The GRU Bounty Story

Dezinformatsia. Period. Full Stop. Origin unknown, but it is yet another effort to meddle in our election/prevent a free and fair election. I hope that any competent authorities we have will look into the origin and possibly do something about it if it is of domestic origin. As for the Shady Lady who “broke” this “exclusive” all I can say is the Spirit of Duranty lives…

The Doctrine Of Persuasibility

Rational discourse and the Marketplace of Ideas is a philosophical cornerstone of our Republic. It is also under attack like never before as Progressives/Socialists (no real difference) can’t stand the concept of competing ideas. I want to pull some key points from pervious posts here that were mirrored at Blackfive.

Yet it was still a core part of my beliefs, but recently there was some discussion by author John Ringo that caught my attention. He recounted and amplified on the concept of persuasibility as presented by former professor and current author John Barnes. Dr. Barnes states categorically that much of his presentation is nothing more than classical rhetoric, but if so it is an excellent summation of same.

It also is a very clear example of what I feel rational discourse to be about. Rather than try to distill it down, I am with his permission going to quote the key points as he presented them to me.

“Where it is: The obligation of persuasibility is a moral and ethical obligation that flows from the enthymeme of reciprocity, which in turn is one of the quasi-logical structures of informal logic. It is therefore itself enthymemic, so it’s more firmly rooted than a mere preference or value (like the rules of baseball, driving on the right, “the Backstreet Boys suck”, “patriotism is good”, “all you need is love”) but less so than an empirical law or a mathematical theorem.

What it is: the obligation of persuasibility is the requirement that if you enter into a dialogue with another person or persons, your purpose will be not only to refute their arguments or to convert the arguer, but to consider their arguments as candidates for your own belief. That is, you will not reject the possibility that it may be your mind, rather than theirs, that needs changing; or in utilitarian terms, the greater good may be for you to be persuaded, rather than them.

What it ain’t: Although, obviously, if someone converts, they were persuasible, the other side’s not being persuaded does not prove that they violated the obligation of persuasibility — it may be, for example, that you made a poor case. It is perfectly possible for people to disagree throughout their entire lives while still upholding the obligation of persuasibility. (Indeed, it is likely).

Why it matters: because ethically, two people who have placed themselves under mutual obligation of persuasibility can co-participate in a political and social order peacefully and of their own free will. The obligation of persuasibility is thus a possibility condition for liberal democracy. The areas in which the obligation of persuasibility holds, within a given society, are the ones where society can be both individually free and socially ordered. Or, as I used to put it to my class, tell me how much of the obligation of persuasibility your society is willing to undertake, and I will tell you how much peace and freedom you’re going to get.”

To me, this is the heart of rational discourse as practiced in the colonies. It may or may not have been the correct interpretation of the continental philosophers of the day, but is built on the foundations laid by Aristotle and still taught at that time. The sad state of education today is a topic for another day.

That said, there are some things that will invalidate rational discourse/persuasibility. Again quoting Dr. Barnes, the things that do this are:

“1. communications aimed entirely at conversion; that character on your doorstep in the cheap suit, who is not there to find out what you might think about God or God’s nonexistence, but to deliver a single-sided message and try to knock down your objections. 2. communications aimed entirely at expression (or maybe “venting” is a better word, since the legal term ‘freedom of expression” covers much that is intended to be persuasive), e.g. shouting “N-word” into a bullhorn on a crowded city street, 3. communications whose purpose is to dismiss any need to listen to the other side (e.g. ad hominem, sponsor boycotts, a habit of characterizing the other side as morons or dupes), 4. therapizing speech (treating the other person’s opinion as a symptom of disease or vice), 5. listening solely to refute, 6. some kinds of extreme relativism (“that might be right for you but it’s not right for me”), 7. apathism (the position that the other sides’ distinctions are without differences).”

John Ringo also brought up a concept that deserves mention, because it is an area in which rational discourse/persuasibility has no bearing. This is the concept of a “religious” belief, i.e. one that is held on a matter of faith such that no amount of evidence, data, or other will change it. These are beliefs that can be core to a person, or are simply such that they will not be discussed or modified. A former co-worker and I discussed this point at some length in some rather fun discussions, and the term we had settled on to describe such was “prejudice.” For such beliefs are just that, they are subjects on which a preconceived opinion exists that is not subject to rational discussion or debate.

Note the seven types of invalidation. Then, look at current media reports and what is coming out of various political leaders at all levels. It really does say it all about the goals of current efforts. The freedoms we take for granted are under attack, and if either the first or second amendment falls, all fall. Keep this in mind over the next several months as efforts to eliminate free speech grow rapidly and potentially exponentially.

This effort to overthrow the American Revolution and the Constitution must be fought in the Marketplace of Ideas, in Congress, in legislatures, and even in council meetings. Heck, even in HOA and other organizational meetings. It must be fought in the courts. It, most of all, needs to be fought at the ballot box and efforts to ensure a free and fair election without fraud must be overwhelming. For if it fails at any of these levels, what happens will be a choice between slavery or watering the Tree of Liberty.

Choose wisely.

Politics And Big Business

John Hinderaker has the first part in a series of articles looking at the differences between small- and mid-sized businesses and big business in terms of politics. This is a good start, and starts laying out the case between capitalism, crony-capitalism, and what lies beyond including the boycott of Facebook by big business because it is backing free/free-er speech versus other platforms. Well worth the read, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

Fake Hate Versus Real Hate: The Real Barbarians Are Inside The Gates

I followed the 48-hour rule on the case of the NASCAR noose. I am unsurprised to find out that it was a fake hate crime. The fact that no one released a photo was a major red flag, and there were others. I was going to write a bit on the fact that if we truly were a systemically racist nation there would be no need for all the fake hate crimes. And, yes, look it up, most, almost all, of the so-called hate crimes that hit the news turn out to be fake. However, there is no need to write, as John Hinderaker has done so with some eloquence.

Now, turn from the fake hate to the real hate and barbarity that has not just become common, but is now the standard for our so-called civilization. Two cases show exactly how brutality is the new norm. First, there is this story of a teen girl who does something good for society by making special teddy bears for the children of policemen killed in the line of duty. That she has long gotten threats of violence and death is sad, but they’ve hit a point in the last few weeks that she’s had to effectively hide by taking the wrap off her jeep and undertaking other precautions. Then you have the loss of a science blog after the Shady Lady threatened to doxx the owner/author. There were both ethical reasons for him to be anonymous, as well as safety since he’s received death and other threats.

Sadly, such threats come with blogging, and have for a long time. I’ve had my share of them from terrorists and psychopaths foreign and domestic for my work here and at Blackfive, though my latest appears to be related to my China coverage and doesn’t appear to have originated in the U.S. The problem isn’t that I or anyone else has gotten these for a while, it is the explosion of such threats against almost every type of blog out there simply because they post opinions, coverage, and even data with which the unhinged mob disagrees.

As bad as such is, and it is getting worse and worse with real harm to those threatened growing daily; but, we are also seeing it in everyday life. If you are on social media, you no doubt have seen a number of videos posted showing people being attacked, often without warning, simply for the color of their skin. Many/most of these attacks are savage, and could easily have ended in the death of the victim. Some are likely to have permanent damage. I’ve seen Asian, Caucasian, and others I’m not not sure what they are, nor is it really important. What is important is that in almost every video the perpetrators are being egged on, encouraged, and protected. It is the new norm, and bodes ill for what is left of civilization.

More is needed than having each of us simply prepare and be ready to defend ourselves and others. After all, when we do we will be vilified as evil right-wing racist extremists, even if we are an African-American woman fleeing an armed threat on her life. NPR has yet to apologize to the woman and to the public for that ‘misrepresentation’ that should be called a lie.

What is needed is for law enforcement and the prosecutors offices to start taking such threats seriously, and to treat the attacks that are themselves racist as serious crimes and even hate crimes. Given the politics involved, the prosecutors are pretty much a no-go from the start. Law enforcement has many other things on it’s plate, and few there take such threats seriously. That said, I wish to thank LE where I used to live for taking one real threat seriously and working with me to deal with it.

Unless such crimes are taken seriously and dealt with firmly and publicly, the norms of civilization are ended — just as those encouraging such behavior want. The Marxists behind much of what is going on have no hope of getting what they want so long as the norms of civilization stand, and the Republic, which is founded in large part on those norms, also continues to stand. Civilization and the Republic are interlocking, and both need to be defended. The ability to do so via reason and persuasion is being systematically and deliberately destroyed. It’s not just the large sites, this war must be waged against the greater whole since no trace of dissent can be tolerated. Besides, the public elimination, if not soon a real execution, of those who dare disagree serves as a warning to others and to make many cow in submission. It is a deliberate feature, not a bug.

And there lies the real problem and the real threat. If you eliminate the soap box, that leaves few non-violent alternatives. The Marxists believe they have the edge on violence because they’ve been willing to, eager to, use it from the start. I believe they are gravely mistaken. They are pushing hard to get someone, anyone, particularly on the so-called right, to over-react to one or more of their stunts. So far, both President Trump and those who are not Marxists have refused to play along. For how much longer that will hold for the Citizens of the United States is the question. Even if we avoid the false-flag efforts to provoke such a response, the time will soon come when there is no other choice but to respond with force to the actions of the Marxists and the mob they incite. While I still hope for efforts through the courts, sane leadership at the State and local levels, and even the ballot box, I am not optimistic. I see no sign of any actions that will force the progressive Marxists to change their operations.

I’ve talked several times about what is to come, and how the Great Silencing and other activities are planned, coordinated, and executed. There is more planned, and it is not good. Parts have kicked off sooner than I expected, but that is not letting a good crisis go to waste.

I ask you to stop, look around, get outside the MSM/political bubble, and see for yourselves. Then, do what you can and prepare. If things continue as they are, what happened in the 1960’s will seem as an ice-cream social. We appear to be headed for the worst upheaval since the Civil War. I hope I, and others, are wrong about that. I hope the ballot box and the rule of law will prevail. But, given what is happening in prosecutor’s offices across the nation, in the courts, and in the halls of Congress, that hope is faint.

To quote the late, great Robin Williams on Jimmy Carter when the Martians invaded earth: “Good evening. You’re on your own. Good Night.” Prepare accordingly.

The Great Silencing: Phase II Underway

Earlier, I wrote about the Great Silencing that has begun. Now, as noted then, there have always been efforts but this is something new. This is a coordinated and deliberate effort to target anything other than progressive thought (and even wrongthought) and destroy the people behind it as well as to either deplatform or delegitimize those outlets.

Now, Phase II has begun with an effort to demonetize those platforms. Just as Professor Jacobson and Legal Insurrection were the first major effort for Phase I, Phase II is off (to a rocky start thank goodness) with an effort by NBC no less.

The basic story is here, at Legal Insurrection, but it is most telling that NBC fired the first shot by working with a foreign organization to target two competitors on the conservative/libertarian side. As I noted earlier, none of the three entities involved have covered themselves in glory. In fact, I hope an investigation is undertaken, as I feel it is more than warranted under Section 230, RICO, and anti-trust acts. What NBC has done is against every concept of a free and open press, but make no mistake: the progressive left does not want a free an open press anymore than they want free speech. They want an end to both, and to any expression of thought outside the orthodoxy of the moment.

Right now, as much as I support Professor Jacobson, I have no faith that Cornell will back him. In fact, I expect them to cave to the mob, sooner rather than later though I would be delighted to be wrong. Meantime, that they have held this long is throwing a spanner into the works for the next targets, which I believe have already been chosen. The unexpected pushback against NBC and what it did have likewise tossed another spanner into the works.

No matter what the outcome of these two cases, however, expect to see a lot more of this happen as all stops will be pulled out to push the chosen narrative. This will happen more, and more viciously, the closer we get to the election.

Nor is the Great Silencing the only campaign planned. Keep your eyes open and be prepared, for the progressives are going all in on the election.

A Rather Sad Commentary

On twitter and elsewhere, there is a lot of well deserved commentary on NBC working with a foreign organization to get two conservative competitors demonetized by Google. None of those involved, including Google, have covered themselves with glory. In fact, Google has opened itself up to some potentially serious charges in regard Section 230 and anti-trust issues. For the rest, there is both anti-trust and possibly even some RICO considerations.

The sad thing is, right now everyone is talking about this in regards The Federalist. There is effectively zero mention of Zero Hedge. Whatever one may think of them, they too deserve mention and protection from this vile and despicable action by NBC. The silence says a lot, none of it good.

Restoring America’s Interest Act

Something a bit different for a Saturday. A week or two ago, some of us kicked around some ideas, which led to this post. As a step forward, I took the time this morning to do a rough draft of legislation to start some of those suggestions. Here it is:

An Act 

To expedite the return of critical American research, development, and production to the United States so as to provide for increased national security and to provide opportunities to expand the American economy. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. 

This Act may be cited as the Restoring America’s Interest Act of 2020. 


Congress finds that —

(1) it is in the national security interest of the the United States to ensure that American industry can provide a wide variety of products, goods, and services readily and without impediment of production, transportation, or quality; and

(2) it is in the national security interest of the United States to ensure that critical products, technology, research, and development are not subject to state-sponsored or commercial espionage, or to acts designed to interfere with research, development, production, or distribution; and

(3) it is in the national security interest of the United States to ensure that tax revenues are not used to directly or indirectly provide resources and opportunities for other nations, groups, or other entities to conduct direct or indirect espionage or to have means to cause damage to the United States by having control of critical products, services, and operations. 

(4) it is in the national security interest of the United States to reduce the regulatory burden on industry in order to both facilitate relocation of all phases of industry to the United States and to ensure that needless and unnecessarily complex regulations prevent effective response to future emergencies




(a) In conjunction with inputs from industry and relevant government agencies, a series of tax incentives will be developed for companies, sole-proprietors, or other businesses that

(1) move to return mining, harvesting, and other actions to produce needed industrial and agricultural products, materials, or other components needed as precursors for industrial and agricultural operations to the United States; and 

(2) move to return research, development, production, and logistic operations to the United States. 

(b) that same panel will also develop a series of tax incentives will be developed for companies, sole-proprietors, or other businesses who are unable to return such operations to the United States for reasons of regulation, scarcity of resources or raw materials, or other physical limitation that

(1) move mining, harvesting, and other actions to produce needed industrial and agricultural products, materials, or other components needed as precursors for industrial and agricultural operations to countries or locations within specially designated trade zones outside the United States; and 

(2) move research, development, production, and logistic operations to countries or locations within specially designated trade zones outside the United States. 

(c) A working group will be established to include members from the Executive Branch, appropriate government agencies, industry, and others as needed to 

(1) to create these special trade zones comprised of countries who have shown commitment to free and fair trade; open, transparent, and representative government; fair treatment of the United States and its Citizens in all areas; and, who are otherwise committed to improving the quality of life for its Citizens; and

(2) for purposes of this act, transparent and representative governments can and should include constitutional monarchies and other forms of government that provide for a truly representative government; and

(3) for purposes of this act, the zones must exclude all communistic governments, oligarchies, and other other one person, one party, or similar rule; and 

(4) for purposes of this act, Taiwan should be recognized as an independent entity and included in an appropriate zone.

(d) Any business entity taking part in the incentives provided may not purchase, trade for, or otherwise use equipment, technology, or other products from any company in any country specifically excluded from the trade development zones

(1) such companies may apply for an exemption for raw materials unavailable anywhere else. 

(e) no agency of government may expend any resources on raw materials, products, services, or other goods from any country specifically excluded from the special trade zones; nor may they use products, services or goods of any type from such companies even if provided at no cost

(1) agencies can apply for exemption if there is no other source for the raw materials, products, services, or goods of any type, with that exemption requiring review and a formal vote by the National Security Council after review by appropriate security agencies. 

(f) the ownership of companies or other business entities performing critical operations within the United States may no longer include ownership by foreign governments directly, indirectly through companies owned in whole or in part by those foreign governments, or by others acting as agents for those governments if those governments are specifically excluded from participation in the special free trade zones

(1) for purposes of this law, such companies include those doing port operations of any type, airport operations of any type, logistics operations, research and development of any type, and other operations as determined by the appropriate government agencies; and

(2) the Department of Justice is to review all previous purchases by such companies or operations as outlined above to determine legality and to review for anti-trust and similar issues.

(g)  outdated and needlessly complex regulations and standards having hampered or prevented effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and, such outdated, needless, and ineffective regulations serving to prevent both the full mobilization of the private sector and preventing the return of operations from overseas, an appropriate series of working groups will be developed to review all current regulations and related operations so as to allow the Executive Branch and Congress to eliminate unneeded and/or outdated regulations, update regulations and processes current levels of technology, and reduce the regulator burden on industry by executive action or the passage of new legislation as needed

(1) all such working groups must include independent and small business representatives from the field in question, and representatives from industry shall have one more individual representative than those from government; and 

(2) the agency who’s regulations are being reviewed may only have one representative in the working group, though other agencies may have representation if such expertise is required

(3) academia is limited to one representative in the working group 

COVID-19 3Apr20

Today will be a little different, as frankly there is nothing truly new about COVID-19. We are all watching the numbers, trying to figure out which model is correct while dealing with incomplete, inaccurate, and outright false information. All we can do is hang on and hope for the best. That, and try to figure out what we can given the above. Powerline has some good notes and queries.

Beyond COVID-19, we know two things for sure. China started this, and both it and others are happy to take advantage of our focus on COVID-19.

That this originated in China is beyond doubt. Powerline has a good article here with lots of linky goodness. Legal Insurrection looks at the theory that it did escape from one of the labs in Wuhan. While I maintain my position that it is not a finished bioweapon, I would be very unsurprised to find one of their labs had screwed the pooch, if not ate it, yet again as they have a history of it. Even if not an engineered economic bioweapon, since it is having that result, why not take advantage of it?

China is engaged in a global propaganda campaign trying to both reshape it’s image as doing a good job in response to what was then an epidemic, and to deal with internal issues. Both of those have to do with the need for Xi and the leadership to be beyond reproach, as if they have to be if they are to retain control.

The Chinese people were, and apparently still are from indications, not buying the story. A new massive round of suppression is underway, with even a number of very prominent people being disappeared (wonder if the number of organs available for transplant has gone up as well?). The open contempt I saw a few weeks ago for the leadership caste — even from those in the caste — and for XI was something I never thought would never see in my lifetime.

But, there is more to it. Xi has global dreams, and has seen them rocked by the Trump sanctions and trade deals. Bad enough his bluff was called there, but then came COVID-19 to shake the people’s faith (or at least tolerance) of his rule. While we are focused so intently on our COVID-19 issue, why not take advantage of it?

This piece from the Asia Times showcases what is being done militarily. Now, in addition to that, we have things happening elsewhere in SE Asia, the Middle East, Venezuela, and in Mexico and Central America. On some of it, I will just say that there are swirls in the data. Straws in the wind if you will, but definite efforts by those who wish America ill to also seize this opportunity to get some licks on. Could there be some coordination on all these efforts? I highly suspect so, and suspect there is one player who sees a chance to take advantage and perhaps minimize the damage they have done to themselves. While I am not sure that they want a full-up war, as this article considers, I would be surprised if there is not some form of military incident in the China Sea in the next 7-10 days. I also would only be surprised if we don’t see something in the Caribbean or on the Mexican border soon.

Why? Let’s just say lots of swirls/straws. One thing that struck me on Wednesday at the briefing was the language used. Phrases, particularly certain phrases in government speak, have meaning. One thing that caught my ear and got my full attention, was when the phrase “National Security Threat” was applied to the Mexican (and other) cartels. There was some other discussion, including national intelligence data and how it could not be discussed. On top of the warning to Iran and their proxies, it is clear a lot of things are potentially incoming besides COVID-19. Buckle up kiddies, we could have A Deeper Blue.

Turning back more fully to COVID-19, here’s a good editorial in the Washington Examiner on the failures (complete in my book) of the media. It pairs nicely with this article from the Mises Institute calling for the FDA to be held accountable for the deaths they have caused (even before COVID-19). This NYT opinion piece looks at the possibility that more medical people are dying because they are getting a higher load of the virus. As discussed before, in The Game of Loads and Vectors, a single microbe will do nothing, a sufficient dose will trigger an immune response and make you resistant, a larger load will make you sick, and a higher load will kill you. The question here is how are the medical people getting the viral equivalent of LD50 despite precautions? For those screeching and thumping their chests that they don’t see the word quarantine in the Constitution, here are two very good articles: one at Powerline and one at National Review.

To end the day on a lighter note, a tobacco company says it has a vaccine for COVID-19 in animal testing that is made from tobacco. Who is a good boy? This dog delivering wine is, that’s who. Now, because it will piss off Winnie the Flu, er, Xi…

Since the media isn’t going to say it, once again, COVID-19 is not Capt. Tripps. It is not the flu. Chill, distance, and use good hygiene. STOP THE PANIC!

Also, a reminder once again: if you are sick or think you are sick, DO NOT GO TO WORK OR TO VISIT PEOPLE. Stay the frack home. Don’t be Stupid, go to work/out, and insist on getting up close and personal to everyone you meet. Yes, Stupid is capitalized as I work with Stupid, who did just that. Don’t be Stupid.

If my posts are enjoyable, helpful, or otherwise a benefit, please consider hitting the tip jar. Any help is very much appreciated, especially as I’m now off work without pay.

•My Amazon Wishlist

As always:

If you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed: call your state health department and work with them so that you can be dealt with in a way that minimizes the chance of spreading the virus to those helping you and to the general public. Can’t get them? Call your local department or see if your health service has online/telemedicine screening set up; or see if one who has will let you use it even if you are not in their network. Do not go out in public, and don’t go to an ER or other facility without calling ahead. Be smart.

Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Yes. Is there need for panic? NOHELL NO. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never. And good luck finding/getting stuff.

Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.

Avoid travel if at all possible. If you have to travel, or go out for any reason, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc.  Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc.  Not many actually do it, but…  

If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.

Good Sources Of Information On COVID-19

Instapundit (no longer doing roundups, but great articles from Glenn and his team)

South China Morning Post (decent, some salt may be needed)

Business Insider (decent, even if they did fall for some lies about Trump)

New England Journal of Medicine

Additional link to Johns Hopkins

More to come

Local Independent Businesses That Need Your Support

Oaken Barrel (Twitter at @OakenBarrel)


Greek Islands

Bynum’s Steak House

Schoolhouse 7 Cafe

WIBC’s list of local

More to come

Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:

COVID-19 2Apr20

COVID-19 1Apr20

COVID-19 31Mar20

COVID-19 30Mar20

COVID-19 29Mar20

COVID-19 28Mar20

COVID-19 27Mar20

COVID-19 26Mar20

COVID-19 25Mar20

COVID-19 24Mar20

COVID-19 23Mar20

COVID-19 22Mar20

COVID-19 21Mar20

COVID-19 20Mar20

COVID-19 19Mar20

COVID-19 18Mar20

COVID-19 17Mar20

COVID-19 16Mar20

COVID-19 15Mar20

COVID-19 14Mar20

COVID-19 13Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors Gets Real For America

COVID-19 12Mar20

COVID-19 11Mar20

COVID-19 10Mar20

COVID-19 9Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors

COVID-19 8Mar20


COVID-19 7Mar20 How To Do It Right If You Have/Have Been Exposed To COVID-19

COVID-19 6Mar20

COVID-19 5Mar20

COVID-19 4Mar20

COVID-19 3Mar20

COVID-19 What Am I Doing?

COVID-19 2Mar20

COVID-19 1Mar20

COVID-19 29Feb20

Quick Additional Thoughts On The Bureaucracy

Panic Is Off And Running

COVID-19 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear

COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)

COVID-19 27Feb20

COVID-19 Breaking A Chain?

COVID-19 26Feb20

COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder

COVID19 25Feb20

COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON

COVID19 23Feb20

COVID19 22Feb20

COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear

COVID19 Update 20Feb20

COVID19 Update

Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness

Expansion On A Theme

Well Maybe I Was Wrong

Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV

Why Should You Be Prepared?

Keeping Alert

Coronavirus And Practical Preparedness

A Modest (?) Proposal

I am a defense/fiscal conservative, and while I am grateful to get a small bit of my money back via the stimulus bill, I am also outraged at both the pork and how it was done. Now, the President is proposing yet another multi-trillion stimulus bill aimed at infrastructure. For all that we need to put some serious money into infrastructure, this is not the time or the best way to do it in my opinion.

Over on Twitter, I put forth a recommendation on what should pass to get us going again. It would not add to the deficit per se, and would give us a great shot at a even better economy. I invited others to join in, and got some good ideas. I want to explore those a bit now, as I would like to have something to present that would form the basis of several good pieces of legislation. Why several? It would allow a better chance of keeping pork out, and let’s face it, Pelosi, Schumer, et al are going to do all they can to prevent an effective response and to add in everything they can think of to any legislation. This must be prevented at all costs.

We need to decouple from China hard and fast. For me, that means not buying anything from China unless it is a true emergency or there is no other current source. Note the current, as I expect to see many companies move out on their own. But, we need to push that hard, and grease the skids as much as we can. How?

First, we need to recognize Taiwan. Let’s cut the bull and do it. They are sending us masks and more right now, and have been a reliable ally and partner on multiple levels for decades. They deserve better than they have gotten. So, first bill is a simple and straightforward recognition of them — screw One China. Also, as a part of this, per Commander Salamander, we need to place limits on the number of PRC students and investigators in the U.S. Again, multiple stories and links to some of those professors and students both stealing samples and intel to take back to China, and to bring dangerous agents into the U.S. They are a disproportionate number of our STEM graduate programs. Also, such a law should ban efforts to by influence and places within academia either directly or through friendship centers and other means of indirect funding.

Second, we need to take a hard look at all the rules, regulations, laws, and bureaucrats who have hampered our response. If you’ve read my daily updates, there are link after link to stories showing how the CDC, FDA, and others have hampered — and still are hampering — a fast, effective response after creating the need for that response. Then, create a bill that returns these agencies to a focus on their prime mission rather than all the mission creep they have added on, and puts limits on future expansion as well as putting into law ways to step aside normal function when in an emergency. Some form of sanctions for those individuals or agencies who do so is needed. It will also need to explicitly render existing laws that hampered response null and void. In addition, the President needs to issue orders to eliminate as many of the excess regulations as possible.

Third, while it could go in the first bill, some form of meaningful tort reform and immunity from frivolous lawsuits and other attempts to place ridiculous indemnities on companies and individuals that step up in the face of an emergency. Again, if you go through my updates here, and on Twitter, you will find links to stories where companies could not step up as they would have faced company-ending lawsuits if things were not perfect. While there are some rules in place for situations like this, again, the bureaucracy sat on things until forced to extend those protections. How many will have suffered or died as a result? End it, now.

Fourth, introduce legislation that will provide tax incentives to companies to encourage making in America as much as possible, and to reward moving anything that can’t be done here from China to other, more friendly and free countries. There are a number of such out there, and if we go for a global distribution of such, we cut down on dependence on any one geographic area outside of the U.S. Anything done overseas must be predicated on free and fair trade, to the benefit of all parties. If no free and fair trade, no deal.

Note, not funding, but tax and other incentives that will encourage businesses to return as many functions as possible to the U.S. It will also need to encompass the other industries needed to support such efforts, from logistics to those that supply components/ingredients/etc. to those businesses. Just removing the regulatory overburden will help, but if we encourage without directly funding, we can get a booming economy quickly, without adding to the deficit.

Fifth, this pandemic having unleashed American ingenuity, provide tax incentives to companies and individuals to continue to modernize and manufacture the better/cheaper medical and other devices being designed right now. The Obama-era war on the medical/biomedical industries needs to end now. This is the right time to do so, and to encourage innovation in all fields. Remove the regulatory burden and make it possible to make a profit, and watch out.

Sixth, the degree that attempts by state and local governments to restrict the growth and improvement of hospitals has been shown to be a clear and present danger to the Republic and it’s Citizens. These laws need to be struck down on a state and local level, but we may also need a Federal bill to open the healthcare system up to the free market. This also needs to extend to the medical insurance industry, which needs reform and the removal of burdensome regulations that have made it bloated and expensive. Any such bill should formally end the restrictions on telemedicine, which have been waived for now. Telemedicine can and will help expand medicine into both poorer areas and areas with lower population density; and, telemedicine offers opportunities to deal with future pandemics while minimizing the risk to medical professionals and other responders.

Seventh, provide tax incentives to companies and individuals to develop better monitoring and modeling systems so that we can better identify and respond to pandemics and other emergencies. Even in the face of lying by any government anywhere. Better open-source intelligence could have prevented much of the disaster we face, as well as botched responses by any number of governments. Global companies have security sections that are, in many cases, supposed to look for such signs. Let’s see if there is a way to expand their ability to do so, as well as companies custom-built to provide that service. They are going to be far more agile and responsive to changes in technology and systems for response than any government agency (where this is the way we’ve always done it and Not Invented Here rule).

So, there you go. A modest set of proposals for consideration and rational discourse. If we trim the government, especially the regulatory environment, provide legal protections needed (along with tort reform), watch America take off. This will provide prosperity and an economy better than before without the corrosive effects and financial insolvency of WPA/ShovelingIt II.


UPDATE 1: Legislation to defund WHO based on COVID-19 and covering for China. Sound idea in my mind.

The Odd Things

That cross your mind sometimes. Looking at the current political divide makes me nostalgic for the days when even if you disagreed with someone on matters politic, you could still talk with them — cheerfully even — on a range of other subjects.

Brought to mind my interactions with Senator Herman Talmadge of Georgia. Parts of my family were quite active politically, with one uncle being a force within the Republican party not just on the state and local level, but national. You don’t get to be National Commander of the American Legion without some clout.

I never had the heart to tell Herman that I was the one who helped scuttle his efforts to stay in office, rather than my Dad. Dad avoided politics, and was not interested in having or exercising any of the power the family had. One afternoon, when I was home alone as a teenager, the phone rang. It was a senior member of Herman’s team, asking for the family’s support.

I knew from the moment he called that he did not know my Dad, as he asked for Clifford. Also being Clifford, I said that yes I was Clifford. I let him make his pitch, and then let him know that I/the family would not back Herman in his bid, and may have even hinted we would oppose, forcefully. Herman was in trouble over corruption charges at the time, and I was not impressed. I still say that if he had done as his father had, and said he took the money for the people of the state of Georgia that I might would have backed him, as the voters backed his father.

The funny thing was, I met Herman later when I had graduated college and was working my first job after graduation. He was a bit stiff when he heard my name, and established my family. However, we did share some common interests and found we could agree on those. Never did have the heart (courage?) to tell him that I was the one who helped scupper him rather than my Dad. We avoided that subject.

There have been others through the years, that while we disagreed — strongly — on matters of policy and action, that we could agree to disagree. That seems to be mostly gone now, and that is truly a sad, sad thing.