Friday, June 19, 2020

UK: Around the world, other countries are opening up with no adverse effects. Why do we think we will be the exception?

Karol Sikora

To some people, a second wave of this pandemic more powerful and deadly than the first is an inevitability. So, hospitals have been instructed to prepare to increase critical care capacity. The Nightingales are ready to re-open. A much more rigid lockdown may be necessary in September. Waiting lists will exceed 10 million for the first time in history.

To even question the strategy is considered blasphemy. And yes, I know predictions are tricky. And the vaccine strategy is not looking good. But despite that, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Just look around the world. In Wuhan, China has tested 10 million residents and found no new cases. A minor outbreak in Beijing is being effectively controlled. In South Korea and Japan, it’s all over, and life is getting back to normal. In the West, countries like Austria and Denmark, which eased their lockdowns two months ago, have seen further declines in infections, with no spikes. The same can be said for Italy, Spain and France, just weeks ahead on their coronavirus journey. Schools are back; restaurants and bars are open. City squares all over Europe are buzzing again



Sweden passes 5,000 coronavirus deaths amid criticism of its lockdown-free strategy – but its death rate per million is STILL behind the UK

Sweden has passed the grim mark of 5,000 coronavirus deaths today as cracks began to emerge in the political consensus the government has until now enjoyed over its softer approach.

The Public Health Agency said it had recorded 5,041 Covid-19 deaths, giving it the world's fifth highest death rate at 499.1 per million inhabitants.

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, a Social Democrat, insisted in a weekend televised interview that hospitalistions were down sharply and Sweden's strategy of not locking down 'was not a failure'.

The country's leader went on to say that the large share of deaths in elderly care homes 'has nothing to do with the strategy. 'It has to do with failings in society that we are correcting,' including basic hygiene deficiencies in many care homes, he added.

Sweden's political circles broadly supported the decision to not lock down, as did the general population.

But there has been growing criticism in recent weeks over the government's struggles to get mass testing off the ground, which only began in earnest this week.

Parties on the right have also accused the government of hiding behind public health experts and failing to take responsibility in the crisis.

'A leader has to step forward, but Lofven took a step back,' Ebba Thor, the head of the Christian Democrats, said during a recent party leader debate.

The Liberals' parliamentary leader, Johan Pehrson, said Sweden's softer approach 'may have contributed to the high death toll', while the head of the conservative Moderate Party, Ulf Kristersson, has called for a commission to be appointed immediately to probe the government's handling of the crisis.

Swedish officials have stressed that the situation has vastly improved in recent weeks, despite the dire death toll.

The Public Health Agency said the country of 10.3 million had 54,562 confirmed cases on Wednesday, a high infection rate, but said the large majority of new cases were mild ones recorded after testing began to ramp up several weeks ago.

The number of hospitalisations and intensive care patients had gone down dramatically since hitting a peak in April, officials said.

According to the Swedish Intensive Care Registry, there were on Wednesday a total of 218 COVID-19 patients in intensive care units, compared to a peak of 558 on April 25-26.

Doctors in the country also confirmed that their COVID-19 units had passed the peak. 'The number of patients has gone down dramatically,' Lars Falk, head of the ECMO unit at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, told AFP. 'There are much fewer patients needing ICU care than a couple of weeks ago,' he said.

Anders Tegnell, chief epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency, who has become the face of Sweden's strategy, has repeatedly insisted that lockdowns do not work. Once countries lift their restrictions and normal routines resume, the virus will begin to circulate again, he said. 'You can't eliminate the virus entirely in the long-run,' he told reporters on Tuesday.

Another scientific study published on Wednesday by the Public Health Agency showed that the infection fatality rate in Stockholm for those aged 69 and under was 0.1 percent, and 4.3 percent for those aged 70 and over. That study examined 1,667 people infected with the virus during March 21-30.

The figures come as Britain today announced another 184 deaths from Covid-19, taking the country's total number of lab-confirmed victims past the 42,000-mark.

Department of Health statistics show the daily number of fatalities has dropped 25 per cent in a week, with 245 posted across all settings last Wednesday. Some 233 deaths were recorded yesterday.



Poor Black Communities Devastated After BLM Riots Lead to New Food Deserts

BLM creates poverty and food deserts wherever they go
Weeks of civil unrest, rioting, and looting by Black Lives Matter and antifa agitators in some of the poorest areas of the country have resulted in devastating consequences for the residents, who are mostly black or minority. A video was taken by a woman in an undisclosed location. As she walks through her neighborhood grocery store in tears she describes the wreckage as she looks for milk for her children. “Look at this. Every grocery store looks like this,” she said. “Everything is either on the floor…look at this. I came into the store to buy something because I’m not a thief,” she said. People who already couldn’t feed their kids, now they really can’t feed their kids,” she cried. “I am so devastated right now.”

“We couldn’t even find tissue less than two months ago and now it’s on the floor,” she said as she surveyed the damage. “I feel like an animal and black people made me feel like an animal. Y’all did that!” She continued to berate the rioters, “This is what we’re fighting for…we’re so black and proud that we ain’t never going to be honest and be real about what’s really going on. Y’all are so wrong for this.”

Making black people drive out of state to buy food is….progress?
Neighborhoods near where I grew up outside of Chicago are devastated. One of my friends who lives on the south side of Chicago told me she and her husband have to drive to Indiana to get groceries now. There isn’t a grocery store anywhere near them that hasn’t been destroyed. She’s one of the lucky ones because she has a car. Many in her neighborhood don’t have transportation and they have no options to get to food stores now.

We have been berated and shamed for not supporting Black Lives Matter as an organization and “social movement,” but which is the more racist position: supporting the looting and burning of black neighborhoods where black people will suffer the consequences of more poverty, or supporting law and order and the protection of those neighborhoods and resources?

I’m getting the distinct impression that if you support the protection of these neighborhoods from criminals you are a terrible, no good, rotten, racist who can be fired from your job just for criticizing BLM. But if you support the crime syndicate that destroyed this woman’s grocery store and stores in poor black neighborhood’s all over American cities, you are a virtuous member of society who cannot and will not suffer any consequences for your beliefs that lead to the devastation that black people will now suffer.

BLM is the white leftist’s free pass out of responsibility for food deserts
All one has to do these days to be considered a good and non-racist white person is put a sign in your yard supporting BLM and their ruinous tactics that are hurting black families, keeping food off the shelves, and even milk from babies. It doesn’t matter that the people you support are actually terrorizing black neighborhoods and black mothers like the one in the video. You are allowed to support them openly, agitate with them, support them financially, and prop them up with legitimacy as they burn, loot, and destroy black livelihoods. This gives you the protection to point your fingers at those of us who think it’s a moral injustice to target black people through the destruction of their neighborhoods and call us, inexplicably, racists.

If you are a person who believes that grocery stores in minority neighborhoods should be protected by police, that the poor people living there should be protected from violence and civil unrest, you’re a bad person. Is everyone paying attention? This is the accepted philosophy of our time. If people don’t wake up in the neighborhoods that were just destroyed by agitators pretending to care about minority rights, there is no hope for America.

Republicans aren’t the answer for everything and in general, are feckless and ineffective legislators. They’re terrible at messaging, they don’t know how to deal with controversy and they bend over way too easily to Democrat pressure. But they have never supported the destruction of any neighborhoods by lawless criminals. The majority of Republican-run areas did not get looted and burned. They protected their communities from violence and terror. The Democrat strongholds did not. Remember that when you vote next time.




Fed-up black business owners wrestle with "defund the police" (Washington Examiner)

Starbucks caves to Social Justice Warriors, will allow employees to wear Black Lives Matter clothing after boycott campaign (National Review)

More than 1,300 Chinese medical suppliers falsified registration information to sell in the U.S. (Washington Examiner)

Amazon is fielding probes from California and Washington over trade practices (Gizmodo)

Oregon governor temporarily halts state's reopening (The Daily Caller)

Illegal immigration rose nearly 40% amid coronavirus reopenings (The Washington Times)

"Faded away into a dark nightmare": North Korea says diplomacy with Trump has failed (USA Today)

Seattle's "autonomous zone" and the Paris Commune of 1871 are ominously similar (Foundation for Economic Education)

Study finds mask-wearing "most effective means to prevent interhuman transmission" (Washington Examiner)

London police call for protest ban after 23 officers injured during demonstrations (Washington Examiner)

Policy: Democrats accidentally make the case against teachers' unions (Issues & Insights)

Adding insult to injury, the Supreme Court refuses to hear Trump administration challenge to California sanctuary law (National Review)

"Looking the other way": Justice Clarence Thomas accuses his colleagues of dodging gun cases (The Washington Free Beacon)

President Trump is considering a new $1 trillion infrastructure "stimulus" plan (Business Insider)

Joe Biden and the DNC raise over $80 million in May, their biggest monthly haul of 2020 race (CNBC)

Trump campaign and the RNC raise $14 million on Trump's birthday, breaking fundraising record (The Daily Caller)

Dow rallies after record retail sales jump of 17.7% in May (CNBC)

Facing huge budget gaps, governments have furloughed or laid off more than 1.5 million workers (The New York Times)

Research finds lockdowns are far worse for health and lives than coronavirus (The Federalist)

"No question it is going to make it harder to defend our religious freedom, as far as an organization being able to hire people of like mind": Conservative Christians concerned over "seismic implications" of Supreme Court ruling (The New York Times)

NYPD commissioner disbands plainclothes anti-crime units (FOX 5)

Orthodox Jews cut locks on closed New York City park to let children play (Washington Examiner)

Patients with underlying conditions were 12 times as likely to die of coronavirus as otherwise healthy people, CDC finds (The Washington Post)

Mutation in new coronavirus increases chance of infection (Reuters)

Mayor Bill de Blasio's "contact tracing team" isn't allowed to ask patients if they attended a protest (The Daily Caller)

Justice Department schedules first federal executions since 2003 for convicted child murderers (Washington Examiner)

NOAA leaders violated agency ethics code in "Sharpiegate," independent panel finds (Washington Examiner)

Supreme Court validates LGBT protections on grounds LGBT activists reject (The Federalist)

U.S. embassy in Seoul removes "Black Lives Matter" banner day after being unveiled (The Daily Caller)

North Korea blows up South Korea liaison office (Fox News)

Policy: SCOTUS's transgender ruling firebombs the Constitution (The Federalist)


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


Thursday, June 18, 2020

FDA revokes emergency use status of hydroxychloroquine

The FDA approved hydroxychloroquine as “safe and effective” (for various ailments) decades ago. No “emergency use authorization” was — or IS — required for doctors to prescribe it as they see fit. FDA is just playing politics here.  If Trump favours it, it must be stopped

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday revoked its emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19, the drug championed by U.S. President Donald Trump to stave off the coronavirus. Based on new evidence, the FDA said it was no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of hydroxychloroquine and the related drug chloroquine may be effective in treating the illness caused by the novel coronavirus.

The move comes after several studies of the decades-old malaria drug suggested it was not effective, including a widely anticipated trial earlier this month that showed it failed to prevent infection in people who had been exposed to the virus.”



Coronavirus treatment breakthrough: $50 steroid could save the life of one in every eight patients on ventilators

A steroid treatment for coronavirus could save thousands of lives across the world in what is being hailed as a 'major breakthrough'.

A study of dexamethasone suggests it reduces deaths from coronavirus by a wider margin than any other experimental treatment to-date, and has been described as the most important trial result for Covid-19 so far.

Researchers found the drug - which sells for $57 for 100 pills in the US - reduced deaths by up to a third among patients on ventilators, and by a fifth for those on oxygen.

It has been immediately approved to treat all UK hospitalized Covid-19 patients requiring oxygen, including those on ventilators.

Scientists estimate that if they had known what they now know about dexamethasone at the start of the pandemic, 4,000 to 5,000 lives could have been saved in the UK and thousands more in the US.

They added that, based on their results, one death would be prevented by treatment of around eight patients on ventilators, or around 25 patients requiring oxygen alone.

Currently, at least 2,156 Americans with coronavirus are on mechanical ventilators, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data - and that is likely an undercount, considering the agency's tracking has lagged well behind individual states'. 

The drug could offer hope to these US patient as well as those on oxygen support and the 385 in mechanical ventilator beds across the UK.



Rush Limbaugh on American conservatives

Conservative everything has just given up, has just ceded the country, ceded Hollywood, ceded music, ceded television, ceded the media, ceded everything.

“If one of the conservative billionaires out there has any stomach for saving their country from the mob, they should buy and flip a major media platform, or fund a new one, and make it an unsinkable aircraft carrier of true free speech.”

And I get this a lot. I’ve had this question, “Why doesn’t some wealthy conservative come along and buy CBS or ABC or anything else?” I don’t know. I have no idea. I happen to know that a bunch of people who have bought networks are not flaming leftists and they never do anything to change the news networks that are part of the corporations that they have purchased.

Buck Sexton continues. “We are completely outgunned in the platform wars, and it’s only getting worse. All the major social media and streaming content companies are part of the lib Death Star. Stop sending checks to think tanks that overpay 2nd tier scholars to churn out policy papers five people read.”

He’s thinking about people like Bill Kristol and Jonah Goldberg and the Never Trump contingent who at one time or another have worked at think tanks, where they have sought your donation on the basis that they and they alone are carrying the conservative banner into battle, when in fact most people have never heard of ’em.

“It doesn’t even have to be –” he says, this new enterprise “– doesn’t even have to be ‘conservative’ in mission, it would soon become dominated by conservatives though if it adamantly refused to censor speech for the woke mob. The Left can no longer debate like sane people, but they don’t have to. They just point, scream, and cancel. Meanwhile, I know ultra-wealthy conservatives who are terrified of anyone finding out what their politics are, because to be accepted among the elites, you have to at least allow those around you to believe you’re woke and lib.”

And, by the way, I can confirm that. I have over the course of my career, I have met and been introduced to some of the wealthiest conservatives, I didn’t even know they existed, in real estate and high finance in California, in whatever business in New York. And the last thing they ever wanted anybody to know was their politics. Some of them didn’t want anybody to know that they supported George W. Bush.

And I remember scratching my head, I said, “Why?” (interruption) They said, “Well, you know, Bush is stupid, he’s an embarrassment. I have a tough time explaining him.” That wasn’t it. That was just a convenient excuse. They valued their social status more than their political portfolio.

He says, “All of this adds up to a massive cultural failing of the right. And where are the older leaders in conservative media building up the next generation? Folks on our side seem obsessed with their own brands, and protecting their turf, which is a small slice of the media landscape. We need more voices with serious platforms that we control.”

Here again I know exactly what he’s talking about. There was a seminal moment — now, you may not agree with this. There was a seminal moment with the passing of William F. Buckley Jr. Now, William F. Buckley Jr. had retired years before he passed away, but he was the, quote, unquote, father of the intellectual conservative movement. And the thing that Buckley had the ability to do was anoint and grant approval to newly arrived young conservatives, and he did, and he bestowed upon them credibility that resulted from him.

He had that kind of credibility. He had that kind of juice that if somebody new came along, he wasn’t threatened by their existence. His National Review empire, he didn’t think, “Oh, my God. I gotta protect — this guy could overtake.” He didn’t think that way. He was truly a movement guy. But when he passed away, all that ended. And what happened, what replaced Buckley was a battle that’s still raging over the smartest conservative in the room and who is it and who gets to decide it.

And there isn’t a conservative movement that has a force leader individual who is attempting to encourage younger members, and even the younger members don’t seem to have much of an ambition. The joke around Washington today among young conservatives is if they can get a Fox News gig and a book deal, they consider their careers to have been made. There’s enough money and enough prestige there to say they’ve made it. Well, what’s not included in a Fox News gig and a book deal is no persuasion, no expanding the universe, no expanding a movement. That’s what Buck Sexton, formally of the CIA, is talking about here.

Where are the older leaders in conservative media who are welcoming and building up the next generation? We have people more concerned with protecting their own brands and their own turf, which individually these conservatives we’re talking about are some tiny and small that nobody knows who they are anyway.

We need more voices. And we need more encouragement for those voices. But the same time the young arrivals are not completely immune from the problem, you know, a book deal and a Fox News gig and that’s the definition of making it. And the two do go together. But it is not the kind of stuff that a building, growing, planting deep roots kind of movement is based on.

He says “When I first got into media -” this is Buck Sexton here, formally of the CIA “–when I first got into media, I thought our side would be like pro sports, generally the veterans would want to bring up the rookies as part of the natural order, to help their team win. Conservative media is more like warring cartels. Many of the big names just want to stamp out the upstarts.”

And Buck Sexton, formerly of the CIA says, “I know you could say, ‘That’s just business,’ but this is supposed to be about more than that too. And in fact some big names out there pretend the fame and money don’t matter at all. It’s just ‘the cause.’ They build brands on that promise to their audience. They’re full of it.

“Our side is losing right now. We have the Left going on a mad cancel spree, nobody is safe from it, the Supreme Court is a lib super legislature, corporate America is in the radical left’s pocket… and we are hoping Trump pulls off a miracle this fall. What if he fails? Whoever wins this fall, we will still be living in a country where you will be tweeting, facebooking, Amazon priming, YouTubing, Instagram posting, Netflix watching, and Hulu streaming based on the curated tastes and activism of the left. We lose if this continues. Full stop.

“An honestly,” writes Buck Sexton formerly of the CIA, “if we don’t do something about this, we deserve to lose. Who thought it was a sustainable plan to just cede 90% of media, all of Hollywood, academia, and now corporate America to the woke mob? We need to build conservative media motherships, right now.”




"We're not doing guns": Elmer Fudd stripped of rifle in Looney Tunes reboot (Washington Examiner)

Study claims shutdowns prevented 60 million infections in the U.S. (The Washington Post)

Coronavirus cases on the rise in California, several other states (Fox News)

New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls after declaring on Monday it was free of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality (Reuters)

Trump directs Pentagon to pull 9,500 US troops from Germany by September (Fox News)

Marine Corps bans Confederate battle flag: Display of banner "presents a threat to our core values, unit cohesion, security, and good order and discipline" (The Washington Times)

Dr. Anthony Fauci says protests are "a perfect setup" for a second coronavirus peak (The Daily Wire)

Joe Biden spent $1.6 million in one day on Facebook ads condemning Trump for fanning the "flames of white supremacy" (The Daily Caller)

Meanwhile, Biden calls for Facebook to fact-check and remove political ads (The Washington Free Beacon)

Fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick sent confidential info to his personal email accounts (The Washington Free Beacon)

Twitter admits China used nearly 200,000 fake accounts to influence politics, 150x more than Russia (The National Pulse)

With virus all but eliminated, Australia lifts nearly all restrictions (The Washington Post)

Starbucks bans employees from wearing anything in support of Black Lives Matter (The Hill)

"He was BLM before there was a slogan": Park volunteer outraged over vandalism of Philadelphia abolitionist statue (National Review)

"I haven't seen s—t like this before": Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said rioters are "f—ing lawless" in meeting with panicked officials (UK Daily Mail)

"I don't believe it's the time or place to be doing that": Chicago officers who kneel with protesters could be kicked out of police union (FOX 32 Chicago)

Louisville Metro Council votes to ban no-knock raids three months after death of Breonna Taylor (Washington Examiner)

Can the Minneapolis City Council actually defund the police? No. (Hot Air)

Joe Biden conditions support of reparations on provisions for Native Americans (Washington Examiner)

Biden is demanding that Facebook fact-check political ads. Facebook says no. (Business Insider)

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says White House "seriously considering" second round of direct-payment coronavirus relief (The Daily Caller)

John Hickenlooper fined by Colorado Ethics Committee for accepting gifts while governor (The Federalist)

Ben Carson says Rayshard Brooks case "not clear-cut" like George Floyd's (AJC)

Confusion reigns as Seattle's seized six blocks known as CHAZ purportedly changes name to CHOP (Fox News)

Black Lives Matter protesters say Seattle's autonomous zone has hijacked message (Fox News)

Protesters in Asheville, Portland, Nashville, and Chicago try to create autonomous zones. Police aren't having it. (The Daily Wire)

Citing the "political climate," 10 members of the Hallandale Beach Police Department SWAT team voluntarily resign (WPEC)

"Repentance is not enough"? Left-leaning Christianity Today calls on churches to lead on reparations (Fox News)

Camden, New Jersey, removes Christopher Columbus statue (Fox News)


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


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Are Riots, Looting, and Lawlessness Shifting Minority Voters Toward Trump?

While the radical left is seizing on the death of George Floyd to hurl blame at President Trump, new polling shows Trump’s compassionate response to the tragedy, distinction between peaceful protesters and terrorist groups like Antifa, and his measured response to defend the law is raising his approval ratings with minorities.

YouGov polling from last week before the chaos ensued showed President Trump’s approval rating at 39% among Hispanics, and 12% among Blacks. New polling taken between Saturday and Monday as the riots escalated shows his approval rating with Hispanics rose to 42% and with African Americans rose to 18%, as shown below.

Trump’s rising numbers with Minorities

President Trump’s ‘strong approval’ numbers increased for both groups as well. His strong approval went from 17% to 28% with Hispanics and from 7% to 11% with African Americans over between May 25th and June 1st.

Trump also gained a bump in the West, where his numbers generally trail the rest of the country. Pre-riots, Trump’s support in the West stood at 41%, but several days into the lawlessness that rocked Western cities from Seattle to Portland to Oakland, and his support had climbed to 45% as shown below.

President Trump has consistently shown compassion and sensitivity, promising justice for Floyd’s family, and separating peaceful protesters from radical mobs that are co-opting the protests. His May 30th statement calling for arrests of criminals was viewed positively by West Coasters and minorities alike.

Fifty-six percent of West Coasters viewed the President’s statement favorably. Over half of Hispanics (52%) and 20% of African Americans also viewed the statement favorably, as shown below.

Tweet calling out the Minneapolis mayor for his inability to quell the violence

George Floyd’s death is a tragedy and exposes a flaw in our justice system that must absolutely be remedied if we are to keep the peace and restore civility. President Trump has promised to make every effort to ensure justice is served for George and his family, but he has made it equally clear America will not tolerate anarchy, theft, and property destruction. He has made a clear distinction in his rhetoric between peaceful protestors rightfully calling out a great injustice, and self-serving mobs looking for an opportunity to incite fear and chaos. In his speech Monday night addressing the riots, Trump said:

“All Americans are rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain.

But we cannot allow the righteous prize and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting are peace loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as they are President, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your President of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.”

It is important to ask why Black Americans are expected to support a progressive agenda of unchecked power despite clear abuses of said power. Hispanic and Black Americans, many of whom find their communities destroyed, are not buying the mainstream narrative that Trump is to blame for the lawlessness that has reigned over the past few days. Instead, early polling indicates minorities favor Trump’s measured response to defend the law.


Police racism?

We should be angry about the death of George Floyd. It’s on video. It’s ghastly. And it was totally avoidable.

The protests and anger that ensued are justifiable. How this devolved into rioting, looting, vandalism, and arson is not. The country was united in outrage over Floyd’s death, even members of law enforcement said Chauvin’s actions and that of the Minneapolis Police were ridiculous. They were; it was a prime example of excessive force. But then the rioting happened. It’s engulfed the nation. The cities are burning and there was even talk of President Trump invoking the Insurrection Act, which would allow him to use the military to quell the mob. Bush 41 invoked that in 1992 to get Los Angeles under control. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen here. Yet, for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), he said the troops should be sent in, which sent the Left, especially the “woke” brigade of activists who write for the publication, into a frothed-induced tantrum. Remember, this is the 'bad words are violence' crowd. Young, stupid, coddled, and think constitutional right to free speech is an obstacle to change.

Well, if they thought Cotton’s op-ed, which was innocuous was triggering, they better not read Heather MacDonald’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about the myth of systemic police racism, which is grounded in multiple studies, which she cites. As the country burns, there’s also this heinous resurrection of a narrative in which all cops are racist, and all police departments must be defunded and abolished. This is nonsense, and it’s where this whole Black Lives Matter movement goes off the hinges. To make this a top issue, especially in an election year, is just to invite disaster to the Democratic Party. No one who isn’t a clown thinks this is a good idea. Heck, even Vox writers who think this is insane. If words are violence to these lefties, and they do think this way, then this op-ed is bound to cause a Chernobyl-style meltdown with these folks. Cotton’s op-ed was Sesame Street compared to this:

This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest, it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine most police actions.

In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

The latest in a series of studies undercutting the claim of systemic police bias was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will be fatally shot by a police officer. There is “no significant evidence of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,” they concluded.

A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police.

It's this false narrative that has led to police being assaulted, shot at, and even killed. We see it with the George Floyd riots right now. Cops are being shot, run over by cars, and assaulted on the streets trying to bring some order to the situation. MacDonald, of course, adds that former Officer Chauvin should be held accountable, but the course the Left wants is anarchy. Gee—it sounds like the philosophy of some of the looters and vandals causing chaos out there, which the liberal media said is really the work of neo-Nazis. That would be another false narrative. 

I’m pro-law and order. I love our police. But that also means calling out bad cops. And Minneapolis, and the surrounding areas, appear to have a lot of them. This must be fixed, but nothing can change when rioters burn, loot, and destroy cities with impunity and target police officers. Progress on police reform can be discussed. It’ll be a long discussion. It’ll be intense for sure, but none of that can happen until we put this mob down.



Hydroxychloroquine Misinformation Can Be Deadly: Let Patients decide

What President Trump called a potential “game-changer” in the battle against COVID-19—a safe, cheap, effective treatment, available NOW—is suddenly seen as a highly dangerous drug. Of the fake news and misinformation that has proliferated in this pandemic, the most harmful is the claim that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a serious heart hazard. That incorrect claim has been supported by prestigious medical journals.

This negative message contradicts 65 years of experience of safe, worldwide use of HCQ for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Hundreds of millions of patients have taken it without difficulty and without serious side effects. Recent studies in several countries have shown that if used early, within the first week of symptoms, HCQ is safe and highly effective for COVID-19.

Yet the Food and Drug Administration is severely restricting its use to hospitalized patients, and doing nothing to counter the fearmongering.

On May 27, Yale professor of epidemiology Harvey S. Risch published an article in the American Journal of Epidemiology entitled: “Early Outpatient Treatment of Symptomatic, High-Risk Covid-19 Patients that Should be Ramped-Up Immediately as Key to the Pandemic Crisis.”

Dr. Risch referred to five clinical trials, including two controlled trials, which showed “significant major out-patient efficacy” of hydroxychloroquine plus azithromyxin (HCQ+AZT). No cardiac problems were noted in these trials. He concluded: “Evidence about use of hydroxychloroquine alone, or of hydroxychloroquine+azithromycin in inpatients, is irrelevant concerning efficacy of the pair in early high-risk outpatient disease. Five studies, including two controlled clinical trials, have demonstrated significant major outpatient treatment efficacy.”

Dr. Risch concluded that theoretical fears of cardiac events were not borne out in real-world usage and were vastly overshadowed by lives saved. He writes: “These medications need to be widely available and promoted immediately for physicians.”

The FDA in its drug evaluation database has only 62 cardiac deaths attributed to HCQ out of 50 MILLION prescriptions for HCQ, an actual risk of 1.2 per one million people. You have a TEN-fold greater risk (1/74,000) of dying in a fatal car accident on a 1000-mile road trip than dying from a heart arrhythmia if you take HCQ.

The combination HCQ+AZT has been in widespread standard-of-care use in the U.S. and elsewhere for decades in older adults with multiple comorbidities. A large Oxford-based record-linkage study involving more than 300,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis led to an estimate of only 47/100,000 cardiac arrhythmias attributable to these drugs, most not fatal.

But the media are ignoring this Yale report, instead hammering on studies of critically ill hospitalized patients that show no benefit when HCQ is used far too late in patients in whom severe organ damage has already been done—often to the heart. One study performed in Brazil and published in JAMA on Apr 24 used double the known lethal dose of chloroquine in debilitated, critically ill patients, many with multiple other diseases. Brazilian scientists have demanded JAMA immediately retract this study. The Brazilian government has launched a judicial investigation into the authors’ ethical and legal violations of approved dose guidelines, yet JAMA has still refused to retract the publication.

The recent Lancet data-mining report, also heavily covered in the news, again only included severely ill hospitalized patient, including those in that Brazilian study. Leading scientists from several countries are questioning the validity and accuracy of the data.

To put HCQ safety in perspective, consider the risks of common over-the-counter medicines (OTC) that most people don’t think twice about using:

Tylenol (acetaminophen) is the number 1 cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., ahead of hepatitis, with a death rate of 20-40 percent. It is also the second overall cause of liver failure requiring liver transplant.

Common pain relievers Aleve and Advil account for 21 percent of U.S. adverse drug events. They lead to a 50 percent increase in risk of acute kidney failure, and significant risks of life-threatening gastrointestinal bleeding.

OTC proton-pump inhibitors  (“acid-reducers”) cause a 31 percent increased risk of hip fracture, and 54 percent increased risk of spine fracture.

Other countries, which use HCQ prophylactically or early, have dramatically lower COVID-19 death rates than the U.S., as shown in the newly updated table below for May 30, 2020. The U.S. death rate is nearly 20 times that of India, and 265 times the FDA’s estimated rate of HCQ-related heart problems!

The President has the legal authority under the Defense Production Act in the Presidential Emergency Powers to bypass the FDA and change HCQ to over the counter during this National Emergency. Its long safety record supports that as a reasonable option when compared to risks of common current OTC medicines.

It is time for people to light up the switchboards at the White House, governors’ offices, and legislatures. Americans deserve accurate risk information and the right to choose whether or not to take HCQ. All Americans, not just the elite, should be able to access this life-saving, inexpensive, safe medication.



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


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Rolling Stone Editor's Key Observation About the George Floyd Unrest Will Probably Infuriate the Left

I'd never thought that some liberals would actually take a stand and call out their colleagues for being totally unspooled for caving to the progressive mob. For some, the liberal agenda they grew up with is now considered right-wing in some circles. Why? Well, it doesn't go far enough. It has to be far-left and quasi-Marxist. The woke clowns we used to mock on The College Fix and Campus Reform have graduated. And now, their toxic agenda is spreading like a brush fire. No dissent is permitted. Just one slip-up or differing opinion from that of the far-left mob could get you canceled. These are the hordes of Mordor, an apt description by conservative commentator Erick Erickson. They will make you care. In one way or the other, the left-wing mob will find a way to get you. They also don't want apologies; they want the destruction of those they view as enemies to their unhinged worldview.

Matt Taibbi is no conservative. He's a contributing editor at Rolling Stone, but he's commented on the hysteria that has engulfed the Left, especially with the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense. In a lengthy post, Taibbi torched the media for being afraid to confront the terror campaign that's engulfed the nation's newsrooms. He also said if anything that's been exposed during the unrest over the officer-involved fatality of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 that sparked nationwide riots, it's that the American Left has gone totally insane and the liberal media is destroying itself.

For starters, Taibbi probably disagrees with virtually everything Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) stands for but was his op-ed, which sent The New York Times' woke reporters into a Chernobyl-like meltdown, really a threat to black lives? Was it even inaccurate? He notes that a lot of what Cotton said was backed up by a majority of the American public. Also, it seems clear that these leftist clowns didn't even read the column. The Philadelphia Inquirer sent their longtime editor, Stan Wischowski, packing for green-lighting the headline "Buildings Matter, Too." Again, another view that's supported by a healthy majority of voters; people value the protection of what they own. It's not that hard. For the woke, this is problematic. Wischowski helped diversify the newsroom and helped the paper get a Pulitzer for their series on Philly school violence in his two-decade career at the paper, but screw him, right?

Taibbi is surgical in highlighting all of the nonsense, all of the weird acts of contrition being exhibited by white liberals that he rightfully describes as activities that are more in line with cult behavior. Of course, he calls Trump a clown but directs most of his criticism at the media industry that is collapsing under the infection of wokeness and political correctness that are terrorizing newsrooms. Moreover, the pervasive "moral mania," as he calls it, has generated a list of the "Most Important Thing Ever" within the liberal media that is often met with the same fate: it's either forgotten or dropped, leaving the public feeling empty as to why they should be outraged besides the ongoing war cry of "orange man…bad" (via Matt Taibbi):

On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness.

The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily.

They’ve conned organization after organization into empowering panels to search out thoughtcrime, and it’s established now that anything can be an offense, from a UCLA professor placed under investigation for reading Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” out loud to a data scientist fired* from a research firm for — get this — retweeting an academic study suggesting nonviolent protests may be more politically effective than violent ones!

Now, this madness is coming for journalism.....

...the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editor, Stan Wischowski, was forced out after approving a headline, “Buildings matter, too.”

In the most discussed incident, Times editorial page editor James Bennet was ousted for green-lighting an anti-protest editorial by Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton entitled, “Send in the troops.”

I’m no fan of Cotton, but as was the case with Michael Moore’s documentary and many other controversial speech episodes, it’s not clear that many of the people angriest about the piece in question even read it. In classic Times fashion, the paper has already scrubbed a mistake they made misreporting what their own editorial said…..

Cotton did not call for “military force against protesters in American cities.” He spoke of a “show of force,” to rectify a situation a significant portion of the country saw as spiraling out of control. It’s an important distinction. Cotton was presenting one side of the most important question on the most important issue of a critically important day in American history.

As Cotton points out in the piece, he was advancing a view arguably held by a majority of the country. A Morning Consult poll showed 58% of Americans either strongly or somewhat supported the idea of “calling in the U.S. military to supplement city police forces.” That survey included 40% of self-described “liberals” and 37% of African-Americans. To declare a point of view held by that many people not only not worthy of discussion, but so toxic that publication of it without even necessarily agreeing requires dismissal, is a dramatic reversal for a newspaper that long cast itself as the national paper of record.

Incidentally, that same poll cited by Cotton showed that 73% of Americans described protecting property as “very important,” while an additional 16% considered it “somewhat important.” This means the Philadelphia Inquirer editor was fired for running a headline – “Buildings matter, too” – that the poll said expressed a view held by 89% of the population, including 64% of African-Americans....

After the 2016 election, we began to see staff uprisings. In one case, publishers at the Nation faced a revolt – from the Editor-in-Chief on down – after an articles by Aaron Mate and Patrick Lawrence questioning the evidentiary basis for Russiagate claims was run. Subsequent events, including the recent declassification of congressional testimony, revealed that Mate especially was right to point out that officials had no evidence for a Trump-Russia collusion case. It’s precisely because such unpopular views often turn out to be valid that we stress publishing and debating them in the press.

Oh, and there's this part about the Left's take on the George Floyd riots, which has become a massive exercise in doublethink:

Kathleen Kingsbury [The NYT’s newest opinion page editor], issued a staff directive essentially telling employees they now had a veto over anything that made them uncomfortable: “Anyone who sees any piece of Opinion journalism, headlines, social posts, photos—you name it—that gives you the slightest pause, please call or text me immediately.”

All these episodes sent a signal to everyone in a business already shedding jobs at an extraordinary rate that failure to toe certain editorial lines can and will result in the loss of your job. Perhaps additionally, you could face a public shaming campaign in which you will be denounced as a racist and rendered unemployable.

These tensions led to amazing contradictions in coverage. For all the extraordinary/inexplicable scenes of police viciousness in recent weeks — and there was a ton of it, ranging from police slashing tires in Minneapolis, to Buffalo officers knocking over an elderly man, to Philadelphia police attacking protesters — there were also 12 deaths in the first nine days of protests, only one at the hands of a police officer (involving a man who may or may not have been aiming a gun at police).

Looting in some communities has been so bad that people have been left without banks to cash checks, or pharmacies to fill prescriptions; business owners have been wiped out (“My life is gone,” commented one Philly store owner); a car dealership in San Leandro, California saw 74 cars stolen in a single night. It isn’t the whole story, but it’s demonstrably true that violence, arson, and rioting are occurring.

However, because it is politically untenable to discuss this in ways that do not suggest support, reporters have been twisting themselves into knots. We are seeing headlines previously imaginable only in The Onion, e.g., “27 police officers injured during largely peaceful anti-racism protests in London.”

And on that front, the public shaming aspect, he notes the torching of The Intercept's Lee Fang for daring to tweet an interview he had with a black man who said, "I always question, why does a Black life matter only when a white man takes it?... Like, if a white man takes my life tonight, it's going to be national news, but if a black man takes my life, it might not even be spoken of… It's stuff just like that that I just want in the mix."

Fang was smeared as a racist for peddling countervailing narratives relating to black-on-black crime. He was forced to apologize in a lengthy letter after his co-workers threw him under the bus; Taibbi credits him for being one of the last reporters out there who does excellent investigative work. Now, he's been tarred and feathered by the progressive mob for simply reporting on what's happening on the ground: rioting, looting, and arson.

He concludes his post by citing more odd behavior from the Left, like congressional Democrats kneeling in Kente cloth, white resident begging forgiveness for racism, and white police officers in Cary, North Carolina, washing the feet of black pastors. It's cult-like. And that ethos and the inability of the media to counter it due to the lefty mob is probably why issues like "Defund the Police" seem like it's a popular position. It's not. Taibbi noted polls "show 65% of Americans oppose [defunding the police], including 62% of Democrats, with just 15% of all people, and only 33% of African-Americans, in support."

But if you shame, de-platform, and purge those liberals who haven't gone totally insane from your ranks, I could see how abolishing the police could seem like a possibility if you're a lefty loon. The media appears to be a place where there can be no debate, where its writers work in fear, and the political correctness enforcers acting like ISIS' religious police watch their every move. Yeah, I can see why that's causing the liberal media to self-destruct.

Submit or die is the special of the day for the American Left. And that is why I'm proud not to be a liberal or a Democrat. Taibbi's post is lengthy but worth a full read.



New York Times Magazine's partisan writer Nikole Hannah-Jones rips paper's "both-sideism" over Tom Cotton op-ed: You "don't just hand over your platform" to air "misinformation" (Mediaite)

Speaking of misinformation, The Washington Post hides 60% cut in police shootings from 2015 to 2019 (Breitbart)

NASCAR bans display of Confederate flag at all events and properties (The Washington Post)

Jefferson Davis statue torn down in Richmond, Virginia (AP)

Portsmouth, Virginia, crowd dismantles Confederate monument (Fox News)

"Homage to hate": House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls for removal of Confederate statues from Capitol (NBC News)

U.S. Soccer kneels to Colin Kaepernick protégé Megan Rapinoe, decides to allow protests during the national anthem (Breitbart)

Portland mayor gives government workers 40 hours off to mourn "400 years of African American oppression" (The Daily Wire)

Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez under fire for using LAPD as her "personal security" while she filed a motion to cut the police department's budget by $150 million (UK Daily Mail)

Fed sees interest rates staying near zero through 2022, GDP bouncing to 5% next year (CNBC)

Chinese propaganda outlet has paid U.S. newspapers $19 million for advertising, printing (The Daily Caller)

Governors reject new lockdowns as virus cases spike, because they understand that economic restoration comes with consequences (Politico)

Coronavirus Task Force tells governors to prepare for spike in cases from George Floyd protests, says 70 testing sites have been destroyed (The Blaze)

Amazon suspends police use of facial recognition tool amid protests (Washington Examiner)

Joe Biden formally wins Democratic nomination to take on Trump (BBC)

Birds of a feather flock together: Anti-Trump deep-stater Lisa Page debuts as legal analyst for MSNBC and NBC News (The Washington Times)

Searching Twitter for "racist" shows you President Donald Trump's account (CNET)

Appeals court mulls making Hillary Clinton testify on emails (Politico)

Sen. Lindsey Graham says that he plans on calling former FBI Director James Comey and former deputy director Andrew McCabe to testify before his Senate Judiciary Committee (Fox News)

Minneapolis bans police chokeholds (New York Post)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announces NYPD funding cuts and reforms (Washington Examiner)

Michigan Supreme Court throws out shutdown orders against barber Karl Manke (Detroit Free Press)

Infamous hate-crime hoaxer Al Sharpton to host August race rally in DC (Hot Air)

NFL apologizes for "not listening" to players about racism (ABC News)


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


Monday, June 15, 2020

The Left Owns The Riots

It’s fitting that so many Democratic governors and other swamp creatures (the Pelosi from the Leftist Lagoon) are bashing Trump and rationalizing the coast-to-coast violence that seems almost demonic.

For the Democratic Party, these riots have been a project long in the works.

The rioting has two components – the rage-filled savages who are burning and looting for the insane joy of destruction, and the left’s brownshirts, who are taking advantage of the chaos to bring down what they call the system. The fingerprints of the Party of Plunder/Party of Treason are all over both.

Starting in the 1960s with the Great Society, the Democrats destroyed the black family. Instead of welfare going to families, it went to single mothers. You get more of what you subsidize. Back then, the out-of-wedlock birth rate was 3% for whites and 23% among blacks. Today, it’s 28% and 73% respectively. In some inner cities, it’s as high as 90%.

Boys raised without fathers, especially in decaying neighborhoods, often grow up to be angry, bitter young men – the type who beat helpless strangers, watch stores and homes burn, and dance around the flames.

The Democrats have nurtured this for decades. They can see no connection between single-parent families and all of the pathologies (crime, drug abuse, joblessness, early sexual activity) that afflict inner cities.

Almost as bad is the sense of entitlement Democrats have cultivated among those they consider their core constituency.

Whatever your problems, you’re not to blame, they tell impressionable young men. You have no responsibility for your condition (substance abuse, failure to find meaningful work, poverty). It’s all due to institutional racism, the “legacy or slavery and segregation,” police brutality, and the “white man’s culture.” As the presumptive Democratic nominee said on Tuesday, upon finally emerging from the Biden Bunker, “The black community has had a knee on its neck for too long.”

Now, rioters are taking the opportunity to strike back against their oppressors (like Korean grocery store owners and ATMs) by stealing, burning, looting, and stomping.

Still, Democrats tell them, it’s not your fault. It’s those damned, racist Republicans, white supremacists, Confederate war memorials, and FOX News. That this only increases the sense of alienation that’s endemic to the black community is irrelevant to those who claim to be its champions.

Antifa and other radical groups hellbent on tearing down civilization are products of the anti-Americanism, and an ethic that condones violence, that pervade what used to be the party of FDR and JFK.

From public school indoctrination to college groupthink, Democrats and their academic cadre have taught millennials that America was founded on genocide, nurtured on slavery, and grew to greatness through exploitation and subjugation -- that we’re responsible for most of the wars of the past hundred years and generally are a blight on humanity.

The man who mentored our last Democrat President is a case in point. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright – 9/11 was “the chickens coming home to roost” and “God damn America” – has enough hatred in his carcass to fuel an Antifa convention.

Democrats have also taught the nihilists surging in our streets that it’s perfectly acceptable -- in fact, preferable -- to shout down, harass and assault reactionaries. The skills Antifa thugs learned at colleges and universities they’ve applied to the current insurrection.

Viktor Frankenstein tried to kill his creature. The Democrats adore theirs. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was proud of his daughter, Chiara, for joining a Midtown mob throwing projectiles at the police. His response to the mayhem rocking Gotham was so bizarre that Governor Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, threatened to have him replaced.

When asked for her thoughts on the violence which just destroyed Newberry Street (Boston’s upscale shopping district), Massachusetts Attorney General Mura Healey said burning is “how forests grow.” I’m sure those who spent years collecting the kindling appreciate those sentiments.

New York State’s Attorney General Letitia James says she’ll investigate the police. First, she’ll have to keep her knee from jerking.

At the 2020 Democrat Nominating Convention, the looters, wrecking crew and goon squad that have spent several days making a hell of the lives of ordinary Americans, should be brought to the stage so Biden can embrace them – like a proud father showing off his sons.



The Cost of Riots

It’s weird that this needs to be said, but here we are.

Then again, the pundit who reprehensibly claims that destroying property “is not violence” risks nothing. She agitates for revolution from the safety of her apartment.

Much the same, I suspect, most of those excusing the destruction of our cities—either contending that businesses “have insurance” or peddling false choices about life being “more valuable than property”—have never built a business themselves.

Nor have I. Yet, I do know that having a business destroyed can be devastating, and “having insurance” won’t make victims whole.

My parents were immigrants from Hungary. My father, who’d worked as an industrial chemist in the old country, ended up in New York’s jewelry district in the 1970s learning how to set diamonds. Learning a new craft takes patience and hard work.

My mother, pregnant with me and unable to speak much English, would take the F-train from Rego Park to Manhattan to bring home necklace-beading work.

Like millions of Americans, after years of plying a trade, saving money, and taking out loans, my parents opened a small business in a strip mall in the suburbs.

As a kid, I often walked the mile and a half from my elementary school to spend time at our small jewelry shop. I was no different from the kids in the neighboring liquor or Chinese food stores, where parents toiled away for endless hours.

In those days, it was more common to see children helping out in family-run businesses, or at least that’s my recollection.

One day—on a half-day of school, as my luck would have it—our shop was robbed. The fact that the strip mall was situated on a busy road, or that it was the middle of the afternoon, didn’t deter the thieves. Three men, two inside and one outside, pulled out guns and demanded the combination to the safe. They cleaned out the place.

Seeing a sawed-off shotgun pressed against a family member’s head is not an experience I recommend. Yet, in 1981, many people in the metropolitan area had been either mugged, robbed, threatened, or had their cars stolen. That year, New York City reported more robberies than in any year in its history—over 120,000—and over 2,100 murders.

Anyway, my parents had insurance. They were lucky enough to be reimbursed for the things that were stolen, but they would never see a penny for the years of preparation, exertion, and sacrifice.

I suspect thousands of Americans who have built business—given up time with their kids, spouses, and parents—will end up in similar circumstances due to the inability of our elected officials to stop criminals and cosplay revolutionaries.

While it’s sickening to watch an Obama bro grouse that there’s too much media attention being paid to devastated communities, it’s unconscionable to see the attorney general of Massachusetts, the top law enforcement officer in her state, say, “Yes, America is burning, but that’s how forests grow.”

Is the forest growing in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was murdered? Doesn’t sound like it:

The riots and arson that followed protests of Floyd’s death have devastated organizations and businesses that serve communities of color. Destruction from the south side’s Lake Street to West Broadway Avenue in north Minneapolis has hit immigrant- and minority-owned businesses already struggling amid the pandemic-induced shutdown.

Now, ethnically diverse neighborhoods are grappling with the loss of jobs, services, and investments.

Riots may excite the keyboard revolutionary, but they won’t bring racial equality. The opposite, in fact. Not only are the anarchists who burn and loot stores subjecting many of their neighbors to a dehumanizing experience, they are destroying poor and minority neighborhoods.

Big businesses might be able to afford to fix the smashed windows and ransacked supply room, but family-owned ones are going to struggle.

Chain stores have insurance, but the individuals and smaller manufacturers who depend on them for their livelihoods also are threatened.

The big stores themselves will be paying higher insurance rates, and some of them may decide to never come back to these poorer neighborhoods.



The Silly Science of COVID-19 'Experts'

Appealing to the authority of "science" has arguably never been more political.

Like journalism before it, science experts are quickly losing their credibility as they have become more beholden to promoting biased narratives over the unvarnished truth. The COVID-19 pandemic is serving to expose this sad reality.

“From the data we have, it still seems to be rare that an asymptomatic person actually transmits onward to a secondary individual,” stated Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit. She further explained, “We have a number of reports from countries who are doing very detailed contact tracing. They’re following asymptomatic cases. They’re following contacts. And they’re not finding secondary transmission onward. It’s very rare.”

The implications of this claim could be significant given the fact that one of the primary arguments for the mass lockdowns was predicated on the notion that COVID-19 was being widely spread by asymptomatic carriers. If this latest claim is accurate, then it calls into question the extremity of the shutdowns, social distancing, and mask-wearing protocols government leaders have implemented. Still, note the source — the WHO’s track record with the China Virus should give everyone pause before accepting any of its conclusions.

In fact, Kerkhove later clarified that “asymptomatic” did not include those individuals who were “pre-symptomatic.” If that’s the case, Kerkhove’s claim doesn’t actually negate the apparent high rate of virus spread by people prior to becoming sick. This important distinction may explain the findings from a recently published study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluding that 40% to 45% of infected individuals spread the virus without realizing they were sick.

Further adding to the “science” confusion is the fact that states reopening early — like Florida, Georgia, and Texas — have not experienced the so-called experts’ widely predicted massive spike of infections or significant rise in hospitalizations. While the numbers of infections did indeed increase, they have not come anywhere near overwhelming these states’ healthcare systems. Remember when “flattening the curve” was the original goal for the shutdowns?

Given the results from these reopening states, one would think others would follow suit. However, politics clearly determines the “science” of these “experts,” as notably most Democrat-run states have still doggedly maintained their shutdown measures … except, of course, for anyone joining the Black Lives Matter protests. This nonsense was typified by a letter signed by more than 1,000 health “professionals” who literally argue, “As public health advocates, we do not condemn these [BLM] gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators’ ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders.” So, according to these “health experts,” COVID-19 is only a problem for those who express the “wrong” political opinions.

This isn’t science; it’s pure propaganda. As City Journal’s John Tierney astutely observers, “However scientific they try to be, they’re swayed by some of the same irrational biases and perverse incentives that afflict politicians and journalists. In creating their models and presenting their data, they’re rewarded for skewing negative, because scary predictions will bring them more attention, more funding, and more power. Their worst-case scenario may be utterly implausible, but it’s newsworthy, and it guarantees that no one will blame them for not anticipating every possible death from the virus.”

Update 6/9: Naturally, after we went to press, there’s more argument and backtracking on the science. The WHO walked back the claim on asymptomatic transmission, saying it probably accounts for somewhere between 16% and 40% of cases. This is, of course, a political walk back, especially in light of the German study just released. It makes WHO look very bad, so just walk it back.



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