Alaska Supreme Court Decrees Absentee Ballots Do Not Need to be Witnessed Because of Wuhan Flu

Alaska, already plagued by unprecedented vote fraud in past elections, has now been ordered by its Supreme Court to allow all absentee ballots to be cast without a witness signature. Yes, you read that right. Anyone can now fill out anyone’s ballot, place it in the mail and it will be counted, courtesy of an out-of-control judiciary. Assuming the post office actually delivers it, LOL.

Here’s the State’s press release, apparently written by the infamous Gail Fenumiai, head of Alaska’s Division of Elections:

The Alaska Supreme Court today agreed with the lower court that in light of the pandemic, for the 2020 general election only, voters do not need to get
their absentee ballots witnessed. In order for a person’s vote to count, voters must still sign the back of the absentee ballot envelope and provide the voter identifier, such as date of birth, driver’s license number, etc. The Division of Elections also recommends that voters date their signature on the back of the envelope. Normally, the witness would date their signature, but since there is no witness requirement, the voter is encouraged (but not required) to fill this information in.

There is also nothing prohibiting a voter from having their ballot witnessed, and any ballot that is witnessed will be counted, so long as it meets all the other statutory requirements, just as it would have been prior to the court’s order.

Looks like the hijacking of the American political experiment is just about complete. The left owns the media, the judiciary, most senior military leaders, the entertainment industry, federal law enforcement, the clandestine agencies, even most of Trump’s “inside” team. States like Alaska now seem to be conducting a “mop up” operation to ensure no resistance to the leftists’ coup.

Is it too late to save the Republic?

What’s Really at Stake in 2020

The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has clarified what is at stake in the 2020 election. It is not, as some believe, democracy itself. Nor is it, as others assume, our continued existence as a nation. Democracy will survive Donald Trump, and the United States of America will outlast Joe Biden. The question that 2020 will help to answer is what sort of democracy, and what sort of nation, America will be as it prepares to enter the second quarter of the 21st century.

The reaction to Ginsburg’s death, and to Republican plans to fill her seat on the Supreme Court, underscores the choice before the electorate: Does it prefer to live in a democratic republic ordered toward the principles of the Founders and the constitutional structure they designed to protect individual liberty? Or would it rather dwell in a plebiscitary democracy where the original meaning of the Constitution, when it is not explicitly repudiated, is politely overlooked in order to satisfy ever more radical egalitarian demands?

Needless to say, the answer is up in the air, and has been for some time. But we may be nearing a settlement, one way or another. The civil unrest of the past several months has made unignorable the existence of a large body of opinion that holds something is terribly wrong with America as founded, something that cannot be redeemed, and that American history and American institutions must be drastically revised to atone for the injustices committed against racial minorities. President Trump, in his inimitable way, has made the opposite argument, and called for a renewed appreciation of the American story and a resurgence of national pride.

Ginsburg’s passing heightened the tension. Suddenly an abstract cultural debate was transformed into a concrete political-legal struggle, and the prospect of lasting victory for one team (Trump and Mitch McConnell’s) looked real. The fight over the Supreme Court vacancy Ginsburg left behind also illuminated the lengths to which some progressives are prepared to go to make real their vision of the future. And it is in their openness to institutional upheaval that the real import of this election may be found. If enacted, the measures these Democrats propose would warp our constitutional system. They would turn the American government into a creature far different from the one the Founders made. This would be the upshot of the “structural reform” that, until the last week, lived mainly on Twitter and in the heads of policy wonks. (Read more from “What’s Really at Stake in 2020” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

Is It Now Okay to Kill People We Find Offensive?

The use of guns is becoming a common feature of the protests and violence raging in many parts of the United States. The way in which the Wisconsin city of Kenosha has been turned into a veritable warzone suggests that some people now see destructive behaviour as a way of gaining attention or making a point.

The recent shooting dead of a man in Portland, Oregon highlights the growing trend for dehumanising people who are on the other side of the political divide. In this instance protesters celebrated the fact that a ‘Nazi’ had been killed. The man was a member of the right-wing organisation Patriot Prayer – which means social media was soon full of claims that it was only a piece of ‘fascist scum’ who got killed.

One man tweeted: ‘If you’re just hearing about a member of Patriot Prayer being killed or another being arrested in Washington you should catch up on who they are. SPLC [the Southern Poverty Law Center] has a good example. They’re not a “conservative” group. They’re at minimum alt-right/fash.’

The implication of this tweet is that this man had it coming. The SPLC, which specialises in branding groups it dislikes as racists or fascists or alt-right, was quick off the mark. It published an account of the disturbances which claimed that the members of Patriot Prayer in Portland were outside agitators who wanted to inflict their white-supremacist hate on the city. . .

The casual manner in which violent attacks on opponents are discussed in the language of ‘they had it coming’ points to an ominous development in political life. Today’s politicisation of identity is often informed by an instinct to dehumanise those who ‘offend’ us. This dehumanisation of opponents is expressed in a language that treats them as evil people with no redeeming qualities. The promiscuous use of labels like ‘fascist’ and ‘white supremacist’ is about indicating that millions of people exist on a lower moral plane than the apparently enlightened advocates of identity politics. (Read more from “Is It Now Okay to Kill People We Find Offensive?” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

Are the Media Trying to Throw the Election to Trump?

. . .Trump claims he’s the antidote to the mass riots in cities across the country, but what powers will he have after being reelected that he doesn’t have right now, while he’s already president?

Our only alternative is the party that “embraces Black Lives Matter,” as The Washington Post admitted, calling Democrats’ cuddling up to BLM a “remarkable development in American politics, as a major party sought to associate itself fully with an emerging protest movement.”

So your choice is: a president who denounces riots, looting and violence in the streets, but does nothing, or a president who actively supports the people doing the riots, looting and violence in the streets.

And what can the media say? They denied the riots were even happening, then blamed “white supremacists” for the violence they said didn’t exist. (Is it the Boogaloo Boys or QAnon?) Now the media are calling the riots “peaceful protests” again, so I guess they know it’s their side doing the arson and destruction. (Read more from “Are the Media Trying to Throw the Election to Trump?” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

$14 Trillion in Slavery Reparations

White Is a Color

Redd Foxx’s character Fred delivered a sly zinger in a Sanford and Son episode when a tone-deaf white police officer asked him whether a criminal suspect was “colored.”

“Yeah,” Fred replied, “white.” It was a funny line, but it was also scientifically correct. The definition of white as an absence of color is exactly wrong.

Sir Isaac Newton proved in a renowned 1666 experiment that white is composed of six visible colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. He used a prism to resolve white light into its component colors, which a second prism recombined into a single white light again.

So Harry Belafonte is no more a person of color, optically speaking, than the palest Swedish albino, and arguably less so. It would be more honest for nonwhite racially preoccupied people to call themselves people about color, not people of color.

White Is a Race

Critical race theorists will, of course, dismiss this as quibbling. Their definition of people of color is not intended as a scientific statement of physics, but as an identity of all people who are not racially white. UCLA Professor Efren Perez has tracked use of the phrase in Black and mainstream newspapers since 1960. He found that Black newspapers used the term much earlier and more often than mainstream newspapers. Its increasing frequency coincided with the arrival of large immigrant populations that presented opportunities for political Blacks to recruit a broader nonwhite coalition.

The definition of people of color appears to be noncontroversial. So far as I know, everybody agrees that people of color are just people who aren’t white. This is necessarily negative: their identity is defined by who they are not. It retains its appeal and its coalition-building power only as long as the consensus that whites are villains in our national narrative.

Racial identity is a matter of real importance in a grievance-based economy. There are jobs, promotions, college admissions, government contracts and potential reparations for people who are agile and skilled in the art of racial grievance. The ship has already sailed on most of these policies that overtly disadvantage whites, but racial reparations are still under discussion.

Black billionaire Robert Johnson, founder of the Black Entertainment Network, recently called for $14 trillion in slavery reparations to Black Americans. This dwarfs the Black Panthers’ 1969 demand for $500 million in reparations. Martin Luther King confidante Bayard Rustin said at the time that “if my great-grandfather picked cotton for 50 years, then he may deserve some money, but he’s dead and gone and nobody owes me anything.”

That view is unusual among Blacks nowadays. Polls indicate the majority of Blacks support slavery reparations. The term “slavery reparations” is probably a misnomer, though. The wealth disparity between whites and Blacks, the disproportionate levels of incarceration, and perceived personal indignities are the conditions that most aggrieved Blacks feel justify reparations.

Moynihan’s Scissors

Johnson recited a list of dismal current statistics and concluded that “the pernicious legacy of slavery is the primary factor” in the wealth disparity between Blacks and whites. A Department of Labor sociologist, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, noticed in 1962 that although Black male employment was improving, Black welfare dependency was rising. This contradicted the usual pattern of parallel increases and decreases of unemployment and dependency. It suggested that increasing numbers of Black males had disconnected themselves from the financial outcomes of their families.

This prompted Moynihan to study the matter in more detail, and led to his 1965 report, “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.” He found what he called “a tangle of pathology” and, like Johnson, said it resulted ultimately from slavery and Jim Crow.

But is that true? Black economist Thomas Sowell has risen to the defense of the dynamic, morally upright, wealth-building generations of freedmen who burst out of slavery after the Civil War. One of the things enslaved Blacks yearned for was the opportunity to form permanent marriages and enduring families, and that’s exactly what they did after emancipation. Their social statistics were comparable or superior to whites’ numbers on divorce, out-of-wedlock births, abandonment and employment rates.

Democrats enacted Jim Crow laws all over the South after they regained power. These were harmful and unjust, but they didn’t destroy families. That, Sowell observes, was the province of the paternalistic welfare state. With the growth of the New Deal and Great Society programs, the Black male lost the capacity to function as an authority figure within his family. Black families became matriarchal. Unwed births skyrocketed. In a sense, millions of matriarchs have married the government.

Fatherless homes, in turn, produced high crime, high rates of incarceration, pervasive academic failure, stubborn unemployment, and economic stagnation. Not to mention excruciating emotional pain and despair. Black attorney and cultural critic Larry Elder says that Black Americans’ main source of torment is not white racism, but fatherlessness. Nobody would tolerate us intruding into their personal relationships and coercing them to be better people, nor do I propose it. But the consequences of stubborn depravity rightly rest on the wrongdoer, the only person who is capable of making the necessary change.

Johnson admitted in his own essay that his number is based, not on a calculation of actual slavery damages, but on his estimate of how much wealth transfer it would take to make whites and Blacks equal. This is what the Mississippi-born Johnson would recognize as making Blacks whole: financial equality. This is a formula no American court would recognize as actual damages. Bill Gates – or Robert Johnson – can fully compensate me after causing a tragic car wreck without us being rendered financially equal. The only legal doctrine Johnson’s formula resembles is exemplary damages, sometimes called punitive (punishing) damages. It’s what you impose, beyond actual damages, to make an example of somebody who has earned the community’s contempt.

If we could get our hands on an actual slave-owner, I think punitive damages would be proper. But to impose the equivalent of punitive damages against random white people who have worked and struggled, taken risks and sacrificed, paid chiropractors and gone to night school to build incremental family wealth? It’s unjust and insulting. We should not be too timid to resist it.

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

The Collapse of the Traditional American Family

The Joint Economic Committee of Congress has just produced an important new study titled “The Demise of the Happy Two-Parent Home.”

The report exhaustively presents data showing the shocking collapse of marriage and traditional family in America and then explores possible explanations for why it has happened. . .

The relevant questions are: Why should the collapse of marriage in the United States concern us? And why is this happening?

Regarding the first question, it depends on your values. To the large but dwindling number of Americans who care about traditional biblical morality, the collapse of marriage and family, the openness to other lifestyles prohibited by biblical morality, is of concern. It is not a healthy sign about what is happening in our culture. . .

The report examines several possible factors, a major one being the dramatic growth in the welfare state supporting female heads of household. (Read more from. “The Collapse of the Traditional American Family” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

Staying a Republic

Republic in Crisis

The Roman republic was on the ropes in 458 BC. A slave rebellion had captured Capitoline Hill itself, and gangsters were calling the tune in the Temple of Jupiter. Foreign raiders brought trade and supply to a standstill, and negotiated with compromised rich merchants to fund the invasion. A neighboring rival, Aequi, had broken its truce with Rome, and was running roughshod over Rome’s demoralized army.

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus had already washed his hands of the political hardball in Rome that had taken his son’s life, and retired to family property west of the Tiber River. He was at the plow when a delegation from the Roman Senate came out to speak to him.

“Is everything all right?” he asked the worried visitors. They requested he dress in his ceremonial Senate toga, to receive an official communication from the supreme council of the Roman state. Cincinnatus sent his wife to their house to bring back his toga, then received the unwelcome news that the Senate had appointed him Dictator of the crumbling republic.

He moved quickly. Step one was universal conscription. On the morning after he crossed the river back into Rome, he ordered all men of military age to assemble on the Field of Mars that very day. The draftees were ordered to pack five days’ rations, although many felt they were marching to their death far sooner than five days.

Roman soldiers customarily brought a vallum, a sharpened pole or stake used to fortify camps during campaigns in hostile territory. But Cincinnatus told his cavalry commander to order the men to bring 12 stakes apiece instead of one.

There was grumbling, and despair. But they came. While other Roman generals dithered and procrastinated, Cincinnatus marched hard, directly at the Aequi invaders on Mount Algidus where they had cornered a desperate Roman army. After his forces located the Aequi army and evening came, their work was just beginning.

Cincinnatus besieged the besiegers. He ordered his men to drive in their 12 stakes overnight to constrict the enemy’s movement and prevent their escape. The Aequi invaders would have to fight for their lives, or surrender. They tried to break out, but the drafted Romans repeatedly beat them back.

With the surrendered Aequi men at their mercy, the Romans plundered their belongings but there was no mass slaughter. As a condition of amnesty, Cincinnatus required that they execute three of their worst instigators, and that they surrender their leaders to the Romans. These surely wished they had been fortunate enough to be be executed with the others.

The vanquished Aequi invaders were required to march under a long row of crossed swords held by the triumphant Roman draftees, held low enough that the warlike Aequi men had to stoop in unmistakable submission to the shopkeepers and laborers who had defeated them against all odds.

There were triumphal parades through Rome, with captured Aequi leaders on display before their penalties were executed. And I like to think the Romans had something special for those rich merchants who were willing to help the invaders destroy their republic.

Fifteen days after the unsmiling Senate delegation waved to Cincinnatus across his field, he disbanded his army, sent his men home to their families and resigned as Dictator. On the 16th day, he was back at his plow.

It goes without saying that there are revisionist scholars who dispute some of the specifics of this story. Some deny it in its entirety. It’s the nature of social science scholarship, especially history, that you need to make bold claims contradicting conventional beliefs. It’s how you get job stability (academic tenure), how you avoid academic oblivion.

I don’t pretend to have any special expertise on ancient Rome, and so I offer no opinion on any of the revisionism. All I can say is that it’s a very hopeful story 2,478 years later. It suggests that even when the cause appears to be lost, purposeful citizens in a republic can mobilize under the right plan to reclaim their sovereignty, repel their invaders and overcome the sloth of their allies to subdue evil-doers. That’s great news in 2020.

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

Lost common sense: How America lived through the Asian flu of 1957

“Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate.” ~New York Times editorial, Sept. 17, 1957

“So, what was it like to live through the Asian flu of 1957?” I recently asked my father.

“What’s the Asian flu?” replied my father, who was in second grade at the time.

“Well, do you remember the Hong Kong flu of 1968?” I followed up, thinking that surely he’d remember something that killed around 100,000 people (the equivalent of 160,000 today) when he was in college and very news-savvy.

“I remember the riots in ’68 and the oil crisis in the ’70s, but don’t recall anything about flus.”

Try this social experiment on anyone who lived through the 1950s and 1960s, or try it on yourself if you are a Baby Boomer or older. You likely don’t recall any disruption in your life nor any trauma-induced fear and panic. That is because there wasn’t any disruption.

The 1957 Asian flu, a form of H2N2 influenza that is believed to have originated in China, is estimated to have killed 116,000 Americans, the equivalent of roughly 200,000 in today’s larger America. Given that an estimated 25 percent of the entire country contracted that flu and a much larger share suffered from strong symptoms, one has to wonder what the recorded death toll would have been had we tested everyone and counted those deaths as liberally as we do today.

For even greater context, keep in mind that there were only about 4.9 million people over the age of 75 back then, as compared to 23 million today. So, while the general population was slightly more than half of what it is today, the over-75 population was approximately one-fifth of what it is today. The over-90 population was 1/12 of today’s advanced senior population. Accordingly, the death toll in 1957 was even more severe than with COVID-19 when one considers how many more seniors we have today. After all, the median age of death from COVID-19 is 78, roughly around life expectancy, with roughly half of all deaths occurring among sicker seniors in nursing homes.

Another more dangerous aspect of the Asian flu as compared to COVID-19 is that it seemed to be more dangerous to pregnant women and to cause birth defects, similar to what was observed during the Spanish flu. A study published in Minnesota in 1959 found that nearly 20% of deaths that occurred during pregnancy were due to the 1957-58 epidemic, making it the leading cause of death for pregnant women during those months. One-half of all women of child-bearing age who died during the epidemic were pregnant. Imagine the panic that would have induced today!

It’s not that our government wasn’t concerned at all about the Asian flu. After the virus raged on through the summer of 1957, a vaccine was produced, and by September 11, 1.8 million doses were delivered to the military and 3.6 million to the general population. The vaccine, like all flu vaccines, was partially successful, but people continued to die for several more months and, on a smaller scale, for years to come until the Asian flu mutated into the H3N2 Hong Kong flu in 1968. The government and the people understood that medical care and vaccines work, but there was never a thought to shut down people’s lives, and nobody ever thought that humans could stop the spread of the actual virus. Hence, few remember living through it.

During the onset of the H1N1 pandemic (swine flu) in 2009, D.A. Henderson, the former dean of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, who is widely credited with helping to eradicate smallpox, co-authored an analysis of the public response to the 1957 flu in an attempt to draw parallels and glean some lessons in preparing a response to the swine flu. He noted that the 1957 epidemic began early in the year in Asia, particularly targeting those with pre-existing conditions for the most deadly cases, and eventually infected 25 percent of the U.S. population in the fall.

The virus seemed to spread widely, but much as with COVID-19, the attack rate on naval ships was 18%-45%, implying some people had some degree of inherent immunity, as indicated by the fact that “family members of patients returning from infected camps or conference centers seldom were infected despite their close contact with the cases.” Thus, much as with COVID-19, it seemed to be very contagious but also inexplicably hit a brick wall with some people. He also observed, “Serological surveys revealed that half of those reporting no influenza illness showed serological evidence of infection.” That sounds very similar to our asymptomatic phenomenon, although it seems that many more young adults and children suffered acute flu-like symptoms with the Asian flu than they do with this virus.

As the summer wore on, policymakers, many of whom had lived through the Spanish flu as children, understood the need to focus on vaccines and medical care. With a greater capacity to develop vaccines and with the advent of antibiotics, they realized that the proper targeted treatment to the vulnerable was key to mitigating deaths, because for most people, this was just like a seasonal flu. In a gathering of public health officials in Washington in late August, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) resolved to focus on “prevention, which in the absence of effective means to stop the spread of infection[,] resolves itself into an immunization program.”

Also, rather than panicking everyone and counting every last case in the country, they “recommended that ‘hospital admissions be limited as far as possible to those cases of influenza with complications, or to those with other diseases which might be aggravated by influenza.’”

Health officials understood what our leaders today clearly don’t, which is that for a virus that targets only certain people with serious complications or death and is broadly mild (and today, downright asymptomatic) in most others, the worst thing you can do is treat every case like a serious case, needlessly stressing medical care, and risk spreading the virus in hospitals to vulnerable people who are already there, often for other ailments and chronic conditions. It was all about treatment where it was needed and developing a vaccine for the vulnerable.

What about the ability to arrest the virus through superstitious Middle Ages rituals like virtue-signaling mask-wearing and social isolation of the healthy with the sick?

As Henderson et al. observed: “At the meeting, ASTHO also stated that ‘there is no practical advantage in the closing of schools or the curtailment of public gatherings as it relates to the spread of this disease [emphasis added].’ This was in recognition that they saw no practical means for limiting the spread of infection.”

The epidemic spread through the country throughout the fall until the excess deaths leveled off in mid-December and then seemed to jump slightly later in the winter. Unlike with COVID-19, although children rarely died from the Asian flu, they appeared to get sick and contribute to mass spreading. “It was estimated that over 60% of students had clinical illnesses during the autumn,” writes Henderson et al. In fact, he notes that there was a “complete absence of protective antibody among children and young and middle-aged adults,” unlike today, where older people seem to have less immunity to the virus.

Yet, despite the high percentage of absenteeism in a lot of city schools, the schools were never shut. The surgeon general said the epidemic was “not alarming” and estimated that the fatality rate was no more than two-thirds of 1%. By contrast, in most areas of the country today, the fatality rate from COVID-19 appears to be closer to 0.2%-0.3%, and in some places, significantly lower.

Henderson’s paper further observes that hospitals were often crowded but there was always enough surge capacity to deal with the patients. “The Maryland State Department of Health, which appointed an Influenza Advisory Committee in June 1957, referred to pandemic cases as being ‘mild diseases,’ noting that the virus ‘does not cause more serious illness than other types of flu—it simply affects more people.’”

In a dynamic related to today’s predicament, Henderson notes that no efforts were made to close down the economy and quarantine people. “Quarantine was not considered to be an effective mitigation strategy and was ‘obviously useless because of the large number of travelers and the frequency of mild or inapparent cases.’”

Sound familiar? Except today, we are doing the opposite.

“Closing schools and limiting public gatherings were not recommended as strategies to mitigate the pandemic’s impact, except for administrative reasons due to high levels of absenteeism…In early October, the Nassau County Health Commissioner in New York stated that ‘public schools should stay open even in an epidemic’ and that ‘children would get sick just as easily out of school.’”

Sound familiar? Most of the transmission occurring at home? And again, back then, kids got sicker from the Asian flu and transmitted it more than they do SARS-CoV-2.

When I bring up the 1957 example, some have challenged me by suggesting the situation back then wasn’t so dire as to warrant lockdown because they produced a vaccine early on. However, Henderson contends that it was “too little, too late” because it was only available to 17% of the population, was only 60% effective, and wound up circulating after the virus had already peaked. “Given the limited amount of vaccine available and the fact that it was not more than 60% effective, it is apparent that vaccine had no appreciable effect on the trend of the pandemic.”

The paper closes with the following 30,000-foot overview of the Asian flu response:

The 1957-58 pandemic was such a rapidly spreading disease that it became quickly apparent to U.S. health officials that efforts to stop or slow its spread were futile. Thus, no efforts were made to quarantine individuals or groups, and a deliberate decision was made not to cancel or postpone large meetings such as conferences, church gatherings, or athletic events for the purpose of reducing transmission. No attempt was made to limit travel or to otherwise screen travelers. Emphasis was placed on providing medical care to those who were afflicted and on sustaining the continued functioning of community and health services. The febrile, respiratory illness brought large numbers of patients to clinics, doctors’ offices, and emergency rooms, but a relatively small percentage of those infected required hospitalization.

Remember, this is with 25% of the population getting the virus within just a few months (equivalent to 110 million today) and a larger share of those people suffering a serious, if not deadly, case of the flu, including children and young adults. While the health system was certainly much better than it was during the pre-antibiotics era of the 1918 Spanish flu, it was primitive compared to today’s standards. Yet, we managed and thrived. “The overall impact on GDP was negligible and likely within the range of normal economic variation,” notes Henderson.

What we didn’t have back then were mass media, social media, and the incurable virus of evidence-free panic propagation to induce an epidemic of fear and paranoia. While this current virus is worse than recent flu-like epidemics this generation, it is much more in line with the 1957 Asian flu and its sister, the 1968 Hong Kong flu. If you lived during the time, you most assuredly remember Woodstock, which occurred during the peak of the Hong Kong flu, but you are unlikely to remember the epidemic.

In 2006, three years prior to writing his analysis on the 1957 epidemic, Henderson co-authored a paper in which he observed, “There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread of influenza.” Thus, from 1957 until fairly recently – before the medical profession was politicized – they all understood that we lack the ability to stop the spread of a flu-like virus. The best we can do is treat it without sowing panic. As Henderson warned, “Experience has shown that communities faced with epidemics or other adverse events respond best and with the least anxiety when the normal social functioning of the community is least disrupted.”

What a shame that Henderson and the common sense that defined America until recently are no longer living. (For more from the author of “Lost Common Sense: How America Lived Through the Asian Flu of 1957” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

Lockdown of Children Is Harming Immune Systems and Our Best Shot at Herd Immunity

It turns out there is something very deep behind the reason why children rarely get clinically ill from SARS-CoV-2. God’s intelligent design gave them an even greater degree of cross-immunity through common coronavirus colds than many adults have. Ignoring that fact and treating kids as if they are in danger from the virus, more than in our response to the flu, will likely harm them in the long run, ironically, blocking their ability to obtain the very immunity that makes SARS-CoV-2 a statistical non-issue with them.

A group of immunologists and medical researchers published a preprint study (prior to peer review) late last week showing that roughly 60% of blood samples from children who never had SARS-CoV-2 had antibodies from other coronaviruses that were cross-reactive to SARS-CoV-2. This study is a giant step in understanding why children appear to be so unaffected.

While several studies have shown that at least half of adults have cross-reactive T cells from other coronaviruses, this study demonstrates that children likely have an even greater degree of protection, which explains why even more children than adults are asymptomatic or very mildly symptomatic. Only 6% of adult blood samples had cross-reactive antibodies among the blood samples.

This demonstrates that allowing kids to be kids and come home every other day with a cold ensured that they were fortified against a coronavirus that could potentially be more deadly for some. Now, by turning kids into bubble babies and by overstating the threat of this virus to them by a factor of 100, we are ensuring that a generation of kids will be shielded from some of the more mild or common forms of coronavirus that they typically get over time.

This is the broader problem with the panicked response and how it will get more people killed by forestalling herd immunity. God created a world in which the majority of the population has a functioning immune system, particularly children. The entire premise of the national response to this virus is to treat all cases equally and all people equally – sick and healthy. By doing so, they will turn the healthy into the sick, destroy their immune systems in the long run, delay herd immunity to this virus, and expose vulnerable people to a lurking epidemic for longer than it needs to be around – not to mention the risk of atrophy in having so many seniors locked down indefinitely.

As the authors of this study conclude, “Public health measures intended to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will also prevent the spread of and, consequently, maintenance of herd immunity to HCoVs [common cold coronaviruses], particularly in children. It is, therefore, imperative that any effect, positive or negative, of pre-existing H-CoV-elicited immunity on the natural course of SARS-CoV-2 infection is fully delineated.”

In other words, don’t mess with God’s natural design, especially when fewer kids die from this than from the flu. Not only will endless distancing of children playing together harm kids, but it forecloses on the best shot of achieving herd immunity with the lowest-risk population, thereby shielding the more vulnerable. Imagine how many other viruses will now percolate longer in society and endanger the vulnerable because we’ve tampered with God’s intelligent immunological ecosystem and prevented kids from passing it around.

Like any ecosystem, if children are the beginning of transmitting common colds (unlike COVID-19), then parents and teachers who are around these children are the next rung on the ladder. While this theory still needs further study with clinical trials, a new biomedical study from German researchers found that adults in their 30s and 40s with children have a lower ICU rate than those without children. They assert that the discrepancy in outcomes is “not well explained only by age, gender or BMI distribution for this subgroup” and may possibly be the result of these adults picking up common colds from their children that could fortify them against a more severe form of COVID-19.

What is also striking about these studies showing or implying cross-immunity from other coronaviruses is that it is yet another piece of evidence that this virus is not that novel and is similar to other coronaviruses, which we’ve dealt with for years. Hong Kong researchers found the same principle in 2003 with SARS-1 – that it did not harm children. Thus, this theory of cross-immunity from the common colds has been known already.

After researchers were finding false positives for SARS-1 in British Columbia in 2003, they found that a lot of nursing home patients they assumed to have died from SARS really died from HCoV-OC43, which is thought to be the most common coronavirus cold. A 2006 study by the University of British Columbia Centre for Disease Control concluded two things from the 2003 SARS outbreak in nursing homes: “The virulence of human CoV-OC43 in elderly populations” and also that there is cross-reactivity from these other coronaviruses to SARS that conflated some of the testing.

Thus, there is nothing new under the sun. We’ve been dealing with coronaviruses for a while, and they are dangerous to those who are immunodeficient, but healthy people tend to be partially immune and most children appear to be nearly fully immune precisely because of these other coronaviruses. Indeed, because we didn’t use that reality as a pretext to create bubble boys because of common cold is, ironically, why COVID-19 turns out to be a cold or less for the overwhelming majority of people. Now that we panic over a cold because, for some people, it might be deadly, which has been the case with many other viruses, we will make it much worse than a cold in the long run and harm everyone, most importantly our children.

Obviously, the best outcome would be a magic vaccine that eradicates it 100 percent. But until then, the best hope is to achieve enough herd immunity through the low-risk population that it will essentially turn SARS-CoV-2 into the fifth coronavirus cold. Learning from past history to treat a new strain of coronavirus is much better than employing novel tactics to upend tried and tested immunology. (For more from the author of “Lockdown of Children Is Harming Immune Systems and Our Best Shot at Herd Immunity” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE

My White Privilege Complaint

There was a ritual when we came in from the boondocks to visit my grandma in her adopted Midwestern city. Before we got out of the driveway and entered the house, weather permitting, she took my dad on a walk to show him all the improvements she’d made since his last visit. She described the projects in detail as her youngest son dutifully complimented all her handiwork.

She was in the habit of using the first-person singular, as in “I built this fence” or “I moved this tree because it was starting to shade my garden.” She had a husband and, believe you me, she got a day’s work out of him. So we all understood that she meant “we” built this or that.

But Grandpa couldn’t resist hamming it up, staring in fake amazement at his outstretched hands and telling us for the umpteenth time that he couldn’t figure out how she did all the work, and he got all the callouses.

The time has come to add my voice to the chorus of recent complaints against white privilege. You might have noticed that most of the complaints thus far have been vague and theoretical, even speculative. But mine is practical, immediate and vivid: white privilege is killing my back!

As a cisgendered patriarchal white male, I’m so privileged that sometimes I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. (Note to privileged white males: Absorbine helps some.) I don’t really have a choice, so I still get up and go to work. But if I weren’t so dang privileged, I’d stay home and binge-watch Hulu re-runs.

Sometimes it’s the little bones in my hands, but usually it’s my back. When I get in a hurry or I forget to put on my work gloves, sometimes I tear my fingernails. White privilege is sneaky. It comes at you from a dozen different directions.

When I first entered the workforce nearly 50 years ago, we didn’t know about white privilege. But there was talk of “economic justice” and “redistribution of income.” I was an ultra-liberal George McGovern supporter, and that all sounded pretty good to me.

Like other people of my generation, I thought it was self-evident that I deserved more money. I hadn’t heard the apocryphal Willie Sutton quote that banks are where the money is, and I assumed money comes from the government. Where and how the government gets its money was a matter of supreme indifference to me.

They should tax the dickens out of the greedy exploiters and overpaid bourgeois, and cut checks to us, the deserving. It’s not that complicated. If a government can’t do that, what good is it?

Then I went to work on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline construction project: 12-15 hours per day, seven days per week, sleeping in camps, eating on our work buses. We went weeks at a time without seeing a town or a television. I thought the Bee Gees singing falsetto on my eight-track were a Black female trio because I’d never seen them on TV or in a magazine.

I was a local-hire Alaskan laborer supporting itinerant welders, mostly from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The pay was lavish by the standards of that decade, and word got out via news stories and word of mouth. Seattle and Vancouver young women perked right up and paid attention when you mentioned you were working on the Alaska pipeline project.

The Internal Revenue Service was on top of the situation, too. Alaska has no state income tax, but the stiff federal tax deductions from my pipeline paychecks in those pre-Reagan years, when I filed single with zero dependents and minimal deductions, were a weekly discouragement. Still, I was pulling down the biggest money I would ever make, barely old enough to enter a bar.

It was great to be making that kind of money at the beginning of my working life, but it was still the Alaskan wilderness and the Arctic climate. I worked mostly in the Brooks Range, which is the northernmost mountain range before the Arctic Ocean.

While we were working on the line one morning, a grizzly bear got on our work bus and tore open our lunches and donuts. The Texans and Okies were trying to get snapshots of the beast when it came off the bus. The Alaskans, who know their grizzlies, were climbing on top of the other buses, and locking themselves in truck cabs.

In winter, the welders went home or to warmer out-of-state pipeline projects to wait out Alaskan temperatures of 50 and 60 degrees below zero, round-the-clock darkness and occasional knifelike wind. I will say this: they missed some truly spectacular Northern Lights in the winter. Most of the laborers went back to town after the welders left, but I worked camp security 11.5 hours per day through the winter.

This was shortly after Richard Nixon left office. Because the pipeline crossed federal lands, Affirmative Action was in force. There were two job lines at the union hall: the long one, sometimes stretching out the door and onto the sidewalk, and the short one.

The short line was for racial minorities and (very rare) women, legally entitled to hiring preference. I seldom saw the number of workers in that line amount to double digits. For them, hiring was almost instantaneous and they had first pick of the choicest assignments.

The long line was for us, the white males whom Professor Anita Hill would later call “the lowest form of life on the evolutionary scale.” Sometimes our line was so long that we couldn’t get a job after wasting our day at the hiring hall, and we had to come back the next day and the next. Minority union members could quit a job in the morning and be back on a job that afternoon.

Even in town, most of the pipeline laborers were alone, without family, unconnected to the community. We tended to run with fellow unemployed workers until we could get dispatched to a remote pipeline camp. We’d usually see our friends at the union hall, and either go our separate ways for work or continue socializing in town.

Two middle-aged pals there were inseparable. One was Black, and the other was a white guy with a German name. They were loud and profane, apparently hit the bottle pretty good, and they were a lot of fun in the union hall. But they couldn’t stand in the same line because one was a racial minority and the other wasn’t.

They didn’t want to split up to ship out to different pipeline camps, but the Black friend didn’t want to accept the inferior jobs that would remain after the minority job dispatch. So he loudly told his white friend to tell the union that his mother was Mexican. We all laughed because this guy looked like a pedigreed Scandinavian.

But he went inside the office, and when he came back out, he got in the minority line and took a prime job dispatch with his Black buddy. Good for him, I say. We owe no loyalty to that corrupt racist system. But I never got to stand in that line.

I visited my lamentably white grandparents, who were wintering in Florida. St. Petersburg was well known for its large population of elderly retirees, but I didn’t know there was also a large youthful lower-class community with all the usual pathologies. I saw large numbers of young men my age standing around, “smoking and joking” on weekday afternoons. Employment was apparently not on the agenda.

On the first day of the month, welfare checks came out and young men found their way to women who were able to bankroll their frolics for a few days thereafter. I learned that the slang for that first day, the welfare day, was “Mothers’ Day.” Liquor flowed, sirens whooped, and skirts and music volume were elevated for a few days, until the government money for that month ran out.

I don’t remember a strong feeling of moral censure, but I was acutely aware that all this fun was literally at my expense, and the expense of other hapless working men and women. I was single and ready to mingle, but I opted instead for deferred gratification, to work in remote isolation, to make that money while I could. Why did I have to go in my pocket to fund uproarious living by frivolous and idle people?

Talk of redistribution of income began to ring hollow. Economic justice, it seemed to me, ought to consist of more than redistribution of my income. How about redistributing some of that 60-below-zero? They [were] welcome to frozen fingertips. How could we redistribute my solitude, my social isolation, my sleep deprivation?

The truth, of course, is that all the risks, costs, sacrifices and rewards are distributed efficiently, which is to say perfectly, by a free market. Freedom begets freedom. What a privilege to turn 21 in a relatively free country before parasites and race hustlers zeroed in on productive, innovative, risk-taking, hard-working opportunity seekers. I wish I could privilege my grandchildren with such a country.

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE