Ron Paul Institute for Peace And Prosperity All Blogs 2020 http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=5 Thu, 13 Aug 2020 04:00:00 GMT Thu, 13 Aug 2020 23:50:26 GMT Grim College Coronavirus Rules Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/

College ain’t what it used to be. Supposedly because of a virus that for most college students is less of a threat to their lives than riding in a car, students at college campuses this fall will be subjected to dystopian controls from required mask wearing and “social distancing” to surveillance via contact tracing and health monitoring.

Many prospective and set to return students will see this as an undesirable situation. College enrollment in America has been dropping over the last ten or so years. Make college dreary enough and there can be a big additional drop as this year’s fall semester begins.

For an example of the kind of restrictions and surveillance being imposed on students at many university campuses, consider these requirements in the Duke Compact that Duke University is imposing and even wants all students to sign:

To comply with requirements from Duke University, and state and local authorities, I will:

- Wear a mask or face covering in all public spaces.

- Maintain appropriate physical distance.

- Wash my hands often.

- Monitor and report my symptoms through the SymMon app, or approved alternatives, before coming to campus.

- Avoid large gatherings.

- Stay home when I feel ill.

- Know and follow safety plans and additional guidance that are specific to my group, workplace or activity.

- Keep confidential all health information I know or learn about others.

To protect myself and the people around me, I will:

- Participate in required COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and health monitoring.

- If instructed, self-isolate for the required duration.

- Get the flu shot and other required vaccinations by designated deadlines.
Adhere to all travel conditions and restrictions.

- Consent to the use of institutional data to identify others who have been in proximity or close contact.

- Accept the benefits and consequences for the conditions of this compact.

Speak up to share suggestions or concerns by calling 800.826.8109 or completing an online form.

Yikes.

Making it clear that these requirements are not just advisory or aspirational statements, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section following the Duke Compact includes these entries:
What are the consequences for violating terms of the Duke Compact?

While some minor violations will result in reminders and educational engagement, other flagrant and repeated violations may result in restricting your access to Duke facilities, employment actions or removal from campus. Consult your student, faculty or staff handbooks for further information.
….

Can I still be enrolled as a student, even if I don’t sign the Duke Compact?

We expect all members of the Duke community to be united in protecting ourselves, each other and the community that depends upon us. A signature is required to have access to the campus, and, based on the expectations and requirements of your academic field, refusal to sign and comply with the provisions may impact your student status.
Further, while one may see ambiguity in portions of the Duke Compact that leaves room for some freedom and privacy, the FAQ shuts much of this down. Here are some examples. The “public spaces” where a mask must be worn is an expansive area including everywhere on campus except where a person is “alone in a confined room such as an office or dorm room,” “alone in a vehicle, if the vehicle is not regularly shared with others,” eating or drinking “while following safety guidance,” or in “open outdoor areas where social distancing is easily maintained and areas where individuals are not likely to pass in close proximity.” The requirement to report symptoms is a requirement to do so daily; fail to do so and “your access to buildings may be temporarily suspended, or revoked.” The “large gatherings” that must be avoided can include gatherings of as few as 11 people. The requirement to participate in “required COVID-19 testing” includes being tested “upon arrival” at the Duke campus as well as potentially anytime “based on symptom reporting, contact tracing information or as part of periodic sample testing of our residential population.” Adhering to “all travel conditions and restrictions” means students “living in Duke-provided residences” are not to travel beyond the city of Durham “for the duration of the semester” unless doing so is “necessary” and the student receives permission from Duke University, takes “reasonable precautions,” and follows “Student Health instructions upon return.” “Institutional data” that may be used in contact tracing include “symptom monitoring survey responses, door control access points, wi-fi access points, geofence technologies, housing assignments and class schedules.”

In addition to all the restrictions and surveillance imposed directly on students by Duke University, the FAQ indicates Duke may also go after students for failure to comply, even when the students are not on campus, with whatever coronavirus mandates may be imposed by the state and local governments. From the FAQ: “Duke expects all members of our community to adhere to state/local public health orders both on- and off- campus.”

Other universities are similarly using “compacts” and other sorts of edicts to weigh students down with many new rules in the name of countering coronavirus.

It used to be that going to college was an opportunity to escape from strict rules imposed by parents, gain more privacy, take new risks, and learn the self-responsibility helpful for adulthood. Now, many more students reading college requirements like those in the Duke Compact will see college as more restrictive and stifling than mom and dad.

Since the second half of the last century, attending college after high school has been for a large portion of the American population the default course. The imposing of over-the-top dictates like those in the Duke Compact challenges that situation. Confronted with such dictates, a significant number of potential freshmen, as well as of set to return students, will have a “Why bother?” epiphany.

There are options besides college. Make college grim enough in the name of countering coronavirus and many more people will choose to engage in those other options instead.

Duke University itself may not suffer much in reduced enrollment, though it could see a big change in the makeup of its student body. Duke is one of the selective universities that rejects many applicants. It can, to maintain enrollment numbers, start admitting students it previously would have rejected.

Less selective universities will really face trouble due to fewer people choosing to pursue higher education. Some of these universities can be expected to disappear as they become economically unviable.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ Tue, 11 Aug 2020 23:14:00 GMT
Reason Report: Jo Jorgensen Supports Mask Mandates for Government Buildings Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/

In a Friday Reason article by Zuri Davis, Davis discusses a conversation she had the day before with Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. It was interesting to see Davis recount in the article that Jorgensen expressed approval of mask mandates for government buildings.

Davis writes:
The conversation then shifts to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'We're all adults, and it shouldn't be against the law to be stupid,' Jorgensen says. 

Jorgensen notes that with personal freedom comes responsibility. While she doesn't support mask mandates ('unless we're talking about a government building') or even a forced vaccine in the event that one is developed, Jorgensen sees private companies enacting mask policies as a sign that most Americans are taking the pandemic seriously.
Sometime soon you may find yourself approaching a government building, whether to exercise in a city’s recreation center, attend an event at a government-owned venue, attend classes at a government school, obtain official government documents, observe or speak at a meeting of elected or appointed government officials, discuss an important matter with government employees or office holders, participate in a court proceeding, or do whatever else. When you see a sign on the front door saying “Mask Required,” or when a guard tells you to put on a mask or leave, you can think of Jorgensen nodding in approval.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:13:45 GMT
America’s Big Move on the Bloomberg Misery Index Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/

America is moving up the ranks of the Bloomberg Misery Index, an index in which being number one means being the worst. Last year, America came in 50th. This year, America jumped to 25th among 60 economies compared based on their estimated price growth and joblessness, both of which are seen as big economic contributors to misery.

In a Thursday Bloomberg article about the new index results for this year, Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko write, “The U.S. is projected to see the worst reversal of fortune this year in a ranking of global economic misery, underscoring just how much havoc the [coronavirus] pandemic has wrought.”

Come again? Doesn’t this explanation miss the elephant in the room?

Sure, a virus that harms people can be expected to negatively affect the economy, and likely much more so when, as with coronavirus, many people in media and government fearmonger so an exaggerated sense of the danger from the virus develops.

But, a great contributor to economic misery in America this year is unmentioned in the article — the crackdowns on liberty, including the liberty to engage in commerce and travel, that have been undertaken in America by governments at the national, state, and local levels in the name of countering coronavirus. And these devastating crackdowns were imposed when the economy was already on shaky ground from many previous interferences in commerce.

It is hard to have a vibrant economy when governments for months on end shut down and throttle much of ordinary economic activity and free movement. Politicians — not just a virus — deserve blame for the increased economic misery in America.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:38:47 GMT
Freedom Rolls On in South Dakota Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/

Across much of America, people are masked by mandate and large events are shut down by decree. But, in South Dakota, things are different. You can be mask-free in the state that has avoided most of the coronavirus crackdown imposed in much of the rest of America. And, if you ride a motorcycle, you can ride and congregate freely with hundreds of thousands of bikers. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts Friday.

Nicholas Reimann provides background information in a Thursday Forbes article about this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which, he writes, “will likely be one of the largest gatherings the world has seen in months.”
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:17:01 GMT
Border Checkpoints Further New York City’s Descent into Tyranny and Economic Hardship Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/

People in New York City have been subjected to one of the most repressive coronavirus crackdowns in America. Included have been months-long forced closure of many businesses and extreme limitations placed on businesses that have been allowed to resume some operations during incremental scaling back of closure orders. Such government actions have decimated businesses in the city. A Sunday report by Lauren Thomas at CNBC illustrates the continuing economic destruction by describing vacancies and bankruptcies, along with a large drop in rents sought, in 16 major retail corridors of the Manhattan borough of the city.

The plummeting economy has come hand-in-hand with plummeting respect for liberty, with people in New York City having been prohibited from doing many of the things, in addition to operating or working at businesses, that people have long considered basic to living — doing daily activities outside home without wearing a mask, attending religious services, meeting friends at a bar for a beer, and taking children to a playground, for example.

The New York City government, with ample help from Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany, has succeeded, in the name of countering coronavirus, in making the city a downright depressing place. That means many less people want to visit it. It also means many residents have reason to move away.

As if to put an exclamation point on the “Stay Away” message that is communicated by the city’s despotic mandates purportedly intended to counter coronavirus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that cops will be stationed at checkpoints at entry locations of the city. The cops will inform people who have been in any of a, subject to change, long list of states and territories and who are seeking to enter the city (including New York City residents returning to their homes in the city) that they are legally required to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon entering the city.

Police at the new checkpoints will also require these individuals entering the city to register and complete “travel health forms” that will be used for carrying out surveillance in the form of “contact tracing efforts.”

The city’s descent into economic hardship and tyranny continues.

Adam Warner describes the new checkpoints program as follows in a 1010 WINS Radio of New York City article:
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that New York City will have COVID-19 checkpoints at key entry points to New York City to help enforce the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers.

De Blasio said the new traveler registration checkpoints will be at major bridge and tunnel crossings to remind travelers coming from 34 impacted states and Puerto Rico about the mandatory quarantine.

“Starting today, we’re going to do something new in New York City: We will have checkpoints at key entry points to the city,” the mayor said.

“Travelers from those states will be given information about the quarantine,” de Blasio said. “They’ll be reminded that it’s required, not optional. They’ll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law. And it comes with serious penalties. In fact, under certain circumstances, the fines can be as high as $10,000. So this is serious stuff.”
Read Warner’s complete article here.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ Wed, 05 Aug 2020 19:06:43 GMT
Ron Paul Presents Coronavirus Policy Common Sense in Fox Business Interview Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/
In this environment, it was refreshing to hear Ron Paul, the former Republican United Sates House of Representatives member from Texas and long-time doctor, present in a Monday interview with host Stuart Varney at Fox Business some of the common sense approach that could have instead been employed in America in reaction to coronavirus.

Instead of imposing lockdowns as was done in much of America, Paul argues in the interview that Sweden provides a good example for what American politicians should have done. By not having a lockdown and by largely letting coronavirus run its course, the government of Sweden, Paul says, demonstrated a better policy health policy that also prevented Sweden from suffering the economic hardship that lockdowns bring.

Concerning hydroxychloroquine that some doctors relate has been very helpful for many or their patients, Paul derides the government-imposed barriers to doctors trying to help their patients with the drug that Paul describes as “something that’s been around for 65 years and in my opinion is a very safe drug and very effective.”

Looking forward to the potential of a vaccine for coronavirus, the developing of which has been the justification of much US government spending, Paul advises caution. Paul says in the interview that he thinks the vaccine quest will be “a fruitless adventure,” noting the not so promising efforts so far and the failure in the past for good vaccines to be developed for other coronaviruses.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

Paul further discusses in a Monday editorial some of the coronavirus policy matters he addressed in the Fox Business interview. You can read that editorial here]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:46:39 GMT
When a Mask Becomes Part of the Required Work Uniform Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/

Wearing a mask at a store or other place where doing so is required of customers or visitors, or where there seems to be pressure either from the venue operators or the surrounding mask-wearers to do so, can be uncomfortable, even sickening. This can especially be the case for older and less healthy individuals for whom walking around while shopping can be a physical activity approaching or as strenuous as a younger, healthier person running a mile. The younger, healthier person can run a mile alright, but consider him trying to do so with his face and nose covered. He will surely run slower or be more exhausted in his masked mile run.

In general, the older and less healthy a person is, the more he can expect wearing a mask to cause physical trouble. Yet, the reaction of one’s body to the imposing of a new impediment, in this case on breathing, can be surprising. People who can run a mile easily can also suffer physical problems from wearing a mask while going about their daily activities. And psychological harm from mask wearing can afflict people of all ages and physical fitness levels.

Now put the younger, healthier mile runner in one of the many jobs that, because of the coronavirus scare and business rules often pushed or mandated by governments, requires he wear a mask while on the clock. His minute-by-minute exertion on the job is likely far less than while he is running a mile. His mile run, though, would be over in, say, six to 12 minutes. In contrast, his total masked work time through the day will be measured in hours, say, eight hours a day for five days each week.

That regimen of several hours of breathing inhibition day after day can take its toll on even people in well above average physical condition. And, keep in mind, a substantial portion of the people bearing this burden to work at their jobs are not able to complete a mile run.

Sunday at Target Liberty, Robert Wenzel addressed some of the negative health consequences people required to wear masks at work in the name of countering coronavirus are suffering. Read here Wenzel’s analysis of this matter and of the psychological manipulation being used by coronavirus scaremongers to whip up fear among people in order to ensure mask mandates and other coronavirus crackdown measures can be maintained and even expanded.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 18:24:05 GMT
The New Viral Video of Doctors Talking About Coronavirus that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Have Removed Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/

This week, video of a Washington, DC press conference of doctors was racking up millions of views. In the Monday press conference, several doctors of the group America’s Frontline Doctors challenged much of the party line that has been pushed for months by many people in media and government about coronavirus and how it should be dealt with medically and politically.

The reaction from major social media companies to the popularity of video of the press conference was swift. By Tuesday, social media companies including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter suppressed video of the press conference.

Watch the doctors’ press conference here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 17:52:39 GMT
What Would COVID-19 Sacrifice and Victory Really Look Like? Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/

The COVID-19 related libertarian hate just doesn't seem to stop.

It exists as much on the other side of the pond in this era of COVID-19 fear as it does in the US.

Financial Times columnist Henry Mance writes:
Britain has a problem with masks. Earlier this month, only one-third of the public said they wore one when going out — less than half the rate in Germany, France, Italy and the US. Americans, in particular, are baffled by our unwillingness to cover our dentistry.

But online libertarians urge us to fight this creeping authoritarianism — bemoaning “face mask hell”, “the problem with mandatory face masks” and “the misguided mission to mask us all”. Is there a strange overlap between those who brag about the second world war and those unwilling to make the sacrifices that victory required?
I give a full libertarian cry to this view: Bullsh*t to the state.

Putting aside as to whether it was a good thing for the US to enter World War 2 (I  don't think we should have), does Mance understand what sacrifice and victory look like?

It is not about cowering (forever?) behind a mask, and fearing walking into a room where there are other people, on the orders of the state.

It is to step up and face an enemy.

Sacrifice in the age of COVID-19 is to go out and live a normal life.

The only ones that should protect themselves, if they choose, are the men and women who are elderly or seriously ill, who are most susceptible to serious consequences if they catch the virus. And the wimps can hide if they choose. Yes, libertarianism does allow for wimps.

The rest of us, who are at very low risk from serious complications if we are infected with  COVID-19, should be out on the damn frontlines--creating that wall of herd immunity so that the elderly can come out and enjoy their last years in the full beauty of civilization.

Let the virus choose among the non-mask wearing, non-social distancing, whom amongst us it wants to infect. We will win in the end.

Yes, there may be a tiny few who will suffer severe consequences, perhaps even die, but not many more than those who die from a normal flu, and as a bonus, most of us will just end up living a fully normal life.

Non-mask wearing, non-social distancing is heroic. It is building a wall so that the elderly can once again truly live in their last years, instead of stagnating as we all hide from the virus on the orders of the state.

Screw the state, let's start building the COVID-19 wall.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 20:55:58 GMT
Say What? NPR Show Represents Libertarians as Supporting Wearing Masks and Imposing Mask Mandates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ undefined

For months, much of the airtime at National Public Radio (NPR) has been devoted to interviews and stories that ramp up the coronavirus scare and advance all manner of draconian government action in the name of countering coronavirus. The effort can reach ludicrous extremes as it did on Sunday at the NPR show All Things Considered when show host Michel Martin interviewed Jessica Flanigan focused on this question: “Is there a basic libertarian view about public health measures like face masks?”

The description of libertarian opinion regarding whether people should wear face masks and whether governments should mandate mask use that Flanigan, a professor at the University of Richmond, provides will ring preposterous to many people familiar with libertarian ideas. But, many other people who listen to the interview will be tricked by the nonsense.

So, what do libertarians think about masks according to Flanigan? First, she says she thinks libertarians believe people should “wear masks and stay home.”

Second, Flanigan addresses what she terms the “harder” question of if government should “enforce mask mandates and lockdowns.” In the subset of “government spaces,” though, Flanigan sees no tough issue, declaring mask mandates there to be “totally fine.” As far as on private property, she says libertarians support mask mandates as long as government shows it has first “tried less burdensome ways of addressing the virus first — so, for example, putting more resources behind expanding access to tests and medical care, provide more PPE [(personal protective equipment)], invest in contact tracing.” (Of course, libertarians have often criticized these types of government actions, including contact tracing that is just a new way of implementing mass surveillance, in addition to mask mandates.) In the end, Flanigan concludes the libertarian approach to government imposing mask mandates on private property is to weigh risks and benefits to come up with a pro or con answer — a big “it depends.”

The reality is that many libertarians vigorously oppose many of the purportedly anti-coronavirus actions promoted by NPR and other coronavirus fearmongers in the media. Contrary to Flanigan’s representation, many libertarians abhor wearing masks that have not been shown to provide protection against coronavirus but that do cause negative health consequences, as well as oppose government mandates that people wear masks anywhere. Just don’t hold your breath (or keep preventing your healthy breathing with a face mask) waiting to hear that information at NPR.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:56:45 GMT
Grim College Coronavirus Rules Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/

College ain’t what it used to be. Supposedly because of a virus that for most college students is less of a threat to their lives than riding in a car, students at college campuses this fall will be subjected to dystopian controls from required mask wearing and “social distancing” to surveillance via contact tracing and health monitoring.

Many prospective and set to return students will see this as an undesirable situation. College enrollment in America has been dropping over the last ten or so years. Make college dreary enough and there can be a big additional drop as this year’s fall semester begins.

For an example of the kind of restrictions and surveillance being imposed on students at many university campuses, consider these requirements in the Duke Compact that Duke University is imposing and even wants all students to sign:

To comply with requirements from Duke University, and state and local authorities, I will:

- Wear a mask or face covering in all public spaces.

- Maintain appropriate physical distance.

- Wash my hands often.

- Monitor and report my symptoms through the SymMon app, or approved alternatives, before coming to campus.

- Avoid large gatherings.

- Stay home when I feel ill.

- Know and follow safety plans and additional guidance that are specific to my group, workplace or activity.

- Keep confidential all health information I know or learn about others.

To protect myself and the people around me, I will:

- Participate in required COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and health monitoring.

- If instructed, self-isolate for the required duration.

- Get the flu shot and other required vaccinations by designated deadlines.
Adhere to all travel conditions and restrictions.

- Consent to the use of institutional data to identify others who have been in proximity or close contact.

- Accept the benefits and consequences for the conditions of this compact.

Speak up to share suggestions or concerns by calling 800.826.8109 or completing an online form.

Yikes.

Making it clear that these requirements are not just advisory or aspirational statements, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section following the Duke Compact includes these entries:
What are the consequences for violating terms of the Duke Compact?

While some minor violations will result in reminders and educational engagement, other flagrant and repeated violations may result in restricting your access to Duke facilities, employment actions or removal from campus. Consult your student, faculty or staff handbooks for further information.
….

Can I still be enrolled as a student, even if I don’t sign the Duke Compact?

We expect all members of the Duke community to be united in protecting ourselves, each other and the community that depends upon us. A signature is required to have access to the campus, and, based on the expectations and requirements of your academic field, refusal to sign and comply with the provisions may impact your student status.
Further, while one may see ambiguity in portions of the Duke Compact that leaves room for some freedom and privacy, the FAQ shuts much of this down. Here are some examples. The “public spaces” where a mask must be worn is an expansive area including everywhere on campus except where a person is “alone in a confined room such as an office or dorm room,” “alone in a vehicle, if the vehicle is not regularly shared with others,” eating or drinking “while following safety guidance,” or in “open outdoor areas where social distancing is easily maintained and areas where individuals are not likely to pass in close proximity.” The requirement to report symptoms is a requirement to do so daily; fail to do so and “your access to buildings may be temporarily suspended, or revoked.” The “large gatherings” that must be avoided can include gatherings of as few as 11 people. The requirement to participate in “required COVID-19 testing” includes being tested “upon arrival” at the Duke campus as well as potentially anytime “based on symptom reporting, contact tracing information or as part of periodic sample testing of our residential population.” Adhering to “all travel conditions and restrictions” means students “living in Duke-provided residences” are not to travel beyond the city of Durham “for the duration of the semester” unless doing so is “necessary” and the student receives permission from Duke University, takes “reasonable precautions,” and follows “Student Health instructions upon return.” “Institutional data” that may be used in contact tracing include “symptom monitoring survey responses, door control access points, wi-fi access points, geofence technologies, housing assignments and class schedules.”

In addition to all the restrictions and surveillance imposed directly on students by Duke University, the FAQ indicates Duke may also go after students for failure to comply, even when the students are not on campus, with whatever coronavirus mandates may be imposed by the state and local governments. From the FAQ: “Duke expects all members of our community to adhere to state/local public health orders both on- and off- campus.”

Other universities are similarly using “compacts” and other sorts of edicts to weigh students down with many new rules in the name of countering coronavirus.

It used to be that going to college was an opportunity to escape from strict rules imposed by parents, gain more privacy, take new risks, and learn the self-responsibility helpful for adulthood. Now, many more students reading college requirements like those in the Duke Compact will see college as more restrictive and stifling than mom and dad.

Since the second half of the last century, attending college after high school has been for a large portion of the American population the default course. The imposing of over-the-top dictates like those in the Duke Compact challenges that situation. Confronted with such dictates, a significant number of potential freshmen, as well as of set to return students, will have a “Why bother?” epiphany.

There are options besides college. Make college grim enough in the name of countering coronavirus and many more people will choose to engage in those other options instead.

Duke University itself may not suffer much in reduced enrollment, though it could see a big change in the makeup of its student body. Duke is one of the selective universities that rejects many applicants. It can, to maintain enrollment numbers, start admitting students it previously would have rejected.

Less selective universities will really face trouble due to fewer people choosing to pursue higher education. Some of these universities can be expected to disappear as they become economically unviable.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ Tue, 11 Aug 2020 23:14:00 GMT
Reason Report: Jo Jorgensen Supports Mask Mandates for Government Buildings Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/

In a Friday Reason article by Zuri Davis, Davis discusses a conversation she had the day before with Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. It was interesting to see Davis recount in the article that Jorgensen expressed approval of mask mandates for government buildings.

Davis writes:
The conversation then shifts to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'We're all adults, and it shouldn't be against the law to be stupid,' Jorgensen says. 

Jorgensen notes that with personal freedom comes responsibility. While she doesn't support mask mandates ('unless we're talking about a government building') or even a forced vaccine in the event that one is developed, Jorgensen sees private companies enacting mask policies as a sign that most Americans are taking the pandemic seriously.
Sometime soon you may find yourself approaching a government building, whether to exercise in a city’s recreation center, attend an event at a government-owned venue, attend classes at a government school, obtain official government documents, observe or speak at a meeting of elected or appointed government officials, discuss an important matter with government employees or office holders, participate in a court proceeding, or do whatever else. When you see a sign on the front door saying “Mask Required,” or when a guard tells you to put on a mask or leave, you can think of Jorgensen nodding in approval.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:13:45 GMT
America’s Big Move on the Bloomberg Misery Index Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/

America is moving up the ranks of the Bloomberg Misery Index, an index in which being number one means being the worst. Last year, America came in 50th. This year, America jumped to 25th among 60 economies compared based on their estimated price growth and joblessness, both of which are seen as big economic contributors to misery.

In a Thursday Bloomberg article about the new index results for this year, Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko write, “The U.S. is projected to see the worst reversal of fortune this year in a ranking of global economic misery, underscoring just how much havoc the [coronavirus] pandemic has wrought.”

Come again? Doesn’t this explanation miss the elephant in the room?

Sure, a virus that harms people can be expected to negatively affect the economy, and likely much more so when, as with coronavirus, many people in media and government fearmonger so an exaggerated sense of the danger from the virus develops.

But, a great contributor to economic misery in America this year is unmentioned in the article — the crackdowns on liberty, including the liberty to engage in commerce and travel, that have been undertaken in America by governments at the national, state, and local levels in the name of countering coronavirus. And these devastating crackdowns were imposed when the economy was already on shaky ground from many previous interferences in commerce.

It is hard to have a vibrant economy when governments for months on end shut down and throttle much of ordinary economic activity and free movement. Politicians — not just a virus — deserve blame for the increased economic misery in America.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:38:47 GMT
Freedom Rolls On in South Dakota Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/

Across much of America, people are masked by mandate and large events are shut down by decree. But, in South Dakota, things are different. You can be mask-free in the state that has avoided most of the coronavirus crackdown imposed in much of the rest of America. And, if you ride a motorcycle, you can ride and congregate freely with hundreds of thousands of bikers. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts Friday.

Nicholas Reimann provides background information in a Thursday Forbes article about this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which, he writes, “will likely be one of the largest gatherings the world has seen in months.”
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:17:01 GMT
Border Checkpoints Further New York City’s Descent into Tyranny and Economic Hardship Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/

People in New York City have been subjected to one of the most repressive coronavirus crackdowns in America. Included have been months-long forced closure of many businesses and extreme limitations placed on businesses that have been allowed to resume some operations during incremental scaling back of closure orders. Such government actions have decimated businesses in the city. A Sunday report by Lauren Thomas at CNBC illustrates the continuing economic destruction by describing vacancies and bankruptcies, along with a large drop in rents sought, in 16 major retail corridors of the Manhattan borough of the city.

The plummeting economy has come hand-in-hand with plummeting respect for liberty, with people in New York City having been prohibited from doing many of the things, in addition to operating or working at businesses, that people have long considered basic to living — doing daily activities outside home without wearing a mask, attending religious services, meeting friends at a bar for a beer, and taking children to a playground, for example.

The New York City government, with ample help from Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany, has succeeded, in the name of countering coronavirus, in making the city a downright depressing place. That means many less people want to visit it. It also means many residents have reason to move away.

As if to put an exclamation point on the “Stay Away” message that is communicated by the city’s despotic mandates purportedly intended to counter coronavirus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that cops will be stationed at checkpoints at entry locations of the city. The cops will inform people who have been in any of a, subject to change, long list of states and territories and who are seeking to enter the city (including New York City residents returning to their homes in the city) that they are legally required to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon entering the city.

Police at the new checkpoints will also require these individuals entering the city to register and complete “travel health forms” that will be used for carrying out surveillance in the form of “contact tracing efforts.”

The city’s descent into economic hardship and tyranny continues.

Adam Warner describes the new checkpoints program as follows in a 1010 WINS Radio of New York City article:
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that New York City will have COVID-19 checkpoints at key entry points to New York City to help enforce the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers.

De Blasio said the new traveler registration checkpoints will be at major bridge and tunnel crossings to remind travelers coming from 34 impacted states and Puerto Rico about the mandatory quarantine.

“Starting today, we’re going to do something new in New York City: We will have checkpoints at key entry points to the city,” the mayor said.

“Travelers from those states will be given information about the quarantine,” de Blasio said. “They’ll be reminded that it’s required, not optional. They’ll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law. And it comes with serious penalties. In fact, under certain circumstances, the fines can be as high as $10,000. So this is serious stuff.”
Read Warner’s complete article here.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ Wed, 05 Aug 2020 19:06:43 GMT
Ron Paul Presents Coronavirus Policy Common Sense in Fox Business Interview Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/
In this environment, it was refreshing to hear Ron Paul, the former Republican United Sates House of Representatives member from Texas and long-time doctor, present in a Monday interview with host Stuart Varney at Fox Business some of the common sense approach that could have instead been employed in America in reaction to coronavirus.

Instead of imposing lockdowns as was done in much of America, Paul argues in the interview that Sweden provides a good example for what American politicians should have done. By not having a lockdown and by largely letting coronavirus run its course, the government of Sweden, Paul says, demonstrated a better policy health policy that also prevented Sweden from suffering the economic hardship that lockdowns bring.

Concerning hydroxychloroquine that some doctors relate has been very helpful for many or their patients, Paul derides the government-imposed barriers to doctors trying to help their patients with the drug that Paul describes as “something that’s been around for 65 years and in my opinion is a very safe drug and very effective.”

Looking forward to the potential of a vaccine for coronavirus, the developing of which has been the justification of much US government spending, Paul advises caution. Paul says in the interview that he thinks the vaccine quest will be “a fruitless adventure,” noting the not so promising efforts so far and the failure in the past for good vaccines to be developed for other coronaviruses.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

Paul further discusses in a Monday editorial some of the coronavirus policy matters he addressed in the Fox Business interview. You can read that editorial here]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:46:39 GMT
When a Mask Becomes Part of the Required Work Uniform Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/

Wearing a mask at a store or other place where doing so is required of customers or visitors, or where there seems to be pressure either from the venue operators or the surrounding mask-wearers to do so, can be uncomfortable, even sickening. This can especially be the case for older and less healthy individuals for whom walking around while shopping can be a physical activity approaching or as strenuous as a younger, healthier person running a mile. The younger, healthier person can run a mile alright, but consider him trying to do so with his face and nose covered. He will surely run slower or be more exhausted in his masked mile run.

In general, the older and less healthy a person is, the more he can expect wearing a mask to cause physical trouble. Yet, the reaction of one’s body to the imposing of a new impediment, in this case on breathing, can be surprising. People who can run a mile easily can also suffer physical problems from wearing a mask while going about their daily activities. And psychological harm from mask wearing can afflict people of all ages and physical fitness levels.

Now put the younger, healthier mile runner in one of the many jobs that, because of the coronavirus scare and business rules often pushed or mandated by governments, requires he wear a mask while on the clock. His minute-by-minute exertion on the job is likely far less than while he is running a mile. His mile run, though, would be over in, say, six to 12 minutes. In contrast, his total masked work time through the day will be measured in hours, say, eight hours a day for five days each week.

That regimen of several hours of breathing inhibition day after day can take its toll on even people in well above average physical condition. And, keep in mind, a substantial portion of the people bearing this burden to work at their jobs are not able to complete a mile run.

Sunday at Target Liberty, Robert Wenzel addressed some of the negative health consequences people required to wear masks at work in the name of countering coronavirus are suffering. Read here Wenzel’s analysis of this matter and of the psychological manipulation being used by coronavirus scaremongers to whip up fear among people in order to ensure mask mandates and other coronavirus crackdown measures can be maintained and even expanded.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 18:24:05 GMT
The New Viral Video of Doctors Talking About Coronavirus that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Have Removed Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/

This week, video of a Washington, DC press conference of doctors was racking up millions of views. In the Monday press conference, several doctors of the group America’s Frontline Doctors challenged much of the party line that has been pushed for months by many people in media and government about coronavirus and how it should be dealt with medically and politically.

The reaction from major social media companies to the popularity of video of the press conference was swift. By Tuesday, social media companies including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter suppressed video of the press conference.

Watch the doctors’ press conference here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 17:52:39 GMT
What Would COVID-19 Sacrifice and Victory Really Look Like? Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/

The COVID-19 related libertarian hate just doesn't seem to stop.

It exists as much on the other side of the pond in this era of COVID-19 fear as it does in the US.

Financial Times columnist Henry Mance writes:
Britain has a problem with masks. Earlier this month, only one-third of the public said they wore one when going out — less than half the rate in Germany, France, Italy and the US. Americans, in particular, are baffled by our unwillingness to cover our dentistry.

But online libertarians urge us to fight this creeping authoritarianism — bemoaning “face mask hell”, “the problem with mandatory face masks” and “the misguided mission to mask us all”. Is there a strange overlap between those who brag about the second world war and those unwilling to make the sacrifices that victory required?
I give a full libertarian cry to this view: Bullsh*t to the state.

Putting aside as to whether it was a good thing for the US to enter World War 2 (I  don't think we should have), does Mance understand what sacrifice and victory look like?

It is not about cowering (forever?) behind a mask, and fearing walking into a room where there are other people, on the orders of the state.

It is to step up and face an enemy.

Sacrifice in the age of COVID-19 is to go out and live a normal life.

The only ones that should protect themselves, if they choose, are the men and women who are elderly or seriously ill, who are most susceptible to serious consequences if they catch the virus. And the wimps can hide if they choose. Yes, libertarianism does allow for wimps.

The rest of us, who are at very low risk from serious complications if we are infected with  COVID-19, should be out on the damn frontlines--creating that wall of herd immunity so that the elderly can come out and enjoy their last years in the full beauty of civilization.

Let the virus choose among the non-mask wearing, non-social distancing, whom amongst us it wants to infect. We will win in the end.

Yes, there may be a tiny few who will suffer severe consequences, perhaps even die, but not many more than those who die from a normal flu, and as a bonus, most of us will just end up living a fully normal life.

Non-mask wearing, non-social distancing is heroic. It is building a wall so that the elderly can once again truly live in their last years, instead of stagnating as we all hide from the virus on the orders of the state.

Screw the state, let's start building the COVID-19 wall.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 20:55:58 GMT
Say What? NPR Show Represents Libertarians as Supporting Wearing Masks and Imposing Mask Mandates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ undefined

For months, much of the airtime at National Public Radio (NPR) has been devoted to interviews and stories that ramp up the coronavirus scare and advance all manner of draconian government action in the name of countering coronavirus. The effort can reach ludicrous extremes as it did on Sunday at the NPR show All Things Considered when show host Michel Martin interviewed Jessica Flanigan focused on this question: “Is there a basic libertarian view about public health measures like face masks?”

The description of libertarian opinion regarding whether people should wear face masks and whether governments should mandate mask use that Flanigan, a professor at the University of Richmond, provides will ring preposterous to many people familiar with libertarian ideas. But, many other people who listen to the interview will be tricked by the nonsense.

So, what do libertarians think about masks according to Flanigan? First, she says she thinks libertarians believe people should “wear masks and stay home.”

Second, Flanigan addresses what she terms the “harder” question of if government should “enforce mask mandates and lockdowns.” In the subset of “government spaces,” though, Flanigan sees no tough issue, declaring mask mandates there to be “totally fine.” As far as on private property, she says libertarians support mask mandates as long as government shows it has first “tried less burdensome ways of addressing the virus first — so, for example, putting more resources behind expanding access to tests and medical care, provide more PPE [(personal protective equipment)], invest in contact tracing.” (Of course, libertarians have often criticized these types of government actions, including contact tracing that is just a new way of implementing mass surveillance, in addition to mask mandates.) In the end, Flanigan concludes the libertarian approach to government imposing mask mandates on private property is to weigh risks and benefits to come up with a pro or con answer — a big “it depends.”

The reality is that many libertarians vigorously oppose many of the purportedly anti-coronavirus actions promoted by NPR and other coronavirus fearmongers in the media. Contrary to Flanigan’s representation, many libertarians abhor wearing masks that have not been shown to provide protection against coronavirus but that do cause negative health consequences, as well as oppose government mandates that people wear masks anywhere. Just don’t hold your breath (or keep preventing your healthy breathing with a face mask) waiting to hear that information at NPR.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:56:45 GMT
Grim College Coronavirus Rules Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/

College ain’t what it used to be. Supposedly because of a virus that for most college students is less of a threat to their lives than riding in a car, students at college campuses this fall will be subjected to dystopian controls from required mask wearing and “social distancing” to surveillance via contact tracing and health monitoring.

Many prospective and set to return students will see this as an undesirable situation. College enrollment in America has been dropping over the last ten or so years. Make college dreary enough and there can be a big additional drop as this year’s fall semester begins.

For an example of the kind of restrictions and surveillance being imposed on students at many university campuses, consider these requirements in the Duke Compact that Duke University is imposing and even wants all students to sign:

To comply with requirements from Duke University, and state and local authorities, I will:

- Wear a mask or face covering in all public spaces.

- Maintain appropriate physical distance.

- Wash my hands often.

- Monitor and report my symptoms through the SymMon app, or approved alternatives, before coming to campus.

- Avoid large gatherings.

- Stay home when I feel ill.

- Know and follow safety plans and additional guidance that are specific to my group, workplace or activity.

- Keep confidential all health information I know or learn about others.

To protect myself and the people around me, I will:

- Participate in required COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and health monitoring.

- If instructed, self-isolate for the required duration.

- Get the flu shot and other required vaccinations by designated deadlines.
Adhere to all travel conditions and restrictions.

- Consent to the use of institutional data to identify others who have been in proximity or close contact.

- Accept the benefits and consequences for the conditions of this compact.

Speak up to share suggestions or concerns by calling 800.826.8109 or completing an online form.

Yikes.

Making it clear that these requirements are not just advisory or aspirational statements, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section following the Duke Compact includes these entries:
What are the consequences for violating terms of the Duke Compact?

While some minor violations will result in reminders and educational engagement, other flagrant and repeated violations may result in restricting your access to Duke facilities, employment actions or removal from campus. Consult your student, faculty or staff handbooks for further information.
….

Can I still be enrolled as a student, even if I don’t sign the Duke Compact?

We expect all members of the Duke community to be united in protecting ourselves, each other and the community that depends upon us. A signature is required to have access to the campus, and, based on the expectations and requirements of your academic field, refusal to sign and comply with the provisions may impact your student status.
Further, while one may see ambiguity in portions of the Duke Compact that leaves room for some freedom and privacy, the FAQ shuts much of this down. Here are some examples. The “public spaces” where a mask must be worn is an expansive area including everywhere on campus except where a person is “alone in a confined room such as an office or dorm room,” “alone in a vehicle, if the vehicle is not regularly shared with others,” eating or drinking “while following safety guidance,” or in “open outdoor areas where social distancing is easily maintained and areas where individuals are not likely to pass in close proximity.” The requirement to report symptoms is a requirement to do so daily; fail to do so and “your access to buildings may be temporarily suspended, or revoked.” The “large gatherings” that must be avoided can include gatherings of as few as 11 people. The requirement to participate in “required COVID-19 testing” includes being tested “upon arrival” at the Duke campus as well as potentially anytime “based on symptom reporting, contact tracing information or as part of periodic sample testing of our residential population.” Adhering to “all travel conditions and restrictions” means students “living in Duke-provided residences” are not to travel beyond the city of Durham “for the duration of the semester” unless doing so is “necessary” and the student receives permission from Duke University, takes “reasonable precautions,” and follows “Student Health instructions upon return.” “Institutional data” that may be used in contact tracing include “symptom monitoring survey responses, door control access points, wi-fi access points, geofence technologies, housing assignments and class schedules.”

In addition to all the restrictions and surveillance imposed directly on students by Duke University, the FAQ indicates Duke may also go after students for failure to comply, even when the students are not on campus, with whatever coronavirus mandates may be imposed by the state and local governments. From the FAQ: “Duke expects all members of our community to adhere to state/local public health orders both on- and off- campus.”

Other universities are similarly using “compacts” and other sorts of edicts to weigh students down with many new rules in the name of countering coronavirus.

It used to be that going to college was an opportunity to escape from strict rules imposed by parents, gain more privacy, take new risks, and learn the self-responsibility helpful for adulthood. Now, many more students reading college requirements like those in the Duke Compact will see college as more restrictive and stifling than mom and dad.

Since the second half of the last century, attending college after high school has been for a large portion of the American population the default course. The imposing of over-the-top dictates like those in the Duke Compact challenges that situation. Confronted with such dictates, a significant number of potential freshmen, as well as of set to return students, will have a “Why bother?” epiphany.

There are options besides college. Make college grim enough in the name of countering coronavirus and many more people will choose to engage in those other options instead.

Duke University itself may not suffer much in reduced enrollment, though it could see a big change in the makeup of its student body. Duke is one of the selective universities that rejects many applicants. It can, to maintain enrollment numbers, start admitting students it previously would have rejected.

Less selective universities will really face trouble due to fewer people choosing to pursue higher education. Some of these universities can be expected to disappear as they become economically unviable.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ Tue, 11 Aug 2020 23:14:00 GMT
Reason Report: Jo Jorgensen Supports Mask Mandates for Government Buildings Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/

In a Friday Reason article by Zuri Davis, Davis discusses a conversation she had the day before with Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. It was interesting to see Davis recount in the article that Jorgensen expressed approval of mask mandates for government buildings.

Davis writes:
The conversation then shifts to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'We're all adults, and it shouldn't be against the law to be stupid,' Jorgensen says. 

Jorgensen notes that with personal freedom comes responsibility. While she doesn't support mask mandates ('unless we're talking about a government building') or even a forced vaccine in the event that one is developed, Jorgensen sees private companies enacting mask policies as a sign that most Americans are taking the pandemic seriously.
Sometime soon you may find yourself approaching a government building, whether to exercise in a city’s recreation center, attend an event at a government-owned venue, attend classes at a government school, obtain official government documents, observe or speak at a meeting of elected or appointed government officials, discuss an important matter with government employees or office holders, participate in a court proceeding, or do whatever else. When you see a sign on the front door saying “Mask Required,” or when a guard tells you to put on a mask or leave, you can think of Jorgensen nodding in approval.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:13:45 GMT
America’s Big Move on the Bloomberg Misery Index Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/

America is moving up the ranks of the Bloomberg Misery Index, an index in which being number one means being the worst. Last year, America came in 50th. This year, America jumped to 25th among 60 economies compared based on their estimated price growth and joblessness, both of which are seen as big economic contributors to misery.

In a Thursday Bloomberg article about the new index results for this year, Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko write, “The U.S. is projected to see the worst reversal of fortune this year in a ranking of global economic misery, underscoring just how much havoc the [coronavirus] pandemic has wrought.”

Come again? Doesn’t this explanation miss the elephant in the room?

Sure, a virus that harms people can be expected to negatively affect the economy, and likely much more so when, as with coronavirus, many people in media and government fearmonger so an exaggerated sense of the danger from the virus develops.

But, a great contributor to economic misery in America this year is unmentioned in the article — the crackdowns on liberty, including the liberty to engage in commerce and travel, that have been undertaken in America by governments at the national, state, and local levels in the name of countering coronavirus. And these devastating crackdowns were imposed when the economy was already on shaky ground from many previous interferences in commerce.

It is hard to have a vibrant economy when governments for months on end shut down and throttle much of ordinary economic activity and free movement. Politicians — not just a virus — deserve blame for the increased economic misery in America.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:38:47 GMT
Freedom Rolls On in South Dakota Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/

Across much of America, people are masked by mandate and large events are shut down by decree. But, in South Dakota, things are different. You can be mask-free in the state that has avoided most of the coronavirus crackdown imposed in much of the rest of America. And, if you ride a motorcycle, you can ride and congregate freely with hundreds of thousands of bikers. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts Friday.

Nicholas Reimann provides background information in a Thursday Forbes article about this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which, he writes, “will likely be one of the largest gatherings the world has seen in months.”
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:17:01 GMT
Border Checkpoints Further New York City’s Descent into Tyranny and Economic Hardship Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/

People in New York City have been subjected to one of the most repressive coronavirus crackdowns in America. Included have been months-long forced closure of many businesses and extreme limitations placed on businesses that have been allowed to resume some operations during incremental scaling back of closure orders. Such government actions have decimated businesses in the city. A Sunday report by Lauren Thomas at CNBC illustrates the continuing economic destruction by describing vacancies and bankruptcies, along with a large drop in rents sought, in 16 major retail corridors of the Manhattan borough of the city.

The plummeting economy has come hand-in-hand with plummeting respect for liberty, with people in New York City having been prohibited from doing many of the things, in addition to operating or working at businesses, that people have long considered basic to living — doing daily activities outside home without wearing a mask, attending religious services, meeting friends at a bar for a beer, and taking children to a playground, for example.

The New York City government, with ample help from Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany, has succeeded, in the name of countering coronavirus, in making the city a downright depressing place. That means many less people want to visit it. It also means many residents have reason to move away.

As if to put an exclamation point on the “Stay Away” message that is communicated by the city’s despotic mandates purportedly intended to counter coronavirus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that cops will be stationed at checkpoints at entry locations of the city. The cops will inform people who have been in any of a, subject to change, long list of states and territories and who are seeking to enter the city (including New York City residents returning to their homes in the city) that they are legally required to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon entering the city.

Police at the new checkpoints will also require these individuals entering the city to register and complete “travel health forms” that will be used for carrying out surveillance in the form of “contact tracing efforts.”

The city’s descent into economic hardship and tyranny continues.

Adam Warner describes the new checkpoints program as follows in a 1010 WINS Radio of New York City article:
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that New York City will have COVID-19 checkpoints at key entry points to New York City to help enforce the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers.

De Blasio said the new traveler registration checkpoints will be at major bridge and tunnel crossings to remind travelers coming from 34 impacted states and Puerto Rico about the mandatory quarantine.

“Starting today, we’re going to do something new in New York City: We will have checkpoints at key entry points to the city,” the mayor said.

“Travelers from those states will be given information about the quarantine,” de Blasio said. “They’ll be reminded that it’s required, not optional. They’ll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law. And it comes with serious penalties. In fact, under certain circumstances, the fines can be as high as $10,000. So this is serious stuff.”
Read Warner’s complete article here.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ Wed, 05 Aug 2020 19:06:43 GMT
Ron Paul Presents Coronavirus Policy Common Sense in Fox Business Interview Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/
In this environment, it was refreshing to hear Ron Paul, the former Republican United Sates House of Representatives member from Texas and long-time doctor, present in a Monday interview with host Stuart Varney at Fox Business some of the common sense approach that could have instead been employed in America in reaction to coronavirus.

Instead of imposing lockdowns as was done in much of America, Paul argues in the interview that Sweden provides a good example for what American politicians should have done. By not having a lockdown and by largely letting coronavirus run its course, the government of Sweden, Paul says, demonstrated a better policy health policy that also prevented Sweden from suffering the economic hardship that lockdowns bring.

Concerning hydroxychloroquine that some doctors relate has been very helpful for many or their patients, Paul derides the government-imposed barriers to doctors trying to help their patients with the drug that Paul describes as “something that’s been around for 65 years and in my opinion is a very safe drug and very effective.”

Looking forward to the potential of a vaccine for coronavirus, the developing of which has been the justification of much US government spending, Paul advises caution. Paul says in the interview that he thinks the vaccine quest will be “a fruitless adventure,” noting the not so promising efforts so far and the failure in the past for good vaccines to be developed for other coronaviruses.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

Paul further discusses in a Monday editorial some of the coronavirus policy matters he addressed in the Fox Business interview. You can read that editorial here]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:46:39 GMT
When a Mask Becomes Part of the Required Work Uniform Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/

Wearing a mask at a store or other place where doing so is required of customers or visitors, or where there seems to be pressure either from the venue operators or the surrounding mask-wearers to do so, can be uncomfortable, even sickening. This can especially be the case for older and less healthy individuals for whom walking around while shopping can be a physical activity approaching or as strenuous as a younger, healthier person running a mile. The younger, healthier person can run a mile alright, but consider him trying to do so with his face and nose covered. He will surely run slower or be more exhausted in his masked mile run.

In general, the older and less healthy a person is, the more he can expect wearing a mask to cause physical trouble. Yet, the reaction of one’s body to the imposing of a new impediment, in this case on breathing, can be surprising. People who can run a mile easily can also suffer physical problems from wearing a mask while going about their daily activities. And psychological harm from mask wearing can afflict people of all ages and physical fitness levels.

Now put the younger, healthier mile runner in one of the many jobs that, because of the coronavirus scare and business rules often pushed or mandated by governments, requires he wear a mask while on the clock. His minute-by-minute exertion on the job is likely far less than while he is running a mile. His mile run, though, would be over in, say, six to 12 minutes. In contrast, his total masked work time through the day will be measured in hours, say, eight hours a day for five days each week.

That regimen of several hours of breathing inhibition day after day can take its toll on even people in well above average physical condition. And, keep in mind, a substantial portion of the people bearing this burden to work at their jobs are not able to complete a mile run.

Sunday at Target Liberty, Robert Wenzel addressed some of the negative health consequences people required to wear masks at work in the name of countering coronavirus are suffering. Read here Wenzel’s analysis of this matter and of the psychological manipulation being used by coronavirus scaremongers to whip up fear among people in order to ensure mask mandates and other coronavirus crackdown measures can be maintained and even expanded.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 18:24:05 GMT
The New Viral Video of Doctors Talking About Coronavirus that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Have Removed Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/

This week, video of a Washington, DC press conference of doctors was racking up millions of views. In the Monday press conference, several doctors of the group America’s Frontline Doctors challenged much of the party line that has been pushed for months by many people in media and government about coronavirus and how it should be dealt with medically and politically.

The reaction from major social media companies to the popularity of video of the press conference was swift. By Tuesday, social media companies including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter suppressed video of the press conference.

Watch the doctors’ press conference here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 17:52:39 GMT
What Would COVID-19 Sacrifice and Victory Really Look Like? Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/

The COVID-19 related libertarian hate just doesn't seem to stop.

It exists as much on the other side of the pond in this era of COVID-19 fear as it does in the US.

Financial Times columnist Henry Mance writes:
Britain has a problem with masks. Earlier this month, only one-third of the public said they wore one when going out — less than half the rate in Germany, France, Italy and the US. Americans, in particular, are baffled by our unwillingness to cover our dentistry.

But online libertarians urge us to fight this creeping authoritarianism — bemoaning “face mask hell”, “the problem with mandatory face masks” and “the misguided mission to mask us all”. Is there a strange overlap between those who brag about the second world war and those unwilling to make the sacrifices that victory required?
I give a full libertarian cry to this view: Bullsh*t to the state.

Putting aside as to whether it was a good thing for the US to enter World War 2 (I  don't think we should have), does Mance understand what sacrifice and victory look like?

It is not about cowering (forever?) behind a mask, and fearing walking into a room where there are other people, on the orders of the state.

It is to step up and face an enemy.

Sacrifice in the age of COVID-19 is to go out and live a normal life.

The only ones that should protect themselves, if they choose, are the men and women who are elderly or seriously ill, who are most susceptible to serious consequences if they catch the virus. And the wimps can hide if they choose. Yes, libertarianism does allow for wimps.

The rest of us, who are at very low risk from serious complications if we are infected with  COVID-19, should be out on the damn frontlines--creating that wall of herd immunity so that the elderly can come out and enjoy their last years in the full beauty of civilization.

Let the virus choose among the non-mask wearing, non-social distancing, whom amongst us it wants to infect. We will win in the end.

Yes, there may be a tiny few who will suffer severe consequences, perhaps even die, but not many more than those who die from a normal flu, and as a bonus, most of us will just end up living a fully normal life.

Non-mask wearing, non-social distancing is heroic. It is building a wall so that the elderly can once again truly live in their last years, instead of stagnating as we all hide from the virus on the orders of the state.

Screw the state, let's start building the COVID-19 wall.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 20:55:58 GMT
Say What? NPR Show Represents Libertarians as Supporting Wearing Masks and Imposing Mask Mandates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ undefined

For months, much of the airtime at National Public Radio (NPR) has been devoted to interviews and stories that ramp up the coronavirus scare and advance all manner of draconian government action in the name of countering coronavirus. The effort can reach ludicrous extremes as it did on Sunday at the NPR show All Things Considered when show host Michel Martin interviewed Jessica Flanigan focused on this question: “Is there a basic libertarian view about public health measures like face masks?”

The description of libertarian opinion regarding whether people should wear face masks and whether governments should mandate mask use that Flanigan, a professor at the University of Richmond, provides will ring preposterous to many people familiar with libertarian ideas. But, many other people who listen to the interview will be tricked by the nonsense.

So, what do libertarians think about masks according to Flanigan? First, she says she thinks libertarians believe people should “wear masks and stay home.”

Second, Flanigan addresses what she terms the “harder” question of if government should “enforce mask mandates and lockdowns.” In the subset of “government spaces,” though, Flanigan sees no tough issue, declaring mask mandates there to be “totally fine.” As far as on private property, she says libertarians support mask mandates as long as government shows it has first “tried less burdensome ways of addressing the virus first — so, for example, putting more resources behind expanding access to tests and medical care, provide more PPE [(personal protective equipment)], invest in contact tracing.” (Of course, libertarians have often criticized these types of government actions, including contact tracing that is just a new way of implementing mass surveillance, in addition to mask mandates.) In the end, Flanigan concludes the libertarian approach to government imposing mask mandates on private property is to weigh risks and benefits to come up with a pro or con answer — a big “it depends.”

The reality is that many libertarians vigorously oppose many of the purportedly anti-coronavirus actions promoted by NPR and other coronavirus fearmongers in the media. Contrary to Flanigan’s representation, many libertarians abhor wearing masks that have not been shown to provide protection against coronavirus but that do cause negative health consequences, as well as oppose government mandates that people wear masks anywhere. Just don’t hold your breath (or keep preventing your healthy breathing with a face mask) waiting to hear that information at NPR.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:56:45 GMT
Grim College Coronavirus Rules Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/

College ain’t what it used to be. Supposedly because of a virus that for most college students is less of a threat to their lives than riding in a car, students at college campuses this fall will be subjected to dystopian controls from required mask wearing and “social distancing” to surveillance via contact tracing and health monitoring.

Many prospective and set to return students will see this as an undesirable situation. College enrollment in America has been dropping over the last ten or so years. Make college dreary enough and there can be a big additional drop as this year’s fall semester begins.

For an example of the kind of restrictions and surveillance being imposed on students at many university campuses, consider these requirements in the Duke Compact that Duke University is imposing and even wants all students to sign:

To comply with requirements from Duke University, and state and local authorities, I will:

- Wear a mask or face covering in all public spaces.

- Maintain appropriate physical distance.

- Wash my hands often.

- Monitor and report my symptoms through the SymMon app, or approved alternatives, before coming to campus.

- Avoid large gatherings.

- Stay home when I feel ill.

- Know and follow safety plans and additional guidance that are specific to my group, workplace or activity.

- Keep confidential all health information I know or learn about others.

To protect myself and the people around me, I will:

- Participate in required COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and health monitoring.

- If instructed, self-isolate for the required duration.

- Get the flu shot and other required vaccinations by designated deadlines.
Adhere to all travel conditions and restrictions.

- Consent to the use of institutional data to identify others who have been in proximity or close contact.

- Accept the benefits and consequences for the conditions of this compact.

Speak up to share suggestions or concerns by calling 800.826.8109 or completing an online form.

Yikes.

Making it clear that these requirements are not just advisory or aspirational statements, the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section following the Duke Compact includes these entries:
What are the consequences for violating terms of the Duke Compact?

While some minor violations will result in reminders and educational engagement, other flagrant and repeated violations may result in restricting your access to Duke facilities, employment actions or removal from campus. Consult your student, faculty or staff handbooks for further information.
….

Can I still be enrolled as a student, even if I don’t sign the Duke Compact?

We expect all members of the Duke community to be united in protecting ourselves, each other and the community that depends upon us. A signature is required to have access to the campus, and, based on the expectations and requirements of your academic field, refusal to sign and comply with the provisions may impact your student status.
Further, while one may see ambiguity in portions of the Duke Compact that leaves room for some freedom and privacy, the FAQ shuts much of this down. Here are some examples. The “public spaces” where a mask must be worn is an expansive area including everywhere on campus except where a person is “alone in a confined room such as an office or dorm room,” “alone in a vehicle, if the vehicle is not regularly shared with others,” eating or drinking “while following safety guidance,” or in “open outdoor areas where social distancing is easily maintained and areas where individuals are not likely to pass in close proximity.” The requirement to report symptoms is a requirement to do so daily; fail to do so and “your access to buildings may be temporarily suspended, or revoked.” The “large gatherings” that must be avoided can include gatherings of as few as 11 people. The requirement to participate in “required COVID-19 testing” includes being tested “upon arrival” at the Duke campus as well as potentially anytime “based on symptom reporting, contact tracing information or as part of periodic sample testing of our residential population.” Adhering to “all travel conditions and restrictions” means students “living in Duke-provided residences” are not to travel beyond the city of Durham “for the duration of the semester” unless doing so is “necessary” and the student receives permission from Duke University, takes “reasonable precautions,” and follows “Student Health instructions upon return.” “Institutional data” that may be used in contact tracing include “symptom monitoring survey responses, door control access points, wi-fi access points, geofence technologies, housing assignments and class schedules.”

In addition to all the restrictions and surveillance imposed directly on students by Duke University, the FAQ indicates Duke may also go after students for failure to comply, even when the students are not on campus, with whatever coronavirus mandates may be imposed by the state and local governments. From the FAQ: “Duke expects all members of our community to adhere to state/local public health orders both on- and off- campus.”

Other universities are similarly using “compacts” and other sorts of edicts to weigh students down with many new rules in the name of countering coronavirus.

It used to be that going to college was an opportunity to escape from strict rules imposed by parents, gain more privacy, take new risks, and learn the self-responsibility helpful for adulthood. Now, many more students reading college requirements like those in the Duke Compact will see college as more restrictive and stifling than mom and dad.

Since the second half of the last century, attending college after high school has been for a large portion of the American population the default course. The imposing of over-the-top dictates like those in the Duke Compact challenges that situation. Confronted with such dictates, a significant number of potential freshmen, as well as of set to return students, will have a “Why bother?” epiphany.

There are options besides college. Make college grim enough in the name of countering coronavirus and many more people will choose to engage in those other options instead.

Duke University itself may not suffer much in reduced enrollment, though it could see a big change in the makeup of its student body. Duke is one of the selective universities that rejects many applicants. It can, to maintain enrollment numbers, start admitting students it previously would have rejected.

Less selective universities will really face trouble due to fewer people choosing to pursue higher education. Some of these universities can be expected to disappear as they become economically unviable.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/11/grim-college-coronavirus-rules/ Tue, 11 Aug 2020 23:14:00 GMT
Reason Report: Jo Jorgensen Supports Mask Mandates for Government Buildings Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/

In a Friday Reason article by Zuri Davis, Davis discusses a conversation she had the day before with Libertarian Party presidential nominee Jo Jorgensen. It was interesting to see Davis recount in the article that Jorgensen expressed approval of mask mandates for government buildings.

Davis writes:
The conversation then shifts to the COVID-19 pandemic.

'We're all adults, and it shouldn't be against the law to be stupid,' Jorgensen says. 

Jorgensen notes that with personal freedom comes responsibility. While she doesn't support mask mandates ('unless we're talking about a government building') or even a forced vaccine in the event that one is developed, Jorgensen sees private companies enacting mask policies as a sign that most Americans are taking the pandemic seriously.
Sometime soon you may find yourself approaching a government building, whether to exercise in a city’s recreation center, attend an event at a government-owned venue, attend classes at a government school, obtain official government documents, observe or speak at a meeting of elected or appointed government officials, discuss an important matter with government employees or office holders, participate in a court proceeding, or do whatever else. When you see a sign on the front door saying “Mask Required,” or when a guard tells you to put on a mask or leave, you can think of Jorgensen nodding in approval.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/reason-report-jo-jorgensen-supports-mask-mandates-for-government-buildings/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 22:13:45 GMT
America’s Big Move on the Bloomberg Misery Index Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/

America is moving up the ranks of the Bloomberg Misery Index, an index in which being number one means being the worst. Last year, America came in 50th. This year, America jumped to 25th among 60 economies compared based on their estimated price growth and joblessness, both of which are seen as big economic contributors to misery.

In a Thursday Bloomberg article about the new index results for this year, Catarina Saraiva and Michelle Jamrisko write, “The U.S. is projected to see the worst reversal of fortune this year in a ranking of global economic misery, underscoring just how much havoc the [coronavirus] pandemic has wrought.”

Come again? Doesn’t this explanation miss the elephant in the room?

Sure, a virus that harms people can be expected to negatively affect the economy, and likely much more so when, as with coronavirus, many people in media and government fearmonger so an exaggerated sense of the danger from the virus develops.

But, a great contributor to economic misery in America this year is unmentioned in the article — the crackdowns on liberty, including the liberty to engage in commerce and travel, that have been undertaken in America by governments at the national, state, and local levels in the name of countering coronavirus. And these devastating crackdowns were imposed when the economy was already on shaky ground from many previous interferences in commerce.

It is hard to have a vibrant economy when governments for months on end shut down and throttle much of ordinary economic activity and free movement. Politicians — not just a virus — deserve blame for the increased economic misery in America.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/america-s-big-move-on-the-bloomberg-misery-index/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:38:47 GMT
Freedom Rolls On in South Dakota Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/

Across much of America, people are masked by mandate and large events are shut down by decree. But, in South Dakota, things are different. You can be mask-free in the state that has avoided most of the coronavirus crackdown imposed in much of the rest of America. And, if you ride a motorcycle, you can ride and congregate freely with hundreds of thousands of bikers. The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally starts Friday.

Nicholas Reimann provides background information in a Thursday Forbes article about this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, which, he writes, “will likely be one of the largest gatherings the world has seen in months.”
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/07/freedom-rolls-on-in-south-dakota/ Fri, 07 Aug 2020 13:17:01 GMT
Border Checkpoints Further New York City’s Descent into Tyranny and Economic Hardship Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/

People in New York City have been subjected to one of the most repressive coronavirus crackdowns in America. Included have been months-long forced closure of many businesses and extreme limitations placed on businesses that have been allowed to resume some operations during incremental scaling back of closure orders. Such government actions have decimated businesses in the city. A Sunday report by Lauren Thomas at CNBC illustrates the continuing economic destruction by describing vacancies and bankruptcies, along with a large drop in rents sought, in 16 major retail corridors of the Manhattan borough of the city.

The plummeting economy has come hand-in-hand with plummeting respect for liberty, with people in New York City having been prohibited from doing many of the things, in addition to operating or working at businesses, that people have long considered basic to living — doing daily activities outside home without wearing a mask, attending religious services, meeting friends at a bar for a beer, and taking children to a playground, for example.

The New York City government, with ample help from Governor Andrew Cuomo in Albany, has succeeded, in the name of countering coronavirus, in making the city a downright depressing place. That means many less people want to visit it. It also means many residents have reason to move away.

As if to put an exclamation point on the “Stay Away” message that is communicated by the city’s despotic mandates purportedly intended to counter coronavirus, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday that cops will be stationed at checkpoints at entry locations of the city. The cops will inform people who have been in any of a, subject to change, long list of states and territories and who are seeking to enter the city (including New York City residents returning to their homes in the city) that they are legally required to quarantine themselves for 14 days upon entering the city.

Police at the new checkpoints will also require these individuals entering the city to register and complete “travel health forms” that will be used for carrying out surveillance in the form of “contact tracing efforts.”

The city’s descent into economic hardship and tyranny continues.

Adam Warner describes the new checkpoints program as follows in a 1010 WINS Radio of New York City article:
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday that New York City will have COVID-19 checkpoints at key entry points to New York City to help enforce the state's mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers.

De Blasio said the new traveler registration checkpoints will be at major bridge and tunnel crossings to remind travelers coming from 34 impacted states and Puerto Rico about the mandatory quarantine.

“Starting today, we’re going to do something new in New York City: We will have checkpoints at key entry points to the city,” the mayor said.

“Travelers from those states will be given information about the quarantine,” de Blasio said. “They’ll be reminded that it’s required, not optional. They’ll be reminded that failure to quarantine is a violation of state law. And it comes with serious penalties. In fact, under certain circumstances, the fines can be as high as $10,000. So this is serious stuff.”
Read Warner’s complete article here.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/05/border-checkpoints-further-new-york-city-s-descent-into-tyranny-and-economic-hardship/ Wed, 05 Aug 2020 19:06:43 GMT
Ron Paul Presents Coronavirus Policy Common Sense in Fox Business Interview Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/
In this environment, it was refreshing to hear Ron Paul, the former Republican United Sates House of Representatives member from Texas and long-time doctor, present in a Monday interview with host Stuart Varney at Fox Business some of the common sense approach that could have instead been employed in America in reaction to coronavirus.

Instead of imposing lockdowns as was done in much of America, Paul argues in the interview that Sweden provides a good example for what American politicians should have done. By not having a lockdown and by largely letting coronavirus run its course, the government of Sweden, Paul says, demonstrated a better policy health policy that also prevented Sweden from suffering the economic hardship that lockdowns bring.

Concerning hydroxychloroquine that some doctors relate has been very helpful for many or their patients, Paul derides the government-imposed barriers to doctors trying to help their patients with the drug that Paul describes as “something that’s been around for 65 years and in my opinion is a very safe drug and very effective.”

Looking forward to the potential of a vaccine for coronavirus, the developing of which has been the justification of much US government spending, Paul advises caution. Paul says in the interview that he thinks the vaccine quest will be “a fruitless adventure,” noting the not so promising efforts so far and the failure in the past for good vaccines to be developed for other coronaviruses.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

Paul further discusses in a Monday editorial some of the coronavirus policy matters he addressed in the Fox Business interview. You can read that editorial here]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/03/ron-paul-presents-coronavirus-policy-common-sense-in-fox-business-interview/ Mon, 03 Aug 2020 22:46:39 GMT
When a Mask Becomes Part of the Required Work Uniform Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/

Wearing a mask at a store or other place where doing so is required of customers or visitors, or where there seems to be pressure either from the venue operators or the surrounding mask-wearers to do so, can be uncomfortable, even sickening. This can especially be the case for older and less healthy individuals for whom walking around while shopping can be a physical activity approaching or as strenuous as a younger, healthier person running a mile. The younger, healthier person can run a mile alright, but consider him trying to do so with his face and nose covered. He will surely run slower or be more exhausted in his masked mile run.

In general, the older and less healthy a person is, the more he can expect wearing a mask to cause physical trouble. Yet, the reaction of one’s body to the imposing of a new impediment, in this case on breathing, can be surprising. People who can run a mile easily can also suffer physical problems from wearing a mask while going about their daily activities. And psychological harm from mask wearing can afflict people of all ages and physical fitness levels.

Now put the younger, healthier mile runner in one of the many jobs that, because of the coronavirus scare and business rules often pushed or mandated by governments, requires he wear a mask while on the clock. His minute-by-minute exertion on the job is likely far less than while he is running a mile. His mile run, though, would be over in, say, six to 12 minutes. In contrast, his total masked work time through the day will be measured in hours, say, eight hours a day for five days each week.

That regimen of several hours of breathing inhibition day after day can take its toll on even people in well above average physical condition. And, keep in mind, a substantial portion of the people bearing this burden to work at their jobs are not able to complete a mile run.

Sunday at Target Liberty, Robert Wenzel addressed some of the negative health consequences people required to wear masks at work in the name of countering coronavirus are suffering. Read here Wenzel’s analysis of this matter and of the psychological manipulation being used by coronavirus scaremongers to whip up fear among people in order to ensure mask mandates and other coronavirus crackdown measures can be maintained and even expanded.
]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/august/02/when-a-mask-becomes-part-of-the-required-work-uniform/ Sun, 02 Aug 2020 18:24:05 GMT
The New Viral Video of Doctors Talking About Coronavirus that Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter Have Removed Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/

This week, video of a Washington, DC press conference of doctors was racking up millions of views. In the Monday press conference, several doctors of the group America’s Frontline Doctors challenged much of the party line that has been pushed for months by many people in media and government about coronavirus and how it should be dealt with medically and politically.

The reaction from major social media companies to the popularity of video of the press conference was swift. By Tuesday, social media companies including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter suppressed video of the press conference.

Watch the doctors’ press conference here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/28/the-new-viral-video-of-doctors-talking-about-coronavirus-that-facebook-youtube-and-twitter-have-removed/ Tue, 28 Jul 2020 17:52:39 GMT
What Would COVID-19 Sacrifice and Victory Really Look Like? Robert Wenzel http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/

The COVID-19 related libertarian hate just doesn't seem to stop.

It exists as much on the other side of the pond in this era of COVID-19 fear as it does in the US.

Financial Times columnist Henry Mance writes:
Britain has a problem with masks. Earlier this month, only one-third of the public said they wore one when going out — less than half the rate in Germany, France, Italy and the US. Americans, in particular, are baffled by our unwillingness to cover our dentistry.

But online libertarians urge us to fight this creeping authoritarianism — bemoaning “face mask hell”, “the problem with mandatory face masks” and “the misguided mission to mask us all”. Is there a strange overlap between those who brag about the second world war and those unwilling to make the sacrifices that victory required?
I give a full libertarian cry to this view: Bullsh*t to the state.

Putting aside as to whether it was a good thing for the US to enter World War 2 (I  don't think we should have), does Mance understand what sacrifice and victory look like?

It is not about cowering (forever?) behind a mask, and fearing walking into a room where there are other people, on the orders of the state.

It is to step up and face an enemy.

Sacrifice in the age of COVID-19 is to go out and live a normal life.

The only ones that should protect themselves, if they choose, are the men and women who are elderly or seriously ill, who are most susceptible to serious consequences if they catch the virus. And the wimps can hide if they choose. Yes, libertarianism does allow for wimps.

The rest of us, who are at very low risk from serious complications if we are infected with  COVID-19, should be out on the damn frontlines--creating that wall of herd immunity so that the elderly can come out and enjoy their last years in the full beauty of civilization.

Let the virus choose among the non-mask wearing, non-social distancing, whom amongst us it wants to infect. We will win in the end.

Yes, there may be a tiny few who will suffer severe consequences, perhaps even die, but not many more than those who die from a normal flu, and as a bonus, most of us will just end up living a fully normal life.

Non-mask wearing, non-social distancing is heroic. It is building a wall so that the elderly can once again truly live in their last years, instead of stagnating as we all hide from the virus on the orders of the state.

Screw the state, let's start building the COVID-19 wall.

Reprinted with permission from Target Liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/27/what-would-covid-19-sacrifice-and-victory-really-look-like/ Mon, 27 Jul 2020 20:55:58 GMT
Say What? NPR Show Represents Libertarians as Supporting Wearing Masks and Imposing Mask Mandates Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ undefined

For months, much of the airtime at National Public Radio (NPR) has been devoted to interviews and stories that ramp up the coronavirus scare and advance all manner of draconian government action in the name of countering coronavirus. The effort can reach ludicrous extremes as it did on Sunday at the NPR show All Things Considered when show host Michel Martin interviewed Jessica Flanigan focused on this question: “Is there a basic libertarian view about public health measures like face masks?”

The description of libertarian opinion regarding whether people should wear face masks and whether governments should mandate mask use that Flanigan, a professor at the University of Richmond, provides will ring preposterous to many people familiar with libertarian ideas. But, many other people who listen to the interview will be tricked by the nonsense.

So, what do libertarians think about masks according to Flanigan? First, she says she thinks libertarians believe people should “wear masks and stay home.”

Second, Flanigan addresses what she terms the “harder” question of if government should “enforce mask mandates and lockdowns.” In the subset of “government spaces,” though, Flanigan sees no tough issue, declaring mask mandates there to be “totally fine.” As far as on private property, she says libertarians support mask mandates as long as government shows it has first “tried less burdensome ways of addressing the virus first — so, for example, putting more resources behind expanding access to tests and medical care, provide more PPE [(personal protective equipment)], invest in contact tracing.” (Of course, libertarians have often criticized these types of government actions, including contact tracing that is just a new way of implementing mass surveillance, in addition to mask mandates.) In the end, Flanigan concludes the libertarian approach to government imposing mask mandates on private property is to weigh risks and benefits to come up with a pro or con answer — a big “it depends.”

The reality is that many libertarians vigorously oppose many of the purportedly anti-coronavirus actions promoted by NPR and other coronavirus fearmongers in the media. Contrary to Flanigan’s representation, many libertarians abhor wearing masks that have not been shown to provide protection against coronavirus but that do cause negative health consequences, as well as oppose government mandates that people wear masks anywhere. Just don’t hold your breath (or keep preventing your healthy breathing with a face mask) waiting to hear that information at NPR.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/congress-alert/2020/july/21/say-what-npr-show-represents-libertarians-as-supporting-wearing-masks-and-imposing-mask-mandates/ Tue, 21 Jul 2020 13:56:45 GMT