Scottville City Commissioner Rob Alway recently published a provocatively titled piece declaring that entitlements do not include community events.  Now certainly, as a city commissioner he has probably received some grief from constituents since practically every Scottville summer community event has been shelved, including the Harvest Festival hybrid-- which traditionally has taken place towards the first day of fall, more than 100 days in the future.  

He has also encountered lamentations and outrage when he has posted many of the events cancelled this summer already in Ludington on his website.  Earlier in the day before his editorial, he broke the news that the Friday Night Lives would not take place this summer in an article for the Mason County Press.  This was not well received by many in the comments, as has most declarations of cancellations prior:

 

All of the griping and moaning convinced him that an editorial was due for those who just couldn't figure things out.  He wanted to make a few things clear in his own pedantic way.  His point will be presented in full, a counterpoint will be presented immediately thereafter in response to his highlighted 'perspectives' and then a summation.

POINTCommunity events are not an entitlement.

I love summer and I love the many events that take place in our community. I have participated in many of these events in various functions: as an attendee, as a journalist and as a volunteer. Most of these events are funded through donations. They are planned by volunteers who begin planning the events months in advance. These volunteers organize these events because they love our community.  Naturally, when we read about the cancellation of one of these great events, due to a pandemic, we get upset. And, it’s OK to be upset. But, let’s keep some things in perspective:


A pandemic is defined as a disease prevalent over a whole country or the world. It is not isolated to Mason County.
Community events are not an entitlement.
Making the decisions to cancel these events are not easy decisions.


The people who organize these events care very deeply for our communities. I would dare say they care much more about our communities more than those of you who sit behind your computers and spew out negative comments on social media about “how dare ‘they’ cancel this event or that event.”
Speaking about that previous sentence, when our society returns back to “normal” I would like to challenge more people to step up and volunteer around our communities. At the minimum, take a moment to thank the many people who bring you those annual community events [END]

COUNTERPOINT:  The above diagram was constructed in late February, before the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a pandemic so it could do more.  Covid-19 and influenza (flu) are both viruses with minor differences.  The differences noted at this time imply that Covid-19 was 20 times more deadly than the flu, and other things were unknown. 

Since then multiple tests have shown that a significant portion of the population has antibodies for Covid-19, meaning that they have made contact with the virus and survived, often with few or no symptoms.  Recently, Israel announced that tests for Covid-19 antibodies indicate that 200,000 Israelis have the antibodies, yet only 290 have died, rounded to the nearest tenth of a percent, that's 0.1% which is the same fatality rate of the flu-- which has its own vaccine!  Antibody tests made in the US have shown similar rates, some even less.

Influenza season is effectively a pandemic every year, the above graph from a 2009 Wall Street Journal article notes that the CDC estimates that the flu is involved in 15 times more death than it is given credit for each year in the US.   Which means that in 1999, about 50,000 people died as a direct result from the flu, but another 700,000 had the flu and died from something else being diagnosed.  Being that those types of deaths would be labelled Covid-19 deaths this year due to the new protocols, we see why the deaths totalling over 100,000 could be nothing more than a reclassification statistic for a new seasonal strain of flu.

[EDITOR's NOTE, 6-10-20:  on review of this chart, the CDC estimated 50,000 deaths in 1999, there were only around 3000 reported deaths, this weakens the argument used in the previous paragraph.  What follows is an alternative way of observing the anomaly of 100,000 Covid-19 deaths].  If 5-20% of people in the US get the flu each year, then one should expect those that survive should have antibodies in their system.  Roughly 700,000 people die in the US every three months of all causes, if we count the 5-20% that have that year's flu antibodies in their system as flu deaths (even if that's not the cause),  then 35,000 to 140,000 deaths will be from the flu since post-mortem tests would be positive.  

So why are we cancelling summer events held outside and outside-the-flu-season while using pandemic hysteria as a rationale?  It's not difficult to see that downtown Scottville and Ludington are in crisis because their freedom of whether to stay open or close their doors were taken from them in early March by a governor willing to shut them down as non-essential parts of our community. 

Precautions are fine when you don't know how bad a new virus is going to be, but Governor Whitmer used a model where 70% of Michiganders would contract the virus, and the death rate would be twenty times what it has turned out to be.  These are unfathomable numbers to most epidemiologists  looking at the available data at that time.  Even when more data started pouring in, she kept Main Street closed in Scottville, it's now coming up on three months.  

Scottville Commissioner Rob Alway not only permitted the oppressive hand of the governor to clench the commercial throat of Scottville, he condoned Scottville police chief's closing of an essential service being provided by Five Cap Inc. for a specious reason of having non-essential work being performed in providing food and services for the area's needy.  

Reporter Rob Alway never pondered why it was safer for just a few stores like Wal-Mart to remain open under reduced hours, and thus be more densely packed, while all of his Main Street for three months was forced by the government to remain shut under penalty of fine and arrest-- when they could have remained open and operated safely, even if Covid-19 had turned out to be more virulent and deadly than the flu.  This includes the Fivecap building on North Main that he passes everytime he goes downtown from his house, the one business his local government made an example of with a special 'community event' of closure.  

Community events can bring communities together, but few would mind missing them if there was good cause; only an out-of-touch politician would equate these with being entitlements when Scottville's government has been actively complicit in choking the life out of its people's ability to earn a living with their businesses and jobs. 

Freedom is an entitlement that you have helped take away from your community, Commissioner Alway, remaining silent on tyranny from above while perpetuating the myths of an overblown flu pandemic to keep Scottville merchants gasping for breath under your knee.  How dare you!

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Well said X. I was in Scottvile a few days ago and it is such a sad sight to see. It's like a ghost town. Compare that to how Scottville was thriving not that many years ago. This Covid19 scam has all but wiped out the business part of town. Rob Alway's take on the situation doesn't help. Like most of the press he doesn't do the necessary research to produce an accurate article of what is really taking place. He's been Whitmer's right hand man in Scottville.

First of all, COVID is a bacteria disease, not a virus, already proven in most recent scientific studies. Second, the Harvest Festival isn't ever coming back since being cancelled forever last year or year before. A bacteria can be treated with simple aspirin and antibiotics, no vaccine is required for a cure. So, all this cancelling of activities is silly and paranoia instilled by the left to destroy the Trump accomplishments of the last 3-1/2 years, simple as that. And the Liberal Left is capitalizing on it to destroy the economy and keep Trump from being reelected in November, but it's going to backfire anyhow imho, sad truths that only keep America weakened.

When did we stop believing the experts? Not just one or two, but multiple organizations full of learned people in those fields who have experienced a situation or in this case, a virus firsthand. Not only did X identify one source making it clear this "COVID-19 is a bacteria" claim is a hoax, but you could find it fairly easy to confirm as false. I believe in finding the truth through dedicated hard work and clear thinking, but the propagation of blatant falsehoods is not that. I may disagree with X as to the "hysteria" surrounding the virus, but I will at least acknowledge that there is a difficulty in utilizing modeling for predicting outbreaks and our completely human reaction to the information.

Aquaman, it's easy to dismiss some of the hysteria behind coronavirus as hoaxes, however, I have a hard time believing the counter-hoax that it is a bacteria.  Even most scientists who can't agree on transmission and death rates have come to this conclusion, the bacteria hypothesis is a theme coming from Italy, which has since been revealed as a myth.

As for the Harvest Festival, it was melded with Scottville's Summerfest to be a July event for the first time last year.  If Scottville wasn't torn apart so much as a community, and if their crippled economy could support such an event, it might be something worth looking into again, even this year.  But there is no quality leadership anywhere in that town right now.

Scottville has been a community that has slowly died over the years due to loss of good paying jobs, quality housing options, and any sort of "quality of life" businesses like Steve's Bar. This is not atypical for small towns across the country as has been noted by the National Review and other sources. However, I would contend that if they were to do some honest self-critique, they would recognize some immediate improvements they could make. There is a very interesting book called "Our Towns" by James and Deborah Fallows that is about communities of all sizes and their struggles which lay a good groundwork for some approaches to recovery.

Steve's Bar and Restaurant in Scottville was a prime attraction for many charterboat captains in the day for dinner specials. They had a different special every nite that was very tasty, big portions, and very reasonably priced, and of course most guys drank a few adult beverages to boot. Italy has the proofs now this is a common bacterium disease too, their own curves for infections has flattened way down, and deaths aren't nearly what they were at first. So, I believe in science too, but experts on a new disease can only hypothesize with faulty modeling, which we have also seen here in vast numbers of falsehood.

Epictetus, I am having a problem with the 'reply' feature on my computer, so allow me to address your question here of:  "When did we stop believing the experts?"

We generally accept an expert's advice on most things, especially when they an expert on science.  But just as two legal experts can argue totally opposite sides on a legal case with a full set of established laws and precedents already on the books, the same is often true in the realm of science.  Let's take a look at the errors of the 'experts' at the CDC have said this year alone.

They’ve been wrong about the models. They’ve been wrong about the lockdowns. They’ve been wrong about the distance the particles travel in the air. They’ve been wrong about the transmission of the virus from asymptomatic individuals. They’ve been wrong about the spread of the virus on surfaces. They’ve been wrong about the infection fatality rate. They’ve been wrong about the dangers of the virus to children and young adults. They’ve been wrong about the use of face masks. They’ve been wrong in their abilities to protect individuals in long-term care facilities. They’ve been wrong in the way they’ve counted COVID-19 deaths. They’ve been wrong in how they’ve classified COVID-19 cases.  Remember any apologies at any press conferences for these errors?

The governors and mayors who enacted the policies of the CDC, Drs. Fauci, and Birx destroyed constitutional protections and failed to enact rational recommendations to protect the most vulnerable.

It is irrational to believe that these people are experts in science and governing when they have ignored alternative scientific and political viewpoints in getting us to where we are-- especially when those places around the country and the world that have not went along with most of the crazy, inexact scientipolitics have fared remarkably well.

One must understand that science, just like politics, can get corrupted by outside influences whose goals aren't truth, transparency, and accountability.

I agree X. What really bothers me is that many well respected scientists cannot be counted on to be objective and promote the scientific method of review and discussion as to what is or is not facts. Like many of the models and predictions made by the fools on Covid19. One major disappointment is Neil Degrasse Tyson who says in affect that the science is settled about global warming and we as common citizens should not question it. What shmuck he turned out to be. As can be expected I don't pay any attention to his opinions any more.

I also am having trouble with posting. Especially editing.

Good points, X, about why it is hard to trust the "experts." And then dont forget our own city Councilor science expert who was swayed by some expert on "the news" not quoted that we could have 14 million cases of Covid19 in 21 days, because "bacteria" spreads like we've all seen in those high school laboratory experiments. Well, let me add that expert opinion to the list. Stuff like that makes one have questions about the expert authority.

I do remember that, FS, and that expert could have had the rest of the city officials believing that COVID-19 is a bacteria, seems like she convinced Aquaman at least.  Thank goodness Michigan has only 10 million people in it, if that's the population she was referring to, 14 million would affect all those people dead and moved away in Michigan and still on the voter rolls that our lovely secretary of state sent applications to unlawfully.

As an addendum to the believing the experts dialog that I hope Epictetus can continue, he/she assumes that science and its goals is apolitical, but it has allowed itself to be corrupted in a way that should be obvious to anybody paying minimal attention and who believes in the basics of science.  Case in point, this article explaining how 1000 health professionals signed a letter arguing that protests should not be shut down on account of COVID-19.  

"We created the letter in response to emerging narratives that seemed to malign demonstrations as risky for the public health because of Covid-19," according to the letter writers, many of whom are part of the University of Washington's Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 
"Instead, we wanted to present a narrative that prioritizes opposition to racism as vital to the public health, including the epidemic response. We believe that the way forward is not to suppress protests in the name of public health but to respond to protesters demands in the name of public health, thereby addressing multiple public health crises."

"However, as public health advocates, we do not condemn these gatherings as risky for COVID-19 transmission. We support them as vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people in the United States. We can show that support by facilitating safest protesting practices without detracting from demonstrators' ability to gather and demand change. This should not be confused with a permissive stance on all gatherings, particularly protests against stay-home orders."

If you can read just that and not notice a political bias (the letter is more dramatic in other places) in the pseudo-science they offer, then do what's good for your health by going out to demonstrate against something you've never had the urge to demonstrate against before-- march shoulder to shoulder with unmasked high-risk individuals like the governor did, because it's good for your health according to all of these experts who should be ashamed of themselves.

Good points X. Insanity spread by leftists. That articled posted by X was written by a CNN reporter so maybe .000001% of it may have some truth to it. That truth being it is a CNN fabricated story. If anyone really believes that rioting and burning cities is acceptable behavior and will not spread Covid19 but peacefully protesting the forced shut down of businesses will  then I pity those of you who have been brainwashed.

And with all these 1200 medical experts telling us that protesting, but only when done for liberal causes, is good for the health and soul of individuals and society even without masks and social distancing, where is good old mega-expert, America's epidemiologist-in-chief, Dr. Tony Fauci? 

Yeah, that guy who explicitly told us for months that human interaction and contact, like these last couple of weeks of close protests and riots, were the nightmare scenario, and calmly told politicians and the expert-trusting public, that small businesses would have to close and remain closed, livelihoods would have to be ruined, etc. so that people could isolate themselves before this supervirus flattened out fully and we had a vaccine.  A dozen days of protests later...

That little prick is nowhere to be found.  Fantastic hoax while it lasted, Dr. Fauci.

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