Author Archive

Reparations and Seven generations

The Great Law of the Iroquois holds it appropriate to think seven generations ahead (about 140 years into the future). Slavery ended 155 years ago if you use “Juneteenth”.

There are many legal doctrines which hold a claim to be void if it is made too long past the event (e.g., Laches in equity). Statutes of limitations preclude a legal case being made past any time in which it could be seen as being valid.

Any argument for reparations for slavery would require a serious demonstration that said reparations would make sense. On the other hand we would have to give money to people like Oprah Winfrey, Ursula Burns, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

Does that make sense?

Posted 27/07/2020 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

Adios! (sort of)

I’ve been weaning myself from “social media” for a while. Blogging has never really been a thing for me the way some people do it. Now, WordPress has decided to change their editor, which is driving me nuts.

Maybe I’ll still post at Penigma if there is something I need to vent about.

Posted 12/07/2020 by lacithedog in Uncategorized

America’s Gun

There isn’t a consensus on what exactly that firearm would be. I’ve learned more than I have ever cared to know about the AR-15 in the past month or so. The AR15 definitely qualifies since it was designed by an American, Eugene Stoner. Enough of them are out there in the US that any chance of an “assault rifle ban” would be really difficult. And that’s even with a buyback.

I feel the same way I do about the AR15 that I do about Margaret Thatcher: I don’t like either of them, but I respect what they are in relation to their respective country’s culture. The AR15 is probably more symbolic toward US culture than Margaret Thatcher will ever be to Britain’s.

It is a symbol of militarism since it was designed over 60 years ago for the US military, with variants  used by military forces worldwide. Part of its attraction is that it is the civilian version of the US military’s weapon. And its deadliness is one of its attractive features. It is proven in combat and mass shootings.

The AR15 platform allows for it to be built in a myriad of different ways. It is also fairly easy to build with various kits being sold; from complete upper and lower receiver assemblies to the parts for making a ghost gun. Although, ghost gun means a firearm made “80%” lower receiver and parts. It is the AR15’s ability to be built by anyone which should cause people to pause.

I personally would not want to invest the time and effort into making an actual ghost gun. Complete stripped lower receivers are also available, which is the lower receiver block without the parts. That allows someone to create their custom gun. It’s easy to customise a completed lower receiver as well. Just look up a video on how to do that mod to your gun.

And there are the AR15 pistols as well, which I am mentioning since there is the debate as to how often these weapons are used in crime:

Mass shootings involving rifles like the AR-15 can produce dozens of victims at one time, and combined with extensive media coverage of these events, many people have been led to believe that such rifles pose a significant threat to public safety.

However, such shootings are extremely rare, and a look at the FBI data informs us that homicide with these types of rifles represents an extremely small fraction of overall homicide violence. Banning or confiscating such firearms from the civilian population would likely produce little to no reduction in violent crime rates in America.

Given the amount of variations on the AR15, there are a fair amount of pistol versions. One manufacturer lists barrel lengths from 8 inches to 20 inches for their upper receiver assembly. An interesting riff on all this since Orlando, Florida, authorities revised their initial description of one of the weapons used in the June 2016 attack at Pulse nightclub. After initially describing it as an “AR-15-type assault rifle,” police said it was a different type of firearm, the Sig Sauer MCX.

One the the variants of the MCX is the Rattler SBR (short barrelled rifle)[1]. While SBRs are NFA weapons, it’s pretty easy to bang one up using the AR15 platform. I would also toss in that semi-auto pistols that accept high capacity magazines are banned in some places. Additionally, a submachinegun is a machinegun that fires pistol calibre ammunition. That means that submachineguns are basically pistols that can have a very high rate of fire.

But the main reason I would say that the AR15 is America’s gun is that it will probably never be regulated despite the carnage it is capable of causing. Despite the deadly shooting in Las Vegas to the 20 toddlers killed at Sandy Hook, these weapons are more than freely available to anyone who wants one. You can buy an 80% receiver with no background check to build whatever version of an AR15 you want.

That means that anyone who is adept with metalworking tools, or just adept with tools if it’s a polymer 80, can crank out a weapon intended for the battlefield.

That should cause you to pause and think no matter what your opinion of these weapons happens to be.

[1] Short barrelled rifles are another topic which I am not going to get into.

Lots of thoughts

I am really annoyed with the level of virtue signalling/pandering I’ve been seeing as the reaction to the riots. My particular gripe is with “Juneteenth” which was pretty much unknown until fairly recently, especially the last few days. This is true even amongst “people of colour”.

The fact it has eclipsed Odunde in Pennsylvania, let alone Philadelphia, is more than enough to demonstrate to me that recent attention has been pandering and not very sincere. I would be truly insulted if I were black at how this event has suddenly received attention. But I doubt it will be a thing in another news cycle.

Which gets me to the riots, which they were. The fact that the peaceful demonstrations turned violent should have led to a distancing from the violence. Instead we receive virtue signalling that the looting is somehow OK. Toss in that defunding/abolishing the police can even be considered, let alone discussed.

The riots have helped gun sales go through the roof. We can pretty much forget ever having an “assault rifle ban”. Any buyback would make the Covid-19 economic relief look like a drop in the bucket. It’s possible.

But so is becoming a billionaire by winning the lottery.

The “Gun Violence Protection” crowd is showing how out of touch they are with the current state of events. Case in point is something I saw from Everytown where they were talking about how the Gun Rights crowd talked about fighting tyrannical government. Of course it also tried to paint recent events as “peaceful protest” neglecting the curfews and lockdowns in many US cities.

I’ve been wanting to talk about option 2 for why a someone would need an assault rifle, which is the exact opposite of “tyrannical government”.  That is when your country has become a failed state.

A failed state is a political body that has disintegrated to a point where basic conditions and responsibilities of a sovereign government no longer function properly (see also fragile state and state collapse). A state can also fail if the government loses its legitimacy even if it is performing its functions properly. For a stable state it is necessary for the government to enjoy both effectiveness and legitimacy. Likewise, when a nation weakens and its standard of living declines, it introduces the possibility of total governmental collapse. The Fund for Peace characterizes a failed state as having the following characteristics:

  • Loss of control of its territory, or of the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force therein
  • Erosion of legitimate authority to make collective decisions
  • Inability to provide public services
  • Inability to interact with other states as a full member of the international community

Common characteristics of a failing state include a central government so weak or ineffective that it has an inability to raise taxes or other support, and has little practical control over much of its territory and hence there is a non-provision of public services. When this happens, widespread corruption and criminality, the intervention of state and non-state actors, the appearance of refugees and the involuntary movement of populations, sharp economic decline, and foreign military intervention can occur.

There were a few commenters who were pointing out the United States was a failed state prior to the Covid-19 lockdown, but the recent riots have shown that the US is indeed a failed state.

In that case, who is going to protect you?

I am not going to debate the wisdom of owning a firearm or other weapon during such a time. But I do understand why people would want them.

The virtue signalling crowd needs to step back and assess where the US happens to be at this point, because the US is not in good shape. And pandering to the mob is the wrong course of action.

Why I think Donald trump will get another four years!

I remember driving through Western Pennsylvania a few days after the 2016 election. It was obvious why Trump won then. The Dems didn’t bother to reassess what happened and are now set to fuck up even worse than in 2016.

First off running, Joe Biden who was a train wreck to begin with, but continues to show WHY he is correct when he tells people to vote for the other guy. Biden lost the election when he told the UAW Worker in Detroit he didn’t need an assault rifle among other things, but it gets us to.

The Riots, while the Dems would like to pin everything on Trump. The “Trump is Bad” strategy was a loser in 2016: it’s even worse in 2020. Toss in the riots happened in Democratically controlled areas for the most part. Nixon won as the law and order candidate in 1968. Trump will win because the Dems are the party of disorganisation.

The fall out from the riots. Loads of people bought guns. Assault rifles vanished from the marketplace both brick and mortar as well as internet. Gun control, firearms regulation, gun violence prevention, or whatever you want to call it is going to be a dead letter for some time as armed bands troop around left and right: literally.

Let’s add in the talk of defunding or disbanding the police, which is one of the worst imaginable cases of branding an idea that anyone could have come up with at this time. Armed groups from all sides of the political spectrum are walking the streets: what could go wrong here? Police reorganisation might have made more sense.

But it doesn’t matter since Biden has made it clear that he’s not on board.

Let’s not forget the Covid-19 thing, which was another disaster. It was something that pointed out the need to “medicare for all”, universal basic income, or just good leadership.

In fact, the past few months have been an advertisement for why the Democrats are on the wrong track and running the wrong candidate. But I am not expecting much change. Especially when the candidate who is running is one who really isn’t going to change a thing.

Casey Jones is driving the train full speed ahead high on cocaine, And there might even be speed involved.

 

A militarised police is nothing new…outside the United States

French KeufThe term “Gendarme” may connote the quaint French Policeman like the one in this picture.

Not really, the French Gendarmerie Nationale is one of France’s two national police forces. Unlike the Police Nationale, the Gendarmerie Nationale is a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior with additional duties to the Ministry of Defense.

To try and analogise this to US law enfocement, the Police Nationale would be something like a combination of large city police forces and the FBI. The Gendarmerie would be more like the State Police forces, patrolling the smaller cities, towns, and countryside. But unlike the State Police forces there are two different branches: the Departmentale and the Mobile. The Departmental being like the state police forces.

The mobile being an internal army, quite literally. main responsibilities are:

  • crowd and riot control
  • general security in support of the Departmental Gendarmerie
  • military and defense missions missions that require large amounts of personnel (e.g., counter-terrorism patrols)

Nearly 20% of the Mobile Gendarmerie squadrons are permanently deployed on a rotational basis in the French overseas territories. Other units deploy occasionally abroad alongside French troops engaged in military operations (called external operations or OPEX).

Let’s toss in the the Gendarmerie Nationale also has the Groupe d’intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale (GIGN), an elite law enforcement and special operations unit numbering about 400 personnel. Its missions include counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, surveillance of national threats, protection of government officials and targeting of organized crime. GIGN is one of the world’s top Special Forces groups, which is something that would make people who get upset about armed police to go apoplectic and die.

And the Gendarmerie Nationale’s history goes back to the Maréchaussée of the middle ages. Maréchaussée, or Marshalcy.  During the middle ages there were two Grand Officers of the Kingdom of France with police responsibilities: The Marshal of France and the Constable of France. The military policing responsibilities of the Marshal of France were delegated to the Marshal’s provost, whose force was known as the Marshalcy because its authority ultimately derived from the Marshal. The Marshalcy dates back to the Hundred Years War, and some historians trace it back to the early twelfth century. Another organisation, the Constabulary (French: Connétablie), was under the command of the Constable of France. The constabulary was regularised as a military body in 1337.

Gendarme means Man at Arms. So the Gendarmes were the “men at arms” of the Middle Ages. The term was more specific than just men who had weapons, but were government officials.

Also, France’s Gendarmerie has been highly influential on other national police forces, mostly in civil law and former French Colonies.

I almost bought an AR Parts Kits!

Or the more I know about the H&K 416, the more I like the SIG516.

And saying that is not totally off the topic since I found that Brownells had a do it yourself HK416 set up. You would buy one of their completed lowers with 416 markings and then get their official parts kit. Still not a cheap purchase (also no longer available) [1], but there are a few options for buying an AR15:

  • You can buy a complete off the shelf AR15
  • You can buy a lower receiver in any of several forms: complete, stripped, or 80% . Then match it with the upper receiver of your choice
  • build a complete parts kit from scratch, which can be a “ghost gun” depending on if you add a serial number or not.

The upper is the more critical part in my opinion. That means that you could pair an outrageously expensive upper with an budget lower. That is a suggestion which will get lots of groans, but isn’t too outrageous in the current climate of AR scarcity.

The opinion seems to be mil spec is mil-spec, which is true for the cheaper lowers. There are some features which can up the price, such as ambidextrous knobbies and finish. Also, it’s kinda nice to have the fancy logo to go with the one on the fancy upper.

I have to admit to being inclined toward the completed lower since changing the grip on one of these is more involved than I care for. I am not keen on having to put the pieces together. This is especially true for anything that goes bang near my face. Putting together a complete upper with a complete lower is fine with me.

If you haven’t guessed by now, the expensive options are the way I would like to go. On the other hand, market forces are working against me. We have scarcity driving up the price.

If you can find one.

The gun violence prevention crowd blew it in the past few weeks by not calling for cooler heads. Now people are scared and gun sales have skyrocketed.Not to mention there are now way more “assault rifles” out there with people who will be reluctant to give them up.

 

Footnote:
[1] H&K MR556 upper receiver is US$1839, including free shipping! You can get the BRN-4 stripped receiver for US$299.99 or there is a complete receiver for auction at US$1,100. That means you could have part of an HK for around US$2100 (still gotta get the rest of the parts to complete the lower) or a whole one for US$2939 (unless someone ups the bids on you). Not cheap!

Go ahead, scumbag, make my day.

I’ve found that lower receiver assemblies can be bought in all sorts of interesting designs. Or if you get a blank, you can have it custom engraved.

The reason I titled this what I did is that some non-full auto receivers are marked with an, inactive, full-auto choice.

Not sure I want to have that if I get stopped by the cops. Sure, it can be disproven, but still why risk it?

I almost bought an AR Part III (Miscellaneous Thoughts)

So, do I get a package of ammunition to fight my way to the unit in the same way the Swiss do if I get an AR? 60 rounds doesn’t seem like a lot.
Swiss ammunition packageSwiss 3130953-v4-munition

 

 

 

 

 

Should I join a militia? Or is this just for individual defence?

Why am I in this position because of people who claim to want to have a peaceful society won’t renounce the use of violence?

I just heard that Minneapolis voted to defund the police last night. So much for gun control in the US.

I almost bought an AR Part II!

Well, we are being treated to an even BIGGER turn out to protest. Toss in that there is a threat of explosions at least Philadelphia’s demonstrations.

And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a fifty-amp fuse”

Anyway, the gun people should be laughing their asses off that the do-gooders are doing one of the best jobs to pump up gun sales. A few months back, it looked like there was a saturated market in Assault Rifles. Now demand for the suckers has driven up the price better than the executive order of 1989! Although Assault rifles and firearms tend to have a high rate of price fluctuation depending on the political climate.

That said, I did have a few options if I didn’t want to wait in a long line only to be disappointed at the slim pickings; even in the high end department.

Ghost or parts guns. Which is kind of a big category since you can have a parts gun from a upper receiver from one company and a lower from another. There are some SIG516 uppers out there which now are in the four figure range, after a period when Sig was practically giving them away (about US$450 range). Stick that on a lower receiver, Such as Palmetto State Armoury, which is a reasonable price. It has a serial number which means it isn’t a real “ghost gun”.

The other advantage is that putting together a complete upper from one company and a complete lower from another is still like putting together an assembled firearm. Unlike a ghost gun which is a bunch of parts and sound like way more work than I want to be bothered with. Toss in that I wouldn’t trust a gun I built from scratch since I’m not a trained gunsmith. Any “advantages” to a “ghost gun” are far outweighed by the possibility of it blowing up in my face.

Bottom line, I would buy an H&K MR556 or a SIG516 right now, but it is real hard to do.

Once again, the market place helps to control firearms.

I almost bought an AR.

I guess the H&K MR556 or SIG516 are AR-15 variants.

So, number one deterrent was price. The SIG is the less expensive of the two, but still in the four figure range. We are talking a price of US$ 1400+. Ouch. Toss in that I am leaning toward the H&K compared to the Sig.

And that’s the price if you can find one.

Assault Rifles and guns in general are a hot commodity these days. For good reason given the chaos of the past week. Some people have seen it on TV. Other people have lived it.

And people want to protect themselves. And what better way than with a weapon that was designed for the battlefield and proven in mass shootings across the country. Las Vegas was a good advertisement. The chaos of the past week are the perfect advertisement for a weapon like this.

I may not like it, but it is hard to say that people shouldn’t be able to own these weapons when the cities are under siege. That makes me different from a lot of people on the left, but I am also much more pragmatic than a lot of people on the left.FireShot Capture 012 - Why are some US police forces equipped like military units_ - World n_ - www.theguardian.com

Those are the ones who are moaning about the militarisation of the police, like this article in the Guardian. But it misses something that this post is pointing out. Civilians can buy the 5.56 Assault Rifle with no problem. Shouldn’t the cops be as well armed as the civilians if they are going to keep the peace?

Toss in there is a movement to defund the police:

Defunding, said activist Jeralynn Blueford, is the logical response from leaders in this moment of unprecedented unrest. “If police had been serious about reform and policy change, then guess what? People would not be this angry.”

What The Fuck? Serious What the Fuck?

3d25106b37We have seen chaos and looting in US cities over the past week. Gun stores have lines that wrap around the block as people scramble to buy weapons to defend their homes.

While I support keeping guns out of the hands of people like criminals and the looters, it is thoroughly insane to prevent the law abiding to their safety. And for the most part I am sceptical of firearms for home defence, I can get why some people would want them.

It’s the image in this Tommy Gun ad from the days when they were freely available.  The ability to protect your home against marauding bands of evil doers.

And the do gooders (I can’t really say the left since there are some of us who get what needs to be done) who would defund the police and try to make assault rifles illegal. The argument that “no one needs one of these in a civilian world” rings hollow these days.

The chaos of the past week ISN’T the civilian world and toleration of those who are destroying US cities is wrong. It’s turning the “silence is consent” argument back at them. Even worse, it’s not silence, but outright appeasement.

Black Lives Matters lost any relevance the moment the fires and violence broke out. They could have salvaged their effort if they stood down and denounced the violence. But allowing violence on either side is wrong.

I don’t really like that I have to accept that assault rifles are an undeniable fact of US life, but there needs to be some feeling of safety and security until people stand down: especially the rioters and looters. Violence isn’t the answer. Especially if you are not the body authorised by law to keep the peace. Breaking the law really isn’t the answer.

There are options other than violence and chaos, however, there is a misguided belief that is what is necessary. That is costing the Black Lives Matters its legitimacy even amongst the people it claims to represent.

Because the people buying guns aren’t just white.

Who was the President of the US on the 13th of July 2013?

Wasn’t it Barack Obama?

The post originally asked about the 9th of August 2014 is the date when Michael Brown was fatally shot by 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the city of Ferguson, Missouri. That was the event that led to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. BLM was actually started on 13 July 2013.

Still, Barack Obama was president. And he had been president for 7 years when the Michael Brown incident happened: not George W. Bush or Donald Trump.

It seems there was the usual rioting following that incident. Let’s toss in that it seems that like school shootings, the usual drill is: black youth is harmed by police, riots occur, then fuck all happens, only to repeat.

There were also riots in Baltimore after the 2015 shooting of Freddie Gray. Again: black youth is harmed by police, riots occur, then fuck all happens, only to repeat.

My point is that rioting has been used as a tool even during what should have been a racially positive period. But have the results been ever really been positive? Why would I need to be asking all this if there had been positive results.

If anything, the rioting and violence have led to a continuation of the problem. If not making the situation much worse.

I need to add in for good measure that black leaders endorsed Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden during the 2016 and 2020 primaries. Both Clinton and Biden have a horrid record on race relations.

A riot may be the language of the unheard, but temper tantrums also don’t get a positive response.

These consequences were actually foretold by some in the Civil Rights Movement, including the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is common on social media to see people quoting King’s statement that a riot is a “language of the unheard.” But in the same remarks from which this popular quote is drawn, King also stated that “riots are socially destructive and self-defeating.”

In February 1968, nine months before Richard Nixon’s election, King warned that increased rioting would lead to a “right-wing takeover.” He pointed to segregationist George Wallace’s presidential bid, saying, “Every time a riot develops, it helps George Wallace.”

“They’ll throw us into concentration camps,” he told supporters of the Poor People’s Campaign. “The Wallaces and [followers of the John Birch Society] will take over. The sick people and the fascists will be strengthened. They’ll cordon off the ghetto, and issue passes for us to get in and out. We cannot stand two more summers like last summer without leading inevitably to a rightwing takeover and a fascist state that will destroy the soul of the nation.”

 

it’s time for a new tactic since the old one hasn’t worked in 50 odd years.

Reality versus gun rights

It’s really fun watching people defend the rioters and looters in the current situation. I’m going to use Pennsylvania law, but there is Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55: Riot, Disorderly Conduct and Related Offenses, which means that the destruction and looting caused by the rioters is illegal.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Trashing stores and stealing the contents is not a political act, but a criminal one.

Let’s add in that not only is it a criminal act, but it is actual violence. As I said to one person being able to understand the rioters would also mean that you understand why people are protesting the Covid-19 lockdowns with guns. As they say, they may not agree with the method, but they understand the frustration.

Actually, I find the armed protesters less of a threat than I do an out of control mob who are actually engaged in violent acts. Arson is a major cause of loss of life and injury in commercial properties. Strangely, the people who somehow find that the rioting and looting are justified have an issue with people exercising their right to self-defence.

Rioting, looting, arson, and the other illegal acts mentioned in Title 18, the crimes code, and specifically Title 18, Article F, Chapter 55, are just that crimes and illegal. On the other hand someone does have the right to self-defence if they have a reasonable belief that are in danger of death or serious bodily injury. Which happens to be a very real threat if you are in the sights of rioters.

One person said, “couldn’t you get out of their way, or leave town?” Is that a fair question if you get the lockdown order and AREN’T allowed to leave? Someone in that situation is pretty much stuck.

Which gets to the gun rights type’s question: “shouldn’t the person be allowed to defend themselves?” To which “Fuck, yeah!” seems to be the most sensible answer. And if the best weapon happens to be something semi-auto that can accept a large capacity magazine: then they should indeed be allowed to have such a weapon.

Which is why I titled this the way I did.

The person who somehow feels that the violence is “justified” or “understandable” should also be able to accept that people have a right to protect themselves. And the right which is lawful is the one of self-protection.

Not rioting.

Or as Donald Trump said: “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.

While I don’t like Trump or the underlying events which led to the protests, the movement to violence has changed the game to a no win situation. And the people who are going to be the big losers are the ones the protests were supposed to help.

Likewise, I have made it clear that I don’t support “gun rights” or believe it to be a real thing, but if people are going to condone violence, then they need to accept that the cycle of violence will continue.

And isn’t ending the violence what the protests were trying to do?

You can condemn the violence, yet still support the underlying cause. If anything, it makes far more sense to condemn the violence instead of allowing the cycle of violence to keep rolling on.

I’ve been watching Fox News…and liking what I see.

Well, not totally, but they are providing a balance to the rest of the coverage of Covid-19 and the lockdowns.  The rest of the media seem to think that people can take the time off to “social distance”, which is a major luxury for the average person.

Let’s toss in that the “crisis” is a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream nirvana because of the way it is being handled. This is a “new disease” even though corona viruses have been around for a while.  The original SARS from 2002-04 being the case in point. And there are treatments and vaccines being researched, but they are a LONG WAY off if that is going to be your benchmark for déconfinement (which also works in English).

Déconfinement also isn’t coming soon if you want to use testing since there are tests, but the accuracy and availability are up in the air. Not having tests isn’t anyone’s conspiracy as much as the logistics of getting reliable tests in place. No one really benefits from a lack of testing. Well, maybe the people who want people to see SARS-Cov2 as being like the disease in Terry Nation’s Survivors (it’s modern spinoff as well) or Contagion. Those are diseases where a significant portion of the population are infected and die.

SARS-Cov2 isn’t like those fictional diseases. Otherwise the Cruise industry would be dead in the water. That’s because the cruise liners would have been death ships. Also comparing the current situation to the 1918-20 H1N1 outbreak would see mortality well into the millions by now.

Lockdown comes with its own set of problems if we are going to play the numbers game with mortality.  The catch phrase there is “avoidable death” which is where treatment or prevention would have somehow prevented a death, but is death really avoidable? Especially when we are dealing with something that has no vaccine or agreed upon treatment?

The issue to me isn’t if there is a benefit to lockdown since there really isn’t. I wear a mask only to make others feel comfortable. The reality is that the situation is like the conversation between the barman and Ford Prefect before the Earth is destroyed in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

BARMAN: You really think the world’s going to end?
(Ford nods) Shouldn’t we lie down or put a bag over our heads or something?
FORD: If you want.
BARMAN: Will it help?
FORD: Not really.

We don’t know what to do so we do what we are told. Again, the people who laughed at Trump when he said wear scarves can be seen wearing scarves! Social distancing is supposed to make us feel good when we don’t really.

The world has been thrown into chaos and it seems that people want to do everything except calmly address the issue. And it’s really scary when it seems that Fox News is a voice of reason.

Ultimately, I see Donald Trump being the beneficiary of Democratic Party blundering in how they are handling this issue.

The real question about ending the Covid-19 Lockdowns.

The issue is really more like can we afford to wait until there is a vaccine or treatment. Especially if the time we need to wait is until the end of 2022.

The optimistic predictions on a vaccine are that it won’t be available until 12-18 months. But that’s optimistic since there has been research into a coronavirus vaccine since the 2002-04 SARS outbreak. I’m not going to get into issues surrounding developing a vaccine since that is way more than a blog post.

Likewise treatments aren’t out there. While Trump can take a hit for his musing: he is expressing the frustrations anyone with any familiarity of this feel now.

Herd immunity is controversial since some people feel it relates to immunisation. The real issue is getting enough people infected with the virus to render it “harmless”. That raises the issue that quite a few people who are infected could be asymptomatic (I’ve heard it could be 50-90%). Toss in that 80% of those we do know have been infected don’t require hospitalisation to get better according to the WHO.

The whole reason behind “flattening the curve” is to make sure that the health system isn’t overburdened. But that also raises issues.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43,000 healthcare jobs were lost in March 2020, and the job losses in healthcare have increased as shutdowns persist through the pandemic. The HealthLandscape and American Academy of Family Physicians issued a report estimating by June 2020, 60,000 family medical practices will close or scale back, affecting 800,000 workers. Source

That means the US health care system LOST personnel as the pandemic was gearing up. Add in the hypocrisy of Andrew Cuomo who was wrecking New York’s health care system until he decided to become the media darling for how he is handling the problem.

The Anti-lockdown protestors would be better served by pointing out they were  being prevented from working. Even more useful would have been for them to ask those “health care” counterprotestors why they weren’t working or resting if they are so overworked. Knowing that the health system made cutbacks during the “crisis” is much better ammunition than 5.56.

So, we need good and accurate information as the debate rages as to how and when the lockdown should end. But saying “who would you kill?” isn’t really valid since people will die in this pandemic. The question is at this point is timing since there isn’t the vaccine, treatment, or immunity out there.

Also, lockdowns prevent addressing the real issues which are being raised by the pandemic. That’s ironic since the pandemic is putting them into the spotlight. But it’s easier to call the protestors “covidiots” and dismiss them than it is to have a conversation.

And now is the time for conversation and cooperation.