April 13, 2020
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer throws the First Amendment under the bus with her executive order banning meeting with others.
- “We must continue to do everything we can…” says the governor, who controls jails, state troopers and the Michigan National Guard.
We are only one month into the COVID-19 crisis and states and cities are already pushing the bounds of Constitutionally guaranteed civil rights. Technology companies like Google are eagerly partnering with government to expand surveillance of citizens
- Delaware police are already stopping cars with out of state plates and forcing occupants to either leave the state or endure a two-week quarantine.
- Church services were banned by governors in some states on Easter Sunday. However, courts seem to be supporting the Constitution, at least for now.
- A number of states are launching surveillance programs aimed at people who might have been near people who test positive for COVID-19.
- Technologies like Draganfly open up possibilities for officials sharing Governor Whitmer’s lack of concern for the ideals of liberal democracy.
The United States is not alone in attacks on democratic freedoms by lawmakers and politicians.
“It doesn’t just take the despots and the illiberals of this world, like Orban, to wreak damage. We need to make sure that we don’t go a single inch further than absolutely necessary in curtailing civil liberties in the name of fighting for public health”, says Tomas Valasek, a Slovak lawmaker.
Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis predicts a year and a half of rolling shutdowns across the country as COVID-19 outbreaks occur. How an economic strategy of Whack-a-Mole will help or hinder the creation of a new economy is unclear.
All 50 states are now disaster zones and eligible for federal disaster funding.
This is earnings season in the stock market, when analysts release predictions about the future health of publicly traded companies. Look for a general sell off later this month. That means we all get poorer.
Used car sales fell 64% in the last week of March.
Nobody is working, so nobody’s is buying used cars. They are selling cars they can no longer afford, however. The situation is so bad space is running out to store them. Hardest hit are financial arms of leading car companies. A collapse in financing could spread damage throughout the auto industry. Widespread telecommuting in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis could see a general rollback of the entire industry.
A clause in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act exempts some recipients of hundreds of billions of dollars from public disclosure. That’s right, sweetheart deals between Congress and the “Billionaire Class” will be kept secret. Outrageous, but somehow not surprising.
In a glimpse of things to come…
Japanese high school students in Ibaraki prefecture are refusing to return to classroom, preferring online education.
The Magical Kingdom is hoping for magic…
Bob Iger, the recently retired CEO of the Walt Disney Company, abruptly un-retired over the weekend. Iger aims to remake Disney into something that can survive in a post COVID-19 economy.
Movie theaters may be the first big casualty of COVID-19…
The survival of theaters and stadiums, is highly questionable. First run movies like Trolls World Tour are already moving to streaming services.
And baseball may be the second…
Major League Baseball is moving away from fans and stadiums and onto streaming video. Oh…and constant COVID-19 testing, robot umpires and strict social distancing among players. Really.
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