislative agenda while blue state lawmakers are successfully implanting radical new legislation that’s having a major impact on the cultural and political landscape of the country.

As of March 2023, Republicans have 22 state trifectas, in which they control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature. These GOP-led states have the ability to advance conservative legislation without fear of Democrats blocking it.

The most notable Republican to use this as a mechanism of advancing conservative priorities is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Since taking office, DeSantis has employed every tool at his disposal to wage war on the left’s institutional and cultural jihad by enacting strong, conservative policies.

Not every Republican-led state is using its power to fight leftists’ cultural revolution like Florida, however. In some instances, several so-called “red states” are even helping Democrats advance their radical agenda.

At a time when Biden’s lax immigration policies have led to a record number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, for example, Idaho and Oklahoma Republicans apparently felt it necessary to further incentivize such lawbreaking by introducing legislation granting illegal aliens modified driver’s licenses. The Oklahoma bill — while introduced by a Republican — was reportedly “authored by Democrat immigration attorney Michael Brooks-Jimene, who is also on the board of a group supporting amnesty.” Meanwhile, the Idaho legislation (SB 1081) is so left-wing that it’s earned the support of the state’s ACLU chapter.

But it’s not just immigration where state Republicans are advancing Democrat priorities. As The Blaze’s Daniel Horowitz reported, GOP governors in states such as South Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, and Ohio have all helped further Democrats’ “green energy” scam.

Even more shocking is the surrender of Republican strongholds’ when it comes to protecting children from radical “trans the kids” activists. Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled West Virginia legislature passed a bill banning sex change surgeries, cross-sex hormones, and puberty blockers for minors. Prior to the bill’s passage, however, Senate GOP leadership caved to outside pressure, adding a last-minute amendment allowing exceptions for gender dysphoric children deemed “at significant risk of suicide.”

Claims that barring these surgeries for minors will lead them to commit suicide is a faux talking point espoused by leftist adults seeking to impose their ideology on children.

Wyoming GOP Gov. Mark Gordon displayed similar cowardice earlier this week when he declined to sign legislation preventing boys from competing in girls’ sports.

The difference between Democrat and Republican legislative priorities could not be starker. While conservatives are justifiably outraged at the GOP’s weakness, it ultimately falls upon us to hold these incompetent politicos accountable.

Some of the most important cultural issues of our time are being debated in states throughout the country. Rather than worrying about a presidential primary that won’t take place for several months, American restorationists should direct their energy inward toward state legislatures and pressure elected Republicans to enact policies that stymie Biden’s radical agenda.

Despite all the media hype, there will be plenty of time between now and next year to decide who should be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. In the meantime, it’s paramount that conservatives everywhere keep our eye on the ball and use our federalist system to make red states great again.

—Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington.

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – In 1980 a vocal critic of the violence during El Salvador’s civil conflict, Archbishop Óscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating mass in San Salvador; he was canonized in 2018.

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Today’s highly interesting read (03/23/2023): The Mask of Ignorance

Today’s read is from  Jeffrey H. Anderson, president of the American Main Street Initiative, a think tank for everyday Americans. He served as director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice from 2017 to 2021. Here’s an excerpt:

Recent responses to the Cochrane review suggest that there may be no cure for maskaholics.

“Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference.” Such was the verdict of a recent Cochrane review, a systematic assessment of all medical research on masks. How much should one trust this overarching study? Medical journals say that Cochrane reviews are “recognized worldwide as the highest standard in evidence-based healthcare,” are the “best single source of highest-quality systematic reviews,” and are “regarded as the final word in the medical debate on a topic.”

The mask advocates’ grasping-at-straws response to this review has been that Cochrane doesn’t know what it’s doing (despite its “worldwide” reputation for providing “the highest standard” of medical research).

Read the column in its entirety here.