Sunday, April 5, 2020

Muh-Muh-Muh My Corona, Part Two -COVID-19 Is Real But The Test Is A Fraud

Previously: Muh-Muh-Muy My Corona, Part One  -Science Is Your Friend

Yesterday we discussed the importance of placing scientific research in advance of political scaremongering when dealing with a topic as important as the current coronavirus controversy.  And so we continue.

Below are the words of a research scientist who informs us that the virus kits being sent to hospitals all over America are not even capable of detecting whether a patient has specifically contracted COVID-19.  We would expect this bombshell to have been reported by the corporate media by now, but the gatekeepers of information remain silent.

If there is anything we want to know regarding COVID-19, it's this: how many people are testing positive for that illness, and how many are dying each day as a result of having contracted that virus?

The statistics keep piling up every day, ostensibly the result of people arriving at the hospital and testing positive for COVID-19, with an increasing number of people said to have remained at the facility where they ultimately died.  But if the tests are not accurate, we can't count on death statistics to be accurate either, can we? Those compiling the statistics are really just crossing their fingers and hoping you'll buy what they're selling.

But crossing our fingers and hoping the stats we've compiled are "close enough" is not how we arrive at scientific accuracy, and if there is anything we want to be accurate about right now it is the actual, verifiable body count from COVID-19. If this research scientist is to be believed, the tests currently being administered in our hospitals were simply not designed to make that important determination.

What we know of the coronavirus is that there are are numerous varieties. But the only strain any of us is rightly concerned about right now -the one that is forcing a shutdown of the entire country- is the strain known as COVID-19. None of the other strains matter.  If we have no way of scientifically measuring who has COVID-19 in their bodies and who does not, then we are being lied to about the number of people said to have died from it.

Here is that report, courtesy of GlobalResearch.ca:
I work in the healthcare field. Here’s the problem: we are testing people for any strain of a Coronavirus. Not specifically for COVID-19. There are no reliable tests for a specific COVID-19 virus. There are no reliable agencies or media outlets for reporting numbers of actual COVID-19 virus cases. This needs to be addressed first and foremost. Every action and reaction to COVID-19 is based on totally flawed data and we simply can not make accurate assessments. 
This is why you’re hearing that most people with COVID-19 are showing nothing more than cold/flu like symptoms. That’s because most Coronavirus strains are nothing more than cold/flu like symptoms. The few actual novel Coronavirus cases do have some worse respiratory responses, but still have a very promising recovery rate, especially for those without prior issues. 
The ‘gold standard’ in testing for COVID-19 is laboratory isolated/purified coronavirus particles free from any contaminants and particles that look like viruses but are not, that have been proven to be the cause of the syndrome known as COVID-19 and obtained by using proper viral isolation methods and controls (not the PCR that is currently being used or Serology /antibody tests which do not detect virus as such). PCR basically takes a sample of your cells and amplifies any DNA to look for ‘viral sequences’, i.e. bits of non-human DNA that seem to match parts of a known viral genome. 
The problem is the test is known not to work. 
It uses ‘amplification’ which means taking a very very tiny amount of DNA and growing it exponentially until it can be analyzed. Obviously any minute contaminations in the sample will also be amplified leading to potentially gross errors of discovery. 
Additionally, it’s only looking for partial viral sequences, not whole genomes, so identifying a single pathogen is next to impossible even if you ignore the other issues. 
The Mickey Mouse test kits being sent out to hospitals, at best, tell analysts you have some viral DNA in your cells. Which most of us do, most of the time. It may tell you the viral sequence is related to a specific type of virus – say the huge family of coronavirus. But that’s all. The idea these kits can isolate a specific virus like COVID-19 is nonsense. 
And that’s not even getting into the other issue – viral load. 
If you remember the PCR works by amplifying minute amounts of DNA. It therefore is useless at telling you how much virus you may have. And that’s the only question that really matters when it comes to diagnosing illness. Everyone will have a few virus kicking round in their system at any time, and most will not cause illness because their quantities are too small. For a virus to sicken you you need a lot of it, a massive amount of it. But PCR does not test viral load and therefore can’t determine if it is present in sufficient quantities to sicken you. 
If you feel sick and get a PCR test any random virus DNA might be identified even if they aren’t at all involved in your sickness which leads to false diagnosis. 
And coronavirus are incredibly common. A large percentage of the world human population will have covi DNA in them in small quantities even if they are perfectly well or sick with some other pathogen. 
Do you see where this is going yet? If you want to create a totally false panic about a totally false pandemic – pick a coronavirus. 
They are incredibly common and there’s tons of them. A very high percentage of people who have become sick by other means (flu, bacterial pneumonia, anything) will have a positive PCR test for covi even if you’re doing them properly and ruling out contamination, simply because covis are so common.
There are hundreds of thousands of flu and pneumonia victims in hospitals throughout the world at any one time. 
All you need to do is select the sickest of these in a single location – say Wuhan – administer PCR tests to them and claim anyone showing viral sequences similar to a coronavirus (which will inevitably be quite a few) is suffering from a ‘new’ disease. 
Since you already selected the sickest flu cases, a fairly high proportion of your sample will go on to die. 
You can then say this ‘new’ virus has a CFR higher than the flu and use this to infuse more concern and do more tests which will of course produce more ‘cases’, which expands the testing, which produces yet more ‘cases’ and so on and so on. 
Before long you have your ‘pandemic’, and all you have done is use a simple test kit trick to convert the worst flu and pneumonia cases into something new that doesn’t actually exist. 
Now just run the same scam in other countries. Making sure to keep the fear message running high so that people will feel panicky and less able to think critically. 
Your only problem is going to be that – due to the fact there is no actual new deadly pathogen but just regular sick people, you are mislabeling your case numbers, and especially your deaths, are going to be way too low for a real new deadly virus pandemic. 
But you can stop people pointing this out in several ways.
1. You can claim this is just the beginning and more deaths are imminent. Use this as an excuse to quarantine everyone and then claim the quarantine prevented the expected millions of dead. 
2. You can tell people that ‘minimizing’ the dangers is irresponsible and bully them into not talking about numbers. 
3. You can talk crap about made up numbers hoping to blind people with pseudoscience. 
4. You can start testing well people (who, of course, will also likely have shreds of coronavirus DNA in them) and thus inflate your ‘case figures’ with ‘asymptomatic carriers’ (you will of course have to spin that to sound deadly even though any virologist knows the more symptom-less cases you have the less deadly is your pathogen. 
Take these 4 simple steps and you can have your own entirely manufactured pandemic up and running in weeks.
They can not “confirm” something for which there is no accurate test.
[END]

UPDATE: This ought to shock you. Still believe science matters to those who are pushing this narrative? Click the link:

CDC Tells Hospitals To List COVID as Cause of Death Even if You're Just Assuming or It Only Contributed

More To Come
I will be posting shorter-than-usual content here every day or two for the next little while so they are easier to read and view. Coming up we'll hear from dozens of medical professionals who tell us things are very different from the reports coming in from the corporate media regarding COVID-19.

Also to come: we may have cracked that mystery of the quiet hospitals in New York City, plus a growing number of people are objecting when their loved ones are reported as having died from COVID-19 when it was known those victims actually expired from common illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer's.  Also, the rise of citizen journalists and how they are scooping the pros, and we'll look at the names and faces of individuals who expect to make a lot of money by keeping you afraid.

Lots more to come. Check back here regularly, and scroll through my Facebook page because I toss new and interesting stuff up there every day.

Read yesterday's blog post if you haven't already, and remember:
Follow the Science, Not the Sensationalism.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Muh-Muh-Muh My Corona, Part One -Science Is Your Friend

Previously: Fear is a Virus


We all know what we're supposed to do if we should accidentally catch on fire: "Stop, Drop, & Roll." That's how you put out the fire.

But have you ever actually seen a person on fire?  Did they stop, drop, and roll? No, they didn't. A person on fire will panic and run screaming in fear every single time. They may have been taught that running will only fan the flames and make it worse; no doubt they believed that with all their heart. But when that terrifying experience actually happens to a person, they'll do what every sane person knows not to do: They'll panic and run screaming into the night.  If you hope to save that person's life you are going to have to tackle him to the ground and put that fire out yourself.

Few things can induce fear and panic as much as finding yourself on fire. Fear shuts off the ability to reason, and now your intellect won't function. You can't think straight. You don't act rationally. It doesn't even occur to you there is something you can immediately do to put that fire out.

Earlier this month I blogged in this space about how fear not only blocks your ability to reason, it also blocks God from getting through to you to help. And if you're panicking so badly that God himself can't reach you, how do you expect to put out that fire on your own?

Something I learned since writing that last piece: people who have set their own hair on fire tend to get very angry with those who don't think the setting of hair on fire is the proper response to the coronavirus. Some of the responses I've gotten on Facebook would really surprise you. I've had people curse me and tell me they hope I get the virus "and see how you like it."

What have I done to attract the ire of dozens of Facebook "friends"? I have advocated for a calm, reasoned, scientific approach when discussing the controversies behind COVID-19.  But the mere suggestion that we ought to have a rational discussion tends to offend those who believe the more appropriate response is to run screaming into the night.  Believe me when I tell you, these people will get upset with you if you offer to tackle them and put their hair out. They'll accuse you of being blind to reality, of being in denial, and of not taking the coronavirus seriously.  So allow me to explain how seriously I do take this thing.

Let's Get This Part Over With 
There are few things more tedious than having to listen to some old guy run down a list of his ailments, but what I'm about to say is pertinent, so please bear with.

The humorous selfie on the right was taken by my daughter, Amy, just two weeks ago at Bonner
General Hospital here in Sandpoint, Idaho. That's me in the background lying on a bed in the emergency room. I look like I'm in discomfort because I am. I was in extreme discomfort.

If you've seen me in person you'd think I was a big, strapping tough guy, but looks are deceiving. There were a lot of haoles in the elementary school I attended in Hawaii, but I was the palest haole of them all. A haole among haoles.  Skinniest kid in the whole school, too. And frail.

I've had chronic asthma all my life, and over time my lungs have only gotten worse.  My body is quite susceptible to bronchial infections and pneumonia, either one of which I come down with two or more times every year. The last time I was hospitalized for pneumonia was in Sacramento four or five years ago and my discharge papers indicated I now permanently have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. That's a significant step up from asthma.  My wife Connie and I knew it was only a matter of time before things advanced to that stage, and now here it was.

The night Amy drove me to the emergency room I had been engaged in my usual nebulizer treatment. That consists of a small machine with a canister that I fill with a mixture of two liquid medicines. The machine atomizes the medicine into a fine mist which I hold up to my mouth for 20 to 40 minutes and breathe in. What that mist does is it opens up the bronchial tubes in my lungs until I can breathe somewhat normally. I have to do this every three hours, night and day. Yup, every night I wake up after three hours' sleep struggling to breathe, at which point I come sit here at my desk and start that  treatment all over again. One night I slept for five hours straight without my lungs waking me up.  Connie remembers that time fondly as "that night you slept five hours straight."

People have asked me why an entire year went by where I never wrote a blog post here. The reason is I was just too tired from lack of sleep.

So, to wrap this up. (I warned you it would get tedious.) One night a couple of weeks ago I was doing a nebulizer treatment, and when I finished, instead of my bronchial tubes relaxing and opening up, they began to immediately close and constrict. It was getting extremely difficult to breath by the minute.

This is the part where I took this thing seriously. Nothing remotely like this is supposed to happen at the end of a treatment that is intended to make things better. I know the statistics: ten Americans die every day from asthma, often due to weird anomalies like this one. When we lived in Sacramento my cousin's family lived nearby and one day she and her kids went to the store and when they got home Donna's husband Martin was in the bedroom sitting up against the door, dead. From asthma.

And his asthma had never been anywhere near as severe as mine.

Asthma is an affliction I live with every day; I think of it mostly as an inconvenience, but I am keenly aware it can turn deadly.

So when something weird happens like what happened the other night, I perk up up and take notice. Connie called Amy to drive me to the ER and I went willingly, partly because I wanted to live, and partly because I found this little adventure baffling. I was curious and wanted to find out why a nebulizer treatment made me worse.

Long story short, I was X-rayed to see if I had pneumonia. Nope. Blood drawn to check for a clot. No again. The dyspnea continued through the night with no improvement, and the all-night doctors at the ER still didn't know why it was happening.

For twenty-nine years back in Sacramento I had been under the care of Dr. Bradley Chipps, one of California's leading pulmonary specialists, and now and then when things got really bad his nurse would inject me in the arm with a shot of epinephrine.  That's a shot that burns like you wouldn't believe for a very long time. The pain of the shot itself is almost impossible to bear, so I was rarely keen on getting one. But it always gave my lungs immediate relief.

These guys in the ER refused to give me epinephrine because I was dumb enough to tell them I had lately been diagnosed with an enlarged heart. Apparently that turns epinephrine shots into a pretty clear risk of death.  I honestly have no fear of dying (I find discomfort far more of a bother) so I was willing to take that risk but these doctors were not. (I was pretty much the only patient in the ER of this small-town hospital, so the entire emergency staff came around to me at one time or another throughout the night to observe the big hairy freak who was having trouble breathing.)

Eventually one doctor suggested epinephrine in a nebulizer machine and I readily agreed to it. That's what you see me sucking on in the photo, and afterwards I was fifty percent improved. When I went home I got back on my nebulizer and this time it worked out okay. I got my first three hours' sleep of the day immediately after.

I'm throwing all that up on the board here mainly for the benefit of those who have been quarreling with me online over the coronavirus, wishing me ill and hoping I might one day know what it feels like to be desperate to breathe. Believe me, I know. Because of my respiratory problems and high susceptibility to pneumonia, I'm in the high-risk group for COVID-19. If I were to contract that virus there would be a decent chance it could do me in.

All the more reason for my interest in what the actual science has to say about this current strain of SARS, rather than blindly accepting the news as filtered through the corporate news media.  When I suggest to some of these "friends" (all of whom I don't even know) that it is preferable to engage in calm, rational discussions of the evidence rather than joining in with the keening chorus of doomsayers, they tend to want to take my head off.

That is what fear does to people. It makes them deranged.

So, Who Should You Be Looking To?
Better to ask "who should you not be looking to?"

First up in the category of those you should definitely be avoiding: so-called "journalists."

I went to school with journalism students in the 1970s, and believe me when I tell you that Journalism Majors were among the dumbest people on the planet -second only to Theater Majors, a category I belonged to and from which many Journalism Majors were culled.

About half of those Happy-Talk news anchors you see on television started out wanting to be actors. The other half signed up for Journalism class after seeing the movie All The President's Men, which instilled an entire generation with a desire to make heroes of themselves as investigative journalists. Both those categories within higher learning -journalism and theater- attract a large share of narcissists, which should tell you they are motivated by something other than societal improvement. I, too was a narcissist in my college days, so I chose to major in Musical Theater. It was a waste of time as far as being able to make a living in the real world, but at least that dumb decision didn't harm anyone other than myself.

You can't say that about today's journalists. Look at the biggest names in TV news today: Chris Cuomo, Don Lemon, Brian Stelter, Rachel Maddow -all intellectual pygmies, and none of them so much as pretending to be involved in real journalism in the tradition of thinking liberals like Glenn Greenwald, Greg Palast, and Matt Taibbi.  These media "stars" haven't a clue about science, yet you're depending on them to explain the science of the coronavirus pandemic to you so you can understand it? What the hell are you people thinking?

Reporters, by their very nature, are invested in sensationalizing the story, so if you want to hear the wildest, craziest, least-likely-to-happen outcome regarding the coronavirus, go ahead and tune in to these wackos and get your daily dose of anxiety. Just be aware that they are not in the truth-telling business. They are in the scare-the-shit-out-of-you business. Even when they seem to be repeating statistics they received directly from the scientists, they put their own spin on it so in the end their reports turn out to be unreliable.

Back in the seventies I dated a very good reporter for KSL News who actually was a competent investigator. But because she was intelligent, she wisely left TV news to become a lawyer where she could actually do some good. I know it sounds oxymoronic to hear about a lawyer actually doing good, but she was one of that rare breed.

Try Looking To The Science
If you shut out the reportorial noise machine and go after the scientific studies on the virus, you will find yourself less susceptible to politicians and newsreaders trying to persuade you to light your hair on fire.  Science is a calm and rational endeavor. When done properly it will always provide you with the truth. I happen to be pretty good at medical research (it's actually quite easy now that the Internet Age is upon us), and you can be good at it, too. You just have to want to know, as opposed to having someone else tell you what they want you to know.

The opinions you want to seek out are those of credible virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, molecular biologists, and others who understand and conduct the actual scientific research on viral infections.  M.D.s are also well qualified to speak about what they are seeing on the ground, but remember that many of the doctors on the front lines in the hospitals are too busy saving lives right now to engage in scientific research.  The real information is in medical journals like The Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine.  Those studies may not exactly be page-turners, but unlike the reports you'll find in the media, they tend to avoid speculation and hyperbole.

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, considered by many to be America's defacto top doctor of the moment (he's the one you see at the podium at those daily White House briefings) has been known to engage in unscientific speculation before the cameras, but he doesn't dare let his imagine run wild when writing in a medical journal. If he did, his peers would be all over him for not sticking to the science. If there's anything a scientist doesn't want, it's to be told by his peers he's being unscientific.  It's like being relegated to nerd purgatory.

Here is what Dr. Fauci recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine regarding the potential dangers of COVID-19:
"If one assumes that the number of asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic cases is several times as high as the number of reported cases, the case fatality rate may be considerably less than 1%. This suggests that the overall clinical consequences of Covid-19 may ultimately be more akin to those of a severe seasonal influenza (which has a case fatality rate of approximately 0.1%) or a pandemic influenza (similar to those in 1957 and 1968) rather than a disease similar to SARS or MERS, which have had case fatality rates of 9 to 10% and 36%, respectively."  -Covid-19: Navigating the Uncharted; Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., H. Clifford Lane, M.D., and Robert R. Redfield, M.D. (Emphasis added.)
That seems pretty straightforward, but I'll translate it if you need me to. First, understand that COVID-19 has been classified as a SARS virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). It was originally called SARS-CoV, which means it is one of a family of coronaviruses that can result in some pretty nasty respiratory afflictions in people predisposed to asthma or lung disease. The name was later changed from SARS-CoV to COVID-19 in order to indicate that it is a version of a severe and acute respiratory virus that was discovered near the end of the year 2019.

Both these SARS viruses are similar to MERS, which is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome discovered in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Think of MERS as the SARS you might catch if you're in the Middle East.  Just like SARS and COVID-19, MERS also belongs to the family of coronaviruses.

What Dr. Fauci is telling us in this article is that although those first two respiratory syndromes (SARS and MERS) resulted in a very high mortality rate -between 9 and 36% respectively- the evidence doesn't show that COVID-19 deaths will ever get anywhere near that high. Instead, he says, the "clinical consequences" (the results we're seeing in clinics or hospitals) will be closer to the number of deaths normally seen during a severe flu season, or similar to the Asian flu pandemic experienced in 1957 or the Hong Kong flu of 1968.

But wait! Haven't we been told we can't compare the coronavirus with the flu?

Of course you can compare a coronavirus with the flu! You can compare any of the seven known coronaviruses with the flu. Research scientists compare them to each other all the time. They're all viruses, aren't they? Isn't that one of the purposes of viral research -to compare infections to one another and see how they stack up?  Influenzas and coronaviruses do share quite a number of similarities as well as a few differences. Johns Hopkins University (that's a prestigious medical school) compared the similarities and the differences some time ago on its website in a piece titled Coronavirus Disease 2019 vs. the Flu. 

Of course, that's not the same as saying the coronavirus is the same thing as the flu.  The hint there is they have different names.  But who says you can't compare them?

Oh yeah, now I remember. It was a reporter.

Tune In Next Time For More Fun With Science
Because of the interest I have in respiratory diseases, I've spent many hours every day for the past several weeks studying up about COVID-19 and America's reaction to it. What else do I have to do while I'm sitting here sucking on this nebulizer? (Yes, I have that that damn thing hanging from my mouth even now.)

There's a lot more I'd like to share here, including an explanation from Dr. Fauci why the death estimates predicted by the computer models are all but worthless. Plus a cornucopia of statements from an endless number of medical professionals whose expertise runs counter to many of the reports coming from the media and politicians. I think I'll post some of those professional's challenges in this space every day or two for the next little while, so I hope you'll check back. One of the most interesting aspects of this whole controversy is that we don't really know the numbers of people who are dying from COVID-19 because according to at least one research scientist, the test kits currently available are not able to isolate that particular strain. If you have been confirmed as having the virus, essentially it's been confirmed that you're sick. At this point there is no way of pinpointing whether you are sick with COVID-19, or if it's something else.

See you tomorrow then.  If you have comments, please share them in the comment section below rather than on Facebook so others can follow the conversation.  Meanwhile, enjoy this elegant musical number by Dr. Zubin Damania. (Yes, he's a real doctor.)



Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fear Is A Virus

Previously: The Sins at the Top of the List


After all this fear and hysteria dies down, Americans may look back and realize it was actor Tom Hanks who first helped them come to their senses.

By then the economy will probably be a wreck, but hey, better late than never.

As I write these words on Saturday evening, so far 18,492 Americans are known to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.  Chances are very good that no one reading this blog is acquainted with any of these victims personally.  Odder still, we hear almost nothing about these individuals in the news.  Who are these people? How are they faring? What are their chances of recovering from this illness? We know that so far 348 people have died, but who exactly were they, and what were the circumstances of their deaths?

And what do we know about those who have so far been listed as "recovered" other than the number so far, which stands at 178?

Well, we know this much: if we subtract the number of dead and recovered from the 18,492 Americans who have contracted the virus so far, we know there are 17,966 Americans who are either going to recover or they're going to die.  Boy, I'll bet those folks are on the edge of their seats!

But who are these people? Isn't anybody curious?

With every other instance of a national crisis, reporters give us no shortage of human interest stories showing us how the victims are coping.  But in this particular disaster scenario, we're getting...bupkis. Except, that is, in the case of one celebrity couple, actor Tom Hanks and his lovely wife, actress Rita Wilson. Because they are celebrities, and because they both contracted the coronavirus, their story is getting out.

And what are we learning about them? We learn that they're both "doing just fine" and are likely to make a full recovery. Hanks himself tweeted an update that read,
"Hey folks. Good News: One week after testing Positive, in self-isolation, the symptoms are much the same. No fever but the blahs. Folding the laundry and doing the dishes leads to a nap on the couch," Hanks captioned the post. "Bad news: My wife @ritawilson has won 6 straight hands of Gin Rummy and leads by 201 points."
What's this? Folding laundry and doing the dishes? Taking naps? Playing cards?!

Here in America we're told we should be absolutely terrified of exposure to this horrible new plague because we're led to believe it has the capacity to wipe us all out in a matter of days.  We're expected to shut down the whole country and hunker down in fear inside our dank dwellings while we shiver in terror.

Meanwhile Tom and Rita Hanks, virtually the only victims of the virus the media are bothering to report on, are ensconced in a suite in Australia experiencing what Rita describes as "my coronavirus vacation."

A week into this thing and the worst Rita's husband can say about it is that they're feeling the blahs.  We really have no idea if their experience is typical of the majority of cases, of course, but it would seem that the harshest description one could come up with for the Hanks' experience with COVID-19 is that right about now they're finding life to be slightly inconvenient.

And what of those of us who have not yet had any exposure to the virus? Is it possible we are over-reacting?

Is it possible we're being manipulated into over-reacting?

At Least It Doesn't Come With Trouser Chili
Tom and Rita Hanks don't report coming down with vomiting or diarrhea, which puts them in league with nearly all reported cases around the world.  Unlike most flu afflictions, where vomiting and diarrhea are almost inescapable, if you happen to come down with COVID-19, you'll likely escape that misery. The New England Journal of Medicine has relayed findings from the leading medical researchers in China who report that diarrhea accompanying this virus is "uncommon." Specifically, they report that that miserable experience has occurred in fewer than 3.8% of the 1199 Chinese persons who were studied over there. That means that if you catch the coronavirus, there is a 96.2% chance you will avoid blowing chowder or coming down with a case of the turkey squirts. That counts as a moderate affliction by any measure.

I have no small experience in these matters, so believe me when I tell you that if given a choice, I'd take the coronavirus over the flu any day.

I don't wish to minimize the seriousness of this malady. People are indeed getting sick from COVID-19. Some are even dying. But percentage-wise, this new virus indicates an outcome of far fewer fatalities compared to any of the viruses and influenzas we have endured for generations. We didn't have to live under near-martial law when those ailments landed in our midst, so why all of a sudden are we freaking out over this one?

If you're really concerned about catching COVID-19, the proper response is to be concerned, but not afraid. You should be prudent, not panicky. God doesn't want you to be fearful. Indeed, it has been my experience that it's much more difficult to receive His divine assistance when we're filled with a spirit of fear and anxiety.  If your heart is full of fear, your body is less likely to heal. Fear tends to block God's ability reach you. That just seems to be one of the laws of the universe.

I find it interesting that a scary virus that contains the numbers 1 and 9 in its name has a corresponding response in the book of Joshua 1 and 9:
"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9)
What Are We Afraid Of, Anyway?
When discussing pandemics or epidemics, there are only two things that matter, and both are facets of the disease that are almost always glossed over in the current hysteria:
The first is the percentage of people who died from the contagion.
The second is the overall health and lifestyle of those who ended up dying from the contagion.
That's the heart of the matter. Those are the only two things that should concern us if we're going to decide to live in fear. Everything else is just filler put in there to feed the hysterics.

Ever since Pandora opened that box and released all those diseases upon the earth, illness has been an unavoidable reality on our little planet.  Although we can avoid some of this unpleasantness some of the time, we can't avoid all of it all of the time. It's also important to realize that although a good number of people who are exposed to a particular pathogen end up getting sick, and an even smaller number of those succumb to death, the great majority of people who are exposed to a given virus neither get sick nor do they die. The virus just bounces right off of 'em. They will not be fazed or affected by it at all.   As Bill Sardi writes:
A Harvard professor says up to 70% of the global population will be infected with coronavirus within the next year. That is actually a positive because most will naturally develop antibodies. If one were to say 70% of the world just got vaccinated against coronavirus, that would be considered a major achievement; but if 70% were naturally immunized against coronavirus without a needle and syringe that would be considered a dire problem. Why?
Here is a short list of terrifying scares we were put through here in the United States during the last 20 years. Each of them was hyped by government and media as if an asteroid was about to hit the earth and we were all gonna be flattened in an instant. Do you even remember half of these end-of-the-world events?
2001, Anthrax: 43 people tested positive for exposure, 22 got sick, and 5 of them died. No common factor among those who died other than exposure. 
1999-2018. West Nile Virus: 50,823 exposed. 2330 died, mostly elderly people with weak immune systems. 
2003. SARS (short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome): This was the first coronavirus, SARS CoV.  The current outbreak commonly referred to as the coronavirus was labelled SARS CoV-2 early on in order to differentiate it from its daddy, but then The Guys Who Name The Viruses changed the name to COVID-19. Not because it was the 19th virus (as I had originally assumed), but because it was discovered last year, in 2019.  Well, 8,098 people came down with that first SARS virus, resulting in 774 deaths across 29 countries. But only 8 cases wound up in the United States. There were no deaths from SARS in the U.S. So, that scare turned out to be a dud. Chalk up a victory for the Yanks.
2006-Present, Ecoli: An estimated 255,000 people in the United States get this nasty bugger every year.  About 100 people die from it each year, mostly those aged 65 years and older with weakened immune systems or under age 5 with weak immune systems.  
2009-Present, Swine Flu (H1N1 Virus) As far as effective scare efforts go this is one of the biggies. It just sounds scary! In 2009 an estimated 22 million Americans contracted the virus in the U.S. and 4,000 Americans died. The Swine flu is ongoing, with a total  number of 61 million Americans infected to date, and 12,469 dead. 
2014, Ebola Virus: Medical experts and the media did their best to convince us that this virus was going to kill us all, but as it turned out, only 11 cases were reported in the U.S. Nine of those were people who traveled into the country after being infected in Africa, and only two contracted it inside the United States; a couple of nurses who treated one of those incoming patients. Both nurses recovered.
2016, Tuberculosis: This should give you pause: 10.4 million people came down with TB in 2016 and 1.7 million died from it. The following year saw an infection rate of 10 million, with 1.6 million fatalities.  
In 2018, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis worldwide: 5.7 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.1 million children. A total of one and a half million deaths resulted that year and 205,000 of them were children. There were cases in all countries and age groups. TB is curable and preventable, but it is by far the most infectious and dangerous disease of all. I guess because it hasn't been labeled a "novel" virus, no one really cares about its victims. As Congressman Ron Paul asked recently, "where's the panic over this?"

Well, tuberculosis is caused by bacteria and not by a virus, so somehow maybe that's why TB doesn't matter.  Okay, then, let's get back to talking about viruses.

For some reason this COVID-19 virus has completely overshadowed the more serious killer virus, which is the seasonal flu we have all become accustomed to living with. Despite the endless hub-bub over COVID-19, the ubiquitous flu still remains a higher threat to public health than the coronavirus. According to a report filed by CNBC Health and Science Editor Jessica Bursztynsky last month,
 At least 19 million people have come down with the flu in the U.S. with 180,000 ending up in the hospital, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The flu season, which started in September and can run until May, is currently at its peak and poses a greater health threat to the U.S. than the new coronavirus, physicians say.
Compare those 19 million flu infections reported in February with the mere 18 thousand reported as of yesterday morning from the coronavirus. Then also compare yesterday's tally of coronavirus deaths -348- with the over 10 thousand dead just this season so far from the flu.

But wait, there's more!

Those numbers were accurate on February 3rd when that CNBC piece was written, but they've gone up a lot since then. If you thought the coronavirus was spreading fast, you don't know its cousin the flu. From LiveScience.com, here are the numbers comparing both the COVID-19 and the current flu season:
So far, the new coronavirus has led to more than 220,000 illnesses and more than 9,300 deaths worldwide. But that's nothing compared with the flu, also called influenza. In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But wait! There's still more!

The CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million to 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and as many as 61,000 deaths annually since 2010. The CDC explains why the estimates vary so widely:
The burden of influenza disease in the United States can vary widely and is determined by a number of factors including the characteristics of circulating viruses, the timing of the season, how well the vaccine is working to protect against illness, and how many people got vaccinated. 
Add to that the fact that a very large number of people who come down with the flu don't bother to go to the doctor or to a hospital, so it's difficult to know who those people are and get them counted.  Think about the last time time you got the flu. Did you feel like dragging your tired butt to the doctor and risk infecting others? You probably did what most people do: you called in sick, bought some over-the-counter medications, stayed home, drank lots of water and warm herbal teas, and rested up until you got better. The CDC didn't know you even had the flu, so you didn't get added to the national tally.

If you were smart, you built up your immune system with teas, tinctures, and nutrients before the inevitable start of the flu season. That's what I do, and although my lungs remain wonky, I haven't had the flu in over twenty years.  In fact, the last bout of the flu I had was soon after I had taken the flu vaccine, something I did religiously every time it was available.  I'm a slow learner, but once I realized I was getting the flu like clockwork every time I got a flu shot, I made the conscious decision to build up my immune system instead of tearing it down by injecting mercury and monkey pus into it in the false hope that poisoning my body would build it up better than feeding it with the fuel God provided for us all.

So it's partly because a good number of people who get the flu stay home and off the medical grid that there may be many more people who get the flu each year than actually get counted. Of course those piles of wrinkled corpses cluttering up the nursing homes can give a more accurate picture of the death toll.

COVID-19: Making It Up As They Go
Well, you may say, there still may be time for the coronavirus to catch up with those flu statistics since the game is still too early to call. We don't know but that tens of millions more Americans could still succumb to the coronavirus, right?

Okay. Could happen, I guess. Dr. Mike Ryan agrees with you. He is executive director of WHO's health emergency forum and he says that "a relatively mild [corona]virus can cause a lot of damage if a lot of people get it."  Hard to argue with him on that, but admittedly that's a big "IF." Ryan himself admits that "this is the issue at the moment; we don't fully understand it."

And then there's the man of the hour, Dr Anthony Fauci, who, until quite recently, was a dependable source of information on the COVID-19 virus. He's the same guy who kept insisting we don't know anything about this virus or what the final outcome will be, but then one day he just couldn't resist predicting that the coronavirus would be ten times more lethal than the flu. Where is the science to back up that prediction? There isn't any. He just pulled it out of his butt.

I suspect Brother Fauci has come to enjoy being in front of the camera a little too much and may not want that celebrity face-time to end. So he keeps thinking of more reasons to make the rounds with the talking head circuit, even it it means he has to alarm the populace with false updates in order to remain relevant.

Anyway, Doctors Ryan and Fauci are quickly getting outmatched by analysts who tell it to us straight. Here's Dr. Jennifer Lighter, hospital epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health who says of the coronavirus,
"In the U.S. it's really a fear based on media and this being something new. When in reality, people can take measures to protect themselves against the flu, which is here and prevalent and has already killed 10,000 people." [22,000 since Lighter first cited that number.]
Referring to the coronavirus, Dr Lighter continued,
"I think we’re going to find that the mortality number is going to be lower [than the flu]. There is more than likely many times that number of people that have mild [cases] or are asymptomatic. It may end up being comparable to a bad flu season".
Add to that The Confusion Factor, as Bursztyntsky reports,
The two viruses have similar symptoms, which some health officials fear will cause misdiagnoses. Common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat and aches. Coronavirus  symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. 
For now, Lighter stressed that the public should focus on the flu, which is affecting children especially hard this season. 
Dr. Lighter is far from alone in doubting the unsupported coronavirus predictions. Many health care professionals and analysts are highly skeptical of the possibility that this thing is going to continue to grow and take millions down with it. Give yourself six minutes and watch this short video by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai. Dr Shiva, who has a PhD from MIT in Biological Engineering as well as degrees in three other disciplines, studies and does research nearly every day on the Immune System. He says the coronavirus fearmongering will go down in history as "one of the biggest frauds to manipulate economies, suppress dissent, and push for mandated medicine." He insists it’s time to stop scaring people and start talking about immune health.



Among many other skeptical sources, there's this interview with Richard Epstein below, titled Don't Expect Millions to Die From the Coronavirus. Epstein, a fellow at the University of Chicago's Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, explains his math, which draws on his work dealing with the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and '90s. This is from the introduction:
"He also discusses why the stimulus plans being floated are unlikely to help the economy in the short run but will cause major problems in the long run, why he thinks local and state governments are overreacting by shutting down businesses and schools, and why he expects the crisis to ease up in a few months, as it already has in the Asian countries hit first."
This may very well be the most intriguing and informative 38 minutes you spend all week. I hope you'll take the time to listen.

So You Want To Become A Statistic...
I've been posting things on Facebook for some time now showing why the coronavirus "crisis," though worthy of serious attention, hardly warrants being given its own national emergency, especially since we don't tend to declare national emergencies over any of the more egregious and proven health crises in our country's history. Sometimes people get so mad at me for sharing my opinions that you would think they're looking forward to having this new virus overrun our country, and that my protestations might somehow keep it from happening.

Invariably these enthusiasts point to how quickly the coronavirus has already spread through other countries as proof that there is no avoiding a germ armageddon here on our continent. But these people fail to recognize that in the countries that had the worst outbreaks, there were factors that exacerbated the spread that we are not likely to follow suit with here. We don't have to have an American Pandemic. But if you personally desire to increase your own chances of dying from the coronavirus, here are five things you can do:

1. Be a male living in China.
Over three hundred million Chinese men are heavy smokers. This makes them extremely susceptible to contracting pneumonia once they've been exposed to the virus, and it's the pneumonia that tends to kill people, not the virus itself. The virus just helps pneumonia find its way to the lungs. In contrast to Chinese men, less than 2% of Chinese females smoke. Both males and females who live in the cities are exposed to a great deal of smog, but the males exacerbate the problem by smoking.

Then there is this other thing the Chinese do that we tend not to. They openly spit on the pavement in public. Not just saliva spit, but deep, throat cleansing loogie-hocks. And they do it all day, all the time, wherever they happen to be.

Says Russ Coomber, professor of sociology at Plymouth University, "While in China, many people view spitting as a cleansing action for the body."

"It should also be acknowledged that many Asian cultures see the Western act of blowing or sneezing in public into a handkerchief and then putting that into a pocket as truly disgusting and much worse than spitting."

Then there's this new trend among some Chinese of going into elevators and rubbing their spit on the buttons. Who says the Chinese are not a sharing culture?  If you have the stomach for it, you can see some examples of that delightful practice recorded here and here. 

2. Be a smoker living in Italy.
The percentage of smokers in Italy has actually decreased in the past few years, and it's nowhere near the percentage of smokers in China, but Italians who smoke tend to be very heavy smokers. Smoking weakens the lungs, as we know, and the lungs just happen to be COVID-19's organ of choice.

And let's not forget the reason the coronavirus spread so far and fast in Italy. Back when we were first learning of the disease spreading through China, the mayor of Florence, Italy thought it would be a good idea to promote solidarity with the wave of Chinese immigrants flooding into his country from Wuhan, so he announced February 1st would be "Hug a Chinese" day in order to show lack of prejudice and support for the fight against the Corona virus. It was well known that many of those immigrants were infected with the Virus, but many people followed the advice of their local politician anyway.

During the incubation period, most Italians would not have realized they were infected, and so the virus continued to spread to family, friends, co-workers, and anyone else infected Italians came in contact with. To date, the number of deaths from the virus in Italy actually exceeds the number of deaths from the virus in China, and the entire country is now on lockdown. All because of a desire many Italians exhibited to be seen as "woke."

The video below was posted on February 4th, not as a warning, but in actual celebration of this campaign to show solidarity with a contagious infection. That campaign seems a bit ill-conceived now.



3. Be a smoker living in America.
Just cut it out, you moron.

4. Have respiratory problems or an otherwise weak immune system.
Same thing as above; viruses can morph into pneumonia, and pneumonia in a person who already has lung problems can be extremely discomforting, if not fatal. Take it from me. I have severe asthma, and sometimes when I get the flu or a bronchial infection, it turns into pneumonia. If the coronavirus ever makes it up here to Northern Idaho, I'll most likely catch it and there's a real possibility my lungs will turn on me and if that happens I'm in for a very unpleasant time.

I've had pneumonia at home and I've had it in the hospital. In either venue it's virtually impossible to sleep, and when you're that sick you really need to sleep. If I do get laid up by this virus you can bring me over a casserole if you like, because I'll be awake.

5. Grow old.
Hate to break it to you, but the older you get, the closer you are to the end of your life. Sometimes it's simply because your body is not as able to fight off infections as well as it did when you were younger. This is true whether you catch a virus or fall prey to a variety of other illnesses. The COVID-19 virus doesn't posses some magical power to kill that other afflictions don't have, it just makes it more likely that if you're elderly and infirm and this thing gets ahold of you, your time may have finally come.

The good news is that the fatality rate of people over 80 with the Corona virus has been 15 percent so far. That's fifteen percent of people over 80 who contract the virus, not fifteen percent of everyone who gets it. That's good news because it means even old geezers have an 85 percent chance of licking this thing and waking up alive after it's run its course. If you're 93 and you've already been spending your last days lying in bed in a nursing home already close to breathing your last, this disease will probably put you over the hump. But if you're 93, in good health, and regularly play racquetball or whatever it is you old people do for sport these days (shuffleboard?) you may not have anything to worry about.  The killer instinct that COVID-19 harbors is for the old and seriously infirm, not just the old.

Everyone Else:
Just as with a head cold, you have an excellent chance of surviving the coronavirus if you happen to catch it, because the overall fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.018%, and most of the people in that percentile are those in the classifications listed above.

So congratulations. I have only an 85% chance of making it through this, but yours is just under 99.

Fear Not
If you've been captured by the spirit of fear over this over-hyped virus, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to be. That's not to say there isn't plenty to be concerned about regarding this virus scare. There is. And I don't mean the virus, I mean the scare.

The reaction to this thing -particularly the government plan to subsidize pretty much every American's lost income over the next few months- is about to plunge us into a recession that will most likely devolve into a seriously deep depression. Then while we're still reeling from that, we'll suddenly be whip-sawed by hyperinflation the likes of which none of us have ever experienced.  If you think toilet paper is hard to come by now, just wait until there's plenty of it around but it's so expensive you can't afford to buy it.

Hyperinflation is inevitable if this plan goes forward. There is no such thing as free money; the government can't suddenly pump two trillion additional unbacked dollars into the economy and not expect us all to suffer on the back end. So if you want to be afraid of something, be afraid of that. Be very afraid.

But I don't recommend you let fear overtake you at all. Instead I suggest you do what you can to prepare for the coming storm.  "If ye are prepared," the Lord reminds us, "you shall not fear." Even if, like me, you don't have the funds to stock up on the necessities you're going to need to see this thing through, it is still extremely important that you are prepared with knowledge so you don't fall into the same traps most of your countrymen will be walking into.

                                                                *****

Addendum
If you are ready to stop being lied to about what's going on with this virus and the government's reaction to it, you might try stepping away from the usual news sources that are steering you in the wrong direction and instead look for information that will actually be of some use.  I'm including two links below where you will find copious voices of reason and common sense -virtues noticeably lacking in our public discourse today. Both links are already stocked with a number of other links to articles well worth checking out. You could tunnel around in there for days and still come up wanting more:

This is Reason Magazine's coronavirus page. It will be updated frequently with new articles as they appear.

Here is a variety of different articles on the coronavirus from various contributors that have appeared on LewRockwell.com  This site presents about eight new pieces every day on a variety of issues. It's one of my favorite sources of informed commentary.

Stay informed, stay hydrated, keep your body fueled, and keep taking that daily walk with God.  Like most tribulations in life, these troubles will pass you by.
                                                               
                                                                   

Saturday, February 29, 2020

The Sins At The Top Of The List


Previously: Joseph Smith and Polygamy,Persistence of a Myth


This month you're going to wonder what the heck I'm up to, because this is supposed to be a religiously-themed blog and I'm going to appear to be talking politics.  But bear with me, because this topic has everything to do with religion, morality, and truth, and very little to do with politics.  Certainly it has nothing to do with political partisanship, other than as a warning that we -especially as Mormons- ought to avoid identifying ourselves as fiercely loyal to one political party over another.

The real theme of this post is last-days prophecy.  If you stay with me on this trip you'll begin to question whether I am a liberal or a conservative, because I'll have good things and bad things to say about those who advocate for either side.  I consider myself neither Republican nor Democrat, but I can hardly be accused of political apathy. By the time we get to the end of this piece, I hope you'll see why those labels are ultimately meaningless.

So let's get to it, shall we?

Something caught my attention on page 8 of Val Brinkerhoff's book, The Secret Chamber.  During Jesus' visit to the Nephites, he warned of the great sins of the gentiles in the last days. I found it intriguing that each time Jesus listed the sins we would be guilty of, there were two in particular that were at the top of the list every time. Jesus said that in the last days we, the Gentiles,

will be lifted up in pride
and be filled with lyings (#1)
and deceits (#2)
and mischiefs
and all manner of hypocrisy
and murders
and priestcrafts
and whoredomes
and secret abominations
...and the fullness taken from us.
(3 Nephi 16:10)


Except we repent of 
all lyings (#1)
and deceivings (#2)
and envyings
and strifes
and priestcrafts and whoredoms
...we will be cut off.
(3 Nephi 21:14-21)

We must repent of 
all lyings (#1)
and deceivings (#2)
and whoredoms
and secret abominations
and idolotries
and murders
and priestcrafts
and envyings
and strifes
and all wickedness & abominations
...and be filled with fire and the Holy Ghost.
(3 Nephi 30:2)         

This repeated emphasis would seem to indicate that we in our day would be facing lies and deceptions on a massive scale, and that we would not just participate in these deceptions but "be filled" with them. That suggests to me that we will be fed a constant diet of lies and deceptions; that we would take them in and willingly swallow them whole.  Lies and deceptions will become so commonplace in our day that we are likely to believe almost anything without thinking.

I don't know if you've noticed, but lies and deceptions on a grand scale seem to suddenly be everywhere these days. At the moment it appears it's those crazies on the political Left who have lost their collective minds, because they seem all too willing to believe anything told to them by someone with a 'D' after his or her name.

But may I remind you conservatives that it was not that long ago that you bought into the lies and deceptions of the party you aligned with?  It was only 13 years ago when
Republican Dick Cheney, Vice President at the time and one of the most palpably wicked men in government, was celebrated at BYU where he had been invited to give the commencement address.  At the time, Cheney had been instrumental in deceiving nearly all of America into going to war against a people who had never harmed us and wished us no ill.  That war was promoted by Cheney and others on "the right" as necessary to defend our freedoms. Yet ironically, while our soldiers were getting maimed and killed to ostensibly defend our freedoms over there, our politicians were busy diminishing our liberties here at home.

But I'm not here to rag on Republicans. Instead I want to focus praise on a particular conservative president -one by the name of John F. Kennedy.

Now, everyone knows JFK was a Democrat, so he must have been the furthest thing imaginable from a conservative, right? Well, by today's liberal standards, he sure wouldn't make it as a Democrat.  But when he was running for congress in 1946 he ran as a conservative Democrat, which in those days was not at all an oxymoron. Plenty of Democrats were conservatives.

In 1992, congress began the release of millions of pages of previously classified documents that show us how adamantly Kennedy stood for what we would today call conservative principles. Unfortunately he was opposed at every step by men whose only motivation was in gaining power and keeping it.  Thanks to the release of those documents, we now have convincing evidence that it was Kennedy's enmity toward the deep state operatives that eventually got him killed. Of course nobody knew that then. Nobody talked about the deep state back then, either, because that term didn't exist.

It wasn't long after the assassination took place in 1963 before rumors began to leak that the official story of Kennedy's assassination had lots of holes in it. Tellingly, it was liberals who were the ones investigating those contradictions.  The first articles to question the official narrative were written by liberal reporters and published in Ramparts and The Guardian, two decidedly left-wing magazines.

Conservatives weren't interested in reading those rags. We didn't care who killed Kennedy, we were just glad he was dead.

I say "we" because although I was only 11 years old at the time, my parents had voted for Nixon, and everyone I knew felt that the loss of a Democrat in the White House could only be a good thing. You've probably heard that the entire nation mourned upon hearing of the death of JFK. But that isn't quite true. Not everyone mourned. I knew a good many adults in my world and at church who could only say "good riddance."  The only grieving any of us witnessed over the death of John F. Kennedy was what we saw on TV.  President Kennedy was not a good man, that much I knew.

As I got older I began to hear rumors that the FBI and CIA may have been involved in the assassination of JFK, but I dismissed those rumors because I knew America's intelligence community was known to be decidedly right-wing, and The Right was on the side of patriotism and devotion to country. They would never be involved in anything underhanded.

What I did not realize at the time is that when it comes to those in the upper reaches of government power, the term "right-wing" is not synonymous with "conservative."  Right-wingers in the deep state are authoritarians, concerned with accumulating and keeping power, just as left-wingers in high office have little in common with rank-and-file liberal voters.  In government parlance, The Right is authoritarian and The Left is totalitarian. If you're wondering what the difference is to the average American on the ground, well...there isn't any. It's not a question of which faction will serve the people, but which faction will get to rule over them.  We are all being played for suckers by the Power Elite. Each side has one aim: to get and keep power, and in turn to prevent the other side from getting and keeping power.

It took over fifty years before I began to reassess my opinion of John F. Kennedy. It helped that the information in those files that were declassified in the early 90s resulted in numerous books that revealed the bigger picture.  There were also congressional hearings in the 70s chaired by Idaho Democratic Senator Frank Church. His committee exposed some of the more egregious operations carried out by America's Intelligence branches and decried the lack of congressional oversight. At the time, I was not at all comfortable with Congress attacking my beloved Central Intelligence Agency. In those days I was convinced the CIA was fighting the good fight for truth, justice, and the American way.  Exposing their deeds, even if sometimes those deeds were done in the dark, could only leave America exposed to its enemies.

There were also former CIA defectors who blew the whistle on some of the inner workings of the agency. I felt those guys were traitors, too, because as I have written elsewhere, when I was in my teens and early twenties I believed it was treasonous to question anything the U.S. government did. I no longer hold those beliefs, mostly because it is clear as glass that the U.S. government has not been answerable to the people since at least 1963. It was in that year that it became obvious that our government had been taken over by people no one ever elected and no one seems able to unseat.

That would be the mysterious "Deep State," a term coined by Peter Dale Scott, a liberal professor of political science at UC Berkeley, and a highly respected JFK Assassination researcher. Scott had previously coined the term "Deep Politics" to describe the hidden operations of the Permanent State, that cabal of operatives who are a staple of Washington politics and who have become the real power in Washington regardless of who is elected to office.

Let's Talk About The Deep State
According to Professor Scott, the "deep state" refers to the CIA, FBI and the fifteen other intelligence communities, as well as the Military-Industrial Complex that Eisenhower warned against. It consists also of long-term staff both in congress and the White House who seem to always keep their jobs no matter who gets voted in or out. In short, the Deep State is the term used to encompass the entire Permanent State, a conglomeration of entities that exist not to serve the country, but to perpetuate their own power. Those factions that make up the the Deep State are not always in lock-step with each other; there is serious competition between the various factions.  But when they sense danger of exposure, they will circle the wagons against the interests of the people and rush to cover for one another.

Surprisingly, Peter Dale Scott, the foremost authority on the Deep State, does not believe that those in the Deep State currently trying to unseat Donald Trump are Leftists.  Of course the Democrats in congress are, but not the power elite behind the scenes.  Scott asserts that the Deep State continues to be under the control of the "right-wing" Neocons, and that Rumsfeld and Cheney were at the heart of the Deep State since 1975, when they secured top positions in the Ford administration. Professor Scott insists that the Neocons were never unseated. Rather, the evidence shows that the Deep State today is as intent as ever in starting a cold war with Russia, and that's a decidedly Neocon goal; they maintain the cold war position that Russia must be defeated militarily and economically, and have never wavered from that view.  If that sounds odd to you, don't forget that there is nothing conservative about the Right-wing; they are all about keeping power, and Donald Trump has been a challenge to that power because he promised to drain the swamp. The Neocons are swamp creatures, and lest you forget, Mitt Romney is not a conservative, he's a Neocon who wants you to think he's a conservative. You can watch Dale Peter Scott explain it all in this interview: CIA vs Trump.

Whoever it is that's in charge, it's clear that the Deep State does not care about the will of the voters; it actually sees the voters as something of a nuisance.  In fact, the politicians you elect to office often defer to the will of the Deep State, and not to the will of those who elected them, because the hidden government has the power to shred the careers of those who directly go up against it.  The Deep State operates outside the democratic process.  It traffics in lies and deceptions on a massive scale. And very few Americans seem to notice or care.

It Began As A Simple Collection Agency
What is commonly known as the "National Security State" began innocuously enough in 1947 when President Harry Truman created the Central Intelligence Agency. This agency had one purpose: to collect information on the Soviet Union. It had no power to act on its own. All it was supposed to do was collect information and pass that information on to congress and the president.

But only a year later, it was given much broader powers under an act known as NSC 10/2.  With this new authorization to engage in covert activities, the CIA now had broad latitude to engage in otherwise illegal acts. As long as congress was unaware of what was going on and could deny authorizing these covert actions, it was pretty much anything goes. The president was supposed to be apprised of any and all covert plans on the part of the CIA, but the agency soon found ways to skirt that requirement.

The Special Projects office of the CIA was soon involved in torture, sabotage, murder, and the overthrowing of foreign governments it deemed hostile to the interests of the United States.  And surprise, surprise! Although the CIA was created by Truman ostensibly to fight communism, once the CIA was loosed from its tethers, it began to focus its efforts primarily on making millions of dollars for its directors and their friends on Wall Street.  According to author Laurent Guyenot,
"One of the inherent problems with the CIA was its leadership. Among its seven founding directors, only one was not a banker or lawyer on Wall Street. The head position was ultimately awarded to Allen Dulles, who with his brother John Foster, soon to be Secretary of State under Eisenhower, had worked for one of the largest law firms on Wall Street, Sullivan & Cromwell, before entering politics. Hence the CIA was said to be directed from New York rather than Washington. In this context, national interest merged with the private interests of large industrial groups.  Although created under the National Security Act in 1947, and thus dedicated to the struggle against the communist threat, the CIA would prioritize the interests of global financial stakeholders." (Laurent Guyenot, JFK-9/11: 50 Years of Deep State)
In case you didn't catch that, the CIA was supposed to dedicate itself to the struggle against communism, but instead those running the agency focused their energies on making money -scads of money- for themselves and their friends. Their priority was no longer patriotic service to their country (if it ever was such) but a nifty way to accumulate money and power.

If this reminds you of the secret combinations warned about in the Book of Mormon, I don't think that's a coincidence. Moroni warned us in Ether 8:22 to watch for secret combinations -men who combine together in secret- who would virtually supplant the legitimate government, and employ murder and other dark arts in order "to get power and gain."

The CIA's first major coup was in clandestinely overthrowing Iran's Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. For half a century British and American oil companies had controlled virtually all the oil coming out of Iran. If you've ever wondered how those rich, snooty Downton Abbey types came into their fabled "old money" and managed to live high on the hog without ever having to work, there's your answer: some of the richest families in England lived lavishly off their investments in Iranian oil.

Mossadegh decided this wasn't the best deal for the Iranian people, many of whom remained poor while the foreigners skimmed off all the riches from his country. He wanted to "break the chains of slavery and servitude" his people were suffering under what he called "colonial interests." He shut out Big Oil by nationalizing the oil fields so Iranians would be the ones benefiting from the sale of the oil on their lands.  Suddenly that endless spigot of money pouring into the coffers of the upper crust Anglo-American establishment ran dry.

The CIA was instrumental in overthrowing Mossadegh and replacing him with their own puppet, Shah Mohammed Pahlavi. The CIA oversaw the training of the Shah's secret police, the SAVAK, which included methods of torture employed against the Iranian people.  Mossadegh found himself imprisoned for life, and in no time at all everything was back to normal for British Petroleum.

Then there was the CIA's lucrative banana wars:
"In Central America, the CIA began harassing President Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, elected in 1951. By his plan to redistribute a portion of land to 100,000 poor farmers, Arbenz threatened the interests of the multinational United Fruit Company, the giant banana corporation that held more than 90% of the land.  The Dulles brothers were shareholders of United Fruit, for whom they had written capital contracts in the '30s; John Foster even sat on its board of directors. Therefore the Dulles brothers orchestrated, financed, and armed the coup against Arbenz by a military junta responsible for more than 200,000 civilian deaths from 1954 to 1996, especially among the Mayan population. A CIA manual entitled A Study of Assassination, written in 1953 and declassified in 1997, contains detailed instructions on the various methods of murder by weapons, bombs, or simulated accidents." (Guyenot, ibid.)
According to George Washington University's National Security Archive, there are still over 100,000 pages of documents on CIA activities in Guatemala that have not been released.

In 1961 the CIA wanted to murder the first elected president of the Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, who had led Congo to independence from Belgium. The motive was control of the vast mineral resources in that country.  Apparently these deep state operatives were heeding Chairman Mao's assertion about the Congo: "If we can take the Congo, we can hold the whole of Africa."

But CIA officials had the feeling that John F. Kennedy, the incoming new president, would not approve of their killing Lumumba, so they murdered Lumumba three days before Kennedy's inauguration. That covert action in the Congo was ranked as the largest in the agency's history at the time.

President Truman eventually regretted ever having anything to do with creating the Central Intelligence Agency:
 "For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment.  It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government....  I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations."
-former President Harry Truman, December 22nd, 1963, one month to the day after the JFK assassination, op-ed section of the Washington Post.
Once Kennedy became president he was constantly bumping heads not only with the CIA, but with his own military Joint Chiefs of Staff. But before we get into all that, lets take a step back. Because ten years before Kennedy was ever elected, the CIA managed to pull of its greatest accomplishment: near complete control of America's news media.  Sorry I made you wade through all that exposition, because this is the real point of the entire essay, and the reason why today we are experiencing deception on a scale we've never seen before.

Listen To The Mockingbird
In the 1950s, Allen Dulles and Cord Meyer launched the most successful propaganda operation in the history of the world. Code named "Operation Mockingbird" it was initially a method by which the CIA provided payments to select journalists in return for a positive spin whenever something unfavorable to the CIA might show up in the news feed.  As one CIA operative said to Phil Graham, "You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month."

Soon the CIA was funneling vast amounts of real money to CBS, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and twenty other media outlets in exchange for those institutions writing pieces the CIA wanted published, and to get them to refrain from covering stories the CIA did not want covered.  That's why, if you were around in the 50s, you never heard anything about the CIA's involvement in Iran and Guatemala. William Colby, Director of the CIA from 1973-1976 let slip when he boasted that "the CIA owns anyone of any significance in the major media."

Many years ago when I worked in radio, I had a close friend who had been hired as a reporter at CNN's Washington Bureau.  He gave me the phone number to reach him, but I never seemed to get past the receptionist, who always wanted to know who I was and what I was calling about so she could take a message. Finally after many times trying to reach my friend, he finally got back to me and told me "next time just tell the receptionist you're with 'the Company' and she'll put you right through." So the next time I called, I told the receptionist I was with the Company and sure enough, I got right through. Didn't even have to give my name. ("The Company," for those who may not know, is code for the Central Intelligence Agency. Company calls always get priority service.)
"In the 1950s, outlays for global propaganda climbed to a full third of the CIA's covert operations budget. Some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts. The cost of disinforming the world cost American taxpayers an estimated $265 million a year by 1978, a budget larger than the combined expenditures of Reuters, UPI and the AP news syndicates. (Alex Constantine, Mockingbird: Subversion of the Free Press by the CIA.)                             
Let that sink in for a moment. Three thousand American journalists, members of an industry that prides itself on being independent and beholden to no one, were secretly working undercover for the CIA.

And nothing has changed. Just turn on any news outlet today and you'll see some stories spun to appear one way, while other important stories will not be covered at all. Reporters still cover what the Deep State wants covered and ignore what the Deep State wants ignored.  The only difference is today most reporters don't need much prodding. We're looking at a new generation of newsreaders whose political values mostly mirror those of the Deep State they answer to. And they still get paid and they still get their daily talking points delivered to them directly.

Remember "gravitas"?  That was actually funny. The gravitas talking point took place right after George Bush the Younger won the Republican nomination for president. "Gravitas" is a word few people know and almost no one uses in conversation. At the time, Bush was widely considered to be a lightweight, so he chose "Deep State Dick" Cheney to be his running mate.  When that choice was reported on the evening news, every single reporter at all the separate news outlets reported it the same way on the same day, every one of them using an obscure word they had probably never heard before.  Here's the clip:



And here's an example provided by one of my favorite liberal journalists, Glenn Greenwald, who put together this revealing montage showing how his fellow journalists constantly parrot the same lame talking points when attacking President Trump. (This was from March of last year. Turns out it was not the beginning of the end for Donald Trump after all.)

If you still need convincing, here's a formerly classified document issued by the CIA in 1967 to its media assets instructing them on how to counter criticism of the Warren Report.  And if you would like a more complete account of Media/Deep State collusion than I have room for here, Click on The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know.

Author Peter Janney pointed out that:
"Under Cord's tutelage, Mockingbird became a stunning success.  Whenever the CIA wanted a story slanted in a particular way, it got it.  This amounted to a subversion of democracy's most precious cornerstone, a free press...Using newspapers, magazines, radio and television, even Hollywood, the CIA's disinformation spin machine went to work shaping public opinion and perceptions, undermining the integrity and independence of an indispensable pillar of the democratic process." (Peter Janney,
Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace.)
Why John F. Kennedy Died And Why It Matters
John F. Kennedy could never run for president and win today -at least not as a Democrat. He would have to take a page out of the playbook of that other Eastern liberal, Donald Trump, and run as a Republican. Yes, he would be hated and despised by the establishment just like Trump is, but at least  he might be able to pull off some classical liberal accomplishments just as Trump has done.  Here is what Greg Gutfeld had to say about Trump, and I can easily see it applying to JFK if he were alive today:

"Imagine a democratic president doing this in three years:
Ushering in prison reform.
Drawing down wars because he's stingy about blood and treasure.
Ushering in record employment for women and minorities.
Growing median household income 8.3 percent to a record $66,000.00.
Placing restrictions on China for suppressing Muslims.

"That sounds like the greatest Democratic president in history -he just happens to be a Republican. And he just happens to be Donald Trump, so they hate him."

The rank-and-file Democratic voters loved JFK, but the political establishment hated him. They felt they had been betrayed because he had suddenly turned from a hawkish cold-war warrior to a man who preferred to broker peace.

Writes author James Douglass,
"John F. Kennedy was no saint. Nor was he any apostle of nonviolence.  However, as we are all called to do, he was turning.  Teshuvah, "turning," the Rabbinic word for repentance, is the explanation for Kennedy's short-lived, contradictory journey toward peace." (James W. Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why it Matters.)
By the time Kennedy came to office in January 1961, the CIA was preparing to overthrow Castro using a small army of anti-Castro Cubans who would storm the beach at a place called Bay of Pigs.  Kennedy warned them not to go through with it, but they set it up anyway because the American aircraft carrier Essex was anchored only two miles out from shore with a group of destroyers. Once the invasion was underway, they thought, Kennedy would have to order the Essex to provide air cover for the invasion.

But Kennedy knew such an action would be interpreted as an act of war, and possibly trigger World War III.  So he never gave the order to the Essex, and the Bay of Pigs invasion failed. Kennedy took the blame for the failure of the operation but he was furious with the CIA. "I want to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds," he told everyone within earshot.

Mistake.

The CIA had only been in existence for 16 years and already it was so powerful it could operate as a parallel government, independent of the president's wishes. Plus, they had the press on their side, so any move the president might make against the CIA would quickly be countered in the press. The CIA could get the media to smear Kennedy as being ineffective and unqualified.  The CIA could label him an appeaser who is soft on communism and a puppet of Khrushchev.  Never mind that Kennedy spoke out against communism many times, including at the Salt Lake Tabernacle in 1960 where he declared that "the enemy is the communist system itself- implacable, insatiable, unceasing in its drive for world domination." That declaration wouldn't matter once the CIA's media smear machine went into action.

The CIA was also known to kill its enemies without compunction, and by promising to break the agency into a thousand pieces, the president had just painted a target on himself.

Jack Kennedy was never going to win at the CIA chessboard.  Besides, Kennedy was already having to deal with those maniacs at the Joint Chiefs of Staff who actually looked forward to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. To them, getting Cuba to appear to attack the U.S. would be a dandy reason to retaliate, and that would draw the Russians into a nuclear showdown. Appalled by their obsession to start a nuclear war, Kennedy told one of his advisers, "those people are crazy!"

The Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed several ways to get the Cubans to draw first blood; that way the U.S. could retaliate on the pretense that Cuba attacked first. To that end, the generals drew up a proposal that went by the code name "Operation Northwoods" that suggested several ways the U.S. could make it look like Cuba had attacked us:
A "Remember the Maine" incident could be arranged in several forms:  We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba.  We could blow up a drone vessel anywhere in the Cuban waters. We could arrange to cause such an incident in the vicinity of Havana or Santiago as a spectacular result of a Cuban attack from the air or sea, or both. The presence of Cuban planes or ships merely investigating the intent of the vessel could be fairly compelling evidence that the ship was taken under attack. The nearness to Havana or Santiago would add credibility especially to those people that might have heard the blast or have seen the fire. The US could follow with an air/sea rescue operation covered by US fighters to "evacuate" remaining members of the non-existent crew. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.
The most outrageous suggestion was this one:
It is possible to create an incident which will demonstrate convincingly that a Cuban aircraft has attacked and shot down a chartered civil airliner enroute from the United States to Jamaica, Guatemala, Panama or Venezuela. The destination would be chosen only to cause the flight plan route to cross Cuba. The passengers could be a group of college students off on a holiday or any grouping of persons with a common interest to support chartering a non-scheduled flight. 
 An aircraft at Eglin AFB would be painted and numbered as an exact duplicate for a civil registered aircraft belonging to a CIA proprietary organization in the Miami area. At a designated time the duplicate would be substituted for the actual civil aircraft and would be loaded with the selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases. The actual registered aircraft would be converted to a drone.  
Take off times of the drone aircraft and the actual aircraft will be scheduled to allow a rendezvous south of Florida. From the rendezvous point the passenger-carrying aircraft will descend to minimum altitude and go directly into an auxiliary field at Eglin AFB where arrangements will have been made to evacuate the passengers and return the aircraft to its original status. The drone aircraft meanwhile will continue to fly the filed flight plan. When over Cuba the drone will begin transmitting on the international distress frequency a "MAY DAY" message stating he is under attack by Cuban MIG aircraft. The transmission will be interrupted by the destruction of aircraft which will be triggered by radio signal. This will allow IACO radio stations in the Western Hemisphere to tell the US what has happened to the aircraft instead of the US trying to "sell" the incident.
Someone had obviously put a lot of thought into this. Needless to say, Kennedy wisely rejected all of those proposals, but that just made his enemies more bitter. He thought they were nuts for suggesting such outlandish schemes and they thought he was crazy for not recognizing how brilliant those ideas were. Jack later complained to his brother, Bobby, "Those sons of bitches with all the fruit salad just sat there nodding, saying it would work."

Whatever scheme that could be used to justify getting America into war, General Curtis LeMay was itching for it. "The time is now" he frequently insisted, promising the president that we could wipe out most of Russia with our bombers before the Soviets could react. That would, of course, kill millions of innocents, but LeMay felt nuclear war with Russia was inevitable anyway, so why don't we strike first and have the advantage? After the meeting, Kennedy said to his brother Robert, "keep that guy away from me."

During the Cuban missile crisis, tensions reached their peak. Everyone in America knew we were just one false move away from nuclear war with Russia. The Russians were on edge and so were we. Any slight move or miscalculation and one country or both could start the launch. We were at a very stressful stalemate with Russia, and Kennedy's military advisers were practically begging to get the go-ahead.

That's when Kennedy decided to try and get a private message to Khrushchev, bypassing the spooks and the generals.  Kennedy didn't know it, of course, but he was following the counsel of the Lord in D&C 98:34 where the Lord says that if any nation should proclaim war against His people, we should lift up a banner of peace to show that we do not desire war.  Kennedy sent a private message to Khrushchev via his brother Robert through the Soviet Ambassador to Washington.

This was Robert Kennedy's message:
"If the situation continues much longer, the president is not sure the military will not overthrow him and seize power...The situation might get out of control, with irreversible consequences...I don't know how much longer we can hold out against our generals."

Khrushchev would comment to his foreign affairs minister Andri Gromyko, "We have to let Kennedy know that we want to help him...Yes, help.  We now have a common cause, to save the world from those pushing us toward war."

Khrushchev and Kennedy worked out a way to continue communicating through back-channel correspondence that would not be seen by either side's military or security apparatus. As Kennedy later learned, Khrushchev had been facing the same pressures to go to war from his side as Kennedy had on his. "One of the ironic things about this entire situation," Kennedy commented to Norman Cousins, "is that Mr. Khrushchev and I occupy approximately the same political positions inside our governments. He would like to prevent a nuclear war but is under severe pressure from the hardline crowd, which interprets every move in that direction as appeasement. I've got similar problems."

Writes author James Douglass,
"Half a world apart, in radical ideological conflict, both Kennedy in his call for help and Khrushchev in his response had recognized their interdependence with each other and the world. They joined hands. After threatening to destroy the world, the two enemies turned to each other in desperation and grace. Instead of annihilation, they chose, in Khrushchev's words, 'a common cause, to save the world from those pushing us toward war.' " (James W. Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died & Why it Matters.) 

                                                                         *****

Epilogue
"They had killed Jack because he and his ally-in-peace Nikita Khrushchev were steering the world away from the Cold War toward peace, thereby eliminating the military-industrial-intelligence complex's most treasured weapons- the fear of war, the fear of "Communist takeover," and the manipulative use of Fear itself.  The Cold War was about to end, and with it the covert action arm of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Agency would have been all but neutered, it's funding and resources cut, its menacing grip on public opinion exposed and eliminated. It also meant the eventual curtailment of many of the defense industries, including the proliferation of nuclear arms.  There would have been no war in Southeast Asia or Vietnam; that, too, was about to end.  A rapprochement with Fidel Castro and Cuba was on the horizon.  Both Jack and Fidel wanted 'a lasting peace.'

"Little attention had been paid to the parting words of a previous president.  President Eisenhower had warned the American public in early 1961 of the evil that had spawned since World War II: 'In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, of the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.' 

"Indeed, it had; so much so that in less than three years, anyone who tried to stop it -including the elected president of the United States- would be eliminated.

"Simply put, peace -particularly world peace- wasn't good for business."
                                                                               -Peter Janney, Mary's Mosaic, pg 390.