January 2022

Is The Presence Or Absence Of A Mandate The Real Issue With Covid Vaccination?

In a recent discussion with a blog reader, the question arose about the value of the vaccination mandates being forwarded by the Biden Administration and the courts’ seeming unwillingness to go along. In the course of that discussion, the polio vaccine question arose as well. In 1954, was the Salk vaccine mandated? Answer, it didn’t have to be. People couldn’t get the stuff into their kids’ arms fast enough. I still remember being taken downtown to Bridgeport, Connecticut to get my first shot. I stood in a long line with many children who were brought there by anxious parents to try to stave off the threat of a crippling disease. No one had to encourage anyone to get the shot and there were no protests that I recall. Yes, there were adverse side effects, but this predated the existence of Institutional Review Boards and detailed protocols for clinical research, not to mention the FDA’s authority over the effectiveness of vaccines. Why is it so different now?

In a word—trust.

Is The Ukraine Less Valuable Than Kuwait?

When Saddam Hussein moved into Kuwait and declared it part of Iraq, then President George H. W. Bush moved into action. He coalesced the world against Hussein (because he uniquely could) and mobilized the United Nations to declare Hussein’s actions intolerable. Then he did one more important thing. He backed up all the talk with action and drove Hussein out of Kuwait and back into Iraq using the American military. Then, he went home.

Why isn’t the same being considered when it comes to Russia’s actions in the Ukraine?

In a word—oil. Kuwait had it. We needed it. Not so with the Ukraine. Russia is the one with the energy needed in Europe, especially in Germany.

Why Autocracy Is A Bad Idea

Autocracy is basically a system of government under the control of a single person. China, Russia and Iran are all autocracies despite having the trappings of representative leadership, like meaningless parliaments. There is no shared governance in these places and the boss doesn’t consult with anyone when he wants to do something—like invade the Ukraine, or Taiwan, or Israel.

This poses a real problem for the United States which is anything but an autocracy. It’s supposed to be a republic (not a democracy) with representative government, an elected President, elected congresspeople and federal justices appointed by the executive and approved by the legislature. In essence running an autocracy is far more efficient than running a representative government and decisions can be made faster in the former, but it’s no way to run a government if the people’s will is to be considered in important decisions. This puts our current national leadership in a bit of a bind.

One MD Anderson Unmasked

“Fighting Cancer. Now that’s a job!”

“Making Cancer History”

“Whatever it takes”

“One MD Anderson”

These are just some of the catch phrases used by the world’s number one place for clinical cancer care, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center over the last forty or so years.

And they have been effective.

The Djokovic Decision

As I understand the scenario, the world’s number one men’s tennis player had contracted Covid in December and recovered despite having met unmasked with young tennis players and the press when he was probably infectious. Then he traveled to Australia to play in the Open there, but was stopped at the border because he was not vaccinated. He was thrown into quarantine and his lawyers appealed in court. The initial hearing granted him entry, but then the key Australian government minister denied him access to the country again and now he is deported without being allowed to play in the tournament. If he won this tournament, he would have accrued the most Grand Slam titles of any man in history, so this is not a small matter in tennis.

Asserting Clarity

In her op-ed in The Wall Street Journal on January 15, Peggy Noonan soundly criticizes the recent Georgia voting rights speech given by President Biden as divisive. It was followed the next day by a speech from Mitch McConnell basically agreeing with Noonan.

It has been very frustrating for me as a blogger to be accused of having progressive-liberal tendencies, when I am trying to make a case for the middle-of-the-road. Biden has just made my job easier.

Are Voting Rights Really Being Challenged?

Based on the rhetoric emanating from the mouth of the President of the United States, one might conclude that the number of voters last election day was at an all-time low due to state regulations obstructing voters’ access to the ballot. In fact, turnout was at a record high in 2020 and Mr. Biden was the beneficiary thereof. He is claiming that new state laws will prevent that from happening again. But, is there really an emergency in the country with regard to voting rights because state legislatures are passing bills restricting mail-in ballots and Sunday voting? And by the way, is picture ID verification of identity to vote all that bad an idea anyway? And why should the doling out of food and water even be a voting issue?

Is 1/6/2021 Really The Domestic 9/11/2001?

Many in the mainstream media and our own Vice President are equating what happened on Capitol Hill last year to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. That is frankly ridiculous.

Both Pearl Harbor and the attacks of 9/11 came from outside the United States and were surprises, although maybe they shouldn’t have been. 1/6/21 was totally predictable, caused by domestic forces and may or may not have been a true insurrection. The truth about what happened a year ago, who is responsible, and whether there was inside help from Congress remains unknown. I also doubt the current Democrat-led House Select Committee will make a whole lot of headway unless they move with far more alacrity and finish before the mid-terms.

The Theranos Decision

By now, everyone knows that the former wunderkind of Silicon Valley and media darling Elizabeth Holmes has been found guilty of four of the eleven counts against her in a California federal court. Sentencing is pending, but jail time is likely. If Martha Stewart got 6 months for lying to the feds, Elizabeth ought to be put away for a lot longer for defrauding investors.

Ms. Holmes was the CEO of the now defunct company that had promised to reinvent blood testing using microscopic amounts of blood to do over 100 separate tests. The Theranos technology never worked and Elizabeth’s main defense was that she didn’t know enough about the science to know she was over-promising and if she did, her abusive live-in relationship with Sunny Balwani, her second in command, made her do it. Mr. Bulwani will have his own trial later this year.

A Nation Regresses To The Mean

In The New York Times Business section on January 2, Sarah Lyell writes a cogent piece about customer fury and meanness. Apparently, the country is at a boiling point and the place where the heat can be best measured is the intersection of service providers and the public.

In the many instances Lyell relates of rage in the supermarket, in the pharmacy or on an airplane, most of the recipients of the ire have become aware that what this is about is not what this is about. People are Covid exhausted, supply chain weary and masked out.