“We were never asked”

Masters don’t ask. They know they don’t have to.

Last year, through an excellent HBO miniseries, the Soviet Union’s 1986 Chernobyl disaster came to life. Lies about risk were widespread. People were told for years that science proved the reactors were safe, only to be dragged from their radiation-contaminated homes with only the clothes on their back. Certain observers, particularly on the Right, saw the series as a lesson in the evils of communism. While it was indeed that, things also looked rather familiar.

Like our country today, the Soviet Union was full of hard-working and patriotic little people, whose lives and fates were controlled by authorities more concerned with saving face than doing the right thing. As the series dramatized, individualized justice and truth were often suppressed in the name of ideology and scientific progress. Rank and title counted for a lot, while common sense was often neglected. The Soviet Union was a Communist regime, but it was chiefly a bureaucratic regime, where the bureaucracy’s managerial class had privileged lives and a hostile relationship to the common people.

The United States has long been a more individualistic, entrepreneurial, and freedom-loving people than those in Europe, whether East or West. Our national life is much more than an abstract creed. Our culture can be found as much in the Federalist Papers as in the advent of the road trip, music festivals, and, in the days of Prohibition, the speak-easy. We are a restless, energetic, and unbridled people. We are wont to question authority and bend rules that seem stupid and meddlesome.

Public health has always had an uneasy relationship with that culture. At its worst, public health expresses a censorious, cautious, and schoolmarm instinct. It is the force behind book-length warnings on the side of lawnmowers, the demise of dodgeball, and Prohibition itself. If it is an American impulse, it’s the dark side of America; the perversion of our “can do” spirit into relentless crusades against fun in the name of safety and science.

We all have our own priorities, weigh risks and benefits differently, and, until recently, were allowed to decide these things for ourselves. The public health ideologue does not agree that risks of various kinds—including the voluntary risks of smoking, drinking alcohol, or driving motorcycles—are things that a free people should be allowed to do.

The lockdown crowd will invoke a countervailing principle: even people who believe in freedom will concede that you do not have the right to endanger others.

In the abstract, this is true. But is anyone endangering others if they fail to abide by these lockdowns? Setting aside the modest coronavirus risk for the vast majority of people, we have been told that social distancing is the means of safety. If you avoid others, wash your hands, and wear a mask, you will be safe.

If avoiding others, wearing masks, and social distancing are so effective, then—like refraining from smoking or skydiving—the people who feel strongly about risk have the means of protecting themselves. Perhaps vulnerable populations are well-served to follow these precautions. Just as people can choose not to get on a motorcycle, the vulnerable and cautious can engage in voluntary masking and social distancing.

The risks and benefits of living normally can be borne by those who want to live.

Read every word of this one, folks.

TINVOWOOT follies

I pray he’s wrong. I fear he’s right.

We have two justice systems, one for them and one for us, meaning we have no justice system at all.

Sorry to have to break this to you. I know it makes you sad, but how do you think I feel? I spent 27 years helping defend this country and voilà – here we are, a flippin’ banana republic. Turns out our elite is perfectly cool with treating our Constitution like Charmin.

You do understand that to the establishment, this dual track system where they ignore the law and we get the law dropped on us – including through active framing, as with LTG Flynn, to keep us in line – is how they want it, right? This is not an unintended consequence. They are for this.

They are actively for the abuse of the legal system to persecute their political enemies. You adorable naïfs come to me thinking that I, as a lawyer, will assuage your gnawing fear that something is rotten in the state of America. “Kurt, but this…this isn’t right? How can some people be prosecuted but other people with connections get away with crimes?” Well, the answer is simple: that is how many of the people with their grubby paws on the levers of power want it.

They want to use the government to stifle dissent, as the IRS did to Tea Party groups.

They want to make people afraid to oppose them by threatening them with crushing legal fees and maybe jail if they dare join the opposition – look at the trail of bankrupt Trumpworld folks after Obamagate.

They want to frame people working for their enemies and ruin them and put them in prison, a la LTG Flynn.

This permeates liberal culture. Did you know that the ACLU – the Alleged Civil Liberties Union – just sued Betsy De Vos because she ordered reforms to campus man-witch trials that gave men such radical due process rights as the right to know the charges, to have time to respond to them, to not be judged by the same person who is prosecuting them, and to confront their accuser? The ACLU came out against these things – at least in cases where ole Grandpa Badfinger’s not the accused. And speaking of that handsy old weirdo, how about all those lib luminaries leveling with us that even if he did what Tara Reade said he did, eh, no biggie. They’ll vote for him anyway, and that whiny broad should stop crying all over their beautiful progressive narrative.

I’d love to be wrong. Maybe I am. Maybe the unbroken track record of injustice we’ve seen over the last decade will suddenly break. And maybe my pet unicorn Chet will be the foreman of the jury when one of these slugs somehow gets called to account.

“Then I guess we should just give up and resign ourselves to tyranny?” Oh no. Oh, not at all. My short-term assessment is grave, but my long-term assessment is bright. Tyranny tends to fail over time. Remember, the establishment’s embrace of tactical tyranny is an admission of weakness. When they weren’t threatened they could afford to hide their true nature. All this is their last-ditch effort to resist the popular uprising against their inept rule.

We need to stay on the offensive.

But how do we win?

Alas, Kurt’s prescription for winning relies entirely on voting our way out of this, which…well, you know.

SOLIDARNOSC!

Some eerie similarities.

Many U.S. states are acting like the early 1980’s and the imposition of Martial law in Poland to target the Solidarity movement. Subsequently I wrote about it on a Twitter thread, because the parallels were really quite remarkable.

Both Poland circa 1980 and the U.S. friction in 2020, center around fragile economic issues. Both were an outcome of state control; and the key connection is government targeting control over the workers.

In both examples the state took exclusive control of the economic and social state of the citizens, and the courts provided no option for redress. In both examples the state locked down the citizens and would not permit them to interact with each other.

In 1981 the government in Poland initiated Martial Law and citizens were forced to communicate underground. In 2020 a considerable number of U.S. state governments locked-down citizens in similar fashion and banned citizen assembly.

In 1981 in Poland the communist regime used economic psychological pressure, selecting workers permitted to earn wages. Those workers identified as “essential” to the state. In 2020 many State governors selected workers to earn an income by designating them “essential” to the state.

Isn’t it funny how ALL government employees always seem to be “essential”?

In 1981 Polish authorities arrested anyone organizing protests against the authoritarian state. In 2020 numerous authoritarian officials arrested citizens for non-compliance with unilateral dictates. From a New Jersey governor arresting a woman for organizing a protect; to an Idaho mother arrested for allowing her children to play at a park; to a Texas salon owner arrested for operating her business.

In 1981 Polish authorities had a program for citizens to report subversive activity against the state. Snitching. In 2020 New York City, LA and numerous state and local officials started programs for citizens to report non-compliant activity against the state. Similar snitching.

In both 1981 Poland and 2020 USA we also see media exclusively creating ideological content as propaganda for the interests of the authoritarian state (controlling citizens).

So where is the American Lech Walesa, anyway? Sundance finds reason for hope nonetheless:

Just before the authoritarian state in Poland collapsed there was a rapid movement for the citizens to take to the streets in defiance of state control. I remember watching with great enthusiasm as I saw a very determined pole shout on television:

…”we take to the streets and today we realize, there are more of us than them”…

If one person refuses to comply, government can and as we have witnessed arrest them. However, if tens of thousands rebuke these unconstitutional decrees, there isn’t a damn thing government can do to stop it…. and they know it.

If one barber shop opens, the owner becomes a target. However, if every barber shop and beauty salon in town opens… there is absolutely nothing the government can do about it.

If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores  and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials… there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.

Even more to the point, a commenter notes this insightful quote:

Douglass-Tyrants.jpg


While I’m by no means as hopeful as Sundance (or Douglass, for that matter), that one is going straight into the Notable Quotes section in the sidebar, I believe.

Of night, and light

A dismal tide is sweeping across America, leaving unprecedented destruction in its wake.

When the coronavirus landed on our shores, communist China came with it.

We have become part of a mass scale human experiment in government control and it turned out that stripping away our freedom wasn’t all that difficult. Under the guise of concern for our health and well-being, tyrants came out of the woodwork.  Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our lives are being destroyed as the left solidifies and expands their oppressive powers. We’ve been herded around like cattle, threatened, isolated, confined, silenced, and arrested. You name it, it’s happening.

You tell me if what follows sounds like the United States, or China.

We’ve been told who can work and who can’t, with language that separates us according to who is and who isn’t “essential” as the almighty State supersedes individual rights and the family unit.

We’ve been physically and verbally harassed, threatened, fined, detained, arrested, jailed, and/or placed in forced quarantine. Business licenses have been revoked. Going to work without the permission of the government is now a crime. So is going to the park or a beach. Children playing together is also in defiance of the government. So is placing flags on the graves of veterans. The list of infractions goes on and on and on and on. Examples read like the manifesto of a demented madman.

Brown goes on, and on, and on from there, with a most impressive collection of supporting links, and it all makes for truly…well, dismal reading. But even as the darkness falls, a hopeful ray of light shines forth in the person of Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blackrock, who wrote the majority opinion springing hair-salon hero Shelley Luther from durance most vile:

He began with a quote, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.”

Then he crisply explained it.

Blacklock wrote, “All government power in this country, no matter how well-intentioned, derives only from the state and federal constitutions. Government power cannot be exercised in conflict with these constitutions, even in a pandemic.

“In the weeks since American governments began taking emergency measures in response to the corona virus, the sovereign people of this country have graciously and peacefully endured a suspension of their civil liberties without precedent in our nation’s history. In some parts of the country, churches have been closed by government decree, although Texas is a welcome exception. Nearly everywhere, the First Amendment ‘right of the people to peaceably assemble’ has been suspended altogether. In many places, people are forbidden to leave their homes without a government-approved reason.Tens of millions can no longer earn a living because the government has declared their employers or their businesses ‘non-essential.’

“Any government that has made the grave decision to suspend the liberties of a free people during a health emergency should welcome the opportunity to demonstrate — both to its citizens and to the courts — that its chosen measures are absolutely necessary to combat a threat of overwhelming severity. The government should also be expected to demonstrate that less restrictive measures cannot adequately address the threat. Whether it is strict scrutiny or some other rigorous form of review, courts must identify and apply a legal standard by which to judge the constitutional validity of the government’s anti-virus actions. When the present crisis began, perhaps not enough was known about the virus to second-guess the worst-case projections motivating the lockdowns. As more becomes known about the threat and about the less restrictive, more targeted ways to respond to it, continued burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.

“Ideally, these debates would play out in the public square, not in courtrooms. No court should relish being asked to question the judgment of government officials who were elected to make difficult decisions in times such as these. However, when constitutional rights are at stake, courts cannot automatically defer to the judgments of other branches of government. When properly called upon, the judicial branch must not shrink from its duty to require the government’s anti-virus orders to comply with the Constitution and the law, no matter the circumstances.”

That’s the whole decision.

And a most excellent one it was, too. That right there, folks, is exactly what I mean when I talk about our duty to defend the Constitution, rather than sitting back hoping it will defend us. Bravo to Justice Blacklock. We will NEVER have as many like him as we need, no matter how many there are out there.

To every thing, there is a season

The good Rabbi Fisher gets his hate on. To which I can only say: welcome to the party, pal.

When the Mets finally took it all in 1969, the other teams accepted the results. They lost gracefully. Now it was the Mets’ turn, and they had won it fair and square. But these past three years have been something different. Trump and Pence won fair and square. But there was no grace. Rather, there was instant character assassination, instant war, instant denial. Advertisements urging electors to violate their Electoral College oaths. Fabrications of collusion with Putin. Investigations that hamstrung a presidency. Lies and innuendoes leaked and published by the unindicted co-conspirators we call the “mainstream media.” A never-ending hunt to find scandals and Trump accusers: a bimbo who pole-danced at bars, her lawyer who now dances behind bars, another crooked lawyer who tape-recorded his own clients and now is locked up, disbarred from the Bar. One cartoon character after another.

As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.

I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.

I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.

They took advantage of a good man who suddenly found himself combating in a different kind of military theater outside his field of expertise. He knew the jungles of Afghanistan, not the jungles of the Justice Department in Washington. The slime dregs of Justice, the Peter Strzoks and Andrew McCabes of the FBI, knew this. They had the lieutenant general on their terrain. He never should have been questioned about the call. He never should have been sucked into an interview without an attorney present. He never should have been lulled into what he said to the FBI.

Donald Trump has been the chief executive of this country for more than three years, and he has proven to be a great president in so many ways, but he sadly has proven incapable of cleaning the swamp. He at least identified the swamp’s existence, and he is fighting its effort to swallow him within its muck. But he has proven that, despite the glorious slogan he inspired, he cannot drain it. Not one single slime in the swamp has been brought to justice.

There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. Yes, we oppose them and expose them, and we hope that contemporary society and history judge them for the evil they represent. But we do not destroy them in their lives. They get away with everything. Hillary Clinton spoliated 33,000 emails amid a federal probe, a federal crime that always ends up with prison time — but not for her. It is a federal crime to lie under oath to Congress. Comey, Clapper, Brennan — how have they all avoided prison time? Strzok, Page, the whole bunch of them? Adam Schiff. The outliers on the Mueller team. Not one single slime among them in the swamp has been brought to justice.

These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. His own Catholic diocese in eastern Kentucky sold him out and sold out all the boys who stood with him that fateful day in Washington, D.C., when he was harassed by a messed-up Indian with a drum. And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the need. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. The perjurers all got away with it. Name one single perjurer against Justice Kavanaugh who ever was brought to justice by Charles Grassley or Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judicial Committee.

The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it. Republicans watch the character assassination and then go on Sean Hannity to sound brave for five minutes. “These people will pay a steep price, Sean.” “I won’t let them get away with it, Sean.” “Let not your heart be troubled, Sean.” “We will investigate every crime and every perjury, Sean.” Three years of hearing this from Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Trey Gowdy, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffetz, Kevin McCarthy. Well, Fox News Alert: They all got away with it. Comey. Brennan. Clapper. Blasey Ford. Schiff. Hillary. Strzok. Page. McCabe.

There is a time to love and a time to hate. This is a time to hate.

Well, good enough, as far as it goes. But nigh upon us is a quite different time: A time to act. We shall very soon see if enough of us remain in this benighted, ravaged nation with the wisdom to recognize it, and the gumption to do what’s required of us.

Three foes, just one enemy

Somehow, I wasn’t aware of this myself.

In October 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a 30-year war on the United States. When the war is over in 2049, the 100th anniversary of Communist Party rule, China expects to be victorious economically, politically and, if necessary, militarily. This is something about which few Americans are aware, and most who are don’t take it seriously. Donald Trump does—and Beijing knows it.

China must carefully consider “all complex situations,” Xi said at the time, voicing a cryptic note of caution. In the aftermath of COVID-19, as more of China’s secret ambitions are exposed and anti-communist sentiments not heard since the Cold War go public, there could be a lot of “complex situations” for Chinese leaders to consider.

After failing repeatedly, Democrats and their allies think they finally have the perfect one-two combination—spiked Chinese bat flu along with a sci-fi panic attack—for getting rid of Trump and capitalism once and for all.

The Democratic Party, the media and a newly aggressive China have morphed into a single opposition, and the one person capable of rallying the nation to fight back and win is Donald Trump.

And then things really start to get…interesting.

Reporters, spouting their usual Chinese propaganda at a recent White House press conference, tried to make it seem as if Trump’s name for the virus was worse than the virus itself.

But while they asked questions designed to make Trump look stupid, he used them to launch a major theme in his reelection campaign.

“Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus?” one reporter wanted to know. “A lot of people say it’s racist.”

“It’s not racist at all,” said Trump. “It comes from China. Chi-na . . . I want to be accurate.”

Two minutes later another reporter said: “A White House official used the term ‘kung flu,’ referring to the fact that this virus started in China . . . Is that acceptable?”

“Say the term again,” Trump said.

“Kung flu,” the reporter replied. “A person at the White House used the term ‘kung flu’—”

“Just the term,” interrupted Trump.

“Kung flu,” the reporter said again.

“Kung flu?” asked the president, as if he hadn’t heard it the first four times.

“Kung flu,” the reporter repeated. “Do you think that’s wrong? And do you think using the term ‘Chinese virus’ puts Asian-Americans at risk?”

“No. I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent,” Trump said. “It comes from China. What’s not to agree on?”

Watching the White House press corps in action is a form of home entertainment for a whole population sheltering in place. There’s more going on here, though, than journalists beclowning themselves.

How many people cooped up with just their TVs to amuse them, agreed with what Trump said about China? Or thought the back and forth on “kung flu” (a phrase broadcast six times in the space of 20 seconds) was funny?

And how many sent links to their friends, who sent them to their friends? Thousands…millions?

Donald Trump called COVID-19 “the Chinese virus” and got an oblivious reporter to say “kung flu” over and over for the same reason he called Jeb Bush “Low-energy Jeb” and Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Four years ago he started typecasting Bush and Clinton as losers before a single primary voter went to the polls. A similar strategy is underway in the 2020 race, with a special coronavirus twist.

Can Trump really be that smart? If so, all the people currently making sport of him via snarky “12-dimensional chess” comments are gonna wind up looking mighty foolish themselves when all is said and done. As these things tend to do, though, it all comes back around to the fundamentals.

Less than six months before a presidential election COVID-19 has made Donald Trump a “crisis” president.

Instead of coasting to victory in November on the strength of his economic record, he will need to deal effectively with the coronavirus, revive the economy—for a second time—and confront the most formidable foreign policy challenge since Ronald Reagan was president.

In fact, Trump’s run for a second term in 2020 is a virtual playback of Reagan’s 1984 campaign. The similarities between the two men and their races, including the Cold War overtones, are uncanny.

Reagan was 73, so is Trump. Reagan ran against his predecessor’s vice president, just as Trump is doing. Both were Washington outsiders and former Democrats, who previously worked in the entertainment industry.

They also share two qualities—determination and resilience—particularly suited to campaigning in times of crisis. Reagan was an optimist and a fighter with a unique ability to communicate his ideas to voters. Trump has the same traits, using Twitter to connect with his millions of followers. And no politician in America can fill stadiums—and their parking lots—with supporters the way he does.

Because of the coronavirus, the 2020 campaign will be a debate about political systems, economics and national security, issues that play to the strengths that helped Trump win in 2016. And, as president, he can use campaign events, as Reagan did, to spell out the options in language every voter understands.

Will the United States be held hostage and eventually dominated by China and its Democratic Party collaborators, or will it “Stay the course,” as Reagan put it?

If the Democrats take over, the answer is obvious. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America (USSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Communist China.

Shortly after Reagan’s second inauguration, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed general secretary of the Soviet Union, the “evil empire’s” eighth and final leader. Later, Reagan was asked if Gorbachev’s reform-minded approach to communism had changed his strategic thinking about the Cold War. “No,” he said. “Here’s my strategy: We win. They lose.”

A most excellent strategy, that, with the added advantage of being truly timeless. Stupid or not, Trump is definitely crazy—LIKE A FUCKING FOX.

Despite my copious excerpting, there’s plenty more yet to come; yes, it’s another must-read-it-all article, folks. Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

Plenty of blame to go around

Good on Ted Cruz, I suppose, for as far as it goes. Alas, that’s not very far.

Sen. Ted Cruz Gets Haircut At Salon A La Mode After Owner Shelley Luther Released From Jail
Cruz told Luther he hasn’t had a haircut in about three months, and that his wife Heidi even warned he would “start bringing mullets back,” if he didn’t do something soon.

At one point during his visit, Luther started crying, thanking Cruz for his support, “When people reach out with true authenticity, it’s huge,” she said.

Luther told CBS 11 News, “It’s a nice gesture. His family actually called my boyfriend and prayed for him for 20 minutes while I was in jail. To me that’s not political… that’s just really nice people reaching out and making sure that our family is okay.”

A fine gesture and all that jazz. My problem, though, is this: wouldn’t a MUCH better time for Cruz to visit the salon have been BEFORE Luther got thrown in the slammer, but was still under unconstitutional lockdown orders? Which brings me to my next complaint:

A Look At The Democrat Dallas Judge Who Jailed A Salon Owner
A Dallas salon owner was thrown in jail this week by a local judge after defying state restrictions ordering her business remain closed. Shelly Luther was fined $7,000 and ordered to seven days in jail by District Court Judge Eric Moye on Tuesday whose ruling has since become a nationwide controversy highlighting the growing tensions under lockdowns where government-mandated closings are throwing millions out of work.

Luther was released on Thursday however by the Texas Supreme Court which came just after the state’s Republican Governor, Greg Abbott issued an executive order retroactively suspending local ordinances that throw citizens in detention for noncompliance with local stay home orders.

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said the day after Luther was given jail time.

Yeah, except that you DID allow it to happen, Gov; it happened on your damned watch. And before anybody goes harrumphing at me for waxing all pissy at poor Abbott, let’s also remember a few other things:

Abbott Spokesman John Whitaker made clear in a statement to The Federalist however, that the governor’s executive order still allows local fines and other penalties such as license suspensions to be handed down to those who open without authorization, implying Luther may still have to pay $7,000.

Moye condemned Luther’s defiance as “selfish,” charging Luther with “putting your own interests ahead of the community in which you live.

“You disrespected the orders of the state, the county, and this city,” Moye told Luther.

All of which is, however inconvenient, perfectly fucking true, up to and including the part I boldfaced.

Now, in fairness, Abbott’s lockdown order was probably less onerous than some, and was implemented relatively late in the game. But still, there’s just no getting around the facts regarding A) who it was that implemented the Constitution-flouting thing in the first place, and B) stuff like this here:

The most immediate action will see state parks opened for recreational activity Monday, so long as citizens wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet from each other. Additionally, no groups larger than five people will be allowed to congregate.

Subsequent measures will allow hospitals to resume elective tests and surgeries while stores can start “retail to go” services, starting on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

It is not clear whether or not Abbott’s executive order will supercede the actions of local officials, such as those in Austin, which earlier this week extended its stay-at-home order beyond May 1.

Abbott first issued an order telling Texans to stay at home starting April 1, but he never accepted that it was a stay-at-home lockdown in the same manner as those adopted by other states.

I don’t give a tinker’s damn what Abbott chooses to “accept.” Somehow, I doubt many of the small-business owners currently being bled white by the ridiculous COVIDIOT overreaction do, either. Somebody in Texas should maybe remind the Gov that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and etc etc, then it’s probably a goddamned duck, no matter how reluctant he or anybody else might be to face up to it.

And Democrat-judge me no Democrat-judges, either. This is bipartisan bullshit we’re looking at here. Far as I know, we currently have precisely one (1) US state governor who well understands her legitimate role, and what boundaries the US Constitution explicitly sets around her own power. Sadly, tragically even, that would NOT be Governor Abbott of Texas.

It would be a serious mistake to think of what’s been done to us as a Demican/Republicrat thing, or to allow it to be portrayed as such. What we actually have here is a tyrant/non-tyrant thing. Unfortunately, we’ve all had the chance to get ourselves a good, long look at how many there are of the former out there, in both Uniparty flavors—and at how infinitesimally few remain of the latter.

Update! Now don’t get me wrong, I see no reason not to frankly acknowledge that the judge, who appears to be functionally illiterate, is a complete asshole.

It is further ORDERED that at any time the Defendants should wish to purge themselves of their Contempt, they may petition this Court for release from confinement. Should the Defendants aver under Oath that they shall immediately cease and desist the continued operation of the Salon, publically express contrition, publicly expressl contrition for the violation of the Order of this Court and the Orders and mandates of the State of Texas, of Dallas County and of the City of Dallas, and take all steps necessary to comply with the Temporary Restraining Order of this Court, they may seek release.

It is so Ordered.

This braying jackass also demanded she “admit that she was wrong and selfish,” along with the apology.

“Publically express contrition”? REALLY? Yeah, fuck you, you fucking fascist. Which, to Luther’s everlasting credit, was pretty much her response:

After Dallas Judge Eric Moye told Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther that she had the option of acknowledging she was wrong and had been selfish, and should apologize to elected officials for violating their orders, Luther responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Moye sentenced Luther to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt. CBS Dallas reported, “She and her business are also each being fined $500 for every day… seven in all so far… that it was open in violation of the governor’s order.” That daily fine will end May 8.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had sent Luther a cease-and-desist letter, but last week Luther publicly tore it apart. Last Wednesday, Luther stated, “Apparently there’s a very good chance that I’m getting arrested today and I will do everything I can to keep the shop open because I’m not closing the store. If they arrest me I have someone that will keep the store open because it’s our right to keep the store open. It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”

It most certainly is, ma’am. With her courageous, principled stand against blatantly unconstitutional oppression, Luther has established her bona fides as a worthy successor to Rosa Parks:

“I’m not anyone special,” she reportedly said at the event.  “I just know that I have rights.  You have rights to feed your children and make income, and anyone that wants to take away those rights is wrong.”

Luther said she, along with several of her 19 stylists, had fallen behind on paying their mortgages.  “It’s either come in and make money to be able to feed your family or stay home and freak out.”

Meanwhile, the scum-sucking judge handed down an even more offensive decree from his exalted Holy of Holies:

If you would like to take this opportunity now to acknowledge:  that your actions were selfish, putting your own interests ahead of those in the community in which you live; that they disrespected the executive orders of the state, the orders of the county, and this city; that you now see the error of your ways and understand that the society cannot function when one’s own belief in the concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials; that you owe an apology to the elected officials who you disrespected by flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling their orders which you now know obviously regard to you; that you know the proper way in an ordered society to engage concerns you may have had is to hire a lawyer and advocate for change, an exception, or amendment to laws that you find offensive; that you publicly state that this is the way that citizens in the states should behave and that you represent to this court that you will today cease operation of your salon and not reopen until after further orders of the government permit you to do so; this court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration that you have demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.

S’cuse me very much, Your “Honor,” but it seems to me that any proper and correct concept of liberty not only permits but REQUIRES the flaunting of disdain for blatantly illegal rulings, whatever official orifice they may have been excreted from. Sir.

Ehh, what’s the use? Fascist thugs like Moye will never come anywhere near getting it, even assuming they had any interest in making a sincere try at it, which they assuredly do not. There is no discussing, debating, or reasoning with such as they. They can only be crushed, utterly. They have no place whatsoever in even a nominally-free society; are in fact a serious threat to it; and should therefore not be tolerated there, but abolished. In whatever sense you wish to take the word.

On your feet or on your knees

So here t’is, folks, the be-all end-all post I’ve been mentioning for several days. Since it’s been in the hopper for a week or more now, the opener will seem like old news, but it will still serve as a setup to get us where I want to go, I think.

When you think it’s time to start burying you guns, it’s probably time to start digging them up.

Lansing (United States) (AFP) – Demonstrators, including some carrying guns, entered the capitol building in the US state of Michigan on Thursday and demanded the Democratic governor lift strict coronavirus lockdown orders, as some lawmakers reportedly donned bulletproof vests.

Dozens of demonstrators crowded the lobby of the building in Lansing, where they demanded to be allowed inside the House Chamber.

State police, wearing masks, blocked them from entering. None of the protesters appeared to be wearing masks.

I’ve seen several on our side decrying the supposedly “threatening” behavior represented by the armed protesters as thuggish, excessive, or even self-defeating. They’re wrong about that, I believe, and here’s why:

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us,” tweeted Senator Dayna Polehanki along with a photo showing four men, at least one of whom appeared to be carrying a weapon.

“Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” she continued.

Now admittedly, it’s a damned shame things have come to such a sorry pass. Also, We The People bear at least some of the blame for it, for decades of inattention to the sacred duty of safeguarding our Constitutional rights as they were slowly whittled away.

The truth as I see it, though, is that the problem is not that politicians found themselves fearful and intimidated by the Michigan protesters. No, the problem is that they aren’t intimidated enough, and as a consequence have grown accustomed to their commands being unquestioningly obeyed by the people they are now ruling instead of governing. They have become arrogant, imperious, and completely unconcerned about such trifling irrelevancies as “unalienable rights” and “the consent of the governed.”

For our 2A rights to mean anything at all in terms of preserving the Republic, the politicians and bureau-rats must be reminded from time of their role as public servants. Whenever they seem to have grown forgetful of that, I can’t think of a swifter or surer corrective than letting them have a good, close look at a large gathering of well-armed constituents intent on restoring a proper sense of caution in them. The sight of a gun seems to be the only thing that gets much of a reaction of any kind from them nowadays. Which means we’re all in a precarious place.

It’s to the Michigan protesters’ credit that the reminder was rendered peaceably, without a shot being fired. But you can be certain that, absent the implied prospect of bodily harm should the scoundrels prove obstinate in error, any and all protest will come to naught. Could very well be that it will anyway; that’s what I’d bet on myself, in truth. But I can’t see that any meaningful harm was done by showing the politicians a few rifles on the very doorstep of their workplace, and it may yet prove to be a good thing.

The saddest thing of all is that we might well be on the threshold of a do-or-die, now-and-forever moment here. After our free 30-day (and counting) trial of Communist tyranny and the onset of economic catastrophe to come—not to mention the systemic Deep State lawlessness confirmed by the ongoing Flynn document releases—can any serious person contend that this country isn’t now at a crossroads—an inflection point where the only choice is between abandonment of any hope of a restoration of some semblance of Constitutional liberty…or acceptance of our position as serfs, as slaves?

The situation presents us with a stark question: if not now, when? If the extended lockdown—the exercising by state and local officials of an authority that they clearly do not possess, or not legitimately—doesn’t suffice to stir at least the Three Percenters into open revolt, then what will? How much tyranny is too much for Americans to tolerate? Is there in fact no “bridge too far,” no line our ever-more-brazen masters need fear to cross?

Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman were given four years in a New York penitentiary for the crime of being associated with Gavin McInnes. They were jumped by left-wing street thugs and won the fight. They were arrested, but there was never any effort to find the men who attacked them. There was no effort to find witnesses either. Instead, the police and court relied on material provided to them by Antifa. When he sentenced them, the judge made clear he was doing it for their politics.

That is not an isolated example. Over the last decade this sort of thing has become so common that it is just an accepted part of daily reality. If you belong to a group holding unapproved ideas, you have to go to great lengths to meet in secret in order to avoid being attacked by state sanctioned mobs. If that happens, there is a good chance the police will charge you rather than the mob. The thing political dissidents in current year America fear is that the government will become aware of them.

There used to be a time when Americans associated this sort of thing with totalitarian states or South American dictatorships. The communists would never allow people to hold unapproved opinions. They smashed up illegal printing presses and banished dissident writers. Third world dictators sanctioned mobs to go around harassing people they saw as a problem. The communists are all gone and there are no more South American strong men. America is no longer a free country either.

This reality should be evident to everyone now. Government has spent the better part of the last two months closing shops and forcing people to stay indoors. They are creating bizarre and ridiculous rules for when people must go outside. Cops are pushing people around, harassing mothers at parks and otherwise carrying on like highly feminized goon squads. It’s hard to claim you live in a free country when you need permission from the government go outside to take a walk.

The remarkable thing about this is none of the things described above would have seemed plausible a generation ago. Conservatives liked to claim Bill Clinton was an autocrat, but no one seriously imagined he would so something like this. Left-wingers really thought Bush was Hitler, but even they did not think this was possible. In what feels like the blink of an eye, things we used to think were outside the realm of possibility are now normal. We have slipped into the darkness.

If you are of a certain age, the new normal is particularly tough to fathom. You spent much of your early life being told that the long struggle against communism was all about preventing exactly this. The whole point of America, its reason to exist, was to prevent exactly this from happening. Maybe it was always a big lie. Maybe it is the result of forces too complex for anyone to fathom. It really does not matter. The result is what matters. America is no longer a free country.

Not by a long yard, it ain’t. But is the worst part of the Hare-Kinsman story above that such a shocking, outrageous miscarriage of justice occurred in America…or that most Americans no longer find it particularly shocking or outrageous at all?

Mind you, I’m not advocating any specific course of action here, nor am I likely to do so. The prospect of Civil War v2.0 is an awful one, as I’ve said over and over here, a thing to be dreaded. In fact, I’m hesitant to even mull such notions over in a public forum, for reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense.

But what does it say about us as Americans that we accept these travesties, even as we go right on congratulating ourselves for being the “land of the free”?

The questions keep coming: whither liberty? Whither the Constitution; whither America That Was? What senses do we lack that we cannot perceive the shadow of despotism falling over us? Does any of this really matter anymore anyway?

Update! Wilder, in the latest of his CW2.0 Weather Report series, sounds a somber note:

As I’ve mentioned before, a strong economy could take this sort of shock. Our economy isn’t strong. Let’s take New York City. What does it produce? Debt, real estate sales, insurance companies, financial irregularity, the stock market, and national “journalism” that at best is as biased as a Kennedy mother bailing her kids out of jail. If New York City were to disappear tomorrow, the only thing from NYC the Wilder Family would miss is the television show Impractical Jokers®.

Are we richer because of what comes from New York? Are we more stable? Does making another loan to a big corporation so they have enough debt on their books so a New York financier can’t buy them with their own money make us better off? Is it better because the dollars aren’t backed by anything other than a printing press?

In that same time period, manufacturing dropped from 25% of the economy to 11%. Does that make us better off, when critical goods are made an ocean away? Does that make us more stable and able to weather a crisis?

As the economy collapses, it’s collapsing because it has been hollowed out for decades. I will say that studies show, before 1980, Democrats were strongly focused on keeping the manufacturing and construction industries strong, since the unions that dominated that sector were lock-step voters for the Democrats. But, when a shiny new toy of being paid by the big banks plus being able to bring in a whole new class of voters (legal immigrants and illegal aliens) got too big, the Democrats dumped manufacturing and construction.

This collapse has been decades in the making. It won’t be done quickly. And it just might provide the pain to slingshot us into Civil War 2.0.

Revolutions, civil wars, and violent uprisings aren’t usually launched by comfortable, gainfully-employed people who are getting enough to eat.

The wrong shutdown

Oh, we definitely need a shutdown, all right. But this time, let’s try and get it right.

For whatever reason, many governments persist in destroying resources and fundamental liberties on the basis of a debunked epidemiological model. The national government should actively intercede, as it did to protect Americans’ rights during the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, neither of which were very civil. But even if it doesn’t want to interfere with states’ rights today, under no circumstances should it FUND their oppression. Verily, I believe any attempt to do so will lead to a tax revolt, probably of the quiet variety at first. There is just no way Americans in the free states are going to fund the continued subjugation of their fellow Americans in California, Michigan, and elsewhere, which have essentially been invaded and occupied by their own governments.

But what then shall the poor state and municipal governments do? Obviously, they need to lift most economic restrictions so that taxes again begin to flow in. And they also need to cut their “nonessential” workers, which is essentially most of them. In the short term anyway, we need courts and police officers and other first responders. (Ultimately, we do not need any of them but this is no time for novelty, even if we have rich comparative and historical examples from which to draw.) But teachers, recorders, prothonotaries, and all sorts of other bureaucrats need to be furloughed immediately. (If you think that many will then join the ranks of protesters, you’re starting to understand the power of the purse! They can arrest some protestors, but not all of them, especially with their budgets so tight.)

There is no reason to exclude national government employees from furloughs either. The bailouts and other forms of hush money already paid out has to be repaid somehow, through higher taxes or lower expenditures. Why do we need parts of the SEC if no corporations are issuing securities? What good is the EPA if factories are shuttered? The USDA if meat processors are closed? What does the Department of Education do even in normal times? Surely most of the Department of the Interior can be let go.

Is furloughing 75 percent of government workers a draconian suggestion? Absolutely, but why shouldn’t government employees suffer along with the rest of us? You can’t expect civvies to bear all the burden of flattening an already pretty flat curve indefinitely. Plus, unlike the private sector, which is all “essential” or it wouldn’t exist, we know from budget battle government shutdowns that much of the national government is nonessential. Life goes on, and some think improves, without it.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the deadweight loss of the 35-day partial federal government shutdown in early 2019 at only $3 billion. We will be lucky to get out of the current mess for $3 trillion in deadweight losses.

Governments messed up by botching testing, then not stopping the spread of the virus when it was still manageable, then did so again by shutting down too much of the economy for too long to cover their incompetence, and now they want to be rewarded with continued nonessential employment, and the forced redistribution of wealth from all Americans to Constitution-smashing state governments? Where is the last straw?

There isn’t one, near as I can tell. Which brings us one step closer to the dropping of the post I mentioned at the end of this one, and am still putting together.

Chains, resting lightly upon us

Embedded in the post from Fran mentioned below is a video of last night’s Tucker Carlson monologue. I happened to catch its broadcast run myself last night while at my brother’s place, then spent a good bit of my time today desperately trying run down a transcript for posting purposes, it was so good. And finally, I did.

Last week we interviewed a longtime partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company named Peter Walker. Like so many in finance and consulting, Walker spent an awful lot of his career doing business in China. We have no idea how much money he made doing that.

We do know that along the way, Walker internalized a lot of the attitudes of China’s totalitarian government. During our interview, we asked Walker what he thought of China’s lockdown that was imposed in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

I asked Walker: “Now credible reports suggest that Chinese authorities locked people in their apartments and left them to die. We know they snatched people off the streets and threw them into police vans – God knows where they went. That’s the quarantine that you think they deserve high praise for. Why?”

Walker replied: “Well I think … if you just look at the results, I know there’s always going to be questions about exactly what the numbers are, but I think the harsh action that they took, given the scale of China and number of big cities in it, was exactly what they needed to do to prevent the outbreak from going any further. The reality is the outbreak hasn’t gone much beyond Wuhan.”

The secret police kidnapping citizens off the street, authorities locking people in their apartments from the outside until they starve to death – just look at the results. All of that, Walker said, was “exactly what they needed to do.”

This is the view of one of America’s most prominent business leaders. He didn’t seem ashamed to say it. Later in our interview, Walker suggested that American authorities could have done the same things in New York, if only they’d gotten an earlier start. Kind of a shame they didn’t.

Your jaw dropped watching it. But here’s the striking thing: nobody seemed to notice that he said it. Walker didn’t find himself on the front page of The New York Times the next morning. No one in American business denounced him. He went home and went to bed. Totalitarianism doesn’t shock us anymore.

Maybe that’s because, all of a sudden, it’s all around us.

Never in American history have politicians been more powerful than they are now. Effectively, they are God. In the state of Maine, Gov. Janet Mills now has the power to suspend any law she doesn’t like. She can seize any state resource she feels like seizing. She can force any citizen or all citizens from their homes.

The governor can do all of this for as long as she believes Maine is in a state of “emergency.” There is virtually nothing Janet Mills can’t do. Many governors now have these powers.

The First Amendment explicitly prevents government from making any law that inhibits the exercise of religious faith. It’s a cornerstone of our history and our law.

Millions of people have fled to America from around the world precisely because our Bill of Rights gives them this guarantee. It’s why this country was founded. Now it’s gone.

Where did politicians get the authority to do all this? Because some elderly, power-drunk doctor told them to? That’s not how our system works – or can work.

Occasionally, you’ll hear some lonely civil libertarian fret that we may be on a “slippery slope” toward losing our rights. If only. We’re already there.

We’ve slid to the bottom of that slope. Our rights are gone. No one has explained how politicians are allowed to do this, to override the Constitution. No one seems to care. They’re too afraid.

But if we think this is moment scary, consider what might come next. Now that we’ve ceded all authority in the country to our political leaders, what can’t they do? What are the limits to their power?

That’s not a theoretical question. It’s not an argument over philosophy or political theory. It’s the most practical possible question. The answer will define where this country goes next. What can’t politicians do in the name of public health?

Lots more betwixt my invisible ellipses, running down several more examples of the authoritarian fever currently enfeebling the nation—a mortal affliction for which there is but one known treatment. Each of tonight’s posts are intended to serve as kinda-sorta lead-ins to another one that I actually began working on last night, and may or may not get finished with tonight. If not, it’ll drop in another day or two.

Fear itself

A pair of arresting lines from a pair of truly gifted writers, both of which I’ll put in bold so’s nobody misses ’em. First, the ZMan:

You can’t help but wonder if what we are seeing is just a dry run for something more permanent in the future. I don’t think this was premeditated. It is just a good example of how events can take on a life of their own. One things leads to another and before long the best of intentions results in a madness consuming the people who set of the chain of events with their good intentions. Like the radicals of the French Revolution, our rulers are now captive to events they set in motion.

Like many people I’m losing my patience for this ridiculous charade. As the evidence stacks up it is clear the lock downs were a terrible idea. It is time to go back to our normal routines, but the people in charge have the whiff of authoritarianism in their nostrils and like a rutting beast they can think of nothing else. They are now busy dreaming up more insane restrictions just to humiliate people. It is increasingly difficult to remain a reasonable person. I’m getting a little salty.

Well and pungently put, Z. Increasingly, though, I find myself wondering if a “reasonable” response is really the right one to end our escalating humiliation.

Next, a little tough love from my esteemed friend Francis Porretto:

Fear is the aspiring tyrant’s best tool. Fear of violence; fear of disease; fear of the infirmities of age; fear of the future; fear of one’s neighbors; fear of one’s countrymen; fear of faceless others in distant lands. He who can make you afraid can make himself your master…and your fears need not be of him.

Note that no government, no agency, and no politician can actually relieve you of the threats that make you fear. Only you can do that. Indeed, that’s the most ironic facet of our current condition: were Americans merely to practice enhanced hygiene, and protect our most vulnerable relatives from contagion, we would be out the back end of this Wuhan virus business in a few weeks, with no more fatalities than we’re suffering under this lockdown regime and with herd immunity, to boot. Instead we’ve surrendered our rights as Americans for absolutely no gain – and that’s to say nothing of the economic devastation the lockdown has wrought.

But our politicians value our fear far more than our lives, our rights, or our economy. They’re doing their best to keep our fears stoked high. It’s what aspiring tyrants have always done:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken

And we’ve fallen for it.

Indeed we have, to our eternal shame and disgrace. Seems like an opportune moment to re-run one of my verymost favorite poems, from one of my verymost favorite half-mad poets:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

In politics, the worst are ALWAYS full of passionate intensity; it’s how politicians persuade us to buy the particular brand of snake-oil they’re hawking. But now, for the first time in American history, we have fully and irrevocably surrendered both our freedom and our fates to them, vexed to nightmare by a fear that has been proven unfounded. The rough beast has been allowed his hour at last, and the darkness is descending.

Daylight barking madness

Insanity, cowardice, or plain old stupidity?

The Great UnReason of 2020—a fitting name, I think, for the mass panic over COVID-19 that has been fomented by the economic and politically self-interested actors in Big Government and Big Media.

The intellects of the masses of people have been diseased by a virus of Irrationality—what a friend and colleague of mine ingeniously refers to as “COVIDIOCY” and what we may call, COVIDIOCY-20.

COVIDIOCY? Ohhhh, you can bet your ass I’m gonna be getting a lot of use out of that one from here on out.

The aggressiveness of the tumor of illogic that has corrupted people’s minds can be seen for what it is when we stop and consider that no one who is cowering in their homes (“sheltering-in-place”) has so much as remotely thought about the most fundamental of all questions:

What precisely is it that you think is going to happen to you if you do contract The Virus?

The overwhelming majority of human beings—meaning virtually all of them—that contract COVID-19 fight it for about the same amount of time that they do the seasonal flu and then…recover.

The only people for whom The Virus is potentially lethal are one and the same people—the elderly and others who are immunocompromised—for whom all viruses and infections are potentially lethal. As Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University has said, “even some so-called mild or common-cold type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case-fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes” (emphasis added).

More recent studies from locations throughout the country, based as they are on antibody testing, have confirmed what had always been long suspected: Tens of millions of Americans have been infected with The Virus and never even knew it (more thorough information regarding these studies can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here).

They never knew it because their symptoms were mild or they were asymptomatic (like Senator Rand Paul whose experience with The Virus, not coincidentally, receives few mentions from media carnival barkers whose economic self-interest is advanced through 24-hour fear-mongering).

Consequently, they developed immunity to The Virus. They can neither get it nor pass it to others. Thus, Senator Paul’s recent decision to now volunteer helping COVID patients in hospitals.

Of course, the higher infection rate also reveals that the real mortality rate is by several orders of magnitude lower than the numbers which the Experts cited to justify the oppressive policies that they have since imposed upon the country.

It isn’t just studies throughout America, but as well data gathered from other countries such as South Korea, Germany, Iceland, and Denmark that have determined that the real fatality rate from The Virus is anywhere between .1% and .4% — i.e., that of the seasonal flu.

Up to 50%-80% of all those who test positive for COVID-19 are without symptoms. And—get this—about 60% of everyone in their seventies who are infected with The Virus are without symptoms! More have only mild symptoms.

Moreover, the average age in most countries of those who die from The Virus is over 80 years of age, and of these, only 1% had no preexisting conditions.

So, again, the question must be asked: Those Americans who have been seized by the spirit of fear, those of you who studiously remain six feet or more from all other human beings; wear your masks faithfully whenever they dare to venture from their homes; happily embrace the wholesale violation of your Constitutional liberties, the squandering of the inheritance bequeathed to you by earlier generations of Americans who fought and died for it; welcome the swelling by the tens of millions of the ranks of the unemployed and the shattering of the American Dream of hundreds of thousands of small business owners; endorse the indefinite closing of churches and other houses of worship; and vigorously neglect to physically (meaning really) interact with your loved ones—to you who value your own Safety over and above all else, including your own liberty and the overall well-being of others, some of us ache to know:

Of what are you so afraid? What do you think is going to happen to you if you contract…The Virus?!

Emphasis throughout is the author’s own, supporting links (of which there are many) not transcribed. My copious excerpting notwithstanding, there’s still lots, lots more where that came from, not one word of which you want to miss.

Update! I mentioned insanity up top there for a reason, you know.

The man we now know as the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway, was sent to prison for more than 500 years. He was convicted of 49 murders of prostitutes, girls on the streets and vulnerable runaways, but he was suspected of committing 71 murders in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

He would take the women and girls, have sex with them, and then strangle them, watching the light go out of their eyes as he squeezed the life out of them. Sometimes he’d use a rope and sometimes he’d use his bare hands. He’d pose their bodies and sometimes come back and have sex with the corpses. His first victims were found in the Green River, giving the monster his moniker.

He was arrested in the ’80s but let go for lack of evidence. A task force was formed to track down the serial killer and in 2001 – decades and multiple victims later – Gary Ridgeway was busted again and confessed to 71 murders.

Ridgeway was spared the death penalty because prosecutors knew it would take many millions of taxpayers dollars to give him appeals for the rest of his natural life. There was understandable outrage at the time, but prosecutors assured victims’ families and the general public that he would never ever, ever get out of prison. Never.

And then came the coronavirus and everything changed.

Read the rest, if you have a strong stomach.

If it’s broken from the start, it can never be fixed

A more-than-contrite Angelo Codevilla, as one of the co-authors of the FISA abomination, offers a powerful denunciation.

This author might be the last surviving member of the Senate Intelligence Committee staff that wrote FISA. What follows is an account of how this law came about — what each of its major proponents intended to achieve, what the law did, how it was amended and used.

Nobody in 1978 intended for FISA to legalize Watergate. That is why my own warning at the time fell largely on deaf ears. As the country realizes that something is wrong with FISA and looks for some reform, what follows argues that no fix is possible because the problem lies in the law’s very heart, namely the requirement that electronic surveillance for purposes of intelligence be subject to prior authorization by a court, acting ex parte in secrecy. Hence, the only remedy is to scrap FISA entirely and return to pre-1978 constitutional practices.

FISA’s legal mechanism has worked as expected: Between 1979 and 2019 the court granted 33,942 warrants while denying only 12 requests — 0.03%. Meanwhile, the law’s unfolding logic was transforming a rubber stamp into a political sword and shield.

My basic argument against FISA, other than its patent un-constitutionality, was that ex parte pre-clearance of surveillance by a judiciary whose ignorance of the cases on which it rules is broken only by the agencies, and that acts in secret, poses an irresistible temptation to abuse.

The American Bar Association’s Committee on Law and National Security invited me to debate the proposed FISA against then-professor Antonin Scalia at the University of Chicago’s law school. I said that requiring judicial authorization for an executive action in pursuit of national security is an unconstitutional obstruction of the president’s power as commander-in-chief. Scalia, making no attempt to argue for FISA’s constitutionality, pointed out that the president, i.e. the bureaucracies, supported involving judges in national security because they realized that the obstruction is theoretical rather than practical: FISA’s secret court, having no basis for judging what is or is not required for national security, would merely give the agencies the confidence to do their jobs. I countered that this very confidence poses the greatest problem: although strictly speaking the court can confer only a procedural imprimatur, in practice that imprimatur shields the bureaucracies — and the president — from having to defend the substantive value, and the propriety, of any act of surveillance. Hence, FISA would present the agencies with an irresistible temptation to surveil Americans for political purposes, certain that the formal legality of the surveillance would inhibit remedying whatever substantive harm had been done thereby. In other words, we were legalizing Watergate. “They wouldn’t do things like that!” he replied.

As we have experienced, the agencies have done precisely that. The words over which FISA’s authors in the Senate Intelligence Committee and in the agencies had agonized and on which they had agreed remained the same. But the nasty logic of secret ex parte preauthorization unfolded, primarily because the people who interpreted them adopted a willful sociopolitical identity. But it helped that FISA itself was amended. In 2008 Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law FISA’s Section 702, which removed the requirement for a specific warrant from the FISA Court for tapping communications between foreign targets and Americans in the United States and greatly broadens the use of data collected “incidentally” on the Americans presumed to be the foreigners’ counterparts.

Section 702 was the first and primary authority by which the agencies surveilled the Trump campaign, ostensibly while trying to listen in on Russians. The other investigations and human penetrations of the campaign were premised on the same pretense. But the agencies’ real targets were domestic political opponents. Of course, they found nothing and provoked nothing useful for derailing the Trump campaign. They did generate a stream of innuendos in the media. But that did not stop the Trump campaign from getting into range of victory. Hence, weeks before the election, the agencies’ leaders, facing the prospect of having to defend what they had done, formally requested the FISA court for a warrant on Carter Page, a minor Trump adviser. At this point, the warrant was useless for gathering information. Judicial blessing for surveillance of the Trump campaign was absolutely essential, however, retrospectively to validate that it had been proper — literally, warranted.

Codevilla dismisses any prospective “fix” for FISA as a practical impossibility due to the law’s very nature and intent, much as I maintain that there is no way to fix the FBI. The trouble with both isn’t so much that they’ve somehow become broken or aren’t working; it’s that, because of the way they were originally conceived and structured, they’re working exactly as the Deep State malefactors now making use of them want. Which is one reason why we’ll never be able to rid ourselves of either one.

Turnaround, in the wrong direction

This. This right here.

RUSH: So, I checked the email during the break (I always do that), and there was a great question. “Rush, what is it that’s really bothering you about this? I don’t think you’re actually telling us. I don’t think you’re getting all the way there. It seems like you’re holding things back. What’s really bothering you?”

I’m not holding anything back, but I did… I thought, “Okay. What do they think I’m holding back? Why do people think that I’m not saying what I really think about this?” So I began to analyze that and I have an answer — and here’s what it is? You know what bugs me about this? We’re just sitting around waiting!

We’re not in any way attacking this. We’re not on offense at all. We are being entirely defensive, and that doesn’t defeat anything. “But, Rush! But, Rush! We’re talking about a contagious disease. We must avoid the spread.” Let me tell you something, folks. There is so much about this that I don’t think we have been truthfully told.

And I don’t know whether that it’s purposeful or not. I’m not gonna go into Conspiracyville. But Governor Cuomo yesterday was now telling us that far more people have been infected than they knew — and we know this is true in Santa Clara, California. It’s probably true in California at large. We know it’s true in LA County.

What Governor Kemp is doing is going on offense. Governor Kemp says, “We’re not gonna let this think destroy us. We’re not gonna let this thing…” I mean, we’re sitting around and allowing this to happen! It’s actually worse than that. We are doing this to ourselves. This is the thing that just grates on me under the guise that we’re trying to do what?

Keep people from getting sick. The recovery rate remains 98%. You’re probably sick and tired of me saying that. But overall, what bothers me, folks, is that how long are we gonna sit down? How long are we going to shelter in place? To what end? “Well, Rush, we have to bend the curve, my man.”

Yeah (sigh), and we’re bending the curve for what reason? Make sure the hospitals are not overrun with a bunch of people infected at the same time. But we’re eventually gonna have come out of our hovels, aren’t we? The hobbits are gonna eventually have to start looking for the ring.

It just seems like this is an entirely defensive posture, and I know the people in charge of it can make the case for that, but it just… (grumbling) “How would you attack the virus, Rush? We can’t even see it.” Well, I’m not an epidemiologist. But the things that we’ve been told, like, “We gotta wait for a vaccine”? We may never get one of those!

Believe it or not, Rush’s rant precisely mirrors a conversation I was having with my brother recently, although we were discussing Trump specifically as having somehow been forced onto the defensive by the Chink-N-Pox bait and switch. However such an unwelcome reversal may have transpired, if the Prez doesn’t quickly come up with a way to turn things around and get back to throwing punches instead of covering up, it will cost not only Trump but the nation itself quite dearly.

A very large part of Trump’s appeal to fed-up Real Americans was his eagerness to take the offensive, rather than the usual defensive crouch we’d all grown so frustrated and disgusted with after years of perennial-loser GOPe frauds swirling willingly down the drain. Trump can hardly afford to back into a neutral corner for some rope-a-dope action now; with a miraculously-revived US economy being brought to unexpected ruin all around us, what was an all-but-a-gimme 2020 reelection suddenly looks one hell of a lot dicier as it is.

“Defensive” is not a good look for Trump; that same tired old shit is readily available from any garden-variety GOPe hack in arm’s reach, any time we feel like squeezing his bulbous head for some. We need Trump back on track banging away at his/our enemies relentlessly, making them react to him instead of the other way around, now more than ever.

The numbers are clear

And they still aren’t dissipating that fishy aroma wafting off of the Corony “crisis.”

Data are coming in, and their import is clear. The coronavirus pandemic is not and never was a threat to society. COVID-19 poses a danger to the elderly and the medically compromised. Otherwise, for most who present symptoms, it can be nasty and persistent, but is not life-threatening. A majority of those infected do not notice that they have the disease. Coronavirus presents us with a medical challenge, not a crisis. The crisis has been of our own making.

On March 16, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted a coronavirus death toll of more than two million in the United States alone. He arrived at this number by assuming that infection would be nearly universal and the fatality rate would be high—a terrifying prospect. The next day, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis sifted through the data and predicted less widespread infection and a fatality rate of between 0.05 and 1.0 percent—not that different from the common flu. The coronavirus is not the common flu. It has different characteristics, afflicting the old more than the young, men more than women. Nevertheless, all data trends since mid-March show that Ferguson was fantastically wrong and Ioannidis was largely right about its mortal threat.

In epidemiology, nothing is certain. The facts may change in the future. But as of now, this much is certain: Current data point to a disease that is far less deadly than was feared when our country hurled itself over the cliff of mass lockdown. The WHO was at that time issuing warnings that presumed a death rate 20-30 times higher than what now appears realistic.

We need fact-based policies. COVID-19 spreads rapidly, and any fast-spreading disease can strain medical resources as incidences rise. Long recovery times increase patient loads in hospitals. Careful planning and resource allocation are therefore essential. They were accomplished successfully in New York, much to the credit of medical professionals here. The American people need to be told of that success, which, given the density of New York, shows that we can and will succeed everywhere in our country.

We’ve been stampeded into a regime of social control that is unprecedented in our history. Our economy has been shattered. Ordinary people have been terrorized by death-infused propaganda designed to motivate obedience to the limits on free movement. We have been reduced to life as medical subjects in our condition of self-quarantine. As unemployment numbers skyrocket and Congress spends trillions, the political stakes rise.

The experts, professionals, bureaucrats, and public officials who did this to us have tremendous incentives to close ranks and say, “It is not wise to tell people that the danger was never grave and now has passed.” Sustaining the coronavirus narrative will require many lies. It will be up to us to insist on the truth.

Personally, I’d insist on an abject, groveling apology for the damage the panic-ninnies and grasping state/local officials have done if I thought there was a chance in hell of ever actually getting one out of ’em. Instead, though, we can expect plenty of self-congratulation about the wonders their self-serving lockdown orders wrought in saving us all. Which is going to taste all the more sour after perfidy like this:

I was going to do this as a video, but decided that I'm a bit too angry to be trusted with a camera and a microphone. The governor of Tennessee told everybody that he would not be extending his safer at home executive order, and that he would allow local governments to begin reopening their businesses when it expired.

Business owners reacted, bring in inventory, stocking shelves, bringing back employees, and spending money to get ready to reopen.

Today, just a couple of days before businesse were going to reopen, the governor issued a new executive order. Only some businesses would be allowed to reopen. Others would have to remain closed. Restaurants could open, but bars could not. Gyms could open, but swimming pools and bowling alleys could not. Stores could open, but playgrounds, amusement parks, theaters, auditoriums, arcades, race tracks, etc could not.

All of the theaters in Pigeon Forge were planning on reopening following the governor's original announcement. They brought back their casts and crews, spruced up the theaters, and got everything ready to open up.

Now they can't. All that time, effort, and yes, money, has been wasted as the governor, at the last minute, took away their hope.

This will be devastating to these businesses. Many of them will fail because of the governor's about face. In a cruel parody of the last minute reprieve of the death row inmate, instead of offering a reprieve, the governor's call has pulled the switch on Sevier County.

I cannot state this strongly enough; this eleventh hour extension of the shutdown will do irreperable harm to the county. It will be far more devastating than the fire of a couple years ago because there will be no coming back for many of these businesses. The governor's order will destroy even those businesses he so graciously deigned to allow to open. How will restaurants survive with no patrons? The locals won't be able to afford to eat there, and the tourists won't come because there's nothing to do. The only thing more corrosive to a bottom line than a closed restaurant is an open one with too few customers, and Governor Lee has ensured that is exactly what will happen.

And for what? Saving lives from COVID-19? Feh. The numbers are clear and getting clearer. COVID-19 was never the monster it was made out to be. Serious? yes. Devastating? Not hardly.

What will be devastating is the countless lives destroyed by this continued overreaction on the part of the governor.

It's sad; just a couple of days ago, I was praising him for allowing each local jurisdiction the dignity of decideing for themselves exactly how to transition back to a functioning economy.

I should have known better.

Considering that clear-eyed skepticism of government is supposed to have been bred into the American DNA, yeah, we all shoulda. And yet.

But let’s close this thing out on a more uplifting note, shall we? A good friend of mine texted me something C&P’d from another Fakebook post, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Perspective! It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.

And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this.

Wise and encouraging words.

Hitting the reset button

Lee Smith opines at length on what must be done.

The novel coronavirus that swept out of the Chinese city of Wuhan in midwinter to infect millions around the globe has now forced world leaders to reassess their relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The superpower conflict between the United States and Soviet Union helped push China onto center stage nearly 50 years ago. Over the past three decades, Beijing has come to dominate the international system, thanks not only to the world’s largest pool of cheap, unregulated labor and a burgeoning consumer marketplace, but also the craven delusions and greed of Western political and business elites, especially in the United States. COVID-19 has now compelled the most significant geostrategic rethink since the end of the Cold War.

Whatever the origins of the virus, there is no question that the Chinese have leveraged it as a weapon of social and economic warfare. Could the ruins of a shooting war be much worse than those of a virus that, as of this week, has left more than 50,000 Americans dead and nearly one-tenth of the population unemployed, turning the businesses, life savings, and dreams of our neighbors to ashes?

But no one in Washington wants to call it war—and for good reason. The massive amount of wealth that America’s political and business elites have transferred to the CCP over the past 30 years has put the United States under China’s thumb. Our manufacturing base, as well as our debt, is controlled by the CCP. The United States, senior U.S. officials say, would likely lose in any major confrontation, financial or military, with China. Even the medicines we would need to treat our wounded are in Beijing’s hands.

As implied above, this is a long ‘un. But you’ll want to read all of it nonetheless.

Update! Father Raymond De Souza says this could be China’s “Chernobyl moment.” It damned well ought to be, and in fact it MUST be, by hook or by crook. Failing to inflict a heavy price on the ChiComs for this atrocity will only guarantee future repeats.

The Soviet Chernobyl moment came three years after U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech, which was, at the time, ridiculed by the international diplomatic establishment. Yet when the liberation of Europe from the Soviet empire followed six years later, and the Soviet Union ceased to exist two years after that, the courageous dissidents behind the Iron Curtain revealed that the forthright condemnation of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” was a critical turning point.

A few months ago, the likelihood of the Chinese experiencing an evil empire moment was less than nil. Recall how things stood in late 2019.

After more than a year of ramped-up religious persecution, including a prohibition on children attending religious services, the replacement of crosses in Christian houses of worship with state symbols, the demolition of churches and the imprisonment of clergy, not a single word of protest was issued by the Vatican.

After months of protests to protect democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, support for the protesters on the world stage was minimal. And not just governments were afraid to upset the CCP. For example, when the CCP propaganda machine voiced outrage after the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s tweeted support for the protesters during a basketball tour of China, the National Basketball Association went into full craven apology mode.

All of the above examples are nothing short of disgraceful, and wholly despicable. Bottom line?

The power of the evil empire speech was not that it informed people that Soviet communism was evil in itself and an evil force in global affairs. Everyone knew that, even those whose interests lay in denying it. What was novel was that the American president was willing to say it. Truth has its own power.

The novel coronavirus has brought novelties of all kinds. Might a moral clarity about the Chinese Communist party be one of them?

I repeat: the one big thing to know is this: Commies gonna Commie. There is no good rationale—none—for any even putatively free nation to truck with Communist regimes in any way, shape, or form. For Americans to have allowed their political and business “leadership” to sell We The People down the river for a fistful of yuan is likewise inexcusable, and led directly to the current dismal pass. We must now demand that this situation be rectified—and I don’t mean slow, either.

The way forward

Schlichter puts forth a fine agenda.

Red China must be dealt with as what it is – an enemy. If the country’s Maoist mullahs had decided that they wanted China to spin-up into a first world power and responsibly assume a place at the world’s head-table by trading fairly, respecting human rights, not stealing our inventions, and not sending weird bugs across the globe, cool. But Red China wants to dominate the world.

We need to take this moment to understand that Red China is a hostile power seeking to defeat us economically. We need to aggressively repatriate critical industries home from China. We need our own drug industry back, our own rare-earth mining capacity, our own steel sector. We need to waive the frivolous regulatory nonsense that made China attractive to businesses in the first place. If the EPA keeps us from mining rare earth elements, it’s the EPA that needs to go, not our capacity to obtain these critical resources.

We need to do what China does without hesitation: bar Chinese companies or Chinese-controlled companies from participating in critical infrastructure like 5G.

We also need to stop pretending China is a developing nation and demand it fund all international organizations at America’s level. That it owns the WHO, yet pays a fraction of what we do is ridiculous. In too many ways – including in the idiotic climate hoax arena – China gets an edge by pretending it is not a First World nation and getting breaks we do not.

We need to clamp down on espionage, both strategic and economic. We need to openly tell the truth: China targets the Chinese diaspora to use as spies. That’s not racist. That’s a fact. But let’s not let the traitors who are not of Chinese descent off the hook. There are too many people who will sell out their country for a few renminbi. We need to get the FBI out of domestic politics and massively focused on uprooting these foreign agents. All spies should be subject to lengthy prison sentences. This nonsense about just a year or two in jail needs to end. And we need to clear out academia of Chinese nationals, both students and faculty. Why are we training our enemy? Plus, we must ruthlessly expose just who China has bought in our universities, the corporations, and the media.

China is largely to blame for the Wuhan Flu pandemic, but the idea of suing it for compensation is as useless as it is politically attractive. Here’s the way to kill two bats with one stone: impose a penalty tariff on all Chinese goods to create a huge pot of money to compensate the victims of ChiCom lies as well as give our industries a chance to recover.

Most of all, we need to get serious about this conflict, and it is a conflict. We tend to see other people from our own perspective. We are reasonable, fair, and just. But communists are none of those things. These red bastards exploit the patriotism of the Chinese people – who have every right to seek prosperity and freedom – to consolidate power and turn the spotlight off their own manifest failures and tyrannies. We need to get woke, as the hep kids say, woke to the fact that the Mao pals are bad people and we better understand that before one morning we wake up with their boot on our neck forever.

Seconded from here, every word of it, eleventy million bazillion percent. The very idea that we just had a goddamned out-and-proud, Red-in-tooth-and-claw Bolshevik actually make a credible run for one major party’s nomination for President ought to freeze every Real American’s blood, right down to the very marrow.

The New Normal: Safetyism

A nation of pussies.

To grasp the urgency of lifting the ubiquitous economic shutdowns, visit New York City’s Central Park, ideally in the morning. At 5:45 am, it is occupied by maybe 100 runners and cyclists, spread over 843 acres. A large portion of these early-bird exercisers wear masks. Are they trying to protect anyone they might encounter from their own unsuspected coronavirus infection? Perhaps. But if you yourself run towards an oncoming runner on a vector that will keep you at least three yards away when you pass each other, he is likely to lunge sideways in terror if your face is not covered. The masked cyclists, who speed around the park’s inner road, apparently think that there are enough virus particles suspended in the billions of square feet of fresh air circulating across the park to enter their mucous membranes and to sicken them.

These are delusional beliefs, yet they demonstrate the degree of paranoia that has infected the population. Every day the lockdown continues, its implicit message that we are all going to die if we engage in normal life is reinforced. Polls show an increasing number of Americans opting to continue the economic quarantine indefinitely lest they be ‘unsafe’. The longer that belief is reinforced, the less likely it will be that consumers will patronize reopened restaurants or board airplanes in sufficient numbers to bring the economy back to life.

To cancel most of the country’s economy for a problem, however tragic, that is highly localized was a devastating policy blunder that must be immediately corrected. The lockdowns are taking a scythe to everything that makes human existence both possible and meaningful. Lives are being lost to the overreaction. Heart attack and stroke victims shrink from calling 911 lest they burden hospitals now dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 cases. Cancer victims have had their stem cell transplants put on hold; heart surgeries are being postponed indefinitely. The cancellation of ‘nonessential’ procedures has prevented the diagnosis of life-threatening diseases, writes a former chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center. Tumors and potentially deadly brain aneurysms are going undetected. Drug abuse deaths from economic despair and isolation may already be rising, as data out of Ohio suggests. The United Nations predicts tens of millions more lives globally stunted by extreme poverty and hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths.

US unemployment is at depression levels. Small businessmen who risked their savings and credit in the hope of creating a successful enterprise have had their efforts destroyed. Up to a third of local businesses may never reopen. The damage to supply chains grows deeper by the day. Farmers are plowing under cabbages and strawberries, pouring out milk, and destroying eggs because they have lost their markets. It is almost impossible to plan future production with demand so irrationally depressed. Retail sales registered their biggest monthly drop on record in March. Department stores and local newspapers may become relics.

Many cultural institutions — small theaters, regional orchestras, and opera companies — will never rise again. Demand for progressive causes such as public transit and dense, multi-unit housing will evaporate the longer that fear is stoked. Yet the safetyism rhetoric is unabating. ‘The vast majority of people want to feel safe,’ a doctor told MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle on April 23. ‘Hopefully people will turn to public health authorities and scientists for [safety] strategies.’ Those same authorities dole out positive reinforcement to keep the populace compliant. ‘Americans have done such a wonderful job’ of social distancing, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force director, encouragingly announced, ‘so we don’t want to jeopardize their efforts with a hasty reopening’, she added.

To be sure, a revolt is brewing against the idea that perfect safety is the precondition for social and economic life. Even residents of blue states are chafing under their mandates, provoking sniffy rebukes from their public health masters. But enough people have embraced fear to destroy the necessary demand side of an economic recovery. The lockdowns signal that it is not safe to shop, travel, or socialize — a message that in most places is false. The bans must be lifted, while protective efforts are targeted intensely at the vulnerable elderly. As a harbinger of liberation, any true public health expert would tell those Central Park joggers and those solo drivers in their cars to tear off their masks and breathe free.

It’s a sad commentary on our bizarre state of affairs that MacDonald’s perfectly reasonable, rational article could strike anybody as somehow “radical,” “extreme,” or “dangerous.” But you can be certain that it will.

An idea whose time has surely come

And, unfortunately, probably gone.

The country has been thrown into an unforeseen and immediate crisis the likes of which we have never seen in American history. There was no warning and no way to prepare; we are in a state of shock that the collective life we led just two months ago is completely and heartbreakingly gone for the foreseeable future.

That’s why it’s time for President Trump to speak to the trauma the nation is enduring, and not just continue the same drumbeat about the “invisible enemy” each day from the White House press room.

The daily briefings featuring the Coronavirus Task Force have become repetitive. Trump’s jiujitsu with the hostile, childish, and hysteria-inducing White House press corps might entertain some of his followers, and undoubtedly it amuses the president himself, but does little to ease Americans’ rising anxiety about the future.

Fauci and Birx, aside from misleading the president with the disastrous Murray models, don’t have much new to offer. Their updates should be short and weekly, not daily, since the health crisis shows major signs of abating.

The president should now pivot to focusing primarily on how to recover both the economy and the spirit of the American people. He needs to speak directly to our fears. He must give cover to governors who have every reason to bring life back to normal in their states rather than listening to the same small chorus of “experts” who have misled him. (Commending New York governor Andrew Cuomo while openly criticizing Georgia governor Brian Kemp isn’t a great idea, either.)

He needs to get his economic team before the public every day to explain how and when we can start getting back to business as usual—and in days, not weeks or months. Most Americans don’t want more government hand-outs or debt-inducing programs. We want to protect the vulnerable, strengthen our health care capacity, and move on before the damage is too great to repair.

Trump performs best when he gives voice to the inner worries of Americans that others are too timid to express. COVID-19 is deadly and scary but Trump promised Americans the cure wouldn’t be worse than the disease. We are now at the point where we need to hear his plan to make good on that promise—and the president must change course accordingly.

I agree with Kelly, for all the good it will do. Jules also makes brief mention of the imminent collapse of the food supply chain, which is but one of several reasons I said above that the time for Trump to try to turn things around may have come and gone. All such attempts now will most likely be too little, too late:

Executives with the Arkansas-based Tyson Foods took out a full-page advertisement in several major newspapers over the weekend, declaring the country’s food supply chain “is breaking.”

The ad, an open letter from company board chair John Tyson was published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we reopen our facilities that are currently closed,” wrote Tyson, who noted earlier in the letter, “The food supply chain is breaking.”

The discomforting statement from Tyson comes as the company has closed plants in Logansport, Indiana, and Waterloo, Iowa. Similarly, Smithfield has closed a facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where one worker died of the virus, and JBS has shuttered a plant in Worthington, Minnesota.

Tyson’s Waterloo plant, reportedly linked to some 182 cases of COVID-19, is critical to the country’s pork supply.

The letter from Tyson warned all of these closures means “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” from the national food supply chain.

“In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue,” wrote Tyson. “Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation.”

“Millions of animals — chickens, pigs, and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities,” he added.

More, and worse:

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield Foods, the largest global pork producer owned by the Chinese WH Group, said in a statement on Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

“It is impossible to keep protein on tables across America if our nation’s meat plants are not running. Across the animal protein industry, closures can have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions up and down the supply chain,” the statement said. “Beyond the implications to our food supply, our entire agricultural community is in jeopardy. Farmers have nowhere to send their animals and could be forced to euthanize livestock, effectively burying food in the ground. We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who is also is a beef rancher, spoke about the food supply chain on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.

“I’ll tell you why there will be shortages,” Massie said. “Right now there aren’t shortages because there was a supply of meat that was destined for restaurants, and the demand at the restaurants was curtailed when they were shut down. It’s frozen meat, and [restaurants] are repackaging it and diverting that supply to the grocery stores.”

“That supply is going to run out,” Massie said. “The [meat] pipeline has a crimp in it, and that’s at the processing plants.”

In a Tweet accompanying the article, Massie lays it out starkly and directly, with no ifs, ands, or buts: “FOOD SHORTAGES ARE COMING.”

Meanwhile, there are nearly four million gallons of milk per day being poured down the drain—literally.

Farmers are dumping milk and plowing crops back into the soil across the U.S. after the closings of restaurants, hotels and schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Farmers are dumping 3.7 million gallons of milk daily and a single chicken processor can smash 750,000 eggs per week, reports Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy farm cooperative in the country.

As America’s agricultural industry is confronted by the impacts of the virus, there have been some striking examples of food waste.

Correction: it’s the impact of the overreaction to the virus that they—and we all—are confronting.

Wisconsin and Ohio farmers have dumped thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits.

An Idaho farmer found himself digging ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions.

Yet more, and yet worse:

Meanwhile, South Florida farms, which supply much of the East coast, have sent tractors across the fields to replow beans, cabbage and other ripe vegetables right back into the ground.

‘It’s heartbreaking,’ Paul Allen, co-owner of R.C. Hatton, tells the Times.

The company has had to destroy millions of pounds of beans and cabbage at his farms in South Florida and Georgia. 

This is scary, scary stuff, folks.

“There’s a huge amount of milk still today going on the ground in the state of Florida,” said Brittany Nickerson Thurlow, a fifth-generation dairy farmer in Zolfo Springs. “There’s just nowhere to send it.”

The supply chain that ultimately brings milk from a cow’s udder to your refrigerator has spoiled.

Florida had over 15,500 coronavirus cases, including over 300 deaths, as of the Department of Health’s Wednesday evening count. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide “safer-at-home” order remains in effect until at least April 30.

There’s no telling when life on Sunshine State farms will return to normal.

Sorry to have to be the one to tell ya, but this is the NEW Normal. It ain’t pretty. Every passing day under lockdown etches total economic collapse and all its attendant misery—joblessness, poverty, hunger, and death—more deeply in stone. And for the life of me, I can’t see any way out of it.

On the horns of a deadly dilemna

AG Barr is between a rock and a very hard place.

REMINDER – United States Attorney General Bill Barr was not around in 2017 or 2018 when the DOJ was faced with the issues resulting from an investigation of intelligence leaks and Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) Security Director James Wolfe.

When the prosecution of SSCI Director James Wolfe was being considered, AG Jeff Sessions was recused; the Robert Mueller probe was ongoing; and as a consequence Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and U.S. Attorney for DC Jessie Liu were decision-makers.

I’m not going to repeat all the issues, you can re-read them HERE; however, the baseline is that Wolfe could not be prosecuted without running the risk of collapsing key institutions of the U.S. government. The consequences of a Wolfe prosecution were beyond the capacity of Rod Rosenstein, or the DOJ to handle. There would have been massive constitutional crises created and the literal definition of ‘sedition‘ was at the center of it.

When you truly understand this context you also understand why Joseph Pientka III has a blanket protective order over him. The all-encompassing protective order is as much about preserving and protecting the institution of the DOJ as it is protecting the fulcrum of corrupt activity Supervisory Special Agent One, Joseph Pientka III, represents.

The DOJ had to throw a bag over Pientka or eliminate him. Thankfully, and not surprisingly, they chose the former and now he’s under federal protection; so they can continue the cover-up. If it had been an Obama/Clinton AG, they’d have just killed him.

In 2018 DAG Rosenstein could not prosecute James Wolfe without exposing ‘seditious‘ activity within the U.S. government itself. Not pretend sedition or theoretical sedition, but an actual pre-planned subversive operation with forethought and malice.

Likewise AG Bill Barr could not prosecute Andrew McCabe without exposing the same ‘seditious‘ activity; which also encompasses the activity of Rod Rosenstein. Whether Barr wants to protect Rosenstein is moot; if Barr wants to protect the institutions from sunlight on two years of actual seditious activity, he has to protect Rosenstein.

It’s the underlying activity that cannot be allowed to surface; the institutions of government are not strong enough, nor are they set-up to handle, prosecutions that overlap all three branches of government.

However, that said, now AG Bill Barr is facing a downstream and parallel issue within the prosecution of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. How can Michael Flynn be sentenced for lying to the FBI when the DOJ is necessarily refusing to prosecute Andrew McCabe (at least what has been made public) for the exact same behavior?

Against this dynamic, the DOJ has two options: (Option A) go even harder at General Flynn using additional charges that are not as comparable to McCabe. (Option B) find a way to drop the prosecution.

Take the totality of all these issues together. Think about them for a while…

…Now do we see why AG Bill Barr needed President Trump to shut up?

When Barr said “he’s making it harder for me to do my job”, in essence President Trump was making it harder for Barr to protect his institutions. Trump is too much sunlight.

At the heart of the matter, in the real activity that took place, there was a multi-branch seditious effort to remove President Donald J Trump. From the perspective of those charged with the actual administration of justice – there is no way to put this in front of the American public and have the institutions survive. What we are witnessing is a dance between increasingly narrowing rails and the DOJ, via Bill Barr, trying to find an exit.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Personally, I’m surprised they haven’t tried to take Sundance out yet.

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