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Stephanie Grant holds a "Stop the Tyranny" sign during a protest of Gov. Gary Herbert's mask mandate and new COVID-19 restrictions outside of the Governor's Mansion in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

Voices opposing government COVID-19 restrictions must be heard

One thing the left does much better than the right — other than shut down city blocks for days at time — is agitate for their needs. They grab the megaphone, collar the media outlets and raise Cain. Consequently, they find the odds that their grievances are acted upon increased. It’s a nice little cycle, or racket, which is why it has been in the liberal playbook forever.

The Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower ship that brought the Pilgrims to America 400 year ago, is docked in Plymouth, Mass., days after returning home following extensive renovations, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. A disease outbreak that wiped out large numbers of the Native inhabitants of what is now New England gave the Pilgrims a beachhead in the "New World." So, some historians find it ironic that a pandemic has put many of the 400th anniversary commemorations of the Mayflower's landing on hold. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Mayflower Compact’s enduring impact

The American electorate’s apparent decision to replace their leadership amid a tumultuous pandemic is adding energy to progressive ambitions worldwide to engineer “a Great Reset,” a reordering of society along socialist principles. Enthusiasm is no substitute for wisdom, though, and the current apostles of radical change will be hard-pressed to surpass the prudence of the intrepid sojourners who disembarked from the Mayflower 400 years ago this Saturday to found a society unmatched in history.

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FILE - In this Dec. 14, 1998 file photo Linda Tripp arrives at the offices of Judicial Watch, a public interest law firm, in Washington to give a deposition in a lawsuit about the FBI files controversy. Tripp, whose secretly recorded conversations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky led to the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton, died Wednesday, April 8, 2020, at age 70. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

A reminder of a sad, sordid time

Linda Tripp died last week at the age of 70. Perhaps second only to President Clinton, she remains the most polarizing figure of the 1998 impeachment investigation -- proceedings that would not have unfolded with such explosivity save for her surreptitious recording of White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

FILE - In this April 7, 2020, file photo poll workers used caution tape and pylons to set up aisles to help maintain proper social distancing at a polling place set up at the Government Center in Superior, Wis., as voters, ignoring a stay-at-home order over the coronavirus threat, cast ballots in the state's presidential primary election.  A partisan fight over voting in Wisconsin was the first issue linked to the coronavirus to make it to the Supreme Court. (Dan Kraker/Minnesota Public Radio via AP, File)

Rejecting outcome-based adjudication

The fights this week at the Wisconsin state Supreme Court and at the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the April 7 Wisconsin primary are prime examples of what can best be described as the "outcome-based adjudication" favored by liberal judicial activists. (It's not to be confused with outcome-based education.)

Pharmacist Michael Witte wears heavy gloves as he opens a frozen package of the potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, on the first day of a first-stage safety study clinical trial, Monday, March 16, 2020, at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren) **FILE**

A penny for their thoughts

Epochal events don't come around often, thank goodness. One has turned up, uninvited, in 2020, and it is stretching the social fabric to the limit. As if the coronavirus weren't challenging enough, some deep thinkers read the sudden tumult that deadly contagion has wrought as proof that the world needs an overhaul. Rather than a wholesale overhaul, the world needs a simpler fix: A life-saving vaccine.

A nurse, wearing rubber, waits gloves for the city's coronavirus testing site to open next to Citizens Bank Park in South Philadelphia on Friday, March 20, 2020. The site, which opened Friday afternoon, is the first city-run location where people can be swabbed to determine if they have the coronavirus. At the time of opening, it was only for people with symptoms who are over 50 and healthcare workers with symptoms. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Politicizing the pandemic

Health care workers are the heroes of the coronavirus crisis. They're the ones "running into the burning buildings instead of out," as just about everyone said regarding firefighters in the aftermath of 9/11. The doctors and nurses and orderlies who show up every day, work double- and triple-shifts treating the sick and searching for a cure deserve our thoughts and prayers and gratitude.

FILE - This June 12, 2017 file photo shows pumpjacks operating in the western edge of California's Central Valley northwest of Bakersfield. Oil production from federally-managed lands and waters topped a record 1 billion barrels in 2019, according to the Department of Interior on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Brian Melley, File)

Saving oil from the pandemic

A drop in the price of life's necessities is a surprise boon for consumers, but it can mean a bust for producers. The global oil market has gone over a precipice -- partly owing to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and partly due to a price war -- and the U.S. oil industry is caught in the crossfire. Unless the disruptions subside, and quickly, President Trump should not hesitate to take steps to ensure the health of an enterprise that isn't simply vital to the American economy, but its national security.

FILE - In this April 15, 2007, file photo, Dr. Judea Pearl, father of American journalist Daniel Pearl, who was killed by terrorists in 2002, speaks in Miami Beach, Fla. A Pakistani court on Thursday, April 2, 2020, overturned the murder conviction of a British Pakistani man found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street journalist Daniel Pearl.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Stifling a miscarriage of justice

The murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in 2002 was a sadistic, disgusting, bigoted act. Pearl, on assignment in Pakistan, was abducted and held for several days, before being beheaded. The act was filmed and distributed widely on the Internet.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski concedes the Democratic primary election to Progressive Marie Newman during a press conference at his election headquarters in Oak Lawn, Ill., Wednesday afternoon, March 18, 2020. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP)

The Democrats' pup tent

It went largely unreported by most of the media, eclipsed by the "all-coronavirus-all-the-time" reportage, but the Democrats recently kicked someone out of their quickly shrinking "big tent."

Time for infrastructure week

The job numbers are in and they don't look good. Nearly 7 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, a total exceeding most projections and setting sad historic records. The week before more than 3 million had. As the coronavirus increases its havoc across the country -- medical consensus has it that we have yet to reach "peak" infection -- the economy will continue to crater in ways we haven't witnessed since the Great Depression.

FILE - This Monday, July 10, 2017 file photo shows different shaped glasses of wine in Sonoma, Calif. According to a large genetic study released on Thursday, April 4, 2019,  drinking alcohol raises the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, debunking previous claims that moderate drinking was protective. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

What's that about never letting a crisis go to waste?

Liquor sales have risen 55 percent since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. This does not mean, as some have suggested, that Americans are getting tanked more -- at least not necessarily. It's more likely that the same impulse that pushed Americans to stock up on hand sanitizer and toilet paper has transferred to booze as well. If you're not going to want to leave the house for weeks or even months on end, you might as well stock up.

President Donald Trump listens during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Pestilence and politics

The world has been upended by disease, and leadership has become a matter of life and death. Coronavirus infections globally have skyrocketed in recent days, and the United States now bears the largest reported share, though it's likely that China's are grimmer still.

A gas station's pump gas prices Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Ridgeland, Miss. Earlier this week, U.S. gasoline prices had dropped to their lowest levels in four years, and they are almost sure to go lower as oil prices plunge. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Gas prices tank

Talk about being all dressed up with nowhere to go. Oil prices have collapsed worldwide as demand has cratered and Saudi Arabia has refused to curtail production. The upshot? Gas cheaper than it's been in years: In the nation's capital, never a particularly affordable area, local outlets are now offering regular unleaded at below $2 a gallon.

Medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns pause for rest before loading bodies into a refrigerated container truck functioning as a makeshift morgue, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Brooklyn borough of New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The COVID-smoking connection

Public health officials and puritans of every stripe have long had to contend with one basic fact of human nature: We like drinking and smoking. Indeed, humans have been distilling alcohol since, quite literally, the beginning of recorded history. (Those slaves who built the pyramids of Egypt, while having a tough go of it, at least got to lubricate their labors with copious amounts of beer.)

Remember North Korea?

You could almost hear world leaders saying, "not now, we're busy!" Even as the coronavirus crisis intensifies around the world, North Korea's Stalinist regime continues its belligerent antics.

Ejaz Tarar stands next to his makeshift sign keeping customers six feet apart while cleaning the inside of the Food Mart in Newton County on Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Newborn. The store laid down tape to mark six foot barriers for customers. (Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A viral threat to liberty

Americans are an independent lot by nature, and they instinctively resist unbridled expansion of government power -- except in times of crisis. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave birth to the Department of Homeland Security, which citizens rightly welcomed to the fight against terrorism. Now a different sort of enemy threatens the nation in the form of the coronavirus, which is filling up morgues with its victims. Strategies for containing the pandemic are going, well, viral, bringing the colossal power of U.S. brains and brawn to bear against the peril. With them, though, come edicts that suddenly weaken constitutional liberties in a manner that would never be acceptable in normal times. Americans must demand their liberty back when the danger subsides.

Based on his fiery presence, some wonder if New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could become a Democratic presidential hopeful. (Associated Press)

Democrats agonistes

One of the unexpected consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been, for all practical purposes, suspension of the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro speaks at a press conference at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, Venezuela. The Trump administration will announce Thursday, March 26, 2020, indictments against Maduro and members of his inner circle for effectively converting Venezuela's state into a criminal enterprise at the service of drug traffickers and terrorist groups, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix, File) **FILE**

Maduro in the dock

Add international drug dealer to a resume that already includes bus driver and dictator. Nicolas Maduro, the ruinously corrupt and inept left-wing leader of Venezuela was indicted Thursday on some extraordinarily serious charges.

The statues of, from left, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg and Ty Cobb stand in left field inside Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers baseball team, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Detroit. The start of the regular season, which was set to start on Thursday in Cleveland and on Monday in Detroit, is on hold indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Casey's not at bat

Thursday was supposed to be one of the year's happiest days -- baseball's Opening Day. But like this year's NBA season, school year, Olympics and millions of other events once scheduled and now postponed indefinitely (including, we're sad to say, the release of Lady Gaga's new album), baseball has been scuttled. For how long, we do not know. Even if baseball does get going eventually, this season will be the first since 1994 -- the year of the ill-fated players' strike -- that teams and fans have not enjoyed a full season of 162 games.

People stand at a distant from each other as they wait to enter a COVID-19 testing site at The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Thursday, March 26, 2020, in New York. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Coping with coronavirus

For millions trapped at home by state-ordered lockdowns, coping with coronavirus means endless hours of TV and video games, and, as we said, no baseball. Just beyond the windowsill, though, spring beckons with its seasonal explosion of fresh color. A morning meditation on the back porch with a song-bird serenade isn't going to provoke the ire of some finger-wagging governor. Where citizens are still allowed to roam freely -- keeping a respectful six feet of distance from others -- a hike through the park makes it easy to forget coronavirus cares. That's because even while death is visited upon human civilization, the world of nature is coming alive.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses Russian citizens on the State Television channels in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, March 25, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The coronavirus does not play politics

As of this writing, just about 60,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus, and our death toll has surpassed 900. Given the current, inadequate resources to track and account for the virus' spread, we should -- as government functionaries at both the state and federal level remind -- expect infection rates are actually much greater than what has hitherto been reported. What this implies for the mortality rate we don't need to spell out.