31 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-13-20

  1. China tightens it’s grip on information. CNN gets it right for a change.


    “Beijing tightens grip over coronavirus research, amid US-China row on virus origin”

    “China has imposed restrictions on the publication of academic research on the origins of the novel coronavirus, according to a central government directive and online notices published by two Chinese universities, that have since been removed from the web.

    Under the new policy, all academic papers on Covid-19 will be subject to extra vetting before being submitted for publication. Studies on the origin of the virus will receive extra scrutiny and must be approved by central government officials, according to the now-deleted posts.

    A medical expert in Hong Kong who collaborated with mainland researchers to publish a clinical analysis of Covid-19 cases in an international medical journal said his work did not undergo such vetting in February.

    The increased scrutiny appears to be the latest effort by the Chinese government to control the narrative on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives and sickened 1.7 million people worldwide since it first broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.

    Since late January, Chinese researchers have published a series of Covid-19 studies in influential international medical journals. Some findings about early coronavirus cases — such as when human-to-human transition first appeared — have raised questions over the official government account of the outbreak and sparked controversy on Chinese social media.”


    “According to the directive issued by the Ministry of Education’s science and technology department, “academic papers about tracing the origin of the virus must be strictly and tightly managed.”

    The directive lays out layers of approval for these papers, starting with the academic committees at universities. They are then required to be sent to the Education Ministry’s science and technology department, which then forwards the papers to a task force under the State Council for vetting. Only after the universities hear back from the task force can the papers be submitted to journals.

    Other papers on Covid-19 will be vetted by universities’ academic committees, based on conditions such as the “academic value” of the study, and whether the “timing for publishing” is right.”


  2. Dissent will not be tolerated.


    “How China muzzled its Bat Woman: Beijing authorities hushed up the findings of a scientist who unlocked the genetic make-up of the coronavirus within days of the outbreak – which is vital for tests and vaccines

    Shi Zhengli, a virologist known as China’s ‘Bat Woman’, sequenced the genes of the novel coronavirus in three days but her findings were supressed

    Their findings showed it was similar to SARS, a respiratory disease that sparked an epidemic in 33 countries after emerging from China in 2002

    Yanyi Wang, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, sent an email to staff and key officials ordering them not to disclose information on the disease”


  3. Now it’s getting a little ridiculous.


    By its nature, government action is a blunt instrument. The federal and state governments’ responses to the coronavirus inevitably select winners and losers. Most will suffer from mandated shutdowns, while a few will be overcompensated. And the states’ shutdown orders have been a maze of paradoxes and inconsistencies.

    Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer has become notorious nationally for her extreme shutdown order, although, to be fair, I am not sure it is much worse than the one issued by my own governor, Tim Walz. The local press has taken notice: “Whitmer’s new stay home order blasted by critics for lack of consistency.”

    State residents can’t travel to their Up North cottages, but Illinois residents who own one in Michigan apparently can.

    In-store purchases of Michigan Lottery tickets are still permitted, but buying a can of paint or a bag of seeds is off limits.
    Beginning Saturday morning, previously permitted travel between two Michigan residences will end, including jumping in the car to visit a friend, or even walking across the street to watch TV with a neighbor.
    [Hal] Hughes said he can’t understand how the state has imposed still more restrictions on the movement of people and the sale of nonessential goods, without shutting down in-store lottery sales.

    “You can’t go visit your friends. You can’t buy seeds … but you can sneak out and buy lottery tickets,” Hughes said. “I don’t understand it, unless it’s hypocritical greed.”

    Hypocritical greed is a phrase that applies, in general, to both state and federal governments.

    Though the new order prohibits trips from a Michigan residence to a Michigan cottage, travel between states is still permitted, and by the words of the order, only “individuals currently living within the State of Michigan,” but not residents living in other states, are subject to the order. That would suggest that residents of other states who own cottages Up North can continue to visit, unless banned by a “stay home” order in their own state.”




    “Whitmer’s new stay home order blasted by critics for lack of consistency”


  4. And what do they all have in common?

    Democrat Governors.


    “Add Michigan, Kentucky and Virginia to the growing list of irrational control tactics.”


    “Virginia Police Serves a Summon to Pastor After Holding Service With 16 People
    Gov. Ralph Northam’s COVID Order 55 says those who violate the mass gathering ban face a year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.

    Pastor Kevin Wilson of the Lighthouse Fellowship Church in Chincoteague, VA, held a service with 16 people. The building holds 293 people. The 16 people sat far apart from each other and as far as I know had no contact with each other.

    Before the service the police treated Wilson like a criminal:

    Last Sunday before the service, a local police officer entered the church. He gave no introduction and did not ask for the pastor. He abruptly said they could not have more than 10 people spaced six feet apart. Then after the service, two police officers entered the church in full mask and gloves and asked to speak with the pastor. They issued him a summons and informed him that if he had service on Easter, all attending would receive the same summons, according to the Liberty Counsel.”


  5. Time for an intervention?


    “AG Barr Taking ‘Action’ Against Gov Officials Who Regulate Religious Services”

    “Attorney General William Barr will reportedly take “action” against government officials who “single out religious” organizations with social distancing enforcement measures as the country continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in China.

    Barr spokeswoman Kerry Kupec made the announcement on Twitter, writing, “During this sacred week for many Americans, AG Barr is monitoring govt regulation of religious services. While social distancing policies are appropriate during this emergency, they must be applied evenhandedly & not single out religious orgs. Expect action from DOJ next week!””

    The move comes as some government officials around the country have clamped down on church services and have even threatened to permanently close churches if they do not practice social distancing.

    New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened late last month to permanently close places of worship if they broke social distancing efforts aimed at reducing the outbreak of the coronavirus.

    “The NYPD, Fire Department, Buildings Department, and everyone has been instructed that if they see worship services going on, they will go to the officials of that congregation, they’ll inform them they need to stop the services and disperse,” de Blasio said. “If that does not happen, they will take additional action up to the point of fines and potentially closing the building permanently.”

    On Friday, Kentucky Democrat Governor Andy Beshear announced that he would be sending police to churches this weekend to record the license plates of anyone who attends Easter services and is going to force them into quarantine for 14 days.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sen. Tom Cotton wants to make China pay.


    “The United States must also undertake an investigation into which Communist officials are responsible for covering up the outbreak in Wuhan. This investigation should lead to stiff sanctions against the officials we identify. I introduced a bill last week to make such sanctions possible.

    Furthermore, we should restrict Chinese propaganda organs that sow misinformation within the United States, like state-sponsored newspaper China Daily and Confucius Centers on college campuses.

    We can even rename the street outside the CCP’s embassy in Washington, D.C. after whistleblowers like Dr. Li, so that the CCP’s functionaries are forced to confront their party’s victims every day when they arrive at work.

    As we make sure the history books record the facts about the China virus pandemic, we must also make sure the CCP pays a price for its malpractice, here and now.

    If this pandemic has proven anything, it’s that the CCP has abandoned any claim to global leadership. We should move immediately to demote China from positions of prominence in international institutions like the United Nations as well as technical standards-setting bodies that Beijing has coopted in recent years to promote Chinese technology.

    We can also bring action against China at the World Trade Organization and revoke its special trading privileges with our country for threatening to cut off access to vital supplies in a time of crisis.

    Likewise, Beijing’s influence at the WHO should be rooted out. Cronies like WHO official Bruce Aylward ought to be replaced with impartial public servants who are willing to buck the party line in Beijing.

    We should also seek membership in the WHO for Taiwan. It has handled the pandemic better than perhaps any country to date, despite its shameful exclusion from the WHO at China’s insistence.

    Perhaps the strongest rebuke we could deliver to the CCP, however, is to end our dependence on China for essential goods like medicine, respirator masks, and other strategically important goods. Export-oriented manufacturing is one source of the CCP’s leverage over foreign countries, allowing it to cut off its trading partners in times of emergency. Pulling our most sensitive supply chains out of China must therefore be a top priority.

    That’s why I have a bill, along with Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wisc., to end our dependence on Chinese drugs and encourage companies to make essential medicine in America.

    Competing with China in the long run will require us to emancipate ourselves from Chinese supply chains for a broader category of high-value goods, while rebuilding our manufacturing capabilities at home so we can quickly surge production of needed supplies.

    Times of crisis are painful but they’re also clarifying. At home, this pandemic has allowed our brave doctors and nurses to prove that they’re the best medical professionals in the world. Tragically, it has also exposed alarming vulnerabilities in our government’s response to emergencies.

    Abroad, this crisis has proven that Chinese communism is a grave affliction whose pain is felt not only by its subjects but by the whole world.

    We must treat the CCP as we would any serious disease: immediately and aggressively.”

    Liked by 2 people

  7. The media still refuses to tell the whole story and fudge the numbers.


    “No, the United States Does Not Lead the World in Coronavirus Cases or Deaths”

    “Last month, the media jumped on the news that the United States had more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any other nation. That was bogus on two fronts. First, U.S. intelligence agencies believe that China is lying about its true numbers, and reports from inside the country tell of crematoriums working around the clock and people being paid off to keep quiet.

    Second, the United States does not lead the world in coronavirus cases per capita—which is the best way to compare how the pandemic is being contained in each country. For much of the pandemic, Italy has been overwhelmed by the coronavirus, but Italy has fewer cases and deaths than the United States. The United States has nearly six times the population of Italy, and when you measure cases and deaths per capita, it’s easy to see why Italy was overwhelmed and the United States is not.

    Here are the top six countries by confirmed cases (based on the case numbers from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University as of 9:00 am ET April 12) in descending order (excluding China because their numbers are bogus):

    USA (530,006)
    Spain (166,019)
    Italy (152,271)
    France 130,730
    Germany (125,452)
    The United Kingdom (79,885)

    Now, here are the top six countries by confirmed cases per million people (based on population numbers from the CIA World Fact Book) in descending order:

    Spain (3319.33)
    Italy (2440.14)
    France (1926.80)
    USA (1593.34)
    Germany (1565.03)
    United Kingdom (1214.78)

    See? When looking at the number of confirmed cases compared to the population, the United States is not number one.”


    They pull the same garbage with the number of deaths.


  8. In other news….

    Good thing folks aren’t going anywhere, because gas prices are about to rise.


    “Oil Price War Ends With Historic OPEC+ Deal to Slash Output”

    “The world’s top oil producers pulled off a historic deal to cut global petroleum output by nearly a 10th, putting an end to a devastating price war but not going far enough offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    A week-long marathon of bilateral calls and ministerial video conferences joined the OPEC+ alliance and the Group of 20 nations in an unprecedented agreement. Together they have helped to lift oil prices from almost 20-year lows, but the focus of the market now shifts to whether they can dent a supply glut that keeps growing as the virus shuts down the global economy.

    The deal may turn out to be “just a plaster on an open wound,” consultant JBC Energy GmbH said in a note. After swinging wildly in the first few minutes of trading, crude was down slightly London on Monday.

    Despite the skepticism, the agreement still represents an important victory for the alliance between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, which just a few weeks ago appeared to be dead. And it wasn’t easy, with talks almost falling apart late last week because of resistance from Mexico. They came back from the brink after a weekend of urgent diplomacy, and an intervention from President Donald Trump, helped to broker the final compromise.

    “Unprecedented measures for unprecedented times,”said Ed Morse, a veteran oil watcher who is head of commodities research at Citigroup Inc. “Unprecedented in historical discussions of production cuts, the U.S. played a critical role in brokering between Saudi Arabia and Russia for the new OPEC+ accord.”

    OPEC+ will cut 9.7 million barrels a day — just below the initial proposal of 10 million.”


  9. Believe women.

    Unless they accuse a Democrat…..


    Liked by 1 person

  10. They crucified Kavanaugh for far less.


  11. You can always rely on Feinstein to side with despot, communists, and terrorist regimes. Dems like her are blocking more aid to small American businesses, but have no problem funding Iran.


    “Sen. Dianne Feinstein Slammed for Urging IMF Aid to Iranian Mullah Terror Regime

    Ted Cruz: “The Ayatollah leads chants of “death to America.” He pledges to destroy America, which he calls “the Great Satan.” And Senate Dems want to send him millions??? At the EXACT SAME TIME, Senate Dems are blocking desperately need relief to small businesses in America.””

    “Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is taking heat for calling on President Trump to reverse the block on the IMF to Iran. You would think at a time like this, she might be more focused on the people of California.

    Adam Shaw reports at FOX News:

    Feinstein urges Trump to reverse plan to block Iran request for $5B in IMF aid, claims it is in ‘our national interest’

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has urged President Trump to reverse a reported plan to block an Iranian request to the IMF for $5 billion in aid to fight the coronavirus crisis — saying it is in the U.S. national interest to accede to the request.

    “I am disappointed to see reports that your administration intends to block Iran from receiving $5 billion in humanitarian aid from the IMF to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” Feinstein wrote in a letter dated Thursday to President Trump. “Providing these funds to Iran would help it respond more effectively to the disease and mitigate the risk of further destabilization in the region.”

    The administration plans to block the request for an emergency loan, amid concerns that the anti-American regime still has billion-dollar accounts available to it, The Wall Street Journal reported.

    Senior officials told the Journal that the loan would allow Tehran to divert the money to its economy — which has been stunted by the sanctions imposed as part of the U.S. maximum pressure campaign — or to finance extremist militant groups in the Middle East.”


    It’s never in our national interest to fund terrorist regimes.


  12. “Democrats Fear Trump’s New 2020 Strategy Is Working” 🙂


    “President Donald Trump and his allies are leaning heavily into a new 2020 strategy tying Democrats and their presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden not just to China but to its role in spreading the coronavirus.

    Democrats are increasingly worried that the strategy will work.

    The Trump re-election campaign released a new ad this week going after Biden over his opposition to restrictions on travel from China designed to control the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. That was followed with a fundraising solicitation on Saturday that hammered home the point: “I am TOUGH ON CHINA and Sleepy Joe Biden is WEAK ON CHINA,” it declared.”


    ““[China’s] among many weaknesses, but when people learn about Biden’s attack on the president’s China travel ban, his other weak positions on China, and his conflict with Hunter Biden’s business deal with China, voters are horrified,” John McLaughlin, a Trump pollster, told The Daily Beast on Friday. Other Trump 2020 officials said that the campaign had always intended to hammer Biden on China until the election in November, and the coronavirus “angle” was merely another way to go after the Bidens and China simultaneously.

    In one sense it’s simply an extension of Team Trump’s months-long strategy to tie Biden to a country increasingly viewed with suspicion by American voters. The campaign and the Republican National Committee have been hammering Biden for months over his youngest son Hunter’s past business dealings in China.

    But the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has made the country a far more potent political villain. And the massive disruptions in daily life caused by the virus virtually guarantee that China will remain in the headlines—and on the minds of American voters—for months as election day approaches. Polls already indicate that Americans of both parties overwhelmingly blame China for the virus’ initial spread.

    For a Trump campaign that’s a potential political goldmine. “China was an effective wedge issue for Trump in 2016,” said one Republican strategist close to the campaign. “Now that it’s at the top of everyone’s mind, and Biden has a long record of being weak on China, just imagine how much more effective it will be in 2020.””


  13. On the NPR piece….

    Most of what they whine about proved to be unnecessary and wasn’t done. Why waste resources?

    And other things were left to states, as they should be.



    As for the NBC piece, yet more whining about Kushner, yet no proof he did anything wrong or improper.

    Try harder.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Its fake news because accountability doesn’t exist in Trump’s mind hence he fires Inspectator General including the one who was supposed to oversee the 2 trillion dollar bailout. And criticism of his covid response — even Dr Fauci isn’t safe from his threats


    Perhaps American should have a woman in charge instead — the female leaders are doing quite well, Merkel is probably what the US needs.


    Of course its not that simple but a female leader would probably be better than Biden or Trunmp. Although the per capita stats do alleviate some of the harshness of the stats, there are other stats that should worry Americans.

    European countries missed by AJs and doing better in cases per capita — all the Nordic countries, Austria, Portugal and Canada. This is in addition to Germany and the UK. In terms of death per capita, the US is behind Canada, Austria, Norway, Finland, Denmark and of course, Germany. Essentially — the US did better than Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands and France. France is surprising for me but the first two have barely functional governments and the latter two are so heavily urbanized and thus have same stats as NYC without rural areas to offset the stats.

    Worldwide, about 20% of all closed cases ended in death. In the US, it is 40%. In Canada, it is 10% ending in death. Now part of the reason can be lower testing in the US and thus only the severe cases are diagnosed with Covid or it could be the American reluctance to go to the hospital unless absolutely necessary, since it has upfront costs.

    American stats should be as good as Canada if not better. But they are not. With the CDC and a well funded military health department, the US should be ahead. In simulations run about 5 years ago, the US was thought to be the best prepared for a virus,yet here we are.


  15. If it was unnecessary, why is the US lagging in its response to Covid.

    Its the states job? Way to pass the buck, its Mexico’s fault, no its China’s fault, no its the states fault or as Trump put it “I don’t take responsibility at all”

    I really don’t understand this insistence on having church services — you can do it at home, as Jesus said pray in your room so you don’t make a show of it. Some of my more cynical friends claim its to keep the collection plate open but I don’t think thats the only thing — perhaps some of them see it as “hoax”?

    I imagine the lottery is open simply as coincidence. At least in Ontario, lotteries are generally sold in grocery stores and convenience stores, essential places. However, all lottery kiosks are closed as non-essential. People are directed to buy online. Some stores closed their lottery sales but others esp the small stores kept them open.

    Outside of the US, quarantine and social isolation are not partisan issues — conservatives, liberals, and socialists all agree on the rules. My conservative premier, who once openly admired Trump, has similar if not more strict regulations than the Michigan governor.


  16. HRW,

    “Perhaps American should have a woman in charge instead — the female leaders are doing quite well, Merkel is probably what the US needs.”


    Really? Because when looked at on a per capita basis, the only fair way, Germany is doing no better than the US.

    “Now, here are the top six countries by confirmed cases per million people (based on population numbers from the CIA World Fact Book) in descending order:

    Spain (3319.33)
    Italy (2440.14)
    France (1926.80)
    USA (1593.34)
    Germany (1565.03)
    United Kingdom (1214.78)

    See? When looking at the number of confirmed cases compared to the population, the United States is not number one.”


    And yeah, we need more women in charge just because they’re women. That’s working so well for Canada…

    Oh wait, no, it’s a disaster. Trudeau should be ashamed, he’s playing identity politics when he should be looking for the most qualified.

    Your advice sucks.


    “Canada, not so much. The country’s dilettante leader, who has no viable answer to the crisis, is not so embattled. The lying press, luxuriating in the prime minister’s $600-million bribe, is almost universally on his side, and his inept and intellectually challenged ministers are ritually lionized. 600 mil clearly helps you get your priorities straight. The sheer amateurism of this government is evident in its policy initiatives.

    Some of these decisions defy belief. Shades of the famous Tennessee Ernie Ford song, Canada sent sixteen tons of PPE (personal protective equipment) to China while undergoing shortages of much-needed supplies, such as masks, goggles, gloves, and appropriate clothing, in the fight against the virus. University of Ottawa epidemiologist Amir Attaran was surprised to learn of this supernumerary gift. “It was absolutely certain in early February that we would need this equipment,” he said. “This decision went beyond altruism into high negligence and incompetence because Canada did not, and does not, have surplus equipment to spare.” Canada, as was to be expected, has no emergency management agency in place and no way of dealing with the export restrictions of needed medical supplies adopted by countries around the world.

    Theresa Tam is Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, appointed to the office by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 26, 2017. According to her resumé, she is “a physician with expertise in immunization, infectious disease, emergency preparedness and global health security,” and is chiefly responsible for the coast-to-coast lockdown of the country. A daily presence on national TV, Tam has become the face of the anti-COVID task force and the regulations intended to check the spread of the disease. But she remains something of an enigma.

    Writing in The Council of European Canadians newsletter, an online site which has reaped the displeasure and vicious slander of Canada’s progressivist “social justice” warriors and multiculti vigilantes, Kidist Paulos Asrat asks, “Who is this woman now in charge of providing the ‘chief’ medical information concerning Canada’s lockdown? Where did she come from?” His research has produced little information of value. “There is very little available on her biography,” he continues, “very little personal (and even professional) information on Tam,” including her date of birth, place of birth (other than ‘raised in Hong Kong’) and the dates of her degrees. Indeed, the listings of her theses, dissertation, and alumni profiles seem to be missing, though Asrat has searched the University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta websites where such data should be available.

    What do we know about Tam? We know that Tam is a feminist who attended the 2019 Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, whose mandate is promoting “gender equality and the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women.” As for the health, rights, and wellbeing of men and boys, nary a hint, which is why she seems to have expressed no interest in the fact that men are more likely to be infected by COVID-19 and twice as likely to die from it. We know that she is intimately associated with the World Health Organization, significantly funded by China, that initially downplayed the scope of the disease, and whose Director-General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus is a Marxist and a loyal defender of China, “uncritically repeating information from the Chinese authorities.” A petition is now circulating calling for his resignation.

    Tam has warned against stigmatizing Chinese people, though it is far from clear that such a warning was necessary. Canada’s largest Chinese population is located in Vancouver, where I make my home, and I have not seen the slightest instance, whether in the media or the public, of prejudice or opprobrium. “Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language,” she stated, “are unacceptable and very hurtful. These actions create a divide of Us Vs Them. Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion.”

    This is merely more of the usual virtue-signaling and self-promoting boilerplate beloved of career politicians of the woke variety. The last thing we need during a health crisis is a lecture on race relations and feel-good multiculti.

    Spencer Fernando, whom I regard, along with the redoubtable Rex Murphy, as one of the vanishingly few reliable journalists in this country, pretty much has the goods on Tam. “The facts are undeniable,” he writes. “Tam was late at every step, focused on political correctness and lecturing when the virus could have been stopped, and seemed less informed of the risk than the general public and the MPs who were asking her questions.”

    “Right now,” she said at a critical juncture, “the cases are in China. Very few are exported… the risk is low in Canada.” The cases did not stay in China but swept the world, including Canada. Moreover, we were assured that “WHO does not recommend travel bans” and that we need not worry about asymptomatic transmission. Wrong on every count. Her record is deplorable and her sympathies debatable.

    Tam is a typical Trudeau appointee: a feminist, a self-aggrandizing special pleader, and a gross incompetent in the office she is expected to manage. There are others like her in the Trudeau cabinet, for example, the lamentable Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland who nearly deep-sixed our NAFTA treaty talks with Donald Trump and has a tendency to tear up at critical moments, though as former NDP Premier Bob Rae tweeted in Freeland’s patronizing defense, “Crying is not a sign of weakness, it is a natural emotional response to a lot of different situations”; and the equally hapless Minister of Health, cultural anthropologist (!) Patti Hajdu with limited experience in medicine, repeatedly said, like Tam, that the risk of infection from the virus “is low,” but now projects that up to 70% of Canadians may be infected. Despite being stroked by a shameless love article in The Globe and Mail, Hajdu’s performance is frankly pathetic. And like both Tam and their boss, she seems to have a soft spot for China, insisting that “there’s no indication that the data that came out of China in terms of their infection rate and their death rate was falsified in any way.” All these gender quota mermaids are swimming fathoms beyond their depth and I suspect their fealty is compromised.”


    No thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Gathering together for corporate worship, for the ministry of word and sacrament, is something we are called to do and it is a significantly important part of the Christian life and faith. It cannot be compared to Jesus’ words about the pharisees praying on the corners “in order to be seen by men.” That’s a wildly false comparison, but be that as it may … most churches (all that I have personal connections with, including through those here) have been careful to transition to a live-feed service this past month, in large part as a way to love our neighbors and make sure the virus is not spread.

    We do, however, anticipate and look forward to the day when we can again meet together.

    From a post by Tom Hering (and quoted by Gene Veith):

    ~ The most unhappy reality of our temporary “exile” is our loss of the full sensory experience of worship. We can still experience online services through sight and hearing, but being reduced to these two senses is a great impoverishment. We don’t taste the bread and wine, or smell the wine, or touch the elements with our hands and tongues. We don’t feel the nearness of other people – something we sense with our whole body. We don’t feel the vibrations from voices and musical instruments. These losses remind us we’re physical creatures. They teach us we can only be happy as physical creatures. A non-physical Heaven populated by disembodied spirits would be no heaven at all. (Our nature as physical beings also explains the revival of ink-and-paper books, vinyl records, film photography, brick-and-mortar shopping, etc.) ~

    And from Veith:

    ~ We might wonder, though, how long is temporary? One month becomes two, and the whole timeframe is open-ended. And even when the epidemic fizzles out, what precedents will have been set? Will we have become used to the government restricting our liberties, for our own good, of course? Will we start accepting that as the price of the government taking care of us?

    As for invoking “necessity” as the all-justifying reason, I can’t help but think of the line from Milton: “Necessity, the tyrant’s plea” (Paradise Lost, Book IV, ll. 393-394). ~


    Liked by 3 people

  18. You’re right the US isn’t the highest in per capita cases. However, it has only 4 or 5 major European countries ahead of it. And all of those have done far more testing per capita than the US. Its legitimate to ask where would the US be if they were testing at the same rate as the Europeans or even Canada. And I gave reasons in the previous posts for why 5 major European nations would be ahead of the US. In terms of mortality rate in closed cases of Covid, even Spain with the highest death rate, has a mortality rate of 20% — the US rate of 40%.

    As for Canada, most Cdns realize Trudeau is mere figurehead or pretty face. In fact most of us didn’t vote for him. However, Canada is doing fairly well statistically — far lower in per capita measurements than the US. There are reasons beyond leadership for this; we are a nation with isolated urban pockets easily self contained, as a rule Cdns generally defer to experts in their respective fields ie we believe scientists including Tam, we are for the most part rule followers, and most importantly we have universal health care — we don’t wait til we are really sick to seek care.

    Freeland is an interesting person. I don’t like her as a politician — too centrist for my taste —- but she’s actually good at her job. She more than Trudeau runs the actual day to day government and as the statistics point out has done a fairly good job. She’s also really good at building relationships with men including Kushner and my own Trumpian premier Ford.


  19. I agree; necessity is the tyrants pleas, hence my opposition to many security measures implemented after 9/11. However, a viral outbreak requires common sense. And a viral outbreak does end and in a free and open society where the press is not intimidated we will know. I’m not too strict on social distancing but large gatherings are just not sensible. Whether it be religion, politics, non-essential work; we need to be careful.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Regarding Michigan’s inconsistencies, HRW says, “I imagine the lottery is open simply as coincidence. At least in Ontario, lotteries are generally sold in grocery stores and convenience stores, essential places.”

    True, but even that logic is not applied consistently here in Michigan. For example, big box hardware stores — Home Depot, Lowe’s, etc. — are open because people need to be able to buy stuff to fix and replace broken things. “Simply as coincidence,” they could also buy gardening supplies and tools, hardly essential. Until this week.

    The governor’s new more stringent measures allow the stores to remain open for their essential goods, but prevent them from selling non-essential goods. Either the stuff has to be removed from the shelves, or the aisles have to be blocked off.

    But lottery tickets are still sold.


  21. I do agree with HRW at 2:53. I don’t oppose the extreme measures the way some of my more strident anti-government-interference friends do.

    But we do need to stand up if they’re not applied justly (e.g., singling out churches), and we need to be sure they’re not extended past their need. (And I realize that people may disagree on exactly when that is, but eventually it will be evident.)

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Strange — many groceries stop selling paper lottery tickets — out of concern for their staff, they don’t handle paper including lottery tickets and money, pay by debit or credit. In Ontario, hardware stores are open since they do sell essential supplies but some people are using the free time to do home reno. I can’t say I blame them.

    The states are responsible and in charge except when they are not;


  23. I would imagine Michigan is still selling lottery tickets for the same reason PA. and many other states are. It’s a cash cow that pays for a lot of things that would require a tax increase to cover if sale of them stopped. It’s always about the money.


  24. I don’t necessarily oppose most of them either Kevin, I just think some are getting stupid, like the seeds. Now is exactly the time to be growing your own veggies.

    We’ve not left our home since since 18th of March, the girls, since the 11th of March. We’ve had our groceries delivered, even stamps. We worship at home with our church thru video. I wouldn’t attend at this point even if they were reopened. We don’t plan on going anywhere for the foreseeable future either. I have no problem following the experts and govts’ recommendations. Better safe than sorry is how I see it.

    Liked by 3 people

  25. To be clear, the Michigan order is not about specific items like “seeds”, but about non-essential sections of large stores. They could probably get away with putting racks of seed packets near the cash registers if they wanted to.

    But, AJ, you have a good point. Maybe they ought to rethink the garden centers / nurseries ban.

    Here’s the wording:
    11. Any store that remains open for in-person sales under section 5 or 9(f) of this order must:…
    d. For stores of more than 50,000 square feet:
    1. Limit the number of customers in the store at one time (excluding employees) to 4 people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. The amount of customer floor space must be calculated to exclude store areas that are closed under subprovision (2) of this subsection.

    2. Close areas of the store—by cordoning them off, placing signs in aisles, posting prominent signs, removing goods from shelves, or other appropriate means—that are dedicated to the following classes of goods:
    A. Carpet or flooring.
    B. Furniture.
    C. Garden centers and plant nurseries.
    D. Paint.

    3. By April 13, 2020, refrain from the advertising or promotion of goods that are not groceries, medical supplies, or items that are necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of residences.

    4. Create at least two hours per week of dedicated shopping time for vulnerable populations, which for purposes of this order are people over 60, pregnant women, and those with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.


    Liked by 1 person

  26. This is funny, suddenly liberals are all about federalism and states rights. Where were they when ObamaCare was being shoved down the country’s throat?

    That’s right, they were cheering it on.

    But now, Orange Man Bad, so…..

    Not saying I disagree, because states should have input either way. Some are way worse off than others, and state authorities would be more familiar with their states needs. But the President issued an emergency order for all 50 states, to free up money for them and federal resources, and only he has the authority to lift that.





  27. Correcting the false media spin.


    Liked by 2 people

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