Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Boebert’s Socialism

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert recently Tweeted (see my screen captures and Tweet), “I will stand up to their [the Democrats’] radical, socialist agenda EVERY SINGLE TIME!” In a separate Tweet, she promoted the “America First movement” inspired by Donald Trump.

I responded, “The so-called ‘America First movement’ IS fundamentally socialist insofar as it asserts the federal government should override the rights of property and association of business owners and consumers, for the alleged benefit of society or the collective.” Here I have in mind government restrictions on trade and on association with immigrants.

And, of course, Boebert promoted Trump’s unlawful seizing of a second term, an effort that put the nation in profound danger of falling into fascism.

QAnon and President Biden

Wednesday, January 20th, 2021

According to QAnon conspiracy mongers, Donald Trump was supposed to seize a second term by today. Instead, he slinked off to Florida while Joe Biden assumed the presidency.

The New York Times (Kevin Roose) writes about the Q reaction. Today, January 20, was supposed to be the Great Awakening “when top Democrats would be arrested for running a global sex trafficking ring and President Trump would seize a second term in office,” Roose writes.

As I mentioned on Twitter, this is akin to cultists whose leader prophesies that the world will end a certain day, but then that day comes and goes and a new day begins. How did QAnon cultists react? Roose: “Several large QAnon groups discussed . . . the possibility that they had been wrong about Mr. Biden, and that the incoming president was actually part of Mr. Trump’s effort to take down the global cabal.” Others moved the goal posts in other ways, while some actually started to wonder whether this QAnon business is and always was total bullshit.

And some former Trump supporters are now turning on Trump.

Trump Cultists in Their Own Words

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

The people who protested at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and who violently assaulted the Capitol, believed Donald Trump that the presidential election had been stolen.

Trump the Agitator

Wednesday, January 13th, 2021

Donald Trump’s January 6, 2021 speech follows the classic forms of triablism and scape-goating. Within the first two minutes, Trump accuses “radical left Democrats,” “big tech,” and “the fake news media” of “rigging” and “stealing” the election. In the midst of a stream of lies, Trump claims, “This is the most corrupt election in the history, maybe of the world.” He also took a swipe at the Supreme Court, suggesting that the justices he nominated owed him.

The Ayn Rand Institute hosted a useful discussion about the assault on the Capitol.

I wrote a first and second article about the event, with a Colorado focus.

Colorado’s Increased Deaths

Monday, October 12th, 2020

The Denver Post has a really interesting review of excess deaths this year in Colorado.

The official numbers say that Colorado currently has 2,113 “deaths among cases” of COVID-19, and 1,998 “deaths due to COVID-19.”

But deaths are actually up around 20% over normal, or “at least 3,788,” says the Post. In terms of raw numbers, “the state recorded on average” 18,935 deaths “for the same period during the three years prior,” and “an estimated 22,723 . . . between March and August.”

A caveat: “There’s a lag in death-certificate data so it’s possible the number of fatalities during the first six months of the pandemic could still rise further.”

Another key detail: “Of the excess deaths, at least 1,627 were Coloradans who died from COVID-19 complications. This number is lower than the state [official] count of such fatalities [because] unlike the death-certificate data, [the official count] includes non-residents who died from the disease while in the state.”

The upshot is that fewer than half of the excess deaths are accounted for by formal findings of COVID-19. What’s responsible for the rest of the deaths?

Uncounted COVID-19 cases are part of the mix, but “it’s unclear how many of the fatalities are from missed COVID-19 diagnoses,” the Post says.

The Post did find that deaths from “cirrhosis, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s also saw significant spikes.” The best explanation for most of these deaths is that people delayed care. What about Alzheimer’s, which saw a 26% spike? Maybe the increased deaths have to do with worse care and more social isolation. Or (I think more likely) maybe more people with Alzheimer’s were dying of COVID-19 but not diagnosed with it.

Here’s a surprising finding: “Suicides dropped 2% over previous years, to 639 deaths.”

However, “between March and August, 597 Coloradans died of overdoses, which is up 40% from the 3-year-average of 424 deaths, according to the state data.”