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Are Brick & Mortar Bookstores Dying?

The Riddle Report 04 2 2021

It has been evident for a long time that brick and mortar bookstores were declining and the culprit has been the Internet. However, despite media coverage suggesting that bookstores were dying, a resurgence started several years ago. Covid-19, also known as the Chinese Virus (it started in China), has had a crushing impact on almost all industries. But the bookstore industry seems to be coping and is ready to continue its comeback.

News Item #1 Overview

There is a long history of bookstores dating back hundreds of years. They were the primary, and sometimes only, venue for selling and buying books. When I started my writing career in 2003, bookstores were still the primary place to sell your books. And it was in bookstores that I conducted book signings.

At that time, it was getting more difficult primarily because the superstores dominated and could be picky about the books.

Sometime after that the brick & mortar stores began declining as the internet was growing and people found they could shop from home. Thus, began a deep decline that saw chains that once dominated going out of business. Borders, one of the largest superstore chains, eventually closed its doors. But others continued.

News Item #2 Decline

As mentioned above bookstores, and we are talking primarily of brick & mortar bookstores, went into decline. Here is Port Charlotte, Florida I understand that there were bookstores, including at least one Christian bookstore.

Shortly after arriving here in 2008 we discovered that the Christian store was gone, and the only general bookstore was Books-a-Million. That hasn’t changed much. A Christian bookstore did open up and operate for several years, but it too went out of business. Books-a-Million is still here.

Why?

Part of the reason is that the new Christian Bookstore only had a minimal presence on the internet. Basically, a single page providing directions and when open. I also suspect that the manager of the store underestimated the competition that the internet was bringing. I talked to him and he was quite confident, yet his confidence seemed to me to ignore or not be aware of the purchasing power, not to mention low overhead, of internet stores.

News Item #3 Comeback

We currently have two bookstores in Punta Gorda, Florida, which is right across the Peace River. Both are Independent and have an online presence that compliments the physical store. In addition, I know Copperfish makes use of emails, virtual events, and Zoom to list just a few innovations. And I believe all Indie Bookstores have similar methods of outreach.

The comeback of bookstores in general and Indie’s in particular began in 2016 or shortly after. That was the year that Family Christian went bankrupt and disappeared. But the vaunted age of eBooks didn’t happen quite the way anticipated. Yes, eBooks sell well, but they did not replace print books which still sell well.

And the bookstores, particularly Indie bookstores that included Church bookstores, learned to survive and thrive!

News Item #4 In The Year 2021

The year is still young, but bookstores are doing well. Indie bookstores have invested time, money, and energy in coping with the restrictions from the Chinese Virus. As a result, they are ready to continue the comeback. Locally, I have seen at least one bookstore expand its virtual offerings while moving to a new brick & mortar storefront.

Scanning the internet for information on bookstores I found optimism. And that speaks well of the industry.

News Item #4s What About the Internet

The internet is well and doing fine. Just as there are millions of people wanting to hold a book in their hand before buying, there are also millions of people willing to buy a book from the comfort of their homes. The internet and brick & mortar bookstores can coexist and, in some cases, have a foot in both segments.

Here at T&R Independent Bookstore and Services, we are looking forward to opening are own bookstore, TR Bookstore. It will be exclusively on the internet and, at least in the beginning, sell only our books. This will allow our books to be sold both at Amazon and at our bookstore, where they will be discounted.

So, in conclusion, I believe it is way too early to mourn the bookstores whether brick & mortar or internet. And neither should we mourn the eBook or the Print book. Both are doing fine!

So, if you are looking for a fine book to read go to your local bookstore or your internet bookstore (which when you think about it are also local).

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For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

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ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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An Alarming Report

The Riddle Report 03 26 2021

Alarming News on Inflation

As I have predicted concerning the Biden/Harris Administration, their actions are going to lead to inflation.

I follow Dick Morris and in a recent report he pointed out that the pressures are overwhelming, and that inflation is coming. He pointed out that unlike Americans, Europeans, and others look not on daily prices but on the value of the dollar. And the pressures caused by stimulation money plus new taxes that are about to come down plus environment regulations and labor regulations, inflation is coming.

The formula of the stimulus package plus higher taxes plus environmental and labor regulations leads to inflationary pressures. These in turn will lead to corporations providing less goods and services while higher capital gains taxes leaves less money to invest in new plant and equipment, higher income taxes means less job creation, and environmental and labor regulations leads to constraining the supply of goods when supply demand is about to explode.

News Item #1 Stimulus.

While the stimulus payments to people are needed and will help people, I see the stimulus package as doing more harm than good.

Why?

Because of the pork!                        

Helping out states that have been impacted by the Chinese Virus is one thing but bailing out states that have mismanaged their state’s tax flows and expenses is quite another. It is pork.

Another interesting aspect of this is that nearly all of the states affected are Blue (Democrat) states. And the Red (Republican) states affected appear to lean left.

Apparently, fact checkers don’t dig very deep. They accept the Biden/Harris explanation of where the money is going and don’t really check them.

In the case of the states receiving money, when you dig deeper you find that the states can spend part of their 350 billion dollars on such items as abortion. Whatever your position on abortion is, that is not pandemic relief!

News Item #2 More Pork

Here is a partial list of recipients:

  • Provider Relief Fund – $8.5 billion
  • Public Health Workers $7.66 billion
  • Community health centers – $7.6 billion

This is again available for abortion services!

This is government running wild. It is beginning to look like the House had its agenda, the Senate has its agenda, and the President has another agenda.

News Item #3 Foreign Affairs

In what world does foreign affairs have a part in a stimulus package?

There may be just reasons for giving them money. That is not what this blog is discussing. But that money is supposed to be stimulus money and should stay home!

How much are we talking about?

$10 billion.

News Item #4 We have a Crisis!

Most arguments tend to center upon how much money is going for this or that. And I have demonstrated that tons of money is going for non-pandemic issues. But the amount of money is missing the whole point.

There should not be going $1 (that is one dollar) to non-pandemic issues. Helping low-income people is related and a priority; staving off evictions is a priority; helping restaurants and other businesses forced to close because of pandemic, a must.

But using a crisis as an opening to get pet issues taken care of is immoral. Perhaps some of those pets are really needed. Then work on pet relief!

We expect those in power to exercise responsibility, especially fiscal responsibility! But the Biden/Harris and Pelosi/Schumer teams are more concerned with political expediency than in handling a crisis.

With nothing indicating a change of mind, we are heading for a disaster. We now have thousands of immigrants coming into the United States and staying (despite Biden/Harris claim otherwise) plus trillions of dollars of debt hanging over us and more on the way. It is a recipe for disaster.

Oh, don’t worry, they say. We’ll tax the rich.

Well, after you’ve taken all that they have and forced them to leave the country, then what?

There is no real answer except for: “Gulp!”

News Item #4 Conclusion

Polls are now reflecting a loss of confidence in Biden/Harris and that Americans are finally waking up to the fact that open borders is not good business.

Gas prices are going up because of the inflation and eventually more will happen. You can’t do much about it until 2022.

So, to those of you who voted for Biden/Harris, Sorry. But you had your chance to vote against them! Instead, you voted for them, perhaps multiple times. So, strap your seat belts. It might get rough.

Oh, and if you are waiting for Biden to step aside and let Harris rule openly then I suggest you beware what you wish for. She is much further left than Biden ever dreamed of being!

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Liar, Liar

The Riddle Report 03 12 2021

Yesterday, 03 11 2021, President Joe Biden took to the airwaves for his first speech since taking office on January 20th. In his speech, he took full credit for the ongoing manufacturing and distribution of the vaccines. This is a lie.

But the speech was sort of a 50-day celebration I suppose. Prior to the speech he signed the latest Stimulus Package, which means money should be going out to deserving people this weekend. Although the package was passed without Republican support, the stimulus checks were supported by both parties.

So, he was celebrating the passage of a 1.9 Billion package that was loaded with pork.

News Item #1 “The Big Lie”

“A year ago, we were hit with a virus that was met with silence and spread unchecked.

“Denials for days, weeks, then months that led to more deaths, more infections, more stress, and more loneliness.”

That was his opening line and it was the big lie.

Instead of silence look at the following timeline:

  • January 3, 2020 – the United States offered to help China investigate the virus. Although later repeated, the offer was never really accepted.
  • January 6, 2020 – the CDC issued a Level I travel notice for Wuhan, China.
  • January 17, 2020 – CDC began screening 3 international airports.
  • January 20, 2020 – Dr. Fauci announced the NIH was already working on developing a vaccine.
  • January 31, 2020 – by the end of the month the administration had:
    • Issued a Level III travel ban (widely criticized by Biden and other liberals as being paranoia)
    • Organized White House Coronavirus Task Force
    • Declared a public health emergency
    • Announced Chinese travel restrictions
    • Suspended entry into the U.S. by foreign nationals at risk of transmitting the virus.

Does that sound like silence to you? Denials? The only denials came from Biden and company. Trump did deny statements and accusations by liberals, but he and his administration were already engaged.

News Item #2 “The Implied Lie”

“You lost your job. You closed your business. Facing eviction, homelessness, hunger, a loss of control, and maybe worst of all, a loss of hope.

“Watching a generation of children who may be set back up to a year or more – because they’ve not been in school – because of their loss of learning.”

Was any of that untrue? No!

But the implied lie that it was Trump’s fault is demonstrably false.

Most of the above statements happened in states that were near or were in total lockdown. Most of those states were run by Democrats who ordered the shutdowns. But most Republican run states did only partial shutdowns and began reopening as soon as possible.

A case in point is Florida where the Governor began reopening the state despite liberal protests and media condemnation. New York, which totally shutdown, led the nation in deaths, and just about every other category.

As for the schools, this happened in virtually all states, but again the Republican led states began working to reopen the schools as quickly as possible. It hasn’t always been pretty, but it has been largely successful except for one problem.

The Teachers union.

Despite assurances from CDC and the Dr. Fauci, teachers have been opposed to reopening the schools. The result has been a shortage of teachers and children being robbed of their education. And now, parents are actively pushing for the reopening.

News Item #3 “The Vaccine”

“When I took office 50 days ago, only 8 percent of Americans after months…”

Another implied lie: that nothing had been done toward vaccinating people by the Trump Administration. Let’s look at some more facts:

  • December 11, 2020 – Johnson and Johnson vaccine approved for use
  • December 18, 2020 – Moderna’s vaccine approved
  • January 20, 2021 – Trump’s last day in office; 1.5 million vaccinated
  • March 11, 2021 – 1st 50 days of Biden Administration; 1.4 million vaccinated.

Do the math: Trump administration vaccinated 1.5 million people between 12/11/2020 and 01/20/2021 for approximately 27 days; Biden administration vaccinated 1.4 million people between 01/20/2021 and 03/11/2021. Or put another way, the Trump administration vaccinated 100,000 more people in 23 less days.

Lest I forget, the Trump administration partnered with Johnson and Johnson to increase capacity to manufacture more vaccine and in record time. Translate the word ‘capacity’ to build a factory and you get the kind of commitment made.

News Item #4 “What it Could Have Been”

It would have been a great time for President Biden to show his commitment to unity. All he had to do was acknowledge what the Trump administration had done and congratulate or thank them. Then he could have bragged about how he was continuing the work. Instead, he tried to take all the credit.

News Item #5 “the 25th “Getting the Truth”

If you want the truth, you have to get out there and find it. It isn’t really hard, but your local paper isn’t going to tell you, nor is your television. And you can’t trust the social media. Facebook, YouTube, and others only want you to talk about their agenda. Your traditional sources of information are no longer reliable.

But the good news is that there are newer resources such as Rumble, MeWe, DuckDuck, and others. Find out what works for you. But in the end, it is your responsibility to find the truth.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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A New President

The Riddle Report 01 20 2021

News Item #1

We have a new President. Actually two. We have a new current President Joe Biden and we have a new Standing By President Kamala Harris, although her title is Vice President.

Most observers don’t expect Biden to last more than one term with the Vice President expected to run in 2024. But there are also a great many who don’t believe Biden will finish his first term.

This is not due to any form of death, but rather to the strongly suspected, if not known, case of Dementia. We all saw evidence of it during the campaign to become the Candidate and again during the Presidential campaign itself.

But for the time being he is President of the United States of America. Some people are saying he’s not their President. That is foolishness. Whether you voted for him or not, he is your President as long as he holds that office.

As such, it is our duty as citizens to respect and honor him. You have the right to disagree with him, to oppose him, and fight against his agenda, but you do not have the right to malign him. Only the Democrats have that right as they demonstrated the last four years!

News Item #2

I did not watch the inauguration for two reasons. One I was busy and secondly, I have a pretty good idea what kind of President he will be. He may speak of unifying the country, but he and the Democrats in Congress have already telegraphed that disunity is their agenda.

The biggest question is what will he do beginning today? Will he push for the Green New Deal or for a stronger economy as Trump did; will he approach Covid-19 with a crushing lockdown or a balanced approach such as Trump did; and will he put globalism first or America first as Trump did?

Speeches are fine, but actions speak louder than words. We’ll wait and see.

News Item #3

I’ve noticed that Mitch McConnell has turned against Trump. Perhaps he thinks his constituency will forget. I doubt it.

News Item #4

While today is a sad day for Conservatives it is wise to remember that we survived 8 years of President Obama. We can survive Biden.

Christians need to pray for our new President as we are commanded in the Bible. America still has the best government in the world, and we need to pray for it and work to improve it. In two years the Biden/Harris legacy will be apparent.

What needs to be done is work to negate voter fraud and build a strong grass roots that can build upon the Trump campaign accomplishments.

News Item #5

Unsubstantiated

This was the term we heard over and over from the news media. The word means ‘not proven to be true’ or ‘not supported by other evidence’.

But the media used it as a catch phrase. The fact is nothing can be substantiated if it is not first examined. At no time during the aftermath of the election was the evidenced looked at by the courts. Instead, judges dismissed the evidence without taking the time to examine it.

In the case of the Supreme Court, cases were refused because the litigants had no ‘standing’. This is foolhardy!

Every citizen of the United States, no matter what state they resided in, had standing. That is because everyone stood to lose or gain if fraud was found. The Court failed us. And this failure casts a cautionary light upon the Court for future cases no matter their nature.

It is scary.

What Will I Do?

First, let me tell you what I won’t do.

I won’t wring my hands and cry, “Oh me!”

I won’t take up arms against my government.

I won’t leave America.

But here is what I will do:

I will pray for our President.

I will pray for members of Congress.

I will pray for Supreme Courts judges.

I will pray for America.

I will pray for Revival.

By the way, that is what I have been doing for years!

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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The 1st 100 Days

The Riddle Report 01 16 2021

News Item #1

Although the evidence of voter fraud was overwhelming and extensive it didn’t matter. The media called it unsubstantiated evidence, but in reality, it was ignored evidence and never got presented in a legal setting.

So, unless things change, it looks like Joe Biden will be President of the United States. As such, both he and our nation need prayer – which is always true no matter who is President. In his case there is the case of suspected dementia plus the ever-present Kamala Harris, Vice President of the United States.

Therefore, I have consulted my crystal ball and arrived at certain conclusions regarding President Biden’s first, and possibly last, 100 days. As a reminder Trump is the only president in recent memory to actually implement or try to implement his campaign promises.

Here is my list:

  1. $1,400 Stimulus package (when combined with previous $600 amounts to $2,000)
  2. Downsizing of Air Force, Army, Navy, and Space Force
  3. An Apology tour reminiscent of President Obama’s apology tour shortly after taking office
  4. Establishing new restrictive environmental laws
  5. Stopping or tearing down the WALL
  6. Shutting down the economy and beginning his pride and joy 2009 Economic Recovery that both he and others have applauded (though it resulted in a lackluster recovery based primarily on low-income jobs)
  7. New Green Deal

Traditionally, Congress gives a new President most of what he wants in the first 100 days or Honeymoon. So, I expect him to press forward. I did not mention the impeachment of who will be former President Donald Trump because the impetus for that is coming from Congress.

His attempt to increase employment will probably raise us up to the dizzying heights of a stagnant economy, such as he accomplished under Obama.

It probably depends upon how aggressive he is as to whether factory jobs depart during this Honeymoon or afterward. But if he presses forward on his massive recovery act, as I think he will, then businesses will have to rethink whether they stay in America or leave.

News Item #2

Another item that it increasingly looks like we will be seeing is the impeachment of former President Trump. Such an action appears to fly in the face of the Constitution, but Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is not deterred by such technicalities.

Aside from the cost of such a trial, no matter the length, this would be disastrous for the nation and, eventually, the Democrats. The latest figures are that some 74% of the voters are against it. Right now, the Democrats feel that they can do no wrong, and may step into this mudpie.

News Item #3

Big Tech and Big Social Media have begun what some are calling ‘censorship’ and ‘rein of terror’ by becoming the arbiters of what is free speech and what is not. In launching their attack upon supporters of President Trump they have assumed that they have both the might and the right to censor speech. However, the American people have reacted to this and these Social Media types have lost billions of dollars in the stock market.

Only time will tell how this will turn out.

Tighten your belt folks. We may have a bumpy ride ahead.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Stimulus Package

The Riddle Report 12 21 2020

It looks like a new stimulus package worth almost 1 trillion dollars is going to be passed sometime today. As a matter of principal, I am wary of stimulus packages. Particularly, those packages which Democratic hands have touched. Historically speaking, such spending is a short-term bonanza and a long-term disaster. I am afraid this may fall in the same category.

On the other hand, it is hard to argue against the necessity for help. While the economy is rebounding in a V shape, it is not happening as fast as hoped. At least part of this is fear generated by the press. Instead of making judgements based on facts the people are believing the fear mongering of the press, staying home, and only shopping for necessities. This results in a need for a stimulus shot.

One of the more interesting aspects of the package is the similarity to the Republican proposals earlier in the year. From what I have seen, the only concession by Conservatives was the desire to protect businesses. But the Democrats conceded more. The big one, in my opinion, was that they were forced to drop the bail-out of Democratic states and cities which were guilty of mismanagement.

Another part of the bill provides weekly unemployment benefits for up to 11 weeks. Having experienced unemployment myself many years ago, I know how vital that can be. But I believe having an end-time for these additional benefits is also important. In recent unemployment benefits the benefit was actually greater than wages being offered. Most people are prepared to work, but it puts undue pressure on them to be paid more for being idle than for working.

In addition, the bill provides relief for the airline industry, which is much needed. Then there is relief for small businesses, vaccine distribution, and more. These are all needed and their troubles are not related to mismanagement but to Covid-19.

All of that and more makes me think this package is good and needed. But even as they are voting on this package, they are already talking about another one bigger and wider! This, in my opinion, would be disastrous. The current package plus the previous packages all must be paid down, and work should begin on that immediately.

Whether President Trump wins reelection or Biden/Harris win, this latest package needs time to work. Get that money into our economy and then watch to see what happens. Right now our economy is slowly rebounding because of strong underpinnings. Assuming that Trump is reelected which evidence points to, then the underpinnings remain, and the economy takes off. But if Biden/Harris prevail those underpinnings could disappear rather quickly, and new help will be needed.

It is sad to watch anyone, Democrat or Republican, use much needed legislation as a bargaining point. How many people have suffered due to the Democrats wanting their agenda? Too many! But now they have gotten serious and dropped the worst pieces and so we can thank God for this help. But they could have agreed to this same package last summer.

==========

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Non-Election News

The Riddle Report 12 07 2020

While the Presidential election fraud cases wind their way through the court system to the Supreme Court, I thought it appropriate to take a break and report on other news matters. So, what follows covers wide ranging subjects.

Covid-19

This issue continues to dominate the news. In my opinion, while it is serious it is no longer the danger it once was. It doesn’t help that the media and selected doctors talk about a second wave when such a second wave is hard to find. I haven’t been following Europe, but here in America the spikes have appeared to be in areas where Covid-19 wasn’t a major factor earlier. An exception would be nursing homes, which is another story.

Take the Death Rate. It is by far the most important factor, but it is continually under-reported. For example, while the Cases are spiking, the Death Rate continues to fall. In today’s paper the deaths and cases reported turn out to have a death rate of 0.0191 or 1.91% for the nation and 0.0184 or 1.84% for Florida. It keeps going down as the cases go up.

This suggests that while there are record setting daily deaths the overall death count has stabilized and is falling. How can that be? Well, it is hard to tell but watching the news carefully you might detect that many of the spikes are in areas not previously hit. In a recent blog I mentioned Findlay, Ohio. They have been hard hit, but I saw a chart that showed the virus as negligible prior to that. And, in my opinion, that is not a second wave, it is the first wave hitting new territory.

Clearly, this is evidence that we are past the worst which was rising cases and rising deaths.  But that doesn’t fit the media agenda, so we just continue to hear about negative news that supports that agenda, which I think is to push for more government control of our lives.

I agree that social distancing and wearing masks are helpful, but mandates are not. In some cases where the spikes have hit, you see people masked and social distancing, plus you learn the community is tough on people who don’t. Yet, they are hit as bad or worse than those who don’t mandate.

The overall news when it includes a rapidly declining Death Rate is good news. And the soon to arrive vaccine is better news. I would anticipate that they might use the vaccine in highly impacted areas first. We already know they will be used with first responders, but they should also be used in the hardest hit areas.

Iran

Trying to take advantage of our election woes, Iran is planning to increase oil production within the next 3 months. They are anticipating a Bide/Harris win and the restoration of the Obama era nuclear accords.

And indeed, former Vice President Biden, who currently leads President Trump in assumed electoral votes, has indicated he wants to bring Iran back into the disastrous accord he brokered under President Obama. In connection with this, it is also believed that the Biden/Harris Presidency will ban fracking, which would increase Iran’s value as a supplier of oil products. It would also increase unemployment at home and make us more reliant on Mideast oil.

SpaceX

SpaceX has entered a new phase in their space program. With a newer and bigger Dragon capsule supply ship, they will supply the International Space Station (ISS) with Christmas presents, tracts, and treats. SpaceX expects to always have at least one Dragon capsule at the ISS supplying the station with necessary goods.

While NASA was energized under the Trump Administration it is unknown what plans the Biden/Harris team has if they get elected. Assuming the fraud cases are eventually successful upon reaching the Supreme Court, and the trajectory is going as expected, then the space program will remain in safe hands.

Distance Learning

Distance Learning is not new. It has been around awhile, particularly on the college level. But Home Schoolers often make use of it rather successfully. So, when Covid-19 hit it wasn’t a surprise when the public schools decided to use DL. But it has been a surprise that they have had troubles with it.

In this mornings paper there was an Associated Press story detailing the problems they are having with Distance Learning. After reading the article I find myself asking some questions. Now, remember that while I am not a teacher, I have been around Christian private schools, I know people who Home School, and my wife had Distance Learning in college. And I have taken online courses before.

So, it is not that hard to learn. It does take self-discipline and a computer connection. It also takes teachers who know how to supervise students over the internet. So, why these problems?

Skipping Assignments – That suggests lack of control by the teachers. Some seem concerned about marking a student down and giving them a zero. The poor child might feel bad. But skipping assignments should never be an option. And in this day of Zoom, etc., you can interact with the student one-on-one.

Camera off – Also lack of control. Kids today know how to turn the camera on. Classroom (even though on the internet) discipline should be exercised. The student must be seen as well as the teacher. If they don’t turn their camera on, they get a lower grade.

Skipping School for the day – Come on! Did you allow that in the physical classroom?

Unfortunately, our public-school education system has not been well for years. We are a third-class country in education. The usual suggestions for improvement are smaller class sizes, easier grading, etc. I suggest that the students would do better if the teachers insisted that they learn. Back when I was a child, the teacher ran the classroom.

The ‘experts’ don’t really know why all this is happening and probably don’t agree with my suggested solutions (above), but their methods certainly haven’t worked.

Pearl Harbor Day

Today is the 79th anniversary of Pearl Harbor where over 2,400 military and civilian lives were lost and some 1,200 wounded. It was a cowardly sneak attack that brought America into a world war. The Japanese expected it to keep America on the sidelines; instead, it led to the demise of their empire!

America responded with power and determination. And this is how America has always responded when under attack. Today America is under attack from within. It is not just the attempted steal of an election, it is the wholesale attack on our education, free enterprise, and our representative democracy. To honor those who have fought and died for our country we owe it to them to stand up for what is right. If you are a Christian, I ask you to pray that God will intervene and not let the liberals destroy our country. But more than that, we need a return to God nationally, corporately, and personally.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Confusing COVID-19 Data

The Riddle Report 12 04 2020

Covid-19 Cases Up!

Covid-19 Hospitalizations Up!

Covid-19 Deaths Up!

Covid-19 Death Rate Down!

How can that be?

Perhaps this strikes me more than you since I’ve worked with numbers most of my life. But logic tells me that if Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths are up then so should the Death Rate.

What is the Death Rate?

The Death Rate is simple division. You take the Total Numbers of Deaths-to-Date and divide that number by the Total Number of Cases-to-Date. For Example, today’s published deaths for this year-to-date are 275,550 while the published cases for this year-to-date are 14,086,016. When you divide the Cases into the Deaths you get 0.01956 or 1.96% which is lower than last March’s high of 2.04%.

Now, even if you compensate for the lag time, generally considered 2 weeks although it could be longer, you still get a plunging death rate.

The Numbers Don’t Add UP

It makes one suspicious when such discrepancies occur. If all three (cases, hospitalizations, and deaths) are up then it stands to reason that the death rate would also be up. Anyone can figure out the death rate, but we are dependent upon CDC and others (including the news media) to keep us informed.

So, What is Happening?

It looks to me like someone is not being honest. Like I said, the numbers aren’t adding up. We know for a fact that the cases are up in certain areas of the country. We also know that hospitalizations are up in certain areas of the country. And it is possible that deaths are up in certain parts of the country.

What I suspect is that these ‘certain areas’ are not all the same. For example, cases are up in Findlay Ohio? Are hospitalizations and deaths? For Hancock County (where Findlay is located) the deaths are 46 year-to-date and cases are 2845 year-to-date for a death rate 1.62%. However, the week-to-week increase was more around 15% for deaths. And that may explain the differences.

The News Media Reports Week to Week

When you do that you make things seem far worse than they are. The only true gauge, in my opinion, is month to month or, better, year-to-date. Year-to-date takes into account lag time between cases and related deaths. It doesn’t focus on spikes but on overall trends.

Isn’t This A Second Wave?

That is what they tell us. But getting back to Hancock, Ohio the chart (not shown here) shows very little in the way of cases and deaths until just recently. And the report I looked at today shows a sudden drop off to 0 cases for the last two days. To me this means it is still the First Wave which hadn’t really hit the area earlier. But it sounds more alarming when you call it a second wave instead of a spike.

Again, a longer time span is more instructive than a short one. And a large area is also more instructive. This is great for us trying to understand the trends, but for individuals and families with Covid-19 they are in the now and trends don’t mean much.

So, Why the Difference?

In my opinion, it is because it serves the news media’s agenda to publish the more alarming data. And it justifies the liberal politicians’ pursuit of total lockdowns and mask mandates.

Are We Going to have Mask Mandates?

It looks like it in some communities. I, personally, am not opposed to wearing masks and social distancing. Of the two, I believe social distancing is more effective. Both together may be even more effective. But extreme measures are not warranted and so far, if you look at the states with stringent rules, it doesn’t work.

I believe that President Trump hit the nail on the head when he said, repeatedly, ‘you cannot have the cure worse than the disease’.

Common Sense is in Short Supply.

Common sense tells you that taking precautions such as wearing a mask and social distancing may help friends, neighbors, and relatives. These should not be mandated. Period. I am glad that the Supreme Court stepped in and by all appearances gave a unanimous decision striking down California’s war on churches. The state was willing to throw the rights of the people and the rights of churches under the bus, but the court said, ‘No’.

Liberal politicians are using ‘panic’ to further their political agendas. And that is wrong. Don’t believe me. The Democratic controlled House of Representatives waited until after the election to compromise on the Relief Bill. They could have done so before the election, but they waited until it appeared that Biden won.

Did Biden Win?

That’s another subject but the evidence that the news media says doesn’t exist is so overwhelming that there is serious doubt about a Biden win. Now that the lawsuits are moving into the federal court system and away from the state courts (primarily controlled by Democrats) the issues and the evidence are being taken seriously.

Will We Ever Know the Truth About Covid-19 and the Election?

Those are two different issues. It is possible there are connections, but I am treating them as separate. The truth about Covid-19 will take time. There is ample evidence the virus while deadly is not nearly as deadly as the media reports. How deadly is a matter of looking back over time. But yes, I think we will eventually know the truth.

As for the Election, the answer to that will come much faster. You have courts and state legislatures (who are the only ones with the final say according to the U.S. Constitution) that are already investigating. And don’t forget we have a Senate runoff election coming up in Georgia. That is already stirring up legal scrutiny.

But they must decide these things soon to determine who leads our country for the next four years. My own opinion is that President Trump will emerge as having won the election. But only God knows the truth right now.

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Thanksgiving

The Riddle Report 11 18 2020

So, now the government wants us to forego Thanksgiving. Governors are not only suggesting it, but some are going Orwellian and threatening jail time. We Americans have the right to assemble in our churches and in our homes to worship and thank God for His blessings.

Shouldn’t we be careful though?

Should we be careful? Of course, but suggesting we limit the size of family that visits us or that we insist on testing is going too far. That is the politics of fear. I understand that the cases have been spiking and some hospitals are having difficulties. But the nation as a whole is experiencing a decline in the death rate. That means that the virus is still deadly, but less so than it was in May when the death rate hit its highest level at 5.8%. It is now down to 2.23% and dropping.

What about locally?

Here in Florida the cases have risen to 897,323 since January and 17,644 deaths for a death rate of 1.97%. Meanwhile Texas has year-to-date cases of 1,078,875 and 20,147 deaths for a death rate of 1.87%. With the media constantly emphasizing the case load and the total number of deaths it lends itself to creating panic. It is a case of overreaching by the media and perhaps by some politicians seeking their own glory.

It might also be noted that now there are effective measures in place to help people who contract the virus. It is not like it was in the period of March thru May. Doctors have the tools, hospitals can order the supplies needed, and the government can get these supplies to the hospitals. One more thing to consider. The media points to the fact that 11 million people have contracted the disease and 245,000 have died. But the total population as of 2019 was 328 million.

What does that mean?

It means that only 3.35% of Americans have contracted the disease since January and 2.23% of the patients have died. We need to keep these low numbers in mind because the media will ignore them. And remember those numbers include all cases since the beginning of January not just the last two weeks!

What should we do?

Common sense tells you that if you live in an area that is hit hard you need to practice social distancing and wear masks. In fact, that is not bad advice for anywhere. But the testing part I am not so sure about. It seems to me that the testing is so broad that it captures people who don’t really have the disease and instead have other conditions like the flu or a simple cold. It is misleading and creates doubt and fear.

To put it simply, I don’t believe the doctors really know the symptoms and are using a wide net hoping to catch the real infected people. And if your only concern is to beat the virus then perhaps that is ok. But our concern needs to be more narrowly focused.

With the election over, as far as the voting is concerned, the need to cause panic should also be over. Politicians need to act more responsibly and more in line with our constitution. Locking down homes and businesses is a draconian response and certainly not responsible leadership. I know of people who have contracted Covid-19 and everyone of them has responded responsibly. That is the American way.

Personally, my wife and I will probably stay home for Thanksgiving, but not because of Covid-19. It is an opportunity for the two of us to spend some time thanking the Lord for His care. Our health is good right now, my wife is in remission, and we enjoy one another. If we have the opportunity to visit family, we will certainly consider it.

Here’s a thought: Instead of letting a disease control you, take control yourself. You decide what the risks are and what, if any, risks you are willing to take. Thanksgiving is not just a time of fellowship; it is a time when we can and should thank God. It is a spiritual right and responsibility for all Christians.

It is not the responsibility of the government to tell us whether we can go to church, visit family, or what health steps we should take. We are fully capable of handling this without the government’s intervention.

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ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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The Virus is Losing

The Riddle Report 11 16 2020

Reports have been coming for several weeks about a resurgence of the virus. You hear talk of record-breaking cases, overflowing hospitals, and rising deaths. I don’t want to negate all this news and call it false. I am sure the numbers are correct.

In fact, I know that some communities, such as Findlay, Ohio are getting hit really hard by the virus. But here is a fact you need to know: The death rate after weeks of surging cases has sunk to new lows. After hitting a high of 5.8% at the end of May 2020 it has now sunk to 2.23%.

What Does That Mean?

Please remember that I am not a doctor, but I can read, and I can understand numbers. The rise in cases is a concern, but the real question is should we panic?

Rise in Cases

To listen to the media, we should be panicking. But when you hear about the geography of the virus and the social groups hit by the virus this rise appears to be spotty. To put another way the hotspots are scattered. I mentioned Findlay Ohio above. That appears to be a definite hotspot and in fact the state of Ohio seems to have numerous hotspots. And there are other states experiencing rises in case count.

So, this is serious and should not be taken likely.

At the same time, it is not a time to panic. I will get into that more later, but we have learned how to handle the virus and a vaccine is coming. We have much to be thankful for.

Hospitalizations.

News reports tell us that some hospitals are experiencing high numbers of Covid-19 patients and diminishing supplies. But those should be short-term issues. The nation is no longer short on the needed supplies for testing and for hospitals.

Deaths

When the news media reports something like 5,000 cases and 54 deaths, it all seems high. But simple math tells a different story.  These numbers turn out to be a 1.08% death rate. Don’t get me wrong, any death is bad. But a death rate of 1.08% in an environment of surging cases is great news.

Before you say, “Yeah, but deaths lag cases” just remember that this rise in cases has been rising for several weeks. Also, throughout the period from June 1st to the middle of September, the cases were rising and the death rate plunging.

If you compare deaths to the United States population (2019) you get .00076219512 or a death rate of 0.076% or 0.08%. That is less than one percent and less than one hundredth percent.

The facts are encouraging!

Vaccine

The much-maligned Operation Warp Speed of President Trump has been and still is working. Based on its history and goals, I think it is logical to anticipate the vaccine going out to first responders this year.

Conclusion

We have good reason to not panic and instead to be encouraged concerning the virus. As stated in the headline, the virus is losing. And that is a good thing!

Now, if only we can settle the issue of who won the election, former Vice President Joe Biden or President Trump. Once they have determined what are legal ballots and illegal ballots and finish the recount, I anticipate that President Trump will be re-elected. It may take court cases to finally resolve the issue, so we have to be patient and, better yet, pray.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.