Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Red Pill
- By the Book
- CDC. The CDC continued not to cover itself in glory last week. My brother found a study of studies on the CDC web site that reviewed non-pharmaceutical responses to influenza for effectiveness. It is well worth reading. The bottom line is that CDC-recommendations on hand hygiene (washing and sanitizers), respiratory etiquette (coughing into your elbow), face masks, and surface cleaning rituals did little to nothing to mitigate spread of influenza viruses. There is simply no data to support ANY of the current standards (not unlike what we saw last week with social distancing). They all did make you feel a little better about taking action and were therefore recommended. Add to this a report out of the CDC that death rate of Wuhan is now estimated at 0.26%, less than a tenth of that out of the WHO and it becomes clear that the CDC has been on the wrong side of all these discussions, conclusions and recommendations.
- Wuhan. The Wuhan stories are starting to tail off a bit as we reopen. The following is offered for your consideration:
- PA Secretary of Health Rachel Levine issued an order to put Wuhan-positive patients into nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Like we’ve seen in NY and NJ, this proceeded much as expected, with the disease running through the facilities like wildfire. Apparently Levine (who like the Wachowskis “transitioned” from a man), had a problem with the decision as he/she moved his/her mother out of one of the facilities into a location that would not have to accept Wuhan-positive patients. Unlike the Wachowskis, he/she doesn’t have the excuse of genius as an explanation. There are costs associated with putting people who are mentally ill in charge.
- Another example of having the wrong person in charge comes from LA, whose Public Health Director is Dr Barbara Ferrer. She is not even a medical doctor. Rather her doctorate is in Social Welfare. Her BA is in Community Studies at UC Santa Cruz. This is the woman who is advising LA Mayor Garcetti to lock down the city and throw away the key.
- Alaska for the most part reopened Friday, as Governor Dunleavy blew thru Phase 3 & 4 simultaneously. Here in Anchorage, with half the population of the state, Mayor Berkowitz (D) is not so inclined, and is dragging out the reopening as long as possible. Residents are starting to get restless. I don’t think this will go on for long. Interesting fallout from Ethan’s slow-rolling of reopening is that 2-3 Assembly members want to run for mayor next spring. As they are supposed to hold his leash, they are in some way complicit in his actions. And by their stone-cold silence on his actions, they really damage their future political dreams. Couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people.
- Final observation is on the ongoing revolt against the shutdowns and seemingly unending rules and regulations. Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected barbers, hairdressers, gym owners to be leading this revolt. I love every bit of it and couldn’t be prouder of my countrymen (and women).
- Red Pill. Tesla CEO Elon Musk reopened his factory in violation of shutdown and stay at home orders in California. He expressed his concern over the economic damage to the state and was swatted away by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D, SD) who posted a tweet epithet blasting him in response. Musk ended up opening the factory and dared Alameda County law enforcement to arrest him. The local politicians (and state democrats) backed down nicely. Musk tweeted a 4-word message to all his followers “Take the red pill” that was roundly celebrated. The background of the red pill – blue pill comes from the first Matrix movie, where the protagonist Neo is invited to choose which path he wants to go – blue pill takes you back, you wake up like nothing has happened. Red pill means you go down the rabbit hole to see how deep it goes. In the case of the Matrix, everything was a simulation where humans were harvested for energy. Those of us on the right loved the thought. Those on the left, not so much, as the Wachowski Brothers (now sisters – showing how close their genius is to madness), blasting him for the thought. If the clue light is starting to burn for Musk, how many other Californians is it starting to come on for?
- HCQ. Last week I mentioned there appeared to be a concerted effort by federal bureaucrats and their media cheerleaders to suppress use of the hydroxychloroquine – z-Pac – zinc cocktail using FDA diktat and media suppression of information. Rationale for this is multiple, with at least two oldies but goodies in play: Orange Man Bad and money. There is a school of thought out there that Big Pharma is staking out a strong anti-HCQ position because vaccines and Gilead’s remdesivir will make them much more money than HCQ will. Remdesivir is $1,000/dose. HCQ is around a dollar pop. Someone did the math and estimates that using remdesivir will bring in over $4 trillion. There have been multiple studies reported over the last couple weeks indicating that HCQ is ineffective to dangerous. Every single one of them omit the use of zinc, which seems to be the magic bullet. President Trump rejoined the fray last week announcing he has been taking HCQ for at least 10 days under recommendation of the WH medical team. This was nicely done and sent the media into predictable pyrotechnics. I would suggest that we are going to find that the public health bureaucracy is just as corrupt as the intel community, and quite likely attached to the federal teat like an engorged tick. This was their reaction to HillaryCare and O’BamaCare and as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning.
- By the Book. Acting DNI Richard Grenell declassified the Susan Rice CYA memo written shortly after Trump took the Oath of Office. The memo was written at the behest of O’Bama’s WH counsel and back dated so as to cover the infamous Jan 5 2017 meeting in the Oval Office between O’Bama, Biden, Comey and the entire gang of thieves. The memo uses the phrase “by the book” multiple times and is clearly crafted to cover most importantly her and hopefully other backsides. Problem with “by the book” is that is has an interesting history. One wag pointed to its use in the second Star Trek movie, Wrath of Kahn (and in the mind of many, the best of all Star Trek movies) as a flag that someone is lying, in the case of the movie, Spock; in this case, Rice. Interesting how all this fits together.
- Sullivan. Presiding federal judge R. Emmet Sullivan chose not to drop the Flynn prosecution after the Justice Department pulled out of the prosecution. He invited amicus briefs and appointed a retired former Clinton judge to write an amicus brief to determine why Flynn should not be charged with contempt for lying to the court on his plea deal with the Mueller prosecutors. He also pushed the due date for that brief into mid-July. Outside observers believe that Sullivan who rarely concealed his disgust with Flynn during the last two years of trial, is trying to kick the case after the election in hopes that a Biden Justice Department will reinstate the case. Not so fast, says Flynn’s lawyer, who filed a writ of mandamus to the federal district court in DC. Last week, the district court ordered Sullivan to explain himself within 10 days. This order is highly unusual and may indicate Sullivan is in deep serious trouble. OTOH, it may not. Sullivan must believe something is up, as he lawyered up last Friday. The brief is due June 1.
- Carrington. One of the festering worries for electrical infrastructure is the impact of massive solar flares and the resulting solar storm on its ability to stay working. This comes from an event Sept 1859, observed by amateur Astronomer Richard Carrington in London. He observed a cluster of massive solar spots which produced “… two patches of intensely bright and white light” erupting from the spots – solar flares aimed right at Earth. That evening, hours later, telegraph communications started failing worldwide, as sparks started issuing from the machines, sparking fires. This was later dubbed the Carrington Event, with the resulting coronal mass ejection (CME, aka solar storm) inducing currents in the wires which fried the system. A long-term concern from both electrical system managers and military planners is that a and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a high-altitude nuclear blast could do similar damage to our infrastructure. This was driven home in March 1989, when a flare and resulting solar storm caused an electrical grid failure in Quebec. This failure caused a 12-hour blackout in Quebec, and over 200 grid problems in the US that started within minutes of the start of the storm. While not as powerful as the 1859 storm, the reminded planners of the need to harden systems and the grid. But one storm every 160 years? We can handle that. Not so fast. As it turns out, there was a second event in 1921, around 100 years ago, created by a flare similar in power to the 1859 event. This one was much better observed but rocked electrical and communication systems worldwide for three solid days. Technology was a bit more advanced this time around, with fires at telegraph stations, switchboards, and railroad control towers. On some telegraph lines, induced current from the storm was measured as high as 1,000 volts. In order to get these effects, the flare has to be large enough, pointed the right direction, and the earth needs to pass through the CME. For it to happen twice in less than a century, this tells us that these solar events happen a lot more often than anyone ever thought. I think our star has some more surprises for us in store.
- McSally. Arizona is currently represented by a democrat and Republican US Senator. Current Republican is Martha McSally, who managed to lose to the democrat, Kyrsten Sinema in 2018. McSally was wooden, not particularly creative campaigning, and relied on controlling all interaction with voters and the media. She was rightfully beaten when over 300,000 Republican voters who installed a Republican governor in the same election refused to vote for her. After the election, acting Senator John Kyl who was appointed to fill the remainder of John McCain’s term stepped down and the governor appointed McSally to fill the remaining term. She is up for a special election in November. Her opponent is former astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of former US congress critter Gabby Giffords who was shot in 2011. Kelly became an avid anti-gunner and campaigned for a variety of gun control legislation since. For her part, McSally was the first A-10 female squadron commander, something she reminds people of incessantly. In the fighter community, guys are mostly quiet when her name comes up, likely meaning she was not overtly incompetent but not positively competent either. Either way, she is an improvement over McCain at least until something better comes along. Ran across a Real Clear Politics piece followed by local Arizona discussion of his close business ties to ChiCom technology companies. Kelly has been quiet about those ties. Arizona voters appear to have a real decision in front of them, on the one hand, a relatively colorless and wooden Republican US Senator, McSally and yet another democrat with close business ties to China right at the time where the US is in the process of disentangling from China as the Next Big international Thing. Better yet, he is an ardent anti-gunner. As usual, Kelly is reported to be well ahead in early polling. Whether this continues or not depends entirely on how much McSally has learned about campaigning over the last two years. Democrats are going to pour a LOT of resources into this race as a vehicle to flip the senate.
More later –