Just Some Conversation

Republicans finally get “death panels,” Hullabaloo, Tom Sullivan, July, 26, 2020

Dr. Jose Vasquez, the health officer for Starr County, Texas located on the US-Mexico border “The situation is desperate.” At the only hospital in the county, over 50% of patients are testing positive for the COVID-19 virus — 40 new coronavirus cases were reported Thursday. Starr County Memorial Hospital in Rio Grande City made plans to set up a committee to decide which patients to send home to die. The hospital will ration its resources to patients with the best chances of surviving  (CNN).

Fri, July 24, 2020
126 died this day
5 002 total deaths
391 609 tot. confirm cases
7 947 new confirmed
2.1% daily growth

The hospital quickly filled the eight beds in its Covid-19 unit, so it expanded to 17 and then 29 beds, Vasquez said. About 33 medical workers, including medical practitioners and lab technicians, were deployed by the state to assist the hospital.

“Unfortunately, Starr County Memorial Hospital has limited resources and our doctors are going to have to decide who receives treatment, and who is sent home to die by their loved ones,” Starr County Judge Eloy Vera wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday. “This is what we did not want our community to experience.”

Republicans screamed about ACA death panels  deciding whether citizens could have treatment under its regime.

Does Gun Ownership and Concealed Carry Deter the Frequency of Mass Shootings and Firearms Homicide?,” Justice Quarterly, Emma E. Fridel, July 23, 2020

“Mass shootings have fueled calls for large-scale changes in gun ownership and concealed carry legislation over the past thirty years. Few studies have evaluated whether permissive gun policies actually deter mass shootings. None have determined if their effects are the same on firearms homicide in general. This study examines the impact of household gun ownership and concealed carry legislation on annual counts of mass shootings and firearms homicides in the United States from 1991 to 2016.

Professor Fridel’s findings show that looser concealed-carry laws had little impact on mass shootings and increased a state’s gun homicide rate by 11%. Higher rates of firearm ownership overall, meanwhile, was associated with a 53.5% increase in the likelihood of a mass shooting. In 2019 the US saw 418 mass shootings and 15,395 deaths due to gun violence in 2019 (less suicides), compared to 269 mass shootings and 12,390 deaths in 2014.”

In other data (which remains unfinished), I have gathered, it is more likely the police will be the force which stops or prevents a shooting than a good guy with a bullet-spewing-weapon.

America’s Schools Are a Moral and Medical Catastrophe,” Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett, July 24, 2020.

I do not believe you will have an issue with reading this one article. It is pretty good and if you are looking for a good explanation, you may a stimulating one here. Some of the Corona Virus articles are free at Foreign Affairs and this I believe is one of them.

“After U.S. President Donald Trump demanded last week that schools nationwide reopen this fall, regardless of the status of their community’s COVID-19 epidemic status, his Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was asked how this could safely be accomplished. She offered no guidelines, nor financial support to strapped school districts. Her reply was that school districts nationwide needed to create their own safety schemes and realize that the federal government will cut off funds if schools fail to reopen. “I think the go-to needs to be kids in school, in person, in the classroom,” she said in an interview on CNN on July 12.

This is nothing short of moral bankruptcy. The Trump administration is effectively demanding schools bend to its will, without offering a hint of expert guidance on how to do so safely, much less the necessary financing.

I can’t correct for the latter failure, of course. But here’s some information that will be of use to the many rightfully concerned parents and educators across the United States.”

Still no Republican party voice on this catastrophe coming to pass.

More Than Half a Million People Missing From the U.S. Population,” The Atlantic, Joe Pinsker, July, 23, 2020

“Three variables determine the fluctuations of a country’s population: births, deaths, and migration flows. The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting all three.

The forces that have begun acting on America’s population are dramatic departures from the norm. Every year for the past 100 years, the population of the United States has grown. During that time, though, its growth rate has slowed as birth rates have fallen. Demographers expect this deceleration to continue through the 21st century: A recent study published in the medical journal The Lancet projected that the U.S. population will peak in 2062, and then start to shrink.

The pandemic very likely won’t alter that long-term population trajectory, but the varied and devastating effects it has had—and will continue having—will in all likelihood slow the population’s growth rate even more, pushing it to its lowest level in the past 100 years. (The last time the U.S. population shrank was 1918, which also happened to be a pandemic year.) Here, I’ll examine how the pandemic might shape those three key variables that determine population grown.”

In late 2006, Smithsonian magazine featured Joel Garreau’s “300 Million and Counting” article referring to surpassing the 300 million population mark and replacement population growth. The growth then was barely replacement at 2.1 per. Pre-Corona, the replacement was less than 2. With Corona impacting daily lives, it is expected to drop even more and potentially surpass the decreased growth rate of 1918. Much of the population growth in 2006 was dependent upon immigrants and which also contributed to a lower median age when compared to western European countries. Our economy depends upon a young work force being productive.  What happens when the population stops growing?

Nothing Conservative About What Trump Is Doing in Portland,” Unconstitutional police activity is not conservative. It’s authoritarian. The Atlantic, Paul Rosenzweig and Arthur Rizer, July 2020

“Twenty years ago, Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist—not generally thought of as a radical liberal—said: “We can think of no better example of the police power, which the Founders denied the National Government and reposed in the States, than the suppression of violent crime and vindication of its victims.”

Last week Attorney General William Barr went full interventionist, telling the press that he was deploying federal law-enforcement officers to Chicago and Albuquerque, New Mexico (this coming after the previous week’s deployment to Portland), to combat “violent criminal activity.” President Trump said much the same thing as he rattled off cities his administration was eyeing for future intervention—Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit—because of “gun violence” and “drugs.”

How greatly have traditional conservative values of federalism and limited government been transformed. Today, a sitting Republican president invokes the power of the federal government to send militarized Department of Homeland Security agents (equipped with military-grade weapons, body armor, tear gas, and camouflage, like armed forces entering a war zone) to swarm American city streets under unwritten rules of engagement. If video evidence now circulating is to be credited, these agents are not merely protecting federal property; they have detained citizens who aren’t violating any law and used the power of their presence to chill civil protests and disobedience.”

The protesting crowds are overwhelmingly larger than the trump-warriors and the numbers are growing. What happens when the crowd chooses to no longer respect them? It is just a matter of time in Portland for a reaction and there is no attempt to deescalate the standoff.