Sunday, May 31, 2020

Seriously? This is mindnumbingly paranoid crazy talk...

Susan Rice Claims Without Evidence That Russia Could Be Funding Riots
Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice claimed without evidence on Sunday that the Russian government could be funding violent protests across the U.S. in the wake of the police-involved death of George Floyd.
“I would bet based on my experience, I’m not reading the intelligence these days but based on my experience,” Rice said, “this is right out of the Russian playbook as well.”

Now Mayors and Governors are openly lying to us?

So the new deal here in Minnesota is that outside agitators are causing all of the problems, and now both the Mayors of St Paul (Melvin Carter) and Minneapolis (Jacob Frey), as well as the Governor (Tim Walz) and the Attorney General (Keith Ellison) are trying to blame out of state White Supremacist organizations.

St Paul Mayor Carter now among those openly pushing false conspiracy theories

The Mayor of St Paul suggested that all arrests in St Paul have been from out of town. Mayor Frey continues to insist that this is a far right out of state problem. Governor Walz has implied that he has seen information that suggests that most of the activity is from white supremacists, and Keith Ellison has been on the news pushing the same narrative about this being out of state and primarily white supremacists. Ellison doesn't suggest any evidence, but rather sites other examples of rioting that involved white supremacists for his opinion.

However... Apparently that is not the case.

Official arrest records from both Minneapolis and St Paul suggest that 74 out of 87 of the individuals arrested and reported on Saturday were from Minnesota, and not a single one of the 87 arrested has been tied to any white supremacy or far right group. There has been, however, peopled arrested who do have ties to black lives matters and antifa. Now it could be that there were other arrests last night that prompted Carter's statement about out of town instigators, but it would change the fact that only six people from out of town had been arrested prior to last night in St Paul (all others were local).

My guess is that we will have more information on the demographics of those arrested in the near future. I can only guess at this point as to how many will be local, and how many will be professional agitators from BLM and antifa.

What I do know is that the idea that these protests turned to riots are being initiated and organized by white supremacists has absolutely no factual basis to even suggest it. Unless, of course, you want to believe that the large black population involved are following the orders of the KKK.

Until then, I guess we just have to listen to the lies and the rhetoric. But then again, when do liberals EVER allow facts to speak for themselves? Even after we have the actual factual information, they will still be blaming who they want to blame, rather than those responsible.

UPDATE: (3:44 cst) Arrest report from Saturday night in St Paul: 15 arrests, 4 from Minneapolis, 7 from St Paul, 1 from Blaine, 1 from St Michael, and 2 were from unknown locations. So at best only two of 15 were from out of town.  Yet the Mayor of St Paul suggested that "all" of the people arrested last night were from out of town.

How do politicians get away with this??

Biden and staff stand with the rioters!

They can say whatever they want to the camera, but in real life...
I don’t know who needs to hear this but when you choose the side of violent rioters and looters over law enforcement and business owners, it’s a bad look, especially for a presidential campaign. It is being reported that some members of Joe Biden’s campaign staff have contributed to a fund in Minnesota that provides bail money for the protesters who are being arrested.
This is the behavior the Democratic candidate for President supports!
While the contributions are not confirmed to be officially linked with the Biden campaign, thirteen campaign staffers have taken part in a matching donation option presented by Minnesota Freedom Fund. Staffers posted tweets that donations have been made. Biden’s campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters that Joe Biden opposes cash bail. He calls it a “modern-day debtors prison.”
“Whether from MN or outside our area, we believe the money bail system is inherently biased and we will urge officials to avoid using money bail as a tool. If they do hold people pending bail, then people incarcerated in Minnesota who meet our guidelines will be considered for relief regardless of state of origin."

Sort of like Lays potato chips - you cannot just watch it once!

Some calm last night...

With hundreds of law enforcement joining 4000 National Guard Soldiers, under a unified command, there was finally some law and order around last night.

What did it take?

Well it took some rubber bullets, some tear gas, and some arrests... and go figure, things were not burned to the ground.

From what I understand a fairly large crowd started gathering (after curfew) at one of the major police precincts (probably expecting a third precinct to give up and run away), but instead they found themselves face to face with a formidable military presence. There was supposedly a bit of fighting back, but of course an unruly mob is no real threat to a well armed and even marginally trained military operation.

Meanwhile, the Governor is also under fire for making suggestions (without any evidence what-so-ever) that the riots may be the fault of White Supremacist groups that are coming in to organize violence. Of course, in reality, the only organized groups we actually "see" protesting are BLM and antifa groups. So far, nobody from any White Supremacy groups has showed up on either on camera or on an arrest sheet.

There was a group of second right amendment advocates who look pretty much like well armed bikers who were providing some presence. But they appear to be only interested in "preventing" rioting and seemed to be working with business owners to protect businesses from being looted. Basically standing guard in doorways and in front of businesses. While some may think that any big white dude with a gun is a "supremacist" such thinking is racist and flawed.

I will be curious if Walz will try to take credit for the fourth time is a charm reaction to this? I suspect that the local media will do everything in their power (just as they have during the Covid-19 crisis) to paint Governor Walz as the second coming of Ronald Reagan as it pertains to leadership. But I think by now everyone sees the "feckless" character of our Governor in the wake of a second mismanagement of a crisis in the past few months.

New Media "Poll" out today!

Here is the underlying analysis and cross tabs!

Sunday Funnies

Saturday, May 30, 2020

We all know this is true!

Last few nights, liberals tore down and destroyed parts of several cities...
Leaving the Trump supporters and conservative to come clean up the mess!

List of major riots during the Obama administration

Because certain people are stupid enough to blame the Minnesota riots on Trump!

(Why were there MORE racial protests under a black President?)

  • 2013 – Flatbush Riots, March 11, Riots in Brooklyn, New York after the death of Kimani Gray who was shot and killed by NYPD.
  • 2014 – Bundy Standoff, April 5–May, an armed confrontation between supporters of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy and law enforcement following a 21-year legal dispute in which the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) obtained court orders directing Bundy to pay over $1 million in withheld grazing fees for Bundy's use of federally-owned land adjacent to Bundy's ranch in southeastern Nevada.
  • 2014 – Ferguson unrestFerguson and St. Louis, Missouri, August 10 and November 24. Following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, protests erupt in the streets. Police respond with riot gear, tear gas, sound canons, police dogs, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, pepper balls, wooden bullets, beanbag rounds, tasers, pepper spray, and armored vehicles. Unrest occurred continuously for weeks in August, and sporadically through December, with nearly daily protests throughout the period and rioting following the non-indictment announcement on Nov 24. Unrest again occurred on the one year anniversary in August 2015, with dozens of arrests.
  • 2014 – St. Louis, Missouri - October 8, police vehicle windows broken as rage at the killing of Vonderrit Myers Jr. Protests continued for days afterward, during the nearby and ongoing Ferguson Unrest.
  • 2014 – New York, New York, and Berkeley, California – After prosecutors and a grand jury refused to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner, protests erupted in New York City and other cities.
  • 2014 Oakland riots, November–December, A series of riots and civil disturbances that took place in Oakland and the surrounding area, in reaction to the events involving the Shooting of Michael Brown and later, the death of Eric GarnerOakland, California
  • 2014 – Berkeley, Missouri, December 23–24. Antonio Martin is shot to death by police in a St. Louis suburb nearby to Ferguson, leading to violent conflict with police, and looting.
  • 2015 – 2015 Baltimore protests, April 25–28. Days of protests break out following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. 34 people are arrested and 15 Officers injured after rioting and looting break out. Gray's funeral was held on April 27 and followed by further protests and looting. Governor Hogan had preemptively activated the Maryland National Guard, while the Maryland State Police had activated at least 500 officers.
  • 2015 – St. Louis, Missouri, August 19. Conflict with police following fatal shooting by St. Louis police officers of black teenager Mansur Ball-Bey leads to deployment of tear gas then burned car, buildings, and looting. Protests continue in subsequent days with tensions remaining high.
  • 2016 – Occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, January–February 2016. 1 killed and several dozen arrested at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon.
  • 2016 – 2016 Donald Trump Chicago rally protest, March 11. Five people arrested and two police officers injured during a demonstration at the UIC Pavilion.
  • 2016 – Democracy Spring rally in April. March to Washington D.C. and sit-ins lead to arrests.
  • 2016 – 2016 Sacramento riot, June 26, A confrontation between white nationalists and left-wing counter protesters at the California State Capitol. Ten people were hospitalized for stabbing and laceration wounds.
  • 2016 – Widespread protests erupt in response to two deaths at the hands of police, the Shooting of Alton Sterling and shooting of Philando Castile. At least 261 people were arrested in protests in New York City, Chicago, St. Paul, Baton Rouge, and other cities.
  • 2016 – 2016 Milwaukee riots, Sherman Park, August 13–15. Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • 2016 – 2016 Charlotte riot, September 20–21, Protests and riots break out in response to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott by a Charlotte police officer.
  • 2016 – Dakota Access Pipeline protests, 411 protesters arrested. Multiple skirmishes with police, with vehicles, hay bales, and tires set on fire.
  • 2016 – Anti-Trump protests, November 9–27. As a result of Donald Trump elected as 45th President of the U.S., thousands protested across twenty-five American cities, and unrest broke out in downtown Oakland, California, and Portland, Oregon. In Oakland, over 40 fires started and police officers were injured.

Key details from Flynn call in dispute?

So as is generally the case, both sides claim that the Flynn transcripts justify their own positions. 

Let's start with this. There is a murky grey area about whether or not the expulsion of diplomats (which was the base line subject of conversation between Flynn and Kislyak) would actually be what we might generally think of as "sanctions". While the expulsion of diplomats was part of the Obama administration response, there was also financial and trade restrictions (which are what most laypeople generally consider to be sanctions).

Secondly, there seems to be enough of a discussion surrounding the inevitable Russian response that you could make the case the Flynn did request that Russia not "escalate" the situation, even if he never really stated that. However, the fact that we are talking about "perjury" sort of makes whether or not he actually stated something more important than what can be "deduced" by the conversations at hand.

So depending on your perspective, either Flynn was damned or exonerated by the transcripts.

But here is the truth. Flynn was not being charged with any sort of "Logan Act" violation here.  Whether these transcripts justified charges against Flynn have nothing to do with whether or not Flynn was (or was not) negotiating with Kislyak. That seems to be the line I am reading from most liberals. They seem to actually believe that there was something inherently wrong (and illegal) about him even discussing the Obama response. Calls of "traitor" and such are prevalent in the liberal discussions surrounding this. Apparently they believe that it wasn't "his place" to interfere with Obama's response. The fact that he discussed anything regarding this is the smoking gun.

But such arguments are complete red herring, and inherently wrong minded. An incoming National Security Advisor  would be the one dealing with the fall out of the lame duck actions of a lame duck President. He has no obligation to defend those actions and he has every right to hit the ground running so to speak. He did not undermine anything by addressing them in passing or answering questions posed to him by the Russian ambassador. He didn't discount the Obama orders or tell Kislyak that they were going away when Trump took charge. These were prudent responses, not traitorous ones.

The question is solely whether or not the transcripts prove that Flynn was providing false statements to the FBI at the time of his questioning.

In terms of whether or not he discussed "sanctions", that all depends on what your personal concept of "sanctions" are. Most people, most of the time, view sanctions as financial or trade related actions. The conversations between Flynn and Kislyak did not appear to include any of that, and were related entirely to the withdraw of diplomats. While those withdrawals could be considered part of the sanctions, it's easy to see the viewpoint that Flynn would not have considered the withdrawal of diplomats as the "sanctions" in questions.

Did he actually tell Kislyak to not "escalate" the situation. Actually no. It may have been exactly what he implied without saying it, but does denying that he said something that he literally didn't say make him a perjurer? To put this into perspective, if it was the opposite, would we allow someone who "literally" stated something to deny that he said it, because it really wasn't what he meant? Perjury or false statements are not designed to be subjective concepts open to debate or argument, but rather objective falsehoods that can be easily proven. Given you are innocent until proven guilty, I don't see how something this ambiguous would make for a strong case for perjury. (Which is exactly what the original interview notes stated).

Either way, Flynn had his charges dropped for reasons "other" than whether or not he actually provided any false statements. The entire conversation is political fodder with very little legal bearing on what was happening. But that doesn't mean that we won't still hear about it.

Our Police and National Guards soldiers ordered to stand down... again

As if 500 National Guards Soldiers was going to be enough?

Pretty much the entire twin cities was on lock down again last night. 8:00 curfew put in place across all counties.  Ironically, the looters and rioters did not actually follow the curfew. Go figure. Things got so bad, that the Governor was calling a press conference... at 1:30 in the morning.

Gunshots were finally fired last night... at the police and National Guard.

So far over his head, it's dangerous!

Walz now had determined that maybe we need more than 500 soldiers to assist, so he might call up another 1200, which will mean that he will then have 1700 soldiers to order to stand down and allow the rioters and looter free will.

We have approximately 13,000 National Guard soldiers here in Minnesota. Perhaps if we called up 10,000 or so and had them actually do something other than "stand down" we might actually put a dent into this thing. What is the point of actually having 13,000 soldiers on stand by if you don't use them? If not now, when?

Rumors are that we may be provided federal help, as in several units from an Airborn division of the US Army being deployed, who wouldn't necessarily be there to follow the feckless orders of a man without the first god-damned clue as to how to deal with any of this.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Oh oh...

Who would have expected this?

Apparently the coroner has ruled that there was no evidence of asphyxia or strangulation in the death of George Floyd. Moreover, there appears to be evidence that Floyd might have had "intoxicants" in his system, which may have contributed to the death. Floyd also suffered from coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. Both likely a contributing factor. 

Obviously, the first thought that comes to mind is cover-up and cover-your-ass. Was the medical examiner under some pressure to show something other than the knee to the neck might have killed Floyd? The second thought, then becomes... can you really strangle or asphyxiate someone just by putting a knee on the side of their neck? Once the initial anger with the situations cools down, there may be other conclusions to draw.

Either way, Chauvin is still being charged with murder and there is still a pretty good chance that he will be end up going to jail. But a good defense attorney armed with this information might be able to make a case that Chauvin had no intention of murdering Floyd, and that his actions were not generally life threatening. If it turns out that Floyd was intoxicated and that was a factor in his death, then murder is much tougher to sell to a potential jury.

Obviously we do not have all the information right now as the full report is still being withheld. I suspect that the main key to this will be what shows up in the blood stream. What sort of "intoxicants" are we talking about? Alcohol? Marijuana? Crack? Meth? Depending on what was found, this whole thing could take another turn.

Stay tuned.

Third degree murder and manslaughter...

Derek Chauvin charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd
Minnesota law originally defined third-degree murder solely as depraved-heart murder ("without intent to effect the death of any person, caus[ing] the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life").[7][8] In 1987, an additional drug-related provision ("without intent to cause death, proximately caus[ing] the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II") was added to the definition of third-degree murder.[7][9] Up until the early 2000s, prosecutions under that provision were rare, but they began to rise in the 2010s. Some reports linked this increase in prosecutions to the opioid epidemic in the United States.[10]

So basically third degree murder is a step above manslaughter, but not quite second degree murder, which I guess effectively means that they do not believe that Chauvin "intended" to kill Floyd, but that his actions were more dangerous than what a regular manslaughter charge would entail. Generally you think of manslaughter coming something careless or reckless, but without necessarily an intent to do anything that would usually cause a death.

If you are looking for a layman's opinion on what this all means, it seems to me that the state is providing some leeway for a plea that would remove the potential murder charge in favor of a guilty plea to manslaughter. I could be wrong and we could be headed for a serious trial down the road. But I am guessing that everyone will want to put this to rest pretty quickly.

So what do you know?

No Major Increase In COVID Cases In 21 States That Reopened Before May 4
JUST IN: @ABC looked at 21 states that eased restrictions May 4 or earlier & found no major increase in hospitalizations, deaths or % of people testing positive in any of them. [SC, MT, GA, MS, SD, AR, CO, ID, IA, ND, OK, TN, TX, UT, WY, KS, FL, IN, MO, NE, OH] via @AMitrops

The key statistic here is "% of people testing positive".  What many people are doing is looking at the states who are doing more testing (which results in more cases) and demanding that there is something happening there (that likely isn't). Every time one of these early opening states has a single day where reported cases increase, you hear the same suspects demanding the beginning of the end. It makes you wonder how many times they can go around in this circle before everyone (even the gullible) no longer listen.

This is why it is more accurate to look at hospitalizations and deaths, even you have to wait a couple weeks for these statistics to catch up. As counterintuitive as is might seem, there is no reason to believe that an increase in cases will necessarily result in more hospitalizations or deaths. It entirely depends on who is being tested and what their relative health and age is. In fact, it could be argued that in every case where someone has demanded that one of these states have become a "hot bed" there has been no lagging hospitalizations or deaths to correspond to those "outbreaks".

So far the only places "really" experiencing huge outbreaks of hospitalizations and deaths are the upper east coast and a couple of the great lake states. In pretty much every case, those states are locked down tighter than a drum, and you cannot blame a lack of response on those results. If anything, you could blame the response that they did provide for their results. Well, at least we would if we could be honest about this thing.

Everyone seems to be focusing on something other than the statistics and empirical data here. There comes a time in every situation where you have to start to rely on what you know, rather than what you think you know. That time has likely come and gone here with this crisis. There is more than enough information to make solid conclusions that no longer should be relying on guessing, subjective modeling, or arbitrary concepts.

When someone like Dr Fauci suggests that we not get too "cavalier" with the data, I might suggest that we not get too "cavalier" with our assumptions. When data and assumptions no longer match up, it rarely turns out that the data is the one flawed. Data cannot really be either wrong or right. It just is.

A hypothesis never becomes a proven theory or a scientific law unless the data backs it up. Doesn't matter how many degrees the owner of the hypothesis has, how many times this person has been right in the past, or how sound the hypothesis may seem. It still needs proof.

Here is a rumor!

Rumor has it that Officer Derek Chauvin and George Floyd apparently worked security together at a club about a year ago. Obviously many police officers work part time in other security jobs to boost their income. George Floyd had worked in security and as a bouncer much of his life (he was approximately 6' 6" tall and a large man).

So it's possible that these two men actually knew each other, which means that this situation might not have been random action. Not sure how or if this changes anything in the very real sense that Chauvin pretty much murdered Floyd. But it does pose some interesting questions and it could very well provide us with more information on whether or not something was actually more malicious here or if there may have been actual motivation for the action.

It may be possible that if there was any bad blood between the two, that a lighter manslaughter charge could be become something more serious (as in something more intentional).

Frey and Walsh are failing...

But they have offered Covid-19 guidance. Please wear mask and social distance while looting and burning things down!

Yesterday the riots here in Minnesota (we can no longer say Minneapolis) started to spill out into adjoining cities. It started with destruction and looting of the St Paul Midway area and it just sort of grew from there. Last night they were at a mall (that I know well) in a northern suburb that is more than ten miles from Minneapolis.

Here in Farmington (the most south eastern of all twin cities suburbs) there were stores closing early in anticipation that we might start seeing the riots and looting make it's way down here. Many of the stores and public places in other cities around us were also closing. The Mall of America is no reopened as planned.

Obviously at this point Mayor Jacob Frey has done little other than to align himself with the protesters rioters/looters in what appears to be some sort of attempt at racial solidarity or something (Frey is white). Walz had activated 500 National Guards Soldiers which appears to be a drop in the bucket as nearly 200 stores have been destroyed and looted. The State Patrol is also sending in assistance. But there seems to be little in the manner of coordination or planning. Other than saying that they are being deployed or going to be assisting, I haven't heard what exactly these people have done or will be doing.

Meanwhile, the Governor acts as if this is already behind us?
“It is time to rebuild,” Walz said in a statement. “Rebuild the city, rebuild our justice system, and rebuild the relationship between law enforcement and those they’re charged to protect. George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction. As George Floyd’s family has said, ‘Floyd would not want people to get hurt. He lived his life protecting people.’ Let’s come together to rebuild, remember, and seek justice for George Floyd.”
No, it's actually time to put a stop to this nonsense, and as quickly as possible. We can all "come together" when things stop burning to the ground. As the President has stated, if Walz and Frey continue to show little spine in confronting this, then the Federal Government will step in. Perhaps that is what it would take, because right now there doesn't appear to be much leadership from those who should be showing it.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

George Floyd update

First and foremost, every officer on this particular scene have all been fired. There was no suspension, the officers who were "just watching" were not given a pass. There is already an investigation opened and short of something unexpected happening over the next few days, everyone involved will be charged.

There is no question that Derek Chauvin (the officer who held Floyd down) will face murder or manslaughter charges. This isn't his first time that this particular officer has been in hot water over his overzealous ways. He was not a good cop. Again, I would expect a quick deal or an eventual conviction. But this guy should go to jail.

However, the response from Minnesota leadership has been lacking at best. Quite literally there has been no attempt by anyone in charge to even feint the idea that they are discouraging riots, violence, looting, or the sort of things that are happening in the wake of this event. The irony here is that our own Governor is providing Covid-19 guidance as to how to safely protest, destroy property, and loot.

Apparently, there is no issue with burning things down, stealing merchandise, random violence against bystanders... as long as you wear a mask and try to remain six feet apart as much as possible (obviously you cannot be six feet away from an assault victim, but I digress).

There is political pandering and then there is a lack of political courage that is happening here in Minnesota. You can both find what Chavin did to be despicable and evil, and still make the argument that riots, assaults, destruction of property, and looting are not acceptable. Apparently that is too much to ask.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

NY Times logic

Can you guess which one of these states the NY Times shows as showing an "increase" trend in cases?

I'll give you a hint... it's not Minnesota, which just passed up the state of Washington for cases and is in danger of passing them in deaths over the next couple of weeks... all while still milking a slightly more relaxed modified lock down order.

Oddly, the NY Times suggests that Minnesota is trending "mostly the same" while Florida is listed as one of the states where "cases are increasing"! These pics are taken directly from the NY Time website with no modifications (other than making them bigger).

I wonder how many statistical experts would be fooled into believing that Minnesota is trending up, while Florida is trending fairly even based on these charts..

42% of all Covid-19 deaths are coming from Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Led by the 81% here in Minnesota...

Click image for link to story

42 percent of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (click to enlarge). Nursing homes are residential facilities for those needing 24/7 on-site medical supervision; assisted living facilities are for those not needing 24/7 medical supervision. The share of deaths occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is highest in Minnesota, at 81 percent, using the latest data as of May 22, 2020. Data from May 12 is represented below, as a way of illustrating trends. New Jersey and Ohio changed the way they reported nursing home deaths in the intervening period; New Jersey began to exclude non-lab-confirmed COVID deaths, while Ohio started to include nursing home deaths prior to April 15. (Source: G. Girvan / FREOPP; Graphic: A. Roy / FREOPP)

To put this into perspective, we are currently focusing about 90% of our attention on this disease to those people who represent the work force, those who push our economy, and those who are at the least amount of risk. We protect those who need the least amount of protection... while doing almost nothing specifically to stop the spread in these facilities.

Regardless of how you want to argue this, everything about this suggests that we simply have the skills or determination to set up a plan that didn't just play into a one side fits all solution (that has failed to protect the vulnerable while preventing those who drive the economy from doing so).

Number of deaths continue to improve...

But New York stubbornly still keeps reporting the most deaths

Yesterday Worldometer reported 774 deaths, while Covid Tracking Project reported 629. This is down from last weeks numbers by a large amount, which may have to do with the long weekend and some sort of reporting lag. It could be that numbers go back up today, rather than the normal Tuesday increase.

But New York continues to lead the way. Yesterday they reported 141 deaths (which was nearly 20% of the total), which dwarfed Massachusetts, which reported the second highest total of 57. No other state reached 50 deaths yesterday, and things seem to be settling down across the board.

Sure, there are anecdotal reports of new "hot spots" being found here and there, but that is going to happen with an increase in mobility and more and more testing being made available. But at this point in time there is little reason to believe that there is some sort of second wave of cases or deaths that will start to approach the numbers from earlier in this crisis.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

So they live together...

  • Have been in isolation together.
  • Not another living soul within yards of them.
  • And they are wearing matching masks?
  • Are they going to give each other Covid because they are outside?

Talk about your average everyday pandering to politics for no logical reason what-so-ever. But then again, what is logical about this? You can't catch Covid at a Walmart, but you can at a Hallmark. You cannot catch Covid at an abortion clinic, but you can at a cancer screening. You can drive in the same car as a bunch of people without catching Covid, but if you get out of that same car and get into a boat with those exact same people... then you will catch Covid. 

This particular picture should be the epidome of our political ridiculousness in our Covid response. Completely unnecessary action for the sake of a photo-op that takes advantage of irrational thought process and unnecessary fear. 

IHME admits being puzzled that assumptions might not have been correct?

Now I have to admit that intuitively everyone should suspect that a rise in mobility would lead to a rise in cases and even deaths. But the fact remains that this particular assumption (as logical as it might seem) has not really materialized. More to the point, there is no empirical data driven evidence to show that the harsher lock downs have been more effective in driving down the numbers.

So the question becomes, at what point in time do we start to make decisions based on the hard evidence as it exists and simply toss aside assumptions?

What I can tell you is that in the modern political world of the world wide web and social media that people are not only going to hang on to assumption as long as they can, but they will continue to shoot any and all messengers that attempts to undercut their reality.

This particular phenomenon is exasperated by a hatred of Donald Trump and the fact that Trump has rooted against the virus, has been upbeat about the possibility of moving past the virus, and has advocated reopening the economy. By knee jerk reaction, there are going to be liberals who simply root for the disease, be downcast about our possibilities, and demand that the economy cannot be reopened. It's called Trump derangement syndrome.

Unfortunately, this is too serious to be bogged down in petty political issues. The fact of the matter is that the same people screaming about following science are quite literally refusing to accept it (much less follow it). In the case of our Governor, he has outsourced his science to a local epidemiologist who quite literally built a model that was wrong by a large margin projecting what was happening at the very the time it was released.

I begs the question: how can you release a model with a straight face that has already predicted the previous week and the current week wrong, and say you are putting your response together based on these projections. It seems more than just a little desperate to hang on to a strongly held belief that is probably just dead wrong. More to the point, relying on obviously wrong data (just because it is in lines with your politics) is no way to make decisions that has pronounced impact on people's lives.

You have to wonder how many people would have died had Cuomo not been such a hero, huh?

I have to wonder if these people really believe this?

So with nearly 30,000 dead in his State alone, many of which came very specifically from extremely poor decision making by the Governor himself, you have to wonder where Clinton's head is in all of this? Is she not aware of how many people have died in New York or how many of them were realistically an issue with specific policies on nursing homes. 

The sad thing is that much of these problems could have been avoided had cooler heads prevailed. The pure partisan panic that engulfed many of these leaders at the beginning of all of this. Cuomo never needed 40,000 ventilators and he didn't need to put Covid-19 patients into nursing home to save beds. 

This is not just an issue of hindsight, but an issue of knee jerk liberalism and Trump derangement syndrome. If not for Trump supposedly "underplaying" Covid-19, I don't believe you would have seen such an "overplay" on the part of Democrats across the board. There is no question in my mind that our response would have been much different and more uniform had our country wasn't so ideologically split.

I also believe that if cooler head would have prevailed, that we would be accepting (rather than ignoring) all of the scientific data that we have accumulated. Most of these States are behaving in a fashion that not only ignored, but defies what we scientifically know at this point about the virus. Most of our media pretends that there is no such data to even look at. It's like some would prefer to do the wrong thing and devastate our country, than admit that they might have been wrong. 

This might have relevance to some of you...

Monday, May 25, 2020

Hundreds of Doctors sign letter urging Trump to reopen the economy!

So should we listen to them? 
The red group receives highest priority. The next priority is to ensure that the other two groups do not deteriorate a level. Decades of research have shown that by strictly following this algorithm, we save the maximum number of lives.
Millions of Americans are already at triage level red. These include 150,000 Americans per month who would have had a new cancer detected through routine screening that hasn’t happened, millions who have missed routine dental care to fix problems strongly linked to heart disease/death, and preventable cases of stroke, heart attack, and child abuse. Suicide hotline phone calls have increased 600%.
Tens of millions are at triage level yellow. Liquor sales have increased 300-600%, cigarettes sales have increased, rent has gone unpaid, family relationships have become frayed, and millions of well-child check-ups have been missed.
Hundreds of millions are at triage level green. These are people who currently are solvent, but at risk should economic conditions worsen. Poverty and financial uncertainty is closely linked to poor health.

To be clear, I am not a fan of listening to these sorts of letter writers. In a country of 327 million people you could find a few hundred people to sign a letter in support of almost anything, while simultaneously finding a few hundred other people to sign a letter in opposition to that exact same thing. In most case, you could find legitimate serious experts on both sides of the debate.

But I think this sort of letter needs to be heard, because we have sort of forgotten that there are still millions and millions of Americans who have other medical problems not associated with Covid-19 who have for all practical purposes have been put at the back of the line or just ignored all together.

How many people will see much worse negative effects from cancer and other diseases because they had to wait several weeks for a simple screening? How many mentally ill people were not able to see their therapist because they were shut down and not seeing patients because of Covid-19. How will these large increase in alcohol and cigarette sales affect our long term health as a country?

As pointed out, suicides assistance is up 600% and our increase in actual suicides has been unprecedented (and will likely continue to get worse). For every 1% rise in unemployment you see a bigger rise in both suicides and various overdoses.

Science or at least a scientific approach to handling something like this REQUIRES us to take everything into consideration, not just Covid-19. While it may seem prudent to listen to the epidemiologists who are "only" concerned with stopping the spread, in reality it would be way more prudent to listen to "everyone" with a stake in the health of the United States citizens.

It makes no medical, scientific, or practical sense to spend a ton of resources to prevent people from getting sick from one thing, while promoting more people to get sick (and possibly die) from a slew of other potential sicknesses. It doesn't take a math minor to suggest that an action that saves 100,000 lives from one thing, but promotes the deaths of 250,000 people from other causes is not a life cost effective response.

It's time to take our blinders off and look at the big picture. I know this might be tough for some to hear, but our response to Covid-19 (in the end) will very likely be seen as overkill (and a mistake) when all of the collateral damage eventually gets factored in.

Opps! Neither the facts or opinion of those who matter back up the Democratic hoax!

US was more prepared for pandemic than any other country, Johns Hopkins study found
The United States was ranked the best-prepared nation to deal with a pandemic late last year by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS), Fox News reported on Sunday.
The study appears to contradict claims by Democrats that the Trump administration had the country ill prepared for the coronavirus outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “response has been excellent, as it has been in the past,” said John Auerbach, president of the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health, which works with the government to improve the nation’s response to health crises.
Auerbach added that the CDC’s top scientific ranks have remained stable during the past three years, despite charges by some Democrats that the nation’s public health leadership has been decimated.
Separately, the Biden team has repeatedly argued that the president once referred to coronavirus as a "hoax." That claim has been refuted by numerous fact-checkers, including the Post's, which found that Trump was clearly referring to Democrats' efforts to blame him for the pandemic, not the virus itself.
Additionally, numerous Democrats, including Biden, have falsely claimed that the president cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget. The Associated Press has noted that those claims "distort" the facts.

Adding to the fact that the United States on paper has done the most testing, has a lower death rate than most of the first world countries, had one of the earliest responses, we can now add to this that the United States has been declared to have the overall "best" preparedness for this sort of crisis. The CDC (which leads our Federal response) has been considered excellent.

I can only imagine if this same study had come out when President Obama was still in charge, the media would have been fawning all over him and demanding we start adding a fifth head on the Mount Rushmore. Not to mentions our media would be spending 24/7 trying to prove that the same numbers we see today would be the greatest thing since jelly beans.

Let's be clear here. Those who argue that our "country" did the wrong thing by not shutting everything into a complete lock down are making an argument than has no valid empirical evidence to back up the premise. Nearly everywhere that our Governors took the draconian measures that the left desired, they ended up in total chaos and ended up with far more deaths than those states that did not take the harshest of measures.

Let's be even more clear. If not for the disaster in leadership in New York (both DeBlasio and Cuomo), our data would look considerably different and we would be one of the best countries in the world. But unfortunately these disasters exist. If you look at the Democratic states (led by New York and New Jersey) you would have a death rate of 417 deaths per million, placing that subsection of the country ahead of all but seven countries.

On the flip side, If you just take your states run by Republican Governors, you would have an overall death rate of 159 deaths per million, that would place us all the way down between Canada and Bermuda. If the rest of the country had been able to duplicate what DeSantis, Abbot and others accomplished, then we would be talking about the United States a success story.

But at the end of the day, your liberals really desperately want to blame the failures of the blue states on the actions of the red states, while likely believing that the actions of the blue states is somehow keeping our overall statistics down, in spite of the distinctly better results in red states.

This is the power of cognitive dissonance. Their own illusions of what is right and wrong, simply doesn't allow them to look at anything "objectively". Everything must be argued as a relative and subjective issue that can be best judged (not on results) but on opinions. It would be like watching an NFL football game and then throwing away the score at the end, and allowing for media and social media arguments to decide who best played the game and then determining a winner from a subjective standpoint.

To the degree that we needed a better solution, is lost on the misguided concept that doubling down on what hasn't worked was the key. It wasn't and as we learn more about the virus, we can objectively and scientifically see why it wasn't the key. The key was to do what DeSantis (and others) did in Florida, by very early on addressing the potential problems in nursing homes and with the most vulnerable, rather than just toss a blanket order over everything and call it good. Had we implicated a more thought out targeted plan, that used and adjusted for data as we learned it, we would have been way better off. But politics (and a flat rejection of science) seemed to pull the media (and Democrats) around by the ear.

The sad truth is this: The more conventional wisdom has pushed and still pushes something that runs 180 degrees from the factual reality, the worse off our country will be long term. The blatant attempts to win an argument that is lost as a matter of fact, has quite literally probably killed thousands of Americans who otherwise didn't have to die.

Happy Memorial day!

Approximately 1.3 million American veterans gave their lives so that you can be free to have the police arrest you for being on a beach or not wearing a mask. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Under 700 deaths reported for Today!

This was after the Saturday numbers barely reached 1000!

Some of the highlights from the top ten total dead states:
(and I will include Florida even though they are not in the top ten) :

  • Louisiana - 1
  • Florida - 4
  • Michigan - 5
  • Georgia - 5
  • Texas - 8

Sure, these are weekend numbers and weekend numbers have been tailing off, but this is considerably lower than we have seen since back in March. If the averages hold, then tomorrow may actually be less than today's numbers.

While this is good news for anyone who doesn't want Americans to die, it's bad news for the low life scum bag death cheerleaders who still root for death in sections of the country that they believe didn't follow the proper protocol. Certainly we offer you our condolences... or not. 

We'll be hearing a lot more about this sort of thing...

Is the cure is worse than the disease?  

This is the way America works, folks. Hindsight is always 20/20 especially with controversial and important situations. Does anyone remember the solidarity of intelligence regarding Saddam Hussein and his WMD? Everyone (including the United Nations intelligence) had declared for certain that the WMD existed and the only real question was what to do about it. But when all the searching in the world didn't come up with the sort of stock piles imagined, then everyone acted as if that was obvious all along. Bush dropped in approval to one of the lowest in Presidential history.

Why? Because he got it wrong and he made the call on the wrong intelligence. It never really mattered after the fact how many people agreed or disagreed about the intelligence. There was always one person who suggested that they were not there (and that one person was the one everyone should have listened to).

Make no mistake, if it turns out that there is a big economic divide over those places that shut down (and are still shut down) and those who didn't... if there are more statistics that show negative health effects associated with the lock downs, then the people will rebel against those leaders who made those judgement (even if they agree with them now).

It won't matter that these decisions were popular at the time or if they say that they were following the advice of the experts (or following science). If they turn out to be damaging decisions that didn't appear to make these states better off in the short or long run, then the leadership who made those decisions (Governors) will end up paying the cost. People expect their leaders to be correct, and they will judge them even through hindsight.

Sunday Funnies!