Misguided Guidance: The Failure of the U. S. Response to the China Virus

When a theory no longer fits the facts, then the reasonable thing to do is to reassess that theory, and adjust it or adopt a new one. For many months now, the theory for defeating the corona virus has incorporated these fundamentals: mask-wearing and social distancing, hand-washing, and lockdowns. [1] But after nearly a year of employing these methods to fight the virus, there has been no improvement in control of the virus: instead, the end of 2020 saw a resurgence of the virus to levels as severe as were seen in April 2020. [2] This, in spite of all the mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing, and lockdowns.

Is it not past time that we rethink these approaches to defeating the virus, and implement better ones?

Let’s take a look at the concepts underlying each of these anti-viral measures of the conventional wisdom.

Continue reading “Misguided Guidance: The Failure of the U. S. Response to the China Virus”

Presidential Covid-19: Metaphor for the Trump Presidency

The President’s Corona virus infection has emphatically demonstrated that Americans need not fear this virus. Despite the risk, the President remained fully engaged with the business of government and his campaign. He did not go into hiding, and did not attempt to do everything possible to avoid catching the virus. He did not know any better than the rest of us how dangerous the virus would be if he caught it, and by forging ahead with his job as usual, he displayed decisive and courageous leadership, reflecting character traits which are in exceedingly short supply these days in America.

So here we are, not even two weeks after the President was diagnosed with Covid-19, and he has already been back at work since a few days after that diagnosis. For those who buy in to the hysteria of the mainstream media this must surely be incomprehensible. After all, we have been hearing the drumbeat for months on end that this is a dangerous disease, which we can only survive if we are extremely cautious. We have been told that we must all wear those nasty and useless masks, [1] keep our social distance, stay home from work, school, and church, and otherwise shut down our economy and our normal daily life for some indeterminate period. And many, perhaps a majority of us, continue to believe this, despite the CDC statistics which show a Covid-19 survival rate of 99 percent for anyone age seventy and under. [2]

How strikingly different the wisdom and strength and common sense demonstrated by President Trump from the timidity and weakness and exceedingly poor judgment shown by the Democrat left and the liberal elites, who are afraid to confront even the slightest of risks.

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In Memoriam

Did you feel it?

A few days ago the veil of satanic oppression smothering this country was lifted, just a bit. Suddenly, in the midst of all of the other turmoil engulfing the country just now, the opportunity has arisen for President Trump to select another Supreme Court justice. There now exists a real possibility that the United States will be blessed with a Court capable of overturning not only the hideous abortion decision Roe v. Wade, but also other decisions rendered by the Court which were based on a bankrupt and progressive view of the Court’s role. However, the fight to install that new justice promises to be ferocious.

I am reminded of the incident in Holy Scripture when Jesus was called upon to cast out a devil from a deaf mute afflicted with seizures from birth. The devil did not go easily – its rage was evident as it was extracted from that boy:

“And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’”

Mark 9:25-26 RSV Catholic Edition

And here we are, a country full of people stricken mute and deaf while unspeakable violence has been visited upon the most innocent and vulnerable among us – for decades. We are indeed afflicted by demons, of the worst sort. And Catholics and other Christians for many years have fought against this evil with events such as the annual March for Life, 40 Days for Life, and praying outside of abortion mills. I will personally never forget the overwhelming sense of God’s grace I felt last January when I stood on the National Mall, and saw there in front of me, for the first time ever, the President of the United States exhorting the nation with a pro-life message.

But perhaps now, at this critical juncture, it is time to up the ante, and take to heart the words of Jesus at the end of this passage from Mark, when his disciples wanted to know why they could not cast out this demon:

“This kind cannot be driven out be anything but prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:29 RSV Catholic Edition
Continue reading “In Memoriam”

Defeating Internet Censorship

The social media phenomenon seemed at first to represent a magnificent advance for human freedom, extending to the common man the opportunity for expression of his thought to the entire world. Yet what we thought was a new, paradigm-changing degree of liberty is now rapidly being thwarted by vigorous social media censorship carried out in the name of policing offensiveness, and of protecting people from the harm of hearing someone else’s opinion. Social media censors are even expanding their arbitrary enforcement of speech limitations into the realms of political and religious speech. Facebook warnings on RNC ads, YouTube restrictions on PragerU, Twitter censoring President Trump, Facebook “fact-checks”, and now even suspension of Trump campaign ads by Twitter, typify such aggressive censorship. What a stark contrast exists between the heavy-handed intervention by social media censors and the principle underlying the very limited constraints on public speech which the government may impose in accordance with the First Amendment. As the Supreme Court explained just a few years ago in Matal v. Tam:

. . . it is a fundamental principle of the First Amendment that the government may not punish or suppress speech based on disapproval of the ideas or perspectives the speech conveys.1

Since social media now sustains our public discourse to a very great extent, the progressive suppression of conservative speech on social media at will is nothing less than a catastrophe. Conservatives must find and implement effective means for fighting internet censorship – quickly.

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Corona Conclusion?

Well, this is fantastic news!

I mean, for months now, I have been absolutely convinced that it was beyond imperative that I scrupulously exercise social distancing and mask-wearing for the survival of both myself and others. The governor has solemnly pronounced mandatory restrictions on my freedom of movement and action. I was warned in no uncertain terms that if I did not comply with said restrictions I was not only risking a painful death but also vigorous law enforcement measures upon my person. You should see the county’s implementing orders on this subject: I have seldom seen a more impressive list of “whereases” in a government document.

As part of these sacrosanct protective measures, I was also informed by both the governor and my local bishop that I could no longer attend Mass in person on Sunday, since it was way too dangerous. After all, I have to admit, it is hard to conceive of a more dangerous pursuit at a time like this: sitting or standing for long periods of time, occasionally breathing incense, and (here is the kicker) being within a few feet of other people!! The very thought is troubling. At first, not even “social distancing” and the wearing of face masks was considered sufficient to meet minimal standards of safety at Holy Mass. Now, however, we have taken limited steps toward freedom: the entire church has been divided into separated spaces to ensure all are appropriately remote from one another. Of course, this severely diminshes the number of seats available, so Mass is now first-come, first-served. If you are too late, you are banished to the parking lot – provided you maintain your social distance!

But now the great news!! Mask-wearing and social distancing are no longer mandatory! I know this because for a week now I have been watching the massive social justice protests occurring across the country from my corona virus sanctuary. I have been observing what must be thousands of people parading through the streets – many without masks and jammed together in huge crowds, as if they have never heard of the concept of social distancing!

At first I waited expectantly for the governor to act vigorously to enforce the corona virus restrictions. After all, it has been pounded into all of us that it is of extreme importance that we cooperate with these restrictions in order to prevent possibly millions of deaths across the country. A significant portion of the economy is still shut down for this very reason. I thought that the governor would have to act adamantly and expeditiously to protect the protesters from the ravages of the deadly corona virus.

But now there has been a week of immense protests, and not a word from the governor. I understand that curfews have been set, and the national guard has been called out in order to stop rioting, but that is all related only to the immediate effects of the protests. There have been no actions from our leadership to deal with the corona virus consequences of the protests.

What does this mean?? Why are government officials no longer concerned with the corona virus? If the corona virus is still dangerous, then is it not possible that a huge corona virus spike is forthcoming, due to the rapid spreading of the virus which must be occurring due to the protests??

What has happened?

Could it be that the corona virus threat has precipitously declined, and there is just so much news to report that the main stream media have not been able to report it? Could it be that the corona virus has become such a low priority that it does not even merit reporting by the media or action by the government?

Well, if so, this is really great news! It must be that the great pandemic of 2020 is over!!

I am certain that very soon, tomorrow or the next day, it will be all over the news that the corona virus is a thing of the past, and that we can all get back to real life once again.

I am still a little confused however. This is not unusual, as it seems to happen more often as I get older. But I thought, with the pandemic over, that my local church would be back in business. For some reason though, my church seems not to have received the news. All of the corona virus restrictions are still in place. I just don’t get it.

But I have an idea. Maybe if a bring a protest sign with me to Mass on Sunday . . .

Abortion and the Resurgence of Idolatry

The following grim statement appears on the “Abortion” page of the World Health Organization (WHO) web site:

“Every woman has the recognized human right to decide freely and responsibly without coercion and violence the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so, and the right to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health . . . Access to legal and safe abortion is essential for the realization of these rights. One in four pregnancies ends in abortion.” [1]

Think about this statement for a moment. According to WHO, abortion is a human right. That is, the deliberate killing of an innocent child is a human right. We see now what “safe, legal, and rare” really meant. [2] Such deception constitutes one of the more blatant examples of how seemingly mild, concerned, and responsible progressive language turns out to have an actual meaning that is viciously aggressive in its destruction of real human rights, such as the right to life.

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COVID-19 – Unwarranted Hysteria

One of the key aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic which is not being accurately reported is its mortality rate. This is critically important, because the careless implication that mortality resulting from this virus will be catastrophic has led to an extreme over-reaction which has caused significant and unnecessary economic impacts. A close look at the numbers reveals some crucial underlying facts.

The first thing to be aware of is that at this time it is impossible to know the real mortality rate for this pandemic. That can only be estimated, since while the number of deaths resulting from the disease is reasonably well known, there is as yet no clear assessment of the number of persons infected by the disease. An accurate case count can only result from comprehensive testing coverage, and since the virus has spread so rapidly, it has not been possible to conduct testing which is representative enough to provide a reliable estimate. As pointed out by Alan Reynolds of the CATO Institute, it is very likely that the infection counts underlying current mortality rate calculations are significantly underestimated. [1] Underestimation of cases results directly in overestimation of mortality rates. Continue reading “COVID-19 – Unwarranted Hysteria”

The Progressive Ethos and the Intractability of the Drug Crisis

Once again, I find that I need look no further than the local newspaper to face yet another example of the infestation of progressive thought in the formerly great conservative state of Virginia.

This particular time, one of the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star opinion writers laments the “drug problem,” stating that “nothing we have tried has worked,” 40 years of drug awareness education has not helped, and that “the war on drugs has been a miserable failure.” Donnie Johnston appears to understand that societal factors may be at work, since he refers to Americans’ dependency on “their fix,” and the failure to focus on prevention as “a sad commentary on our society.” But he then proceeds to profess bewilderment as to what might be done:

“The question is where do we go from here? I have no idea.” [1]

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The Jim Acosta Press Conference

It is no longer any great revelation that “journalists” are heavily biased toward liberal views. [1] Further, the media routinely exercise blatant bias against the President. [2] Therefore, we should not have been surprised to see Mr. Acosta from CNN arguing with the President at his recent press conference on November 7th, instead of asking questions and seeking answers as to the President’s positions on issues.

 Although we should not have been surprised that it has come to this, the  disrespect shown by Mr. Acosta to the President and his office that day should be very concerning to those of us who value the truth. Moreover, we should seriously consider the wider implications of this sort of behavior by the press.

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Progressive Intolerance and the Threat to Free Speech

Intolerance from those in our country who oppose what they call offensive or hate speech is becoming increasingly commonplace. We who value our freedom of speech should regard this trend with the greatest concern, because it reflects an underlying motive to deny some of our most important freedoms, those which are protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Such intolerance came into sharp focus in the reaction to the white nationalist protesters following the August 2017 Charlottesville tragedy. For example, a column by Rob Hedelt appearing in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star in the aftermath of the of the Charlottesville events inaccurately attributed the loss of life that day to the actions of the white nationalist protesters. [1] Not only was this attribution inaccurate, it was stated in the most vitriolic of terms, with words such as “vermin” and “disgusting bile” describing the protesters and their message.

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