Come git some

They know not what they do.



I predict the reception is not going to be nearly as warm (or passive) as they might assume.

This isn’t an internet tough guy post. This isn’t me flexing about my love of the 2nd Amendment and practice thereof. This isn’t about how well I can shoot, or what kind of guns I own.

This is a legitimate warning about what will happen.

Rioting in a city is, for all intents and purposes, safe for the rioter. Even if you do have a confrontation with police, you’re more than likely going to get a few bumps and bruises. At worst, some blood might be drawn from superficial wounds. The worst that may befall you is if your fellow rioters turn on you for any reason. Then you’ll really face serious injury, though more than likely, you’re just going to riot, loot, destroy, and go home.

The rules change in the suburbs. You’re not robbing a private store and destroying public property anymore. Now you’re in home territory. The house is full of valuable possessions and luxuries, yes, but more than that, this location has family members in it. Wives, children, and even beloved pets.

You’re in a different playing field now. Here the stakes are a lot higher for the victims of rioters, and as such, the stakes will rise for you. You’re no longer just facing an arrest charge or a few bumps and bruises. You’re now playing with your life.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not the person on the other side of the door that you’re about to try to break down is one of those people who purchased a firearm. Every home you try to gain access to is a roll of the dice, and the odds don’t look good for you.

You’re far more likely to die in the suburbs than in the city in this situation. You may think moving the riots into neighborhoods is going to play out the same way. It’s not. You’re at a massive tactical disadvantage. The residents know these streets, the layout of their homes, and the defense capabilities of their residence and themselves.

You don’t. Each home will be different, each resident will have different approaches, and each home may have more than one or two gun wielders inside. The goal isn’t non-violent control of the situation now. It’s not about tear gas and high-pressure hoses now. Now it’s deadly force. You can’t just wash a bullet wound out and keep going. Even if they don’t have guns, they’re not going to stop hitting you with a heavy object or stop stabbing and slashing at you with cutlery until you’ve either been chased out or you stop moving. Understand. The chances of you dying are incredibly high.

Ahh, but does it get better, you ask? Indeed it does. Much, much, MUCH better.

Florida – Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd did not mince words during his presser on Monday when he gave a very stern warning to looters.

Sheriff Judd said there were rumors on social media that rioters were planning to invade and loot homes in neighborhoods in Polk County.

So he fired a warning shot to the violent left-wing rioters.

“I would tell the [criminals] that if you value your life you probably shouldn’t do that in Polk County,” Sheriff Judd said.

He continued, “The people in Polk County like guns, they have guns, I encourage them to own guns and they’re going to be in their homes tonight with their guns loaded. And if you try to break into their homes to steal, to set fires, I’m highly recommending they blow you back out of the house with their guns.”

Preach that shit, brother, and good on ya for it. To you PantiFa/Black Lies Murder/etcwhatthefuckeveretc morons, you just feel free to bring it right the fuck ON. And if you wind up finding the suburbs tough sledding, just wait till you wander further on out into the country, where the real tough guys live, work, and are waiting for you with bated breath and loaded mags. You sniveling, citified little twerps will scurry on back to Mommy and Daddy’s basement never even knowing what hit you—the handful of you who survive, that is.

“We were never asked”

Masters don’t ask. They know they don’t have to.

Last year, through an excellent HBO miniseries, the Soviet Union’s 1986 Chernobyl disaster came to life. Lies about risk were widespread. People were told for years that science proved the reactors were safe, only to be dragged from their radiation-contaminated homes with only the clothes on their back. Certain observers, particularly on the Right, saw the series as a lesson in the evils of communism. While it was indeed that, things also looked rather familiar.

Like our country today, the Soviet Union was full of hard-working and patriotic little people, whose lives and fates were controlled by authorities more concerned with saving face than doing the right thing. As the series dramatized, individualized justice and truth were often suppressed in the name of ideology and scientific progress. Rank and title counted for a lot, while common sense was often neglected. The Soviet Union was a Communist regime, but it was chiefly a bureaucratic regime, where the bureaucracy’s managerial class had privileged lives and a hostile relationship to the common people.

The United States has long been a more individualistic, entrepreneurial, and freedom-loving people than those in Europe, whether East or West. Our national life is much more than an abstract creed. Our culture can be found as much in the Federalist Papers as in the advent of the road trip, music festivals, and, in the days of Prohibition, the speak-easy. We are a restless, energetic, and unbridled people. We are wont to question authority and bend rules that seem stupid and meddlesome.

Public health has always had an uneasy relationship with that culture. At its worst, public health expresses a censorious, cautious, and schoolmarm instinct. It is the force behind book-length warnings on the side of lawnmowers, the demise of dodgeball, and Prohibition itself. If it is an American impulse, it’s the dark side of America; the perversion of our “can do” spirit into relentless crusades against fun in the name of safety and science.

We all have our own priorities, weigh risks and benefits differently, and, until recently, were allowed to decide these things for ourselves. The public health ideologue does not agree that risks of various kinds—including the voluntary risks of smoking, drinking alcohol, or driving motorcycles—are things that a free people should be allowed to do.

The lockdown crowd will invoke a countervailing principle: even people who believe in freedom will concede that you do not have the right to endanger others.

In the abstract, this is true. But is anyone endangering others if they fail to abide by these lockdowns? Setting aside the modest coronavirus risk for the vast majority of people, we have been told that social distancing is the means of safety. If you avoid others, wash your hands, and wear a mask, you will be safe.

If avoiding others, wearing masks, and social distancing are so effective, then—like refraining from smoking or skydiving—the people who feel strongly about risk have the means of protecting themselves. Perhaps vulnerable populations are well-served to follow these precautions. Just as people can choose not to get on a motorcycle, the vulnerable and cautious can engage in voluntary masking and social distancing.

The risks and benefits of living normally can be borne by those who want to live.

Read every word of this one, folks.

SOLIDARNOSC!

Some eerie similarities.

Many U.S. states are acting like the early 1980’s and the imposition of Martial law in Poland to target the Solidarity movement. Subsequently I wrote about it on a Twitter thread, because the parallels were really quite remarkable.

Both Poland circa 1980 and the U.S. friction in 2020, center around fragile economic issues. Both were an outcome of state control; and the key connection is government targeting control over the workers.

In both examples the state took exclusive control of the economic and social state of the citizens, and the courts provided no option for redress. In both examples the state locked down the citizens and would not permit them to interact with each other.

In 1981 the government in Poland initiated Martial Law and citizens were forced to communicate underground. In 2020 a considerable number of U.S. state governments locked-down citizens in similar fashion and banned citizen assembly.

In 1981 in Poland the communist regime used economic psychological pressure, selecting workers permitted to earn wages. Those workers identified as “essential” to the state. In 2020 many State governors selected workers to earn an income by designating them “essential” to the state.

Isn’t it funny how ALL government employees always seem to be “essential”?

In 1981 Polish authorities arrested anyone organizing protests against the authoritarian state. In 2020 numerous authoritarian officials arrested citizens for non-compliance with unilateral dictates. From a New Jersey governor arresting a woman for organizing a protect; to an Idaho mother arrested for allowing her children to play at a park; to a Texas salon owner arrested for operating her business.

In 1981 Polish authorities had a program for citizens to report subversive activity against the state. Snitching. In 2020 New York City, LA and numerous state and local officials started programs for citizens to report non-compliant activity against the state. Similar snitching.

In both 1981 Poland and 2020 USA we also see media exclusively creating ideological content as propaganda for the interests of the authoritarian state (controlling citizens).

So where is the American Lech Walesa, anyway? Sundance finds reason for hope nonetheless:

Just before the authoritarian state in Poland collapsed there was a rapid movement for the citizens to take to the streets in defiance of state control. I remember watching with great enthusiasm as I saw a very determined pole shout on television:

…”we take to the streets and today we realize, there are more of us than them”…

If one person refuses to comply, government can and as we have witnessed arrest them. However, if tens of thousands rebuke these unconstitutional decrees, there isn’t a damn thing government can do to stop it…. and they know it.

If one barber shop opens, the owner becomes a target. However, if every barber shop and beauty salon in town opens… there is absolutely nothing the government can do about it.

If one restaurant and/or bar opens, the state can target the owner. But if every bar and restaurant in town opens; and if everyone ignores  and dispatches the silly dictates of the local, regional or state officials… there isn’t a damned thing they can do about it.

Even more to the point, a commenter notes this insightful quote:

Douglass-Tyrants.jpg


While I’m by no means as hopeful as Sundance (or Douglass, for that matter), that one is going straight into the Notable Quotes section in the sidebar, I believe.

To every thing, there is a season

The good Rabbi Fisher gets his hate on. To which I can only say: welcome to the party, pal.

When the Mets finally took it all in 1969, the other teams accepted the results. They lost gracefully. Now it was the Mets’ turn, and they had won it fair and square. But these past three years have been something different. Trump and Pence won fair and square. But there was no grace. Rather, there was instant character assassination, instant war, instant denial. Advertisements urging electors to violate their Electoral College oaths. Fabrications of collusion with Putin. Investigations that hamstrung a presidency. Lies and innuendoes leaked and published by the unindicted co-conspirators we call the “mainstream media.” A never-ending hunt to find scandals and Trump accusers: a bimbo who pole-danced at bars, her lawyer who now dances behind bars, another crooked lawyer who tape-recorded his own clients and now is locked up, disbarred from the Bar. One cartoon character after another.

As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.

I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.

I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.

They took advantage of a good man who suddenly found himself combating in a different kind of military theater outside his field of expertise. He knew the jungles of Afghanistan, not the jungles of the Justice Department in Washington. The slime dregs of Justice, the Peter Strzoks and Andrew McCabes of the FBI, knew this. They had the lieutenant general on their terrain. He never should have been questioned about the call. He never should have been sucked into an interview without an attorney present. He never should have been lulled into what he said to the FBI.

Donald Trump has been the chief executive of this country for more than three years, and he has proven to be a great president in so many ways, but he sadly has proven incapable of cleaning the swamp. He at least identified the swamp’s existence, and he is fighting its effort to swallow him within its muck. But he has proven that, despite the glorious slogan he inspired, he cannot drain it. Not one single slime in the swamp has been brought to justice.

There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. Yes, we oppose them and expose them, and we hope that contemporary society and history judge them for the evil they represent. But we do not destroy them in their lives. They get away with everything. Hillary Clinton spoliated 33,000 emails amid a federal probe, a federal crime that always ends up with prison time — but not for her. It is a federal crime to lie under oath to Congress. Comey, Clapper, Brennan — how have they all avoided prison time? Strzok, Page, the whole bunch of them? Adam Schiff. The outliers on the Mueller team. Not one single slime among them in the swamp has been brought to justice.

These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. His own Catholic diocese in eastern Kentucky sold him out and sold out all the boys who stood with him that fateful day in Washington, D.C., when he was harassed by a messed-up Indian with a drum. And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the need. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. The perjurers all got away with it. Name one single perjurer against Justice Kavanaugh who ever was brought to justice by Charles Grassley or Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judicial Committee.

The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it. Republicans watch the character assassination and then go on Sean Hannity to sound brave for five minutes. “These people will pay a steep price, Sean.” “I won’t let them get away with it, Sean.” “Let not your heart be troubled, Sean.” “We will investigate every crime and every perjury, Sean.” Three years of hearing this from Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Trey Gowdy, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffetz, Kevin McCarthy. Well, Fox News Alert: They all got away with it. Comey. Brennan. Clapper. Blasey Ford. Schiff. Hillary. Strzok. Page. McCabe.

There is a time to love and a time to hate. This is a time to hate.

Well, good enough, as far as it goes. But nigh upon us is a quite different time: A time to act. We shall very soon see if enough of us remain in this benighted, ravaged nation with the wisdom to recognize it, and the gumption to do what’s required of us.

Three foes, just one enemy

Somehow, I wasn’t aware of this myself.

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

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

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

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

And then things really start to get…interesting.

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

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

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

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

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

“Say the term again,” Trump said.

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

“Just the term,” interrupted Trump.

“Kung flu,” the reporter said again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The wrong shutdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pandemics, then and now

One of these Americas is not like the other.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The year was 1957.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

More on Mia

The son of the artist involved reveals yet more on the shameful Land-O-Lakes brouhaha.

With the redesign, my father made Mia’s Native American connections more specific. He changed the beadwork designs on her dress by adding floral motifs that are common in Ojibwe art. He added two points of wooded shoreline to the lake that had often been depicted in the image’s background. It was a place any Red Lake tribal citizen would recognize as the Narrows, where Lower Red Lake and Upper Red Lake meet.

In my education booklet, “Rethinking Stereotypes,” I noted that communicating misinformation is an underlying function of stereotypes, including through visual images. One way that these images convey misinformation is in a passive, subliminal way that uses inaccurate depictions of tribal symbols, motifs, clothing and historical references. The other kind of stereotypical, misinforming imagery is more overt, with physical features caricatured and customs demeaned. “Through dominant language and art,” I wrote, “stereotypic imagery allows one to see, and believe, in an invented image, an invented race, based on generalizations.”

I provided a number of examples. Mia wasn’t one of them. Not because she was part of my father’s legacy as a commercial artist and I didn’t want to offend him. Mia simply didn’t fit the parameters of a stereotype. Maybe that’s why many Native American women on social media have made it clear that they didn’t agree with those who viewed her as a romanticized and/or sexually objectified stereotype. Instead, Mia seems to have stirred a sense of remembrance and place, one that they found reassuring about their existence as Native American women.

I don’t know why Land O’Lakes dropped Mia. In 2018, the company changed the image by cropping it to a head shot. That adjustment didn’t seem like a bow to culturally correct pressure. Perhaps her disappearance this year is about nothing more than chief executive Beth Ford’s explanation that Land O’Lakes is focusing on the company’s heritage as a farmer-owned cooperative founded in 1921. But questions remain.

Mia’s vanishing has prompted a social media meme: “They Got Rid of The Indian and Kept the Land.” That isn’t too far from the truth. Mia, the stereotype that wasn’t, leaves behind a landscape voided of identity and history. For those of us who are American Indian, it’s a history that is all too familiar.

The Lid blog sums it all up.

Excellent work, cancel culture. In your zeal to purge the world of racism, you have (what’s that word you use for it) ‘erased’ an actual piece of legitimate, iconic, and native-crated artwork.

And like everything else the left does, you did it ‘for our own good, or as Albert Camus once wrote. “The welfare of the people, in particular, has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.”

How long until you admit you’re just another stripe of totalitarians glibly burning down everything in society that doesn’t fit neatly into your narrow little world view.

They don’t check into a logo’s background before they call a logo bigoted, Just like the complaints about the Washington Redskins. The cancel culture calls the team logo racist. But the logo was “first designed in 1971 in close consultation with Native American leaders. Among those who unanimously approved and voiced praise for the logo was Walter “Blackie” Wetzel, a former President of the National Congress of American Indians and Chairman of the Blackfeet Nation. Years earlier, Mr. Wetzel had been deeply involved with U.S. President John F. Kennedy in the movement for civil liberties, civil rights, and economic freedom for all. In 2014, Mr. Wetzel’s son Don commented, “It needs to be said that an Indian from the State of Montana created the Redskins logo, and did it the right way. It represents the Red Nation, and it’s something to be proud of.”

Huh. Didn’t know that. But in the end none of this will matter to the SJW’s—for whom history is rewritable; facts are malleable according to political convenience; and truth is what Kryptonite is to Superman.

The numbers are clear

And they still aren’t dissipating that fishy aroma wafting off of the Corony “crisis.”

Data are coming in, and their import is clear. The coronavirus pandemic is not and never was a threat to society. COVID-19 poses a danger to the elderly and the medically compromised. Otherwise, for most who present symptoms, it can be nasty and persistent, but is not life-threatening. A majority of those infected do not notice that they have the disease. Coronavirus presents us with a medical challenge, not a crisis. The crisis has been of our own making.

On March 16, Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London predicted a coronavirus death toll of more than two million in the United States alone. He arrived at this number by assuming that infection would be nearly universal and the fatality rate would be high—a terrifying prospect. The next day, Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis sifted through the data and predicted less widespread infection and a fatality rate of between 0.05 and 1.0 percent—not that different from the common flu. The coronavirus is not the common flu. It has different characteristics, afflicting the old more than the young, men more than women. Nevertheless, all data trends since mid-March show that Ferguson was fantastically wrong and Ioannidis was largely right about its mortal threat.

In epidemiology, nothing is certain. The facts may change in the future. But as of now, this much is certain: Current data point to a disease that is far less deadly than was feared when our country hurled itself over the cliff of mass lockdown. The WHO was at that time issuing warnings that presumed a death rate 20-30 times higher than what now appears realistic.

We need fact-based policies. COVID-19 spreads rapidly, and any fast-spreading disease can strain medical resources as incidences rise. Long recovery times increase patient loads in hospitals. Careful planning and resource allocation are therefore essential. They were accomplished successfully in New York, much to the credit of medical professionals here. The American people need to be told of that success, which, given the density of New York, shows that we can and will succeed everywhere in our country.

We’ve been stampeded into a regime of social control that is unprecedented in our history. Our economy has been shattered. Ordinary people have been terrorized by death-infused propaganda designed to motivate obedience to the limits on free movement. We have been reduced to life as medical subjects in our condition of self-quarantine. As unemployment numbers skyrocket and Congress spends trillions, the political stakes rise.

The experts, professionals, bureaucrats, and public officials who did this to us have tremendous incentives to close ranks and say, “It is not wise to tell people that the danger was never grave and now has passed.” Sustaining the coronavirus narrative will require many lies. It will be up to us to insist on the truth.

Personally, I’d insist on an abject, groveling apology for the damage the panic-ninnies and grasping state/local officials have done if I thought there was a chance in hell of ever actually getting one out of ’em. Instead, though, we can expect plenty of self-congratulation about the wonders their self-serving lockdown orders wrought in saving us all. Which is going to taste all the more sour after perfidy like this:

I was going to do this as a video, but decided that I'm a bit too angry to be trusted with a camera and a microphone. The governor of Tennessee told everybody that he would not be extending his safer at home executive order, and that he would allow local governments to begin reopening their businesses when it expired.

Business owners reacted, bring in inventory, stocking shelves, bringing back employees, and spending money to get ready to reopen.

Today, just a couple of days before businesse were going to reopen, the governor issued a new executive order. Only some businesses would be allowed to reopen. Others would have to remain closed. Restaurants could open, but bars could not. Gyms could open, but swimming pools and bowling alleys could not. Stores could open, but playgrounds, amusement parks, theaters, auditoriums, arcades, race tracks, etc could not.

All of the theaters in Pigeon Forge were planning on reopening following the governor's original announcement. They brought back their casts and crews, spruced up the theaters, and got everything ready to open up.

Now they can't. All that time, effort, and yes, money, has been wasted as the governor, at the last minute, took away their hope.

This will be devastating to these businesses. Many of them will fail because of the governor's about face. In a cruel parody of the last minute reprieve of the death row inmate, instead of offering a reprieve, the governor's call has pulled the switch on Sevier County.

I cannot state this strongly enough; this eleventh hour extension of the shutdown will do irreperable harm to the county. It will be far more devastating than the fire of a couple years ago because there will be no coming back for many of these businesses. The governor's order will destroy even those businesses he so graciously deigned to allow to open. How will restaurants survive with no patrons? The locals won't be able to afford to eat there, and the tourists won't come because there's nothing to do. The only thing more corrosive to a bottom line than a closed restaurant is an open one with too few customers, and Governor Lee has ensured that is exactly what will happen.

And for what? Saving lives from COVID-19? Feh. The numbers are clear and getting clearer. COVID-19 was never the monster it was made out to be. Serious? yes. Devastating? Not hardly.

What will be devastating is the countless lives destroyed by this continued overreaction on the part of the governor.

It's sad; just a couple of days ago, I was praising him for allowing each local jurisdiction the dignity of decideing for themselves exactly how to transition back to a functioning economy.

I should have known better.

Considering that clear-eyed skepticism of government is supposed to have been bred into the American DNA, yeah, we all shoulda. And yet.

But let’s close this thing out on a more uplifting note, shall we? A good friend of mine texted me something C&P’d from another Fakebook post, and I thought it was worth sharing.

Perspective! It’s a mess out there now. Hard to discern between what’s a real threat and what is just simple panic and hysteria.

For a small amount of perspective at this moment, imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday. 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million.

On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet.

And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish.

At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War. Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. Great leaders prevented that from happening. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends.

Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was. And how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.

Perspective is an amazing art. Refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe. Let’s try and keep things in perspective. Let’s be smart, help each other out, and we will get through all of this.

Wise and encouraging words.

Hitting the reset button

Lee Smith opines at length on what must be done.

The novel coronavirus that swept out of the Chinese city of Wuhan in midwinter to infect millions around the globe has now forced world leaders to reassess their relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The superpower conflict between the United States and Soviet Union helped push China onto center stage nearly 50 years ago. Over the past three decades, Beijing has come to dominate the international system, thanks not only to the world’s largest pool of cheap, unregulated labor and a burgeoning consumer marketplace, but also the craven delusions and greed of Western political and business elites, especially in the United States. COVID-19 has now compelled the most significant geostrategic rethink since the end of the Cold War.

Whatever the origins of the virus, there is no question that the Chinese have leveraged it as a weapon of social and economic warfare. Could the ruins of a shooting war be much worse than those of a virus that, as of this week, has left more than 50,000 Americans dead and nearly one-tenth of the population unemployed, turning the businesses, life savings, and dreams of our neighbors to ashes?

But no one in Washington wants to call it war—and for good reason. The massive amount of wealth that America’s political and business elites have transferred to the CCP over the past 30 years has put the United States under China’s thumb. Our manufacturing base, as well as our debt, is controlled by the CCP. The United States, senior U.S. officials say, would likely lose in any major confrontation, financial or military, with China. Even the medicines we would need to treat our wounded are in Beijing’s hands.

As implied above, this is a long ‘un. But you’ll want to read all of it nonetheless.

Update! Father Raymond De Souza says this could be China’s “Chernobyl moment.” It damned well ought to be, and in fact it MUST be, by hook or by crook. Failing to inflict a heavy price on the ChiComs for this atrocity will only guarantee future repeats.

The Soviet Chernobyl moment came three years after U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s “evil empire” speech, which was, at the time, ridiculed by the international diplomatic establishment. Yet when the liberation of Europe from the Soviet empire followed six years later, and the Soviet Union ceased to exist two years after that, the courageous dissidents behind the Iron Curtain revealed that the forthright condemnation of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire” was a critical turning point.

A few months ago, the likelihood of the Chinese experiencing an evil empire moment was less than nil. Recall how things stood in late 2019.

After more than a year of ramped-up religious persecution, including a prohibition on children attending religious services, the replacement of crosses in Christian houses of worship with state symbols, the demolition of churches and the imprisonment of clergy, not a single word of protest was issued by the Vatican.

After months of protests to protect democratic freedoms in Hong Kong, support for the protesters on the world stage was minimal. And not just governments were afraid to upset the CCP. For example, when the CCP propaganda machine voiced outrage after the Houston Rockets’ general manager’s tweeted support for the protesters during a basketball tour of China, the National Basketball Association went into full craven apology mode.

All of the above examples are nothing short of disgraceful, and wholly despicable. Bottom line?

The power of the evil empire speech was not that it informed people that Soviet communism was evil in itself and an evil force in global affairs. Everyone knew that, even those whose interests lay in denying it. What was novel was that the American president was willing to say it. Truth has its own power.

The novel coronavirus has brought novelties of all kinds. Might a moral clarity about the Chinese Communist party be one of them?

I repeat: the one big thing to know is this: Commies gonna Commie. There is no good rationale—none—for any even putatively free nation to truck with Communist regimes in any way, shape, or form. For Americans to have allowed their political and business “leadership” to sell We The People down the river for a fistful of yuan is likewise inexcusable, and led directly to the current dismal pass. We must now demand that this situation be rectified—and I don’t mean slow, either.

Last laugh

Why yes, I AM still enjoying this rare bit of smoker schadenfraude. Why do you ask?

There’s not much to laugh about these days, but the news that smokers might be protected from Covid-19 is certainly one of them. With study after study showing that smokers are under-represented in coronavirus wards, the renowned French neuroscientist, Jean-Pierre Changeux, is working on a randomised control trial to test the effect of nicotine patches on Covid-19 patients.

This is far from being a crackpot theory. Changeux has explained his hypothesis at length here. In simple terms, he says that nicotinic acetylcholine receptors play a key role in the development of the disease and that nicotine can put a brake on it. If he is right – and the banter heuristic says he is – it would not only save thousands of lives but would also be one in the eye for the ‘public health’ groups who have been claiming that smoking and vaping are risk factors for Covid-19.

These groups are so used to lying with impunity that they wasted no time in asserting that smoking caused coronavirus complications when the pandemic began. In the US, newspapers have been filled with reports that smokers and vapers ‘may’ be at greater risk from Covid-19, a weasel word that requires no evidence. A group of doctors in New York urged governor Andrew Cuomo to ban the sale of all tobacco and e-cigarette products on the false premise that ‘mounting evidence demonstrates the link between tobacco use and increased risk for progressive Covid-19’. Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has been taking occasional breaks from flattering the Chinese Communist Party to make evidence-free assertions about smokers being ‘likely’ to suffer more from the coronavirus.

Is there ANYTHING the panic-mongering “experts” have gotten right about this? Anything at all? Snowdon lays out some numbers in support of the argument for smoking’s health benefits before diving into the schadenfraude deep-end his own self:

People scoffed when Emmanuel Macron exempted tobacco kiosks from France’s lockdown on the basis that they provide an essential service. Who’s coughing now?

Far be it from me to preempt the conclusions of the professor’s research, but let us consider for a moment the policy implications of nicotine being the only tried and tested prophylactic for Covid-19. We could issue Lucky Strikes on prescription. We could #ClapForOurCigarettes every Thursday evening. The case for closing down Public Health England would be stronger than ever. We could open the pubs, but only to smokers and vapers. We might allow a few non-smokers in to enjoy the possible benefits of passive exposure, but only if they stand two metres apart. There is everything to play for.

The icing on the cake would be if British American Tobacco is first out of the blocks with a vaccine. Everyone who works for the World Health Organisation would have to go unvaccinated on principle and rely instead on herd immunity. Smokers would, of course, be pushed to the front of the queue for vaccination. They paid for it, after all.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But, by God, wouldn’t it be fun?

Oh, it already is.

NotACoughInACarload.jpg


Hey buddy, can I get a light?

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.

Choices, choices

Our would-be masters will narrow and restrict them as much as possible, until we’re well and truly cornered.

Presently, billions of people around the world are ‘living’ under mandatory stay-at-home orders, purportedly to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Aside from the question as to whether quarantine is the most effective method for fighting this particular pandemic, what exactly will be required from us before any semblance of normalcy returns?

One possible requirement – aside from being discouraged from ever shaking hands again – is the mandatory participation in a global vaccine program, underwritten by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Big Pharma and an assortment of other people who supposedly have the best interest of the global citizenry in mind. Should we be concerned?

Despite so much uncertainty with regards to the real mortality rate, US medical spokespersons are uttering incredibly irresponsible statements that only serve to instill a sense of fear throughout society. Dr. Fauci, for example, said in the course of his above interview that “I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.” Meanwhile, World Health Organization (WHO) special envoy David Nabarro told the BBC that “some form of facial protection, I’m sure, is going to become the norm.”

Now, judging how the medical experts are preventing entire nations from acquiring herd immunity, together with the media’s refusal to consider the merits of hydroxychloroquine, this leads to what should have been the last resort: a vaccine program, which could very well turn out to be mandatory; a requirement forced on individuals before they are able to participate in any sort of public events again.

This much was suggested by none other than the world’s premier vaccine pusher, Bill Gates, who said in a recent interview that any sort of mass gatherings “may not come back at all” without a wide-scale vaccination program. Some would call that a form of blackmail, used against a desperate people who would do just about anything right now to get back to life as they once knew it. Those days appear far in the future. Just this week, the UK announced that people will have to “live with some restrictions” until a vaccine is developed.

To be clear, few people would question that vaccines have been an inherent good for civilization; they have helped eradicate some of the worst diseases mankind has ever faced, like smallpox and polio. But today things are not so straightforward as simply eradicating a pandemic. Presently, there is a major push being made – with Bill Gates at the vanguard of those efforts – to introduce a vaccine that contains nanotechnology to ‘mark’ and surveil those injected. As just one example, consider the work being carried out by ID2020, a San Francisco-based biometric company that counts Microsoft as one of its founding members. It recently announced it was exploring “identification technologies for infants” that is based on “infant immunization.” In other words, tracking devices embedded inside of vaccines.

While the world would welcome a vaccine that eradicates the coronavirus, many would find it unacceptable to be forced to have a vaccine that contains any sort of surveillance technology. At this point in our battle against a pandemic, which has created millions of newly unemployed, the last thing people need in their lives right now is yet another source of worry. Let’s develop a vaccine against coronavirus, Mr. Gates, but please hold the tracking add-ons.

Don’t you people get it yet? The tracking add-ons are the whole point.

Chicken Little 86’d

Probably the most level-headed, even-handed, and just plain sensible examination I believe I’ve yet seen of the current contretemps.

Although the full story of the 2020 corona crisis cannot yet be told, already it is clear that it will have three parts: medical, economic, and cultural-political. The effects of the first two parts, especially the first, are already patent. The novel coronavirus presents a public health issue. Some regard it as a public health emergency of the first order. Others are less anxious. The issue is up for debate. As we write, the falling rate of hospitalization and leveling off of fatalities may seem to support an optimistic outcome. But even if the sunny interpretation is correct, Benjamin Jowett’s observation is to the point: “precautions are always blamed,” he said: “When they are successful, they are said to be unnecessary.” Maybe the tide is turning because we have been so assiduous in following severe “mitigation” procedures: staying home, practicing “social distancing,” and the like. Or maybe the tide is turning because the epidemic, like all epidemics, has reached its natural peak and is receding on its own. Opinions vary.

Less debatable are the economic consequences of the epidemic. We don’t know anyone who believes that they are other than catastrophic. The question is, however, whether the draconian measures imposed to slow the spread of the virus are justified. Whether or not this nasty respiratory disease presents an “unprecedented” challenge is open to interpretation. What does seem unprecedented is the experiment of suddenly shutting down almost all economic activity in a complex market-oriented country like the United States. It is one thing to switch off the mighty engines of prosperity and wealth creation. We are about to discover whether they can be restarted so expeditiously.

Which brings us to the third part of the corona caper, the cultural and political aspects. It is hardly surprising that this crisis, like all crises, has presented an opportunity to advance political agendas. Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, was speaking a home truth when he observed during the economic panic of 2008 that you should “never let a serious crisis go to waste.” That sounds, and it may in fact be, cynical. It is also a truth acted upon by all parties at all times. From this perspective, the coronavirus is not only a deadly pathogen. It is also a political opportunity. It is too soon to say who will be able to make the most of that opportunity. A presidential election looms, which makes our hall of mirrors more fraught and disorienting than ever. The intensity of the scramble is a token of the high stakes involved.

But all that is just politics as usual. More noteworthy, and more worrisome, are three other features of our cultural-political situation—of “the way we live now”—that this crisis has revealed. First, there is the issue of fragility. The Western world, and the United States in particular, comprises the richest and most powerful societies in history. The fact that they can be brought to a quivering standstill by a bug that sickens and kills a minuscule part of their populations should give us pause. Is that fragility real and unavoidable, or is it chosen?

Second, there are the interrelated issues of widespread docility, on the one hand, and eager authoritarianism, on the other. We suspect that aspiring totalitarians will ponder the response to this epidemic with thoughtful anticipation. How quickly an entire population can be herded like obedient sheep, willing to be subjected to the most extravagant prohibitions! We speak of “sheltering in place.” Is it clear that we are not “cowering in place”?

The other side of that docility is the rude overbearingness of those with the power to direct our lives. Federal authorities in this instance have imposed upon us less stringently than state and local officials, some of whom have been quick to monitor and punish any hint of independence.

Longtime readers will know that we are fond of a sermon preached by C. S. Lewis in the dark days of 1939. “I think it important,” he said,

to try to see the present calamity in a true perspective…The war creates no absolutely new situation: it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice…The insects have chosen a different line: they have sought first the material welfare and security of the hive, and presumably they have their reward.

Men are different. They propound mathematical theorems in beleaguered cities, conduct metaphysical arguments in condemned cells, make jokes on scaffolds, discuss the latest new poem while advancing to the walls of Quebec, and comb their hair at Thermopylae. This is not panache; it is our nature.

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about the crisis we face is the possibility that Lewis was being too generous when describing human nature.

I really don’t need to tell you to read it all, do I?

Had, took, hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray

To all the shrieking panic-ninnies cowering under their beds in full Level-4 Biohazard gear: hope it was worth it.

The … crisis we face is unparalleled in modern times,” said the World Health Organization’s assistant director, while its director general proclaimed it “likely the greatest peacetime challenge that the United Nations and its agencies have ever faced.” This was based on a CDC computer model projection predicting as many as 1.4 million deaths from just two countries.

So when did they say this about COVID-19? Trick question: It was actually about the Ebola virus in Liberia and Sierra Leone five years ago, and the ultimate death toll was under 8,000.

With COVID-19 having peaked (the highest date was April 4), despite the best efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to increase numbers by first saying any death with the virus could be considered a death from the virus and then again this week by saying a positive test isn’t even needed, you can see where this is going.

Since the AIDS epidemic, people have been pumping out such models with often incredible figures. For AIDS, the Public Health Service announced (without documenting) there would be 450,000 cases by the end of 1993, with 100,000 in that year alone. The media faithfully parroted it. There were 17,325 by the end of that year, with about 5,000 in 1993. SARS (2002-2003) was supposed to kill perhaps “millions,” based on analyses. It killed 744 before disappearing.

Later, avian flu strain A/H5N1, “even in the best-case scenarios” was to “cause 2 (million) to 7 million deaths” worldwide. A British professor named Neil Ferguson scaled that up to 200 million. It killed 440. This same Ferguson in 2002 had projected 50-50,000 deaths from so-called “Mad Cow Disease.” On its face, what possible good is a spread that large? (We shall return to this.) But the final toll was slightly over 200.

In the current crisis the most alarming model, nay probably the most influential in the implementation of the draconian quarantines worldwide, projected a maximum of 2.2 million American deaths and 550,000 United Kingdom deaths unless there were severe restrictions for 18 months or until a vaccine was developed. The primary author: Neil Ferguson. Right, Mad Cow/Avian Flu Fergie.

Then a funny thing happened. A mere nine days after announcing his model, Ferguson said a better number for the U.K. would be only 20,000. The equivalent would be fewer than 80,000 American deaths. Technically, that U.K. number was buried in a table in the report under what might be called “a fantastic case scenario.” But could that reduction possibly reflect a mere nine days of restrictions? No.

Soon all the numbers were tumbling. Yet as late as March 31, the New York Times declared: “White House Projects Grim Toll from Virus” citing White House Coronavirus Task Force head Deborah Birx and director of the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, who in turn cited a model showing deaths up to 240,000. Still awful, but Birx explicitly backed off the Ferguson projection for which she had previously been the Grey Lady’s pompom girl.

Then suddenly Fauci announced a flat figure of “more like 60,000,” the same number the CDC says died of flu two years ago. Probably not coincidentally, until quite recently the agency said there were 80,000 flu victims that year, before lowering it to 61,000 – presumably because people were using that figure to compare to COVID-19 deaths. In any event, the 1968-1969 “Hong Kong flu” killed an estimated 100,000 Americans, or 165,000 adjusted to today’s population.

Moreover, as noted, the CDC now encourages coding a death of anyone “if the circumstances are compelling” even though they haven’t been tested at all. Yeah, wow; it’s not a “conservative myth.” During flu season, that means a lot of flu victims have magically become COVID-19 victims in addition to people who would have otherwise had cause of death listed as heart attack, diabetes, and other co-morbid conditions.

Get hit by a truck, die of COVID19. Get shot by a home-invader, die of COVID19. Jump off a building, die of COVID19. Hey, maybe it IS a “magic virus” after all!

Model defenders declare the plummets were based on the success of severe restrictions of civil liberties. “It just means we won,” declared an article in The Atlantic. Wrong. The bottom range of the models presumes the best-case scenario. If the low end is 100,000, that’s the low end.

This is what what they are, it’s what they do. The entirely-predictable Progressivist progression goes something like this: be back-asswards wrong about something, exaggerate and overhype something, fuck things up badly because of it, then either A) claim to have been right along, that without your farsighted palliative measures things would undoubtedly be a hell of a lot worse; B) claim you failed only because your already-extreme measures just didn’t go far enough; or C) blame Reagan/Bush/Trump/conservatives for the mess you made. If none of those options fools anybody to Proggy’s satisfaction, then we’ll get: HEY, LOOK, OVER THERE! CLIMATE CHANGE/COMMON SENSE GUN CONTROL/HOMELESS EPIDEMIC/RAPE CULTURE/OPIOID CRISIS/RUSSIAN BOTS!!!!

Bottom line? This:

That’s not proof that public health interventions are worthless; merely that since the Plague of Athens four centuries B.C. and before, epidemics have risen and fallen quite on their own. Nobody needed Big Brother looking over their shoulder and cracking a whip; nobody needed to implode their economies and leave their citizens with tops reading: “I survived the ‘worst epidemic in history’ and all I have left is this crummy t-shirt.”

Leaving us with one simple question: can a hard number be put on how many times goobermint “experts” like Fauci have to be proven wrong before the shrieking panic-ninnies finally lose their purblind faith in them? Or will good ol’ Charlie Brown go right on attempting to kick that football no matter what, forever and ever, amen?

Are we not men?

On your feet or on your knees.

I am thoroughly disheartened – nay, sickened — by the sheeplike behavior of so many of our countrymen. I cannot believe they think the proper response to “our leaders’” overweening usurpations of authorities never granted is to politely ask for their rights back.

Americans don’t do that. Americans exercise their rights openly and confidently. They don’t ask for anyone’s permission.

Your rights are not permissions. They are yours, not because some “authority” has granted them to you, but by virtue of your membership in the human race. To treat them as permissions is to surrender them, such that any “crisis,” whether real or notional, can be used to nullify them. And there are plenty of wannabe dictators who are grasping at that opportunity — with the support of the left-wing media

It hardly matters what rights you claim if you refrain from exercising them. That’s how the Second Amendment was gutted. It’s how the rest of the Bill of Rights is being reduced to meaninglessness. And if we permit it to go one millimeter further, we are unworthy of the term “free people.”

It’s not about the economy. It’s not about the virus. It’s not about “science.” It’s about freedom: holding onto the pitiful amount we have left after two and a quarter centuries’ incursions upon it, usually in the name of “crisis” or “safety.”

Free men accept that life entails risk.
They don’t ask their “leaders” to “protect” them.
When “leaders” tyrannize them “for your own good,” they rise up.
Such “leaders” become lamppost decorations, pour encourager les autres.

Are you a free man or a sheep?

From what we’re seeing of late, the answer to that question is far from encouraging. Happily, though, sometimes it doesn’t take all that much in the way of pushback or defiance to force our masters to relent:



Good on ya, Master Chief. They may well take us down in the long run, but at the very least we can make ’em work for it.

Update! This may seem to be unrelated, but it strikes me as yet another depressing aspect of the Great Knuckling Under.

Land O’ Lakes drops ‘racist’ Native American image after nearly 100 years
The new label was announced in a press release from Land O’ Lakes in February, though it made no specific mention of removing the Native American image from all products.

The press release shared “the new packaging will show up in a variety of ways, including through a new front-of-package design that features the phrase ‘Farmer-Owned’ above the LAND O LAKES brandmark,” as well as include pictures of farmers and co-op members on the label.

“As Land O’Lakes looks toward our 100th anniversary, we’ve recognized we need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture—and nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” said Beth Ford, President and CEO, Land O’Lakes, in the press release.

“As a farmer-owned co-op, we strongly feel the need to better connect the men and women who grow our food with those who consume it,” Ford said.

Is it really necessary to “connect” them beyond having them buy and eat your damned butter? Because if it is, I’m just damned if I can see the why of it. Or how a bunch of mealy-mouthed gobbledygook from some college-kid corporate flack who probably never yanked a single bovine teat in her life is gonna get the job done. Until such time as you can explain those mysterious profundities to me, grab that plunger-handle and get to churning, lady.

But if you think that’s depressing stuff—and it is—wait till you get a load of the backstory.

Did you know that back in the 1950s, when Land O’ Lakes wanted to update their logo, they hired an American Indian artist to do the job. He came up with Mia, the logo we’re all familiar with, to honor American Indian culture and their traditional connection to nature.

I checked into it a little myself, and WeirdDave ain’t just making it up.

Mia first appeared on Land O’Lakes packaging in 1928, and was originally designed by illustrator Arthur C. Hanson for the advertising firm Brown and Bigelow.

Native American artist Patrick DesJarlait, of the Ojibwe tribe, redesigned the packaging in the 1950s to foster “a sense of Indian pride,” the Minnesota Reformer reported.

His son, Robert DesJarlait, told the outlet that the image — which has been slammed by many as “racist” — has become a “paradox” for Native Americans.

“He was breaking a lot of barriers…Back in the ’50s, nobody even thought about stereotypical imagery. Today it’s a stereotype, but it’s also a source of cultural pride,” DesJarlait told the outlet.

As well it might be, too. As Dave says, you can be pretty confident that there were few if any Native Americans among the SJW screechers demanding Land-O-Lakes’ capitulation to mindless PC here.

Puzzling, innit, the way those screechers have managed to “fundamentally transform” a legitimate source of cultural pride into some kind of shameful offense against all human decency. In the end, though, this isn’t really about butter, or marketing, or the Land-O-Lakes mascot, or respect for Indians and their heritage, or even “racism” itself. In the end, it’s really about this:


So is the above gutting of Ilhan Omar-Elmi really related to the topic at hand? You just better believe it is, chum. Because collapsing American society, dismantling America, is ALWAYS what it’s about with the Left—every single time, every single issue, every single word of every single argument. Until you begin to get your head fully around that, you ain’t fighting back, and you damned sure ain’t winning. You’re just chasing your tail, that’s all.

Oh HELL no

I have a suggestion or three for alternate locations where the goobermint can stick its little chips.

The technocrats are talking about giving people a chip – once they’ve been vaccinated for the CCP virus, or otherwise proven their immunity and state of non-contagion – so that anyone with the right scanner can easily see that interacting with them is “safe.”

Sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?

But think about it. Even if you don’t care about personal freedom, don’t respect concerns for societal liberty. Just think about this a moment.

Don’t have to. There’s only way such a thing will ever be done to me or my young ‘un, and that is over my dead body.

The CCP virus is just the flavor of the month. It’s the terrible risk of 2020, the big thing this year. In past years, we have been scared of H1N1, Ebola, SARS, all of which have killed tens of thousands of people. This is hardly the first such epidemic to hit humanity. The list goes on and on.

So… what about next year?

There’s a seasonal flu every year, and some years, it’s especially bad (sometimes arguably worse than this one)… Over a 20 year period, there might be five such really bad flus. Should we agree to a chip for all of them? Or only for certain ones? This year’s virus hits the overweight and the very old worst of all. Maybe the next one will hit the young and the skinny worst. Maybe one will hit the asthmatics worst. There’s ALWAYS someone to protect from these things, and our concern for these innocent victims is laudable.

Then people will ask: Should we have a chip every year, and 300 million tests, every year, just to be safe? You know what they say – “if it saves just one life,” right?

Right. And so very, very wrong, too. Tons of very good stuff along these lines in this one, all of which you should peruse, culminating in this:

The risk of putting too much information in the hands of government used to be well-understood by Americans, but this risk appears to have been forgotten, with the philosophy of our Founding Fathers going untaught for generations.

We want to think this is a leap. We desperately want to tell ourselves that the slippery slope argument is just fear-mongering, that it would never get that bad, not here, not in America.

But in recent weeks, we have seen mayors ban gun sales, in blatant defiance of the Second Amendment. We have seen governors ban church services, in blatant defiance of the First Amendment. We have seen manufacturing brought a standstill in state after state. We have seen police ticketing married couples just for walking together on the sidewalk, and taking down license plates of cars parked at a drive-through church service.

If these past few weeks have proven anything at all, is that we can risk no further erosion of our liberty, because too many of these petty bureaucrats hold too much power… and because too many of them are far too quick to follow the lead of Rahm Emanuel – Chicago’s former mayor, and Barack Obama’s former chief of staff – who enunciated the modern statist approach so proudly and so succinctly:

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Nailed it, clean and tight. We can only hope that there are enough of us left who understand all this—or, even worse, wouldn’t eagerly applaud the implentation of a federal forced-chipping program. If the last month is any guide, alas, that hope is a truly forlorn one.

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