Guy Benson


I wouldn’t draw attention to this dangerous idiocy if it were merely being pushed by some random woke activists. But this is from a sitting United States senator, who just won a contested primary in his re-election bid, and is considered a fairly mainstream member of Chuck Schumer’s increasingly-leftist caucus. And it echoes the latest astounding dereliction in Portland, Oregon, where the city’s impotent mayor has once again attempted to appease the Antifa goons who’ve plunged his city into three consecutive months of nightly riots and lawlessness:

Where to begin with this blithering nonsense? Portland police do not “routinely attack peaceful protesters.” Portland has been wracked by violent riots for more than 100 nights. The protesters who clash with police are anything but “peaceful.” They assault officers, brutalize people in the streets, menace civilians, destroy property, and set fires. One of them — who described himself as “100 percent Antifa,” and who wasn’t prosecuted after being arrested for rioting previously — is accused of murdering a Trump supporter in cold blood. The agitators have repeatedly attempted to burn down a federal courthouse, police precincts, and the mayor’s apartment building. To deliberately conflate all of this criminality and chaos with anything “peaceful” is willfully blind and profoundly irresponsible.

I’ll also note that after these people committed attempted arson at the mayor’s residence, putting many others at risk, Ted Wheeler moved out of the building. He fled. And rather than get tougher with the mob, he acquiesced further, announcing bans on non-lethal forms of riot control that they wanted eliminated. Placating the mob does not work, as we most recently learned after the “it’s the feds’ fault” fallacy was immediately disproven. Local police have been demonstrably unable to restore order to the streets, for months on end. And Portland’s genius “leadership” has decided that stripping law enforcement of some of the only tools they have at their disposal is a good idea. Note that they’re not doing this in a time of peace; they’re doing it mid-rioting. It’s unilateral surrender. It’s appeasement. No wonder police departments from surrounding jurisdictions are refusing to play along with the left-wing governor’s “plan” to deputize their officers for this task. What’s the point of participating in a ritual humiliation?

Astoundingly, Sen. Markey — who is no longer trying to out-leftist a primary opponent — looks at Portland and sees a model for the country. “We must disarm” every police department in America, he declares, targeting “weapons of war” (a meaningless term that has generally been used in the context of pushing gun control for average citizens) and non-lethal riot control elements. It is an ascendant position on the Left that citizens must have their self-defense options limited or eliminated, and police should also be stripped of law enforcement tools and practices. How does that sound, America? And what would that mean for violent riots? Police would lose tried-and-true tactics to disperse crowds and protect life and property, which would give an upper hand to the criminals. Also, if non-lethal techniques are severely limited, and things spiral out of control, what are the chances lethal force ends up getting deployed? And what are the chances that said instances of lethal force, under extreme duress, would be exploited to justify more riots? This is the very definition of a vicious cycle.

It is mind-blowing that supposedly respectable elected Democrats are choosing to normalize rioting, as Markey is here. One of the obvious, textbook consequences of doing so is to foment more lawless conduct, which is becoming almost a default response to all police shootings — even those that are clearly justified or even rumored. We saw this in Chicago. We saw this in Minneapolis. We’ve now seen it in Pennsylvania, where police shot a crazed butcher knife-wielding assailant with a history of stabbing people:

What exactly should police do under these circumstances — aside from allowing themselves to be attacked or killed, which some deranged activists actually want to see? This attacker with a large knife charged an officer who was responding to a domestic disturbance, the type of call some have demanded the police stay out of. What would have happened if an unarmed “counselor” had been the one to arrive on scene to confront this perpetrator?

Author: Guy Benson

Source: Town Hall: Dem Senator: Let’s Follow Portland’s Example, ‘Disarm’ Police, and Ban Non-Lethal Riot Control Methods

I feel like I’ve made this point a few times here and there, but it obviously merits its own separate post — especially in light of the borderline-sociopathic performance Andrew Cuomo turned in at the DNC earlier this week. When the “slow the spread” and “flatten the curve” mantra became ever-present in the spring, the explanation was relatively straightforward: Very significant mitigation steps were needed from the American public, not to crush the disease and make it disappear (which will only happen with a vaccine, a treatment so effective as to amount to a cure, or via herd immunity), but to delay and push down the trajectory of cases and hospitalizations. The vast, vast majority of infected people would survive (99 percent-plus), but the key to preventing needless deaths among infected people who experienced adverse health reactions was ensuring that our healthcare system did not become overwhelmed.

There was enough fear about hospitals and ICU’s overflowing that makeshift facilities were stood up in very short order, at great effort and expense. Thankfully, nearly all of this excess capacity ended up being unnecessary, but the threat was very real — and did play out some places, though not to the extent that it did in parts of Italy, for example. To help illustrate the desired outcome, a chart showing two COVID “curves” was disseminated virtually everywhere. It depicted two infection trajectories. The first was an unflattened curve, in which the virus spiked quickly, leading to a huge, steep mountain of cases and deaths. The second was a flattened curve, in which the peak arrived later and was nowhere near as severe, despite significant distress. Everyone recognizes this, right? Here’s MSNBC sharing it with their viewers:

Under the preferred, second scenario, infections, hospitalizations and deaths were not eliminated; they were delayed and flattened. That was the whole point. Months into this national nightmare, let’s look at the Coronavirus death statistics and patterns in a number of major US states:

The black and dark grey lines are New York and New Jersey — worst and second-worst in the US on death toll and death rates — and the various shades of green lines represent the sunbelt states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas. All of these states appear to be past their peaks on all of the major metrics, though one never knows what second peaks or additional outbreaks might bring. But given where things stand, it looks very much like the aforementioned northeastern states typified the “what to avoid” curve, while the southern states are comparative successes, based on the established goal. These states, whose leaders have been savaged in the press (California is the exception, for obvious reasons) delayed and flattened their curves. When their first real waves arrived, their systems were not overwhelmed, and deaths have thankfully been held down.

Some of that is luck. The New York metro area got absolutely slammed very early, when healthcare professionals knew a lot less about the virus. PPE and ventilator shortages were also common in those early days, then were mitigated over time (some of the initial lack of preparedness was the fault of state and local leaders). It’s also true that as therapies and knowledge have improved, so have survival rates. On one hand, this was a disadvantage that New York and New Jersey had to grapple with at the onset, whereas states with later peaks were better informed and prepared. On the other hand, gaining those advantages was also the aim of slowing the spread and flattening the curve, which the northeastern states failed to do. Some of New York and New Jersey’s acute and deadly travails were unavoidable and arose from factors beyond anybody’s control.

But some were exacerbated or even caused by dysfunctional leadership, terrible mismanagement and lethal policies. This is documented. Also, it’s worth noting that California fared much better despite also getting blindsided by the disease very early on. Again, some of that was due to external conditions, but some of it was superior decision-making and fewer egregious missteps. In a brutal post entitled, “New Cuomo Book To Explain How To Defeat The Virus By Letting It Rampage Through Your Population” (in reference to this breathtaking shamelessness), Allahpundit writes that some of Cuomo’s self-serving excuses fall flat:

To this day, he can’t demonstrate one of the most basic functions of good leadership, which is accountability. Ask him about his lethal deficiencies in moving too slowly early on to shut down the state or his infamous policy of sending infected residents back into nursing homes and he’ll put up smokescreens endlessly. Old people are gonna die no matter what, you know. And it’s really the feds’ fault for not telling Cuomo that the virus was coming in from Europe. And it’s really Trump’s fault for not managing the national response better…

But the feds couldn’t have stopped him from ordering a precautionary quarantine of European visitors to New York early on, before Trump banned travel from Europe. And the feds sure as hell didn’t force his nursing-home policy on him, or demand that he twiddle his thumbs for weeks in March as the virus spread throughout NYC. “In many ways COVID is just a metaphor,” he said, adding later that “Our way worked, and it was beautiful.” His “way” was to allow unchecked exponential growth of the virus across the country’s biggest city, collect all the bodies, then declare victory once the spread burned itself out via herd immunity.

And nobody forced Cuomo to very quietly rescind and expunge his catastrophic LTC facility policy (which more successful states rejected), then manipulate and suppress the telltale data by altering the way those deaths are counted, mid-crisis. This is known as a cover-up, and it’s an implicit admission that his whole victory tour schtick is a deeply disgusting, cynical ploy. It relies on others playing along. Many in the press have done just that, and the Democratic Party just formally embraced and endorsed his historic failure at their national convention. I’ll leave you with my tweet about the data above. If you make the mistake of delving into the replies, you’ll encounter more than a few leftists who simply refuse to grapple with what the evidence shows. They’re so committed to the reflexive dogma that Trump and conservative governors are reckless anti-science villains with blood on their hands, unlike the good and pro-science Democrats, that they simply cannot acknowledge or process what the data actually shows.

Extreme partisanship really can break people’s brains, on both ends of the spectrum. The trouble is that anti-evidence and conspiratorial thinking in service of preferred narratives tends to be aggressively debunked and condemned when one side engages in it, but is indulged or participated in by many of those very debunkers and condemners who share certain narrative preferences.

Author: Guy Benson

Source: Town Hall: Data: Florida, Texas, California Flattened the Curve. New York and New Jersey Did Not.

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