Friday, October 02, 2020

Australian scientists insist hydroxychloroquine COULD prevent people catching COVID-19 after giving the controversial drug to hundreds of health care workers

Australian scientists have vowed to continue investigating whether taking hydroxychloroquine can stop people becoming infected with coronavirus.

Researchers from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne believe the drug could prevent people catching SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.

Hundreds of health workers in NSW and Victoria have been given the drug in the Institute’s COVID SHIELD trial in an effort to try and determine its effectiveness as a prophylactic.

Hydroxychloroquine was brought to public attention when US President Donald Trump said he was using the malaria drug to ‘protect’ himself from coronavirus.

Prescriptions for the drug subsequently skyrocketed, before it was removed from major testing trials as it proved to be ineffective in reducing the impact of COVID-19.

Scientific journal The Lancet published and later retracted a study based on false data that claimed coronavirus cases taking hydroxychloroquine had an increased death rate.

COVID SHIELD co-lead investigator Marc Pelligrini said researchers were not considering the drug as a treatment, but as a preventative.

‘The evidence that shows that the drug doesn’t particularly help with treatment really never deterred us because we always thought that … if the drug did have a role in preventing people from getting COVID-19, it has to be even before they were exposed to SARS-CoV-2,’ he told The Australian.

Test tube studies have found hydroxychloroquine can work to impede the replication of COVID-19 and discourage proliferation.

Claire Lobb is an emergency care nurse at The Alfred Hospital and among about 230 frontline healthcare workers signed up for the four-month trial.

‘Hydroxychloroquine is a drug that is cheap and readily available, with very few side effects. If there is a chance this drug could help prevent frontline healthcare workers from getting COVID-19, I think it is important that we do a proper clinical trial to test it,’ she said.

Ms Lobb said she was keen to be involved and excited at the prospect of finding out whether the drug was useful as a prophylactic.

‘To have a drug that is cheap and widely available to reduce transmission of the virus to frontline healthcare workers would be really helpful, especially while we are waiting for a vaccine,’ she said.

While the Australian researchers remain hopeful hydroxychloroquine could prevent COVID-19, a U.S. study found on Thursday the drug offers no protection.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found about 6.3 per cent of hospital workers who took the drug regularly caught the virus, compared to 6.6 per cent of people who didn’t.

The effect, they said, was ‘negligible’ and although a slightly higher proportion of people without the drug became sick, it was not a big enough difference to suggest hydroxychloroquine worked.

Whether or not the medicine could help treat people who already had Covid-19 was not studied.



New CDC Coronavirus Survival Rates Torches the Democrats’ Lockdown Regime

I know a lot has happened recently. The 2020 election is entering its final stages. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18 at the age of 87, adding a SCOTUS fight to this cycle. It’s insanity. And yet, COVID is still around. Well, like any pathogen, it’s still around, but the panic porn has somewhat subsided. You drift further from the doom and gloom once you turn off MSNBC and CNN who weaponized this virus in an effort to better Joe Biden’s chances of winning the election. At the very least, panic and mayhem almost always impact a sitting administration to its detriment. Donald Trump has been heavily slammed by the fake news press, despite enacting an agenda that Joe Biden said he would do if elected. The only exception being a national mask mandate, which he stepped away from on constitutional grounds, and a new lockdown regime…if recommended by the experts.

You mean, the experts who worried about protesters wanting to re-open their businesses to feed their families but endorsed the mass protesting done by Black Lives Matter activists. Oh, and most of these devolved into outright rioting, but whatever, right? You can riot but can’t feed your family. Being outside is risky…unless you’re protesting in support of liberal causes. The virus is not transmissible le in that situation. That’s our medical expert class, a bunch of ‘woke’ quasi-Democrat operatives that spread fear porn 24/7 on these liberal networks. Well, a new CDC study on COVID survival rates just wrecked the Democrats’ lockdown protocols—and Joe Biden’s plans for a new national lockdown. Why? Well, because the survivability rate for almost everyone, even the elderly is 90+ percent.

And let’s not forget that Democrats are responsible for a lot of the US-based deaths with their nursing home policy. Yes, forcing these locations in which house our most vulnerable can end with deadly consequences and it has, with almost half of the US death toll being traced to these facilities. No other party has done more to increase the death rate and suffering than the Democratic Party. Also, those with co-morbidities are also vulnerable, as they are regarding any virus. People fighting cancer, history of lung infections, organ transplants, etc., have always been vulnerable. COVID is no different.

I’ll concede that a brief lockdown at the outset of this thing when we knew next to nothing might have been necessary just to keep cases down. Now, that’s not to say I’m not saying we know a whole lot now because we still don’t, but the market was sinking faster than the Andrea Doria and some form of government action usually stabilizes things. And then, Democrats decided to arbitrarily extend these lockdowns and establish a power-grabbing regime. Typical. It’s as expected and a consequence in areas we already knew were to be anti-freedom: blue states.

Some of us overreacted, yes. I raise my hand, but now it’s time to end this nonsense. Florida and Indiana are now fully open. It’s time everyone else does the same. For the healthy, in all age groups, it seems almost everyone recovers. Should people remain vigilant and be safe? Sure. Wash your hands and the like, but this virus and the fear that comes with it is over. No one wants to get COVID obviously, but let’s stop treating this thing like it’s some new virus a la The Andromeda Strain.

End the lockdowns. Also, to all the medical experts, your time is up. We’re done. Go away and learn to not be idiots when offering advice because a lot of what was shoveled into the media was straight-up ‘woke’ nonsense. No, racism isn’t as deadly as COVID, which was offered as a justification for why no one went ‘COVID Karen’ over the mass protests. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio, another idiot, delayed opening schools but was going to allow daycares to open. That makes no sense. If anything, we saw why Democrats can’t govern.



AG Barr Is Making America Safe Again. Will He Get Credit for It?

For years, Democrats have gone to great lengths to punish Americans for exercising their Second Amendment rights while ignoring career criminals breaking the law and carrying out violent crimes with firearms.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into states across the country, successfully limiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to fight back against those who want to do them harm. Through his gun control lobbying organization, Everytown, Bloomberg has made it harder for women to defend themselves against domestic abusers, stalkers and easier for criminals to prey on the innocent. Everytown and other anti-rights groups conveniently target law-abiding citizens because it’s easier and cowardly while they refuse to do the hard, dangerous work of going after violent criminals illegally using or possessing firearms.

Under the leadership and tenure of Attorney General Bill Barr, the Department of Justice has done the hard work to go after the criminals wreaking havoc in the streets. Through Operation Legend, which was implemented earlier this year, federal law enforcement agencies have aggressively gone after those who Barr and federal prosecutors call “the trigger pullers” and have taken hundreds of illegal firearms off of the streets. They’re also going after those who knowingly and illegally sell guns to criminals.

“We’ve dedicated hundreds of the federal government’s best investigators, analysts, fugitive trackers and other experts to work with our state and local colleagues in law enforcement here in Chicago to help get violent criminals off the streets and I am pleased to report Operation Legend is working. Crime is down and order is being restored to this great American city,” Barr said during a press conference earlier this month.

These efforts have led to a substantial decrease in violence carried out by criminals using guns. In Chicago, the murder rate has been cut in half since July thanks to federal efforts to take bad guys off the streets. In total, Operation Legend has resulted in the arrests of 2000 individuals for serious crimes, 592 of them have been charged federally. Nearly 600 illegal firearms have been seized.

This is a substantial change from the previous administration. Under Attorney Generals Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, federal prosecutions against those using firearms to carry out crimes plummeted. The result was more innocent victims and increased crime in America’s most vulnerable communities.

“While President Obama decries gun violence and presses for more laws to restrict ownership, his Justice Department has prosecuted 25 percent fewer cases referred by the main law enforcement agency charged with reducing firearms violence across the country, a computer analysis of U.S. prosecution data shows,” the Washington Times reported in 2014. “Federal prosecutors brought a total of 5,082 gun violation cases in 2013 recommended by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, compared with 6,791 during the last year of George W. Bush’s presidency in 2008, according to data obtained from the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys. The 2013 totals represent a 42 percent decline from the record number of 8,752 prosecutions of ATF cases brought by the Justice Department in 2004 under Mr. Bush, according to the data.”

Barr is reducing gun violence by upholding the law and putting bad people in prison. Will he get credit for it?



Telemundo’s Poll Offered Some Very Bad News for Joe Biden

This could hand the crucial swing state of Florida to Trump

Is it because he quasi-endorsed or didn’t push back as hard as he should against the far-left’s agenda during the primaries? Do they know he’s a weak sauce candidate? Or is it because his Hispanic outreach operation has been all-in-all total garbage? On the latter point, it might not be the case of bad outreach operations because the difference in preference regarding who won the first presidential debate is so large. It’s as vast as the Pacific Ocean.

While many noted how the first debate went off the rails between President Trump and Joe Biden, Hispanic voters overwhelmingly picked Trump as the winner. In fact, Trump crushed Biden 66/34 regarding who they think won the first duel. It goes in keeping with the polling data that Trump has been doing well with Latinos. You see this in Miami-Dade County, Florida, a key Democratic bastion, where Trump has been doing mighty fine with this voter bloc, causing some Democrats to worry. Well, I’m sure Telemundo’s poll didn’t neutralize those fears:

That’s quite a trouncing.



Florida’s Governor Has Taken GIANT STEP Towards Taking Care Of Rioting Thugs!

Governors actually hold a great deal of power, it’s why they are the one person that can stop an execution from taking place.

With all of the rioting going on these past few months, it is about time someone does something about it.

The state of Florida is going to get tough on people who engage in violence during protests, Florida’s Republican governor said Monday in announcing new legislation.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said his proposed legislation will impose felony-level penalties on anyone who damages property, causes injury or destroys public property during a protest.

“Recently in our country we have seen attacks on law enforcement, we’ve seen disorder and tumult in many cities,” DeSantis said.

Florida’s legislature won’t begin its annual 60-day session until March, so it’s somewhat unusual for the governor to announce a legislative proposal so far in advance. But DeSantis has the support of incoming Senate President-designate Wilton Simpson and House Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls, along with local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

Democratic leaders criticized the measures as a ploy to help President Donald Trump’s re-election bid. Florida’s 29 electoral votes are a key to Trump’s re-election and polls show a tight race with former Vice President Joe Biden.



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

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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Australia: State Government funds research into ‘game changer’ in fight against COVID-19

Aussie scientists are on the verge of a major breakthrough in the fight to track and control coronavirus that could see a return to normal life.

A leading coronavirus expert in the UK has pointed to research showing children display a different set of COVID-19 symptoms to adults.

Researchers at Xing Technologies are developing an ultra-rapid coronavirus test that can detect whether a person is infected and contagious within moments.

The State Government has already invested $1.5 million into the project and the company has also received $1 million from the US Government.

The Courier Mail reports that trials for the test are already underway in the US.

Brisbane-based Xing Technologies CEO Tom Esplin told the newspaper that a rapid test could pave the way for a return to normal pre-COVID activities, including travel.

“People are saying we need a rapid point-of-care test to let people get on aeroplanes,” Mr Esplin said.

“We’d like to be able to offer it. The highest viral loads occur in the three days before you develop symptoms. This test is perfectly suited for those who’ve got the highest risk of spreading it.”

The test has been designed to use a nasal swab that those who have taken COVID-19 tests are familiar with.

A solution would then be applied to the swab to produce a rapid result.

The Today show reports the test “could be used to test people before they go into high risk areas” like “aged care facilities, shopping centres, planes and hospitals”.

Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones told the Courier Mail that funding the project through the Palaszczuk Government’s Industry Tech Fund was an important step in moving forward with the lingering threat of COVID-19.

“It could be a real game changer in the fight against this pandemic,” Ms Jones said.

The test could cost as little as a cup of coffee, 9 News reports.

There are hopes that it could be used in a spray to be applied to personal protective equipment like face shields and face masks.



Trump Still Building the Border Wall

In spite of Covid-19, the Trump administration is on track to hit its goal of building 450 miles of border wall by the end of this year. Currently, crews have built 341 miles and are averaging more than a mile-a-day of new wall. To date, they have used 509,000 tons of steel and 732,000 cubic yards of concrete to construct the wall.

Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government, issued the following statement in reaction to the update:

“President Donald Trump continues to keep promises as 341 miles of new border security wall have been put up with the past three months averaging more than a mile a day. In spite of constant fighting with Democrats who opposed this basic measure, the Trump administration is on pace to hit its goal of building 450 miles of wall by the end of the year.

“Protecting America from illegal immigration, the free flow of drugs across the border, and the national security threats of the open border has been a priority which President Trump has fought tooth and nail to achieve. The President knows that you cannot have a secure America without a secure border and has expended massive amounts of political capital to keep this promise. No one can doubt that this President has been resolute in his determination to stop the flow of illegal traffic across our border, the same cannot be said of Joe Biden.

“The Obama-Biden administration built the cages and put children in them along the southern border. The Obama-Biden administration oversaw and encouraged the flooding of our southern border with illegal immigrants. The Obama-Biden administration gave lip-service to southern border security while allowing the few barriers along the border to fall into disrepair. President Trump has not only been busy building the wall, but because Mexico has begun cooperating with us and is now turning back illegal entrants, there has been a significant drop in the numbers of illegal entrants into our country.”

“What’s more, President Trump has cracked down on those who have used the legal VISA provisions under law to replace American workers with cheaper foreign labor, in many cases forcing the displaced Americans to train their replacements.”



New Project Veritas Video: Voter Fraud in Ilhan Omar’s District

A Somali whistleblower working in the sheriff’s office helped O’Keefe record evidence of a cash-for-votes scheme.

A“ballot broker” boasts about keeping hundreds of absentee ballots in his car trunk. He brags about them being filled in by people other than the voters. Often, money changes hands. Witnesses tie the rampant fraud to the campaign chairman of a prominent member of the radical “squad” in the U.S. House. Loose election laws allow people to come from out of state, vote, and then leave again.

This activity is really happening in America in 2020, and it’s been captured on video by guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe. Some of it could be coming to swing states near you if something isn’t done.

A concerted effort is being made to use the coronavirus as an excuse to transform how we vote in elections by shifting to mail-in or absentee ballots. We are told that democracy will be improved if we allow ballots to be handled outside the scrutiny of election officials — and that there is almost no voter fraud, so what’s to worry about?

Trump Calls on U.S. Attorney to Investigate Reports of Illegal Ballot Harvesting by Ilhan Omar Supporters
FBI Investigating Whether Ilhan Omar Married Her Brother
Common sense and election observers argue against any sudden shift. “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud,” concluded the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by former President Jimmy Carter. Allowing such ballots “increases the risks of fraud and of contested elections.”

In 2012, a grand jury in Miami-Dade County warned about the risks of absentee voting: “Once that ballot is out of the hands of the elector, we have no idea what happens to it. The possibilities are numerous and scary.”

Omar Escobar, the Democratic district attorney of Starr County, Texas, says that in his area the abuse of elderly citizens for their absentee ballots is such that “the time has come to consider an alternative to mail-in voting . . . something that can’t be hijacked.”

Guerilla filmmaker James O’Keefe is famous for having busted institutions ranging from the fraudulent voter-registration group ACORN to NPR to Google. His Project Veritas team has also piled up an impressive array of videos documenting voter fraud and how easy it is to commit it.

Veritas reporters found that it was easy to vote using the name of a dead person in New Hampshire. They filmed a Greenpeace activist in Colorado boasting about how he could find ballots in trash cans that could be fraudulently mailed in. In North Carolina, political operatives encouraged Veritas representatives to vote even if they were not citizens. In 2016, Veritas cameras caught Alan Schulkin, Manhattan’s Democratic election commissioner, saying, “It’s absurd. There is a lot of fraud. Not just voter fraud, all kinds of fraud.” He explained, “They put [people] in a bus and go from poll site to poll site.” Schulkin was promptly fired for his candor by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.

Now O’Keefe has trained his cameras on “ballot harvesting,” in which third parties collect mail-in ballots and deliver them to election officials. While illegal in some states, it is legal in California and other states. The individual collecting the ballots can even be a paid campaign worker for someone who is on the ballot. So-called ballot brokers will target certain communities, apartment complexes, or nursing homes to collect votes for their political party.

O’Keefe has uncovered what appears to be a massive ongoing voter-fraud scheme in Minneapolis. It is linked to the political machine of Ilhan Omar, the congresswoman from Minnesota’s fifth district (Minneapolis) and a close ally of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the U.S. House.

Omar was first elected in 2018 and quickly became a controversial figure, rebuked for her anti-Semitic remarks and accused of shady campaign spending and having committed immigration fraud by marrying her brother. In 2020, she was challenged by Antone Melton-Meaux, a lawyer who promised to pay less attention to national progressive politics and who ran on the campaign slogan “Focused on the Fifth.” He was endorsed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial board and former Minneapolis NAACP president Nekima Levy-Armstrong.

Many people believe that Omar’s complete domination of the district’s politics is rooted in her machine’s ability to fool, seduce, or bribe members of her Somali community into committing voter fraud.

Minnesota law forbids anyone from “ballot harvesting” more than three ballots in an election. So why does Liban Mohamed, a “ballot broker,” boast about having 300 ballots in his car from the August primary, many of them blank and some opened? “Money is everything,” he laughs on the video. Activists describe how people receive cash when they hand their absentee ballot over so it can be filled out.

A. J. Awed, a Somali who was a losing candidate for city council in Minneapolis’s Ward 6, is shocked at the “corruption” he sees. He calls Omar’s machine “an alliance between [her] clan and the progressive Left.” A Somali political activist says the state’s Democratic Party knows all about the schemes. She describes how Somalis have long moved in from out of state and temporarily established residence and then voted on Election Day, with local campaign workers “vouching” for them. They then disappear and go back to their real homes and their normal lives. Now, with the loosening of mail-in ballot laws, cheating is even easier.

O’Keefe’s guide and facilitator in making these undercover videos is Omar Jamal. A Somali American, Jamal works for the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and also runs the Somali Watchdog Group, which fights corruption by some of the community’s leaders.

O’Keefe’s sources say the practices that O’Keefe describes are organized by Ali (Isse) Gainey, Ilhan Omar’s deputy district director. Isse has served critical roles in Omar’s two successful congressional campaigns as the field organizer for her Minnesota House race and the outreach director for her first congressional campaign. Jamal says that Omar is “victimizing her own community and undermining election integrity.”

Nor is the corruption new. Phyllis Kahn, a Democratic state representative in Minneapolis for 44 years until Omar defeated her in 2016, has long complained about voter fraud tied to Omar’s machine; she believes that fraud contributed to her sudden defeat.

Nor is Kahn the only Democrat concerned that voter fraud exists and is seriously undermining our elections. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaii Democrat who made a mild splash as a presidential candidate this year, has become a lead co-sponsor of a bill to withdraw federal election assistance from states that allow ballot harvesting. Her Republican counterpart on the Election Fraud Prevention Act is Illinois Republican Rodney Davis.

“Banning ballot harvesting is not a partisan issue . . . and it is ripe for fraud,” she says in a video. “It poses a serious threat to the integrity of our elections.”

Omar Jamal is even more blunt. “If American people don’t pay attention to what’s happening, soon the country will collapse,” he warns. “The rules and regulations, if you ignore that, and you let corruption and fraud become a daily business, then tough luck. The country will not exist as they know it.”




The Democrats’ $2.2 trillion COVID relief bill is still likely too rich for GOP (Washington Examiner)

Senate Republicans eye Amy Coney Barrett floor vote at end of October, just days before election (Fox News)

Rules are for the little people: Senator Dianne Feinstein walks through an airport without a mask — just three months after she demanded a nationwide mask mandate (Daily Mail)

Biden’s Texas political director implicated in massive mail-in ballot harvesting scheme in Harris County (American Greatness)

Minneapolis police say they will look into allegations of ballot harvesting connected to Ilhan Omar (The Post Millennial)

Next time someone tells you noncitizens don’t vote in U.S. elections, tell them about Canadian Christine Chernosky (PJ Media)

Minneapolis plan to defund the police collapses; city council members “regret” making pledge (The Daily Wire)

Arizona cop stops at 3 a.m. to pick up fallen American flag (Disrn)

A military first: Supercarrier is named after Doris Miller, a heroic black sailor at Pearl Harbor (NPR)

Policy: Why American exceptionalism is different from other countries’ “nationalisms” (The Daily Signal)


For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL 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 here. Home page supplement


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

From RBG to Mask Mandates, the Dems Beg for Authoritarian Rule

Imagine living in a country where your basic rights are subject to a single individual’s whim and decree. That this individual could die at any moment and her replacement will make a new decree removing those basic rights. Is this the country you want to live in?

Imagine in the late 18th century telling Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and George Washington that 240 years after the revolutionary war, millions of Americans would be mourning the death of a single individual with lamentations that their basic rights, freedoms, and even our system of government are endangered.

Imagine telling these patriots who were pledging their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to facing down the most powerful monarch on the face of the planet that these Americans would be screaming and wailing at the sky over the death of this single individual who they often referred to as a “queen.”

Is there any doubt that our Founding Fathers, knowing that millions of their fellow Americans would vest such faith, power, and control in a single individual – a “queen” – would look at each other and say, “Oh, why bloody bother? We have our wealth and property; let’s go get an ale.”

I wouldn’t blame them, and neither would you.

This is not the America our Founders envisioned or expected for us, their posterity.

And those Americans who crave, yearn and plea for such a nation should be looked upon with suspicion.

There is a common theme in the fervent lamentations hurled upon the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from the Left in this country: That she was the last standing protection in this country from multitudes losing their basic rights and now that she is gone, these rights are facing an existential crisis.

How obscene.

To think that our basic rights are in the hands of an 87-year-old woman with several bouts of cancer is terrifying and antithetical to everything our country was supposed to stand for. But this is the country the Left has created by lifting the Supreme Court to the level of some kind of super-legislature with its limited members enjoying lifetime appointments.

The basics of your constitutional rights are not supposed to be determined by one tie-breaking vote on the Supreme Court. Your constitutional rights are determined in the Constitution. And if you want to modify the Constitution to recognize and protect more rights, then there is a mechanism to do just that. They are called amendments. We’ve used it many times in our 240 years.

Instead of following James Madison and Alexander Hamilton’s recipe, the Left has used the courts to inject newfound rights and protections with unelected judges who are never accountable to the American people. This has been a recipe for disaster, which has now led us to this revealing moment.

The Left has not been circumspect about their strategy to remake our Constitution through judicial fiat. Instead, they are threatening violent revolution if they can’t have a hand in selecting their new, replacement monarch in Queen RBG’s place.

It’s telling. They actually like this arrangement.

This tendency toward authoritarianism is also revealed in their singular criticism of President Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If Joe Biden and other Democrats are ever properly pressed on their hyperbolic attacks on Trump of coronavirus, the only real policy they point to that they’d have done differently is to have a national mask mandate. Now, let’s set aside some of the dubious science behind many of the mask mandates we’ve seen pop up in Democrat states. Let’s instead think through their real criticism of Trump in this regard.

Think about it: The one thing they’d do that Trump didn’t do is implement a nation-wide mandate to wear a mask. This mask declaration is undoubtedly unconstitutional, but they don’t care. They insist that not only is the mandate necessary, but any president who does not implement one is neglectful of his duties to the American people.

Their biggest criticism of Trump in this pandemic is that he has not been authoritarian enough.

“How dare the president not command what we should and should not wear in public and how we should or should not behave!!!”

It doesn’t end there. From the Green New Deal, mandates on your car, your travel choices, your diet, your choice of gun for self-defense, your income, your energy options, your income level, your medical choices, your doctor, your children’s school, and on and on and on… the Democrats have a plan to fix this country, as long as you just let them tell you what to do and fine or throw you in jail if you disobey.

They want their monarch to sit on the throne in the Supreme Court to grant or deny you your rights and they want the head of state to mandate your behavior and life choices so that it serves the state.

Imagine, we used to get upset in this country over a tax on tea.



Kamala Harris is branded ‘ignorant’ for praising BLM protests and calling them ‘essential’ just three days after two cops were shot during Louisville riots

Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris has come in for criticism after saying that protests against racial injustice, including those by the Black Lives Matter group are ‘essential for the evolution of our country’ – with some online branding her ‘ignorant’.

Senator Harris D-Calif. made the comments during the NAACP’s national convention in which she was interviewed for more than one hour and come just three days after two police officers were shot and injured during rioting in Louisville.

The shooting came after a grand jury’s decision not to charge the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. One of the officers involved was charged with wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment.

‘Nothing that we have achieved that has been about progress, in particular around civil rights, has come without a fight, and so I always am going to interpret these protests as an essential component of evolution in our country – as an essential component or mark of a real democracy.

‘The people’s voices must be heard, and it is often the people who must speak to get their government to do what it is supposed to do, but may not do naturally unless the people speak loudly – and obviously peacefully.’

Harris went on to praise the ‘brilliance’ and ‘impact’ of the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘I actually believe that Black Lives Matter has been the most significant agent for change within the criminal justice system,’ she said.

‘I think, a community and the country speaking out, understanding that nothing that we have achieved that has been about progress in this country has come without a fight. Nothing that we have achieved in our country that has been about progress, and in particular around civil rights has come without a fight.’

The comments came thick and fast with many seemingly shocked at the vice presidential candidate’s take on recent events.

‘Unmoved by the violence in our streets and the brutal attacks on our police officers, Kamala Harris says the ‘protests’ are essential for our ‘evolution’ as a country,’ wrote Arthur Schwarz as he used the senators own words against her.

It was a view shared by Steve Guest, Rapid Response Director of the GOP.

‘After months of left-wing violence, Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris says these protests are an essential part of our ‘evolution’ as a country,’ encouraging others to see fault with Harris’ words.

Robby Starbuck, a Cuban-American director and producer also attempted to place Harris’ quotes into relevant context.

”Nothing we’ve achieved… has come without a fight and so I’m always going to interpret these protests as an essential component of evolution in our country… and as necessary.’ – Kamala Harris Remember this when you see cities on fire & people attacked’, Starbuck added.

Another Twitter user, Philip Camp, called the senator ‘stupid’: ‘Kamala Harris praises BLM, says ongoing protests are ‘essential’ for change in US. Just shows how stupid Kamala Harris is. The country is going to pot with people like her in leadership roles.’

Christian author Daniel Bobinski was also far from impressed by what he had heard.

‘I’d like to publicly thank Kamala Harris for telling Americans that the protests (aka riots) need to continue … and hold her personally responsible for the violence and the medical bills … and yes, the deaths, too. I lay this at the feet of Congressional Democrats,’ he tweeted.

It’s not the first time Harris has defended the cause of protestors taking to city streets across the country.

‘We must always defend peaceful protest and peaceful protesters. We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including the shooter who was arrested for murder. Make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice,’ Harris said last month.

Harris’ comments come at the end of another week of mass protests over the death of Black Americans including Breonna Taylor, whose case prompted a series of demonstrations earlier this week.

Two officers, Louisville Metro Police Department, LMPD officer Robinson Desroches, left, and LMPD Maj. Aubrey Gregory were shot during clashes in Louisville on Wednesday, after authorities announced a grand jury had decided not to charge anyone in connection with the death of Taylor

Hundreds of demonstrators chanted Taylor’s name and marched in cities including New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Las Vegas and Portland.

People gathered in Millennium Park, Chicago, chanting demands for justice as drivers in Michigan Avenue honked their horns.

Police in Atlanta unleashed chemical agents and made arrests after some protesters tried to climb on a SWAT vehicle.

In Wisconsin, peaceful marchers blocked traffic on an interstate and spoke about Ms Taylor on the steps of the state Capitol.

In Louisville, police said they arrested 127 people after what began as peaceful protests. Officers declared an unlawful assembly after they said fires were set in bins and several vehicles were damaged.

A police statement also described the ‘looting’ of several stores. Footage emerged showing buildings vandalized and burned in Louisville

Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said a suspect was detained in the shooting of two officers, who are expected to recover from their wounds.

Jail records later confirmed Larynzo D Johnson, 26, was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and multiple charges of wanton endangerment of police officers.



Platinum Plan Just Another Example of President Trump Supporting the Black Community—Democrats Could Learn Something From This

All too often, we see Democrats attack Black Americans like me who refuse to fall in line and answer every beck and call. We’re called names like “Uncle Tom” and “traitor” for refusing to obey Democrats when they tell us we are supposed to believe or react a certain way. I personally witnessed this after leaving the White House for President Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention (RNC) acceptance speech last month.

As I left the White House, a group of far-left radicals consisting of Democratic allies like Antifa and Black Lives Matter surrounded me – throwing insults and threats my way. If it were not for the brave law enforcement officers who protected me, I may not be here today. These radicals are the people who Democrats have embraced in recent months, and silence speaks louder than words. Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris have refused to condemn the far-left radicals of their party like Antifa and Black Lives Matter. If anything, the two are endorsing the fringes of their own party by refusing to take a stand against them.

As a Black man who is still a member of the Democratic Party, I am not afraid to support President Trump or call out the problems I see within my own party, and this is definitely one of them. All we have to do to see how radical these fringes of the Democratic Party have become is to look at the Black Lives Matter website.

The organization outright stated that they intend to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” until they just recently wiped the claim from their website. They called for the destruction of the nuclear family, which is already a problem that we are seeing in Black communities. If Democrats want to represent all Americans, why are they embracing radicals who hate everything America represents? As a proud American, as a proud Black man, and as a proud Democrat, I will be the first to condemn the fringes of my party.

But what do I get for speaking the truth? What do I get for telling Democrats they have a serious problem? I’ll tell you what I get – I get violent rioters screaming in my face that I am an “Uncle Tom,” a “race traitor,” and other awful names that I refuse to even give the light of day. After Senator Tim Scott, football star Herschel Walker, and I spoke at the RNC, “Uncle Tom” trended on Twitter. I have personally seen racism in America, and it’s not coming from the Republican Party.

The Democratic Party has a serious racism problem today in America, and it’s coming from the fringes that Democrats refuse to disavowal. Racism is ridiculing a Black man for breaking free from the Democratic plantation. It’s treating a Black man like he is stupid, ignorant, or some kind of traitor because he dares to think for himself.

I’ll tell you right now. If Democrats want to fix their racism problem, then they need to rid their party of the radicals like Antifa and Black Lives Matter that refuse to accept anything less than conformity – anything less than complete obedience. They’re prejudice toward those of us who don’t fit their “mold” of what a Black person is supposed to be or is supposed to believe. Democrats cannot allow this to continue.

It’s time for the Democratic Party to rid itself of the intolerant racists who refuse to step out of the way and allow the party to open up and welcome all Americans into its arms. We can’t do that when radical far-left groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter are controlling the direction of the party and when the party’s leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris allow the nonsense to continue.

Meanwhile, President Trump has gone above and beyond to help Black communities – the same Black communities that Democrats pandered to and ignored for decades. As he just announced in his Platinum Plan, President Trump will be committing $500 billion to create what will be known as a new era of prosperity for Black communities and will also be committing to new legislation to further build on the historic First Step Act. What has Joe Biden offered? Nothing but empty promises.

If you’re a Democrat like me, that’s why we must re-elect President Trump. We must show the Democratic Party that we will not accept their intolerance any longer. President Trump has been open and accepting to all Americans, and the Republican Party has grown as a result. It’s time for Democrats to do the same, and they won’t get the message unless we send President Trump back to the White House once again.



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL 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 here. Home page supplement


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

A dash of cold water on Kurt Schlichter’s triumphalism (Yesterday)

Jeff Jacoby:

A SUPREME COURT seat is vacant. A Republican-controlled Senate is preparing to confirm a Republican president’s nominee. And liberals are aghast at the tightening right-wing grip on the highest court in the land.

The sudden vacancy has given the president “a chance to consolidate what could become the most conservative majority on the Supreme Court in more than 50 years,” reports the St. Louis Post Dispatch. With the addition of another Republican-appointed justice, observes Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legal affairs reporter, “the conservatives will all but have a complete lock on the Supreme Court.” In the Palm Beach Post, an editorial writer gloomily forecasts that “by next July, it’s likely that the most conservative Supreme Court in decades will have overturned Roe vs. Wade.”

There is no gainsaying the anguish on the left at the prospect of a conservative jurist succeeding Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court, but those remarks weren’t gleaned from the past week’s news. They were made 30 years ago, when the Republican president was George H.W. Bush, and the vacant seat was that of retiring Justice William Brennan.

Laments about how ominously conservative the Supreme Court has become have been a staple of our national discourse for decades. In 2009, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick characterized the court as a venue “in which big business always prevails, environmentalists are always buried, female and elderly workers go unprotected, death row inmates get the needle, and criminal defendants are shown the door.” Eleven years later, she still calls it “without a doubt the most conservative Supreme Court we’ve had since the New Deal.” It is a description echoed widely, from The Boston Globe (“the most conservative in more than 75 years”) to The Wall Street Journal (“perhaps the most conservative Supreme Court in 80 years”). And, just like 30 years ago, there is no end of liberal distress about the travesties in store if another Republican appointee joins the court. Should President Trump succeed in naming Ginsburg’s replacement, declares Rolling Stone, “almost everything she worked for in her career is sure to be swept away in the coming years.”

Time for a reality check.

In its latest term, the most conservative Supreme Court since the 1930s handed down decision after decision that gladdened the hearts of liberals or disappointed advocates on the right.
It blocked the Trump administration from ending DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, preventing the potential deportation of 650,000 young immigrants known as “dreamers.”

It shot down a challenge to New York City’s restrictive handgun law, and refused to even consider 10 other cases contesting the constitutionality of gun controls.

It ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars an employer from firing a worker for being gay or transgender.

It invalidated a Louisiana law requiring doctors in abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

It rejected a church’s insistence that it was unlawful to keep houses of worship closed due to the pandemic while casinos were permitted to open.

It swept aside Trump’s claim that he is protected by presidential immunity from having his business records subpoenaed by Congress and federal prosecutors.

Yes, some of those cases were decided with 5-4 majorities. But on some of the biggest liberal wins (LGBT job protections, Trump’s immunity, handguns), two or even three of the conservatives were on the prevailing side.

In short, the “most conservative” Supreme Court repeatedly confirmed that it is no knee-jerk opponent of everything liberal Democrats value and offers no guaranteed victories for conservative Republicans.

It is a fallacy to think that the Supreme Court can be reduced to push-button predictability based on the politics of the justices or the party of the president who appoints them. The court simply doesn’t work that way. Notwithstanding the by-now-inevitable hyperventilation about how much is riding on whether a particular nominee is confirmed or rejected, the justices in most cases are not sharply divided. In its 2019-2020 term, the Supreme Court issued decisions in 69 cases. Only 13 ended in a bare 5-4 split, whereas 25 were decided unanimously or with just one dissent.

None of this is to suggest that the justices’ rulings are never influenced by their political ideology or judicial philosophy. But there are other considerations that bear on how cases are decided, from respect for precedent to shifts in public opinion to concern for the high court’s reputation. Decisions can be shaped by negotiations among the justices or by points raised during oral argument. And there is a long history of justices shifting ideologically — usually to the left.

Would the confirmation of another conservative justice affect future rulings? Undoubtedly. But it isn’t so easy to say how. “The conservative justices are jurisprudentially conservative, but that this doesn’t always translate into politically conservative results,” says Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University. “This is why they often reach conclusions that those on their ‘side’ might not like. And the court’s conservatives are not all conservative in the same way. Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas are more originalist and textualist; John Roberts is more minimalist.”

For decades, abortion-rights activists have warned that Roe v. Wade is hanging by a thread, yet at every crucial juncture it has been upheld by Republican appointees on the high court. In the 1992 landmark of Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which ratified the “essential holding” of Roe, all the justices in the majority were Republican appointees. In the Louisiana case this year, Chief Justice Roberts switched his previous stance to demonstrate fidelity to the principle of stare decisis. The result, as National Review put it in a headline, was that “Roberts Sides with High Court’s Left Bloc to Safeguard Abortion.”

Whoever replaces RBG, there will be Supreme Court decisions that will have conservatives spitting nails. There are bound to be others that will have the same effect on liberals. What should matter most in a nominee is not whether she leans to the left or the right, but whether she will strive “faithfully and impartially” to deliver what the job demands: equal justice under law.



Trump is now more progressive than the left

Trump is Hitler. Literally. Remember that? Leftists marched through the streets with placards showing Trump with a Hitler tache. Serious commentators said Trump’s rhetoric had ominous echoes of the 1930s. And they’re still at it. Under Trump, America is ‘spiralling towards fascism’, said a columnist for the Guardian last week.

Not only is all this Hitler-talk a cheap and cynical shot, it’s the polar opposite of the truth. Far from being a reincarnation of mid-20th-century evil, Trump is increasingly saying things that the left ought to be saying. On every issue, from race to freedom to revolutionary history, the Bad Orange Man is now more progressive than the left that loves to hate him.

Something striking has happened in recent weeks: Trump has joined the culture wars with relish. And he’s joined on the side of those who want to live in a post-racial, free society that cherishes the leaps forward made by revolutionaries in the past. You don’t need to be an expert on 1930s and 1940s Europe to know that this isn’t what Hitler was about. Post-racial? Hitler was all about race. He loved it. He saw everything through its noxious prism.

Trump, in contrast, has set himself up as an opponent of racial thinking in its entirety. In a striking intervention last week, he attacked the racial myopia of the new left and the identitarian set. At a White House Conference on American History, he ridiculed critical race theory – the fashionable, academia-spawned outlook that says America is an inescapably racist country and that all white people are privileged and all black people are oppressed. It is a ‘horrible doctrine’, he said, which, ‘by viewing every issue through the lens of race’, risks imposing a ‘new segregation’ in American society.

Trump cited an example of critical race theory to show that it isn’t only demeaning to white people but to black people, too. He referred to the Smithsonian Institute’s recent claim that ‘concepts such as hard work, rational thinking, the nuclear family and belief in God’ are ‘not values that unite all Americans’ but rather are ‘aspects of “whiteness”’. This is ‘offensive and outrageous’, Trump said, especially to ‘children of minority backgrounds who should be uplifted, not disparaged’.

Trump countered critical race theory with the words of Martin Luther King. Describing King as one of ‘the most incredible people who ever lived’, he said we should ‘embrace [his] vision… where children are not judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character’. The identitarian left is trying to destroy that ‘beautiful vision’, he said, and to ‘divide Americans by race in the service of political power’.

No doubt some will say he is just posturing. What about the disparaging comments he has made about Mexicans? Or his travel ban on people from certain Muslim-majority countries? He’s no anti-racist. And perhaps these people have a point. But the broader question, surely, is why it has fallen to Donald Trump, the demagogue most hated by the liberal elites, to defend the legacy of Martin Luther King and the vision of a post-racial society against a new, sometimes violent identitarian movement that is obsessed with racial categorisation and which promotes a view of whites as wicked and blacks as weak and pathetic and incapable of hard work and rational thinking.

The question isn’t ‘Is Trump being opportunistic when he criticises the poisonous new politics of race?’. It’s ‘Why hasn’t Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders or the apparently high-minded, left-leaning writers at the New York Times done likewise?’. The modern left has so thoroughly abandoned its old universalist principles – its rejection of racial thinking and its preference for character over colour – that it now falls to Trump to make these good, decent, liberal points. It’s no good people saying he’s just pretending to be an anti-racist, unless they also explain why so much of the contemporary left has fully and dangerously bought into the rehabilitation of racial thinking and the replacement of the MLK outlook with a wholly regressive view of whites and blacks as irredeemably different beings.

Trump took a shot at identity politics more broadly in his speech on American history. Instead of fragmenting the public into ever-splitting categories of race, gender and sexuality, we should recognise that our ‘only path to national unity is through our shared identity as Americans’, he said. And again the question arises: why haven’t the Democrats said this? Why is the supposedly left-liberal party constantly playing a modern, PC version of pork-barrel politics, always appealing to ethnic blocs, instead of emphasising the most important identity in the US – the national one, the unifying one, the American one? Trump’s executive order banning federal employers from promoting critical race theory is likely to be popular with a large swathe of American society.

Trump has also taken a firmer stand against insidious new forms of censorship than most of the liberal elite has. Three days before that Harper’s letter was published, in which literary figures and activists made some strong points about cancel culture, Trump gave a speech at Mount Rushmore in which he slammed the new McCarthyism. The ‘political weapon’ of ‘cancel culture’ is being used to totalitarian ends, he said, ‘driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees’.

In relation to the ideology of political correctness that insists that everyone must adhere to correct-think on race, gender and other issues, Trump said: ‘If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished.’ He’s right. It used to be the left, especially the countercultural left, that bristled at any ideology that demanded unflinching conformity. Now, much of the left imposes just such an ideology, or denies that it exists (‘cancel culture is a myth’), while it is left to Trump to stand up for the freedoms of thought and speech.

Trump also does a better job than the contemporary left of valorising the revolutionary ideals upon which America was founded. Where the new nihilists of the radical left and the academic elites constantly slam the US, and the West more broadly, as evil entities born in sin, arising from the horrors of slavery and Empire, Trump puts in a good word for Jefferson and the American Revolution and for 1776. He says he wants to counter ‘the crusade against American history’.

His key target is the 1619 Project, the New York Times’ multimedia educational tool that seeks to rewrite American history so that the arrival of the first slaves in 1619 would be its founding moment, rather than the revolutionary upheaval of 1775 to 1783, including of course the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Trump has now set up the 1776 Commission to teach children about the ‘miracle of American history’.

Like parodies of themselves, his critics have cited his 1776 Commission as proof of his fascistic tendencies. America is ‘spiralling towards fascism’ and the 1776 Commission is an effort to ‘Make America White Again’, said the Guardian, literally making no sense. The truth is that the cultural elites now sneer at the revolutionary founding of the United States – the first nation in history founded as a democracy – and tirelessly talk about America’s original sin of slavery and its legacy of white supremacy. Their political worldview is a nihilistic one that sees the US as malevolent society at root, whereas Trump holds the US up as a nation founded in revolution, optimism and the ideals of ‘incredible people’ such as Jefferson and King. And people still wonder why Trump appeals to working Americans more than coastal America-bashers do.

But Trump doesn’t really believe in freedom of speech, people will say. And he isn’t really against identity politics, they will insist. And he probably doesn’t know much about American history, they will joke. And again, perhaps they’re right. There are certainly many profound problems with Trump’s views and style. But this is the bottom line: he is going into this presidential election criticising cancel culture, publicly denouncing divisive identity politics, celebrating America’s democratic founding and quoting Martin Luther King, while the other side drones on about white privilege, hurtful words, BLM, slavery and the need to have a reckoning with America’s allegedly evil past. If Trump keeps this up, whether it’s an act or not, he will attract those many, many Americans who love their country and who think character is the only true measure of an individual’s worth.



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL 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 here. Home page supplement


Monday, September 28, 2020

A cry of triumph from the inimitable Kurt Schlichter

I don’t like counting chickens before they hatch but this nomination would seem to be secure. Abortion will be the big issue here. As an atheist, I am not opposed to all abortion. I think we should leave it to the mother to abort a child of rape or a defective child, for instance.

And the fact is that there is no mention of abortion in the constitution so the judgments by past Leftist judges that prohibition is unconstitutional is just another liberal lie. If the new judge gets enough support to refer the matter back to the states, where it belongs, I would be pleased

But “stare decisis” could well interfere with any change

I had a happy laugh when I read these words from Judge Barrett:

“I love the United States and I love the United States Constitution”.

She is a true patriot and hence a real conservative

Feminists should love her for her success in a prestigious job while “having it all” by raising a big family. But they have no principles, only hate

Now that President Trump has picked Amy Coney Barrett for the SCOTUS seat, it’s time to get busy with our most important immediate task – rubbing liberals’ noses in how we are going to install a hardcore conservative on the court to crush their hideous pinko dreams. Soon we will switch into defending her from the hurricane of slander to come, but right now is a time when we need to reflect on the Fredocons’ calls for unity and reaching out and hugging and rejecting those sissy losers’ pathetic attempt to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Amy Coney Barrett is the justice we deserve, and also the justice that the simps, Never Trumpers, and libs deserve – and they deserve her good and hard.

One thing the elite has never quite gotten a handle on with Trump is how he blends policy and showmanship – he’s the best political communicator since at least Ronald Reagan. Picking the Notorious ACB is not just a policy triumph – she’s going to be great down the line, on guns, religious freedom, and not killing kids – but her appointment is a powerful message to our alleged betters. She’s not some Ivy League doofus mincing about Harvard Yard complaining about how the uppity gardener left grass clippings on the walkway that got on his deck shoes. She’s a married believer from Indiana and is therefore staggeringly normal compared to the coastal elitists who think they rule us. She’s young and bright and looks like she’s happy – which to our elite, mired in perpetual faux angst, is an outrage. She has got a bunch of kids (including one future icon who rocked a pale blue suit with an orange tie like a boss), which the frigid, barren feminists already hate but which normal people will think is kind of nice. People who drive minivans will identify with her; people who drive Volvos will Nadler themselves.

The message Trump is sending by appointing someone so different from the old ruling caste cast of characters is that he’s replacing the elite – those dour, bitter leftists who have a never-ending series of complaints about how we peasants think and pray and live – with someone like those of us who don’t live in some blue enclave on the coast, eat kale, and loathe America.

Liberals realize that they must therefore destroy her, because she will not only block their extra-constitutional schemes but because she represents our slow yet steady progress in liberating our country and culture from the control of our failed elite. So, how will they come at her?

Look for procedural shenanigans to delay her vote until after the election. You might have noticed that getting her confirmed is really important to the GOP base, and preventing the Republican Senate from doing it before November 3rd is vital to the Dems’ dwindling election hopes. Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, himself in a tough race only because a lot of his natural base is still ticked at his past Lil’ Maverick shenanigans, understands that if he futzes around with the hearings instead of revving them up on October 6th, the other side will push the confirmation past Election Day and thereby make him and several other Republicans lose. Burned by their evil Kavanaugh machinations, and knowing his literal and figurative seat is on the line, woke Lindsey Graham (which is the best Lindsey Graham) is almost certain to return and ruthlessly push this nominee through.

They will come at ACB on policy, starting with her unwillingness to agree that the penumbras and emanations within the Constitution somehow require us to declare open season on unborn kids. Abortion is everything to these leftist weirdos, and that she will interpret the Constitution as it is written is the biggest threat to the leftist scheme to judicially remake America. They will accuse her of not being down with Planned Parenthood, as well as wanting to allow us to speak freely, to worship freely, and to keep and bear arms freely. When so accused, she should plead guilty as charged.

They certainly plan to attack her on healthcare, counting on the Democrat-owned teacher’s unions to have done such a garbage job teaching civics that the American people will not know that healthcare should not be a concern of the government or the courts, except to the extent the courts enforce contracts. What they ask her will make no sense, but the media will aid and abet the lies with such headlines as “Racist Nominee Thinks Healthcare Is Unconstitutional Because She Likes Jesus.” Whatever. She needs to be ready for the dumbness.

There are already attacks on her family. She has too many kids, the frosty harridans of the left insist, offended by her fertility and jealous that she has a husband who is attracted to her. Look for noted thinker Mazie (Your People Call Her “Corn”) Hirono to take a break from her pioneering particle physics research to ask ACB, “How can you have seven kids when global warming is a thing?” Other ghouls will question why she chose not to snuff her Down’s child. And the fact she adopted two Haitian kids has already led to creepy speculation that she kidnapped these children to “colonize” them, or some such idiocy – I refuse to spend valuable time deciphering these idiotic ravings. To libs, the proper thing to do with Haitians is rip-off their relief cash, like the Clintons did. Actually helping kids is racist or something.

As they attack her personally, her wholesome vibe will help. If a “She ran a sex gang!” accusation drops, people will look at her and think the only crew she could possibly run with would be a pack of Irish folk dancers busting out with a reel from Riverdance. And, of course, there will be manifestations of the anti-Catholic bigotry the Democrats allow to bubble under the surface within their caucus. They can’t fully get their heads around the idea that people actually believe this Jesus stuff, and they are so stunningly ignorant that they think the term “handmaid” originated in that stupid novel that blows lonely sophomores’ minds and not, you know, in the Bible.

The Dems will try not to make idiots of themselves and alienate voters with their prejudice, but they might not be able to help it – after all, her dogma lives loudly in their heads. The GOP, inside and out of government, should defend strongly religious belief, and Trump himself should take the opportunity to address black churchwomen – the one Democrat constituency that still actually believes in God – and invite them to join the party of Americans who don’t hold Christians and observant Jews in total contempt.

The left will try to leverage her faith in their inevitable tacky sex lie offensive. We likely won’t get “Amy Coney Barrett: The Epstein/Weinstein of Notre Dame.” What we will get is some creep claiming he scored with her at a dorm party when she was a freshman and had one Zima too many. See, because she’s Christian, a claim that she had sex before marriage will freak out us squares, don’t you know? That’s because no Christian has ever had sex before marriage, as far as libs know. Alternatively, as Dennis Miller opined, between bravura references to Joseph Wambaugh and the worst job in the Chinese royal court, that they will find some woman from ACB’s past who will swear the incoming justice counseled her to abort her baby. They expect we will believe it and recoil in horror, though Miller’s guest Mollie Hemingway shrewdly observed that that should make liberals like her. Either way, I am perfectly happy for the GOP to corner the market on imperfect Christians, and I expect such cheesy lines of attack, based on what libs mistakenly imagine normal people believe, to be about as effective as such prior ploys as trying to make us like Trump less because he used to score with Playboy Playmates.

We must fight back, and she will have to be feisty up there in front of that panel of Dem halfwits. I totally hope ACB, when asked about the inevitable hook-up claim, responds with something along the lines of, “Oh, I remember him, but we never did anything. He couldn’t make it, you know, happen. It was pretty embarrassing for both of us. I hear he now writes for the Bulwark.”

She’s going to go through hell in the next month and we need to have her back. Our GOP senators, led by Lindsey Graham, need to push this through and retaliate like rabid wolverines against the nonsense and lies of the Dems and their media serfs. Amy Coney Barrett is everything we need, and everything the liberals hate. She is a massive defeat for the left. Let’s rub the libs’ collective nose in it.



‘Naked ballots’ an issue in the US election

In the fiercely contested Gore vs Bush election of 2000, there were Florida’s notorious “hanging chads”: punch-card ballots had not been completely perforated, making it unclear whether they should be counted or thrown away.

The fight over Florida’s excruciatingly close result made its way to the US Supreme Court which, 36 days after election day, certified Bush the winner of Florida and, therefore, the presidency.

Among those in the minority of the 5-4 decision was Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week at age 87.

In this year’s presidential election, the most contentious issue could be “naked ballots” in Pennsylvania, a battleground state that could determine the election outcome. On the same day as Ginsburg’s death, Pennsylvania’s top court ruled that all postal ballots must be placed inside a special secrecy sleeve as well as the official return envelope. Unlike in previous elections, all ballots returned without the secrecy sleeve will be rejected.

These so-called “naked ballots” could have major consequences given Americans are expected to vote by mail in bigger numbers than ever before because of the coronavirus pandemic. Polls show Democrats are far more likely to vote by mail than Republicans – meaning they have the most to lose if officials reject a substantial number of postal ballots.

Philadelphia city commissioner Lisa Deeley, a Democrat, warned that the court’s decision put more than 100,000 postal votes in Pennsylvania at risk, based on past error rates.

In the 2016 election, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania by just over 44,000 votes.

In a letter to the Republican leaders of the state Senate and House of Representatives, Deely warned that the court’s naked ballot decision could make Pennsylvania the “subject of significant post-election legal controversy, the likes of which we have not seen since Florida in 2000.” She asked the legislators to eliminate the secrecy sleeve requirement – a request they quickly rejected.

A stoush over Pennsylvania’s “naked ballots” is just one of the possible conflicts that could play out through the courts if the result between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden is close on election night. Each state uses its own particular electoral rules, raising the chances of a variety of different legal challenges across the country.

Trump set off a firestorm on Thursday (AEST) by saying he would not necessarily accept the peaceful transfer of power if he does not accept the election result.

A widely-read article in The Atlantic this week said that Republicans have discussed taking the remarkable step of bypassing the will of the voters in crucial states if they are behind in the count. It is actually the 538 members of the Electoral College – the so-called “electors” – who decide the presidential outcome.

This fact is rarely discussed and even the most plugged-in political insider would be unable to name any of the electors, who are appointed by state party members and officials. That’s because, with only rare and usually inconsequential exceptions, the electors cast their ballots in accordance with the election result in their state. But that is not dictated by the US Constitution.

“With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly,” The Atlantic article said.



Could A Common Vaccine Prevent Covid-19? Washington University Leads Study To Find Out

Doctors at Washington University are investigating whether the commonly used measles, mumps and rubella vaccine could protect people against getting sick with the coronavirus.

The large international study is based on the concept of trained immunity — the idea that live vaccines can turbocharge the immune system.

“Of course it protects people from measles mumps and rubella, but activating the immune system with this type of vaccine could stimulate protection from other viruses as well,” said Dr. Mary Politi, a professor at Washington University and one of the researchers in the study. “The structural similarities might mean (that) when the body produces this response with antibodies with MMR, they could recognize the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The MMR vaccine could also trigger a more general immune response that could protect against multiple viruses, including the coronavirus, she said.

Washington University is coordinating the study in collaboration with other schools in England and South Africa. Researchers will give either a vaccine or a placebo to 30,000 health care workers in at least nine countries. Then they’ll see if those who received the vaccine have protection from the coronavirus or less severe symptoms if they do get sick.

Unlike the common flu shot, the MMR vaccine is what is called a “live” or “attenuated” vaccine. That means it contains a weakened form of the virus it protects against.

That’s key to its potential success, said Dr. Michael Avidan, another Wash U professor and principal investigator in the study.

“What seems to happen is when you get one of these live attenuated vaccines, it trains your immune system, and this lasts for a couple of months to a few years,” he said. “So [if] a year later you’re exposed to another infectious agent, your immune system is primed and ready in a robust and brisk way to fight off this new infection.”

“Trained immunity” only lasts for a short time, Avidan said. That’s why those who have received the MMR vaccine in the past may not be protected from COVID-19.

There’s also evidence live immunizations could protect against other viruses, Politi said. Earlier this year, close to 1,000 Marines, who receive MMR vaccinations when they join the military, were exposed to the coronavirus on a ship. Though many became sick, only one needed to be hospitalized.

It also could be why children, who may have received immunizations more recently, may not get as sick with the coronavirus as adults, Politi said.



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL 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 here. Home page supplement


Sunday, September 27, 2020

Survival rates for COVID-19

The CDC last week posted its new estimate of the survival rates for COVID-19, broken up by age.

This link put those number in clear terms:

0-19 years: 99.997%
20-49 years: 99.98%
50-69 years: 99.5%
70+ years: 94.6%

Those numbers are practically identical to those of the flu. In other words, practically no one dies from it. It makes some people sick for a week or so, and then goes away.

And we have destroyed western civilization over this. It boggles the mind (for those who are still using it).

The worst part is that no one will believe me. Instead, too many will be outraged that anyone would even hint that this virus is not the plague.



Just 1% of US Counties Have Had Nearly Half of All COVID-19 Deaths

As Heritage Foundation researchers have demonstrated throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. has been heavily concentrated in a small number of states—and among a small number of counties within those states.

As our research has pointed out, state-level figures do not adequately describe the concentrated nature of the spread of COVID-19.

Moreover, even though the U.S. saw a rapid rise in cases during the summer, the overall levels of concentration have remained fairly consistent.

For instance, as of Sept. 15, the 30 counties with the most COVID-19 deaths accounted for 26% of all the cases in the U.S. and 40% of all deaths, much greater than those counties’ share of the population (18.4%). That is, just 1% of the counties in the U.S., representing just over 18% of the population, are responsible for almost half of the country’s COVID-19 deaths.

The Heritage Foundation’s newest interactive graphic allows individuals to see more detail on these concentrations among the counties with the most deaths as well as those with the fewest.

For instance, the graphic allows users to select data from the five counties with the most deaths, all the way up to the 50 counties with the most deaths. It also allows visitors to select data from counties with no deaths, all the way up to counties with 10 or fewer.

Once a category is selected, the graphic provides the percentage of counties represented by that category, the percentage of the population contained in those counties, and the percentage of all U.S. COVID-19 deaths in those counties.

For example, as of Sept. 15, 60.6% of all counties are reporting 10 or fewer deaths. These counties represent 13.1% of the population, and account for only 2.7% of total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.

In contrast, the five counties with the most COVID-19 deaths represent just 0.2% of all counties, but they account for 16% of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., nearly three times their population share of 6.5%.

A list of the 50 counties with the most deaths is also provided, and that list has not changed very much since April. New York, for instance, recorded 32,745 deaths as of Sept. 15.

In fact, New York City has exerted an outsized influence on the national COVID-19-related death rate. Removing New York City’s deaths moves the U.S. from eighth place in the world in deaths per million to 13th place.

The New York City metropolitan statistical area even has an outsized influence on the overall statistics for the state of New York.

Removing counties in the New York City metropolitan statistical area from the state’s totals drops the death rate for New York state to 348 per million, nearly 80% lower than the state’s rate when the New York City metropolitan statistical area is included (1,674).

That’s well below the national average and would move New York state from second place to 23rd place in deaths per million.

The same exercise with COVID-19 cases in the New York City area has a similar effect on the state’s totals.

Specifically, when withholding the New York City metropolitan statistical area cases, the overall case rate for New York state plummets by 71% (from 22,065 to 6,505), a level that is well below the national average.

Removing the New York City metropolitan statistical area moves the state of New York from sixth in case rate among U.S. states to 42nd place.

As new Heritage Foundation research shows, as of Aug. 22, the death rate of 2,196 per million residents recorded in the New York City metropolitan statistical area is almost twice that of its nearest rival, Detroit, at 1,177.

Furthermore, the gap between New York City’s COVID-19-related death rate and those of cities that have experienced more recent outbreaks is even more pronounced. The New York City metropolitan statistical area’s death rate is more than triple those of Phoenix and Miami—two cities that have recorded higher rates of infection than New York. It is four and a half times that of Los Angeles and nearly six times that of Houston.

Now that COVID-19 testing has increased dramatically and many state and local governments have relaxed stay-at-home orders, it’s even more critical to study the trends in deaths along with cases.

To make studying these trends easier, The Heritage Foundation now has two interactive COVID-19 trackers. One tracks trends in cases; the other tracks trends in deaths.

The trackers describe whether the trend of cases—or deaths—is increasing or decreasing over the prior 14 days, and provides a visual depiction of new cases—or deaths—during that time period.

These tools help put the concentrated nature of the pandemic in perspective with county-level data. They show just how difficult it can be to use only one metric to gauge whether a county—or state—is doing well.



FBI finds mail-in ballots discarded in Pennsylvania. All of them were cast for President Trump

HARRISBURG – On Monday, September 21, 2020, at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, the Office of the United States Attorney along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scranton Resident Office, began an inquiry into reports of potential issues with a small number of mail-in ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections.

Since Monday, FBI personnel working together with the Pennsylvania State Police have conducted numerous interviews and recovered and reviewed certain physical evidence. Election officials in Luzerne County have been cooperative. At this point we can confirm that a small number of military ballots were discarded. Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time. Some of those ballots can be attributed to specific voters and some cannot. All nine ballots were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Our inquiry remains ongoing and we expect later today to share our up to date findings with officials in Luzerne County. It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted.



Making Mail-in Ballots ‘Secure’

Although more deeply at odds than at any time since the Civil War, both sides of our fractious nation’s political divide seem to agree on this: the 2020 federal elections are the most consequential of our lifetimes. Voters are being asked to decide nothing less than whether they want to “fundamentally change” America, or to keep America fundamentally American.

If the franchise is so very precious, if voting is a “sacred” right, then government must do everything it can to protect the integrity of our elections. But government has been failing in that solemn duty. Yes, the states spend a bunch of money and go through the motions on voter registration, but they never go to the heart of the matter when establishing the identity of each voter.

The claim that there is no evidence of fraud in America’s elections needs much more scrutiny. The reason that some, like the “experts” at the Brennan Center, contend that there’s “no evidence” for widespread election fraud is because it’s a debate tactic, an attempt to put those who make the opposite claim in the position of having to disprove the experts’ claim. But two can play that game, for there is “no evidence” that election fraud does not occur, and that each ballot was freely cast by an eligible voter who voted only once. Why is evidence expected for one claim but not for its opposite?

We know that election fraud occurs because people have been convicted of it. So when apologists for the current systems say that there’s “no evidence” that such fraud is widespread, they should be required to put a number on it. But they can’t, because with our current election systems fraud can be undetectable.

Unless fraud is detectable, it’s crazy to talk about there being “no evidence” for it. Even with in-person voting, election fraud can be pretty much undetectable. If an ineligible person, like an illegal alien, can just get on a voter registry, there’s little to stop him from voting. (Check out this August 29 article by Jon Levine at the New York Post on fraud with mail-in ballots.)

Suspicion of fraud and thoughts of stolen elections are corrosive. Since an election can be decided by a single vote, no fraud whatsoever should be tolerated. So those who contend that election fraud isn’t a problem need to be able to show the means by which the states detect fraud.

It’s doubtful that mail-in voting could ever be as secure as in-person voting. Even so, mail-in voting can be made more secure. Recently, this writer wrote that the inclusion on the ballot of a single piece of information, the SSN, would help government to ensure election integrity. Indeed, with the SSN on the ballot, fraud becomes detectable. Without a valid SSN that is on file with the feds, a ballot could be rejected. By requiring the SSN, elections could be flooded with more ballots than there are U.S. voters and the true winners could still be known. We’d even be able to detect double voting.

But with our current methods of doing mail-in voting, fraud is much more likely than with in-person voting, and much more undetectable. For instance, how can one know that a mail-in ballot was used by the person to whom it was mailed and not by someone else, like some “ballot harvester”?

With our current methods, whether or not one’s mail-in votes are deemed legitimate and are added to the counts can depend on the subjective judgment of whether or not a signature is legitimate. This would be less of a problem if mail-in ballots had to be notarized by a notary public. This June 1 article at NPR treats the states’ notarization and witness requirements and it includes an interesting map. The map shows that the states have several ways to verify ballots. Congress should require the states to abide by a single standard when conducting their elections for federal office.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is running a series called “Voting Outside the Polling Place,” or VOPP. But the NCSL’s search page for “VOPP” doesn’t seem to list any studies regarding any notarization and witnessing standards for mail-in ballots held by the states, (perhaps you can find them).

However, when one looks at “Signature and witness requirements” in the Ballotpedia entry for “Absentee/mail-in voting,” one sees that the vast majority of the states have no requirement for notarization, nor do they even require a witness. The only states that have any such requirements are the Red States of Alabama, Alaska, Missouri, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.

Immediately after the section on signature and witness requirements, we come to this: “Temporary modifications to absentee/mail-in voting procedures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.” And what we see is that requirements are being modified (waived, actually) for the 2020 elections. Of special interest are the modifications in Oklahoma: “On May 7, 2020, Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed SB210 into law, reinstating the absentee ballot notarization requirement struck down by the state supreme court on May 4, 2020.” (When it comes to voting, Oklahoma seems to be more rigorous than the other states, see SB 210).

There seems to be a media blackout of Joe Biden’s cognitive decline. Yet, early voting has already begun, and we haven’t even had the first debate. I doubt that Biden voters availing themselves of the early voting option will be allowed to change their early votes if they’re horrified by Biden’s debate performances.

When one puts early voting together with the way the states are doing mail-in voting, one might think that the 2020 elections really should begin again. If we were to start over and send out mail-in ballots again, the voter should be required to enter his SSN on his ballot. The gist of this was laid out in my last article and it’s pretty simple. My solution assumes that there will be voter fraud, but it provides a way to detect and correct it.

Because it’s dysfunctional, it’s doubtful that Congress can get itself to do anything about this insecure election coming up. Besides, Democrats think it perfectly fine to allow fraudsters to decide the character of our nation and her future.

Left-wing “activists” are threatening violence if President Trump nominates a replacement for Justice Ginsburg. But the uncertainty that mail-in voting has put our elections makes it more likely that candidates will be headed to court, just as in 2000. Having the full complement of nine justices, with its impossibility of a 4-4 tie vote, is essential for achieving a definitive decision by the high court. America may need a new Supreme Court justice just to decide the election.

America is conducting a supremely consequential election with election systems that are wide open to fraud. If that be so, then we need to do nothing less than restart this election with a single secure new system that all the states must use. Yes, early voters would need to vote again. But if the authorities cannot give confidence to the electorate by demonstrating and proving that the vote counts are correct and legitimate, then we can expect continued chaos in the streets.



For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL 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 here. Home page supplement