PODCAST: Fear Factor — What Our Virus Concerns Say about the Two Parties

Nobody is thrilled to be stuck inside, but a lot of pollsters have been surprised by just how popular The Great Lockdown has been. Despite the state protests and rallies, there’s been a lot of support for the stay-at-home orders that have canceled schools and disrupted life as we know it. “Worth it” said 80 percent in a Kaiser survey last week. “Appropriate” another 66 percent told the Washington Post. But is that mindset starting to change? Some surveys say yes.

For the first time since he’s been asking, Scott Rasmussen thinks the focus of concern is changing. A slight plurality of people — 49 percent — said they now fear the economic threat more than the health threat (45 percent). In statistics, that’s essentially a split down the middle, he told me on “Washington Watch.” “But it’s a big change from a month ago, when 55 percent were more worried about the health components of the coronavirus.” But the longer this goes on, Scott explained, the more Americans are starting to count the other costs. “It’s not just, you know, stay home and stay safe, or go out and work and put your health at risk.”

One of the more interesting findings of his survey is just how differently the two parties respond. There’s a significant divide over which concern should take precedence. By a 73-21 percent margin, Republicans say the economic threat is more serious — while Democrats, 64 to 31 percent, worry more about health. Of course, that’s consistent, in a lot of ways with the two political philosophies. “The Republican base, by and large, is going to be far more suspicious of the media culture, and of the government, and of government’s efforts to take liberty away from them,” the Hill’s John Feehery speculates. And as the president pushes to reopen the economy, Republicans — who’ve been concerned about this issue from the start — are naturally going to rally behind him.

But there are also two competing political philosophies at work here. Republicans have always been more attached to the free market than government. And Democrats, on the opposite side, tend to find comfort in more government and this idea that it can provide and protect. “It’s almost,” Scott agreed, “a broader definition of civil society. Conservatives tend to think there is a very active role for churches and trade associations and small businesses making things work, as opposed to a top-down mindset of the government should set the rules and we all play by them. So that absolutely factors into these numbers.”

We talk about these things as absolutes, Scott pointed out, but there are a lot of moving parts. The timing aspect is important. The infection rate is important. Freedom is important. The fact is, life, however it resumes, will look differently. But the president and his team are doing the best they can to make sure nothing has to suffer more than it already has — not our health and not the economy.


Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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EDITORS NOTE: This FRC-Action podcast is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Globalists Promote the Collapse of America’s Economy and Destruction of Her Leadership

According to an article in Wealth Daily on April 2nd, “Humanity’s Deadliest Virus: The Communist Party of China,” by Alex Koyfman, the onset of the Coronavirus crisis may well have been in the development stages a full four months prior to being reported by Chinese health officials.

Koyfman’s article states:

That earlier this week, four full months after coronavirus made the interspecies jump to infect patient zero, the truth about its effects on the Chinese Population has started to make headlines.

Officially, the numbers of infected and dead in China still stands firmly at 81,000 and 3,300, with single digits being added to both counts on a daily basis.

But news this big can’t stay suppressed – not forever, anyway…

As one resident of Wuhan, the city where the disease originated, stated, “The incinerators have been working around the clock, so how can so few people have died?”

Despite Wuhan’s population of over 11 million, city officials reported zero new cases between March 18 and March 22, a near impossibility when looking at what the sickness has done to population centers in other parts of the world within that same time frame.

For those who choose to side with China’s propaganda machine, which is now claiming (quite adamantly) that these revelations are nothing more than the Trump Administration’s attempts at deflecting attention away from the skyrocketing numbers within the U.S., it pays to look at the string of lies the Chinese government has rolled out since the crises started back in December.

The Classic Communist Tactic

The Chinese media is using a classic tactic in the communist’s arsenal to deal with being exposed by the opposition; they accuse the opposition of being guilty of the very thing they were doing, ever heard of Saul Alinsky? And, what was the Trump administration doing that the Chinese authorities objected to?

For one thing, there were elements of the media, not the fake media, but various elements of freelance media, as well as some that were possibly connected to the Trump Administration, who were exposing the lies that the Chinese government was resorting to in order to cover-up China’s progression of the virus.

This is a classic example of how the communists, and all those connected with them, apply and deploy the Leninist principle. The hypothesis is that the desired outcome is to change the public’s perception of favorable to unfavorable, of an organization that is exposing the communists and their connections.

Here’s how they do it…an article would be published in a so-called favorable, conservative, or possibly one with an anti-communist reputation which claims that this organization is a very sinister and dangerous entity in our republic. Events would be reported regarding those in leadership who were racist and anti-Semitic, even if it was completely false. One tactic that Lenin promoted was, in his words, “When the opposition becomes too obstructive, connect them with those who already have a bad smell.”  (Like the neo-Nazis, or the Ku Klux Klan.)

The follow-up to the hypothetical issue is that the very next day the story would be picked-up and run by practically every mainstream newspaper in the country.

An example is the Boxer Rebellion that resulted in the loss of thousands of lives which was caused by a tactic similar to this. Four news reporters conspired to concoct a story that the Great Wall of China was to be destroyed. The report went into detail and was picked up by the media of that time and reported world-wide.

More than likely, the reason China covered up the progress of the virus was because of the Chinese obsession with saving face. They didn’t want it revealed to the world how devastating the progression of this virus was in China. (I believe China strategically planned the covered-up until America was well into the epidemic stage of the virus.)

For Asians, saving face is very important, but there’s much more to this than that. The existence of the virus wasn’t something that just inadvertently happened, it just didn’t pop up.  The timing of it coincided with too many actions world-wide that collectively pursued the future of world government.

The Foretold Pandemic

Dr. Fauci stated in 2014 that at some point President Trump would contend with a deadly virus which would result in a crisis that would affect America medically and economically.

What we’re dealing with is a world-wide agenda, or conspiracy for world government, and understand that China is an integral component of that agenda. It was a part of it from the time Mao Tse Tung, with help from the United States, began his guerilla actions to take-over the Chinese mainland from the Chinese Nationalists forces of Chiang Kai-shek.

Since China is a member of the agenda for world government, then it follows that whatever it does to that end is going to mesh and coincide with what is being planned globally.

World Government and UN Agenda 2030

According to Patrick Wood, publisher of Technocracy News, The Imperial College in the U.K. is the origin of the global virus and the global warming panic.

In his article, he delves into the history and personal biases of the faculty of this institution. It is clear that both of these panic narratives were deliberately fabricated to create public acceptance for restructuring society to accept technocratic collectivism, a system in which all humans are ruled by tyrants, posing as scientists, supposedly for the greater good for the greater number. (a statement by G. Edward Griffin.)  It is wise to study this full report to acquire a deeper understanding of the issue.

Yes, China’s actions coincide with Patrick Wood’s article with respect to a possible global agenda or conspiracy resulting in a world government.

The virus allegedly escaped or leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. Whatever the case might have been, China covered it up for about four months which resulted in the entire world, including America, becoming infected with Covid-19 before we began to take action to defend against it.

Obviously, this could have been the purpose for the cover-up of the virus’s progression for the simple reason that as a result America’s economy has suffered mightily. But the only reason we have economically suffered is because of Fauci and Birx incorrect models of how many people would die.  When one looks at Fauci and Birx’ connections to the global establishment, one can see the entire plan of America’s destruction.

China is a huge part of the global agenda, and has planned their global takeover to become the world’s top economy since 1949 and their objective is to secure it by 2049, along with the agenda for world government and communist control.

Regarding the role of Imperial College in the UK, as the originator of coronavirus panic and also the global warming panic, it appears that through the members of its faculty it serves as a sort of launching medium for whatever the agenda for world government is promoting.

Dr. Neil Ferguson PhD, world class technocrat, and professor at Imperial College in London which bills itself as a “global university,” began forming a computer model of how fast the virus would spread shortly after the “escape of Covid-19. He projected the possibility of a half million deaths in the UK and 1.1 million in the United States. Since this was picked-up and parroted worldwide – it produced the panic which soon followed, which was most likely the intent and purpose.  Add to that the models by Fauci and Birx claiming that 2.2 million Americans would die, and fear and panic took hold.

Sustainable Development and the Virus

According to Patrick Wood, in the introduction of this article, “People want to know just how bad the COVID-19 virus is and is fighting it worth the destruction of America and the world’s economic and financial system while disrupting the lives of hundreds of millions of people? The story behind the story will make it clear that things are seldom as they seem.”

In short and when seen through the lens of sustainable development, aka technocracy, the whole world has just been duped and panicked into destroying itself over COVID-19.  The culprit? Dr. Neil Ferguson, the professor at Imperial College in London. Imperial is thoroughly steeped in sustainable development and more dedicated to social causes than academic achievement. In fact, Imperial is very well-known for its alarming research reports on climate change, carbon reduction, environmental degradation, loss of biodiversity, etc.”

Since it is so steeped in sustainable development, let’s take a look at what it’s all about.

In the twenty-first century, the United Nations plans to accomplish its goals through implementation of sustainable development, aka UN Agenda 21, now changed to Agenda 2030.

Agenda 21, The earth summit strategy to save our planet (Earth Press, 1993), states “Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions that are intended to be implemented by every person on earth. It calls for specific changes in the activities of all people. Effective execution of agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced.”

So, at this point we can now begin to see how the activities at Imperial College mesh, or play into what China is doing with COVID-19.  We can also see how the narrative connected to all this could have resulted in the panic that caused many government officials to conclude that this was going to be much worse than the seasonal flu, which it is not, and called for drastic measures to be taken to avoid the circumstances. We are now seeing this was all lies by globalists to destroy America’s economy and our president.

A recent article, Martial Law: The Trial Balloon Abolishing Civil Liberties, by Kelleigh Nelson is very revealing with what has happened and continues to happen in regard to the truth concerning what we are deal with. This article, in addition to another she follows up with, presents a good case for this coronavirus event to have been completely contrived, or at minimum, partially so.

Even if the escape of the virus was accidental, in view of what transpired later, it is very clear that a crisis was manufactured which was not allowed to be wasted.

Conclusion

It is apparent that since the goal of the agenda is to remove President Trump from office, that this virus could have been planned as the destruction not only of America’s economy, but of Trump’s reelection. It could be that since the conspiracy has him so surrounded with their people, who he doesn’t seem to have a clue of, they could have determined that it will not be necessary for an assassination to eliminate him. Even if he is reelected for four more years, and even though some of what he is putting into force, on the surface, is detrimental to the conspiracy’s agenda, they are secure in the knowledge that their agenda is safe and will continue to fruition.

Our goal is and must be to stop them!

COLUMN BY

J.W. Bryan

©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: ‘We Can Protect Lives and Livelihoods,’ Says North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest thinks his state is ready to reopen. “I believe right now many of our counties could start to open back up and you could start to do that in a safe and healthy way,” Forest, a Republican, says.

The lieutenant governor joins The Daily Signal Podcast to propose how America can begin to reopen at a local level to protect both lives and livelihoods. Plus, he discusses what he experienced traveling through North Carolina the past several weeks, and how he’s been helping those struggling. Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

We also cover these stories:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts coronavirus-related deaths will reach 3,000 per day by June 1.
  • House GOP members are investigating China’s influence on U.S. university research of COVID-19.
  • The Supreme Court broadcasts teleconference arguments, allowing the public to listen in real time for the first time ever.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

Virginia Allen: I am joined by North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Lieutenant governor, thank you so much for being here.

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest: Virginia, thanks for allowing me to.

Allen: You have made it clear that your greatest concern during CCOVID-19 is helping the people of North Carolina. You’ve personally donated over $200,000 to the people in your state during the pandemic. Can you tell me about some of those people that you’ve helped?

Forest: Well, it was obvious, Virginia, right out of the gate when things started shutting down, that this was going to have devastating effects to people’s livelihoods, to a lot of business owners who, as you well know, and I’m sure you’ve covered them, have poured their life savings and their heart and soul into growing their business, maybe even over decades.

And then you can see how fragile things actually are and how quickly things can turn the wrong direction.

What we decided, really at the beginning, was … we were going to just start spending our time helping people across the state, and that’s what we did.

My wife Alice and I, we’ve spent the last six weeks traveling around the state and just trying to help people where we can.

Sometimes it’s helping a restaurant owner, write him a check, and help them to make their payroll or pay their rent or keep their lights on or even keep their employees fed.

Sometimes their employees have been furloughed and these restaurants are still trying to feed them and their families and it just goes on and on.

I know you’ve heard all the stories, but it’s truly devastating out there. And there’s two sides to this virus, there’s the virus side, which is devastating to a lot of people, and then there’s the economic side, which is devastating.

Allen: Last week you learned about a retired Army officer who is struggling to pay his bills and he was considering selling something very special and valuable to him. Can you tell me a little bit about that Army officer?

Forest: We actually found out about this online and the Bronze Star recipient, he was trying to help his wife keep her business afloat. So he posted online that he wanted to sell his Bronze Star to the highest bidder, which is sad enough in and of itself.

So we contacted him and said, “Listen, we will come and purchase your bronze star from you on one condition: that we can give it back to you at the same time.”

So last week … I went to Winston-Salem and met him and his wife and daughter and purchased his Bronze Star, and then turned around and handed it back to him.

Obviously, people that have put their lives on the line for our nation and earned metals shouldn’t have to be selling their metals in a time of crisis, but like a lot of people, they’ve fallen through the cracks on the bailout programs, the stimulus programs, and all those kinds of things, as you well know.

So, again, just trying to do a little part to help people out, to let people know you care. I think that’s [important] during times like this.

Allen: It’s so important. It really is. And those are the stories I think that just are giving all of us hope right now. To be reminding ourselves that, all right, when you turn on the news it might look bleak, but then, on the other hand, we’re seeing so much generosity of individuals.

I do just want to take a few minutes and talk a little bit about that issue of not only protecting lives but also livelihoods, like you mentioned.

You’ve made it very clear that you think North Carolina needs to begin reopening the state once again, and, of course, this is a big concern as well of The Heritage Foundation … we’ve been having those same discussions with the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission.

What plan are you advocating for in North Carolina to begin reopening the economy?

Forest: Well, the president laid out two platforms, one was state by state and the other was the states have the ability to open up county by county.

Our state is very diverse. Obviously, we have several large cities. The impact of the virus has been felt in those cities in particular, but not quite as heavily in many of the other counties. So we still have many counties that don’t have any deaths.

We have many counties who, I would suppose, if we were getting the correct data from our state, that we would find out that the people that have had the virus have recovered from it.

So the approach that I’ve suggested is the one that the president suggested, too, you can go county by county and open up.

We’re the second-most rural state in the United States of America, even though we have 10.5 million people, and we’re the eighth-largest state. So very diverse in nature and geography and so forth.

I believe right now many of our counties could start to open back up and you could start to do that in a safe and healthy way.

And, Virginia, I’ve said it from the beginning, this is the United States of America, we can protect lives and livelihoods at the same time. And you’ve seen governors across the country doing this.

You have these kind of two schools going on. You have governors who really have the perspective of saying we need to get the economy going, and we’re going to protect the most vulnerable. And then you have those governors who say we’ve got to lock everything down until there’s no other case of coronavirus left—and that’s not a reasonable approach for our country.

Allen: In your mind, how can North Carolina really balance both public health and reopening the economy? Is that kind of held within that county-by-county plan?

Forest: I think you just have to look at the facts here. The statistics line up, really, across the world. We know who the people are that are actually at real risk of this virus. It is the people that are the elderly and those that have immune issues already.

So people that are at risk fall into those categories, and so you can protect those people by quarantining them, having them stay at home for extra periods of time, creating shopping hours for those folks that don’t interfere with other people, creating times at restaurants where those people could actually go and get their food without coming into contact. All these kinds of things.

We know the demographics of the people that are hospitalized and the people that are dying. And I think we need to let the healthy folks get back to their livelihoods and allow freedom to reign again in America.

Personal responsibility and freedom is really important, but the government picking winners and losers in the economy based on their own preferences is, I think, a pretty bad thing.

You look at small-town America, a lot of these shops that exist in small towns have just a handful of visitors a day and you’re saying they can’t remain clean and they can’t social distance, but you’re going to close them down because they’re not essential.

I think every business is able to set those rules for themselves, and then if they don’t, then you come in with the stick. But I think the government should offer the carrot first and assume that personal responsibility is going to rule the day in America.

Allen: When the nation shut down about seven weeks ago, there was still a lot that we didn’t know about COVID-19. What have we learned about the coronavirus since the lockdown? And has that information affected your views?

Forest: I think everybody was probably in the same position. A couple months ago people were fearful and the statistics that people were presuming were 2 million people were going to die in the United States and this thing was going to be devastating.

So from a political leader’s perspective, I don’t blame anybody for any of the decisions they made with a lack of information. I think that is kind of the reactionary approach that people take when mayhem is on the line.

I think what you’ve seen is, again, you have seen the statistics start to tell us who the people are that are being hospitalized, and who the people are that are dying from this, and we know what categories they fit into.

So extra measures taken to test those population. Extra measures taken to screen people going in and out of those populations, of things like nursing homes and in places like that. And extra precautions taken by the business class of folks when they start to reopen again to continue to protect that population.

So we know a lot now. The statistics are really starting to show us who the vulnerable are and who the vulnerable are not. And we can go on about life and livelihood while protecting people at the same time.

Allen: How do you think that the president has handled the situation with COVID-19? And have you and the folks of North Carolina been working with the Trump administration on this?

Forest: Well, I have conversations, obviously, separately from our governor. Our governor is a different party. We don’t really communicate much, which is too bad. I wish that was the case, but it’s just not here.

And so yes, I’ve had conversations with the administration. I asked them a lot of questions. I get feedback. They’re very responsive.

I think the president actually has shown amazing restraint through all this. I think the first thing is he and his team had the foresight to close down travel from China as early as they possibly knew about this, while China was doing the opposite and sending people around the world still.

The president said, “Hey, let’s shut that down.” As you well know, and I’m sure you’ve talked about it a lot, he got criticized heavily for doing that, but that was probably a great major step.

Then after that, Virginia, I think he’s really shown amazing restraint. He has allowed federalism to do its job, allowing the governors to make the decisions for their state, and I think that is really the way it should be.

Again, just like I believe there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach for our counties across our state, there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach for the United States of America either.

So he laid out a framework and said, “Here’s a healthy framework for moving forward and you guys go make the choices.”

Allen: Now we are beginning to see different states, like you say, take different actions.

You know North Carolina has about 11,000 cases compared with a state like Georgia that has over 28,000 or Texas that has over 30,000, but the governors of those states and many others have already begun to reopen their economies.

Do you think that this is wisdom? Should many, many states now be reopening specifically across the South?

Forest: I think they should be. I think we’re doing incredibly well compared to other states our size. If you line us up against the top 10 states, we’re at the bottom of the list for cases and deaths and so forth. So we are doing extremely well in that category.

I think we are in a position to pass through the first gates, and we are not receiving the data from the state that we should be receiving that other states are producing.

I’ve been asking for that for a solid six weeks now. We need to know how many people have recovered from this.

Continuing to count the number of cases and watching that hockey stick go up as you test more and more and more, you’re going to continue to have more cases. You’re going to have more cases until you have a reliable vaccine for this thing, in fact.

So how many people are actively infected with this virus right now is a really important number. How many people have recovered, obviously, is an important number.

But also, we’ve asked for the data surrounding people that have been hospitalized. What’s the exact number of people hospitalized? Not the daily number because that’s not as important as how many people.

And then on the people that have been hospitalized or the people that have died, what’s their exact age, not within a broad range category? What’s their exact age and did they have other complications associated with their situation as well?

They’re just basic questions to help give the kind of data that we need to make clear, intelligent choices in our state about how to protect people and how to move forward at the same time.

Allen: Yeah, absolutely. Well, summer’s right around the corner and, of course, many parts of North Carolina and states all across the country really depend on tourism during the summer to fuel a lot of the business. Are you optimistic that we can reopen our economy in time for summer vacations and trips?

Forest: I’m very optimistic. In fact, I think the people of North Carolina are ready for it. I think the people of North Carolina have done a phenomenal job of making great sacrifices to protect their state and to protect their neighbors and do all the right things. And we’ve seen that across our state.

I happened to be down east a couple of days ago, I guess it was on Friday, Saturday, and there were hundreds of boats out in the water. People were out there, the sun was shining, and it was a beautiful day. It was a warm day.

There are so many people that are just eager to get back about life right now, and I don’t think you can really hold them down. That’s why leadership is tough during these things.

It’s very difficult, and you have these two schools of leadership, one that is kind of the police state that’s going to try to tell everybody what to do every second, but the government is here to protect us, but not to run and control our lives. And that’s really, really important.

We have to make sure that when we come through this thing, we learn a lot of lessons.

I think the biggest lesson that we’re going to learn through this is how do we protect our Constitution and our constitutional freedoms as we move out of this and make sure that we don’t move into a police state mentality every time something starts to go down in our country?

So that’s going to be a very tough one to navigate and I’m sure it will play out in the elections coming up in November.

Allen: Absolutely. Well, you’ve been serving as lieutenant governor since 2013. You have certainly witnessed a lot of policy and political changes over the past seven years. From where you sit in a place of leadership, how have you seen America change over the past several years?

Forest: Oh, boy, I think it’s actually been quite drastic. I think that this whole notion of identity politics and dividing people into identity politics subgroups out there and then using fear to divide and separate is a dangerous thing. I think we’ve seen that over the last handful of years especially.

I’m hoping that one of the things that usually happens during a time of disaster, whether it’s a natural disaster or something like this, is people come together and they get unified.

I think that we have a lot of work to do in America to unify people and unite people, and we even see different schools during a pandemic.

You kind of have those that say, “At all costs, stay home and stay locked down.” And they cross all political spectrums and ideologies.

And then you have people that say, “Let’s get back to work, let’s get the economy going.” And they cross all spectrums and ideologies.

So it’s not just a right-versus-left kind of thing. So it’d be very interesting to see how that unity plays out as we go forward.

I think we can have empathy and compassion for both the sides of this challenge that I mentioned earlier. And we should have empathy and compassion for it.

Again, I think protecting our freedoms based on our constitutional ideas is the most important thing we can do going forward.

Allen: Yeah, absolutely. What policy issues do you feel you’ve been most proud to play a role in implementing in North Carolina?

Forest: We do a lot of policy work behind the scenes as lieutenant governor. I preside over the Senate. I don’t have the opportunity to actually put my name on a lot of policy, but we have a lot of friends in the House, a lot of friends in the Senate, and we write a lot of policy. So it’s really across the board.

I spend a lot of my time in education. So I’m really proud of a lot of things we’re doing in education to move to competency-based education.

We’re the first state in the nation to have every single classroom connected to high-speed broadband and providing the kinds of access and technology, especially to people who haven’t had it before across our state, that’s been important to me.

Human trafficking, we’ve spent a lot of time on the human trafficking issue. We were No. 6 in the nation for human trafficking in our country, on the bad side, not on the good side. So we have a lot of work to do there, and we passed some really good bills to help push that forward.

I think that I could go on, but there’s a lot of things that we do at the small level as lieutenant governor that I’m very proud of and we have a great team.

Allen: Lieutenant governor, we certainly thank you for your service to our country and we just really appreciate your time today.

Forest: Thank you, Virginia, for having me on. And thanks to Heritage for all the great work you do to protect freedom in our country.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Battle of Biblical Proportions

There is so much going on and time for me is short. We are in the midst, of a battle of biblical proportions. I believe major indictments and arrests are imminent. More on this later in this commentary. Pray for our war time President Donald J. Trump.

I know one thing for sure, we must unite with one heart and one mind and cast our differences and in-fighting aside, for we are in it together. This PLANdemic has been enormously disruptive all over the world, but it has in fact failed and so expect further attacks on multiple fronts. We are at war. Not red and blue armies with bayonet rifles and cannons, but an intelligence war which includes a war on your mind.

General Michael Flynn

General Flynn, an American Hero, as I and others have stated all along, was set up in a crooked cop perjury trap. Flynn will remain free either by process or pardon. I hope he sues them. Yes, it is the Federal Governments obligation to pay, thus we the tax payer must pay, and, I for one, would be honored to participate. In either case they are all going down. I also see a pardon for Roger Stone down the pike. Would be great to have General Flynn serving under the Trump administration to help us take down the deep state. Let’s see how this plays out and thank you so very much, Sydney Powell. Stay safe. Flynn now opens the floodgates. Arrests and further indictments are now imminent.

Malfunctioning Joe And the Two Ladies (well maybe it’s really only one)

We all know that Biden is a creepy man with images and videos over the years of his grossly inappropriate behavior not only to women, but little boys and girls. Biden will also be taken down in due time for his abuse of power in office with the Ukraine, Burisma, China and scores of other dealings over his political career, one of no substance, just destruction in my view.

I’ve written and spoken about this for quite some time and still believe so to this day. I may be wrong. Time will tell. The Democrats and DNC know that Biden cannot beat Trump in spite of the “skimming”, that is taking place today with completely bogus polling in battleground states. It’s all BS. Could these sexual allegations be just what the doctor ordered for the Dems? Believe me, they already threw Biden under the bus a long tine ago. Now they may drive the bus over him. Will he now, soon, be replaced? Is it a Hillary / Michelle, (the two ladies but maybe it’s really only one), ticket or something of the sort? Time will tell. And soon.

America Opening for Business

We now enter the combative phase of this insane lock down and shutdown of the global economy. President Trump has wisely left it up to the Governors to handle their states. The Federal guidelines have now been lifted. He is giving these Governors enough rope to climb back up to peace and prosperity or to expose and hang themselves. Most will climb. Others will hang. Let them hang. Why?

Because they are exposing themselves. And the people, even many Democrats and independents (notice I did not mention the far left liberal lunatics), will be parting ways with these Democrat Governors, Mayors and elected officials at the ballot box. The American people want to get back to work. They want to get back to the business of life and living in America. Another brilliant move by our President. Meanwhile, AG Barr is on the record stating that he is watching if (when), Governors encroach upon our Constitutional rights and civil liberties and cross the line, they can expect a visit from AG Barr. Whose in control of all this? Trump and we the patriots, that’s who. Carry on.

Army Reserves Called To Duty

President Trump last week called additional reserves to help south of our border, going after and taking down the drug and human trafficking cartels. This of course is important not only for obvious reasons, but this cuts off major funding for the deep state scumbags.

What’s Next?

This PLANdemic turns out to be an evil and disgraceful hoax of gargantuan proportions; crimes against humanity. Further justice is coming, They just keep piling it on. You can learn more abut this by reading the links below which include video discussions with medical experts, and I’m not talking about the deep starers, Fauci, Birx and the boogeymen.

As you have heard by now, Dr Erickson & Dr Massihi were on Laura Ingraham. Before the end of Laura’s show, YouTube took the interview down . Look around, Im sure you can find it somewhere. Here is a bit f what they said.

No need to shelter in place or shutdown business.  Quarantine only the sick.

  • Health system completely focused on COVID.  You quarantine only the sick but this is first time public health quarantined the healthy which is the antithesis of what we do in healthcare.  We have never responded like this in the history of our country and disease management.
  • Quarantine of the healthy decreases the effectiveness of your immune system – then the disease will spike.
  • 12% CA positive for COVID.  Fauci predicted millions of deaths not just cases.  Widespread exposure which is good to develop herd immunity.   In CA 1,220 deaths  0.03% chance of dying.  96% who contract this recover.
  • 0.1% chance of dying in NY  92% chance of recovery
  • We have tested over 4 million in this country – more than any other country  19.6% positive.  64 mil have it which is compared to flu
  • Deaths 37k – 60k/yr for deaths from Flu w/o shutting down business and sheltering in place.  Flu is ubiquitous.  in the US 0.01%
  • Spain – 22% of all tests positive  0.05% chance of death & 95% recovery
  • Lockdown – Sweden no lockdown  Norway lockdown   Sweden 21% of tested are positive = 2 mil cases  1,765 deaths vs  1,220 in CA with isolation.  Norway 4.9% positive = 1.3 mil cases 192 deaths .003% chance of death – Not really significant to necessitate a shutdown.
  • Cost of social isolation is horrific with an increase in  – child molestation, alcohol & drug use, spousal abuse, depression, suicide.
  • Staff is furloughed, and medical system collapsing
  • Flu  24k-62k deaths per CDC =  0.13% chance of death from flu in US per 2017 stats  widespread but small amount of deaths

So what’s next? The battle rages on. This is the big one, really. They have accelerated the NWO’s UN Agenda 2030 goals simply because all other attempts to remove this duly elected amazing president have not only failed, but boomeranged upon them. They have tried to splinter our movement and the support for this amazing, God’s chosen one, our miracle President. We have grown in numbers. Since this is a battle of biblical proportions and the inevitable re-election of Donald J. Trump looms, they will continue to fight until their last breath. Learn about UN Agenda 2030. This is Part I. Parts II, II, IV will be aired weekly over the next three weeks.

Dark To Light

Dark

Expect more false flags. Games will be played to attempt to have mail-in voting ballots only so they stand a better chance of stealing the election. Expect possible and deliberate disruptions to the food supply or perhaps a hit on the grid system. Perhaps something far worse. I’m not going to list the possibilities as I’d rather focus on what we all can and should be doing to unite and fight for whats right, the resurrection of America. The taking back of our way of life and of our country that we have allowed to slip away over these past 30 some odd years.This battle, right here, right now and for the duration of 2020 determines all.

President Trump told us that he caught the swamp a long time ago. And now, justice begins. Why so long in the making? Because the swamp runs far deeper than you think. The multiple investigations are thorough and all along the way we have been choking them off at critical points of power behind the scenes and on multiple fronts. Let us not forget there are over 160,000 Federal Sealed Indictments. And the people? They are not ready for the truth all at once. It would crash society and the world. We are talking about treasonous acts Crimes against humanity. Satanic and demonic practices including rape and sodomy of infants and children both boys and girls along with painful torturous deaths of such individuals so that those involved in the sacrifice, can have their adrenochrome.

We are talking about baseless endless wars resulting in massive destruction, huge debt, and the cost of millions upon millions of innocent lives and the stealing and rigging of elections as well as creating disease and pandemics for control and profit along with controlling us by controlling the debt based fiat currency, ruled and controlled by the Federal Reserve and the Central Bank system. These things and so much more including being lied to and propagandized until the cows come home via “education”, “entertainment” and the fake news creating a drugged up, dumbed down, and utterly brainwashed populace of regurgitating robots who are having a tough time detecting truth from lies. It has to drip out on them so they see if for themselves. This has been happening over the course of the past few years and is accelerating equally to commensurate with the attacks they are unleashing upon, us and the people of the world, our true brothers and sisters. The deep state , media , the Dems. and the rest of the scum, are absolutely panicking and scared to death. Why? Because they know what they have done. They know we know. They see their power slipping away. And they know we are about to take them down. It’s about to get very, very real,

Light

The tech giants who are trouncing on our first amendment will lose all control after the election. We are working on this now. Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Amazon etc. Cures and treatment for the boogeyman virus are here and coming. I believe arrests are imminent. So does Joe Digenova, Donald Trump Jr., Lyndsey Graham Ann Vandersteel and Q along with many, many others. Remember, this is the battle of all battles. The battle of biblical proportions. It’s either us, or them. Failure is not a option. You can keep throwing stones at us, you can remain ignorant. You can serve the enemy, or you can get on the right side of history. We are in it together. The dot connecting is before you if you kook in the right places. We can help you. Follow us here.

I believe we will see very, very, soon, the arrests of Comey, Clapper, Brennan and others. Then the trials begin and the indictments begin to open like a water faucet. This gets the process started. It starts now with the exoneration of General Flynn and FISA warrant abuse. This is the door opener, Something the people can more easily relate to. It builds from there. The modern day Nuremberg style trails are coming to a theater near you. Get the popcorn and enjoy the show.

In my opinion, after the 2020 election victory for humanity, the trials and tribunals begin. They are ALL going down. This will go on for some years as the suppressed advances in medicine and science along with cures for various life threatening ailments see the light. New ways for free energy are coming and I am not talking about the AOC of crazy Bernie model. Sound money will be restored along with a debt jubilee. The Bible tells us that the borrower is a slave to the lender. This debt based system, will be coming to an end. Endless wars become ended wars. Peace and prosperity and not just surviving, but thriving as we were intended to by our creator. This is dark to light. It will go on for some years  and you must act. And act now!

So What Can I do?

It’s time to get rid of many of our all stable datums if you will. You know, things we believed to be true many actually be far from the truth. Get comfortable being uncomfortable until you arrive on new and true solid ground. We can help you. For starters, turn off the fake news or perhaps watch it to contrast the new media’s views. The truths that you yourself must seek out. I and others can only point you. I encourage you to follow my new JMC weekly Report. This will be a free to the public word press site that will keep us informed, empowered and connected, and in my opinion, like no other. It is free. There is a premium subscription as well for extraordinary values. This site will be released on or before Sunday May 10, 2020. A press release will precede it. Follow us here at News Behind The News for our daily live broadcat with my co-host Kelly Ruiz and amazing guests. We are live daily, Monday through Friday at 11:00 AM EST

What else can we do? Seek truth, then share truth. We are at war. We need to expand and strengthen our army. Do not underestimate these words. If you are in a position to financially contribute please do so. You can help me here.  Many people like myself are sacrificing so much to deliver content and establish valuable resources and connections. We need your financial support.

Surround yourself with like minded people who understand the times in which we live and expand those circles of influence. Stay alert. Stay safe and don’t get prepared-BE PREPARED. Food, medicine, water, etc. Gold and silver for those with investable assets because the transition of the economy from the Central Bank System does not come with out risk and volatility as we are witnessing today with the PLANdemic torpedo which shut down the greatest economy the world has ever known. The second quarter numbers will soon wreak havoc. We will be back on course but not overnight and not without pain. Heed the call now.

Pray. Pray for peace. Pray for our President and his family. Pray for the resurrection of America and pray for humanity. We are in it together. Victory is on the horizon.

©All rights reserved.

PODCAST: The Impact of COVID-19 on America’s Economy

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package and historic unemployment rate during the coronavirus pandemic is placing a strain on our economy.

Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation, joins the podcast to explain the effects of record high unemployment on the economy and how Americans can successfully get back to work after COVID-19.

Greszler also shares the intended purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program and what Congress can do to resolve the program’s shortcomings.

Also on today’s show, we talk with Neal Harmon, co-founder of the family-friendly streaming service VidAngel, about the platform’s original series “The Chosen.”


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.

The Daily Signal podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Virginia Allen: I am joined by Rachel Greszler, research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements at The Heritage Foundation. Rachel, thanks so much for being here.

Rachel Greszler: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Virginia.

Allen: Today we’re talking about our economy and what are some of those variables that we’re seeing right now in the economy and what some of those effects are of COVID-19.

Quite frankly, I really wish that this could be a cheerier conversation, but I’m really glad that you can join us today and share a little bit of your expertise on this subject and just give us a glimpse into America’s economy now and what it might look like in the future.

Let’s begin by talking about unemployment. You wrote in a recent article that unemployment rates are close to 20%. Twenty percent, that’s unbelievable. Just in the past four weeks, we’ve seen about 26 million Americans apply for unemployment benefits.

Now, the government’s response to these high numbers has been to not only provide the normal unemployment benefits to Americans, but also to give all recipients an additional $600 a week. What was the rationale behind, not only offering those unemployment benefits, but tacking on that additional $600?

Greszler: In a normal situation, the unemployment program, it doesn’t cover everybody. It doesn’t cover people like the self-employed or part-time workers or gig economy workers.

It also only provides about 50% of people’s previous earnings. You also have to be fired from a job. You can’t quit or choose to leave your job.

But under these unusual circumstances, when businesses were forced to shut their doors and workers lost their job, through no fault of their own, tens of millions of workers, Congress wanted to do something to bridge the gap in a better way so that we could give people a higher portion of their earnings so that they could maintain their living standard, pay their bills, and then be able to be ready to come back to work as soon as it’s safe to reopen businesses.

The goal there was to try and get people closer to what they had previously gotten from their paychecks, in the form of unemployment insurance check.

The problem there was, they just said, “Well, let’s do $600 for everybody because for somebody who makes about the average, this would help bring them up to 100%. But the reality is, a majority of Americans will be getting more from unemployment insurance than they would from their normal paycheck.

That creates a lot of bad incentives, including ones that go against the grain and are going to defeat the funds and the programs that Congress has set up, that do try to keep people employed.

Allen: Let’s talk more about that, because you wrote that the extra $600 a week could increase unemployment benefit claims by 13.9 million and reduce the nation’s output by up to $1.49 trillion between May and September. Can you just explain this domino effect a little bit more?

Greszler: Yes. My colleague Drew Gonshorowski and I have a report … and we use some modeling in the Center for Data Analysis to look at what the impact would be, considering that more people will file for unemployment insurance benefits because more people are eligible to obtain them and they will also tend to be on them for longer because they’re making a higher portion of their earnings than they otherwise would have.

So, we said, we see this as being really problematic and we want policymakers to know what the implications will be.

We ran it through our labor models and found that the total amount of unemployed could peak at about an extra 14 million people in about May, and that is a result of people not working and staying at home instead of coming back when they’re able to, otherwise, the output will decline by somewhere between $955 billion and $1.5 trillion between May and September.

We used a lot of economic research, elasticities, to model this, but we’re starting to see the real-world implications of it from businesses that are reporting that they’ve had to close their doors, even though they want to be able to stay open and provide things to people like first responders or maybe it’s restaurants that some of those states now … allowed to start reopening and they aren’t able to get their workers to come back because some of them might be making 50% more on unemployment than they would if they went back to work.

Even just for the median earner, they can make an extra $2,300 over four months of unemployment, compared to being employed.

This is particularly true for the lower you go down the income scale. Somebody who’s at about the 25th percentile of earnings would get an extra $5,000 over this four-month period that the additional benefits are available.

So, clearly, it’s in their financial incentive to not come back to work once their employer says, “We’d like to rehire you.” That’s going to create all sorts of problems in terms of not being able to get the economy going again, once it’s safe to do so.

Allen: Rachel, you’re saying that if, let’s say, I work as a receptionist, it may be an auto part shop or something like that, and I go to my employer and I say I feel unsafe working right now during the pandemic, then I can quit. But I can still, under the CARES Act, receive unemployment, the regular unemployment benefits, plus that $600, and probably be making even more than I would be making from my employer.

Greszler: That’s exactly right. Under this new eligibility criteria, it really is more in workers’ hands to decide whether or not they’re going to keep working or to file for unemployment insurance.

Say you’re that receptionist, maybe making $600 per week coming into the office. You would be making $900 per week from unemployment and those additional benefits are available until July 31, so there’s going to be a big incentive for people to not go back to work until at least July 31 and we certainly hope that Congress doesn’t extend those benefits beyond July 31.

Allen: What about the Paycheck Protection [Program]? Because my understanding of the Paycheck Protection [Program] was that it was really put in place in order to keep employees attached to their employer, so that now, employers could keep paying their staff and we wouldn’t end up in a situation where so many people were filing for unemployment.

Greszler: Yes, and that was exactly the goal of the Paycheck Protection Program.

It’d aimed at smaller businesses, but it’s a resource for them to be able to keep all their workers on their paychecks, even if they’re not actually coming into work or maybe they’re only doing a few hours from home, to keep those connections so that workers don’t lose their health insurance, and that when it’s able to get things up and running again, everybody will be in place and able to resume more quickly.

But the problem is that these are competing with one another now. We’ve heard cases of a spa owner in Washington State, who went out and got a Paycheck Protection Program loan and she was announcing it to all of her employees on one of these Zoom calls and they got angry with her and they thought that she was taking something away from them by wanting them to remain employed and get their usual paychecks because they could have gotten more from unemployment insurance.

Similarly, a wood mill in Arkansas, they polled their workers and said, “Would you rather keep coming into work and keep your paychecks or do you want the unemployment insurance?” Because they had already heard from among the ranks that a lot of people didn’t really want to keep working.

They decided that they were going to lay off half of the people at one of those plants because they didn’t want to have that animosity in the workplace of people thinking, “I’d rather be at home and collecting these benefits.”

Allen: What should Congress have done differently? How could the Paycheck Protection [Program] been implemented in a way that it actually really was helping small businesses instead of hurting them?

Greszler: It was really an easy fix, and this was something that a group of senators provided an amendment for that just would have said the total amount of unemployment benefits … cannot exceed what you were previously getting in your paycheck.

This is very commonsense, but there was pushback against that.

Some people said it would make it harder to implement, but the reality is, the states already have formulas, whether it’s 50% or whatever it is, and so to just say that that new formula is going to be kept at 100% would not have been that much more administratively burdensome to implement.

It certainly would have helped prevent these situations where workers are being incentivized to quit.

Employers are being incentivized to lay workers off, instead of go through the application process of getting a loan, which were difficult to do and I know the money did run out there at one point. It’s an easy fix and, hopefully, Congress will still be looking at this and consider putting that fix into place.

Allen: Let’s talk about the long-term economic impacts from COVID-19—and these were really generous unemployment benefits.

Let’s say we get to July or August and businesses across America are given the green light to reopen. Are you worried that businesses are going to face challenges of actually getting employees to come back to work and that it’s going to be really challenging to actually get Americans off of unemployment?

Greszler: I think it is, especially before July 31, when this additional $600 per week runs out and, unfortunately, it’s going to be hardest to get those people back in the industries that have been hardest hurt—like restaurants, hotels, tourism, and travel—because then these tend to be the lower-paid workers and they are the ones who take home the biggest benefit by this additional $600 per week coming through to them.

In some ways, we can’t fault them if they’re able to collect more money from unemployment and save that up. That makes sense for them individually. But it might not actually make sense in the long term.

Also because we know that the longer people are unemployed, the lower their opportunities and incomes are in the future. But also just in the short term, in terms of getting the economy going again and having us be productive and, in particular, being able to meet some of the needs.

We’ve already seen supply shortages in certain companies that are not able to deliver things or [make] what’s needed to be made as quickly as possible to meet the demands from COVID-19.

So that’s going to be an increasing fear going forward, especially as this is going to remain an issue into the fall flu season. We want to have the companies be prepared to be able to respond to COVD-19 in the ways that we need them to.

Allen: Yeah, and one of the other issues that we’re hearing a lot about in the news right now is state bailouts. There’s a great deal of controversy here. Is there a world where the federal government should consider baling some states out?

Greszler: Not a bailout. There’s definitely a role for the federal government to provide help for COVID-19-related expenses and we’ve already seen an unprecedented amount of money go toward that and the federal government is covering almost all the health care costs.

They’ve provided $150 billion in direct grants to the states, up to $500 billion in new lending. That is unprecedented, coming from the Federal Reserve.

But what the states are asking for now is unrestricted funds to use for whatever purpose they want, essentially, including if their revenues have gone down, which is something that states are supposed to plan for, and that’s why they have rainy day funds, and also covering things like pension obligations that they haven’t funded for decades.

Illinois sent a letter to Congress asking for $40 billion, including $10 billion to cover their unfunded pension obligation. That has nothing to do with COVID-19.

So, there is not a need and there’s no real excuse that the federal government would bail out states. That just sets a terrible precedent, going forward, that you’re going to penalize states who have acted in a responsible way fiscally and reward those who have been reckless.

Allen: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that states maybe should consider declaring bankruptcy if they really need to.

His exact words were, “I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route.” McConnell has received a lot of backlash from this statement.

Do you think that the bankruptcy route is something that some states might need to consider?

Greszler: I think the important takeaway behind Sen. McConnell’s statement is that the federal government’s not responsible for states’ budgets.

So, to the extent that there have been states like Illinois or New York coming and saying, “We absolutely need you to give us this money or we’re not going to be able to operate,” that’s not true. You don’t get into a bankruptcy-like situation unless you have had decades worth of fiscal mismanagement.

The issue of bankruptcy itself, the states are actually not allowed to declare bankruptcy right now.

States can allow their cities or the municipalities to declare bankruptcy, but going forward, this is an issue that will remain something for Congress and the states to consider, because the reality is, there are some states that, prior to COVID-19, were already in a situation where they’re pretty rapidly approaching insolvency, and Illinois is the best example of that.

I really don’t see a way forward for that state to either raise taxes enough or cut services enough that they will be able to pay their debts and fulfill their pension obligations. So something will have to be done there.

Whether or not that’s a bankruptcy-type situation or if the state sits down and negotiates with its debtors and with its public employees, something will have to be done.

But I think that the issue of COVID-19, that in and of itself would not cause a state to become insolvent. I think that’s the point that was trying to be made here, is that “We will help you with the expenses related to this health pandemic, but we’re not going to cover those things that are your own responsibility to budget for.”

Allen: I see. That makes sense. Speaking of debt, America’s national debt now is over $24 trillion, last time I checked. That is higher than it’s ever been before and, frankly, a number that’s just … really hard to wrap your mind around.

Our federal government is spending a lot of money right now on these various stimulus packages. Where is this money coming from?

Greszler: It’s coming from you and me and the future, from our children, from anybody that’s working today on out into how many years, we don’t know because we don’t know when our debt becomes unsustainable.

Looking back decades ago, we would have said, “How could we ever get over $23 trillion in debt and have a single year in which we have $4 trillion in debt? That’s not possible.” And yet it seems like it’s possible now.

The problem is you just don’t know when these debt crises hit. Puerto Rico didn’t anticipate the timing of when there’s [hit], Greece, other countries.

When you get to the situation where creditors just decide that they’re not going to lend to you anymore at an unreasonable rate, that’s when you don’t have time to make the more rational decisions to pare back on certain expenses that you otherwise would have been able to if you acted sooner.

We’re already at a situation in the U.S. where each household in America owns about $187,000 worth of America’s debt, and that was before COVID-19, and now we’ve added on about another $27,000 per household. This is clearly an unsustainable level and a huge burden for future generations.

Allen: Is it possible to actually pay off that much debt?

Greszler: … It’s possible. You have to do it over time. It’s going to take a level of fiscal restraint that we’ve never seen before.

What we don’t want to get to is a situation where you have enormous tax rates that lead to a smaller economy and then it results in a downward spiral and you are more likely to face a bankruptcy-type situation or having the Fed need to print its way out of debt. That’s certainly not something that we want it to come to.

Allen: Yeah. What does need to happen next? How can we come out of the coronavirus situation and really ensure that, like you say, we’re leaving our kids and our grandkids a prosperous America that has the same opportunities that you and I have enjoyed?

Greszler: I think, starting with the current crisis, is evaluating what’s been done to date and how has it worked or not worked.

There’s just constant urge by Congress to pass more and more stimulus bills, to try and have more assistance and aid and relief, and yet, we don’t even know.

Some of the money hasn’t gone out the door and we don’t know what the impact has been. We don’t know what it’s going to be like as states start reopening their economy.

I would say the first thing is, … unless it’s an absolute immediate need, directly-related to COVID-19, we shouldn’t be considering spending more money yet. We need to wait and see and hope that things will start reopening and rebounding.

Then, going forward, just as any time when a household would run out of its rainy day funds or have to take on debt, you have to budget in the future to account for that. You have to eventually pay that back.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has not ever been paying things back. It’s like we have an interest-only mortgage and we just keep increasing that mortgage every single year and never paying anything down.

We actually have a proposal at The Heritage Foundation called the “Blueprint for Balance” that we’ve put out each year, and we show how you could actually start balancing our annual budget within 10 years and get to a more sustainable pathway going forward.

Allen: We’ll be sure to link the “Blueprint for Balance” in our show notes so our audience can check that out. Rachel, we really appreciate your time today and your expertise on this subject.

Greszler: Thanks so much, Virginia.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

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Halal: How Non-Muslims are Being Forced to Pay for Islamic Expansion

In India, a country known to have a Hindu majority, meat vendors such as Licious and FreshToHome are selling only halal meat to their customer base, despite the fact that it is comprised of Hindus, Chritians, Sikhs, atheists, as well as, of course, Muslims.

In the United States, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, promises the availability of halal food to Muslims, while warning the Jews to cancel any celebrations. This, again, is a country with a majority of non-Muslim citizens.

Eateries including McDonalds, KFC, Subway and Pizza Express are international brands, operating across countries of different cultures, and cater to customers of all faiths, but have decided to go halal in many areas in order to court their Muslim buyers exclusively.

If you are based in the Americas, Europe, Australia or New Zealand, and are specifically and explicitly being offered halal meat only, know that you are being deceived and compelled to sponsor the purpose of Islam and its expansion, and could be involuntarily financing jihad in its many forms.

What is halal and Halal Certification?

The halal cut is the only method in which an animal can be slaughtered as dictated in the Islamic texts. The process of killing an animal by following the halal norms is as brutal as it gets; it subjects the animal to a prolonged and painful death, and it is appalling that animal welfare organizations such as PETA have done nothing about it yet.

For the uninitiated, the jugular vein, windpipe, or carotid artery of an alive and healthy animal is pierced and cut halfway through, and the animal is left aside till its body drains out all the blood. A Muslim recites an Islamic prayer during this process, and dedicates the animal or the meat obtained from its slaughter to Allah. This Islamic prayer is known as shahada or tasmiya. Here it must be noted that only a Muslim can perform the act of slaughter.

The finished products then are given a Halal Cerificate, which is a document issued by the Muslim authorities based in the exporting country. The Halal Certification attests that the food product in question fulfills the requirements necessitated by Islamic law for its consumption.

The discrimination rooted in the halal industry

While the progressive world evoked by the liberals can’t stress equality enough, imagine a thriving industry that employs people belonging to only one religion or faith system flourishing among us. Yes, that is the discriminatory world of halal, which is being thrust upon many societies of the world whether or not they have a Muslim majority.

By selling a commodity that has an Islamic prayer recited upon it, and has been dedicated to Allah, the vendors of halal products are imposing Islam on all their non-Muslim consumers.

The multi-million-dollar halal industry thriving on money shelved out by Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and all faith systems including atheists, deliberately, and as a principle, employs only Muslims. If this is not a screaming specimen of discrimination practiced by employers, I wonder what is. The halal industry operating in meat- and animal-related products by design and intention denies equal employment opportunity to able and skillful labors, solely for not being the followers of Islam.

This discrimination is not limited to the act of slaughtering the animal alone. As an industry, halal-certified food items go through various rounds of processing, namely, chopping and mincing, washing and cleaning, packaging, labeling, and other logistic services. The Islamic diktat mandates that every individual involved in each of these steps to be a Muslim for the finished product to be considered halal. In other words, it is a well-calculated deceit aimed at concentrating the accumulation of wealth to followers of only one religion.

By throwing their intolerant and insatiable tantrums, Muslims in countries with non-Muslim majorities have twisted the arm of secular systems in their favor. Islamic fundamentalists recognize the shame instilled in the hearts of civilized societies about being tagged Islamophobes, racists, and all other such epithets. They exploit this to the fullest until non-Muslims concede to their unfair demands.

A practice that was initially limited to the processing of non-vegetarian food, the halal monopoly, after occupying massive portions of the markets for non-vegetarian food, has made inroads into the vegetarian domain also. Spices, vegetable oil, cereals and many other grocery products that you may find at your local store bear the halal mark. Though non-Muslims are permitted in the production of these items, the halal certification authority employs Muslims explicitly, and levies a fee for inspecting the food product and issuing it the Halal Certificate. It is a business operation that generates money off all these vegetarian and non-vegetarian products by monopolizing the certification process.

Many Muslims won’t eat anything that’s not halal, while non-Muslims generally don’t care. That is how the entire population worldwide is playing into the hands of the Islamists. Just by buying a sandwich from your regular sandwich shop or preparing a meal for your family, you could be making Islamists wealthy. This wealth can then be invested in the service of Islam, its expansion, its religious ambition of world domination and more.

So non-Muslims may want to consider all the pros and cons before they buy halal.

COLUMN BY

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

What to Expect as 12 States Begin to Reopen After COVID-19 Shutdown

Come Friday in Texas, the nation’s second-largest economy, businesses such as restaurants and retail stores will be open again, but at a 25% occupancy rate. After that, public health officials will reevaluate the data and decide whether to allow a 50% occupancy rate.

The Lone Star State is among nine states where governors’ stay-at-home orders expire at the end of Thursday, allowing for a gradual reopening of their economies, according to Pew Research Center’s Stateline, which monitors state governments.

“If we go back to work and there is no increase [in COVID-19 cases], people could become complacent about social distancing and think it’s not dangerous,” Amy Anderson, a registered nurse in Texas, told The Daily Signal. “It’s important to maintain our vigilance.”


When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is gathering America’s top thinkers together to figure that out. Learn more here>>>.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Anderson noted that business owners likely will continue to be responsible, since they face a fine of up to $1,000 and even jail time for not complying with government restrictions. Plus, most businesses are licensed by state and local governments.

Various states have different rules for reentry, but most are in line with the guidance by the White House coronavirus task force, said Anderson, co-founder of the Global Nurse Consultants Alliance and an assistant professor at the School of Nursing and School of Medicine at Texas Christian University.

There’s no real economic alternative but to reopen soon, contends Alfredo Ortiz, president of the Job Creators Network, a business group.

“I don’t think we have a real choice but to open the doors up. My concern is demand won’t be high enough,” Ortiz told The Daily Signal in a phone interview. “If we wait for the unattainable goal of zero cases of COVID-19, the economy would be closed for months and you would see an increase in depressions and suicides.”

The other states besides Texas where stay-at-home orders were set to expire Thursday are Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Nevada, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Florida, where some beaches already have reopened.

On Friday, stay-at-home orders in Indiana, Ohio, and Utah are set to expire, meaning some businesses will reopen Saturday.

“In Florida, it hit the Miami-Dade County area worst,” Dr. Lee Gross, who practices family medicine in North Port, Florida, said of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“In general, in population centers now, we are seeing a decline, while in rural areas, we are seeing a steady increase,” Gross, also president of the advocacy group Docs 4 Patient Care, said.

“Here in Charlotte County, the beaches are opened and people are still standing 6 feet apart, but they seem packed,” Gross added during a phone interview with The Daily Signal.

Meanwhile, in Georgia and Colorado, Govs. Brian Kemp and Jared Polis, respectively, moved last week to reopen their economies, including allowing hair salons and tattoo parlors to resume business, a controversial move.

“Salons could be safe if there is a determined amount of people allowed in and a way to be responsible,” Gross said. “Outdoor venues are generally safer than indoor venues. But, you don’t want kids climbing around on monkey bars.”

Colorado has had 122.6 deaths per million from COVID-19, while Georgia has had 93.6 deaths per million, according to the RealClearPolitics coronavirus tracker. In raw numbers, the larger Georgia had 994 deaths, while Colorado had 770.

President Donald Trump criticized Kemp, a fellow Republican, for his decision to reopen without following the White House guidelines. However, Trump did not criticize Polis, a Democrat.

“Government guidance is just that, guidance. It’s not a proclamation or law,” Gross said. “States should take guidance into consideration.”

Governors generally are leaving discretion to local communities, said Dr. Kevin Pham, a medical doctor and contributor to The Daily Signal.

“If states are less draconian and trust people, they will likely get better cooperation longer, rather than revolt in protest,” Pham said. “It is a risk to reopen, but if you don’t reopen, there are other risks. Life and livelihood are connected to one another.”

Pham also looked at the realistic outcomes from reopening, positive and negative.

“The worst-case scenario is a huge spike in [COVID-19] cases and hospitalizations and all the gains that were made from the mitigation efforts will be wiped out, the need for personal protective equipment will skyrocket again, and we’ll have crisis care that will require more ventilators,” Pham said.

“The best-case scenario is that we will have a gradual and deliberate reopening with continued social distancing, and we’ll see a lower spread rate,” Pham added.

Other states that are ready to drop their stay-at-home orders logged varying rates of death from COVID-19.

Alabama had 49.4 deaths per million; Arizona had 37.8 deaths per million; Florida, 54.5; Idaho, 42.4; Maine, 37.9; Tennessee, 26.9; and West Virginia, 20.7.

Of the states slated to begin reopening gradually after Friday, Indiana had 138.4 deaths per million; Ohio had 68.4; and Utah, 14, according to the RealClearPolitics tracker.

Next week, the states of Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island will begin to reopen, according to Pew’s Stateline.

The state with the largest number of deaths and highest death rate was New York, where 22,806 have died, a rate of 1,175.4 per million.

The Empire State’s stay-at-home order is set to expire May 15. That’s the same day as Delaware, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Vermont, and the District of Columbia are set to drop their stay-at-home orders.

In Connecticut, with the third-highest death rate in the nation at 564.3 per million, the stay-at-home order is set to expire May 20. Illinois and Hawaii are slated to open May 30 and 31, respectively.

As of now, Virginia will reopen June 10. In seven other states, according to Pew, no dates are set for stay-at-home orders to expire.

Another eight states had no stay-at-home orders: Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming. In most of these cases, the states issued guidance and local governments and businesses were free to take action.

COLUMN BY

Fred Lucas

Fred Lucas is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Lucas is also the author of “Tainted by Suspicion: The Secret Deals and Electoral Chaos of Disputed Presidential Elections.” Send an email to Fred. Twitter: @FredLucasWH.

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This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Government Should Stop Promoting Unemployment During COVID-19

American prosperity always has relied on the fact that we are the most productive people in human history.

Unfortunately, some short-term Band-Aids for the widespread economic distress caused by the coronavirus lockdowns may have substantial negative effects that make it harder for Americans to get back on their feet.

While much of what is in the CARES Act passed by Congress will be important in mitigating the damage of the COVID-19 pandemic, some provisions already are creating bad, unintended consequences.

One problem has been the federal unemployment insurance that gives unemployed Americans $600 a week no matter what they were making before they lost their jobs.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


A coffee shop owner in Harlan, Kentucky, explained why it’s hard for small businesses to retain staff right now.

“The very people we hired have now asked us to be laid off,” wrote Sky Marietta, who owns the shop with her husband, Geoff, according to NPR. “Not because they did not like their jobs or because they did not want to work, but because it would cost them literally hundreds of dollars per week to be employed.”

The federal government is offering $600 a week on top of state unemployment benefits, which means that for many, being unemployed is more lucrative than staying at work.

“You also have to think [of] the benefit of not having to go to work, especially during a pandemic,” Marietta said in her interview with NPR. “It’s not that we don’t wish that we could pay our employees at that level all the time. You’re always wanting to pay your staff the best you possibly can. But to be put in a position where you can’t compete with them being at home, unemployed, it’s really tricky. It’s a really difficult situation to be in.”

Other issues have cropped up too.

For instance, when Jamie Black-Lewis, owner of the Oasis Medspa & Salon and Amai Day Spa in Washington state, received two forgivable loans through the new federal Paycheck Protection Program, she said she thought it was a godsend to help retain her 35 employees who had their pay halted.

However, she said, the loans actually made many of her employees angry. The reaction she got was a “firestorm of hatred about the situation,” Black-Lewis said, according to CNBC.

Why?

Because these employees figured out they can make more money from unemployment than employment.

“It’s a windfall they see coming,” Black-Lewis said of unemployment in the CNBC interview. “In their mind, I took it away.”

The problem is, again, the extra $600 that people receive per week through the federal program, set to continue through July, can exceed what they’d make otherwise.

In a paper for The Heritage Foundation published Tuesday, Drew Gonshorowski and Rachel Greszler laid out what this looks like nationally:

The median full-time worker in America (who earns $933 per week, or $48,500 per year) would earn about 15% more from unemployment insurance—an additional $2,300 over the course of four months of unemployment—than if he had remained employed. The lower that workers’ earnings are, the greater financial incentive they will have to collect unemployment insurance instead of staying employed.

A full-time minimum-wage worker would receive 157% more from unemployment—a total of $7,900 more over four months—than from employment. Part-time and low-wage workers would benefit the most. Someone working 10 hours per week at the minimum wage—perhaps a high school student with a part-time job—would receive 778% more, or a total of $9,800 extra, over four months of unemployment than she would [in] remaining employed.

While the temporary nature of this program—for now—may mitigate some of the long-term negative effects, consider this: What’s going to happen to businesses that stay open or try to reopen in coming months but can’t retain employees?

Some business owners may simply use the increased unemployment benefits as an excuse to lay off workers, but many simply won’t be in business much longer.

When the enlarged unemployment benefits run out, countless Americans will find no work to return to. In many cases, they potentially also will be severed from health care coverage, which in America is typically tied to employers.

So, back on the dole. Not good.

This unemployment provision, created in a time of unquestioned crisis, reveals the fundamental problem of making it more lucrative not to work than to work.

Yet, some have suggested that an expanded version of these payments become a permanent part of the American system. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently suggested that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, America should consider a minimum income guarantee.

As Gonshorowski and Greszler recommend, changing the unemployment benefit so that it doesn’t exceed 100% of a worker’s previous wages could help prevent abuse of the system and ensure we aren’t encouraging people to abandon their jobs.

More than that, we must reject calls to make such a system a permanent feature of American life.

COMMENTARY BY

Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the new book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.”Twitter: .

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A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

GET ACCESS NOW! >>


EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: Bring Back Made in the USA!

ACT for America is proud to announce our Made in the USA Campaign, dedicated to help bring business back to America and promote others to buy products Made in the USA!


CLICK HERE FOR A LIST OF COMPANIES THAT ARE 100% MADE IN THE USA!


RELATED ARTICLE: Majority in new poll say it’s time to reopen economy for all who are not sick or vulnerable

EDITORS NOTE: This ACT For America video is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Will Bitcoin Ever Stabilize?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are notorious for their volatility. Their value fluctuates from time to time. There is always an air of uncertainty surrounding their value and future. But what exactly makes BTC price so volatile? Will BTC ever stabilize?

If BTC is to become a global currency, it must overcome its volatility. Despite its market capitalization growing to its current $60B mark, BTC is still struggling with uncertainty and volatility putting its potency as a global currency into question. So, let’s discuss what exactly makes cryptocurrencies that volatile and how can BTC become stable?

Why Cryptocurrencies Are Highly Volatile

1.   Cryptos Considered Store of Value and Not Value Transfer Media

One barrier that stands on a way of cryptos’ growth is the opinion of millions worldwide that cryptos are just a store of value. People don’t see them as a currency but as assets that will be valuable in the future. As such, they don’t freely exchange them but rather hold them waiting for their values to skyrocket.

Most holders of BTC don’t use their coins for daily transactions but rather stack them waiting for prices to hike before they sell them. This creates a precarious scenario where events and news massively affect the price of BTC because of mass actions of panic. For instance, if there is news of a government planning to ban BTC in a given country, all those holding BTC in that country will try to sell which will flood the market and cause a drop in the price of BTC.

If BTC is to be considered a global currency, then people need to freely use it to pay for goods and services. Simply put, people need to use the coin in their daily transactions. How often and willing people are to use a currency for their transactions is the true sign of a global currency.

2.   Security Concerns

Although fiat currencies have security concerns of their own, they are insignificant comparing to the issues that cryptocurrencies face on a regular basis. Cryptocurrencies have more security loopholes than fiat currencies. In 2019 alone, BTC and other cryptos lost more than $4.4Billion to scams and other security breaches.

These losses are a big part of the volatility experienced in cryptocurrencies. The more significant are the losses in cryptos, the lower the confidence that people have in them.

Unless cryptocurrencies fix their systematic security vulnerabilities, they will always be subject to volatility. Any high profile scams or losses will always have a ripple effect and affect the price of a cryptocurrency.

3.   Uncertainty

The lack of certainty regarding the future of cryptocurrencies leaves them open to season fluctuations. Not a single person is sure of what the future holds for cryptocurrencies, which leaves many people with a lot of questions concerning adopting the cryptocurrencies.

As it currently stands, too many factors affect the price of BTC. Government regulations, market factors, security breaches, ‘HODLing among many other factors. The lack of proper measures in place to ensure that the effects of all the aforementioned factors are mitigated leaves a cloud of uncertainty hanging over cryptocurrencies like BTC.

4.   Fluctuating Demand

BTC’s demand is always bouncy. Therefore, there is always a fluctuation in its price. Since BTC’s supply is almost constant. Moreover, just like the real gold becomes harder to mine with time, bitcoin halving makes it harder to mine the digital gold as the reward will be two times smaller.

At the same time, huge fluctuations in the demand will always have a ripple effect on the price. This makes BTC a bad choice for a global currency. There is just too much uncertainty in its price for people to gladly accept and use BTC.

So, Will BTC Ever Stabilize?

Having seen why cryptos are so unstable, let’s discuss what does the future hold for BTC? Will Bitcoin ever stabilize?

As the leading cryptocurrency in the world, BTC is expected to be the first digital coin the price of which will stabilize. If BTC is to be considered a true global cryptocurrency, it has to overcome its volatility.  But how can it achieve this?

Ways BTC Can Reduce Volatility

Increase Demand For BTC

Since there can only be 21 million BTC in existence, the community should work towards increasing the demand and usage of BTC to a global scale. Once the demand is on a global scale and its usage is frequent and ‘normal’, the fluctuation in the price will be lower and BTC will be deemed stable.

Address Security Breaches

Since BTC is open-source software, the community has the collective responsibility of ensuring that the platform is safe for public use. Loopholes in the network should be reported and any individuals engaging in unscrupulous deals should be permanently banned from using BTC. Once the whole ecosystem becomes safe for the use of all, the confidence levels will go up and more people will adopt BTC.

Mass Education

Although most people generally have an idea of what cryptocurrencies are, very few of them have proper knowledge of how to use BTC instead of fiat currencies. If the global usage of BTC is to increase, there is a need for proper mass education and sensitization programs. These programs will see an increased uptake of BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

Conclusion

BTC has a long way to go. Bitcoin is far from the point of long-lasting stability.  Its volatility is too high for it to be used on a global scale. However, cryptocurrency is still a young technology that will show a massive potential once the stakeholders will start work towards making it stable.

PODCAST: Govs Get Their Priorities out in the Re-open

They got in line at Peach Tree Battle Barbershop at 7 a.m. For a lot of them, it was the first haircut they’d had in a month and a half. “I certainly don’t want to spread it to anyone,” customer Matt Maddox said, “so I’ve got a mask. But I’m not concerned.” Others, like Atlanta restaurant owner Hugh Acheson, understands that staying closed will hurt, but argues, “Now is not the time for fine dining.” Either way, their governor, Brian Kemp (R), is giving them a choice — which is more than a lot of Americans can say.The eyes of the whole country will certainly be on states like Georgia, who flipped the signs to “open” on businesses like salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, bowling alleys, and more for the first time this morning. But that’s not to say things are even remotely the same as before. Local officials can’t flip a switch and tell people to go back to normal. But what they can do is allow Americans to make those decisions themselves based on how the churches, stores, and restaurants respond. As Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said earlier this week, “It’s one thing for government to say, ‘Okay, it’s safe to go out. [But] if people don’t believe it’s safe, they’re not going to go.”

As Scott Rasmussen and I talked on “Washington Watch” Thursday, “Everybody has a role to play in governing society.” He’s in New York City, where the virus is still a major concern. But, he said, “When they [do] open up restaurants in our city here, some people will be excited and run right out the door. But many are going to hold back, and they’re going to wait for the restaurant owners to demonstrate that it’s safe. Maybe the tables aren’t quite as close together as they used to be, or maybe some other steps have been taken. And by the way, those restaurant owners are also going to have to convince their employees that it’s safe to come back to work… This is going to be a process, where we collectively will learn how to behave in this new environment.”

After 40 days in isolation, people are going to take the threat seriously. They’re going to be cautious. But, as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) pointed out, the Founders’ model was “Let’s trust the people.” Of course, that freedom requires accountability. But there’s a way to do this that ensures people — and the economy — are protected. “It’s not a binary choice, that’s for sure.” That’s why the best approach is the one the president has taken. He’s given governors the tools, the resources, suggested benchmarks, but in the end, he’s made it clear to the states: You know what’s best for your community.

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), a medical doctor in his own right, has been up close and personal with the virus. He’s talked to people who will be scarred for life after their work with patients in the ICU. And he still believes there is a “responsible and safe way to start opening certain parts of the country.” What does that look like? “Well,” he said, “What we need is more testing availability — and probably more Personal Protective Equipment as well… And then, we need a community [commitment] to responsibility.”

One way to make sure we’re doing this right, Dr. Marshall suggests, is to start partnering with the people who know best. “I’ve been challenging the health care folks in each community to reach out to their own businesses around town. There [are] infectious disease nurses at hospitals, at county health clinics, [who] are some sharp, sharp people. We need to get them involved out in the private sector. [They could be] talking to the local schools and to the local businesses. What does [this] look like going forward?” As he agreed, “This will not be solved at the federal level. It’s going to be solved at the local community level now.”

At the end of the day, FRC’s Ken Blackwell said, “The American people are smart people. We don’t hide in the midst of a crisis. We push back intelligently against it.” This is not, he reminded listeners, “an either-or.” “It’s not a public health strategy versus an economic strategy…” We understand all sides and the importance of a measured, consistent approach. “But at the end of the day, it’s no accident why we are the most prosperous and the most free democratic constitutional republic in the history of the world. It’s because we cherish liberty, and we trust people.” And now, more than ever, our leaders need to do both.


Tony Perkins’s Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Cybersecurity Statistics for 2020 – Trends, Insights and More!

Cybersecurity is a BIG issue, and the interesting thing is…a lot of people don’t realize they care about it.

A lot of people think about cybersecurity as something pretty basic: choose a good password, and beyond that it’s really a term for governments and big companies to worry about.

Of course, when you think about it, cybersecurity matters to just about everyone.

It’s super important for small businesses, who may be targeted without having the resources to hire a security professional.

And have you ever been concerned about what Facebook is doing with your data? Then you’ve worried about cybersecurity.

See what I mean? This goes for EVERYONE who does anything on the internet.

So I’ve picked quite a few of the most relevant and reputable statistics about cybersecurity in this list, and I think they’ll matter a lot to you, no matter your context.

Ready? Let’s start off with something of interest to the business owners out there:

Item #1: NEARLY HALF of American small businesses suffered a cyber-attack last year.

First, sorry to start off with such a negative and scary stat.

But also, it’s pretty important to know. So let’s just look at the numbers, presented to us by Hiscox’s 2018 Small Business Cyber Risk Report:

cybersecurity stats percent

So as you can see, last year nearly half of small businesses in the United States suffered a cyber-attack. And of those, 44% suffered 2+ attacks.

A lot of us have this idea that cyber-attacks are mostly an issue for big firms to worry about. Unfortunately, small businesses have got a LOT to worry about themselves.

So even if this stat doesn’t cheer you up, at least it will help us put to bed the idea that SMBs are largely ignored by cyber-attacks.

Let’s hammer this dose of reality home extra-hard, while we’re at it:

Item #2: MOST of those small businesses fail to act after an attack.

This stat actually comes from the same report as the last one. And it might give you the same sinking feeling as the last one.

Let’s have a look:

cybersecurity stats percent

Yep…not a third, not even half, but NEARLY 2/3rds of small businesses fail to act following a cybersecurity incident.

Now, let’s note that this does NOT mean that 65% of small businesses got hacked and did nothing about it.

First, plenty of small businesses in this stats probably didn’t even know they had a cybersecurity incident.

And part of that is because cybersecurity incidents aren’t the same thing as being “hacked” in a super malicious way.

Nonetheless, it’s still pretty clear that small businesses, for various reasons, are not taking enough action to prevent cyber-attacks OR to fix cybersecurity issues.

Item #3: Over 85% of the email was spam in July 2019.

This really isn’t shaping up to be a “feel-good” list, is it? Well, such is life I suppose.

Check out the latest data, straight from Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group:

cybersecurity stats-percent of email is spam

Those are some enormous numbers, barely comprehensible. But the key figure is that 85% of email that is spam.

Want to know the worst part?

The proportion of spam to real mail is SUPER consistent over time:

cybersecurity stats-percent of email is spam2

Meaning there’s no real reason to think that in the near future, most email will be non-spam.

Okay, but here’s a silver lining:

Remember that spam is not the same thing as malware.

Spam obviously has a much higher rate of malware, phishing attempts, and so on, but this number doesn’t mean that 85% of your email is deadly to your cybersecurity.

… Just that a lot of email is on the riskier side.

On the note of email, though:

Item #4: The most common malicious attachments in email are Microsoft Office files.

Clearly, a lot of malware gets distributed through email. People have generally gotten wise to the usual, more overt malware email tactics.

Unfortunately, this means bad actors have also evolved their game. Cisco’s June 2019 email security report details some pretty shocking numbers.

Nowadays malware is often sent through mostly “normal” attachment types:

cybersecurity stats-most malicious file types

So the result is that over 40% of malicious attachments—TWO IN FIVE—are Microsoft Office attachments, mostly .doc files. PDFs are about 10% and .zip files are nearly a third.

This doesn’t mean you should stop sending Word documents through email…just that you shouldn’t assume an attachment is safe because it’s a Microsoft Office file.

Item #5: Cybercriminals have been a more pervasive threat than hackers recently.

I know what you’re thinking: what’s the difference between a hacker and a cybercriminal? Is this going to be a distinction without a difference?

Well, there’s definitely some overlap…but there’s still a meaningful difference. In short:

A hacker breaks into your system. A cybercriminal does this…and does something criminal (like stealing important information, robbing you, etc).

This report by Isaca on 2019’s cyberthreat landscape includes a poll given to business owners on the post frequent threat actors.

cybersecurity stats-threat actor ranking

So while hacking in general is obviously the big overall concern, cybercriminals are the chief perpetrators…meaning robbers, basically.

Item #6: Phishing has been the most common attack type.

Phishing is a bad-faith effort at getting sensitive information (usually account information and card numbers), usually with the perp pretending to be a trustworthy person or group.

You might think phishing is the easiest security issue to avoid, because you’re a smart person who can tell the difference between good and bad actors.

And you know what?

You’re probably right. Most people who have been on the internet for a bit, and especially business-owners, can see through most phishing attempts.

But you shouldn’t dismiss them. Because here’s how common they are:

cyberstats-attack types ranking

They are the MOST common cyber-attack type, and they have been for the last three years (according to the aforementioned Isaca report).

Heck, what’s interesting is that the other most common forms of attack—malware and social engineering—have actually decreased while phishing has stayed strong.

Item #7: One in ten URLs are malicious.

This data comes straight from Symantec’s 2019 Internet Security Threat Report, and there’s no way to sugarcoat it.

cybersecurity stats-one in ten urls

It’s easy to have a false sense of security—you maintain basic security practices on the internet, you only click links that look safe, etc.

But when you consider that 10% of URLs are malicious, it sure becomes apparent that you can’t be too careful.

Because if so many URLs are malicious, odds are even cautious people are going to run into them. Stay safe!

Item #8: Most Internet-of-Things (IOT) attacks hit routers.

The Internet-of-Things refers to increasingly common internet-enabled “smart” household devices.

IOT devices are the things that you see ads for all the time. Smart speakers and home assistants put out by Amazon, Apple, Google, etc, are very popular IOT devices.

But lots of new IOT products are coming out every day: door locks, cameras, microwaves, ovens, etc.

But IOT devices are notoriously vulnerable to hacking at this point in time. Symantec decided to test out IOT security and put the results in the report I mentioned in the last stat.

Here’s what they found:

cybersecurity stats-routers are most iot attacks

Routers are the most frequently attacked points for IOT attacks.

Routers got about 75% of the attacks, and internet-connected cameras got another 15%.

A bunch of other things make up the remaining 10%, meaning these are the two you really need to be careful about if you’re trying to modernize your home or business.

Item #9: Over a QUARTER of internet users worldwide use a VPN or proxy.

Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are basically private networks built on public networks and are almost always encrypted nowadays—meaning users can experience better privacy and security.

Proxies overlap somewhat in that they switch up your traffic and make your IP look different (though they’re still pretty different from VPNs).

Anyway, VPNs and proxies are pretty common, according to recent data.

These numbers are from 2018 and presented by the reputable GlobalWebIndex research firm, and are probably the best recent numbers we’ve got:

cybersecurity stats-vpn use

What’s more, GlobalWebIndex points out that these numbers have been largely consistent since 2013.

This is honestly more than I expected, and it has a few implications—for one, it could change how we look at traffic statistics. For example:

Perhaps a lot of American traffic statistics are actually from people around the world trying to bypass local restrictions.

It also means that a solid amount of people, whether they intend to or not, are adding an extra layer of security and anonymity to their internet use.

Pssst: if you’re interested in checking out VPNs but not interested enough to set down money, you can actually try some free ones out.

Don’t worry—I’ve got a list of the best free ones to help you get started!

Item #10: Network vulnerabilities are far more common than application vulnerabilities.

This last stat is a little more technical, but don’t worry—I’ll take you through it.

First let me show you the numbers, brought to us by EdgeScan’s 2019 Vulnerability Statistics Report:

cybersecurity stats-web apps vs network vulnerability

Network vulnerabilities accounted for the vast majority of cyber vulnerabilities at 81%, whereas web application vulnerabilities accounted for the rest.

Okay, but what does that mean?

You know what a network is, but a web application might be a little fuzzy for you. A web application is basically a program or software that works within a browser environment.

What does that mean in daily life?

Email, online shopping carts, plugins for your WordPress site, and so on. A lot of stuff that’s extremely common nowadays.

Now this might seem a little surprising, and some say that web application vulnerabilities are the most common, more common than network vulnerabilities.

Hashing this out could be an entire article unto itself, so I won’t get too into it here.

The reason I’ve left this statistic for you is to show you that network vulnerabilities are still extremely common, even if web applications are what we think of the most when it comes to cybersecurity.

But, let me point out one more thing out: even if network issues are over 80% of cybersecurity weaknesses, web apps have a higher proportion of high-risk problems.

So if you’ve been super concerned about the security of web applications…keep it up! Just don’t neglect network security too much either.

Conclusion

Like I said in the beginning, cybersecurity is a very multi-faceted thing. It’s relevant to just about everyone, and sometimes in more than one way per person (as a private individual and as a site manager, for example).

Cybersecurity is also a battle waged on many fronts: at the level of the network and the level of the website, on individual scales and massive organizational ones.

There are lots of stats out there on cybersecurity, but the game is constantly changing, and that’s why I found the most reliable recent stats and put them here.

Everyone has different contexts, concerns, and vulnerabilities online. But to the extent that I can generalize advice…I’d say, the best thing is to be careful!

Stay safe, y’all!

How to Hold China Accountable for COVID-19

Americans are understandably upset. Businesses are closed, and people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake.

It makes sense that people would demand the government take action against those responsible for the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic once we’ve made it through.

Here’s how—and how not—to hold China accountable for the new coronavirus.


When can America reopen? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, is gathering America’s top thinkers together to figure that out. Learn more here.


As of right now, for very good reason, the Chinese Communist Party is culprit No. 1. However, it won’t be so easy getting it to fork over restitution.

There’s the reality that nations are generally not able to be sued, under the concept of “sovereign immunity.” While there are some exceptions, it would require the construction of a very tight case, in this case against the Chinese Communist Party.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


To build such a case, policymakers would need to answer three important questions:

1. Who exactly is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak? Meaning, who in the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for suppressing the information that heroes such as Dr. Li Wenliang tried to share with the world before COVID-19 grew rampant?

2. What exactly are they guilty of? Meaning, is the Chinese Communist Party simply guilty of the suppression of information? Are they also guilty of not acting soon enough? What else, exactly?

3. How do we even begin to calculate the restitution owed to the U.S.? Some estimates suggest that the coronavirus has generated losses of as much as $4 trillion. That’s roughly one-third of China’s economy.

Perhaps because of the complications with a legal case, folks are talking about ways to make China “pay” in other ways. Many of the ideas are lacking a dose of reality.

Here’s how we should not hold China accountable:

1. Refuse to pay Chinese holders of U.S. debt. As of January, Chinese investors held $1.1 trillion worth of U.S. Treasury securities (debt). Chinese holders of U.S. debt (both private and government entities) account for more than 15% of total foreign holders of U.S. debt, but only a fraction of total public debt.

If there is one thing that would destroy the credibility of the American dollar and the American financial system, it would be to raise any doubts about the American commitment to meeting its financial obligations.

Such a threat would shatter the faith of every holder of American debt, not just the Chinese.

After all, if the U.S. could suddenly decide not to pay Chinese holders of American debt, what would keep us from doing the same to the Saudis? Or the Japanese? And that, in turn, would effectively end the role of the American dollar as the global reserve currency. This is truly one case where the cure would be worse than the disease.

2. Get U.S. companies to leave China and come home. Some suggest COVID-19 is a great opportunity to bring U.S. companies back from China. The problem is that while some companies might leave China (and there could be incentives to encourage them to do so), few would then relocate back to the U.S.

Companies went to China in pursuit of cheaper costs, and COVID-19 doesn’t change that. Most of the companies that are leaving China won’t be coming to the U.S. They’ll more likely be going to Vietnam or Mexico, or many other places.

3. Kick out all Chinese news reporters. This has little to do with China’s suppression of information about the COVID-19 virus, and more to do with China’s overall suppression of a free press.

After all, it wasn’t Chinese reporters in the U.S. that failed to report on COVID-19 developments in China.

Kicking China’s reporters out of the U.S. would simply justify China’s ejection of American journalists, to little effect on the pandemic (other than limiting what unrestricted information is available).

4. Decouple entirely from the Chinese economy. Some suggest the U.S. should have no business with China whatsoever. But China was our fourth-largest trading partner in 2019, with $560 billion worth of traded goods.

Historically, U.S. and Chinese investors have directly invested more than $150 billion in each other (about twice as much U.S. direct investment in China than vice versa). Subsidiaries of U.S. companies sell hundreds of billions of dollars of goods in China every year on top of what they export there from the U.S.

These benefits would be hard to give up. Are there costs of doing business in China? Yes. But businesses are there because there are also benefits.

There are more realistic ways to put the Chinese Communist Party’s feet to the fire and hold it accountable.

1. A human rights approach. Sanctioning specific individuals for specific rights violations can be more successful than trying to punish a nation of 1.4 billion people.

2. An international approach with allies. This includes taking international legal action as another possibility. Legal scholar James Kraska has laid out one such approach. But litigation could take years and still lack the desired effect Americans might want to see this year.

3. Public diplomacy. It will take some patience and not have the visibility of legal action. That is to say, legal action would feel good up front, but would take years to maybe reach results, and then only if accompanied by painstaking diplomatic work.

Diplomacy includes keeping the spotlight on the Chinese Communist Party and the nefarious impact it has on the world. Results may vary, but doing this and letting people and governments around the world take matters into their own hands will have a lasting effect.

The truth is that this virus has given the Chinese Communist Party a big black eye and right now the Chinese are doing all they can to shift the blame or obfuscate the truth.

The Trump administration is likely to continue pushing back against China’s efforts to reshape the international narrative, much like we’ve seen the U.S.-China competition across the international arena.

But the outbreak of COVID-19 doesn’t change that the People’s Republic of China will be our most persistent and consequential U.S. foreign-policy challenge for the next several decades.

There might be right ways to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for the COVID-19 outbreak and its other misdeeds. But there are also wrong ideas that undermine U.S. long-term interests.

Let’s not mix those up.

COMMENTARY BY

Riley Walters is a policy analyst in the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

Dean Cheng brings detailed knowledge of China’s military and space capabilities to bear as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs. Read his research.

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RELATED VIDEO: Katie Hopkins On Life Under Lockdown in the U.K.


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The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

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PODCAST: State, Local Leaders Should Restart Economies ‘as Soon as Possible,’ J.C. Watts Says

Rep. J.C. Watts, a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma and a member of The Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, joins The Daily Signal Podcast to discuss how the nation can begin to reopen safely amid the coronavirus, why COVID-19 may be affecting the African-American community more than other demographic groups, and the news channel he founded, BNC. Read the lightly edited transcript below or listen to the podcast:

We also cover these stories:

  • Attorney General Bill Barr said that governors of some states are violating Americans’ rights by policies they have put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Governors across the South are beginning to reopen their state economies and lift coronavirus restrictions.
  • President Donald Trump says he will work to save oil companies as oil prices continue to collapse.

The Daily Signal Podcast is available on Ricochet, Apple PodcastsPippaGoogle Play, or Stitcher. All of our podcasts can be found at DailySignal.com/podcasts. If you like what you hear, please leave a review. You can also leave us a message at 202-608-6205 or write us at letters@dailysignal.com. Enjoy the show!

Virginia Allen: I’m joined by J.C. Watts, former congressman of Oklahoma, founder and Chairman of J.C. Watts Companies, and a member of The Heritage Foundation’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission. Representative Watts, thank you so much for being here today.

Rep. J.C. Watts: Virginia, thank you for having me on. Looking forward to sharing and visiting with you.

Allen: Yeah, absolutely. Well, you are one of 17 members on Heritage’s National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, and you all have just laid out a five-phase plan for how America can recover economically from COVID-19, and ultimately save both lives and livelihoods.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Can you just tell us a little bit about the commission and your role?

Watts: Well, Virginia, and I think you’ve summed it up by saying the commission was established to save lives and livelihoods. I think that statement in and of itself kind of wraps up and tells why Kay James, the president of The Heritage Foundation, thought it was important to do.

People who have lost a loved one, a mother, or father, or a son, or a daughter, or a relative, a close friend due to COVID-19, I understand that they would think that opening up the economy in the next month or two months or three months, I would totally understand if they feel like it’s too soon.

However, the flip side of the coin, a small-business owner who is on the brink of bankruptcy and even some large-business owners who are on the brink of a bankruptcy, but someone who’s put their blood, sweat, and tears, and the children’s education fund into starting a business or sustaining a business, boy, 30 days of downtime, many of them it leaves them one foot in bankruptcy and one foot out.

They probably think you can’t open the economy up soon enough. And so again, when the commission said we want to save lives and livelihoods, we tried to take both of those perspectives into consideration as we made recommendations or will be making recommendations to the administration, to members of Congress, to local and state governments that we didn’t take one or the other into consideration, we took both lives and livelihoods into consideration.

Allen: Yeah. Well, and on Monday you all put out … a much more, even more detailed plan that was 47 detailed steps for how we can achieve the first two phases of that five-phase plan. What are some of the critical aspects or steps in that list of recommendations?

Watts: Well, I think one of the things is that you start by saying governors and local leaders should take the lead in restarting the economy, and should do so as soon as possible. The federal government, Congress, the administration should aid in the recovery by considering flexibility in regulatory leads, funding, which they’ve done, providing equipment and providing information. But, we think it’s critically important that governors and local leaders, that they take charge.

I think we made the recommendation in saying that the social distancing, that should be relaxed, in some cases. Reopening schools and businesses, returning hospitals to normal should be linked to data about where the disease is prevalent. Counties that have low incident rates should open in a way that would be consistent with [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] plans.

And a lot of communities, and I’m from rural Oklahoma, grew up in rural Oklahoma, rural America, a lot of rural communities, they don’t have access to CDC plans, but you can work with your county and your state health officials who tune in to those CDC recommendations and pay attention to what the surgeon general is saying and work with them to make sure that you have a plan in place that would be protective of the most vulnerable, of the least of these.

And so, I think those things, making sure if we start with allowing the governors and local leaders to take the lead in restarting the economy, hopefully, they will do it as soon as possible, but also be mindful of doing it not just expeditiously, but doing that safely. And that’s where the CDC, I think, comes into play. … Johns Hopkins, they’d been right in the middle of this and providing data, but use the federal government to support state and local leaders. And I do think that it could be done in a way that’s healthy, and that’s safe, and that would consider lives and livelihoods, which is how you opened our discussion today.

Allen: Well, you bring such a unique perspective, really, to this conversation, because you do have this background in government, but you also run your own consulting business called J.C. Watts Companies, and you work with large and small businesses to do development and communications and public affairs strategies, and kind of implement those best practices.

So, as someone that does have that background, both in government and in the business world, what are your thoughts on to what extent the government really just kind of needs to get out of the way right now and let individuals and private businesses and nonprofits navigate the situation on their own, versus the state and federal government stepping in to offer assistance?

Watts: Well, I think the government can play a role, and I think the government should play a role. And I think you have to understand in whatever role the government chooses to play, you have to understand the value of teamwork. And it’s not about the federal government, it’s not about the president, it’s not about a member of Congress, it’s not about a governor, it’s not about a mayor. It’s about all of us working together for the common good. And I think government can play a role, but they need to understand what their role should be.

You and I have already discussed or I mentioned in … my opening comments that the federal government should allow governors and local leaders to take the lead.

And the federal government and Congress should, the administration should aid in the flexibility … of regulatory relief. They can be helpful there.

They can play a role in funding, and funding equipment, and providing information. We heard from a couple of, we had some testimony, we had a meeting yesterday, Virginia, and we heard from some people that have pretty good pulse of the economy.

We heard from Steve Forbes, we heard from Art Laffer, and they made suggestions. And they made suggestions. We heard from the National Association of Manufacturers, and we heard from a lady that was with Merck. These people who are in the private sector, who operate in the private sector, they gave recommendations, they gave comments and thoughts that I thought were pretty good.

One of them was to suspend the payroll tax, reducing capital gains. I mean, you think, well, what capital gains … why make taxes an argument in times like these? Well, you’ve got people out there that, they’re invested in the stock market, and if they liquidate stock right now, the stocks might be down, but if they liquidate those stocks, you’ve got to worry about a capital-gains tax.

Well, eliminating the capital-gains tax in a time like this would allow people to keep more of their money to do what they need to do with it. And so there’s a lot of different things that … and in terms of trying to flatten the curve … underneath that curve there’s fear, there’s unemployment, there’s the small-business failures, there’s deaths.

So, you’ve got to figure out ways, how can we not just get money or get money into the hands of people by sending them a stimulus check, but there’s resources that people have available to them now that eliminating the capital gains [tax] or reducing the capital gains, whatever the case might be, kind of letting up or softening some of the regulatory burdens and trying to get vaccines into the marketplace.

And I just think there’s ways we can do that. And we’ve heard suggestions of ways that could be executed, ways that could be done that it would be helpful and getting resources into the hands of the people that really need it. So, therefore, again, I make the argument that government can play a role, but government needs to be a part of the team, not the team.

Allen: Well, and as you said, some people are … they’re getting really antsy, and they want to get back to work. They need that money. They rely on the income of their small business or working at a restaurant. And we have seen in areas across the country and even in your home state of Oklahoma, that there have been organized kind of rallies or protests in Oklahoma.

There’s one organized groups called “OK Back 2 Work,” which they’d been organizing rallies in cars. So, keeping that safe distance with everyone kind of going along in their cars, but they are really asking for the state of Oklahoma to reopen on May 1st. What are your views of these kind of rallies and protests, and how should state leaders respond to these calls to reopen businesses?

Watts: Well, Virginia, the wonderful thing about living in the United States of America, we can have rallies, and we can have protests, and people can even, as I learned when I was a member of Congress, people can come in front of my office, and they can protest a decision that I’ve made or both that I’ve made, or something that I said, or something that I did, and they don’t get shot, they don’t get limbs cut off, or they don’t get thrown in a furnace, a fiery furnace to burn.

I mean that’s what America’s all about and … I am a small-business owner. I know how that is. And right now, I’ve got one business, I just launched an African-American news channel on February 10th. So a month and a half after launch, we’re having to deal with the coronavirus. I wished the virus, if it was going to show up, my preference would have been that, you show up a year and a half after we launch, not a month and a half after we launch, but it is what it is.

And in my business, actually, I don’t get any help. I’ve got 60-plus employees, and I don’t get any help through the CARES Act, the small-business loans, or the [Paycheck] Protection Act. I don’t get any help there. So, I understand how small businesses understand. Again, I think we can have rallies, and we can protest, and I think we can get the economy going again and also look out for the most vulnerable and not be insensitive to those who have lost loved ones who, I said at the outset, those who’ve lost loved ones, who’s lost a husband or wife or spouse or a child, a close friend. I totally understand, they think that opening up by May 1st, the first week of May, that, that would be too soon.

I totally understand that, but I totally understand that small-business owner—because I am a small-business owner—that says, “Hey, our livelihoods are on the line,” and … I think we can do this in a way that takes both of those perspectives into consideration … . [W]e need to start thinking of ways that we can open up the economy because we at the end of the day, we’ve already seen the serious impact on our future economic-, social-, and foreign-policy challenges.

And the consequences could get even worse soon, due to the poverty problems. People having rent and mortgage payments, utility bills, many businesses are seasonal, and they create their revenue stream that will last them, that they rely on lasting them all year. Their revenue stream is created from about the first to the middle of March until about the middle of September. So, they create a revenue stream in five or six months that has to last them for 12 months.

So we need the government to plan its role to do what they can in order to get us back into a rhythm, into our economy as soon as possible. And again, I continue to highlight that we can, I think we can save lives and be considerate of people’s livelihoods. And again, the recommendations that we’ve made kind of speaks to both of those … both sides of that equation.

Allen: Well, I’m really glad that you brought up your news channel, because my goodness, you’re so right, what a wild time to found a news channel, a Black News Channel, or BNC, is the name of it. What inspired you to start that channel, and how have you all navigated covering COVID-19?

Watts: Virginia, for 10 years we—probably longer than that—about 14, 15 years, we’ve been trying to get this network off the ground, and one of the arguments that I made, that I was making, and that I created is saying that the African-American community is … we create content that is culturally specific to the African-American community. And one of the things I talk about, I would talk about health and wellness.

And it’s just a reality. It’s not politics, it’s not liberal or conservative. It’s not Republican or Democrat, it’s just a reality that in growing up, I ate different foods than you ate. We might’ve eaten some of the same things, but culturally, your culture, but for instance, Thanksgiving dinner by and large, most people in the white community eat pumpkin pie for dessert, by and large, Thanksgiving dinner, most people in the black community eat sweet potato pie.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I can’t eat pumpkin pie, that you can’t eat sweet potato pie, but culturally, there is a cultural difference, in terms of our wellness and diseases. There’s things that the white community or the Native American community, the Asian community, that they have to deal with or the Hispanic community, that the black community doesn’t. And vice versa, with any one of those cultures.

Well, one of the things that I’m pretty active with, sickle cell [anemia] here in the state of Oklahoma, and we do things to create awareness for sickle cell. Sickle cell is a disease that most people, about 95% to 97% of the people that have sickle cell, they’re black, they’re African-American.

And so, as I was talking about this network over the last 12, 14 years, I was saying, we will be talking about things that other networks don’t talk about in wellness. Sickle cell, diabetes, culturally, how you deal with diabetes. All communities have diabetes, and I believe a lot of it is, you can control, 80% of diabetics can control their diabetes through diet and exercise, what you eat, and how active you are.

And so, giving those statistics and that data from an African-American perspective is what our network was designed to do with sickle cell, I mean, with coronavirus, COVID-19. We’ve got a doctor [Corey Hebert] that has a show … called “Doctor for the People.” He was just asked about 10 days or so ago to lead the effort in Louisiana. He was asked by the governor to lead the effort, to the task force concerning African-Americans and COVID-19.

And so, just having a source of information somewhere on a dial with 277 channels, it seems like, somewhere the African-American community to go get and education and information that is culturally specific to them, that’s important, I think.

Women have different health challenges than men. I think it makes sense to have somewhere that women can go and get information concerning health and the same thing with men.

So, hopefully, that gives you a little bit of flavor on why the channel is relevant. And over the last six weeks, the White House has asked us to get involved with the ad council, and the administration created a task force to do PSAs. They reached out to us and said, “Hey, you guys are talking to a lot of people in the black community. We want them to know and be informed about how to be safe during times like these.”

So, we made it an issue throughout our platforms, “Ladies First,” our 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. news hour, our 7 at night to 10 at night, Kelly Wright has a show on our network. Kelly, he’s played an integral role in interviewing the surgeon general, different people in the administration, talking about coronavirus, and African-American communities.

So, yeah, we’ve been pretty active, and we’ve been on the front line and trying to inform our audience that this is real, and these are the ways that you protect yourself and protect your family.

Allen:  And we have seen, percentage-wise, that the black community has been more affected by COVID-19 than other groups in the United States, and we don’t really know why. Do you have any thoughts on what factors could be contributing to this and if the country or states should really be taking measures to help?

Watts: … One of recommendations or suggestions that I made on the [National Coronavirus Recovery Commission] was that I don’t think that we will ever get out of the doldrums of a sick health care system until we make health a part of that.

And one of the things that I think is important, I think any time we find ourselves in a crisis, or like COVID-19, or we find ourselves in a crisis in our personal lives, in our business, in our churches. It doesn’t matter what our association is. We’re going to have crisis. And if you’ve not had a crisis in your personal life, just keep living, as my dad used to say, just keep living. You’ll get there.

I have a little different perspective about crisis. I don’t think crises always comes to tell us what we are. They come to tell us what we are not, so that we know what we need to do to become what we want to be. And that’s a principle in athletics. I learned a whole lot more in my athletic career when I lost the game than when I won a game, because when you lose a game, you’re forced to take a step back, take a deep breath and say, “OK, how do I correct this to where we’ll do it better?” and we put ourselves in a better chance to win.

Well, I think the revelation from this crisis is that we do have a health care system that that is broken, that we can do better. I think we do have, we’ve seen from this crisis that we’ve gotten away from the little things. Wash your hands, cover your cough, cover your sneeze. Virginia, those are things that we learned to do in kindergarten.

Allen: Yeah.

Watts: So, let’s go back to the basics. So, I remember when I was in grade school, I had a health class when I was the third or fourth grade. And so, I said all that to say, we will never solve our health care issues until we make health a part of that equation.

And I don’t care if it’s the black community, white community, red, yellow, or brown community, if it’s man or woman, boy or girl, what we eat, what we put on our body, the fact that we don’t exercise or we don’t exercise enough, we don’t move enough, all of those things I suspect we could look to, to say, or we should be looking to, to say “How much of our lack of exercise, how much of our not moving around, being more sedated, watching more TV, being on Facebook, being on the internet, how much of that is contributing to the weakening of our immune system?” I think that’s a fair question.

So, maybe what we’re dealing with here will make us more conscious, and [the late former Rep.] Jack Kemp, I loved talking to Jack, and Jack was way ahead of most Republicans when it came to opportunity, and creating opportunity for everybody, and targeting underserved communities, or poor neighborhoods for growth and opportunity. And I remember Jack used to say, “We pay people in America to not be healthy.” We say, “Grow old, and grow older and unhealthy, and when you get to 65, we’ll pay for you to … have heart surgeries, and cover all your costs for your stroke, and your diabetes and everything else.”

So, if we, if we take care of people for being unhealthy, why wouldn’t we incentivize people to be healthy? And Jack used to say, I would have conversations with him to say, why not give people a $500 a year, or $300 a year, a $700 a year, whatever the figure was, if you keep your cholesterol under a certain number, if you … watch your PSA numbers or, I mean, I’m just throwing some things out, but we put a man on the moon, so surely, we can design some type of initiative that the federal government or the state governments could play a role to say, “Let’s do some things to encourage people to be healthy,” as opposed to encouraging them to not be healthy.

Allen: Well, I want to end on a little bit of a lighter question. As someone who played football and played football professionally, what do you think we have on the horizon this fall? Are we going to see an NFL and college football season? What are your thoughts on that?

Watts: Well, I think there’s a serious discussion underway now, that I think we could possibly be into … or we could possibly have an infrastructure or a process in place to resume football season and basketball season. Football season starts in, guess they report to camp in July, early July, start preseason games toward the end of July, 1st of August, and then the regular season starts toward the end of August, or that’s some modicum of their schedule, but I think the regular season usually starts about the end of August.

Hopefully, we would have assembled a plan to get us back into a rhythm. If not, Virginia, let me tell you, if we’ve not done it by then, it’s going to be really, really ugly, and none of us are going to like it.

But I think we will, and even when we do, normal isn’t going to be, and my guess, and this is just my personal opinion, normal isn’t going to be 85,000 people at Memorial Stadium at the University of Oklahoma on a Saturday afternoon for Saturday afternoon football game. And I don’t care if the University of Oklahoma, they’re the No. 1 team in the country, we’re playing the No. 2 team in the country. That’s not going to be normal.

We may get back to that, but I think people are going to ease their way back into stadiums and crowds, and quite frankly, I would encourage them to do that.

But I think the decisions that we make today and why the commission, why The Heritage Foundation led by Kay James, why they put this commission together, was to say, “We can’t wait until August to start thinking about this. We’ve got to start doing things today that will save lives and people’s livelihoods, to get us back into a rhythm in our economy, in our social lives.”

Put ourselves in a rhythm and a model, a process, if you will, that will get us back to normal as quickly as possible. Rubber bands, I understand once a rubber band is stretched, it never goes back to its original form, I’m not so sure we will. We’re not going to get back to our original form overnight in the stretching that we’re experiencing here. But I still think we live in a great nation, and there’s a reason that whether we’re the country that created the light bulb and the streetlights and the internet and the GPS system. We have more Nobel Prize winners than anybody in the world.

And so, the same country that gave us those things is the same country that’ll navigate through this if we all understand we have a role to play. And that the government can play a role, and maybe I’m different than most on my side of the aisle, but I think the government can play a role; that they understand they are a part of the team, they are not the team.

And it’s state, local, federal government, county governments, playing a role. Civil society has a role to play, corporate America has a role to play. The faith community has a role to play. And if we all will chip in for the good of the order, and not concern ourselves with who gets the credit, but just going out there and blocking and tackling and doing our part, Virginia, again, every storm runs out of rain, and this one will as well.

And hopefully we can get us back, get back as close to normal as possible, but no one knows what the normal is going to be after we get in that rhythm that I mentioned.

Allen: Representative Watts, we just so appreciate your time today and all the work that you’re doing on the commission. Thank you so much for being here.

Watts: Well, I’m delighted to be with you, and thank you for having me on.

PODCAST BY

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen is a news producer for The Daily Signal. She is the co-host of The Daily Signal Podcast and Problematic Women. Send an email to Virginia. Twitter: @Virginia_Allen5.

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Lives and Livelihoods

Helen Freeh: Sooner or later we must restart American commerce, and Catholic leaders need to avoid casting the decision to do so as a choice between God and mammon.


Michael Pakaluk recently argued on this site that the dichotomy between life and money is false.  The Holy Father in his Easter Monday homily, however, set up just that conflict, stating, “in finding solutions to this pandemic, the choice will be between life, the resurrection of the people, and the god of money.” Pope Francis developed this view further along the same line, “If you choose money, you choose the way of hunger, slavery, wars, arms factories, uneducated children. . . . help us to choose the good of the people, without ever falling into the tomb of mammon.”

This is troubling talk even if it is meant sincerely to be pastoral guidance. But Pope Francis’s good intentions here may require further reflection.

I am not an economist or a moral theologian. So, I speak now from Catholic common sense in responding to this.  Certainly, we live in a materialistic culture in which we witness unbridled greed and lust for money, which comes at great cost to authentic human life.  It is right and proper to call people from the false pursuit of happiness through money to the truth of our existence as sons and daughters of God, recipients and caretakers of our Father’s bounty.

To establish, as a general rule, a conflict between the making of money and the respect for life, however, is both false and dangerous.  Extremes exist and sinful pursuits of money are easily found.  But God has established it as part of our human condition that work, even work undertaken for the sake of making money and providing for one’s own needs and those of others, is intimately connected with life and happiness.

Even a cursory knowledge of Catholic teaching on the dignity of work shows that while the economy must serve human life, it also allows human life to be dignified.  As Pope Francis himself stated in Laudato Si, “Work is a necessity, part of the meaning of life on this earth, a path to growth, human development and personal fulfillment. Helping the poor financially must always be a provisional solution in the face of pressing needs. The broader objective should always be to allow them a dignified life through work.”

To suggest, then, that governments, in considering whether and when to re-open economies, are choosing between life and money, as if they are necessarily opposed to each other, severs the connection between the two – a connection that is not by nature evil. It may be good or bad depending on whether the good of human life remains the central focus of the economic endeavor.

The decision is extremely complicated: our government leaders must weigh the harm that is being done and will be done based on their decisions.  Restarting the economy has consequences for human life – so, too, does not restarting the economy.  The choice does not reduce simply to financial matters.

Catholic moral teaching has a term called the “principle of double effect,” which may help us in our current thinking on the coronavirus and our government leaders’ decisions.  The principle states that in a difficult decision, if two effects may result, one bad and one good, the decision is morally permissible if four conditions are met:

  1. the act itself must be morally good or neutral;
  2. the harmful side effect is not the primary aim of the action to bring about good;
  3. the primary good effect must directly come from the act; and
  4. there must be a sufficiently serious reason for permitting the evil that also will result.

Our government suspended most of our civil and religious liberties for the good of preserving life through slowing the spread of a highly infectious coronavirus.  Yet now our leaders must make the decision of when to allow people to leave their homes, to travel, to pray together in our respective houses of worship, and to work.

Currently, we are intentionally doing harm to all out of a fear that death may come to some.  In restarting the economy, more lives may well be at risk from coronavirus and more people may die from this one disease.  And yet, the human cost will also be great in continuing to suppress our economic life.

Consider for example the effects of loss of livelihood on individuals and families; increased child and spousal abuse; increased rates of suicide and substance abuse; lack of treatment and facilities for mental health; postponement of surgeries for cancer, heart disease, joint replacements, et. al.

The list is long and people who study such problems estimate that there are thousands of deaths per year for every 1 percent increase in the unemployment rate. That rate has grown roughly 15 percent since the shutdown – which gives us a rough sense of what it would mean not to begin opening up commerce again.

So the magnitude of this decision is very great and ought not be reduced to a simplistic formula of life versus money.  The political decision is difficult enough and our Catholic leadership, among other voices, exacerbates the problem by making it an either/or moral dynamic.

Far from taking the lead in expressing clearly the Church’s long understanding of the central importance of economic life, the Catholic hierarchy has not even responded very forcefully to the state-designated role of religious worship as non-essential. One hopes the American bishops will not embarrass themselves and the faithful further by adopting this false dichotomy between life and livelihood.

Helen Freeh

Dr. Helen Freeh received her B.A. and M. A. from the University of Dallas and her Ph.D. from Baylor University. She has taught at Hillsdale College, where she met her husband, John. She is now in temporary early retirement, raising and homeschooling their children in Lincoln, Nebraska.

EDITORS NOTE: This Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2020 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.