Massachusetts is finally returning to normal…for now

Just before Memorial Day Governor Charlie Baker finally lifted the majority of restrictions he single-handedly placed on all of the inhabitants of Massachusetts way back last March.  Gone are the capacity limits placed on restaurants and retail establishments, which were set at only25 percent. 

Bars are finally allowed to open, those that were not forced to close permanently for financial reasons after having their doors shuttered for fifteen months.  Finally I can go to bars and enjoy craft beers and listen to live music !!! That is a past time I greatly enjoy and have not been able to do for more than a year. 

I can go to restaurants without covering my face with a face diaper.  For a lengthy time we were required to wear masks at all times inside restaurants except when actually taking a bite. That was such a ridiculously bothersome rule that I stopped going to restaurants when that rule was imposed.   I am so enjoying eating out again. Unfortunately so many restaurants in Massachusetts closed because of Governor Bakers restrictions.  They could not remain open operating at only 25 percent capacity, imagine that.

Mask mandates were lifted and replaced with a mask advisory for those not vaccinated.  It is so wonderful to breath freely outdoors and indoors   I would have ignored mask mandates for just unvaccinated individuals.  That would have been unenforceable without vaccine passports, which are unconstitutional;  I am quite pleasantly astounded that Emperor Baker did not impose vaccine passports.   That is just the kind of big government fascism that our faux Republican governor has been saddling us with since the beginning of this pandemic.

School kids are still forced to wears masks, even during recess.  For the past several days it’s been in the 90s with high humidity.  Governor Baker is putting school children through hell and that is child abuse on a grand scale.

I am worried that in the fall there will be a slight spike in Coronavirus cases and Governor Baker will impose the same liberty and economy destroying restrictions again.  I am worried that some other crisis will come along, even an imaginary one such as climate change, and locked down we will be again.  Governor Baker is a firm believer in man made global warming.  He singed Massachusetts up for an interstate compact to fight climate change which saddled us with a hefty new gas tax.  

We the people must demand that the state legislature reign in the Governor’s emergency declarations powers so that this nightmare never happens again.  I am not confident at all that that would happen. The people of this state have proved to be for the most part compliant sheeple.  Not that I expected anything different.  This is the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts after all.  

The right to decide for ourselves is a greatly endangered right

There is nothing more American than the right of each and every individual to decide for themselves, no matter how big or small the decision.  That right is at the core of one of our most important God-given Natural Rights. That right is liberty, which is the freedom of every individual to do as they wish as long as they do not hurt others or interfere with the right of others

All levels of government in this country were originally created to protect the right of every individual to decide for themselves since all levels of government were created to protect the liberty of every individual

The freedom of an individual to decide includes the right to make decisions that are bad, or even harmful, to the individual doing deciding.  Smoking or drinking to excess are perfect examples of this.  No one has the right to drive drunk since it is potentially very dangerous to other individuals.  Abortion is most definitely harmful to the unborn child therefore no one has a right to an abortion. 

It has not been proved scientifically or medically that individuals not wearing masks in public, whether indoors or outdoors, are at all harmful to other individuals.  Check out this American Thinker article.  Individuals have every right to decide for themselves whether or not they will wear masks.  Mask mandates violate the liberty of every individual forced to wear them.

Going to church, going for a walk outdoors, going shopping, eating at a restaurant, going to work, exercising in a gym, or the vast majority of ordinary activities has never been proved to be harmful to other individuals during this Coronavirus pandemic.  State and local governments have robed the individuals living in those communities the right to decide for themselves whether or not they will engage in these activities.

Every individual has the exclusive right to make medical decisions for themselves.  Period. End of story.  It is absolutely wrong for any level of government, government agency, school system, private employer, public employer, or retail establishment to force individuals to get a vaccine through any form of mandate,

The federal government has gotten very good an prohibiting individuals from making the decision to purchase items such as incandescent light bulbs, cars with bad gas mileage, and so much more.  All levels of government have made it extremely difficult for individuals to smoke.  I have never smoked anything in my life.  I do respect the right of every individual to smoke if they choose to.

Facebook and other social media outlets have taken away your right to decide what you want to say because of outrageous censorhip.  Any form of censorship, no matter how small or who is doing it, is always wrong.  The same social media outlets have taken away your right to get news and information from whatever source you chose because of their censorship.

The vast army of adherents to political correctness have taken away the right to decide what individuals say, write, read, and listen to through their mob like behavior and blatant censorship.

The only way we get our right to decide for ourselves back is we stand up for that most precious right  Sadly far too few individuals are doing that.  Far too often I feel like I am the only one.

CDC now stands for Corrupt Democrat Cesspool

Since its founding the Centers for Disease Control was something extremely rare.  It was a government agency that actually functioned reasonably well.  Sadly that is no longer the case.  It is now a corrupt agency that cares more for being politically correct and spouting progressive ideology than science and medicine.  I am not exactly sure when the CDC began its decent but it most likely took place during the Obama Administration.  During that dark period the CIA, FBI, and NASA all became mobs of liberal political hacks.

It quickly became evident as the Coronavirus pandemic unfolded just how little the CDC now cares about medicine and science. The CDC has gone out of its way to embarrass itself with statements that contradict basic tenants of science and medicine.  I know I’m not the only one who noticed.  Check out this statement by Senator Tom Cotton:

The CDC is a thoroughly politicized agency. Most Americans disregard their advice on things like steaks and hamburgers and beers. Increasingly, they should disregard their advice when it comes to school reopenings. Schools need to be open. Schools have been open in Arkansas five days a week, in-person since last August, and it’s been largely fine. That’s been the case all across the country as well. We shouldn’t have a politicized public health bureaucracy like the CDC answering at the beck and call of the teachers’ unions. We need kids back in school, and back in real school, not sitting in a classroom doing a Zoom session with teachers who are not in the classroom. We need kids in schools with their teachers now

This New York Post article highlights one specific issue where the CDC really demonstrated how political it has become.

The American Federation of Teachers lobbied the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on, and even suggested language for, the federal agency’s school-reopening guidance released in February.

The powerful teachers union’s full-court press preceded the federal agency putting the brakes on a full re-opening of in-person classrooms, emails between top CDC, AFT and White House officials show.

The emails were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative watchdog group Americans for Public Trust and provided to The Post.

The documents show a flurry of activity between CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, her top advisors and union officials — with Biden brass being looped in at the White House — in the days before the highly-anticipated Feb. 12 announcement on school-reopening guidelines.

Mask mandates are another issue that has demonstrated just how much the CDC has abandoned science in favor of the panic pushed by progressives.  Check out the National Review article CDC’s New Outdoor Mask Guidance Is a Joke

To be clear, the science was overwhelming last year that the risk of outdoor transmission of COVID-19 was low to non-existent. Anybody following the science should have never felt compelled to wear a mask outdoors during the pandemic.

Furthermore, somebody who is fully vaccinated is at minimal risk of catching COVID-19 indoors or outdoors. Earlier this month, the CDC itself reported that out of a universe of 66 million individuals who were vaccinated at the time, just 5,800 got the virus. That’s less than 1-in-10,000.

The idea that the CDC, even in loosening outdoor mask guidance, is still insisting that vaccinated people wear masks in crowded outdoor settings is completely unmoored from science or reason. This is a bungling agency that has made one mistake after another throughout the pandemic.

This Statement by Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota is almost the sort of statement the CDC should have issued if it still believed in science.

On Monday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “11th Hour,” Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and former adviser to President Biden’s transition team Dr. Michael Osterholm stated that if you’re fully vaccinated, “you can basically protect yourself and have all the kind of socialization that you want to do.”

[I]f you’re among vaccinated people, party hard, party hard. Invite people over to your house, do family-related things. But get vaccinated. If there was ever a time to want to incentivize people to get vaccinated, it’s now. Because if you do, you can basically protect yourself and have all the kind of socialization that you want to do.

We should be very afraid of the panic porn being pushed by the CDC.  It sets a dangerous precedence.  This article is a stark warning: Totalitarian Elites Want To Extend COVID-19 Lockdowns Forever For ‘Climate Change’

It’s financially unsustainable and morally untenable to involuntarily confine anybody — let alone healthy people — to their homes, and deprive them of opportunities to interact or earn a living. However, when halting what Greta Thunberg called “the fairy-tale of eternal economic growth” is the goal, lockdowns become an enticing tool for ending both capitalism and climate emissions

Texas and Florida are proof that Coronavirus lockdowns and mask mandates are all about forced obedience rather than public health

I so long for a time when I no longer see everyone’s faces shrouded by a hideous mask.  It is so dehumanizing to me.  We were told that mask mandates were absolutely necessary for the safety of everyone.  There are a great many articles published that demonstrate that the science behind masking is nonexistence yet we are forced to wear a face diaper or be slapped with a fine.  Here in Massachusetts we have been forced to wear masks outdoors, at all times if we leave our homes, or face a $300 fine.  Thankfully that silliness ends on April 29th.  We will still be forced to wear masks if we want to enter any public establishment such as a store or restaurant. 

For the second year in a row the Boston Marathon was canceled along with so many other fun events.  Tomorrow restaurants and most other business will be allowed to open at 25 percent capacity instead of just the current 12 percent.  The few that remain will be happy for those few extra crumbs from Governor Charlie Baker.  On August 1st we may finally get our lives back to normal, if Emperor Baker thinks we have behaved ourselves enough.

Data from the few states that have fully relaxed all lockdown and mask restrictions poved that none of these restrictions were helpful in the slightest and should have been done away with a long time ago.  Governor Baker should read this Breitbart article.  If he did he we would see that there is no harm in lifting restrictions immediately.  The people would benefit so greatly economically and mentally because their full freedom would be restored.

According to the CDC’s April 23 data, Michigan reported 449.2 cases of the virus per 100,000, or 44,862 total, in the last seven days. Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) Pennsylvania has reported 239.6 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, or 30,678 total.

CDC data separates New York City from the rest of the state in its reporting of new virus case data. Even so, New York City alone has reported 208.1 new cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, or 17,475 cases total. The remainder of the state has reported 191.9 cases per 100,000, or 21,213 cases in the last seven days. Together, the state has reported 38,688 new cases in the last seven days.

All three blue states, which have mask mandates in place, are reporting a higher number of new cases per capita than both Texas and Florida, which remain open and have no mask mandates in place.

Texas reported 70.3 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, or 20,374 total, while Florida has reported 195.5 cases per 100,000, or 41,993 total, in the same time frame.

This Mises Institute article contains very similar data.

Early last month, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced he would end the state’s mask mandate and allow most businesses to function at 100 percent capacity. The response from the corporate media and the Left was predictable. California governor Gavin Newsom declared the move “absolutely reckless.” Beto O’Rourke called the GOP a “cult of death.” Joe Biden called the move “Neanderthal thinking.”

Yet in recent weeks, these predictions about Texas’s fate have proven to be spectacularly wrong. Moreover, many of the states with the worst growth in covid cases—and the worst track records in overall death counts—have been states that have had some of the harshest lockdowns. 

In New Jersey, for example, where lockdowns have been long and harsh, case growth is nearly four times what it is in Texas. And then there are Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maine, and New York, all of which have new case growth rates of more than double what’s going on Texas.

Moreover, Florida’s covid-19 overall outbreak has been far less deadly than those in the states that embraced lockdowns long and hard. New Jersey, for example, has the worst covid death rate in the nation at 2,838 per million as of April 20. Right behind are New York and Massachusetts with total deaths per million at 2,672 and 2,537, respectively.

Florida, on the other hand, is twenty-eighth in the nation in terms of covid deaths, at 1,608. Texas has total deaths per million at 1,721.

This Federalist Article contains a wealth of information about just how unnecessary all of the lockdowns and mask mandates were because the panic over the Coronavirus was so overblown.

These irrational fears are manufactured. They’re instilled by folks like Anthony Fauci, who said just last week that “No, it’s still not OK,” when asked whether vaccinated or unvaccinated Americans should be eating and drinking inside at restaurants and bars. Infection counts are still “disturbingly high,” he said, again fueling the fire of illogical  COVID terror.

“Even after you’re vaccinated, social distancing, wearing masks are going to be essential,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki warned in February. Meanwhile, corporations and the federal government are teaming up to make you prove you’re not unclean with a “vaccine passport” so you don’t pose an existential threat to your fellow citizens, blue-state leaders and bureaucrats are double-masking even after they’re vaccinated and saying “it is possible” we’ll still be wearing face masks in 2022, and Biden’s COVID adviser is saying the pandemic in the United States is still a “Category 5 hurricane” even after millions of Americans have been inoculated

School lockdowns lead to urban carjacking spike

By John Ruberry

The COVID-19 school lockdown continues in America’s biggest cities, despite clear evidence that children are unlikely to become seriously ill from that virus.

One unintended consquence of the closing of public schools to all but remote learning is more crime–and especially more carjackings. 

It is no longer just conservative media calling attention to the link to the school lockdowns and carjackings in big cities. Although CBS was artful in its report in a story last week. “Investigators say the trend is driven by 12 to 15 year olds with time on their hands during the pandemic,” CBS News said. These kids have more time on their hands because their schooling consists of Zoom instruction something CBS omitted in its story.

Last month a 66-year-old UberEats driver, Mohammad Anwar, a Pakistani immigrant, died while clinging to his vehicle in Washington DC after being tased in a carjacking by two girls, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. A bystander took video of the crime–which has gone viral. 

“You know, idle minds are the devil’s playground. And a lot of these kids, they’ve been idle for a year and a half now without going to school. And that’s been a big problem,” Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo told Fox News last week.

In that CBS story referenced earlier it was also reported, “The number of carjackings has exploded during the pandemic. Carjackings have increased by more than 100% in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. They are up more than 343% in Washington, D.C.”

Let’s look at Chicago. The pusillanimous nature of the local media creates an opening for straightforward sources. One of those news sites is Hey Jackass! and it reports the raw numbers of carjackings. Well sort of. Stick with me on this one. In 2019 there were 603 reported carjackings and 1,396 last year. So far in 2021 there have been 404. But here’s the kicker. “Carjacking data comes directly from the CPD’s own data set,” Hey Jackass! warns, “so add 20% to obtain the true number.” 

There’s a lot of speculation about why carjackers commit their crimes. Thrill is probably one of them, but also often vehicles are carjacked to aid other crimes. Perhaps it’s a mix of the two. Just last night, another great local crime site, CWB Chicago, told us of a 55-year-old woman who was pushed to the ground inside a Target parking lot as her Audi was carjacked. The criminals drove away with her car and the one they arrived in, a Kia, which was likely carjacked near the University of Chicago a couple of hours prior. Percentage-wise since 2017 the arrest rate for Chicago carjackings has been in the single digits, according to Hey Jackass!

On April 19 Chicago’s public high schools are scheduled to re-open, although how that occurs varies from school to school. Of course the recalcitrant Chicago Teachers Union, citing new COVID-19 numbers, is opposed.

Mental health among students has suffered during the lockdown

Once the school lockdowns end–and I believe they will one day–don’t expect the carjackers to give up their horrible hobby. 

Businesses in Chicago, already suffering from 13 months of lockdowns, rioting, and looting, are receiving another hit. Suburbanites, for good reason, are afraid to travel to the city. And the carjackings occur in all neighborhoods, rich, poor, and in between.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Coronavirus lockdowns and mask mandates are another battle in the war collectivists are waging against individualism

There is absolutely nothing more destructive to the individualism of a human being then forcing that person to cover their face with a mask.  Forcing the entire population of a society to cover their faces whenever they leave their homes strips away the individuality of every person.

There is nothing a committed leftist despises more than a nation full of individualists, especially if that nation is truly prosperous as well free.  They will strive tirelessly to destroy the individualism at the core of that great nation.  That is just what progressives have been doing to the United States since the beginning of the 20th century.

Progressives firmly believe in the philosophy of collectivism.  They believe no one has free will or any true value.  They believe that the highest duty of government is to force every individual in the society to be exactly equal.  They believe that the government has the power and authority to sacrifice the lives of all individuals living in the society.

There are no scientific or medical justifications for the mask mandates that have been imposed by the governors of so may states, and even less reasons to keep them in force for the past year.  If you believe that mask mandates are backed by science check out these quotes from the article Mask-Wearing Represents Fear and Blind Obedience, Not Science by Dennis Prager:

Dr. Anthony Fauci himself told the truth about the uselessness of mask-wearing on “60 Minutes” on March 8, 2020: “Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. … There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences: People keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.”

Dr. Paul E. Alexander, a Canadian epidemiologist, wrote: “Surgical and cloth masks, used as they currently are, have absolutely no impact on controlling the transmission of Covid-19 virus, and current evidence implies that face masks can be actually harmful.” (American Institute for Economic Research, Feb. 11, 2021.)

Roger W. Koops, who has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Riverside, wrote: “A ‘mask,’ and that term usually refers to either a SURGICAL mask or N95 mask, has no benefit in the general population and is only useful in controlled clinical settings. Further, it has been considered a greater transmission risk than a benefit in the general population. … In the open environment, no one should be wearing face coverings.” (American Institute for Economic Research, Oct. 16, 2020.)

Finally, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, concluded: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Lockdowns prevent individuals from earning a living, making them dependent on government which is very destructive to ones ego and individualism.  Small businesses are harmed far more than large corporations by the lockdowns, most often this is a planned feature of the restrictions.  Collectivists do not want millions of successful businesses owned by individuals employing small numbers of individuals.  It is far easier to centrally plan the economy if it is made up of a small number of immensely large corporations.

Lockdowns also prevent individuals from traveling and interacting with others which is very harmful because humans are social animals.  The nonstop Coronavirus fear porn splashed across TV and computer screens is meant to keep us from speaking out against the evils we see being perpetrated by collectivists.

Detroit’s stillborn revival

By John Ruberry

I hit the road last week–to a regular stop for me–Detroit–my fourth visit there. Coincidentally last Monday, when I arrived, was the first day that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lifting of Michigan’s ban on indoor dining, replaced by low-capacity dining, took effect.

Yet central Detroit was still nearly void of people last week.

During my first visit, in 2015, while I noticed a fair amount of bustle on the streets and sidewalks downtown, I also walked past empty skyscrapers. On my next trip, two years later, most of those same buildings were occupied or being rehabbed. And the city’s light rail line, the QLine, an expensive and impressive showpiece, had just opened. As I noted at the time on my own blog, these trolley cars ironically echo Detroit’s monorail, the People Mover, the 1980s Stalinist boondoggle championed by Coleman Young, the five-term mayor of Detroit who may have been a closet communist. Both the QLine and the People Mover serve only the downtown area. They look stunning though.

Also in 2017 Little Caesars Arena opened in the adjacent Midown part of the city. It brought the Detroit’s NBA team, the Pistons, back to the city for the first time in nearly four decades. The NHL team, the Red Wings, made the short jump from downtown’s Joe Louis Arena to Little Caesars too. Since the early 2000s the NFL entry, the Lions, and its MLB team, the Tigers, have been playing downtown. Which made the many gamedays in central Detroit a magnet for hungry and thirsty people with fat wallets. Now the teams play in front of no fans.

Quicken Loans has been based in Detroit since 2009 and is now America’s largest mortgage lender. While Detroit is still the Motor City it is the Mortgage City now too.

But meanwhile in the neighborhoods the decline of Detroit continued. For urban explorers like myself, that is, people who photograph or shoot videos of abandoned homes, factories, offices, churches—am I leaving anything out?–oh yeah, schools, there is no shortage of material to work with.

Things looked even better for Detroit when I spent a day there in 2019.

Then COVID-19 hit. Whitmer’s statewide lockdowns have been among the nation’s most restrictive. As I witnessed in Chicago last year, the streets were also eerily empty in Detroit in 2020 according to media reports, such as this one from AP in October:

Downtown Detroit was returning to its roots as a vibrant city center, motoring away from its past as the model of urban ruin. 

Then the pandemic showed up, emptying once-bustling streets and forcing many office workers to flee to their suburban homes.

And if you work for Quicken and its Rocket Mortgage wing, many of your job responsibilities, perhaps all of them, can be done from a suburban home, as Quicken performs most of its transactions online.

But lets say you need to come downtown for your annual review. What else is there to do? On Day 1 of the partial-lifting of the indoor dining lockdown, it looked to me that about half of the restaurants there were still closed. Most retail outlets were shuttered. And all of the shops and eateries were closed at the Little Caesars Arena, where I hoped to buy a hockey souvenir for Mrs. Marathon Pundit. But of course there is always Amazon to fall back on for that. Oh, Kid Rock’s Made In Detroit restaurant at Little Caesars closed last spring, although that departure had nothing to do with COVID.

So in downtown Detroit last week you still had to struggle to find a place to eat. Yes, there were a few of those ludicrous tents outside some eateries–by the way temperatures were in the 30s all last week during our visit.

Story continues below photograph.

Diners last Monday in downtown Detroit

Part of the allure of big-city centers has been the array of shopping and cultural choices offfered. That’s mostly gone now in Detroit. Sure, New York, Chicago and other large cities are facing similar challenges under COVID lockdowns, but many of their eateries and shops have been operating for decades. And yes, such businesses usually have narrow profit margins but being a going concern for many years means there will be an established customer base that might remember you a few years later. What if you are a Detroit boutique that has been open only for a couple of years?

The QLine and the People Mover haven’t run since last spring. There aren’t a lot of people in downtown Detroit to well, move. Buses are still running, however.

Back to those cultural choices: The Detroit Institute of Arts is one of America’s premier art museums. I wanted to attend Wednesday but the DIA was sold out that day. I was able to purchase tickets, online of course, for myself and my traveling companion the following day for one of the available time slots. And do you know what? Outside of employees there couldn’t have been more than 50 people inside the sprawling museum when we were there. I’m confident that Wednesday’s “sold out” day wasn’t much different. On the positive side I was able to stand and stare in front of the DIA’s four Vincent van Gogh paintings as long as I wished–there was no one to push me aside and tell me, “You’re done, now it’s my turn.” Yes, we were forced to wear masks and we had our temperature taken at the museum’s entrance. Precautions were taken.

My companion visited Dearborn’s Henry Ford museum on Tuesday–a fabulous place that I experiended in 2015–and it was nearly empty too, I was told. 

The Motown Musuem in New Center remains closed, it re-opens February 18. Man, oh man, we really wanted to see that place.

Will COVID-19 and Michigan’s lockdowns kill Detroit’s revival?

Many people have their life savings and their mortages invested in small businesses that have been closed for months in Detroit and other large cities.

The dominos will start falling.  Which is something most Detroiters know a lot about.

Meanwhile in Florida, life and business continues, with masks, but without the lockdowns. The Florida COVID death rate is lower than that of Michigan.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Chicago mayor Lightfoot’s status as a fraud solidified in her response to police raid on wrong home

By John Ruberry

The competition for worst big city mayor is fierce, New York’s Bill de Blasio and Eric Garcetti typically lead the pack but don’t overlook Lori Lightfoot of Chicago.

How did America’s third-largest city get there?

Lightfoot’s victory in last year’s election was a fluke. She and Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, the president of the Cook County Board emerged as the top two candidates after a 14-candidate first round of balloting–she collected only 17-percent of the vote. Lightfoot, used her endorsement by the Chicago Sun-Times and her time as chair of the Chicago Police Department Office of Professional Standards to fashion herself as the reform candidate. Her predecessor, Rahm Emanuel, decided not to run for a third term; it’s widely believed his blocking the release of a video until after his 2015 reelection of the shameful deadly police shooting of Laquan McDonald led to his bowing out.

Now there is a another video. Late in Emanuel’s second term Chicago police officers raided the apartment of social worker Anjanette Young. But they busted into the wrong home. Guns were drawn and Young was handuffed naked while she screamed. “You’ve got the wrong place.”  She said that 43 times. Lightfoot’s campaign slogan was “Let There Be Light” and this was her opportunity to be transparent in a time of crisis. 

She wasn’t.

City lawyers sued to block CBS Chicago from airing the video of the botched raid. Lightfoot later called that a mistake. 

Let There Be Light.

Then the woman often derisively called “Mayor Beetlejuice” claimed that she wasn’t aware of the raid on Young’s home. But emails show that Lightfoot learned about the raid in November of 2019, around the time CBS Chicago began reporting on it. She says she “focused on budget issues” at that time and the could explain why she has no recall of the emails.

Lightfoot also admitted that she was wrong when she said that Young hadn’t filed a Freedom of Information Request for the video of the raid. The victim had in fact done so. 

At best, Lightfoot’s Chicago is circling the drain. Yes, she inherited a mess. Even before the COVID-19 epidemic Chicago was losing residents. Chicago’s public-worker pension worker plans are the worst-funded of any big city. But Lightfoot’s lockdown orders are best draconian, she hasn’t been taken to task as much as she deserves for that only because her fellow Democrat, blowhard governor JB Pritzker, has been all over local media almost daily trying to frighten Illinoisans into compliance with his own lockdown orders. 

Shootings, murders, and especially carjackings in Chicago are up dramatically over last year.

What are Lightfoot’s priorities? 

The day before the second round of widespread looting and rioting, deemed “unrest” of course by the mainstream media, Lightfoot followed through on her threat to close the vast Montrose Beach to visitors because she thought too many people gathered there on a gorgeous late summer afternoon. 

In the spring Lighfoot scolded Chicagoan by declaring “getting your roots done is not essential.” During that first lockdown, which closed all hair salons, the mayor got her stylist, maskless, to do her hair. 

When confronted with a predictable uproar for her hypocrisy, Beetlejuice doubled down, “I’m the public face of this city, I’m on national media and I’m out in the public eye.”

Last month a few days before imposing a second COVID-19 lockdown, Lightfoot appeared, maskless, outdoors at a spontaneous rally at an unsafe distance with many others as she celebrated the media calling the presidential election for Joe Biden.

Chicago, a failed city, has the perfect person to represent it in the public eye.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

COVID-19 lockdowns must end for the sake of our overall health

Outside a store in Wisconsin earlier this month

By John Ruberry

Who else besides me is fed up wearing a mask when shopping at a supermarket?

Or at work?

Or a restaurant? 

I haven’t eaten inside an Illinois restaurant–or in a tent–since Governor JB Pritzker instituted his first lockdown in March. I’ve picked up take-out meals only.

Who has had enough of lockdowns?

As a person with a strong libertarian bent I don’t like being bossed around, pestered, or nagged. 

But I’ve been coping with all of that for months. 

I know ten people who’ve contracted COVID-19. Only two of them told me they were very ill. Two were asymptomatic. All of them are still with us–in fact, they’ve all returned to their jobs as if nothing happened. 

Last month the Centers for Disease Control released the survival rates for those who have contracted COVID-19.

  • Age 0-19 — 99.997%
  • Age 20-49 — 99.98%
  • Age 50-69 — 99.5%
  • Age 70+ — 94.6%

So if you are over 70, and most people already know that seniors are more prone to death from COVID-19 than everyone else, you have a 94.6 percent of surviving. President Trump is one of those septuagenarians who has recovered. Yes, COVID-19 is serious, because those stats also say those 70 and over have a slightly higher than 5 percent chance of dying from it. 

Here’s another situation where that percentage, 94 percent, comes in to play. Nearly two months ago the CDC said of those deaths from the novel coronavirus, 94 percent had “multiple chronic conditions.” In other words, they were already unhealthy. Every death is tragic. But part of life is getting sick, getting injured, getting old, and yes, passing away. You can fool, perhaps, your neighbors or co-workers about your true age with hair dye and plastic surgery, but never can you hoodwink Father Time. 

Humans are intensely social animals, as are all primates. It’s in our genetic makeup. The most watched television shows and movies are centered on personal interactions. One of the most popular TV programs ever aired is “Friends.” There is not a show entitled “Hermits,” there is no interest in producing such a program because few people would want to watch it. 

The death rate from COVID-19 is very low for the very young. Yet many of our schools are closed except for cold and impersonal Zoom sessions.

Usually our first and most lasting impressions with others of our species is by way of their faces. But the mask requirements in many states, especially blue ones like mine, take those connections away from us.

The lockdowns have led to an increase in drug overdoses and possibly suicides. Among young people, the CDC says, the death rate for young people is higher for overdoses and suicides than for COVID 19.

That wave just might be beginning. For instance, Chicago, which is just south of where I live, just instated another curfew because of an uptick in COVID cases. All businesses deemed non-essential for the next two weeks must close between 10pm and 6am. Bars and restaurants, already reeling from being closed down this spring, will be hit especially hard. Some of these businesses, especially those struck by looting this summer, will never re-open. Which means of course more people will be prone to suicide and drug and alcohol abuse. The workforce in the food and beverage industry is disproportionately young.

Mrs. Marathon Pundit was an early victim of the COVID-19 lockout layoffs. She’s fine–she has a new job in a different field. But her former boss was forced to downsize his business, which I believe his home mortgage was tied into. He sold his home this summer and moved into a much smaller residence.

There are millions of former business owners facing similar situations across America. And not all workers, such as Mrs. Marathon Pundit, will be able to land on their feet. 

One “fix” to the drop in revenue for brick-and-mortar restaurants is to set up plastic tents next to them. Diners instead of eating indoors will be eating, sort of, outdoors in these tents, but still breathing each other’s air. Alongside them in cold weather climates, in the winter, will be space heaters, which are a well-known fire hazard. 

Follow the science. 

Take a deep breath before reading this next paragraph.

Based on my current age, overall health, and family history, I’ll probably live another 25-years. I do not want to spend those years wearing a mask. I don’t want to go running outdoors–and this really happened–as I run 50 yards past a couple who, in horror, hurriedly put their masks over their faces as I move, maskless, down the street that I live on as if I am Typhoid Mary. According to federal government data, there have been 624 positive cases of COVID-19 in the town I live in, Morton Grove, which has a population of 23,000.

Who frightened that Morton Grove couple? Not me, well not initially that is.

Will the mask mandates return–if they ever go away–when a more virulent than usual strain of the flu strikes?

Follow the science. 

This is not a distress from me call but instead a call for action. For the sake of our overall health–while maintaining strict safety controls in places such as senior homes and hospitals–these lockdowns must end. But I suspect many politicians–such as Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago–don’t want the lockdowns to end. They are too in love with power. Lightfoot and Gov. Pritzker told us we needed the lockdowns to “flatten the curve” in the spring so hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed. Now they want to prevent all of us getting sick, which as we know is not possible.

The goalposts keep moving.

Years ago I read in a book about marathon training that stated that distance running, all things being equal, does indeed lead to a longer life expectancy. But more importantly, those extra years on this planet for runners usually mean they are enjoyable years. Who is going to sign up for an additional ten years of life if those years will consist of living in a nursing home in need of 24-hour care?

The quality of life for myself and millions of others is diminished because we are ordered to wear masks and to avoid each other.

End the lockdowns.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The science behind Coronavirus lockdowns is far from settled

Far too many individuals blindly accept the freedom and economy destroying lockdowns that governors have forced upon us because they believe that the lockdowns are based on science.  That is the narrative that has been crammed down the throats of all of us by the dangerously corrupt liberal news media.  The truth is far different but few are aware it.  That is why I’m writing this article.  On social media I share the truth, however, so many of my liberal friends dismiss the truth because it comes from right wing websites such as Breitbart, American Thinker, and the Federalist.

I was shocked to see actual truth in this New York Times article, which I immediately shared on Facebook and Twitter.  As you can see, Coronavirus is no where as prevalent in the United States as the media trumpets because the most often used test is far too sensitive.

Some of the nation’s leading public health experts are raising a new concern in the endless debate over coronavirus testing in the United States: The standard tests are diagnosing huge numbers of people who may be carrying relatively insignificant amounts of the virus.

Most of these people are not likely to be contagious, and identifying them may contribute to bottlenecks that prevent those who are contagious from being found in time.

Here is the scientific explanation behind the overly sensitive tests:

The PCR test amplifies genetic matter from the virus in cycles; the fewer cycles required, the greater the amount of virus, or viral load, in the sample. The greater the viral load, the more likely the patient is to be contagious.

This number of amplification cycles needed to find the virus, called the cycle threshold, is never included in the results sent to doctors and coronavirus patients, although it could tell them how infectious the patients are.

The PCR tests uses too many amplification cycles.

Most tests set the limit at 40, a few at 37. This means that you are positive for the coronavirus if the test process required up to 40 cycles, or 37, to detect the virus.

Tests with thresholds so high may detect not just live virus but also genetic fragments, leftovers from infection that pose no particular risk — akin to finding a hair in a room long after a person has left, Dr. Mina said.

A more reasonable cutoff would be 30 to 35, she added. Dr. Mina said he would set the figure at 30, or even less. Those changes would mean the amount of genetic material in a patient’s sample would have to be 100-fold to 1,000-fold that of the current standard for the test to return a positive result — at least, one worth acting on.

There has been a mini-serge of Coronavirus cases here in Massachusetts which has resulted in Governor Baker halting his tortuously slow reopening plan.  This serge is based on a big lie.

 In Massachusetts, from 85 to 90 percent of people who tested positive in July with a cycle threshold of 40 would have been deemed negative if the threshold were 30 cycles, Dr. Mina said. “I would say that none of those people should be contact-traced, not one,” he said.

A large number of medical experts have recently condemned the Coronavirus lockdowns. Those who rely on the mainstream media for news are completely unaware of this development.  Here is a description of the group from this Breitbart article

The internationally known experts, who identify themselves as “coming from both the left and right, and around the world,” have produced what they call the “Great Barrington Declaration,” which, to date, has been signed by nearly 4,700 medical and public health scientists, 8,900 medical practitioners, and 123,300 members of the general public.

Here are the opening paragraphs ofThe Great Barrington Declaration

As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

The Great Barrington Declaration recommends a must better approach for dealing with the  Coronavirus Pandemic.

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

Instead of placing all of us under house arrest and shuttering all of our businesses we should:

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

The lockdowns are so not backed by science that the World Health Organization has recently reversed course on them,