Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Insurrection. A pretty rough week last week, as President Trump finally called out the military and national guard to control the streets. As of this morning, it appears that he has successfully managed to calm things down at least a bit.
- President Trump, Attorney General Barr, SECDEF Esper and the Chairman of the JCS took a walk across Lafayette Park a week ago to visit burned out St John’s Episcopal Church. From a persuasion standpoint, this was an incredibly strong move, demonstrating that Trump will not wilt in the face of the mob, even though there are those out there who believe that the protesters were actually thinking about sacking the WH. Not unexpectedly, this triggered the left into paroxysms of anger. They accused the WH of gassing protesters in the park, something that didn’t happen for this event. The presiding bishop, a lesbian, was shocked, simply shocked at Trump using a bible (it is an Episcopal Church, after all). Much was made in the media about Trump’s photo with a bible.
- Over the weekend, the NFL got itself involved in the festivities, with an extended statement from Commissioner Goodell, standing with his players, and now supporting kneeling and protests at games. That’s going to go over really well with the fans starting in August. Trump tried to save your league following Kaepernick’s idiocy. Apparently, you don’t want it saved. I watch a lot of football in the fall. Perhaps that is going to change. Too bad, as it has been fun.
- Of course, the sports media has been all but unlistenable since this began, with their hosts believing they now have free rein to do the all racism, all the time routine. Particularly egregious has been ESPN (no surprise here) and CBS Sports (Colin Cowherd). Once again, public seppuku of once-profitable businesses continues.
- Here in Anchorage, our run on all things firearms continues. This time around, there appears to be sufficient firearms available, so no limits on their sale that I have seen. But good luck finding range ammunition, especially in handgun calibers. 9mm seems to be the most popular. Interestingly, there has also been a run on cleaning supplies (Hoppe’s No 9 Cleaning Solvent, for instance) and targets. Unlike the run at the beginning of the Wuhan flu, those involved this time around know they need to be able what they send rounds downrange at.
- The political left is now demanding defunding of the police as a solution. Likely they want to disband and terminate financial obligations to the union members and retirees who put them into office and kept them there for the last several decades. I expect them to replace police force with philosophical fellow travelers, who will be less disciplined and nastier. Of course, it they really wanted to actually fix anything, they would eliminate qualified immunity and abolish public employee unions. But they won’t, as it isn’t about solutions to anything at all. Perhaps these public employee union members will one day learn who their friends actually are. Unlikely, but I remain ever hopeful.
- Jobs. Spectacular jobs report last Friday, with over 2.5 million new jobs added. This brought the overall unemployment rate down from 14.7 to 13.3%. This was the largest increase in jobs added on record. Nobody, but nobody outside the Trump economic team expected this sort of response. Will it continue? Who knows, especially with the mob pillaging the blue cities. President Trump was ecstatic. I do expect blue state governors to continue their effort to keep a lid on the economy. Allowing the sacking and looting of their cities may be part of the plan. OTOH, it might just be their normal incompetence. There is an continuing argument on the right about their ability to destroy the economy. On the one hand, CA, IL & NY are all large enough to be a drag on the economy and stymie a recovery. OTOH, there are those out there that believe that those states are all economic basket cases and their speed brake actions may not have a lot of impact. One thing I do know is that the wanton destruction allowed by the mob will destroy a lot of inner cities. I am told that there are swaths of Chicago that were never rebuilt following the riots in the 1960s. I expect more swaths following the last couple weeks. Who wants to open a business in that sort of atmosphere, especially when those very same communities seem Hell-bent to shut down their police.
- Rules. One of the other outcomes of the insurrection over the last week has been the flaunting of newly established rules for radicals by radicals (masking and social distancing) by the political left once they got their opportunity for political theater. For example, we have memorial services for George Floyd in Minneapolis, NC and soon to be in Houston. Both the Minneapolis and NC services were packed, like church services used to be, though both democrat governors have enforced draconian social distancing restrictions on normal church attendance in their states for months. MN Governor Walz was in attendance in Minneapolis. For some mysterious reason, those restrictions were conveniently forgotten when the right church service came around, though they were for the most part masked inside. MI Governor Whitmer, was photographed elbow to elbow with BLM protesters in MI. She has used her power early and often against churches. Ironic that this all comes a couple weeks after Chief Justice John Roberts joined with SCOTUS liberals in support of CA Governor Newsome’s restrictions against church attendance. When you see all of this, think for a minute of two of all the funerals for family members taken by the Wuhan Flu since March, funeral services which were not allowed to take place, have family in attendance, because they violated social distancing mandates. The political left can say goodbye to their latest mascot, but family members can’t say goodbye to beloved family members. The other thing that has been taking place is all the protests are being allowed, some masked, some not, though the violent Antifa is usually masked, in complete violation of social distancing mandates. So, when the right political protest comes along (racism), it is great. When the wrong political protest takes place, its participants are met with significant police presence and public ridicule by the media. Don’t think these lessons are any surprise to the rest of us. And don’t think we are not learning out lessons. For instance, a NASCAR track in NC held a race Saturday. They were told not to do so due to social distancing / facemasks / etc. The track posted a sign outside the track reading “This Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere.” Over 2,000 attended. The local county sheriff is “evaluating the events.” I think this is the solution to football games this fall. Call them all protests, require tickets, and don’t allow looting, vandalism and sacking of the facilities.
- Racism. Scott Adams has been vociferously critical of the protests and riots of the last two weeks. He’s made a couple interesting points and expanded on them in his daily Periscope pieces. If you aren’t a regular listener, you ought to be. For conservatives, he is somewhat of an acquired taste, as he is a screaming lefty on most social issues. I listen because he has expertise in the world of persuasion, something that I believe we conservatives need in our toolkit / talent stack. He also has a new presence on the Locals platform for a subscription service.
- The first interesting thing he notes is that racism is normal and ought not to be any surprise. In his view it comes out of the ability of human brains to use pattern recognition. It happens because pattern recognition is one of the first things we do in any situation, and if it works once, we tend to do the very same thing again in the next similar situation. Problem is that we humans aren’t all that good at pattern recognition. Therefore, the discussion ought not to be about racism, but rather what to do about it. An analogy is being opposed to rain (and for the record, Adams hates analogies, but finds them useful from time to time). You can be opposed to rain all you want, but it will never stop rain. So, what do we do? We do things to mitigate rain: put roofs on houses, buy umbrellas, close windows, wear rain gear, etc. We can and should do similar things with racism. If Adams is right and it is entirely tied to human pattern recognition, it will never, ever go away. But like keeping dry in the rain, there is an awful lot we can do about it.
- The second thing is that he has been absolutely and profoundly critical of BLM for continuing the protests. This comes from his persuasion worldview, as on Day 1 or 2, there was a 95% agreement across all racial lines that something awful had happened in Minneapolis and literally everyone was on board with doing something about it. The problem was that the protests continued and shortly thereafter came Antifa, violence, looting and sacking of the blue cities, none of which seemed to bother BLM. From a persuasion standpoint, one of the worst things you can ever do is continue to sell past the point where the person you are selling to gets out his wallet or checkbook. When you sell after that point, you generally lose the sale, which we are seeing with reaction to BLM today. BLM doesn’t seem much interested in solving anything or even protecting the very black lives – and businesses – they deign to care the very most about. For every time they protest, they give cover for the very nastiest elements of the left to show up and commit mayhem.
- Adams lost a stepson to a fentanyl overdose some years ago and has no tolerance for drug dealers and those who manufacture fentanyl, most of which is manufactured in China and exported to the US via the drug cartels. It turns out that George Floyd had fentanyl in his system, which will likely end up in the complete acquittal of the 4 Minneapolis police involved in his death. They even discussed things not to do because they suspected he was under the influence of something, though they didn’t know it was fentanyl. Given MN Attorney General Keith Ellison’s overcharging of the cops, Adams may very well be correct.
- Final point is that nobody knows what “systematic racism” even means. Worse, for some reason those who would like to address whatever the problem is, are not allowed to even discuss the problem because racism. So we on the political right are presented with a term we have not a clue about what it actually means and are not allowed to even discuss the problem, so as of Sunday, Adams is officially on strike and will ignore everything BLM is demanding until they let the rest of us know what they want. Personally, I believe they simply want the issue and want to protest from now until doomsday.
- Fauci. An April 27 article by Brian Fischer in One News Now makes the case that Dr. Anthony Fauci has known since 2005 that chloroquine is an effective inhibitor of coronaviruses. This is based on NIH research done in connection with the SARS outbreak published in 2005. Like the Wuhan Flu, SARS was a corona virus. As Wuhan and SARS share 79% of the genome, both use the same host cell receptor, both chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine ought to work against Wuhan. The article was published in Aug 22, 2005 in the Virology Journal. The study concluded that chloroquine “completely abolished SARS-CoV infection” and “chloroquine can effectively reduce the establishment of infection and spread of SARS-CoV.” Somewhere along the line, Fauci is going to have to answer why he minimized and dismissed use of HCQ and zinc at every turn during the last two months. The piece ends with the question: “How many lives could have been saved if the heads of our multi-billion dollar health care bureaucracy had been advocating for HCQ treatment from day one?” Good question, that.
More later –