VIDEO: President Trump Announces Massive Coronavirus Testing Expansion

America has already conducted far more Coronavirus tests than any other nation on Earth—more than the entire European Union and more than all of Latin America combined.

Now, President Trump has announced that his Administration will distribute 150 million rapid, point-of-care Coronavirus tests in the coming weeks. This action will more than double the total number of tests already performed in the United States.

 WATCH: President Trump announces massive testing expansion

Fifty million tests will go to protect the most vulnerable communities, which we’ve always promised to do, including 18 million for nursing homes; 15 million for assisted living facilities; 10 million for home, health, and . . . hospice care agencies; and nearly 1 million for historically black colleges and universities,” the President said.

Another 100 million rapid tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools as quickly and safely as possible.

“We are now at an inflection point in testing,” President Trump said. The United States now has the capacity to run, on average, 3 million tests per day. That number doesn’t include “pooled testing,” which could multiply that figure several times.

Vice President Pence said he believes an announcement about a Coronavirus vaccine will come soon after yesterday’s historic milestone.

“It’s a testament to great companies like Abbott Laboratories and the thousands of employees who, Mr. President, I know have literally worked around the clock since those early days in this pandemic, when you brought in the greatest research companies in America,” the Vice President added.

 Mississippi Governor: “This is a game-changer.”

©White House. All rights reserved.

FLORIDA: Governor Ron DeSantis Lifts All COVID-19 Restrictions, Opens the Sunshine State for Business

WATCH: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announces state entering phase 3.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed an Executive Order fully opening up the sunshine state for business. The Executive order:

  1. Opens up all businesses without restriction.
  2. Suspends all fines for not wearing a face mask.
  3. Allows sports to be played in Florida, including the Super Bowl in February 2021.

Governor DeSantis stated, “There will not be limitations, from the state of Florida.”

NPR reports:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is lifting all restrictions on businesses statewide that were imposed to control the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Most significantly, that means restaurants and bars in the state can now operate at full capacity.

Up to now, restaurants and bars in Florida could serve customers indoors at 50% of legal occupancy. DeSantis said his new executive order lifts that restriction statewide, though local governments can keep additional limits in place if they’re justified for health or economic reasons.

“Every business has the right to operate,” DeSantis said. “Some of the locals can do reasonable regulations. But you can’t just say no.”

DeSantis also said his order would stop cities and counties from fining people for not wearing mandated face coverings. He said fines and other penalties imposed so far would be suspended.

Currently, Miami-Dade, Broward and other counties in South Florida have locally imposed limits on the hours restaurants and bars can operate and how many customers they can serve indoors.

Florida is now officially open for business.

©All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: In COVID-19 Restrictions Ruling, Judge Holds Pennsylvania Governor to the Constitution

Video Commentary on the Passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg — L[R]GBT

Amidst the mourning for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we must ask, “Is it moral to honor evil people?” Ms. Ginsburg is remembered for achieving entry for women into Virginia Military Institute.

Her primary liberal vote was against Hobby Lobby’s right to opt out of health care that conflicts with their religious belief.

In this discussion on David Heavener Live, Pastor Mike Spaulding reflects on the advice of Scripture.

©David Heavener. All right reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: From RBG to Mask Mandates, the Dems Beg for Authoritarian Rule

Just 1% of U.S. Counties Have Had Nearly Half of All COVID-19 Deaths

As Heritage Foundation researchers have demonstrated throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been heavily concentrated in a small number of states—and among a small number of counties within those states.

As our research has pointed out, state-level figures do not adequately describe the concentrated nature of the spread of COVID-19.


What’s the best way for America to reopen and return to business? The National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, a project of The Heritage Foundation, assembled America’s top thinkers to figure that out. So far, it has made more than 260 recommendations. Learn more here.


Moreover, even though the U.S. saw a rapid rise in cases during the summer, the overall levels of concentration have remained fairly consistent.


How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>


For instance, as of Sept. 15, the 30 counties with the most COVID-19 deaths accounted for 26% of all the cases in the U.S. and 40% of all deaths, much greater than those counties’ share of the population (18.4%). That is, just 1% of the counties in the U.S., representing just over 18% of the population, are responsible for almost half of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

The Heritage Foundation’s newest interactive graphic allows individuals to see more detail on these concentrations among the counties with the most deaths as well as those with the fewest.

For instance, the graphic allows users to select data from the five counties with the most deaths, all the way up to the 50 counties with the most deaths. It also allows visitors to select data from counties with no deaths, all the way up to counties with 10 or fewer.

Once a category is selected, the graphic provides the percentage of counties represented by that category, the percentage of the population contained in those counties, and the percentage of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths in those counties.

For example, as of Sept. 15, 60.6% of all counties are reporting 10 or fewer deaths. These counties represent 13.1% of the population, and account for only 2.7% of total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

In contrast, the five counties with the most COVID-19 deaths represent just 0.2% of all counties, but they account for 16% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., nearly three times their population share of 6.5%.

A list of the 50 counties with the most deaths is also provided, and that list has not changed very much since April. New York, for instance, recorded 32,745 deaths as of Sept. 15.

In fact, New York City has exerted an outsized influence on the national COVID-19-related death rate. Removing New York City’s deaths moves the U.S. from eighth place in the world in deaths per million to 13th place.

The New York City metropolitan statistical area even has an outsized influence on the overall statistics for the state of New York.

Removing counties in the New York City metropolitan statistical area from the state’s totals drops the death rate for New York state to 348 per million, nearly 80% lower than the state’s rate when the New York City metropolitan statistical area is included (1,674).

That’s well below the national average and would move New York state from second place to 23rd place in deaths per million.

The same exercise with COVID-19 cases in the New York City area has a similar effect on the state’s totals.

Specifically, when withholding the New York City metropolitan statistical area cases, the overall case rate for New York state plummets by 71% (from 22,065 to 6,505), a level that is well below the national average.

Removing the New York City metropolitan statistical area moves the state of New York from sixth in case rate among U.S. states to 42nd place.

As new Heritage Foundation research shows, as of Aug. 22, the death rate of 2,196 per million residents recorded in the New York City metropolitan statistical area is almost twice that of its nearest rival, Detroit, at 1,177.

Furthermore, the gap between New York City’s COVID-19-related death rate and those of cities that have experienced more recent outbreaks is even more pronounced. The New York City metropolitan statistical area’s death rate is more than triple those of Phoenix and Miami—two cities that have recorded higher rates of infection than New York. It is four and a half times that of Los Angeles and nearly six times that of Houston.

Now that COVID-19 testing has increased dramatically and many state and local governments have relaxed stay-at-home orders, it’s even more critical to study the trends in deaths along with cases.

To make studying these trends easier, The Heritage Foundation now has two interactive COVID-19 trackers. One tracks trends in cases; the other tracks trends in deaths.

The trackers describe whether the trend of cases—or deaths—is increasing or decreasing over the prior 14 days, and provides a visual depiction of new cases—or deaths—during that time period.

These tools help put the concentrated nature of the pandemic in perspective with county-level data. They show just how difficult it can be to use only one metric to gauge whether a county—or state—is doing well. Readers are invited to explore the information in the tracker and check back frequently for updates, as well as to explore the other visual tools on Heritage’s COVID-19 resources page.

COMMENTARY BY

Drew Gonshorowski focuses his research and writing on the nation’s new health care law, including the repercussions for Medicare and Medicaid, as a policy analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation. He also studies economic mobility and the Austrian school of economics.

Norbert Michel studies and writes about housing finance, including the reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow in financial regulations. Read his research. Twitter: .

RELATED TWEET:


A Note for our Readers:

Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…

For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.

Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.

Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.

GET YOUR FREE COPY NOW »


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

The Riddle of Animals and Small Children

What do animals and small children have in common? They both live in the “NOW.”

Animals and small children live in the present tense, in the immediate moment without a concept of past or future.

Why is this important? Because the radical leftist Democrats and their globalist handlers are attempting to regress chronological adults back to childish thinking where they can be easily manipulated and controlled. It is a sinister and intentional exploitation of the NOW thinking of childhood. It is a psychological operation, a PSYOP.

If you think this is hyperbole or some unhinged conspiracy theory—think again.

To understand how the political regression-PSYOP works we must consider the psychodynamics of fear. An individual’s response to fear can be quantified on a continuum from the response of a young child to the response of a rational adult. The frightened child closes his eyes or hides under a bed in hopes of evading the threat. A child’s response is an instinctive avoidance strategy. The rational adult assesses the danger, considers possible responses, calculates which will likely be the most effective strategy, and then acts on it. The adult’s response requires critical thinking and results in an action strategy.

Thought precedes behavior. So, if a chronological adult can be frightened enough to regress his thinking back to that of a child, he will respond like a child. That is the foundation of the deliberate fear campaign gripping the country today, and the purpose of the political medicine informing the social policy on COVID19.

There are extremes of chronological adult responses on the fear continuum. On one end is an adult so frightened he/she curls up in a fetal position screaming, and on the other end is a Navy SEAL. The continuum dramatizes the psychological component of fear responses. Navy SEALs are not superhuman, they are rational adults who are trained to resist psychological regression under the most dire and extreme circumstances. It is this psychological component that distinguishes who will become a SEAL and who will not.

Now, let’s consider the ongoing hysteria surrounding the coronavirus and its political purpose. First, over 99% of people who get COVID19 recover, so prolonging mandated face masks, social distancing, school closures, and business closures makes no rational sense. The policies are not appropriate responses to the threat of COVID19 based on the facts of the matter.

When things don’t make sense, something else is going on. A useful tool for understanding the motive is looking at the result.

Who benefits from the ongoing, extreme COVID19 restrictions? The globalists, of course! The globalists command the war on America and finance the radical leftist Democrats and RINOS attempting to defeat POTUS in November. President Donald Trump is the existential enemy of globalism. His commitment to American sovereignty, a constitutional United States, and his unapologetic America-first policies have strengthened America and weakened globalism for four years.

In particular, Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods were devastating the Chinese economy and seriously damaging the profits of globalist companies manufacturing their goods in China. The globalists were desperate. The coronavirus was an economic bioweapon released from Wuhan, China to collapse the U.S. economy and defeat President Trump in November.

Follow the money and the entire strategy becomes clear. The politicization of public health through the NOW lens of animals and small children explains the globalist fear campaign required to promote public fear, and regress chronological adults to childish thinking.

The political medicine advanced by the corrupt Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and equally corrupt World Health Organization (WHO) is unconscionable. Its directives only make sense to a psychologically regressed adult. Instead of rejecting the nonsensical politicized medicine of the corrupt CDC and WHO, the regressed public submits. They obediently wear their masks and observe social distancing, naively trusting that the CDC/WHO protocols are necessary to protect them.

Living in the NOW requires immediacy. Needs must be immediately gratified. Children can’t wait. Fear, whether real or manufactured, must be quelled immediately. Critical thinking skills are needed to inform adult decisions. Instead, the regressed population accepts what they are told unquestioningly and hide under the bed. In this instance, they hide behind masks and social distancing hoping the threat will disappear. Their compliance is rewarded with repetitive virtue-signaling assurances that, “We are all in this together,” a particularly manipulative phrase.

The deliberate disinformation and wildly exaggerated mortality projections spread by the CDC and WHO, were orchestrated by the globalists who run both organizations. The echoing narratives are political medicine disguised as medical science.

The mainstream media censored globalism’s current and past financial ties to the corrupt CDC and equally corrupt WHO. This deceit facilitated the political regression-PSYOP and its fear campaign. The collaboration has been dangerously successful, but there is still time to outmaneuver the PSYOP.

If Americans understand how and why we have been misled, we can discipline ourselves to reject the manipulative fearmongering. We can remain rational, chronological adults and defy the regression-PSYOP seeking to return us to childhood compliance.

We must live in the present, but remember our past to envision our future. We have the power to preserve our individual freedoms and reject globalism’s tyranny by rejecting their chosen Democrat and RINO representatives in November. We must aspire to be Navy SEALs and reject the sinister attempts to reduce us to animals or small children.

©Linda Goudsmit. All rights reserved.

VIDEO: The Vortex — Stone-Cold Killer

Enough with the earthly praise. Get real.

TRANSCRIPT

Let’s cut through all the garbage and platitudes about a nation mourning a “trailblazing” jurist. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a stone-cold killer who sent tens of millions of children to their deaths before they ever saw the light of day.

All this talk about her nice, sweet demeanor is nothing more than talk. And from a theological point of view, consider this: A few days ago when she closed her eyes on this life (forever) and opened them up on the next (forever), she would have been met, in part, by that throng of millions and millions of children she was instrumental in executing.

She went from being a judge to being judged, and unlike what she wielded, the Divine Judge deals strictly in justice, not agendas that pervert justice. This evil woman conflated women’s rights to include murdering a child in the womb. She twisted the dignity of the feminine to open a door for the demonic.

And, while we can’t know for certain, there are only a few reasons to presume she is not a slave to the demonic now for all eternity. Hell, Satan, the demons have no regard for whether you served once on the “most powerful court in the land.”

But since we are talking about a Justice and her own personal judgment and trial before the divine judgment seat, let’s think about a few things, shall we? First, as will be the case for all of us — every last one — Satan, the accuser, will be there, as he was with Ruth Bader Ginsburg, accusing her.

Ponder for a moment what the diabolical prosecutor would have been accusing her of. Child murder! By the tens of millions. The perversion of natural law, the law of God the Creator, who, uncomfortably and inconveniently for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is also the same Creator sitting on the judgment seat.

It’s one thing to sin, to even embrace sin. It is something of an entirely different magnitude to create an environment where an entire nation — hundreds and hundreds of millions of people over decades — embrace that sin, all as part of your own twisted worldview.

Woe to those who call evil “good,” and good “evil.” For the record, woe is not the word any of us wants coming up at our individual judgments before Almighty God. As in any court or trial, evidence is presented — testimony and so forth.

Let’s return to that multitude of witnesses to her evil — the victims of her ideology. Children torn to shreds in their mothers’ wombs, ribboned into little pieces in a swirl of blood and gore, sucked out through a vacuum hose with thin razor blades on the end.

Those souls had only a moment’s existence compared to her nearly 90 years. Yet she saw fit to keep the wheels of the child-killing factory turning, well-oiled, with no exceptions. Not one single child in the womb was safe from this megalomaniac’s monstrous contortion of natural law.

The Marxists can go on all they want in this life about her legacy, but before the divine judgment seat, this would have been her legacy — testified to by her tens of millions of victims. She pronounced judgment on their bodies in this life, but they were there in the next life as judgment was pronounced on her soul.

And let’s go even further into this. Of course, we do not know with certainty what her judgment was, but that does not lift the duty of pondering about Heaven and Hell — for every human being who has ever existed will be in one or the other. Pay attention Bp. Barron.

For a soul to be saved, that soul must die in a state of grace — in a state of sanctifying grace. That means they must have the life of the Blessed Trinity in them. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments; and my Father and I will come to you, and we will make our home in you.”

A state, an existence of having Father, Son and Spirit living in you. But this state is not just stumbled upon. It doesn’t just happen after a person has achieved the age of reason. It must be acted on, desired, cooperated in and with. And its purpose is to increase, to grow in holiness until we are brought at last into perfect holiness in the Beatific Vision, the beholding of God in the face.

No one stumbles or trips into Heaven. You must carry your cross, suffer, die to your passions, forsake evil, struggle to cooperate with the life of Christ in you so that you can move from a state of fallenness to the heights of the supernatural.

We are, in short, fighting for Heaven, the whole meaning of the term Church Militant. Part of the fight demands a rejection of sin, even though it still frequently holds an attraction for us. That’s why confession exists.

But note, absolution in confession, in the sacrament, being forgiven of your sins, of our sins, requires a turning away from our sins, a pronouncement from us that we detest them, because of how abhorrent they are before God. Such an acknowledgment is a movement toward holiness, toward God. It also requires a promise that, as we leave the confessional, we will strive not to sin again.

So forgiveness is conditional: Of course it is. God’s love for us is unconditional, but salvation is not. Salvation comes with many conditions, and the rejection and walking away from sin — at least the sincere promise to — is one of the them.

So it becomes a point of contemplation, in light of Ginsburg’s death, indeed for all of us, that at our judgments, one factor weighing in the balance of our eternal destiny is this: Given the opportunity to have continued living, would we have changed?

The good thief certainly did. We know that from Our Lord’s words. Had he been taken down from the cross by some last-minute act of mercy by Pilate and nursed back to health, would he have amended his life and turned from his sins?

Yes. He had a true deathbed conversion. Amen. But what about the soul who is brought before the judgment seat by Michael — the Angel of Death — who, if she had been given more years, would not have turned from her sin? Precisely in what divine calculus could such a soul be saved?

Is it reasonable to assume that had Hitler been granted another century of life on earth and was somehow spared — over those ensuing decades of the breakdown of the body that he retained the vigor of youth, or middle age — he would somehow have turned from mass killer and bringer-of-war to a spokesman for peace?

And likewise for Joseph Stalin — even more so, in fact, for Joseph Stalin — had Our Lord extended his life and likewise extended his physical strength for another hundred years, would he have abandoned his plans for world domination by godless Marxism?

Would he, at some point, have donned sackcloth and ashes and made reparation for the killing of tens of millions of people, for the enslavement of whole nations? The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.

Why would we assume that someone who dies in a state of grave sin — with blood on his or her hands, who probably (because of the killing) sent others to Hell before they might have repented — might be saved? It isn’t enough to say, “Well, we don’t know (even though we don’t).” We do know the sum of their lives. And in some cases, we know their dying wishes, at least their last expressed ones.

Three days before he died, pro-abortion senator Ted Kennedy dictated a letter from his deathbed (or so we are told by family). In that letter, he expressed his desire that the U.S. Senate pass Obamacare — with all its provisions for abortion and contraception and the payment for abortion by taxpayers, even over their good-conscience objections.

His letter, in fact, became something of a rallying cry for his fellow child-killers in the U.S. Senate to pass Obamacare, which, of course, they did. As far as the world knows, that is the state Ted Kennedy died in. It’s possible he changed his mind, repented in his heart with his last breath. We can only hope. But emphasis on hope.

We may not think it because there is not a thing to suggest it. There is nothing to inform our intellects with that any such occurrence happened. Turning back to the matter of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are told, as in the case with Kennedy, that she too expressed what amounts to a dying wish that her seat be filled by someone other than Trump — with, of course, what everyone understands to mean (and she certainty intended to mean) someone who would keep the child killing going.

This is, after all, all about abortion. Nowhere was there any remorse for her crimes against God. Nowhere. There was not in life and now, in death, a breath of repentance for the millions of young lives she crushed and snuffed out beneath her murderous ideology and the ideology of those who celebrated her.

But those tripping all over themselves to praise her cannot see her in her likely present state. And let’s be honest here: She was either saved or damned, and no one who is spiritually honest can lay their odds on the former. We can hope, without reason, she was saved. In fact, some members of the staff and I were out eating when the news hit our phones, and after the first few immediate seconds of shock, we did exactly what good Catholics do and Our Lord demands: We prayed for her.

Ginsburg was ultimately an enemy of truth in this life. The tens of millions of her (and others’) victims were brought before the throne of God at her judgment so she could see the fullness of her evil choices in this life. She would not admit or confront her evil in this life; she was made to do so in the next.

Those others will likewise face their own judgments, and when their time comes, that same cloud of witnesses will be assembled, called upon yet again to appear and be a living testimony against their evil. What a horror all this is to think about, even briefly.

But justice and truth demand this all be said. The godless have the media, and they want no talk of things divine — and certainly not of the next world (of actual justice). Ginsburg lived a life fundamentally opposed to the truth, even if every now and then she did manifest some small modicum of judicial restraint or evenhandedness.

When it mattered, she sided with evil against truth — meaning against Christ. Well, now she has stood before Christ, as every single one of us will (including Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry, Dick Durban, John Roberts, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and hordes of other power-hungry politicians and jurists who will see their role model, King Herod, in the fires of Hell if they do not repent before their deaths).

But the truly earth-shaking reality is that many of these people do not believe they have anything to repent from. At some point, earlier in their lives, they might have. Somewhere back up the road, they knew somewhere inside themselves what they were doing was wrong, that they were slaughtering good on the altar of evil for their own careers.

Somewhere later in their lives, because of the monstrosity of their sins, they killed their consciences — or so nearly killed them that truth, God, no longer had access to them. He knocks. He never stops knocking. They simply refuse to open. So be it. In what should be taken as a terrifying message, consider chapter 11 of Ecclesiastes: “Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, wherever it falls, there shall it lie.”

Things go the way they go and where they go according to their natures, regardless of the accolades of those still on earth who will, nevertheless, shortly follow them down below. If Ginsburg did indeed go to Hell, she has barely concluded her first hundred hours of torment that will never end.

For the damned, the horror of that reality comes crashing back on them: No matter how intense the torment, no matter how tremendous the agony, there is no escape. However “accepting” of the pain a soul might become (we’re speaking figuratively here), it suddenly intensifies at the repeated realization that 100 hours means absolutely nothing because there is no time and there is no relief.

This never ends. Abandon all hope ye who enter here. Do everything you can in this life; endure whatever you must, but escape those fires of Hell. Nothing in this life — nothing — is worth eternal damnation.

EDITORS NOTE: This Church Militant video is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Who [Or What] Killed George Floyd?

If they get a fair trial, a questionable proposition at best, Minneapolis police officers charged with murdering George Floyd should be acquitted.

Let’s consider new, undisputed evidence, beyond the initial bystander’s video that we’ve all seen, to understand why.

On Memorial Day, around 8 PM, Minneapolis Police are called to a local convenience store.  Two suspects passed a fake $20 bill to buy cigarettes.  When police arrived, the shop manager pointed across the street, where three suspects sat in a parked vehicle. George Floyd sat behind the wheel.

When the officers crossed the street to investigate, two other suspects, another man, and a woman, both black, stepped from the car and politely cooperated.

But George argued and disobeyed ten separate commands from officers to keep his hands up. After the tenth order, he finally put his hands on the steering wheel as instructed.

As George protested, police walked him across the street to the police cruiser, the vehicle shown in the bystander’s video.

That bystander’s video, isolated alone, implies that the officer cruelly forced George onto the ground, then callously put his knee on George’s neck, causing George to cry out, pitifully, “I can’t breathe.”

But when a Minnesota judge authorized the release of police body cam footage, a completer and more different story emerged.  First, the police never wanted George on the ground at all, and frantically tried getting him into the back of their squad car.

But Floyd, a strong six-feet-eight-inches tall, fought police every second, and tried pushing his way out. Police video shows George repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe” long before he was on the ground, and before Officer Chauvin employed the infamous knee-restraint tactic.

This is crucial.

Claiming to be “claustrophobic” as they ordered him into the back seat, George Floyd demanded to be placed on the ground. So, the officers did not thrust him down to the ground and then put their knee on George’s neck, as the bystander’s video suggests.

Let’s delve into the evidence.

From Officer Thomas Lane’s body camera, at 8:09 PM, officers approached George’s vehicle, tapped on the window, instructing him to either put his hands up or put his hands on the steering wheel. But George refuses.

Ten separate times, police either instructed George to let them see his hands, or to put his hands on the wheel. Finally, George puts his hands on the wheel, protesting he had “not done anything.”

At 8:17 PM, officers walk George across the street. He keeps arguing, as they order him into the back of the squad car.

“I’m claustrophobic,” he claims, twice, resisting as they again order him to sit in the back seat. He screams, fights and resists getting in the squad car.

At 8:18:08, still standing beside the car and fighting the officers, he says, for the first time, with no knee on his neck, “I can’t breathe, officer!”  At this point, police are still ordering him into the back seat.

A bystander urges George to stop fighting. “You can’t win,” the bystander says.

George fights anyway.

Police push him in the back seat. He keeps resisting.

Nine seconds later, fighting from the backseat of the police car, George says three times, in rapid succession, beginning at 8:18:19, “I want to lay on the ground!  I want to lay on the ground! I want to lay on the ground!”  He repeats it a fourth time, five seconds later, ““I want to lay on the ground!”

Then, as if he knows he is dying, says, “I’m going down.”

At 8:18:39, fighting in the backseat, he again says, three times in rapid succession, “I can’t breathe!” Then again,” I can’t breathe.” And then, again, at 8:18:50 repeats, “I can’t breathe!”

At this point, George had demanded to be laid on the ground four times and said “I can’t breathe” at least six times, while in the back seat of the squad car, with no knee on his neck.

At 8:19:06, he again says, “I can’t breathe,” for the seventh time.

Of course he can’t breathe. A fentanyl overdose stops a man from breathing.

George fought the officers non-stop for over ten minutes before officers finally removed him from the car and put him down on the ground, beside the squad car, as George himself demanded.

Bystanders then film George on the ground, declaring, “I can’t breathe,”  as if this was the first time George said, “I can’t breathe,” and as if Officer Chauvin’s knee (not the fentanyl) caused George’s breathing problems.

Fox 9 in Minneapolis reported that Chief Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker, in a memorandum filed May 26 concluded, “The autopsy revealed no physical evidence suggesting that Mr. Floyd died of asphyxiation.”

In other words, Dr. Baker initially ruled out Chauvin’s knee as causing George’s death.

In a second memorandum filed June 1, Baker described Floyd’s fentanyl level as “pretty high,” and a potentially “fatal level.”

Dr. Baker reported Floyd had 11 ng/mL of fentanyl in his blood, adding, “If he were found dead at home alone and no other apparent causes, this could be acceptable to call an OD. Deaths have been certified with levels of 3.”

In other words, while levels of 3 ng/mL have caused fatal fentanyl overdoses. George ingested nearly four times that amount, or 11 ng/mL of fentanyl, in his bloodstream.  In another document, Dr. Baker said, “That is a fatal level of fentanyl under normal circumstances.”

Granted, mounting political pressure led to subsequent private autopsy reports, paid for by the family, showing the cause of death as a combination of both fentanyl and asphyxiation from the officer’s knee.

Of course they do.

But the prosecution, to obtain a conviction, must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. They must prove that the officer’s knee, and not the massive fentanyl dosage, killed George Floyd.

That’s a tall order.

Not only that, but the infamous, “knee-technique,” which should be banned, was authorized by the Minneapolis PD.  Officer Chauvin followed authorized procedure, a technique for keeping a suspect on the ground, after George Floyd had fought officers for over ten minutes, and after, only — and this is the kicker — George requested, repeatedly, to lay on the ground.

But Chauvin’s knee is a red herring. The issue here is fentanyl.

Here’s how the respected website, WebMD, describes the effects of fentanyl:

“[F]entanyl has rapid and potent effects on the brain and body, and even very small amounts can be extremely dangerous.

“It only takes a tiny amount of the drug to cause a deadly reaction,” … “Fentanyl can depress breathing and lead to death. The risk of overdose is high with fentanyl.”

Here’s what the CDC says about fentanyl, “It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.”

Of course George couldn’t breathe — because fentanyl, mixed with methamphetamines, kills breathing.  Despite the bad optics, “I can’t breathe” was not because of the officer’s knee.

The medical examiner’s statement on lethal fentanyl, and the previous protestations of “I can’t breathe,” even before he got into the back seat of the squad car, and long before Chauvin applied the notorious “knee” technique, shows that George was already dying from the lethal fentanyl overdose before officers put him in the back seat of the car. That fentanyl, with methamphetamine ingestion, and cannabinoids — that’s right, George popped some meth alongside the fentanyl, plus a little reefer too — raises more than a reasonable doubt in favor of these policemen.

Here’s the prosecution’s problem – proving beyond a reasonable doubt that it was the officer’s knee, and not the massive fentanyl overdose, that killed George.

No one can prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, not in this case, that Chauvin killed Floyd, not with any intellectual honesty. George overdosed on fentanyl, and mixed it with meth, and reefer. That’s why he’s dead. Without the overdose, George Floyd would still be alive. The officers should be acquitted.

Which begs the question, who killed George Floyd?

Sadly, George Floyd killed himself.

VIDEO: President Trump at 75th Session of the UN pins the tail on China’s Wuhan Flu

“We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy — the China virus — which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries.” – President Donald J. Trump


WHITE HOUSE TRANSCRIPT

Remarks by President Trump to the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The White House

PRESIDENT TRUMP:

It is my profound honor to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle. We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy — the China virus — which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries.

In the United States, we launched the most aggressive mobilization since the Second World War. We rapidly produced a record supply of ventilators, creating a surplus that allowed us to share them with friends and partners all around the globe. We pioneered life-saving treatments, reducing our fatality rate 85 percent since April.

Thanks to our efforts, three vaccines are in the final stage of clinical trials. We are mass-producing them in advance so they can be delivered immediately upon arrival.

We will distribute a vaccine, we will defeat the virus, we will end the pandemic, and we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation, and peace.

As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.

In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world. China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.

The Chinese government and the World Health Organization — which is virtually controlled by China — falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease.

The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.

In addition, every year, China dumps millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans, overfishes other countries’ waters, destroys vast swaths of coral reef, and emits more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world. China’s carbon emissions are nearly twice what the U.S. has, and it’s rising fast. By contrast, after I withdrew from the one-sided Paris Climate Accord, last year America reduced its carbon emissions by more than any country in the agreement.

Those who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment. They only want to punish America, and I will not stand for it.

If the United Nations is to be an effective organization, it must focus on the real problems of the world. This includes terrorism, the oppression of women, forced labor, drug trafficking, human and sex trafficking, religious persecution, and the ethnic cleansing of religious minorities.

America will always be a leader in human rights. My administration is advancing religious liberty, opportunity for women, the decriminalization of homosexuality, combatting human trafficking, and protecting unborn children.

We also know that American prosperity is the bedrock of freedom and security all over the world. In three short years, we built the greatest economy in history, and we are quickly doing it again. Our military has increased substantially in size. We spent $2.5 trillion over the last four years on our military. We have the most powerful military anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close.

We stood up to decades of China’s trade abuses. We revitalized the NATO Alliance, where other countries are now paying a much more fair share. We forged historic partnerships with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to stop human smuggling. We are standing with the people of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela in their righteous struggle for freedom.

We withdrew from the terrible Iran Nuclear Deal and imposed crippling sanctions on the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. We obliterated the ISIS caliphate 100 percent; killed its founder and leader, al-Baghdadi; and eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani.

This month, we achieved a peace deal between Serbia and Kosovo. We reached a landmark breakthrough with two peace deals in the Middle East, after decades of no progress. Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain all signed a historic peace agreement in the White House, with many other Middle Eastern countries to come. They are coming fast, and they know it’s great for them and it’s great for the world.

These groundbreaking peace deals are the dawn of the new Middle East. By taking a different approach, we have achieved different outcomes — far superior outcomes. We took an approach, and the approach worked. We intend to deliver more peace agreements shortly, and I have never been more optimistic for the future of the region. There is no blood in the sand. Those days are, hopefully, over.

As we speak, the United States is also working to end the war in Afghanistan, and we are bringing our troops home. America is fulfilling our destiny as peacemaker, but it is peace through strength. We are stronger now than ever before. Our weapons are at an advanced level like we’ve never had before — like, frankly, we’ve never even thought of having before. And I only pray to God that we never have to use them.

For decades, the same tired voices proposed the same failed solutions, pursuing global ambitions at the expense of their own people. But only when you take care of your own citizens will you find a true basis for cooperation. As President, I have rejected the failed approaches of the past, and I am proudly putting America first, just as you should be putting your countries first. That’s okay — that’s what you should be doing.

I am supremely confident that next year, when we gather in person, we will be in the midst of one of the greatest years in our history — and frankly, hopefully, in the history of the world.

Thank you. God bless you all. God bless America. And God bless the United Nations.

END

Why the Left loathes Tucker Carlson

Using absurd claims that Tucker Carlson is a racist, white supremacist, bigot, etc., etc., etc., the Left has furiously attempted to have his prime-time Fox News show taken off the air. The opening segment of the September 17 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight is a perfect example of why the left hates his guts.

Citing a breaking report by a local TV station, Carlson revealed that, acting in concert with other high level members of his administration, Nashville’s Democrat mayor intentionally withheld from the public encouraging Covid-19 data that showed an unexpectedly low infection rate at the city’s bars and restaurants. By concealing that information, Mayor John Cooper was able to justify keeping Nashville’s restaurant industry under a virtual lockdown, thus suppressing the city’s economic recovery until after the election. Please watch Tucker’s explosive report, and consider sharing it with your friends. (See Below)

From coast to coast and border to border, Democrat governors and Democrat mayors are making coronavirus decisions that have next to nothing to do with public health, and everything to do with using their official powers to rig the election against President Trump.

When the June jobs report showed the economy was undergoing a brisk recovery, with 4.8 million new jobs added, Democrats panicked. Since then, Democrat mayors and governors have surreptitiously done what Nashville’s mayor did: cook the coronavirus books in ways that retard local economic recovery between now and the election. Much to the delight of Democrats, by August the number of new jobs had fallen from 4.8 million in June to 1.4 million, a drop of 64%. Mission accomplished.

The same kind of disgraceful tactics are being used to delay school openings. Acting in concert with Democrat-controlled school boards, blue city health officials are blocking pre-election school openings to tamp down rising employment numbers by making it difficult for parents with school-aged children to go back to work. No better example of that can be found than in California, where Los Angeles County Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer recently told the press that it’s “not realistic” to open the county’s schools “until after the election.”

Of things that matter to Democrats, public health and economic recovery take a distant back seat to their insatiable desire for ironclad political power.

©John Edison. All rights reserved.

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In a Pandemic, Dogmatism is the Real Enemy

What we need is careful science, not scientism


Eight months into this pandemic, we sometimes seem to be no nearer to knowing what’s going on than we were at the beginning.

Lockdowns vs. no lockdowns; masks vs. no masks; hydroxychloroquine vs. remdesivir; opening schools vs. closing schools, etc., etc. Every day, top-level experts express significantly divergent viewpoints on each of these questions. One study published one day concludes one thing; another study published the next concludes the opposite, and critics attack both. One newspaper analyzes the latest data and claims that things are getting better; another newspaper, looking at the same data, laments they have never been worse. Meanwhile, fundamental and simple questions, such as how this virus is transmitted, or where it originated, are still the subject of ongoing research and intense debate.

All of which is to say, science is operating exactly as it always has.

Preaching Orthodoxies Prematurely

If the history of science proves anything, it’s that attaining certainty even on relatively narrow questions is an arduous process. It requires huge investments of time and is often preceded by false starts, dead ends, and premature claims of success. Science is often muddied by haste, ineptness, researcher bias, and conflicting personal, financial, political, and ideological interests.

Given the additional, staggering complexity of a global pandemic, the surprising thing about our present uncertainty is not the uncertainty itself, but how distraught or even scandalized many people are by it. An excessive desire for certainty is leading to counter-productive responses — and to a breakdown of communication and trust, precisely when we most need both.

Over the past eight months, people of every political stripe have prematurely seized on scientific claims and preached them as though they were orthodoxies, with a zeal out of proportion to our actual knowledge. Rather than explore and attempt diverse approaches, or carve out space for conversation, creativity, and experimentation, we too often assume “the other side” is malicious. We call even mild nonconformism or risk-taking a moral failing rather than a necessary prerequisite for advancing our knowledge. Often, the public “debate” has been little more productive than a pie fight

Not long ago, as Allan Bloom pointed out in The Closing of the American Mindsome form of skepticism or relativism was the default epistemological position of the overwhelming majority of people. Every day college freshmen repeated some version of the claim that “truth is relative” as though it were a platitude. But today we expect and demand absolute certainty on extraordinarily complex matters, at the snap of our fingers.

Scientism, Superstition, and Dogmatism

Most people seem to agree that the pandemic is a scientific problem that needs a scientific solution. This is true, but only partially. To view the plague as purely a scientific problem is reductive. As Andrew Sullivan noted in a recent essay, a plague is not just a medical event. It is also a “social and cultural and political” event. Plagues “insinuate themselves into every nook and cranny of our lives and psyches — from sex to shopping, from work to religion, from politics to journalism — and thereby alter them.”

After all, even if our scientific understanding of the virus were complete, we still wouldn’t all agree on the right response, and for good reason. Many medical experts presume that our goal should be to save as many lives as possible from the virus — but there are limits to that goal. Saving more lives in the short term at the expense of fundamental rights and freedoms, or of social order, or of the long-term viability of the economy, may be too high a price to pay. How to balance these concerns cannot be answered by science alone.

Talking heads on TV exhort the public to “trust the science” as if “the science” were some monolith, unaffected by human fallibility and constraints, that could answer all the political, ethical, and social questions that the pandemic raises. Many seem to believe that, if scientists just work harder, at some point “the science” will tell us what to do, down to the minutest detail.

This is scientism, and it is a form of superstition. Like all superstitions, it stems from a desire to escape the discomfort of uncertainty; the painful duties of investigation, debate, and decision-making; and the risk of being wrong.

Rather than stretch our minds to fit the problem, superstition reduces the problem to fit the limitations of our minds. It replaces reason with dogma, and thanks to the spread of scientism today, dogmatism is ubiquitous. Even those who criticize the dogmatism of others who demand fealty to “the science” often adhere to their own scientific dogmatism — only they find their dogmas in far-flung and seedy corners of science and the media. Moreover, both sides often insist that their favored scientist, or group of scientists, or publication, or journalist, is the only one who has “figured it out.” If we would just listen to them, everything would be all right.

The dogmatist is scandalized by the difficulty of how humans come to know — bit by bit, at the expenditure of enormous energy, and in many matters reaching only probable conclusions. He prefers to seize on a simplistic explanation and call it a solution. One can see why such people often become conspiracy theorists. Perplexed by a vast confusion of data points, the conspiracy theorist does not patiently investigate the data to discover their objective connection (which is hard). Rather, he presumes an explanation, investigates how to fit the various data points to it, and simply discards the data that will not fit (which is easy).

How to Debate About a Plague

But maybe there is no one correct solution to this pandemic — no one strategy that we know with certainty (based on irrefutable scientific data) will save more lives than the alternatives; or that won’t come with its own unacceptable, long-term costs. Or if there is any such answer, perhaps we cannot possibly know what it is until well after this pandemic is over, when there are no more decisions to make. There are simply too many factors at play and too many unknowns; and we have no idea how the coming days, months, and years will unfold.

Should we throw up our hands in despair? Are there no solutions that are clearly better, or supported by better evidence, than others? Is the science so hopelessly complex that we can’t possibly look to it for any guidance? Should we not advocate our favored solutions, based on the best available evidence, or not oppose the solutions we believe to be harmful or misguided?

Of course not. Doing nothing is not an option. We may not know everything we would like to know about this virus, but we do know much more than we did before, and certainly more than the human race has ever known when facing a similar crisis. We have to move, and in order to move, we must select a starting point. We must make decisions based on the limited information we have, and then execute those decisions with conviction, hoping that they turn out as planned.

On the other hand, we should be aware of the sorts of errors that may cloud our judgment.

Dogmatism closes questions that ought to remain open and blinds us to any truths that go against our own prejudices and political loyalties. It precludes fruitful conversation and compromise by treating as moral those questions that are merely practical and therefore debatable. We should be rigid only on moral absolutes and be flexible in everything else. We need to bear courageously the burden of uncertainty in matters that are uncertain. We ought not cast aspersions on the motives of others, when a plausible case can be made that they are simply reading the data differently.

Another common error is the “sunk cost” fallacy: when we continue down a path — even in the face of evidence that it is the wrong way — merely because we have already gone so far down it, or because we staked so much of our reputations on it. Then there is confirmation bias, the error by which we ask how new data support our preferred conclusion, rather than whether they do so in fact.

Wisdom lies not in having a great deal of knowledge, but in honestly identifying the limits of our knowledge. Socrates was the wisest man in Athens precisely because he believed himself to be ignorant. We ought to be suspicious of politicians, media talking heads, conspiracy theorists, and social media warriors who profess to be wise. Their alluring reductions and ideologies are leading us astray and tearing us apart.

Above all, let us have the humility to admit when we are wrong. If anything is certain in a global pandemic, it is that every one of us will be wrong some of the time.

This article has been republished with permission from The Public Discourse.

COLUMN BY

John Jalsevac

John Jalsevac is working on a PhD in medieval philosophy, with a dissertation examining Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy of memory. .

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

Fabled Singer Van Morrison rails against lockdowns in new protest songs

Finally, a musician with balls — like Morrissey. Both from across the pond. No big-time American musician has done the same — the left will DESTROY you.

For the rest of the herd, all their swagger, tough talk, rapper, gangsta, hard rock is all show — every one one of those clowns is afraid to say anything that would upset the left-autocracy.

Bravo Van!

Van Morrison rails against virus restrictions in new songs

Music legend Van Morrison said on Friday he has recorded three “protest songs” against the UK government’s coronavirus lockdown measures, in which he reportedly accuses scientists of “making up crooked facts”.

By: MSN, September 18, 2020;

The Northern Irish singer-songwriter will release the new tracks — named “Born To Be Free”, “As I Walked Out”, and “No More Lockdown” — at two-week intervals from September 25.

“Morrison makes it clear in his new songs how unhappy he is with the way the government has taken away personal freedoms,” a statement said on his website announcing the releases.

In one of the trio of records, the musician sings: “No more government overreach / No more fascist bullies / Disturbing our peace.”

In another, he sings: “No more taking of our freedom / And our God given rights / Pretending it’s for our safety / When it’s really to enslave.”

Morrison also claims scientists are “making up crooked facts” to justify the restrictions, the BBC reported.

Morrison said in a statement that he was “not telling people what to do or think”.

“The government is doing a great job of that already.

“It’s about freedom of choice, I believe people should have the right to think for themselves.”

The “Brown Eyed Girl” singer had already stirred controversy last month when reportedly urging people to “fight the pseudoscience” around Covid-19, before he staged several socially distanced performances in England.

“It’s not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs,” he said, urging the music industry “to fight with me on this”.

Britain has been the worst-hit country in Europe by the coronavirus pandemic, and is currently seeing a resurgence in cases after a months-long lockdown earlier this year.

Morrison said he will debut his new songs later this month in shows at the London Palladium theatre, and make them available for download and streaming.

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New Netflix Film Sexualizes Children

Video streaming giant Netflix is drawing criticism once again, this time for hosting and promoting the film “Cuties,” which sexualizes 11-year-old girls. Having failed to learn its lesson after the trailer generated outrage last month, Netflix has gone ahead and made the movie available on its platform, despite many critics describing it as “child pornography.”

Republican lawmakers took swift action. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote a letter to Attorney General Barr, calling for an investigation into whether Netflix broke any federal laws relating to child pornography. The letter states: “These scenes in and of themselves are harmful. And it is likely that the filming of this movie created even more explicit and abusive scenes, and that pedophiles across the world in the future will manipulate and imitate this film in abusive ways.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote a letter to the CEO of Netflix, demanding that he explain the company’s decision to publish this harmful content. He asked why the film was rated “TV-MA” for language with no mention of the sexual content, whether Netflix considered the psychological and emotional impacts from the sexualization of minors or the effect of the film on children, and why the company marketed the film so suggestively.

Netflix is deeply intertwined with the agenda of the sexual revolution. Just last year, Netflix threatened to boycott Georgia if a pro-life law went into effect. Legalized abortion perpetuates the myth that there are “no consequences” to engaging in sex outside of marriage, and it is often used by sexual abusers of children to cover up their crimes. By releasing the film “Cuties” to its viewers, Netflix is now actively participating in the sexual exploitation of minors.

Parents should be aware that Netflix may try to market the film to teens. A 2020 Report from the Parents Television Council found that over half of the content in categories for teens was rated “R” or “TV-MA.”

Parents have their work cut out for them if they want to protect their kids from the propaganda of the sexual revolution and its anti-Christian ideology. Even once-safe kids programs like ArthurSesame Street, and The Baby-Sitters Club are pushing LGBT propaganda, while public schools seek to sexualize children at increasingly earlier ages.

My family ended our financial support of Netflix’s immoral programming long ago, but many more are canceling their subscriptions now. A Change.org petition to cancel Netflix subscriptions in response to “Cuties” has earned over 650,000 signatures.

It’s clear that Netflix believes it is too large to be held accountable for its despicable content. But parents can and should send the company a clear message by refusing to sponsor the sexual exploitation of children.

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

Family Breakdown and the Rise of Identity Politics

With months of race riots continuing in the United States, identity politics is a phrase all too familiar to us in 2020.

Often credited to French philosopher Michel Foucault, identity politics is a window on the world that sees all social relationships as a power struggle. Black versus white, male versus female, gay versus straight, and on the list goes. Each group, according to this worldview, is battling it out to advance their particular political agenda.

With humour and precision, Michael Bird, a lecturer at Ridley College, explains that in the new social pyramid:

Your authority derives not so much from achievement or ability, but from your minority status and experiences of victimisation. So, that means in an argument, a white woman trumps a white man; a black woman trumps a white woman, a disabled woman trumps a black woman, and a disabled black transgendered Muslim refugee trumps pretty much everybody.

Late last year, Australians watching Q&A encountered a rather confronting example of this new creed. One of the visiting guests was Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy, whose writings have appeared in The Washington Post, the New York Times and beyond.

To viewers’ surprise, Eltahawy labelled Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison a “white supremacist” and a “patriarchal authoritarian”. She went on to explain that, “for me, as a feminist, the most important thing is to destroy patriarchy.” At one point, Eltahawy bypassed the panel to address the audience directly:

How long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us, and to stop raping us? How many rapists must we kill — not by the state, because I disagree with the death penalty… until men stop raping us?

Behind her biting words, of course, Eltahawy had some genuine grievances. Domestic violence, for instance, affects women especially, and it’s an issue dealt with by police every two minutes in Australia. Sexual abuse remains a serious problem in our societies, and one that predominantly affects women, too.

There are many social ills in the modern world, and they should concern us all. But Eltahawy’s biting tone was unnerving, and it is becoming more commonplace.

Westerners are finding it increasingly difficult to sift social concerns from heated ideas like identity politics. The pressure is on now, not just to provide care to the disadvantaged, but to prove your sincerity by embracing politicised viewpoints. Resentment, victimhood and grievance are the new currency.

In the interests of equality, we are learning to assume the best about some people and the worst about others, even if we haven’t met them. This hardly feels like progress. How did it all come to this?

Essayist and author Mary Eberstadt recently addressed this question in her book Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. It’s a title worth the price of entry.

Until the 1960s, Western sexual ethics were more or less Christian sexual ethics: a man married a woman; sex was reserved for that covenant; children were a natural result; and the family unit was the safe place for children to be raised.

The Sexual Revolution changed all that. As faith waned and morals loosened after the wars, personal happiness was one pursuit we could all agree on. Sexual fulfilment played a crucial role in this. Consequently, rates of infidelity, divorce, teenage sex and unmarried pregnancy began to soar from the 60s, and they have stayed high ever since.

Other forces were at play. Abortion and the pill turned sex into a childless exchange. This made marriage optional. IVF therapies took this a step further by enabling children to be born in the absence of either a father or a mother. So what the family unit looks like now is limited only to the imagination.

Many consider all of these benign trends of the modern world, but Eberstadt disagrees. Having researched and published widely in this field, Eberstadt credits the Sexual Revolution and its impact on the family unit with a “sharp rise in psychiatric trouble among the young… the explosion of loneliness on a scale never before recorded [and] the rise in so-called ‘deaths of despair’ that are plainly related to loss of love.”

She explains how the weakening of family ties and identity has led to a ‘longing for belonging’ among many in the West. She quotes Arthur Schlesinger Jr, who reasoned that:

“the more people feel themselves adrift in a vast, impersonal, anonymous sea, the more desperately they swim toward any familiar, intelligible, protective life-raft; the more they crave a politics of identity.”

In other words, says Eberstadt, the breakdown of loving, stable homes in the West has prompted us to look for family and loyalty elsewhere.

Enter identity politics.

Mary Eberstadt’s thesis is a compelling one — that the erosion of the family unit has led us to find our identity in fragmented groups. Whether or not hers is the best explanation for the social splintering we now see in the West, it is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.

Having taken individualism to an extreme and tasted the loneliness it can cause, we now face a new kind of tribal warfare — a postmodern caste system. We are losing the ability to see each other as individuals, and instead as mere symbols of rival groups.

This is not progress. We will need something greater than the sum of our parts to pull us back together. Perhaps we can begin with the wise words of C.S. Lewis, who said:

We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.

This content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license.

COLUMN BY

Kurt Mahlburg

Kurt Mahlburg is a teacher, freelance writer, and the Features Editor of the Canberra Declaration. He contributes regularly at the Spectator Australia, Caldron Pool and The Good Sauce. He hosts his own… .

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Social Isolation Is Damaging an Entire Generation of Kids

By keeping healthy children under quarantine, we are cruelly depriving them of the in-person free play and social interaction that are critical to their development and emotional well-being.


I read an advice article at Slate recently where a mom of a nearly five-year-old daughter wrote in to express concern that her child hasn’t seen any friends in five months, since COVID-19 lockdowns began. She said:

Because of COVID, my husband and I have decided to skip [pre-K] altogether and teach her everything she needs to know before kindergarten ourselves. This doesn’t worry me academically, but I am concerned about her development and the loss of the social interaction she was going to experience.

The advice columnist responded that the mom shouldn’t worry about her child’s social isolation, saying:

She is part of a whole generation of quarantined 5-year-olds. It’ll take her a while to catch up once she reenters society, sure—but it’s going to take everyone a while.

This resignation to ongoing government lockdowns, endless social distancing, mandatory mask orders, and travel restrictions—even as the virus wanes in the US—is damaging to our social and economic health, and may be particularly problematic for children who are separated from their peers.

While some evidence suggests that young people are faring well outside of forced schooling, with less school-induced stress and anxiety, the same research indicates that children and teens are missing their friends dearly. Social isolation seems to be taking a toll. With most large, urban school districts planning remote-learning only this fall, the isolation is likely to continue for many children—unless parents step in to alleviate this loneliness.

An article in The Wall Street Journal exposed the impact of pandemic-related social isolation on children and adolescents: “‘Of all age groups, this virus is probably more socially devastating to teens than any other group. They are bored and they are lonely,’ says Joseph P. Allen, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.”

Another recent Journal article reinforced these unintended consequences of the lockdowns and social distancing on adolescents, and particularly girls: “Adolescent girls already were experiencing record-high levels of loneliness, anxiety and depression before the pandemic, according to Mary Pipher, a clinical psychologist and author of Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls ‘All of the things that a year ago were increasing girls’ depression have been exacerbated by the pandemic,’ [said] Dr. Pipher.”

Regardless of whether or not you think schools should reopen for in-person learning this fall, the reality is that kids need to be around other kids to play, socialize, and learn.

They don’t need this play, socializing, and learning to happen in schools.

In fact, they may find much more authentic, satisfying social play and learning outside of a conventional classroom. Peter Gray, research professor of psychology at Boston College, has written extensively on the importance of unstructured childhood social play for children’s health and well-being. In a June interview with NPR, Gray said:

Play is crucial to children’s development. And much of my research shows that over the last few decades, our children have been very play deprived. They spend so much time in school, so much time that homework after school, so much time in adult-directed activities which are not fully play — play is activity that children develop themselves — that children take control of themselves and their children learn to be independent and solve their own problems.

(To learn more about this, see Gray’s book Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life.)

If they were play-deprived prior to the pandemic, then many children may be more play-deprived now, as they have been cut-off from peers for nearly six months. Gray has documented the correlation between the decline in play and the rise in childhood and adolescent mental health disorders. This is something that is deeply concerning now as children, and especially adolescents, are even more distanced from their peers.

While technology has been a lifesaver for all of us during the pandemic, it has also consumed a much larger portion of children’s lives. A new report released this month by the Children’s Hospital of Chicago found that 63 percent of teens are using social media more than they did pre-pandemic, and more than half of their parents indicate that social media use is having a negative impact on their kids.

Perhaps more startling, the survey found that 68 percent of parents say that social media is interfering with their teen’s ability to have normal social interactions. Concerns about social media use and its impact on teen mental and social health were widespread before the pandemic, but it could be particularly troubling now as social media use soars while many teens remain separated from their friends.

The continued quarantining of healthy children and adolescents is misguided and deprives them of the childhood play and in-person social interaction that are critical to their growth and development. FEE’s Jon Miltimore wrote a great article recently saying this very thing, and providing international data on the low risks of COVID-19 on children. The health risks to children of the virus may be small, but the risks to children’s mental and emotional health from forced separation from peers is not. Miltimore writes:

The best scientific evidence we have shows that children have the least to fear from COVID-19. As the CDC points out, the common flu is far more dangerous for children than the coronavirus. A society that deprives children of the basic freedom to gather to play, learn, explore, and socialize does them a grave injustice, one that will result in far more harm than good. Fortunately, we have ample evidence and real-life examples that show the costs of quarantining healthy children far outweigh the benefits.

The OECD recently issued a report detailing the global harm the pandemic response is inflicting on children’s social and economic health and well-being, especially poor children. Its recommendation to combat these detrimental effects is to add more government interventions and mandates, particularly in social services, healthcare, and education.

But adding more layers of government involvement to fix the problems created by government lockdown policies puts expensive Band-Aids on injuries that could be alleviated by loosening the lockdowns.

What Can Parents Do?

So what can parents do? While they may not be able to lift government orders, parents can lift some of their self-imposed social distancing practices to help their children and teens avoid continued isolation and the damaging consequences that can arise from being disconnected from their peers.

Take the steps to connect your children with other children for play dates and social interactions, and encourage older children and teens to reach out to their friends to organize in-person get-togethers.

If schools aren’t open for in-person learning, consider creating a “pandemic pod” this fall for consistent group play and learning, and encourage teens to gather for small, in-person study groups and co-learning. Push back against the creeping government control of family life, and question the politicians and pundits who keep telling you, and especially your kids, to stay home.

COLUMN BY

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019). She is also an adjunct scholar at The Cato Institute and a regular Forbes contributor. Kerry has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children. You can sign up for her weekly newsletter on parenting and education here.

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