Wednesday, October 21, 2020

I'm voting!

I'm in the middle of filling out my mail-in ballot right now, and it's mighty sad.

As I am never voting for a major party again after they botched the coronavirus response, I'm voting Libertarian for President and Senate. But there's also 2 amendments to the Kentucky Constitution on the ballot, and I'm voting no on both.

The first measure is a section that would ostensibly expand the rights of crime victims. Last time it was on the ballot, I reluctantly voted yes, but that version of the amendment was thrown out as too vague. This time, I'm voting no, because our government has managed to make criminals out of everyone.

The other amendment would lengthen the terms of commonwealth attorneys and district court judges. I'm voting no on this too.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Pete Wilson statue removed

Remember Poopypants Pete?

Though of a different party, Pete Wilson was the Gavin Newsom of the '90s. Republican Wilson's authoritarian incompetence as Governor of California drew much ridicule in The Last Word in its early years.

A life-sized bronze statue of Poopypants, now 87, loomed in a San Diego park for 13 years. But now it's being removed because of Wilson's hostility to immigration and gay rights as governor. More recently, Wilson has voiced support for the failed Trump regime.

The owner of the statue says it will be stored for safekeeping, but no decision has been made on whether it will be returned.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

A person bunkerooed at Canyonlands

Last week, I went on a fact-finding mission to some fine national parks in Colorado and Utah. At Canyonlands National Park, I heard the audio of an LAP bunker blast.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Road photo embargo ends

I have a bunch of road photos from late 2019 and early 2020 that I embargoed because of the Cincinnati roadmeet in May because I was afraid highway authorities would remove some classic signage if they knew it was out there. I finally posted them days before the meet, but I haven't officially released them until now!

These include some events where I scouted out sites for the meet. There's some amazing stuff, so peep it all! (the only page in this batch that was not embargoed)

Monday, September 28, 2020

Have no fear, the October ish is here!

In our time-honored spirit of populism, the October ish of The Last Word is already pub, and this one's a beaut!

This ish talks about...

• A recent trip to Ocean City, Maryland.

• Crowds at our local fireworks.

• Signs getting ruined at NKU.

• National Geographic World magazines getting ruined.

• The wild parties sweeping America's colleges.

• People smoking blunts during online school.

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, bip on over here...

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Trump's Supreme Court pick supports lockdowns

Some of the coronavirus measures are unconstitutional. Full stop. For example, an actual lockdown violates freedom of assembly.

But not long ago, Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett ruled in an Illinois case that the state may enforce its draconian lockdown.

Reuters has also said Barrett is "a favorite among religious conservatives."

Just because Joe Biden is backed by so many narcissistic dorks and bullies doesn't mean Trump is any better.

Willingness to overturn lockdowns should be a litmus test for a Supreme Court appointment.

Friday, September 18, 2020

A funny dream about Ronald Reagan

A couple days before I embarked (arf-arf!) on my trip to Ocean City, I had a hilarious dream!

I dreamed I watched a TV interview with Ronald Reagan that was as ridiculous as you might imagine. The camera appeared to be in a dining room of a house, looking through a window to a kitchen where ol' Ronnie was seated. The former leader of the free (?) world was sitting on a stool. Instead of the body of an older man, he had the body of a young, muscular man and was wearing only a t-shirt and gym shorts. Throughout the interview, he was lifting a weight with one hand.

In the interview, Reagan kept talking about how great he was compared to George H.W. Bush and all later Presidents.

People bunkerooed on my Ocean City trip

Last night, I got home from a trip to Ocean City, Maryland, and Shenandoah National Park. The latter half of this fact-finding mission was like an encore of last year's Shenandoah trip.

As it is obligatory to mention it here, several bunker blasts were detected. Usually, that's 'Pail material, even though this is otherwise mostly a serious blog. (Writing serious material isn't as fun or productive as it used to be, and that's why this blog isn't as busy as it used to be.) But since it happened during a mish, it's Last Word material, and the next ish should provide more details!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Horseshit theory summarized

A synopsis of American politics under lockdown culture...

• The left and right agree that a governor who is otherwise one of the most right-wing governors in America has had one of the best responses to the pandemic, thanks to her state's lack of lockdowns or other major restrictions.

• The main dissenters from this view are the loudmouths on so-called "liberal" blogs that began supporting lockdowns to appease their advertisers. (These websites had steadfastly opposed stay-at-home orders before mid-March.)

• The left and right agree that a Republican governor with one of the most authoritarian responses to the crisis should be impeached.

• The biggest dissenters from that notion are "moderate" Democrats - who are inexplicably considered "moderate" despite their apologia for authoritarian measures instituted by a Republican.

Horseshoe theory? It's more like the horseshit theory. In my time, I've stepped in dog shit. I'm sure I've stepped in cat shit. I bet I've even stepped in rabbit shit. But the totalitarian lockdown culture is horseshit. People oppose politicians when these politicians completely lack any shred of humanity, ethics, or respect for the country's values - and whip up panic to promote their plans. One critic of the horseshoe theory says so-called centrists actually support fascist governments, and I think that applies here. I think it's fair to say some governors are indeed fascist.

We live in a time and place - a dystopia, if you will - where the so-called noble middle ground means supporting fascism.

And trust me, at all the meet-ups and Internet forums where I meet real leftists, they're every bit as opposed to lockdown culture as anyone else is. Media coverage is considered as much of a joke as lockdown politicians are. When I first voted in 1991, nobody who was considered to be liberal would have issued stay-at-home orders or closed schools for 6 months over a virus like this. It wasn't in any pandemic playbook.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

We're getting the same old line in Old Line State search

It's possible I may go to Ocean City, Maryland, soon - so last night I went on Google to search for some visitor information.

Last week, I blogged about how Google search results have begun favoring media clickbait much more than before. My Ocean City search proves it. The first 28 sites - I repeat, 28 - that came up were articles by established media sources. No independent blogs or sites whatsoever. At least one of the 28 was so clearly laden with propagandistic conjecture in its headline that it would have been worthless in any context.

When I do a Google search, I have a right to expect a diversity of viewpoints - not a compilation of media elites' propaganda.

Ironically, one of few stories I've found that even touches on Google's increasing favoritism towards established media is in the Wall Street Journal, which ran a piece last November about it. The article reported that Google had a blog post reading, "We do not use human curation to collect or arrange the results on a page." But the piece says that's not quite true. It says Google had indeed been gaming its search results in response to pressure from various parties. Some changes were found to favor large businesses over smaller ones. Google even favors major websites like Amazon and Facebook.

Google was also found to have been keeping a blacklist that omitted some sites from searches - despite denying doing so.

Many of Google's changes to its search algorithms unambiguously favor the political right. Some on the right dispute this, but we can agree that Google certainly favors the authoritarian elitism that defines the established media - which no real leftist supports. Whatever the weather, these findings bolster the view that Google should be prohibited from arbitrarily manipulating search results. It's doubly true when you consider that these media outlets often report false information to appease the dictatorship in China where they have investments.

Meanwhile, Snap Map shows people in Ocean City are having a good time right now! They're gathering on the beach, the boardwalk, and in bars like it's an ordinary September! If it isn't still like this when I go there, it's only because some functionary was deranged enough to reject thousands of years of epidemiological science.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

U.S. coronavirus death rate passes Sweden

From now on, I don't care to hear anyone who supports America's draconian coronavirus measures (which were borrowed from China) criticize the lenient measures taken in Sweden.

For months, America has had far more known cases per capita than Sweden. Right now, it's 19,300 per million in the U.S. versus 8,400 in Sweden. But now the death rate in the U.S. has also surpassed that of Sweden.

As a left-wing populist, I believe it's important to not only fight a virus but also save our social institutions from ruinous lockdowns. But the latest statistics prove once again that lockdowns don't even save lives from being lost to coronavirus.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Google results favoring media clickbait?

Notice something about Google these days?

It used to be that when you did a Google search for a variety of popular topics, the results would reveal gobs of independent websites, blogs, and message forums. Nowadays, such a search mostly brings up established news outlets - at a time when trust in the media is at an all-time low, thanks largely to outright falsehoods that the elitist media has published.

How did it get to be like this? Does Google actually rig its results to favor established media, thereby censoring independent sources? Or have established media outlets figured out a way to game the search results so more people click on their clickbait and are brainwashed? It has to be one or the other - or both.

In either case, it's further proof that the media needs to be broken up. If Google is rigging search results, it should be prohibited from doing so. Allowing it to do so would be like letting the phone company block calls based on content.

Major media monopolizing Google search results is antithetical to democracy, equal time, and the free press. Over at AlterNet, the greatest dream in life of some folks may be to become obedient followers of the elitist media's "experts" - but not here, because we think for ourselves.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Democratic platform a Strongly Worded Letter on coronavirus

We can only dream of the Democrats actually putting their words into action.

The Democratic platform has a section dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. I read this section. There's nothing in that section I truly oppose - though it's possible they buried something bad in another section. The problem is that Democratic officials don't act on good ideas, preferring instead to implement authoritarian measures - not unlike the Republicans.

This section quite properly blasts the Trump regime's incompetence and misrepresentations. It correctly says Trump "wasted critical weeks" early in the pandemic and practiced "racist and xenophobic rhetoric." This section supports better testing for the virus and providing vaccines for free. It endorses 'Net neutrality, scaling up manufacture of useful medical equipment, and enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act (which has been arrogantly defied throughout this crisis). It also supports efforts to fight problems like utility shutoffs.

There's no explicit support of science-free measures like ruinous stay-at-home orders or keeping schools closed for 6 months. In fact, that section accurately accuses Trump of using an "authoritarian playbook."

But why do the Democrats criticize authoritarianism in their platform while so many of them practice authoritarian policies and provide no exit strategy? It's a complete lack of leadership. And they have nobody to blame but themselves. If they truly believe both stances at once, it's a textbook example of what George Orwell called doublethink - simultaneously believing two contradictory ideas. But I think it's truly a battle between patriots and turncoats within the party. As with the Republicans, there are some forces within the Democratic Party that care only about ruining as many lives as they can, and they think it's funny. There are some rotten people in politics who enjoy harming others.

The Democrats really botched things, didn't they? Their actions speak louder than the mere words in their platform - and it isn't good.

Where did I sign up for this when I registered under their miserable party? They lost a supporter - and many others.

Have no fear, the September ish is here!

Ba-de-ya! It's September, and the September edition of The Last Word is now pub!

This ish talks about how Orwell's '1984' has come to life in 2020, a college project against censorship, an armchair ruined by ink, a library unearthing hidden beer and gum, and more!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, bip on over here...

Saturday, August 29, 2020

If you don't want to use that union, we should like to borrow it for a while

Workers are like a family and are always looking out for each other. I've written positively about labor unions for years, and have fought against so-called "right-to-work" laws.

But the pandemic brings out the worst in bad unions, and quite frankly, some of these unions should be kicked out of the labor movement. Many folks have urged the AFL-CIO to oust police unions that defend racist violence and death squads. It's also been noted that some labor leaders marched in support of the disastrous Vietnam War - defying their own membership, many of whom were as antiwar as anyone else.

Some leaders of some other unions are not allies of workers. They're bullies. At a time when workers need a voice, these unions have instead stood with corporate masters and weaponized the ongoing crisis. This would have been a perfect time to demand higher wages or repeal of "right-to-work" laws, but instead they've doubled down on the house arrest regime that's been cheered by Big Business and has ruined small business.

How do stay-at-home orders save jobs? They don't. Even if a workplace doesn't close, potential customers have been forbidden or discouraged from visiting it unless it's for goods or services deemed essential. Instead of fighting for better wages and encouraging workplaces to provide better conditions, some unions have instead blockaded livelihoods. This is at odds with what unions are intended to do. The AFL-CIO's constitution even says unions may be expelled if they advance "authoritarianism, totalitarianism, terrorism and other forces that suppress individual liberties and freedom of association."

How did things get to be this way? You might think unions would not be part of America's failed political class, but are all of them much different from other organizations? We know how corruptible businesses, governments, schools, and even some religious bodies are. Human nature is what it is, so I guess we shouldn't expect every organization to be perfect. But since when do unions try to prevent workers from doing their jobs and getting paid?

These rogue unions should have to forfeit their monopoly bargaining power. After all, they don't even use this power. In workplaces organized under these unions, workers should be able to form a new union. Although unions are stronger in numbers, it only takes one person to officially declare themselves a union.

There's evil out there. I'm not a philosopher, so I can't really explain why. Malicious people get into positions of power in our once-great institutions. Bad unions are merged at the trough with bad corporations and bad governments. Good unions - sadly - are often on their own.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Ebola quarantine criticized (a blast from the past)

Didn't believe me when I said full lockdowns and other extreme measures used to be absent from any pandemic protocols?

In 2014, the world was dealing with the deadly Ebola virus pandemic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York (a Democrat) and then-Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey (a Republican) issued quarantines for people who had been in contact with infected patients.

These quarantines were pretty short, and they affected only a few people. They were nothing even close to the frenzy we've seen this year. But some blasted the Ebola quarantines as much too strict. Criticism came from the Obama administration, Dr. Anthony Fauci, socialist activists, and others. A quarantined medical worker said, "This is an extreme that is really unacceptable, and I feel like my basic human rights have been violated."

That was considered "extreme" only 6 years ago!

Fauci recommended only monitoring - no quarantine.

When Florida ordered only monitoring, some infectious disease experts said even that was too strict.

How did the approach to pandemics change so much in only 6 years? Why do people put up with it, when they didn't put up with anything even close to it in 2014? I don't know about Zoom, but we certainly had YouTube in 2014, so they can't say it's because we didn't have it then. Many public officials double down on their coronavirus policies even as the caseload shrinks as immunity builds. At the end of the year when there's just a handful of cases, will we all have the doors to our homes welded shut?

Americans face political identity crisis

Sometimes it's easy to forget there's a presidential election coming up in November. I can't believe it's only August now.

And I've never seen such a political identity crisis among the American public. The Democrats probably had this one sewn up, but I think they've blown it with their pandemic response - not as if the Republicans are any better. I'm on several online forums opposing lockdowns, and I can't even count the number of people who say they're lifelong Denocrats - even liberals - who are abandoning the party because of this. Some even say they're voting for Donald Trump.

I'm strongly inclined to vote Libertarian this year, but I can't say I blame anyone for abandoning the Democrats. The Democrats deserve it.

Americans' identity crisis doesn't just involve party affiliation but also ideological labels. Because of this fiasco, some who considered themselves to be on the left no longer do. In addition to equality, peace. and economic security, one of the main reasons for voting for more liberal candidates is protection of civil liberties. America's more liberal politicians would be considered on the right in many countries, but they've been marketed as progressives or at least moderates. Their pandemic policies have proven them to be anything but. No pandemic playbook supported these policies before. Their practices would have been considered outside the mainstream of both the Democratic and Republican parties 30 years ago.

Both major parties are guilty to an extent, but it's pretty bad that the rank-and-file left and right seem to agree that the nation's best governor for dealing with the pandemic is a Republican. But they also agree the best country for dealing with it is one that has one of the more progressive governments. Guess what, Democrats? The real left just isn't all that into you.

The modern Democrats have pulled off one of the biggest bait-and-switches in the history of politics - second only to the Republican noise machine we've covered for decades. People voted for progressive principles, but for months now, the politicians they voted for have been thumbing their noses at us. Who's laughing? Not us. In many cases, not even these politicians. Their personal babysitters and the media are the ones accepting payoffs from foreign dictatorships.

I've spent 30 years exposing what I call the right-wing media. I no longer think the media is right-wing or left-wing. Their motivation is money - much of it from overseas ruling parties like that of China - and they gin up fear to make a buck.

That damn sure isn't liberal.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Not a great choice, Joe

This is why...

Do people think I'm going to endorse a "centrist" candidate with Wall Street support? It is to laugh!

We already had one Wall Street party. Why did we need two?

Following the herd

The populist consensus against full lockdowns to fight coronavirus is backed by science. Scientific journals know it, but they're refusing to publish scientific findings, solely because of their implications.

Herd immunity is the idea that once an infection reaches a certain number of people, its spread is significantly limited. Vaccines rely on herd immunity. But there's some out there who think people should catch coronavirus on purpose to artificially speed up the process, as no vaccine is available yet. I'm not a fan of this approach, because it would amass its own death toll.

But what if it's already happened? We don't get a choice to reverse it once it's already occurred.

Many have said that in order for coronavirus to reach herd immunity, it would have to infect 60 to 70% of people. Folks act like this number is etched in stone, and that no new discoveries can change it. However, the number of new cases in a county, state, or country usually drops precipitously when about 15% are infected. In some high-density communities, it's higher, because it spreads faster there, but it appears lower in other places.

This is clear. Areas like New York City that were hard hit in April now have few cases. When cases in Arizona and Florida peaked, I predicted the same would happen there - and now it is. These areas are now doing much better than many places that have never had many cases. Also keep in mind that, because of the inexcusable testing gaps, the number of actual infections in the U.S. is perhaps 10 times the number of known cases.

Of course it's herd immunity, and anyone who's been paying attention knows it. We didn't choose it. It simply happened. Are we supposed to deny herd immunity is even real just because the threshold is lower than what we believed in March?

Scientists certainly know it now. But why is the herd immunity limit lower than we thought? That's because older estimates didn't account for things like T-cells from other coronaviruses providing some immunity, people having different amounts of exposure to possibly infected individuals, age differences, and whether people have underlying conditions.

Findings containing new estimates have been submitted to scientific journals. Publishers of these journals know the studies have just as much merit as anything else, but they won't publish the findings. Why? One journal was quoted as saying: "Given the implications for public health, it is appropriate to hold claims around the herd immunity threshold to a very high evidence bar, as these would be interpreted to justify relaxation of interventions, potentially placing people at risk."

In other words, they don't want people to know about the lower threshold, because it might encourage them to purposely get infected. They don't even want public officials to know, because it might coax them to lift some restrictions that are still in place. These publications know the findings are valid, but they don't trust public officials or the masses with this knowledge.

Why shouldn't some restrictions be lifted in places where herd immunity has significantly reduced cases? And how can a journal act like herd immunity can be reversed once it's already happened?

To not publish valid scientific findings is dishonest and Orwellian. It also represents a complete breakdown of trust. But why should a scientific journal try to reinforce only the beliefs that already exist? Science is supposed to be about progress and new discoveries - not working backwards from a conclusion. I don't believe some of the same scientific ideas I once did, because newer science replaced them.

Rewriting science is as bad as the media rewriting history to favor their goofy economic and military theories.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

A person bubbled at Kroger

Today at Kroger, a young woman who works there bubbled.

Before anyone asks, compliance with mask orders isn't exactly stellar, and it's already been proven that bubbling is eminently possible even behind masks.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Have no fear, the August ish is here!

To the shock and awe of many, the August issue of The Last Word is now published, as this zine bips along like it's been doing for 27 years!

This edition talks about my visit to the Gum Wall in Greenville, Ohio; George Washington's pirate adventures; Care Bears drinking glasses getting broken; a student getting caught bringing Pepsi to school when his Thermos leaked; and a whole lotta ruined toilets!

So point your pooper here...

If that doesn't work, bop over here...

Friday, July 24, 2020

Schools must reopen like normal

As a leftist, I know we're supposed to be the ones who support education. When I first voted when I was 18, one of the reasons I supported more liberal candidates was that I wanted to be able to attend a good college.

Back in March, closing schools would have been one of my first moves to fight the pandemic. But this is not March, and remote learning is not a robust long-term solution. America's young people need to be back in school - and our schools need to look almost like they did before. From kindergarten all the way through college, the nation's students deserve the best.

Sure, there should be a few things that are different. Kids need better access to cleaning equipment like sinks, and schools might want to consider more outdoor classes - which would have benefits even in normal times. Most everything else though should be the same. Schools should be friendly and inviting.

Remote education should be offered - because many still fear this virus - but by no means should it be mandatory. The risk from this virus in our schools is statistically very, very small - much smaller than for other diseases, accidents, and crimes. The flu kills many children during every season. But the odds of children not recovering from the novel coronavirus are slim indeed. Studies from around the world prove it's relatively safe to return to school.

At the same time, keeping kids out of school for too long takes a toll on educational achievement and social development. It also places additional burdens on their families. It puts disproportionate harm on low-income households and students with disabilities.

Many pediatricians have endorsed a normal return to school, as schools help support the whole child - not just their academic endeavors. Schools help build social and interpersonal skills. Social development is lifelong, and is important in every level of schooling. School activities can help promote good physical and mental health.

Nobody here - least of all me - is demanding that kids must be corralled in filthy buildings and subject to abuse. Quite the contrary. Extreme social distancing for months on end is itself a form of abuse. Our young people need inviting, well-run, modern schools.

America's families should be demanding nothing less.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Can lieutenant governors be a quartermaster to power-hungry governors?

Events of the past 4 months have proven America's current government structure is a failure.

Most if not all states have a lieutenant governor - who serves much the same role as the Vice-President does at the federal level. This position should be remade as a check on gubernatorial abuses.

Too often lately, we've seen executive decisions made by unelected state or municipal health officials, when the decision should be made by governors or similar elected leaders who consider the input of other appointees. But even governors should have limits, as some have clearly abused their power. The broad powers they receive under a state of emergency should have a time limit. If the emergency goes on long enough, lawmakers should be able to convene to override their orders. The governor shouldn't be required to call them into session.

But there should also be a check on governors' powers even when the state of emergency is new. The great pirates did not give their captains limitless powers. Rather, they chose a quartermaster who could veto captains' orders. Government should work the same way. The lieutenant governor should be elected separately from the governor - not as their running mate. This means the governor and lieutenant governor could be of different parties, but even if they're of the same party, the point stands. The lieutenant governor should have the power to veto governors' executive orders.

The office of the Vice-President should work like this too.

Personally, I wouldn't veto every recent gubernatorial order. But in many states, some orders are crying out for it, and there's no limit. It's as if each state is a dictatorship.

Will America's overlords release the people from this dictatorship? We have to fight for it. But you can start in your own community and discover your own frontier!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Post-pandemic plans?

Hey! Who's making post-pandemic plans?!

I've long been skeptical of the media's irresponsible sensationalism, so I know better than to believe everything they say about the pandemic. I studied mass media in college, and I know the difference between journalism and whiny clickbait. I have no fear of coronavirus per se. As always, I have much more fear of the government's authoritarian response to it. So I was delighted to see footage from this week of people sunbathing on the beaches of Miami, Los Angeles, and New York!

The elitist media is truly enjoying this pandemic, so it's only fair that the beleaguered public gets to take part in things they enjoy too. (Here's how much the media enjoys people dying of coronavirus: Some nobody from Bloomberg News actually wrote a piece titled "A Lower Covid-19 Death Rate Is Nothing To Celebrate.")

My stance isn't just a liberal stance or a conservative stance. It's a human stance. I am saddened by the virus's death toll, but the tyrannical response to the pandemic was ineffective at reducing it.

There's still no exit strategy to end extreme social distancing (or the widely ignored mask orders), but it'll die off once we get a vaccine or - probably even sooner - a widely available drug. It's not too early to make plans for what you'll do when the pandemic ends. I'm making plans, and they're beautiful!

I've been thinking of an out-of-town trip, but that costs money, and the American economy isn't exactly the dynamo it was in my childhood. My business partner recommended a different plan, but the plan she suggested would really just be symbolic. I'm not saying what it is, but it's not like I haven't done anything along those lines before. I might also celebrate by making some crazy YouTube videos - even crazier than before! I'm even thinking of purchasing some little amenities that I wouldn't otherwise buy. There might even be a big party!

Right now, I'm not in the mood to do anything except sleep off this crisis. I've hardly used a square of toilet paper since March, because I've hardly eaten anything. Every morning when I wake up, my heart sinks when I realize the kind of world we live in now. Maybe I'll feel better when the crisis ends.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Have no fear, the July ish is here!

Get out your Skedoodle and your Bee Gees records! The July issue of The Last Word is now pub!

This ish talks about bureaucratic incompetence in reopening America, people who think pi is 4, bubble gum getting wasted at Surf Cincinnati, people blowing bubbles while wearing a mask, and more!

So bip your beeper here...

If that doesn't work, bop on over here...

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Casey's Law challenged as unconstitutional

Civil liberties count. I don't care what the media lately thinks.

Kentucky is one of very few places that has Casey's Law - a law that allows you to have someone involuntarily locked up in the name of drug treatment. The law is of course unconstitutional - as it shreds due process protections.

Now the law - which has been on the books since 2004 - is finally being challenged in state court. The challenge has 3 grounds: due process, equal protection, and First Amendment rights. But the law's defenders say the law offers due process by requiring - among other things - reviews by 2 doctors. Um, no, that's not how it's supposed to work.

Civil liberties. What a concept!

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Study shows schoolchildren don't spread coronavirus

This is why your kids don't need to wear hazmat suits when school starts back up again (as if that media-backed idea was going to last past the end of August).

When the pandemic began hitting the U.S. hard in March, my first impulse would have been to close the schools. But school has got to come back sometime, and this story proves it needs to come back pretty much the same way it was before.

A new study out of France shows that schoolchildren do not spread the novel coronavirus to classmates or teachers. The scientists studied 510 students at 6 schools, and not only did the children show few or no symptoms, but also did not spread this virus.

Some countries have reopened schools just like before, and experienced no coronavirus outbreaks from it.

Other studies have backed up this study's findings.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Time to play outside!

When I was about 3, whenever my dog had to be let out, my mom said the dog was "playing outside." I didn't know yet that the dog was relieving himself instead of just playing.

As humans, we don't have to shit outdoors, but we really should be spending more time outside.

I regularly check the coronavirus numbers, and I've noticed something very interesting. The number of new cases in most states is cratering. But there's some notable exceptions in the South and Southwest.


I don't think there's any government statement on this, but there's some very clear evidence on what's going on. The states with the most new cases are ones with very hot weather right now where people are cooping up in air conditioned buildings. It's just like how the states with the most cases in April were the ones where people were congregating in buildings with heat.

Other people have noted this, and there's no way it's just a coincidence. I did see a study out of Japan that said coronavirus is 18.7 times as likely to spread indoors as outdoors, but there's very little government messaging built around this. In fact, many states are still suggesting that people stay at home (even though rigid orders to this effect have mostly withered).

Instead of "stay at home" orders, why not "stay outside" orders? The recent Black Lives Matter protests didn't spread coronavirus - and they were all outdoors.

Meanwhile, the number of new deaths is tumbling in every part of the country. Nationwide, the 7-day rolling average has fallen from 1,071 per day to 618 in only 20 days. Some governors have said that the new cases in their states are mostly young adults who gather at indoor bars. The fact that so few young adults die of coronavirus is borne out by the rapidly declining death numbers.

Our society needs some friendly messaging urging folks to be outside as much as possible. People need to have their fun, so why not have fun outdoors? If we're serious about stamping out coronavirus, this should be the clear message.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

A person wore a 'Sesame Street' shirt

Earlier, I received an e-mail charging that on Thursday a grown woman was seen wearing a t-shirt with Big Bird and Elmo on it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

WHO findings on asymptomatic spread censored

The regimen of strict lockdowns is quickly fading in the United States, but some folks say that even when these orders were at full strength, you could still freely browse the Internet and devour all the information you dared.

Well, that's gone too.

On Monday, when the WHO reported its findings that asymptomatic spread of coronavirus was very rare, I posted a link to the CNBC article on my Facebook timeline. If it was some fringe group instead of the WHO, I wouldn't have trusted it. But it was the WHO, and the findings included the relevant science. I don't blindly trust any agency, and I trust news outlets far less. But when they provide credible proof - as the WHO did - it's as good as any other data.

I operate on facts and science. The WHO said its findings should lead to more focus on symptomatic patients. Those are facts, so I report on them. Period. Am I supposed to ignore science and make up stuff to fit a narrative? If reporting facts leads to fewer lockdowns and more lenient rules on individual behavior, that's life. The only people who would go to any length to argue against this data are people who actually want lockdowns to be ramped up.

So Facebook did exactly that.

This morning, I found that Facebook had flagged the link to this story as "partly false" - all because it didn't support lockdowns.

You read that right. Facebook is arguing with the WHO about coronavirus. And the article they flagged was from CNBC! The rest of the time, CNBC is doompanic central, so it's not like CNBC is out there trying to push loosened lockdowns. Yet Facebook actually flagged CNBC for not supporting lockdowns enough!

Who knows more about public health - the WHO, or some Facebook nerd who still lives in their parents' basement?

Of course, this is the same Facebook that won't flag the years-long litany of racist and classist posts by right-wingers.

The WHO didn't backtrack on Monday's findings. In fact, yesterday it reinforced them - as much as some in the elitist media wish it hadn't.

With Facebook flagging WHO reports, not only do we have months-long house arrests of whole states and countries, but censorship now too. So not only has the right to peaceably assemble been violated, but also the right to free speech.

This virus didn't disappear following months of lockdowns - despite what was promised. It won't just disappear today. There could be a vaccine just a few months from now - but there's no guarantee we'll ever have one. Viruses are out there. I've known this for a long time, and I've had to live with it. Are we supposed to stay locked at home forever if a vaccine never comes?

Our elected officials need to rein in Facebook's censorship.