Thursday, April 16, 2020

The American Left is as authoritarian as ever

The great slogan of the Nazis and most of the early 20th century German Left was "Alles muss anders sein" (Everything must be different).  That attitude lives on the the current American Left.

How can any politically person be unaware of Obama's endorsement of that idea when he said (in 2008) that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America?

Now in a recent dialog between Sanders and Biden we read that: "Biden concluded by promising that if he beats Donald Trump, he would "transform this nation" as much as Franklin Delano Roosevelt"

And Biden is the presumptive Presidential candidate of the Democratic party.  He speaks for it.

The impertinence of the Leftist program for change is breathtaking.  There's nothing voluntary about it.  They intend to upend many people's lives by sweeping legislation.  The great inert bloc of Congress prevented Obama for doing much but his many regulatory initiatives showed he had no respect for the importance of consent  He had no compunction at all about pushing around large numbers of people.  His policies have their clearest 20th century precursors in the policies of Benito Mussolini, the Italian Fascist dictator.

What gives the Left this authority to make sweeping changes in our society?  They don't even ask that.  If they want to do it, that is enough.  Might is right is their only authority.  What could make them more authoritarian than that?


White House adviser Peter Navarro says medical experts are 'tone deaf' over coronavirus lockdown and warns extended economic closure could cause 'very significant losses of life'

President Trump's trade adviser has described medical experts as 'tone deaf' for pushing for extending the coronavirus lockdown and warned the economic fallout could cost even more lives.

Peter Navarro accused health advisers of ignoring the potential long-term consequences for the public's health by extending the national shutdown.

Navarro was one of the first of Trump's advisers to warn about the economic cost of efforts to slow the spread of the virus by imposing restrictions on mass gatherings and shuttering non-essential businesses.

He has clashed with Dr Anthony Fauci, the federal government's top infectious disease expert, who has warned against easing the lockdowns too soon and causing a second wave of the virus.

Last week it emerged Navarro privately warned that a pandemic could cost hundreds of thousands of American lives and wipe trillions of dollars off the economy while at the same time telling the public that it had 'nothing to worry about'.

He wrote two memos in late January and late February to his White House colleagues expressing alarm over the prospect of a pandemic.

These memos came at a time when Trump was actively playing down the threat of the coronavirus.

White House economic advisers have clashed in recent weeks with health experts over how to balance containing the virus without crashing the economy.

Navarro has now warned of 'very significant losses of life' if there were extended economic shutdowns.

He told The New York Times on Monday: 'It's disappointing that so many of the medical experts and pundits pontificating in the press appear tone deaf to the very significant losses of life and blows to American families that may result from an extended economic shutdown.

'Instead, they piously preen on their soap boxes speaking only half of the medical truth without reference or regard for the other half of the equation, which is the very real mortal dangers associated with the closure of the economy for an extended period.'

Navarro, who is known to a trade protectionist, made headlines last week when it was revealed by the Times he wrote a memo to the White House warning the coronavirus could become a 'full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans'.

The memo came at a time when Trump was actively playing down the threat of the coronavirus.

The January memo marks the earliest known high-alert to circulate within the West Wing as officials planned their first substantive steps to confront the disease that had already spiraled out of control in China.

The second memo, dated February 23, was much more dire. It warned that up to 2 million Americans could die and trillions of dollars would be lost because of the virus.

Navarro also warned the US economy faced a 'China shock' worse than at the start of the century when the Communist regime joined the World Trade Organization and a link was made between a rise in Chinese exports and decreasing American manufacturing jobs.

He told the Times: 'The unfair China trade shock that hit so many of America's communities in the 2000s not only destroyed over five million manufacturing jobs and 70,000 factories; it killed tens of thousands of Americans.

'As numerous academic studies have documented, economic shocks like China's trade shock can increase mortality rates associated with suicide, drug overdoses, alcohol poisoning, liver disease, lung cancer, poor diet and cigarettes...while destroying families through higher rates of single-parent households, child poverty, and divorce and lower rates of fertility and marriage.'

Many medical experts in the government, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, have cautioned that easing up on social distancing too soon could lead a new wave of the disease that would require shuttering the economy again, with disastrous results.

A team, expected to be formally announced as early as Tuesday, has already begun meeting behind closed doors in the West Wing to tackle how to begin reopening the American economy.

The council, which is not expected to include health officials, could bring to the forefront the push-pull tensions within the White House between economists and public health officials over how quickly to reopen the economy vs. proceeding cautiously to ensure the virus doesn't spike again.

With the country barreling toward a likely recession ahead of November's election, Trump is eager to spur an economic revival, hoping to steady financial markets and restore some of the 16 million jobs already lost due to the pandemic.

He originally hoped to have the country stirring again by Easter but now wants at least a partial reopening by the end of the month.

Governors on both coasts of the US announced on Monday that they would join forces to come up with a coordinated reopening at some point, setting the stage for a potential conflict with Trump, who asserted that he is the ultimate decision-maker for determining how and when to reopen.

In the US, about half of the more than 22,000 deaths reported are in the New York metropolitan area.

Among those expected to be part of the new team: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and White House economic advisers, past and present, Kevin Hassett and Larry Kudlow. New White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is expected to chair the effort.



Trump Derangement Syndrome Becomes a Threat to Public Health

Trump derangement syndrome—a well-documented illness that predominantly afflicts coastal elites and congressional Democrats—has turned into a political pandemic.

It is the reflexive refusal to agree with any position that President Donald Trump takes, regardless of merit. In a time of national emergency, this contagion is particularly dangerous.

Take hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, two drugs that doctors historically have used to treat or prevent malaria. When the president suggested that hydroxychloroquine could be helpful in treating COVID-19, sufferers from TDS immediately set out to prove him wrong.

CNN published an “analysis” titled: “Trump peddles unsubstantiated hope in dark times,” and The Washington Post proclaimed: “Trump is giving people false hope of coronavirus cures. It’s all snake oil.”

But several medical studies have suggested that these drugs have promise.

Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University expert on infectious diseases, cited an independent study from Chinese doctors that discovered a group of moderately ill COVID-19 patients improved when given hydroxychloroquine. The patients who received the drug saw their coughing and fever ease a day or so earlier than did patients in the control group who didn’t receive the drug.

Another study published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents found that a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin could be especially effective in treating COVID-19.

None of this is conclusive, of course. Trump has acknowledged that although hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine may not “go as planned,” the drugs have tremendous promise if they end up being safe and effective to treat COVID-19.

Most neutral observers would conclude that the president’s invocation of those drugs is a way of demonstrating hope that our medical community will come up with drugs to treat COVID-19.

But TDS sufferers, obsessed with finding ill intent in every one of the president’s actions, chose to pick nits instead of check facts.

A key talking point, repeated endlessly on cable news, is that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are not “FDA-approved” for treating COVID-19. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did issue an emergency use authorization for the drugs March 28, again demonstrating the potential upside of the drugs.

Formal FDA approval takes years to obtain, but the hundreds of thousands of Americans afflicted with COVID-19 don’t have years to wait. In the meantime, it is perfectly legal and appropriate for doctors to prescribe the drugs “off-label” for COVID-19.

Contrary to the TDS narrative, off-label uses often are the standard of care and vital to patients. For example, doctors routinely use off-label drugs to treat cancer. Unfortunately, there’s no cure, off-label or otherwise, for Trump derangement syndrome.

The elite media and liberals also profess alarm that the president is encouraging a run on scarce hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine supplies.

But this isn’t a product that you can buy off the shelf at your local pharmacy. This is a prescription drug, and you can’t get it unless a doctor, in his or her medical judgment, decides you need it.

The president has done nothing to force doctors to prescribe the drug against their own better judgment. Nor did he force Italy and France to give the green light for doctors to prescribe hydroxychloroquine. He didn’t require South Korean and Indian doctors to begin prescribing the drug.

It’s clear, though, that these countries see the same potential benefits of hydroxychloroquine that our president does.

Let’s talk about the facts.

The president and his coronavirus task force have worked around the clock to monitor and prevent the spread of the virus. In January, he proactively enacted travel restrictions on flights from China. In March, he implemented further travel restrictions on parts of Europe.

Trump signed the CARES Act into law, providing sweeping relief to workers and small businesses; declared a national emergency, freeing up states, territories, and tribes to access billions in existing funding; signed legislation securing $8.3 billion for an initial coronavirus response; created a task force; and instructed the FDA to cut red tape that was preventing the rollout of tests.

Despite facing vicious attacks from sufferers of Trump derangement syndrome, the president has done everything he can to protect our country during this once-in-a-century global pandemic. He is going to keep projecting strength and hope during this crisis.

Too bad there’s no hope for the TDS folks, who are left only with their blind hatred of the president.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), A Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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