Posted in American Presidents, Disease Prevention, Economic Issues, Evidence-based Medicine, Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, outcomes measurement, Patient Safety, Policy Issues, Protocols, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

Would a National Lockdown Have Saved the U.S. From COVID-19? – Reason.com

A comparison of Texas and California suggests that legal edicts matter less than The New York Times thinks.

And it is odd that the Times wishes Trump had taken complete control of the situation, given his resistance to the sweeping social and economic restrictions that the Times favors. Any “unified national strategy” imposed by Trump almost certainly would have entailed overriding the lockdowns imposed by states such as California and New York, which the Times credits with saving many lives.

It’s not clear the Times is right about that. Quoting Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease expert at Columbia, it says “the rush to reopen” was “the opportune moment that was lost.” If so, states that imposed lockdowns early, lifted them gradually, and quickly re-imposed restrictions in response to surges in cases and deaths should have fared better than less cautious states. But a comparison of Texas and California, the two most populous states, does not provide much evidence to support that hypothesis.

Contact tracing data from New York indicate that “household/social gatherings” accounted for three-quarters of infections in that state this fall. Mobility data show that Americans sharply curtailed their public activities last spring before most states had imposed lockdowns and began moving around more before those lockdowns were lifted. The pattern in both Texas and California was similar to the nationwide trends, notwithstanding their markedly different policies. In both states, mobility peaked in the fall and has declined since then. These data suggest that government policy does not play as important a role in the behavior that drives virus transmission as the Times seems to think.

In a National Bureau of Economic Research paper published last August, UCLA economist Andrew Atkeson and two other researchers, after looking at COVID-19 trends in 23 countries and 25 U.S. states that had seen more than 1,000 deaths from the disease by late July, found little evidence that variations in policy explain the course of the epidemic in different places. Other analyses have reached different conclusions.

Do the benefits of lockdowns outweigh their costs? That question is crucial not just in setting current policy but also in deciding how to deal with future epidemics. Without the “fractured” approach that the Times decries, it would be a lot harder to answer.

https://reason.com/2021/01/18/would-a-national-lockdown-have-saved-the-u-s-from-covid-19/

Posted in Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Representative Republic vs. Democracy, Rule of Law, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

The True Story of the Reichstag Fire and the Nazi Rise to Power | History | Smithsonian Magazine

You may want to read the Smithsonian piece about the Reichstag Fire first, then consider it in light of the political events of the past year 4 years.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In January 1933, Hindenburg reluctantly appointed Hitler as chancellor on the advice of Franz von Papen, a disgruntled former chancellor who believed the conservative bourgeois parties should ally with the Nazis to keep the Communists out of power. March 5 was set as the date for another series of Reichstag elections in hopes that one party might finally achieve the majority.

Meanwhile, the Nazis seized even more power, infiltrating the police and empowering ordinary party members as law enforcement officers. On February 22, Hitler used his powers as chancellor to enroll 50,000 Nazi SA men (also known as stormtroopers) as auxiliary police. Two days later, Hermann Göring, Minister of the Interior and one of Hitler’s closest compatriots, ordered a raid on Communist headquarters. Following the raid, the Nazis announced (falsely) that they’d found evidence of seditious material. They claimed the Communists were planning to attack public buildings.

On the night of February 27, around 9:00, pedestrians near the Reichstag heard the sound of breaking glass. Soon after, flames erupted from the building. It took fire engines hours to quell the fire, which destroyed the debating chamber and the Reichstag’s gilded cupola, ultimately causing over $1 million in damage. Police arrested an unemployed Dutch construction worker named Marinus van der Lubbe on the scene. The young man was found outside the building with firelighters in his possession and was panting and sweaty.

“This is a God-given signal,” Hitler told von Papen when they arrived on the scene. “If this fire, as I believe, is the work of the Communists, then we must crush out this murderous pest with an iron fist.”

A few hours later, on February 28, Hindenburg invoked Article 48 and the cabinet drew up the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State.” The act abolished freedom of speech, assembly, privacy and the press; legalized phone tapping and interception of correspondence; and suspended the autonomy of federated states, like Bavaria. That night around 4,000 people were arrested, imprisoned and tortured by the SA. Although the Communist party had won 17 percent of the Reichstag elections in November 1932, and the German people elected 81 Communist deputies in the March 5 elections, many were detained indefinitely after the fire. Their empty seats left the Nazis largely free to do as they wished.”

As you read THE SMITHSONIAN article, think about the convenient political alignment of ANTIFA & BLM with previously centrist Democrats. Consider how the FBI, under the Obama administration, spied on the Trump campaign as a predicate to construct a false narrative that Trump solicited Russian election interference (i.e. the Democrat funded, opposition research Steele dossier, etc). Recall the FBI sting of General Flynn where even the facts called for halting the investigation; yet hand written notes from those pushing the investigation spoke of the importance of “getting him to lie”. Or the heavily armed FBI assault team raid on elderly Roger Stone’s home home at 4 AM for allegedly making false statements to Congress and witness interference. Recall the January 2021 incident at the Capital where barricades were abandoned by police allowing easy passage of peaceful and not-so-peaceful protesters and subsequent accusations of seditious activity of Trump and any known sympathizer.  Reflect on the lopsided 17:1 ratio of left-leaning to conservative leaning professors that dominate the humanities departments of our universities. Or that over 90% of political contributions from teacher’s unions historically go to Democrat candidates and progressive legislation.

It seems obvious to me that the threat to our democracy doesn’t come from concerns of seditious activity on the right or unfounded fears of Trump refusing to leave the White House. The political lessons in the aftermath of the Reichstag Fire teach us that the threat comes from the radical left’s crackdown on free speech where any opinions not deemed mainstream are equated with subversion & violence; and a coercive political media-driven assault on our liberties and the protections outlined in the Constitution. Ask yourself if the experiment in representative republic self-governance called the United States of America can survive with one party rule.

The NAZI party rose to power by a carefully orchestrated & choreographed manipulation of public opinion against their political opponents, led by a compliant and often complicit media.  Considering the disastrous consequences to individual liberty, be it from the Statism of the radical left or the Autocratic Fascism of the far right, the left’s political tactics and agenda should set off alarm bells in our collective heads.  

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/true-story-reichstag-fire-and-nazis-rise-power-180962240/

Posted in Education, Free Society, Influence peddling, Liberty, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Rule of Law, Technology, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Security, Uncategorized

How To Respond to the Great Deplatforming of 2021 – Reason.com

There’s a lot that still needs building to create an alternative digital commons, but it can be accomplished. Communicating freely might take more work in the future, and your favorite politician might get banned or your favorite app taken out of the store. But in this cat-and-mouse game, the mice far outnumber the cats.

That said, in the short term, the decision makers at Twitter and Facebook may want to consider that repression tends to have the unfortunate effect of pushing legitimate dissidents and dangerous, unsavory extremists into the same channels.

Sigmund Freud theorized that when thoughts or experiences are repressed, they inevitably resurface in more deranged and damaging forms. When our dominant communication platforms seek to repress widely held beliefs and opinions, those beliefs and opinions aren’t likely to simply disappear but rather reemerge elsewhere in less visible forums where they’ll face less scrutiny.

The next few years may be ugly, but silencing dissenters will ultimately fail. As Stewart Brand famously quipped, “Information wants to be free.”

https://reason.com/video/2021/01/12/how-to-respond-to-the-great-deplatforming-of-2021/

Posted in Free Society, Government Regulations, Liberty, Rule of Law, Technology, U.S. Constitution, Uncategorized

Watch “Vote Manipulation Michigan-Style 7: Election Workers Testimony 2” on YouTube

It matters NOT for whom you voted; the manner in which these Michigan ballots were handled, counted and tabulated was fraudulent on many levels.

How can any reasonable, intelligent person listen to this testimony and believe that election law was followed?

This should frighten every single citizen; regardless of your political affiliation.

Posted in Uncategorized

Walter Williams: Steadfast Scholar, Missionary of Freedom – Foundation for Economic Education

“He was a missionary, not a monk. The truths about freedom and free markets were too important to him to keep to himself or within an academic journal. He preached, and he preached to all who would listen.”

https://fee.org/articles/walter-williams-steadfast-scholar-missionary-of-freedom/

Posted in Access to healthcare, Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), American Presidents, big government, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Direct-Pay Medicine, Direct-Pay Practice Models, Economic Issues, Free-Market, Government Regulations, Health Insurance, Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA's), Healthcare financing, Individual Market, Individual ObamaCare Market, Insurance subsidies, Medical Costs, Medical Practice Models, News From Washington, Patient Choice, Patient-centered Care, Policy Issues, Price Tansparency, primary care, Subsidies, Uncategorized

Fund the Money Pit or Move to Sustainable Patient-Centered Care: Rethinking Health Care Policy | RealClearHealth

Despite proposals from Biden to double-down on the current dysfunction, the Republicans have not coalesced around one plan, though many market-friendly reforms have been floated. Given the obvious fatal flaws of the Affordable Care Act and lack of political will to confront the real cost-drivers, many have lost faith in a government solution for a problem that government largely caused.

Fortunately, the private sector has brought forward new ideas for health care reforms, and these promise access to affordable and innovative care on our terms. Alternative market-driven options exist that improve access, reduce costs, and move patients into closer relationships with their doctors instead of with government bureaucracies.

https://www.realclearhealth.com/articles/2020/11/30/fund_the_money_pit_or_move_to_sustainable_patient-centered_care_rethinking_health_care_policy_111144.html

Posted in big government, CDC, Dependency, Education, Government Regulations, Liberty, Organizational structure, Patient Choice, Patient Safety, Philosophy, Policy Issues, Prevention, Protocols, Rule of Law, Uncategorized

The CDC Perspective on COVID Shielding Approaches and Green Zones: A Humanitarian Oxymoron?

Manitoba Metis Federation minister of energy and infrastructure minister Jack Park hosts a video tour of a 96-room camp the federation is setting up for people who may need to isolate or quarantine if the coronavirus hits a high number of people. (Screenshot)

 

The comments below are in response to a CDC article entitled, Operational Considerations for Humanitarian Settings. As citizens with sovereign rights, we need to be aware of the “operational considerations” being discussed by policymakers & influencers, because there is not ONE reference to, or acknowledgement of, the individual right of self-determination or rights of families to make decisions for themselves.

Leave it to the public health theorists, who truly believe it’s their job to war-game these scenarios (and then make our decisions for us) to miss the obvious.

Like, for instance, the fact that things rarely turn out optimally.  Their planning should not only acknowledge that reality, but the ACTUAL final plan should assume bad stuff happens and reflect that reality in its design.

But alas, that’s not what we get with Green Zone Shielding Approach to those at high risk for COVID19.

As a person with common sense and a hopeful future, you would not store kindling in same box as flammable accelerants. Nor, would you stow all weapons & ammunition in same cache; or invest all funds in the same asset class.  No, you wouldn’t protect your precious resources that way; you would minimize your risk by using strategies designed to diversify, shield, obscure your cargo from theft, devaluation or damage.

To be fair, the CDC acknowledges…“Inadvertent introduction of the virus into a green zone may result in rapid transmission among the most vulnerable populations the approach is trying to protect.”  They seem confident that careful central planning can mitigate that risk.

So here’s an excerpt from a CDC article about humanitarian issues pertaining to shielding approaches for those at high-risk for COVID. The article’s stated purpose was to give the CDC’s perspective on and challenges to…“implementing the shielding approach in humanitarian settings as outlined in guidance documents focused on camps, displaced populations and low-resource settings.”1,2 

It goes on to state, “High-risk individuals would be temporarily relocated to safe or “green zones” established at the household, neighborhood, camp/sector or community level…”

  • “Neighbors “swap” households to accommodate high-risk individuals.”
  • “A group of shelters such as schools, community buildings within a camp/sector (max 50 high-risk individuals per single green zone) where high-risk individuals are physically isolated together.”
  • “No movement into or outside the green zone.”

Other considerations:

  • “Plan for an extended duration of implementation time, at least 6 months.”
  • “Ensure safe and protective environments for all individuals, including minors and individuals who require additional care whether they are in the green zone or remain in a household after the primary caregiver or income provider has moved to the green zone.”

Note the focus on “camps, displaced populations and low resource settings.” No one should be comfortable with the historical images conjured up by that quote. Need I say more?

In the summary section, the CDC authors admit the shielding approach is “ambitious” but offer no proof of concept. 

Specifically they state, “The shielding approach is an ambitious undertaking, which may prove effective in preventing COVID-19 infection among high-risk populations if well managed. While the premise is based on mitigation strategies used in the United Kingdom,24,25 there is no empirical evidence whether this approach will increase, decrease or have no effect on morbidity and mortality during the COVID-19 epidemic in various humanitarian settings.”

What could possibly go wrong?

Interim Operational Considerations for Implementing the Shielding Approach to Prevent COVID-19 Infections in Humanitarian Settings | CDC