News of the Week (March 16th, 2020)

 

News of the Week for Mar. 16th, 2020


 

Corona Virus

 

 

How Will The Coronavirus Impact The Census?
The intersection of two recent stories raises some interesting questions about some of the chores awaiting both the federal government and the states this year. As John reported last night, health officials in multiple states are preparing for the spread of the coronavirus into homeless communities in all major American cities. This is a major concern because the homeless tend to be in worse health than the rest of the general population and they mix together in large encampments with little in the way of sanitary conditions or opportunities to frequently wash up. That’s a recipe for disaster in terms of a highly contagious disease.

As Beijing claims credit for beating coronavirus, many Chinese are outraged: “Fake! It’s all fake!”
The high schooler was lying in his hotel bed, playing a video game, when he heard the sound of rushing sand.

As Coronavirus Spreads, Italian Doctors Face Impossible Choice: Who Lives and Who Dies
In the Italian province of Lombardy, there are 900 beds for intensive care patients with a serious case of the coronavirus. The disease is spreading so fast that medical authorities are now saying the number of coronavirus cases will soon far outnumber beds available.

Two Strains Of Coronavirus Identified, One More Aggressive. Researchers Believe That Virus Has Mutated.
Genomic and virology researchers from Peking University’s School of Life Sciences and the Institut Pasteur of Shanghai have identified two possible strains of the coronavirus, one more aggressive and another slightly passive, circulating in humans and causing infections. They also believe that the coronavirus has mutated at least more than once.

The Most Drastic Anti-Coronavirus Travel Ban in the World
Pacific island nations are more at risk than most countries.

COVID-19 and the World Economy
All countries are taking a hit, but China faces a steeper climb to recovery.

Feds Initially Told Seattle Researchers To Stop Testing For Coronavirus — After They Discovered A Case Of Infection
The only thing keeping this from being a total failure by the federal government was the initial decision to ban travel to parts of China. That bought some time to prepare, which was squandered. Nearly everything that’s happened since, as far as I can tell from public reporting, has been a grievous failure. We’re at the “don’t leave the house if at all possible” stage of managing the crisis because all of the things you’d expect to happen in a situation like this — quick development of diagnostic tests, quick rollout to public labs, quick identification and containment of infected people — hasn’t happened. You want to avoid getting sick now, or avoid killing some elderly person you know by inadvertently transmitting the virus to them? Then isolate yourself from other human beings to the greatest feasible extent. That’s the only advice left. Shelter in place.

Is Andrew Cuomo Trampling on New Yorkers’ Civil Liberties to Fight Coronavirus?
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) zeroed in on the City of New Rochelle, a coronavirus hot spot. He mobilized the National Guard, set up a containment area, and opened a special testing center in the city.

Why the CDC botched its coronavirus testing
The first testing kits from the Centers for Disease Control had a simple fault, and red tape prevented other labs from creating their own.

Why Is the CDC Lowballing Numbers for the Coronavirus?
The CDC is America’s lead agency for expertise and guidance on the Wuhan virus, so the CDC web site is where you’d look for up-to-the-minute data on this outbreak, right? Umm, nope, don’t even think about it. As confirmed case numbers nation-wide soared over the weekend, the numbers posted Friday on the CDC web site didn’t budge: 164 total cases, 11 deaths. No change. In CDC-world, the virus took a break over the weekend. Meantime, in the real world, the far more timely and accurate online dashboard provided by Johns Hopkins was reporting on the soaring case numbers for this virus, which by Sunday afternoon had topped 500 (more than triple the CDC’s number) and 21 deaths (almost double the CDC figure).

Social Distancing During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic and Lessons for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
As COVID-19 spreads around the world, more and more things such as conferences, schools, and large events such as SXSW are being canceled – an effort to halt the spread of the virus and reduce the strain on our healthcare system. Meanwhile, dangerous notions circulate: the idea that nearly everyone will get COVID-19 so distancing measures are irrelevant or the idea that we might as well just get it and be done with it (for example, from Rick Santelli on CNBC).

Asian-Americans stock up on guns over fears of coronavirus backlash
While panicked Americans have been purchasing bundles of toilet paper, water and other supplies because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Asian Americans have instead been reportedly stocking up on guns out of a fear of backlash — and justifiably so.

How Government Red Tape Stymied Testing and Made the Coronavirus Epidemic Worse
FDA and CDC bureaucrats stopped private and academic diagnostic tests from being deployed.

Greening Our Way to Infection
The ban on single-use plastic grocery bags is unsanitary—and it comes at the worst imaginable time.

Elderly Will Be Denied Intensive Care as Coronavirus Overwhelms Italy’s National Health System, Experts Warn
Health officials in Italy have issued guidelines for rationing care as hospitals there struggle to keep up with the surge of patients infected with the coronavirus. Doctors are being told that they’ll likely need to deny care to senior citizens and those with other health conditions as the virus explodes across the nation.

Coronavirus burial pits in Iran so vast that they’re visible from space
Iranian authorities began digging a pair of trenches for victims just days after the government disclosed the initial outbreak. Together, their lengths are that of a football field.

Coronavirus: Varese medical chief dies
General practitioner, died in hospital in Como

Gilead’s coronavirus treatment is already being used in Washington state
Subscribe to Fortune’s Outbreak newsletter for a daily roundup of stories on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on global business.

Biden’s Coronavirus Adviser Wants to Die at 75
Joe Biden has announced the creation of a “Public Health Advisory Committee,” consisting of Democratic experts to advise him about how to best grapple with the coronavirus during the campaign. Okay. Good public-health practices are worthy goals for any candidate.

Iran: Satellite Images Show Massive Burial Pits For Coronavirus Victims
Monday I wrote about evidence that suggests the spread of the coronavirus in Iran has been much worse than government officials have admitted so far. The official number of cases (as of Monday) was 6,566 but the actual number may have been 100 times higher. Today the Washington Post published a story which further indicates Iran isn’t being truthful about the spread of the infection or the death toll. The story is titled, “Coronavirus burial pits so vast they’re visible from space.”

Disneyland Is Closing Over Coronavirus Concerns
Disneyland and California Adventure will be closing Saturday over concerns about the possible spread of the coronavirus. Variety reports the closure is expected to last at least two weeks

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Wife Tests Positive For The Coronavirus
Canadian Prime Minister’s Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Not a single EU country” responded to Italian plea for help with coronavirus
A top Italian official knocked the European Union for leaving Italy’s plea for medical assistance unanswered while the coronavirus outbreak cripples the country.

CDC Unable to Do Most Effective Form of Coronavirus Contact Tracing, Sen. Cassidy Says
Efforts to track the spread of coronavirus in the United States are hampered because Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials can’t use the most advanced form of location contact tracing, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said March 12.

Coronavirus can live in air for 3 hours, on surfaces for 2-3 days
According to new research, the novel coronavirus can remain in the air for up to 3 hours and survive on some surfaces for two to three days.

China: Exploiting False Accusations of Racism
When confronted, China frequently accuses its critics of racism. Last month, for example, Beijing expelled three Wall Street Journal reporters in retribution for an opinion column titled “China Is the Real Sick Man of Asia.” China Daily, a Communist Party mouthpiece, declared the headline “astonishingly racist”—despite the fact the term “sick man” is routinely used idiomatically to describe countries facing economic challenges, and isn’t connected to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Communist Chinese Propagandists Now Claim U.S. Military Made Wuhan Virus
China threatened by way of its leading propaganda publication to impose pharmaceutical export controls that “plunge[] [America] into the mighty sea of coronavirus.”

Costco’s Coronavirus Equity
Public health officials have been encouraging telecommuting to slow the spread of coronavirus. But at first Costco would not allow it — because equity.

Europe’s Coronavirus Fate Is Already Sealed
One reason Britain and Italy are struggling: Their medical systems are too dependent on government.

Chinese State Media Warns It Could Cut America’s Pharmaceutical Drug Supply
This is probably just saber-rattling, but it’s still a bit worrisome as the U.S. is struggling to deal with a pandemic. A Chinese state media outlet has published an article bragging about the nation’s control over the supply chain of pharmaceutical drugs

Gavin Newsom To “Commandeer Property” cuz Wuhan
California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an Executive Order yesterday declaring a state emergency in regards to the Wuhan virus COVID-19. While most of us listened to the announcement of the curtailment of public gatherings and asking for social distancing, the devil is in the details.

So It Begins: Louisiana Becomes First State to Postpone an Election Over Coronavirus
On Friday, Louisiana became the first state to postpone an election due to the coronavirus. The state’s presidential nominating contests have been delayed by more than two months.

Only One Word
There was considerable confusion Wednesday night and Thursday morning over the scope of the administration’s restrictions on movement from Europe. The Wall Street Journal reports that the text of President Trump’s speech read that the ban “will not apply to the tremendous amount of trade and cargo.” What he said Wednesday night was that it “will not only apply” to trade and cargo. The remark added to the turmoil in stock markets before Trump corrected himself on Twitter.

Coronavirus: London mayoral election postponed for a year
Local elections in England were due to take place in May, just as scientists predict the outbreak will reach its peak.

Illinois mayor signs executive order granting power to ban sale of guns and alcohol while addressing coronavirus
The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, gave herself the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol after declaring a citywide emergency to address the coronavirus.

Bernie Sanders wins Northern Mariana Islands caucuses
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the Northern Mariana Islands Democratic caucuses Saturday.

Coronavirus: Hubei government deletes report claiming Covid-19 could damage male fertility
Men who have contracted the disease and recovered should seek medical advice regarding ‘theoretical’ risk to their reproductive health, Wuhan hospital says

Georgia Postpones Presidential Primaries Due To Coronavirus Pandemic
Georgia election officials are postponing the state’s March 24 presidential primaries until May 19 in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reported.

Newt Gingrich: I Am in Italy Amid the Coronavirus Crisis. America Must Act Now—And Act Big
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic poses two threats: public health and economic.

Chinese Tycoon Who Criticized Xi’s Response to Coronavirus Has Vanished
Ren Zhiqiang appears to be the latest government critic silenced by the Communist Party as it cracks down on dissent over the epidemic.

Coronavirus: More young patients being admitted to hospital, Italian doctor warns
Over 17,600 people are infected by Covid-19 in Europe’s worst-hit country

“Somber Time,” and Sober for Some: Pa. Liquor Stores to Close in Philly Suburbs
Gov. Tom Wolf said he was not shutting down the state-run liquor stores on Friday, but by Saturday the state said it would shut down all stores in Philadelphia’s four suburban counties.

Critical care beds: this may be part of what’s wrong in Italy
The number of critical care beds may be – critical.

The Real Reason Why 40 Republicans Voted Against the Second Coronavirus Bill
In the wee hours of Saturday morning, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Despite President Donald Trump announcing his support for it last night, 40 Republicans voted against the bill. Liberals on Twitter naturally excoriated them, but they had good reasons to oppose it.

Illinois Mayor Assumes Emergency Powers to Ban the Sale of Firearms and Alcohol
Champaign, Ill., isn’t known for very much besides being the location for the main campus of the University of Illinois. But the one thing they do big in Champaign is granting power to city officials in an emergency.

Will the 2020 Election Be Postponed Because of the Coronavirus?
In 2016, many people (liberal ones anyway) asked what would happen if Trump wouldn’t concede the election to Hillary Clinton. In 2019, the same people asked what would happen if Trump doesn’t concede the 2020 election if he loses. Again, a silly question, because the transfer of power isn’t dependent on the concession of the candidate, regardless of whether he or she is an incumbent.

Coronavirus vs. the Flu: The Difference Between a 1% and 0.1% Fatality Rate Is Huge
In congressional testimony this week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the top medical experts in the Trump administration, said that the new coronavirus “is ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu.”

In National Emergency, Trump Waives Regulations to Fight Coronavirus
To better coordinate the federal government’s response, President Donald Trump on Friday declared coronavirus to be a national emergency, temporarily waiving a host of laws and regulations and teaming with the private sector.

Casino closures: MGM, Wynn Resorts temporarily shutting down Las Vegas casinos; Venetian, Palazzo staying open
MGM closing all Las Vegas resorts effective Tuesday

First coronavirus vaccine trial set to begin in the US
Coronavirus vaccine trials will begin Monday, with at least one subject receiving a first-ever experimental dose of the potential inoculation, a government official said.

Mexico Is Dangerously Unprepared For The Inevitable Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak
The disease is going to spread fast in Mexico, where a weak and corrupt state has made almost no preparations.

California’s Governor Just Shut Down the Bars Before St. Paddy’s Day to Fight COVID-19
California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday shut down all of the state’s bars and nightclubs, ordered people 65 years old and older to stay home, and cut the restaurant business in half – effective now.

What Is Happening With The Coronavirus In Russia?
The official number of coronavirus cases in Russia as of today in 93 (a 47% jump from yesterday) but the number of reported deaths is still zero. If that seems miraculous, it could be because it’s probably not true.

Tom Del Beccaro: Coronavirus is proof that US not ready for a serious disaster
No one can say for sure, but the experience indicates one thing is for certain: America is not ready for a major national crisis, such as the failure of an electrical grid a bioterrorist crisis or worse. The silver lining of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic loss it involves, however, could be that wise leaders stop using government to buy votes and instead prepare for us future crises.

City of Reno orders all non-essential businesses to close beginning tomorrow
The City of Reno has ordered all non-essential businesses, including restaurants and bars, to begin closing tomorrow until April 5th in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. With the announcement, Reno became the first jurisdiction to announce the mandatory shutdown of businesses, placing more pressure on Las Vegas to do the same.

Not Your Usual Economic Crisis
Congress is clearly going to pass some kind of emergency fiscal package in response to the spread of COVID-19. One thing to consider is that this moment we are currently experiencing is nothing like anything that we’ve experienced since government began to actively use its budget-making powers in attempts to ensure full employment.

We Are in This Crisis because of the Decisions of the Chinese Government
As a country, we’ve got our hands full right now. But while we’re sitting in various forms of self-quarantine, we — and a lot of other people around the world — will have a lot of time to read about the Chinese government destroying samples and suppressing information about the coronavirus in December

 

Election 2020

 

Bullock announces run for Montana Senate
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) formally announced his 2020 Senate run on Monday, tweeting his first campaign ad.

Democrats shockingly outvoted Republicans in Texas suburbs; GOP turnout in DFW down 43%
Democratic primary turnout was up 59% across metropolitan Dallas-Fort Worth.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Running for Senate to Help Democrats Win Majority
“He is immediately a credible, strong candidate for United State Senate and he clearly puts that state in play.”

Of Course Joe Biden Wants to Take Your Guns Away
Charles touches on Joe Biden’s heated exchange with a Michigan autoworker whom he accused of being “full of s***” and what it might mean for Democrats.

Mitch McConnell’s Senate majority is in danger
With Biden poised to be atop the ticket, Democratic candidates are leading in the most consequential Senate races.

Massive Majority Of Latinx Voters Don’t Like The Term Latinx
Have you been chastized online yet for using the terms Latina or Latino? I have. It hasn’t happened a lot, but I’ve been seeing increasing use of the term LatinX and critics attempting to correct those who fail to use it. The traditional terms are now apparently some bizarre combination of racism and sexism simultaneously according to the Woke Patrol. But how do actual Hispanic citizens feel about it? The Free Beacon dug up a recent survey that sampled voters in Florida as well as nationally. The results weren’t even close to any sort of balanced split. Hispanic voters widely prefer the term Hispanic and “LatinX” was the first choice for almost nobody.

A socialist next time?
As it did in 2016, the Democratic party this year flirted with a socialist presidential candidate, but ultimately rejected him for a pragmatist. Bernie Sanders’s quest for the nomination seems doomed. The party almost certainly will select Joe Biden.

Does Biden’s Michigan Blowout Mean Trump Is In Trouble This Fall?
This Tim Alberta piece is a perfect companion to what John wrote about earlier, the idea that Bernie’s surprising strength against Hillary in the 2016 primary was really all a big misunderstanding. In hindsight, it’s not that Bernie was “strong,” it’s that Hillary was weak. A meaningful chunk of Democratic voters in the Rust Belt may have been perfectly open to supporting a likable Democratic establishmentarian over Sanders that year.

How Not to Convince White Working-Class Voters
Dan McLaughlin has a thorough analysis of Bernie Sanders’s performance among white working-class voters over on the homepage. He sifts through reams of exit polling and examines the political and rhetorical changes that precipitated Sanders’s failure to entice voters in that demographic.

How Bernie Sanders Lost the White Working Class
By reworking his rhetoric to appeal to a different constituency, he ended up losing more than he gained

Democrats Feign Unity as Bernie Bros Threaten to Bolt the Party
Joe Biden is ahead in the Democratic Party presidential race by 150 delegates and is well on his way to winning the 1,991 necessary to secure the nomination. And while the establishment rallies around Joe Biden, many Bernie Sanders supporters — the vanguard of the revolution — are refusing the call for unity.

Headwinds: McConnell Nudging Republican Judges To Retire Soon If They’re So Inclined, Fearing Senate Wipeout This Fall
My idealistic side thinks it’s inappropriate for politicians to be leaning on judges to quit sooner rather than later for nakedly partisan reasons.

 

Gun Rights

 

11 Examples of Bloomberg’s Folly on Defensive Gun Use
Earlier this month, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked how he justified his push for more stringent gun control when he is guarded by an armed security detail.

Connecticut’s Gun-Control Law Triggers New Challenge Under Heller
The Supreme Court has still not dismissed a New York gun case where New York City officials passed, in my view, a clearly unconstitutional gun control measure. Then, after proclaiming that they would defend the law to the Supreme Court, they tried desperately to withdraw the case after review was granted. That creates a serious question of mootness in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York. However, they may have pushed this game too far with the Court, which clearly did not like being played by politicians using the courts for grandstanding. Yet, there is a case out of Connecticut that could prove equally, if not more, important in defining the edges of the Second Amendment.

 

Hide the Decline

Environment &
“Green Energy”

 

Rhode Island Official Admits State’s Climate Lawsuit Is Meant To Wring Money Out Of Big Oil: Court Docs
A Rhode Island official acknowledged in 2019 that the state’s climate lawsuit against Exxon Mobil is partially designed to secure a steady stream of income for the state, court documents show.

 

Obamacare

Government in Healthcare

 

British Woman Sues Medical Center For Allowing Her To “Transition” Her Gender
This isn’t the first time this has happened and I highly doubt it will be the last. A woman in London named Keira Bell has brought a lawsuit against a National Health Service (NHS) “gender clinic” for allowing her to “transition” to being a male when she was an underage teenager. She now regrets the decision and says that the staff at the clinic “should have challenged her more” before allowing her to undergo the various treatments she received. One judge reviewed the request and the clinic’s efforts to have it dismissed and is allowing the case to move forward.

Canada Psychiatrists: Refusing Euthanasia for Mentally Ill Is “Discrimination”
Dedicated psychiatrists are often the only defense between patients with serious mental illness and suicide. But legalizing euthanasia shifts thinking 180 degrees because suicide has been redefined as health care and a right. Hence, protections — such as barring administered death to the mentally ill — soon come to be seen as obstacles.

 

War & Terror

 

The Air Force’s New Weapon Is…Shipping Containers?
The USAF could sprinkle potential battlefields and hotspots with shipping containers years in advance, each hiding a lethal drone.

China’s navy shipbuilders are “outbuilding everybody”
The second Type 075 amphibious warship, being built in Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, is about to be launched

 

National

 

Does the Second Amendment Mean You Have a Right to a Gun Shop Near You?
Imagine if gun rights groups demanded that gun shops did not have to meet state safety regulations because the Second Amendment guarantees a right to bear arms and that fundamental constitutional right requires a similar right to be able to access firearms. Americans have a right to bear arms, therefore Americans have a right to purchase guns within a 30-mile radius of their homes, therefore states cannot pass safety regulations that have the effect of causing gun shops to go out of business.

Diversity and inclusion monitors to join faculty hiring committees at SDSU
New program aims to prevent implicit bias in hiring process

Prisons, sports, clothing stores examples of “straight and cis privilege,” says college display
Sports, clothing stores — even prisons — that divide people by sex and gender are examples of “straight and cis privilege,” according to a large-scale display recently presented at Guilford College

Judge Throws Book At Weinstein With 23-Year Sentence
“A severe sentence,” ABC’s Erielle Reshef reports, “and perhaps a watershed moment.” Despite avoiding convictions on the most serious charges in his rape trial in New York, Harvey Weinstein got nearly the maximum sentence from the judge. He could have drawn 29 years in prison, but instead got 23 years — and it’s structured consecutively rather than concurrently.

GOP Senator Blocks Unanimous Consent Passage of Paid Sick Leave Bill
A lone Republican, Senator Lamar Alexander, put the brakes on an effort by Senate Democrats to ram a paid sick leave bill through the Senate. Alexander objected to Senator Patty Murray’s unanimous consent request to pass the bill, forcing Democrats to take it to committee.

National Communication Association shuts down conservative talk, professor says
A longtime professor of rhetoric and communication at Towson University is sounding the alarm over the scholarly group that advances communication as a discipline of study, saying it has effectively shut down talk of conservative ideas within its ranks.

Miami crime expert to plead guilty in Venezuela graft case
A University of Miami professor who is a top expert on money laundering in Latin America is scheduled to plead guilty for trying to hide $3 million in proceeds from a corruption scheme with Venezuela’s socialist government.

UCLA caves to striking students, only to be met with more backlash
In response to striking graduate student workers demanding higher pay, UCLA conceded and offered the students $2,500 monthly. That was not good enough, and the students continue to strike.

Conservative UChicago student stays strong in face of threats
University of Chicago sophomore Evita Duffy was the target of vicious online attacks from peers recently for saying that socialism is more dangerous than the coronavirus.

Virginia Commonwealth Universityp olice will not bring charges in newspaper theft; prosecutor argues newspapers have no “concrete value”
She said newspaper is “free,” but it’s technically not

The History of the URL
On the 11th of January 1982 twenty-two computer scientists met to discuss an issue with ‘computer mail’ (now known as email). Attendees included the guy who would create Sun Microsystems, the guy who made Zork, the NTP guy, and the guy who convinced the government to pay for Unix. The problem was simple: there were 455 hosts on the ARPANET and the situation was getting out of control.

Short Circuit: A Roundup of Recent Federal Court Decisions
Flight paths, multitudinous grievances, and loitering plus.

LGBTQ activists demand restrictions on Harvard Law’s new religious freedom clinic
Don’t help anyone “jeopardize reproductive justice”

 

Economy & Taxes

 

Is failure of the 2020 Prop. 13 sign of a new tax revolt?
The good Proposition 13 — the one from 1978, not the $15 billion school bond currently on electoral life support — was the beginning of the modern tax revolt movement.

California Outlaws Freelance Work
Freelance jobs are “feudalism,” says California Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.

Trump Should Heed Senate’s Call for Talks With Taiwan on Free Trade Pact
The Senate on Wednesday night again passed the Taiwan Allies International Protection and Enhancement Initiative (TAIPEI) Act.

Was California’s Bullet Train Even More Of A Corrupt Mess Than We Thought?
Going back to early 2018, Ed Morrissey was already sounding the alarm about the way that California’s vaunted high-speed rail line, affectionately known as the bullet train, was imploding as the world watched. By that point, cost estimates for the rail project had nearly tripled from the original projections, jumping high enough to quite literally pay for seven new nuclear-powered aircraft carriers for the Navy or wipe out more than three-quarters of Venezuela’s staggering national debt. We’re now talking about $77B. But the specifics of how things flew so badly off the rails (pardon the pun) have remained something of a mystery

Had Enough? Californians Turn Down Higher Taxes, Debt
California residents pay some the nation’s highest taxes on gas, clothing and the money they earn — and those revenues have contributed to a massive state budget surplus.

Fed to Inject $1.5 Trillion into the Banking System to Stave Off Trouble
In an effort to calm panicked markets, the Federal Reserve announced it would pump $1.5 trillion into the banking system. The move comes after stocks lost nearly 10 percent of their value — the biggest one-day drop since the crash of 1987.

Fed cuts interest rates to zero percent amid coronavirus fallout
The Federal Reserve on Sunday slashed interest rates to zero percent and announced it would purchase $700 billion in bonds and securities to stabilize financial markets and support the economy.

 

International

 

Another African Tragedy
Here are a few headlines about an African tragedy: “Africa’s Worst Locust Plague in Decades Threatens Millions” (The Wall Street Journal), “‘Unprecedented’ Locust Invasion Approaches Full-Blown Crisis” (Scientific American), “Somalia Declares Locust Outbreak a ‘National Emergency'” (The National), and “UN Calls for International Action on East Africa Locust Outbreak” (Bloomberg Green).

One Child, 6 Pregnant Women Among 13 Rescued from ‘Baby Factory’ by Nigeria Police
Lagos: Nigerian police have rescued 13 people, including a child and six pregnant women, from an illegal clinic in southwestern Ogun state, a spokesman said Friday.

Court rules people cannot be gender neutral on their passports
A court has ruled that people cannot have passports with their gender unspecified.

China Credibly Accused of Organ-Harvesting Atrocity
Last week, the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China issued its final report concluding that China engages in the systematic human-rights atrocity of killing political and other prisoners and harvesting their organs. (I wrote about the preliminary report here.) It is a horrific account about which woefully inadequate attention has been paid.

Life In Stalin’s Prison Camps As Told By People Who Were There
Last week the Atlantic published a story about life inside Stalin’s prison camps. The story is based on a short documentary, part of a series called Generation Gulag which is being produced to allow survivors of the camps to tell their stories

BC Transgender Youth Case: When Speech Is No Longer Free
Usually, public policy concerns what some leader or bureaucrat should do. But when the law and the government are misguided, decision-making falls to citizens. They must decide whether to stand up or cower, to speak up or remain silent.

Princess Haya Of Dubai Is Seeking Political Asylum To Save Her Daughter From Child Marriage
Among the biggest Royal scandals you may not have heard of today is the divorce between the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, and his wife, the Jordanian Princess Haya. Even though Meghan and Harry are still dominating the press regarding news of Royals, there’s another significant Royal scandal you need to pay attention to – the story about Princess Haya and why she has fled to the West.

Nearly 140 new minor planets are discovered beyond Neptune that scientists hope will help track down the mysterious Planet Nine
Experts found 316 minor planets and determined 139 haven’t been documented

University bans taxpayer advocate because of unspecified “safety and security” fears
Reportedly demanded student group hire security following left-wing criticism

Something Strange Is Going On With the North Star
People have watched the North Star for centuries. The bright star, also known as Polaris, is almost directly above Earth’s North Pole and serves as a landmark in the sky for travelers without a compass. It’s also Earth’s closest cepheid, a type of star that pulses regularly in diameter and brightness. And Polaris is part of a binary system; it’s got a dimmer sister, known as Polaris B, that we can watch circling it from Earth.

Sweden Fines Google for Telling Website Owners About Censorship of Content – Reports
According to Sweden’s Data Protection Authority (the Datainspektionen), the fine is punishment for the search engine giant’s failure to remove search results ordered to be blocked three years ago.

 

Opinion

 

California Is a Cruel Medieval State
The Golden State has become a cruel and unusual place because callousness and narcissism were redefined as caring and compassion.

Misremembering Fusionism
Michael Knowles has written an assessment for the American Mind of what he thinks the modern conservative coalition looks like. He considers it primarily defined, and united, not by what it stands for, but by what it stands against: i.e., the Left. He further argues that this is not unusual, as, in his view, such an oppositional status largely animated post-war American conservatism of the William F. Buckley “fusionist” variety

Brasilia: How Not to Build a City
The South American master-planned capital is monumental hubris—and soul-crushing to its inhabitants.

On the Shooting of Deplorables
The Hunt’s gallery of condescending liberals and ignorant rednecks is pretty much guaranteed to irritate everyone.

Learning From A Century Of Bad Urban Planning
Classic city design is a lost art, but is now being recovered.

The Politics of Panic
I hate to be that guy, but I can’t help wondering if the growing panic about the coronavirus is rooted in politics. This country has been through pandemics before, and yet this seems to be the first time that panic has really started to spread faster than the disease itself.

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