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.