Closing Thought–26Aug20

With the conventions eating up most of the airtime for the news there are some things that need to be reported around the pandemic that is still taking lives and infecting people.

US stats….5.8 cases and 179,000 deaths…..

Speaking of infecting…..there is news that a person has been re-infected for the second time……true it is in Hong Kong but that makes no difference….

A 33-year-old IT worker in Hong Kong came down with COVID-19 in March but recovered after experiencing mild symptoms. More than four months later, he returned from a trip to Europe and was diagnosed again, this time with a different strain of the virus. Researchers say his case is the first confirmed reinfection of COVID-19, reports the New York Times. While other reports of reinfections have surfaced anecdotally, this is the first to be verified by rigorous testing. Scientists at the University of Hong Kong sequenced the virus in both infections and discovered they didn’t match, explains STAT News. Specifically, “there was a difference of 24 nucleotides—the ‘letters’ that make up the virus’ RNA—between the two infections,” the site explains.

The unidentified patient is experiencing no symptoms at all this time, which might suggest that the virus is milder the second time around. But it’s important to “not jump to any conclusions” about what the case may or may not mean, says Maria Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organization, per Bloomberg. One reading of it might mean that the immunity people acquire from infection doesn’t last as long as hoped, unlike the period of a few years for SARS and MERS. It’s also possible that the man’s case is an outlier and that reinfection is rare for COVID-19. Only time and more study will tell. But for now, “this is the world’s first documentation of a patient who recovered from COVID-19, but got another episode of COVID-19 afterwards,” the researchers say.

That is scary news…..there are some that state that once a person is infected and survives then the chances that they can be re-infected is low….low maybe but impossible looks out of the question.

Any immunity looks like is short lived if someone has had the virus…..there seems to be very little concern any more with my readers for my Covid posts get very little attention…..complacency will kill us as well.

A friend has asked…How did Trump let this happen?

VOX has an answer for her….(an interesting article)……https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/21366624/trump-covid-coronavirus-pandemic-failure

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Black People Is The Riots!

We have had yet another police shooting a black man and this time shot in the back numerous times.

Of course there have been protests and destruction…..and the conversation is still not being had……why is that?

I am sure that you have either had this conversation or heard someone else stating that it is those “Blacks” that are doing all the rioting….in essence it is all their fault.

I mean to some white people are so weak willed that they need Blacks to tell them when to riot…..which is total crap!

Let me say here…..these are protests not riots….only a racist would call them so…..

An honest review of the facts should compel a rational thinker to redirect his or her disgust—away from racist conclusions, and toward the outrageous indecencies that a well-to-do society forces on its less fortunate members.

It’s easy for lazy thinkers to gloss over the deep-seated reasons for the anger and violence of downtrodden people. Recent lootings of upscale shops on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile brought out waves of disgust for the ‘thugs’ who were said to care little for human values.

But an honest review of the facts should compel a rational thinker to redirect his or her disgust—away from racist conclusions, and toward the outrageous indecencies that a well-to-do society forces on its less fortunate members.

 1. For Every $100.00 in Median White Wealth, Black People Have $8.70

In 1968, it was $9.43. It keeps getting worse for beaten-down Americans. In the past twenty years, median income for Black households has dropped 5 percent while increasing 6 percent for White households. This year the Black and Latino communities have suffered the greatest effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Because of their job losses and lack of savings and inability to maintain rent payments, they will be taking the brunt of a growing housing crisis, especially in the big cities, where rent for Millennials is already over two-thirds of their incomes. Black and Latino households are also more like to face food insufficiencies. Yet the Trump administration recently considered cuts to the food stamp program.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/08/17/what-know-when-someone-blames-black-people-all-riots

“Lazy Thinkers”….I like the description……it is much more polite than what I will call them….

I know that there are things conspiring to prevent the protests from making the evening news…..but do not fear they are still raging….just not important enough for the media to break out into coverage.

Learn Stuff!

I Read. I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

2020 GOP Convention–Day Two

First night was predictably dull…..with chest thumping and exaggerations and the spreading of FEAR and a bleak description of the future……no serious conservatives just lots of Trump sycophants kissing ass…..but will Night Two be anything different? (NO seriously…..that is a real question)….

As promised here is the action for Night Two…..

Before night two of the Republican National Convention had even begun, there was controversy: Mary Ann Mendoza, who had been scheduled to speak on President Trump’s efforts to stop illegal immigration, was pulled from the schedule after retweeting a Twitter thread that included anti-Semitic and conspiratorial messages. As the AP reports, Mendoza’s son was killed in 2014 in a head-on crash with an illegal immigrant who was driving under the influence. “Do yourself a favor and read this thread,” Mendoza wrote atop the series of tweets that included what Politico calls “nearly every anti-Semitic trope of the last century to portray a Jewish cabal set on taking over American government.” She later deleted the post and tweeted that she had “retweeted a very long thread earlier without reading every post within the thread.” She apologized and said the Twitter thread “does not reflect my feelings or personal thoughts whatsoever.” More from the night:

  • Another Tuesday night speaker, anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson, made headlines due to her own past statements. Johnson has advocated for “household voting,” in which wives defer to their husbands on all political decisions. She also said earlier this year that it would be “smart” for police officers to racially profile her biracial son, whom she and her husband adopted at birth, Vice reports: “Statistically, my brown son is more likely to commit a violent offense over my white sons,” she said in a YouTube video following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. “Right now, Jude is an adorable, perpetually tan-looking little brown boy. But one day, he’s going to grow up and he’s going to be a tall, probably sort of large, intimidating-looking-maybe brown man.” Johnson is white, and said her biological children would grow up to look like “white nerdy men.”
  • Per CNN, much of the two hours went by with no mention of the coronavirus pandemic—until the night’s final speaker, first lady Melania Trump. “My deepest sympathy goes to everyone who has lost a loved one and my prayers are with those who are ill and suffering,” she said during the rare speech. “I want you to know you are not alone. My husband’s administration will not stop fighting until there is an effective treatment or vaccine for everyone.” She also said that while “we are not proud of parts of our history,” she encourages Americans “to focus on our future, while still learning from our past. We must remember that today, we are all one community, comprised of many races, religions, and ethnicities.”
  • Speaking of the lack of COVID-19 mentions, NBC News notes top economic adviser Larry Kudlow actually spoke about the crisis in the past tense: “It was awful. Health and economic impacts were tragic.”
  • The president himself made two “surprise” appearances, one to issue a pardon (more on that here) and the other to preside over a naturalization ceremony for new US citizens. “You followed the rules, you obeyed the laws, you learned our history, embraced our values, and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity,” he said at the White House ceremony, per Fox News.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made what CNN calls an “unprecedented” appearance from Jerusalem to highlight Trump’s foreign policy achievements; Democrats were decrying the move. “Here’s the weirdest aspect of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s speech,” EJ Dionne tweeted. “He broke all sorts of precedents, politicized the State Department, and ran into a storm of legitimate criticism for a short and unmemorable speech that may not have moved even 10 votes.”
  • Trump’s son Eric and daughter Tiffany also spoke, and a video highlighting how Trump has empowered women featured his other daughter, Ivanka; Melania; his daughter-in-law, Lara; and his other son’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle. (Guilfoyle and Donald Trump Jr. spoke Wednesday; Ivanka will introduce her father before his acceptance speech Thursday.)
  • Nicholas Sandmann, the teenage star of the infamous Covington Catholic viral video, spoke out against cancel culture. Vox has an explainer on him here; for more on his appearance, see Yahoo News.

The night was a bit more professional than the first.  FOTUS made a speech that the president should be making…..it was a good speech for the most part.

All in all the night went off as much as the first….kissing ass and making up crap….

Night Three to come….will we have a repeat of Night One or Two?

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I Read, I Wright, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Religious Hypocrites

I seldom write on religion….for one I do not care much for organized religion….butt mostly because most of the leaders are outright hypocrites….they rail about everything from protesters to fornicators to gays to Muslims…..and only the weak minded believe their babbling…..for most prove over time that they are NO better than the rest of us regardless on how much scripture they spout.

This post is about the fate of a staunch evangelical, Jerry Falwell….preachers and head of Liberty University, the university that teaches family values…..

It seems that he and his wife have been caught up in some sort of sex scandal…..

Jerry Falwell Jr. made several different headlines earlier this year, including when he told students they could come back to Liberty University during the pandemic, made a cringey face mask “joke,” and stepped down from Liberty after an odd photo of him emerged. Now, in an exclusive statement to the Washington Examiner, Falwell explains he’s been suffering from depression, prompted by an affair his wife, Becki, had with a former family friend who then threatened to expose the affair and tried to extort them. Falwell says he and Becki met 21-year-old pool attendant Giancarlo Granda in 2012 at a hotel in Miami Beach, and the couple was “so impressed by his initiative” they included him in a real estate deal. Shortly after, however, Becki entered into what Falwell calls an “inappropriate personal relationship” with Granda. “I lost 80 pounds,” Falwell says of his reaction after discovering the affair.

And it soon became a “roller coaster” and a “Fatal Attraction-like situation” after the Falwells tried to distance themselves from Granda, Falwell says, claiming that Granda got “increasingly angry and aggressive” and threatened to out the affair and embarrass the couple and Liberty University unless they paid him “substantial monies.” Media outlets had reported on Granda’s ties to the Falwells last year, which included whispers of “racy” photos involving the three. Granda denies to the Examiner any type of extortion attempt, calling the claim “defamatory” and promising that “the WHOLE truth will come out.” The one silver lining for the Falwells: They reconciled after the affair. “Becki and I forgave each other, because while her indiscretion may have been more obvious and apparent, I realized that there were important smaller things I needed to do better, too,” Falwell says

The “Other Guy” has come out of the woodwork……

The news about Jerry Falwell Jr. has finally clarified: The evangelical leader tells the Wall Street Journal that he is indeed out as president of Liberty University in Virginia. Falwell says he submitted his resignation to the school’s board Monday night after conflicting reports about whether he had or had not resigned. The confusion apparently stemmed from negotiations over how much money he is due. His resignation follows a tumultuous few weeks. Coverage:

  • His view: “The board put me on leave, took away my duties as prez, and that’s not permitted by my contract,” Falwell told the Journal. “And they put me on leave because of pressure from self-righteous people.”
  • Scandals: First came the photo he posted on social media, with his pants open and his arm around the waist of his wife’s female assistant, whose pants also were open. Then came the Reuters story detailing how his wife, Becki, had a years-long sexual relationship with a younger man, and how Falwell would watch them having sex. And before all that, Falwell took flak for his decision to bring students onto campus in March amid the pandemic, notes Axios.
  • The code: Falwell may call his critics “self-righteous,” but they in turn see hypocrisy. The Liberty honor code for students reads, “Sexual relations outside of a biblically ordained marriage between a natural-born man and a natural-born woman are not permissible at Liberty University.”
  • His wife: While Falwell, 58, has been influential in politics and an ardent supporter of President Trump, his wife, 53, is also a political figure, notes Reuters. Among other things, she served on the advisory board of Women for Trump, and she spoke at CPAC on a panel with her husband and Donald Trump Jr. last year.
  • Other man: Giancarlo Granda says he met the Falwells in 2012 at age 20 when he worked at a Miami hotel as a pool attendant. Jerry Falwell has acknowledged his wife’s affair, but he calls Granda an “extortionist,” adding, “Most of what that guy said … is not true.” BuzzFeed detailed in 2018 how the three went into business together.
  • The shift: Politico reports that Jerry Falwell attempted to buy out Granda from their business venture in 2015, just before getting involved with Trump’s campaign. Granda sees it as an attempt by Falwell to erase evidence of their relationship before taking on a bigger national profile. Falwell “admired Trump’s strongman public persona,” Granda tells the outlet. “Also, there was a noticeable personality change after Trump was elected. He was drunk on power and felt like he could get away with anything.” Falwell’s endorsement of Trump was seen as pivotal for his 2016 candidacy

Not to fret if you are a supporter of Falwell…..he will get out of his presidency of Liberty with a wad of cash……

Jerry Falwell Jr. has officially resigned from Liberty University, and he told the Washington Post Tuesday night that he’ll get $10.5 million in severance, as specified in his contract. That’s because he resigned in good standing, without being formally accused of or admitting to any wrongdoing. “The board was gracious not to challenge that,” he tells the newspaper. “There wasn’t any cause. I haven’t done anything.” He’ll get $2.5 million over two years, the equivalent of what his salary would have been during that same period, and he’s agreed not to work for a competing university during those years. At the end of that period, he’ll get the rest of his severance in retirement. A source tells Fox News Falwell has agreed to consult for Liberty during the transition to a new president.

His resignation comes, of course, on the heels of a controversial photo showing him with his wife’s scantily-clad assistant, which was quickly followed by Falwell’s admission that his wife had had an affair. Reports have claimed the affair lasted years and Falwell would watch his wife and her lover have sex; Falwell claims the man tried to extort the couple, and his wife denies Falwell watched, per Fox News. Her alleged lover on Tuesday issued new accusations against Falwell, claiming he shared inappropriate photos of a Liberty student; Falwell tells the Post it was simply a funny, non-sexual image of a friend of his daughters-in-law. Also Tuesday, Falwell confirmed it was President Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen who helped him years ago when someone tried to blackmail the Falwells over sensitive photos. Cohen claims he asked Falwell, as a “personal favor,” to endorse President Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Really?

Doing what demagogues do…..blame someone else for their screw ups…..instead of manning up they go into excuses….I am old enough to remember Swaggart’s sex scandal……

Falwell is typical……My thinking that evangelicals are hypocrites and have seen nothing to change my mind as of yet.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

What Will Russia Do?

We are always hearing the speculation on the precise policies of the Russians…..but are those speculations just mere hearsay or a5re they based in fact?

This intel is what we call “Open Source Intel”…….

This is the report to Congress on Russia’s military doctrine and strategy…..given to Congress on 20 August 2020…..

Russia’s official security doctrines are detailed in its 2014 Military Doctrine and 2015 National Security Strategy. Other key strategy documents include the 2016 Foreign Policy Concept, 2017 Naval Strategy, and 2020 Principles of Nuclear Deterrence Strategy. These documents offer insight into how Russian leaders perceive threats and how Russian military and security policymakers envision the future of conflict. In addition, the Military Doctrine and the National Security Strategy identify the importance of information and the danger of internal, as well as external, threats.

The 2014 Military Doctrine divides the perceived nature of threats to Russia into two categories: military risks and military threats. Military risks are a lesser designation, defined as situations that could “lead to a military threat under certain conditions.” A military threat is “characterized by a real possibility of an outbreak of a military conflict.” Once fighting breaks out, Russian military theory and doctrine identify a typology of conflicts relating to the extent and type of conflict, gradually increasing in intensity: armed conflict, local war, regional war, large-scale war, and global (nuclear) war. These levels of conflict are important for understanding how the Russian military envisions the scale, nature, actors, and levels of escalation in war.

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev stated in July 2019 that Russia would update its National Security Strategy in 2020. Although a new version has not yet appeared, most analysts expect its publication in the near future.

Report to Congress on Russian Military Doctrine and Strategy