Trampling Rights

April 1, 2020

I wrote briefly yesterday about the Tampa-area pastor who was arrested for holding a Sunday church service in defiance of an order against large gatherings, and asked for your responses. Since then, that story has exploded into other very important areas. Last night, I was on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News to discuss this story…

…which has taken on new meaning in light of rising infringements on Constitutional rights. Local authorities say they support freedom of religion, but the church service endangered the public health in violation of quarantine. However, the church claims the service was conducted with great care, including social distancing of attendees and other strict health precautions. My friends at the Liberty Counsel are defending the pastor. And a Pennsylvania pastor wants by holding an "outdoor Easter blowout service" a la Woodstock to show solidarity.

Both the defiance of the lockdown orders and the draconian measures some political office holders are using to enforce them have given rise to a serious debate about whether we are in danger of losing our Constitutional rights, not just during the current health emergency, but from now on. Personally, I believe that for the safety of me, my family and my community, it’s best to do whatever is necessary to stop the spread of this disease, and that can include innovative ways to worship, such as streaming services online or even this.

The bigger issue, though, is the swiftness with which our elected leaders, particularly mayors and governors of deep blue areas, have rushed right past “leadership” directly to “dictatorship.” While it might or might not be within their powers to curtail some freedoms during a deadly pandemic, their lack of concern for how that impacts individual rights is a warning sign that either they don’t understand those rights or hold them in contempt. Neither quality is acceptable in someone who holds powerful office.

For instance, it is one thing to order people to stay inside during an emergency. You might even justify arresting someone for defying that order. But in New York City, Mayor Bill DeBlasio threatened to “permanently” close any church or synagogue that violated it (tellingly, he didn’t threaten mosques, but that’s another issue.) By what possible right does he claim power to take away people’s right to freedom of religion and freedom of assembly “permanently”?

Some of these officials seem to be winging it without even thinking about it. For example, they’ll release all the criminals from jail, because they might catch the virus there. Then they try to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment right to defend themselves from the criminals they released by closing gun stores. The Mayor of Washington, DC, even threatened to arrest and jail people who go outside. So to recap: they’d empty the jails to protect criminals from getting the virus, then put citizens into the virus-ridden jails they just let the criminals out of, just for leaving their homes, because that might give someone the virus. If you can follow that circuitous reasoning, please send me the directions.

This is a time when it’s important for our officials to keep the public informed and alert, to show leadership and lead by example, and to impress on everyone the importance of voluntary compliance with guidelines to save lives. Draconian enforcement should be a last resort, not a first resort, and never should it be allowed to become commonplace after this passes.

Just as the public needs stern, sober reminders of why their cooperation is a matter of life and death, so do some political figures need a remedial lesson in Constitutional rights. Lesson one: the Bill of Rights is not a list of things that the state allows us to do, if we’re good and use them only the way they want. It’s a list of rights granted to us by God that the state cannot take away, except by tyranny.

Sadly, we cannot depend on media outlets that are the victims of Trump Derangement Syndrome to alter their behavior at this late date. Astoundingly, CNN cut away from what was perhaps the most important daily briefing Trump has given yet. This came a day after one of their resident TDS patients, Don Lemon, declared that CNN should stop airing them because Trump causes public harm by misinforming TV viewers (if that were true, Trump could be a CNN commentator himself.)

Lemon idiotically compared the daily virus White House press briefings to Trump campaign rallies, which brought this appropriate response from Brit Hume.

Hume said people are hungry for information and the briefings “have been an absolute fountain of information about that subject.” But the reporters mostly ask divisive, unrelated (and I would add, “negative,” “hostile” and “accusatory”) questions, showing more interest in making Trump look bad than in eliciting vital information to help the public.

Hume said, "Reporters are like people who have one tool. You've heard the famous saying, 'If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.' If the only thing you've ever been is a political reporter and you are covering the White House briefings on a major worldwide pandemic, you might be tempted to ask a lot of political questions, which is what they've done."

I think Brit hit the nail on the head with that observation, although I admit that when I look at the White House Press Corps these days, I see more than just one tool.

Cancel the conventions?

April 1, 2020

Tokyo has already postponed the summer Olympics to next year, but there’s still some question whether America’s big summer spectator sport events – the major party political conventions – will still go on. Both parties use those conventions to boost enthusiasm and turnout, something Joe Biden particularly will need. Although some might argue that having him walk a tightrope over Niagara Falls would be less risky than putting him onstage in front of the nation for a high-pressure convention speech on live TV. (Just look at how many gaffes he got into a brief interview on MSNBC, from calling Wuhan, China, “Luhan” to confusing the CDC with CVS pharmacy.

Some top Democrats are pushing to cancel the convention in Milwaukee, while others are suggesting at least postponing it. President Trump wants to go on with the GOP Convention in Charlotte. Both might not be feasible, but the Republicans have a better shot, since their convention isn’t until August 24th, while the Democrats were set for July 13.

If the conventions have to be canceled, it would be a shame, since they are great spectacles and a traditional part of the American electoral process. But in light of what we’re dealing with now, having to forego hearing Maxine Waters screech about Trump to an arena full of people in donkey-shaped hats and Greta Thunberg T-shirts seems like a small sacrifice to make.

Not that her comments are actually worth mentioning, but since some poor deluded souls on the left continue to think of MSNBC Russian Collusion conspiracy monger Rachel Maddow as an actual journalist, I should include this: Maddow, who recently (and hilariously) suggested that networks shouldn’t air the President’s daily updates because HE dispenses misinformation (!), said this to her viewers exactly one week before the USNS Comfort arrived in New York harbor:

“In terms of the happy talk we’ve had on this front from the federal government, there is no sign that the Navy hospital ships that the president made such a big deal of, the Comfort and the Mercy, there’s no sign that they`ll be anywhere on-site helping out anywhere in the country for weeks yet. The President said when he announced that those ships would be put into action against the COVID-19 epidemic. He said one of those ships would be operational in New York harbor by next week. That`s nonsense. It will not be there next week.”

In fact, President Trump made good on his promise to dispatch the 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort to New York harbor, and it could be ready to start taking in patients as soon as today. Here are some photos of it arriving under the watchful eye of the Statue of Liberty that will send a patriotic thrill up your spine, if you're not an MSNBC viewer. I can assure Ms. Maddow that these pictures were not created in Photoshop by Russians.

From Robin:

On the [Wuhan] BSL-4 lab. I have a little experience with bio and chemical stuff in the military.

Based on the photos I've seen from China, the researchers were not properly attired with protective gear for this environment. They should be completely covered with all seams sealed. No openings to the body at all. Second problem is you cannot take off the protective gear without first decontaminating the gear, then secondly yourself. I did not see anything for decontamination. There should also be available emergency decontamination stations for accidental incidents.

Without the above you're just a human guinea pig. Go home to your family and friends after that and there you go! An epidemic because of poor training, fear of questioning your supervisors, politicians and government. And everything done in closed secrecy so you can't get knowledge or advice from any scientists in the outside world.

Welcome to Socialism!

From the Gov:

You bring up some very interesting points. I’m reminded of Chernobyl; in the aftermath, we we were shocked about the poor safety standards. Again, welcome to socialism; I’ve always been mystified by those who say a socialist/authoritarian form of government would be better for the environment. We have only to look at the lung-clogging pollution in (yes) China to see the reality. There are no studies we can cite on this --- how could there be? --- but it stands to reason that Chinese urban dwellers already have enough lung damage to make them vulnerable to a respiratory virus.

Jennifer Griffin for FOX NEWS had an outstanding report on Bret Baier’s SPECIAL REPORT Monday night from the U.S. Army base at Fort Detrick, Maryland, which houses one of the nation’s Level 4 biolabs, to show what they’re doing to create a COVID-19 vaccine. She says these are the same Army scientists who found vaccines for anthrax, plague and Ebola viruses. They’ve got special equipment that allows them to assess results of the “fast-track” drug testing that’s currently underway.

Safety protocols are rigid. There’s an airlock into a decontamination area that’s kind of like a car wash, where researchers shower in their protective gear after their shifts to decontaminate it before taking if off. The gear has its own oxygen supply.

"These men and women have been here before,” said U.S. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, “and they prevailed. And we’re going to find this vaccine, and we’re gonna win in the end.”

Much more at the link:

Abbott Labs, after getting emergency FDA approval, has announced it’s launching a 5-minute COVID-19 virus test that can be used just about anywhere. Every state will get at least 15 of these testing machines, which can perform up to 50,000 tests per day.

Also, GREAT NEWS (and thanks to Sean Hannity for this story): the drug hydroxychloroquine has been authorized for emergency use by the FDA after the promising results we’ve reported. The pharmaceutical company Novartis has committed to donating –- repeat, donating –- up to 130 million doses of the drug. Likewise, the Israeli company Teva Pharmaceuticals has supplied U.S. hospitals with 6 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets,with another 4 million on the way. Also, the Phase 1 testing of a vaccine has commenced; the speed of this truly is miraculous.

By the way, I'm sure you'd agree with me, Robin, that we should discount anything we hear from the World Health Organization. It appears to be Chinese propaganda, one step removed. Check out Tucker Carlson’s Monday interview with Gordon Chang, author of THE COMING COLLAPSE OF CHINA, about the World Health Organization’s denial to address anything concerning the nation of Taiwan. Why, it’s just as if Taiwan didn’t even exist! (Steve Mosher, author of the book BULLY OF ASIA, calls them “the China Health Organization.”)

As reported by Chang, the director general of the World Health Organization gave an interview in late January to China’s state media saying that Beijing’s response was “admirable, should be emulated by the rest of the world,” and that “it all showed the superiority of China’s socialist system.” (I am not kidding.)

Chang commented, “Well, China has a totalitarian system, and, really, what he was doing was attacking democracy on behalf of Beijing. So this is really despicable across the board.” He went on: “...This is dangerous, because for the last 10 days of January, and for the first 10-15 days of February, the World Health Organization was parroting Beijing’s line that no country should enact travel restrictions on China. And that’s –- because there were no travel restrictions, or very few of them, the United States being an exception, what happened was, this virus spread even farther...around China’s borders, and so, what’s the WHO has done, it’s actually helped spread the coronavirus around the world, and it did it on behalf of Beijing.”

Democrat Congressman Seth Molton of Massachusetts has also submitted to the power of Beijing, by withdrawing his support for a resolution condemning the Chinese Communist government. He talked about this on (where else?) MSNBC, and apparently chose to speak up to counter the implication that the Chinese government might be worse than the danger of the “racist” Trump administration. I think we can tell this idiot he needs to quarantine his mouth.

Thanks for writing, Robin, and for your perspective on China’s role in the spread of this virus.

RELATED READINGThe challenge of getting truth on origin of Chinese virus

From Dobbin:

Good article, Governor, but I don't think there is a level 5. Pretty sure level 4 (BSL 4) is as high as it goes, and if BSL 4 protocol were followed, this wouldn't have happened. If!

From the Gov:

Hi, Dobbin. Um, that line about “Level 5”? As the great ol’ cartoon rooster Foghorn Leghorn used to say, “That’s a joke, ah say, that’s a joke, son.”

From Julianne:

I recall some information coming out of China in late December about mass graves. The links I had to those are gone, missing, removed....something. Since this virus hit the elderly and sickly, those people were just considered collateral damage and expendable. We will never know how many died in China from this virus. The truth will not be told by those in power, and all those that know are dead or missing.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Julianne. My researchers have encountered similar online brick walls. Also, they find that certain well-documented, credible stories from here in America are avoided by the mainstream media like –- pardon the expression –- the plague. (Always ask yourself about a story that seems to just go away, “Why am I not hearing more about this?”)

But to your point, you are correct about the value of life in that country being essentially on par with that of an 8-month-old fetus in the eyes of Planned Parenthood. As far as those in power are concerned, lives are expendable and certainly considered collateral damage if there is a larger goal to be achieved. Unfortunately, some in our own media, particularly social media, have been quite cooperative in their effort to –- again, pardon the expression –- “bury” stories and commentary. We’ll continue to look into the mass-graves story, but you’re right: many details about this will likely never be known.

From Jeanine (excerpt):

I listened to NPR and OPB the other day after the Task Force had given their faithful, intelligent update on the coronavirus and could not believe what I was hearing. Everything that was said on NPR and OPB was the opposite of what was reported by the Task Force. It was lying. And then hateful commentary.

From the Gov:

It’s as I said, Jeanine. One might as well be listening to Nancy Pelosi...or the Chinese Communist Party. And if Congress is looking for places in the budget to cut so they can more easily help shuttered businesses and Americans out of work...they might start with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Switching gears

March 31, 2020

At his Monday press briefing, President Trump introduced another leading business person who is joining the government in the coronavirus response. Mike Lindell, founder of the phenomenally successful American company My Pillow, praised Trump’s actions and encouraged Americans to use their enforced home stays to spend time with their families, pray, read the Bible and reconnect with God.

Lindell has refocused 75% of his pillow factory output for the time being on making much-needed N95 surgical face masks for health care workers, with plans to produce 50,000 masks a day. You can see video and read more here:

I’m not at all surprised to see Mike Lindell putting public service over profit, and speaking out about his religious faith in a place where that’s often mocked and scorned. Indeed, some snarkers on the Internet tried it, but I sense that we have entered a more serious new era, and Americans are fresh out of patience for juvenile partisan sniping from people who would rather criticize and attack than pitch in and help.

Here’s a specific example of an attempt at adolescent eye-rolling at Trump and Lindell that brought a perfect response. It suggests that these leftists’ 15 minutes as the self-proclaimed “cool kids” of social media (that stretched into three annoying years) are at long last over:

Mike Lindell is one of the great American success stories, and so popular with Americans that when he appeared on my TBN show in 2018, the studio audience was more excited about seeing him live and getting his autograph than any other celebrity or politician on the show (certainly more than about seeing me!) And that success is well-deserved. If you don’t know the story of how his life was nearly destroyed by drugs and alcohol, and how his faith in God not only saved him but led him to undreamed-of success that he now uses to help countless others in similar peril, then you need to see my interview with him. Trust me, you will be inspired:

Let’s also throw a grateful thank-you to the suit maker Brooks Brothers, which is stepping up to start making 150,000 face masks a day. Brooks Brothers is one of the last remaining companies that still makes clothes in the USA instead of in foreign cheap labor markets. Wow, whoever imagined that there might someday be a reason America would want to encourage manufacturers to keep those jobs in America?