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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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.

Riddle News: The Problem With Science

Featured

11 12 2020

Welcome to Riddle News.

Joe Biden has said that if he is elected, he will on the first day of his Presidency follow science and shutdown the economy; completely. Dr. Michael Osterholm, an advisor to Biden, says that a total shutdown of four to six weeks would bring the cases down to manageable levels. In the same breath he says that the government could borrow the money to pay for lost wages for individuals, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies, or city, state, or county governments.

Let’s forget for the moment that the death rate is still down around 2.30%. Let’s also forget that this is happening although the latest surge has been longer than a couple of weeks. In addition, let’s forget that the economy while still down is recovering and unemployment rate is down. Then there is the fact that a vaccine is already in the approval process and probably will be available for First Responders this year and the general public possibly before Biden takes office (if elected).

Let’s forget all that and focus on the merits or lack thereof of Dr. Osterholm’s theory.

Shutting Down Businesses

Shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages for four to six weeks could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check and get the economy on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed.

All of this is based on his understanding of science.

The problem with Science

The problem with elevating science to the dominating position that many people, including Biden/Harris, have done is that science is not absolute. It is constantly changing. Usually that change is for the better and we have a better life than our parents and grandparents because of science. But science is sometimes wrong.

History is covered with scientific wrong thinking:

George Washington, after retiring from the Presidency, got sick. The science of the day preached bloodletting. That is the practice of surgically removing blood from the patient because they thought that would heal him. But instead it weakened him, and he died.

They followed science, but science was wrong.

Abortion. There was a time when science said that life doesn’t begin until after a baby is born. Thus, it was alright to abort. And now we have an abortion industry and politicians who want to expand it. But science was wrong. Today science believes that life begins at fertilization. (There are arguments about when this takes place, but they generally agree that human life begins at or shortly after fertilization.)

Unfortunately, abortionists still operate on the notion that life doesn’t begin until ‘birth’. This old science was wrong.

Covid-19. Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been shifting his stance ever since the virus came to America. But we shouldn’t blame him, blame science. In the first quarter of 2020 science pointed to a quick solution and recovery and he followed science and passed his views to President Trump. But the science was wrong.

Now science says that a vaccine is imminent. It is already being tested and distribution is being set up. There are other vaccines also nearing availability. Where once science said vaccines were up to 2 years away, now it is only weeks and months away.

The truth is that science has been changing. As new studies occur, and the results are learned science has had to adjust. What they thought they knew in January and what they think they know now are worlds apart.

But while science has adjusted, the liberal media and liberals in general stuck with the worst-case scenario that they created. Thus, the criticism of the Trump Administration.

Trump Administration. At this time, we don’t know who won the election (all media claims aside), but we do know that the administration followed science, at least at first. Advised by Dr. Fauci and others, the administration banned flights to and from China, then later from Europe and Britain. Here the science appears to have been correct as far as hindering the spread of the virus.

But it soon became apparent that science was having to adjust to the changing profile of the virus. Suddenly science had to develop new tools and strategies. And both were untested. The Trump Administration was faced with fully trusting theories put forth as facts or charting a course that incorporated the theories mixed with commonsense solutions.

I believe the Administration took the correct route and pulled back from full belief in science. Working with governors to shut down the nation saved approximately 2 million lives and reopening the nation saved our economy. The President was constantly juggling decisions based on input from both the changing medical science and from the changing business climate. These were difficult decisions, but the choices worked.

Has Trump’s Handling of Virus Been Good?

Yes, definitely! Although cases are still happening and people are still dying, the death rate has plunged and is still down. Plus, the economy is picking up and promises to be stronger in the fourth quarter and in January (although there are naysayers). Operation Warp Speed has brought hope to millions of people with the announcements regarding potential vaccines.

Assuming President Trump is re-elected (an increasing probability) then we can expect the virus to be brought under control, vaccine distribution to the general public, and a rebounding economy. It is not so rosy if Joe Biden or as I say Biden/Harris is elected. Shutting down the economy a second time would be devastating.

Especially since they are talking total shutdown. Talking about borrowing money to take care of lost wages and revenue ignores the fact that the House of Representatives has an agenda to help out Democratic states that were already in financial trouble prior to Covid-19. Our economy would be crippled trying to take care of them plus take care of Covid-19 issues. Businesses would close, some permanently, and people would go back to unemployment status. And does Dr. Osterholm really believe that the turnaround would only take 4 to 6 weeks?

I think somebody’s science is wrong.

If Trump Wins Then What?

As mentioned earlier there is at least one vaccine on warp speed. Already the National Guards throughout the nation are being prepared to distribute the vaccine first to First Responders and then to the public. By January 20th, the virus may be under control and our economy revving up.

We have had the right man at the helm during this crisis. I am praying that the recounts and court cases will give us 4 more years of Donald Trump.

As for science, it should never be considered the absolute authority. It is an important resource, but we need men and women who can lead even if it means turning aside from science.

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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.

Riddle News: Covid-19 August 2020

Featured

10 29 2020

Welcome to Riddle News which is published every Monday and Friday. This is a Special review of the Trump response to Covid-19.

In my book Trump an Outsider’s View I have a timeline showing the Trump Administration’s action right up to August 31, 2020. The Timeline begins November 17, 2019 with the first known case and provides a daily look worldwide on the cases and deaths. I am enclosing excerpts from August here:

AUGUST 2020

03 August

  • President authorizes extension through the end of the year for the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 assistance in 46 states and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Effective August 21, 44 states and these territories will have a 75% Federal cost share. Florida and Texas will retain a 100% Federal cost share.
  • President signs an Executive Order focusing Federal agencies on United States labor in Federal contracts. The order notes that these opportunities are especially critical during the economic dislocation caused by COVID-19.

05 August

  • DOD, in support of the DHHS Strategic National Stockpile, announces it has awarded $104M for procurement of syringes in support of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

06 August

  • President signs an Executive Order on ensuring essential medicines, medical countermeasures, and critical inputs are made in the United States.
  • The U.S. State Department, in coordination with the CDC, lifts its Global Level 4 Health Advisory that had been in place since March 19. With changing COVID-19 conditions, the Department is returning to its previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.
  • DOD Under Secretary for Personnel & Readiness issues Force Health Protection Guidance Supplement 12.

07 August

  • President directs FEMA to fund 25% of the cost share through September 30 for the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 assistance in Arizona, California, and Connecticut. This assistance is in addition to the 75% federal cost share through the end of the year for the extension of the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 response announced on August 3.

08 August

  • President signs a memorandum authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for major disaster declarations related to COVID-19.
  • President signs a memorandum deferring payroll tax obligations in light of COVID-19.
  • POTUS signs an Executive Order on fighting the spread of COVID-19 by providing assistance to renters and homeowners.
  • President extends student loan payment relief during COVID-19 through the end of the year.

10 August

  • DOD, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, announces details for a Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 action: a $3.1M agreement with BioFire Defense, LLC, to expand domestic production capacity for molecular diagnostic testing.

11 August

  • State Testing Plans Now Publicly Available: HHS has published an all 50 state COVID-19 testing plans. Posting the plans allows states to view others’ approaches, plans and strategies and create new methods moving forward. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) awarded a total of $10.25 billion to states, territories, and localities to help implement the goals of each jurisdiction’s testing plan, with goals to improve testing for minorities and other vulnerable groups.  

14 August

  • DOD awards $750K to Plasma Technologies, LLC for manufacturing of convalescent plasma products using a novel process in support of the U.S. COVID-19 response.

20 August

  • DOD reaches over 50,000 presumed COVID-19 cases (military, military dependents, DOD civilian employees, and DOD contractors).

21 August

  • DOD announces details for three more Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: AQYR Technologies ($3.6M), Leonardo Electronics US Inc. ($7M), and Aero Turbine ($3.7M). These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the COVID-19 disruption.

23 August

  • The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19.

25 August

  • President Trump announces additional steps, including new testing requirements, to help protect nursing home residents from COVID-19.

27 August

  • The Trump Administration announces its purchase and production of 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests, to be distributed across the country.

29 August

  • FEMA, acting on President Trump’s order earlier in the month, announced Lost Wages Grant for Florida. It will allow Florida to provide $300 per week – on top of their regular unemployment benefit – to those unemployed due to COVID-19.

Special Notice as of 10/29/20

We are just days from perhaps the most crucial election our country has ever had. It is complicated by the lies and distortions that have daily been aimed at Americans. I have personally witnessed otherwise intelligent people repeat the lies they’ve been told. I’ve also read Letters to the Editor of our local paper that are based on these lies as well. And all to many people have believed them. I hope I have reached at least one of the above who now realize that the Trump Administration was on top of Covid-19 (or CCP for Chinese Communist Party virus) from the beginning.

I’ve shown you the record. It is a record of hard work and success. Instead of 2.2 million deaths if we did nothing, it has been reduced to under 228,000 deaths. That is amazing, especially when you consider that they started out with antiquated tools and Democratic opposition. They eventually got better tools and the Democrats finally realized the threat (and the opportunity to assail Trump).

While the Democrats used the crises to advance their leftist agenda, the Trump Administration fought to bring the deadly results of the virus down and fought to not only save the economy, but getting it going strong again. And with a 33.1% growth in the 3rd Quarter, he’s succeeding.

My book, Trump an Outsider’s View, covers Covid-19 and the Death Rate rather thoroughly. I still track the Death Rate and it is now down to 2.57% as of today (10/29/20). That’s another 0.01% drop since yesterday. And it is still going down. To dismiss this by noting there is a lag time between cases and related deaths is just being ignorant. We now have almost 11 months of tracking that clearly shows the Death Rate in decline!

Dr. Fauci and others agree that the Trump Administration saved thousands of lives by restricting China travel in January, a fact which embarrasses Biden who opposed the restrictions. This is interesting since Dr. Fauci seems to now be in Biden’s camp (probably because he’ll have job security with Biden).

Another factor to be considered. Many liberals claim that the President said this and said that. I don’t have the time to argue each point. The truth is that actions speak louder than words. January thru August were months of action that were wise and often. The Death Rate at the end of May represented the high point, and we are still seeing the Death Rate decline.

Tomorrow, I will bring this series to a close.

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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.

Friday News & Comments 08 28 20

Today’s Issue: Coverage of RNC

Welcome to Friday News & Comments.

Well, the Republican Convention is over, and the President has been re-nominated. I have no problem with the convention itself. But the coverage was poor. Now understand we watched the convention on broadcast television. We chose not to have cable TV so we pay the price.

We don’t get a good signal from PBS which carried more of the convention than other stations, so we watched it on CBS and NBC. At least CBS had Reince Priebus on its panel. As far as I could tell he was the only one with a conservative agenda, everyone else was liberal. NBC’s Chuck Todd was terrible as he, in my opinion, always reached for words or phrases that were negative or dismissive.

But, as expected, the network panelists on both stations were too busy telling us what they thought the issues are and how we should understand them. Reminds me of another TV reporter who not too long ago said it was their job to tell us what to think. No, It Is Not!

There job is to report the facts minus any personal bias. I know bias will always be there, but they should at least try.

Another situation that bugged me was that they talked too much. Instead of letting us hear what the Republicans were saying, they either never let us hear them (except for main speakers) or they interrupted the feed and began their interpretation. First ran into this on CBS. We turned to NBC and found them to be as bad or worse.

I didn’t watch the Democratic Convention, but I imagine it was the same although probably friendlier to the Democrats.

As for the conventions themselves I saw enough of both to color the DNC as dark and the RNC as light, or put another way, the DNC was pessimistic and the RNC was optimistic. Optimism is always better than pessimism, especially if the optimism is founded on facts which was true in this case. Covid-19 cases since May 31 grew by 352,587 (June), 1,926,860 (July), and 105,237 as of August 28, 2020. That indicates that August cases may have turned south. And we already know that the death rate (also known as case fatality rate and found by dividing deaths by cases) has plunged from 5.8% on May 31st to 3.09% on August 28th. Those are facts and they are positive!

While the death rate is not perfect it does give us a clearer picture, especially when over a long period of time. The above timeline covers June, July, and almost all of August for almost 13 weeks! That at least answers the problem of the delay of deaths. Instead of going higher they have continued downward.

With the trend southward of the cases I imagine we will see a bottoming out of the death rate and maybe a slight increase as the two totals draw closer. That is really positive news!

There is more reason to be optimistic than there is to be pessimistic.

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R Frederick Riddle, Editor of TR Writing Services, provides help struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He also authors Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus he is 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.

Monday News & Comments 08 24 20

Today’s Issue: Epicenter of Covid-19

Welcome to Monday News & Comments.

This morning I read an article that was critical of the way Florida has been handling Covid-19. To read that article you would think that Florida is the Epicenter of Covid-19 in the United States. That is not true!

What is true is that Florida cases peaked higher than New York, but the real story is in the deaths. In New York you saw body bags being stacked and stored, but in Florida there’s been nothing like that.

In SE Florida you have what we call the epicenter for Florida. It includes Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach. That area leads the nation in cases per capita. Another area is the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area. And as mentioned above Florida surpassed New York in cases per capita. This has caused experts to label Florida the new epicenter of Covid-19. But let’s take a deeper look.

Florida has had 600,571 cases and 10,462 deaths for a Death Rate of 1.74%.

New York has had 460,460 cases and 32,967 deaths for a Death Rate of 7.16%.

Again, experts keep warning us that the numbers of deaths lag the case rise. Let’s assume they are correct, after all they are the experts. But New York’s numbers of deaths to cases has been extremely high from the beginning! Remember the body bags? They were hit early and hard.

In Florida’s situation the case load has been high for awhile now. There is no doubt the case load is much higher than New York’s, but it has not been nearly as deadly. When you compare the two states by death count you discover that Florida is less than 1/3 New York’s death count (10,462 / 32,967 = 31.7%) yet Florida’s cases are much higher (600,571-460,460 = 140,111 or 30.4% higher).

I contend that while cases per capita may be helpful to the experts, it is misleading to us average folks. It creates panic. It should raise concern because even 1 death is tragic, but the truth is that Florida is considerably safer than New York. You might get sicker down here, but your chances of survival are higher.

This throwing numbers around belongs in the lab not the newspaper or local news. It creates unnecessary panic. Getting sick (and they say for young adults it’s equivalent to a bad case of flu) is not to be feared. No one wants to get sick which is a good argument for wearing masks and practicing social distancing. But the death rate is encouraging news, especially since the time span now covers almost eight months!

But broadcasting these numbers on national TV is almost criminal. It creates a problem that is bigger than the facts, creates panic, keeps businesses shut down, and makes it hard for people to return to a more normal life.

We need more responsible reporting and less finger pointing.  

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R Frederick Riddle, Editor of TR Writing Services, provides help struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He also authors Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus he is 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.

Ron’s Tip of the Day Don’t Quit

Welcome to Ron’s Tip of the Day. Throughout the week I will share a tip with you. Today I am looking at Don’t Quit.

Don’t Quit!

On Friday I had 4 teeth extracted. They didn’t put me to sleep, because at my age and with my heart issues, they probably wouldn’t be able to bring me back. But the dentist did give me enough shots for my mouth that I was still feeling some numbness three days later (Sunday).

Several things happened since then. I was taking 3 Ibuprofen 3 times a day plus 1 Amoxicillin 3 times a time. On top of that and because of the medicine I slept a lot. Plus, my face looked like I got in a fight with my wife and lost. I hardly went out of the house and even had to stay home during church.

As for work, I hardly worked on my books at all and only worked on a few blogs (spread out over a few days) and put my vlog on YouTube.

But there was one thing I didn’t do; I didn’t quit. I didn’t give up on God. He’s the one Who made it possible for me to have the extractions and saw me through the ordeal.

Nor did I give up on my wife. She’s been there for me and made me proud when she went to church on her own instead of babying me. More important, I know she prays for me.

In addition, I didn’t give up on my writing career. Yes. Because my body was extremely tired, I wasn’t able to spend much time on my books. In fact, none over the weekend. But I didn’t quit.

Sometimes we just got to determine to press on. At first not as much as before but I kept on keeping on.

Tip of the Day: Don’t let health, sales, discouragement, or anything make you quit.

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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 have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.