The Under-The-Radar War With China

On August 6th, The Department of the Treasury posted a press release on the Internet.

This is a portion of that press release:

In response to President Trump’s June 4 Memorandum on Protecting United States Investors from Significant Risks from Chinese Companies, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG) today released a report making five recommendations. These recommendations are designed to address risks to investors in U.S. financial markets posed by the Chinese government’s failure to allow audit firms that are registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to comply with U.S. securities laws and investor protection requirements.

“The PWG examined the risks to investors posed by the Chinese government’s failure to allow access. The PWG unanimously recommends that the Securities and Exchange Commission take steps to enhance the listing standards on U.S. exchanges for access to audit work papers, among other recommendations,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, Chairman of the PWG. “The recommendations outlined in the report will increase investor protection and level the playing field for all companies listed on U.S. exchanges. The United States is the premier jurisdiction in the world for raising capital, and we will not compromise on the core principles that underpin investor confidence in our capital markets.”

Basically what that says in that Chinese companies investing in the U.S. stock markets will be required to comply with the same auditing standards that American companies are required to comply with. That should be an obvious requirement, but has not been in the past. Actions have consequences.

On Monday The Epoch Times reported:

A rising number of Chinese companies are considering delisting from the U.S. stock exchanges as Washington increases its crackdown on foreign companies that fail to comply with U.S. audit standards.

Chinese online travel giant Ctrip is the latest company reportedly exploring going private. The company has held early-stage talks with a number of investors, including private equity firms and tech companies, about funding its delisting from Nasdaq, Reuters reported.

Chinese companies would rather leave U.S. stock markets than comply with the auditing requirements that American companies are subject to. That tells us all we need to know about the financial practices of Chinese companies.

Principles, Anyone?

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about what seems to be a change of heart on the part of House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The article notes:

The payroll tax was cut in 2010, under President Obama’s leadership, and extended in 2011 and 2012.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supported the payroll tax cut under former President Barack Obama but opposes it under President Donald Trump.

In the absence of a stimulus deal in Congress, Trump authorized a payroll tax deferral by executive order on Saturday. The order instructs the Treasury Department to look at forgiving the deferred taxes.

Pelosi referred to the executive action as unconstitutional and argued that the payroll tax cut will harm Social Security and Medicare.

The article includes a statement from Speaker Pelosi in 2011:

In 2010, Obama signed a payroll tax reduction, and Congress extended the cut in 2011 and 2012. Pelosi supported the payroll tax cut at the time.

“Today is a victory for all Americans — for the security of our middle class, for the health of our seniors, and for economic growth and job creation. The American people spoke out clearly and, thanks to President Obama’s leadership, 160 million Americans will continue to receive their payroll tax cut,” Pelosi said in a statement in 2011.

This is another example an action that the Democrats thought was wonderful when President Obama did it, but the Democrats think it is horrible when President Trump does it.

This Might Explain Some Of The Problems In Chicago

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article about Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.

The article reports:

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has dropped over 25,000 felony cases, including charges of murder and the alleged hate crime hoax from former Empire star Jussie Smollett, according to an analysis released by the Chicago Tribune on Monday.

The article quotes the Chicago Tribune:

During Foxx’s first three years as the county’s top prosecutor, her office dropped all charges against 29.9% of felony defendants, a dramatic increase over her predecessor, the Tribune found. For the last three years of Anita Alvarez’s tenure, the rate was 19.4%.

In all, a total of 25,183 people had their felony cases dismissed under Foxx through November 2019, up from 18,694 for a similar period under Alvarez.

[…]

For the three-year period analyzed, Foxx’s office dropped 8.1% of homicide cases, compared with 5.3% under Alvarez, the Tribune found. Under Foxx, the office dropped 9.5% of felony sex crime cases; the rate was 6.5% for Alvarez.

The article at Breitbart continues:

In a statement to the Tribune, Foxx, who is up for reelection in November, said of the figures: “It is always eye-opening to be able to look at our own data and compare it to my predecessor’s past. I can’t reconcile what her decision-making was, and how they chose to (dismiss) cases in the past. But I will say that this administration has been clear that our focus would be on violent crime and making sure that our resources and attention would go to addressing violent crime.”

If you are trying to make sense out of this, you might want to look at one of the contributors to Foxx’s reelection campaign.

In February 2020, The Chicago Sun Times reported:

A political action committee founded by liberal billionaire philanthropist — and Donald Trump nemesis — George Soros kicked $2 million to a committee supporting Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx in her re-election bid against three Democratic primary challengers.

A mega donor to Democrats and liberal causes, the hedge fund operator’s Democracy PAC transferred $2 million into the Illinois Justice and Public Safety PAC on Wednesday.

The justice and public safety PAC has so far spent $571,359.30 on mail, media and website production costs opposing Bill Conway, one of Foxx’s primary challengers.

George Soros is on a mission to undermine to government of America in order to further plans for a one-world government. He has funded the campaigns of a number of District Attorneys and State Attorneys General in order to do that. His campaign contributions were a major part of the Democrats’ takeover of the Virginia government in the last election. That takeover has brought restrictive gun laws and other problems. George Soros is an American citizen and can legally donate to campaigns both as an individual and through Political Actions Committees (PACs). I have no doubt he will continue to do so until Americans get wise to what he is attempting to do.

Actions Have Consequences

Yesterday The Daily Wire reported:

The Democrat-controlled Seattle City Council voted late on Monday to advance a highly controversial plan to defund the Seattle Police Department as violent crime and far-left riots have rocked the city in recent months.

The Seattle City Council voted to remove approximately $3 million from the Seattle Police Department’s budget…

…“The committee voted to move the bulk of its proposal forward during its 10 a.m. session, before giving its final approval Monday evening by a 7-1 margin,” MyNorthWest reported. “Councilmember Kshama Sawant was the lone “no” vote, while Debora Juarez — who was not present at Monday’s meetings — abstained. Sawant’s vote against the package was based around her belief that it didn’t go far enough in its reductions to SPD’s funding.”

Fox News reported at the start of the month that Seattle was one of several Democrat-controlled cities that had seen a recent spike in “shootings and murders.”

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported:

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best will be resigning on Wednesday morning, following the city council voting to defund the police amid massive unrest.

The news of Best’s resignation came one day after dozens of businesses were looted once again.

…Q13 reports, “the council on Monday approved proposals that would reduce the police department by up to 100 officers through layoffs and attrition. Chief Best was vocal in her oppostion to the cuts, which came after councilmembers pledged to redirect money from SPD to community programs amid calls from protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.”

The budget cut will slash nearly $4 million from the department’s annual budget — and the councilmembers promised to cut even more in 2021. The 7-1 vote faced objections from the city’s police chief, mayor and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild.

It does not take a genius to predict that businesses and property owners will be leaving Seattle in the near future. Community programs have value, but unless you have some semblance of law and order in a city, people don’t want to live or operate businesses there.

This Explains A Lot

Yesterday Just the News posted an article about the members of the National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel. It seems as if they have allowed their financial interests to interfere with the interests of the Americans who have contracted the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Members of the National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel have financial ties to a company behind clinical trials of a drug to treat coronavirus, as well as to another large pharmaceutical company involved with developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the NIH, members of the panel include U.S. physicians, statisticians, and other experts who are developing treatment guidelines on COVID-19 “intended for healthcare providers.”

A total of eight panel members list a financial relationship with Gilead Sciences on the panel’s Financial Disclosure for Companies Related to COVID-19 Treatment or Diagnostics document: Judith Aberg, MD, Adaora Adimora, MD, Jason Baker, MD, Roger Bedimo, MD, Eric Daar, MD, David V. Glidden, PhD, Susanna Naggie, MD, and Pablo Tebas, MD.  

The U.S. has reportedly bought almost all of Gilead Sciences’ supply of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir. The company announced on June 1 the results of a phase 3 clinical trial of the drug in patients with moderate COVID-19.

On Monday, Gilead applied for FDA approval of remdesivir, which has been available for emergency use with patients hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19.

The article notes:

Dr. William O’Neill, a cardiologist and Medical Director at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Mich., told Just the News contributor Sharyl Attkisson in an interview for her news program “Full Measure” that he is less impressed with remdesivir.

“There is a lot of hype for the drug,” said O’Neil, adding that he sees “no big benefit” to remdesivir after reading medical journal reports on it.  

This appears to be a blatant example of ‘follow the money’ resulting in Americans dying from the coronavirus because of pressure to block using hydroxychloroquine. It should be noted that remdesivir costs thousands of dollars for one pill and hydroxychloroquine costs less than a dollar for one pill. It’s sad to think that doctors would behave so badly, but it appears that they have.

Media Bias?

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will be held from August 7th-16th this year. It is interesting to contrast the media’s coverage of this rally with the coverage of the violent protests in various cities across the country.

Townhall posted an article on Saturday about the Sturgis Rally noting:

About a quarter-million motorcycle riders are expected to descend upon the town of Sturgis, South Dakota, taking part in the 10-day annual rally that kicked off on Friday. The rally is not a left-wing protest, so the media is criticizing attendees for not wearing facemasks and participating in a large gathering amid the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic. 

The mainstream media and even medical officials have decided that the best way to avoid contracting the Wuhan coronavirus is to participate in left-wing protests. Crossing back and forth over the border between Mexico and the United States is seemingly another harmless exercise. But when a large gathering doesn’t fit into the media’s list of liberal-approved activities, the press castigates participants for venturing outside during the pandemic. 

As expected, all the usual suspects are running hit pieces about the rally being a superspreader event. The double standard at this point must be apparent to even the most casual of media consumers. 

While many in the town favored postponing the rally this year due to the Wuhan coronavirus, many others in town, including local business owners, were glad to see rallygoers arrive on schedule. 

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem was among those supportive of the rally.

“I trusted my people, they trusted me, and South Dakota is in a good spot in our fight against COVID-19. The #Sturgis motorcycle rally starts this weekend, and we’re excited for visitors to see what our great state has to offer!” Gov. Noem tweeted on Thursday.

Appearing on Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle earlier this week, Gov. Noem pointed out how the media wrongly predicted a large surge in coronavirus cases following President Trump’s rally at Mount Rushmore for the Fourth of July holiday.  

The article at Townhall concludes:

The 250,000 expected attendees will be around half the size of last year’s turnout. If it was 250,000 people riding into town on Vespas and calling to defund the police, the media would be praising them for their courage.

The New York Times has a different viewpoint (as expressed in an article August 7):

Save for a few hard-to-spot hand-sanitizer stations, it could have been any other major festival in pre-pandemic times.

“Screw Covid I went to Sturgis,” read a black T-shirt amid a sea of Harley Davidson and Trump 2020 outfits sported by the throng of people walking along Main Street. Their gear did not include face masks, and social distancing guidelines were completely ignored.

South Dakota is among several states that did not put in place a lockdown, and state officials have not required residents to wear masks, giving attendees who rode in from outside the state fewer restrictions than they may have had back home.

…Still, Nelson Horsley, 26, of Rapid City, S.D., said he expects there will be a rise in coronavirus cases in the area once the rally concludes next weekend. But he said he didn’t feel the need to wear a mask while walking around downtown Friday afternoon. He compared the virus to getting the seasonal flu.

“I haven’t seen anyone out here wear a mask so it kind of feels like it defeats the purpose,” he said, to wear a mask himself.

What if there isn’t a rise in coronavirus cases after the rally? What does that tell us about what we have been doing to end the virus?

The article at Townhall notes:

“Not only do we have one of the lowest death rates, we’ve got about 40 people in the hospital today statewide, our infection rates are low, our job losses are low, our economy is doing better than virtually any other state, and I think it’s a real testimony to what could have been possible in other states, but those governors just made the wrong decisions,” Noem told Ingraham.

Experience tells us that if there are even two cases of coronavirus as a result of this rally, they will be shouted about by the mainstream media. We need to pay attention to see what actually happens.

This Tells Us All We Need To Know About The Current State Of Education In America

Many years ago, my husband and I took in a refugee from a communist country and her daughter to live with us until they were able to support themselves. The daughter was enrolled in the local public elementary school. The mother took her to the school to register her and was amazed at what happened next. The principal took the mother and daughter around the school, introduced them to some of the teachers, showed them the cafeteria, etc. The mother commented that in the country she had fled, you dropped your child off at the school and were never allowed inside. Sitting in on your child’s classroom is not an option in communist countries. She was amazed at the freedom of American parents. That was about twenty years ago. In many areas of the country, things have changed drastically.

Yesterday BizPacReview posted an article about a recent tweet from a school teacher at a school in Philadelphia.

The article reports:

Meet Matthew R. Kay, a teacher at Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy who’s been accused of trying to indoctrinate his students in left-wing thought.

Kay came to the public’s attention Saturday when he posted viral tweets warning his followers that the virtual classrooms slated for this school season will allow “potential spectators,” including parents, to overhear what their kids are learning.

This, he warned his followers, might present a challenge for their so-called “equity/inclusion work,” i.e., their alleged indoctrination of schoolchildren.

This alleged indoctrination includes discussions that “encourage vulnerability,” address “gender/sexuality” and “destabiliz[e] a kid’s racism or homophobia or transphobia.”

Kay further suggested that he’s always taught his students that “what happens here stays here,” but that virtual classrooms will prevent this.

Mr. Kay, I would like to remind you that parents are supposed to be the ones raising their children–that is not your job. Your job is to teach them the academic skills they need to function successfully in our society. If they learn compassion, empathy, and respect for all people, that is a good thing, but theoretically their parents are supposed to be teaching that–it is not your job.

The article includes a few tweets of people who responded to Mr. Kay’s tweet:

However, not everyone had a problem with Mr. Kay’s idea of excluding parents:

“Parents are dangerous.” Wow. Where have we gone?

The article concludes:

Moreover, the fact that Kay and those like him want to hide what’s happening in these so-called “safe spaces” makes it seem as if indoctrination is involved.

The good news is that at least parents are now aware of what’s happening in classrooms across the country. Whether or not they choose to respond by taking some sort of action is up to them.

Before the November election, do some research into your School Board candidates.  Your vote could make the difference between your children being educated and your children being indoctrinated.

This Is Not A Political Story–I Just Couldn’t Resist Posting It

This article is from September 2019. It is posted at southernthing.com . The article relates the story of a Texas judge attempting to remove a raccoon from his house.

The article tells the saga:

A Texas judge recently had a show-down with a clever raccoon squatting in his house, and, lucky for us, the hilarious saga between the unlikely adversaries unfolded on social media.

Judge Matthew Wright, of Falls County, Texas, first shared a request for help after he found the pesky critter in his home around 5 a.m. on Monday. Wright said he had prepared a trap for the raccoon, but instead they both ended up napping. Sometimes, you got to know when to retreat, y’all.

Around 3 p.m. on Monday, Wright updated his followers, saying that the two had ” reached a tactical impasse” and there were hopes the raccoon would mosey his way into one of the set traps for food on his own. As you might guess, that is not what happened.

At 6:15 p.m., Wright shared another post, saying he had decided to take action and catch the little guy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t fast enough and the raccoon scurried up a curtain where he proceeded to taunt the judge.

Alas, the judge realized what he needed to do to finally capture the beast. When you’re dealing with a Texas raccoon, you got to use Texas bait. So, naturally, he loaded the traps with queso and tamales.

After a nearly 20-hour stand-off, Judge Wright shared his final update to inform everyone the raccoon had fell for it, saying “authorities have captured Rosebud’s Most Wanted. He will serve 20 – 30 (minutes) then be released with conditions not to enter illegally again.”

I guess if you’re going to get caught anyway, might as well do it with a belly full of queso and tamales.

You have to admit, the raccoon looks comfortable!

This Is Really NOT A Good Idea

Living in New York City is not cheap, but it is supposed to be glamorous. If you look at realtor.com, you can find a 500 or 600 square foot apartment for about $2500 a month. Then on top of that you pay city, state, and federal income tax. It’s a pretty pricey place to live. At those prices, you expect a few benefits. Many buildings have doormen. You are close to restaurants and entertainment. Central Park is beautiful. The museums are great. But New York City is changing. Crime is up. The homeless population is up. Many areas of the city are simply not appealing because of changes in the law that make peeing in the street not a crime. One partial answer to this is a return to the ‘broken windows’ policy of Rudy Giuliani. Unfortunately Mayor De Blasio is heading in the other direction.

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article on Friday reporting the following:

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday revealed a plan to buy properties around the city and turn them into permanent affordable housing, after moving more than 10,000 homeless people into hotels during the COVID-19 pandemic and shaming rich residents who have left the city as ‘fair weather friends’. 

At a press conference on Friday, he did not say which type of buildings the city had its eye on and the city is refusing to give more details, citing ‘privacy concerns’.  

De Blasio only said there was an ‘opportunity to get creative’ now when it came to finding housing for New York’s homeless. 

It presents a stark scenario for landlords or building owners who may be struggling to collect rent from current tenants, many of whom – both commercial and residential – have absconded.  

The homeless-in-hotels scheme set up by de Blasio is one of many components to an escalating downward change in the city.

Before the Mayor gets too wrapped up in the homeless-in-hotels idea, he might want to look at a recent Fox News article detailing a similar program in San Francisco.

The article at Fox News notes:

Police arrested two adults accused of operating a low level meth lab at a San Francisco hotel designated as a safe shelter for people on quarantine, at risk for COVID-19, or without housing.

The call came in about a strong chemical odor coming from a hotel room and officers responded to the Civic Center Motor Inn about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The U.K. Daily Mail also notes:

Many of New York’s wealthy residents fled months ago – taking their disposable income and their tax dollars with them – and there are fears they may never come back.

Crime is on the up but de Blasio has stripped the police force of $1billion in response to Black Lives Matter protests.

Some retailers and restaurants have been forced to close permanently and those who are hanging on face continuously changing and difficult rules, like having to sell ‘substantial’ amounts of food to customers to avoid crowds gathering.

De Blasio and Cuomo are enforcing checkpoints to stop tourists from 35 COVID hotspot states from entering the city without quarantining for 14 days too.

Earlier this year, it emerged that 139 struggling hotels are taking in homeless people to avoid deathly COVID-19 breakouts in shelters. The effort is being mostly paid for by FEMA, but 25 percent of it is coming from the city’s shrinking budget. It brings some cash to the struggling hotels which were decimated by the pandemic. 

Through the program, they take $175 per person, per night which – with more than 13,000 homeless currently being housed in hotels – is more than $2.275million, according to anonymous city sources who have been quoted since May. 

Please follow the link to the article at the U.K; Daily Mail for further details on the Mayor’s idea.

I suspect in the very near future, you will be able to buy a condo or rent an apartment in New York City at bargain-basement prices.

This Is Really Not Surprising

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about Bernie Sanders’ plan for healthcare for everyone.

The article reports:

Bernie Sanders is proposing a new wealth tax on billionaires called the ‘Make Billionaires Pay’ act.

He wants to tax wealth they have generated during the Coronavirus pandemic, to fund healthcare for all Americans for one year.

Only for one year?

The article includes some information from CNBC:

Sen. Sanders proposes one-time tax that would cost Bezos $42.8 billion, Musk $27.5 billion

Top tech leaders and other billionaires would be forced to hand over billions of dollars in wealth they’ve gained during the coronavirus pandemic under a new bill introduced by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

The “Make Billionaires Pay Act” would impose a one-time 60% tax on wealth gains made by billionaires between March 18, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2021. The funds would be used to pay for out-of-pocket health-care expenses for all Americans for a year. As of Aug. 5, the bill would tax $731 billion in wealth accumulated by 467 billionaires since March 18, according to a press release. If passed, the bill would tax billionaires on wealth accumulated through the end of the year, however.

Under the bill, tech and other business titans who have seen their wealth shoot up during the pandemic would take huge charges. Amazon and Walmart, for example, have both seen their stocks grow as Americans increasingly relied on their services during stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.

Does anyone remember that Bernie Sanders wanted to tax all millionaires until he became one? The thing to remember here is that billionaires have tax accountants who know how to move money around so that it is not taxable. What happens next is that the program that the tax on billionaires is supposed to fund goes into effect and does not have the money to fund it. At that point, the ‘little people’ like us have to pick up the slack in taxes to pay for the program because we don’t have tax accountants that know how to move money around to avoid taxes. Eventually the middle class pays for all tax increases aimed at the rich. Bernie Sanders and his friends need to study the Laffer Curve. The Bernie Sanders plan is a surefire way to get corporations and their executives to move money overseas (just after President Trump has managed to bring a lot of that money back into America).

 

 

Getting The Job Done–Even When You Have To Do It Alone

One America News reported yesterday that President Trump has signed four executive orders designed to alleviate some of the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus.

The article reports:

On Saturday, he signed a payroll tax initiative, which will defer payroll tax to those making less than $100,000 a year until the end of 2020.

…The president has renewed supplemental unemployment benefits at $400 a week. This new amount came in just below the previous $600 extra, which Americans were receiving before the enhance benefits expired earlier this month.

…He also provided assistance to renters by imposing a partial moratorium on evictions and suspended mandatory student loan payments through the end of the year.

…The president has expressed he had to step in because Democrats in Congress have not stepped up to the plate.

“Democrats have refused these offers,” said President Trump. “What they really want is bailout money for states that are run by Democrat governors and mayors, which have been run very badly for many, many years.”

This is a stroke of genius. The bill that the House of Representatives put forth included a lot of things that have nothing to do with the coronavirus, and they refused to negotiate on anything less. We don’t need national mail-in voting–we stand in line at the grocery store, at Home Depot, and at WalMart almost every day. We don’t need to bail out badly-run states–they need to clean up their own budgets first (and Washington also needs to do some serious spending reduction).

The Democrats are unhappy. They might take this to court, but if they do, they will be fighting a President who signed an executive order to help Americans while Congress could not come to agreement on doing anything. Even if they won in court, they would lose in the court of public opinion, and the election is less than three months away.

This was a brilliant move on the part of the President.

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.