Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Roberts Rules of Disorder

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The Pro-Life movement suffered another setback on Monday, when Supreme Court Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberal wing to strike down a Louisiana law that said abortions could only be performed by doctors who had admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The court's liberals, among whom we can certainly count Roberts at this point, found that the law could make it more difficult for a woman to exercise her Constitutional right to abortion (a right which we wish the court would circle with a yellow highlighter, because damned if we can find it in there). They also declared that there was "no medical benefit" for a woman getting quick hospital  treatment in case her hoo-haw was geysering blood and her own organs, rather than those of her child, were skittering across the floor.

Interestingly, an almost identical case had previously been decided by the court, and Roberts had voted that the law was just fine and shouldn't be overturned (although it still was).  Which is why it was surprising that he completely flip-flopped his vote this time, while saying that he still thought he was right the last time. He changed his vote only because precedent had already been set, and he didn't want to mess with precedent even if it means raping the Constitution a little.

Then again, rape is no big deal in a country that makes access to abortion easy by stripping away protections to make it safe.

And speaking of safe, we still aren't here in the United States of Confusion when it comes to coronavirus and  Covid-19...

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"It's okay, folks - she's a patriot!"
We've about given up hope that our nation will really be able to get this virus under control, mostly because the simple measures needed to reduce transmission have been hopelessly bungled, distorted, lied about, and politicized.

So just let us vent for a moment and share some truisms which you're free to believe or not:

• We are not starting a second viral wave. We're still near the beginning of the first wave.
• People can be entirely asymptomatic and still spread the potentially deadly virus to others (and yes, Typhoid Mary felt fine for the years she spread her illness).
• Any mask is better than no mask.
• Wearing a mask will not make you sick or cause you to hyperventilate (although fear might, so calm the heck down).
• Individual virus particles are small enough to travel through masks. Virus particles wrapped in snot and saliva - which is to say MOST of them - can not.
• If virus particles DO enter your system, the fewer you get initially, the greater the likelihood that you'll have a less severe case (starting with a lower "load" gives your body more time to gear up for the fight).
• There are no really good remedies or treatments for Covid-19 yet, although some helpful meds are being looked at.
• Of those hospitalized for Covid-19 and eventually released, as many as 50% are still suffering symptoms - including severe symptoms like chronic "10 out of 10" pain and brain injuries - which may be permanent.
• "My mask protects you, your mask protects me." This is a fact. And the only one that can possibly restore a bit of normality to our daily lives.
• "Opening up" doesn't mean it's free-for-all time again. It means SOME business can occur again if (and only if) people take the important and logical measures of wearing masks and observing social distancing.
• There is no guarantee that an effective vaccine will be found.

And there's more, but the bottom line is: put politics aside and, for now, wear a mask whenever you're mingling with other people in public. Other countries are doing it and it works. We did it here during the Spanish Flu and it worked.

Besides, keeping up to date with good pandemic procedures may be even more useful in the near future...

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Yes, those happy-go-lucky Chinese have announced that a new flu virus with "pandemic potential" has popped up and may soon be winging its way to our shores. Because while pigs can't fly, swine flu most certainly can.

This being a "new" virus, there is - again - no human immunity, and the virus has already jumped from porker to person in at least two cases.

Although if China is admitting two cases, God only knows how many people have really sprouted curly tails and are currently shnuffling amongst tree roots for truffels.


Pat Cummings said...

Okayy... May I have leave to think that an additional pandemic arriving in the US around election time this year is strangely convenient?

And where are the spikes in Minnesota and D.C. from the lack of social distancing and mask-wearing during the recent rioting... um, "peaceful demonstrations"? I wear a mask by choice in public close quarters, even in rural Utah where the COVID-19 never got much traction. (Yet, and that's why I do wear a mask.) But it's weirdly suspicious to me that Trump-rally locations are considered at risk for spreading the virus, yet the BLM/Antifa affrays are not.

Just sayin'...

Michael said...

I would really like to know the truth about some things. The real death toll. Not the one that includes car accidents and suicides. All these new cases, are just people that tested positive and told to go stay home or people that showed up at the ER. I suspect both. If you test more you will find more. I'm sure you noticed they've switched from deaths to new cases for the news score keeping. Deaths aren't going up fast enough. A slow rising score doesn't make orange man bad work very well.

Michael said...

I think it's time to check Roberts bank account etc. and see who's buying him off or blackmailing him.

kcmoonshiner said...

According to the CDC, 1 in 14 deaths attributed to Covid are actually DUE SOLELY to Covid. All others have on average 2 or more of the high risk factors (age, COPD, heart disease, etc.) So, of the 120,000 reported deaths, 8,400 were due to Covid. Think about it.

Cridge said...

Sadly, there is so much information that is contradictory and it is offered by medical professionals (experts?). So what to believe? I looked at list of risk factors and scored higher on that than I did on my college ACT. I wear a mask where required.

Geoff King said...

Speaking as someone with both asthma and COPD, mask wearing is not an option. I need all the air I can get. Social distancing is my choice for fighting the spread of a virus which appears to be far less deadly than predicted or even reported.
Also, speaking as someone who hasn't had the flu in 50-some years without ever having a shot, and someone who rarely even catches a cold and never for more than 2 days, I will trust my God-given immune system to get me through this.

locomotivebreath1901 said...

"We did it here during the Spanish Flu and it worked."

600,000 dead Americans and 17 million dead worldwide from Spanish flu say, "There is no evidence to support that claim."

Alfonso Bedoya said...

My wife and I wear masks when shopping, then wash our hands the minute we get home, and we try to wear nitrile gloves whenever we shop. We try to stay home as much as possible, and so far we have been lucky.

What amuses me is that stores like Costco and Walmart continue to push products that contain ethyl alcohol. Makes for good adult beverages, but as a virus-killer? I don't think so. Washing hands reduces the "bio-burden" and is probably the best preventive, other than wearing masks. I agree with Michael: more testing has revealed more virus-carriers, but it doesn't mean that those carriers have signs or symptoms of the virus, and it makes for good "Press."

And now the Swine Flu? It sounds like a virus spread by the Democrat Party.

TrickyRicky said...

From the New England Journal of Medicine May 21 edition:

"We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic."

I would argue that we also know the highly touted "spikes" are in infection rates, not hospitalization rates or mortality rates. Kind of funny how the reportage has gone from numbers that matter to those that really don't.

My wife was in a medical facility earlier this week and a woman overheard her discussion with one of the staff regarding the efficacy, or lack thereof, of mandated mask wearing. Another patient overheard and became hysterical, claiming that over 2,000,000 people in the United States have died from the virus. A quick look at the Johns Hopkins website confirmed that the official (and certainly inflated) death toll up to that day was 126,000. That's 5% of her fake number, but what's a little math error between friends?

Snark said...

My trust in 99% of government "news" or "facts" or "advice" is somewhere less than 0. Do masks make sense in area where there are concentrations of vectors -i.e. people? Especially where the incidence of infection is high? Certainly. Would it be prudent to keep nursing home occupants -the most vulnerable - from exposure? Well...DUH! (Sonny Cuomo isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.) If there is a"bounty" (increased payment) for reporting one cause of death versus another do you think that those deaths will increase? Uh...yeah. Would Pelousi, Scheemer and the rest of the dhimicrats gleefully watch the country burn, blood run in the streets, bodies pile up from disease, murder, mayhem and other sociopathic behavior as long as they wrested political control from the people? You bet your ass. Liberals NEVER acknowledge history, therefore they get the opportunity to repeat it. And they do it every time. If they had bothered to read the history of the French Revolution they would discover that much of what they are doing is identical to what happened in France in the late 19th century. And those that were most inciting of that revolution were consumed by it. This time, however, even liberals are buying guns. Defund the police? Better build more morgues and mortuaries.

Seattle council members most in favor of cancelling the police departments are requisitioning public funds for private security. I suspect they will need a LOT of that. They forgot to cancel the second amendment first. Again, lack of historical perspective. Black lives do matter. Just like the rest of us. Black lives DON'T matter more than any other American life. AMERICAN lives matter. As long as there is financial advantage to stirring up racial strife then strife will be stirred. Communists like Soros, most (if not all) of the dhimicrat party, Steyer, Buffet, Gates, et al, will continue to fund the Antifa thugs, the BLM thugs, the anarchist thugs all hoping to float above the fray until they can step in and rule the country as is their natural right.

This election will be more than critical. I'm afraid that the dhimicrats/progressives/communists/anarchists will become even more desperate as election day draws near. I believe the polls less than I trust the government. As an optimistic paranoid, I have faith that the people of this country will give these scum the flushing that they deserve.

I'm still stockpiling ammunition.

American Cowboy said...

The fear and panic being willfully bought into for COVID-19 was beginning to subside. Never let it be said that someone, somewhere would not find a way to ramp it up again. As far as this "new" swine flu (AKA Kung Flu 2) it seems to be closely related to the 2009 H1N1 (or was that N1H1?).

Let's just treat it like the LAST bunch in the White House did eleven years ago.

I am sure that come November 4th there will be no worries about either one of these useful plandemics. There will most likely be people more worried about whether they live or die in the riots that will occur whether the leftocrats steal total power over we mere citizens to force us into even more servitude, or they lose what power they have and start a revolution against this country's patriots.

McChuck said...

Are you willing to wear a mask forever? Because that's how long various cold and flu virii will be floating around.

If not, why are you wearing one today? Unless you've already got one foot on the crumbling soil at the edge of the grave, that is. If you're sick, stay home.

I refuse to live in fear.

American Cowboy said...

@ McChuck said..."Are you willing to wear a mask forever?"

That is the proverbial camels nose under the tent.

John the Econ said...

I am so over abortion. Let the left kill their progeny. Let them denigrate human life by comparing it to a cancer. Let them worship an organization founded by an actual white supremacist for the explicit purpose of eliminating people and whole races she considered "human weeds". While the left is orgasmic about tearing down statues of anybody who could remotely be connected to white supremacy, somehow Margaret Sanger and her legacy stands untouched. Let them proudly own this ultimate narcissism.

Rape: I'm old enough to remember when the left used to argue that sex was just sex. So what's the big deal about rape? Since they're eliminating the police in Progressive-controlled jurisdictions, get used to it. They're offended by the notion of funding the prevention of rape, but more than thrilled to pay for your Gosnell-quality abortion.

The above is just a small example of what the left has to run on come November. There's no critical thought behind any of it. It's all hyper-emotional drivel. Just part of what I've been calling the "Feralization of America". Today they're thinking like animals. In a few years, we may be living like them as well.

The Wuhan Flu: Yup, it's now running rampant in my formerly relatively uninfected community. It's largely due to the seasonal influx of infected escapees from urban centers and the young and stupid who can't stay away from bars and similar venues. The upside is that perhaps we'll soon achieve "herd immunity" levels and this will subside by fall. Widespread antibody testing is proving what I've long suspected; that the level of infection is at least 10-times what was previously thought. As I've mentioned before, Mrs. Econ & myself think we may have already had it. (Mrs. Econ had a strange flu after some business trips in February) I'll be getting an antibody test after my next blood donation at the end of the month, and should know the results a few weeks later.

Anonymous said...

How soon you forgot the 1st hand accounts of doctors around the world that when Hydroxychloroquene was given early with zinc and a good antibiotic their patients recovered in 2 or 3 days if not sooner. The FDA and WHO continue to work overtime to prevent this miracle cure, yes I said CURE from being prescribed because it only costs about $.60 a dose, but champion crap drugs that have very little effect but cost $2000-$3000 a dose. That's not a coincidence. The fix is in and on a grand scale. Everyone including this website now seems content to ignore the evidence and play the game.

Drew458 said...

Gosh, maybe we should just totally boycott China. Totally. And if we cut them off, perhaps other parts of the world will also.

John Econ - antibody tests may work but studies show large % of people don't keep them long or even make them. Other virologists disagree, saying there is no such thing as asymptomatic (but you might not notice symptoms) and that the T cell thing only happens after antibodies don't do the job. This is all very confusing.

Anonymous said...

How about 'wash your hands'? I haven't heard any newscast reminding people to wash their hands in many weeks. What about the cloth masks? I guess they never need laundering since I don't hear reporters talking about it. Golden state killer trial, people are wearing face shields but other 'experts' say they virus will get around it. Local hospital won't let you in with a n95 mask with exhaust valve. Shaking my head.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget if you wear a mask to wear eye protection as well since our eyes have fewer protections than our sinuses.
Regardless , My advice to everybody is vitamin C, D, Zinc, Tumeric (capsules), and NM Green Chile. Consult your own authority for dosages. It will at least mitigate symptoms if you catch it, otherwise, strengthening our Immune systems can't hurt.


CenTexTim said...

I haven't commented here in a long time, but feel compelled to speak up on today's post. Stilton, your observations on wearing/not wearing a mask are spot on. Wearing one doesn't protect you 100%, nor does it protect others 100%. But it does offer a certain degree of protection to you and to others. That's better than nothing. It's just common sense and common decency, two attributes which are sadly lacking in today's society.

Thank you for being a voice of reason in an environment devoid of same.


Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Pat Cummings- The new swine flu isn't a pandemic yet and hopefully never will be. But you can't blame me for being gun shy. Regarding an uptick in Covid cases related to the throngs in the street, I'll bet they're coming. If you catch it, it takes about 3 weeks for it to get serious enough for someone to go the hospital. And of course, the only difference between exposure at a Trump event and BLM/Antifa event is medical and media hypocrisy.

@Michael- No question, there's a lot of muddled and manipulated information out there. That being said, I believe that this is still a very bad situation - made worse by those who underestimate it. As far as Roberts goes, I'm starting to think he's just an asshole.

@M. Mitchell Marmel- Well played, sir!

@kcmoonshiner- I'll have to politely disagree. If someone has heart disease which is survivable for 20 years but Covid knocks them off in 4 weeks, then I'm perfectly happy blaming Covid for the death. Actuarily speaking, I should have another 15-20 years of life. But since I'm over 65, Covid could cut that short by, oh, 15-20 years. Covid rightfully doesn't escape blame when it turns a comorbidity into a death sentence.

@Cridge- The information storm is now a disaster. I feel like I'm getting the straight dope from Dr. Chris Martenson on the "Peak Prosperity" Youtube channel. He consolidates data from all over the world and is apolitical. And thank you for wearing that mask!

@Geoff King- If you genuinely can't wear a mask, then that's a legit reason not to. Glad you're observing social distancing protocols and I hope you stay safe!

@locomotivebreath1901- Hey, I didn't say that the Spanish Flu didn't suck and kill vast swaths of people. I'm saying that masks helped. And I'm not happy to say it but, absent a medical miracle, we're going to be looking at more than 600k American deaths before this is through.

@Alfonso Bedoya- Good to hear that you're taking appropriate precautions! I'm pretty iffy on the ethyl alcohol thing too, though if it was all I had available I'd still use it. And yes, more testing will reveal more cases/carriers, but actual hospital admissions are up meaning this isn't just a statistical anomaly.

Snark- I agree with you across the board.

@American Cowboy- I hope you're right, but what I believe is that the Covid situation is likely to be worse (for medical reasons, not political) after the election. As for the "new" swine flu, no one is actually pushing the story much - I just grabbed it because it made me laugh in a creepy way.

@McChuck- If there's a chance I could kill someone (firsthand, secondhand, etc) by passing along a deadly virus, then yes - I'll wear a mask in public until there's a real vaccine, or until I kick off of old age - whichever comes sooner.

And you say "if you're sick, stay home." I'm not sure who you mean by that. Do you mean the people who are pre-symptomatic, feel fine, but are infectious? The people who ARE symptomatic? Or people with co-morbidities like being AARP age, or are overweight, or have hypertension? That's going to be a LOT of people "staying home" for the rest of their lives.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@American Cowboy- I've made my peace with wearing pants forever and seem none the worse for wear. (grin)

@John the Econ- I agree. I'm pretty unhappy about abortion as it's practiced, but also grudgingly admit that it's here forever. Regarding rape, I read that there were several in the People's Perfect Paradise of CHOP, so it must be okay. Regarding Covid-19, one of the MANY things which piss me off is that there's no really comprehensive testing program in our country (which could provide valuable data) and apparently never will be.

It will be interesting to find out if you and Mrs. Econ have actually had the virus and, if so, if it confers immunity (the jury is still out on that one).

@Anonymous- Oh, believe me - I hadn't forgotten about HCQ! When I said "no effective treatments," I meant approved effective treatments here in the U.S., where the good news about HCQ + Zinc is being actively buried. My doctor, for instance, won't prescribe it if I get Covid-19, so it might as well not exist for me...which pisses me off no end. I think HCQ/Zinc will eventually be approved for use (as the #1 treatment, in fact), but tens of thousands will have died in the interim.

@Drew458- Emotionally I'd love to see our country boycott China. Unfortunately, that's currently impossible (for instance, they manufacture the vast majority of our medications). But we should certainly we working on making this a "China non-dependent country" ASAP.

@Anonymous- Yep, handwashing and washing of cloth masks is critical. Face shields do NOTHING to protect the wearer from Covid, but act as a useful "sneeze guard" to lessen the likelihood of infecting others. Albeit not much. And hospitals are right to not let people in who have masks with an exhaust valve, as that masks protects the wearer but puts everyone else at heightened risk. Which I found out the hard way, by wearing such a mask to a doctor's appointment and getting a gentle but well-deserved scolding.

@mech- I hadn't heard about NM Green Chile, but am taking those other things. Also Quercetin, Resveratrol, and Elderberry extract - all things which have shown actual medical benefit in fighting viruses. Vitamin D seems especially important, so everyone should make sure they're getting enough.

And you're right about eye protection, which I DO wear it to the store. The virus can absolutely enter through your eyes, so don't touch 'em with unwashed hands!

@CenTexTim- Thanks for the nice comment. I agree that "common sense and common decency" should rule the day, but at the moment those qualities have to compete with an amazing amount of (often deliberate) misinformation.

Anonymous said...

As to Roberts, I think someone "owns" him. I don't know what they have on him, but it must something pretty serious.

Geoff King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geoff King said...

K. Positive cases of Kung Flu are going way up. So is testing. Might have something to do with each other,ya think? At the same time hospitalizations and actual deaths are dropping dramatically. This suggests we are either achieving "herd immunity", or we have been lied to all along.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@NSF- At this point, it feels like anything is possible.

@Geoff King- More tests will find more cases, no question. But it's my understanding (perhaps flawed) that hospitalizations are indeed increasing - dramatically in my neck of the woods - and that the death count seems low for the growing number of new cases because death is a "lagging indicator." It generally takes 3 weeks or more for a person to go from hospitalized to getting a toe tag - so we'll have to watch the coming weeks very closely.

I don't think there's any likelihood that we're nearing herd immunity, but I think it's a certainty that we've been lied to about a lot of things. Sadly, Covid-19 being a big problem isn't one of them.

Unknown said...

FWIW, a large number of the new cases are younger people (think bars, parties, and protests). They are less likely to have preexisting conditions that would make them more susceptible to becoming a fatality, and generally speaking have a more robust immune system. Again, I don't have all the answers (nor does anyone else), but I fail to see how wearing a mask makes one a sheep.

JustaJeepGuy said...

Regarding the actual number of "actual" covid-19 deaths, I heard that there was a guy in Washington (the state) who tested positive for covid--but died of a gunshot--and was called a covid death. Seems fishy to me...

It has been my contention since February that the 'rona hysteria is the MSM's latest coup attempt against President Trump. All the contradictory directives from all those supposed "experts" hasn't changed my mind about that.

SpectreRider said...

It probably involves information rather than money.
Surely Trump wasn't the first time the Obama administration pointed the world's most powerful surveillance inward. McCain, Romney, Graham, Roberts.
All have incidents that might best be explained by blackmail.
But perhaps I'm just being too charitable. They might just be snakes and weasels.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Unknown- Absolutely correct on all counts. And I thank you for that; I just had to unsubscribe a reader who wrote me to say that he always enjoyed my posts until today, but NOW I'm a brain-damaged Marxist wannabee and closet Democrat suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. I also unsubscribed the horse he rode in on.

@JustaJeepGuy- There's no question that the media is trying to hype things up as an attack on Trump. But that doesn't change the reality on the ground, which is that this virus is bad news indeed, and it's going to be with us for a long time. I'd love to be wrong, but my bet is we haven't begun to feel the real hurt from this yet.

@SpectreRider- Blackmail or weasels? It's a good question, and at least one of those answers (or possibly both) is right.

John the Econ said...

Filed under "Southern Man" or "Achieving Herd Immunity":

Young people are throwing coronavirus parties with a payout when one gets infected, official says

I can only hope they're vaping at these parties.

Speaking of, there's something that fell off the front page when the Wuhan Flu hit.

Geoff King said...

K. Thus far, Washington state and Illinois have admitted that even if you die of a gunshot, if Covid is present it is listed as a Covid death.
How many people across the country do you think have actually died from the virus? Obviously less than what they are reporting. Perhaps far less, and now the rapidly decreasing death rate seems to support that.