Media Misrepresents Ivermectin Data in Campaign to Humiliate Conservatives

When leftist media manipulation outlets like CNN or NPR decide that a topic is ripe for propagandizing, they waste no time producing messaging to fool their unsuspecting readers. The latest misinformation campaign revolves around the drug Ivermectin and the people supposedly taking it.

Ivermectin has been used for decades in both human and veterinary patients as a highly effective and safe anti-parasitic. In more recent years it has also shown promise as an anti-viral drug in limited studies.

However, article after article over the last few weeks has tried to redefine the widely prescribed medication as being strictly for livestock like horses and cattle. At the same time they promote the notion that it is being extensively consumed by humans in areas of low vaccination in the conservative south. But the numbers don’t seem to support the notion of a meaningful spike in this kind of behavior.

Take the following Facebook post and article from NPR for example. The entire piece was based on an alert from the Mississippi State Department of Health that reported an increase in calls to poison control regarding Ivermectin.

The report claimed most callers had mild symptoms and no hospitalizations were recorded. Furthermore, the report seemed to indicate that the “jump in calls” could be represented by fewer than ten people. Hardly the kind of numbers likely to inspire a full write-up by a national publication.

CNN got in on the Mississippi alert too. By hyper-focusing on the livestock use of Ivermectin, the headline indicates that is all it is used for.

When NBC News reported that Joe Rogan had taken Ivermectin for Covid-19, they described it as a “widely discredited drug”. That statement is dangerously false. Ivermectin is often credited as a “wonder drug” and is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. The fact that it hasn’t been proven to cure Covid-19 in no way implies that the drug is discredited, widely or otherwise. NBC’s subtitle continues the false narrative that masses of people are taking the livestock formulation of Ivermectin.

Of course the most egregious example of fake news and misinformation about Ivermectin came from a widely discredited article in Rolling Stone magazine. The title reads “Gunshot Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says”. The problem was, no gunshot victims were left waiting anywhere for any reason. Also, Oklahoma hospitals were not overwhelmed with “horse dewormer overdoses”. Their reporting was based on the lies of a single doctor who didn’t even work directly for the hospital.

Rolling Stone eventually updated the article with the following statement from the Northeastern Hospital System Sequoyah:

Although Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah, he is affiliated with a medical staffing group that provides coverage for our emergency room. With that said, Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months. NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose. All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care. We want to reassure our community that our staff is working hard to provide quality healthcare to all patients. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue and as always, we value our community’s support.” 

Even the original photograph used by the article’s author was misleading. It wasn’t of people waiting to get into a hospital. Instead, it was people waiting in line to get a Covid-19 vaccine. The photo was later changed.

The Rolling Stone debacle hasn’t stopped the Ivermectin propaganda. NPR was right back at it over the weekend trying to justify their self-important stance with a headline that read “Poison Control Centers Are Fielding A Surge Of Ivermectin Overdose Calls”.

What constitutes a nationwide “surge” in calls to poison control centers?  According to a bulletin published by the American Association of Poison Control Centers there have been 1143 calls over the last eight months. To put this in perspective, there were 402 calls about Ivermectin in 2019 before the Covid pandemic even began.

While the 2021 numbers are certainly higher, 1143 calls doesn’t seem to warrant the huge nationwide coverage that left-leaning publications are giving it.

All of this begs the question why are left-leaning media outlets working so hard to convince their readers that vast numbers of people (particularly conservative, unvaccinated ones from the South) are ingesting mass doses of drugs formulated for livestock?

It’s not that they care about people making foolish choices to consume animal medications because while it happens, it’s not the epidemic they make it out to be. It’s certainly not a desire to clamp down on misinformation since they are themselves grossly misrepresenting data.

Instead their reporting propels the narrative that the southern part of the country is crawling with simpleminded rubes who reject science, are anti-vaccination, and are killing themselves and others through their obviously stupid choices. Of course these are false claims and lies but those are exactly the tactics members of the mainstream media love to use when trying to misrepresent and humiliate conservatives.

Difficult Times Will Come

The recent snowstorms in Texas and other states reminded me of all the crazy events that have been taking place since 2019. Crazy weather and social events happen all the time. But over the last year and a half, they’ve been happening with more frequency and intensity. The following is a list I compiled toward the end of 2020. A lot more has happened since I compiled this and I should probably start compiling an update soon. So without further ado:

Hanging a 100lb Heavy Bag

I got a great deal on Craigslist for a 50 lb punching bag. After repacking it with another 50 lbs of sand, I needed a secure way to hang it. I bolted a 2×6 across three ceiling joists. Then, I bolted four Husky anchor points to the 2×6 and the joist above it. Each anchor point has a 300 lb working load limit and is attached with two bolts. Since my bag already had hanging straps, I reversed my chains so the four hooks connected to the anchors and the single hook connected to the spring and bag.
The rest of the 2×6 will be used to attach a pull-up bar.

Gutterfound

Last year I was looking for new subjects to photograph when I stumbled upon an idea to take pictures of things I could find in the street gutter. I took these photos for several months before finally putting them up on Instagram for others to see. You can also like my Gutterfound page on Facebook and follow along as I post daily (weekdays) pictures.

My method is to only photograph things as they were found. I never move things to get a better shot or otherwise set up my subject. Early morning just after sunrise, and at sunset typically give me the best light. Cloudy days also make for great moody images.

I’ve been amazed at the variety of things that can be found in the gutters. Most of what you will find are rocks and leaves from yard landscapes. But I’ve also found toys, money, spent rifle and pistol casings, and much more.

Where to Find the desktop.msi File for Performing a Silent Install of ArcGIS for Windows

If you want to perform a silent install of ArcGIS desktop for Windows using the Microsoft Installer (.msi) file, you need the actual .msi file. But finding the .msi file can seem difficult. It’s nowhere to be found on the ESRI download site (that I could find).

It turns out to be quite easy to get the installer. First, download the ArcGIS desktop installation executable from the my.esri.com site. This will be named something like ArcGIS_desktop_108_172737.exe.  Using Winzip, 7-zip, or another compression utility, extract the files just like you would with a .zip file.  In the extracted directory, click into Desktop, then into SetupFiles. The desktop.msi file will be sitting right there.

Renewed Resolution

When I’m out in public I tend to be an extreme introvert. I rarely look at the people around me or look the cashier in the eye at the grocery store. It’s partly a function of the society we live in. People just don’t talk to others anymore. It’s the same in many neighborhoods. Neighbors don’t talk to each other or even know who lives right next door.

But the “everybody’s doing it” mindset shouldn’t become an excuse. I’ve been making a concerted effort lately to talk to strangers, ask how the cashier’s day is going before they get a chance to ask it during their scripted monologue, and wave to my neighbors when I see them outside. It gets noticed. Most people actually do want to talk and be talked to. They just fall prey to societal norms like everyone else. 

We’ve gotten so used to only interacting online that we’ve forgotten how to do it in real life. Or we’re just too scared. We’re afraid that others will react negatively to our minor outpouring of humanity. I like to wave at drivers in my neighborhood but I’m always afraid they won’t wave back or they’ll think I’m weird or something.  So I often just look at the ground and avoid the whole scenario. What a waste of an opportunity to be kind to someone.

These days it takes real effort and determination to engage other humans. How sad. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Avoidance just a self-perpetuating habit. We can break it by simply going against the grain and opening ourselves up to others. I’m not big on new year resolutions but I’m ready to use this new year to double my efforts to reach out to others and improve relationships. You can do the same. 

All The Leaves Are Brown

Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. The heat of Summer dissipates, we start thinking of upcoming holidays, and we are treated to beautiful colors from the trees and other plant life as they prepare to tuck themselves away for the nearing Winter.

Unfortunately, that color doesn’t hang on for long. I was out walking this evening and noticed that the leaves still hanging on to their trees have all turned brown. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the color was still brilliant. It just goes to show that you have to enjoy the gifts God gives you at the moment and not take anything for granted.

Fortunately, I had a camera on me when I last saw Fall colors and got a couple of shots that I can go back to and look at until next Fall comes around.

Landscape at Connected Lakes State Park.
Connected Lakes State Park – Grand Junction CO
Trees along the Grand Junction Riverfront trail
Grand Junction Riverfront Trail

Remote Session

I sat there
phone to my ear
watching someone elses screen –
Software Loading.
Nobody spoke
We waited in awkward silence
not knowing if the other
was busy doing something else
or about to speak.
We stared at the screen,
The green bar slowly edging
closer to 100 percent.

Which ESRI Javascript API Version to Use – 3.x vs 4.x

Which ESRI Javascript API version should you use for your next mapping app? I wish it were as simple as just using the most up to date version. And maybe it will be for your situation. But there are a few considerations to address before pushing ahead.

Start With Your Goal

Always start with your goal. What do you want the app to look like and do? Probably, the biggest question you should ask yourself is whether you will be creating a 3D app or a standard 2D app?

As of this post, the 4.x API is at version 4.11. According to ESRI’s API Capability page, version 3.28 (the latest 3.x version) doesn’t support 3D rendering. Version 4.11 only has partial support for 2D. So, if you’re planning to create an app that supports 3D visualization in any way, you’ll need to use 4.11.

On the other hand, if you are only supporting 2D visualization you’ll want to use the latest API that supports all of the other functionality you might want to use. This is really important to consider if you’re thinking about migrating existing 3.x code to the 4.x world. You would hate to get deep into the conversion only to find out a critical component you rely on is not yet supported.

Check out ESRI’s functionality matrix to determine if 4.11 is implementing all the functionality you need right now. ESRI’s stated goal is to eventually have 4.11 eventually exceed the functionality of the 3.28 API. But until it does, you’ll want to proceed with at least a little bit of caution.

Consider Your Time

Another thing you will want to think about is the time you will spend getting up to speed on the syntax changes that version 4.11 brings. Right away, when creating a basic map with 4.11, you’ll notice that you now have to not only create a map but a map view (or map scene if it’s a 3D app) in order to get anything to render.

With the old 3.x API you would simply declare the map object and pass in a reference to the HTML element you want to use to render it in. As of 4.11, the Map object is now simply a container for the various layers you want to associate with the app you’re creating. There is now a new class called View that manages UI methods for your app like rendering the map within the HTML element and placing components (like widgets and images) on screen.

I like most of the new syntax changes that I’ve seen in 4.11 but I realize these slow down my development time as I get used to them.