Conversations

A family get-together on a California Beach led to discussions on a variety of subjects. Coming from Arizona, Utah, and Georgia and being in California, we had wide-ranging dialogue. 

 Whereas Los Angeles demands mask-wearing indoors, we had utter confusion about where to wear a mask in San Diego County. The hotel office required them but seemingly not needed anywhere else. Paying a dollar more a gallon for gas brings home California is a different place. Curtailed services at the hotel and some restaurants pointed to a severe labor shortage. We knew we weren’t in Arizona anymore.

The conversation touched on how Arizona was coping with the massive increase in migrants illegally crossing the border. We shared the problem wasn’t anywhere near the crisis on the Texas border, but that could change. Blocking the Texas border would shift the migrants to our frontier. Of particular concern is the high Covid infection rate among the transients. 

With the grandkids heading back to school, the effect of the Delta variant is on everyone’s mind. Only one of the them is vaccinated. The rest are too young. Our grandchild in Atlanta attends a private school, and the others are in public school Park City, Utah. Neither place is likely to shut down, but masks and other actions are possible. Atlanta is a worry in any case.

The prevalence of crime in Atlanta is a significant concern. While our kid’s neighborhood has been safe, crime is growing across the City. Less policing is taking its toll. Once the police feel unsupported, cops retire, and good recruits are hard to come by. It’s no secret the mayor and others have thrown them under the bus. As a result, the upscale Buckhead neighborhood is in the process of splitting from Atlanta. If it leaves, the City’s tax base will be devastated. This action, in turn, means higher taxes or fewer services, or both. 

Returning to Phoenix, we got the news the U.S. Department of Justice is opening a probe of our Police Department. In all the decades we’ve lived in the City, we have had nothing but excellent city services. Police and Fire are prompt, courteous, and efficient. Yet, no one spoke up for the cops. Not the Chief of Police or the Mayor. Just a few out-of-power city council members. Are we about to join Atlanta and so many other cities with rising crime leading to a decline in livability? 

I wonder how many extended families are having these conversations? If they aren’t, maybe they should. It was great to get out and be together, but unfortunately, problems still are part of our lives.

The Biden Effect Today

July 29 strongly confirms Biden is hell-bent on destroying the recovery. His tool of choice is ineptitude. As I’ve pointed out, on Inauguration Day, the new president was the beneficiary of rapidly increasing injections of amazingly effective Covid vaccines. An already growing economy could only go into overdrive with the spreading Immunity. Momentum was in place to carry us forward with zero input from the Biden team. All Biden had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. Later in the year, when the memory of the Trump administration had faded, he could take credit for the good times. In any case, a good economy always helps the incumbent Administration.

Instead of preparing a carrot and stick program to overcome the vaccine reluctance the UK had experienced, the Administration has sent mixed messages from the J & J vaccine to the current mask advisories. This confusion is playing havoc with people’s ability to plan for the future. These puzzling missives are spilling into our economy.

The government reported the economy grew at 6.4% rather than the expected 8.4%—quite a miss. Further, unemployment claims rose by a surprising amount. A growing fear of the Delta variant has contributed to investment and hiring hesitancy.

The Administration’s almost $2 billion Covid stimuli extending generous unemployment insurance and adding childcare payments with no work requirement has kept many from returning to work. Lack of workers restricts supply. All that money is floating around, goosing demand while we aren’t producing goods. We already have supply dislocations coming out of the pandemic. All this has led to the classic scenario “too much money chasing too few goos,” for inflation.

Misreading or ignoring of data led to the present disappointments and threatened further damage. It is essential to get out ahead of the fear and confusion. When the trepidation comes from the top, it gets quickly out of hand. On ABC New York, they are looking at the possibility of 4,000 deaths a day in the fall. This prediction is wildly improbable. How can I say this? It’s because I look at what is happening. India, where the Delta Variant originated, had a big spike. The UK, which is a few weeks ahead of us in vaccinations, has significantly increased cases. However, both have topped out::

Instead of growing out of control, the virus appears to be running out of potential victims. Shots in the arm and natural Immunity have narrowed its opportunities. Is this going to happen here? Very likely.

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Don’t Tell Me-Sell Me

Here we go again. Across our media, the return of the pandemic is getting big play. The Delta variant has pushed our two-week average cases up an astounding 170%. Everyone put on a mask, especially that two yr-old super-spreader. Prepare for new lockdowns before we are overwhelmed. Without everyone getting vaccinated, Covid will get completely out of hand. Even the vaccinated are testing positive. The unvaccinated are terrible people, putting us all at risk. For our safety, we have to mandate everyone gets the shot.

I started writing about Covid 19 on 3/20/2020. The posts comprise my series on Covid 19. If you haven’t read them already, take a look. I think you’ll find I’m pretty right on. On this basis, let me try to put our present circumstances in perspective. 

The increase in cases sounds terrifying until you realize the prior low figures we achieved. In any case, infections don’t mean much unless they do significant damage. While we have rising Covid rates, deaths and hospitalizations have hardly risen. I include these charts again to illustrate the actual situation: 

99% of the recent Covid deaths were unvaccinated. That means if you have a shot, you’re rarely going to be hospitalized and die. We see the same decoupling between cases and deaths in the other high vaccination countries, U.K. and Israel. During the cold and flu season, we don’t stop living.

In my post “Can we afford Another 100 Days,” I expressed fear over our sharply declining vaccinations. To get to the reluctant after the first rush, Israel, the leading vaccinator, anticipated a decline and used a carrot and stick approach. They were ready with programs such as the Green Pass. Instead of using their experience, the Biden administration undertook actions that could only discourage people from getting shots.

The downturn in vaccinations was simultaneous with the pulling of the J & J vaccine. We repeated the E.U.’s gross error with the AstraGenica vaccine instead of learning from their experience. The administration further confused people with mixed messages. Telling prospective shot takers they’ll be able to return to everyday life while you are wearing one or, in some cases, two masks made no sense. Yet, the president, vice-president, Speaker of the House, and, of course, chief medical spokesman, Dr. Fauci, all were guilty of continuing to wear masks after vaccination, often outdoors. 

Making things worse, the Biden allied Mainstream Media plays up every adverse vaccine event. Even though severe breakthrough infections or bad reactions are statistically rare, the news makes it appear they’re far more prevalent. The administration should make it clear to the media that they’ll provide spokespeople to put things properly, hopefully before the stories appear. Otherwise, these stories amount to misinformation.

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No Improvement

In the past, I’ve pointed to the lack of effective government by the Biden administration. In posts such as The Dog Ate Biden’s Homework” and Can We Afford Another Hundred Days I spelled out the shortcomings. Clueless on Operation Warp Speed, the Administration pumps out checks so people can stay home rather than going to work. In a rapidly growing economy flush with savings, the last thing we need is a massive increase in demand. Without workers, supply catching up pushed further in the future. The result is a 5+% rise in inflation.

An overrun Southern Border directly results from not anticipating the effect of reversing the Trumps Administration’s border arrangements.

A world-class vaccination program is crashing through confused messaging. Warp Speed promised control of the pandemic by the end of spring in the U.S., but the next step is worldwide control. The Biden administration has been late in ordering shots to distribute abroad. Confusion as to actual need has led us to a point where millions of doses are about to expire. Dr. Marty Makary asks why we aren’t shipping them to our Canadian and Mexican neighbors?

The Trump administration got off to a somewhat rocky start, but Trump was an outsider with no government experience. Biden has been in government for decades. He knew all the players. Biden should’ve known who to hire for a smooth-running operation. Yet, the Administration continues to fumble.

Trump had set a date for us to leave Afghanistan, and the Biden signed on to complete the withdrawal. One could argue whether this is a good policy, but both concluded it was time to leave our longest war. However, there is a right and wrong way to do things. Abandoning our most significant base in the middle of the night without a proper turnover to our Afghan Allies did nothing to instill confidence in us or the Afghan military. The Afghan government is now losing vast stretches of territory and may collapse in the not too distant future.

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Oppressor or Victim

Tony Timpa is someone you probably never heard of, but you should be aware of him. Don’t google him yet. Let me put his story in context first.  

After declining for decades, violent crime in our major cities turned up starting in 2014. That year, a white policeman shot dead a young black man in Ferguson, Mo. The story spread Michael Brown is killed in cold blood while pleading, “hands up, don’t shoot,” by officer Darren Wilson. The result was a full-blown riot resulting in damage to Ferguson that remains today. The group leading the protest was “Black Lives Matter” (BLM). The message across most media was a racist white cop gunned down an unarmed Black youth. 

The only problem the story was false. Officer Wilson was attacked by a 6′ 4″ 292 lb. petty criminal. He shot in self-defense. Please don’t take my word for it; three separate investigations confirmed Brown was the author of his death. These include a report by President Obama’s justice department. 

Darren Wilson, fearing for his life, resigned from the force and disappeared. As I predicted at the time, Police across the nation noted the lack of support for the people in blue and pulled back. “The Ferguson Effect” became a growing truth as police backing waned. Defund the racist Police became the cry. Aggressive policing declined, and cops retired or quit. Who wants to risk your life for people that don’t have your back. The safety of our citizens suffers.

Still, we find Michael Brown’s name included in the growing list in the media of innocent Blacks unfairly gunned down by white Police. A plague of blacks murdered by those in blue. However, some looked at the 50 million+ annual police-public encounters and wondered if some cherry-picking is involved. 

As I’ve pointed out in the past, there is friction between law enforcement and the public worldwide—the more lawless the area, the more adverse actions. Sometimes these are deadly. In most countries of the world, the Police and the public involved are of the same Race. Just this morning, Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian, complained in the Washington Post of the over-the-top actions of the West Bank police. Why then are the authority-public problems always attributed to Race in the U.S.?

On May 25, 2020, those pushing the police “place little or no value on the Black lives” narrative got all the proof they needed. It appeared in a cellphone recording of a white police officer kneeling on the neck and back of a black man for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. The man died. He had claimed that he couldn’t breathe, but the white cop kept the knee in place. The other cops present didn’t help the black man.

With this powerful visual in hand, the media exploded against race-based police brutality. Protests and riots spread across the nation. Racism is institutional in all phases of our lives was trumpeted. Law enforcement is the worst example and defunding on the table. Teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) and the complementary 1619 Project to all our children so white kids know they are oppressors, and black kids are always victims. The nation divided along racial lines.

What if George Floyd’s death while terrible police work wasn’t race-based? All over the world, there is always the problem of rogue or just bad cops. Corruption in law enforcement knows no borders. Free people have to be vigilant and make corrections. But a bad cop doesn’t equal a racist cop. Without Law & Order, there is no civilization.

The media told us a white cop would never treat a white with such indifference. As it turns out, there is an amazingly similar case. Tony Timpa, in August 2016 Dallas, Texas, had a policeman’s knee on his neck and back for over 14 minutes. During that time, he expired. He had called out for help before going cold. The similarities of the Floyd and Timpa cases are eerily close. Both were large men who had taken drugs but were handcuffed and were no threat to the officers. The only significant difference I can see in the cases, one was black and the other white. Take a look at the Timpa Case and see if you disagree. Ask yourself why you know everything about the Floyd case but nothing about Tony Timpa. Who received justice?

As I pointed out in my last post, making everything racial with only black victims benefits the Democrats. If Blacks start asking the Democrats they elected why they’re not doing better, they might vote differently. If they did, the Democrats might collapse. Hence, the Party and its media allies must heavily emphasize Black victimhood. Racial division is a matter of survival.

If you disagree, tell me who shot Ashli E. Babbitt on 1/6 at the Capitol. Why is it the press hasn’t demanded the officer’s name and the videotapes of the incident. Like George Floyd, she was a lawbreaker but was unarmed and posed no mortal threat. Yet, she is the only one to die there, and we know next to nothing. We knew right from the beginning the Race of the officers who killed Brown and Floyd but not the officer who shot Babbitt.

Our nation has many problems, but they’re not all about Race. The left is carrying this Racial injustice division to the point where teachers can tell my school-age grandchildren they’re “oppressors” solely because they’re white. The most prominent teacher’s union, the National Educational Association (NEA), says the CRT is “reasonable and appropriate” for our kids. It opposes any bans on the use of the New York Times’ controversial 1619 Project.  Remember, these are the same people that couldn’t be bothered teaching our kids for a year during the pandemic.

No way can I support teaching my grandkids something as mindless as the Minutemen at Lexington and Concord, Mass. in 1775 fired the first shots of the Revolutionary War, “The Shot Heard Round the World,” did it to keep their non-existent slaves. Who other than the New York times thinks slavery was significant in New England.

Not only does it hurt my grandkids, but it also has to be devastating to Black kids to be told they will always be victims of Institutional Racism. That won’t inspire them to work for a better future. Instead of real solutions to problems, we get harmful nonsense from the left for political gain. For shame, for shame!

Covid Cases have declined to a point where the Dispatch no longer provides us charts. However, if you want Covid Data, Johns Hopkins still gives it. For most people, Covid is moving into the past. Cases now are mainly among the young. They were never at the same risk as older people with conditions. However, I fear those over 50 unvaccinated people who spend time with others who didn’t get the shot. You don’t want to be among the last ones to die from this pandemic.