Search This Blog

De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Enjoy Today's P&D

Coronavirus Update For May 31, 2020

By Rich Kozlovich

I've posted much to show this "pandemic" is mostly media driven hysteria, and in spite of all the evidence to the contrary, society has gone insane with this stuff. Therefore, I've decided to post the mortality rates regularly.

The COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) keeps a running total of deaths and proven infections.  As of 5:49 AM on May 31, 2020 here are the coronavirus rates of infection and the rates of mortality based on a worldwide population of 7,800,000,000 and an American population of 330,000,000 using this internet calculator.

Here are the results:

(Editors Note: You will note that while the numbers are going up, the percentages have remained very much same the last few days.  This is about over, and we need to move on and kick these corrupt scaremongering politicians and "scientists" to the curb. RK)
Please note the substantial difference between the infection and mortality rates of coronavirus and past virus attacks.
  • In 1968 the Hong Kong flu killed over 1,000,000 people worldwide. The mortality rate was 0.3%! America lost 100,000 that year, and morality rate was 0.05%.
  • In 1957-58 the Asian flu killed up to 2,000,000 people with a mortality rate 0.068%. America lost 116,000 people. The mortality rate was 0.07%. 
No one sought to shut down the nation then when the infection and mortality rates were higher. Why are we now?

Oh, one more thing.  Ohio has a population of 11, 700,000, and it's estimated the census will show there are more people over 60 than there are under 20 living in Ohio.

According to this site, the number of coronavirus infections that have totaled thus far is 31,408. What's the infection rate?   0.26844444444444%!

There have been 1,956 deaths attributed to coronavirus.  What's the mortality rate?  0.016717948717949%!

Solution:  Impeach Governor DeWine and fire Dr. Amy Acton. And since Ohio Republicans can't seem to find a Ronald Reagan to be Governor, perhaps Ohio needs to find a Maggie Thatcher. 

Coronavirus and the Two Americas

May 25, 2020 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

Earlier this month, Neil Ferguson was awarded membership in the Bureaucrat Hall of Fame after he and his mistress were caught violating lockdown rules that Ferguson – in his role as a supposed public health expert – demanded for the entire United Kingdom.

This was a stunning display of hypocrisy, perhaps even to the extent that Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren might be shocked.

But I want to focus on a different point, which is the degree to which the coronavirus has exposed the fault line between those who are subsidized by government and those who pay for government.  In her Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan opines about how the “protected” don’t have to worry about the consequences of economic shutdowns.
There is a class divide between those who are hard-line on lockdowns and those who are pushing back. We see the professionals on one side—those James Burnham called the managerial elite, and Michael Lind, in “The New Class War,” calls “the overclass”—and regular people on the other. The overclass are highly educated and exert outsize influence as managers and leaders of important institutions—hospitals, companies, statehouses. …Since the pandemic began, the overclass has been in charge—scientists, doctors, political figures, consultants—calling the shots for the average people. But personally they have less skin in the game. The National Institutes of Health scientist won’t lose his livelihood over what’s happened. Neither will the midday anchor. I’ve called this divide the protected versus the unprotected. …Here’s a generalization based on a lifetime of experience and observation. The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate. They haven’t had familial or economic ease. No one sent them to Yale. …they look at these scientists and reporters making their warnings about how tough it’s going to be if we lift shutdowns and they don’t think, “Oh what informed, caring observers.” They think, “You have no idea what tough is. You don’t know what painful is.”
Fareed Zakaria’s column for the Washington Post acknowledges that it is a problem when a bunch of cossetted elites make policy for everyone else.
…there is a broader distrust that we need to understand. …Social power exists in three realms — government, the economy, and the culture. …In all three, leaders tend to be urban, college-educated professionals, often with a postgraduate degree. That makes them quite distinct from much of the rest of the country. …And yet, the top echelons everywhere are filled with this “credentialed overclass.” …many non-college-educated people…see the overclass as enacting policies that are presented as good for the whole country but really mostly benefit people from the ruling class… Let’s look at the covid-19 crisis through this prism. Imagine you are an American who works with his hands — a truck driver, a construction worker, an oil rig mechanic — and you have just lost your job… You turn on the television and hear medical experts, academics, technocrats and journalists explain that we must keep the economy closed — in other words, keep you unemployed — because public health is important. All these people making the case have jobs, have maintained their standards of living… The covid-19 divide is a class divide.
Writing for USA Today, Professor Glenn Reynolds observes that the self-anointed experts are not the ones paying the price for coronavirus policies.
…it’s hard not to notice a class divide here. As with so many of America’s conflicts, the divide is between the people in the political/managerial class on the one hand and the people in the working class on the other. And as usual, the smugness and authoritarianism are pretty much all on one side.
…in Los Angeles — where less than half the county is working now — radio journalist Steve Gregory asked the L.A. County Board of Supervisors whether any of them were willing to take voluntary pay cuts during this crisis. He was told by the chair that his question was “irresponsible,” which is to say embarrassing and inconvenient. (By contrast, New Zealand’s senior officials, including the prime minister, are taking a 20% pay cut.) …There really are two Americas here: Those still getting a paycheck from government, corporations or universities, and those who are unemployed, or seeing their small businesses suffer due to shutdowns. …Then there are the hypocritical gestures, like Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s illicit haircut… People don’t appreciate being lectured and condescended to and bossed around. They especially don’t appreciate being urged to sacrifice by people who make no sacrifices themselves.
I’m tempted to focus on Glenn’s point about how American politicians should follow the lead of New Zealand lawmakers and accept a pay cut as a gesture of solidarity.

Heck, all levels of bureaucracy should take a haircut. Bureaucrats already have a significant advantage in compensation compared to the private sector, and that gap surely will grow now that so many businesses have been shuttered and so many workers have been forced into unemployment.

But I want to focus on a different point, which is the inherent unfairness of the elite having consequence-free power and authority over ordinary people.

In part, it’s the point that Thomas Sowell makes in the accompanying quote.

But it goes beyond that. The problem with the “overclass” or “protected class” is that they also don’t pay any price when they’re totally right, somewhat right, or only partly right.

In other words, the people who live off the government, either directly or indirectly, have relatively comfortable lives – all financed by the people who deal with much greater levels of hardship and uncertainty.

At the risk of understatement, that’s not right.

P.S. This gap is exacerbated when government officials display thuggery rather than empathy.

Cartoon of the Day and Governor Cuomo

Amy Klobuchar Blames the Bill of Rights

Editorial of The New York Sun | May 30, 2020

 The tragedy in Minneapolis has certainly put Senator Amy Klobuchar on the spot. She is, or has been, a front runner to be Joe Biden's running mate. She is also the ex-prosecutor in the Missouri County that includes the city where a police officer is accused of murdering Floyd George. It turns out that in 2006 Ms. Klobuchar once had the accused killer, Officer Derek Chauvin, in her sights in an unrelated killing by police, but no charges were handed up.

It’s one thing for Ms. Klobuchar to point out that she had already moved up to the Senate by the time the grand jury balked at indicting Officer Chauvin in the 2006 case. Fair enough. It’s another thing, though, for her to blame the grand jury system itself..............

This is a moment to ask — yet again — the question: What is a grand jury? The answer we feature is that a grand jury is a right. The right is vouchsafed at the federal level by the Fifth Amendment, which says: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury.” The Fifth allows for exceptions in cases arising in the land or naval forces during a war.............. Continue Reading

Eureka! The Left Discovers Tenth Amendment

By IRA STOLL, Special to the Sun |May 25, 2020

Amid the grim coronavirus news of death and unemployment, at least there is the comic relief of the left embracing the Tenth Amendment. Suddenly trendy is the provision of the Bill of Rights that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The rush to the Tenth came in response to President Trump’s statement on May 22. “I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now,” Mr. Trump said. “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important, essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors.”

Clara Jeffrey, the editor of Mother Jones, a left leaning magazine, wasn’t having it. “To be clear, Trump can't do [expletive] to force churches/temples/mosques to open. Little thing called the 10th Amendment,” she tweeted.

The White House correspondent of the PBS Newshour, Yamiche Alcindor, made the same point. “Pres Trump says he will ‘override the governors’ if they don't follow new CDC guidance and open places of worship this weekend. Context: The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says powers not delegated to federal government are reserved to the states,” Alcindor tweeted.................when President Obama, a Democrat, was in the White House, cast doubt on states’ rights efforts.
“Article 6 of the Constitution says federal authority outranks state authority, and on that bedrock of federalist principle rests centuries of back and forth that states have mostly lost, notably the desegregation of schools in the 1950s and ’60s,” the Times reported then. The Times quoted a law professor, Ruthann Robson, who claimed, “Article 6 says that that federal law is supreme and that if there’s a conflict, federal law prevails.”...............To Read More.....

Minnesota leaders say arrested protesters are not local residents: 'We don't know these folks'

'Every single person we arrested last night, I'm told, was from out of state'

The mayor of St. Paul, the sister city to Minneapolis, announced Saturday that every protester arrested during Friday's riots were from out-of-state.  Speaking at a press conference, Mayor Melvin Carter (D) said out-of-state agitators were responsible for the violent unrest in St. Paul on Friday. Demonstrations erupted in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area this week in response to the tragic death of George Floyd.

"Every single person we arrested last night, I'm told, was from out of state. What we are seeing right now is a group of people who are not from here," Carter said..............."I want to be very, very clear. The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents. They are coming in largely from outside of the city, from outside of the region, to prey on everything that we have built over the last several decades," Frey said...........To Read More....

Destroying the environment to save it

Pseudo-green energy will wreak devastation, pretending to prevent exaggerated climate harm 
Paul Driessen 

“We had to destroy the village in order to save it.” The infamous Vietnam era quotation may or may not have been uttered by an anonymous US Army major. It may have been misquoted, revised, apocryphal or invented. But it quickly morphed into an anti-war mantra that reflected attitudes of the time. 

For Virginians and others forced to travel the path of “clean, green, renewable, sustainable” energy, it will redound in modern politics as “We had to destroy the environment in order to save it.” 

Weeks after Governor Ralph Northam signed Virginia’s “Clean Economy Act,” which had been rushed through a partisan Democrat legislature, Dominion Energy Virginia announced it would reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To do so, the utility company will raise family, business, hospital and school electricity bills by 3% every year for the next ten years – as these customers and state and local governments struggle to climb out of the financial holes created by the ongoing Coronavirus lockdown

Just as bad, renewable energy mandates and commitments from the new law and Dominion’s “integrated resource plan” will have major adverse impacts on Virginia and world environmental values. In reality, Virginia’s new “clean” economy exists only in fantasy land – and only if we ignore “clean” energy CO2 emissions, air and water pollution, and other environmental degradation around the world. 

Dominion Energy plans to expand the state’s offshore wind, onshore solar and battery storage capacity by some 24,000 megawatts of new “renewable” energy by 2035, and far more after that. It will retain just 9,700 MW of existing natural gas generation, and only through 2045, build no new gas-fired units, and retire 6,200 megawatts of coal-fired generation. This will reduce in-state carbon dioxide emissions, but certainly won’t do so globally. The company intends to keep its four existing nuclear units operating. 

To “replace” some of its abundant, reliable, affordable fossil fuel electricity, Dominion intends to build at least 31,400 megawatts of expensive, unreliable solar capacity by 2045. The company estimates that will require a land area some 25% larger than 250,000-acre Fairfax County, west of Washington, DC. That means Dominion Energy’s new solar facilities will blanket 490 square miles (313,000 acres) of beautiful croplands, scenic areas and habitats that now teem with wildlife. 

That’s almost half the land area of Rhode Island, eight times the District of Columbia, 14 times more land than all Fairfax County parks combined – blanketed by imported solar panels. Still more land will be torn up for access roads and new transmission lines. All this is just for Dominion Energy’s solar panels. 

The panels will actually generate electricity maybe 20-25% of the year, once you factor in nighttime hours, cloudy days, and times when the sun is not bright enough to generate more than trifling electricity. 

Dominion and other Virginia utility companies also plan to import and install 430 monstrous 850-foot-tall bird-chopping offshore wind turbines – and tens of thousands of half-ton battery packs, to provide backup power for at least a few hours or days when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. The batteries will prevent the economy from shutting down even more completely during each outage than it has during the Corona lockdown. Similar policies across America will impact hundreds of millions of acres

Most of these solar panels, wind turbines and batteries – or their components, or the metals and minerals required to manufacture those components – will likely come from China or from Chinese-owned operations in Africa, Asia and Latin America ... under mining, air and water pollution, workplace safety, fair wage, child labor, mined land reclamation, manufacturing and other laws and standards that would get US and other Western companies unmasked, vilified, sued, fined and shut down in a heartbeat. 

It is those minimal to nonexistent laws and regulations that govern most of the companies and operations that will supply the “clean” technologies that will soon blight Virginia landscapes and serve the new “clean” Virginia economy. As Michael Moore observes in his new film, Planet of the Humans, other states that opt for “clean” energy will face the same realities. 

Thus far, no one has produced even a rough estimate of how much concrete, steel, aluminum, copper, lithium, cobalt, silica, rare earth metals and countless other materials will be needed. All will require gigantic heavy equipment and prodigious amounts of fossil fuels to blast and haul away billions of tons of rocky overburden; extract, crush and process tens of millions of tons of ores, using acids, toxic chemicals and other means to refine the ores; smelt concentrates into metals; manufacture all the millions of tons of components; and haul, assemble and install the panels, turbines, batteries and transmission lines, setting them on top of tens of thousands of tons of concrete and rebar. All of it beyond Virginia’s borders. 

No one has tallied the oil, natural gas and coal fuel requirements for doing all this “Virginia Clean Economy” work – nor the greenhouse gases and actual pollutants that will be emitted in the process. 

Nothing about this is clean, green, renewable or sustainable. But Virginia politicians and Dominion Energy officials have said nothing about any of this, nor about which countries will host the mining and other activities, under what environmental and human rights standards

Will Virginians ever get a full accounting? Just because all of this will happen far beyond Virginia’s borders does not mean we can ignore the global environmental impacts. Or the health, safety and well-being of children and parents in those distant mines, processing plants and factories. 

This is the perfect time to observe the environmentalist creed: think globally, act locally. Will that be done?
Will Dominion and Virginia require that all these raw materials and wind, solar and battery components be responsibly sourced? Will it require independently verified certifications that none of them involve child labor, and all are produced in compliance with US and Virginia laws, regulations and ethical codes for workplace safety, fair wages, air and water pollution, wildlife preservation, cancer prevention and mined lands reclamation? Will they tally up all the fossil fuels consumed, and pollutants emitted, in the process? 

Science journalist, businessman and parliamentarian Matt Ridley says wind turbines need some 200 times more raw materials per megawatt of power than modern combined-cycle gas turbines. It’s probably much the same for solar panels. Add in the millions of wind turbines, billions of solar panels and billions of backup batteries that would be required under a nationwide Green New Deal, and the combined US and global environmental, human health and human rights impacts become absolutely mindboggling. 

If you ignore all the land and wildlife impacts from installing the wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and transmission lines – you could perhaps call this “clean energy” and a “clean economy” within Virginia’s borders. But not beyond those borders. This is a global issue, and the world would likely be far better off if we just built modern combined-cycle gas turbines (or nuclear power plants) to generate reliable electricity – and avoided all the monumental human and ecological impacts of pseudo-renewable energy. 

When it’s time to select sites for these 490 square miles of industrial solar facilities, will Virginia, its county and local governments, its citizens, environmentalist groups and courts apply the same rigorous standards, laws and regulations that they demand for drilling, fracking, coal and gas power plants, pipelines, highways, timber cutting and other projects? Will they apply the same standards for 850-foot-tall wind turbines and 100-foot-tall transmission lines as they demand for buried-out-of-sight pipelines? 

Virginia’s Clean Economy Act will also plunge almost every project and jurisdiction into questions of race, poverty and environmental justice. Dominion Energy and other utility companies will have to charge means-tested rates (even as rates climb 3% per year) and exempt low-income customers from some charges. They will have to submit construction plans to “environmental justice councils” – even as the companies, councils and politicians ignore the rampant injustices inflicted on children and parents slaving away in Chinese, African and Latin American “clean energy” mines, processing plants and factories. 

Government officials, utility industry executives, environmentalists and anyone else who promotes wind, solar, battery and biofuel energy need to explain exactly how they plan to address these issues. Future town hall meetings and project approval hearings promise to be raucous, entertaining and illuminating.  

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of books and articles on energy, environment, climate and human rights issues.

Chris Wallace: Puerile, Narcissistic, and Unprofessional

Dems Blame Trump for Anti-Asian Hate Crimes by Minorities


The video shows an Asian woman running through a subway station in Chinatown before being ambushed by a young black man who begins punching and kicking her.

Now Senate Democrats have cited the incident in Senate Resolution 580 which condemns the terms “Wuhan Virus” and “Chinese Virus”, that correctly describe the origin of the pandemic, as likely to lead to “Asian Americans being harassed, assaulted, and scapegoated.”

While the resolution is clearly aimed at President Trump, who has insisted on describing the virus as the “Chinese Virus”, and at conservatives who have resisted the WHO’s efforts to obscure the origins of the outbreak in the People’s Republic of China, a survey of the anti-Asian attacks, including those cited by Democrats, tells a different story.

The resolution describes the subway attack as part of the “incidents of anti-Asian violence occurring in March 2020… a woman wearing a mask was kicked and punched at a New York City subway station.”

The attack actually happened in February. The woman seems to have been wearing a scarf, not a mask. She’s also wearing a parka with a fur-trimmed hood suggesting winter attire, not coronavirus protection. Her attacker on the video makes no mention of the coronavirus, that comes from an unverified claim on Twitter. The attack appears to be the sort of random violence that happens far too often in New York.

And the African-American man who assaulted her was probably not a Trump supporter.

The Senate Democrat resolution goes on to mention that, "2 children and 2 adults were stabbed at a wholesale grocery in Midland, Texas."

Jose L. Gomez III, the perpetrator, was stopped by an off-duty Border Patrol Agent. That’s the organization targeted by some of the Senate Democrats who signed on to S. Res. 580, especially Senator Elizabeth Warren. Bernie Ramirez, a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School, an ex-Marine, and Border Patrol Agent, who prevented Gomez from killing anybody, is everything that Democrats oppose.

Gomez did claim that he went on the stabbing spree because he thought the Chinese family was spreading the virus. And then he began punching guards in prison. He’s probably not a Trump supporter.

"A couple was assaulted and robbed by a group of attackers in Philadelphia," the Senate Democrat resolution continues. The Twitter user who had posted the original video, before his account was suspended, described it as, “Asian kids were stomped and punched by a herd of black kids, this is so disturbing the amount of Racial violence we have to endure is so heartbreaking. This happened in a subway in Philadelphia. Don’t look away, this is the reality for us in Western countries.”

It's an ugly scene, but unclear that it has anything to do with the coronavirus. Like the first video, it just seems to be the pervasive reality in some urban areas. It was happening often enough before the virus.

Democrats have empowered criminals, handcuffed law enforcement, and fought to prevent the prosecution of thugs who carry out violent attacks like the ones that take place in these videos. Democrats can’t push pro-crime agendas like giving 17-year-olds a pass for violent attacks while describing them as “justice-involved youth”, and then feign outrage when they beat up an Asian couple.

President Trump didn’t cause the Philly subway attack. Calling the virus, the “Wuhan Virus” didn’t do it. Pro-crime policies by the Democrats running Philadelphia and Pennsylvania are entirely to blame.

The final incident cited in the resolution, of a teenager being attacked in school, can’t be investigated because no names, and not even the location of the school, have been released or named in the stories.

But a survey of the violent assaults on Asian people that have been attributed to fear of the pandemic makes it abundantly clear that they’re not coming from Trump supporters obsessed with wording.

A video that does show an attack on an Asian woman motivated by the coronavirus features a mask-wearing African-American woman on a subway car near Chinatown in Manhattan. Another attack in Manhattan was carried out by a minority perpetrator, of unknown race, wearing a surgical mask, and shouting, “You’re infected China boy, you need to get off the train.”

Nicholas Theodore of Harlem was arrested for spitting and threatening to shoot an Asian man in a Brooklyn subway station, while yelling, "You f–king Chinese spreading the coronavirus!" Yet another video from a Brooklyn subway confrontation shows a black man spraying an Asian man with Febreeze.

Of the 3 violent assaults on Asian people in May listed by the ADL, two took place in New York and one in Pasadena. All were carried out by black men. The Pasadena attacker appears to be a homeless man who had been previously arrested for assault with a deadly weapon for spitting on a woman.

The deadly weapon part came about because he was infected with tuberculosis.

Neither the locales nor the perps fit the profiles of Trump supporters who care what he calls the virus.

Of the three violent attacks in April, one took place in New York, one in New Jersey, and one in Chesapeake, Virginia. The one assault which caused physical harm involved African-American teenage girls assaulting a middle aged woman on an Edison, NJ bus badly enough that she needed stitches.

Most of the anti-Asian attacks took place in March. The majority of the attacks happened in New York, though there was one in Naperville that involved two white women. An assault on a subway train in Brooklyn appeared to be a robbery attempt by a homeless man who shouted racial slurs at his victim.

The perpetrator had allegedly been arrested nearly 100 times.

An Asian woman walking in Manhattan was assaulted by a Bronx resident who shouted slurs at her. When the attacker was arrested, the police found drug paraphernalia in her possession.

Raoul Ramos, pushed an Asian man and his son in Queens, New York.

A rapper posted a video of an elderly Asian woman being chased with a bottle of Purell in Miami.

A 13-year-old boy in New York repeatedly spat on an Asian man.

These incidents are ugly, but, like most hate crimes, have been taking place in Democrat enclaves. The perpetrators, if they bother to vote, are probably Democrats. The assaults are part of the ugly climate of casual violence that has been unleashed by pro-crime Democrat politicians like Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Everyone, even the dumbest people around, knows where the Wuhan Virus originated.

If Senator Kamala Harris, and allies like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders want to stop crimes like these, they need to stop parroting propaganda from Communist China and get tough on crime. Senate Resolution 580 will do nothing to stop assaults on Asian-Americans in New York City. All it offers is hollow politically correct virtue signaling while trying to silence any discussion of China’s misdeeds.

The violent attacks make it obvious that hate crimes are not fundamentally distinct from other crimes. A violent hate crime is most often just an assault or a robbery accompanied by slurs. The solution isn’t to fight hate crimes, it’s to fight crime. Real hate crimes are the work of criminals who say something racist.

The Senate Democrat resolution seeks to muzzle free speech while undermining our foreign policy. Playing the language police will do absolutely nothing to stop violent assaults by subway thugs.

The only beneficiaries of Senate Resolution 580 will be China’s Communist Party.

It’s also yet another cynical effort to blame violent attacks in New York City on President Trump.

Anti-Asian violent attacks, like anti-Semitic violent attacks, are largely being carried out by the same people and in the same areas. The Democrats need to stop blaming Trump and Republicans for racist violence being carried out in their cities and by their voters, and start taking responsibility themselves.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine. Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation. Thank you for reading.


Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era

By Michael Klompas, M.D., M.P.H., Charles A. Morris, M.D., M.P.H., Julia Sinclair, M.B.A., Madelyn Pearson, D.N.P., R.N., and Erica S. Shenoy, M.D., Ph.D.

As the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to explode, hospital systems are scrambling to intensify their measures for protecting patients and health care workers from the virus. An increasing number of frontline providers are wondering whether this effort should include universal use of masks by all health care workers. Universal masking is already standard practice in Hong Kong, Singapore, and other parts of Asia and has recently been adopted by a handful of U.S. hospitals.

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.......... To Read More...

Howard Zinn’s Assault on Historians and American Principles The 1776 Series

By Mary Grabar @ Real Clear Public Affairs

This essay is part of RealClearPublicAffairs's 1776 Series, which explains the major themes that define the American mind.

Recently, Michael Barone heralded a bipartisan refutation of the New York Times’s 1619 Project. As part of “an ongoing battle for control of the central narrative of American history,” Barone noted, the August 2019 Times magazine supplement had made the case for redefining the founding of the United States from 1776 to 1619, when, presumably, the first slave ship came to Virginia, beginning a chain of exploitation by which the country supposedly built her wealth. 

Barone notes how Sean Wilentz, writing in the liberal Atlantic, made “mincemeat” of lead writer Nikole Hannah-Jones’ contention that “protecting slavery was the main motive of the American Revolution.” With distinguished historians James McPherson, James Oakes, Victoria Bynum, and Gordon Wood, Wilentz also co-signed a letter to the Times “lamenting” the Project’s “factual errors.” The National Association of Scholars, Law & Liberty, and World Socialist also published effective rebuttals.
Racism and fascism, Zinn argued, were in America’s very “bones”—a charge echoed by the 1619 Project’s claim about racism being in “our DNA.”
And yet, the 1619 Project is being taught in schools. The Project writers’ success in getting their materials adopted owes a considerable debt to Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, first published in 1980 and also used widely in classrooms. Zinn, too, draws attention to that ship approaching Jamestown, quoting at length from an imaginative reconstruction in order to introduce the idea that “There is not a country in world history in which racism has been so important, for so long a time, as the United States.” Racism and fascism, Zinn argued, were in America’s very “bones”—a charge echoed by the 1619 Project’s claim about racism being in “our DNA.” For Zinn, the idea of a United States was a “myth,” and the nation itself was a “pretense.” Hannah-Jones even claims Zinn’s motto of “bottom-up” history as her own invention.

Zinn advanced Communist Party USA Chairman William Z. Foster’s interpretation of American history as an Edenic land subjugated by greedy capitalists, which Foster had articulated in his 1951 Outline Political History of the Americas. Both Zinn and Foster trace every bloody event—Indian massacres, slavery, wars, riots, factory fires—to capitalism. The simplistic explanation captivates readers. For many, Georgetown University professor Michael Kazin notes, A People’s History carries “the force and authority of revelation,” such that readers believe that they have gotten all the American history they will ever need. Zinn especially captivates adolescents and Hollywood actors—most of whom, as Ricky Gervais quipped, have a Greta Thunberg-level knowledge of history. Zinn himself became a wealthy celebrity, and he received tributes from rockers and movie stars when he died in 2010 at the age of 87.

Zinn was asked to write the book after he had made headlines as a professor butting heads with his college president, Boston University’s John Silber. Earlier, he had been fired for insubordination by Spelman College president Albert Manley. Zinn led students on civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protests, helped hide the stolen Pentagon Papers, testified at Daniel Ellsberg’s trial, brought home three American POWs from North Vietnam in a propaganda ploy, and lectured in France, Italy, Japan, and South Africa.
In writing Debunking Howard Zinn, I read many of Zinn’s sources and found egregious plagiarism, . . . deletion of critical information, deliberate misrepresentation of sources, and invention of facts.
But Zinn did not do real history—that is, scholarship that builds on the work of previous historians, gives accurate and detailed information, and presents a balanced view. A People’s History, like the 1619 Project, drew criticism from historians on the left and right. Kazin felt that it shortchanged progressive accomplishments like labor laws and civil rights; Harvard professor Oscar Handlin called it a “fairy tale.” Still, the book kept selling, and sales total about three million today.

In writing Debunking Howard Zinn, I read many of Zinn’s sources and found egregious plagiarism (usually from New Left historians and socialist non-historians, like Hans Koning), deletion of critical information, deliberate misrepresentation of sources, and invention of facts. Zinn used his status as a professor to discredit other historians. He attacked Gordon Wood’s mentor, Bernard Bailyn, whose name appears on many of Zinn’s lecture notes. Zinn’s devotee, Matt Damon, who grew up next door to the Zinns in Cambridge, Massachusetts, championed Zinn’s book and mocked Wood in his 1997 blockbuster movie, Good Will Hunting.

Zinn targeted the most accomplished historians, mainly associated with Harvard University, and winners of multiple prizes, such as the Bancroft and the Pulitzer. They include Samuel Eliot Morison (an expert on Columbus) and Bailyn (an expert on the Founding). Zinn charged such historians with complicity in promoting a false history of the United States.

The first five-and-a-half pages of A People’s History were largely plagiarized from Koning’s paperback for high school students, Columbus: His Enterprise: Exploding the Myth, and exaggerate Koning’s own distortions of Columbus. Zinn also attacks Morison, accusing him of burying the truth about “genocide.”

To preempt criticism, Zinn presents an analogy of the historian as mapmaker, who “must first flatten and distort the shape of the earth,” then choose from “the bewildering mass of geographic information” for the “particular map.” He must consider “contending interests” and emphasize certain facts over others. So Morison makes an “ideological choice” by telling “ a grand romance” about Columbus, whose “’defects,’” in Morison’s words, “were largely . . . of the qualities that made him great—his indomitable will, his superb faith in God, and in his own mission to be the Christ-bearer to lands beyond the seas.” Traditional historiography like Morison’s promotes “the quiet acceptance of conquest and murder,” Zinn believed, as “the past is told from the point of view of governments, conquerors, diplomats, leaders. . . . as if they, like Columbus, deserve universal acceptance, as if they—the Founding Fathers, Jackson, Lincoln, Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy, the leading members of Congress, the famous Justices of the Supreme Court—represent the nation as a whole.”

"The Founding Fathers were mortals, not gods; they could not overcome their own limitations and the complexities of life that kept them from realizing their ideals."
In the People’s History chapter “A Kind of Revolution,” Zinn attacks Bailyn’s essay “The Central Themes of the American Revolution: An Interpretation,” published in the 1973 collection Essays on the American Revolution. “To say, as one historian (Bernard Bailyn) has done recently, that ‘the destruction of privilege and the creation of a political system that demanded of its leaders the responsible and humane use of power were their highest aspirations’ is to ignore what really happened in the America of these Founding Fathers.” 

Yet the source of this quotation, Bailyn’s own concluding paragraph, addresses Zinn’s criticism. Preceding the Bailyn sentence that Zinn quotes is this one: “The Founding Fathers were mortals, not gods; they could not overcome their own limitations and the complexities of life that kept them from realizing their ideals.” Bailyn goes on: “To note that the struggle to achieve these goals is still part of our lives—that it is indeed the very essence of the politics of our time—is only to say that the American Revolution, a unique product of the eighteenth century, is still in process, in this bicentennial age. It will continue to be, so long as men seek to create a just and free society.” Bailyn did not ignore “what really happened in the America of these Founding Fathers,” as Zinn claims.

Zinn also targets a passage from Bailyn’s The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967): “Everyone knew the basic prescription for a wise and just government. It was so to balance the contending powers in society that no one power could overwhelm the others and, unchecked, destroy the liberties that belonged to all. The problem was how to arrange the institutions of government so that this balance could be achieved.” The passage appears in the context of Bailyn’s explanation of a quotation from John Adams’s 1776 pamphlet, Thoughts on Government, in which Adams comments on the colonists’ opportunity “to form and establish the wisest and happiest government that human wisdom can contrive.” Bailyn himself asks, “how fair . . . was the opportunity?” in order to introduce the “basic prescription,” i.e., “England’s ‘mixed’ government”—which offered the aristocracy and nobility as safeguards against anarchy and mob rule.

After quoting this deceptively selected passage, Zinn ignores what Bailyn writes—and asks: “Were the Founding Fathers wise and just men trying to achieve a good balance?” He answers: “In fact, they did not want a balance, except one which kept things as they were, a balance among the dominant forces at that time. They certainly did not want an equal balance between slaves and masters, propertyless and property holders, Indians and white.”

Zinn charges that both the Declaration of Independence and its inspiration, Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, “talked about government and political rights, but ignored the existing inequalities in property,” and asks, “And how could people truly have equal rights, with stark differences in wealth?”

Zinn’s ad hominem attacks on John Locke, whose ideas he wrongly presents as being accepted wholesale by the Founders, focus on the philosopher’s wealth. And besides, Locke’s “nice phrases about representative government” were betrayed by the reality in England, after the Revolution he had advocated had taken place: “At the very time the American scene was becoming tense, in 1768, England was racked by riots and strikes—of coal heavers, saw mill workers, hatters, weavers, sailors—because of the high price of bread and the miserable wages.” In the American colonies, Zinn notes, “the reality behind the words of the Declaration of Independence” was that “a rising class of important people needed to enlist on their side enough Americans to defeat England, without disturbing too much the relations of wealth and power.”

No wonder Zinn does not want his readers to read Bailyn, who quotes from a 1776 pamphlet: “no reflection ought to be made on any man on account of birth, provided that his manners rises decently with his circumstances, and that he affects not to forget the level he came from.” Nor would Zinn want readers to be exposed to the belief expressed in 1774 that “lawful rulers are the servants of the people” who exhibit “wisdom, knowledge, prudence,” and “Godliness.”
Contrary to Zinn’s insinuations, Bailyn thoughtfully explores how the "presence of an enslaved Negro population in America inevitably became a political issue where slavery had [the] general meaning [of political oppression]."
Contrary to Zinn’s insinuations, Bailyn thoughtfully explores how the “presence of an enslaved Negro population in America inevitably became a political issue where slavery had [the] general meaning [of political oppression].” Furthermore, “[t]he contrast between what political leaders in the colonies sought for themselves and what they imposed on, or at least tolerated in, others became too glaring to be ignored.” Bailyn cites the increasing number and intensity of arguments from James Otis, Reverend Stephen Johnson, Richard Wells, John Allen, and John Mein, including a “jeremiad” by Levi Hart refuting Locke with Biblical appeals, along with the measures taken against the slave trade by several northern states. Bailyn’s mountains of evidence show that a new kind of social system and government offered a way out of the conditions in England that led to “riots and strikes” and the injustices of slavery.

Zinn’s attacks on the nation’s most respected historians, however, seemed to increase the book’s popularity. By 1992, 300,000 copies of A People’s History of the United States had been sold, and a second, expanded edition was published in 1995. It got another boost in Good Will Hunting, written by Damon and co-star Ben Affleck. When Zinn’s book came out in 1980, Damon was an impressionable ten-year-old. Seventeen years later, he played the titular star, a 20-year-old victim of child sexual abuse—and a genius working as a janitor at MIT.

Zinn probably helped write a key scene. It begins with a barroom debate with a Harvard graduate student about other historians. Will pegs the Harvard student as a “first-year grad student” who has “just finished some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison prob’ly,” whose ideas will convince him for a month, whereupon he will “get to James Lemon” and become enthralled with “how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were strongly entrepreneurial and capitalist back in 1740.” But by “next year,” the genius predicts, he will be “regurgitating Gordon Wood, about . . . the pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effect of military mobilization.” In response, the grad student presumably quotes from Daniel Vickers’s Farmers and Fishermen: Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachusetts, 1630-1850, but Will completes the sentence, saying, “Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions ‘predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth.’ You got that from Vickers’ ‘Work in Essex County,’ page 98, right? Yeah, I read that, too.” The rapid-fire rebuke suggests that the nation’s oldest and most respected university serves the rich, while real geniuses are relegated to janitorial work. It’s class warfare on the big screen.

The information in this exchange comes from one essay, “Inventing American Capitalism,” by Wood in a journal Zinn read and notated, The New York Review of Books. Wood includes a passing reference to Lemon as co-leader of a post-World War II change in perspective about the shift among colonial farmers—from “mere subsistence agriculture” to entrepreneurial production of “surpluses for markets.” Marx’s theory about “the transition from feudalism to capitalism” did not apply, Wood wrote, because, while in England large landowners employed tenant farmers, American farmers, cultivating their own land, were motivated to produce surplus.

In a later exchange with Lemon, Wood conceded that, yes, “many social and other distinctions” existed “among the so-called common people,” but made clear that “those distinctions were less important than the commonality of ordinary people, that is, the common working people (the producers) as distinguished from those who in the eighteenth century were labeled leisured gentlemen (the consumers).” The “blurring and transformation of this age-old distinction . . . lay at the heart of the democratic revolutions of the late eighteenth century, the American version of which was carried further than elsewhere.” One can see, then, why Wood would be targeted in a movie praising A People’s History, which presents the middle class as gulled by the “language of freedom” by “a government of the rich and powerful.”
Two generations have come of age believing Zinn’s fraudulent history. . . . As I’ve discovered while giving talks, his followers refuse to consider countervailing evidence.
The cinematic fantasy of a bar-hopping 20-year-old outwitting the best historians is repeated in a later scene, when Will Hunting scans the books in his psychiatrist’s office. He reads, “A History of the United States, Volume I,” with tough-guy skepticism and tells the psychiatrist that if he wants to read a “real” history book he should read “Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. That book will knock you on your ass.” Thus, the movie repeats Zinn’s own claim that his book is the alpha and omega of history writing.

Two generations have come of age believing Zinn’s fraudulent history. Zinn has become a sainted figure, and his book has even been used as a sacred object on which to take oaths of office. As I’ve discovered while giving talks, his followers refuse to consider countervailing evidence.

By contrast, Wood’s tribute to Bailyn, “Reassessing Bernard Bailyn’s The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution on the Occasion of Its Jubilee,” is a hallmark of scholarship. Wood builds upon Bailyn’s research and ends with a plea for continuing the work. The current academic trends, Wood predicts, will leave a “popular hunger for impartial and balanced histories of the nation’s origins” for “non-academic historians” to fulfill. “Politicized monographs,” meanwhile, will “lie moldering in university libraries,” to be read, “if they are read at all, only by other scholars.”

If only this were so. The 1619 Project suggests otherwise.
A People’s History and the 1619 Project not only teach a false history but also make students cynical about their country, about historical truth, and about the possibility of reasoned debate.
Another of Bailyn’s mentors, Oscar Handlin, practically invented immigration history. In responding to his critical review of A People’s History, Zinn accused Handlin of political bias. But Handlin, of similar Russian-Jewish immigrant background as Zinn, enjoyed the opportunities offered him in our oldest and most revered institutions of higher learning, where barriers against Jews came down. Handlin’s career is a testament to the improved realization of our country’s founding principles.

Traditional history writing is meritocratic. It values learning from the past and engaging in fair debate. A People’s History and the 1619 Project not only teach a false history but also make students cynical about their country, about historical truth, and about the possibility of reasoned debate. History must be reclaimed from its new aristocracy of ideological scholars, who see the past only as a battlefield of ideological, ethnic, racial, and sexual conflict. This approach, which Howard Zinn did much to advance, has been distressingly successful in misleading young people in the United States. Grabar earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia in 2002, after working in advertising and as a free-lance writer. While holding a series of positions as an instructor, the last in the Program in American Democracy and Citizenship at Emory University, she wrote articles about the corruption of education, including by Howard Zinn, and founded the nonprofit Dissident Prof Education Project ( In 2014, she became a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization in Clinton, New York, where she continued her research on a biography of the late black conservative writer, George Schuyler. In 2017, she began writing Debunking Howard Zinn: Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation against America, which was published in August 2019.

This essay may be republished for free with attribution. (These terms do not apply to outside articles linked on the site.)