the vaccinated superspread hypothesis
assessing the riddle of more recovered, more vaccinated, and more dying despite a lower CFR variant

there has been a strange riddle in the covid data of late.

we have a lower CFR variant of the disease that has become predominant. delta has roughly 1/3 the case fatality rate of prior variants (like alpha)

far more people have acquired immunity from having had and recovered from covid. this immunity is long lasting and extremely effective. (much more so than vaccines)

high risk cohorts were significantly reduced last year. there is less “dry tinder” now.

we have FAR more people vaccinated now. it’s 50-90% in many places and in many high risk groups. last year it was zero.

and yet in many of the high vaccine uptake places, we’re seeing deaths from covid (and excess mortality) rise to levels ABOVE last year.

this has led many to posit that vaccines not only don’t work, but that they make you worse.

but on an individual level, this does not appear to be true. (though there is quite a lot of evidence that vaccines induce higher risk in the two weeks post administration and that this is being accounted for dishonestly, added to the “unvaccinated” butcher’s bill, and artificially enhancing reported VE.

BUT, even if we control for this, vaccines are showing efficacy in preventing deaths among the vaccinated. it’s more like 50% than the 90%+ being claimed, but VE against death in the 50%’s should still be showing BIG community effects with so many people in the high risk groups vaccinated.

but, on a societal level, it’s not. we’re seeing breakouts to new seasonal highs vs last year and epidemics in covid death rapidly following vaccination campaigns. (MORE)

all else equal even without vaccines, we’d expect to see attenuation in covid deaths for the reasons laid out above. instead we see acceleration.

the case rate in covid would need to be 3X last year to drive equivalent deaths and higher than that to show excess. but, it’s nothing like that, especially once you control for testing levels.

this is showing up in excess deaths as well as covid deaths, so the signal looks real.

the data has caused a lot of hand wringing and confusion.

grab a seat, because i have an idea to inject into the debate, i sincerely hope that i am wrong, and i suspect a fair few folks are not going to like hearing it, but it’s the best fit i can find for the data.

so here we go:

the current surge in covid deaths is caused by the vaccinated.

the covid vaccines are extremely leaky and may well accelerate contracting and carrying covid.

they allow for very high viral loads to go unnoticed and generate a new and severe asymptomatic spread vector to where none existed before.

the high viral loads lead to greater contagion. they may lead to greater severity (but this data is iffy and contested)

vaccine campaigns cause superspread events because vaccination leads to a 2 week window of 40-100% more covid risk that then gets counted as “unvaccinated” because the definitions are bad.

this combination makes those vaccinated with one dose or more into superspread bombs.

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Pew: ‘Key Facts About Americans and Guns’ Revealing

A recent analysis of polling data by the Pew Research Center shows personal protection “tops the list of reasons why gun owners say they own a firearm.”

This would certainly square with what a 20-something Seattle resident—a transplant from Florida about five years ago—told John Carlson, the morning drive time talk host at KVI-AM in an interesting interview about why he felt the need to arm himself and take some firearms training, and get a concealed pistol license. The young man’s name is Wyatt, and he is one of nearly 98,000 residents of Washington’s King County, which encompasses Seattle, to have an active CPL, according to the most recent data from the state Department of Licensing.

Wyatt told Carlson he’s been a witness or intended victim of crime over the past couple of years, and said he’s’ had to draw his legally-carried sidearm more than once on knife-armed thugs.

So it is no wonder why he’s part of what may be a growing number of Americans now packing hardware. The Pew story referred to a survey conducted in June which revealed “Men are more likely than women to say they own a gun (39% vs. 22%). And 41% of adults living in rural areas report owning a firearm, compared with about 29% of those living in the suburbs and two-in-ten living in cities.”

But in Seattle, where there have been at least 32 homicides so far this year, and other cities experiencing increasing crime rates in the 19th month of COVID-19, that could change.

Another revelation in the Pew report is that 48 percent of Americans “see gun violence as a very big problem.” By why single out guns for demonization? In Wyatt’s case, he was almost a victim of “knife violence,” except that nobody in the media ever calls it that. For some reason, guns get not-so-special treatment when used in a violent crime.

Pew based its conclusion on research from April which showed 48 percent of survey respondents think gun-related crime is a problem.

The same April survey revealed 53 percent of Americans “favor stricter gun laws,” but that’s a decline since 2019, when it was 60 percent. Could this have anything to do with the fact that the past 19 months have seen an estimated 8 million people purchase guns for the first time? Going through the process—depending upon the jurisdiction—can be an eye-opener for people who previously thought guns were too easily obtained. The Washington Examiner recently reported that the pandemic and rising murder numbers could change gun politics for a long time to come.

According to Pew, “Republicans are currently more likely to say gun laws should be less strict (27%) than stricter (20%)…Today, a large majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (81%) say gun laws should be stricter, though this share has declined slightly since 2019 (down from 86%).”

Pew has also found Americans are split when asked if restricting gun ownership would result in fewer mass shootings, with 49 percent contending there would be a reduction, and 42 percent saying it would make no difference. Nine percent think there would be more mass shootings if it was harder for people to legally buy a gun.

To be frank, this kind of corruption appears to be systemic in ‘higher academia’ and not just about gun control research, but about all research.
When you see articles about the vast problem with the ‘ lack of reproducibility in research’, here, here, and here, this shouldn’t be shocking. It’s just more of the standard operational crap-for-brains, sloth and avarice.


Anti-Gunners Reusing Research Wasting Taxpayer Money Attacking the 2A

The Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Government published a policy brief promising “Policy Solutions to Address Mass Shootings.” The Rockefeller Institute is a think tank within the State University of New York system and founded by the governors of northeastern states to offset the supposed lack of research from federal agencies. In practice, the Consortium has provided rudimentary original “analysis” and repackaged existing research largely funded by…federal agencies.

The “Policy Solutions to Address Mass Shootings” brief was written by Michael Rocque, Grant Duwe, Michael Siegel, James Alan Fox, Max Goder-Reiser, and Emma E. Fridel. It draws exclusively upon a paper written by Rocque, Duwe, Siegel, Fox, and Goder-Reiser with funding provided by the National Institute of Justice. Fridel joined the original paper’s authors to write the policy brief outlining the findings from the original paper in a slick format.

That original paper includes this as the first line in the “policy and research implications” in the conclusion section: “Because of the cross-sectional nature of this study, we cannot definitively conclude that implementing a specific law would lead to a change in the incidence or severity of mass public shootings.” The Consortium policy brief is not quite as circumspect, instead of presenting the key findings of the original paper alongside an imaginative, but not necessarily realistic, rationale for the findings.

Other research cited in the policy brief included the embarrassing and negligent misuse of data for an “analysis” of gun laws and another that seemingly contradicts the claims in the research brief. The author of the second example, Dr. Emma Fridel, is a co-author of the research brief.
The most important note in the research brief is presented in the top right corner of page two: “This project was supported by grant #2018-75-CX-0025, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, US Department of Justice.”

Similar disclaimers appear on most of the research presented on the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium website. The DOJ, the CDC, and the NIH all funded published research that is now available on the website of a Research Consortium supposedly founded because such research was not federally funded. Maybe the governors of northeast states did not think to check if the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a division of NIH, had funded any research related to gun policy (it has, and it’s available on the Research Consortium website) before launching the Consortium.

Who would?

Then again, maybe it was never truly about research. Maybe it’s about the optics of reposting and repackaging research and camouflaging the anti-gun wish list as credible. That seems more likely.

BLUF:
Anti-gun researches will continue to use flawed methodology and bad data as long as a fawning media and gun control establishment continue to fuel any “research” with the “right” conclusion

How Anti-Gun Research Works

The objective world mistrusts most gun policy research because it’s clear the objective is to produce an anti-gun outcome rather than honest analysis. Politicians and professional activists claim the mantle of evidence but will ignore any findings that threaten their anti-gun agenda.

Anti-gun politicians continue to advocate for policies that the very researchers they champion have contradicted, if not found to be ineffective. Researchers and activists cherry-pick data, but they also cherry-pick which findings to use – even from a single study. Can you imagine if the same low threshold for credibility was applied to pro-gun findings?

Let’s try an exercise. Vermont – one of the safest states in the nation, one that had Permitless Carry for centuries – enacted a magazine capacity restriction in 2018. Let’s look at the violent crime rate in Vermont and the U.S using data from the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer. The national violent crime rate decreased from 2018 to 2019 but the rate in Vermont increased – and even increased more than it had from 2017 to 2018.

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Just to point out; The majority of the Covid shots are mRNA (memory RNA) injections that cause the cell to write RNA sequences that produce the Covid ‘spike’ protein…………


New discovery shows human cells can write RNA sequences into DNA
Date:
June 11, 2021
Source:
Thomas Jefferson University
Summary:
In a discovery that challenges long-held dogma in biology, researchers show that mammalian cells can convert RNA sequences back into DNA, a feat more common in viruses than eukaryotic cells.

Cells contain machinery that duplicates DNA into a new set that goes into a newly formed cell. That same class of machines, called polymerases, also build RNA messages, which are like notes copied from the central DNA repository of recipes, so they can be read more efficiently into proteins. But polymerases were thought to only work in one direction DNA into DNA or RNA. This prevents RNA messages from being rewritten back into the master recipe book of genomic DNA. Now, Thomas Jefferson University researchers provide the first evidence that RNA segments can be written back into DNA, which potentially challenges the central dogma in biology and could have wide implications affecting many fields of biology.

“This work opens the door to many other studies that will help us understand the significance of having a mechanism for converting RNA messages into DNA in our own cells,” says Richard Pomerantz, PhD, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Thomas Jefferson University. “The reality that a human polymerase can do this with high efficiency, raises many questions.” For example, this finding suggests that RNA messages can be used as templates for repairing or re-writing genomic DNA.

The work was published June 11th in the journal Science Advances.

Together with first author Gurushankar Chandramouly and other collaborators, Dr. Pomerantz’s team started by investigating one very unusual polymerase, called polymerase theta. Of the 14 DNA polymerases in mammalian cells, only three do the bulk of the work of duplicating the entire genome to prepare for cell division. The remaining 11 are mostly involved in detecting and making repairs when there’s a break or error in the DNA strands. Polymerase theta repairs DNA, but is very error-prone and makes many errors or mutations. The researchers therefore noticed that some of polymerase theta’s “bad” qualities were ones it shared with another cellular machine, albeit one more common in viruses — the reverse transcriptase. Like Pol theta, HIV reverse transcriptase acts as a DNA polymerase, but can also bind RNA and read RNA back into a DNA strand.

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Corrections to the FBI’s Reports on Active Shooting Incidents
(opens the PDF in a browser)
John R. Lott

The claim in the original FBI report that active shooting cases have increased over time was a result of data errors, both in terms of how the cases were collected and the missing of many attacks. Some of the cases that the original reports missed involved as many as four to nine people being murdered.

For the period from 2014 to 2019, the FBI had missed additional cases. Once those cases are included there were 25 cases out of 162 (15.4%) where people with permitted concealed handguns stopped the attacks. The FBI reports keep excluding cases where shootings attacks have been stopped by concealed handgun permit holders. To put it differently, while 36% of active shooting attacks have occurred in places where guns are allowed, almost half (42.3%) of those were stopped by people legally carry concealed handguns.

In light of these errors, media, courts, law enforcement, and policymakers, are advised to rely on the updated, corrected data provided in this report.

‘Replication’ means that with the same data provided by the original research, the same experiment will produce the same result, within a calculated variance. A problem is that a lot of that doesn’t happen, and the real problem is that this means a lot the money spent on research grants has been wasted and a lot of people know that, and it’s been ignored since that would otherwise mean the money would likely dry up and these ‘scientists’ would have to find another way to fund the lifestyle they’ve grown accustomed to.
In other words; “Can you say ‘Fraud‘? ……I knew you could!”


The ‘Replication Crisis’ Could Be Worse Than We Thought, New Analysis Reveals.

The science replication crisis might be worse than we thought: new research reveals that studies with replicated results tend to be cited less often than studies which have failed to replicate.

That’s not to say that these more widely cited studies with unreplicated experiments are necessarily wrong or misleading – but it does mean that, for one reason or another, follow-up research has failed to deliver the same result as the original study, yet it still gets loads of citations.

Thus, based on the new analysis, research that is more interesting and different appears to garner more citations than research with a lot of corroborating evidence.

Continue reading “”

Quote O’ The Day:
Nothing says ‘scientific integrity’ like a public indoctrination program. – Prof Glenn Reynolds

Comment O’ The Day:
The truly funny thing about the whole escapade is the title of the article. Science is NOT a belief system. It is a series of connected, testable hypotheses that form theoretical constructs. There is no PROOF in science. There is only empirical support for a given hypothesis. You can’t “believe” in science.


Do You Believe in Science? Then Take This Pledge.

“Trust in evidence-based, scientific facts is essential for providing sustainable solutions to today’s challenges,” it says. “By adding my name to this declaration and pledge, I recognize the key role that scientific research and discovery play in improving quality of life for all.”

He wasn’t just interested in Edison’s medicine.


Nikola Tesla invention from 100 years ago suddenly makes more sense today
The eccentric inventor is known for dabbling with electricity, but his Tesla valve is impressing scientists anew.

Inventor Nikola Tesla has long been recognized for a body of work that ranges from brilliant (AC electricity) to baffling (an “earthquake machine“?). Scientists have studied one of his lesser-known inventions  in new detail, and they think they may have found new uses for it in the modern world.

Tesla’s macrofluidic valve — often just called the Tesla valve — is a sort of odd-shaped conduit for fluids in which a main channel is interspersed with a series of diverting teardrop-shaped loops. The loops are oriented in such a way that fluids easily flow through in one direction, but when reversed, the flow is almost totally blocked.

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New Report Sheds Light on Vaccine Doomsday Cult

“The risk-benefit calculus is therefore clear: the experimental vaccines are needless, ineffective and dangerous. Actors authorizing, coercing or administering experimental COVID-19 vaccination are exposing populations and patients to serious, unnecessary, and unjustified medical risks.” Doctors for Covid Ethics, April 29, 2021

An explosive new study by researchers at the prestigious Salk Institute casts doubt on the current crop of gene-based vaccines that may pose a grave risk to public health. The article, which is titled “The novel coronavirus’ spike protein plays additional key role in illness”, shows that SARS-CoV-2’s “distinctive ‘spike’ protein”..”damages cells, confirming COVID-19 as a primarily vascular disease.” While the paper focuses strictly on Covid-related issues, it unavoidably raises questions about the new vaccines that contain billions of spike proteins that could greatly increase the chances of severe illness or death. Here’s an excerpt from the article dated April 30, 2021:

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HOW MUCH HAS THE EARTH ACTUALLY WARMED?

Maybe the only good thing about covid hysteria is that it has, for a while, drowned out global warming hysteria. Still, many people have the impression that global temperatures have warmed alarmingly in recent decades. Unfortunately, there is no reliable record of surface temperatures for a number of reasons, including the fact that the activists who are in charge of the records keep changing them to promote the alarmist position.

But that is all right, since warming due to carbon dioxide doesn’t occur at the surface, it occurs in the atmosphere. The only reliable, unfudged record we have of global temperatures is the satellite record in the lower troposphere, which only goes back to 1979. This is the global temperature trend from then until now:

This means that “[t]he linear warming trend since January, 1979 remains at +0.14 C/decade (+0.12 C/decade over the global-averaged oceans, and +0.18 C/decade over global-averaged land).” In other words, at the warming rate that has prevailed since 1979–assuming it continues–the Earth’s average temperature would rise by one degree in 70 years.

How much of that is due to human activity, as opposed to natural variation (e.g., rebounding to normal temperatures after the Little Ice Age), no one knows.

The Year of No Science.

Remember “The Year of Living Dangerously”? That was a 1982 film based on a 1978 novel about a love affair during the year Sukarno was overthrown in Indonesia, 1967.

2020 and now 2021 might be called the Year or Years of No Science… or maybe Phony Science… or Pretentious Science… or, perhaps most accurately, Political Science (but not with the usage commonly employed).

Yes, I know we have seen the extremely rapid appearance of COVID-19 vaccines from several companies, but we have no way of knowing if they work long term or, more importantly, if they were necessary.

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I have taken both Pfizers myself, largely because it will undoubtedly soon be required by our government to able to travel.)

It’s quite possible this pandemic would have run its course the way all others have without intervention—or that it was highly exaggerated in the first place.

No one has fully explained that not that many more Americans died in 2020 than in previous years, when the pandemic was supposed to have killed hundreds of thousands, nor has anyone a satisfactory theory for why countries and states without lockdowns often do as well as those with the most stringent regulations.

And this is not even to mention the amount of extraordinary and endless contradictions (mask/no mask… hydroxychlorquine yes/no… ivermectin yes/no and so on) we have had from medical experts, sometimes apologizing to us for their mistakes but other times changing their minds in full view as if we never noticed.

Add to that the mystery surrounding the Wuhan laboratory with all the various explanations cum communist Chinese propaganda augmented by the duplicitous World Health Organization about how this came about, including the odd involvement of Dr. Anthony Fauci with that lab over the years.

And all this is adjudicated by politicians many, if not most, of whom could not now easily pass a high school chemistry test. Does anyone think our president could?

They speak of “settled science,” but they don’t even know what science is.

But none of this should be a surprise.

I am writing this locked in my Nashville house, not by COVID, but by snow and ice that do not allow me to drive my car down my driveway without landing in a ditch.

In about an hour, another six to eight hours of non-stop snow and ice are predicted. Neither my wife nor I are likely to able to leave home to shop for food for several days. (We have emergency supplies.)

I gather things are worse in Texas, to the South of us, where millions are without power in freezing weather.

Fifteen years ago, Al Gore, in his Oscar-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth” predicted “Within the decade, there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaro.”

We all know how ridiculous that sounds now (well, everyone but John Kerry and Joe Biden and an endless stream of miseducated social justice warriors who have never read, nor heard of, Bjorn Lomborg).

Of course, those were the days of “global warming,” before it morphed conveniently into the factually meaningless “climate change.”

After all, you can’t get the lusted-after political power and financial gain if you say the sun is vastly more important to our weather and climate (a distinction, we are told, is important, so I put them together) than human endeavors.

So maybe we have been living in the Year of No Science for a long time, since the days people thought the world was flat, which was most of history by far.

It could be that people today are equally ignorant about the truth—or nearly. The idea of “settled science” is an oxymoron and those who speak of it are only making fools of themselves.

Climate and COVID are much the same. We should be humble before making definitive statements. And we should always be skeptical of politicians who say they are “trusting the scientists.” Which scientists and why?

Meanwhile, since I wrote the paragraph nine above this one, the snow and ice storm has returned, about a half hour earlier than predicted. The temperature is 25 Fahrenheit, about another 25 to 30 degrees below normal for February in Nashville.

People on my NEXT DOOR app are warning our neighbors not to go out jogging or even to walk their dogs on the streets for fear the cars will not be able stop and run them over. They are sharing pictures of many autos in ditches.

But not to worry. We are reentering the Paris Climate Accords. All will be saved.

Well, it seems to work for Pop at 96, so…….


Afternoon nap could boost mental agility, study says.

“You snooze, you lose” may not be true when it comes to your brain: A new study finds that napping in the afternoon may actually boost mental agility.

The study couldn’t prove cause and effect, but a midday nap was associated with a rise in “locational awareness,” verbal fluency and working memory, the Chinese researchers reported this week in the journal General Psychiatry.

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And people wonder why I’m not going to take this stuff until there’s a lot more research into not just long term effects.


Help wanted translating article about coronavirus vaccines

A 2012 scientific study about mRNA vaccines for coronaviruses seems to suggest problems down the line that nobody is talking about now.

Someone sent me to this article, which seems to say that mRNA vaccines against coronaviruses can actually make you dangerously vulnerable to subsequent coronaviruses by triggering cytokine storms:

An early concern for application of a SARS-CoV vaccine was the experience with other coronavirus infections which induced enhanced disease and immunopathology in animals when challenged with infectious virus [31], a concern reinforced by the report that animals given an alum adjuvanted SARS vaccine and subsequently challenged with SARS-CoV exhibited an immunopathologic lung reaction reminiscent of that described for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants and in animal models given RSV vaccine and challenged naturally (infants) or artificially (animals) with RSV [32][33]. We and others described a similar immunopathologic reaction in mice vaccinated with a SARS-CoV vaccine and subsequently challenged with SARS-CoV [18][20][21][28]. It has been proposed that the nucleocapsid protein of SARS-CoV is the antigen to which the immunopathologic reaction is directed [18][21]. Thus, concern for proceeding to humans with candidate SARS-CoV vaccines emerged from these various observations.

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HOW MUCH VOTER FRAUD WAS THERE?

Voter fraud is a large and growing problem in the United States, and there is good reason to think that it exploded in 2020 on account of (among other things) unprecedented numbers of mail-in ballots and deliberately lax controls in many states. John Lott has now produced a statistical analysis that suggests substantial voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Lott’s conclusion is that his analysis suggests a total of more than 55,000 fraudulent votes in those two counties. You can read Lott’s paper here. His statistical calculations are laid out in detail, and you can evaluate them for yourself.

Lott’s method is simple and rather elegant: he compares absentee votes in precincts in Fulton County, for example, with adjacent precincts in neighboring counties. He also controls for demographics. Since voting is done at the precinct level, while counting was done at the county level, and since there is no evident reason why precincts across the street from one another should show significantly different results, the approach makes sense.

But the evidence is still circumstantial. One factor in this year’s election in Georgia is that unattended ballot boxes were set up, but only in heavily Democratic areas. I don’t know whether all of them were in Fulton County, but I believe a lot of them were. Anyone could drop any number of ballots into these boxes. Why the state’s Secretary of State, a Republican, agreed to such an arrangement, which virtually cries out for fraud to be committed, is anyone’s guess. But he did.

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Trump signs Space Policy Directive-6 on space nuclear power and propulsion

One goal laid out in SPD-6 is the testing of a fission power system on the moon by the mid- to late 2020s.

Nuclear power will be a big part of the United States’ space exploration efforts going forward, a new policy document affirms.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday (Dec. 16) issued Space Policy Directive-6 (SPD-6), which lays out a national strategy for the responsible and effective use of space nuclear power and propulsion (SNPP) systems.

“Space nuclear power and propulsion is a fundamentally enabling technology for American deep-space missions to Mars and beyond,” Scott Pace, deputy assistant to the president and executive secretary of the National Space Council, said in an emailed statement Wednesday. “The United States intends to remain the leader among spacefaring nations, applying nuclear power technology safely, securely and sustainably in space.” Continue reading “”

Only 100 Billion Years! *gasp* And I had so much planned for the future.


Our Solar System Is Going to Totally Disintegrate Sooner Than We Thought.

Although the ground beneath our feet feels solid and reassuring (most of the time), nothing in this Universe lasts forever.

One day, our Sun will die, ejecting a large proportion of its mass before its core shrinks down into a white dwarf, gradually leaking heat until it’s nothing more than a cold, dark, dead lump of rock, a thousand trillion years later.

But the rest of the Solar System will be long gone by then. According to new simulations, it will take just 100 billion years for any remaining planets to skedaddle off across the galaxy, leaving the dying Sun far behind. Continue reading “”

Stop Blaming Guns For Suicides

Nearly two-thirds of all firearm fatalities each year are the result of someone taking their own life. Anti-gunners routinely leave that part out when they’d slinging numbers around because people don’t view suicides the same way they do homicides or accidents. After all, someone commits suicide by making a conscious decision to take their own life. It’s on them and no one else.

And since two-thirds of those firearm-related fatalities are suicides, it’s no wonder that anti-gunners try to obscure the truth.

Unfortunately for them, it becomes easy to debunk their claims by simply pointing this fact out. That’s why there’s now a push not just to acknowledge this, but to blame guns for those suicides.

According to national health statistics, 24,432 Americans used guns to kill themselves in 2018, up from 19,392 in 2010.

People who kill themselves in this way are usually those with ready access to firearms: gun owners and their family members. Gun owners are not more suicidal than people who don’t own guns, but attempts with guns are more likely to be fatal.

Now, nearly a year after the coronavirus pandemic began, unleashing a tide of economic dislocation and despair, experts are bracing for a rise in suicides. Gun sales have risen steadily since March, and as shutdowns aimed at containing the virus have disrupted lives and led to social isolation, studies have shown an increase in anxiety and suicidal ideation.

“So many people are struggling right now,” said Jennifer Stuber, an associate professor of social work who helped found the University of Washington’s Forefront Suicide Prevention center. “The indicators are that a perfect storm is about to hit.”

She noted that people who purchase guns to protect themselves from civil unrest and a possible rise in crime “may actually be incurring more potential risk in terms of harm that can come to their family.”

OK, let’s break down the facts.

First, that 24,432 suicides with a firearm? That accounts for just a tad over half of all suicides in the country. It sounds to me like people are finding plenty of other ways to kill themselves without firearms.

Oh, but that’s an increase since 2010, right? Sure. But overall suicides are also up during that same period.

Further, while firearms may be the most effective means for someone to take their own life, it’s not the only effective means to do so. There are plenty of other ways to claim your own life and be pretty sure you’re going to be successful. While guns might be more effective, we’re talking about a couple of percentage points of different, which is practically statistical noise.

In other words, guns aren’t the problem.

Suicide isn’t a political issue, it’s a mental health one. Just today I read a good friend lamenting a buddy of his from the Marine Corps who claimed his own life. The issue there wasn’t access to firearms, but that so many who serve have ended up broken mentally and emotionally by what they endured.

Please, for the love of all that is holy, stop trying to make this about guns and recognize that tens of thousands of people are still claiming their own lives with things that aren’t firearms and instead focus on solutions that can help everyone.

It took tests to determine? Who paid for these ‘tests’. If it was the taxpayer, and it looks like it was, I want that money refunded.


In New Tests, Facial Recognition Products Are Consistently Thwarted by Masks

Ongoing tests of facial recognition technology continue to show that the technology is baffled when people wear masks of the sort that have become widespread (and even mandatory) in some places during the current pandemic. Forty-one newly tested algorithms—some of which were designed to compensate for face coverings—show the same dramatically elevated error rates as those examined earlier.

The tests have important implications for privacy at a time when surveillance technology is growing increasingly pervasive—but so is mask wearing. These studies are of interest, too, in an era of political instability and growing concern over law enforcement excesses, when people may have a strong interest in making identification of opponents and protesters difficult for the powers-that-be.

The tested facial algorithms are additions to those scrutinized by the U.S. government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in a report issued in July. “Now that so many of us are covering our faces to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, how well do face recognition algorithms identify people wearing masks? The answer, according to a preliminary study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), is with great difficulty,” NIST summarized its findings at the time. “Even the best of the 89 commercial facial recognition algorithms tested had error rates between 5% and 50% in matching digitally applied face masks with photos of the same person without a mask.” Continue reading “”