John Karls' Final Judgment Whether “The Premonition” Was A “Hit Piece"

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solutions
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John Karls' Final Judgment Whether “The Premonition” Was A “Hit Piece"

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---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Your Final Judgment Re Whether “The Premonition” Was A “Hit Piece
From: Solutions
Date: Sat, July 24, 2021 4:12 pm PDT
To: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Attachment:
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Dear John,

I read with interest your Short Quiz which was featured in this morning’s weekly e-mail.

Then I noticed that you had already posted the Suggested Answers to the Short Quiz at viewtopic.php?f=650&t=2082&sid=4a4df6d0 ... a3bf636e18.

Q&A-18 answers the question “do you believe that our focus book -- Michael Lewis’ “The Premonition: A Pandemic Story” -- is a good example of a classic political “hit piece” aimed at misinforming the demographic comprising readers of Michael Lewis books, none of which have dealt with serious public-policy issues in the past???” with “What do you think??? Let’s discuss!!!”

After reading “The Premonition,” have you formed your own opinion after what was said in the last section of George Kunath’s Original Proposal (viewtopic.php?f=649&t=2080&sid=4a4df6d0 ... a3bf636e18) - which follows immediately below.

Your friend,

Solutions

**********
Reading Liberally Observations – This Book Appears To Be A Farce and Will Be Treated As Such

[The fact that this book appears to be a farce was discussed with George Kunath before he proposed it – but with the realization that political farce posing as a serious book is itself a public-policy issue that deserves our scrutiny together, of course, with the principle of “free speech.”]

Is it any wonder that “The Premonition” has been a NY Times Bestseller???

After all, two of the only three book reviews that Amazon.com was able to find came from the NY Times!!!

[Amazon ALWAYS provides excerpts from more than a dozen book reviews and our original proposals always delete repetitive excerpts and delete reviews from less-prestigious sources so that there is a less-daunting array of 8-10 excerpts.]

[The NY Times NEVER publishes two full-fledged “book reviews” of the same book.]

And is it any wonder that the NY Times promoted it???

After all, the “Book Description” per Amazon.com claims at the beginning – “For those who could read between the lines, the censored news out of China was terrifying. But the president insisted there was nothing to worry about.”

How can anyone square this BALD-FACED LIE with the facts that the president instituted a travel ban against China on 1/31/2020 (the first of its kind in the world vis-à-vis the pandemic) and the travel ban was immediately condemned as racist and Xenophobic and worse by all the leading Democrats including Nancy Pelosi who led, 24 days later on 2/24/2020, a protest march and dim sung lunch in San Francisco’s Chinatown???

The leading Democrats were apparently taking their cues already from Dr. Fauci who down played the travel ban on 1/31/2020, the date it was issued, by saying at a press briefing:

“There are a number of countries outside of China that have travel-related cases. And now what we’re seeing is that there are secondary cases from them, and, as [CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield] mentioned, we also have that in this country. The WHO has issued, as you know, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern declaration. If you put all these things together, I underscore what Bob said: We still have a low risk to the American public, but we want to keep it at a low risk. And because there are so many unknowns here, we’re going to take the action that the Secretary [of HHS] will describe, in a temporary way, to make sure we mitigate, as best as we possibly can, this risk.”

So why should Michael Lewis’ selection of some peripheral officials for their “take” on the pandemic be viewed as a serious study of pandemic public-policy???

“The Premonition” appears to be a political “hit piece” aimed at misinforming the demographic comprising readers of Michael Lewis books – none of which have dealt with serious public-policy issues in the past.

Accordingly, if its initial appearance as POLITICAL FARCE is accurate, selection of “The Premonition” as the focus for one of our meetings will be treated as a focus on the public-policy issue of political farce posing as a serious book together, of course, with the principle of “free speech.”

*****
For anyone who would like to focus on the pandemic as a public-policy issue, Matt Lawlor proposed on 5/23/2021 –

New York Times Bestseller “An Elegant Defense: The Extraordinary New Science of the Immune System” by the NY Times’ Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Science Journalist Matt Richtel (William Morrow Publishing 3/24/2020 – 448 pages – $16.99 + shipping or $12.99 Kindle from Amazon.com).


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Re: Your Final Judgment Re Whether “The Premonition” Was A “Hit Piece
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: Sun, July 25, 2021 7:34 am MDT
To: Solutions
Attachment:
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Dear Solutions,

Yes, I had formed my own opinion.

Before festooning his book with nothing but stories of obscure or relatively-obscure individuals, Michael Lewis posits his thesis in an introduction in which he CLAIMS (page xv) –

“Before the pandemic, a panel of public-health experts had judged the United States to be more prepared for a pandemic than other G7 nations.”

And based on this CLAIM, he calculates that by February 2021, 450 thousand Americans had died of COVID and if the death rate in the U.S. had simply tracked the average of the other six G7 nations, 180 thousand of those Americans would still be alive.

FIRST, THE MINOR POINT is that Michael Lewis does not bother to mention the infamous nursing-home deaths in NY, NJ, Pennsylvania and Michigan that were caused by the infamous orders of the Governors of those states that forced nursing homes to take back residents who had been hospitalized with COVID if they recovered.

It has been widely reported before Michael Lewis’ publication date (5/4/2021) that NY Governor Cuomo vastly understated more than 15 thousand such deaths for a variety of reasons including promotion of his self-laudatory book. Even though Pres. Biden’s Justice Department has just announced that it is dropping its criminal investigation of Gov. Cuomo, the N.Y. Attorney General is continuing her criminal investigation of him.

SECOND, THE MAJOR POINT is what we already knew from our two studies of “Medicare for All” – please see “7/12/2017: Saving the Government $300 Billion/Year – Medicare For All” at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1631&sid=4a4df6d0f ... a3bf636e18
and “12/18/2019: Reprise: Saving the Government $86 Billion/Year – Medicare For All” at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1869&sid=4a4df6d0f ... a3bf636e18.

[A footnote for the curious -- The drop in ANNUAL savings from $300 billion to $86 billion was caused by the drop in the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. This meant that the income-tax cost to the U.S. government of employer-provided healthcare had dropped precipitously. So in the equation of all costs and benefits of converting to “Medicare for All,” one of the cost-savings had dropped precipitously.]

So what was THE MAJOR POINT that we already knew???

The United Nations World Health Organization ranks “the health system performance” of the U.S. only 37th in the world -- which means that since there are only 35 other members of the OECD, American healthcare is EVEN OUTRANKED BY AT LEAST ONE THIRD-WORLD COUNTRY!!!

SO IF THE UNITED STATES HAS A “THIRD-WORLD” HEALTHCARE SYSTEM, WHO ON EARTH WAS THE “PANEL OF PUBLIC-HEALTH EXPERTS [THAT] HAD JUDGED THE UNITED STATES TO BE MORE PREPARED FOR A PANDEMIC THAN OTHER G7 NATIONS” AS CLAIMED BY MICHAEL LEWIS???

Unlike serious books, “The Premonition” has no footnotes!!!

And on p. xv of his introduction as he is positing the thesis for his book, Michael Lewis DOES NOT identify the so-called panel of experts.

MICHAEL LEWIS IS GUILTY OF EITHER USING AN ANONYMOUS SOURCE OR MAKING UP AN ANONYMOUS SOURCE!!!

In this regard, please see Q&A of the Suggested Answers to the Short Quiz –

Question 3

For good measure, did the U.S. Supreme Court DEVIATE from the rest of the English-speaking world and English “common law” by deciding in New York Times vs. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) that “public figures” can be defamed unless “actual malice” can be proved?

Answer 3

Yes.

Many would argue that this case opened the flood gates for lies in the American media.

Including news media stories that claim to be based on “anonymous sources” and news media stories often based on a single “anonymous source” – which leads to many stories that are simply “made up” by the “anonymous source” or “made up” by the journalist without any “anonymous source” as falsely claimed.

The “old” (some would say “ancient” and many would say “dead and buried”) journalistic standard of at-least-two sources whose identities, if possible, are disclosed so that the reader can assess the truth/falsity of the report – is a rarity these days.


*****
So you have to ask whether it is time to “blow the whistle” on such obvious “hit pieces” as Michael Lewis’ “The Premonition”???

Enough already!!!

Your friend,

John K.

solutions
Site Admin
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:38 pm

Follow-Up on “Premonition” – Heads Up Re New Topic Proposal

Post by solutions »

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---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Follow-Up on “Premonition” – Heads Up Re New Topic Proposal
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: Thu, July 29, 2021 5:09 am MDT
To: Solutions
Attachment:
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Dear Solutions,

This is a follow-up to my July 25 e-mail on the subject of my “Final Judgment Re Whether ‘The Premonition’ Was A ‘Hit Piece.’” It said, in summary -

“THE PREMONITION” IS A FARCE AND POLITICAL HIT PIECE --

(1) COMPRISING SOLELY SOME CHARMING STORIES CONCERNING OBSCURE OR RELATIVELY-OBSCURE INDIVIDUALS; BUT

(2) BASED ENTIRELY ON A FALSE CLAIM (for which the source was either anonymous or made up) THAT BEFORE THE PANDEMIC THE U.S. WAS “MORE PREPARED FOR A PANDEMIC THAN OTHER G7 NATIONS”; AND

(3) THE RESULTING FALSE CLAIM THAT OF AMERICA’S FIRST 450 THOUSAND COVID DEATHS, 180 THOUSAND SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED; WHEN

(3) WE ALREADY KNEW FROM BOTH OUR 2017 AND 2019 STUDIES THAT AMERICA’S “HEALTHCARE SYSTEM PERFORMANCE” IS CONSISTENTLY OUTRANKED BY ALL OF THE OTHER 35 MEMBERS OF THE OECD AND EVEN SOME THIRD-WORLD COUNTRIES!!!

Accordingly, this month’s Short Quiz and Suggested Answers focused on THE ONLY PUBLIC-POLICY ISSUE RAISED BY “THE PREMONITION” – viz., whether "The Premonition" IS covered by “free speech” and whether it SHOULD BE covered by “free speech.”

The reason for this “Heads Up”???

Yesterday (July 28), I proposed that we read for a future meeting “Medicare For All: A Citizen’s Guide” by Dr. Abdul El-Sayad & Dr. Micah Johnson (Oxford University Press 2/1/2021 – 344 pages – Hardcover $9.26 + shipping or $8.57 Kindle from Amazon.com).

The Harvard Club of NYC conducted a Zoom webinar by Doctors El-Sayad and Johnson on their book the day before yesterday (July 27) which confirmed that their book is not only up-to-date (published 2/1/2021) but covers in detail how atrocious America’s healthcare system was/is – NOT ONLY IN GENERAL BUT ALSO IN TERMS OF ITS PREPAREDNESS TO COPE WITH THE PANDEMIC!!!

Accordingly, unlike “The Premonition,” it should cover honestly the public-policy issue of preparedness to cope with the pandemic.

The “Medicare For All: Citizen’s Guide” proposal is available at viewtopic.php?f=150&t=2084&sid=f1b976f3 ... 6e32b9c2ab.

Your friend,

John K.

solutions
Site Admin
Posts: 202
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 8:38 pm

CBS “60 Minutes” Interview of Michael Lewis - August 1

Post by solutions »

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---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: CBS “60 Minutes” Interview of Michael Lewis - August 1
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: Sun, August 1, 2021 7:22 pm PDT
To: Solutions
Attachment:
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Dear Solutions,

Further confirmation that Michael Lewis’ “The Premonition” was a political “hit piece” arrived earlier this evening during a CBS “60 Minutes” interview of Michael Lewis re his new book.

And “The Premonition” AS FARCICAL HISTORY is difficult to tolerate for someone whose real job (vs. my “day job” as an attorney) was to read every year 12-15 thick biographies and historical tomes to present “overlooked nuggets” to my wife for possible inclusion in the next edition of the nation’s most popular World History textbook of which she was co-author (McGraw Hill with National Geographic illustrations) – there were six editions during our 33 years of marriage.

My July 25 e-mail which you requested, explained why “The Premonition” is a farce and nothing more than a political “hit piece.”

Further confirmation arrived earlier this evening.

At 40 minutes into CBS’ “60 Minutes,” John Dickerson begins to interview Michael Lewis about “The Premonition.”

Six minutes later (46 minutes into “60 Minutes”), John Dickerson with obvious mirth signaling sarcasm, asks Michael Lewis why in early 2020 a self-appointed group of private doctors calling themselves “Wolverines” were spear-heading according to “The Premonition” the U.S. response to COVID.

And with equally-obvious mirth signaling sarcasm, Michael Lewis responds --

“In the first place, the Trump Administration abdicated responsibility for running, for the federal government, he just walked away from that, right, he just said: ‘Governors, you’re on your own.’”

AND JOHN DICKERSON DOES NOT CHALLENGE THIS BALD-FACED LIE!!!

EVEN THOUGH JOHN DICKERSON MUST HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS A BALD-FACED LIE!!!

AFTER ALL, JOHN DICKERSON IS A MEMBER OF CBS’ NEWS DIVISION.

MOREOVER, JOHN DICKERSON WAS PRESUMABLY SELECTED BY CBS’ “60 MINUTES” TO INTERVIEW MICHAEL LEWIS BECAUSE HE (DICKERSON) HAD DETAILED KNOWLEDGE OF THE PANDEMIC AND ITS HANDLING.

So why was Michael Lewis’ claim an obvious bald-faced lie???

FIRST, my July 25 e-mail which you requested, explained in painstaking detail that Michael Lewis’ “The Pandemic” employs either an anonymous source or made-up source to posit the false thesis for his book that by February 2021, 450 thousand Americans had died of COVID – AND 180 THOUSAND OF THOSE AMERICANS SHOULD STILL HAVE BEEN ALIVE -- and explained in painstaking detail why that claim is false; and

SECOND, Reading Liberally’s Original Proposal of “The Premonition” said it was “political farce” and would be treated as such because it purposely ignores that -

“the president instituted a travel ban against China on 1/31/2020 (the first of its kind in the world vis-à-vis the pandemic) and the travel ban was immediately condemned as racist and Xenophobic and worse by all the leading Democrats including Nancy Pelosi who led, 24 days later on 2/24/2020, a protest march and dim sung lunch in San Francisco’s Chinatown. The leading Democrats were apparently taking their cues already from Dr. Fauci who down played the travel ban on 1/31/2020, the date it was issued.”

THE NEW “60 MINUTES” BALD-FACED LIE???

“In the first place, the Trump Administration abdicated responsibility for running, for the federal government, he just walked away from that, right, he just said: ‘Governors, you’re on your own.’”

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

On January 29, 2020, two days before the president’s supposedly-Xenophobic China travel ban, the president established his “White House Coronavirus Task Force” (aka “The President’s Coronavirus Task Force”).

Its initial membership on January 29 was –

Alex Azar – U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services – AND TASK FORCE CHAIR
Stephen Biegun – U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
Robert Blair – Senior Advisor to the White House Chief of Staff
Ken Cuccinelli – Acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
Anthony Fauci – Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Joe Grogan – Director of the Domestic Policy Council
Derek Kan – Executive Associate Director of the Office of Management and Budget
Chris Liddell – White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination
Robert C. O’Brien – National Security Adviser
Matthew Pottinger – Deputy National Security Adviser
Robert R. Redfield – Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (aka “CDC”)
Joel Szabat – Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy

On February 26, Vice President Michael Pence took over as TASK FORCE CHAIR from Alex Azar who remained as a member of the Task Force.

On February 26, the Task Force acquired the following ADDITIONAL members –

Michael Pence – U.S. Vice President AND NEW TASK FORCE CHAIR
Deborah Birx – U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
Vice Admiral Jerome Adams – Surgeon General of the U.S.
Larry Kudlow – Director of the National Economic Council
Steven Mnuchin – U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

The original 12 members, plus the additional 5 on February 26, were joined by another 11 for a final total of 28 --

March 1 – Ben Carson – U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
March 1 – Kelvin Droegemeier – Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy
March 1 – Stephen Hahn – Commissioner of Food and Drugs
March 2 – Seema Verma – Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
March 2 – Robert Wilkie – U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs
March 13 – Admiral Brett Giroir – Assistant Secretary of Health
May 15 – Francis Collins – Director of the National Institute of Health
May 15 – Thomas J. Engels – Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration
May 15 – Peter Marks – Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research
May 15 – Sonny Purdue – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
May 15 – Eugene Scalia – U.S. Secretary of Labor


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THE NEW “60 MINUTES” BALD-FACED LIE (cont’d)???

“In the first place, the Trump Administration abdicated responsibility for running, for the federal government, he just walked away from that, right, he just said: ‘Governors, you’re on your own.’”

No, the president did NOT say “Governors, you’re on your own.”

From its creation in January 2020, The White House Coronavirus Task Force (aka The President’s Coronavirus Task Force) WORKED WITH THE GOVERNORS to, inter alia –

(1) invoke The Defense Production Act to ensure that such items as ventilators were never in short supply; and

(2) initiate in early April “Operation Warp Speed” to develop vaccines for delivery to Governors that started 7 months later in November – when all of the experts claimed vaccines could NOT be developed faster than 3-5 years, if ever.

If you look at the news clips during the Spring of 2020, The White House Coronavirus Task Force received nothing but kudos from the Governors – until NY Gov. Cuomo decided in early summer to author a self-congratulatory book in a failed attempt to promote himself as a Presidential Candidate.


**********
In closing, please permit me to re-iterate how appalling are the attempts for fraudsters such as Michael Lewis and now John Dickerson to re-write history.

Reading Liberally’s Original Proposal of “The Pandemic” had said that the public-policy issues presented by “The Pandemic” would be treated as “political farce” and whether such putative defamation is protected by “free speech.”

In this regard, the Reading Liberally weekly newsletters have mentioned that at our August 11 meeting, I intend to demonstrate that the Supreme Court’s “NY Times vs. Sullivan” requirement FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS to prove either “ACTUAL MALICE” or "RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR THE TRUTH" should be a “slam dunk” in the case of Michael Lewis and “The Premonition” – at least IN THEORY because it is recognized that as a practical matter, any jury would be likely to have at least one “Trump Hater” who has lied her/his way onto the jury.

The “60 Minutes” interview demonstrates IMHO obvious “malice” by both Michael Lewis and John Dickerson.

BTW, my presentation on Aug 11 will demonstrate how easy it would be to obtain evidence of “actual malice” on the parts of Michael Lewis, his editor and his publisher as all of their files have to be turned over to the plaintiff under the “discovery rules” of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and as their depositions are then taken “under penalties of perjury.”

Ditto for John Dickerson, “60 Minutes” and CBS.

So enough for now. I hope you will attend our Aug 11 meeting.

Your friend,

John K.

PS – I trust you won’t twit me for appearing to violate our long-standing policy of being a NON-PARTISAN public-policy study/action group --

After all, it is impossible to analyze the “public policy” of the Supreme Court's decision in New York Times vs. Sullivan (376 U.S. 254 (1964)) and its progeny limiting defamation of public officials or candidates for public office to cases involving ACTUAL MALICE or RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR THE TRUTH (the progeny extended this limitation to defamation of “public figures”) without a real-life example involving a public official or candidate for public office. Since U.S. democracy essentially runs on a two-party system, any example of a public official or candidate for public office will, virtually of necessity, involve either a Republican or a Democrat.

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