Following the science

Wherever it may lead.

Denis Rancourt, PhD, has published over 100 peer-reviewed studies in his career, but ResearchGate choose to censor and remove this paper because it didn’t fit the narrative of the Great Panic of 2020 over COVID-19. Such censorship proves the existence of an alternative agenda. 

Again, this underscores the Technocrat methodology of shaming, ridiculing and censoring anybody that comes forth with real science that refutes their pseudo-science. ⁃ TN Editor

That’s the lead-in to the deepest of deep-dives into the (actual, not pseudo) science confirming the abject folly of wearing the Mask Of Submission to stave off the Shanghai Sniffles.

Masks and respirators do not work.

There have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.

Furthermore, the relevant known physics and biology, which I review, are such that masks and respirators should not work. It would be a paradox if masks and respirators worked, given what we know about viral respiratory diseases: The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles (< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective dose is smaller than one aerosol particle.

The present paper about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history.

Yeah, well, that would be that “alternative agenda” mentioned above rearing its ugly head. Hinderaker offers further confirmation from his own home turf, which also applies nationally:

Politicians love to say that they are “following the science.” To hear them talk, you would think they spend hours poring over data and they go where the numbers drive them. If only.

The COVID epidemic has brought out politicians’ faux reliance on “science” in spades. As good an example as any is my state, Minnesota, where our governor, Tim Walz, has offered one tribute after another to “science” as he has driven our state off the road and into the ditch with an irrational shutdown that protected all but the vulnerable.

When Walz issued his harsh shutdown order, he attributed it to “science” in the form of an allegedly super-duper Minnesota Model that forecast doom from COVID in terms of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. It later turned out that the model was created by a couple of graduate students over a weekend, but never mind. It was “science” and it was the basis for the governor’s assumption of dictatorial control over six million lives.

When Version 1 of the model turned out to be an embarrassment, woefully wrong by every metric, it was succeeded by a less pessimistic Version 2. Version 2 then fell to Version 3, which was issued on May 13, less than seven weeks ago. Version 3 was supposedly “science” informed by experience. How did it fare?

So the model was off by a factor of 24. This might be funny, except for the vast damage that our governor has inflicted on Minnesotans in reliance on politicized “science.” A dart board would have produced a far more accurate result than the much-touted “Minnesota Model.”

A cynic might suspect that Governor Walz knows the model is ridiculous, but simply enjoys exercising dictatorial powers under his own emergency decree–a decree that apparently continues in force in perpetuity. He also knows that he has the press on his side. If a Republican governor bungled an issue as badly as Walz has bungled COVID, in reliance on a pathetic arithmetic construct that is wrong by a factor of 24 times, it would be the the scandal of the age. But every reporter in Minnesota, with one exception (not counting Scott) runs interference for Governor Walz and his brutally failed policies. Why? Because they are loyal Democrats, and they went into journalism to serve their party.

Bingo. As John notes, “science” has nothing to do with any of this. And it hardly require a cynic to recognize the dictatorial push behind this sham. In fact, with every passing day it requires a fool NOT to.

The Mask Of Submission has worked beautifully, alas, at its actual intended purpose: as a FUD generator, and as public evidence of what compliant, docile little lambs most Amerikans have become.

SECOND wave?

There never was a first one—not that remotely resembled the pig in a poke we were sold, anyway.

The coronavirus doomsayers could not even wait until the fall for the apocalyptic announcements of the dreaded second wave. Because the red states recklessly loosened their lockdowns, we are now told, the US is seeing a dangerous spike in coronavirus cases. ‘EXPERTS SKETCH GLOOMY PICTURE OF VIRUS SPREAD: FAUCI TELLS OF “DISTURBING” WAVE, WITH A VACCINE MONTHS AWAY,’ read the front-page lead headline in the New York Times on Wednesday. ‘VIRUS SPREAD AKIN TO “FOREST FIRE”’ read another front page headline in the Los Angeles Times on Monday, quoting Michael Osterholm, one of the media’s favorite public health experts. Osterholm had told NBC’s Meet the Press: ‘I’m actually of the mind right now — I think this is more like a forest fire. I don’t think that this is going to slow down.’

The ‘this’ is an uptick in daily new cases from 19,002 on June 9 to 38,386 on June 24. The high to date in new daily cases was on April 24 — 39,072. Since April 24, the daily case count started declining, then began rising again after around June 9. What virtually every fear-mongering story on America’s allegedly precarious situation leaves out, however, is the steadily dropping daily death numbers — from a high of 2,693 on April 21 to 808 on June 24. That April high was driven by New York City and its environs; those New York death numbers have declined, but they have not been replaced by deaths in the rest of the country. This should be good news. Instead, it is no news.

There are no crises in hospital capacity anywhere in the country. Nursing homes, meat-packing plants, and prisons remain the main sources of new infections. Half the states are seeing cases decline or hold steady. Case counts are affected by more testing; the positive infection rate captured by testing is declining. The current caseload is younger, which is a good thing. The more people who have been infected and who recover, the more herd immunity is created. Meanwhile, daily deaths from heart disease and cancer — about 3,400 a day combined — go ignored in the press.

From all I’ve seen, the “exploding” number of case counts currently threatening to exterminate all life on Earth (almost all of which cases are asymptomatic) closely tracks with the huge increase in testing, which only stands to reason. Hey, anybody out there remember when our masters were saying America dared not reopen until more testing was done? It was the second subterfuge they used to extend their usurpation of freedom, right after “flatten the curve” and before the ludicrous “not until there’s a vaccine.” Of course, it was a lie; all three of these stalling tactics were, along with pretty much everything else they’ve said about this phony crisis. But still—good times, good times.

More inconvenient truths, actual data, and genuine science that will be ignored in favor of continued Commie opression:

Early in the epidemic, public-health experts feared the virus might kill up to 2 percent of those infected, potentially causing millions of deaths in the United States and tens of millions worldwide. Those terrifying estimates prompted the lockdowns that have done incalculable harm to the economy, shattered small businesses and left children traumatized and untold numbers suffering from brutal isolation.

In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ­esti­mated in May that the coronavirus kills about 0.26 percent of the people it infects, about 1 in 400 people. New estimates from Sweden suggest that only 1 in 10,000 people under 50 will die from the virus, compared to 1 in 14 of people over 80 and 1 in 6 of those over 90.

To be sure, these estimates still have some uncertainty. The ­actual figure could be as low as 0.1 percent or as high as 0.4 to 0.5 percent, though treatment advances should mean it will trend lower over time. Even at 0.26 percent, the rate is still significantly higher than influenza most years, more comparable to a bad flu strain like the 1968 Hong Kong flu.

But it is far lower than we initially thought — a fact that should be cause for celebration.

Instead, some media outlets insist on using the out-of-date estimates that are much higher. For example, an ESPN article this week said public discussions about reopening the National Football League were “ignoring a mortality rate that has been estimated at 1.4 percent.” That figure is more than five times the CDC’s best estimate. Even more jarring, it is more than 100 times the actual risk to people in their 20s and 30s — the age range for nearly all NFL players.

Using those overstated estimates is a recipe for panic, bad public policy — and continued lockdowns that may delay to ­return to normality.

Let’s hope that isn’t the reason people in the media are using them.

OF COURSE it’s the reason, you big silly. What other reason could there be? What, you think the same Enemedia that tripped over itself to gleefully praise the national spree of urban violence and destruction is all of a sudden suffused with concern about a clear and serious danger to the health and well-being of Americans or something? Gedouddahere, willya.

The COVID shamdemic was much ado about very little all along, the proof of which is mounting every single day. And you can be sure that the Clampdown is going to continue, with onerous restrictions and requirements; patently illegal and unconstitutional decrees; a total rejiggering of our routines, habits, and daily lives without our consent; and an ongoing metastasization of the Amerikan police/surveillance state and its authoritarian powers, regardless of what the science is telling us. Perhaps that might provide a sharpish hint as to what this is really about, no?

WE. HAVE. BEEN. HAD. They fully intend to bend us over and have us again, too—in the exact same way, using the exact same lies as their justification. If we passively allow it to happen, then we deserve no better, and never really did.

(Both via Insty)

Update! Lest we forget: even the underwhelming reported body count is a sham.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the respected physician who heads the Trump administration’s coronavirus team, reportedly argued back in May at a closed Centers for Disease Control meeting that the agency’s death estimates were 25% too high, according to a Washington Post report.

Anecdotal evidence at the state level suggests this is true. In fact, estimates may be off by more than 25%.

…But the fact remains: The death totals are almost certainly grossly exaggerated due to intentional miscounting. There are strong incentives to over-report, but few to under-report.

The Centers for Disease Control admits as much in its June 24 update of the data:

“For 7% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.5 additional conditions or causes per death.”

So in only one in 14 deaths out of the current total of 125,000 can COVID-19 be said to be the actual cause.

As grotesque a manipulation as all that is, though, it’s just the tip of the deception and hype iceberg:

This Issues & Insights editorial (cited above—M) does a good job of bringing together some of the relevant data. But let’s start with something they didn’t mention: this acknowledgement by the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health:

I just want to be clear in terms of the definition of people dying of COVID. So, the case definition is very simplistic. It means that at the time of death it was a COVID-positive diagnosis. So that means if you were in hospice and had already been given, you know, a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death. It means that if, technically, even if you died of a clear alternate cause but you had COVID at the same time it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone that’s listed as a COVID death doesn’t mean that that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

That certainly is clarifying.

Ain’t it, though. Ain’t it just. John finishes up:

Why is this important? Because in all likelihood, the actual Wuhan fatality rate is not much different from a relatively virulent seasonal flu. Every year, the seasonal flu bug kills tens of thousands of Americans. Just two years ago, the CDC says it killed 62,000–and that was without a Medicare spiff or other pressures to build up the numbers. The reality is, I think, that in response to the COVID-19 epidemic, we devastated our economy–which means that we devastated tens or hundreds of millions of lives–needlessly.

So what do we do next year, or the year after? It is a virtual certainty that during next year’s flu season, absent a comprehensive shutdown, and perhaps with a shutdown, tens of thousands of Americans will die, and have their deaths attributed to that virus. COVID-19 presumably will still be active and will add to the total. There are powerful forces in our society that yearn to shut down economic activity and thereby increase poverty, unemployment and dependence on government. Those forces likely control the Democratic Party, which could well be in charge of the Executive Branch in January.

Without any track record of sensible risk assessment, what will stand in the way of another shutdown next Winter? Or the year after that? The case for hysteria will be more or less as strong as it was this year.

The case was never strong at all. The problem is that enough of us are weak, cowardly, and stupid enough to let them get away with it anyway.

And because of that stupidity, cowardice, and total absence of any will whatsoever to resist the abridging of Constitutional rights and freedoms they neither appreciate nor understand, you can count on occasional shutdowns, masks, social distancing, one-way grocery store aisles and bare shelves, plastic sneeze-guards between you and the cashier, and the rest of the Commie rot as now being integral parts of our New American Life. Those things and more were always on Big Boss Man’s wish list, and now that he’s seen how easy it was to get ’em, only a fool would think he’ll ever give them up.

Stalin could only dream of having a slave class as docile and compliant as present-day America’s.

A change of heart

I’ve thought it over a good bit, influenced by the leanings in the “let it all burn” direction of our esteemed regulars Barry and Ironbear, and I no longer think Trump should lift a finger to save Democrat-Socialist-run cities from reaping the fruits of their own stubborn folly.

But I’m gonna go even further to express my specific and unalloyed support for tearing down every last remaining statue of the Founders of this ruined nation as well—not because I despise them and all their works, but because We The Sheepul are no longer worthy of them. Every American should hang his head in abject shame at the sight of any reminder of these brilliant, courageous men, because of the way we’ve disgraced their noble legacy. Erase all memory of them, their proud history and achievements, their lofty ideals, their blueprint for proper governance. We failed utterly to live up to any of it, and can only further embarrass ourselves by pretending to be deserving of the incalculable benefits those ideals and institutions yielded up, gifts we purblind ingrates took for granted for so long.

Via WRSA, Fred Reed expounds at some length on more reasons to throw up our hands and just enjoy watching the collapse.

What fun, what entertainment. And rare: One seldom sees the collapse of a landmark society in a rush of wondrous idiocy. Would I could sell tickets. Don’t look at it as a loss, but as a show, an unwanted but grand amusement.

The coup de grace in our ripening decadence is the current uprising purportedly, though implausibly, over racism. But never mind. The causes don’t matter. The deal is done.

Still, it is interesting to recognize that the protesters are, perhaps deliberately, confusing the incapacity of blacks with systemic racism. In truth, America has made the greatest effort ever essayed by one race to uplift another. Reflect: In 1954 an entirely white Supreme Court unanimously ended segregation. Later it found the use of IQ tests by employers illegal because blacks scored poorly, then found “affirmative action,” racial discrimination against whites, legal (hardly oppression of blacks, this). An overwhelmingly white Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, the Voting Rights Act the next year. A white President sent troops to Little Rock to enforce desegregation. There has been an enormous flow of charity to blacks: Section Eight Housing, AFDC, Head Start, hiring quotas, set-asides, sharply lowered standards in police and fire departments. We now have free breakfasts for black children, then free lunches, in addition to outright welfare. In aggregate they resemble a distributed guaranteed basic income. Which is interesting.

These measures sprang from the best of intentions. Most I think should continue. I for one do not want to evict blacks from public housing or have their children go hungry. Yet none of these programs has had its desired effect. The crucial academic gap has not closed, crime remains horribly high, illegitimacy verges on universal. This is a great shame. Blacks are decent enough people, likable if they don’t hate you, and phenomenally talented. But it hasn’t worked.

Nothing has worked. There is no indication that anything will. The great black cities are in something approaching custodial care.

Many cities are routinely out of control, with seven hundred homicides in Chicago and three hundred in Baltimore every year. Increasingly criminals are released without bail and small crimes, such as evading subway fares, are ignored when committed by minorities. The hordes of derelicts grow, the New York subways become a homeless shelter. These are not problems seen in civilized countries. Which America no longer is, to the astonishment and amusement of the world.

Perhaps this was to be expected. The American practice of choosing its leaders every two, four, or six years by popularity contest worked, after a fashion anyway, in a sprawling continental country in which government had very little local influence. In a world far more complex, with little ability to plan when those in charge change with paralyzing rapidity, and everything intensely regulated by people unfamiliar with problems, results are poor. America’s competition with large countries having intelligently authoritarian and stable governance will prove a losing proposition proposition. The inevitable decline in standard of living, already well underwater, will promote unrest. Here we go again.

We have done what Marx couldn’t: Achieved communism, a true dictatorship of the proletariat, of a rabble jacquerie of much noise and no wit, the rule of the unfit. It is a rule only of the culture. The moneyed would not grant it power over anything else. Yet rule it is. We shall hear much of the authenticity of the illiterate, the purity of ghetto urges, the wisdom of the people, the need to lay low the pretensions of the mansion.

As a philosophic emollient one may reflect that all empires and civilizations must end, and ours is. America will remain as a place, a military bastion, a large if declining economic force. It will never again be, even by the low standards of humanity in such things, a relatively free and vigorous society. The world will not again credit its charades of moral leadership. The rot, the tens of thousands of derelict people living on the sidewalks, the looting and fire setting, the censorship, are now visible to the entire earth. Oh well. It was a good thing while it lasted.

Amusingly enough, after Fred’s article there’s an ad for his book with an Amazon blurb that also serves as a listing of the freedom we threw away:

Essays on America, life, politics, and just about everything. The author chronicles among other adventures an aging stripper in Austin, dressed in a paper-mache horse, who had with her a cobra and a tarantula like a yak-hair pillow with legs and alternately charmed and terrified a room full of cowboys sucking down Bud and…. Fred was an apostle of the long-haul thumb during the Sixties and saw…many things. He tells of standing by the big roads across the desert, rockin in the wind blast of the heavy rigs roaring by and the whine of tires and dropping into an arroyo at night with a bottle of cheap red and watching the stars and perhaps smoking things not approved by the government. He tells of..well, that’s what the book is for. Join him.

Sounds kinda crazy, kinda wild, and completely wonderful, don’t it? Hard to imagine today’s milquetoast, man-bunned Millenials having any such adventures, or even wanting to. And it’s a dead cert that in the extremely unlikely event that Pajama Boy ever attempted such frolicsome hijinks, The Power would put a stop to the idea most ricky-tick. Good ol’ George sure did have the right of it all along, didn’t he?




“Talking about, and being it, that’s two different things.” Fucking ouch. The wisdom and clarity expressed in the above clip still gives me goosebumps, even after having seen it about a thousand and one times over the years.

The science is settled, the facts are in

COVID is a sham, and masks are the bunk.

I wore surgical masks daily for 36 years as an anesthesiologist. Their purpose was to reduce the chance that I would infect an open wound with bacteria from my mouth. This article of faith has been shown to be false. If staff who are working outside of the immediate sterile field do not wear masks, there is no increase in wound infections. And this is in a closed environment where staff will be present for hours. This casts a very large cloud of doubt on the utility of masks for COVID-19.

Another problem arises when we look at the use of masks by the public. Even accepting the uncertain premise that masks are useful, “incorrect use and disposal may actually increase the risk of pathogen transmission, rather than reduce it, especially when masks are used by non-professionals such as the lay public.” Given that most “masks” are simply kept handy for use when required, set aside, and then re-used, most mask-wearing by the public is likely to increase virus exposure, not reduce it.

But do properly used surgical masks reduce disease spread in the general public? To say there are almost no data would not be overstating the case. When households with sick kids were examined, even rigorous mask-wearing provided no statistically significant improvement in adult infections.

Let’s put that in plain English. Even if you did everything to protect yourself with surgical masks, even keeping it on when your kid wants to see your face, it might reduce your chance of getting sick, but we can’t prove it. And that’s in a well designed study intended to get a meaningful result. “[H]ousehold use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease” (emphasis added).

What about homemade cloth masks? In a study using influenza, masks made from cotton T-shirts “should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals.” They were only one third as effective when worn by the sick person as a surgical mask. If you’re sick, they’re better than nothing, but that’s not much. The CDC says, “Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.” Translation: It might help, but we don’t have any data to back that up.

As we can see from other studies, even surgical masks have minimal benefit in preventing you from getting sick. This was confirmed in a hospital study. Cloth masks had a “relative risk” of flu infection thirteen times greater than medical masks. “Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.”

What about the fabled N95 respirator masks? “Respirators work as PPE only when they are the right size and have been fit-tested to demonstrate they achieve an adequate protection factor.” Translation: If you haven’t gone through the fit-testing I’ve been through (the first model didn’t fit!), N95s won’t reduce your exposure to the virus. Sorry.

Of course, smarmy, grasping little pétit dictators like NC’s own Comrade Cooper almost certainly know all this, and issue royal decrees mandating universal mask use anyway. Might there be an explanation for that, you ask? Oh, there certainly might at that.

Merriam-Webster defines pseudo-science as “a system of theories, assumptions, and methods erroneously regarded as scientific.” The Oxford dictionary clarifies by stating, “a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.“

Pseudo-science quickly emerged as the principal domain of Technocrats, but they soon found that scientific debate with those promoting real science was most inconvenient to their social engineering goals. The solution was simple: claim that their own pseudo-science was indeed the real science, and then refuse debate by excluding all other voices to the contrary.

The American public is being spoon-fed a steady diet of pseudo-science in order to justify the wearing of face masks, social distancing and contact tracing. Yet, the actual science points in the polar opposite direction.

Furthermore, those who try to present the real science are shamed, ridiculed and bullied for having such narrow-minded views.

This is a clear sign of Technocrats-at-work. Instead, these are the ones who should be exposed, shamed and ridiculed.

In sum, these dangerous and destructive policies are designed to curtail economic activity, break down social cohesion and control people.

There you have it, folks. And yet somehow, as I always say, here we all are.

Discourse On Voluntary Servitude

That’s the best-known work of French judge and philosopher Étienne de la Boétie, a passionate and uncompromising advocate for human liberty and against tyranny. As y’all reprobates and nogoodniks may or may not have noticed, I have been stealthily expanding the “Notable quotes” section with some more good stuff lately, and ran across a memorable one from de la Boétie via a WRSA link to yet another excellent Robert Gore piece, which I will get to excerpting anon in its own post. But seeing the one I plonked into the sidebar mentioned in a comment at SLL inspired me to revisit some of de la Boétie’s work myself, which I admit to having all but forgotten about after his having been glancingly mentioned back in my college French class back in the Pleistocene or thereabouts.

So without further ado, enjoy (if that’s the right word; it makes for pretty uncomfortable reading, actually) these bits from his seminal Discourse On Voluntary Servitude, also known as “The Against-One.” It’s somewhat lengthy, but quite rewarding; you should bookmark it and read it all when you get the time. Written in around 1548 when de la Boétie was only 18 years of age (!), the central thrust is that tyrants hold power only because and for as long as the people concede it to them. Its relevance to current-day America’s self-inflicted contretemps is self-evident.

To achieve the good that they desire, the bold do not fear danger; the intelligent do not refuse to undergo suffering. It is the stupid and cowardly who are neither able to endure hardship nor to vindicate their rights; they stop at merely longing for them, and lose through timidity the valor roused by the effort to claim their rights, although the desire to enjoy them still remains as part of their nature. A longing common to both the wise and the foolish, to brave men and to cowards, is this longing for all those things which, when acquired, would make them happy and contented. Yet one element appears to be lacking. I do not know how it happens that nature fails to place within the hearts of men a burning desire for liberty, a blessing so great and so desirable that when it is lost all evils follow thereafter, and even the blessings that remain lose taste and savor because of their corruption by servitude. Liberty is the only joy upon which men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would receive it. Apparently they refuse this wonderful privilege because it is so easily acquired.

Poor, wretched, and stupid peoples, nations determined on your own misfortune and blind to your own good! You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives. All this havoc, this misfortune, this ruin, descends upon you not from alien foes, but from the one enemy whom you yourselves render as powerful as he is, for whom you go bravely to war, for whose greatness you do not refuse to offer your own bodies unto death. He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? 

It is incredible how as soon as a people becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say, on beholding such a situation, that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement. It is true that in the beginning men submit under constraint and by force; but those who come after them obey without regret and perform willingly what their predecessors had done because they had to. This is why men born under the yoke and then nourished and reared in slavery are content, without further effort, to live in their native circumstance, unaware of any other state or right, and considering as quite natural the condition into which they were born…Nevertheless it is clear enough that the powerful influence of custom is in no respect more compelling than in this, namely, habituation to subjection. It is said that Mithridates trained himself to drink poison. Like him we learn to swallow, and not to find bitter, the venom of servitude. 

By this time it should be evident that liberty once lost, valor also perishes.

Like I said, uncomfortable reading—not least for how thoroughly it reinforces the truth behind the hoary old saw which claims that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite how desperately the Left would like to believe otherwise, some verities really ARE eternal.

Life during wartime

Report from the front lines.

As every parent knows, children can sleep through anything when they’re tired enough. So it was with our two kids Monday night. They snored away, oblivious to the buzz of helicopters overhead, the constant wail of sirens — and the distinct crack of gunshots that rang out at around 10:40 somewhere in Midtown East, where we live. Their parents, on the other hand, were bundles of racked nerves.

I went downstairs to see for myself. In the four hours that followed, I felt the insecurity of lawlessness and disorder more acutely than I ever had before — and I’ve filed datelines all over the Middle East, including from the front line of the Iraqi Kurdish war against the Islamic State.

Yeah, you be sure and vote to re-elect DeBalledZero again now, pal.

Back when I was living there, one of my favorite LES dive-bars was a dingy, loud rock-and-roll/punk rock den of iniquity called Downtown Beirut. It’s long gone, alas, so I will refrain from commenting on the attendant irony now.

Come back, Shane!

Yeah, no.

Mayor Lightfoot Pleads With Walmart, Other Retailers To Not Abandon Chicago
Mayor Lightfoot said she was on a conference call with Walmart and other major retailers that had stores looted or heavily damaged during the unrest in Chicago. She said she pleaded with them to not abandon Chicago.

“ABANDON” Chitcago? I beg to differ, Madame Kommissar: they were BURNED and LOOTED out of Chitcago. With your explicit endorsement, lest we forget. So you might want to consider sitting back and sucking on the fattest moose cock you can find while you’re reaping what you sowed. Hinderaker puts it way more civilly than I ever will:

Why, exactly, would major retailers choose to rebuild and re-open stores that were burned to the ground or otherwise destroyed by rioters? What is there in the current response to riots by big city politicians that provides any assurance that the same thing won’t happen again? If you owned a store in an area that was destroyed by rioters, would you invest more money in the same location? Why?

John has a lot more along those same lines, and you should read of it, for It Is Good.

(Via Ed Driscoll)

TINVOWOOT follies

I pray he’s wrong. I fear he’s right.

We have two justice systems, one for them and one for us, meaning we have no justice system at all.

Sorry to have to break this to you. I know it makes you sad, but how do you think I feel? I spent 27 years helping defend this country and voilà – here we are, a flippin’ banana republic. Turns out our elite is perfectly cool with treating our Constitution like Charmin.

You do understand that to the establishment, this dual track system where they ignore the law and we get the law dropped on us – including through active framing, as with LTG Flynn, to keep us in line – is how they want it, right? This is not an unintended consequence. They are for this.

They are actively for the abuse of the legal system to persecute their political enemies. You adorable naïfs come to me thinking that I, as a lawyer, will assuage your gnawing fear that something is rotten in the state of America. “Kurt, but this…this isn’t right? How can some people be prosecuted but other people with connections get away with crimes?” Well, the answer is simple: that is how many of the people with their grubby paws on the levers of power want it.

They want to use the government to stifle dissent, as the IRS did to Tea Party groups.

They want to make people afraid to oppose them by threatening them with crushing legal fees and maybe jail if they dare join the opposition – look at the trail of bankrupt Trumpworld folks after Obamagate.

They want to frame people working for their enemies and ruin them and put them in prison, a la LTG Flynn.

This permeates liberal culture. Did you know that the ACLU – the Alleged Civil Liberties Union – just sued Betsy De Vos because she ordered reforms to campus man-witch trials that gave men such radical due process rights as the right to know the charges, to have time to respond to them, to not be judged by the same person who is prosecuting them, and to confront their accuser? The ACLU came out against these things – at least in cases where ole Grandpa Badfinger’s not the accused. And speaking of that handsy old weirdo, how about all those lib luminaries leveling with us that even if he did what Tara Reade said he did, eh, no biggie. They’ll vote for him anyway, and that whiny broad should stop crying all over their beautiful progressive narrative.

I’d love to be wrong. Maybe I am. Maybe the unbroken track record of injustice we’ve seen over the last decade will suddenly break. And maybe my pet unicorn Chet will be the foreman of the jury when one of these slugs somehow gets called to account.

“Then I guess we should just give up and resign ourselves to tyranny?” Oh no. Oh, not at all. My short-term assessment is grave, but my long-term assessment is bright. Tyranny tends to fail over time. Remember, the establishment’s embrace of tactical tyranny is an admission of weakness. When they weren’t threatened they could afford to hide their true nature. All this is their last-ditch effort to resist the popular uprising against their inept rule.

We need to stay on the offensive.

But how do we win?

Alas, Kurt’s prescription for winning relies entirely on voting our way out of this, which…well, you know.

Of night, and light

A dismal tide is sweeping across America, leaving unprecedented destruction in its wake.

When the coronavirus landed on our shores, communist China came with it.

We have become part of a mass scale human experiment in government control and it turned out that stripping away our freedom wasn’t all that difficult. Under the guise of concern for our health and well-being, tyrants came out of the woodwork.  Our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, and our lives are being destroyed as the left solidifies and expands their oppressive powers. We’ve been herded around like cattle, threatened, isolated, confined, silenced, and arrested. You name it, it’s happening.

You tell me if what follows sounds like the United States, or China.

We’ve been told who can work and who can’t, with language that separates us according to who is and who isn’t “essential” as the almighty State supersedes individual rights and the family unit.

We’ve been physically and verbally harassed, threatened, fined, detained, arrested, jailed, and/or placed in forced quarantine. Business licenses have been revoked. Going to work without the permission of the government is now a crime. So is going to the park or a beach. Children playing together is also in defiance of the government. So is placing flags on the graves of veterans. The list of infractions goes on and on and on and on. Examples read like the manifesto of a demented madman.

Brown goes on, and on, and on from there, with a most impressive collection of supporting links, and it all makes for truly…well, dismal reading. But even as the darkness falls, a hopeful ray of light shines forth in the person of Texas Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blackrock, who wrote the majority opinion springing hair-salon hero Shelley Luther from durance most vile:

He began with a quote, “The Constitution is not suspended when the government declares a state of disaster.”

Then he crisply explained it.

Blacklock wrote, “All government power in this country, no matter how well-intentioned, derives only from the state and federal constitutions. Government power cannot be exercised in conflict with these constitutions, even in a pandemic.

“In the weeks since American governments began taking emergency measures in response to the corona virus, the sovereign people of this country have graciously and peacefully endured a suspension of their civil liberties without precedent in our nation’s history. In some parts of the country, churches have been closed by government decree, although Texas is a welcome exception. Nearly everywhere, the First Amendment ‘right of the people to peaceably assemble’ has been suspended altogether. In many places, people are forbidden to leave their homes without a government-approved reason.Tens of millions can no longer earn a living because the government has declared their employers or their businesses ‘non-essential.’

“Any government that has made the grave decision to suspend the liberties of a free people during a health emergency should welcome the opportunity to demonstrate — both to its citizens and to the courts — that its chosen measures are absolutely necessary to combat a threat of overwhelming severity. The government should also be expected to demonstrate that less restrictive measures cannot adequately address the threat. Whether it is strict scrutiny or some other rigorous form of review, courts must identify and apply a legal standard by which to judge the constitutional validity of the government’s anti-virus actions. When the present crisis began, perhaps not enough was known about the virus to second-guess the worst-case projections motivating the lockdowns. As more becomes known about the threat and about the less restrictive, more targeted ways to respond to it, continued burdens on constitutional liberties may not survive judicial scrutiny.

“Ideally, these debates would play out in the public square, not in courtrooms. No court should relish being asked to question the judgment of government officials who were elected to make difficult decisions in times such as these. However, when constitutional rights are at stake, courts cannot automatically defer to the judgments of other branches of government. When properly called upon, the judicial branch must not shrink from its duty to require the government’s anti-virus orders to comply with the Constitution and the law, no matter the circumstances.”

That’s the whole decision.

And a most excellent one it was, too. That right there, folks, is exactly what I mean when I talk about our duty to defend the Constitution, rather than sitting back hoping it will defend us. Bravo to Justice Blacklock. We will NEVER have as many like him as we need, no matter how many there are out there.

Plenty of blame to go around

Good on Ted Cruz, I suppose, for as far as it goes. Alas, that’s not very far.

Sen. Ted Cruz Gets Haircut At Salon A La Mode After Owner Shelley Luther Released From Jail
Cruz told Luther he hasn’t had a haircut in about three months, and that his wife Heidi even warned he would “start bringing mullets back,” if he didn’t do something soon.

At one point during his visit, Luther started crying, thanking Cruz for his support, “When people reach out with true authenticity, it’s huge,” she said.

Luther told CBS 11 News, “It’s a nice gesture. His family actually called my boyfriend and prayed for him for 20 minutes while I was in jail. To me that’s not political… that’s just really nice people reaching out and making sure that our family is okay.”

A fine gesture and all that jazz. My problem, though, is this: wouldn’t a MUCH better time for Cruz to visit the salon have been BEFORE Luther got thrown in the slammer, but was still under unconstitutional lockdown orders? Which brings me to my next complaint:

A Look At The Democrat Dallas Judge Who Jailed A Salon Owner
A Dallas salon owner was thrown in jail this week by a local judge after defying state restrictions ordering her business remain closed. Shelly Luther was fined $7,000 and ordered to seven days in jail by District Court Judge Eric Moye on Tuesday whose ruling has since become a nationwide controversy highlighting the growing tensions under lockdowns where government-mandated closings are throwing millions out of work.

Luther was released on Thursday however by the Texas Supreme Court which came just after the state’s Republican Governor, Greg Abbott issued an executive order retroactively suspending local ordinances that throw citizens in detention for noncompliance with local stay home orders.

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said the day after Luther was given jail time.

Yeah, except that you DID allow it to happen, Gov; it happened on your damned watch. And before anybody goes harrumphing at me for waxing all pissy at poor Abbott, let’s also remember a few other things:

Abbott Spokesman John Whitaker made clear in a statement to The Federalist however, that the governor’s executive order still allows local fines and other penalties such as license suspensions to be handed down to those who open without authorization, implying Luther may still have to pay $7,000.

Moye condemned Luther’s defiance as “selfish,” charging Luther with “putting your own interests ahead of the community in which you live.

“You disrespected the orders of the state, the county, and this city,” Moye told Luther.

All of which is, however inconvenient, perfectly fucking true, up to and including the part I boldfaced.

Now, in fairness, Abbott’s lockdown order was probably less onerous than some, and was implemented relatively late in the game. But still, there’s just no getting around the facts regarding A) who it was that implemented the Constitution-flouting thing in the first place, and B) stuff like this here:

The most immediate action will see state parks opened for recreational activity Monday, so long as citizens wear masks and maintain a distance of six feet from each other. Additionally, no groups larger than five people will be allowed to congregate.

Subsequent measures will allow hospitals to resume elective tests and surgeries while stores can start “retail to go” services, starting on Wednesday and Friday, respectively.

It is not clear whether or not Abbott’s executive order will supercede the actions of local officials, such as those in Austin, which earlier this week extended its stay-at-home order beyond May 1.

Abbott first issued an order telling Texans to stay at home starting April 1, but he never accepted that it was a stay-at-home lockdown in the same manner as those adopted by other states.

I don’t give a tinker’s damn what Abbott chooses to “accept.” Somehow, I doubt many of the small-business owners currently being bled white by the ridiculous COVIDIOT overreaction do, either. Somebody in Texas should maybe remind the Gov that if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and etc etc, then it’s probably a goddamned duck, no matter how reluctant he or anybody else might be to face up to it.

And Democrat-judge me no Democrat-judges, either. This is bipartisan bullshit we’re looking at here. Far as I know, we currently have precisely one (1) US state governor who well understands her legitimate role, and what boundaries the US Constitution explicitly sets around her own power. Sadly, tragically even, that would NOT be Governor Abbott of Texas.

It would be a serious mistake to think of what’s been done to us as a Demican/Republicrat thing, or to allow it to be portrayed as such. What we actually have here is a tyrant/non-tyrant thing. Unfortunately, we’ve all had the chance to get ourselves a good, long look at how many there are of the former out there, in both Uniparty flavors—and at how infinitesimally few remain of the latter.

Update! Now don’t get me wrong, I see no reason not to frankly acknowledge that the judge, who appears to be functionally illiterate, is a complete asshole.

It is further ORDERED that at any time the Defendants should wish to purge themselves of their Contempt, they may petition this Court for release from confinement. Should the Defendants aver under Oath that they shall immediately cease and desist the continued operation of the Salon, publically express contrition, publicly expressl contrition for the violation of the Order of this Court and the Orders and mandates of the State of Texas, of Dallas County and of the City of Dallas, and take all steps necessary to comply with the Temporary Restraining Order of this Court, they may seek release.

It is so Ordered.

This braying jackass also demanded she “admit that she was wrong and selfish,” along with the apology.

“Publically express contrition”? REALLY? Yeah, fuck you, you fucking fascist. Which, to Luther’s everlasting credit, was pretty much her response:

After Dallas Judge Eric Moye told Salon À la Mode owner Shelley Luther that she had the option of acknowledging she was wrong and had been selfish, and should apologize to elected officials for violating their orders, Luther responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and laws and that I have never been in this position before and it’s not someplace that I want to be. But I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I’m selfish because feeding my kids — is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids. So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Moye sentenced Luther to seven days in jail for criminal and civil contempt. CBS Dallas reported, “She and her business are also each being fined $500 for every day… seven in all so far… that it was open in violation of the governor’s order.” That daily fine will end May 8.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins had sent Luther a cease-and-desist letter, but last week Luther publicly tore it apart. Last Wednesday, Luther stated, “Apparently there’s a very good chance that I’m getting arrested today and I will do everything I can to keep the shop open because I’m not closing the store. If they arrest me I have someone that will keep the store open because it’s our right to keep the store open. It’s our right for those women to earn income for their families.”

It most certainly is, ma’am. With her courageous, principled stand against blatantly unconstitutional oppression, Luther has established her bona fides as a worthy successor to Rosa Parks:

“I’m not anyone special,” she reportedly said at the event.  “I just know that I have rights.  You have rights to feed your children and make income, and anyone that wants to take away those rights is wrong.”

Luther said she, along with several of her 19 stylists, had fallen behind on paying their mortgages.  “It’s either come in and make money to be able to feed your family or stay home and freak out.”

Meanwhile, the scum-sucking judge handed down an even more offensive decree from his exalted Holy of Holies:

If you would like to take this opportunity now to acknowledge:  that your actions were selfish, putting your own interests ahead of those in the community in which you live; that they disrespected the executive orders of the state, the orders of the county, and this city; that you now see the error of your ways and understand that the society cannot function when one’s own belief in the concept of liberty permits you to flaunt your disdain for the rulings of duly elected officials; that you owe an apology to the elected officials who you disrespected by flagrantly ignoring and, in one case, defiling their orders which you now know obviously regard to you; that you know the proper way in an ordered society to engage concerns you may have had is to hire a lawyer and advocate for change, an exception, or amendment to laws that you find offensive; that you publicly state that this is the way that citizens in the states should behave and that you represent to this court that you will today cease operation of your salon and not reopen until after further orders of the government permit you to do so; this court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration that you have demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.

S’cuse me very much, Your “Honor,” but it seems to me that any proper and correct concept of liberty not only permits but REQUIRES the flaunting of disdain for blatantly illegal rulings, whatever official orifice they may have been excreted from. Sir.

Ehh, what’s the use? Fascist thugs like Moye will never come anywhere near getting it, even assuming they had any interest in making a sincere try at it, which they assuredly do not. There is no discussing, debating, or reasoning with such as they. They can only be crushed, utterly. They have no place whatsoever in even a nominally-free society; are in fact a serious threat to it; and should therefore not be tolerated there, but abolished. In whatever sense you wish to take the word.

Oregon gov cancels Independence Day

The irony, it burns.

On Friday, Oregon Governor Kate Brown held a press conference to discuss the latest developments in the containment efforts of the Wuhan coronavirus, and how to implement safe reopening procedures for different parts of Oregon. She failed, however, to announce the specific framework of the reopening, and said she would extend the emergency declaration until July 6 — two days after Independence Day.

Although Brown has announced a gradual plan to allow businesses to reopen, her emergency declaration gives state agencies the ability to set their own rules for a longer period.

In her press conference, Brown said right off the bat, “I want to be clear. We will not be able to reopen Oregon quickly, or in one fell swoop.” She said that some rural counties could reopen by May 15, but it could take longer in counties with more than five cases of COVID-19.

Brown’s press address gave mixed messages and made it seem that she’s failed to grasp the serious damage being done to Oregon’s economy. Meanwhile, these requirements for reopening will take a significant amount of time to implement. While other states have taken strides to reopen their economies and activities, Oregon has yet to make progress. In fact, state parks will stay closed through May, and probably longer. The third requirement for reopening, 15 contract tracers for every 100,000 in population, will require the state to recruit over 600 people to participate, and then to produce results, before they can even consider when to open. Brown first declared an emergency on March 8. She apparently squandered the first two months of the shutdown and only now has gotten around to deciding what conditions will allow her to let Oregon work again.

I withheld the money ‘graph so as to save the best for last:

As of this past weekend, Oregon had 2,690 cases of COVID-19 and 109 deaths, putting them near the bottom of states in both numbers.

Whatever you folks in Oregon do, y’all be sure to keep right on voting Democrat now, y’hear? Elsewhere, we have related developments:

With many Americans eager to get back to work, state governors across the country are responding with their plans for giving everyone permission to be normal human beings again. One state governor is enjoying universal acclaim after unveiling his own innovative plan for getting his state reopened. 

The new plan is called ‘Our Vision for Health, Safety, Virtue, and Eternal Peace’ and is a 37-step, 10-year plan for slowly opening up sections of the state economy.

The 37 steps read like…well, they read exactly the way you’d expect them to. But hey, IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAVED…!!

Many states have begun extending their lockdowns permanently in a bid to end traffic deaths for good.

States found that as they locked everybody in their homes, car accidents virtually disappeared. So they did the obvious thing and decided the lockdowns should be made permanent.

“A million people die in auto accidents every year, and if you want people to be able to go outside, you obviously want all these people to die,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Why do you hate people so much, anti-science bigots? I’ll wait for an answer.” Cuomo then just stood there, arms folded, waiting for an answer, but since it was a live stream, he stood for hours before aides finally cut the feed off.

“Together, we can defeat death itself,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom as he announced the state would be under lockdown permanently. “O traffic deaths, where are your sting?”

Unfortunately, new projections indicate the number of people who will die of starvation and other lockdown-related causes may offset the decrease in traffic deaths.

Getting harder and harder these days to distinguish the actual news stories from the satire, ain’t it?

On your feet or on your knees

So here t’is, folks, the be-all end-all post I’ve been mentioning for several days. Since it’s been in the hopper for a week or more now, the opener will seem like old news, but it will still serve as a setup to get us where I want to go, I think.

When you think it’s time to start burying you guns, it’s probably time to start digging them up.

Lansing (United States) (AFP) – Demonstrators, including some carrying guns, entered the capitol building in the US state of Michigan on Thursday and demanded the Democratic governor lift strict coronavirus lockdown orders, as some lawmakers reportedly donned bulletproof vests.

Dozens of demonstrators crowded the lobby of the building in Lansing, where they demanded to be allowed inside the House Chamber.

State police, wearing masks, blocked them from entering. None of the protesters appeared to be wearing masks.

I’ve seen several on our side decrying the supposedly “threatening” behavior represented by the armed protesters as thuggish, excessive, or even self-defeating. They’re wrong about that, I believe, and here’s why:

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us,” tweeted Senator Dayna Polehanki along with a photo showing four men, at least one of whom appeared to be carrying a weapon.

“Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today,” she continued.

Now admittedly, it’s a damned shame things have come to such a sorry pass. Also, We The People bear at least some of the blame for it, for decades of inattention to the sacred duty of safeguarding our Constitutional rights as they were slowly whittled away.

The truth as I see it, though, is that the problem is not that politicians found themselves fearful and intimidated by the Michigan protesters. No, the problem is that they aren’t intimidated enough, and as a consequence have grown accustomed to their commands being unquestioningly obeyed by the people they are now ruling instead of governing. They have become arrogant, imperious, and completely unconcerned about such trifling irrelevancies as “unalienable rights” and “the consent of the governed.”

For our 2A rights to mean anything at all in terms of preserving the Republic, the politicians and bureau-rats must be reminded from time of their role as public servants. Whenever they seem to have grown forgetful of that, I can’t think of a swifter or surer corrective than letting them have a good, close look at a large gathering of well-armed constituents intent on restoring a proper sense of caution in them. The sight of a gun seems to be the only thing that gets much of a reaction of any kind from them nowadays. Which means we’re all in a precarious place.

It’s to the Michigan protesters’ credit that the reminder was rendered peaceably, without a shot being fired. But you can be certain that, absent the implied prospect of bodily harm should the scoundrels prove obstinate in error, any and all protest will come to naught. Could very well be that it will anyway; that’s what I’d bet on myself, in truth. But I can’t see that any meaningful harm was done by showing the politicians a few rifles on the very doorstep of their workplace, and it may yet prove to be a good thing.

The saddest thing of all is that we might well be on the threshold of a do-or-die, now-and-forever moment here. After our free 30-day (and counting) trial of Communist tyranny and the onset of economic catastrophe to come—not to mention the systemic Deep State lawlessness confirmed by the ongoing Flynn document releases—can any serious person contend that this country isn’t now at a crossroads—an inflection point where the only choice is between abandonment of any hope of a restoration of some semblance of Constitutional liberty…or acceptance of our position as serfs, as slaves?

The situation presents us with a stark question: if not now, when? If the extended lockdown—the exercising by state and local officials of an authority that they clearly do not possess, or not legitimately—doesn’t suffice to stir at least the Three Percenters into open revolt, then what will? How much tyranny is too much for Americans to tolerate? Is there in fact no “bridge too far,” no line our ever-more-brazen masters need fear to cross?

Maxwell Hare and John Kinsman were given four years in a New York penitentiary for the crime of being associated with Gavin McInnes. They were jumped by left-wing street thugs and won the fight. They were arrested, but there was never any effort to find the men who attacked them. There was no effort to find witnesses either. Instead, the police and court relied on material provided to them by Antifa. When he sentenced them, the judge made clear he was doing it for their politics.

That is not an isolated example. Over the last decade this sort of thing has become so common that it is just an accepted part of daily reality. If you belong to a group holding unapproved ideas, you have to go to great lengths to meet in secret in order to avoid being attacked by state sanctioned mobs. If that happens, there is a good chance the police will charge you rather than the mob. The thing political dissidents in current year America fear is that the government will become aware of them.

There used to be a time when Americans associated this sort of thing with totalitarian states or South American dictatorships. The communists would never allow people to hold unapproved opinions. They smashed up illegal printing presses and banished dissident writers. Third world dictators sanctioned mobs to go around harassing people they saw as a problem. The communists are all gone and there are no more South American strong men. America is no longer a free country either.

This reality should be evident to everyone now. Government has spent the better part of the last two months closing shops and forcing people to stay indoors. They are creating bizarre and ridiculous rules for when people must go outside. Cops are pushing people around, harassing mothers at parks and otherwise carrying on like highly feminized goon squads. It’s hard to claim you live in a free country when you need permission from the government go outside to take a walk.

The remarkable thing about this is none of the things described above would have seemed plausible a generation ago. Conservatives liked to claim Bill Clinton was an autocrat, but no one seriously imagined he would so something like this. Left-wingers really thought Bush was Hitler, but even they did not think this was possible. In what feels like the blink of an eye, things we used to think were outside the realm of possibility are now normal. We have slipped into the darkness.

If you are of a certain age, the new normal is particularly tough to fathom. You spent much of your early life being told that the long struggle against communism was all about preventing exactly this. The whole point of America, its reason to exist, was to prevent exactly this from happening. Maybe it was always a big lie. Maybe it is the result of forces too complex for anyone to fathom. It really does not matter. The result is what matters. America is no longer a free country.

Not by a long yard, it ain’t. But is the worst part of the Hare-Kinsman story above that such a shocking, outrageous miscarriage of justice occurred in America…or that most Americans no longer find it particularly shocking or outrageous at all?

Mind you, I’m not advocating any specific course of action here, nor am I likely to do so. The prospect of Civil War v2.0 is an awful one, as I’ve said over and over here, a thing to be dreaded. In fact, I’m hesitant to even mull such notions over in a public forum, for reasons that ought to be obvious to anyone with a lick of sense.

But what does it say about us as Americans that we accept these travesties, even as we go right on congratulating ourselves for being the “land of the free”?

The questions keep coming: whither liberty? Whither the Constitution; whither America That Was? What senses do we lack that we cannot perceive the shadow of despotism falling over us? Does any of this really matter anymore anyway?

Update! Wilder, in the latest of his CW2.0 Weather Report series, sounds a somber note:

As I’ve mentioned before, a strong economy could take this sort of shock. Our economy isn’t strong. Let’s take New York City. What does it produce? Debt, real estate sales, insurance companies, financial irregularity, the stock market, and national “journalism” that at best is as biased as a Kennedy mother bailing her kids out of jail. If New York City were to disappear tomorrow, the only thing from NYC the Wilder Family would miss is the television show Impractical Jokers®.

Are we richer because of what comes from New York? Are we more stable? Does making another loan to a big corporation so they have enough debt on their books so a New York financier can’t buy them with their own money make us better off? Is it better because the dollars aren’t backed by anything other than a printing press?

In that same time period, manufacturing dropped from 25% of the economy to 11%. Does that make us better off, when critical goods are made an ocean away? Does that make us more stable and able to weather a crisis?

As the economy collapses, it’s collapsing because it has been hollowed out for decades. I will say that studies show, before 1980, Democrats were strongly focused on keeping the manufacturing and construction industries strong, since the unions that dominated that sector were lock-step voters for the Democrats. But, when a shiny new toy of being paid by the big banks plus being able to bring in a whole new class of voters (legal immigrants and illegal aliens) got too big, the Democrats dumped manufacturing and construction.

This collapse has been decades in the making. It won’t be done quickly. And it just might provide the pain to slingshot us into Civil War 2.0.

Revolutions, civil wars, and violent uprisings aren’t usually launched by comfortable, gainfully-employed people who are getting enough to eat.

Signs of life

Even in Amerika v2.0’s most liberal-fascist state, Real Americans aren’t quite dead yet.

They’re just, y’know, under arrest.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters he was “weeks not months” from any “modification” of his lockdown order, and the California Highway Patrol was barring any protest at the state Capitol. On Thursday, Newsom shut down state beaches and parks, and on Friday May 1, Californians hit the streets by the thousands, blocking a mile of Pacific Coast Highway down in Orange County, and as Fox News reported, staging protests in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In the state capital of Sacramento, as Katy Grimes of the California Globe noted, “Thousands of flag-waving Californians descended upon the State Capitol Friday for a protest of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s statewide stay-at-home lockdown order, which has caused millions of residents to lose their jobs and businesses.”

The protesters, organized by “Re-Open California,” were not pleading for handouts from the government. For the most part, they were working people who wanted to get their jobs and lives back.

“Reach out to the government and make their concerns, worries, fears, anger, frustration known,” protester Erik Leisten told KCRA News. “Exercise their freedom of speech and right to peacefully assemble and let him know that he’s destroying the state economically, but more importantly our freedoms.”

California Highway Patrol officers in full riot gear formed a line and pushed people off the Capitol grounds. Police arrested 32 demonstrators for disobeying a lawful order, demonstrating without a permit and resisting or delaying a police officer. As Katy Grimes recalled,  “police were far less aggressive and few arrests were ever made at Black Lives Matter rallies, which were destructive and violent.”

After the police shooting of Stephon Clark in March of 2018, Black Lives Matter disrupted a Sacramento City Council meeting, blocked fans from entering a Sacramento Kings game, and shut down traffic in both directions on Interstate 5, California’s major north-south artery. A racist mob essentially took over downtown Sacramento, terrorized innocent citizens, and violated laws, but as KCRA reported, police made “no arrests,” during the protest.

By contrast when embattled workers show up at the state Capitol on May 1 to protest their losses, police make 32 arrests. With Gavin Newsom in office, that should come as no surprise.

And it doesn’t. Which is the saddest, most depressing part of all.

Pandemics, then and now

One of these Americas is not like the other.

Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic
In my lifetime, there was another deadly flu epidemic in the United States. The flu spread from Hong Kong to the United States, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the U.S., mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.

Lifespan in the US in those days was 70 whereas it is 78 today. Population was 200 million as compared with 328 million today. It was also a healthier population with low obesity. If it would be possible to extrapolate the death data based on population and demographics, we might be looking at a quarter million deaths today from this virus. So in terms of lethality, it was as deadly and scary as COVID-19 if not more so, though we shall have to wait to see.

“In 1968,” says Nathaniel L. Moir in National Interest, “the H3N2 pandemic killed more individuals in the U.S. than the combined total number of American fatalities during both the Vietnam and Korean Wars.”

And this happened in the lifetimes of every American over 52 years of age. 

I was 5 years old and have no memory of this at all. My mother vaguely remembers being careful and washing surfaces, and encouraging her mom and dad to be careful. Otherwise, it’s mostly forgotten today. Why is that?

Nothing closed. Schools stayed open. All businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants. John Fund has a friend who reports having attended a Grateful Dead concert. In fact, people have no memory or awareness that the famous Woodstock concert of August 1969 – planned in January during the worse period of death – actually occurred during a deadly American flu pandemic that only peaked globally six months later. There was no thought given to the virus which, like ours today, was dangerous mainly for a non-concert-going demographic.

Stock markets didn’t crash. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses.

It’s not as if we had governments unwilling to intervene in other matters. We had the Vietnam War, social welfare, public housing, urban renewal, and the rise of Medicare and Medicaid. We had a president swearing to cure all poverty, illiteracy, and disease. Government was as intrusive as it had ever been in history. But for some reason, there was no thought given to shutdowns. 

Which raises the question: why was this different? We will be trying to figure this one out for decades. 

Contra that last line, the author knows the answer as well as the rest of us do, and provides it with his closing zinger.

Update! Another telling “then and now” from AEIR, a new-to-me site which I have summarily ensconced in Ye Olde Blogrolle.

The year was 1957.

Elvis’s new movie “Jailhouse Rock” was packing the theaters. The last episode of “I Love Lucy” aired on television. The show “West Side Story” held tryouts in Washington, D.C., and opened on Broadway in September. Ford’s new car the Edsel rolled off the assembly line. The Cold War with Russia was on and “In God We Trust” appeared on U.S. currency. The first Toys R Us store opened.

Also that year, the so-called Asian Flu killed 116,000 Americans.

Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed.

The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. It was a much healthier population with negligible obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far.

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

Again, this was a very serious flu, and it persisted for 10 years until it mutated to become the Hong Kong flu of 1968. 

So what changed between then and now? One of my go-to Shakespeare quotes provides a clue: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

Gee, I wonder if several generations of government-school indoctrination might have had something to do with this…

Chains, resting lightly upon us

Embedded in the post from Fran mentioned below is a video of last night’s Tucker Carlson monologue. I happened to catch its broadcast run myself last night while at my brother’s place, then spent a good bit of my time today desperately trying run down a transcript for posting purposes, it was so good. And finally, I did.

Last week we interviewed a longtime partner at the consulting firm McKinsey & Company named Peter Walker. Like so many in finance and consulting, Walker spent an awful lot of his career doing business in China. We have no idea how much money he made doing that.

We do know that along the way, Walker internalized a lot of the attitudes of China’s totalitarian government. During our interview, we asked Walker what he thought of China’s lockdown that was imposed in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

I asked Walker: “Now credible reports suggest that Chinese authorities locked people in their apartments and left them to die. We know they snatched people off the streets and threw them into police vans – God knows where they went. That’s the quarantine that you think they deserve high praise for. Why?”

Walker replied: “Well I think … if you just look at the results, I know there’s always going to be questions about exactly what the numbers are, but I think the harsh action that they took, given the scale of China and number of big cities in it, was exactly what they needed to do to prevent the outbreak from going any further. The reality is the outbreak hasn’t gone much beyond Wuhan.”

The secret police kidnapping citizens off the street, authorities locking people in their apartments from the outside until they starve to death – just look at the results. All of that, Walker said, was “exactly what they needed to do.”

This is the view of one of America’s most prominent business leaders. He didn’t seem ashamed to say it. Later in our interview, Walker suggested that American authorities could have done the same things in New York, if only they’d gotten an earlier start. Kind of a shame they didn’t.

Your jaw dropped watching it. But here’s the striking thing: nobody seemed to notice that he said it. Walker didn’t find himself on the front page of The New York Times the next morning. No one in American business denounced him. He went home and went to bed. Totalitarianism doesn’t shock us anymore.

Maybe that’s because, all of a sudden, it’s all around us.

Never in American history have politicians been more powerful than they are now. Effectively, they are God. In the state of Maine, Gov. Janet Mills now has the power to suspend any law she doesn’t like. She can seize any state resource she feels like seizing. She can force any citizen or all citizens from their homes.

The governor can do all of this for as long as she believes Maine is in a state of “emergency.” There is virtually nothing Janet Mills can’t do. Many governors now have these powers.

The First Amendment explicitly prevents government from making any law that inhibits the exercise of religious faith. It’s a cornerstone of our history and our law.

Millions of people have fled to America from around the world precisely because our Bill of Rights gives them this guarantee. It’s why this country was founded. Now it’s gone.

Where did politicians get the authority to do all this? Because some elderly, power-drunk doctor told them to? That’s not how our system works – or can work.

Occasionally, you’ll hear some lonely civil libertarian fret that we may be on a “slippery slope” toward losing our rights. If only. We’re already there.

We’ve slid to the bottom of that slope. Our rights are gone. No one has explained how politicians are allowed to do this, to override the Constitution. No one seems to care. They’re too afraid.

But if we think this is moment scary, consider what might come next. Now that we’ve ceded all authority in the country to our political leaders, what can’t they do? What are the limits to their power?

That’s not a theoretical question. It’s not an argument over philosophy or political theory. It’s the most practical possible question. The answer will define where this country goes next. What can’t politicians do in the name of public health?

Lots more betwixt my invisible ellipses, running down several more examples of the authoritarian fever currently enfeebling the nation—a mortal affliction for which there is but one known treatment. Each of tonight’s posts are intended to serve as kinda-sorta lead-ins to another one that I actually began working on last night, and may or may not get finished with tonight. If not, it’ll drop in another day or two.

Fear itself

A pair of arresting lines from a pair of truly gifted writers, both of which I’ll put in bold so’s nobody misses ’em. First, the ZMan:

You can’t help but wonder if what we are seeing is just a dry run for something more permanent in the future. I don’t think this was premeditated. It is just a good example of how events can take on a life of their own. One things leads to another and before long the best of intentions results in a madness consuming the people who set of the chain of events with their good intentions. Like the radicals of the French Revolution, our rulers are now captive to events they set in motion.

Like many people I’m losing my patience for this ridiculous charade. As the evidence stacks up it is clear the lock downs were a terrible idea. It is time to go back to our normal routines, but the people in charge have the whiff of authoritarianism in their nostrils and like a rutting beast they can think of nothing else. They are now busy dreaming up more insane restrictions just to humiliate people. It is increasingly difficult to remain a reasonable person. I’m getting a little salty.

Well and pungently put, Z. Increasingly, though, I find myself wondering if a “reasonable” response is really the right one to end our escalating humiliation.

Next, a little tough love from my esteemed friend Francis Porretto:

Fear is the aspiring tyrant’s best tool. Fear of violence; fear of disease; fear of the infirmities of age; fear of the future; fear of one’s neighbors; fear of one’s countrymen; fear of faceless others in distant lands. He who can make you afraid can make himself your master…and your fears need not be of him.

Note that no government, no agency, and no politician can actually relieve you of the threats that make you fear. Only you can do that. Indeed, that’s the most ironic facet of our current condition: were Americans merely to practice enhanced hygiene, and protect our most vulnerable relatives from contagion, we would be out the back end of this Wuhan virus business in a few weeks, with no more fatalities than we’re suffering under this lockdown regime and with herd immunity, to boot. Instead we’ve surrendered our rights as Americans for absolutely no gain – and that’s to say nothing of the economic devastation the lockdown has wrought.

But our politicians value our fear far more than our lives, our rights, or our economy. They’re doing their best to keep our fears stoked high. It’s what aspiring tyrants have always done:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. – H. L. Mencken

And we’ve fallen for it.

Indeed we have, to our eternal shame and disgrace. Seems like an opportune moment to re-run one of my verymost favorite poems, from one of my verymost favorite half-mad poets:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

In politics, the worst are ALWAYS full of passionate intensity; it’s how politicians persuade us to buy the particular brand of snake-oil they’re hawking. But now, for the first time in American history, we have fully and irrevocably surrendered both our freedom and our fates to them, vexed to nightmare by a fear that has been proven unfounded. The rough beast has been allowed his hour at last, and the darkness is descending.

Land of the treed, home of the craven

We are being conditioned to accept the bit. The truly nauseating thing is how very many of us ARE accepting it—when they’re not actively demanding it, screaming for it, that is.

We live in a country where one may be arrested for opening her store or having too many friends at her house for a social gathering. Whiling away the hours under a modified house arrest, we wait for a relative handful of megalomaniacs in government to tell us when we might hope to return to normal life. 

Strangely, the American people seem to have swallowed this new reality whole—no questioning, no scrutiny, but complete, embarrassing credulousness at the claims of politicians, bureaucrats, and pundits frantically waving around little more than shoddy, dubious models and barely hiding a lust for tyrannizing innocent people.

This suggests that Americans, thought to be freedom-loving people, will now believe almost anything, conditioned to be fearful and obedient. Even those who had long since abandoned belief in this myth of America as the Land of the Free might have expected at least some resistance in the face of such open attacks on basic freedoms.

William Graham Sumner eloquently exposed the problems with supposing that every social or economic question is susceptible to solution through the “inelastic and arbitrary” means of legislation or regulation. He saw the “mania for interference” as revealing “the prevailing ignorance of what a society is and what methods of dealing with it are rational.” Faced with a particularly complex, vexatious social question, Sumner teaches, “the last thing to do is to legislate about it,” “for it is not possible to experiment with a society and just drop the experiment whenever we choose. The experiment enters into the life of the society, and never can be got out again.” 

In America That Was, the old sheep/wolves/sheepdogs analogy has been perverted. For any who have forgotten, or never heard of it:

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

“Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

“Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.” Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”

We are a nation of sheep all right. But the sheepdogs have chosen to switch sides, and are now working for the wolves. And…well, here we all are.

sacramento-storm-troopers.jpg

Now, can any of you honestly tell me that this looks even remotely like the now-defunct America v1.0 to you? If so, may I have some of whatever the hell it is you’re smoking? Sundance’s headline says it all:

33 People Arrested During Sacramento Freedom Protest…
Sometimes the headlines tell a story all by themselves…That’s the case in Sacramento California where a group of frustrated and rebellious citizens sought to petition their home confinement order by using the first amendment.

Apparently protesting a governor for redress of grievances, during a time of arbitrary suspension of the first amendment to the U.S. constitution, is grounds for arrest.

As a result 33 Californians were were arrested for not complying with the governor’s order they were protesting against.

Their failure of citizens to keep distant from each-other made them scofflaws to the dictates of the state government.

Video from the scene shows California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered fully armored riot police to surround the capitol building; and face down a group of rebellious moms and business owners.

The subversives who did not remain socially distant, during their protest about having to be socially distant, were promptly arrested.

Ahh, but nobody should be surprised or shocked; Commissar Newsom is only a petty liberal tyrant doing what liberal tyrants do, after all, and he’s making the most of the opportunity presented to him just as any other of them would—and have. The question is: who was it who put Newsom in office in the first place? Worse yet: how likely is it that the self-same people currently so angry at Newsom, Whitler, Coomo, and DeBalledZero, and other tinpot despots currently flaunting their true colors in our fearful faces, will happily march off to the polls to re-elect them next time they get the chance?

A near-certainty, that would be my bet. Nobody had to take their freedom away from them; “Americans” willing gave it away themselves, without hesitation. Which leaves me to saw away at the world’s tiniest violin in sympathy with their complaints, while singing a melody whose lyrics were first set down by the prescient Benjamin “A Republic, if you can keep it” Franklin:

Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech…Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

And, in the end, will surely find themselves deprived of both.

Flipsides

A reasonable cop unloads on DeBalledZero.

In an exclusive interview with this reporter Wednesday, President of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, an NYPD union, Ed Mullins called New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio “an idiot” for instructing his officers to arrest people gathering in large groups after hundreds of Jewish people attended a funeral for a well-respected rabbi on Tuesday night.

“You can’t tell law enforcement to go out and violate people’s rights,” he said.

No, you can’t. The flipside to that being that if he does anyway, you do NOT dishonor your badge and place yourself in collusion with his criminality by going out and obeying the illegal order anyway. If you do, not only do you compound his crime by aiding and abetting it, you also take a full measure of its weight onto your own soul.

Mullins, who has served in the NYPD for 38 years, said that the Jewish community regularly has large gatherings, and “what occurred last night is not new. This happens all the time. What occurred last night was different because the community was given out masks. They were trying to keep things organized.”

“So why did you target people of faith at a funeral? Ironically, there’s a video of a woman. She had her husband’s body, I believe it was, in an apartment for several days. So, what do you expect people to do? The city’s not responding. We have people who are sick, go to hospitals, they have no family members, they’re dying alone, some of them are doctors and nurses, and then they’re being buried with really no funerals,” Mullins explained.

He added, “So you have a community that’s doing what they always do. They’re in their own community. They didn’t have a problem with it. I wasn’t at the funeral. I wasn’t infected myself with anything, but I just looked at photos and they’re wearing masks. So, this is what your biggest complaint is that you felt it’s necessary to get out of bed and go yell at people from a funeral? You took away Easter Sunday church from us. I’m Catholic, I didn’t get to go to mass on Easter Sunday. How much more of this can you expect people to take?”

He and his fellow newly-minted despots all over the nation expect people to take as much as he chooses to dish out, and like it. The big question is: will New Yorkers re-elect him again? Because if so, then as far as I’m concerned they’re getting what they deserve.

In his press conference on Wednesday, the Mayor defended his comments saying he was trying to protect police and those gathering, however, Mullins didn’t find his argument convincing.

“We’ve had cops killed under him, cops injured under him, cops abused under him,” Mullins said. “So don’t tell me you’re trying to keep police safe and it puts us in harm’s way.”

As you seem to grasp, Sergeant, it isn’t about safety, nor is it about any overhyped virus. It’s about DeBalledZero being exactly what he was all along. No more, no less.

Still waiting for DeBalledZero to offer a single peep regarding Moslem religious gatherings. Oh no, wait, he finally did.

De Blasio to give 500,000 meals to Muslims but threatened to close churches & synagogues permanently

So, are you Christian and Jewish New Yorkers beginning to get a clue about your place in the official hierarchy now?

Railroaded

Steyn on the Flynn travesty of justice.

So one conversation, with disgraced corrupt rogue agent Strzok, without counsel present and without the defendant being aware that this was an interrogation of him as opposed to just a friendly intragovernmental chit-chat, has consumed three years of Flynn’s life and all his savings.

I heard Kellyanne Conway being asked this morning about whether Trump should now pardon Flynn. No. It is for the court, as an act of judicial hygiene, to accept Flynn’s withdrawal of his enforced guilty plea (made under threats by the feds to destroy the lives of various family members, too), quash the conviction as a miscarriage of justice, and invite the defense to lay before His Honor a wrongful prosecution suit.

If it requires a presidential pardon to bring garbage like this to an end, then we are all in trouble. Because if the Deep Staters can do it to Flynn, they can do it to anyone.

Sheeeit. Can there be anyone out there so naive, so gullible, so out of touch with the cold realities of life in Amerika v2.0, that they don’t know full well that it’s already happening, and has been for years?

Misremembering to the FBI should not be a crime – especially not on the basis of a politically motivated policeman’s supposedly contemporaneous “notes”, rather than an audio or video recording. Instead of a presidential pardon, why not repeal this vile pseudo-crime that mocks due process? I take it that, the GOP having lost the House, Congress will not enact a new Strzok Act, restoring the citizen’s right to misremember to a corrupt police agency’s goons, but why cannot Bill Barr suspend this “crime” pending an investigation into its misuse by prosecutors over recent years?

While we’re at it, how about another modest reform? Me again, three years ago:

During the stupid and anachronistic two-and-a-half-month electoral ‘transition’, the outgoing Administration worked round the clock to de-legitimize and cripple their successors.

No other government in the free world requires this long to respect the results of an election. Even before the Obama-Biden Administration decided to weaponize the “transition”, it served as the most obvious example of the general sclerosis of Swampland: why be surprised that in an emergency the government takes months to get out your relief check of twelve hundred bucks when even in normal times it requires three months to clear out its desks? How about a constitutional amendment to the Twentieth Amendment shortening the transition to three weeks?

I think it’s sooooo cute that Mark still thinks the Constitution means a goddamned thing, even after all this.

The FBI has been entirely corrupt, malevolent, and a deadly threat to supposed American rights and freedom since its Constitutionally-dubious inception. It was originally birthed under the direction of J Edgar Hoover, conceptualized and structured in accord with his own warped vision. As twisted, treacherous, and power-mad as he was personally, how could his brainchild be anything other than the nefarious affront to the most fundamental concepts of true justice America claims to cherish that it has been from the beginning?

The FBI doesn’t need to be “reformed” or “restructured” or “rethought.” It is rotten root, branch, and bough; meaningful reform is an impossibility for so cancerous a blight on the former Republic. The danger it represents, the grievous harm it has done, the extraordinary malfeasance that is its stock in trade, is engraved all across its appalling history. It should be removed—dismantled, disassembled, decontructed

That so treacherous, dishonorable, and altogether toxic little worm as Comey could rise through the FBI hierarchy to eventually occupy its highest seat of power is indictment aplenty. That any organization would countenance such a one in even its lowest ranks, much less at its head, ought to be all that’s required to pass judgment on whether that organization lives on or dies. Its continued existence, on the other hand, is no less grave an indictment of us.

Update! Swiped from Francis.

RuledByCriminals.JPG


He follows on with this:

As Friedrich Hayek observed in The Road to Serfdom, the desire for power and the willingness to do anything to get and keep it are strongest in those who would abuse it. So with the passage of enough time, the corridors of power will be filled by criminals. Worse, let a little more time go by, and the lesser criminals will be replaced by the greater ones: strong-armers, rapists, and murderers.

Think Ruby Ridge and Waco.

A bit later Fran contends that “…we haven’t yet descended to the level of a banana republic,” to which I can only say: after what we’ve witnessed over the last six weeks, how sure can we be of that, really? Seems to me about the only thing that has kept us from fully meriting that designation up ’til now is our general affluence, which is being wantonly destroyed before our very eyes. After we’ve been impoverished, humiliated, and enslaved to the satisfaction of our masters…well, then what shall we call ourselves?

“The biggest shock since the Great Depression”

Hey, no worries. Professional politicians and Deep State bureau-rats universally assure us it can all be turned back on again as easily as flipping a light switch. And when have those supergeniuses ever been wrong about anything?

GDP falls by 4.8 percent, bringing longest economic expansion on record to abrupt halt
Gross domestic product, which measures the output of goods and services, sank by 4.8 percent in the first quarter on an annualized basis, according to an initial estimate from the Department of Commerce released Wednesday morning.

It’s the steepest decline since the Great Recession, which ended in 2009. Economic growth was tracking at or above 2 percent until mid-March.

With most of the nation stuck at home, large swaths of the economy have shuttered, throwing 26 million people out of work. Consumer spending, which drives around two-thirds of economic growth, has plummeted.

While Wall Street had been steeling itself for the data, the worst is yet to come. First quarter data captured economic activity up to the end of March, but the second quarter will likely include three straight months of decline.

“You’re looking at something like minus 20 percent to minus 30 percent in the second quarter,” White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett told CNBC on Monday, noting that the coronavirus is “the biggest shock since the Great Depression. It’s a very grave shock and it’s something we need to take seriously.”

The Congressional Budget Office estimated second-quarter GDP would be down by as much as 40 percent, for the worst quarter since 1947.

Economists say the U.S. likely entered recession — generally defined as two consecutive quarters of decline in GDP — in the second half of March, when lockdowns began.

“You’re going to see the economy really bounce back in July, August, September,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News earlier this week. “You’re seeing trillions of dollars that’s making its way into the economy and I think this is going to have a significant impact,” he said of the government’s $2 trillion dollar emergency stimulus package meant to buttress the economy.

Damage: done.

A farmer named Shad Sullivan warned in a viral video that “[America’s] food supply is in trouble.”

Farmers are outraged that subpar imported meat continues to flow into America despite warnings to American farmers to put down their own livestock.

“Yesterday, the first shipment of imported beef from the country of Namibia hit the shores of the United States of America,” said Sullivan.  “And yet this morning they are telling us to prepare to euthanize harvest-ready cattle.”

Sullivan questioned, “Am I the only one who sees a problem in this?”

Racist.

Over 30 Million Americans Have Lost Their Jobs In The Last Six Weeks
In the last week 3.839 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time.

That brings the six-week total to 30.31 million, which is over 12 times the prior worst five-week period in the last 50-plus years.

Worse still, the final numbers will likely be worsened due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.

As Mises’ Robert Aro noted earlier in the week, the stimulus packages being handed out across this world provide us with an opportunity to document the anticapitalist process as it unfolds in real time, keeping in mind that when these inflation schemes fail, it will likely be blamed on capitalism.

And Trump, of course. After all, that was one of the main points of this whole disastrous exercise.

But no matter. The damage is done now; assuredly, there will be no going back to where we were from this, our New Normal. Wherever you sit, whatever you choose to believe, it all comes down to one thing.




I do believe I need to set up that song title as a new category here.

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