John Livingston

Dummy Scrimmage Hero

Anyone growing up in Ohio and playing football in college and high school like I was blessed to do, would early in life become familiar with the term “dummy scrimmage hero”(DSH) It is not a term of endearment, nor was it ever invoked in a haphazard fashion. Call an opponent a “dummy scrimmage hero” and if he had an ounce of courage, you had yourself a fight on the practice field. An example of a dummy scrimmage hero would be a player on the “scout team” who would listen into the huddle of the team he was scrimmaging against so he could get a jump on his opponent across the line. There were only two reasons for doing this: One was to loaf or take the play off if it wasn’t coming in your direction—in a word you were lazy. The other was to make yourself look good in front of the coaches by making your opponent look bad. It was always considered dishonorable. It was beyond cheating because it was self-serving and selfish. It was a cowardly act. Do it one time in practice and you might find the next ten plays being run right at you?

The mainstream media in Idaho should be very familiar with the term “piling on” which is different but probably more familiar to everyday people because that is simply a “cheap shot”. “Piling on” is visible. Most of the time “piling on” is not premeditated or well thought out. “Piling on” is a spur of the moment kind of thing. Those in the media who regurgitate a political narrative are never innocent because they always have a choice about the words they use when speaking or writing. Their biggest mistake is allowing themselves to be Pinocchio’s whose strings are being pulled by puppeteer operatives who have an agenda themselves. These Geppetto’s can be politicians, lobbyist special interests, or corporate bosses. Today in the national and local press there is very little “investigative reporting”. Reporters proceed with a preset bias about the outcome of their investigations. They never question the motives of those making assertions or accusations that lead to their investigations. There is a lot of “piling on”.

I should disclose that for several years I have been the medical advisor to the Idaho Freedom Foundation. I have differed with them on several issues, but they have never censored me or used my credential to create a narrative or add legitimacy to a position. To also be fair I am a contributor to the Gem State Patriot. Over the past thirty months I have written articles for IFF about Covid mitigation strategies including an early article stating that only N-95 masks were efficacious as a defense against the spread of the Covid virus. I was excoriated in the mainstream media and by many of my fellow physicians for making such a statement. Within the past month several articles have been published in the scientific and medical literature supporting my position—cloth, paper and cotton composite masks don’t work. Type 2 mitigation, isolating everybody from everybody doesn’t work. Protecting and isolating the most vulnerable does work. Masks for children are not needed—we are one of only seven countries where this is still done. There was never a need, and nothing was accomplished by closing schools, churches, and businesses except during the first two weeks of the first surge when we didn’t understand the nature of the beast. The incidence, transmission rates, and lethality of the pandemic was almost identical in States like Florida and Texas when compared to lockdown States like California. Has any of this information been reported on in the Idaho mainstream media? The contrarian opinions of Dr. Ryan Cole, arguably the best credentialed physician and scientist in the State of Idaho to have an opinion about Covid mitigation strategies, were always couched in media reports with words like “unsubstantiated” or “unproven”. Mr. (Dry). Jones’ credentials always proceeded his writings, even though his credentials have nothing to do with what he was writing about when it came to his opinions about Covid. I have never written an opinion about contract law or “Due Process”. If I did would the fact that I am Boarded in Internal Medicine and General Surgery be relevant? Do they teach critical thinking in journalism school anymore? My point is simply that the Idaho media has always been a conduit for a particular point of view and a specific political narrative. Conservatives have always struggled to get their point of view before the public. Organizations like the IFF and Gem State Patriot are problematic to many on both sides of the isle and in government who are satisfied with the status quo. When they can’t engage us in a civil debate, they will try to shut us down. .

The opening words of Brian Holmes’s piece on KTVB established the predicate for the credibility of the accusations that were to follow: “When the highest ranking member of the State Senate says there is a problem” and then he interviews Chuck Winder who explains how lots of people are at odds with the Idaho Freedom Foundation and their allies, one would wonder if the reporter shouldn’t at least explore the motives of the person making such an accusation. Maybe the IFF has been a thorn in his side, and they have continually set up hurdles to legislation that has continually concentrated power into the hands of the executive branch and Republican leadership and Committee Chairman. The role of the press is “to speak truth to power”. Who is in the position of power—Senator Winder or the IFF? Maybe it is the IFF that is actually “speaking truth to power”. And speaking of motives if Mr. Winder is so concerned about the non-profit status of the IFF, look to see who contributes to his campaigns. Is Mr. Winder just as critical of the large non-profit hospital systems in our State who pay very little in taxes? Together the two largest hospitals in Boise make almost $3billion in revenue per year, 55% of it coming from government transfer payments. The past CEO at Luke’s reported that he made $8.2million and $10 million his last two years of employment (more I would bet than at least one of his predecessors made in their entire career). Maybe as they review IRS Form 990 for the IFF, it would also be interesting to review the IRS Form 990 from St. Luke’s and St. Al’s. Mr. Winder is charged with overseeing the Department of Health and Welfare that regulates these hospitals and disperses transfer payments to them. Idaho Medicaid has been identified as being the fourth most fraudulent Medicaid system in the country with a 39% false claim and false billing rate. Has Mr. Winder done anything to reconcile cash flows within the DHW, or ask for audits of the large non-profit hospitals? Look again at who contributes to his campaigns. Ask him who paid his admission to the last Governor’s Cup he attended. Maybe Mr. Winder should examine the “log in his own eye” before he complains of the speck in another’s.

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If there is anyone other than Mr. (Dr.) Jim Jones that has been wrong more times about Covid mitigation strategy in our State, then the only ones I can think of have been on the governor’s advisory Board. Why not ask why nobody on that board was a nurse. Mr. Jones and the CEO at Luke’s in op ed pieces and interviews opined that doctors with contrarian views could be “dealt with in the future”. Mr. Jones even opined that his interpretation of the Medical Practices Act was broad enough to include opinions written by doctors that were published in newspapers, not thinking the issue through enough to realize that if he rendered such an opinion under his interpretation of the rule, he would be practicing medicine without a license—hence the (Dr.) after the Mr. or Esq. when I refer to him. Thank goodness the attorney for the State Board of Medicine understood what a scientific opinion was and what the First Amendment guaranteed. Mr. Jones was willing to take the livelihood and license to practice medicine away from a man who had a different scientific opinion than he had! Now there is a story that needs to be told—but you won’t find it in any of the mainstream media outlets in Idaho.

At the end of the piece that aired tonight Brian Holmes stated that the IFF had been given the opportunity to respond to the story, but they agreed to do so only if their time would be unedited. Can you blame them?

I don’t know Brian Holmes or any of the other contributors to the story. I do know many of his predecessors. All were men and women of integrity and curiosity. I doubt any of them would have put their name on such a story without doing more thorough research.

Come to think of it, Brian Holmes and Jim Jones have a lot in common. They are both “dummy scrimmage heroes”. Or are they just “piling on”. Just my opinion. I look forward to more thorough investigations.

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