Potables watch: Will the Virus Kill Craft Beer?
At The Daily Beast, Lew Bryson bemoans the impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on the US craft-beer industry: “Taprooms, brewpubs and specialty bars are striving to keep the lights on until the lockdown is over with a trickle of takeout business. But that leaves literally millions of gallons of draft beer that’s rapidly approaching its best-by date.” Many “breweries are already starting to close, for good, and the rest are looking at their runways trying to decide if they can make it to reopening.” And small brewers “may be worse off” than other businesses, “because of the highly regulated nature of their industry.” A survey by the Brewers Association suggests “that 3,600 of the nearly 8,000 breweries in America may go out of business.”
Conservative: Down With the ‘New Normal’
The mantra on every lip, “the new normal,” is a “nauseating flake of smug linguistic presumption,” Roger Kimball fumes at American Greatness. It gives license to petty bureaucrats to tell “us serfs what we could and could not do with our homes” (it’s the new normal, after all). Governors, more often Democratic than Republican ones, use it “to perpetuate the people’s misery” with lockdowns long after the curves were flattened (again, that new normal). And it’s the justification for, among other things, a restaurant-reopening proposal in California that would permit only “family members or people who live together” to sit together at a table. But what about dating couples who don’t cohabit or “friends visiting from out of town”? Don’t ask. It’s the new normal.
Pandemic journal: The Case for Opening Schools
American officials have “already mandated or recommended school closures” for at least “the remainder of the academic year” — an “insistence,” David Zweig argues at Wired, that will inflict “known harms” on children. A “substantial body of evidence,” after all, suggests that children “do not contract this disease at scale,” show “mild or nonexistent” symptoms when they do contract it and don’t infect adults. Meanwhile, keeping schools closed will “impose heavier costs on underprivileged families,” deprive children of in-person interaction with their teachers and friends, create “major mental-health problems,” lead to “escalated rates of child abuse” and more. That’s why “Dutch, French and Swiss schools are all set to partially reopen this week.” Israel and Australia have prioritized schools in their reopening plans. All had tough lockdowns. The United States should join them: Refusing to reopen schools simply “doesn’t make sense” — logistically, medically or ethically.
Legal desk: Why DOJ Dismissed the Flynn Case
All of the “heated commentary” about the Department of Justice’s decision to dismiss the charges against ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn missed “the most compelling reason” for the dismissal, Andrew C. McCarthy observes at The Hill: “The government wouldn’t have a prayer of convicting Flynn at trial.” Prosecutors just didn’t have enough evidence to prove Flynn’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, as his supposed false statements were not only “equivocal” and possibly unintentional but also elicited by agents who “hoped to trip him up” and now “have monumental credibility problems.” Simply put, not only would the government have failed to meet its burden of proof in the Flynn case, but the “ugly trial” would also have “damaged the FBI and the DOJ.”
Libertarian: A Teleworking Future?
In the “wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” a likely change is the “long-overdue normalization of telework,” comments Reason’s J.D. Tuccille. The coronavirus lockdown “meant many jobs had to be done from home, or not at all.” Normalized telework will let job seekers “take work without regard for where employers are based,” settle “where they feel comfortable” and “live as they please.” To be sure, “a telework-friendly future” has its problems, perhaps including more geographical “sorting along political lines” — but it will probably leave us with “a more flexible business culture” that means “more freedom” to “work as we wish” and “live in places that make us happy.”
— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board