Domestic Violence More Than Doubled Under Lockdowns, New Study Finds

New research shows that domestic violence surged during quarantine.


The unintended consequences of the COVID-19 lockdowns have been severe: mass unemployment, increased drug overdoses and suicides, and widespread social unrest are but a few of them.

On Monday, the National Bureau of Economic Research released a paper detailing another: increased domestic violence.

Analyzing government-mandated lockdowns in India, researchers Saravana Ravindran and Manisha Shah found evidence of a 131 percent increase in complaints of domestic violence in May 2020 in “red zone districts,” or districts that experienced the strictest lockdown measures, relative to districts that had less strict measures (“green zones”).

The researchers, who used a difference-in-differences empirical strategy, found the increase in domestic violence complaints was consistent with a surge in Google search activity for terms related to domestic violence over the same period.

The authors’ findings “contribute to a growing literature on the impacts of lockdowns and stay-at-home policies on violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The findings, which also found a decline in reported sexual assaults because of decreased mobility, are similar to those from research that found lockdowns led to a 100 percent increase in intimate partner violence calls in Mexico City. A study analyzing data from police departments in four US cities showed smaller increases in domestic violence, 10-27 percent, during lockdown periods.

Globally about one-third of women experience “intimate partner violence” (IPV), which negatively impacts female earnings, labor participation, earnings, mental health, and household consumption.

The global increase in domestic violence during the lockdown period has received relatively little attention, though CNN recently reported on the increase south of the US border.

In Mexico, federal lawmakers shut down most of its economy on March 23, urging people to stay indoors. Activists told the network the action spurred “an onslaught of domestic violence,” and data show 911 calls for domestic violence are up 44 percent from the same time the previous year.

“The lockdowns triggered violence in so many ways,” Perla Acosta Galindo, Director of Más Sueños A.C., a women’s community center, told CNN. “People can’t work, there’s alcoholism, overcrowding; it’s a lot.”

To some degree, the COVID pandemic has been portrayed as a morality play. Some would have you believe those who care about people support lockdowns; those who don’t care about people oppose them. We’re presented with false choices: we can support the economy or protect American lives.

These types of arguments only serve to divide. They can also obscure a basic truth: there are human costs to lockdowns, besides the economic ones, that can ravage lives just as badly as any disease.

The Washington Post, for example, recently reported on ”a hidden epidemic within the coronavirus pandemic”: drug overdoses. One Ohio coroner said he can’t process the bodies fast enough.

“We’ve literally run out of wheeled carts to put them on,” Anahi Ortiz told the paper.

Statistics suggest the trend is national in scope. Data from the Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program show that overdoses were up 18 percent in March, 29 percent in April, and 42 percent in May from the same periods the previous year.

These statistics should come as no surprise. Social scientists have been writing about the deadly consequences of social isolation for years.

It’s not just higher stress levels, disrupted sleep patterns, and altered immune systems. One 2015 study determined that social isolation substantially increased the risk of stroke (32 percent) and heart disease (29 percent).

Social isolation is also linked to suicide. While there is no comprehensive 2020 data on suicides, anecdotal evidence suggests many are struggling to cope with quarantine life. In May, during the peak of the lockdowns, one California doctor told local media his hospital has seen “a year’s worth of suicide attempts in the last four weeks.”

As the French economist Frédéric Bastiat stressed, every policy, “produces not only one effect, but a series of effects.” The immediate and intended effects are what he calls “the seen,” while the indirect, unintended consequences are “the unseen.” “The seen” usually gets all the attention, while “the unseen” often goes neglected.

In this case, “the seen” are the victims of the virus and those who hopefully avoid spreading or catching the disease because of the lockdowns. They are, without a doubt, worthy of our care and attention.

But we also must not ignore “the unseen”: the millions of human beings who, as a result of the lockdowns, have become victims of domestic violence, drug overdoses, depression, suicide, and more.

As Antony Davies and James Harrigan wrote, “The uncomfortable truth is that no policy can save lives; it can only trade lives.” It may one day be determined that the lockdowns saved more lives than they destroyed, although recent evidence suggests the correlation between lockdown severity and COVID-19 deaths is weak. But let’s not underestimate the devastating human toll of this policy.

The lives ruined or snuffed out by the lockdowns deserve better than that. They deserve to be seen.

COLUMN BY

Jon Miltimore

Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has been the subject of articles in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Star Tribune. Bylines: Newsweek, The Washington Times, MSN.com, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, the Epoch Times.

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

VIDEO: THE LIE — It will be proven false.

TRANSCRIPT

Church Militant (a 501(c)4 corporation) is responsible for the content of this commentary.

All the cheats and liars are issuing calls for unity and peace now that they appear to have the upper hand.

On the political scene, it was fake-Catholic Joe Biden’s primary point in his speech to the nation on Saturday night. Meanwhile, those who do and will control him — like Occasional Cortex as just one example — are saying things like lists need to be created of Trump supporters so they can be shut out of society once the Marxists assume power.

And yes, that’s exactly what she said: Keep a database of Trump supporters to ensure they don’t get hired later on. She also took to Twitter saying, “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?”

And if that’s not enough, the blacklist is being pushed by an ex-Obama sportsperson as well. But some stalwarts on the right like the chairman of the American Conservative Union, Matt Schlapp, took to Twitter and said this about the fake calls for getting along: “For Democrats calling for unity, you may want to actually stop counting illegal votes in Nevada first.”

And he could have continued on much more extensively from there — illegal votes and counting are occurring in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.

On this matter, according to a survey released this morning by Rasmussen, two weeks before the election, only 6% of voters thought their votes would be counted correctly. Today, that number has more than quadrupled to a whopping 28%. More than a quarter of the U.S. population has serious doubts that their vote was treated fairly.

Add to that that findings from Monday show 70% of Republicans believe the election was neither fair nor free. These are gigantic numbers, and they reflect the reality that if Biden is sworn in, a large number of Americans will regard his presidency as illegitimate — because he and the Marxist Democratic machine (which has control of nearly all the states in question) simply cheated and cheated on a grand scale.

For more than four years, Americans were dragged through the daily bombardment of a pack of lies about Trump and anything they could pin on him — Russia, Ukraine, COVID, racism, rioting, the economy. If it could stick, they threw it at him.

The Democrats traffic in lies and so too do a number of Republicans who are in league with them in the swamp. And speaking of the swamp, the U.S. bishops as a body have been just as despicable, actually more so.

And the release yesterday of the long-awaited McCarrick Report drives that point home even further. Pope Francis is completely exonerated from any guilt or complicity in resurrecting McCarrick. So too are the closest associates of McCarrick, who are believed unquestioningly when they claim they were “shocked” to learn of this for the “first time” in the Summer of Shame.

It was all the fault of a canonized saint, the report concludes — and a handful of dead guys and Abp. Vigano. The report goes on for huge portions about the details of McCarrick’s foul deeds, like we all didn’t know that already, salacious details aside.

But when it comes to revealing certain things like the network that protected him, cooperated with him, personally profited by protecting him with their silence, it falls completely silent, except of course for naming the dead guys. And Vigano.

The report is, as long suspected, a giant whitewash, admitting mostly what was already known and reported by outfits like Church Militant (as well as many in the secular media).

For example, it speaks of McCarrick being well known for his cash payments — the “envelope culture” it’s called — detailing that he used to hand out envelopes full of large cash payments, but it steers very clear of saying whom he gave those to.

McCarrick handed out cash payments — large sums of money — for decades, especially to many in Rome. He used to carry that cash in his diplomatic pouch while traveling. But it’s certainly strange that the report confesses that again (since it is already well known) but deliberately fails to say who got the cash.

Likewise, the most well-known victim of “Uncle Ted,” a man who endured almost two decades of reprehensible abuse, James Grein, is never mentioned by name. His entire life is reduced to a mere footnote near the end of the report, and only then in reference to John Paul.

To have assembled a report on McCarrick with no reference to Grein whatsoever would be like issuing a study on the Scriptures without writing one syllable about the Holy Spirit. Unless you are a person fascinated with details about something you already have a working knowledge of, this report is a waste of time.

The very information so urgently sought of Pope Francis simply is not there. It can’t be. His inner circle, those who owe their careers to McCarrick, are the very ones advising and counseling the Pope — and Pope Francis knows that.

So what’s the relationship between the lies coming from the political Left and the deception coming from Rome? They are both pretending to want unity, but they despoil the word. Faithful Catholics and conservative Americans have simply lost trust in the respective institutions and those who run them.

Giant tech, Joe Biden, news media, higher education, you name it: They are no longer to be trusted. Likewise with Rome, a cesspool of deceit and cover-up. And neither camp is ever held to account — in this life, that is.

They want a phony unity, built on the lie. And what is the lie? The lie is that what matters is this world and this world alone, with no reference to God. The political Marxists out and out deny God and instrumentalize the good of the earth.

The theological Left doesn’t out and out deny God, but they instrumentalize the things of God. But each group is serving the Devil. Period. There is no such thing as unity built on a lie. Unity can only be had when it is built on truth.

The Vatican as well as Washington, D.C. have placed themselves in the service of the lie — both politically and theologically. This must be resisted with every fiber of your being. You must fight this evil — even if you have to die in the fight. But surrender is not an option.

Compromise with the Devil (in politics and especially morality) is how a person’s earthly life and, most especially, eternal life are doomed.

©Church Militant. All rights reserved.

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PODCAST: Trump and Supporters Wage Legal Battles Across U.S.

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Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues – including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform — as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. His analysis and commentary have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, Politico, Human Events, National Review Online and Townhall. Along with John Fund, he is the co-author of Who’s Counting? How Fraudsters and Bureaucrats Put Your Vote at Risk and Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department

TOPIC: Trump and supporters wage legal battles across US!

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Rev. Ben Johnson is a managing editor of the Acton Institute’s flagship publication, Religion & Liberty. He also work focuses on the principles necessary to create a free and virtuous society in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. His writings have appeared in The (UK) Guardian, Human Events, The Stream, Real Clear Policy, Aleteia.org, Conservative Review, The Daily Caller, and have been cited by National Review, CBS News, and Fox News. He was managing editor of FrontPage Magazine and U.S. Bureau Chief at LifeSiteNews. He is the author of two books on tax-exempt foundations, as well as Party of Defeat (2008, Spence, with David Horowitz). Before turning to online journalism and editing, he spent more than a decade in all facets of radio broadcasting, including news and talk.

TOPIC: Kamala Harris’ ‘Equality vs. Equity’ video endorses injustice and discrimination.

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Trump suspended entry of migrants from Syria, Somalia, and Yemen over terror risk, Biden could admit 125,000

What could possibly go wrong? Celebrate diversity, you greasy Islamophobe!

“US Cuts Refugee Admissions, Creating Doubt for Tens of Thousands of Applicants,” by Aline Barros, VOA, November 6, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

The United States will admit a maximum of 15,000 refugees for fiscal 2021, an all-time low, according to a notice the Trump administration published Friday in the Federal Register.

The administration also suspended entry of most refugees from Syria, Somalia and Yemen, citing terrorism risks….

Humanitarian organizations told VOA the number of Syrian, Somali and Yemeni refugees already referred for resettlement in the U.S. was almost double the number established by the cap.

As of October 27, nonprofit groups confirmed that 27,023 individuals were in the “pipeline” for resettlement in the United States, pending security checks.

The breakdown among the countries was 12,924 from Somalia, 14,084 from Syria and 15 people from Yemen, according to two humanitarian organizations….

Contacted by VOA, a State Department spokesman declined to comment on whether refugees from Somalia, Yemen and Syria already in the resettlement process would be rejected based on their nationality or the lowered refugee cap.

Friday’s notice specifies that exceptions can be made for refugees of the three restricted nations “who have been persecuted or have a well-founded fear of persecution on account of religion” or were referred by a U.S. embassy….

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden vowed during the campaign to raise the refugee admissions ceiling to 125,000….

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

Joe Biden’s ‘Transition Agenda’ is Full of Big Government Power Grabs

Biden’s rhetoric focuses on restoring order and stability amid emergency, but the details of his transition agenda involve a radical upheaval of our economy.


Joe Biden plans to hit the ground running after Inauguration Day.

Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris, have released a sweeping transition agenda they hope to implement after taking power. It focuses on several main issues: COVID-19, economic stimulus, racial equity, and climate change.

While Biden campaigned as a moderate Democrat, this transition agenda is very radical. It includes a whole host of policies that go far beyond the “return to normalcy” rhetoric that defined his campaign.

For example, Biden promises to respond to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic by further making use of the Defense Production Act. The emergency law allows the federal government to seize control of private industries and dictate their manufacturing. Biden says he would use this power to commandeer more private manufacturers and force them to build up the US’s supply of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

Biden also says he would use the COVID-19 crisis as cause to push for a massive expansion of government control of Americans’ healthcare.

Per his transition website, Biden will push for a government-run “public option” that “competes” with private health care companies.

As Pacific Research Institute healthcare analyst Sally Pipes has explained, this would lead to socialized healthcare in short order. Why?

Well, the government can force medical providers to accept lower rates and subsidize itself. Businesses can’t. No private company can “compete” with an institution that writes the rules of the game. They could eventually all go out of business, leaving just the government.

Biden says this plan is needed in the name of emergency pandemic response. But his public option would prove more than a short-term measure—it would almost certainly put the US on the path to permanent government-run healthcare for all.

On the economic front, Biden’s rhetoric focuses on restoring order and stability, but the details of his transition agenda involve a radical transformation of our economy toward more state control and intervention.

For example, Biden’s emergency economic recovery plan includes permanently implementing a federal $15 minimum wage. Slipped into his crisis response, this provision would put national price controls on the labor market and, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, eliminate millions of jobs.

That’s right: Biden has snuck a highly-debated big-government economic policy into the fine print of his COVID-19 emergency plan. And this quiet economic overhaul extends beyond the minimum wage.

“This is no time to just build back to the way things were before, with the old economy’s structural weaknesses and inequalities still in place,” reads Biden’s transition website. “This is the moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and the next generation.”

This overhaul would include a federal bailout for bankrupt state and local governments and further expansion of what was supposed to be a short-term, ultra-generous augmentation of unemployment benefits. Indeed, remember the benefits that paid 70 percent of the unemployed more to stay home on welfare than to go back to work?

Biden wants to extend what was sold as an emergency measure. (And, I’m sure, extend it after that, and after that…)

The obvious labor disincentive created evidently does not concern Biden, or, he has decided it is a price worth paying for a massive expansion of the welfare state. So, too, Biden would seize upon the pandemic to inject the government further into the labor market through the creation of a “Public Health Jobs Corps.”

And, as part of his “emergency” economic response, Biden wants to pass the PRO Act, a law permanently destroying many gig economy jobs and erasing right-to-work laws nationwide.

Oh, and don’t forget about climate change, of course.

The Biden-Harris transition agenda also promises to immediately address climate change and “achieve a carbon-pollution-free power sector by 2035.” In pursuit of this drastic goal they would inject government resources into the upgrading of 4 million buildings and 2 million homes as well as promoting the construction of 1.5 million new “sustainable” housing units.

We should acknowledge that all of these policy overhauls are eminently debatable. While free-marketeers and fiscal conservatives will no doubt find many of them harmful, people of good faith may support the Biden agenda.

What’s really disheartening is the quiet manner in which clearly radical policy provisions have been slipped into the Biden transition agenda and emergency response. In this, we can observe one of the perennial dangers of government power—that it will seize on emergencies to expand, yet never fully recede.

This is the danger economist Robert Higgs identified in his seminal work Crisis and Leviathan as “the Ratchet Effect.” As I’ve written before:

Higgs showed how throughout history, crises have been used to excuse government power grabs. After each crisis, the government lets go of some of the power, but never all of it. As a result, the federal government’s power (the Leviathan) has ‘ratcheted up,’ crisis after crisis, throughout the last hundred years.

This is seemingly what the transition agenda is constructed to do.

Of course, Biden and Harris have every right to argue for their progressive, big-government agenda once in office. However, we should all demand that they be upfront with the American people about what they are doing.

Otherwise, millions may unknowingly acquiescence to permanent government power grabs—masquerading as short-term emergency measures—that we may never fully be able to reverse.

COLUMN BY

Brad Polumbo

Brad Polumbo (@Brad_Polumbo) is a libertarian-conservative journalist and Opinion Editor at the Foundation for Economic Education.

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

The ATF Has Become a Rogue Agency That Turns Lawful Gun Owners Into Felons

Over and over again, innocent people unwittingly find themselves in the ATF’s crosshairs.


What if government agents could, by declaration, make you into a criminal? What if, without legislative change, bureaucrats could decide that what was legal yesterday is a felony today? What if we were governed not by law, but by arbitrary statements telling us what we may or may not do?

Unfortunately, those questions are not merely hypothetical—thanks to recent abuses of power by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), millions of American gun owners are facing them head-on. Even if you hate guns, you should be deeply concerned by the arbitrary power wielded by the ATF against your fellow Americans. If an unchecked executive agency can run roughshod over any of our rights with impunity, all of our rights are in danger.

Recently, the firearms manufacturer Q, LLC shared disturbing news with its customers: the ATF had declared the delightfully-named and popular “Honey Badger” pistol to be a “short-barreled rifle” (SBR). This determination subjects the firearm to special restrictions under the National Firearms Act (NFA). As a consequence of the ATF’s decision, customers who had purchased the Honey Badger have suddenly found themselves in felonious possession of a now-illegal firearm that they had legally acquired and legally owned.

The ATF’s determination is arbitrary. It is inconsistent with both federal law and prior ATF statements. Substantially similar firearms continue to be sold legally, as they have been for years. Instead of explaining what makes the Honey Badger different from those firearms, the ATF vaguely alluded to “objective design features,” offering no further explanation as to what those features are or why they lead the ATF to determine that the Honey Badger is an SBR.

This is far from the first time that the ATF has issued a declaration that turns innocent people into criminals — other examples abound. As I explained in Felony by Fiat:

In 2015, the ATF decided that the physical action of holding a pistol equipped with an ATF-approved brace to one’s shoulder was equivalent to creating an illegal short-barreled firearm. That is to say, you could pick up your perfectly legal pistol (which is not otherwise subject to the NFA’s minimum barrel length restrictions) and unwittingly commit a felony by virtue of the way you held it. That guidance directly contradicted a 2014 ATF letter that said just the opposite. In 2017, new guidance was issued which appears to sanction the shouldering of a braced pistol so long as such use is ‘incidental, sporadic, or situational’ — whatever that means.

And:

Just last year, the ATF issued new measurement guidelines that transformed some conventionally legal pistols into presumptively illegal firearms under the NFA’s ‘any other weapon’ (AOW) classification, depending on how those pistols had been configured and accessorized.

In 2018, at President Trump’s direction, the ATF created rules banning the possession of bump stocks, devices which use a gun’s recoil to facilitate rapid operation of the trigger.

As Reason’s Jacob Sullum noted, the ATF’s regulatory move made “owners of ‘bump-stock-type devices’…felons, subject to a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.”

Join us in preserving the principles of economic freedom and individual liberty for the rising generation

The bump stock ban was more prominent than other instances of the ATF’s lawless policymaking. Nonetheless, the ban was met with little outcry or appreciation of its implications.

But, as you can see from the other cases detailed here, the ATF’s ban on bump stocks was not an aberration: it was just one of countless regulatory changes, before and since, that have turned lawful gun owners into criminals by executive fiat.

The ATF is not a lawmaking body—or, at least, it is not supposed to be. It is an executive agency tasked with enforcing laws passed by Congress.

The ATF is not empowered to create policy of its own accord, and it’s certainly not empowered to turn law-abiding citizens into criminals, but that’s exactly what it has been doing. Sadly, there’s no hyperbole in the observation that millions of legal gun owners must wonder: Will I wake up tomorrow to find that I’ve been declared a felon?

The rule of law is a fundamental value of a free society. We are not to be governed by edict, but only by laws that are consistent with the Constitution and created according to its provisions. The purpose of government is to protect us from arbitrary and illegitimate force, and to secure our rights—not to be the agent of their destruction.

The ATF itself has come to embody the exercise of arbitrary and illegitimate power. Such a perversion of government’s purpose must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. No matter how much our opinions about gun control laws diverge, we should be united in rejecting executive agencies’ usurpations of sovereignty.

COLUMN BY

Mark Houser

Mark Houser is an independent researcher who writes about the right to bear arms and firearm policy.

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

Discipline Suffers as San Diego Schools Adopt ‘Anti-Racism’ Grading System

Equality is out and “equity” is in.

The San Diego Unified School District has approved a change to their grading system that coincides with broader ideas of restorative justice and “anti-racism.”

They will do this by no longer letting late assignments and bad behavior in the classroom affect grades. Students also won’t be penalized for not showing up to class at all.

Only “mastery” of a subject, whatever that means, will count for grading purposes. Students will also receive a separate grade for “citizenship.”

This change was made, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, because of data showing that there are disparities between the number of white and minority students who receive “D” and “F” grades. The San Diego Tribune reported:

District data have shown that Black, Hispanic, Native American and Pacific Islander high school students are significantly more likely to be given D and F grades. Black students received D or F grades 20 percent of the time and Hispanic students received them 23 percent of the time, while White students received them 7 percent of the time and Asian students received them 6 percent of the time, according to data from the first semester of the last school year. The district-wide average for D and F grades was 16 percent.

The San Diego School District’s policy change is consistent with the Obama administration’s push to crack down on racial disparities in school discipline through legal threat.

The Trump administration and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded that policy, but school districts can still choose to follow the policies if they wish to.

The San Diego School District concluded that the disparity in their schools must be a product of racism, or at least insufficient “anti-racism.”

“This is part of our honest reckoning as a school district,” San Diego Unified School District Vice President Richard Barrera said to a local San Diego NBC affiliate. “If we’re actually going to be an anti-racist school district, we have to confront practices like this that have gone on for years and years.”

It must be noted that the ideology of anti-racism, popularized by intellectuals like Ibram X. Kendi, is based strongly on critical race theories and other ideas once consigned to the radical fringe of college campuses.

And anti-racism, ironically enough, often looks like plain old racism, as its adherents—like Kendi—openly promote racial discrimination as a means to creating more equity.

Broad trends in behavior leading to unequal outcomes, according to the anti-racists, must inherently be a product of racism. No other explanation is acceptable.

Behavioral problems are not seen as the impediment to success. Instead, it’s the punishments for behavioral problems that are the problem.

While there may be some justification for treating late assignments and misbehavior in classrooms differently than subject grades, one wonders how better outcomes for minority students are ultimately being promoted by this change?

As Virginia Walden Ford, a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation, explained on a Heritage panel in 2018, breakdowns in classroom discipline creates a terrible classroom environment for children who want to learn.

Walden Ford, who was one of the black students chosen to help integrate Arkansas schools in the 1960s and is the subject of the movie “Miss Virginia,” explained how a school program she ran in Arkansas was made worse by the changes to disciple policies.

Students who wanted to learn were made to feel unsafe “because the kids that were creating a lot of the discipline problems” got “a slap on the hand” instead of real punishments.

The result is that misbehaving students kept misbehaving, and other students had a tougher time because classrooms were out of control.

This seems to be a bad way to go about helping students who are struggling in the classroom.

Teaching children that there are no consequences or minimal consequences for not showing up on time or misbehavior will probably have more negative consequences for a person later in life than a bad test score.

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: .

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

Science Nazis Demand Obedience To Their Political Agenda

We’ve seen this before.


Whether the issue is “Climate Change” or ways of dealing with COVID-19 the Radical Left ridicules anyone who would dare to question their positions on critical issues.  They accuse those who question them or their claims of not believing in science.

Consider the Yahoo News report that AOL posted on October 26, 2020, Bill Gates slams Trump’s COVID-19 adviser as  ‘pseudo-expert’ who’s ‘off-the-rails’ which began with this excerpt:

In a new interview, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates sharply criticized the Trump administration for muzzling experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) while instead listening to White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, whom Gates calls a pseudo-expert” whooff-the-rails.”

Atlas, a member of the administrations coronavirus task force who formerly appeared as a commentator for Fox News, reportedly opposes an expansion of COVID testing and earlier this month posted a tweet falsely downplaying the effectiveness of masks. Twitter later removed the post from Atlas, a Stanford University professor with a medical degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

We now have a pseudo-expert advising the president,” Gates, the former Microsoft (MSFT) CEO and a leading backer of global public health initiatives, told Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in an interview that aired on Monday as part of the the news organizationAll Markets Summit.

After the interview, taped on Oct. 15, Gates confirmed that he had made the comments in reference to Atlas, who has opposed lockdowns and co-authored an op-ed in The Hill called The COVID-19 shutdowns will cost Americans millions of years of lives.”

This article is important for a number of reasons.  First of all, Gates demonstrated colossal chutzpah to insult a medical doctor who graduated from a highly respected medical school and serves as a professor at Stanford University, while Gates, himself, never attended any medical school.

In fact, Gates has no degree of any kind!

What then, could possibly qualify Gates to pass judgement on the credibility of a medical doctor especially one with the clear credentials of Dr. Scott Atlas even as he castigated President Trump for challenging the contradictory and morphing advice of Dr. Fauci.

The AOL/Yahoo article stated that Twitter had removed what they claimed was a tweet posted by Dr. Atlas that they claim falsely downplayed the effectiveness of masks.

It is more than a bit disturbing that Twitter censored Dr. Atlas and, in so doing, prevented the general public from benefitting from his perspectives.  This should alarm everyone.

About 20 years ago I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.  The surgeon who examined me and told me of my situation was the chief of urology at a major New York Hospital and chaired the department of urology at a major medical school.

However, while he told me that he believed that he could save my life, he urged me to seek out at least one additional opinion so that I would be confident that I was making the proper decision.

I did seek out that second opinion and my medical insurance policy covered that second opinion, because this notion of seeking additional opinions is considered the standard way for people to make certain that they are making proper life and death decisions.

Needless to say, my surgeon saved my life- this a good thing because I have not aggravated my quota yet!

Where science and the Radical Left are concerned, however, not blindly following what their anointed experts proclaim, is an act of heresy.

This flies in the face of commonsense and threatens the First Amendment and all of our freedoms.

In doing a bit of research I found a similar situation that existed in a different country many years ago.

That country was Germany as the Third Reich began taking control of Germany and its population, Jews came under vicious attack.  No less a scientist that Albert Einstein was attacked for his work.  Scientific America on February 13, 2015 published an important article about the lunacy that transpired at that time, How 2 Pro-Nazi Nobelists Attacked Einsteins “Jewish Science” [Excerpt].

The article discussed the mass book burnings carried out on college campuses, not unlike the way that Antifa operates today.  Books authored by Albert Einstein were incinerated.  Here is an important paragraph from this article:

It would be absurd, of course, to suppose that most of the book-burners had given these questions a moments thought. The simple fact was that Einstein was a prominent Jew, and his thoughts therefore fit for the bonfire. But Einsteins theory was attacked on racial grounds. This assault came not by asinine ideologues in the party whose knowledge of science extended no further than a belief in fairy tales about cosmic ice,” nor from individuals on the scientific fringe seeking official approval and support. It was orchestrated by two Nobel laureates in physics, who devised a full-blown thesis (it cant be dignified by calling it a theory) on how stereotypical racial features are exhibited in scientific thinking. They were Philipp Lenard and Johannes Stark, and they wanted to become the new Führers of German physics.

Einstein’s Theories of Relativity and his concept of Space-Time were mocked and ridiculed by two Nazi Nobel laureates.

Of course nearly all of Einstein’s brilliant theories have been validated in recent years by scientists and physicists who now have the technological tools to conduct appropriate experiments.

Understandably fearing for his life,  Einstein fled Nazi Germany and came to America where, ironically, he helped America defeat Fascism in Germany and Japan and, in so doing, safeguarded freedom for people across the globe.

Today the Radical Left demands obedience to theories about climate change that support their demands for the “New Green Deal” even as some scientists question the validity of the notion that human actions have climatological consequences that must be stopped at all costs.

They seek nothing short of a fundamental transformation in the way that we live and work and these demands can only be justified by claiming that catastrophic climate change can only be averted if we adopt draconian changes.

Science has always been about challenges beliefs and devising experiments to seek the truth.

To cite an interesting example of how highly respected scientists may come to diametrically opposed conclusions consider a pair of articles that ran on the same website (Space.com) on two consecutive days.

On October 19, 2020, that website posted, Whats Happening with Betelgeuse? Astronomers Propose a Specialized Telescope to Watch the Star Every Night.

The very next day, October 20, the website published, Wow, Betelgeuse Might Be 25% Closer than Previously Believed.

The physicists who wrote the first article postulated that because Betelgeuse is so huge and pulsating, it is likely to explode within our lifetimes.  They estimated that that star is 700 light-years from earth.  This is why they proposed the construction of a special telescope to keep an astronomical eye on that star.

However, if the physicists who published the second article are right, Betelgeuse is 548 light years away.  This would mean that the star is not nearly as large or bright as the other physicists believe.  This would mean that Betelgeuse is not likely to become a super nova any time soon- at least not for another 100,000 years by their estimates.

This may not seem important to us on our beleaguered planet, but the lessons to be learned is very important.

Experts can and do disagree.  The process of questioning is behind all of our achievements. Scientists who serve a political agenda are the scientists who must not be trusted.

Science is supposed to be the tireless search for universal truths and must be unencumbered by political agendas.

Scientists who yield to the political elite betray their professions and should be ignored as the science-fascists that they are.

Voltaire sagely observed that you could determine the intelligence of a person by considering the questions that they ask, the same questions that today will earn you scorn and ridicule by the Radical Left.

©Michael Cutler. All rights reserved.

RELATED TWEET:

PENNSYLVANIA: GOP Candidates Win Concessions From Allegheny County on Mailed Ballot Fiasco

PITTSBURGH, PA /PRNewswire/ — GOP congressional candidates Sean Parnell and Luke Negron announced today that their plan to resolve the ballot fiasco will be adopted by Allegheny County, Pennsylvania officials to ensure that every vote will be properly counted for the election. Following the agreement, a consent motion was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania outlining the solution conceived by Parnell and Negron.

“This is an important accomplishment for the people of Allegheny County,” said GOP congressional candidate for the 17th District of PennsylvaniaSean Parnell. “We are grateful that every vote will be properly counted in this critical election. It’s gratifying to be part of a real solution to resolve this ballot fiasco,” he concluded.

GOP congressional candidate for the 18th District of PennsylvaniaLuke Negron, said, “We got absolutely everything we sought in our marathon negotiations with Allegheny County. The integrity of every ballot will now be ensured by guaranteeing the integrity of every ballot.”

Lead counsel for the GOP candidates, Thomas W. King III, said, “My clients demonstrated true leadership in challenging this mailed ballot problem and pursuing a solution to ensure that every vote will count in Allegheny County.”

Adding his praise for the agreement, Phill Kline, the Director of the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society which supported the litigation, said, “The ballots for this year’s elections are integral to our fundamental rights as U.S. citizens and their integrity are essential. We applaud the candidates for proposing the solution to ensure that every vote is properly counted and Allegheny County for agreeing to the plan.”

The candidates originally filed their complaint on behalf of the citizens of Allegheny County to ensure that their ballots are safeguarded, and their votes are protected following revelations that erroneous ballots were mailed to registered voters with a second round of corrected ballots mailed thereafter.

The agreement includes a detailed plan for ensuring that every vote will count, including counting the corrected ballots for each voter and “counting only those portions of an Initial Ballot for those public offices that the individual voting that Initial Ballot would have been eligible to vote for in the individual’s proper election district.” Also, “the current practice of maintaining the Initial and Corrected Ballots within separately designated portions of the locked ballot room shall also be maintained.”

For more information on this and related issues, go to got-freedom.org.

©All rights reserved.

FLORIDA: School Districts Don’t want Parents to Know About the ‘HOPE Scholarship’

Have you, as a parent living in Florida, ever heard about the “Hope Scholarship?”


FLORIDA PARENTS PLEASE CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT THE HOPE SCHOLARSHIP


If you, as a parent of a public school student, believes your child is being harassed, intimidated or threatened by a teacher, administrator or another student then you are eligible for an up to $8,000 HOPE Scholarship to attend a private school. All you have to do is fill out a short online form available here.

WATCH: The Florida Commissioner of Education explains the HOPE Scholarship.

According to the Florida Citizens Alliance website:

Every parent wants a rewarding, effective and safe learning environment for the children. Sadly, bullying happens and every incidence of bullying matters. Florida Statute 1002.40 recognizes that no student should suffer from bullying! Get help for your student by immediately reporting the incident to the principal. Any incidence of ‘battery, harassment, hazing, bullying, kidnapping, physical attack, robbery, sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual battery, threat or intimidation, or fighting at school, at a school sponsored activity, riding on the school bus or waiting at the bus stop should be reported right away.’

WATCH: HOPE Scholarship Helps Victims of School Bullying in Florida.

NOTE: “harassment”, “threat” and “intimidation” are very expansive in terms of their defined scope!

Once a parent reports the incident, it becomes the school’s responsibility to solve the problem to their satisfaction. At the same time, the school must notify the parent of the 2 Hope Scholarship options: a transportation stipend to move their student to another public school or a scholarship to move their child to a private school. The school will likely investigate the incident, but the student’s eligibility for a Hope Scholarship is absolute and does not depend on the outcome of any investigation. Additionally, Chancellor Oliva’s March 1, 2019 letter sent to every superintendent makes it very clear that that the student is eligible simply by reporting the incident.

Quote “PLEASE NOTE THAT THE LAW DOES NOT REQUIRE SUBSTANTIATION IN ORDER FOR THE DISTRICT TO NOTIFY THE PARENT OF THE PROGRAM, and any district that is adding this requirement is in violation of the statute and administrative rule and will be dealt with according to the law.”

TO APPLY FOR A HOPE SCHOLARSHIP FOR YOUR CHILD PLEASE CLICK HERE

©Dr. Rich Swier, Ed.D. All rights reserved.

Religious Liberty in the Age of Data Surveillance and Soft Totalitarianism

Rod Dreher’s new book, already a bestseller on Amazon, examines the erosion of religious freedom in the West and draws valuable lessons from the faithful who survived under Communist oppression.


Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents
by Rod Dreher, Sentinel, 2020
256pp

Live Not By Lies is Rod Dreher’s widely-anticipated follow-up to The Benedict Option.

Since the publication of The Benedict Option in 2017, the Louisiana-based writer has risen to become one of the world’s most important social and religious commentators.

While his last work focused on the need for believing Christians to build communities of faith to sustain themselves within post-Christian societies, Live Not By Lies develops this theme further by focusing on the widespread persecution which the author believes is looming, and how Christian dissidents can stand firm and resist this.

At 214 pages in length and written in Dreher’s erudite but accessible style, the book is admirably readable and well-structured.

In Part One, the author provides an overview of the “soft totalitarianism” which is increasingly prevalent throughout Western societies, and which is posing a fast-growing threat to Christians of every denomination.

In Part Two, Dreher tells the stories of Christians who suffered within Europe’s Communist Bloc, but who refused to abandon their beliefs in spite of enduring appalling persecution.

Dreher identifies clear parallels between their experiences and the ones which many in the West may soon face.

“What if the answers to life’s questions that young Christians the world over are looking for are not to be found in the West but rather in the East — in the stories and lives of the Christian dissidents?” he writes, adding elsewhere that Christians “cannot hope to resist the coming soft totalitarianism if we do not have our spiritual lives in order.”

The book’s title comes directly from the title of the essay which Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn addressed to the Russian people before he was deported by the Soviet regime in the 1970s.

In it, Solzhenitsyn denounced the lies which underpinned the Communist system and called on his compatriots to resist the temptation to join in supporting them.

Here, in different circumstances and faced with very different opposing forces, Dreher makes a similar appeal to his readers. Those familiar with his writing in his blog at The American Conservative and elsewhere will be familiar with many of the topics he covers and the arguments he makes.

An issue which he addresses frequently is the threat to religious liberty and freedom of speech in the United States and elsewhere.

He does not exaggerate or attempt to equate this with what occurred routinely behind the Iron Curtain.

Western progressives and “woke” activists have yet to establish any gulags. Even in the midst of recent urban riots inspired by far-left militants, political violence is still mercifully rare in the West.

Outright state censorship is less of a problem than the censorship imposed by various institutions, and the cases of religious discrimination which Dreher writes about as a journalist tend to involve people losing their jobs, not losing their lives as the dissidents of Central and Eastern Europe so often did.

Today’s progressives are different to yesterday’s extreme socialists and Communists, and the lack of meaningful debate on economic questions within political discourse today attests to this.

As Dreher notes astutely, progressives are uninterested in controlling the means of economic production; instead, they focus on bringing cultural production under their complete control, and stamping out any resistance to their core, ever-shifting and ever more radical belief system.

But there are similarities, which Dreher describes in detail.

Both Communism and progressivism have set themselves up as rivals to Christianity, and true believers in these modern ideologies can see no other logical end point in human history.

Both belief systems are deeply hostile to the past, and feed upon the suffering brought about by the atomisation of post-Christian societies, where isolated individuals are left with no way of connecting with their fellow man and where many turn to abstract ideologies to find a sense of belonging which previous generations enjoyed in their families and church communities.

Both ideologies are determined to control all aspects of society and to politicise every part of life — witness the growing tendency for political protesting to be an obligatory part of professional sports, or more consequentially, the situation whereby employees in many companies are forced to wear or identify themselves with rainbow paraphernalia.

Modern progressives and old-style Communists are united in sharing a particularly limited view of freedom of religion, which they insist should extend no further than the door of a person’s church (as the history of the 20th century shows, many leftists would not even concede that much).

And most importantly, both groups see Christians as the most important remaining obstacle to their complete domination of whole societies.

In Dreher’s analysis of these secular religions, the influence of the Polish philosopher Ryszard Legutko (author of The Demon in Democracy) is very clear, and indeed, Legutko is mentioned in the acknowledgements.

Where Dreher provides the reader with the most valuable insights is in his description of how modern technology shrinks the zone of privacy which previous generations enjoyed, and his warnings about how this is already enabling growing harassment of the faithful.

China still uses the gulag, but only some individuals and groups such as the Uyghur Muslims are unfortunate enough to end up there. As Dreher notes, in most instances, the Chinese government now prefers to rely on data collection to operate a “social credit system” which rewards compliance and which punishes those like dissenting Christians who resist the government’s diktats.

Outside of China, the proliferation of social media, the concentration of power among the Big Tech firms and the rise of “woke capitalism” — where corporations prove their credentials by taking sides in political questions and occasionally taking punitive measures against Christian or conservative groups — means that people in what we still think of as the “free world” are facing increasing pressure to behave in a certain way and to avoid taking the “wrong side” on any contentious issue.

As technology develops even further and the progressive political culture grows ever stronger, this pressure will only increase, as will the number of instances where Christians find themselves under attack.

“To put it bluntly, we are being conditioned to accept a Westernised version of China’s social credit system, which will enforce the tenets of the political cult of social justice. If this ever takes root here, there will be no place to hide,” Dreher warns.

The latter half of the book focuses on harrowing examples of anti-Christian persecution which occurred in Central and Eastern Europe under Communism, and the heroic examples of those who withstood this.

The sub-title of the book is A Manual for Christian Dissidents, and based on his experience in collecting first-hand accounts from survivors, Dreher gives practical advice for how families and communities can preserve their faith and identity in spite of great obstacles being erected against them.

“We have to tell our stories — in literature, film, theatre and other media — but we must also manifest cultural memory in communal deeds — in mourning and in celebration, in solemn remembrance and festal joy,” he writes.

To enable this to happen, he urges Christians to create the parallel polis which the Czech Catholic Václav Benda advocated when he and his family were engaged in resisting the Communist government of Czechoslovakia.

These alternative social structures — existing entirely outside of the government’s control — allowed the Benda family to retain their faith in a secular society governed by an atheistic regime. It also meant that in one of the world’s most irreligious countries, all of the Benda children and grandchildren continue to practice their faith.

Dreher praises the role of classical Christian education, but recommends much more besides:

“[W]e can celebrate festivals, make pilgrimages, observe holy-day practices, pray litanies, perform concerts, hold dances, learn and teach traditional cooking — any kind of collective deed that connects the community with its shared sacred and secular history in a living way is an act of resistance to an ethos that says the past doesn’t matter.”

This advice about preserving our identity by remembering our history has particular relevance in Ireland, a nation where the idea of “progress” is particularly strong and where the past is much-maligned, along with Christianity and social conservatism.

Though there are few surprises here for someone who has read The Benedict Option and is familiar with Dreher’s overall volume of work, this book would be of value to any social or cultural observer, and to any Christian observing recent developments and pondering what the future holds in store.

As expected given his own religious background, Dreher is strongly ecumenical in his focus in describing how Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant believers stayed true to their faith.

Catholic readers will be particularly appreciative of the author’s decision to dedicate it to the memory of Father Tomislav Kolaković, a Croatian priest who played a key role in preserving the Catholic faith in Slovakia by establishing small cell groups which ensured that the underground church could not be rooted out, even when the clergy had been subdued.

Kolaković’s followers later went on to play a crucial role in the country’s transition to democracy.

They had an option to choose an easy life or a hard one, and the road they walked must have felt incredibly lonely for many years.

In the coming decades, people in the West may be presented with similarly stark choices, in situations where anti-Christian attacks are more prevalent, and where the right to remain silent and uninvolved is gradually whittled away.

History teaches us, however, that there will always be another choice.

As Dreher writes:

“You have to live in a world of lies, but it’s your choice as to whether that world lives in you.”

COLUMN BY

James Bradshaw

James Bradshaw works for an international consulting firm based in Dublin, and has a background in journalism and public policy. Outside of work, he writes for a number of publications, on topics including… 

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

We Must Return to Normal as Soon as Possible

All of us are trying to get used to the “new normal.” For some, it may be that be your company issued a work-from-home extension to 2021. Or it could be changing the majority of your medical appointments to use telemedicine or increasing the number of delivery services you use.

Many aspects of our lives have drastically changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some changes are for the better, but many changes cannot be sustainable in the long term.

One area where a “new normal” has not been successful is the virtual education that many school districts are using. Keeping students behind a laptop and away from the socialization of a classroom is not working for students or parents.


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.

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


As a father with a young kindergartener, I have experienced firsthand the difficulties so many parents are facing as we try to assist our kids with virtual learning.

This shift to virtual education is incredibly difficult on our young ones, who deserve access to in-person education, and on their parents or guardians who must act as a caretaker while juggling their own full-time jobs.

Relying on virtual learning is having a dramatic impact on the economy’s ability to rebound. During a recent hearing hosted by the Joint Economic Committee, on which I serve as the senior House Republican member, I asked economist Austan Goolsbee if schools and day care closures are a barrier to our economic growth. He replied, “100%.”

Across the country, unemployment remains well above the 50-year lows recorded earlier this year. Entire economic sectors are still unable to safely reopen or return to full capacity. Without schools opening, many parents, particularly those in low-income households, are unable to return to full-time jobs.

Right now, lower-income parents are expressing more concern about their children potentially falling behind those in higher-income groups. Parents who are fortunate enough to have the option to work from home are placed in an impossible situation: to simultaneously work while providing full-time child care.

It should be a top priority nationally to allow children to return to in-person learning, as many parents are not able to stay at home and help their children access online learning full-time.

Only 16.2% of Hispanic workers and 19.7% of black workers can telework, making it nearly impossible for many parents to stay at home daily. Too many parents, especially mothers, are being forced to choose between staying employed and supporting their child’s education.

We cannot expect parents to adapt to this new normal, where the choice comes down to providing for your family financially or assisting your children as they try to learn online in a home setting.

Another recent study shows that 14% of households with children had food insecurity in 2018, well before the pandemic erupted. Today, children who depended on school meals are unable to receive them in communities across the country.

There are some bright spots, however. Some schools have managed to reopen their doors for a safe return of in-person learning—not only for their students, but for faculty. Just one week after my daughter started hybrid learning, we noticed a stark difference in her happiness being with her peers at school.

We are encouraged to see that the administration is deploying 150 million Abbott BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 tests to states. States across the country must prioritize making these tests readily available in our schools, to help protect students and educators.

If schools continue to stay closed, we will see long-term side effects. Although we don’t have an accurate prediction of the societal damage caused by COVID-19, our top priority needs to be making sure that we do not continue to damage our country following the mass shutdown of the economy.

Children need to be able to return to their pre-COVID-19 learning environments immediately to ensure that we can educate our youth and support our labor force, both financially and mentally.

Even amid our differences, all Americans are hoping to return to normal following the global pandemic. Many of us never have experienced times like this, and although we have overcome many of the challenges brought upon us in 2020, reopening schools for America’s children is the most important step we need to take.

COMMENTARY BY

Rep. David Schweikert, a Republican who represents Arizona’s 6th Congressional District, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. He is the senior House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: How a DC Court Sided With a Church That Wants to Meet, Not the Mayor


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.

All of Hillary Clinton’s emails posted on U.S. State Department website

The U.S. State De­part­ment has re­leased more of Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s email cor­res­pond­ence, re­viv­ing scru­tiny of her ser­vice in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW HILLARY CLINTON’S EMAILS.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

The Slow Suicide of New York City

“The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and beauty in the world.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”

Listen: The sound you just heard was of a distinct lack of traffic, a dearth of hum, the slight sound of a great city in a death spiral.

Is New York committing suicide?

That’s a fair question in the wake of the relentless pandemic choking major American cities. The Big Apple is plagued with joblessness, peaking with a 20% unemployment rate this summer, double the national rate.

Want more bleak numbers? Take your pick: About 1,200 restaurants have permanently shuttered since March. The city has around 600,000 fewer jobs than a year ago. About one-third of the city’s small businesses may never reopen.

But, of course, it’s not just about numbers.

It’s the vitality of the city that has been struck down. Tourism is practically a thing of the past. Hotels lay in waste. Broadway remains dark. Offices spaces are just that—vacant.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subways, is hemorrhaging $200 million a week. Nobody, it seems, is going anywhere. Take a look at the platforms at virtually any subway station: a ghost town.

Imagine the wreckage occurring to the city’s tax base.

Forget foot traffic. Nightlife is practically kaput. The beehive of midtown Manhattan? Vanishing.

The New York of the mind’s eye is lost. The city has always been about the emerald imagination. Making it big a la Sinatra. The scrum of street jockeying. The oasis of Central Park with its nooks and crannies. The bubbling concoction of diversity and greatness.

A favorite activity: Walking up Broadway, stopping for a hotdog at Gray’s Papaya, getting a slice at Famous Original Ray’s Pizza, listening to snippets of arguments, of passions, of cabals being formed along the broad boulevard, from one end of the city to the other.

Call it pop-up entertainment on the go. Let’s not forget, this is the city that stood up to 9/11. It’s the city where George Washington prayed to God upon becoming the first president of this republic.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo continue to impose various COVID-19 restrictions on travel, dining, and people’s movement.

If the pandemic doesn’t kill New York, the reaction to it just might.

The city never was about its soaring skyscrapers; it has always been about its towering people. But people are being turned away in droves. Others are fleeing en masse.

The dark days of early COVID-19 are no longer gripping the city; indeed, New York has managed to keep infection numbers low for several months. But even as the city has quelled the number of coronavirus cases, New York has witnessed the rise of another affliction: A startling surge in shootings and other violent crimes.

Shooting victims rose 81% and shooting incidents increased 76% from Jan. 1 through Aug. 2, compared with the same time a year ago, according to the New York Police Department. The recent rioting and looting have cast a long shadow over the city, the likes of which we haven’t seen in half a century.

The last time the city felt this dangerous was way back when New York was financially destitute in the 1970s, when, if you took a stroll down Times Square, you were liable to see an unconscious body prone on the sidewalk, as undisturbed people stepped over and around it.

But even New York of that hard time wasn’t as bad as it is now.

What happened to New York, the capital of the world? The Rome of the 21st century? The center of culture, media, finance, theater, food, fashion—you name it.

A recent New York Times article declared, “Is New York City ‘Over’?”

What’s happening to New York is happening to other great cities across the nation—and, for each metropolis, it’s largely not a medical event. It’s a conscious decision about how we live and what we do.

If, with the beginning of the fall, we can send New York children back to the largest school system in the United States with more than 1 million students, we can surely find a way to open up much of the rest of the city.

Here’s what we think needs to happen to resuscitate the city, with appropriate safeguards:

  • Open all restaurants.
  • Open Broadway.
  • Open museums and other cultural institutions.
  • Open all churches.

While we’re at it, the city should slash prices for subways and other public transit by half.

Much as the federal government has done, the city should institute tax and payroll incentives to get the city back to work.

And, finally, the city should launch a campaign, something along the lines of “New York Is Back.” It should rival the “I Love New York” slogan that originated in the 1970s during the city’s last epic crisis.

What we need now is political courage, not grandstanding. It’s a human decision whether we save the city or not.

COMMENTARY BY

Eric Kampmann

Eric Kampmann has been a New York publisher for five decades.

Alec Klein

Alec Klein, who grew up in New York, is a former reporter for The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal reporter and author of the new book, “Aftermath.”

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. Content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

PODCAST: Sen. Marsha Blackburn Previews Barrett’s Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joins the “Daily Signal News” podcast to talk about the committee’s confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, set to begin next week.

Senate Democrats, who generally have supported virtual hearings during the pandemic, now demand in-person hearings to consider Barrett. How is the Judiciary Committee’s Republican leadership responding? What kind of questions will Barrett face? Blackburn breaks it down.

We also cover these stories:

  • The White House physician, Sean Conley, announces that President Donald Trump no longer has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Trump tweets: “Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu.”
  • The president breaks off negotiations with congressional Democrats over a new coronavirus relief bill.

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

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

Rachel del Guidice: I am joined today on “The Daily Signal Podcast” by Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. Sen. Blackburn, it’s great to have you with us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn: I am thrilled to join you. Thank you so much for the invitation.

Del Guidice: Well, it’s great to have you with us. And you are part of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Next week, the confirmation hearings will be starting for Judge Amy [Coney] Barrett, who is President [Donald] Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. Can you tell us a little bit about how you expect these hearings to go given the whole current situation with coronavirus?

Blackburn: Yes. We are going to follow a model which has been in place for the Senate since COVID hit, and that is called a hybrid model. With this, the hearing is convened in person, but members and witnesses are allowed to attend virtually. All total, the Senate has done about 150 hearings under this model, and the Senate Judiciary Committee itself has done 21 hearings on this model.

So, that’s the model that we are going to use, and we will begin on the 12th. We will wrap up on the 15th. We will vote her out of committee on the 22nd. Then I expect she’ll be on the floor the 26th or 27th.

Del Guidice: Well, Democrats have been supportive of virtual hearings up until now, but now they’re demanding in-person hearings. What is your perspective in response to all this?

Blackburn: They are trying to do anything they can do to delay this confirmation.

What they would like is to have a liberal justice on the court. The reason for that is because they don’t want to have a constitutionalist there who would block them from implementing socialized medicine and taking away the health insurance from 170 million Americans. They don’t want a justice who would block their implementation of the Green New Deal and step on your private property rights.

They want to be able to pack the Supreme Court. They want to be able to abolish the Electoral College and give statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico. They have a very aggressive first 100-day agenda if they take the White House, the House, and the Senate, and that is what they are planning to move forward on. They know that the Supreme Court could get in their way of achieving their goal of implementing that agenda.

Del Guidice: How is the Senate Judiciary Committee Republican leadership responding to this pressure from Senate Democrats?

Blackburn: We’ve set the schedule, and we’re moving forward on the schedule. We just understand what it is that they are trying to do and why.

Del Guidice: Well, you’re very passionate about the judge’s personal life story. Can you talk to us a little bit about that?

Blackburn: She is a role model, and it should be an encouragement to all women that, indeed, you can be a wife, a mother, a lawyer, a law professor, a judge, and have a wonderful family and home life.

That is what Judge Barrett and her husband have done. They have seven children—two are adopted from Haiti, one has special needs—and they have figured out this work-life balance that so many of us … working moms have been able to figure out.

It is really encouraging to see her. She’d be the first mother with school-age children on the court. So what a great role model for so many women.

I find it also really interesting that what they’re trying to do is use her religion against her—but isn’t this what the left does? They take something that is a strength, and then they try to turn it into a negative. That is what they’re doing with Judge Barrett.

Basically, what they are saying, if you’re a woman of faith, if you’re active in your church, in your religion, if you take your children to church every Sunday, then that should be a disqualifier from serving on the federal bench.

We know that that is not right. It is expressly prohibited from having a religious litmus test in this country for people that want to serve on the judiciary. We know that a lot of the left would like to have only atheists or secularists on the federal bench.

Del Guidice: Sen. Blackburn, I want to get back to the judge’s role as a mom and some of the attacks she’s seen there, but I do want to ask you a little bit more about the attacks we’ve seen on her faith.

We saw them in 2017 with Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein, and I wanted to ask you, do you think it’s appropriate—we talked about this a little bit, but I want to talk about it a little bit more—to attack someone’s faith or religion during a confirmation hearing?

Blackburn: No, I don’t. This came up during her circuit court confirmation hearing. I have to tell you, to refer to your faith as dogma, to ask about orthodoxy in the manner that Sen. [Dick] Durbin did, to attack the Knights of Columbus—which is something we’ve heard come from Sen. [Kamala] Harris—in my opinion, it is just really misplaced and unseemly.

We have religious liberty in this country. We have the right to worship. For them to then begin to attack her and use this as a negative because she is a woman of faith is, I think, very unexpected and is something that’s going to turn a lot of people off.

Del Guidice: Going back to some of the attacks the judge has seen for her … serving as a mother to her children, there is a Boston University professor who had said that Judge Barrett was a racist and a white colonizer for adopting the two black children that she has. I just was wondering, do you have any response or perspective to that statement from this professor?

Blackburn: They feel as if you are pro-life, pro-family, pro-religion, pro-business, pro-military, then your voice does not deserve to be heard. Because of that, we know that they are going to be attacking her and continuing to attack her.

I thought it was so interesting when the reporter came out and said, “Oh, she has seven children. Does she have time to do this job?” Would they ever have said that about a liberal woman? …

So now, they’re going to attack her for those values, for the actions that she has taken, for not staying home and taking care of her children all day long, every day.

Del Guidice: Multiple Democrat senators—including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand, Richard Blumenthal, a few more—have said that they are even refusing to meet with her before these hearings [start]. They said that this past week. What is your perspective on them refusing to even meet with her?

Blackburn: I think it’s so disrespectful to just not even show up because you want to make a point. Now, think about what they’re sending to millions of young girls and how they are completely discounting Judge Barrett.

Del Guidice: What do you suspect, Sen. Blackburn, [are] some of the questions she’ll receive from your colleagues, as well as the colleagues across the aisle?

Blackburn: Yeah, I think there’ll be questions about the issue of abortion, Roe v. Wade. You’re probably going to hear some about presidential overreach and immigration. You’ll hear some about campus free speech.

Then the Judge has done over a hundred opinions, so there are plenty of things for us to work through and filter through to glean questions. I would imagine most of my colleagues are like me, they’re working through that right now.

Del Guidice: How will you respond? Or how do you think it will be appropriate to respond if we see attacks that mirror what happened to now-Justice [Brett] Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings? Are you expecting anything like that? How do you think that should be responded to if it does in fact happen?

Blackburn: Well, we certainly think that it’s going to happen. They have said as much. They want to delay the hearing so that she doesn’t get through prior to the election. So we’re going into it expecting to hear that.

The response should be, the president is doing his constitutionally-mandated duty by appointing someone. He is following the historical precedents of our nation in making this nomination. He’s not the first one to do it. It has happened 29 times in our nation’s history.

Now, we are going to do our constitutional duty. We’re going to take up the nomination to confirm her. We will vote either to confirm or not to confirm, and then we’ll send it back to the president.

Del Guidice: We’ve talked a little bit about how Judge Barrett is a mom of seven, she’s a professor at Notre Dame, served in the courts, and we’ve talked about the attacks that she has seen [from] people in this country for everything that she has done. I wanted to ask you, what is all she has done in the attacks we’ve seen on her really demonstrated about the president’s confidence in nominating her to the Supreme Court?

Blackburn: The president felt like she was the best individual for the job. She is a constitutionalist, she’s an originalist, and that is the type of justice he wanted to see serve on the Supreme Court. You’re going to hear her talk a little bit about that when she comes up for the hearings.

Del Guidice: Finally, Sen. Blackburn, we’ve talked a little bit about this, but given what we saw with Justice Kavanaugh and some of the attacks we’ve already seen on Judge Barrett, what is your overall perspective on how the media has handled the coverage of Judge Barrett so far?

Blackburn: They have shown their bias and their prejudice against her, and we expect it will continue next week.

Del Guidice: Well, Sen. Blackburn, it’s been great to have you with us on “The Daily Signal Podcast.” We hope to have you back talking about the hearings once they’ve started. Thank you so much for joining us.

Blackburn: Bye-bye.

PODCAST BY

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG

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