Sunday, May 31, 2020

We Are Fighting For the Soul of Our Nation

I'm sorry if you are sick of reading this. I'm sick to my stomach at having to post it.
Reagan Conservatives, like me, are pro-"law and order" in the best sense of the term. We want everyone to live peacefully in a way that allows them to achieve "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- the American Dream. We cannot attain law and order when the police are behaving like unaccountable thugs.

No one -- no one -- condones the paid agitators that are sowing violence across our cities. Millions of words have been written on that and I, of course, agree. But, I'm sick of reading excuses for the appalling conduct of the police the last week and throughout our nation the last two decades. I posted on this subject Friday. Things have only gotten worse since, as illustrate by the video below.

This video is from Minneapolis. It will turn your stomach. Apparently, they believe they are in Afghanistan and unaccountable to U.S. or international law.
It is easy for the 'police' to act tough when walking behind military vehicles through a peaceful neighborhood with unarmed citizens. But, when faced with actual demonstrators? They ran. There is video online.
There is more than a little evidence the police are targeting journalists.

The problem isn't confined to just the wrong people being selected as police. The video linked in green will turn your stomach (extreme parental advisory): didn't link to this video in my first piece because I didn't think it would be necessary. Not only is the murderer-cop-sadist Philip Mitchell Brailsford not in jail, the taxpayers are paying him $2,500 per month because he says he has ptsd -- which he caused himself! We seem unable to discipline even the rottenest apples. And, so, the downward cycle continues.

I am certain that when the 'officer' put his knee on Floyd's neck, it never occurred to him he would face discipline. After all, 17 other complaints against his official conduct taught him so.

Finally, there is the MSM's appalling reporting on this topic.
The above is an image from the Star showing what occurred last night. 
Then, the Kansas City Star puts 'violent' in scare quotes today because it cannot bring itself to believe the people on its side of the political aisle are responsible for all of this rather than "white supremacists" and President Trump.

With the MSM's biased reporting, it becomes nearly impossible to tell who the "good guys" are -- which makes it extremely difficult to support and vote for people who will make a positive difference.

While I do not claim to have all, or even most of, the answers, it is critical that we figure out the problems. We are fighting for the soul of our nation.

Most Powerful Videos I've Seen: Please Watch

This is an extraordinarily powerful video. Please watch.

And, here is another. Again, please watch

Sunday Fun: Wichita on a Summer Evening

Via Twitter
This is on the Arkansas River which flows though the city. Photography by the great Travis Heying.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Les Lemon: Rest in Peace

Based on a Facebook posting from a mutual friend, Meteorologist Les Lemon has passed away. He had been unwell for several years.

On May 20, I wrote the piece below on the anniversary of the Ruskin Heights Tornado (RHT).
It went on to state:
Les documented the "Lemon Method" for diagnosing the supercell thunderstorms most likely to create the worst tornadoes and large hail. He, along with Don Burgess, was at the other end of the phone when I was discovering and reporting on one of the first known (June '73) "low precipitation supercells" and Les and Don incorporated that knowledge into their future research. More on his research career, here.

But, Les's biggest achievement was getting the "NEXRAD Doppler Radar Network" off the ground. America's, then-poor radar network was literally falling apart. While the contract for new, Doppler (wind measuring) radars had been let, the procurement process was falling apart just like the radars. It was Les that outsmarted the bureaucrats that were trying to torpedo the new radars (the story is here, p 187) and got them installed. For that, every American owes him a debt of gratitude. 

Doppler radar is like an X-Ray. Meteorologists could finally see inside of a thunderstorm and measure the speed of the winds and, perhaps, the presence of a tornado.
One of his last papers (above), and it was excellent, was on the unique Greensburg (Kansas) Tornado of 2007. The radar he had a key role in developing, told the story: this was going to be an extraordinary violent tornado. And, meteorologists were able to warn according to the saving of 200+ lives.
The Greensburg Tornado produced a "hook echo" that told
us a tornado was likely. But, NOT weather it was weak or strong.
From WeatherData, Inc.'s SmartRAD®
The wind data, internal to the storm, told us that this was going
to be a MAJOR tornado. That allowed better quality-warnings and
200+ lives saved. 
Kathleen and I wish his family and friends all of the best at this difficult time. 

Washington, Oregon: Enhanced Risk of Gusts > 75 mph

There is now a significant tornado risk (brown) per NWS SPC.
Brown = significant tornado risk.
  • Hatching = 75 mph or higher.
  • Red = enhance risk
  • Yellow = significant risk. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

I Don't Know Why Her Statement Is Even Controversial

Carly's tweet is getting quite a bit of pushback on Twitter, even though it is right on the money. 
She is absolutely right.

Think back to this incident.
The white policeman, Sean Groubert, shot an unarmed black man, LeVar Jones, for exactly following his instructions.

What is not visible is that the policeman later committed perjury in his sworn statement. He said that Jones charged him, so he shot. Obviously, that was not the case. Not even close.

But, suppose, there was no dash cam? Mr. Jones, who was not only shot, likely would have at least been prosecuted. Even if cleared, he would have spent tens of thousands in attorney fees. Justice?

As critical as I have been of epidemiology, medicine and politicians the last three months, they have not performed anywhere near as catastrophically as law enforcement.

Law enforcement officials swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Let's see, were they acting in accordance with their oaths when they (all in the last 2.5 months)...??

Conducted a bogus arrest of the CNN reporters this morning....

...or, the Raleigh Police telling us that peacefully protesting an executive order, later found unconstitutional, is "non-essential,"
or, a SWAT team, without masks but with automatic weapons, responding to a tiny Texas restaurant so as to arrest people for not wearing masks. A SWAT team? For masks?

Or, the police -- in their boat -- arresting a lone paddle boarder, for,"failing to follow the orders of a life guard" because the life guard told him the beach was closed. Of course, as the photo clearly demonstrates, he was in the ocean when arrested. Do life guards in California believe they can close the ocean?!

I could go on but these should convey the idea.

One of the primary reasons for America's greatness (at least in the past) was the rule of law. If we cannot trust the police to uphold the very basics of the law and to protect our most basic rights, then we are in very, very serious trouble, indeed.  

UPDATE: 1a Saturday. The police situation worsened a few hours ago in Louisville. [sarc on] The police, wearing $3,000 worth of combat gear and armed to the teeth, must have feared from for their safety from an unarmed, female television news reporter and her photographer.

Final Friday Thoughts:

Too Bad the Unity Has Come in Such a Horrifying Fashion:
I'm so old, I remember when the police took oaths to uphold the constitution and the law.

I'll Take My Law Enforcement Without Political Correctness, Please
Below, I wrote about politically correct masks. I don't need politically correct, "social distancing," speed limits, either.

I'll Take My Medical Advice, "Symbol"-Free, Thank You

I want my medical advice to be free of politics 
and political correctness. 
I don't care whether Dr. Fauci wants to "make it a symbol" or not. I don't care whether he thinks it shows "respect" or not. More and more, I question Dr. Fauci's priorities.

A physician prescribing or recommending a mask or other medical advice should be based solely on whether it will prove a patient with a health benefit or whether it will provide a public health benefit to others. "Gestures," "respect." and "symbols" have nothing to do with it.

San Francisco's absurd new order mandating masks whenever anyone is within 30 feet -- even outdoors -- is nothing but authoritarianism. In The Home of the Brave and the Land of the Free, this should not stand.

Outstanding Article About Changes to the Hurricane Warning System For 2020

The article is here. Please read it if you are on or near a coast. Hurricane season begins soon.

No, We Don't Need a New "Climate Initiative"

Wall Street Journal Wednesday
Let's see:
  • The U.S. has 15% unemployment -- Great Depression levels. Unemployment may rise further. 
  • The CDC is completely dysfunctional. 
  • Worldwide, the computer models being used to forecast disease, "not ready for prime time." It will take big dollars and scientific dedication to fix them. 
  • The FBI, and likely DOJ, are utterly corrupt. They have to be fixed. 
  • We must cut federal spending and raise taxes, temporarily, to repay all of the stimulus.
The last thing we need to do, especially since "the science is settled," is to spend more money on global warming. The spending on wind and solar is a complete disaster; it is worse than wasted because the two destabilize the electricity grid. 

After spending trillions, we should have learned we cannot control the weather. It is time to devote this precious money to much better uses. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

The Danger of Rain-Wrapped Tornadoes

Like a King Cobra waiting in the bushes, a rain-wrapped tornado can strike without people realizing the danger. Never go outside to look for a tornado. 

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Lawrence-Linwood  (Kansas) Tornado which Kathleen and I
chased from its inception. We saw the funnel cloud when the tornado first formed. However, the rain (background, lower left) quickly wrapped around the funnel/tornado and it became invisible.

Here is what it looked like when the tornado was just southeast of Lawrence. It was just a mass of rain.
Far too dangerous a chase environment for my blood.

However, there are those who chase in these situations and I want to use this video to illustrate the extreme danger to the public of rain-wrapped tornadoes. You can't see them. 
Even though the tornado was right in front of them, some of the passengers evidently didn't recognize it.

That's why going outside to see or watch a tornado during a tornado warning is a bad idea. One of the reasons so many died in Joplin was because they literally could not see the tornado coming.

For those who would like to learn more about this violent tornado, the National Weather Service in Topeka has put together an extraordinary piece on the storm.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Authoritarian Politicians: They Are Playing With Fire

Unfortunately, the tweet is accurate

No, I don't think they are trying to "take the place of God." They are trying to crowd God out of our society. And, they are trying to do it in the most arrogant and obnoxious way possible. 

And, as usual, the bishops are useless.
“Since learning of the concerns of Howard County officials, we have shared our guidelines for the distribution of Communion and express our own serious concerns about their recent guidance preventing Catholic churches in Howard County from distributing Communion.”

"Serious concerns"?! You are kidding, right? The Holy Eucharist is central to the Catholic Faith.

Yes, this is clearly unconstitutional and will not stand. But, politicians will keep trying as long as they pay no price for trying to cut off religious freedom.

In addition to filing for an emergency court ruling, the bishop(s) should be organizing peaceful mass demonstrations of people of all faiths. They should be organizing recall campaigns against the politicians involved, whether directly or indirectly.

The politicization of coronavirus is tearing us apart. We voters should draw the line, now.

Today's Coronavirus Comments

No kidding. 

Come on, Governor Kelly
In March, when we thought coronavirus was much more communicable than flu and 26 times more likely to be fatal, "Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives." was a sensible slogan. Yesterday, when this image was captured, it had morphed into politically correct B.S. and, in my opinion, a cowardly thing to promote. It is long past time to be hiding in the basement.

There is now no reason to "stay home." Kansas is very low risk. Out of a population of 2.9+ million, we've had fewer than 10,000 cases. Deaths have been a small fraction of what was originally forecasted. It is summer. Cases are decreasing rapidly (below). Now, Kansans need jobs, recreation, and a restoration of collegiality among friends, neighbors and families.
This is not a D vs R issue. By far, the most effective Kansas Governor of my lifetime was Democrat Robert Docking.
Kansas has a chance to get out ahead of other states by
 opening up quickly. Let's do it!! 

One other thought pertaining to Gov. Kelly's quarantine and "stay home" recommendations. On April 1, Kansas was forecasted to have 640 CV deaths by summer. The bottom of the "we're absolutely sure" (tinted) interval was 210 as of May 27. The actual number of deaths, as of today, is 205.
The governor can say, rightly, she's been misled by public health officials and I would certainly agree with her. I don't know who is advising her but it is time for new advice. 

New Topic Update, 2:30pm. From Washington, D.C. today.

The Best Line Since Coronavirus Struck

Many times, I have quoted Dr. Glenn Reynolds' brilliant summation,  I'll believe global warming is a crisis when the people telling me its a crisis start acting like its a crisis. 

That brief sentence damns the actions and hypocrisy of Al Gore and his fellow travelers.

Today, an associate of Reynolds published, 

I'll believe masks are necessary when the people telling me masks are necessary start acting like masks are necessary. 

I was asked, via Twitter, why I have put so much effort into this topic?

Simple: Masks can be medical necessities in a way a MAGA hat or AIDS ribbon could never be. As such, they should be above politics. 

Heads Up: Texas Hill Country

In the orange-tinted area, there is:
  • Significant risk of a tornado. 
  • Giant hail; larger than three inches in diameter.
  • Damaging thunderstorm wind gusts of 70 mph or higher. 
Please prepare accordingly. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A Mask = MAGA Hat or AIDS Ribbon

Staggering Statistics Pertaining to the COVID-19 Tragedy in Our Nation

  • For every death in the USA due to COVID-19, 385 jobs have been lost. Many forever; as there are many businesses that have gone bankrupt or may not otherwise be able to reopen
  • For every case of COVID-19, 24 jobs have been lost.
  • In most age groups, the recovery rate after contracting COVID-19 is 99%. More on this, below. 

After 48 hours of utter, utter nonsense regarding COVID-19's transmissibility outdoors, the genuine situation with regard to wearing masks at all times (including outdoors) emerges. It is a token of one's 'caring.' 
Put another way, wearing a mask = MAGA hat or AIDS Ribbon. It is merely a symbol of one's beliefs and has nothing to do with science or disease presentation. As Luke puts it below:
Clown show? You bet! The mainstream media continues this hypocrisy in examples like this afternoon where the MSNBC reporter (outdoors) complains people are not wearing a mask. But, what you don't see until someone shouts it out, is that his cameraman isn't wearing one, either!
All this is "COVID Theatre" in the same way the TSA is "Security Theatre." 

Attempting to get back to the science, I asked the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) this morning for the science justifying its call for everyone that went to the Lake of the Ozarks to self-quarantine for 14 days. I asked a total of three times with no response.

I then watched Governor Kelly's press conference at 3:30, hoping she would provide an answer.
Please note: Gov. Kelly is INDOORS with a
bunch of people in the room and she is NOT wearing a mask.
She did not.

A nurse contacted me on Twitter this afternoon and was critical of my position regarding the quarantine. I requested she point me to the science. Her response:
I have no idea why doing a study as to the transmissibility of the virus outdoors would be "unethical."But, again, no science behind the quarantine idea.

So, we can conclude the quarantine request boils down to a frustrated governor slapping the wrists of those who dared to have fun in the sun and mild weather (it was 74°F at this time yesterday at the Lake) rather than hiding, which is evidently what Gov. Kelly would have preferred.

Consider these updated statistics: Per the New York Times, today:
I live in the very low risk Sedgwick County, Kansas (4 deaths/100K population). We had plans to go to moderate-risk Johnson Co. over the weekend where they have had 10 deaths/100K. Had we done so, we would not have been asked to quarantine.

But, if I had gone from very low risk Sedgwick Co. (4)  to extremely low risk Camden Co., Missouri,
(just 2 deaths/100,000 population) we would be asked to quarantine. This makes no logical nor scientific sense. Based on the fact the KDHE chose not to answer my multiple requests for the underlying science in calling for the quarantine, and that Gov Kelly did not address it this afternoon, it appears the request is a form of political correctness (people outside having fun = bad!) -- and/or caution taken to the extreme -- rather than something grounded in medical or epidemiological science. 

With inspiration from radio financial guru Dave Ramsey this morning, I did a little math this afternoon.
As tragic as everyone of these deaths happens to be, the economic toll, and the toll on our national psyche and sense of community, will end up being far worse than the coronavirus itself. 

Twenty-four jobs lost, some forever, for each case of the illness. This is political and epidemiological malpractice at its worst. The lockups should have ended long ago. Yet some, like Virginia this afternoon, are extending them or aspects of them

The bottom line: None of this is science, anymore. Like global warming, it started out with the best of intentions but has morphed into a cancerous political situation which is dangerous for our nation. 

1. Stop with the masks outdoors. 
2. Lift the lockups - immediately - except for nursing homes
and other high-risk areas.

We'll See What They Have to Say

The Kansas Department of Health tweeted this earlier this morning:
This seems like gross overkill to me. Yes, there are videos of people close together in pools. But, they were (in the two videos I have seen) in sunshine with warm weather -- conditions my board-certified immunologist has gone on record as saying are poor conditions for transmission of the virus.

Plus, KDHE is asking everyone who went to the Lake of Ozarks to quarantine in summer, which seems completely unreasonable to me.

So, I replied to KDHE with the following request:
I'll let you know.

More Evidence: Why Wearing Masks Outdoors Is a Bad Idea

As I wrote yesterday, wearing a mask outdoors in an unconstrained area is pure theatre. Others are calling it "virtue signaling."

I believe outdoor mask wearing is scientific nonsense and is terrible for our social cohesion. Hours after posting, yesterday, the item at the above link, this encounter surfaced from yesterday in New York City's Central Park. Please watch and then I'll comment.
Forget the terrible fact this NYC resident behaves like a bigot. Her wearing the mask is pure theatre: She approaches him (no one worried about a disease gets closer to someone who may be a carrier) then removes it to speak on the phone even though it is easy to speak on the phone while wearing the mask. In fact, removing the mask seems to make things more difficult (dialing the phone and controlling the illegally unleashed dog).

No reasonable person who is genuinely worried about catching the disease would remove the mask or walk toward another, passive, person. He is not threatening in any way. 

The Supreme Court has ruled, over and over, there is no expectation of privacy when in a public location. His taping her (for his own protection, obviously) is perfectly legal and ethical.

America, especially at this critical time, cannot afford more items that separate us. We need more social cohesion and better science. We don't need more virtue signaling. Lose the masks when in the wide-open outdoors. 

[Update, 3p CDT: The woman was fired for her obvious racism. They should have also cited her lying to the police.] Details, here.

Monday, May 25, 2020

"World To End Tomorrow; Women and Minorities Most Affected"

Don't Live Your Lives in Unreasonable Fear

The purpose of this post is to counteract some of the silliness illustrated by the mainstream media today. 
If you are on a moving bicycle, you have zero chance of giving someone else COVID-19 and you have zero chance of contracting it that way. I'd worry more about a cyclist getting enough oxygen or the mask slipping and distracting the driver while in traffic or at another critical time.

I'd make a similar comment after viewing the photos of former Vice President Biden's wreath laying with his wife, Jill, at a Delaware military memorial today.
I intentionally chose the photo above as it is the closest he came to others -- the people who were driving his SUV.

Unless the news coverage is somehow defective (I checked several news media web sites, including the Wall Street Journal), Mr. and Mrs. Biden were not around others at any point in the ceremony.

Per the Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Guardian, and others, the masks were intended to draw a "contrast" with President Trump. Bottom line: they were theatrics.

From where I sit, the contrast to the President is unfavorable. There is zero chance of contracting or transmitting the illness in a wide open space like this. So, instead of projecting leadership, they are projecting unreasonable fear and timidity. Or, Darth Vader.

Unfortunately, today's Democrats' thinking seems to have evolved in the wrong direction from the great Democrat Franklin Roosevelt. His words, on March 4, 1933:

This is pre-eminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great nation will endure, as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyses needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

Please do not misunderstand: Precautions are still needed when in confined spaces (indoors or out) and around the elderly, immune-compromised and others. 

But, the idea that we cannot be outdoors enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather without masks, etc., is utter nonsense. It is, "fear itself."