Sick society

“Govern me DADDY”?? Really? REALLY?!?

Is anyone else getting nauseated by the public health-inspired slogans popping up everywhere across the country? My home state of Kentucky has been no exception. Folks there have been inundated with them during Gov. Andy Beshear’s regular evening addresses. It was in March that he first ordered Kentuckians to be #healthyathome, which was the cutesy slogan he and his team came up with for warrantless house arrest of all Bluegrass citizens. Next came #healthyatwork, the phrase that team Beshear gave to their phased (and painfully slow) approach to reopening the state’s businesses. Throughout all this, masks have been mandated to be worn in all public places, indefinitely, as part of the “new normal” in Kentucky. Folks at the state capitol must have thought that government overreach would be more palatable if it came with a jingle. If it worked for the Bolsheviks, it would probably also work for the Bluegrass.

They weren’t wrong. Many folks in Kentucky have eaten this up. Some have even taken to promoting their own state-worshipping slogans, as evidenced by apparel with a “Govern me, Daddy” logo. This odd, sexualized appreciation for the governor’s edicts would be hilarious if it weren’t sad. 

I checked. As fervently as I had hoped this was some sort of joke, it seems that it’s for real.

GovernMeDADDY.png


And there you have it folks: the face of the enemy, straight up. People like the ones dampening their panties over this disturbing shirt—the ones who believe with all their heart and soul that government’s proper role is to be “DADDY” to us all—these are the self-same people who will have to be crushed utterly, mown down wholesale, killed in job lots before anyone can even dream of trying to put this nation back on the correct course. Hate to say it and all, but there it is.

But the gimmick only works if citizens actually believe that leaders are also struggling right along with them. One minor inconvenience for the governor is that he legally has to respond to open records requests, which are aimed at fostering government transparency. In mid-April, the Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions, a self-described free market think tank focusing on issues within Kentucky, asked to inspect time sheets from staff working at the governor’s mansion. Beshear (the former state attorney general) violated state law by not responding to this request in a timely fashion. Twelve days passed and no records were produced. After the Bluegrass Institute filed an appeal with the state attorney general’s office, he finally complied.

The cause of the delay became quite obvious once those records were unveiled. They showed rank hypocrisy on his part. Per Jim Waters, president of the Bluegrass Institute: “While restaurants and businesses providing personal services suffer … the Beshear family is still being served by several employees regularly working in the Governor’s Mansion, including four housekeepers, two chefs, two maintenance workers as well as a butler along with an executive director and assistant director.” The records also reportedly show that “some mansion staff members even continued working full-time despite recently being in contact with fellow workers who took COVID-19 emergency sick leave set aside for workers who contract, or display symptoms of having contracted, the coronavirus or been around an infected individual.” Some employees even reportedly logged overtime during March and April.

This seems troubling. Why does the governor require his staff to break his own executive orders at this time?

Screw that. Why in the ever-lovin’ blue-eyed world should any governor of any American state enjoy the service of so kingly an entourage as two chefs, four housekeepers, and a fucking butler for fuck’s fucking sake AT ALL?

Hey, remember when they used to call the US a “classless society”? When the very idea of royalty was pure anathema to any right-thinking American?

Nah, me neither.

Wait, WHO’S got WHAT on WHOSE hands again, now?

In COVIDIOT Amerika, there’s “blood on your hands,” and then there’s, y’know, BLOOD ON YOUR FUCKING HANDS. See if you can figure out which is which from the following example, which is by no means the only one out there.

A Colorado inmate released from jail early to ‘slow the spread of Coronavirus’ has been arrested and accused of first-degree murder.

While we’re playing guessing games, take a whack at what the killer might look like according to his (most recent) mug shot. Three guesses, first two don’t etc.

A man who was released from prison last month on parole following policies enacted by Gov. Jared Polis to prevent an outbreak of the new coronavirus among inmates has been arrested in the fatal shooting of a woman last weekend in Denver.

Cornelius Haney, 40, is accused of first-degree murder in the slaying of 21-year-old Heather Perry near the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and Verbena Street on May 9.

Haney was released on April 15, four months early, under an executive order by Polis before that allows inmates to be released on “special-needs parole.”

Cristina lays down the bottom-line law.

Last month a Florida inmate released on March 19 to ‘slow the spread of the Coronavirus’ was arrested on a murder charge just one day after he got out of jail.

Dangerous murderers and sex offenders are being released from prison while pastors, mothers and business owners are being threatened with fines and prison time for violating social distancing orders.

Makes as much sense as anything else does in this back-asswards country nowadays.

Sick and tired

Of our free 30-day trial of Communism. Among other things.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am finding that my patience is running thin with everything that is going on with the virus. I’ve never been much of a television watcher, but I still catch Tucker’s monologue a few times a week. I’ve stopped that this week as I cannot take another ad from a corporation telling me how much they care and how hard they are working on my behalf. I can’t take anymore nonsense about hero nurses and doctors. In fact, I’m starting to become a nursist.

Know what I’ve grown weary of myself? The sudden emergence of a new vapid, ubiquitous catchphrase for bidding farewell to strangers and/or passing acquaintances alike: “Be safe!” Before, we endured “Have a good one!” with gritted teeth. That one was plenty bad enough if you ask me. Now we’re stuck with this one, God help us.

Going outside has now become a depressing reminder that we now live in an explicitly authoritarian society. It used to be a very soft, passive-aggressive authoritarianism that you could ignore while enjoying your life. Now it is an in-your-face corporate authoritarianism that is impossible to ignore.

Well, yeah. It’s kinda hard to ignore a brand of authoritarianism that orders you to remain in your house indefinitely and summarily removes your ability to make a living, after all.

It is tempting to think that people will finally have enough and put an end to this madness, but that is a fantasy. The few brave souls taking a stand are getting support, for sure, but the bulk of the public is happy to be treated like children. You can be sure the majority oppose the protests at state capitals. Until the food runs out and the machine breaks, people will accept unlimited torment. That means we are left to hope for the end times if we want to escape this madness.

Pretty much, I’m afraid. In fact, as the COVIDIOT panic rapidly recedes in light of a manifest dearth of mass graves, rotting corpses stacked like cordwood and left to fester and ooze on city streets, and the complete breakdown of an overwhelmed health-care system, I’m seeing a perplexing surge in the number of people in masks.

Alas, though, like “Be safe!,” social distancing, and an annual lockdown as an ongoing test to gauge whatever might be left of American defiance and resolve, I suspect the masks are going to be with us from now on—an abiding thing, the New Normal. The sad, sorry truth is that we’ve let the Regulators get their fangs into us deeply. They’ve gotten the taste of blood in their mouths; like the vampires they are, they like it, and you can be sure they’ll be back for more.

Plenty of blame to go around

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is so Ordered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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…

Who IS this “Karen” person, anyway?

And why is she running our lives all of a damned sudden?

A Karen is a person, usually a woman, who is never satisfied with the service she’s receiving and demands to talk to the manager. It doesn’t matter if Karen’s complaints are valid or not.

This is because Karen has been incentivized by cowardly corporate officers and government officials (but, I repeat myself) to get something she doesn’t deserve simply because they want her to shut up and not disturb everyone else.

It was one thing to indulge Karen her entitled behavior when she was getting a free order of fries or month of cable. It’s quite another when Karens become the State’s target audience for public policy.

It’s worst of all when they’re the ones MAKING policy, a la Commissar Gretchen “Karen” Whitler.

Karens, at heart, are simply spoiled children who have never had boundaries properly set. A little power creates a self-reinforcing feedback loop.

Progressives are the ultimate Karens, never satisfied with having moved society in a terrible direction through their constant complaining. Never once do they self-reflect that maybe they’ve been wrong and all of their demands have made things materially worse rather than us not having indulged them enough.

Progressives are the worst winners I’ve ever met. They’ve won every political battle of note for the past 100+ years and are still whining in their lattes about us electing Trump, whose presidency they’ve destroyed with their incessant Karen-isms and his inherent weakness.

So is is any surprise that we’ve reached a point where the government is more worried about keeping the Karens from complaining than actually governing effectively?

In fairness, who among us wouldn’t be willing to go to some pretty extraordinary lengths to get Karen to just shut the fuck up and go bother somebody else?

Yes, you’re gonna want to read the whole thing, trust me.

(Via WRSA)



Chains, resting lightly upon us

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fear itself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we’ve fallen for it.

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

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

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

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

Land of the treed, home of the craven

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sacramento-storm-troopers.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daylight barking madness

Insanity, cowardice, or plain old stupidity?

The Great UnReason of 2020—a fitting name, I think, for the mass panic over COVID-19 that has been fomented by the economic and politically self-interested actors in Big Government and Big Media.

The intellects of the masses of people have been diseased by a virus of Irrationality—what a friend and colleague of mine ingeniously refers to as “COVIDIOCY” and what we may call, COVIDIOCY-20.

COVIDIOCY? Ohhhh, you can bet your ass I’m gonna be getting a lot of use out of that one from here on out.

The aggressiveness of the tumor of illogic that has corrupted people’s minds can be seen for what it is when we stop and consider that no one who is cowering in their homes (“sheltering-in-place”) has so much as remotely thought about the most fundamental of all questions:

What precisely is it that you think is going to happen to you if you do contract The Virus?

The overwhelming majority of human beings—meaning virtually all of them—that contract COVID-19 fight it for about the same amount of time that they do the seasonal flu and then…recover.

The only people for whom The Virus is potentially lethal are one and the same people—the elderly and others who are immunocompromised—for whom all viruses and infections are potentially lethal. As Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University has said, “even some so-called mild or common-cold type coronaviruses that have been known for decades can have case-fatality rates as high as 8% when they infect elderly people in nursing homes” (emphasis added).

More recent studies from locations throughout the country, based as they are on antibody testing, have confirmed what had always been long suspected: Tens of millions of Americans have been infected with The Virus and never even knew it (more thorough information regarding these studies can be found here, here, here, here, here, and here).

They never knew it because their symptoms were mild or they were asymptomatic (like Senator Rand Paul whose experience with The Virus, not coincidentally, receives few mentions from media carnival barkers whose economic self-interest is advanced through 24-hour fear-mongering).

Consequently, they developed immunity to The Virus. They can neither get it nor pass it to others. Thus, Senator Paul’s recent decision to now volunteer helping COVID patients in hospitals.

Of course, the higher infection rate also reveals that the real mortality rate is by several orders of magnitude lower than the numbers which the Experts cited to justify the oppressive policies that they have since imposed upon the country.

It isn’t just studies throughout America, but as well data gathered from other countries such as South Korea, Germany, Iceland, and Denmark that have determined that the real fatality rate from The Virus is anywhere between .1% and .4% — i.e., that of the seasonal flu.

Up to 50%-80% of all those who test positive for COVID-19 are without symptoms. And—get this—about 60% of everyone in their seventies who are infected with The Virus are without symptoms! More have only mild symptoms.

Moreover, the average age in most countries of those who die from The Virus is over 80 years of age, and of these, only 1% had no preexisting conditions.

So, again, the question must be asked: Those Americans who have been seized by the spirit of fear, those of you who studiously remain six feet or more from all other human beings; wear your masks faithfully whenever they dare to venture from their homes; happily embrace the wholesale violation of your Constitutional liberties, the squandering of the inheritance bequeathed to you by earlier generations of Americans who fought and died for it; welcome the swelling by the tens of millions of the ranks of the unemployed and the shattering of the American Dream of hundreds of thousands of small business owners; endorse the indefinite closing of churches and other houses of worship; and vigorously neglect to physically (meaning really) interact with your loved ones—to you who value your own Safety over and above all else, including your own liberty and the overall well-being of others, some of us ache to know:

Of what are you so afraid? What do you think is going to happen to you if you contract…The Virus?!

Emphasis throughout is the author’s own, supporting links (of which there are many) not transcribed. My copious excerpting notwithstanding, there’s still lots, lots more where that came from, not one word of which you want to miss.

Update! I mentioned insanity up top there for a reason, you know.

The man we now know as the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgeway, was sent to prison for more than 500 years. He was convicted of 49 murders of prostitutes, girls on the streets and vulnerable runaways, but he was suspected of committing 71 murders in the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s.

He would take the women and girls, have sex with them, and then strangle them, watching the light go out of their eyes as he squeezed the life out of them. Sometimes he’d use a rope and sometimes he’d use his bare hands. He’d pose their bodies and sometimes come back and have sex with the corpses. His first victims were found in the Green River, giving the monster his moniker.

He was arrested in the ’80s but let go for lack of evidence. A task force was formed to track down the serial killer and in 2001 – decades and multiple victims later – Gary Ridgeway was busted again and confessed to 71 murders.

Ridgeway was spared the death penalty because prosecutors knew it would take many millions of taxpayers dollars to give him appeals for the rest of his natural life. There was understandable outrage at the time, but prosecutors assured victims’ families and the general public that he would never ever, ever get out of prison. Never.

And then came the coronavirus and everything changed.

Read the rest, if you have a strong stomach.

Go to work, go to jail

Are we tyrannized yet?

Yesterday, I wrote about a disturbing incident involving a tattoo parlor owner here in North Carolina who was handcuffed and escorted out of his shop Wednesday by police officers after he tried to reopen his business.

Matthew “Jax” Myers, 38, told the Raleigh News and Observer that he had no options left but to open back up because he needed the income, so it was a risk he was willing to take.

Click here to watch the video clip of Meyers being led out of his business by police.

In a separate incident that happened earlier today, police in Roxboro, North Carolina showed up to a woman’s hair salon to get her to shut it down after she attempted to reopen.

For the record, Person County – which is where Roxboro is located – has had a total of 20 cases diagnosed, and one death.

Words fail. But on that note, remember last night when I was all pleased and proud to report the Gaston County insurrection?

Gaston County officially reopened for business yesterday at 5:00 PM. Unlike Gov. Cooper, officials of the North Carolina county have enough sense to understand that endlessly shuttering businesses is a worse situation than coronavirus itself.

Tracy Philbeck, a commission chairman of Gaston County, explained that the return of the county’s economy is “health-minded.” Philbeck additionally noted that a one-size-fits-all solution is not appropriate. Shortly thereafter, he cited precautionary measures to prevent health issues; these precautionary measures entail sanitation, good hygiene, and social distancing.

In Gaston County’s announcement about reopening, they noted that vulnerable individuals should remain at home. The order also states that anyone who doesn’t wish to reopen their business is not obligated to do so. As of yesterday, Gaston County gave gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, churches, and sporting areas the green light to resume operations. Thus far, schools, bars, and activities for young people in Gaston County remain shuttered.

Sounds good, right? Yeah, well, about all that.

As it happens, close on the heels of Philbeck’s announcement, the daughter of a close friend of mine received a call from her boss instructing her to report to work at five. Having inexplicably bought into the frenzied Shanghai Sniffles panic-mongering herself, she was alarmed and VERY reluctant, but in the end screwed up the wherewithal to risk all-but-certain death and head on over to the small Belmont restaurant/pub that employs her anyway, a brand-new place that’s only been open a few months.

This was at five (5) PM.

At six, several black-and-whites from the town Schutzstaffel surrounded the place, and po-po strolled in to enforce Comrade Cooperovitch’s illegal edict. The owner, having already done hard time once years ago, saw no reason to risk arrest and immediately complied. And that was that; the Empire struck back, the nascent Rebel Alliance was quickly crushed.

Now, you people know I am not one to reflexively hate on cops. But I can only come up with one ugly little word in reference to LEOs who execute orders they know damned well are invalid, well outside the authority of our pissant little shit of a governor to issue. Such cops are pigs. Sorry and all, it pains me no end to have to say it, but…well, there it is.

Excuse me no excuses about being obliged to comply with the commands of your superiors, boys. “Just following orders” didn’t suffice to wash away the stain of guilt from the Nazis, and it isn’t going to absolve any of you now. The truth is, you all recited a few words before the badge was pinned on your chest:

The widely used oath embraced by the International Association of Chiefs of Police reads, “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve.”

As AG Barr so concisely put it the other day, there is NO pandemic exception written into the Constitution. And just because our professional politicians speak similar oaths with forked tongues, harboring no intention whatsoever of living up to them right from jump, it doesn’t mean that YOU should do the same.

Comes a time when a man—any man, every man—has to decide to stand up for the right, to refuse to go along with things that are patently wrong. Orders of magnitude more so for cops, for soldiers, for any toting a similar weight of communal trust and responsibility. A cop willing to flout the Law Enforcement Oath Of Honor, a solemn and serious covenant, in order to enforce dictates he knows to be unrighteous should never have become a cop in the first place, no matter how polite he might be as he slips the cuffs onto some blameless soul for the crime of trying to keep a roof over his family’s heads in extremely difficult times. He has shown himself to be morally unfit for the job.

Instead of arresting desperate small business owners who stand to lose everything they have or ever will have, LEOs should consider heading to the Governor’s Mansion instead. There’s far more upright and honorable work awaiting you there, fellas.

Oh, by the way: as of yesterday, Gaston County has all of twenty active C-19 cases, and a total of three deaths.

“The biggest shock since the Great Depression”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damage: done.

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

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

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

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

Racist.

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

The New Normal: Safetyism

A nation of pussies.

To grasp the urgency of lifting the ubiquitous economic shutdowns, visit New York City’s Central Park, ideally in the morning. At 5:45 am, it is occupied by maybe 100 runners and cyclists, spread over 843 acres. A large portion of these early-bird exercisers wear masks. Are they trying to protect anyone they might encounter from their own unsuspected coronavirus infection? Perhaps. But if you yourself run towards an oncoming runner on a vector that will keep you at least three yards away when you pass each other, he is likely to lunge sideways in terror if your face is not covered. The masked cyclists, who speed around the park’s inner road, apparently think that there are enough virus particles suspended in the billions of square feet of fresh air circulating across the park to enter their mucous membranes and to sicken them.

These are delusional beliefs, yet they demonstrate the degree of paranoia that has infected the population. Every day the lockdown continues, its implicit message that we are all going to die if we engage in normal life is reinforced. Polls show an increasing number of Americans opting to continue the economic quarantine indefinitely lest they be ‘unsafe’. The longer that belief is reinforced, the less likely it will be that consumers will patronize reopened restaurants or board airplanes in sufficient numbers to bring the economy back to life.

To cancel most of the country’s economy for a problem, however tragic, that is highly localized was a devastating policy blunder that must be immediately corrected. The lockdowns are taking a scythe to everything that makes human existence both possible and meaningful. Lives are being lost to the overreaction. Heart attack and stroke victims shrink from calling 911 lest they burden hospitals now dedicated exclusively to COVID-19 cases. Cancer victims have had their stem cell transplants put on hold; heart surgeries are being postponed indefinitely. The cancellation of ‘nonessential’ procedures has prevented the diagnosis of life-threatening diseases, writes a former chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center. Tumors and potentially deadly brain aneurysms are going undetected. Drug abuse deaths from economic despair and isolation may already be rising, as data out of Ohio suggests. The United Nations predicts tens of millions more lives globally stunted by extreme poverty and hundreds of thousands of childhood deaths.

US unemployment is at depression levels. Small businessmen who risked their savings and credit in the hope of creating a successful enterprise have had their efforts destroyed. Up to a third of local businesses may never reopen. The damage to supply chains grows deeper by the day. Farmers are plowing under cabbages and strawberries, pouring out milk, and destroying eggs because they have lost their markets. It is almost impossible to plan future production with demand so irrationally depressed. Retail sales registered their biggest monthly drop on record in March. Department stores and local newspapers may become relics.

Many cultural institutions — small theaters, regional orchestras, and opera companies — will never rise again. Demand for progressive causes such as public transit and dense, multi-unit housing will evaporate the longer that fear is stoked. Yet the safetyism rhetoric is unabating. ‘The vast majority of people want to feel safe,’ a doctor told MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle on April 23. ‘Hopefully people will turn to public health authorities and scientists for [safety] strategies.’ Those same authorities dole out positive reinforcement to keep the populace compliant. ‘Americans have done such a wonderful job’ of social distancing, Dr Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force director, encouragingly announced, ‘so we don’t want to jeopardize their efforts with a hasty reopening’, she added.

To be sure, a revolt is brewing against the idea that perfect safety is the precondition for social and economic life. Even residents of blue states are chafing under their mandates, provoking sniffy rebukes from their public health masters. But enough people have embraced fear to destroy the necessary demand side of an economic recovery. The lockdowns signal that it is not safe to shop, travel, or socialize — a message that in most places is false. The bans must be lifted, while protective efforts are targeted intensely at the vulnerable elderly. As a harbinger of liberation, any true public health expert would tell those Central Park joggers and those solo drivers in their cars to tear off their masks and breathe free.

It’s a sad commentary on our bizarre state of affairs that MacDonald’s perfectly reasonable, rational article could strike anybody as somehow “radical,” “extreme,” or “dangerous.” But you can be certain that it will.

An idea whose time has surely come

And, unfortunately, probably gone.

The country has been thrown into an unforeseen and immediate crisis the likes of which we have never seen in American history. There was no warning and no way to prepare; we are in a state of shock that the collective life we led just two months ago is completely and heartbreakingly gone for the foreseeable future.

That’s why it’s time for President Trump to speak to the trauma the nation is enduring, and not just continue the same drumbeat about the “invisible enemy” each day from the White House press room.

The daily briefings featuring the Coronavirus Task Force have become repetitive. Trump’s jiujitsu with the hostile, childish, and hysteria-inducing White House press corps might entertain some of his followers, and undoubtedly it amuses the president himself, but does little to ease Americans’ rising anxiety about the future.

Fauci and Birx, aside from misleading the president with the disastrous Murray models, don’t have much new to offer. Their updates should be short and weekly, not daily, since the health crisis shows major signs of abating.

The president should now pivot to focusing primarily on how to recover both the economy and the spirit of the American people. He needs to speak directly to our fears. He must give cover to governors who have every reason to bring life back to normal in their states rather than listening to the same small chorus of “experts” who have misled him. (Commending New York governor Andrew Cuomo while openly criticizing Georgia governor Brian Kemp isn’t a great idea, either.)

He needs to get his economic team before the public every day to explain how and when we can start getting back to business as usual—and in days, not weeks or months. Most Americans don’t want more government hand-outs or debt-inducing programs. We want to protect the vulnerable, strengthen our health care capacity, and move on before the damage is too great to repair.

Trump performs best when he gives voice to the inner worries of Americans that others are too timid to express. COVID-19 is deadly and scary but Trump promised Americans the cure wouldn’t be worse than the disease. We are now at the point where we need to hear his plan to make good on that promise—and the president must change course accordingly.

I agree with Kelly, for all the good it will do. Jules also makes brief mention of the imminent collapse of the food supply chain, which is but one of several reasons I said above that the time for Trump to try to turn things around may have come and gone. All such attempts now will most likely be too little, too late:

Executives with the Arkansas-based Tyson Foods took out a full-page advertisement in several major newspapers over the weekend, declaring the country’s food supply chain “is breaking.”

The ad, an open letter from company board chair John Tyson was published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

“There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we reopen our facilities that are currently closed,” wrote Tyson, who noted earlier in the letter, “The food supply chain is breaking.”

The discomforting statement from Tyson comes as the company has closed plants in Logansport, Indiana, and Waterloo, Iowa. Similarly, Smithfield has closed a facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where one worker died of the virus, and JBS has shuttered a plant in Worthington, Minnesota.

Tyson’s Waterloo plant, reportedly linked to some 182 cases of COVID-19, is critical to the country’s pork supply.

The letter from Tyson warned all of these closures means “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” from the national food supply chain.

“In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue,” wrote Tyson. “Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation.”

“Millions of animals — chickens, pigs, and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities,” he added.

More, and worse:

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield Foods, the largest global pork producer owned by the Chinese WH Group, said in a statement on Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

“It is impossible to keep protein on tables across America if our nation’s meat plants are not running. Across the animal protein industry, closures can have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions up and down the supply chain,” the statement said. “Beyond the implications to our food supply, our entire agricultural community is in jeopardy. Farmers have nowhere to send their animals and could be forced to euthanize livestock, effectively burying food in the ground. We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), who is also is a beef rancher, spoke about the food supply chain on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.

“I’ll tell you why there will be shortages,” Massie said. “Right now there aren’t shortages because there was a supply of meat that was destined for restaurants, and the demand at the restaurants was curtailed when they were shut down. It’s frozen meat, and [restaurants] are repackaging it and diverting that supply to the grocery stores.”

“That supply is going to run out,” Massie said. “The [meat] pipeline has a crimp in it, and that’s at the processing plants.”

In a Tweet accompanying the article, Massie lays it out starkly and directly, with no ifs, ands, or buts: “FOOD SHORTAGES ARE COMING.”

Meanwhile, there are nearly four million gallons of milk per day being poured down the drain—literally.

Farmers are dumping milk and plowing crops back into the soil across the U.S. after the closings of restaurants, hotels and schools in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Farmers are dumping 3.7 million gallons of milk daily and a single chicken processor can smash 750,000 eggs per week, reports Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy farm cooperative in the country.

As America’s agricultural industry is confronted by the impacts of the virus, there have been some striking examples of food waste.

Correction: it’s the impact of the overreaction to the virus that they—and we all—are confronting.

Wisconsin and Ohio farmers have dumped thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits.

An Idaho farmer found himself digging ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions.

Yet more, and yet worse:

Meanwhile, South Florida farms, which supply much of the East coast, have sent tractors across the fields to replow beans, cabbage and other ripe vegetables right back into the ground.

‘It’s heartbreaking,’ Paul Allen, co-owner of R.C. Hatton, tells the Times.

The company has had to destroy millions of pounds of beans and cabbage at his farms in South Florida and Georgia. 

This is scary, scary stuff, folks.

“There’s a huge amount of milk still today going on the ground in the state of Florida,” said Brittany Nickerson Thurlow, a fifth-generation dairy farmer in Zolfo Springs. “There’s just nowhere to send it.”

The supply chain that ultimately brings milk from a cow’s udder to your refrigerator has spoiled.

Florida had over 15,500 coronavirus cases, including over 300 deaths, as of the Department of Health’s Wednesday evening count. Gov. Ron DeSantis’ statewide “safer-at-home” order remains in effect until at least April 30.

There’s no telling when life on Sunshine State farms will return to normal.

Sorry to have to be the one to tell ya, but this is the NEW Normal. It ain’t pretty. Every passing day under lockdown etches total economic collapse and all its attendant misery—joblessness, poverty, hunger, and death—more deeply in stone. And for the life of me, I can’t see any way out of it.

Preview of coming attractions

If you like the panic-ninny overreaction to the Chink-N-Pox, just wait until you get a load of the rationale your masters plan to use to indefinitely confine you to your home over next.

You knew this was coming:

Public want radical response to climate change with same urgency as coronavirus, poll finds
The government should be more radical and put in place serious policies to fight the climate crisis with the same urgency as it has to coronavirus, voters believe. A new survey by pollsters Opinium found 48 per cent of the public agree that the government should respond “with the same urgency to climate change as it has with Covid-19”, with just 28 per cent saying it shouldn’t.

Environmentalists said the polling figures were a “green light” for the government to be more ambitious in tackling the climate crisis and that politicians had not yet caught up with public opinion on the issue. The polling is the latest evidence that public opinion is moving fast towards seriously tackling the crisis, following a surge in attention given in the issue last year amid international protests. The start of 2020 was punctuated with climate-related disasters like forest fires in Australia and major flooding.

Yes, it’s the Independent, a left-wing British newspaper. and, yes, we’ve been seeing this conflation of the coronavirus and “climate change” for at least the past month. The overreaction to Covid-19 has resulted in the summary abrogation of the First Amendment in the United States without so much as a shot fired, and in the imposition of lockdown orders in formerly semi-democratic Britain and in the never-really-democratic “social democracies” on the Continent.

Politicians the world over, it seems, just couldn’t wait to unleash the heavy hand of government on their hapless, trusting citizens. and now, having gotten a free look at how willingly the people transform themselves into sheep, petty tyrants in statehouses around the U.S. and in European capitals are hardly likely to let go. It seems that all you have to do is stand on a podium surrounded by doctors, frighten people into think they’ll all soon be extras on The Walking Dead, and you can get away with anything, the Constitution be damned.

And thus is the game given away. Never mind that the “legal goal” is a fiction that can easily be repealed. The absurd panic over the coronavirus is now being used as a stalking horse for further, even more punitive measures against the citizenry. After all, if the government can forbid you to leave your home out of fear of the flu, what can’t it do? Further, the longer the lockdowns last, the more “new normal” they will come to seem, so that the next government mandate, and the next, and the next, will be seen as part of a legitimate continuum, rather than the enormities they are.

And that ain’t no accident, either. Nor is it coincidence. What it is, is enemy action.

Already, those advocating for a swift reopening of the economies are being accused of wanting to kill grandma by the moral brow-beaters. In their eyes, even one death is too many, and the capitalist economies should not reopen until we can absolutely guarantee that no one will ever die of anything ever again.

Now let me see, who was it that said “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” again, now?

The “progressives” are trying to forge a chain from coronavirus to “climate change.” Having softened up the population and herded them into pens, unleashed the petty police on them, and condemned them to a life of terrified solitude until their masters deign to free them (with restrictions, of course!), government is now very nearly free of all constitutional and moral restrictions.

Again: Accident? Coincidence? Or that third thing I mentioned?

Some folks out there have challenged the get-the-boot-off-our-necks crowd with the query: So, how many people are you willing to let die of Chink-N-Pox so you whiny little bitches can go back to work? But that’s the wrong question, seems to me, and is more or less irrelevant anyway, since A) none of us has any real control over who will die, or of what, and B) none of us are getting out of this world alive anyway.

What I’d much rather have an answer to is: How many more of your already-vanishing Constitutional rights are you willing to give up forever in order to contain a malady that looks more every day like much ado about very little? Do you REALLY trust your rulers and their pet “experts” that much—even after EVERY SINGLE ONE of their computer-model projections have proven wrong, and their doomsday predictions have had to be hastily revised over and over again?

Make no mistake, people: when I said “permanent” and “forever” just now, I meant it. History has proven again and again and again that rights relinquished will never be given back; they must be TAKEN back, almost always via violent force. But what really curdles my cream is the abandonment of the fundamental principle that—no matter the crisis, the calamity, the season, the general public mood, or the supposed justification—directly and incontrovertibly flouting the US Constitution is NEVER acceptable. If you’re the gummint—federal state, or local—YOU DON’T GET TO SHUT DOWN THE CHURCHES, for one example, regardless of the supposed “risk” to however many of whomever from whatsit.

Yeah, yeah, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Got it. If I remember correctly, exceptions to the clear injunction against any restriction of the people’s unalienable rights are countenanced therein, if reluctantly, in time of war or insurrection only. Well and good.

But a blanket, across-the-board imposition of house arrest? No right to peaceably assemble? Businesses shuttered indefinitely by government decree, the purchase of certain arbitrarily-selected consumer goods forbidden? Freedom of movement now punishable by legal sanction, up to and including arrest? Gun stores closed, ammo sales locked down? No right to attend worship services?

No, sorry, but…NO. Contrary to what panic-ninnies both Left and Right are now screeching, nobody wants to get sick. Nobody wants to die, or to recklessly endanger others, to have “blood on their hands.” So stipulated. Nonetheless, Constitutional principles are supposed to be fundamental, not to be contravened by any government that hopes to sustain its claim to legitimacy. Here’s how I see it:

The tension between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches, between the states and federal government, is by design. It is supposed to be challenging to “get things done” in government. Sure, crises require sacrifices, but we must be careful to preserve the structure that protects our liberties in the long run.

We are thankful that the U.S. Department of Justice recognizes the serious threat to the constitutional structure these sorts of action present. Americans do not lose constitutional rights during crises. “There is no pandemic exception,” DOJ writes in its statement of interest in the case, “to the fundamental liberties the Constitution safeguards.”

It is a great tribute to our Constitution that these checks and balances are working to create the friction necessary for Americans to take notice of the deeper issues at stake here. But we must take note and demand much better from our public officials. Federal and state executives would be wise to take a step back and consider the long-term implications of the actions they are taking. They must preserve and respect the constitutional structure that guards our liberty.

The American spirit in 2020 still shouts, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” as Patrick Henry did in 1775. No exception for Covid-19.

Forever and ever, amen. Peggy Ryan calls BS:

What are we doing, America? We’ve destroyed a booming economy, turned a record number of jobs into record unemployment numbers, and given up our basic tenets of liberty — all so we won’t get sick?

We’re allowing governors to restrict people’s movement; prevent citizens from assembling; and order mandatory masks, testing, and vaccines. These governors now claim the right to track our every move, to surveil every American in order to ensure compliance. This shutdown is not just a slippery slope to socialism and communism; it’s a downhill slalom.

How did we get here? Americans aren’t cowards who would eagerly surrender liberty for immunity. But therein lies the genius of the left. It’s not just about you and me, now, is it?

The left has hostages: our aging parents, grandparents, sick relatives. Either we put down the Constitution and slowly back away or the hostages will die.

Too many Americans have died for our liberty for us to squander this treasure over a virus. Over a million American soldiers — young, healthy — ran headlong into gunfire, navigated mine fields, dodged bombs, and otherwise gave their lives so Americans can be free.

Not a single patriot sacrificed his life, his future, to keep Americans from getting sick.

The government claims it’s protecting us from the virus. With the Constitution in lockdown, who’s protecting us from the government?

Just us, as always. Like I said last night, the Constitution doesn’t protect the people; it is the people who must protect the Constitution. Ryan closes out with a dead-on quote:

“There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” —Daniel Webster

Precisely so. It’s dismaying to see how many of us have forgotten that truism, or never understood it in the first place.

Blood on your hands update! Reasonable people can disagree honestly and respectfully. Then again, some people are just irredeemable assholes.

BloodOnYourHands.png


Just this once I’ll forego my customary “fuck you in the liver with a rusty railroad spike” comeback and let Linda handle it.

But, in fact, we are making a choice that returning to work is worth the risk – EVEN OF OUR OWN FAMILY. We take sensible precautions. We do the outside errands of our elderly family (and, often, of neighbors, as well).

But, in the end, some risks just have to be taken – for example, those who are considered essential and frontline. No one tells the nurses and truckers to stay home. We accept that they are putting their own, and their family’s lives at risk – for YOU to stay home, safe.

Don’t see those sanctimonious ones criticizing them. Instead, they are filled with praise for their “bravery”.

Financial problems have destroyed more than one American family. Long-term financial problems – not just “Oh, I can’t buy the latest shoes!” or “Bummer, I have to drink homemade coffee, rather than my $5 Latte” – can cause the emotional, physical, and mental breakdown that leads to a lifetime of despair.

It’s not selfish to prefer to keep your family intact. It’s not a bad thing to think that children deserve to have their mother and father living together. It’s not evil to NOT want (corrected from opposite meaning) to see the frugality of a lifetime wiped away, because NO ONE should die. Ever.

Even old people with multiple illnesses/conditions. Even if they were already hanging on by their toenails to life.

This is not Un-Christian. This is a realistic understanding that we cannot ask the entire country to upend itself for months, solely to make you feel better about having sacrificed US. Yes, US. Because most of those who are saying these things, are still getting a paycheck. Government workers, large corporations, schools.

If this is not devastating your finances, I just don’t want to hear from you. You haven’t skin in the game. You have nothing to lose by Virtue Signaling your willingness to see the rest of us suffer to make you feel better.

As she suggests, a sense of proportion is one of several important things that have gone right out the window in this debate. And that ain’t helping any either.

Tyranny, straight up

You guys know I am neither a reflexive cop-sucker nor a knee-jerk supporter of the police. I’ve known enough of them over the years, more than a few quite closely, to know that they’re every bit as diverse in their attitudes, beliefs, and overall outlook as any other group of humans is. Some are selfless and heroic. Some struggle mightily to rise above their own flaws and frailties, with varying levels of success. And some have absolutely no business whatsoever wearing a badge, carrying a gun, and wielding power over others.

The Chink-N-Pox clampdown is underlining those distinctions in bright, bold red, whether we like it or not.

On Tuesday, an Idaho mother was arrested in front of her children for refusing to leave a playground that was apparently closed by the city due to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Video of the confrontation shows a woman later identified as Sarah Brady, 40, being cuffed for refusing to leave an area playground. “Do it,” Brady dared an officer threatening to arrest her.

“Her kids are here! Her kids are here! What is going to happen? Who’s got her kids?” another woman at the playground can be heard saying as Brady is taken away in handcuffs.

“After receiving several calls to Ada County Dispatch, Meridian Police responded to Kleiner Park on April 21 2020 at around 3:50PM,” said a press release from Meridian Police Department.

“Upon arrival, officers saw that metal signage and caution tape announcing the playground closure due to COVID-19, was removed,” the department continued, adding, “Officers informed those gathered several times that the play structure was closed, and that they were welcome to utilize other areas of the park if they chose.”

After asking questions about the public playground’s closure and refusing to leave when asked, Brady was arrested and hit with one count of misdemeanor trespassing.

Brady was “non-compliant and forced officers to place her under arrest to resolve the issue,” the department said. “She was arrested for trespassing.”

In fairness, Brady’s arrest was the culmination of a planned protest against the lockdown, and Brady was inarguably acting in a, shall we say, intentionally provocative manner. Near as I can make out, the cops performed their duty as professionals, with restraint; no surprise, since they had been sent out by their masters to do a job that was in all likelihood distasteful to at least some of their number. All in all, I’m more inclined to put most of the blame on the city authorities whose nonchalant assumption of dictatorial powers placed the Meridian PD squarely between a rock and a hard place. I note, too, that not ONE of those city authorities seemed to be present to oversee the proper execution of his edicts. This, then, is key:

An extended video of the incident shows an officer earlier in the exchange apologetically saying that “someone” had taken down the caution tape from the closed-off area before Brady — who is reportedly married to a law enforcement officer in another department — and others argued that they are on public grounds supported by their tax dollars.

That same officer suggested the issue should be taken up with the mayor, rather than law enforcement.

Bingo. On the other hand, though, staging a protest DOES amount to “taking it up with the mayor” in practical terms, probably in way more effective fashion than sending a strongly-worded letter or speaking at a city council meeting. I truly hate that petty local and state-level tyrants are driving wedges between honorably-intentioned cops and the citizenry they’d prefer to be protecting than oppressing, a wedge that’s already doing damage even in small-town Idaho.

No, I don’t hate cops, I really don’t. I think it’s fair to say that I’ve been even-handed and rational with this post so far. That said, though, I just can’t find a way to make myself comfortable with this:

JustFollowingOrders.jpg


WELL! I know I certainly feel a lot safer with this dangerous predator removed from our midst, don’t you?

Total number of deaths in all of Idaho as of today: 54. Population of Idaho as of 2020: just under 1.83 million.

Sefton, from whence the above pic etc etc, says:

I’m pausing for a moment because I am honestly on the verge of tears as I collect my thoughts and try to write something coherent. I’m also enraged because what we are enduring amounts to a Reichstag Fire moment. Please do not fucking lecture me about the massive deaths from Chinese Lung AIDS that warranted the actions taken. The models and statistics are about as reliable as a Magic 8 Ball and the confirmed mortality rate is somewhere in the 0.1-0.3% range which is akin to a bad flu season. What is being done to us has never happened before; not during all the other outbreaks, not after the stock market crashes, not after 9/11. Never. This is tyranny, straight up. It’s at our throats with a My Pillow in one hand and a Khalid Shiekh Mohammed rusty hacksaw in the other. The past three years were a complete refutation and rejection of the anti-American progressive globalist enterprise. In fact, it might have been down for the count. This virus was not planned, but it was an opportunity that was seized upon not only to destroy Trump, but to punish us for electing him, and now the opportunity to subjugate us permanently.

There is indeed a plague upon this nation. It is the Globalist Left that includes the Democrat Party, the propagandist media, governmental bureaucracy, academia and anyone and everyone who support it. Ronald Reagan once said:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

You tell me if what is going on right here and right now is not an extinction-level event. Because it sure as hell is. Tick-tock-tick-tock.

Thanks to the now-evident authoritarian streak that lurks within the hearts of so many American politicians and goobermint officials at every level, we’re all going to be confronted with some difficult choices as this illicit lockdown drags on and on—a lockdown which now threatens to rip the already-tatterdemalion fabric of American society completely asunder. If they don’t care about the rest of us, you’d think the politicians and bureau-hacks would at least be canny enough to recognize how much danger they’re putting their own decidedly non-essential carcasses in with this crap.

And yet.

Update! Government is force.

Let’s start with the good news. Americans are starting to push back against all the authoritarian COVID-19-related edicts and, if social media is an indication, shaming people who call the authorities to report neighbors who are violating social-distancing rules. In Michigan, voters are circulating a recall petition against a governor whose illogical list of permitted activities bans the purchase of seeds to grow food — but allows the purchase of lottery tickets.

It’s a start, but only a small beginning. It’s a shame that it would take such monumental government overreach to spark a backlash. We’re all used to the nonstop, slow-motion infringements, which are imposed (albeit in different ways, perhaps) by leaders of both parties. Finally, as we’re all prisoners in our homes and subject to hastily drafted and arbitrary suspensions of our fundamental liberties, Americans are learning a civics lesson.

Fears of a pandemic have exposed government for what it really is: a collection of petty tyrants who will grab any power they can to impose any idea they prefer. And it all comes to force. The news reports are infuriating. A man is handcuffed after playing ball with his six-year-old daughter in a park. A paddle-boarder, enjoying the surf alone off Malibu beach, is arrested and taken to the police station, as if the latter isn’t more dangerous than the former.

In one social-media posting, two New York police officers apparently threatened to cite a couple for sitting next to each other outdoors — even though the two are married. Increasingly, American policing is all about blind obedience to authority. It’s about the letter rather than the spirit of the law. If you think officers will resist an order to confiscate your weapons once the order comes down, then you are woefully naïve.

“[P]ublic officials at all levels of government are now exercising emergency powers rarely seen outside the context of total war,” Healy wrote. Yet the “crisis hasn’t yet led to massive new presidential power grabs” and “Trump has been a piker next to FDR, George W. Bush or even Barack Obama.” My only wish is that Americans would consistently stand up against all such power grabs, regardless of the party affiliation of those who engage in them.

Newsom and governors in Oregon and Washington have come to a collaborative agreement for “reopening” their respective states, but the guideposts are imprecise and still come down to this: People will be free to go about their lives again when they say so. Even in a health emergency, this is not how an even free-ish country should operate. I’m astounded at how quickly and totally every constitutional protection has evaporated.

Since so many folks misunderstand what the Constitution is, does, and does not do, I’ll say it again: The Constitution protects NOTHING. Being no more than words written on paper, how can it possibly “protect” or “guarantee” anything? The Constitution enumerates, specifies, codifies rules and principles. It must BE protected, by a morally-upright, vigilant people who harbor no illusions about the true nature of government. The Constitution hasn’t let us down. Its home truths are all right there still, clear as crystal, inspiring and ennobling just as they will forever be. Intact, indomitable, unbreakable.

Still there…waiting. Waiting for us to step up, to honor it properly by requiring every one of our so-called leaders, highest to lowest, to maintain the respect that is its due. To fulfill its promise in the only way possible: by meeting its challenge. By proving ourselves worthy of that promise.

I can’t say I expected as sudden a power-hog stampede as this, but the rebellion against Obama’s “fundamental transformation” that resulted in Trump’s election—along with the repeated failure of every attempt so far to discredit, hogtie, or remove him from office—seems to have driven the Ruling Class into frenzied desperation. The thing I find most surprising is that, after so many years of incremental federal encroachment, the big-daddy power-grab of them all emanated not from Mordor On The Potomac but from governors, mayors, and city councils. I have to admit I did NOT see that coming.

Two kinds of people in America now

Them that still has a job and get a paycheck…and them that don’t. Might behoove those in column A to pretend they have a wee mite of empathy and concern for the column B folks who are rightly worried about their ability to feed their newly-strugging families and keep a roof over their heads, I’m thinking.

In a turn of events that should surprise no one, thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest the draconian lockdown measures that have destroyed the economy and millions of lives along with it. Many in the media seem to be perplexed about this development. They are doing quite well, personally — still pulling an income, still able to do cable news hits from their home studios — and they can’t imagine why anyone would be so upset about being asked to stay home and watch Netflix and play video games, as Patton Oswalt put it in a tweet that has half a million likes.

But those who lack the privilege of a media personality or famous comedian may find that Netflix and video games are paltry comfort when they return home after spending six hours in line at a food bank. Agree or disagree with the methods of the protestors, but any reasonable and decent person should at least understand why they are protesting. In the past month, 22 million people have lost their jobs. Plus another several million who didn’t qualify for unemployment or couldn’t apply because the unemployment sites are crashing. Contrary to how Dr. Fauci has characterized it, these numbers represent more than a mere “inconvenience.” Many Americans have lost everything. And not because of some natural disaster or act of God, but because the government has forbid them from going to work.

Illegally and unconstitutional forbidden them to go to work. Let’s not leave that part out. As time goes on, state governors continue their wanton destruction of the economy and impoverishment of tens of millions, the rebellion escalates, and it becomes time to get the torches alight and the tar a-boiling, it will begin to matter.

A woman at a protest in Maryland held a cardboard sign saying she wanted to save her business. “I need to work to live,” the sign read. Democrat politicians would call that woman “selfish.” Talking heads on MSNBC would say she is part of a “death cult.” But it seems to me that she’s just a woman who wants to salvage the business that she has poured her sweat and tears into. And she wants to survive. Both of these seem like perfectly reasonable goals. Disagree with her approach if you want — though, honestly, I can’t see the problem with the approach — but to sneer at her and the other protestors, as so many in the media have done, is morally repugnant.

I would like to propose an unofficial rule for any further discussion of these protests and the lockdowns that prompted them. Before you give your opinion, you should first reveal whether you still have an income. The rest of us would like to know if you are earning an income while you smear your fellow Americans for wanting to earn an income. Indeed, it’s rather striking that the loudest voices in favor of the shutdown are primarily people who have lost nothing because of it. It is bad enough for those who’ve lost nothing to wag their fingers at those who’ve lost everything, but to call them selfish? Well, that level of hypocrisy is just too much to bear.

It is indeed. And there’s no good reason for the people who are toting quite a load already, with little to no real justification, to do so. More from Insty:

It’s no surprise that a major center of resistance to the shutdown has emerged in Michigan, whose Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has shown all the sensitivity of an angry third-grade teacher in administering a shutdown regime that often makes no sense — banning sales of seeds in stores that are open for other purposes, or allowing sailboating but banning powerboating. Her response to the protests, a threat to extend shutdowns further, seems calculated to inflame things further.

People don’t appreciate being lectured and condescended to and bossed around. They especially don’t appreciate being urged to sacrifice by people who make no sacrifices themselves. And that’s a different sort of class divide: When rulers ask for sacrifices without making any, they’re displaying a distinct lack of, well, class.

Sadly, to succeed in their job, our leaders will need to possess humility, empathy and self-discipline. Those traits are in sadly short supply in our leadership class. We will all pay a price for that, though if recent history is any guide, our leaders will pay less than the rest of us.

Yep. But the price our “leaders” and “elites” must pay can rise with shocking rapidity, and if they continue blindly along their present path, they’ll find that the pain of settling accounts might not be limited to the merely allegorical.

Update! We must all pray that Robert Zimmerman is wrong. But deep in our hearts, we know he’s right.

I don’t want to mince any words here. This Great Wuhan Depression was ordered by the governors of our fifty states. It is their economic collapse, through and through. They knew that if they shut down everything for a month or more the economy would collapse, and yet they did it anyway. And sadly, President Trump aided them in this effort by publicly activating the National Guard when requested by them in order to enforce these lock down edicts.

Moreover, I fear that this economic crash will be exacerbated by the accompanying loss of freedom. You can’t turn an economy around on a dime, but if freedom is allowed you raise the odds that things can recover faster.

Sadly, the government edicts, many of which literally nullified the Bill of Rights, have set a precedent that is very hostile to freedom, and one that our governments now appear to be following with enthusiasm. The so-called “plans” being announced by various state governments, many following federal guidelines developed by the Trump administration, all dictate which businesses can operate, when businesses shall reopen, and how people will behave. The idea of letting freedom do the job seems quite quaint to our modern rulers. They would much rather rule as dictators, setting the rules without referring to law or legislation.

Meanwhile, the facts on the ground continue to suggest that the Wuhan flu is not the deadly plague that many politicians and health experts have claimed. With the rate of new cases apparently peaking, we can now make a reasonable prediction of how many the virus will eventually kill (recognizing that for many political reasons some of these numbers have been padded), and find that the numbers will likely end up comparable to a high flu season, and far less than many other causes of death that we routinely take for granted. In addition, there is clear evidence that the lock downs were unnecessary and that our health system was not going to be overrun. In fact, though the data remains incomplete at this moment, the overall mortality rate is actually low this year, when compared to recent years.

Thus, this virus did not warrant the panic that ensued, the destruction of the economy, and the nullification of the Bill of Rights. But yet that is exactly what our elected officials have done, destroyed the economy and nullified our freedoms.

Unless we as citizens take action to oppose this, our country will never be the same, and millions more will suffer as the economy continues its crash, hindered from recovering because we are now no different than socialist Venezuela or communist Russia.

This country will assuredy NOT ever be the same—not least because of how very far down the road to true socialism we had already come before this latest state-mandated, panic-inspired lurch to the extreme Left was perpetrated.

Two sets of laws Part the Bazillionth

Remember back when I mentioned that, amidst the Christian church/synagogue shutdowns, arrests, fines, and threats from His (dis)Honor Bill DeBalledZero, nobody seemed to be including mosques in all that?

Yeah, well. About all that.

A Syracuse mosque is still open for daily prayers amid the Coronavirus shutdown as Christians are threatened and fined for attending drive-in services.

New York is the country’s Coronavirus epicenter with more than 18,000 deaths, however this mosque is still open for prayers.

This mosque located on the north side was once the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, but it closed down due to lack of parishioners — now it is considered a victory mosque.

It ought to be. Because that’s precisely what it is.

The Muslims who attend this mosque are not practicing social distancing. They are standing and praying closer than 6 feet apart, so why aren’t the police raiding this mosque and threatening the attendees with imprisonment and or fines?

Because Islam, silly. Another report:

While virtually every church in the United States is shut down due to coronavirus, and those few willing to defy lockdown orders are threatened with arrest or hauled to jail, a New York mosque is operating with impunity during the pandemic.

The mosque, in Syracuse, New York, had its operating procedures detailed by gushing local media, which described how the facility has modified its practices to adhere with social distancing during the China virus pandemic.

The building, formerly a Catholic church, is disinfected between services – not by cleaning professionals, but by volunteers – and video reveals those worshipers brave enough to leave their homes during the pandemic are not social distancing.

In video to YouTube uploaded by Syracuse.com, a small group of worshipers is seen praising Allah far less than six feet apart, failing to adhere to social distancing procedures and potentially defeating the purpose of worshiping in a room completely covered in plastic.

While this mosque is allowed to operate during the coronavirus pandemic, albeit under slightly modified procedures, Christians are being forced out of their churches across the country.

Shocking, yet not in the least surprising. Back to Cristina for some specifics:

Parishioners who attended a drive-in service at Temple Baptist Church in Mississippi were fined $500 each by police for violating ‘social distancing’ orders.

20 police cars swarmed King James Bible Baptist Church in Mississippi and pastor Charles Hamilton Jr., was told by a cop that his rights were suspended.

A Kentucky church parking lot was littered with nails on Easter Sunday and police officers harassed churchgoers by recording their license plates and leaving notes on their cars.

That’s but a few examples from an ever-expanding list. The conclusion is as obvious as it is appalling:

Clearly Christians are being singled out and persecuted.

Yup. It amounts to nothing more nor less than the mopping-up phase of the PC Left’s long campaign against America That Was, as Proggie walks the battlefield shooting the wounded.

Bloated numbers

A New York affliction.

According to The New York Times coronavirus report, as of Sunday, April 19, 2:48 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, there were 35,676 COVID-19 deaths in the United States. Of those deaths, 18,690 were in the New York metropolitan area.

That means that more than half (52 percent) of all deaths in America have occurred in the New York metropolitan area.

What makes this statistic particularly noteworthy is that the entire death toll for 41 of the other 47 states is 7,661. In other words, while New York has 52 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in America, 41 states put together have only 21 percent of the COVID-19 deaths. And all the 47 states other than New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have less than half (48 percent).

Now let us imagine that the reverse were true. Imagine that Georgia and North Carolina—two contiguous states that, like the New York metro area, have a combined total of 21 million people—had 18,690 COVID-19 deaths, while metro New York had 858 deaths (the number of deaths in North Carolina and Georgia combined).

Do you think the New York metro area would close its schools, stores, restaurants and small businesses? Would every citizen of the New York area, with the few exceptions of those engaged in absolutely necessary work, be locked in their homes for months? Would New Yorkers accept the decimation of their economic and social lives because North Carolina and Georgia (or, even more absurdly, Colorado, Montana or the rest of what most New Yorkers regard as “flyover” country) had 18,960 deaths, while they had a mere 858?

It is, of course, possible. But I suspect that anyone with an open mind assumes that New Yorkers would not put up with ruining their economic and social lives and putting tens of millions of people out of work because of coronavirus deaths in North Carolina and Georgia, let alone Montana and Idaho (and, for the record, I would have agreed with them).

Lest we forget, even the underwhelming non-NYC numbers are themselves grossly inflated:

The IHME model is considered the gold standard. In mid-March, without social distancing, they predicted 2.2 million American deaths. By early April they reduced their death projection to 100,000 to 240,000 assuming social distancing measures in place. Their April 17 update now projects 60,308 deaths, 3% of their original prediction.

What changed? Social distancing was in already in place when the death predictions dropped by a factor of four. For perspective, 61,000 Americans died in the 2017-18 flu season.

The CDC had its own models predicting gloom and doom. In mid-March they projected 160 million to 214 million infected and 200,000 to 1.7 million deaths. Did that leave President Trump any choice but to hit the off switch on the U.S. economy? What if the models were wrong?

Another factor influencing models is the death count from this coronavirus. Projected deaths determine projected need, as in the ventilators mentioned above. How accurate are the death counts?

Task force member Dr. Deborah Brix, on April 7, said the U.S. government is classifying the death of any patient who tested positive for coronavirus as a coronavirus death, regardless of any underlying health conditions that genuinely killed them. If one has a heart attack, and happens to test positive for the virus, he or she will be classed as a coronavirus death. Garbage in, garbage out.

Going further, New York City is including in their death counts, “people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.” Data by presumption? Models based on presumption?

What the hell, why not? Julie Kelly brings it on home for us.

Tests show about 434,000 Americans have contracted the disease so far. Only a few states indicate COVID-19 symptomatic activity; most of the country now is quiet.

Would those facts frighten you into government-ordered submission? If the United States had a population of 300 million and 48 states, would the fact that 18,000 people—sadly, mostly elderly and already sick patients—succumbed to the virus over a period of nearly two months warrant an ongoing lockdown that is destroying the economy, overwhelming unemployment rolls and food bank lines, shutting down schools and colleges for five months, and bankrupting small businesses?

Would it justify increasingly despotic orders from power-grabbing politicians to stop Americans from going to the beach or hosting dinner parties in their own homes let alone canceling graduation ceremonies and weddings and funerals?

Of course, it would pose a public health concern; strategies to mitigate the spread of the virus, particularly among the most susceptible, would be necessary. Plans to prevent a bigger outbreak later in the year would be appropriate.

The coronavirus crisis in the United States is largely a New York City crisis. One reason why many governors are afraid to fully reopen is over the fear that virus-carrying New Yorkers will flee to their largely unimpacted states.

Happy beachgoers in northern Florida are not a threat; subway commuters in New York City are. The fact that there is outrage over the former and not the latter speaks volumes about the politicization of this travesty while we remain under house arrest for the foreseeable future.

Wall it off. Should Air Force One ever go down inside…well, hey, we can always call in Snake Plissken.

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