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Johns Hopkins University published and then retracted a study that found that there has been no major increase in the expected number of deaths among all age groups in the US this year due to COVID-19.

The researcher found that while there was a sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths, there was a drop in deaths attributed to other causes, such as pneumonia or heart disease. In fact, “the total decrease in deaths by other causes almost exactly equals the increase in deaths by COVID-19.” He theorizes that deaths from other causes are being categorized as COVID-19 deaths. Also, the very elderly victims might have been expected to die of old age, seasonal flu or other causes if the pandemic hadn’t occurred.

Interestingly, Johns Hopkins University didn’t retract the study because they could cite anything inaccurate, but because it “was being used to spread misinformation about the pandemic,” and discount the danger of the virus or the need to take precautions. But if the numbers are correct, then why should the study be retracted? Is it the job of the university to only publish scientific facts that support a particular narrative, or to suppress facts just because someone might misinterpret or misuse them?

The researcher said he was even accused online of being a “COVID denier” (of course, he was.) He called those false accusations “devastating,” but said, “I stand my ground. The goal is never to undermine the effects of COVID-19 but to suggest a possible over-exaggeration in death numbers due to the pandemic.”

I thought we were supposed to listen to the scientists. I must be getting old because I remember when liberals thought that refusing to accept “inconvenient truths” was a bad thing.

A Very Subjective Term

December 2, 2020

Remember when Hollywood liberals and feminists were all riled up about “Me Too” and started the “Time’s Up” movement to fight sexual abuse of women in the workplace? That all went out the window when Joe Biden was nominated, but until that point, they were so worked up that some top name Hollywood celebrities started a charity composed of two groups, the Time’s Up Foundation and Time’s Up Now Inc. They had such luminaries as Reese Witherspoon, Amy Schumer and Brie Larson on their boards, and they quickly went to work raising money to fight sexual predators.

The New York Post reports that in their founding year of 2018, the nonprofit organization raised over $3.6 million. It spent $157,155 on conferences on “gender equity,” which included “a retreat at the Ojai Valley Inn, a luxury resort and spa north of Los Angeles. The retreat was dominated by agents from the Creative Artists Agency, who apparently had difficulty deciding on what the core mission should be.” They also spent $288,000 on advertising, $112,000 on a public relations firm, over $58,000 on travel, and $1.4 million on salaries. That included $342,308 to former WNBA head Lisa Borders, who ran the group for four months before resigning after her adult son was accused of sexual misconduct.

I’ll let you click the link to find out how much they spent on supporting women who made legal claims of sexual harassment. They say their legal defense fund has spent over $1.7 million to help women, but the share of it that the two groups kicked in themselves is less than what Borders was paid for four months’ work.

Apparently, “non-profit” is a very subjective term.

The “cancel culture” is coming for guitar hero Eric Clapton, for daring to record a song written by Van Morrison that protests the endless lockdowns that are killing live music and destroying musicians’ livelihoods. He couldn’t be allowed to go around expressing a non-approved opinion, so the Twitter keyboard warriors dug up an old racist comment he made in the 1970s and are using it as a pretext to try to “disappear” him.

The comment was indeed shocking, but he’s apologized for it repeatedly for years, explaining that when he said it, he was out of his head and suicidally addicted to booze and drugs. The left seemed to forgive him, until it suddenly became useful to take it back.

I’d also point out that the song the self-righteous social justice warriors are so outraged over is to raise money to help struggling musicians whose livelihood is being destroyed by their policies. Just by recording it, he’s already done more to help others than they ever will. And I seriously doubt that anyone who already knows Eric Clapton is going to stop listening to his music because some twits on Twitter said to.

Crime is sky-rocketing

December 2, 2020

In cities across America where leftwing leaders sided with rioters and slashed police budgets, crime is skyrocketing. As Gomer Pyle used to say, “Sur-prise! Sur-prise!”

How devastating was that insane abdication of public responsibility? We can now put some figures to it. The Major Cities Chiefs Association (an organization of police chiefs representing 69 of America’s largest cities) reports that from May 25 to July 31, about 8,700 protests took place in US cities. Of those, 574 were riots that included mass looting and destruction. During them, more than 2,000 police officers were injured in the line of duty.

One police agency reported 115 commercial burglaries in just one day. Another reported a single looting event at a shopping mall that resulted in over $70 million in damage. One agency alone reported 300 police cars damaged, including 19 that were engulfed in flames.

But maybe this, more than any statistics, will drive home just how bad it was: It was SO bad that in Minneapolis, ground zero of the Defund The Police movement and current site of a surging crime wave, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey stood up Monday at a city council meeting and shot down the council’s plan to slash the police budget.

The plan, hilariously named “Safety For All,” calls for reducing the police department from 888 to 750 officers. Frey, actually sounding like a voice of reason, said, “It’s irresponsible and untenable, especially given what we are presently experiencing now in this city. If the goal is simply to dramatically reduce the number of police officers we have and hamstring our chief, no, I cannot sign onto that.”

Frey also noted that any plan was supposed to wait until after a year-long “community engagement process” to find out what the people want. They could find out right now, if they’d listen: the people want more cops on the street. It sounds as if the only way to make that happen would be to throw their useless city council out onto the street.

Oh, and if you need any further verification of just how bad, dangerous, counterproductive and idiotic the council’s police plan is, try this: Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted her support for it.

Not the first

December 2, 2020

Joe Biden named his (potential) White House communications team, and the media are falling all over themselves to praise him for having the first all-female senior White House team. One problem, as White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (who replaced my daughter, Sarah) points out: President Trump already has an all-female senior White House press team. So does the First Lady. And so does the Second Lady. The press has been barking at them for four years; you’d think they’d have noticed by now that they’re women.

But this is par for the course for our media, who have gone from madly attacking Trump to polishing Biden’s shoes with their tongues in record time. They’re so desperate to come up with positive things to praise him for that they might have set a hilarious new record for fawning. The liberal site The Daily Beast actually ran a story with this headline:

“Joe Biden’s Dogs Have Told This Pet Psychic a Lot About Their Beloved Master, and His Future.”

To triple the hilarity, Instapundit caught a screen grab of that puffiest of puffballs with a pop-up ad over it for subscriptions, urging people to “Support our fearless journalism.” My dogs told me psychically that even they think that’s idiotic.

In a related story, Biden slipped and twisted his ankle Saturday while playing with his dog, Major. My hopes and prayers for a swift recovery. But as Instapundit noted, why didn’t the dog psychic warn him?

Considering that Trump's election challenges have “no evidence” (right), there sure is an explosion of such activity going on around the country. It’s so much, in fact, that we can’t possibly condense and comment on it all. Believe me, you wouldn't want that, and my little staff and I would be in the loony bin if we tried. (They risk ending up there anyway; it's a risk that comes with the job.) Fortunately, THE EPOCH TIMES' homepage has links to most of the updated information, state by state.

https://www.theepochtimes.com

Their news site has done an amazing job of staying on top of all this. The story out of Nevada is one we find of particular interest at the moment.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak is pushing forward with certifying the election for Biden just as District Judge James Russell in Carson City has set an evidentiary hearing for this Thursday, December 3, in a contest-of-election case filed by Trump’s campaign attorneys. Trump attorney Jesse Binnall says he intends to prove that so many fraudulent votes were cast across the state of Nevada that Trump actually won there, not Biden.

Kayleigh McEnany, appearing on Sean Hannity’s TV show Monday evening, talked briefly about this. Part of this lawsuit, she says, is that Trump’s side has been granted discovery, which means they get to depose witnesses. “Democrats have been fighting tooth and nail,” she said, for us not to be able to depose witnesses, not to be able to investigate and ask questions.” One question: if Democrats didn't steal the election in Nevada, what possible objection could they have to this?

It’s not in the EPOCH TIMES story, but what we find especially interesting about this is that the moment Trump's team was granted discovery, ten attorneys from the law firm Perkins Coie magically appeared. These are the same Hillary cronies who hired Fusion GPS and paid for the phony anti-Trump “dossier.”

Most interesting of all, the lead attorney for the group is Hillary's guy Marc Elias, the very lawyer who spent this year going around the country filing lawsuits in key states to make them loosen their election laws! I am not kidding. Democrats are bringing out the big guns in Nevada, and one has to wonder what they're hiding there. Stay tuned.