Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Monday, November 7, 2022
I had a discussion with my neighbor about whether asymptomatic or presymptomatic COVID transmission has been proven.
I did some research.
This is what I found
Per our discussion, I reviewed a number of research articles on the topic of asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission — listed below. These articles all complained about lack of data, from which to draw conclusions. Moreover, it is hard to say who has symptoms, since many people lie about it https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2797071
The gold standard of medical testing is the controlled double blind test. No such test appears. What appears is small scale contact tracing, where some anecdotal asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission was confirmed. The articles generally concluded that such transmission is possible, with presymptomatic transmission being more likely than asymptomatic transmission.
They do conclude that there is more transmission from people with symptoms — but, then again, no controlled double blind testing.
What they were able to document was viral load with respect to symptom onset. In this respect, I note https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7310638/ and in particular figure 2 of this article, an image of which is enclosed. This shows viral load relative to symptom onset. The colors on this graph represent statistics vocabulary that I have not researched. However, there is viral load above the level of transmissibility prior to symptom onset in 3 out of 4 of these curves.
These curves do, as you indicated, show viral load increasing after symptom onset, contrary to what is commonly stated.
Otoh, I’m not sure, from a practical viewpoint, what the difference might be between contracting the disease from people who have no symptoms v contracting the disease from people who are lying about having no symptoms, or people who mistakenly believe they have allergy or GERD symptoms.
These are articles that I looked at, not date order, but rather in google order — where later studies with more data apparently tend to appear after earlier studies with less data.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7310638/ (review of articles)
Thursday, October 13, 2022
As some of you may have noticed, I supported Tulsi Gabbard in the 2020 Democratic primaries for POTUS. My principal reason for this was her concern with Peace issues, which also concern me.
Since that time, Tulsi has affiliated herself with Fox News, and recently resigned from the Democratic Party. I find this distressing, because I still identify as a Democrat. Moreover I feel that Fox News has been engaged in some substantial distortions, especially with respect to the former POTUS.
Naturally, it is true that all TV news programs introduce distortions, just to reduce the stories into time slots and to make them sound more exciting.
Tulsi has made a number of remarks that are soundbites out of the right wing lexicon. Most recently she condemned "Wokeness." I am not exactly sure what that means, but I think it means intolerance of LGBTQ people. That's bad for me, having LGBTQ family members.
Political dialogue has become overly polarized. Polarization means reducing complicated issues into oversimplified sound bites, and then encouraging people to flame each other over minor digressions from the exactly correct wording of those sound bites. "If you dare to word your opinion in a way that seems even slightly inconsistent with my wording, then I hate you."
I also feel that this polarization has been accelerated by the actions of the Russian government, interfering with our social media during the 2016 elections.
However, this phenomenon is not restricted to liberals or Democrats. It extends into all aspects of our political dialogue. In some sense, I agree with rejecting oversimplification and politically correct enforcement of orthodoxy, but I don't like the fact that she is rejecting these in a way that uses another sound bite.
I do also find very distressing the array of choices that were presented to us in the 2020 primaries.
First, the DNC changed the requirements for access to the debates, as the debates wore on, thereby excluding Tulsi. That meant that the remaining candidates were able to focus their attention almost exclusively on our domestic policy, rather than our disastrous foreign policy – especially our evil, short-sighted military interventions in the internal affairs of other countries. Excluding Tulsi allowed an extreme hawk, Biden, to get the nomination, without his hawkish record ever being exposed to the public.
One of his first moves on taking office was to re-energize NATO. This was a very retro thing to do. It showed his age, focusing on post WWII issues in Europe, with an emphasis on the British viewpoint. He's mentally still living in the Cold War. He did this in a very public way, with a trip to Europe. It would have been sufficient for him to call foreign leaders and tell them that his opinions were different from those of the former POTUS. He didn't have to make such a big splash.
The re-energization of NATO was frightening to the Russians. We think of France and Germany as nice, friendly countries. We like to go there on vacation. We feel that they have common values with us. In fact, both of those countries have invaded Russia, France under Napoleon and Germany under Hitler. They don't seem like nice, friendly countries to Russia. They seem dangerous. Our affiliation with them seems dangerous to Russia. Russia was understandably concerned.
This gave Putin the justification he needed, with his advisers and colleagues, to invade Ukraine. Biden bears substantial responsibility for the military horrors that we are seeing on our TV screens in Ukraine right now.
Moreover, Democrats engaged in substantial distortions about Tulsi, to discredit her. I've talked about that on this blog, It's understandable that she believes that the strong, knee-jerk, negative reaction to her came out of the military industrial complex, people who were economically threatened by her peaceful views.
In particular, to accuse a military veteran, who had done two tours of duty in Iraq, of being a Russian asset or helping the Russians, somehow, obviously sent her over the edge. That's sort of understandable. Questioning her patriotism was really appalling.
While I believe her heart is still in the right place, I question whether she has the intelligence or sophistication to truly understand what's going on and formulate sane sounding responses to it. Her emotions tend to lead her to embrace conspiracy theories. Nevertheless, Hillary's involvement in smearing Tulsi really speaks very poorly of her. I understand many people's dislike of her -- including what seems almost like paranoia on the part of Tulsi -- tho it may not really be paranoia.
In general, the choices in 2020 were execrable. All of the major candidates were over 70. All of them were somewhat extreme in some respects. This left Biden sounding moderate. In fact he was a terrible hawk. That's not moderate. It was hidden.
The lack of attractive, appealing candidates on both sides of the aisle is a problem. Extreme polarization and lack of public civility has made it impossible for good people to run for public office. Naturally, the result is that we get people who we don't really want in office – none of them.
to be edited later
Comments on FB: 221016
Putin needed some justification within his own country, where they don't realize that the attack is genocidal -- and that the Nazi business is a fabrication. They do know that the Ukraine is trying to join NATO, which includes France, Germany, and the USA -- all of which seem threatening. When Russians on the street have been interviewed, they've largely said that they don't like war, but they trust Putin to protect their security.
No it's not the likeliest situation that Tulsi's a Russian agent. If she were really a Russian agent, given her prominence, the army -- her employer -- would have figured it out. The likeliest situation is that she's slightly whacko, but trying her best to get us out of being the world's policeman. The impression you have of her being a Russian agent comes from a very deceptive smear campaign. I tend to agree with her that that comes from her being a threat to the military-industrial complex, which has a vested interest in our militarism and a large ability to influence main stream media.
While I tend to sympathize with what we're currently doing in Ukraine -- despite being a supposed religious pacifist -- one does have to notice that it is extremely profitable to the defense industry. The Ukrainians have blown up our stockpile of older, outdated weapons -- like a spring cleaning -- which means an opportunity to sell newer, more expensive weapons to the US government. Remember Eisenhower and the Iron Triangle.
I feel Tulsi has been pushed over the edge -- as an extremely patriotic person, who has devoted almost her entire adult life to serving this country, including two tours of duty in Iraq -- by the widespread smears against her loyalty. She's risked her life, repeatedly for this country -- and been very disillusioned by what she has seen us doing in Iraq. We really have visited a horror upon that country. The typical US citizen is as delusional about we have done to Iraq as the typical Russian is about what Russia has done to the Ukraine.
Friday, August 12, 2022
These are some Instagram posts in reverse chronological order
Some of these posts have more than one picture, so you might want to scroll through