Jerome

Racism Is NOT A “Public Health” Issue

But ambitious governors emboldened by your failure to push back against “lockdowns” and “mask-mandates” are taking the next logical step through the opening you have given them.

C19 “LOCKDOWNS” AND MASK-MANDATES BY STATE GOVERNORS are all illegal, as I have shown with sample analyses of eight state constitutions which all expressly prohibit the “executive orders” by which the offenses are committed. However, so far no one– not a single business owner, nor a single legislator in any of these states or any other– has had the balls to defy the illegal orders and tell any of these criminal governors to shut up and stand down.

The reason would appear to be that claiming a big- and dire-sounding threat like a “public health crisis” as the hob-goblin grounds for the illegal government behavior, and portraying it as universally-recognized as a deadly peril by all the right people, muddies the water in many peoples’ eyes. That packaging makes insistence on a close look at the details, and being slow to quaff the Kool-Aid, seem practically unpatriotic.

It then becomes difficult for such people to reject assertions of authority, however black and white the law. They think, “Well, somebody’s got to do SOMETHING! Don’t you know there’s a virus goin’ ’round?!!”

Defending against precisely this sort of panic-induced, easily-exploited passion of the mob is what was spoken of by James Madison when he said,

“It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it.”

Unfortunately, modern Americans have forgotten this wisdom, and so…

THE NEXT STEP FOR THESE WEAK-MINDED FOLK is to head for the mental “off” switch and begin mumbling nonsense like, “After all, the Constitution’s not a suicide pact…” The “reasoning” is that the only answer to the crisis du jour is despotic action by the state, and therefore such action is ok.

It never occurs to these people, and wouldn’t slow them down anyway, to reflect on the fact that it is only by virtue of the Constitution involved that “the state” can claim authority to do anything. Upon stepping outside the state Constitution’s limits, a governor is not governor of anything, and has no more authority to mandate masks or shut down businesses than does your Uncle Jim.

Nor would such folks ever imagine that a crisis could be addressed by anything other than the state (something about which those doing nothing on any of several fronts concerning offenses by the state, and who are instead biding their time until another revolution erupts, might reflect). These folks are captive supporters of every “crisis management” edict.

They can even be made to denounce and harbor actual anger for anyone who doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid with them and meekly obey the edicts as well. Such deniers are (so they are made to believe) endangering everyone by refusing to wave the mask and dress their lines to six-foot intervals.

This last bit of shepherding is right out of the Nazi playbook, as articulated by Hermann Goering:

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

Substitute “maskless” for “peacemakers” (and maybe “spreading the virus” for “lack of patriotism”) and you’ve got it.

WITH ALL THE FOREGOING TRACK RECORD IN MIND, it is to no reasonable surprise that those aggregating power and money through the exploitation of the foggy “public health” hob-goblin are eager to find new opportunities for more of the same. The latest of these is the pronouncement by Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer that “racism” is a “public health crisis”.

Whitmer has learned that sheer brass will be endlessly rewarded while those being ruined and disenfranchised by her power-grabs are paralyzed by confusion and intimidated by the Nazi-esque tactics deployed against them. She sees herself as having a “unipolar moment”, and is sufficiently contemptuous of the rule of law as to milk that moment for all its worth.

As noted, even the Republicans who control both houses of the legislature in Michigan can’t manage to stagger to their feet and point out that Whitmer has no actual “emergency powers”– indeed, is prohibited from such powers by the state Constitution.

Hence, Whitmer seeks to keep the pot boiling and her opponents and victims thereby neutralized, while cementing into place pet political positions that couldn’t possibly make the cut honestly, in a proper contest of ideas, and which really are just panders to the kind of burn-down-the-world supporters on which she and her party rely these days.

OTHER ROGUE GOVERNORS can be expected to follow Whitmer’s lead for as long as the alleged grown-ups in the room persist in their contemptible fits of natal regression. Indeed, Iowa’s governor Kim Reynolds has already upped the ante on this game.

Last week Reynolds issued an “executive order” that convicted felons shall be allowed to vote in November, in plain defiance of Iowa’s Constitution. That Constitution says, at Article II, Sec. 5: “A person adjudged mentally incompetent to vote or a person convicted of any infamous crime shall not be entitled to the privilege of an elector.”

Per Reynolds, “Nahhh!”

Reynolds claims that Article IV, Sec. 16 “grants the governor the power to restore the rights of citizenship that were forfeited by such a conviction”, and relies on this assertion as the basis for her “order”. But actually, Article IV, Sec. 16 says no such thing:

Section 16. The Governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offences except treason and cases of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. Upon conviction for treason, he shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the General Assembly at its next meeting, when the General Assembly shall either grant a pardon, commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and shall report to the General Assembly, at its next meeting, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, and the reasons therefor; and also all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted.

While this language allows for gubernatorial “pardons”, it is clear from the very express prohibition on felon voting in Article II, Sec. 5 that relief from that particular consequence of conviction cannot be an effect of such a pardon. Reynolds herself has implicitly admitted this, having lobbied for the last several years for a Constitutional amendment to undo the prohibition.

Though it is common to imagine “pardon” to mean the absolute erasure of a conviction and all its consequences, this is not true as a matter of law. Black’s Dictionary of Law, 7th ed., puts it this way:

pardon, n. The act or an instance of officially nullifying punishment or other legal consequences of a crime. • A pardon is usu. granted by the chief executive of a government. — Also termed executive pardon. — pardon, vb. See CLEMENCY. Cf. COMMUTATION (2); REPRIEVE.

absolute pardon. A pardon that releases the wrongdoer from punishment and restores the offender’s civil rights without qualification. — Also termed full pardon; unconditional pardon.

conditional pardon. A pardon that does not become effective until the wrongdoer sat­isfies a prerequisite or that will be revoked upon the occurrence of some specified act.

general pardon. See AMNESTY.

partial pardon. A pardon that exonerates the offender from some but not all of the punishment or legal consequences of a crime.

Since Article IV, Sec. 16 of Iowa’s Constitution in which the pardon authority is granted does NOT specify that such authorized pardons are “absolute”, “full” or “unconditional”, and Article II, Sec. 5 says felons cannot have the franchise restored, it is clear that Iowa’s Governor is Constitutionally-prohibited from fully restoring a convicted felon’s civil rights, no matter what Reynolds and the Iowa legislature might wish.

It is also clear from the historical record that the prohibition on felon voting is very much solidly the will of the People. Article II, Sec. 5, in Iowa’s Constitution from the beginning, was amended, twice, within the last 20 years (making changes in the language, such as to replace “idiots and the insane persons” with “a person adjudged mentally incompetent”). But the People’s prohibition on the franchise for “persons convicted of any infamous crime” has been preserved.

I personally oppose conviction-limitations on the franchise. Often those hampered by such limitations are the very folks sensible people would most want to be exercising the franchise. Let’s remember, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Samuel Adams and other outstanding and indispensable architects of our liberty-grounded America were all felons in the eyes of the government of their time. Indeed, Jesus was a felon, in the eyes of the government of the day.

But Iowa’s Constitution says such folks “shall not be entitled to the privilege of an elector”. In Iowa, that’s the law.

THE SAD FACT IS, politicians– unlike rare-as-hen’s-teeth statesmen– loathe and fear Constitutions. If politicians could have their way, there would be no Constitutions. Instead, there would only be laws passed by the politicians themselves.

Politicians feel that way because Constitutions are the law laid upon THEM, by WE, the People. These folks don’t WANT any laws laid upon them by others.

Likely to be sociopaths to a far greater degree than the general run of the population, politicians view Constitutions the way petulant and spoiled children view parental commands– as best evaded or misinterpreted whenever such things can be gotten away with. But just as undisciplined children can burn down the house, so politicians left undisciplined by the People’s law can wreak havoc and bring great evil down on entire societies.

It was not idly that Thomas Jefferson thundered,

“[L]et no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”

BUT I’VE LET MYSELF GET CARRIED AWAY on the more general when this column is meant to focus on the more particular. Let me return to the ridiculous notion that “racism” is a “public health crisis”– by which Gretchen Whitmer (to be followed soon by her counterparts) seeks to equip herself with another pretext for dictatorial power grabs.

It is a dangerous absurdity to propose that an attitude can be a “public health” matter of any kind– or indeed, can be a “public” matter at all. It is, in fact, not merely akin to the “Red Scare” arguments of the 1950s, but is exactly those pernicious, First Amendment-violating arguments, by which Americans’ interest in the ideas of communism was declared to be a threat to the country’s safety.

That proposition was wrong in the 1950s, and it is wrong now, just as would be the Chinese government’s treatment of respect and advocacy for individual liberty as a “public health crisis”.

Racism is a vile and shameful reflection of ignorance, ill-breeding, low self-esteem and difficulty with rational thought. Expressions of that particular mental defect which extend outside the inviolable sanctuary of the mind and heart– such as assault– are crimes, exactly as are assaults committed out of anger, envy, lust, avarice, sloth, and so on.

But just as “anger” is not a “public health crisis”, neither is racism.

WHITMER HAS ATTEMPTED TO SUGGEST that racism can be characterized as a “public health crisis” because according to the current C19-panic-scam narrative, the virus has taken a disproportionate toll on blacks. This, goes the subtext, is an expression of racism– as in, blacks get less quality care in hospitals, because apparently some number of the “heroes” elsewhere celebrated under the same narrative are vicious racists.

Additional, more palatable and more overtly articulated arguments in the same vein are that blacks are disproportionately victims of comorbidities rendering them more vulnerable to dire outcomes from illness, with the higher comorbidity prevalence being caused by lower status on the “affluence ladder”– due, goes the argument, to racism. (As a side note, the plain and, to the narrative managers, unwelcome implication that it’s the comorbidities that are really taking the toll, not C19, and the corresponding C19 death-count should be discounted accordingly is coyly left unremarked.)

But all these arguments really amount to is a revisit to the “war on poverty”, which we have been waging at enormous expense for 56 years– a fact which underscores Whitmer’s “public health crisis” nonsense as the pure, venal opportunism it really is.

HERE’S THE BOTTOM LINE (or, at least, my end-point to this long observation): As long as the American people are going to stand down and allow demagogues and sociopaths like Gretchen Whitmer to have their way, rather than be bound down by the chains of the Constitution, such demagogues and sociopaths will poison the landscape in ever wider swaths.

The people of Michigan need to stand up like soldiers for liberty and the rule of law. They need to realize that they don’t have to wait on anyone else to read and understand Michigan’s Constitution for them before recognizing that Whitmer is in violation of that fundamental law with every “executive order” threatening anyone outside the executive branch of Michigan government with anything (all as concisely laid out here).

In issuing such orders, Whitmer is bereft of any authority of office. An unconstitutional order has no more authority behind it than the bark of a junk-yard dog.

In fact,

The General rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of it’s enactment and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it. An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.

No repeal of an enactment is necessary, since an unconstitutional law is void. The general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it.

16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 256

The same is true of Kim Reynolds’ orders, and those of Greg Abbott in Texas, and every other governor who has issued orders as their state’s Constitution says they may not (seven examples of which, in addition to Michigan’s, can be found here).

In short, YOU’VE GOT TO STAND UP, PEOPLE!!

Here’s a thought: Download your state’s “Lockdown Liberty Key” (again, available here, for those of you in Michigan, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Wyoming, Texas, Louisiana and Wisconsin). Print a few hundred copies. Or a few thousand.

Pin them up on every grocery store bulletin board. Put them under windshield wipers in parking lots. Hand them out in front of restaurants and bars and anything else your local dictators have deigned to allow to remain in business.

Hand them out at every political gathering. Post the .pdf links everywhere you can throughout cyberspace with an insistent message that they need to be read, and why.

As hyperbolic as it sounds, there is a coup underway. It is not necessary to explain or even consider the end desired by those responsible– the acts already taken are themselves fully sufficient to qualify for that label.

Like pregnancy, there’s no such thing as nearly despotic. One step across the Rubicon is the whole crime, and look about you! Many more steps than one have been taken, and as Gretchen Whitmer’s latest experiment on our liberties makes clear, these criminals aren’t even close to stopping, and won’t ever be until YOU STOP THEM.

Hendrickson out (mic drop).

“It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.”

-United States Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson

All governments are run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”

-I. F. Stone

Jerome

The Facts About Belly Fat

photo of visceral fat

Belly Fat: More Than Skin Deep

One fact about stomach fat you should know is this: It’s not just that squishy layer right under your skin — the kind you grab to see if you can “pinch an inch.” Visceral fat is the name for the kind that lies deep in your torso. It packs around your intestines, liver, and stomach. It can also line your arteries. And it can be risky for your health. But you don’t need special diets or exercises to lose it — just healthy habits.

photo of glucometer

What Are the Health Risks?

It’s not just about the number on the scale. Researchers think the amount of deep fat around your middle is a better gauge of whether you’re at risk of serious health problems than either your weight or your BMI (body mass index). Not only can belly fat make your jeans too tight, too much of it could mean you’re more likely to get:

  • Diabetes
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Breast cancer
  • Pancreatitis

photo of measuring waist

What Waist Measurements Mean

You can’t tell how much visceral fat you have just by measuring your waist. That’s because the fat near your skin’s surface (called subcutaneous fat) is also part of your girth. But your measuring tape can give you a hint if you might end up with belly fat-related health issues. For women, waist measurements over 35 inches can raise a red flat. For men, it’s 40 inches.

photo of mature man on treadmill

It’s the First Fat to Go

Here’s a happy fact: Visceral fat is the first kind you lose. And to do that, you need to get moving. Your workout doesn’t have to be complicated. You might walk briskly for an hour a day. On a treadmill, you can set the incline higher for a metabolism boost. If you sit a lot, find ways to move. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to get up every half-hour or so. Or try a standing desk, and do squats as you work.

photo of hands gesturing

Fidgeting Counts

Do you talk with your hands? Tap your feet to tunes? Do people think you’re a bit hyper? All good. Fidgeting might not be “exercise,” and it won’t build muscle or stamina. But it counts as activity, and it burns calories. So the next time someone says you fidget too much, you can say you’re burning belly fat.

photo of apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar Won’t Help

Apple cider vinegar has many clever uses. Reducing belly fat probably isn’t one of them, though trendy diets may say so. The tangy liquid comes from apples that are mashed, distilled, then fermented. Some people think the acetic acid it contains might boost health in some ways. Studies on animals have shown a glimmer of hope that it might help burn visceral fat. But there’s no scientific evidence that it has the same effect on people.

photo of family cookout

Don’t Blame Beer

Beer often takes the rap for a tubby tummy — hence the term “beer belly.” Studies suggest it’s a bit more complicated than that, though. The foamy stuff has plenty of calories. So it might make you gain weight. But it doesn’t necessarily make the fat settle around your middle. A more likely culprit? Sodas and other sweetened drinks. Some research has suggested that sugar can boost belly fat.

photo of green tea

Swap Soda for Green Tea

To trim belly fat, be smart about your diet — eat sensible portions, lots of veggies, and little junk food. And instead of soda, consider green tea. A few studies have suggested that catechins, antioxidants found in green tea, might help (a little) to burn visceral fat. The results are far from certain. But one thing is clear: Subbing tea for sugary drinks will save calories. Just don’t load it up with honey or sugar.

photo of fish oil

The Facts About Fish Oil

Fish oil has long been considered a heart-healthy supplement. The FDA recently approved a drug made from fish oil to help control triglycerides, a fat found in your blood. But for busting belly fat? Not so much. A study of overweight men who took fish oil supplements found no change in their stomach fat.

photo of osteoporosis

Belly Fat and Your Bones

For a long time, doctors thought extra weight could help keep your bones strong and protect you from fractures. But research shows that’s not necessarily true, at least when it comes to visceral fat. One study found that men with more belly fat had weaker bones. Another study looked at women who hadn’t yet gone through menopause. It found that those with more belly fat had lower bone density, a warning sign of osteoporosis.

Jerome

Guide to Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

peripheral neuropathy


What Is It?

Diabetes can damage your peripheral nerves, the ones that help you feel pain, heat, and cold. Called DPN for short, this condition most often affects your feet and legs. It can affect your hands and arms, too. It causes odd feelings in your skin and muscles, as well as numbness that could lead to injuries you don’t realize you have.

bloodstream glucose triglycerides


What Causes It?

Someone who has diabetes is more likely to have high levels of glucose and triglycerides (a kind of fat) in their blood. Over time, these damage the nerves that send pain signals to your brain, as well as the tiny blood vessels that supply the nerves with nutrients. The best way to prevent or delay DPN is to control your blood sugar and blood pressure.

man using hand weights in gym


Who Gets It?

About half of people with diabetes have some kind of nerve damage. Two out of 10 people already have DPN when they’re diagnosed, although it’s more common the longer you’ve had the disease. Someone who is obese or has prediabetes or metabolic syndrome (an unhealthy combination of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and belly fat) has a greater chance of getting DPN, too.

touching cactus with finger


Symptoms

Your feet or fingers may start to tingle or burn, like “pins and needles.” The lightest touch, perhaps from sheets on your bed, might hurt. In time, your muscles can become weak, especially around your ankles. You could find it harder to balance or painful to walk.

But you may not have any symptoms, even though there’s nerve damage.

doctor and diabetic patient


Get Checked Regularly

When you have diabetes, it’s important to see your doctor to try to catch DPN early. How often? Every year if you have type 2. For type 1, you should get tested yearly, starting either after puberty or after 5 years if you were diagnosed when you were older.

Ask your doctor about getting checked for DPN if you don’t have diabetes yet but are at risk for it.

foot exam


Doctor’s Exam

Because DPN often starts in the feet and legs, your doctor will look there for cuts, sores, and circulation issues. They’ll check your balance and watch you walk. They’ll want to find out how well you sense changes in temperature and delicate touches like vibrations. They may place a thin piece of string or a tuning fork on your toes and feet to see if you feel it.

medical report urine and blood tubes


Blood and Urine Tests

These help your doctor track your blood sugar and triglyceride levels. The tests might help rule out other causes of neuropathy like kidney disease, thyroid problems, low B12 levels, infections, cancer, HIV, and alcohol abuse, which may need to be treated differently.

hands holding glass of water and pills


Treatment

Drugs for depression (citalopram, desipramine, nortriptyline, paroxetine) and seizures (gabapentin, pregabalin) could make your DPN hurt less, but over-the-counter painkillers may not. Products you put on your skin to numb it, like lidocaine, might also help. Nothing will reverse the nerve damage. Your doctor may suggest special exercises (physical therapy) to help you feel better and keep you moving.

foot infection


Infection

One side effect of DPN is that you may not notice minor cuts, blisters, burns, or other injuries because you simply don’t feel them. Since diabetes makes these wounds slower to heal, they might become very serious before you find them. They’re far more likely to get infected. Without the proper care, you could lose a toe, your foot, or even part of your leg.

charcot foot x ray


Charcot Foot

Severe neuropathy can weaken the bones in your foot. They could crack or break, making your foot red, sore, swollen, or warm to the touch. But because you can’t feel it, you may keep walking on your foot and deform it. For example, the arch could collapse and bulge toward the ground. Caught early, your doctor can treat Charcot foot with rest, braces, and special shoes. Serious cases might need surgery.

woman examining her foot


Take Care of Your Feet

Every day, look for cuts, sores, or burns that you might not feel. A mirror can help with those hard-to-see places. Don’t forget to check between your toes. Wash your feet daily in warm water: 90-95 F is safe. (Use a thermometer to test the temperature.) When you rest, wiggle your toes and put your feet up to help keep your blood moving. Call your doctor about any problem that doesn’t clear up in a few days.

athletic shoe and box


Wear Shoes

They protect your feet from the ground, whether it’s burning hot, icy cold, or covered in rough edges. Make sure your shoes breathe, are comfortable, and have plenty of room for your toes. Bring the ones you wear most to your doctor when you go for your checkup. You may need special shoes or inserts when you have foot problems.

back ache hand on hip


Other Types of Neuropathy

Diabetes can also cause nerve problems other places in your body.

Autonomic is damaged nerves that help control your bladder, stomach, eyes, blood vessels, and other body functions.

Proximal is in your hip, butt, or thigh (usually on just one side), which makes it hard to move.

Focal hurts single nerves, often in your leg, hand, head, or chest and belly.