Sweden No Example

Yesterday I once again heard how Sweden did not quarantine its citizens and is now a shining example of the brilliance of this strategy. We are told that Sweden has fewer deaths than most countries because of it.

It’s a head scratcher how they come up with this because the truth is quite different.

Here are the facts as provided by PJ Media.

First, let’s take a look at the total confirmed deaths of the ten worst-hit countries in descending order (based on the numbers from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University as of 9:30 am ET May 24).

USA (96,046)
UK (36,757)
Italy (32,735)
Spain (28,678)
France (28,218)
Brazil (22,013)
Belgium (9,280)
Germany (8,275)
Iran (7,417)
Netherlands (5,841)

But, here’s what happens when you adjust these numbers per capita. The following countries are arranged in descending order by their coronavirus death rate per million people (based on population data from The CIA World Factbook).

Belgium (791.76)
Spain (573.38)
UK (558.95)
Italy (524.58)
France (415.90)
Sweden (391.87)
Netherlands (338.01)
Ireland (309.86)
USA (288.74)
Switzerland (226.80)

It makes an amazing difference, doesn’t it? The United States dropped from number 1 to number 9 once you adjusted for population. Oh, but wait! I’ve previously documented how the United States’ coronavirus numbers are skewed by downstate New York. So, here’s the same list as above, treating downstate New York as a separate country from the rest of the United States:

Downstate NY (1,771.86)
Belgium (791.76)
Spain (573.38)
UK (558.95)
Italy (524.58)
France (415.90)
Sweden (391.87)
Netherlands (338.01)
Ireland (309.86)
USA sans downstate NY (233.44)

Once you separate downstate New York from the rest of the United States, it jumps to the top (by a long shot), while the rest of the United States is at the bottom—barely edging out Switzerland.

It should be noted here that several countries are reportedly undercounting both cases and deaths, including Iran, China, and Russia. It’s very possible that the actual case and death numbers for these countries are much higher, possibly even putting them in the top ten, but without reliable data I can’t correct for this.

As usual, the media wants the public to believe that the situation in the United States is worse than anywhere else in order to make Trump look bad. The United States approaching 100,000 coronavirus deaths is a grim milestone to be sure, but these deaths should not be politicized. Trump’s response was quick and decisive, and likely saved thousands of lives.

It’s the deaths per million that matter.
I’m all for reopening slowly, but saying there would be fewer deaths without a lockdown is really not quantifiable.
It’s also a waste of time. Things will get back to normal soon. Let those who are able and more likely to succumb to the virus stay home. Let each person make that choice. Younger people who want to resume life in a limited and prudent fashion should be allowed to do that. Not every zip code replicates New York and DC.
It’s a shame that this issue is politicized, but we all knew it would be. It’s a crisis and the Democrats never let one go to waste. They’ve got a fever, all right, but it’s not from Covid 19.

A Pleasant View

The View, that malicious political show masquerading as entertainment and fair opinion, reminds me of what might be in store for me should I go to purgatory or hell. I would have to be made to watch it with eyes clipped open as in A Clockwork Orange.

There’s nothing beneficial, informative or fair about it.

But I will watch The Right View.

This one is streamed weekly on Wednesday nights at 7 Central time. It is from the Trump campaign and its participants are women I truly like and admire. Lara Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Mercedes Schlapp and Katrina Pierson are the panel. The motto is “Make Talk Shows Great Again.”

Here’s the first show:

Now if only they would have some late night “comedy” shows. I would love to see liberals being made fun of and roasted as our side is every night in an unfunny manner on every old school alphabet network.

Power Fight at MLGW

What’s the status on the move by city government to leave TVA?
That’s a good question because even though the City Council on Tuesday resolved to have Mayor Strickland get a proposal from MISO, an energy consortium rival to TVA, the MLGW board swatted at that.
They reminded the Council that it is the MLGW Board that must first make the decision.

The Daily Memphian reports, “The concept of the mayor of Memphis taking proposals from rivals to the Tennessee Valley Authority to supply electric power to Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division is ‘somewhat problematic,’ according to the utility’s general counsel.

“Cheryl Patterson told MLGW board members Wednesday, May 20, she plans to work with the administration and city government’s chief legal officer to “work through those issues.
“‘Whatever contractual amendments, changes, new contract the (MLGW) board decides to pursue will then go to the council for approval.’ Patterson said. ‘There’s nothing I see in the language that would change the process.’

“Patterson responded to complaints from board member Steven Wishnia that MLGW’s role is being overlooked in the debate about whether MLGW should keep or cut ties with the TVA.
“He called on MLGW President and CEO J.T. Young to remind the public it is the board’s decision to make at the outset.

“’We say nothing. We are silent about this whole issue,’ Wishnia told Young. ‘Just tell them other people can’t do it unless this board approves it, I guess. You’ve got more people lobbying. Where they are getting the money for this, I don’t have a clue. They are hiring people to lobby the city council. It’s crazy and there’s just a lot of other factors that people aren’t aware of.'”

The IRP (Integrated Resource Plan), drafted by Siemens, was supposed to come out tomorrow but it has been postponed til May 29. MLGW is relying on this report to help make a decision.

Looks like we’re in for a long power struggle over power. Unfortunately, it looks like the people who will feel the effects of this, the public, will be kept in the dark as much as possible.

Getting Schooled

While walking around Midtown, a stroller finds many signs congratulating 2020 graduates. Some even have their pictures posted.

Since there was no formal ceremony, many of the students may feel that they have lost something. The signs are another way of boosting their self esteem, I suppose.

I feel a mixture of compassion and disgust whenever I see such a sign.

I know these rites are important events on the road to adulthood. Young people are missing out on the parties, gifts and good-byes to friends and family. It just strikes me as a little bit of virtue signaling that continues to feed into their sense of entitlement.

Schools today seem more like propaganda spreaders than information for life success.

Robert Oscar Lopez explains it well at Americanthinker.com.

In 2020 many memes pay homage to the high school and college seniors who were supposed to have a commencement and walk up in robes and square hats to receive diplomas. That is how civilized societies reward teenagers and young adults for wrapping up four years of general education. But the coronavirus changes everything, in the way money behaves in the Cyndi Lauper song “Money Changes Everything.” I wish I could be like the millions of people who can turn out a fulsome praise to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy.

Instead, I’d like to pay honor to the class of 2020 by giving them the precious gift of honesty. This crop of graduates has been lied to, probably more than any other. I should know, because for all the years they’ve lived, I was inside the machine that manufactured the lies.

This year I graduated at the age of forty-nine in my own way. After twenty years of teaching college students, I finally left my last academic job and moved on from academia. I watched twenty classes of students move through the system while these current graduates incubated. My departure was as unceremonious as their non-ceremonies are going to be.

So here’s some truth that needs to be told: Your teachers didn’t know what they were talking about most of the time. I know you may have liked many of them, but that’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome you get from the deliberate mental work the institutions do on you. You’re in school and they are the ones to whom you are captive. That’s why they may have seemed so kind; they needed you to give them high teaching evaluations so they could be promoted.

The people who taught you English were trained by unhinged Marxists who never made them read much classic literature before throwing them in the classroom to teach you. They rarely studied any foreign languages so had no grasp of world literature or classical literature. They were trained to disregard the Christian Bible so they lacked any meaningful connection to the thousands of years that the Bible and churches influenced artistic expression. The departments that hired them wanted chatty courtiers who could talk about glossy critical theories. Search committees didn’t hire literature professors who had a broad background, largely because the people on the hiring committees lacked the range to understand what they were talking about in job interviews. So you got the teacher who showed up talking about feminist readings of Jane Austen novels, like a million other grad students.

I know this because I sat through graduate school in the 1990s and went to conference after conference with English teachers. They did master’s theses and doctoral dissertations on idiotic pet theories that fascinated their advisors. In order to fund their reckless forays into illustrated children’s literature, erotica, music videos and other esoteric tomfoolery, they held their noses and studied composition and rhetoric so they could get jobs teaching young people how to write papers. So you were the cash crop that funded their dilettantism. If they made Shakespeare, Milton, and Henry James feel accessible to you, that’s likely because they were going off the Sparknotes just as you were. They made it accessible because they only knew as much as you did about the texts.

Most of what they told you about how to write is awful advice. The “rhetorical fallacies” like the straw man, red herring, and post hoc ergo propter hoc, are actually effective forms of persuasion that have served great commentators well from Demosthenes to Malcolm X. Ad hominem attacks make the world go round, contrary to what you’ve heard; the Declaration of Independence, remember, was a long personal attack on King George III. The human mind doesn’t react well to dry, dispassionate five-paragraph essays written by people who were forbidden from using “I” and discouraged from suggesting anything interesting or new. Once you graduate from college, nobody will ever ask you to write a 5-7 page paper with a topic sentence and formulaic presentations of evidence. Your teachers had to consume large amounts of alcohol to read those papers you hated writing.

Some of your English teachers may have followed their own suffocating rules of composition. If they did, they joined the ranks of those who write 25-page articles that take four years to get into print at a peer-reviewed journal, to be read by three grad students who stumbled on it on J-STOR when they were looking for something else. Most of your English teachers, though, broke the rules if they wrote anything impactful. They rolled up their sleeves, jumped on social media, and started flinging irresponsible mud at people over topics they felt emotional about. In other words, they were like Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Emile Zola, Jean-Paul Sartre, and George Orwell. Passionate people worth studying.

But no matter how much you rave about the way your English teachers loved you and changed your life, the truth is they were horrible people. I worked alongside them for two decades. These are people who would strangle kittens for tenure. They pulled childish tricks to rig their student evaluations and nominated themselves for excellence in teaching awards. For all their prattle about sexual and racial equality, they zipped their mouths about colleagues abusing students. They did nothing when tenure review boards went after minority teachers. If it seemed like you had very few teachers of color and all the ones you had focused on ethnic studies, that’s because all the classicists of color were driven out of the academy for being self-hating Uncle Toms. Trust me. I lived that ugly routine at four different colleges…

As you get ready to start the next phase of your life, you are blessed to have had coronavirus overshadow your graduation. You have had a wakeup call that I haven’t seen students receive in twenty years. When I tried to explain to previous classes that experts were not as knowledgeable and all-powerful as people assumed they were, they wouldn’t believe me. The whole system told them that the APA, AMA, NEA, MLA, ALA, NEH, NIH, CDC, DOJ, and the rest were the gold standard. Now you’ve had your commencement canceled because these experts said everyone had to stay home for two months, since they couldn’t think of anything else to do about a virus. You sat at home wasting day after day with nothing to do while the experts couldn’t pull together a large-scale triage system, distribute reliable antibodies tests, or find treatment for people who got infected. After billions in science funding, this. If you’re paying attention, you’ve realized they’re a clown show.

What might feel scary to you could also become a sense of liberation. You hold a golden place of history. God gave you a graduation present: insight into the inner workings of a society that had spent at least sixty years convincing itself that their lies were real. In truth, human beings are still fragile organisms who can’t be saved by experts, degrees, courses of study, diplomas, transcripts, papers, conferences, or grades. People who seemed all-powerful and unquestionable to classes that came before you now stand exposed for being less than a wizard behind a curtain. They’re the bobblehead behind a telescreen (pace Orwell).

Please forgive me for speaking so frankly to you. You’ve been had. But you can’t be had any longer, since everything is breaking down. You didn’t ask for my advice but I’ll give it to you. You should stand up and fight the system at this point, whether you’re left or right. Past generations risked their safety to engage in real civil disobedience. Read Thoreau if it helps. When you’re young and not set in your career, you have more freedom than you can imagine. I wish I’d taken a stand for my beliefs at 19, so I didn’t have to take the stand at 49 with two kids, a wife, and a mortgage to worry about. I don’t regret my choices but my timing. If you don’t avail yourself of your freedom now, chances are you’ll be part of the machine for the rest of your life. And the machine is broken.

What He Said

Acting DNI director Ric Grenell is doing the Lord’s work, so to speak. He is cleaning house at that Intelligence agency and last night had a new directive.

From now on, the FBI is frozen out of candidates’ intelligence briefings. Grenell’s office released this statement:

“Today, the ODNI announced that the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) will lead all intelligence-based threat briefings to candidates, campaigns, and political organizations under the U.S. Government’s notification framework. Bill Evanina, the Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, will serve as the IC’s leader to this critical effort.

“’US elections are the foundation of our nation’s democracy. We are committed to supporting this Administration’s whole-of-government effort to secure the 2020 election,’ said Evanina.

“This change represents an important improvement and simplification to the threat notification process. The IC will continue to work in partnership with FBI and DHS to identify and integrate threat information, and Evanina and the elections team will act swiftly to deliver the timely and thorough assessments to those affected by potential malicious influence.”

The briefings do not belong in a law enforcement agency.

This joins his other releases of formerly redacted information that should Grenell shared with the public.

As one comment put it so well, “Seems Ratcliffe’s going to take over as DNI in the not too distant future. When he does, fire Wray, move Grenell over to Acting FBI Director until, hopefully General Flynn is free and clear and when he is appointed as FBI Director. Then fire Gina Haspel and put Grenell in as Acting CIA Director until her replacement is decided.
Grenell is a pitbull and homey don’t play dat deep state sheezie!”

Amen. We need people who will do the messy job of cleaning out DC.

More Want to Home School

Look at this:

National Poll: 40% of Families More Likely to Homeschool After Lockdowns End

Tommy Schultz
May 14, 2020

A RealClear Opinion Research survey of 2,122 registered voters shows that support for educational choice is strong, and that a significant portion of parents are more likely to pursue homeschooling opportunities after the lockdowns end. The results show that 40% of families are more likely to homeschool or virtual school after lockdowns, and that 64% support school choice and 69% support the federal Education Freedom Scholarships proposal.

More school choice polling can be found at www.SchoolChoicePolling.com

Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation of Children:

“Every single family with kids in school has been incredibly disrupted by the lockdowns. With 55 million students no longer in their normal educational setting, families are clearly considering new options and many are seeing the benefits of homeschooling and virtual schooling. Policymakers should note that there is a strong desire to have these and other educational options available to families, with both strong support for the general concept of school choice and even stronger support for a specific federal proposal, Education Freedom Scholarships.

“This is the time for leadership and for desperately needed bold reforms to be implemented across our K-12 education system. Millions of families are seeing the inadequacies of school districts that are too inflexible. We owe it to our nation’s families and students to give them more flexibility and additional educational options. Moreover, policymakers owe it to the taxpayers who are footing the $800 billion K-12 education bill to maximize their investment by ensuring every child has access to a quality education and outcomes are improved across the board.”

Maybe this will be one of the benefits of the lockdown. While Republicans are 72% in favor of school choice, now even Democrats are at 59%. Blacks edge whites in favor of it.

And yet the Shelby County School Board just approved a $1.3 BILLION budget in a city that can’t afford most simple services.

From the Daily Memphian:

“Shelby County Schools unanimously approved a $1.37 billion operating budget Monday that includes a last-minute addition by school board members to restore $560,000 to expand the freshman academy program.

“Board members also approved a $65 million capital improvement budget — more than double the $25 million that the county mayor has proposed for school building needs.

“’We’ve got significant needs,’ said board member Billy Orgel, which includes more money for gymnasiums, new roofs, and heating and air conditioning upgrades. ‘And I know that our brothers and sisters out in the county at the (suburban) municipal systems, who we work with closely, also have the same needs for their aging facilities.’

“The operating budget includes a 1% pay raise for teachers and additional dollars to expand some district initiatives and purchase textbooks. It also relies on spending $5 million from its reserves, which is half of the $10 million it budgeted to spend this year, and significantly less than the $49 million it spent from its reserves in 2018-19.”

That’s an enormous amount of money. What do we get for it? Kids who can’t read, employees who can’t do simple math and a job pool unprepared for most industries.

Could it be it’s time to rethink how we educate children?

Rude Reporter

I believe the above headline is repetitive, something you are not supposed to do in journalism.

Except that they do it all the time.

Ah, the rudeness. Weijia Jiang is the insistent female reporter who has twice asked President Trump obnoxious and argumentative questions. That, also, is considered journalism today, in fact it is a prerequisite.

Several times this 36 year old CBS White House correspondent (used to be a post given to older, seasoned reporters) asked President Trump gotcha questions in the Rose Garden. Monday she asked this:

Q [Jiang]: Thank you, Mr. President. You said many times that the U.S. is doing far better than any other country when it comes to testing.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q [Jiang]: Why does that matter? Why is this a global competition to you if, every day, Americans are still losing their lives and we’re still seeing more cases every day?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, they’re losing their lives everywhere in the world. And maybe that’s a question you should ask China. Don’t ask me; ask China that question, okay? When you ask them that question, you may get a very unusual answer.”

She kept interrrupting and attacking which prompted the president to end the news conference.

Last month she “scored” with this exchange:

JIANG: Thank you. Yesterday Jared Kushner said the notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be our stockpile. It’s not supposed to be state stockpiles that they then use. What did he mean by our?

THE PRESIDENT: What are you asking?

JIANG: Even the fact that taxpayers from every state pays [sic] for it.

THE PRESIDENT: What’s that? A got you? I got you. You used the word our.

JIANG: No, it’s not a got you.

THE PRESIDENT: Our, you know what our means? United States of America. That’s what it means.”

Jiang is also the one who alleged that someone from the White House called the #coronovirus Kung-Flu to my face. Makes me wonder what they’re calling it behind my back.”
I believe it was Kellyanne Conway who denied this and asked the reporter to come forward and name the person. Jiang never did.

And in March, she accosted President Trump in this manner:

WEIJIA JIANG, CBS NEWS: Since you shared with us something else that you saw on TV today. I have a question about something you said Thursday. You said you were angry because information about the virus should have been told to us earlier and a lot sooner. “People knew it was coming and people did not want to talk about it.”

Many Americans are saying the exact same thing about you, that you should have warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long to warn them and why did you not have social distancing until March 16th?

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Who are you with?

JIANG: I’m Weijia Jiang with CBS News.

TRUMP: So if you look at what I did in terms of cutting off or banning China from coming in —

JIANG: Chinese nationals. But by the way, not Americans who were also coming from China.

TRUMP: Just relax. We cut it off. People were amazed. Everybody was amazed that I did it. With 21 people in the room, everyone was against it but me. Dr. Fauci said, had I not done that, perhaps tens of thousands, may much more than that, people would have died. I was very early. Very, very early.

You saw Bret Baier making a statement. They had a debate well into February and not even mentioned, it wasn’t mentioned, the Democrats. We were very early. Oh, I’m the president, and you know what I just did?

JIANG: When you issued the ban, the virus was already here.

TRUMP: You know how many people when I issued the ban — how many cases of virus were in the United States when I issued the ban? Do you know the number?

JIANG: There was —

TRUMP: No, how many cases were there? Remember I said one person. How many cases were here when I issued the ban?

JIANG: But did you know —

TRUMP: No, no, no. You have to do your research.

JIANG: I did the research. On the 23rd of March, you said you knew this was going to be a pandemic.

TRUMP: I did know it, I did. All you have to do is look.

JIANG: So you knew it?

TRUMP: Anybody knew it. Are you ready? How many cases were in the United States when I did my ban? How many people had died in the United States when I did this?

JIANG: Do you acknowledge you didn’t think this wouldn’t spread?

TRUMP: Keep your voice down, please. Keep your voice down.

JIANG: Did you not think it would spread?

TRUMP: How many cases were in the United States? I did a ban where I was closing up the entire country. How many people died?

JIANG: And that’s a fair point.
TRUMP: How many people died in the United States and yet I closed up the country and I believe there were no deaths. Zero deaths at the time I closed up the country. Nobody was there. And you should say thank you very much for good judgment.

So who is she?

Yes, she was born in Xiamen, China. When she was two she moved with her parents to West Virginia. She attended William and Mary College then Syracuse University. Marathi.tv adds “She is interested in causes that concern children, education, economic empowerment, civil rights and social action.
She also loves to participate in anything, which involves the arts and culture. Her close association with the political arena has led to a keen interest in politics.” In other words, a perfect SJW.

Her husband, Travis Luther Lowe, is from Arkansas. They married in 2018 and he “works as the global vice president for public policy at Yelp, the website and mobile application for consumer reviews. He oversees public policy initiatives, including competition policy, consumer free speech and open data.”

So a marriage of Media plus Big Tech. They met at William and Mary when the two of them hosted an online TV show with news and political commentary. William and Mary, by the way, has a Confuscious Institute on campus, as do many universities including U of Memphis. These are funded by the CCP and widely suspected of espionage, stealing intellectual property and attempts at subverting young Americans, according to Senate inquiries and the FBI.

Rush called Jiang a provacateur. She is a race baiter and virtue signaler who has a platform. A dangerous one.

A Power-full Issue

I’m not sure what the benefits of leaving TVA would be, but the people involved are ringing alarm bells.

First, the idea the proponents argue that the city of Memphis would save $400 million if we left TVA, is not really quantifiable. It all sounds good. They say that consumers will save, which is always the promise on the front end. Environmentalists are on board because they think it will be help there, too, but how?

What they leave out gives me pause. TVA says that the city would have to issue billions in debt to build the infrastructure to do it at a price tag of $8.3 billion. That’s an enormous sum.

Who are the people pushing for us to leave TVA?

Franklin Haney is a Chattanooga businessman who owns Nuclear Development LLC, and the main actor behind this. He wants to buy nuclear power from an unfinished plant in Hollywood, Alabama, called Bellefonte. He doesn’t own the plant, TVA does. He’s tried to purchase it, but TVA has refused. Years of lawsuits have bandied the issue back in forth in the courts.
Do we want an individual to have control over our energy source?

Locally, others involved include Van Turner, Susan Thorpe and Steven Reid. Turner is a current Shelby County Commissioner and former head of the Shelby Democrat Party. Thorpe is a journalist who is also a Democrat (big surprise, eh?). Reid is a political consultant who helped Strickland win his two mayoral elections.

Aside from their leftist leanings, it’s disturbing that they are apparently hiding their lobbyist interests from the public. They’ve been working on Haney’s behalf since 2018. Last week, a judge halted proceedings that would have made them answer subpoenas about their role in influencing Memphis leaders on the issue.
Whenever people refuse to let you know what they’re doing, it’s not a good sign.

Also involved is Karl Schledwitz, who started up $450 Million for Memphis, to influence citizens to dump TVA. According to the CA, he says he is not connected to the Haney people, he just thinks citizens could save money. Schledwitz was convicted in 1992 for mail fraud connected to the failed Butcher brother banks. Why is he interested in this?

Former MLGW CEO Jerry Collins, he of the smart meter purchases and environmental proponent, smoothed the way for Haney by signing a non binding agreement indicating MLGW was a potential customer. After he left, J.T. Young took his spot and he had worked at the Bellefonte plant.

All of this is causing City Council member Chase Carlisle to wonder what’s going on.

According to the Daily Memphian, “Carlisle, during a May 5 council session, teed off on those competing for the coveted MLGW contract by saying he plans a resolution requiring many involved in the process to register with the city as lobbyists.

“At the May 5 council meeting, Carlisle told fellow members not everyone involved in the process is a ‘friend.’

“’There are people that are constantly working in the background giving bits and pieces of information because they have an ulterior motive,’ said Carlisle, who is one of those being courted and pursued. ‘They are not your friends. They are not here to see what’s in the best interest of Memphis. They are paid to work an agenda. And to be honest, it’s starting to be very problematic.’

“The lobbying effort outside MLGW has become so intense that Carlisle says he plans to introduce a measure that would require lobbyists to register with the city.

“’To all of those out there that are working as paid lobbyists, you’re on notice,’ Carlisle said. ‘I will be researching and coming with a resolution that you will have to register in the city of Memphis as a lobbying firm. I’m tired of people coming around like they are your best friend and then giving you information when they are paid to do so. Those days are numbered if I can legally do it.’”

That’s important, because this is one issue that every single one of us will be impacted by for years.
We need to know more.

Are Council members possibly open to bribes to get Haney’s project done? Will citizens have a say? Who will pay for this? Is the current system not working? How is it that environmentalists, usually opposed to nuclear power, find this OK?

The pandemic has shifted attention from this fight, but it needs to be examined thoroughly and not rushed through.