Friday, July 03, 2020



The rioters are a paper tiger

Just let the police do their job and they crumple

On Wednesday morning, Seattle police finally removed the anarchist and antifa rebels/protesters from the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) Occupied Protest (CHOP), which Todd Herman cleverly dubbed “antifastan.” Yet as the police went about restoring order to the six-block area unlawfully seized in the wake of the George Floyd protests, the police department reported a rather unnerving sight. It appears armed militants were patrolling the area in cars stripped of license plates.

“Officers are investigating several vehicles circling the area of today’s operation. Police have observed individuals in the vehicles with firearms/armor. The vehicles also appear to be operating without visible license plates,” the Seattle Police Department tweeted.

Andy Ngo, a victim of antifa violence and editor-at-large at The Post Millennial, condemned these “terrorist tactics.”  Ngo also highlighted ominous warnings about further antifa violence to follow the dismantling of CHOP.

All the same, the restoration of law and order in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district is worth celebrating. In fact, Ngo had to suspend his disbelief to report the final return of police on Wednesday. Last Monday, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) announced that she would break up CHOP after two shootings the previous weekend, one of which tragically claimed the life of a 19-year-old black man. Yet she only sent city workers, not police, in to break up the lawless occupation, and her efforts failed. After another black person, this time a 16-year-old boy, tragically lost his life in a shooting this Monday, it appears she finally did what was necessary to get the job done.

“Breaking: The Seattle Police are retaking the Capitol Hill neighborhood that was taken captive by BLM and antifa militants for more than three weeks,” Ngo tweeted. He emphasized, “This is no joke,” sharing a picture of police on bicycles rolling into the area. The journalist added that “CHAZ was retaken by police in a matter of minutes.”

Police have made at least 32 arrests for failure to disperse, obstruction, resisting arrest, and assault. In one case, they arrested a 29-year-old man who held a large metal pipe and a kitchen knife. City workers also removed improvised spike strips, designed to puncture vehicle tires.

This decisive action came one day after Horace Lorenzo Anderson, the father of the 19-year-old man killed in a CHOP shooting last week, asked for the National Guard to put down the lawless occupation.

“I ain’t been sleeping. You see my eyes. I’ve been crying. I’m trying not to cry on TV,” Anderson said in a heartbreaking interview with KIRO 7. “This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more. That just looks like they just took over and said, ‘We can take over whenever we want to.’”

Anderson called for the National Guard to end the lawlessness. “They should deploy them here to say, ‘Man, it’s time to go, it’s time to move on.’ And break this up,” he said.

Anderson’s 19-year-old son died in a shooting on Saturday, June 20. The shooting also injured a 33-year-old man. The next day, another shooting left a 17-year-old boy injured in the arm. Another shooting on Monday morning took the life of a 16-year-old boy and left a 14-year-old boy critically injured.

The lawless occupying rioters originally named the area CHAZ, claiming to set up an “autonomous zone” outside the reach of U.S. law. This made them legally rebels against Seattle and the U.S., and President Donald Trump rightly urged Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) to restore law and order. The Democratic leaders, however, condemned Trump. Durkan and Inslee said it was “illegal and unconstitutional” to put down a rebellion.

It may seem silly that a bunch of protesters occupied a six-block area of Seattle and tried to set up an anarchist utopia, but the occupation was deadly serious for locals whose lives have been damaged by the lawlessness.

Sixteen residents and businesses sued the City of Seattle, alleging that the city failed to protect their rights by not taking action to restore law and order in the CHOP area. The occupation followed looting, vandalism, and arson across America that destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 20 Americans, most of them black, have died in the riots. In the case of CHOP, two black teenagers have lost their lives in this lawlessness.

Americans are rightly angered about the horrific police killing of George Floyd, and it seems the men involved will face the justice they deserve for their evil actions. But anger over that horrific death does not justify the destruction of property, the seizure of land, and the lawless violence that takes even more innocent life.

It appears the story of CHOP has ended — for now. But as the police report noted, antifa anarchists are still active in Seattle, and the unrest is sadly far from over.

SOURCE

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New Polling Shows There Is Hope for Patriotism Among America's Youth

In partnership with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and Echelon Insights, Townhall has obtained exclusive polling results on patriotism and the favorability of the United States among America’s youth.

Of those surveyed, 82 percent had a “very” or “somewhat” favorable opinion of the American flag, divided among 91 percent of high school-aged students and 73 percent of high school graduates. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they believe America is “exceptional and unique” and is a country that “values liberty.” The poll found 54 percent of those who participated enthusiastically feel America offers “opportunity for all who work for it,” and 46 percent said America is both a “good example for other countries” and a nation that “values justice;” 43 percent enthusiastically said America “values equality.”

While standing for the national anthem draws country-wide controversy, 63 percent of respondents feel “extremely” or “very” comfortable standing for the national anthem and 58 percent held the same view of saying the Pledge of Allegiance at a meeting or event.

Respondents logged an 80 percent “very” or “somewhat” favorable opinion of war veterans, 75 percent of the military, 72 percent of the Constitution, 65 percent of the Founding Fathers and 57 percent of American history as a whole. With these encouraging numbers, 34 percent of respondents would be “extremely” or “very” willing to serve in the military if America were to be attacked, while 31 percent said they would serve if we went to war and 30 percent during “peacetime.”

The overwhelming majority of those surveyed were full-time students, 47 percent male, 53 percent female. Forty-two percent identified as high-school aged, while 13 percent were working toward an associate’s degree, 31 percent toward a bachelor’s degree and seven percent toward a graduate degree. Eight percent indicated enrollment in trade or vocational school. Of those who participated in the poll, 21 percent identified as “very” or “somewhat” conservative, while 33 percent identified as “very” or “somewhat” progressive and 33 percent as moderate; four percent of respondents serve or have served in the military, while 16 percent have an immediate family member in the military and 17 percent an extended relative.

Patriotism has grown into a taboo subject among young adults, especially with the rise of social media dominance. For those who value pride in our country, this polling should be encouraging. Pro-America positions are alive and well among young Americans, even with the presence of unmistakable bias on college campuses and the leftist bubble constituting the overwhelming majority of social media platforms.

SOURCE

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America’s War Zone: Guilt and Stupidity Fuel Extreme Grievances and Violence

“Two things are infinite,” Albert Einstein famously said: “The universe and human stupidity; and I am not sure about the universe.”

It is very difficult not to bear in mind Einstein’s depressing view of humanity when witnessing the recent turn of events.

HBO has withdrawn “Gone with the Wind” from its viewing library, claiming it’s a racist film. J.K. Rowlings, creator of the Harry Potter franchise, is being accused, under a litany of insults, of “transphobia” for pointing out, in reference to a magazine article, that the word “woman” used to be the way to refer to “a person who menstruates.”

The co-creator of “Friends” wants forgiveness for not including African-Americans in the series. Paramount Network has canceled the long-running “Cops” show for “glorifying” the police. And Winston Churchill’s statue in London’s Parliament Square was recently sullied in the name of anti-fascism because protesters claim the leader who defeated fascism was fascist.

To keep up with the mood of the times, perhaps we should bulldoze the Roman Coliseum, a symbol of barbarism, cover Machu Picchu with graffiti, reminding us that the Incas “enslaved the masses,” and paint the Taj Mahal with tar, to memorialize the disregard that Emperor Shah Jahan, an Islamic Mogul, had toward Hindus and women—with the exception, of course, of his 11 “wives” and the 2,000 or so other women who comprised his harem.

Part of what is happening originates in the guilty conscience that has long been a feature of Western elites. Combine this with the deep-felt resentments of certain groups and individuals, and the frivolity of bored middle-class kids, and you achieve what we are now seeing: significant numbers of people taking their grievances, many of them justified, to violent, illiberal extremes.

When was the West’s guilty conscience born? Perhaps during the colonization of Latin America by Spain, a dominant European power at the time, when Dominican friars like Bartolom√© de las Casas, Francisco de Vitoria and Antonio Montesinos admirably lashed out at the mistreatment of the indigenous Indians.

Another possibility is that its antecedent can be found in what certain French academics call the “bourgeois bad conscience” that emerged in the 19th century during the Bourbon Restoration, when the sons of the bourgeois who had carried out the French Revolution on behalf of a more egalitarian society realized that “the people” were no better off and they had become the new aristocrats.

While those are possibilities, a more likely cause of today’s collectivized, identity—and grievance-based politics is multiculturalism.

Following World War II, when the European overseas colonies in Africa and Asia achieved independence, the idea that all cultures and values are equivalent became fashionable.

This notion, pushed by academics and intellectuals at first, turned into an ideology that sought to divide society into collectivist entities—groups—that were due certain “rights” and benefits from the rest of society.

Western civilization and its paradigms, liberal democracy and individual rights, fell out of favor. The idea that identity was based not on individual characteristics, but on belonging to a particular ethnic or minority group, became “cool,” with advocates demanding that society repair the damage suffered by these groups in the past through monetary compensation and that history be corrected by erasing the oppressive past from our memories by removing exterior signs and symbols.

The “Antifa” agitators who call everyone who is not allied with them a fascist—but act like fascists themselves by turning legitimate grievances into acts of vandalism and violence—weaken their cause by threatening liberal democracy and peaceful coexistence.

Decent people do not want America turned into a war zone in the name of anti-fascism, anti-racism or any other anti-ism. To think otherwise is the pinnacle of stupidity.

SOURCE

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IN BRIEF

With follow-up report, New York Times subtly undercuts key aspects of its Russia-Taliban bounty scoops (The Daily Caller)

Joe Biden announces he will not hold campaign rallies, citing coronavirus fears (The Daily Caller)

Biden will release list of black women as potential SCOTUS nominees (Politico)

FCC designates Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE as security threats (National Review)

DHS deploys special federal unit to protect monuments over July 4 weekend amid vandalism fears (Fox News)

TikTok and 32 other iOS apps still snoop your sensitive clipboard data (Ars Technica)

We're one-third of the way to a widely available coronavirus vaccine, scientists say (USA Today)

Top Republicans encourage masks as virus spreads in Sun Belt (Washington Examiner)

Dow Jones Industrial Average posts best quarter since 1987 with 17% gain (Fox Business)

Local unions defy AFL-CIO in push to oust police unions (Politico)

"Not going back": Governor Ron DeSantis says no plans to reverse course on Florida reopening (Washington Examiner)

Walmart will stop selling "All Lives Matter" merchandise (USA Today)

Los Angeles City Council approves first step in replacing LAPD with community responders for nonviolent calls (FOX 11)

Virginia Democrats propose reducing charge for assaulting police officers (The Daily Wire)

Six Chicago children shot dead in a single week — all of whom are neglected by the mainstream media (FOX 32)

St. Louis prosecutor says she might overrule police and charge lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey who brandished firearms at protesters trespassers (UK Daily Mail)

"Worried that I was going to be killed": Mark McCloskey defends decision to draw guns on trespassers (Washington Examiner)

Mayor Bill de Blasio caves to absurd "defund the police" movement — while violent crime is up almost 190% (New York Post)

The kind of immigrant we should be welcoming to the United States: Afghan interpreter who saved U.S. troops gets American citizenship (NPR)

Woman walks into live CNN broadcast with "fake news" sign (The Daily Caller)

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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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Thursday, July 02, 2020

Don't Be Fooled, Recent Coronavirus Data Suggests the Lockdowns Were a Colossal Mistake

In various states across the nation, there’s been a noticeable trend of an increase in coronavirus cases. While this fact makes the headlines, the detail that seems to get overlooked is the fact that deaths have declined. Florida, Arizona, Texas, California, and Ohio are among the states that have experienced spikes in cases but have maintained declining death rates or no spike in deaths.

How is this possible? Conventional wisdom suggests that a spike in cases should result in a spike in deaths, but that has not panned out. The protests and riots following George Floyd’s death have been going on for nearly a month now. Surely a spike in deaths should shave occurred by now. But so far, it hasn’t.

Why not?

According to Justin Hart, an information architect and data analyst from San Diego, “who” gets the virus is just as important as “how many” get the virus. “Right now the average age of infected cases has dropped nearly 20 years,” Hart told PJ Media.

White House Coronavirus Task Force Member Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged this fact last week: “The overwhelming majority of people who are now getting infected are young people, like the people that you see in the clips in the paper or out in the crowds enjoying themselves.” 

Why does this matter, you ask? Let me explain.

Coronavirus data says risk is low for most Americans

Young people, possibly from the recent protests and riots, are likely behind the recent spike in cases, and that tells us a lot about why the data looks the way it does right now. According to the CDC’s current best estimate, the fatality rate of the coronavirus for symptomatic cases only are as follows:

When you take into account that approximately 30% of coronavirus infections are asymptomatic, that drives the fatality rate down even further. “The risk of death for the general population of school and working age is typically in the range of a daily car ride to work,” notes Josh Ketter on Medium.

Professor Mark Woolhouse, an expert in infectious diseases in Scotland, led a study that determined current lockdown restrictions could be easily lifted as long the most vulnerable populations are left protected. According to Woolhouse, for the non-vulnerable population, the coronavirus is comparable to a “nasty flu.”

Lockdowns should have focused on protecting the vulnerable

What the data is clearly telling us is that the lockdowns were not implemented correctly. While there is a significant risk for the older, at-risk population, for those under 65 years of age, the economy could have been kept open. Schools didn’t have to close down, and “non-essential” businesses could have continued to serve the public, many of whom had as much a chance of dying from the coronavirus as they did dying on their daily commute, but the lockdowns kept everyone, including the young and healthy, at home. We could have worn masks out in public to help slow the spread and flatten the curve to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. Life could have remained relatively normal, and the economy didn’t have to suffer the way it did.

“We knew early on that younger cohorts managed very well,” Hart explained to PJ Media. “We should have let that group thrive to keep the economy going while protecting the vulnerable.”

Protecting the vulnerable is where many, particularly New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, went wrong. On March 25, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to accept patients regardless of their coronavirus status. Even back then, it was known that the elderly were more vulnerable to the virus, so having coronavirus patients in nursing homes allowed the virus to spread like wildfire. Cuomo tried to cover up his deadly mistake before ultimately rescinding the order on May 11.

Nursing home patients represent a mere .46 percent of the United States population but account for approximately 43 percent of all coronavirus deaths. States should have protected them better from the beginning. Had they, we could have had a more strategic approach to the coronavirus lockdowns that allowed businesses and schools to stay open while quarantining the vulnerable.

The one-size-fits-all approach was a mistake

If school and working-age Americans understood that their risk of dying from the coronavirus was roughly the same as it is of dying during a daily car ride, do you think they’d want to continue the lockdowns? I don’t think so. Whether people realize it or not, every day they are making an assessment of risk as they go about their lives. It was true before the coronavirus, during it, and it will continue to be afterward. Is it really worth being afraid of living given the extremely low risk of fatality for a majority of the population? We should redirect resources to protecting the vulnerable and let the rest of us get this country working again.

The United States isn’t alone

Israel is also experiencing a second wave of cases that is mostly occurring in younger people. Israel did not experience the protests and rioting we had in the United States, but bars, beaches, and school reopened, causing a spike in cases, but, as you can see from the graphs from Worldometer, no spike in deaths.

SOURCE

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A supermarket meltdown, which saw a woman throw her groceries across the store in a fit of rage, has exposed a deep divide in the US.

Footage from the weekend shows a shopper in a Dallas supermarket picking her groceries out of her trolley and throwing them across the store in a fit of rage after she was asked to wear a mask.

“I don’t give a f**k about these dumb-ass f***ing rules,” she can be heard yelling as she throws her food on the floor in a foul-mouthed tirade.

It is just one of many incidents that show how divided the US is over the issue of masks.

Another video circulating on social media over the weekend shows NYPD officers clearly breaking the rules of a local pizza joint by lining up without masks, enraging hundreds of commenters online.

The fraught situation is expected to worsen in coming weeks as states move to reopen their economies, bringing the mask-wearers and the mask-cynics into closer contact.

Masks are becoming increasingly viewed a shorthand for the debate around freedom in America and which side of the fence you sit.

Those who follow health guidance and cover their faces say they are protecting their fellow Americans, while those who don’t feel it violates their freedom or buys into a threat they think is overblown.

It is a divide which is playing out at the very top of the politics in the US.

President Donald Trump has also refused to wear a mask during the pandemic, whether at the White House where officials and aides are tested regularly, or in public settings.

He has even suggested some Americans are wearing facial coverings not as a preventive measure but as a way to signal disapproval of him.

In May, he wore a mask while visiting a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan but took it off before he appeared in front of media cameras.

“I don’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month.

His Democratic rival Joe Biden has gone down the opposite route by showcasing his mask on social media and imploring Americans to follow suit.

SOURCE

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Why New Zealand decided to go for full elimination of the coronavirus

They have subsequently had cases caught from overseas visitors

New Zealand has been widely praised for its aggressive response to covid-19. At the time of writing, the country had just 10 active cases. But Michael Baker, the doctor who formulated New Zealand’s elimination strategy, says that even some of his colleagues initially thought it was too radical a plan and resisted its implementation. “Some likened it to using a sledgehammer to kill a flea,” he says.

The first case of covid-19 in New Zealand was recorded on 28 February. Like most countries, it initially planned to gradually tighten its control measures as the virus gained momentum. But Baker, a public health expert at the University of Otago who is on the government’s covid-19 advisory panel, believed that this was the wrong approach. “I thought we should do it in the reverse order and throw everything at the pandemic at the start,” he says.

Baker was inspired by the World Health Organization’s report from its joint mission to China in February, which documented how the country largely contained covid-19 when it was already in full flight. This convinced Baker that New Zealand could also stop the virus from spreading and even wipe it out entirely if it implemented a strict lockdown as soon as possible.

Other experts, however, argued that New Zealand should take a lighter approach like Sweden, which never fully locked down. Many believed the spread of covid-19 was inevitable and that an elimination strategy would “never work”, says Baker. Others thought that locking down the country would lead to mass unemployment, poverty and suicide, which would outweigh the benefits of containing the virus.

The government ultimately decided to go with Baker’s advice, possibly because of his public health track record. In the 1980s, for example, he helped establish the world’s first national needle exchange programme, which has meant that rates of HIV among injecting drug users in New Zealand are some of the lowest globally.

“I thought we should do it in the reverse order and throw everything at the pandemic at the start”
On 25 March, when New Zealand had only 205 covid-19 cases and no deaths, the government implemented one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, only permitting people to leave their homes for essential reasons like buying food and going to the doctor. This followed the closure of New Zealand’s borders to non-nationals on 19 March.

Baker felt “very moved” by the government’s decision, but also anxious, because he didn’t know if it would work. “As a scientist, you feel very worried if you’re giving advice when the evidence base isn’t totally there yet, particularly when it’s something that could be harmful to people,” he says.

However, putting the entire country into home quarantine early on extinguished community transmission and gave authorities time to strengthen testing and contact tracing capacities, which were initially “really quite woeful”, says Baker.

The country has recorded only 1515 covid-19 cases and 22 deaths to date, and hasn’t had any new, locally acquired cases since 22 May. The current active cases are all citizens in supervised quarantine after returning from overseas. On 8 June, New Zealand lifted all its restrictions except for its border control measures. “There was this amazing sense of relief,” says Baker.

He is proud of New Zealand’s success, but says it is important not to become complacent or smug. Baker warns that other countries that have seemingly got on top of the virus, such as China and South Korea, have experienced subsequent outbreaks.

Last week, New Zealand was shaken by the news that two women had tested positive for covid-19 after returning from the UK and being allowed to leave quarantine early to visit a dying relative. Extensive contact tracing is now under way.

To guard against a second wave in New Zealand, Baker thinks masks should be worn on public transport, aircraft and at border control and quarantine facilities.

SOURCE

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IN BRIEF

Democratic National Committee tweets then deletes post linking Trump's Mt. Rushmore event to "glorifying white supremacy" (Fox News)

Supreme Court refuses to block upcoming federal executions (AP)

John Hickenlooper condemned by liberal groups after photo of him dressed as Native American surfaces (Washington Examiner)

Department of Health and Human Services secures new supplies of the coronavirus therapeutic drug remdesivir (HHS.gov)

"Our luck may have run out": California's case count explodes — Los Angeles County, which has been averaging more than 2,000 new cases each day, surpassed 100,000 total cases on Monday (The New York Times)

Jacksonville, Florida, to require face masks to slow rising coronavirus cases (CNN)

China study warns of possible new "pandemic virus" from pigs (Reuters)

At long last, black man is charged with felony assault after attacking Macy's employee in viral video (Disrn)

First of four cops charged in the death of George Floyd will plead not guilty to second-degree murder and manslaughter (UK Daily Mail)

Why no outrage? Atlanta shootings surge, but it's not the cops (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Latest Seattle CHOP shooting kills 16-year-old boy, critically wounds 14-year-old boy — both of whom are black (Fox News)

Russia denies nuclear plant leaks as mysterious radiation spike reported over northern Europe (Washington Examiner)

Conservative groups see abortion ruling as catalyst for reelecting Trump (Politico)

John Wayne's family has defended the screen icon amid calls for his name to be removed due to "racist" comments made in 1971 (UK Daily Mail)

Why West Virginia hasn't canceled its Democrat senator from the KKK (RealClearInvestigations)

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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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Wednesday, July 01, 2020


Chinese coronavirus vaccine approved for use in country's military after clinical trials

China's military has approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by its own research staff and a Chinese biotech firm, it was announced on Monday.

The vaccine was given the green light for use by troops after trials proved it was both safe and effective, said CanSino Biologics, the biotech firm involved.

However, its use for the time being will be restricted to military personnel, who offer a tighter medical control group than the general public.

The vaccine candidate, named Ad5-nCoV, was developed jointly by CanSino and the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology in the Academy of Military Medical Sciences. It has been in development since March.

CanSino said the results showed the vaccine candidate has potential to prevent diseases caused by the coronavirus, which has killed half a million people globally....

SOURCE

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Lockdown and the new Left Privilege

Powerful article by professor Augusto Zimmerman below

As a constitutional lawyer and legal theorist who appreciates our classical liberal tradition of constitutional government and the rule of law, I have been against the imposition of lockdown measures since they began, thinking that they are not only unnecessary but also completely arbitrary and ultimately a gross violation of fundamental rights and freedoms.

We have been harassed for sitting on park benches. We have been forced to cancel weddings, and have not been not allowed even to say goodbye to our loved ones or go to their funerals. But at least I took some comfort in the idea that “we are all in this together”.

This is now all gone, seeing how the rules have been flouted by the protests of the far left. Thousands of left-wing activists have defied the law to take part in the Black Lives Matter and other Leftist protests and marches.

I am deeply disappointed with the authorities who tacitly consented to these protests. They have turned such activists into a small group of privileged individuals who can go ahead with their disruptions despite the official health advice about COVID-19. For those “mortal beings” who have more fully complied with these draconian measures, it has resulted in severe disruption of their private lives and social gatherings. Their businesses and livelihoods have been seriously compromised.

It’s one rule for them and another rule for the rest of us. You may even call it ‘Leftist Privilege’ if you wish. The rules that apply to these Leftists are entirely different. They can freely protest because their illiberal worldview is considered more valid and more important by the country’s equally illiberal ruling elites.

In fact, it seems to me that the greatest privilege on offer in our society today is the privilege of being a Leftist. If one is a Leftist, it appears that you will be entitled to special privileges in exercising your intolerance with absolute freedom and be immune from the law. Such people can attend rallies that spread their bigotry, although they are also the very ones that, for purely ideological reasons, have been calling for an extended lockdown.

The level of hypocrisy is truly staggering, especially because we, law-abiding citizens, have been forced to withhold wedding ceremonies or been excluded from the funerals of our loved ones. Because our businesses have been forced into ‘hibernation’, some of us have now had our livelihoods entirely destroyed.

How can such politicians look their victims in the eye and say it was worth it?

The people, who felt their concerns about long-term economic and mental health costs were brushed aside just a few weeks ago, are now increasingly asking why these politicians are allowing the left-wing mobs to occupy the streets in blatant disregard of lockdown measures.

Ironically, these rallies provide more compelling evidence of how the so-called “pandemic” has been fabricated for ideological reasons, and successfully used to undermine individual rights, the market economy, and to further empower the coercive apparatuses of the State at every single level of government.

Spreading new cases of coronavirus and force more governmental intervention may very well have been the hidden agenda of some protest organisers. They might have hoped that these protests could result in more infections which would then lead to further deaths and government interventions, the greatest burden falling on black communities.

Once again these unpopular Leftist groups have achieved their ultimate goal and proven that laws which are supposedly valid for all, and passed to protect us, mean absolutely nothing to them. Of course, it will now become extremely difficult for these governments to impose their dictatorial powers on ordinary people, who have so far consented to the oppressive commands of their political masters without a more proper questioning of their constitutional validity.

Entitled by the mainstream media, more protests of this kind are planned despite possible court orders and health experts pleading for them to not go ahead at the risk of exposing people to coronavirus infection. But the number of people infected is likely to be much lower than they might expect, which then ironically exposes the measures to fight a “pandemic” in which the mortality rates are extremely low, and much lower than a normal flu.

Of course, there was never an emergency that could possibly justify the use of such extreme measures. Relying on a few experts, our federal and state politicians have used their powers beyond the limits of constitutionality, to destroy jobs and much of the productive sector of society, while leaving the bloated public sector intact. Inevitably, the job losses caused by these unconstitutional measures will lead to more homelessness and financial pressures, leading to higher suicide rates, drug abuse, poverty, and a dramatic growth in crime, which always increases in times of recession.

This leads some people to the reasonable assumption such protests may have assisted the population to better understand the political agenda behind a “pandemic” disaster that now appears to be entirely fabricated, and essentially justifying the concentration of power on a minority of privileged individuals, especially “experts”, bureaucrats and politicians.

If that was the hidden agenda behind the “pandemic”, perhaps even more significant is how these protests unintentionally expose the political elite’s illiberal agenda, with dramatic implications for the rule of law and basic rights of the people. Since the rates of community transmission of coronavirus are extremely low, and many states are simply not being able to report any new cases for days in a row, there is a real chance that these protests unwillingly expose the anti-democratic and illiberal nature of the country’s ruling elites.

With the public sector wholly protected, ordinary citizens are now being controlled minutely by extraordinary measures which are based on an arbitrary exercise of power. Of course, it will now become extremely difficult for the political elites to impose these measures on ordinary people, who have so far consented to them without a more proper questioning of their constitutional validity.

I personally find the latest developments truly disgusting and basically a sign that the people have been miserably betrayed by an uncaring, uncompassionate political elite in their insatiable desire for more power and control. In particular, those protests over the weekend have revealed the authoritarian agenda and reckless indifference of the political elites to the suffering of the people.

In this context, our political leaders should be reminded of John Locke, that great ‘Founder of Liberalism’. Locke, whose political philosophy underpins the 1688 Glorious Revolution and the UScDeclaration of Independence, argued that governments have no other end ‘but the preservation of these rights, and therefore can never have a right to destroy, enslave, or designedly to impoverish the subjects’. If a government exceeds the limits of its legitimate power, citizens have the lawful right to resist such acts of political oppression.

As Locke famously put it: "Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the rights of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence."

We should not be too hasty in dismissing Locke’s idea of lawful resistance. This is our classical liberal tradition of constitutional government and it firmly communicates that there cannot be one rule for some and another for the rest of us. To be sure, the only positive outcome from these protests is that the population are finally getting an insight into the real mentality of their ruling elites.

Federal, state, and territory leaders have been considerably exposed. The people have the basic right to demand the lifting of arbitrary restrictions and restoration of our individual rights and freedoms. We have sacrificed our freedoms. We have lost our jobs and businesses apparently for nothing. End these draconian restrictions right now or face the lawful (and constitutional) resistance of the people.

SOURCE

A comment received from a reader:

Consider My Personal Experiences, In Light Of The “Virus Crisis”.

In 2014, I Was Diagnosed With Sepsis (Documented By Blood Cultures) With Staph Aureus Epidermidis, An Almost Universal Skin Bactteria.
If I Died, It Would Be Recorded As A “Staph Aureus Epidermidis Death”.

In 2016, I Was Diagnosed With E Coli Sepsis.
Again, If I Died It Would Be Recorded As An “E Coli Death”.

In 2018, Following My Amputation, Some Corynobacteria, A Common Skin Bacteria, Were Cultured In The Bone Above The Amputation. If I Died, It May Have Been Recorded As A “Corynobacteria Death”, Even Though Repeated Blood Cultures  Were Negative. Recording This As A “Corynobacterium Death” Would Be An Error, Because I Never Had Sepsis By This Bug.

And, Likewise, When More “Testing” Is Done, It Appears That Almost Everyone Has Been “Exposed”. Few Are Even Sick, Yet All Tests Are Recorded.

This Author Puts It Into Words - Yes - It Is A “Hoax”.

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The Four Horsemen of America's Apocalypse

It takes a lot to build a civilization, and though it is much easier to destroy a civilization, it takes a lot to do that, too.

But now we have four roots of evil that are guaranteed to do so.

No. 1: Victimhood.

The first is victimhood. The more people who regard themselves as victims — as individuals or as a group — the more likely they are to commit evil. People who think of themselves as victims feel that, having been victimized, they are no longer bound by normal moral conventions — especially the moral conventions of their alleged or real oppressors.

Everyone knows this is true. But few confront this truth. Every parent, for example, knows that the child who thinks of him or herself as a perpetual victim is the child most likely to cause and get into trouble. And criminologists report that nearly every murderer in prison thinks of himself as a victim.

On a societal scale, the same holds true — and being on such a larger scale, the chances of real evil ensuing are exponentially increased. One of the most obvious examples is Germany after World War I. Most Germans regarded themselves as victims — of the Treaty of Versailles; of a “stab in the back” German government; of the British, Americans and French; and, of course, of the Jews. This sense of victimhood was one of the most important factors in the popularity of the Nazis, who promised to restore German dignity.

That millions of black Americans regard themselves as victims — probably more so today than at any time in the past 50 years — can only lead to disaster for America generally and for blacks specifically. While victims generally feel free to lash out at others, they also go through life angry and unhappy.

No. 2: Demonization.

The second of the four ingredients of this civilization-destroying witches’ brew is demonization — demonizing a group as inherently evil.

That is being done now with regard to the white people of America. All — again, (SET ITAL)all(END ITAL) — whites are declared racist. The only difference among them is that some admit it and some deny it. The notion that whites are inherently evil has long been associated with Louis Farrakhan. But it has apparently migrated out from his relatively small following to many blacks, even those who might consider Farrakhan a kook. Former President Barack Obama, hardly a Farrakhan follower, described America as having racism in its DNA. That is as close to inherently and irredeemably evil as it gets; you cannot change your DNA.

In that sense, not only are whites demonized, but America is, too. Unlike traditional liberals, the left regards America as a moral cesspool — not only racist but, according to The New York Times, founded to be so. The New York Times has created a history of America that declares its founding not in 1776 but in 1619, when the first black slaves arrived. The American Revolution was fought, according to this malign narrative, not merely for American independence but in order to preserve slavery, a practice the British would have interfered with. This “history” will now be taught in thousands of American schools.

The combination of victimhood and demonization alone is dangerous enough. But there are still two more horsemen galloping toward the looming apocalypse.

No. 3: A Cause To Believe In.

Most Americans throughout American history found great meaning in being American and in being religious — usually Christian. Since World War II, we have lived in a post-Christian, post-nationalist age. Until very recently, Americans would have found the expression “for God and country” deeply meaningful; that term today, on the left, is risible and execrable.

But people need something to believe in. The need for meaning is the greatest human need after the need for food. Leftism, with all its offshoots — feminism, environmentalism, Black Lives Matter, antifa — has filled that vacuum. In Europe, communism, fascism and Nazism filled the hole left by the demise of nationalism and Christianity. Here it is leftism and its offshoots.

No. 4: Lies.

The fourth and most important ingredient necessary for evil is lies. Lies are the root of evil. Ironically, slavery itself was made possible only because of the lie that the black was inferior to the white. Nazism was made possible thanks to the lie that Jews were not fully human. And communism was built on lies. Lenin, the father of Soviet Communism, named the Soviet communist newspaper “Truth” (“Pravda”) because truth was what the Communist Party said it was.

The New York Times, CNN and the rest of the mainstream “news” media are becoming our version of Pravda.

Objective truth doesn’t exist on the left. The universities have already declared “objective truth” as essentially an expression of “white privilege.” See what happens to a student who says in class, for example, that “men cannot give birth.”

The public self-debasement demanded of anyone who differs with the left — like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees just did when he said not standing for the national anthem desecrated the flag and those who have died for it — happens almost daily. The only difference between this and what dissidents underwent during Mao’s Cultural Revolution is that the self-debasement here is voluntary — thus far.
Last week, when this Jew saw a store in Santa Monica with a sign reading “black-owned business” so as to avoid being destroyed, it evoked chilling memories.

That’s how bad it is in America today.

SOURCE

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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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Who Can Save Us Now?

Sebastian Gorka

Long before the rampant violence of the past few weeks, wherever I traveled the country to speak publicly, I unfailingly would be asked the same question: “How did we get here?”

How has the freest nation in human history—the only one founded on the principle that all men are created equal because they are made in God’s image—arrive at the point where more than two-thirds of the millennial generation would prefer to live in a socialist or communist America?

Before the looting and the riots of recent days, my answer was the same and it hasn’t changed since the killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police officers.

How did we get here?

Sadly, we arrived at this deeply disturbing point because of a decadeslong campaign by the left and cultural elites to transform our country. They have indoctrinated generations of Americans into hating their own country through education, media, and institutions that once believed in the American ideal.

Unfortunately, despite noble efforts by a small number of conservative culture warriors, we have too often been stymied by the Republican political establishment. These political leaders have failed us, and they did so in multiple ways over multiple decades.

When and where did it begin? It began after the failure of the rioters the last time our streets were on fire and police stations were being razed to the ground.

In 1968 and ’69, the radical left went all in. From the University of Berkeley campus to the streets of Chicago, groups such as the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground were using violence to effect political change in the name of “justice” and “equality.” But they failed.

Despite the killings and the bombings, America didn’t turn into a Maoist utopia. Chicago’s “Days of Rage” fizzled out and their uprising resulted in a damp squib.

But what did the “revolutionaries” do? Did they surrender their radical dreams, did they fold up their Che T-shirts and donate them to the thrift store? No, they learned from the proponents of a subtler revolution, studied the method of the members of the Frankfurt School, and adopted the works of thinkers and activists such as Saul Alinsky, the grandfather of “community organizers.”

They realized that a culture and a society as robust in its classic traditional values as America can resist all forms of violent frontal assault and that the only what to dismantle it is from the inside. Thus, hardcore anti-American radicals such as the Weather Underground’s Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers, previously wanted by the FBI as domestic terrorists, made their way into our culture and wound up as college professors.

Yes, those who wished to destroy our nation were entrusted with shaping the minds of future generations. And this was allowed by establishment Republicans.

Nor was it just the college campuses that became centers for America-bashing indoctrination. Those who had failed to set the country ablaze set to work sabotaging the minds of our children in far subtler ways. And when fellow radical Howard Zinn wrote his 1980 book “A People’s History of the United States,” they had all the ammunition they needed.

Zinn was an unrepentant socialist, a man who saw the world through the Marxist lens of class struggle, with the population of the globe divided between victim groups—usually people of color—and the oppressor, exclusively white. And the worst imperialist oppressor of all? America, of course.

That was Zinn’s message and it suffused his book, which would have been fine had it stayed in the “class struggle” section of bookstores in San Francisco. But it didn’t.

Zinn’s America-hating screed would, thanks to the assiduous work of fellow travelers on school boards and in teachers unions across the country, become the most popular textbook of American history in our schools.

Consequently, for two generations, our children were taught that whatever the ill—poverty in Africa, environmental degradation of the Amazon, international terrorism—it was an imperialist America built on slavery that was invariably the root cause.

Labor camps in the Soviet Union? America’s fault because of our desire to “encircle” and destroy Russia. Communist China oppressing ethnic and religious minorities? America’s fault because we weren’t opening up trade relations rapidly enough with the dictators of Beijing. Religious oppression of the great people of Persia by the blood-soaked murderers of Iran’s Islamist regime? America’s fault because we shouldn’t have helped Iraq after the fall of the shah.

And on and on and on.

What did most of the Republican establishment do? Nothing. Of course, some brave souls said enough is enough and took their children back to school them at home.

But what did the party do collectively to stop the indoctrination of more than two generations in America’s schools and universities? Nothing. In fact, most of us kept writing those checks to our alma maters because, well, didn’t I have a good time in college?

What did establishment Republicans do as Alinskyite tactics were deployed across the other key elements of our culture? From taxpayer-funded NPR’s becoming a literal mouthpiece for the Democrat Party, daily parroting left-wing talking points, to Hollywood’s shifting from being the maker of incredible pro-liberty and pro-America movies such as “Casablanca,” “Sergeant York,” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” to being a mill for conservative-bashing agitprop films by Oliver Stone, Sean Penn, and Michael Moore?

What did the establishment do as the subtly biased news media of the Cronkite years devolved into a rabid, festering pile of leftist propaganda that would side openly with rioters, call white men the greatest danger to America, and label the incumbent president a Kremlin asset for four years straight?

What did each of us do to take back our republic? Did we even really understand what the late great Andrew Breitbart taught us when he warned us that “politics is downstream from culture?”

Conservatives have the facts on our side; indeed, we have the truth on our side. But does that matter? Commentator and radio host Ben Shapiro has built a career on the commonsense motto: “Facts don’t care about your feelings.” (Actually, facts don’t care about anything).

But so what? We live in an age when young Americans are so emotionally driven that they are actually proud to be called “snowflakes,” ready to melt if challenged.

Facts matter, but only so much if you can’t emotionally connect with the audience you wish to win over. Those who aren’t looting Saks Fifth Avenue or stores that sell Nike shoes but actually are marching for George Floyd believe America is systematically racist and feel that they are being virtuous by chanting “No Justice, No Peace!” and “Defund the Police!”

As conservatives, we have to win them over to our side with arguments that resonate as much as those empty yet radical slogans do. Our Founding Fathers knew how to do that, the men who pledged not only their possessions and their lives to justice and peace, but also their “sacred honor” to our nascent republic.

Is the conservative movement ready to do that? Do we have the tools necessary to win over the disaffected and the apolitical before the extremists win?

The window is short, my friends. We can do this, but we must get serious now.

The left has only division and anarchy to offer. Conservatives have answers that work.

SOURCE

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Uruguay’s Freer Approach Has Severely Limited the Pandemic While Protecting the Economy

We are not talking enough about Uruguay. That small South American country boasts impressive results in its handling of the coronavirus. It is also signaling that it wants to prosper and that it understands more freedom might be the way to go about it.

Under president Luis Lacalle Pou, Uruguay has suffered a very low number of deaths from coronavirus (23 as of June 15) and the number of confirmed cases (848) is small. At no point did the government decree a national quarantine, preferring instead to let individual responsibility, guided by accurate and transparent information that originated from a team of scientists and experts, do the trick.

Rather than shut down the economy (80 percent of it kept going) and send the police or the military to arrest people, as was done in some other countries, the authorities, in coordination with civil society, put an emphasis on testing (proportionally, they are only behind South Korea in the number of tests as a percentage of confirmed cases) and briefly isolating those who had Covid-19. The external borders were shut, but the internal borders were kept open.

Uruguay’s government made it clear it would not fund its fiscal response to the trying circumstances through money-printing, large debts or higher taxation, but through reductions in public spending, particularly the money paid to politicians. There was pressure from within the governing coalition and the powerful left-wing opposition known as Frente Amplio (Broad Front) to engage in huge fiscal profligacy and make businesses pay for it, but President Lacalle explained that it was from private enterprise and capital that the economy would come back and that strangling businesses with regulations and more taxes would hinder that effort.

Wasting little time, Uruguay has announced a campaign to attract foreigners by making it much easier for them to become a fiscal resident of their country. Those who take up residence in Uruguay will not pay taxes for five years, after which time they will not have to pay a wealth tax on their foreign holdings and will only pay an income tax of 12 percent on the gains obtained from those assets. The fear in neighboring Argentina, where a demagogic government is destroying an economy that was already in dire straits, is that 44 million Argentines—the entire population—will settle across the border. (Uruguay has a population of only 3.4 million.)

When President Lacalle took office less than four months ago, the odds did not point in the best direction. He inherited a significant fiscal deficit and an economy that was barely growing. He governs with the help of a broad coalition that includes a range of ideas and interests, and whose backbone is made up of two traditional parties that have not shed all of their old ways. On top of that, the left, which held power for fifteen years before Lacalle defeated them, did much better than expected in the runoff election and continues to exert enormous pressure on the political system.

To top it all, only days after he took office, Lacalle had to deal, as had everyone else around the world, with the worst pandemic in generations. It is admirable that he was able to keep his cool throughout this crisis and, more importantly, that the crisis has only strengthened his resolve to put common sense back at the center of Uruguay’s politics and economy.

Uruguay was a highly developed country in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There is no reason why it cannot become Latin America’s great success story in Latin America in the way Portugal has become Europe’s shining star in recent years. Having so many times been disappointed by promising governments, I will keep my fingers firmly crossed for them.

SOURCE

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Racism: Symbolism vs. Substance

Which party is the party of racism today? Which party offers real solutions to real problems?  And which party offers symbolism over substance? “While Democrats have long postured as defenders of black Americans, a closer look at their actions shows there’s a lot of the symbolism but very little of the substance.”

When black entrepreneurs are having their businesses destroyed by rioters and looters, what do Democrats do?  They do their best to divert attention away from the fact that the problems faced by black Americans in our major cities have been caused by Democrat politicians who have run these cities for decades and decades. They don’t want to talk about that, and they make no attempt to solve the problems. Instead, like Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, they offer symbolism over substance.  They divert attention away from the problems they have caused.  They do this by talking about taking down statues, changing the names of streets, changing the names of military bases, or removing statues from the United States Capitol.  They do this knowing full well that not one of these things will in any way help the plight of black Americans struggling to escape poverty. But because they have the support of the news media, they are able to divert attention away from these calamities they have caused. 

They don’t want black Americans to ever know that it is Democrat politicians who pour millions of tax dollars into Planned Parenthood that targets black babies for abortion. They don’t want African Americans to realize that it is Democrats who stand in the school house door blocking high performance choice schools for black children. This is perhaps their most heinous sin of all, keeping a poor black child from the one thing that will help him escape poverty, a good education.

Democrats also don’t want you to know that they are the ones in these big cities that create beauty salon, barber shop, and taxi monopolies that exclude or set impossibly high barriers of entry for black entrepreneurs.

They don’t want black Americans to know that they are the ones who seek to drive up the cost of energy, thus making it extremely hard to escape poverty. Democrats fear that black Americans will learn it is Democrat policies in these big cities that deny law-abiding black Americans their constitutional right of self-defense. And they certainly don’t want black Americans to know that Democrats are responsible for flooding the job market with illegal aliens who take jobs from black Americans and drive down their wages.

Our question is: If the Democrats really, truly care about black Americans, why do they support Planned Parenthood, block good schools for black children, drive up the cost of energy through support for a pie-in-the-sky “Green New Deal”, deny Second Amendment rights, and allow illegal immigrants to take black jobs and drive down their wages?

Excuse us, but when the Democrats do these things and know the consequences, isn’t that racism?  How else can you define it?  And when you use the power of government to do these things, isn’t that systemic racism?  By any fair and honest measurement, today’s Democratic Party is the home of racism in America today. 

Little has been done by Democratic presidents to help black Americans.  For eight years President Obama talked about prison reform, but President Trump did it in his first term.  Not only did Donald Trump sign prison reform into law, he combined that with job training and jobs for newly released non-violent and non-sexual black felons. 

Additionally, Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress dramatically cut taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, appointed judges who believe in the Constitution, slashed regulations, and reduced taxes making it possible for black entrepreneurship to grow by 400% between 2017 and 2018.

Even more significantly, Donald Trump implemented economic policies that created the lowest black unemployment in recorded history. He created enterprise zones that brought job opportunities closer to where black Americans live. He pushed hard against the Democrat opposition to putting top notch choice schools in black communities. And he dramatically expanded support for historic black colleges and universities (HBCUs).  As pastor Darrell Scott said of Trump, he is “the most pro-black president that we've had in our lifetime.”

From Ralph Northam and Nancy Pelosi, all black Americans get is symbolism.  From Donald Trump black Americans get results, real substance. In the election this fall, black Americans will have an opportunity to choose. What will it be? Symbolism or substance?

SOURCE

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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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

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Monday, June 29, 2020


Masks Increase Co2 Levels - making you Dumber

I don't know the political breakdown, but top health and political authorities in various states are mandating that masks be worn, even when the number of COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Deaths are declining. Here in Democrat-controlled Illinois, wearing a facemask is required, through all 4 phases of reopening the state.

Presidential Candidate Joe Biden said yesterday that we will probably have to wear masks for at least another year, as a "new normal", in order to protect ourselves and others.

All the emphasis and mandates regarding wearing a face-mask, comes from the same "people" who shut down the country over a virus that kills only 1.4% of the people who contract it.

Sure enough, there has been quite a bit of research on the subject, due to so many complaints of mental and physiological problems from workers in careers where masks are worn a lot. (Medical, Painting, Construction, etc..)

Findings Summary from a Study on N-95 face masks:

The results show that above 60% of inspired air is respired air in case I (wearing a mask), compared to less than 1.2% in case II (not wearing a mask).

In conclusion, the N95 respirator trapped respired air within the respirator which increased the VOF of respired air during inspiration. This might be one of the major contributors to elevated carbon dioxide level while wearing N95 respirator.

Full Study here

MOST IMPORTANTLY...This study explains what happens to us after repeated stints of Carbon Dioxide(CO2)/less Oxygen(O2) Inhalation:

Participants were tested on their cognitive abilities each day at about 3 pm. They were given real life situations (an example of a situation: if you were to be the mayor of the town what changes would you bring to your town) and the answers were later analyzed using software. The nine parameters that the participants were tested were:

* The ability to make decisions at any given time
* The capability to make decisions that achieved the desired goal
* The capacity to pay attention to surroundings
* The capability of completing given tasks
* The capacity to respond to an emergency
* The ability to gather information
* The ability to use the gathered information for the given goals
* The capacity to make decisions using a variety of options along with multiple dimensions
* The capacity of complex thinking

The results of the study were amazing.

Participants experiencing the elevated CO2 levels were found to have significant difficulty with their decision making abilities and thinking capabilities.

So what is the reason behind the impairments of the cognitive ability?

Increased level of CO2 in the blood decreases the cerebral metabolism of oxygen. In simple words, the brain becomes oxygen deprived and has an impact on our thinking abilities.

Carbon dioxide dissolves in our blood and reacts with the water in our blood to create carbonic acid. This, in turn, dissolves into ions of hydrogen and bicarbonate. If there is an increase in the concentration of hydrogen ions in our blood the blood acidity level increases and creates electrolyte imbalance, causing decline in intellectual performance.

With increased CO2 levels, a decrease in the IQ by even 5 points will bring a lot more people into the ‘mentally handicapped’ range, unless corrective action is taken immediately.

Google does not let you see the above articles unless you filter out (not show) any search results after 12/31/2019. All the articles/studies this year describe how great face masks are for us! No ill effects whatsoever.

Word to the wise...If there are rules/laws mandating face masks where you live, only wear it when necessary. Save those brain cells. Keep your independent critical-thinking abilities in tip-top shape! (We will need them if our leaders push things too far.)

SOURCE

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Initial COVID-19 infection rate may be 80 times greater than originally reported

Many epidemiologists believe that the initial COVID-19 infection rate was undercounted due to testing issues, asymptomatic and alternatively symptomatic individuals, and a failure to identify early cases.

Now, a new study from Penn State estimates that the number of early COVID-19 cases in the U.S. may have been more than 80 times greater and doubled nearly twice as fast as originally believed.

In a paper published today (June 22) in the journal Science Translational Medicine, researchers estimated the detection rate of symptomatic COVID-19 cases using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza-like illnesses (ILI) surveillance data over a three week period in March 2020.

“We analyzed each state’s ILI cases to estimate the number that could not be attributed to influenza and were in excess of seasonal baseline levels,” said Justin Silverman, assistant professor in Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology and Department of Medicine. “When you subtract these out, you’re left with what we're calling excess ILI – cases that can't be explained by either influenza or the typical seasonal variation of respiratory pathogens.”

The researchers found that the excess ILI showed a nearly perfect correlation with the spread of COVID-19 around the country.

Said Silverman, “This suggests that ILI data is capturing COVID cases, and there appears to be a much greater undiagnosed population than originally thought.”

Remarkably, the size of the observed surge of excess ILI corresponds to more than 8.7 million new cases during the last three weeks of March, compared to the roughly 100,000 cases that were officially reported during the same time period.

“At first, I couldn’t believe our estimates were correct,” said Silverman. “But we realized that deaths across the U.S. had been doubling every three days and that our estimate of the infection rate was consistent with three-day doubling since the first observed case was reported in Washington state on Jan. 15.”

The researchers also used this process to estimate infection rates for each state, noting that states showing higher per capita rates of infection also had higher per capita rates of a surge in excess ILI. Their estimates showed rates much higher than initially reported but closer to those found once states began completing antibody testing.

In New York, for example, the researchers’ model suggested that at least 9% of the state’s entire population was infected by the end of March. After the state conducted antibody testing on 3,000 residents, they found a 13.9% infection rate, or 2.7 million New Yorkers.

Excess ILI appears to have peaked in mid-March as, the researchers suggest, fewer patients with mild symptoms sought care and states implemented interventions which led to lower transmission rates. Nearly half of the states in the country were under stay-at-home orders by March 28.

The findings suggest an alternative way of thinking about the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our results suggest that the overwhelming effects of COVID-19 may have less to do with the virus’ lethality and more to do with how quickly it was able to spread through communities initially,” Silverman explained. “A lower fatality rate coupled with a higher prevalence of disease and rapid growth of regional epidemics provides an alternative explanation to the large number of deaths and overcrowding of hospitals we have seen in certain areas of the world.”

SOURCE

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Black businessman says 'black people laugh at white people' toppling statues

BET founder Robert Johnson during a Wednesday interview with Fox News described people toppling statues as "borderline anarchists" and pushed back against the idea that black people support such behavior, suggesting instead that they "laugh" at those who knock down the statues.

"You know black people, in my opinion, black people laugh at white people who do this, the same way we laugh at white people who say we got to take off the TV shows," he said mentioning the "Dukes of Hazard," a decades-old television program that has come under fire for featuring a car emblazoned with a Confederate flag graphic.

He pointed out that knocking over a statue will not "close the wealth gap," "give a kid whose parent's can't afford a college money to go to college," "close the labor gap between what white workers are paid and what black workers are paid" or "take people off welfare or food stamps."

Johnson said that whites who seek to "assuage guilt by doing things that make them feel good" would be much more reluctant to support payments for blacks.

Referring to actions such as "changing names, toppling statues, [and] firing professors because they said all lives matter," Johnson explained that "it just shows to me that white America is continually ... incapable of recognizing that black people have their own ideas and thought about what's in their best interests."

He suggested that black people should be consulted before people take actions like tearing down statues or firing someone for a comment they have made.

"Give us the belief that you respect our opinion. You go out and do something and destroy something, fire somebody because you think it hurts us. Why don't you ask us first if it hurts us before you go and say 'Oh, I gotta do something for the negroes to make them feel better.' Well ask us if we want you to do that to make us feel better," he said.

Johnson likened white people's actions attempting to make black people "feel good" to "rearranging the deck chairs on a racial Titanic. It absolutely means nothing," he said.

Johnson's comments come as debates rage across the country in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd—in some cases protestors have defaced and toppled statues. President Trump has come out against changing the names of military installations named after Confederate leaders

SOURCE

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IN BRIEF

Trump administration urges end to ObamaCare, which the media inevitably links to a heartless view of pandemic sufferers (AP)

Joe Biden campaign to limit contact with foreign governments now that Hunter Biden's windfall from foreign governments is politically injurious (Washington Examiner)

Government watchdog finds over one million relief checks were sent to dead people (National Review)

At Mayor Bill de Blasio's behest, "Black Lives Matter" will be painted on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower (The New York Times)

CBP chief says 95% of illegal immigrants are being returned rather than detained (Fox News)

"Tide is turning against Huawei": Companies eschew Chinese telecom over espionage fears (Washington Examiner)

Russian criminal group finds new target: Americans working at home (The New York Times)

Governors of Texas, Florida, and New Mexico pause reopening amid surge in cases (Washington Examiner)

In Washington State, not wearing a face mask will be a misdemeanor (People)

Pregnant women are five times more likely to be hospitalized (USA Today)

Verizon joins list of companies pulling adds from Facebook over its failure to crack down on "hate speech" — which is ultimately about silencing conservatives (UK Daily Mail)

Americans rush to start businesses, stoking optimism for a rebound (Bloomberg)

Microsoft is permanently closing its retail stores (CNBC)

The Fed said in a release that big banks will be required to suspend share buybacks and cap dividend payments at their current level for the third quarter of this year (CNBC)

Oil and gas firms suffer "significant contraction" in second-quarter activity (Fox Business)

Colorado reexamines black man's 2019 death in police custody (AP)

"Police are a real risk," claims Washington school district severing ties with law enforcement (The Daily Wire)

Racism solved: The Dixie Chicks officially change their name to The Chicks (AP)

Racism ultra solved: John Lennon's "Imagine" tops list of woke national anthem alternatives (The Washington Free Beacon)

Four out of every five Americans reject spending "taxpayer money to pay damages to descendants of enslaved people in the United States" (Reuters)

Protesters plan to topple Emancipation Memorial Friday evening despite new protective fence (Washington Examiner)

It's estimated that 6% of adults have attended a protest in the last month (Pew Research Center)

China, Russia rank as worst offenders in human trafficking (The Washington Free Beacon)

Policy: Public education has gone "woke" (Newsweek)

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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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is hereHome page supplement

**************************



Sunday, June 28, 2020



Sweden turns on WHO for saying it had suffered 'very significant resurgence' of Covid-19

Sweden's state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell has hit back at the World Health Organization after it included Sweden in a group of countries facing "a very significance resurgence" of coronavirus infections.

Mr Tegnell, who has in recent months become one of the world's most high profile and divisive epidemiologists, said: "That is, unfortunately, a total misinterpretation of the data."

"It's very unfortunate that people lump Sweden together with countries that earlier have had no problem at all and are now apparently at the start of their epidemic," he told Sweden's state broadcaster SVT.

Hans Kluge, the WHO's Regional Director for Europe, on Thursday named Sweden in a list of eleven problem countries, the rest of which were all in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, or Central Asia, which are facing "accelerated transmission" of infection.

More HERE 

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Britons ignoring the rules

 

Even the meek and obedient Brits have their limits

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that the Government has powers to close public areas such as beaches if social distancing rules are not being observed

Mr Hancock's comments come after Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council declared a "major incident" after thousands of people defied advice to stay away and descended on beaches in Dorset on the hottest day of the year so far.

Services were described as having been left "completely overstretched" as visitors arrived in large volumes, and the council said there had been "a number of incidents reported which involved excessive alcohol and fights"

Asked if he would consider shutting some beaches in extreme cases after scenes in Bournemouth, Mr Hancock told TalkRadio: "Well, we do have that power. I am reluctant to use it because people have had a pretty tough lockdown.

"Everybody should be able to enjoy the sunshine. The key is to do it with respect. Stay with your households. Stay a good distance from other households. Outside is safer than inside. So, you have got to respect the rules. Respect the fact that social distancing is still important.

"We do have those powers - and if we see a spike in the number of cases, then we will take action."

SOURCE

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Strange and debilitating coronavirus symptoms can last for months

WITHIN 24 hours of asking an online covid-19 support group if anyone had been experiencing prolonged or unusual symptoms, I had been messaged by 140 people. The list was mind-boggling and deeply upsetting. “I feel like I’m in the middle of a waking nightmare,” said Zoe Wall, who was previously fit and healthy. Two months after developing covid-19-like symptoms, she was still experiencing chest pains and “fatigue beyond description”.

Harry’s symptoms started with a terrible headache and itchy body, followed by shortness of breath. He was still experiencing breathing difficulties, chest pain, numbness in his arm and bloating 10 weeks later. Jenn had had no sense of smell or taste since testing positive for covid-19 on 31 March. Abbi had minimal respiratory symptoms, but very bad gastric ones and lost 19 kilograms in two months. Others reported fatigue, headaches, tingling fingertips and brain fog.

As the months tick by since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and we learn more about covid-19, it is becoming increasingly evident that even mild cases can have distressing and long-lasting effects. “There’s clearly something going on here. It is not their imagination or hypochondria. It doesn’t even seem to be linked to how severely they had the disease, as far as I can see,” says Danny Altmann, an immunologist at Imperial College London. All this means we need to rethink how we diagnose and treat covid-19. The long list of symptoms also seems to suggest there might even be several subtypes of the disease, which could help us predict which cases will become serious.

SOURCE

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Newborn triplets in Mexico infected with coronavirus

I think this shows how inaccurate testing is

Mexican health authorities are baffled by how a set of newborn triplets became infected with coronavirus even though neither of their parents tested positive for the virus. Health authorities called the case “unheard of”.

The triplets, a girl and two boys, were tested four hours after being born last week in the central state of San Luis Potosi, health authorities said.

Initially, health authorities said the mother was believed to be an asymptomatic carrier of the virus.

But her tests later showed that neither she nor the father were infected.

“The parents’ results are negative, which catches our attention,” Health Secretary for the state Monica Rangel said during a news conference on Tuesday.

“We specifically requested since yesterday … that a group of experts investigates the case.” Two of the babies born on June 17 are in good health and show no symptoms of COVID-19, doctors treating the triplets said, while the third one has pneumonia but is in stable condition.

Ms Rangel said the triplets will remain hospitalised and under observation.

Mexico has reported more than 203,000 coronavirus cases and over 25,000 deaths – the seventh highest number of deaths globally.

SOURCE

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Supreme Court Sides with Trump Administration on Expediting Deportations

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that asylum seekers do not have the right to a federal court hearing before being deported in *name.* The 7-2 decision is a decisive win for the Trump administration’s immigration policy, and allows for the fast-tracked removal of noncitizens. The majority opinion is backed by the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IRIRA) composed a system to deem asylum cases as meritless or fraudulent with limited judicial review.

The court ruled that the IRIRA, does not violate the Constitution’s Suspension Clause, which protects habeas corpus and gives the court jurisdiction to deem a person worthy of release from illegal detention.

The majority opinion, authored by Justice Alito, held that the respondent did not seek release, but rather a reprieve from his removal order. The high court overturned an original ruling from the Ninth Circuit:

“[The] respondent did not ask to be released.13 Instead, he sought entirely different relief: vacatur of his “removal order” and “an order directing [the Department] to provide him with a new. . .opportunity to apply for asylum and other relief from removal,” the justices wrote. “the historic role of habeas is to secure release from custody, the Ninth Circuit did not suggest that release, at least in the traditional sense of the term,14 was required. Instead, what it found to be necessary was a “meaningful opportunity” for review of the procedures used in determining that [the] respondent did not have a credible fear of persecution.”

 SOURCE

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RNC Gets Win in Florida Elections Lawsuit

When the RNC saw that Democrats were trying to abolish a state law in Florida to allow ballots to be counted after Election Day and to prohibit the state’s ban on ballot harvesting, they had to intervene.

As it turns out, it was a President Bill Clinton-appointed judge who gave the Republicans the victory. In his ruling in Nielsen v. DeSantis, Judge Robert Hinkle noted that "the plaintiffs have not shown likely success on the merits" of their case. He explained why it's imperative for the state law to remain intact.

"This eliminates the problem of missing, unclear, or even altered postmarks, eliminates delay that can have adverse consequences, and eliminates the remote possibility that in an extremely close election—Florida has had some—a person who did not vote on or before election day can fill out and submit a ballot later," Hinkle said.

SOURCE

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IN BRIEF

The nefarious UN Humans Rights Council will "prepare a report on systemic racism, violations of international human rights law against Africans and people of African descent by law enforcement agencies" (Power Line)

Shootings, violence jump in Seattle, Minneapolis, New York City, and Chicago — cities where mayors have restrained the police (The Federalist)

"We do not want that history erased": Family of black woman who portrayed Aunt Jemima opposes move to change brand (KLTV)

In Portland, an American flag was used to set a George Washington statue ablaze (Power Line)

Ulysses S. Grant and Francis Scott Key Statues pulled down in San Francisco (The Daily Caller)

Vandals pull down and burn Washington, DC's sole statue of a Confederate general (AP)

Theodore Roosevelt statue to be removed from Museum of Natural History (The New York Times)

Hundreds test positive at Tyson Foods plant in Arkansas, most asymptomatic (National Review)

South Korea is fighting a second wave of infections, which it attributes to a holiday weekend in May (National Review)

Libyan refugee murders three and wounds several others in UK knifing rampage (The Telegraph)

International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran is engaged in secret nuclear work (The Washington Free Beacon)

Nineteen black Americans explain why they're conservative (The Daily Signal)

"The results of the investigation justified the relief": Navy upholds firing of former USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier, who warned of coronavirus outbreak on ship (National Review)

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is tracking more than 860 institutions' plans, two-thirds of colleges are planning to welcome back students in person, while only 7% are planning to hold classes only online (USA Today)

Biden campaign commits to three brutal debates (The Daily Caller)

Trump signs executive order suspending certain work visas through 2020 (The Hill)

Congressional Democrats sign letter demanding Education Department allow males in girls sports (National Review)

Ex-CNN "reporters" now work for the Chinese Communist Party's propaganda outfit, CGTN (The National Pulse)

New York Times taps Intercept alum and bona fide leftist to manage editorial page (The Washington Free Beacon)

Federal Communications Commission shuts down radio station run by Chinese propaganda outlet Phoenix TV (The Washington Free Beacon)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brands four Chinese state media outlets "foreign missions" (Washington Examiner)

Army soldier accused of planning attack on his own unit, giving classified info to Neo-Nazi group (Task & Purpose)

Texas Governor Greg Abbott says tougher anti-COVID restrictions might come back (Washington Examiner)

Coronavirus cases are increasing, but deaths aren't (Axios)

More evidence that lack of vitamin D is linked to COVID-19 severity (Relaxnews)

FDA warns nine hand sanitizers may contain a potentially fatal ingredient (USA Today)

Dutch doctor exonerated after euthanizing an unwilling patient (The Federalist)

Policy: Amid the pandemic and anti-racism protests, school choice can be so much more (Washington Examiner)

Policy: Americans want to own their retirement, not expand Social Security (American Enterprise Institute)

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