American Ingenuity At Work!

The Daily Wire posted an article yesterday about a very unique church service.

The article reports:

In footage of two instances that went viral on Thursday and Friday, Christians gathered in the government-approved venues of a Pennsylvania Wal-Mart and a Las Vegas casino to engage in the worship that authorities have deemed non-essential.

In a Thursday tweet that was retweeted by Vice President Mike Pence, Faith and Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed posted footage of a worship service in a Vegas casino, writing, “Packed house at #EvangelicalsForTrump prayer & praise event in Las Vegas. NV Governor banned church services but casinos can operate at 50% capacity. So we are praying in a casino.”

…According to The Post Millennial, a similar event also took place recently in the grocery section of a Wal-Mart in North Versailles, Pennsylvania, a town near Pittsburgh. In April, Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolfe urged churchgoers to find different ways to practice their religion than gathering in churches. “Religious leaders are encouraged to find alternatives to in-person gatherings and to avoid endangering their congregants,” he advised. “Individuals should not gather in religious buildings or homes for services or celebrations until the stay-at-home order is lifted.”

Wolf took flak when he broke his own state’s coronavirus lockdown restrictions in June by marching in solidarity with hundreds of protesters in Harrisburg following the death of George Floyd. In Harrisburg’s Dauphin County, gatherings were restricted to 25 people or fewer at the time, according to Pennsylvania’s color-coded reopening plan.

The article concludes:

The coronavirus pandemic has increased the tension between civil and ecclesiastical authorities nearly to the breaking point in states such as California, where many congregations are defying Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s July 13 order that re-instated lockdowns for churches and other establishments deemed non-essential by state authorities.

This week, Ventura County sued Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Thousand Oaks, California, for holding no-mask, no-distance indoor services. Rob McCoy, its senior pastor, said, “We would be the first to be masked and distanced, and willingly so, if this were meriting it, and it doesn’t. This isn’t a health issue, it’s an ideological issue.”

Grace Community Church, a congregation in Los Angeles pastored by prominent author and theologian John McArthur, also made headlines last month when he and the church elders penned an extensive statement explaining why they believe the secular government did not have legitimate authority to forbid in-person assembly indefinitely.

Explaining how they complied with state mandates at first, the church leaders justified their civil disobedience in part by claiming that the lockdowns done in the name of public health were causing spiritual damage to their parishioners. “Opportunities for believers to serve and minister to one another have been missed,” they wrote. “And the suffering of Christians who are troubled, fearful, distressed, infirm, or otherwise in urgent need of fellowship and encouragement has been magnified beyond anything that could reasonably be considered just or necessary.”

We need to be very careful not to give up our civil liberties in the name of preventing the spread of a virus. We know a lot more about the coronavirus now than we did at the beginning. We have developed a few successful protocols for treating the virus, and we have a fairly good idea of who is at risk from the virus. It is time to reclaim our civil liberties before we lose them for good.

This Is What Desperation Looks Like

Yesterday Breitbart reported on a recent statement by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).

The article reports:

Thursday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) weighed in on the possibility of President Donald Trump giving his speech accepting the Republican Party presidential nomination from the White House, despite some suggesting it could a violation of the Hatch Act.

Trump has maintained that such an act would be legal because the Hatch Act did not “pertain to the president.”

After calling it “an outrage” and bemoaning the president for continuing to “demean his office,” Gillibrand seemingly agreed with Trump by saying that if anyone helps him with his speech, then it would be “in violation of the Hatch Act.”

“I think it’s an outrage,” Gillibrand lamented. “President Trump continues to demean his office. He continues to break norms, and if anyone helps him do his speech, it’s in violation of the Hatch Act. So he may well be exempt, but again, to misuse federal resources for political gain is something that we do not tolerate and is illegal in many respects. So I hope he does not choose to again cross that line and continue to undermine the office of the presidency by doing things that are inappropriate and unethical.”

So what is this about? Governor Cooper of North Carolina has extended his coronavirus rules so that there is still a limit of 10 people who can gather indoors. The rules may be slightly relaxed for the convention, but not significantly. Because of this, President Trump decided not to make the trip to Charlotte to accept the nomination. The Democrats thought that they had found a way to limit the excitement of the Trump campaign. President Trump then suggested that his acceptance speech would be broadcast from the White House. The backdrop of the White House is actually a positive for the campaign–it implies a serious candidate who is currently in charge. This is another wile e coyote moment for the Democrats–they wanted to box President Trump in a corner by limiting the people at the Republican convention, but somehow he managed to turn their idea into a positive.

Actions Have Consequences

WJLA is reporting the following today:

A rape suspect who was released from jail in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Ibrahim E. Bouaichi, went on to kill the woman who had accused him, police in Virginia say.

On Wednesday, July 29, officers found a woman shot to death on S. Greenmount Drive. It was Alexandria’s first homicide of the year. The victim was later identified as Karla Elizabeth Dominguez Gonzalez.

Gonzalez had testified against Bouaichi in Alexandria District Court in December. He was indicted on rape charges and jailed without bond.

When the pandemic hit, Bouaichi’s lawyers argued that he should be freed while awaiting trial because the virus endangered both inmates and their attorneys.

Circuit Court Judge Nolan Dawkins released Bouaichi on $25,000 bond, ordering him not to leave his Maryland home unless meeting with his lawyers or court officials, The Washington Post reports. He was freed on April 9. Gonzalez was notified the same day, according to the Alexandria Sheriff’s office.

I have never understood the reason for letting violent prisoners out of jail due to the coronavirus. It seems to me that if you limit the number of people coming into the prison, you should be able to limit the number of cases of the virus. The virus is not capable of coming into the prison without being brought in by someone from outside. Taking temperatures of workers and practicing basic hygiene should be enough to keep prisoners safe. Letting out violent prisoners does not keep anyone safe.

When The News Doesn’t Report The News

Newsbusters posted an article today about the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite stock index.

The article reports:

The Big Tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite stock index closed at a record 11,108.07 Thursday evening, well over the historic 11,000 milestone, according to Nasdaq August 7. “A big reason for the market’s second-half momentum today was this week’s better-than-expected jobless claims report,” Nasdaq reported. “[N]early 1.19 million” filed jobless claims, but that marks “the lowest level since the pandemic began.” CNBC reported that this was the NASDAQ’s “seventh straight gain.” 

Like a bad habit, ABC World News Tonight (Tom Llamas filling in), CBS Evening News (Margaret Brennan filling in) and NBC Nightly News all censored the Nasdaq’s historic performance. Other good market news censored by the Big Three yesterday included how “[b]oth the Dow and S&P 500 posted five-day winning streaks,” according to CNBC. [Emphasis added.] 

Fox News’s Special Report did report on the stock market news, putting the Big Three to shame.

This may be one of many reasons Fox New’s ratings are going up while other news media ratings are going down.

The article continues:

ABC World News Tonight and CBS Evening News did find the time to egregiously spin the jobless claims report without providing the context that it was “at the lowest level since the pandemic began.” CBS Evening News spent 115 seconds pushing propaganda on the topic without providing that important bit of context. 

According to comments to CNBC by Jefferies money market economist Thomas Simons on the jobless claims report:

‘The overall tone of the jobless claims data is the best it has been in 3 weeks or so. The decline is the biggest since the week of June 6, so the data does not have the same sort of ‘stalling out’ theme that we have seen in recent weeks.’

That context was apparently not worth reporting by ABC World News Tonight or CBS Evening News.

If you depend on the mainstream media to keep you informed, you might want to rethink that.

 

If Presidential Debates Happen, The Will Be Interesting

Breitbart posted an article today about a recent comment made by Presidential Candidate Joe Biden.

The comment:

“unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community.”

Wow.

The article reports:

National Public Radio’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro asked Biden about whether he would stop the deportation of Cubans.

“I’m going to look at every single country in the world … this guy [President Donald Trump] is sending them back,” Biden said, promising to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program on his first day in office — one of several such first-day promises Biden has made.

Garcia-Navarro followed up, asking whether Biden would attempt to restore the Obama-Biden administration’s policy of improving relations with communist Cuba.

“Yes,” he said.

Biden then went on to add:

“And by the way, w hat you all know, but most people don’t know, unlike the African American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community, with incredibly different attitudes about different things … it’s a very diverse community.”

Biden attempted to explain that point by arguing that Latinos in Florida and Arizona had different views on immigration.

Garcia-Navarro did not ask Biden why he thought the black community was not diverse. She moved on to a different topic.

I think there are a number of black conservatives who might argue that the African American community is diverse and quite capable of thinking as individuals rather as a monolithic group.

The Myth Of Green Energy

Yesterday John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the feasibility of achieving 100 percent green energy.

The article notes:

High on the Left’s agenda is mandating 100% “green” generation of electricity–if not 100% of energy, period. I believe Joe Biden, among others, has now come out for 100% “green” energy, meaning wind and solar. But for now, let’s stick with energy generation. Would it be feasible to get 100% of our electricity from wind and solar?

Basic problems with these energy sources include inefficiency and intermittency. Wind turbines produce energy around 40% of the time, and solar panels do much worse than that in many parts of the country. So how does a utility ensure that the lights will go on, even at night when the wind isn’t blowing?

The liberals’ favorite answer is “batteries.” Produce electricity when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining, and store the energy in batteries for use when electricity is not being generated. Batteries exist, of course; we use them all the time. But where is the battery that can store the entire output of a power plant or a wind farm? That battery does not exist. Further, battery storage is ruinously expensive. The cost of storing the entire electricity needs of the U.S. for even a day would be prohibitive.

But there are also other problems in terms of the materials required.

The article notes:

But that isn’t the worst of it. Wind and solar are low-intensity energy sources. It takes many acres of wind turbines to produce, on a best-case scenario, what a single power plant can produce. And solar panels are even worse. A single 3 mw wind turbine uses 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, 3 tons of aluminum, 2 tons of rare earth elements, and 1,200 tons (2.4 million pounds!) of concrete. If we take seriously the idea of getting all of our electricity from wind and solar, where will all of those materials come from?

The article links to another article at Center of the American Experiment that explains how much metal would required in just Minnesota to implement the Green New Deal. Please follow the links above to read both articles. They are enlightening.

The article at Power Line Blog concludes:

The Democrats’ “green” agenda does not represent a set of meaningful policy proposals. Taken seriously, and objectively evaluated, they immediately crumble. It is literally true that the Democrats could propose to harness the energy of unicorns running on treadmills, and it would make as much sense as reliance on wind, solar and batteries. “Green” energy is driven by two closely related things: 1) politics, and 2) enormous quantities of money being made by politically-connected wind and solar entrepreneurs.

We need to use energy wisely and we need to do what we can to prevent pollution. But we also need to remember that as cultures become more advanced, those advancements tend to result in cleaner air and cleaner water. Many of the rivers and lakes in America are cleaner than they were 100 years ago because of scientific advancements in sewage treatment and manufacturing. We are capable of protecting the environment and also enjoying the fruits of civilization.

When Protocol Is Ignored For Political Reasons

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at The National Review stating that during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Trump campaign was never given a briefing to warn them about the possibility of Russian interference in their campaign. There are a number of reasons why that is important.

The article reports:

My column over the weekend was about the Obama-Biden administration’s exploitation of the government’s intelligence and law-enforcement apparatus to investigate Donald Trump, who was then the opposition Republican Party’s presidential candidate. The essence of this investigation is palpable from an August 2016 incident: The FBI covertly surveilled Trump by capitalizing on the U.S. intelligence community’s practice of providing a counterintelligence and security briefing to the nominees of the two major political parties.

The exploitation of executive power to monitor the opposition party’s presidential candidate is a Watergate-level abuse of power. That is why Obama and FBI apologists have steadfastly refused to cop to it.

A major element of their story is that the faux briefing given to Trump was actually a defensive briefing. We are to believe its purpose was to warn Trump that his campaign could be infiltrated by covert agents working for Russia.

The significance of the “defensive briefing” canard, and the importance of refuting it, still seems lost on many of Trump’s Russiagate defenders.

Political spying is an impeachable offense. Democrats have countered with the ridiculous “defensive briefing” yarn because they understand this. As I demonstrate in Ball of Collusion, the decision not to give Trump a defensive briefing is ironclad proof that he was the target of the investigation, and therefore that the Obama-Biden administration was guilty of political spying.

That “defensive briefing” lie should now be put to rest, thanks to the recently declassified FBI report about the session. Yes, one big takeaway is that the FBI used the “briefing” as an investigative operation. But don’t miss the forest for the trees. Even on its own deceptive terms, the faux briefing was neither portrayed nor conducted by the FBI as defensive to warn the Trump campaign; it was a standard counterintelligence and security briefing for presidential candidates.

The article concludes:

Subsequently, the AG explicitly distinguished a “defensive briefing” from the August briefing Pientka gave to Trump: “I have been told . . . that a lesser kind of briefing, a security briefing that generally discusses, you know, general threats apparently was given to the campaign in August.” That is different, Barr explained, from a “defensive briefing . . . where you are told . . . you are a specific target” of a foreign intelligence service.

Donald Trump and his campaign were never given a defensive briefing to warn of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Clearly, that is because the Obama-Biden administration and the FBI baselessly theorized that Trump was the one conspiring with Russia. In the Russiagate narrative, as a candidate and then as the president, Trump was the perp, not the victim. They weren’t looking to warn him. They were looking to nail him — or, at least, to persuade the country that he just might be a Russian mole.

So where are we now? Because of irresponsible reporting by the American media, half of the country believes that President Trump is a Russian agent. Half of the country has no idea of the abuses of the intelligence community that went on during the Obama administration. Unfortunately it is likely that none of the people responsible for the abuse will be held accountable–holding them accountable would further divide an already divided country. Therefore, we can expect that the next time a Democrat is in the White House, this behavior will be repeated. There are some in power who are trying to prevent that from happening by holding the guilty parties accountable, but I doubt their chances of success. The principle that is responsible for where we are now is that in a representative republic, the people are responsible for the government they have. Until more people pay attention, we will have massive corruption in both liberal politics and the media. Hopefully more people will begin to pay attention before it is too late.

 

Peaceful?

Yesterday The New York Post reported that federal officers in Portland suffered 113 eye injuries while guarding a courthouse from activists armed with powerful lasers.

The article reports:

“We’ve had a number of officers who have days-long blindness. So far they’ve all kind of come back, if you will,” Cuccinelli (Ken Cuccinelli, deputy director of the Department of Homeland Security) said. “But you also get what’s called flash blindness. Think of it as the old Kodak cameras where you get that blue spot and you can’t quite see your entire field of vision for a period.”

Cuccinelli brought a high-powered laser as a prop to a Senate subcommittee hearing hosted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) focused on Antifa violence during protests against the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police. He said the devices could be purchased on Amazon.com.

The novel laser attacks drew attention last month as President Trump deployed federal officers to bolster the besieged federal court building. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said at a briefing in July that three officers were believed to have been permanently blinded.

Although Cuccinelli said all officers recovered their sight, he said activists appear to be aiming to maximize damage.

That’s not protest–that’s assault and needs to be dealt with harshly.

The article continues:

Democrats at the hearing largely described violence attributed to Antifa, or “anti-fascist,” activists as a distraction from misconduct of police and what they said was the improper deployment of federal agents to Portland.

“What we’ve seen in Portland, Oregon, is peaceful protesters in need of protection from federal officers,” said Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “The hearing we should be having is one called the right of the people to peaceably assemble without being beaten up by unidentifiable federal agents.”

Cuccinelli said some protesters are indeed peaceful, but others aren’t.

“This is sort of the Portland formula: there’s peaceful protesting until 10 or 11 o’clock, and then they go away. And maybe some of them come back, but the group that comes back is A.) much bigger, but also they come back for violence,” Cuccinelli said.

I really think that Senator Hirono needs to listed to her own words. Peaceful protesters do not attempt to blind police. They do not set fire to buildings and shoot fireworks at people. It is becoming very obvious that members of the Democrat party are not willing to stand up for the rights of ordinary people who simply want to live in peace. What about the rights of the people who live in the neighborhoods where these riots are taking place? Are they not entitled to protection from the violence of the rioters?

Actions Have Consequences

Fox News posted an article today about a statement made by the co-owner of JKC Trucking, Mike Kucharski.

The article reports:

A trucking company owner told Fox News on Wednesday that in order to keep drivers safe, he will not direct services to cities that are pushing to defund the police.

“Our first priority is to support our drivers and their safety when they are on the road,” co-owner of JKC Trucking Mike Kucharski told “Fox & Friends First.”

Kucharski said that defunding the police is a bad idea because drivers carry valuable cargo on the road for weeks.

“Everybody wants to steal this,” Kucharski said.

A soon-to-be-released survey of 258 police departments nationwide shows almost half have had their budgets cut amid calls for police to be defunded despite increases in gun violence and otherwise violent crime in some parts of the country, according to USA Today.

The outlet was first to report that the Police Executive Research Forum publication, which is expected to be released in the coming days, shows cuts in the police budgets are largely being made to training and equipment.

The article also notes:

Kucharski said that his company is also avoiding states pushing to defund the police because his insurance coverage is prone to dissolve.

“Another issue that I am seeing in the future is I have cargo insurance, liability insurance, fiscal damage insurance, and I am very curious how when I renew my contracts at the end of the year, if there is going to be language — if I am going to even have coverage going into these places,” Kucharski said.

“Right now I have coverage going all over domestically. You have to get special coverage for Canada or Mexico or you might have to buy special riders for this on top of everything.”

If you were planning a family trip right now, would you be willing to drive through some of the cities where the police are letting rioters run wild or would you avoid those cities? Why should truck drivers be any different? This will result in shortages of products in cities that defund their police departments. It will be interesting to see how the leaders of those cities attempt to deflect the blame for the consequences of their actions.

When Red Tape Meets Medical Care

On Monday The Washington Examiner posted an article illustrating how the handling of the coronavirus in New York provides a look into the potential problems with government healthcare.

The article reports:

I have a lot of fears in life: sharks, heights, wrinkles, government controlling my healthcare.

Recently, the New York Times provided plenty of fodder supporting the latter anxiety, revealing the results of a study it conducted that examined the disparities between public and private healthcare at the height of the pandemic in New York City. The disparities included staffing levels, differences in the age and type of equipment available, and access to drugs and experimental treatments. As one might guess, patients at the city’s community facilities fared far worse than those in private facilities, with their mortality rate 3 times higher in some cases.

All hospitals saw higher staff-to-patient ratios than best practices would recommend. In a typical emergency room, that figure should look like 1 nurse for every 4 patients. But during COVID-19, private facilities experienced ratios closer to 1 nurse for every 6 to 7 patients. At the government hospitals, that number was 1 nurse for every 10 to 15, and at times even 20 patients.

Less time per patient meant fewer tests, less information, and less monitoring. Several patients woke up from medically induced comas and, in confusion, removed their oxygen masks, leading to death. This occurred at the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, where staff referred to the patients as “bathroom codes” as their bodies were typically discovered near the bathroom 30 to 45 minutes later. One doctor told the New York Times that for every 10 deaths he saw, two to three patients could have been saved with the proper care.

The article goes on to explain that despite the makeshift hospitals put up to serve patients during the epidemic, those hospitals were barely used.

The article notes:

The paper (The New York Times) looked at the hospital set up at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to study why this occurred. Though the center was equipped with 470 beds and hundreds of employees (many of them out-of-state healthcare providers being paid handsomely), it ultimately saw only 79 patients and closed its doors after one month. It was a catastrophic failure, the kind only government can pull off.

Patients were not admitted due to red tape, delays due to the need to train workers on computers and other problems. Meanwhile, many patients died. Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The problems in New York were due to red tape, cronyism, extensive bureaucracy, and the general inability of the government to respond quickly to a crisis.

At some point Americans need to learn that there are charitable organizations out there that do a better job of responding to an emergency than the government. The Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Blessing, and the Red Cross are a few of these organizations. I live in a city that was hit hard by hurricane Florence. It was encouraging to know that as the storm was bearing down on the city, Operation Blessing was parked nearby out of harm’s way ready to come in and provide meals and supplies to the people who were impacted by the storm. The recovery efforts in my city were largely undertaken by religious and charitable groups and ordinary citizens. A friend who is a teacher and realized that he wouldn’t have classes for a while gathered a group of friends and a few chainsaws and went around helping people move trees off their houses and clear streets. It’s time to get back to individual responsibility–even in healthcare.

 

When You Realize That What You Said Is Ridiculous

Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted an article today about a recent directive from the City of Minneapolis that has since been modified. When I first saw the directive posted on Facebook, I wasn’t sure if it was real. Evidently it was.

Here is the original directive:

Yesterday the message was updated (per alphanewsmn)

Wow. Just wow.

When Medicine Becomes Political

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that included two charts about the coronavirus.

These are the two charts:

The first shows the rate of death from coronavirus by country:

The second chart shows the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine:

The government’s interference in the treatment of the coronavirus is costing the lives of Americans. I won’t speculate on the motive of those involved, but this needs to stop.

The article notes:

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a leading non-partisan professional association of physicians across the United States.

Today the AAPS filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to compel the release to the public of hydroxychloroquine by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

The general rule in a situation like this is ‘follow the money.’ The question that needs to be asked is, “Who has investments in the companies searching for a vaccine? How much money will the investors make if a vaccine is found and Americans are forced to take it?” It should also be noted that hydroxychloroquine costs about 60¢ a pill versus some of the drugs being used to treat the coronavirus that cost as much as $6000 a pill. What is the profit margin on the $6000 pill? Unfortunately, this may be another example of Big Pharma putting profits ahead of the welfare of Americans.

Good Economic News

The Epoch Times reported the following yesterday:

Manufacturing in the United States, as measured by a key business activity gauge, surged to a 15-month high in July, exceeding economists’ expectations.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) business survey, published Aug. 3, shows that its topline manufacturing activity indicator, called the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), surged to a reading of 54.2 in July.

Readings above 50 indicate expansion, while those below mean contraction.

“The PMI signaled a continued rebuilding of economic activity in July and reached its highest level of expansion since March 2019,” Timothy Fiore, chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said in a statement (pdf).

Economists polled by Reuters predicted the manufacturing index would rise to 53.6 in July, so the higher-than-expected number is encouraging, particularly in light of April’s 11-year low of 41.5.

Why is it that when a Republican is the President, good economic news always exceeds expectations?

The article also notes:

Another manufacturing sector gauge tapped by ISM in the survey is the New Orders measure, which soared to 61.5, up 5.1 percentage points from June.

“Orders starting to pick up. [An] increase of about 35 percent to 40 percent,” a chemical product manufacturing executive said.

“Incoming orders are slow. This is usually our busiest time of the year, but production is reduced due to lack of demand. Additional layoffs expected,” an executive at a furniture maker said.

Another gauge, the production index, showed 4.8 percentage point growth from June to July, coming in at 62.1, the highest reading of all the ISM gauges.

“Manufacturing outlook has improved greatly in June, as business has resumed at nearly 100 percent. We have implemented a number of safeguards that are costing extra money, but we are running,” an executive at a computer and electronics products maker said.

There was also some negative news included in the article, but considering the fact that the country has been locked down or in semi-lockdown since March, that is not surprising. The two-week shutdown has extended far past where it was scheduled to be. I would also like to note that the purpose of the lockdown was to avoid overwhelming our hospitals. Now we are in semi-lockdown to avoid the spread of the disease. There is significant information that this is not the best course of action (see article here), so why are we still in semi-lockdown? Why are churches limited in the amount of people they can allow in their buildings when the John Lewis funeral was packed? Why was there an exception to the quarantine rule for the people who attended the John Lewis funeral? Has the damage from the lockdown now exceeded the possible damage from the disease?

When The New Mafia Comes To Town

Yesterday Legal Insurrection posted an article about some recent events in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky; about 625,000 people live there.

The article reports:

A rather alarming situation is developing in Louisville, Kentucky, in which local businesses are allegedly being issued demands from Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists and told that if they don’t meet the demands, their business might be “f*cked with.”

The demands are onerous, invasive, and ludicrous. They include everything from hiring quotas to training mandates to displaying a letter supporting reparations for black people to—perhaps most outrageous of all—paying a “recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization.”

While some area businesses have reportedly caved to the bullying demands, Fernando Martinez, a partner in a restaurant group, referred to the demands and alleged threats if he failed to comply as “mafia tactics.”

The Louisville Courier Journal posted the story on Saturday and updated it today.

The Louisville Courier Journal reports:

According to a press release, members of the city’s Cuban community will meet outside the NuLu restaurant at 4 p.m. Sunday to support the immigrant-owned business, which “has been subject to vandalism and extortion in recent days.”

The release states that La Bodeguita de Mima was forced to close July 24 during a demonstration that shut down East Market Street, at which several protesters presented Martinez with the list of demands and said he “better put the letter on the door so your business is not f*cked with.”

The restaurant remained closed the next two days because “management and staff were concerned about safety,” according to the release. “30+ staff members (mostly immigrants) were unable to earn a paycheck.”

The article includes the list of demands:

The demands and an attached contract, which were created by local organizers and activists, ask NuLu business owners to:

    • Adequately represent the Black population of Louisville by having a minimum of 23% Black staff;
    • Purchase a minimum of 23% inventory from Black retailers or make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization;
    • Require diversity and inclusion training for all staff members on a bi-annual basis;
    • And display a visible sign that increases awareness and shows support for the reparations movement.

This is a shakedown. Those responsible for threatening the business need to face legal consequences. Any person who vandalizes the business in any way needs to be arrested and kept in jail for a while. This is the kind of behavior that goes on in a town controlled by the Mafia. It is not acceptable in an American city. It is wonderful to see much of the community come out in support of Fernando Martinez and his restaurant.

Where Are We Headed?

Today Taki’s Magazine posted an article titled, “The Bus Never Stops.” The article deals with some of the changes in our social contracts in recent years and how one thing tends to lead to another.

The article reports:

SOMERVILLE, Mass.—Under its new domestic partnership ordinance, the city of Somerville now grants polyamorous groups the rights held by spouses in marriage, such as the right to confer health insurance benefits or make hospital visits. —New York Times, July 5, 2020

First they told us that homosexuality was normal and that there was no need for anyone to be afraid of the ramifications of treating them as normal, even though only about 2 percent of the population are homosexual—giving new meaning to the word “normal.” About 1 percent of babies are born with a heart defect, but we don’t call that normal.

Doubters said that treating as normal people as different as homosexuals would have consequences. First thing—or maybe second thing—they would want to get “married” and have their “marriages” treated as normal.

The article then details the progression that led to gay marriage being legalized:

“Not a prayer,” was the general response. In 1994, according to the Associated Press, Joe Biden joined other senators in voting to “cut off federal funds to any school district that teaches acceptance of homosexuality as a lifestyle.”

In 2006, Biden told CNN: “Look, marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Also in 2006, Biden said, “We already have a law, the Defense of Marriage Act…. Why do we need a constitutional amendment? Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

“The left is out to remake society, uprooting and tearing down all customs and standards—not just statues.”

And, during the October 2008 vice presidential debate, Biden said that “[neither] Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage.”

Moderator Gwen Ifill pressed: “Let’s try to avoid nuance, senator. Do you support gay marriage?” Biden answered simply, “No.”

In 2008 Barack Obama said, “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian—for me—for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

But in 2010 Obama was already becoming woke: “And I think that it [same-sex marriage] is an issue that I wrestle with and think about, because I have a whole host of friends who are in gay partnerships. I have staff members who are in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.”

The article notes the next expected progression:

Now the question is, what’s next? Or perhaps, what’s left? The left is out to remake society, uprooting and tearing down all customs and standards—not just statues.

What’s next? What’s wrong, really, with having children watch pornography? It’s everywhere, and there’s essentially no effort to eliminate it. How do we know that? Because there is no serious effort by Republicans to stop it.

And if children can watch it, why shouldn’t they do it? What’s the effective difference?

And what’s wrong, really, with sex with children, so long as there’s an adult in the room?

“Don’t be absurd,” you say. But you said that years ago when homosexuality was normalized. And again when homosexual marriage was normalized. Now when polyamorous relationships are normalized, are you saying that we have reached the terminus: that the bus stops here?

Please. The bus never stops. Unless someone stops it.

The article concludes:

Not only would Biden not stop child pornography, he’d probably go along with criminalizing any effort to stop it. People who object to polyamorous relationships, and to child sex, will be accused of hate crimes, like the people who objected to painting the streets with big yellow Black Lives Matter signs.

It’s just a matter of time. The bus never stops.

Unless someone stops it.

That is another reason to vote for President Trump in November.

Another Way To Handle The Coronavirus

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about how the coronavirus has impacted Sweden.

The article reports:

After months without lockdowns, school closures and other mitigation measures widely imposed across the world, Sweden’s coronavirus cases and deaths have fallen to such minimal levels as to revive the debate over its so-called herd immunity strategy.

Some Swedish officials are far from declaring victory, warning there could be a second wave and that too many elderly died in the country during its comparatively lax pandemic restrictions. The country’s population-adjusted death rate, meanwhile, is in the top 10 worldwide, but lower than the rates for Italy, Spain and even New York, where heavy lockdowns prevailed.

…Throughout March, as much of the Western world was shutting down large swaths of its economies and strictly limiting individual mobility with stay-at-home orders, Sweden opted for a much lighter touch, refusing to close down service industries, leaving schools largely open, and allowing its borders to remain open. It did restrict large gatherings for a time, while some schools were closed.

The article concludes:

Throughout the pandemic, Swedish authorities have insisted that their country’s approach was one rooted in years of epidemiological research and that much of the rest of the world abandoned that data in favor of panic and hysteria.

“It was as if the whole world had gone mad,” Tegnell said several weeks ago, citing the worldwide rush to lock down and quarantine. “The cases became too many, and the political pressure got too strong. And then Sweden stood there rather alone.”

The epidemiologist has several times argued that the true results of various countries’ approaches to the coronavirus pandemic will only become clear after several years’ worth of study.

I think it may be time to reevaluate our response to the coronavirus. Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story.

It’s About Time

Yesterday Sara Carter posted an article about some comments made during Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing. The exchange was between Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

The article reports:

During Wednesday’s House subcommittee tech hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) questioned Amazon’s usage of the radical Southern Poverty Law Center to deem eligible charities for donations, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he would look to alternative options.

Gaetz layed out a list of charities that focus on Christian and Jewish causes as charities unjustly labeled as “extremists” by the SPLC — to which Bezos said he accepts Gaetz’s criticism and “would like a better source if I can get it.”

One of the groups unjustly labeled as a hate group by the SPLC is the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal group focused on defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and free speech. Their cases have included defending Jack Phillips, the Colorado baker sued for sticking to his religious beliefs.

In case you have forgotten, the Southern Poverty Law Center has not been a sterling influence.

On February 6, 2013, The Washington Examiner reported:

The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a “hate map” on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group’s opposition to gay rights.

Floyd Lee Corkins II pleaded guilty to three charges including a charge of committing an act of terrorism related to the August 15, 2012 injuring of FRC’s guard. He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the law center’s website for ideas.

At a court hearing where his comments to the FBI were revealed, he said that he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.” The shooting occurred after an executive with Chick-Fil-A announced his support for traditional marriage, angering same-sex marriage proponents.

Generally speaking, the Southern Poverty Law Center labels any group that stands for traditional values, traditional marriage, and any other ideas that do not fit the liberal agenda as a hate group. Using them as a guide to determine which charities are acceptable is like using the Ku Klux Klan as an arbitrator in a civil rights case.

An Interesting Campaign Donation

On Friday The Washington Free Beacon reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) funneled $14,000 to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s campaign. Ilhan Omar is in a primary race with four challengers, including attorney Antone Melton-Meaux, who outraised Omar significantly in the second quarter of 2020.

The article reports:

The impressive fundraising haul allowed Melton-Meaux to spend more than $1.7 million over the first three weeks of July. Omar, meanwhile, spent just $784,000. More than $600,000—77 percent of those disbursements—went to a D.C.-based consulting firm run by Omar’s new husband.

Following his spending spree, Melton-Meaux holds $695,000 on hand, down from the $2 million he held at the end of the second quarter. Omar holds $732,000 on hand.

Omar, who did not respond to a request for comment, will square off against Melton-Meaux and three additional Democratic challengers during the state’s August 11 primary election. The late push from Pelosi suggests genuine concern for Omar, who has butted heads with the California Democrat in the past. Pelosi criticized Omar for using “deeply offensive” anti-Semitic tropes in February 2019 and condemned the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which Omar supports, a month later. Omar quickly hit back, saying, “a condemnation for people that want to exercise their First Amendment rights is beneath any leader.” Melton-Meaux has campaigned against Omar’s support for BDS.

Ilhan Omar has some interesting skeletons in her closet. She has been charged with immigration fraud in order to get into America, and her funneling money to her now husband’s consulting firm has raised questions about her basic integrity. Her anti-Semitic comments have also put her in a negative light in some circles. It is interesting that Nancy Pelosi has chosen to support her in her primary campaign.

The Next Generation Of The “Cancel Culture”

On Friday The Federalist reported the results of a recent Cato Institute survey of Americans asked whether or not it was okay to fire people who support President Trump.

The article notes:

The Cato Institute just released a new report showing that 62 percent of Americans are inclined to self-censor what they say politically “because others might find them offensive.” Even moderate leftists report they feel increased fear of offending the offendable, while only the most “staunch liberals,” as Cato described them, feel free to speak their minds. The “very conservative” have been pushed deepest in the closet: they are most likely to refrain from saying what they think politically, at nearly twice the rate of the “very liberal.”

Buried deeper in the report, however, is a stunning data point that might be one of the most troubling current cultural indicators. Forty-four percent of Americans younger than age 30 believe a company is correct in firing an executive because he or she personally donated to President Trump’s reelection campaign.

The companion finding was also disturbing. Twenty-seven percent of people under 30 said they were fine with an executive being fired because he or she donated to the Joe Biden campaign. The means that of Americans under 30 years old, 73 percent think it would be wrong to fire an executive from a company for donating to the Biden campaign, while only 56 percent believe it would be wrong to do so for a Trump donation.

The article concludes:

It was not all that long ago that the liberal clarion value was the misattributed Voltairean principle, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Today that seems to have been replaced with the brutally authoritarian, “I disagree with what you believe, and I will make sure you lose your livelihood because I went digging and found out you made a private campaign contribution to someone I think is evil.”

If, God forbid, the autopsy of the American experiment is ever written, this growing expectation that political submission be a condition of one’s employment will certainly be noted as a significant stage in its demise. It demonstrates that the world’s most hopeful self-government is moving in a very bad direction, and that should profoundly bother us all.

This is frightening. It is a further indication that many Americans do not understand the founding documents of America. Free speech was one of the foundations of those documents. Viewpoint discrimination is an intimidation tactic that should be totally unacceptable in a free country. Firing an executive because they donated to a political campaign should not even be a consideration. The fact that it is is one of many reasons that the names of people who make donations under $1000 to a political campaign should be kept private. The names of people who make large donations or the names of organizations that make large donations should be made public.

 

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Townhall reported yesterday that the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of two asylum-seeking brothers who blew up the Boston Marathon, has been overturned by a U.S. Appeals Court.

The article reports:

Dzhokhar’s lawyers argued that the terrorist himself was a victim of intense media coverage and an unfair jury trial. The attack on the 2013 Boston Marathon killed three people and wounded around 280 others. Many of the victims lost limbs and suffered other horrific injuries. 

“A core promise of our criminal-justice system is that even the very worst among us deserve to be fairly tried and lawfully punished,” reads the federal appeals court ruling vacating Dzhokhar’s death sentence. 

In 2015, a jury found Dzhokhar guilty on all 30 charges against him and sentenced the bomber to death. But because Dzhokhar had destroyed the lives of so many Bostonians, his defense attorneys have successfully argued that his death sentence was unfair because the trial should have been moved to a different city — presumably a city where Dzhokhar didn’t kill people. Dzhokhar told investigators that he and his brother’s next target was planned for New York City’s Times Square.

Dzhokhar will be given a new trial on the basis that his previous trial was unfair and should have been moved to a different city.

Let’s contrast that with the trial of General Michael Flynn. After a federal appeals court Wednesday ordered a trial judge to dismiss the case against President Trump’s first national security adviser, Micheal Flynn, the judge refused to dismiss the case.

On July 30th, The Business Insider reported:

A key federal appeals court in Washington DC agreed Thursday to reexamine the fight over whether former Trump national security adviswer Michael Flynn’s guilty plea can be summarily dismissed.

The new order from 10 members of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit comes a little over a month after a three-judge panel there ordered a lower federal district court judge who is overseeing the case against Flynn to dismiss the prosecution at the Justice Department’s request.

Recently declassified information on the Flynn case indicates that General Flynn was targeted as a way to tarnish the Trump administration (article here). There is enough information out there to prove that General Flynn’s guilty plea was coerced and that the charges against him should be dismissed.

Contrast the way our courts are treating someone who was caught after executing a terrorist act and a patriot who served our country for many years. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Isn’t That Special?

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about the people who attended the funeral of Representative John Lewis.

The article reports:

Washington, D.C. attendees to the Atlanta funeral of the late Rep. John Lewis are exempt from following the District of Columbia’s strict quarantine rules after returning home from Georgia, the D.C. mayor’s office says.

Lewis, a longtime member of Congress and one of the major figures of the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, died on July 17 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. After lying in state at the United States Capitol, his body was returned to Atlanta for a funeral at that city’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

…The extraordinary exemption from Bowser’s quarantine orders is just one example of congressional members being released from strict coronavirus mitigation rules in the District of Columbia. 

Earlier in July, Bowser declared that D.C. residents must wear masks while in public indoor spaces, as well as outdoors when likely to be around other people for “more than a fleeting time.”

Yet exempt from that order were “persons in the judicial or legislative branches of the District government while those persons are on duty,” as well as “any employees of the federal government while they are on duty.”

Though the mayor’s office is not requiring members of Congress to wear face coverings, this week Pelosi instituted a mask mandate for the House of Representatives, shortly after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tested positive for COVID-19.

Pelosi threatened to have congressional members and staff removed from the House if they don’t comply with the mandate, calling the failure to wear a mask “a serious breach of decorum.”

Who says there is not a ‘ruling class’ in America?

It gets worse. Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog posted the following today:

The double standards in public health guidelines, left-wing protest, and all the rest might be enough to make a reasonable observer wonder if the plague is all it’s cracked up to be. Has anyone other than Amber Athey gone in for a close-up and asked the obvious questions in connection with the funeral of civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis? Athey asks the pointed question: “Who deserves a funeral?” Answer: Not you or me or our loved ones, that much I can tell you. (Thanks to Spectator USA for making Athey’s column freely accessible at our request.)

Maybe we need to take a closer look at some of the decisions being made ‘to protect our health.’

Deflecting Voters From The Truth

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about some comments made by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) on Thursday. Senator Feinstein described China as “growing into a respectable nation.” That is the same China that engages in slave labor, forced sterilization, religious persecution, and re-education camps. Sounds real respectable.

The article reports:

“We hold China as a potential trading partner, as a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time, and as a country growing into a respectable nation amongst other nations. I deeply believe that,” Feinstein said during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.

She said that stripping foreign sovereign immunity from China would be a “huge mistake” and claimed that allowing individuals to hold China accountable for the spread of the virus could allow other countries to do the same to the United States. Her firm defense of China comes after a new flood of reports showing human rights abuses perpetrated by the Chinese government. The Chinese Communist Party has organized the mass detention and forced sterilization of Uyghurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority, and drone footage showed blindfolded and shackled Uyghurs being forced onto trains.

Feinstein made the remarks during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting debating a bill that would allow individuals to sue the Chinese government for its release and subsequent cover-up of the novel coronavirus.

The statement actual makes sense when you consider something else reported in the article:

Feinstein has also benefited from her husband’s relationship with China. She pushed for expanded trade relations with China as her husband’s company was partnering with business ventures in the country. She said that a “firewall” existed between her political career and her husband’s business interests.

Unfortunately Senator Feinstein is not the only Congressman with financial ties to China. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is married to Elaine Chao. Her family owns a large shipping company in communist China. Does anyone believe that you could operate a large shipping company in communist China without the approval of the communist government? The connections and corruption in Washington runs deep. It is going to take more than I think we understand to drain the swamp.