Thursday, April 30, 2020

Fear is an opportunity for tyranny

And ’twas ever thus.
One of the many lessons of the COVID-19 response is how easily public officials embrace tyranny, and how many people accept it because of fear.
I’m afraid of COVID-19. I’m in a relatively high-risk group, and I’m laying very low. I’ll probably lay low for longer than my state tells me to, but that’s my decision. I didn’t like the initial 2-week shutdown, but I thought I understood the reasons – flatten the curve and keep the health care system from being totally overwhelmed – and I knew it would buy us time to learn more about the illness.
Mission accomplished. It’s been far more than two weeks, and the damage from the shutdown itself has gotten to the point that it becomes crystal clear it needs to be removed. The benefits have been less clear, too. There doesn’t seem to be much evidence that shutdowns mattered all that much in the curve of the COVID-19 toll in various states and various countries. We understand more than we did, but although we don’t understand enough, we have to take a few leaps because one thing we do understand (and was clear from the start, actually) is that the shutdown itself is causing tremendous damage. And that damage is not limited to economics; it involves mental and physical health as well.
Almost six weeks ago I wrote this:
So here’s my question for all you epidemiologists and infectious disease experts out there –
Wouldn’t it be better to have only high-risk people stay home? People over 60 and those with pre-existing conditions? That way, if all those at low risk kept mingling, a lot of them would get a mild flu and herd immunity will be achieved fairly quickly, to the benefit of all, without overwhelming the health care system.
I’m not suggesting this as an actual policy right now, but I’m just wondering if my logic is flawed. I suppose the question is how long would it take for it to run its course and achieve sufficient herd immunity, and when would it be safe for us old folks to finally emerge. Also, would there be a lot of deaths among the younger ones in the meantime?
I just don’t see the end game for the current mitigation strategies.
It wasn’t rocket science to question what was happening back then. And that was before the worst of the draconian measures were put in place by governors such as Michigan’s Whitmer, which are not only startlingly strict but seemingly unrelated to any public health goal or logic involving such goals.
What’s going on? People in power like more power, particularly people on the left. Tyrants of all stripes have long used emergency powers to increase their control over the people. Sometimes those emergency powers become semi-permanent or even permanent. It certainly doesn’t surprise me that some governors are trying to stretch it out for as long as possible.
I believe that’s one of the reasons the MSM is trying to stoke fear, and has been doing so from the start. There’s plenty of fear to be had, of course, just from the basic facts of the matter without trying to increase it further. But the MSM is strongly motivated in various ways to do just that: in order to get Trump, to give petty tyrants like Whitmer more reasons to clamp down, and to increase traffic because “if it bleeds it leads.”
The real wild card in all this is how long the people are going to take it. Spring is stirring even in northern climes, and it’s fully flowering further south, and people are ready to burst forth from their own enforced isolation. Some people’s livelihoods depend on it, and a lot people feel their sanity does as well.
And some people are just tired of being told what to do without seeing sufficient reason to obey, when all they’re asking for is the freedom to go about their normal lives – or as near normal as possible, taking precautions to protect the most vulnerable.

RealClearInvestigations: The NY Times Used to Correct Its Whoppers. But Not These Two. Here’s Why

#JOURNALISM: RealClearInvestigations: The NY Times Used to Correct Its Whoppers. But Not These Two. Here’s Why.
A fuller accounting by the Times is especially necessary because the media’s pushing of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories was central to an unprecedented and possibly criminal effort to subvert or remove a president under false pretenses. Unless the Times and other sources come clean about who was feeding them misleading and partisan information, we may never understand this momentous chapter of history.
Protecting confidential sources is, of course, one of the bedrocks of journalism. The free flow of information depends on people being able to share hard truths without jeopardizing their careers or lives.
But not when sources lie or mislead. When that happens, the confidentiality deal is off and “your responsibility would be to set the record straight,” Lynn Walsh, ethics chair of the Society of Professional Journalists, confirmed to me recently in a general conversation about SPJ’s standards for anonymous sourcing.
When sources engage in gross deception on a matter of such import, even committing national security crimes in the process, the news media involved should honor their higher duty – to their readers or viewers – to expose the malfeasance and correct the record.
There’s a less exalted incentive for the Times to revisit its reporting: damage control before the Justice Department releases the findings of prosecutor John H. Durham’s criminal probe of Trump-Russia’s origins.
The auguries, however, are not good.
Think of them as Democratic Party — or perhaps Chinese — operatives with bylines and you won’t go far wrong.

The Standard for Reopening States is Rigged

The Standard for Reopening States is Rigged

The new White House standard for reopening the economy in various states is rigged to severely prolong the economic strangulation under the current lockdowns. The criterion has been defined as a 14-day period of declining volume in new cases or a 14-day period of declining rates of positivity of those tested.
Testing is ramping up in every state, which if the epidemiologists are right, will produce a lower percentage rate of positivity on the tests since the curve has been bent.  But there is a new factor which throws all of these calculations off so far off that the 14-day standard should be abandoned.
Drive through screening (US Air Force photo)
That factor is the likelihood that there are an enormous number of asymptomatic cases out there that have never been counted (nor tested so far). Early estimates based on sampling in Iceland suggested maybe half of all those infected were asymptomatic. Dr. Fauci estimated 25% of cases might be asymptomatic. Now we have much higher estimates. The Stanford sampling study in Santa Clara County testing for antibodies, a similar study in Los Angeles County, a study in a town in Germany, a study just done in New York State, and testing in an Ohio prison and a Boston homeless shelter, suggest the number of asymptomatic cases are in fact  many multiples of the number of cases already tested positive so far.
This is good news and bad news. The good news is it means many more people have already had the virus or are experiencing it in very mild or totally asymptomatic fashion. This means the real death rate for the virus has a much larger denominator when you divide total deaths by total infected, and hence a lower death rate. It means the country is closer to herd immunity in some places, assuming having had the virus provides some future immunity, so far not known.
The bad news is that it could also mean that some of these many asymptomatics could still be spreading the virus, since how long someone can be a spreader is also not known.
However, because of the now rapid ramp up in testing, which has been the battle cry and demand  of epidemiologists and critics of the steps taken by the Administration so far, many of these asymptomatics will now get tested and their positive infection status added to the daily count of infected in states across the country.  Many of those tested will have antibody tests which do not tell you when someone was infected. That is a huge problem for compiling a daily number of new positive cases.
This almost certainly means that even if the real curve of the number of newly infected in a state has leveled off, the change in the daily testing volume and the huge pool of asymptomatics  and others testing positive with the antibody test available for testing will provide a big boost to case counts and drive them up.  It could also drive up the positivity rate if many of those who tested positive with the antibody test had the virus a while back.  
As a result, this will cause states to delay ending their strict quarantines and partially reopening their economies, since the number of new positive cases reported each day is going up, rather than down.  Asymptomatics may test positive on either an antibody test or the standard virus identification test or both. Those who test positive on antibody tests may not be a risk to anyone, but their number will not be separated from others who test positive and will impede a state from showing the decline in overall new case volume that is the current standard.
There are now many voices calling for a relaxation of the lockdowns in place. If the test for doing that is the one outlined so far, 14 days of declining case volumes or declining positivity test rates, the tests seem rigged, and states will have an excuse for not doing so, claiming that they are following the advice of the scientists, and the epidemiologists who established the 14 day standard.  The cost of delaying reopening parts of the economy or sections of the country because states cannot meet a standard that may be impossible to meet could be a death blow to the American economy and many of the people out of work and businesses which are shut down.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2020



That was a headline (paper edition) of an article in yesterday’s Washington Post. I don’t think you need to be an expert to figure out that Americans are tired of being cooped up, especially when the officials who are locking us down seem so arbitrary when it comes to the specifics, and do such a poor job of explaining them.
Naturally, the Post’s “experts” want to blame President Trump for the nation’s backsliding. They note that smart phone tracking data showed a slide the same week that Trump tweeted support for protesters in Michigan and Minnesota.
But a slide is bound to occur with the passage of time. The Post and its “experts” make no attempt to show that the slide that occurred the week of Trump’s tweets is any greater than what was to be expected from a nation sick of being shut down and shut in. In fact, the Post’s article says the backsliding began on April 14, three days before the tweets Trump sent out near the end of the week in question.
Moreover, Trump has never taken the position that people should stop social distancing. Indeed, he was critical of Georgia’s governor, a fellow Republican, for his proposal for reopening Georgia.
Trump’s support for protesters in Minnesota and Michigan was not an attack on social distancing. Rather, given what Trump has said about Georia, it is best understood as an expression of sympathy for residents in those states who have been subjected to arbitrary shutdown policies.
The Post’s article complaining about backsliding unintentionally demonstrates the arbitrary nature of the social distancing concept that is fueling non-compliance. The Post’s “exerts” measure the share of the population that is “staying at home” by determining whether peoples’ phones show they didn’t move more than a mile in a day. That percentage had been increasing or holding steady until recently. But after April 14, it decreased slightly — from 33 percent to 31 percent.
I haven’t been within 10 feet of anyone other than my wife for a month. I haven’t been within 10 feet of anyone other than my wife, my two daughters, and two cashiers for almost eight weeks.
Yet, by the Post’s measure, I am out of stay-at-home compliance every day. Why? Because I take long walks that carry me well beyond one mile from my house. (I zigzag if necessary to avoid coming within four yards of anyone.)
If someone can explain to me why I pose a risk to myself or anyone else when my walk takes me past the one-mile mark, I will change my practice. But there is no rational explanation.
It’s unrealistic enough to expect Americans to remain huddled in and around their homes for months under any circumstances. When governments can’t defend elements of their stay-at-home policies, and often won’t even try, there is no hope of keeping Americans locked in much longer.



This past Friday afternoon, the time when the government traditionally seeks to bury bad news, interim United States Attorney for the District of Columbia Timothy Shea delivered what must be exculpatory evidence in the Flynn case to Sidney Powell (counsel for General Flynn). Deputized by Attorney General Barr, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri Jeff Jensen had turned up the documents in his review of the government’s handling of the case against General Flynn.
What was in the documents? In his NR column on this development, Andrew McCarthy draws inferences based on his review of the supplement filed by Powell in support of Flynn’s motion to dismiss the case against General Flynn. The documents themselves were filed by Shea under seal, but Andy infers from Powell’s brief argument:
• That the documents support the proposition that the government had no good-faith investigation of General Flynn open at the time that he was interviewed by the FBI. Absent such an investigation, the false-statements charge to which he pleaded guilty lacks a legal predicate.
• That the documents support the existence of a side deal separate from the plea agreement submitted to Judge Sullivan — i.e., a promise that Team Mueller would not prosecute Flynn’s son if he copped a plea. Andy comments: “Under federal law, all understandings that are relevant to a guilty plea must be disclosed to the judge. It would be not merely a serious ethical breach for government lawyers to fail to reveal such an arrangement. It would be a fraud on the court.”
Andy rightly observes that Powell’s litigation on Flynn’s behalf has always been uphill. I think that remains the case. Depending on what the documents show and how clear they are on these points, however, Attorney General Barr should grasp the nettle himself. Citing Eric Holder’s dismissal of the case against Ted Stevens following his conviction, Barr should order Shea to seek dismissal of the Flynn case himself. Again, depending on what the documents show, Barr should consider going beyond Holder’s modified limited hangout and undertake to deal with Brandon Van Grack and everyone else involved in the Flynn prosecution who is still employed by the Department of Justice.

How Obama/Biden Wrecked the U.S. Medical Device Industry

How Obama/Biden Wrecked the U.S. Medical Device Industry

As lawmakers ponder ways to bring back U.S. manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, their raw materials, medical supplies, and devices, it must be remembered a major part of this problem which has come back to bite us was created by the Obama/Biden administration and the medical device tax that was included in ObamaCare that was supposed to defray the costs of this doomed-to-failure new entitlement program.
As part of the Orwellian-named Affordable Care Act, sales of medical devices from implants to MRIs, research equipment and surgical instruments were to bear a 2.3 percent tax. The tax would be on gross sales and not just profits. Even packaging, shipping, and warranties were included when calculating what was to be taxed.
Because the Affordable Care Act was so unaffordable, it needed a running head start on revenue with imposition of the new tax beginning on January 1, 2013, while ObamaCare itself would begin a rolling implementation in 2014 with its more harmful aspects and the revelations that, no, you couldn’t keep your doctor or your plan even if you liked them. We would have to wait to find out that premiums would skyrocket, not decrease $2,500 as promised in another Obama/Biden lie, and deductibles would be so high that many of those with insurance couldn’t use it. Taxes first, questions later.
Health care equipment manufacturers were not amused and there were predictions that this onerous tax on medical devices would for makers overseas and into the welcoming arms of China. As Bill Flax wrote in Forbes in October 2012:
Cook Medical, America’s largest privately-owned medical device manufacturer has been adamant that shrinking margins may force investment overseas. “Cook will no longer be able to expand our manufacturing in the United States,” said company spokeswoman Allison Giles. “We’ve always resisted going abroad” but due to diminished returns “decisions will have to be made.”    
Cook scuttled plans for five additional plants across the Midwest. It expects the device tax could cost $30 million annually, roughly equivalent to constructing its new Canton, IL factory. Says the company, “that’s one less facility per year that we’re going to be able to use because of the tax.”
Apart from forcing companies to cancel expansion plans and/or move overseas, one immediate effect of the medical device tax was to destroy jobs in an industry belatedly considered as part of our national security in an age of China-spawned pandemics. It was put on hiatus in December 2015 due to its disastrous effects on the medical device industry. It was scheduled to return at the end of 2019 until  President Trump killed it, forcing it to be included in a  federal spending package that he signed into law last December. As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce noted in February 2017:
From 2012 to 2015 the number of medtech jobs fell by almost 29,000. The decline started in 2012 when companies were preparing for the medical device tax to go into effect and then accelerated in 2013 and 2014.
A report and white paper from Roth Capital warned of the calamitous impact the device tax would have on the medical device industry, healthcare providers, and patients:
Roth also surveyed companies on their latest plans to manage through the implementation of the Medical Device tax next year.  The report determined that (1) over 80% would either cut jobs or forego new hires and (2) more than 75% would either cut or forego new R&D projects as a result of the tax.  The report also found that 85% of companies would be expanding overseas.  
Even when it was in hiatus, the Obama/Biden medical device tax hung over the medical device industry like the proverbial sword of Damocles. Outsourcing didn’t seem such a bad thing As Rush Limbaugh has noted, liberal progressives like Obama and Biden employ a static analysis that says you can raise taxes and human and corporate behavior won’t change:
Do you all remember this thing called Obamacare? I’m sure you do. Do you remember the medical device tax that Obamacare instituted? Like all liberals, Obama believed that people that make things will pay anything. You put a tax on ’em, they’ll just keep paying the tax and they’ll just keep making the device. You put a tax on yachts, and people will pay the tax…
Well, guess what? The people that manufacture medical devices fled the USA, and they went overseas to various places to get ’em made. One of the places they went was China. They also went to Mexico. They went to places in Europe. And now people complain about a shortage. They want to chalk it up to somehow a fault or a deficiency of capitalism or of the United States. No siree, Bob. It was a by-product of a tax increase called Obamacare on medical devices.
Let us also not forget that during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic during which no foreign travel was suspended and a national emergency wasn’t declared until six months in, Democrats blame shortages of things like face masks and ventilators on Trump’s alleged ineptitude. Let’s roll the tape
But the reason we don’t have the respirator masks goes back to the Obama/Biden administration when they were advised to replenish the stockpile that had been used during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
But it never happened, they never did it, according to the Washington Examiner:
The George W. Bush administration published the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza plan in 2005, which called on the federal government to distribute medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile governed by the Health and Human Services Department in the event of an outbreak,
In 2009, the H1N1 outbreak hit the United States, leading to 274,304 hospitalizations, 12,469 deaths, and a depletion of N95 respirator masks.
A federally backed task force and a safety equipment organization both recommended to the Obama administration that the stockpile be replenished with the 100 million masks used after the H1N1 outbreak.
Charles Johnson, president of the International Safety Equipment Association, said that advice was never heeded.
“Our association is unaware of any major effort to restore the stockpile to cover that drawdown,” he said.
We need to remember the Obama?Biden days of swine and poses.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Stealing the Election in Plain Sight

Stealing the Election in Plain Sight

If you were still harboring naïve notions of free and fair elections when Democrats are involved, perhaps this will help disabuse you of those fantasies.
From a Fox News report a few days ago:
A prominent Democratic lawyer who represented Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign [Marc Elias] is threatening to sue the state of Nevada unless it immediately suspends prosecutions for ballot harvesting before the June 9 primary, among a slew of other demands, according to a letter obtained by Fox News on Tuesday.
Writing on April 10 to Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, Elias first took aim at Nevada Revised Statutes section 293.330(4), which prohibits ballot harvesting and permits only certain individuals, like family members, to return ballots.
Ballot harvesting, or the practice of allowing political operatives and others to collect voters' ballots and turn them in en masse to polling stations, has drawn bipartisan concerns of fraud from election watchers.
"We ask that your office and the office of the Nevada Attorney General immediately announce a suspension of prosecutions under this statute for all elections for which mail-in balloting will be the primary means of voting in the state," Elias said.
At the same time, Elias called for Nevada to stop throwing out ballots when signatures on voters' ballots appear different from those on voters' registrations, saying "lay election officials have never had the necessary expertise" to make an accurate determination.
Ballot-harvesting is a crime, forbidden due to the inherent opportunities for fraud, intimidation, and outright manufacture of votes.  The Democrats tried to legalize ballot-harvesting in the last stimulus go-round, but thankfully, they were caught and prevented from doing so.
Worse still, Elias's threats also seek to force Nevada to send a ballot to all registered voters, regardless of whether a voter requested a ballot or not.  As you'll see, Nevada is merely the target du jour.  The same will be expected of all 50 states before November 3, 2020.
This effort is spearheaded by former Clinton attorney Marc Elias, a partner at Perkins Coie law firm, the same firm that facilitated and helped disseminate the fraudulent Steele dossier, which launched the Russian collusion narrative.  Unsurprisingly, Elias was the attorney who engaged Fusion GPS to procure the dossier using funds laundered through Perkins Coie. 
Elias is a prime example of all things wrong with the legal profession these days, a poster child for "whatever it takes" lawyerly maneuvering, regardless of ethics or legality.  His involvement also makes it clear that this is no one-off effort concerning Nevada alone. 
This well known Democrat fixer has a long history of fighting voter ID laws in state after state, with his legal challenges bankrolled by none other than George Soros.  He is the point of the spear in the left's effort to wrest control of the electoral process from the people of the United States.  Having licked his wounds after the 2016 debacle, Elias has emerged again, fighting the same battles, singing the same tunes.
Elias wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post, published on March 16, 2020.  In his missive, he outlines the same demands he has threatened against Nevada.
It will not be enough for states to simply allow more citizens to vote by mail.  Each state must also provide adequate resources for the printing and distribution of millions of extra ballots and to support with extra funds the officials who are tasked with processing and counting the flood of mailed ballots.  It will also require states to revisit their laws to provide free postage and community ballot collection.  States then need to address the manner in which ballots are verified to minimize rejections based on issues with voters' signatures.
Citing likely difficulties with processing large numbers of mail-in ballots, Elias says:
[A]ll votes postmarked by Election Day must be treated as timely and counted in full. Unfortunately, many states do not currently count ballots received after Election Day, regardless of when voters mail them.
Replacing Election Day receipt laws with the more intuitive postmarked-by-Election Day standard is essential.
As all Democrats do, Elias ignores the concept of personal responsibility on the part of the voter, who is naturally expected to consider mailing time when returning his ballot.  What his proposal does is completely different from what he claims that it will do.
It permits the exploitation of exit polling, enabling operatives to dump vast numbers of fraudulent ballots wherever needed on Election Day, having seen from exit polling which races and precincts are going to their opponents.
This cannot be permitted, as it provides specific real-time data to enable election-tampering with a specificity not seen outside of North Korea.
Ideally, states will act to correct these anti-democratic laws.  If not, Congress should step in and amend federal law to make clear that ballots mailed by a voter on or before Election Day must be treated as cast on Election Day.
In his own words, Elias reveals the framework for stealing an election.  Create avenues for mischief, then exploit those avenues for all they're worth.  Remembering that by threatening endless lawsuits over clearly fraudulent ballots, it's not too difficult to intimidate a county election commissioner into matching voter registration signatures against received ballot signatures with a very broad standard to avoid litigation that could bankrupt post-COVID budgets.
The pattern is clear.  Force a mail-in ballot scenario, suspend prohibitions against ballot-harvesting (citing reasons of health and safety, of course), and then find judges in each state to forbid the invalidating of ballots where the signatures do not match the registration.
Apart from simply declaring themselves the winner at the end of a rifle barrel, the Democrats couldn't possibly have devised a more direct path to hijacking an election.
This is the greatest danger we face in 2020 — not the virus, not North Korea, not even the economic effects of the virus, but rather the clear intention of one party to steal an election by any means necessary.
Don't be distracted: this is one issue you must not let lie fallow.   They are arranging for the invalidation of your vote, right in front of your eyes.  We must prevent these changes, or, like a miraculous resurrection of Lenin, we will see the whole country "turn" blue November 3.

"Fake news", caught in the act

"Fake news", caught in the act

The Gateway Pundit reports:
Many of you have by now seen various photos of medical workers boldly standing in front of lock down protesters like they are in Tiananmen Square or something — but what the media hasn’t shown you is that the photos are being faked.

In an instance of photo staging by the media caught on Facebook Live, a car with lock down protesters comes to a stop at a traffic light. As soon as they did, a medical worker hopped in front of their car with photographers, had a few photos snapped, then crossed the street like nothing happened.

The woman filming the staged photo-op quickly called the photographers out and urged them not to publish the faked photos.

“You’re a fraud!” she screamed as they walked off, never having actually protested.

Click over there to follow the Twitter link and see the video for yourself.  It's a classic example of media fakery - and proves that photographic "evidence" may not necessarily be true at all.

It's come to the point where one should automatically distrust any and every media report about the coronavirus pandemic, or President Trump's handling of the situation, unless and until it's corroborated by independent, trustworthy sources.  The media generally isn't interested in the truth - only in how they can twist the "facts" to suit their partisan political agenda.

Don's Tuesday Column

         THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson   Red Bluff Daily News   4/28/2020
   On “knowing” things that aren’t so

One of President Ronald Reagan’s aphorisms: “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.” So much of what they believe depends on seemingly clear-cut proof, but the belief falls apart when applied to unrelated sets of facts. The belief in question is just a way of explaining something they have no way, outside of their ideological guidelines, of supporting by objective evidence.

At the time, Reagan’s motto applied to such things as why people are poor—the liberal explanation being that it was outside their control and a function of “social injustice” and unequal “distribution” of resources. No, most impoverished people have only themselves to blame; rather, they do or believe things that lead them to poverty:

1) The aversion to productive, responsible work habits, 2) failing to take education seriously as the gateway to self-improvement. 3) Add substance abuse, sexual proclivities that produce offspring outside of marriage, unwillingness to leave behind “ne’er-do-well” associates and failing, drug-and-crime ridden neighborhoods, etc. The exceptions that are genuinely poor through no fault of their own don’t negate the larger truth. Poverty rates are in the low single-digits for those of any race or nationality that shun drugs, fatherless families, dropping out of high school and unemployment.

Reagan’s motto explains the rise and popularity of communism/socialism as implemented by the Soviet Union—the U.S.S.R. (S.S. standing for “Soviet Socialist”)—and Communist China and other lesser nations that succumbed to the revolutionary fervor of Marxist/Leninist philosophy and its violent proponents. Where countries practice socialism—or communism if you accept that pure, utopian “communism” was unachievable according to Karl Marx himself—“communists” were expected to usher in socialism by membership in the Communist Party, as in China.

Central planning and political despotism—in practice, the elimination of free market capitalism outside of the control of the state, and the inability of the subject population to freely elect those in the government—follow wherever socialist fanatics succeed. Consider the lessons emerging from our current Wu-flu pandemic-driven economic and political reality. America’s exemplary free market, capitalistic economy, which was lifting all sectors and races to heretofore unachieved employment levels, has been shunted aside in a manner unheard of outside of actual wartime footings. It’s indisputable.

Yes, elected representatives have pronounced, without even a “fare-thee-well” of legislation, the shuttering of “nonessential” business and economic activity—to the exclusion of the political class itself and its favored elites. Also, no one seriously questions the underlying virologic threat stemming from a highly contagious, deadly disease.

However, the unhindered flow of information, some of which is admittedly unsubstantiated, has had a way of undermining the electorate’s collective faith in the decisions of our techno-medical “rulers,” particularly the need going forward for continued shutdown and “stay-at-home” mandates.

Ironically, confined as many are in homes now broadband-equipped to enable extensive browsing, “the rest of the story”—or at least information calling for critical reevaluation of the decisions that produced shuttered businesses, empty-and-dwindling store shelves and restrictive travel—now undermines the top-down, police-state regimen. We can access knowledge of countries, like Sweden, that have chosen to “ride out” the pandemic without America’s martial-law-in-all-but-decree. Evidence is accumulating that Sweden’s mortality rate, while spiking as experts predicted, is approaching the rates of other nations. “Herd immunity” has merit outside the leftist-aligned governing/media elites; Sweden’s economy is relatively undamaged.

If that bears out—setting aside the American media-inspired hysteria over test kits, hospitals and ICU beds under-utilized outside of New York City-type hot spots—free minds and people are right in thinking that we’ve gone too far, over-reacted with overkill, and are being illegitimately coerced into despotic subservience unjustified by reality. Postponed medical care, drug use, domestic abuse, depression- and isolation-induced mortality will eventually exceed the 60-80,000 Wu-flu deaths.

You say we will still have our elections, notably on November 3, unless (Trump-deranged conspiracy theories aside) it is deemed necessary that in-person voting be replaced with universal, mail-in ballots. Remember, we have now accepted socialism-in-all-but-ownership via centrally controlled and managed economic policies; the political and ideological segments most supportive of those policies (if only as precursors of “Green New Deal” climate crisis-driven economic controls) are also most supportive of election “reforms.”

Our own California experience—with lack of voter ID rules, expanding the supposed voter base via “motor voter” must-issue registration and “ballot harvesting” by non-family “harvesters” illegal elsewhere—is nothing short of a template for endless Democrat dominance wherever implemented. Lenin reportedly said that he cared not who voted but rather who counted the votes. That is how close we are to permanent leftist rulers.

Consider that, liberal/progressive/media castigation aside, Americans are protesting (derided as “angry and excitable people” by Donna Brazile) an ongoing business lockdown, “stay-at-home” ordered police state. We’re aware and righteously indignant at ruling elites refusing to return to constitutionally-ordered legal restrictions on—the heart of America’s freedom—governments infringing on our rights.

Congratulations to Tehama County’s joining other NorCal counties in pleading for our freedom to work, associate and travel. We “red state” voters may not sway Sacramento, but our collective strength in other states is our salvation as the restrictions are lifted; our economies, social vibrance and cautious ways of life have the potential to inspire those still under the Democrats’ thumbs.

Other things leftists believe that aren’t true: Trump called Coronavirus a “hoax,” Trump told people to consume Hydroxychloroquine, Trump said we should “inject” disinfectant. None of what they say about President Trump is true. We take him seriously, not literally—his decisions have and will seriously produce freedom and abundance for this nation.

Lies, damned lies and journalism

I’ve been a journalist all of my adult life. Frankly, when I pass I’ll probably be sticking a recorder in the face of the Almighty and asking him if he doesn’t think he should give up this whole “universe thing” as a bad job and start over.
So I know whereof I speak when I say the media LIES to you. I, personally, like Fox News, and think their straight reporting (as opposed to their opinion shows) is pretty solid. Bret Baer and Chris Wallace in particular ask everyone tough questions and are men for whom I have a lot of respect. I think Fox is better on that end than most of the rest.
That’s damning with faint praise.
They’re just as all-in on “Corona Virus will kill us all” as everybody else, and for the same reason — ratings. And like everyone else they’re using numbers to lie to you. Such as a graphic a former pastor of mine posted that made it look like Missouri and New York had similar case rates — which is not true, but they do both have more than 2,500 cases and got lumped together.
This is how it’s done folks, they lie with the truth. (Yes, yes, outlets have gotten caught making stuff up out of whole cloth, but that’s actually rarer than you think.)
An example, if you will. Last week Governor Laura Kelly used a 40% jump in cases in Kansas to justify essentially shutting down churches for Easter. But the devil, as it often is, was in the details. Forty percent SOUNDS scary, but in absolute numbers? Bit over 100.
Not nearly as scary right? But the Topeka Capital-Journal runs an egregiously bad hedline screaming that Republicans were fighting the governor over the order as cases spiked 40%. Oh sure they reported the actual number but it was buried several grafs down with the 40% figure waaaaay up at the top. (And no, I don’t want to argue whether she was right to do it or not, that’s a different discussion and not the point here.)
Every journalist knows how to do this. Those of who take our ethics seriously avoid it. We all have our biases and we do try to be cognizant of those, but we DO try to avoid shaping the story to fit the message we want to send.
This is how they manipulate public opinion. It’s not outright lies, but which stories they choose to tell, the way they choose to tell them, where information is placed in the story, and what words are used in the hedlines.
In most of the Irish legends of the Sidhe courts, the Fae could not LIE to you, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t DECEIVE you by the way they told the truth.
So keep that in mind when you read stories in the national press (local press is actually generally much better. Those of us who really want to make a difference and take our jobs seriously tend to gravitate to community journalism, not the national outlets) that there’s a very good chance you’re being lied to with the truth.
We can tell you what we know, or think we know, be we ever so honest, we’ll still get it wrong.

So sure, read any outlet you like. But keep your critical thinking cap on. Question, be skeptical. Do your own research.

And if we got it wrong? By all means call us on it.

The problem with the national media at this point is that there is zero accountability.

When I was a small town newspaper editor, I knew most of my sources personally. The mucky-mucks in most of the cities where I was an editor had my cellphone number.

I screwed something up they knew exactly how to get hold of me and weren’t shy about doing so. Now sometimes that was just “we don’t like your coverage” and that usually got pretty short shrift, but if we got it wrong we corrected it.

Try doing that with Jim Acosta or even Bret Baer for that matter.

Monday, April 27, 2020

‘Green energy’ is a scam — as it always has been and likely ever shall be

Folks, there’s something you need to understand, “Green Energy” is a scam, it’s always been a scam.
The environmental impact of just ONE Rare Earth mine (the materials needed to make the batteries and magnets for all of the windmills, the batteries for your “green electric car” and solar cells, as well as pretty much every electronic device you own) is worse than every oil well in the US combined.
That’s not even counting the refining of those same materials. The “rare earths” are toxic as Hades to start with and the chemicals used to refine them are worse, and most of the mining and refining takes place in Third-World hell holes, or China — neither one of which gives two thoughts to environmental impact.
Electric cars, leaving aside the battery issue, require electricity to be generated — which, because the “green movement” has pretty well shuttered the construction of new nuclear plants (no, they’re not going to kill you, no not even Fukushima, that took a nine on the Richter Scale earthquake and a major tsunami to cause a meltdown and there hasn’t been even one direct death, Three Mile Island was actually a success of reactor containment and Chernobyl required incompetence on every level of a degree only the Soviets could pull off.) means most of the power for those “green” cars is generated with coal, which, yes, is pretty nasty stuff. In fact the radiation released by coal plants is many times worse than every nuclear disaster ever, and is probably responsible for lung cancers than smoking. Truly folks, coal is nasty stuff.
Driving your cute electric car? Yeah, you’re just out-sourcing your pollution to something even dirtier than gasoline. (And modern emissions systems are so good that 99 percent-ish of the emissions are nothing but water vapor, not carbon dioxide.) Drive it if it makes you feel better, but that’s literally all it’s doing for the environment — making you feel better.
Don’t get me started on the government programs that pay enviro groups to sue the government with taxpayer dollars to shut down anything they decide is verbotten this hour.
Like your windfarms? Think they’re going to save the planet? Probably not, but fine, whatevs. But the Kansas Sierra Club opposes them because — I kid you not — of their impact on the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
Let’s say for the sake of argument that global warming is real — I’m not convinced, for a number of reasons having, yes, everything to do with the enviroGod Science, but for the sake of argument.
You want to fix it? Do what one of the guys who founded Greenpeace said and get behind nuclear. It’s zero emissions folks, and we’ve known how to deal with the waste for decades — it gets reprocessed into fuel rods for different types of reactors.
Even Michael Moore at this point recognizes green energy is a scam. His latest documentary exposes many of the lies of the green movement — and the utter hypocrisy as well.
Dig this quote from the above referenced article — and yeah, my left leaning friends it’s Breitbart, doesn’t mean they’re wrong:
It’s a scam so brazen that an environmental fund — Green Century Funds — promoted by Bill McKibben’s turns out on examination to have less than 1 percent of its holdings in the solar and wind industry; the other 99 percent comprises oil and gas infrastructure (including tar sands); biofuels; logging companies, and banks.
You read that right boys and girls. A major “green” fund thinks so little of green energy most of it’s investments are in more traditional energy sources.
Stunning right? Par for the course.
Look, no one wants a dirty environment. No one wants unsafe water or filthy air. No, not even us evil conservatives. I grew up hunting and fishing, and I want to take my grandchildren and teach them the joys of nature I found as a child.
The problem is, so-called green energy, just isn’t. It’s a pipe dream for those who don’t know better, and a path to money and power for those who do — and are unscrupulous enough to take advantage.
What we need is sane energy policy. We need to get off coal by prioritizing (yes, I mean subsidizing) clean nuclear and natural gas technologies. We get enough nuclear generation — or (faster please) a breakthrough in fusion — then electric cars suddenly become much more viable — particularly with the advances in capacitor technology I’m hearing rumbles of.
You claim to be all about science? Then don’t take my word for it. Do the research. I did. See if you don’t come to the same conclusion I did.