Most of us are very, very tired of the constant barrage of negative news. We realize that it may have some tenuous connection to reality, but is mostly manufactured nonsense, designed to keep us upset until at least the Presidential Election in November.
But will it even end then? That is unlikely, because too many politicians have found the resulting chaos to be extremely beneficial.
To enhance her career, Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) has expanded the climate change swindle many times over. But even her closest advisor quietly admitted that it is just an attempt to secure vast sums of money for her pet projects. Even if she could understand the science, she has no interest in doing so. She and her pals know that a rational discussion could promptly end their careers.
Even the major oil companies have bypassed the obvious reasoning that carbon dioxide is beneficial. A prominent New York attorney, Francis Menton, pointed out that their continuing legal problems are the result of their failure to address the science. Their chief physicist and my friend, the late Roger Cohen, clearly explained to Exxon management that they had a strong case against climate hysteria. It was a gross blunder for them to choose procedural arguments over scientific ones.
On the COVID front, Democrat Governors, such as Kate Brown, have discovered many new ways to control us, thanks to the very real but mismanaged Chinese virus epidemic. It has afforded a wonderful opportunity for wanna-be dictators to order us to stay home and to wear ineffective face masks in public, while at the same time encouraging riots and being secretive about the spread of the virus.
We are even fed a steady diet of racial propaganda about certain groups suffering more than others. Never mind the reality that the virus spreads by close contact, regardless of race. And never mind that those most likely to die are the elderly with health problems, not those Brown considers her captive clients. A reasonable approach, involving a sharp focus on those most vulnerable, coupled with a full and honest disclosure of the extent and severity of the pandemic, has not occurred.
When thousands died in New York City nursing homes, Governor Andrew Cuomo deflected blame for forcing nursing homes to accept COVID patients. In the ultimate collapse of reason, he and other Democrats escaped all accountability with help from a complicit media. Republican mistakes, whether real or imagined, get full press coverage.
Then along came the unfortunate death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, while in police custody. Since Floyd was black and the two policemen trying to arrest him were white, and since a video surfaced showing one policeman apparently suffocating Floyd, those who are always looking for something to stir up racial hatred, hyped this incident beyond all proportion. There was no collapse of reason, because there was no reasoning at all. The Left had another perfect storm where raw emotions prevail.
From CNN to MSNBC to Fox News, everyone fell over themselves to denounce the incident as another example of “systemic racism” in America. Fox, to its credit, did less ‘virtue signaling’ and tried to put the incidents that began this cycle of violence into perspective. But politicians like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Cuomo praised the “protesters” and participated in anti-police street theater.
Widespread calls to cut police budgets have received enthusiastic support, with few even contemplating the fact that competent policing is very necessary to maintain a civil society, especially in black neighborhoods.
Riots continue to this day, having consumed many businesses and several policemen. But the media characterize the rioters as “peaceful protesters” and hardly mention the black officers who have died at the hands of the mobs. Facts that might cast a negative light on the destruction and looting are downplayed.
We did learn that Chicago suffered a record high number of people shot over the Father’s Day weekend. 104 Chicagoans were wounded with 14 killed. One of those deaths was a three year old black girl, caught in a cross fire before police arrived. Black pastors spoke out against the shootings that overwhelmingly impact their communities. They wanted more policing, not less, and did not care what color policeman responds. Blue is fine!
Never wanting to be left behind, Portlanders enthusiastically joined the rioting. Even Mayor Wheeler appeared at protests and gave city employees paid time off to “grieve” (read: “protest”). Comments from officials about the extensive damage and death have generally been “understanding” that people are upset!
My inbox filled with messages from local groups falling over themselves to be sympathetic to the rioting. Legacy Health President and CEO Kathryn Correia expressed “solidarity” against “racism,” seeing pervasive “violence and injustice against black people” because of the “murder” of George Floyd. I doubt that Correia considered any of the facts, let alone the autopsy of Floyd. She did not respond to inquiries.
Mitsu Iwasaki, the Executive Director of a local mountaineering club lectured Mazamas about “social justice” without calling for an end to the violence. An avalanche of guilt and racial stereotyping followed.
Those lost in such rhetoric forget that every American now enjoys the same civil rights, thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King. That is what we should understand as “justice.” But it does not include any right to riot. And it does not include the Marxist idea of equal outcomes. Only those who take advantage of our equal opportunities and who work hard will achieve the American Dream. A good example is U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, a black man born among the poorest of the poor in then segregated Georgia.
Since Iwasaki ended with “We are working to become better,” I suggested that he listen to someone who has seen the entire civil rights issue unfold. But he and Mazama President, Traci Manning, did not want anyone lecturing them! I suspect both knew that their virtue signaling was substantially political and therefore substantially inappropriate for a non-profit organization that is supposed to specialize in mountaineering.
For all who insist on backing bad behavior, because it suits their politics, I would suggest stepping back and considering some of the facts. Just a little investigation shows that the George Floyd incident was far different than portrayed. MIT meteorologist Richard Lindzen asked a mutual friend, John Dale Dunn, for his expert analysis. Dunn is an emergency medicine physician and has been the chief medical officer for a local sheriff. Using the official autopsy report, Dunn noted that Floyd suffered from “serious coronary artery disease” and “cardiac arrhythmia” that can cause sudden death. He also had fentanyl, morphine, methamphetamine, and marijuana in him at the time of his death.
The drugs found in Floyd’s body in addition to the adrenaline released as he was arrested likely sent him into a delirious state. This was interpreted by the officers as “resisting arrest,” necessitating his removal from the squad car and placement on the ground where he could be restrained. Floyd was a six times felon and a big man, six foot four and weighing 223 lbs. His pleading that “I can’t breathe” indicates that he was agitated but could actually breathe. The autopsy report noted no injuries or even bruising to his neck. That says he was not strangled or asphyxiated. Had the police recognized that Floyd had a bad heart, they might have treated him differently. Both George Floyd’s death and that of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, would not have occurred if the suspects had not fought with police in the first place.
A little interest in the truth is sadly missing just about everywhere today.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research and has no conflicts of interest on this subject.