With the backdrop of impending economic ruin and a recall, Governor Newsom has implemented what I consider a financial suicide pact for California’s government. Newsom and his “brain trust” have decided that working conditions under Covid-19 are such a wonderful thing that all State workers—to the fullest extent possible—will continue to work at home from now until Doom’s Day. Yep, state workers—as a group—will never again have to report to a brick-and-mortar office building. They will continue to work at home from now until they retire.
Apparently, this onetime accounting gimmick is projected to save the state lots of money. Instead of the government paying building rental (or long-term leases) and all utilities, supplies, and maintenance of the offices, now its employees will. As a benefit, California can fudge some numbers about how green the state’s government has become because nobody must drive to work anymore. Oh, and all those businesses that once served state workers breakfast and lunch around said office buildings are going out of business in droves.
In March I will have to spend one three-hour session in my office packing up my personal belongings and scanning any documents in the cubicle. Said documents will then be placed in the shredding bin for destruction. The goal is for me to be completely out of the office at the end of this visit. My coworkers have been commanded to do likewise. Sometime that month we will also be issued laptops to replace the desktops that we have been logging into from home each day since the pandemic panic was initiated. Then we can use VPN (Virtual Private Network) access instead of the VM Ware application that we now use.
Folks, in some cases working from home might work OK but to initiate a blanket policy doing this is nuts. If you think, there’s fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, just wait until the fragmentation of government functions becomes manifest.
- How does someone monitor your workload when you work from home? Remember that government is not concerned with sales or productivity so what metric do you use? Hamsters are busy all day but do they actually go anywhere on their little wheels?
- How do you balance workload when you’ve never done the work you are now supervising?
- How do you promote people or train new employees with no properly written procedures and no face-to-face interaction? Office work is about relationships not just managing email traffic.
Folks, I know that in this post Enron business world, separation of duties is a thing but what California is perpetrating now is a gross perversion of the concept. I think it is a formula for financial ruin with even less accountability.
Oh, case in point is EDD. Did you know that the $31 billion in fraud was due in part to EDD’s employees working from home? There was no way to properly supervise the unemployment case workers because everyone was hiding in their respective homes just clicking approve on whatever came up on their computer screens. I really doubt that EDD employees—especially those hired after the two weeks to flatten the curve—ever had any relationship with their supervisors and I also guarantee that they had inadequate training to boot. In such a scenario, you only get supervision when you ask for help or deny too many claims.
Folks, Governor Newsom, and his fellow travelers are remaking California government right under your noses and the public—as usual—is none the wiser. Guess if it’s not on television then it’s not news. Both ideas and actions have consequences.
The only upside I see on this is that more people can be home during the day to watch their neighborhoods. Hopefully, this will somewhat mitigate the fact that both Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown have emptied much of the state prison population into suburbia. Perhaps tens of thousands of state workers being home all day will make the criminal class think twice about home burglaries.
Meanwhile, because I work from home; my wife is happy that the trash is empty, the laundry is done, and the dishes are clean; and my dog is happy that he gets at least two walks a day and lots of love. Sadly, Rush Limbaugh is not the only guy showing up to work with half his brain tied behind his back just to make it fair.
Note: This blog is a place where I share how I feel or what I’m doing, often to let off some steam; however, occasionally, it’s just a place where I park notes to myself in case need them later. This article is one such note to myself; however, you still might learn a thing or two about how your tax dollars are spent. If you read on, remember that you’ve been warned.
Background—including Jargon and Vocabulary
In terms of technology, one of the most backwards places to work is the State of California. Yep, while the State may be home to Big Tech, your government is stuck in the past. In a sense, I can’t blame them. Government has zero incentive to become efficient, innovate, or do better. One reason is that everybody is represented by a union whether or not they are even a member of said union. As such, no jobs can be eliminated without their express permission—which never happens. Any media reports to the contrary are lies or smokescreens to trick the public—usually for sympathy to further the union’s grip on state government.
A legacy piece of technology which is the aging backbone of California’s finances is CalSTARS (California State Accounting and Reporting System). I have written about this software before. It is a Unix based mainframe system that was brought online when Ronald Reagan was President in the 1980’s. This is the same software that desperately needed patching as part of the Y2K scare. It is still in use today.
California has spent over a billion dollars of your money to try and get their new accounting system deployed to replace CalSTARS, but as usual, it is many years behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget. This gem is called FI$Cal (Financial Information System for California). The acronym is pronounced fis-cal [with short “I”) Think of it as pausing between syllables of the word “fiscal”.
The next thing you need to know is that within the State of California, there is no formal way for one agency to talk with another. Lazy people might blame the right to privacy in the State Constitution. This privacy clause was sold to voters as a barrier to keep agencies from sharing information and to cripple “Big Brother” from spying on citizens. Voters we told that by passing it, government would be prevented from compiling comprehensive files to track citizens. Think Soviet Union Politburo and KGB surveillance.
I have two comments on that promise. First, who needs government to do that when we have credit agencies and Big Tech to do it for you. If you want the goods on a conservative, just ask Big Tech; if you want the same info on a Liberal you better get a court order. Such is life in Biden’s America.
Second, somehow liberals argue the this right to privacy—banning the government from keeping comprehensive records on citizens—must also include a right to abortion. Abortion was never mentioned by the campaign advocating passage of the right to privacy back when it was passed in the 1970’s.
Anyway, it is impossible for peers within agencies to speak directly with each other unless you are a lifer in state service and happen to have a personal relationship with someone in another agency; usually because you were once coworkers. If my agency has a question for the State Controller, Franchise Tax Board, Dept of Motor Vehicles or any other state agency, we get to call the very same 800 number that you do as a member of the public to try and get help. Needless to say, with no way to prove who I am, where I’m calling from, or why my question is related to my duties as a state employee, I can get no help. Managers have no secret backdoor or liaison to go thru to get answers either.
This communication barrier extends to email also. Even when I have the email address of someone, say at the State Controller’s Office, my experience has been that email outside that agency is refused by the mail server and/or firewall. In the wake of Covid and other state activities, perhaps this will eventually change.
My point in bringing up communication is this, no one at my agency can get the State Controller to find a better way to send us accounting documents other than snail mail. The accounting documents that we get arrive in drips and drabs (when they make it to us). Each envelope or box has two copies of each accounting document. These must then be sorted and scanned into Adobe PDF files. These PDF files are then run thru an OCR program and then manually attached into our accounting system. My question, for the entire time that I have been a state employee (12 years), is why can’t we get this information in an electronic form?
The answer is simply that no one in my agency knows who to ask at SCO to make this happen or even if it’s possible.
Anyway, we typically get 2,500 – 3,000 unique pages, plus their duplicates, per month from the State Controller. When SCO screws-up employee payroll, then we get extras. Lots of extras. In January, we were supposed to get over 19,500 extra accounting documents (plus their duplicate copies). Snail mail being what it is, the documents did not arrive in a timely manner and yours truly was tasked with finding a way to get them from the old Unix system so we could manually attach them into our accounting system (not FI$Cal).
What follows is my account of how I solved the problem of getting these missing documents for my agency and making them usable.
Via the Unix/mainframe computer program mentioned above, we can log in to the State Controller system with Read Only access. In theory, users can go other places too, but you need user and firewall permissions which I don’t have. Oh, I don’t have access to the State Controller site either. I have to use some else’s account.
You see, the Information Technology people where I work never interact with actual users, just each other. They have no clue what we need, they just take their best guess, filtered thru the lowest bidder, and deploy it to us. We are expected to like it, even if it is outdated or underpowered equipment when its brand new. Ditto for software. IT doesn’t care what our job is, just that each budget is spent and not exceeded. Thus, about five or six years ago, they went from giving access to almost everyone to taking it away. Apparently, the per seat costs were too high so they cut to the bone and beyond.
Anyway, using the log in information that I possess, I went hunting for the missing documents. We use a terminal program to access the mainframe. This software is capable of being configured to do bulk screen captures. Screen captures are the only way to get the missing documents. The only option is whether to print to a file or a physical printer.
Using my three hour per day window to be in the office, I went in on consecutive days to capture our missing documents. The missing documents were on two different dates. With a practical limit of about 80 screen captures per batch, I did over 35,000 screen captures during my six hours in the office. Each batch was saved as a PDF file. The PDF batches were then merged so all those on the same date were in a single file.
My next step was to sort the pages by agency, a four-digit number on each page. By doing research, I found that Adobe Acrobat had no built-in way to do this. I tried converting the file into Microsoft Word, an RTF file and a few others only to have Adobe Acrobat crash completely after the better part of an hour. After crashing Acrobat about a half dozen times, I gave up on any type of file conversion.
After more diligent research on the Internet, I found a different solution, a Java batch file run in Adobe Acrobat.
Here were the steps that I followed:
First, I had to see if it was possible and if so, how? This thread said it could be done.
By clicking on the link found in the Correct Answer, I found some Java code to copy and paste. As is usual on the Internet, it was only part of a correct solution.
If you look at the above two pages, you can figure out where to go in Acrobat DC to paste the code into the Action tab. However, the code is not correct.
var stringToSearchFor = “Total”;
is not the correct syntax. (Whatever is written inside the quotation marks is what the script searches for.)
This brings me to yet a third URL.
By looking at the below line of code, I found the missing thing needed above, parentheses.
var n = str.indexOf(“welcome”);
What the wonderful Java script mentioned above does is this; it looks for a string of text on the page and if it finds a match, it copies the page to a new file. Thus, I enter the agency number as the string to search for and then everything matching my agency is copied into a new file. As counter intuitive as it seems, I filter out what I want to keep and not the other way around.
The documents that were the result of the screen captures had only one problem, the font size was too small to be used in the macro process which I will describe below in a moment.
Increase Font in Acrobat Files
Once again, I found that Adobe Acrobat lacks a feature that I desperately need now. Acrobat has no ability to increase the font size of a PDF document. The reason for the need to increase font size is due to how the macro operates. The macro searches a location on the page for a document number. The margins on the page were too large and font too small. I felt that this would be a problem going forward.
Other than a few mentions about magnifying the size of a document on the page—which is not the same thing—I could find no solution. I came to the conclusion that improvisation was needed. I took the files created by the script above and then printed them to a new PDF file while increasing the magnification of the printed output to 115%.
The result was a page with a font size and page layout similar to the snail mail copies that we normally get. Once the font size was increased, I merged all files for the month into a single PDF.
Each month, I must take the existing PDF file for the month and run a series of macros on it. The end result of the macros is three parts:
- First, is a list of comments that is bulk uploaded into the accounting program.
- Second is that the merged file of all PDF documents is split into individual files that are labelled by document number.
- Third is a list of accounting documents that need to be manually uploaded one page at a time into the accounting program.
As part of the Macro process, each page of the PDF file is imported into an Excel workbook as a separate worksheet. This was the largest Excel workbook I every created with over 20,000 worksheets. This baby took lots of CPU power but unlike Acrobat, Excel didn’t crash under the strain.
Sadly, the next two steps of the macro failed to find the needed document number to continue.
After a review of a few worksheets, I noticed that the part of the monthly PDF file created by the process described above were all the same, which was good, but the rows were not where I needed them to be. There were blank rows at the top of the worksheets. I thought, what if I can remove the top row of all these at the same time?
In the dark recesses of my mind, I remembered that this was possible, but I forgot how. After a quick Internet search and creative use of the Shift key, I deleted the top row of one selected page and after an interminable wait, the first row was deleted from all the other selected worksheets as well.
I reran the failed macro steps and found that everything worked just like clockwork.
Elapsed time for the above was a week of my life.
Now 18 of us are manually attaching all the documents created above. Each of us has 1,080 (or more) PDF files that we are attaching one at a time to line items in the accounting program. This takes about 12 hours per person of uninterrupted time or about 216 manhours just for this month.
I’m sure it is possible to do this entire process in a matter of minutes if the people controlling the budget layer cared about a fiduciary responsibility for taxpayer money, but we work for the union not you so such waste in baked into the system.
Stay tuned for more tales of how your tax dollars are spent.
What a time to be alive! I fire up the KCRA 3 news app, and viola! The CA state legislature has authorized 5.7 million folks to get stimulus payments. If you are here illegally, as in you should not be here, then you get $600! But…in the words of that guy who sells Ronco knives on TV infomercials….”but wait, there’s more!”
If you make less than $75k after accounting for deductions, YOU TOO GET A CHECK! Another $600, so if you’re illegal and make less then 75k (since when do people being paid in cash file taxes?) you get a cool $1,200, just for living here. This is a modern-day bribe.
Don’t believe me, see for yourself.
About $2.3 billion of the money will go to people who claim and receive the California earned income tax credit. In general, that’s people who earn $30,000 a year or less.
Another $470 million will go to people who earn a maximum of $75,000 per year after deductions and use an individual taxpayer identification number to file their income taxes. These are mostly people who don’t have Social Security numbers, including immigrants.
Some people fit both of those categories. In those cases, they will get $1,200, not $600. The Democratic-controlled state Legislature did this because most people who file their taxes this way are immigrants who were not eligible for federal stimulus checks Congress approved last year.
About $993 million will go to people who get help from state programs targeting low-income families, the elderly, the blind and the disabled.California OKs $600 stimulus payments to 5.7 million people
According to the article, you get your check 3-4 weeks from Franchise Tax Board after you file your taxes. I would file ASAP, because this state already allowed convicts, felons, folks on death row, and “US Senators” to obtain fraudulent payments via our unemployment board (EDD). There is no telling when the cash will run out so I would claim earlier as opposed to later. BTW most folks making around 100k will end up under the 75k threshold after mortgage interest, federal tax, and charitable donations are deducted. Oh well.
Just remember, the recall should be certified around early April. The election must be held a couple months or so after that, about when your check will arrive. No word if it will be stuffed inside your recall ballot. But I digress. Pretty sad for a guy to pay you to vote for him, but at least this will be construed as a legal exchange between consenting adults.
Editor’s Note: Yesterday Gavin also gave slackers another gift from the Franchise Tax Board when FTB was instructed to halt debt collections from tax filers until July 31, 2021. Unless I missed something, tax filings are still due on April 15th; therefore, the State’s best chance to collect money from resident’s tax returns will be null and void for the second year in a row. This amounts to Newsom commanding that the debts that taxpayers owe to the State be written-off by various state agencies. Typically, state agencies will attempt collection for two years before writing-off the money as a bad debt. In a typical year, if the money is not collected by April 15th then it likely never will be.
Folks, if you want to see what’s likely on tap for your digital future, then one country to watch is Australia. Australia is doing many things differently than we are, but many of the tech companies in the United States are wanting to see their policies adopted here.
First, in Australia, Microsoft and Google are in a fight about a proposed policy that directly affects online news articles.
February 11, 2021
Australia is currently in the process of passing regulation which would force Google and Facebook to pay publishers for linking to their news articles, a controversial proposal which appears to go against the whole ethos of the web, which is in the end all about linking to pages for free. Importantly Australia would not allow Google to avoid paying the newspapers by simple delisting them from their index.Microsoft says the controversial Australian link tax should come to USA, explains why
In the blog post, Smith explains the 4th Estate is a very important element in democracy, and that the weakness of news organizations and the strength of social media is what resulted in Donald Trump being able to convince tens of millions of Americans that he won the election he actually lost.
“It was far from unusual for a losing candidate to request a recount or take a dispute to court – both parts of the democratic process,” Smith noted, “But, this year, even after losing more than 50 lawsuits in a row, President Trump waged a sustained campaign that successfully persuaded tens of millions of his supporters that the election was rigged. Without this sustained disinformation barrage, it’s hard to imagine that January 6 would have become such a tragic day.”
Smith notes that while Google and Facebook has generated billions in revenue from aggregating news, since 2000, newsroom revenue in the United States has fallen by 70% and employment has been cut in half. More than 2,000 newspapers have closed entirely. In many places, local news has been decimated. The majority now got their news (and disinformation) from social media, often only reading the headlines and not even clicking through to the news website.
Microsoft notes that news publications have been powerless to fight back, due to the monopoly position of Google and Facebook, but that Microsoft has always supported paying publishers for news and that they are well prepared to do this on a large scale if they gain market share.
February 15, 2021
Microsoft has turned into one of the most ardent advocates for the proposed Australian media code, which would see Google and Facebook pay news publications a share of their profits.
The proposal has been called a link tax which would break the internet, but Microsoft insists funding newspapers is important for the health of democracy and fighting fake news.Microsoft offers myth-busting FAQ on anti-Google Australian news tax
Conceptually it is easier to think of the proposal as a tax on Google and Facebook, similar to the TV License in UK, where TV owners have to pay a £157.50 tax per year to support public access TV and news. In this case, the tax is being directed to trillion-dollar companies rather than the citizens of the country, and the benefit would be spread wider than simply the state publisher.
The FAQ does not address concerns that the proposal would fund newspapers which are equally involved in spreading fake news as Moldovian content farms and that it would place the power to decide which news outlet succeeds or fails in the hand of the government rather than the market.
February 17, 2021
In response to Australia’s proposed new Media Bargaining law, Facebook today announced that it will block publishers and users in Australia from sharing or viewing news content. This is applicable for both Australian and international news content. The proposed law will force platform providers like Google and Facebook to pay news publishers for using their content. To continue operating Google search in Australia, Google today signed an agreement with News Corporation for sharing the revenue obtained through news content. However, Facebook refused to sign any such deal citing the below reasons.Facebook will restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing news content
Second, Australia is putting together a coalition of corporations to fight fake news.
February 22, 2021
Microsoft today announced that it is partnering with Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel and Truepic to form the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). C2PA is a Joint Development Foundation project formed to address the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content.Microsoft partners with Adobe, BBC and others to battle against disinformation
“There’s a critical need to address widespread deception in online content — now supercharged by advances in AI and graphics and diffused rapidly via the internet. Our imperative as researchers and technologists is to create and refine technical and sociotechnical approaches to this grand challenge of our time. We’re excited about methods for certifying the origin and provenance of online content. It’s an honor to work alongside Adobe, BBC and other C2PA members to take this critical work to the next step,” said Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer and Project Origin executive sponsor, Microsoft.
The major technology companies and social networks in Austalia have signed up for the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation, a voluntary code of practice by the Digital Industry Group Inc (DiGi), a non-profit industry association advocating for the digital industry in Australia.Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter sign up for Australian misinformation code
The code has 7 key principles:
- Protection of freedom of expression:
- Protection of user privacy:
- Policies and processes concerning advertising placements:
- Empowering users:
- Integrity and security of services and products:
- Supporting independent researchers:
- Without prejudice commitments:
The policy was developed at the request of the Australian government and will be reviewed in 12 months. Companies involved are required to have a working complaints procedure in place within 6 months. The code excludes private messaging services, email services, and enterprise services. Notably, it also excludes content authorised by an Australian state or federal government; political advertising or content authorised by a political party registered under Australian law.
Folks, please read the links of these stories if you want more information.
What you are beginning to see is that Big Tech is setting themselves up as the arbitrators of all truth. While some of the things mentioned above, sound good and perhaps even noble, the bottom line is that tech companies are deciding what information that you can or cannot access. Microsoft has kept a lower profile than other companies, but they are right there with the FAANG companies and Twitter.
Before I go further, it will be helpful to note that the concept of fake news is not monolithic. There are several different types of fake news. Here are a few examples:
Microsoft often talks about the potential for fake news using digital manipulation. Think the movie Looker (1981) or Carrie Fisher being digitally added to Star Wars after her death. What if a video of a politician was faked for the purposes of fomenting rebellion or aiding the point of view of a media outlet hating said politician? Wouldn’t that be bad? In theory yes, unless its Donald Trump.
But Microsoft is envisioning a video technology or capability that is even more manipulated than that of Trump or Carrie Fisher. What if we entered an era when no one would trust what they see? We are a very visual society, if people don’t see something, it is not real to them but what if someone took advantage of that?
Another type of fake news is the good ‘ole Dan Rather using Microsoft Word kind. For those too young to remember, Dan Rather faked a memo about then President George W. Bush in an effort to influence the 2004 Presidential election.
“Rathergate” is the derisive term applied to a set of four documents allegedly written by the former commanding officer of President George W. Bush in the early 1970s, and broadcast on the CBS program 60 Minutes Wednesday, September 8, 2004. The resultant exposure of these documents as forgeries, coupled with a lack of proper news investigating techniques, led to the ouster of four senior producers at CBS several months later, as well as the departure of long-time anchorman Dan Rather, for whom the scandal was named. Because of this, the event was also infamous for coining the phrase “fake but accurate”, referring to Fake news.Rathergate
Sometimes fake news is just a refusal/denial to acknowledge something is true because it might be perceived as either hurting the side you support or benefitting someone that you disagree with. Instead of “We report, you decide” becomes “We decide, then report”. Or as Steve Taylor sang in Meat the Press (1983):
When the godless chair the judgment seat
We can thank the godless media elite
They can silence those who fall from their grace
With a note that says “we haven’t the space”
So fake news is sometimes the sin of commission or conversely the sin of omission; both are equally fatal for the person trying to make an informed decision. As I’ve stated before, without agreeing to the same set of information (or facts) we can’t have a dialogue, debate, or discussion about anything.
I’m not against polarization when it comes to certain issues. Some things just have no middle ground. As Gary North is fond of pointing out, a posture of neutrality is an illusion where one side tries to gain the upper hand on the other. The important things in life ultimately come down to the broad way or the narrow way. Lesser things can be negotiated or reduced to personal preference.
What bothers me about the fake news debate is that the purveyors of fake news have appointed themselves as the arbitrators of what is fake news; thus, when the fox places itself in charge of the henhouse, there can be only one outcome.
Let’s look at the previous election
To the is day, not a single liberal will admit to any voter fraud in any state during the 2020 presidential election. This is an unreasonable and unrealistic claim. There is always voter fraud. The question is whether it is widespread, systemic, organized, and enough to sway the outcome.
When liberals claim there is no voter fraud, it just doesn’t compute. Look at it this way, “The results after Michigan’s 83 counties finished canvassing showed Mr. Biden beating Mr. Trump by over 154,000 votes.” and then a few months after the election, comes a court victory with this headline: Michigan Removes 177,000 Voters From Voter Rolls After Legal Challenge Why am I the bad guy when I see such things and say it doesn’t pass the smell test?
If Michigan and other states would voluntarily clean their voter rolls on a regular basis then we conservatives would have more faith in the system; however, the reality is that it takes years of lawsuits to force Secretary’s of State in Democrat controlled states to do their job. Oh, and even prevailing in court is no guarantee that the voter rolls are ever cleaned up.
Folks, I know that California does not care about election integrity or keeping clean voter rolls. As long as Democrats continue to win elections, there will be no meaningful election reform in the once golden state.
Prior to the election, was this report from Judicial Watch:
Media Matters and other groups on the left, throw hammers at Judicial Watch but where it counts, Judicial Watch wins.
The lawsuit confirmed that Los Angeles County has on its rolls more than 1.5 million potentially ineligible voters. This means that more than one out of every five LA County registrations likely belongs to a voter who has moved or is deceased. Judicial Watch notes that “Los Angeles County has the highest number of inactive registrations of any single county in the country.”
The Judicial Watch lawsuit also uncovered that neither the State of California nor Los Angeles County had been removing inactive voters from the voter registration rolls for the past 20 years.California and Los Angeles County to Remove 1.5 Million Inactive Voters from Voter Rolls – Settle Judicial Watch Federal Lawsuit
Please note the last line in the quote above, California voter rolls have not been cleaned up in over 20 years which I’m willing to bet was the last time a Republican was Secretary of State.
Meanwhile, after a brief internet search…
Yep, it was Bill Jones, the last Republican to win the office of California Secretary of State. Jones served from 1995 – 2003.
This allows me to circle back to a claim made by Brad Smith, “… even after losing more than 50 lawsuits in a row, President Trump waged a sustained campaign that successfully persuaded tens of millions of his supporters that the election was rigged.”
Folks, Trump lost zero trials on the voter fraud issue because none was ever heard in court. Even the Supreme Court has taken a pass on this issue. The courts refused because they view this as a political issue and since the election is over, it’s a moot point. Thus, no determination is or will be made on election fraud or if it was significant enough to change the election outcome. I think the federal courts are taking a pass on this not due to the substance of the issue, but because they know that if the case is heard, it will be used politically as a way to even further politicize the court system and make it even less independent than it is now. Packing the court is a likely outcome of any judicial relief granted to Trump. Also, I don’t think the courts are comfortable being the arbiters of last resort in Presidential elections.
If during the first two years of the Trump administration, a national system or standard was set for vote I.D. in federal elections, I think the outcome would have been different last November. But when the leadership on both sides of the political aisle are all in very safe seats then little incentive exists to fix a very broken system. Oh, and yes, I would prefer a state solution over a federal one but see my comments above on California. No chance it ever happens here.
Much of the time, fake news is in the eye of the beholder. We see what we want and ignore much of the rest. This trend will continue into the future. Soon we will go from memes with fake quotes and funny captions to fake videos with words never uttered. Discerning truth will become more difficult. Look for some to just give up on trying and resort to feelings to guide them—half our population is predisposed to do this already. “Trust your feelings Luke.” Those of us that believe there is only one Truth will become fewer.
I know that digital information will be even more scattered and fragmented in the future. As our culture becomes more splintered and fragmented, we become even more isolated, even living amongst other people. Sin divides us from God, His creation, our fellow man, and ourselves.
More and more you will hear some variation of the mantra, “you have your truth and I have mine.” Or the sugarcoated Disney version of “follow your heart.” This is a lie. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
There is only One Truth. Denial of its reality does not change Reality. Believing faerie tales like there are more than two genders, or evolution explains creation, or abortion is not murder, or “gay marriage” only proves your denial, self-delusion, and spiritual blindness.
The controversy over fake news is a microcosm or a much larger battle; a spiritual one.
Here’s what our future looks like unless we change our ways. Take a look at Deuteronomy 28 starting at verse 15.
Below are a few selections from this passage:
The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth.
The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.
The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the LORD will drive you.
The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.
Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot.
There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life.
The good news is the God has promised believers that His Spirit will lead you into all Truth. Only God can cut through all the “white noise” in our culture and give you the wisdom to discern which spirits of our age should be shunned or followed.
Trusting in Big Tech to decide what’s best for us is just another name for tyranny. That Big Tech wants to work hand-in-hand with big government instead of hold government accountable, is no surprise. In a way, this marriage of convenience; looks to be the ideal power couple… for now.
I was reading some highlights of various things said by Rush Limbaugh this last week and while it was not on the topic of race, it seems to touch on the subject. Here’s a few quotes from Most Limitations Are Self-Imposed
It’s easy to be a victim. Look how easy the Democrat Party has made almost half this country think they’re victims of something.
And what happens to you when you’re a victim? Well, when you’re a victim, you automatically have a built-in excuse for failure. When you are a victim, it’s always somebody else’s fault. When you’re a victim, success is not possible. When you are a victim of something, you are acknowledging that you are as far as you’re gonna get, and you can’t get any further, because there are more powerful forces arrayed against you than the force of yourself against it.
And the Democrat Party does this on purpose. The Democrat Party makes as many people victims as possible because it freezes them right where they are. And that’s usually in lower middle class or abject poverty. It makes them resentful. If you’re a victim, you’re not happy. You can’t be happy. It’s impossible to be happy. It’s even difficult to be content. If you’re a victim, you’re always mad, but never at yourself. You’re mad at somebody else.
The Democrats have parlayed this into one of the biggest political movements in human history. And that would be of the victimized. Look at how many victim groups there are. And they all happen to be Democrat constituency groups. They all are on the protest march. They’re all angry; they’re all enraged.
Some of them are women, some of them are minorities, some of them are illegal immigrants — you name it — but they all have one thing in common: They have given up on the notion that they could be somebody and instead have descended into full-fledged victimhood and the comfort of being in a group of like-minded failures. Why isn’t everybody a victim? It’d be easy. Anybody could choose that if they wanted to. Being a victim is almost as easy as being a liberal. It’s one of the most gutless choices you could make.
It doesn’t take much. There are built-in excuses for failure. Built-in excuses for being miserable. Built-in excuses for being angry all the time. No reason to trying to be happy; it’s not possible. You’re a victim. Victim of what? … You’re a victim of something. The Democrats got one [a group] for you. If you want to be a victim, call ’em up.
Call Schumer and say, “Hey, I want to join you. I want to be a victim. Do you have a group for me?” He’ll have one. … you can keep it flowing if you just do two things: Stay a victim and vote Democrat.
Folks, the difference between Conservatives (and most Republicans) is that we see people as individuals while Democrats can only see people as groups. Democrats lump people together by the color of their skin (or other characteristics). They have no place to look at each person based on the content of their character. Looking at each person as an individual with great value is a biblical concept, the fact that the Republican Party adopted it and championed the freedom of slaves, and to some extent the unborn, is an outgrowth of the influence of this biblical truth.
After I posted my brief response to the Wired Op-Ed, I started going thru some old mail when I came across an article on the subject of racism. It posed an interesting question, why does cancel culture never consider cancelling Charles Darwin? While Darwin didn’t create racism, he is singlehandedly responsible for advancing the scientific basis that some races are more fit than others. His beliefs have been the basis of eugenics and genocide for tyrants all over the world. Millions have perished and millions more have been subjugated because of the impact of Darwin’s racist ideas. Yet, Darwin is given a free pass.
The following is printed in Answers, a publication of Answers in Genesis. The article that is quoted below is Should We Cancel Darwin by Mark Looy.
Modern views about human origins are built on a toxic error. Unless these opinions change, racism will keep raising its ugly head. Any serious desire to solve racism must inspire the question, “What about the influence of Charles Darwin’s racist views? Should they be banned (or ‘canceled,’ in popular jargon) from the culture?”
In a sequel to the better-known On the Origin of Species, Darwin’s The Descent of Man argued that humans, having descended from apelike creatures, were continuing to evolve and produce various races. Darwin posited that some races were more developed than others. Throughout Descent, Darwin labeled different people groups other than his European race as “low” and “degraded,” including Africans. Darwin argued that the “highest races and the lowest savages” clearly differed in their “moral disposition” (Darwin, 445).1 These “savages,” he further claimed, possessed “insufficient” powers of reasoning (Darwin, 489). At the end of Descent, Darwin declared he would prefer to be descended from a “little monkey” or an “old baboon” as opposed to an Indian “savage” from South America (Darwin, 919).
Darwin’s racism and belief in white supremacy were an outgrowth of his ideas regarding natural selection (a view popularized later by others as “survival of the fittest”). Accordingly, he excused aggressive colonial imperialism with the comment, “The civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world” (Darwin, 521). Although he may not have explicitly endorsed such imperialism, Darwin saw the elimination of nonwhite races as the natural result of white Europeans, who “stand at the summit of civilisation” (Darwin, 507), being the superior race.
Such reasoning, even before Darwin laid it out, was essentially the same rationale used by European, Muslim, and American slave traders, who viewed the Africans as less than human and deserving of enslavement.
If they were consistent, cancel-culture advocates would ban Darwin from society. But most won’t touch him, for he is like a prophet for their worldview. Even if they condemn racism, they blindly still want to commemorate Darwin. From him, they have a supposed scientific justification for rejecting the Creator and living as they please with regards to abortion, sex, and so on.
Answers in Genesis proclaims that there is only one race of men. Toward the end of his article, Looy writes:
The Bible’s history is crucial to a true understanding of “race.” God’s Word reveals that all humans are descended from Adam and Eve. At the tower of Babel, God separated the rebellious people by both geography and language. The population broke up into sub-groups, and as people married within their own group, certain genetic features (like skin shade and eye shape) became more prominent. Some people groups ended up with light skin and others with dark skin. All people today are actually shades of brown, depending on the amount of melanin, the main pigment, in our skin (and some other minor factors). There are no truly black or white people.
Funny how, no matter how you look at the Scriptural position, it really is about the content of your character and not the color of your skin.
Folks, I do occasionally try to understand other points of view but this article which appeared on Wired.com was just begging for a response. Frankly, its hard to take this guy seriously, but he thinks he is. If this is the best the “Woke generation” has to offer, then Lord have mercy.
Banning White Supremacy Isn’t Censorship, It’s Accountability: Claiming that deplatforming racists violates First Amendment rights shows a distorted understanding of how speech, race, and power work online.
The piece starts with race and name calling disguised as facts. Not a good start.
EARLIER THIS MONTH, in the wake of the fatal incursion of an angry, mostly white and male mob into the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, Facebook and Twitter blocked Donald Trump’s accounts. YouTube followed with a temporary ban, which it has continued to extend in the weeks since. According to these platforms, Trump’s dangerous pattern of behavior violated their content management rules. Shortly after, Amazon Web Services ended its hosting support for the neo-Nazi online haven Parler.
The paragraph above starts with the incident at the Capitol Building. Why is it whenever Liberals write about this, they have to say some variation of “angry, mostly white and male mob”? What does race have to do with any of this?
Then the author goes after Parlor for being a haven for neo-Nazis. Classic strawman argument. Again, the author thinks he is being intellectual while throwing hammers at imaginary foes.
Then he celebrates the censorship of conservative folks with the following.
The collective sigh of relief that rippled through the digital spaces occupied by Black, indigenous and other people of color following the wave of deplatformings was visceral, and the impact was almost immediate. A study conducted by research firm Zignal Labs found that online disinformation, particularly about election fraud, fell by an incredible 73 percent in the week after Twitter’s suspension of Trump’s social media account. Online forums for Trump supporters are now fractured and weakened.
OK so how did “Black, indigenous and other people of color” benefit from censorship? Oh, and who talks like that anyway? Why is it that Black folks—which as you will see, the author considers himself—can never look at people by the content of their character but only by the color of their skin. Yet they celebrate MLK as their hero? Sir, have you never heard his I Have a Dream speech?
Folks, this brings up another issue. Why is any attempt to discuss the fraud that occurred in the last election somehow disinformation? The evidence is overwhelming that election laws were violated, ignored, and not enforced. This debate (or lack of one) is framed in a peculiar way. Liberals maintain that there was absolutely zero fraud in the last election despite many examples and Conservatives know there was rampant fraud. When Liberals acknowledge that there was fraud then at least we can have a discussion on whether there was enough to change the outcome of the election but until they recognize the same set of facts, there can be no dialogue on the issue. Denial is not dialogue. Ignoring facts does not make them go away it just makes folks ignorant or worse.
Before I continue, let me make these comments on the First Amendment.
First, strictly speaking the First Amendment applies to the national government. Via various laws and Court actions, the First Amendment has been extended to cover the various states.
The tech companies are private, but Congress has extended protections to them for the purpose of allowing free speech on their platforms and giving the companies legal protection, so they don’t have to moderate all posts on their websites. (I think this is intended to emulate the FCC regulation of broadcast media.) I’m fine with this arrangement as long as all points of view can be expressed. When only one point of view is allowed, and all others are banned or people that feel differently are intimidated to the point that they can’t express their point of view without fear of reprisal then the First amendment is not in operation. This is the current situation for both my wife and I and many others that we know. We cannot express what we believe either politically or religiously at work or on social media without fear of reprisal. While this blog in technically on the public internet, its just my corner to vent and not subject to the whims of big tech algorithms.
In addition, what frosts me, and my fellow conservatives is that the rules (whatever they might be) should be applied equally to everyone and they are not. The selective enforcement and resulting uneven playing field really grates on me.
In his essay, the author goes on to mention the First Amendment.
But many reacted to the social media bans with outrage. First Amendment fundamentalists across the political spectrum raised “free speech” concerns, claiming that the social media bans were a slippery slope. Though they’re being used to hold the powerful to account today, the argument goes, they could be used to repress minority groups in the future. Others worried that a digital oligarchy of big tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, and Amazon with the unchecked power to silence individuals represents a threat to democracy.
I share the concern about the outsize influence of big tech on governance and the economy. But, as a Black activist who’s been fighting for digital rights and justice and against digital disparities, surveillance, and hate for more than a decade, the reaction that most resonated was relief and a sense of collective triumph. Finally, after years of organizing, movements for racial justice and human rights were able to hold these companies accountable to the demand that they give no platform or profit to white supremacy—at least momentarily.
To summarize the above two paragraphs, the author states that he shares the concerns expressed on the First Amendment but since his side won, it’s OK because his political opponents were silenced. He’s relieved that big tech put their thumbs on the scale to interfere. He calls this a triumph.
Now I will try to unpack the second paragraph. What caught my attention was this part, “…as a Black activist who’s been fighting for digital rights and justice and against digital disparities, surveillance, and hate …”
What does this even mean? This guy is talking in code and not the King’s English.
- Digital rights are the copyrights on digital content which clearly is not what he’s talking about.
- Justice is a meaningless word in the context used above. True justice is measuring man’s behavior by God’s Standard which is not what this guy has in mind.
- What are digital disparities? Poor people need the Internet too? Heck every homeless person I’ve seen in California over the last decade has a cell phone.
- Surveillance is how Apple, Google, Facebook, and most of the rest monetize your personal information. Most users, regardless of race, are OK with this. Whatever is the real concern, I sure can’t tell from this article.
- Hate is another buzz word. The author doesn’t mean hate in the classic dictionary definition. This has to be another term related to race. Wanna bet he thinks only white people can hate or be racist?
Lastly, the author concludes the paragraph by again equating silencing President Trump as silencing White Supremacy. This is demonstrably a false claim and his insistence on making it proves that he is uninterested in an honest discussion of facts and is instead wedded to a political opinion which he must defend no matter what.
For the past decade, we have witnessed the resurgence of white supremacy in mainstream political and public debate, and it’s only been enabled by media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. While those already in power may rely on the Constitution and the democratizing promise of the open internet, Black people and other marginalized groups need more than the intent of the law to enjoy its equal protection.
OK, again what resurgence in white supremacy? The KKK was founded by Democrats and was at its peak just over 100 years ago. Virtually no Republicans were even Klan members, and none was a slave owner. The Democrats are the ones trying to keep Blacks on the plantation not me. (Note to Liberals, I’m quoting a Black man when I talk of Democrats trying to keep Blacks on the plantation.)
White Supremacy is routinely condemned by folks in both political parties so what is this guy angry about? Trump condemned both White Supremacists and neo-Nazis all the time, but it was a cold day in hell when CNN finally aired the comments during the second impeachment show. The mainstream media just denied that Trump ever said it because they would rather edit the tape than trust people to make up their own minds. Sadly, this supposedly informed author never bothered to do the research because he would rather have Trump lumped into the White Supremacist basket because then he can just dismiss the guy without having to hear what he actually said. In short, falsely labelling Trump and his supporters enforced his prejudice and presuppositions.
Please note that the author asserts that the First Amendment is not enough. Wrong. Dear Sir, the First Amendment is freedom of speech, assembly, press, and religion. There is no right to be heard or receive government subsidies if you’re not.
Then the article goes on to list various grievances that the author has with people due to real or perceived racism. None of the things he lists are the fault of Donald Trump, Parler, or the 75 million people that vote for Trump. Thus, why banning Trump, Parler, or others is a victory—since they’re not part of the problem—just mystifies me.
All of the above is used to justify Some Black Lives Matter as the hope of Blacks due to their “largely peaceful anti-racist protesters in almost every US city”. Sorry but I’ve never been to a peaceful protest that needs police, medical, and fire personnel on call because of how peaceful we were acting. I’ve never been to a peaceful protest where random people were dragged out of their cars, businesses, or homes and beaten because of the color of their skin. Doesn’t the fact that DR. King protested such thuggery mean its not ok to do no matter what color your skin is? How does playing the race card inoculate you from doing what you know is right?
I know BLM in Sacramento has had the District Attorney’s Office under siege for several years which as required the DA to install temporary fencing, hire extra security, and take other precautions due to their “peaceful” nature.
I’m not saying that all BLM protests end with violence and businesses being burned but I have never once heard of BLM trying to police their own and expel those who break the law or cause harm to life and property; thus, a reasonable person can only conclude that such violence is encouraged by the organization. Seems like a strange way for a billion-dollar corporation to behave. (Yes Virginia, Some Black Lives Matter is a corporation worth more than a billion dollars). They spend funds promoting violence while their supporters claim they are poor and voiceless. In the final analysis, it’s just another race based shakedown group.
As an early member of the Black Lives Matter Global Network in the Bay Area, I was among the leaders responsible for managing several BLM Facebook pages, and I witnessed the inequity first hand. I spent hours each day from 2014 until 2017 removing violent racial and gendered harassment, explicitly racist anti-Black language, and even threats to maim and murder Black activists.
I don’t agree with BLM, but I also don’t agree with online harassment. Its that old “do unto others” credo that Jesus taught. Bullying is out of bounds in civil discourse.
Again, I don’t know why Black people need different protection than anyone else. Why don’t we have the same protections for everyone? I thought we believed in equal justice under the law—a core biblical value by the way.
In this context, an absolutist interpretation of the First Amendment—that all speech is equal, that the internet is a sufficiently democratizing force, and that the remedy for harmful speech is more speech—willfully and callously ignores that all speech is not treated equally. A digital divide and algorithmic injustice has fractured the internet, and, together with the racial exclusion of mainstream media, has turned the remedy of more speech into a false solution.
Dear sir, try being a Republican or a Christian if you think Black folks are having a rough time of it. Better yet, take a look at the treatment of Black Republican Christian Conservatives on the Internet and then see how much better that you are doing. None of us has a billion dollars in our bank account to underwrite our movement or hire lawyers if we want to take someone to court. Sharpton and Jackson don’t come to my aid or theirs when we get dumped on by “the man”.
The article has a few digs at the media and a token shot at “white liberal elitism”. Dude have you never watched ESPN or anything else sports related? The commentary is all about race and rarely about the sport. They spend way more time on athlete’s felony arrests than player trades. The entertainment industry has their diversity quotas to try and stay in your good graces as well. Truth is that the news media tends to give you cover and protection and amplify your message because they agree with you politically and are afraid of offending you. What more do you want of them? You’re just ungrateful; but it always circles back to that subject when discussing liberals.
The author then says that tech companies need to write algorithms to fight hate rather than promote it. However, who gets to write that code and then enforce it? The author presumes that we are stupid sheep and someone—either big government or big tech—needs to care for us. Sorry but trusting either—government or tech—is destined to fail.
The bottom line is that the author is looking for a political solution to solve spiritual problems. Human nature is broken and neither BLM nor any other political interest group can fix the human heart. Civil government was established in part to restrain the acts of evil doers but only God and His Bride the Church can mend the flaws and brokenness inside people. Sin divides us from each other. Dr. King’s vision of a colorblind society is ultimately the work of God’s Holy Spirit. Until we get the logs out of our own eyes, we are ill equipped to get the splinter out of our neighbors. Malkia Devich-Cyril needs to start at the Cross not with Karl Marx if he truly wants to improve the lot of all lives; Black or otherwise.
If BLM was mobilizing their community to shun Planned Parenthood—an organization founded to eliminate Blacks via genocide—and advocating that they look to God and not Washington for assistance, then I would take them a lot more seriously when they claim to be a force for good. Until then, I regard them as a criminal organization using hate and intimidation to achieve political and social aims. Sadly, Some Black Lives Matter is a proudly Marxist organization and thus will never look to God for true justice. Ironically, theirs are much the same tactics that the KKK has historically used on Blacks. Is this an example of the saying that “you become like what you hate?”
Better to love the hell out of someone than beat it out of them.
This week an actress employed by Disney’s Star Wars subsidiary was fired for saying that we should respect people’s political opinions even when we disagree with them. Yep, this revolutionary concept used to be a bedrock value when this country was known as America, but no longer.
Here’s the story. Please understand that due to the transitory nature of content on the Internet that the original and allegedly offensive comments were purged. Furthermore, most news stories on this incident don’t have the courtesy and objectivity to tell you what was actually said. I recall that journalism once prided itself on telling you all sides of a story and trusting readers to make up their own minds. This has not bee true in many decades.
According to Variety, Carano, 38, shared a message on the social media platform in which she compared today’s political divide to the events in Nazi Germany.
“Jews were beaten in the streets, not by Nazi soldiers but by their neighbors…even by children. Because history is edited, most people today don’t realize that to get to the point where Nazi soldiers could easily round up thousands of Jews, the government first made their own neighbors hate them simply for being Jews. How is that any different from hating someone for their political views,”Gina Carano faces backlash for social media posts, ‘not currently employed’ by ‘Star Wars’
Two things to point out on the above; first, she did not write this comment, it appears that she reposted the comment; and secondly, is the end where it states, “How is that any different from hating someone for their political views?”
Note to Liberals: Those of us that are devout Christians see many parallels with the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany and the current treatment of Christians in this country. Our faith has been under attack; especially over the last 15 years. Our love for Trump is based in large part to his removing the heavy hand of the federal government from restricting religious liberty. Joe Biden has been signaling that persecution of people of faith will resume under his leadership. California government has never stopped persecuting us, but they have had their agenda derailed while focusing on Covid. Thus, the comparison above which appeared on social media is in fact a valid comparison.
Thus, Gina Carano is saying that we should not hate people that have different views from ours. Translation don’t hate me or other conservatives that disagree with you.
Oh, she also once posted a meme disagreeing with the stupid mask requirements.
A second post contained a photo of a person wearing cloth masks to cover their face and head with the caption: “Meanwhile in California.”
Gina also posted the following:
“Expecting everyone you encounter to agree with every belief or view you hold is fucking wild”BREAKING: Lucasfilm caves to WOKE MOB and fires Gina Carano from Mandalorian
This is not the first time Carano, who played former Rebel Alliance soldier Cara Dune on The Mandalorian, has been the focus of social media ire for her political comments. Last November, she issued contentious tweets, one in which she mocked mask-wearing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and another in which she falsely suggested voter fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election.
“They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw,” a source with knowledge of Lucasfilm’s thinking tells THR.‘The Mandalorian’ Star Gina Carano Fired Amid Social Media Controversy
If you want to find the pot calling the kettle black, search for James Gunn liking the posts about Carano being fired. Gunn was fired by Disney and was subsequently rehired for actually posting derogatory stuff on social media. Also, note that at the time, I posted a blog in support of Gunn. I don’t have a problem with free speech only with people demanding that I have to agree with them.
The following excerpts are posted without comment:
A peer-reviewed study contends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention violated federal law by inflating Coronavirus fatality numbers.
The figures were inflated by at least 1,600%…
That fact, the National File notes, corresponds with the CDC’s “quiet admission that it blended viral and antibody test results for its case numbers and that people can test positive on an antibody test if they have antibodies from a family of viruses that cause the common cold.“
Among the notable findings in the study is the conclusion that the CDC “illegally enacted new rules for data collection and reporting exclusively for COVID-19 that resulted in a 1,600% inflation of current COVID-19 fatality totals,” the watchdog group All Concerned Citizens said in a statement provided to National File.
COVID-19 was to be listed in Part I of death certificates as a definitive cause of death, regardless of confirmatory evidence, rather than in Part II as a contributor to death in the presence of pre-existing conditions.
On its website, the CDC says, just 6% of the people counted as COVID-19 deaths died of COVID-19 alone.
The researchers estimated the COVID-19 recorded fatalities “are inflated nationwide by as much as 1600% above what they would be had the CDC used the 2003 handbooks,” said All Concerned Citizens.Study finds CDC inflated COVID numbers by 1,600%
Folks, the merry band of health officials claiming that a vaccine will fix everything Covid related are once again showing their hand… and it’s a very empty bluff that needs calling. If you get the vaccine, it changes nothing.
The following is from the State of California, specifically “Dr. Heidi Bauer, the head of public health for California Correctional Health Care Services.”
Let’s go through this one question at a time. Oh, please keep in mind that the text which I am quoting is the best arguments that your government can offer as to why you should get vaccinated.
After the vaccine, can I stop wearing a mask?
Unfortunately, the answer to that question is no. We as a society are going to need to continue to protect ourselves and to protect other people by masking and distancing for at least the next six months and possibly longer. It will take weeks to months to get enough people vaccinated before we can really let down our guard. Masking and distancing will continue to be really important prevention measures until we know more about the protection that we get from the vaccine.
Getting the vaccine will still require you to socially distance and wear a mask. You will need to do so for at least six months.
Note to readers, depending on the article that you read on vaccines, the Covid vaccine is claimed to be good for a period of three months to as long as a year. These claims are constantly being revised because the truth is that nobody really knows. Some articles are even claiming that you will need a Covid vaccine annually for the rest of your life or until Dr. Fauci changes his mind (yet again).
Oh, if you’ve had Covid, you will still have to get the shot because its assumed that you don’t develop any immunity by being infected. My question is, if surviving Covid—as over 99 percent of people do—does not result in immunity, then how does getting a shot do something your body’s immune system can’t do on its own by successfully fighting it off?
Am I exempt from testing after getting the vaccine?
Unfortunately, no. As I mentioned, people can still become infected even if they’ve been vaccinated so testing continues to be important for identifying people who become infected and may be infectious and pass along that infection to other people. We’re going to continue all of those other strategies. So the vaccine really gives us another tool in the tool kit. Unfortunately at this point. It doesn’t replace any of the tools that are already in use.
So, getting the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting Covid and getting Covid doesn’t prevent you from getting the vaccine. This is called circular reasoning; which by the way is a logical fallacy.
Given the above, the next question is at least a logical one. Please understand that the answer is directed at people working in the correctional system.
If I still have to wear a mask and get tested, what’s the point of the vaccine?
That’s a great question. People have many reasons for wanting to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The primary reason is for the benefit of health and the ongoing risk of exposure to COVID-19, particularly in congregate settings and prisons are very much congregate settings. And we know from our experience over the last nine or 10 months that there is very high risk of transmission, and these viruses some of them are becoming even more transmissible. And so the main reason I think that people want to be vaccinated and should be vaccinated is to protect their health. The other really important reason is to protect the health of people around you and family members and people that you come into contact with.
Did you catch the answer? You should get vaccinated to protect yourself and the people that you love even though it doesn’t really do anything but make you feel better. The ultimate reason is in your head (the mental health of vaccine recipient) and an appeal to your sense of citizenship not based on science.
Maybe the Surgeon General should require wording like this on the vaccine: Warning, any immunity that you develop to COVID-19 is purely coincidental and not necessarily the result of this highly experimental chemical cocktail that we are injecting into your body. Just in case this vaccine proves ineffective, keep pretending that you are the most highly infectious individual in your family/ church/ school/job or community by continuing to stay six feet away from other people and wearing a mask. Shouting out, “Unclean” when a stranger passes you by is encouraged but not yet required.”
Oh, and even though millions of folks have been vaccinated, its just a drop in the bucket. Which ties in with this next article. Please note the headline is: COVID-19 cases drop 40% since last week
The number of reported COVID-19 infections has plummeted 40% in the United States in just one week and 30% worldwide in the past three weeks.
And the primary reason is not the distribution of vaccines, contend experts, who point out that only 8% of Americans and 13% people worldwide have received their first dose, DailyMail.com reported.
A New York Times COVID-19 case tracker indicated cases in the U.S. were down 30% from just last week, according to Marketwatch.
Statistics from Johns Hopkins show the nation’s seven-day rolling average is down 40%.
Daily cases have dropped 45% since the latest peak Jan. 11, according to data from the COVID-19 Tracking Project.
Didn’t Michael Crichton tell us that “nature finds a way?”
Meanwhile the plethora of COVID-19 mutations which we told you about last Spring are finally being reported by the mainstream media. Some are finally asking in light of the virus’ ability to mutate, “will the vaccine remain effective?” Please note, this presupposes that the vaccine was effective to begin with. Give the responses by Dr. Heidi Bauer, this claim is very suspect to me.