General thoughts on the resurgence and management of COVID-19

Ok. Here’s the deal. I said back in April, it doesn’t matter if the virus fades. There WILL be a resurge. At the end of the day, you’re not going to beat evolution/natural selection. Population medicine is not a pretty discipline. The focus should be on protecting the especially vulnerable. The problem arises when people in this field take the idea of “Do no harm,” but fail to take into account the big picture. At a policy level, this is something that is impossible to do. It’s an easy trap to look at the immediate harm of getting sick, and as a healthcare provider you’re driven to do something about it. It’s hard to explain to the layman, but it’s something built into you.  This is especially true of your rank-and-file physician.

What happens, though, is you get hyper-focused on that aspect of it. You miss seeing the harm those policies might do by extending the crises rather than managing the burn-through in a population. Continue reading

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Why this clinical scientist opposes masks

Umm… just to clarify. This isn’t a picture of me. It’s a category A hazmat suit here for satire.

Why don’t I wear a mask?  Or when I do, it’s a folded chiffon scarf? This answer is a bit long. It’s not a matter of political position, but clinical efficacy.  It’s also not a new debate.  I’ve found references of the tensions on the subject going back to the Spanish flu of 1918.

You’ll notice in the list, I’m not basing arguments on what CNN or FNC or any talking heads. These are all serious scientific positions. As one clinical article puts it:

“In conclusion there remains a substantial gap in the scientific literature on the effectiveness of face masks to reduce transmission of influenza virus infection. While there is some experimental evidence that masks should be able to reduce infectiousness under controlled conditions, there is less evidence on whether this translates to effectiveness in natural settings. There is little evidence to support the effectiveness of face masks to reduce the risk of infection.”

What evidence there is for natural settings is not significant. And, before someone chimes in with the “But if there is any chance…” argument, all that does is show that you don’t know what the term means. Anybody who understands the phrase, “Is not distinguishable from random error,” will not even try this argument. Besides, there is clinical evidence of the harm and that same argument can be thrown back at you.

Basically, you don’t take an extreme action on a “just in case.” Good practice is that you protect your most vulnerable populations or high risk populations.

So if you wonder why the CDC technical guidance says both yes and no at the same time and is filled with caveats, or there are disclaimers on masks in the store regarding their usefulness, these are some of the reasons why. Continue reading

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More bad ideas from The Week

The Week has one of the worst ideas of the day:  William Barr is in contempt. Congress should send him to jail.  Well, it’s not just their idea.  It seems to be catching on with the AOC left.

There’s reasons that Democrats are limiting their actions to pontification where Barr is concerned. At this point he hasn’t done anything that *can* be held in contempt.

His testimony yesterday was essentially political posturing on all sides. If Democrats try to go with contempt on that, they’re going to lose when its challenged. They *don’t* want that optic.

His “no-show” today is cannot be subject to contempt. Not only is this not under subpoena, this was a Q&A meeting that Barr *offered* and Nadler changed the format of at the last moment. The meeting was an opportunity to answer their questions, not face a prosecutorial styled interrogation more suited to an impeachment hearing. If they tried to charge contempt on that, they would lose again but with the added price of the witch hunt label being confirmed in the public eye.

Failure to produce the full un-redacted report *could* be subject to contempt, but will almost certainly fall to the inevitable motion to quash. The “less redacted” report which has only the minimal redactions demanded by law is already available to anyone with the sufficient security clearance to see the intel information. Access is necessarily controlled, but it is available and nobody on the Democrat side has gone to see it. Between this, privacy laws, and national security requirements, the Executive will win that challenge with the same price to Democrats as above.

Holding *anyone* in contempt, in general at this point, is an extreme risk and very low return proposition under the current structure of the inquiries. Between arguments of executive privilege and this being an abuse of subpoena power for political purpose and a lack of actual impeachment proceedings, then pulling in so many of the public statements by Democrats, the administration will be able to make a strong case on at least one and likely both defenses. That bucket of KFC at the House hearing sure didn’t help.

To change the equation will require the House to actually begin impeachment procedures. In that framework, much of the arguments above go away. However, there’s a reason Pelosi, Hoyer, et. al., are trying to calm down the calls for impeachment. It’s more than just knowing they would lose in the Senate trial. My gut feeling is that the House isn’t even sure that they could deliver on passing the Articles. There’s an old legal adage that you never ask a question for which you don’t know the answer.

This is rapidly turning into a lose-lose scenario for the Democratic party. With the current Democratic voices that are getting the press, there may not be a clear path out, either. They put all their eggs in the basket of taking down President Trump and failed. They are now trying to break the inevitable retaliation of the counter-investigation as to how all this got started. And they are at the mercy of their hard Left that won’t let them change course.

The end result, I suspect, is going to be a second term for President Trump, a hugely weakened Congress, and at least one – possibly two – more of the more progressive SCOTUS justices placed by the President.

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Thoughts on the word “Outdated.”

“The Electoral College is outdated.”

“The Second Amendment is outdated.”

We’re even starting to hear, “The First Amendment is outdated.”

Isn’t it odd that the definition of “outdated” is anything that stands in the way of progressive socialism? I’m more inclined to suggest that – based on its historical performance – that it’s Progressivism that is outdated and that the Constitution was far ahead of its time. It’s like it was designed for the challenges to liberty today.

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A Solution for Youth Violence

There really is a relatively easy solution to the problem. One that is right on many levels. A common sense way.

We need to ban anyone under age 21 from marching or protesting and any efforts to advocate for the same on social media should be subject to criminal investigation.

There are the clearly obvious reason for this. Children under 21 are not psychologically mature enough for such responsibility. Actually, research puts that age at 24, but with so many other elements of society putting the majority at 21, it would be hard to place the ban at 24. Protesting far too frequently ends up in violence with millions of dollars in damage and people being injured or worse. We’ve seen this repeatedly over recent years in campuses and cities throughout the country when protests turn into riots.

But there is another form of violence from which such a common sense restriction would protect our kids. There are those that would use our kids as soft targets to manipulate and whip into frenzies in order to advance their own issues. Since kids lack the emotional maturity to discern this for of abuse, we have a moral obligation to protect them from such harm. Harm that can often be physical. Just ask those wounded in Baltimore. Or Ferguson. Or San Francisco.

Ultimately, this common sense control does not truly infringe these kids rights. In fact, it preserves the right by helping them to survive until they are old enough to exercise it responsibly, if they so choose. It is an easy and practical solution to a crisis to unnecessary violence that we need to seriously consider.

Postscript: If this idea disturbs you, consider that this is no different than any other right protected by our Bill of Rights.

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Kurt Schlichter’s Latest Gun Control Commentary at Townhall

Kurt’s latest commentary – Thoughts and Prayers for Anti-Gun Freaks Grieving Over Death of The Narrative – is an absolute must-read.  It doesn’t happen often, but Kurt left out some very important and relevant facts to this topic.

In the last year, Progressives have been responsible for more violence against Americans than anyone from a middle-eastern religion. Consider:

* Violent anti-Trump Leftist tries to assassinate Republican congressmen and seriously wounds several, including Rep. Scalise.

* Ex-government employee shoots up a Country-Western concert full of police and military.  Do we even have to guess which side of the aisle this guy was from?  If nothing else, you can tell by how quickly this story was buried.  Odd for what was the worst mass murder in American history short of 9/11.

* MIlitant atheist attacks and murders churchgoers in Texas.  Yeah, you can bet he was first in line to vote for Trump last year, right?  The story is going to disappear as much for this as for his being stopped by a good guy with a gun.

* Rand Paul attacked and seriously injured but an Anti-Trump neighbor.

This doesn’t even take into account the attacks, beatings, vandalism, and rioting from the Antifa creeps.  Though I will note that they tend to restrict their activities to cities and campuses where the right of the people to defend themselves and/or fight back is systematically denied.  Those who know me know that I’ve been predicting this direction since the Bush 2nd term.  In 2012 after Obama’s re-election the violence became unavoidable, in my opinion.  It was then just a matter of how much and who shot first.

If you want to understand why Progressives seem so supportive of Islamic terrorism, this is a good example of why.  They have far too much in common.  Expect things to continue to escalate.

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Understanding the Conservative Lefty

I’ve gotten a few instances of the “Who are you to say …” type of challenges, here and elsewhere.  I’ve noted in the past – i.e. the “About” page, a bit about me and my worldview.  However, I’ve yet to really say to much about my “street cred” in my writing or what skills I actually bring to my analysis.

I haven’t done this for two reasons.  First, political opinion – and its expression – is a fundamental right of all Americans.  I have not need to display my credentials in order to express an opinion and I have every right to have that opinion judged on the basis of its merits, not by my educational background.

The other reason, it I find it a bit embarrassing to discuss myself in that respect.  It is far too easy to come off sounding like an insufferable know-it-all, to borrow a phrase from Professor Snape.  I’ve put off the inevitable for a some three years now, but I’ve reached a point where I had best address it.  After the break, that is.  If you have to know.  Continue reading

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Got it in one, Mr. Ybarra

What can I say?  I called not only the probable outcome, but also the media response regarding the GA-06 election.  Handel not only beat Ossoff, but – and I missed this part – she did it by a significant 5 points.  The press has also done exactly as predicted.  The are both trying to trivialize and bury what has been a top priority for months.

Of course, the prediction was not difficult.  And gloating is not the point of this article.

What is noteworthy is paying attention to the analysis by the Left.  They continue to be fixated on the idea of how to get their message to voters.  Yet they refuse to listen to the message from voters.  Let me put it in plain language:

We have heard your message and seen its results.  We reject your position.

Most of the country is not like Manhattan or San Francisco or Chicago.  Like it or not, most of America is Center-Right. Continue reading

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Georgia On My Mind

The special election in GA-06 is finally happening to the ograsmic delight of political wonks across the nation.  All I can say is, thank God it’s about over.  I’m still sitting here scratching my head about it, though, as I have been for the last couple months.

You see, for some reason it has been defined as the principal indicator for the Trump administration and the predictor for the 2018 congressional elections.  Specifically, if the Republicans lose this seat, it is definitive proof that a) there is no support for Trump, and b) Republicans are going to get wiped out in 2018.

What this is proof of, actually, is that you should not let your enemies define success.  Or in this case, redefine success.  Repeatedly.  Until they finally have a chance of winning.

If you remember the original case, it was the definitive election back at the primary earlier this year. Continue reading

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I Really Hate Being Right – Part 2

Wow.  Yesterday I wrote an opinion piece about the shooting of Republican congressmen.  In my writing, I not only pointed out some of the predictions I had made in the past and how this terrorist attack is a manifestation of those predictions.

I also made several predictions on the reaction from the Progressive Left.  It didn’t take long for me to be proven right.  Let’s give it a quick recounting …

I predicted screams for gun control.  It turns out that was happening while I was writing.  Terry McAuliffe was first out the box.  David Frum not far behind.  Not hard to chase those down with a quick search.

I predicted calls for restrictions in speech.  While I did get this one, too, I think I’m going to have to withdraw it simply because the Progressives have been calling for that regularly over the last few weeks.

I predicted the Left would be blaming Republicans within a few days.  The same day it turns out that the NYT was publishing an op-ed both connecting Sarah Palin and making the gun control argument.  Fortunately, it didn’t last long – the resultant outrage got the Palin connection retracted.  All that’s left of that is the correction at the bottom of the editorial.  RINO, Mark Stanford (Being on the Left is not a matter of party, after all) has blamed Trump yesterday.  Expect this kind of behavior to continue.

And the final prediction of burying the story?  It didn’t take long.  Probably the most blatant is the Washington Post story leaking that the Independent Counsel is investigating Trump.  A story which is a) actually not new at all, and b) something so presumed that it is hardly news.  Convenient timing for something that has apparently been available.

If anyone is wondering why so many people have lost enough faith in the political system and the Press to be a trustworthy watchdog that the People would elect someone like Trump as President, this is a big part of the answer.

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