Just stay home!

Shhhhhh.

If you are, like me, stuck in a state where coronavirus restrictions have turned your life upside down, bankrupted your business, and traumatized your kids, and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, you might be considering a big relocation. There are plenty of states that are retaining liberty in spite of the Chinese flu virus that has a 99% recovery rate. If you are considering fleeing your state for a new one, then look into the following five states that scored the highest in a data-collection study by the financial site WalletHub, showing which states have the fewest coronavirus restrictions. (Please note that coronavirus restrictions change daily. It is possible that by the time this is published one or more of these guidelines will have changed so verify before you pick up and move.)

After the list, she appends a “Whither Texas” update at the bottom that is, frankly, quite depressing.

Sadly, shockingly, Texas does not make the list of places I would move anymore. The left has taken over the major cities in Texas. Invaders from California, bringing their politics with them, have made Texas a place that needs major rehab. Coronavirus restrictions are also quite stringent and Texas ranked as the 46th-worst state for restrictions on freedom in the WalletHub study. That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? We should all consider that winning a presidency without Texas is going to be damn near impossible. So for that reason alone, it might be a place to move if your goal is moving to politically strategic places. But don’t expect an abundance of freedom in Texas. Those days are over.

It would seem so, alas. Progtard locusts have the most amazing ability to destroy our liberty, independence, and dignity no matter where the swarm ends up.

Brother, can you spare a…

At first glance, this seemed kinda absurd to me. Then I gave it further thought, and…I dunno, it still seems kinda absurd to me.

Pearl Jam, the Eagles, Guns N’ Roses, and Green Day are among the bands who have received loans from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program, Rolling Stone reports.

According to data from the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department, the money will go to supporting and retaining the artists’ crews and staff; Rolling Stone notes that the Eagles’ loan is listed under their touring company and will help save 50 jobs. Larger loans—between $350,000 and $1 million—were taken out by the Eagles, Pearl Jam, and Disturbed. Out of 660,000 recipients, Rolling Stone reports that over 40 musicians and bands received loans for over $150,000, including Weezer, Imagine Dragons, Chainsmokers, Nickelback, and Jason Isbell.

Various major and independent labels also received PPP loans, including Sub Pop Records, Third Man Records, and Knitting Factory Records, who each received a minimum of $350,000.

Not one of the above-named bands are outfits I would think of as needing any federal aid to scrape by; I’d far rather see that dough put into the hands of the struggling, lower-tier road warriors out there who are certainly worse off than they are, and if I was still working the road myself I’d likely resent this, at least somewhat.

On the other hand, though, as the article notes, the assistance is earmarked for their crews and support staff, which makes it seem a bit more reasonable. Although it’s also true that even those guys typically haul down bucketfuls more cash than your average bar band does.

There’s this, too: the fact that no bands, great or small, have been allowed to ply their trade and earn their living during this summer’s touring season is entirely on the goobermint. Also, although people don’t realize it, even the big-name acts earn most of their dough not from record sales, but from touring and merch sales. So why the hell shouldn’t they insist on compensation from the very assholes who shut them all down on a pretext?

What the hell, why not?

Sure, he’s kind of a nut. But he’s an all-American nut just the same.

Grammy-winner rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West took to Twitter on Independence Day to announce that he is “running for president of the United States.”

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States!” tweeted West on Saturday. While the rapper did (not) elaborate on when he would try to run for president, he did include the hashtag #2020VISION in his tweet.

West has teased his intention to run for U.S. President for years.

In 2019, the rapper stated, “there will be a time when I will be the president of the US, and I will remember… any founder that didn’t have the capacity to understand culturally what we were doing.” The “Jesus Is King” rapper made headlines in 2018 after delivering an impassioned 10-minute speech from the Oval Office as he sat across from President Trump.

“Let’s stop worrying about the future. All we really have is today,” he said, before adding: “Trump is on his hero’s journey right now, and he might not have expected to have a crazy motherfucker like Kanye West.”

Before you dismiss this as just another slice of cray-cray and/or self-aggrandizing silliness, remember that he and Trump get along famously. Consider that for a minute, then note Glenn’s suggestion that there might indeed be a method to the apparent madness here: “HE’LL STRIP BLACK VOTES FROM BIDEN IF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENS, AND HE KNOWS THAT.

I like it. I like it a lot.

Independence Day, or something like it

This is gonna be a long ‘un for sure, with some twists and turns y’all might find surprising. I’ll probably still only manage to get around to a fraction of all the things I want to say even so, and I’m thinking I’ll just go ahead and dump half of it below the fold under the “More” link.

First off, a real gem from the inimitable John Wilder.

Boston, Massachusetts: 122 killed, 211 wounded in a daybreak raid by troops sent to confiscate privately owned weapons and ammunition. “Patriots” claim government troops fired first.

It has been reported that at dawn a group of self-styled “Patriots” engaged a heavily armed troops sent to confiscate guns and ammunition. These “Patriots” though initially outnumbered, stood by the side of the road, fully armed with modern assault weapons at the ready. The “Patriot” leader at the site, John Parker, claims to have been only standing there with the other “Patriots”. It has reported that Parker said, “Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon. But if they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

According to Parker, the soldiers ordered the “Patriots” to disperse, and he ordered his men to “disburse and go home,” but “the soldiers were yelling,” and there was confusion. There was a shot, fired, but both the “Patriots” and the spokesman for the troops claim the other side fired the first shot. Badly outnumbered at first, the “Patriots” were reinforced by the local members of their radical libertarian movement as the firefight wore on. House-to-house fighting was reported.

Sources to this blog have indicated that the “Patriots” had been tipped off to the troop movements and were aware the gun confiscation was coming. The troops were forced to withdraw under fire, although rescue from a larger detachment of troops from Boston was required for their safe evacuation.

A local lawyer, John Adams, viewed the battlefield the next day, “The die was cast. The Rubicon crossed.” Pressed by this blog for an explanation of these cryptic comments, he referred us to our previous post (American Caesar: Coming Soon To A Country Near You?).

The events listed above happened 245 years ago, except John Adams being snarky to me, yet somehow the concepts behind them are fresh in American life in 2020. The battles of Lexington and Concord, though small by today’s standards, produced the “shot heard ‘round the world” as the American Dream and American Identity were formed.

Why yes, you WILL want to read the rest, why do you ask? John’s closing question is piercing; its pertinence is everlasting, and will never fade.

Next, via Ed Driscoll, a 4th of July speech from the greatest President America ever had, or ever will have.

It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

Placing every man on a plane where he acknowledged no superiors, where no one possessed any right to rule over him, he must inevitably choose his own rulers through a system of self-government. This was their theory of democracy. In those days such doctrines would scarcely have been permitted to flourish and spread in any other country. This was the purpose which the fathers cherished. In order that they might have freedom to express these thoughts and opportunity to put them into action, whole congregations with their pastors had migrated to the Colonies. These great truths were in the air that our people breathed. Whatever else we may say of it, the Declaration of Independence was profoundly American.

If this apprehension of the facts be correct, and the documentary evidence would appear to verify it, then certain conclusions are bound to follow. A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man — these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We can not continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.

We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general. Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought.

A wonderful, insightful speech that, to those among us of a certain raddled decrepitude, probably sounds at least somewhat familiar. But then, we old fogies came up in a time when Civics was still a class taught in the schools.

As beautiful, as uplifting as Coolidge’s speech most certainly is, however, it is also profoundly depressing—downright heartbreaking, in fact, when you contemplate how very much we’ve either allowed to be stolen from us or just flat given away with nary a thought.

Continue reading “Independence Day, or something like it”

It’s always darkest just before the dawn

And right now, it’s pretty danged dark out there.

Let me tell you why I believe the polls… Because in 2016, the polls were accurate. No, not the state polls. The state polls were way off. The average of the national polls, however, was almost exactly correct.

President Trump lost the national popular vote in 2016 by 2.1 points — and just barely beat Hillary Clinton.

The average of the national polls in 2016 had Trump behind Hillary by 3.2 points.

So, as you can see, the average of the 2016 national polls was only off by 1.1 points. That’s what you call some damn fine polling, and right now, those very same damn fine polls have Trump losing to Joe Biden by 9.2 points.

And these polls were all taken before the president stupidly tweeted out video of an idiot yelling “White Power!”

Donald Trump is not only losing this election, if the election were held today, his loss would possibly be catastrophic, would be remembered as one of the most humiliating in history. He’s not only facing a landslide rejection of epic proportions, he’s losing to a 77-year-old imbecile and racist who’s hiding out in his basement.

How is this possible?

How is it even remotely possible Joe Biden is kicking Trump’s butt?

Don’t know how much of what Nolte writes here I actually agree with; Nolte was originally a NeverTrumpTard who eventually came around, and for all I know he might be eagerly reverting to type. But the dismayingly-successful COVIDIOT gambit, followed by the sacking and burning of pretty much every city in America with no response from Trump besides unfulfilled Twitter threats, has undoubtedly shaken his support more than anything the Marxist-traitor Left has been able to come up with so far. And, well, here we all are.

Despite their roots in reality, there is no doubt that these crises — and the White House and Senate’s attempts to tackle them — would be reported differently if Hillary Clinton were president.

The Federalist’s exclusive Friday Oval Office interview revealed a president and West Wing that are happy and optimistic, while realistic about the political danger they face — a stark contrast, publisher Ben Domenech notes in Monday’s Transom newsletter, with his “interviews in the dark days of George W. Bush’s second term.”

“The president clearly believes he is down, and that he has been prevented from using ammunition curtailed by the continued challenge of the virus and without Joe Biden doing things like walking outside and talking for more than 30 minutes,” Domenech writes. “But the president clearly is not of the opinion that Biden’s lead is insurmountable.”

And it isn’t. But a corporate media that have struggled for years to achieve their openly stated goal of defeating the president finally have a working plan. The president and his Republican allies had better get ahead of it, or Democrats will win the Senate –and Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States.

And that there is the problem, really: despite his own natural inclinations, Trump appears now to have shifted—been maneuvered, more accurately, with an unwitting assist of every panic-ninny currently berating sensible people for refusing to don the Mask Of Submission—from the offensive to the defensive. That’s a defeat in and of itself, and I’m unsure how it might be reversed. But it must be, that’s all there is to it. Charles Hurt warns that complacency is the real enemy:

Mr. Trump’s fourth year in office has been an unusual one, to say the least. But even that gives his supporters unwarranted reason to be complacent. They see a president in a time of national threat trying to unify the country while his enemies in Washington and in Congress only work to weaponize every tragedy for their own personal political advantage. With dishonest, evil vermin like this against him, how could Mr. Trump NOT win?

To be clear, any such complacency among Trump supporters is badly misplaced. The only difference between 2016 and 2020 is that this time, Democrats, the political media and the so-called “Deep State” now know that Donald Trump can win. This time, there is nothing they will not do to destroy him.

Something decides every election. oftentimes, it’s the economy, Stupid. Other times it is security. It can even be personality that determines the outcome of an election.

The 2020 election is shaping up to be the “Make it stop!” election. Ardent Trump supporters love Mr. Trump and will walk through fire over broken glass to vote for him. Rabid anti-Trumpers despise the president and will loot and riot through tear gas to vote against him.

This election will be determined by an altogether different group of voters. These voters don’t particularly like Mr. Trump, but they also aren’t crazy haters. Many of them voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 and are open to doing so again.

Today, they see rioters in the streets, smashing store fronts, torching police cars and toppling statues. They are appalled, and they just want it to stop.

Mr. Trump claims to be the “law and order” guy, but the mayhem continues under his administration. Mr. Biden is desperate to curry favor with the peaceful protesters so he cowardly declines to forcefully condemn the lawlessness and rioters.

The average voter is watching it all and just wants it all to stop. If a vote for Mr. Biden would make it stop, that’s what he will do. Same with Mr. Trump.

It’s kinda tough for Trump to run on “law and order” when he’s the guy ultimately responsible for seeing to it that law and order is maintained…and anyone can see that he has failed to do so. To wit:

Trump’s campaign has suggested that riots and more disorder will happen if Biden is elected. The problem with this argument is that disorder is already happening now under President Trump.

Admittedly, Trump has had a difficult fight from the beginning. He has been hamstrung by investigations, a hostile deep state resistance from career civil servants, and a nakedly partisan propaganda campaign by the media. Nevertheless, he has a job to do. He’s not merely citizen Trump. He’s not just an observer. It’s his FBI. It’s his government to run. It’s his military to command. If he can’t run it, he needs to fire people until he can get the right people where they belong.

It’s not entirely clear whether Trump’s reluctance to use force is a cynical calculation that this chaos works to his advantage, or a vague instinct that anything he does will boomerang. It does not matter; there is a job to do regardless of electoral consequences.

As it stands, the country and the president are diminished in the face of extended disorder. A strong and swift response, while controversial, would restore the sense that the nation is not up for grabs. It would also do much to restore Trump’s prestige. Impotent tweeting and inaction encourages more assaults, demands, and brinksmanship.

Voters need to understand that ejecting Trump will not lead to a restoration of order. But Trump needs to understand that inaction will not bring it about, either.

Here’s hoping it does. But there IS at least a feeble ray of hope amidst all this gloomy darkness.

President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner’s political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts, three people with direct knowledge of the president’s thinking tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: One person who spoke with the president interpreted his thinking this way: “No more of Jared’s woke s***.” Another said Trump has indicated that following Kushner’s advice has harmed him politically.

…Several conservative allies of the president have reached out to him and advised him to reduce Kushner’s influence over his re-election campaign.

For God’s sake listen to ’em, Mr Preznit, sir. They have a much better idea of where your best interests lie than any damned liberal ever will, however highly your liberal daughter might think of him.

‘Trump has a Jared problem,’ is how one conservative activist who works with the White House on immigration puts it. ‘Jared is a total fuck-up. Everything he touches turns to lead.’ Others groan about ‘four more years of Jared’ should the President be re-elected in November.

And if Trump does, we all do. Dump him. An hour ago wouldn’t be too soon.

Various sources in, or connected to, the administration are stunned by the amount of power Kushner wields. He is a 39-year-old rich kid who had no experience in government before 2016, yet he is in charge of Middle East diplomacy, police reform, a major immigration reform package, criminal justice reform, PPE procurement during COVID-19 and construction of the border wall.

Kushner’s inexperience might be excusable if he were particularly brilliant. People who have sat in meetings with him, however, describe him as ‘slow’, ‘a moron’ and ‘not really that bright’. He struggles to master detail. One official suggests he doesn’t have the acuity to master one, let alone all, of the tasks the President gives him. For instance, he was in charge of producing the 600-plus-page immigration reform package, but conservatives were horrified at how little he knew about the issue he was leading on. He didn’t even seem to know what was in his own proposal; others had to step in when he was unable to answer the more technical questions.

One conservative source who attended a briefing on the plan led by Kushner told The Spectator he was shocked that Kushner seemed to have no sense of how to answer basic questions about chain migration and the diversity visa lottery. ‘He presents as someone very knowledgeable and in the know until he faces questions,’ the source said. ‘He goes off the record or on deep background so people don’t realize he’s a fucking idiot.’

Some assign sinister motives to Kushner’s missteps. His negative influence on the administration, it’s whispered, goes beyond incompetence and veers toward deliberate sabotage. Several individuals close to the administration claim Kushner’s history as a rather progressive Democrat makes him far more ideological than he lets on, and this causes him to subvert Trump’s populist agenda. ‘The depths and lengths Jared is going to to stab Trump in the back [are] quite profound,’ one source claimed. ‘Trump’s been burned by Jared so many times,’ said another.

Naturally. What we’re all pleased to misnomer “liberalism” isn’t a set of political opinions, nor a mere ideology. It is a religion, and its faithful acolytes will always and forever put advancing the agenda way before friendship, family ties, decency, and common sense six days a week, and twice on Sunday. If Trump doesn’t realize this by now, he’d better wake the fuck up, and fast. He has no more than three and half months to turn this out-of-control bus around, before we all wind up bleeding in a ditch on the Left side of the road, dazed and wondering how the hell we got there.

People get ready

A preview of coming attractions for a movie we never want to see. But it looks more and more as if we just might.

As we’d reminded you back on June 14th in this ANP story titled “Imagine America In 2021 If Domestic Terror-Supporters Win In November: A Look Back At Where America Was Headed Under Obama Tells Us Where We’ll Go If Democrats Win The Election”, while Barack Obama was still President, official US government documents labeled just about any Republican or Conservative across the country as a potential terrorist in the government’s eyes.

As we’d reported within that story, back on August 26th of 2013, Michael Snyder had published an extremely important story titled “72 Types Of Americans That Are Considered “Potential Terrorists” In Official Government Documents” within which he warned that America was in deep trouble if we kept going the direction we were headed in.

With official US government documents back then labeling people as being potential terrorists just for being a conservative, a libertarian, a Christian or a gun owner, or anyone who was opposed to abortion, globalism, Communism, illegal immigration, the United Nations or a ‘New World Order’, just imagine if these Marxist devils get back into power in January of 2021!

Going so far under Obama that they were attempting to label ANYONE OPPOSED TO the democrat agenda, including those opposed to the mass murdering of babies, as a potential terrorist, we should think about that very, very deeply as we continue this rush towards November.

With terrorists letting Americans know that terror attacks upon our country are ahead, with even President Trump recently calling out their ‘treason, sedition and insurrection’, the remarks made by BLM’s own leaders hint that this will never end peacefully in the weeks and months ahead.

So we come down to this very real possibility. With democrats quite literally pushing their communist revolution ahead of the 2020 election, and those same democrats demonizing 10’s of millions of law-abiding Americans citizens for having conservative values, even putting us on terrorist watchlists, as has happened in one commie revolution after another, there is inevitably a ‘purge’.

And with the website Deagel giving us a hint of what that purge might look like, with their forecast of an America with less than 100 million people living here by 2025, a drop of over 227 million in less than 4 years, we pray that Civil War will be avoided in America but Communist revolutions throughout history have proven to us that there are things much worse.

Indeed there are, and it isn’t as if there hasn’t already been numerous real-world demonstrations of what those things will surely end up being. As CA suggests in the title of his post linking to this sobering Malcolm Pollack piece, the stakes are the highest imaginable.

It surprises me that anyone on the Right (or for that matter, anyone of middle years or older who grew up in the former United States, and feels that he or she has had a pretty good life) would have any hesitation at all about supporting Donald Trump — not only in the upcoming election, but also in the day-to-day grind of this terrible culture war. (I should make an exception for accelerationists, but I am not an accelerationist.)

Is Mr. Trump deeply flawed? Of course. Is he petulant, unstatesmanlike, vain, unlettered, and at times childish and vulgar? Yes, all of those things. But listen to how he speaks of America, of its goodness, of its greatness, and of its greatness still to be. Look at the way he honors our Founders, our traditions, our veterans, and the ordinary people who build and sustain American life. Say what you want about the man, his eye is on what’s good in America — all the things that over the centuries have made people from all over the world yearn to come here, all the things that I, as a boy, was taught that we must give thanks for to our forefathers, cherish for ourselves and our families, and preserve for generations yet unborn. He understands that we are links in a great chain — with a debt to our ancestors, and a duty to our children. Break that chain, sever that link to past and future, and men will be, as Edmund Burke said, little more than “the flies of a summer”.

For all his flaws, Donald Trump understands all of this: if not intellectually, then in his heart. And he is, in this moment, all we have. He is Gandalf against the Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. As Lincoln once said of Grant: “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

Remember always: we are in an existential conflict with a fearsome global Enemy. This foe has limitless financial resources, and it has already conquered, in a long march spanning half a century or more, all the great strategic strongholds of our civilization — education, popular media, corporate boardrooms, the upper echelons of the military, the political leadership of almost all of our major cities, and the malleable minds of scores of millions of voters, in particular women and coastal city-dwelllers. As we can see all around us every day, they have fought us almost to a standstill even without controlling the White House and the Senate. Can you imagine what would happen if they were to consolidate their power by seizing those last defenses?

Perhaps you imagine that much of their current anger is due to their loss to Mr. Trump in 2016, and that a victory this November would settle them back down; that if they can reclaim the presidency they will be placated and magnanimous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Seething with four years of pent-up resentment, if they retake the commanding heights of political power they will, in their exultation and their fury, burn us all to ashes, and grind the remaining embers of the traditional American nation into powder.

Y’all already well know of my dejected acceptance of the essential truth expressed by the TINVOWOOT formulation, indeed, there is no voting our way out of this. I’ve also been disappointed in Trump’s seeming near-paralysis of late, and have said so here. Even so, those things don’t make supporting him a mug’s game, nor lessen the importance of doing so.

As the horrific death throes of America That Was—struck down at last by the toxic combination of Enemies, Domestic and the nerveless ennui of beleaguered Normals—advance towards their last stages, the truly Woke among us must nonetheless resist despair, resolving to whatever action we can to forestall the final victory of our Marxist tormentors and opressors for as long as possible. The prospect of defeat looms ever larger, but defeat is even yet not a certainty. As long as the slightest hope remains, we must do all that lies within our power to do.

As the man says, Trump is all we have standing between us and the coming of Mordor On The Potomac’s Great Darkness, at least for the moment. No, he is not any kind of Savior; he is not a Man On A White Horse, riding in to smite our foes and singlehandedly turn the tide at the last moment. He is a tool, ready to hand and still of use in stalling the onslaught of the orcs until we can marshall our forces and perhaps contrive a way to turn the dismal tide ourselves. Since we’re into the LOTR analogies here, Gandalf’s wise words seem appropriate:

Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not…It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.

The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last, the great battle of our time. So let’s just buckle down and win the damned thing, shall we?

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.

CF asks the tough questions!

Lots of outrage out there over the “exposure” of this supposed “scam.”

An alleged nonprofit aimed at providing financial aid to looters and rioters who were arrested in the Minneapolis riots is facing widespread criticism after revealing that it has spent only a fraction of its donations and pocketed the rest, as reported by Fox News.

The group is called the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and although it has received approximately $35 million in donations, has only spent about $200,000 on actual bail for incarcerated suspects. That amounts to only 0.57 percent of its earnings actually being spent on what the group said they would spend it on.

Not that I’m saying it ISN’T a scam, mind; for all I know it is. But my question, which I have yet to see mentioned anywhere else, is this: given the near-unanimous support for the rioters from Democrat-Socialist governors and mayors, as well as the usual “space to destroy” stand-down orders, exactly how many rioters have the cops actually been allowed to arrest? 30? 40? 50?

Any at all?

Seems to me that might matter just a wee bit when totting it all up, no?

Moreover: how high was the bail, on average? On what specific charges? How many offenders had no bail set at all, to be released on their own recognizance?

Maybe we all ought to be worrying less about the possible fleecing of some deserving suckers, and more about the privileged treatment of violent hard-Left shocktroops by a corrupt system wholly complicit in their revolutionary terrorism.

Negro fatigue

The latest from our pal Skeptic.

I’m suffering from a severe case – not of Covid-19, but of Negro Fatigue.

My own Great Awokening came in the wake of the Ferguson riots. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a Midwestern man of a certain age, and I’d always known, or at least suspected, that blacks were not exactly like whites. But, going to the suburban schools that I did, the blacks that I encountered were mostly decent, well socialized types from decent families. I got along with them fine. When I went to college, there were more of the typical ghetto Negro, but the school was large enough, and they kept to themselves enough, that I didn’t have to interact with them much, if at all. Since graduation, I have had more interactions with those types, but I still maintained the philosophy that we are all equal, and if there are differences, they are cultural (nurture) rather than genetic (nature).

Then came Ferguson. You had the national outrage, the riots, and yet, within two days, we knew enough about what actually happened (giant black attacks white cop and gets killed) to know there was no reason for the rioting. And yet, they rioted. And I kept thinking, “Why won’t they listen to reason?” That started me researching, and finding blogs, sites, and authors outside the mainstream media. I found Vdare, I found Amren, and I found others – including Cold Fury. And what I found was that the work of those authors was far better researched, backed up with unassailable statistics and facts, and explained events better than anything the mainstream media was publishing. That’s when I realized that blacks are not like whites, and very well may be incompatible.

Now I know things. For instance, I know that in 2019, nine unarmed black men were killed by police. “Unarmed” being a relative term, of course. Another 236 armed men were killed by police. But 7,145 black men were killed by other black men. And yet our entire country focuses on the nine, a number that is statistically insignificant. I know that 85% of all interracial crime has a black offender. I know that, despite being only 13% of our population, blacks commit over 50% of the violent crime in the United States. I know that, just at the Federal level, blacks consume nearly $1 trillion more of our resources than they contribute back in taxes (which means that until C19, nearly all of our Federal debt and deficits could be laid at the door of black America). And – these are the kinds of things that, once you know them, you cannot un-know them.

I have noted that black dominated and run governments fail anywhere they are tried, anywhere in the world. City, state, county, country – all failed areas that require white resources to bail them out and survive. If anyone can name a predominantly black governmental unit, with the primary resource base being black, and the governing officals being black, that is prosperous, I’d like to know about it. Anywhere in the world.

And why is this? It boils down to IQ. Average black IQ in the United States is 85. Average white IQ is 100. What’s the average IQ needed to have a functioning first world society? Well, I don’t know the exact number, but I know it must be above 85 and less than 100.

Blacks are now again proposing “reparations for the sin of slavery” in the amount of $14 trillion. At first, I thought that was absurd – but in actuality, it might be a good investment with one stipulation. Repatriation. Think about it – $14 trillion to get rid of our black population might be the best investment, with the shortest payoff, that we’ve ever seen. The thing is that they would ALL have to go. Every last one of them, back to Africa, to build Wakanda. And they could never return. Not that we would ever have the backbone to do it – but it’s a magnificent thought.

Because, here’s the thing. Whatever we do, whatever we give them, whatever concessions we make, it will never be enough. NEVER. The riots, Black Lives Matter, etc., are only grifts to get more and more resources and gibs from whites – without whom they cannot survive. The bulk of them cannot be persuaded to change, because persuasion requires intellect, and most simply lack that intellect. The constant cry for “black outreach” by Republicans is pathetic for this reason.

I don’t “hate” black people. You can’t hate people for being what they are. If you allow a gorilla into your back yard and then the gorilla kills you, you cannot hate it for being what it is. Nor do I wish them to come to any harm. What I wish is for them to be separate from me. And we might be heading in that general direction right now – the demand for “safe spaces” and “no cops in our communities” is nothing but a demand for segregation. We just need to heed it.

In fact, I think there’s an argument to be made that one of the worst things we ever did to blacks was DEsegregation. Follow along. Before the civil rights movement, every city had a “black area,” but not necessarily a ghetto hellhole. There were prosperous black businesses that weren’t just pawnshops, weave shops, etc. They had hotels, restaurants, clothing stores, groceries, and other respectable businesses. The men who ran those were the community leaders and role models. Were those areas as nice as white areas and as prosperous? No. Not normally. But they DID provide a stable social structure and kept the lawlessness under control. The illegitimacy rate was higher than whites’ at 25%, but most kids grew up in two-parent families and had home lives. Then came desegregation.

Lefties talk about the sin of “white flight,” but they never mention that it was preceded by BLACK flight. As soon as they were able, those prosperous blacks got the hell out of the black areas and moved into white neighborhoods. Which removed the social structure in those areas (and probably lowered the aggregate IQ of those areas by a good 10 points, since the smarter ones were the prosperous ones). What was left for “role models?” Well, gold-encrusted obese “preachers,” pimps, drug dealers, and gang leaders. Thus began the descent of black America into the hellhole that it is. Now, 3 out of 4 black children are illegitimate, and you can bet that nearly all of those are in the ghettos. They run feral as their mamas run around breeding more. This has been facilitated by “feed and breed” welfare programs that encourage this behavior. The “talented tenth” left the ghetto, and the untalented nine-tenths are what’s left. What small social controls there are in the ghetto are now put there by the very police that BLM wants to get rid of. The nine-tenths are now destroying our cities nationwide for no reason other than they can and they want to fulfill their natural destructive impulses.

There’s a good case to be made that blacks, writ large, have DEvolved rather than Evolved in the last sixty years. You can see this culturally in their music. Sixty years ago, black artists sang about love and passion – now it’s killing cops and screwing ho’s. You can even see this in their crime. In the 70s and 80s, black gangs centered around highly organized gangs like the Bloods and the Crips. Now it’s just amorphous neighborhood gangs. Some – that talented tenth – have done very well from Affirmative Action, racial set-asides, college admissions preferences, and other programs. The rest – those who are really incapable of making anything of their brains – must either become athletes, entertainers, or thugs. Notice that the conversation is about “escaping the ghetto,” not improving the living conditions through better behavior. It’s been said that if you give white men a pile of bricks, they will build a city – if you give black men a city, they will turn it into a pile of bricks. Reality proves that.

So where does all this leave us? At some point, we must realize that we cannot now, nor ever, live side by side in harmony with blacks. Right now that is the most taboo of all taboos – “racism” is considered the worst sin in the world. But I wonder how many other people will be “awokened” like I was after Ferguson. I cannot tell you how many whites have said to me privately (always prefaced by “I’m not racist” of course), “Look, they are getting ‘justice for George.’ Why won’t they let it go?” The answer is simple. Because they lack the intellectual ability to do so. A couple of times I have voiced that, and those people have come back to me a few days later having done the same research I did six years ago. And arrived at similar conclusions.

The future will not be pretty, one way or another. But, ultimately, either we separate or they will destroy us.

All of which makes this generous offer sound better and better.

While tensions continue in the United States due to the ongoing problem of police brutality and racism, Ghana is reaching out to Black Americans. According to Newsweek, the tourism minister of Ghana recently encouraged Black Americans  to “leave where you are not wanted.”

Barbara Oteng Gyasi extended the invite during a ceremony in Ghana honoring George Floyd, one of several Black Americans who have been killed by police in recent months.

“We continue to open our arms and invite all our brothers and sisters home. Ghana is your home. Africa is your home. We have our arms wide open ready to welcome you home,” Gyasi said during the ceremony.

Before they leave, though, they must be made to sign an ironclad, no-loopholes contract foreswearing any right to ever return. Once out, out for good. And those who stay here should sign a similar one in which they pledge to shut the fuck up for good about how awful, how inhuman, how RAYCISS!! this country is.

Accept no substitutes!

Please, please, please, PLEAAAASE make this happen.

PLEASE.

Amid the protests taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in police custody, some long-standing statues are not fairing very well. Now, a new petition calls for a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, to be replaced with one of late GWAR leader Oderus Urungus.

As Metal Injection reports, onetime GWAR dancer / backup vocalist Slymenstra Hymen (aka Danielle Stampe) posted a Photoshopped image of Oderus in place of Robert E. Lee’s statue in Richmond. Shortly thereafter, a GWAR “scumdog” started a petition on Change.org calling for a statue of Oderus to be erected in place of the one of General Lee.

Oderus Urungus, real name Dave Brockie, was one of Richmond’s favorite sons, having started GWAR in the mid ’80s, and fronted the intergalactic metal barbarians until his death in 2014. The petition’s description argues for the statue swap as follows:

“Robert E. Lee is a failed war general that supported a racist cause. For too long, the city of Richmond has been displaying statues of him and other loser civil war veterans.

We the scumdogs of the universe call on the city of Richmond to erect a statue of great local leader Oderus Urungus in its place. While Oderus comes from the planet Scumdogia, he called Richmond his home, working with the local art community and employing local artists and ladies of the night.”

Why yes, as it happens I DO have an up-close-and-personal-encounter story featuring Miss Hymen, who as it turns out is actually a very cool and likeable person. But I’ll save that one for another day, and direct you instead to the place where you can sign the petition endorsing this most worthy of causes.

Oh, and is there a picture? You just bet there is.

Oderus-statue-sm.jpg

If the sainted General Lee really must go, then the citizens of my nation’s Capitol should be proud indeed to host such a noble work of statuary art in his stead, I believe.

The Whiskey Rebellion

The current insurrection has put me in mind of that all but forgotten yet pivotal chapter in American history, so for the last several days I’ve been digging around and edumacatin’ myself about it. It’s a complex, deep, and endlessly fascinating story—almost impossibly rich in Americana, illustrative of so much that went into making America the great nation it once was. The parallels with current events are obvious; the names scattered throughout cannot help but resonate in the heart of any true patriot; the twists and turns of the story, compelling as the whole saga is, are almost too intricate to keep up with.

Alas, it also serves to remind of us just how very far America has fallen, how depressingly unlike our forefathers the succeeding generations grew to be. If the Whiskey Rebellion and other tales from our Founding era were still properly taught in schools, our sad degeneration and decline, both as a nation and as people, would almost certainly never have happened.

The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 and ending in 1794 during the presidency of George Washington, ultimately under the command of American Revolutionary war veteran Major James McFarlane. The so-called “whiskey tax” was the first tax imposed on a domestic product by the newly formed federal government. Beer was difficult to transport and spoiled more easily than rum and whiskey. Rum distillation in the United States had been disrupted during the American War of Independence, and, for factors described below, whiskey distribution and consumption increased after the Revolutionary War (aggregate production had not surpassed rum by 1791). The “whiskey tax” became law in 1791, and was intended to generate revenue for the war debt incurred during the Revolutionary War. The tax applied to all distilled spirits, but consumption of American whiskey was rapidly expanding in the late 18th century, so the excise became widely known as a “whiskey tax”. Farmers of the western frontier were accustomed to distilling their surplus rye, barley, wheat, corn, or fermented grain mixtures to make whiskey. These farmers resisted the tax. In these regions, whiskey often served as a medium of exchange. Many of the resisters were war veterans who believed that they were fighting for the principles of the American Revolution, in particular against taxation without local representation, while the federal government maintained that the taxes were the legal expression of Congressional taxation powers.

Throughout Western Pennsylvania counties, protesters used violence and intimidation to prevent federal officials from collecting the tax. Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise. The alarm was raised, and more than 500 armed men attacked the fortified home of tax inspector General John Neville. Washington responded by sending peace commissioners to western Pennsylvania to negotiate with the rebels, while at the same time calling on governors to send a militia force to enforce the tax. Washington himself rode at the head of an army to suppress the insurgency, with 13,000 militiamen provided by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The rebels all went home before the arrival of the army, and there was no confrontation. About 20 men were arrested, but all were later acquitted or pardoned. Most distillers in nearby Kentucky were found to be all but impossible to tax—in the next six years, over 175 distillers from Kentucky were convicted of violating the tax law. Numerous examples of resistance are recorded in court documents and newspaper accounts.

The Whiskey Rebellion demonstrated that the new national government had the will and ability to suppress violent resistance to its laws, though the whiskey excise remained difficult to collect. The events contributed to the formation of political parties in the United States, a process already under way. The whiskey tax was repealed in the early 1800s during the Jefferson administration. Historian Carol Berkin argues that the episode in the long run strengthened American nationalism because the people appreciated how well Washington handled the rebels without resorting to tyranny.

I’ll limit my excerpting to the Wikipedia entry—by no means the only source out there, but a good encapsulation that’s very much worth a look.

When Washington left Philadelphia, then the US capitol, to review the mix-and-match militia force assembled to put down the rebellion once and for all, it was the one and only time a sitting US President actually led troops in the field. The overall commander of the force was one General Henry “Lighthorse Harry” Lee, father of another brilliant warrior who went on to play a pivotal role in American history himself.

24 of the Whiskey rebels wound up indicted for high treason, of which only ten were apprehended and tried. After a trial process lasting six months (!), just two of them were convicted. The sentence: death by hanging. A conciliatory and foresighted Washington, wishing to close the books on the matter for the good of the fledgling nation, pardoned both. He made a last-minute addition to his seventh Inaugural Address explaining his reasoning:

“The misled have abandoned their errors,” he stated. “For though I shall always think it a sacred duty to exercise with firmness and energy the constitutional powers with which I am vested, yet it appears to me no less consistent with the public good than it is with my personal feelings to mingle in the operations of Government every degree of moderation and tenderness which the national justice, dignity, and safety may permit.”

There’s much, much more to this story; as I said, it is incredibly rich and compelling, continuing to leave its mark on American history long into the future. To wit:

W. C. Fields recorded a comedy track in Les Paul’s studio in 1946, shortly before his death, entitled “The Temperance Lecture” for the album W. C. Fields … His Only Recording Plus 8 Songs by Mae West. The bit discussed Washington and his role in putting down the Whiskey Rebellion, and Fields wondered aloud whether “George put down a little of the vile stuff too.”

WC Fields, Mae West, and Les Paul—along with Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams, Washington, and all the rest; homebrew whiskey, hangings, riots, tar and featherings, vigilante justice, liberty poles, militias, a citizen uprising inflamed by the eternal tension between individual liberty and government power. If that ain’t enough to pique your interest and stir your soul, you ain’t anything close to what I’d call an American.

“Is it a setup?”

Well, I mean, DUH.

Social media users have been reporting mysterious piles of bricks in cities across the country in recent days, stoking speculation that the stashes are being planted to encourage violence amid the countrywide protests over George Floyd’s death.

On Sunday, police confirmed the existence of such piles in Kansas City, urging residents to notify police if they discover any new stashes.

Rioters in Manhattan reportedly happened upon a pile lying in the street Sunday night despite it not being clear what the bricks would be used for in terms of construction.

In Dallas, Instagram user @reubengotsoul said he was disappointed to see a “RANDOM stack of bricks in front of the courthouse,” adding that he believed it was a setup.

Odd, that. Has anybody thought to ask evil Nazi scum George Soros if he owns any brickyards or construction companies, perchance?

Determining who funds Antifa is difficult because the movement is highly decentralized and consists of private individuals and loosely affiliated groups.

Journalist Lee Stranahan downplays the significance of funding to Antifa.

“While it’s been proven that funders like Soros and the Democrat Party have paid protest organizers and some protesters, groups like the violent Black Bloc [sic – black bloc refers to a set of tactics, not a group] typically aren’t motivated by money, but instead come to protests because of their anti-American ideology, base criminal desires and thrill seeking.”

Nonetheless, the left-wing billionaire George Soros has ties to Antifa through a group called the Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ). Soros’s philanthropy, known at the time as the Open Society Institute, gave $100,000 to AfGJ ($50,000 in 2004 and $50,000 in 2006).

Odd, that. But I’m SURE it’s all just a coincidence.

Life: unsafe at any speed

A risk-averse society is a dying society.

We have a meme up at PragerU: “‘Until it’s safe’ means ‘never.'”

The pursuit of “safe” over virtually all other considerations is life-suppressing. This is true for your own individual life, and it is true for the life of a society.

I always give the following example: I have been taking visitors to Israel for decades, and for all those decades, people have called my radio show to say, “Dennis, I would so love to visit Israel, but I’m just going to wait until it’s safe.” And I’ve always told these people, “Then you’ll never go.” And sure enough, I’ve gone there over 20 times, and they never went.

I have never led my life on the basis of “until it’s safe.” I do not take ridiculous risks. I wear a seatbelt whenever I’m in a car because the chances are overwhelming that in a bad accident, a seatbelt can save my life. But I get into the car, which is not 100% safe.

You are not on earth to be safe. You are on earth to lead a full life. I don’t want my epitaph to be, “He led a safe life.” It’s like another epitaph I don’t want: “He experienced as little pain as possible.”

All of life confronts you with this question: Are you going to take risks or play it safe? If you play it safe, you don’t get married. If you play it safe, you don’t have kids. There are real risks in getting married; there are real risks in having children.

If you want to lead a good and full life, you cannot keep asking, “Is it safe?” Those at college promoting “safe spaces” are afraid of life, and they want to make you afraid of life.

We’re going crazy on the safe issue. It is making police states. That’s my worry: In the name of safety, many Americans are dropping all other considerations.

They’ve been meticulously trained to, over many decades, with the making of a police state foremost in the minds of the Planners.

Status quo ante

The more things change, the more they etc.

U.S.—Americans in some states are finally starting to feel normal again, now that stay-at-home orders are being lifted. Children are at the park again, adults are back at the bar, and the elderly continue to play bingo at 4 p.m. sharp on a daily basis.  

But there’s one thing that has everybody feeling at a near-peak level of normal: conservatives are going to work while liberals stay at home and do nothing—just like always.

“We can now say with undeniable certainty that these are normal times,” explained social psychologist Ben O’Reilly as he handed a hippie a twenty-dollar bill. “Conservatives are once again doing all the hard work to keep the economy afloat, while liberals sit at home, pretend to be sick with the Coronavirus, and collect government paychecks. Congratulations America, you are back to normal!”

While some conservatives are upset that liberals get to stay home and mooch off of them, most say they don’t even care anymore.

“I just want to get back to work,” said Jared Renfro, an electrician from Wisconsin. “If liberals don’t want to work, hey, more power to them. I don’t mind paying their bills.” Renfro then polished his “Trump 2020” bumper sticker and hopped in his truck.   

Well, it’s not as if all those gender-studies grads, government employees, and liberal-dweeb college professors were doing anything particularly useful anyway.

Update! IF EVEN ONE LIFE IS SAV…uhhh, wait a sec here.

LANSING, MI- Governor Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan took her already excessive restrictions in her state in the fight against Covid-19 a step further this morning when she announced that any violations of the executive order may authorize the use of lethal force by law enforcement.

The Michigan Governor stated, “If you think you can just go out and buy a bag of charcoal, think again. Going out for unnecessary purchases and risking the spread of Covid-19 would be no different than going out and shooting a gun at random people. It’s time we accept the reality of the situation and treat such instances accordingly.”

Michigan has already been essentially under house arrest with a risk of jail or a $1,000 fine for residents who simply leave their homes. Entire sections of areas in Michigan grocery stores of items deemed “non-essential” have been roped off to satisfy Gretchen Whitmer’s brand of compassionate authoritarianism. Items like bug spray and outdoor supplies among many other goods are now forbidden to be purchased by Michigan residents.

Gov. Whitmer’s authorization of lethal force for violation of the order has completed the task of making her power and reach absolute, as no resident of Michigan is now safe from the prospect of being publicly executed by their Governor.

Although the measure admittedly may never be fully implemented, the Governor has described it as a necessary symbolic gesture to show how far she is willing to go to protect her loyal subjects.

The profoundly Kafka-esque nature of our current national absurdity has made distinguishing between satire and reality so tough that Reuters is barely even trying anymore.

Social media users are circulating an article with a headline that reads, “Whitmer authorizes lethal force to maintain state lockdown” ( here ). It refers to Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D).

The claim comes amid a series of demonstrations against coronavirus-related lockdowns across key electoral battleground states like Michigan ( here ).

The article has been flagged multiple times as part of Facebook’s efforts to curb misinformation related to the new coronavirus.

The claim is false. It stems from a satirical article on the website The People’s Cube. The article lists the author as “Chedoh, Kommissar of Viral Infections, Hero of Change, Prophet of the Future Truth”. Despite these red flags, some social media users believe the story is authentic, making comments like “You need to vote her out!” and “The Power all Democrats want”.

On March 24, Whitmer passed an executive order suspending non-essential activities across the state ( here ). On April 13, Whitmer issued another executive order to extend the lockdown measures until April 30 ( here ). Neither of the orders specified enforcement conditions aside from mentioning that, “Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor”. Michigan is one of 42 states where governors have ordered residents to remain indoors except for necessary outings like grocery shopping or doctor’s visits, while closing schools, universities and non-essential businesses.

VERDICT
False: Michigan Governor Whitmer has not authorized “lethal force” to maintain lockdown measures meant to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. This claim comes from a satirical article.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work here .

Oh, I believe I’ve read just about all I need to about your “work” at this point, guys.

No mas(k)

Remember what I said the other day about my personal feelings on the wearing of N95 masks for non-surgical purposes?

Yeah. About that.

Every Karen on Facebook is shaming her neighbors for not wearing a face mask. We are being told by governors that if we don’t wear masks we are selfish, horrible human beings with no souls who want Grandma to die a horrible death. Police are tackling people who don’t wear face masks properly in the subway. Grocery stores are throwing maskless people out and denying them service.

But now, there’s another doctor weighing in—besides Dr. Fauci, bonafide sex god and ruler of us all, who also said face masks are largely security theater and of no use to the healthy. Dr. Russell Blaylock, a neurosurgeon, has written an editorial saying that “masks pose serious risks to the healthy.”

First, Blaylock says, there is no scientific evidence that masks are effective against COVID-19 transmission. Pro-science people should care about this.

Beyond the lack of scientific data to support wearing a mask as a deterrent to a virus, Blaylock says the more pressing concern is what can and will happen to the wearer.

Now that we have established that there is no scientific evidence necessitating the wearing of a face mask for prevention, are there dangers to wearing a face mask, especially for long periods? Several studies have indeed found significant problems with wearing such a mask. This can vary from headaches, to increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, to hypoxia, all the way to serious life-threatening complications.

Blaylock says studies have also shown that face masks impair oxygen intake dramatically, potentially leading to serious problems.

The importance of these findings is that a drop in oxygen levels (hypoxia) is associated with an impairment in immunity. Studies have shown that hypoxia can inhibit the type of main immune cells used to fight viral infections called the CD4+ T-lymphocyte.

This occurs because the hypoxia increases the level of a compound called hypoxia inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which inhibits T-lymphocytes and stimulates a powerful immune inhibitor cell called the Tregs. This sets the stage for contracting any infection, including COVID-19 and making the consequences of that infection much graver. In essence, your mask may very well put you at an increased risk of infections and if so, having a much worse outcome.

In other words, if you wear a face mask and contract some sickness, you will not be able to fight it off as effectively as if you had normal blood oxygen levels. The mask could make you sicker. It could also create a “deadly cytokine storm” in some.

That’s plenty good enough for me. Our state kommissar Comrade Cooper can issue whatever decrees he likes, but I’m content to leave the wearing of surgical masks to the pros, thenksveddymuch.

Three foes, just one enemy

Somehow, I wasn’t aware of this myself.

In October 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared a 30-year war on the United States. When the war is over in 2049, the 100th anniversary of Communist Party rule, China expects to be victorious economically, politically and, if necessary, militarily. This is something about which few Americans are aware, and most who are don’t take it seriously. Donald Trump does—and Beijing knows it.

China must carefully consider “all complex situations,” Xi said at the time, voicing a cryptic note of caution. In the aftermath of COVID-19, as more of China’s secret ambitions are exposed and anti-communist sentiments not heard since the Cold War go public, there could be a lot of “complex situations” for Chinese leaders to consider.

After failing repeatedly, Democrats and their allies think they finally have the perfect one-two combination—spiked Chinese bat flu along with a sci-fi panic attack—for getting rid of Trump and capitalism once and for all.

The Democratic Party, the media and a newly aggressive China have morphed into a single opposition, and the one person capable of rallying the nation to fight back and win is Donald Trump.

And then things really start to get…interesting.

Reporters, spouting their usual Chinese propaganda at a recent White House press conference, tried to make it seem as if Trump’s name for the virus was worse than the virus itself.

But while they asked questions designed to make Trump look stupid, he used them to launch a major theme in his reelection campaign.

“Why do you keep calling this the Chinese virus?” one reporter wanted to know. “A lot of people say it’s racist.”

“It’s not racist at all,” said Trump. “It comes from China. Chi-na . . . I want to be accurate.”

Two minutes later another reporter said: “A White House official used the term ‘kung flu,’ referring to the fact that this virus started in China . . . Is that acceptable?”

“Say the term again,” Trump said.

“Kung flu,” the reporter replied. “A person at the White House used the term ‘kung flu’—”

“Just the term,” interrupted Trump.

“Kung flu,” the reporter said again.

“Kung flu?” asked the president, as if he hadn’t heard it the first four times.

“Kung flu,” the reporter repeated. “Do you think that’s wrong? And do you think using the term ‘Chinese virus’ puts Asian-Americans at risk?”

“No. I think they probably would agree with it 100 percent,” Trump said. “It comes from China. What’s not to agree on?”

Watching the White House press corps in action is a form of home entertainment for a whole population sheltering in place. There’s more going on here, though, than journalists beclowning themselves.

How many people cooped up with just their TVs to amuse them, agreed with what Trump said about China? Or thought the back and forth on “kung flu” (a phrase broadcast six times in the space of 20 seconds) was funny?

And how many sent links to their friends, who sent them to their friends? Thousands…millions?

Donald Trump called COVID-19 “the Chinese virus” and got an oblivious reporter to say “kung flu” over and over for the same reason he called Jeb Bush “Low-energy Jeb” and Hillary Clinton “Crooked Hillary” during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Four years ago he started typecasting Bush and Clinton as losers before a single primary voter went to the polls. A similar strategy is underway in the 2020 race, with a special coronavirus twist.

Can Trump really be that smart? If so, all the people currently making sport of him via snarky “12-dimensional chess” comments are gonna wind up looking mighty foolish themselves when all is said and done. As these things tend to do, though, it all comes back around to the fundamentals.

Less than six months before a presidential election COVID-19 has made Donald Trump a “crisis” president.

Instead of coasting to victory in November on the strength of his economic record, he will need to deal effectively with the coronavirus, revive the economy—for a second time—and confront the most formidable foreign policy challenge since Ronald Reagan was president.

In fact, Trump’s run for a second term in 2020 is a virtual playback of Reagan’s 1984 campaign. The similarities between the two men and their races, including the Cold War overtones, are uncanny.

Reagan was 73, so is Trump. Reagan ran against his predecessor’s vice president, just as Trump is doing. Both were Washington outsiders and former Democrats, who previously worked in the entertainment industry.

They also share two qualities—determination and resilience—particularly suited to campaigning in times of crisis. Reagan was an optimist and a fighter with a unique ability to communicate his ideas to voters. Trump has the same traits, using Twitter to connect with his millions of followers. And no politician in America can fill stadiums—and their parking lots—with supporters the way he does.

Because of the coronavirus, the 2020 campaign will be a debate about political systems, economics and national security, issues that play to the strengths that helped Trump win in 2016. And, as president, he can use campaign events, as Reagan did, to spell out the options in language every voter understands.

Will the United States be held hostage and eventually dominated by China and its Democratic Party collaborators, or will it “Stay the course,” as Reagan put it?

If the Democrats take over, the answer is obvious. Welcome to the United Socialist States of America (USSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Communist China.

Shortly after Reagan’s second inauguration, Mikhail Gorbachev was appointed general secretary of the Soviet Union, the “evil empire’s” eighth and final leader. Later, Reagan was asked if Gorbachev’s reform-minded approach to communism had changed his strategic thinking about the Cold War. “No,” he said. “Here’s my strategy: We win. They lose.”

A most excellent strategy, that, with the added advantage of being truly timeless. Stupid or not, Trump is definitely crazy—LIKE A FUCKING FOX.

Despite my copious excerpting, there’s plenty more yet to come; yes, it’s another must-read-it-all article, folks. Don’t worry, you can thank me later.

Another two-month free trial

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
Someone had blundered.

After a two-month trial, researchers are collecting early outcomes of the Great American Social Distancing Experiment of 2020.

The results, to say the least, ain’t pretty—and the “experts” who initiated this experiment on 330 million well-meaning but unwitting test subjects are starting to admit failure.

“Wait. An experiment?” you may ask. But we have been assured by the credentialed class that keeping a distance of six feet between healthy people for weeks on end was the only tried-and-true way to prevent the deadly spread of the novel coronavirus. No way would the government shutter public schools and colleges for five months, bankrupt small businesses, send tens of millions to the unemployment line, jeopardize the nation’s food supply chain, prevent children from comforting dying parents and grandparents, and subject their fellow countrymen to soul-crushing house arrest for the first time in U.S. history if the so-called “social distancing” guidance hadn’t been carefully vetted over time, you might insist.

Certainly every variable and every side effect of social distancing has been factored into this economy-crashing “mitigation” strategy, right?

I’m sure you all already know the answer to that one.

The country, we now know, is undergoing an experiment to which we never consented: Further, it is as much a political and social experiment as a public health one. The short term results are not what the experts predicted but their lab rats—the American people—are suffering traumatic side effects that could last for years. And unfortunately, like most experts, instead of conceding they had it all wrong and walking away from the failed experiment, they insist they just need a little more time to make it work.

But this experiment needs to end, immediately. Cases continue to rise despite the lockdowns; hospitals are not overwhelmed, nor were they ever (with a few exceptions). The overall death count is inflated; it appears that COVID-19 is asymptomatic for most people and far less lethal than originally predicted. And the economy is in tatters with more bad news on the horizon.

The history of science, sadly, is littered with bad experiments gone horribly wrong. The Great Social Distancing Experiment of 2020, when it is over, will very likely be toward the top of that list.

Ah well, the story didn’t end too well for the Light Brigade, either.

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.

The wrong shutdown

Oh, we definitely need a shutdown, all right. But this time, let’s try and get it right.

For whatever reason, many governments persist in destroying resources and fundamental liberties on the basis of a debunked epidemiological model. The national government should actively intercede, as it did to protect Americans’ rights during the Civil War and Civil Rights Movement, neither of which were very civil. But even if it doesn’t want to interfere with states’ rights today, under no circumstances should it FUND their oppression. Verily, I believe any attempt to do so will lead to a tax revolt, probably of the quiet variety at first. There is just no way Americans in the free states are going to fund the continued subjugation of their fellow Americans in California, Michigan, and elsewhere, which have essentially been invaded and occupied by their own governments.

But what then shall the poor state and municipal governments do? Obviously, they need to lift most economic restrictions so that taxes again begin to flow in. And they also need to cut their “nonessential” workers, which is essentially most of them. In the short term anyway, we need courts and police officers and other first responders. (Ultimately, we do not need any of them but this is no time for novelty, even if we have rich comparative and historical examples from which to draw.) But teachers, recorders, prothonotaries, and all sorts of other bureaucrats need to be furloughed immediately. (If you think that many will then join the ranks of protesters, you’re starting to understand the power of the purse! They can arrest some protestors, but not all of them, especially with their budgets so tight.)

There is no reason to exclude national government employees from furloughs either. The bailouts and other forms of hush money already paid out has to be repaid somehow, through higher taxes or lower expenditures. Why do we need parts of the SEC if no corporations are issuing securities? What good is the EPA if factories are shuttered? The USDA if meat processors are closed? What does the Department of Education do even in normal times? Surely most of the Department of the Interior can be let go.

Is furloughing 75 percent of government workers a draconian suggestion? Absolutely, but why shouldn’t government employees suffer along with the rest of us? You can’t expect civvies to bear all the burden of flattening an already pretty flat curve indefinitely. Plus, unlike the private sector, which is all “essential” or it wouldn’t exist, we know from budget battle government shutdowns that much of the national government is nonessential. Life goes on, and some think improves, without it.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the deadweight loss of the 35-day partial federal government shutdown in early 2019 at only $3 billion. We will be lucky to get out of the current mess for $3 trillion in deadweight losses.

Governments messed up by botching testing, then not stopping the spread of the virus when it was still manageable, then did so again by shutting down too much of the economy for too long to cover their incompetence, and now they want to be rewarded with continued nonessential employment, and the forced redistribution of wealth from all Americans to Constitution-smashing state governments? Where is the last straw?

There isn’t one, near as I can tell. Which brings us one step closer to the dropping of the post I mentioned at the end of this one, and am still putting together.

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…

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