David J. Byrd

David J. Byrd named National Director of Minority Business Development Agency

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2020 – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that David J. Byrd will be the new National Director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Mr. Byrd will be the 18th National Director of the agency. 

Established by an Executive Order in 1969, MBDA is the only Federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. 

“David’s vast experience in public service and as an entrepreneur are true assets to MBDA and the Department of Commerce,” said Secretary Ross. “In his new role, I fully expect him to continue to provide the type of leadership that will lay the foundation to usher in the next 50 years of opportunities and growth for minorities as well as the country as a whole.” 

Mr. Byrd is originally from New Jersey and has served in many public service roles over the years at the local, state and federal levels. Several years ago, Byrd was named by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the “10 Black Republicans You Probably Don’t Know but Should.”

Mr. Byrd joined MBDA in October 2019 as the National Deputy Director responsible for overseeing the day-to-day departmental operations and establishing a streamlined information portal to track Agency milestones and program execution. As MBDA National Director, Mr. Byrd will oversee the development and implementation of Agency initiatives, policy agenda, and federal grant programs. 

“I am honored to be selected by Secretary Ross to lead the Minority Business Development Agency”, said Mr. Byrd. “I am proud to take the helm as the National Director following several of my career mentors who were instrumental in shaping the mission and strategic direction of MBDA since its founding in 1969. I look forward to continuing the Agency’s work ensuring the resiliency and growth of America’s minority-owned firms today, tomorrow, and for future generations of minority entrepreneurs.” 

Prior to accepting the fourth presidential appointment of his career at MBDA, Mr. Byrd served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy Development, at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. His more than 28-year career in public service has included executive positions at the county, state, and federal levels. Mr. Byrd is also an experienced entrepreneur who owned and operated a consulting firm specializing in government relations, political consulting, executive and life skills coaching. 

By Staff Writers and U.S. Department of Commerce Press Release

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Trump is pleased

U.S. Economy added 2.5 Million jobs in May

Represents the biggest monthly jobs gain ever recorded

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, which is the biggest gain ever recorded, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. These job gains coincided with the widespread lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns and the limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April. These additional jobs caused a drop in the unemployment rate from 14.7% down to 13.3%.

Unemployment rate dropped in May 2020 after a big increase in April. Source: BLS

Women benefited more than men in the May jobs recovery, according the report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Unemployment among adult female workers decreased by 13.9%, compared to an 11.6% drop for adult male workers.

The industries that were the big winners in May were:

  • Leisure and hospitality (+1,200,000 jobs)
  • Construction (+464,000)
  • Education and health (+424,000)
  • Retail (+368,000)
  • Other Services (+272,000)
  • Manufacturing (+225,000)

The industries that continued to be challenged in May were:

  • Government (-585,000 jobs) – most of those losses consist of public education workers
  • Information (–38,000)
  • Mining (-20,000)

President Trump reacted very positively to the news, as expected. “We’re bringing our jobs back,” said Trump at a White House press conference this morning. “We’ll go back to having the greatest economy anywhere in the world, nothing close.”

Most economists agree that the economy hit bottom on our about April 15th.

Jason Furman, who is currently an economics professor at Harvard and was previously President Obama’s chief economist has praise for the Trump administration’s initial handling of the COVID-19 economic aftermath, but some reservations about whether Trump will stay the course in providing the required additional stimulus. “One reason for optimism: the fiscal and monetary response to this crisis has been better than any previous crisis,” tweeted Furman. “One reason for pessimism: people who misunderstand the above and want to stop the response when more is needed.”

Trump tweets that these numbers are incredible.

It should be noted that lockdown restrictions have only been partially lifted in most areas, and that the lifting only began in earnest in the middle of May. Thus, June could have much larger job gains. There is still a long way to go before America recovers to the employment levels before COVID-19.  February 2020 represented the peak employment, at 158.8 million civilians employed. Due to the shutdown of the economy, the number of civilians employed bottomed out at 133.4 million in April of 2020. With the latest May additions, the current number of employed is 137.2 million.

Even though May’s increase is the largest monthly employment increase ever recorded, we still have a long to go before we get back to the levels before COVID-19. Nevertheless, the fact that the U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs in May indicates that the economic recovery seems to be off to a good start. This is earlier than most of us had predicted the recovery would begin, so it can only be seen as very good news.

By Craig R. Everett, PhD. Opinions are solely my own. To follow me or add me as a friend on Bigwigg, please visit my Profile Page.

Dr. Everett is a finance professor at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School, where he teaches entrepreneurial finance and private capital markets.

Philadelphia chapter of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) with Antifa banner.

Antifa’s goals include the abolition of police and the death of America

LOS ANGELES, CA – Everyone hates fascists, so when a group like Antifa comes along and claims its name literally means “anti-fascist” it is a phenomenal branding move. It is only when you read the fine print that you realize that, to Antifa, everyone except them is a fascist, including you. For Antifa, fighting fascism includes doing many things that most Americans, even those on the far-left, would find objectionable. Antifa’s goals include the abolition of police and the death of America, among other terrifying objectives.

Who is this group and what do they want? The original Antifa was formed in the early 1930’s in Germany as Antifaschistische Aktion, known as Antifa for short. It was organized by the Stalinist Communist Party of Germany and they considered all non-communist political parties to be fascists. Ironically, Antifa cooperated with the Nazis in trying to destroy the social democrat Weimar Republic. Antifa considered both groups to be fascist, of course, but they made the mistake of believing the Nazis were less dangerous just because they were smaller. Big mistake. When the brutal Nazis came to power in Germany, Antifa was eliminated.

Antifa Logo
Antifa Logo

Modern Antifa was resurrected in the 1970’s as a left-wing student movement founded in West Germany by the Maoist Communist League. They adopted the same logo as the pre-war Antifa, with one small change. The old logo had two red flags, symbolizing communism and socialism. The new logo replaced the one of the red flags with a black flag. The red flag now represents communism and socialism, and the smaller black flag represents anarchism and autonomism. By the late 1980’s, Antifa was no longer associated with any political party and was more strongly leaning in the anarchist direction. In fact, some modern Antifa flags have the larger flag in black, implying that they are more strongly anarchist than communist.

Les Miserables fans might be under the mistaken impression that red represents the blood of angry men and black is the dark of ages past. We stand corrected.

Antifa is not hierarchical nor centrally-controlled. Antifa groups spontaneously emerge whenever there is a group of people who ascribe to their anti-authoritarian, anti-government, anti-capitalist beliefs, and are willing to pursue those beliefs using “direct action,” which generally means some sort of militancy. Antifa members do not typically engage in political behavior to affect policy, because they do not consider the political system to be legitimate.

Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement

The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM), according to its founders, thinks of itself an antifa (lowercase), rather than part of Antifa proper. References to RAM started appearing on the internet in 2017, so it is fairly new organization and very few people have even heard of it, despite its influence. Most people associated with RAM are also part of Antifa, since both groups share much of the same anarchist ideology and goals.  The photo on the RAM website of the Philadelphia chapter has a RAM banner in the front, and an Antifa banner in the back.

Philadelphia chapter of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) with Antifa banner.
Philadelphia chapter of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) with Antifa banner. Image copied from RAM website on June 3, 2020.

Both Antifa and RAM are anarchist movements, which means that their goal is a society without any government at all. The primary difference between the two groups is the black liberation focus of RAM. The word “abolitionist” in the name refers to the belief of those within the movement that black people in the U.S. are still living under a form of slavery, and the only path to true freedom is a revolution that ends the American government. Thus, RAM has the same ultimate goal as Antifa (ending the American government), but has a significantly different motivation behind that goal.

RAM’s founders are community organizers from The Base, which is an anarchist headquarters in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn, New York. In its writings, the group seems to draw inspiration from Eldridge Cleaver’s Black Liberation Army (BLA), which was the direct-action successor of the Black Panther Party.  Again, direct action is generally a euphemism for violent protest.

RAM’s goals, or “10 Points of Action,” are largely similar to Antifa’s objectives, but also include black liberation items. The following list is taken directly from the RAM website:

Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement 10 Points of Action

10 Points of Action of Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM)
RAM 10 Points of Action. Image copied from RAM website on June 1, 2020.
  1. Liberation will be won by any means necessary.
  2. We will destroy the state, police, military, corporations and all those who run the American Plantation.
  3. We will live in dignity in a world without prisons.
  4. Systems of punishment will be abolished. There will be no law to enforce, no money to protect.
  5. Revolutionary justice will be determined by those who are oppressed.
  6. There will be no government. No person or group will have power over another.
  7. Communities will make decisions about how they live, and will make sure that everyone has what they need to live a dignified life.
  8. Land is not property. It is alive, communal and must be protected.
  9. Alongside international comrades, we will destroy all borders for the free movement of people everywhere.
  10. Militant networks will defend our revolutionary communities. Liberation begins where America dies.

It is important to distinguish these anarchist groups from #BlackLivesMatter (BLM), which is a black liberation organization (according to their website) founded in 2013 in response to the jury acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer. Rather than being a pure anarchist group, BLM is more narrowly focused on the goals of ending white supremacy and police brutality. These are goals that nearly every person of every race embraces, so BLM enjoys widespread public support.

In the latest BLM protests surrounding the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, we have witnessed a disturbing trend. The peaceful BLM protests that occur during the day have often transformed into violent riots, looting and destruction at night. It is unlikely that this is randomly occurring. The difference appears to be the after-dark arrival of anarchist groups such as Antifa and RAM, whose goals are much more extreme than BLM’s and who provoke violent clashes with police in order to capture video footage of it, presumably for propaganda purposes.

By definition, the anarchists have no political goals, so negotiation with them is unlikely to be effective. They are not, for example, seeking the passage of anarchist-friendly legislation. They simply want to take down the American government and will do so by any means necessary. RAM and Antifa’s goals include the abolition of police and the death of America as a sovereign country, so Americans ignore these groups at their own peril. As the anarchist groups continue to fail in achieving their goals, their militant tactics are likely to become more violent over time, not less. The anarchists that can be seen at protests do not want to end police brutality, they want to end the police itself. They do not want to end injustice in America, they want to end America itself.  

There are many legitimate channels for enacting change in our society, but sedition is not one of them.

By Sarah Jones-Koskinen. Opinions are my own. To follow me or add me as a friend on Bigwigg, please visit my Profile Page.

On Bigwigg there is no shadow-banning or ideological censorship. Join Bigwigg today for free and invite your friends.


What is the role of far-left Antifa in the violent riots this week?

WASHINGTON, DC – May 31, 2020. President Trump tweeted this morning that the United States of America will be designating Antifa as a terrorist organization. This is in response to questions about the role of far-left Antifa in the violent riots happening this week across America. There are allegations that Antifa organizers have been manipulating peaceful protests about the wrongful death of George Floyd into lawless riots, destruction and violence.

As of Sunday morning, over 5,000 national guard troops have been activated nationwide to try to quell the street violence in fifteen states, including WA, CA, NV, UT, CO, ND, TX, MN, MO, IN, OH, KY, TN, GA, and PA. But many are questioning if the violence and vandalism is a spontaneous outgrowth of peaceful protests of an obvious injustice, or if it is deliberately organized criminal activity.

In response to riots in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti has now called in the National Guard to help restore order. “We will always protect free speech and Angelenos’ right to live without fear of violence or vandalism,” stated Garcetti yesterday. “The California National Guard is being deployed to Los Angeles overnight to support our local response to maintain peace and safety on the streets of our city.”

In Minneapolis, the city where this all started with the senseless murder of George Floyd by police, Mayor Jacob Frey has finally taken a stronger stance against the lawless behavior of the rioters. “What started as largely peaceful protests for George Floyd have turned to outright looting and domestic terrorism in our region. We need you to stay home tonight,” Mayor Frey remarked on Twitter yesterday. “Governor Walz, at our request and in partnership with our city and Mayor Carter, has just fully mobilized the Minnesota National Guard.”

Many are asking about the role of far-left Antifa in the violent riots this week.
Many are asking about the role of far-left Antifa in the violent riots this week. Stock photo.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz held a press conference yesterday and reported that state officials are estimating that up to 80% of the people causing destruction are from out-of-state. St. Paul Mayor Paul Carter initially reported that 100% of the rioters and looters arrested in St. Paul had been from outside the state of Minnesota, but it turned out that the number was actually less than 50%. St. Paul is the sister city of Minneapolis.

In Detroit, which is 80% African American, most the rioters arrested have been white, indicating that there has been substantial involvement by outside agitators.

There have also been some claims by the left that the rioting has been instigated by white nationalists, but without any video evidence. With everyone recording everything on their smartphones, if white nationalists are playing a significant role, it stands to reason that there would be a lot of video footage of it.

At the federal level, United States Attorney General William Barr took aim on far-left groups on Saturday in a televised statement made at the Department of Justice. “The voices of peaceful protests are being hijacked by violent radical elements,” Barr said. “Groups of outside radicals and agitators are exploiting the situation to pursue their own separate and violent agenda. In many places it appears the violence is planned, organized and driven by anarchic and left extremist groups, far left extremist groups using Antifa-like tactics, many of whom traveled from outside the state to promote the violence.”

Designating Antifa as a terrorist group will broaden the tools available to the government to prosecute criminal activity. But there are already laws in place that could be used. For example, in a 2019 letter from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to A.G. Barr, Cruz lays out the case for prosecuting members of Antifa under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

“As you are well aware, federal law has provided the Nation’s law enforcement with powerful tools to prosecute criminal organizations, such as Antifa, the Ku Klux Klan, and the mafia, that rely on group anonymity,” stated Cruz in his letter to Barr. “The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act prohibits employment or association with any enterprise to conduct that enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity. RICO enables law enforcement to prosecute individual members of these groups for participating in the criminal enterprise-even when the government cannot establish which particular individual in a corrupt organization committed a given crime.”

It has not yet been determined what is the role of far-left Antifa in the violent riots currently surging across the United States, but Trump’s statement today and Barr’s comments last week are a signal that federal law enforcement is poised to take a much more aggressive stance on organized rioting and destruction.

By Sarah Jones-Koskinen. Opinions are my own. To follow me or add me as a friend on Bigwigg, please visit my Profile Page.

On Bigwigg there is no shadow-banning or ideological censorship. Join Bigwigg today for free and invite your friends.

States that reopened early have not experienced COVID-19 infection spike

There was considerable outcry from COVID-19 lockdown advocates when certain states decided to reopen early. Their argument was that COVID-19 cases would spike, resulting in a large increase in deaths. But the spike in infections of COVID-19 in reopened states did not happen.

The logic of the pessimistic predictions was understandable. If the purpose of the lockdowns was to “flatten the curve” then it was reasonable to assume that removing the lockdowns would “bulge the curve.”

According to a tweet by ABC News lead medical reporter Eric Strauss, ABC reviewed the stats from 21 states that lifted or eased their lockdowns on or before May 4, 2020 and found no spike in infections. Strauss based his statement on research done by fellow ABC reporter Ariel Mitropoulos (Twitter handle @AMitrops).

“JUST IN: [ABC News] looked at 21 states that eased restrictions May 4 or earlier & found no major increase in hospitalizations, deaths or % of people testing positive in any of them. [SC, MT, GA, MS, SD, AR, CO, ID, IA, ND, OK, TN, TX, UT, WY, KS, FL, IN, MO, NE, OH] via @AMitrops,” tweeted Strauss on May 28.

Cafe reopened post-coronavirus
Tweet from ABC News reporter Eric Strauss indicating no big outbreaks of COVID-19 in reopened States

These results imply that perhaps medical professionals still do not fully understand how COVID-19 is spread. If implementing the lockdowns actually worked in reducing the spread of the disease, then lifting the lockdowns should have had the opposite effect. If we aren’t seeing large outbreaks with the easing of restrictions, then people are reasonably asking why we had the lockdowns in the first place.

Regarding the progress being made against the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp stated, “We remain encouraged by the numbers that we are seeing in testing, hospitalizations, and a wide variety of other data points from across the state.” Kemp continued, “We are also encouraged by the new treatment being rolled out for patients in Georgia in partnership with the Trump administration. This week, the Department of Public Health will distribute over 18,000 vials of Remdesivir to eighty-five hospitals across the state.” Georgia was one of the first states to start reopening.

Despite the lack of major outbreaks, it hasn’t been a completely smooth reopening everywhere. For example, Texas is currently fighting a surge in infections in the city of Amarillo. “Here in Texas, we have implemented a strategy that enables Texans to get back to work while mitigating further spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott. “Amarillo is an example of this strategy in action, and our surge response teams have done a tremendous job in containing the hot spots within the Amarillo community and protecting health and safety. As we continue in our efforts, we are committed to prioritizing public health while safely and strategically opening the state.” 

Many people across America and the world are experiencing considerable anxiety over the prospect of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefuly this report by ABC News will help reduce some of their stress.

As of the writing of this article, ABC News had not yet published their research.

By Sterling Szymanski. Opinions are my own. To follow me or add me as a friend on the Bigwigg Social Network, please visit my Profile Page.

On Bigwigg there is no shadow-banning or ideological censorship. Join Bigwigg today for free and invite your patriotic friends.

President Trump, joined by United States Attorney General William Barr, signed an Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship

Trump signs order to fight online censorship

WASHINGTON, DC — May 28, 2020. Earlier today, President Trump signed an Executive Order meant to combat political censorship by social media platforms and other technology giants. The argument by the White House is that since every citizen—liberal, conservative, or otherwise—has a right to be heard, the free exchange of ideas and public debate must be defended.

The following are some key components of the Executive Order on Combating Online Censorship:

  • Makes it U.S. policy that platforms who selectively edit, censor, or are not acting in “good faith” with regards to content will not receive the liability protection included in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
  • Directs the Commerce Department to petition the FCC to make clarifying rules on Section 230 in line with U.S. policy
  • Helps stop millions of taxpayer dollars from being wasted by federal agencies on advertising with biased social media platforms
  • Ensures the Justice Department will review more than 16,000 complaints about politically motivated censorship that were collected by the White House in advance of a Social Media Summit held last year
  • Mobilizes State Attorneys General—who have massive subpoena and consumer protection authorities—to ensure social media platforms are not engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practices
  • Acts as federal law and lists the many ways in which tech platforms act with bias against viewpoints they disagree with
  • Massive corporations that treat millions of American citizens unfairly shouldn’t expect special privileges and protections under the law.

“Today, I am signing an Executive Order to protect and uphold the free speech and rights of the American people,” stated President Trump. “Social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield – that’s a big deal.”

In response to Trump’s executive order, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) stated, “Allowing the spread of disinformation is extremely dangerous. Yet still, the President encourages Facebook & others to continue to exploit and profit off falsehoods – while directing the federal government to dismantle efforts to help users distinguish fact from fiction.”

“If you’re wondering why this is happening now it is NOT just about Trump & Twitter,” tweeted Dr. Kate Klonick, law professor at St. John’s University. “It is almost certainly also about yesterday’s unanimous ruling against government regulating bias in social media from the DC Circuit.” Dr. Klonick has also stated that she believes that this order is not enforceable and will be struck down quickly.

It should be noted that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects free speech, and was specifically intended to protect political speech as a safeguard against tyranny.

Trump continued, “…virtually any form of communication between private citizens or large public audiences, there is no precedent in American history for so small a number of corporations to control so large a sphere of human interaction.”

The court challenges are expected to begin almost immediately.

By Sarah Jones-Koskinen. Opinions are my own. To follow me or add me as a friend on the Bigwigg Social Network, please visit my Profile Page.

On Bigwigg there is no shadow-banning or ideological censorship. Join Bigwigg today for free.