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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 17, 2020

Dems Borrow Trouble with Loan Stunt

by Tony Perkins: Forget the economy. Democrats want to make political hay. Despite Twitter feeds full of concern for the American worker, liberal leaders are making it quite clear that it is not the American worker or family they want to help its their political cronies.

Two weeks after working with Republicans to push out small business relief, the Paycheck Protection Program has run dry. Unfortunately, so has the Democrats' compassion. And there's no telling when -- or if -- it'll return.

He said "please" twice. "To my Democratic colleagues," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) implored, "please, please do not block emergency aid you don't even oppose, just because you want something more." But his appeal fell on deaf ears. Without Senator Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) cooperation, there was nothing the chamber could do but go home -- leaving small businesses, which employs about 47 percent of the workforce, and their employees in a real lurch.

By Thursday of this week, the popular loan forgiveness program that Congress kicked off last week was already out of cash. Both sides knew this would happen, considering how strapped small businesses are during the virus. What they didn't know was what a stink Democrats would raise about reauthorizing it. "Here we have a successful program that's already got bipartisan support -- negotiated by good members from both sides of the political aisle," Senator Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) explained, "and all we're doing is [trying to] keep that momentum going..." Instead, he shook his head, Democrats "just seem to want to use every moment to add [to their] politically extreme ideas."

Even the media was aghast at the Democrats' new demands, as editorial pages across the country blasted liberals for holding the funding hostage. "The tragedy," the New York Post pointed out, "is both sides agree on the need for the $250 billion, and Republicans are even open to the Dems' other asks but want to wait to better assess the need..." Surely, the paper insisted, "partisanship... should take a back seat during this kind of crisis." Especially since, as the Wall Street Journal argued, "Every minute that passes, another small business may go bust or lay off staff."

This is a bill, by the way, that's two pages long. It's a clean, straightforward proposal to add more aid. "We're not talking about making any policy changes," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "I'm literally talking about deleting the number '350'[billion] and writing '650' [billion] in its place." Seventeen million Americans lost their jobs last week, Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.) fumed, and this is how Democrats respond?

Meanwhile, President Trump's team is trying to roll out a plan to reopen the economy -- acutely aware that liberals are trying to sabotage whatever economy is left. "We don't have time for the partisan games," he said before laying out a series of guidelines for "starting our life again." Making it clear that this would be a staggered approach, the president told Americans that the administration would be taking it "one careful step at a time." If the states can meet certain benchmarks -- like a consistent decline in cases and hospital availability -- then it will be up to them when to initiate the first wave of controlled gatherings at restaurants, theaters, sporting venue, and gyms with "strict physical distancing protocols."

For the hardest-hit states, the return to normalcy will take a little longer. In Delaware, the Democratic governor said that they could be "weeks away from the starting line, and then you have to have 14 days of declining cases, of declining symptoms, and hospital capacity." The worst thing anyone could do, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice agreed, is move too quickly "and then we get into a situation of people dying like flies."

Americans share his concern. Two in three worry that the restrictions will be eased too quickly, leading to a second, more deadly outbreak. But, as Senator Cramer reassured everyone on "Washington Watch," the president is doing the best he can to make informed decisions. "To his credit, he listens to everybody -- not just [certain ones] -- but to everybody... And reopening the economy in the same manner makes sense."

"[President Trump] will always be judged by the mainstream media and people on the Left in the context of what perfection should have been -- and 20/20 [hindsight]. But when you think of what's happened day after day after day, could you look back and say, this could've been done better, that could've been done better? Yes. But I don't know how you could have asked for more from him and from his administration than he's provided in terms of this pandemic and getting us through it. And we're not through it clearly, but at least I think we can see the other side."
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.
Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Dems Borrow Trouble, with Loan Stunt To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump’s Instincts Were Right From Day One. He Needs To Embrace Them Again

by Douglas MacKinnon, I&I Editorial: Question: When did it become accepted governmental and health-care policy to sacrifice – and possibly destroy — the economic, mental, and physical well-being of the 99% to maybe protect and save the 1%?

Answer: March of 2020.

Reason: Unchallenged and unyielding Groupthink.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Groupthink” as: “A pattern of thought characterized by self-deception, forced manufacture of consent, and conformity to group values and ethics.”

With that definition in mind, to instantly install draconian, liberty-robbing, totalitarian-hinting “lockdowns,” wouldn’t one rely on “self-deception,” “forced manufacture of consent,” and unquestioned “conformity to group values and ethics?”

Over the last four years – and earlier when he was a private citizen – I have not only defended President Trump in a number of outlets, but spoken to the fact that I believe him to be one of the best presidents in the history of our Republic. I have articulated that for three key reasons: First, his multi-decade record of real-world business experience and repeated success; second, his street smarts; and last and most especially, his generally spot-on instincts honed by his real-world experience and street smarts.

That said, none of us is infallible.

Not the president. Not the tiny handful of unelected bureaucrats, “experts,” and other politicians who have forced their “solutions” to the Wuhan COVID-19 pandemic upon 330 million Americans without their input or vote. None of us.

There is no doubt that this virus is dangerous, infectious, can be quite deadly for some, and must be taken very seriously.

But there are all kinds of doubts – growing by the day — about what the “experts” and their computer models actually know about it and what they really and truly don’t.

President Trump is not an expert on infectious diseases. So, like any responsible leader, when a crisis such as the Wuhan COVID-19 pandemic hit, he surrounded himself with the “experts” in the field.

But, are they the best? It sure seems as if some of the president’s “experts” have been on every side this crisis from day one.

While President Trump is not an infectious disease expert, he is still a human being. As such, he is susceptible to being spun or stampeded into rushed, flawed, or even completely wrong decisions from time to time. Especially regarding a crisis as volatile as this.

Weeks ago, I spoke with a highly accomplished infectious disease doctor about this issue. A doctor who not only felt the virus had already spread to millions of Americans, but that the “lockdown” policy was causing more harm than good.

This doctor then posed a critically important question for those who shut down our nation. That question being: Is COVID-19 less or more lethal than the Hong Kong (H3N2) pandemic of 1968 which infected tens of millions of Americans, hospitalized hundreds of thousands, and killed approximately 100,000 out of a population of then 200 million?

A pandemic this doctor states, which not only mirrored COVID-19 in terms of it being “highly contagious,” but with the vast majority of fatalities also being those 65 or older with pre-existing conditions. A pandemic that worldwide, killed upwards of 4 million people.

While President Trump is not an infectious disease expert, he is still a human being. As such, he is susceptible to being spun or stampeded into rushed, flawed, or even completely wrong decisions from time to time. Especially regarding a crisis as volatile as this.

Weeks ago, I spoke with a highly accomplished infectious disease doctor about this issue. A doctor who not only felt the virus had already spread to millions of Americans, but that the “lockdown” policy was causing more harm than good.

This doctor then posed a critically important question for those who shut down our nation. That question being: Is COVID-19 less or more lethal than the Hong Kong (H3N2) pandemic of 1968 which infected tens of millions of Americans, hospitalized hundreds of thousands, and killed approximately 100,000 out of a population of then 200 million?

A pandemic this doctor states, which not only mirrored COVID-19 in terms of it being “highly contagious,” but with the vast majority of fatalities also being those 65 or older with pre-existing conditions. A pandemic that worldwide, killed upwards of 4 million people.

The doctor I spoke with felt certain the “experts” of today would not be able to answer that question as there has been very little progress made in the field since 1968.

Now, with every “expert” on the planet studying COVID-19 24/7, the most honest answers we get are: “We don’t know yet,” and “We’re still studying it.”

They are “still studying it,” but knew enough to lockdown the nation and destroy thousands of small businesses and tens of millions of jobs.

Something that was not done during the administration of President (and World War II five-star General and hero) Dwight D. Eisenhower during the Asian flu pandemic of 1957 which infected millions of Americans and killed approximately 116,000. Something which was not done in 1968 and 1969 with the Hong Kong pandemic under the administrations of then Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. And something with was not done during the administration of President Barack Obama when the Swine flu pandemic hit in 2009 – 2010 and infected 61 million Americans, hospitalized 300,000, and killed upwards of 18,000. Many of them children and young people. A Swine flu pandemic also infected 1.5 billion worldwide and killed upwards of 700,000.

Not surprisingly in the “Age of Trump,” politics has infected this infectious disease. More liberals seem to be in favor of the “lockdowns” with more conservatives in favor of re-opening the nation for business.

At least with regard to the politics infecting the COVID-19 crisis, conservatives find themselves in a weak or even untenable position. For the last number of years and decades, liberals and the far-left have come to dominate the media, academia, science, medicine, and entertainment. Not only in the United States, but in much of the world.

As such, their “Groupthink” on the subject of COVID-19 controls the message, dictates the “solutions” and labels anyone daring to question it or them, “suspect.”

And yet, from day one, we could see that President Trump’s instincts were telling him to question and even fight this “Groupthink.” He was right to do so then and he is even more right to do so now.

President Trump does have exceptionally good instincts. He just needs to go back to trusting them so he can free our nation from this draconian groupthink lockdown.
Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and an author of the science fiction novel: The Dawn of a Nazi Moon: Book One. His article was shared on Issues & Insights (@InsightsIssues) formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page.

Tags: Douglas MacKinnon, Trump’s Instincts Were Right, From Day One, He Needs To Embrace Them Again, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Democrats’ Twisted Approach to the Virus

. . . Trump is deadlier than the virus.
by David Horowitz: In the war against the Wuhan virus, Democrats’ have had a laser focus. But it’s not on the virus. It’s on Trump. Their blame Trump attitude was crystallized in a breathtakingly nasty and preposterous statement by Democrat Senator Chris Murphy, who said: “The reason that we're in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did. It’s not because of anything the World Health Organization did. It’s because of what this president did.”

Given the right parameters, it would be possible to take a critical view of everyone involved in the fight and making decisions affecting it, including Trump and his Democrat scientific advisers Fauci and Birx. The one thing we have learned since the virus hit America’s shores is that everyone was wrong at some point, and had to reverse themselves at another. This includes not only the nation’s political leaders, but the scientific experts who were essential elements of the anti-viral battle, and who produced models based on erroneous assumptions that resulted in costly mis-readings of the crisis. But most fair-minded observers, not driven by ulterior political motives would agree that Americans were well-served by dedicated public servants and first responders who devoted themselves to the protection of the nation.

Not so Democrats like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Chris Murphy, or their partisan media enablers. Whenever Trump has made a decision or drawn a conclusion, these Democrats are primed to pounce. If you think Democrats devote even five seconds to the question of whether Trump’s actions serve the interests of the American people even in so dire a crisis, you haven’t been paying attention to what they were doing in the three years before the virus hit and even in the month of January when it did, which they occupied with a bloody-minded attempt to remove him from office. What these Democrats think about – indeed all they think about - whenever Trump makes a decision is “How can we twist it to destroy him.”

Pelosi’s repeated claim that Trump is responsible for the economic disaster the shut down has produced is a prime example of her one-track vindictiveness. All the shut down orders came from governors, and the most consequential from Democrat governors in New York, California, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana and New Jersey. But the most revealing case of the Democrats’ dedication to destroying Trump is their response to his decision to withhold funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) for its role in helping China create the global coronavirus pandemic. China has denounced this measure as a “genocide,” a ludicrous charge which Democrats’ have done their best to support.

Pelosi called his move “dangerous” and “illegal” and said it would cost lives and be “swiftly challenged.” Then she likened it to the bogus charge Democrats used to impeach Trump, in case anyone missed her intention. Democrat donor Bill Gates piled on: “Halting funding for the World Health Organization during a world health crisis is as dangerous as it sounds.” Actually not. After all, this was just withdrawing one nation’s financial support. Senator Ted Cruz immediately calculated that Gates’ $107 billion personal fortune would make up the deficit caused by the U.S. withdrawal for 27 years, if it was that important. The U.S. contributes $400 million annually to WHO., about 10 times what the Chinese give. So if it really amounted to a genocide against the Chinese or other peoples, China could stop it by simply paying its fair share.

But let’s look at the reasons Trump took the action. The evidence suggests that China developed the disease in its Wuhan virology laboratory, setting off a contagion in Wuhan itself. This breakout occurred in December. Although China knew the virus was intensely contagious, its officials assured the world that it was not transmittable from human to human. China was backed in this deadly lie by WHO through its director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros owed his U.N. position to the Chinese dictator Xi.

China then permitted the citizens of Wuhan to hold a Lunar New Year’s celebration involving crowds that were numbered in the tens of thousands. It also allowed 5 million citizens of Wuhan to leave the city and then travel - along with anyone they may have infected - outside of China and around the world to celebrate the Lunar New Year abroad.

At this point, what may have originated as a lab accident became a calculated biological war against the rest of the world. Tedros and the World Health Organization, whose alleged purpose is to keep the international community safe from deadly viruses covered for the Chinese Communists, and enabled the spread of the virus which has resulted in 150,000 deaths and counting.

Who is director Tedros? According to The Hill, he is not a medical doctor and had no global health management experience before China shoe-horned him into the director’s seat at WHO. According to The Hill – a publication with which Nancy Pelosi is surely familiar - Tedros is an Ethiopian communist and terrorist, who served in the infamous Marxist dictatorship known as the Derg, which slaughtered thousands of its subjects. He went on to serve as an executive member of the Tigray Liberation Front, an organization listed in the Global Terrorism database, and as Ethiopia’s foreign minister – that is, for a country known as “Little China,” because the Chinese Communists have invested in it so heavily and made it a strategic bridge in their imperialist designs on the African continent. Just as they have made the World Health Organization a strategic bridge in their designs on the rest of the world.

I am myself a Trump admirer because when Trump sees a problem as dangerous and deadly as this he attempts to do something about it. He doesn’t sweep it under the rug, and embrace the deceptions of our enemies, and use them to destroy his political rivals as Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats do.
David Horowitz is a conservative thinker and writer who has authored dozens of books over the course of his lifetime and founded FrontPage Mag. In 1988, he founded the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a not-for-profit organization located in Sherman Oaks, CA. The Center’s mission is to defend free societies such as America and Israel, which are under attack by totalitarians both religious and secular, domestic and foreign. He is the author of a new book: Blitz: Trump Will Smash the Left and Win. Pub date is June 2, 2020.

Tags: David Horowitz, The Democrats’ Twisted Approach, FrontPage Amg to the Virus To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

California Mayor to Resign After Comparing Trump Supporters to KKK

by Catherine Smith : The mayor of a Northern California city this week announced plans to step down after outrage erupted over recent social media posts comparing President Donald Trump’s supporters to members of the Ku Klux Klan, Fox News reported.

The angry Auburn community, about 33 miles northeast of Sacramento, weighed in on Mayor William Kirby’s controversial comments on Facebook during a virtual City Council meeting by video Monday.

Kirby addressed the controversy after several voicemails from residents were played.

“I spent 40 years dedicating my life to serving the community of Auburn as a physician and through my volunteer efforts. Am I perfect? No. We’re all a little flawed,” Kirby said, admitting some of his recent posts were misguided.

Kirby said in a statement to CBS Sacramento, “Some people have viewed my posts, which were meant to be private and made out of frustration as over the top. Some were, and I regret that.”

“I want to share with you where my frustrations have come from,” he said. He said that as a doctor, he sees “nurses, respiratory therapists, other medical staff, first responders and my medical colleagues, as well as their patients, dying unnecessarily due to lack of preparation” for the coronavirus. “The president has put us all at risk.”

In one of the posts, the mayor shared a photo of a Ku Klux Klan hood, with the caption, “Good news for Trump supporters is that most of them already have masks,” the report said. The post was later taken down.

Kirby’s comments from a screenshot, said: “If Hitler and everyone who supported him was removed from the face of the earth in 1939, the world would be a much better place” and that, “The same is more true of Trump and his supporters today.”

At the council meeting, Kirby said he “absolutely” thinks Trump is a racist and that the Facebook posts have “nothing to do with my job,” the Auburn Journal reported.
Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. H/T American Greatness.

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Stop "Beijing" Biden, The Plan To Reopen, Return To Normal

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Stop "Beijing Biden"
A pro-Trump super PAC is rolling out a powerful TV ad in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The ad is the first sign that Biden's horrible record on China, not to mention his son's financial interests there, will be a major issue in this campaign.

The ad notes that for decades DC elites have worked to make one country great – China. And who was leading the effort? Joe Biden. The ad quotes Biden, saying, "I believed in 1979, and said so, and I believe now, that a rising China is a positive development."

The ad goes on to note that China has stolen our jobs, and hoarded emergency medical supplies. It tells voters that if they want to stop China, they must stop Joe Biden.

It's a great ad. Watch it here, and please share it with friends and family members.

The Plan To Reopen
President Trump yesterday unveiled his detailed plan for reopening the country and getting America back to work.

It's clear that Trump listened to health experts and to economic experts. After weighing the concerns of both, President Trump, Vice President Pence and members of the Coronavirus Task Force developed a three-phased plan for reopening the country.

The states will not open all at once, and governors will decide how and when their states open up. For example, they could do it statewide or county-by-county. It's all fact-based, and will be determined by how well the coronavirus is contained in each area, and how well hospitals and medical facilities are functioning in each area.

Below is a brief summary of each phase of the plan.

Phase One:
  • All vulnerable individuals (the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions) should continue to self-quarantine.
  • When in public, individuals should continue social distancing and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Non-essential travel should be avoided.
  • Schools and youth camps will remain closed.
  • Businesses should encourage teleworking and common areas should be closed.
  • Restaurants, gyms and movie theaters can reopen under strict social distancing and cleaning procedures.
Phase Two:
  • All vulnerable individuals should continue to self-quarantine.
  • When in public, individuals should maximize physical distancing as best as possible, and avoid gatherings of more than 50 people.
    Non-essential travel is permitted.
  • Schools and youth camps can reopen.
  • Businesses are still encouraged to use teleworking, and common areas should remain closed.
  • Restaurants, gyms and movie theaters can operate under less strict social distancing, but should maintain vigorous cleaning protocols.
Phase Three:
  • Vulnerable individuals can resume normal activities, but should avoid crowds.
  • Trips to nursing homes can resume.
  • Businesses and worksites can resume normal operations.
  • Bars, gyms, movie theaters and restaurants can resume normal operations with limited social distancing while maintaining strict cleaning protocols.
For more details, click here.

I think this is an excellent approach. This continues what has been an incredibly astute effort by the president, vice president and the coronavirus task force to manage this pandemic, which no one would have predicted a year ago.

Some states may be able to reopen any day now. More could open by the end of the month. Even some hard hit states, depending on their conditions, could reopen by Memorial Day.

As you know, many left-wing commentators have spent the last few weeks pushing a false narrative that Trump cares more about the health of the stock market than he does for the health of average Americans. (Check out this story.) Well, I was amused last night as a number of those same talking heads struggled to criticize what appears to be a well-conceived plan!

An Amazing Response
It's worth remembering that when all this started, the experts were predicting 2 million deaths in the United States. The administration had inherited a depleted national emergency medical stockpile.

Some states had auctioned off their supply of ventilators because they didn't want to pay to store and maintain them. Some suggested our healthcare system would collapse. The president and vice president took significant steps to ensure that did not happen.

Under Vice President Pence's direction, we began efforts to mitigate the severity of the outbreak and the fatality estimates quickly fell. Not one person who needed a bed in an intensive care unit was denied a bed. Not one person who needed a ventilator was denied a ventilator.

Working with private industries, the president was able to manage existing supplies while rushing new materials into production. By the end of the year, the president estimates we will have more than 137,000 new ventilators to deal with a reemergence of this disease or a new threat.

Return To Normal?
There's a big debate about whether the world will ever go back to business as usual regarding travel, telework and other habits. Dr. Fauci, for example, has suggested that we may never go back to shaking hands again.

I think some of this is seriously overblown. But there's one situation where we must not return to business as usual.

As President Trump has said repeatedly, China has taken advantage of America for decades. They have stolen our jobs and our technology, and it was done over multiple decades and tolerated by administrations of both parties. (I remember well the debates I had with George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential primary when I accused him of being weak on China.)

This will not be easy. China's tentacles are deeply embedded all over the country, particularly in American journalism and the tech industry. Virtually every news source in America is owned by a large corporation that wants to grow in China. I have no doubt those relationships are impacting how our news is delivered.

Bloomberg News, for example, silenced journalists to appease Beijing. But we're also learning that Facebook's fact checkers are connected to China.

The tech giant has announced that it is fact checking all stories about coronavirus and blocking those it alleges are false. Well, it turns out that one of their fact checkers is virologist at a medical school in Singapore who has "collaborative projects" at the Wuhan lab.

When The Epoch Times, a great independent newspaper, ran a story on China, Facebook's "fact checkers" blocked the story. But that story is now being supported by multiple government sources and by reports from the Washington Post and Fox News.

During one of the daily press briefings last week, the president called on a reporter who asked a question with a clear pro-China bias. When Trump challenged the reporter, she insisted that she worked for a private newspaper in Hong Kong.

Well, that was true to a point. It turns out that the paper is owned by a former Chinese military officer, and its coverage is sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party.

The struggle ahead is not going to be easy. The struggle against the Soviet Union was hard, but it was never an economic power with the ability to exert such tremendous influence in the United States.

By the way, have you noticed that the national Chamber of Commerce, which for years has been one of China's biggest cheerleaders, has fallen strangely silent as more and more evidence comes to light about China's negligence, lying and hoarding of medical supplies?
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Stop "Beijing" Biden, The Plan To Reopen, Return To Normal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pandemics, Palestinian Incitement and Peace

by Caroline Glick: A few weeks ago, officials in Israel’s Health Ministry were calling for Israel to “medically annex Judea and Samaria” for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. The notion was that while Israel and the Palestinian Authority are separate political entities, from a public health perspective, they are indivisible.

On a practical level, the call was superfluous. From the moment the virus arrived in Israel, the PA’s Health Ministry began cooperating in an unprecedented manner with its Israeli counterpart. The Palestinians followed Israel’s lead on virtually all aspects of the coronavirus fight. Palestinian medical teams received training in Israeli hospitals. Israel provided the PA with testing kits, protective gear, respirators and other vital equipment for fighting the pandemic. Even the Hamas regime in Gaza viewed Israel as the authority for dealing with the virus.

But with all due respect to “medical annexation,” the collaboration between medical professionals didn’t indicate any change of heart on the part of the Palestinian leadership. Both the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas regime in Gaza are fully capable of simultaneously taking advantage of Israel’s help in fighting the pandemic and using the pandemic as a means to harm Israel. And that is precisely what they are doing.

PA Prime Minister Mohamad Shtayyeh has long been considered a moderate. He was a member of the Palestinian negotiating team with Israel. He is a Western educated academic and a favorite of the European Union. Many viewed PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to appoint Shtayyeh prime minister last year as a sign of moderation.

Alas, the optimism was misplaced.

At a press conference in Ramallah in late March, Shtayyeh propagated multiple blood libels against Israel.

Against IDF soldiers, Shtayyeh alleged, “We have heard testimony that some soldiers are trying to spread the virus through the door handles of cars. It is a case of racism and hatred by people who hope for the death of the other. We will add this to the list of crimes they’ve committed.”

As for Israel as a whole, Shtayyeh accused Israel of using Palestinian workers in Israel as a biological weapon against the Palestinians as a whole. He said Israel wants the thirty thousand Palestinians working for Israeli employers to keep working so that they can get infected with coronavirus and then go home and infect their fellow Palestinians. He added that a resident of his village who worked in Israel returned to the village infected and proceeded to infect twenty of his neighbors with the pandemic.

In the spirit of cooperation with the PA, and in the hope of preventing mass infection among Palestinians, Israel took the unprecedented – and risky — step of permitting PA security forces to operate in Arab villages in Jerusalem and in Palestinian villages in Area C despite the fact in accordance with the bilateral agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel has sole security authority in those areas.

Rather than thank Israel for acting as it did, Shtayyeh claimed that Israel refuses to help the Palestinians handle the coronavirus epidemic and indeed, is deliberately endangering the Palestinians.

Moreover, Palestinian security forces in Area C are not being deployed to prevent businesses from operating per se. They are blocking Palestinians from doing business with Israelis and preventing Palestinians from working for Israelis. In other words, they are not being deployed to fight the coronavirus but to prevent peaceful ties between Palestinians and Israelis.

Over the past several weeks, Palestinian Media Watch, an Israeli NGO which monitors the PA’s media outlets has published multiple reports of harsh, anti-Semitic incitement in official PA media and social media outlets. For instance, the Facebook page of the PLO’s Commission on Prisoners Affairs ran a special video clip to mark “Palestinian Children’s Day,” earlier in the month accusing Israel of infecting Palestinian minors in Israeli detention centers. In the “dramatization,” small children in handcuffs were being attacked by a plastic model of the coronavirus.

The PA’s official television network regularly hosts PA spokesmen who accuse Israeli civilians in Judea and Samaria of deliberately infecting Palestinians with the virus by spitting on them and touching ATM machines in Palestinian villages.

Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the PA’s official newspaper ran a cartoon depicting an IDF soldier as a coronavirus waging biological warfare against innocent Palestinians.

While it wages a Nazi-like campaign of incitement against Israelis in its media and physically blocks peaceful ties between Israelis and Palestinians, the PA asks Israel for handouts. Shtayyeh requested and received a half billion shekel loan from Israel.

And what will the money be used for?

While Shtayyeh the blood libel proliferator claims that the money will be used to save the PA economy from the ravages of the coronavirus, the PA officially announced that terrorists imprisoned in Israeli jails and their families will receive money before impoverished Palestinians.

The PA’s lack of concern for its people’s welfare is all the more apparent when Shtayyeh’s fundraising for the poor is seen in the context of his actual employment policies. The security forces in Area C blocking Palestinians from selling to or working with Israelis are following Shtayyeh’s orders. Shtayyeh has barred Palestinians from working in Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and so has doomed tens of thousands of Palestinian families to destitution.

The PA is also using this period when Israelis are under coronavirus quarantines to massively expand their illegal building activities around the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. For instance, extensive construction activities are being carried out around the city of Efrat in Gush Etzion south of Jerusalem. The illegal construction has two focal points.

Adjacent to the northern entrance to the city, the PA is building along the access road to Highway 60. The building physically threatens the residents of the northern neighborhoods of Efrat and transforms the access road into a gauntlet that residents will have to run every time they enter or leave Efrat.

The second focal point is around Eitam Hill. Eitam Hill is both Efrat’s main reserve land for urban development and a strategic topographical point that connects Efrat to eastern Gush Etzion and particularly to the major community of Tekoa. The Palestinians have long engaged in illegal building around the hill to prevent its development and isolate the eastern communities in Gush Etzion. Since the onset of the pandemic, that building too has intensified.

As for Hamas, like its PLO counterpart, the Hamas regime in Gaza has run a similarly poisonous stream of anti-Semitic incitement against Israel, claiming that the Jews are waging biological warfare against the Palestinians.

But as always, Hamas’s central effort is more directly connected to physical warfare than the PLO’s. Last week, optimistic reports began surfacing in the Israeli media claiming that Israel and Hamas were holding secret talks to reach a deal whereby in exchange for assistance in fighting the coronavirus, Hamas would return the bodies of IDF soldiers and the Israeli hostages it has been holding since 2014. Unfortunately, the Israeli officials leaking the optimistic projections forgot who they were dealing with.

Hamas doesn’t care about protecting Gazans from the coronavirus, Israel does. The same terrorists who cynically use Gaza’s children as human shields for missile crews weren’t going to sacrifice any leverage against Israel to protect their people from the coronavirus. But the moment they realized that Israel was committed to protecting Gaza from mass infection, they decided to exploit Israel’s concern.

Hamas insisted that Israel provide assistance in fighting coronavirus for free. And Israel did. Israeli medical professionals trained Gazan medical teams from Shifa Hospital in Gaza on how to treat coronavirus patients. Israel allowed an advanced PCR media device used for the rapid detection of coronavirus to be imported into Gaza last week.

As for the release of Israeli hostages and the remains of IDF soldiers, according to Arab media reports, the terror group’s position hasn’t been impacted by the pandemic. Hamas demands that Israel release 250 terrorists from prison not in exchange for the hostages and bodies of fallen soldiers, but in exchange for “information” about them.

The behavior of leaders of the PLO-PA regime in Judea and Samaria and the Hamas regime in Gaza shows us two things. First, both groups remain obsessively focused on their war against Israel. The second notable aspect of their behavior is that it highlights the difference between authoritarian regimes and the leaders of free societies.

Since the onset of the pandemic, all democratically elected governments have made their share of mistakes in contending with it. But the struggles of the governments of Italy, Israel, Taiwan, the U.S., and all the rest share a common key feature. The top priority of all of these governments is to protect the lives and wellbeing of their citizens.

In contrast, we see that like the Palestinian regimes, authoritarian regimes in China, Iran, and beyond have busied themselves principally with trying to exploit the pandemic for their own benefit. China, the source of the coronavirus, is hiding much of what it knows about the origins of the pandemic and vastly underreporting the infection and death rate from the virus inside of China. The Chinese hide this vital information to present themselves as more competent in handling the virus than the “bungling democracies” struggling to contain it, and to build their conspiracy theory that the U.S. is the source of the pandemic. At the same time, China has ratcheted up its threats against Taiwan and allegedly tested another nuclear weapon.

Iran is also publishing false data about the coronavirus infection and death rate in Iran. Whereas the official numbers claim that 4,700 Iranians have died from the coronavirus, Iranian opposition forces allege that thirty thousand Iranians have died.

Like the Palestinians and the Chinese, the Iranians accuse Israel and the U.S. of inventing and spreading the virus. After they rejected a U.S. offer for humanitarian assistance to fight the coronavirus, the Iranians began using the pandemic as a fundraising tool. They demand assistance from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union and exploit the political cleavages in the U.S. to pressure the Trump administration to cancel U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. All the while, Iran is threatening U.S. forces in Iraq and continuing its uranium enrichment activities.

The Palestinians show through their behavior that peace is a dead issue. Israel has permanent, vital interests in Judea and Samaria. It needs to secure those interests by applying its sovereign laws wherever it deems necessary, and bar the PA from operating in its territory.

More broadly, through their conduct, the Palestinians, like their authoritarian brethren in China, Iran and beyond drive home the difference between democracies and dictatorships. There are good guys and bad guys in this world. In the future, when we get confused about who is on which side, all we will need to do to figure out where justice lies is look back at how the each behaved during the coronavirus pandemic.
Caroline Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of Israel Hayom and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit

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The Trump Administration's Path Back to Prosperity

. . . Guidelines include "gating criteria" and three phases for restoring the U.S. economy.
by Nate Jackson: President Donald Trump unveiled the long-awaited Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. It’s a completely reasonable and laudable approach to what Mark Alexander has called “the most difficult and complex policy decision by any president in decades.” The Trump administration’s plan lays out “gating criteria,” followed by three phases of reopening. “We are not opening all at once,” Trump said, “but one careful step at a time.”

The “gating criteria” include a “downward trajectory of [both] influenza-like [and] … covid-like syndromic cases reported within a 14-day period.” Documented cases must likewise demonstrate a downward trajectory, while hospitals must be able to “treat all patients without crisis care” and implement a “robust testing program for at-risk healthcare workers.” On the way to meeting these benchmarks, the White House plan lays out responsibilities for states, individuals, and employers. For the latter two groups, most guidelines are commonsense measures for protecting yourself and others from infection. For states, it means capacity to test, screen, monitor, and advise citizens.

Phase One is largely more of what we’ve been doing for the last month: Vulnerable individuals (defined as the elderly or those with serious underlying health conditions) should shelter in place, employees who are able should work remotely, and everyone should be social distancing, limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people, and minimizing nonessential travel. Employers should allow employees to return to work in phases and some may reopen in limited capacity (churches, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms) while other specific businesses (bars) and organizations (schools) should remain closed. Elective surgeries may resume.

Phase Two calls for vulnerable individuals to “continue to shelter in place,” while people with loved ones in that category should take careful precautions. All individuals should continue social distancing and limiting gatherings to 50 people or fewer, but people may resume nonessential travel. Significantly, schools and organized youth activities can reopen or resume. More venues can reopen with less restrictive protocols for distancing.

Phase Three is, obviously, where most freedom of business and movement returns. Even vulnerable individuals “can resume public interactions, but should practice physical distancing.” Employers can resume full operations, and larger venues can begin easing distancing protocols for patrons. More than previous phases, that should mean rehiring some (hopefully most or even all) of the 22 million Americans now out of work.

Contrary to the deserved dust-up over Trump’s comments about his “ultimate authority” earlier this week, the plan his administration actually released keeps governors in charge. Constitutionally, they have been all along.

“You’re going to call your own shots,” Trump told governors earlier Thursday. “We’ll be standing right alongside of you and we’re going to get our country open.”

“I heard from a number of governors that said they’re in very good shape,” Trump added later. “They will be able to go literally tomorrow, yes. Because they’ve met all of the guidelines.”

That doesn’t mean all the governors will aim for the May 1 target. New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended his state’s lockdown through at least May 15. Cuomo is part of a coalition of northeastern governors who are working together on their own timeline, and all of them followed Cuomo’s lead on the May 15 date. Wisconsin Democrat Gov. Tony Evers extended his order until May 26, and Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is obtusely warning protesters that their actions make it “more likely we’re going to have to spread this posture.” Translation: She’s going to clamp down harder and longer.

What the Trump administration has provided, as it has previously, is a series of guidelines. Actually resuming “normal” life, whatever that looks like in the days, months, and years ahead, will remain the responsibility of individuals, businesses, and states. It may be a long road — especially in some states — and it may happen in fits and starts. But Trump is exactly right: “America wants to be open, and Americans want to be open.”
Nate Jackson is managing editor at The Patriot Post.

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Will Post-Coronavirus America Blaze New Trails or Just Keep Hunkering Down?

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: On my daily walk down a side street, I saw the restaurant with a diagonal cross made of adhesive tape on its sign. Gone was the notice that it would open for takeout; it looked to be closed for good.

Although I'm aware that most restaurants go out of business within a few years or even months, I felt a certain sadness. The owners and staff members lost their jobs and perhaps their dreams through no fault of their own and for reasons they couldn't have anticipated just a few weeks ago.

I'm guessing they'd like to go back to that time now, as most of us would. I have been thinking about this amid news reports that social isolation and other measures have made sufficient progress against the virus.

But we're not going back to that exact normal life we remember. Even if restrictions are relaxed, many people will likely be reluctant to do things that seemed normal before -- eating restaurant meals, fingering merchandise in clothing stores, attending mass events.

Governments' powers to control people's movements and restrict their behavior are, for good reasons, greatest in times of epidemics and wars. For that reason, many compare the limits and restrictions imposed in this and other countries with those during what some people still call "the war," World War II. The government shut down large parts of the economy, and people were prevented from buying most consumer goods.

But there is a big difference. In today's crisis, most people are confined to their home. In World War II, millions of Americans were moved across the country and around the world. The war got them to places they otherwise may never have seen. The novel coronavirus forces people to hunker down.

In both emergencies, people put up with restrictions and rules that would have been considered tyrannical in other circumstances, albeit there was a little more rule-breaking and regulation dodging than was usually mentioned during the war or later, and there is a certain amount of that today.

Government powers are maximized in wars and epidemics, even though government remains inefficient. During World War II, there were constant complaints about bottlenecks, shortages, black markets, wildcat strikes and price gouging. This year rigid bureaucracies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration blocked production of workable coronavirus tests for precious weeks.

Politicians are attracted to policies designed to maintain the pre-pandemic economy, to let it spring back into existence after what is hoped to be a brief period. But actually, "we need for the economy to be very dynamic," economist Arnold Kling argues. "It's not just that we need less of some activities, such as serving good (sic) in restaurants. We need more of other activities, including manufacturing masks, delivering food, and making sure that electricity and Internet service are available and even ramped up, if necessary."

The economy proved to be unexpectedly dynamic after World War II. Almost every economist had predicted that after the government shut off heavy wartime spending, the economy would plunge back into a 1930s-style depression. Instead, something like the opposite happened: the flowering of a vibrant postwar prosperity that is looked back on lovingly by both liberals and conservatives.

High geographic mobility was an important ingredient in this. People used to being shunted around by the military started moving around the country on their own. Midwesterners moved to California; Southern blacks and mountain whites to northern cities; city dwellers to newly sprouting suburbs. In recent decades, analysts have lamented Americans' declining geographic mobility. But that decline may have just been a return to the norm after the extraordinary migrations set in motion by the war.

Geographic mobility also produced economic gains, which foundered after a generation but were then revived by deregulation of transportation and communications in the 1970s and 1980s -- repeal of 1930s New Deal policies that were intended to freeze the 1929 economy into place.

Government restrictions to combat the coronavirus may not end as crisply as those of World War II, but even if they do, it's not clear whether that would produce something like the effervescence of post-World War II prosperity. Not only are restaurants and hospitality industries unlikely to snap back but also, more importantly, it's not clear that people kept mostly in place indoors will be inspired to venture into new economic enterprises.

Sentimentally, Americans may want things to go back to where they were, but they will be better off if they let their imaginations run loose and not keep hunkering down.
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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Will COVID-19 Retire the World’s Policeman?

by Patrick Buchanan: Will this pandemic prove the decisive factor in America’s retreat from global hegemony?

For declaring in March that the U.S. economy might be reopened by Easter, President Donald Trump was roundly mocked.

Yet, it appears his political instincts were correct. He was more in tune with his country than were his critics.

By early Easter week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the governors of six states in the New York-New Jersey region had formed a consortium to synchronize the opening of their economies. California’s Gavin Newsom and the governors of Washington and Oregon had done the same.

The governors may disagree on the timing, May 1 or May 15, but most agree with Trump. America cannot remain shut down for months without lasting damage to the livelihood and lives of millions of citizens who are about to be shoved into a new Great Depression.

Twenty-two million Americans are now unemployed.

However, something just jolted the gathering consensus over the need to reopen soon. Tuesday and Wednesday, the U.S. set records for the numbers of fatalities from the virus. Tuesday it was 2,364 dead, the following day 2,371. That put the national casualty total above 30,000.

The U.S. did not record its first coronavirus fatality until Feb. 29. It took 38 days after that to reach 10,000. However, it took only nine days to vault from 10,000 fatalities to more than 30,000.

The ominous implication: If this 2,300-dead-per-day figure is near the new normal, we would surpass the 61,000 fatalities projected for the duration of the pandemic — in two weeks!

Even if we reduce the Tuesday-Wednesday average daily death toll by over half, to 1,000 deaths a day, that would mean 44,000 more dead for a total of 75,000 by June 1.

What makes COVID-19 worse than the flu?

The coronavirus is more easily transmissible. It is more savage in how it maims immune systems. It is more lethal, killing far more of the infected than the regular flu, though we do not know exactly how much more lethal. For we have no hard number of those who carry or have carried the virus asymptomatically.

Nor we do know whether having survived COVID-19 renders one immune to a new infection. Since the medical experts are predicting a second wave of the virus in late summer or fall, this is no small matter.

And seeing what happened on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the coronavirus could have a major impact on U.S. global commitments.

Americans were already coming home from the Middle East, drawing down our 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after a deal with the Taliban, and moving our 5,000 troops in Iraq into fewer bases.

We have disengaged from the Saudi war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen and are drawing down our forces in Syria.

In Libya’s civil war, it is Russians, Turks, Egyptians and Gulf Arabs, not Americans, who are the supporting actors.

American soft power is also in retreat from the world.

Some 10,000 Peace Corps volunteers have been brought home. Scores of thousands of U.S. citizens have been repatriated by the State Department. We have shut the door to Europe, China, the world.

What now becomes of the U.S. geostrategic “pivot,” the shift of planes, troops, ships and bases from the Middle and Near East to the Indo-Pacific theater to contain a rising China?

And contain China with what?

The Roosevelt has been ravaged by the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, 589 cases of COVID-19 were reported from a crew of 4,800. Four thousand sailors in Guam are in various stages of a 14-day isolation period in hotels and spare rooms across the island.

But it is not just the Roosevelt. Every U.S. warship — carriers, cruisers, frigates, destroyers, subs — has cramped quarters conducive to the spread of the coronavirus.

How many of these vessels will soon be doubling as hospital ships?

The same question might also be asked of the U.S. Army and Marine barracks in South Korea, Japan, Australia and Okinawa.

There are allegations that the coronavirus did not originate in the Wuhan “wet market” where bats are sold for food but instead escaped through a horrible blunder in a Chinese bioweapons laboratory a few miles away.

Whatever the truth, the Wuhan virus appears to have become the most effective means of disabling U.S. hard and soft power that we have encountered in many a decade.

Of those 10,000 Peace Corp volunteers, and scores of thousands of other Americans who have been repatriated home, how many of these “soft power” soldiers will be going back after they have been out of their host country for 18 months?

Will this pandemic prove the decisive factor in America’s retreat from global hegemony?

With the U.S. budget deficit for 2020 originally set at $1 trillion, now triple that, there is going to be a hard reckoning for the allocation of our diminished resources after the nation reopens.

And policing the planet is likely to be seen as yesterday’s priority, and a primary candidate for discard.
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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USA’s Well-Being Depends Upon The Economy Being Reopened

Myron K.: Owner of White Glove Auto in Bixby, Ok
by Richard McCarty: Some might think it is improper to talk about the economy during a pandemic, but the fact of the matter is that a strong economy is vital to the country’s well-being. A weak economy reduces tax revenues impairing the ability of governments to deliver vital public services. In business, downturns can push companies to cut corners on matters of safety and the environment. A weak economy also tends to harm the charities and religious organizations that help those in need – even as demand for their services grows. Finally, a weak economy means more poverty along with increased social and health problems. For these reasons, policymakers should be listening carefully to what small business owners are saying about the need to reopen the economy.

Myron K. is the owner of White Glove Auto in Bixby, Oklahoma, and said, “The … shutdown has extremely impacted our business… Our sales are probably about 80 percent down. I have a 6,000-sq.-ft. shop… and currently — out of the 20 cars I can fit in the shop — I only have two cars in there. I’ve cut hours… It’s been devastating to our business; and, honestly, I don’t think we’ll be able to survive more than probably two to three more weeks of this. So we really need to have the businesses back in action by May 1st. We really do.”

Darcy Denton H. is the owner of Tip Top K9 in Nampa, Idaho, who stated, “The effect that we have seen on our business… with all of the quarantine mandates is that we’ve had several cancellations. Obviously, our business has slowed down significantly; and in the last week, we have only received one new lead. One. One new lead in a whole week. If this were to continue for more than another couple of weeks, we will have to shut our doors. There is no way that we can operate with no leads and no money coming in the door, and once that happens we will become homeless… This will obviously also affect the people that we employ and their families as well. So not only … are all of those things going to happen to our family, but they’re gonna happen to every single member of our team and their families. So this doesn’t just affect a few people. This is going to have a catastrophic, rippling effect throughout our community. And if our community is affected that badly and this is happening all over the United States, this is going to be disastrous. So we really need to have the ability to wisely and safely operate businesses in some capacity, or things are gonna look pretty grim.”

Dave R. owns both Morning Glory Eatery and Pappagallo’s, an Italian restaurant, in Satellite Beach, Florida. He implored, “We’re barely gonna be able to survive. I don’t how we’re going to be able to make it the next few weeks. If they keep us out of business longer… we’re essentially going to lose 65 or more employees between the two businesses we have here on the beach. We… just can’t stay closed… We’re open at the [Italian] restaurant for takeout and delivery, but we’ve closed the breakfast spot down… indefinitely until we can… put the seats back in… Right now, we have three hundred and two seats we can’t use… And we just can’t survive another month… We can’t survive what we’re doing now — much less more time.”

If you think these business owners represent just a small fraction of small businesses, then you might be interested in the findings of a recent survey. Earlier this month, the Chamber of Commerce and MetLife released a survey of small business owners and operators, and what they had to say is disturbing. Forty-three percent of respondents did not believe that their business could operate for 6 months without being forced to close permanently, and another 13 percent did not know how long they could last. Knowing that small businesses employ nearly half of all private sector workers in the country, policymakers should heed the warnings of small business owners before it is too late.
Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.

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Critical Condition . . .

. . . Weighing the benefits of quarantining against the destruction of our economy and civil liberties.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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The Virus and Nature

by Kerby Anderson: G.K. Chesterton once observed that, “When people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything.” Dennis Prager starts off with that quote to illustrate that nature has become a substitute god for many today.

That’s not surprising. Many pagan religions had some form of nature worship. They worshipped the sun god, the moon god, or the goddess of fertility. Today there is a religious foundation to the environmental movement. We need to protect Mother Earth. Back in the 1970s, James Lovelock developed the “Gaia hypothesis” and more recently noted that “environmentalism has become a religion.”

But nature worship has run into some tough times with this virus pandemic. Nature can be beautiful, but nature can also be brutal. Alfred Tennyson describes nature as “red in tooth and claw.” There are no moral laws. It is the survival of the fittest.

How should Christians think about nature? First, nature is part of the fallen world and should not be worshipped. G.K. Chesterton explained, “Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us.”

Second, in Genesis 1:28, God commands us to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion.” Being fruitful (having children) is just the opposite of what environmentalists would allow. One of my professors at Yale was the founder of zero population growth, dedicated to limiting the number of children that could be born.

Moreover, environmentalists and animal rights activists reject the idea that humans should subdue nature and have dominion over the earth. An article by Lynn White in the 1960s even blamed Christians and this passage in Genesis for our environmental problems.

This pandemic is a reminder that nature is not a friend, and nature is not our god. The Christian worldview is the true picture of reality.
Kirby Anderson is an author, lecturer, visiting professor and radio host and contributor on nationally syndicated Point of View and the "Probe" radio programs.

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Viral Michigan

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Michigan is a state divided.

While Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has become a veritable dictator, in her stated desire to curb the contagion, the infection and death rate in the U.P. (which stands for "Upper Peninsula") would look like a success story . . . were anyone to believe that her policies deserved credit.

But to some extent, "social distancing" is just society-as-usual for rural Yoopers.

Whitmer's stay-at-home orders are the most restrictive of any of our states. All public gatherings are shut down, as are most stores and shops, though lottery sales are still allowed. And enforcement has not been slack, as Reason informs us: "Police stopped landscaper Brandon Hawley for carrying on with his business, although he lives in the northern city of Alpena, which confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Saturday."

Not on board with every one of the governor's executive orders are four sheriffs in westside counties of the main part of the state. They have proclaimed they will not be enforcing every single one of her edicts. "While we understand her desire to protect the public," they wrote in a joint statement, "we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority."

And Michiganders have started to rebel, with the state experiencing our nation's largest protests.

So far.

Recognizing that the state has the third highest coronavirus death count, though most are in the southeastern part of the state, does this menace justify the governor's restrictive measures?

Well, that will be an ongoing debate in Michigan -- as elsewhere.*

The perception of costs will grow rapidly as negative results from the shut-down become more numerous and more obvious.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.
* The most startling report shows the virus forming the same pattern of contagion and lethality everywhere, regardless of "mitigation" measures (as Dr Anthony Fauci dubbed them), i.e. shut-down or no shut-down. Meanwhile, a few contrasts: the 2017-2018 flu season was quite bad, with 80,000 deaths, including "high severity across age groups"; the U.S. coronavirus death count hasn't hit half that yet, which is worth keeping in mind as projections of the contagion's extent and death rate plummet in most models.
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Getting Back To Work And Back To Church

Cliff Kincaid
by Cliff Kincaid: The Washington Post claims "constitutional experts" have "no idea" where President Trump got the idea that emergency powers give him the total authority to reopen the U.S. economy. It took me less than one minute to find a report from a liberal group, the Brennan Center, which noted that "the president has significant discretion to declare a national emergency" and "there are no statutory limitations, beyond the word 'emergency' itself, on what type of event qualifies."

Does an economic depression constitute a special event requiring emergency action? Do food shortages constitute a special event requiring emergency action? You betcha.

Trump declared a national emergency on March 13, under the National Emergencies Act, relating to the coronavirus. The Brennan Center found 123 statutory powers that are available to the president when he declares a national emergency.

The problem in America is not Trump, but outlaw governors and mayors who have, in the case of Greenville, Mississippi, banned drive-in church services.

Critics of Trump who assert his claim of total authority is hogwash are ignoring what scholars call the "Emergency Law Regime." Trump didn't make this up. It's been on the books for decades. Congress gave the president these powers. They are what political science professor Clinton Rossiter called the "Constitutional Dictatorship," which is also the name of his 1948 book.

Presidents of the past using these powers have been swooned over by the liberals. One was Abraham Lincoln, who didn't even have emergency powers granted by Congress. He simply exercised raw power. Another was FDR.

With the prospect of food shortages, in addition to massive unemployment, it's very easy to see how President Trump can use these emergency powers to control and expand the national economy, including interstate commerce. On Tuesday, he said he would rather work with the governors than order them around. But he made it clear he has the ultimate authority, and he's right.

The liberal media are promoting the notion that Trump, if he acts to save jobs and the economy, would be a dictator or King. It seems the Post and its "experts" would rather leave the national economy in the hands of liberal governors who have closed down churches while keeping potheads addicted to marijuana they get from the "essential businesses" selling the dope. Liberal governors want people to remain in a fog, drunk or stoned, and not go to church. That makes them more susceptible to mindlessly accepting anti-Trump propaganda.

President Lincoln suspended habeas corpus without congressional approval in 1861. But he's a beloved president because he rescued the nation. Trump can rescue the nation without exercising Lincoln-like powers. He can use the emergency powers Congress gave him. These also include the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

Trump has not acted like a dictator. He has followed the law.

By contrast, some governors and mayors are acting like tyrants by ordering churches closed down and church members arrested or fined. But the liberal media don't utter a peep. They would, however, probably scream to high heaven if the governors in their states shut down their pot shops and liquor stores. These journalists, of course, have been designated as employees of "essential businesses" in the states, despite their open disdain for our constitutional system and the legitimate election of Donald J. Trump as president.

Trump has depended on the governors to exercise such power properly. Clearly, however, many governors have gone far beyond what is necessary. Trump can and should assert control over these outlaw governors. Many Americans would welcome federal intervention under these circumstances. They want to get back to work and get back to church.

Congress has never revoked national emergency powers, and it's unlikely they would intervene, in voting to override an emergency declaration, to stop Trump from getting Americans back to work. Instead, Democrats will obstruct the legislative process of helping those forced out of their jobs through government action. As we have already seen, they are trying to use this crisis to add extreme left-wing agenda items, such as fraudulent mail-in voting, to financial stimulus legislation.

Trump, under current circumstances, is simply contemplating a decision to allow private businesses that have been closed down by government to get back to work. There's no legal basis on which to challenge his executive authority. In fact, he's trying to restore a system of free enterprise, one of our birthrights as Americans.

Congress passed the Defense Production Act (DPA), under which Trump has ordered General Motors to make ventilators. This is acceptable, proper, and necessary. Nobody disputes the president's authority in this case. In fact, Democrats asked for it.

The DPA, according to the Congressional Research Service, "confers upon the President a broad set of authorities to influence domestic industry in the interest of national defense." Once again, we see wide latitude given to the president. Since the law refers explicitly to "production," it is easy to see how it could be used to justify a presidential decision to get the United States back to work. Trump would simply have to justify the decision as critical to the national security posture of the United States and in the "national interest." Various sections of the Defense Production Act, such as "Strengthening domestic capability," are open-ended.

One of the objectives as mandated by the Congress in the Federal Reserve Act is promoting maximum employment. The president can and should declare that to be his objective as well. It's difficult to see how the "progressives" would argue with that, unless of course it serves them politically to have people out of work, miserable, and starving. If that's the case, then they are consciously serving the interests of the country which spawned the virus, Communist China.
Cliff Kincaid is president of America's Survival, Inc.

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  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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