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Friday, January 15, 2021

What Conservatism Must Conserve

As we stand on the verge of Democrats taking control of the federal government, and as emboldened liberals across media, politics, punditry, and the general population seek to silence and punish conservatives—even going so far as to draft legislation that would criminalize the political rallies of their opponents—it seems a good time to take a step back and remind everyone what exactly conservatism is trying to conserve. Or, for those who need a refresher, what conservatism should be conserving.

Conservatism must conserve the U.S. Constitution. The United States of America is not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. As the young United States was floundering under the weak Articles of Confederation, Founding Fathers such as Alexander Hamilton and Fisher Ames knew well that in order to “preserve the Union” and to protect liberty, a sound Constitution was required.

Among many other magnificent things, in order to provide for a unique “Union” of a variety of states, the U.S. Constitution represents a brilliant compromise between large states and small states on balanced representation in Congress and the manner in which the U.S. President is chosen. Among many other magnificent things, the Bill of Rights protects religion, speech, assembly, and the right to bear arms. The U.S. Constitution is the world’s most enduring charter of government. In 1878, William Gladstone rightly described our Constitution as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”

Conservatism must conserve law and order. “States are laboratories for democracy,” we are told. Of course, under federalism, this would be the case with local governments as well, especially large cities. The most repeated and verified political experiment in U.S. history is this: via liberalism, or leftism—whatever you want to call it—Democrats have turned American cities into some of the most dangerous, dirty, and lawless places in the world.

Under authoritarianism—the ultimate goal for American leftists—the regime is the law. For American colonists languishing under the British Monarchy, this would be translated as “the King is the law.” As Thomas Paine put it in Common Sense, “In America, the law is king.” And the “supreme Law of the Land” in America is the U.S. Constitution. If the law is ignored, if the Constitution is ignored, chaos reigns—borders are dangerously porous, the police are reviled, buildings are burned (without repercussions!), businesses are looted (without repercussions!), elections are corrupt, and so on.

Conservatism must conserve capitalism. The U.S. has long been the world’s leading economic power. Nothing contrived by man is more responsible for this than capitalism. Likewise, no other economic system the world over has done more to lift people out of poverty than capitalism. As history has clearly demonstrated, no economic system has proven better than the free-market economics touted by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations.

Published in 1776, The Wealth of Nations would have an almost immediate impact on government financial policy worldwide and is considered by many to be the most important treatise on economics ever written. Smith’s seminal work was enthusiastically embraced by America’s Founding Fathers, and thus capitalism in America was born. Walmart, Ford, Exxon, IBM, CVS, AT&T, Kroger, Amazon, Facebook, Google, and the like all owe their existence to American capitalism. Not one of these companies would exist as they do today without hopeful investors seeking a profitable return—even Jeff Bezos went to such with his hat in his hand—and without customers operating in a free market.

Conservatism must conserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman for life. Again, marriage is the oldest institution in the history of humanity—older than God's covenant with the nation of Israel, older than The Law, older than the church. Marriage is one of the earliest truths revealed by God. If anything is true, marriage as the union of one man and one woman is true. On this, there can never be compromise.

Married mothers and fathers are the foundation of every sound society the world has ever known. No law written by human beings should ever subvert this ancient and foundational institution. President Ronald Reagan summed it up well when he noted, “The family has always been the cornerstone of American society…in the family we learn our first lessons of God and man, love and discipline, rights and responsibilities…the strength of our families is vital to the strength of our nation.”

Conservatism must conserve life. From America’s beginning, it was clear that the “right to life” was considered “unalienable” by America’s Founders. In other words, this right is conferred upon us by our Creator, and any effort to take this away—no matter the stage of life—is a struggle against the One who made us all and His eternal Law.

The plight of the unborn is the greatest civil rights battle of all time. Any person who refuses to protect the most innocent and helpless among us should never be placed in a position of power in any nation, but this should especially be the case in the United States of America.

Above all, conservatism must conserve that we are “one nation under God.” Conservatism must conserve the idea that there is a God who created all things, who is the Author of all life, who is the Lawgiver, the ultimate Arbiter for what is moral, the final Judge, the Savior of all humanity, and the One to whom we owe our ultimate and final allegiance. Because all law is rooted in someone’s idea of what is moral, conservatives must reject the foolish notion that we should not “legislate morality.”

If conservatism seeks to conserve anything, it is those things that have been settled for all time. If conservatism seeks to conserve anything, it is the idea that there is an Author of truth and that the laws of mankind and all good government must be rooted in His Law. If we want our nation to endure as our Founders envisioned it, these things must be conserved.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith and Reason.
www.TrevorGrantThomas.com 
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@TrevorGrantThomas.com

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Lockdown Leadership Has to GO!

I should have seen the results of the Georgia Senate runoffs coming. As a life-long resident (51+ years) of Georgia, living my whole life in one of the most conservative congressional districts in the U.S. (Georgia’s 9th), I’ve long been shielded from the left-wing wickedness that has plagued most of the rest of America and the world. Additionally, since current U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, won Georgia’s 2002 gubernatorial race—becoming the first republican since Reconstruction to hold that office—the GOP has dominated Georgia politics.

In other words, I’ve enjoyed living in a political sea of red for many years now. Alas, the (as of this writing) likely (and perhaps fraudulent) election of radical leftists Raphael Warnock and John Ossoff to the U.S. Senate, Georgia has, for now, taken a hard turn to the left. What’s more, though my congressional district is still reliably republican, real conservatism is getting harder and harder to find in northeast Georgia. Nothing has made this clearer than the manufactured crisis over the Wuhan virus.

I write “manufactured” because it is now clear that, whatever health risks the Wuhan virus presents, they pale in comparison to the social, mental, economic, and spiritual carnage wrought by the foolish political actions—and subsequent foolish private actions—that tragically followed the Wuhan virus into the U.S. As many warned, including President Trump, for the Wuhan virus, the “cure” has indeed been worse than the disease.

In other words, most of the suffering in America today is not due to the Wuhan virus, but rather to our foolish and widespread reaction to the Wuhan virus. The shutdowns, the lockdowns, the mask mandates, and the like have done little to nothing to stem the tide of the Wuhan virus. Instead, these unwise measures have brought unprecedented suffering—including stress, debt, financial ruin, depression, illness, and death—to tens of millions of Americans.

In addition, the pervasive fear-porn frequently spread by the left-wing media and those like-minded opened the door for mail-in voting, ballot drop boxes, and other opportunities for voter fraud. Though the exact extent is still unknown, a wide array of evidence has made clear that vote fraud occurred. Thus, the election fraud—however widespread—is also greatly due to our Wuhan virus reaction.

Nevertheless, two months after the fiasco that was the November election, and about 10 months after the Wuhan virus fear-mongering began, in spite of all the evidence we now have, in northeast Georgia—again, one of the most conservative parts of America—the lockdown narrative persists. And if it’s happening here, there’s little doubt that this is the case over much of the U.S.

As I recently reported, numerous school systems—including colleges—in northeast Georgia are beginning the second semester with students stuck in at-home learning. Of course, as a long-time veteran of homeschooling our four children, there’s nothing wrong with this if it is what parents and students are prepared for, but this is not the case for the vast majority of households. Also, this attitude toward in-person schooling perpetuates the lockdown narrative.

Many institutions—especially those that involve young people—are taking their lockdown cues from school systems. The prevailing thinking is, “If school is not safe, since our activity involves school-age children/young adults, we must shut down/lock down as well.” This is happening with churches, recreation departments, camps, concerts, and the like.

Very troubling and discouraging is the fact that school boards in northeast Georgia are dominated by republicans and supposed conservatives. I won’t again re-hash the mountain of data and science one has to ignore to conclude that children are in any real danger from the Wuhan virus, but I will add: shame on them! Where is the courage?! Where is the leadership?!

Even more troubling is the seeming lack of courage and leadership on the Wuhan virus in U.S. churches, including those in my zip code and the surrounding areas. I realize that churches with vulnerable populations might need to take certain measures to protect them, but months-long, widespread shutdowns of services and activities—especially those involving young people—are inexcusable. This is nothing more than operating out of fear and/or laziness instead of operating out of faith.

Why in the world are churches taking direction on life and death, health and prosperity, liberty and joy, from the faithless in secular government?! If there was ever a time for the Church to be the Church, this is such a time! Churches have just as much access—if not more—to expert health care analysis. Moreover, right-minded churches (note that many churches who have long been in shut down mode have also compromised on a wide array of other important issues) are much more equipped to weigh health care advice from the proper perspective, rightly balancing safety with living one’s life.

Of course, corporate leadership on the Wuhan virus has been as bad as any other leadership. To the detriment or destruction of hundreds of thousands of small businesses all across America, for months now, Corporate America has enthusiastically backed mask mandates, lockdowns, and the like. As countless owners and employees of small businesses have suffered as their businesses have been significantly limited or shut down, Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, and the like have survived and even thrived in lockdown America.

Like public school teachers and other government employees whose paychecks have continued through the lockdowns and shutdowns, those employed by corporate America have seen little to no economic pain from the lockdown policies that are prolific in the U.S. No amount of “stimulus” checks from broke Uncle Sam—now approaching $30 trillion in debt—can replace the real income generated when businesses are free to operate as they wish.

It is past time for the end of lockdown politics and policies! Notice that I’m not saying that lockdown “leaders” must go, but that leadership that has resulted in the general lockdown of America, must end. However, leaders who refuse to acknowledge what science—as well articulated in the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD)—has long made clear, should step aside, or be removed. On the Wuhan virus, the GBD rightly concludes:

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith and Reason.
www.TrevorGrantThomas.com 
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@TrevorGrantThomas.com


Friday, January 8, 2021

Remember When the Democrats Rioted?

After a crowd of protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, which led to the death of Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt, there has been a chorus of calls for the removal of President Trump via the 25th Amendment or another impeachment. Whatever one thinks of Trump’s rhetoric and the protests and violence on January 6, it pales in comparison to what we’ve seen from Democrats and their viciously violent supporters.

To prove this, we don’t have to go back to Obama and Ferguson, Missouri or “Get up and get in their faces;” or, “If they bring a knife, you bring a gun;” or, “We will reward our friends and punish our enemies.” We don’t have to go back to President Trump’s 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton.

We don’t even have to go back to the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, when a pro-abortion mob—otherwise known as a “death cult”—invaded the U.S. Capitol, threatened to “shut it down” as they were “fired up” by Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren, violently banged on the doors of the Supreme Court, occupied the Hart Senate Office Building, and accosted multiple U.S. Senators. All we have to do is look back at 2020.

Throughout 2020, for months on end, in dozens of American cities, numerous mobs involving hundreds-of-thousands of left-wing thugs devoted to the Democrat Party and its policies, rioted, burned, looted, and murdered. The images below remind us of this carnage:

YouTube Screen Grab, Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50qXWSfozFI

YouTube Screen Grab, Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2L-8-rUM7s


YouTube Screen Grab, Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxcnajv9Cwc


YouTube Screen Grab, Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxZVfwudvC8 


As a result of this rampant lawlessness, dozens of innocent Americans were murdered—including several police officers—hundreds of police officers were significantly injured, and billions of dollars of U.S. property—often minority-owned small businesses—was destroyed. The property destruction was the “most costly manmade damage to American property” in U.S. history.

In spite of all of this, as they have done for years, whether through their silence or direct words, Democrat politicians across America, along with their apologists in the left-wing media, encouraged and enabled this evil. House Democrats blocked a resolution that condemned the rioting and looting, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris helped raise bail money for the many criminals arrested throughout the riots.

In addition, as John Hinderaker at Powerline points out, Kamala Harris also had this to say about the Democrat’s 2020 riots:

They’re not going to stop. They’re not going to stop. This is a movement, I’m telling you. They’re not gonna stop. And everyone beware because they’re not gonna stop. They’re not gonna stop before Election Day and they’re not going to stop after Election Day. And everyone should take note of that. They’re not gonna let up and they should not.

In other words, Democrat fingerprints were all over the 2020 riots that plagued America. And—unless they were concerned about how the riots might be helping President Trump politically—the media simply didn’t care.

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith and Reason.
www.TrevorGrantThomas.com 
Trevor is the author of The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@TrevorGrantThomas.com


Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Demand Your Schools Fully Open, NOW!

Further confirming what I revealed in mid-December, Just the News recently reported that, “States throughout the U.S. are failing to distinguish between patients hospitalized because of COVID-19 and patients who merely test positive for the disease while being hospitalized for other reasons.” This is an important fact for communities across America as hospitalization rates are widely being used to keep much of the U.S. in shutdown mode, including many U.S. schools.

Yes, some U.S. hospitals are more crowded now than they were months ago, however this is not completely—or, in many cases, even largely—due to severe Wuhan virus cases. Again, my community in northeast Georgia provides an excellent example of this. As the image below illustrates, daily data from Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) on Northeast Georgia Medical Center hospitals shows that, although there’s an increase in Wuhan virus “cases” or “COVID-19 Positives,” the rate of occupied beds has remained relatively constant for months now. 


It is very important to note that the steep increase in “COVID-19 Positives” does not correspond to a similarly steep increase in “Total Occupied Beds.” Again, this is almost certainly due to the fact that virtually everyone who gets admitted—for whatever reason—is tested for the Wuhan virus, and those hospitalized because of the Wuhan virus are not being distinguished from those hospitalized with the Wuhan virus. Of course, we should not be surprised at this, as states and hospitals have long played similar games with Wuhan virus deaths.

Additionally, as has been often reported, the numbers for “Total Occupied Beds” are significantly lower at the beginning of this graphic because hospitals grossly overestimated the health care demands of the Wuhan virus. Heeding the rampant Wuhan virus fear mongering, all across the U.S., hospitals shut down almost all care and procedures that they could. This was done in preparation for what we were repeatedly told was going to be a significant Wuhan virus patient surge.

Of course, such a patient surge never materialized. Thus, U.S. hospitals were left with a massive patient shortage. This massive patient shortage led to unprecedented, albeit self-inflicted, financial devastation. Recently, the American Hospital Association (AHA) reported, “Since the start of the pandemic, hospitals and health systems have faced unprecedented financial pressures…And now, some hospitals are increasingly facing the threat of bankruptcy or closure as a result of these pressures.” Thus, much of what we see with current hospitalization rates has less to do with the Wuhan virus and more to do with hospitals trying to improve their financial situation.

Because U.S. hospitals already operate at very thin financial margins—according to this report, it was 1.7% in 2018 and 1.8% in 2017—they typically operate at a very high capacity most of the time. Therefore, any significant uptick in patients will stress most hospitals. In other words, though hospitals may indeed have few available beds, this is by no means unprecedented. This is especially the case during flu season, which, interestingly, we are hearing almost nothing about this year!

As Steven Hayward at Powerline recently noted, for most every year in recent memory, during flu season, the media all over the world has reported on hospital “bed shortages,” “record high occupancy rates,” and as the Los Angeles Times declared during the 2018 flu season,

Hospitals across the state are sending away ambulances, flying in nurses from out of state and not letting children visit their loved ones for fear they’ll spread the flu. Others are canceling surgeries and erecting tents in their parking lots [emphasis mine] so they can triage the hordes of flu patients. . .  Many hospitals also say they’re too full to accept any more patients or ambulances.

During such times, rarely, if ever, were schools, churches, and businesses forced—or even asked—to be closed. Nevertheless, as we stand on the verge of the second semester for most every U.S. school, hospitalization rates across America are being used as justification for keeping schools in shutdown mode. This is true in even some of the most conservative parts of the U.S.

As I’ve noted before, I live in northeast Georgia’s ninth congressional district. This is one of the most conservative districts in America. Yet, several schools across this district are beginning 2021 in the dreaded “virtual learning” mode or some hybrid version of this. In addition to the media reports that imply such, I’ve heard from multiple sources—within the Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) and within the community at large—that these shutdowns are due to messaging from NGHS administration. I personally know for a fact that such messaging has been used to scare local churches into shutting down (again).

Along with hospitalizations, school systems also seem to continue to foolishly be afraid of Wuhan virus “case counts” or, more accurately “positive tests.” First of all, a “positive test” by no means constitutes a Wuhan virus case. Additionally, as I have frequently noted, with this virus, cases without context is virtually meaningless. After months of data, when it comes to the Wuhan virus and school-age children, the “context” is clear: school kids are in practically zero danger. This is true for preschoolers through college age students. There is nothing in the whole of science or sound morality that disproves this.

In spite of months of tens of millions of students engaging in in-person learning, there are no incidents of widespread outbreaks of serious Wuhan virus cases among students. In spite of months of students engaging in close contact athletics such as football (and now basketball, including two of my children), there were zero incidents of widespread outbreaks of serious Wuhan virus cases among such athletes.

Despite this evidence, multiple NCAA football games were cancelled this past fall. Time and again we were told this was due to “cases” or those “testing positive” for the Wuhan virus. As we near the end of the NCAA football season, as far as my research has revealed, there has not been one reported incident of a serious Wuhan virus case in all of NCAA football.

If there are such cases, they are very few, and a media eager to support the lockdown narrative is not reporting them. In all of football—a sport filled with blood, sweat, and constant contact—there seem to be only a handful of serious cases where a young person required hospitalization and was diagnosed with the Wuhan virus.

What’s more, multiple studies, including those very large and very recent indicate that the asymptomatic—the vast majority of the “cases” among school kids—are not spreaders of the Wuhan virus. Whether or not they’re symptomatic, we’ve known for months now—even prior to the beginning of this school year—that children are not significant spreaders of this virus.

Lastly, the lockdowns—including school closures—are having a devastating effect on all of us. Distinguished Canadian pediatrician, Dr. Ari Joffe—recently named one of the ten most influential researchers in the field of pediatric critical care—quantifies these effects in a recent article. On schools, he says: “Keep schools open: children have very low morbidity and mortality from COVID-19, and (especially those 10 years old and younger) are less likely to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 and have a low likelihood to be the source of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”

If your school continues in a lockdown/“remote learning” phase, I encourage you to contact your local school board and administration and educate them on the facts, or at least make them aware that you know the truth!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2020, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com 

Thursday, December 31, 2020

News/Media/Entertainment Headline Archives (2020)

 For the most part, the articles/columns linked below appear in chronological order, beginning with the earliest. 


2020:
Previous News/Media/Entertainment headline archives are contained in a post at the end of each year and linked below:

201920182017201620152014201320122011201020092008