Thursday, January 13, 2022

1-13-22 -The Silent Republicans, A Biblical Quote Revisited and At-Home Covid Testing Clarified, Sort Of - (Slight Color Change Made on the Blog Today. Easier on the Eyes I Hope.)

Silent Republicans and Stopping a Street Fight

The Republicans who have chosen to be held in contempt of Congress rather than to answer a subpoena from the Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 violence at the Capitol, along with those who have indicated that they would not cooperate with that investigation, have one thing in common.
Each one of them, if they testified, would be in the position of incriminating the defeated former president, resulting in his being tried for treason if they revealed the nature of their conversations with him. Lying would subject them to risking being prosecuted for perjury and using the Fifth Amendment to avoid self-incrimination would amount to an unspoken, tacit admission of their guilt along with that of the defeated former president.  So they choose not to show up.

None of them … Bannon, Meadows, Clark, McCarthy … want to be the one whose testimony sends the defeated former president to prison. And once the defeated former president is in the hands of the law, Vladimir Putin also may be concerned about what he might say to avoid imprisonment which might affect the tenuous relationship between the United States and Russia.  He might even take steps to see that the defeated former president never has the opportunity to “come clean” to avoid prison. It might hurt him and lead to rash action.  Once Pandora’s box is opened, no one knows what will pop out of it.

But Getting Back To the Issues About Which All of This Revolves:  In a 'street fight' which is what the struggle for voting rights bills in Congress and elsewhere is turning into, the gang that plays by the rules usually loses to the gang armed with unacceptable stuff like baseball bats and brass knuckles instead of merely fists.

(And as for those 'voting rights' bills, I wonder if Senator Shumer will today be offering Senators Manchin and Sinema a deal leaving the filibuster alone in exchange for their votes for still-further-watered-down versions of the  Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.  We'll see.)

In our current ‘street fight,’ that gang also includes those who think the January 6, 2021 invaders of the Capitol were just enthusiastic tourists. The two issues are not unrelated.

For democracy to be preserved in the United States, the Attorney General and the DOJ must act quickly to get those who don't play by the rules regarding these issues put behind bars, and that includes those who inspired and instigated them. That's what the police who arrived at a ‘street fight’ with a paddy wagon used to do to lawbreakers, hauling them off to jail, especially those who ‘didn’t play by the rules’ (whatever they are regarding ‘street fights’) and let the courts take it from there, telling them to "tell it to the judge."

  JL

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Secular Meaning To Biblical Quote 

‘You shall know the truth and it shall make you free” is a New Testament biblical quote (John 8:32) dealing with accepting the divinity of Jesus. 

It also takes on a totally secular meaning today when considering current political issues.

Actually, when John wrote his Gospel, about two generations after the events in Jesus’ life, the conflict between those Jews who believed in his divinity and those Jews who did not, was, I believe, a current issue in Roman-dominated Israel at the time where political and religious issues were inseparable, as they still are in some places in the world today. But I’m not writing about religion today.

Today, in our world, there are different versions of what purport to be political  ‘truths’ circulating on TV, in print, on radio and on the internet.  ‘Truth’ is not a relative thing.  Multiple versions of ‘truth’ are not possible. Much of what is presented as ‘truth’ therefore is based on misinformation.

Those who believe what they choose to believe as being the ‘truth’ claim that those who believe otherwise have been conditioned by such misinformation through the media mentioned above to do so.

Understanding what is the ‘truth’ is crucial to preserving democracy in the United States.  There is a test, though.  Throughout the centuries, history has repeated itself.  Understanding history enables one to properly evaluate what they see, hear and read in terms of its truthfulness.  That is the key to knowing the truth, and insofar as current political and social issues go, that truth can make you free. Without knowledge of history, that becomes difficult if not impossible.

 JL

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 Covid Testing At Home

It looks like inexpensive (or perhaps free through government support) frequent ‘at home’ Covid-19 testing will soon be readily available to all, although I am a bit uncertain how this will work with Medicare Parts B and C.  These will be simple antigen tests, not requiring any computer involvement, and enable users who test positive to modify their behavior (masking – social distancing – possible quarantine or isolation), perhaps consulting with their personal physician, or getting retested (perhaps with a physician-administered more definitive PCR* test) and thereby reduce the spread of the virus resulting in Covid-19. 

Paired with vaccinations which will at a minimum reduce the severity of an infection, if not fully preventing it, such testing will go a long way toward defeating the pandemic.  In my blog posting of January 10, I quoted my recent letter to the Palm Beach Post, the last sentence of which read, “Until frequent, inexpensive, self-administered COVID-19 testing becomes the rule, vaccinations are the best safeguard we have."  Well, it looks like that’s where we now are at! 

Unfortunately, because of selfish and ignorant politicians like Florida’s Governor DeSantis who does not actively support vaccinations nor testing, there will always be some spreading of the virus’ infection. Blame him and those like him.  They are willing allies of the virus, hanging their hats on Americans’ freedoms to do what they wish, including remaining unnecessarily susceptible to Covid-19 infection, and dying in the process, if that is their choice.

I saw a nurse on TV earlier today (Wednesday) pointing out that hospitals were filled with unvaccinated people, infected by the milder, but more contagious, Omicron variant, leaving NO BEDS for those needing hospitalization for a myriad of non-Covid-19 problems.  Should they die because of not being able to get into a hospital, the Governor of Florida, and those others who shun masking and vaccinations must share the blame.

As for those ‘at home’ tests, a recent USA TODAY article found at https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2022/01/10/covid-home-tests-easiest/9129309002/?gnt-cfr=1 reported that most of them did the job, but that some were better than others. They ranked Intrivo’s On/Go on top and BD Veritor at the bottom. The heavily used BinexNow (see my January 10 blog posting) ranked somewhere in the middle. The article also mentioned eMed.com which I included in my posting as another option.  CareStart and FlowFlex were other highly ranked antigen tests.  I will probably use whichever is readily available in stores or online.  Nevertheless, antigen tests are not as accurate as the PCR* tests physicians provide.  Some recommend at least two negative antigen test results within 48 hours to increase their reliability.

* (a Polymerase Chain Reaction test is a molecular test that checks the upper respiratory specimen for genetic material (RNA) including the virus that causes Covid19 rather than just seeking the presence of antibodies which is what the antigen tests do.)

JL

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