Tag Archives: vote

A COVID-19 Conspiracy Video:  America’s Frontline Doctors

Recently a video was posted on Youtube and elsewhere online depicting a conference of frontline doctors dealing with the COVID-19 virus.  The video was a promotion for alternative treatments for the virus such as hydroxychloroquine, and how the public is being denied such lifesaving drugs.  The video was pitched as lifesaving information that would soon be taken down by Youtube, so if you wanted to see it, you had to watch it immediately.  I highly suspect such hype was a tactic to entice people to watch a video that ordinarily would have drawn little fanfare.  Indeed, the video was removed from Youtube, but it was easily accessed elsewhere online, so I am confident the intended audience had ample opportunity to see it.

I watched the whole video (3 hours) with touches of confusion, frustration, and disbelief. If I were to believe the video, the government and other dark conspirators are out to get us.  The doctors on the video claimed there are treatments and cures for COVID-19, but the miracle drugs are being withheld from the American people.  Is this true?  I have no idea, but I doubt it, and a couple of outright eye popping false statements in the video made me doubt it even more.  Of course, that is my opinion, but after watching the video, I believe my opinion to be as valid, even more so, than many of the opinions stated or implied in the video.

However, opinion is opinion, so look close at my reactions to the video below to see where my objections fall and decide for yourself:

Responses to the video – America’s Frontline Doctors:

  1. Does Hydroxychloroquine and the over the counter asthma treatment mentioned work?
    1. Some doctors swear by these treatments (the four or five in the video for example) while the greater majority of doctors say no they do not work. In fact, most doctors agree hydroxychloroquine may cause dangerous side effects for some people.  It doesn’t seem to have harmed the President though, but I guess, who you believe depends on who you want to believe;
    2. Who is right? Who knows!  It depends on the source you are watching or reading and whether you lean to the left or to the right.  The only sure bet is whatever source you rely on is most likely biased one way or the other, and people are not getting the whole story or anywhere near the truth whatever it might be.  Therefore, the best advice is to err on the side of caution;
  2. False Statement:  The video stated, “Children do not die from COVID-19.” According to the most recent CDC data, this is a false statement.  Initially very few children and young adults died from the virus, but the numbers have been increasing steadily.  For example, in February and March, COVID-19 cases involving children showed 13 cases per 100,000 population while as of July 23 COVID-19 cases involving children showed 379 cases per 100,000 population.  Also, as of July 23, there were 288,287 children who had tested positive with COVID-19.  Of those children, 500+ died between May 21 and July 23 from COVID-19;
  3. False Statement:  The video stated, “Children are essentially immune to it (COVID-19).” This is another false statement from the video.  The CDC numbers above show over 280,000 children have tested positive for the virus and over 500 have died.  That hardly sounds like immunity to me;
  4. Is denying Americans access to drugs such as hydroxychloroquine a part of a bigger conspiracy against the American people?
    1. If there is a conspiracy, two things would have to be in place:
      • President Trump would have to be in on the scam. I am not a fan of President Trump, but if he knew of such a scam, I believe he would have let the cat out of the bag by now with one of his many tweets; or
      • President Trump would have to be an unknowing puppet with someone else pulling the strings. I do not care for the President’s demeanor or lack of Presidential class, but I do not believe he is anybody’s puppet;
    2. If there was a government conspiracy, why have members of the President’s White House staff become infected with the virus? Wouldn’t they be immune?  If the President can obtain treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, surely, those miracle treatments are available to his staff as well, so there should be zero infections in the White House.  However, maybe government is as clueless about the virus as the rest of us;
    3. If there is a conspiracy and it is linked to a vaccine, what is the endgame?
      • SOMEBODY IS GETTING RICH or RICHER: Pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions – why?  Who has ordered them not to?  Government?  Big insurance companies?  Medical profession?  Economically, it makes no sense unless it benefits the pharmaceutical companies.  However, the US government has already ordered 100,000,000 doses of the vaccine when it is ready and will order another 200,000,000 doses after the first run is filled, so the pharmaceutical companies have essentially received their money and future money up front.  Therefore, there is no need for them to drive vaccine prices up by stalling treatment.  The American people will not be charged anything for the vaccine, so they have little more to gain.  Therefore, if it is some sort of financial scam to make the big guys richer, it would most likely involve not only the pharmaceutical companies but implicate the President as well, which I doubt in both cases;
      • MASS EXTERMINATION: Some conspiracy theorists have suggested the vaccine will thin out the population, but why?  To whose advantage?  Who gains by mass extermination of the population?  It certainly would not benefit either capitalism or a move toward socialism.  Economically there would be nothing to gain unless the exterminators could isolate and safeguard the key millions of people it would take to rebuild the country and its economy; or maybe
      • BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING: Some have suggested the vaccine is a means of injecting microchips to track American citizens.  This is highly doubtful.  The government whether left or right knows everything about each American citizen without the need of a biologically implanted microchip.  The government and big business track every American citizen by his/her driver license, social security number, credit cards, debit cards, membership cards, bank statements, and cell phone, etc.  They track buying habits every time an order is placed at Walmart or online.  They know everything worth knowing about every individual on the grid, so they do not need to cause controversy by inserting a microchip into human bodies.  Anyone who has ever applied or has possession of a credit card or any other card linked to them personally is already in their data banks – data collection is one reason it is so easy to get a credit card.  Our lives are encrypted data belonging to the government and big corporations.  As citizens, everything we do is available for scrutiny if or when the government and the business moguls desire.  They do not need to implant anything to learn all they need to know about citizens; and
  5. I am not saying the remedies supported in the video do not work – I do not know, but there is a reason these remedies have not been made available to the public.  I find it hard to believe as stressed as the medical profession is with the number of COVID-19 patients being treated every day, any doctor, much less thousands of doctors, would ignore treatments that could effectively reduce that stress and save lives.  I highly suspect if hydroxychloroquine and the asthma treatment mentioned in the video truly saved lives there would be many thousands of doctors standing up and saying so.  After all, these are family men and women who are placing themselves and their families in jeopardy everyday they go to work to treat patients.  They are not going to fool around with conspiracies when it comes to the lives of their children.

As for the virus being a conspiracy “to get” American citizens, resurrect a new world order, or help Joe Biden win the Presidency, there is no reasonable proof to suggest these are anything but fanciful fears of people living in desperate times.  It is doubtful anyone or anything other than our fears are lurking in the shadows to get us.  How do I know?  I don’t.  There are only five things I reasonably know for sure:

  1. I can complain and worry until the cows come home, and it will not change a thing;
  2. If I want change, I need to vote for change – voting is the tool for change in America;
  3. I need to wear a mask when I go out to help control the spread of the virus;
  4. I am certain we will get through this, but it will most likely be months after the November election, so I do not foresee a quick end; and
  5. I and most Americans are our own worst enemy in all of this. We tend to give credibility where there is no credibility, which causes additional stress and worry in an already hectic time.

Of course, all this apart from the CDC data is my opinion, but I dare say my opinion is probably far less biased than anything that can be found on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or Youtube.  Like everything else in our present day world, everything is opinion – the news, our conversations, and our very existence, so feel free to disagree.  Neither one of us may be right about anything, but that is food for another conspiracy.

JL

©Jack Linton, July 28, 2020

Two Chances

The American people are confused, frustrated, and angry. They should be! The American political party system has failed them miserably, and the candidates for the Presidency have given them little reason for hope. Many Americans are throwing up their hands in disgust and turning away, saying they will vote for neither side. Their loathing of what they see in the election campaigns is understandable, but walking away resolves nothing. My father once told me that voting is an important, although sometimes feeble attempt at democracy, that should not be cast aside lightly. He was a firm believer in the right to vote even though he believed a vote or non-vote always resulted in the same two chances. That may sound paradoxical, but I can assure you, he knew what he was talking about.

I remember when I turned eighteen and registered to vote. That was the first and last time, my father asked me who I was voting for in an upcoming election. I tried to play cool and shoot the question back to him, “Who are you voting for?” He was not amused, and pressed me for an answer.  I tried my best, but I was so thoroughly uninformed and ignorant of the candidates and the issues that after about thirty seconds of incoherent rambling, he stopped me.  “You don’t gave a clue do you?” he said.  To him voting was a very serious matter, and for a voter, especially his son, not to take time to familiarize himself with the candidates and the issues severely pissed him off.   Dropping my head, I affirmed his suspicions, and steadied myself for a severe scolding. To my surprise, he didn’t say a word, but turned and walked into the house. My heart sank; I knew I had really messed up. However, a moment later he returned with a copy of The Hattiesburg American, which had recently run a special section on the candidates and the issues. He handed me the newspaper.

In those days, there was no internet, CNN, Fox News, talk radio, or Facebook with its political hearsay and conspiracies to fuel a person’s knowledge about elections. Everything a person knew about an election was learned by reading the newspaper, listening to the black and white television broadcast of the evening news with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, listening in on barber shop conversations, and occasionally being pointed in the right direction by the preacher on Sunday morning. Although my father paid attention to the politics he heard at the barber shop and in Church, he placed very little value on any of it unless it could be confirmed in the newspaper. Other than an occasional Louis L’Amour novel, my father was not an avid reader, but if it was printed in the newspaper, he read it and committed the gist of the story to memory. So, when he handed the newspaper to me, I knew he meant for me to read it and be prepared to continue the conversation in a more knowledgeable fashion at a later time.  I knew the next time he asked who I was voting for I had better know as well as why I was voting for that person.  If I couldn’t do both, he would not be as calm and forgiving.

The next afternoon we were sitting in the den watching an old movie, which we often did when he came home from work, when he asked if I had read the newspaper. On the screen of our 1969 RCA black and white television, Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan was wrestling a lion as his chimpanzee sidekick, Cheetah, threw twigs and pebbles at the beast presumably to help, but more likely to slyly agitate the lion. More interested in watching the movie than listening to what I expected to be a stern lecture on my responsibilities as a new voter, I mumbled I had, and he nodded his approval. “I still don’t know who I want to vote for though,” I said honestly, knowing he expected me to pick up the conversation. He didn’t say a word. “But,” I added, “I am leaning toward . . . .”

“Who you vote for is your business,” he interrupted.

“I thought you wanted to know?”

“All that matters is that you know,” he said.

“But, I don’t really know,” I said truthfully.

“That’s why I gave you the paper to read, so you can make a decision.”

“Yeah, but I’m more confused now.” From the corner of my eye, I saw Tarzan embrace Jane. A flash of female flesh momentarily stopped my breathing as the thin animal skin wrapped around her waist rode up her thigh revealing a purity and whiteness that rivaled the snows of Kilimanjaro that stood at attention above the steaming jungle around them. I don’t know if I would have said it if I had not been so distracted, but I did. I said the unthinkable. “I may not vote.”

“That’s stupid,” he said with unbelievable calmness. Maybe, it was his own orectic thoughts about Jane that kept him unruffled, I don’t know. I expected him to explode from his seat, dig his claws into the ceiling, and hurl crumbling plaster down on my irreverent head. He didn’t move except to sit up slightly and pump his fist when Tarzan released Jane and let fly his famous, distinctive, ululating yell of the victorious bull ape. That yell and Andy Griffith whistling the fishing hole song were two of my father’s favorite TV moments that always solicited a nostalgic “atta boy” sigh or “ATTA BOY!” fist pump. “Why wouldn’t you vote?” he asked, never taking his eyes off Tarzan swinging triumphantly into the distance from tree to tree.

“Because . . . I don’t want to make a mistake,” I said.

“The only mistake you can make is not voting,” he said and sipped his coffee.

“I don’t know,” I began hesitatingly. “I just don’t want to waste my vote.”

“I’m glad to hear that, but the only wasted vote is not voting.”

“How’s that?” I asked.

“Son,” he said, “it’s like this. Take Tarzan for example. He has two chances. Either the vine he is swinging on is going to break, or it isn’t, but even if it breaks, he still has two chances. Either he breaks his neck, or he doesn’t. But, if he hangs on to the vine and yells loud enough, he increases his chances of making it to the next tree, but if he doesn’t do either, he doesn’t have a chance in hell of making it. He can even decide the vine is too risky, and that is okay because he still has two chances. Maybe, he can yell loud enough to make it to the next tree, and maybe, he can’t. Voting and politics are the same way. When it comes to politics and elections, you have two chances. You have two chances with your vote, and you have exactly the same two chances if you don’t vote. The only difference is by voting you slightly increase the odds things will turn out your way.”

“And, if they don’t,” I asked.

“You still have two chances,” he said. “I might vote for the right one and I might not. And, if I don’t vote right, I still have two chances. Things might turn out okay, and they might not. And, if things don’t turn out okay, I still have two chances. The country may go to hell in a hand basket, and it might not. And, if it does go to hell in a hand basket, I still have two chances. I might lose everything, and I might not. And, if I lose everything, I’ve still got two chances. I have my family and my friends. And, if I lose my family and friends, I still have two chances. I might die, and I might not. And, if I die, I still have two chances. So, what’s the big deal, vote for what you believe is right, and the odds are 50/50 you’ll get it right, and if you don’t, you still have two chances.”

“But, what if I’m wrong,” I asked.

“Then you have two chances,” he shrugged, and kicked back in his recliner as the movie end credits rolled over Johnny Weissmuller playing with Cheetah while Maureen O’Sullivan laughed happily at his side.

So, if there is anybody out there thinking about not voting because of all the political mess and shenanigans, please vote! As my father said, “The odds are 50/50 you’ll get it right, and if you don’t, you still have two chances.”

See you at the polls!

JL

©Jack Linton, PhD     March 12, 2016

Initiative 42: Are You Fed Up with being Manipulated Yet?

Initiative 42 is the result of nearly 200,000 Mississippians signing petitions to have an initiative placed on the November ballot to amend the state Constitution.   If passed, this citizen led initiative will hold the Mississippi Legislature accountable for keeping its promise to fully fund public schools, which the Legislature has fulfilled only twice in the past 18 years. That should be simple enough; however, Governor Phil Bryant, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, and Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn have used their power and position to help confuse the public about the Initiative. Why? Such action is contrary to statements the Governor has made in the past regarding the public’s role in education. For example, in a December 2, 2014 article by The Associated Press, Governor Bryant said the “public” is in charge of education. But, if he truly believes the public is in charge of education, why is he campaigning against the charge of close to 200,000 Mississippians?   He has also advocated for parental choice in education. However, if he is pro parent choice, why does he oppose Initiative 42, which is supported by parents who have made a “choice” to stand up for public school funding? If he truly believes in parent choice and believes the public is in charge of education, why hasn’t he stepped aside and let the public decide the issue without his political interference?

The reason is simple! In maybe the truest statement by the Republican leadership since the Initiative 42 debate began, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves in an October 22 article by Valerie Wells, published in the Hattiesburg American, stated Initiative 42 is a struggle for power rather than funding. “It’s not about funding,” Reeves said. “It’s about power.” Although Republicans would like for the public to believe Initiative 42 is about Democrats versus Republicans, black versus white, or a power hungry chancery court judge in Hinds County usurping the sovereignty of the state, those are simply smokescreens! The truth is as Reeves stated, “It’s about power.” For the political leadership in Jackson, this issue is about the power and control of the people to hold the state Legislature accountable to the law versus the power and control of the state Legislature to do as it pleases with no boundaries or accountability.

Although fear of losing “power and control” may be at the heart of the Republican opposition to Initiative 42, we must be careful their struggle to maintain power does not overshadow the original purpose of the grassroots initiative led by the people of Mississippi. Power was the furthest thing from the minds of the citizens who signed the petitions to place Initiative 42 on the ballot. Their intent was to help struggling teachers reach all children – poor, middle class, rich, black, and white; their intent was to keep public education alive. Unfortunately, at times, that intent seems to have been lost beneath the clouds of political smoke swirling around such issues as top heavy school districts and school consolidation. We need to save those discussions for another day. Besides, no one in Jackson has any intentions of tackling those political time bombs in the near future; such issues are simply there to confuse and divide the public.

In an era where a good education is a prerequisite for success in life, the idea anyone would not support funding education is mind boggling. At a time when Mississippi needs everyone working together to pull our state from the clutches of poverty by creating an educated work force with more options than unemployment or a minimum wage existence, it is unbelievable we have elected officials who refuse to make education a priority. In a state as untrusting of government as Mississippi, it is beyond belief the citizens would tolerate a governor and state legislators who believe they are above the law. At a time when the public has the opportunity to remind the state Legislature that they are not only in charge of public education as Governor Bryant says, but they are in charge of their elected representatives in Jackson as well, it is unthinkable politicians might actually get their way and not be held accountable to the law.

As a state, we should be ashamed for having this debate. It is disgraceful some would put politics above the needs of our children. It is appalling some people look for excuses not to support education rather than look for reasons to support it. It is disappointing Mississippi citizens needed to sign petitions to put an initiative on the ballot to force elected officials to do their jobs and follow the law. And, it is reprehensible public officials would use or condone the use of half-truths, fabrications, and scare tactics to misguide the public. It is unfortunate, but the current struggle for power and education funding resembles a throwback to the Mississippi of the 1950’s and 1960’s rather than the new enlightened Mississippi we have struggled to become since those dark days.

In spite of this apparent throwback, we are a more enlightened people! We have made tremendous strides since the 50’s and 60’s, but as the Initiative 42 issue has shown, we still have a long way to go in regard to our attitudes toward education, race, and our future. Too much of our past biases still lurk in who we are as a state. Hopefully, additional time will further eradicate those prejudices from us – at least from our children. Nevertheless, I believe for the most part Mississippians are good people who strive to do what is right. We are proud people often recognized as the most benevolent state in the nation! Mississippians are quick to come to the aid of others, whether they are in this country or countries halfway around the world. Mississippians have always generously given to those in need. It so happens, our children are the ones in need this time. It is time we looked in our own backyard and shared our benevolence with our own family. It is time we stood by our children and their teachers; there is no better place to share your generosity and compassion than with those who live in your backyard.

I pray the people of Mississippi will stand up for Initiative 42 and not be led astray by professional politicians with political agendas that often exclude what is best for our state. With Initiative 42, public school education has a chance to be funded as required by law; without it, the chances are slim and none. If you don’t want to vote for Initiative 42, that is your right, but if that is your choice, why not at least do the next best thing and vote those politicians committed to sabotaging public education out of office? Citizens concerned for education and the future of Mississippi need to send a message one way or the other that we are fed up with political manipulation not only at the federal level but at the state level as well.

JL

©Jack Linton, PhD. October 29, 2015