Scarier than COVID-19: No Freedom

FOOD BANKS ARE OVERRUN

The United States is a country with a history of overcoming huge problems when the people are left to be inventive, innovative, and free.  We have forgotten that basic fact, to our great detriment.

In the name of health and security the government has denied millions their right to feed their families.   In Texas,  Shelly Luther was jailed for opening up her beauty shop.  In Birmingham you can be fined for not wearing a mask. The Episcopal Dioceses of Kansas says Churches must keep a register of names of people attending in-person services for possible future contact tracing.  Why is that?  Are Christians to be tracked?  Across the country meetings of more than 10 people are banned. Tech companies are filtering and removing information with which they don’t agree,  preventing people’s voices from getting out and hindering even scientific exploration.

The response to COVID-19 is not protecting the most vulnerable, just damaging everyone else.  In New York 66% of the new cases have come from people sheltering in place, yet “Non-Essential workers” can not go to work.    Studies have show that the number of people infected but who never were sick enough to seek treatment is far higher (20%)in New York City than imagined.  The virus has been here and the shelter in place orders may have flattened the peak and kept the hospitals from being overwhelmed, but at this point all these orders are are draconian steps demonstrating the arbitrary execution of power by government.  There is no science to it. 

The government has arbitrarily decided who is “Essential”.  It is not just healthcare workers, delivery drivers,  grocery workers.  Every person who has to feed a family is essential to that family.  Every business with customers is essential to those customers. Daycare is essential to working parents.   To a near sighted person eye doctors are essential, to the sick the availability of emergency rooms is essential even if they do not have COVID-19.

go away

Instead we have run patients with milder problems away from our medical facilities, so when they do return, those problems will be severe.  We have cut off those who are sick from any disease from their loved ones and advocates.  Patients that could not speak for themselves now have no one to speak for them.

What makes sense, is that instead of locking up everyone, denying even the most basic rights of free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom to assemble, and the freedom to worship, is that we protect the people that are most vulnerable.  Clearly the elderly, those in nursing homes or those who have significant co-morbidities are most at risk.  The vast majority of everyone else is at minor risk of serious infection.

Those at risk need personal protective gear or need to limit their exposure to others who have known COVID-19 statuses.  In New York City 20% of the people tested for antibodies showed exposure.  That is millions. They have already been exposed, had the disease, mostly without symptoms and so have no need to shelter.  They do not need to be protected.

We have let the media scare us into terrible and horribly destructive policy decisions.  These decisions have failed to protect the most vulnerable while scaring everyone into giving up their inalienable rights.  The media have tried to scare us at every turn, they have dismissed the proven effectiveness of Hydroxy-Chloro-quinine although the drug has been around for 50+ years.  They have helped fuel bad decisions at every turn.  Much of the media took China’s propaganda and repeated it slowing recognition of the true threat from this virus.

Google has said they will only allow posts that agree with World Health Organization guidelines.  This is the same WHO that told us that the virus was not human to human transmittable, and who’s ties to China are more than questionable.   Science is about putting all ideas out there for evaluation, not just those approved by the communist party of China.

There are a whole host of players to blame for the destruction of our economy and the loss of freedom that has resulted.  Now is the time to reverse those errors.  Look at the science, the true numbers, as some of the media have inflated the deaths to sow fear. Look at Sweden as they did not shut down and fared better than us.  Stop state and city oligarchs from exercising petty rules designed to show their power. Be smart about protecting the vulnerable and fully open up the country.

Not opening up the country will extend the depression that is already upon us. If you care for this country for the well being of your family, now is the time to step up and demand the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution.

 

 

 

 

COVID-19 Update – Who else dies?

The day after my open heart surgery,  just back from the ICU, the nurse came and provided a heparin shot.   This thinned my blood to prevent clots.  However, too much heparin and I would bleed out.  My new graphs would leak and my heart would fail from the pressure build up.  Yet, an hour later a new nurse came in determined to give me another heparin shot, doubling the proper dose.  Had it not been for family members fighting tooth and nail,  I would have gotten that second shot and met my demise.  What you ask,  does this have to do with COVID-19?    Read on.

Melonie could barely sit up as she waited in the waiting area at Grandview Medical.  She leaned against her boyfriend and when she talked 70% of what she said had no connection to reality.   The pneumonia had advanced to the point her kidneys were shutting down with every breath a rale.  This was pneumonia, a secondary lung infection after a bacterial infection had settled in her lungs.  Without oxygen or a respirator Melonie would have died.

Unable to communicate effectively, Melonie’s boyfriend, and medical proxy had to communicate for her.   He could do what she could not while she was impaired by sickness.  Had he been banned from the ER the results of Melonie’s situation may not have been as successful.

This crisis is banning patient advocates.

The events above are real, though Melonie is not her real name.  The subsequent hospital stay was 16 days, the first 4 of which were touch and go, not knowing whether she would survive the ordeal.  Pneumonia is how COVID-19 kills the vulnerable. It is how lung infections kill those who are infected, by filling the lungs with so much fluid that infected person can’t breathe.

The fact that many, particularly young people contact this disease but have next to no symptoms is misleading.    They are the typhoid Marys of COVID-19, carrying this disease to their parents and grandparents who by virtue of age or prior bad health are far more susceptible to getting the high fever, cough and subsequent breathing crisis.   As of this moment, the US has 22,708 confirmed cases with 279 deaths and 64 seriously critical patients.  Many of the latter will die.   In the US 1.2% of those infected die.  The scary thing is that because testing has been delayed in the US, the total number of cases will grow tremendously in the next couple of weeks.

In Italy and now New York, hospitals are being overwhelmed.   With the cancellation of elective surgeries and the governments urging all but the most seriously sick to avoid emergency rooms, there are other tragedies occurring.  These receive little media attention and yet create fatalities that are not reported.   The beds are filled with COVID-19 patients, so the lady with COPD  comes in needing a respirator.  It is not available, the bed is not available.  The man having a heart attack is delayed while the hospital is in all out COVID-19 war mode.  He dies.  The lady with the flu and subsequent pneumonia is sent home because the hospital does not want her to get COVID-19 as well.   The most effective patient advocates are banned in the interest of preventing spread.

The resources of our medical community are being marshaled full on to take care of COVID-19 cases.  Yet, while those cases are receiving as much help as possible there is a silent set of deaths happening.   No one reports on these.  No one reports on the other life threatening infections whose treatment is delayed while COVID-19 sweeps across the US.  Many of our hospitals were swamped before this pandemic.  Those patients still need care but many are being sent away, delayed or denied the care they need.

The banning of family members from hospital rooms and care facilities will dramatically increase the number of medical mistakes.  Ginger, recovering from foot surgery, developed a MRSA infection in her arm.  Even though the nurses bandaged it, they did not chart it.  Her husband had to keep asking about treating this even after her arm had swollen to twice its normal size.  It took 4 days of constant asking to get the antibiotics ordered that eventually cleared up the infection in her arm.   Had the husband not been there Ginger would have lost the arm or her life.  This is the role of the patient advocate.  COVID-19 has banned patient advocates from the ER and from the hospital room.  How many extra deaths will this cause?

Further,  anyone that has had the experience of staying with a seriously ill loved one in the hospital knows how many small errands they run in order to take care the sick.  From getting blankets, pillows or drinks to helping with a bath the family member adds tremendously to the patient’s comfort. Now without the family member there, the nurse or aid has to perform these tasks adding to the work load of already overworked staff.

I firmly believe that we have to defeat this virus, but we have to do so without causing ancillary damage.   I am sure that no hospital would admit that having family at the beside saves lives.  Yet, seriously ill patients’ ability to communicate and to advocate on their own behalf is compromised.  Often they are completely unable to communicate.  This is one area of the COVID-19 response that needs to be rethought.   I would urge that medical facilities allow at least one family member in with the sick patient.  It will prevent countless unnecessary deaths.  For God’s sake, give the member a mask to protect them from COVID-19 and to protect the hospital staff from infection, but don’t put patients at greater risk because the policies are not thought through.

If you agree with this, I urge you to pass it on.

 

 

 

Mueller Report – A Coup Attempt

The Daily Caller documents 16 Trump killing incidents that never happened. Yet CNN and most of the other media outlets all reported these events as if they did.  These incidents were all reported with descriptions such as ‘bombshell’,  ‘The walls are closing in’, and ‘impeachment’.  Each network describing each fake event with the same exact words, clearly fed to them by a single source.   The simple fact that all 16 incidents never happened, never had any verification, and were never vetted did not matter to these news organizations.

Much of the public, having become used to being fed lies, just lapped up these stories as true.   For at least these 16 times news outlets sold their view that Donald Trump was finished, doomed to be impeached and most likely would go to jail.  In most cases the quiet retractions were unnoticed by the consuming public.   These organizations, reporters and journalist have become nothing but mouth pieces for an agenda.  In this, they have violated the public trust.  Publishing unverified and often clearly untrue stories as news put them in violation of FCC rules regarding communications companies.

According to FCC.gov,

“Before we can renew a station’s license, we must first determine whether, during the preceding license term, the licensee has served the public interest, has not committed any serious violations of the Communications Act or the FCC’s rules, and has not committed other violations which, taken together, would constitute a pattern of abuse.”

A pattern of using lies and uncorroborated, unverified stories in order to promote the impeachment of a sitting, duly elected president is a violation of the public interest.  When combined with the actions of top FBI and DOJ officials such as John Brennen, James Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, and James Clapper, these organizations literally signed on to promote a coup against president Trump.  Three of these have been dismissed from the FBI for lying.   Yet even with tainted, proven falsehoods at least 4 of these people have been given a platform on major media without challenge to continue to promote untruths.

Why would major media companies sign on to supporting a plan to take down the  president of the United States?   Does the idea of support for a progressive ideology alone account for the same identical headlines and the identical false narratives often promoted by CNN, Buzzfeed, MSNBC, NBC and CBS?  Or, is there something else fueling the choice not to vet, not to research and not to report on the truth about these narratives.

Clearly in the case of Nicholas Sandman, the 16 year old wearing the ‘hated’ MAGA hat, not one of these outlets bothered to review the whole video.  Destroying this kid and creating the idea that MAGA was somehow racist was the prime objective.  Truth had no part in the story.  Did the story, as with those many other fake outrageous claims for impeachment, drive ratings and advertising dollars.   Is that the real motivation? Or are progressive groups actually funding the rise in these unreported stories.  I suspect that money, more that anything, plain old corporate profit is the real motivator behind these fake new stories.

The fact that sensation brings viewers is well known.  If the truth that the economy has improved, or that unemployment is at historic lows, or that minority employment has improved greatly is boring, why not accuse the president of being a racist. His support for Israel, support for minority opportunity zones, his own family ties being multi ethnic do not matter.   Instead the media will parse a few words and create a story that he is racist when his actions, stemming from way before he was president would say otherwise.   Does that story bring democratic votes?  Who is paying to put that idea out there?  Does it somehow increase viewership?

At what point when the border is overrun (as it is now) and reporters families are harmed by drugs or gangs, or murdered by someone who crossed the border illegally will these ‘reporters’ report on that crisis.  Will they ignore the ‘Angel Families’ until they themselves become ‘Angel Families’.  How much profit is worth the death of an American citizen?  The harm in misreporting this one issue is enormous.  More than any entity these organizations are responsible for harming the security of this country.  Yet, they are not held accountable.

At the minimum their license to broadcast should be placed under scrutiny.  They are not serving the public interest.  Further, the origins of their coordinated reporting of false narratives needs to be investigated.    As long at they purport to be journalists and purveyors of news, not doing the research and corroboration should result in fines and penalties for every false story.    In this case no news is bad news.

 

 

 

 

How Trump Duped Russia, Turkey, Syria,Iran and the Press

The press has lambasted President Trump, calling him an idiot, an imbecile,  and worse.  The reaction of the press to his decision to pull American troops out of Syria brought further condemnation by the press, outrage even, with the Daily Beast painting the President as unpredictable.  In all the criticism, and reaction, the press, most of Congress, much of the President’s cabinet and the enemies of the US missed the truth.  Trump never planned to pull out of Syria.  Not for a long time in the future.

In one move President Trump revealed the ill intentions harbored by numerous enemies.  Turkey’s double dealing was revealed for all to see.  Their secret relationship with Iran was uncovered as were Russia’s intention to help carve up Syria.  He flushed out members of his cabinet that would not stand by his strategies.

As he had many times before, the reaction to his plans laid bare the true intentions of the enemy.  Russia wasted no time trying to arrange a meeting with Turkey and Iran.   Turkish backed Syrian troops started positioning themselves for an attack on Kurdish held Manbij.  Turkey’s desire to take the Kurdish areas was on the table for all to see.

The alignment of Turkey and Russia, with Turkey being a NATO state, demonstrates their unreliability as an ally.  Turkey’s willingness to sit down with Iran threatens everyone in the region.

John Bolton’s trip to Israel put conditions on the pullout which could keep troops in Syria for years. (New York Times)  By the time Israel was reassured all the players had already revealed their cards.  Turkey had been revealed as an deceitful partner, Russia clearly an opportunist with designs on the area,  and congressmen and cabinet members with an anti-Trump agenda were rooted out.

The classic redirection put each of these players and the press in a tizzy.  Nevertheless, in terms of geo-political power President Trump out them all.  Each revealed things about their plans and intentions that could be countered by just staying engaged.  Our press and our enemies took Trump at his word and failed to see the wider plan. Even as the plan becomes clear,  the media can’t grasp it.

As just a spectator I can only see the broader benefit of the ruse.  The facts made public.  Add the intelligence gathering and informational benefit and the reality is the Trump along with US interests gained mightily while each of the other players have lost major face.  Trump outsmarted them all.  The troops stay, and the conditions of their withdrawal have been set.  The bad faith plans of our enemies have been laid bare for the world to see.

One day the press might give the President credit for out thinking our enemies. I doubt that. They certainly will never give him credit for out thinking the media, which has once again show itself to be the true dupe.

Proof The Mueller Probe Is Political

Facts mean something.  The recent indictment of 12 Russian GRU agents for hacking the DNC is nothing but a farce.   Mueller has no intent on prosecuting these agents, even if he could get them extradited from Russia.   Sadly,  this can be proven with simple logic and public knowledge.   Perhaps the media can be fooled by this deception as it fits their preconceived view but any IT person worth his salt would see right through this game.

My IT experience runs back almost twenty years including some forensic work with expertise in software, malware and databases.   So before you write this off as something political, it is not.  It is simply an analysis of these indictments.

Let’s start with what is known about the hacking of the DNC.   Supposedly John Podesta clicked on a phishing link that enabled malware to be put on his computer such that the hackers could upload his files.   When the FBI asked to investigate and see his computer the DNC or Podesta refused to have that computer analyzed.    According to Comey’s testimony the FBI got analytics from the computer from a third party, ClowdStrike and the FBI and CIA were never given access.   That simple act, handing the computer suspected of being used in a crime to a third party breaks the chain of evidence.  

The fact is that the third party, paid for by either Hillary’s campaign or the DNC was no longer independent and could have altered the logs or even changed the malware that was installed.  In addition to Podesta’s computer there was an email server whose activity could have been analyzed as well as router logs.  In the two years since this occurred the changes to those devices could have been massive.  It would even be possible to create a trail to any supposed hacker.

Mueller surely knows this.  Since none of the indicted conspirators are likely to face trial the lack of any valid evidence did not stop Mueller him from filing.  The forensic analysis could have been done by the FBI but was not.  This makes proving the chain of custody impossible.  So, while creating a political firestorm releasing the indictments on the eve of Trump’s meeting with Putin, Mueller knows that the whole set of indictments are nothing but smoke and mirrors.  There is no charge that could stand in court.

Many questions remain unanswered.  Why did the DNC/Podesta hide the contents of their servers/pcs and router logs from the FBI?  What was on them that was not stolen? Where are those devices currently?  What has happened to those devices in the meantime?  Are those devices still in use?  Has the FBI since been given access, and if so what was changed on them since the incident?  Was a trail of evidence constructed on those computers for some advantage?

I know enough about computer forensics to understand that there is no valid chain of custody here.  That makes this whole set of indictments nothing but political fodder.   As a tax payer I wonder why we are paying for this type of manipulation within the legal system.

 

Mass Shooting and Idiocracy

This past week has been punctuated with stories of the mass walkout of 10’s of thousands of students protesting the gun violence and the mass shootings that have plagued this country in the past few years.  Yet in all these protests, in all the news coverage, with all the fury at the NRA the real solution to the problem of mass shootings is never ever covered.  There is a simple fact that no one wants to either present or face up to.

Everyone of these mass killings has been perpetrated by someone who has lost his connection to humanity, whose heart no longer values their own life and values the life of others even less.   Whether Dillon Roof, Nikolas Cruz or Seung-Hui Cho, each of these mass murderers had become separated from a sense of belonging in society.  It is that separation and alienation that resulted ultimate rampage.  They are responsible for their actions but is all cases their willingness to commit slaughter could have been prevented.

In each case there was ample information to have intervened prior to the shooting.  The people that interacted with these individuals noticed their spiral into the dark, yet those individuals did little to reach out and befriend or support these soon to be killers.  The only way to stop this from happening in the future is to change the culture of non-involvement we have adopted.  If we as individuals are indifferent as our neighbors descend into anger, depression and hate then it is not surprising that mass killings result.

First and foremost we need to recognize that the people responsible for these rampages are the individuals that are wielding the gun.  Guns do not hop off the shelves and float over to the nearest college and kill a bunch of people on their own.  People kill people.  Troubled people kill more people.  No gun law or gun ban will stop determined killers from obtaining a weapon.  Chicago, Baltimore and France have proved gun laws only prevent honest people from getting guns.

The solution is so simple and so hard in a society that teaches indifference, non-involvement and victim hood.  When we see individuals who express alienation, hate, anger and depression we need to reach out to those people and befriend them if we can.  Even if we can’t befriend them we need to make others aware of their thought processes and seek to get them involved in life in a way the reduces their alienation.

At some point the police may help, or school resource officers, or even the FBI, but by the time they are getting tips, the situation has already escalated well beyond acceptable levels.  The Florida shooting made it clear that law enforcement as a last line of defense is a flawed approach at best.  Hardening the schools is also a last line of defense approach to this issue.  Even metal detectors, which announce the presence of a gun do nothing to stop the perpetrator from walking into the school, or coming in an unprotected window.

If a fraction of the energy these students spent on gun protests was spent getting to know the people they interacted with.  If teachers, parents, school resource officers and law enforcement took the time to interact and intervene identifying those that are alienated and reaching out to them, then this issue would all but disappear.    As our society has become more disjointed and impersonal with the rise of the internet and entertainment that focuses on solo activities more and more people become disconnected from their fellow man.  That alienation breeds attitudes and thought processes that make mass killing acceptable in those on the margin.

The problem is not guns, not the lack of hardening.  It’s the lack of involvement and compassion that keeps people from reaching out to those in society that have lost their way and their connection to the community.

What is Independence?

When I was 13 I yearned to be away from my parents.  I thought I was smarter, wiser, and that I knew more than they did about the world.    As a result I wanted to get as far away from their limiting point of view.  I yearned for the freedom to do what I wanted,  where I wanted, and when I wanted.  Thus started the battle that has lasted to this day. The quest for true freedom.

It was 20 years before I started to understand that their wisdom and guidance, had I bothered to pay attention would have been extremely helpful.   Instead of my being smarter, wiser and more knowledgeable, I had been foolish, dumber, and ignorant. The thing I did not understand, the thing that remains even a significant mystery to me today is that once you interact with others, all the stuff that works in theory may have to be thrown away.  Human nature and the way people interact will always determine the final outcome of any endeavor.

The quest for freedom is elusive.  It is the quest for the unobstructed availability to chose your own destiny.    I have the ability to say anything that I want on social media.  Yet if I make a threat or try to be too dramatic bad things happen.  Things that might wind me up in jail or worse.  If I want to take a year long’s safari, my freedom is obstructed by my capability to fund the venture.   If Ann Coulter is asked to give a speech or contribute to a discussion on free speech, she is shouted down.  Her freedom of speech is obstructed.  Limits to freedom in the US, one of the countries most known for its freedoms are everywhere.

Those limits, the ones that I as a child never understood include government controls, financial constraints, social constraints, family constraints and ethical constraints.  The challenge each of us faces how to exercise our freedoms in order to achieve our goals.  If that goal is spreading the word of Christ, there are a multitude of constraints that will seek to prevent others from hearing the truth.  Even in America the right to tell others of his good news is often curtailed.

As an adult, I now understand the limits to freedom that plagued my choices as a younger man.  Yet, even as then,  it is incumbent to push against those limits when it is right to do so.  Whatever your goal, there will be obstacles.  Those limit your ability to achieve the destiny you have planned for yourself.  Sometimes that means challenging those that would shout you down, stand in your way, or condemn you for your beliefs.

I would urge each person to recognized the limits put on them and to push past those limits toward their goals.