Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Masking the real COVID problem

It’s like the plague is closing in all around me, and I’m not talking about the coronavirus. I’m talking about power-hungry politicians and their ridiculous regulations.

So, I was in Lowe’s recently getting some materials for a project on my boat when I began to look for a place to check out. An Asian gentleman standing in one of the checkout lines said something to me, but I couldn’t understand it through his mask. I leaned in closer. “You are my hero,” he said. I swelled with pride. I figured he was a radio listener who recognized me. “Thank you,” I said. Then he motioned me back closer. “You are defying the mask order. It is so stupid.” I suddenly got it. I thanked him again and looked around. I was the only one in the store not wearing a mask. Then I realized something else. I was no longer in my sane county where wearing a mask is optional. I was in Nashville, where wearing a mask is mandatory. And my unwitting defiance had inspired someone.

Flash forward a few days. The mask mandate had followed me home. The mayor of Williamson County, Rogers Anderson, announced a county-wide mask mandate. 

Now, I don’t want to be misunderstood on this mask thing. I have no problem if you want to wear a mask. Personally, I don’t see how it does much good. Scientifically, I know it won’t keep you from getting coronavirus. It may keep someone from spreading it, but if you’re sick you have no business in public anyway. The problem I have is not with the masks but with the mandates.

The science is certainly not settled on coronavirus. This situation is still fluid. Anyone who tells you to “follow the science” doesn’t know what they’re talking about. What I prefer to do is follow common sense. Moreover, I prefer to follow the Constitution.

If I come into contact with someone with coronavirus then I have a personal obligation to stay away from other people for two weeks. That’s called personal responsibility. Instead, government officials, like they’re doing in my county, are taking advantage of the panic to exercise power they don’t have. My county has a population of over 200,000 people. You know how many people have died outside of nursing homes in my county? Less than ten. So, we’re going to tell nearly a quarter of a million people to wear a mask everywhere they go because fewer than a dozen people have died? I don’t think so.

Which brings me to my new hero, Andy Ogles. Andy is the mayor of neighboring Maury County. He boldly announced that he “took an oath to defend our constitution” and said he “intended to do so.” With that he announced “there will be no mask mandate in Maury County.” That’s called leadership. He urged social distancing and supported a business’s right to require you to wear a mask, but he understands the limits of his power. He also understands what freedom really means.

We have a long national discussion ahead of us, because the next issue that’ll be pushed by the mask mandators is the vaccine. Alan Dershowitz says the state has the right to force you to get vaccinated. He says you don’t have the right to infect someone else. Think about that for a moment. If I decide not to get vaccinated, the only people I may be putting at risk are people who have made the same decision.

Freedom isn’t that complicated. Either we have it or we don’t. For many, we don’t.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Why are we sacrificing the elderly to COVID?

There will be a lot of history written about the pandemic of 2020. Tough decisions were made on the fly. Some seemed prudent at the time, others appeared foolhardy. One that we will surely come to regret is sacrificing a generation of elderly unnecessarily to a plague we knew from the very start was coming for them.

It seems like a lifetime ago when we were watching the coronavirus from the comfort of our own country in some far-flung place called Wuhan, China. Many of us were advocating keeping it in China and not allowing it to spread to our shores. President Trump made that decision in late January, but it was already too late. What we did after it got here is unconscionable.

When the virus hit our shores in Seattle in mid-January via a traveler from Wuhan it went directly to the most vulnerable in the area. Within just a month the virus had infected a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. A month later, 34 residents of that nursing home were dead.

Scientists have argued over many things during the course of this pandemic. First we were told not to wear masks, then they were mandated by some local and state governments. We were told you could catch the virus by touching a surface, then we were told that was virtually impossible. There has been, however, one constant. It has never changed since we first learned of this virus. The average age of death is 80. That gave us a distinct advantage over this disease that we haven’t had over most other plagues, including the Spanish Flu, where the average age of death was 28. We had one job, and that was to keep the elderly and the ill away from this disease. Not only did we fail, but we failed miserably. Some would argue it looks almost intentional.

Governor Andrew Cuomo was lambasted for his policy of placing COVID-positive patients back in nursing homes. News reports calculated the carnage at a quarter of all coronavirus deaths in New York. Similar horror stories began popping up in places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania. What’s inexplicable is the total blackout of news coverage of the same thing happening in Tennessee, where there’s a Republican governor. The only difference is instead of a quarter of the COVID deaths coming from nursing homes, over a third of the deaths in Tennessee are from nursing homes. And the reason why is the very same reason other states have seen such a high rate of elderly deaths. In Tennessee, COVID-positive patients are routinely kept in nursing homes.

This points to a complete lack of leadership. The one sure fact we’ve known throughout all of this is that nursing homes are the deadliest places for the coronavirus. A plan should’ve been implemented in March to immediately remove COVID-positive patients from nursing homes. Instead of taking the time and effort to develop such a plan, Governor Lee defaulted to having the patients ride it out in isolation at the same nursing facility. But there’s really no such thing as isolation at a nursing home. 

For all we know the disease could be traveling through the air duct system much like Legionnaires disease. The symptoms of COVID and Legionnaires are very similar. Cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle pains, possible nausea and vomiting. Legionnaires doesn’t typically spread between people. It’s spread by breathing a mist that contains the bacteria.

Given that 50,000 of the to-date total of 130,000 deaths are from nursing homes, maybe it’s time we started paying attention.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Monday, June 29, 2020

We've turned a corner with this statue business

We have reached an inflection point in America. I warned many years ago that the Confederate monuments were just the appetizer. The main course was the founders of the country. Now we’re here. So, what do we do?

Just for full disclosure, I’m no fan of the Confederacy. I grew up in the South. We had a portrait of Robert E. Lee hanging over our fireplace. I get the heritage angle. I was just never very proud of a group of people who tried to destroy the United States as we know it. Yes, the Civil War was over more than just slavery, but anyone who tries to convince you that slavery wasn’t an issue or was simply a side issue is lying. Slavery is an ugly stain on our nation. I get why some people might be offended by monuments to generals who fought to preserve it.

I also understand why people want to preserve history. Forget heritage, preservation of history is crucial. It enables us to learn from it. What if we whitewash the Confederacy? Then no one will even know it ever existed. Isn’t it important that we understand why it did? I’m a big fan of building more monuments rather than tearing existing ones down. If there’s a piece of the puzzle not being told then let’s tell it.

Which leads me to Juneteenth. It was hilarious watching guilt-ridden liberal white folks falling all over themselves acting like they’ve always known about Juneteenth. I’d seen the word before, but I never knew what it was. All of a sudden banks were closing for Juneteenth, like they’d done it for years. Juneteenth was suddenly billed as an important holiday for black Americans. Funny, I don’t recall anyone insisting it be named ahead of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The truth is Juneteenth is not a very significant day. It’s a day when Texas slaves were finally informed that the war was over and therefore they were free. That was over two months after the war was over. But it didn’t end slavery. That didn’t happen until later in 1865 when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified. That was on December 6. That’s a much more significant date in American history.

However, Black Lives Matter says Juneteenth is important so the guilt-ridden liberals fall in line. The only reason BLM said it was important was because President Trump had scheduled his comeback rally in Tulsa on the 19th. They were trying to contort a motive behind the chosen date, even though Tulsa is not in Texas. Didn’t matter. The woke media latched onto it and all of a sudden Trump was a racist for scheduling a rally on such an important day. The natural fawning by the media and corporate America predictably followed.

Then there was the “noose” incident at Talladega. Bubba Wallace, the only black driver, was outraged when a noose was discovered hanging in his garage stall. Had we been given the full story from the beginning we would’ve known this was a hoax. The “noose” was a pull for the rope that closes the garage door. It’s been there since at least October of last year. Only a hypersensitive liberal could see a garage door pull and think it’s racist. Before you know it we’ll be banning garage doors by association.

Just stop it. Everything around you is not racist and needs to be destroyed. If you have a problem with the founders then maybe it’s time to pack your bags. I’m drawing a line, which the liberals will probably misconstrue as a rope.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

My wish for Father's Day

While everyone is focused on the police and so-called systemic racism in America, I thought I’d chime in with the candid voice of reason and tell you what the real problem is. Right here before Father’s Day it’s ironic that few are talking about why black males are far more likely to have a violent run-in with the police. It’s because over 70 percent of black children today are born into a single-mother household.
The reason black males are more likely to have a negative encounter with the police is because they have more encounters with the police than any other ethnic or racial group, and that’s primarily because they don’t have a father or even a father figure in their lives.

Here are some startling statistics from the Department of Justice on children from fatherless homes. They account for 71 percent of all high school dropouts. They are 70 percent of the juveniles in state-operated detention institutions. About 75 percent of adolescent patients in substance abuse centers are fatherless children. They account for 63 percent of the youth suicides, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway youths.

What’s interesting is the negative effects of fatherlessness don’t discriminate. White folks, Hispanics, Asians, they’re all more susceptible to negative outcomes because they’re fatherless. It just happens to be epidemic in the black community.

A black male born today has a better chance of ending up at the state pen than Penn State. Want to help the plight of black Americans? Stop pandering and placating. Let’s all address this problem head-on. Let’s stop candy-coating it and acting like slavery has something to do with it. The epicenter of the problem in the black community is the Great Society. Well-meaning liberals tried to right the wrongs of the past by making a large segment of the black population dependent on the government.

Ask any cop in any city where the crime is and they’ll point to the projects. Ask any successful black person who came from poverty what the key to success is and they’ll tell you it’s getting out of the projects. So why are we still doing it? Why are we still warehousing the most desperate people in society for one-stop shopping for the drug dealers, the gang leaders, and the pimps? Why? I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you this. It’s time to tear down every housing project in America.

Now, don’t go thinking that I’m for turning everybody out in the street to fend for themselves. No, but we do need to separate the needy from the greedy. Anyone who’s able-bodied and able-minded needs to get a job. If there aren’t jobs in your city, then the government needs to match people with jobs in other cities and towns.

Is everybody who’s black on welfare? No, but a disproportionate number are. About 39 percent of welfare recipients are white, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. About 40 percent of welfare recipients are black. In other words, whites are way underrepresented and blacks are way overrepresented. That’s not because of racism, it’s because of liberalism.

Liberal politicians know that in order to maintain their grip on black voters they have to maintain the dependency. So, when a wedge like Black Lives Matter comes along these liberal politicians fan the flames of discontent and division.

Despite what the media say, racism is not the problem. The best thing we can do for all Americans, especially black Americans, is put the father back in Father’s Day.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Only some black lives matter to Black Lives Matter

Originally published in the Washington Examiner

Black lives matter. That statement is undeniably true, but not all black lives matter to the group Black Lives Matter. Apparently retired Captain David Dorn of St. Louis was not worthy of the same outrage as George Floyd. Captain Dorn was gunned down by looters after answering an alarm at a pawn shop belonging to a friend. Black Lives Matter was silent. An arrest was made. Black Lives Matter was silent. As it turns out, it’s not the life that matters to Black Lives Matter, it’s the person who killed them.

It’s hard to find anyone in this country who wasn’t outraged by the murder of George Floyd. There have been other accusations of police brutality that divided public opinion. The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri was another flashpoint. Black Lives Matters reacted with their typical outrage. Sports celebrities word t-shirts with “Hands up, don’t shoot” on them. President Obama’s Justice Department with Eric Holder at the helm promised justicer. After a thorough investigation, they came to the same conclusion as the FBI and a grand jury. Brown was killed after trying to wrest a gun away from a police officer then he charged at the officer when he tried to make an arrest. The whole “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative was found to be a fantasy.

The George Floyd killing was different. We all watched in horror as policemen pinned him to the ground, one with his knee on his neck, for an excruciatingly long time, even after his arms were handcuffed behind his back. All of the officers have now been charged. This should have been a unifying moment for America, but it wasn’t. 

It’s interesting to note that the protests started before an arrest was made, but the rioting started after. I’ve organized plenty of protests. They are goal-oriented. Ours was to stop a state income tax in Tennessee. Each time the legislature adjourned for the day without passing it we went home. We only came back when they tried it again. When George Floyd’s killer was arrested that should have been the end of the protest, but getting an arrest was not the true goal. We now see what that goal was. Disbanding all police.

This is not the objective of any reasonable law-abiding citizen. This is the objective of a mob. Black Lives Matter is funding the mob through a network of liberal donors that include billionaire George Soros and the leftist Ford Foundation. To date, they’ve raised over $100 million. 

The question is how interwoven is Antifa into Black Lives Matter? It’s hard to say. At least some of the protesters are outraged that Antifa has hijacked the protests. There are videos of black demonstrators shouting at Antifa members for spray-painting buildings with “BLM” and handing out bricks. 

That’s another thing. The bricks. How were pallets of bricks magically appearing in cities and towns all across America? To believe that riots across the entire country can spontaneously erupt organically is to ignore the evidence of a well-coordinated organization. If you understand that Antifa’s goal is to destroy America as we know it, then you can understand how they seize on any opportunity to act as a wedge. They really don’t care who’s right, they just want to see America burn.

How much is Black Lives Matters a part of that? It’s hard to tell, but one sure-fire way to watch America burn is to disband the police. This insane idea is actually being seriously discussed on liberal news outlets all across the country. What would they replace the police with? They won’t say. It appears it’s social workers. Nothing against social workers, but can you imagine dispatching them to quell the riots? Can you imagine calling a social worker when your house is being broken into in the middle of the night? It’s lunacy.

You know what else is lunacy? Acknowledging that black lives matter then recognizing that all lives matter and getting fired. It happened to an NBA announcer. Imagine daring to suggest that all buildings matter, too, and being forced to resign, as happened at a Philadelphia newspaper. What kind of country do we live in where proclaiming that every life matters is racist?

If there’s just one thing you learn today it’s this. Black Lives Matter isn’t concerned about black lives. There’s been no concern over the black lives lost during the riots. There’s no concern, either, over black citizens who are killed by other black citizens. According to statistics from the FBI, about half of the murders in America are committed by blacks. Over 90 percent of their victims are black. Black Lives Matters never talks about those victims. Why?

Is police brutality a problem? It is. I’ve been on the receiving end of it, but I don’t paint all cops with a broad brush. However, it’s not the problem BLM would have you believe. There were 41 unarmed people killed by police in 2019. Only 9 of them were black, while 19 were white. We’ve all encountered the Rambo cop. Let’s address that and clean up our police departments. But let’s also address the portion of our population that’s disproportionately being victimized, and that’s poor black citizens being preyed upon by other black people.

These are the people on the front lines of crime. We should be devising ways to protect them. Instead, Black Lives Matters calls you a racist if you even raise the issue. These are the people being victimized, and they don’t really care what color the perpetrators are. They just want it to stop. You think that’s bad now? Wait until you disband the police.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

This is no longer about George Floyd

George Floyd has almost become a footnote amid the chaos sweeping the country. It’s a shame, too, because I believe the man was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis while other officers stood by and did nothing. Unfortunately for the legacy of Mr. Floyd, his unfortunate and tragic demise now pales in comparison to the carnage left in the wake of his death. 

More people have now been killed in his name. Dave Underwood, a security officer for the Federal Protective Service, was killed by a mob in Oakland. Chris Beaty, a former IU football star known as ‘Mr. Indianapolis’ was killed trying to help someone get to safety. An unnamed 21-year-old was murdered while sitting in his car in Detroit. 

Several have been killed while looting stores. We won’t dignify them by mentioning their names here.

So, George Floyd wasn’t the only casualty, he was just the first. And who’s responsible for the carnage? A group called Antifa. It’s a loose confederation of communist/America-haters who organize locally but are supported nationally. Who’s funding them? That remains a mystery. Some think they know, but I won’t speculate here. What we do know is they’re being financially aided by some of Hollywood’s biggest names. Seth Rogan, Steve Carell, and Chrissy Teigen, among others, have all pledged money to bail the rioters out of jail. Slice it any way you like, but that means they are explicitly endorsing murder and violence.

Is there police brutality in America? Sure. I’ve been on the receiving end of it. Try restraining a police officer who’s busted into your beach rental and is trying to beat you over the head with a billy club. The officer was later fired from the force. Does he represent police officers in general? It would be real easy for me to fall into that trap, but I have better sense. I’ve known a lot of police officers in my day. The vast majority are good people who strive to do a great job protecting citizens like me. God only knows what this country would look like without policemen. That’s exactly what Antifa wants to see. Don’t believe me? Read their protest signs.

I’ve led many protests. We rallied on a regular basis to beat back the state income tax in Tennessee. With protests there are objectives. Ours was to defeat the tax. Each time the legislators went home without a vote we had won the day. We kept coming back until the tax was put to bed permanently. What was the objective of the protests over George Floyd? To see an arrest for his murder. We got it. Time to go home. They didn’t. That’s when the protests really turned violent.

In the midst of cities burning across America, Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper, had the bright idea to stage a protest of his own. It was ostensibly against white supremacy and police brutality. One has to wonder if you’re a police officer on the Nashville police force what the mayor thinks of you. Up until that point we had avoided the plight of so many cities in America. The mayor opened the door wide open, and then feigned outrage when Nashville was burned and looted. The honorable thing would’ve been to resign, but he doubled down, planning another rally, albeit a lower key prayer vigil. It was still meant to appease.

One of my sons commented that the mayor was like the cool parents who buy alcohol for their 16-year-old’s birthday party, then everybody gets drunk and the cops bust it. Well said.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The science is settled?

What liberals call “science” is now out in the open for all to see. Maybe you’ve seen the video from a Staten Island grocery store where mask-wearing zealots screamed profanities and ran a maskless patron from the store. They tell us they’re following the science, yet the science just a few weeks ago was telling us not to wear masks in public. In fact, many of these same people were mask-shaming. These are the lemmings who lap up the latest “science” and take it upon themselves to enforce it. This is the danger of the “science is settled” crowd.

There are so many parallels between the coronavirus crisis and the hysteria behind global warming. It’s almost the same people. The coronavirus has been an accelerated version of how the “science” behind global warming has evolved. Over the last hundred years or so science has vacillated between a global warming crisis and a global cooling crisis. Like the mask issue, humans are to blame no matter what.

The problem with both is not what we know but what we think we know and don’t. Sometimes actual science is adding to the confusion, not elucidating it. Take sea ice in the Arctic. As science becomes more sophisticated we learn that sea ice is receding. What we don’t know is what we didn’t know. What we didn’t know is that sea ice has always been receding in the Arctic over various cycles. In the absence of scientific measurements we have newspaper accounts from the 1920s reporting little sea ice in parts of the Arctic. We saw the same thing happen in the 1950s. It wasn’t until science evolved to the point where we had equipment to actually measure it that the freak out began.

Remember the scare when we learned that the coronavirus could perhaps live for weeks on surfaces inside cruise ships? That sent people into a Purell panic. Hand sanitizers disappeared from grocery store shelves. Then the CDC came out and said transmission of the coronavirus from surfaces or objects was extremely rare. That seems to be the latest “science,” but even Fox News had a frontline doctor on who thought he knew better. He said without question that he knew the only way this virus could be transmitted. That’s from touching someone or something with the coronavirus on it and then touching your face. He said he knew he would never get the virus because he washes his hands constantly. That’s apparently not what the science is telling us. The conventional wisdom now is that being in close proximity to someone with the virus is the main way it’s transmitted from one human to another.

Remember when Al Gore told us the polar bears were dying off and then we found out they weren’t? Remember when the models told us upwards of 2 million people would die from coronavirus in the United States until they didn’t? Remember the predictions that Miami would be under water until it never happened?

One thing is for sure. Science is never settled. We’ve seen that firsthand with the coronavirus. A better barometer is common sense. I could’ve told you that wearing a mask all day would lead to people passing out from inhaling too much CO2. In fact, I did.

Governors all across the country issued stay-at-home orders. Now we learn that people are being hospitalized because they stayed at home. Vitamin D-deficiency is thought to be the culprit. 

Beware of people who tell you the science is settled. It’s one sure way to know you’re being lied to.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Trump's killer drug?

Frontline healthcare workers use it as a prophylactic against coronavirus. Missionaries and aid workers traveling to locations with high malaria rates have used it as a preventive precaution. It’s been around since 1955 in the United States, yet when President Trump uses hydroxychloroquine the media go nuts.

Neil Cavuto proclaimed to his audience, “It will kill you. I can’t stress that enough: It will kill you.” Really? I love Neil, but there’s absolutely no evidence to back that up. He urged his viewers not to follow the president’s example. I don’t know if anyone clued Neil in, but viewers can’t just drop by their local drug store and start popping hydroxy like Gummy Bears. You have to have a prescription. Trump has a prescription from his doctor.

Nancy Pelosi chimed in declaring the president “morbidly obese” and declaring he should not be taking it. Last time I checked Pelosi was not a doctor, nor is she even close to being an expert.

Here’s what the White House physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said in a statement to the press. “After numerous discussion he [Trump] and I had regarding the evidence for and against the use of hydroxychloroquine, we concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.”

Several aides around the president have contracted the disease. Trump’s physician would be derelict in his duties if he didn’t do something to try and keep the president from getting it.

But why such a vigorous outcry from the press? It’s puzzling. They keep repeating myths that hydroxychlorquine is killing people. Were that the case, the FDA would’ve pulled the drug from the market 60 years ago. There’s not a study they can point to that shows the drug is killing people. There are several studies that show it’s not really effective in treating coronavirus. There are also several studies that show it is. That’s why these decisions are left to attending physicians. 

It’s curious that the media don’t seem to be open to any other solution other than a vaccine, which could be months, maybe years, away. That strikes me as odd. The only exception is remdesivir. Like hydroxychloroquine, it lacked any clinical studies, yet the media were gleefully touting it as a possible therapeutic. Hydroxychloroquine cost pennies per course. Remdesivir cost around $1,000. Could it be the pharmaceutical companies have the ear of Big Media?

The only other thing that would explain it is President Trump threw out hydroxychloroquine as a solution. That was the kiss of death. Ever since then the media have run story after story about how dangerous it is. They even tried to tie Trump to it financially. Come to find out he has some fund within a small mutual fund that has a stake in it. He stands to make as much as $1,400 or as little as $100. It was a non-story, but that didn’t stop the media from trying.

So, what is a president to do if those around him are coming down with COVID-19? Is he to just wait and hope he doesn’t get it, or should he be proactive in mitigating the effects in case he does? The answer is obvious, but not to the mainstream media.

And since when do they care anything about President Trump’s health? That’s the last thing they care about. There has to be something bigger. Could it be that something like hydroxychloroquine would allow us to go back to normal? There are many on the left and in the media with a vested interest in that not happening, at least not until after November. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

1984 is here

Ever heard the expression ‘give ‘em an inch, and they’ll take a mile?’ That’s exactly what happened with the coronavirus lockdown. Look, I was down with the struggle at the beginning. They asked for a couple of weeks to flatten the curve? Sure, let’s see what we can do. The whole country came together to unite against this enemy. The reason we needed to stay home was so we wouldn’t overwhelm the hospitals. We did that.

Now, outside of New York, the hospitals were never overwhelmed. Even in New York the demand for 30,000 ventilators that Governor Cuomo said he needed didn’t materialize. They didn’t really need the Javits Center or the USNS Comfort. Weeks turned into months and voluntary turned into mandatory. People were being ticketed for throwing a ball with their kids in a park.

Then it started to get ugly. Governor Whitmer wasn’t allowing residents of her state to buy seeds or paint or even visit their vacation homes. Governor Beshear of Kentucky forbade residents from leaving the state! These were things that were only happening in states governed by Democrats who were drunk with power. Or so we thought.

Then a homeless guy jumped a fence at the Fairgrounds in Nashville where they had been treating coronavirus patients. Apparently it’s like Hotel California. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. They arrested the dude several blocks away and charged him with, get this, “escaping from a penal institution.” When I first heard this I thought, ‘For sure this guy was an inmate at a jail.’ No! Well, he is now. They’re letting criminals out of jail and they’re putting this guy in. Why? Because he escaped the COVID concentration camp.

On the same day this guy broke and ran, I learned that Governor Lee was secretly turning over the names and addresses of everybody who’s tested positive for coronavirus to the police. Yes, the police! He claimed it was to protect first responders. Two things. First, every first responder I’ve talked to says they take what are referred to as universal precautions. In other words, they assume everyone has coronavirus and comport themselves accordingly. Second, if it were really to protect first responders the governor would’ve mentioned it in a press briefing or issued a press release. He did neither.

Well, Phil, what do expect him to do about people running loose with COVID-19? I expect him to do what we should’ve done from the beginning. I expect him to lead, not follow.

Were I making the decisions, here’s how all of this would’ve gone down. You evaluate all the information and you disseminate that information to the public. We’ve known since the get-go that this thing is dangerous for anyone who’s elderly and/or has underlying health problems. We let the public know that your chance of death is elevated if you’re in one of those groups.

For everyone else, we give them the info and let them make informed decisions. We allow businesses to decide for themselves if they want to open or close. We let customers decide for themselves if they want to patronize them or stay at home. If the guy who escaped Camp COVID in Nashville exposes you to coronavirus it’s on you.

By the way, we had about 80,000 deaths from the flu in 2017-18 and over 1,600 deaths in Tennessee. I don’t recall anyone turning positive cases over to the po po. “Power tends to corrupt,” Lord John Acton once said, “and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Don’t we know it.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hearsay ain't corroboration

Corroboration. It’s the big buzzword these days. The right is using it against Joe Biden much like the left used it against Brett Kavanaugh. We’re told that friends and family of Biden accuser Tara Reade can “corroborate” her story that Biden sexually assaulted her 27 years ago. Why? Because she told them. Let’s get one thing clear. Telling someone something is not corroboration, it’s hearsay. There’s a big difference.

The legal distinction is very important. Hearsay is only allowed under certain circumstances in a court of law. One exception is what’s known as the Present Sense Impression rule. This is “a statement describing or explaining an event or condition, made while or immediately after the declarant perceived it.” This would appear to apply to witnesses who heard Reade describe the alleged incident with Joe Biden, however it is still hearsay and not corroboration.
Anyone can make up a story about anyone else and tell everybody they know. That still doesn’t make it true. This is not a defense of Joe Biden. This is a defense of the presumption of innocence, the bedrock of our judicial system.

That’s not to say that Joe Biden hasn’t done some creepy things. He’s famous for invading people’s space and sniffing hair. That may be a bit on the sketchy side. It may even constitute sexual harassment, but it is not sexual assault.

This so-called corroboration was used extensively during the hit job on Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated by President Trump to take a seat on the Supreme Court. At the time, conservatives derided the so-called corroboration of Christine Blasey Ford’s story by people claiming she had told them about the incident with Kavanaugh as simply hearsay. Now they accept the same sort of contemporaneous accounts as corroboration.

There’s a particular example of this that needs to be noted. A student at the University of Virginia called her friends in the middle of the night to report that she had been gang-raped by a bunch of fraternity brothers. She gave a vivid accounting of the alleged crime complete with the fraternity involved. Rolling Stone magazine picked up the story, using her friends’ accounts as corroboration. The university shut down the Greek system. The fraternity house was vandalized. A few months later, Rolling Stone had to issue a retraction and an apology. The whole thing was made up, including the story told to friends. Some corroboration. They only corroborated what they had been told, and they were told a complete and utter lie.

Conservatives must not fall into this same trap. A court of law needs much more than just a story told by the alleged victim to make a case. That’s not to say that Tara Reade doesn’t have a case. It’s just that her case doesn’t hinge on what she told family and friends 27 years ago.

Were the roles reversed conservative skeptics would be asking why now? Why didn’t she at least bring these allegations up in 2008 and 2012 when Biden was on the ticket with Barack Obama? Enemies of Biden are hoping to dig through mountains of senate records to find a smoking gun in a report filed by Reade in 1993. She’s already tamped down expectations by saying that it probably doesn’t include the language “sexual assault” or “sexual harassment.” She says she told authorities at the time that Biden made her feel uncomfortable. Heck, we can all say that. Ever watched one of his interviews?

Reade’s allegations should be thoroughly investigated, but just because she told somebody doesn’t mean the story has been corroborated. 

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.

Friday, May 1, 2020

If you're freaking out, stay home

“Too soon!” That’s what many are saying about reopening the economy. It’s interesting to note that a lot of them seem to be coming from the left. The TN House Democratic Caucus criticized Governor Bill Lee for allowing businesses to reopen. Allowing them. More on that in a moment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned President Trump not to reopen the country too soon. She warned of deadly risks if he does. Senator Angus King of Maine said if Trump opens the economy too soon and the coronavirus spikes, he “owns it.” The constant drumbeat of hysteria from the media has frightened the American people to the point that 66 percent were scared to reopen too quickly, according to Pew Research Center.

I even heard one frantic shop owner in Florida almost in tears at the thought of opening up her business.

Here’s a thought. If you’re scared, stay home. If you’re a shop owner who’s frightened, stay closed. Nobody’s forcing anybody to do anything. You can shelter at home for the rest of your life, just don’t keep the rest of us from going back to normal.

But that’s what liberals do. They love to tell everyone else what to do. There was a school teacher recently who berated some teenagers for playing football in a park. She screamed that she hoped they “die a long, painful death.” Had she just walked on by there’s no chance any of those teens would have had any effect on her life. Well, Phil, what if they spread the virus? As long as she’s cowering at home it’ll never touch her.

See, this is the central point that’s being missed. The media have so terrorized the American public that they think they’re going to die if they get coronavirus. If you’re healthy and under 65 you have very little chance of dying from it. If you’re not healthy and over 65 then you probably shouldn’t have any contact with the outside world until this thing has run its course. For the rest of us, we want our lives back. Liberals, however, don’t want you to have your life back. They want to control it. They always have. They’ve been obsessed with what you eat, what you drink, what you drive, where you go. This whole lockdown has been a liberal’s dream come true.

Who would’ve thought we’d willingly obey an order from our governors to stay home? I’ve asked a lot of legal experts this question. Does the governor have the authority to close businesses and make people stay home? Haven’t had one yet point to a law that allows it. In fact, even if there were a law, it would run contrary to the Constitution. Laws can’t do that. At least, they’re not supposed to.

Attorney General Barr understands this. He’s been quite troubled by the abuse of power and has instructed his department to investigate excesses. I was down with the struggle when we were all volunteering to do this in order to “flatten the curve.” Once you voluntarily surrender your constitutional rights those to whom you surrender them don’t want to give them back. We’ve seen examples all over America.

Let’s hope we never have to do this again, but if we do let’s learn a lesson. When you have a disease as targeted as this one, you protect those who are targeted instead of disrupting the entire economy. New York tried to tell us the rest of the country would soon look like them. It never did. Nor should the response be the same. Freedom should survive any virus.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Showon SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast and I'm Calling Bovine Scatology.