Thursday, February 25, 2021

What Are You Concerned About?

What are you concerned about?

What are the biggest problems facing the country?

How you answer these questions says a lot about your political views.

Those answers also show how wide the political divide is in this country.

Echelon Insights recently released a survey in which it focused on voter priorities with particular attention on how Republican and Democrat primary look at different issues.

This was the question that the survey focused on most closely.

Here are the five issues that Republican voters are most concerned about.


Democrats have a slightly different list of concerns.


Let's put that list in perspective.

Democrats believe that Donald Trump's supporters are a bigger problem for the country than anything but the spread of Covid-19?

Trump's supporters are a bigger problem than the economic damage of Covid 19, Covid-19 school closures, health care coverage and costs, Social Security and Medicare, illegal immigration, high taxes, unemployment, budget deficits and the national debt, China, Russia, Islamic terrorism, income inequality, student debt, abortion rights, climate change, gun violence or anything else?

Here is a list of concerns that were only posed to Democrat voters to see how they might rank them in comparison to the Top 5 issues.


Here are the list of concerns that the the pollster posed only to GOP voters to get a sense of what was most important to them compared to the Top 5 issues.


The divide is quite remarkable.

It also tells us a lot about how Joe Biden is likely to govern.

You can expect him to continue to push strong measures against Covid that include mandatory masking, lockdowns and school closures (and even mandatory vaccinations if they cannot get the voluntary acceptance percentage that they want) since stopping the spread of Covid is the top concern among Democrats.

Biden will also continue to attack Trump and his supporters despite his calls for "unity". There will be more calls to censor conservative voices or speech that does not conform to the Democrat narrative on Covid, immigration, election fraud and other liberal hot button issues.

We will also hear a lot about the evils of the white race and systemic racism. There will also be continuing calls for gun control measures. 

This is what Democrat voters want to hear about. It is clear in the polling data. Joe Biden and the Democrats will not risk alienating their base by ignoring these views.

Winning messaging for Republicans is essentially the message Donald Trump delivered for four years.

Stopping illegal immigration. Supporting the police. Reducing taxes. Liberal bias in the media.

Trump may not be the one that voters expect to deliver that message over the next four years. However, any Republican candidate who wants to pick up the mantle of the Republican party would be well advised to stay on these messages.

In the meantime, if anyone thinks that there is going to be any type of unity in the near future, look again at the answers to these questions.

It has been said the men are from Mars and women are from Venus.

This polling data suggests that Republicans and Democrats are not just on different planets---they are in completely different universes!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Incompetent, Incapable or Ill-Advised?

Joe Biden is a mystery to me.

Is he incompetent, incapable or ill-advised? 

Or has he been a politician for so long he can't tell the difference between fact and fiction?

For example, last week in a Town Hall meeting on CNN Biden stated that "we didn't have Covid vaccine when he took office.

President Biden claimed at one point during a CNN town hall on Tuesday that his administration came into office with no coronavirus vaccines available.

Let's give Biden the benefit of the doubt and say he just misspoke or made another gaffe as he has been famous for during his entire career.

After all, he has to remember that he had already received two doses of Covid vaccine before he even took office, doesn't he? Let's hope he isn't that far gone.

Of course, we know that the mainstream media would not have given President Trump the same grace that I just did for Biden. We would be told that Trump lied and people are dying because of it, wouldn't we? Such is the double standard that is in full view every day when we compare the press coverage of Biden and Trump.

More likely, Biden was attempting to claim that the vaccine supplies were inadequate when he took office.

This was revealed a couple of days later when Biden said Trump failed to order enough vaccine doses. Apparently this is a narrative that the Biden administration wants to get the media to repeat.

President Joe Biden says Donald Trump failed to secure enough Covid-19 shots and and distribute them effectively. “My predecessor -- as my mother would say, God love him -- failed to order enough vaccines,” Biden said Friday.

Let's look at the actual facts about the vaccine orders under the Trump administration.

Those facts show just how incompetent, incapable or ill-advised Joe Biden is. You should also shudder to think what we would have with vaccine supplies if Biden how been in charge last year rather than Trump.

Let's recall that most every expert said that it was next to impossible to have a vaccine ready for distribution anytime in 2020. Most laughed off Trump's statements that we would have a vaccine in the Fall.

Most vaccines take at least 10 years to develop and test.

An optimistic timeline last May was that the Covid vaccine could be developed in 18 months. I wrote at that time that I thought it was impossible to produce a vaccine that quickly. I published this chart at that time to show the Covid timeline compared to other vaccines.

President Trump insisted at that time that the timeline should be cut in half---to nine months.

The experts said it was impossible. If it happened it would be a "miracle".

Consider this observation by an expert in the field in May, 2020 who said it would be a "miracle" if a Covid vaccine was available in 12-18 months.

Dr. Afzal Siddiqui, a professor of internal medicine, immunology and molecular microbiology and director of the Center for Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, has been working on a vaccine for the parasitic disease schistosomiasis — also called snail fever — since before his son was born.

Today that son is a physician. And Siddiqui just started clinical trials in humans in the United States and Africa last year.

“The chances of getting every piece of the puzzle in place in 12 to 18 months ...” Siddiqui pauses as he contemplates a COVID-19 vaccine. “If it happens, it will be a miracle.”


Dr. Fauci himself said in July that the vaccine was not likely before early 2021.

Peter Hotez, one the top experts on vaccines in the world, suggested it could not be accomplished before mid-2021.

Peter Hotez, the dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, says that collecting enough data to prove a vaccine is safe for the world could take until mid-2021.

The Atlantic featured an article in July that was pretty typical at that time regarding prospects for a vaccine.

Biologically, a vaccine against the COVID-19 virus is unlikely to offer complete protection. Logistically, manufacturers will have to make hundreds of millions of doses while relying, perhaps, on technology never before used in vaccines and competing for basic supplies such as glass vials. Then the federal government will have to allocate doses, perhaps through a patchwork of state and local health departments with no existing infrastructure for vaccinating adults at scale.

Keep in mind that Trump had to make the decision back in the summer about how many vaccine doses to order and which producers to place bets with. At that time, no one knew which vaccines, might be effective, if any.

There was the real chance that billions of taxpayer dollars were being committed to vaccines that would never be utilized.

What did Trump do?

He did what any savvy businessman would do. He hedged his bets and spread the risk. He did not put all his eggs in one basket. He placed orders with six different vaccine manufacturers.

By the middle of August the Trump administration had placed orders for 800 million vaccine doses with six different producers. He secured an option for another 1 billion doses in the future.

Biden is saying that Trump did not order enough vaccine? This has to be one of the most outrageous claims every made by anyone and I have not seen one news source question Biden on this assertion.

The orders by the United States represented 40% of all the global orders placed at that time. The reality is that without the orders by the USA the vaccine producers would not have had the capital resources to even think about producing the vaccines.

The fact is also that the USA and the UK and other wealthier countries were criticized by many experts at that time who argued that these countries were practicing "vaccine nationalism" and they should not be securing the vaccines for their populations. This view was shared by many liberals.

The rush is dispiriting for public-health experts who have urged that vaccines be equitably distributed across the world. “We’re not going to get rid of the pandemic until we get rid of it everywhere,” says Mark Feinberg, head of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in New York City, which is developing a COVID-19 vaccine with US drug company Merck. “We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director of the World Health Organization (WHO), at an 18 August briefing.

Here is an NPR article from November that claims that the United States, UK  and Canada are unfairly ordering too much vaccine.

Several countries, including the U.S., Canada and the U.K. as well as members of the EU, are reserving enough potential doses of different types of vaccines to immunize their entire populations several times before some poor countries have any vaccine at all. For example, the U.S. and the U.K. will potentially have enough to cover its population four times over. And Canada could have enough to immunize its population five times.This chart from Nature magazine shows the status of the orders for vaccines as of mid-August.

Let's get this straight. NPR criticizes Trump for ordering enough vaccine to immunize the USA population five time over but Biden criticizes Trump for not ordering enough vaccines?

Here is a chart that shows that vaccine capacity and pre-orders that were made as of last summer when no one even knew whether any of these vaccines would be effective. 



Note that the United States was the only country who had placed an order with Moderna at the time.

Europe had placed most of its bets on Astra Zeneca. This vaccine has still not gotten emergency use authorization in the United States. It is not expected to be authorized for use before April.

The same is true for the vaccines from Novavax, J&J and Sanofi. Notice as well that the orders placed as of last August exceeded all production capacity that the vaccine producers had for 2021.

The fact is that the orders that were placed were well beyond what could be produced in the first couple of months anyway.

The reality is that last summer no one knew which vaccines were going to be effective. For Joe Biden to criticize Trump for not ordering enough vaccine supply is at odds with the facts in addition to be completely and utterly dishonest.

Joe Biden should be thanking Donald Trump every day for his leadership in pushing the vaccine development forward and delivering a miracle that almost no one thought possible.

Is Biden incompetent, incapable or ill-advised? Or does he not have ability to separate fact from fiction resulting from a half-century in politics?

Judge for yourself.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

A Retrograde Force Is Upon Us

Winston Churchill once said this about Islam.

"No stronger retrograde force exists in the world."
He wrote this in his book River War about his experiences during the Mahdist War in Sudan.
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. 

A retrograde force is not moving things forward. It is moving things backwards and that normally means reverting to an inferior condition.


That certainly seems to be the case with those who want to practice strict forms of Islam with Sharia law and the subjugation of women. It is as if these people prefer to turn the clock back to the 14th century.

Retrograde also comes to mind when I see what seems to be unfolding in the United States right now.

I am not suggesting that we are dealing with anything like Islam but it certainly can be said that we are not living in a progressive world where things are moving forward and advancing.

Look no further than the censorship and curtailment of free speech that we are seeing every day. We are seeing things that I never thought I would see in the United States of America. It is a retrograde force.

You also see it almost daily in the statements and action of the Biden administration.

It seems to be a continuing retrograde force.

We saw it on the the first day of the new administration where the new stated policy is to favor transgender athletes over women athletes. Women's athletics will be the victim of this retrograde force.

We saw it with the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline project and oil and gas fracking and drilling on federal lands. America's hard earned energy independence will be the victim of this retrograde force.

No where is the retrograde force more apparent than what Biden is proposing with regard to the nation's schoolchildren under its proposed Covid policies.

Biden has stated that it is his goal to see 50% of children in some form of in-person school learning at least one day per week within 100 days.

The reality is that more than that 66% were already receiving in-person classroom instruction at the time that Biden stated that was his goal. 40.8% were in class five days per week and 25.6% were in class for part of the week.

Apparently Biden wants to close schools rather than open them.

The CDC under Biden is proposing that K-12 grades can only have full in-person instruction if they are in the blue or yellow transmission categories in this matrix.

Note that if the county in which the school is located is "Red" then all sports and extracurricular activities are "virtual" only. It is not clear to me how you play baseball, softball, tennis or lacrosse or participate in track and field virtually. At the same time, many schools around the country have successfully been conducting basketball and other INDOOR sports all winter without major effects from Covid. Would this not be a retrograde policy?

This is how the color coded categories are defined.

This is a map of the United States showing how the 3,006 counties stand as of February 12.

Just 2 counties (.06%) are blue.

4.7% are yellow.

12.5% are orange.

82.8% are red.


This is how the House Republicans summarized what Biden has proposed and how he has kept changing the goal posts.

This suggests that Biden wants almost all schools closed to in-person instruction even though over 60% of the nation's schools are already open.

Biden's policies would actually cause schools that have been open for in-person instruction for the entire year to close.

I would call that a retrograde policy.

Even worse, Biden's policy would not even comport with the SCIENCE he says he will always follow.n

Biden's CDC Director even admits that the science has shown that Covid spreads more when schools are closed than when they are open.

Look at this chart that compares Florida, Ohio, Illinois and California.

Florida's has had 100% of its children able to have in-person instruction in school for the entire school year. Only 5.4% of California school students have the ability to have in-person instruction in that state.

Florida actually has the lowest number of pediatric cases (ages 0-14) of any of these states.


You also see that having the schools open has not meant that Florida has seen any greater community spread.

Here are the cases per million in Florida since the outbreak began.

It is interesting to note that both Florida and California had their first peaks in the months of July and August when the schools were closed for summer break anyway.

Here is California

Here is Ohio.

And Illinois.

Note that that there is almost no difference in the case curves between Ohio and Illinois despite many more schools being closed in Illinois.

Biden has also tied the reopening of schools to passage of a Covid relief package. He has stated since he was running for President that schools could not open unless there was more money for increased testing, improved ventilation systems and additional funds for increased social distancing in the classroom.

The proposed administration bill provides for $128.6 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Bill.  This is on top of $112 billion that has already been made available to schools in previous Covid relief packages.

However, only $6 billion of the $129 billion in proposed outlays is to be spent in 2021.  The bulk of the outlays are proposed for 2022 to 2025 raising the question as to what this has to do with opening the schools and Covid?

If Biden is saying that schools cannot safely open until this money is available, and used to retrofit schools, are parents supposed to expect their children will still be in virtual learning until 2023 or 2024?

Is this all about the children and opening schools or is it just a slush fund for the teachers' unions?

It seems that the teachers' unions come before any science with Biden and the Democrats.

Perhaps Biden will admit the errors in his retrograde ways.

For example, do you remember when Biden said this about Covid on January 21?

“Let me be clear: Things are going to continue to get worse before it gets better”

This is a chart that shows what has occurred in the United States since he made that statement.

Biden now portrays himself as a progressive but his policies and actions seem to have a retrograde force about them.

Can the retrograde force get even worse?

Far left groups are not happy that Biden has merely halted any further construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico.

They actually want Biden to tear down the wall.

That sounds like a very constructive proposal doesn't it?

How much would that cost? And what would the resulting costs be to our country in having a completely open border? I believe we have had experience with that issue before.

Make no mistake.

A retrograde force is upon us.

It is more apparent with each succeeding day.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Correlation, Causation and Coincidence

We are often warned that we should not confuse correlation with causation.

The fact that there is a correlation between two events does not mean that one necessarily caused the other.

Coincidence may be the reason even if there is a strong correlation.

Correlation, causation and coincidence have gotten a lot of attention in the Covid world we live in today.

At times we are told there is correlation and causation when there is none. At other times, when it appears that there could be correlation and causation, it is dismissed as coincidence. It makes everything much harder to understand when facts are manipulated or data that does not fit the narrative is dismissed. 

For example, why has the seasonal flu almost completely disappeared this year?

Flu cases are down 98% compared to the average of the last five years.

Hospitalizations are down 98.4% compared to last year.


Thankfully, there has just been one pediatric death from the flu this year. Deaths from flu for children have averaged 176 annually over the last three years.

Pediatric Flu Deaths for last 4 years

When Dr. Tony Fauci was recently asked why the seasonal flu has almost completely disappeared this year his explanation was that it was due to people wearing masks and social distancing.

Fauci seems to have made a correlation and attributed causation without anything to support his conclusion.

If what Fauci says is true, why have the masks and social distancing not had the same effect on Covid? It is also a respiratory virus that is transmitted in the same manner as the flu.

You may also recall that Fauci and other "experts" were predicting last Fall that we were likely heading into a "twindemic" this winter as we would be dealing with both a tough Covid and flu season.

Healthcare experts are urging citizens to get the flu shot this year due to fears of a “twindemic” – surging COVID-19 cases and a severe flu season. With a twindemic looming, it is more important than ever to get your flu shot – especially for seniors and children. Getting the flu shot can “blunt the effect of one of those two potential respiratory infections,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


I questioned that prediction in these pages in October based on data that suggested that the flu had all but disappeared during the winter season in the Southern Hemisphere. That data suggested to me that in some way Covid may be blocking the flu virus from replicating in the population. It is almost as if Covid is bigger and stronger so that the flu cannot get established in the community when Covid is present.

We see the opposite conclusion by the "experts" concerning correlation and causation in this story about four Kentucky nursing home residents who died on the same day they were vaccinated. Interestingly, three of the four had previously had Covid and recovered.

That suggests a pretty strong correlation that should require further investigation regarding causation.

What did the CDC state when asked about these cases? All of the deaths were dismissed as mere coincidences.
In response to questions about the Kentucky cluster, a spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said its experts noted “no pattern … among the [Kentucky] cases that would indicate a concern for the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The same thing was said when a 78-year old woman in California died a few minutes after she received the vaccine on Friday.

She died of "something else" according to health officials.



Have you noticed a pattern regarding Covid when it comes to correlation, causation and coincidence?

Anything that helps in supporting the "narrative" is positively correlated. If cases are going down it is because masks are working. If cases are going up it is because people aren't wearing their masks. 

Any Covid positive test within 60 days of any death is attributed to Covid. Any adverse reaction or death, even within minutes of taking the Covid vaccine, is written off as a coincidence.

Are the Covid vaccines responsible for the steep drop in cases in the United States over the last month? That could be a contributing causal factor. However, the relatively few that have been vaccinated thus far (approx. 12%) should not have that large an effect to this point.

Israel has vaccinated a higher percentage of its population than any other country in the world.

However, Israel has a higher number of new cases of Covid today than it did when it began the vaccine program on December 19, 2020. 

In recent weeks new cases have dropped in Israel but they have not fallen as quickly as they have in the United States that has a much lower vaccination rate.

Is there a correlation anywhere? Causation? Coincidence?

It is particularly interesting to compare cases in Israel with the Palestine territory.

New confirmed cases per capita in Israel and Palestine were almost exactly the same on December 23 on the chart below (where the red and blue lines cross) four days after the vaccine program started in Israel. Palestine has vaccinated almost no one.

Notice how Israel's cases exploded upwards right after the vaccine program began and Palestine's cases starting falling.

I am not suggesting that the vaccine is causing the new cases but this data is contrary to the narrative we hear on the news.

Is it merely a coincidence? 

What about the narrative that lockdowns are the answer? We are told that California and New York have done it right and Florida has been irresponsible in being so open and not having a statewide mask mandate. Do you see any correlation in the data?


Is the lower hospitalizations in Florida just a coincidence?

I don't know but I do know that the "experts" should be studying these issues with some rigor rather dismissing the data because it may not fit their narrative.

Take a look at this map of the number of global deaths from Covid since the pandemic began.

What jumps out at you?

Notice how there have been relatively few deaths in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania compared to North and South America and Europe.

This is despite the fact that countries like India, China, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Nigeria are among the nations with the highest population density in the world. Crowded living conditions is supposed to be a recipe for the spread of Covid.

What is the correlation if it is not population density or some type of genetic component? It seems that Covid has had a bigger impact in richer countries than poorer countries. Are there more deaths because richer countries are doing a better job of counting deaths? Is it because those in richer countries are more susceptible to the virus because of their lifestyles? Are we seeing more deaths because the richer countries and more consumed with social media and incessant Covid reporting?

I don't know what the correlation and causation is but the data is undeniable.

Here is another correlation that I found interesting.

Compare Covid deaths with a world map of where gay marriage is legal.

Look at the map above on global deaths and compare it to this map on where gay marriage is legal.

Gay marriage and Covid deaths have a remarkable correlation even down to South Africa being the only country in Africa that has legalized gay marriage while also having the highest number of Covid deaths per capita on that continent.

Of course, gay marriage is not causing Covid. However, it might be that the progressive mindset that underlies a nation's belief system that legalizes gay marriage may have something to do with how  society reacts to the virus and how it categorizes deaths.

My advice on anything to do with Covid is to beware of the correlations that you hear concerning the virus and the causes and effects that are attributed to it. 

At some point Covid will not be a threat and many correlations will be made as to what caused it to go away.

Was it the masks?

Was it the vaccine?

Was it keeping schools closed?

Did the virus just burn itself out?

Making correlations are easier than determining the causations that are in play with Covid.

Of course, it is also not helpful for the experts to just dismiss any correlations and potential causations as mere coincidences when it counters their narrative. 

This is the world of Covid we are living in.

Be very careful on who and what you believe on anything to do with correlation, causation and coincidences regarding Covid.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Irrelevant Impeachment

The Senate has been conducting its impeachment trial of former President Trump this week.

If there is one word I would use to describe the proceeding it would be "IRRELEVANT".

It all seems to be a gigantic waste of time and money when our federal government is short on both right now. We certainly don't have much money and Congress hasn't been able to find the time to pass Covid relief and other measures that would be important for the public. 

It is important to remember that Impeachment was put in the Constitution specifically to remove the President, Vice President and any civil officers of the United States (e.g. judges) if it was found that they had somehow misused the office.

The Constitutional language of Article 2, Section 4 is very clear that removal is the sole reason for an impeachment.

Article 2, Section 4

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

It follows that if a President is no longer in office there is no basis for a conviction for Impeachment.

The Democrats have argued that this is not correct and it is necessary to have the ability to impeach and convict a President of other civil officer even after they leave office because there would otherwise be no check on bad behavior in the last weeks or days of their term.

Someone actually suggested that Impeachment was necessary because a President could commit murder or take millions of dollars in bribes in the waning days of a term and would escape punishment if a former President could not be tried

This ignores the plain reading of the Constitution.

Note that the Constitution states that judgment in cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than removal of office and disqualification to hold future office. This clearly shows that judgment must include removal from office. Disqualification to hold future office can be added as an additional penalty. However, that is not a standalone judgment. If it was, the sentence below would have been written with an "OR" rather than "AND".

Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside; And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgement in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment, according to Law.

It is also clear that the President is subject to the normal rules of indictment, trial and judgment for any offenses undertaken while they are in office. Removal from office by impeachment does not provide immunity under the law for any criminal offenses that have been committed.

Therefore, if it is believed that President Trump committed sedition or another crime he could be prosecuted for that in our federal justice system. Impeachment is simply not a remedy after he has left office.

The fact that Justice John Roberts declined to participate as the presiding officer of the impeachment trial also tells you all you need to know about the unconstitutionality of all of this. When the President of the United States is tried under articles of impeachment the Constitution specifies that the Chief Justice is to preside. 

The Democrats have appointed Senator Patrick Leahy to be the presiding officer at the trial which raises even more questions in that Leahy has also stated that he will remain a "juror" as well. How can someone be both a judge and juror in a proceeding like this and it still be considered a fair trial? How can this be considered as providing due process to the accused?

The bottom line in all of this is that this Impeachment is nothing more than an act of political retribution. There is no other possible explanation for this despite what the Democrats might otherwise say.

Impeachment is meant to provide a remedy for the voters who have put someone in office who should be removed to protect the people. 

That is not the case here. Trump is no longer in office. The people do not have to be protected. If Trump were to be convicted in the impeachment trial the only real punishment that could be meted out would be a ban on serving in another federal elected office. A conviction at this point only usurps authority from the voters rather than protecting them. Without it, there would be no other remedy for the people.

If Trump is the reprobate the Democrats claim he is why would they be concerned about preventing him from holding office again? Why would he even be considered by the voters again for elective office? Shouldn't it be up to the voters to make that decision? This shows just how ludicrous this is. It also shows just how far outside the bounds of the Constitution this trial is. Does anyone think the Founders intended that Congress make a decision for the voters on who could or could not run for political office if they had never been removed from office? This thinking violates the idea that our "government is of, by and for the people".

Further, even if you accept that this proceeding is constitutional, there was nothing in Trump's speech on December 6 that encouraged any violence or invasion of the Capitol. Trump specifically stated that he wanted his followers to "peaceably and patriotically" march to the Capitol to make their voices heard. He also made clear he was only looking for a lawful solution. He never suggested any overt actions that were not in keeping with the Constitution.

We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. Our country has been under siege for a long time, far longer than this four-year period. (emphasis added).

The evidence has also shown that the incursion into the Capitol began at least 20 minutes before Trump's speech was even over and it was at least a 30 minute walk from the site of Trump's speech to the Capitol. Evidence has also shown that some elements of the incursion were preplanned by the perpetrators well in advance of January 6. This included the planting of pipe bombs the night before the speech.

President Trump's Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, also disclosed this week that Trump had offered to deploy the National Guard in advance of January 6 to provide additional security support for the Capitol Hill and DC police.

If Trump was trying to incite an insurrection why would he be offering to beef up security support? It defies all logic.

Former President Donald Trump offered to deploy 10,000 National Guard troops in Washington D.C. prior to Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol building breach, according to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

Meadows told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that although Trump had been vocal about offering Capitol Police and National Guard presence at the Capitol on multiple occasions last month, his offer was rebuked “every time.”

The Democrats have set a dangerous precedent in these proceedings that should give everyone pause.

Is impeachment now a political weapon?

For example, what if the Republicans had tried to impeach Joe Biden after he left the Vice Presidency because of his family's questionable business dealings with Ukraine and China. The sole purpose would have been to prevent him from running for President. Why would that be acceptable? Why would that not be a decision for the People to make?

This is an irrelevant impeachment.

Trump is no longer in office.

He cannot betray the public trust in any way.

There is no way to know if he will ever run for office again in any event.

Four years is a long way off.

Trump will be 78 years old.

Even if he does, aren't the voters the best to judge whether they want him to represent them again?

That is the way our republic is supposed to work.

We are living in very dangerous times. 

I never thought I would see the day in the United States where political speech, views and actions have become so weaponized.

This impeachment is completely irrelevant but for the fact that it is relevant as being a reflection of how far off the rails we have gotten in this country.

The fact that a majority of Senators, who have taken an oath to the Constitution, agreed to even hear this case tells you even more about how irrelevant they are becoming in the eyes of every thinking American with each passing day.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Coaches and Quarterbacks

The Super Bowl this year presented the interesting question as to whether it was more important to have a great coach or a great quarterback.

Two great quarterbacks were in the game. Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

The 43-year old Brady is a marvel. If playing at that age is not an indication of that by itself, consider that this Super Bowl was Brady's tenth in 21 years in the NFL.  That is an astounding statistic. Brady has actually been to the Super Bowl in half of the years he has been a starter.

To put that in better perspective, Brady has more Super Bowl appearances than the Browns, Lions, Jaguars, Texans, Cardinals, Titans, Chargers, Panthers, Falcons and Bengals---COMBINED.

When I was growing up there were two NFL icons that I thought were ancient---George Blanda and Y.A. Tittle.

Compare how Brady looks today compared to those two.

Tom Brady at age 43

This is Blanda in 1970 at age age 43. He was still playing some quarterback that year. However, he was a placekicker until the age of 48.

George Blanda at age 43 in 1970.

This is Y.A. Tittle in 1964 at age 38 after he had been sacked in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was the last season that Tittle played for the New York Giants. This photo remains one of the most iconic images in NFL history.

Y.A. Tittle at age 38
Credit: Dozier/Mobley AP

Brady is the definition of greatness.

Tom Brady has stated he intends to play until age 45. I see no evidence he should hang it up.

Patrick Mahomes is only age 25. He has been in the NFL for four seasons but only attempted one pass in his rookie season. He has now been in the Super Bowl for two consecutive seasons.

Mahomes has a pretty good start on greatness. However, Tom Brady showed tonight he is the Super one.

The two coaches in the game, Andy Reid of Kansas City and Bruce Arians of Tampa Bay, also have what I believe is a hallmark of a great coach---the ability to take over a team and within one or two years turn the fortunes of a team totally around.

Andy Reid took over as the head coach of Kansas City in 2013 after the Chiefs had finished with the NFL's worst record in 2012 at 2-14. In his first season he led the Chiefs to a nine straight wins to start the season before finishing 11-5 and gaining a wild card spot in the playoffs.

In Reid's first head coaching position in the NFL, at Philadelphia, he took over a team that went 3-13 in 1998. Reid had the Eagles in the playoffs with a 11-5 record in 2000.

Bruce Arians was hired as the offensive coordinator at Indianapolis in 2012 on the staff of new head coach Chuck Pagano. The Colts were just coming off a 2-14 season. Shortly into the season Pagano had to step aside from his duties due to a leukemia diagnosis. Arians was named interim head coach and led the Colts to a 9-3 record as head coach. The Colts made the playoffs and Arians became the only interim coach to ever be named NFL Coach of the Year.

Arians was hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2013. Arizona had finished 5-11 in 2012. Arians went 10-6 in his first and then 11-5 in 2014 and 13-3 in 2015.

Arians took over a Tampa Bay team that had gone 5-11 before he was hired and in two seasons he had the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl.

Both the coaches in this year's Super Bowl have demonstrated great coaching with two teams in the NFL. These guys are not flukes.

However, which would you rather have? A great coach or a great quarterback?

That question has been asked by many people over the years.

For example, was Bill Belichick or Tom Brady more important to the success of the New England Patriots over the years?

Looking at the results of this year you would have to say that Tom Brady was more important than Belichick.

New England was 7-9 this year without Brady. That is the worst record for the Patriots since Brady's rookie season of 2000 when he attempted only three passes the entire year. You can't put that record on Tom.

It is important to remember that Belichick was also fired from his first NFL head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns where he was 36-44 over five seasons before being fired. His quarterbacks in Cleveland, which included Bernie Kosar and Vinny Testaverde, were not Tom Brady.

It also should probably not come as a surprise that the NFL coaches with the longest tenure in their positions also have enjoyed having great quarterbacks playing for them.

Consider this list.


Belichick with Brady.

Sean Payton with Drew Brees.

Mike Tomlin with Ben Roethlisberger.

John Harbaugh with Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson.

Pete Carroll with Russell Wilson.

Andy Reid with Patrick Mahomes. In addition, Reid had Donavan McNabb as his quarterback for 11 seasons when he was in Philadelphia. Three years after McNabb retired Reid was 4-12 with the Eagles and his contract was not renewed. Michael Vick was no McNabb.

There is also a pretty good correlation regarding the top coaching salaries in the NFL and having a top notch quarterback. These salaries are also undoubtedly a function of past record and tenure in the job. Of course, those won/lost records are also dependent on having the right guy pulling the trigger behind center.

Jon Gruden is the outlier here but he had to be enticed back into coaching and his past coaching record was impressive.



Do you want a great coach or a great quarterback?

I want the great quarterback.

Is it possible for any coach to be great without a great quarterback?

It is not likely.

Bill Belichick was sitting at home this year. Bruce Arians was hoisting the Lombardi Trophy tonight.

Bruce Arians did a great job this year. However, he is likely would have been at home as well this year if Tom Brady was not his quarterback.

Tom Brady proves again why he is super and why his coaches do a great job.

What is left of any debate between coach and quarterback when Tom Brady is the guy?

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Science, Facts and Myths

I am old enough to remember when the International Olympic Committee and others zealously protected the integrity of women's sports by insuring that the participants did have not high levels of male hormones in their systems.

The rather simple concept was that it was not fair for women to be competing against competitors that were not biological women. If not, women were put at an unfair advantage and were the subject of discrimination.

East Germany was particularly know for injecting male hormones into their female athletes to increase athletic performance. This practice was particularly profound in the 1970's and 1980's.

After Germany was reunited, that country's Olympic Committee admitted that doping had taken place under the Communists and a number of former athletes were given financial compensation for subsequent medical and psychological problems and children they had delivered with birth defects.

Keep in mind that in past years the concern was with actual biological females that had enhanced testosterone in their bodies that provided a physical and performance advantage. Female athletes from some other counties have had medals taken away or been banned from competition because tests showed that they had abnormal testosterone levels in their bodies even without evidence that it had been modified by doping.

It is amazing to consider that all of this concern for the integrity of women's athletic has been thrown out the window due to a newfound allegiance to "transgender rights and equity".

We have now reached a point where "transgender rights" takes precedence over "women's rights". We are putting the rights of a tiny fringe segment of society over half of the population.

Although Joe Biden and the Democrat party talk a lot about science it seems to not matter at all when it comes to this issue. It doesn't matter even if the science is clear cut that males generally possess more size, strength and speed than most females.

For example, consider these facts that were presented in a Duke University Law School article that compared athletic performances in 2017 between the best woman in the world compared to under 18 year old high school boys.

124 high school boys ran the 100 meters faster than the best woman's time.

285 high school boys ran the 400 meters faster than the world's fastest woman. 

Here is the table that compares the best women's result to the number of men of all ages who outperformed that result.

10,009 men ran a faster 100 meters than the fastest woman.

13,898 men ran a faster 400 meters than the fastest woman.

4,801 men performed a better long jump than the best woman.

Consider this excerpt from Duke Law article.

Just in the single year 2017, Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Tori Bowie's 100 meters lifetime best of 10.78 was beaten 15,000 times by men and boys. (Yes, that’s the right number of zeros.)

The same is true of Olympic, World, and U.S. Champion Allyson Felix’s 400 meters lifetime best of 49.26. Just in the single year 2017, men and boys around the world outperformed her more than 15,000 times.

This differential isn’t the result of boys and men having a male identity, more resources, better training, or superior discipline. It’s because they have an androgenized body.

This used to be called SCIENCE.

We have now reached a point where all it takes is for a male to "identify" as a female and they must be permitted to compete as a woman in any school or university in the United States or they risk losing any federal subsidies?

What is really amusing is seeing the ACLU weigh in on this. I guess some people's civil liberties are more important than others.

They claim there are four major myths at play here.

Look at all these "myths" and tell me after looking at this video what the real facts and science are on this subject.

Is this fair to women?

In 2017, competing as Craig Teller, this athlete ranked 390th in NCAA Div II in men's 400m (36in) hurdle.

In 2019, competing as CeCe Teller, this athlete ranked 1st in NCAA Div II women's 400m (30in) hurdle. And this after taking a year off for hormone therapy.

Remember that what you see with your own eyes is nothing but a collection of myths.

I wrote about this subject five years ago. We were already on a slippery slope at that time. That slope has now taken us right over the cliff.

There is no sense and certainly no sensibility in any of this.

No Sense and No Sensibility

(originally published June 21, 2016)

There seem to be many things that no longer make sense in our world today. Sensibility seems to have been replaced with an utter disregard for human nature, behavior and science.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the moves to obliterate the laws of science regarding gender.

I couldn't help but think of the lack of sense and sensibility in this regards as I looked at a couple of stories that were in the headlines in the last week.

The first was the vote in the U.S. Senate that would subject females to register for Selective Service so that they might some day be drafted into the Armed Services.

The second was the story of a high school senior who is a biological male but who "self identifies" as a female and was allowed to run as a girl in the state track meet where he (she?) won all-state honors.

Let me say at the outset that I am the father of two daughters so I am very sensitive to providing equal opportunities to them. They should be able to do anything that they set their minds to. That is the way they were raised by my wife and I. However, there are substantive biological differences between males and females. You can "self-identify" all you want in your head but that does not change the basic biology.

There is no way that my daughters (or granddaughter) should be subjected to the obligation of potential military service via the draft. If they would like to serve by volunteering, that should be their choice. However, we have lost all sense and sensibility if we are going to start drafting women for combat roles.

Do not be deceived, the only reason for a draft is to fill ground combat positions. That has always been the purpose of conscription. As I wrote previously on the subject, "Opportunity or Obligation?",

Conscription is normally necessary to fill combat positions in the Army.  For example, 95% of all inductees to the Army during the Vietnam War were draftees while the Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard were able to fill almost their entire quotas via voluntary enlistments. Of course, the threat of being drafted into the Army becomes a great incentive to volunteer for potentially safer and softer postings in the Armed Services.
I have argued in these pages previously that the drafting of women was the next step in the slippery slope of pushing for more equality on the battlefield. It appears that we have arrived at that point.

What is the point in all of this?  Especially when you look at the results of recent changes the Marine Corps has made in its fitness requirements to objectively determine who can handle the physical demands of combat. The quote below is from a story in the Marine Corps Times on how men and women are doing on the new tests which are given 45 days into basic training.

In the last five months, six out of seven female recruits — and 40 out of about 1,500 male recruits — failed to pass the new regimen of pullups, ammunition-can lifts, a 3-mile run and combat maneuvers required to move on in training for combat jobs, according to the data.

The first interesting data point in this information is that only seven female recruits have even attempted to go through the first phase of Marine Corps basic training leading to combat roles----compared to 1,500 men!

The second point is that 86% of the females failed to meet the standard!  The comparable failure rate for men---3%!

Drafting women? No sense and no sensibility.

Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps

What about a male running as a female in the state track meet because that is the way he "self identifies"?

Again, no sense and no sensibility.

I have some personal experience in the athletic realm pitting boy against girls at the high school level.

My youngest daughter was a very good high school field hockey player. In fact, she was an All-Western Pennsylvania player her senior year in addition to being the leading scorer in the Pittsburgh area.

Pennsylvania had a rule that allowed girls (or boys) to play on the teams of opposite genders if the sport was not offered to them. Thus, for example, a girl could play on the boys' golf team if there was no girls' team. All well and good for giving girls the opportunity to compete.

However, what about the opposite?

We found out how that works when in my daughter's junior and senior years a couple of boys played on one of the other schools' field hockey team.  Our team won the games against that school because field hockey is very much a skill sport. To be successful you have to be good at handling the stick. However, the size and speed difference of the boys was very apparent as I watched those games. Here was my daughter at 5'3" and about 110 lbs facing off with 6'0', 180 lbs. bruisers. It made me cringe and it made my daughter and her teammates mad about having to compete against members of the other gender.

A boy playing in a girls high school field hockey match

It also made me wonder what would happen to girls field hockey if a school fielded a team of 11 boys who were willing to put on skirts and practice their stick skills for a few years?  

It is the same thought I had looking at the story of the state track meet in Alaska.

If we are to allow people to "self-identify" on what gender they are, we could soon have very few female athletes participating on the athletic field in many sports. 

There are women that are stronger, faster and more athletic than many men. I don't think many men would want to challenge Brittney Griner to a game of one-on-one basketball, Serena William to a game of tennis or Allyson Felix to a 100-meter dash.  There are overlapping bell curves with respect to the physical abilities of men and women. Some women will always have better physical abilities than some men. The Marine Corps data shows that. However, most men will enjoy physical advantages over most women.

Think for a moment if Bruce Jenner had not won the men's gold medal in the Decathalon in 1976 and decided he wanted another chance at gold 8 years later in Los Angeles in the Heptathalon (the female equivalent event)---as a woman.  Glynis Nunn of Australia won the gold and Jackie Joyner won the silver at that Olympics. I doubt either would have beaten Bruce Caitlyn Jenner eight years past his her prime.

Think for a minute if all the boys on the JV basketball team at a high school decided they would "self identify" as females and tryout for the varsity girls team? How would you stop them in a world that increasingly has no sense and no sensibility?

We should take a step back and think of where all of this gender neutrality talk is taking us.

I can assure you that it is not a good place. For men...or women.

There is no sense or sensibility in any of it.