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Posts tagged ‘lockdowns’

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


Untitled

Biden says that if we’re good boys and girls he may let us celebrate Independence Day with a few friends.

Biden 4th of JulyPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2021.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Andrew Cuomo’s COVID Reign Has Been Devastating, And It’s Time For A Reckoning


Reported by Mike Lawler  15, 2021

Read more at https://www.conservativereview.com/andrew-cuomos-covid-reign-has-been-devastating-and-its-time-for-a-reckoning-2650539894.html/

Andrew Cuomo’s COVID Reign Has Been Devastating, And It’s Time For A Reckoning

A few weeks ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, without a hint of self-awareness, said, “Incompetent government kills people. More people died than needed to die in COVID.” Sadly, I couldn’t agree more.

While many in corporate media glorified Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping create a cult of personality for him among Democrats across the country, an examination of his decision-making reveals that he failed New Yorkers on many fronts.

Cuomo was given near-unilateral emergency powers to tackle the pandemic, with the state legislature forfeiting all decision-making and responsibility to the governor and his team. Thus, Cuomo’s decisions and the repercussions of his actions fall squarely on his shoulders. First, and most jarring, is the revelation that the Cuomo administration’s decided to cover up the true cost of their Department of Health order on March 25 that sent COVID-positive patients back into nursing homes. That fateful order was subsequently deleted from the state’s Department of Health website in the beginning of the cover-up by the Cuomo administration.

Following that order, tens of thousands of nursing home residents lost their lives and the Cuomo administration moved into overdrive on blocking transparency efforts, shutting down inquiries at every turn, and even releasing a phony report absolving them of any responsibility. Two weeks ago, we learned in a report by New York Attorney General Tish James, a Democrat, that Cuomo’s administration hid the true cost to lives of this non-scientific order, under-counting nursing home deaths by almost 50 percent. Just this weekend, we learned the Cuomo administration intentionally hid and withheld information from federal authorities.

We need a full, thorough, and independent investigation with subpoenas to Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, the governor’s staff, and the governor himself.

It also speaks volumes that for months on end, the governor stonewalled transparency efforts by families that lost loved ones while mocking their efforts. His cruelty in this regard was on full display in January when he said “Who cares?” when asked about the death toll.

We care, governor. Those families deserve answers and justice.

Second, Cuomo’s administration forced out many of the public health experts who should have been developing New York’s vaccine plan, deciding instead to recruit expensive consulting firms. This led to an incredibly slow, ineffectual, and confusing rollout of the vaccine. My legislative office is still receiving daily calls from seniors older than 80 who simply cannot get an appointment no matter how hard they look.

While media outlets continue to sing Cuomo’s praises, the reality on the ground is that his top-down, Soviet-esque management style has hampered the efficacy and speed of the vaccine rollout, tying local health departments in knots. Every county health department in New York already has a mass vaccination plan, yet the governor refused for weeks to let them use those plans, instead of forcing them into the system created by his high-priced and high-brow consulting firms, all at taxpayers’ expense.

Third, Cuomo’s extensive lockdowns and subsequent non-scientific decisions to limit capacity in houses of worship shut down indoor dining, and restrict in-person learning (even temporarily) have hurt millions more. Setting unconstitutional caps on houses of worship was rejected by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, a case that shouldn’t have been necessary in the first place. Many houses of worship, spanning all types of faiths, were already setting limits on themselves to ensure the health and safety of their worshippers. Recommending that they be shut down or capped was ludicrous, and an affront to the basic right to freedom of religion in our nation.

Another group whose lives and livelihoods have been destroyed by Cuomo’s insatiable desire for control is restaurant owners and restaurant workers. Shutting down indoor dining in New York City made zero sense at the time, with people being infected at less than 1.5 percent (lower than the state positivity rate) when dining indoors. Now, Cuomo has reopened dining when the infection rate has climbed significantly.

These decisions are not being made based on science, but what the governor “feels” is the right move. That is a recipe for disaster that cannot be allowed to continue. Cuomo’s actions are driven by his need for control, his ego, and his ability to legislate freely, as Democrats in the state legislature have completely abdicated all their duties as a co-equal branch of government.

Finally, it’s clear that New York students are rapidly falling behind other students around the globe. The lack of in-person interaction and learning is having devastating impacts on our children’s academic and social futures, as they are not learning the important lessons we all learned in grade school. To the governor’s credit, he didn’t outright ban in-person learning, but he certainly hasn’t been a champion for it either. Hybrid-learning programs are still leaving our kids behind, and his silence on this subject is deafening. I’d hazard a guess he’s spent more time bashing former President Trump at his press conferences than he has talked about the needs of our students.

In short, the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of disastrous for the millions of New Yorkers who call the Empire State home. While CNN, MSNBC, and other major news outlets remain busy pumping up Cuomo’s ego and image to the American public, Americans need to hear that his decisions cost tens of thousands of New Yorkers their lives, hundreds of thousands of students their educational advancement, and millions of New Yorkers their livelihoods.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mike Lawler is a member of the New York Assembly.

Horowitz: The Robinhood-GameStop scandal, lockdowns, and a two-tiered justice system


The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?” ~James Madison, Federalist No. 62

If you are not a member of the ruling oligarchy, you can buy a stock only when it benefits the ruling oligarchy, but not when the oligarch shorted the stock and will lose money. In that case, you can only sell. They, the esteemed members of the system, on the other hand, can do what they want at any point to win the rigged game.

That was essentially the lesson the American people learned this week about our government-corporate manipulated economy when the oligarchs got together to block people from buying stocks like GameStop after the well-connected Wall Street hedge funds were slated to lose billions on their short-sale gamble. However, what happened this week was emblematic of a broader trend that has taken over our economy this past generation, but should have become patently obvious to the American people since the unconstitutional lockdowns began last March. The oligarchs in charge of our country have manipulated the entire economy in a way that arbitrarily weighs down individual risk-takers and business owners in order to benefit the ruling class, which includes large corporations like Walmart and Amazon.

In the ultimate unconstitutional market distortion, the government refashioned life itself with its draconian lockdowns in a way that forced entire chains of commerce only through narrow, well-connected giant companies while crushing small businesses. Just like the GameStop investors on Reddit who were shut down from making profit and could only take a loss in order to transfer wealth to the hedge funds, small businesses were shut down so that the consumer capital would flow to Zoom, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Netflix. Amazon’s stock price has nearly doubled since the lockdowns began last March.

The difference between who was shut down and who was given a waiver to open their business was so arbitrary in Pennsylvania that the auditor general wrote in a report, “The waiver process appeared to be a subjective process built on shifting sands of changing guidance, which led to significant confusion among business owners.” He observed, “Some owners of small businesses may not have had the knowledge to use the right ‘buzzwords’ in their justification for remaining open, or realized they could ask a legislator for help to navigate the process.”

It’s not only the fact that the government criminalized commerce through traditional means, forcing consumers into “high tech” commerce; it’s that they benefited from the trillions the Federal Reserve artificially injected into the economy. They had the economies of scale to borrow record amounts of cash at dirt-cheap interest rates.

So while small businesses owners are shedding tears and committing suicide at record rates, Wall Street and Silicon Valley are cashing out on the ultimate venture socialist scam of the government – in which politicians criminalize traditional commerce and property rights and then throw trillions of dollars of cheap money at the people who just benefited from the ultimate form of communism. Who made or lost money this past year, for the first time in history, had zero to do with smart investment, innovation, or even risk-taking, and everything to do with the luck of the government’s venture socialist draw.

Or perhaps it wasn’t luck at all. It was systemized and arranged based on who built up connections with the government over the years.

Unlike the left, which seeks to “rectify” this broken system it supported by throwing endless free money at people, we seek to reset the economy to what it’s supposed to be without any government intervention. That begins by ending all COVID restrictions and allowing all those businesses harmed by the illegal lockdowns to go five years without paying taxes or being subjected to costly regulations. It’s time to even the playing field that government distorted.

The way to end double standards is to return to constitutional governance, where there is a limit to what government can do to our lives. The wealthy masters of the universe can lobby all they want, but most subsidies, regulations, market distortions, and certainly restrictions are unconstitutional. Thus, if government can’t do it, the incestuous corruption of the oligarchy lobbying scam comes to an end. The only reason why government is able to rig society through reckless fiscal and monetary policy is because it has stepped outside the constitutional limits constraining the scope of its power.

Take stock for a moment of just a few of the appalling double standards we are witnessing in our economy, government, and society today:

  • The wall to protect Americans from illegal invaders is being dismantled, while a wall is being constructed between the politicians and the people around the Capitol complex.

  • Restaurants were shut down because of the COVID religion, but Walmart and Home Depot weren’t because they supposedly don’t spread virions.

  • Illegal aliens get court injunctions against deportations within hours of filing, even though they have no right to be here, while Americans have failed to secure an injunction against masking and lockdowns in nearly every state for 10 months.

  • Antifa and BLM have rioted nearly every day since last June, yet very few people have been prosecuted. But for one violent incident, the military is deployed even long after it was over, the entire intelligence and national security apparatus is being marshalled against Trump supporters, and the DOJ is now casting such a wide net in prosecutions that it is bordering on First Amendment violations.

  • BLM is such a religion that you can attend endless mass funerals for a career criminal like George Floyd, but not hold a 50-person funeral for your grandmother.

  • Hundreds of thousands of drug traffickers, gang members, and career violent criminals have been released from jail because they were considered “low-level,” while business owners are being threatened with jail time for exercising their property rights.

  • Millions of people who didn’t lose a penny during the lockdowns because of the nature of their jobs received thousands in “stimulus” checks, while small business owners often didn’t receive a penny, and worse, they were forced by a communist mandate not to evict derelict renters, but still had to pay property taxes.

  • The elites disregarded their own unconstitutional COVID restrictions, and then the minute Trump left office, they called for the reopening of schools and restaurants (albeit with the abuse of masks), using data that we were censored for posting online.

  • They bring in more refugees, foreign workers, and illegal aliens, while instituting curfews on Americans within the states. They place travel bans on American residents of other states while inviting illegal aliens to cross the border and use the very hospitals we are supposedly trying to protect with these restrictions.

  • The same courts that said states engaging in voter fraud and illegal election law changes mid-election were the business of the states blocked red states from requiring proof of citizenship to vote.

It all gets back to the fact that we are no longer a nation of laws with a fixed written law – whether it’s the Constitution or statutes – but a nation of men. The written law has been replaced with executive and judicial fiats that are based on the capricious whims of the corporate media that promotes corporate commerce and academia – all tied back to the politicians. They enrich themselves with pay-for-play schemes, but they also empower themselves by instituting these policies under the guise of helping “the little guy,” particular races or classes of people that are elevated by the culture at the expense of the whole of the people and the general common good, as required by the social compact.

In all these examples, it’s not that the ruling oligarchs inherently care more about black people, illegal aliens, foreign workers, the poor, or any other class about which it is easy to virtue-signal. It’s that they built a rigged system in which they are empowered by promoting or elevating the plight of those celebrated classes over the whole of the people. If they lost power by doing so – for example, if illegal aliens were conservative – we would see the opposite policies emanating from their citadels.

Article 7 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, which was written by John Adams, states: “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.”

What we witnessed this week in the stock market and what will only intensify in the coming weeks is the inevitable endgame of a system that arbitrarily picks winners and losers and uses the boot of government, culture, and economy to confront the “losers” with a checkmate, one-way street, and dead end at every turn. The losers will revolt. As it states in the next passage of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights: “Therefore the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity and happiness require it.”

Twitter Is The Enemy Of The American People


JANUARY 9, 2021 By 

Twitter Is The Enemy Of The American People

On Oct. 18, 2020, Twitter banned the account of Dr. Scott Atlas for defending President Donald Trump’s position on mask mandates. In his tweet, he cited scientific studies, and the tweet contained absolutely no false information.

Also in October, Twitter banned the account of The New York Post for accurately reporting on a story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. Today we know these were just the first salvos in this evil company’s assault on American liberty.

For all its talk about safety, community, and the health of discourse, we see today that Twitter acts in favor of one interest and one interest alone: its own, even when it means destabilizing the American people. On Friday, the company permanently banned Trump from its platform and began a purge of conservative voices. They claim this is needed to protect America from a coup. That is a farcical lie. They did it because their political enemies such as Trump and Sen. Josh Hawley are now out of power, and they mean to keep it way.

As a private company, Twitter is free to do as it pleases. And I am free to call them what they are: a shill for communist China that seeks the destruction of America. Do you doubt that? Then explain why Iran can call for Jews to be killed on Twitter’s platform and China can spread propaganda about how rounding up Uyghur men and forced sterilization of Uyghur women is actually good, but Donald Trump can’t tweet. It is evil. And anyone defending Jack Dorsey’s death machine is complicit.

We live in two Americas right now. In Republican-led Florida and Texas, economies are open, people go to restaurants and movies, small businesses can prosper. In Democrat-led New York and California, lockdowns are crushing the people. They are not allowed to gather in person, only on big tech platforms. Guess which outcome Twitter prefers?

Now compare the effects of COVID on these two Americas. There is no rational way to argue that the lockdowns led to better results.

I want to put this as clearly as possible. Twitter attempted and largely succeeded in silencing dissent to policies that were against its own interests. They don’t care about the suicides, overdoses, missed cancer screenings, or poverty caused by these actions, they only care about money and power. Blood is dripping from Jack Dorsey’s hands across the globe and here at home as he counts his billions.

Feckless Democrats and faux conservatives applaud or look the other way at Twitter’s actions because it serves their purposes; the poor, blind fools have no idea that they will be next. This has nothing to do with the Constitution, or laws, this has to do with Dorsey being a liar who orchestrates mass disinformation campaigns on the American people. Twitter’s safety guidelines have nothing to do with safety, they have to do with profit.

I am not writing here about Section 230, or legislative approaches to rein in Big Tech. That can come later. I am writing to make it clear that Twitter has played a central role in destroying Americans’ lives through lockdowns, lying to them about Hunter Biden to win an election, and enabling the world’s most brutal regime to practice genocide in peace.

Twitter doesn’t want to serve you; it wants to rule you. And it is well on its way.

Now Big Tech is seeking to deplatform Twitter’s competitor, Parler. Politicians and journalists are cheering for censorship and suggesting that cable operators should ban conservative news outlets. You see, these people know what is good for you and what isn’t. They just want to protect you from dangerous information. To them, you are a child and they are your parents, the only difference being that you pay them an allowance.

Now we Americans have no choice. Now we must convene our secret meetings in person, far from the peering eyes of Big Tech and its Chinese overlords, for whom it will do anything. Consider the fact that in many places in America meetings are literally illegal right now. Everything changed on Friday. The cards all stare up at us from the table now. Twitter’s goal is to create for our children an America our parents would not recognize.

Twitter is the enemy of freedom, the enemy of liberty, and the enemy of the American people. It must be treated as such.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David Marcus is the Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.

Daniel Horowitz Op-ed: With no lockdown or mask mandate, Florida has roughly same hospitalization level as 2018 flu season


We are being told that our liberties must be suspended in order to keep hospitals from reaching apocalyptic levels. But what if those levels are just above normal and not anywhere near apocalyptic levels? And what if these lockdown measures do nothing to keep the levels down anyway?

Well, if there is anywhere we can cross-check this hypothesis, it would be in Florida, where there is no lockdown or mask mandate. In fact, people are flocking there from out of state to enjoy vacations and host conferences and even to live. Naturally, we’d expect hospital levels to be bursting at the seams if they rise and fall with lockdowns and masks, right?

Well, actually, you can barely see an increase in the hospitalization level in the Sunshine State from previous years, and the current level appears to be on par with the 2018 flu season, which was more of a pandemic flu than other flus in recent years. And in 2018, we did nothing as a nation to suspend liberties.

There is much debate over how to count a COVID hospitalization given the rampant and unprecedented testing of people relative to past flus. But one easy way to observe an apples-to-apples comparison to past flu seasons is to compare the overall average daily census of hospitalizations now to previous years and adjust those numbers per capita to existing population. In other words, if all of the COVID patients are legitimately there because of COVID, we would see an enormous excess in the total number of people in the hospital at any given moment for any ailment. Florida is simply not seeing a gigantic increase.

Here is how the math works: HHS tracks total daily hospital levels in all the states dating back to Jan. 1, 2020. If you take the average daily total hospitalization levels in Florida for the fourth quarter of 2020, you will find an average (some days are more, some are less) of 43,150.

Naturally, I wondered what the levels were in previous years, because the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration publishes quarterly data of hospital censuses for several recent years. I started with the first quarter of 2018, which included the harshest flu season we had in a decade. If you average the total hospital census over the 90 days from Jan. 1 to March 31, it works out to 41,094 people in the hospital on an average day. Adjusting for the population at the time, that would be 1,972 hospitalizations per 1 million people. That is compared to 1,998 per 1 million for this past quarter of 2020 with COVID as the predominant illness.

As you can see, although the hospital numbers for the fourth quarter of 2020 were about 6%-8% higher than in the fourth quarter of the previous two years, it was barely higher than the first quarters of every year. The reason it is fair to compare to the worst months of previous years is because it has become clear that the flu is gone for this year and that COVID-19 is this year’s version of the flu. Thus, with flu cases down 98.8%, it is reasonable to assume that the January census will not grow as it typically does during peak flu season.

In other states, lockdown proponents can theoretically suggest that the reason the hospital numbers aren’t worse is because of the measures they are taking. However, Florida serves as the perfect control group, given that there is no lockdown and there have been no statewide restrictions in place for several months.

It’s also important to remember that as a nation we have thrown hundreds of billions of dollars at hospitals to treat this virus as compared to past flu seasons. So, the level of hospitalization we are equipped to deal with is much higher than in the past.

Off the bat, the numbers for this past quarter are inflated because on Oct. 6, HHS updated its guidance requiring hospitals to include those in “observations beds” as part of the census. Any data from past years did not include observations beds, only inpatient beds where people stayed for over 24 hours.

Also, because the nation is panicked over this virus, unlike during the 2018 flu season, the threshold for people going to the hospital is likely much lower than in past flu seasons. While there are definitely some people who are gravely ill with this virus, we have decided to treat this virus in the hospital much more liberally than any other virus. Hospitals receive higher reimbursement rates for treating COVID-19 patients. However, many of the cases are not necessarily clinical level.

As I noted in November, hospitalization is required in order to treat someone with Remdesivir, the only FDA-approved drug, which was approved on Oct. 22. It’s very likely that a certain percentage of those people are not sicker than a typical flu patient who would be treated outpatient, but the Remdesivir necessitates admission to the hospital.

Taking all these factors in totality, especially in a state like Florida with no lockdown, it has become clear that the entire pretext for shutting down our liberties is built upon misinformation and lack of context. In other words, those 900,000 projected excess deaths due to unemployment from lockdowns are all for nothing.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Royal Sham

Many hypocritical blue state Governors are all about rules for thee but not for me, policies.

Blue State Hypocrite GovernorsPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco Cartoon ©2021.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

David French Joins NYT, New Yorker In Bashing Christians On Christmas


Reported by Nathanael Blake DECEMBER 28, 2020

So much for peace on earth and goodwill to men. America’s legacy media elites used the Sunday before Christmas for extra Christian-bashing, with white evangelicals the preferred targets.

Writing in The New Yorker, Michael Luo complained that “white evangelical Protestants, once again, overwhelmingly supported President Trump in the election,” and that “churches, particularly conservative ones, fought lockdown orders and rebuffed public-health warnings.”

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof interviewed leftist pastor Jim Wallis, with the conversation quickly turning to accusations that “White evangelicalism has destroyed the ‘evangel.’” At The Dispatch, Time columnist David French concluded that much of the scorn white evangelical Christians receive is deserved. He says the world often “rejects Christians because Christians are cruel.”

Yeah, well, merry Christmas to you too.

To be sure, Christians should humbly accept correction if it is deserved, even when the word of reproof is delivered by pagans. But the above writers’ broad indictments against American evangelicals do not withstand scrutiny. Although each criticism has particular errors, they are united by two shared mistakes. The first is a failure to account for differences of denomination and devotion. Lumping Pentecostals, Presbyterians, and prosperity-gospel preachers together is sloppy, as is neglecting to distinguish between those who are committed churchgoers and those who are only nominally evangelical.

It might be said that these varieties of white evangelicals have in common an overwhelming political support for Donald Trump, but this retort only highlights the second error shared by these writers: the assumption that voting for Trump was necessarily immoral.

It is easy to pick out Trumpian words and deeds that are not compatible with the gospel. It is also easy to do the same with his Democratic opponents and their policies. Asserting that voting for Trump is a moral stain on evangelicals, without weighing the alternatives, presumes what is in question. This error is shared by each writer (and Kristof’s interview subject), but each finds some unique ways to express it.

Luo, for instance, unfavorably compares the response of today’s Christians to the pandemic with Christians’ response to past plagues. But although he is correct that reckless churches should be rebuked, he makes no effort to distinguish between the reckless and those cautiously meeting in person, or to value preserving the gathering of believers. Nor does he quantify how many churches are foregoing precautions, or show how many of these congregations fall under the “white evangelical” category.

He suggests that, to eliminate risk, Christians should forgo all in-person meeting, and he dismisses the religious liberty claims that have been raised against capricious government restrictions on churches. But if the casinos, strip clubs, and abortion clinics are getting better treatment than churches, then anti-Christian discrimination has replaced public health policy.

Furthermore, even from a secular public health perspective, eliminating church services would do more harm than good, as churchgoing seems to have been essential to helping many Americans make it through the difficulties of this year. We are physical beings, not disembodied minds who can live in the cloud indefinitely.

Meanwhile, Kristof and his interview subject Wallis presume that technocratic welfare-statism is the obvious way to care for the poor and oppressed, so they dismiss anyone who disagrees with them as bad Christians. This complacent assumption of moral and political rectitude precludes them from understanding those they condemn.

Thus, although Kristof recently wrote a column of questions about Christians and abortion, he seems to have ignored the many responses explaining its paramount importance as a political issue for conservative Christians. His indifference is particularly notable at Christmas, because Luke’s advent narrative emphasizes the humanity of both the unborn John the Baptist and of Jesus. And if the unborn are human, then Christians cannot support the party of abortion on demand.

Kristof and Wallis’s reflexive acceptance of the left’s shibboleths of the moment also leads to ridiculous anachronisms such as declaring Jesus a “person of color.” This conceptual colonization of first-century Israel by modern American racial concepts is odious and misleading—“person of color” makes no sense in that context.

It is, indeed, worse than the depictions of a blond, blue-eyed Jesus (are there many of those?) that Wallis complains about. Portrayals of Jesus and other biblical figures in local style and appearance have been a common, if inaccurate, artistic practice across centuries and cultures.

Race is also central to French’s condemnation of his fellow white evangelicals. In his telling, they are guilty of “some outright racism” but perhaps even more of being seduced by a “Christian nationalism” that “will always minimize America’s historic sins and the present legacy (and reality) of American racism.” French is, for instance, upset that more white evangelicals do not believe that racism is an “extremely” or “very serious” threat to “America and America’s future.”

But even if white evangelicals are wrong in their assessment of the depth and danger of America’s racial problems, this is not enough to condemn them as cruel. It is, in fact, precisely the sort of issue on which Christians may reasonably disagree.

Furthermore, the data French cites does not account for crucial factors such as whether respondents are regular churchgoers or merely culturally evangelical. In addition, French ignores education and class in his analysis, even though the study he relies on emphasizes the importance of these factors in understanding the politics of white evangelical subgroups.

French’s article, like the others, is mostly an impressionistic interpretation of white evangelicalism in America. By their reckoning, white evangelicals have become reckless plague-bearers with no regard for the poor and oppressed, and their cruelty rightly earns them the world’s opprobrium.

There may be some individuals who match this grim depiction, but as a general description of tens of millions of evangelicals, it is obviously untrue. Look around the country and evangelical churches are holding services with masks, distancing, and lots of hand sanitizer. Evangelicals, both individually and corporately, are caring for those in need in their communities and around the world, and treating people of all races with dignity and respect.

In this Christmas season, French, Kristof, and Luo should stop building evangelical strawmen to burn in effigy. Instead, they, like all of us, should contemplate and rejoice in the miracle of God become man to save His people from their sins.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nathanael Blake is a Senior Contributor at The Federalist. He has a PhD in political theory. He lives in Missouri.

5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020


Reported by John Daniel Davidson DECEMBER 28, 2020

5 Big Things We Learned About Our Elites In 2020

For as difficult as the past year has been, from politics to the pandemic, it has at least helped to illuminate and clarify certain things about the state of our country.

Above all, 2020 has illuminated and clarified the relationship between America’s elites—in government, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, corporate America and the corporate press—and everyone else. In short, our elites believe, contra Thomas Jefferson, that most people were born with saddles on their backs while a favored few were born booted and spurred to ride them, legitimately.

The rigors and suffering of the coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the perseverance, resilience, and generosity of the American people, but also exposed—sometimes in mind-boggling detail—the greed, hypocrisy, and indifference of our elites.

We like to think we live in a country where everyone, rich and poor alike, is equal before the law. But we know now, thanks to the exigencies and emergencies of 2020, that isn’t true—or at least it’s only true sometimes, when the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to weigh in and enforce equal treatment.

But left unchecked, as many of our leaders were over the past year, we all know what they will do. In no particular order, then, here are the five big things we learned about America and its elites in 2020.

1. Democrats Don’t Care About Science—Or Religious Liberty

This year we learned Democrats aren’t the “party of science,” and in fact don’t care about science at all—especially if it gets in the way of their policy agenda or the exercise of emergency powers.

How else do you explain the actions of Democratic governors like New York’s Andrew Cuomo and California’s Gavin Newsom? They both tried to ban indoor religious gatherings based the unscientific belief that people are more likely to contract COVID-19 in a church than in a liquor store or a Lowe’s. In both cases, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such restrictions were unconstitutional because they singled out houses of worship for unequal treatment.

Lost in the media coverage of these and similar cases was the disturbing fact that these governors weren’t basing their pandemic-related restrictions on science or data. When a Los Angeles judge earlier this month struck down an outdoor dining ban issued by county health officials, he noted that the county hadn’t presented any scientific evidence justifying the ban or even done a basic cost-benefit analysis on the effects of shutting down more than 30,000 restaurants.

“It’s not rational to make a decision without doing everything you’re supposed to do, and you haven’t,” the judge said. “You’re imposing restrictions but there’s no reason to believe it will help with ICU capacity.” In all these cases, science had nothing to do with the attempted shutdown. Power and prejudice did.

2. Lockdowns For Thee But Not For Me

Speaking of Newsom, he became the poster boy for elite hypocrisy when he was photographed at a fancy Napa Valley restaurant with a bunch of wealthy and powerful friends right after imposing harsh pandemic-related lockdowns on much of the state.

He wasn’t alone. All over the country, elected officials—almost all of them Democrats—were spotted flouting their own pandemic rules and restrictions. My colleague Tristan Justice catalogued some of the most high-profile instances.

There was Austin Mayor Steve Adler telling residents to stay home—and threatening them with more restrictive measures if they didn’t comply—while he was vacationing in a Mexican resort town.

There was Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, who boarded a flight for Houston to visit his daughter for Thanksgiving right after telling residents to “avoid travel if you can.”

There was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mask-less, visiting a shut-down hair salon in San Francisco, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot doing the same thing—then getting caught mask-less in the streets with a bullhorn at a rally celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. Her excuse (they all have excuses) was that the “crowd was gathered whether I was there or not.”

On and on, all over the country. The mayors of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, D.C., all of them Democrats, all of them caught flouting their own lockdown orders.

We can conclude two things from this. The first is that our ruling elites, despite their grave intonations and warnings, don’t really believe the coronavirus is very dangerous or that their lockdown orders are necessary—at least not for them. The second is that they hate you and think you’re stupid.

3. Lockdown Elites Don’t Care If Small Businesses Die

The elites’ hypocrisy went beyond their personal behavior. It also affected the pandemic policies they supported and imposed. Especially in blue states and cities, elected officials opted for pandemic restrictions that disproportionately harmed small businesses and working families, while giving generous carve-outs and exemptions to special interests.

Nothing illustrated this better than a viral video by a distraught restaurant owner in Los Angeles, who was justifiably upset over an outdoor dining ban that shuttered all bars and restaurants but exempted the film and television industry. Angela Marsden, owner of the Pineapple Hill Saloon and Grill in Los Angeles, had spent tens of thousands of dollars to create an outdoor dining space that complied with Centers for Disease Control and county health guidelines in an attempt to save her business, only to have the rules changed on her without warning.

The real slap in the face, though, was an outdoor dining area for a television production set up not 50 feet from her restaurant. The two dining spaces were nearly identical. The only difference is that she, a small business owner, wasn’t powerful or important enough to get an exemption.

4. Silicon Valley Wants You to Shut Up

Another disturbing revelation in 2020 was that Big Tech doesn’t care about free speech or the free exchange of ideas, and will, given the right circumstances, censor what you can read and share on their platforms according to criteria they invent out of thin air.

We saw this over and over again, not only with COVID-19 commentary and reporting but with coverage of the presidential election and the many instances of fraud and illegal electioneering that were documented in the days and weeks after the vote. Twitter and Facebook in particular were aggressive in their censorship of any opinions or information that challenged their chosen narratives about the pandemic and the election.

Again, science and data and verifiable facts didn’t factor into these decisions. Experts like former White House advisor Scott Atlas were censored by Twitter for sharing studies that showed the ineffectiveness of masks. Amazon did the same thing to former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s booklet on the ineffectiveness of masks.

On election night, Twitter repeatedly censored President Trump but not former Vice President Joe Biden. Facebook “fact-checkers,” some of them funded by China and Russia, repeatedly flagged content critical of Democrats.

Most infamously, Twitter and Facebook conspired with corporate media before the election to impose a blackout on coverage of the Hunter Biden scandal, including an unprecedented move by Twitter to suspend The New York Post’s account for breaking the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails. This was done rather straightforwardly to shield voters from the Biden family’s corruption. After the election, the FBI confirmed that it is in fact investigating Hunter Biden.

5. Elites Are Okay With Chaos and Violence From the Left

Another glaring instance of elite hypocrisy in 2020 was the reaction to riots and looting in American cities throughout the spring and summer. Because Democrats and corporate media agreed with the ideology and politics driving this violence, and approved of groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) that were fomenting it, they excused it. Over and over, reporters and commentators characterized violent riots and urban unrest as “mostly peaceful protests,” sometimes even while showing images of burning buildings and mayhem in the streets.

By contrast, peaceful and orderly protests of pandemic lockdown orders in the spring were reported as dangerous and threatening, not because they were actually dangerous or threatening but because the protesters were mostly conservatives and Republicans who thought governors and mayors were overstepping their authority. At the same time, these same outlets downplayed or simply refused to report on the many instances of violence, including shootings, perpetrated by Antifa rioters and BLM demonstrators across the country.

When armed groups began showing up at these BLM “protests” to protect property and businesses from being looted and burned down, major outlets like The New York Times pretended the gunplay and violence started with the right, not the left. Biden’s deputy campaign manager even went on air and accused Trump of “inciting violence,” as if the mere fact of Trump presidency justified widespread violence and rioting.

We learned from all this that the left is prepared to burn down cities to seize power, and will make excuses for rioters and looters as long as it serves their political and ideological agenda.

That’s of a piece with everything else we’ve learned about our elites in 2020. They don’t really care about the things they claim to care about. They don’t care about science or data or even keeping us safe during a pandemic. They don’t care about small businesses or working families or getting kids back to school. They don’t care about free speech or the free exercise of religion or anything else that hinders their power—and they certainly don’t care about you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John is the Political Editor at The Federalist. Follow him on Twitter.

Small Businesses Like Mine Didn’t Cause COVID, But Governments Are Making Us Pay For It


Small Businesses Like Mine Didn’t Cause COVID, But Governments Are Making Us Pay For It

Back in 2000, I left my job in San Francisco working for an entrepreneur named Bruce Carlisle. From scratch, Bruce had co-founded an online advertising agency named SFInteractive, eventually growing the business to 200 employees. I successfully started his analytics department, and then flew the coop. Los Angeles was calling me, and I’ve never looked back. The day I left, I made a pact with myself to never work for anyone else. I saw what Bruce had created and set out to create something of my own. Outside of a short stint working for the city of Malibu and a Christmas gig at Williams Sonoma in L.A., that’s exactly what I’ve done.

In 2003, my wife and I were expecting our first child, and we hadn’t figured out how to pay for her arrival yet. We were both freelancing reading movie scripts for film companies. It was enough for the two of us, and a lot of fun, but we didn’t have enough steady income to raise a family.

A wise acquaintance once said to me, “Every baby comes with its own basket of bread.” Interesting idea, I thought. Sometime after, almost on cue, my old roommate from New York reached out and asked if I knew anyone who could sell French tours on the internet to Americans.

After some serious convincing on my part (I’d never worked in travel before), my roommate vouched for me and we got the contract. Our business and child arrived at virtually the same time. We were off to the races.

For almost 20 years now my wife, Laura, and I have run Link Paris, a small boutique French travel company. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we survived the great recession in 2008, the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris in 2015 and 2016, and the reality of giant competitors eventually moving into our niche.

On the upside, we’ve served more than 80,000 happy customers and in 2014 we were voted the “Best Online Tour Operator” by the French Government Tourist Office. We truly love this business and our customers.

Our No. 1 product is a day trip from Paris to visit the landing beaches in Normandy. It is a destination every American should see if he or she visits France. We are very proud to have helped so many people visit this hallowed ground.

Now, here we are, 10 months into COVID. Our revenue is down more than 99 percent. We’ve had a total of two clients since March — a father and daughter who were receiving medical treatment in Paris. They, and others like them, are among the very few Americans allowed abroad.

We’re still standing, but how much longer can we? How much longer can any disrupted small business last? We are hurting in my industry and many others.

This is a horrible virus and I fully understand and support the fight against it. The worry is that the government is implicitly saying to us, and a million other small businesses, that we’re simply collateral damage of the pandemic. “Yes, you had a decent life, but that is over now. You need to accept your limited prospects and move on. Tough break. But, you know, the virus.”

Yes, there has been some aid. The Paycheck Protection Program helped, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan helped even more. But, after ten months of zero revenue, it isn’t enough.

To complicate matters, the Small Business Administration lowered the maximum EIDL loan amount from $500,000 to $150,000 in April — although not before people like Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband, Tim Mynett, and others got their loans approved for the full amount.

Mynett’s company made $2.2 million this year from Omar’s reelection campaign. Where exactly did he suffer an “economic injury?” I’m sure there are many examples on the other side of the aisle as well. This isn’t a partisan issue, but the point is the same: the well-connected aren’t just barely getting by — they’re thriving.

Indeed, we wouldn’t have even received the EIDL loan if it hadn’t been for a Reddit user who helped us, along with a thousand other people, resubmit our application. When I originally submitted, I’d had made an error, and the SBA was so overwhelmed at the time that amending an application was near impossible — until I found the EIDL subreddit and an anonymous user named Cue378. He (or she) knew exactly what to do and we got it fixed. When someone else started a GoFundMe page for this person as a thank you, more than $100,000 was raised.

In the end, we received a loan. We are grateful for it, but compare it to the $500 million credit facility that our main competitor (Trip Advisor) initiated, and it’s essentially nothing. That is the unintended, or intended, consequence of all of this. The big and connected are getting much stronger, while the small are having their dreams destroyed.

No small business could’ve prepared for this. What started as “15 days to slow the spread” has turned into something far different. I get it — six weeks to beat the Germans in World War I turned into four long years of trench warfare. Things change.

But Washington needs to give small businesses a genuine, real chance to survive. Big business may do the heavy lifting, but we make up 45 percent of America’s GDP. Small business is the lifeblood of this economy. Don’t let us bleed dry.

John Romano is the co-founder and operator of LinkParis.com, a small boutique French travel company.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Political Malpractice

The Democrat’s cure for COVID appears to be worse than the disease itself and probably by design.

COVID Cure Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID


Lockdowns Have Caused More Children To Drop Out Of School Than Americans Have Died Of COVID

The past nine months have seen more than a quarter-million Americans die from the coronavirus. Each and every death represents a tragedy — a life cut short, an empty place at the family table this holiday season, children mourning their parents, even parents mourning their children.

But a separate and ongoing tragedy has also struck at countless more than another quarter-million Americans: Children who have disappeared from school following last spring’s COVID-19 closures. survey conducted by CBS’s “60 Minutes” found that among 78 of the largest school districts in the country, at least 240,000 students remained unaccounted for when school resumed, in many cases virtually, this fall. This number doesn’t, of course, include the many other children schools have lost in other districts.

Each and every one of those cases also represents a tragedy. Indeed, it’s a slow-moving crisis. Every child who doesn’t return to school to complete his or her education represents dreams unfulfilled. It means diminished career prospects, lower earnings, an increased risk of trouble with law enforcement or substance misuse, more expense to society through the criminal justice and welfare systems, and on, and on, and on.

Just as these students have fallen through the proverbial cracks, however, policymakers do not seem to be doing nearly enough to solve the problem.

Obstacles to Online Learning

In their reporting on these missing children, “60 Minutes” spoke with one of them, a high school senior in Tampa, Fla. named Kiara. Kiara said she had moved around town eight or nine times since elementary school; her stepfather lost her job when the pandemic hit, and she was currently living in a motel.

A school district administrator said Kiara had been a good student before the pandemic but started failing classes when learning went virtual. Listening to her describe her situation, it’s not hard to figure out why her performance suffered:

Not having that teacher to really talk to was kinda difficult and just me not having a laptop at the time was difficult doing it on my phone. Just such a small screen. …

[Doing virtual learning via her phone] was very difficult because my phone is really skinny. At the time, I didn’t have glasses so I’d have to, like, slide to the left and slide to the right and slide up. So it was just really iffy. …

Definitely, I definitely come outside [to escape her crowded motel room]. I’ll sit here and study. But sometimes, you know, the mosquitoes are coming, you know. It’s hard.

At times, Kiara would walk a mile to a nearby park to get some peace and quiet to complete her work — but the park didn’t have WiFi or an electrical outlet. She said she would “try to make it work as best I could,” but it doesn’t take a doctorate in education to realize why any student’s performance would suffer in that environment.

In some respects, Kiara represents one of the luckier victims of the school shutdowns. She has big dreams — she wants to become a dental hygienist, and eventually a dentist — and fought through the obstacles the COVID-19 closures put in her path. But it’s sadly understandable to see how some families and some children would just give up.

Enrollment Down, and It’s Not All Homeschooling

Across the country, public school enrollment has declined for the current academic year. Outside D.C., Montgomery County, Maryland’s public school enrollment declined by 3,300, or about 2 percent, this fall; on the other side of the Potomac River, Fairfax County, Virginia’s enrollment declined by nearly 5 percent. In Missouri, public school enrollment dropped 3.2 percent statewide, with a 31 percent drop in preschool enrollment and a nearly 10 percent decline in kindergarten enrollment.

These changes represent two distinct trends — both ends of the proverbial barbell. In Montgomery County, Fairfax County, and other wealthy enclaves, the enrollment declines come from affluent families enrolling their children in private schools to escape another year of virtual or hybrid learning in public education. At the other end of the spectrum, children like Kiara in families facing financial and other logistical difficulties dropped out of virtual learning entirely.

Open the Schools

The chaos children like Kiara continue to face with virtual learning — a national scandal if there ever was one — argues for a major expansion of school choice, so that no child faces these kinds of obstacles again. Thankfully, Ohio just enacted a major expansion of school choice, giving students an early Christmas present; other states should follow suit (in the interests of full disclosure, I have worked on a variety of projects advocating for school choice; however, no clients had input into this article).

Until every parent has access to school choice, school districts should start taking steps to reopen their classrooms to in-person instruction. There are fine and valid disagreements to be had over the necessity of business closures during the pandemic, but the idea that bars should remain open yet schools remain closed runs counter to any sense of logic, not to mention good public policy.

The future of hundreds of thousands of children lies in the hands of policymakers and school officials coming up with a plan to open their doors as soon as possible, and keep them open. Kiara and students like her deserve far better than what they have received during the past nine months — and they deserve it now.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chris Jacobs is founder and CEO of Juniper Research Group, and author of the book, “The Case Against Single Payer.” He is on Twitter: @chrisjacobsHC.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – You’re A Vile One

Keith Ellison is the Grinch who stole law and Order from the people of Minnesota.

Keith Ellison GrinchPolitical cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020

A.F. Branco Cartoon – Wrecking ball

The Left is using COVID-19 as an excuse to destroy our constitutional civil liberties.

02 Crushing LI 1080Political cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2020.
Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated – $1.00 –  $5.00 –  $25.00 – $50.00 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. Also Venmo @AFBranco – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been popular all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as Dinesh D’Souza, James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, Rush Limbaugh, and shared by President Donald Trump.

Why Is Big Media Hiding That Illinois Has Far More COVID Cases Than Florida? Because Illinois Has A Democrat In Charge And Tighter Lockdowns


NOVEMBER 27, 2020 By 

Why Is Big Media Hiding That Illinois Has Far More COVID Cases Than Florida? Because Illinois Has A Democrat In Charge And Tighter Lockdowns

COVID-19 cases in the United States are growing, but the media is selectively covering the states with the highest numbers.

On Tuesday, the United States reported there were at least 2,216 new COVID-19 deaths and approximately 178,200 new cases. Some states, despite strict coronavirus mandates and guidelines meant to prevent spread, are suffering from the most cases and deaths. Instead, however, big news seems to be focused on continuing to shame GOP politicians for refusing to completely shut down their states again.

Nearly every week in June and July, mainstream media news outlets singled out and slammed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis for rising COVID-19 numbers as the state remained largely open and unmasked. Headlines such as “Florida shatters US record for new single-day Covid-19 cases,” “Florida’s governor just can’t seem to get it right on coronavirus,” “Florida Shatters Record For New Coronavirus Cases, Orders Bars To Close,” “Florida shatters records with over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in single day,” “Disney World reopens even as coronavirus cases soar in Florida and across U.S.,” “In Florida, COVID-19 Death Toll Keeps Rising,” “Florida invited the nation to its reopening — then it became a new coronavirus epicenter,” ran rampant across news websites and broadcast programs.

Months after outlets such as CNN, NPR, the Washington Post, and others continually targeted Florida for increasing coronavirus cases, the corporate media ignored Illinois, which recorded 15,415 cases in just one day. That’s more than Florida ever reported in a single day, yet Florida is singled out for negative news attention.

“This is despite Illinois’ population being 40% lower,” Youyang Gu, creator of a COVID-19 projection website reported.

 

While Illinois continues to see climbing cases and deaths, outlets such as MSNBCNPR, and CNN are choosing to hyper-focus on states with Republican leaders such as Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who have chosen different COVID-19 mitigation techniques.

Instead of noting these significant trends in Illinois, CNN chose to publish another article on Florida, focusing on the fact that case numbers continue to rise after reopening even though daily new deaths in the state are down.

While Illinois enacted mask mandates, closed restaurants, and discouraged people from holiday travel and gatherings, Gu notes that the state is still experiencing an exceptional amount of cases and deaths per capita compared to states with much higher populations such as Florida, California, and Texas.

 

“We hear a lot of the talk about how the deaths in Florida were ‘preventable’. What about the ones in Illinois?” Gu questioned.

“I don’t want to spark a political debate here. I just hope that more people can recognize that the news we consume online can be inherently biased. They often serve to fuel division (and clicks),” he wrote.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.
Photo Covid, mask, testing, coronavirus, ppe, nurse

Politicians Aren’t Canceling Their Celebrations And Gatherings, And Neither Am I


Reported by Dana Loesch NOVEMBER 20, 2020

Politicians Aren’t Canceling Their Celebrations And Gatherings, And Neither Am I

My parents and in-laws haven’t seen their grandkids in nearly a year. Because we live states apart, the most time we spend together is during the holidays and a week in the summer. Due to the lockdown this year, the grandparents have only been able to see our kids during video calls.

It could be worse; some dear friends of ours buried a parent during the lockdown with no guests or funeral, and the grandchildren had to stay away. Family bonds do more than just unite people with the same origin or name, however. Those bonds hold us up and together during times of struggle and grief.

These painful life events can shape our perspectives for the remainder of our time on Earth. I learned a lot about dealing with grief when I attended family funerals growing up. When my grandmother passed away years ago, my cousins and I stood solemnly together as we watched our aunts and uncles say their final graveside goodbyes.

When our uncles walked my grandpa to her casket, we witnessed this quiet, strong man cry for the first time in our lives. I would not have been able to watch it without the rest of my family there. He didn’t just cry; his sobs shook his thin, 6’3” frame and threw him off balance. He leaned on the casket to help support his weight, and we gave him a moment before swarming him for comfort.

The sight was a shock that swept us into a new reality: We, the grandkids, wouldn’t be “the grandkids” in our family’s hierarchy much longer. Each generation took one step up that imaginary staircase with the death of our grandparents. Our kids assumed the step below us where we once stood. The presence of family makes that meeting with mortality easier to process.

I had just given birth to my second child when my grandfather passed away, living long enough to learn that his second great-grandson was on this Earth, miles away from him, but healthy. I didn’t get to attend his funeral because it was too soon after childbirth, the day I brought my baby home.

That night, I rocked my son to sleep in the solitude and darkness of his nursery and cried until there was nothing left in my soul to expend. That heavy sort of grief is meant to be borne by more than one. It took a long while to get past that.

Lockdowns Have Caused Immense Harm

That’s the closest experience I have to compare when I read about grief during lockdowns. This is why my heart truly breaks over stories from others who were forced by lockdowns and restrictions to endure this with their loved ones.

The emotional dam of a non-political, grief-stricken friend burst forth on Facebook after she read about politicians defending protest gatherings while she and her sister had to bury their father alone, just themselves, on a cold, clear March day earlier this year. The pain seems endless, and the lockdowns have predictably caused immense unintended consequences:

  • Depression rates for every age demographic have tripled.
  • Domestic abuse has increased globally.
  • Child abuse cases have increased.
  • Foster kids are in jeopardy.
  • Sixty percent of small businesses that closed during the last lockdown will not reopen, and others barely hanging on are giving up.
  • Even though schools aren’t superspreaders and medical professionals have been telling districts to reopen, many haven’t. New York City just closed its schools again.
  • Remote learning isn’t working, and our kids are falling behind — badly.
  • A new nickname has developed for an entire generation of kids: Generation COVID. And no, the kids are not alright.
  • People are turning to drugs and alcohol to cope.
  • Fatal drug overdoses have skyrocketed.
  • Deaths from non-coronavirus health issues have climbed since the start of the last lockdown as people don’t seek medical care for treatable illnesses. The lockdown could kill more than the virus.

‘Experts’ Have Given Us Every Reason Not to Trust Them

This is all to control the spread of a virus that science can’t yet predict. So-called experts told us “15 days to flatten the curve,” but many months later, they say we’re “in an elongated wave.” They still have no idea about immunity. Another study came out showing masks don’t actually reduce coronavirus infection rates. Dr. Anthony Fauci told us in the beginning not to wear masks:

Later, Fauci admitted he lied when he told people masks weren’t essential. Politicians and “experts” shouldn’t be surprised when their actions like these make reasonable people lose faith in their leadership and unwilling to follow their rules.

Many of us comforted ourselves through the dark, lonely spring and desolate summer with visions of family gatherings over the holidays. Now we’re told to skip those too or just have a “virtual Thanksgiving.” If you can’t do that, limit guests, make everyone wear masks, stay away from each other, and have everyone bring their own food — unless your name rhymes with Schmavin Twosome, that is:

California Medical Association officials were among the guests seated next to Gov. Gavin Newsom at a top California political operative’s opulent birthday dinner at the French Laundry restaurant this month.

CEO Dustin Corcoran and top CMA lobbyist Janus Norman both joined the dinner at the French Laundry, an elite Napa fine dining restaurant, to celebrate the 50th birthday of lobbyist and longtime Newsom adviser Jason Kinney, a representative of the powerful interest group confirmed Wednesday morning.

The rest of us would get fined for doing this.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker dodged a reporter’s question about his family’s Thanksgiving plans — they traveled to their second home in Florida — and it made the rounds on social media. Pritzker had to return to do damage control: “I was taken aback by yesterday’s question about my family’s holiday plans, in part because my wife and I were in the process of making the very hard decision that we may need to celebrate Thanksgiving apart from one another for the first time ever, and it was weighing heavily on my mind.”

He was “taken aback” that reporters, during a press conference about COVID-19 Thanksgiving plans, asked him if he was going to follow his own lockdown orders — especially knowing that Pritzker’s wife violated the last lockdown by fleeing to their multimillion-dollar equestrian estate in Florida?

We would be fined for this, but these Democratic governors are exempt from coronavirus and lockdown concerns, apparently. It’s not just governors, however. Don’t forget House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the shuttered salon.

Before her was Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her lockdown salon trip. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser locked down residents while she attended Biden rallies. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo refused to wear a mask and self-quarantine.

California lawmakers lived it up in Maui during lockdown on the excuse of a “conference” (We all have to Zoom, why can’t they?). New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went to the gym while you were locked down at home. The Daily Caller compiled a list of hypocritical lawmakers violating lockdown, and you can find an additional great thread here.

Americans Are Sick of the Double Standard

We have all sacrificed, some more than others, and we are tired of the double standard. We are sick of bureaucrats leading us around, treating us like children instead of the employers whose tax dollars form their paychecks.

Americans are weary of speculation presented as science. We are tired of being told that our businesses are nonessential, that worker lives are nonessential, and that our kids and their wellbeing are nonessential. We are sick of hearing that any deviation from the mandates passed down to us by politicians who refuse to follow the rules means sentencing our neighbors to death.

I rejected that outright:

wrote about this accusation in April, noting that the intent of our elitist overlords is murky. Who are they to decide which workers are essential? By the politicians’ own rhetoric, those “essential” workers are actually “expendable,” since they are most susceptible to the same virus the electeds use to scare the rest of us into our homes.

For those maligning business owners as murderous monsters because they simply want to pay their bills consider this — certain businesses were declared essential: Food delivery is essential but cancer treatment isn’t. So you’re fine with risking the lives of delivery drivers to avoid picking up your pizza yourself? Is it acceptable to risk the lives of restaurant staff because you don’t want to make your own food? Is it acceptable to risk the lives and health stability of cancer patients as well as the livelihood of medical staff being furloughed around the country to demonstrate a devotion to saving lives? If you want to discuss murkiness of intent, this is it. By declaring that some people are essential, haven’t you already decided that some lives are expendable?

This is an awful virus. Unlike a military battle, this is a foe that will never be vanquished. We can vaccinate against it and build up our immunities, but just as with chickenpox, polio, and other illnesses before this virus, there is no cure, only prevention and acclimation. Overreaction is a lesser enemy, and moderation is an ally. There is a difference between reasonable concern and “Chicken Little” hysteria.

The hysteria is exhausting. We are tired of being told that contracting the virus means instant death when it emphatically does not — it has a 99.98 percent survivability rate. We are tired of being told that because some can’t venture out, no one should. Nothing in life is perfectly safe, including freedom. But freedom is a lot safer than the statist systems so many leftists champion.

It’s Time to Declare Our Freedom

As a daughter who doesn’t have much of her family left, whose kids are growing up faster than she can even capture with her phone camera, I am not going to miss out on life. I am not going to let my parents age out of this world while lying to my own heart that it’s OK if I missed an entire year or more with them. I am not going to tell my children that it’s alright if they don’t see their family anymore because we have to hide in our homes.

More than anything else, I am sick of being told I don’t have the right of risk when risk is part of freedom. I will not be lectured by people who say that eating in a restaurant with health protocols is riskier than shutting down the largest economy in the world. I won’t be bullied by bureaucrats who say it’s risker to reopen schools than to force an entire generation into lockdown for nearly a year, stunting them in every way but loneliness. I will not be shamed by lawmakers who don’t follow their own rules. I won’t be preached at by pundits too purposefully obtuse to see nuance over their partisanship.

I am going to host my parents for Thanksgiving, and I hope to host my in-laws for Christmas. I will continue living as a free and responsible American with liberties for which my family has taken bullets and mine shards, until the day comes that our government wants to stage a modernized version of 1776 by trying to end that perfectly wonderful freedom.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “For those who fight for it, life has a flavor the sheltered will never know.” Freedom is beautiful and scary. It’s up to each of us to maintain it.

Dana Loesch is a nationally syndicated talk radio host of “The Dana Show” with Radio America and a best-selling author.

Herd Immunity To COVID Is Not Reckless. It Would Protect The Vulnerable


Herd Immunity To COVID Is Not Reckless. It Would Protect The Vulnerable

SELF Magazine / Flickr

Why is the press and officialdom suddenly shrieking about “herd immunity”? On Oct. 12, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said pursuing herd immunity is “unethical.” Within hours, most of the media broadcast the same message. It’s as though someone sent out a list of talking points.

“Sweden’s experiment with herd immunity is unethical and undemocratic,” Australia’s ABC intoned, “and reveals an underlying political pathology.” According to Fortune, herd immunity against SARS-CoV2 is a “myth.”

Time called Sweden’s coronavirus response a “disaster.” “From early on,” the magazine claimed, “the Swedish government seemed to treat it as a foregone conclusion that many people would die.” The Washington Post is claiming that herd immunity is now the White House’s “strategy,” supposedly on advice from White House advisor Scott Atlas.

“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus,” claimed the head of WHO, “not by exposing them to it.” According to him, “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic.”

This is misleading. First, herd immunity is all about exposure. A study of nearly 6,000 individuals out Oc. 13 finds that, outside one outlier, the COVID-positive patients sampled retained their immunity to the disease for at least five to seven months, the duration of the study. After enough people get and recover from an infection, the virus loses most of its routes for new infections. Indeed, the main purpose of the annual flu vaccine is to speed up herd immunity by reducing the number of susceptible people. Just as huddling inside in the winter helps spread flu, and thereby pneumonia, so herd immunity helps bring down death rates in the summer.

Second, herd immunity isn’t so much a strategy as a fact of life when dealing with infectious agents like the coronavirus. Even the Time article that lambasted Sweden admits that it’s not quite fair to say the Nordic country pursued a herd immunity “strategy.” Rather, it had an anti-lockdown policy. Still, any strategy that ignores herd immunity is foolish, since that is precisely how infection rates fall in pandemics.

So why the renewed furor over herd immunity? We suspect it’s really aimed at the thousands of scientists and medical practitioners who have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which invokes the term favorably.

For lockdown partisans in the press and Big Tech, the declaration is a clear and present danger. They’re working hard to suppress it. After all, it refutes the narrative that all scientists agree with the lockdowns. Its three principal authors hail from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford universities. They have as many scientific chops as any of the lockdown partisans.

So the media have done everything they can, first to ignore, and then to tar, feather, and misrepresent the scientists who organized this effort. The campaign against a supposed “herd immunity strategy,” or what some call the “let people die” approach, is really a proxy war against the declaration.

Other, pro-lockdown scientists have now responded to the Great Barrington Declaration with the “John Snow Memorandum,” published in The Lancet on Oct. 14. Predictably, Dr. Anthony Fauci, when asked about the declaration, called it “dangerous” and “nonsense.”

This looks like a smear campaign designed to prevent Americans, including the president, from hearing the scientific case against the lockdowns. That’s much easier to do if the public thinks the only alternative is letting people die. But the scientists behind the Great Barrington advocate nothing like that. They call for focused protection, a strategy that confers the greatest benefits with the fewest costs. These scientists argue that population-wide lockdowns are all pain and little gain. They also know that we’re going to reach herd immunity at some point whatever our approach. How much damage we cause in the meantime is the question.

Finally, they know that the elderly are about 1,000 times more at risk of death from COVID-19 than the young. Therefore, they argue, we should end the disastrous lockdowns, focus on protecting the most vulnerable, treat those who get sick with all the tools in our arsenal — including those President Trump received — and let immunity build up among those with very little risk.

This wasn’t the initial Swedish approach. That country failed to protect and sequester nursing homes, which were the source of most Swedish deaths.

The alternative is to keep pressing lockdowns, no matter the cost in lives and wellbeing, until a vaccine is available for all. That should be a non-starter. In our new book “The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe,” we show that the forced lockdowns had no discernable effect on the spread of the coronavirus. Worse, they will kill more people than the virus itself.

The Great Barrington Declaration has it right. And so does President Trump. But he has not yet clearly embraced the science and the many scientists who can provide the scientific heft behind this policy. That policy is focused protection. It is the most ethical and rational choice. The media campaign against “herd immunity” is a cynical effort to keep this approach from gaining traction.

Jay W. Richards, Douglas Axe, and William Briggs are the authors of “The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe.”

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