It’s been a while since there was a Five Quick Things rattling around on The American Spectator‘s front page, so I’m fixing that.
The body-cam video of the George Floyd arrest in Minneapolis leaked on Monday. While it’s being talked about as some sort of validation of the riots in his name, I really don’t see that at all.
What I see is what the toxicology report said — Floyd was high as a kite and not making any sense. The cops did everything they could to put him in the back seat of the SUV, and he fought them the whole way, babbling incoherently as one might expect from a man with fentanyl, marijuana, and meth in his system at the same time. Watching the video and noting the toxicology report, it’s entirely conceivable that the cops could have done everything exactly right, and George Floyd might still have died in custody.
Yes, Floyd kept objecting that he was claustrophobic and thus terrified to be stuffed into a police vehicle. He was going into the back seat of a big SUV. Not buying it. And sure, kneeling on his neck was a bad move that justifiably got Derek Chauvin fired.
But the main impression I get watching that video is why on Earth would anybody want to be a cop and have to deal with the George Floyds of the world? Especially in a situation where the real reason for his panic wasn’t just how wasted he was, but that he knew he really couldn’t afford to be arrested again.
It’s a common refrain with these police killings that the suspects who get killed know, regardless of how high they are, that this arrest will be the one that puts them in jail for a long stretch. So they fight against being arrested, and something even worse happens.
You can tell that with Floyd, who’s incoherently begging not to be arrested when he’s got a warrant out for counterfeiting. All he had to do was get in the SUV and call the lawyer at the police station and, in all likelihood, while he might have received a prison sentence it was likely going to be suspended because of the COVID epidemic. But he was too high to think that through and he agitated the cops, and half our major cities have erupted in riots as a result of what came next. That isn’t an excuse for what Chauvin did, though I’m no longer sure it classifies as murder.
And George Floyd has been made a combination hero and saint.
Our culture is terrible. Have I mentioned that before?
I’ll admit it — I did not like John Lewis.
I was born in 1970, so I don’t know much of anything about Lewis in his younger years. Yes, I know he had his head bashed in while marching in Selma for civil rights, and I appreciate very much the injustice and even Lewis’s heroism involved in that experience.
What I know of John Lewis is what I’ve seen of him in Congress, and frankly I’ve never been impressed. I thought he was a hyper-partisan jerk who wouldn’t hesitate to drop the race card on undeserving political opponents.
There’s a somewhat old movie — I think it’s the first flick Kate Beckinsale was ever in — by the name of Cold Comfort Farm, and there is a character in it who reminds me of John Lewis in an offbeat sort of way. The grandmother at Cold Comfort Farm is able to tyrannize the family and force them to do her bidding, however ridiculous, by declaring that “I saw something nasty in the woodshed.” This works to hamstring all the relatives to serve essentially as her serfs until finally, an obnoxious American movie mogul arrives and hears it, and explodes the whole game by retorting, “Sure you did. But did it see you, baby?”
I’m not sure anybody ever gave that retort to John Lewis. May he rest in peace, but there was a guy who could have used his political bubble bursting a bit, and that never happened.
That might be why, like Floyd, Lewis had multiple funerals while most Americans, thanks to COVID-19, aren’t even really allowed one. There wasn’t much social distancing to be found at either, I noticed, which rankles a bit as our local-yokel political leaders and incoherent public health bureaucrats never cease to bullyrag us with new restrictions on our lives. Even in death Lewis is better than us, apparently, thanks to what he saw in the woodshed.
I wrote this at my site a couple of weeks ago. I’d say it’s even more valid now:
Returning to normal life should be the mission of every elected official in America. It’s implicit in their oath of office. And since it’s obvious that stopping the spread of the virus is beyond their power, as they’ve proven conclusively since March and as has always been the case given that it’s a coronavirus and coronaviruses always spread everywhere, the emphasis really ought to be on how to successfully treat people who have contracted it so they can go back to work and enjoy life.
We as Americans have been exceedingly patient and very polite as we have watched our leaders flail about incompetently in the face of this pandemic. We have tolerated their bait-and-switch proclamations and misguided attempts to buffalo us into stopping the spread of something that can’t be stopped, at a level that really they haven’t deserved from us.
It’s time for that to be over. It’s time to demand the truth from our leaders: that they don’t have an answer for stopping the spread of COVID-19, but that there is an answer for treating and curing it – and that their politicized objections to the treatment have prolonged a media-driven hysteria which has done real damage to real people.
There ought to be pretty severe consequences to what they’ve done, but those can come later. What’s most important now is to at least get that admission, even if our polite response to being treated like children has to end.
Enough already. For every other disease in the world the emphasis is on a cure, and for this one the emphasis is on our inconvenience. It’s time to stop it.
That was written right after the Newsweek article by Yale epidemiologist Harvey Risch appeared touting hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), azithromycin, and zinc as a cure for COVID-19. Following Risch’s rather impolitic claim that a $50 course of treatment would knock out a virus that has trashed the world economy, there has been an outpouring of support from doctors in the field (some; most certainly not all) and a level of pushback from social media platforms and the public health mob that has been truly mind-boggling.
I could do a whole column on Stella Immanuel, the Houston urgent-care doc who made such a name for herself with an impassioned speech about HCQ as part of the America’s Frontline Doctors summit in Washington last week, and probably a whole book about the efforts of the media and medical establishment to demonize her as a quack and a crank. But never once have I seen anybody bother trying to debunk Dr. Immanuel’s claim to have cured some 400 patients of COVID-19 with the HCQ/Z-Pack/Zinc protocol.
Does HCQ work? I have no idea. I’ve heard a great deal of anecdotal evidence that it does, though the medical establishment claims again and again that it doesn’t. What I do find suspicious, though, is the claim that it’s dangerous. If it’s so dangerous, how come it’s been the drug you take against malaria for decades, and how come it’s been prescribed over four million times in America for lupus and rheumatoid arthritis?
More than that, though, what’s galling is this business of never-ending lockdowns, mask mandates, and the like and the concurrent poo-poohing of every potential treatment as snake oil. This thing has a survival rate of better than 99.5 percent; obviously there’s some effective way to treat it. Why is Trump the only one who even seems interested in that subject?
I know why, and so do you. But are they really going to get away with it?
You’ve likely seen that in the last few days, Rasmussen Reports has President Trump’s approval rating at or above 50, which is a pretty significant change from a month or so ago, when Rasmussen had him in the low 40s.
The trend is what’s important here. Assuming that Rasmussen’s methods are consistent, which they have a reputation for being, it tells you Trump is perhaps past the worst of the adversity thrown his way this year — first an impeachment, then the COVID-19 panic and the Democrats’ shameless and never-ending milking of it for political purposes, then the Black Lives Matter/Antifa mess — and has begun climbing out of that hole.
But a friend who’s a political consultant of long standing and who has worked national races for the last several years told me something interesting a few days ago. “None of those polls are any good,” he said, meaning the ones the national news networks have been flogging showing Biden with a double-digit lead over Trump. “First of all, of course they’re partisan. Go look at the sample they’re all using. They grossly oversample Democrats. When Trump is beating Biden by 20 points on voter intensity and they’re oversampling Democrats, it’s a dead giveaway the poll is crap.
“But they aren’t any good for another reason, which is cancel culture. You already are going to have trouble getting busy people whose phones have caller ID to answer a call from a pollster. Throw in all this intimidation the Democrats are forcing on everybody, and nobody is going to tell a stranger on the phone that they’re voting for Trump. Why would you do that? So you can go on a list? Have Antifa show up at your house? Get doxxed? Fired from your job?”
My friend says he’s convinced that anywhere from 8 to 10 percent of the electorate are “shy” Trump voters. They’ll turn out, but they’re not telling anybody they’re pulling the lever for Trump.
If he’s right, those polls are really skewed. Even so, several of the latest ones don’t look that bad for Trump after all, perhaps showing a similar trend to the one Rasmussen is showing.
I’ve been dropping it onto Amazon in segments all spring long, but this week the whole enchilada of Perdition, my second novel, is now available to be eaten.
The e-book of the complete novel is available now. The paperback version will be available on Friday.
Frequent readers of this column have heard the elevator pitch about Perdition, and its predecessor Animus, before, but for the rest of you, here it is: Picture a continent in a world that is an awful lot like Earth but with a different map, and on this continent are two very different societies that really don’t get along.
The south side of the continent is occupied by the Udar, who present as primitive savages — but they’re more sophisticated than they first appear, much like a lot of societies in the real world not derived from the Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian civilizational tree.
But while the Udar are squalid and backward and perverse and not particularly independent thinkers, the one thing they have going for them is their entire religion and social structure is built for violent conflict with their neighbors, the Ardenians. And while they’re at a major technological disadvantage, they make up for that in sheer fanaticism and bloodlust.
The Ardenians, on the other hand, are a whole lot like a Gilded Age United States or Great Britain. Their side of the continent is vast, full of natural resources and well set up for commercial development with huge river valleys. As such, the Ardenians have developed a technological society with Industrial Age conveniences. They’ve got tractors on their farms, they have a relatively decent rail network, there are big cities, and they’ve developed a state religion, which is similar in many respects to Christianity. Throughout history the Ardenians really only fought the Udar when they had to; they’ve always played defense against enemy raiders, pirates, and so forth.
But a generation before the Tales of Ardenia series begins, there was a major war in which the Ardenians soundly defeated the Udar, and as a result they conquered a large swath of territory that had been something of a no-man’s-land. Over the 25 years that followed, the Ardenians settled that territory, built farms and ranches and a few towns, and established a series of forts along the area representing the new border.
The Ardenians, after having so severely thrashed the Udar and having been so far ahead technologically, decided the threat from the Udar was pretty much at an end. It was time for, in words from a different universe, a holiday from history. Ardenia decided on a peace dividend. A new political party, the Peace Party, took office with promises to invest the proceeds of the country’s newfound security in societal advances. But 10 years on, those promises are empty, and the Ardenians aren’t all that secure. Worse, a series of bad public policy decisions and an increasingly corrupt societal elite have left Ardenia hollow — economically, culturally, and militarily.
It’s thus only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose and the Udar come screaming across the border with everything they have, leaving the good guys very unprepared for the war that follows. But the Ardenians rise to the occasion, and some tremendous heroes emerge to lead the fight to save civilization.
Animus, the first novel in the Tales of Ardenia series, is really a rescue story arising from the Udar executing a diabolical plan to inflict a crushing blow on the good guys at the outset of the war. Perdition, the second novel, is a far larger tale — it covers the first stages of that war, from the first battles as the bad guys advance on and begin sacking towns and cities to the political implications in the Ardenian capital and the fast ramping-up of the Ardenian military effort. It also traces the lives of several heroic Ardenians who lead the fight for survival, and, they hope, ultimate victory.
I’m pretty proud of these things, frankly. It’s been a lot of fun writing them, I get to throw in a good bit of social commentary for free in them, and I get to tell a story the way I want it told — which, frankly, doesn’t seem to happen much watching TV and movies these days. I’m guessing you folks would agree, so Animus and Perdition might be for you.