COVID or Not to COVID

Arizona as of November 19, 2020

The Arizona Department of Health Services maintains a user-friendly Data Dashboard with current information on COVID-19 in the state.  If you want to have some fun (if you find frustration “fun”) compare this site to the CDC’s abstruse maze.

Here is some good news which seems to have escaped mention in the Main Stream Media (MSM).   

In a population of about 7.5 million, yesterday Arizona had

19 COVID 19 deaths.

Very symmetrical.

In fact COVID deaths have been declining since the high in mid-July.

How about cases.

All we hear about in the MSM is that cases are increasing.  As you can see from the chart below, cases go up and down, but they are headlines when they go up and escape mention when they decline. 

Speaking of things that escape the MSM’s teensy attention span, a quick look at the testing data chart below shows that the pattern of cases looks almost the same as the pattern for tests.

However, what isn’t so obvious is that the peak days in July and November reported almost the same number of 22,000 tests but that day in July had 5,450 cases while the corresponding day in November only had 3,257

That is about a 40% decline which appears relatively consistent for other dates.  Shocking, I know that more tests result in more cases but the percentage of cased to tests is showing dramatic improvement.

So, cases and deaths are continually improving

When the MSM isn’t hyperventilating over cases it keeps sensationalizing the dramatic impact on hospitals. 

Surprize, surprize!

The MSM is a drama queen.

As with all drama queens, the truth is a somewhat less dramatic.  Take a look at the chart on only intensive care hospital beds below.  Hospitals may have a problem, but only a small percentage (currently about 20%) relates to COVID. 

Interesting side note, at the COVID peak in July the non-covid usage increased only marginally, to about the same level as today and yet COVID usage now is well less than half.

So, there you go. 

The links are shown clearly in the chart images in case you think I am as untrustworthy as the MSM and want to check for yourself. 

Certainly, people who are dying of two or three serious comorbidities (is that redundant?) need to take extensive protective measures.  ANY additional assault on their weakened systems can be the final straw (if straws are legal in their state).

Everyone else should take reasonable precautions – such as not Frenching someone who has green mucus cascading from orifices — as tempting as that sounds.

But – panic not.

There is a light

at the end of the epidemic. 

P.S.  Sorry. I don’t know if Arizona is representative of the rest of the country. Except for a few states such as one that rhymes with Blue Pork, I suspect it might be. You’ll need to check it out for yourself — unless you want to hire me at an exorbitant fee to find out what you already know in your hearts.

P.P.S. For those who missed our stunning expose on how the CDC’s incompetent use of surveillance guidelines corrupted their data base and rendered case counting moot, a copy of those guidelines are below. 

Take care however, if you have ever had a headache, sneezed or know anyone from New York, you could be a COVID case.

Chinese Checkers

When scrolling through Facebook posts, I came upon this:

After clicking on the “See Photo” at the bottom, I was shocked, shocked, I tell you.

I was driven to “See Why” it was labeled False Information.  Bravely clicking on without regard to my personal safety, sensitivities or the horrors that lay ahead discovered there were “Fact-Checks from Multiple Organizations”.

Then, I cleverly followed the trail of bird droppings to these fact checks.

Number 1

Number 2

Number 3

The first fact we should check is that the first two “multiple organizations” are the same organization.  In factcheck they are the same author and essentially the same story with slightly altered wording. I suppose “multiple” is more impressive if less factual than “one disgruntled refugee from CNN”.

The second fact check is that all three stories relate to coronavirus bio-engineering.  While the USA Today story at least stated that the coronavirus origin is unclear, the Factcheck.org articles demonstrate clear bias with sensationalist language such as “bogus” and “conspiracy theory” terms not supported by their articles.

However, the third and most telling fact check is that no checked facts were facts checking the post they factlessly censored. 

Judge for yourself.

Fact checkers

can’t take a joke.

The meme is obviously a play on the words “Made in China” representing the stereotypical lack of durability of products originating in there.  It is hypersensitive, politically correct, over zealous censorship to claim this meme is part of a bio-engineering conspiracy.  If you really want to start fact checking every joke in the world, you are going to need more checkers. But fortunately, China has like 20 billion of people who I am sure would love to be checkers.

In this case you would have to do a study on whether or not products from China are more or less durable. Personally, my Chinese Checkers set is over 60 years old, although it may have lost some of its marbles.

Of course, given their apparent level of brain power, these non-Chinese checkers could just misunderstand that the “check” in their job title means to “verify”. It appears that they are using the other definition of the word which is

choking off,reining (in),repressing,squashing,squelching,stanching(or staunching),stunting,suppressing,turning back

I know, Constitutionally, freedom of speech is a protection from government censorship, not from private organizations like Facebook and Twitter.  But those organizations enjoy government protections which are not available to all which crushes the line between government and private – not to mention the line between right and wrong.

That is the problem with censorship. Once you start allowing suppression of speech, communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, sensitive, or “inconvenient”, about things you don’t like, there is little defense for censorship of things you love. I have no clever answer for this. I hate it that people can desecrate the flag under the cover of free speech. More than hate it.

But, fortunately The Flag, the Constitution, and these United States of America are better than I am.

Pretty smart those founders.

The Proud Boys

I had never heard of The Proud Boys until the debate and wanted to find out more. What I found was hundreds of articles including Wikipedia describing The Proud Boys as far-right, racist, etc. However, when I attempted to check the reference links in the articles every one I checked (a lot, but not all) were links to what someone said The Proud Boys did or said — NOT a link to what they actually did or said.

Now, this does not mean that The Proud Boys didn’t do or say those things, but if they did, why not link to those articles or videos, etc.? Many (many, many, many) references were not to anything demonstrating that The Proud Boys are far-right, white nationalists, etc. but merely definitions of those terms.

For example, this from Wikipedia

The Proud Boys are a far-right,[1][2] white nationalist,[3] and neo-fascist[4][5][6][7] male-only[8][9] organization that promotes and engages in political violence.[10][11][12][13]

The links to “far-right, white nationalist, and neo-fascist male-only organization that promotes and engages in political violence” are links to definitions of those terms without any evidence that they are appropriate descriptions of The Proud Boys. 

It is beyond logical fallacy – like saying “Bob is a cat” and adding “A cat is a feline animal” as proof that Bob is in fact a cat.

You can follow the other footnote links in that sentence yourself, but I felt that the articles they referenced were opinions either poorly or completely unsubstantiated by the articles or any links they provided. 

This is another sneaky little journalistic trick.  They write an article saying “Bob is a cat.”  And link to a New York Times article which is Bill’s unsubstantiated opinion that Bob is a Cat.  In addition, if you check links two or three deep, you often find that “Bill” quotes “Ed”, who quotes “Mary”, who quotes “Bill”. 

This is similar to what MS Excel calls a “circular reference”.  Circular references are not allowed in Excel because they invalidate the formula.  Circular references in supporting articles may not invalidate the argument, but they are worthless proving it.

So, who are The Proud Boys?  I don’t know yet.  I don’t know enough to endorse them or denounce them — except that I don’t like tattoos.  Without an opinion expressed or implied, here is what they say about themselves at:  https://officialproudboys.com/proud-boys/whoaretheproudboys/

And here, you can listen to their founder describe his boys club in his own words and decide for yourself.

Devils in More Disguise

Apparently Black Lives Matter forgot that some people can read. After their support began to show sharp decline, they removed the “What We Believe” page from their website.

Black Lives Matter removes ‘What We Believe’ website page calling to ‘disrupt … nuclear family structure’

This did not say they supported alternate family structure. They wanted to disrupt the nuclear family structure of others. Keep in mind that it is precisely this disruption of the black nuclear family that has driven black men out of their children’s lives into gangs and kept black women barefoot and pregnant — both mired in inner city “plantation” poverty.

Some time ago, the BLM website removed pictures of their founders in communist guerilla garb and substituted Hollywood glamor photos. Removal of what they believe from their website doesn’t mean they have stopped believing it.

Oh, and by-the-way — the primary function of BLM is fundraising for the Democrat Party whose policies are the operational implementation of this disruption.

How Fact Checkers Misrepresent the Facts

Many fact checkers are biased. Some just want a sensational headline to make their “checking” more saleable/clickable. Some lie or misrepresent facts based on their bias. Here is an example.

A Facebook post “Only in LOGAN OHIO does a person get TASED AND ARRESTED for not wearing a freaking MASK…” was found to be false by a fact checker.

Fact Check: Woman Was NOT Arrested for Not Wearing a Mask – She was Arrested for Criminal Trespassing

The facts are true. This woman was actually arrested for trespass and not for refusing to wear a mask. However, the reason she was “trespassing” was that she was not wearing a mask.

This fits in the same category as “No shirt, no shoes, no service.” Businesses can make rules for admittance and withhold permission for admittance if you don’t follow them. There isn’t much case law on “masking” and whether public officials’ proclamations have the weight of law. But they do issue business licenses and otherwise restrict businesses. So, they may not be able to arrest you for not wearing a mask in a bar, but they can take away the liquor license of bars that do not require patrons to wear masks. Then if you don’t wear a mask, they can have you evicted and/or charged with trespassing.

In this case, the fact checker used correct facts but displayed his bias by using a headline pedantically focusing on the word “arrested” rather than the larger issue of the technical violation of a trespass statute caused by not wearing a mask.

So, the verdict is:

No lie per se, but a “technical foul.”

I suspect good parents would not be happy if their children tried to use that type of manipulation against them.

Shane, Come Back!

This podcast is a worthwhile use of a half hour of your time.  I particularly identify with what the speaker says about Shane and The Magnificent Seven. 

For much of my career, I was a corporate trouble shooter brought in to clean up failing operations.  I was almost always the last resort because everything the incumbent structure and people attempted had failed or worse, exacerbated the problem.  The only reason they were talking to someone like me at all was because failure of the organization was imminent and they were about to lose their job, benefits, social position, etc.

Every interview had some version of the same question.  “How can you succeed in fixing these problems when others have failed?  What will you do differently?”

My answer was always that I would have to change the corporate culture.   

Sometimes they were insulted because they were proud of their corporate culture, had spent a lot of time and money creating their little cocoon and refused to see it as the problem.  (I didn’t get those jobs.)

Sometimes, they said that was wonderful and enthusiastically hired me.  Then when I started changing the culture, they were shocked and said, “Wait…I didn’t know you meant my culture…I thought you meant that other guy’s culture!”

Often, the president or board of directors hired me because they agreed and wanted the corporate culture changed.  However, many incumbents in positions of leadership and power did not embrace change, particularly by an outsider.  Some left or were fired.  Others crawled back under the bureaucratic baseboards, bided their time or actively tried to subvert the process.

Later, when the disaster was averted, people forgot how bad it had been and what caused it.  Some resented the outsider who had accomplished what they could not.  As in the movie, Shane, they wanted their “town” fixed but didn’t want to live with the “deplorable” who got his hands dirty fixing it.

They looked at the new culture simplistically without understanding its complex layering of vision, shared values, disciplines, and infrastructure.  Some thought naively that it was all about the infrastructure and wanted to chip away at the new culture’s foundations.  Others wanted them thrown out completely saying now that it was fixed, anyone could manage it. 

That may have been somewhat true if the “anyone” understood the culture and its underpinnings.  Unfortunately, the “anyone” all too often was someone with connections from the old culture who had crawled back out from under the baseboards.

This is pretty much what has happened to President Trump.  He started changing the politically-correct bureaucratic culture and those whose positions of power and livelihood were affected, hated him and the new culture.  That resentment was to be expected from the progressives.  But the response of the conservative wing was “Wait…I didn’t know you meant my culture…I thought you meant that other guy’s culture!”

The problem with that wing was the same as for those in any dysfunctional corporate culture.  They may not have initially signed up to join the big-government bureaucracy, but over time had been unwittingly bullied, bribed and ultimately corrupted by its weight.

These political cockroaches do not care one bread crumb that Trump’s outlandish new culture is putting their sworn constituents to work by the millions.  People who pontificate about racial justice and gender equality completely ignore the justice of the lowest black, Hispanic and female unemployment in recorded history.  People who purport to champion labor bemoan Trump’s politically incorrect foreign affairs that is bringing manufacturing jobs back to those same workers.  People who get misty-eyed protecting poor people of color shed no tears over the disparate impact of ill-conceived “green” initiatives that take food out of the mouths of those poor and heat out of their homes.

So, that is it.

These representatives

don’t represent those

they claim to represent.

They represent their own failed culture and selfish interests.  They could care less that the gunslinger is putting the town folk first. 

They want “Shane” out of their “town.”

Listen to this podcast of Victor Davis Hansen explain it better than I ever could.

More Devils in Disguise

Convicted 1980’s Terrorist Resurfaces in Black Lives Matter

Rosenberg bomber

“Susan Rosenberg, Judy Clark and Betty Ann Duke (left to right) turned radical and caused havoc with bombs and heists in the 1980s. Duke remains a federal fugitive from justice.

Susan Lisa Rosenberg was active in the far-left revolutionary terrorist May 19th Communist Organization, which engaged in bombings of buildings and provided support to the Black Liberation Army.[1]

Rosenberg was sentenced to 58 years in prison on the weapons and explosives charges. She spent 16 years in prison until her sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton on January 20, 2001, his final day in office.[3][4] Her commutation produced a wave of criticism by police and New York elected officials.[19]

After her release, Rosenberg continued her work as an anti-prison activist and as of 2020, Rosenberg sits as vice chair of the board of Thousand Currents, which acts as a fiscal sponsor of Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter is seen by it’s founders as the reincarnation of the Marxist terrorist Black Liberation Army and Black Panther Party.

These people were not convicted for overdue library books and recreational marijuana.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, AKA Wesley Cook, former Black Panther
Former Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, seen here in a December 13, 1995 prison photo, was convicted in 1982 of murdering a Philadelphia policeman.
Pinterest
 Former Pennsylvania death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal, was convicted in 1982 of murdering a Philadelphia police officer. Photograph: Lisa Terry/Getty Images
alil Muntaqim, AKA Anthony Bottom, former Black Panther, Black Liberation Army member
Jalil Muntaqim.
Pinterest
 Jalil Muntaqim. Photograph: The Guardian

Convicted of: Murders of police officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini

Mutulu Shakur, associated with Black Panther party and other groups
Mutulu Shakur in the Manhattan Correction Center.
Pinterest
 Mutulu Shakur in the Manhattan Correction Center. Photograph: New York Daily News Archive/NY Daily News via Getty Images

Convicted of: Helping Black Panther Party member Assata Shakur escape from prison in 1979

Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz, former Black Panther
Russell Shoatz III and Sharon Shoatz with their father Russell “Maroon” Shoatz after he was released from solitary confinement into general population at SCI-Graterford.
Pinterest
 Russell Shoatz III and Sharon Shoatz with their father Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz after he was released from solitary confinement into general population at SCI Graterford. Photograph: Abolitionist Law Center.

Convicted of: Murder of Philadelphia police sergeant Frank Von Colln

Sundiata Acoli, AKA Clark Squire, former Black Panther, Black Liberation Army member
Sundiata Acoli in February of 2013, when he was 76.
 Sundiata Acoli in February of 2013, when he was 76. Photograph: Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign

Convicted of: Murder of New Jersey state trooper Werner Foerster

Joseph Bowen, former Black Liberation Army member
Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen.
 Joseph ‘Joe-Joe’ Bowen. Photograph: No credit

Convicted of: Murder of police officer, and later murder of two prison officers

Veronza Bowers Jr, former Black Panther
Veronza Bowers, convicted of murdering a US Park Ranger, shown in this undated family photograph.
 Veronza Bowers Jr, convicted of murdering a US park ranger, shown in this undated family photograph. Photograph: Washington Post/Washington Post/Getty Images

Convicted of: Murder of US park ranger Kenneth Patrick

Fred ‘Muhammad’ Burton, former Black Liberation Army member
Fred “Muhammad” Burton.
 Fred ‘Muhammad’ Burton. Photograph: Handout

Convicted of: Murder of police officer, and later murder of two prison officers

Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald, former Black Panther
Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald.
 .Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald Photograph: No credit

Convicted of: Murder of security guard and attempted murder of a highway patrol officer

Ruchell ‘Cinque’ Magee

Convicted of: Aggravated kidnapping in 1970 courthouse break-out attempt in which Judge Harold Haley was killed

Ed Poindexter, former Black Panther
Ed Poindexter.
 Ed Poindexter. Photograph: Courtesy of Ed Poindexter

Convicted of: Murder of Omaha police officer Larry Minard

Kojo Bomani Sababu, AKA Grailing Brown, former Black Liberation Army member
Kojo Bomani Sababu, aka Grailing Brown.
 Kojo Bomani Sababu, aka Grailing Brown Photograph: No Credit

Convicted of: Murder of drug dealer, attempted prison escape

Kamau Sadiki, AKA Freddie Hilton, former Black Panther
Kamau Sidiki aka Freddie Hilton.
 Kamau Sidiki aka Freddie Hilton Photograph: Handout

Convicted of: Murder in 1971 of Atlanta police officer James Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Monumentally Hard Decisions

Emancipation_Memorial_in_Washington_s_Lincoln_Park_depicts_a-a-11_1593178458987

The absolute irrationality of the Black Lives Matter mobs destroying property, defacing monuments without any concept of their historical background seems to grow every day.  Some people are paid demonstrators who could care less about racism.  Some may actually be Marxists who believe anything is justified to achieve communism.  There are always a few crazies to deal with in this world.

But what is really tragic is that many people are concerned, caring people that have been deceived and manipulated into actually think they are doing good.  There are Christians that don’t realize that BLM is an atheistic Marxist organization in whose world, the state is the only God.  There are good family people that don’t realize that BLM is intent on the destruction of the nuclear family.  If you think that destroying monuments and history has anything to do with racism or social justice, think again.

The article below is from The Arizona Republic op ed column, Some monumentally hard decisions.  

“One of the recently vandalized monuments is a statue of poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Someone smeared “BLM” and “(expletive) Slave Owners” on the seated figure prominently displayed in the city named after him, Whittier, California.

It happens that Whittier was a fiery abolitionist from Massachusetts. In a famous 1833 pamphlet, he called slavery “the master-evil before which all others dwindle into insignificance.”

And so, who was behind his defacing? It could have been someone from the Black Lives Matter movement ignorant of Whittier’s history. It could have been a goon just out to damage public property. It could have been a rightwing agitator trying to make the BLM movement look ridiculous.

A mindless war against public monuments has developed, and it needs taming. Removing Confederate generals who made war on the United States to preserve slavery may be an easy call, but the future of all public monuments should be determined by public deliberation.

Consider the threats against the controversial statue of Abraham Lincoln and a freed slave at the Freedmen’s Memorial in Washington. Historian David Blight agrees that the image comes off as racist and not something we would commission today. The 1876 monument shows Lincoln standing high over an African American on one knee.

But then Blight asks its critics to “please consider the people who created it and what it meant for their lives in a century not our own.”

African Americans, most of them former slaves, had raised the $20,000 needed to build the monument. Nearly every black organization participated in its unveiling. Is it OK for woke moderns to cancel these African Americans’ sense of their history? I don’t think so.

Much is subject to interpretation. Some see the former slave crouching subserviently before Lincoln. Others see him rising up. Some object to his chains. Others see chains that are breaking, which, of course, is what was happening.

That the sculptor, Thomas Ball, was white should be of no consequence. The emancipated blacks sponsoring the monument hired him, and that was their right. For the record, Ball said he considered Archer Alexander, the former slave who modeled as the freed man, an “agent in his own resistance.”

What, if anything, should be done about the Freedmen’s Memorial, which sits on federal land? Eleanor Holmes Norton, who represents the District of Columbia in Congress, plans to introduce legislation to have it removed.

But one hopes she will reconsider, that she will look again with more sensitivity toward those oppressed former slaves who had it built. And she might consider Blight’s proposal to add rather than subtract from what’s there.

Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass spoke during the memorial’s dedication ceremony. Blight, his biographer, suggests commissioning a statue of him giving his famous speech. It was a tough speech criticizing Lincoln for his early hesitation on the slavery question. Though Lincoln “tarried long in the mountain,” Douglass concluded, he eventually arrived.

This reconsideration of the historic figures standing frozen in our downtowns has produced at least one positive outcome. Those willing to engage their brains are learning a lot of complicated history. There are some monumentally hard decisions to make, and only the broader public should make them.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

Froma Harrop

Columnist”

COVID-19 Surveillance Cases II

I would guess that all states have something like this, but here is an update as of today from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS).  (Bold emphasis mine.)

Unexpected increase as a result of changes in surveillance reporting!

As our federal partners have updated guidance for identifying COVID-19 deaths, ADHS has enhanced our processes to match. This change may cause the number of new deaths reported on our dashboard to increase more than expected for a few days

Unexpected increases due to addition of antibody testing!

Today we updated our dashboard to include additional information about laboratory testing for COVID-19 in Arizona. This new enhancement provides a look at antibody testing for the first time. Previously, data on the ADHS dashboard only included diagnostic (PCR) testing information. While we had been getting a small number of serology results reported to the Department over the past three weeks, a large number of serology results were reported this past week as testing capacity has expanded.

Unexpected increases due to other coronaviruses that cause the common cold!

Antibody (also known as serology) tests are laboratory tests that look for the presence of antibodies, which are made by the body in response to an infection. Antibody testing for COVID-19 is relatively new, so it is difficult right now to draw conclusions about antibody testing data. Additionally, an antibody test may be falsely positive for COVID-19 because the test may have detected the presence of antibodies to other coronaviruses that cause the common cold.

This information is provided as a public service without comment — well, okay if you insist — just one.

WHO Blindfolds

 

Testing-Adjusted COVID

This is an interesting analysis of the COVID-19 situation in Sweden where there was no government imposed harsh lock downs.

I provided a link to the article which is interesting but long so I pasted a small segment and chart below to make a point.

Overall development of the epidemic

Figure 1 shows the overall picture for confirmed weekly total new COVID-19 cases, intensive care admissions and deaths in Sweden. The dashed line normalises new cases by the dividing by the number of tests carried out each week, relative to those for the week to 10 April. Both actual and normalised weekly new cases have been divided by 10 in order to make their scale comparable to that for ICU admissions and deaths.

Fig. 1 Total weekly COVID-19 confirmed cases, intensive care admissions and deaths in Sweden

sweden-fig1-weekly.cases_icu_deaths.25jun.a

That point is that in the U.S. people are panicking because the number of cases is increasing as the country is opening up. However, the same increase is occurring in Sweden which never shut down!

Testing-Adjusted Cases Decline

The reason for the increase is that there is more testing. This analyst shows the “testing-adjusted” new case rate in Sweden in decline.

It is hard to get at these numbers in the U.S. but indicatively, in Arizona there were approximately 200k tests done in 2020 through May and more than 400k done in the single month of June. It would certainly appear that the “testing-adjusted” cases are in a decline similar to those in Sweden.

One of the major requirements for reopening has been increased testing.  It cannot come as a surprise that increased testing would result in a higher number of cases.  It stands to reason that any competent authority would normalize for the increased testing and keep the public informed of that trajectory.

I am not a conspiracy theorist, but it bugs me no end that those who should be keeping us informed are continually making us dig to find the truth.

 

https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/28/the-progress-of-the-covid-19-epidemic-in-sweden-an-analysis/#more-26403