All posts by Cheryl K. Chumley

Israel’s Troubling ‘Green Pass’ Post-Coronavirus System

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Israel is almost completely opened for business. But to participate in the post-coronavirus bustle, you need a Green Pass, a government-sanctioned document that says the carrier has been vaccinated.

And that’s troubling, to say the least. 

This post-coronavirus world is more and more moving to be all about the collective, zero about the individual.

According to a report in The New York Times, individuals who show a Green Pass — the government’s downloadable special OK for the vaccinated — can stay in hotels, dine inside restaurants, attend events of mass gatherings, to include religious services and sports’ games, visit places of tourism and cultural significance, gather for weddings and funerals, work out in fitness centers, swim in swimming pools, vacation in crowded places and more. 

Those without the pass?

Maybe not.

Maybe they have to stay home.

This is troubling on several counts.

One line, from The Times: “[W]hen you book a table at a restaurant, they ask, Do you have a Green Pass? Are you vaccinated?”

Waiters have become the gate guards for individuals’ personal health choices. Waitresses have become watch guards for the government’s vaccination program.

“Achinoam Nini, a prominent singer-songwriter who goes by the stage name Not, announced a performance for Green Pass holders only, at a venerable auditorium in Tel Aviv,” another line from The Times reported.

Celebrity singers have become the proving point for good health.

That’s bad policy by itself — allowing businesses to discriminate based on perceived health risks of their customers. Would the same fly for AIDS patients? How about for those with the flu? And if not — why not?

But worse is the cultural shift toward collectivism, at the expense of individualism. Worse is the societal change that governs by fear.

When confronted with her discriminatory “Green Pass-holders Only” concert plans, Nini wrote on Facebook: It’s for the common good.

That, and the logic that has become increasingly, worrisomely part and parcel of the entire coronavirus vaccination discussion: “I also oppose a forced vaccine, but I encourage a vaccine and believe in it,” she posted.

In other words, you can choose not to take the shot. But the consequences of not taking the shot is to cede all other freedoms. In the end, how is that a choice?

This is the language of dictators.

This is the viewpoint of the Biden White House.

This is how freedom crumbles.

The oligarchy of the coronavirus world is coming on strong. And for those who choose not to obey — well, get ready. Prepare. Stand firm. In this rapidly emerging Orwellian world, that’s one and the same as choosing to rebel against government. Depending on government’s move, it could get very ugly out there.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

Dr. Seuss Censorship Sets Impossible Standard

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If Dr. Seuss is the standard by which all authors are to be judged, make way for the book burnings.

And bring lots of firewood.

Because if Dr. Seuss and his cartoonish characters can’t pass the anti-racism muster of the faces of the left, how can Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” or Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House on the Prairie” series, or J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” each with their own set of perceived and real stereotypes and slurs? Even Roald Dahl’s original “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” has inspired criticism over the depiction of the Oompa Loompas as jungle-dwellers. Let’s not forget Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind,” in all its slavery glory, or Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” in all its anti-Semitic glory, or Lynne Reid Banks’ “The Indian in the Cupboard,” in all its — well, the title speaks volumes on that one, yes?

The list is endless.

The list can be endless.

Even the Bible speaks to the enslavement of various peoples.

Are we to turn off all the offensive to our ears, in some sort of — futile — attempt to whitewash, er, erase, not just history, but fancy and fiction and flights of imaginations?

With Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel, it’s not just a matter of Loudoun County, Virginia, public schools cancelling the annual celebration of the children’s author. It’s now also the refusal of the Dr. Seuss publisher to print any more copies of select titles by the author because, as the statement goes, “these books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”

Think about that for a moment. The publisher is not going to publish select Dr. Seuss titles because these select titles, written as they were years ago, now seem, in the standards of today’s snowflakey, politically correct, overly and eagerly offended, to be racist.

The books are “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street”; “If I Ran the Zoo”; “McElligot’s Pool”; “On Beyond Zebra!”; “Scrambled Eggs Super!”; and “The Cat’s Quizzer.” Among some of the “hurtful” images? An Asian in a conical hat, holding chopsticks and eating from a bowl. A couple of bare-footed men with dark skin wearing grass skirts.

These are chilling assessments.

This is not just about children’s books. This is about the shape of censorship things to come. It’s about a growing acceptance of blotting out all offenses, in the hope that ignoring offenses means the offenses don’t occur — in fact, that they never did occur. That’s erasing history. That’s living a lie.

“Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss,” Loudoun County School District said in a statement, following the cancellation of the regular school-based Seuss celebration day.

Word is next up are L. Frank Baum’s “Wizard of Oz” series. 

Let the burning begin.

The trouble, of course, will be to know the exact point to extinguish the fire. 

Let’s hope the same censors who see evil in Dr. Seuss aren’t the ones holding the water buckets. America’s history depends on it.

Reprinted with author's permission from The Washington Times.

DC Military Occupation Not a Good Look for America

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Concerns over “civil disturbance” have led the powers-who-be in Washington, DC, to extend the stay of members of the National Guard in the nation’s capital city.

A military occupation in America — who knew.

Military troops are not law enforcement officers. Nor should they be treated as such. The first is designed for war; the second, for fighting crime. Mixing the two can have disastrous results for citizens’ rights.

The mindsets are completely different.

“Police killing more likely in agencies that get military gear,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in October. “Hardware designed for war exerts subtle pressure on police culture, experts say.”

That’s just common sense.

Police armed with assault-style rifles, decked in black uniforms with thick black vests and topped with military metal helmets, stationed atop armored vehicles and surveilling crowds with night vision goggles — who wouldn’t feel the power while wearing such gear?

“The more [military] equipment a [police] department receives, the more people are shot and killed, even after accounting for violent crime, race, income, drug use and population,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s analysis of 651 law enforcement departments in Georgia.

In an infrequent meeting of minds, groups as politically opposite as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Cato Institute and the Charles Koch Institute have nonetheless all pointed out problems with the militarizing of police, not the least of which includes the potential for undue aggression against those in the civilian sector.

“How Militarized Police Can Attract the Wrong Officers,” Cato opined in June.

“Militarization Makes Police More Violent,” Cato followed in August.

“American policing has become unnecessarily and dangerously militarized,” the ACLU wrote in a special 2014 report. “[T]he use of hyper aggressive tools and tactics results in tragedy for civilians and police officers, escalates the risk of needless violence, destroys property and undermines individual liberties.”

How much more so when it’s truly the military in America’s streets, and not simply police dressed like the military.

“The deployment for the entire DC National Guard has been extended until March 31 in anticipation of ‘civil disturbance’ throughout the nation’s capital,” Politico reported, citing a memo that was confirmed by the National Guard. “The memo, signed by D.C. National Guard chief Maj. Gen. William Walker and dated Jan. 25, orders troops to remain on duty at least through the end of March in ‘continued support of District and federal civil authorities during anticipated First Amendment demonstrations and civil disturbance in the District of Columbia.’”

Let the police handle such affairs.

These are not matters for the military.

It’s difficult enough in these militarized police times to keep the boundaries between soldier and civil peace officer clear. 

Taking out the middle man — subbing out the police officer dressed in military gear for duly-sworn soldiers properly attired in military gear — is not going to foster peace so much as send strong messages of intimidation.

And perhaps that’s the goal. Perhaps that’s the political end game. 

But America is the land of the free, country of the freedom-loving. It’s not a police state. Soldiers don’t belong in the streets doing the work of civil servants. It’s simply not a good look for the nation.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

In America, the default is individual freedom, not government dole-outs

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The government, on COVID-19, has gone amok; on that, there is no question. But a question that does arise is this: Who’s in charge here, anyway?

It’s supposed to be the people.

COVID-19 has made it the government.

And American citizens need to fight, fight, fight on this point or forever after cede the notion of rights coming from God — and forever after deal with the insufferable fate of asking, petitioning, cajoling, even begging government for permissions that just a few months ago weren’t needed.

This is the “new normal” of citizen-government relations, amid coronavirus chaos. And it’s ridiculous; American citizens know how to wash their hands and protect their selves and loved ones from a virus. The growing nanny state disagrees. The growing police state has found its wedge for power.

“California bans private gatherings amid record COVID-19 surge,” Reuters just wrote in a headline.

The state’s already been struggling under onerous coronavirus dictates — minus the hypocritical governor, Gavin Newsom, of course, who has ordered residents to stay home at the same time he parties it up with friends and family and lobbyists in cushy restaurant style, face mask free. But this week, with COVID-19 case counts on the rise, new lockdowns, new crackdowns, new infringements on individual freedoms are coming.

Small businesses are preparing for more storms. And it’s the uncertainty that’s really killing.

As Pacific Legal Foundation wrote, “The dire situation these small business owners face is bad enough. But what should frighten all of us is there is simply no end in sight to the continued shutdowns. Since March, Newsom has unilaterally adopted one shutdown and reopening scheme after another, repeatedly changing his mind about what businesses are allowed to open and how, and he shows no indication of stopping. Indeed, the governor has made it clear … he does not anticipate the state returning to normal any time soon.”

Not until every small business owner has been shut down, put on the taxpayer dole. Right?

This is abysmal.

And it’s a scenario that’s being replicated in spots across the country — mostly in Democratic-controlled spots where it’s ultimately exposed that the Democrats in charge of issuing the crackdowns aren’t holding themselves accountable to the same standards. They’re stealing citizens’ rights, but not ceding their own. They’re ordering what they themselves won’t obey.

They’re not just lousy leaders. They’re not just hypocritical leaders.

They’re tyrants.

And they must be stopped — because tyrants, historically speaking, don’t just wake up one day and repent of their tyranny. They only grow more and more emboldened, more and more tyrannical.

What’s inspiring is that many across America are realizing just that — and yes, fighting back.

” ‘I suggest you not wear your mask’: Bedford Co. citizens fight against Northam, COVID-19,” one ABC 13 News headline out of Virginia stated.

“Some Southern California business owners will defy governor’s coronavirus shutdowns order,” the Orange County Register just wrote.

“Restaurant Holdouts Defy Covid-19 Shutdown Orders,” The Wall Street Journal just reported, of a handful of small business owners in Illinois.

The more who buck the government, the more who rebel against the unconstitutional government mandates — which aren’t laws, but rather executive orders — the more emboldened the buckers and rebels will become, and the greater in number the group of buckers and rebels will grow.

More civil disobedience. More fight-the-power pushback. More, more, more citizen uprisings against overreaching government.

That’s the only way the scales of power will then begin to tip back where they belong: in the hands of the people. On freedom, in America, the default is the individual.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

Gavin Newsom the hypocrite punishes Californians with curfew

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Show the governor in a bad light — and you will pay.

That’s the message sent Californians’ way after a photo that outed Gov. Gavin Newsom as a face mask-less, non-social distancing partying hypocrite surfaced, and shortly after, he ordered state residents to obey a curfew.

Seriously, there’s a special place in hell for public servants who abuse their powers to subjugate their citizens — their employers, actually.

“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge,” Newsom said in a statement reported by Newsweek. “We are sounding the alarm. It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”

So beginning Saturday (11/21), the residents of 41 counties in California will have to be home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

And that’s how it’s gonna be until at least December 21, he decreed.

It’s hard to see how this is scientific. It’s hard to see how this order comes by way of consideration of the real, true, accurate dangers of the coronavirus — and not as a petty toddler tantrum reaction to being shown a hypocrite.

That’s right; Newsom is a hypocrite. Just a few days ago, a photo showed he and his wife dined in the cushy French Laundry restaurant with several friends and acquaintances — and lobbyists — in celebration of the 50th birthday on political adviser Jason Kinney. In midst of his scolding California residents to social distance, wear face masks, stay home when possible. In midst of his canceling of Thanksgiving — or, more to point, his order to residents to stay home for Thanksgiving and give up the normal family gatherings.

Hypocrite.

Newsom apologized, of course.

“I made a bad mistake,” he said. “Instead of sitting down [at the restaurant], I should have stood up and walked back, got in my car and drove back to my house. Instead, I chose to sit there with my wife and a number of other couples that were outside the household.”

Yes. That’s what hypocrites do — place demands upon others that they themselves refuse to abide.

And now, suddenly, curiously, on the heels of all this bad PR, residents of 41 California counties have to stay home between certain hours. They have to obey a curfew order — as if they were wayward teens and the governor, their dad.

This is not the way of good governance.

This is not the way of good leadership.

In America, the people are the bosses, the governing officials the employees, and the Constitution the rule of law that’s supposed to be equally applied.

The first rule of leadership is to lead by example, not dictate.

Newsom, like too many in today’s coronavirus times, falls far short of that rule. It’s high time for citizens to demand accountability and insist public servants follow the same rules they create for others. Nothing like a good recall effort to reel in the arrogant, yes?

A government of separate and unequally applied standards is not a republic. It’s a dictatorship. And far too many governors are using the coronavirus as cause to dictate.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

Civil disobedience is the solution for this COVID-19 madness

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Scott Atlas, the medical professional who’s been tasked under President Donald Trump to help decide best coronavirus practices and policies, called for citizens, particularly in Michigan, particularly in tyrannically-governed Michigan, to “rise up” and fight unconstitutional crackdowns from overreaching, overbearing public servants.

He’s right.

The longer this coronavirus madness goes on, the more apparent it becomes: civil disobedience and only civil disobedience will rein in the, well, madness.

Here’s what Atlas said, via Twitter: “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters. #StepUp.”

He also tweeted this, an apparent clarification: “Hey, I NEVER was talking at all about violence. People vote, people peacefully protest. NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”

His tweets came after Michigan’s resident-in-tyranny Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced new crackdowns on freedoms due to, sigh, sigh, once again, the coronavirus. Specifically, she announced a three-week ban on indoor dining; on in-person learning in high schools and in colleges and universities; on in-person working “when work can be done from home;” on organized sports; on theater, movie, stadium, and arena attendance; on bowling, on ice skating, on indoor water park play; on bingo-ing in bingo halls, on gambling in casinos; and on going to the gym to take group fitness classes.

I am zee law.

Happily, she didn’t ban the buying of seeds this time.

She also graciously allowed for the playing of professional sports — minus the spectators — and for the mourning at funerals, so long as not more than 25 were in attendance.

Strangely, preschools, kindergartens, elementary schools and middle schools through grade eight, along with day cares, can remain open. Because the coronavirus only infects the higher grade levels?

Anyhow, Whitmer, as expected, expressed shock and awe — shock and awe! — at Atlas’s tweets.

“It actually took my breath away, to tell you the truth,” she told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” in reference to the tweets.

But here’s the thing, America: At what point do coronavirus crackdowns on freedoms become unacceptable?

At what point is the breaking point?

Founding Fathers knew well the reluctance of a people to “rise up,” as Atlas put it, and cast off an unjust government. They wrote, in fact, in the Declaration of Independence that “all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

True.

Look around at all the face mask-wearing people, take note of all the business closings and church attendance limits, take a gander at all the kids home from school and it’s clear: “Mankind are more disposed to suffer.”

But these same Founding Fathers also wrote this: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”

Peaceably, if possibly.

Are we there yet?

If Michigan were the only state, if Whitmer were the only governor, taking this coronavirus chaos and running roughshod over personal rights, maybe America could afford to ride out the storm, wait out the virus, patiently obey all the orders.

But the nonsense is widespread, from California to Michigan to Virginia to Massachusetts.

Atlas is right. Founders were right.

Civil disobedience is the only way to reel in the madness. Americans must beat back the health bureaucrats and political opportunists now — or forever wear the face mask. Forever cede freedoms. Forever give government the right to rule, not serve.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

CDC Walks Back COVID-19 Testing, Warns Not to Argue With Anti-Maskers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a sudden move that’s left some in the medical world baffled, reversed course on its long-standing — comparatively speaking, that is — recommendation for anyone and everyone who comes into contact with a coronavirus-positive individual to get tested, and instead, not.

That makes sense.

After all, Americans don’t run to the doctor’s office to get tested for influenza every time they cross paths with a person who’s got the flu. Right?

But add this to the list of flip-flops, random policies and outright ridiculous conflicting recommendations that have dotted the medical advisement landscape on COVID-19 since January. Don’t wear a mask, wear a mask, make a mask out of a T-shirt, heck, wear goggles and face shields, even. Social distance — nope, stay home instead. Close schools, open schools, close schools again. Stay out of baseball stadiums — unless you’re named Dr. Anthony Fauci. Shut down churches — too dangerous to congregate! — but Black Lives Matter shoulder-to-shoulder gathering are A-OK.

The list goes on.

And once upon a time, on COVID-19 testing guidelines, the CDC said this, CNN reported: “Testing is recommended for all close contacts of persons with SARS-CoV-2 infection. Because of the potential for asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission, it is important that contacts of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 infected be quickly identified and tested.”

That spawned a whole medical and political cry for widespread, rapidly implemented and heftily funded contact tracing systems to be put in place — with even Rep. Bobby Rush, Democrat, calling for $100 billion worth of funding to hire, train and equip local governments everywhere with the necessary tools and manpower to track the virus (to track and surveil citizens, is more like it).

But now?

Now the CDC’s changed its tune.

On the CDC website is now this advice: “If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider of state or local public health officials recommend you take one.”

Either the CDC is coming ‘round to solid sense — by putting a stop to the silly practice of recommending tests, tests, tests for everybody and anybody in the country who comes into contact with a COVID-19 patient, and in so doing, driving up the nonsense “case” count numbers that are largely meaningless.

Or — and this maybe what’s taking place here — the CDC still wants the strict testing policy but not the political heat, and so is booting the decision-making process, to test or not to test, to local medical bureaucrats and states. And as we’ve seen with the mask policy, where the CDC recommends but does not require, it’s the states, the localities and even the private businesses that then implement the federal guidance as a mandate.

And speaking of masks, the CDC now says this to private businesses, CNN reported: “Don’t argue with a customer if they make threats or become violent.”

Good advice. Sound advice.

After all, there was that guy in Pennsylvania who was arrested for shooting a store worker who demanded he don a mask as a condition of entering and shopping.

There are those in the medical community who are puzzled by the CDC’s recent course shifts, of course.

“This is potentially dangerous,” said one infectious disease specialist to The New York Times, of the new testing recommendation from the feds. “I feel like this is going to make things worse.”

That’s fear-mongering, though.

For years, for decades, for hundreds of years, Americans have gone to the doctor when they’re sick, and only when they’re sick.

Then COVID-19 came along and citizens who felt perfectly fine were rushing to get medical tests at corner clinics, hospitals and health agencies. Why? At first, it was because the coronavirus was an unknown. But as the weeks went by, the numbers — both real and flawed, genuine and skewed, actual and dishonest — showed the panic was unnecessary. The nonstop testing was actually fueling citizen panic; actually hyping media frenzy.

It just makes sound medical sense — sound personal common sense — to only get tested when feeling ill.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

Virginia Leaps into Contact Tracing Technology

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Virginia has become the first state in the nation to offer for download a contact tracing Apple and Google API app aimed — according to government — at stopping and slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

And so it begins: One of modern government’s cleverest means of tracking and surveilling its people, and all for the good health of the people, to boot.

COVIDWISE, as it’s called, is being pushed by the state’s Department of Health with a promise of unrivaled privacy protections and the dangly diamond-in-the-rough whisper of saving citizens from this terrible virus and getting us all back to some semblance of societal normalcy.

The way it works is it “relies on the exchange of anonymous Bluetooth tokens between devices, with no location data or personal information collected or shared,” to alert when one smartphone carrier who’s tested positive for the coronavirus comes within a few feet of another smartphone carrier, Mac Rumors wrote.

It’s all anonymous. All private. Until it isn’t, that is.

“[Privacy’s] at the core of what we do as an agency,” said Jeff Stover, with the Virginia Department of Health, to WUSA 9.

That’s probably what the Department of Veteran Affairs maintained — before 26.5 million of its accounts were hacked in 2006. Same with the US voter database — before 191 accounts were hacked in 2015. Same with the US Office of Personnel Management — before 21 million or so accounts were hacked, beginning in 2013 through 2015. Same with the Virginia Department of Health Professions — before 8.3 million accounts were hacked in 2009. At least on that last, the governor refused to pay the $10 million ransom to the hackers.

The takeaway is this: Technology comes with no privacy guarantees. Even when it does — there are no guarantees. And those who try to guarantee, are either ignorant or outright lying.

But with contact tracing apps, the risks of hacks aren’t even the biggest privacy threats. The government is.

What starts as voluntary can quickly morph into mandatory. What begins as anonymous can quickly move into not-so-anonymous, and then shared, and then even more not-so-anonymous. It’s not a conspiracy that government collects data on citizens; it’s hardly a leap over logic to acknowledge that this government, during these chaotic coronavirus times, and already guilty of taking scores of unconstitutional crackdown steps under cover of protecting the health of the people — it’s not a leap to see how government could abuse these apps to obtain personal information on citizens. And then act on that information.

“What is disconcerting,” wrote information sciences professor Masooda Bashir and doctoral student Tanusree Sharma, of their analysis of 50 COVID-19 apps in the Google Play store that was published by Nature Medicine, “is that these apps are continuously collecting and processing highly sensitive and personally identifiable information, such as health information, location and direct identifiers (e.g., name, age, email address and voter/national identification). Governments’ use of such tracking technology — and the possibilities for how they might use it after the pandemic — is chilling to many. Notably, surveillance mapping through apps will allow governments to identify people’s travel paths and their entire social networks.”

Privacies protected now don’t guarantee privacies protected in the future. Just as the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was ever-changing, and still is, so, too, will be the government’s exploitation of contact tracing. Imagine a country where the app alerts not just the smartphone holder, but the nearest medical authorities, of pedestrian contact with a coronavirus case positive — so the medical authorities can spring into speedy high gear to make sure those who came into contact are properly self-quarantining.

Knock, knock. That’s the sound of government pounding on your door.

As Bashir and Sharma wrote — what of the post-COVID-19 era? What of the next virus, and the next, and the next? What of the next national emergency, or medical matter, or health threat, and the next?

All that technology, in the hands of government, surely won’t go to waste. Today’s COVID-19 app tracker is tomorrow’s — fill in the blank. That will change.

The theme, however, remains the same. Today’s COVID1-19 app tracker is government’s technological tool, today, tomorrow and beyond, to control citizens, curtail freedoms, clamp free association. That’s just the natural progression of government powers. And one need only look at the government’s response to COVID-19 to see that truth.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

Democrats Use COVID-19 Unemployment to Buy Votes

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Democrats want the next round of coronavirus stimulus dollars to extend the $600 unemployment insurance enhancement for those who lost their jobs or who faced mandated furloughs because of economic shutdowns. Republicans say no. And that is the sticking point.

And stick we will stay. Democrats want that money to buy votes for their subpar candidate, Joe Biden, this fall.

It’s all politics. There’s little in the Democratic fight for $600 UI insurance that’s tied to genuine concern for the people. It’s about the lead-up to November, the race to the White House. The fact is, Democrats gain big by keeping Americans home from work — in essence, by paying Americans to stay home from work.

Why? The unemployment numbers remain high, effectively stripping President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign from running on a message of a chugging economy.

Second, the unemployed individuals who take the $600 check are oftentimes bringing home more than they would otherwise earn, on the job. And that builds brand loyalty for Biden. Why would these folk want the disruptor-in-chief to disrupt their feed wagon — particularly when it’s a feed wagon that comes absent any work demands at all?

Free money.

It’s the Democrats’ big election wedge.

It’s the Democrats’ dream campaign.

“Unemployment is supposed to be wage replacement,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on “This Week” on ABC. “So it should be tied to some percentage of wages. … We want to fix the issue where in some cases people are overpaid, and we want to make sure there’s the right incentives [to get them back to work]. In certain cases, where we’re paying people more to stay home than t work, that’s created issues in the entire economy.”

Yes. It has. And honestly, Republicans have themselves to blame for these issues, as well.

Republicans, after all, were on board with the first stimulus bill’s $600 unemployment tack-on — money that was added to the unemployment dollars paid by states, to offset the COVID-19 economic disasters to families. They rushed to hand out the hand-outs, agreeing that the coronavirus had created a no-fault unemployment crater and money in the hands of the people was the speedy way to fill it. But it wasn’t hard to read those tea leaves. Pay people more money to stay home than they earn at work and, umm, they’re going to stay home as long as possible.

The dole-outs are unsustainable, though.

They’re also hindering businesses that can’t compete with the government payroll. Who are these businesses going to hire, or rehire?

Fox News reported Republicans wanted to provide the comparatively lower $200 unemployment benefit, and for only a short set period of time. But Democrats, facing a desperate run for the White House, with a candidate who can barely string together a coherent sentence, have everything to gain and nothing to lose by dragging out this unemployment benefit fight.

They will emerge the good guys fighting for the little guys. And that will give them a campaign wedge against Trump.

Republicans should’ve seen this coming. But now they’re on the defensive. And now they’re facing a tough sell. Free money almost always carries the vote.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.

America, It’s Happening: Gov’t Knocking on Doors, Jailing COVID-19 Patients

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A woman in Kentucky, Elizabeth Linscott, who tested positive for COVID-19 has been ordered by local health department authorities to stay at home — ordered, and then when she balked, slapped with court papers and shackled around the ankle with a monitor that basically sounds an alarm if she leaves her residence.

Linscott’s husband, Isaiah, received the same treatment.

It’s happening, America. Wake up and smell the contact tracing — the “new normal” that allows government to knock on doors and demand voluntary self-quarantining compliance from free citizens, else face mandatory, court-approved house arrest.

Leftists have worked hard to play down the dangers of a government that’s given the authority to oversee private citizens’ health decisions, i.e. the new coronavirus. Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush’s staff, for example, in an email in May, in several angry, arrogant emails in May, in fact, fought tooth and nail to downplay the dangers to citizens’ freedom that are inherent within the congressman’s H.R. 6666, the “COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act” — the dangers that call for huge amounts of money, up to $100 billion, actually, to be thrown local health departments’ way to “trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts, through mobile health units and, as necessary … at [citizens’] residence.” In other words: Money for government to knock on citizens’ doors and demand they self-quarantine — or else.

And left-leaning members of the media have gone into overdrive to ensure such truths of contact tracing are similarly squelched.

Reuters, for instance, did some quick damage control, following widespread criticisms of — and fears about — Rush’s H.R. 6666.

“False claim: H.R. 6666 bill allows strangers to enter your house, test you for COVID-19 and take family members into quarantine,” one Reuters headline stated in May. “The bill says nothing about forced testing, forced entry to people’s houses or the removal of family members to be quarantined.”

That’s called smoke and mirrors.

The bill hasn’t yet passed — but here we have, in this Kentucky couple, a perfect example of how it would play in the real world, in real time, in a real COVID-19 so-called voluntary self-quarantining case.

Here’s what happened — here’s what is happening right now — in Radcliff, Kentucky: Linscott said she voluntarily went to be tested for COVID-19 on July 11 because she was going to visit her grandparents and wanted to make sure she wasn’t going to infect them. On July 12, The Associated Press reportedLinscott said the health department in her community notified her of a positive test for the virus, and emailed her a form to sign that required her to self isolate and check in each day at the clinic. It was all for the good of the public; to “prevent the introduction, transmission and spread” of the coronavirus in the state, according to the document’s text, as reported by the AP.

Linscott refused to sign.

Why?

Truthfully — it’s her right. It’s her right as an American citizen to refuse.

But this is the “new normal,” remember. This is the day and age of the coronavirus, contact tracing and the big boot of government that can stamp out individual freedom, individual choice, for the collective good.

“Linscott,” the AP wrote, “said she declined to sign because of one sentence: ‘I will not travel by any public, commercial or heath care conveyance such as ambulance, bus, taxi, airplane, train or boat without the prior approval of the Department of Health.’”

What if her child became sick? What if time were of the essence, and she had to run somewhere?

“I could not comply to having to call the public health department prior if I had an emergency, or I had to go pick something up for my child or myself as a necessity and could not wait,” Linscott said, AP reported.

So she said no to the form.

And the local health bureaucrats didn’t like that.

So they went to court.

On July 16, Hardin County Sheriff John Ward’s deputies helped issue the stay-at-home order from a Hardin County Circuit Court judge, and affix Linscott — and her husband, too — with ankle monitors.

Knock. Knock.

“I open up the door and there’s like eight different people [there],” said Linscott’s husband, the New York Post reported. “I’m like what the heck’s going on? This guy’s in a suit with a mask, it’s the health department guy, and he has three different papers for us. For me, [my wife] and my daughter.”

They’re confined to home for two weeks and required to notify local law enforcement officials if they stray more than 200 feet from their jail cell, err, residence.

Welcome to the “new normal,” America. It’s happening.

And with contact tracing coming on strong, as well as the accompanying funding to hire and train the necessary numbers of government workers to enforce citizens’ compliance, the Linscotts’ story will soon become commonplace.

Of course, as Rush and Reuters and the merry band of “trust me, I’m from the government” types will continue to sell it — this is all voluntary and amicable. Just your friendly health department helpers reaching out their friendly helping hands.

And it is. All’s friendly and amicable. So long as you obey.

Reprinted with author's permission from Washington Times.