#StayAtHome

Shameless

A worthwhile 20-minute video which discusses the petty harassment by local law enforcement of a veteran,  Nick Koumalatsos, who owns and operates a gym in Holly Ridge, North Carolina. Mayor Jeff Wenzel (Democrat) sad he stands by Governor Roy Cooper’s (Democrat) orders “regardless of how many rights it violates.

Note that 99.994% of people in North Carolina haven’t died from COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in the country.

While Koumalatsos complied with the initial stay-at-home on March 17th, following the CDC guidelines of sanitization, social distance and temperature checks for patrons he opened his gym on May 1st because his rent was due and his workers needed to survive.

On May 17 his gym was raided by the Holly Ridge Police with hands-on guns yelling and screaming at the manager and members to get out.

The Police Chief of Holly Ridge, Greg Anderson came to apologize for the overzealous nature of his officer and rescinded the citation saying he believed in the constitution only to be put on administrative leave.

The acting chief Captain Richards took number plate numbers of patrons and illegally entered the gym without a warrant. When Koumalatsos questioned the officer on what law was broken he was ignored.

He has temporarily closed the gym again and set up a GoFundMe to cover legal costs

Then Onslow County tax collectors were strong-arming Koumalatsos for prompt payment of his 2020 property taxes and said that his current predicament was nothing to do with her and he needs to take it up with the local council.

Koumalatsos said all he wanted to enjoy the freedom and liberties he fought for.

This is the biggest risk facing the Democrats come November. These incidents are far too common and committed mostly by Democrats as we noted in a piece earlier this week. Petty officials loving the ability to exercise their newfound powers. It is sick.

We pray the Gov’t makes more $60bn mistakes!

Can the media and shadow politicians get a grip? Since when should taxpayers complain when the government makes a huge error in our favour? We can pretty much stake our lives on the fact that 99% of government programs end up way more expensive than initially budgeted for. French Submarines anyone? NBN? We should be looking at the JobKeeper revision as a massive positive.

The federal government estimated that the JobKeeper program would initially cost $130 billion. Now it appears they overestimated it by $60 billion. That was driven by the idiosyncrasies of who would be eligible at the employer end – from the self-employed to big business and everything in between.

Given the limited time window, forgive the Treasury and Tax Office for not landing estimates on target. It is ridiculous to expect they could estimate such a fluid piece of legislation.

The unwelcome arrival of COVID19 and the sudden stay-at-home orders that ensued hardly gave a generous window of opportunity to apply Japanese level precision engineering to the process.

Our only criticism lies with the drip feed approach to restarting the hibernating economy. As we mentioned yesterday with respect to the 50 US states, so many appear to be copying each other rather than making bold data driven decisions based on facts not consensus.

The reality is that the Treasury will need to make many more multi billion dollar mistakes in the spirit of JobKeeper to help mitigate the damage caused by the looking trillion dollar deficits.

Perhaps the $60 billion saving can be redeployed to building a bullet train from Sydney to Melbourne. A 20-yr project that is just the type of infrastructure spending which ticks so many boxes – relieving pressure on the state capitol cities, housing, assist a growing population and provide lots of jobs.

ABC tells Australians to “Shut the F*ck Up”

We continue to scoff at the ABC’s leadership. It regularly guarantees us that it has learnt from previous egregious mistakes but turns around and allocates some of its supposedly limited $1bn+ in taxpayer funds to make a sanctimonious video during COVID-19 lockdown using renowned figures of the intolerant left to lecture the audience to “Shut the F*ck Up!” These people are absolutely the last people to be lecturing anyone on anything.

If the ABC and its acolytes want to tell us how invaluable it has been through the bushfires and COVID-19 which justifies more funding to carry out its good work, perhaps it can lead by example and stop producing rubbish like this. It is bad enough using ABC Kids TV to indoctrinate them about white privilege. Or allowing a bunch of radical feminists to openly call for the murder of men. Or provide a platform to a convicted terrorist or happily release a tweet on Q&A which suggested former PM Abbott liked anal sex. Or calling conservative politicians “c@nts.” If the ABC is so tight on funds, why does it continue to misallocate like this?

Guess we’re just not open-minded enough.

On page 94 of the 2017/18 Annual Report, the ABC Staff Engagement Survey showed that less than half were satisfied, down 6 points on the previous survey. This moved the ABC from the median to the bottom quartile when benchmarked with other Australian and New Zealand organisations.

Money is not the problem. Management is.

Oregon judge tosses out Governor’s stay-at-home laws

An Oregon judge has declared that the coronavirus restrictions enacted by Gov. Kate Brown (D) are “null and void” because her emergency orders were not approved by the state legislature after 28 days. The judge agreed with the lawsuit launched by 10 churches against the State of Oregon which argued that the emergency powers only lasted for a month and that to lengthen them required legislative approval which she did not seek!

Recently, Wisconsin and North Carolina also had stay-at-home orders overturned in court.

Naturally, Oregon Gov. Brown is seeking to overturn this ruling in the Oregon Supreme Court. How the tables turn when dictatorial governors seem happy to ignore the very rule of law that they wish to enforce on everyone else because they believe that they know better than everyone else.

As the churches that filed the lawsuit would say, “practice what you preach.

We wonder how quickly Brown will look to ram these orders through the state legislature so she can comply with the law and beat her peons into submission with the threat of child protective services as an added disincentive to ensure rogue constituents bend to her will even though 99.997% of the state’s residents haven’t succumbed to coronavirus.

Experts inside YouTube ride roughshod over medical opinion

Erickson

The video of Bakersfield-based microbiology experts, Drs Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, discussing a contrarian view on COVID19 that YouTube took down is still available on this link.

In what world are we living where a video channel prioritises a groupthink generated political opinion that overrides medical experts who have based their findings on available hard data, not wildly inaccurate models? The video was taken down for a ‘violation of community standards.’ You can read the YouTube statement here.

We would understand this if the doctors had no medical training and were pushing wild conspiracy theories. They simply weren’t. All that happened was a sensible presentation of data coupled with opinions based on their background as microbiologists. They think the fears have been overblown.

If you listen to the dialogue, the hard data confirms what we had been saying about the statistics of the pandemic. The doctors compared the data of an open Sweden vs a closed Norway and concluded the data discrepancies of COVID19 were statistically insignificant.

Many of our readers know we are contrarians by nature. We are more curious about what we might be missing rather than just accepting what is commonly reported. When opinions support the data, it isn’t an exercise in confirmation bias. We are genuinely interested as to whether the arguments sound convincing enough to validate them. We are even more concerned when the other side of the debate seek to shut it down rather than expose the flaws in Erickson and Massihi’s thinking.

Is the dissenting view more widespread than the media given credit for? After all the data is a moving feast. We are learning about COVID19 on a daily basis so sticking to the thinking of 2 months ago may not be relevant if the course shifts. Why are governments setting fixed future dates? Why not open up when the data supports it? Hardly any science in politically driven decision making.

An ER doctor in Wisconsin confirmed Drs Erickson and Massihi’s view that it isn’t about science. He wondered why someone in a hazmat suit was taking his temperature when there were next to no patients inside, something that is borne out by the data with so many beds available. Should we fear politics more than the pandemic?

Are governments following a herd mentality which uses poorly interpreted data as opposed to considering herd immunity based on medical science? The economic fallout will likely be way worse than any impacts of the virus itself. As we wrote earlier this week, governments carry zero responsibility for their actions because they can hide behind telling us it was for our own good. We bear the lot in terms of consequences. A terrible equation.

We believe that groupthink is the more dangerous pathogen in society. Whether financial crises or topics such as climate change, dissenting voices have repeatedly been terminated, especially by media outlets. Surely if the data sits with the prevailing sentiment, why not pick the bones out of Erickson and Massihi’s statement and debunk it with more prescient facts? In what world does it help to suppress information? Defeat data with data. This is why we remain contrarians.

The medical discussion surrounding the live clinical data of Erickson and Massihi makes plausible sense. We have all grown up learning that a baby gnawing a dog lead helps its body work out how to fight future infections. The doctors argue that keeping people locked down decreases one’s immunity to fight against COVID19.

The Bakersfield doctors believe that preventing the body from being able to combat coronavirus by not being exposed to it could have the opposite of the intended effect when people start to mingle again. Many people may not even know they have it. So when those people who caught it in a supermarket could restart the process. Does the government return to lockdown again and restart the negative loop?

These doctors claimed to have done the majority of testing for Kern County, California. The data backs up what is being experienced around the world positive test rates for infection are far higher than what is being reported but the death rates are way lower. Having said that, these two owners of seven clinics noted (some might argue somewhat selfishly) that the amount of people getting tested is way lower than their installed capacity. Irrational fear has been keeping people away. Then we are surprised when the natives get restless?

The two doctors recommend putting kids back into school. Slowly reopen other businesses and eventually sporting venues. The doctors questioned how it is OK to go to Costco but not a small cafe. It is reverse logic. There is a far higher exposure in a large business than a local cafe.

The adverse economic impacts don’t match the behaviour of the coronavirus in their opinion. Until a vaccine is found, the human body has the best chance of defeating it. Erickson and Massihi argued that 94% of the people recorded as dying from coronavirus had comorbidities – heart failure, immunodeficiencies, HIV etc. The death toll related to COVID19 alone is a speck.

The doctors added that there has been a sharp rise in domestic violence, child abuse, suicide, depression or mental health issues during the stay home orders. The campaign of fear exacerbated by the media is viewed as a far bigger problem than the coronavirus itself. Massihi suggested that people are becoming afraid to see the doctor for completely non-virus related reasons for fear of catching COVID19 by going to seek medical help. He argued that someone with symptoms of appendicitis avoiding the doctor for fear of contracting coronavirus may die of sepsis.

We don’t pretend to be doctors for a second. We offer no medical opinions here. We merely question why a social media channel decides it knows better than medical experts?

We understand a private business has the freedom to act in ways it sees as best for shareholders, but this seems far more sinister –  using its power to shut down free speech. Perhaps the doctors should sue YouTube for violating their first amendment rights. If there was ever a need for control over media censorship, this makes a great test case.

Forget what Trump says. Just pay attention to the restless natives

Investor: Peasants Will Be Out With Pitchforks if We Don't Start ...

Unless Joe Biden runs with Michelle Obama as his VP, we still think Trump gets reelected in an electoral college and popular landslide. Yes, we can hear many laughing out loud. We are used to it as we were when we said he would win back in 2015. For all of the same reasons, only amplified. People are tired of the status quo.

Up until the time of the State of the Union speech in February this year, it felt like his second coronation was a formality. Nancy Pelosi knew it when she tore up his speech. Has coronavirus really changed all that?

The prevailing sentiment perpetuated by the mainstream media is that Trump’s catastrophic bungling of coronavirus will kill off any chance he has of winning 2020. To think that Joe Biden is the mouth-watering alternative despite having served under a president whose policies were repudiated in 2016 by the electoral college.

FNF Media thinks that Americans are pragmatic people when push comes to shove and that American exceptionalism is a good thing. They want the dream. They don’t live to be stuck in poverty assessed welfare. Sure, we non-citizens can scoff at their right to bear arms or hosting World Series which exclude other nations but ultimately we don’t get a say. That is a matter for them. If they don’t like it, it is up to them to change their government to fix things. Trump would never have been elected were it not for decades of failed administrations who didn’t deliver that gave birth to him.

Despite all of Trump’s often ridiculous bluster during the coronavirus outbreak, none of it was out of character for the last 3.5 years. The mainstream media has beamed more deranged coverage than ever. People have become numb to the constant drone that they hate him, especially when he trolls them with their own hypocrisy. Let’s be clear, were the likes of CNN truly resonating with the masses, the ratings would reflect people attuned with the rhetoric. This is simply not happening. In fact, the opposite.

Sadly during this crisis, Americans have seen the utterly shameless exploitation of their livelihoods by the ugliest partisan politics seen during any crisis of this scale. They see straight through the pork barrelling. Do liberal-leaning citizens honestly believe that gender diversity on boards and airline emissions regulations are ‘must have’ pieces of legislation in order to pass a $2.2 trillion rescue package designed to protect them? Do they believe a $250 billion supplemented boost to small businesses to support the income of workers should be held back until more identity politics driven data collection is fast-tracked? When people see Nancy Pelosi parading her $24,000 refrigerators filled with $13 a pint ice cream punnets on late-night TV they aren’t amused. 

Is it any wonder so many more Americans are taking to the streets to protests the lockdowns imposed by the states’ governors? As we pointed out in the COVID19 data, those infected and those who tragically met their fate from this deadly virus are relatively minuscule. More and more Americans are seeing this. Very few of us know anyone who has caught it outside of a few celebrities and the UK PM. This is why social distancing is fraying nerves in American households. They can’t easily quantify what is going on using their own experiences.

If anything, these protests point out that Americans are still happy to play the risk/reward ratio if their economic security can be maintained. America hasn’t fluked being 25% of the global economy on 5% of the world’s population for nothing. They would chance contracting coronavirus if that meant being able to feed their families.

Which brings us to China. Trump’s political and media enemies may have cuddled up to China since he took office, but the shambolic WHO response to this crisis and the misinformation emanating from the communist propaganda apparatus will rile 22 million who are on the unemployment queue. More and more Americans can see through an Ethiopian Marxist WHO chief appointed by a Portuguese socialist both serving the communist dictatorship with a president for life.

This activity is red meat to Trump’s base and he knows it. He doesn’t need to say anything. It is becoming self-evident.

Suspending funding for WHO was the right thing to do. WHO is a failing bureaucracy in desperate need of reform. What is the point of funding a body that is supposed to have independence enshrined in its charter when in reality it runs strict political agendas geared to the whims of its ideological brothers in Beijing?

How many leaders of other countries are throwing up two fingers at China in the face of all the revelations about when they knew and how they covered it up? Macron? Merkel? Trudeau? Crickets.

Trump is almost alone in publicly smashing China’s complicity in all of this. Governments around the world may be staying mute over China’s deceit but we can be assured this is not lost on the peons. They have had enough of staying at home. They are sick of facing oppressive sanctions imposed by those they voted in.

The media can sell this as xenophobia or any other form of identity politics but the fact is Trump’s 2016 campaign warned of China. He spoke of bringing jobs back. He spoke of being screwed over on trade with China. He was right.

We all know many Americans are hurting. They want prosperity returned. While the media conflates his term as merely sorting out his billionaire 1%ers, the reality is he has helped the Bottom 50% by a much larger margin. They will know this lived experience, which in politics will ultimately be the most important factor. Trump’s bluster won’t matter. His record up until coronavirus kicked off will.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis (FRED) reported the net worth of the bottom half of the population was $1,070,183mn at the start of 2017. As of the third quarter of 2019, it was 1,668,034mn. That’s an increase of 55.86%. The Top 1%, had $29,955,829mn. In 3Q 2019, it was $34,533,370mn, or 15.3%. Under Obama, net worth for the Bottom 50% declined from $1.7 trillion in 1Q 2009 to $1.1 trillion, down 35% over his two terms. Democrats should be outraged that the ultra-wealthy did much better under Obama with a 100% gain in net worth under his term vs the paltry 15.3% so far under Trump.  Source: FRED Top 1% and Bottom 50%.

This might explain why the “forgotten” wanted large scale change and will continue to support those who can facilitate it.

All coronavirus has done is exposed the despicable bile of partisan politics. Witnessing a concerted effort to remove Trump in the midst of an untold financial tsunami will not sit well with people. This isn’t about partisanship. They will want someone that can deliver. If it comes with all of Trump’s vulgarity then so be it. After all, a man that can win an election with ‘p*ssy grabbing’ on the ticket can produce miracles.

So there is Trump’s election strategy in a nutshell – “China, China, China!”

Good luck with Joe Biden telling Americans that President Xi has America’s best interests at heart! How can he say this when his former boss was not greeted with red carpet, a mobile stairway or a welcoming committee of important dignitaries on his final state visit to China?

Forget the polls. Forget the media spin. Coronavirus has hit the raw nerve of patriotism and the one person who is accused of constantly lying will be the only one speaking the truth. Americans are at a crisis point. Best not question their loyalty to Old Glory.

We may hate the idea of a new cold war but that is up to Americans to decide. We are at their mercy. Ultimately it is best to have a strong America given China’s soft power expansion.

Never let a good crisis go to waste – Part 2

Michigan Conservatives Plan To Protest April 15th ...

Small businesses employ 50% of all Americans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) distributed 1.4 million loans worth $350 billion under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). It has now run dry. Small businesses are seeking these loans which stipulate the funds must be directed to pay employees coping with coronavirus. Typically, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are trying to stuff unrelated partisan pork into the bill in order to back it.

To sustain small businesses, which employ half the country, the SBA is requesting another $250 billion. Yet Pelosi and Schumer want to use the crisis to ram in more unrelated regulations to the PPP with:

  1. significantly increased funding for disaster grants and loans,
  2. additional support for the food-stamp program,
  3. adequate funding for nationwide virus testing and personal protective equipment,
  4. the collection and publication of demographic data so that government can accurately determine the level of impact on under-served communities and communities of colour.

While all of these items may have a place in a separate debate, surely helping half of the country’s employment providers stay alive is the bigger issue. Never mind Pelosi was happy to parade herself on late-night TV in front of her $24,000 refrigerators while the bill is delayed. We don’t begrudge anyone owning nice things, but the optics of a freezer full of $13 ice cream punnets is hardly reflective of the crisis.

It wasn’t long ago that her party wanted to stuff a laundry list of ridiculous unrelated items to the $2.2 trillion emergency stimulus last month including airline emissions standards, corporate board diversity and wind/solar subsidies.

Now that 22 million Americans are out of work, should we be surprised that 3,000 people were protesting in Lansing, Michigan demanding the economy be reopened? Or the 100s of people in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Do they have a point?

Here is the latest data outlining infections as a percentage of the state populations. The average infection rate across the US is 0.2044% of the population. That means that 99.8% of people haven’t caught it. While social distancing is proving effective, one has to wonder whether the economy can be reopened quicker than the lid on Nancy Pelosi’s ice cream.

Infections

Switching to COVID 19 deaths, the national average is 0.0101% of the population. New York, which we lambasted for the insane advice handed out by its Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot has 7.6x the national average. Wyoming, while less densely populated than NYC, has 0.03x the national average.

Deaths

Michigan has a death rate of 0.02%, twice the national average. Its infection count is 0.293% or 50% higher than the national average. North Carolina might have a bigger argument to make. It has a 0.0015% death rate (0.1x the national average) and infections at 0.0542% (0.25x the national average) of the state’s citizens. Why aren’t governors looking to reopen their economies sooner, which is their decision, not Trump’s, to make?

These people rightly want the governors to start opening the economy so they can work. Jobs, jobs, jobs. Never cross an American and their belief in “rights”. We think this once again plays straight to Trump’s reelection. People are seriously frustrated and when they join the unemployment queue they are through with partisan politics.

FNF Media has always thought protests would eventually happen. The risks of contracting coronavirus versus the reward of having a job and feeding a family are now front and centre. They would undoubtedly settle for social distancing guidelines while working instead of remaining in lockdown.

We added Australia’s own state/territory data in those previous charts (yellow) which shows just how minuscule our infections and death rates are. We really need to be looking at easing restrictions sooner, rather than later. These statistics should make us all think.