Sunday, March 21, 2021

COMMON SENSE. Systemic Racism and White Privelege -- True or False?


Many of today's liberals are convinced that our country is pervaded by "systemic racism". They view the statistical economic and health disparities among certain specific minority groups as due to "white privilege". They see the connection as so obvious and incontrovertible that they consider any disagreement as proof of their contentions. They say that those who disagree, although they may be of good will, are unconsciously blind to their attitudes and must be educated to understand them.

But a great many of us do disagree and do not feel the need for our reeducation. Our country has been through times of real conscious legally authorized racial discrimination, as those of us who were alive during that time can attest. The civil rights movement of the 1960's changed all that, and it did so, not just because of the brave efforts of Martin Luther King and his followers, but because the majority of our citizenry was ready for it. Racial discrimination made no sense in a country founded on the principles of individualism and equal rights. Strangely enough the major resistance to the change at that time resided in the very political group that is today focusing so much on racial consciousness.

Three generations later, not just the legal, but the social change in our country has been dramatic. Today, indeed, the MLK admonition to judge individuals by their character and not skin color or some other external quality is overwhelmingly accepted. As one observes our public in every aspect of our lives there is racial and ethnic integration. And it is not so because it is legally mandated. If you're a black family and you wish to live in my neighborhood, which is mostly white, just buy a house and move in. You'll find many friends. If you're a member of a minority group and you want to be a member in my golf club, just join up and pay the dues as others have. We welcome you. And if you called for an appointment to see me in my office when I was still in practice, we definitely didn't ask what color you were.

The idea that the big city ghettos in our country, where crime and social disorganization is rampant, exist because of racism is belied by the fact that so many millions of minorities are out in our communities living happy and productive lives, and many have achieved high status, great wealth and public admiration. In light of these facts the cause of the bad situation in these areas must be other than racial animus but that's a discussion for another time. It's enough to say that, in the minds of those of us who do not accept the "white privelege" concept, promoting the idea that those of various minority groups in our country cannot succeed without special consideration and political militarism is counterproductive. It is felt that these ideas are not only inaccurate but paradoxically are themselves a major contributor to racial discord in our society and are a discouragement to the individuals that they are meant to help.

For those of you who believe differently I would say this. Instead of insisting that everyone in our society be brought to accept your point of view, which is unlikely to succeed, assess whatever portion of your wealth and position you calculate are due to white privelege and donate that amount in time and money to enhancing the education, social structure and economic opportunities in our problematic inner-city areas. That would clearly have a positive effect. For my part I will continue to try to live up to the Christian principle of treating others as I would have them treat me, and hope that they will do the same.



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Sunday, March 14, 2021

Biden's Speech About The Pandemic Was Not Serious; Operation Warp Speed Was!

I watched President Biden's speech on the pandemic last night. He spoke with sympathy of the pain the country has been through and spent a lot of time emphasizing his efforts at vaccination. I think he could have emphasized more the large discrepancy in the distribution of the pain between his coastal constituents who were able to work and educate their children at home and the little guys who had to work in place, or had their businesses locked down or who didn't have good home computer networks. But, fair enough, it's been a problem for all of us in different ways.

His discussion of the vaccination efforts is what concerns me. Once again, he called for us to come together as we did to defeat the enemy in WW2. But how much unity is expressed in talking about the vaccines as if they appeared de novo and, but for his efforts, would lag behind in their administration.

In fact, the development and rollout of our effective vaccines was an outstanding accomplishment of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed. To my mind this was probably the most successful example of cooperation between government and industry to address a major threat since the mobilization for munitions production in WW2. The development of these generally safe and highly effective vaccines in a previously unheard of 9-month period was a dramatic example of the tremendous skill and capacity of our often-criticized pharmaceutical industry. But it was the can do spirit of a developer controlling the usually overly bureaucratic federal government that made it all possible.

The concept of messenger RNA technology, used by both Pfizer and Moderna, has been around for a few years, but had never been developed for clinical use, among other reasons because of financial risk. Operation Warp Speed, a joint effort of the Trump departments of HHS and DOD, accepted the risk instead, not only giving direct financial support, but guaranteeing purchase of the final product of the drug companies. In addition it also streamlined the usually ponderous workings of the FDA to expedite it's various expert committee meetings.

All this allowed the pharmaceutical companies not to take shortcuts as is commonly assumed but to do their extremely expensive clinical trials expeditiously and to manufacture millions of doses of their vaccines all while the vitally important clinical trials for safety and efficacy were ongoing. Thus they were ready to release millions of doses of their product, with the assistance of the military in distribution, on day one after their approval.

Mr. Biden touted his administration's recent purchase of 100 million vaccine doses. The fact is that the Trump administration guaranteed purchase of hundreds of millions of doses, even before they were proven safe and effective and authorized by the FDA in mid-December. Altogether 200 million doses each of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were purchased. Mr. Biden promised to deliver 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days, but on the day before he took office 1.2 million doses were administered. In fact the major limiting factor in administering vaccinations thus far has been the capacity of the pharmaceutical companies to produce them, and that in turn due to limitations in workers with the proper skills to do the job.

Take a look at the attached graph which shows vaccinations administered since they were first released in December. What you see is a steady rise over that period without any notable change since January 20th when President Biden was inaugurated.

Ladies and gentlemen, actions speak louder than words.



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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Fair and Free Voting.

Common sense:

Multiple changes in voting procedures and serious evidence of voting irregularities in this year's presidential election has caused millions of Americans to suspect that the outcome is in question. House Democrats have now introduced HB1, which has multiple measures which tend to solidify and even worsen those suspicions in future elections.

Let's emphasize that, although liberals contend that there were no significant problems in the election, many millions of their fellow citizens do not agree with them and it is mandatory that their opinion must be taken into account. Without the overwhelming public perception that our elections are free and fair we have no democracy and there is risk that our society will descend into major conflict.

According to our constitution voting procedures are the province of the individual States. Whatever voting procedures are determined by the individual States, it is imperative that three basic principles be maintained: 1. Those who are on the registration lists in the States must be legitimately entitled to vote and procedures must be in place to assure that those registration lists are up to date and accurate, most especially at the time of any election, 2. Iron clad procedures must be in place to assure that those who are voting are actually the registered individual who they say they are, and 3. Voting procedures must be absolutely free from potential tampering and cannot be carried out except under the meaningful observation of all interested parties.

These are clear-cut measures to which any fair-minded person, on whatever political side, should be willing to agree. No congressional law should be passed which tends to contradict any of these principles. Any proposed law which does not advance these principles should be considered to have fraudulent intent and should be overwhelmingly rejected.



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Biden Breaks Immigration Law


Foreigners who wish to enter the country for a short time require a passport. Those wishing to come temporarily but for a longer period, such as for work or school, require a visa. Foreign nationals who wish to reside here permanently require a green card which they must carry for identification and which entitles them to carry on with no restrictions except for voting rights. Those who wish to obtain voting rights must declare allegiance to the United States and go through the prescribed process for becoming citizens. All these situations are regulated by a large body of immigration law.

In our country today there are unknown millions of individuals who are "undocumented", that is who reside outside the limits of these laws and regulations and so are here illegally. There are thousands more who continue to enter our country without regard to these laws, or who come to a legal point of entry but, pending a determination as to their eligibility, are allowed to remain and do not return for their scheduled adjudication. There are also many thousands more who have been given a legitimate visa but who ignore the regulations governing their activities.

Since Mr. Biden has taken office, he has quickly taken steps to reduce our country's ability to prevent illegal entry, and even to encourage it, as well as to allow increased entry to those whose eligibility is being determined, knowing full well that the majority of such individuals will not comply and will be added to the "undocumented". He has instructed his Department of Justice to ignore the so-called sanctuary cities with are actively working to interfere with immigration law enforcement.

It appears that Mr. Biden and his Democrat allies feel that our immigration laws are unjust or otherwise inappropriate. They sympathize with those who have entered the country illegally and even wish to accommodate and encourage others. However, regardless of his sympathies or possibly political motives, Mr. Biden has sworn to uphold our constitution and enforce our laws, including those regarding immigration, to the best of his ability. If he and his allies are unhappy with our immigration laws and their enforcement, they are free to attempt to change these laws through congressional action. In article 1, section 8 of our founding document Congress was assigned the task of making these immigration laws and regulations. The serious responsibility to enforce them has been assigned to the Dept of Homeland Security which includes the I.C.E. and the Border Patrol.

He cannot disregard our immigration laws or change them by executive order. By his actions he is disobeying his oath of office and is derelict in his duty. If anyone should be impeached, he would be the one.




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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Wuhan Virus (Covid 19) Statistics and Data

Interesting statistics and new data about Wuhan virus (Covid).


Vaccination rates in various countries: Israel highest by far with almost 50% of their population. UAE next with about 25%. U.K. next at a bit ovew 10%. Next in order is U.S. at a bit over 7%, about 3 times higher than any of the other Western European countries.


Case fatality rate (deaths among actual significant symptomatic cases rather than just positive tests) in U.S. 1.7%, about 50-100% lower than any of the Western European countries.

Cases in both the U.S. and Florida are now trending down fairly rapidly since peaking on 1/8/21. Deaths in both places are stabilized but usually follow cases by 2-4 weeks. Also Emergency Room visits for Covid symptoms in both places are dropping rapidly since peaking around 1/3/21.


As far as that renegade Sweden which defied the lockdown trend: as of the 2nd week in January the percent of those tested for antibodies in Sweden was reported to be 40%. This probably underestimates the percent of the population that is immune since antibodies after infection tend to wane, but immune cells retain a memory of the infection. Cases in Sweden are now dropping rapidly after their peak on 12/23 (when the second wave was present in Europe) and daily deaths are back down to the single digits.


Both Moderna and Pfizer indicate their studies show effectiveness of their vaccines to new Covid variants.


A new study reveals that colchicine, a cheap anti-gout drug used for decades, given early on to Covid patients reduces hospitalization by 20% and deaths by 45%.


A report of initial phase 3 studies for the Regeneron antibiotic cocktail (given to then President Trump under emergency use authorization with apparent dramatic results) appears to be 100% effective in preventing symptomatic infection when given to individuals with significant exposure to Covid. 



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Sunday, January 24, 2021

What Did In Donald Trump

So now it's said and done. Joe Biden is our new President. He's the new target in the shooting gallery. I'd like to give my perspective on what happened. Mr. Trump lost his election for one reason, and one reason only. And it wasn't cheating, although cheating certainly went on in a much bigger dose than it usually does in our elections. No, my friends, had things gone on as they were at the beginning of 2020, Mr. Trump, with his continuing economic and foreign policy success, would have won a second term in a landslide just as big as did Nixon and Reagan, large enough to overcome any amount of under the table shenanigans.


What did him in was the Wuhan virus. Wherever it came from, it spread like wildfire and was a killer, mostly of the old and frail and those with chronic illness, but even for the young and healthy it was a crapshoot and occasionally severe or even lethal. The idea that he bungled the job and was responsible for all the death and economic consequences is total baloney. All you have to do is look at the situation in all the other westernized countries to see that the pandemic was a problem for everybody, whatever the nature of their health care or political systems. All the furor over universal mask wearing and lockdowns has limited scientific support of effectiveness and of course doesn't affect the survival of the virus which is ready waiting in the wings. The irony is that the one fundamentally helpful thing in this battle, other than the natural immunity of the population, was Mr. Trump's dramatically effective shepherding of the production of multiple highly effective vaccines in record time through all the economic and bureaucratic impediments. The claim that the vaccine distribution is flawed is nonsense. The problem at the present time is that demand is far outstripping supply which frustrates our impatient society.


Presidents don't fare well when big bad things are happening under their watch, regardless of who or what is responsible. Look at other one term presidents. Hoover was probably the most highly qualified of any of our presidents but happened to be hit by a massive and sustained economic downturn. Jimmy Carter, who I though was a pretty upright guy, was done in by ongoing stagflation. George Bush senior, who was riding high after operation Desert Shield got kicked out by a fickle public when there was an economic downturn.


Without going into the controversial issue of Mr. Trump's personal style I think the Democrat's perception that he lost because the general public hated him and his policies as much as they did is way off base. Donald Trump was not any of the long list of "ists" and "isms" that they called him. He couldn't care less about your race or nationality or sexual proclivities or gender as long as you performed and finished the job on time and under budget. That qualification applied to everyone in his line of sight, including big time corporate executives, multistar generals, and certified conservative think-tankers.

The Democrat's misunderstanding of the situation will come back to bite them. The public is not going to be particularly happy with high gas prices, return to the need for imported energy, loss of manufacturing and construction jobs, renewed outflow of capital to foreign countries, unrestrained illegal immigration, disruption of Medicare, subordination of American interests and resurgence of the world's bad actors possibly requiring military intervention. And so much more.


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Friday, January 22, 2021

Unity. The New Fascism

Joe Biden is now calling for an end to our previous division and a new era of unity. This does not seem to be in the cards. He and his party hated Mr. Trump, called him an illegitimate president and made constant attempts to remove him from power during his administration from start to finish (and beyond). The millions who agreed with his policies were held in contempt, and were accused of giving their support through ignorance, malevolence, or greed. And now Mr. Biden is rushing headlong to put in place a full-blown liberal agenda regardless of their desires.

Joe Biden is not calling for a unity in which there is serious consideration of the other party's ideas or a seeking of compromise positions. No indeed. It is a unity in which his party's ideas are the correct ones and that all are to be united for their furtherance. For this type of unity all dissent is to be squelched and those who have differing ideas are to be reeducated.

This scenario puts me in mind of the leader of the Italian people during the 1930's, Benito Mussolini. Mussolini was a socialist at heart, a devotee of Karl Marx, but broke from the party when he favored Italy's involvement in the subsequent world war. He suffered a brutal end at the hands of his people. Nevertheless, during his heyday, his governing concepts made him the darling of progressives around the world who admired his political stance. His idea was that the Italians were too individualistic and needed a strong central government, with him and his party as the leader. All facets of their society, businesses large and small, the media, the entertainers, and all the citizens were to work together for the good of the whole. He undertook a host of reform projects, and famously made the Italian trains run on time. Although seductive in theory the problem with his philosophy of central control was that such an arrangement could not tolerate dissent. Opposing voices in the media were shut down. Dissident politicians from other parties were removed and replaced. The police and military were realigned. Young thugs were recruited to enforce his movement among the public.

He used as a symbol of his movement the ancient Roman idea of bundling sticks together with thongs to use as axe handles or blunt instruments. His idea was that the individual sticks could be easily broken but bundled together they had great strength. The Romans called these devices "fasces", so he named his new progressive idea "fascismo". In English "fascism".



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