IS GOVERNOR BRIAN KEMP A SCIENCE DENIER?

A young boy wearing a dunce cap in class, from a staged photo c. 1906 (from here (en.wikipedia.org

What is a “science denier”? It is an expression of abuse, similar to the word “dunce” (see Dunce (en.wikipedia.org)). Of course, just like those who once used the term “dunce”, those who make the accusation of “science denier” have thoughtfully and even scientifically considered how to make that accusation.

Liberal Democrats most often apply the expression “science denier” to opponents of Climate Change, and that is sort of funny. Liberal Democrats use to refer to what they now call “Climate Change” as “Global Warming”, that is, until they could not show sufficient evidence of warming. So they changed the name. Name changes are typical of government programs. You want to get money from politicians? Then the last thing you want is a name for your cause or program that has an unfavorable connotation. Unfortunately, changing the name of “Global Warming” to “Climate Change” backfired. People saw the name change and laughed. Not even “explaining” the name change has much helped, but the advocates have tried. See here (skepticalscience.com), here (forbes.com), here (climate-skeptic.com), and here (climate.nasa.gov) for examples.

Does their recent lack of success mean Liberal Democrats have given up accusing their opponents of denying or ignoring science? No. Consider the latest is the controversy over keeping everything shut down to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Governor Brian Kemp is bucking political and news media opposition to reopen up his state, Georgia. Here are some examples of the flack he is taking.

Are Governor Kemp and the other governors who want to open their states for business ignoring the science? Check out his explanation, Georgia gov defends plan to reopen gyms, nail salons, says state ‘taking a measured step’ (foxnews.com).

The problem with “fighting” COVID-19 is that our response has been based upon guesswork. Because we don’t actually know how many people have gotten the virus without getting sick, we don’t actually know the lethality of the virus. We just BELIEVE we can slow the spread of COVID-19, but we cannot stop it. We also know that only certain people, the elderly and those with certain preexisting conditions that make them especially susceptible, are likely to die from the virus. Therefore, we should try our best to protect the vulnerable, but it only makes sense to open up the economy for business until the number of people in our hospitals becomes a concern.

There is, after all, a tradeoff. The longer we shut down our economy, the poorer we will become, and poor people have less capacity to protect their health. Poverty leads to all kinds of health problems.

One other thing. Remember all news reports come from biased people! Most of the mass media is owned, controlled, and operated by just a few people. Liberal Democrats dominate the mass media and educational institutions. Even search engines like Google produce biased results. Therefore, we have to doublecheck and triple check everything.

 

115 thoughts on “IS GOVERNOR BRIAN KEMP A SCIENCE DENIER?

  1. Okay, read the first couple of articles. Still have to read more but after the second one on how to debate a science denier I will point to the conversation I had yesterday with Doug.

    “If only Trump had done the right thing..”
    Well, he did do the right thing. Even when just about everyone said he was acting too quickly…
    “Okay, he did the right thing but not for the right reasons. Not for the nation, he just happened to be right because he’s a hater…”
    Guess that’s Science!
    Oh, indeed. Why can’t “the right” just respect science?!?

    Look at how “The Science!” has changed in a very short timeframe.
    I’m not speaking of measures that are difficult to assess, I’m speaking of things the first world has had a pretty good handle on for…probably at least the last hundred years.
    Things like how germs are spread and what kills them. Basic hygiene.
    In february the FDA publicly reprimanded hand sanitizer companies for claiming their product kills germs. They actually said there was no evidence hand sanitizer kills viruses. This was a lie. Next masks. Travel et al. I’m wondering how ANYONE can listen to one story, watch it change and just shrug with a “well, guess the science has changed….”

    This is basic stuff.
    It would be one thing to explain we’re in a crisis situation and first responders need x/y/z more. It’s another to outright lie and tell the population these things don’t work. And the people who are shaking their heads and wondering what else they are being lied to about are the de facto morons?
    We know a few things.
    First, we know we can’t go on like this indefinitely. Next, we know how diseases are spread. Hygiene is a big factor (before cities put in sewers cities were population sinks). It is spread from person to person so high populations that are crowded together for say public transportation will probably spread it more. Masks work, if they are clean. Apparently humidity and temperature are also factors.

    Since we know how diseases are spread it makes sense to open the least susceptible areas first. I don’t know when it will be safe to open New York city. I do know the major was an idiot when he kept the schools open and told everyone to go out and about when we were at the beginning of an obvious pandemic…but Trump said to stay home so he had to disagree.
    
I’m sure de Bozo had everyone’s best interests at heart even though he did the wrong thing and as a result killed a lot of people. Science!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just to add, I’ve heard from people in the various “meat belts” there might be a hurt a comin’ as far as the meat supply goes.
      They are euthanizing animals by the thousands because due to packing and transportation issues.
      I’m not in a position to know, but it sounds very Grapes of Wrathy.
      I do know the airlines are getting crushed, but it is what it is.
      In the hierarchy of needs, food supply is a bigger problem (though things are obviously connected)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To continue….
        Folks say they have trust issues with Trump, so whatever he says must be wrong.
        Even when he’s right he must be wrong (see conversation with Doug).
        I trust him because he makes the right decisions.
        Meanwhile, folks like Pelosi and de Bozo make the wrong ones.

        I do not need to look into their personal motivations nor read their minds.
        It’s pretty clear by the decisions they make they are the idiots in the room.

        Trump has been trying to wean us off of dependency on China since the day he was elected. He ran on that platform, and followed through (to the consternation of leftists).
        He ran on the platform to protect our borders. Our economy was the best in decades before this crisis.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. There are science deniers (not slur, factual description) and there are the willfully ignorant. I do not think, you will like the latter factual description any better.

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    1. @marmoewp

      Seems to me you are trying to drag me into an argument we have no way of settling. What is the point of going back and forth? “Yes, Kemp is a science denier.” “No, Kemp is not a science denier.” You going to offer irrefutable proof? Am I?

      We often make decisions with incomplete information. We call such decisions guesses. Sometimes we glorify our guesses by calling them educated guesses, but that just means we have some familiarity with the data. Unfortunately, even if we supposedly have the information, we often don’t know how to process it. The best we can do is try to elect people who are good at using whatever information they do have to make good guesses.

      Are there science deniers? I suppose so. With over seven billion people, there are bound to be some people who have no use for science. Is Kemp a science denier or someone whose decision you just disagree with? You are entitled to your opinion. What matters is what happens as the result of his decision. My guess is we still won’t know enough to say conclusively that he should not have opened some of those businesses.

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      1. @Doug

        Trump is a disaster because he is against corrupting the electoral process?

        You say you live in California. You say you are a Republican. If you live in California, you have to be familiar with ballot harvesting. If you don’t realize how easy it is to corrupt a system based upon mail-in ballots, you are naïve beyond belief.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No evidence of any such widespread organized (or not) mail-ballot corruption in recent general elections. Pretty much the same can be said for regular voting.

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        2. Forgot to pass this on…
          https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/the-conversation/sd-what-is-ballot-harvesting-in-california-election-code-20181204-htmlstory.html

          Until some time someone grossly abuses the practice (which generally happens no matter how “secure” any voting process is) it seems to function fine because people seem to follow the law in doing so. If not… well… that’s why there’s the courts and the law to fall back on. One thing seems more certain as time goes on…. there’s a LOT of checking and double-checking of vote processes, and a LOT of folks willing to whistle-blow should they find an irregularity. The chances of some wide scale voter irregularity going unnoticed is pretty rare or not at all these days given both parties are obsessive and suspicious of the other.

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          1. @Doug

            I cracked up when I saw the correction at the bottom of your news article. Here is why.
            https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/03/06/on_ballot_harvesting_gop_may_have_to_push_back.html

            Whenever Republicans complain of election fraud, Democrats refuse to cooperate in the collection of evidence, and the Liberal Democrat news media, which seems to be the only news media Democrats can hear, denies that there is any evidence of fraud, except when Republicans cheat.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Now that Michael Moore has made a “documentary” (any documentary by MM should be in scare quotes) providing evidence that green technology is a sham, I’m curious what the new definition of Science! will be? Certainly he is refuting a good third of the information we can find in “Fact checkers” which….asserts “Science!” as their basis in judgement.
    Maybe they’ll refer to the old science as Science! and the new as The Science!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t need scientists! Trump explains it all… having the bully pulpit he can share with the world his truly scientific and speculative “common sense” medical suppositions about internal applications of ultra-violet.. and/or injecting disinfectant directly into the body. Damn.. why didn’t the scientists think of that!
      So as a result of yesterday’s daily Trump Deflect-A-Thon people have been actually making such inquiries of the disinfectant manufacturers that Lysol felt obligated to issue the following warning…
      https://www.rb.com/media/news/2020/april/improper-use-of-disinfectants/

      He truly should just stay within the things he knows about.. like shooting down Iranian boats.

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      1. Well, if “It would be interesting if they could do something like that” means drink bleach and rubbing alcohol. Shooting Iranian boats obviously means shoot your neighbors.
        SCIENCE!!!
        I’m reminded of the fish tank cleaner drinkers. Yep, Trump told everyone drink fish cleaner. In liberal land.

        (FWIW, they do use UV light and bleach in wound care practices…no it isn’t imbibed or inhaled but that doesn’t indicate there will never be nor could there ever be a way to derive a medication from some aspect of that mechanism of action)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. There are folks now drinking a lot of tonic water for the quinine. Therapeutic dosage would require about 61 liters of the stuff. I suspect someone will eventually go into hyponatremia while “self medicating”. The WaPo eagerly awaits this I’m sure (assuming any of their staff knows what “therapeutic dosage” or “hyponatremia” actually means. Doubtful). As dumb as that would be, it is nowhere near as dumb as dismissing a potential medical solution just because Trump said it looks promising.

          Democrats are now voting to censure the politician who dared to thank Trump because she believes the medication saved her life when she had covid. Now THAT is dumb. These are the people chanting about Science and how they know what’s good for us.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. @Liz

            The news media is desperate for something that will stick.

            If that lady who thanked Trump actually endorsed Trump’s 2020 presiessential run, I could understand why the Democrats would be upset with her, but that is not what she did. They just hate Trump and anyone who doesn’t.

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        2. The point is, until Trump came along, what a president said in public had merit and a level of credibility, if for nothing else than simple respect for the guy in office in that some control was in effect. Open speculation and wild-eyed suppositions are best served in private rather than blurted out to a comparatively disparate population looking for anything to relieve their situation and taking every utterance as a possible remedy. And, yes.. amazing as it is to contemplate, the existence of dumb people is not limited just to Liberal Democrats. But an American president is president for the dumb people as well.

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          1. Methinks we will only begin to universally think that political ideology is less important than humanity itself is when we collectively reach some flat bottom desperation to end it all without qualification… and we are no where near that right now as anything even close is reflected only in emergency rooms and intensive care units.. That doesn’t mean we might ever reach that point.. but sometimes desperation is the only cure.

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          2. @Doug

            I don’t think you understand what you are saying. The notion that humanity itself is more important than political ideology is an ideological belief. Both the Nazis and the Communists would have argued that their ideological beliefs existed to serve the interests of humanity. Secular Humanism explicitly argues for what Secular Humanist believe is in the interests of humanity. Christians would argue that knowing Jesus, repenting of our sins, and accepting the gift of salvation is in the interests of everyone.

            Think about the purpose of freedom of religion. If we believe in freedom of religion, then we believe that everyone has the right to pursue their own definition of happiness. Those who don’t believe in freedom of religion insist upon using others to achieve what they think will bring them happiness.

            So what is the point? Almost all political ideologies argue that their beliefs further the interests of humanity. Those that defend freedom of religion argue that the individual should decide what is in his or her own best interests. Those who don’t support freedom of religion argue that the state should decide what is in the best interests of humanity (that is, everyone).

            Is their some ambiguity here? Yes. The problem is that an individual’s choice can infringe upon another’s person’s rights or even the rights of the community. For example, if we are trying to stop the spread of a disease and some refuse to take the vaccine, what then? When do the rights of one person supersede the rights of another person?

            To have a government that works, every society must have a shared set of basic values. Thanks to the indoctrination taking place in the public school system, the USA no longer has a shared set of values. Something similar took place before the Civil War. To defend the institution of slavery, the South adopted a significant different value set from the North.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Quite frankly, Tom, you certainly don’t know what you are thinking because you’re not yet there at your particular level of desperation regarding the onset of this disease, death, and economic depression. You’re still promoting some level of political and religious posturing from all this.

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          4. @Doug

            I hardly think that COVID-19 constitutes the Great Tribulation. That’s what I consider desperate.

            Some comedian described the Great Depression as the first time people went to the poorhouse in a car. In this self imposed crisis, we can use cheap gasoline.

            My problem with our “solution” is that it is worse than the cure. The longer we shut down the economy, the more long term damage we will have done to ourselves. That’s a simple, obvious fact.

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          5. You know.. this current controversy about Trump suggesting investigation into injecting disinfectant into people kinda makes me wonder about some Conservative Right Winger somewhere, taking him up on that and does it to himself.. irregardless of what cable news are saying about warnings not to do that… but because this Right Winger is told cable news (cept for FOX) is all fake.. he does it in spite of the warnings.

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          6. @Doug

            FAKE NEWs! I listened to the news conference. Read Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. If Trump had done even a small portion of the crap the so-called mainstream news media has a accused him of, he would have been tossed into a madhouse long ago.

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          7. Rather like…

            CNN: This is terrible! 50,00 people killed by the virus!
            FOX: We are lucky only 50,000 people have died from the virus.

            You tell me which is fake news.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. You know.. this current controversy about Trump suggesting investigation into injecting disinfectant into people kinda makes me wonder about some Conservative Right Winger somewhere, taking him up on that and does it to himself.. irregardless of what cable news are saying about warnings not to do that…

            It’s actually cable news that is asserting Trump said to ingest/imbibe/inject bleach and so forth. He didn’t say that. So if anyone does attempt this “trick” they’re getting it from the media. I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever the media is hoping it will be so.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. They’ve been playing the video over and over again. Obviously I took it to mean he was suggesting to the scientists his own recommendations for testing.. and I think the “average” person surmised that.. but.. he should never have said that in the context that he did for simply that reason alone. It was a mumbled suggestion backed up by some idea that “there were reports” or “I’ve hear good…” nonsense.
            I’d not worry, Liz.. the man himself will keep him from being re-elected.

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          10. Here’s the issue I have…. if you, Liz, et al, like Trump’s political agenda that’s one thing. That’s simply differing opinion and ideology, and honestly anyone in the GOP could deliver the same message. If you like Trump’s persona and think Trump’s way of forcing his agenda onto the nation and the bullying and behavioral deficiencies and think he’s just a welcome unfettered ruckus voice in a sea of elite corruption… I call that a cultish worship, especially to the “But look at all the good he’s done” crowd who have somehow justified his continued divisiveness of the nation within themselves.

            I have continually said for months that things are sure to get far worse.. and here we are today. And, no.. take away the effects of the virus itself.. that in itself is not on him. But his total incapacity to lead and misguided blundering in his daily Deflect-a-thon, all-about-me press “rallies” is just making things far worse. So.. I will continue to submit to an uncaring world that this is what will happen in the coming months with this fool….

            His polls will plummet.. he will become disheartened with the growing progress in states favoring using mail-in voting because that means more voters will in fact actually vote in the comfort of their own homes as long as they are stuck there. He blathers about unfounded and unjustified fantasies of mail-in votes being just a level of corruption. Obviously if more people vote then he’s less likely to carry the electorate.
            He will make every attempt to put off the election… likely using his favorite tool… clogging the courts and the subsequent time delay. After all… he’s got nothing to lose.

            If there IS an election… he’s already voiced his unsubstantiated distrust of mail-in voting so if he loses the election, better figure he will challenge each and every losing state result to delay his departure from the Oval Office. Votes be damned. After all, he’s got nothing to lose.

            His devoted base will love all this defiance against his Liberal “enemies”… as they love the ground he walks on. In the end.. if any of us make it to the election, whenever that ends up being… Trump will lose. I’m high risk for dying of this virus if I get the thing.. of that I have no doubt. But I’m going to do my best to make sure I stick around to see this jerk leave office in one form or another… and I am afraid after three plus years of watching him destroy the country I am going to get far more caustic and opinionated for his removal… and you will not tolerate me here as you have thus far.
            Until then…. I’ll sit here and wait for the next wave of political BS.. and the deaths to come.

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          11. Rather like…
            CNN: This is terrible! 50,00 people killed by the virus!
            FOX: We are lucky only 50,000 people have died from the virus.
            You tell me which is fake news.

            Depends on the context, doesn’t it.
            For example 50,000 people dying when the projection was for 500,000+…is “lucky”.

            Liked by 1 person

          12. Yep.. to be sure. And it likely would have been less than the 50,000 we have now if Trump had listened, read, watched, took notice of.. all the signs from the briefings he had with the outgoing administration during the transition, that report of the pandemic exercise…. and intel reports December thru January.. and that in spite of the China restrictions 40,000 of them still made it here. Context is indeed everything.

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          13. and intel reports December thru January.. and that in spite of the China restrictions 40,000 of them still made it here.
            Back when the WHO and CDC were saying there should be no travel restrictions at all, and Trump imposed them anyway and was heavily criticized for doing so. IN fact, Pelosi proposed the “no ban act” in response.
            The 40,000 were US citizens and green card holders being repatriated. I suppose you might make the argument that we shouldn’t have let them in. Perhaps you are arguing the travel restriction should have been more extreme? Somehow I doubt this is what you were arguing in January.

            Context is indeed everything.
            Indeed.

            Liked by 1 person

          14. The argument would indeed be just that.. 40,000 people, presumably previously quarantined for two weeks, coming from China untested beyond some getting a temperature check.

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          15. Why does that even matter? Pelosi is not the President. I am sure there’s context buried in there as well regarding Pelosi’s remarks. But I could care less. Because I have witnessed Trump since from the beginning, I would still question.. to this day… that while the end result of the travel ban was likely a positive action in delaying the virus here… Trump has NOT demonstrated one bit that he is capable of listening to outside sources, much less intel people or actual science people, to have had this travel decision based on that alone. I am sure his decision was not made from an actual concern for anything or anyone but himself. But.. hey.. that’s just my observation in following the man for three plus years. The action turned positive in spite of the reasons that initiated it. So what?

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          16. The argument would indeed be just that.. 40,000 people, presumably previously quarantined for two weeks, coming from China untested beyond some getting a temperature check.

            Ah, so in Trump’s position you in your wisdom would have not only gone against WHO and CDC recommendations and against the Democratic party of Congress, but also quarantined our own returning US citizens.
            That is amazing.
            Perhaps you shared this wisdom back in January?
            The internet is forever, can you point to a post where you supported travel bans and mass quarantine of returning citizens?

            Liked by 1 person

          17. I am second guessing what led to his conscious decision for the travel ban, as being some altruistic moral avenue to protect Americans at home. I simply don’t believe that and I have no supportive information to call it fact or anything near it. Not sure how that relates to a “How would I have done it..” speculation. No one knew the extent of all this and the potential threat to the nation until we were well into it days/weeks later. The scientists likely had some idea.. but no one was listening to them (as usual). I would have always deferred to the scientists first to set the response agenda. But who cares.. that’s just me.
            In the here and now I’d likely have flown all 40,000 right into some quarantine situation here.. and not let them scatter to the ends of the nation when they landed. But back then we didn’t know as much as now.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. @Doug

            Trump has take apart the economy that almost guaranteed his reelection. He started that process when he began issuing the travel bans. Note that Trump has not seized a bunch of power. State governments shutdown the economy based upon guidance from the Federal Government.

            If Trump did not believe that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) was a serious threat, what motivated him? If he did not believe the government scientists, then why did he do what they suggested that he do?

            Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) as lethal as we first thought? We may never know. The Chinese government has yet to give us a sample of the original strain (these things mutate rather quickly). Does the current lethality of Coronavirus (COVID-19) justify keeping everything shut down. No.
            1. We have to work to eat, cloth ourselves and shelter ourselves. So we have to learn to live with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
            2.

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    2. @Liz

      Since Kemp is not following the sacred guidelines, Trump is not happy with him, but he is not going to do anything about it. Georgia is warm. Doubt they will have problems as summer comes on. By fall we should have a firm handle on testing, and businesses should know what they need to for social distancing.

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  4. Tom,

    You said, “We also know that only certain people, the elderly and those with certain preexisting conditions that make them especially susceptible, are likely to die from the virus.”

    The elderly and susceptible can only be isolated if they live alone and are not dependent to be in contact with younger people.

    Not always an easy task especially in households with younger and older people living under the same roof.

    I agree our economy has to be restored because printing paper dollars and debt has consequences.

    I wish we all could obtain the coveted N95 masks and the sooner the masks become available and worn in public places the faster our economy will recover in my opinion.
    And if younger people do not wear the masks and contract the virus, the risk of dying is less than the elderly and susceptible.

    If I had the equipment even though I am susceptable to a higher degree, I would have no reservations of riding on public transportation of venture in urban areas.

    All the testing going on while necessary to track the virus, is basically of lesser importance to reducing the risk of incurring the virus as being able to wear protective masks and apparel same as doctors and nurses who are in daily contact treating covid-19 patients.

    Check out my latest post on out of stock if interested.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

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  5. Do y’all ever get the feeling that while the Titanic slowly sinks, everyone prefers to constantly argue with the musicians about what deck music to play?😟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @tsalmon

      Everyone? Please note the purpose of this post, to defend the decision of Gov. Kemp to let people return to work, to let people play the music they want to listen to. If all you are worried about is music, there is nothing to argue about.

      We have to let people work. Unless we let people work, our ship will sink. We cannot get by just by printing money. As it is some states — high tax and spend states — may have to declare bankruptcy.

      Will the Coronavirus kill more people if we let people return to work? If we continue to observe social distancing that does not seem likely. All we have to do is prevent our medical facilities from being overloaded. Right now they are losing money. Our hospitals don’t have enough patients because they have postponed elective procedures.

      The Coronavirus, even if we do nothing about it, will not sink our ship. Continuing the shutdown of the economy will. All we can do about the Coronavirus is try to protect the vulnerable from getting the virus. We cannot afford to wait for a vaccine that may never exist. So it is time to let people return to work and adapt their business practices as best they can.

      I don’t know about you, but I need a haircut. If our glorious leaders can continue getting their hair cut, I can too, and it would probably be safer in a barber shop.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just opening up shops and allowing people back to work will not guarantee a return economy at all. Two things will affect that… the tenacity of the disease itself, and the willingness of the public to risk exposure.
        Yes.. there are a fair number of folks.. mostly the Millennials, given they are younger and tend to think they will last forever like us Boomers thought back in our day, who will venture out to “have fun”. But not enough to bring the economy back by any stretch.
        Also… “protecting the vulnerable”.. what does that even mean? Of course there’s a TENDENCY for the older folks our age and beyond who are at a higher risk of complications sometimes leading to death… but death is hitting all age groups with very little rhyme or reason. Who you gonna protect and how?
        And finally, of course we will create a vaccine… and because of our past history with these flu-like things it will likely be inside the next 18 months following the normal testing routine. I would think there would be a lag time on actual production and distribution of any vaccine given the entire mass of humanity will need it. But is it totally an unknown whether we can create it? Doesn’t look like it given the confidence level of the scientists.
        Oh.. wait… I am believing scientists. More prudent to believe a leader who lies.

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        1. @Doug

          It is just a minor detail, I suppose, but you failed to point out anything I said that is incorrect.

          Who are the vulnerable? The vast majority who are dying from the Coronavirus are elderly.
          Look at Table 2. Most of the dead are older folk. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm

          So long as the virus is circulating, older people, especially those with conditions that make them succeptible to the virus need to be careful to stay away from other people.

          The headache with flattening the curve is that we lengthen the time that the elderly may feel that they have to avoid their loved ones. That means we need to expand testing so that we can determine as accurately as we can who has the virus and who has had it. However, it takes money to pay for things like that. So we need to get the economy running again.

          Social distancing is just part of the solution. It is not the answer by itself. We don’t live just to avoid getting sick by COVID-19. Life is not all about hiding under a rock.

          Frankly, there are lots of possible ways to die. COVID-19, based upon the number who have died, doesn’t look like much of a threat. Could that change if restart the economy? Perhaps, but we don’t have a choice.

          We don’t have many people dying from the bubonic plague because we kill rats and wash the fleas out of our clothes. We need to deal with COVID-19 similiarly, not stop working.

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          1. The threat to the economy is not the numbers of dead.. but the large numbers infected who survive and end up out of work and in various conditions of strain to the health care system. You miss the entire goal is to wait out the time to get a vaccine… not do this indefinitely. It still doesn’t change the idea that likely few people will decide to go out and about to risk their lives to spend money anyway.

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          2. @Doug

            The point social distancing is to suppress the rate of infection so we don’t overwhelm the hospitals. If it takes a year to get the vaccine, it won’t do much good. The epidemic will be largely over with.

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          3. “We don’t have many people dying from the bubonic plague because we kill rats and wash the fleas out of our clothes. We need to deal with COVID-19 similiarly, not stop working.”

            I think you may be underestimating the actual long term economic and social effects of plagues. Been reading some interesting stuff on this topic lately. The Bubonic Plague in particular so decimated to peasant classes that they refused to work unless they were paid more. It changed everything and may have been a catalyst for ending the dark ages. The initial reaction was to kill the dogs and cats, thinking them the spreaders, but because they were the ones killing the rats, that just increased the spread. The immunity of those who survived probably stopped the spread more than any sudden hygienic changes. It would be a long time and many resurgences of that plague before they actually figured out what caused it, but by that time the plague had changed Europe for good.

            I think that there is still a good deal of factors on this virus that we don’t know about such as spread rate, fatality rate, morbidity, the effects of viral load, immunity rates, and a dozen other things that I don’t understand. As long as we are flying blind, I don’t see us flying much.

            When we do fly, it will be more expensive and probably government subsidized. With millions of passengers per day not flying, hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs in the airline, recreation and travel industries will just disappear over night, perhaps not to come back for years, if ever. And that’s just one area of a mostly service economy where the pandemic could have a lasting impact. There are many others.

            As a result millions of people will soon start defaulting on home loans, car loans and credit card debt. Banks may start collapsing again, only now we’ve made them all too big to fail. All this may happen no matter what desparate actions that that the governors make.

            That just one possible scenario in the fortunate developed countries. In poorer countries, the food riots have already begun.

            Or we could all go back to work tomorrow like nothing happened. It was all just a bad dream, a worldwide overreaction while we were waiting for the real Barbarians to change this dystopia we don’t really like, except the parts that make us safe and comfy. I hope so, don’t you?

            Like

          4. @tsalmon

            When people try to suggest that COVID-19 and taking an involuntary vacation is just as serious as the Black Death…..

            The big problem with the economic shutdown is that it is a disproportionate response. Listen to yourself. You know the economic shutdown is creating a mess, and you have not even gotten started. But we cannot restart the economy because Orangeman bad, and we need to expand Socialism? CNN and the like are sick!

            COVID-19 is much more like the flu than it is the Black Death. Shutting down the economy initially made some sense because we were still trying to figure out what we were dealing with, and the Chinese government would not help us. After that our leaders kept things shut down because of the sacred models, like the ones that predict global warming.

            Shutting down the economy kills people. Social distancing carried to that extreme is just stupid. The longer we stay shut down the more people will die. Do I have a sacred model that predicts that? You are the one who believes in sacred models. So do your own investigating.

            Like

      2. Tom,

        Did you know that we are about to approach corona virus deaths that equal the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War? Like those war deaths, these are for the most part “extra” untimely deaths that would not have happened when they did absent the new cause (and how we have or have not mitigated that cause). It could soon approach WWII numbers. That is not normal. Im no epidemiologist and no economist, but it seems to me that a leader would want to be pretty careful about this thing and listen carefully to what all those experts tell him when he weighs options. Or not….

        There is a poem by Constantine Cavafy, a Greek writer. I came across it recently in a book that I was reading, and it stuck with me how much it says about the moment right before our current current apocalypse. I pasted it below if you want to read it.

        The basic conceit of the poem is that everyone realizes that they need an apocalypse so that they can move on and so everyone is expectantly predicting it, and then everyone is disappointed when it doesn’t arrive.

        Well, the Barbarians came, but not in the form of a Latin American invasion or from within in the form of our own elite hating immigrant hating nationalists. Nope, it looks like a tiny bug could be the unexpected thing that brings down the whole globalized, meritocratic, liberal world order. Maybe.

        No, I don’t think it’s going back to normal any time soon. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if the whole economy doesn’t collapse, and our democracy along with it. At the very least, I think we are in for something like the Great Depression, but also so unique it’s hard to predict what form it will take. (Runaway inflation or deflation from a bank collapse? Who knows. Depends).

        This virus has not so much upset the world order as it has placed a huge microscope on it to expose things like our dependence upon victimizing immigrants, keeping them just illegal enough so that they work cheap so that they can feed us cheap (now while we quake in our homes). It’s showed how easy it is for a so-called “culture of life” to warehouse it’s old and now euthanize them with a virus at the altar of getting our tattoo and massage parlors open before we invest in protecting nursing homes. It magnifies to a macrocosm a paycheck to paycheck labor insecurity that has happened for decades in microcosms all over the country as factories moved overseas or switched to robots. And don’t get me started on the Shell game that is the oil and financial businesses, also about to collapse.

        What’s amazing to me is that we got our Barbarians we’ve been waiting for and the apocalypse is happening, but now you want to go back to normal. I don’t know what that is anymore. I sure don’t trust our lying president or the election cheating governor of Georgia to lead me into it. If you do, go get your haircut in Georgia, if you really think that’s worth the risk of exposing yourself and your family to unnecessary death. It has to be one of those God given rights, doesn’t it? 🙁

        Waiting for the Barbarians

        (Translated by Richmond Lattimore)

        Why are we all assembled and waiting in the market place?

        It is the barbarians; they will be here today.

        Why is there nothing being done in the senate house?

        Why are the senators in session but are not passing laws?

        Because the barbarians are coming today.

        Why should the senators make laws any more?

        The barbarians will make the laws when they get here.

        Why has our emperor got up so early

        and sits there at the biggest gate of the city

        high on his throne, in state, and with his crown on?

        Because the barbarians are coming today

        and the emperor is waiting to receive them

        and their general. And he has even made ready

        a parchment to present them, and thereon

        he has written many names and many titles.

        Why have our two consuls and our praetors

        Come out today in their red embroidered togas?

        Why have they put on their bracelets with all those amethysts

        and rings shining with the glitter of emeralds?

        Why will they carry their precious staves today

        which are decorated with figures of gold and silver?

        Because the barbarians are coming today

        And things like that impress the barbarians.

        Why do our good orators not put in any appearance

        and make public speeches, and do what they generally do?

        Because the barbarians are coming today

        and they get bored with eloquent public speeches.

        Why is everybody beginning to be so uneasy?

        Why so disordered? (See how grave all the faces have

        become!) Why do the streets and the squares empty so quickly,

        and they are all anxiously going home to their houses?

        Because it is night, and the barbarians have not got here,

        and some people have come in from the frontier

        and say that there aren’t any more barbarians.

        What are we going to do now without the barbarians?

        In a way, those people were a solution.

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        1. Apropos poem, Tony. I was just thinking the other day that one result of all this will be a surge of the :Liberalism all Trump Conservatives fear. Government making bail outs, more world-wide cooperation in medicine will foster greater globalistic economies, social preparedness, perhaps some spreading of wealth (to address the poor being more susceptible to disease)… you are correct.. there could be some big changes coming over the next few years. I am wary of it all, personally. But should I be alive for it, it will not be “my” world anymore anyway.
          One thing is growing very apparent… Trump and his style of nationalism is going away.

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          1. Trump is amazing. He will either get spectacularly rich out of this or he’ll be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. I prefer the latter but won’t be surprised by the former either. A lot of very rich folks’ nests are feathered by maintaining the economic status quo, including me in my comfortable retirement.

            In the long view, however, I think we’ve travelled along a bumpy road through the Enlightenment to the modern western state that inexorably lead us to this point. We all love and resent the vacuousness of the meritocratic, globalized, secular system, but those who think they merit their cheap Chinese stuff don’t want to give it up and those who suffer from the most insecurity as a result of it have only unfocused grievance and resentment without comprehending why or who the real enemy is or even why they are mad. They have more in common with the illegal immigrants than with the born-on-third-base likes of Trump, but as long as he keeps them spinning in new directions blaming new culture war boogeymen for their actual economic woes and their moral emptiness, he distracts them from also turning on him and his crony capitalists while they line their pockets.

            I’m not sure that this Pandemic will be the Barbarians at the gate, the event that expose the empty suit we have leading us or pulls down this economic house of cards, but I see a lot of teetering and desperation going on.

            You right about one thing for sure though Doug. Everyone is a socialist all of the sudden. A Republican administration just redistributed almost three trillion dollars off the national credit card, and Trump’s only concern is that his name be on the checks. What a Brave New World the GOP has created just to rescue their craven old one.

            Like

          2. @tsalmon

            A guy in the hotel business….

            Whenever we have a “crisis”, we have politicians who won’t let it go to waste. We call most of them Liberal Democrats. Their cronies, the businessmen who for some strange reason own most of the news media, cover up for them. In really is not much more complicated than that. We are weak. When doing the wrong thing seems easier and we are frightened, we do it. Then the opportunists crow those who opposed them were hypocrites. And the news media repeats the lies.

            It is an old problem, as old as humanity. We want to be God. Some succumb to the temptation by trying to lord over other people. They imagine and portray themselves as angels of light. In reality their souls are darken and hard.

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          3. Tom.. gotta say.. if you actually believe all that cynicism… (and more to the point, disagree that Trump falls into your definition) then either you were accidentally dropped on your head as a baby, or you’ve been a victim all your life.
            Our form of government is NOT conducive to encourage people wanting power for the sake of power. No one gets rich in serving in elected office, although it is possible to get rich BECAUSE you served in office. You would have to express exactly what kind of power is being abused and in what way. There is NO absolute power in this country (as it relates to elected office), although there can be abuse of power.
            Liberal Democrats?? Abuses of power are not limited to any single political ideology or political party. It’s an abuse that results from being human… not being a Liberal Democrat. Jeez.

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          4. @Doug

            I don’t believe people do the right thing because of the System. People don’t do the right thing because of our form of government. Instead, we have the form of government we have because enough people believe in respecting the rights of others. Since Liberal Democrats have said they don’t respect our rights and our form of government, it is not cynical to believe them.

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        2. @tsalmon

          I suppose you are trying to be profound and convince me that that COVID-19 is serious. Therefore, I should stay hidden under a rock.

          Check out the statistics here => https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/COVID19/index.htm.

          During WWII over 400,000 Americans died. During the American Civil War over 600,000 Americans died. By comparison COVID-19 is a speed bump. In spite of the greater danger, Americans carried on with business during the Civil War and WWII.

          Did we have to do something radical to keep millions from dying from COVID-19? Perhaps. It could be a while before we know for certain. Since they could not obtain perfect knowledge, I don’t fault our leaders for being careful. Nevertheless, I don’t think turning everything over to a virus (or barbarians) is a good way to solve our problems. I think it best to let other people decide how they want to run their own lives. We need to let states and localities regulate their businesses to prevent the careless from exposing their customers and employees to the Coronavirus, but that is no excuse for busybodies to make everyone stay at home.

          Like

          1. “I suppose you are trying to be profound and convince me that that COVID-19 is serious. Therefore, I should stay hidden under a rock.”

            Look at your statistics, and given your and your wife’s ages, well duh!

            The flu kills X number of people per year, but we don’t just accept that. We mitigate, every year or it would be much higher. The thing that you don’t seem to get (which is surprising for someone with a science background) is probability and risk. If your risk of dying from the flu is X because you have some immunity and you (along with enough of the herd) got a flu shot, then risk is now not still X. It is X plus Y (with Y equaling your extra probability of dying from coronavirus). We still don’t know much about what mitigations work with this “novel” virus because we prudently chose the nuclear option of shelter in place. If you think just wearing a bandana while getting a haircut makes you immune, then you are blindly rolling dice without even knowing the odds. Again, these are new deaths and the risk is compounded not equivalent.

            You are free to do so, but would you take up smoking five packs a day because more people die in traffic accidents? What if your smoking habit was contagious? What responsibilities do you incur when you exercise your right? What happens to tobacco farmers and cigarette manufacturers if we ban your smoking until we figure out that contagion? They got to eat too.

            What happens if only certain demographics have greater risk? Can we morally sacrifice them for the economy and your freedom to eat out and go on cruises? That’s the logic you’re not getting to.

            We will have eventually to go back to work in some new economy, but I believe this one is changed forever. Essential service workers, including many immigrants, never stopped working, despite the risk and virtually no intitial mitigation. They are paying a price for that in contagion breakouts and deaths. (Notice that, in a national health crisis, the Senate and the House don’t consider themselves essential enough to take the risk of going to work that they expect bus drivers to take, but apparently barbers are safe now?).

            Regardless of the need and desperation of getting back to work, much of our economy is not important enough for most of us to risk dying to enjoy it right now. Even if the employees of cruise ships, airlines, hotels, theme parks, restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors and barbers, go back to work, they can’t make the customers return until they feel safe enough to enjoy what are essentially luxury goods for most of humanity.

            The funny thing is that you’ve been saying that our priorities are.wrong for decades. God has essentially put a spotlight on those false priorities and you want us to go back to waste and extravagance, even if we have to throw the old and the vulnerable under the bus to get there.

            Half of my retirement depends on those recreational goods and the other half depends upon the largess of big government. If you think that I am being flip or cynical, then you are mistaken. Just like Doug, I’m worried, but wishing the world didn’t just change drastically and that we have perhaps the worst leader of the free world possible to rise to the occasion won’t magically make it all go away.

            Even if it is all just a hoax and a massive panicked overreaction. The giant herd of humanity just ran over a cliff and won’t be climbing back up any time soon. The interesting thing historically is maybe we shouldn’t want to…

            Like

          2. @tsalmon

            All I have suggested is a cost/benefit analysis, and you keep coming back with the horrible seriousness of the problem. When the cure is worse than the disease, we need to consider whether we want keep administering that cure. Medicine that is more toxic to the patient than it is to the disease is bad medicine.

            People work for a variety of reasons including the need for food, clothing, and shelter. When we stop tens of millions of people from working — don’t give them a choice — on the theory we may save a few lives, that solution is not cost effective. When we stop people from working, we take away their ability to care for themselves, to ensure their own health and the health of their family members.

            Can government take care of us? No. The government does not have anything it did not take from us in the first place.

            Like

          3. Tom,

            “The cure is worse than the disease”? That isn’t a “cost/benefit analysis”. It’s Fox New’s worn out platitude, a rhetorical device used for its propaganda effect, not its moral or rational or moral utility.

            I spent most of life doing cost/benefit and risk analysis. It’s done based on moral consequence, experience and data, not feelings or magical thinking. It involves actual tradeoffs and compromises, not absolutes. There is no “cure” yet. There is only probabilities of death based on as many unknowns as knowns. The “cost” is death on both sides of the equation and the benefit alternative isn’t all just life, it’s a haircut, a tattoo, a trip to Disney Land.

            If I were flying a full airplane to Disney Land (something I often did), then the folks on board really want the freedom to go there. (It’s certainly meaningful to them). The folks whose livelihoods depend on those passengers being there really want them there so they can put food on the table. However, I’m not going to take that risk as long even one old person along the way has almost a hundred percent chance of dying as a result. Are you?

            Your point is moot, however. No one is going to Disney Land even if they were stupid enough to be open and I was stupid enough to fly them there.

            Like

          4. @tsalmon

            I can understand your pride in being a pilot. I wanted to be one, but your expertise in risk analysis is quite narrow. You just retired from a profession where most of the members of that profession don’t have any work. They are now “nonessential”, and there are some who would like them to stay that way.

            You like being able to pay the rent? When we stop eating, wearing clothes, and sleeping under a roof, my point will be moot.

            Think about that expression “nonessential”. It is all too easy for busybodies to divide us with such language. The “essential” are the privileged, those who eat. The “non-essential” are the useless, those who don’t eat. When shortages hit, when we start carelessly allowing our leaders to divide us this way, we are not solving problems. We have just ventured through the wide gate (as oppose to the narrow gate) down a broad path to bigger problems.

            We need to grab back this power to shut down our economy back from our leaders ASAP, not tomorrow. Tomorrow will be too late.

            Like

          5. Tom,

            Actually the airlines are considered “essential”. Essential flights are still happening. The airlines have cancelled excess flights (such as those carrying vacationers to Disney Land), because they are slap empty.

            If you think my experience in risk analysis is limited as a naval line officer and an airline pilot, then you might give me some credit for being an attorney, which is basically a legal risk manager. All that is just to say that I understand risk management and cost/benefit analysis in general terms,, but with limited expertise only within those fields. Therefore because I am not an epidemiologist or an economist, if I were to make broad unsubstantiated statements outside my limited expertise like “we are making the cure worse than the disease”, you are quite right in that I would just be talking out my butt.

            As for choice, I think you may be confusing choice with the lack thereof. It depends on where one lives on Maslov’s hierarchy of needs. Did you know that because of the virus, many immigrants are unable to send stipends money back to their families at home and those families are beginning to starve? In such a situation, do you think such food service workers have a choice?

            In a society such as ours, only the meritocracy (like you and I) and the legacy beneficiaries (like Trump) have “choices”. Everyone else who is not so blessed has very limited options. Are we really more concerned about having a public policy that expands real choices about safety and risk to everyone, or are we only concerned about protecting the luxury of our own many choices? Don’t you just love it when privileged millionaire Republicans start lecturing poor people about their choices? It’s almost as patronizing as up and coming meritocrats like AOC, ain’t it? Well no, it’s actually worse.

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          6. @tsalmon

            https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2020/4/20/21224080/coronavirus-air-travel-decline-charts

            We are speaking as voters, citizens of a great republic, not authorities in risk analysis. So come down off your pedestal.

            As citizens, we pick the people who run our country. Just as we make judgements about the things we buy (a different and often more important sort of vote), we judge the performance of our leaders. Should we be humble and admit our ignorance and incompetence for such a task? Of course. Our supposed knowledge all too often has a Frankensteinian character. In fact, if we were as humble as we ought to be, we probably would not have so many people trying to expand the powers of government. We don’t even have the physical capacity to use the government to run each others lives. Running so many decisions through government just creates idiotic bottlenecks.

            You don’t agree with my judgement? Too arrogant? For some reason I am unqualified? Especially one you disagree with? Yet you have no problem sounding off at every opportunity with some nasty judgement of Trump. All you know is that the so-called mainstream news media, who you never bother to factcheck, has made yet another accusation against Trump.

            Your comments about choice illustrate this ridiculous lack of humility. The right to run our own lives is just a luxury?🤔🙄😥🤣🤨 For the sake of equity, you are going to be massively fair. Instead of letting everyone make their own choices and suffer the consequences without unending government bailouts, you are going to put the great government bureaucracy in charge of our lives. Then you can proudly congratulate yourself on your generosity.

            This sort of generosity makes me think of Joseph Stalin on his deathbed shaking his fist at God. What was Stalin thinking? Was he mad that God had all that power? Was he demanding that God — for the sake of equity — step aside so he and his bloody bureaucracy could take over?

            I don’t know what to do about big mouth Republican millionaires and billionaires. However, I do know better than to vote for big mouth Democrat millionaires and billionaires.

            Stalin would not have been the first to make such a demand of God. It all began with Adam and Eve.

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          7. Ha,ha,ha. So you went from zero to Stalin in one comment. Aren’t you supposed to make a quick stop at accusing me of being a homebound Mussolini or even a Lenin first. (I’ve always thought I was more of a closet Trotsky). Why not jump right to Hitler?

            Fellini could not have come up with a more bazaar plot. A dictatorial Party who actual dictates almost everything while flailing around accusing everyone else of being dictators.

            You do realize Republicans run almost all of every level of government. They just spent trillions of dollars that they tax cut their way into never paying back. (You sad socialists you). Your fears of Big Brother are weirdly misdirected big brother.

            Trump was at first praising your Georgia governor for opening tattoo and massage parlors and now he’s pissed at him. Trump is terrified to take responsibility for anything for fear of getting blamed for doing anything.

            Thankfully, Stalin isn’t coming to America in either red or blue colors any time soon. Trump is too incompetent and mercurial to even be a decent dictator when a national emergency could actually use a some small amount of leadership.

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          8. @tsalmon

            Everything becomes an attack on Trump. You just don’t mention Nazis or Communists. That makes you so saintly.

            You wrote this.

            In a society such as ours, only the meritocracy (like you and I) and the legacy beneficiaries (like Trump) have “choices”. Everyone else who is not so blessed has very limited options. Are we really more concerned about having a public policy that expands real choices about safety and risk to everyone, or are we only concerned about protecting the luxury of our own many choices? Don’t you just love it when privileged millionaire Republicans start lecturing poor people about their choices? It’s almost as patronizing as up and coming meritocrats like AOC, ain’t it? Well no, it’s actually worse.

            I don’t have any reason whatsoever to apologize for comparing a justification for tyranny like that to what the Communists still do.

            You vote for a political party that has no use for the Constitution, does not believe in God-given rights, promotes abortion and euthanasia, buys votes by redistributing the wealth, is actively trying to corrupt our electoral system, promotes division with identity politics and so forth. Then you and your precious bought news media blows it off with counteraccusations when anyone points out the obvious.

            Do I think Republicans are saints? No, but they do uphold a higher standard. The problem is that the electorate — the people of this country — are being educated and informed by the people who are trying to enslave them. Therefore, it is difficult to find anyone who knows our history and respects the difficulty of what the Founders did. Few such people can run for office. Abraham Lincoln could not get elected today.

            Our rights come from God, not our leaders. When the people we elect act like they don’t believe that, we must oppose them, both the Godless policies they support and their nomination in the next election.

            When people advocate what you advocate, we must point out God is God, not government. You, our neighbors, and I belong to God, not government. God created us in His image, and we owe our first allegiance to Him, not government. You and I have no right to take what doesn’t belong to us, not even if we mask our stealing under the guise of good government.

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          9. I said that more people besides the elite few should have opportunities, and that makes me Joseph Stalin? Ha!

            Nice harangue, but what you know about the Constitution would slide into the average wallet; what you don’t know about the Constitution fills whole libraries. Among many other things, the Constitution grants rights and no, the Constitution is not God, and it’s not the Bible.

            The leader of the Republican Party who recently claimed “absolute authority” (you know, that lying con artist you voted for) is right now redistributing trillions of dollars in wealth. Republicans control two and a half branches of our government and yet you don’t hold them or Trump accountable for anything. One day your Fool Republican President is tweeting out support for protesters to defy medically required quarantine orders and the next day he’s chastising Georgia’s Governor for doing what the protesters want. I can see why you support Trump – he takes every side of every issue – he’s both the policy and the opposition at the same time and he believes in nothing and denies everything.

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          10. @tsalmon

            You did not use the word Republican.

            I can see why you support Trump – he takes every side of issue – he’s both the policy and the opposition at the same time and he believes in nothing and denies everything.

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          11. Perhaps you should read the whole paragraph again, or even the whole comment. That Trump IS a “Republican” seems quite prominent. He is the leader of your party, isn’t he? I would even go so far as to say that Trump IS the aimless, unprincipled, incompetent, inconsistent, corrupt, bankrupt, spendthrift Republican Party that controls two and a half branches of our crony socialist federal government right now.

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          12. Am I? Anymore than you are justified by Democrats’ “supposed awfulness”? Didn’t you just harangue a veritable laundry list of “supposed “ Democratic sins. If you are seeing some consistent policy out of Trumpublicans, other than blameshifting and scapegoating, I’d love to know what it is. Smaller government? Balanced budgets? Stopping corporate welfare? How about just taking a leadership role in an international emergency?

            Republicans don’t have national policies anymore, they only have enemies lists. There isn’t even a Republican Party anymore, there’s just a cult of personality without plan or principle, where staying in power, no matter what you.have to say or do, is the only goal.

            This whole post is about the Governor of Georgia, either wisely or not, trying to get his economy open. He’ll be held accountable on a score card of money and death. Your cowardly Republican narcissistic leader, fearing of being held accountable so he refuses to be responsible, fecklessly wants to have it both ways. We are rudderless during a national storm, but somehow it’s always all the Dems fault?

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          13. @tsalmon

            You were advocating making choice equitable by putting the government in charge of everyone’s choices. When pointed out that has serious moral issues, you launched a generalized attack on Trump.

            You won’t deal with the issue of who gives us our rights. You cannot explain when the government has overstepped it rightful powers. Your attitude towards the Constitution is that it says whatever five judges can be persuaded to say it says. Even your complaints about Trump are nonsense. He gave the state’s guidance to shutdown the economy. Now he is giving the states guidance to restart the economy.

            When Trump said he has total power to force the states to restart their economies, he did so in response to a dumb question from a reporter.

            Does Trump have such power? Under the Court’s current interpretation of the interstate commerce clause? Think about it. There has never been any indication he wants to use that power.

            Anyway, Trump is no excuse for denying the fact God gives us our rigbts.

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          14. @tsalmon

            BTW, if H. Clinton was president now and was writing executive orders right and left ordering the states about and trying to cover the debts of the blue states, do you seriously think the news media would be complaining?

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          15. You know, Tom… Americans are dying at a rate going well beyond the Vietnam War… the economy is in a shambles… and the bulk of the nation is trying to make sense out of the total confusion and misinformation streaming from the White House. I can’t answer for you.. but seems a lot of Americans want to work together to some measure, and this is truly reflected by the medical people directly in the line-of-fire in this thing, right up the line and across the economy. There are people in this country concerned about trying to save this country. And in the midst of all this you got idiots demonstrating in the streets about their loss of freedoms.. some carrying guns for god know what stupid reason…
            I read, listen and hear.. even today some total idiots on the ham radio talking about their math suggesting that the percentage of deaths is some acceptable loss rather than “destroying the economy”. This right wing total Conservative absolute garbage about politicizing this thing is just beyond being “patriotic” at all. Even the Conservative sites I follow that are 100% more Trumpian than you could ever be on a good day… just sicken the hell out of me. This was never the Conservatism I signed up for.
            Now.. here’s the thing… my rage doesn’t mean a tinker’s damn in all this.. but… I am sure there’s a similar rage building with others.. and the days of Trumpublicanism are short…. and quite honestly, if you and your ilk feared Socialism before for no reason.. you might want to fear it after all this because the public got a taste of what it’s like having emergency bail outs that actually help people.. and people are going to make more demands of a more centralized response in the future… including free health care…. toying with gun control.. and abortion well on the back burner.

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          16. @Doug

            Why is the Vietnam War relevant?

            What misinformation? Did you take your Lysol injection yet?

            We have work to pay our bills. If going back to work saves more lives…. You do realize people will die if we don’t get the economy running.

            You are not a Conservative. Your misplaced rage proves that.

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          17. Why is the Vietnam War relevant?
            That was apparently the last time deaths made a difference.

            What misinformation? Did you take your Lysol injection yet?
            You really need to watch some TV.

            We have work to pay our bills. If going back to work saves more lives…. You do realize people will die if we don’t get the economy running.
            People are dying now.. no need to wait. As people get infected the health system will be overrun. And what makes you think people will buy anything when things “open up”?

            You are not a Conservative. Your misplaced rage proves that.
            I am not a Trump Conservative. My rage is not misplaced.. I’ve known where it was at all along.

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          18. @Doug

            People are always dying of something. Since everyone is under home detention, transportation accidents are way down. Here is what the stats typically look like.
            https://www.bts.gov/content/transportation-fatalities-mode

            You want to stay at home for the rest of your days?

            We each take some risks. The law requires us to avoid forcing upon others risks that they don’t want to take. That’s why reckless driving is illegal.

            I don’t watch TV because I have better things to do. I am also not enraged. We will all answer to God for our conduct. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, FOX and so forth can blather all they want, but God sets the standards of right and wrong. He knows the Truth. My obligation is to properly perform my duties as a good citizen, not to listen to a bunch of biased reporters who think their job is to get everyone scared and angry.

            Like

          19. You’re a cynic for whatever life has tossed your way and from my meager vantage point it seems you use your religion as a sort of shield.. and again.. I cannot judge having not walked a mile in your shoes. But my Christianity has taught me about the basic good in people.. and a “normal” predilection of humans to want to get along with each other. I do not one bit presume to think all politicians are some sort of evil with evil intentions.. nor do I think the political labels of Liberal or Conservative dictate a person’s humanity. I DO know that many Conservatives (not yourself, btw) express a sincere hatred toward humans having opposing political opinion… and this is feeding well into this national disaster unfortunately.
            So in fact, I do not share in your misguided ideals that people engaged in journalism, politics, et al, have been totally corrupted by power, profits, general corruption, and threats of unemployment in order to promote the biases/agendas of others. People of all walks of life DO have some basic personal morality and pride in personal accomplishment and not all people can be bought by the more powerful with dollars and/or threats.
            Yep.. I’m rather enraged over what my country has sunk into and that the attention I’ve tried to focus regarding Trump incompetence from day one has made this disaster all the worse. We are well beyond the politics of it all.. yet there’s the Conservatives banging away to defend this guy for no logical reason.. and certain Christians compromising Christian precepts to acknowledge Trump’s motives and methods rise above human judgment in favor of political whim.

            I consider Trump a basically good person as humans go… albeit behaviorally deficient. But I’ve said all along he’s hugely incompetent for the position he is holding and therefore performs ineptly and is the proverbial fish out of water. You can readily see in those daily press “rallies” he holds that he’s actually trying to present his own interpretation of “calming the public and presenting encouragement to the nation” but his version is not what the nation needs and he has NO idea how to communicate any sort of empathy… zero… none. He constantly falls back to his own self-image… and the next election. He’s wrecking the country.

            Yes.. I’m at the enraged stage.. and I have to ask.. why aren’t you?

            Like

          20. We are in the midst of a national health emergency and a natural disaster that has struck deeply at the economies of the whole world. Your accusing me of being some totalitarian (as if I have much to do with it) who is taking away your choices is just your way of avoiding the obvious fact that we have the worst possible leader at the worst time. I live in the heart of red American and my Republican Governor is keeping me from getting a haircut the same as your Democratic one.

            “Anyway, Trump is no excuse for denying the fact God gives us our rigbts.”

            No, this is your go to deflection when you know I’m right about Trump. As I have said many times, I have no idea whether God grants rights or not. I have a deep and abiding Christian faith that we all have God given responsibilities. The Constitution, the laws and the institutions of government are the pinnacle of human governing to this point and imperfectly abide with our the God given responsibilities, in my opinion, better than any other alternatives, but they were written by and are administered by men, not God. You can believe whatever religion you want, but presuming to worship an 18th Century human invention as something divine smells of idolatry to me.

            Like

          21. “BTW, if H. Clinton was president now and was writing executive orders right and left ordering the states about and trying to cover the debts of the blue states, do you seriously think the news media would be complaining?”

            But unfortunately we don’t have Clinton do we? We’ve got this incompetent con man.

            As for Blue State Bailouts”, that’s just Moscow Mitch’s way of negotiating something for his cronies for something he”ll end up doing anyway. Why? Because his own about-to-bankrupt state will suffer with all the rest. Mississippi’s tax base is dried up as much as anyone, and can afford it less than California (which is actually a net plus tax producer while Mississippi is in the federation for the handouts). Mitch knows when police and fire jobs start going away in Kentucky, his political career is dead, if it isn’t already.

            Like

          22. @tsalmon

            I am deflecting? What has this to do with our national crisis?

            In a society such as ours, only the meritocracy (like you and I) and the legacy beneficiaries (like Trump) have “choices”. Everyone else who is not so blessed has very limited options. Are we really more concerned about having a public policy that expands real choices about safety and risk to everyone, or are we only concerned about protecting the luxury of our own many choices? Don’t you just love it when privileged millionaire Republicans start lecturing poor people about their choices? It’s almost as patronizing as up and coming meritocrats like AOC, ain’t it? Well no, it’s actually worse.

            When we defend a belief by trying to prove someone else is worse, we are not defending a belief that is worthy of a defense. We are just trying cover up something we should not be doing.

            O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive! — Walter Scott

            Instead of dodging endlessly complicating the issue — throwing up smoke — why don’t you just explain and justify why you think government gives us our rights? Why isn’t anybody is entitled to any rights unless it suits the “government”?

            Like

          23. Tom,

            It is not either/or and it never has been. It’s also not a zero sum game where if I win someone else has to lose. Henry Ford is said to have basically said that he wanted his production line workers to make enough money to buy his cars – win/win. America at its best has always been about creating incentives for innovation and enterprise while at the same time recognizing that everyone wins if even the most lowly work is safe and valued enough so that almost all Americans (even the least of these) have opportunities for themselves and their families. I’m not a self loathing meritocrat – I’m proud of what I’ve learned and accomplished, but I also know that God blesses me with what gifts I have, and to those that are given much, much is expected.

            The meritocracy has been very good to me. I have choices to stay safe that my housekeeper doesn’t have because she is more desperate to feed her family. When I said that she (and food workers, and sanitation workers and people who do the floors in nursing homes) should have choices, I wasn’t quoting the Communist Manifesto, I was saying that public policy needs to do what it can to make sure that people can be as safe as possible, and also coming out of this, that we take stock of the myriad of social ails that degrade work and deprive poor families and specifically the families of people of color of opportunities that are causing them to die in fantastically higher numbers than others during this pandemic. I don’t think that we are ever going back to normal, but we should make this a teachable moment where we adapt the new normal to something better and bright rather than just a dark dysfunctional dystopian copy of what it was before. That does not have to necessarily mean policy changes only on the federal level and in fact the more local the better, but the fed does perform a national strategic role.

            “…why don’t you just explain and justify why you think government gives us our rights? Why isn’t anybody is entitled to any rights unless it suits the
            ‘government’?

            I don’t have to explain it, as a practical matter, it just is. Don’t get me wrong. Lockean Social Contract theories that included the invention of “inalienable rights” influenced the man made invention of of the Bill of Rights (as did the Magna Carta). However, the Constitution does not say a word about “God given rights” because most of the Founders were not so arrogant as to think that they exclusively spoke for God on the issue of what rights God supposedly grants. They did not make up a social contract in the form of a Constitution presuming to make pact between humans and God. God did that in the Bible. No, the Constitution creates the structure of a GOVERNMENT (not God) that forms a pact between that GOVERNMENT and THOSE GOVERNED, and that man made pact, not God, sets up the institutions that define, arbitrate and enforce the pact itself. I don’t know why it matters so much to you what uniform they wear (except perhaps the ridiculousness of an intellectual pretending to advocate some proletarian disdain for judges’ elite status), but those judges in black robes are just part of the human invented process. You are the one who is presuming that they should speak for what you think God grants, not me. I don’t want to give them that power.

            Is there such thing as a good human invention or discovery? Does every good thing that humans do ultimately come from God. I like to think so. However, it’s one thing to think that all good things humans do come from the glory of God and quite another to presume that your exclusive interpretation of what is good is also always God’s. One is glorifying God in his greatness and the other is the idolatry of glorifying ourselves.

            What all that has to do with our narcissistic President’s incompetence in the face of a natural world wide disaster, I don’t know. I think that you are just trying to change the subject because you don’t want to hold the president accountable.

            Like

    1. I really care little about Trump’s politics.. always have, and that bugs Tom because he loves to tackle specific issues and more substantive things having nothing to do with a person’s… Trump’s… abilities or complete lack thereof, his complete incompetencies for the job, his innumerable lies and fraudulent public diatribes to his alleged enemies, and his behavioral anomalies. He’s a complete jerk and he’s tearing apart the country on all levels.. and he certainly has no capacity to work any kind of national emergency.
      YOU can worship that fine achievement… not me. Ever.

      Like

      1. @Doug

        You virtually just admitted you care more about style than substance.

        I talk about specific issues because I care about what is being done. If Trump is getting done what needs to be done, then it follows he has the necessary abilities and competencies.

        Is Trump guilty of innumerable lies, fraudulent public diatribes, and behavioral anomalies? I think we have to measure a man against the challenges he has overcome. Given the efforts that the deep state, Liberal Democrats and the so-called mainstream news media have made to remove him from office, I think he has behaved like a perfect gentleman.

        Go back and make a list starting with Russian collusion. In almost every instance subsequent events have proven the accusers guilty of the accusations they made against Trump. The #metoo movement was especially “interesting”, but that is only because of the way Trump’s accusers received justice at the hands of some very angry women.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The current pres certainly has defects- as do we all- remember the voters were not choosing between St Paul or Peter-

        But be truthful Doug- would you see such a wave of American flags in the states if Hillary was pres?

        Trump does talk too much- but he is far better for America than any Dem available. That’s a fact.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I suppose it depends under what intention the flags are being waved. What could that even possibly mean if we presume there is really no “bad” reason for flag waving? I grew up that the flag was displayed on public buildings.. and we put the flag out on patriotic holidays like July 4th, Memorial Day, etc. In fact.. when I was an early teen I talked my dad into getting a flag pole for the front yard.. and I’d actually put the flag out EVERY morning as I headed off to school. He got a kit from Sears and we dug a hole and set the cement. This was during the Vietnam years when there was a fair amount of civil discontent, flag burning, anti-war, etc. domestically and around the world for any number of issues… and I simply wanted to show my support for the nation in general. Foolish or not, my young developing awareness of politics was the relatively uncommon for those days, my-country-right-or-wrong.
          There was a point in time where the demonstrations, particularly in Chicago around the time of the 1968 Dem Convention, where my mother felt a relative fear in me flying the flag on the pole might attract some level of retribution against the house. Now mind you.. we lived in an average all-white (very white entitlement) neighborhood… far from any civil ruckus. Still, she was worried. I grabbed up the flag and told her that we shouldn’t be afraid of flying it because guys were dying to allow us to fly it.. and I marched out front and proudly put the flag up the pole. In those days… and pretty much up until Trump… you displayed the flag under some celebration of non-partisan patriotism for what the flag stood for as it related to what our country stood for.

          We all know, over the decades the far Right neo-whatevers generally took on the displaying of the flag to represent some form of nationalism. Since Trump.. the flag has been stereotyped into being a symbol of Conservative Trumpism given his supporters use it now to represent their political statement. Trumpians have diluted the patriotic meaning of displaying the flag.. and use it to project their nationalistic political preferences. I am sickend by it personally… and I consider displaying the flag for political ideology and some conjured up bastardization of someone’s self-aggrandizing definition of “patriotism” as appalling and disrespectful.
          Funny how times have changed. We have a guy living just down the street who “over-displays” the flag constantly, to the point where he’s strung along his chain link fence a chain of little American flags around his whole yard. Of course there’s no doubt where his affiliations rest and he knows it. He is displaying the flag because he loves Trump and hates Liberals… plain and simple.
          I was thinking of displaying just a single tiny flag from the mailbox…. because… well… the thought crossed my mind, if I did that then other folks might presume I am some Trumpian national… or maybe… my simple expression is in defiance to the guy down the street. Reminds me of the time mom suggested I not put out the flag out of fear.

          Like

          1. Long answer Doug but I understand your sentiments- but it seems you attribute waaaay too much foul play to people merely flying flags-

            And your addition of ‘white privilege’ I must instantly dismiss as lunacy.

            The immigrants, of which I remember, WERE white, mostly, and they were nothing close to privilege.

            As a matter of fact, they were poor, without privilege. YET, they loved America, and proved it, not by living on welfare- but by working the rails, the mines, the fields- and more importantly, they learned the English Language, something lost they who would storm America’s borders and expect everything yet give nothing.

            You see, I have succinctly described the main difference tween libs and Republicans- and why the flag matters.

            You may want to rethink the privileged who built America-

            Liked by 2 people

          2. ??? I lived in a middle-class neighborhood in the city of Chicago that by contemporary standards would be labeled “white entitlement” compared to the rest of the city. In other words, I was not raised in a racially mixed neighborhood. Not sure how that has solicited some moral interjection about some interpretation of my use of that term as being lunacy because somehow that reflects my attitude toward white immigrants?? And I am not a Liberal.. but an authentic card-carrying California Republican… but more a Reagan Republican as I want nothing to do with this Trumpian personification of some “new” Republican nationalism.
            I know who made this country…. and that’s not sarcasm.

            Like

          3. Tkx Doug- but I’m not
            sure that this white privilege is properly named.

            I thought the point made about learning the language of America was strong- true we are a fabric of many tongues- but THE language of commerce/ etc etc is one- There is a reason Putin speaks Russian-

            But liberalism ultimately rewards the criminal and abets the lazy.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Not sure where to respond ( maybe u can increase the nesting thread in admin)

            Anyway, Marm-

            I’m not much for ‘games’ as your comment builds on; I just appreciate the non-entitled and less-privileged hard workers who built America.

            Not much privilege in the coal mines, railroads, and the buildings of America.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Depends what you mean with “privilege”. I am sure American workers in general appreciated the privilege (or “right”?) of having been born in America, having a job, raising a family.. in an environment that had our freedoms. Were (are) there economic disparities relating to race and religion and the advantages of wealth? Yep. I was raised in an environment of middle, middle class at best… in an all white area of the city… relatively crime free. Was that my “white privilege”? To the average African-American in Chicago that could possibly be, from their vantage point. Not sure I understand your quandary. In fact.. it was white privileged males who founded this country. Does not mean what they founded was only for whites alone.

            Like

          6. @marmoewp

            There is such a thing as false guilt, and it is used to manipulate people. Each of us is born into the world the way it is. What we are responsible for is loving our neighbor, not the sins of our parents.

            We do suffer, however, from the sins of our parents. We copy our parents and commit the same sins. That is not a privilege. It is something for which we should be pitied, especially when we refused to learn better.

            Like

  6. Really fascinating to me Tom, how “science,” has now pretty much split down partisan lines. So has the law! You already know this, but a computer model attempting to predict the future is not really “science,” as in something objective and verifiable. As to the law, well most governors are allowed to quarantine THE SICK for a limited period of time. A quarantine isolates those who are sick. A “quarantine of the heathy” is actually just called tyranny. It is actually illegal. So we have an illegal quarantine of healthy people going on, based on sketchy and inaccurate science.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you fear Liberals, Liberal conspiracies to “shred the Constitution”, and Hillary’s 30,000 emails more than trying to make an effort control a disease from randomly making people suffer and randomly killing them.

      Like

      1. @Doug

        Tyrants kill plenty of people. In addition to having their followers kill people directly, tyrants, because they are more concerned with maintaining power than they are with the welfare of those they rule, often make it difficult for people to provide themselves food, clothing, and shelter. That leads to famine, disease, and various other fatal problems. Therefore, wisdom dictates we regard any leader who shows no respect for his or her oath of office and the Constitution with disgust.

        Like

          1. @Doug

            Nope! Trump has shown respect for the Constitution.

            Instead of constantly obsessing upon your hatred of Donald Trump, spend some time reading some of the documents the founders read and wrote. In particular, please finish reading the Bible.

            Consider how IB describes “stoopid”.

            I don’t fear liberals, Doug, but stoopid describes an objective set of human behaviors mostly punctuated by short sightedness, arrogance, and authoritarianism.

            I am not a fan of name calling, but we do have to accurately describe bad behavior if we want people to stop behaving that way.

            Government is an instrument of coercion. Government exists to make people do things that they should do or to prevent people from doing things that they should not do. In either case government either threatens people with punishment or actually punishes people. Using this sort of power casually just to “redistribute the wealth” or to make others behave the way we want them to behave is stoopid, that is, shortsighted, arrogant, and authoritarian.

            Think! Why do we need a government? We need a government to prevent stoopid people from abusing the rights of their fellow citizens. Therefore, putting stoopid people in charge of the government utterly defeats the purpose of government. Unfortunately, all of us have a propensity to abuse power — to be stoopid. Although we obviously ought to avoid giving our leaders any more power than needed, we can sometimes be persuaded to give our leaders more power than we should. When we give in to such persuasions, we are especially stoopid..

            Like

    2. @IB

      Agreed! If someone had written a story like this, no one would believe it. People are that stupid?

      I think part of the confusion is based upon the fact that scientists seek to develop mathematical models of the cause and effect relationships we find in nature. However, our understanding of the natural world is quite limited. Just as we should not take the models weathermen use to predict next week’s weather too seriously, we should also be skeptical of an epidemiological model, especially for new virus.

      When our leaders first headed down this social distancing path, I was willing to give them some slack. If the lethality rate was as high as they said, and we could not tell who is a carrier, what else could we do to buy time? At this point they have enough information and sufficient tools to restart the economy. The Liberal Democrat news media …. Those people need to spend some time in solitary confinement, kind of like they want to do to us.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Spoken like a true science denier and Liberal-accusing conspiracy buff, Tom. Trump would be proud.

    BTW… seems you should have double-checked and triple-checked Trump for the last three years.. you missed a few things.

    Here’s an example how you do that, Tom.
    My GF recently was on the phone with her cousin living near that Lordstown GM plant that was closed and ultimately sold off. That rural area is a hotbed of Conservative/pro-Trump misguided Americans. Trump promised them their jobs back and when it all fell through it was everyone else’s fault..the union, the owners, blah-blah, and not Trump.
    Anyway… my GF said that her cousin passed on to her that to readily identify chicken, meat, whatever from China all one has to do is look for the barcode numbers on the packaging and if it contains the numbers 691, 692, 693… then it was from China. I immediately recognized the sign of some misguided Conservative nonsense… and I did a few simple searches and lookups from actual barcode industrial sources in fact… that is all bogus as the codes, depending on the type and style of barcode… generally represent the company at best… which could be located anywhere given domestic countries can have international locations.
    So I suggested to my GF she not take too much to heart what her cousin passed on to her.

    That’s how you check things, Tom.

    I hope you’ve not been suckered into the Trump/FOX hydroxychloroquine scam.

    Like

      1. And there is my point… a little research on your own on this would have revealed the “barcode” fallacy was started by a right wing post intent on assigning a particular blame on China trade.

        Like

        1. @Doug

          So what?

          The Liberal Democrat news media can dream up silly excuses to hate on the so-called right wing faster than I can keep track of their nonsense, and that’s all this barcode thing is.

          Some years back I use to get these chain emails from family and friends that were factually incorrect. So I would do a little investigation, reply, and post the correction on my blog (without saying where I got the chain email from). My object was to teach people to be a bit more skeptical. If it is too “good” to be true, it probably is not true.

          These days I get few such emails. Have people gotten any less gullible? Probably not, but I think it is safe to say that the average person doesn’t like someone else pointing out their gullibility.

          Are Liberal Democrats similarly gullible? Was Barack Obama president. Are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer the leaders of the Democratic Party? Is CNN still in business?

          Like

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