Tag Archives: policy

China launches another Earth observation satellite

The new colonial movement: China yesterday successfully launched a military surveillance satellite using its Long March 2D rocket, its second launch in three days.

The leaders in the 2020 launch race:

15 China
10 SpaceX
7 Russia
3 ULA

The U.S. now leads China 16 to 15 in the national rankings.

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COVID-19 update: CDC says virus close to losing epidemic status

Daily U.S. COVID-19 deaths

But we’re all supposed to die! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of deaths from the Wuhan virus had declined so much that the agency is on the verge of calling the epidemic over.

The CDC qualifies a disease outbreak as an “epidemic” if the number of deaths attributable to the disease exceeds a certain percentage of total deaths per week. That threshold for pneumonia, influenza and COVID-19 fluctuates slightly depending on the time of year, ranging from around 7% at the height of flu season to around 5% during less virulent months.

…The latest data show that the percentage of deaths in the country attributable to those factors had as of the last week in June reached its lowest point since the end of last year, becoming “equal to the [current] epidemic threshold of 5.9%,” the CDC said.

The numbers will change as more death certificates are processed, with I expect some health agencies in some states continuing their effort to fudge the numbers to pump up the COVID-19 totals. Regardless, the graph above (source here.) clearly shows that the epidemic is declining, with daily deaths dropping steadily since early May. (The two spikes of deaths on May 7 and June 25 are because New York and New Jersey suddenly added a whole slew of new deaths, under suspicious circumstances.)

Actual numbers daily since June 25

The graph shows a very slight increase in the past week, which could be attributed to the uptick in new cases, but if so the increase is tiny, and is close to statistically insignificant. The table to the right shows the actual numbers of deaths per day nationwide since that June 25 New Jersey spike, with the daily New York numbers thrown in as well. Not only is it hard to measure any significant uptick, the numbers in New York have been so low in the past nine days it has become absurd that the Democratically-controlled local governments there continue to insist on maintaining their draconian lock downs and mask requirements.

That the press is now focusing on the increase in cases, when the death toll has been subsiding so steadily, demonstrates their corruption and inability or refusal to do their job properly, If anything, it labels them as fear-mongers screaming fire in a theater (which is not on fire) who should be ostracized from society.

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Midnight repost: “We stand for freedom.”

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: This essay, portions of which was adapted from the fourth chapter of Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8, was posted originally on May 25, 2011, the fiftieth anniversary of Kennedy’s speech to Congress where he committed the nation to landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade.

It seems fitting to repost on July 4th, Independence Day.

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Kennedy's speech

“We stand for freedom.”

Fifty years ago today, John Kennedy stood before Congress and the nation and declared that the United States was going to the Moon. Amazingly, though this is by far the most remembered speech Kennedy ever gave, very few people remember why he gave the speech, and what he was actually trying to achieve by making it.

Above all, going to the Moon and exploring space was not his primary goal.
» Read more

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The Declaration of Independence

On this day, when we celebrate the founding of the United States — a nation that for more than two centuries has been a beacon of liberty to the entire world — it is the obligation of every American to reflect again on the opening words of the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

This is what our Founding Fathers gave to us, the right to pursue our own personal happiness, in freedom.

What do the rioters and protesters during the past month offer? What do they propose for future generations, as they out of blind hatred tear down statues of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and numerous war heroes who fought for this ideal?

I think too few Americans are asking these questions. I ask them, and demand that everyone else do as well. I think just asking them will help clarify the situation for all.

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Midnight repost: The Fantasy of Extreme Weather

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: The science described in this essay, posted originally on April 11, 2013 remains even today entirely accurate. Worse, the story illustrates the exact same kind of obtuse refusal to deal with reality that has put us today in the midst of a panic over a relatively minor seasonal virus.

Unfortunately, the links to the first two articles that I reference no longer work.

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The Fantasy of Extreme Weather

This week there were three stories describing new research proving that global warming is going to cause an increase in the number and violence of extreme weather events. Each was published in one of the world’s three most important scientific journals.

Sounds gloomy, doesn’t it? Not only will extreme heatwaves, cold waves, and droughts tear apart the very fabric of society, you will not be able to drink your soda in peace on your next airplane ride!

However, one little detail, buried in one of these stories as a single sentence, literally makes hogwash out of everything else said in these three articles.
» Read more

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Thomas Jefferson — The meaning of the Declaration of Independence

An evening pause: Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, in which lovers of freedom and individual rights celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, where by this nation committed itself forever to providing its citizens “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Those words were written by Thomas Jefferson. In tonight’s evening pause, Steve Edenbo as Thomas Jefferson recites Jefferson’s thoughts on the meaning of his own words, taken from a letter he wrote just prior to the 50th anniversary of that signing in 1826, and mere weeks from his death.

May true Americans never stop honoring these words, and that man.

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Are health agencies changing criteria to fake higher COVID-19 infection numbers?

This link provides evidence that Texas health officials have changed how they determine the number of people infected with the Wuhan flu by loosening that definition to include anyone who has had any contact with a proven infected person, without bothering with any tests.

In the example the health department itself gives to describe how the definition changes things, the number of infected goes from only one person to seventeen. There have been other stories suggesting the same kind of manipulation in the causes of death is occurring in other states, in New York and New Jersey, as well as Colorado, to name just three.

Covid daily U.S. deaths through July 3, 2020

The press and many politicians are now using the new higher infection rates to warn that a second wave of deaths is about to descend upon us. Since the actual number of daily deaths from the Wuhan flu is actually not rising significantly, as shown in the graph to the right, and has not been rising even though the increase in cases started several weeks ago, these cries by them that the sky is falling are obviously not true. (Note that the sudden spikes of deaths on May 7 and June 25 are because New York and New Jersey suddenly added a whole slew of new deaths, under suspicious circumstances.)

I myself am glad they are widening the definition so that it includes so many more people. I say, widen that definition even more, so that it will quickly include practically everyone in the nation. At that point we shall finally realize maybe that this epidemic is not the threat these dishonest health officials, the lying leftist press, and our corrupt politicians have been making it.

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NPR: “Coronavirus is more common and less deadly”

From that paranoid rightwing news outlet National Public Radio (NPR): “Mounting evidence suggests the coronavirus is more common and less deadly than it first appeared.”

The tests are finding large numbers of people in the U.S. who were infected but never became seriously ill. And when these mild infections are included in coronavirus statistics, the virus appears less dangerous.

“The current best estimates for the infection fatality risk are between 0.5% and 1%,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

That’s in contrast with death rates of 5% or more based on calculations that included only people who got sick enough to be diagnosed with tests that detect the presence of virus in a person’s body.

It must be noted that the early data (from March 17) did not show a death rate of 5% as NPR claims, but one exactly in the range that NPR is now touting, about 1%, and even that number was thought to be a high estimate at the time.

Of course, you would not have known that if you depended on your news from NPR, or most other mainstream leftist news sources. Once they realized they could use this virus to gin up a panic that could be used politically, suddenly the Wuhan flu was the next plague, with death tolls expected in the millions.

The death rate number of 0.5% to 1% is still about five to ten times higher than the annual flu, but since there is substantial evidence that the number of COVID-19 deaths has been inflated by 25 to 50 percent, we should not be surprised if this new death rate number drops even more with the accumulation of more data.

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United Kingdom partnership buys bankrupt OneWeb

Capitalism in space? A partnership between the UK government and an Indian company operating in the UK has purchased the bankrupt satellite company OneWeb for $1 billion.

The decision for the U.K. government to purchase OneWeb came with few details about when satellite launches will resume and exactly what the OneWeb satellites will now be used for and even who will have access to them once launched.

The overall deal is worth $1 billion USD, with the U.K. government and Bharti Enterprises Ltd. (an Indian-based company with an operational arm in the U.K.) each committing $500 million USD to the acquisition deal.

The buy-out is expected to close by the end of the year and will represent a 90% overall stake in OneWeb, with the organization’s original investors maintaining a 10% share according to reports from Bloomberg News.

The Johnson government has indicated it wishes to use the OneWeb constellation, still incomplete, as some sort of navigational tool, like GPS. The problem is that the satellites were not designed for this, but for providing internet service.

The article provides a good overview of the questions raised by this government decision. It is hard to figure how this purchase makes sense for the UK government. The impact however on one of OneWeb’s launch providers, Russia, could be very negative. OneWeb was going use a lot of Soyuz rockets to get its satellites off the ground, and had become practically the only commercial customer Russia still has. It is unclear what will happen now with that contract deal.

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Midnight repost: “What ever you do, don’t ‘shut up.'”

The tenth anniversary retrospective of Behind the Black continues: Tonight’s midnight repost is actually something not by me, but a video commentary by Andrew Klavan that he broadcast in 2011 and I embedded as a post in January of that year.

Sadly, his words have not become dated in the slightest. If anything, they has become more topical. And as then, I abide by his final words, “Whatever you do, don’t ‘shut up.””

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Courts twice today rule against COVID-19 over reach

Two positive court decisions today, both throwing out attempts by Democrats to use the panic over the Wuhan flu to nullify the U.S. legal system.

The first story outlines the court’s blunt ruling that the Democratic governor of Illinois abused his power when he extended both in restrictions and time the statewide lock downs he had imposed because of the Wuhan flu.

Illinois Circuit Court Judge Mike McHaney ruled on Thursday that Governor J.B. Pritzker of Illinois had no lawful authority to declare endless disasters past the initial thirty days. Ruling on a lawsuit filed by State House Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Ill.), Judge McHaney wrote, “The court declares that Defendant had no constitutional authority as Governor to restrict a citizen’s movement or activities and/or forcibly close business premises in EO 32.”

The ruling however included this loophole: “The judge also clarified that the lawful authority belongs to the Health Department in a time of health crisis and not the governor.” In other words, the elected official’s power is limited, but the power of unelected health department officials is not. This means that in the end, the ruling will become worthless.

In the second story, the Supreme Court rejected a lower court ruling that exempted some voters in Alabama from presenting voter identification when they voted.

We are sitting on a knife edge. The courts might rule in favor of the rule of law, but many will instead go with the wishes of the partisan Democrats, who clearly want to impose these restrictions to stamp their boot on the population, while loosening voter rules so that they can more easily submit many more fake ballots.

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Arianespace delays Vega launch seven more weeks

Arianespace announced yesterday that it has pushed back its first Vega rocket launch since the spring of 2019 (when the rocket failed) for seven more weeks, until August 17, 2020.

They had been trying to get the rocket off the ground this past week, but had been forced to scub several times because of high winds. They claim this long new delay is to wait until the weather improves, which really doesn’t make sense. Eric Berger at Ars Technica did some digging to find that other scheduling issues, including the odious lock down rules because of the Wuhan panic, were the really reason for the additional seven week delay. They have to recharge the batteries on the rocket, but don’t have time to do it before another launch is set to occur.

This process appears to involve customer representatives flying into French Guiana to perform this task, and there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in the non-European part of France that borders Brazil.

Finally, Arianespace also has a commercial satellite launch mission upcoming on its larger Ariane 5 rocket, and this VA253 flight has been scheduled for July 28. Because there is a minimum of a two-week turnaround time between launches at the spaceport in French Guiana, there was not time to reset the Vega rocket and its payloads before this mission.

With these rules and launch limitations, Arianespace is going to have increasing problems competing with the newer launch companies, all of whom are aiming, like SpaceX, to have almost instantaneous launch turn-arounds.

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Defense Department cancels small rocket contract awards

The Department of Defense yesterday withdrew the small contracts it had given to six small rocket companies on June 16 using funds allocated to help companies impacted by the Wuhan flu panic lock downs.

According to multiple industry sources, the selection of the six companies drew widespread criticism because it was unclear how these suppliers were selected over others. When contracts are awarded without an open competition, DoD by law has to file a “Justification & Approval” document explaining why an award was sole-sourced. No J&A documents were filed in this case.

This certainly appears fishy, as there are far more than six startups trying to capture market share in the smallsat launch market. Defense could now allow companies to competitively bid on this money, estimated to be about $115 million total, but it is unclear whether it will.

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China announces target launch date for its Tianwen-1 Mars rover

The new colonial movement: According to a new report out of Singapore, China has set July 20-25 as the launch window for its Mars orbiter/lander/rover mission, dubbed Tianwen-1.

Should they meet this date, it means they will launch before Perseverance, arriving at Mars about the same time, in February 2021. And like Perseverance, this launch window closes this summer, and if they can’t meet it they will have to wait two years.

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Visa blacklists business for having incorrect opinions

Capitalism in space: It appears that Visa is blacklisting Gab because it encourages free speech rather than toe the new corporate line that censors any speech the left does not like.

It also appears that Visa is also blacklisting the owner personally, as well as his family. We can’t have wrong thought in this new American nation of rules, regulations, and controlled and policed speech. Remember, persecution is now cool!

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Space Force restructures/reduces former Air Force command structure

The new Space Force has restructured and reduced the former Air Force command structure as it begins to take over military space operations from the latter agency.

The USSF field organization will consist of three echelons of command, where the Air Force currently is organized into five echelons. USSF’s organizational structure will initially consolidate and align all organize, train and equip mission execution from former Air Force space-related units.

…In order of hierarchy, the USSF field echelons are named field commands, deltas and squadrons. There will be three field commands aligned with specific mission focuses: Space Operations Command, Space Systems Command, and Space Training and Readiness Command. SpOC and SSC will be led by three-star general officers, and STARCOM will be led by a two-star general.

Deltas will be O-6 led and will be organized around a specific function – operations, installation support, training, etc. Within the deltas will be squadrons focused on specific tactics. When the field command structure is fully implemented, it will eliminate one general officer echelon and one O-6 echelon of command. Functions formerly performed at the eliminated echelons will be realigned where appropriate within the USSF.

This sounds good, but we shall see. New government agencies proposed by our federal government to streamline bureaucracies somehow always end up bloating those bureaucracies instead. The Space Force was created with this laudable goal. This press release at least suggests they are trying to achieve it.

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Russia to consider building reusable stages for Angara

Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency that controls that nation’s entire aerospace industry, is “considering” the idea of developing reusable rocket stages for future iterations of its new Angara rocket.

“On June 30, changes were made to the state contract on the ‘Amur’ experimental design work that envisaged upgrading and further developing this series,” the statement says. In particular, the changes envisage developing the Angara-A5M as the upgraded version of the Angara-A5 rocket and the conceptual design of the Angara-A5V increased lifting capacity vehicle (with the oxygen-hydrogen third stage).

“Also, an option will be considered to develop the Angara-A5VM carrier rocket with reusable stages,” Roscosmos specified.

I’ll believe it when I see it. For now almost twenty years the Russians have been very good at issuing bold press releases promising wonderful new rockets, spaceships, and projects, only to have none of these rockets, spaceships, or projects ever actually happen.

That they are even considering reusable first stages however does show the power of competition and freedom. They never would have if SpaceX hadn’t come along and cut costs with this idea and thus take their entire market share from them. Now they have to find a way to compete in order to get some of that business back..

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With Americans under attack where are Trump and the Republicans?

For me, the most distressing part of the panic over COVID-19 has not been the rules, the mandates, the nullification of the Bill of Rights, and the shut down of normal life, all of which have been terrible, wrong-headed, and a disaster for our country.

What has distressed me the most is the gutless response by the nation’s so-called conservative Republican politicians. All of the panic and harsh rules and economic damage has been designed by the Democrats to hurt the reelection chances of Trump. Little of it has anything to do with stopping the virus, and in fact most are nothing more than symbolic gestures that can accomplish nothing.

Despite this, Republican elected leaders have acquiesced to the Democrats demands, almost across the board.

Consider my own state of Arizona. My governor, Doug Ducey, is Republican. Republicans also have majorities in both houses of my state legislature. Yet, they have either let the Democrats run the show, or have acted in ways that are indistinguishable from the worst dictators in New York and New Jersey. First Governor Ducey imposed and then extended a lockdown that has bankrupted many businesses in the state. Then, as he began to loosen that lockdown he ceded his power to the generally Democratically-controlled local governments, letting them impose their own odious rules in place of his. The result is that in most big cities in the state, the lock down did not really end, but got tightened with new rules mandating masks.

Yesterday he reinstated part of his lock down for another thirty days. And like Democratic governors in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and New Jersey, the new rules he imposed [pdf] were arbitrary and capricious, and will thus have little if any effect. Bars, gyms, indoor movie theaters, and water parks have to close until July 27th. Government and community pools however can stay open. So can restaurants, shopping centers, clothing stores, and many other venues that previously were considered “non-essential.” He also banned any gathering of more than fifty people, but exempted political demonstrations and religious services.

And why did he do this? It appears there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks! That means (oh no!) the number of people either hospitalized or dying might skyrocket, and overwhelm the hospitals!
» Read more

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Russia to lower launch price of new Angara rocket

Capitalism in space: According to its 2019 financial report, the Russian manufacturer of that country’s new Angara rocket intends by 2024 to lower launch price from about $100 million to about $57 million.

The high cost price of the latest Angara carrier rocket before the start of its serial production is due to the need for the Khrunichev Space Center to work at two sites, the press office of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos told TASS on Monday. “Before the production process is fully moved to the site of the Polyot company in Omsk, the Khrunichev Space Center has to work at two production sites, which creates additional overhead costs,” a Roscosmos spokesman said.

As part of its trials, the Angara rocket is being produced singly instead of serially, he said. “After the serial full-cycle production is launched, the item’s cost price will decrease,” the spokesman said.

Essentially they are claiming that the cost will drop once they start full production.

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Masks = virtue signaling

This essay by Robert Pratt about the uselessness of masks to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 has this very clarifying quote:

“When a person is infectious with a virus it is estimated that they may shed one hundred billion virus particles a day – that works out to 10 million per breath,” [Dr. John Lee, a former professor of pathology at a UK medical school] pointed out.

Given that the most common cloth masks in use by people have thousands of pores, holes between the fabric threads, several times larger than the width of a human hair and that a full thousand virus particles can fit through a space the size of a human hair side-by-side even laboratory controlled fit and use of a mask, conditions not present in actual life usage, does little to stop the spread of virus particles.

…If just a breath contains 10 million virus particles, the pressurized large release associated with a sneeze or cough is reasonably likely to be much greater and will put millions of virus particles straight through a mask as well as much more out the side perimeters of such.

So let’s summarize: The mask, worn for long periods, forces you to rebreath your carbon dioxide at higher levels than normal, lowers the oxygen content to levels that are considered unhealthy, and in the end can do little to block the virus. On top of this, if you unconsciously touch the front of your mask (such as to pull it down to talk to someone), and your hand had not been sanitized just beforehand, you have just taken the risk of placing the virus on the mask, at exactly the place you breath.

Sounds like a plan to me, eh?

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Politicians continue to lie about COVID-19 to generate fear

Total U.S. daily deaths from the Wuhan flu

They just won’t stop lying: On June 26 there was a strange and unbelievable jump in the number of deaths from COVID-19. The graph to the right (source here), up-to-date through June 28, illustrates this. Compare it to the graph I posted on June 25 (in an essay that makes a nice bookmark with this essay). All of a sudden there were 2,500 deaths from the Wuhan flu the very next day, when we had seen no numbers like that since early May and the totals had been steadily and very consistently declining for weeks. In fact, the decline continued along the same exact trend, following this strange uptick in deaths.

Was it a sign of the coming second wave that so many Chicken Littles have been predicting with the partial reopening of the economy, allowing people to leave house arrest? Or was it a sign of some shenanigans by some government officials to manipulate the numbers because they didn’t like how consistently the death totals were dropping, thus giving Americans some hope and the ability to put aside their fears of a coming plague and go back to normal.

Which would you pick?
» Read more

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Yutu-2 travels 62 feet during 19th lunar day

According to the official Chinese press, Yutu-2 traveled another 62 feet during its 19th lunar day on the far side of the Moon.

I did not get that number from the article, which was written to imply falsely that the rover’s total travel distance since landing (463 meters) was what it did during this single lunar day. To get the real travel distance I took the total from the previously reported total travel distance and figured the difference.

If you want to be educated to the absolutely useless nature of a state-run press, put both links above in separate tabs and compare. You will discover that other than some very minor changes, the new news story is essentially a cut-and-paste of the previous. Which by the way is a cut-and-paste of the last few reports. They don’t even bother to make believe (like the leftist American mainstream media) that they are giving us some information. They simply don’t.

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NASA tests SLS backup tank to failure

In preparation for the only planned full scale static fire engine test of the core first stage of the SLS rocket, NASA engineers have successfully completed a tank test to failure on a back-up oxygen tank.

The tank was filled with water to simulate the oxygen, and cracked as expected at the predicted pressure and at the predicted weld. A short 11-second video of the moment of failure test is embedded below the fold.

This test illustrates the methods by which NASA works. Unlike SpaceX, which is doing similar tests at the very beginning of its Starship design stage to best improve their design, NASA does this testing at the very end of construction, to prove that what they have built will work. The former method in the long run is less risky and faster, as SpaceX quickly finds out what works and doesn’t and builds accordingly.

The latter method is more risky because it depends on complex computer models, which can always be wrong. It also is more expensive in that it requires NASA to build its rockets with large margins of error, just in case those models are wrong. Finally, it appears to take longer to build, because of those required large margins of error. Your rocket or spaceship needs almost to be “gold-plated” to make sure it will work, when completed, since you really can’t test it in the design phase and build it more efficiently based on those tests.
» Read more

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Some quick and easy evidence proving masks are unhealthy

The video below illustrates very simply and quickly the reasons masks are generally a bad idea, especially for anyone with any chronic respiratory disease that causes reduced lung function. What it shows that within your mask the levels of oxygen are routinely below OSHA’s recommendations. While a healthy person will not suffer significantly, wearing a mask for a long period of time will certainly lead to headaches and diminished function. For a person with asthma or chronic pulmonary disease the low levels of oxygen, combined with the higher levels of CO2 (which you are rebreathing) will eventually cause serious harm.

The video comes from this link, which includes similar demonstrations.

Wearing a mask is simply not supported by the science. There is no clear evidence it stops or even slows the spread of the Wuhan virus, and it carries with it negative medical consequences.

The negative social consequences need not be discussed. They are beyond counting.

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California Democrats vote to allow all forms of discrimination

Fascist California; The Democrats controlling all levels of the government in California this week voted to repeal their constitutional statutes that forbid discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity, or national origin.

This quote makes clear the goal of the bigoted Democrats:

Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, the San Diego Democrat who is carrying ACA5 [the bill’s official designation], said mass uprisings in recent weeks against police brutality and systemic racism have shown that new solutions are needed to address the discrimination that remains in many communities.

“As we look around the world, we see there is an urgent cry — an urgent cry for change,” Weber said on the Assembly floor. “After 25 years of quantitative and qualitative data, we see that race-neutral solutions cannot fix problems steeped in race.” [emphasis mine]

So if race neutral polices won’t work, it appears she is suggesting they put into law race-biased policies, kind of like the Nazis did. In this case they will aim to specifically favor the Democrats’ rainbow coalition of minorities — specifically blacks, homosexuals, and illegal immigrants — to the detriment and oppression of everyone else.

Of course, these benefits will not apply to any blacks or homosexuals or immigrants who happen to be conservative. In that case their minority status is now null and void, as it can do nothing to help Democrats maintain power.

None of this should surprise us. After fifty years the Democratic Party is finally returning to its roots as the party of segregation, discrimination, and race hatred. They are simply rephrasing it slightly to fool people.

The law will have to still be approved by the voters in November, but since these Democrats are also forcing through California mail-only voting, they will have no problem fixing the results to their satisfaction.

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Biden would use presidential power to force everyone to wear masks

They’re coming for you next: Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden said today that he would would use his power as president to require everyone to wear masks.

“I would go back to making sure that everybody had masks,” Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, told KDKA. “The one thing we do know is that these masks make a gigantic difference. I would insist that everybody in public be wearing that mask. … I would do everything possible to make it required that people had to wear masks in public,” he added later. [emphasis mine]

Put aside the fact that the benefits of mask use remain highly uncertain, and also include some very likely negative medical consequences. Also put aside Biden’s incorrect assumption that somehow there once had been a national mandate to wear masks.

What I find horrifying is the assumption that a president has the right to require such a thing. Not only does Biden assume he can issue such an edict, it appears that everyone now assumes they must obey it.

Nowhere under law is such a draconian dictate by a president allowed. Nowhere. In fact, if anything, the Bill of Rights expressly forbids it.

And yet, we have come to a place where a presidential candidate thinks he will have that right, and I guarantee he will be supported in that belief by his entire party.

Make no mistake. They’re coming for you next.

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Extensive fraud found in New Jersey mailed ballots

The end of valid elections: Officials in New Jersey have discovered extensive fraud in a local election involving one out of every five mail-in ballots, putting into question the election results and resulting in the indictment of four men, including one candidate.

In the City Council election, 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received, but only 13,557 votes were counted. More than 3,190 votes, 19% of the total ballots cast, were disqualified by the board of elections. Due to the pandemic, Paterson’s election was done through vote-by-mail. Community organizations, such as the city’s NAACP chapter, are calling for the entire election to be invalidated.

The article is a horror-show, showing starkly how going to mail-in ballots will guarantee that all future elections will be rigged. This quote especially illustrates this fact:

[D]ozens of lawsuits have been filed across the country contesting state requirements used to certify mail-in ballots. “Among the main targets are witness and signature requirements for absentee ballots — such as signing the envelope, or getting a witness or notary to sign it, or making sure the voter’s signature is legible,” notes an NPR report earlier this month.

Those lawsuits seeking to expand vote-by-mail include one brought in Nevada earlier year, which aims to do away with signature verification on mail-in ballots altogether – even though ballot signatures not matching voter records was the reason Paterson disqualified over 2,300 ballots.

Since voting is controlled by local authorities, and since very few Republicans at the local level seem willing or able to fight these measures, I honestly do not expect the November election to reflect an accurate count. Instead, I think it will be heavily rigged in favor of the Democrats.

The only hope for overcoming this rigging will be that the many voters who have never voted before come out in huge numbers and vote against their incumbent governments. Unfortunately, I see little sign that this will happen.

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UK to bid for purchase of bankrupt OneWeb

Capitalism in space? The United Kingdom appears about to bid $500 million to purchase the bankrupt satellite communications company OneWeb, apparently in an effort to use its satellites as a quick form of GPS-type satellites.

Among the uses being claimed for OneWeb’s technology is that it could be an alternative Galileo, the GPS satellite constellation built by the EU. Britain was kicked out of the project as a result of Brexit. Some have speculated OneWeb might be used as a cheaper alternative.

However, while acquiring such a satellite network would be a coup, industry sources are divided on whether the satellites could be easily retrofitted to perform a role as GPS. GPS technology is also owned by the US, and Washington has been against its allies building rival systems. “The system was built as a communications network,” says one source, questioning how easily it could be changed to GPS.

The article also notes that three Chinese companies are also considering bidding. All these foreign bids (especially the Chinese ones) however face U.S. government review, which will I expect almost certainly reject the Chinese bids.

The deadline for bids is tonight, so we shall find out soon.

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COVID-19 hospitalizations dropping across the board

Hospitalizations from COVID-19, week by week
Click for full resolution image.

The graph to the right, produced weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and presently up-to-date through June 13th, bluntly shows why the panic over COVID-19 has been absurd and unjustified. (Hat tip Doug Ross @ Journal for noting it first.)

It shows the trends in Wuhan flu hospitalizations week to week, separated by age group. The only age groups seriously impacted by the disease have been those over 50. The cohorts under seventeen do not even register on the graph. Moreover, these are numbers per 100,000. Even at its worse, the disease only put about 30 people (over 65) out of every 100,000 into the hospital. Though maybe a bit higher it is hardly different than what we see normally during any normal flu season. It is also, like what we see during flu season, hardly something to panic over.

The graph also shows that the disease’s impact is clearly fading, across the board, even as the number of identified cases is rising. Even in the 18-49 cohort, which is right now experiencing the greatest rise in new cases, the hospitalizations are dropping, to about 2 or 3 people out of every 100,000.

This is not something to fear. It certainly does not justify the nullification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Nor does it justify the requirement that everyone go about their lives wearing a mask, which not only does nothing to stop the disease but probably increases everyone’s chances of getting sick.

Doug Ross in his post on this graph I think summarizes the situation best:

You gots it, Sparky. The key metrics indicate that overall, the U.S. is crushing the China scourge. Of course, the media — whose singular goal is the destruction of the Constitution — wants to shriek about the growth of “positive test results”, not hospitalizations or mortality. But that’s what the media do. They aren’t about objective facts, or news, they’re about promoting fascism. Ain’t that right, Acosta?

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