Author: Ryan Santrella

New York Times Chooses Passover and Easter to Mock God and the Bible

On the eve of Passover, on Good Friday, The New York Times published an opinion piece on God, the Bible and Passover. This would not be noteworthy except for the fact that the piece mocked all three.
The two titles of the piece (one in the print edition and one for the Times’ digital edition) will give you a good idea of the tenor of the piece: “Let’s pass over God” and “In this time of war, I propose we give up God.”
The column was written by Shalom Auslander, a Jew who is bitter over his ultra-Orthodox upbringing in Brooklyn. He is also the author of a similarly bitter book titled “Foreskin’s Lament.”
Here are some of the column’s highlights:
Auslander begins his column with a brief explanation of the name “Passover” — God passed over the homes of the Israelites on His way through Egypt, slaying all firstborns. The author follows that introduction with a proposal: “In this time of war and violence, of oppression and suffering, I propose we pass over something else: God.”
He then proceeds to depict the rabbi at his yeshiva as a sadist who reveled in the suffering of the Egyptians, “young and old, innocent and guilty.” This rabbi, he claimed, even told his yeshiva class that during the first plague — which caused the waters of Egypt to turn into blood — “Mothers nursing their babies…found their breast milk had turned to blood.”
Auslander then adds: “‘Yay!’ my classmates cheered.”
They were learning to be sadists like their rabbi.
As it happens, having studied in a yeshiva until the age of 19, having written three volumes of a five-volume commentary on the Torah (“The Rational Bible”) and most recently having written the bestselling Haggadah in America (according to Amazon), “The Rational Passover Haggadah,” I know a fair amount about this subject.
I never heard a Jew say that Egyptian mothers’ milk turned into blood. I’m not accusing Auslander of lying, but if what he wrote is true, it is highly irresponsible to represent something so bizarre as normative Jewish teaching.
As for his classmates cheering, “Yay!” this is the very opposite of how Jews have been taught to relate to the sufferings of the ancient Egyptians.
Three examples:
First, according to the Talmud — the holiest Jewish work after the Hebrew Bible, written nearly 2,000 years ago — with regard to the Egyptians drowning in the sea after God split it to enable the Jews to cross it, God admonished his angels who sang a song of rejoicing: “My handiwork is drowning in the sea and you are singing before me?!”
Every Jew who attends yeshiva is taught that. Every.
Second, also nearly 2,000 years ago, the Midrash (a collection of stories and commentary that interpret the Hebrew scriptures) explained why Jews are to recite only half of the Hallel (psalms of thanksgiving) during the days of Passover following the Seder: “We cannot sing a full song of thanksgiving for the salvation of our people, which was purchased so dearly with the sinking of the pursuers into the Red Sea.”
Third, for at least 100 years, and some say many more, the reason Jews have given for the symbolic spilling of wine from their cups while reciting the ten plagues during the Seder is that we are to symbolically diminish our joy when retelling the Egyptians’ suffering.
Yay, indeed.
More from Auslander:
“If he were mortal, the God of Jews, Christians, and Muslims would be dragged to The Hague. And yet we praise him. We emulate him. We implore our children to be like him…Perhaps now is a good time to teach our children to pass over God — to be as unlike him as possible.”
Auslander looks forward to the day when children will be taught to be as unlike God as possible. Then, when they hear biblical stories about God, “‘Boo!’ the children will jeer.”
Two conclusions:
To begin with the last quote, that children will boo God, is the hope not only of Shalom Auslander, but also of The New York Times. People need to understand the loathing of traditional Western religions and of Bible-based (i.e., “Judeo-Christian”) values that has permeated leftism since Marx and, later, Lenin. Many liberals affirm religion, but the Left hates it. The Left understands that the only viable opposition to it consists of Orthodox Jews, traditional Catholics, evangelical Protestants and traditional Mormons.
The second conclusion concerns cowardice.
It is close to inconceivable that The New York Times would publish a column mocking Allah, Muhammad and the Quran during the month of Ramadan (or, for that matter, at any time of the year). It is now Ramadan, and the only articles I could find in The New York Times about the Muslim holy month are about food: “15 Recipes for Observing Ramadan,” and “Where Breaking the Ramadan Fast Includes Caribou,” an article about Muslims in Anchorage.
Why is there no New York Times piece mocking Allah or Islam? There are, after all, plenty of disaffected Muslims like Auslander, the disaffected Jew, who could write one. The answer is The New York Times is deathly afraid of incurring Muslims’ wrath, but it has no fear of incurring the wrath of Jews or Christians. For good reason.
The Auslander column tells you nothing about Judaism or the Bible. But it tells you a great deal about The New York Times and the Left.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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What the Left Has Done to Women

As I have documented on a number of occasions, the Left ruins everything it touches. There is no exception. From universities to high schools and now including even elementary schools, to late-night TV, to sports, to the arts and, increasingly, science, the Left is a destruction machine.
And nowhere is this damage more evident or tragic than with regard to women.
In fact, nothing demonstrates the power of left-wing ideology as much as what this ideology has done to women. So powerful is leftist ideology, it is more powerful than women’s nature.
Here are five examples:
No. 1: The Desire to Bond with a Man
For all of recorded history, virtually all women sought a man with whom to bond. Of course, a progressive would argue that this was true only because all societies implanted this desire in women or because societal pressure gave women little choice about the matter. It is not, progressives would argue, innate to female nature to yearn for a man.
But whatever the reason — innate nature or societal expectation — it is a fact that women desiring a man was virtually universal.
Then along came modern left-wing feminism, which communicated to generations of young women through almost every influence in their lives — most especially teachers and the media — that a woman doesn’t need a man. In the witty words of one feminist aphorism, “A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
Unfortunately, however, the reality is most women need a man just as most men need a woman. Most men don’t fully grow up without a woman, and most women don’t fully grow up without a man (I am, of course, referring to heterosexual women and men). If you need proof, ask almost any married person, man or woman, if marriage matured them.
No. 2: The Desire to Marry
Along with wanting a man, the vast majority of women wanted to marry. It was assumed that wanting that public commitment to and from a man was part of female nature. Yet, the Left has successfully undone that part of women’s nature, too.
As a result of feminist and other left-wing indoctrination, the belief that a woman doesn’t need a man led to the inevitable upshot: marriage isn’t necessary. And it might even be a tool of oppression. And as a result of that, a smaller percentage of American women are marrying than ever before.
This has serious social consequences. We have long known that single men perpetrate most of the violent crime in society. Single men are a societal problem. What we have not acknowledged — and perhaps not even known — are the deleterious effects of women not marrying.
While single women don’t commit nearly as much violent crime as single men do (though they may be starting to catch up), single women are increasingly a societal problem. The most obvious problem is that women who have children without ever marrying their children’s father — or another man — produce a highly disproportionate percentage of social misfits. But many women who never give birth nor marry also constitute a societal problem. They are more likely to be angry and to express that anger in support of radical causes that undermine society. As Barron’s reported, while overall a mere 14.2% of the population contributed to “racial justice causes” such as Black Lives Matter in 2020, “nearly half of single women in the U.S. — a larger percentage than single men or married couples — supported or were actively involved in racial justice protests.”
As reported by one women’s activist organization, Women’s Voices Women Vote, already in the 2012 election, “the marriage gap dwarfed the gender gap…”
No. 3: The Desire to Have Children
At least as much as wanting to bond with a man and wanting to get married were deemed a part of women’s nature, the desire to have children was regarded as even more embedded in female nature. Yet, incredibly, leftist ideology is even succeeding in eliminating that part of women’s makeup. More women than ever before — abroad as well as in America — are choosing not to have children. See, for example, the article, “More women like me are choosing to be childfree. Is this the age of opting out?” published, appropriately, in The Guardian. The author ends her piece this way: “I’ll say it plain: I don’t want children, I never have, and it doesn’t feel like any kind of lack. To me, it just feels like being alive.” She speaks for an increasing number of women.
No. 4: The Desire to Have Sex with Commitment
Another part of women’s nature that the Left has undermined is the desire of women to have sexual relations with a man who might commit to her. Or, at the very least, to have sex only with a man to whom she has some emotional attachment. Left-wing feminist ideology has even been able to undermine that. Three generations of American women have been indoctrinated into believing that their sexual nature is the same as that of a man. Therefore, she can have “hookups,” i.e., non-emotional, non-committal sex, just like men can with no emotional fallout. And so, many young women do. But a far greater percentage of them experience regret or even depression than do young men who engage in “hookup” sex, a form of sex that is indeed part of male nature.
No. 5: The Desire to Protect Children’s Innocence
Perhaps the most amazing thing progressive ideology has done to women is to subvert the innate female desire to protect children, specifically children’s sexual innocence. The movement to teach very young children about sex, about “gender fluidity,” expose them to “Drag Queen Story Hours,” etc., is overwhelmingly led by and composed of women.
Leftism would appear to demonstrate that ideology can trump human nature. Such is the power of social indoctrination. One inevitable result is a generation of more depressed young women and more regretful middle-aged women than ever before in American history.
The Left ruins everything it touches. You can add women to the list.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Ukraine: What Is in America’s Interest?

As a result of the Russian invasion and partial destruction of Ukraine, the question “What is in America’s interest?” is the question of the day. Specifically, how much should America get involved in defending Ukraine?
On the Left, the question “What is in America’s interest?” is moot.
On the Left, “America’s interest” is regarded as essentially a chauvinistic, nationalistic, even fascistic term.
If the Left were concerned with what is in America’s interest, it would not advocate — and, under President Joe Biden, implement — open borders. It is not in America’s interest to allow millions of people to illegally enter the United States.
If the Left were concerned with what is in America’s interest, it would not advocate — and, under Biden, implement — policies to change America from an energy-independent country into an energy-dependent country.
If the Left were concerned with what is in America’s interest, it would not advocate lying to its youth by telling them that America is systemically racist, that it was founded in 1619, that it fought the Revolution to preserve slavery and that the Founders were immoral racists. It would not advocate defunding police departments. It would not have advocated depriving young children of education for two years.
The Left everywhere despises America. And the American Left is no exception. Most liberals love America, but they vote for the Left. So, their love is irrelevant.
Let’s now turn our attention to the Right.
Unlike the Left, people on the Right are preoccupied with the question, “What is in America’s interest?” That is why the Trump-era slogan “America First” so resonated with conservatives.
Conservatives believe, correctly, that open borders lead to the end of a country as a distinct national entity. (The Left believes it, too, by the way.) They want America to be energy independent so as not to depend on other countries — especially countries such as Iran, Russia and Venezuela — for its energy. Whatever the distant future risks of carbon emissions may be, they do not compare to the present risks of an energy shortage, energy dependence and runaway inflation. And they believe that America, despite its flaws, has been exactly as Abraham Lincoln described it: “The last best hope of Earth.” Therefore, teaching young Americans that America is the very opposite is not only a lie, but it will also destroy the foundations of this country.
In foreign affairs, however, conservative answers to the question, “What is in America’s interest?” are neither as clear nor as unanimous as they are concerning domestic issues.
Take the present crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
One hopes that virtually all conservatives (and virtually all people across the political spectrum) regard the invasion as evil. Whoever doesn’t has a malfunctioning conscience.
Yet, some people, on the Right as well as the Left, do not put the entire blame for the war on Putin. Their chief argument is that Putin felt threatened by the possible expansion of NATO into Ukraine.
That anyone outside of Russia would offer this argument is depressing. Do the people who make this argument believe that Russia has a legitimate fear of an attack by a NATO country? Or do they believe that Putin fears an attack by a NATO country?
If Russia is ruled by a paranoid dictator without a conscience (as evidenced by his murdering Russian dissidents and the ongoing laying of Ukrainian cities to waste), his paranoia is not to be honored. To cite the example of Hitler again, he sought the annihilation of the Jews because he feared them; he constantly reiterated his paranoid belief that the Jews sought the destruction of Germany and of the Aryan race. Paranoid dictators need to be confronted, not patronized.
Moreover, in 1994, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons (inherited from the former Soviet Union). It signed an agreement called the Budapest Memorandum with Russia, the U.K. and the U.S. in which it agreed to dismantle its nuclear weapons and delivery systems (bombers and missiles). In return, Ukraine was assured that Russia, the U.S. and the U.K. would refrain from threatening it and respect its “independence and sovereignty and the existing borders.”
In other words, the only threat between Russia and Ukraine was Russia threatening Ukraine.
One should also add that between 1932 and 1933, Soviet Russia murdered between four and six million Ukrainians in what the Ukrainians call the Holodomor (Ukrainian for “murder by starvation”).
Still, the argument goes, the Ukrainians provoked Putin by courting NATO membership.
NATO notwithstanding, the primary “not in America’s interest” argument goes like this: “What Putin is doing is wrong, but essentially it is none of our business. The United States has no interest in Ukraine.”
To this argument, one can ask: Other than an attack on America, when and where does America have an interest? And why? If a Russian dictator can invade and decimate another country in an act of unprovoked aggression and it not be in America’s interest, what about China invading Taiwan, or Iran unleashing nuclear weapons against Israel, or North Korea doing so against South Korea? Why are Taiwan, Israel or South Korea more “in America’s interest” than Ukraine?
And, finally, what about the moral question? Is morality “in America’s interest”? I have supported the notion of “America First.” But as a conservative and as a religious conservative, I do not believe in “America Only.” For the same reasons, I believe in “my family first,” but I do not believe in “my family only.”
We should not send NATO troops into Ukraine, but we should allow Poland to supply Ukraine with fighter jets. Anyway, why is that different from our supplying Ukraine with anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons? If Russia having nuclear weapons prevents us from even allowing a third country to send jets into Ukraine, the lesson is simple and clear: If you want to paralyze the West, develop (or steal) nuclear weapons. Then you can destroy any country you choose.
If conservatism means “America First,” count me a conservative. But if conservatism means “America Only,” count me out.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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This Invasion Is Brought to You by…Western Environmentalists

For more than 40 years, the environmentalist movement has been warning that global warming is the result of mankind’s burning of fossil fuels and poses an “existential threat” to human and other biological life.

This is one of the many grandiose lies the Left uses to reshape, if not destroy, Western civilization. Other grandiose lies used to achieve that result include America being systemically racist; that violent crime is the result of racism and poverty; men give birth; sex and gender are “nonbinary”; and that former President Donald Trump was a Russian asset.
It should now be obvious that the “Greens,” the environmentalist movement — not global warming — poses an existential threat to humanity. For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the world faces the possibility of a nuclear war. Russia is explicitly threatening use of nuclear weapons should the West come to the defense of Ukraine and has put its military on nuclear alert. Given the possibility that Russian President Vladimir Putin is deranged, the threat is far more real than it was in 1962 when Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union. Putin believes he embodies Russia (just as Hitler believed he embodied Germany). Khrushchev did not believe he embodied Russia.
Were it not for the green movement, Putin would not have been confident that he could get away with invading Ukraine. During Trump’s presidency, and due to his policies, the United States became independent of foreign oil for the first time. Within months of assuming power, the Democratic Party, an extension of the environmentalist movement, forced America to revert to dependence on foreign oil, including Russian oil. Beholden to the environmentalists, candidate Joe Biden made promise after promise to curtail oil and gas production: no new fracking on government land, no drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, and shutting down the Keystone pipeline.
Putin got the message.
So, thanks to environmentalists, not only is America once again dependent on foreign oil, Germany is dependent on Russian oil. Angela Merkel, another in a long line of foolish Germans, even shut down Germany’s nuclear reactors — which the greens in Germany applauded. They applauded it — despite the fact that nuclear energy is the only viable non-carbon energy that can sustain a country — because the environmentalist movement is not nearly as interested in the environment as it is in restructuring society. The environmentalist movement is as interested in protecting the environment as the communist movement was in protecting workers or the defund-the-police movement is in protecting blacks.
The Democrats came into power in 2021. The average closing price of oil in 2020 was $39.68 a barrel; the closing price of oil in 2019 was $56.99 a barrel. As of this writing it is $138.00 a barrel. The extremely high price of energy — a direct result of the environmentalist policies of the Democratic Party and the liberal and Left parties in Europe — is one of the two primary reasons for the ever-increasing rate of inflation. (The other reason is the result of another Democrat policy: the printing of trillions of dollars.)
Serious inflation leads to very bad things. The Nazis did not come to power because of their antisemitism or even because of the Versailles Treaty as much as they did because of the terrible inflation under the Weimar Republic.
And any day now, the Biden administration will announce an agreement with Iran that will enable Iran to take in billions of dollars for its oil. Yet another victory for Biden, the Democrats and the environmentalists. This agreement, brokered — incredibly — by Russian diplomats, will enable Iran to sponsor worldwide terror, resuscitate Iran’s economy and continue its quest for nuclear bombs.
But none of this matters to Biden, the Democratic Party, The New York Times or any other left-wing institution — so strong is the grip of the environmentalist cult and so influential are the uber-wealthy environmentalists who support the Left. They would rather see Ukraine destroyed, the potential for a nuclear war and the decimation of the world economy than allow fracking, drilling or even an oil pipeline between Canada and the United States.
Concern for the environment is a good thing, but the environmentalist movement is not.
Environmentalists use the environment to create a social revolution just as communists used workers to create a social revolution.
Its activists are fanatics.
Its consequences are nihilism.
Environmentalists are, intentionally or not, in collusion with Putin to undermine America and the West.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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On Ukraine, Comedians, NATO, America and Environmentalists

No. 1: The NATO excuse
A widely offered explanation for the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that Russia — which at this time essentially means President Vladimir Putin — fears the expansion of NATO to its borders, especially Ukraine. The argument is often presented as an analogy: How would the United States react if Mexico had a mutual defense pact with Russia and received weapons from Russia?
A second explanation is that Russia is “paranoid” as a result of its having been devastated by the invasions of Napoleon’s France in the 19th century and Hitler’s Germany in the 20th. This was the excuse that many professional excuse makers made for the Soviet Union’s shooting down — without any warning — Korean Air Lines flight 007 in 1983, killing all 269 passengers and crew.
“The Russians are paranoid” became a widespread explanation. Seymour Hersh, the best-known New York Times investigative reporter for decades, wrote a book on the shooting down of KAL 007. As described in a 1986 New York Times book review, “On the Soviet side, writes Mr. Hersh, there was paranoia.”
When I was a graduate student at Columbia University’s Russian Institute, I regularly encountered the “paranoid” explanation for Soviet/Russian policies. It struck me then, and even more so now, as pathologic or false, or both. Russia is by far the largest country on Earth, spanning approximately one-ninth of all the world’s land surface. When that fact is combined with Russia’s vast nuclear weaponry, the “paranoia” explanation for Russian aggression is rendered absurd.
It is even more absurd when one considers the countries Russia allegedly fears will invade them. Which one of their Western-border countries –Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine — is likely to invade Russia? Wasn’t every one of them invaded by Russia? Shouldn’t every one of (SET ITAL) them (END ITAL) be paranoid?
We’ll end the “paranoid” discussion with this rule of history: Generally speaking, wars are either between two police states or between a police state and a free state. And the latter are nearly always initiated or provoked by the police state. Russia has nothing to fear from its neighbors. Its neighbors have plenty to fear from Russia.
2. America is watching, not intervening.
I know of no American, on the Right or the Left, who has called for sending the U.S. military into Ukraine. But every American should feel awful — morally and as an American — about America sitting by and watching the first major invasion of a peaceful country since Hitler and Stalin. One reason is that since World War II, the weaker nations of the world have all held onto the hope that should they be attacked by a stronger nation, Americans would come to their aid.
America is aiding Ukraine with arms and economic sanctions, but as I watch peaceful Ukraine devoured by aggressive Russia, I can’t help but think that it appears that evil will triumph — and lead to more evil on Earth. I have never agreed with the throwaway line, “America is not the world’s policeman.” Does the world not need a policeman? And if not America, who? China? Russia? The U.N.?
If the strongest boy in high school, one whom the weakest boys and girls looked to for protection, decided one day to watch rather than to protect them as they were beaten by the school bully, even if there was good reason for the lack of intervention, wouldn’t that be a very sad day? And wouldn’t it affect the way the protector saw himself?
Most Americans see themselves as protectors of the weak against bully nations. This is the first time in our lifetime that America has abandoned that role.
No. 3: A comedian is the world’s most courageous political leader.
By general consensus among the world’s media and world’s nations, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the most courageous leader in the world today.
For many people, this is particularly remarkable since Zelenskyy’s professional background is that of a comedian. It strikes most people as amazing that a comedian turns out to be the world’s most inspiring leader.
That, of course, was the reason so many dismissed Donald Trump when he ran for president: “He has no political experience, he’s just a wealthy real estate developer.” However, that real estate developer also turned out to be the most courageous leader in the world. Honest haters of Trump must at least acknowledge his courage — just as supporters must acknowledge his lack of a filter between his brain and his mouth.
It was Trump who had the courage to demand that our NATO allies live up to their obligations with regard to military spending. Ironically, thanks to Putin, the NATO countries are finally doing so. It was Trump who uncovered a deep state of corruption in nearly every major American governmental institution. It was Trump who took on the mainstream media, regarded by half of America as little better than Pravda, the Soviet newspaper. It was Trump who had the courage to do what president after president and Congress after Congress called for but never acted on: moving the American embassy in Israel to Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem. He did this despite the opposition of almost every world leader and his own State Department. If that’s not courage, what is?
And it remains a fact that Putin did not invade Ukraine while Trump was president. Putin feared Trump. Neither Putin nor anyone else fears President Joe Biden.
It is therefore not at all surprising that a comedian is the world’s most courageous leader. It is surprising that people still think a lifelong political career produces leaders. Biden is a lifelong politician and, as his behavior during COVID-19 showed, may well be the least courageous president in American history.
4. Western environmentalists made the invasion possible.
It is overwhelmingly likely that American and European environmentalists made the Russian invasion of Ukraine possible. Under Trump, America became energy independent and was even able to supply Europe with energy. But the environmental movement, which dominates the Democratic Party and nearly every Western European country, has made Russia the major supplier of natural gas to Europe, and especially to the most important country on the European continent, Germany.
The environmentalist movement uses climate change to achieve its primary objectives: undoing of the West’s economic foundations, reshaping the Western way of life, dismantling capitalism and transferring wealth to the Third World. They will pursue these aims at any cost — whether crippling inflation, energy blackouts, even the strengthening of Russia and China.
If you really believe climate change poses an “existential threat” to human life, there is no price too high to pay in order to eliminate fossil fuel-based energy. That includes empowering and enriching evil men.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Is Canada Becoming North America’s Cuba?

Canada is leaving the Western world.
In terms of all-encompassing government, suppression of dissent and the denial of fundamental human rights to many of its citizens, Canada is now more similar to Cuba than to any free country. Canada may eventually return to Western civilization, but as of this writing, the majority of Canadians appear to have no interest in it doing so. According to Maru Public Opinion, “two-thirds (66%) of Canadians support Prime Minister Justin Trudeau bringing in the Emergencies Act … A majority (56%) of Canadians do not support the truckers who are protesting in any way, shape, or form … This is a majority view held in every province/region across the country.”I suspect that most Americans — and certainly most people outside of America or Canada — do not know precisely what Canada’s Marxist prime minister, Justin Trudeau, is doing to his country.
So, allow me to review.
Last week, for only the second time in Canadian history other than wartime — the first time was under Justin Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, the other Marxist to govern Canada — Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act. This statute enables a Canadian prime minister to suspend fundamental human rights and rule as a dictator.
The CBC described in detail how Trudeau is using the Emergencies Act to destroy the lives of Canadian dissidents. This should be read carefully. Such policies have never been enacted by a Western country against its own citizens (with the extremely rare exceptions of those actively engaged in terrorism):
“Using powers granted under the Emergencies Act, the federal government has directed banks and other financial institutions to stop doing business with people associated with the anti-vaccine mandate convoy occupying the nation’s capital.
“The government’s new directive, called the ’emergency economic measures order,’ goes beyond asking banks to simply stop transferring funds to protest organizers. The government wants banks to stop doing business with some people altogether.
“The order says that banks and other financial entities (like credit unions, co-ops, loan companies, trusts and cryptocurrency platforms) must stop ‘providing any financial or related services’ to people associated with the protests — a move that will result in frozen accounts, stranded money and cancelled credit cards.
“The Emergencies Act gives authorities the power to freeze the finances of those connected to blockades and protests, and the consequences could last long after the demonstrations end…
“The regulation’s definition of a “designated person” also includes … anyone sending funds to support these protests…
“Mark Blumberg is a lawyer at Blumberg Segal LLP who specializes in non-profit and charity law. In an interview, he said that while the Emergencies Act gives banks time-limited powers, these institutions ‘may just decide to shut the person’s account down’ because there could be ‘huge risks’ for banks servicing these customers in the future. Banks will be working with law enforcement to decide who should be ‘de-banked.’
“A senior government official said … police could gather the names and license plate numbers of people participating in a protest or an unlawful assembly and share that information with FINTRAC (Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada) …
“Former CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) senior strategic analyst Jessica Davis (said) ‘the people who are participating in the protest aren’t going to be able to do things like pay bills, pay their hotel bills. They will eventually run out of supplies as well…
“With access to bank accounts and credit cards and other financial instruments suspended, protesters won’t be able to pay for things like hotel and fuel bills…
“Over the longer term, Davis said, it may be hard for some of the truckers participating to ever find work again because they could lack the necessary insurance to operate a big rig. ‘Paying bills, paying rent and any kind of day-to-day financial transaction can be stopped for people who are part of the protest movement,’ she said. There may also be some ‘unintended consequences’ from frozen accounts, such as suspended alimony and child support payments, Davis said. ‘It’s going to be very difficult for them.’
“Banks have been granted immunity against legal action in the event of disputes over whether someone should have been denied financial services. ‘No proceedings under the Emergencies Act and no civil proceedings lie against an entity for complying with this Order,’ the regulations read.”
None of these life-ruining, due-process defying measures is necessary. The truckers’ demonstrations could have been ended by arresting drivers who would not move their trucks or simply just towing their trucks. The purpose of these regulations is to destroy dissenters and deter future dissent. In a word, it is to ruin the lives of those who disobey Justin Trudeau.
As one who has followed Canadian life over the decades — I have lectured in nine of Canada’s 10 provinces — the moral descent of Canada is depressing but not especially surprising. Since I was in college in the 1970s, I traveled abroad every year of my life except in 2020 — to some 130 countries. I not only took interest in the countries I visited but in the tourists who visited them. I recall well that when I was young, many young Canadians stitched a Canadian flag onto their backpacks. As almost no tourists from other nations did that, I asked Canadians why they did. Their reason was to identify themselves as Canadian rather than as American.
I am not the first observer of Canadians to note that a major part of Canadian identity — especially among Canadian elites — is being a not-American. Many Canadians were and remain first and foremost not-Americans. Other than that, not much defines Canadians. And when a nation stands essentially for nothing, bad things eventually happen — because nothingness is eventually filled or replaced by bad.
On my radio show, I once asked the late Charles Krauthammer, one of the most insightful commentators of this era, what he saw as the greatest difference between his native Canada and his adopted country, the United States. Without hesitation, he said that in America the national motto is “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and in Canada it is “Peace, Order, and Good Government.”
The first inspires a nation. The second doesn’t.
Upon the death of Fidel Castro, Justin Trudeau gave the most positive assessment of the Cuban tyrant of any Western leader. It is worth quoting in full because it demonstrates Trudeau’s affection for communism and because Trudeau is transforming Canada into Cuba:
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest-serving President. Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.’
“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honor to meet his three sons and his brother, President Raul Castro, during my recent visit to Cuba.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
There does remain one major difference between Canada and Cuba. Few Cubans support their Marxist leaders, but most Canadians support theirs. They don’t know what they’re in for.

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COVID-19 and the Failure of America’s Major Religions

For two years, Americans have been partially or entirely deprived of fundamental freedoms — of assembly, speech, religious liberty, making a living, a child’s right to an education, access to early treatment for a potentially deadly virus, and more — for the first time in American history. That half of America, especially its elites, has either made peace with or supported these deprivations of freedom is why many of us worry about America’s future as a free society.
Even more concerning has been the reactions of America’s great religions — specifically, Catholics, Protestants, Mormons (Latter-day Saints) and Jews. The government issued irrational (as well as anti-religious and unethical) edicts and nearly every church and synagogue obeyed.
These churches and synagogues closed their schools to in-classroom instruction despite the fact that COVID-19 presented virtually no threat to young people. Exponentially more children have been hurt by closing religious and secular schools and, later, by making children wear masks — even outdoors — than by COVID-19. This has been made clear not only by relevant data in America but by Sweden, which never closed its schools for children under 16 — and not a single student or teacher died from COVID-19.
As Swedish physicians wrote in a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February 2021:
“Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Among the 1.95 million children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000… No child with Covid-19 died.”
Recently, some churches and synagogues told their congregants that children as young as 5 had to be vaccinated in order to attend services. It is immoral to give young children a COVID-19 vaccine for which we have no long-term safety data, and especially when children are not at risk from the virus. Yet most churches and synagogues, pastors, priests and rabbis have insisted on it.
Given the sheeplike behavior of so many of America’s religious leaders and institutions, the question is: Why?
There are both similar and different answers for each religion. The similar reasons are that most religious institutions and leaders have become largely indistinguishable from their secular counterparts. With the exception of attending church or synagogue, most Christians and Jews think and act like most secular Americans.
Regarding COVID-19, most religious leaders have been as scared as most secular leaders. And regarding fear, the only major difference between Americans has not been between religious and secular, but between Right and Left. Conservative clergy have been less scared than liberal clergy, just as conservative nonreligious Americans have been less scared than liberal nonreligious Americans. Which, of course, prompts the question: Does religion make people wiser, better and more courageous? Or has religion largely become something that serves only to make adherents feel good?
With regard to Christians there is the issue of the New Testament admonition to obey secular authority. To cite the most famous example: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment” (Romans 13:1-3).
Mormons have an additional issue. They are not only expected to obey the Bible, but LDS leaders as well. The head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the First Presidency, which consists of three men who are regarded as prophets — God speaks through them. Faithful Mormons therefore regard some First Presidency pronouncements as the word of God.
On Aug. 12, 2021, the First Presidency (whose President is, not surprisingly, a physician) released a statement saying, “we urge individuals to be vaccinated,” and “we can win this war if everyone will follow the wise and thoughtful recommendations of medical experts and government leaders.”
As Mormons are generally the most socially and politically conservative of America’s religious groups, many of them have not regarded the “recommendations of medical experts and government leaders” as “wise and thoughtful.” Just as most non-Mormon conservatives do, most Mormon conservatives regard most of our medical experts and government leaders as non-thoughtful, non-wise and too often corrupt.
So, what are these Mormons to do?
A Brigham Young University publication, the Daily Universe, quoted a Mormon woman named Hannah Colby: “I am kind of like at odds with the First Presidency, but I know President Nelson is a prophet of God,” she said.
The paper did not reveal how Colby resolved that tension.
Christians need to grapple with the New Testament admonitions to obey secular authorities. That’s what the great majority of German Christian pastors and churches did in the 1930s. In light of Romans 13, were they right or wrong? If the irrational and freedom-destroying mandates of the secular authorities in America (and the rest of the West) force serious Christians to confront the question of whether a Christian must always obey the government, that will be one of the few good things to come out of the COVID-19 era.
And what has animated most Jews — and nearly all non-Orthodox (and more than a few modern Orthodox) synagogues — to obey irrational and immoral rules of secular authorities?
One obvious answer is that most non-Orthodox Jews are on the Left. And the Left lives in fear (of COVID-19, of global warming, of secondhand smoke, of diving boards, and much else) and is prepared to subvert any freedom to assuage their fears. In any event, freedom is not a left-wing value; it is a liberal value. But most liberals, Jewish and non-Jewish, support the Left.
There are two other, less obvious, reasons for the unquestioning obedience of most synagogues and other Jewish institutions. One is that Jews tend to idolize doctors and the other is that Jews tend to unquestioningly obey “experts.” “Experts say” is to most non-Orthodox Jews what “Thus says the Lord” is to most Orthodox Jews. Of course, non-questioning obedience to “experts” also characterizes many non-Jews; in fact, it characterizes most well-educated people. But Jews happen to be the most well-educated ethnic/religious group in America.
All this notwithstanding, the fact is that a disproportionate percentage of those who defied irrational and unconstitutional governmental mandates have been religious Americans. The tragedy of American religious life is that religious people who lack courage are concentrated in leadership positions.
In September 2021, for the 15th consecutive year (except for 2020), I led Jewish High Holiday Services for about 400 people — no masks required, and no vaccination necessary. Other synagogues could have done the same thing — but nearly all rabbis and synagogue boards were too scared and too obedient to do so. And of course, the same holds true for most churches, whether Catholic, Protestant or Mormon. Too scared. And too obedient to irrational dictates.
They will pay a price as people will gradually come to understand how weak their religious leaders were. And they will pay another price: by keeping their churches and synagogues closed for so long (for no good reason), many of their congregants may just not return. If my clergy didn’t think it was important that I attend for nearly two years, maybe it just isn’t that important.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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Trans Athletes, The New York Times, and the Ivy League

How individuals and institutions react to Lia Thomas, the biological male who is allowed to compete in women’s college swim competitions, is a good indicator of people’s values and level of rationality.
To recap, Will Thomas, a man who until two years ago was a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team, announced he was female and then joined the University of Pennsylvania’s women’s swim team.
Now named Lia, Thomas has set national records in women’s swimming, such as in the 200 and 500 freestyle. Women who have trained nearly all their lives to be competitive swimmers were cheated out of wins.
The obvious question is: Is this fair? Is it fair for a biological male to compete as a female against females? Or is Thomas cheating?
To most Americans the answer is clear: Thomas is cheating.
As I recently wrote a column arguing that Thomas is a cheat, I will not belabor the point.
Instead, I will discuss others’ reactions, for, as I wrote, they reveal a great deal about those people and institutions.
We will begin with the New York Times. Rather than as a cheat, the New York Times regards Thomas as heroic. When the Times finally got around to covering the story — weeks after the non-Left media began covering the story did any of the “mainstream media” cover it — the Times’ writer on college sports, Billy Witz, wrote about the Thomas affair.
He ended his column with an ode to Thomas:
“And so if there was something enduring about Saturday(‘s swim competition between Penn and Harvard), it was not the two races that Thomas comfortably won or the two relays where she gamely tried. It was the way she carried herself in the water — head down, with grace and ease.”
That is how “woke” — a term that includes amorality and irrationality — The New York Times has become.
Now let’s proceed to the college whose women’s team Thomas swims for, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn), and the colleges which have competed against Penn — Cornell and Harvard.
Like virtually every other university in America, and every other Ivy League college, the University of Pennsylvania threw its women swimmers under the bus. Not only did it not side with the women swimmers, nearly all of whom, according to reports, felt cheated when Thomas beat them in every race they competed, but it had no reaction to Thomas displaying male genitals in the women’s locker room.
As reported in the Daily Mail:
“‘We’re uncomfortable in our own locker room.’ Lia Thomas’ UPenn teammate tells how the trans swimmer doesn’t always cover up her male genitals when changing and their concerns go ignored by their coach…
“‘It’s definitely awkward because Lia still has male body parts and is still attracted to women,’ one swimmer on the team told Daily Mail … Lia has told her teammates that she dates women.
“‘While Lia covers herself with a towel sometimes, there’s a decent amount of nudity,’ the swimmer said. She and others have had a glimpse at her private parts.
“She stated that team members have raised their concern with the coach, trying to get Thomas ousted from the female locker room, but got nowhere.
“‘Multiple swimmers have raised it, multiple different times,’ the UPenn swimmer said. ‘But we were basically told that we could not ostracize Lia by not having her in the locker room and that there’s nothing we can do about it, that we basically have to roll over and accept it, or we cannot use our own locker room.’
‘It’s really upsetting because Lia doesn’t seem to care how it makes anyone else feel,’ the swimmer continued. ‘The 35 of us are just supposed to accept being uncomfortable in our own space and locker room for, like, the feelings of one.’”
UPenn’s reaction:
“The school released a terse statement last month that it was offering mental health services to student-athletes.”
Of course, neither Cornell nor Harvard defended their women either.
And those women dare not speak out. They know their futures could be destroyed if they did. As one Penn swimmer told the Daily Mail, “I might go on the record, but I’m definitely a little afraid. What I’m afraid of is that potential employers will Google my name and see commentary about things I said and think, oh, this person’s transphobic.”
However, just in case some brave women were considering speaking out, the Daily Mail reported that the University of Pennsylvania is “prohibiting students from talking to the media.” One assumes Harvard and Cornell did the same.
In the meantime, the woke cowards of the Ivy League released this statement:
“The Ivy League reaffirms its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form.”
Ironically, Lia Thomas has rendered us a service. She has helped clarify the moral and intellectual state of the Ivy League and the New York Times, two formerly respected institutions. But, of course, that was a long time ago.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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An Orthodox Rabbi Writes That People Are Basically Good — Judaism Is in Trouble

The Algemeiner, a Jewish publication I highly respect, published a column about Judaism that is not merely wrong; it actually advances a thesis that is the opposite of what Judaism teaches.
That fact alone would not have prompted me to write a rebuttal. What prompts me is that the column was written by an Orthodox rabbi. It is sad enough that many non-Orthodox rabbis have been influenced more by their secular/Left educations than by the Torah. But when a rabbi identified as “centrist Orthodox” distorts one of the most important and normative ideas in Judaism, and is published in a major Jewish journal, we might be in trouble. Of course, he might be an outlier. But I don’t think he is unique. Though certainly not yet dominant, secular values have entered parts of modern Orthodox life just as they have traditional Catholic and Protestant Christian life.
With regard to mainstream Christianity — both Catholicism and Protestantism — and non-Orthodox Judaism, we are indeed in trouble. The secular and leftist influence on these denominations has been disastrous.
I should note that I am not mentioning the rabbi’s name as I have no desire to make this issue personal, let alone engage in an ad hominem attack. I know that the curious can identify the rabbi by searching the internet, but I cannot control that. I can only control what I write. And since I assume that this rabbi is a sincere individual, I want to restrict my response to what he wrote.
The rabbi wrote that Judaism posits that people are basically good, that human nature is good.
This is one of the most foolish and dangerous ideas of the secular world. No Abrahamic religion — not Judaism, not Christianity, not Islam — asserts that people are basically good. This notion is a product of the secular age and a major reason for the moral confusion that characterizes our era.
With regard to Judaism, the Torah completely rejects the notion that man is basically good. God Himself states that “the will of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21) and that “every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:5).
For a rabbi to assert that man is basically good is to assert that God was wrong. I am used to secular people saying that, not Orthodox rabbis.
In addition, the Torah — and the rest of the Bible — repeatedly warns us not to follow our hearts. In fact, Orthodox Jews cite this admonition from the Torah three times every day: “Do not follow your hearts and your eyes after which you prostitute yourselves” (Numbers 15:39).
If the human heart is basically good, why does the Bible repeatedly warn us not to follow it?
The rabbi never cites any of these verses. For good reason: They would simply invalidate his argument. This secular belief in the inherent goodness of man is not only not Jewish; as noted, it is foolish and dangerous.
How foolish? It is not possible to be aware of human history and to rationally maintain that people are basically good. For a Jew to believe such nonsense after the Holocaust is simply breathtaking. Apparently, basically good people murdered six million Jews.
But we don’t need references to the Holocaust to make our case.
In the 20th century alone, more than a hundred million people — civilians, not soldiers — were murdered by vile regimes and their vile followers. These include the approximately 20 million killed in the Gulag Archipelago; the slaughter of the Tutsis in Rwanda; the genocidal murder of Armenians; the deliberate starvation of about 60 million Chinese; the Japanese mass rape of Korean “comfort women” and hideous medical experiments on Chinese civilians; and the torture and murder of approximately one out of four Cambodians.
And that is only a partial list.
Virtually every serious thinker in history knew people were not basically good. They knew about the universality of slavery and the tortures and rapes that accompanied slavery. They knew how men behaved in wartime.
Were all the people who engaged in these evils aberrations? In fact, most were quite normal. The aberrations in history have been the truly good individuals. To cite the Holocaust, the Germans, French, Poles, Hungarians, Lithuanians and others who aided the Holocaust, let alone those who did nothing, were normal people. The handful who aided Jews were the aberrations.
And what about childhood bullying? Are fat, or slow, or unattractive boys and girls generally treated with kindness and empathy? The question is rhetorical.
And what about child sexual abuse? The WHO in 2002 estimated that 73 million boys and 150 million girls under the age of 18 years had experienced various forms of sexual violence. Quite remarkable for a world of basically good people.
So much for the foolishness of the belief that people are basically good. Now let’s deal with why it is dangerous.
One reason is that the most important, and most difficult, task of parents and of society is to raise good human beings. Yet, those who believe we are born good will not concentrate on making good people. Why bother if we’re already good?
A second reason the belief is dangerous is that those who believe it blame the evil that people do on outside forces, not on the individual who committed the evil. Belief in the basic goodness of human nature is the major reason people claim that poverty, or guns, or racism causes crime. Anything except the perpetrator.
The rabbi cites a Yale study that purports to show that babies are not only moral agents but are actually moral beings. Such studies are one reason so many Americans have come to hold universities in increasing contempt. The idea that babies know right and wrong is preposterous. The idea that babies are moral is even more preposterous. Babies are neither moral nor immoral since they have no more free will than your family dog.
Babies are selfish — as they have to be to survive. And babies are innocent. But innocent is not the same as good. The rabbi conflates “innocent” with “good.”
He also conflates “in God’s image” with “good.” He writes: “the Torah stating that human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) (is) a statement that underscored humanity’s inherent goodness.”
Not so. Created “in God’s image” has never meant man is basically good. Rather, it means that human beings, like God (and unlike animals), know good from evil and have moral free will. In Genesis 1:27, Rashi, author of the most influential Jewish Bible commentary ever written, explains “in God’s image” as “the power to comprehend and to discern.” Second, it means that human life (again, unlike animal life) is infinitely precious.
Finally, if people are basically good, what is the Torah for? What are all the commandments for? If people are basically good, why would God need to command us not to murder? Don’t basically good creatures know this?
It is very troubling that an Orthodox rabbi would teach the opposite of what the Torah and Judaism teach concerning one of the most fundamental issues of life. As more and more modern Orthodox Jews attend college and graduate school, it is imperative that Jewish schools teach the distinctiveness of Jewish values.
Increasingly, they do not.
This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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As of This Moment, America Is Still a Beacon of Liberty

Under the pretext of public health, the soul of what is known as the Free West has left most Western countries. Looking at the government overreach and abuses of power in virtually every other Western nation, one can only conclude that America truly is the last free man standing.
Here is a rundown of the suppression of liberty in major Western countries.
CANADA
Let’s start with our neighbor to the north.
Canada is one of the least free countries in the Western world. In some ways it is the least free. In every area of life, including freedom of speech, Canada severely restricts its citizens’ rights. Canada is one of the only countries in the world that bans the unvaccinated from all public transportation — airplanes, trains and buses. And no Canadian home can entertain more than three non-household visitors — a ban that prevented families and friends from getting together for Christmas.
Canada is a moral embarrassment. But apparently most Canadians are perfectly content to live in a country moving toward dictatorship.
They should replace the maple leaf on the Canadian flag with a sheep.
EUROPE
In the summer of 2021, most European countries introduced the so-called health pass or “European COVID-19 Pass.” This digital pass, in the form of a QR code, is a prerequisite to access cafes, bars, restaurants, theaters and even long-distance transport. Only the naive can now deny that the real goal of the EU has long been a digital identity system for all European citizens.
NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands is among the least free countries in the West.
From Dec. 19 “until at least” Jan. 14, 2022, the Dutch must:
Stay at home as much as possible; receive no more than two visitors per day; be with no more than one other person outdoors; and work from home.
In addition, restaurants, cafes and bars and nonessential shops are all closed.
Nor do the Dutch have the right to protest these draconian restrictions. Two days ago, an anti-lockdown protest was banned by the leftist mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, because people would “not be adhering to social distancing rules.” Thousands of people nevertheless showed up. They were met with drones, water cannons and huge numbers of police. Footage capturing a police dog biting down on a peaceful protester’s arm has gone viral.
FRANCE
Starting next week, working from home will become compulsory for those who can.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said, “Even if we do not yet see hospitals as overloaded by omicron, the contagiousness of the variant and the speed at which it is spreading require us to go further.”
And the country has had a “health pass” since last summer, which only allows the vaccinated, those who have a negative COVID-19 test result from within 24 hours, or who had COVID-19 to enter cafes, restaurants, museums, cinemas and other public places. So, too, wearing a mask is compulsory throughout the country for everyone aged 11 and over in enclosed spaces and on public transport, on pain of a fine. Accordingly, consumption of food and drink is banned on public transport — including long-distance trains.

In schools, wearing a mask is compulsory from the age of 6, including in outdoor areas of the school.

AUSTRIA
Austria competes with the Netherlands for the title of Western Europe’s least free country.
From Nov. 22 to Dec. 12 no one was allowed to leave their home except for specific reasons such as buying groceries, going to the doctor or exercising. The lockdown has continued for the more than 30% of Austrians who remain unvaccinated.
In other words, nearly a third of all Austrians have not been allowed to leave their homes since Nov. 22 and will not be allowed to do so for the foreseeable future.
It is about to get much worse. Austria is about to become the first country in the world that will make the COVID-19 vaccine compulsory. It will be illegal to be unvaccinated. Beginning Feb. 1, unvaccinated Austrians will be fined 200 euros every month, and the fine will be increased every time they are caught in any activity outside of their house. Germany has already stated it wants to follow suit.
AUSTRALIA
Australia placed most of its citizens under house arrest for much of 2021. Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, was locked down for 106 days, ending only on Nov. 15. And Melbourne, the country’s second largest city, described by the Voice of America on Oct. 21 as “officially the world’s most locked down city,” was locked down 260 days. Residents were prohibited from traveling more than five kilometers from their homes, visiting family or friends, entering supermarkets except for pickup, and attending funerals. Schools were, and remain, still closed, and international travel was, and remains, prohibited. Needless to say, all shops, bars, and restaurants were closed. Essentially, people were prohibited from leaving their homes for a third of a year.
NEW ZEALAND
The lockdowns in New Zealand rendered that formerly free country essentially a totalitarian state in 2021. Befitting a totalitarian state, New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, actually said at one point regarding COVID-19 information, “Unless you hear it from the government, it is not true.” The woman, a bona fide fanatic, locked down her entire country because one person had the delta variant. Even pro-lockdown CNN seemed to find this a bit over-the-top. It headlined on Aug. 17: “New Zealand announces it’s locking down the entire country … over one Covid case”.
GERMANY
At the beginning of December, Germany announced a lockdown on the unvaccinated. They were banned from restaurants and bars, movie theaters, gyms, nonessential shops, and Christmas markets. About a quarter of all Germans are unvaccinated.
UNITED KINGDOM
Scotland has banned spectators, even if vaccinated, from attending sporting events. Masks must be worn indoors at public venues such as nightclubs, and one must show a health pass to enter nightclubs and other venues.
Wales went even further, allowing a maximum of six people to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants. Nightclubs were simply closed as of Dec. 27. Mandatory six-feet social distancing came into effect in offices from the same date. People must work from home unless it is impossible to do so.
While England does not yet have the same lockdown rules as Wales and Scotland, throughout the U.K. one must show a health pass certifying vaccination — or had a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours or had COVID-19 under six months earlier — in order to enter most public locations.
THE UNITED STATES
And then there is the United States of America. With states like Florida and most other Republican-governed states, we have the freest places in the Western world. Going from Canada or Western Europe to Florida is like going from Romania or Poland to Western Europe during the Cold War. Indeed, going from most Democrat-run cities to most Republican-run cities is also like passing through the Iron Curtain.
Thanks to its conservative half and thanks to the Founders’ genius of defanging the national government by giving states great power, America remains the beacon of liberty it was when Lincoln said, “America is the last best hope of Earth” and when France gave us the Statue of Liberty. If it were up to the Left, America would be as unfree as Canada or Austria. That’s why fighting the Left is the most important thing any American who cherishes liberty can do.

This column was originally posted on Townhall.com.

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