Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Science is Settled: It is Time to End the Lockdown

 

The CDC announced new numbers on COVID mortality. For those interested, fatality rates (by age) are now reported as:

  • 0-49 years old: 0.05%
  • 50-64 years old: 0.2%
  • 65+ years old: 1.3%
  • Over all ages: 0.4%

Additionally, apparently 30% of the cases are asymptomatic – so mild you do not know you had it.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Being ‘In the Moment’ with Our Loved Ones as They Age

 

As some of you know, Mr. She isn’t very well, and he suffers from numerous comorbidities (one of the terms of 2020, along with “social distancing” and “an abundance of caution” that I’ll be glad to see the back of, hopefully soon) that make him especially vulnerable to infection and which have made it difficult to get him and our healthcare providers in the same room at the same time for the past few months. Nevertheless, I’m confident that our doctor, who I’ve known for 30 years as my doctor, as my co-worker in his role as the IT champion for his Family Medicine department, and as my friend, is on top of things.

As things have slowly started to ease up in PA, Mr. She’s declining health, in both the mental and physical senses, recently led our PCP to engage the services of the local visiting nurse agency, and for the next few weeks, we’re enjoying an onslaught (in the best possible sense) of nurses, PT and OT therapists, and personal care aides. It’s wonderful in that it takes some of the pressure off me to be the sole provider of such care, and it’s reassuring to have other “eyes on” the patient besides my own. I’m also viewing it as an instructional tool, as I’m learning some caring techniques myself. (Please consider such forms of help, if you’re caring for a loved one yourself. I wish I’d followed the good advice that some of you gave me in this regard, but I’m glad I’m finally coming to terms with the idea now.)

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 123: COVID-19 Where is the Equilibrium?

 

The economy is a social thing. Politics is a social thing. Everything is a social thing. Whether we approve or not, life going forward is the sum of quadrillions of individual decisions. Adoption of and maintenance of collective structures have individual decisions at their base. Those decisions may be coerced, but they are still individual decisions.

The time of decision for each of us has come. The incontrovertible evidence is that COVID-19 is not going to kill us all. It might kill me, and, from my perspective, that would be the end of the universe and totality (unless I am wrong about the lack of sentient eternal life). But the world will go on.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It’s Tiiiime … Boogity, Boogity, Boogity!

 

Professional sports started breaking free from the COVID-19 craziness this past weekend. UFC led the way, followed by a more timid, painfully politically correct NASCAR. Meanwhile, the boys of summer looked to be dropping the ball again, Major League Baseball likely losing bigly in a squeeze play between the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and National Football League. Between the NASCAR messaging and UFC, I’ll likely be watching UFC, not NASCAR, this year.

“It’s . . . TIIIME!” 

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Questions for Journalists

 

Why haven’t we had any more “bombshells” about collusion with Russia? There was no actual basis for any of the previous “bombshells” so why would they stop now?

Isn’t it time for an announcement that we have only [insert time period here] left to save the planet from climate change?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Did Obama Want to Elevate Iran?

 

An article by reporter Lee Smith discusses the possibility that the Obama team went after Gen. Flynn because he was the man most able to undermine/expose the Iran deal. Reading the article in The Tablet, I kept scratching my head wondering why Obama worked so hard to elevate Iran at the expense of US interests and those of our ally Israel. Can someone explain to me, from Obama’s perspective, how the Iran deal was in the interest of the US?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 122: COVID-19 Why Are States Obscuring the Data? Part 2

 

The screengrab above is from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) website tracking COVID-19 nationally — both disease information and public policy responses. A larger image is available here. In order to know what the slide purports to tell us, this data must be being collected and reported, right? Note that data (to put it politely) is “incomplete” — death data for long-term care facilities is only disaggregated from other COVID-19 deaths in 35 of the 50 states. KFF draws its numbers from “available state reports, press releases, press conferences, and official state data from news reports.” Further,

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What matters? Well, New York City for one. We get to that topic towards the end of this show, but prior to that we visit first with economist Kevin Warsh of the Hoover Institution. He has a lot to say about humongous stimulus packages, Congress, the role of China in this thing, and what the Fed should and shouldn’t be doing. Then, newly minted Ricochet podcaster and chip the old block Spencer Klavan stops by to explain why he’s a heretic and we’re not (at least not yet). Needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), Young Heretics, his new podcast is a must listen. Finally, as promised — a meditation on New York City, the lockdown, why it needs to end, and why what happens there matters for the rest of the country and yes, even the world. Yes, it really is up to you, New York, New York.

Music from this week’s show: New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down by LCD Soundsystem

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Merry Month of May: Laughter on the World Wide Web

 

And isn’t there an awful lot of that pointless, incessant barking on the Internet? But there are some fierce sites, some magical sites, some hella informative sites (I’m immersed in one on the art and science of building beehives at the moment), and some that just make me laugh out loud. (Sometimes, I don’t think this effect is intentional.)

I always bookmark a site that cheers me up when I see it, or when someone passes a link along, and I certainly have my favorites. Perhaps I’ll mention some of them in the comments. Meanwhile, won’t you please share the sites that make you laugh, and tell us why? (Please try and keep it clean, or at least let people know what they’re in for if they follow a link-of-ill-repute.)

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Possible Benefit of COVID-19?

 

COVID-19 is a disaster. I get that. I see one potential long term benefit, however.

In Michigan, there is a generation of high school students learning that totalitarian nanny statism is extremely undesirable. I think they are learning a visceral dislike of being told what to do and not to do by the government. Freedom is becoming more loved by its absence.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. ACF Masters #8: Sullivan’s Travels

 

Since we’re facing a new Great Depression, here’s a comedy for our times: Sullivan’s Travels, Preston Sturges’s adventure through Great Depression America. From Hollywood to the chain gang, from hoboing on trains to a Southern church where black people sing about Moses setting them free. Prof. Zena Hitz has a new book out, Lost in Thought, about the pleasures and the worth of the intellectual life.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Justice Coming for General Flynn?

 

Judge Sullivan’s weekend has been ruined by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. That is the court that is the boss of him. For many years, leftists could count on this district to further their interests. It was understood as important to their longer term projects. However, Republican presidents sometimes get to appoint members. In this case, the luck of the draw was in favor of justice. There is a Bush 41, Obama, and Trump judge on the assigned panel, and they all agreed that they should consider motions, a series of papers, on the petition for writ of mandamus on behalf of Gen. Michael Flynn.

Honest attorneys in the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Barr’s protection and leadership, threw in the towel on the wrongful prosecution of Flynn, a key part of the attempted Obama faction and security agencies coup against President Trump. That, as a matter of federal law and federal court practice, should have been the end of the matter. But Judge Sullivan hates President Trump and his voters more than he respects his oath and the Constitution, so he continued his disreputable conduct and sought to keep control of Flynn, looking for some way to play for time until, he hoped, Biden would be elected.

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The COVID-19 death toll has reached 85,000 and a furious debate is going on around the country about whether, or when, we should reopen the economy. 37,000,000 Americans have filed for unemployment benefits and 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed. Forty percent of those making less than $40,000 have lost their jobs.

And yet, in testimony before the Senate HELP Committee, presidential scientific advisor Anthony Fauci warned that needless suffering and death would ensue if governors reopened the country prematurely. Fauci stated that his advice was based on the best scientific evidence.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Truth: Capital “T” and Small “t”

 

Theologians and philosophers deal in the world of perfection, the ideal – capital “T” Truth. My degree is in Mechanical Engineering; I deal in the world of close enough – small “t” truths.

Tens of thousands of years ago, a great scientist observed that the sun rose in the east every morning and set in the west every night and concluded that the sun rotates around the Earth. And that was close enough to allow us to do some good stuff like navigating around our world.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Frequent Flyers for Beer and Chips

 

The following story has nothing to do with COVID-19. No surfers, beachgoers, parents playing in a park with their children, or hairdressers were harmed or arrested in this story. This is a story about a Midwatch shift on a summer evening. You never know what you’ll run into after roll call or, on this night, what will run into you.

The Midwatch shift started at 1800 hours and ended at 0400 hours. On a Friday night at 1800 hours, the rush hour is still in progress, and the payday drinkers who were paid at noon and didn’t return to work are still sitting in their local watering hole. When they get home, the domestic dispute calls pick up a bit. The slurred demand for dinner creates some marital tension after an afternoon of drinking away half a paycheck.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Second Look at Sweden’s Response to COVID-19

 

It’s not too late to learn from Sweden‘s management of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first phase winds down and the results can be tallied, it is clear that Sweden is in an enviable position both economically and medically.

Rather than relying on speculative models to justify draconian policies, Sweden’s public health officials noted the lack of evidence that social isolation mandates could reduce COVID-19 deaths over the full course of the virus. Plainly put, you can change the timing of the damage but you can’t make the virus go away.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 3,000 Attend Block Party in Deland, FL

 

You didn’t misread the title of this post, but it doesn’t accurately describe the actual event, nor does it suggest the dangerous implications of this type of activity given concerns about the outbreak of COVID-19. Gov. Ron DeSantis has done a very good job of managing Florida through COVID-19, but in spite of his efforts, we’re seeing eruptions like the one described in this post. If other states don’t act quickly to lighten the restrictions on its citizens, we may very well see civil violence and destruction across the country.

Let me summarize the way the gathering on Saturday, May 16, took place and how it was conveniently mischaracterized. First, some people tried to characterize its origins with a planned memorial:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Biden Picks Caitlyn Jenner!

 

In a stunning political move, Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden has selected Caitlyn Jenner as his running mate. When asked about his choice, Biden said the following:

Biden: Caitlyn brings much-needed diversity to the ticket. Her knowledge of how change can be difficult will help this country heal after four years of Donald Trump. Plus, I’m told we have a chance to pick up the swing states, which could have gone either way with a different pick.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We Cannot Survive Without Risk

 

playgroundIn strange times, what was once commonplace now seems bizarre. I was walking the dogs earlier this week and a couple of kids on bikes in a nearby park stuck with me. I watched as the boy and girl – probably around 11- or 12-years-old rode their bikes through the grass and down a slope steep enough that in winter makes for a black-diamond sledding hill. Neither child wore helmets nor shoes. The girl’s long, golden hair carried by the breeze was the last I saw as the pair peddled furiously out of view. I looked around. No parents. No nanny. No park overseer waiting to scold them for enjoying a sunny afternoon with such reckless abandon. I smiled at the thought that even in this time of modified police state, there were these two kids unaware of the cynical, fearful world beyond the park. Then it made me sad. I wasn’t mournful in a sense of lost nostalgia, but I realized these kids were an endangered species. And if the government had its way, they would be extinct.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control released statistics showing the US birthrate fell to the lowest level since the data was collected in 1909. And 2019 births numbered approximately 3.75 million – the lowest level in 35 years. Experts attribute the decline to women waiting to start families later in life, after they establish a career and lifestyle. But there is another layer. Americans are losing the faculty for risk. We have long enjoyed the reputation and benefit of a society willing to join the fray up to the point of near brashness and unbridled enthusiasm for venturing into the unknown. We leveraged a font of freedom combined with ingenuity and liberty that created a great nation of unlimited opportunity.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On the Virus and the Rule of Law

 

I am an attorney. My largest area of practice is in the representation of youth in dependency cases. These cases are governed by statutory law, and, in general, the statutes do a pretty decent job of protecting the rights of parents. We may often hear about cases where some form of child abuse or neglect has occurred, and as thoughtful human beings, we tend to respond with a sort of knee-jerk anger directed at parents. We condemn what is often despicable behavior, and we are eager to see children removed and placed in better situations.

But consider what we’re doing when we choose to allow state intervention. It seems fairly uncontroversial to say that children ought to be kept safe, and that the state has an interest in keeping them safe, no? Well, I guess that all depends on your understanding of safety. It depends on the confidence we have in people who would make determinations of safety, and the myriad considerations that go into what really is a complex analysis. Consider that our government is taking legal steps to interfere with the construction of families, and think about what rights and what burdens of proof you might require of any government that wished to interfere with the construction of your family. Not all cases are simple. In fact, virtually none of them are. And, as with everything, our actions carry costs. Are the consequences of removal worth the benefits of some harm being mitigated? What if the cure is worse than the disease?

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Jim Harbaugh is the coach of the University of Michigan football team. For 14 seasons, he was a quarterback in the NFL. He has coached both at the college level and in the pros. Last month, he and Jay had a leisurely conversation about many things. (They are old friends.) Now they have done Round 2. Today’s subjects include: a recent RV trip; dreaming about playing; the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s; William “The Refrigerator” Perry; Tiger Woods; getting sacked; sneaking it in; rules of eligibility; soccer (a game of interest?); and baseball (too slow?). Some fun stuff.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Drawing from CS Lewis’s Well of Wisdom

 

Clive Staples Lewis is one of my favorites. The Chronicles of Narnia books were da bomb as a child (still are) and he’s a frequent font of wisdom as an adult. We could probably fill Quotes of the Day for years and not dry out his wisdom well, so deep and clear is his thinking. Not to worry, I picked just a handful I’ve been pondering during lockdown, interspersed with brief narrative tying them together to fill a few days this month. No need for explanation on the correlation between lockdown extremes and these first two:

The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns, but by men in suits sitting behind desks.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A ‘Patchwork’ Approach to Normalcy

 

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck a fatal blow to Governor Tony Evers and his “Safer at Home” plans. Evers, and secretary-designee of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Andrea Palm, first issued an Emergency Declaration in March, followed by the “Safer at Home” orders that were set to expire on April 24. Shortly before that expiration, Evers and Palm extended the “Safer at Home” orders until May 26. Republicans in the state legislature sued, in part because Palm — not an elected official, but a political appointee — did not have the authority to impose criminal penalties through that order. The 4-3 decision called Palm’s order “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

The Evers administration was, unsurprisingly, displeased with the state Supreme Court’s ruling. In a call to reporters, Evers accused the state Republicans of being “unconcerned about…massive confusion that will exist without a statewide approach” with the media calling it a “patchwork approach.”

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