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Knowledge is Good by George Parry At long last, here’s my article published yesterday by The American Spectator regarding the death of George Floyd. After being featured on Real Clear Politics and by my friends at Powerline, it’s generated a great deal of comment pro, con and outright angry. Here are two points that I did not address in the article. First, as you will see, when approached by the police, Floyd was foaming at the mouth. When the police asked about that, Floyd replied that he had been “hooping earlier.” “Hooping” is a street term that, in some locales, means placing drugs in one’s anus. Some junkies believe that absorbing drugs in that manner will produce a more intense and pleasurable sensation than that resulting from ingesting the drugs orally. Since I am not familiar with Minneapolis street vernacular, I decided not to attempt to define “hooping” for the AmSpec readers. It could be a reference to playing basketball or some other innocent past time. But given the context, I doubt it. Second, in addition to a drug overdose, there is an equally persuasive cause of death related to the autopsy findings that Floyd had severe coronary artery disease and had in his blood stream fentanyl and methamphetamine. Combine those findings with his agitated, incoherent and out of control behavior throughout his interaction with police, and it is entirely possible that he died of “excited delirium” which caused cardiac arrhythmia. In fact, a civilian recorded on the police body cam exclaimed that Floyd looked like he was about to have “a heart attack”, and one of the police officers expressed concern that Floyd’s deteriorating condition could be due to “excited delirium”. Since lengthwise the article was turning into War and Peace, I decided to leave out the cardiac arrhythmia discussion. Just be aware that cardiac arrhythmia induced by excited delirium is also a leading contender for the cause of Floyd’s death.
It is more than the video. Knowledge Is Good Who Killed George Floyd? by George Parry In the death of George Floyd, the State of Minnesota has charged former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin with second-degree murder and former officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao with aiding and abetting that murder. But, as will be shown in detail below, the physical, scientific, and electronically recorded evidence in the case overwhelmingly and conclusively proves that these defendants are not guilty of the charges and, in fact, played no material role in bringing about Floyd’s death. Instead, the evidence proves that, when he first encountered the police, George Floyd was well on his way to dying from a self-administered drug overdose. Moreover, far from publicly, brazenly, and against their own self-interest slowly and sadistically killing Floyd in broad daylight before civilian witnesses with video cameras, the evidence proves that the defendants exhibited concern for Floyd’s condition and twice called for emergency medical services to render aid to him. Strange behavior, indeed, for supposedly brutal law officers allegedly intent on causing him harm. Similarly, the evidence recorded by the body cameras worn by the police conclusively establishes that Floyd repeatedly complained that he couldn’t breathe before the police restrained him on the ground. As documented by Floyd’s autopsy and toxicology reports, his breathing difficulty was caused not by a knee on his neck or pressure on his back, but by the fact that he had in his bloodstream over three times the potentially lethal limit of fentanyl, a powerful and dangerous pain medication known to shut down the respiratory system and cause coma and death. He also had in his system a lesser dose of methamphetamine, which can cause paranoia, respiratory distress, coma, and death. Beyond those findings, his autopsy disclosed no physical injuries that could in any way account for his demise. The transcript of the video footage from the camera worn by Officer Thomas Lane combined with the transcript of the video from Officer Alexander Kueng’s camera lay out on a second-by-second basis all that transpired in their presence from the time they arrived on the scene through Lane’s ambulance trip with Floyd to the hospital. Upon their arrival, Lane and Kueng were told by a person identified as “Speaker 1” that a man in the “blue [Mercedes] Benz” parked in front of “Cup Foods” had passed “a fake [$20] bill.” As the officers approached the car, they observed concerning movements in the front seat by the person later identified as Floyd. Lane drew his sidearm and ordered Floyd approximately seven times to show his hands. Once Floyd finally placed his hands on the steering wheel, Lane holstered his weapon. Nevertheless, Floyd continued to plead with Lane not to shoot him despite Lane’s repeated assurances that he was not going to shoot. After he exited the car, Floyd was non-compliant and continued to resist and move about until he was handcuffed and seated on the sidewalk. Lane and Kueng questioned Floyd and the other two occupants of the car concerning Floyd’s behavior and whether he might be under the influence of drugs. As the officers tried to move Floyd to a police car, the following exchange occurred: Lane to Floyd: What, are you on something right now? Floyd: No, nothing. Kueng: Because you are acting a little erratic. Lane: Let’s go. Let’s go. Floyd: I’m scared, man. Lane: Let’s go. Kueng: You got foam around your mouth, too? Floyd: Yes, I was just hooping earlier. Lane: Let’s go. Floyd: Man, all right let me calm down now. I’m feeling better now. Lane: Keep walking. Floyd: Can you do me one favor, man? Lane: No, when we get to the car. Let’s get to the car, man, come on. Kueng: Stop moving around. Floyd: Oh man, God don’t leave me man. Please man, please man. Lane to Kueng: Here. I want to watch that car [the blue Mercedes Benz] too, so just get him in [the police car]. Kueng to Floyd: Stand up, stop falling down! Stay on your feet and face the car door! Floyd: I’m claustrophobic man, please man, please. Later in the video transcripts are these exchanges: Floyd: Please, man. Don’t leave me by myself man, I’m just claustrophobic, that’s it. Lane: Well, you’re still going in the [police] car. *** Kueng to Floyd: Why are you having trouble walking? Floyd: Because officer [inaudible] Lane: I’ll roll the windows down, okay? Kueng to Floyd at the door to the squad car: Take a seat! Floyd: Y’all I’m going to die in here! I’m going to die, man! Kueng: You need to take a seat right now! Floyd: And I just had COVID man, I don’t want to go back to that. Lane: Okay, I’ll roll the windows down. Hey, listen! Floyd: Dang, man. Lane: Listen! Floyd: I’m not that kind of guy. Lane: I’ll roll the windows down if you put your legs in [the squad car] all right? I’ll put the air on. Floyd: I’m not that kind of guy. Lane: I’ll roll the windows down if you put your legs in [the squad car] all right? I’ll put the air on. *** Speaker 9 [civilian] to Floyd: Quit resisting bro. Floyd: I don’t want to win. I’m claustrophobic, and I got anxiety, I don’t want to do nothing to them! Lane: I’ll roll the window down. Floyd: I’m scared as fuck man. Speaker 9: That’s okay [inaudible] Floyd: [inaudible] when I start breathing it’s going to go off on me, man. Lane: Pull your legs in. Floyd: Okay, okay, let me count to three and then I’m going in please. Speaker 9: You can’t win! As the officers continued their efforts to get Floyd into the police car, he continued to resist and repeatedly insisted that he was “claustrophobic.” Floyd hit his head on the car’s window and suffered a minor cut. Consequently, the police placed a “Code 2” call for Emergency Medical Services to tend to the wound. And then, after Kueng told him once again to “take a seat” in the squad car, Floyd announced, “I can’t choke, I can’t breathe Mr. Officer! Please! Please!” And then, this was said: Floyd: I want to lay on the ground. I want to lay on the ground. I want to lay on the ground! Lane: You’re getting in the squad [car]. Floyd: I want to lay on the ground! I’m going down, I’m going down, I’m going down. Kueng: Take a squat (sic). Floyd: I’m going down. Speaker 9: Bro, you about to have a heart attack and shit man, get in the car! Floyd: I know I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. [crosstalk] Lane: Get him on the ground. Floyd: Let go of me man, I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Lane: Take a seat. Floyd: Please man listen to me. Officer Chauvin: Is he going to jail? Floyd: Please listen to me. Kueng: He’s under arrest right now for forgery. [inaudible] what’s going on. Floyd: Forgery for what? For what? Lane: Let’s take him out [of the squad car] and just MRT [Maximal Restraint Technique by which a suspect’s feet are “hobbled” to his waist]. Floyd: I can’t fucking breathe man. I can’t fucking breathe. Kueng: Here. Come on out [of the squad car]! Floyd: [inaudible] Thank you. Thank you. Officer Thao: Just lay him on the ground. Let’s hit the pause button and consider the evidence so far. Floyd was incoherent, acting erratically, non-compliant, and foaming at the mouth. He was having trouble walking and standing up. He wanted to lie on the ground. But, while still upright, he complained three times that he was “claustrophobic,” seven times that he “can’t breathe,” and twice that he was “going to die.” And Speaker 9 exclaimed that Floyd looked like he was about to have a “heart attack.” All of this happened before he was on the ground and immobilized by the police. Nevertheless, as he continued to resist and behave irrationally, his condition deteriorated and his complaints of being unable to breathe increased in frequency even though no one was applying force of any kind to his neck or compressing his back or chest. After Floyd was on the ground, he continued to move about and say that he couldn’t breathe. Lane was near Floyd’s feet, Kueng at the middle of Floyd’s body, and Chauvin at his back and head with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Thao: Is he high on something? Kueng: I’m assuming so, we found a pipe. Lane: He wouldn’t get out of the car. He wasn’t following instructions. [crosstalk] … Floyd: Please, I can’t breathe. Please man. Please man! Thao: Do you have EMS [Emergency Medical Services] coming code 3? Lane: Ah code 2, we can probably step it up then. You got it? [crosstalk] Floyd: Please, man! Thao: Relax! Floyd: I can’t breathe. Kueng: You’re fine, you’re talking fine. Lane: Your talken (sic), Deep breath. Floyd: I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Ah! I’ll probably just die this way. Thao: Relax. Floyd: I can’t breathe my face. Lane: He’s got to be on something. Thao: What are you on? Floyd: I can’t breathe. Please, [inaudible] I can’t breathe. Shit. Speaker 9: Well get up and get in the car, man. Get up and get in the car. Floyd: I will. I can’t move. Floyd: I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Ah! I’ll probably just die this way. Thao: Relax. Floyd: I can’t breathe my face. Lane: He’s got to be on something. Thao: What are you on? Floyd: I can’t breathe. Please, [inaudible] I can’t breathe. Shit. Speaker 9: Well get up and get in the car, man. Get up and get in the car. Floyd: I will. I can’t move. Speaker 9: Let him get in the car. Lane: We found a weed pipe on him, there might be something else, there might be like PCP or something. Is that shaking of the eyes right is PCP? Floyd: My knees, my neck. Lane: Where their eyes like shake back and forth really fast? Floyd: I’m through, I’m through. I’m claustrophobic. My stomach hurts. My neck hurts. Everything hurts. I need some water or something, please. Please? I can’t breathe officer. Chauvin: Then stop talking, stop yelling. Floyd: You’re going to kill me, man. Chauvin: Then stop talking, stop yelling, it takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk. Floyd: Come on, man. Oh, oh. [crosstalk] I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe. Ah! They’ll kill me. They’ll kill me. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. Oh! Speaker 8: We tried that for 10 minutes. Floyd: Ah! Ah! Please. Please. Please. Lane: Should we roll him on his side? Chauvin: No, he’s staying put where we got him. Lane: Okay. I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever. Chauvin: That’s why we got the ambulance coming. As Floyd continued to shout that he couldn’t breathe and called for his mother, a radio transmission was recorded saying that the ambulance was approximately four blocks away. When it arrived, Lane got in the ambulance and helped to give Floyd CPR on the way to the hospital. Before we discuss further what happened at the scene, let’s take a look at Floyd’s 20-page autopsy and toxicology report. The autopsy report by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office is titled “CARDIOPULMONARY ARREST COMPLICATING LAW ENFORCEMENT SUBDUAL, RESTRAINT, AND NECK COMPRESSION.” Strangely enough, the report, which thoroughly sets forth in detail all physical and toxicological findings, makes no other mention of the purported cause of death. In fact, the first iteration of the report didn’t even mention “law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression,” and the criminal complaint filed by prosecutors stated that the autopsy “revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.” Moreover, prior to issuing the autopsy report, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner preliminarily found that the “autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.” (Emphasis added.) These preliminary findings by the Medical Examiner were incorporated in the Statement of Probable Cause attached to the arrest warrant for Officer Chauvin, which was filed on May 29, 2020. This date is significant because, as you will see, neither the Medical Examiner nor the prosecutors had yet received Floyd’s toxicology report. That report was issued by NMS Labs of Horsham, Pennsylvania, on May 31, 2020. In short, Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder (later raised to second-degree murder by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison) without the benefit of a complete and competent investigation of all the relevant facts and circumstances of Floyd’s death. Apparently dissatisfied with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s findings, the Floyd’s family attorney had a re-autopsy performed by Dr. Michael Baden*, the former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City, and Dr. Allecia Wilson of the University of Michigan. In announcing the re-autopsy findings, Dr. Wilson stated that she and Dr. Baden “have seen accounts from the complaint and based on that, yes our findings do differ [from those of the Hennepin County Medical Examiner]. Some of the information that I read from that complaint states that there was no evidence of traumatic asphyxia. This is the point in which we do disagree. There is evidence in this case of mechanical or traumatic asphyxia.” However, Dr. Wilson conceded that they did not have access to toxicology results, tissue samples, or some organs, but added that those items “are not likely to change” the results of the re-autopsy. The re-autopsy concluded that, even without physical evidence of traumatic asphyxia, such as broken bones in the neck, the compression on Floyd’s neck and chest still caused his death by depriving his brain of blood and oxygen and his lungs of air. Dr. Baden stated that the pressure was not visibly supported by autopsy because the pressure applied by the police had been released by the time the body was examined. Noting that “the video is real,” Dr. Baden added that the abrasions on the left side of Floyd’s face and shoulder showed how hard police had pressed him against the pavement. Dr. Wilson also referenced this “physical evidence that there was pressure applied to his [Floyd’s] neck.” After Drs. Baden and Wilson concluded that Floyd’s death was “a homicide due to the way he was being subdued,” the Hennepin County Medical Examiner then amended his report to include the reference to “complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” With all due respect to Drs. Baden and Wilson, however, they rendered their opinion as to the cause of death without, by their own admission, having considered the results of Floyd’s toxicology screen. If they had, they would have seen that, at the time of death, Floyd was under the influence of a lethal overdose of fentanyl, which, according to the toxicology report, is a rapid-acting synthetic morphine substitute “reported to be 80 to 200 times as potent as morphine,” as well as a lesser dose of methamphetamine, which can also cause convulsions, circulatory collapse, coma, and death. But before we get to the details of Floyd’s tox screen, let’s consider the following autopsy findings by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner: No life-threatening injuries identified No facial, oral, mucosal, or conjunctival petechiae No injuries of anterior muscles of neck or laryngeal structures No scalp soft tissue, skull or brain injuries No chest wall soft tissue injuries, rib fractures (other than a single rib fracture from CPR), vertebral column in juries, or visceral injuries Incision and subcutaneous dissection of posterior and lateral neck, shoulders, back, flanks, and buttocks negative for occult trauma. Some commentators have attached great importance to the finding of no “facial, oral or conjunctival petechiae,” which are small red or purple hemorrhages that can result from asphyxiation such as would occur if pressure was applied to block the flow of blood to the brain. However, while these petechiae can result when that happens, their absence does not necessarily prove that no such compression occurred. Instead, the more pertinent question is whether Chauvin’s kneeling on one side of Floyd’s neck cut off the blood flow through both carotid arteries to his brain. The carotids are located on each side of the neck, and people can live with only one functioning carotid artery. This raises the question as to whether Chauvin’s direct application of pressure to only one side of Floyd’s neck cut off the carotid artery on the other side of his neck. Moreover, in regard to Chauvin’s possible criminal intent or purported desire to harm Floyd, Minnesota police are trained to use a “neck restraint” technique, which is defined in the official training literature as “compressing one or both sides of a person’s neck with an arm or leg, without applying direct pressure to the trachea or airway (front of the neck).” The video of Chauvin kneeling on the side of Floyd’s neck appears in all respects to be a textbook application of this officially approved technique. Put another way, by the training that they had received, the police defendants would have no reason to believe that Chauvin’s kneeling on Floyd’s neck was either causing serious harm or anything other than the approved standard operating procedure. We know from the video transcripts that Floyd, in addition to complaining about being unable to breathe while he was still upright, repeated that complaint for a matter of minutes while he was on the ground and being restrained by police. But Floyd remained conscious and complaining for several minutes. How can that be if Chauvin’s knee had cut off the flow of blood to Floyd’s brain? If the police had cut off the flow of blood and oxygen to Floyd’s brain, he would have lost consciousness within seconds, not minutes. (See Nichols, Larry, Law Enforcement Patrol Operations: Police Systems and Practices, McCutcheon Publishing Company, 1995.) So why couldn’t Floyd breathe, and how did he die? The clear answers to those questions are to be found in his toxicology report, which overwhelmingly and unerringly supports the conclusion that Floyd’s breathing difficulties and death were the direct and undeniable result of his ingestion of fentanyl mixed with methamphetamine. When Floyd arrived at the hospital, his blood was drawn. According to the toxicology report, postmortem testing of that blood established the presence of, among other drugs, “Fentanyl 11 ng/mL” (nanograms per milliter). In that regard, tucked away in the report’s “Reference Comments” is this: “Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and death. In fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/mL.” Got that? According to the toxicology report, which is central to the prosecution’s case, at 11 ng/mL, Floyd had over three times the potentially lethal 3 ng/mL dose of fentanyl in his bloodstream when he arrived unresponsive at the hospital. Similarly, the toxicology report also disclosed the presence of methamphetamine, which it states is “capable of causing hallucinations, aggressive behavior and irrational reactions” as well as “restlessness, confusion, hallucinations, circulatory collapse and convulsions.” Defense counsel should blow up those sections of the toxicology report to Mount Rushmore–size proportions, hang them on the courtroom wall, and read them every five minutes to the jury. They more than explain Floyd’s bizarre behavior, inability to stand, difficulty walking, and complaints about being unable to breathe while sitting, standing, and lying on the ground. Moreover, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among the most common characteristics of a fentanyl overdose is “foaming at the mouth … and confusion or strange behavior before the person became unresponsive” (emphasis added). In short, Floyd’s foaming at the mouth, incoherence, physical incapacity, non-compliant behavior, breathing difficulty, and rapid downward spiral into unconsciousness and death are fully explained by the toxicological evidence that he had ingested a massively lethal overdose of fentanyl mixed with a smaller dose of similarly dangerous and debilitating methamphetamine. In other words, by the time he first encountered the police, Floyd had already rendered himself a dead man walking and was only minutes away from expiring. So, who killed George Floyd? He did. The only crime here has been the prosecution’s shockingly incompetent investigation of Floyd’s death. In charging and continuing to prosecute these defendants, Minnesota’s attorney general has failed to take into account the most important and material evidence in the case, i.e., the fact that Floyd’s inability to breathe started while he was still upright and mobile and the scientific proof that his death was the direct and inescapable result of a massively fatal overdose of a powerful and dangerous drug known to cause, in the words of the toxicology report, “severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and death.” The proof of the defendants’ innocence is undeniable. But given the violence and rioting that has followed in the wake of Floyd’s death, will it be possible for these defendants to receive justice? In other words, will there be a judge or jury with enough integrity and courage to defy the mob and, in recognition of the clear and overwhelming exculpatory evidence, set these wrongfully accused men free. ________ * In the interests of full disclosure, I have known Dr. Baden for over 40 years. He has testified as an expert on behalf of my clients in a number of cases and is a person of great integrity, skill, charm, and learning. George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor. From 1978 to 1983 he was the Chief of the Police Brutality/Misconduct Unit of the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, which investigated and prosecuted use of deadly force by police. He blogs at and may be reached by email at
A courageous and honorable pastor
Will he do a frog march ?
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Rosenstein Subterfuge at Triad Conservative Politics, Not Science, Keeping Schools Closed Politicians speak about following the science to set COVID-19 policy, but their decisions are more about political objectives than they are about medical efficacy. Why else did California Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down retail businesses in March when the state had under 300 cases per day but allow them to be open in July when the state clocked in at over 10,000 cases per day? Why else would Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear allow liquor stores to stay open but close down churches? Why did Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer insist that buying lottery tickets remain legal but made it illegal to buy garden supplies? And how did New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo use “science” to prohibit outdoor funerals but allow outdoor protests? But as badly as our lockdowns have damaged local businesses, a potentially even bigger problem is created by the physical closure of schools. One of the most important functions of a civil society is to protect and educate its children, and the cancellation of in-person education stands to become one of the most detrimental acts of collateral damage during this pandemic. California currently expects its 5-year-olds to complete kindergarten exclusively through online distance learning. For this dubious undertaking, the politicians are given passionate political cover. The Los Angeles Teachers Union maintains that “the only people guaranteed to benefit from the premature reopening of schools amidst a rapidly accelerating pandemic are billionaires and the politicians they’ve purchased” -- as if billionaires typically send their kids to L.A. public schools. The wealthy will send their children to in-person private schools or hire additional tutors, while most American families will suffer from a widening education gap that could set their kids back years. Worst of all, none of this is medically substantiated. Children Are Safe There is a great deal of fear generated in the media about risk to children, but the truth is that children are incredibly resistant to coronavirus. So much so that children are far more likely to die from the flu, or even just from driving to school, than from COVID-19. The CDC has recorded a total of 20 COVID-19 deaths in children ages 5-14 compared to almost 2,000 deaths from non-COVID causes in the same time period for the same age group. It means children have been 100 times more likely to die from non-COVID causes during the pandemic than from COVID. This puts the risk of COVID death for children 5 to 14 in the same ballpark as deaths by lightning. Claims of long-term damage or mystery illnesses have not been backed by any definitive evidence and they therefore serve more as a scare and intimidation tactic than as a medical guide. The truth is that children so far have had around a 1 in 20,000 rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to the CDC. While controversial to some, Sweden’s policy of keeping primary schools open even at the height of the pandemic serves as an excellent counterpoint. With over 1 million children, Sweden did not have a single death of a school-aged child despite full attendance and no masks. Sweden is not alone in sending kids to school. Denmark opened its schools back up in April. Finland kept normal class sizes when it reopened. Parts of Montana opened schools back in May, as did parts of Canada and Germany. The Netherlands announced that Dutch students didn’t even need to socially distance anymore as they experienced very low transmission rates. Schools all across Europe have reopened successfully, both with and without masks. The risk to the children themselves therefore cannot be used as a justification for the massive damage created by ceasing in-person education. But what about the teachers? Transmission From Children to Adults Is Rare Science magazine, a preeminent journal that dates to 1880, recently published a comprehensive analysis studying school reopenings around the world and concluded that “younger children rarely spread the virus to one another or bring it home.” A study in Switzerland, including a review of World Health Organization contact tracing, failed to find evidence of a single case of a child passing coronavirus to an adult. A comprehensive study in Iceland isolated SARS-CoV-2 samples from every positive case, sequenced the virus genome, and tracked the mutation patterns. This analysis, along with contact tracing, allowed researchers to identify definitively who passed the virus to whom. The study concluded “[E]ven if children do get infected, they are less likely to transmit the disease to others than adults. We have not found a single instance of a child infecting parents.” A study of schools in Ireland found “no evidence of secondary transmission of COVID-19 from children attending school.” New Zealand conducted a study across 15 schools in which 18 individuals with COVID-19 were in close contact with 735 other students and 128 staff members, yet no teacher or staff member contacted COVID-19 from any of the initial 18 cases and only two students out of the 735 would later test positive. The New Zealand study concluded: “Our investigation found no evidence of children infecting teachers.” Cases and close contacts among teachers and students in 10 New Zealand high schools showing one secondary case in a student. Source: “COVID-19 in Schools – the Experience in NSW” Denmark, The Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, and Austria all opened schools and “found no evidence of increased spread of the novel coronavirus after schools reopened.” The same was found in scientific studies in France, Sweden, and Germany. A leading British epidemiologist goes even further to claim there is not a single known case of a teacher being infected of coronavirus from a student anywhere in the world. Since there could still be a rare school outbreak, such as experienced in Israel, students with high-risk household members should be given a distance education option, and teachers who believe themselves or their households to be at high risk should be allowed to teach remotely, balancing the risk for all parties. This way healthy students can be be educated by healthy teachers. With science overwhelmingly pointing to reopening schools, why do so many schools intend to remain closed? The Politics of Teaching If children are at minimal risk, transmission to adults is rare, and both can be accommodated with optional distance learning, why are some schools suspending all in-person education? It’s certainly not because of the parents, who would be the last people to send their children into a dangerous situation. The vast majority of parents support reopening schools with modifications, perhaps because they best understand the cost-benefit of depriving their children of a full education. The reason many schools won’t open, just like why so many places originally locked down, comes back to fear and politics. The Los Angeles’ teachers union, for example, recently came out with a list of demands before returning to teach in person. These included defunding the police, ending charter schools, “Medicare for All,” and a new wealth tax. It was not until the union came out with these demands that Newsom announced closure of nearly all schools in California -- overriding individual school districts that had planned to open. Further exposing the underlying agenda of school closings, the teachers union is not only refusing to teach children in the classroom but they are also refusing to teach children out of the classroom, citing that even an empty classroom is too dangerous for teachers to work from. In a brazen announcement, the union put in bold words the conclusion of their argument: “Normal wasn’t working for us before. We can’t go back” – openly conveying that this negotiation was more about changing what they didn’t like about American education and society before the pandemic, and certainly not about what is best for children. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence pointing to the safety of school reopenings, union President Cecily Myart-Cruz labeled doing so “anti-science.” Yet, it’s also no wonder that so many teachers have concern for their safety now, as media outlets like CNN continue to run sensationalized stories building up school reopenings as dangerous while downplaying the actual science and evidence. Day Care at School Gives the Game Away Cities left with little choice due to their political environment are trying to mitigate the situation for parents. New York City will offer day care for 100,000 students attending schools that are only partially reopening, though this largely defeats the point of keeping children from being at school in the first place. If school closing advocates are correct, this would only expose children to a broader cohort of peers and would make teachers, children, and their caretakers less safe. Some districts in California are offering day care right on school campus for half and full day programs, at a cost. So parents can pay to send their kids to school to be watched but not to be taught. Ironically, a student might be physically at a school under the watch of paid day care while simultaneously “attending” the very same school online. It is clear that science is not the driving principle behind any of these policies, which helps explain why both the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics have advocated for opening on-campus education. Teachers Are Essential Workers There are few functions in society more essential than educating our children. “Education of our children is an essential Texas value,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently wrote in a letter directing that health officials cannot completely close schools, and they certainly cannot preemptively close schools with no evidence of local school spread. The CDC recently concluded that “in-person schooling is in the best interest of students, particularly in the context of appropriate mitigation measures similar to those implemented at essential workplaces.” The education of our children is too essential to be used as a political bargaining chip. If nurses can come to work every day and treat the sick and infected, then certainly teachers can be expected to come to work and teach the young and healthy. Yinon Weiss is a tech entrepreneur, a U.S. military veteran, and holds a degree in bioengineering from U.C. Berkeley.
Toggle Commented 7 days ago on COVID-19's Silver Linings at Triad Conservative
Nice tribute... In Memoriam: Professor Mike Adams, 1964–2020 by Robert Shibley August 1, 2020 On Thursday, July 23, Professor Mike Adams was found dead from a gunshot wound in his home in Wilmington, North Carolina. On Monday, his death was ruled a suicide. Mike, a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina–Wilmington, was someone I first met early on in my time at FIRE. Formerly a liberal and atheist, he had converted to Christianity and become a conservative a few years before, and was a columnist and author with the zeal of the converted. Through his nearly two decades of on-and-off persecution by UNCW—and make no mistake, that’s what it was—he and I (along with others at FIRE) also became friends. Better writers, including former FIRE President David French, commentator Mark Steyn, and others, have already written well about Mike’s life and death, and his disgraceful treatment at the hands of his own university. My own relative lateness in writing this stems from two things. First, though the initial reports already suggested that Mike had taken his own life, an actual determination was not made until this week. As public and as vilified a figure as Mike had become, foul play was unfortunately a possibility. Second, the intensity of my feelings about his death and the reasons for it made this, and continue to make it, a hard thing to write. At this point in a post memorializing anyone controversial, it’s become customary to say something like “Of course, I didn’t agree with everything Mike said,” or somehow distance oneself from his perceived faults. I am not going to do that here. Maybe I agreed with every word he said, maybe I didn’t. It doesn’t matter. Despite what we have all been trained to pretend when speaking online these days, you can be friends with people with flaws, problems, and “wrong” opinions. We know this because this describes all of us, and all of our friends, and we have no obligation to be defensive about it. Plus, if you want criticism of Mike, you won’t have any trouble finding it. Just check out the comments on any story about his death for the ghoulish celebrations of his end, starting while his body was practically still warm. Or check out the media coverage of his death, the general attitude of which is summed up by Buzzfeed: “A Professor Who Was Known For His Racist, Misogynistic Tweets Was Found Dead In His Home.” Welcome to the world of the hit obituary. One thing about Mike that probably has not received enough attention was his strong support for the fair treatment of students on his campus and elsewhere. The first state law guaranteeing students the right to counsel in campus disciplinary matters was passed in North Carolina in 2013 as a result of the procedural abuses aimed by UNCW (yep, them again) at the SAE fraternity chapter on campus. Mike’s help was invaluable in supporting that effort and other right-to-counsel laws, which you can read about in this 2018 article co-authored by Mike and fellow professor and due process stalwart KC Johnson of Brooklyn College. If your son or daughter ends up getting accused of some campus offense and actually has the right to hire an attorney or other advisor to stand with him or her at the hearing (a right that was vanishingly rare before 2013), Mike Adams deserves a share of the credit. The fact is, though, that in a society that respects dissent—the society in which we are supposed to be living—Mike would almost certainly still be alive. The term “cancel culture” is on everyone’s lips these days. That’s because, despite the fact that there isn’t an agreed-upon definition of what “cancel culture” means (Yale professor Nicholas Christakis, who is himself a victim of this culture, is moving towards one possible definition), its reality cannot be credibly denied. Mike was only days away from the end of his career at UNCW and, given the cartel-like behavior of colleges and universities, likely the end of his academic career altogether, having been forced into negotiating for early retirement in the wake of a tweet some found offensive about North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 restrictions. FIRE has written many thousands of words over the years about the value of free speech in a free society. But one aspect that is too often overlooked is how adherence to free speech ideals, both in law and culture, spares people the psychological damage that occurs when they are told that they are free to speak, and they see others with whom they disagree being free to speak, but they are in actuality forced to suppress their opinions for fear of losing something they value —their jobs, their education, sometimes even their liberty (the last, thankfully, still rare in America). I don’t know if any psychological studies on this exist. (It’s hard to think of a way that conducting an experiment, for example, would be ethical.) Stories from behind the Iron Curtain certainly suggest that those in repressive societies struggled with it on a psychological level, and Orwell’s description of “doublethink” from 1984 is in many ways similar. But I don’t think a double-blind study is required for us to understand that feeling like the people around you are enjoying freedoms that you don’t get puts a lot of stress on a person. In fact, you could probably just ask your friends and neighbors how it makes them feel. A Cato/YouGov survey released less than two weeks ago revealed that “62% of Americans say they have political views they’re afraid to share,” with “strong liberals” the only ideological group in which a majority doesn’t feel that way—and even there, an alarming 42% still do. In fact, members of every group are more afraid to speak out than they were in 2017. Many people are going to wear down under this constant, even if low-level, stress and fear (though it was certainly not low-level for Mike), and some will be driven to depression by it. It is also bound to exacerbate any already existing mental health problems, from which Mike, like so many other Americans, may have silently suffered. Add to that the mob demands that constitute the “cancellation”—demands literally intended to expose the target to other suicide risk factors including joblessness, social isolation, anxiety, etc.—and the entirely predictable result is that some number of the cancelled will take their own lives. Mike Adams appears to have been one of those people. Does that mean that those who vilified Mike, demanded his firing, and otherwise participated in or egged on his “cancellation” didn’t have the legal right to do so? Not at all. Some, of course, may have been engaged in defamation or other unprotected speech, but the majority of those calling for his destruction, and rejoicing in its success, were within their rights to do it. And the lion’s share of responsibility has to attach to Chancellor Jose Sartarelli and the others at UNCW who, if history is any guide, were only too happy to finally have an excuse to end Mike’s career. (Sartarelli, for example, defended the decision to pay Mike an early retirement payout of around $505,000 on the basis that UNCW’s last, losing crusade against him had cost the university even more money. Truly, this was a profile in courage.) But having the right to do something doesn’t make it morally right. Sometimes there is no legal solution to a problem. Attempting to censor cancellation attempts on the grounds that they are harmful would be no more effective than hate speech bans have been at containing hate, and would ignore the rights of and potential damage to those who wish to freely express their vitriol. Two wrongs don’t make a right. This is nothing new: the First Amendment, for example, would be meaningless if it didn’t protect even the speech of those who would seek to revoke it. But that doesn’t mean it actually should be revoked, or that those who argue for the abolition of the rights of everyone except those who think like they do are morally right. Can you argue that someone who expresses views with which you disagree should lose his or her livelihood, education, career, etc. for the crime of disagreeing with you? Yes. Should you? No. Instead, try actually having a discussion with someone, and convincing him or her that you’re right, understanding that if you can’t convince them, you should respect them anyway as fellow Americans and fellow human beings. Daryl Davis, an African-American musician, befriended 200 members of the Ku Klux Klan and convinced them to give up their robes. If all the “cancel culture” mobs since social media was invented have, together, actually convinced 200 of their targets that they were wrong (rather than that they must say they were wrong), I’d be shocked. And, of course, treating someone with respect as an individual, rather than as an instrumentality by which to send a message of fear to those who would dare oppose you, is far less likely to result in your having a share, however small, in the blame if your target decides that the pain of living is worse than the pain of dying. As for Mike, it’s my hope that he has finally come to the place “where death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Rest in peace, Mike.
This was taken down by Google !
NLPC ‘Slavery Reparations: Revival of a Bad Idea’ June 2, 2020 How did this country get to the stage of widespread rioting, looting and lawlessness in the name of racial justice? It results from the steady diet of fake history dished out at colleges and universities, along with political ideologies that debase the individual in favor of racial group identity. It’s a toxic brew. National Legal and Policy Center is releasing a new, 65-page monograph by Carl Horowitz titled “Slavery Reparations: Revival of a Bad Idea.” Click on the link below to download. This monograph is our response to the mob, in hopes that at least some people of good will somewhere will allow reason and civil discourse to prevail. Last summer, the New York Times kicked its program for reparations into high gear. This “1619 Project,” as it is known, rests on the premise that American history, right up to the present, is one long act of white exploitation and oppression of blacks. The accusation already had gained a new lease on life with an overpraised cover story in the June 2014 issue of The Atlantic magazine. Whites, in this view, enjoy unearned economic privileges and thus have an obligation to make amends by handing over their wealth to their proper owners. In other words, whites are born guilty. No individual can escape the judgment of history. This sophistry represents the affirmative action idea taken to its conclusion. In their blind enthusiasm, supporters of reparations ignore the many aspects of slavery, and the global slave trade, that undercut their claims. They will not admit that less than four percent of all African slaves transported by slave traders were brought to Mainland North America. Nor will they admit that many, if not most slaves in the American colonies during the 17th century were whites. They cannot handle the fact that many American blacks themselves were slave owners or that various Indian tribes also owned black slaves. They gloss over the reality that virtually all black slaves brought to America already were owned by blacks in Africa. Nor can they be bothered with the fact that slavery prevails in many African countries today. Slavery reparations, if instituted, would be economically predatory, historically blind, politically divisive, legally unconstitutional and morally repellent. Far from bringing our nation together, it would divide us as never before. We meet these demands at our own peril. Supporters of reparations claim that a program of forced payments – current estimates run well into the trillions of dollars – would “heal” America’s wounds. Such rhetoric may sound fair and soothing, but underneath it is a shakedown. Reparations would create wounds. But the cost will not only be monetary. The real damage will be to the truth.
Yale epidemiologist says hydroxychloroquine is 'the key to defeating COVID-19' 'Tens of thousands of patients with COVID-19 are dying unnecessarily' without the drug, he argues. An Ivy League epidemiology professor is claiming that hydroxychloroquine — the drug that has been at the center of a politicized medical debate for the last several months — is "the key to defeating COVID-19," and that medical officials should be widely prescribing it to save the lives of thousands of coronavirus patients. Harvey Risch, a professor of epidemiology at Yale as well as the director of that school's Molecular Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory, argues in a Newsweek op-ed this week that "the data fully support" the wide use of hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment of COVID-19. "When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective," Risch argues in the column. Hydroxychloroquine has been the subject of a bitter and protracted political argument for the past several months, after President Trump in mid-March said the drug was showing promising effects in treating COVID-19. Media outlets and commentators shortly thereafter began touting numerous stories of the drug's alleged fatal dangers as well as its reported ineffectiveness in treating the disease. Risch, at Newsweek, argues that multiple studies over the past several months have demonstrated that the drug is a safe and efficacious treatment method for COVID-19. Among the successful treatment experiments, he writes, are "an additional 400 high-risk patients treated by Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, with zero deaths; four studies totaling almost 500 high-risk patients treated in nursing homes and clinics across the U.S., with no deaths; a controlled trial of more than 700 high-risk patients in Brazil, with significantly reduced risk of hospitalization and two deaths among 334 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine; and another study of 398 matched patients in France, also with significantly reduced hospitalization risk." Risch says the drug is most effective "when given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control." Though according to Risch the benefits of the drug are clear, he nevertheless concedes that the subject "has become highly politicized." "For many, it is viewed as a marker of political identity, on both sides of the political spectrum," he said. "Nobody needs me to remind them that this is not how medicine should proceed." He also argues that "the drug has not been used properly in many studies," and that delays in administering the drug have reduced its effectiveness. "In the future," Risch says in the column, "I believe this misbegotten episode regarding hydroxychloroquine will be studied by sociologists of medicine as a classic example of how extra-scientific factors overrode clear-cut medical evidence." "But for now," he adds, "reality demands a clear, scientific eye on the evidence and where it points.
There's more than enough practical experience/knowledge out there showing HCQ's efficacy but the b-----ds are just dragging their feet while people die. Everyone should have HCQ in their medicine cabinet. In many parts of the world, anyone can buy the drug over the counter without any prescription. It's all evil, insane and it makes you want to scream. Trump could pick up the phone, call FDA, and in 30 seconds tell the b-----ds to release the federal stockpile of HCQ and stop their bad mouthing campaign against doctors prescribing HCQ. As it stands now, the doctors are scared, believing their license will be revoked if they prescribe the drug. This Deep State obstructionism never stops. And, we're still waiting on sending the coupsters to jail going on four years. UNC Participates in Study on Antimalarial Drug to Prevent COVID-19 July 13, 2020 By Alyssa LaFaro A team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is conducting a randomized clinical trial on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in preventing novel coronavirus infections in U.S. health care workers. The study is funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which hosts an established network of 850,000 clinicians and hundreds of health care systems. UNC is one of 18 sites participating. Hydroxychloroquine is a drug used to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Some successful cell studies have showed its effectiveness in treating the SARS coronavirus — a different strain of the current virus causing COVID-19 — a few years ago, according to Ross Boyce, who is leading the study at UNC. A paper released in Cell Research in March provided positive results regarding the drug’s effectiveness for treating the novel coronavirus. But the drug has become politically charged. While President Trump has promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine and has reportedly taken it to prevent contraction of the virus, studies examining the drug when used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection have, generally, not shown significant efficacy, and clinicians have become more hesitant to administer it. The FDA has since revoked the emergency use authorization for hydroxychloroquine to treat currently infected patients as it may contribute to heart rhythm problems, blood and lymph system disorders, kidney injuries, and liver problems and failure. More high-quality information on the effectiveness of the drug to prevent infection among healthy but at-risk individuals is needed — a body of knowledge Boyce and his team hope to add to. Hydroxychloroquine works differently from other drugs being tested such as remdesivir, an antiviral that stops the virus from replicating. Boyce, an infectious disease researcher who specializes in malaria, stresses the study is testing the antimalarial’s potential as a preventative measure versus a treatment for COVID-19. “What we know from the influenza world is that, once a virus has set in and is replicating at high levels, drugs to treat it are not as effective,” he says. “But if you can get the drug early on, or before the virus sets in, maybe it has some effect there — and maybe you’ll need less of it.” When used to prevent malaria, only one dose of hydroxychloroquine per week is necessary. But for someone who already has the illness, multiple doses need to be taken each day, Boyce points out. For the study, a dose of hydroxychloroquine similar to what’s given to people with rheumatoid arthritis will be administered to health care workers who could potentially be exposed to COVID-19. This includes not only doctors and nurses but various technicians and maintenance staff who work in emergency rooms, ICUs, or active hospital floors. The study has recently expanded to include EMS personnel, workers in congregate living settings, and dentists. “We want to protect our workforce,” Boyce says. “If 20 or 30 percent of health staff get infected or sick, then that’s just as bad as losing ventilators or ICU beds. There’s a limited number of patients we can care for at any time, and if a doctor gets sick, that’s less people we can care for.” Potential participants will sign up via a national registry of healthcare workers, which will serve as the entry point to undergo screening to rule out preexisting health problems such as asthma and heart disease. After the screening process, those who are eligible visit a drive-through site at UNC Hospitals for testing and are administered either a low dose of hydroxychloroquine or a placebo for 30 days. During this time, they will complete online surveys about symptoms and their response to the medication. At the end of 30 days, they will stop taking the drug and undergo another round of lab tests. They will fill out a survey at the 60-day mark to assess their health after taking the drug. The benefit of testing existing drugs already on the market, according to Boyce, is that most of the side effects are known and it’s relatively easy to increase production. The downside is the potential for misinformation. “There’s already been pretty widely publicized runs of some of these drugs,” Boyce says. “People are getting them through either official or unofficial sources and are taking them when we don’t know for sure if there’s really any benefit.” The fast-paced, widespread nature of this study should shed light on hydroxychloroquine’s effectiveness for fighting COVID-19. Boyce and his team will release their data for analysis along the way in order to uncover information about the drug as quickly as possible. “The ability of the university and support systems to shift gears and respond to this crisis is a pretty amazing thing,” Boyce says. “Everyone wants to be involved — and people are putting themselves out there to do that.” Ross Boyce is an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases within the UNC School of Medicine.
I received my hard copy of Imprimis and saw Heather McDonald was this months essayist. Stopped right there and read it. OMG can she turn a phrase. One of America's great writers. Her "War on Cops" is a masterpiece.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2020 on Nailing It, Times Two at Triad Conservative
What a pluperfect development. The schools ( K-12 ), the colleges and universities, many religious denominations, the media and now the hospitals have become megaphones for the left. Shame !
I don't know there is much the GOP can do except impeach and remove him.It is their sworn duty. Or get out the vote for Forrest. This no substitute for stronger measures: NC Senate Leader Phil Berger released a statement about the governor’s decision. “Gov. Cooper’s plan gets students halfway to where they need to be. But much like jumping over a creek, halfway doesn’t cut it.” “The Governor’s plan makes worse the very inequities a public school system is supposed to resolve. Students whose parents do not have the time or resources to supplement ‘virtual’ schooling will fall even further behind simply because of the condition of their birth. That’s an unspeakable travesty,” said Berger.
Merle Haggard has been called the “poet laureate of the hard hats” because he is an intense, dedicated artist who happens to write and perform traditional country songs. One Sacramento newsman said this about him: "One California poet’s work is both distinguished and accessible, serious and popular. I’m talking about Merle Haggard. You probably know Haggard, who lives near Redding, as a country singer, and he is indeed one of the best. But he also is a truly great lyricist, and a lyricist is nothing but a poet. Haggard writes in a style that is clean and spare enough to please the most austere critic. His command of American idiom would make Carl Sandburg envious. But what sets Haggard’s work apart — and makes him the best choice as poet laureate — is his subject matter."
He tells it like it is. A great American.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2020 on Definitions of Privilege at Triad Conservative
Very well done. Excellent. The von Trapps nailed it.
Lee Caviness asked this question on Facebook: " Can anyone advise how well that $500,000 "Cure Violence" that Greensboro council authorized late last year is working? " Twenty nine responses . One that made sense : " Epic Fail " As for One Step Forward , it has been funded by the city & county for over 3 decades and as far as we can see there is little to show for that investment.
TC: There is no US Attorney standing in the way of law enforcement. You misread part of my comment: " a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania argued the ( local ) Philadelphia district attorney “has no interest” in holding people accountable for urban destruction. “Folks are back out on the street and I think it’s shocking,”
Well if it is possible Bill Barr is the right person . I still think it is a tough road to hoe. "Prosecutors dismiss looting, rioting charges against hundreds of protesters across U.S." Protesters arrested for looting or rioting in several American cities appear to have been let off the hook as prosecutors drop charges or new laws put them back out on the streets quickly. In St. Louis, the District of Columbia, Philadelphia and New York, serious charges against hundreds of people arrested for stealing and torching property have been dismissed. Those dismissals have come from the federal level in the nation’s capital, from district attorneys elected with millions in campaign cash from left-wing activist George Soros, and in New York from a bail reform measure that went into effect this year. Some of the cases have triggered pushback from other prosecutors. In Missouri, for example, the state attorney general accused St. Louis’ top prosecutor of springing dozens of “looters and rioters,” while a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania argued the Philadelphia district attorney “has no interest” in holding people accountable for urban destruction. “Folks are back out on the street and I think it’s shocking,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said of the situation in St. Louis, where a retired police captain was killed defending a friend’s store from looters and at least four other officers were shot. At least 36 people have been arrested on felony charges related to violent protests in St. Louis since May 29, and every one of them had the charges against them dismissed, according to a St. Louis police department spokesman. When rioting erupted after demonstrations against the death of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis police custody last week, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner promised, “I will use the full power of the law and my office [against] anyone who harms anyone in my community.” Since then, however, all looting and rioting charges have been waived. Ms. Gardner was elected in 2016 with substantial financial backing from groups associated with Mr. Soros, who also provided financial support to activists in Ferguson, Missouri, after a black man was fatally shot in an altercation with a police officer there. ================================================ And in an unrelated mater of local government neglecting its citizens there is this disturbing 911 call:
You are not exaggerating , TC. " You need to know who the donors are, and go after them." My question , is how ?
Article IV, Section 4 of the North Carolina Constitution lays out the basics of impeachment: The House of Representatives solely shall have the power of impeaching. The Court for the Trial of Impeachments shall be the Senate. When the Governor or Lieutenant Governor is impeached, the Chief Justice shall preside over the Court. A majority of the members shall be necessary to a quorum, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present. Judgment upon conviction shall not extend beyond removal from and disqualification to hold office in this State, but the party shall be liable to indictment and punishment according to law. 123-5. Causes for impeachment. Each member of the Council of State, each justice of the General Court of Justice, and each judge of the General Court of Justice shall be liable to impeachment for the commission of any felony, or the commission of any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, or for malfeasance in office, or for willful neglect of duty. I say it !!