Feds find true cause of the February blackouts

Tomlinson: Feds find true cause of the February blackouts, Texas officials deflect blame

Houston Chronicle

Federal investigators have revealed how recklessly unprepared natural gas suppliers triggered 58 percent of the power outages during the February freeze, proving once again that Texas officials are misleading the public.

The 300-page report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission verifies what University of Texas at Austin experts reported in July. Texans did not spend four days in the cold without electricity due to a paperwork snafu, as then-chair of the Texas Railroad Commission Christi Craddick claimed at a legislative hearing.

The real culprits were natural gas facilities that froze and failed to deliver fuel to power plants, triggering a deadly, four-day crisis. In July, I demanded that Craddick withdraw her slander against electricity companies and crack down on the natural gas industry she regulates.

Click here to read the complete story

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –11/27/2021

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –11/27/2021

HELLO:MORE VARIANT ACUTE INFORMATION (OMICRON)

HARRISON COUNTY IS QUIET

 A Claim of Herd Immunity Reignites Debate Over U.K. Covid Policy

”’ ….Previous projections about herd immunity have proven wrong, Professor Spector said, and the assumptions about the preconditions for it keep getting revised. In 2020, scientists said a country could achieve herd immunity if roughly 60 percent of its population were immune. More recently, scientists have revised the estimate to 85 percent, or higher — and some argue that in the United States, at least, it may never be reached…..“We act like Europe is so much worse, but we’ve just accepted a high death toll and higher infection rates for longer,…”  

MORE OMICRON VARIANT INFORMATION FROM NYT BY CARL ZIMMER 

”…As the coronavirus replicates inside people, new mutations constantly arise. Most provide the virus with no new advantage. When worrisome mutations do emerge, the World Health Organization uses Greek letters to name the variants. The first “variant of concern,” Alpha, appeared in Britain in late 2020, soon followed by Beta in South Africa….Omicron first came to light in Botswana, where researchers at the Botswana Harvard H.I.V. Reference Laboratory in Gaborone sequenced the genes of coronaviruses from positive test samples. They found some samples sharing about 50 mutations not found in such a combination before. So far, six people have tested positive for Omicron in Botswana, according to an international database of variants…(Some earlier variants, such as Beta and Mu, had evolved a strong ability to evade immune defenses. But they never became a serious threat to the world because they proved to be poor at transmitting)…The researchers found more than 30 mutations on a protein, called spike, on the surface of the coronavirus. The spike protein is the chief target of antibodies that the immune system produces to fight a Covid-19 infection. So many mutations raised concerns that Omicron’s spike might be able to evade antibodies produced by either a previous infection or a vaccine….It turned out that spike-negative samples were surging across South Africa, suggesting that Omicron had a competitive advantage over Delta, which until now had been the dominant variant in the country….Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist at Rockefeller University in New York, said that Omicron’s distinctive mutations raise the possibility that it first evolved inside the body of someone with H.I.V., whose immune systems may have been too weak to quickly fight it off. “Your responses are just not as good….Instead of getting cleared away in a matter of days, the virus may have lingered in that person for months, spending the time gaining the ability to evade antibodies. “This virus has seen a lot of antibodies,” Dr. Hatziioannou said….Still, vaccines are expected to provide some protection against Omicron because they stimulate not only antibodies but immune cells that can attack infected cells, Dr. Hatziioannou said. Mutations to the spike protein do not blunt that immune-cell response….And booster shots could potentially broaden the range of antibodies people make, enabling them to fight against new variants like Omicron. “We will see, because these studies are only now ongoing,…Even if Omicron does prove more transmissible than other variants,…vaccines would most likely remain vital weapons against it, both by slowing down its spread and making it more likely that people who do get sick only have mild Covid-19 instead of needing to go to the hospital.

(J. Harris: Medical Magazine and websites will lag behind good newspapers and NPR with new Covid information. TV can be helpful but not complete enough. For $1.00 per week for the first year, you can subscribe to the New York Times digital editions. The Washington Post, DMN, LA, and Houston papers are not as good for COVID NEWS in my opinion. You never have to look at editorial unless you wish. NPR is free with contributions optional and is excellent but not as complete as the NYT which is, in my opinion, the absolute very best current source for  Covid information) .

Merck says its antiviral pill is less effective in a final analysis. BY REBECCA ROBBINS

”….The pharmaceutical company Merck said on Friday that in a final analysis of a clinical trial, its antiviral pill [molnupiravir]reduced the risk of hospitalization and death among high-risk Covid patients by 30 percent, down from an earlier estimate of 50 percent….“The reduction in hospitalization is a little bit less, but there is still a big mortality benefit if you start early

[OTHER TYPES OF ACCOUTE COVID TREATMENT:]

Monoclonal antibody drugs, which are typically administered intravenously in the United States, have been found to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by at least 70 percent. Pfizer’s antiviral pill, Paxlovid, which was found in a clinical trial to cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 89 percent, could become available within weeks. Fluvoxamine, a common and inexpensive antidepressant, appears to be about as effective as molnupiravir.

FIND VACCINE PROVIDERS: http://www.vaccines.gov75670      (or your zip code)

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Opinion: My Tax Plan

 

By George Smith  — November 27, 2021

I wrote up a tax plan decades ago that went something like this (allowing for inflation):

Folks making $25,000 )

($50,000 couple) pays no federal income tax. The tax structure breaks down something like this:

Individuals:

$25,000-$50,000

10%

$50-100,000

15%

$100-$250,000

20%

$250-$500,000

25%

$500-1 million

30%

$1-20 million

32.5%

$20-100 million

35%

Over $100 million

40%

Only deductions

are for one mortgage (limited amount), college tuition (only for those making less than $100,000) and charitable contributions (maximum allowable for deductions $50,000).

Small businesses, corporations on a similar sliding scale.

Of course, the numbers are a moving target and debatable  but big corporations and the uber-rich not paying taxes is not an option.

Under this plan, based on current demographics in earning power, the government would have more than enough money to fix societal ills, balance the budget and buy every kid a pony.

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The Leaves are Falling Josey’s is Calling

 

 When it comes to barrel racing the work never stops, which is why barrel racers from across the country are headed to the Josey Ranch in Marshall, Texas. Home of legendary World Champions R.E. and Martha Josey students are coming to learn from these champions right in their backyard.

Coming from nine different states, over 160 students and their families will be attending clinics at the Ranch in the next two weeks. Students will be working on barrel racing techniques, training methods, and learning how to practice perfect with R.E., Martha, and their impeccable staff in the Fall and Thanksgiving Barrel Racing Clinics November 19-21 and November 26-28.

“We love teaching students all year, but the fall and thanksgiving clinics are always a little special,” explained Martha’s nephew and Josey instructor Gary Arthur. “We have taught thousands of students in the last 54 years, and they have all become part of the Josey Family. When we get to see returning students around the holiday times it’s a special experience, not to mention meeting new students and adding to the ranch family. They love coming to beautiful East Texas!”

Along with R.E., Martha, and Gary, the Josey Ranch has a very talented staff that works through the Ranch year-round to teach the future generation of barrel racers. Many of the staff members not only live in Marshall but drive in from across Texas and Louisiana. The staff includes Ty and Lisa Mitchell, Terry Thomas, Pamella Randall, Suvoy and Cheryl Rosser, Ashley Schenck, Elaine Lambino, Whitney Bettis, Marj Dahle, Micah Sebranke, Keely Henry, Luke Cruze, and Haley Coleman.

The Josey Ranch is always open to the public to offer shopping in the Josey Western Store, lunch at the concession stand, or family-friendly fun watching the barrel racers train through the clinics.  

Photo of Martha Josey teaching a student in the main arena.

Photo of Gary Arthur teaching a student in the main arena. 

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Scottsville TX 75688

CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –11/26/2021

HELLO,

FIND VACCINE PROVIDERS: http://www.vaccines.gov75670      (or your zip code)

NEW AFRICAN VARIANT

”…scientists are at work to study the new B.1.1.529 variant,…..In December last year, South Africa was the first nation to report the appearance of the Beta variant, which has now spread to nearly 70 countries. Scientists have been concerned that some clinical trials have shown that vaccines offer less protection against the Beta variant. Since then, the more virulent and aggressive Delta variant has spread all over the world…..In the past two days, scientists detected the variant after observing an increase in infections in South Africa’s economic hub surrounding Johannesburg. So far only a few dozen cases have been identified in South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel and Botswana…..This variant did surprise us — it has a big jump in evolution, many more mutations than we expected….

What scientists know about the new variant, B.1.1.529.

”…..Scientists are still unclear on how effective vaccines will be against the new variant flagged by a team in South Africa, which displays mutations that might resist neutralization. Only several dozen cases have been fully identified so far in South Africa, Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel……B.1.1.529, has a “very unusual constellation of mutations,” with more than 30 in the spike protein alone,….. the protein that helps to create an entry point for the coronavirus to infect human cells — the new variant has 10 mutations. In comparison, the Beta variant has three and the Delta variant two…..The new variant has largely been detected among young people, the cohort that also has the lowest vaccination rate in South Africa…..While cases of the variant are mainly concentrated in the country’s economic hub, particularly in the country’s administrative capital, Pretoria, it is “only a matter of time” before the virus spreads across the country as schools close and families prepare to travel for the holiday season,….

THE COVID FABLE

More Covid Mysteries (July 2021)

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Response To Feedback From A Reader

Response To Feedback From A Reader

By Ron Munden — 11/25/2021

Last week I posted an article by George Smith titled: Opinion: Lady Justice Bares Her Butt.  The article began:

Lady Justice climbed down from her stripper pole, threw her purple boa and matching garter belt and  sequined thong into the cheering throng and bared her bare buttocks to the entire world.

A few days later I got feedback from a reader in the form of a text message from a phone number I did not recognize.  The text said:

Why do you keep posting articles from George Smith?  He thinks he is so cute!

These are valid questions and I feel that I owe my readers an explanation so let’s get started.

First let me address the question — Is George Smith cute?

I googled “George Smith” and found 53 pictures of him on the internet.  I have reviewed the complete set and I must admit — George is pretty damn cute, particularly when he wears his hair longer.

Now.  Why would I post an article by George Smith?  The answer is very simple. One – I believe in freedom of the press and Two – I don’t believe in censorship.

People have criticized me for posting certain articles for almost 15 years now.  They have a right to criticize me as much as they like.  They are also encouraged to submit feedback articles.  

I don’t believe in censorship.  My policy has always been that I will publish any article as long as the person signs the article and provides me with contact information such as an email address.

While I reserve the right to not print an article,  I have only done that once.  But, I will add editors comments when the content of the article contains well established factually inaccurate information — sometimes called lies.

So Mr. Reader — I post George Smith’s articles because he is cute and he follows the guideline for this publication.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –11/24/2021

I’m sorry for the holiday intrusion. However, this information from today’s NYT is worth the effort. Have a nice holiday. J. Harris

UPDATE AND GUIDE FOR COVID TESTS NOV.2021 KEEP

From NEW YORK TIMES

BY David Leonhardt

‘’The Covid tests that you take in a doctor’s office or testing center are usually PCR tests, [ANTIBODY] which are designed to identify whether you have any amount of the Covid virus. They can sometimes come back positive even if you had the virus weeks earlier and have not been infectious for a long time…

‘The rapid tests — also known as antigen tests — are designed to tell whether you are infectious. That’s why they are such a powerful public-health tool. They can prevent somebody with the virus from spreading it to others.

‘’The most widely available antigen test seems to be BinaxNOW, from Abbott. You should also feel comfortable using QuickVue, Ellume and Flowflex, among others. If you search for one of these tests online and a website points you to a different brand, do some research. Others can be very expensive…

‘’Both CVS and Walgreens have search engines that let you find tests for sale near you. I recommend calling the store to confirm it still has them in stock — and then immediately going to buy it. A store may limit you to buying one test pack at a time.

‘’ Take one [Antigen test] at the start of every day when you planned to spend time with people outside your household.

‘’… in Britain, pharmacies offer free packs of seven tests that people can take at home. In Germany, rapid tests are also widely available and mostly free. In this country, the situation is different, largely because the F.D.A. has been slow to approve the tests.

‘’ …[In the US] They typically cost about $25 for a pack of two. The combination of their cost and irregular availability means that Americans interested in rapid tests often must make choices about when to use them.

‘’… “It is critically important that you carefully read any instructions for the type of test you are taking, and follow them to the letter…

”You will usually get a result within 15 minutes. Keep in mind that both false negatives and false positives are possible. Antigen tests typically identify 98 percent of infectious cases…

”If you get a positive result, take it seriously, and quarantine yourself until you know more. Ideally, you would try to confirm the result with a PCR test [Antibody] or a second rapid test — from a different brand… If the second is negative and you are vaccinated, you can probably trust the negative.

‘’Because most Americans have limited access to rapid tests, they need to triage their use. The two most important times to take a test are either after you may have been exposed to the virus or before you are spending time with medically vulnerable people, like those in their 70s or older.

‘’,,, prioritizing two groups for rapid testing: people who are not fully vaccinated, like children; and those who have spent more time in settings where they might have been exposed.

‘’By Christmas and New Year, tests should be easier to find than they are this week.’’

J. Harris: For a variety of reasons, the US has not emphasized testing as much as have other countries. Maybe we are too large and too scattered to be organized easily. At any rate, the new push (other than Vaccination) with be to make available and to use TESTS.

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Opinion: You guys okay?

 

By George Smith  — November 24, 2021

Texas First District Congressman Louie Gohmert is quitting his one-act “One Truck Pony” gig to run for state attorney general.

Gohmert is famous, you know. Google “dumbest congressman” — just those two words — and seven of top eight returns are about Gohmert.

With headlines like “The Dumbest Guy in Congress Asks U.S. Forest Service If It Can Change Moon’s Orbit”, and “Lincoln Project Co-Founder Calls Republican Louie Gohmert ‘America’s Craziest and Dumbest Congressman’”, it’s hard to think of a suitable runner-up for the coveted Dim Bulb Trophy. Well, it’s not really hard… just that the list is so darn long.

Gohmert raided $1 million in 10 days to reach the goal he says it would to put him in the race.

Ken Paxton and Louie Gohmert in the GOP primary for attorney general. YeeeeeeeHAAAAAAAW!

Watch out for flying field fritters. Texans are going to be dodging slung mud, well, not mud, but the same color and texture, for the next year.

Weather forecast: Heavy bluster-storms throughout the race with predictable cloudbursts of lies.

Votes can assume the absence of truth from both candidates followed by broken arms from patting themselves on the back.

It’s rumored the GOPers are even going to share a campaign song:

Trump cried dem dim bulbs
Trump cried dem dim bulbs
Now I hear the word of Trump

Dem bulbs
Dem bulbs
Dem dim bulbs

It’s going be he a long, long year with two candidates with common big-hat-no-cattle personas, try to out-dumb each other in the campaign trail.

Saddle up, Texans. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS –11/23/2021

FIND VACCINE PROVIDERS: http://www.vaccines.gov75670      (or your zip code) 

I’M GOING FISHING. RETURN PROBABLE.  GET YOUR 3RD JAB

A Texas court affirms a ruling against the governor’s ban on mask mandates.

”…Officials in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas have defied the governor by requiring people to wear masks in schools and other indoor public settings…The chief elected official in Dallas County celebrated a victory on Tuesday in his legal dispute over the governor’s ban on mask mandates, after a state appeals court upheld an earlier injunction against the ban.

FROM BECKER:

1. The cost of nurse turnover by the numbers

2. Fauci shares holiday guidance as COVID-19 cases continue to climb

HOPKINS CITED:

1. Impact of Hospital Strain on Excess Deaths During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United;States, July 2020–July 2021

”…Surges in COVID-19 cases have stressed hospital systems, negatively affected health care and public health infrastructures, and degraded national critical functions (1,2). Resource limitations, such as available hospital space, staffing, and supplies led some facilities to adopt crisis standards of care, the most extreme operating condition for hospitals, in which the focus of medical decision-making shifted from achieving the best outcomes for individual patients to addressing the immediate care needs of larger groups of patients (3). When hospitals deviated from conventional standards of care, many preventive and elective procedures were suspended, leading to the progression of serious conditions among some persons who would have benefitted from earlier diagnosis and intervention…”

2. Susceptibility of Livestock to SARS-CoV-2 Infection (Emerging Microbes and Infections) We report pilot studies to evaluate the susceptibility of common domestic livestock (cattle, sheep, goat, alpaca, rabbit, and horse) to intranasal infection with SARS-CoV-2. None of the infected animals shed infectious virus via nasal, oral, or faecal routes, although viral RNA was detected in several animals. Further, neutralizing antibody titres were low or non-existent one month following infection. These results suggest that domestic livestock are unlikely to contribute to SARS-CoV-2 epidemiology.

(J. Harris: This doesn’t include pets like cats and dogs and other little furry creatures.)

3. Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine Was 100% Effective in Kids in Longer-term Study (STAT News) Pfizer and BioNTech announced Monday that their Covid-19 vaccine was 100% efficacious in preventing infections in 12- to 15-year-olds, measured from seven days to four months after administration of the second dose of the vaccine. The companies said the new data — a longer-term analysis of a Phase 3 trial conducted in 2,228 participants — will form the basis of an application to the Food and Drug Administration for an extension of their Covid-19 vaccine license to cover youths in the age group. The longer-term analysis of the Phase 3 trial data showed no serious safety concerns over a follow-up period of at least six months after the second dose of the vaccine.

FROM JAMA MONDAY:

Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Pulmonary Embolism After BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine in People Aged 75 Years or Older NONE

In this nationwide study involving persons aged 75 years or older in France, no increase in the incidence of acute myocardial infarction, stroke, and pulmonary embolism was detected 14 days following each BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine dose.

[PFIZER]

Israeli and US studies reported that persons receiving the BNT162b2 vaccine were not at increased risk of myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism, or cerebrovascular events in the 42 days3 and 21 days4 following vaccination. Based on a self-controlled case-series design that compensates for the lack of randomization by eliminating the effect of time-invariant confounding factors, this study provides further evidence regarding the risk of serious cardiovascular adverse events in older people. Limitations of the study include the possibility of residual time-dependent confounding….Further investigations are needed to measure these risks in younger populations and for other types of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2.

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The Newest Texans Are Not Who You Think They Are

The Newest Texans Are Not Who You Think They Are

From Texas Monthly

Editor’s note:  An interesting article on who is coming to Texas.  Here are a few paragraphs from the article.  A link to the complete article is included at the end of this article

The record influx of recent arrivals from all over might be exactly what the state needs. That includes Californians. (And no, they’re not turning Texas blue.)

The Texas population grew by about four million people in the past decade—far more than any other state in raw numbers, and enough as a percentage to make it the third-fastest-growing state in the nation over that period, behind Utah and Idaho. Roughly 3,800 more people move here every week than move out of state. Tick down any list of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and Texas shows up again and again. Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio all landed on the list of cities with a population gain of at least 100,000 over the past decade

For one thing, despite all the public focus on Californication, there are intriguing signs that many of the newest arrivals share key characteristics with lifelong Texans. Many are coming for abundant jobs, lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a more reasonable cost of living (which may be hard to believe for Texan buyers and renters fretting over the housing market but is a fact).

It’s also worth noting that people moving from elsewhere make up only about half of Texas’s population growth; the other half comes from births outpacing deaths. Of the people moving here, about 40 percent come from other countries and 60 percent from other states—though that balance has tipped back and forth a few times in recent years.

To see the complete Texas Monthly article click here

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