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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, April 03, 2020

When the Healers Become the Patients...

by Tony Perkins: Louisiana's been hit especially hard by the virus, but there's one kind of loss that pains everyone: a nurse. In New Orleans East Hospital, everyone's worst nightmare came true on Tuesday when Larrice Anderson became a victim of the infection she'd been fighting. The mom of two had been working in the ICU, caring for the sickest patients. But being on the front lines of the outbreak requires sacrifice -- and for Larrice, the ultimate one.

Every day, heroes like Larrice are putting their lives at risk. It's why hospital chiefs like Dr. Catherine O'Neal walk around with such terrible dread. "I'm very fearful for my health care workers. When I wake up in the morning, that is my biggest [concern]. Are we keeping them safe?" Because careless people, she points out, "are [still] putting our most vulnerable population -- our health care workers -- at risk."

Dr. O'Neal has seen her share of trauma over the last few days. Watching the state's infections jump 42 percent overnight has been hard, because she knows what it means for her staff at Baton Rouge's Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. "We've seen a steep acceleration in admissions through the weekend," she told me on "Washington Watch," and at this point, they don't have enough staff to keep adding beds. But, she adds, they're adding them anyway. "We are stretching our personnel, because we have more patients coming through the door... And now, we're starting to see that we don't have the personnel to take care of patients the way we would want to."

And it doesn't help that no one seems to be able to predict when the virus will peak. "We don't know," she admitted when I asked for her best guess. "And the reason why -- and [it's] very frustrating -- is that we continue to see an escalation in numbers. So we haven't seen the curve start to flatten out, and until we see that with reliability, I have to tell you, we're headed up. And those are scary numbers to talk about. By the end of the month, the projections don't look good. And I agree with the governor. We fully support the mandate to stay home until we start to see flattening of the curve. We still have to use social distancing as our defense."

Of course, the big debate now is whether people should wear masks when they go out in public. For Dr. O'Neal's part, the real question is whether people should go out in public at all. "We watch a lot of people wear masks in our business... [But] we see a lot of misuse of the masks. People move it around on their face. They touch it. They contaminate it. And I'm concerned that the universal masking discussion will overshadow how important it is for people to stay home, which is really the best defense -- social distancing. Masks may offer a layer of protection, but that layer means that people are near someone. And that's what we don't want right now."

If anyone should be helping amplify that advice, it's local pastors, and most are, but a few are not. One in particular has insisted on holding church services, because he thinks that if people can go to Walmart, then they should be allowed to go to church. But as far as Catherine is concerned, those are two entirely different things. "I'm a churchgoer," she said, "and I am a Walmart shopper. And I can tell you that I treat both very differently. Going to the store these days is a humble experience where I am very quick, and I even stand back from the person checking me out. I wash my hands before I go, and I wash them on the way out." We have to eat. But physically going to church right now, she warned, could be a death sentence. She brought up the choir in Washington State who met for practice in early March and used every possible precaution. And still, 45 of the 60 members tested positive. Two even died.

"So we know that singing and hugging and being near each other, which are things we do at church and we love, actually spread COVID rapidly, whereas going to the grocery store, you can still social distance... But right now, our ability to receive our religion online is amazing. And our pastors are doing a great job and our church is doing a great job. And I hope that we can continue to be responsible in those ways."

After all, lives -- like hers and so many others -- depend on it.
Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . Article on Tony Perkins' Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

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Medical Expert Sees 'Beginning of the End' in Coronavirus Fight with New Treatment Results

by Randy DeSoto: Dr. Stephen Smith, founder of the Smith Center for Infectious Diseases and Urban Health in East Orange, New Jersey, said the remarkable results he is seeing in his coronavirus patients using a combination of the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin marks the “beginning of the end” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Appearing on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday night, Smith said not a single patient he has been treating with the combination over a five-day period has had to be placed on a ventilator.

“The chance of that occurring by chance, according to my sons Leon and Hunter, who did some stats for me, are .000-something,” he said, adding that “it’s ridiculously low.”

The doctor told host Laura Ingraham he was currently treating 72 COVID-19 patients.

“It’s a game-changer. It’s an absolute game-changer,” he said, arguing his findings support what a French researcher’s study determined.

“I think this is the beginning of the end of the pandemic. I’m very serious,” said Smith, whose facility is in the New York metropolitan area, the U.S. hotspot for the coronavirus outbreak.
Similarly, Dr. Mehmet Oz told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Wednesday that the Chinese have conducted a “randomized trial” with hydroxychloroquine after noticing that none of the patients taking the drug for lupous and rheumatoid arthritis were contracting the coronavirus.

The study consisted of 62 COVID-19 patients in which researchers gave half of them hydroxychloroquine over a five-day period, Oz said.

“What they realized was pretty interesting,” he said.

“First off, the symptoms. The temperature, the fevers, instead of lasting three days, in a typical illness, it only lasted two days,” while coughing also went from three to two days for the people receiving the drug, Oz said.

All the people in the study had pneumonia, and over the course of the five days, 81 percent of the people taking hydroxychloroquine saw improvement in their lungs compared with 55 percent of those not given that medication.

Additionally, four people in the control group not receiving hydroxychloroquine died, while none of the patients in the experimental group taking the medication did.

Oz recommended that the United States do a search of the entire Medicare database and see if any of those being treated with hydroxychloroquine for other medical conditions had developed COVID-19.

He said New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he works as a surgeon, has launched a study among its staff to see if taking hydroxychloroquine has a prophylactic effect of keeping people from developing the illness.

Regarding the drug’s efficacy for treating COVID-19, Oz said, “We’ll only prove it with a larger trial, but this is tantalizing bait.”

On Sunday, the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat coronavirus patients.

President Donald Trump has said he sees the drug as a potential “game-changer” in the fight against COVID-19.
Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) writes for The Western Journal

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March Jobs Report: 701,000 Jobs Lost, Unemployment Jumps to 4.4%

A man hangs a sign in a Tourneau store closed
on March 17, 2020, in New York City.
by Mary Margaret Olohan: The U.S. economy lost 701,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, reflecting the “effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it.”

March’s unemployment rate rose significantly to 4.4% from February’s 3.5%. This is the largest over-the-month increase in the unemployment rate since January 1975.

March job numbers come amid reports of massive unemployment numbers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Economists predicted to The Daily Caller News Foundation that March’s losses would not be reflected in the BLS report due to “the method and timing of the data collection.”

“Almost all of the announcements of states closing nonessential businesses came after the BLS survey was conducted for March, so while the number won’t be good, it won’t nearly reflect how much the bottom fell out of the job market over the last several weeks,” Hamilton Place Strategies partner Matt McDonald told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday. “Next month’s data will be much worse, and the eventual revisions to March will also be bad.”

President and CEO of the Job Creators Network Alfredo Ortiz noted that the Friday morning jobs report shows that “701,000 Americans lost their jobs.”

“As President Trump said, we should expect to experience a ‘painful’ next two weeks and perhaps longer,” Ortiz said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation. But Ortiz promises there is “light at the end of the tunnel.”

“Starting today small businesses can begin applying for the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which will give them much-needed cash to keep payroll flowing, while covering rent, utilities, and other overhead,” Ortiz said. “The Trump administration is laser-focused on making the program work, and JCN is doing its part by mobilizing job creators to participate. The administration has an all-hands-on-deck mentality, and so do we.”

“We are a resilient country and we will get through this and emerge stronger than ever,” Ortiz added.

Before the March jobs report, job growth had held strong since February 2019, when just 33,000 jobs were added.

The unemployment rate had held steady at between 3.7% and 4% for more than a year, before the April 2019 jobs report showed it drop to 3.6%. Prior to April’s report, the consistent unemployment rate suggested that workers were jumping back into the workforce to fill open jobs, rather than the workers who are collecting unemployment welfare.
Mary Margaret Olohan  writes for The Daily Caller News Foundation and shared this article on The Daily Signal.

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America First, He Said What?, Another Mistake, What's Essential

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: America First
Yesterday, President Trump fired a warning at 3M, an iconic American company, once known as Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining. His anger is the result of multiple states reporting that they were unable to buy much-needed face masks for healthcare workers and law enforcement officers from 3M distributors.

Why? Because they were being outbid by foreign countries. Trump said if 3M is not taking care of American workers first, they "will have a big price to pay." I agree -- they should pay a big price.

Having said that, the hypocrisy here is voluminous. Many of the media outlets and politicians most upset by the allegations that 3M is not putting America first were furious when Donald Trump ran for president on a platform of "America First." They called him a "fascist" and a "Nazi."

For decades, the left has taken the side of those in the culture war who mock patriotism and idolize athletes who refuse to stand for the national anthem. Now they're shocked that a corporate executive might internalize that message and think, "America's not special, so why should I put it first?"

There's another irony. As of 2017, 3M had about 80 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and 125 facilities in 37 countries around the world. I doubt very much that the president of this iconic American company thinks of himself as the president of an American company.

Long before 3M was sending our masks to foreign countries, they were sending our jobs to foreign countries, and that was a life and death decision too. As communities in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Arkansas saw their jobs shipped overseas, many families were wrecked and many workers died from "diseases of despair."

It's too bad that during those years the nightly news broadcasts weren't telling us the numbers of victims who died due to globalism every day. It might have given us a greater sense of urgency about what was happening to Middle America.

There was someone complaining about it -- a New York builder who many elites mocked as a buffoon. His name was Donald Trump.

He Said What?!
Wednesday, Joe Biden tweeted, "It is a national disgrace that our health care workers still don't have the protective equipment they need."

This coming from the guy who was vice president during the H1N1 and Ebola outbreaks. He and Obama might want to rethink their decision to not resupply our national stockpile of protective gear.

But wait. . . There's more! "Sleepy Joe" was furious when Trump imposed a travel ban on China. Now he evidently has enough time on his hands to worry about Iran.

Yesterday, after we just found out that Iran is plotting attacks against U.S. forces, Biden called for lifting sanctions against the Iranian regime. That just shows how quickly the left would rush to appease the tyrants of Iran and rejoin Obama's disastrous nuclear deal.

By the way, Trump reimposed sanctions because Iran was not complying with the terms of the Obama/Biden nuclear deal.

The ayatollah got really bad advice from former Secretary of State Kerry, who urged Iran's leaders to "wait out" the Trump presidency. So while one member of the past administration is pressuring Iran not to cooperate, another is urging us to reward Iran.

You can't make this up!

Another Mistake?
Is the CDC making another mistake? When the coronavirus hit the U.S., the CDC was in charge of testing, which was a huge mess that resulted in lost time. In recent weeks, the CDC has been making projections about hospitalizations and deaths that so far appear to be way off.

For example, modeling by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicted that more than 120,000 Americans would be hospitalized with Covid-19 by Wednesday. The actual number was just over 31,000.

As you may know, the U.S. Navy hospital ship Comfort docked in New York City on Monday. The president deployed the Comfort because New York leaders were begging for more help and the CDC was predicting horrible hospitalization figures. Curiously, very few patients (perhaps just 20) are currently on board the vessel, which has 1,000 beds.

In related news, Richard Preston, author of "Hot Zone," was on CNBC this morning. He suggested that Covid-19 was spreading so rapidly in New York City because of how densely populated it is. That certainly makes sense.

But it would not make sense to base models for the rest of the country on New York City's experience because very few communities in the rest of country are so densely packed.

The president has been slammed by the left-wing media and politicians for not depending on the experts, i.e. the CDC. This is what they are supposed to know. It appears they have messed up again.

All of this will set off more debate about how much longer we must harm the American economy to save lives when hurting the economy will result in its own death toll.

What's Essential
Earlier this week, I thanked people who we depend on to see us through this crisis – medical workers, farmers, truck drivers, law enforcement. I neglected to mention some people in another noble category.

While Planned Parenthood wants to stay open in order to take more innocent lives, many pregnancy resource centers are staying open to save lives. I should have recognized those selfless workers and volunteers who are there every day for the women who choose life.

And as one pregnancy resource center director recently said, "Abortion is far more deadly than the coronavirus." Sadly, she's right as 2,300 unborn children are Murdered through abortion Every Day.

So kudos to the dedicated staff at America's pregnancy resource centers! They are providing a truly essential service to thousands of women and saving lives at the same time.
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Pelosi Retreats Again After Senate Republicans Put Brakes On Liberal Wish List

After Republican Senators Emphasized That The Government Must First Make Sure The CARES Act Is Working And That Future Measures Must ‘Not Serve As A Grab Bag For [The Speaker’s] Liberal Wish List,’ Speaker Pelosi Changed Her Tone On New Coronavirus Response Legislation

‘Democrats Pivot’: ‘Speaker Nancy Pelosi Shifted Her Tone On Friday, Calling For A Much More Focused “Phase 4” Relief Package’

“There has been a noticeable shift in rhetoric in the last day or so. Democrats -- including Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- are now talking about phase four being much like phase three. In other words, more emergency measures are needed before consideration of infrastructure and other legislative initiatives. (This is what Republicans like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have pushed in recent days.) … This shift was evident during Pelosi’s appearance on CNBC with Jim Cramer and in a subsequent gaggle in the Capitol.” (“Democrats Pivot,” Politico’s Playbook PM, 4/03/2020)

“Speaker Nancy Pelosi shifted her tone on Friday, calling for a much more focused ‘Phase 4’ relief package to address immediate needs related to the coronavirus pandemic, a departure from the sprawling legislation she and other top Democrats were pushing earlier this week. Both in a television appearance and talking with reporters Friday, Pelosi said it's clear the next tranche of relief funds should be an expansion of the massive $2 trillion package the president signed into law last week — more money to aid states, cities and small businesses, expand unemployment benefits and another round of direct cash payments for Americans. ‘Let’s do the same bill we just did, make some changes to make it current,’ Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol Friday.” (“Pelosi Pivots On ‘Phase 4’ Coronavirus Relief Push,” Politico, 4/03/2020)

“That’s a noteworthy pivot for the California Democrat, who earlier has pressed goals such as a large public works measure and restoring a deduction for state and local tax payments.” (“In Pivot, Pelosi Sees Next Relief Bill With Bipartisan Goals,” The Associated Press, 4/03/2020)
“Earlier this week, Pelosi and top House Democrats were making a very different pitch — saying now was the time to think big and take a broad brush approach to addressing the economic downturn, pushing ideas like a massive infrastructure package to help jumpstart the economy.” (“Pelosi Pivots On ‘Phase 4’ Coronavirus Relief Push,” Politico, 4/03/2020)
  • “Pelosi’s pitch was met with staunch opposition from other senior Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). And privately, some Democrats have expressed concerns that such a broad plan risked alienating voters, especially if Republicans were able to convincingly claim Democrats were more focused on liberal priorities than addressing immediate coronavirus-related needs.” (“Pelosi Pivots On ‘Phase 4’ Coronavirus Relief Push,” Politico, 4/03/2020)

Leader McConnell: ‘Remember, [The CARES Act] Was Only Signed Into Law Last [Week] … First, We Need To See What The Effect Of The Current Bill Is’

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Remember, this bill was only signed into law last [week]…. And the Speaker is already talking about another bill … I think first, we need to see what the effect of the current bill is. The Treasury, of course, is wrestling with all this complicated effort to speed checks to individuals and small businesses to get us through this period until the health care pandemic begins to subside. So I think we need to wait a few days here, a few weeks, and see how things are working out.” (The Hugh Hewitt Show, 3/31/2020)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): “I think there’s going to be a fourth package at some point in the future, a recovery package, but I think we have to get through this first. Obviously there’s always the prospect that this goes longer than any of us anticipated and we would go in and replenish, for example, the assistance of small business that’s in the bill. As far as the things that you just mentioned to me that Speaker Pelosi’s talking about, I mean, we need to -- we need to get through this first before we talk about all these new, legislative agendas and then -- and then sort of take stock to see, you know, what is it that our country needs to get stronger at, where it needs to recover. … But right now we’re at a different bridge. The bridge we’re at right now is bringing this infection under control, winning this battle and getting society open and everyone back to work. That’s the battle we’re focused on right now.” (Fox Business Network, 3/31/2020)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R-SC): “My theory is simple. We just put $2.2 trillion into the market…. It would be really important for me to see how the … $2 trillion is impacting the market, impacting the average person in our country. How does it impact the person working every day of the week trying to make their paychecks meet? Those questions should be answered before we dive into phase four blindly.” (Fox News’ “Your World w/ Neil Cavuto,” 4/02/2020)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): “We just passed a $2 trillion emergency relief bill that is unprecedented in its size and scope. It's designed to help millions of Americans make it through this extraordinary -- the economic challenge that is caused by this global pandemic we're facing. I think we need to see what happens in terms of fighting the coronavirus in the next several weeks.” (Fox Business Network, 4/01/2020)

SEN. JOHN KENNEDY (R-LA): “I think we need to slow down here and be mindful of what we're doing and let's see if what we just did works. I think it will if we can get the money out to people.” (Fox News, 4/01/2020)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): “So the idea of creating phase four before you understand if phase three works doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m hoping that what we’re doing now in April and May will slow the disease down…. But before I want to talk about phase four, I want to make sure phase three works.” (Fox News, 3/31/2020)

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R-PA): “Before we jump into another massive bill, let’s take a deep breath.” (“Republicans Reject Pelosi’s Rapid Push For Next Rescue Package,” Politico, 4/01/2020)

Senate Republicans: ‘If It’s Necessary To Help Support Our Families And Our Businesses, We’ll Be Back In Session To Pass Another Bill, But Not To Pass Nancy Pelosi’s Wish List,’ We Shouldn’t Look At This As An Opportunity To Pass Our Political Outbox Or Ideological Agenda’

SEN. McCONNELL: “[The Speaker] needs to stand down on the notion that we’re going to go along with taking advantage of the crisis to do things that are unrelated to the crisis.” (“Pelosi Should ‘Stand Down’ On Passing Another Rescue Bill In House, McConnell Says,” The Washington Post, 4/01/2020)

SEN. TOOMEY: “[The Senate] should not allow Speaker Pelosi to use this as the opportunity to advance her partisan, parochial, liberal wish list.” (“Republicans Reject Pelosi’s Rapid Push For Next Rescue Package,” Politico, 4/01/2020)

SEN. SCOTT: “After wasting four days trying to pass the Green New Deal as part of the last coronavirus relief package, now Speaker Pelosi wants to hand out billions of dollars to millionaires… This is offensive to the American people, counterproductive to helping those most in need, and would never pass the Senate. Pandemic relief is supposed to help the American people, Speaker Pelosi, not serve as a grab bag for your liberal wish list.” (Sen. Tim Scott, Press Release, 3/31/2020)
  • SEN. SCOTT: “There’s no doubt that what Speaker Pelosi wants to do is make this a Christmas tree with lots and lots of ornaments. Think about her first attempt in the phase three, it included the Green New Deal, diversity quotas for corporate boards. She was looking to make sure that there was a carbon neutral footprint and airlines by 2025 as opposed to focusing on temporary targeted relief for the American people who’ve been devastated by the coronavirus. They were looking for their policy wish list. That is a bad start. The conversation cannot start with the political agenda of the left and has to focus specifically on how we take care of the American people during the COVID-19, and then what will steps will be necessary to recover. … That does not -- does not require us to have a conversation about the partisan politics of the left and what they want to sneak into the bill …” (Fox News, 3/31/2020)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R-TX): “I think we shouldn’t look at this as an opportunity to pass our political outbox or ideological agenda. We ought to be all about solving the problem, and that is the public health problem and economic consequences associated with it. That ought to be our full focus.” (Sen. Cornyn, Press Release, 3/31/2020)

SEN. GRAHAM: “[I]f anybody puts a damn dime in phase four unrelated to the virus, they’re going to be very famous because … people are dying in this country. It’s not now time to do the Green New Deal. If there’s any Green New Deal stuff in phase four, if there is a phase four, there would be one hell of a fight because 2.2 million Americans’ lives are at risk here.” (Fox News, 3/31/2020)

SEN. RICK SCOTT (R-FL): “On phase 4, if there’s ways to help workers and small businesses, I want to hear it but I’m not interested in Nancy Pelosi’s pet projects, like the Green New Deal or cutting taxes for New York millionaires and billionaires. That’s not we’re going to do. We should be focused how do we stop the spread of this virus.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 3/31/2020)

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-AR): “Nancy Pelosi is a little grumpy because we refused to give in to her liberal wish list last week. She’s already about new legislation before the relief that we passed last week is even in the hands of American citizens because she failed to get that wish list. She’s not going to get at the next time either. If it’s necessary to help support our families and our businesses, we’ll be back in session to pass another bill, but not to pass Nancy Pelosi’s wish list.” (Fox News, 3/29/2020)

FOX NEWS’ BRIAN KILMEADE: “Absolutely. And they’re already talking about a fourth stimulus -- a fourth rescue plan. … Are you ready to write another big check?”

SEN. KENNEDY: “Well, number one, I’m not interested in any more of Speaker Pelosi’s spending porn, or any other member of Congress, for that matter. Number two, we just spent, with the leverage, $4 trillion. We ought to see if it works. Number three, with the leverage, we just spent $4 trillion. That’s not Louisiana ditch water we’re spending, that’s taxpayer money. That’s 4,000 billion dollars. We have to pay it back. We borrowed it.” (Fox News, 4/01/2020)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): “I mean, I think, first of all, what [Pelosi] wanted to do was to add a lot to this legislation that was just passed, the CARES legislation, that had nothing to do with the coronavirus, per se. It was part of a wish list, as you know, and in part things that related to stimulus that you would want to do once the health crisis is behind us, because, right now, as long as you have the crisis in effect, you’re going to have the economic fallout that we have seen. But when you see the crisis, the health crisis be addressed, when we begin to see some better numbers, when we begin to see fewer, not more cases day to day, that’s the time to start looking at, well, how do we now stimulate the economy?” (Fox News, 3/31/2020)

SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA) SPOKESPERSON: “This is a nonstarter. Millionaires don’t need a new tax break as the federal government spends trillions of dollars to fight a pandemic.” (“Grassley Rips Pelosi Bid To Roll Back Deduction Cap: ‘Millionaires Don’t Need A New Tax Break,” Fox News, 3/31/2020)

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Americans’ Goodness Outweighs Pockets of Anti-Christian Bigotry

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: Though some deny it, many harbor a strong hostility toward Christians in our society, especially those who obediently wear their faith on their sleeves.

You know what they find worse than an outspoken evangelical Christian? An outspoken evangelical Christian who’s also an outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump. Talk about a perfect storm of contemptibility!

Mike Lindell, owner of MyPillow, and the Rev. Franklin Graham fall squarely into this category. Both are Christians. Both support Donald Trump. Both speak out about both.

The critics’ refusal to withhold their criticism during the dreadful coronavirus crisis shows the intensity of their antipathy.

Lindell was among the CEOs Trump invited to speak at his daily coronavirus press briefing on March 30. Lindell announced he would convert 75% of his manufacturing operation to produce cotton facemasks, aiming to make up to 50,000 a day by Friday.

Like so many of his fellow business leaders who are recalibrating their companies to assist the nation in crisis, Lindell praised Trump for his leadership, but he went a step further. “God gave us grace on Nov. 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” said Lindell. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God. And I encourage you: Use this time at home to get … back in the Word, read our Bibles and spend time with our families.”

The mainstream media could not let this stand. “Trump just called the ‘My Pillow’ guy up to the podium in the Rose Garden. You cannot make this stuff up,” said MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi.

“The ‘My Pillow Guy’ was at the Corona Virus briefing today?” tweeted Miami Herald reporter Julie K. Brown. “Boy oh boy, do we need SNL this Saturday. If this had been a SNL skit we would have thought it was fake, right? You can’t make this s— up. Who is going to play the ‘my pillow guy’?”

“Look, it’s hard to fill up 90 minutes worth of material every single day, so you need to get some sponsored materials/infomercials,” said New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait.

“Trump now has the guy from My Pillow doing a campaign commercial for Trump’s 2020 campaign in the middle of a press conference about a deadly virus,” said Daily Beast and CNN opinion columnist Dean Obeidallah. “How can any real news network air this BS?! #StopAiringTrump.”

These mockers didn’t go after any of the other business leaders on the stage that day. I understand that some find it distasteful to say God directed Trump’s election, but should that blind them to the service Lindell is performing? Does Lindell’s vocal Christianity so thoroughly repulse them that they would reject his contribution if they could? It seems so, based on their reaction. That’s how you know it’s hatred — that they would forgo his life-saving works because of his beliefs

The critics were even more disturbed by Franklin Graham, whose charitable relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse, set up a temporary hospital in New York City’s Central Park for coronavirus victims.

“Franklin Graham has a long history of spewing anti-LGBTQ hate speech, and I find it extremely troubling that he and his organization are involved in our relief efforts in any way,” New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson tweeted.

“It’s a shame that the federal government has left New York with no other choice but to accept charity from bigots,” tweeted New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who also called Graham a “notorious anti-LGBTQ pastor” on his official Senate page.

It’s alarming that some are so enslaved by their prejudices that they would condemn or even refuse critical humanitarian aid. It’s hard to wrap your mind around that.

But I will say that this crisis is also bringing out a spirit of grace in others, who strongly denounced the bigotry coming from those protesting Graham’s alleged bigotry. The Blaze quoted many who were critical of these graceless New York officials. “Now we can all really see where the actual hate comes from,” said one. Another said: “As a gay New Yorker, I’d like to sit down with them over a cup of coffee and thank them for putting themselves in harm’s way. That’s how change of heart happens. They are risking their lives. We should be grateful.”

Franklin Graham’s response hit the right balance. “We do not make distinctions about an individual’s religion, race, sexual orientation, or economic status. We certainly do not discriminate, and we have a decades-long track record that confirms just that,” said Graham. “This is a time for all of us to unite and work together, regardless of our political views. Let’s support one another during this crisis, and we pray that God will bless the efforts of all those battling this vicious virus.”

Amen, Pastor Graham. Amen.

Let’s be aware of the regrettable negativity during these trying times, but let’s focus on — and rejoice in — the goodness dwarfing it. Americans are a gracious people.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at

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Contrast Between China and Its Neighbors Shows Communist Regime's True Character

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: There's no greater contrast between how countries have treated COVID-19 than that between nations on both sides of what might be called the Asian Iron Curtain. It's a contrast that tells us much about how to handle the virus -- and how events now in the distant past can determine the fates of hundreds of millions of people today.

On one side is the People's Republic of China, where COVID-19 apparently transferred from animal to human hosts. The government has deliberately lied about human-to-human transmission, persecuted to the point of death doctors who warned of its dangers and is still almost certainly lying about its continuing prevalence.

On the other side of this Iron Curtain -- actually, this virtual barrier penetrated, until the virus appeared, by dozens of airline flights every day -- are places that seem to have responded most successfully to the pandemic: Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Each is largely ethnically or culturally Chinese. Each had authoritarian government, and each has (or clearly wants) rule-of-law democracy.

It's a divide as sharp as the one former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used to show visitors in a photo of the Korean peninsula at night, with South Korea lit up brightly and North Korea almost entirely pitch-black: a one-picture lesson in the difference between capitalism and communism.

Taiwan intensively screened passengers flying in from China, produced and distributed record numbers of facial masks, and strictly enforced quarantines. South Korea had an intensive testing and contact-tracing program. Hong Kong reduced land border crossings to and from mainland China from an average of 300,000 daily to 750 and had strict quarantines. Singapore had mandatory quarantines for arriving airline passengers and stringent contact tracing.

All four have had relatively low numbers of deaths and seem to be on track to stop the spread of the virus. And all have done so with a transparency that's a vivid contrast to the concealment and lies that are standard practice in the People's Republic of China.

Just as in Rumsfeld's photo, it's clear that regime character makes an enormous difference. Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong have shown how people raised in Chinese or Chinese-influenced cultures of social cohesion and observation of rules can behave in a situation of unanticipated stress.

It's hard to avoid reflecting how much better off East Asia and the world would be if the billion-plus people of mainland China were to live in such a regime. But that was foreclosed when the Red Army led by Mao Zedong declared victory in the Chinese civil war and took power 71 years ago, in September 1949.

Regret over that unhappy event has been largely verboten in American political discourse since the discrediting of the "Who lost China?" campaigns of former Sen. Joe McCarthy and others in the early 1950s. Some even charged that President Harry Truman and Gen. George Marshall, in opposing military aid to Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist army, were pro-communist.

The American diplomats known as "China hands," who regarded Mao as a domestic reformer, were called traitors and their careers destroyed. They were wrong about Mao but sincere in their beliefs. And Truman and Marshall were surely correct that the American people, after having just lost 450,000 soldiers, would not support involvement in an Asian civil war.

Two decades later, President Richard Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pioneered a new policy of strategic engagement with China, and later presidents welcomed increasing trade with China including normal trade relations in 2000. The hope, expressed succinctly by Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick in 2005, was that China would "become a responsible stakeholder" in the international system and more democratic, or observant of human rights, at home.

Those hopes have been dashed. The low-priced China manufactures that Americans have been buying seem to have carried too high a cost. President Xi Jinping's China has become more hostile to human rights at home and more menacing abroad.

Despite attempts at cover-up, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought both these aspects of the communist regime in full view. The contrast with the behavior of Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore could not be stronger.

Of course no one can change what happened in 1949, and the Chinese Communist Party, unlike Russia's, seems entrenched in power after three score and 11 years. But we can at least regret Mao's victory and hope that China's East Asia neighbors, not China, are the wave of the future.
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

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When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

by Patrick Buchanan: If March shocked this nation as severely as 9/11, what is coming may be even more sobering.

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully,” said Samuel Johnson.

And as it is with men, so it is with nations.

Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, projected some 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, “if we do things almost perfectly.” She agreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimate that, if we do “nothing,” the American dead could reach 2.2 million.

That 2 million figure would be twice as many dead as have perished in all our wars from the American Revolution to the Civil War, World War I and II, and Korea and Vietnam.

This does indeed concentrate the mind wonderfully.

Now add to this slaughter of our countrymen a market plunge steeper than the 1929 Crash and a 1930s-style Depression. Wall Street analysts are talking of a wipeout of 30% of our GDP and unemployment reaching 35%.

What a difference a month can make.

On March 3, Super Tuesday, we were caught up in the 14 primary contests after Joe Biden’s stunning victory in South Carolina, which broke the momentum of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

What March 2020 produced and what it appears to portend is a sea change in U.S. history, an inflection point, an event after which things never return to what they were.

The coronavirus crisis seems to be one of those epochal events that alter the character of the country and the course of the republic.

Consider what has happened in three weeks.

The Republican Party, the party of small government and balanced budgets, approved with but a single dissent a $2 trillion emergency bill. There is talk now of a second $2 trillion bill, this one for infrastructure.

In a single month then, a Republican Senate and president grew the federal budget by 50% and are looking to double that.

For years, Democrats raised alarms about Trump’s poaching of the powers of the other branches. Now Democrats are demanding to know why Trump has not shut down the economy by presidential decree and not used his latent dictatorial powers to order U.S. companies to produce what the nation’s hospitals demand.

Democrats who long accused Trump of xenophobia and racism for seeking to close the borders to migrants entering the country illegally are now silent as Trump closes America to the world.

First Amendment free press champions are calling for Trump’s White House briefings not to be carried on TV because the president is spouting propaganda and lies. The problem: The people are watching and approving of what the media think the people ought not see.

If people in a crisis will jettison lifelong beliefs like this readily, how enduring will their professed belief in democracy itself prove?

The president thinks this will be a V-shaped recession, that once the economy hits bottom and turns up, it will soar, as in 1946 when pent-up demand from World War II was unleashed and America began to churn out cars and consumer good as rapidly as it had weapons of war.

Perhaps. But put me down as a skeptic. You can’t go home again. The shattering events of March, followed by what is coming in April and May, will have lasting impacts on the hearts and minds of this generation.

That once-insatiable appetite for Chinese-made goods at the mall — will it really return? Will Americans, after having “socially distanced” for months from family and friends, be reassured of their safety and pack into restaurants in July?

Observing the carrier Theodore Roosevelt in Guam offloading scores of sailors infected with coronavirus, will Americans be up for a clash with a China that is even today asserting its claims to the South China Sea?

Will Americans who survive this crisis care whether Iranian-backed Shiites dominate Iraq or Saudi-backed Sunni prevail in Yemen?

If March shocked this nation as severely as 9/11, what is coming may be even more sobering.

Are millions of unemployed workers without the cash to pay for or to find medicine and groceries likely to stay indoors for weeks or months?

All those criminals being given early release from virus-infested jails and prisons without the means to provide for themselves and their families, how will they react to weeks of mandatory sheltering in place?

Will MS-13 and its thousands of members, and its rival gangs that live off narcotics sales, comply?

Americans have done well in staying home in March. Will they do so through April, May and perhaps June? Or will the system gradually break down just as the second wave of the virus in the fall appears?

In times of crisis in America, there is a tradition of self-sacrifice.

But there have also almost always been not a few whose mindset is that of the Fort Lauderdale spring-breakers.
Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

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Coronavirus Lessons For Coalition Talks

by Caroline Glick: We are living through a grave crisis. And crises have a knack for clarifying fundamental truths. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed several of them.

First, our ability to control our world is limited. An unknown number of months ago, through unclear means, the coronavirus broke out in China and landed in the rest of the world shortly thereafter.

Over the past month, everything that makes up our lives and our world came to a grinding halt. Schools closed. Workplaces shut down. Israel’s previously stable and promising economic outlook has disappeared. No one can tell us when or if our lives will ever go back to normal and what our economy will look like when this is over.
The second truth the pandemic has shown us is that no matter how bad things are in Israel, the plight of our neighbors is immeasurably worse.

Consider Egypt. The Egyptian economy has been teetering on the brink of collapse for a decade. The Egyptian health system failed long before the coronavirus was a gleam in a bat’s eye. Government hospitals lack both basic equipment and a sufficient number of physicians.

The Egyptian government is trying to enact social distancing. Mosques and churches have been shuttered. But it appears that Cairo’s overarching strategy for handling the pandemic is to punish anyone who discusses the dimensions of the outbreak in Egypt.

A week and a half ago, authorities in Cairo stripped the press credentials from a Guardian reporter who published the findings of a study of Egypt’s coronavirus status that had been reported by the Lancet medical journal. The Lancet report claimed that the number of people in Egypt with the coronavirus is far higher than the official data.

At the start of this week, the Egyptian government claimed that Egypt had 286 coronavirus patients and that eight people had died in Egypt from the virus. The Lancet report alleged that more than 19,000 people in Egypt have coronavirus.

Then there is Lebanon. The coronavirus pandemic arrived in Lebanon just as the Hezbollah-controlled government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab defaulted on $1.2 billion in foreign loan payments. In the months that preceded the virus, thousands of protesters had flooded Lebanon’s streets demanding massive constitutional changes.

The pandemic got them off the street. But it also hammered the final nail into the coffin of Lebanese nationalism. The Hezbollah-controlled Health Ministry, and Hezbollah itself, are focusing their resources on treating Shiites. Meanwhile, the Druze, Christian and Sunni militia, as well as political parties, are catering to their constituencies.

Jordan entered the pandemic after having barely survived a profound economic crisis that brought hundreds of thousands of Jordanians into the streets demanding government reform and destabilizing the government. Jordanians from all ethnicities have lost faith in the Hashemite Kingdom which owes its survival to Israeli and US support.

Iraq and Syria are both failed states, engaged in varying levels of civil war. They are run by combinations of warlords, Iranian proxies and Iran. They have no means of contending with normal life, let along with a pandemic.

Then there is Iran. The greatest state sponsor of terrorism and the author of much of the instability and suffering afflicting the region is also the greatest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Like Egypt and Lebanon, the crisis befell Iran in the midst of an economic meltdown.

Iran’s economic difficulties aren’t the only reason it cannot contend with the coronavirus. The regime has exhibited total incompetence in managing the outbreak. Although the virus has raged through the country for more than a month, the regime still won’t shut down shrines in Qom, the epicenter of the outbreak.

According to Iran’s official midweek data, 47,593 Iranians have been infected, and 3,036 have died from coronavirus. Unofficial findings placed the number of infected at anywhere between 70,000 and 2,000,000, and 15,000 dead.

It is hard to know how Iran and the other states in the region will look when this pandemic has passed. But it is safe to assume that they will be less stable than they were when it first hit.

This returns us to Israel which entered the crisis with a strong economy and an advanced, well-funded and functioning health system.

The coronavirus and the chaos engulfing our neighbors tell us two things. First, we need to preserve and strengthen the bonds that hold us together as a nation. Social solidarity is the vital foundation of all national efforts in times of crisis.

The second lesson is that in a world and region plagued with uncertainty and instability, we must do everything we can in the spheres that we do control to minimize uncertainty and maximize stability.

A week ago, Israel almost lost it all. Last week Israel was on verge of internal unrest and chaos the likes of which we hadn’t seen since the 2005 expulsion of ten thousand Israelis from their homes and communities in Gaza and northern Samaria. Indeed, the social cleavages that emerged since last month’s election foretold an even greater disaster than the crisis we experienced back then.

The fact that three former Israel Defense Forces chiefs of general staff were willing to work in concert with the Joint Arab List placed a question mark over the future of our society and state.

The Joint Arab List is an alliance of parties that rejects Israel’s right to exist. Its members work openly in the Knesset, in the courts and in the international arena to delegitimize the Jewish people’s right to self-determination and to undermine Israel’s ability to defend itself from external attack and internal subversion. Blue and White’s willingness to work with the alliance called into question the Israeli Center-Left’s commitment to the continued existence of the Jewish state.

The public outcry their actions provoked compelled Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz and his fellow former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi reverse course and seek a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-wing bloc.

By abandoning their coalition with the Joint Arab List, Gantz and Ashkenazi prevented large-scale civil unrest which would have been devastating at any time. In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, it would have been disastrous.

But while they recognized the need for social and national solidarity, it is far from clear that Gantz and his colleagues understand the need at this time to introduce certainty and stability into our strategic reality.

With our neighbors all teetering on the edge of the abyss, Israel needs to take bold action to make clear what its red lines are to restore some order to our neighborhood. The first means of drawing these essential lines is by fortifying borders and making clear we will defend them.

Israel’s borders with Egypt and Lebanon, and (thanks to US recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights), with Syria are clear to all sides. Our neighbors know where the line is located, and they know not to cross it.

This is not the situation on Israel’s eastern border. It is not the situation in Judea and Samaria. There, for 53 years, Israel has failed to set out lines or make clear its intentions.

To protect itself from chaos to its east Israel must apply its laws to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea region and follow up the move with mass expansion of its communities and transportation and road infrastructures linking the eastern frontier to the rest of the country.

Gantz and his colleagues claim that to preserve its peace with Jordan, Israel must first receive Jordan’s approval before applying its law to the border. But their concerns are misplaced. Providing Jordan with a veto over Israel’s right to determine its border will empower the most extreme actors in Jordanian society at the expense of the regime’s stability. In contrast, unilateral action on Israel’s part will stabilize its relations with Jordan by dispelling uncertainty about Israel’s intentions.

The same logic holds in relation to the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria.

This week, Health Ministry officials briefed reporters that Israel must “annex Judea and Samaria from a public health perspective.” They meant that from a medical perspective there is no difference between the population of sovereign Israel and the population of Judea and Samaria. What happens in one happens in the other because the populations are intertwined.

PA health officials clearly agree. They are following Israel’s lead and seek its guidance in all their efforts to slow and the spread of the virus and care for its victims.

The PA’s willingness to work so closely with Israel owes to their faith in their Israeli counterparts. If the Health Ministry was conveying a sense of confusion and uncertainty about its actions in relation to the pandemic, the Palestinians would reject its authority. This, in turn, would raise the level of uncertainty among Israelis and Palestinians alike and fuel hysteria and chaos.

A parallel dynamic prevails in relation to Israel’s security control over Judea and Samaria and its commitment to its cities, towns and villages in Judea and Samaria. The more certainty Israel signals about its long-term intentions in relation to its security control over the areas and its attachment to its communities in Judea and Samaria, the more willing the Palestinians will be to live and let live. The peaks in Palestinian violence and rejection of Israel and its permanent presence and control over Judea and Samaria have come when Israel has expressed the greatest confusion about its intentions and plans in relation to these areas. A clear Israeli position on Judea and Samaria will work like its clear borders with Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan to engender stability. Everyone knows Israel’s red lines and understands the price of crossing them.

Gantz and his colleagues reportedly oppose applying Israeli sovereignty to these areas and their opposition is a major stumbling block in coalition talks. Perhaps their opposition stems from their attachment to the Left’s hidebound and false belief that the only way to secure peace is through appeasement. If so, they need to reconsider their views.

The coronavirus, and the failure of the societies and regimes around us, point to the fact we live in an age of uncertainty. In these times, Blue and White’s desire to grant a veto over Israel’s borders to neighbors who are dependent on Israel for their wellbeing on the one hand and falling apart before our eyes on the other does not advance the cause of peace. It removes all possibility of peaceful coexistence. It raises the prospect of war by increasing uncertainty and instability unnecessarily. Israeli sovereignty and strength are the greatest stabilizing forces in the region today. Applying Israeli sovereignty to these areas now is the best way to promote peace and expand stability in our chaotic region.
Caroline Glick writes for numerous publications including Israel Hayom. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit

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Hero Worship . . .

. . . A well deserved special tribute to those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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When $100 Trillion Ain’t Worth Two Bucks

by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Well, first of all, to put things into perspective, the whole world’s GDP last year was, per the World Bank, around $88 trillion. So $100 trillion, if US dollars, would be more than the whole world’s annual income.

The 2008 Zimbabwean dollar? Not so much.

I have — on my refrigerator — a Zimbabwean $100 trillion note. It was worth, in its day, about 40 cents US.

Per The Great American Coin Company:Throughout the late 90’s and the 2000’s, inflation began to spin out of control in Zimbabwe, causing the country to issue larger and larger bank notes, culminating the trillion dollar notes minted in 2008. According to the Cato Journal, inflation reached an estimated peak of 6.5 sextillion percent in mid-November 2008, representing a complete and utter collapse of the Zimbabwe Dollar.That said, the headline here toys with poetic license. While Zimbabwe’s $100T bills can be found on Etsy in new condition for under $2 uncirculated versions can be found on numismatic sites for as much as $82.75. Either way, that’s quite the discount from a year’s world GDP. What happened? (And could it happen here?)

John Maynard Keynes, a conservative bête noire, wrote in the book that made him the world’s first celebrity economist, The Economic Consequences of the Peace:Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the capitalist system was to debauch the currency. By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some. The sight of this arbitrary rearrangement of riches strikes not only at security, but at confidence in the equity of the existing distribution of wealth. Those to whom the system brings windfalls, beyond their deserts and even beyond their expectations or desires, become ‘profiteers,’ who are the object of the hatred of the bourgeoisie, whom the inflationism has impoverished, not less than of the proletariat. As the inflation proceeds and the real value of the currency fluctuates wildly from month to month, all permanent relations between debtors and creditors, which form the ultimate foundation of capitalism, become so utterly disordered as to be almost meaningless; and the process of wealth-getting degenerates into a gamble and a lottery.
Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
“Debauch” is another word for “debase.” Both carry the connotation of “corrupt.” Keynes, of course, was anticipating the Weimar hyperinflation taht presaged the rise of the Nazis.

Let us emphasize: Keynes concluded that “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.”

He echoes what Copernicus said 400 years previously in his essay On The Minting of Money. (Note, I served as lead co-editor for Laissez Faire Books of the definitive modern translation.)ALTHOUGH THERE ARE COUNTLESS MALADIES that are forever causing the decline of kingdoms, princedoms, and republics, the following four (in my judgment) are the most serious: civil discord, a high death rate, sterility of the soil, and the debasement of coinage. The first three are so obvious that everybody recognizes the damage they cause; but the fourth one, which has to do with money, is noticed by only a few very thoughtful people, since it does not operate all at once and at a single blow, but gradually overthrows governments, and in a hidden, insidious way.Its translator Prof. Gerald Malsbary observed:NICOLAS COPERNICUS … treatise On the Minting of Money (Monetae Cudendae Ratio), was first printed in 1826, three hundred years after its composition in 1525–1526. At the time, the semi-autonomous ecclesiastical region between Poland and Prussia where he lived (Varmia) was undergoing a political and economic metamorphosis, and his judgment and expertise (a fruit of the best late Scholastic and Humanist learning) was summoned by the Prussian and Polish governments to help stabilize an inflated currency. Was his insight into monetary matters as revolutionary as his astronomy?Today, academic economists are as dogmatically hostile to the gold standards as their predecessors were attached to it. This matters.
Keynes (again) in his General Theory of Unemployment, Interest, and Money wrote that as a policy matter:[T]he ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas. … But, soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.Will the dollar increase or decrease in value along per the dictates of the current occupant of the White House? Hard to predict the whims of the current or a future president. Imagine what would happen to the economy if a president could pressure the National Institute of Standards and Technology to manipulate the definition of the inch or the ounce the way the president pressures the chair of the Fed.

Bridges and skyscrapers would collapse as flamboyantly as does our economy and our financial markets. Not good.

The stability of the buying power of gold, and gold-defined and convertible currencies, by contrast has proven to be excellent. This case was famously made by the late Prof. Roy Jastram in The Golden Constant. As Jill Leyland, Economics Consultant, wrote of this book in issue 56 of The London Bullion Market Association’s publication The Alchemist, in October 2009:Why does gold have this power of broadly holding its purchasing power over the centuries and what lessons can, or cannot, be drawn for present times?

Gold has a strong and deep emotional pull on human sentiment. But deep emotion does not always lend itself to rigorous thought. The richness, depth and complexity of gold’s long history can make a long and difficult study but historical perspective can be a major influence in individuals’ attitudes towards the yellow metal. So the combination of intellectual rigour in Jastram’s approach, his historical analysis and the way he wrote in both a scholarly and entertaining fashion (this is not a dry academic tome) is what makes his work so important for the gold industry.
Why does gold have this power of broadly holding its purchasing power over the centuries and what lessons can, or cannot, be drawn for present times?

Gold has a strong and deep emotional pull on human sentiment. But deep emotion does not always lend itself to rigorous thought. The richness, depth and complexity of gold’s long history can make a long and difficult study but historical perspective can be a major influence in individuals’ attitudes towards the yellow metal. So the combination of intellectual rigour in Jastram’s approach, his historical analysis and the way he wrote in both a scholarly and entertaining fashion (this is not a dry academic tome) is what makes his work so important for the gold industry.

Fed Chair Paul Volcker, tightening money, vanquished inflation almost 40 years ago. It hasn’t recurred. Will the ambitious (some would say promiscuous) “QE Infinity” of the current Fed, applied, under White House pressure cause inflation to return?

As quantum physicist Niels Bohr once quoted an old Danish proverb, “Prediction is difficult, especially about the future.” A number of eminent economists and economic policy observers predicted incipient inflation from the Fed’s original quantitative easing: “The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation….”

Such debasement and inflation did not, of course, ensue. Perhaps the Fed’s new QE is appropriately fighting incipient deflation. The spot price of gold does not suggest inflation on the horizon. That said, whether or not the monetary authorities are flirting with inflation — or even, like Zimbabwe (and more recently Venezuela) hyperinflation the current ad hoc monetary system, per the Bank of England’s 2011 Financial Stability Paper №13, has been accompanied by more and more virulent monetary and financial crises than the gold standard experienced over centuries.

Time to make the dollar as good as gold.
Ralph Benko is Chairman, The Capitalist League and contributor to the ARRA News Service.

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How Trump Is Taming The Bureaucracy And Saving Lives

Cliff Kincaid
by Cliff Kincaid: From the start of the coronavirus crisis, President Trump has been trying to figure out – and cut through – the bureaucracy. His latest victory is the decision by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to accept 30 million donated doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and one million donated doses of chloroquine phosphate for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials. Trump understands that America cannot wait for a possible vaccine and that patients and their doctors need the freedom now to try alternative treatments.

In this context, the tragic death of former Senator Tom Coburn is a reminder that the federal healthcare bureaucracy has been characterized by slow-moving efforts that are sometimes marked by corruption or incompetence. His sad passing is an occasion for remembering that, as a senator and medical doctor, he released a major study, "CDC Off Center," about how the federal agency has wasted hundreds of millions of tax dollars and has been ineffective in controlling disease. A case in point is the billions wasted on more than 30 years of research into an HIV/AIDS vaccine.

A strong conservative, Coburn was willing to challenge the bureaucracy and expose its malfeasance. He exposed what critics have called the "Medical Deep State."

We saw that bureaucracy in action in 2014, when the Obama administration failed to impose a travel ban and prevent disease carriers with the deadly Ebola virus from coming into the United States. The Obama administration actually allowed a carrier of Ebola from Africa, where it originated, into the United States, where he infected two nurses, one of whom had been allowed by the Centers for Disease Control to travel on a plane. He died. The CDC says the outbreak ended with more than 28,600 cases and 11,325 deaths spread over ten countries. In the U.S., we were fortunate to escape a major outbreak, with only 11 cases reported and one death.

Obama's CDC director, Dr. Tom Frieden, actually wrote an article, "Why I don't support a travel ban to combat Ebola outbreak." He is now a leading medical "expert" at the Council on Foreign Relations, a major source of anti-Trump commentaries.

My coverage of this disease at the time questioned why Obama opposed a common-sense ban on travel to the U.S. by people from Ebola-infected countries. He also kept the southern border wide open. Simply put, Obama viewed restrictions on African travel to the U.S. as racist. He was giving black Africa special access to the U.S. and putting their interests ahead of America's.

It appears Obama, a globalist, didn't mind if people in the U.S. were to become infected, since the result would be more pressure to find a "cure," or at least a vaccine. But who knew how many would die in the process? At the time, we didn't know. It could have been hundreds, or thousands, or more.

A poll from the Washington Post and ABC News showed that 67 percent of people supported a travel ban.

To make matters worse, Obama appointed Ron Klain, an Obama insider and Joe Biden's chief-of-staff, as his "Ebola Czar." He had no experience in the health field. He is now a leading critic of Trump's handling of the coronavirus, but outlets like CNBC fail to note that he worked for a president who knowingly permitted Ebola to take root on American soil.

In regard to coronavirus, Trump has broken decisively with the Obama policy and has forced the healthcare bureaucracy to come over to his way of thinking. His ban on travel from China, where the virus originated, has saved countless lives. In effect, Trump has been taming the bureaucracy to put America and Americans first.

I believe the president's decision to accelerate the use of anti-malaria drugs to treat coronavirus reflects his skepticism of the bureaucracy's heavy emphasis on vaccines to "solve" the problem of infectious disease. The failed development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine demonstrates that the Medical Deep State cannot be trusted and relied on in this case.

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in 1981, more than 700,000 American lives have been lost to HIV. President Trump's plan, "Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America," emphasizes drugs as treatments for HIV/AIDS. He promises hope – not false hope.

In the case of Ebola, the CDC quickly announced human testing of an "investigational vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease" and a so-called "fast-tracking" process was underway. It looked like the CDC was much faster in approving human trials of a vaccine than in stopping Ebola from coming into the U.S. in the first place. Ultimately, however, the first FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of Ebola wasn't announced until the end of 2019. But questions remain and it has not been licensed for widespread use. It was another false hope that took too many years to develop through the bureaucracy. It was years too late.

Hundreds of people got neurological disorders and several dozen died from a swine flu vaccine before the vaccine was withdrawn in 1976. The CDC Director at that time, Dr. David J. Sencer, was fired. Yet, the CDC museum is named after him. In addition to the 1976 swine flu debacle, there were several vaccine scandals involving children during the Clinton administration. A hepatitis B vaccine was withdrawn because it contained a toxic substance, and a vaccine against diarrhea was withdrawn because it, too, was dangerous to children.

As the feds scramble for another risky and mandatory vaccine, in the case of coronavirus, remember that Congress passed the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, which created a National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, for a reason. Vaccines can be dangerous and backfire.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons argues that "we need the right to try" alternative drugs and treatments, such as the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. The group notes that an early version of these drugs may have been a key factor in General George Washington's victory over the British in the Revolutionary War.

In the spirit of George Washington, President Trump is meeting the challenge.
Cliff Kincaid is president of Cliff Kincaid

Cliff Kincaid, Cliff Kincaid, How Trump, Is Taming, The Bureaucracy, Saving Lives To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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